agebuzz weekly

September 29th, 2016

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

Out For Blood: Older Donors Are Welcome: It’s estimated that every 2 seconds someone in the world needs a blood donation. In fact one donation can save up to 3 lives. The question is whether senior citizens can be candidates to donate blood, and the clear answer is yes- at least in theory. While donors over 65 used to be barred, that is no longer the case. And if your weight and health condition are within the necessary guidelines, there is no barrier to donation for older individuals, and potentially a lot of benefit- for yourself and your donation recipients. To find out more about the opportunities for older blood donors, roll up your sleeve and Read Here.

Ahead Of The Curve: New York City Wants To Help YouAge In Place: New York City is a dynamic environment, not one typically associated with an aging population. Yet almost 1.5 million people over 65 live in the Big Apple, a number projected to reach 2 million by 2040. One way NYC is gearing up to respond to this demographic change is by recognizing that housing in the city will need to adapt. Building owners in NYC have just received guidelines written by a team of architects on how to make their properties more age-friendly, including better lighting, slip resistant steps and changes in apartment hardware. By retrofitting existing housing, buildings can be more accessible for seniors at a moderate cost. To better understand how NYC is leading the way as an age-friendly environment (and perhaps get ideas to retrofit your own space), Read Here. 

End Of A Trend: Longer Life Expectancies May Be Fading: The trend line has always been positive: as time goes forward, Americans have continued to live longer. But it seems that trend line may be plateauing...or even reversing. The main culprit? Could be obesity. Since the 1960’s, because of a combination of medications and lifestyle changes, heart disease has been on the decline, but that’s beginning to change. With the steady increase of obesity, and accompanying rise of blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol, the factors that contribute to heart disease are now worsening, leading to a potential public health, as well as financial, crisis. To better understand this reversing trend, read and listen to this NPR story Here.

At Hand: A Mayo Clinic Exercise Guide For Arthritic Hands: Nearly 53 million people in the United States have arthritis and more than half of them are over 65. For everyone in that category, going about life’s daily activities can be painful and challenging. In fact, arthritis is the #1 cause of disability in the US. While arthritis can strike many parts of the body, being afflicted in your hands can be especially difficult when trying to get dressed or get through basic household chores. Exercise is known to be an important way to lessen arthritic symptoms and ease the pain of swollen joints. On its website,The Mayo Clinic has a useful slide show presentation of simple hand exercises that can reduce pain and increase flexibility in arthritic hands. To view this slide show, Click Here.

Get Smart: Ideas For Senior Homes Of The Future: While we often associate millennials with cutting edge technology products, seniors may be just as likely to benefit from smart, user friendly technology. For Kevin Gaunt, a graduate student in design from Sweden, simplified, limited-task robots (“bots”), may be ideal for older persons aging in place and in need of some help. Gaunt envisions bots that can review your household budget and place orders for you (including a little extra surprise to delight you) or even bots that detect the arrival at your door of a nosey neighbor you’d prefer to avoid. In essence, his bots of the future provide human-like companionship that may be just the sort of stimulation and interaction that seniors living alone could use. To get a peak of Gaunt’s futuristic vision, Read Here.

Distance Learning: Hiking To High School At Age 69: Maybe your older relatives regaled you with stories of the hardships they faced as youngsters making their way to school. Well those stories pale in comparison to the current challenges of Durge Kami, a 69 year old Nepalese man who treks over rural countryside every day in order to attend high school. Growing up in a poor and remote village in Nepal, school was never an option for Durge. Now, as an older man, he has made it his mission to obtain the formal education he missed as a child. To see this story of a remarkable man who epitomizes the wisdom of “never too old to learn,” Watch Here.

THE LAST WORD: “Wisdom is the reward for surviving our own stupidity.” Brian Rathbone