Author: Sondra Forsyth

Caregiving

Synching Info Between Homes & Hospitals

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Researchers at the University of Missouri in Columbia are working to develop an in-home health monitoring and alert system that streams patients’ individualized health information between homes and hospitals. The system’s ability to provide comprehensive health information could lead to better care for patients as well as reduced costs for individuals and health systems.

Aging Well

Needed: Activity Apps for Older Adults

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Commercially available activity-monitoring apps, Web sites, and wearable devices allow for easy self-management of health and wellness. This technology may be particularly helpful for older adults, who can improve their cognitive function through proper diet and exercise. However, in spite of the growing popularity of and potential benefits of tracking monitors, product designers rarely consider those over 65 to be a viable user group.

Osteoarthritis

6,000 Steps a Day Helps Ease OA

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Research done at from Sargent College at Boston University in Massachusetts shows that walking just 6,000 steps a day reduces the risk of developing mobility issues such as difficulty getting up from a chair and climbing stairs that are often associated with knee osteoarthritis (OA). The typical recommendation I 10,000 steps – about five miles -- a day but BU team found that fewer steps will do the trick. The study, which was funded in part by the National Institutes of Health, was published in June 2014 in in Arthritis Care & Research.

Healthy Diet & Nutrition

How Sweet It Is: All About Sugar Substitutes

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Whether it’s to cut down on the number of calories they consume or any of a variety of other reasons, some people use sugar substitutes – also called high-intensity sweeteners – to sweeten and add flavor to their foods. They can be used alone to sweeten foods and beverages such as iced tea or coffee, or as an ingredient in other products. There are a number of sugar substitutes on the market from which to choose.

Medical Care

New Ways to Combat MRSA in Hospitals

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New guidelines aim to reduce the prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), improve patient safety and prioritize current prevention efforts underway in hospitals. This drug resistant bacterium is a common source of patient morbidity and mortality in U.S. hospitals, causing nearly twice the number of deaths, significantly longer hospital stays and higher hospital costs than other forms of the bacteria.

Exercise
Heart Health
Stress Management
Stress-Free Living

Why Stress & Overexertion Trigger Heart Attacks

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Scientists believe they have an explanation for the axiom that stress, emotional shock, and overexertion may trigger heart attacks in vulnerable people. Hormones released during these events appear to cause bacterial biofilms on arterial walls to disperse, allowing plaque deposits to rupture into the bloodstream, according to research published in published in June 2014 in mBio, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Weight Loss

When to Start a Diet

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By Sondra ForsythBathing suit weather is back and you may be wishing you had stuck your New Year’s Resolution to lose some weight. Don’t be discouraged! Here are some strategies for getting kicking off a diet and sticking with it:PICK A START DATE THAT HAS POSITIVE SIGNIFICANCE FOR YOU

Travel

Germs on a Plane

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If you’re planning a summer trip that involves air travel, be sure to bring along plenty of hand sanitizer. According to data presented in May 2014 at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, disease-causing bacteria can linger on surfaces in airplane cabins for up to a week.

Healthy Diet & Nutrition

The Importance of Prebiotics and Probiotics

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By Sondra Forsyth Both prebiotics and probiotics are essential components of a healthy diet. Prebiotics are indigestible carbohydrates that act as food for probiotics, which contain live bacteria. Together, they help promote the growth of the good bac- teria in your intestines and maintain your gut’s ecosystem. When a food contains both substances, it is called synbiotic: a synergistic combination of the two. Prebiotics

Aging Well
Well-being

A Sense of Purpose May Add Years to Your Life

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Feeling that you have a sense of purpose in life may help you live longer, no matter what your age, according to research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. The research has clear implications for promoting positive aging and adult development, according to lead researcher Patrick Hill of Carleton University in Canada:

Parenting

Virtual Reality Helps Autistic Adults Get Jobs

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If you’re the parent of a grown or teenage child on the autism spectrum, you may have concerns about your offspring’s possibilities for employment and independent living. (See our ThirdAge article entitled “My Adult Son Has Asperger’s Syndrome.”) Now researchers at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago have created a new interactive computer program using human-based simulation that gives autistic adults repeated practice and feedback on their interviewing skills.

Mental & Emotional Health
Stress Management
Stress-Free Living

Stress Is Contagious

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Watching somebody else try to cope with a stressful situation, even on TV, can be enough to bump up your own level of the stress hormone called cortisol. That is the finding of research done at the Max Planck Institute for Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig and the Technische Universität Dresden and published on April 17th 2014 in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology.

Sleep Health

Cherry Juice Promotes Better Sleep

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A morning and evening ritual of tart cherry juice may help you sleep better at night. That’s the finding of a study presented on April 28th at the annual meeting of the American Society of Nutrition, which is being held in conjunction with the Experimental Biology 2014 meeting in San Diego Researchers from Louisiana State University found that drinking Montmorency tart cherry juice twice a day for two weeks helped increase sleep time by nearly 90 minutes among older adults with insomnia. The study has been submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

Aging Well
Spiritual Health

Religious Music Lifts Our Spirits as We Age

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If you need an emotional lift, try listening to hymns. Better yet, choose gospel music. A team of researchers from four top universities reports that listening to religious music is associated with a decrease in anxiety about death and increases in life satisfaction, self-esteem, and sense of control over our lives as we age. In particular, listening to gospel music is linked to reducing anxiety about death and an increase in sense of control.

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