agebuzz weekly

December 7th, 2017

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

One For The Road: Best New Cars For Senior Drivers: No matter the cost or concern, some of us have no plans to give up driving- or, therefore, our cars. So, if you see yourself continuing to drive well into your later years, what are the best options for hitting the road? The choice obviously depends on your budget and needs, but some considerations are more universal, including ease of entering and exiting the car, visibility, safety record and how easy the vehicle is to drive. Cheat Sheet has come out with a list of the best new cars for Baby Boomers- take a look Here. And earlier this year,Consumer Reports produced an even more comprehensive chart to compare and contrast the best car options for older drivers. Check out the chart Here. Finally, The AAA Foundation For Traffic Safety just released a survey of older drivers which found that less than 10% of such drivers employ simple measures which could enhance their driving safety. Buckle up and take a look at the survey results Here.

Skin In The Game: Taking Care Of Your Skin As You Age: For many of us, winter weather is often accompanied by nagging skin problems- dryness, itchiness, and all sorts of other reactions from cold air and dry indoor heat. And as we get older, challenges with our skin can multiply for an assortment of reasons, including health problems and the medications we take. The National Institute on Aging has an outline of an array of issues that can arise with aging skin and some simple responses you can try. Check out their descriptions and advice Here. For women, some of us also struggle with the dilemma of whether and how to use makeup as our facial skin and features change with age. A recent tutorial in The New York Times may provide you with some ideas- check out their recommendations Here. And if this whole topic makes you want to throw up your hands in anguish, take out your powder puff and give yourself a laugh by reading this humorous take on aging skin carefrom none other than The New Yorker

Diagnosis and Decisions: A Strategy For Anticipating And Coping With Dementia: No one likes to contemplate what might happen if your cognition, or that of a loved one, begins to deteriorate and dementia is on the horizon. But some of us are planners, and for those who like to map out the road ahead, there are tools and strategies available for the journey. First, a new diagnostic device is now available for clinicians who want to try to evaluate whether a patient is on the path to Alzheimer's or some other dementia. Called the QuoCo Cognitive Chart, this new tool is similar to the growth chart used in pediatric practices. By regularly using this chart, clinicians should be able to determine if cognitive decline has begun, and thereby begin interventions before it is too late. Read more about this new tool Here. If a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer's is then made, Dr. Leslie Kernisan, on her website Better Health While Aging, has set out a framework of how to meet the needs of your debilitated loved one. Take a look at her five-step approach Here.

Not The Same Old Story: Pushing Past The Limits Of The Human Life Span: What are the limits of the natural human life span? No one knows for sure, but the oldest person on record died when she was 122. And now, researchers in Israel think we have the science available to push past that number. Publishing their findings in The Journals of Gerontology, scientists at Bar Ilan University believe that the current accepted limit of approximately age 115 could be increased by as much as 30% if research efforts now targeted at worms, flies or rodents were translated into effective treatments for humans. The goal would of course be to extend years of healthrather than just chronological years. Read more about this research Here. And if that life span seems shocking to you, take a look at the predictions of Aubrey de Grey, a noted anti-aging researcher who founded the Sens Research Foundation. According to de Grey, the first person who will live to 1000 has already been born, and he predicts that the "problem" of aging will be "solved" and that in the future, people will seek out "rejuvenation" clinics to keep their lives rolling along. In fact, he believes the solution to aging is within our grasp in the next 20 years. Read more about this fantastical forecast of Aubrey de GreyHere.

No Place Like Home: Tech And Tiny Trends For Seniors Living At Home: Imagine living in a home where most of your daily chores have been automated or web-connected, so that you or a loved one can remain independent in the community while simultaneously being connected to help and assistance at the press of a button. Well, no need to imagine- the opportunity to live this way is now being showcased. To read more about this concept of "connected independence" and the super smart home, Click Here. But at the same time, there is an opposite trend taking hold among many seniors, who yearn for downsizing and simplicity as the years go on. This is the trend known as the "tiny house movement." These micro houses, often in the form of pre-fab buildings, can take up as little as 100 feet, and can often be moved into place, or transported to another site, if needed. In fact, the portability and simplicity of these dwellings provide the kind of flexibility that many seniors crave as their life conditions evolve and change. The trend is clearly catching on, as it's been estimated that 2 out of every 5 buyers of tiny homes are now over age 50. Catch up on this new trend by Reading Here.

Straight Talk: Doctors In Conversation With Patients Late In Their Lives: For too long, physicians have been hesitant to speak with patients about a poor prognosis or approaching end of life. Often out of fear of harming their relationships with patients, or dimming whatever hopes remain, doctors have been reluctant to engage in these difficult conversations. Now, in a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, researchers have discovered that such candid conversations in fact improve the relationship with the patient, rather than diminish it. Read more about this important study Here. Still, even with this new research, actually engaging in such conversations is a hurdle many physicians cannot overcome. Yet there is one physician who has made a career of publicly addressing these topics and becoming a role model for all of us: He is Atul Gawande, author of the acclaimed book Being Mortal: Medicine And What Matters In The End. Click Here to listen to Dr. Gawande in his own candid conversation with Krista Tippett, host of the public radio show On Being, as they share an intimate and deeply moving dialogue about life and the lessons to be learned when your days are limited.

THE LAST WORD: “In examining disease, we gain wisdom about anatomy and physiology and biology. In examining the person with disease, we gain wisdom about life." Oliver Saks