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Results for search "Aging: Misc.".

23 Mar

Calories and the Aging Process

Cutting calories for a prolonged period of time may slow the aging process, new study finds.

08 Feb

Attitude Toward Aging

Positive beliefs about aging may reduce risk for dementia, study finds.

Health News Results - 355

AHA: Too Much of This in the Blood Could Predict Unhealthy Aging

TUESDAY, Jan. 22, 2019 (American Heart Association) -- A hormone found in the blood that's commonly linked to heart disease also might signal when someone is more likely to grow weaker or lose their ability to balance before they're 70.

People in their early 60s with higher-than-normal levels of brain natriuretic peptide, or BNP, walked slower and were less able to raise themselves f...

Body Size May Influence Longevity in Women, But Not Men

TUESDAY, Jan. 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Here's a new study finding that's bound to make tall, thin women happy: Their body size and their gender make it more likely they will reach the milestone age of 90 than either men or shorter, heavier women.

If these women exercised an hour a day, the longevity benefits were even greater, the Dutch scientists reported. While exercise helped m...

Will Healthy Seniors Benefit From Daily Aspirin?

TUESDAY, Jan. 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Daily low-dose aspirin is recommended for heart attack survivors or people at increased risk, but up to now experts have discouraged the practice for aging individuals in good health.

Now, a new evidence review suggests that some healthy seniors and middle-aged adults might gain a bit of benefit from taking daily aspirin.

Low-dose a...

A Prescription for Feeling Young Forever

MONDAY, Jan. 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- You know about the value of exercise for heart health and for staying strong and independent as you age. There's also proof that exercise keeps your body young physically as well as mentally.

A British study involving cycling enthusiasts between the ages of 55 and 79 found that their physical shape and abilities rivaled those of people much y...

Frailty a Risk Factor for Dementia

FRIDAY, Jan. 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Frailty is associated with a higher risk of both Alzheimer's disease and its crippling symptoms, a new study shows.

"By reducing an individual's physiological reserve, frailty could trigger the clinical expression of dementia when it might remain asymptomatic in someone who is not frail," said study leader Dr. Kenneth Rockwood, a professor at ...

Stem Cell Therapy Shows Early Promise Against Macular Degeneration

THURSDAY, Jan. 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in seniors, and existing treatments are few.

But now, experiments in pigs and rats suggest that stem cell therapy might help curb at least one form of the disease.

The results could soon lead to the first human trials of this therapy for macular degeneration, acco...

Keep Moving to Keep Brain Sharp in Old Age

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Staying active in old age may help preserve your memory and thinking skills, a new study suggests.

In fact, older people who were physically active kept their minds sharp, even if their brains showed signs of lesions or other markers linked to Alzheimer's disease or other dementias, researchers found.

"Physical activity may provi...

Want to Live Longer? Just Sit a Bit Less Each Day

TUESDAY, Jan. 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Take a stand for a longer life.

Researchers say even a few extra minutes off the sofa each day can add years to your life span.

"If you have a job or lifestyle that involves a lot of sitting, you can lower your risk of early death by moving more often, for as long as you want and as your ability allows -- whether that means taking a...

Look to Your Aunts, Uncles and Parents for Clues to Your Longevity

FRIDAY, Jan. 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Your chances of inheriting genes linked to longevity are highest if you come from a family with many long-lived members, researchers say.

And that includes aunts and uncles, not just parents.

Using databases at the University of Utah and in the Dutch province of Zeeland, investigators analyzed the genealogies of nearly 315,000 people...

Sleep Patterns May Offer Clues to Alzheimer's

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 9, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Poor sleep is common among Alzheimer's patients, and researchers say they're beginning to understand why.

Scientists studied 119 people aged 60 and older. Eighty percent had no thinking or memory problems, while the rest had only mild problems.

The researchers found that participants with less slow-wave sleep -- deep sleep that's n...

What Makes for a Good Nursing Home?

TUESDAY, Jan. 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Families of nursing home residents are more likely to be satisfied with facilities that have higher staffing levels and are nonprofits, a new study finds.

"The findings show that facility-level factors associated with higher family satisfaction are rather similar to the ones we already know predict resident satisfaction as well," said study le...

