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

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

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

The Entire Issue Explained – In A Pair of Shoelaces

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Genesis

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

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

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

Unraveling Secrets

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

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

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

A Brief History of the Life Extension Movement

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More than Books

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

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

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

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

Driving Forces behind the Development of the Life Extension Movement

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

Expectations Have Risen

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

Pharmacology

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

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

Advances in Genetics

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

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

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

Developments in Precision Manufacture

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

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

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

The Blessings of Medical Progress

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

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

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

Is it Science, Science Fiction or Lunacy?

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

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

So where does that leave us?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where Will This Lead?

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

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

Science or Snake Oil?

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

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

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

Skin Care and the Life Extension Movement

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aging Is a Treatable Disease

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

Live Healthy – Look Marvelous – Live Longer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Causes of Aging

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

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

The Death Clock

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

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

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

Resetting the Death Clock

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

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

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

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

Promising Anti-Aging Research

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your Anti-Aging Longevity Plan

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

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

Take a Number: Five Ways to Look at Age

April 24, 2016 by · Comments Off on Take a Number: Five Ways to Look at Age
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One for the Ages

Satchel Paige was a great baseball pitcher, one of the greatest of all time. He was an African-American and, due to the racial discrimination of the time, most of his outstanding career was not spent in the (white) major leagues. However, after the historic breakthrough by the courageous and talented Jackie Robinson (Mr. Paige’s junior by about 14 years), Satchel Paige pitched in the major leagues for a number of years. In fact, he was still able to get major league batters out at the age of 60! (Mr. Paige’s age at his retirement from baseball is not known for certain because no one, probably including Mr. Paige himself, knew his exact year of birth; some thought he was older than 60). Mr. Paige revealed a mind as sharp as the break on his curve ball when he asked this profound question for the ages:

“How old would you be if you did not know how old you are?”

These writings are dedicated to the memory of Satchel Paige and to all the so-called “over-the-hill” guys and gals in every sport and in every area of life, from Churchill and Reagan in politics to Jessica Tandy in acting and Paul McCartney in fatherhood. They and many like them in the past and present will be joined by many more in the future who are not really “over the hill” because they are too busy taking the hill.

Five Ways to Look at Age

Chronological Age

The most common way to look at age is the Chronological. This is the one that everyone is familiar with. It is simply the time that has passed since your date of birth to today. It is the one that governments and insurance companies require of you and that your Doctor knows, even if your boy friend doesn’t. It is a unidimensional measure because it considers only time. It is uniform because everybody who is 48 years, 6 months, and 3 weeks old is exactly that, chronologically. People who view age only from the chronological perspective are somewhere between dumb and dumber.

True Age

True Age is another and better way to look at your age. True age is basically what a measurement of all the biomarkers of aging would reveal about you. Here’s four points about true age. One, if a well-trained physician did NOT know how old you are but reviewed a print-out of your biomarkers, she or he could accurately estimate your true age. Two, your true age is not uniform but varies by individual: you can be younger or older than your chronological age. Three, true age is multidimensional rather than confined to time. Four, absolutely nothing can be done about chronological age because it is fixed, but a great deal can be done about true age.

Appearance Age

Appearance Age is the age you appear to be to others. It no doubt has some relationship to both chronological age and true age. Yet it is different. This is because it is heavily influenced by a number of factors outside the scope of biomarker measurement, not the least of which is attitude. We all know people that appear to be quite a bit younger or older than their chronological age. But the only scientific way to measure a person’s appearance age would be to have a representative sample of the population observe a person for at least a few minutes. A quick glance is not sufficient because appearance age includes factors such as movement of the body and alertness, not just a frozen face. Then the estimates from all members of the representative sample would be gathered, simple statistical measures applied, and Voila! You have the person’s appearance age. Of course, unless we are part of a study, none of us will ever get this scientific about it. We will just have to rely on random comments from friends, family, and nice or mean strangers to estimate our appearance age; and usually it’s a pretty good estimate.

NEAT Age

A new way to look at age, which occurred to me awhile back, is what I call one’s N.E.A.T. age. This is simply one’s time left on the planet from right Now to the time of death. This age is unknowable by readers or anyone, except those committed to imminent suicide (and these poor folks are no more likely to take the short time remaining to do age calculations than they are to be caught dead reading an article about lively longevity). The best we can do is make a calculated estimate based on what we know about the general population and factor in any pluses or minuses that apply to us individually.

The N in NEAT of course stands for Now since the calculation is from the present, today, right now. E is for Elusive because I believe moments of time are elusive. As we humans try to hold or capture a moment of time it eludes us because the next moment is here, and then the next. Time and life are a flow.

The A in NEAT is for Allotted. Everyone who has ever lived has only so much time to live. Some have short lives, some have long lives, and some have lives neither particularly long nor short. But human life is finite and almost certainly will remain finite into the distant future if not forever. We do not need to take sides in the age-old debate about whether or not our allotted time is predestined by God in order to recognize that the amount is finite.

Of course, T is for Time. Time remaining is what it is all about. As has been oft noted: a millionaire on his death bed would gladly exchange his riches for a little more time, say one more day of healthy living.

So one’s NEAT age is one’s Now Elusive Allotted Time. It is a concept that provides a different perspective on aging and on life. For example, let’s suppose there was a 30-year old person named Terry and a 60-year old person named Sydney living in the same town in 1960. Conventional wisdom and simple arithmetic agree that Sydney was twice as old as Terry at that time. Such wisdom carries the (usually) unstated assumption that Terry is about 30 years further from the grave than Sydney. Statistically, this is difficult to argue with. But statistics are oft off for an individual and sometimes by a wide margin.

Let’s suppose that Terry had a lifetime of very bad health habits and, never having had the opportunity to read my writings, continued the very bad habits. Poor Terry expired a little shy of 40. (The same fate could have befallen Terry due to a dreaded disease or tragic accident.) Sydney, on the other hand, decided at some point to lead a health-conscious life. Sydney made good choices and stuck with them. Sydney enjoyed basically good health beyond age 100 before passing on. When Sydney was 60 and Terry was 30, Sydney had a NEAT age of 40+ and Terry had a NEAT age just under 10. So way back in 1960, who was younger: the one with less than a decade of life left, or the one with more than four decades of vibrant life left? One of the neat things about the NEAT age is that the bigger this age number the better.

Ideal Age

The fifth and final way that we will look at age is one’s Ideal Age. Your ideal age is your age of choice, your preferred age. The concept of ideal age brings us back to Satchel Paige’s question:

How old would you be if you did not know how old you are?

