May 8, 2016 by Leigh St John
· 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.
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May 1, 2016 by Leigh St John
· Comments Off on Part Four: Current and Future Anti-Aging Treatments
Filed under: General
As previously noted, many anti-oxidants are essential nutrients. Natural anti-oxidants, like vitamin C and E, work synergistically. Anti-oxidants may be more effective if obtained from a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Nutritionists recommend eating 6 or more daily servings of anti-oxidant rich fruits and vegetables. Everyone agrees the use of antioxidant supplements for anti-aging may be helpful, but there is no agreement on what the most effective supplement dosages should be.
Anti-aging medicine acknowledges that stress of all kinds causes aging but has not yet developed individualized treatment for this. There are countless sources of internal and external stress and individual stress levels vary greatly. One overlooked cause of internal stress is improper hydration. Water is essential in for the correct operation of many internal functions. Too little or too much water causes age producing stress. When one is old (80+) thirst perception declines and dehydration can easily set in. Other overlooked sources of stress are antioxidants themselves. High doses (or doses above certain yet unspecified amounts) of supplemental anti-oxidants are a known cause of stress.
To be helpful, antioxidant supplements must prevent other types of stress more than the stress they themselves create. Knowing the correct supplement dosages that can do this is an essential part of anti-aging treatment. A healthy young person in his twenties, who is properly nourished, will have less internal stress that an older individual in his sixties. For a young individual, lower amounts of antioxidants may be safer than higher amounts. A older person, whose many internal homeostatic mechanisms are less able to deal with internal stress, may benefit more from higher amounts of antioxidants. Theoretically an anti-oxidant based course of anti-ageing treatment will slow the rate at which cellular damage occurs. Cells will become “sick” more slowly. Over time, as fewer sick cells are replaced at a slower rate, the number of cells retaining longer telomere chains will be higher. You can then reasonably expect this to result in an increase in life expectancy. For now the recommended but imprecise approach to decrease the rate at which cellular damage occurs is to increase your per day intake of anti-oxidant rich fruits and vegetables, to slightly increase your intake of antioxidants, and to take various vitamins and small amounts of anti-aging supplements on a daily basis. One study has shown taking a good multivitamin supplement is associated with longer telomere length.
Ideally anti-aging treatment should to be fine tuned for each individual. The key here would be to measure and minimize the cumulative effects of different kinds of stress on an individual basis. Easily measurable practical bio-markers for various types of stress do not yet exist or are not being used. When they are used it will be easy to customize individual antioxidant dosages so that everyone have “optimum” levels throughout their life. “Optimum” levels would maintain a safe reserve of protective antioxidants in the body.
Next I will briefly discuss the most popular nutrients associated with anti-aging. The most popular of the anti-oxidants, vitamins, and nutrients often associated with good health and anti-aging include: beta-carotene (vitamin A), vitamin C, vitamin E, various Flavonoids,Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, Co-enzyme Q10, Lycopene, Selenium.
There are dozens of supplements that are known to effectively treat specific symptoms of old age. A few of the better known supplements include: DMAE, Acetyl-l-carnitine, L-carnosine, Alpha Lipoic Acid, DHEA, L-arginine, and melatonin
Good food contains some of the anti-oxidants previously mentioned. A few other popular foods associated with anti-aging include: Green Tea, turmeric, and red wine.
All of the above have unique biological properties and, in my opinion, are “good” for you if taken in small or moderate amounts. Some (ex. vitamin C) may also be “good” for you in larger amounts. Various studies on each of these may conflict with each other. You need to carefully research each substance on your own but researchers have already found several nutrients to be associated with longer than average telomere lengths. These include: Green Tea, Omega-3, Vitamins A, C, D, and E.
Vitamin E has been associated with telomere lengthening anti-aging properties.
Green tea contains many antioxidants, including vitamin C, E and flavenoids.Flavenoids form a large antioxidant class (including catechins and quercetin) that has many anticarcinogenic, antihypercholesterolemic, antibacterial, (helps prevent dental caries), and anti-inflammatory properties. The leaves of the tea plant are rich in polyphenols. The consumption of 3 cups or more of green tea daily has been associated with longer than average telomere length.
The Omega-3s are essential long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids that are anti-inflammatory and help prevent heart disease, stroke, memory loss, depression, arthritis, cataract, cancer. Omega-3s slow down the shortening of telomeres; i.e. they may protect against aging on a cellular level.
Vitamin C is an abundant internal water soluble antioxidant that protects cellular components against free-radical formation caused by pollution and cigarette smoke. Many studies have associated high vitamin C intakes with lower rates of cancer of the mouth, larynx and esophagus. Vitamin C has shown promise in treating premature aging and possibly aging itself.
Due to limitations on the number of links I can incorporate into this article I could not provide more reference links supporting the preceding paragraphs. If interested please email me at the email address shown at the end of this article and I will forward them to you.
The sooner you start some sort of anti-aging treatment the better but it is never too late to start. All real treatments will help you maintain a longer than average average telomere chain length.
The goal of the programmed death theory of aging is to address the root causes of aging. This goal includes attempts to slow or reverse the telomere shortening process. Two such treatments are: TA 65 and human genetic engineering.
TA 65 is a telomerase activating product produced and marketed by Sierra Sciences. The key ingredient in TA 65 is Astragalus, a plant extract known to have telomerase activation properties. The product may work but I do not recommend it for several reasons. TA 65 is too expensive for the average person. A number of expensive health spas incorporate TA 65 in their programs. Again these are financially beyond the reach of the average person. The marketing tactics of Sierra Sciences have been questioned by many and there are law suits pending against TA 65.
The big issue I have with TA 65 is one of scientific honesty. The company genetically engineered mice that allowed telomerase to be switched off and on at an early age. TA 65 was able to switch telomerase back on in these mice and allowed them to live normal lives. http://www.nature.com/news/2010/101128/full/news.2010.635.html
Using this to show how effective TA65 treatment is, is dishonest. This is not how telomerase normally works and there was no real extension of the lifespan beyond what it would have been without the genetic modification. In normal mice the effects of TA65 were temporary and little or no life extension was seen. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/04/11/anti-aging-pill-new-study-on-ta-65-sparks-controversy.html
Human genetic engineering is the real answer to fighting and defeating aging. It can directly address the root causes of aging. Advances in this area (ex. CRISPR) allow DNA base pairs to be inserted or deleted at specific place in our DNA. This means the human genome can now be precisely edited as needed. The lifespan of old mice has been modestly increased using telomerase gene therapy. In humans gene modification therapy has frequently been used for various medical problems. On September 15, 2015, Elizabeth Parrish was the first human to undergo anti-aging gene therapy. Anti-aging treatments will rapidly advance as our knowledge of the specifics of the human genome grows.
Current general social-political attitudes seem to be favoring the further development of anti-aging research. There are no international recognized political programs to stop aging or extend life but since 2012 a few pro-immortality political parties have sprung up. Their aim is to support anti-aging and life extension research, and to help provide access to advances in these areas to everyone. Among the numerous organizations supporting anti-aging research, the SENS (Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence) organization has come up with an anti-aging research plan. They want to develop anti-aging therapies to repair most forms of cellular damage. SENS, is a charitable organization. Any anti-aging advances resulting from funding it provides will become readily available public knowledge. In addition to the normal scientific research there is the $1,000,00 Palo Alto Longevity Prize that is being offered to anyone who can come up with an effective anti-aging treatment.
As of 2015, all known anti-aging treatments are only partially effective. Depending on when one starts a comprehensive anti-aging program, one can probably extend one’s life by 10 to 25 years. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health estimated that an anti-aging lifestyle can add 24.6 more productive years to one’s lifespan. Anti-aging knowledge increases at a rate of about 10 times every 10 years. This probably means that for many of us there is more than enough time to reap the anticipated benefits in anti-aging research. One day soon, aging, like many other diseases, will be cured. While we wait for those anti-aging technological singularities to occur the name of the game is to ensure we stay healthy long enough repeat their benefits.
