agebuzz weekly

August 10th, 2017

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

By The Book: Downsizing By Getting Rid Of Books: While the Kindle or iPad has replaced the hardcover book for many, some of us still have shelves and piles overflowing with decades of accumulated books. These books may represent a time in our life, a phase in our career or just deeply appreciated words of wisdom, and it's hard to part with them. But there comes a time when life moves on and you need to think about jettisoning at least some of your collection. Ann Richardson, herself an author of such books asCelebrating Grandmothers, has some gentle advice over at Sixty and Me for starting the process of culling and sorting in order to determine which books must go. Take a look at her suggestions Here. And if you're looking for a next home for these books, you might try the suggestions on Get Rid Of Things, a website full of advice on how to rid yourself of virtually anything. Check out their suggestions on used books Here.

On The Watch: Whether Or Not To Test For Prostate Cancer: There's no doubt that prostate cancer is a serious illness- aside from skin cancer, it's the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men, and it kills close to 30,000 men in the US each year. Yet debate rages on about whether men should undergo the PSA test which can detect the presence of prostate cancer. There is little evidence that such testing improves overall survival rates in the general population and there is much concern about the risks of intervention, which include biopsies, radiation, chemotherapy and surgery, all of which may have significant negative side effects. In fact, the concept of "active surveillance," i.e., just keeping an eye out and monitoring, rather than intervening, is now a frequently used tactic when prostate cancer is diagnosed. While every man should have a discussion with his own physician, there is much data to suggest PSA testing is not appropriate for many if not most men. Read the latest data and recommendations Here and Here and Click Here for a more comprehensive overview of prostate cancer and its treatment. And for those of you affected by prostate cancer, read about an impressive new therapeutic approach Here

Stormy Skies Ahead: The Looming Caregiver Catastrophe: Being a caregiver is a tough job, whether you're a family member or a paid employee. Injury among caregivers is high, given the physical demands of the job, and most paid workers earn so little that they must rely on Medicaid for their own health insurance. The hours are long, the burden is significant and yet demand for such workers keeps rising. So much so that, according to MIT Professor of Human Resources and Management Paul Osterman, severe shortages of available caregivers are in our future and, in his words, "It's an absolute train wreck waiting to happen." In addition, a confluence of forces, including potential changes in US immigration policy and political fights about health care funding, conspire to make a bad situation even worse. Anyone with a relative who needs help or who anticipates their own need for caregiving in the future (which, frankly, includes most of us) should sit up and take notice of this looming catastrophe. Read more about this caregiver disaster heading straight our way by Clicking Here and check out Paul Osterman's new book on the long term care workforce Here. Finally, take a look at the most recent piece in Vox that critically examines the challenges facing this low paid, beleaguered group of caregivers by Reading Here.

Ouch! That Hurts: Shoulder Injury And Prevention For Older Women: If you've ever had pain or discomfort in your shoulder, you know how debilitating that can be. As we age, the shoulder is one of the more vulnerable areas of our body, as it's used all the time and has the greatest range of motion of any joint we have. Whether you've had shoulder pain from osteoarthritis, a rotator cuff injury or a frozen shoulder, you probably want to know what's happened and how you can prevent it from occurring again. Dr. Patricia Allen, one of the founders of Women's Voices For Change, provides you with the mechanics of the shoulder and what you can do to prevent further damage. Take a lesson from Dr. Allen and read her recent blog post Here. And for more specific exercises that can help keep the area strong, stable and healthy, relax your shoulders and Read Here.

Between The Generations: Different Ages In Shared Space: While there is evidence that a growing number of seniors reside with younger family members for economic reasons, there are some who opt to live this way for the benefits of intergenerational living. In her recent personal essay on the website On Being, Courtney Martin writes about the Oakland, CA co-housing arrangement Temescal Commons, in which she resides. Highlighting the deep value of shared communal living and frequent meals she shares with people of different ages, Martin underscores what she calls the 4 "Rs" to make such arrangements successful: respect, responsibility, reciprocity and resiliency. Read her insightful essay Here. And for more general information about co-housing, and aging in such an environment, check out the website of the Co-Housing Association of the United States Here.

Dying Well: Publishing A Critically Acclaimed Memoir In The Last Days Of Life: Sometimes you need a deadline to get you moving. For Australian author Cory Taylor, her diagnosis of melanoma in 2005 became the impetus for an extraordinary burst of creative energy over the next decade, including the publication of several award winning books and her last and final work, Dying: A Memoir. In the recent book review in the New York Times, Jennifer Senior said of this book, "Every medical student should read it. Every human should read it." With a clear mind and compelling story, Taylor wrote with impressive wisdom about her life and pending death. She also took the time in the last months of her life to sit down with a fellow Australian writer to discuss her thoughts in a podcast about the book and its development. You can listen to that podcast Here. And to read an excerpt of the book which recently appeared in The New YorkerClick Here.

THE LAST WORD: “...As soon as you start rewriting your past you realize how your failures and mistakes are what define you. Take them away and you're nothing." Cory Taylor