In a sense, perhaps most of us do NOT know how old we are anyhow. Sure we know our chronological age, and some of us have a rough gauge of our appearance age. But few of us know our true age, and none of us knows our NEAT age. So it should not be so difficult to put chronological age aside for a few moments and answer Mr. Paige’s question.

Before leaping to an answer like 21, keep in my mind that successful living usually involves a combination of physical vigor, mental acuity, and wisdom. Personally, my ideal age is 37; thus even at my next birthday I will still be one year younger than all the women over 40.

What about you? What’s your number? What’s your ideal age? The way my anti-aging program works for you is that after reflection you establish your ideal age. Then we work with all the tools and techniques of the program to bring your true age into ever closer alignment with your ideal age. There is a balance to be struck. A 90-year old reader shooting for an ideal age of 19 is setting up way too much of a challenge and thus is setting up for failure. A 50-year old reader settling for an ideal age of 45 is not challenging herself or himself enough.

Take a number.

Satchel Paige was the impetus for me to write the close to this article:

When it comes to matters of age,

It is best to take a page out of Paige,

And move forward with grace,

Paying no mind to this myth of the human race.

Gary Patrick is a certified anti-aging professional (Giovane Medical Services). He is also an author, hypnotist, personal trainer, and speaker. Free stuff is available for a limited time at his web site: [http://rapidresults.biz]

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Gary_Patrick/18668

The Development of Old Age and Related Issues

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

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

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

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

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

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

SOME BASIC DEFINITIONS

What is Aging?

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

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

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

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

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

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

GENERAL PROBLEMS OF AGING

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

Prenatal stage – conception to birth.

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

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

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

Psychological and personality aspects:

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

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

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

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

Summary of stresses of old age.

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

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

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

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

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

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

4 Major Categories of Problems or Needs:

Health.

Housing.

Income maintenance.

Interpersonal relations.

BIOLOGICAL CHANGES

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

Physical appearance and other changes:

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

Respiratory changes:

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

Nutritive changes:

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

Adaptation to stress:

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

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

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

COGNITIVE CHANGE Habitual Behaviour:

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

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

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

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

Information acquisition:

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

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

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

Intelligence.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maslow’s Hierarchy

Physiological

Safety

Belonging, love, identification

Esteem: Achievement, prestige, success, self respect

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

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

DISENGAGEMENT

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

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

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

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

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

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

CONTEMPORARY ATTITUDES TO DEATH

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

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

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

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

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

THE AGED IN RELATION TO YOUNGER PEOPLE

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

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

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

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

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

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

A METAPHYSICAL PERSPECTIVE

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

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

Phone. +303 449 6229.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Readings

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

Phone. +303 449 6229.

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

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

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

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

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

American Red Cross Advancing Health Options in Southern Nevada

January 22, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

dr-john-lunettaDr. John Lunetta, D.O. arrived in Las Vegas more than a year ago to help with the American Red Cross Blood Services regional expansion. For decades, the Red Cross blood supply in Southern Nevada came from other areas of the country, mostly from Idaho, Montana and Utah. But over the course of the last year and a half, the team has grown the program of blood collection to that of supplying nine of the area’s 14 hospitals.

 

But Dr. Lunetta’s presence here makes this program so much more than a simple blood collection service. Licensed to practice in seven western states, and eight of our local hospitals, Dr. Lunetta assists local doctors when they have questions about using Red Cross blood products. Transfusion recommendations to find the most compatible blood or questions about reactions to transfusions are all topics on which Dr. Lunetta can speak.

 

Dr. Lunetta also brings with him the latest in patient blood management education. His contemporary approach allows local doctors to, when appropriate; use less product resulting in less risk to patients.

 

But there are additional American Red Cross Blood Services here in Las Vegas not available in some other regions known as clinical services. With the medical equipment and the skilled nurses that work with Dr. Lunetta, Clinical Services can offer one-on-one patient contact delivering care through an apheresis machine, which uses centrifugal force to separate blood into its constituent components. This is a method used in the treatment of leukemia patients, sickle cell patients, and a large number of neurologic and oncology patients. Dr. Lunetta also oversees treatments involving some new technology using extracorporeal photopheresis, or ECP. In layman’s terms, it’s like a tanning bed for your blood.  Due to Dr. Lunetta’s expertise, some area patients will soon be able to receive treatment here that they could only get in California previously.  It’s used to treat patients who suffer from Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma in which the skin is attacked by the patient’s own T-cells. The treatment calms those cells down and the skin begins to heal. An average patient needs to receive 150 – 300 procedures once every two weeks.  Another more common use of this treatment is for patients who have graft vs. host disease; usually as a result of a bone marrow transplant, or other organ transplant such as lung or heart.

 

Many more procedures and innovations are in the pipeline that Dr. Lunetta and his staff may be able to offer in the future and the Red Cross is pushing the development of new ways in which Blood Services can help in our community. From his involvement with donors at blood drives to his work with patients who get the blood transfused, Dr. Lunetta is involved every step of the way.

 

Dr. Lunetta is available for interviews for print, online, radio and television. Well-spoken and with a talent to break complex medical ideas down into language that we can all understand, Dr. Lunetta is a delightful guest and talented subject matter expert.

 

To book Dr. Lunetta, or to interview him on his range of expertise, please contact the office of Lloyd Ziel at the contact below.

 

Lloyd Ziel

Public Information Officer | Communications and Public Affairs

 

American Red Cross

Southern Nevada Chapter

1771 E. Flamingo Rd. Suite 206-B

Las Vegas, NV 89119

702-232-6604 cl

702-369-3351 of

702-791-3372 fx

Lloyd.Ziel@redcross.org

www.redcross.org/southernnevada

U.S. Veterans Honored by Encore.org’s 2013 Purpose Prize

November 29, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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Seven Awards for People Over Age 60 Solving the World’s Toughest Social Problems

The Purpose Prize has become a “MacArthur genius award for people who develop a second career as social service entrepreneurs.” – The New York Times.

A veteran of the U.S. Navy organizes a network of volunteers across the country to teach disabled veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan how to combat stress — through fly-fishing.

A public relations executive helps wounded warriors find and renovate foreclosed homes – and transforms lives and neighborhoods in the process.

These are two of the seven winners of the 2013 Purpose Prize, awarded by Encore.org, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting people who translate decades of skill and experience into “second acts” that contribute to society’s greater good.

