Marc Freedman, founder and CEO of Encore.org, offers an insightful observation about the promise and potential of longer lives. “Thousands of baby boomers each day surge into their 60s and 70s,” he wrote in a recent article for The Wall Street Journal.
Jackie Witt always feels a little anxious before she travels. The 31-year-old can barely climb steps, finds walking long distances difficult...
One of the biggest goals of my career as an air traffic controller was having a worry-free retirement. I envisioned a comfortable place where I could lie back and watch the world pass by; where I could live not only without work, but without challenge, worry or stress.
In 2007, British psychologist Richard Wiseman followed more than 3,000 people attempting to achieve New Year’s resolutions including the top three: lose weight, quit smoking and exercise regularly. At the start of the study, most were confident of success...
An AARP study of 2015 Baby Boomer Travel Trends found that older travelers anticipated taking four to five trips the following year...
With the holidays right around the corner, your calendar is probably already filling up with friendly parties, formal dinners and family gatherings. All of that celebrating can take a toll on the body.
Thriving in a place that’s safe and comfortable, surrounded by cozy memories, is a natural desire of older adults. We treasure independence and want a space to call our own, and we prefer that place to reflect the person we’ve become...
There are many reasons why we fall for investment scams. As we understand and realize these factors, we are less likely to fall prey to investment scamsters — who we call “financial serial killers.”
We often complain that we don’t have enough time to do all the things we wish to do. For many of us, it’s a true statement. We truly don’t have enough time. We ardently desire a “time out” from our obligations.
People with Alzheimer’s or other dementia are an invaluable part of our society. Millions of them are brilliant, wise and actively advocating for their rights and needs...
A few mornings ago, I saw a reflection of myself and had to summon every bit of strength to keep from shrieking. What was staring back at me, from a darkened winter window, was sad, morally repugnant and just plain creepy.
“Whom would I meet? What would I say? Would I seem dorky?” These were Rena Berlin’s concerns before she met her Partner in Art Learning, the new “pal” she’d been matched with through a program that pairs a college student with an older adult to create art.
Every day for the last 24 years, I’ve worked with the elderly and, by extension, with their families. As the founder of Caring Senior Service, a non-medical in-home care provider, my goal is to ensure that people can age with dignity in their own homes and to reassure families that their loved ones are safe and secure.
Singer Tony Bennett, at 89, isn’t resting on his laurels. He recently released a new album, The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern. In an interview with NPR, he recalled how much he loved singing for his relatives as a boy. “It created a passion in my life that exists to this moment as I speak to you, that is stronger now at 89 than in my whole life,” Bennett said. “I still feel that I can get better somehow. And I search for it all of the time.”
In the past 40 years, attitudes towards death and dying in America and much of the rest of the world have slowly changed. The hospice movement has grown considerably and now constitutes its own segment of the health care system. Prior to hospice, people often died alone, in institutional settings like hospitals.
Three out of every five new sicknesses in humans come from either animal or bug contact, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. While not every animal or insect encounter will make you sick, tens of thousands of Americans have become ill. Some of these interactions can result in major illness.
It isn’t hard to figure out why some banks and credit unions offer special checking accounts for customers they call “seniors.” Once they establish banking relationships this way, they can try to entice the new account holders with savings accounts, loans and retirement accounts.
Do you long to eat favorite foods from your youth without a side order of guilt? With creative tweaking, chocolaty brownies, creamy scalloped potatoes, hearty meatloaf, green bean-mushroom casserole with fried onions and other comfort foods can return from the list of no-nos.
A dozen years ago, at the age of 50, Lillie Shockney decided to have breast reconstruction surgery after two bouts of cancer and two mastectomies. The procedure called for removing a flap of skin and fat from her abdomen, used to rebuild her breasts.
An increasing number of banks and credit unions are implementing fraud-prevention initiatives to prepare for the onslaught of aging Americans expected to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
When my daughter was two, I took her and her older brother blueberry picking near our hometown of Arcata, Calif. The farm owners weren’t too concerned about children “sampling” the goods. So my kids scarfed plenty of fruit before we got out of there with a full bucket.
Working out the same way in your 50s as you did in your 30s sets you up for a world of hurt. Changes in flexibility, muscular strength, bone density and recovery time make injuries more likely if you don’t adjust accordingly.
