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Caregiver Stress May Lead to Those Living with Dementia Dying Sooner – Smilecast 108

Caregiver Stress – Dementia patients may die sooner if family caregivers are mentally stressed People living with dementia may actually die sooner if their family caregivers are mentally stressed, according to a new study from the University of California, Berkeley. From 2007 until 2016, UC Berkeley researchers tracked the mortality of 176 patients and measured the mental health of the family members who took care of them. Their findings published in the Proceedings of the National Academy...



RETHINKING THE AGING PROCESS: 5 STEPS TO CONSCIOUS AGING As part of my Caregiver Smile Summit, I have had the pleasure of interviewing more than 50 experts in the health, aging and caregiving fields. Dr. Maria Zayas, a practicing psychologist and a faculty member of the Psychology Department at Brenau University, is one of those experts. Together we explored the topic of conscious aging. Caregivers Are People Too – Respect Them It’s Deeper Than Having Purpose – We’re the Stewards of Our...


Home Sharing – Is it for you? Charlotte Today

Home Sharing Catching On! Many baby boomers have a real desire to age in their own home, provided they are capable and it is safe. But sometimes the economic realities, the need for companionship and socialization, and even help around the house makes you want to consider a more formal senior community. Home sharing provides an alternative. More than 13 million people older 65 live alone, elder orphans. The number of older Americans who are homeless is growing too. In 2007, homeless people...

Moderate Alcohol Consumption-Live Longer Without Dementia – Smilecast 106

Moderate alcohol consumption helps people live longer without cognitive impairments. This is according to a University of California San Diego School of Medicine-led study in findings published in the August issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. Previous studies have found a correlation between moderate alcohol intake and longevity. “This study is unique because we considered men and women’s cognitive health at late age and found that alcohol consumption is not only associated with...


How to Help People Who Are Grieving – Smilecast 105

In Grieving: How To Help A Senior Handle The Loss Of A Loved One Losing a spouse is a terribly difficult thing to go through at any age, but for seniors, the loss may hit particularly hard. Going through decades together builds a strong bond that many of us can only hope for in our own relationships, and a sudden loss can bring about grief, depression, anger, and physical issues such as loss of appetite and sleep. If you have a loved one who has recently lost a spouse, it’s important to...


Choosing Senior Care – Assisted Living – Smilecast 101

Choosing Assisted Living In this episode, taken from our appearance on the Charlotte Today Show, we talk about the differences in long-term care living. Used to be what people called the home was a skilled nursing facility. Now when making the reference, it is more likely to be an assisted living facility that someone is referencing. In the Smilecast we look at the differences and also explore related topics such as how you pay for long-term care too. The post Choosing Senior Care –...


Mediterranean Diet Good for Brain Health – Smilecast 100

Mediterranean Diet May Have Lasting Effects on Brain Health A new study shows that older people who followed a Mediterranean diet retained more brain volume over a three-year period than those who did not follow the diet as closely. The study was published in the online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. But contrary to earlier studies, eating more fish and less meat was not related to changes in the brain. The Mediterranean diet includes large...


Falling Safely – Here’s How To Do It – Smilecast 99

Try Martial Arts to Learn Falling Safely Researchers say seniors with osteoporosis can use martial arts training to learn to learn about falling more safely. Testing the force of impact of a variety of different martial arts fall exercises, research subjects performed sideways and forward martial arts falls, which involve turning the fall into a rolling action, from a kneeling position on both a judo mat and a mattress, as well as from a standing position on a mattress. The force of impact...


What to Do with Mom and Dad’s Stuff – Charlotte Today

What to Do with Mom and Dad’s Stuff – from Charlotte Today As baby boomers grow older and start moving to smaller dwellings, children are faced with a dilemma – their parents’ possessions. Furniture, keepsakes and heirlooms that our parents want to pass on are often not wanted by the children. What do you do with all of mom and dad’s stuff and how do you approach the subject? The key to all things in the aging space is to have discussions earlier. Here is something to think about when...


MultiFocal Lenses Contribute to Falls – Smilecast 98

Reduce Risk by Switching from Multifocal Lenses to Single Focus Seniors who wear multifocal prescription glasses could reduce their risk of falling if they switch to a single-focus lens while walking outdoors. Researchers studied 606 seniors aged 65 and older who used such lenses while walking outdoors. Half the seniors were given single-focus prescription lenses to use while outside; half multifocal lenses. Overall, falls were reduced by 8% among the single-focus lens cohort. There was a...