'Meaningful' Activities May Mean Healthier Old Age

MONDAY, Jan. 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Older adults who find meaning in their daily activities may remain in better health as they age, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that when middle-aged and older adults felt their days held meaningful activities, they tended to report better health and well-being four years later.

Not only were they less likely to develop physi...

Does Alzheimer's Unfold Differently in Black Patients?

MONDAY, Jan. 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Alzheimer's disease may be twice as common in black Americans as in whites, and scientists don't really know why.

But new research uncovers a clue that suggests that diagnosing the brain-robbing disease may not be the same for these two populations.

The study found that black people typically have lower levels of the brain protein tau...

Listen Up! Hearing Loss Tied to Late-Life Depression

FRIDAY, Jan. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Hearing loss among seniors is not always recognized and treated, but if it were it might help head off late-life depression, a new report suggests.

Older people who suffer from hearing loss have a high risk for depression, and the greater the hearing loss, the greater the risk, researchers have found.

"Most people over age 70 have at ...

As You Age, Alcohol May Be Harder to Handle

FRIDAY, Jan. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Seniors may be more vulnerable to alcoholism, a psychologist warns.

"As we age, it takes longer for the body to break down alcohol. It stays in the system longer. Tolerance also decreases. Excessive drinking can compromise your immune system and can lead to some forms of cancer," said Brad Lander, an addiction medicine specialist at Ohio State ...

Many Middle-Aged Americans Worried About Health Insurance: Poll

THURSDAY, Jan. 3, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Many middle-aged folks nearing retirement have serious concerns about their health insurance coverage, a new survey shows.

Nearly half of people aged 50 to 64 say they have little or no confidence they'll be able to afford health coverage once they retire, according to findings from the National Poll on Healthy Aging.

More than 1 in...

Staying Young at Heart

TUESDAY, Jan. 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- You're only as old as you feel.

It's a common expression that has some science behind it, thanks to a study from University College London in England.

The researchers set out to learn if people who feel younger than their chronological age actually live longer. They looked at information from about 6,500 participants. The info...

Can You Predict Your Common Cold Risk?

FRIDAY, Dec. 28, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- How highly you rate your health could predict how likely you are to catch a cold -- and, even more important, how healthy you'll be in later years.

Scientists at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh asked 360 healthy adults to rate their health as excellent, very good, good, fair or poor -- and then exposed them to a virus that causes the ...

Head to the Movies, Museums to Keep Depression at Bay

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Movies, the theater and other cultural events can help you fight the blues as you age.

And the more you go, the less depressed you'll be, new research suggests.

The British study showed that older folks can cut their depression risk by 32 percent simply by going to cultural activities every few months. And if they go at least onc...

Just 6 Months of Walking May Boost Aging Brains

THURSDAY, Dec. 20, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Walking and other types of moderate exercise may help turn back the clock for older adults who are losing their mental sharpness, a new clinical trial finds.

The study focused on older adults who had milder problems with memory and thinking skills. The researchers found that six months of moderate exercise -- walking or pedaling a stationary...

1 in 4 People Over 25 Will Be Hit by Stroke

THURSDAY, Dec. 20, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- A quarter of the world's people over the age of 25 will experience a debilitating stroke during their lifetime, a new study estimates.

Rates vary country to country, but in the United States 23 percent to 29 percent of people can expect a stroke sometime in their lives, concluded a team led by Dr. Gregory Roth.

He's professor of h...

Intimacy: The Elusive Fountain of Youth?

THURSDAY, Dec. 13, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- People seeking more satisfaction in their later years might find sex is the spice of life, new research suggests.

For the study, researchers analyzed survey data from nearly 6,900 older adults, average age 65, in England. The investigators found that those who said they'd had any type of sexual activity in the previous 12 months had higher l...

How Puzzles, Games Might Help Your Aging Brain

MONDAY, Dec. 10, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Those Sunday crossword puzzles may not prevent the aging brain from slowing down -- but they might protect it in a different way, a new study suggests.

Researchers looked at the "use it or lose it" theory on brain health. The concept holds that mentally engaging activities -- from reading to crosswords to board game...

Better Economy Could Mean Worse Nursing Home Care

FRIDAY, Dec. 7, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- In a good economy, the care at U.S. nursing homes falls because it's harder to attract and keep staff, a new study contends.

