agebuzz weekly

April 12th, 2018

Good morning and welcome to agebuzz… Headlining today’s topics:

Come To Mind: More Evidence To Support Meditation As You Age: In today's world, it's very easy to be distracted by all that's going on. Couple that with the risk of cognitive decline as we get older, and the result may be that as we age, it's harder to pay attention and focus. Newly published research, however, provides evidence to support regular and sustained meditation as a way to combat your wandering mind. Published in The Journal of Cognitive Enhancement this new study concludes that you can sustain and even enhance your ability to pay attention through a regular and ongoing meditation practice. Read more about this research Here. And to help you consider meditation for yourself, check out the science and suggestions from the National Institutes of Health. Or, Click here to check out Headspace, an online platform to help provide you with the precise type of meditation exercises for your unique situation. Finally, beyond your mind, meditation may provide help for your heart. So put your hands in a prayerful position, and read the recommendations to use meditation for your heart.

Broad Strokes: Updates On Stroke Research: As you likely know, if you experience a stroke, the lack of blood flow to your brain can lead to devastating long-term disability or even death. When a stroke is diagnosed, time is of the essence and quick intervention is necessary to avoid the worst outcomes. Read here for a comprehensive overview of all the risk factors, causes, and symptoms of stroke. Effective treatments for stroke are continuously being debated and refined, as this recent New York Times article spells out. For one pioneering Harvard physician, getting the research funded to pursue his idea for effective stroke treatment has been a challenge, but now, at the age of 88, he will finally oversee clinical trials to investigate his proposed stroke treatment. But perhaps the most exciting recent development was just published in the journal Science. Focusing on rehabilitation and recovery following a stroke, this new research, so far only tested in animals, shows significant promise in repairing brain function after the devastation of a stroke. Read more about this new study, and its implications,Here.

Live And Learn: Resources For Life-Long Learners: While some of us relish the thought of never sitting in a classroom again, others are always in search of new educational opportunities. There's certainly evidenceto confirm that ongoing education and learning helps to keep our brains sharp as we age. And there are plenty of educational opportunities out there if you know where to look. So, for starters, consider Learning Advisor, an online portal for those over 50 that connects you to classes, certificate programs and anything else that might fill your need for intellectual stimulation. Or, for a list of thousands of free online courses taught at some of our top universities, check out this Fast Company article about Coursera. Finally, for those of you who want the full college experience, beyond the coursework, you may want to consider the new trend of University-Based Retirement Communities, where you can access classes, performances and all sorts of other services and perks available on college campuses (perhaps excluding the frat parties...). If this peaks your interest, check out this article from The Senior List and get ready for your own college search (no SAT required!).

Plan Ahead: National Health Care Decisions Day Is April 16th: Have you had the conversation? Have you filled out your documents? And do your loved ones know your wishes? If you can't easily answer these questions then you need to get up to speed about advance directives - and no better time to think about these issues than now, in honor of National Health Care Decisions Day, which is April 16th. It's critically important to consider the choices and decisions that may arise should you become seriously ill and unable to speak for yourself and also, to make sure your loved ones and care providers know your wishes. So, to get the conversation started, take a look atThe Conversation Project, and the plans they are promoting for National Health Care Decisions Day. And while you're giving thought to these matters, you may also want to check out "Defining Hope," a new documentary airing onlocal PBS stations, that takes you through the conversations and decisions of a group of seriously ill people as they consider what's important in their lives in the face of life-threatening illness. None of us knows for sure what lies ahead but we can consider for ourselves, and share with our loved ones, what we find meaningful and essential.

Camera Ready: Should There Be A Camera In The Rooms Of Nursing Home Residents?: When your newborn was alone and asleep at night, you wouldn't think twice about aiming a live camera on the crib just to monitor what's going on. But what about aiming a live camera on a nursing home resident who may be impaired and unable to tell you if something is wrong? Is that kind of surveillance okay? What if your loved one has unexplained bruises or seems disheveled when you visit? Should you just rely on staff to alert you if there's a problem? All of these legitimate questions are being raised right now as states consider legislation that would allow loved ones to monitor from afar the care of their relatives through video cameras. Five states already permit this and Louisianna is now debating the issue as well. On the one hand, it provides peace of mind and may inhibit abusive or neglectful behavior. But it comes at a cost, as it can be argued that the privacy and dignity of the resident are violated. And caregiving staff may resent not being trusted or object to being filmed. Some commentators have even suggested that family members hire a private investigator if they suspect neglect or abuse of their loved one in a nursing home. There are certainly pros and cons to these sorts of surveillance measures. Before you think about such measures for your own loved ones, you may want to click here to consider a list of questions and concerns that may arise as a result.

In Style: Figuring Out Fashion For Those Of Us Over 50While you may have been a slave to fashion in your younger years, chances are that as you've gotten older, you're more likely to be just as concerned with comfort as you are with couture. And for many of us, along with age has come the wisdom and confidence to know who we are and what we like, regardless of what the magazines tell us is in vogue. If that sounds like you, then you may want to check out the words of fashion wisdom from 7 stylish ladies who recently appeared on Refinery 29 UK. These women are anything but dowdy-and their stylish looks reflect the experiential wisdom that comes with decades of trial-and-error fashion rather than youthful indulgences or risk-taking. As style blogger Alyson Walsh says, "Looking good rather than looking young is the new mantra." If you're still one who likes to peruse the fashion magazines, you may want to check out a new entry: Renaissance. It's a bit edgy, a lot stylish and a beautiful way to explore fashionable older women who have interesting stories to tell and lives to share. And as Iris Apfel says, "If you're not comfortable in your own skin, you won't be comfortable in your own clothes."

THE LAST WORD: “The whiter my hair becomes, the more ready people are to believe what I say." Bertrand Russell