agebuzz weekly

July 28th, 2016

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

Home Grown: Turning Your Own Stem Cells Into New Hips: The numbers are staggering: according to national data from 2010, over 300,000 hip replacements are performed each year. Osteoarthritis is the leading cause, and an increasing number of these surgeries are performed on ever younger patients. Typically, metal or plastic replacements are used to substitute for ailing original hips but now, something new is on the horizon. Scientists in St. Louis have discovered that a person’s stem cells, retrieved from fat reserves, can be used to grow new cartilage which can then be made into the shape of a new hip joint. Human trials of these stem cell derived hip joints are still a few years off. But this scientific advance is especially welcome, given that people may need more than one hip replacement as we continue to live longer. Is a hip replacement in your future? If so, Read This.

Clean Up Your Act: Putting Your Digital Affairs in Order: Less than half of all Americans have arranged their financial affairs and executed a will for their descendants. But even fewer have taken the additional step of putting their digital affairs in order. So much of our lives these days are conducted online, and following your death, no one can automatically gain access to your digital property. While state laws govern what happens, and you would be wise to check in with an attorney about your specific situation, there are some reasonable steps you can take to ensure your loved ones can navigate your online property and identity after your death. Suggestions include establishing legacy contacts in your social media accounts and making sure passwords are readily available. For practical steps to avoid monumental headaches for your survivors, Read This. 

What’s On Your Bucket List: Top 10 New UNESCO World Heritage Sites: According to national surveys, one of the greatest regrets of older people is not travelling enough in their lives. Carving out the time and money to travel as a younger person is often difficult, and many people look to their retirement years to make up for long delayed trips. For those of you who have the time, mobility and funds, UNESCO has just released it’s newest list of World Heritage Sites, and National Geographic has rated the top 10 for you to visit. From archeological sites in Greece to Le Corbusier architecture in Europe, this list is sure to pull on your travel heartstrings. Want to satisfy your sense of wanderlust? Read This. 

Swan Songs: Threshold Choirs At The Bedside: As a way to sooth stress and ease tension, listening to music is a well established practice. For those at the end of life, the sound of music can ease pain and anxiety and connect the person to a more peaceful place. Kate Munger, the founder of Threshold Choirs, realized the power of music at the bedside of the dying when she tended to a friend dying of AIDS in 1990. That epiphany led to the creation of Threshold Choirs, small groups of a cappella singers who provide soothing music for dying patients. There are now over 150 Threshold Choirs throughout the United States. To learn more about these extraordinarily dedicated groups of singers, Watch This. 

Words of Wisdom: A Home Health Aide Offers Advice: In 2009, New York Times writer Jane Gross published an insightful column filled with ideas and advice from Helene Alison, an artist who also worked as a home health aide, in addition to caring for her own ailing mother. Ms. Alison described the satisfaction she derived from her job helping others, and shared her ideas about how loved ones could go about finding a trusted paid caregiver for their own family members. She also provided practical tips for ensuring that care for your loved one would go as smoothly as possible. Her advice is as sound and relevant today as it was when first published. Is there a home health aide in your loved one’s present or future? If so, Read This. 

TED Takes on Aging: TED Speakers On Living Healthier And Longer: You may be familiar with the structure of TED talks: inspiring, passionate people take the stage and share their ideas and insights with an engaged audience. But did you know that National Public Radio now hosts “The TED Radio Hour”? Each week, for one hour and with one theme, a collection of expert speakers address a particular issue from different perspectives. Recently the TED Radio Hour featured world renowned scientists and researchers who are making important breakthroughs in the field of aging. With the theme of “The Fountain of Youth,” these commentators shared their findings and predictions about where their research, and the fate of human life, is headed. For an absorbing and fascinating peek into the future, Listen Here.

THE LAST WORD: “The man who views the world at fifty the same as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.” Muhammad Ali