How Much Sugar do Americans Consume Each Year? April 13, 2018 19:46

Americans consume on average 3 rimes as much sugar as recommended by nutritionists.  The result- the health of our nation is declining.

Aerobics to Prevent Dementia April 08, 2018 11:24

Study started in 1968 finds that women who were physically fit in middle age were roughly 88% less likely to develop dementia. 

Stronger Seniors Chair Exercise DVD Videos

Are You Confident Enough to Exercise? March 06, 2018 16:20

Stronger Seniors Chair Exercise DVD Videos

Most people are aware of the link between exercise and better health. So, why are over half of the population not sufficiently active and suffering from preventable health problems such as overweight and obesity?

The answer can be explained by many variables including individual, environmental, and cultural factors to name a few. However, have you ever considered the importance of a persons self-confidence in first, participating in exercise, and second, sustaining it over a period of time to reap the benefits?

Research shows that this factor is essential to successful physical activity behavior change. Self-confidence is a person's belief in their ability to successfully perform a certain task or establish a positive habit to bring about a desired outcome. Importantly, a person's confidence level in regard to performing exercise has been shown to have a significant impact on a persons success in changing exercise habits. A persons confidence level towards successfully performing exercise behaviors can easily be measured by having the person rate their confidence on a 10 point scale, with 1 being the lowest (not confident) and 10 being the highest (very confident).

Why a persons confidence level may be too low to exercise regularly? may lack the knowledge about what type of exercise could improve their health condition. This may contribute to the individual not feeling confident about exercise participation as they may have reservations about the safety of exercise not being able to participate properly due to their condition.

Some practical ways that seniors can improve their confidence regarding exercise may include:

  • Asking their doctor for information, training, guidance or referring to an Accredited Exercise Physiologist

  • Find an exercise class to see how other people, similar to them, have achieved successful results through exercise for example, patients with chronic conditions. An explanation of the small steps that the older adult can take  may also help.

  • Seek to improve your physical or emotional state before attempting exercise. For example, find help to overcome any anxiety you may have about exercise participation.

Next time you intend to participate in a new health behavior, such as exercise, consider the power of self-confidence in assisting you to achieve successful outcomes.


Bandura, A., (2004). Health Promotion by Social Cognitive means. Health education and behavior, 31(2), 143-164

About Anne Pringle Burnell February 01, 2018 15:48 2 Comments

Anne Pringle Burnell created and developed the Stronger Seniors™ Chair Exercise DVD Video Programs for older adults and people with disabilities, injuries, or chronic conditions.  

'One-Stop' Blood Test for Cancer Shows Early Promise January 29, 2018 13:52

In an early step toward "one-stop" screening for cancer, researchers report they've developed a blood test that can detect eight types of the disease.

The blood test is dubbed CancerSEEK.  The researchers said the findings are an "exciting" initial step.

10 Free Services Medicare Provides


January 22, 2018 11:28

These preventive checkups help you maintain control of your health care

People who have had Medicare Part B for longer than 12 months are eligible for a free wellness exam.

The phrase “there is no free lunch” certainly applies to Medicare. While the federal program pays the lion’s share of medical costs, beneficiaries can still spend thousands of dollars each year on premiums, deductibles, copays and other out-of-pocket expenses. 

But the Affordable Care Act (ACA) expanded access to free preventive care, and that included some important Medicare services. Here’s a list of some examinations and screenings Medicare recipients now get for free.

  • A “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit. This is available only in the first 12 months you are on Part B. It includes a review of your medical history, certain screenings and shots, measurements of vital signs, a simple vision test, review of potential risk for depression, an offer to discuss advance directives and a written plan outlining which screenings, shots and other preventive services you need. This visit is covered one time.
  • Annual wellness visit. You’re eligible for this free exam if you’ve had Medicare Part B for longer than 12 months. The physician will review your medical history; update your list of providers and medications; measure your height, weight, blood pressure and other vital signs; and provide you with personalized health advice and treatment options.


Stronger Seniors Chair Exercise DVD Videos

Note: While this visit is free, the doctor may order other tests or procedures for which you might have a deductible or copay.

  • Mammogram. An annual screening mammogram is free. If you require a diagnostic mammogram, you’ll pay a 20 percent copay and the Part B deductible will apply.
  • Colonoscopy. A screening colonoscopy once every 24 months is free if you're at high risk for colorectal cancer. If you aren't at high risk, Medicare covers this test once every 10 years.
  • Diabetes screening. You’re eligible for two free screenings each year if you have a history of high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels, are obese or have a history of high blood sugar levels. The screenings will also be free if two or more of these issues apply to you: You are over 65, are overweight or have a family history of diabetes, or you had diabetes when you were pregnant.
  • Prostate cancer screening. An annual PSA test is free. A digital rectal exam will cost you 20 percent of the Medicare-approved amount plus the doctor’s services related to the exam. The Part B deductible also applies.
  • Vaccines. Annual flu shots, vaccines to prevent pneumococcal infections such as pneumonia, and shots for hepatitis B (for those at high or medium risk) are covered free of charge.

