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Results for search "Aging: Misc.".

05 Feb

Gender and Brain Age

The female brain stays younger longer.

23 Mar

Calories and the Aging Process

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

Health News Results - 335

WEDNESDAY, March 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Reducing high blood pressure in the elderly appears to lower their odds of developing brain lesions, a new study finds.

"I think it's an important clinical finding, and a very hopeful one for elderly people who have vascular disease of the brain and [high blood pressure]," said study co-principal investigator Dr. William White. He's a prof...

WEDNESDAY, March 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Legalized medical pot may be a boon to older Americans, boosting their health and ability to work, a new study finds.

"Research [on medical marijuana] has largely ignored older adults even though they experience the highest rates of medical issues that could be treated with medical marijuana," said co-author Lauren Hersch Nicholas. She's a...

FRIDAY, March 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Think exercise has to be high-intensity to make a difference to your health? Think again. New research shows that even routine housework and gardening can help older women's hearts.

"For older women, any and all movement counts towards better cardiovascular health," said Dr. David Goff. He's director of the division of cardiovascular sciences...

FRIDAY, March 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- It's truly never too late to begin exercising, new research shows.

Even for people who were "couch potatoes" in their youth, embarking on a regimen of regular exercise in middle-age can still greatly cut the odds for death from any cause, a major new study finds.

The study tracked the health -- and lifetime exercise patterns -- of m...

THURSDAY, March 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Young adults who eat a heart-healthy diet may also be protecting their brain in middle age, a new study suggests.

It included more than 2,600 participants who were an average age of 25 at enrollment and followed for 30 years. They were asked about their eating habits at the beginning of the study and again seven and 20 years later.

THURSDAY, March 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Although Americans are suffering fewer heart attacks, the rate is dramatically increasing among those under 40.

In fact, 20 percent of people who have a heart attack are 40 or younger, a rate that has risen 2 percent a year for 10 years, new research reports.

Some of these people are now in their 20s and early 30s, said senior stud...

WEDNESDAY, March 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Walking the dog can be great exercise for seniors, but there could be one downside: bone fractures.

Fractures suffered by elderly Americans while walking their dogs have more than doubled in recent years, new research shows.

Still, taking your dog for a walk can also bring big health rewards, one joint specialist said.

"...

WEDNESDAY, March 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Can you tell how long you'll live? For seniors, how fit you are may offer a clearer forecast of life span than traditional markers such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and smoking, a new study suggests.

It included more than 6,500 people, age 70 and older, who had an exercise stress test between 1991 and 2009. The test me...

MONDAY, March 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Getting older can be a lonely business, and a new survey shows that health problems only make matters worse.

The online poll of more than 2,000 adults, aged 50 to 80, revealed that one in four said they feel isolated from other people at least some of the time, and one in three say they don't have regular companionship.

Health played...

THURSDAY, Feb. 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Your grandparents' chronic aches and pains might best be eased with a little weed, a new study suggests.

Not only did folks over 75 who took medical marijuana report less pain, their use of pot-based capsules, tinctures and e-cigarettes allowed a third of these patients to reduce their use of opioid painkillers, researchers found.

...

THURSDAY, Feb. 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The old saying, "TV rots your brain," could have some validity for folks as they age.

In a new study, middle-aged people who watched television for more than 3.5 hours a day experienced a decline in their ability to remember words and language over the next six years, British researchers found.

What's worse, it appears that the mor...

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 27, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- While effective at cutting heart risks, blood pressure and cholesterol drugs may not help preserve seniors' brain health, new research finds.

That conclusion came from the tracking of more than 1,600 men and women in 21 countries.

Over an average span of nearly six years, all of the seniors took different combinations of drugs to...

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Interacting with lots of different people may help you live longer and healthier, a new study suggests.

Older people who spend more time with family members, close friends, acquaintances, casual friends and even strangers were more likely to be physically active, spend less time sitting or lying around and have a more positive attitude and ...

TUESDAY, Feb. 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If you need a new hip or knee, take heart: The vast majority of these joint replacements last decades, new research shows.

The conclusion stems from an exhaustive review of several hundred thousand joint replacements in Australia, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and New Zealand.

The researchers followed nearly 216,000 hip replaceme...

