Part Four: Current and Future Anti-Aging Treatments

May 1, 2016 by · Comments Off on Part Four: Current and Future Anti-Aging Treatments
Filed under: General 

As previously noted, many anti-oxidants are essential nutrients. Natural anti-oxidants, like vitamin C and E, work synergistically. Anti-oxidants may be more effective if obtained from a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Nutritionists recommend eating 6 or more daily servings of anti-oxidant rich fruits and vegetables. Everyone agrees the use of antioxidant supplements for anti-aging may be helpful, but there is no agreement on what the most effective supplement dosages should be.

Anti-aging medicine acknowledges that stress of all kinds causes aging but has not yet developed individualized treatment for this. There are countless sources of internal and external stress and individual stress levels vary greatly. One overlooked cause of internal stress is improper hydration. Water is essential in for the correct operation of many internal functions. Too little or too much water causes age producing stress. When one is old (80+) thirst perception declines and dehydration can easily set in. Other overlooked sources of stress are antioxidants themselves. High doses (or doses above certain yet unspecified amounts) of supplemental anti-oxidants are a known cause of stress.

To be helpful, antioxidant supplements must prevent other types of stress more than the stress they themselves create. Knowing the correct supplement dosages that can do this is an essential part of anti-aging treatment. A healthy young person in his twenties, who is properly nourished, will have less internal stress that an older individual in his sixties. For a young individual, lower amounts of antioxidants may be safer than higher amounts. A older person, whose many internal homeostatic mechanisms are less able to deal with internal stress, may benefit more from higher amounts of antioxidants. Theoretically an anti-oxidant based course of anti-ageing treatment will slow the rate at which cellular damage occurs. Cells will become “sick” more slowly. Over time, as fewer sick cells are replaced at a slower rate, the number of cells retaining longer telomere chains will be higher. You can then reasonably expect this to result in an increase in life expectancy. For now the recommended but imprecise approach to decrease the rate at which cellular damage occurs is to increase your per day intake of anti-oxidant rich fruits and vegetables, to slightly increase your intake of antioxidants, and to take various vitamins and small amounts of anti-aging supplements on a daily basis. One study has shown taking a good multivitamin supplement is associated with longer telomere length.

Ideally anti-aging treatment should to be fine tuned for each individual. The key here would be to measure and minimize the cumulative effects of different kinds of stress on an individual basis. Easily measurable practical bio-markers for various types of stress do not yet exist or are not being used. When they are used it will be easy to customize individual antioxidant dosages so that everyone have “optimum” levels throughout their life. “Optimum” levels would maintain a safe reserve of protective antioxidants in the body.

Next I will briefly discuss the most popular nutrients associated with anti-aging. The most popular of the anti-oxidants, vitamins, and nutrients often associated with good health and anti-aging include: beta-carotene (vitamin A), vitamin C, vitamin E, various Flavonoids,Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, Co-enzyme Q10, Lycopene, Selenium.

There are dozens of supplements that are known to effectively treat specific symptoms of old age. A few of the better known supplements include: DMAE, Acetyl-l-carnitine, L-carnosine, Alpha Lipoic Acid, DHEA, L-arginine, and melatonin

Good food contains some of the anti-oxidants previously mentioned. A few other popular foods associated with anti-aging include: Green Tea, turmeric, and red wine.

All of the above have unique biological properties and, in my opinion, are “good” for you if taken in small or moderate amounts. Some (ex. vitamin C) may also be “good” for you in larger amounts. Various studies on each of these may conflict with each other. You need to carefully research each substance on your own but researchers have already found several nutrients to be associated with longer than average telomere lengths. These include: Green Tea, Omega-3, Vitamins A, C, D, and E.

Vitamin E has been associated with telomere lengthening anti-aging properties.

Green tea contains many antioxidants, including vitamin C, E and flavenoids.Flavenoids form a large antioxidant class (including catechins and quercetin) that has many anticarcinogenic, antihypercholesterolemic, antibacterial, (helps prevent dental caries), and anti-inflammatory properties. The leaves of the tea plant are rich in polyphenols. The consumption of 3 cups or more of green tea daily has been associated with longer than average telomere length.

