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|Other Aging News…
Fish for Brain Health
Study findings suggest that regular consumption of fish may protect against dementia, according to an article in The New York Times.
There’s more than one use for a cane, according to an article in USA Today.
Death With Dignity
Enhancing the dying process through practical and discerning treatment choices offers dignity at the end of life, according to The New York Times.
100-Year-Old Boom Projected
An article in The Baltimore Sun notes that medical advances and lifestyle changes continue to increase the number of centenarians in the United States and other countries.
|Recently in Aging Well…
Optimism on Osteoporosis: Research and Treatment
The prevalence of osteoporosis among older adults warrants added vigilance for diagnosis and treatment. Read more
Forgotten Partners: Overlooked at the End
When professionals focus efforts on elders suffering from dementia, they frequently overlook patients’ partners and their stress, pain, uncertainty, and other formidable challenges. Read more
Strength Training — Enhancing Elder Fitness
Enhancing older adults’ physical strength and endurance increases the potential for individuals to retain physical function and live independently. Read more
Efforts aimed at monitoring older adult patient and clients’ posture and encouraging its improvement can produce benefits beyond elders’ appearance. This month’s E-News Exclusive highlights the role posture plays in eliminating some of the aches, pains, fatigue, and stiffness that often accompany aging.
Good posture can also slow bone loss and reduce the incidence of digestive problems such as acid reflux and constipation. And it contributes to fall prevention, reducing the number of devastating and disabling injuries that often result from falls.
Strengthening the muscles in the body’s trunk and those that stabilize the spine promotes good posture. Patients and clients can improve their posture and reap the associated benefits through exercise. Professionals can become instrumental in encouraging exercise along with elders’ mindfulness of their posture from day to day.
Good posture requires conscious effort and determination. Take advantage of the dual opportunity you experience with patients—to model good posture for elders to imitate and to realize the many benefits of improving your own posture.
We welcome your comments at AWeditor@gvpub.com. You can subscribe to our magazine online at www.agingwellmag.com. Please visit Aging Well's enhanced and improved Web site for news, articles, and information important to professionals in the field of positive aging
— Barbara Worthington, editor
Posture: More Than an Appearance Issue
By Moacir Schnapp, MD, and Elma Schnapp, MD
Poor posture, often considered to be only an aesthetic concern, creates a physiological impact. In fact, it can exacerbate common conditions older adults encounter, from pain to breathing and digestive problems.
The human body is a machine far more complex than anything engineers could build. Each individual possesses a distinct combination of muscles, bones, and nerves that behave in unique ways and are subjected to different forces and different environments. There’s no such thing as one perfect posture; ideal posture varies from person to person and is influenced by many factors, including age, gender, and medical history.
However, good posture, combined with faithful adherence to an exercise program, may reduce or eliminate a variety of aches and pains that affect us all while also decreasing the stiffness and fatigue that often accompany the aging process.
Letter to the Editor
Whatever our specialty in the field of geriatrics, we bring that expertise to our work. Professional responsibility requires that we enhance our knowledge. For a variety of reasons, we often take a deeper path in our educational pursuits rather than explore the horizontal expanse of geriatric knowledge.
As a professional geriatric care manager with a social work background, I know the impact on an older adult with a broken hip but was not aware of the current medical advances discussed in “Optimism on Osteoporosis: Research and Treatment” in the July/August issue of Aging Well. Likewise, the article on in-home technologies not only broadened my knowledge base but will also impact the information I’ll provide to clients. I applaud Aging Well for expanding the broadband world of geriatrics through the diversity of its articles and the experts who pen them.
Miriam Zucker, LMSW, ACSW
Directions in Aging
New Rochelle, NY
|Ask the Expert
Have a question you want answered by one of our experts? Send your question to AWeditor@gvpub.com and it may be featured in an upcoming e-newsletter or print issue.
How does Alzheimer’s disease affect sleep patterns?
The most common way Alzheimer’s disease affects sleep is by altering the day-night cycle. Alzheimer’s patients nap during the day and either wake early or don’t go to bed until later at night. They also may wander. Over time, the pattern worsens until the day-night pattern is flipped, and they sleep during the day. One way to avoid this is to conduct structured activities throughout the day so the individual with Alzheimer’s disease does not have the opportunity to nap.
Sleep changes, including sleep disruption (more awakenings) and decreased total hours of sleep, are common with normal aging and Alzheimer’s disease. Also, medications for Alzheimer’s disease may cause vivid dreams and cause or worsen insomnia.
— Carol F. Lippa, MD, is the director or the Memory Disorders Program of the department of neurology at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia.