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Boomer Retirement Tips You Can Read in About 60 Seconds (or a little more)

This is the post excerpt.

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Two key thoughts go into making up this blog.  1. You are a busy person—a boomer or a “seasoned senior”(born before 1946)— in retirement or about to retire. 2. You need good retirement tips that might, just might, give you some insight on this myriad of confusion called retirement. That being said, this blog intends to give your quality ideas on retirement, living well, staying healthy, investing, running a part-time business—items that get you to say “I’ll be damned!”  All presented on a fast food platter. Stick with me every 60 seconds or maybe a little more.   It took you approximately 15 seconds to read this statement (95 wds).

 

Read On and Think About What Memorial Day Really Means… “It is the Soldier!”

Soldier-115986817 the soldier)It is the soldier…

It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press

It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech

It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the right to demonstrate

It is the soldier, not the lawyer, who has given use right to a fair trial

It is the soldier, not the pastor, who has given us the right to worship

It is the soldier, not the politician, who has given us the right to vote

It is the soldier, who salutes the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who gives the protester the right to burn the flag…..

 Source: Charles M Province, U.S. Army, The Patton society

Can’t Find Your Keys? You May be a Candidate for MCI (Mild Cognitive Impairment)

Puzzle head
Puzzle head with brain parts in disunity

Forget Dementia. Never mind, Alzheimer’s. —For now.

Let’s talk about Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). This is age-related memory loss. Not so unique for us smack dab in the golden years. But don’t think you’ll get off easy by being around age 50 or so.

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is an intermediate stage between the expected cognitive decline of normal aging and the more-serious decline of dementia. It can involve problems with memory, language, thinking and judgment that are greater than normal age-related changes.

Mild cognitive impairment causes cognitive changes that are serious enough to be noticed by the individuals experiencing them or to other people, but the changes are not severe enough to interfere with daily activities.

You are able to drive your car, talk to your family, take in a movie, shop for the family goods etc. In short, you are pretty much able to accomplish the tasks you have been doing for years.

Except for one thing. You know in your mind you are not the same.

You are thinking slower, forgetting more. Plainly, you just feel you are not at the top of your game.

Yes, your genes can be a factor here. Remember Uncle Harry who couldn’t recall my brother’s name when we visited him in the old folks home.

However lifestyle choices as well as genes contribute also on how sharp our memories and thinking skills stay on track.

Surprising, eating a healthful diet, getting regular exercise, stabilizing our cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels, no smoking have all showed to protect memory. In the same way our muscles become stronger with use, memory and cognitive skills need strength training also.

You can teach an old dog (your brain) new tricks. Even if you an aging seasoned senior, your brain can adapt and change. Your brain has the ability to grow and improve throughout your life.

Visualizing your daily routine of living, here are some ways to keep the fire burning in your brain:

Make your daily diet a brain booster: Your body needs fuel to function properly; so does your brain. Consuming the right foods and avoiding the wrong ones will keep powering your brain to keep it fit and healthy for life.

The Mediterranean diet is ranked as one of the best diets for brain health in the world. If you thrive on fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans, healthy fats– olive oil nuts, and fish, etc. then your diet will have a positive impact on your cognitive function and improved memory and attention.

Here are a few foods that recent research has hailed as self-starting memory boosters:

  • Walnuts • Blueberries • Avocado • Cocoa and Chocolate • Caffeine
  • Cinnamon • Peppermint tea

Stay physical: No expert ever says exercise is bad for you. Then listen up! Keep active or lose it–your body and your mind. If you want both to stay sharp, stay active.

Exercise increases oxygen in your brain, reduces your risk of heart attack and diabetes, which leads t o memory loss, decreases stress levels and increases the effect of the “good” brain chemicals.

An analysis of brain health, researchers found the aerobic activity and resistance training combined: boost brainpower. Combining moderate-intensive aerobic and resistance training for at least 45 minutes per session and at minimum three days a week will likely benefit your cognitive abilities and memory.

Nap your way to a better brain: Adults need 7-9 hours of sleep to maintain both physical and mental health. Sleep helps us consolidate short-term memory to long-term memory. Skipping the recommended hours of sleep is short-circuiting the brain’ s ability to form new memories.

Latest research found in adults aged 65 and older taking an hour-long nap in the afternoon improved performance on cognitive memory compared with individuals who did not nap.

Don’t be wary of taking a power nap. It can improve your mental performance journey to enhance your brainpower.

