Monthly Archives: July 2015

Why You Should Stop Stressing Over Stress

Science supports living for today and here’s how to do it

By Jeanne Dorin for Next Avenue

Thinkstock

Thinkstock

We’ve all heard the bad news. Stress can lead to a panoply of problems, from depression and fatigue to cancer and heart disease, and perhaps, as recent research suggests, premature death.

The unrelenting onslaught of information about these dangers can itself create more stress, as we worry about our health and longevity on top of woes over jobs, finances, college-age children with limited job prospects and caring for aged parents.

But now comes — at last — news that may bring your anxiety level down a notch or two. Despite research documenting the potential dangers of stress, it is not a foregone conclusion that you will get sick or come down with any of the diseases or ailments associated with this problem. read more

Keeping our brains young with kazoos

kazoo practice_747xBy Jeff Young, activity director, Fulton Presbyterian Manor

The 10:40 a.m. exercise group wanted to start a Kazoo Band.  They have talked, and joked, about putting on shows for the other residents and sitting at the curb whenever there’s a parade (and we have several every year) and play for them as they march by.

Learning to play a musical instrument has many benefits that will hopefully motivate us to keep on practicing and always hold music in high esteem. Some of the more notable physical benefits include: an increase in the capacity of your memory, team skills, coordination, perseverance, stress relief and respiratory system improvement. read more

Why Are You Tired All The Time?

The source of pervasive exhaustion and what to do about it

By Jeanne Dorin for Next Avenue

Thinkstock

Thinkstock

 Although she typically sleeps soundly and has good “sleep hygiene” — no coffee after 3 p.m., a quiet, darkened bedroom and a reasonable bedtime — Rose D. always feels tired.

 At 54, she slogs through her workday, hitting a wall in late afternoon when she closes the door to her office, lays her head on her desk and catches a 30-minute nap.

 When her doctor gave her a clean bill of health, he suggested that Rose consider other factors that might account for her tiredness — the stressors in her life such as financial problems and a contentious relationship with her sister. As it turns out, they were weighing heavily on her and manifesting in a deep sense of exhaustion. read more

Why and When Denial Is Good For Caregivers

Why and When Denial Is Good For CaregiversTemporarily ignoring a problem might make it easier to manage

By Sherri Snelling for Next Avenue

why-denial-can-be-good-for-caregivers_blog

Thinkstock

The ever-witty author Delia Ephron recently wowed a mostly female boomer audience at the Motion Picture & Television Fund’s Women’s Conference, making the crowd laugh with spot-on stories about skipping cab rides to afford a blowout for her unruly hair and wondering why kale is the new wonder food.

But the mood turned more somber as she spoke of her late sister, the noted author, screenwriter and film director, Nora Ephron. The two were extremely close, not just as sisters but also as writing partners for films such as When Harry Met Sally and Hanging Up. read more

What Everyone 50+ Should Know About Their Thyroid

Disorders of this small gland are common, especially in older women

what-everyone-over-50-should-know-about-their-thyroid_blog

Thinkstock

By Gayle Golden for Next Avenue

Catherine Horvath, 51, was feeling no symptoms five years ago when her doctor ordered a routine blood test to check, among other things, how her thyroid was doing. (Your thyroid is the butterfly-shaped gland low in your neck that influences metabolism, growth and development and body temperature.)

The results showed astoundingly low levels of thyroid hormone — a sign her thyroid function was, as she puts it, “pretty close to being nonexistent.” If untreated, she was at risk not only for bothersome symptoms but for other serious diseases as well. read more

Help Parents Avoid Unwanted Medical Treatment

A study shows older adults aren’t getting the care they want at life’s end

By Laine Bergeson for Next Avenue

Thinkstock

Thinkstock

A new poll shows that almost one in four older Americans — approximately 25 million people — experience excessive or unwanted medical treatment. This is especially true in the last year and very last days of life.

During their final 24 to 48 hours, many terminally ill patients go to the hospital and receive treatments that don’t improve quality of life, says Daniel Wilson, national and federal programs director for Compassion & Choices, a nonprofit end-of-life advocacy organization. In fact, a person’s last days in the hospital are often “more traumatic than peaceful,” he says. read more

Americans Are In a Charitable Giving Mood

Giving was way up in 2014, except for one category of charity

By Richard Eisenberg for Next Avenue

Thinkstock

Thinkstock

It’s heartening to see that as Americans have been recovering from the Great Recession, they’ve been aiding the less fortunate rather than just spending the money on themselves.

Charitable giving in the United States rose by an impressive 7.1 percent last year, according to the new report, Giving USA 2015, published by the Giving USA Foundation and researched and written by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

A 60-Year High

The $358.38 billion donated in 2014 surpassed the pre-recession peak of (an inflation-adjusted) $355.17 billion in 2007, hitting a 60-year high. And giving by individuals — who made 72 percent of all donations — was up 5.7 percent, to $258.51 billion. read more

Livestock industry to use fewer antibiotics

On June 2, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced the Veterinary Feed Directive, which restricts the use of antibiotics to protecting the health of food-producing animals. Antibiotics must be approved by a veterinarian, according to the new rule, which will be phased in over several years.

The FDA said that giving antibiotics to feed animals such as cattle and poultry just to fatten them up contributes to antibiotic resistance in people, which has grown in recent years. Antibiotic resistance means that increasingly stronger doses of an antibiotic are needed to defeat infection read more

5 Secrets to Transform Your Experience of Aging

They’ll help you shift from a sense of loss to a sense of gain

By Ed Merck for Next Avenue

5-secret-ingredients-that-will-transform-your-experience-of-aging_blog

Thinkstock

 My 15-year-old son Evan walked off the tennis court triumphantly, as if he had just won the U.S. Open. Up to that point, our matches had always ended in a tie: I made sure of that or, rather, I could make sure of that.

 Now, toweling off while feeling an unfamiliar tug on my heart, I said to him, “Hey, Ev, did you ever wonder why the score always remained the same in our tennis matches over the years?” Then, in a suggestive whisper, I continued: “Maybe you could continue that trend — gracefully?” He didn’t respond, but I knew his answer. And it was deafening. read more