Where Can You Find the Best Health Care in the US? August 14, 2017 22:44

50 states are graded for healthy living based on 

35 measures of cost, accessibility and outcome. The measures included monthly insurance premiums, cost of visiting a medical professional, quality of hospitals, life expectancy and rates of cancer and heart disease.

Great Story of a Man with MS Who Remains Active July 23, 2017 13:28

Charles Wienbar was an avid outdoorsman until he started losing feeling in his legs and was shortly thereafter diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.



Chair Yoga

These States Provide the Best Tax Breaks for Retirees July 18, 2017 13:39

Kiplinger reports that these 6 states are among those with lowest levies

New Hampshire heads a list of 12 states that offer the most favorable tax breaks for retirees, in a recent ranking by personal finance website Money and Career CheatSheet. South Carolina is ranked number 2, followed by Hawaii, South Dakota and Nevada.

Rounding out the top 12 are Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia, Puerto Rico (actually a territory, not a state), Florida and Alaska.

Best States for Retirement 

The ranking, which draws on data from sources such as the Tax Foundation and state departments of revenue, doesn’t just rely upon state income taxes as a measure.  While seven states — Alaska, Washington, Nevada, Texas, Florida, Wyoming and South Dakota — don’t have an income tax, some have high real estate or sales taxes that can cut into retirees’ finances, CheatSheet noted.

New Hampshire, the top-ranked state, taxes dividend and interest income above $2,400 at a 5 percent rate for individuals, but not other income, and it offers residents 65 and older a $1,200 exemption against those levies. The Granite State also is one of five states that don’t have a state sales tax, according to Money magazine.

South Carolina ranked second in large part because of a state law passed in 2016 that exempts as much as $30,000 of military retirees’ income from state taxes once they reach age 65.

A ranking by Kiplinger picked Alaska as the most tax-friendly state for retirees in 2016 because it lacks income and sales taxes and pays a dividend from oil revenues to defray high property taxes.

36 other tax-friendly states


Physically active women age slower, study proves July 14, 2017 13:13

Exercise makes you age slower

A recent study from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine concluded that cells of elderly women who remain inactive for more than 10 hours per day age much faster compared to those of women who remain active throughout their late life.

On a related study, researchers from the University of California reported that exercise and physical activity are known to trigger growth development and well-being, while they also help prevent heart and vascular disease, and aid the mineralization of growing bones, which helps delay osteoporosis in late ages.


We Americans love summertime and with good reason. It is the best time for outdoor fun and travel with family. Many people enjoy outdoor activities such as bicycling, kayaking and hiking, and kids are more active with sports. 


One thing to keep in mind when out and about in the summer heat is to stay properly hydrated. Unfortunately, many of us are not drinking enough water. In fact, 36 percent of adult Americans drink only three or fewer cups of water per day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Here are some tips for healthy hydration.

One thing to keep in mind when out and about in the summer heat is to stay properly hydrated. Unfortunately, many of us are not drinking enough water. In fact, 36 percent of adult Americans drink only three or fewer cups of water per day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Here are some tips for healthy hydration.

Replace your electrolytes

Engaging in physical activity when it is hot outside means you lose water which has to be replaced. You are also losing electrolytes (sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium and bicarbonate) which need to be replaced. Very high temperatures — especially for a prolonged period — can be dangerous, especially for seniors.

Ideally, anyone engaging in outdoor activity in the heat or even an indoor exercise program should drink 8 to 12 ounces of fluid every 15 to 20 minutes during a session. If exercising exceeds an hour, a beverage that contains electrolytes is preferable to plain water. That is why most sports drinks contain salt. Of course anyone can easily make their own sports drink by adding a quarter to a half teaspoon of salt per liter or 32 ounces of water.

Replacing lost electrolytes is important because they help to regulate cardiovascular and neurological functions, fluid balance and oxygen delivery.