Brain workouts: Brain –training applications are very popular. However, do they really work? Evidence suggests that they do not. They have been proven in improvement of the task at hand but they do not appear to strengthen memory, intelligence or cognitive abilities.

However there are techniques that can help you to recall information. Say remembering a person’s name you just met. These methods are called mnemonic devices.

  • Method of Loci: this method is also commonly called the mental walk, or items you would like to remember along a traveled route in your car. In more basic terms, it is a method of memory enhancement that uses visualization to organize and recall large amount of information.
  • Acronyms: can be used as a tool to remember anything. In the supermarket, you could use “CAKE” to help you remember that you need to buy cheese, apples, kale and eggs.
  • Chunking: is a way to break down a lot of information into smaller, more manageable chunks of information. An example would be breaking down phone numbers into three chunks rather than trying to remember all 10 digits at once.

The more you exercise your brain, the easier you will find to process and remember information. Consider new workouts (leaning a language, playing a musical instrument, doing crossword puzzles, etc) to develop new brain pathways that are new and challenging. Your brain is waiting for you.

Relax your brain: You have heard all about the dangers of stress. Chronic stress hurts your brain. Over time, stress can kill brain cells, and is linked with memory loss. Managing your stress is one of the best ways to protect your memory.

Try the MMs: music and meditation. Both can be effective strategies for relieving stress and reversing in older adults with cognitive issues. One study demonstrated that meditation and listening to music over a 3-month period significantly improved subjective memory function and cognition performance.

Further, just 25 minutes of mindfulness meditation and yoga per day has found to have a positive effect on mood and boost brain function.

Want to go further with this? It has been found if subjects relaxed with certain aromas like rosemary essential, they were found to score higher in memory tests than subjects who didn’t smell scented air.

In essence, your brain needs both workouts and relaxation to get the most out of improving your brain health.

If you feel you are an individual applicable for MCI, then take time to get tested to receive a benchmark for your condition. Determine if your condition is old age decline or MCI. If so, begin applying some of tips outlined here. Begin seeking professional help just as you would with a physical ailment.

MCI may increase your risk of later progressing to dementia, caused by Alzheimer’s disease or other neurological conditions. But some people with mild cognitive impairment never get worst and a few eventually get better.

Think about it?

Words: 1143 /time to read: 5 min. Sources: the Mayo Clinic & Medical News Today

Stupid drivers’ tricks drastically increase deaths and injuries during Holidays

I can't hear his breath
I should have written this blog last week. I might have saved a life.

Yes, I got through Thanksgiving amidst the local traffic swarms. However, I did not drive over the hill to grandma’s house as millions of Americans did. I missed most of the fifty million citizens or so who were on the road driving this 4-day holiday.

National Safety Council (NSC) estimated 433 people would be killed and another 52,300 would be injured in car crashes during the Thanksgiving holiday. Actual figures are not available yet but every year it’s about the same.

So much so, Thanksgiving is known as the biggest traffic build up of the year—more than New Years, Christmas and all other holidays. That’s among many reasons a number of Americans don’t ever arrive to grandma’s or return home ever again.

I thought about it and asked myself: Why do all these accidents occur? I think that a lot of auto accidents are caused by “stupid drivers’ tricks” (Thanks, David. Letterman- “Stupid Pet Tricks”). Here are a few of my favorite stupid drivers’ tricks:

GOT YOUR BACK: Of course, you do. In this case, you are following the driver in front of you so close you are breathing his exhaust fumes. That is, until the driver in front of you decides to do a slow right turn (no signal, of course). Or the line of traffic does a quick halt because a cow was crossing the road.

In either case it’s a bang job for both of you. Only you will be charged because you were following too close. Welcome to one of the Number Uno causes of traffic mishaps in all of America. “Your vehicle was not under your control” or something like that is written on the ticket.

Oh yes, to get you thinking about it—the average stopping distance from 60 MPH to zero is 180 feet. Your reaction time is at least one second (experienced driver) or 88 feet. Meaning, based on those numbers you need 268 feet to stop completely. Good guess is 4–5 seconds. If you’re texting, fatigued, drinking earlier…Oh well. S___, happens.

TURNING RIGHT LOOKING LEFT: You’re in a hurry (what’s new?) You pull up to the intersection planning to make a quick right. Looking left…no cars coming. You make the turn and collide with a 10 year old on a bike with Jell-O for brains coming fast right down the sidewalk. Now you have to pick up the pieces.

