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Life Extension: The Modern Anti-Aging Movement – Are We Standing at the Threshold of Immortality?

July 17, 2016 by · Comments Off on Life Extension: The Modern Anti-Aging Movement – Are We Standing at the Threshold of Immortality?
Filed under: General 

Why is skincare the focus of longevity research? I guess a cell is a cell, and if you can crack the code for one human cell, it is only a matter of time to solving the puzzle with different types of cell – and skin is without doubt the most visible cells each of us have. And it’s our faces in particular we often judge ourselves and others by, and we are in turn quickly scrutinized, and often opinions reached in a fraction of a second. Our faces often show the most visible signs of aging, and for many in modern society age is by nature “bad” and young or looking young is the ideal. That is why billions and billions of dollars each year are poured by consumers into all sorts of treatments to minimize wrinkles, to push back the effects of gravity, and to turn back the hands of time. And with that much money to be spent by consumers, there are many manufacturers eager to find the next step in arresting Father Time – and at least detaining him until the next stagecoach arrives, where hopefully he can be encouraged to move on before too much damage can be done.

The Entire Issue Explained – In A Pair of Shoelaces

Some time ago a friend gave me a simple analogy that puts this entire issue in perspective. The science may not win a Nobel Prize, but it gave me the necessary ah-ha moment.

The double helix of the DNA strand – our most basic foundation for life – is held together at each end by things that act in the same way as the hard plastic bits on the end of shoelaces do – preventing the DNA from unraveling, and the individual chromosomes scattering across the floor like dropping a string of pearls down a marble staircase. These things are called telomeres.

Somewhere programmed into these tiny telomeres is the entire basis to how long the DNA stays intact – and by inference these are the keys to the length of life of the organism. Somewhere written into the telomere is a great musical score but like all musical scores it has a double bar somewhere to signify the end; but is it to be a minuet or a Wagnerian epic? But sure enough, when the time comes, and the telomeres blow the full time whistle, the DNA strand will unravel and die – and the circle of life begins again. Telomeres govern how often our skin cells are replaced; why a puppy and a child born on the same date may age exactly the same chronologically, but the puppy has become a geriatric before the child reaches puberty.

Telomeres, my friend explained, occasionally go on the fritz (that must have a very specific scientific meaning). One of the ways this occurs is they may forget their programming to release and unravel, and they just hang on, allowing the cells thus affected to multiply again and again without dying. In fact, when this occurs often they become very difficult to kill and to all intents and purposes once the telomeres act in this way, the cell – and those it propagates – are effectively immortal.

This condition has a name which we all know. Cancer.

But, what if we were able in some way to persuade the telomeres within a cancer to behave normally – would that not be the “magic bullet” cure for cancer? And the other side to that equation – if the telomeres in healthy cells could be persuaded to act as they do in a cancer – then is this the recipe for a healthy cell that does not die? Does the cure for cancer and immortality hang on just this one thread?

Whatever your views may be, the reality is that some of the world’s finest research scientists are working on that exact question and some would say it is only a matter of a decade or two before this is neither conjecture nor science fiction, but a reality to face up to. The changes that would take place in society even if life expectancy were to take a leap forward by say 10 or 20 years are enormous, but we should all be thinking that this is a distinct possibility.

From the dab of lanoline a generation ago to what I know hold in my hand as an anti aging skincare treatment is more than just a revolution – and I have no doubt in a few years I will be saying this cream will not just slow the aging process and reduce the visible signs of aging, making your face appear younger – but it will actually be younger.

But before that, let’s look back at how this whole engagement with life extension and anti-aging started. Mankind has always striven for longevity and mused about immortality – but the past 50 years has seen some dramatic steps in reality toward this goal.

Genesis

The thought of extending life has been on the mind of mankind for millennia. References to the search for ways to prolong life can be found as far back as the Epic of Gilgamesh.

Gilgamesh was reputedly the fifth king of the kingdom of Uruk, the modern-day Iraq, around 2500 BC. According to the Sumerian list of kings, he reigned for 126 years. The Torah or Old Testament records Methuselah as living over 900 years, with life spans measured in centuries apparently commonplace before the time of Noah.

Throughout the development of scientific thought from the Reformation onwards, scholars have applied themselves to solving this riddle and these endeavors continue today at the very leading edge of scientific progress.

Unraveling Secrets

As the secrets of our existence are unraveled in ever more minute detail, we are beginning to understand what it is that makes us grow from tiny babies into adults. We now know, for example, that cell functions slow down as the body ages and that production of certain substances required by the body to regenerate decrease or cease completely.

Skin, for instance, needs two substances to retain strength and firmness.
The production of these substances namely collagen (strength, tightness) and elastin (flexibility) decreases with age. The decreases in production together with other factors that include the threat of free radicals make the skin age and become wrinkly. Free radicals are essentially incomplete oxygen molecules causing destructive chain reactions within cells.

The same kind of thing happens in every cell, every tissue and organ around the human body. For example, people develop frown lines, crow’s feet and wrinkles. Nutrients are no longer absorbed easily and vital cell functions, hormones and other substances are produced at decreased rates resulting in the body aging.

A Brief History of the Life Extension Movement

Science has been looking for ways to slow down this process for centuries. The forming of life extension movements, however, did not really begin until around 1970.

➢ In this year, Denham Harman, the originator of the so-called ‘free radical theory of aging’, decided that an organization dedicated to the research and information sharing between scientists working in biogerontology (the field of science concerned with the biological aspects involved in the aging process) was needed. As a result, the American Aging Association was formed.

➢ In 1976, two futurists, Philip Gordon and Joel Kurtzman wrote a book on the research into extending the human lifespan. This popular volume was titled ‘No More Dying. The Conquest Of Aging And The Extension Of Human Life’.

➢ Kurtzman was then invited to speak at Florida’s House Select Committee (HSC) of Aging, which was chaired by Claude Pepper, an American politician and spokesman for the elderly. The aim of this talk was to discuss the impact on Social Security by life extension.

➢ In 1980, Saul Kent, a prominent activist in the field of life extension, published the book ‘The Life Extension Revolution’ and founded the nutraceutical (from ‘nutrition’ and ‘pharmaceutical’, in other words, a nutrition supplement) firm known as ‘The Life Extension Foundation’.

This foundation is a non-profit making organization promoting dietary supplements and publishing the periodical ‘Life Extension Magazine’. Kent was later involved in work relating to cryogenics. He was jailed in the course of this work over a dispute at one point, although charges were dropped at a later stage.

➢ In 1982, American health writer and life extension advocate Sandy Shaw and her co-writer, Durk Pearson, popularized the term ‘life extension’ even further with the bestseller ‘Life Extension: A Practical Scientific Approach’.

➢ Roy Walford, a gerontologist and life-extensionist, published ‘Maximum Lifespan’, another popular book on the subject. He and Richard Weindruch, his student, followed this up in 1988 with their summary on the research they had conducted into the ability to prolong the life of rodents through calorie restriction. The title of this book is ‘The Retardation of Aging and Disease by Dietary Restriction’.

Although this ability to extend life with calorie restriction had been known since the 1930’s, when gerontologist, biochemist and nutritionist Clive McCay did some research into the subject, it was the work of Walford and Weinbruch that gave solid scientific grounding to the McCay’s findings.

Walford’s scientific work was driven by a personal interest in life extension. He practiced calorie restriction as part of his own life and eventually died at the age of 80. The cause of his death was amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a progressive motor neuron disease.

➢ A4M, the ‘American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine’ was founded in 1992 to create a medical specialty for anti aging that was distinctly separate from geriatrics. This allowed scientists and physicians interested in this particular field of science to hold conferences and discuss the latest developments.

➢ The sci.life-extension, a Usenet group, was created by California-born author, philosopher and translator Brian M. Delaney. This represented an important development within the movement of life extension. It made it possible, for example, for the CR (Calorie Restriction) Society to be created.

➢ A more recent development is the proposal of Dr A. de Grey, a biogerontologist at Cambridge University. This proposal suggested that damage to cells, macromolecules, organs and tissues can be repaired with the help of advanced biotechnology. This is evident in hair restoration products, for instance.

More than Books

Although it would appear that most of the work revolving around life extension has been done solely by writing books or founding societies or organizations of some kind or another, the reality is that these books were written in response to or based on very specific, detailed scientific research that have yielded positive results.

They are no longer the works of hopeful minds, but the works of dedicated scientists who have spent their lives working on discovering facts about aging and trying to find ways to slow down, or even reverse the process.

Many breakthroughs have been made, and in many ways, we are already able to extend lives to a certain extent. The average lifespan of a human being is already far greater than it used to be as a result of medical, pharmaceutical and nutritional advances brought about by research and development.

The work continues, and scientists around the world are continually conducting research, comparing results, discussing options and making advances on our behalf.

Driving Forces behind the Development of the Life Extension Movement

What factors are driving this movement into ever greater efforts to find solutions to the extension of Life? The answer to this question actually includes a whole range of factors.

Expectations Have Risen

As the ‘baby boomer’ generation (born between 1946-1964) enters retirement age, expectations of this group are dramatically different from those of the preceding generations. They have greater expectations and desires to enjoy their life as pensioners to the fullest and for as long as is possible. This expectation covers not only length of life, but quality of life as well and this is not a passive request but an active and strident demand in many cases.

Pharmacology

Progress in pharmacology has led to a wide selection of drugs that allow people to live longer and fuller lives being developed over the last two decades or so. The work is still very much in progress and many more drugs are being developed daily.

One of the classic examples of a drug raising the quality of life for older individuals are erectile dysfunction treatments – notably Viagra, Cialis and Levitra. These drugs have dramatically reduced the number of fatalities or serious injury resulting from elderly men rolling out of bed, as well as a number of more qualitative benefits.

Advances in Genetics

Some of the latest scientific research and subsequent advances made in biotechnology and genetics are providing some hope that it may be possible to hold back some of the fundamental causes of aging.

As we outlined previously, chromosomes containing DNA strings are essentially capped with a binding substance known as telomeres. In effect, the telomeres are consumed during cell division and over time, they become shorter and shorter.

This was first observed by a scientist called Leonard Hayflick, and the process of limited cell division was subsequently named the Hayflick Limit. Advocates of life extension work on the thought that lengthening the telomeres through drugs or gene therapy may ultimately extend the Hayflick Limit and thereby fool the cells, and as such the body, into ‘thinking’ it is younger than it actually is.

Developments in Precision Manufacture

Advances made in the fields of nanotechnology, miniaturization, computer chips and robotics also provide hope for potentially life extending solutions.

In the 1970’s, a popular TV series starred Lee Majors as the ‘Six Million Dollar Man’? Science fiction then. Today, it is science fact. Millions of people now walk through life with artificial ankle, knee and hip joints and healthy feet. A generation ago, mass production of this kind of technology was a distant dream.

The same applies to many individuals with artificial limbs. Artificial legs used to be crude wooden contraptions that were just able to keep a person balanced. Today’s artificial limbs are almost fully functional.

The Blessings of Medical Progress

Who would have thought even 50 years ago that it would become possible to bypass a coronary artery, or even replace a heart completely? Yet there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions of individuals enjoying their lives after having this kind of surgery – few of whom would be alive just half a century ago.

Millions of people no longer have to wear glasses, because of the availability of laser surgery. This, too, was science fiction just a few years ago. Today, it is advertised next to shampoo in magazines and on TV.

In other words, science is moving rapidly towards not only extending life, but making the quality of these extra years better as well.

Is it Science, Science Fiction or Lunacy?

What should the average person believe? This question is almost as difficult to answer as finding solutions to extended life. Even among scientists, opinions are divided. Some do believe that extending the quality of life is as possible as extending life in general.

Others brush off the thought as un-scientific nonsense. This is often simply based on the fear of anything ‘new’ disturbing the status quo of established limits. Fortunately, real scientists do keep on looking, because if every single scientist had decided that some of the advancements already in medical, pharmaceutical and technological fields could not be possible, we would all still be dying at 30.

So where does that leave us?

There is no doubt what-so-ever that there are many charlatans out there trying to make a quick buck out of people’s desire to retain their youth. Even today, many products being sold in their millions are essentially non-effective – often given fantastic names and have the most bewildering ingredients to make them look scientific to consumers and justify their cost.

But the facts are while many advancements are being made and research points to the possibility of eventually finding the key to maintaining youth for longer, the scientific community is still warning the public that many of the products being sold today are unreliable to say the least.

➢ Although food supplements may assist in keeping a body healthier – something that can often be achieved by simply adopting a healthier life style and diet – there is as yet no categorical and undeniable proof that they slow down aging as such.

➢ The same goes for many hormone treatments. Although they may have a short term effect of some kind, it is not yet scientifically proven that they will actually work in the long run. The fear that it may not work is based on the fact that taking hormones, a good example is the hormonal acne treatment, will ultimately actually slow down the body’s own production of these hormones.

In addition, many treatments may have potential (and yet unknown) side effects in the long run that could be harmful to the user’s health. This includes the fears that such hormone treatments could increase the risk of cancer, diabetes and other major illnesses.

➢ Other ideas, like the calorie restriction method, are working for rodents. In fact, studies conducted with rats on 30 to 50 per cent restricted diets have shown to almost double the life span of rats.

Similar studies conducted on primates have also shown tendency to extend life to a certain extent and prevent a list of age related illnesses. There are as yet no studies on humans, although some are actually living on calorie restricted diets. Whether this will prolong their lives, however, is a question of having to wait and see.

The theory is that by reducing calorie intake, the metabolism of the body is slowed down, thereby slowing the aging process as well. Nutritionists say there is a certain amount of calories a body of a certain size and weight needs to have to maintain health. Reducing this amount by up to 50 per cent is hardly a good idea in the long term.

Time will tell, as they say, but how will anyone be able to tell the difference? If a person lives to the age of 80, is this because they are on this diet or would they have lived to this age anyway?

Where Will This Lead?

Many believe there is realistic hope and expectation of making significant strides in the area of longevity within the next two decades. This group typically believes the answer will ultimately lie within genetics and biotechnology. It is too early to make definite predictions, but the research so far shows promise and, as mentioned earlier, some of the results of this research are already being used in certain treatments to improve patients’ lives.

At present, overall aging is difficult to slow down, to say the least. Some products indicate they will assist in maintaining overall health/longevity, but the area we are seeing the first commercial products being developed is in the area of skin care and given the size of this market, it is likely that this will continue to be the weather-vane of longevity treatments.

Science or Snake Oil?

It will be difficult to tell these two apart for many years. Charlatans are likely to about, because it is difficult to disprove many theories easily. Equally difficult will be positive proof from those with an ethical perspective on the trail of a real breakthrough, as products based on valid research and using technology or ingredients that will actually have an effect rarely promise overnight results. This is something that anyone looking to find improved youthful looks, etc, will have to bear in mind. None of these products can perform miracles. Even the best of them will take time and regular use in order to achieve the desired effect.