"During economic downturns, many people are willing to take positions with work environments they may not prefer because there aren't many options," said principal investigator Sean Shenghsiu Huang.

"But when ...

Saunas Seem to Do a Heart Good, Research Shows

THURSDAY, Nov. 29, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Love your time in the local sauna? Your heart may love it, too.

New research from sauna-loving Finland suggests that for people aged 50 and older, saunas may lower their odds of risk of dying from heart disease.

Specifically, just 5 percent of Finns in the study who spent more than 45 minutes in a sauna each week died of heart dise...

Doctors' Office Dementia Tests Are Often Wrong: Study

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 28, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Fast tests designed to help primary care doctors rapidly spot dementia in their elderly patients often get it wrong, a new British report contends.

The finding concerns three widely used quick dementia tests: the "Mini-Mental State Examination" (intended to assess mental orientation and verbal memory); the "Memory Impairment Screen" (which ...

Seniors on Multiple Meds a Driving Hazard

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 28, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Many older drivers take medications known to raise the risk of a crash, a new study shows.

It found that nearly 50 percent of older adults who drive use seven or more medications. Nearly 20 percent take what are called potentially inappropriate medications because they have limited benefits, pose excess risk of harm, or both.

Most...

Only Endurance Exercise May Slow Aging

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 28, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Running, swimming, cycling and other types of endurance exercise can slow cellular aging, but strength training may not, a new study suggests.

Researchers looked at how different types of exercise affected telomeres in 124 inactive, young, healthy adults.

Telomeres are protective caps on the ends of chromosomes. As you age, telome...

Health Surrogates Often in Dark About Loved One's Wishes

TUESDAY, Nov. 27, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Few people entrusted with making difficult health care decisions for older loved ones actually know what the patient would want, a new study contends.

"Advance care planning cannot focus on the patient alone. The health care agent has to be brought into the conversation," said study leader Dr. Terri Fried, a professor of medicine at Yale Univ...

Early Language Skills Tied to Higher IQ Decades Later

THURSDAY, Nov. 22, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- How quickly children pick up language skills may help predict their IQ in middle age, a new Danish study suggests.

The researchers found a significant association between IQ test results at age 50 and the speed at which participants achieved a number of developmental milestones in childhood.

"Most studie...

Frail Heart Patients at High Risk for Bleeding

THURSDAY, Nov. 22, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Older heart attack patients who are frail are at increased risk for bleeding when being treated, a new study finds.

Researchers analyzed data from more than 129,000 heart attack patients older than 65 who were treated at 775 U.S. hospitals between early 2015 and late 2016.

Those who were frail had a 50 percent higher risk of major ...

Skin 'Glow' Test Might Someday Spot Disease Risk Early

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 21, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- A test that measures wavelengths of light coming off skin cells might detect type 2 diabetes, heart disease and even your risk of dying, new research shows.

It's possible that -- someday -- a quick "autofluorescence" light test to the skin might be used by consumers in "supermarkets, pharmacies or drugstores as a first estimate of [health] ...

Give Thanks for These Foods That Help Preserve Aging Memory

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 21, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- When your mom told you to eat your veggies and drink your orange juice, she was on to something: They may help preserve your brain health, new research suggests.

A 20-year study of men who were health professionals tied a diet rich in leafy greens, orange and red vegetables, berries and orange juice to reduced risk of memory loss (or "cogni...

How Long Will Your Teen Live? Personality Might Tell

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 21, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Does your teenager's personality actually predict how long he or she will live?

Yes, claims new research that finds high school students who tend to be calm, empathetic and intellectually curious are more likely to still be alive 50 years later than their peers who are less so.

The finding does not prove that certain traits in ado...

Can Protein Keep You Healthier Longer?

THURSDAY, Nov. 15, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers seeking the elusive fountain of youth are shining the spotlight on protein.

Eating more protein may reduce seniors' risk of disability and help them remain independent longer, a new British study suggests.

Dietary protein slows the age-related loss of muscle mass, helping to preserve the ability to do everyday tasks, th...

Ageism Costs Billions in Health Care Dollars

THURSDAY, Nov. 15, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Prejudice directed at older people results in $63 billion in excess health costs each year in the United States, a new study claims.

Ageism, which is the marginalization of the elderly in society, accounts for one of every seven dollars spent on the eight most expensive health conditions for Americans older than 60. Those conditions include...