MINDFUL OF YOUR MIND: Distractions. Remember your job as the driver is to get yourself and your passengers from point A to point B safety. The awful truth that driver distractions are another number one cause of automobile mishaps. Cell phones/texting have gotten a lot of negative media attention recently — but other more low-tech distractions cause most traffic accidents. Have you ever spilled hot coffee on yourself? Dropped something on the floor and picked it up while driving? These are two of the distractions drivers cited most frequently as reasons for their road traffic accidents, according to a recent study done by the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS).

Fiddling with a radio or climate control system is the next most-cited distraction. Believe it or not, some commuters regularly read the newspaper, shave, or apply make-up on their way to work. The fact that most of them are operating a motor vehicle at the same time doesn’t seem to concern them. NETS suggests that you allow plenty of travel time, preset your climate control and radio, and put all reading material in your trunk.

A COMBINATION OF TRICKS: I mention speeding, changing lanes too often, aggressive driving, and driving under the influence (DWI)– all of these driver tricks are on the blackboard of accident causes. We didn’t not get them all in this blog. You get the idea. Why die on a holiday? Or any other time in your car, really. Make yourself bulletproof to these stupid driver tricks. And come home from grandma’s house in one piece.

As my father used to say as I happily slide in the driver’s seat of the family car.I was fully ready and able to fly the parental nest.

“Be careful, son. You might meet another fool out there.”

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The “Silent Killer” Gets an Upgrade… More Important Than Ever to Pay Attention to Your Blood Pressure

Black tonometer and heart isolated on whiteOur nation’s heart experts have bumped up the guidelines for high blood pressure– a change hoping more people will be become more sensitive to the dangers of stroke and heart attacks that are the second cause of preventable death in the United States and the leading reason for deaths worldwide.

The new redefined high blood pressure, as a reading is now 130 over 80, down from 140 over 90 as determined by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology 14 years ago.

What this means that presently almost 50 per cent (46 percent) American adults, many of them under the age of 45, now will be labeled hypertensive. Before November 11 under the previous guidelines, 32 percent of U.S. adults had high blood pressure.

Normal blood pressure for healthy adults remains at 120 (high number: systolic [heart contracts])/over 80 (low number: diastolic [heart relaxes between beats]).

Most of the data to support the new requirements came from a large-scale study of more than 9,000 people reversing the assumptions held by many blood pressure medical professionals.

The results shows bringing down blood pressure vs. the recommended 140/90 could reduce the risk of heart and stoke. Although most of the participates in the study were people 50 or over, other studies have shown younger people are at risk also for hypertension. Hypertension can lead to cardiovascular disease, strokes, kidney disease and other maladies killing millions every year.

Hence, the key reason to clue in Americans sooner on the insidious illness outcomes high blood pressure can generate. In that way, more healthy lifestyles might be migrated through U.S society by healthy eating, exercise, and reduced tension.

In that way, the “Silent Killer” so named because so many people are unaware they have the condition because there are no symptoms. The new requirements won’t change the symptoms but may arouse the interest needed to combat this dreaded disease.

317-words/reading time average 2 minutes

 

The “Silent Killer” Gets an Upgrade. More Important Than Ever to Pay Attention to Your Blood Pressure

 

Black tonometer and heart isolated on white


Our nation’s heart experts have bumped up the guidelines for high blood pressure– a change hoping more people will be become more sensitive to the dangers of stoke and heart attacks that are the second cause of preventable death in the United States and the leading reason for deaths worldwide.

The new redefined high blood pressure, as a reading is now 130 over 80, down from 140 over 90 as determined by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology 14 years ago.

What this means that presently almost 50 per cent (46 percent) American adults, many of them under the age of 45, now will be labeled hypertensive. Before November 11 under the previous guidelines, 32 percent of U.S. adults had high blood pressure.

Normal blood pressure for healthy adults remains at 120 (high number: systolic [heart contracts])/over 80 (low number: diastolic [heart relaxes between beats]).

Most of the data to support the new requirements came from a large-scale study of more than 9,000 people reversing the assumptions held by many blood pressure medical professionals.

The results shows bringing down blood pressure vs. the recommended 140/90 could reduce the risk of heart and stoke. Although most of the participates in the study were people 50 or over, other studies have shown younger people are at risk also for hypertension. Hypertension can lead to cardiovascular disease, strokes, kidney disease and other maladies killing millions every year.

Hence, the key reason to clue in Americans sooner on the insidious illness outcomes high blood pressure can generate. In that way, more healthy lifestyles might be migrated through U.S society by healthy eating, exercise, and reduced tension.

In that way, the “Silent Killer” so named because so many people are unaware they have the condition because there are no symptoms. The new requirements won’t change the symptoms but may arouse the interest needed to combat this dreaded disease.