The bottom line is that where we stand now, we can be sure there are some things which are ineffective or even harmful; there are some that show some promise and there are some that are starting to cross the line of being able to demonstrate results – albeit modestly at this point.

In the meantime, it is wise to research products very carefully and to refuse to be baffled by weird and wonderful sounding ingredients or fantastic sounding promises of instant youth. Regeneration will take time – let’s face it, it has taken a lifetime to get to this point, turning back the clock can never be possible over night.

Skin Care and the Life Extension Movement

One may well ask just what all this, and in particular the life extension movement as such, could possibly have to do with skin care, health and beauty products. The fact is, much of the research into life extension is resulting in new approaches to skin care as a kind of by-product.

A greater understanding of how genetics and cellular processes affect the aging and condition of skin allows these research and development teams to investigate different compounds, their compatibility with human cells and genetic make up.

Many compounds found in nature are not just compatible to human skin but in fact the skin cells actually have natural receptors for these compounds. Because life extension research has discovered these receptors, skin care developers can now use this knowledge and create the formulae for their products to provide maximum effect.

Another skin care ‘by-product’ of life extension research is the use of nanotechnology. The use of nanotechnology, or, to be more precise, nanoparticles, has had a huge impact on the way nutrients and other components of skin care products are being delivered to the skin cells. In some ways, nanotechnology has already revolutionized skin care. It is now possible to use active ingredients previously difficult to effectively deliver to the skin, as well as making old, proven ingredients even more effective. Some ingredients used in cosmetics for hundreds, if not thousands of years by certain cultures can now be even more effectively used to improve skin condition and maintain a healthy, youthful look.

Even the moisturizing effect of skin care products can be improved with nantechnology. For this effect, so-called nanosomes are used. Nanosomes are small, pocket-like particles that melt or disintegrate on skin contact. By doing this, the moisturising effect is accelerated, assisting the skin faster and more efficiently.

Nanotechnology plays a key part not only in slowing the aging of skin, but is believed to actively assist in repairing and healing skin cells and tissue.

Another breakthrough in life extension research that is beginning to make itself felt in skin care products is the research into stem cells. Stem cells are elements of all life, plant, animal and human. Stem cells have two properties other cells do not have. These properties are the ability to develop into any kind of cell type and the ability to divide almost indefinitely. The use of plant stem cell extracts in skin care is likely to become one of the next ‘big things’ in the industry. And prepare for the debate when human stem cells are proposed as part of an anti-aging skincare regime, as will inevitably occur!

One thing we can be certain of, is that science will continue to search for answers to the question of life extension, and business will drive the commercialization of discoveries. But whether these lead us to a utopian future or potentially a minefield of strife as we debate who will use and who will benefit from these new godlike powers. In the meantime, at a practical level in the skincare, health and beauty industry we remain hopeful and expectant we will see the emergence of products that not only promise results, but produce them.

David Christensen is a veteran of Asia Pacific business, currently residing in Bangkok, Thailand and heading up the business he was a co-founder of, Royal Siam Natural Health & Beauty – who can be located at [http://www.royalsiam.asia], and the information supporting site at [http://www.royalsiam.info]. Royal Siam was established after careful planning in early 2011, spending 2011 concentrating on building the necessary business infrastructure and concentrating on the domestic Thai market. Early in 2012 Royal Siam launched its international website and online store, and in April 2012 publicly declared the ambition to be among the world’s top 20 premium health and beauty brands by the year 2020. Royal Siam is a unique business, operating in the premium skincare, anti aging, and related fields. At its core, one mission is to commercialize and bring to a global market the immense wealth of knowledge about the healing and beneficial properties of Thai and South East Asian plants – a knowledge base carefully built up over the last thousand years. At the same time, the mission is to bring to market the very latest in scientific advances in the area of anti aging… resulting in the unique position of having a Thai heritage and offering the best of nature, tradition, and science.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/David_D_Christensen/1317312

How to Choose the Best Anti Aging Cream?

June 26, 2016 by · Comments Off on How to Choose the Best Anti Aging Cream?
Filed under: General 

As we become old, the skin renews itself much more slowly than when you are young because the production of collagen, natural proteins that provide the firmness of the skin begin to fall, causing dehydration of the skin and wrinkles.

When you reach 30/40 years, a regular moisturizer will not be enough for your skin, you should start using anti-wrinkle cream (anti-aging) to slow the signs of aging.

Fortunately, there are now a range of anti-aging products designed for every skin type, for all ages and for different needs.

There are wrinkle creams, serums, masks, creams around the eyes, neck, hands, face, etc..

The advantages of using anti-aging creams

– Gives a brightness and youthful glow to the skin
– Eliminate and reduce wrinkles
– Strengthen and firm the skin
– Reduces the appearance of fine lines
– Check and neutralize free radicals
– Moisturize and nourish the skin
– Rejuvenate and firm the skin
– Stimulates the production of collagen and elastin
– Harmonize the pigmentation of the skin
– Stimulates cellular activity and firm the skin
– Prevent the appearance of new wrinkles
– Helps rebuild the skin texture
– Redefine the skin of the cheeks and neck
– Helps repair signs of loosening around the neck and chin
– Renouvelent the elasticity of the skin by stimulating its natural healing processes
– Satisfies wrinkles

How do anti-aging creams?

Most anti-aging products contain retinol, collagen, alpha hydroxy acid, minerals and vitamins. These elements are known for their power to stop the signs of aging and reduce wrinkles and fine lines.

Once the anti-aging cream is applied to the skin, the components therein inhibit muscle movement and to reduce wrinkles and prevent their further training.

Substances penetrate the outer layer of the skin and repair. They also stimulate the production of collagen and elastin in the skin.

Other wrinkle operate by separating the upper layer of the skin, allowing healthy new cells of the skin to appear (that are generally products containing alpha-hydroxy acids).

You should know that all anti-aging products can remove wrinkles or fine lines after the first few days of use.These products gradually smooth your skin and the results are usually seen after a month or two.

How to choose the best anti-aging cream for the face to you?

Today, anti-aging creams are specially designed for specific skin problems: some creams treat crow’s feet, dark circles around the eyes and fine lines around the mouth, others are designed to revitalize the skin, reducing the depth of wrinkles and firm the neck.

There are even anti-aging creams for the hands, neck and neckline.

There are anti-wrinkle products for each skin type: for those who are fat, dry or sensitive.

One of the most important rules when choosing the best anti-aging product for your skin is to look at the components of the product.

It is essential to choose an anti-aging cream that suits your skin type and needs.

If your skin has a lot of wrinkles around the eyes, you should consider buying an anti-aging cream for the eyes that treats crow’s feet and dark circles around the eyes.

During the selection of anti-aging cream make sure it is not too hard or very greasy as it can clog pores and cause a problem if it is left on overnight.

It is essential to choose a product that offers good sun protection (SPF of at least 15 or more) to protect your skin from harmful sun rays that cause premature aging of the skin.

Today, most anti-aging creams available and contain antioxidants that neutralize free radicals associated with excessive exposure to the sun can cause serious skin problems.

Common components of anti-aging creams

Retinol (vitamin A)

Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals that cause premature aging usually (Free radicals break down skin cells and collagen in the skin).

Retinol is also known as vitamin A, retinoic acid and retinoid.

Vitamin A is probably the most component used in anti-aging creams, serums and toners. It reduces wrinkles, fine lines and discoloration of the skin and stimulates collagen production. Vitamin A is also known for its ability to tighten pores and minimize sun damage.

Retinol is widely used to treat severe acne and rosacea.

The kinetin

The Kénitine a natural component that helps the skin retain natural moisture and stimulates collagen production.

It is a powerful antioxidant that can also fight against uneven pigmentation. It restores the function of the natural moisture of the skin, helps to preserve and soften the skin without side effects and provides protection for the skin against free radical damage.

Α-hydroxy acids (AHA or)

AHAs are widely used in the cosmetic industry because they remove the top layer of dead skin cells and stimulate the growth of healthy new cells.

Α-hydroxy acids work come exfoliating agents, they have a cooling effect on the skin and improve its overall appearance.

Α-hydroxy acids generally used include: glycolic acid, lactic acid and salicylic acid.
Α-hydroxy acids act as deep into the dermis and stimulate the production of collagen and elastin fibers which are essential for healthy skin.

You should know that all types of α-hydroxy acids increase susceptibility to the harmful effects of the sun and it is essential to use sunscreen daily to avoid sun damage.

Α-hydroxy acids are present in a variety of products including skin care moisturizers, cleansers, eye cream, sunscreen, and foundation.

Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 is a fat-soluble vitamin-like substance found in every human cell and that neutralizes free radicals (acts as an antioxidant) and reduces fine lines and wrinkles. It prevents sun damage and skin discolorations.

Coenzyme Q10 is commonly used in anti-wrinkle creams and serums because it prevents damage to collagen and elastin production process and help prevent fine lines and wrinkles.

Copper peptides

Copper peptides are widely used in anti-aging creams, because they stimulate the production of collagen.Copper peptides also enhance the action of antioxidants and enhance wound healing.

Copper peptides are effective against various forms of skin irritation, mainly because of their anti-inflammatory effects. Copper peptides also stimulate the formation of elastin and reduce sagging and wrinkles.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant that helps reduce the appearance and depth of wrinkles. It stimulates cellular renewal of the skin.

There are different forms of vitamin A: retinol, retinyl palmitate and retinyl linoleate. Lack of vitamin A can cause dryness and hardening of the skin.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an antioxidant with a brightening effect of the skin.

It is a common component in products skin care as well as makeup products because it gives the skin a youthful and stimulates blood circulation.

Vitamin C also keeps the skin elastic and prevents premature aging of the latter.

When combined with vitamin E reduces the signs of aging: wrinkles, fine lines, brown spots and age spots.

Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E provides natural protection against harmful UV rays.

Vitamin E creates a moisture barrier and prevents the discoloration of the skin. It helps the skin to repair itself.

Antioxidants

The most common are vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals and prevent premature aging of the skin.

Many beauty products: the facial cleansers, moisturizing lotions, tonics, claim to contain antioxidants.

Antioxidants are added to cosmetic products containing fat such as lipstick and moisturizers to prevent rancidity.

Tea extracts

Tea extracts (green tea, black tea, white) are usually found in anti-aging creams, serums, masks and lotions.

The tea extracts act as antioxidants in the fight against free radicals. They have anti-inflammatory properties and help in repairing skin damage.

Retinoids

Retinoids are chemical compounds that are chemically related to vitamin A. They make the skin thinner and smoother and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Retinoids are widely used in the treatment of many diseases and are effective in treating a number of skin conditions such as inflammatory disorders of the skin, cancer, skin disorders in cell renewal and aging.

Retinoids reduce wrinkles, freckles, blackheads (whiteheads and blackheads), and stains caused by sunlight.

Topical retinoids are also effective treatments for mild acne and severe.

It takes about 3 months for the skin acclimates to a retinoid.

Hyaluronic acid

Hyaluronic acid is a component of connective tissue whose function is to cushion and lubricate the skin.

It is found naturally in the skin, its function is to hold water.

Useful tips related to the use of anti-aging creams

– Apply your anti-aging cream with upward strokes from the throat to the front.
– Do not forget: you may need to use an anti-wrinkle for several weeks before you notice improvement.
– Ask for samples before buying a face cream to see if it works for you.
– Try to use a facial cleanser with glycolic acid.
– Exfoliate your skin regularly (at least twice per week) with a gentle exfoliant to remove dead skin cells and accelerate cell renewal.
– Always use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 to protect your skin against the sun’s harmful rays that cause premature aging of the skin and causes discoloration.
– Consult a dermatologist or esthetician to give you the product that best suits you.
– It is essential to get a good amount of sleep each night.
– Try to use a wrinkle cream that contains more natural ingredients, vitamins, essential oils, aloe vera and natural emollients.
– You can put on your sunscreen cream.
– Choose makeup: foundation, concealers, lipsticks, lip glosses that offer sun protection.
– It is essential to follow a strict regimen of skin care every day to keep your skin clear and healthy.
– Always remove your makeup at night with a mild cleanser that suits your skin type.
– Use masks or face firming moisturizer twice to keep your skin radiant mature.
– Drink plenty of mineral water at least 1.5 liters a day to keep your body and skin hydrated.
– Perhaps now is the perfect time to quit smoking: Smoking seriously harms health and damages the skin by destroying collagen and elastin.
– Compare different wrinkle creams and find out what works best for you.

For more information about wrinkles and anti-aging creams visit my blog Best Cream for Wrinkles.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7259744

How Old Are You Really? Biological Age

May 29, 2016 by · Comments Off on How Old Are You Really? Biological Age
Filed under: General 

People have always been interested in being “forever young” and today’s society is no different. We want to resist the ageing process.

The speed at which we are ageing can be measured – its called biological age, or how old your body really is.

The area of study which is now called longevity, and was once called anti aging, is hugely popular in the states.

It’s something I’m very interested in, and see it as a big part of the future for myself and my clients.

Your chronological age is how old you actually are.

Biological age is the age of your body at the cellular level.

Today we will look into how you can establish, what your biological age is and how you can improve it.

There are a few longevity factors in the list which surprised me!

(Deep question alert!)

What is the purpose of life? I don’t mean any deep seated stuff, like procreation.

I just mean, what is most people’s AIM in life. What do they want to get out of their time on earth?

Firstly and most importantly, people want to be happy. Easier said than done.

Happiness is a state of mind. It’s a feeling.

Ask someone with a big goal (like building a successful business or losing more than three stone).

“What will reaching your goal do for you?”

Often they will say something like “When I get there I will feel happy”, or “satisfied with myself”, or they say “I will feel proud”.

“I will have more energy”.

“I won’t be afraid of trying new clothes on or going out with friends”.

“I don’t want to feel like a slave to food”

“I don’t want to be scared to look in the mirror or get on the scales”.

Life is all about feelings.

People spend their entire lives in search of feelings! (mostly happiness, contentment, satisfaction and love)

How people actually reach this state of “happiness” is different for us all.

Most people I know AIM for a decent job (or business) with decent money.

All with the ultimate goal of having a good retirement.

I hear people say “When I finish work, I’m going to do this or I’m going to… (insert goal)”.

The point here being, if being happy and having a nice retirement is people’s main goal in life, then keeping your body fit and healthy surely must be part of your plan.

I know of a very wealthy man who got cancer and passed away just before his retirement, I’m sure that was not part of the master plan, he had built his business up so he could sell it and have a nice retirement (as most business people do).

He didn’t make it and didn’t get to “cash out”.

Many people don’t make it to retirement because their “plan” is messed up from the start.

Without sounding depressing we only get one shot remember.

This is NOT a rehearsal.