Note: The shingles vaccine is not covered by Part A or Part B, but it may be covered by your Medicare Advantage (MA) plan or your Part D prescription drug plan.

    • Cardiovascular disease (behavioral therapy). As a Medicare recipient, you also get a free yearly visit with your primary care provider to help you lower your risk for cardiovascular disease.
    • Lung cancer screening. An annual test with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) is free if you are between 55 and 77, don’t have any signs of lung cancer, are a smoker or have quit in the past 15 years, and you have a tobacco smoking history of at least 30 “pack years” (meaning you smoked an average of one pack a day for 30 years).
    • Depression screening. A yearly screening is free if conducted in a primary care center where follow-up and referrals are available. Copays may apply for follow-up care.
by Dena Bunis, AARP

Sitting too long is worse for older people January 15, 2018 16:01

Scientists have shown how lack of exercise takes a much bigger toll on the elderly - in particular, reducing the power of the muscles in their legs.
That power is essential for movements such as climbing the stairs - increasing their risk of lack of independence, and isolation, a major cause of premature death.

Stronger Seniors Seated Exercise DVD Video


Nutrition and Exercise for Seniors November 13, 2017 12:15

Eating healthy is a lifestyle choice shaped by many elements, including our stage of life, situations, preferences, availability of food, culture, traditions, and the personal decisions we make over time. All your food and beverage choices count. MyPlate offers ideas and tips to help you create a healthier eating style that meets your individual needs and improves your health. For a colorful visual of MyPlate and the 5 food groups, download What's MyPlate All About?.  There's also a link for Physical Activity.

Take a look at A Brief History of USDA Food Guides to learn more about previous food guidance symbols. 

If you want to improve your quality of life, this government site may just be for you!

Stronger Seniors Chair Exercise DVD Videos for Seniors

Exercise for Seniors with Bands November 11, 2017 19:20

Resistance band training builds strong muscles and bones while improving seniors' ability to perform daily activities. According to National Institute of Health, regular weight training fights age-related loss of muscle and bone mass. The a government CDC report that resistance training improves balance and reduces symptoms of chronic disease, including arthritis and Parkinson's.  Resistance bands are inexpensive, safe, transportable and provide seniors with external resistance during weight training.

The Stronger Seniors® Core Strength Chair Exercise Program is designed by Stott Pilates Instructor Trainer and Faculty Provider Anne Burnell to help seniors develop the core foundation of the body-The muscles of the Abdominals, the Lower Back, and the Pelvic Floor support the spine and internal organs, essential to the overall fitness of the body. 

The Core Strength program is based on the teachings of Joseph Pilates, modified for the chair to make Pilates routines easy for Seniors and the mobility challenged.

Resistance Band included with DVD

Click on the box below to see a preview of 'Core Strength'

Wistia video thumbnail

Exercising to Reduce Obesity October 30, 2017 11:46

Obesity is a significant health problem in the United States, affecting close to one-third of all adults. Although genetics can play a role in the likelihood that a person will become obese, the condition occurs when the amount of calories consumed exceeds the amount of calories expended over a long period of time. Excess calories are stored as fat in the body, and with long-term caloric excess, an individual eventually becomes obese. Exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet are ways in which to combat obesity.

Benefits of Regular Exercise
Regular exercise (and proper nutrition) can help reduce body fat as well as protect against chronic diseases associated with obesity. If you are looking for a reason to start an exercise program, listed below are five of the many benefits of regular physical activity.

Exercise lowers risk for chronic diseases Concerned about heart disease? Regular exercise is a proven way to decrease risk for these and other chronic diseases. It will help to prevent or manage high blood pressure. It also raises high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, known as the “good” cholesterol, and lowers low density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol. This combination will decrease the amount of harmful plaques that can buildup on your artery walls and keep blood flowing smoothly. Regular exercise can also help prevent type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and certain cancers.

Exercise improves your mood
Feeling a little edgy? A quick workout will help calm you down! Exercise stimulates chemicals in your brain that make you feel happy and relaxed. It also makes you feel better about yourself and helps reduce feelings of depression and anxiety.

Exercise helps manage weight
It’s a no-brainer. Exercise burns calories. The more you exercise, the easier it is to keep your weight under control. But remember that exercise is not a free pass to eat everything in sight! To burn 100 calories, most people need to walk or run about one mile. And one little chocolate M&M candy contains the amount of calories it would take to run or walk the length of a football field! So be sure not to overestimate the amount of calories you’re burning.

Exercise promotes better sleep
Having a hard time falling and staying asleep? A good night’s sleep can improve your concentration and productivity throughout the day, and exercise might be the key to getting better sleep. It can help you fall asleep faster and sleep deeper.

