Dementia rate declines in the US

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Dramatic decline in dementia seen among older adults in the US

by Sharon Begley

November 21, 2016

“The percent of older US adults with dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, declined from 11.6 percent in 2000 to 8.8 percent in 2012, a decrease of nearly a quarter, scientists reported on Monday.

Why it matters:

It had been thought that the baby boomers’ march toward old age would triple the number of Alzheimer’s patients by 2050. These new numbers not only portend a lesser burden on the health care system (and families) but also suggest that something has changed over the generations — and identifying that change could drive down dementia rates even further.

You’ll want to know:

That’s a significant decline: If the rate of dementia in 2012 had been what it was in 2000, ‘there would be well more than 1 million additional people with dementia,’ said John Haaga, director of the National Institute on Aging’s behavioral and social research, who was not involved in the study. As it is, an estimated 5 million Americans 65 and older are afflicted with Alzheimer’s or other dementia.

The nitty gritty:

Researchers led by Dr. Kenneth Langa of the University of Michigan analyzed data on more than 10,500 Health and Retirement Study participants aged 65 or older in 2000 and 2012.

The percent of seniors with dementia fell to 8.8 percent in 2012; accounting for the greater proportion of those who were 85 years or older, the decline was even greater: to 8.6 percent, the team reported in JAMA Internal Medicine.

One possible factor is education.”  Read more

We are in good company…

What could be more beautiful than a dear old lady growing wise with age? Every age can be enchanting, provided you live within it.            –Bridget Bardot, 82

good company
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Beloved Florence Henderson passed away last week at the age of 82.  I grew up knowing her as Carol Brady, the mom, from The Brady Bunch.  I don’t think I ever missed an episode!  Recently, I saw her on Dancing with the Stars and she looked as if she had not aged much at all since playing the role of Carol in the 60’s and 70’s.

In light of her passing, I thought it might be interesting to see how old some of our other favorite celebrities are.  Their words of wisdom came from either imdb.com or brainyquotes.com.

  • Mary Tyler Moore, 79 “Take chances, make mistakes.  That’s how you grow.  Pain nourishes your courage.  You have to in order to practice being brave.”
  • Carol Burnett, 83 “The best advice that I could give is be kind.”
  • Betty White, 94 “Don’t try to be young. Just open your mind. Stay interested in stuff.”
  • Jane Fonda, 78 “Don’t give up no matter how hard it is. Try to make the best of who you are.”
  • Shirley MacLaine, 82 “You are the architect of your personal experience.”
  • Clint Eastwood, 86 “Society has made us believe you should look like an 18-year-old model all your life. But I figure I might as well just be what I am.”

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Financial decision making resources for divorcing or newly widowed women

If you are facing a divorce or if you are recently widowed, you may find the following financial decision making resources helpful.  When I was divorcing over 12 years ago, the judge ordered a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) written and submitted to my ex’s workplace so I was guaranteed a portion of his pension when he retires.  The QDRO also required I hire an expert to figure out the value of the account at the time of the divorce.  The judge ordered my ex and I to split the cost of these extras.

Learn more about QDROs and other important issues from the resources below from the Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER). 

“Both divorce and widowhood can be extremely emotional and oftentimes unexpected events in a woman’s life. The difficulties are often further compounded by the practical issues that arise during these transitional periods. WISER has developed various resources to help make this time a bit less stressful and to help newly divorced or widowed women make smart and informed financial decisions.

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Visit thrift shops for your ugly sweater and other great finds

ugly sweater

Do you have an ugly sweater party coming up?  The Arc Thrift Shore is a great place to find one.  I’ve shopped at the Arc Thrift Stores for years.  They have all kinds of goodies, from nicknacks to housewares to furniture to clothes and shoes, to books.  They are a non-profit organization “dedicated to creating and funding programs that serve those individuals living with intellectual/developmental disabilities, with complex and evolving needs.”

If you are cleaning out your closets at this time of year to get a year-end tax deduction, The Arc will also gladly accept your donations.

If you don’t have an Arc Thrift Store in your area, check out Goodwill or Habitat For Humanity stores.  They also offer discounts and take donations.  Everyday is senior discount day at the Fort Collins Restore (15% off).  Goodwill in Loveland has a 15% senior discount everyday and 25% off on Mondays.  Check goodwill.org or habitat.org for discounts in the thrift shops near you.

If you find your award-winning ugly sweater at a thrift shop, send me a pic.  I’d love to see it!  Happy shopping!

ugly sweater

Did you go holiday shopping on Black Friday or celebrate Buy Nothing Day?

 holiday shoppingAnti-Black Friday?  Celebrate Buy Nothing Day

by Jeff Yeager for AARP

November 21, 2016

“I saw this great cartoon the other day. ‘Black Friday: Because only in America, people trample others for sales exactly one day after being thankful for what they already have.’  Funny, but true.