A lot of people get to retirement age and their body is wrecked!

This stops them from being able to enjoy their time off as much. Living life with lots of restrictions. “I can’t go there because of the steep hill”, or “I can’t do that because of my back or my knees”.

After working hard for 40-50 years – to give yourself a good pension and retirement, this is the last thing that anyone wants.

Peoples bodies are like cars.

On one hand you have new cars with high mileage that are not well serviced.

On the other hand you have old cars with low mileage that have been well looked after.

I want YOU to be like a well looked after old car, with low mileage when you get to your retirement.

I know some people, that slog away and get to the age of 40, and feel and look like they’re 50 or 60!

I also know many people who hit retirement age and feel like a 40 year old, and can keep on working and exercising for another 20 years!

This is all dependent on how we live our lives, obviously there are things such as injuries, diseases and other bad things which can impact our lives negatively through no fault of our own but on the whole we are in control of our own health.

What affects our longevity?

Scientists agree that these factors all affect your longevity in some way, big or small. (this is not a definitive list)

Muscle size and strength
Level of education
How pro active you are with going to see the doctor if needed
The amount of friends you can rely on, and love in your life
Your diet
Blood pressure
Your upper body strength
If you enjoy your work or not
Weather you smoke/drink alcohol or not, and the amount
If you exercise or not

Most of us shorten our lives and ultimately kill ourselves, through our bad habits and lifestyle choices, whatever they may be.

As you would of guessed, it is possible to slow down the onset of ageing and even reverse it to some extent.

I must say, that there is nothing wrong with ageing, it is inevitable. It is something we should be proud of, a chance to show our wisdom to the younger generation.

This article is just to show you how you can SLOW the ageing process with ease and actually enjoy it.

The Ageing Process

As we get older our bodies start to slow down and stop being able to function as well, sadly there is no getting away from this.

BUT through healthy living and making the right choices day in day out we can delay our body slowing down by years!

Just think how much more you will be able to enjoy your retirement if you feel like a 40 year old? and can spend it with the people you love.

Compare this to how much you will enjoy it if you can barely walk up a flight of stairs without having tired legs and being short of breath.

Your chronological age doesn’t have to be the same, or worse, than your physiological age.

How to slow the effects of ageing

The list above obviously helps you but here are a few more ideas for you to beat the clock.

When some people think anti aging, I’m sure some of you may think of things like anti wrinkle creams and lotions, hair dying products, botox and maybe even plastic surgery.

That does kind of sum up some of the western world that these are the steps that the majority of people (plastic surgery being an extreme example) will take to make them look younger, rather than eating healthily and exercising.

Aging leads to loss of muscle mass, loss of mental function, low mobility and a lack of energy, and as you know the cosmetic type anti aging steps I mentioned won’t help any of these.

Top tips to delay ageing naturally:

Enjoy the Outdoors – Don’t spend all of your time cooped up indoors behind the computer or watching TV. There are plenty of things to do and see outside, especially on a nice day I can’t think of anything better than going for a walk with the family down the park or beach. Sunlight also is a natural source of Vitamin D.

Yoga & Meditation – I would say that this is one of the most important strategies in staying young. I started to do this myself and it honestly makes me feel great. Yoga and meditation can help you relax and lower your stress levels (linked with aging) dramatically. It can also help you to see things a lot clearer.

Yoga is also great for your flexibility, the more flexible and supple you are the less chance you have in the future of suffering falls and lack of mobility.

Socialise – Loneliness can be a real killer. Socialise as much as possible with your friends and family. Get out there and do things, go to the cinema, concerts, attend an evening class (the more mentally stimulating the better).

Stay Strong & Active – You have to keep moving or your body will come to a standstill. Taking part in regular exercise is absolutely vital. Regular strength training is extremely important.

Losing muscle mass is something you want to avoid or at least delay for as long as possible so strength training will help this as well as keeping your bones strong, this will lower your chances of osteoporosis.

Nutrition

I believe food is medicine, many of the effects you get from modern day medicine you can get from eating the right foods.

Nutrition influences biochemistry. Biochemistry influences everything at a cellular level.

If you eat well there should be no need for some medications.

If you spend your whole life eating fresh, natural whole foods and stay active then it will also show. You will most likely be lean, mobile, disease free and full of energy, a rarity these days.

You should aim to eat a diet containing lots of quality fats and protein’s (the bodies building materials) which will help you to maintain your muscle stores. Also protein boosts the production of HGH in your body, HGH (Human growth Hormone) is your body’s natural ‘fountain of youth’.

As you age the production of this hormone slows down greatly, regular strength exercise (lifting, pushing and pulling heavy stuff) and quality protein keeps the production of this hormone going!

Eat plenty of antioxidant rich foods – Antioxidants which are found in colourful fruit and vegetables help to reduce the damage caused by free radicals in your system.

Free radicals can speed up the onset of ageing; they are unstable electrons (O1 molecules)which are produced during metabolism. They damage the cell nucleus and the mitochondria.

Free radicals bounce around inside your cells like a pin ball, causing damage every time they hit something. They cause absolute havoc.

Antioxidants provide the free radical with the extra O1 molecule they need to become stable O2 molecules.

Good quality natural foods are the best way to combat these harmful free radicals. Natural organic foods are packed with antioxidants which neutralise the free radicals before they cause too much damage.

Eat Omega 3s – They fight inflammation, improve the appearance of your skin and aid brain function. Three vital things that we need as we age. So make sure you get as many omega 3s into your system as you can, the best source is fresh fish, if not a fish oil supplement will do.

Lower Sugar Intake – Aim to cut out any excess sugar that you eat, excess sugars can modify essential proteins in our body which can lead to wrinkles and energy loss.

Look after your skin through good food and lots of water – Eating foods containing vitamin A (sweet potatoes, broccoli, spinach, asparagus and carrots), Vitamin C (red peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, strawberries, oranges, kiwi and pineapple) and Vitamin E (nuts, seeds and spinach) are a great way of helping your skin look healthy.

Stop smoking and limit alcohol intake – There are few things that age you faster than smoking and drinking alcohol every day so cut out smoking and do as much as you can to drink less.

Lower Stress Levels – This is another big one, I just mentioned that there are few things that age you faster than smoking and alcohol; well I think stress is one of them.

Being constantly stressed will ruin your mood, energy levels, social interaction as well as causing so many health problems.

As I mentioned above, I have found deep breathing techniques, yoga and meditation really important and a great way of combating stress.

Let’s be realistic the big medical and health companies aren’t going to promote anti aging through the things I just said, they are going to promote it through new miracle pills, lotions and creams, there is a lot of money to be made from it so they will keep on doing it.

The people who buy these products don’t have to alter their lifestyle one little bit so it suits them which is why it is so popular.

We ultimately reap our rewards in our retirement, if you have invested some time and effort into your “health & fitness account”, you will reap the rewards.

If you haven’t then you won’t!

You can actually measure your biological age online with a biological age calculator.

If all of the things I have mentioned above didn’t require effort or commitment then everyone would be running around into their 90s and later!!

But unfortunately we don’t, we die much younger than that.

Depending on what stats you use, in 2010, UK men were reported to live on average until about 77 or 78, and women on average live until 82 or 83 years old.

Do it naturally and do it right.

Let me know your thoughts on this topic, comment below, I really want to know what you think.

Thanks for reading, take care,

Richard

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Aging Is a Treatable Disease

May 22, 2016 by · Comments Off on Aging Is a Treatable Disease
Filed under: General 

Live Healthy – Look Marvelous – Live Longer

There are actions you can, and should take today to dramatically improve your health, your appearance and your longevity. You can control 70% of the factors affecting your longevity; only 30% are controlled by genetics until very late in life when genetics become more controlling

Almost all of the effects of aging and the common diseases that come with aging are treatable, to at least some extent. The key is early detection and early treatment.

Our understanding of the aging process is advancing rapidly. Some scientists believe that the first immortal human may be living today.

In 1786, life expectancy was 24 years. Better diets and some medical innovations allowed it to double to 48 years in the next 100 years.

Modern medicine has now increased life expectancy to over 76 years. Future medicine promises to increase it to over 100 years during our lifetime.

“Over half the baby boomers here in America are going to see their hundredth birthday and beyond in excellent health.” says Dr. Ronald Klatz of the American Academy of Anti-Aging. “We’re looking at life spans for the baby boomers and the generation after the baby boomers of 120 to 150 years of age.”

The key to Live Healthy – Look Marvelous – Live Longer is to delay the diseases of aging so that when they do occur, it is very late in your life.

The causes of aging are finally being understood. There are actions you can take today to take advantage of the recent medical developments. Dr. Rudman ran a series of tests on aging people and demonstrated that the effects of aging could be slowed and even reversed. He concluded: “The overall deterioration of the body that comes with growing old is not inevitable.”

The Causes of Aging

Almost all life on earth blossoms with youth, until it has reproduced and passed its genes on to the next generation. After that, the flowers wilt and die, and we humans began to age. Yes, we begin to age while we are still in our 20’s.

We age because the products of our metabolism, I.e., the “ashes” from the oxidation processes that produce energy in our cells, accumulate faster then our endocrine system can remove them. This is because most of the cleansing hormones that surged through our youthful bodies begin to decrease as we begin to age. Some of these more critical hormones have decreased by about 10 to 30% as we enter our 30’s. The decreases become ever more dramatic as we enter successive decades of life. Most of our hormones have decreased by over 50% and some have been reduced to near zero as we enter our 70’s. So we age. Our muscles and bones weaken; our reaction time slows; we lose our agility; all combine to make us more susceptible to accidents. Our immune system weakens and makes us more susceptible to disease. And we die.

The Death Clock

Dr. Hayflick has shown that we have another cause of aging. He has shown that we have a built-in death date of about 120 years, if diseases or accidents do not get us earlier. The point at which our cells have divided a fixed number of times sets this death date. It has been termed the “Hayflick limit.”

Our cells divide to produce new cells to replace the old cells damaged by metabolic ash build-up, free radicals, toxins, and other wear and tear mechanisms. As the cells divide, the chromosomes split to provide chromosomes for the new cells. When the chromosomes split, they lose part of their telomeres – the genes at their ends that keep the chromosomes organized. After a certain number of splits, the telomeres wear away and become too short to keep the chromosome organized and therefore the cell dies without being able to replace itself.

You can think of telomeres as analogous to the plastic bands on the ends of shoelaces. Telomeres hold the important DNA code intact, preventing it from fraying as the molecules replicate over time.

Resetting the Death Clock

But tests over the past few years have shown that the “Hayflick limit” can be extended by the use of an enzyme that causes the “organizing genes” at the ends of the chromosomes (the telomeres) to re-grow. This enzyme is called telomerase.

Telomerase treatments on human cells in the laboratory have indicated that telomerase can make human cells immortal. Doctors and researchers involved in these treatments are reporting that it is their belief that death is not inevitable.

Telomerase is actually an enzyme (a catalytic protein) that is able to arrest or reverse the telomere shortening process. The body produces telomerase when we are embryos in the womb to accommodate the very rapid growth of the embryo. But, unfortunately our bodies do not produce telomerase after birth except possibly for the creation of sperm.

So for humans to extend life we must do two things: first, eliminate the oxidants and toxins in our foods and environment; and find a dietary or pharmaceutical method for increasing and preserving the length of our cells’ telomeres.

Promising Anti-Aging Research

There are many ongoing projects that promise to solve our problems of aging. One is from a team of South Korean scientists. They report that they have created a newly-synthesized molecule, named CGK733 that can make cells younger.

“All cells face an inevitable death as they age. On this path, cells became lethargic and in the end stop dividing but we witnessed that CGK733 can block the process,” Prof. Kim Tae-kook reported. He further stated: “We also found the synthetic compound can reverse aging, by revitalizing already-lethargic cells. Theoretically, this can give youth to the elderly via rejuvenating cells.”

Kim expects that the CGK733-empowered drugs that keep cells youthful far beyond their normal life span would be commercialized in less than 10 years.

Researchers at The Wistar Institute have defined a key target of an evolutionarily conserved protein that regulates the process of aging. The study provides fundamental knowledge about key mechanisms of aging that could point toward new anti-aging strategies and cancer therapies.

Aging saps our strength and ability to enjoy life, cripples us, and eventually kills us. Tens of millions die from age-related conditions each and every year. Comparatively few people know that degenerative aging can be slowed with diet and lifestyle choices, medicines and nutracuetials.

Comparatively few people are aware of the many serious scientific efforts, presently underway, aimed at understanding and intervening in the aging process – in order to one day reverse its effects.

Your objective should be to have a healthy life and continue to live long enough to take advantage of all the medical advances and technologies now in development.

Our health is determined by our genetics, our diets, and our past and current lifestyles. You can now optimize your current and future health by defining and taking medications, vitamins, and other supplements and treatments tailored to your specific health needs. The program to do this recognizes the validity of three basic themes:

  • The Future of Medicine is in Personal Tailoring
  • Preventative Medicine is Key
  • Aging is a Treatable Disease.

Your Anti-Aging Longevity Plan

It is strongly recommended that you get familiar with the latest anti-aging information and develop your personal Longevity Plan. The key to longer life is to detect any health issues as early as possible and take advantage of the available technology to address them. Time really is of the essence.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5073181

The Programmed Cellular Death Approach to Anti-Aging Treatment

May 8, 2016 by · Comments Off on The Programmed Cellular Death Approach to Anti-Aging Treatment
Filed under: General 

Modern anti-aging treatment is built on a common base of knowledge that I will quickly review. Biochemistry and molecular biology tell us there are many types of chemical reactions going on in the human body. We know that it is the genetic information programmed inside our cellular DNA that defines what reactions occur. Genetic information, expressed in regulated ways, builds the body’s proteins and enzymes, and controls how enzymes carry out the cell’s biochemical reactions.

This information, contained in the DNA of our genome, consists of many thousands of long, often repetitive, sequences of base pairs that are built up from four basic nucleotides. Human genome mapping has shown there are over 3 billion base pairs in our DNA. It is estimated they contain some 20,000 protein-coding genes. All body functions are controlled by the expression of the genes in our genome. The mechanisms controlling the aging process are believed to be programmed into our DNA but only a fraction of the biochemical reactions related to the aging process have been looked at in any detail. Cellular aging is a very complex process and many of its low level operating details have yet to be discovered.

Anti-aging theory has consolidated itself along two lines of thought: the programmed cellular death theory and the cellular damages theory. The programmed death theory focuses on the root causes of aging. The cellular damages theory looks at the visible aspects of aging; i.e. the symptoms of aging. Both theories are correct and often overlap. Both theories are developing rapidly as anti-aging research uncovers more details. As works in progress these theories may take years to complete. This broad characterization also applies to the currently available types of anti-aging treatments.