It may be the favorite way to cook on hot summer days, but experts say the high heat of grilling can produce cancer-causing compounds that are dangerous to your health.
Like so many members of our boomer generation, I walked away from organized religion long ago. Baptized and confirmed Episcopalian in childhood, my last steady churchgoing experience involved attending “youth services” in my teens, where we stood around in a prayer circle in our jeans and sandals, singing contemporary hymns in a fog of incense.
As Americans age, it's vital we give our elders -- and their caregivers -- the support they need. Global caregiving advocate Ai-jen Poo tells us what we can do to positively affect change, starting right this minute.
A look at aging and health as medical focus on lifespan broadens to include one's healthspan, too. This is the basic premise of a new field of research called geroscience. But there’s an obvious catch: Can we do it?
Five years ago, when I sold my 1,700-square-foot condo in St. Louis County, Mo., in preparation for a move to a small apartment in San Francisco, Calif., I knew I had to get rid of at least two-thirds of my stuff. That required touching every single thing I owned.
Any hospital stay can be a revelation. When it’s totally unexpected, the experience can be even more fraught with surprises. I speak from personal experience and have some advice based on it.
Last year, I had pain severe enough to require a middle-of-the-night visit to the ER. It turned out to be kidney stones — stones that felt like boulders and required an invasive procedure (a ureteroscopy) to view, measure and then zap them into dust. Star Wars inside my body while I was out cold.
The procedure was performed at a great hospital. I had a great specialist. It all went well.
When your son moves halfway around the world, it's not 'who ya gonna call,' but how? I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with technology. When I got my first answering machine back in the '80s, it was with a mix of excitement (never missing another call!) and dread (but what if no one called?). I make no pretense of being an early adopter, but I pride myself in believing that I eventually do catch up. (Although my son will cringingly tell you that I still sometimes call my iPod a Walkman.)
If I were to ask you how active you are, what would you say?
Do you consider yourself to be active and productive on most days of the week? Do you meet the recommended minimum of 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week? Would you go so far as to say that you exercise frequently?
As an emergency physician, I see patients every day who have forgotten to bring something critical to their appointments. That's understandable when you face an unplanned emergency situation, but not when you've had time to prepare for, say, an annual checkup or a follow-up visit with a specialist.
By now, you’ve likely received in the mail a replacement credit card with an EMV chip (EMV stands for Europlay, MasterCard and Visa). The computer chip has been put in to keep hackers from getting access to the data in your card’s magnetic strip.
But you may be in for some surprises, and I say this from personal experience.
“It’s all about relationships.”
That’s what a mentor told me during my medical training. Every day, as a pediatrician, I realize how true this is.
With the recent emergence and increasing popularity of virtual doctor visits due to convenience and lower costs, it is necessary to examine the nature of the interaction between doctor and patient.
As patients, we go to our doctors in our most vulnerable states. We want them to tell us what we want to hear — that nothing is wrong and our deepest fears are unsubstantiated. Sometimes that happens, and unfortunately, sometimes it doesn’t.
Some people protect themselves from the exorbitant out-of-pocket cost of long-term care (median annual price of a private room in a nursing home: $91,250, according to Genworth Financial), by buying long-term care insurance policies. But here’s some stunning news during what the long-term care industry calls Long Term Care Awareness Month: More than a third of people with long-term care policies at age 65 lapse their coverage before they die, forfeiting all benefits, a new Center for Retirement Research (CRR) at Boston College analysis finds.
There are 66 million unpaid adult family caregivers in America — 29 percent of the adult U.S. population — providing care to someone who is ill, disabled or aged, according to the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. Female caregivers outnumber their male counterparts two to one. In 2012, female family caregivers, on average, were 48 years old, lived alone, and provided about 25 hours of care per week.
Lately, it seems our headlines have been filled with stories about Mother Nature wreaking havoc on our surroundings. From horrible flooding to fast-spreading wildfires to monster hurricanes, weather and the damage it causes is putting human lives in danger. And as we gear up for a strong El Nino that is expected to bring heavy rains to California and big storms to the East, it doesn't look like the winter months will bring much relief to many parts of the nation.