Now in its eighth year, The Purpose Prize is the nation’s only large-scale investment in people over 60 who are combining their passion and experience for the social good. Created in 2005 by Encore.org, the prize is aimed at those with the passion to make change and the wisdom to know how to do it, showcasing the value of experience and disproving the notion that innovation is solely the province of the young.

Two winners will receive $100,000 each and five winners will receive $25,000 each.

This year’s winners:

* Vicki Thomas, Purple Heart Homes, Weston, Ct.
Thomas rallies communities around wounded soldiers, providing them with adapted foreclosed homes that improve quality of life for veterans and whole communities alike. ($100,000 winner of The Purpose Prize for Future Promise, sponsored by Symetra)

* Ysabel Duron, Latinas Contra Cancer, San Jose, Ca.
Duron taps into her own experience as a cancer survivor to shine a spotlight on cancer for Latino communities across the United States. ($100,000)

* Edwin P. Nicholson, Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc., Port Tobacco, Md.
Nicholson mentors disabled veterans, healing emotional wounds through the power of relationships and the great outdoors. ($25,000)

* Carol Fennelly, Hope House, Washington, D.C.
Fennelly runs a unique summer camp behind bars that is transforming federal prisoners into involved parents. ($25,000)

* Elizabeth Huttinger, Projet Crevette, Pasadena, Ca.
Huttinger’s project is on a path to eradicate human schistosomiasis, a disease infecting millions of the world’s poorest. ($25,000)

* Reverend Violet Little, The WelcomeChurch, Philadelphia, Pa.
Little is redefining the concept of “church” as she pastors Philadelphia’s homeless in a church without walls. ($25,000)

* Barbara Young, National Domestic Workers Alliance, New York, NY
Young’s rise from immigrant nanny to passionate advocate gives her a powerful voice in the fight for domestic workers’ rights across the United States. ($25,000)

The Purpose Prize winners will be honored on December 5, 2013, at an awards ceremony in Sausalito, Ca. NBC’s Jane Pauley will emcee the event for hundreds of Encore leaders and the Purpose Prize winners.

Twenty-one judges – leaders in business, politics, journalism and the nonprofit sector – chose the seven winners from a pool of more than 1,000 nominees. Judges include Sherry Lansing, former CEO of Paramount; David Bornstein, author and New York Times columnist; Eric Liu, writer and founder of CitizenUniversity; and Sree Sreenivasan, Chief Digital Officer for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies and the John Templeton Foundation, The Purpose Prize is a program of Encore.org, which aims to engage millions of boomers in encore careers combining personal meaning, continued income and social impact in the second half of life.

This year, Symetra is sponsoring the $100,000 Purpose Prize for Future Promise, which recognizes an individual whose approach for helping society has the potential to grow steadily over the next five years. The company plans to sponsor another Purpose Prize for Future Promise in 2014.

“While Purpose Prize winners are helping to solve a wide range of pressing social problems, they have one thing in common,” said Marc Freedman, CEO and founder of Encore.org and author of The Big Shift (PublicAffairs Books). “They – and millions of others in encore careers – are turning personal passions and decades of experience into invaluable contributions across sectors, continents and generations, often through entrepreneurship.”

Short summaries for all winners follow. Photos are attached. Longer bios and higher resolution photos are available.

Vicki Thomas, Purple Heart Homes, Weston, Ct.
Thomas, winner of this year’s Purpose Prize for Future Promise, sponsored by Symetra, rallies communities around wounded soldiers, providing them with adapted foreclosed homes that improve quality of life for veterans and whole communities alike. Following a 35-year-career as a fundraising and marketing dynamo, she became the director of communications at Purple Heart Homes in 2008 in an effort to provide greater services for veterans who have service-connected disabilities. In just three years, Thomas helped take the fledgling nonprofit to new heights. She has raised millions for Purple Heart Homes in financial contributions and material donations. Revenue shot up 600% in her first year with the startup. She’s developed an innovative program that matches veterans with foreclosed homes donated by banks, then raises the funds to renovate a home for the individual veteran’s needs. It’s a win-win for all generations—and communities too. It helps veterans to grow assets, towns to recoup lost taxes and neighborhoods that have struggled with foreclosures to stabilize.

Ysabel Duron, Latinas Contra Cancer, San Jose, Ca.
Duron is an award-winning journalist with more than 42 years in television broadcasting. She tapped into her own experience as a survivor of Hodgkin’s lymphoma to shine a spotlight on cancer for Latino communities across the United States. To focus on the plight of low-income Latinos fighting the disease, Duron founded Latinas Contra Cancer (Latinas Against Cancer), an organization committed to educating, supporting and providing essential services to low-income Spanish speakers often overlooked by the health care system. Latinas Contra Cancer has offered a range of programs that have taught more than 3,000 men, women and teens about the disease, resulting in more than 300 preventative cancer screenings. The group has provided psychological and social support to over 100 patients per year. However, the call to action Duron answered has had an impact far beyond the Bay Area. Her passionate commitment is helping Latino communities across the U.S. gain access to cancer support, information and treatment. Her great empathy for cancer patients has made her utterly clear on her bigger purpose in the second stage of life.

Edwin P. Nicholson, Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc., Port Tobacco, Md.
Nicholson mentors disabled veterans, healing the emotional wounds of battle through the power of relationships and the great outdoors. A cancer survivor and war veteran himself, Nicholson was impressed by the fortitude of disabled veterans at the Walter Reed military hospital, where he was treated for prostate cancer in 2005. It spurred him to found Project Healing Waters, a program dedicated to helping disabled soldiers and veterans recover from the trying aftermath of war through the sport of fly-fishing. One-on-one connections have been key to Project Healing Waters’ approach since the beginning. Nicholson knew there were fly-fishing groups and facilities all over the country. His innovation was to convince them to start, manage and lead fly-fishing instruction and outings with veterans through military and Veterans Administration facilities. The quiet bonds forged over fishing lines began to transform lives. Again and again Nicholson heard from family members who said their loved ones had returned from war withdrawn, angry, and difficult to be around. But after fly-fishing with Project Healing Waters, they’ve become happier, more open and engaged. Project Healing Waters works closely with VA Recreational and Occupational therapies to identify those who would most benefit from the program. Many are in wheelchairs or using prosthetics. A few are blind. Participants reflect of full spectrum of disabled veterans and include all ages, genders, ethnicities and disabilities. Nicholson says the impact “goes well beyond the mechanics of fly-fishing.”