Exercise can be FUN
Tired of spending your Saturday afternoons watching TV or doing laundry? Looking for an activity that the whole family can enjoy? Get moving! Exercise doesn’t have to be grueling. Take a dancing class, push your kids on the swing, or try something new. Find an activity you enjoy, and have fun with it!

Starting an Exercise Program
For obese persons, the focus of the exercise program should be based on low-intensity aerobic activity with progressively increasing duration. Aerobic exercise provides overall health benefits, including fat loss, an increase in daily energy levels, and reduced risk of health problems. At the beginning of the program, the frequency and duration of the activity is more important than the intensity. Aim for exercising four or five days a week for 30 to 60 minutes. If you were previously sedentary, these sessions can be broken up into three 10-minute sessions, with gradual increases in duration.

In addition to aerobic activity, resistance or weight training can also provide some benefits to overall health. Not only does weight training make you stronger, but it also raises your muscle-to-fat ratio, which increases the amount of calories you burn at rest.

Despite all your inclinations to monitor your weight on the bathroom scale, try to resist focusing on weight loss. The body has a tendency to gain muscle or lean weight initially, so although your body is benefiting from the exercise, the pounds might not drop off right away. Focus on the quality and quantity of the exercise instead.

  • Engage in activity that puts minimal stress on the joints, such as walking, swimming or water exercises, and cycling.
  • Ease into your workout. Start slowly for the first five minutes to give your body time to adjust to the activity.
  • Work at a comfortable pace that allows you to talk without too much difficulty.
  • Focus on increasing duration first, then increasing intensity.
  • Slow down for the last five minutes to allow your body to ease back into its resting state
  • Finish with stretching exercises.


  • It is important to gradually increase the duration and intensity of the exercises, while understanding that you will have to build up to longer and more strenuous workouts.
  • Jogging can cause stress on the knees and joints and is generally not recommended for the obese because of risk for injury. Instead, stick to lower impact aerobic activities until you are in better shape.
  • Obese people should be especially careful about heat exhaustion given that they are less able to adapt to temperature changes. Wearing light clothing will allow for better heat exchange while exercising.
  • Hydration is very important for the obese, since they are susceptible to dehydration. Be sure to drink fluids frequently before, during, and after exercise.
  • Slow down or stop if you experience chest pains, shortness of breath, palpitations, nausea, pain in the neck or jaw, or major muscle or joint pain.

Integrate physical activity into daily activity:

  • Take the stairs.
  • Park farther from the door.
  • Take a short walk at lunch.
  • Turn off the TV.
  • Take walk breaks from work.
  • Wear a pedometer for monitoring your activity.

People don’t just have time to exercise…they MAKE time to exercise. Be in control of your life. Make exercise a part of your day, everyday!


Stronger Seniors Chair Exercise DVD Videos

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Workout- This 84-year-Old Is Amazing! October 30, 2017 10:20


In photos of the sitting Supreme Court, 84-year-old Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg looks tiny compared to her colleagues, but don't be fooled: She is "TAN," says her personal trainer, Bryant Johnson, and "by TAN I mean Tough. As. Nails."

Ginsburg's health has been a topic of discussion — and concern among Democrats — since President Trump was elected, but it's particularly buzzworthy right now because of a new book by Johnson that's officially out as of Tuesday: "The RBG Workout: How She Stays Strong...And You Can Too!" Also, because Axios reports that Trump expects to have the chance to replace her, commenting to an unnamed source, "What does she weigh? 60 pounds?"

Ginsburg may be more of a judicial heavy than a physical heavy, but once you see her workout, you'll bet on her over Trump in a push-up contest any day. She does multiple sets of full-on, military-style push-ups. She does one-legged squats. She recently started doing planks. She is, it seems, an iron octogenarian.

The workout itself is a balanced, solid routine that includes some cardio, weights and other strength and resistance training, stretching, core work and balance — all kinds of good, evidence-based moves.

Ginsburg gives extensive public credit to Johnson, who has been training her since 1999; he, in turn, gives props to her will of steel.

I asked him how Ginsburg, who has twice survived cancer, can do this workout at 84, and he pointed to her tough-as-nails character, "her resistance, her tenacity."

"I was talking to the justice about this recently," he said in a phone interview, "and I said, 'Well, justice, if nothing else, I hope the message will get out that you're never too old to start working out and exercising the body. So they can't use age as an excuse."

Hear hear, said Dr. Eddie Phillips of Harvard Medical School, the chief of physical medicine and rehab at the Boston VA (and my co-host on the exercise podcast "The Magic Pill.") He said he's especially impressed by how Ginsburg progressed over the last 18 years of training — for example, from doing push-ups against the wall, to push-ups on her knees, to multiple sets of full push-ups.

"What Justice Ginsburg shows is that indeed, you can get stronger at any age — at 65, at 83 — and I suspect, and the science shows, that she'll be doing a workout at 93, and still adding muscle and still adding functional capacity," he said. "It also keeps her mentally sharp, and extends her life."

