Monthly Archives: July 2016

4 myths about brain health and how to stay sharp

What your doctor may not know, but you should

By Leslie Kernisan, MD for Next Avenue

BrainHealth - web

Credit: Thinkstock

Want to stay mentally sharp for as long as possible?

I certainly do, and I’m guessing you do, too: an AARP survey found that 87 percent of respondents reported being very concerned about this issue.

And in April, a highly influential nonprofit released a new report whose recommendations represent the best available medical knowledge on how our brains change as we age and what we can do about this.

Growing older has its benefits

6 good reasons to celebrate your age

By Bart Astor for Next Avenue

Credit: Thinkstock

Credit: Thinkstock

“Don’t trust anyone over 30,” Bob Dylan warned us. Then he turned 31 and changed his tune. When Gloria Steinem was asked her age some 41 years ago, the audience gasped at her response. Steinem chided them: “Folks, this is what 40 looks like.”

As children we measured our years in fractions: “I’m three and a half!” rounding it off to four as soon as we could. My father did the same much later on, only in reverse, insisting that he was not almost 96, but 95 and three-quarters. In middle age, we don’t use fractions; we use euphemisms such as “50-plus” or “third age.” And you’re not “old” now until you hit 85. read more

Guardianship in the U.S.: Protection or exploitation?

More adults will be at risk of abuse as boomers enter ‘the danger age’

By Emily Gurnon for Next Avenue

(Editor’s note: This is Part 1 of a three-part series on guardianship abuses appearing this week on Next Avenue. Here are Part 2 and Part 3.)

Credit: Tennessee Bar Association Caption: Ginger Franklin of Nashville speaks before the Tennessee Bar Association.

Credit: Tennessee Bar Association Caption: Ginger Franklin of Nashville speaks before the Tennessee Bar Association.

Ginger Franklin was just shy of her 50th birthday when she fell down the stairs of her Nashville-area townhouse in 2008. A marketing representative for Sam’s Club, she was taken to the hospital with a severe brain injury. Doctors weren’t sure if she would survive.

Since Franklin had not designated anyone to make decisions for her if she became incapacitated, and with no immediate family, her aunt was advised to petition the court for a guardian. The guardian, a lawyer appointed by the county, placed her in a group home for seriously mentally ill adults. read more

Investing in stock after 60

Woman offers advice to smart women lacking financial confidence

By Juliette Fairley for Next Avenue

InvestingAfter60 - web

Caption: Sandra Chaikin

When the stock market sank in 2009, Sandy Chaikin of Philadelphia, lost 40 percent of the money she’d invested in mutual funds following her financial adviser’s recommendations. “I asked my financial adviser to sell, but he suggested I ride it out,” says Chaikin, 65.

That experience was enough for the veteran marketing executive to look for a new way to invest — mostly on her own, but with guidance from her husband, Marc, a long-time investor and CEO of Chaikin Analytics.

“It’s become very rewarding to be able to take control of my own finances and to have the confidence to say that I can do it,” she says. read more

How to stop worrying in 6 easy steps

Try these simple mindfulness techniques to clear away stress

By Allison Carmen for Next Avenue

Credit: Thinkstock

Credit: Thinkstock

Life gets busy. For many of us, it moves so fast that we think our only option is to jump on that runaway train and go wherever it takes us. As a result, we feel stressed, anxious and panicky.

But we do have a choice. We can choose mindfulness instead. Mindfulness creates a space between how we feel and how we react, and that space allows us to find the calm and joyful moments each day brings while allowing us to experience unexpected events without letting them overtake us.

Try these six simple tips to bring more mindfulness into your life: read more

The famous museum that’s redefining aging

New York’s Museum of Modern Art is reaching out to spark joy

By Linda Bernstein for Next Avenue

Museum - web

Credit: Courtesy of MoMA Caption: MoMA’s Prime Time Gallery Conversations

It’s “Prime Time” for older adults who visit the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City.

Famous for its prestigious collection, which includes the painting of melting watches by Salvador Dali, a self-portrait by Frida Kahlo and sculptures by Pierre Huyghe, the museum has launched an extensive program that encourages people age 65 and older to experience art making, gallery conversations and film viewings. All this takes place in the stunning building recently redesigned by Japanese architect, Yoshi Taniguchi — a structure of white concrete and glass that opens onto a “secret” garden hidden among city skyscrapers. read more

This summer’s heat waves are more dangerous than you think

It’s not just the elderly who are at risk when the weather heats up. Here’s what you need to do to stay safe.

By Gary Drevitch for Next Avenue

SummerHeatwave - web

Credit: Ingram Publishing I iThinkStock

Heat waves tend to be underestimated as natural disasters because they lack the destructive power of hurricanes or earthquakes. We shouldn’t, however, overlook their lethal capabilities. During a week-long heat wave in Chicago in July 1995, temperatures in that city reached as high as 106 with a heat index of 120. At least 739 people died — 651 of them 85 or older. Most were living alone, without power or air conditioning.

Four years later, when another heat wave hit, the city took aggressive action, sending police to check on isolated seniors and offering free bus service to cooling centers. Still, 110 people died. And during a catastrophic three-week heat wave in Europe in August 2003, when temperatures produced the hottest season in five centuries, an estimated 70,000 people died, a fifth of them in Paris alone. Again, elders living alone were most vulnerable. read more