As a former engineer I have a strong affinity to all sciences including biology.
My interests include following advances in the fields of anti-aging, health and nutrition. Rapid advances in these areas will vanquish the disease we call aging.
Through my articles and website I want to help you maintain your good health for the next 10 to 25 years. I believe this can be done by a daily program that includes moderate exercise, a healthy diet that includes vitamins and related supplements, and taking advantage of any advances in related research. My hope is that within the next 25 years or less, the fruits of anti-aging research will become available to everyone.
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April 18, 2016 by Leigh St John
· 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.
- Infancy. Birth to 2 years – basic trust vs. basic distrust. Hope.
- Early childhood, 3 to 4 years – autonomy vs. self doubt/shame. Will.
- Play age, 5 to 8 years – initiative vs. guilt. Purpose.
- School age, 9to 12 – industry vs. inferiority. Competence.
- Adolescence, 13 to 19 – identity vs. identity confusion. Fidelity.
- Young adulthood – intimacy vs. isolation. Love.
- Adulthood, generativity vs. self absorption. Care.
- 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:
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Social aging according to Cumming, E. and Henry, W. (Growing old: the aging process of disengagement, NY, Basic 1961) follows a well defined pattern:
- Change in role. Change in occupation and productivity. Possibly change in attitude to work.
- Loss of role, e.g. retirement or death of a husband.
- Reduced social interaction. With loss of role social interactions are diminished, eccentric adjustment can further reduce social interaction, damage to self concept, depression.
- 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.
- Denial and isolation. “No, not me”.
- Anger. “I’ve lived a good life so why me?”
- Bargaining. Secret deals are struck with God. “If I can live until…I promise to…”
- Depression. (In general the greatest psychological problem of the aged is depression). Depression results from real and threatened loss.
- 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.
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.
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.
Livliga dishware is a new solution to help these two generations eat right and stay healthy
Americans are living longer than ever, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, but the fight to stay healthy is just as challenging as it has been with past generations. Recent studies show that the Silent Generation, born from 1927 to 1945 and Baby Boomers, born from 1946 to 1964, collectively face three major nutritional challenges.
A Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine study shows Baby Boomers have higher rates of hypertension, diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol when compared to their previous generation. The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations also shows the highest obesity rates are currently found in Baby Boomers.
For the Silent Generation, currently ages 68 to 85, the National Institute on Aging says its main challenge is related to lack of balanced nutrition and getting enough calories.
The NIA says this group has:
- decreased appetite
- trouble chewing food
- less socialization around food
- diminished sense of taste and smell
- medication interference with food enjoyment
- fixed incomes
One new solution is Livliga, a tool Baby Boomers and Silent Generation seniors can use to promote right-sized food portions to reach target weights as well as to guide intake of balanced nutritional meals. Created with an Advisory Committee including a cardiologist and certified nutritionist, Livliga offers easy, subtle cues to improve and control the food environment.
“Livliga is a solution for every stage of life,” says inventor, Sheila Kemper Dietrich. “It can be used by people who are under eating and need to be reminded to take in more calories or to help those who are struggling to shrink their waistlines. The guide to portion sizes combined with reminders of what comprises a balanced meal are the keys to better health for both groups.”
Livliga is Swedish for LIVELY, VIBRANT or VIVID, which is the company’s core philosophy. Kemper Dietrich’s vision was to create an attractive suite of place settings designed for a healthy lifestyle and suitable for entertaining family and friends in both formal and informal settings. The beautiful designs on the dishware offer elegant visual cues to guide appropriate and right-sized servings. The initial product launch was a 4-piece place setting in two patterns, including a dinner plate, salad/luncheon plate, bowl and mug. Livliga also offers a serving bowl, etched water and wine glasses.
For Baby Boomers or Silent Generation seniors with grandchildren, Kidliga can also be helpful to promote healthy habits for the entire family. Kidliga is whimsical, fun dishware for kids, accompanied by a health-oriented children’s storybook. Sammie & Sax in the Land of Quinoa: The Search for a Balanced Meal just won a Moonbeam Award in the Health Issues category and is a useful tool and solution to help families in the fight against childhood obesity.
Livliga products are specifically designed to help both adults and children address the “psychology of eating”. The rim sizes, color palette, and designs all combine to encourage slower eating, make portion sizes look larger, as well as make food more visually appealing.
A 4-piece Livliga place setting is available on the company website at www.LivligaHome.com at an introductory price of $49.95 (MSRP $59.95). All of the additional products and pricing can be easily found on the website as well. Kemper Dietrich says plans call for further product launches, including additional patterns and a set of LivSpoons that makes for easy, everyday measuring and serving of right-sized portions.
To purchase Livliga, visit the online store at www.LivligaHome.com. “Like” Livliga on Facebook at facebook.com/LivligaHome, follow on Twitter @LivligaHome and visit our blog at LivligaHome.blogspot.com. Watch our videos on YouTube.com/LivligaHome.
Agency Zero Public Relations
The Baby Boomer generation will begin taking early retirement in 2008. In 2011 they will approach the traditional retirement age of 65. As more and more Baby Boomers retire they will put a tremendous strain on the Social Security system. So far, no significant changes have been implemented to lessen the impact Baby Boomers will have on the Social Security system. The longer any action is delayed the more drastic the changes will be. Will these changes affect you? If you were born between 1946 and 1964, then you are officially a Baby Boomer and will probably be impacted by the Social Security funding problem.
The current and projected future financial status of the Governments’ trust funds is presented in the “The 2007 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Federal Disability Insurance Trust Funds (OASDI).” The good news is that the Social Security Administration (SSA) states that there are no plans to reduce benefits for current retirees. In fact, benefits for current retirees are scheduled to continue growing with inflation. However, the 2007 OASDI Trustees Report also states, “Social Security’s combined trust funds are projected to allow full payment of scheduled benefits until they become exhausted in 2041. This means that unless changes are made soon, benefits for all retirees could be cut by 26 percent in 2040 and continue to be reduced every year thereafter. If you are “younger” senior citizen or a want to-be senior citizen, this is not good news
The Trustees of Social Security, the Comptroller General of the United States and the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board have said, the sooner we address the problem, the smaller and less abrupt the changes will be. The independent, bipartisan Social Security Advisory Board has also said: “As time goes by, the size of the Social Security problem grows, and the choices available to fix it become more limited.” Addressing the problem now will allow today’s younger workers planning for their retirement to have a better assurance of the future of Social Security. The problem has not been addressed as of 2007.
If Social Security is not changed we have a limited number of options in the future. The options are to increase payroll taxes, reduce the benefits of today’s younger workers or borrow from the general fund. Social Security’s Trustees state, “If no action were taken until the combined trust funds become exhausted in 2040, much larger changes would be required. For example, payroll taxes could be raised to finance scheduled benefits fully in every year starting in 2040. In this case, the payroll tax would be increased to 16.65 percent at the point of trust fund exhaustion in 2040 and continue rising to 17.78 percent in 2080. Similarly, benefits could be reduced to the level that is payable with scheduled tax rates in every year beginning in 2040. Under this scenario, benefits would be reduced 26 percent at the point of trust fund exhaustion in 2040, with reductions reaching 30 percent in 2080.”
Social Security was never meant to be the sole source of income in retirement and that especially applies to the Baby Boomer generation. It is often said that a comfortable retirement is based on a “three-legged stool” of Social Security, pensions and savings. American workers should be saving for their retirement on a personal basis and through employer-sponsored or other retirement plans. If a Baby Boomer is not preparing for retirement with a pension and/or savings to supplement their Social Security benefits, they will have to delay retirement or continue working part-time.