Carol Fennelly, Hope House, Washington, D.C.
A lifelong social activist who ran homeless shelters in the District of Columbia for 17 years, Carol Fennelly abandoned her plans to retire in 1998 when she learned that D.C. inmates had been transferred to Youngstown, OH. One woman made 10-hour round-trip drives twice a week to visit her son. Moved to answer a social need, Fennelly thought about opening a hospitality house in Youngstown for family members visiting inmates. She soon learned that while 93% of the federal inmate population is male, in sheer numbers there are more programs for mothers in prison than there are for fathers. She decided she had what it took to change things. “I had spent years organizing, dealing with government, making change happen, and that emboldened me to think I could go into prisons and start all these radical programs,” Fennelly says. So she launched an encore career with Hope House, an innovative organization that helps prison inmates stay in regular contact with their children. In the past 14 years, Hope House has hosted 200 video teleconferences, 18,000 personalized book readings by fathers and 31 week-long summer camps, which allow kids to spend time with their fathers free of the usual restrictions that come with visitor hours and family chaperones. California recently decided to implement the Hope House model in its 33 state prisons. Prisons in Texas, Idaho and New Hampshire may follow. In 2013 Fennelly was honored at the White House as a Champion of Change.

Elizabeth Huttinger, Projet Crevette, Pasadena, Ca.
International public health expert Elizabeth Huttinger spotted a big idea in shrimp, and launched an encore career that could eradicate a disease infecting millions of the world’s poorest. Huttinger’s project – founded in 2006 – is targeting human schistosomiasis, an infectious parasite carried by river snails. Understanding that the population of prawns that eat those snails had precipitously declined, Huttinger, 63, has devoted her encore career to restoring the prawn population in the SenegalRiver Basin. Projet Crevette’s mission is multifaceted: the restoration of the prawn population diminishes the spread of schisto, provides new economic opportunities to afflicted communities and heals families infected by the disease. Today, Projet Crevette is a prawn-farming microenterprise, operated by locals at public watering holes. It has brought social innovation, new microbusinesses, environmental restoration and improved health to communities. Huttinger is confident Projet Crevette will meet its bold goal to fully restore the indigenous prawn population—and improve countless lives in the process.

Violet Little, The WelcomeChurch, Philadelphia, Pa.
Reverend Violet Little is redefining the concept of “church” as she pastors Philadelphia’s homeless in a church without walls. After 14 years as parish pastor trained in psychotherapy, Little left behind her traditional congregation to create a religious refuge for the homeless on the streets of the city, which became the “WelcomeChurch.” The church relies mostly on word of mouth, and services can pop up in a city park or on a sidewalk. No questions are asked, and everyone is welcome. The WelcomeChurch coordinates medical services through local universities, helps people get into rehab or jobs, and offers educational services to the public on the causes of homelessness. Little estimates 40 percent of her congregants have moved off the streets into permanent housing and the WelcomeChurch celebrates each and every one of them, many of whom stay connected with Little through their transition. Little’s congregation has grown to include hundreds of homeless as well as non-homeless volunteers in the EvangelicalLutheranChurch in America.

Barbara Young, National Domestic Workers Alliance, New York, NY
An immigrant from the West Indies who built a meaningful life on meager income, Young’s gritty rise from nanny to passionate advocate gives her a powerful voice in the fight for domestic workers’ rights across the United States. She’s encouraged thousands to stand up for their right to earn a living wage, and counsels and trains others to become leaders themselves. In 2004, Young began building a movement to legislate a Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights in New YorkState, which would make overtime, paid time off and rest days mandatory. In 2009, when she heard then Governor David Patterson say on the radio that he’d sign the bill if it made it to his desk, she put on a full court press, becoming the engine behind passage of the law in 2010. The law is the first of its kind in the country, but Young is committed to making sure it isn’t the last. She’s now a key player in the NDWA’s expansion from 11 to 44 affiliated organizations with 15,000 members, up from 5,000 in 2007. Young’s passion for serving her community has only just begun.

Read More About Encore’s Purpose Prize at www.encore.org/prize.

About Encore.org

Encore.org is a national nonprofit that promotes the idea that people in their second acts have the talent and experience to solve some of society’s greatest problems.

About The Atlantic Philanthropies

The Atlantic Philanthropies are dedicated to bringing about lasting changes in the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people. In keeping with the Giving While Living philosophy of founder Charles “Chuck” Feeney, The Atlantic Philanthropies believes in making large investments to capitalize on significant opportunities to solve urgent problems now, so they are less likely to become larger, more entrenched and more expensive challenges later. The Atlantic Philanthropies also seeks to encourage others of significant wealth to engage in major philanthropic pursuits in their lifetime.

About The John Templeton Foundation

The John Templeton Foundation serves as a philanthropic catalyst for discoveries relating to the Big Questions of human purpose and ultimate reality, supporting research on subjects ranging from complexity, evolution, and infinity to creativity, forgiveness, love, and free will. We encourage civil, informed dialogue among scientists, philosophers, and theologians and between such experts and the public at large, for the purposes of definitional clarity and new insights.

About Symetra

Symetra Financial Corporation (NYSE: SYA) is a diversified financial services company based in Bellevue, Wash. In business since 1957, Symetra provides employee benefits, annuities and life insurance through a national network of benefit consultants, financial institutions, and independent agents and advisors.

 

CONTACT: Sara Ying Rounsaville, srounsaville@encore.org, 415-952-5121, or Russ Mitchell, rmitchell@encore.org, 510-969-0801

National Report: Oral Health of Older Americans In A ‘State of Decay’

November 25, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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Oral Health America Launches First-of-its-Kind Website to Connect Older Adults to Affordable Dental Care and Resources

The oral health of older Americans is in a state of decay, according to a new national report released today by Oral Health America (OHA).  A State of Decay, a state-by-state analysis of oral healthcare delivery and public health factors impacting the oral health of older adults, reveals more than half of the country received a “fair” or “poor” assessment when it comes to minimal standards affecting dental care access for older adults. Florida and Arizona, areas with large older adult populations, rank in the bottom five states due to a shortage of oral health coverage, a strained dental health work force, and deficiencies in prevention programs.

“While we are seeing improvements in certain areas of older adult dental care, there is still a lack of progress in advancing the oral health of such a vulnerable population,” said Dr. Ira Lamster, Professor, Department of Health Policy and Management, ColumbiaUniversity, Mailman School of Public Health. “Older adults face significant health challenges if their oral health is poor, and there is no coordinated program to help fund necessary services.”