The good news for people who want to emulate the Notorious RBG but don't love to work out: She does the workout only twice a week.

Exercise researcher Wayne Westcott, director of the exercise science program at Quincy College, has found that working each muscle group twice a week tends to be enough, and is generally as effective as three times a week. And as people age, he noted, they don't recover as quickly.

"So for people over age 50, let alone over age 80, typically we recommend not training the same muscle groups more than twice a week, because they won't fully recover," he said. So if Ginsburg is doing a total body workout, "which she certainly is, twice a week is perfect for her."

Because of Westcott's research, he was not surprised that Ginsburg managed to get  stronger even at an advanced age: "Age does not seem to be a factor in responding to the strength-training stimulus," he said, "as long as you get plenty of protein, because old people don't assimilate protein as well."

Asked about Trump's comments on Ginsburg's size, both Westcott and Phillips responded that being small doesn't necessarily mean a person is weak or frail.

It can be a problem when older people lose muscle mass — it's called sarcopenia — or bone. But strength training offsets that process, allowing them to maintain or even gain muscle mass. Westcott's research has found that even people in their 90s can regain several pounds of muscle mass through training.

I have a feeling "The RBG Workout" is going to sell very well — it's an appealing little yellow tome, easy to throw into a gym bag, and all the exercises are illustrated by pictures of Justice Ginsburg doing the moves, with her big glasses, pulled-back hair and big button earrings.

So I asked Dr. Phillips whether he had any cautions or caveats for readers who are maybe starting from a not-so-super-fit point.

"For anyone inspired by Justice Ginsburg, as we all should be, I would say start slow, but start," he said. "Get moving and then progress slowly, and get some guidance just as she did."

Be Very Careful When Choosing Your Medicare Part D Plan October 30, 2017 09:55

  • The average monthly 2018 premium for a standalone drug plan will be 9 percent higher.
  • Drug prices can vary from to plan to plan by as much as hundreds of dollars monthly.

As prescription drug prices continue their upward climb, Medicare beneficiaries should pay close attention to the coverage they choose during open enrollment.

During this window, which lasts through Dec. 7, you can choose drug coverage (Part D) either as a standalone plan that serves as a supplement to original Medicare (Parts A and B) or as part of a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C).

Either way, experts say that while you should ensure that any medications you take are covered, don't stop your search at the first choice meeting that basic minimum.

    "It's really important to compare plans, because they can be very different in pricing and the pharmacies included," said Matt Chancey, a certified financial planner based in Orlando.

    Americans spent $457 billion on prescription drugs in 2015, according to recent data from AARP. With Medicare prohibited by law from negotiating drug prices, retirees — whose budgets often already are often stretched thin — face differences in drug prices from plan to plan that can reach hundreds of dollars.

    For instance, the Senior Citizens League compared the prices of the top 10 most-prescribed drugs among 23 prescription plans available in one ZIP code.

    "The average difference between high and low prices on that particular list was $593 per month," said Mary Johnson, senior policy analyst for the advocacy group.

    To read the whole story from CNBC, Click Here

    More on Malnutrition in Seniors October 16, 2017 11:17

    Seniors, Malnutrition, Vitamin Deficiencies

    Malnutrition is seen in varying degrees in the elderly, along with varying vitamin deficiencies. Malnutrition is due to under nutrition, nutrient deficiencies or imbalances. Most physicians do not see frank malnutrition anymore, such as scurvy; but more milder malnutrition symptoms such as loss of appetite, general malaise or lack of overall interest and wellness.

    Common nutrient deficiencies of dietary origin include inadequate intake of vitamin A, B, C, D, E, folic acid and niacin. Malnutrition may also be the result of some socioeconomic risk factors, such as the following:

    • Fear of personal safety (which affects their ability to go grocery shopping)
    • Financial concerns
    • Institutionalization or hospitalizations (that do not ensure adequate nutrition)
    • Lack of interest in cooking or eating alone
    • Loss of a spouse or family member

    Clearly, nutrition plays a vital role in the quality of life in older persons. This is why preventative medicine and focusing on good eating habits is crucial. It is recommended to follow a preventative health maintenance nutritional program, such as the Dietary Guidelines for Americans,  from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which describes two eating plans:

    1. The USDA food patterns.
    2. The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) Eating Plan.

    The USDA food patterns suggests that people 50 or older choose healthy foods every day from the following:

    • Fruits — 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 cups
      What is the same as 1/2 cup of cut-up fruit? A 2-inch peach or 1/4 cup of dried fruit
    • Vegetables — 2 to 3-1/2 cups
      What is the same as a cup of cut-up vegetables? Two cups of uncooked leafy vegetable
    • Grains — 5 to 10 ounces
      What is the same as an ounce of grains? A small muffin, a slice of bread, a cup of flaked, ready-to-eat cereal, or ½ cup of cooked rice or pasta
    • Protein foods — 5 to 7 ounces
      What is the same as an ounce of meat, fish, or poultry? One egg, ¼ cup of cooked beans or tofu, ½ ounce of nuts or seeds, or 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
    • Dairy foods — 3 cups of fat-free or low-fat milk
      What is the same as 1 cup of milk? One cup of yogurt or 1-1/2 to 2 ounces of cheese. One cup of cottage cheese is the same as ½ cup of milk.
    • Oils — 5 to 8 teaspoons
      What is the same as oil added during cooking? Foods like olives, nuts, and avocado have a lot of oil in them.
    • Solid fats and added sugars (SoFAS) — keep the amount of SoFAS small 
      If you eat too many foods containing SoFAS, you will not have enough calories for the nutritious foods you should be eating.