The Omega-3s are essential long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids that are anti-inflammatory and help prevent heart disease, stroke, memory loss, depression, arthritis, cataract, cancer. Omega-3s slow down the shortening of telomeres; i.e. they may protect against aging on a cellular level.

Vitamin C is an abundant internal water soluble antioxidant that protects cellular components against free-radical formation caused by pollution and cigarette smoke. Many studies have associated high vitamin C intakes with lower rates of cancer of the mouth, larynx and esophagus. Vitamin C has shown promise in treating premature aging and possibly aging itself.

Due to limitations on the number of links I can incorporate into this article I could not provide more reference links supporting the preceding paragraphs. If interested please email me at the email address shown at the end of this article and I will forward them to you.

The sooner you start some sort of anti-aging treatment the better but it is never too late to start. All real treatments will help you maintain a longer than average average telomere chain length.

The goal of the programmed death theory of aging is to address the root causes of aging. This goal includes attempts to slow or reverse the telomere shortening process. Two such treatments are: TA 65 and human genetic engineering.

TA 65 is a telomerase activating product produced and marketed by Sierra Sciences. The key ingredient in TA 65 is Astragalus, a plant extract known to have telomerase activation properties. The product may work but I do not recommend it for several reasons. TA 65 is too expensive for the average person. A number of expensive health spas incorporate TA 65 in their programs. Again these are financially beyond the reach of the average person. The marketing tactics of Sierra Sciences have been questioned by many and there are law suits pending against TA 65.

The big issue I have with TA 65 is one of scientific honesty. The company genetically engineered mice that allowed telomerase to be switched off and on at an early age. TA 65 was able to switch telomerase back on in these mice and allowed them to live normal lives. http://www.nature.com/news/2010/101128/full/news.2010.635.html

Using this to show how effective TA65 treatment is, is dishonest. This is not how telomerase normally works and there was no real extension of the lifespan beyond what it would have been without the genetic modification. In normal mice the effects of TA65 were temporary and little or no life extension was seen. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/04/11/anti-aging-pill-new-study-on-ta-65-sparks-controversy.html

Human genetic engineering is the real answer to fighting and defeating aging. It can directly address the root causes of aging. Advances in this area (ex. CRISPR) allow DNA base pairs to be inserted or deleted at specific place in our DNA. This means the human genome can now be precisely edited as needed. The lifespan of old mice has been modestly increased using telomerase gene therapy. In humans gene modification therapy has frequently been used for various medical problems. On September 15, 2015, Elizabeth Parrish was the first human to undergo anti-aging gene therapy. Anti-aging treatments will rapidly advance as our knowledge of the specifics of the human genome grows.

Current general social-political attitudes seem to be favoring the further development of anti-aging research. There are no international recognized political programs to stop aging or extend life but since 2012 a few pro-immortality political parties have sprung up. Their aim is to support anti-aging and life extension research, and to help provide access to advances in these areas to everyone. Among the numerous organizations supporting anti-aging research, the SENS (Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence) organization has come up with an anti-aging research plan. They want to develop anti-aging therapies to repair most forms of cellular damage. SENS, is a charitable organization. Any anti-aging advances resulting from funding it provides will become readily available public knowledge. In addition to the normal scientific research there is the $1,000,00 Palo Alto Longevity Prize that is being offered to anyone who can come up with an effective anti-aging treatment.

As of 2015, all known anti-aging treatments are only partially effective. Depending on when one starts a comprehensive anti-aging program, one can probably extend one’s life by 10 to 25 years. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health estimated that an anti-aging lifestyle can add 24.6 more productive years to one’s lifespan. Anti-aging knowledge increases at a rate of about 10 times every 10 years. This probably means that for many of us there is more than enough time to reap the anticipated benefits in anti-aging research. One day soon, aging, like many other diseases, will be cured. While we wait for those anti-aging technological singularities to occur the name of the game is to ensure we stay healthy long enough repeat their benefits.

