agebuzz weekly

February 1st, 2018

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

Stand Guard: Protecting Loved Ones From Identity Theft And Social Security Fraud: For virtually all seniors, social security plays an important role in their financial health and well being. And for savvy computer hackers, it's a rich target for identity theft and financial scams. A recent report in Reuters describes how the push to encourage seniors to create online social security accounts can be a source of identity theft risk- and that seniors need to take control of this process before scammers take control of their identity. Check out the warnings- and advice- Here. For more general tips on how to protect your personal info and guard against its theft, read this report from US News Here. And did you know that many banks now have systems in place to warn seniors- and their trusted loved ones- when suspicious activity may be spotted in their bank accounts? To find out which bank has been rated best for protecting seniors, and which are the honorable mentions, read the analysis from Money magazine Here

Further Flu Updates: The Troubling News Continues: It's not over yet- and if current trends continue, this year's flu epidemic might be one of the worst in decades. Current data suggest that older individuals- really anyone over the age of 50- are being hit the hardest this year, and that it's likely we are only about halfway through this year's flu. Check out the data from this NPR report Here. And if you haven't yet been vaccinated, it still makes sense to do so, given the risks from the flu virus and secondary complications that can result in older individuals. To read about some of the science behind this year's serious flu, Read Here. One newly confirmed risk for those who fall so ill that they seek out medical care and receive laboratory confirmation of the diagnosis: Increased risk of heart attack. Read about the surprising link between flu and heart health Here and Here. Finally, as a reminder of the value of a good chicken soup recipe in helping you overcome the symptoms of flu, take out your measuring spoons and check out these soup recipes Here.

Sleep Away: Spotlight On Ways To Improve Your Sleep: It may be a vicious cycle- the older you get, the more your sleep is disrupted, leading to more risks to your health...which may then lead to further sleep disruptions. While no one knows definitively how to improve sleep for any one individual, what we do know pretty clearly is that insufficient sleep can impact such essential body functions as cognition and heart health. So finding ways to improve your sleep is essential to your overall health. One recent study in theBritish Journal of Pharmacology has again put a spotlight on the role of melatonin in sleep enhancement. To read more about this study, and whether you should discuss melatonin supplements with your physician, Read Here. Or, if you're a tech nerd, you may be interested in a new sleep companion that will soon be available- the Somnox Sleep Robot. It's a robot whose purring sounds and softness may help lull you to sleep. Read the story behind this nighttime buddy- and a review of it's effectiveness- Here.

Under Control: Help For Ladies Who Need Help Down Under: Okay- we know you don't want to talk about this- but many of us need some help with bladder leakage. We can hide in shame or we can laugh about our predicament-and reach for some useful assistance. Newly discovered?Icon undies, described as "pee proof" undies with the tagline, "welcome to tinklehood." While younger women, especially during pregnancy, can suffer from bladder leakage, it's almost a right of passage for older women to experience stress or urgent urinary incontinence. The makers of Icon undies have embraced this problem and put forth spokesmodels who demonstrate vibrant active lives, not held back by a little pee in their panties. For one "cheeky" look at the Icon undie's taboo-breaking style, check out this little videoHere. And on a more serious note, take a look here at the latest medical info about treatment for this all-too-common medical malady.

Diet And Dementia: The Evidence Grows Stronger: Did you hear them? The sirens were blasting this week with yet another study that confirms what we already know: for many of us, our diet could be a significant factor in our future cognitive decline. The latest research? In a longitudinal study published in Diabetologia, scientists followed over 5000 patients for 10 years and determined that people with high blood sugar (and not even so high that they would be characterized as diabetic) had a faster rate of cognitive decline than people with normal blood sugar. It's an alarming finding, yet a result that we can have some control over by watching what we eat. For more on the study, and reasons why you need to put down that donut, take a lookHere. And do you already have concerns about your cognition? Then you need to be aware of a new online resource from the Alzheimer's Prevention Trials Webstudy. This new website allows you to assess and track your cognitive performance and then become part of a database of potential enrollees for Alzheimer's clinical trials. It's a multi-site effort hosted by some of the biggest names in medicine, including the National Institute on Aging, the Cleveland Clinic and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Learn more about your opportunity to enroll Here.

Forces Of Nature: A Photography Project With Seniors Posed in Nature: It's not often that photographs of seniors reflect a playful attitude or beautiful image. But to Norwegian photographer Karoline Hjorth and Finnish artist Riitta Ikonen, nothing could be more lovely- or natural- than posing seniors in elaborate costumes against the backdrop of gorgeous natural settings. Their photography project, entitled Eyes as Big as Plates, has been ongoing for several years, originally inspired by Nordic folktales but now morphed into a larger mission to highlight older individuals who might otherwise be marginalized and to question the relationship between man and nature. The portraits are visually stunning, and captured in a recently published book that you can purchase Here. In addition to showing their photographs in galleries around the world, this artistic duo also has an Instagram and a Facebookpage. You can read more about this evolving project Here and watch them work with some of their senior subjects Here.

THE LAST WORD: “It is not how old you are, but how you are old." Jules Renard