    Ensuring adequate nutrition and proper intake of vitamins and minerals will help keep our aging population feeling more vital and ultimately more healthy, thus using prevention rather than intervention.

    Learn more about the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services DASH eating plan to decide whether it’s right for you or a loved one.

    Excerpted from Dr. Lindsay Jones-Born

    Medicare Card Scams.... Be Aware! October 16, 2017 11:07

    29% of older Americans use four or more supplements each day October 16, 2017 10:52

    A new study reveals high use of dietary supplements by Americans 60 and older. In addition to their prescription medications, many older people are taking multiple preparations that have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

    The study, published in the October issue of the Journal of Nutrition, is based on data gathered by the government’s National Center for Health Statistics. It found that on a daily basis, 70 percent of older Americans use at least one supplement — preparations that include vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids, enzymes and other substances. Twenty-nine percent of older Americans use four or more supplements each day.

    Multivitamins and mineral supplements (39 percent) are the most commonly taken preparations, followed by vitamin D (26 percent), omega-3 (22 percent), B and B-complex vitamins (16 percent), calcium-vitamin D combinations (13 percent), vitamin C (11 percent) and calcium-only supplements (9 percent). Nine percent also use various herbal or plant-based supplements.

    The researchers found that supplement use tended to increase with age, and that people who took prescription medications were more likely to use supplements as well. Eight percent of older adults take three medications daily and at least one botanical supplement.

    That’s potentially worrisome, because some supplements can alter the effects of medications. For example, use of the herbal supplement ginkgo biloba with blood pressure medications could cause a person’s blood pressure to drop too much, and can raise the risk of bleeding for users of prescription blood thinners such as warfarin, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

    The researchers wrote that health care professionals need to carefully monitor their patients’ supplement use. In a study published in 2010, only a third of patients said their doctors had asked whether they used supplements.

    The study was conducted by researchers from the National Institutes of Health and Tufts and Purdue universities.

    Seniors Have Different Nutritional Needs October 05, 2017 20:21

    Eating well is important at any age-  adequate nutrition is necessary for health, quality of life and vitality. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, many seniors are not eating as well as they should, which can lead to poor nutrition or malnutrition, easily being mistaken as a disease or illness.

    Our bodies change as we get older, including perceptual, physiological and and general age-related conditions — such as dental or gastrointestinal conditions. These changes all influence the performance of our body as a whole, which in turn, influences our eating, nutritional intake and overall health.

    Perceptual Changes

    Perceptual changes later in life can also influence our nutrition, such as changes in hearing, smell and taste:

    Hearing: Diminished or loss of hearing also affects our nutrition and food experience. The difficulty and frustration from the inability to hold a conversation with our eating partner out at a restaurant or at a social function can limit one’s food experience.

    Smell: The loss of smell can also have a huge impact on the types of food one chooses to eat as there is a loss of satisfaction that can lead to poor food choices.

    Taste: One of the most common complaints is in regards to the diminished taste in food. As taste buds decrease, so does our taste for salty and sweet — often times making food taste more bitter or sour.

    Physiological Changes

    One reason nutritional needs change is due to physiological changes that occur later in life:

    Energy: Expenditure generally decreases with advancing age because of a decrease in basal metabolic rate and physical activity, thus decreasing caloric needs.

    Function: Our bodies also begin to experience a decrease in kidney function, redistribution of body composition and changes in our nervous system.

    Other Aging-Related Changes

    Other changes in body function may impact nutritional intake, such as:

    Dentition: The makeup of a set of teeth (including how many, their arrangement and their condition). The loss of teeth and/or ill-fitting dentures can lead to avoidance of hard and sticky foods.

    Gastrointestinal Changes: Chronic gastritis, constipation, delayed stomach emptying and gas, may lead to avoiding healthy foods, such a fruits and vegetables — the food categories that should be more emphasized rather than eliminated.

    These factors alone may contribute to why 3.7 million seniors are malnourished and shed light on the importance of educating caregivers and aging seniors as to specific dietary need options, as well as, catered senior diets and nutritional needs.

    More on malnutrition soon.....

    What is the 'Senior' Flu Shot? October 05, 2017 14:07

    Basically, it's a stronger flu shot.  Four times stronger to be precise.