Glen Jensen is a writer for [http://www.SeniorCitizenDirectory.com] which is a site that provides Senior Citizen Information.
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Many senior citizens experience some form of memory loss. Still, there are differences between mild forgetfulness and more serious memory problems. And, it is important that senior citizens and those involved in their elder care address problems with memory, as it may be a sign of a more serious condition.
As we age, we lose some of the sharpness of memory we had when we were younger. We may notice that it takes longer to recall facts or information, learn new things, or find or identify familiar objects. In general, these are all signs of mild forgetfulness rather than a more serious medical problem. If you are becoming worried about your memory, schedule an appointment with your doctor to rule out larger problems. Many activities can sharpen your mind and memory, such as picking up a new hobby, visiting friends, eating well, and exercising.
Some more tips for helping your memory are listed below:
- Learn a new skill.
- Volunteer in a local school, hospital, place of worship, or somewhere else in your community.
- Spend a lot of time with loved ones.
- Make use of memory tools such as large calendars, agendas, and notes to yourself.
- Make an effort to put your wallet, purse, keys, or glasses in the same place each time you set them down.
- Get ample rest.
- Exercise and eat a healthy diet.
- Avoid drinking a lot of alcohol.
- Seek help if you feel depressed for an extended period of time (more than two weeks).
You can also make use of the following:
- Large calendars
- Agendas for each day
- Notes about safety in the home
- Directions for using common items around the house
Serious Memory Problems
More serious memory problems disrupt your ability to carry on normal activities like driving, shopping, or handling money. Some signs of a serious memory problem include:
- Repeating the same questions over and over.
- Getting lost in a usually familiar place.
- Being unable to follow directions.
- Experiencing confusion about time, people, or places.
- Taking poor care of yourself (eating poorly, forgetting to bathe, or engaging in unsafe actions or activities).
Causes of Serious Memory Problems
Medical conditions. Certain medical conditions can lead to serious memory problems that should disappear after treatment. Some things that can cause memory problems are bad reactions to certain medications, depression, dehydration (insufficient amount of fluids in the body), poor diet (insufficient vitamins and minerals), minor head injuries, and thyroid problems. These are all serious medical conditions that should be handled by a physician.
Emotional problems. When senior citizens have certain emotional problems, serious memory problems may develop. Sadness, loneliness, worrying, or boredom can cause confusion and forgetfulness. An active lifestyle, visiting with loved ones, and learning new skills can be helpful, but it may be necessary to seek the help of a doctor or counselor for treatment. If this is the case, getting proper help should minimize memory problems.
Alzheimer’s disease. This disease also causes problems with memory. It begins slowly, but the symptoms get progressively worse as the brain changes. Although it may appear to be mild memory loss at first, people with Alzheimer’s get to a point at which it’s difficult to think clearly. Everyday activities like shopping, driving, cooking, and carrying on a conversation become complicatedTaking medication during the early or middle stages of Alzheimer’s disease can delay memory loss and can be of great help if you have trouble sleeping or are worried or depressed.
Multi-infarct dementia. This is another disease that causes memory problems, where symptoms often appear abruptly. Memory loss and confusion associated with this disease come about through small strokes or short periods of decreased blood flow to the brain. Preventing additional strokes can maintain or improve memory after a stroke, but having more strokes generally leads to more memory loss. To prevent strokes and multi-infarct dementia, maintaining a healthy blood pressure is key.
Diagnosing Serious Memory Problems
As with all health concerns, if you have cause to worry about your memory, you should see your doctor. Be prepared to have a complete checkup if your doctor thinks it is necessary. This checkup may include tests to check memory, problem solving, counting, and language skills, and your doctor may need to take a CAT scan of your brain. A CAT scan is helpful because it shows normal and problem areas in the brain and can help to identify a problem. When your doctor comes to a conclusion as to what is causing your memory problems and makes a diagnosis, ask which treatment options are best for you.
Friends and family members can provide support to help you cope with memory loss. They can help you exercise, visit friends, and continue daily routines and activities. They can also remind you of the time, your location, and what is going on around you.
If memory problems progress to the point that you have difficulty taking care of yourself, in home care for senior citizens can be helpful. Home health care aides can assist with personal care, meal preparation, and health management. And they provide services according to your need, from a few hours a week to 24-hours a day.
Most senior citizens who have pets treat them like they are their children. Of course, you don’t need to be a senior to do that, but homes without children of the human kind truly do have children of the furry kind.
In addition to providing companionship, unconditional love and a calming effect, larger pets can also provide a sense of safety to seniors. Its also been shown that people who have pets tend to live longer. Pet ownership, as we all know, also has its responsibilities. Sometimes these responsibilities are more difficult on seniors and keeping their pets can present problems. The escalating cost of veterinary bills and the ability to transport their pets when many don’t drive are very real issues.
Several cities in Colorado have been surveying their veterinarian population to find out which ones offer discounts to senior citizens for pet care, as well as which ones either make home visits or provide some type of transportation assistance and other help. In Fort Collins, their Senior Advisory Board obtained a grant allowing it to start a mobile veterinary service for seniors called Elder Pet Care. What a great idea!! Seniors are charged based on a sliding scale for veterinary services performed at their homes. The program is now self-sustaining after ten years.
Some transit systems, like the city of Loveland, CO are also on board by allowing pets to ride in crates. Transit systems in Boston, Toronto, Seattle and San Francisco allow full size dogs on leashes to come on board as well as ferries in some of these cities.
I think all these programs are worth duplicating across the United States. Next time you’re at your vet, why not ask if they’re involved in any programs that offer discounts or mobile pet care to seniors. After all, it never hurts to ask!
Debbie Foster is the owner of Pet Beds Unlimited and an avid animal lover. You can find a wide selection of quality pet beds, dog crates, dog carriers [http://www.petbedsunlimited.com/dog_carriers.html], dog pens [http://www.petbedsunlimited.com/dog_pens.html], cat beds, cat carriers and pet strollers at [http://petbedsunlimited.com]
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Top 10 steps to prepare for a remodel
NARI offers tips in honor of National Home Improvement Month.
Des Plaines, Illinois, May 8, 2013—In honor of National Home Improvement Month this May, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) advises homeowners of the 10 most important steps to take before the remodeling project starts.
“The planning and researching phases of a project are the most critical steps in the remodeling process,” says NARI National President Art Donnelly, MCR, CKBR, Legacy Builders & Remodelers Corp., based in Mount Sinai, N.Y. “The more knowledgeable and prepared a homeowner is, the more they protect themselves.”
What can a homeowner do to prepare for a remodel? NARI provides a top 10 list of steps homeowners should take before breaking ground on their next remodel.
- Research your project. Taking time to research projects on the Internet and NARI.org will provide a good sense of what is involved such as price, scope of work, return on investment and new product/material options. Also, research property values in your neighborhood to make sure your project is in line with other homes in the area.
- Plan project around the long-term. How long do you plan to stay in your home? How might your family structure change over time? Life can change quickly—these questions should be answered early on to ensure your project will fit your lifestyle long after it’s complete.
- Set your budget. Deciding on a realistic budget and arranging finances to support your project are essential. This number needs to include everything—the project, products, contingencies, etc. Don’t be afraid to share this with your remodeler; professionals are respectful of a client’s budget and will create a plan around it, not over it.
- Use advanced search for professionals. The online world makes it easy to gather information about strangers. Ask friends, family and neighbors for referrals and then spend time researching that person online. Professional remodelers take their reputation seriously and hold credentials beyond licensing, such as certifications, memberships in trade associations and additional training. Look for examples of press coverage or involvement in industry presentations or events. Check online reviews and social media to see how they interact with past clients and peers.
