Sunday, August 11, 2013

Seniors In the News ...

5 Abilities You Need To Master After 50   Huffington Post - August 9, 2013
Instead of coasting into our 70s and 80s, we face interruption unimagined by our elders: discontinued income streams; increasing rates of later-in-life divorce and bankruptcy; the potential for sharp declines in the value of our retirement portfolio and property. Although boomers are not a homogenous group culturally, politically or spiritually, nearly all of us can count on three things in the future: Interruptions in our lives will persist. Our capacity for flexibility and adaptability will determine quality of life. Many of us will live significantly longer, healthier lives than once expected, which means we'll need appropriate financial resources to make them worthwhile. The 5 Key Abilities to Flourish:

    1. Identity Ability. When the roles that define us -- parent, spouse, employer, employee, athlete, homeowner -- come to an end, we have to adapt our sense of self accordingly.

    2. Selecting Ability. Making informed choices for our circumstances, even as those circumstances change, is essential to navigating uncharted territory.

    3. Meaning-Finding Ability. Managing disruptions and putting them in perspective is a process that can take years. In that time, you must decide how to contextualize the events that are turning your life upside-down and find ways to add meaning to the years you have left.

    4. Community Ability. One way to manage an interruption is to use it as a launching pad for new activities that challenge and nourish you while also helping others.

    5. Financial Reality-Check Ability. Regardless of your best-laid plans, after losing your job or money in an investment, you may have to embark on a new career or find another means of income generation to sustain a reasonable lifestyle as you age. Fortunately, a new job can bring you unexpected advantages (structure, new friends, fun) in addition to a paycheck. Some companies also provide attractive benefits, like health insurance and paid vacations for employees who work at least 25 hours a week.

  Legally blind 97-year-old makes masterpieces with simple Paint app   NBC - July 25, 2013

When his eyesight started to go, 97-year-old Hal Lasko rediscovered his passion for art Ñ thanks to the simple Paint app that comes with every Windows computer. Inspired, he now spends hours poring over pixels and creating art that is rich and evocative, yet unmistakably digital.

  10 Tips for the Reluctant Senior Entrepreneur   PBS - May 10, 2013

Two "senior" entrepreneurs - women in their 50s - explain how to overcome the reluctance to start your own business. These days, entrepreneurship is simply self-reliance, they explain.

    1. You Are Never Too Old to Start a Business
    2. Turn Passion into Profit
    3. Build a Community of Positive Influences
    4. Make your Workspace Fit Your Lifestyle
    5. Staff as you Grow with Freelancers
    6. Be Innovative with Your Funding Sources
    7. Go Back to Class
    8. An Internet Presence is a Must
    9. Your Mobile Device is now a Pocket Office
    10. Use Social Media for Word of Mouth Marketing

Aging brain gets stuck in time, researchers show   PhysOrg - March 14, 2012
The aging brain loses its ability to recognize when it is time to move on to a new task, explaining why the elderly have difficulty multi-tasking, Yale University researchers report. Laubach's team was studying the impact of aging on working memory, the type of memory that allows you to recall that dinner is in the oven when you are talking on the phone. The researchers examined brain activity in the medial prefrontal cortex of young and older rats that is related to spatial working memory - the type of memory that allows you to recall, for example, that mashed potatoes are on the stove and the turkey is in the oven

Genes Important to Keep Brain Sharp Through Old Age   Live Science - January 19, 2012
A person's intelligence is mostly inherited, it's in their genes, but whether a person can expect to be a clever grandma or grandpa relies on both genes and environment. Until now, we have not had an estimate of how much genetic differences affect how people's intelligence changes across the lifetime. These new results mean that researchers can seek both environmental and genetic contributions to successful cognitive aging. Previous studies of the genetics of intelligence have been performed on sets of twins or siblings who have been adopted and raised in different environments. These studies showed a genetic component of intelligence, but previous studies weren't able to determine how this changes over a lifetime.

Aging Brains Match Youth in Some Mental Tasks   Live Science - December 28, 2011
Since physical abilities decline as people age, many people think the elderly are also less able to perform mental jumping jacks as they age. New research indicates this might not be true with all brain-powered tasks: In some ways the elderly are fit to compete with their younger counterparts. Both young and old brains take longer to reach decisions in some settings, the researchers say, because they make the conscious choice to choose accuracy over speed.

Couples Grow Old, Happy and Sad Together   Live Science - December 30, 2010
As couples grow old together, their happiness levels also wax and wane in sync, a new study suggests. The findings suggest a possible resource that hasn't been tapped for promoting healthy aging. Similar to a pill or other treatment, a chipper spouse may boost a partner's feelings of well-being.

Older adults experience 'destination amnesia' and over-confidence with false beliefs   PhysOrg - August 31, 2010
Older adults are more likely to have destination memory failures - forgetting who they've shared or not shared information with. It's the kind of memory faux pas that can lead to awkward or embarrassing social situations and even miscommunication in the doctor's office. Ironically, after making these memory errors older adults remain highly confident in their false beliefs.

Brain training reverses age-related cognitive decline   PhysOrg - July 20, 2010
The results indicate that people who experience age-related cognitive decline, including slower mental processing and decreased response to new stimuli, might also benefit from specially designed mental exercises. From middle age onward, there are universal changes in the brain affecting perceptual processing. We used to think these were permanent changes and now are beginning to think maybe they're not.

Helping senior drivers to stay safe and on the road longer   PhysOrg - July 5, 2010
A tool developed by researchers at The University of Western Ontario is designed to help seniors make better choices in automobiles and safety features, and perhaps allow them to drive safer and longer. For seniors, a car means independence, says Lynn Shaw, an assistant professor in Occupational Therapy at Western. But for older drivers, some cars can be a minefield - heavy doors that are hard to reach when you're sitting, seatbelts that fit badly, poor lighting in dashboards and other areas of the car and, as in-car options increase, way too many buttons to push.

Census records 157-year-old woman   BBC - June 9, 2010
Estimates of the size and composition of Indonesia's booming population may remain just that despite an ongoing census, if the "discovery" of a 157-year-old woman is anything to go by. Census officials have said they believe the woman's claims to have been born in 1853, when Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata debuted in Venice, the Crimean War erupted and San Francisco got its first street signs at intersections. There's no authentic data to prove her age but judging from her statements and the age of her adopted daughter, who's now 108 years old, it's difficult to doubt it.

Learning Keeps Brain Healthy: Mental Activity Could Stave Off Age-Related Cognitive and Memory Decline   Science Daily - March 3, 2010
UC Irvine neurobiologists are providing the first visual evidence that learning promotes brain health -- and, therefore, that mental stimulation could limit the debilitating effects of aging on memory and the mind. Using a novel visualization technique they devised to study memory, a research team led by Lulu Chen and Christine Gall found that everyday forms of learning animate neuron receptors that help keep brain cells functioning at optimum levels. These receptors are activated by a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which facilitates the growth and differentiation of the connections, or synapses, responsible for communication among neurons. BDNF is key in the formation of memories.

Seniors Have Rewarding Sex Lives   Live Science - January 26, 2010
Senior citizens often have rewarding sex lives, according to new research aimed at revealing the nuances of sexuality in the elderly. The findings from a set of studies showed that older men between the ages of 57 and 85 are more likely than older women to be sexually active and open. The intimacy of sex, however, was found to be important to both men and women across all ages. And just as in younger adults, healthy sex means healthy senior citizens.