A State of Decay gave a rating of “fair,” “poor,” “good,” or “excellent” based on state level data analyzing five variables impacting older adult oral health: adult Medicaid dental benefits, inclusion of older adult strategies in state oral health plans, edentulism (loss of teeth), dental health professional shortage areas, and community water fluoridation.

The final evaluations in the report for each state are mixed, with several states performing well in some variables, but still in need of improvement in other important areas. The top findings of this report that require scrutiny and action are:

  • Persistent lack of oral health coverage across much of the nation. Forty-two percent of states (21 states) provide either no dental benefits or provide only emergency coverage  through adult Medicaid Dental Benefits.
  • Strained dental health work force. Thirty-one states (62 percent) have high rates of Dental Health Provider Shortage Areas (HPSAs), meeting only 40 percent or less of dental provider needs.
  • Tooth loss remains a signal of suboptimal oral health. Eight states had strikingly high rates of edentulism, with West Virginia notably having an adult population that is 33.8 percent edentate. Photo – PRN Photo Desk, photodesk@prnewswire.com
  • Deficiencies in preventive programs. Thirteen states (26 percent) have upwards of 60 percent of their residents living in communities without water fluoridation (CWF), despite recognition for 68 years that this public health measure markedly reduces dental caries. Hawaii (89.2 percent) and New Jersey (86.5 percent) represent the highest rates of citizens unprotected by fluoridation, an unnecessary public peril.

Daily, 10,000 Americans retire and only 2 percent do so with a dental benefit plan. The State of Decay analysis provides a tool for states to use in addressing shortfalls in oral health status, dental professional access sites, dental benefits for low-income adults, and population-based prevention, all of which affect the oral health of older adults, the fastest growing segment of the American population.

To help older adults and their caregivers address oral health needs and overcome many of the barriers to accessing affordable dental care, OHA launched toothwisdom.org. The website is a first-of-its-kind online tool that connects older adults to dental care and educates on the importance of maintaining oral health with age. The American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) and Special Care Dentistry Association (SCDA) supported OHA and the launch of the website by encouraging their members to provide meaningful articles for the toothwisdom.org.

“Dental Hygienists have the opportunity to assist older Americans with the oral health challenges they may face as they age,”” said Ann Battrell, Executive Director, American Dental Hygienists’ Association. “We’re all committed to sharing the message that oral health matters and changing the common misperception that with age comes a decline in oral health.”

Few websites focus on oral and systemic health topics, and even fewer provide resources for older adult oral health. Toothwisdom.org offers oral care resources by state – including direct links to dental care, caregiving support, financial tools, social services, and transportation. It also shares the latest news and reliable health information from dental experts across the country on relevant oral health issues, the importance of continuing prevention with age, and the impact of oral health on overall health.

“My dental procedures have been very costly and I had to contact a social worker to help me understand my bills. Dental care should be more available and affordable because we know poor dental care affects overall health, which is particularly important for seniors,” said senior Patricia Cosgrove, a client of The Carter Burden Center for the Aging, Inc.  “Toothwisdom.org can help me find a community health center so I can finally get an affordable check-up and stay up-to-date on oral health information.”

A State of Decay and toothwisdom.org are part of Oral Health America’s Wisdom Tooth Project™, an initiative designed to meet the oral health challenges of a burgeoning population of older adults with special needs, chronic disease complications, and a growing inability to access and pay for dental services.

Links to the 2003 and 2013 editions of A State of Decay can be viewed on toothwisdom.org.

About OHA’s Wisdom Tooth Project
For 55 years, Oral Health America has been the leading national non-profit dedicated to improving the oral health and well-being of Americans throughout the entire spectrum of life. Over the decades, the organization has evolved and adapted to the dynamic nature of our country’s demographics and specific health needs. The Wisdom Tooth Project was born in 2010 due to the current and future implications of an aging population and the need for oral health resources for them mean that we must take meaningful action now.

About Oral Health America
OHA is a national, non-profit association dedicated to changing lives by connecting communities with resources to increase access to oral health care, education, and advocacy for all Americans, especially those most vulnerable. For more information about Oral Health America, please visit www.oralhealthamerica.org.

AARP Report Highlights Need for Innovative Long-Term Care for the Aging Baby Boomer Population; Japan’s Technological Secrets May Hold the Answers

November 20, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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A newly published AARP report illustrates a profound demographic shift that will have consequences for decades to come, particularly in the senior living and long-term care industry. Baby boomers are entering their retirement years, while the ratio of potential family caregivers to those who require long-term services and support is beginning to drop. Fewer available caregivers will mean the senior living industry must rapidly adapt to a surging market. The AARP’s full report is available here: http://bit.ly/156phYi

Family caregiving is a low-cost but often burdensome approach to elder care. Becoming a primary caregiver often involves leaving behind a career, among other sacrifices. Plus, these well-intentioned caregivers may not have the expertise necessary to provide the level of care needed by an aged parent. Adults in these roles often feel enormous pressure and stress, sometimes even resentment. At any rate, the nation’s changing demographics will make today’s family caregiving situation far different in the near future.

Between 1990 and 2010, there were about 7 potential caregivers for every one person aged 80-plus. That ratio is at the start of a freefall that will force society to change the way it cares for its elderly members. By 2030, the ratio of caregivers to elderly will be 4 to 1. All remaining baby boomers will have reached their years of highest risk (80+) by 2050, when the caregiver ratio will have plummeted still further to 3 to 1.

Kevin Williams, president of SeniorMarketing.com, suggests innovative thinking will be required to bridge this care gap: “Naturally, with fewer family caregivers available, the responsibility will largely shift to senior living communities, care agencies and already overextended government programs. But it will take more than simply building more communities or training more staff—assuming an adequate number of candidates are even available. Technological innovation may be the silver bullet to raise the standard of living for aging boomers, improve efficiency, and reduce costs.”

The nation of Japan, which has the greatest life expectancy and one of the oldest average populations in the world, has recently experienced a demographic transition of its own. Recently, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare put out a call for 2 million new professional caregivers, but only received 1.3 million eligible candidates. With low birth rates being the norm, that shortfall will only increase. A tech-savvy society to begin with, the Japanese have embraced robotics and automation as a solution to the elder care issue. Motorized, assistive devices can help older individuals perform tasks themselves, while automated pill dispensers can prevent dangerous medication mistakes. A recent blog post on The Economist explained Japan’s inventive approach to the elder care dilemma: http://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage/2013/05/automation-elderly

Williams concluded: “This demographic shift is a great challenge but also a great opportunity. Forward-thinking, entrepreneurs will be leading the way in this new environment. Technology to assist with daily tasks, provide medical care, monitor, and connect seniors to loved ones is advancing at a faster pace every year. It’s not unreasonable to predict that the future will witness even better care for our future seniors.”