Stronger Seniors Chair Exercise Video Programs

Talking to Your Doctor About YOUR Healthcare July 03, 2017 08:28

Here are ways to put your priorities at the top of your doctor's agenda..

How do you make sure that your preferences and priorities get on the agenda with your health care providers? And how do you make sure they stay on the agenda beyond a single office visit?  Find out here...

Prevalence of Obesity and Diabetes in the US 1994-2004 June 30, 2017 15:54

The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention reported that in 2009-10, an estimated 68% of the U.S. Population was considered obese or overweight.

The high prevalence of obesity is a concern, because it increases the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease.

7 Ways Cherry Juice Benefits You June 28, 2017 14:49

cherry juice

Cherry juice is not only refreshingly delicious, but it provides some solid health benefits, too. With about 120 calories per 1-cup serving, it is rich in nutrients like potassium and iron. Read on for eight reasons to sip and savor.

1. Helps Post-Workout Recovery

Cherry juice may help recovery post-exercise. It is naturally high in potassium, which conducts electrical impulses throughout the body. This mineral also helps maintain blood pressure, hydration, muscle recovery, nerve impulses, digestion, heart rate, and pH balance. Cherries contain about 330 mg of potassium per cup, which is almost 10 percent of how much you need each day.

2. Fights Inflammation and Arthritis Pain

Research shows that the antioxidants in tart cherry juice can reduce pain and inflammation from osteoarthritis. A 2012 study showed that drinking cherry juice twice a day for 21 days reduced the pain felt by people with osteoarthritis. Blood tests also showed that they suffered from significantly less inflammation.

3. Reduces Swelling

When people experience pain from swelling, they often turn to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). However, the effects of these drugs can be harmful, especially when you take them too often or have allergies. A 2004 study found that cherry juice supplements can reduce inflammation and pain-related behavior in animals, showing promise as a treatment for swelling in humans. 

4. Boosts Immunity

Like all fruits and vegetables, cherries pack a powerful antioxidant and anti-viral punch. Flavonoids, a type of antioxidant in cherry juice, are made by plants to fight infection. Research shows that these chemicals can have a significant impact on immune system function.

5. Regulates Metabolism and Fights Fat

Did You Know?
  • Most cherry tree varieties are chosen for how pretty they are. Many don’t even yield actual cherries!
  • Cherries are also a good source of vitamins A and C

There is some evidence in animals that tart cherries can help adjust your body’s metabolism and your ability to lose abdominal body fat. One study showed that anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid responsible for cherries’ red color, act against the development of obesity. Another study in rats found that tart cherries can help reduce inflammation and abdominal fat, and lower the risk of metabolic syndrome.

6. Helps You Sleep

The anti-inflammatory properties of cherry juice combined with a dash of sleep-regulating melatonin may help you sleep better, according to a recent study. The results suggest that tart cherry juice has similar effects as insomnia medications like valerian or melatonin on older adults.

7. Blocks Cancer Growth

In a 2003 study, researchers pitted cherry juice against the NSAID sulindac, which is the most common preventive anti-inflammatory treatment for colon tumors. Although an animal study, it is notable that cherry juice — unlike the NSAID — reduced the growth of cancer cells.

Even without its antioxidants and nutrients, cherry juice is deliciously tart and refreshing. Try replacing sodas and sports drinks with something that can really make a difference to your health.

7 Keys to Growing Old in Your Own Home June 26, 2017 11:02

Aging in place requires planning ahead.

Want to live in your home for the rest of your life? Boost your odds by "future-proofing" now. Older adults who are most likely to remain in their homes have successfully arranged their houses and lives in ways that maximize their ability to weather the physical and practical setbacks often associated with getting older -- setbacks that can make living independently more challenging.

Here are seven ingredients you'll want to have in place in order to age in place:

  1. A single-story floor plan

Sure you can get up and down stairs easily now. And sure, many spry octogenarians can do the same. But what if you break a bone and require extended bed rest? What if you become confined to a wheelchair? It's possible to convert a downstairs room to a bedroom, but not so easy to live on one floor if the only shower is on an upper floor.

