agebuzz weekly

February 16th, 2017

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

Heart To Heart: Make Sure You Know Heart Health Basics: February is designated as Heart Health Month, a time to pay extra attention to your heart.  There are plenty of resources on the web which provide basic info about keeping your heart healthy now, and as you get older. Heart disease is the #1 killer of women in the United States, and women over 65 are particularly at risk for high blood pressure, which can cause damage to your heart and overall health if left untreated. Women's Voices For Change, a website intended for women over 40, has a weekly series this month on a variety of heart health issues, including this week's write-up on high blood pressure: definitions, descriptions and strategies for lifestyle changes and medication options if you've been diagnosed. So take heart: there's good information out there to help you stay healthy and strong. Start by Reading Here.

Meal Time: Does It Matter What Time You Eat Your Meals?: Continuing the focus on heart health, a new report from theAmerican Heart Association suggests that the timing of your meals may have an impact on the health of your heart. For example, eating most of your calories earlier in the day, and aiming to have a long period of fasting overnight, appears to allow your body to better metabolize your food and thus be healthier for your heart. While it's essential that you regularly eat a healthy diet, it now appears that there are also health benefits from scheduled meals at regular intervals. More research needs to be conducted to better elucidate these connections but this is another promising direction to help you improve your heart health. Read more about this new report Here.

Adverse Consequences: Rising ER Visits As Seniors Take More Meds: As we live longer, with more chronic illness, it's not uncommon for seniors to take a variety of medications on a daily basis. And with every benefit that these drugs bring, there is the risk of an adverse reaction, especially given the multiple medications that are taken. In fact, data from emergency room (ER) visits now demonstrate that 3 types of commonly prescribed drugs cause the majority of senior adverse reaction visits to the ER. As readers of agebuzz know, it's a challenge for geriatricians to manage the array of medications that a particular patient may need- and clearly, given the data reflecting rising ER visits, more needs to be done. Find out which commonly prescribed drugs may cause you more harm than good, and lead you to an unexpected emergency room visit, Here.

Weak In The Knees: When Is It Time For A Knee Replacement?: It's a common complaint all too many of us have: when getting out of bed, or standing up from a chair, our knees are not always as co-operative as we would like. Walking may be slowed or negotiating stairs becomes more complicated, as our knees seem to age more quickly than other body parts. In fact, knee replacement is the most common joint replacement surgery performed at this point. Are you a knee replacement candidate? The National Institute of Health (NIH) has a comprehensive guideline to help you understand what your options may be if you suffer from ongoing knee pain. While surgical knee replacement is one option, less invasive interventions may be better tried first. Find out what your choices are, and what may be best for you, Here.

Time Out: Facebook Recognizes The Value Of Time Off: Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg knows all too well what it means to lose a loved one: her husband died suddenly and unexpectedly in 2015. Having been through that experience, she has become a champion for promoting leave from work to deal with family illness or crisis. And last week, Facebook put into practice what Sandberg has been promoting: going forward, all Facebook employees will receive 6 weeks of paid leave each year to care for ailing family members. While most major companies provide some paid family time off for new parents, recognizing that family relationships necessitate certain caregiving obligations throughout the life cycle is novel but essential, especially as our population continues to grow older. Facebook also expanded their policy for paid bereavement leave. Read about these changes, and listen to Sandberg discuss the value of supportive work environments, Here.

No Way To Say: Finding The Right Words For Difficult Times: As we get older, we all experience the inevitable difficult times in life: illness arises, loved ones pass away, losses engulf us. These are challenging experiences, both for those going through them and for those who want to be of help. It's sometimes hard to know what to say or how to be empathetic without putting your foot in your mouth or realizing your attempts to be comforting may be backfiring. But there's a new resource out there that may come to your rescue: Kelsey Crowe, PhD and Emily McDowell have just published a new book: There is No Good Card For This: What To Say and Do When Life is Scary, Awful and Unfair to People You Love. McDowell already has some experience in this realm: she publishes a line of greeting cards she calls "Empathy Cards" intended for just those circumstances when you don't know what to say. Crowe is a compassion expert, and together these two women have produced an excellent guide to get you, and your loved ones, through some tough times together. To find out more, check out the book Here and listen to Emily McDowell Here.

THE LAST WORD: “While we have the gift of life, it seems to me the only tragedy is to allow part of us to die - whether it is our spirit, our creativity or our glorious uniqueness." Gilda Radner