agebuzz weekly

February 15th, 2018

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

Damage Control: Consider Pilates As A Way To Maintain Your Aging Body: Keeping flexible and strong as we age is a physical challenge for most of us. And that usually means heading to the gym or yoga studio. But you may also want to consider Pilates, a method of controlled and precise physical movements developed decades ago by Joseph Pilates as a way to keep mind, body and spirit strong and in sync. And for aging bodies, Pilates allows you to build core strength, maintain flexibility and promote mindfulness, all necessary qualities for us to stay healthy. So, how do you start? To understand the basics, check out this article on Pilates for seniors. Those of you with back issues may want to take a look at this video of how Pilates can help with spine flexibility to ease back pain. Or you may want to read this book about Pilates for those over 40 by Lynne Robinson, the British Pilates guru who is beloved by style blogger and Pilates enthusiast Alyson Walsh. As Joseph Pilates said, "You are only as young as your spine is flexible." 

Let Me Call You Sweetheart: Romance As A Route To Fraud: With Valentine's Day, our thoughts may turn to romance and love. But for some sinister prowlers, professing love and affection may just be a way to prey on the vulnerable, and seniors are frequently the target of such "sweetheart scams." Especially for seniors who are active online, and who may therefore be publicly known as recently widowed or divorced, scams abound to lure the unsuspecting into revealing private financial info or sending money. It's helpful for seniors and their loved ones to be aware of the warning signs for such scams. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau created a handy little placemat to spell out the suspicious signs. None of this is meant to discourage older individuals from pursuing opportunities for new relationships or intimacy- you just need to do so with eyes wide open. For some helpful tips about online dating for older people, put down your romance novel and clickHere

Brain Trust: Eating Advice To Sustain Your Brain: Lisa Mosconi is a woman who knows her food- and how to approach eating in a way to take advantage of the neuroprotective quality of certain foods in order to maintain brain health. Dr. Mosconi is the Associate Director of the Alzheimer's Prevention Clinic at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, and she has spent decades studying brain scans to help determine how to prevent and mitigate memory loss through lifestyle modifications. Her conclusions? There isnot an inevitable path from aging to dementia, and since genes account for less than 1% of Alzheimer's cases, how you live your life is critical to supporting your brain function as you age. Regarding what to eat, take a look at her recent article in The Guardian or consider purchasing her about-to-be published book,Brain Food: The Surprising Science of Eating For Cognitive Power. You may also want to hear her thoughts from "A Women's Health Summit: It Starts With The Brain," with Maria Shriver, about how women's brains age differently than those of men. Watch the conversation Here.

Proof Positive: Your Attitude About Aging Can Affect Your Risk Of Dementia: Is the glass half full or half empty? Well, how you respond to this question could indicate whether you are at risk for dementia. Researchers at Yale University recently published a study in the science journalPLOS ONE that found that older people with a positive attitude toward aging have a lower risk for dementia than those with a more pessimistic view, even in those with the genetic link to dementia. In essence, how our culture defines and depicts aging can potentially be a self-fulfilling prophesy: the more negative the stereotypes of seniors (and research continues to show a negative portrayal of seniors in popular culture) the more likely we accept and absorb this portrayal, which can impact our cognitive health and well-being. So it's important that we all fight ageism and reject stereotypes that cast getting older in negative terms. To read more about this study, and its implications, take a look Here. And for one man's story of how to throw yourself into your passions and maintain a positive attitude about aging, even in the face of challenges,Watch Here.

A Cakewalk: Planning For The End, And After, Of Your Life: If you've had a brush with serious illness, or even death, you've probably given some thought as to what you want the end of your own life to be like. Maybe you have some long-held dreams you want to pursue before the end arrives, or maybe you have some strong feelings about the music played at your funeral. Well, there's a website that can take care of that! Check out Cake, a new software start-up in Boston created by an MIT-trained engineer and a Boston palliative care doctor. Cake provides you the prompts, and planning guides, to determine your end-of-life preferences, and it allows you to store your documents and desires on one easy-to-use website. For more about this creation, and it's intriguing development, read this new article in Forbes. And if you have created that "bucket list," experts now suggest you make sure to share it with your primary care doctor, to better ensure that the type of care you receive coincides with the values and goals you have in life. To help your doctor better care for you, Read Here.

Life At 96: Living In Unchartered Territory With Betty Reid Soskin: Long time readers of the agebuzz newsletter may remember Betty Reid Soskin from the Aug. 25th, 2016 post that described her life as the oldest park ranger in history. Well, almost two years later, Betty continues to make history. She was recently interviewed at the 2018 Makers Conference, a gathering devoted to shining a light on trailblazing women. In a remarkable video interview with the young writer and activist Luvvie Ajayi, Betty speaks with clarity and candor about her amazing life journey as the descendant of slaves to reaching the age of 96, outliving her family and peers and living in "unchartered territory." Watch her speak with grace and gratitude as she continues to opine on current issues in our turbulent times. And if you want to find out more about her remarkable life, pick up her just published memoir,Sign My Name to Freedom: A Memoir of a Pioneering Life. She's truly an inspirational figure for us all.

THE LAST WORD: “Everyone is the architect of their own happiness." Joseph Pilates