Think ahead about how you can convert to all-on-one-floor living, should the need arise. You may need to remodel to add a full bath on the ground level, for example, or insert a door to provide privacy in a downstairs room.

The living space also needs to be all on one level. Split-level homes can be problematic because wheelchairs and walkers can't easily navigate from one room to the next.

  1. Basic safety upgrades

One's risk of falling increases with age, often due to medications or certain health conditions. Installing secure grab bars and wall-to-wall carpeting (or bare wood floors, no throw rugs) are smart safety upgrades that will help you avoid broken hips -- one of the most common reasons older adults are forced to leave their homes.

Familiarize yourself with the basics of bathroom safety and other home care safety, and start to slowly make your home safer for future needs.

Don't overlook good lighting. Dark hallways and burned-out bulbs are a common contributor to accidental falls. Did you know an 85-year-old needs about three times as much light as a 15-year-old does to see the same thing?

  1. Accessible utilities

Sure you can reach tall cupboards, stacked washer-dryers, and back burners easily now. But it's likely that won't always be the case. Even something as simple as a doorknob may be difficult to open if you develop arthritis or other disabilities.

At least one lower countertop, a taller toilet, and a front- (rather than top-) loading washer and dryer raised up from floor level are all examples of slightly modified household items that become easier to use later in life.

Lever-type door handles, paddle faucets, and curbless showers make these devices easy to use even in the event of arthritis or other disabilities affecting mobility.

4. Update doors and doorways.

At any age, you want to be sure you can get from room to room without trouble. Specifically: * Replace doorknobs with levers, which push down easily. * If possible, keep door frames at 36 inches (or more) wide to allow wheelchair access. * Zero threshold doors are easiest to navigate for those in wheelchairs or using walkers. * Install a ramp to at least one entryway into the house, if necessary. A simple wooden ramp is the least expensive option, but add slip-resistant material to prevent accidents.

5. Add accessible outlets and switches.

The most accessible homes have easy-touch light switches about 42 inches off the ground. Ample electrical outlets throughout the house can handle any necessary medical equipment; outlets should be 18 inches from the floor for optimal accessibility.

6. Modify stairways.

To allow for the possibility of a chairlift in the future, stairways should be four feet wide. The steps should be deep enough to accommodate the entire foot, and you’ll want to install treads.

7. Install grab bars and handrails.

One important way to prevent accidents is to install handrails on both sides of stairways. In the bathroom, put in grab bars by the toilet and in the bathtub and shower. A tub transfer seat can be useful, though the best option is to remove the tub altogether and instead make sure the shower is safe to use.

8. Add light.

Because eyesight tends to worsen with age, it’s a good idea to add more and brighter lights in the house, for better visibility.

Familiarize yourself with the principles of universal design, for a home you can live in forever -- bringing together safety, convenience, and style for residents of any age.


Stronger Seniors Chair Exercise DVD Programs

Elderly Can Hold Off Alzheimer's with Light Exercise June 23, 2017 08:56

LONDON, June 23 — Physical activity at a moderate level of intensity boosts glucose metabolism in the brain according to new research, which could help protect against Alzheimer’s disease.

Carried out by a team from the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centre and the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, the study looked at data from 93 members of the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention (WRAP).

All participants were in late middle-age and had a high genetic risk for Alzheimer’s disease, although at the time showed no cognitive impairment.

The team measured the daily physical activity of participants over a one-week period using accelerometers, also looking at how much of this physical activity was performed at a light, moderate, or vigorous level.

Light physical activity is equivalent to walking slowly, moderate is equivalent to a brisk walk and vigorous a strenuous run.

The team also measured brain glucose metabolism — a measure of neuronal health and activity — using a specialised imaging technique called 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET).