About SeniorMarketing.com

Baltimore-based SeniorMarketing.com was created with twin goals in mind. First, the company helps connect caregivers and seniors with local, affordable care options. Second, the company increases income for senior living communities and health care agencies.

Contact:

Kevin M. Williams, President
SeniorMarketing.com
5024 Campbell Blvd., Suite D-3
Baltimore, MD 21236
Phone: 1-888-523-3311

WestCare Foundation Announces Expanded Veterans Programs

July 8, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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WestCare Foundation Announces Expanded Veterans Programs

(Las Vegas) – WestCare, a community-based nonprofit providing responsive human services and behavioral health care programs for four decades, announced today that it has expanded its Veterans’ services.

WestCare, founded in Las Vegas 40 years ago, serves approximately 5,000 veterans throughout the United States annually.  America’s returning warriors often face health challenges including substance abuse and mental health disorders, identified as this generation’s “invisible wounds of war.”   Among them are post traumatic stress, brain injury, sexual trauma, anxiety and depression.  Episodes of homelessness, unemployment, and criminal justice involvement are not uncommon among our Veterans.

“These challenges present opportunities for community organizations, led by specially trained, qualified and informed staff, to assist with issues such as social isolation, domestic violence, reintegration and transition, and other problems a Veteran, as well as Veteran family members, may be experiencing,” said veteran and Director of Veteran Services, Dan Bernal. “WestCare is committed to helping Veterans and military family members live positive, productive and healthy lives.”

WestCare’s expanded programs are aimed at addressing a broad range of issues for Veterans and their families through services that  include: treatment for substance abuse and mental health disorders with gender or youth-specific services as appropriate, HIV/AIDS-specific programs, assistance to homelessness  including transitional shelters and permanent housing projects, family counseling, community reintegration, assistance to those who are justice involved, educational and vocational programs for both youth and adults, and case management.

From the top down, starting with WestCare’s President and Vietnam Veteran, Richard Steinberg, more than 10 percent of WestCare’s leadership and staff are Veterans and members of military families. The organization has a deep understanding of military culture at every level and in every program.  “Serving those who have served” is more than a slogan at WestCare.

Since the organization’s inception, Veterans have been welcomed into WestCare programs.  Today, the expanding reach of Veteran-specific programs is aimed at extending services to the men and women who deserve respect for their service, understanding of where they have been and opportunities for their future.

WestCare

WestCare, whose mission “uplifting of the human spirit,” was founded 40 years ago in Las Vegas.  Since its inception, it has grown to more than 100 locations in 16 U.S. States, the US Virgin Islands and the Pacific Islands headquartered in Guam.  The non-profit organization has a variety of programs available in each of the communities it serves.   For more information on the WestCare Foundation and its mission, visit www.WestCare.com.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Senior Citizens and the Job Search by Mort Ferguson

June 4, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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Although many employers are looking for new graduates or someone younger with a bit of experience, there are still plenty of jobs that you can secure as a senior citizen. Opportunities in the work force abound for older Americans. On the surface it may seem harder to find such roles; however they are available – you just need to know where and how to approach the search.

There is a great potential among older employees. They have more experience, are (generally) easier to work with, and typically more flexible than the person fresh from college who is more likely to have an implanted ideal of what their job should be like. In other countries such as the Netherlands and Australia, younger employees are losing jobs to the more experienced and mature adults; in North America, this is a growing trend as well.

It is illegal, of course, to have someone ask your age when applying for a job, but hiring personnel can tell from application and resume information whether you may have been in the work force for some time. That is why instead of talking strictly about your age, you need to highlight your experience. When putting together your resume, clearly list your accomplishments over the years and all your previous jobs. In your cover letter, focus on why you would be better suited for the job than a young applicant – even if you committed decades at home to raise children – thus helping employers understand the benefits in hiring you over a recent graduate with no real life experience.

If you have been out of work for a while or entering a field in which you have not had that much experience, consider enrolling in a class that can refresh your memory about that market or a class that can update you on new policies. Businesses are constantly changing, and part of entering the work force again means learning contemporary methods of working rather than continuing the way work was done when you were younger.

The Internet has web sites offering opportunities for senior citizens, and shows relevant vacancies in the city in which you work. There are even specific agencies that work solely with senior citizens to make sure you can find a job in which you would be welcome. Some of the fields that value the knowledge of a senior citizen include healthcare, public speakers, and writers. You simply need to determine what you may be interested in doing and then make the move to apply for jobs in your chosen field.

It is not so difficult to land a job when you are 60; you just need to become a bit savvy at learning where to look.

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

What to Do When – Etiquette Suggestions For Senior Citizens by Jerry Elrod

May 8, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

Many senior citizens know that one of the contributors to Emily Post’s  success came when more and more people wanted to know how to behave in social  situations. Letters of inquiry launched a career, still a part of Americana. Her  answers became legend and law and revisions have been made as necessary  throughout the decades.

There are new questions today, necessitated by a changed and an ever changing  social environment. These questions arise as legitimately as they did when  persons wanted to know which fork to use.

But today’s questions have more to do with sensitivity to social crises than  to table manners. They are questions that come from every generation. No age  group is immune. Seniors, whose experience may be sharpened through years of  experience, are nonetheless often caught in situations new to them and are  frequently in need of advice.

Here are some of the surprises and dynamics that may confront us all:

Q: A friend sends an invitation to a wedding of one of their children. The  bride is pregnant and marrying someone of another ethnic background; how do you  handle it?

A: You handle it as you would any invitation. If you are available and wish  to attend, you reply accordingly. You purchase a gift which you have sent or  take to the occasion. You exercise 100% genuine courtesy, thoughtfulness and  participate as a friend who cares and is delighted to have been invited.

Q: Someone special in your circle, friend or family, is going through an  experience of terminal illness with someone in their family; how can you be  present to them during their uncertainty and pain?