The programmed death theory of aging suggests that biological aging is a programmed process controlled by many life span regulatory mechanisms. They manifest themselves through gene expression. Gene expression also controls body processes such as our body maintenance (hormones, homeostatic signaling etc.) and repair mechanisms. With increasing age the efficiency of all such regulation declines. Programmed cellular death researchers want to understand which regulatory mechanisms are directly related to aging, and how to affect or improve them. Many ideas are being pursued but one key area of focus is on slowing or stopping telomere shortening. This is considered to be a major cause of aging.

With the exception of the germ cells that produce ova and spermatozoa, most dividing human cell types can only divide about 50 to 80 times (also called the Hayflick limit or biological death clock). This is a direct consequence of all cell types having fixed length telomere chains at the ends of their chromosomes. This is true for all animal (Eukaryotic) cells. Telomeres play a vital role in cell division. In very young adults telomere chains are about 8,000 base pairs long. Each time a cell divides its telomere chain loses about 50 to 100 base pairs. Eventually this shortening process distorts the telomere chain’s shape and it becomes dysfunctional. Cell division is then no longer possible.

Telomerase, the enzyme that builds the fixed length telomere chains, is normally only active in young undifferentiated embryonic cells. Through the process of differentiation these cells eventually form the specialized cells from which of all our organs and tissues are made of. After a cell is specialized telomerase activity stops. Normal adult human tissues have little or no detectable telomerase activity. Why? A limited length telomere chain maintains chromosomal integrity. This preserves the species more than the individual.

During the first months of development embryonic cells organize into about 100 distinct specialized cell lines. Each cell line (and the organs they make up) has a different Hayflick limit. Some cell lines are more vulnerable to the effects of aging than others. In the heart and parts of the brain cell loss is not replenished. With advancing age such tissues start to fail. In other tissues damaged cells die off and are replaced by new cells that have shorter telomere chains. Cell division itself only causes about 20 telomere base pairs to be lost. The rest of the telomere shortening is believed to be due to free radical damage.

This limit on cell division is the reason why efficient cell repair can’t go on indefinitely. When we are 20 to 35 years of age our cells can renew themselves almost perfectly. One study found that at the age 20 the average length of telomere chains in white blood cells is about 7,500 base pairs. In humans, skeletal muscle telomere chain lengths remain more or less constant from the early twenties to mid seventies. By the age of 80 the average telomere length decreases to about 6,000 base pairs. Different studies have different estimates of how telomere length varies with age but the consensus is that between the age of 20 and 80 the length of the telomere chain decreases by 1000 to 1500 base pairs. Afterwards, as telomere lengths shorten even more, signs of severe aging begin to appear.

There are genetic variations in human telomerase. Long lived Ashkenazi Jews are said to have a more active form of telomerase and longer than normal telomere chains. Many other genetic differences (ex.: efficiency of DNA repair, antioxidant enzymes, and rates of free radical production) affect how quickly one ages. Statistics suggest that having shorter telomeres increases your chance of dying. People whose telomeres are 10% shorter than average, and people whose telomeres are 10% longer than average die at different rates. Those with the shorter telomeres die at a rate that is 1.4 greater than those with the longer telomeres.

Many advances in telomerase based anti-aging treatments have been documented. I only have room to mention a few of them.

– Telomerase has been used successfully to lengthen the life of certain mice by up to 24%.

– In humans, gene therapy using telomerase has been used to treat myocardial infarction and several other conditions.

– Telomerase related, mTERT, treatment has successfully rejuvenated many different cell lines.

In one particularly important example researchers using synthetic telomerase that encoded to a telomere-extending protein, have extended the telomere chain lengths of cultured human skin and muscle cells by up to 1000 base pairs. This is a 10%+ extension of telomere chain length. The treated cells then showed signs of being much younger than the untreated cells. After the treatments these cells behaved normally, losing a part of their telomere chain after each division.

The implications of successfully applying such techniques in humans are staggering. If telomere length is a primary cause of normal aging, then, using the telomere length numbers previously mentioned, it might be possible to double the healthy time period during which telomere chain lengths are constant; i.e. from the range of 23 to 74 years to an extended range of 23 to 120 or more years. Of course this is too optimistic because it is known that in vitro cultured cells are able to divide a larger number of times than cells in the human body but it is reasonable to expect some improvement (not 50 years but say 25 years).

We know that telomerase based treatments are not the final answer to anti-aging but there is no doubt that they can, by increasing the Hayflick limit, extend or even immortalize the lifespan of many cell types. It remains to be seen if this can be done safely done in humans.

Telomerase based treatments are only a partial answer to anti-aging. Please carefully research any anti-aging supplements based on this line of treatment. Through my articles and website I want to help you maintain your good health for the next 10 to 25 years. My hope is that within time period the fruits of anti-aging research will become available to everyone.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9227048

The Development of Old Age and Related Issues

April 18, 2016 by · Comments Off on The Development of Old Age and Related Issues
Filed under: General 

In traditional Chinese and other Asian cultures the aged were highly respected and cared for. The Igabo tribesmen of Eastern Nigeria value dependency in their aged and involve them in care of children and the administration of tribal affairs (Shelton, A. in Kalish R. Uni Michigan 1969).

In Eskimo culture the grandmother was pushed out into the ice-flow to die as soon as she became useless.

Western societies today usually resemble to some degree the Eskimo culture, only the “ice-flows” have names such a “Sunset Vista” and the like. Younger generations no longer assign status to the aged and their abandonment is always in danger of becoming the social norm.

There has been a tendency to remove the aged from their homes and put them  in custodial care. To some degree the government provides domiciliary care services to prevent or delay this, but the motivation probably has more to do with expense than humanity.

In Canada and some parts of the USA old people are being utilised as foster-grandparents in child care agencies.

SOME BASIC DEFINITIONS

What is Aging?

Aging: Aging is a natural phenomenon that refers to changes occurring throughout the life span and result in differences in structure and function between the youthful and elder generation.

Gerontology: Gerontology is the study of aging and includes science, psychology and sociology.

Geriatrics: A relatively new field of medicine specialising in the health problems of advanced age.

Social aging: Refers to the social habits and roles of individuals with respect to their culture and society. As social aging increases individual usually experience a decrease in meaningful social interactions.

Biological aging: Refers to the physical changes in the body systems during the later decades of life. It may begin long before the individual  reaches chronological age 65.

Cognitive aging: Refers to decreasing ability to assimilate new information and learn new behaviours and skills.

GENERAL PROBLEMS OF AGING

Eric Erikson (Youth and the life cycle. Children. 7:43-49 Mch/April 1960) developed an “ages and stages” theory of human development that involved 8 stages after birth each of which involved a basic dichotomy representing best case and worst case outcomes. Below are the dichotomies and their developmental relevance:

Prenatal stage – conception to birth.

  1. Infancy. Birth to 2 years – basic trust vs. basic distrust. Hope.
  2. Early childhood, 3 to 4 years – autonomy vs. self doubt/shame. Will.
  3. Play age, 5 to 8 years – initiative vs. guilt. Purpose.
  4. School age, 9to 12 – industry vs. inferiority. Competence.
  5. Adolescence, 13 to 19 – identity vs. identity confusion. Fidelity.
  6. Young adulthood – intimacy vs. isolation. Love.
  7. Adulthood, generativity vs. self absorption. Care.
  8. Mature age- Ego Integrity vs. Despair. Wisdom.

This stage of older adulthood, i.e. stage 8, begins about the time of retirement and continues throughout one’s life. Achieving ego integrity  is a sign of maturity while failing to reach this stage is an indication of poor development in prior stages through the life course.

Ego integrity: This means coming to accept one’s whole life and reflecting on it in a positive manner. According to Erikson, achieving integrity means fully accepting one’ self and coming to terms with death. Accepting responsibility for one’s life and being able to review the past with satisfaction is essential. The inability to do this leads to despair and the individual will begin to fear death. If a favourable balance is achieved during this stage, then wisdom is developed.

Psychological and personality aspects:

Aging has psychological implications. Next to dying our recognition that we are aging may be one of the most profound shocks we ever receive. Once we pass the invisible line of 65 our years are bench marked for the remainder of the game of life. We are no longer “mature age” we are instead classified as “old”, or “senior citizens”. How we cope with the changes we face and stresses of altered status depends on our basic personality. Here are 3 basic personality types that have been identified. It may be a oversimplification but it makes the point about personality effectively:

a. The autonomous – people who seem to have the resources for self-renewal. They may be dedicated to a goal or idea and committed to continuing productivity. This appears to protect them somewhat even against physiological aging.

b.The adjusted – people who are rigid and lacking in adaptability but are supported by their power, prestige or well structured routine. But if their situation changes drastically they become psychiatric casualties.

c.The anomic. These are people who do not have clear inner values or a protective life vision. Such people have been described as prematurely resigned and they may deteriorate rapidly.

Summary of stresses of old age.

a. Retirement and reduced income. Most people rely on work for self worth, identity and social interaction. Forced retirement can be demoralising.

b. Fear of invalidism and death. The increased probability of falling prey to illness from which there is no recovery is a continual source of anxiety. When one has a heart attack or stroke the stress becomes much worse.

Some persons face death with equanimity, often psychologically supported by a religion or philosophy. Others may welcome death as an end to suffering or insoluble problems and with little concern for life or human existence. Still others face impending death with suffering of great stress against which they have no ego defenses.

c. Isolation and loneliness. Older people face inevitable loss of loved ones, friends and contemporaries. The loss of a spouse whom one has depended on for companionship and moral support is particularly distressing. Children grow up, marry and become preoccupied or move away. Failing memory, visual and aural impairment may all work to make social interaction difficult. And if this then leads to a souring of outlook and rigidity of attitude then social interaction becomes further lessened and the individual may not even utilise the avenues for social activity that are still available.

d. Reduction in sexual function and physical attractiveness. Kinsey et al, in their Sexual behaviour in the human male, (Phil., Saunders, 1948) found that there is a gradual decrease in sexual activity with advancing age and that reasonably gratifying patterns of sexual activity can continue into extreme old age. The aging person also has to adapt to loss of sexual attractiveness in a society which puts extreme emphasis on sexual attractiveness. The adjustment in self image and self concept that are required can be very hard to make.

e. Forces tending to self devaluation. Often the experience of the older generation has little perceived relevance to the problems of the young and the older person becomes deprived of participation in decision making both in occupational and family settings. Many parents are seen as unwanted burdens and their children may secretly wish they would die so they can be free of the burden and experience some financial relief or benefit. Senior citizens may be pushed into the role of being an old person with all this implies in terms of self devaluation.

4 Major Categories of Problems or Needs:

Health.

Housing.

Income maintenance.

Interpersonal relations.

BIOLOGICAL CHANGES

Physiological Changes: Catabolism (the breakdown of protoplasm) overtakes anabolism (the build-up of protoplasm). All body systems are affected and repair systems become slowed. The aging process occurs at different rates in different individuals.

Physical appearance and other changes:

Loss of subcutaneous fat and less elastic skin gives rise to wrinkled appearance, sagging and loss of smoothness of body contours. Joints stiffen and become painful and range of joint movement becomes restricted, general mobility lessened.

Respiratory changes:

Increase of fibrous tissue in chest walls and lungs leads restricts respiratory movement and less oxygen is consumed. Older people more likelyto have lower respiratory infections whereas young people have upper respiratory infections.

Nutritive changes:

Tooth decay and loss of teeth can detract from ease and enjoyment in eating. Atrophy of the taste buds means food is inclined to be tasteless and this should be taken into account by carers. Digestive changes occur from lack of exercise (stimulating intestines) and decrease in digestive juice production. Constipation and indigestion are likely to follow as a result. Financial problems can lead to the elderly eating an excess of cheap carbohydrates rather than the more expensive protein and vegetable foods and this exacerbates the problem, leading to reduced vitamin intake and such problems as anemia and increased susceptibility to infection.

Adaptation to stress:

All of us face stress at all ages. Adaptation to stress requires the consumption of energy. The 3 main phases of stress are:

1. Initial alarm reaction. 2. Resistance. 3. Exhaustion

and if stress continues tissue damage or aging occurs. Older persons have had a lifetime of dealing with stresses. Energy reserves are depleted and the older person succumbs to stress earlier than the younger person. Stress is cumulative over a lifetime. Research results, including experiments with animals suggests that each stress leaves us more vulnerable to the next and that although we might think we’ve “bounced back” 100% in fact each stress leaves it scar. Further, stress is psycho-biological meaning the kind of stress is irrelevant. A physical stress may leave one more vulnerable to psychological stress and vice versa. Rest does not completely restore one after a stressor. Care workers need to be mindful of this and cognizant of the kinds of things that can produce stress for aged persons.

COGNITIVE CHANGE Habitual Behaviour:

Sigmund Freud noted that after the age of 50, treatment of neuroses via psychoanalysis was difficult because the opinions and reactions of older people were relatively fixed and hard to shift.

Over-learned behaviour: This is behaviour that has been learned so well and repeated so often that it has become automatic, like for example typing or running down stairs. Over-learned behaviour is hard to change. If one has lived a long time one is likely to have fixed opinions and ritualised behaviour patterns or habits.

Compulsive behaviour: Habits and attitudes that have been learned in the course of finding ways to overcome frustration and difficulty are very hard to break. Tension reducing habits such as nail biting, incessant humming, smoking or drinking alcohol are especially hard to change at any age and particularly hard for persons who have been practising them over a life time.

The psychology of over-learned and compulsive behaviours has severe implications for older persons who find they have to live in what for them is a new and alien environment with new rules and power relations.

Information acquisition:

Older people have a continual background of neural noise making it more difficult for them to sort out and interpret complex sensory input. In talking to an older person one should turn off the TV, eliminate as many noises and distractions as possible, talk slowly and relate to one message or idea at a time.

Memories from the distant past are stronger than more recent memories. New memories are the first to fade and last to return.

Time patterns also can get mixed – old and new may get mixed.

Intelligence.

Intelligence reaches a peak and can stay high with little deterioration if there is no neurological damage. People who have unusually high intelligence to begin with seem to suffer the least decline. Education and stimulation also seem to play a role in maintaining intelligence.

Intellectual impairment. Two diseases of old age causing cognitive decline are Alzheimer’s syndrome and Pick’s syndrome. In Pick’s syndrome there is inability to concentrate and learn and also affective responses are impaired.

Degenerative Diseases: Slow progressive physical degeneration of cells in the nervous system. Genetics appear to be an important factor. Usually start after age 40 (but can occur as early as 20s).

ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE Degeneration of all areas of cortex but particularly frontal and temporal lobes. The affected cells actually die. Early symptoms resemble neurotic disorders: Anxiety, depression, restlessness sleep difficulties.

Progressive deterioration of all intellectual faculties (memory deficiency being the most well known and obvious). Total mass of the brain decreases, ventricles become larger. No established treatment.

PICK’S DISEASE Rare degenerative disease. Similar to Alzheimer’s in terms of onset, symptomatology and possible genetic aetiology. However it affects circumscribed areas of the brain, particularly the frontal areas which leads to a loss of normal affect.

PARKINSON’S DISEASE Neuropathology: Loss of neurons in the basal ganglia.

Symptoms: Movement abnormalities: rhythmical alternating tremor of extremities, eyelids and tongue along with rigidity of the muscles and slowness of movement (akinesia).

It was once thought that Parkinson’s disease was not associated with intellectual deterioration, but it is now known that there is an association between global intellectual impairment and Parkinson’s where it occurs late in life.

The cells lost in Parkinson’s are associated with the neuro-chemical Dopamine and the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s are associated the dopamine deficiency. Treatment involves administration of dopamine precursor L-dopa which can alleviate symptoms including intellectual impairment. Research suggests it may possibly bring to the fore emotional effects in patients who have had psychiatric illness at some prior stage in their lives.

AFFECTIVE DOMAIN In old age our self concept gets its final revision. We make a final assessment of the value of our lives and our balance of success and failures.

How well a person adapts to old age may be predicated by how well the person adapted to earlier significant changes. If the person suffered an emotional crisis each time a significant change was needed then adaptation to the exigencies of old age may also be difficult. Factors such as economic security, geographic location and physical health are important to the adaptive process.

Need Fulfilment: For all of us, according to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory, we are not free to pursue the higher needs of self actualisation unless the basic needs are secured. When one considers that many, perhaps most, old people are living in poverty and continually concerned with basic survival needs, they are not likely to be happily satisfying needs related to prestige, achievement and beauty.

Maslow’s Hierarchy

Physiological

Safety

Belonging, love, identification

Esteem: Achievement, prestige, success, self respect

Self actualisation: Expressing one’s interests and talents to the full.

Note: Old people who have secured their basic needs may be motivated to work on tasks of the highest levels in the hierarchy – activities concerned with aesthetics, creativity and altruistic matters, as compensation for loss of sexual attractiveness and athleticism. Aged care workers fixated on getting old people to focus on social activities may only succeed in frustrating and irritating them if their basic survival concerns are not secured to their satisfaction.

DISENGAGEMENT

Social aging according to Cumming, E. and Henry, W. (Growing old: the aging process of disengagement, NY, Basic 1961) follows a well defined pattern:

  1. Change in role. Change in occupation and productivity. Possibly change in attitude to work.
  2. Loss of role, e.g. retirement or death of a husband.
  3. Reduced social interaction. With loss of role social interactions are diminished, eccentric adjustment can further reduce social interaction, damage to self concept, depression.
  4. Awareness of scarcity of remaining time. This produces further curtailment of activity in interest of saving time.

Havighurst, R. et al (in B. Neugarten (ed.) Middle age and aging, U. of Chicago, 1968) and others have suggested that disengagement is not an inevitable process. They believe the needs of the old are essentially the same as in middle age and the activities of middle age should be extended as long as possible. Havighurst points out the decrease in social interaction of the aged is often largely the result of society withdrawing from the individual as much as the reverse. To combat this he believes the individual must vigorously resist the limitations of his social world.

DEATH The fear of the dead amongst tribal societies is well established. Persons who had ministered to the dead were taboo and required observe various rituals including seclusion for varying periods of time. In some societies from South America to Australia it is taboo for certain persons to utter the name of the dead. Widows and widowers are expected to observe rituals in respect for the dead.

Widows in the Highlands of New Guinea around Goroka chop of one of their own fingers. The dead continue their existence as spirits and upsetting them can bring dire consequences.

Wahl, C in “The fear of death”, 1959 noted that the fear of death occurs as early as the 3rd year of life. When a child loses a pet or grandparent fears reside in the unspoken questions: Did I cause it? Will happen to you (parent) soon? Will this happen to me? The child in such situations needs to re-assure that the departure is not a censure, and that the parent is not likely to depart soon. Love, grief, guilt, anger are a mix of conflicting emotions that are experienced.

CONTEMPORARY ATTITUDES TO DEATH

Our culture places high value on youth, beauty, high status occupations, social class and anticipated future activities and achievement. Aging and dying are denied and avoided in this system. The death of each person reminds us of our own mortality.

The death of the elderly is less disturbing to members of Western society because the aged are not especially valued. Surveys have established that nurses for example attach more importance to saving a young life than an old life. In Western society there is a pattern of avoiding dealing with the aged and dying aged patient.

Stages of dying. Elisabeth Kubler Ross has specialised in working with dying patients and in her “On death and dying”, NY, Macmillan, 1969, summarised 5 stages in dying.

  1. Denial and isolation. “No, not me”.
  2. Anger. “I’ve lived a good life so why me?”
  3. Bargaining. Secret deals are struck with God. “If I can live until…I promise to…”
  4. Depression. (In general the greatest psychological problem of the aged is depression). Depression results from real and threatened loss.
  5. Acceptance of the inevitable.

Kubler Ross’s typology as set out above should, I believe be taken with a grain of salt and not slavishly accepted. Celebrated US Journalist David Rieff who was in June ’08 a guest of the Sydney writer’s festival in relation to his book, “Swimming in a sea of death: a son’s memoir” (Melbourne University Press) expressly denied the validity of the Kubler Ross typology in his Late Night Live interview (Australian ABC radio) with Philip Adams June 9th ’08. He said something to the effect that his mother had regarded her impending death as murder. My own experience with dying persons suggests that the human ego is extraordinarily resilient. I recall visiting a dying colleague in hospital just days before his death. He said, “I’m dying, I don’t like it but there’s nothing I can do about it”, and then went on to chortle about how senior academics at an Adelaide university had told him they were submitting his name for a the Order of Australia (the new “Knighthood” replacement in Australia). Falling in and out of lucid thought with an oxygen tube in his nostrils he was nevertheless still highly interested in the “vain glories of the world”. This observation to me seemed consistent with Rieff’s negative assessment of Kubler Ross’s theories.

THE AGED IN RELATION TO YOUNGER PEOPLE

The aged share with the young the same needs: However, the aged often have fewer or weaker resources to meet those needs. Their need for social interaction may be ignored by family and care workers.

Family should make time to visit their aged members and invite them to their homes. The aged like to visit children and relate to them through games and stories.

Meaningful relationships can be developed via foster-grandparent programs. Some aged are not aware of their income and health entitlements. Family and friends should take the time to explain these. Some aged are too proud to access their entitlements and this problem should be addressed in a kindly way where it occurs.

It is best that the aged be allowed as much choice as possible in matters related to living arrangements, social life and lifestyle.

Communities serving the aged need to provide for the aged via such things as lower curbing, and ramps.

Carers need to examine their own attitude to aging and dying. Denial in the carer is detected by the aged person and it can inhibit the aged person from expressing negative feelings – fear, anger. If the person can express these feelings to someone then that person is less likely to die with a sense of isolation and bitterness.

A METAPHYSICAL PERSPECTIVE

The following notes are my interpretation of a Dr. Depak Chopra lecture entitled, “The New Physics of Healing” which he presented to the 13th Scientific Conference of the American Holistic Medical Association. Dr. Depak Chopra is an endocrinologist and a former Chief of Staff of New England Hospital, Massachusetts. I am deliberately omitting the detail of his explanations of the more abstract, ephemeral and controversial ideas.

Original material from 735 Walnut Street, Boulder, Colorado 83002,

Phone. +303 449 6229.

In the lecture Dr. Chopra presents a model of the universe and of all organisms as structures of interacting centres of electromagnetic energy linked to each other in such a way that anything affecting one part of a system or structure has ramifications throughout the entire structure. This model becomes an analogue not only for what happens within the structure or organism itself, but between the organism and both its physical and social environments. In other words there is a correlation between psychological conditions, health and the aging process. Dr. Chopra in his lecture reconciles ancient Vedic (Hindu) philosophy with modern psychology and quantum physics.

Premature Precognitive Commitment: Dr. Chopra invokes experiments that have shown that flies kept for a long time in a jar do not quickly leave the jar when the top is taken off. Instead they accept the jar as the limit of their universe. He also points out that in India baby elephants are often kept tethered to a small twig or sapling. In adulthood when the elephant is capable of pulling over a medium sized tree it can still be successfully tethered to a twig! As another example he points to experiments in which fish are bred on

2 sides of a fish tank containing a divider between the 2 sides. When the divider is removed the fish are slow to learn that they can now swim throughout the whole tank but rather stay in the section that they accept as their universe. Other experiments have demonstrated that kittens brought up in an environment of vertical stripes and structures, when released in adulthood keep bumping into anything aligned horizontally as if they were unable to see anything that is horizontal. Conversely kittens brought up in an environment of horizontal stripes when released bump into vertical structures, apparently unable to see them.

The whole point of the above experiments is that they demonstrate Premature Precognitive Commitment. The lesson to be learned is that our sensory apparatus develops as a result of initial experience and how we’ve been taught to interpret it.

What is the real look of the world? It doesn’t exist. The way the world looks to us is determined by the sensory receptors we have and our interpretation of that look is determined by our premature precognitive commitments. Dr Chopra makes the point that less than a billionth of the available stimuli make it into our nervous systems. Most of it is screened, and what gets through to us is whatever we are expecting to find on the basis of our precognitive commitments.

Dr. Chopra also discusses the diseases that are actually caused by mainstream medical interventions, but this material gets too far away from my central intention. Dr. Chopra discusses in lay terms the physics of matter, energy and time by way of establishing the wider context of our existence. He makes the point that our bodies including the bodies of plants are mirrors of cosmic rhythms and exhibit changes correlating even with the tides.

Dr. Chopra cites the experiments of Dr. Herbert Spencer of the US National Institute of Health. He injected mice with Poly-IC, an immuno-stimulant while making the mice repeatedly smell camphor. After the effect of the Poly-IC had worn off he again exposed the mice to the camphor smell. The smell of camphor had the effect of causing the mice’s immune system to automatically strengthen as if they had been injected with the stimulant. He then took another batch of mice and injected them with cyclophosphamide which tends to destroy the immune system while exposing them to the smell of camphor. Later after being returned to normal just the smell of camphor was enough to cause destruction of their immune system. Dr. Chopra points out that whether or not camphor enhanced or destroyed the mice’s immune system was entirely determined by an interpretation of the meaning of the smell of camphor. The interpretation is not just in the brain but in each cell of the organism. We are bound to our imagination and our early experiences.

Chopra cites a study by the Massachusetts Dept of Health Education and Welfare into risk factors for heart disease – family history, cholesterol etc. The 2 most important risk factors were found to be psychological measures – Self  Happiness Rating and Job Satisfaction. They found most people died of heart disease on a Monday!

Chopra says that for every feeling there is a molecule. If you are experiencing tranquillity your body will be producing natural valium. Chemical changes in the brain are reflected by changes in other cells including blood cells. The brain produces neuropeptides and brain structures are chemically tuned to these neuropeptide receptors. Neuropeptides (neurotransmitters) are the chemical concommitants of thought. Chopra points out the white blood cells (a part of the immune system) have neuropeptide receptors and are “eavesdropping” on our thinking. Conversely the immune system produces its own neuropeptides which can influence the nervous system. He goes on to say that cells in all parts of the body including heart and kidneys for example also produce neuropeptides and neuropeptide sensitivity. Chopra assures us that most neurologists would agree that the nervous system and the immune system are parallel systems.

Other studies in physiology: The blood interlukin-2 levels of medical students decreased as exam time neared and their interlukin receptor capacities also lowered. Chopra says if we are having fun to the point of exhilaration our natural interlukin-2 levels become higher. Interlukin-2 is a powerful and very expensive anti-cancer drug. The body is a printout of consciousness. If we could change the way we look at our bodies at a genuine, profound level then our bodies would actually change.

On the subject of “time” Chopra cites Sir Thomas Gall and Steven Hawkins, stating that our description of the universe as having a past, present, and future are constructed entirely out of our interpretation of change. But in reality linear time doesn’t exist.

Chopra explains the work of Alexander Leaf a former Harvard Professor of Preventative Medicine who toured the world investigating societies where people  lived beyond 100 years (these included parts of Afghanistan, Soviet Georgia, Southern Andes). He looked at possible factors including climate, genetics, and diet. Leaf concluded the most important factor was the collective perception of aging in these societies.

Amongst the Tama Humara of the Southern Andes there was a collective belief that the older you got the more physically able you got. They had a tradition of running and the older one became then generally the better at running one got. The best runner was aged 60. Lung capacity and other measures actually improved with age. People were healthy until well into their 100s and died in their sleep. Chopra remarks that things have changed since the introduction of Budweiser (beer) and TV.

[DISCUSSION: How might TV be a factor in changing the former ideal state of things?]

Chopra refers to Dr. Ellen Langor a former Harvard Psychology professor’s work. Langor advertised for 100 volunteers aged over 70 years. She took them to a Monastery outside Boston to play “Let’s Pretend”. They were divided into 2 groups each of which resided in a different part of the building. One group, the control group spent several days talking about the 1950s. The other group, the experimental group had to live as if in the year 1959 and talk about it in the present tense. What appeared on their TV screens were the old newscasts and movies. They read old newspapers and magazines of the period. After 3 days everyone was photographed and the photographs judged by independent judges who knew nothing of the nature of the experiment. The experimental group seemed to have gotten younger in appearance. Langor then arranged for them to be tested for 100 physiological parameters of aging which included of course blood pressure, near point vision and DHEA levels. After 10 days of living as if in 1959 all parameters had reversed by the equivalent of at least 20 years.

Chopra concludes from Langor’s experiment: “We are the metabolic end product of our sensory experiences. How we interpret them depends on the collective mindset which influences individual biological entropy and aging.”

Can one escape the current collective mindset and reap the benefits in longevity and health? Langor says, society won’t let you escape. There are too many reminders of how most people think linear time is and how it expresses itself in entropy and aging – men are naughty at 40 and on social welfare at 55, women reach menopause at 40 etc. We get to see so many other people aging and dying that it sets the pattern that we follow.

Chopra concludes we are the metabolic product of our sensory experience and our interpretation gets structured in our biology itself. Real change comes from change in the collective consciousness – otherwise it cannot occur within the individual.

Readings

Chopra, D. The New Physics of Healing. 735 Walnut Street, Boulder, Colorado 83002,

Phone. +303 449 6229.

Coleman, J. C. Abnormal psychology and modern life. Scott Foresman & Co.

Lugo, J. and Hershey, L. Human development a multidisciplinary approach to the psychology of individual growth, NY, Macmillan.

Dennis. Psychology of human behaviour for nurses. Lond. W. B.Saunders.