The data gathered on the different intensity levels were then statistically analyzed to see how they corresponded with glucose metabolism in the areas of the brain known to have lower glucose metabolism in those with Alzheimer’s disease.

The results showed that moderate physical activity — but not light-intensity physical activity — was associated with higher, and therefore healthier, levels of glucose metabolism in all the brain regions analyzed.

The team also found that more time exercising had an even greater benefit, with those who spent at least 68 minutes per day engaged in moderate physical activity showing better glucose metabolism profiles than those who spent less time.

“This study has implications for guiding exercise ‘prescriptions’ that could help protect the brain from Alzheimer’s disease,” said first author Ryan Dougherty. “While many people become discouraged about Alzheimer’s disease because they feel there’s little they can do to protect against it, these results suggest that engaging in moderate physical activity may slow down the progression of the disease.”

The team is now planning their next study to investigate whether physical exercise can slow the progression of early memory problems caused by Alzheimer’s disease.

The findings can be found published online in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Eating well, staying Active and Mental Exercises Can Reverse Physical Frailty in Seniors June 21, 2017 12:26

The important message from our studies is that frailty is not an inevitable part of aging. There is much that older people can do for themselves to avoid becoming frail and disabled, so it is vital that they pay attention to good quality diet and nutrition, engage in physical exercise, 

Another Sunrise community has Stronger Seniors June 21, 2017 12:14

Hats off to Sunrise Senior Living in Haverford, PA- offering their residents the Stronger Seniors Program!

Capital District YMCA (Albany, NY)- using the Stronger Seniors chair exercise DVDs. June 21, 2017 12:06

Thank you to the Capital District YMCA (Albany, NY)- using the Stronger Seniors chair exercise DVDs.

Brookside Senior Living offering the Stronger Seniors Chair Exercise Program June 19, 2017 12:56

Big thanks to the folks at Horizon Bay Senior Living in Tamarac, FL, a Brookside Senior Living community. Residents there are doing the Stronger Seniors Chair Exercise Program!…/comm…/horizon-bay-tamarac-i.html

Thanks to HolidayTouch...again! June 19, 2017 12:04

We want to thank Holiday Retirement's Tremont community in Oviedo, Florida. They are using the Stronger Seniors Chair Exercise DVDs in their activities program.

Overweight but Frail Seniors Benefit from Aerobics and Strength Training June 19, 2017 10:34

Overweight but Frail Seniors Benefit from Aerobics and Strength Training, according to a study recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Safe Exercises for Mesothelioma Patients May 17, 2017 10:16

A shift in thinking about bedrest for cancer patients has taken place in recent years. The days of strict bedrest are long gone, and in their place are days filled with gentle exercise and regular movement.

Decades of research show that inactivity hurts people with cancer. In fact, inactivity increases fatigue and decreases quality of life.

But, what if your cancer affects your ability to exercise? That’s the case for people with mesothelioma, a cancer that most often forms around the lungs and greatly impairs breathing.

Senior Exercise Video


When You Should Not Exercise May 16, 2017 17:50

Exercise does the body good, but it's not always a good idea. You know that exercising is important and can make you feel good, but here are some instances when exercise can be dangerous.

Listen to your body and the cues it is giving you and decide if exercise is right at that time,”

If you have a fever…

Stay home and rest. A fever shows that the body’s immune system is battling an infection - - and doesn't need to deal with stress from exercise on top of that. If you decide to exercise with a fever, be alert for overheating and dehydration, since body fluids decrease when you have a fever.

If you have a cold…

A cold can make you miserable, but it doesn't rule out exercise. Experts say moderate- intensity workouts are OK when you have a common cold. If you go to a gym when you have a cold, use hand sanitizer and wipe off any surfaces you touch so you don’t contaminate your gym buddies. The bottom line: It's understandable if you choose to take it easy, but exercising with a cold doesn't seem to make you sicker.

