agebuzz weekly

March 29th, 2018

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

Big Shot: Getting The New Shingles Vaccine: You may remember that back in October 2017 news came out that a new and highly effective vaccination for shingles was on its way. Well, the new vaccine,Shingrix, is now available and it's value is significant, yet fewer people than anticipated are seeking it out. Why is that? As you may know, shingles can be a highly debilitating illness. Estimates are that one in three people are likely to develop shingles during their lifetime, especially as you get older. Once afflicted, the consequences can be significant. So what's keeping people from seeking out this new vaccine? While Medicare and private insurers may pay for it, there are some provisos: mainly, only if you have Medicare Part D will you get coverage for it and if you have private insurance, not all commercial insurers are covering it. The cost, depending on where you receive yours, could be upwards of $300 and even with insurance, you may still have co-pays or deductibles to consider. Finally, the shot requires 2 visits to your provider and there are some reported side-effects from receiving it. To read more about the upside, and downside, of this highly-effective vaccination, take a look Here.

Stretch Out: Why You Need To Be Stretching: We've all experienced this: you get up in the morning, your legs feel tight, your shoulders and neck feel stiff and you wonder what happened to your body? Well, like all people, you're getting older and likely, your muscles are getting shorter. The fact of the matter is that for all of us, as we age, muscles get stiffer and shorter, with the possible result of muscle damage, joint pain or even falls if we're not careful. As they say, aging is not for sissies. What can you do to fight back? One effective response is to get moving and, as importantly, get stretching. Stretching is a key way to maintain flexibility as you age. For a good comprehensive review of the basics, Read Here. For seniors, there are specific stretching exercises you may want to consider for your daily routine. Take a look Here and Here. And, in addition to checking in with your physician to determine what stretching routine is right for you, you'll also be wise to take a look Here at mistakes to avoid while stretching. The bottom line? If you want to keep moving then you need to be stretching.

Sound The Alarm: The Latest Updates Concerning Medical Alert Systems: As technology propels us into the future, our essential products keep upgrading and evolving. And so it is with medical alert systems. What was on the market 10 years ago may now be obsolete or eclipsed by new innovations. Some of us have decided that with smartphones and digital assistants like Alexa, we don't need a separate wearable alert system. That may or may not be true, depending on your situation. Best to be up-to-date and informed before you determine what works for you. So, for your first stop: check out the latest analysis from Consumer Reports about choosing a medical alert system. Their new report provides you with the key questions to consider when making a choice along with a comparison of the leading eight systems on the market. Or, for even more info, consider this piece from Consumers Advocate, which provides information on features, costs, availability and reviews for the top 10 alert system of 2018. Either way, get informed before you make a decision.

Ties That Bind: Grandparents, Children, And Grandchildren: While being a parent is never easy, being a grandparent appears to be a joyful role. Though it can be sheer bliss to spend time with an adorable little one, the reality is that becoming a grandparent can also reset- or even upset- the relationship you have with your child and his or her partner. Author Jane Isay has just published some words of wisdom to help you navigate what can be challenging terrain. Unconditional Love: A Guide to Navigating the Joys & Challenges of Being a Grandparent Today provides personal stories combined with informed insights to help you better position yourself as the parent- and grandparent- you'd like to be. And New York Timescolumnist Paula Span also has some words of wisdom to share. It seems as though the parents of a mother tend to have a warmer relationship with the grandchildren than the parents of a father. Is that your experience? Check out her comments Here. Finally, in this day and age of children's activism, you may be in search of materials or resources to set your grandchild on the path toward a socially aware and passionate life. If so, you may want to check out The Granny P.A.C., a curated selection of books that champion peace, acceptance, and compassion for the little ones in your life. 

Fine Art: Indulge Your Interest In Art: Whether you're interested in it as an artist or just an admirer, enjoying a work of art can bring immense pleasure. And as we get older, some of us may carve out more time to produce art for ourselves or even to sell. If you're interested in sharpening your own artistic skills, or even if you're just a beginner, you need to be aware of Art Prof, a new website that provides a variety of online art classes taught by professors and working professionals, all free of charge. If your skills are at the level where you think you ought to be out in the marketplace, but you aren't sure how to pursue that goal, check out this recent article from The New York Times about how retirees are finding success by using online art galleries. Or, if you enjoy viewing art, you may want to acquaint yourself with 2 older artists who have been somewhat under the radar. Jack Whitten, an African American artist whose life and work spanned some of the most important civil rights struggles of the 20th century, and who died this past January, has two upcoming shows at the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. You can watch a short documentary of Whitten as he works on the last piece of art he produced before his death Here. Finally, Toko Shinoda, who turned 105 yesterday, is still working in her Tokyo studio and is represented there by the Tolman Collection Gallery. For a lovely overview of her life and career written by gallery owner Allison Tolman, Read Here.

At The End: Thinking About The End Of Life: Not to be morbid, but it's something that we will all experience. While some may not want to contemplate their own deaths, plenty of us wonder what may happen and how we can prepare. If you're in that camp then you may want to check out the new documentary that premiered on PBS this week. Entitled Into The Night: Portraits of Life and Death, the film highlights the experiences of nine different people and how their lives were changed in the shadow of death. For a limited time, you can watch the film on the internet, or you can find out when it will next be available for viewing on your local PBS station, by Clicking Here. And if you're a planner, then you may want to check out this recent guide from The New York Times about how to plan for your death and funeral. Finally, did you know that almost 50% of us now opt for cremation over burial? If this is a trend you want to follow then you should check out this recent piece from Popular Mechanics that provides all you ever need to know about cremation. Regardless of your route, your family will likely be deeply indebted to you for thinking about this in advance.

THE LAST WORD: “A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions." Oliver Wendell Holmes