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A1. Be Well Informed for 2013
Those of us who read Seniorresource like to be well informed! We want to know how to stay mentally alert and physically healthy, both for our own well being, and for those we care about and who care about us. But what should we believe? What should we be doing?
As we launch the adventure of this NEW YEAR of 2013, it's a great time to review some concepts we have heard about and may have tried. It is also important to consider new areas that are only now becoming available. Reviewing what we know is good for us, and those we care about:
How and why exercise our bodies?
Keeping our bodies moving is critical to maintaining good healthy organs, as well as helping us stay attractive. It can impact our health and our mood. Lack of exercise not only makes us less flexible (i.e., making it harder to get up off the couch or play on the floor with grandkids) and sluggish, but may be a sign we will be have discomfort and will possibly require more medications, tests and doctor visits, maybe even surgery. Ugh.
While we may not want to be disciplined now that we can relax more than when employed full-time, it does take prioritizing to work some exercise into our schedules.
Why not put it on your calendar, say three times per week, for at least 30 minutes each time.
Having a walking partner can "kill two birds with one stone." It can become a steady source of companionship.
Our bones may become more fragile as the years roll by, but walking and working out with weights can contribute to stronger bones, including more erect posture! We often see examples of osteoporosis all around us, which can also be painful.
How and why eat right?
What about vitamins and minerals? In our age group, it is suggested that a multiple vitamin with minerals be taken daily. The importance of Vitamin D has been in the news a lot. If you have not had a Vitamin D lab test, why not ask your M.D. for one? The amount of Vitamin D you are getting may need to be supplemented. Lack of Vitamin D may cause many ailments.
How and why exercise our brains?
I enjoy helping grandkids with homework, being in book club with colleagues, and making regular visits to libraries. I often select biographies, because I am curious about how others live. Mostly, I like discussing ideas with all age groups and writing articles and poetry. What do you enjoy that keeps your synapses firing?
You have probably read about a study done on a group of nuns in the Midwest who have maintained superior mental functioning. How do they do it? Crossword puzzles or any kind of problem solving helps to keep our mental vigor. Volunteering in almost any capacity requires creativity, which often promotes wellbeing.
New to me... how about you? A miscellany.
Regarding supplements, phosphatidylserine (sometimes called PS) may have a brain age-renewal component, and has been reported that it relieves post-exercise stress. If you or someone you know has diminished memory, ask your M.D. about huperzine A, said to raise our most important brain chemical, acetylcholine.
An offshoot of yoga, which I am eager to experiment with, Kirtan Kriya can be done in less than a quarter of an hour. According to Dharma S. Khalsa, M.D., (whose work has been a resource for this article) board-certified in anti-aging medicine among other specialties, Kirtan Kriya can help prevent Alzheimer's disease. For more information on his work, the Alzheimer's Research and Prevention Foundation and Kirtan Kriya, try www.alzheimersprevention.org
To improve quality of life and maybe longevity, look into www.bluezones.com Dan Buettner, in association with a National Geographic team, studied those areas where people had the highest life expectancy. They discovered five areas and named them blue zones. Specialists learned what these groups had in common:
About the Author: Laurie Golden grew up in the Garden State, where she savored fresh fruits and veggies grown in her dad's garden. Her mom did her part by washing and freezing bushel baskets of produce that wasn't immediately enjoyed by family or friends and neighbors. Golden earned a B.S. and a Juris Doctor, and has always had a passion for health. She reads voraciously and shares information. A regret is that she did not pursue a career in medicine. Her first book is called "Shelf-life of a Valentine."
Find more aging process information at: http://www.seniorresource.com/ageproc.htm
A2. Be Happy, Not "SAD"
If you watched the Howdy Doody Show when you were a kid, you may remember Princess Summer Fall Winter Spring. Most of the Doodyville characters were pretty upbeat, especially the irrepressible Buffalo Bob. But what if the charming and pretty princess had been called Princess Fall Winter? Without summer and spring, she might have felt blue, anxious, depressed, fatigued and a whole range of other undesirable feelings that make up "winter blues" and/or the more severe seasonal affective disorder (SAD--a type of depression that is tied to seasons of the year.
