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Aging Well Magazine - eNewsletter
November 2009
In this issue...
Other Aging News…

Checks for Seniors Face Opposition
According to The Wall Street Journal, the White House proposal to send $250 checks to Social Security recipients in 2010 threatens to add $13 billion to the already crushing U.S. debt.

Overlooking Dementia’s Physical Toll
Familiarizing dementia patients’ family members with the clinical course of dementia and the poor prognosis may result in improving treatment choices, according to an article in The New York Times

Elderhostel Revamps Look
Following a $9 million loss in 2008, Elderhostel personnel remain hopeful that modifications to its names and policies will appeal to younger participants, according to an article in The Boston Globe

Making a Difference
The initial success of ReServe Elder Service Inc., providing New York retirees with meaningful work opportunities, has prompted expansion to additional cities, as reported in The Wall Street Journal.

Recently in Aging Well…

The Buzz About Bioidenticals
Controversy surrounds the compelling topic of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. What’s it all about and is it safe? Read more

Flagging Falls
Vestibular disorders are an often overlooked stumbling block. Read more

New Perspectives on Elders’ Sleep
Identifying and treating sleep disorders in older adults contributes to improved cognitive function and quality of life. Read more

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Editor’s E-Note
Choose the Perfect Fit.

Although prevention and cure breakthroughs for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) aren’t yet on the horizon, we continue to recognize programs that present AD patients and caregivers with viable options offering innovative ways to address limitations associated with the disease. The dusk-to-dawn elder care program at New York’s Hebrew Home at Riverdale offers overnight care for AD patients to accommodate patients’ restless nights that place challenging demands on caregivers.

Another exciting program for AD patients is showcased in this month’s E-News Exclusive. The program focuses on the effects of art, music, and physical environment and their positive influence on AD patients. Trained volunteers may use works by Picasso or Van Gogh to rekindle memories or elicit emotions that reduce patients’ anxiety, aggression, and agitation. Artists for Alzheimer’s programs operate in cities including Boston, New York, London, and Paris.

Statistics related to AD portend ominous prospects for many older adults whose golden years will be overshadowed by the mental and physical indignities wrought by it. As many as 5.3 million older adults in the United States are living with AD, the seventh leading cause of death, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Direct and indirect costs of AD and other dementias to Medicare, Medicaid, and businesses top the $148 billion mark each year.

November is World Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. AD warrants the unrelenting efforts of those whose diligent efforts may yield a cure for this dread disease. Professionals need to be particularly aware of the efforts of caregivers charged with expending their physical and emotional energy in maintaining the health, safety, and dignity of AD patients.

We welcome your comments at Visit Aging Well’s Web site at for news, articles, and information important to professionals in the field of aging, as well as to subscribe to our print issues.

— Barbara Worthington, editor
E-News Exclusive

Artistic Adaptations
By Barbara Worthington

Artistic activities offer a welcome connection to patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) who might otherwise be unable to express themselves and remain locked inside a seemingly impenetrable shell. A visionary program piloted by New York City’s Hearthstone Alzheimer’s Foundation has evolved into a successful program through which artists perform and collaboratively engage with these patients. Programs offer artists and cultural institutions opportunities to present experiences designed to educate and inspire patients with AD.

Launched in Boston, Artists for Alzheimer’s (ARTZ) recruits and trains volunteer artists to perform and work with these patients in a hands-on program that connects singers, painters, actors, and the like with small groups of elders with AD. Experts have found that observing art serves as an inspirational approach in promoting communication among sufferers of AD.


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