[http://www.psychologynatural.com/DepressionBroch.html]

Dr. Victor Barnes is an Adelaide psychologist and hypnotherapist. He has also had three decades of experience in adult education including serving as Dean of a Sri Lankan college (ICBT) teaching several Australian degrees. His overseas experience includes studies and consulting experience in USA, PNG, Poland and Sri Lanka.

Debt and Senior Citizens by David Cunningham

August 28, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

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We are in a consumer driven world. There are so many things all around us that make our lives easier and, in a way, influence us to think that we must have them. There are always things that we want which we simply cannot afford. As banks and credit card companies mushroom out of control, we are barraged with opportunities to accept so-called help from these financial institutions just so we can buy more merchandise we want but do not need.

The best part is that you do not even have go to them asking for the credit that you want. They will be at your beck and call offering credit cards, store credit cards (from those stores you wanted to purchase from anyway), merchandise cards (you’re given hundreds of dollars in credit to purchase from the company’s specific catalog), and leasing arrangements that allow you to pay over time.

The only problem with buying on credit is paying it off. Using an analogy, it is easier to step into quicksand than it is to get out. There isn’t always a branch lying around attached to a willing helper. Credit may be no problem if your current job earns enough money to repay your debts completely each month. It simply becomes part of your overall expenses. What happens, though, when your debt overextends your pay check?

Unfortunately, retired senior citizens are more susceptible to this pitfall. In prior years, they worked and earned a certain amount of money, but upon retirement are saddled with little more than Social Security – definitely a blow to the pocket book. Their income is not as flexible as it once was. There are solutions, however, from which seniors can benefit. Some are even geared specifically toward them.

As a senior citizen, you can request the help of a professional. Financial advisors are available to help tackle your problems. Asking for the aid of one such professional can save you a great deal of anxiety, credit ruin and, more importantly, stress. Your financial advisor can act as a mediator between you and creditors to develop “payoff amounts” that won’t leave you destitute – and usually at a fraction of your current payments. If you feel that you’re drowning financially, you shouldn’t wait until the water is over your head. Contact a financial advisor now for assistance.

Before meeting with an advisor, there are steps you should take to be best prepared for the discussion. Grab a notebook and pen to list all your creditors. List them in order of importance, starting with your mortgage (or rent or community fees, etc.) and ending with small payments like store credit cards. List their amounts as well. If you owe $50,000 on your home then list $50,000 and your current monthly payment. For example:

ABC Mortgage Company $50,000 (debt), $775 (monthly payment)

Listing the information this way will show your credit advisor that you are serious about getting your debt in order. It also is incredibly useful for the advisor in contacting your creditors since your financial advisor can then, at a glance, see what you owe and to whom. A sample short list follows below.

It is important that you have a clear comprehension of your financial situation. The best solution to debt is to not get into any that you cannot handle. However if you have already reached that “destination,” especially as a retired senior, then utilizing a financial advisor is certainly a great option to help rid yourself of the burden.

And now, the sample I promised:

John Smith

Total Monthly Income: $1200

DEBTS / MONTHLY PAYMENTS

ABC Mortgage $50,000 (debt), $750 (monthly payment)

Car Payment $20,000 (debt), $450 (monthly payment)

Credit Bank #1 $3,000 (debt), $25 (monthly payment)

Credit Bank #2 $1,200 (debt), $15 (monthly payment)

Store Credit Card #1 $5,000 (debt), $75 (monthly payment)

House Phone $50 (monthly payment)

Cell Phone $55 (monthly payment)

Total Debt $79,200

Total Monthly Payments $1,400

As you can see from this example, this person is losing $200 every month ($1400 monthly payments minus $1200 income). A financial advisor can usually negotiate with the credit card companies. They may even suggest that this person discontinue either their home phone or cell phone, for example, as most can probably get along with just one or the other.

For practical debt & credit assistance [http://www.debt-credit-assistance.com/credit_card_debt_solutions.shtml] information, please visit [http://www.debt-credit-assistance.com], a popular site providing great insights concerning how to address your issues and worries related to nagging debt struggles [http://www.debt-credit-assistance.com/usa_debt_management.shtml].

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=David_Cunningham

 

In an Aging Society – Are Senior Citizens Driving Safely? by Diane Carbo

August 15, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

Remember when you couldn’t wait until you were old enough to drive. Getting a driver’s license gave us an opportunity to experience a new freedom we did not have before. For those of us with two parents working, driving meant taking ourselves and our siblings to after school activities and work. Driving took us to a level of independence that we had not experienced before. In an aging society of drivers, those very same feelings exist in many today. Driving gives us a sense of independence and freedom, the ability to go out and socialize, go to work or to church. Safety issues are a concern as many move into the golden years. The life expectancy of seniors is increasing. There are more active senior citizens out on the road today than ever before. Since we all age differently, many aging adults, can drive into their seventies and eighties. As we age, the risks for having a serious car accident that requires hospitalization rises. Statistics show that fatal car accidents rise after the age of seventy.

If you know an aging adult driver who is experiencing difficulty with driving, it is important to carefully monitor the situation. This article can help you determine whether you should take steps to encourage the senior to stop driving.

An aging society and risk

Some key risk factors that affect our aging society are:

Vision declines affecting depth perception and ability to judge speed of oncoming traffic. Night vision becomes a problem as our eyes loose the ability to process light. By age 60, you need three times the amount of light that you did at age 20 in order to drive safely after nightfall. We also become more sensitive to bright light and glare. Signs and road markings can be difficult to see.

With age, flexibility may decrease as response time increases. A full range of motion is crucial on the road. Turning your head both ways to see oncoming traffic, moving both hands and feet can be difficult for those with chronic conditions such a rheumatoid arthritis, or Parkinson’s disease, heart disease and diabetes.

Older adults in an aging society will often need to begin to take medications. Certain medications, as well as a combination of medications and alcohol, can increase driving risk. Be aware and careful about medication side-effects and interactions between medications. It is important to talk to your pharmacist to be aware of interactions that could affect your driving safely. Some medications cause drowsiness.

Aging affects our quality of sleep, resulting in daytime sleepiness. Falling asleep at the wheel is a major concern for those that dose off during the day.

The beginning of dementia or mental impairment can make driving more dangerous. A decreased mental capacity or decrease tolerance to stressful driving situations such as complex and confusing intersections may cause delayed reactions to sudden or confusing situations on the road. An aging brain and body does not have the same response time as we did when we were younger.

Look for warning signs

There are multiple warning signs that an aging adult is becoming or is an unsafe driver. Some of them are small, but if there are multiple concerns it may be time to talk about your concerns with the aging driver. Warning signs of an unsafe driver include

 

  • Abrupt lane changes, braking, or acceleration.
  • Increase in the dents and scrapes on the car or on fences, mailboxes, garage doors, curbs, etc
  • Trouble reading signs or navigating directions to get somewhere
  • Range-of-motion issues (looking over the shoulder, moving the hands or feet, etc.)
  • Becoming anxious or fearful while driving or feeling exhausted after driving
  • Experiencing more conflict on the road: other drivers honking; frustration or anger at other drivers. Oblivious to the frustration of other drivers towards them
  • Getting lost more often
  • Trouble paying attention to signals, road signs, pavement markings, or pedestrians
  • Slow reaction to changes in the driving environment
  • Increased traffic tickets or “warnings” by traffic or law enforcement officers
  • Forgetting to put on a safety belt

 

If you are concerned about an aging adult driver, closely monitor their driving before deciding whether they need a refresher coarse on their driving skills or approaching them to give up their driver’s license altogether. Ongoing and open communication is important to addressing the issue of driving. Studies conducted by Harvard and MIT show that while most drivers preferred to discuss the issue with their spouse, doctor or adult children (in that order), this is not the case for everyone. The right person may not necessarily be the most forceful or outspoken one, but rather someone whose judgment and empathy are especially trusted by the driver.

Talk with other family members, your doctor, and close friends to determine the best person for “the conversation.” Remember driving signifies independence, freedom and being self sufficient to active senior citizens. Realize you may meet with resistance and the aging driver may become defensive. Emotion may get in the way of a rational conversation. Express your concerns and give specific reasons for those concerns.

The goal is to get the aging driver be part of the decision making process

You may begin by asking your loved one to make some concessions because of your concerns.

 

  • Taking a driver refresher course
  • Not driving at night
  • Suggest they not drive on busy thoroughfares or during rush hour
  • Taking shorter trips
  • Not driving under adverse weather conditions
  • Encourage a visit to their primary care physician or pharmacist to go over medications that may affect driving skills. Your physician may be able to recommend a Driver Rehabilitation Specialist. This individual can assess driving safety by an office exam and driving test and make recommendations regarding special equipment or techniques that can improve the driver’s safety. Consider ways to decrease the need to drive. Check out alternatives to shopping by car, including:

  • Arrange for home deliveries of groceries and other goods, and try to arrange for home visits by clergy, medical and personal care providers, and government service providers.
  • Use financial services that don’t require bank visits, like automatic bill paying, direct deposit, and bank-by-phone or on-line banking services.

Fears of those living in an aging society 

Fear of isolation and decrease in socializing is a real concern for the aging driver. It is important to keep spirits high as the aging driver makes the adjustments to becoming a non driver. Be in tune to their need for fun, volunteering, work and religious activities. Create a transportation plan that can make it easier for the aging driver to give up driving. You can create a list of friends and family that are willing to drive, contact the church and the local Area Agency on Aging in regards to transportation programs in the area.

Some seniors may adjust better if they can keep their own car, but have others drive them. Their own car may feel more comfortable and familiar, and the sense of loss from not driving may be lessened. Remember, baby boomers have grown up walking out the door and being able to go where they want to go. We need to keep the aging adult driver and those on the road with them safe.

Diane Carbo RN- As a geriatric care manager, that has cared for her father and mother in law in their homes, she learned first hand how overwhelming, stressful, and time consuming caring for a loved one can be. Staying in their homes was very important to them. As a result, Diane started http://www.aginghomehealthcare.com to assist others age in familiar surroundings and avoid the emotional and frustrating task of maneuvering the medical delivery system

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Diane_Carbo

Boston Elder Care Expert A. Michael Bloom Shares Coping Strategies to Support Accidental Caregivers Tending to Ailing Moms and Dads

June 5, 2013 by · Comments Off on Boston Elder Care Expert A. Michael Bloom Shares Coping Strategies to Support Accidental Caregivers Tending to Ailing Moms and Dads
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Boston Elder Care Expert A. Michael Bloom Shares Coping Strategies to Support Accidental Caregivers Tending to Ailing Moms and Dads

BOSTON, May 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Mother’s and Father’s Day celebrations are approaching, yet millions of adult children care for parents year round while on the brink of burnout.  Catapulted into the accidental caregiver role without warning, stressed-out kids are doing their best to hold life together when everything seems to be falling apart.

Boston Elder Care Expert A. Michael Bloom issues a timely warning. “You must seek support as a caregiver.  The life you save may be your own.”

Bloom offers practical coping strategies to help family caregivers recharge their energy and avoid burnout during a free monthly Caregiving Power Hour.  During these tele-sessions, caregivers get tactical solutions to get through the week ahead.  Bloom wants to inspire and train caregivers to provide quality support for their loved ones while fully living their own lives.

“It’s coaching, community, and caring in the gift of an hour of sacred time that can really make a difference,” Bloom says.

Bloom knows the stressful caregiving journey well.  He served as the primary, live-in caregiver for his parents during their final years.  His father passed away in 2009 and, after a courageous battle with cancer, Bloom’s mother passed away in his loving arms on Mother’s Day 2012.

“Caregivers put the well-being of loved ones first which can mean putting their own needs and plans on the back burner.  The regret for career or life enhancing opportunities not taken can be a bitter pill to swallow,” Bloom says.

He honors the legacy of his parents by sharing key steps along the roadmap to caregiving without regret.

  1. Release Crisis Mode. Stop being a victim to circumstances so you feel stronger and become laser-focused to meet your family’s needs.  Supporting loved ones through medical challenges is overwhelming and scary.  When you become aware that feeling like a victim or in a state of crisis is a mindset, you can successfully shift back into taking control and positive action.
  2. Overcome Conflict.  Communicate and cope with calm and clarity. Otherwise, you will crash while riding the emotional roller coaster associated with disability or disease. Mastering your own trigger points for anger and frustration will lead you to deal effectively with the most challenging people and circumstances in your life.
  3. Achieve Buy-In. Motivate others to contribute based upon their individual abilities, preferences, and talents so your loved one receives the most satisfying support possible.  Giving others choices for how they can serve will foster their desire to gladly help on a regular basis.
  4. Deliver Greatness and Compassion in Equal Doses.  Become the inspiring caregiver that people cheer for and gladly support in meaningful ways.  Let your compassion shine through in all actions as you support your loved one.  Devote equal time for self-care so you have the energy to let your best shine through even during tough times.
  5. Magnetize and Motivate Talent. Create an atmosphere that attracts and retains the best people to join your loved one’s care team and experience brilliant performance.  Stay positive and open to the opinions of others so you can facilitate options for the best care and support.
  6. Access Intuition.  Trust your instincts and let your care and dedication guide your decisions.  Share any concerns and questions with key support professionals.  It is better to explore a concern that proves to be okay rather than ignore something that could be life threatening.
  7. Put Chocolate in Your Pill Box.  Find ways to fuel your soul so you can thrive during the caregiver journey and develop the passion and purpose for your life beyond caregiving.  Dose yourself regularly to avoid burnout while creating enduring satisfaction and success.

About Certified Professional Coach and Energy Leadership™ Master Practitioner A. Michael Bloom

Since 2011, A. Michael Bloom has revitalized the careers of hundreds of family and professional caregivers with practical, tactical soul-saving coping strategies that support them in saving lives – including their own.  An in-demand New England speaker, workshop leader, and coach, Bloom has influenced hundreds of caregivers to follow a roadmap to avoid burnout and recharge their caregiving energy.  The author of the forthcoming book, The Accidental Caregivers Survival Guide: Your Roadmap to Caregiving Without Regret, Bloom welcomes media interviews, speaking engagements, and the opportunity to inspire caregivers around the world via his monthly Caregiving Power Hours.  Learn more at http://www.bloomforcoach.com/powerhour/.

TERRY MURPHY RECOGNIZED AS SHARE HUMANITARIAN OF THE MONTH

June 5, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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TERRY MURPHY RECOGNIZED AS SHARE HUMANITARIAN OF THE MONTH

 

Terry Murphy, a longtime local businesswoman and community leader who is president of Strategic Solutions and serves as president of Downtown Las Vegas Alliance, is the SHARE Humanitarian for the month of May for her volunteering efforts with Veterans Village, The Rape Crisis Center and the Variety Early Leaning Center Lorenzi Campus.TERRY MURPHY RECOGNIZED AS SHARE HUMANITARIAN OF THE MONTH

Murphy also serves as Honorary Consul for the Republic of Ireland and as a board member of The Smith Center for the Performing Arts.

