Currently Browsing: Health

“Presenteeism” and Caregivers

DOES THIS SOUND FAMILIAR?   You’re sitting in your cubicle or your corner office, but you’re not really there.  Emails are pouring in, you have unanswered voice messages, there’s a crisis in IT, the system is going down, and the coffee-maker just died—but you don’t care.  At 9:01 in the morning, you have more important things to worry about. Your mother fell and broke her hip.  You have to call her doctor.  You have to arrange home care.  You have...

The Benefits of Volunteering

SECOND ACT CAREERS AFTER 50 DON’T ALWAYS HAVE TO BE PAYING ONES. Creative volunteerism is a wonderful way to not only be connected to your community but also to stay actively involved in the well-being of others.  As Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we do, but we make a life by what we give.”   Becoming sedentary after you retire can lead to isolation and even poor physical health at times. Why not offer...

What? What?

  IS IT TIME FOR A HEARING AID? Few things strike as much unmitigated terror into a Baby Boomer’s chest as being told that he or she needs a hearing aid.  It’s such an obvious sign of getting old.  According to the Internet, two doctors I saw, three audiologists, NPR, two magazine articles, and the guy down the street who wears noise-cancelling headphones when he uses his snow blower, one in three Americans aged 64–74 suffers from some degree...

What Makes a Good Life?

  TRUST US, YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS THIS TED TALK. Dr. Robert Waldinger sure knows how to talk.  And to listen.   Waldinger is the Director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, is the longest study of adult life that has ever been done.  724 men’s lives have been tracked for 75 years.  (Yes, 75 YEARS!)   From the time they were adolescents, these men were asked about what they wanted from their lives, whether they were satisfied,...

Add ICE to Your Mobile Device

ICE = IN CASE OF EMERGENCY  Sometimes an idea arises that is so simple that you wonder, Why didn’t I think of that?  Adding an In-Case-of-Emergency (ICE) contact to your mobile device can save your life. It’s simple:  on your phone or tablet, use the acronym ICE to list a trustworthy family member or friend who is familiar with your medical history, allergies, medicines and special conditions.   How It Works You can add this directly into your contact...

Living Wills and Advance Directives

  WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW We hear about Living Wills all the time, so let’s begin there. Essentially, a Living Will is a written legal document that specifies your choices regarding your medical treatment when you are no longer able to understand or express informed consent.  Simply stated, it is a mechanism by which you tell physicians and other caregivers what you want and—most essentially—what you don’t want. Important:  these instruments are not just for the elderly or...

Neck Exercises to Combat Aging

  NECK-ERCISE! If you’re over 50, you probably know the benefits of exercise to keep your heart and body in shape.  But consider your neck!  There are many good reasons to follow a “neck-ercise” workout regimen. Over time, skin loses collagen and elasticity, causing it to sag around the neck and chin, a process that begins around age 20, according to Dr. Suzan Obagi, associate professor of dermatology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Factors like sun...

In Praise of Walking

  WHITHER WALKING? Compared with all the “flash” exercises of late that are so trendy (quick workouts that are all the rage), walking may seem like the shy family member nobody notices. It’s true: walking by yourself can be utterly boring.  But in reality it is probably one of the best low-impact activities you can do for your body.  The Buddhists like to call it walking meditation when it’s really slowed and reflective, but you can also pick up your...

National Family Caregivers Month

According to the Caregivers’ Action Network, the theme for National Family Caregivers Month (November 2015) is: “Respite: Care for Caregivers” Respite – the chance to take a breather, the opportunity to re-energize – is as important as any other item on your caregiver’s to-do list. People think of respite as a luxury, but considering caregivers’ increased risk for health issues from chronic stress, those risks are a lot costlier than some time away to recharge. Respite is the key to...

Then and Now: Medicare and the 1950s

REMINISCING ABOUT THEN… Did you know 1950 and 1951 were considered ‘common years’?  Well, the reality is there was nothing ‘common’ about them. If you were one of the 7.2 million children born during 1950-1951, you were born into the fastest changes in the US in over 2 decades.  Your birth during one of these two years contributed to the world population of around 2,556 billion people and was marked by the 50th year of the 20th century. During...

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