Helpful information from repuatable sources about caring for yourself or a loved one who has a debilitating condition.

March 29, 2018
Lance Robertson, ACL Administrator and Assistant Secretary for Aging

We all know that good nutrition is the foundation of good health. Healthy eating can help people achieve and maintain a healthy weight, prevent the onset of chronic diseases, reduce inflammation, and speed recovery from injuries. On the other hand, poor nutrition is connected to a variety of health problems.

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April 2, 2018

By: Vice Admiral Jerome M. Adams M.D., M.P.H., Surgeon General of the United States

Summary:
Observing National Public Health Week, Surgeon General Adams called for forging new partnerships to improve the nation’s health and change our future together.

Every American deserves to live a long, healthy life, but we are falling short of that goal. Life expectancy in the U.S. has declined for the second year in a row. This decline marks the first time in half a century that American longevity has declined. This is a disturbing problem that faces us as we observe National Public Health Week, April 2-April 8.

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Scientific evidence about the importance of remaining socially engaged as we age continues to grow. Participating in social activities, such as visiting friends, volunteering, and getting out for events and trips, has been associated with better cognitive function, while low social engagement in late life has been associated with an increased risk of dementia (Krueger, 2009; Saczynski, 2006). Other research has shown that support from a spouse/partner and friends alleviates loneliness and improves well-being in older adults. Recent findings from Dr. Emily Rogalski and colleagues at Northwestern University studying cognitive “SuperAgers” add more evidence about the importance of positive social relationships (Maher, 2017).

Who are cognitive SuperAgers?

3 men sitting together on a bench and laughingNorthwestern’s SuperAgers cohort is made up of people age 80 and older whose episodic memory (memories of past personal events) is comparable to people 25 to 30 years younger (age 50-65). Over the seven years the research team has followed this group, their episodic memory test scores have not declined significantly, indicating remarkably resilient memory. What factors contribute to their elite performance?

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Tips for staying safe in cold weather

With winter's return, the colder temperatures bring some particular risks for older adults and people with chronic conditions. Older adults can lose body heat faster than when they were younger, and changes in their bodies can make it more difficult to be aware of a drop in body temperature. The result can be a dangerous condition called hypothermia.

Hypothermia occurs when a person's core body temperature drops to 95 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Even a small drop in temperature and short exposure to cold weather can develop into hypothermia. Some warnings signs of hypothermia include slowed or slurred speech; sleepiness or confusion; shivering or stiffness in the arms and legs; poor control over body movements; slow reactions, or a weak pulse.

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You have been a safe driver for years. For you, driving means freedom and control. As you get older, changes in your body and your mind can affect how safely you drive.  If you are an older driver with a medical condition, or if you are a concerned caregiver,these resources will help you learn how medical conditions can affect driving, what to do if you're experiencing or witnessing certain warning signs, and where to learn more about medical conditions. 

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Assessing How Changes Can Affect Your Driving

Some of the changes you experience as you get older can affect your ability to drive safely. The good news is that people who keep track of changes in their eyesight, physical fitness, and reflexes may be able to adjust their driving habits so they stay safe on the road.

The following questions will help you decide if physical changes have affected your driving skills. Helpful tips about coping with these changes are also provided so that you can remain a safe driver for as long as possible.

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What’s the problem?

Aging is not the problem, but the way we talk about aging is. Most people, without even thinking of it, use language that describes aging as a negative experience. Unfortunately, this language contributes to “Ageism” in our culture, which is a stereotyping or discrimination of a person or group of people because of their age. This is a serious challenge in our culture and communities, manifesting in the unconscious thoughts we have, the actions we take, and the social policies, institutions and systems we create.

What’s the solution?

To change the way our society thinks and acts about aging, we must begin to change the way we talk. Reframing aging using common language that celebrates our collective experience as we all age helps contribute to solutions. The language we use truly matters.

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Hearing loss is a common problem caused by noise, aging, disease, and heredity. People with hearing loss may find it hard to have a conversation with friends and family. They may also have trouble understanding a doctor’s advice, responding to warnings, and hearing doorbells and alarms.

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