As a former engineer I have a strong affinity to all sciences including biology.

My interests include following advances in the fields of anti-aging, health and nutrition. Rapid advances in these areas will vanquish the disease we call aging.
Through my articles and website I want to help you maintain your good health for the next 10 to 25 years. I believe this can be done by a daily program that includes moderate exercise, a healthy diet that includes vitamins and related supplements, and taking advantage of any advances in related research. My hope is that within the next 25 years or less, the fruits of anti-aging research will become available to everyone.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9239681

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.

MorningStar Senior Living – Nevada Senior Guide

http://www.morningstarseniorliving.com/communities/morningstar-of-sparks/

MSS-exterior2

At MorningStar, it’s in the air.  In the very chemistry of the place.  You can feel it.  You can see it with your own eyes, every day:  our staff flat out loving our residents, loving them like they do their own moms and dads.

Ken Jaeger, founder of MorningStar, proved his acumen for the senior living industry through 15 years of executive roles, garnering experience in acquisitions, construction and management.

In 2003, an idea began to take shape, a pressing dream to create his own brand of senior living defined by the human touch.  “I wanted to re-create my grandmother’s house, a place where one can go and feel a sense of family.”

Ken had specific designs on how to foster the ultimate environment for the well being of seniors.  Out of these convictions, he established three precepts for MorningStar:  Honor God.  Value All Seniors.  Invest generously in his team.

From his first home in Denver, MorningStar Assisted Living of Littleton, the difference was manifest: all the amenities of a five-star resort infused with the warmth of a real home.

And now, ten years and 12 homes later, MorningStar has become a landmark name in senior living.

From independent living to assisted living, from basic care through Alzheimer’s support, MorningStar’s continuum of service allows residents to extend their stay until a diagnosis calls for 24-hour nursing.  Through Respite Care and Day Programs, MorningStar also opens its homes for short-term stays.

Our website offers even more about the MorningStar difference.  There you’ll read about WellStar, our signature program which encompasses the physical, social, spiritual and intellectual sides of wellness.  You’ll see a gallery of our award-winning architecture and gracious design.  And find a Decision Guide that helps families understand & navigate the complex world of senior living, complete with downloadable templates.  Read especially “Testify to Love,” which captures the sentiments of residents, their families and our staff as to why we do what we do and the impact we have.

We see our residents as heroes—men and women who have exacted out of life all its triumphs and trials, who in raw courage and tenacity have invested their days.  Seniors are a testimony to the colossal events in history.  They’ve witnessed world wars and the worldwide web—all in one glorious sweep.  If anyone deserves honor and respect, it is our seniors.  This is MorningStar’s high and chosen calling.

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MorningStar Senior Living of Sparks, 2360 Wingfield Hills Drive, Sparks, NV  89436
Phone:  775-626-5665

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

November 29, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

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
Filed under: Articles 

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.

5 Tips for Healthy Aging of the Eyes

September 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Press-Media Releases 

5 Tips for Healthy Aging of the Eyes

September is Healthy Aging Month, making it an ideal time to shed some light on an important issue that impacts millions as we age – our eyesight. With around 1.75 million people in the country having age-related macular degeneration, according to the National Institutes of Health, and another 2.2 million suffering from glaucoma, vision is a crucial issue as we age. The good news is that there are things you can do in order to help your eyes age healthily.

“Healthy eyesight is one of those things that people don’t pay much attention to until there is a problem,” explains Dr. Edward Kondrot, founder of the Healing The Eye & Wellness Center. “Ideally, it’s best to take measures to avoid those problems. Many of the problems people have with their vision as they age can be avoided, and even reversed.”

