Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Do Parents Get Enough Exercise? How Much Should They Get? HHS Guidelines for Older Adults' Physical Activity

man using weights

Older People Worry About Falling 
Older People Want Independence 
Older People Don't Wish To Be Limited By Physical Problems

I doubt anyone will dispute these assertions. On the other hand, are we--or most older people--aware of the physical activities that help aging adults retain independence so they can continue to age well?

In 2008 the Department of Health and Human Services published Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, the first comprehensive guidelines on physical activity ever issued by the Federal government, with a section that focuses on "Older Adults." Tufts provided this update this week:

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Aging Parents: "Time Takes All But Memories"

Can the elderly be sustained by memories?

I came across a speech excerpted from a 1965 memorial service. A sun-dial inscribed "Time Takes All But Memories" inspired a sermon (in part below) making me wonder: What's it like for the isolated elderly? Do they have only memories?

"What is true for the dead, is equally true for the living. When there is no one to think of us, no one to care for us--even though we be alive, is it not as though we are dead? To be sure, I am not speaking of mere physical survival, for a man might breathe and eat and pump blood for 969 years like the legendary Methuselah in the Bible--but who wants to live if he has no one who loves him, no one who cares for him, no one who remembers him? Total, perpetual endless loneliness is, I daresay, even worse than death itself."

Please go to my other site to view entire post with, of course, ideas to make life better for the isolated elderly and those who feels no one cares. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014


"Good job!" How often do parents say this simple phrase to their children. Good parents praise and reinforce self-worth. No elaboration needed. What is needed is the reminder of how easily self-esteem can be unwittingly undermined in the elderly--be it by strangers, acquaintances, or family members.

Is it due to assumptions people make about older people?
Is it that a well-meaning phrase, used to show affection, is actually belittling to a proud elder?
Is it that an unthinking remark, in response to an elder's age-related issue, hurts?

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Aging Parents: Do We Support or (Inadvertently) Cripple Them--2 Independence

Is it safe to say we're all guilty of interfering with our parents' independence at one time or another? 

When we're busy--because of our other responsibilities to work, family, caregiving--it's perfectly normal to want to get it done and move on, rather than wait for an older person to do it at his--or her--slower pace.

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Monday, August 11, 2014

Aging Parents: Do We Support or (Inadvertently) Cripple Them?

It's easy to do things out of love and wanting to help that are not necessarily in older people's best interest. It's easy to do what we think is right--or is the only way we know how--without realizing it isn't helpful and may, indeed be harmful. What's at risk? What are the options?

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

To Help Parents Age Well: US News & World Report: Best Hospitals 2014-2015

U.S. News Ranks Best Hospitals 2014-15

Again this year, US News & World Report, has published its Best Hospitals issue. Of the 17 hospitals to make the 2014-15 Honor Roll, top honors in Geriatrics are earned by Mayo Clinic in Rochester, followed by Mt. Sinai in New York, UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, and Massachusetts General in Boston. Click above link for Geriatrics honor roll.

For difficult and out-of-the ordinary diagnoses and procedures the best hospitals are most likely to have the most experience, so aren't we're also talking about best doctors here? It makes sense to have the above list, should especially worrisome health issues arise.

For more "garden-variety" health issues there are many fine regional hospitals which are recognized in this issue of US News & World Report.

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Friday, August 1, 2014

Cleaning Out My Elderly Parents' Soon-to-be-sold Home

Going Through 80+ Years of Meaningful Moments

 Sorting                                    Then VP Richard Nixon--campaigning
                                                and a vintage photo of boys playing marbles?

It's tedious. Making decisions--what goes (and to whom); what stays; what we think we can sell, and what gets shredded on the (I think) first-generation shredder in my parents' home. Tackling the many boxes' contents can feel like a newbie's climb up Mt. Everest. I've hated and loved every minute.

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