Must Blood Pressure Rise Wth Age? Remote Tribes Hold Clues

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 14, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Contrary to common belief, blood pressure doesn't have to rise as you age, a study of two remote South American tribes suggests.

Looking at the isolated Yanomami tribe in the Venezuelan rainforest, researchers found their blood pressure remained low from youth to age 60.

That's probably because as hunter-gatherer-gardeners, they...

Cancer May Soon Replace Heart Disease as Leading Killer of Affluent Americans

MONDAY, Nov. 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Cancer is expected to overtake heart disease as the leading cause of death for well-off Americans by 2020.

The expected shift owes to advances in technology and drugs that are making big headway against heart disease, according to a new report.

But lack of access to quality care is likely to keep heart disease the leading killer of...

Change Within the Eye May Be Early Warning for Macular Degeneration

FRIDAY, Nov. 9, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Age-related eye disease is a worldwide problem that costs people not only their vision, but also hundreds of billions of dollars globally. So an international research team decided to look into ways to prevent or treat this type of vision loss.

The investigators discovered that calcifications in the retina -- the thin layer of tissue that lines...

Community Choirs Can Be Social Salvation for Seniors

FRIDAY, Nov. 9, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Belonging to a community choir may be the best weapon against loneliness for seniors, a new study suggests.

Researchers created community choirs for nearly 400 English- and Spanish-speaking participants at 12 senior centers in San Francisco.

The choirs were led by professional choir directors and accompanists. The songs were culturall...

Aging Face, Uneven Features?

FRIDAY, Nov. 9, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- If you think your face is a bit lopsided, just wait until you get older.

New research shows that differences between the two sides of your face increase with age.

For the study, scientists used 3-D digital imaging to scan the faces of 191 people, aged 4 months to 88 years, to assess how facial symmetry changed with age.

The ...

AHA: Age, Race Are Leading Predictors of Heart Attacks in Pregnant Women

THURSDAY, Nov. 8, 2018 (American Heart Association) -- Heart attacks in pregnant women are rare, but the number is rising, particularly among older expectant mothers, according to a new study that looked at the most common factors behind the increase.

The number of women who had heart attacks during or after pregnancy rose 19 percent from 2005 to 2014, the study found.

"We...

Think Genes Dictate Your Life Span? Think Again

TUESDAY, Nov. 6, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Your life partner has a much greater influence on your longevity than the genes you inherited from your family, according to a new analysis of the family trees of more than 400 million people.

"While it is a widely held belief that life span heritability ranges from approximately 15 to 30 percent, the findings discussed in this paper demonstra...

More Americans Are Raising Their Grandkids

MONDAY, Nov. 5, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- More than 3 million older Americans are now raising their grandchildren as their own, even as they struggle with health problems and financial stresses, a new survey shows.

Not only that, the children they take in are more likely to be troubled as they struggle to adjust to new lives, the researchers found.

Still, these grandparents s...

'Panic Parenting' Fear Drives Many Women to Freeze Eggs

FRIDAY, Nov. 2, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Trying to avoid "panic parenting" is the reason why many single women freeze their eggs for non-medical reasons, a small new study suggests.

Panic parenting refers to having a relationship just to have a baby.

"Whilst the number of women freezing their eggs remains small, many more are now considering this option as a way of extending...

Could Diabetes Drugs Help Curb Alzheimer's?

THURSDAY, Nov. 1, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Alzheimer's patients taking diabetes drugs may have fewer signs of dementia in their brains than similar patients not taking the drugs, new research finds.

Specifically, the post-mortem study found that people who'd taken diabetes meds had fewer abnormalities in tiny blood vessels in their brains, and less abnormal gene activity.

Dad's Age May Play Role in Pregnancy Outcomes

THURSDAY, Nov. 1, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- More men are delaying fatherhood, and new research suggests that might raise the risk of both birth complications and infant health problems.

When new fathers are aged 45 or older, there's an increased chance of preterm birth, infant seizures and even gestational diabetes in the mother, the study found.

"When you think about fertili...

Warmer Weather Gets Seniors Outdoors and Moving

TUESDAY, Oct. 23, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The better the weather, the more seniors venture out and get active.

So say researchers who assessed the activity levels of more than 1,200 adults in Norway, aged 70 to 77, who were grouped based on whether they scored low, medium or high on a fitness test.