    This flu vaccine could significantly reduce the risk of hospitalization among especially vulnerable seniors, a large, random clinical trial has found.

    Vaccines typically don’t work very well in older people—a problem because the flu can lead to serious respiratory infections in frail patients such as elderly nursing home residents.

    “…the rate of hospitalization for any reason, respiratory or otherwise, was significantly lower in the high-dose group…”

    While a prior study showed that older individuals could respond better to the high-dose vaccine, it focused on relatively healthy older adults, says lead author Stefan Gravenstein, professor at both the Warren Alpert Medical School and the School of Public Health at Brown University.

    It still needed to be established that it would help even the frailest folks, like those who reside in nursing homes.

    In this study, a quarter of the sample was over 90. DId the high-dose vaccine also work better than regular-dose vaccine in the population we consider least able to respond. This paper says yes, it can.

    The study compared hospitalization rates among more than 38,000 residents of 823 nursing homes in 38 states during the 2013-14 flu season based on Medicare claims data. Just under half the homes, 409 to be exact, administered the high-dose vaccine while the other 414 provided a standard dose.

    In the end, the hospitalization rate for respiratory illnesses among high-dose patients was 3.4 percent compared to 3.8 percent among standard-dose patients over the six months after vaccination. Statistical analysis revealed that the relative risk of hospitalization for respiratory illness was 12.7 percent lower for the high-dose group.

    Moreover, the rate of hospitalization for any reason, respiratory or otherwise, was significantly lower in the high-dose group as well. For every 69 people given the high-dose vaccine vs. the standard-dose vaccine, one more person stayed out of the hospital during the flu season.

    “Respiratory illness as the primary reason for hospitalization accounted for only about a third of the reduction in hospitalization that we measured,” says Gravenstein.

    For many patients, the vaccine appeared to help prevent hospitalization for other problems also, including cardiovascular symptoms.

    Nope, the flu vaccine won’t give you the flu

    Gravenstein says the finding of a significant reduction in hospitalizations was particularly notable because the predominant flu strain during the 2013-14 season, A/H1N1pdm, was believed to be less virulent in older people who had spent a long lifetime building up immunity to similar strains.

    “That there was differential protection in this context both underlines the potential importance of even low-virulence or less transmissible strains to older populations and the fact that vaccines may afford relevant effectiveness among frail older persons even when A/H1N1 predominates,” the authors write.

    The study did not find a significant difference in the rate of death. Researchers speculate that while the standard-dose vaccine might not have been strong enough to stave off illness entirely, it may still have been sufficient to prevent deaths in combination with hospital care.

    But a significant reduction in hospitalizations can still be a benefit, Gravenstein says, even though the high-dose vaccine is more expensive than the standard-dose vaccine. Especially for older, frail patients, reducing otherwise necessary trips to the hospital can maintain a higher quality of life.

    Ultimately, Gravenstein says, the study should provide nursing home leadership with useful information to consider as they plan for future flu seasons.

    Aging in Place by Rebalancing Medicaid Spending September 19, 2017 18:30

    The state of Washington directs 65 percent of its Medicaid long-term spending to home and community-based services rather than to nursing homes.The national average is 41%.

    Washington state has realized $4.4 billion dollars in savings over the last 18 years as a result of focusing on this more personal level of long-term care.

    Glaucoma and cataracts are common eye conditions affecting seniors - Why? September 09, 2017 13:25

    Eye problems and disorders are common in the elderly population. Laser surgeries and other treatments exist to correct and even reverse some of these aging-related conditions. The key is to detect them early. Regular eye exams will help detect vision problems before they become serious. Here is a list of common age-related eye problems that can affect people at various stages in life but often affect the elderly.


    Your eye has a lens that helps it to focus. The lens is made of protein. When protein molecules clump, a cloudy spot (called a cataract) forms. This is common in older people. Because cataracts grow slowly, your eye doctor may simply monitor a cataract until it interferes with your vision. Cataract surgery is a very common procedure to remove the cataract from your eye. Talk to your doctor about alternatives if you're not ready to have surgery.

    Dry Eye

    Your eyelids have lacrimal glands that produce tears, and they drain into your tear ducts in your lower eyelids. If your lacrimal glands stop working well, your eyes will become dry and uncomfortable. Eye drops can help, but have your eyes checked. There may be a simple procedure to partially plug your tear ducts (to keep tears from draining too fast).


    The eye is filled with fluid. If too much pressure develops in the eye, it is called glaucoma. 

    Over time, this build-up of pressure can damage the optic nerve and cause blindness. Luckily, this pressure develops slowly and routine eye exams can detect glaucoma before it becomes dangerous.

    Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) 

    This is a very long term for loss of central vision. The macula is a part of the retina that processes central vision.  Sometimes with aging, the macula deteriorates. This causes problems with driving, reading and many common tasks. Treatment can include laser surgery on the macula.