- Ask the right questions. Time and cost are important, but getting the right information requires the right questions. Ask your professional remodeler about his educational background, training, specialties or past issues with clients. Ask about how the remodeling process will work.
- Verify your remodeler. Don’t take their word for it. Check the information given to you such as references, license numbers, insurance information and certifications by calling providers to verify. Request a visit to an active client’s jobsite. Make it known that you are checking on him—a true professional considers that as a positive sign to working with a homeowner.
- Review contracts word-by-word. A remodeling contract protects you and your remodeler. Homeowners should review this carefully. Professional remodelers have done this before, and know what should go in a contract. Homeowners are not as familiar with remodeling and should ask about terms if they don’t understand. Pay attention to details about change orders, payment, additional fees, timeline and responsibilities. If it’s not in the contract, it doesn’t exist.
- Keep design in mind. Your design guides the entire project. Think about what you dislike about your current space and the intended use of the new space. Use Websites such as Pinterest.com and Houzz.com to gather design ideas. Make sure you can articulate specifically what you like about that design when talking to your designer. Professionals don’t recreate a photo—they incorporate accessibility, functionality, ease of modification, style and value into your design.
- Make your selections. Deciding on products and materials is a larger process than most imagine. With so many options to choose from, product selections are one of the primary reasons for project timelines to get extended. Base decisions on quality, function, price, style and availability. Include selections in the contract to lock down pricing and keep your budget intact.
- Create a communication plan. A common downfall in remodeling is lack of communication between homeowners and remodelers. Your remodeler should lay out a communication plan at the beginning of the project. If not, ask them to do so. This plan should clarify roles of everyone involved, communication methods, availability, and frequency of communication that is expected.
As an industry that struggles with a persistent negative perception of remodeling contractors, these tips serve both the industry and consumers in elevating real professionals from the pack.
The first step to hiring a professional is through NARI, whose members are vetted and approved by industry peers to ensure they live up to the professional standards that NARI sets. “NARI members are proud of their affiliation and commitment to professionalism, and it’s a reputation they work hard to protect,” Donnelly says.
Consumers may visit www.NARI.org to find a qualified professional who is a member of NARI or call NARI National at (847) 298-9200 and request a free copy of NARI’s brochure, “How to Select a Remodeling Professional.”
Click here to see an online version of this press release.
EDITOR’S NOTE: NARI can provide hi-res digital photos of award-winning projects to accompany your story. Contact NARI with your photo request at email@example.com or ask for Morgan Zenner at (847) 298-9200.
# # #
About NARI: The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) is the only trade association dedicated solely to the remodeling industry. The Association, which represents member companies nationwide—comprised of 63,000 remodeling contractors— is “The Voice of the Remodeling Industry.”™ To learn more about membership, visit www.NARI.org or contact national headquarters, based in Des Plaines, Ill., at (847) 298-9200.
Cell phones for senior citizens are getting better and better. Cell phones for seniors and kids usually have a number of mutual needs. This is one phone that can meet the demands of both.
Its main features are a large keypad, screen and fonts. It does not text, take photos, do music or have ring tones. Arrives ready to use with your choice of preprogrammed telephone numbers.
Another great features is by pushing one button, it quickly dials a Live Operator for help in emergencies, who will dial anyone on a call list, or look up new numbers. The Operator is available 24 hours 7 days a week.This will allow you to rest assure that your parents, kids, and loved ones, can always reach you with Operator Assistance. In my opinion, it’s the best selection for kids and senior citizens.
It will also give the senior more of a sense of independence by having a simple cell phone that is larger, preprogrammed with the essential phone numbers, and without all the features they will not use or get in their way.
Its features are:
Ease of use
One Push Button to Live Operator for emergencies or calling assistance
Amplified Speakerphone with large cushioned earpiece that coordinates with a hearing aid
Volume can be adjusted quite loud
Large viewing screen and text
Comes preprogrammed with telephone numbers of your choice
Voice mail options are questions that can be answered either yes or no, for simplicity in operation
Large keypad for dexterity challenges
Not available at traditional mobile phone providers
Children can only call where you designate.
This would make a unique gift for anyone you want or need to communicate with.
Rest assured that your parents, kids and loved ones can always reach you with Operator Assistance 24/7.
Why should you care about cell phones for senior citizens, kids and the dexterity challenged? Because, it’s an important thing to do, for their safety, ability to communicate, and your peace of mind.
Sheri Davis Collins recomends that you visit http://www.haven-designs-decorative-pillows.com/unique_gift_catalog.html for specifics about this cell phone designed for senior citizens and kids. (Scroll down on page)
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All too often we resort to medication to help with our medical problems when a change in our diet could be all that was needed. As we grow older our diet becomes more and more important and healthy eating for senior citizens can improve their quality of life considerably.
In an ideal world, we would be following a healthy diet throughout our lives and our medical problems later in life would be negligible. This, however, is unlikely to be the case and there will not doubt be a range of conditions appearing as we get older. One of these is likely to be osteoporosis. This is a condition which will weaken the bones and can lead to an increased risk of fractures. A plan for healthy eating for senior citizens who have, or are at risk of getting osteoporosis would include a possible reduction in protein. We are not saying that you should discard it from your diet, just do not eat too much. Your body uses acid in the digestion of protein and if there is too much you may need to counterbalance this by taking calcium from your bones.
Other conditions that the elderly are prone to include rheumatoid arthritis. There are many debates regarding the affect of certain foods on rheumatoid arthritis and healthy eating for senior citizens who suffer with the condition. Some claims have been subject to research and others are still just a case of hearsay. It is very difficult to say if there is any link between diet and the condition and many studies are underway.
The best advice that can be given regarding healthy eating for senior citizens is to eat a good, balanced diet with plenty of fresh foods. Do not eat too much protein and try and reduce red meats a little. Calcium is great for the strengthening of bones but do consider the fact that this is protein and bear in mind what we said earlier.
Often, as you get older, you find that your appetite is not as great as it was when you were younger. You may find it easier to digest more, smaller meals rather than one or two larger ones. Sometimes you may feel lethargic about preparing a meal. If this is the case try to eat something which does not require much time and effort. This does not mean that it has to be lacking in nutritional value. Even a bowl of cereals can be very healthy and satisfying and will make you feel better in the short term. In the long term, however, you would be wise to make the effort to produce a good hot, nutritious meal for yourself and your family. Healthy eating for senior citizens is by far the best way to ensure you keep your energy levels high. This way you will be able to enjoy your leisure time and fight infections and ill health.
Ian Pennington is an accomplished niche website developer and author.
To learn more about healthy eating [http://www.seniorhealthtoday.info/healthy-eating-for-senior-citizens], please visit Senior Health Today [http://www.seniorhealthtoday.info] for current articles and discussions.
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Senior citizen dating has entered a brave new world. It comes in the form of senior citizen dating sites and these sites open the door for getting back out into the relationship game.
And no, the ‘rules of the game’ really have not changed. All that has changed is the fact that it is easier to meet a compatible new person. It is easier because the internet has removed a number of the problems in the face of those that wish they could find a new paramour but are at a loss for how to meet someone new.
Now, some seniors will wonder if they can get the proverbial hang of an online dating site. Here is some positive info: it is not all that tough to get the hang of such a site. These sites have been designed in such a way that it is pretty easy to get the most out of them. All you need to know is the basics of navigating the internet and you can take part in effective senior citizen dating.
Sure, some may be wondering if they can handle the profile creation component. Really, this is little more than typing text into the profile and uploading a few photos. Again, the process is not a tough one and you can develop a solid profile with little effort. Well, it may require some effort but nothing you can’t handle!