"Older people in poor physical condition become less physically active if th...

Hard Arteries Hard on the Aging Brain?

MONDAY, Oct. 22, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Stiff arteries may significantly raise the risk of dementia, researchers report.

Investigators analyzed data from 356 elderly people (average age 78) in Pittsburgh who were followed for more than 15 years. They found that stiff arteries were a good predictor of dementia.

Specifically, those seniors with higher levels of arterial stif...

Hormonal Changes Might Lead to Hernias in Aging Men, Mouse Study Suggests

FRIDAY, Oct. 19, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Age-related increases in estrogen may be the reason why inguinal hernias are common among older men, new research with rodents suggests.

Inguinal hernias occur when soft tissue -- often part of the intestines -- protrudes through a weak spot in the abdominal wall near the groin.

These hernias are the most common reason men undergo su...

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Wellness Library Results - 85

The deep fragrance of soy and garlic wafted out to the nurses' station from Mrs. Lee's room, signaling that her daughter, Mrs. Wong, had arrived with lunch. Time for me to make rounds. Mrs. Wong was her mother's interpreter and advocate, as well as her cook. When I walked in, Mrs. Wong was untying the handles of white plastic bags bearing red Chinese lettering. Inside were rectangular plastic cont...

Alzheimer's disease steals a person's privacy as surely as it steals memory. At a certain stage, your loved one may recall a time when she could bathe herself, but that time has passed. As a caregiver, it's your job to keep her clean while maintaining her comfort and dignity. The job description will change constantly with the disease. At first, the person in your care may feel embarrassed about ...

For 20 years, Robyn Yale has been on a mission to raise awareness that people with early-stage Alzheimer's disease can still lead rich, active lives. A licensed clinical social worker who practices in the San Francisco Bay Area, Yale says that the early stage of the disease is different from what happens in middle and later stages. People in the early stages are healthy, high functioning, and in m...

Most caregivers will do practically anything for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease. They'll give baths, help to dress the person, cut up food into manageable bites, and patiently answer the same question 20 times in a row. But when a patient starts wetting or soiling himself, even the most dedicated caregivers can feel defeated. It's hard to face the prospect of constantly cleaning urine stain...

People with Alzheimer's disease often act as if their minds are caught in an endless tape loop. They may ask the same question 20 times in an afternoon, pace a stretch of floor for hours, or hum a tune that never seems to run out of verses. Many have a condition called echolalia, in which the patient repeats words endlessly or echoes a phrase. If you're caring for someone with the disease, this so...

Before your loved one developed Alzheimer's disease, the two of you used to talk about anything and everything. But what do you say now that he can't remember your name? The right words can be hard to find, but they're more important than ever. Simple, reassuring messages can give your loved one comfort and guidance -- the two things Alzheimer's patients most desperately need. Staying positive ...

With all of the difficulties facing people with Alzheimer's disease -- not to mention their caregivers -- oral hygiene may seem like a trivial issue. Getting a person clean and dressed is hard enough. Who has time to worry about a few cavities or slipping dentures? As it turns out, you do. Investing that time can be one of the most important things you do for your loved one. Dental hygiene cruci...

It was during the busy Christmas season when I turned my car into the parking lot of the funeral home. This patient was my third to die in the past few weeks, and tonight was my second wake in three days. It was not easy to make the stop that evening. The holiday season is a difficult time for me to practice medicine; patients are more lonely and depressed, families are under greater stress, and ...

Your father puts on his pants one leg at a time, just as he has done since childhood. But today, there's something different. Your father has Alzheimer's disease, and this morning, unlike every other morning for the last 70 years, he's pulling on his pants on top of his pajamas. For Alzheimer's patients and their caregivers, the seemingly simple act of getting dressed can turn into a minefield of...

In a memoir about caring for her husband, who had Alzheimer's disease, Lela Knox Shanks recalls that he once shouted at her, "Get out of here! You're an impostor trying to break up my marriage!" Afraid for her safety, she ran out the back door, sat in the sun, and cried, trying to figure out what to do. After 30 minutes or so, she tapped hesitantly at the back door. Her husband opened it, and excl...