Leaving money to heirs upon your death, by contrast, is a lot less taxing than you might expect. For inheritances, the 2015 federal estate tax exemption is $5.43 million per person. That means 99. 8 percent of people never have to pay an estate tax, because so few people have assets that exceed $5.43 million. However, if you want to give money to your children or grandchildren while you are still alive, you have options.
The ability to drive is one of the last forms of independence that seniors are able to retain. When bringing up the topic of ceasing driving, it is important to listen to what the senior has to say.
New technology and the internet aren’t just for young people. According to a recent study by Pew Research, 59 percent of American seniors are internet users.
For many seniors, there comes a time when they can no longer care for themselves independently. This is often a difficult realization for seniors and their families, as they remember the days when the senior was fully self-sufficient and usually the primary caregiver for the rest of the family.
When the weather outside is frightful, there are a number of steps seniors can take to ensure a safe and healthy winter season. Ice, snow and cold temperatures can affect people of all ages, especially older adults.
It is especially important to keep an eye on seniors during the winter. Regular check-ins to make sure your loved one is living as happily and healthfully as possible can make a huge difference in keeping seniors safe during the winter months.
When temperatures drop and winter storms roll in, seniors are more likely to experience injuries and health problems related to the weather. Issues such as hypothermia, frostbite and falls due to ice and snow often see an uptick during the colder months. It’s critical that seniors and those who care for them exercise certain safety measures and precautions this time of year.
Social isolation among seniors is alarmingly common. The notion that retirees spend the majority of their time traveling and connecting with friends and family is simply inaccurate. A much higher number settle into a more sedentary lifestyle that can severely limit social connections, create loneliness and may put their mental, emotional and physical health at risk.
Twenty-eight percent of Americans over the age of 65 live alone. It is important for seniors and caregivers to be aware of potential social isolation. Social isolation is an issue that should be considered by anyone who is considering remaining in their home as they age.
After a long and harsh winter, the warmer temperatures and sunshine are certainly welcome and people are flocking outdoors to enjoy them – including seniors.
Spending time outdoors can bring about sharper mental states and happier moods, along with improved physical health and a better overall sense of well-being. It is important for caretakers to encourage seniors to spend more time outdoors as summer approaches.
Spending time outdoors is physically, mentally and emotionally revitalizing. Being cooped up indoors is not good for individuals at any age. Being outside creates a sense of independence and can help in building confidence and stimulating the senses.
While some seniors are able to perform physical activities outdoors, such as cycling or tennis, others may be restricted due to physical limitations. However, there are a wide variety of outdoor activities that can be adapted for and enjoyed by individuals of all levels of physical ability.
For adults with elderly parents, determining whether mom or dad is ready for a senior living community can be extremely stressful. Parents spend their entire lives caring for their children and it’s not easy to admit when the one who’s occupied the caretaker role for so long becomes the one who may need help. According to experts, the decision does not have to be a melancholy one, even if it is oftentimes a difficult one.
One common way of evaluating a parent’s condition is for adult children to actually look at their parents and their surroundings. Are they losing weight or hiding bruises that may be from falls? Do they have a complex routine of medications? Do they have their bills and finances in order? Are they able to care for their house inside and out? These questions can help adult children decide whether their parents are capable of functioning in the environment they’ve lived in for years.
Caring for a senior family member or loved one creates a level of stress unmatched by most endeavors. Adult day programs, such as Wesley Evergreen Adult Day Services, allow caregivers the chance to take a deep breath and address their daily commitments while knowing their loved one is in good hands.
Adult day services are designed to meet the wide ranging needs of seniors and family members. While programs are equipped for seniors who require full-time care, adult day services are also geared to cater to vibrant, active seniors who may have lost a spouse or are otherwise alone more than they or their families would like. Rather than engaging in solitary pursuits during the day, seniors can enjoy the company of others.
As we enter Thanksgiving week and look forward to the season of giving – it’s time to turn our attention towards how we can make the holidays an ever merrier time of year for the seniors in our lives.
For our elder family members who are accustomed to hosting and leading the seasonal festivities, holidays can be stressful and depressing if their physical and emotional needs aren’t considered. The holidays can also bring additional stress from multiple travel plans and an uprooted routine.