 

Each month, SHARE honors those in the community who give without hesitation to help others in need. Murphy was selected for this honor from the more than 1,500 SHARE volunteers in Southern Nevada.

SHARE is involved with raising funds for various social causes including housing assistance and neighborhood support service programs.

 

About SHARE:

SHARE is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1994 by business executives dedicated to providing affordable housing for individuals in need. During its nearly 20 year history, the organization has served hundreds of families, seniors, veterans and those with physical challenges or terminal illnesses. sharelasvegas.org

 

About Veterans Village:

Veterans Village is located at 1150 Las Vegas Boulevard in a repurposed Econo Lodge motel.  It serves as a temporary housing facility for U.S. veterans and their families and provides a comprehensive and holistic roster of services to help vets heal and succeed.  Services are provided through public and private collaborative partnerships with community organizations and government agencies and include housing, nutrition, life skills training, employment training and referrals, continuing education and degree programs, exercise training, medical services, mental health counseling and special veteran-centric activities and events. Veterans Village is managed by SHARE, a 501(c)3 organization founded in 1994 by Arnold Stalk and Karin Rogers to provide affordable housing for individuals in need.  SHARE oversees all operations of services for Veterans Village residents.  www.vvlv.org

 

About The Rape Crisis Center:

The Rape Crisis Center (RCC) is a non-profit organization founded in 1974 by Florence McClure and Sandra Petta as the Community Action Against Rape (CAAR) with the goal of helping those in Clark County heal from the trauma of sexual violence. Today, The Rape Crisis Center operates a 24/7 crisis hot line for sexual assault victims and provides counseling, advocacy and support to help victims begin the healing process and navigate the legal system. The RCC is also committed to the prevention of sexual assault through educational programs and community outreach. To assist victims to become survivors, the organization depends on a core base of dedicated volunteers and staff. These individuals are empathetic and enthusiastic people who give their time, energy, and personal sacrifice to continue to serve Clark County’s victims of sexual violence. This service is provided through face-to-face and over-the- phone intervention with newly victimized individuals.The Rape Crisis Center hotline number is 888-366-1640.  For more information, visit www.therapecrisiscenter.org.

 

NAELA Applauds Overdue Protections for Low-Income Individuals and Individuals with Disabilities

June 5, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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For Immediate Release
May 3, 2013
Contact: Abby Matienzo, Communications Associate
703-942-5711 #230

NAELA Applauds Overdue Protections for Low-Income Individuals and Individuals with Disabilities
SSI Restoration Act of 2013 Positive Step in Debate Over Benefits for America’s Most Vulnerable Citizens

Washington, DC – The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) supports Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) in his dedication to improving the lives of low-income older Americans and individuals with disabilities. Rep. Grijalva recently introduced the Supplemental Security Income Restoration Act of 2013 (H.R. 1601), which includes long overdue efforts to modernize the SSI program.

“Rep. Grijalva and House co-sponsors should be congratulated for their leadership in presenting the SSI Restoration Act. Over the past four decades, SSI has become the most important government program for bare subsistence for the poorest of our aged, blind, and disabled citizens, and yet, the allowable income and resource standards are locked at 1972 levels while inflation has significantly reduced the value of these amounts,” said NAELA member Neal Winston, CELA, an expert in SSI and Social Security.

More than 8 million Americans rely on SSI for their daily survival. Unfortunately, a growing number of older SSI recipients are homeless because of these outdated financial restrictions. The SSI Restoration Act seeks to align the SSI program with modern day financial realities by updating the income disregard and the resource limit and repealing the in-kind support and maintenance provision and SSI transfer penalty.

“Modernizing these benefits to align with today’s cost of living will help improve the quality of life for older Americans and individuals with disabilities. SSI is a critical benefit that protects low-income seniors and individuals with disabilities from absolute poverty but the current benefits and transfer rules make it too difficult for these individuals and their families to handle unpredictable costs and adequately plan for the future. This bill will help older Americans and individuals with disabilities meet their basic living needs,” said NAELA President-Elect Howard Krooks, CELA, CAP.

The SSI Restoration Act enjoys wide support from several leading disability and aging organizations and NAELA joins members of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities and the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations in advocating for this important legislation. NAELA urges members of Congress to support Rep. Grijalva’s modest effort to help older Americans and individuals with disabilities.

About NAELA
Members of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) are attorneys who are experienced and trained in working with the legal problems of aging Americans and individuals of all ages with disabilities. Established in 1987, NAELA is a non-profit association that assists lawyers, bar organizations and others. The mission of NAELA is to establish NAELA members as the premier providers of legal advocacy, guidance and services to enhance the lives of people with special needs and people as they age. NAELA currently has members across the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. For more information, visitNAELA.org.

Top 100 Blogs On Senior Rights, Elder Law, And Anti-Ageism

June 5, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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Top 100 Blogs On Senior Rights, Elder Law, And Anti-Ageism

At a time when thousands of Baby Boomers are reaching the age of 65 every day, the issues of senior rights, elder laws, and anti-ageism have never been more important, more volatile, or more questioned. After all, this is the generation that was ready to take down the establishment fifty years ago, and they haven’t lost any of their desire to change the world for the better. And, they have the numbers to do it. Here are our 100 top blogs for seniors dealing with senior rights, law & policy, and anti-ageism.

Boomers Against The Law

  1. Elder Law Plus: lawyer Evan H. Farr blogs about topics concerning elder law, including probate strategies and parental care.
  2. Michigan Elder Law Blog: the attorneys at Barsch & Joswick provide seniors and their loved ones with sage advice on a variety of Elder law issues.
  3. Everything Elder Law: Evan Farr is back at it again, this time focusing on Elder Law news, concepts, and innovations from around the country.
  4. Massachusetts Estate and Elder Law Blog: lawyer and blogger Stephanie Konarski gives tips on estate planning and other elder law topics.
  5. New York Elder Law Attorney Blog: your source for elder law news and comment in New York, this blog analyzes nursing home legislation and elder care costs.
  6. Elder Law Prof. Blog: Elder Law professor Kim Dayton authors a really nice blog that covers a wide range of Elder law issues, from Supreme Court cases to seminars.
  7. The Pop Tort: can a consumer advocates blog dealing with civil justice be cute? This blog proves it can, complete with an adorable “Pop Tort” logo, even while exploring such issues as Medicare and Medicaid lawsuits, nursing home scams, and medical malpractice against the elderly, among other legal issues.
  8. Supportive Senior Solutions: this blog from a geriatric care management practice in New York covers issues related to geriatric care, caregiving, and healthcare laws for the elderly and infirm.
  9. Aging Beats the Alternative: elder care specialist Lorie Ebers uses her blog to talk about overcoming the challenges of aging, caring for aging parents, and the less talked about side of elder law: Boomer divorce.
  10. Elder Law Blog: lawyer Ronald C. Morton’s elder law blog is full of sage advice for seniors looking how to tap into Veteran’s benefits, how to plan for their golden years, and more.
  11. The Best Elder Law Blog: published by the attorneys at Lamson & Cutner, this blog discusses elder law cases, the Affordable Care Act, and same-sex marriage.
  12. Elder Law Tips and News: the lawyers at Cooper, Adel & Associates bring you posts on living trusts, aging issues, and general estate planning.
  13. The Connecticut Elder Law Blog: lawyer Michael Keenan provides his readers with estate planning tips, elder fraud, and Medicare rules.
  14. The Teddy Bear Lawyers: attorney Rick Law gives readers a great resource for Elder Law in the Chicagoland area. Find articles on protecting vulnerable seniors and financial planning.
  15. Oregon Elder Law: attorney Orrin Onken blogs on elder law, estate planning, and probate proceedings in plain, easy to understand language.
  16. Florida Elder Law and Estate Blog: this informative blog includes great articles on VA benefits, estate planning, and trusts.
  17. Golden Law Center: written by attorney Sasha Golden, the Golden Law Center blog discusses elder law, special needs planning, guardianship, wills and trusts, and estate administration.
  18. Kraft Elder Law: attorney Robert Kraft blogs about Medicaid, Medicare, wills, trusts, probate, veterans benefits, and other elder law topics.
  19. Pennsylvania Law Blog: this elder law blog by the attorneys at the law offices of Shober & Rock discusses Medicaid, taxes, Veterans, banks, and annuities.
  20. Long Beach Elder Law Blog: this blog focuses on elder abuse, estate protection, the Cal MediConnect program, and reform of health law.
  21. Houston Elder Law Blog: the folks at Wright Abshire Attorneys blog about care planning, estate planning, Medicaid Planning, Probate & Estate Administration, and and Veteran’s Benefits.
  22. Hauptman Law Blog: readers of this blog can learn more about elder, estate, and special needs law. Includes articles on the Medicare Settlement and VA Aid.
  23. Fulkerson Elder Law Blog: the function of this elder law blog is for the firm to respond to common questions clients have about elder law and review developments in the law impacting elder law and estate planning.
  24. CMLP Estate Planning and Elder Law Blog: readers can look forward to reviewing articles on simplifying their estate plan and elder law news items of note.
  25. Massachusetts Estate Planning and Probate Blog: attorney Matthew Karr keeps readers up to date on estate planning and probate news and information.
  26. Marshall Elder and Estate Planning Blog: the author of this elder law blog has over 30 years experience in estate planning, special needs planning, and estates.
  27. Hartford, CT Elder Law Blog: the attorney’s at Ruggiero Ziogas & Allaire discuss estate planning, care planning, Medicaid, Veteran’s Benefits, and Probate.
  28. El Paso Elder Law Blog: the law firm of Stephanie Townsend Allala and Associates blogs on estate planning, guardianships, Medicaid Planning, Nursing Home Abuse, and Trust & Probate.
  29. Miami Probate Law Blog: the folks at the Byrant law firm keep readers up-to-date on estate administration, probate court, estate litigation, and the nuisances of will and trust disputes.
  30. Elder Law News: attorney Brian A. Raphan is based in New York City and specializes in Wills, Estates, Trusts, and Elder Care issues. His blog is full of great resources.
  31. Aging & Law in West Virginia: this blog contains news in law and aging in West Virginia, written by the West Virginia Senior Legal Aid organization.
  32. Florida Elder Law and Estate Planning: this Florida Certified Elder Law attorney provides in depth insights and news to help Floridians protect themselves and preserve their assets.
  33. Family Law Blog Maryland: while this blog looks at all matters pertaining to Family Law, elder law sneaks in as a prevalent theme in many of the cases discussed. They look at legal matters like when divorce and retirement coincide, or when grandparents wish to take custody of their grandchildren.
  34. Phoenix AZ Family Law Blog: looking at issues older couples face in Arizona, this family law blog explores the specific challenges elders face in divorces and custody battles, complete with the latest policy changes and laws.
  35. Otherspoon: hospice volunteer and blogger Ann Neumann talks about care-giving and the realities, politics, and senior rights involved in death and dying.

Seniors Talk Policy And Politics

  1. Aging in Place: this blog is concerned with seniors who are dealing with shrinking benefits and increasing costs—seniors find answers on how to protect themselves.
  2. Estate in Denial: providing news, analysis, and commentary on abusive practices occurring in probate courts. Features original perspective and direct communication.
  3. Florida Estate Planning Lawyer Blog: this blog covers estate planning legal issues, cases of interest, and news with a focus on Florida elder law.
  4. McGuire Woods: the people at McGuire Woods author this great blog on long term care legal issues, including timely news, articles, and white papers.
  5. Illinois Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog: published by the law office of Wilson & Wilson, this blog covers asset protection, banking, estate planning, and trusts.
  6. Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Blog: covers Illinois nursing home law, including Supreme Court cases and other information relating to residents and family members.
  7. Law Office of Donald D. Vanarelli Blog: provides readers in New Jersey with information on elder law, estate and special needs planning, and mediation services.
  8. Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog: this blog offers insight on nursing home abuse reports, legislation, and legal opinions of elder law in Maryland.
  9. Massachusetts Estate Planning, Probate & Elder Law: elder law attorney Brian Barreira writes on legal issues involving death, taxes, special needs, and long-term elder care.
  10. New Jersey Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog: blog posts explore life and death in New Jersey from a perspective of estate planning, elder law, taxation, probate, and estate administration.
  11. Medina Law Group: postings provide readers with advice on estate planning and management, estate taxes, elder law, and VA benefits.
  12. North Carolina Wills and Trusts: this blog provides readers with estate planning and elder law news with a North Carolina focus.
  13. California Nursing Home Abuse Law Blog: covers nursing home abuse, elder law abuse, and features many quality articles relating to California elder law.
  14. Nursing Home Law Blog: this well written blog discusses elder issues, legislation, legal news, protections of elder rights, and helpful health tips.
  15. PA Elder Estate and Fiduciary Law Blog: focuses on elder law, long-term care, end-of-life and health care surrogate decision-making, and estate planning.
  16. Patti’s Blog: find information about this lawyer’s practice, which concentrates on advocacy for seniors. She shares personal interests and her passions.
  17. Pennsylvania Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog: this blog discusses nursing home abuse laws, cases, and news items from Pennsylvania.
  18. Barbara Cashman Blog: Barbara blogs about elder law and policy issues, and often hosts guest bloggers to share their insights on elder law and news.
  19. NJ Elder Law: lawyer Kenneth Vercammen blogs about topics related to estate planning and elder law. He was once awarded the NJ State Bar Municipal Court Practitioner of the Year.
  20. The Senior Sentinel: a blog compiling news and information for Baby Boomers, the Senior Sentinel concentrates on the intersection of ageism and public policy both nationally and world-wide.
  21. Elder Consult: this geriatric medicine blog not only covers Alzheimers, dementia, financial decision making, and medications, it also discusses related legal issues such as elder financial abuse.
  22. Grey Pride: a UK blog by the Anchor Digital Marketing team is dedicated to keeping older people at the top of the political agenda and petitioning the government to create a Minister for Older People to ensure their needs are met.
  23. Over 65 Blog: project organizers from Harvard, Yale, and The Hastings Center host this blog for “seniors seeking solutions for health care and security, mainly looking at health care system reforms, elder law policies and practices, and how seniors can achieve a stronger role in the future of health care.
  24. Reaping Hope Blog: a blog from an NGO in Nepal promoting dignified aging and elder rights, Reaping Hope explores elder abuse and elder oppression while actively helping elderly people claim their rights and challenge discrimination.