Sometimes it seems people with Alzheimer's disease have lost all concept of boredom. How else could they stand to spend a day staring at the same wall or shuffling up and down the same hallway? The truth is, Alzheimer's patients may feel boredom as deeply as anyone else. And when they can no longer plan their own activities, the boredom can turn to frustration. A person may start wandering the ho...

When Marge Burger's husband died of a heart attack seven years ago, she made a sad discovery: Widows don't get invited to many dances. Or card games. Or dinners. "I still had loyal friends, but I just didn't seem to fit in," she says. Like many seniors her age, the 74-year-old resident of Portland, Oregon, slipped into a quiet, lonely rut. She enjoyed time with her children and grandchildren, but...

At 104, my great-aunt Lenore Schaeffer* was a sort of living legend. She appeared in Newsweek and on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, but not only because she had outlived most of her peers and the average American. It's because she out-danced most of them too. Schaeffer was probably the oldest American competitive ballroom dancer. And she had a formidable collection of trophies and medals to show ...

No matter what your age, there's nothing fun about sweating out a heat wave. The air gets thick, asphalt turns sticky, and a walk to the corner can feel like an ordeal. But if you're a senior citizen, hot weather can be much more than just a nuisance. The body's natural defenses against heat can break down with age, putting seniors at risk for heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and other serious disord...

Alzheimer's disease is like a cat burglar. It slips into a person's life without making a sound, and soon treasured possessions start disappearing: memory, personality, independence. For many years, even the top medical detectives in the country were baffled by such robbery. Doctors knew that the brains of people with Alzheimer's were filled with tangled strings of protein and sticky clumps of pl...

Most of us are choosy when it comes to mattresses, sheets, and pillows, and for good reason: We tend to spend more time in bed than any other single place. For people who are chronically ill or disabled, a quality bed isn't just a luxury item -- it's a necessity. The right bed can bring much-needed comfort. Most important, for people who are bedridden, or who sit or lie in the same position for ho...

You can't take it with you. We've all heard the expression, we all know it, but few of us want to think about it. But consider what can happen if you die without leaving a will. Without a legal will in place, there's no guarantee that what you own will go to the people you want, or that your children will be cared for by someone you know and trust. If you and your spouse have children under 18 a...

Although my father had battled a rare but non-metastasizing form of cancer for 25 years, my mother had never been sick a day in her life. The alarming news of her illness, that it was not arthritis but in fact Lou Gehrig's disease with an accompanying Alzheimer's-type dementia, came from out of a cruel nowhere one September day in 1991. It came at the same time that my father was beginning to real...

Louis Benton, Jr. has nine brothers and sisters. But when his mother had a breast cancer recurrence and his father was diagnosed with bone cancer a few months later, Benton was the one who came to his parents' aid. "I had retired three years ago, so it fell into my hands," says Benton. "I can't describe what it's like to have both parents sick at the same time." Cancer is in large part a disease...

For someone with limited mobility, the journey from the bed to the bathroom can seem like a cross-country trek. And even if she can reach the destination, she may not be able to sit down on the toilet. In this situation, many caregivers have turned to an unappealing but convenient option: The bedpan. Bedpans are a good choice only if your relative can tell you when she needs it, and if someone i...

It was the call that every adult child dreads: My mother had become terminally ill with Lou Gehrig's disease, and my father was dying of cancer. Both of my parents were dying, and I lived 1,200 miles away with a career and family of my own. In my youth, when my parents were healthy, I had longed to leave their nest; now that they were ill, the distance between us weighed heavily. When I went home...

If you're caring for a chronically ill or disabled friend or relative, you've joined one of the biggest -- and most important -- workforces in the country. According to the Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA), an estimated 44 million Americans have taken on this vital job. They fix meals, make doctor's appointments, do the laundry, and generally make sure their frail or sick relatives or friends can l...

Michelle Booth of Foster City, California, moved in with her parents 10 years ago, her three-year-old daughter in tow. Her parents were both in their late 70s, but they had the strength and the good health to be helpful, doting grandparents. That was before her father -- now 88 -- suffered several strokes and before her mother -- now 87 -- developed Alzheimer's disease. Booth still lives with he...

For a full year following my parents' deaths -- five weeks apart, in a nursing home 1,200 miles away -- I fell prey to clinical depression. Although I did everything I could to give them the best possible care, I never budgeted time for myself. I didn't realize that by ignoring my physical and mental health during two years of intensive caregiving, I was setting myself up for a breakdown that woul...