In order to boost the ease of finding someone new, it would be best to sign on with senior citizen dating sites. This is not to knock the quality of the general dating sites. Many of the general sites are quite excellent. However, to improve the ease of finding someone new, you would be best served looking towards a dating site that specifically caters to seniors.
Why is this so? Basically, you can feel completely assured that the people on the site are seniors looking to meet other seniors.
When the site is crowded with scores of people who are not seniors, it can prove be difficult to find the right person. This is not because anyone is running interference. It just means you will have to navigate through the various different people that are not seniors. That can be time consuming and unnecessary.
So, look towards those sites that are catering to seniors. This will prove to be the best option to follow when you are interested in senior citizen dating.
Just be sure to look towards a site that charges a subscription fee. Free sites a tendency to be lacking in various respects. Paid sites will generally have better customer service and larger serious memberships. They just make a better choice for those looking to meet someone new.
Now find reputable free basic membership senior dating sites and choose the right one for you. David Kamau is offers dating service reviews at his website and blog.
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Seeing the Light: Why Lighting Is Important for Senior Citizens
As people age, they consider home improvements that will make their living spaces both safer and more enjoyable. Some senior citizens choose to downgrade to a smaller and easy-to-manage home, while others improve the safety of their current household by making sure railings are tightly installed, rugs are put on slippery floors and stairs are covered in soft carpet. One factor that is often overlooked is the lighting throughout the home. While it may seem simple, lighting is one of the most important features of the home, especially as people get older.
According to SeniorJournal.com, senior citizens need three times the amount of light than younger people do in order to see clearly. This is because the lenses on the eye thicken and the pupils shrink, causing the eyes to react slower to lighting conditions. Senior citizens with dementia also suffer from additional eye impairment because they have a difficulty in distinguishing objects from their backgrounds.
Not only is lighting necessary for senior citizens because of the effects of aging, but they also need adequate lighting for safety. Senior citizens are at an increased risk for slips and falls, so it’s important that they can see clearly throughout the home.
Where Should Seniors Have Lighting?
It’s essential that every room has adequate lighting for both safety and comfort, but there are certain areas that require careful attention. Make sure that stairways and walkways have enough lighting, as these are some of the most common places for slips and falls. Ideally, seniors should have a light switch at both the top and bottom of the stairs so that they can switch the lights on and off without being stuck in the dark. The lights should point toward the stairs so that each step is well lit.
The kitchen is another room that needs adequate lighting, as this is where seniors prepare all of their meals and handle appliances. Seniors must be able to read the labels on food items, buttons on appliances and also be able to handle cutting and chopping confidently. To increase lighting, consider installing lights underneath cabinets. Other good choices include low-hanging lights to go over a breakfast bar or recessed lighting in all corners of the kitchen.
Another room that deserves attention is the family room or den, where reading, watching television and relaxing is done. There is no need for seniors to strain their eyes when engaging in their hobbies, so choose lighting that will complement activities. For example, floor lamps that have 3-way bulbs are ideal, since each bulb can be positioned differently, providing light from a variety of angles.
Nightlights are also important to have throughout the home, especially because seniors find themselves getting up during the night to use the washroom. Consider the areas that are dark and often traveled through during the late hours, such as hallways, stairs and bedrooms. Nightlights are easy to place in both high and low outlets to provide sufficient lighting, at least until a senior can reach the light switch.
What Types of Light Bulbs are Best for Seniors?
The standard and most basic type of light bulb is an incandescent bulb. What makes an incandescent bulb a great option for seniors is that it is easy to change, easy to keep clean and fits in standard lamps and fixtures. Because incandescent bulbs contain no mercury or lead, they can be disposed of or recycled with the regular trash.
Fluorescent light bulbs are another great option for seniors because they are efficient, produce little heat and last up to 20,000 hours. A longer life means seniors won’t have to change the bulbs as much. Fluorescent light bulbs do contain mercury however, so it’s important to dispose of them properly.
Turning Light Bulbs On and Off with Ease
Light bulbs and fixtures aren’t the only important factors to consider; seniors must also think about how their light bulbs will be turned on and off. If possible, make sure that all light bulbs can be turned on using a light switch so that the room is well lit upon entering or exiting. As an added benefit, choose to install dimmers onto light switches so that the intensity of the light can be altered using the switch.
Other great options are rocker switches, which are larger than standard switches and can be turned on and off using an arm, elbow or even a cane. If there are rooms where the lights are not hooked up to a light switch, clap-on lights should be considered. These friendly alternatives make it easy for seniors to gently clap their hands in order to activate light bulbs.
How to Safely Change a Light Bulb
Providing a senior citizen’s home with enough light is not only essential for safety, but it also allows seniors more independence and confidence. Best of all, once proper lighting is installed, seniors can maintain their light bulbs and fixtures themselves. To change a light bulb is simple and requires no tools, as long as the bulb is in a lamp or fixture that does not contain a glass reflector. If a glass reflector is present, a small screwdriver can be used to loosen the screws and remove the bulb.
1. Turn off the electricity and let the bulb cool for 5 minutes. 2. Hold the base of the bulb firmly with one hand, while turning it counterclockwise until it is released from the socket. 3. Insert the new light bulb into the socket, making sure it fits snug. 4. Turn the light bulb in a clockwise direction until is locked in. 5. Switch the electricity to “on” and make sure that the bulb is working properly.
What to Look for When Choosing Light Fixtures
There may not be much that seniors can do about existing lighting, but if updating fixtures or purchasing a new home, there are certain light fixtures to consider. Look for ceiling fixtures that do not contain globes around them. These need to be removed and cleaned often in order to maintain their look and proper lighting. Not to mention, in order to reach these fixtures, seniors will need a ladder or step stool, which only increases the risk of slips and falls.
Floor lamps make great lighting options since they are easy to maintain. Light bulbs can simply be swapped out and a cloth or paper towel can be used to wipe down the bulbs and fixtures. Best of all, floors lamps are inexpensive, can be matched to any décor and can be moved throughout the home.
Wall sconces are other great alternatives to ceiling lighting, especially in stairwells and bathrooms. Wall sconces make it easy to change out light bulbs and most models have openings on both the top and bottom. Sconces are easy to clean, have decorative appeal and provide ample lighting, especially is awkward places and corners.
Proper lighting is vital for the safety and independence of senior citizens. Fortunately, senior centers and retirement homes have improved their standards in regards to lighting, but it’s important that the homes of seniors are not ignored. Take the time to consider new and updated light bulbs and fixtures, as well as increasing the wattage where applicable. Ultimately, seniors will find their homes more enjoyable and comfortable with these minor home improvements.
Visit this site for information about fluorescent light bulbs.
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Healthy Eating and Lifestyle
While it is important for people of all ages to stay healthy, it is especially important for senior citizens to maintain healthy eating habits as well as to stay active which is important in the prevention of chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. By practicing healthier living practices, senior citizens can maintain a healthy weight, avoid depression, and stay mentally sharp. Those participating in caring for the elderly should be aware of these healthy living practices and work to both encourage and facilitate them.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a healthy diet includes many different types of food that are rich in nutrients. They have outlined specifically what this eating plan entails at the website.. Because this eating plan is designed specifically for senior citizens, it focuses on the types of foods that are important for preventing common ailments of older Americans like obesity and serious chronic illnesses.
Healthy Eating 101:
By following some of the tips listed, senior citizens can start a healthier lifestyle today:
- Don’t skip meals. It is important to eat regularly in order to maintain normal metabolism and not become tempted to eat higher fat foods when food is consumed.
- Eat a diet that is high in fiber. By eating foods like whole-grain breads, beans, vegetables, and fruits, you can lower your susceptibility to diabetes and heart disease.
