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Live Life On Your Own Terms

lonely seniorA 2012 Journal of the American Medical Association compilation of many studies’ results concluded that a link between loneliness and fatal heart disease exists.

In Sweden, medical researchers discovered that the mortality rate of coronary bypass patients who’d checked the “I feel lonely” box was 2.5 times higher than other patients 30 days after surgery and was twice as high even five years later.

A Brigham Young University study covering more than 300,000 people found that loneliness was just as strong a marker for early death as alcoholism and heavy cigarette smoking.

caregiver photot 781x520Are you starting off the New Year feeling exhausted? Unmotivated? Constantly frustrated and forgetful? Having problems at work or with relationships?

Then you may be grappling with caregiver burnout.

It’s bad enough that the ongoing obligations and responsibilities – and the routine stress, worry and discomfort that caring for a loved one entails – threaten your emotional health.

change ahead 1 780x520The end of one year and the beginning of another is a time of change and transition. No, the sentence you just read isn’t repetitious; like two sides of the same coin, change and transition are two related but different things.

Change is what happens to you. It’s external and situational – like changing jobs, getting married or divorced, moving to a new home, having a baby or losing a loved one.

Transition is what you do about it, how you adjust to change, both emotionally and psychologically. Transitions start when changes end, as you let go of the old reality and start building a new beginning.

prescription medicine 693x520They’re the same meds you’ve been taking for years, but now they’re starting to work differently. Maybe they’re less effective than they used to be. Or maybe they have new side effects. It’s not that the medicines have changed, but that your body has.

“Prescribing medications for people 65 and older can be more challenging, because some drugs can be more toxic or cause more side effects than when you were younger,” says Kirby Lee, professor of clinical pharmacy at the University of California at San Francisco. “As your body ages, it absorbs medications differently. They can be metabolized differently by your liver and excreted differently by your kidneys.”

agingathomeEach and every day, some 100,000 Americans turn 65. Of Americans 65 or older, more than 80% say they want to stay in their homes.

But should they?

According to AARP housing expert Rodney Harrell, “The housing stock right now is not meeting people’s needs.” In light of his estimate that only about 1% of America’s more than 100 million urban, suburban and rural homes are conducive to aging in place, that’s something of an understatement.

What does it take to put a home into that 1%? The answer depends on two things – the home itself and where it’s located.