agebuzz weekly

July 13th, 2017

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

On The Road: Keeping Senior Drivers Safe: With gas prices low and summer weather upon us, hitting the road is a natural activity. And asConsumer Reports recently made clear, older drivers are no exception to this: over 40 million US drivers are over 65, and over 3.5 million people over age 85 continue to have a driver's license. Is this cause for concern, either for these senior drivers or for those of us who share the road with them? Not according to the latest data, which show that the stereotype of a dangerous older driver is not supported by reality: senior drivers do not seem to pose extra risk on the road- in fact, many older drivers impose limitations on themselves to make their driving experiences safer for everyone. Read more about the latest statistics, and what is being done around the country to ensure seniors are driving safely, by Clicking Here. And, if you know someone driving an older car, and want to help them get access to new technology to enhance their driving safety, read the advice of Savvy Senior's Jim Miller Here.

Friends In Need: Maintaining Friendships After A Dementia Diagnosis: Keeping in touch with friends often requires effort and attention, especially if distance or divergent interests separate you. What happens, then, when a friend is diagnosed with dementia? Is it possible, and desirable, to try to continue the friendship, especially as your friend's cognitive abilities decline? According to new research by Professor Janelle Taylor of the University of Washington, the experience of continuing friendship with a dementia patient is not only highly valuable for the patient but can also be rewarding and meaningful for the unafflicted friend. While the relationship may change because of the illness, it may also bring about growth and meaning for the healthy friend, even if sadness or loss are also part of the equation. Read more about Professor Taylor's findings Here. And continuing that friendship may also be essential to family caregivers, who often bear the burden of the diagnosis. Read how caregiver stress can negatively affect the well being of a dementia patient Here. 

Now Hear This: Consumer Access To State Of The Art Hearing Aids: With all the partisan wrangling going on in Congress, you may not be aware that a bi-partisan piece of legislation is on the verge of being passed: The "Over The Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017" will allow consumer electronic companies to sell hearing aids without prescriptions and with more modest FDA regulations. It looks like this legislation, co-sponsored by Senators Elizabeth Warren and Chuck Grassley, will be signed by the end of July and it's anticipated that it will spur on more innovation and competition, and bring down the costs of hearing aids as well as bring to market other personal sound amplification products. Already technology companies are introducing sophisticated devices designed to integrate with your smart phones and even become trendy accessories, similar to glasses. Read about this race to create your hearing loss solutions Here. And check out the latest research on the value of personal sound amplification products for mild to moderate hearing loss Here.

Exercising While Aging: Rethink Your Fitness Routines As You Get Older: It's no joke: as we get older, we aren't quite as flexible or fast as we used to be. Whether at the gym or on the running path, there's nothing quite like exercising while aging to underscore you're getting older. If you're in your 50s or 60s, or even older, you can't expect your old exercise routines to be optimal for your current body. Fitness professionals have advice for you to reconfigure your activities in order to minimize injury and maximize your potential. Whether it's stretching for longer or amping up on weights over cardio, you're best off listening to your body- and the experts- and rethinking the optimal workout for your current age. So fill that water bottle and read moreHere. And if your weight has climbed as your age has advanced, you may think exercising is no longer advisable- but recent research shows the opposite: even moderate exercise for obese seniors can significantly reduce the risk of immobility, which could threaten your independence and well being. Take a look at this recent research Here.

Game Plan: What's Keeping You From Creating An Advance Directive: Everyone knows you should, yet so many of you haven't: haven't filled out an advance directive, that is. Talking with your loved ones, conferring with your doctors and figuring out what treatments or plans you want in place for the end of your life is essential: for you, for your family and for the broader health care system. Yet, as recent research shows, nearly 2/3 of Americans still have not completed an advance directive. Why do so many of us continue to put this off? In a recent opinion piece in STAT News, physicians from the University of Pennsylvania argue that current state laws are getting in the way of patients completing advance directives, and they offer some remedies Here. Just as likely, many of us don't want to think about the end of our lives- fear and dreaded expectations likely limit our ability to contemplate our deaths. Yet newly published research in the journal Psychological Science suggests that people close to death experience an unexpectedly positive and peaceful feeling. So it could be that thinking about the end of life is scarier than its reality. If this is what's holding you back from completing an advance directive, then you need to read more about this research Here. Whatever you do, you need to develop your game plan- so when the time comes, you've made your wishes clear to all.

Made In China: Robot Companions For Chinese Seniors: You may not realize it but China faces a greater crisis of an aging population than nearly any other nation on earth. The one-child policy of China has meant that as seniors age out of the workforce, there are fewer younger people to fill in the gaps, or help care for this burgeoning senior population. And with the shifting of agrarian populations into cities, the dislocation and isolation of millions of seniors in China is becoming a national crisis. How is China coping? One emerging idea is to put artificial intelligence, in the guise of robot helpers and companions, to assist in senior care facilities. As part of its new series on "Machines With Brains," the publication Quartz has a new video out to give you a glance at these new Chinese robot helpers. Is it creepy or captivating? Find out by watching Here.

THE LAST WORD: “Age is of no importance unless you are a cheese." Billie Burke