agebuzz weekly

October 26th, 2017

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

On Your Guard: A New Weapon In The Fight Against Shingles: If you're a regular reader of agebuzz, you know that we have urged you to consider getting inoculated against shingles, an affliction that's not only painful but could have long term implications for nerve damage, vision or hearing loss and even higher risk of stroke or heart attack. Those are serious concerns- but now for the good news. The FDA has just approved a brand new vaccine for shingles- one that is much more effective than what is currently available. This new vaccine, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, offers 98% protection against shingles during the first year after inoculation, and even3 years later, it continues to offer at least 85% protection. Zostavax, the currently available vaccine, seems to wane quickly in its protection, so this new development offers a real advance. Given that one million people every year are afflicted with shingles, and those with weakened immune systems from age or illness are particularly vulnerable, this feels like a real shot in the arm in the fight against shingles. To find out more, Click Here.

How Long Do You Have? Calculating How Many Years Of Healthy Living Await You: Despite the recommendations, do you continue to ignore the advice about healthy aging? Are you foregoing regular exercise, eating junk food or binge watching tv shows for way too many hours? Unfortunately, you can only sustain that sort of lifestyle for so long until it's likely that impairment, disability or serious illness will confront you and you'll never recover to your former level of health and well-being. And now, researchers at the Goldenson Center for Actuarial Research at the University of Connecticut can give you a more precise tally of the toll that unhealthy habits are taking on you. They have developed a "healthy years" online calculator which can estimate how many healthy years of life are still ahead of you. The first of its kind, and still in development, this calculator may be just the kick-start you need to reform your lifestyle and take some control of the aging process. So get up to speed, crunch some numbers and Click Here.

Mothering While Growing Older: Insights Into The Ongoing Relationship Between Older Mothers & Adult Daughters: While older women often look forward to their role as grandmothers, they nonetheless are always, and continue to be, mothers to their adult children. And sometimes the circumstance of being an older mother to older children can have its own complications. In their just published new book, It Never Ends: Mothering Middle-Aged Daughters, authors Nan Fink Gefen and Sandra Butler describe the complexities and conflicts of navigating the role of being an older mother to mid-life daughters who have their own lives and families. Through a series of interviews with dozens of women ages 65-85, the authors detail the essential recalibration of this seminal relationship as both sides age and change. It's a useful examination of what can be both a wonderful and maddening time for each, from authors who have a wealth of professional and personal expertise. Read more about the book, and the authors, Here.  

At All Costs: Figuring Out How To Pay For Long Term Care: No matter how well prepared you may think you are, the costs of paying for long term care, for either a loved one or yourself, are sometimes almost incalculable- and uninsurable. There are so many competing factors that will influence what expenses you and your family may incur: the types of care needed, where the care will be delivered, what level of caregiver is required, and of course, what level and type of funding is available to pay for whatever is anticipated, as well as for the unexpected. Confronting this in a time of crisis can be maddening. But trying to plan ahead and figure out a game plan can be very confusing. Over at Daily Caring, you'll find some guidance for how to approach this dilemma. They suggest your starting point is the Genworth free long term care calculator, to then be followed by some essential considerations to review with your loved ones. But if you're still confused or haven't had your concerns addressed, then take advantage of this: Over atNext AvenueRichard Eisenberg, the personal finance guru, has set up a form for you to submit your questions about paying for long term care, which he will then address in an upcoming article. So take advantage of this offer of help- you don't know if you don't ask.

Commit This To Memory: New Insights Into Training Your Brain: We've all had this experience: we can't remember a phone number or name, even as we can recount what our birthday party was like when we were five years old. Long term memories are fine, but if you can't remember the little details necessary to get you through the day, it's easy to get frustrated and depressed. And while most brain training exercises have not proven effective in sharpening short term memory, new research out from Johns Hopkins may change the game. Publishing in the Journal of Cognitive Enhancement, researchers recently put two different memory training workouts to the test. While most commercially available brain games hold little actual benefit, this new research did identify a strategy that actually seems to improve your "working memory." Take a look, and listen, to this NPR report about the research Here. And for a more general understanding of how the brain makes memories, and what happens when you age, watch this brief TED video Here.

Musik Man: Photographer William Eggleston Puts Out His First Record At Age 78: With his striking color photographs turning the ordinary into art, William Eggleston has worked for decades to become one of the foremost photographers of his generation. His works are included in museum collections around the world and at the age of 78, he surely has nothing to prove. However, with the bravery and confidence of a true artist, he has embarked upon a new trajectory: he has just released a recording of original music compositions, entitled Musik, played on a synthesizer. Like his photos, the pieces on Musik are untitled and left to the listener to interpret their meaning and, like his photos, the reception to this new work is stellar. Born in Tennessee and playing the piano since age four, Eggleston is no newcomer to the world of music, and you can hear his reverence for the great masters like Bach and Handel in his compositions. To read more about his music, and his life and work leading to this moment, Read Here. And to watch a brief documentary about the making of Musik, Click Here.

THE LAST WORD: “What kind of grandmother am I? I'm a 'three-dessert' grandmother. I'm a 'let's just skip the bath tonight, honey, and watch another video' grandmother." Judith Viorst