Now don’t accuse me of being a humbug. I like to celebrate the holidays just as much as anybody else. Although when it comes to gift giving, I do prefer a somewhat more measured approach than is apparently the American norm.

I like to think of the gifts we give at the holidays as the little sprinkles on top of a huge, already delicious cake. The cake, of course, is the celebration of the event itself, spending time with those we love (and remembering those we miss), and reflecting on the true reason why the holiday exists in the first place.

In the spirit of ‘It’s the holiday, not the stuff, that’s really important,’ do you know that the Friday after Thanksgiving – in addition to being Black Friday, probably of the biggest shopping day of the year – is also officially Buy Nothing Day? Buy Nothing Day has been celebrated for the past 20 years by folks here in the United States and around the world who are trying in our own little way to put the focus back on the true meaning of the holiday season, and less importance of the materialistic aspects of those special days in our lives. Yep, Buy Nothing Day is just that: One day out of the year when we commit to do just that –  not shop.

Oh, sure, I know some of you may think that my cheapskate philosophy of life and things like ‘Buy Nothing Day’ will be the downfall of the U.S. and world economies. But I’ve also read that every day of the year each of us is bombarded by roughly 5,000 commercial messages – everything from captivating commercials on TV to promotional slogans on t-shirts and cereal boxes – all shouting ‘Buy some more stuff! Spend some more money!'”

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Jeff Yeager is the author of How to Retire the Cheapskate Way: The Ultimate Cheapskate’s Guide to a Better, Earlier, Happier Retirement.

KEEP MOVING – A playful book with “tips and truths about aging”

KEEP MOVINGHappy Thanksgiving everyone!  I know not all countries celebrate Thanksgiving but all of us can be thankful for the many blessings we have on this day.   One of the many things I am thankful for is the availability of good books and the wisdom their authors share.

This morning I started reading Dick Van Dyke’s book called KEEP MOVING and Other Tips and Truths About Aging (only $11 on Amazon).  I planned to read it and then share some of the best parts with you.  I still plan to do just that but I already want to share some of the introduction from KEEP MOVING.  Yes, it was that good!  Here it is:

“Old age should be revered, admired, respected, treated to dinner, opened and allowed to breathe like a fine wine, given aisle seats on an airplane, helped up the stairs, and looked upon with patience, especially in the checkout line at the grocery store.  Old people like to make conversation with the checkers.  If approached correctly, says this former Boy Scout, old age should be considered a merit badge for a life well lived.  Old age should be a lot of things.  But it should not be rushed.

I am 89 years old as I write this at my home in Malibu, California, which means I am in my 90th year on this planet, and by definition, I am old.  Very old, I suppose–older than the average male, who now lives to be 76.4 years old (the average female lives to be 81.2).  But if you are 65 or thereabouts today, your life expectancy is even longer.  You should start thinking of 65 as the new 40.  In other words, you aren’t old yet–you are merely on the launching pad of old age.

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Three generations play with Etch A Sketch and Twister…

Most people I know love babysitting grandchildren at least once in awhile.  Saturday night I was scheduled to babysit my three adorable grandbabies, so I gathered up a couple of my daughter’s old toys to take to their home for entertainment.  I chose her Etch A Sketch and the game Twister.  They both became instant hits with the grandkids.

Of course, the two older children (ages three and nearly five) fought EtchASketch10-23-2004.jpgover the Etch A Sketch.  I set a timer so they could both have their time exploring how it worked.  I guess fearing the game would not be working when her time came, the oldest, Jovie, asked me where the batteries go.  She didn’t quite understand the concept of it not needing batteries or a plug to make it work.  Both kids were fascinated by the fact that they could draw with it and then erase what they drew by shaking it.  Oh, the simple things in life!

The biggest thrill, at least for Jovie and I, was playing Twister.  She knows her colors and she had a great time learning which was her right and left hand and foot.  The boys liked the spinner.  I even took a turn on the plastic mat.  Of course the first two or three color/hand/foot combinations left me spread clear across it.  I held on for as long as I could but the boys decided to climb on my back, so we all collapsed in a pile of laughs!  Even the little guy (14 months) mimicked his big sister and placed his hands and feet on the brightly colored dots.  The game was a hit!  In this fast paced world of electronic games which make all sorts of noises and have flashy lights, it was nice to see some of the classic old games still entertain my young grandchildren.

Twister
slc

A little history on these two old-time favorites from my childhood, as well as my daughter’s:

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