Hi everyone, I am gerontologist and aging expert Dr. Jan Vinita White. I created this blog as an informational forum for topics related to aging. This is a read-only forum created for educational and enrichment purposes... no advertising. All of the postings here have been vetted via scholarly research. There are 132 copyrighted articles here and I am adding to it all the time. Readers are welcome to read and share but not copy without written permission. Enjoy! Dr. White
Granier turned 105 on Friday and she has no idea why she’s lived so long,
because for years she indulged in bad habits. Turns out the secret to her long
life is partying hard.
“I never expected to live this long,” Helen
Granier of Palm Harbor told WTSP. “No one in my family ever did. I don’t know what
the secret is.”
celebrated her birthday at Coral Oaks Independent Living Facility last week,
where she has lived for the past nine years.
reminisced about her life and how she went against the grain in her younger
used to drink beer and I smoked and everything,” she told WTSP. “I stayed out
late, you know, dancing, and then I would go to work.”
loved to dance, but her husband prevented her from going to Las Vegas to test
husband wouldn’t take me to Vegas, because he knew I liked to gamble. Oh, I
loved to play the slot machines,” she said. “So I went to Las Vegas after he
memories are clear, as if they happened yesterday, she said. Helen was only
five when World War I ended, but she said she still remembered it. She does not
recall getting her driver’s license, though.
“I don’t even remember when I started to drive,” she laughed.
One of the questions I am asked most often is, “How can I age
successfully and retain my independence?”Although “success” is a relative term, everyone wants to attain optimum
aging regardless of income, socioeconomic status, or limitations.Is successful aging possible regardless of
your circumstances?YES! While there is
no magic formula for retaining optimum health, strategies begin with living
healthy and taking responsibility for making wise decisions about eating,
lifestyle, social activity, and physical activity.
The Spring 2018 edition of AFA Care Quarterly included “10 Steps for Healthy Aging,” a
strategy for retaining a healthy mind and body:
well – Although the article included guidance on fruits, meats, and vegetables,
I recommend that all people age 65+ [unless directed otherwise by a physician]
follow the eating guidelines detailed in the Tufts Food Pyramid. Eating well
means maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding frailty, overweight, or
obesity.Eating well includes staying
hydrated with at least 8 cups [64 oz.] of water daily.Vital organs including the brain cannot work
effectively when the body is dehydrated and dehydration in older adults mimics
active-Walking, aerobics, and weight
training are included on the AFA list.I
also recommend Silver Sneakers and Sit and Be Fit, as both programs include
low-impact activity for people with physical challenges and limitations.
new things – Research shows that people who retain their curiosity throughout
life and engage in new activities give their brains a good workout.Remember that language is also needed to keep
the brain working!
enough sleep – Sleep deprivation mimics dementia, a condition known as psudodementia and may lead to memory
problems, falls, and driving accidents.Daytime napping is the number one cause of
your medication – No one likes taking medication but the average older adult
takes five prescription medications daily.Please take your medications as prescribed and speak with your primary
care physician before taking over-the-counter products.
smoking and limit alcohol consumption – Cigarette smoking causes disease consequences
including lung cancer, but COPD, cardiovascular disease, and other chronic conditions.Studies show that second-hand smoke impacts
the health of others around you.Alcohol
may have protective factors but studies are contradictory.Best to limit alcohol to moderate
connectedness – Social isolation not only impairs cognitive health, but
language is needed to keep the brain firing.Retain your network of friends and stay in touch. Talk to people and engage in
your blood pressure – I recommend keeping a log and check it around the same
time every day.If your physician has
prescribed medication for HBP, take it!I have encountered too many older adults who quit taking it due to
negative side effects and some of them had strokes as a result.The negative side effects typically diminish over
your checkups – This includes being proactive and getting annual vaccines for
flu and pneumonia.Health screenings and
diagnostic tests are now covered by Medicare.Examples are PSA testing, mammograms, pap tests, sugar levels, and
colonoscopies.Here is a link to
Medicare.gov showing types of preventive screenings and services. https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/preventive-and-screening-services.html
10. Get a memory screening – This is also covered now by
Medicare.If your primary care physician
does not offer it, then ask for it.These are typically administered by a social worker or case manager
trained in interpreting the results.I
have administered hundreds of cognitive screenings and these are private, non-invasive
assessments.They are NOT “tests” for Alzheimer’s
Disease.As my readers know, AD cannot
be diagnosed by the family physician.The diagnosis is a result of brain imaging and other tests administered
by specialists.The overwhelming majority
of older adults do NOT have AD.
I recommend accessing or subscribing to the AFA Quarterly,
published by the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.Their website is www.alzfdn.org.
Hi Readers, beginning this month, older adults will receive their NEW Medicare cards. The purpose of replacing the old ones is simple: The new ones do not have the social security number. The National Council on Aging [NCOA] recently sent this information to me and I hope you find it useful. I have also included some resources from Medicare.gov including the mailing schedule for the new cards. AgeDoc
New Medicare Cards: 5
Things You Need to Know Before They Arrive
by: The My Medicare
Matters Team at NCOA
Beginning April 2018, the Centers
for Medicare and Medicaid Services will be sending new Medicare cards to beneficiaries. The new
cards are being sent to decrease Medicare beneficiaries’ vulnerability to identity theft by removing the Social
Security-based number from their Medicare identification cards and replacing it
with a new unique Medicare Number.
Your new card will no longer
include your Social Security number. It will include your name, new
Medicare number, and the dates your Medicare Part
A and Part B coverage started.
Start using your new Medicare
card once you receive it. Destroy the old one immediately, since it
contains your Social Security number. If you happen to lose or misplace
your card you can get a replacement, but you can also can access
your new Medicare number on a Medicare Summary Notice or through Medicare.
will never call you uninvited and ask you to give us personal or private
information to get your new Medicare Number and card. Scam artists may try to get personal
information (like your current Medicare Number) by contacting you about your new
card. If someone asks you for your information, for money, or threatens to
cancel your health benefits if you don’t share your personal information, hang
up and call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).
American Society on Aging
[ASA] Board Chair Bob Blancato, Chair-Elect Karyne Jones, and CEO Bob Stein
today condemned remarks offered by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke during
testimony to the Senate Energy and National Resources Committee on Tuesday.
As reported in The Hill,
Zinke said “When you give discounted or free passes to elderly, fourth graders,
veterans, disabled, and you do it by the carload, there's not a whole lot of people
who actually pay at our front door. So, we're looking at ways to make sure we
have more revenue in the front door of our parks themselves.”
ASA leaders responded by
saying “On behalf of the older and disabled Americans and veterans in our
membership we take offense at the comments of the Interior Secretary about all
of these groups not continuing to enjoy free access to national parks. It is
especially disingenuous coming from a Cabinet Secretary who according to
published reports spent almost $140,000 in taxpayer funds to fix doors leading
into his office. This proposal to impose these new fees should be shown the
ASA will continue to support
policies that provide preferential access to public resources for older
Americans, youth, the disabled and the veteran community.
According to Marci Phillips, Director of Public Policy and Advocacy at the
National Council on Aging [NCOA], several programs impacting seniors have been
included in the FY19 budget.As she
stated on the NCOA website, these are proposed changes that will wrap up
on March 23. I suggest following this issue on the NCOA link below and make
your voices heard:
Ms. Phillips also included another article about the Bipartisan Budget Act
of 2018, passed on February 9.While
there are some positive changes for older adults, there are also cuts to some
important programs, as shown below: