Author: Judy Kirkwood

Judy Kirkwood writes articles for print and web publications – national, regional, and local; is a contributing writer to Simply the Best and Boca Raton Observer magazines in South Florida; and plays on the beach and in the pool year-round. Visit her on Facebook @JudysFlorida and please visit

Breast Cancer

Health Close-Up: Stage IV Breast Cancer


By Judy Kirkwood Editor's note: October is Breast Cancer Month. This article is ThirdAge's contribution to awareness about a form of breast cancer that is seldom discussed and is underfunded even though a third of patients have it. Read on for the courageous story of one of those patients and learn how easy it can be for you to help the cause.  


Getting Past Betrayal


By Judy Kirkwood “The most important thing about me was that for quite a chunk of my life I was divorced. It was a fact that stayed with me even after I remarried. I have now been married to my third husband for more than 20 years. But when you've had children with someone from whom you're now divorced, that split defines everything; it's the lurking fact, a slice of anger in the pie of your brain.” Nora Ephron

Sleep Health

Best Treatments for Severe Sleep Disorders


  Sleep is one of our most ordinary but important activities. If we don’t do it “right,” we can suffer. Snoring, the partial blockage of your airway, has been linked to some serious health issues, including heart disease, diabetes and weight. And the more serious sleep apnea – a condition in which your airway can be completely blocked from anywhere to five to 50 times an hour – can be life-threatening. And in both cases, you’ll probably be plagued by dangerous drowsiness the next day, affecting everything from driving to your job.


Why I'm Taking Early Retirement


  By Judy Kirkwood For me, the sixties are more fabulous than the fifties. For one thing, beginning at age 59 1/2, as a sneak preview, you can access your IRA savings – if you have any -- with no penalty other than the regular tax (do it before and you’re hit with an additional 10 percent penalty). At age 62 you can apply to receive early Social Security benefits. At 65, we have Medicare and can perhaps drop our expensive healthcare insurance if we’ve been paying privately – depending on who is elected and what happens in Congress.

Back Pain

A Surgeon’s Tips for Back Pain Treatment


  By Judy Kirkwood    Debilitating back pain is the second most common reason Americans visit the doctor. But who should you see when you have back pain and what do you ask? Having treated thousands of patients, Dr. Burak Ozgur, a combined ortho-neuro spine fellowship-trained double board certified neurosurgeon based in Newport Beach, California, shares his thoughts.  

Addiction & Substance Overuse

Drug Abuse Among Seniors


By Judy Kirkwood The problem of older adults abusing prescription and illicit drugs hasn’t gotten enough attention says Dr. Gaya Dowling, acting chief of science policy branch at NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse). “When we think of drug abuse, we think of young people,” says Dowling. But there has been an undeniable rise in the number of patients over 50 who require intervention and treatment. Many more remain in the shadows, undiagnosed.

What You Might Not Know about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome


  By Judy Kirkwood An estimated 12 million Americans suffer from the painful nerve disorder of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). We’ve heard the term so much that it might start to seem as if CTS is simply something you should live with. But investigators are working on new ways to prevent and cure it.

Mental & Emotional Health

Emotional Recovery After Public Trauma


  By Judy Kirkwood Horrific events like the shootings in a Colorado movie theater and a Sikh temple in Wisconsin affect not only those directly or peripherally involved, but also many people who only hear about them on the news. “Such events leave most of us feeling vulnerable, helpless, sad and anxious,” says Linda Ligenza, a consultant to the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare. These killings, unlike those in war, happened in ordinary and familiar settings. This could have been me, we think.

Music and Alzheimer's


  By Judy Kirkwood If you've ever felt , or witnessed, the unimaginable despair and sadness that accompanies seeing a loved one with Alzheimer's, there could be good news for you. A new feature documentary, “Alive Inside: A Story of Music & Memory,” demonstrates the power of music to awaken and revive those suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia--and to bring them closer to being themselves once more.. 

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