A: Exercising compassion and presence is an absolute top of the list must.  Authentic presence, in body or not, is the best extension of caring there is.  Caring Bridge is a web site where many persons going through this experience are  available to receive messages of caring. Direct contact, without overdoing it,  is always welcomed. Telephone calls, timed appropriately, are very intimate and  personal. Greeting cards, offers for assistance, dropping by with a platter of  cookies are expressions of affection. Listening is the most precious gift of  all. Offering a shoulder follows that.

Q. Someone in your acquaintance has lost a significant portion of their  retirement nest egg. They aren’t sure what lies ahead, how can you be  helpful?

A. While you may not be in a position to rescue them from their financial  catastrophe, you can be in a position to assist strategizing with them a means  for coping and moving forward. It will be painful. It may offer some dead ends,  but their having someone to assist them to hold up the ceiling, when it feels as  if it is crashing in upon them, will be a gift beyond measure. It is the age old  story for senior citizens. Etiquette is another way of showing respect, offering  generosity and grace, especially when it takes into account the deepest respect  for and needs of others.

Article provided by Dr. Jerry D. Elrod. Dr Elrod, and his wife, Dr Sharon  Shaw Elrod, manage Senior Citizen Journal online. For information on retirement,  Baby Boomers and everything related to Seniors, please visit my blog at http://www.seniorcitizenjournal.com/. Links to  other Senior Citizen Journal pages can be found on the blog.

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

 

Tips for Staying Safe As a Senior Citizen by Mark Mahaffey

April 30, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

When it comes to staying safe, senior citizens have special  concerns.

Although research has shown that the risk of being a victim of a physical  assault crime decreases as you age, the risk of other kinds of crime continues  and even intensifies.

Senior citizens are just as likely as the rest of the population to have  their homes broken into, but they are at higher risk for financial crimes. To  criminals, they appear more vulnerable and defenseless. And since the elderly  are often well-off financially, they are a target for crimes involving money  scams.

Further, the elderly grew up during decades when it was proper to be polite  and trusting. This makes them less likely to be rude during a phone conversation  or face-to-face meeting with a con artist. The con artist will keep pushing, and  the elderly victim may just ‘give in.’

Financial crimes are devastating for anyone, but especially so for senior  citizens. They not only feel afraid, but may begin to question their own ability  to handle their own affairs. For an aging person already trying to hold on to  independence as long as possible, this can be emotionally terrifying.

If you are a senior citizen, or have a loved one who is elderly, there are  some steps you can take to keep yourself or your loved one protected. You don’t  have to wait for crime to happen to you: be proactive and make sure you stay  safe.

Secure your home.

A home alarm system is a great deterrent to would-be burglars. Motion  detectors, automatic lights, and a security system with 24-hour monitoring will  significantly decrease the likelihood of a home invasion.

For even more peace of mind, your monitoring service can respond to medical  emergencies as well. And you may even qualify for a senior citizen discount.

Here is a check list of home safety tips for senior citizens:

• Check the locks on all doors and windows to make sure they are secure.

• Trim tall bushes that are up close to the house to eliminate hiding  places.

• Be sure your house number is painted brightly so emergency help can find  you quickly, should you need them.

• Don’t hide keys under mats or pots. Instead, ask a trusted neighbor to keep  your extra key.

• Don’t keep extra cash in your house. It is better to keep it in the bank or  in a safe deposit box.

• Post security signs around your house to let the burglars know you are  protected.

Be smart about financial scams

Senior citizens are susceptible to con artists at the door or over the phone.  These con artists know that the elderly are interested in products promising  anti-cancer benefits or improved memory. Older adults are also less likely to  report fraud, because they don’t know who to call to report.

Here are some tips to stay safe:

• Never allow any unexpected visitor into your home.

• Install peepholes in your doors.

• Do not give out identifying information over the phone such as social  security numbers and account numbers.

• Do not do business with door-to-door salespeople of any kind.

• Know who your neighbors are and try to join a neighborhood watch for added  security.

• Never click on a link to a financial institution in an email. Instead,  manually type the URL into the address bar.

Stay safe away from home

To reduce the risk of being robbed while away from home, follow these safety  precautions:

• Never carry more cash than you need.

• Don’t carry all your credit cards with you.

• Keep your bag close to your body.

• Avoid walking in deserted or dark areas.

• Lock your car doors while traveling in areas where you will be stopping  frequently.

• Also lock your car doors while you are away from your car.

• Consider installing an alarm system in your car. This may qualify you for a  discount on your auto insurance.

You don’t have to wait for crime to come to you. By being pro-active and  educating yourself, you can outsmart the criminals and keep yourself and those  you love safe.

http://www.bestsecurityproducts.com

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

 

Injury-Free Physical Fitness For Senior Citizens Made Easy by Jeremy Reeves

April 25, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

Physical fitness for senior citizens is more important than ever in today’s  society. Decades ago, everything was done manually.

Although technology has brought us many incredible things, it has also made  us a much more lazy society. No longer do we have to use our bodies to do yard  work, clean around the house, or even work on our own car.

There are now gadgets for virtually everything that lets us do it while using  minimal body strength.

But negative consequences come with the luxury we’ve been given. When manual  labor is no longer needed and our muscles aren’t getting used on a daily basis –  they start to weaken. Combine that with the fact that as every year goes by your  muscles get weaker and you’ll understand why physical fitness for senior  citizens is so important.

By strength training you will dramatically reduce your risk of osteoporosis,  sore joints and broken bones. Many doctors and health companies try to make you  buy Vitamin C and “drink a lot of milk” to overcome these problems, but in  reality they simply don’t work. Supplements can help in a small way, but  strength training has been proven time and time again to have a much more  positive effect with muscle, bone and joint problems that most senior citizens  face – even arthritis!

Isn’t It Dangerous To Exercise As I Get Older?

Unfortunately, many senior citizens are afraid to exercise due to fears of  injuring themselves. However, there are a few simple precautions you can take  such as:

  • Perform low-impact exercises such as pushups, bodyweight squats and other  bodyweight exercises.
  • If lifting weights, do it for 10 or more reps and keep it at a manageable  weight.
  • Don’t over-exert yourself. Stop or briefly rest if you get uncomfortably  tired.

 

Be smart and think about the injury-potential of each exercise before you  perform it.

For example, instead of jogging, consider using stationary exercise bikes.  Pro form exercise bikes are a great piece of equipment to try out. The Schwinn  231 recumbent exercise bike is also a great choice to have if you want to keep  one in your own home.

Besides the simple precautions you should take, there are a few other things  to consider. Physical fitness for senior citizens is a much more delicate  situation than physical fitness for younger individuals.

