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Honoring a Loved One Who Served This Veterans Day

By Flora Umukoro, 5:05 pm on November 7, 2018

Veterans are among our nation’s heroes. They proved their loyalty by selflessly serving in the military and fighting to preserve our freedoms. On November 11 each year, our nation pauses to recognize the service and sacrifice of our veterans. Whether they are part of what has been dubbed the Greatest Generation or fought in Vietnam, it’s important to show them we remember and appreciate their service. This Veterans Day, you can use these ideas to honor your veterans. Celebrating Veterans Day: 5 Ways to Honor Those Who Served 1. Wear red, white, and blue. One way to raise awareness on Veterans Day is by donning the colors of the American flag: red, white, and blue. …

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Students Provide Seniors With a “Vision” for the Future

By Flora Umukoro, 3:00 pm on November 1, 2018

Life can feel lonely for seniors who are blind or visually impaired. But VISIONS, a nonprofit rehabilitation and social service agency in New York, is working to reverse that isolation. Through the agency’s Intergenerational Program, students and teens travel to the homes of seniors to read, run errands and take walks around the neighborhood. Teens also serve meals, teach classes and assist with activities and programs at the VISIONS Senior Center in New York City. A “Vision” for the Future Of course, students must first undergo extensive training to learn how to work with those who are visually impaired. Mobility training is one key aspect, in which students are blindfolded so they know what it …

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Emergency Preparedness and the Elderly: We Can Do Better

By Flora Umukoro, 12:58 pm on October 22, 2018

During 2017, at least 15 major natural disasters occurred in the United States. Differences exist be­tween these types of disasters in terms of extent (e.g., timing, duration) and impact (e.g., loss of life, loss of community). The interaction of extent and impact influences how peo­ple prepare for future disasters, how they evacuate and how they experience and recover from such events. Because the media in 2017 was filled with sobering news stories and accounts of officials urging the public to prepare for such events, one might expect that people would be motivated to develop a disaster plan, learn the location of their nearest public shelter and prepare a simple “go bag” with essential items. However, …

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Aging & Eyesight: A New Vision

By Flora Umukoro, 10:02 am on October 12, 2018

Aging brings about changes in our vision. We find that our arms are too short and that we need more light to complete tasks. These experiences are typical and the adaptations, reading glasses and additional light, are easily accommodated. However, for 6.4% of those 65 and older, vision impairments are such that additional lighting and new glasses do not completely solve the problem (Erickson, Lee, and Van Schrader, 2015). Individuals facing age related vision loss usually have a slow deterioration, beginning with fatigue and moving toward the inability to visually complete tasks. Many are lonely. A recent study in New Zealand indicates that increased loneliness among people who are visually impaired is associated with decreased …

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Technology for Active Seniors and People Living with Dementia in 2018

By Flora Umukoro, 12:43 pm on October 8, 2018

It is easy to feel overwhelmed by all the advances and changes in technology. But there are numerous ways that these advances can bring new joys and make life and caregiving easier. Today’s senior is embracing technology and expects to use it in their daily lives. The secret behind a good design is that it must be simple and easy to use. If you can’t figure out how it works, it won’t help you! Check out how technology can help seniors in all aspects of life. If you’re a long-distance caregiver, use technology to help someone from far away. This can help you feel more confident in their safety and social engagement. Here’s the best …

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Epigenetics: Change Your DNA to Avoid Alzheimer’s?

By Flora Umukoro, 11:42 am on October 1, 2018

Do you believe disease is bound up in genetics? Do you think your genes determine whether you will develop certain health problems? Are you resigned to a future in which you have no sway over emerging health problems? If so, it’s time to check your assumptions. We have more power over our DNA — and the potential for a healthier future — than ever imagined. What does DNA do, anyway? DNA is our genetic code. Think of it as a rulebook the cells in our body use to turn genetic information into proteins.  This process is gene expression. In simple terms, if your DNA were different you would be someone — or something — else. …

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Worried About Elderly Parent’s Driving? 20 Ideas to Keep Driving Safely

By Flora Umukoro, 8:47 am on September 24, 2018

ot every older driver needs to turn in their keys. There are ways to keep driving safely for many people. From high tech tools to plain old common sense, these strategies could help keep your parents safe when driving. According to research on improving elder driver safety, there are nearly 42 million Americans age 65+ licensed to drive. That represents almost 20% of all drivers. It’s not only a large group — it’s one that’s growing. The Sometimes Bumpy Road to Safety According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, senior drivers are involved in more fatal crashes than other groups. But this trend has less to do with declining driving skills than it does with …

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Raising Grandchildren to Dream and Learn

By Flora Umukoro, 9:22 am on September 10, 2018

Are you one of the 2.7 million Americans raising your grandkids? Or do you just want to inspire your grandkids to learn and dream? Follow these tested tips, research and real-life stories to make your life easier and joyful. Be a Good Role Model John and I hope our family history, and the life skills we taught the twins, will help them in later years. We also hope the twins see us as role models. Susan Adcox writes about being a role model in her article, “10 Ways to be a Good Role Model for Grandkids,” posted on The Spruce website. Below are her tips and comments from my experience. 10 Tips to Be a …

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Maria Shriver Kicked My Butt, and I Couldn’t Be Happier

By Flora Umukoro, 12:50 pm on September 5, 2018

I Have Every Reason Not to Exercise Two years ago, I was at the climbing gym working on a “problem,” (V5 at Ironworks for you climbers) flinging my body up the wall to grab a left hand hold that was just out of reach. I backed off and attempted an easier climb. As I begun this climb, on the first move, everyone around me heard a loud “pop,” the sound of my ring finger tendon popping. Over the next two years, this hand injury cascaded into a sprained ankle (rolled on a treadmill), a burning knee (steep descent running) and a painful frozen shoulder (overhead luggage bin). I had every mental excuse not to attend …

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Can Eating Sugar Cause Dementia? A Plain-English Explanation

By Flora Umukoro, 1:16 pm on August 31, 2018

Eating sugary foods could give you dementia. This is bad news if you’re a sweet tooth. The good news is that changing what you eat can improve your brain health. Age and genetics are risk factors for dementia that you have no control over. You can change your diet to increase energy in the short-term, and brain health in the long-term. Recently, research has been looking at how blood sugar affects brain health. People with high blood sugar levels have higher rates of Alzheimer’s disease. Why is Alzheimer’s Called Type 3 Diabetes? Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes results in high blood sugar levels. Studies have shown that, compared to the general population, aging people …

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