In this regular weekend feature you will find links to news items from the preceding week related to elders and aging, along with whatever else catches my fancy that I think you might like to know. Suggestions are welcome with, however, no promises of publication.
A week ago today, 108-year-old blogger Olive Riley of Life of Riley died. She was the world’s oldest blogger as this story in the New Zealand Herald acknowledged. When I noted her death here last week, Granny Annie of Fools Rush In suggested that I might like to take on another project – a memorial to elderbloggers we’ve come to know and love who are no longer with us.
It is such a good idea that I did it. It’s not elaborate, but a permanent place to keep the names and home pages of bloggers we miss in a place where we won’t forget them. It has a link off the right sidebar titled In Memoriam. (Hat tip to Mike Nichols of Anxiety, Panic & Health for the NZT story.)
There is no dearth of information about the benefits of walking for elders, but a new study from the University of Georgia shows that it cuts the risk of elder disability nearly in half and puts some eye-popping hard numbers to it:
“…walking program participants increased their peak aerobic capacity by 19 percent when compared to a control group and increased their physical function by 25 percent.”
The study was conducted only with men, but I have no doubt that women benefit too. So get out your quarterstaffs and get moving.
General Motors researchers are developing a futuristic windshield designed to help elder drivers see more clearly what’s happening on the road. It involves lasers, infrared sensors and cameras to make objects on the road stand out. But as in this photo that projects a blue line along the edge of the road in fog, it will be a boon to drivers of any age. Read more here.
It was good news a week ago when Congress voted to override President Bush’s veto of the Medicare bill that would have cut physician’s pay and probably pushed more doctors into refusing to take on new Medicare patients. But there are other important changes too. The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare has posted a list of them, translated from the bureaucratic gobblydegook of the bill itself.
Sometimes you just have to wonder what gets into people’s heads. The Gilbert Guide is probably the definitive website for hard information on all aspects of late life caregiving yet I hardly ever visit the site even though I subscribe to the email newsletter.
This week, I realized why: I can’t read the email newsletter due to the elder-unfriendly design of orange text on a blue background. I wonder how many other subscribers there are who, like me, never bother to click to the site because they can't see the headlines.
Many years ago when a friend was diagnosed with breast cancer, she spent several weeks researching the disease and potential treatments before making a decision. Even though she was a reporter herself, because it was a time of high anxiety for her, she had a friend accompany her to interviews with physicians and researchers to take accurate notes.
A new study reveals that a third of 65-plus Medicare patients do this and the result is a higher level of satisfaction in the quality of care. The companion could be a spouse, adult child or a friend. We should all keep this in mind for ourselves and our elder parents.
There was lot of comment pro and con regarding my dissatisfaction with the New Yorker cover this week featuring Michelle and Barack Obama. I have one final thought before we permanently put this issue to bed: Mad Magazine has never had any trouble making their satire clear, nor The Onion, and to a widely diverse readership including children. Shouldn’t satire be apparent to be worthy of the name?
Here is how satire is supposed to work in a video clip from Jon Stewart. You can disagree with the politics and even with the level of humor, but you won’t miss the point. [7:53 minutes]