agebuzz weekly

October 19th, 2017

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

Walk Around: The Benefits Of A Brisk Walk: All too many of us have settled into a sedentary lifestyle even though we know the value of exercise for our physical and emotional health. Excuses abound: I'm too old, I don't have the energy, it's too expensive or time consuming, etc. Well, those excuses just went by the wayside, as new research has just confirmed the benefits of a brisk walk, something most of us can do, or at least build up to, with little cost or burden. According to a new study in the Journal of Nutrition Health and Aging, women age 60 and older, who are physically de-conditioned, can improve their endurance, and thus health and well being, through a six month brisk walking program. Want to know more? Pull out those walking shoes, and take a look Here. And if you're looking for some inspiration to get out there and move, look no further than 55-year-old Mimi Anderson, a grandmother who's also an ultra runner, currently on a mission to break the world record for the fastest woman to cross the US on foot. Read about her amazing journey Here.

Ripped Off: After The Equifax Breach, You Are More Susceptible To Fraud: Given the recent computer hacking of the Equifax credit monitoring system, all of us need to be at heightened alert over identity theft or financial fraud perpetrated on us. For seniors, this is especially true, as confirmed in a recent survey done by the Cooperative Credit Union Association. In this survey,  2/3 of caretakers reported that a scammer had attempted to defraud a senior relative, most often by either phone call or email. What's especially worrisome is that the Equifax breach included birth dates and driver's license numbers, so it would be easy to target seniors with this stolen information. Read more about this survey and measures to protect an aging loved one by clicking Here. And for those of you who have been worried about giving out your social security number and wonder why we don't have a better system for keeping our identities secure, your concerns are well founded- it's a broken system with no easy solutions. Read more about the history of social security numbers, and the challenges of replacing them, Here.

Open For Business: Becoming A Senior Entrepreneur: Does this sound familiar? You've reached a "certain" age: you've got decades of work experience, you're still passionate about your job and able to fulfill your responsibilities. Yet suddenly the phone rings and before you know it, you're being escorted out the door. In this day and age, being an older worker carries all sorts of concerns about whether you can compete, especially when your peers may be younger, cheaper, and of course, more tech savvy. For Paul Tasner, that's precisely how he found himself after 40 years of work- and, it's precisely what motivated him to become a successful senior entrepreneur. Watch Paul's recent TED talk about his evolution into entrepreneurism at age 66 Here and take a look at his new thriving start-up Here. And, if you've got the entrepreneurial bug yourself, you may want to pick up Entrepreneurial You, the newly published and widely praised book by Dorie Clark from the Harvard Business Review Press.

Game Time: Sparking End Of Life Conversations With A Board Game: Is your family one that loves to play board games? Looking for a new one for that next family gathering? Well, say hello to Hello, a new game available for purchase from Common Practice, meant to stimulate conversations around living, dying and what matters most in life. Viewed as a method to start and stimulate discussion, this game has been studied by researchers at Penn State who found that 75% of chronically ill participants who played the game with their caregivers went on to complete some type of advance care planning mechanism, which is a much higher percentage of people than is usually the case. In press now for the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, read more about this study Here. And once you realize the benefits of advance planning, you may also want to consider another sort of planning- as described in this new book, The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning, by Margareta Magnusson. Apparently, in Swedish culture, there is a long history of taking on the task of downsizing and distributing your material possessions as you get on in years, so as to simplify your life and take a burden off your survivors. So take out your broom and dust pan, begin sweeping, and watch Magnusson talk about this process Here.

Tea and Memories: Checking In On Alzheimer's Research Updates: If you're sipping your cup of green tea and reflecting on some past memories, you're probably also helping yourself in the fight against Alzheimer's. New research has recently discovered the specific chemical element of green tea that disrupts the formation of the plaques in the brain thought to be associated with Alzheimer's. So take a sip, carry on, and read more about the benefits of green tea Here. But if you're having trouble with some of those memories, then it may be time to check in with your physician. While not all memory loss inevitably leads to Alzheimer's or dementia, memory loss is also not just a common symptom of "aging." A recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology from the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Canada found that those of us who are unaware of our memory loss problems were more likely to be subsequently diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Apparently, not realizing your memory deficits is a telltale marker for Alzheimer's. The message here? Don't assume the worst, but don't ignore the symptoms.

Faces And Places: The Unlikely Partnership Of Two Very Different Artists: While she may not be well known to American audiences, 89-year-old Agnes Varda is a legend of French New Wave Cinema, every bit the equal to Truffaut or Godard. And, at age 89, with her eyes failing from macular degeneration and her memory beginning to falter, what has she done? Partnered with street artist JR, 55 years her junior, to make one of the most highly praised documentaries of the year. Faces Places (Visages Villages) tells the story of this unlikely pairing, traveling through the French countryside as they each use their own artistic instincts to highlight the quiet lives and dignity of unheralded French working people. Not only do their artistic styles- hers documentary film-making and his creating giant photographs to punctuate the landscape (he's the artist behind the huge photo of the childpeering down at the US border with Mexico)- mesh, but an unlikely devotion to each other and their intergenerational partnership is as much the result of the film as the movie itself. The film is now out in limited release and Varda will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2018 Oscars. Will they get an Oscar for this documentary? Could be. To learn more about the film and the friendship, listen to this NPR report Here.

THE LAST WORD: “I have shoes older than most of these people," Senior entrepreneur Paul Tasner, commenting on his younger competitors