Health and Wellness

Don’t Become a Statistic

Take a guess: which of the following conditions resulted in the highest number of deaths in older Minnesotans in 2013: diabetes, falls, kidney disease, influenza or pneumonia? If you guessed falls, you a correct. Minnesota has the nation’s fourth highest rate of fall-related deaths. Even if a fall doesn’t result in death, it can create the life-changing challenge of broken bones or a traumatic brain injury.

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Don’t Let Vision Loss Impact Your Independence

As we age, we endure a number of losses, both physical and psychological. I personally cannot imagine the loss of sight and count myself blessed to have good vision according to my latest exam. Of course my good fortune could change at any time, and if so, I will count myself blessed again to have the support of the programs of Vision Loss Resources.

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Age like an Olympian

With the summer Olympics underway, it got me wondering about past Olympians and how they are faring (aside from the former Bruce Jenner, who has had plenty of attention). What are these elite athletes doing to age well? And what can we learn from them?

In 1976, Wendy Boglioli and her relay teammates won gold in women’s swimming. According to Healthways Silver Sneakers Fitness, she continues to train in and out of the pool, often leaving much younger people in her wake.

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Can We Prevent the D Word?

When I was growing up, I heard so many tragic stories of people dying from cancer that I dubbed it “the C word” (as in “please don’t tell me they have been diagnosed with the C word”). Now as I enter my sixth decade, I have become acutely aware of “the D word”, as in Dementia. And just in time, since the risk doubles every five years between ages 65 – 95.

But just like many cancers, can dementia be prevented? Yes, with the right diet. Research has shown that the Mediterranean diet may be helpful in preventing cognitive issues later in life. A 2013 study published in the journal Neurology reported that those who followed the diet closely were 19 percent less likely to encounter issues with thinking and memory skills.

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Dealing with the Hand You’ve Been Dealt

Aging is difficult enough as it is. But for an older adult dealing with a chronic health condition, life can become very challenging. According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), nearly 92% of older adults have at least one chronic condition and 77% have at least two. Chronic conditions can make life feel unmanageable and force older adults to give up their independence too soon.

The traditional medical model of caring for people with chronic conditions, which focuses more on the illness than on the individual, is expensive and often ineffective. Addressing chronic conditions requires new approaches to delay deterioration, improve function and handle the problems that people confront daily in coping with the hand they’ve been dealt.

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