agebuzz weekly

September 22nd, 2016

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

Waiting Game: A Suggestion About Your Annual Flu Shot: There is no excuse: if you are of a “ certain age,” you really need to get an annual flu shot. Older individuals are at greater risk for serious illness as a result of contracting influenza. And these days, just about any local pharmacy offers the shot, so it’s easily accessible. However, some physicians caution that, in fact, it may be too accessible. According to a recent post in Kaiser Health News, the immunity granted by the flu shot may wear off quicker in older people, potentially leaving them vulnerable before the season ends. What, then, is the ideal time to receive your flu shot? To find out, Read Here.

Back To School: Higher Education Minus the High Tuition: Many older people look to education as a new source of stimulation or even an opportunity for an “encore” career path. But as you approach retirement, no one wants, or can afford, the sky high tuition costs of a typical college. But don’t worry. According to Nancy Collamer, an expert on “second-act” careers, there are many ways to bolster your educational chops without going broke. Among the opportunities: MOOC (Massively Open Online Courses) classes from top universities, industry associations with certificate programs or even local community colleges, all of whom readily welcome older learners. To better understand higher education options later in life, sharpen those pencils and Read Here.

Planning In Advance: Registering Your Advance Directive:  It’s not easy thinking about the end of your life, but in this day and age most people realize it’s important to document your wishes in a living will and to appoint another person to be your health care agent. These legal documents can ensure that your wishes for treatment are followed even if you can no longer speak for yourself. But these forms are only valuable to the extent that your health care providers see them or your loved ones can produce them in a moment of crisis.  In some states, there are now regulations that allow you to register your documents in a central data bank- making it easier to ensure the necessary paperwork is available in a medical emergency. There are also private websites that allow you to register your advance directives if your state does not have its own system. No matter what, it’s critical that your loved ones understand your wishes, know where your documents are and have the ability to share these directives with your health care providers should the need arise. To learn more about state and private advance directive registries, Read Here.

Short Term- Locating A Temporary Space In Long Term Care: Many older people who live in the community do so with the help of a support team: family or paid care providers who ensure a safe and manageable environment. Occasionally that team needs a break- maybe a respite from caregiving demands or a temporary absence due to other obligations. What then happens to the senior living in the community? Well, one San Francisco startup is hoping to respond by becoming “the Airbnb of assisted living.” Welcome to Seniorly, a web based service to link seniors and their families with assisted living options. Recently, Seniorly has started a short term stay program: in the areas it serves, Seniorly will connect assisted living facilities that have temporary space with community dwelling seniors in need of a short term stay. Currently Seniorly only operates in California: but if successful, it’s likely this program would have nationwide appeal. Curious about this new service? Read Here.

Food Feud: These Foods And Meds Should Not Mix: It’s common knowledge that taking some medications together may produce harmful or less effective results. But did you know that eating certain foods, while taking certain medications, may also lead to potential problems? For example, eating high potassium foods like bananas or potatoes may affect the impact of medication for high blood pressure. As well, certain dairy products may affect the absorption of some antibiotics and therefore lessen their efficacy.  While factors such as age, weight and gender are important influences, and while it’s best to consult a physician concerning your personal situation, the MedShadow Foundation has a post on their website further explaining these tricky food/medication interactions. To find out more, Read Here.

Fine Tuning: A Donated Violin Starts A New Life: WQXR is a beloved classical music radio station in New York. It has a devoted following, including 93 year old Holocaust survivor Joe Feingold.  A long time musician himself, Feingold heard about a drive for used instruments that WQXR hosted a few years ago, and decided it was time to donate the violin he received in a displaced person’s camp in 1947. The recipient of that donated violin, 14 year old Brianna Perez, lives in the nation’s poorest congressional district in the Bronx. This act of kindness, and the friendship that developed between Joe and Brianna, is the focus of “Joe’s Violin” a short documentary that premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and is now screening around the country. In fact, tomorrow, Sept 23, the film will be screened at the Greene Space, part of WNYC in New York City. To get a peek at this touching story, watch the trailerHere.

THE LAST WORD: “Waste your money and you’re only out of money, but waste your time and you’ve lost a part of your life.” Michael LeBoeuf