Age Against The Machine: Anti-Ageism

  1. Ageist Beauty: the musings, product reviews, and random thoughts of a woman who is fighting against her age.
  2. Everyday Ageism Project: this blog aims to capture people’s everyday experiences dealing with ageism. The author has discovered that ageism is the most commonly experienced form of prejudice.
  3. The Lonely Gerontologist: professor Kelly Yokum blogs about all things aging—including aging stereotypes and other aging topics that come to mind.
  4. My Elder Advocate: this blog provides comprehensive coverage of ageism, the dangers of nursing homes, elder abuse, and elder care.
  5. The Roaming Boomers: David and Carol are great examples of a couple who doesn’t let age get in the way of living life to the fullest.
  6. The Gypsy Nester: Veronica and David show readers how to rock the empty nest and get the most out of life as you age.
  7. Changing Aging: this multi-blog platform challenges conventional views on aging. The authors believe aging is a strength, rich in developmental potential and growth.
  8. The Elders: founded by Nelson Mandela in 2007, the Elders is a group of seniors committed to addressing global challenges, including child marriage and climate change.
  9. Beauty and Wisdom: the blog of photographer Robbie Kaye, who traveled to salons throughout the US to photograph and interview women in their 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s and discovered that beauty is ageless.
  10. Advanced Style: don’t tell these women they are too old to model hip and alluring fashions. This blog teaches women how to dress to impress and that age is only a number.
  11. RL TV: the only cable network and online destination for folks 50+, features a nice blog that provides tips on elder issues and promotes active living.
  12. The 70-Something Blog: blogger Judy informs readers how to live a full and engaging life as she chronicles her journey of aging.
  13. Retirement is Work: newly retired librarian and blogger resolves to post one good thing about retirement every day for a year, but along the way struggles with senior rights and anti-ageism.
  14. Yo Is This Ageist?: a humorous blog by Ashton Applewhite dedicated to determining whether age-related remarks are offensive, “challenging the stereotypes that segregate us by age.”
  15. This Chair Rocks: a smart and sassy blog by Ashton Applewhite that challenges the ideas of ageism with humor and snark. All stereotypes and insensitive remarks are grounds for brilliant blog posts.
  16. Senior Planet: “aging with attitude” is the tagline of this blog community of older adults using technology to connect with each other and take on the issues of ageism and senior rights.
  17. Changing Aging: a blog founded by Dr. Bill Thomas to promote “a radical reinterpretation of longevity” which focuses on anti-ageism and senior rights, as well as getting the most out of a long life.
  18. Time Goes By: Ronni Bennett takes on aging, ageism and related issues with humor, exploring the truth of “what it’s really like to get old.” She starts by rejecting the “cutesy” terms for old people – they’re called “elders” around here!
  19. The Magic of Middle-Aged Women: author Daniel Even Weiss – a man – blogs on the theme of his latest book, The Magic of Middle-Aged Women, where he challenges the prevailing ageist idea that women don’t get better as they age. They do.
  20. Advanced Style: Ari Seth Cohen, a young-ish photographer, roams the New York City streets photographing stylish and creative elders. Here, art challenges the paradigm that age and beauty can’t co-exist.
  21. The New Old Age: the New York Times blog on aging takes advantage of the newspaper’s top writers to explore the unprecedented intergenerational challenge of the Baby Boomers.
  22. The Little Old Lady Stays Put (or doesn’t): explores the “lives, lifestyles and issues of interesting older people,” touching on the issues surrounding ageism, elder rights, living with dementia, and overcoming the struggles of aging with strength and good humor.
  23. Naked at Our Age: advocate of ageless sexuality, Joan Price, talks about sex and aging, taking on Senior Rights subjects like safer sex for seniors while providing helpful tips.
  24. Aging & Work at Boston College: scholars, academics, and researchers share their findings on ageism in the workplace and the challenges aging workers face in this PhD-heavy blog by The Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College.
  25. Ethnic Elders: this newsy blog by New America Media examines the Senior Rights issues and Elder Law of minority groups such as age discrimination, lawsuits related to Social Security, and elder healthcare reform.
  26. The Everyday Ageism Project: blending blogging and research, this site’s goal is to capture the experience of age discrimination. The forum is full of people sharing their experiences in a supportive environment.
  27. Huffington Post’s Senior Citizens Blog: the Huffington Post’s Senior Citizens sub-blog offers wide ranging posts on issues including senior rights and ageism – with its signature left-wing perspective.
  28. Clinical Geriatrics: created as more of a peer-reviewed clinical journal by the American Geriatrics Society, some of the top scholars in geriatrics converge on this blog to discuss geriatric health and wellness issues, which often cross over into legal and anti-ageism issues.
  29. Age Action Alliance: this organization brings together a network of 300 organizations and individuals committed to helping older people. Its blog is dedicated to improving older people’s lives through advocating against ageism, particularly in Britain.
  30. Manitoba Senior Centres: this Canadian blog covers the rampant ageism in Canada and promotes world elder abuse awareness. It also has a list of resources for older adults.
  31. Fierce with Age: defying ageism goes mainstream at this blog, created by veteran journalist Dr. Carol Orsborn. Having written about the Boomer generation for major newspapers and blogged for the Huffington Post and NPR’s Next Avenue, Orsborn is well equipped to take on the spiritual and policy hurdles of aging.
  32. Live Better Boomer!: a Philadelphia-based blog, by social worker Tiffany Matthews, devoted to helping educate and empower Boomers advocate for their own improved healthcare.
  33. Third Age: billed as “health for Boomers and beyond,” Third Age offers relatively fluffy fare, like “Change your Mood with Color,” to the legal issues surrounding Boomer divorce and care-giving.
  34. The Old Gunhand: one facet of senior citizen rights you don’t see every day is elder gun advocates. This website not only tells you the best types of guns for elderly wielders, it also goes into gun policy and senior self-defense.
  35. Age Discrimination Info: a simple name for a one-stop source of statistics and information on age discrimination, including legislation, cases, news, publications, events and training. The perfect resource for the activist.
  36. Age UK: the largest organization in the United Kingdom for working with and for older people, this website has an entire section dedicated to age discrimination and ageism.
  37. National Youth Rights Association: not just for youngsters, the National Youth Rights Association combats ageism in all its forms. In fact, they probably wouldn’t appreciate being called “youngsters.”
  38. Disability and Representation: a blog by writer, photographer and activist Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg that discusses (and tries to change the discourse about) disability rights and ageism, along with autism.
  39. Over 50: Career coaching and workshops for the over-50 crowd, this blog doesn’t stop at finding a job. This site explores Baby Boomer activism in and out of the workplace.
  40. Activist Post: while this blog deals with many topics requiring advocacy, they often include issues that regard Senior Rights, Elder Law and anti-ageism.
  41. California Booming: an informational blog dedicated to California Baby Boomers, this blog covers everything from sex, to diet, to politics of the Boomer generation, including issues concerning senior rights and ageism in the workplace.

Senior Citizens – Victims No More by Chris Bruno

May 28, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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Violent crime against senior citizens used to be unthinkable. It was rare that a street thug would target an elderly person; however criminals of today have a totally different mindset. They prey upon those they perceive to be weak and an easy target and who will offer the least resistance. In the mind of a street thug, seniors fit this category. This alone is why you need to become informed, and do whatever you can to keep yourself from becoming a victim.

Oftentimes senior citizens are led to believe that they have somehow lost the ability to defend themselves against criminals and crime in general. This belief is totally false and in fact there are many quick and easy things seniors can do to defend themselves.

The first thing you should do is find a senior self defense class in your area. Many organizations provide these free of charge. Check with your local police department, YMCA or seniors club in your area. Many community organizations offer these classes free of charge.

Many seniors are opposed to carrying weapons of any kind. This is a thought process that needs to change. Pepper spray or a stun gun are ideal choices and offer a level of protection that will not only boost your confidence but actually allow you to survive an assault by temporarily incapacitating your attacker. Each of these weapons are extremely easy to operate and take just a few minutes to learn.

Because many seniors are so opposed to carrying something such as pepper spray, if you do use it, the attacker will be caught off guard and the element of surprise will buy you the critical time you need to get to a safe location and notify the police. The effects of either weapon are temporary and will not cause permanent injury.

If you are not willing to carry a traditional weapon consider using a cane if you have one. Swing the cane in an “X” pattern, targeting the knees, elbows and other bony parts of the attackers’ body. These strikes will be effective but in very temporary way. They will probably only distract an attacker, so a secondary plan is definitely needed. I would suggest a Personal Alarm. They are a very small discreet device that you can carry in a pocket, purse or on your belt that when activated sound a very loud ear piercing noise which causes your attacker to flee and forget about attacking you. Many alarms are equipped with flashing strobe lights and a few even contain hidden pepper spray giving you the best of both worlds.

Of course, the best way to defend yourself is to not allow yourself to become a victim in the first place. I know this may sound like an obvious statement but simply by adhering to a few easy to follow best practices you can greatly lower your chances of becoming a victim. When you are going out, try and keep jewelry hidden or simply wear it discreetly. Do not carry large amounts of cash. Remain aware of what is going on around you. If you see or even sense something bad, adjust your actions accordingly. Changing the direction you are walking is far easier than recovering from injuries you sustain in an attack.

Senior safety at home is a whole different ballgame but equally as important. Do not keep large sums of money at home. Consider using a debit card and having any monthly payments due you directly deposited into a bank account.

Do not divulge any personal information over the phone or in person. DO NOT withdraw any money from a bank account unless you are absolutely sure you know who you are giving it to. There are a huge number of scams out there and many target seniors. In fact many seniors are scammed out of their life savings simply because they felt sorry for someone or had their emotions preyed upon. If something seems too good to be true, it most definitely is.

When it comes to defending yourself, anyone can improve their abilities. All it takes is the desire to take a stand, educate yourself, and practice some of the techniques mentioned here. With your new found confidence and some practice you will already have done a great deal to lessen your chances of becoming a victim.

Chris Bruno is a retired police officer and contributing author to Safety Products Depot. His certification as a Pepper Spray [http://www.safetyproductsdepot.com/pepper-spray.html] Instructor gives him unique insight into the effectiveness of this defensive weapon. Chris is offering you a 10% discount off any purchase at [http://www.safetyproductsdepot.com] Visit the site now to claim your discount coupon.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Chris_Bruno

Senior Citizens May Find Time is Running Out by Irene Mori

May 16, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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For senior citizens, sometimes it feels like time is running out. The oldest  of the baby boomers entered the realms of becoming seniors several years ago.  This large group of the population has been influencing markets for years and  still do so. Now as they enter the twilight years, they must come to realize  that their youthfulness has been spent and there may not be that many more  spring times left. Health and wellness is still an issue.

Many seniors have already commenced vigorous pursuit of the completion of  their “bucket list” which includes the experiences they want to have before they  leave this earthly existence. It’s time for this segment of people to be  concerned with themselves and to do the things they enjoy while they still can  do them.

If and when good health and a stable mental capacity leave a person, it then  becomes too late to pursue the interests which may be there now. Senior citizens  are able to have active, busy lives full of productivity and enjoyment.

Because money is not plentiful for a number of seniors, many are working  menial jobs at stores or fast food outlets. The reasons for doing so may be  varied such as for extra income necessary to make ends meet or to simply have a  place to go and enjoy the company of other people. Many are searching for home  based businesses as a means of supplementing their social security or other  meager retirement income.

Although there are thousands of wealthy senior citizens, there are  undoubtedly many more who struggle in their daily lives. They find it difficult  to pay for necessities like shelter, food, and medications. Some seniors find  life has little meaning, but it does not have to be that way. Keeping one’s mind  and body active helps a person feel better and act younger.

Dorothy Dale Kloss is an example of someone who is young at heart and young  in actions although at age 85, she is the oldest showgirl in the Universe  according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Dorothy decided she needed  something to do fourteen years ago so she auditioned with the Fabulous Palm  Springs Follies. She got the job and now dances at about nine performances each  week. She has been dancing since she was five years old and obviously loves to  dance. Upon seeing and meeting her, there is no way that anyone would guess that  she is 85.

Although time may be running out, seniors can still find ways of being  productive, engaged citizens who can still enjoy life to the fullest.

Irene Mori lives near the Nation’s capital where she is able to regularly  experience the happenings of the government. She is involved with home based  business and network marketing. For information on an affordable money making  opportunity with a company which provides discount savings on everyday purchases  and cash back for online shopping along the chance to make some extra income,  visit http://www.moremlmsuccess.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Irene_Mori

Internet Safety For Senior Citizens by James Kirkwood

May 16, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

Dishonest individuals scamming senior citizens out of their money appears to  be happening more often than ever before. Seniors are targeted most often by  criminals due to the fact that it can sometimes be easier to gain the trust of a  senior trust and also due to the fact older, retired people are more likely to  have some savings set aside and therefore become a more lucrative target. It can  be helpful to keep some of the following tips in mind to help you or your loved  ones who are older protected against scams and frauds, especially when shopping  or working online.

Todays seniors say that staying in touch with family members and friends  remains the main reason that they use the internet. According to recent research  by the American Association of Retired Persons, seniors are the segment of the  online community that is growing the most quickly. It is estimated that more  than 27.5 million senior citizens are using the internet today. These numbers  have risen significantly from about 10 years ago, when it was estimated that  just over 10 million seniors were online. Increasingly, these seniors are  putting their computers to use doing online shopping and banking, and people 55  and older are becoming quite a popular target for internet marketers.  Unfortunately, some of those marketers are actually criminals who are using the  internet to take money from unsuspecting victims. Because of the fact that the  internet is relatively new, these scams continue to grow and develop.

While almost all age groups have their own distinct vulnerabilities and risks  when making online transactions, seniors unfortunately seem to be at the  greatest risks for internet phishing scams. Many scam artists are tailoring  complex schemes specifically targeted to exploit internet users who are older.  Many of the online scams will target seniors with nearly unbelievable deals on  low-cost insurance and discount prescriptions. Scams will also often target  older internet users with documents that seem genuine such as phony ‘bank  notices’ and ‘final warnings’.

Just like in the ‘real world’, you should take care when revealing your date  of birth, social security number or credit card information over the internet.  Search for web addresses on one of the major search engines instead of clicking  links that you receive in e-mails. Then, use that address to contact the company  and inquire about the message you received. Once you have verified that you are  on a legitimate website, you can save that address in your broswer as a  ‘favorite’. You will then be able to return there again safely in the  future.

Senior  home safety begins with making yourself aware of today’s numerous scams. If  you would like to read more articles on how to keep senior citizens safe, please come and visit our  website.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=James_Kirkwood

  • Senior Industry Network Group Events

    Monthly SING Meetings are held the first Thursday of every month at our NEW location below:

    Desert Canyon - HealthSouth
    9175 W. Oquendo Rd.
    Las Vegas, NV 89148

    S.I.N.G. Agenda:
    - Coffee and bagels will be served
    - A time to show gratitude by thanking those who have sent you referrals
    - Announcements around the room
    - One minute commercials
    - Open Discussion on topics of Self Empowerment

    * When? The 1st Thursday of every month. Networking starts at: 8:00am | Meeting starts at: 8:30am

    * How Much? It’s free!