Regardless of one’s age, it is never too early or too late to do things to maintain healthy eyes. Here are 5 tips for doing just that:

  1. Be proactive. Those who do nothing to protect their vision may find they have problems as they age. Just like being proactive to have a healthy heart or mind, it is important to make healthy vision a priority. This means purposely including healthy vision measures in your lifestyle.
  2. Eat healthy foods. Diet plays an important role in maintaining one’s vision. It is important to eat plenty of antioxidant-loaded fruits and vegetables. They are nutritional powerhouses that will help to protect the eyes. Also, it is crucial to opt for organic foods, so that your body does not take in all the harmful chemicals. Those chemicals provide a toxic overload, which impacts the eyes, as well as the rest of the body.
  3. Stay hydrated. Many people who have eye problems are also dehydrated. Staying hydrated is essential to maintaining good eye health. Start each morning with a full glass of room-temperature water. Drinking things like tea and coffee do not count. Add a little lemon if you prefer, which will also help to flush toxins.
  4. Watch the shades. Millions of people have taken to wearing sunglasses, but may not be choosing ones that actually protect their eyes. Worse yet, they may choose some that actually weaken them. Dark sunglasses are not necessarily a good choice, as many may believe. When selecting sunglasses be sure to opt for those that block ultraviolet A and B light to really offer your eye protection.
  5. Reduce eye stress. People stress their eyes in ways that they are not even aware of, such as sleeping in a room that has a night light, or light coming from an alarm clock or another room. Another way people stress their eyes is to watch television in a dark room. Both of these things can provide unnecessary stress that can cause damage over time.

“Healthy aging of the eyes can be done and is being done by millions,” adds Dr. Kondrot. “It comes down to being aware of what will help and harm the eyes and then taking measures to do what will benefit them in the long run.”

Dr. Kondrot is the author of three best-selling books, including “10 Essentials to Save Your Sight” (Advantage Media Group, July 2012), and president of the Arizona Homeopathic and Integrative Medical Association. He has founded the Healing The Eye & Wellness Center, located just north of Tampa, Fla., which offers alternative and homeopathic routes to vision therapies known as the “Kondrot Program.” The program focuses on such conditions as macular degeneration, glaucoma, dry eye, cataracts, and others. His advanced programs have helped people from around the world restore their vision. The center sits on 50 acres of land and features a 14,000-square-foot state-of-the art complex, an organic ranch, jogging trails, swimming pool, hot tub, and more. For more information, visit the site at www.healingtheeye.com.

About Health The Eye & Wellness Center

The Healing The Eye & Wellness Center is located 30 miles north of Tampa, in Dade City, Fla. Founded by Dr. Edward Kondrot, the Center offers world-class alternative therapies for vision conditions, including color and vision therapy, the treatment of glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, dry eye, and more. The center also offers a variety of seminars, webinars, and training sessions for others in the medical community. Dr. Kondrot is the world’s only board-certified ophthalmologist and board-certified homeopathic physician. He is also author of three best-selling books in the field. For more information, visit the site at www.healingtheeye.com.

Healthy Eating – 5 Dietary Requirements For Senior Citizens by Christine Abbate

August 29, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

Healthy eating, whether as a child or senior citizen is a vital part of a healthy and active lifestyle. Your nutritional needs are pretty much the same at 40, 50, 60 and beyond as they were when you were younger–with some minor variations. As we grow older, our bodies becomes less forgiving, and we will have to make more of an effort to eat well and stay fit.

Here are 5 Dietary Requirements for Senior Citizens:

1. Exercise:
Studies of the elderly indicate that current weight, rather than age, determined energy intake in men and women. The study suggests that changes in lifestyle, not age, resulted in the dietary changes seen in the healthy elderly survey. As you mature, your body will loose muscle mass, decreasing your metabolic rate, which in turn burns fewer calories at a slower rate. A great way to maintain control of your maturing body is to exercise regularly and eat healthy meals in moderation.

2. Eat More Fiber:
Maintaining a regular cycle of all systems in our bodies is very important. Fiber helps maintain regularity to prevent constipation and gastrointestinal diseases like divertculosis (pouches that cause spasm or cramping in the large intestines). You may also want to be extremely selective in your diet and not include gaseous foods.

3. Eat More Calcium:
Around 40 years old, our bones start to lose more minerals quicker than it can replace them. For women, menopause causes a drop in estrogen levels, estrogen helps bones maintain calcium. Menopause is responsible for a greater loss of calcium than in men. You should discuss with your physician a dietary supplement to ensure you are properly maintaining your body.