Failure to Anticipate Distances Leads to Falls – Smilecast 97

Injuries from falls traced to decline in ability to mentally estimate and anticipate stepping and reaching distances. Professor Carl Gabbard, director of the Texas A&M Motor Development Laboratory, focused on “estimation of reachability” — whether an object is within or out of reach. Gabbard explains that before actions are performed the mind simulates the action ahead of time and gives an estimate of the possible outcomes or consequences. You can easily relate that to visualizing a golf...


Those Prone to Falls Fail to Adjust Walking Speed – Smilecast 96

Prone to Falls? Watch Your Environment Seniors prone to falling might do so because they fail to adjust their walking speed to their vision impairments. Irish investigators from Trinity College in Dublin divided 17 participants into three groups and made them complete a walking course, once while wearing goggles that blurred their vision and once without the goggles. The first group comprised five older adults who had fallen at least once in the last year; the second group had six seniors...


Aging in Place – Charlotte Today Show – Smilecast 95

Aging in Place – Is it for Everyone? Often as people age their biggest desire is to remain in their homes. But is that realistic for everyone? To age in place requires planning. The goal of aging in place is to help seniors live in the residence of their choice, for as long as they are able and get any help they need for as long as they can. It is about maintaining and/or improving quality of life. In order to do that, a good plan that focuses on your quality of life should be created as...


Playing Catch Can Improve Balance and Prevent Falls – Smilecast 94

Playing Catch Good for Balance The simple training exercise of catching a weighted medicine ball can improve balance and may help prevent falls in the elderly, according to research at the University of Illinois at Chicago. When someone is jostled by a bump or a stumble, the brain uses two strategies to maintain balance and prevent a fall. You brace yourself then you take corrective ‰action to prevent losing your balance. Most people have very positive memories associated with playing...


Stress and Alzheimer’s – Not a Good Combo – Smilecast 93

Stress and Alzheimer’s – Stress Can Accelerate Symptoms Stress-induced hormones produced by the brain can increase an individual‰’s risk of developing Alzheimer‰’s disease and accelerate the development of Alzheimer‰’s in individuals already suffering from the disease. When the brain is stressed, it produces steroids that can inhibit general brain activity. One such steroids is allopregnanolon. Mice with elevated levels of the steroid experienced impaired memory and learning in the...


Being 60 – Reflections on Life – Smilecast 92

Being 60 (reprinted from my Sixty and Me Blog) Reflections on Life: 5 Things I Have Learned by My 60s Yes, the big SIX ZERO hits me on April 29. I remember freaking out at 30 but no so much with the other decades of 40 and 50. I have mixed emotions on being 60. Make no mistake, I have a blessed life – great wife, three kids, six grandkids, financial security. But as typical of this age, you start to look at legacy and contribution. And I grapple with what is success. The post Being 60 –...


Social Isolation – A Growing Epidemic Among Seniors – Smilecast 91

Social Isolation – A Growing Epidemic Among Seniors (reprinted from my HuffPost50 Blog) According to the AARP, 51 percent of people over 75 live alone. Twenty-six percent face an increased risk of death due to subjective feeling of loneliness. More than 8 million adults age 50 and older are affected by isolation. The problem of social isolation will become worse over time as the boomers grow older. This is a generation that has had fewer kids; many having no children. It is a generation...


Sleeping After 60 – What You Need to Know – Smilecast 90

Sleeping After 60: Getting Rest Is Different Than Earlier in Life, and Working at It Is Key There is a wonder-working, health-promoting elixir of youth available for free—sleep. Yeah we know sleeping after 60 is hard. It is also true that getting rest at night is one of the things that change as we age, and not necessarily for the better. Consequently, it helps to be in control of it. Your health depends on understanding the root causes why you sleep differently. The good news is that you...


Senior Mobility – Important Reminders to Stay Safe – Smilecast 89

Senior Mobility – Important Reminders from Vive Health Experiencing problems with your own senior mobility? You’re not alone. The United States Census Bureau reports that of the almost 16 million seniors who have a disability, a whopping two thirds of them report theirs is specifically linked to issues with mobility – either walking or climbing. Senior mobility is a big issue. As you age, difficulties with mobility may present themselves in a variety of ways including: Fatigue and lack of...


10 Fun Yet Overlooked Activities for Seniors – Smilecast 88

10 Fun Yet Overlooked Activities for Seniors Seeking out engaging and fun activities for seniors? Forget the novelties of gardening and golfing, and try a little something new with these 10 fun ideas! Here’s one. Try yoga: One of the best seniors activities is yoga. It is rising in popularity with each year because of its numerous health benefits and attention to mindfulness and meditation. With relaxing, flowing movements that stretch the muscles and joints, as well as a focus on deep...


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