Continue reading “The “Silent Killer” Gets an Upgrade. More Important Than Ever to Pay Attention to Your Blood Pressure”

Downsizing When You Retire? Hold on! Some Seniors Are Upsizing!

Expanding Family Home

A recent study by Merrill Lynch discovered that although half of the retirees queried downsized to smaller livings quarters, 30 per cent moved into larger homes.

The chief reason was to plan for the possibility of accommodating visits from family or friends. It also is to allow that family members might want to return to the nest after all.

Many boomers and seasoned seniors are finding their off spring have a need to return home after getting a taste of the wide world out there.

These young people are called “helicopter kids.” They hover around Mom and Dad to return to their comfort zone when unemployment, relationships and economic hardship sour in the outside world. Of course, another reason to return home may be nothing more than missing Mom’s home cooking.

In 2014, for the first time in more than 130 years, adults ages 18 to 34 were slightly more likely to be living in their parents’ home than they were living with a spouse or partner in their own household, according to Pew Research.

Another changeable element in American society is for some couples seeking more home space for their parents. People are living longer and there are multiple reasons (health issues, death of one spouse, insufficient living expenses, etc.) for moving in an aging parent(s).

This is occurring more frequently. In 2008, 4.05 million parents were living with an adult child. By the end of 2011, the number had risen to 4.6 million — a 13.7 percent increase.

Even among the tradition downsizers, the trend is changing; the National Association of Realtors reports that in 2004, boomers downsized by 500 square feet, on the average. In 2016, they decreased house size by only 100 square feet.

All in all, more boomers and seasoned seniors are going to find themselves a member of the “Sandwich Generation.“ No, it’s not a secret sect with mass appreciation for bologna and mayo. It’s the large number of boomers who find themselves simultaneous moving toward retirement and also taking care of aging parents or children or both. The boomers are in between; hence, the sandwich analogy.

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Doctors Finally Own Up to It: “Drugs Can’t Fix LOWER BACK PAIN!”

Acute backache, pain area of red color

Oh my aching back! Too often at the first flinch of pain, you trot to the medicine cabinet and swallow a couple of Advil or Tylenol. Worst yet, you might take an opioid: Oxycodone or Fentanyl.

You should know before you begin the pill for pain ritual that the American College of Physicians (ACP) now has new guidelines recommending alternative therapies instead of pain meds for lower back pain.

The ACP (148,000 members) has finally admitted it: their chief tool to treat one of America’s most common aliments doesn’t work.

New ACP guidelines released this month suggested doctors recommend exercise and treatments like heat wraps, yoga, and mindfulness meditation to their patients before proscribing medications like over the counter painkillers or opioids.

You say you don’t have lower back pain? Congratulations! You’re the exception.

Low back pain is one of the top reasons people see their doctors and this nuisance aliment is the number one reason for missing work throughout the world.

Here’s the capper. Lower back pain is incredibly common-yet doctors don’t really know what causes it.

The kind of low back pain we are talking about has no detectable cause, unlike a tumor, pinched nerve or a fracture. It can be acute (last four weeks), sub acute (last four to six weeks) or chronic (12 or more weeks). Rarely, though, is it a sign of a more serious problem.

Doctors pencil it in as “nonspecific low back pain.”

There is no silver bullet but there are treatments that can reduce the pain. A major suggestion you should be doing anyway: exercising moderately without breaking your back (pun). Exercising, perhaps, is the best alternative to drugs.

It’s a given that obesity, smoking, depression and anxiety all have been linked with lower back pain. What’s the cure? Replacing prescription drugs in addition to exercise and heat therapy reveals a myriad of other suggestions:

Heat therapy is a good line of defense for acute or sub acute low back pain. This alternative strategy can be followed by massage, acupuncture, and spinal manipulation by a chiropractor may help.

For chronic back pain, exercise, rehabilitation therapy, acupuncture and mindfulness-based stress reduction can be utilized.

Other non-drug therapy can be tai chi, yoga, low-level laser therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy and spinal manipulation. It should be stressed that none of the previous suggestion therapies have been proven to be complete solutions for lower back pain.

Therefore, if these non-drug therapies do not provide relief, then the physician and patient consider treatment with NSAIDs as a first line therapy. Consider Tramadol or Duloxetine as second line therapy.

Physicians should consider opioids as a last option for treatment and only for patients who have failed other therapies. Opioids are associated with substantial harm including the risk of addiction or accidental overdose.

465wds/2 min 35 sec reading time