agebuzz weekly

December 21st, 2017

Good morning and welcome to agebuzz

Special Holiday Week Edition: The Year in Review: Our Most Popular Stories of 2017:

Know Your Stuff: How To Get Rid Of A Lifetime's Possessions: Most of us have been on one side of this equation or the other: either we've decided it's time to downsize or we're helping someone else do the same...or perhaps even cleaning out a home after a loved one has passed. The question that quickly arises: what to do with all the stuff? Some items may have monetary value, others perhaps just sentimental value. Developing a plan of attack can be an overwhelming process. Over at Next Avenue, you can read some valuable advice about sorting through items, figuring out values and determining the best steps to clearing out possessions. In fact, there's even an organization called the American Society of Estate Liquidators that can link you with local businesses to help you through this process. So, whether you're about to start the sorting and sifting, or you've decided this may be a second career opportunity for you, check out the suggestions for clearing out the clutter Here.

How Long Do You Have? Calculating How Many Years Of Healthy Living Await You: Despite the recommendations, do you continue to ignore the advice about healthy aging? Are you foregoing regular exercise, eating junk food or binge watching tv shows for way too many hours? Unfortunately, you can only sustain that sort of lifestyle for so long until it's likely that impairment, disability or serious illness will confront you and you'll never recover to your former level of health and well-being. And now, researchers at the Goldenson Center for Actuarial Research at the University of Connecticut can give you a more precise tally of the toll that unhealthy habits are taking on you. They have developed a "healthy years" online calculator which can estimate how many healthy years of life are still ahead of you. The first of its kind, and still in development, this calculator may be just the kick-start you need to reform your lifestyle and take some control of the aging process. So get up to speed, crunch some numbers and Click Here

To Pee Or Not To Pee- Tips For Men And Women: Maybe this has happened to you: you're enjoying yourself at a gathering, but suddenly have an urgent need for the bathroom. Or, you're enjoying a lovely evening out but know that the extra glass of wine will have you scurrying to the toilet during the night. Ah, it's not fun getting older- but bladder problems are not an inevitable part of aging, especially if you know what to look out for. Since November has been designated Bladder Health Month (who comes up with these designations?), let us provide you all, both men and women, with some useful information. For men, The Harvard Health Blog provides an overview, and some helpful strategies, for dealing with urinary incontinence. And for women, take a look at a recent posting about bladder health from the HHS Office of Women's Health, which offers info and additional links on such issues as incontinence and urgency. And armed with these useful tips, drink up to good health!

Ripped Off: After The Equifax Breach, You Are More Susceptible To Fraud: Given the recent computer hacking of the Equifax credit monitoring system, all of us need to be at heightened alert over identity theft or financial fraud perpetrated on us. For seniors, this is especially true, as confirmed in a recent survey done by the Cooperative Credit Union Association. In this survey,  2/3 of caretakers reported that a scammer had attempted to defraud a senior relative, most often by either phone call or email. What's especially worrisome is that the Equifax breach included birth dates and driver's license numbers, so it would be easy to target seniors with this stolen information. Read more about this survey and measures to protect an aging loved one by clicking Here. And for those of you who have been worried about giving out your social security number and wonder why we don't have a better system for keeping our identities secure, your concerns are well founded- it's a broken system with no easy solutions. Read more about the history of social security numbers, and the challenges of replacing them, Here.

Over The Counter: The Safest Pain Remedies For Seniors: When an ache or pain arises, most of us are eager to rid ourselves of the nuisance by reaching for the nearest pill in our medicine cabinet. Over-the-counter, commercially available medications like Tylenol, Advil, or Aleve have millions of users, and many of us have our allegiance to one brand over another. But, as geriatrician Dr. Leslie Kernisan describes, these medications can in fact pose serious harm to seniors, and reaching for them on a frequent basis may do more damage than you realize. While everyone needs to check in with a physician about their specific situation, Dr. Kernisan writes about the risks associated with each of these pain relievers and the serious side effects that may result from prolonged use. Who knew? Dr. Kernisan knows, and she shares her wisdom Here.

Talking Sense: Lisa Genova Tells You How To Protect Your Brain: You may know her as the writer who penned the best selling novel,Still Alice, about a Harvard linguist who develops Alzheimer's at a young age, and for which actress Julianne Moore won the Academy Award in the movie version of the novel. However, Lisa Genova, the writer of this novel, is also an esteemed neuroscientist, with a PhD from Harvard, and a special ability to take complex medical issues and make them accessible and understandable through her fictional writing. Recently, Dr. Genova gave a TED talk (the influential public lectures in which experts share their ideas) regarding Alzheimer's and how genetics may not be your destiny, even if you are at genetic risk.  Specifically, Dr. Genova outlines how lifestyle choices have a strong impact on whether, and how, you ultimately succumb to the ravages of Alzheimer's. It's a thought-provoking and positive talk on what you can do to take control of your future. So take a look Here

THE LAST WORD: “I Worried" by Mary Oliver

I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers
flow in the right direction, will the earth turn
as it was taught, and if not how shall
I correct it?

Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven,
can I do better?

Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows
can do it and I am, well,

Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it,
am I going to get rheumatism,
lockjaw, dementia?

Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing.
And gave it up. And took my old body
and went out into the morning,
and sang.