    Diabetic Retinopathy 

    Because of problems with diabetes, the tiny blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients to the retina become less effective, which leads to vision problems. Treatment includes laser surgery and a surgical process known as a vitrectomy. All diabetics should have annual eye exams.

    Retinal Detachment 

    The layers of the retina can detach from the underlying support tissue. If untreated, retinal detachment can cause loss of vision or blindness. Symptoms include an increase in the type and number of "floaters" in your eyes, seeing bright flashes, feeling as if a curtain has been pulled over the field of vision, or seeing straight lines that appear curvy. Surgery and laser treatment can often reattach the layers of the retina.


    National Institute of Aging. Aging and Your Eyes. Bound for Your Good Health. Pages 69-72.

    Turning 65 Soon? September 06, 2017 12:26

    If you are, well, congratulations.  If you are planning on signing up for Medicare, here are the 'basic' basics to know before enrollment begins October 15th.  

    Also, you should start browsing

    Is Your Doctor Aware of How Expensive are the Drugs He/She Prescribes? September 06, 2017 12:22

    FYI...This is NOT medical advice. Talk to your health care provider.

    In 2013, pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts estimated that the United States wasted $418 billion on “bad medication-related decisions”—with $55.8 billion alone on high-priced medications when more affordable drugs could have been used instead.

    Expensive is simply not always better.

    Here are ten prescriptions that are usually very expensive, even with insurance. All of them have cheaper alternatives that work just as well.

    1. Vimovo. This is a mixture of the anti-inflammatory naproxen and generic Nexium, which is esomeprazole. Here’s an idea: instead of paying hundreds of dollars for this, get generic naproxen 500 mg tablets and 20 mg tablets of esomeprazole and there you have it: your own Vimovo for just pennies.

    2. Dexilant. This is a very expensive brand-name proton pump inhibitor (a class of drugs that includes Prilosecand Protonix). A number of studies have compared the various proton pump inhibitors to one another and while some differences have been reported, they have been small and of little clinical importance. Do yourself a favor and give lansoprazole or pantoprazole a try instead.

    3. Benicar. Used for high blood pressure, this is an expensive brand-name angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) in a class that has many generic options. Benicar is certainly no better than the cheaper drugs in the class (valsartan and losartan are examples). Plus, Benicar can produce a “sprue-like enteropathy” which gives you severe chronic diarrhea and weight loss, and can occur months to years after starting the drug. Hmmm.

    4. Vytorin. This is a mixture of simvastatin and Zetia (ezetimibe). Unless you’ve recently had a heart attack, you don’t need to waste money on this and here is why: statins, like the cheap generic simvastatin alone, are the first choice in virtually all patients with high cholesterol in whom the goal is reduction of cardiovascular risk. People have been paying for Vytorin for years and yet it remains “uncertain” whether the combo of simvastatin and Zetia that makes up Vytorin provides additional clinical benefit. A recent study showed benefit in people hospitalized after heart attack but for most people, stick with just the simvastatin part and don’t bother with the combo.

    5. Bystolic. There is no evidence this beta blocker is better than two similar generic options, metoprolol and carvedilol. Bystolic is what is known as a “beta 1 selective” beta blocker used for the treatment of high blood pressure and it does provide a survival benefit in patients with heart failure. Sounds great, right—but wait. In heart failure patients, there are three beta blockers that have shown survival benefit. You guessed it: metoprolol, carvedilol, and Bystolic. Metoprolol and carvedilol are generic and much cheaper so there is no reason to pay money here.

    6. Zafirlukast (Accolate). Though available as a generic, it is still much pricier than the other option in the same class, montelukast (Singulair). There is no proof that zafirlukast is any better than montelukast for asthma, and in fact, montelukast is usually preferred because it is used once daily and can be taken at any time in relation to meals.

    7. Celecoxib (Celebrex). Celebrex, used for arthritis, has just recently become available as generic celecoxib so it’s still quite expensive and many folks pay a high price for it. However, meloxicam (Mobic), another Cox-2 inhibitor similar to celecoxib, is much cheaper and also works well for the treatment of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

    8. Pristiq. This is an expensive brand-name SNRI antidepressant used for depression and fibromyalgia. There is no evidence that Pristiq is any better than the cheaper generic duloxetine (Cymbalta) for fibromyalgia. For depression, there are two generic SNRI options in this class, venlafaxine and duloxetine. You should try those first before paying for Pristiq.

    9. Pataday. These antihistamine eye drops are used for red, itchy eyes related to allergies. Patanol and Pataday are expensive brand name eye drops in this class which includes azelastine (Optivar) as a good generic option that is much cheaper. Pataday carries the advantage of once daily dosing compared to twice a day but is it worth the cost?

    10. Avodart. Two 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors are approved in the US for symptoms related to enlarged prostate: Proscar (finasteride) and Avodart (dutasteride). One is cheap, one is not. In a large one-year study, finasteride and the more expensive Avodart worked just as well for reduction in prostate volume, urinary flow rate and urinary symptom scores, and adverse effects were similar. Don’t waste your money on Avodart when you can save on finasteride.

