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brain training graphic
So-called “brain games” have become big business. Many companies claim their games and exercises can boost your intellect, improve memory, and even stave off dementia-related illnesses. But do they really work? “There is little if any solid scientific evidence about whether playing brain games can in fact prevent cognitive decline,” says S. Marc Testa, Ph.D., from the...
filling out form
Because of increasing awareness, the number of seniors who have advance directives in place has risen somewhat over the past two decades. Despite the increase, about half of people over 60 still haven’t put their end-of-life wishes into writing. “Having advance directives can give you peace of mind,” says Ellen L. Csikai, L.C.S.W., M.P.H., Ph.D., spokesperson for the National...
sneezing
A common problem later in life is a runny nose, watery eyes, or both. Either seems like a minor problem, but they can certainly be bothersome. “People often think they have allergies when these symptoms alone occur,” says Princess Ogbogu, M.D., director of allergy and immunology at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio. “Seniors, however, are unlikely...
fish in dirty water
Bacteria and viruses are everywhere when you travel. Doubtless you’ve heard stories about people getting sick from the air inside of an airplane cabin, or that the remote control in a hotel room is the dirtiest surface imaginable. Experts from the Infectious Disease Society of America say that very few surfaces are absolutely clean, and unless you happen to have sophisticated sterilizing...
Marijuana has been a hot topic of debate in recent years. To some, this herb is considered an illicit drug and intoxicant. Until fairly recently, it has been against the law to carry, possess, sell, or use marijuana. “The tide is turning,” says Michael C. Minardi, J.D., lawyer and partner at Kelley Kronenberg in West Palm Beach, Fla. “Now, to a growing number of people, marijuana is good medicine...
walking couple
Back pain, especially lower back pain, is a fact of life. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), up to 80% of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lifetimes. For many people, this pain is short-lived (acute), but for seniors, this type of pain is typically ongoing, or chronic. For older adults, the prevalence of back pain is likely...
teeth graphic
Take a close look inside your mouth—there’s a very good chance you have some form of gum disease. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 75% of Americans have some form of gum disease, and over half of adults over age 30 have the most severe form, called periodontitis. Older adults have the highest rates of periodontal (literally “around the...
podiatrist
If your car has been sitting in a garage all winter and you’ve hardly driven it, you are likely to inspect the tires before you head out. Similarly, if you’ve been mostly inactive during the cold months, you should have your feet tuned up before you start your springtime activities. Most people don’t give their feet much thought unless they are painful due to bunions, hammertoes...
superbugs
Bacteria are everywhere. Fortunately, our bodies have adapted to most of them. Since the 1940s, antibiotics have reduced illness and death from harmful bacteria. But some of these organisms have sophisticated survival mechanisms and have thus learned to outsmart antibiotics and other antimicrobial agents (such as hand sanitizer). Adaptation to antibiotics is part of a natural evolutionary process...