Right now, the blues and SAD folks may feel like crawling under the covers and not coming out until April, because for many of us it's the dead of winter, when it's cold outside and the sun too often takes cover, avoiding the afflicted when they need it most. Although SAD victims were at one time often dismissed as hypochondriacs, SAD is now recognized as a disorder in DSM--IV (as recurrent depressive disorder with seasonal pattern). Nor is it apparently a new disorder. Even Hippocrates and Aristotle refer to a seasonal condition in their writings, and the ancient Greek physician Aretaeus advised in the second century that "lethargics are to be laid in the light, and exposed to the rays of the sun (for the disease is gloom)."
According to the Cleveland Clinic, SAD "...is a depression that occurs each year at the same time, usually starting in fall or winter and ending in spring or early summer. It is more than just 'the winter blues' or 'cabin fever.'" And even the Doodyville princess could be affected since--surprise!--"a rare form of SAD known as 'summer depression' begins in late spring or early summer and ends in fall." According to some health experts, "SAD is most common in young adult women, although it can affect men or women of any age." It's also not uncommon. SAD may affect as many as six of every 100 people in North America, mostly in the North, rather than the South. Another 10%-20% of people may have a milder form of seasonal mood change.
How common is SAD?
Health experts don't know the exact causes of SAD, but these are some of the likely causes:
But you don't have to suffer for half the year. According to the Mayo Clinic, help is available for SAD victims:
Light-therapy-- Light therapy is one of the first-line treatments for seasonal affective disorder. In light therapy, also called phototherapy, you sit a few feet from a specialized light-therapy box so that you're exposed to bright light. Light-therapy mimics outdoor light and appears to cause a change in brain chemicals linked to mood.
Medications--Some people with seasonal affective disorder benefit from antidepressant treatment, especially if symptoms are severe. Antidepressants commonly used to treat seasonal affective disorder include paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), and venlafaxine (Effexor).
Psychotherapy--Although seasonal affective disorder is thought to be related to brain chemistry, your mood and behavior also can add to symptoms. Psychotherapy can help you identify and change negative thoughts and behaviors that may be making you feel worse. You can also learn healthy ways to cope with seasonal affective disorder and manage stress.
If you want to learn more about SAD, British psychiatrist John Eagles says that "The outstanding book for SAD sufferers and non-clinicians is Winter Blues, by Norman Rosenthal, the latest edition of which was published in 1998. Rosenthal is often regarded as something of a father figure among SAD researchers and clinicians and Winter Blues contains a wealth of insight and experience."
These helpful websites can provide you with more detailed information about both winter blues and SAD:
Learn more about eating healthfully. http://www.seniorresource.com/health.htm#nutrition
B. DID YOU KNOW...?
1. Home Repair Injuries
Additional home safety information for seniors can be found at: http://www.seniorresource.com/Senior_Home_Safety_Checklist.htm
As such, kinship care refers to the care of children with relatives or, in some jurisdictions, close family friends (often referred to as fictive kin). Relatives are the preferred resource for children who must be removed from their birth parents because it maintains the children's connections with their families. Kinship care is often considered a type of family-preservation service.
Kinship care may be formal and involve a training and licensure process for the caregivers, monthly payments to help defray the costs of caring for the child, and support services. Kinship care also may be informal and involve only an assessment process to ensure the safety and suitability of the home along with supportive services for the child and caregivers. Approximately one-fourth of the children in out-of-home care are living with relatives.
Learn more at http://www.childwelfare.gov/outofhome/types/kinship.cfm
C. THOUGHTS FOR THE MONTH
We present here some words from those with a birthday this month.
Burt Reynolds - "You can only hold your stomach in for so many years."
More "Thoughts" at: http://www.seniorresource.com/thought.htm
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D. SPECIAL SURFING SITES
1. Are You Immunized?
Each year, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) reviews the recommended adult (anyone over 18 years old) immunization schedule to ensure that the schedule reflects current recommendations for the licensed vaccines. The resultant recommended adult immunization schedule has been approved by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Physicians, and the American College of Nurse-Midwives.
Those over 60 years of age should consider obtaining the following vaccines after consultation with a physician.
See the CDC “Recommended Immunizations for Adults” chart and related cautions at:
Learn about Health related items here: http://www.seniorresource.com/health.htm
2. American Legion History
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E. OH MY AGING FUNNY BONE
1. Smart Minds Go Pondering
2. Hi-Tech Homework
One of the third-graders came to school crying.
"Oh My Aging Funny Bone" is at: http://www.seniorresource.com/jokes.htm
SPONSOR AN ISSUE
This issue has been edited by Betsy Day (Betsyjday@aol.com).
Aging in Place