4. Water:
Water is essential from birth throughout life. It is critical to health-and is chronically overlooked. Second only to air in its steady and relentless necessity, H2O carries nutrients to cells; aids digestion by contributing to stomach secretions; flushes bodily wastes and reduces risk of kidney stones by diluting salts in the urine; ensures healthy function of moisture-rich organs (skin, eyes, mouth, nose); lubricates and cushions joints; regulates body temperature; and protects against heat exhaustion through perspiration. And the list goes on and on. Everybody should consume the minimum eight glasses of water daily to maintain our youthful vigor and pep.

5. Avoid Foods With Too Much Sugar:
Too much sugar causes a number of problems- it suppresses the immune system, weakens eyesight, contributes to obesity and diabetes, causes constipation, leads to all different types of cancers, and the list goes on and on about the effects of sugar intake. Young and old should never binge on sugar.

Eating well can make us feel a lot better. It gives us more energy – and it can actually help slow down the aging process!

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

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

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

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

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

An aging society and risk

Some key risk factors that affect our aging society are:

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

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

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

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

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

Look for warning signs

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Fears of those living in an aging society 

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

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

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

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

World’s Leading Ophthalmologist, Dr. Edward Kondrot, Cycling 335 Miles to Raise Awareness for Macular Degeneration

July 23, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

World’s Leading Ophthalmologist, Dr. Edward Kondrot, Cycling 335 Miles to Raise Awareness for Macular Degeneration

DADE CITY, FLORIDA – (July 18, 2013) – On July 19, 2013, Dr. Edward Kondrot and his wife, Ly, are beginning a 335-mile bike through the beautiful Great Allegheny Passage. Their journey starts in Pittsburg, PA and ends in Washington, DC, an estimated ten-day ride. The couple are biking to raise awareness about alternative treatments for macular degeneration and asking for sponsors to pledge anything from 10 cents to $10 per mile. All the funds raised will go to Restore Vision Foundation, an Arizona non-profit Corporation.

According to the National Eye Institute, Age-Related Macular Degeneration, or AMD, is a common eye condition, usually occurring in adults 50 years and over. It is the leading cause of vision loss in older adults as the macula is destroyed, creating blurry images. Your risk of developing AMD rises with age, as well as if you are a smoker or if you have family members with macular degeneration.

“I think it’s important to highlight the statistics of AMD due to the sheer number of people that are affected,” affirms Dr. Kondrot, the world’s leading ophthalmologist and founder of Healing the Eye & Wellness Center. “Most people with AMD are recommended to get laser surgery or injections, but alternative treatments are much less invasive and have incredible results.”

“If I’m going to bike 335 miles in my sixties, I think the cause is important,” adds Dr. Kondrot, “I want people to realize that harsh surgeries and medication is not the only way to go to prevent or treat macular degeneration. The goal is to raise awareness about alternative therapies, which can be more effective and less invasive. We hope to raise a lot of money for the Restore Vision Foundation.”

Dr. Kondrot is the author of three best-selling books, including “10 Essentials to Save Your Sight” (Advantage Media Group, July 2012), and president of the Arizona Homeopathic and Integrative Medical Association. He has founded the Healing The Eye & Wellness Center, located just north of Tampa, Fla., which offers alternative and homeopathic routes to vision therapies known as the “Kondrot Program.” The program focuses on such conditions as macular degeneration, glaucoma, dry eye, cataracts, and others. His advanced programs have helped people from around the world restore their vision. The center sits on 50 acres of land and features a 14,000-square-foot state-of-the art complex, an organic ranch, jogging trails, swimming pool, hot tub, and more. For more information, visit the site at www.healingtheeye.com.

