Tell Your Doctor What’s on Your Bucket List

It’ll help direct your health where you want it to go. [Photo credit: Adobe Stock]

By Grace Birnstengel for Next Avenue

Your doctor can’t read your mind. A doctor assumes everyone wants to live and continue to live the best, healthiest, happiest life possible — but that means something different for everyone. If your doctor knows about your long-term goals and “bucket list” items, however, that can be used to direct your health plan and goals.

Dr. VJ Periyakoil, an internist, geriatrician and palliative care professional at Stanford Health Care wrote a piece for the New York Times about how she regularly asks her patients about their bucket lists. read more

5 Life Lessons From Stephen Hawking

As his death is met with grief, we remember his wisdom. [Photo credit: hawking.org.uk]

By Bryce Kirchoff for Next Avenue

As the passing of renowned physicist and public intellectual Stephen Hawking is met with grief and remembrance the world over, Next Avenue wanted to honor the man who educated the world on a host of issues by sharing five important lessons we learned from him:

1. Trust in science, but remember that we haven’t uncovered all its mysteries yet.

At 22, Professor Hawking was diagnosed with a rare form of motor neuron disease and told he only had a few years to live. For most of his adult life, he was wheelchair bound and could speak only with the aid of a vocal synthesizer. Yet, against all odds, Hawking had a successful career and rich family life until passing away at the age of 76. read more

One Surprising Way Older Adults Can Get Healthier

You know about the obvious things. Now try this. [Photo credit: Adobe Stock]

By Dr. Ann Hwang for Next Avenue

Whether or not we actually do the right things to improve our health, many of us probably assume we know what they are. Walk more. Quit smoking. Eat healthier.

It’s a familiar list, and a good one. As a primary care doctor, I spend plenty of time counseling people to do exactly these things. But here’s another, less familiar thing I think you should consider: get engaged in your community.

The Benefits of Connection

Civic engagement may not be on the top of everyone’s to-do list, but it probably should be. There is intriguing evidence to suggest that people who are engaged in their communities — through activities like participating in local organizations or volunteering — could also have better health. read more

Are You Doing Doctor Appointments Right?

[Photo credit: Adobe Stock]

By Grace Birnstengel for Next Avenue

Navigating the medical system can be a daunting process. It’s challenging enough to find any doctor with openings, let alone a good doctor. And the internet isn’t always much help.

What is helpful, however, is this in-depth guide to having a good doctor’s appointment written for The New York Times by Dr. Danielle Ofri, author and associate professor of medicine at New York University.

“As a doctor I often get asked by friends and family how to make the most of a medical visit,” she wrote. read more

7 Reasons Why You Should Travel

Reap the benefits of health, happiness and gratitude on your next journey. [Photo credit: Adobe Stock]

By Wendy Sue Knecht for Next Avenue

Some people are just lucky — they’re born with it. I’m not talking about good looks or money. I’m talking about wanderlust …. that something inside of you that just makes you want to go places, explore and of course, wander.

My own wanderlust was cultivated at a young age. Although my family never took anything but road trips growing up, my father used to regale me with bedtime stories of Gee Gee Go-Go, a fictional character who traveled all over the world on his tricycle. It’s no surprise I became a Pan Am flight attendant! read more

Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America commercial wins award in international marketing competition

AVA Digital Awards recently announced Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America (PMMA) received an award for outstanding achievement by creative professionals involved in concept, direction, design and production of media that is part of the evolution of digital communication.

Winners were selected from more than 200 categories in Audio, Video, and Web-based production.

Five19 Creative, the advertising agency engaged by PMMA, received a gold award in the Video Production category for the 30-second commercial “Practically Unexpected” produced for Aberdeen Village. The commercial was shot and produced by the Richmond, Va.,-based company. read more

Are You Being Helpful or Ageist for People with Dementia?

Offers of support may be perceived as bias. [Photo credit: Adobe Stock]

By Denise Logeland for Next Avenue

A few years ago, Angela Lunde, a leader in patient and caregiver education for the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center in Rochester, Minn., sat at a table between two people who live on opposite sides of a dilemma.

On one side of Lunde was a man with early- to mid-stage Alzheimer’s disease. “He said, ‘What I really want from my community is I want somebody to feel comfortable coming up to me when I’m out and about and asking me if I need help’ if he looked confused,” Lunde recalled. read more

The Power of Sharing Our Stories

Playing a game at an assisted living facility opened up connections [Photo credit: Adobe Stock]

By Reyna Marder Gentin for Next Avenue

My friend runs an assisted living residence not far from where I live. When she called to say she had a mitzvah (a good deed) for me that was “right up my alley,” I was wary, to put it mildly. She explained that she was running an event where the residents would play a game encouraging them to share, open mic style, stories from their lives. My friend knows I write — essays, memoir pieces, a novel. I tell stories.

“Will you come?” she asked.

I wanted to say no. As my children will tell you, with the rare exception of a Shabbat round of Scrabble or Bananagrams, I don’t play games. Maybe I’m uptight, or just no fun, but games are not my thing. The idea of helping to facilitate an octogenarian quiz show was not high on my list. read more

Why Your Funeral Director Will Likely Be Female

Funeral director Jan Smith of Flanner Buchanan in Indianapolis guides a casket into a hearse. [Photo credit: courtesy of Jan Smith]

By Kevyn Burger for Next Avenue

Jan Smith was in the final semester of her training to be a funeral director when her 8-year-old nephew died after a heart transplant.

Her family’s heartbreak deepened her understanding of the value of the work she was preparing for.

“I was able to be an observer of how my profession can help a family with a traumatic experience like the loss of a young child. I saw what a difference we make with creating that meaningful last experience,” said Smith, of Indianapolis. read more

Would You Want to Know Your Risk of Alzheimer’s?

There’s little chance now of finding out, but that may change. [Photo credit: Adobe Stock]

By Joan Mooney for Next Avenue

If one of your parents died of Alzheimer’s or has it, what does that mean for your own prognosis? How much would you want to know about your risk of Alzheimer’s when there is currently no medical treatment?

This is not a simple question. Anyone who lives past 85 has a nearly one in three chance of developing Alzheimer’s. But what if you are in your 50s and your father had Alzheimer’s, but you have no symptoms?

Many scientists and companies are working on a blood test. read more