Live Well | aging


MONDAY, APRIL 25, 2016

Mall walkers Ann Morales and Flora Yang walk together at Mazza Gallerie in Washington, D.C.; Yang walks twice a week at the mall and says mall walking keeps her young and fit. Photo by Heidi de Marco, Kaiser Health News. (Heidi de Marco / Heidi de Marco)

Experts’ new Rx for health: Walk the malls

Flora Yang is small, spry and not afraid to tell you her age: “90-something.” She walks twice a week at the Mazza Gallerie mall in Northwest Washington and says mall walking keeps her young and fit. Health officials are starting ...

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MONDAY, MARCH 7, 2016

House call: Shingles painful, preventable

If you are old enough to have had chickenpox as a child, or even as an adult, you become increasingly at risk of developing shingles as you age. Shingles is caused by the same virus (varicella-zoster) that made you sick with chickenpox. After you recover from chickenpox, the virus is still in you, but it is dormant in the nerves near your brain and spinal cord. Eventually, the virus may become active again, but this time instead of getting chickenpox, you become ill with shingles. Shingles is a painful rash in one area of the body, usually only on one side and in a limited area. On occasion, the rash can appear on your face and people with weak immune systems may have a widespread rash. You may experience pain, itching or tingling in the area of the rash before it appears.

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MONDAY, DEC. 1, 2014

TUESDAY, FEB. 25, 2014

House Call: As you age, medications bring more risks 

Remember the first time you found a gray hair? Or noticed fine lines around your eyes? You may be less aware of internal changes happening as you age because you cannot see them in the mirror. One of those changes is how your body responds to and metabolizes medications. No matter how well you have cared for yourself, your liver, kidneys, central nervous system and heart are probably not functioning quite as efficiently as when you were 30. As a result, medications, even nonprescription, can affect you differently. You may have more side effects or your body could take longer to clear out the medication. As you age, start taking supplements, or develop new medical conditions requiring more than one medication, medications you have been taking for years need to be reviewed and sometimes changed.

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MONDAY, NOV. 18, 2013

Americans draw line at miracle drug for extended life 

WASHINGTON – Ninety birthdays maybe, but not 120: Americans hope to stretch out life expectancy another decade or so, but they’re ambivalent, even skeptical, about a fountain of youth. A new poll by the Pew Research Center explores attitudes about a scientific quest: Creating treatments that one day might slow the aging process and let people live decades longer than is normal today.

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TUESDAY, SEPT. 24, 2013

Benefits of exercise improve with age

I love watching our daughter run and play. A desire to run, do cartwheels, splash in the pool and be active comes naturally to most children, but as time passes many of us seem to have less interest in physical activity. We mature, have injuries, become busier, and our activities frequently become more sedentary. Physical activity can start to look more like work than fun. However regular physical activity is a key element to being healthy. Becoming sedentary contributes to weight gain and increases in blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It also puts us at risk for other health issues, like cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Physical activity is one part of recommended treatment for insomnia, depression, and anxiety. Keeping fit may also decrease our risk of dementia as we age.

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TUESDAY, DEC. 11, 2012

Depressed seniors need to be convinced it’s OK to seek help

Recognizing depression in a relative or friend is one thing. Talking with them about getting treatment is another – especially, suicide prevention advocates say, when the person with depression belongs to a generation less likely to place faith in mental health services, or “mental health” as a concept.

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MONDAY, DEC. 10, 2012

Rock Doc: Excessive aerobic exercise can take a toll on heart 

Medical science increasingly has some evidence of a principle your mother warned you about: There really is too much of a good thing. A few folks throw themselves headlong into aerobic exercise. Most of these hard-core endurance athletes start young. Many fall by the wayside in middle age, but there are also those who keep going, completing marathons and similar events well into retirement age.

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TUESDAY, SEPT. 18, 2012

Balance, mobility take center stage

John Freirich broke a number of bones when he played football, but at 79, he’s not eager to repeat the experience. “I realized I wasn’t as comfortable with a lot of physical activity as I used to be,” he said. “I wasn’t as stable.”

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MONDAY, SEPT. 17, 2012

Older drivers face confusing array of license laws

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jerry Wiseman notices it's harder to turn and check his car's blind spots at age 69 than it was at 50. So the Illinois man and his wife took a refresher driving course, hunting tips to stay safe behind the wheel for many more years — a good idea considering their state has arguably the nation's toughest older-driver laws. More older drivers are on the road than ever before, and an Associated Press review found they face a hodgepodge of state licensing rules that reflect scientific uncertainty and public angst over a growing question: How can we tell if it's time to give up the keys?

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SUNDAY, SEPT. 9, 2012

Testosterone marketing frenzy draws skepticism

WASHINGTON (AP) — "Are you falling asleep after dinner?" "Do you have a decrease in libido?" "Have you noticed a recent deterioration in your ability to play sports?" "It could be Low-T." Welcome to the latest big marketing push by ...

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SATURDAY, SEPT. 1, 2012

Boomers retiring to rural areas won't find doctors

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Nina Musselman had no trouble finding a family doctor when she retired to rural Oregon nine years ago to be closer to her children. But then that doctor moved away, leaving her to search for another who would take Medicare. After a year of going from doctor to doctor, she finally found one who stuck.

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TUESDAY, JULY 10, 2012

Report: Too little mental health care for boomers 

WASHINGTON (AP) — Getting older doesn't just mean a risk for physical ailments like heart disease and bum knees: A new report finds as many as 1 in 5 seniors has a mental health or substance abuse problem. And as the population rapidly ages over the next two decades, millions of baby boomers may have a hard time finding care and services for mental health problems such as depression — because the nation is woefully lacking in doctors, nurses and other health workers trained for their special needs, the Institute of Medicine said Tuesday.

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