Recent Blog Articles

Healthy Aging Archive


Living longer, without dementia

A study published online April 13, 2022, by The BMJ found that those age 65 or older who regularly practiced numerous healthy lifestyle habits lived longer and had fewer years with dementia than those who practiced one or no healthy lifestyle factors.

Spotting memory loss in a loved one

It can be hard to detect a potentially serious type of memory loss in a loved one, especially if small cognitive changes occur over time. It may help to note memory slips that happen consistently or those that seem uncharacteristic for the person. Tracking incidents on a calendar may also help reveal patterns. Potential incidents include consistently forgetting a close family member’s name, important conversations, words for everyday objects, bills that are due, medication times or doses, or routes home from familiar places. Other common issues are frequently having trouble at work, making financial mistakes, or taking medications incorrectly.

Why do I shrink in height as I age?

Around age 40, most people lose some height, and the decline accelerates with age. This "shrinkage" can be slowed by preventing osteoporosis and improving posture. Getting enough calcium and vitamin D can help increase bone density, and exercises for the back and abdominal muscles can help with posture.

A new angle on aging in place: The virtual village

A virtual village is a group of older adults who live in their own homes, near each other, and agree to help each other. They form a self-governing nonprofit organization and volunteer to provide village services such as transportation, friendly visits, errands, exercise and social events, a dedicated hotline, and referrals to vetted services and suppliers. The village won’t replace an assisted living facility or nursing home, but it may help delay the transition.

I'm too young to have Alzheimer's disease or dementia, right?

Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia are something we think of as diseases of old age. Memory loss is a common symptom, and something that people in midlife also experience — but young onset dementia is very uncommon.

Cognitive effects in midlife of long-term cannabis use

As more US states have legalized recreational cannabis or passed medical cannabis laws, public perception that cannabis is a harmless substance is growing. But its long-term benefits and risks remain unclear, and research has revealed consistently that heavy long-term cannabis use can affect cognition in midlife.

Managing premature ejaculation

Premature ejaculation is common in older men, especially in a new sexual relationship. Partners can help the issue by trying the "stop-start" and "stop-squeeze" methods. Men also can ask their doctor about using an antidepressant that has delayed orgasm as a side effect.

What to do when your kids confront you about your health

When adult children express concerns about their parents' health, it benefits the parents to consider them. It could be that the kids are observing symptoms of conditions best treated early. If parents disagree with their kids' concerns, experts advise that parents simply express appreciation for the feedback and say they'll think about what the kids have said. If the parents want more information, experts advise writing down the concerns and either calling the doctor or bringing the matter up at the next appointment.

Rowing or paddling after age 60

Water sports that use oars or paddles are effective forms of exercise with many health benefits. However, the sports may pose health risks, especially after age 60. The sports have a repetitive component to them. Paddling can stress the shoulder tendons. Rowing can lead to low back strains. Neither sport would be a good idea for people with tendinitis at the shoulder, elbow, or wrist; a diagnosed back problem such as a disc injury or spinal stenosis; or a previous back surgery.

Take a cue for better memory recall

People who struggle to remember names, details, or words during conversation are dealing with a phenomenon called "blocking," which is related to diminished memory recall. Addressing issues like stress, depression, an unhealthy diet, insomnia, lack of exercise, and prolonged isolation can improve recall. Otherwise, when blocking situations arise, people can try to incorporate cueing, a method that uses "hints" to help the brain better retrieve information.

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