agebuzz weekly

May 25th, 2017

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

Doctor's Orders: This Physician Recommends A Daily Dose Of Vitamin D: There's often controversy over whether you should take supplements to make sure you're getting necessary vitamins and nutrients, or whether you should just rely on healthy eating and good health habits. In fact, a recent New York Times piece suggested that perhaps too many people are jumping on the Vitamin D supplement bandwagon. However, for older individuals, Dr. Leslie Kernisan is holding steadfast: She recommends a daily dose of a Vitamin D supplement for her senior patients. Writing on her website, Better Health While Aging, Dr. Kernisan is a strong proponent of the value of Vitamin D in helping prevent falls and fractures. She also provides clear and common sense answers to the many questions you may have about taking Vitamin D. Want a better understanding of what may be best for you? Pour yourself a glass of milk and Read Here. 

Social Bonds: Why Men Need To Nurture Connections For Longevity: You may be familiar with the award winning public radio program, On Being. Hosted by journalist and author Krista Tippet, the show tackles some of the big questions in life. The website for On Being not only features stories from each week's radio program but it also has essays that delve into matters of human connection and spirituality. Currently on the website is a piece by Courtney Martin, exploring the robust friendships that women often make over the course of their lifetimes and the lack of these same sorts of connections for most men. The data show that men are 1/3 more likely to die shortly after losing their wives than women who lose their husbands. We know that isolation and loneliness can affect health and well being, and Martin suggests that for the sake of supporting male longevity we need to ensure that men invest in social engagement the way that women do. It's a provocative and important essay- take a few moments and Read It Here. 

Catch Your Breath: Pneumonia Medications Can Often Fail: Coming down with pneumonia can be a serious concern for anyone but it's especially worrisome for seniors, for whom pneumonia is the 4th leading cause of death. And now a new research study finds that about 25% of adults with community-acquired pneumonia strike out on the first round of antibiotics they are given. Coming out of the California research foundation LA BioMed, the research reports that patients over 65 are at special risk for antibiotic failure and twice as likely to be hospitalized for pneumonia compared to younger patients. All of this suggests that when pneumonia is diagnosed in an older person, careful monitoring and perhaps more aggressive use of antibiotics may be called for. Read more about this research Here, and to better understand the concerns of pneumonia in older patients, Read Here.

Fail-Safe: Putting The Pieces In Place To Create A Safe Environment: Deciding that you want to "age in place" can be a comforting thought. However, figuring out how to adapt your home so that it works for you as you get older is another story. Each room in a home may hold it's own unique challenges for comfort and safety- the key is to make sure the risks for tripping or falling are minimized and to adapt the environment so that it compensates for possible disabilities down the road. Experts at have put together a checklist that allows you to go room to room to make sure your plans, and parameters, will keep you safe. Whether it's lights for night visits to the toilet or slippery tile concerns during your daily bath, they've got a list for you to review. Take a peek at their check list Here. And as an example of the many products on the market, consider this piece on the range of "grab bars" available for purchase Here. Finally, check out this recent article by Paula Span, writing in The New York Times, who suggests you book your contractor now to ensure smart and thoughtful home modifications for easier aging in place. Read her piece Here.

Tech Talk: Time To Add Some New Apps To Your Phone: A new study from the Pew Research Center captures the moment: 42% of people over 65 now have smart phones, up from just 18% in 2013. Clearly, the trend is for seniors to embrace technology just as younger cohorts have done. However, if you're still sitting on the sidelines of this trend, perhaps some new apps, available for either iPhones or Androids, will lure you out of the dark and into the light of 21st century technology. A recent piece on Next Avenue featured 11 apps that could really make a positive change in your life. From helping you remember where you parked your car to a lit magnifier for reading, to money-saving ideas, these apps are either free or just a one-time nominal fee to get you up and running. So charge up your phone and Read Here. 

No Joke: Carl Reiner Explores Why The Very Old Are Still Vital: They're legendary comedians and performers: Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Betty White, Norman Lear, Dick Van Dyke, to name a few. And they all have something remarkable in common: they've lived very long lives and have no plans to retire. And why should they? As the saying goes, "After 90, people don't retire, they inspire." With that philosophy in mind, 95 year-old Carl Reiner has set out to understand what's going on- why are there so many vital seniors pushing past traditional boundaries of what it means to grow old? It's all part of a new documentary set to air on HBO on June 5, titled, "If You're Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast." You may not learn all of their secrets, but you're bound to have a good time watching. Click Here to go to the documentary website, and read more about the movie and its participants Here.

THE LAST WORD: “Growing old is no more than a bad habit which a busy person has no time to form."  Andre Maurois