If you have the flu…

Head to your sofa, not the gym. Skip your workout until you recover. With the flu comes a fever, so heed the rule not to exercise when you have a fever.

Asthma Flare-up?

If the flare-up was due to a respiratory infection, skip your workout for a few days and see a doctor if symptoms persist. Otherwise, if your doctor has said exercise is safe for you, and your asthma is well-controlled, it may be appropriate to work out. Be sure to start slowly and warm up for 10 minutes. Low-to-moderate intensity, intermittent exercise, or

If you have sore muscles….

 You can go to the gym, but make it a light-intensity workout, such as walking instead of running. It's also OK to skip your workout and rest, if the soreness is too severe. And if your muscles are super sore because you overdid it the last time you exercised, make a point of making your workouts more reasonable.


Chair Exercise for Older Adults


How Eating Nuts Can Help You Lose Weight May 08, 2017 09:38

Regularly eating nuts as part of a healthy diet is not associated with weight gain, and may even help you lose weight.

However, it’s important to exercise portion control. Public health guidelines recommend eating a one-ounce (28-gram) portion of nuts on most days of the week.

Stronger Seniors Chair Exercise Videos

Episcopal Homes of Minnesota May 06, 2017 13:25

Episcopal Homes of Minnesota in Saint Paul! The residents there are using our Balance and Posture program. Apparently, the residents are also doing Chair Yoga with some little ones as part of their intergenerational programming.

Stronger Seniors Chair Exercise Videos

Why is Exercise and Physical Activity Important for Older Adults? May 05, 2017 10:40

If you’ve never exercised, or if you stopped exercising for some reason, you need not resign yourself to a sedentary (unhealthy) life. Programs like Stronger Seniors are designed just for you- to help you start slowly, and build up to a routine you will enjoy and stick with. 

Stronger Seniors Chair Exercise Videos

Merced Senior Living at The Hampshire April 27, 2017 14:03

We are proud to have another Holiday Touch community using the Stronger Seniors programs. The Hampshire, in Merced, CA is just 45 minutes Yosemite National Park!

Lots of activities, great food, great location. For more information, call 209-379-4589.

Holiday Touch The Hampshire

Is Medicare C for All the Answer? April 27, 2017 12:28

It would appear without full, universal coverage at an affordable price, (single payer) we as an economy face major financial downside. Leaving Obamacare to “explode,” as the Mr. Trump puts it, is not the answer. Some 30 million of us already have zero coverage. Tens of millions more face that prospect if major insurance companies continue to abandon Obamacare.

These Foods Have More Sugar Than You Think April 19, 2017 15:23

Processed sugar is a killer. That is a proven fact. (Look at this.) food manufacturers put in certain foods for flavor, especially 'low-fat' options. The following list of 'sugary' foods you should look at if you want to control your sugar consumption. For reference, there are about 33 grams of sugar in 12 ounces of Coca-Cola. 

1. Pasta Sauce - 6-12 grams per half-cup

2. Granola Bars - 8-12 grams per bar

3. Yogurt - 17-33 grams per 8-ounce cup

4. Instant Oatmeal - 10-15 grams per 'fruit-flavored' packet.

5. Breakfast Cereal- 10-20 grams per cup (even popular oat and bran brands.)

6. Packaged Fruits - 33 grams per cup of canned fruit in light syrup.

7. Bottled Tea - 32 grams per bottle, leading brands of lemon-flavored iced tea.

8. Dried Fruit - 25 grams , a small box of raisins.

9.- Fancy Coffee Drinks - 30-60 grams of added sugar per 16 oz.

10- Pomegranate Juice - 62 grams per bottle of this 'heart-healthy' drink.

Bottom line- Read the labels!

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the maximum amount of added sugars you should eat in a day are:

  • Men: 150 calories per day (37.5 grams or 9 teaspoons).
  • Women: 100 calories per day (25 grams or 6 teaspoons).