agebuzz weekly

November 9th, 2017

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

At Full Strength: Losing Weight While Maintaining Strength As You Age: So it's November and the holidays are soon upon us...and with them, all the food that accompanies the celebrations. Some of us have willpower and discipline but some of us...well, you know who you are. Weight gain as we age is a never-ending battle for most of us. The good news is that weight maintenance or even loss is possible as you age, but you have to do things wisely and with intention. It's not just a matter of cutting calories here or there. Start here for a handy little tip sheet of real strategies to employ for weight loss as you age. And recognize that activity and exercise are crucial- especially because weight loss in seniors can lead to vulnerability and weakness if you don't maintain lean muscle mass as you lose fat. Check out this advice for strength training while you curb calories Here. And if you're looking for a role model to help inspire you, pick up a resistance band and take a look at the regular exercise routine of 84-year-old Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, which you can read about Here.

Mixed Up: Minding The Risk Of Delirium For Older Patients: It's all too frequent that older people who become confused, disoriented or have a fluctuating mental state are assumed to just be experiencing symptoms of "aging." But these symptoms could actually indicate delirium, a serious and often undiagnosed affliction that seniors can experience after surgery or more generally during hospitalization. Recently, several of our regularly featured websites have published valuable pieces about symptoms, prevention strategies and important reminders that seniors in long term facilities can also experience delirium. For example, Health In Aging, a useful source of health info from the American Geriatrics Society, recently published a valuable tip sheet for caregivers who have to manage someone with delirium. Check out their tips Here. Dr. Leslie Kernisan, host of the excellent websiteBetter Health While Aging, recently published a comprehensive overview about delirium that includes preventive strategies, options for treatment should delirium surface and how family members can best respond. Her professional advice is Here. Finally, in a recent blog post, Dr. Muriel Gillick, commenting on a recent New England Journal of Medicine review article, said flat out that the best preventive strategy against delirium may be to avoid hospitalization altogether. Check out her words and warnings Here

It's Not All Downhill: The Upside of Aging: Always room for a little good news. It turns out that many of our personality traits and cognitive skills don't automatically flee the moment we hit 50. In fact, some of life's most beneficial skills and emotions seem to improve and crest only as we approach our senior years. For example, satisfaction with life, or comfort with our body image- all seem to increase as we get older. And there are reasons that wisdom is associated with our later smile, and read a bit of positive news about aging Here. And for additional info on how individuals, and society more generally, can promote a positive image of aging, check out Judith Graham's excellent new piece in Kaiser Health News Here.

Serious Talk For Serious Illness: How And Why Are We Falling Short?: It's no surprise, yet it needs to be reiterated, that another major public survey has found that conversations, and documentation, around medical care at the end of life fall short of the mark for most people. A new survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation underscores that many people have yet to have conversations with loved ones or professional caregivers about their wishes should they become seriously ill- but when conversations and advance planning documents exist, they are considered very helpful in determining appropriate care for the patient. A recent piece in STAT, written by Dr. Allison Bond from Mass General Hospital, makes the case from the physician's perspective as to why such planning in advance and conversations are essential. Read her insights Here. And, of course, it's important to acknowledge that these are tough conversations to have-no one can blame you if you find yourself stumbling. But there are resources out there- and The Conversation Project just released a funny little video to let you know you're not alone in this challenge-so, for a laugh, and some lessons, watch Here.

Highways And Byways: Travel Ideas For Seniors and Solos: Are you beginning to plan your winter travel vacation? For some of us, cold weather becomes the impetus to seek out warmer climates or new locales- planning that can create some challenges as we get older. Especially for those of us without spouses or travel partners, solo travel can be expensive and anxiety provoking. Yet nearly one in four seniors who travel does so alone, according to Savvy Senior's Jim T. Miller. Miller has put together a range of resources and websites that can help cut down costs and find travel companions for those of you considering a solo sojourn. Check out his recommendations Here. One interesting resource you may want to check out isSolo Traveler, a website begun by Janice Waugh after she simultaneously became a widow and empty nester. Or, for those of you interested in giving back while you get away, there is the burgeoning opportunity for "voluntourism," allowing you to combine travel and volunteerism, in sites around the world. So grab your backpack and check out this recent article on voluntourism Here.

Newlyweds In Their Nineties: The Remarkable Story of Edith And Eddie: Getting married is always exciting- getting married in your 90s has got to heighten the level of excitement and anticipation. Getting married in your 90s, to a person of another race, adds more intrigue, and in this particular true life story, significant drama. Welcome to the story of Edith Hill and Eddie Harrison, two Virginia seniors who, after 10 years of companionship, decided to wed, much to the chagrin, and over the protestations, of some family members. It's a poignant love story made all the more heart wrenching because of the age, race and life circumstances of each of the lovers. A new documentary portrays the sweetness and ultimate sadness of this tale, and the film is making it's way through film festivals this fall. To find out when it's playing near you, and to learn more about the film, Click Here. And if the story is provocative, so, too, may be the campaign to get the film nominated for various awards. It seems that the actress Cher has decided the film, the story and it's social justice cause, are worthy of promotion and recognition. Read more about her support of this film Here.

THE LAST WORD: “The trouble is when a number- your age- becomes your identity, you've given away your power to choose your future." Richard Leider