It was more than a decade ago when Shawna Lee stepped into the sun room of her parents' house in Champaign, Illinois, and found her 60-year-old mother, Hsiu Lee, looking disoriented. "She told me, 'Your grandfather treated me badly his whole life.' Then she started crying and told me she couldn't button her blouse." "I thought this was weird and called the doctor, who said to come in right away," ...

Stroke survivors often feel as though they're lost in an alien landscape. Words can lose their meaning, familiar places and objects can become bewildering, and even the simplest tasks can seem overwhelming. Sufferers may someday return to their old world, but they can't make the trip on their own. For these reasons, stroke survivors need a concerned caregiver who can help ease the way to recovery....

What is elderlaw? Your lifestyle, ambitions, and worries all change with age -- and so can your legal needs. Senior citizens who have never hired an attorney in their lives may suddenly find themselves thumbing through the phone book when it's time to plan their estates, fight for Medicare benefits, arrange for long-term health care, or write a will. Fortunately, a growing number of attorneys acro...

A better understanding of pain -- and how to treat it -- means a gentler death for many patients with terminal illnesses. People who are near death have more important things to do than suffer. The final days, weeks, and months should be a time to connect with loved ones and reflect on life, says Kandyce Powell, RN. As the executive director of the Maine Hospice Council, Powell has stood at the si...

Like Scarlett O'Hara who put off thinking about anything unpleasant until tomorrow, most Americans aren't planning for how they'll pay for a nursing home or at-home care should they need it when they're old, disabled or chronically sick. Yet for the estimated 2-in-5 among us who will need extended care at some time in our lives, there's a tool that can keep us from racing through our life savings...

Clark and Altave Vandenberg enjoyed living by themselves in their El Sobrante, California, home. Even though their eyesight and health were failing, they adamantly opposed moving to a nursing home. But when Altave fell and broke her hip, her injury shattered the fragile accommodations the couple had made to continue living independently. Clark's ill health left him unable to care for his ailing w...

Beth Johnson's decision to move her mother, Frieda, into her own apartment was agonizing. Frieda had suffered a series of small strokes, and Johnson worried that her mother was too frail to live alone. But after moving into Johnson's Southfield, Michigan, home, Frieda's health problems multiplied. She suffered a series of falls, often calling for her daughter in the middle of the night. Then Frie...

Millions of people care for friends and relatives with no help or compensation, and the hardest working are also the oldest and most vulnerable. At age 86, Alice Wilson of Billings, Montana, is a full-time healthcare worker. In her case, full-time means 24 hours a day. Alice's 81-year-old husband, Gunther, has a congenital condition that allows water to collect in his brain. The condition makes h...

In the end, Superman was brought down by bedsores. Christopher Reeve, the actor who played the superhero in four movies, died in 2004 of complications from infected bedsores that led to sepsis and heart failure, 10 years after a horse-riding accident left him paralyzed from the neck down. (He also had an allergic shock reaction to the drug used to treat the systemic infection from the sores, whic...

Poor Meg Ryan. She's ministering to her ailing father's every need while running a family and a business. Her older sister, a celebrity, is far too busy to help out, although she manages to lecture Meg by cell phone from her empire at a vapid women's magazine. The youngest sister also watches from the sidelines: She's obsessed with perfecting the soap opera character she plays on TV. Naturally the...

When John Baylis's 94-year-old mother fell and broke her shoulder, he knew it was time to talk about a touchy subject: the possibility of helping her with her financial affairs. But she flat-out refused to discuss it. "I'll die in my bed and not be a bother to anyone," she snapped. Two years later, overwhelmed from trying to keep track of her money and pay taxes, she finally relented. Baylis was ...

Ethelinn Block thought her father's strange behavior was just signs of grief over the loss of his wife, and that he would return to normal in time. But after three years, Arthur's decline became alarming. He forgot to pay bills and keep appointments; he misplaced things. His business faltered to the point that his children had to close it down. As loss piled upon loss, eventually the family had to...

When her 69-year-old husband died of Alzheimer's disease, Dorothy Wellborn was surrounded by loving friends and family. She wept with them at the memorial service. She watched as the coffin closed on her husband's frail body, then went home with her children. But a few weeks later, when they flew back to their respective homes, she woke up to an empty house. The solitude was agonizing, especially...