- Senior citizens especially should begin to adjust their diet to one that includes less calories and fat because the body will need less as it ages.
- Calcium and Vitamin D are very important for nutrition and keeping bones strong. You can get this by either getting in at least three servings of dairy every day, or substituting these with soy-based beverages and proteins.
- Senior citizens will have a harder time absorbing adequate amounts of the B12 vitamin. For this reason, it is important to eat cereals fortified with this nutrient or taking vitamin B12 supplements with meals.
- Snack the smart way. Senior citizens will want to limit the amount of unhealthy snacking they do which involves foods high in calories and sugars. Instead, keep small portions of dried fruit, peanut butter, or crackers at hand to keep the appetite under control while remaining healthy.
- Drink plenty of water. Although senior citizens often feel less thirsty then they used to, it is important to stay hydrated by either drinking water or water-based beverages like tea, coffee, soup, and skim milk.
Planning and Preparing Meals
Sometimes people find it hard to eat healthily because eating is often a social event which involves many people with different eating preferences and goals. While it is important to be able to enjoy a meal with family and friends, it is also important to maintain your own eating integrity by making sure everyone is on board with your personal healthy eating goals. Friends and family, as well as those providing elder care should facilitate healthy eating, not detour from it. The following tips address ways that senior citizens can maintain the healthy eating habits without sacrificing the social aspect of sharing a meal with others or learning to adjust to a lifestyle that involves eating with less people on a day-to-day basis.
- Grocery shopping with others. This can be a fun and smart way to control the cost and quantity of food that you consume. If you don’t live with many people, this is a good way to split large-quantity items like potatoes and eggs which you may not be ableto use before expiration.
- A time saving a smart way to eat healthy is cooking large quantities of food ahead of time and portioning for heating on later dates.
- A quick way to prepare meals for yourself or for guests involves keeping frozen or canned fruits and vegetables on hand. Draining and/or rinsing canned foods is a good way to lower sodium or calories in foods that are kept in high sugar or high salt fluids.
- Eating or preparing a meal shouldn’t always be a chore. Trying new recipes or eating outside can be a fun new twist on a meal with someone special.
- Try to eat with people you enjoy to be around.
- Some senior citizens have difficulty preparing meals, which is why it is important to become informed about home health care agencies or eldercare facilities that can aid in providing meals. The Eldercare Locator number is 1-800-677-1116.
Loss of Appetite or Desire to Eat
There are various reasons for why some senior citizens may not eat as well as they should or lose the desire to eat completely.
If you find that it is difficult to eat well, then it is best to speak with a healthcare provider or someone involved in your elder care about what can be done to help you eat better.
Some senior citizens are unable to eat well due to issues involving the condition of their teeth or issues with dentures. Checking with a dentist about physical pain that occurs when eating or other issues can help with these issues that lead to poorer eating habits.
When senior citizens lose family and friends or become depressed about events in their life, they may lose the desire to eat. In these instances, it is of the utmost importance that these individuals seek help from people they trust like their family, friends, church community, or those assisting with their elder care that will happily help them in finding ways to continue a healthy lifestyle and eating plan.
Some senior citizens complain that the flavor of foods change when they begin to take certain medications. While it is best to consult with a physician about issues surrounding medication, people can also take vitamin supplements with food that will help them stay healthy.
If you have someone who assists with your in home care, ask them to be vigilant about helping you eat healthy. Have them remind you to eat, and ask them to lend you a hand in preparing meals that are good for you.
Maintaining a healthy weight is important for being able to function in day-to-day life as well as stay mentally sharp. Senior citizens often lose or gain weigh as they age. If you are unsure about what weight you should maintain, consult your physician.
Health Risks Associated with Being Underweight
- poor memory
- compromised immunity
- osteoporosis (weak bones)
- decreases strength
- hypothermia (lowered body temperature)
Health Risks Associated with Being Overweight
- type 2 diabetes
- high blood pressure
- high cholesterol
- heart disease
- stroke (lack of oxygen transported to the brain)
- some cancers
- gallbladder disease
Because healthy weights will differ for everyone, it is important to verify with a physician whether it is healthy for you personally to lose or gain weight.
Participating in regular healthy amounts of physical activity can not only make you feel better, but it can make you less prone to diabetes, heart disease, and colon cancer. Staying active can be difficult for senior citizens, still it is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.
The following are some tips for maintaining a lifestyle that incorporates physical activity:
- Know what amount of physical activity is appropriate for you. Everyone has different levels of activity that is safe for them, and while remaining active is important, always consult a health care provider about what is right for your lifestyle.
- Take time to warm up, cool down, or take breaks when participating in a session of increased physical activity.
- Take it slow. Always start slowly and build up to more intense levels of physical activities.
- If you experience any pain, dizziness, or shortness of breath during exercise, stop the activity immediately.
- Drink water.
- Dress appropriately if you decide to exercise outdoors. Wear warmer clothes during the winter and wear lighter clothes during the summer while applying sunscreen or wearing sunglasses.
- Wear the correct shoes for the activities that you participate in.
Types of Activity
Aerobic activities include activities that increase the heart rate and work the larger muscle groups. You may be able to speak a few words, but would not be able to carry on an entire conversation due to breathing patterns. Some examples of aerobics include:
- brisk walking
- water aerobics
- house work
- active play with children or pets
Begin incorporating small periods of this activity into your schedule during the week while slowly increasing the duration and frequency as time progresses. It is also important to incorporate different types of exercise that focus on balance and flexibility. Becoming used to a lifestyle with regular patterns of aerobic activity can reduce the effects of aging, control weight, lower risk of heart disease, improve flexibility, increase mood and energy, and expand social networks by meeting new people while doing various activities.
Strengthening activities involve the use of muscle groups against resistant forces like when lifting weights or doing yard work that involves lifting, digging, or pushing a lawn mower. This type of activity can keep muscles strong, reduce the need for a cane, reduce risk of bone injury, and help maintain a healthy weight.
Balance activities focus on muscles in specific areas of the body that encourage control as you move through space, reducing the likelihood of falls. This kind of activity could include walking heel to toe, standing on one foot, getting out of a sitting position without the use of the hands, and standing on the tip of your toes. Balance activities can help you stay steady on your feet and reduce the risk of fall and subsequent injury.
Flexibility activities increase the length of the muscles and can include stretching, yoga, and popular exercise programs like pilates. These activities can maintain the felxibility of joints, prevent stiffness, prevent injuries, and lower stress levels in general.
Weight-bearing activities require the muscles to work against gravity where the arms or legs bear the weight of the body. Activities like walking, tennis, and climbing stairs can build and maintain bone mass or reduce the risk of bone fractures.
Some activities incorporate multiple types of strengthening addressed above. What is important is that senior citizens find an enjoyable and do-able activity that will help them incorporate as many benefits as possible which will have far-reaching benefits to their health.
It’s Easy to Stay Healthy
A common misconception is that it takes an excessive amount of time and extra energy to maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, by just taking short walks for ten minutes a time or cleaning the house regularly can be practical ways to incorporate different physical activities into your daily schedule. And remember, staying healthy as a senior citizen will have increasing benefits as you continue to age.