“The holidays can be overwhelming for anyone, with travel, family and social engagements, house guests, shopping and a million other to-dos. It’s important to keep the needs and feelings of seniors top of mind during the holiday season as we gather families for celebrations,” said Lorrie Shilling of The Wesley Community, a regional non-profit based in Saratoga Springs that provides housing and services for area seniors.
Set realistic goals.
Visiting family and friends is a top priority during the holiday season. If seniors tire quickly or are easily over-stimulated, limit the number of outings or the length of time seniors are included. Noise and confusion at a large gathering can lead to exhaustion, so it may be helpful to set aside a room for reading, watching TV, resting or quiet chat. Make sure to schedule ample rest time throughout the day and don’t rush around.
Adult children face a difficult dilemma when aging parents have too much solitary time or begin requiring full-time assistance. The challenge of caring for a senior while handling the day-to-day responsibilities of one's own life is often overwhelming.
Art provides an outlet to express thoughts and feelings that may not be able to be expressed in any other way. This notion has been found particularly relevant for people with Alzheimer’s.
Painting with individuals who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease can unlock a world of creativity. The hobby triggers powerful memories and transports people through time as they paint.
Many seniors will inevitably face a move at some point — to a smaller home, to a retirement home or to a relative’s home. These moves can be emotional, but following a simple strategy can ensure the transition is as seamless as possible.
Cold temperatures like those that swept through the Capital Region last week can pose health risks for people of all ages. The elderly are among the most susceptible to hypothermia, especially those who are ill, medically vulnerable and alone or isolated.
New Year’s day is just around the corner, and with it comes another round of New Year’s resolutions. These vows typically fall under the self-improvement category, but a team effort may be the best path to success for seniors and caregivers.
SARATOGA SPRINGS Thanksgiving marked the official kickoff of the holiday season, and although it s supposed to be a time of good tidings and joy, seniors may become overwhelmed by feelings of stress or sadness. These unwanted feelings are known as ...
Halloween night can be a scary time for seniors and not just because of children dressed as vampires, wolf men and wicked witches. Kids accompanied by their parents don t pose a threat, but constant knocking and large masked visitors can be intimid...
Sleeping well is an essential part of physical and emotional health. This is especially true for seniors who rely on seven to nine hours of rest each night to repair cell damage, improve memory formation and refresh th...
Summer provides many great opportunities to get outside and enjoy the warm rays of sunshine. But the comfortable temperatures that draw us outside can also be a danger to seniors if precautions aren t taken. Most of us love spending time outside afte...
Fourth of July is less than two weeks away. Soon we ll be at our patriotic best as we remember one of the most important days of the year Independence Day. For adult children, it might also be a good time to assess the independence of aging loved o...
SARATOGA SPRINGS Older Americans Month is celebrated each May to recognize the lives and contributions of seniors in the United States. The theme for 2012 is Never Too Old to Play, chosen by the Administration on Aging to encourage older American...
A typical list of tips for preventing dementia begins with word games, puzzles, reading and other mentally stimulating activities. While this kind of stimulation is important as we age, it is not the only tool seniors can use to stay sharp. According..
This week s unseasonably warm weather has many seniors everyone, really thinking about the outdoors. From clothing choices to recreational pursuits, the onset of spring is one of the most exciting times of the year. It also marks a good opportuni...
Spring is just around the corner and with it comes warmer weather, flowers and a reminder to clean and de-clutter our homes and our lives. Many seniors grew up with the concept of spring cleaning and continue to make it a part of their annual routi...
New Year s resolutions are among the many traditions we partake in during the holiday season. Oftentimes, these promises to make our lives better, happier and healthier are easy to make but hard to maintain. Heading into 2012, seniors and their famil...
When we begin to consider moving a loved one to an assisted living community, the benefits of such a move can be clouded by guilt or other negative feelings. Family members sometimes wonder what else they could have done to keep the senior in questio...
Despite recent news that researchers are making great strides in the fight against Alzheimer s disease and other forms of dementia, early brain deterioration remains of great concern to seniors and their adult children. This will remain true until a ...
SARATOGA SPRINGS Adult children face a difficult dilemma when aging parents have too much solitary time or begin requiring full-time care. Oftentimes, children want to do the noble thing and be their parent s primary companion or caretaker, but in ...