agebuzz weekly


June 21st, 2018


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



Out Of Shape: Body Shape Changes As You Age: We all know that aging ushers in all sorts of changes, be they physical, emotional, social or financial. Virtually every part of your body experiences some sort of change, from the cellular level to your outward appearance. For a comprehensive overview of the extent and variety of body changes, check out this article from the Merck Manual.


For many of us, the most obvious sign of aging is the shift in our body shape. Either we’re shrinking in height, expanding around the middle or finding bulges and sags in places previously immune to shape changes. While some of these changes are inevitable no matter how much we try to prevent them, others are amenable to “damage control,” through diet, aerobic exercise or strength training. So, if you were previously on the slim side and now find yourself looking at an “apple” in the mirror, see if there’s anything you can do in response by Clicking Here.


Early Alert: Signs Of Pre-Dementia Damage In Those With High Blood Pressure: If you think you know the risks you’re courting by not addressing your high blood pressure, think again. It turns out that even in mid-life, those of us with high blood pressure are risking neurological damage that could lead to dementia as we get older. New research in the journal Cardiovascular Research reports that through MRI imaging, scientists found signs of damage to the brain in people who showed no outward signs of dementia but whose high blood pressure had begun to put them on a path of future brain deterioration. In essence, even though you seem “normal” in mid-life, if you allow your high blood pressure to go unchecked, your brain will already begin to show signs of damage that may ultimately be irreversible if you do nothing to intervene. You can read more about this study Here.


Thus, the importance of treating high blood pressure early and effectively has never been more stark. The best way to address your high blood pressure is to learn all you can about both your medication options as well as lifestyle changes to bring your pressure down. So before the alarm bells go off, take a look at this comprehensive overview of high blood pressure.


Who Me? Do Your Aging Parents Understand Their Risk Of Being Scammed?:  No one likes to think of themselves as being vulnerable or unable to look out for themselves. But the reality is that unsuspecting seniors are disproportionately the targets of fraud and scams, although apparently, many may not realize how personally vulnerable they are. In a new report put out by Wells Fargo Advisors, fully 80% of the respondents over age 60 were confident that they would never fall victim to a scam. And their adult children were equally unwilling to acknowledge the potential of senior fraud for their parents. Read more about this survey, and what can be done to address the risks of senior fraud, by Clicking Here.


Perhaps some of the frauds and scams perpetrated on seniors are so successful because their victims are unaware of how easily they can fall prey. For some updates on the most recent scams being reported out there, take a look Here. And sometimes, what can start out as an innocent or caring phone call can turn into a nightmare both for your loved one as well as the larger health care system. For example, there’s now a whole industry of middlemen and care providers who deceptively get seniors to agree to receive hundreds if not thousands of dollars in unwanted medical equipment, and bill Medicare for the costs. And if Medicare turns down the charge? Your senior could be on the hook for the costs of these overpriced and unneeded devices. You can read the sad story of one victim Here. There are many Medicare scams out there right now, especially given some confusion about the new Medicare cards being sent out. If you want to know more about protecting yourself or a loved one from these Medicare scams, stay calm and Click Here.


All Together: Where Do You Keep Your Important Papers?:  If an emergency happens, and time is of the essence, would your spouse or your loved ones know where to find your important paperwork? Do you even have one central place where all of your critical information is together? If your essential info is all on paper, do you have accessible files that are neatly organized, or would your relatives need to sift through mountains of paper or scraps of notes to figure out how you’ve arranged your affairs? Do yourself and your loved ones a favor and get organized before they get overwhelmed. You can start by reading an article by Thomas Heath in The Washington Post Here.


Of course, it’s critical that your important info is kept up-to-date and complete. For those of you who are willing to go beyond paper, there are multiple software programs now on the market that can arrange your essentials, and prompt you for missing info, so that your loved ones will find everything they need with the click of a keyboard. For a sampling of the software, Read Here.  Finally, for those of you starting from scratch (is it possible you still don’t have a will?), take a look at John Schwartz’s piece on finally getting to drafting a will, or better yet, learn some lessons from his recently published book, This is the Year I Put My Financial Life in Order.


Uncertain Aging: How LGBT Seniors Navigate The Aging Landscape: LGBT seniors have perhaps witnessed more change in their personal lives, and society at large, than many of us realize. As young people, the ability to be open and honest was available to few and now, in their later years, they stand witness to the changes society has embraced in the last couple of decades. These changes, however, may or may not help aging LGBT seniors, who may not have the family networks or financial supports in place to ease the burdens of aging.


To start, many older gay individuals may not have some of the usual touchstones needed for a good quality of life in their later years. Due to discrimination, limited job opportunities, or non-traditional family arrangements, financial planning for their retirement years may require more creative thinking. For an example of the planning challenges, take a look at this report from Prudential HereSome organizations have even started special programs to help LGBT seniors who may have no one to appoint as a power of attorney or health care surrogate decision maker. And for those LGBT seniors who require long-term care, either at home or in a facility, they may once again be faced with discrimination or disapproval even if they have lived openly in the community for years. To better understand the challenges, take a look at this recent Boston Globe article.


To help navigate what can be rough terrain, there is an organization- SAGE– whose mission is to advocate for and provide services to, LGBT seniors. And there are now even intergenerational volunteer programs linking gay seniors with younger members of the LGBT community, each with something to learn from the other. So, while recognizing that June is Pride month, make sure to note that senior members of the LGBT community may need extra help in ensuring that the lives they have lived are honored and respected.


Beauty Mark: Makeup For Older Women: Sometimes you just have to face it: When you look in the mirror the image that stares back may not be exactly what you expect. At least for some of us, there’s a disconnect between how we think of ourselves and what we actually see when we look in the mirror.


For women, that means recognizing the changes in your skin and facial features and working with what you have. And for many of us, that means ditching the makeup that’s cluttered our bathroom cabinets for the last several decades and instead, thinking fresh about what works for a more mature face. But don’t fret, there’s help out there. To start, take a look at the advice from some of the fashion world’s leading makeup artists Here. And for those of you who like a good visual demonstration, there’s a world of YouTube videos to watch- for an example, take a look at this recent post from Senior Planet. Finally, no amount of makeup will look good if you don’t start with clean and healthy skin. A recent post on the Harvard Health Blog provides you with all you need to know about skin serums, what they can do and what ingredients you want to look for. So pull out your cotton balls, and take a Read Here.


THE LAST WORD: “Remembering is good but forgetting can be better.” Bob Brody