Staying Motivated to Take Care of Yourself
Just because we age doesn’t mean that we are any less stressed by occurrences in life that may make us feel bad about ourselves or decrease our motivation to be good to ourselves. If anything, many of the challenges senior citizens face add stress. Losing loved ones and friends or having trouble being independent with the added stressed of disease and functioning due to aging can cause depression or lifestyle changes that contribute to bad health. Here are some important tips for being good to yourself when you may not feel motivated due to circumstances out of your control:
- Get plenty of sleep
- Stay connected with family and friends
- Join clubs or other social groups that you enjoy
- Spend time with people that you enjoy
- Volunteer at organizations in your community
- Work a part-time job that isn’t too stressful or demanding
- Watch a funny movie or find a way to laugh
- Take up a hobby that you enjoy
Most importantly, senior citizens should remember that it is relatively easy and worth-while to maintain a healthy lifestyle as they age. Be sure to keep family, friends, and those involved in your elder care informed of your goals as they can help assist you. And remembering to eat healthy meals regularly, getting in physical activity, getting enough sleep, and being good to yourself are critical for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
The Caring Space http://www.TheCaringSpace.com
David Crumrine at the Caring Space We are an organization that connects caregivers and care seekers, providing an easy and affordable resource for families seeking care for friends/loved ones and caregivers seeking employment.
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SHAKESPEARE’S PLAY AND PROKOFIEV’S ENDURING SCORE BRINGS THE ‘MONTAGUES’ AND ‘CAPULETS’ TO LIFE IN THIS RIVETING BALLET CHOREOGRAPHED BY JAMES CANFIELD
“For never was a story of more woe, than this of Juliet and her Romeo.”- William Shakespeare
Romeo & Juliet is Co-Sponsored by: Madeleine & Don Andress and Wendy & Richard Plaster
LAS VEGAS, NV (Wednesday, April 10, 2013) – Nevada Ballet Theatre (NBT) concludes its inaugural season at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts with the beloved Shakespearean tragedy, Romeo & Juliet. The classic tale of ill-fated love will be presented on Mother’s Day weekend: Saturday, May 11 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, May 12 at 1 pm in Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, 361 Symphony Park Avenue. Ticket prices range from $35-$128 (plus fees) and can be ordered by calling The Smith Center Box Office at (702) 749-2000 or by visiting www.nevadaballet.org.
Based on the play by William Shakespeare, NBT will transport audiences to 15th Century Verona through Sergei Prokofiev’s well-loved score, Romeo & Juliet, Op. 64. Minimalist – yet lush – sets and costumes, reminiscent of the time period, will complement the inventive choreography of Artistic Director James Canfield. Through comedy and tragedy, movement and miming, feuding families tell the tale of innocent love through street fighting, swordmanship and traditional court dancing in this two-act full-length ballet.
One of Shakespeare’s most performed and notable plays, Romeo & Juliet has successfully been adapted for various performance mediums over the centuries, including stage, opera and film. A challenging ballet for any professional dancer, it requires unique preparation in that performers must master a historically stylized look as well as a deep exploration into the art of acting. With an emotionally charged storyline, a concentration on character development is essential, so that the growth and change in each character is evident to audiences.
“Romeo & Juliet is a significant ballet because it serves as a unique educational tool; in addition to the historical importance of William Shakespeare’s play, Romeo & Juliet explores cultural, familial and societal issues that are applicable to young people in our society today,” said Artistic Director James Canfield. “Clark County students who attend our school matinee on Friday, May 10 at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts will gain a unique understanding into the growth and maturation of a character, similar to how we as human beings develop and change throughout our lives.”
As a benefit for Romeo & Juliet ticket holders, NBT will present Insights, a pre-performance perspective designed to engage, enlighten and entertain audiences in preparation for the performance they are about to see. Led by NBT’s Director of Education & Outreach, Terané Comito, Insights will be presented inside The Smith Center’s Troesh Studio Theater and will take place 45 minutes prior to curtain (Saturday, May 11 at 6:45 pm and Sunday, May 12 at 12:15 pm).
MOTHER’S DAY TEA with
Join us for the Mother’s Day Tea and a “Mommy and Me” Fashion Presentation featuring the designs of Paul Smith in The Smith Center Courtyard (adjacent to the box office). Guests will enjoy tea sandwiches, petit fours and specialty tea selections. Add to the beauty of the ballet experience by attending this special event prior to the matinee on Sunday, May 12 from 11 am – 1 pm. Tickets can be purchased for an additional $75 by calling 702-243-2623 ext. 222 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“JEWELRY BOX” OPPORTUNITY with
Exclusively for Romeo & Juliet, purchase a “Jewelry Box” of 4, 6 or 8 seats. Purchase includes access to the Founders Room, concierge service as well as a $100 gift card for each guest to The Jewelers of Las Vegas. Call 702-243-2623 ext. 224 to make a reservation.
ABOUT NEVADA BALLET THEATRE
Under the artistic direction of James Canfield, Nevada Ballet Theatre is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Las Vegas and the largest professional ballet company and dance Academy in the state. Committed to the highest artistic standards, this classically-based company is at home in an eclectic repertory, moving easily from the classics to the high-energy contemporary ballets. The mission of Nevada Ballet Theatre is to educate and inspire statewide, regional and national audiences and vitally impact community life through professional company productions, dance training and education and outreach. Nevada Ballet Theatre is the resident ballet company of The Smith Center for the Performing Arts.
NEVADA BALLET THEATRE SEASON 42:
A CHOREOGRAPHERS’ SHOWCASE
Nevada Ballet Theatre and Cirque du Soleil
Sunday, October 6 at 1 pm & Sunday, October 13 at 1 pm
Mystère Theatre – Treasure Island
This October, we bring back A Choreographers’ Showcase, the collaboration by Cirque du Soleil® and Nevada Ballet Theatre presented at Treasure Island’s Mystère Theatre. This critically acclaimed partnership features new works created and performed by artists from both organizations.
SWAN LAKE Act II and SLEEPING BEAUTY Act III (Aurora’s Wedding) A Tribute to TchaikovskyFriday, November 1 at 7:30 pm & Saturday, November 2 at 7:30 pm The Smith Center – Reynolds Hall
In November, ballet’s greatest love stories take the stage with Swan Lake Act II and the enchanting Act III of Sleeping Beauty (Aurora’s Wedding). These immortalized characters come alive on stage set to the timeless scores of ballet’s legendary composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
Swan Lake Act II tells the classic tale of Odette – a beautiful maiden transformed into a swan by an evil sorcerer – and the prince who swears his enduring love for her. Sleeping Beauty Act III celebrates Aurora’s royal wedding with a cast of fanciful characters and luxurious scenery and costumes by Peter Cazalet.
THE NUTCRACKER The Magic Continues December 14 – 22, 2013 (10 performances) The Smith Center – Reynolds Hall
The magic continues this December with The Nutcracker. From the moment the curtain rises, find out just how thrilling a tradition can be as you are transported to a world of magic and wonder. The first production of its kind built for the Reynolds Hall stage features grand sets, costumes and the choreography of Artistic Director James Canfield. This larger than life production returns this winter in its second year with added elements. This is the centerpiece of the holiday season and as a subscriber, you will be first in line for tickets.
March 2014 (FOR SUBSCRIBERS ONLY)
THE STUDIO SERIES: OUTSIDE IN A Spotlight on Dance in its Purest Form March 27 – 30, 2014 (6 performances) The Smith Center – Troesh Studio Theater
March brings The Studio Series, reserved exclusively for subscribers and gives audiences a rare glimpse into the essence of dance, as our dancers perform commissioned works and original pieces within the intimate setting of the Troesh Studio Theater. With production elements at a minimum, you will experience true emotion and enthusiasm.
SPRING FINALE A Performance Not To Be Missed Friday, May 9 at 7:30 pm & Saturday, May 10 at 7:30 pm The Smith Center – Reynolds Hall
Don’t miss this emotionally charged program as NBT crescendos to a grand finale including James Canfield’s own tango inspired Cyclical Night and the return of acclaimed choreographer Matthew Neenan’s bold work, At the border, with live musical accompaniment.
