Learn the “Latest On Aging” with Anchor Health Care’s Free Monthly Newsletter
This Newsletter is compiled by a local Gerontologist, better known as an “expert on aging” processes.
We are happy to share pertinent Aging information with all our seniors, friends of seniors, family, and professionals.
Below please find all past newsletter.
MIND Diet Earns High Rankings from The US News & World Report
The US News & World Report has ranked the MIND diet as the easiest diet to follow. The MIND diet also placed in the top five in these categories: best overall diet, best diet for healthy eating, best diet for diabetes, and best heart-healthy diet. Now in its sixth year of ranking diets, the media company orders 35 different diets in a variety of categories using sources such as medical journals and government reports to determine their rankings.
The diet was developed by Martha Clare Morris and her colleagues at Rush University Medical Center to combat Alzheimer’s disease. MIND is short for Mediterranean-DASH Diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay and is a combination of the Mediterranean and DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diets. The diet encourages consumption of “brain-healthy foods” such as green leafy vegetables, berries, fish, nuts, and beans.
A recent study shows that participants who strictly follow the diet have a 53% lower risk of Alzheimer’s. Even those who only moderately followed the diets guidelines still show a 35% lower risk of the disease. In addition to slowing cognitive decline, the MIND diet can also reduce the risk of a number of other health problems including high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes.
Source: Morris MC, Tangney C, Wang Y, et al. MIND diet associated with reduced incidence of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, 2015 Sept; 11(9): 1007-1014.
Know the 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease
Whether you are a caregiver or someone who has concerns about memory loss, knowing the risk factors for dementia can help make lifestyle changes that can benefit the health of your brain. Early diagnosis also allows those living with the disease to be active along with caregivers in making decisions about caregiving, living arrangements, transportation, safety and financial and legal matters.
While age is the single biggest risk factor for developing dementia, there are other issues that factor into the risk for dementia, such as family history, certain genes, head trauma, heart health, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
The 10 Warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease include:
- Memory loss that disrupts daily life
- Challenges in planning or solving problems
- Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure
- Confusion with time and place
- Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
- New problems with words in speaking or writing
- Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
- Decreased or poor judgment
- Withdrawal from social activities
- Changes in mood and personality
Encourage someone with symptoms to visit a health care professional so that they can be properly assessed and diagnosed. Some signs can be treated or reversed. It may not even be dementia, but another illness or problem that needs proper treatment. Early detection can also help you plan for the future.
This excellent information provided by Amy Hosier, PhD Specialist for Family Life.
Heart Attack Risks Spike in the Winter
Recent research shows that there is a 26-36% greater death rate from heart attack, heart failure, or other heart diseases in the winter compared to the summer. This is true despite different locations and climates.
The study authors, Bryan Schwartz and Robert Kloner, are doctors from Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles and presented their research at a conference for the American Heart Association. The doctors examined data from 1.7 million people over a four-year period. The seven handpicked locations included warm climates such as Texas, Arizona, and Georgia, as well as the moderate locales of California and Washington, and the frigid winter states of Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.
Schwartz and Kloner say there are several factors that contribute to an increase in wintertime heart attacks. Cold temperatures cause blood vessels to constrict, in turn driving up your blood pressure. Your heart is then forced to work overtime because of the decrease in blood flow. While the dip in temperature is one factor, the researchers explain that heart risk is just as vulnerable for people in warmer climates as those living in chillier regions during the winter months. Winter is also known to be the season for the flu and other viruses which can affect heart health. In addition, healthy eating and exercise habits seem to go out the window and stress levels often increase around the winter holidays compromising our health and immune system.
The most important thing to remember is that your heart doesn’t take a break in the cold. Continue to monitor chronic risk factors, such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, weight management, exercise, and stress…even during the winter.
Source: Schwartz B, Kloner R. Season variation in cardiac death rates is uniform across different climates. Circulation, 2012; 126: A11723.
Use Caution When Wet
Wet and slippery surfaces caused by rain, ice, and snow can be a challenge for everyone but can prove to be an even bigger test for retirees or those who use mobility aids.
Of course, if conditions are treacherous, the best thing to do is stay safely indoors. But if you absolutely must venture outdoors on rainy or snowy days, remember these tips:
- Keep your hands out of your pockets. Not only can you break a fall or grab a railing with your hands, they help you keep your balance.
- Tread on me. Make sure the shoes you are wearing have grippy tread for slippery surfaces. Avoid shoes with heels and slick bottoms.
- When using a mobility aid, such as a cane or crutches, make sure they are equipped with rubber or non-skid surfaces.
- Put the brakes on other aids. If using a mobility aid with wheels, be more attentive to using the brakes.
- Don’t rush it. Take it slow to prevent falls and injuries.
- Don’t bring the slippery in with you. To avoid slipping on wet floors, wipe the water from your shoes and walking aids when returning indoors.
- Take the path more traveled. If it’s snowy, stay on cleared paths and sidewalks. On cold days, assume any wet spot can be a patch of ice. Compare your choice of paths and choose the one that has the fewest obstacles. It may be longer, but it may not be as wet and there may be fewer barriers between you and your destination.
When “rain, rain, (or snow, or sleet) go away” just isn’t working, use these tips to avoid falls and injuries.
You Just Won! Send Money Now! How to Avoid Being Scammed
Sound familiar? Any time you see these words (or a variation thereof) you should be on the alert for a scam. Seniors are especially targeted by scammers. Older people are often more trusting, more affluent, and available during the day, when many scammers call. Many seniors live alone, and can be friendlier to strangers who want to “help”, whether it’s by fixing a roof or giving a prize. Such people are gifted at identifying and preying on the fears of seniors—“Do I have enough money to last me through retirement? I can’t keep up my house on my own anymore”—and offering what appears to be an easy, helpful solution. What these scammers actually want is to help themselves—to their victims’ money or identity.
Whether they are delivered by email, phone, or door-to-door, scams share certain things in common: requests for money up front; pressure to act now; and goods and services offered for “free” or at amazingly low prices.
To avoid falling victim to scammers:
- Keep yourself to yourself. NEVER give out personal information such as Social Security numbers, bank account numbers, or even dates of birth.
- Trust no one. Do not trust people who say they represent an official agency or financial institution and then request personal information.
- Get good advice. Always discuss any large purchases or investments you are considering making with your family, friends, lawyer, accountant or banker .
- For your safety, do not allow door-to-door salespeople in your home. Besides the obvious risk of injury or robbery, it is easier to close the door on unwanted callers than to get them out of your house once they are inside.
- Just hang up. Don’t let good manners get you into trouble. It can be hard to say no to a persuasive telemarketer. Use an answering machine to screen calls. Or register your landline or cell phone with the federal government’s “Do Not Call Registry” at 1-888-382-1222. When callers ask for the man of the house or the head of the household, do not tell them that there isn’t one or that you live alone.
- Read the fine print. If you are notified that you’ve won a cruise or sweepstakes, read the fine print carefully to make sure there are no hidden costs or obligations.
- Check it out. If you don’t recognize a company or business, check with your local consumer protection agency, Better Business Bureau, the National Fraud Information Center, the AARP, the Federal Trade Commission, or other watchdog groups.
- And most importantly, if it sounds too good to be true, it is.
You CAN be a winner – by avoiding scams.