Health News, Information and Guidance

You Might Want to Reconsider These Common Medical Tests!

The Choosing Wisely campaign, an initiative by the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation in partnership with Consumer Reports, kicked off last spring. It is an attempt to alert both doctors and patients to problematic and commonly overused medical tests, procedures and treatments. As we get older, we may find the need or desire for…

A Link between Walking and Thinking

A recent New York Times Article reports that when a person’s walk gets slower or less controlled, their ability to think, plan activities, and process information is also affected  (cognitive functions).  For decades, the common perception was that slower walking was just part of getting old, but recent research shows some changes in walking patterns signify…

What Defines Old vs Young?

Wherever the line that defines whether you are ‘old’ or ‘young’ is, the individuals on either side end up looking very differently, in political and economical terms. According to a recent New York Times article, in 2004, older voters began moving right (politically), while younger voters shifted left. This year, polls suggest that Mitt Romney will win a landslide…

The American Heart Association recommends 10,000 steps a day or about five miles of walking

The NYT ran this article on the importance of keeping moving – it’s worth reading. They forced a control group to remain sedentary and then watched the impact to glucose levels and a number of other metrics related to a person’s health.  

Curious In Finding Out Your Life Expectancy?

Enjoying this test may depend on whether you’re a cup half full or empty person, but recently, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco have come up with an assessment that determines when you have a good chance of dying.  A little scary, but doctors are admitting that it’s a pretty good tool for…

Seniors and Energy Drinks

Typically, energy drinks have been marketed to the younger crowd – shown as a way to stay up for all night study sessions or all night dance parties.  But in 2012, the demographic these companies are targeting appears to be shifting to senior citizens! According to the consumer research group, The Values Institute at DGWB…

Prescription for Happiness

Everyone knows that laughter can sometimes be the best medicine.  Now, some doctors in Australia are proving it.  It was found in a study that laughing and increasing your good mood can actually decrease dementia agitation by 20 percent.  Does twenty percent not sound all that impressive?  Well consider this – it’s about the same…

A New Way to Kill Cancer

A year ago, a man by the name of William Ludwig had given up on Chemotherapy.  He had leukemia and no treatment seemed to be working anymore – he felt like his time was up.  In an effort to possibly add an extra six months to his life or to simply contribute to the study,…

A Brain Exercise That Really Works?

Have you ever played one of those games that guarantee to increase or improve your memory?  There are a lot of products that promise to give your brain a workout, but do they really work?  One new exercise is actually receiving praise from the National Science Foundation and the Office of Naval Research as a…

More Seniors at the Gym!

What do you see when you picture a personal trainer?  A tan, young, extremely in shape person?  Someone who is excessively serious about fitness?  Maybe someone who doesn’t understand what it’s like to be a day over 30? Well, think again! More seniors are hitting the gym.  In a study by an organization of fitness…

Tips to Makes Taxes Less Taxing

The New York Times’ “The New Old Age” blog offered some money saving tax tips for seniors: Medical Deductions: Few people can make medical deductions when they are younger, but due to increased medical expenses and decreased income, many more seniors are eligible.  If your allowable medical expenses are greater than 7.5 percent of your…

Phys Ed: Why Wii Fit Is Best for Grandparents

The New York Times, December 1st, 2010 With the Christmas video-game-buying season in full swing, now seems the right time to ask, Are active video games being aimed, at least in part, at the wrong audience? Active video games refer, of course, to games that require you to be active. Often also called exergames, they…

What you pay for Medicare won’t cover your costs

Boston Herald, December 30th, 2010 You paid your Medicare taxes all those years and think you deserve your money’s worth: full benefits after you retire. Nearly three out of five people say in a recent Associated Press-GfK poll that they paid into the system so their benefits shouldn’t be cut. But a newly updated financial…

Closing In on Alzheimer’s Disease

The New York Times, December 14th, 2010 Alzheimer’s researchers are obsessed with a small, sticky protein fragment, beta amyloid, that clumps into barnaclelike balls in the brains of patients with this degenerative neurological disease.It is a normal protein. Everyone’s brain makes it. But the problem in Alzheimer’s is that it starts to accumulate into balls…

Late in Life, an Agonizing Choice Over Surgery

The New York Times, November 15th, 2010 Editor’s Note:  This one’s got nothing to do with retirement finance, but is, in the opinion of this editor, an important story to read for anyone considering a medical procedure with major quality-of-life implications at advanced age.  We make no suggestions or recommendations, as these decisions are and…

Nutrition for a healthy retirement

The Calgary Herald, November 3rd, 2010 If you are between the ages of 64 and 75, it is now more important than ever to maximize your nutrition to protect your long-term health. With decades of habitual eating habits, it can be challenging, but the results to boost your quality of life are worth the effort….

The Claim: Gargling With Salt Water Can Ease Cold Symptoms

The New York Times, September 27th, 2010 Nothing but time can cure the common cold, but a simple cup of salt water might ease the misery this winter. A sore, itchy throat and respiratory congestion are some of the more common symptoms of a cold, and gargling with salt water seems to help for several…

A Last Conversation With Dr. Robert Butler

The New York Times, July 7th, 2010 “I think a lot of older people are sitting on their asses, playing golf, and not making a contribution to society.” Bounding about his Upper East Side office less than two weeks ago, Dr. Robert Butler seemed determined not to make that mistake. At 83, one of the…

Hip Fractures: Good News, Wrapped in a Mystery

The New York Times, July 9th, 2010 The original link to the hip fracture study has lapsed, leaving reader DrHu of Rochester, N.Y. — and doubtless others — frustrated because he couldn’t see the data without paying for access. So the journal Age and Ageing has agreed to make the study available to the public…

Exercise, Vitamin D Seem to Cut Alzheimer’s Risk: Researchers

Health Day News, July 11th, 2010 Physical activity and adequate levels of vitamin D appear to reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia, according to two large, long-term studies scheduled to be presented Sunday at the International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease in Hawaii. In one study, researchers analyzed data from more than 1,200 people…

What Broke My Father’s Heart

The New York Times, June 14th, 2010 Editor’s Note:  No links this time, for this is really not a story about specific programs or products to help people, this is a personal story about what one family went through.  It profoundly shook this editor’s perceptions, and it is our hope that it may provoke a…

Many Alzheimer’s Patients Find Comfort in Books

The New York Times, April 22nd, 2010 Familiar music can engage those with Alzheimer’s when almost nothing else can, researchers have shown. Now it appears that books written for these patients may have a similar effect. Researchers have found in a number of studies that reading can improve a patient’s quality of life. The meanings…

Retiree environmental volunteers less depressed

Cornell University, April 16th, 2010 Heads up, retirees: Volunteering on environmental projects could not only prompt you to get more exercise but also improve mental and physical health through old age, according to a new Cornell study published online in The Gerontologist (Feb. 19). The study found that environmental stewardship is strongly linked to greater…

Deciding on Care for Elderly Parents in Declining Health

The New York Times, March 12th, 2010 TWO years ago my father, then 83, became very ill. Until then, he had been living alone in a pleasant one-bedroom apartment on the Hudson River, an hour’s drive from my home in Brooklyn. After a couple of months in the hospital it became clear that my dad,…

A Purposeful Life May Stave Off Alzheimer’s

Health Day News, March 2nd, 2010 People who say their lives have a purpose are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease or its precursor, mild cognitive impairment, a new study suggests. As the population ages and dementia becomes a more frequent diagnosis, there’s increasing impetus to determine the causes of the disease, associated risk factors…