2013-2014 SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION
Subscriptions will be available to the general public in early May. They can be ordered online at: www.nevadaballet.org or by calling The Smith Center Box Office at 702-749-2847. Subscribers receive many benefits over single ticket purchasers including priority seating, free ticket exchanges, personalized service, invitations to special events and first opportunity to purchase additional Nutcracker tickets. Group Sales also available.
Heart – Crazy on Vegas to premiere Feb. 14
Fremont Street Experience is adding a new show to its already spectacular Viva Vision line-up. Heart – Crazy on Vegas — premiering on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14 at 6 p.m. with a second showing at 11 p.m. – is a musical showcase with stunning graphics that is built around three of the band’s most iconic and popular songs: “Magic Man,” “Barracuda” and “Crazy on You.”
“Our Viva Vision shows are truly awe inspiring and never fail to stop everyone in their tracks. We are sure Heart – Crazy on Vegas will continue to provide visitors with incredible visuals built around the band’s most well known songs,” said Jeff Victor, president of Fremont Street Experience.
The new Viva Vision show features live Heart performance footage from today as well as a newly restored rare and classic Heart concert film.
“The energy and style of the band guides the visuals, and the poetic lyrics guide the story. These ladies rock, and so does the show!” said George Johnsen, owner of Mammoth Sound & Vision, the company hired by Fremont Street Experience to create the show.
Heart – Crazy on Vegas takes us on a journey through the lyrical richness of three of the Wilson sisters’ most iconic songs. The show starts in the Pacific Northwest Forest, a moody and mystical environment told by the words of ‘Magic Man,’ then moves to the pristine beauty of the sea in ‘Barracuda’, and explodes into a highly charged world where viewers ride with Nancy and Ann as they go ‘Crazy on You.’
The new show will be featured throughout the weekend on Feb. 14-17 at 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. Beginning on Feb. 18, Heart – Crazy on Vegas will air nightly at 8 p.m. as part of the ongoing Viva Vision show schedule.
Sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson first showed the world that women can rock when their band, Heart, stormed the charts in the ’70s with hits like “Crazy on You,” “Magic Man,” “Barracuda,” “Straight On,” and so many more. Not only did the Wilson sisters lead the band, they wrote the songs and played the instruments too, making them the first women in rock to do so. Heart continued topping the charts through the ’80s and ’90s with huge hits like “These Dreams,” “Alone,” “What About Love,” “If Looks Could Kill,” “Never,” and a string of other hits that showcased the sisters’ enormous talents as musicians and singers.
Heart has sold more than 35 million albums, sold out arenas worldwide, found its way into the soundtrack of American life and in 2013, will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Viva Vision Schedule (beginning Feb. 18)
John Van Hamersveld’s Signs of Life 7 p.m.
Heart – Crazy on Vegas 8 p.m.
Bon Jovi – Wanted in Vegas 9 p.m.
A Tribute to Queen 10 p.m.
The Doors – Strange Days in Vegas 11 p.m.
Don McLean’s American Pie 12 a.m.
Viva Vision®, the LED display canopy rising 90 feet in height and stretching 1,500 feet along the Fremont Street Experience promenade from Main Street to Fourth Street, forms a spectacular foyer for the existing resorts. Holding the canopy aloft are 16 columns, each weighing 26,000 pounds and capable of bearing 400,000 pounds and 43,000 struts.
Stretching the length of nearly five football fields, Viva Vision serves as the showcase for the world’s largest graphic display system. Originally, nearly 2.1 million incandescent lights were housed in the canopy. A $17 million investment in 2004 resulted in 12.5 million LED lamps to illuminate the overhead canopy, creating a never-before-seen color spectrum. Within the canopy itself are 181,000 LED Light Modules, 30 computers, 6,800 circuit cards, hundreds of miles data and electrical wiring, and 208 speakers producing 550,000 watts of concert-quality sound.
The Viva Vision technology is run by 10 high-speed, state-of-the-art computers, which operate the system from a dedicated control room. With 9,600 gigabytes of storage, reduced maintenance costs and increased storage capacity, the system is allowed to store and rotate a larger selection of shows than ever before.
About Fremont Street Experience
Fremont Street Experience is a five-block entertainment complex located in historic downtown Las Vegas. Fremont Street Experience features Viva Vision, the world’s largest video screen which is 1,500 feet long, 90 feet wide and suspended 90 feet above the urban pedestrian mall. Viva Vision features nightly spectacular light and sounds shows with 12.5 million LED lights and a 550,000-watt sound system. Fremont Street Experience is a one-of-a-kind venue which includes free nightly concerts and entertainment on three stages. With direct pedestrian access to 10 casinos, more than 60 restaurants and specialty retail kiosks, FSE attracts over 17 million annual visitors. Fremont Street Experience can be found online at www.vegasexperience.com.
Northern Nevada Medical Center welcomes two additional local cardiologists to their team of physicians affiliated with the Northern Nevada Medical Group.
Chad Bidart, MD, FACC and Colin Fuller, MD, FACC, FACP, FSCAI, are providing heart and vascular care at Northern Nevada Medical Center’s Accredited Chest Pain Center. They join Northern Nevada Medical Group cardiologists Dr. Kosta Arger, Dr. Michael Newmark, Dr. Tom Nylk and Dr. Thomas Truong.
“We sincerely welcome these prestigious local cardiologists to our family,” said Tiffany Meert, Chief Operating Officer at Northern Nevada Medical Center. “The Accredited Chest Pain Center at NNMC has long been known for quality and expedient cardiovascular care. These cardiologists bring a breadth of experience and multidisciplinary skills, and they will continue to serve our community well.”
Dr. Bidart is board certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular disease and electrophysiology. He specializes in heart arrhythmia. A native of Winnemucca, NV, Dr. Bidart earned his medical degree at UNR and completed his residency and fellowship in cardiovascular disease at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona. He also completed a fellowship in cardiac electrophysiology at UCLA.
Dr. Fuller is board certified in internal medicine and cardiovascular disease. He specializes in peripheral arterial disease, cardiac sports medicine, and clinical and preventive cardiology. He is also a team physician for UNR Athletics. Dr. Fuller earned his medical degree at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston and completed his residency at UC, Davis. He completed his fellowship in cardiovascular disease at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas.
The cardiologists’ office is located on the Northern Nevada Medical Center campus at Sparks Medical Office Building, 2385 E. Prater Way, Suite 205, and they are also seeing patients in south Reno at 5575 Kietzke, just south of the Neil roundabout. To ensure continuity of care, Dr. Bidart and Dr. Fuller will continue to see their existing patients. They are also accepting new patients and are on most of the areas health plans including Medicare. To schedule an appointment please call (775) 352-5300.
The Chest Pain Center at Northern Nevada Medical Center is accredited by the Society of Chest Pain Centers for its ability to assess, diagnose, and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack. By becoming an Accredited Chest Pain Center, NNMC has enhanced the quality of care for the cardiac patients, and demonstrated a commitment to higher standards. When it comes to a heart attack, minutes matter.
El Paseo is a brand new, beautiful senior community for individuals who are 55 or better.
El Paseo Senior community is conveniently located near the breath-taking Bosque.
- Washer & dryer included
- Elevators in all buildings
- Controlled-access gates
- Mountain & valley views
- Sparkling pool & year-round spa
- Pets welcome
- Covered parking available
- Patio or balcony in select units
- Community center with planned social activities
- Library room with fireplace
- Access to river trails
- Convenient access to bus line & Railrunner Access
- Air Conditioning
- Cable or Satellite
- Ceiling Fan
- Garbage Disposal
- Internet Access
- Patio or Balcony
- Walk In Closets
- Washer Dryer In Unit
- Water Sewer and Trash
- Window Covering
Apartments in Community: 166
Pets no larger than 12″ or heavier than 25 lbs. welcome. $200 pet deposit. Please call for details.