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In this Issue
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Today's Diet & Nutrition
Editor's E-Note
Aging is one of the most challenging life transitions. As physical and cognitive abilities become more vulnerable, older adults are encouraged to both stay active and mentally stimulated to prevent decline. Staying physically and mentally active when your body and mind may not be cooperating is tough, indeed.

Nonetheless, numerous medical studies continue to demonstrate that exercising the body and the brain is the best conduit to healthy aging. This month’s E-News Exclusive reports on one such study showing that the size of an individual’s “life space” may indicate who is likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease. Investigators found that individuals who experience larger environments are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease later in life.

The researchers are still unclear on exactly why a constricted life space is associated with Alzheimer’s disease, but social workers who work with older adults surely see the logic in this association. Experiencing life outside the bedroom, living home, backyard, nursing home, or whatever space is an elder’s “comfort zone” engages body and mind in healthful ways. Exposing an individual to new environments and experiences appears to be another path to positive aging.

We welcome your comments at SWTeditor@gvpub.com. Visit our website at www.SocialWorkToday.com and join our Facebook page.

— Marianne Mallon, editor
E-News Exclusive
Constricted 'Life Space' Linked With Alzheimer's Disease

The extent to which we move through our environments as we carry out our daily lives—from home to garden to workplace and beyond—has more significance than we might imagine. Researchers at Rush University Medical Center have discovered that our "life space" is intimately linked with cognitive function.

In a study published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, researchers found that elders who had a constricted life space were almost twice as likely to develop Alzheimer's disease as elders whose life space extended well beyond the home.

"Life space may represent a new way to identify, out of a group of older persons displaying no memory or thinking problems, who is likely to go on to develop Alzheimer's disease," says Bryan James, PhD, an epidemiologist in the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center and the study's lead investigator.

Full Story »
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Other Social Work News
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On the Road to Happiness
The Chicago Tribune reports on a global organization intent on promoting happiness through some very simple, successful ways of living.

Federal Court Calls for Overhaul of VA Mental Health Care System
According to NPR, a federal court has ordered the VA to end its “unchecked incompetence” in mental health care delivery and end “egregious” violations of veterans’ constitutional right to due process.

Creative Forum Raises Awareness of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
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