Relationships & Connections Archive


Getting the most from your remaining years

Following healthy habits like exercising, eating a proper diet, and being socially engaged can help people live a longer, healthier life. Still, the ultimate goal is not simply to live longer, but to enjoy life, which means placing more emphasis on quality of life. How life quality is defined can vary depending on people's goals, but it often revolves around three certain mindsets: having a sense of purpose, focusing on where one wants to devote time and energy, and enjoying the process and journey.

Doing multiple types of activities improves cognitive health

Studies have shown that doing any one of certain activities, such as staying physically active and maintaining social ties, helps maintain brain health in older adults. A new study suggests that participating in multiple kinds of these activities, several times a week, may help even more.

The little things that can improve your health

In addition to major healthy lifestyle habits, such as exercising and eating a healthy diet, it's important to practice lots of little healthy habits throughout the day. Some should be observed every 30 minutes, such as taking a quick activity break and drinking a little water. Other habits, such as having a healthy snack or using eye drops, can be done every few hours. And some healthy habits help if practiced even just once a day, such as learning something new, chatting with someone outside of the household, or meditating.

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.

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.

Social isolation and loneliness add up to higher heart risks

Social isolation and loneliness are other significant risk factors for cardiovascular disease in older women.

Harvard study: Fish oil doesn’t prevent depression

A large, randomized Harvard study published online Dec. 21, 2021, by JAMA found that taking fish oil supplements didn’t prevent depression in otherwise healthy older adults.

Shield your brain from decline

The acronym SHIELD sums up the habits that may help ward off cognitive decline. SHIELD stands for sleeping at least seven hours per night, handling stress, interacting with friends, exercising daily, learning new things, and eating a healthy diet. Ideally, one should incorporate all of these healthy lifestyle habits into each day. If that feels overwhelming, doctors advise focusing on a different healthy habit per day, until it’s possible to practice all of the habits every day.

Thinking about holiday gatherings? Harvard Health experts weigh in

If you are gathering with family or friends during this holiday season there is still a lot of uncertainty around how to help keep everyone as safe as possible from COVID-19 illnesses and hospitalizations, particularly when many people will be traveling. Harvard Health Publishing faculty contributors share their own holiday plans and offer advice for safely enjoying the holidays this year.

Grieving: A natural process to help heal

At some point, almost everyone experiences the passing of a loved one whether it’s family, a friend, a spouse, or a beloved pet. Grieving is a natural process that is essential to healing. The best way to deal with grief is to look for ways to make the mourning and healing process less challenging. These include acknowledging grief, embracing the lost loved one’s community, and speaking with others who have gone through grieving.

Free Healthbeat Signup

Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!

Sign Up
Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Thanks for visiting. Don't miss your FREE gift.

The Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness, is yours absolutely FREE when you sign up to receive Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Sign up to get tips for living a healthy lifestyle, with ways to fight inflammation and improve cognitive health, plus the latest advances in preventative medicine, diet and exercise, pain relief, blood pressure and cholesterol management, and more.

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Get helpful tips and guidance for everything from fighting inflammation to finding the best diets for weight loss...from exercises to build a stronger core to advice on treating cataracts. PLUS, the latest news on medical advances and breakthroughs from Harvard Medical School experts.

BONUS! Sign up now and
get a FREE copy of the
Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Stay on top of latest health news from Harvard Medical School.

Plus, get a FREE copy of the Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness.