Healthy Aging Archive

Articles

Busier equals better for physical activity levels

A 2022 study found that older adults who visited more places each day, such as when shopping or doing errands, logged higher step counts. The results suggest the number of places we visit daily may contribute to healthier habits, researchers said.

Can you hear me now?

An estimated 30 million Americans experience some level of hearing loss, but only about 20% of them seek hearing aids. Many people can't accept they can't hear well, or won't act on symptoms. People should seek help if they have trouble hearing conversations, TV, and other sounds, and should see a doctor quickly if they have hearing loss in only one ear, pain, ear drainage, or vertigo. Visits with an audiologist and otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat doctor) are typically needed to get prescription hearing aids. Over-the-counter hearing aids are expected to be available online and in stores starting in late 2022.

Aiming for longevity

Genetics, lifestyle, and environmental factors contribute to reaching age 100. More than 100,000 people were 100 or older in 2019, triple the number in 1980. People reaching extreme old age tend to be nonsmokers, are not obese, and cope with stress effectively. Studies show that diets incorporating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains may lower the odds of frailty and increase life span. Siblings and children of long-living people also are likelier to live longer than peers. Optimism is associated with higher odds of living beyond 90.

Building a "cognitive reserve" offers brain protection in old age

A 2022 study suggests that following certain healthy habits throughout life can create a "cognitive reserve" that may protect the brain from dementia. People in their 60s and 70s can still build up their reserve by pursuing a combination of brain-stimulating activities.

Physical therapy as good as surgery for healing knee meniscal tears

A 2022 study found that physical therapy works as well as surgery for degenerative meniscal tears in the knee, an injury related to tissue aging that can lead to osteoarthritis. This approach offers an alternative for people concerned about surgery's costs and possible complications.

Cutting back on ultra-processed foods linked with lower dementia risk

People who ate large amounts of ultra-processed foods had a greater risk of later developing dementia compared with people who ate little of these foods, according to a 2022 study. Researchers estimated that switching out even 10% of ultra-processed foods for healthier options might lower one's risk.

You don't say? A matter of taste

After age 50, the number of taste buds begins to decline, so it's natural for people to notice some changes in their sense of taste. But other conditions also can affect taste, such as nasal issues, certain medications, and conditions like dry mouth and acid reflux.

Taking it slow

While an active life is a healthier one, there are times when people can benefit from embracing a slower pace, an approach commonly known as "slow living." Slow living isn't about doing less, but doing more with greater focus and purpose and at the right speed. The approach can help people lower stress, increase concentration and memory, and become more engaged in activities they enjoy.

Doing any aerobic activity regularly may help you live longer

A 2022 study found that doing any type of aerobic activity for the recommended amount of time each week was tied to a 13% lower risk for premature death from any cause, compared with not exercising.

Programs to sharpen your driving skills

Several types of programs can make driving safer for older drivers. A Car-Fit evaluation helps improve the way a driver fits in a vehicle. A driving refresher course helps drivers stay up to date on driving techniques, laws, and vehicle safety technology. A formal driving assessment evaluates a person's physical and mental health and driving ability on the road. Driver rehabilitation provides training for people to use adaptive driving equipment, practice driving in challenging conditions, and develop safe driving habits.

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