To pledge, please visit: http://ow.ly/n0FFp

To follow Dr. Kondrot and his wife on their journey, visit: http://ow.ly/mZikP

To learn more about the Restore Vision Foundation: http://www.restorevisionfoundation.org/RVF/Welcome.html

About Health The Eye & Wellness Center

The Healing The Eye & Wellness Center is located 30 miles north of Tampa, in Dade City, FL. Founded by Dr. Edward Kondrot, the Center offers world-class alternative therapies for vision conditions, including color and vision therapy, the treatment of glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, dry eye, and more. The center also offers a variety of seminars, webinars, and training sessions for others in the medical community. Dr. Kondrot is the world’s only board-certified ophthalmologist and board-certified homeopathic physician. He is also author of three best-selling books in the field. For more information, visit the site at www.healingtheeye.com.

# # #

Source:

National Eye Institute. Age-Related Macular Degeneration.http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/maculardegen/armd_facts.asp#1

Eyes are the Window to Your Soul and Health!

July 23, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

 

Eyes are the Window to Your Soul and Health!

DADE CITY, FLORIDA – (July 22, 2013) – According to the World Health Organization, in high-income countries two-thirds of people live beyond the age of seventy and predominately die of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive lung disease, cancers, diabetes or dementia. If caught early on, some of these health issues are treatable and preventable.

“70 percent of the neurological system is linked to the eye,” affirms Dr. Kondrot, founder of Healing the Eye & Wellness Center and the world’s leading ophthalmologist. “The correspondence between your eyes and your health is extremely insightful. When part of your body is failing or not working properly, oftentimes your eyes reflect that.”

The National Eye Institute states that approximately 4,195,000 people in the United States suffer from some form of vision impairment and 7,685,000 have diabetic retinopathy. Here are five health issues that produce symptoms in the eye:

  • High Blood Pressure: hypertension can cause damage to the blood vessels in the retina, known as hypertensive retinopathy. The damage can be serious if left untreated.
  • Liver disease: one of the symptoms of liver disease is jaundice, the discoloring of the skin and whites of the eyes due to the high levels of bile the blood stream.
  • Stroke: the damage the stroke does in the brain impacts the visual pathways of the eye, which can result in blurry vision, double vision, moving images, loss of visual field, and sensitivity to light.
  • Nutritional deficiency: a lack of vitamin A can lead to night blindness.
  • Alzheimer’s Disease: some individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s also experience a decline in vision such as motion blindness, contrast sensitivity, or a lack of depth or color perception.

“Your eyes are a complex organ and any diseases that one sees in your eye is most likely occurring somewhere else in your body,” adds Dr. Kondrot, “It is essential to maintain periodic visits to your eye doctor and live a healthy lifestyle to prevent and treat these health issues before it’s too late.”

Dr. Kondrot is the author of three best-selling books, including “10 Essentials to Save Your Sight” (Advantage Media Group, July 2012), and president of the Arizona Homeopathic and Integrative Medical Association. He has founded the Healing The Eye & Wellness Center, located just north of Tampa, Fla., which offers alternative and homeopathic routes to vision therapies known as the “Kondrot Program.” The program focuses on such conditions as macular degeneration, glaucoma, dry eye, cataracts, and others. His advanced programs have helped people from around the world restore their vision. The center sits on 50 acres of land and features a 14,000-square-foot state-of-the art complex, an organic ranch, jogging trails, swimming pool, hot tub, and more. For more information, visit the site at www.healingtheeye.com.

About Health The Eye & Wellness Center

The Healing The Eye & Wellness Center is located 30 miles north of Tampa, in Dade City, FL. Founded by Dr. Edward Kondrot, the Center offers world-class alternative therapies for vision conditions, including color and vision therapy, the treatment of glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, dry eye, and more. The center also offers a variety of seminars, webinars, and training sessions for others in the medical community. Dr. Kondrot is the world’s only board-certified ophthalmologist and board-certified homeopathic physician. He is also author of three best-selling books in the field. For more information, visit the site at www.healingtheeye.com.

Source:

World Health Organization. The Top 10 Causes of Death.http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs310/en/index2.html

National Eye Institute. Prevalence of Adult Vision Impairment and Age-Related Eye Diseases in America.http://www.nei.nih.gov/eyedata/adultvision_usa.asp

  • Senior Industry Network Group Events

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

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

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

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

    * How Much? It’s free!