  • Take Things Slowly At First – Because of the weakening of bones,  joints and muscles you need to take things slowly at first. Don’t simply start a  program and push yourself to exhaustion. It’s also important to go to a doctor  who knows your medical history beforehand. They may even be able to help you  decide what type of exercise you should be doing.
  • Exercise Slowly – You should also perform the actual exercises  slowly. Don’t make jerky or bouncing movements or you’ll risk injuring yourself.  The slower you perform the exercise, the less risk you have of getting  hurt.
  • Warm Up Properly – Warming up is very important to anybody,  especially senior citizens. Lack of blood flow as well as tight joints and  muscles performing less efficiently are all factors contributing to injuries. By  properly warming up before your actual workout, you significantly reduce your  risk of getting injured.

 

Although physical fitness for senior citizens is a bit more complicated due  to more things that can possibly go wrong, it’s also just as or more important  than exercising at a young age. By taking the right precautions and making sure  you’re exercising correctly, you can enjoy injury-free and pain-relieving  exercise for a long time to come.

Jeremy Reeves is a certified personal trainer devoted to helping you get in  the best shape of your life. His website –  [http://www.fitness-product-reviews.com] – reviews the 4 most effective weight  loss products on the market today.

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

 

What Makes Someone a Senior Citizen? by Lynn Dorman, Ph.D.

April 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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Good question!

Developmental Psychologists have long used either ages or stages to define  segments of the population. Many developmental textbooks are divided into  chapters based on one or the other of these definitions.

Age definitions are ones that use numbers – such as: being 65 or older means  you are a senior citizen; or all over 55 get a senior citizen discount.

Stage definitions are usually feeling and behavior related – along the lines  of: “you are only as old as you feel or act.”

Over the last few decades, as we learn more and more about the later  stages/ages of the lifespan, the thinking about aging is changing – and so are  the textbooks. But the definitions are still stuck in the past.

The field of Developmental Psychology is itself aging – as are the original  developmental psychologists – and more information is becoming known and  understood about the lifespan.

Add to this that we are living longer. In 1940, the average life expectancy  at birth in the USA was 62.9 years; in 1960 it was 69.7; by 1980 it was 74.1 and  in 2000 it was 77.2. [The statistics differ by sex and ethnicity but these are  the averages for all persons.]

Average only is a middle figure. Half die before and half after the ages  cited. And if one lives past infancy, life expectancy increases and it increases  every year one is still alive. So those who were born in 1940, and are obviously  now well past 62.9, have a far different life expectancy than when they were  born. That expectancy is now somewhere into their mid 80s.

So as to defining what makes you a senior citizen? It is often left up to the  language or stereotypes we use and some legal definitions.

Most jurisdictions rely on when you can start collecting social security  benefits to define what is their senior population. Eligibility for full Social  Security benefits will increase to age 67 for those born in 1960; yet as we can  still sign up for Medicare at age 65 – 65 seems still to be the “age” definition  of senior citizen.

Will that change? It might…but not for those who are already at or near 65.  We ARE labeled senior citizens.

And what about behavioral definitions – the stages aspect?

That is up to us. We can continue to do what we have been doing – living life  to the fullest and not becoming the stereotypes many have about senior  citizens.

We are who we are – and are the ages we have accumulated!

If we let someone else’s characterizations of “senior-ness” define us or our  behavior – then we are falling prey to their stereotypes. Create your own  definition of senior.

I am of the thought that we are only as old as we feel and act! So feel  and act young!

You may still be called a “senior” but you’ll wind up confounding a lot of  people.

I invite you to read more of my take on aging at http://growolderbetter.com – and where you can sign up for  even more tidbits.

From Lynn Dorman, Ph.D., a developmental psychologist who was around way back  then and is now a 70-year-old-senior-citizen who is still figuring out what she  will do when she grows up.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Lynn_Dorman,_Ph.D.

Reasons for Hospitalizations of Senior Citizens by Warren Comer

April 15, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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Experts are saying that senior citizens of today are a lot healthier than the  elderly a few decades ago. Not only are they getting sick less, but they are  also more active. They are living fuller lives, something that the old folks in  the past couldn’t have done.

What the Numbers Say

Statistics show than one third of all seniors need medical attention in a  hospital annually. The reasons for hospitalization are very varied, but most of  it is caused by the declining condition of their bodies. The fact remains  however, that life expectancy is on the rise.

What Increased Life Expectancy Means

The increase in life expectancy means that people people would need care for  a longer period. Though they are living longer years, it does not mean that they  are immune from the more common ailments. Even if they don’t get sick, their  body conditions really aren’t at their top forms anymore.

Common Reasons for Hospitalization

When a person becomes a senior citizen, the chances of being hospitalized are  increased. There are two major reasons why a person can be hospitalized, these  are due to injuries and heart problems.

Common Senior Citizen Injuries

Falls are the most common causes of injuries for the elderly. As people grow  older, the chances of falling are greatly increased. Half of all those who are  over 80 are likely to experience falling at some point.

The most common type of injury for seniors who have fallen is a hip injury.  It accounts for more than 40% of all the injuries that seniors suffer because of  falls

We all know that as people start to age, their bones become a lot weaker.  This would account for the brittleness of the bones. When a person who doesn’t  have a strong structure falls, the bones could easily break.

Other Types of Injuries

There are other types of injuries that seniors are prone to getting. These  include injuries from motor vehicle accidents, poisoning from medications and  fires. Their frail physical conditions can make them suffer more from these  injuries. It is important that they be given immediate medical attention should  they suffer from any of them.

Illness among Senior Citizens

When it comes to illnesses, heart problems are the most common reasons why  seniors get hospitalized. These problems include heart attacks and strokes. When  seniors exhibit signs and symptoms of any heart ailment, they should be brought  to the hospital right away so they can be treated.

Something as simple as flu can cause the hospitalization of a senior. In  their stage in life, a simple flu can cause a great deal of problems already. It  should be treated right away so that it won’t get any worse or cause other  conditions.

These are the most common reasons why seniors get taken to a hospital. If you  are living with a member of your family who is a senior citizen, then you should  know about these things so you can take better care of them. You can also share  what you’ve learned to make them aware of the health risks.

Family First  HomeCare is the perfect solution for seniors and others in need in New  Jersey who are not ready to leave their home for an institutional setting, but  because of illness or chronic conditions need support to remain at home. We  improve your life by providing compassionate, one-on-one care in the comfort of  your own home. Find out more about senior care services in New Jersey.

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

 

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