Baby boomers everywhere are just starting to approach what they thought they never would: old age. Lots of the people born between 1946 and 1964 (the dictionary definition of a boomer) are now eligible for senior citizen discounts at restaurants. Many have grandchildren. And many have sore, creaky joints, the ultimate badge of aging. At 41, Chris Webb of Billings, Montana, was at the younger end ...

How serious is the flu? Many people think the flu is nothing more than a bad cold -- until they come down with it. When your entire body aches, your energy vanishes, and a fever, dry cough, sore throat, and headaches set in, it's impossible to mistake the flu for a mild illness. The flu can hit anybody hard, but it's especially dangerous for people over 65 and others with weak immune system...

At any age, stress is a part of life. Young and old alike have to face difficult situations and overcome obstacles. While young adults struggle to establish a career, achieve financial security, or juggle work and family demands, older people may face failing health or dwindling finances -- or simply the challenges of retaining their independence. Unfortunately, the body's natural defenses against...

Women aren't the only ones who get hot flashes in their later years. Aging men can get them, too, along with osteoporosis, dwindling energy, fading sex drive, and a host of other problems that would be familiar to millions of menopausal women. Over the years, health journalists, members of the general public, and a few doctors have embraced the term "male menopause" to describe the changes that so...

If you're over 60, you may use alcohol in much the way you did when you were younger. You may have a glass of wine at a meal, a beer or two at a ball game, or a gin and tonic at a party with friends. And if your doctor says it's fine for you to drink, there's probably nothing wrong with it. But if you've found yourself feeling tense and irritable when you're not drinking, you may have a problem....

Menopause, strictly speaking, is when you stop having periods, but it is usually identified once it has been a year since your last period. When you've reached menopause, your body's hormonal mix shifts. Both men and women produce the female hormone estrogen and the male hormone testosterone. At menopause the ovaries begin producing more testosterone and less estrogen, and their egg production shu...

Doctors play a vital role in the fight against Alzheimer's disease, but they need help. Close cooperation between doctors, family members, and patients is a vital part of treatment. Doctors need to understand a patient's situation and symptoms in order to make an accurate diagnosis and prescribe the right medication. Meanwhile, patients and family members need to know about the course of the disea...

You get the news Wednesday morning. A colleague has just experienced a death in her family. What should you do or say? What is the correct etiquette in the workplace, and what can you do to ease the pain and transition for your fellow worker? You might send a card or say something to express sympathy. Try to avoid platitudes. It will be better received if you sincerely express your concern or, bet...

Getting a tattoo first occurred to me as I approached my 40th birthday. Even now, 13 years later, I can't say exactly why. I do know what a shrink would say (shrinks tend to be predictable on such matters): "Trying to stave off aging, to regain lost youth" - all that oh-so-obvious stuff, which is boring because it's just plain wrong. A tattoo is far more complex than that. There's a touch of the ...

After raising seven children of their own, 45-year-old Carol Johnson,* and her husband, 46, were ready to make the leap from weary parents to doting grandparents. Instead, they ended up becoming parents all over again. Like most grandparents, Johnson had planned on taking her grandchildren to the park, spoiling them with presents, and leaving the hard work to the parents. But that dream fell apar...

You can't judge drivers by their age -- just look at teen-agers. They receive more citations and cause far more accidents than people in any other age group. However, that doesn't make every teen a menace behind the wheel, and likewise, many seniors continue to be perfectly safe drivers well into their 80s. At last count, there were more than 30 million licensed drivers 65 or older, according to t...

How can seniors benefit from aerobic exercise? Like virtue, exercise is its own reward -- and it can help you feel as strong as you did when John F. Kennedy was president. Lifting weights is an excellent way to roll back the years, but the cornerstone of most senior fitness programs is aerobic exercise. Anything that gets oxygen into your system and works your lungs and heart -- whether it's walk...

Now that you're older, you may not spend much time flexing in front of the mirror or trying to add inches to your vertical leap. So why bother lifting weights? The truth is that building your muscles is more important than ever at this stage of life. Muscles tend to weaken with age, and this decline can eventually rob seniors of their active, independent lifestyles. Fortunately, you can reverse th...

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