FRIDAY, Feb. 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an incurable eye disease that affects millions of older Americans, but there are a number of things you can do to reduce your risk, a vision expert says.

AMD causes blurred central vision due to damage to the macula, a small area at the back of the eye, and it is most common after age 60, according to...

FRIDAY, Feb. 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If you're a 40-something guy and can't do 40 push-ups in a row, maybe it's time to do something about it.

A new study suggests the number of push-ups a middle-aged man can perform might be an indication of his overall heart health.

Men who can do more than 40 at a time have a 96 percent reduced risk of heart attack, stroke and heart ...

FRIDAY, Feb. 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Osteoporosis is typically thought of as a woman's disease, but elderly men are also prone to bone loss -- even though they often aren't treated for it, a new study finds.

Among men and women aged 80 and older, women were three times more likely to get osteoporosis treatment, researchers reported.

Ten million Americans have osteoporos...

THURSDAY, Feb. 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Older women, beware: New research warns that drinking a lot of diet sodas or artificially sweetened fruit juices may increase your risk for stroke.

In a study that tracked nearly 82,000 postmenopausal women, those who drank two or more diet drinks per day saw their overall stroke risk rise by 23 percent, compared with those who consumed diet...

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If you're in your 50s and your typical day involves sitting at a desk followed by lounging on the sofa and succumbing to late-night snacks, the long-term toll on your mind might be greater than you think.

Like dominoes, an unhealthy lifestyle can trigger inflammation throughout your body, which can then accelerate wear-and-tear on your brai...

TUESDAY, Feb. 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Dementia is hard to predict, but hearing loss might signal a higher risk, a new study suggests.

The eight-year study adds to growing evidence of a link between hearing loss and mental decline.

But don't panic if you no longer can hear the doorbell. The study only points to an association, not cause and effect.

"Our finding...

MONDAY, Feb. 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If you're an aging baby boomer who thinks you can handle today's potent marijuana "edibles," the case of a man who had a heart attack after eating a pot lollipop should give you pause.

The 70-year-old patient had been taking heart medications and consumed roughly 90 milligrams (mg) of THC while trying to ease pain and aid sleep. That's a far g...

FRIDAY, Feb. 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- What determines how much control seniors feel they have over their lives? New research offers some answers.

"We found that sleep, mood and stress are all important factors in determining a sense of control, and in whether older adults feel they can do the things they want to do," said study co-author Shevaun Neupert. She is a professor of psych...

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- There are plenty of good reasons to seek a higher education, but avoiding Alzheimer's disease probably isn't one of them, new research suggests.

The study found that a person's level of education wasn't related to the onset of memory and thinking ("cognitive") troubles, or the rate at which dementia progressed.

"Education is rela...

TUESDAY, Feb. 5, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- For the nearly 800,000 people who experience a stroke each year in the United States, the aftereffects are likely to be life-changing.

Often, it's the long-term physical complications that get the most attention, problems ranging from temporary weakness or permanent paralysis to difficulty swallowing, talking or thinking.

...

MONDAY, Feb. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- "Boys will be boys" goes the old saying, but girls might have the last laugh.

It turns out that female brains tend to age more slowly, researchers report.

On average, women's brains appear to be about three years younger than those of men at the same chronological age. This could provide one clue to why women tend to stay mentally sha...

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 30, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Middle-aged men who partake in extreme exercise are not putting their heart health at risk, a new study contends.

Aging athletes who do eight or more hours a week of vigorous exercise have no greater risk of early death than people who work out less often, researchers found.

Extreme exercise included activities such as fast runnin...

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 30, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Slow and sneaky weight gain usually happens over time -- on average one pound a year -- so it's not always obvious at first, especially if you don't regularly weigh yourself.

But if this weight creep goes unnoticed year after year, by middle age, your middle may lose the sleek look you had when you were younger.

Several factors ...

MONDAY, Jan. 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- For seniors who often find themselves in the ER, complications from diabetes is the most common culprit, new research shows.

Not only that, these chronically ill patients remain in the hospital longer and require more treatment and resources, noted the authors of the study. It was published in the Jan. 28 issue of the Annals of Internal Med...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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 ...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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 ...

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 ...

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...

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...

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 ...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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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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