    13 Benefits of Yoga That Are Supported by Science September 02, 2017 17:32

    Evidence Based

    13 Benefits of Yoga That Are Supported by Science

    Derived from the Sanskrit word “yuji,” meaning yoke or union, yoga is an ancient practice that brings together mind and body (1).

    It incorporates breathing exercises, meditation and poses designed to encourage relaxation and reduce stress.

    Practicing yoga is said to come with many benefits for both mental and physical health, though not all of these benefits have been backed by science.

    This article takes a look at 13 evidence-based benefits of yoga. I've listed the benfits at right here...the complete article is below.

    1. Can Decrease Stress

    2. Relieves Anxiety

    3. May Reduce Inflammation

    4. Could Improve Heart Health

    5. Improves Quality of Life

    6. May Fight Depression


    7. Could Reduce Chronic Pain


    8. Could Promote Sleep Quality

    9. Improves Flexibility and Balance


    10. Could Help Improve Breathing


    11. May Relieve Migraines

    12. Promotes Healthy Eating Habits


    13. Can Increase Strength

    The Bottom Line

    Multiple studies have confirmed the many mental and physical benefits of yoga.

    Incorporating it into your routine can help enhance your health, increase strength and flexibility and reduce symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety.

    Finding the time to practice yoga just a few times per week may be enough to make a noticeable difference when it comes to your health.

    1. Can Decrease Stress

    Yoga is known for its ability to ease stress and promote relaxation.

    In fact, multiple studies have shown that it can decrease the secretion of cortisol, the primary stress hormone (2, 3).

    One study demonstrated the powerful effect of yoga on stress by following 24 women who perceived themselves as emotionally distressed.

    After a three-month yoga program, the women had significantly lower levels of cortisol. They also had lower levels of stress, anxiety, fatigue and depression (4).

    Another study of 131 people had similar results, showing that 10 weeks of yoga helped reduce stress and anxiety. It also helped improve quality of life and mental health (5).

    When used alone or along with other methods of alleviating stress, such as meditation, yoga can be a powerful way to keep stress in check.

    SUMMARY:Studies show that yoga can help ease stress and lower your levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

    2. Relieves Anxiety

    Many people begin practicing yoga as a way to cope with feelings of anxiety.

    Interestingly enough, there is quite a bit of research showing that yoga can help reduce anxiety.

    In one study, 34 women diagnosed with an anxiety disorder participated in yoga classes twice weekly for two months.

    At the end of the study, those who practiced yoga had significantly lower levels of anxiety than the control group (6).

    Another study followed 64 women with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is characterized by severe anxiety and fear following exposure to a traumatic event.

    After 10 weeks, the women who practiced yoga once weekly had fewer symptoms of PTSD. In fact, 52% of participants no longer met the criteria for PTSD at all (7).

    It’s not entirely clear exactly how yoga is able to reduce symptoms of anxiety. However, it emphasizes the importance of being present in the moment and finding a sense of peace, which could help treat anxiety.

    SUMMARY:Several studies show that practicing yoga can lead to a decrease in symptoms of anxiety.

    3. May Reduce Inflammation

    In addition to improving your mental health, some studies suggest that practicing yoga may reduce inflammation as well.

    Inflammation is a normal immune response, but chronic inflammation can contribute to the development of pro-inflammatory diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer (8).

    A 2015 study divided 218 participants into two groups: those who practiced yoga regularly and those who didn’t. Both groups then performed moderate and strenuous exercises to induce stress.

    At the end of the study, the individuals who practiced yoga had lower levels of inflammatory markers than those who didn’t (9).

    Similarly, a small 2014 study showed that 12 weeks of yoga reduced inflammatory markers in breast cancer survivors with persistent fatigue (10).

    Although more research is needed to confirm the beneficial effects of yoga on inflammation, these findings indicate that it may help protect against certain diseases caused by chronic inflammation.

    SUMMARY:Some studies show that yoga may reduce inflammatory markers in the body and help prevent pro-inflammatory disease

    4. Could Improve Heart Health

    From pumping blood throughout the body to supplying tissues with important nutrients, the health of your heart is an essential component of overall health.

    Studies show that yoga may help improve heart health and reduce several risk factors for heart disease.

    One study found that participants over 40 years of age who practiced yoga for five years had a lower blood pressure and pulse rate than those who didn’t (11).

    High blood pressure is one of the major causes of heart problems, such as heart attacks and stroke. Lowering your blood pressure can help reduce the risk of these problems (12).

    Some research also suggests that incorporating yoga into a healthy lifestyle could help slow the progression of heart disease.

    A study followed 113 patients with heart disease, looking at the effects of a lifestyle change that included one year of yoga training combined with dietary modifications and stress management.

    Participants saw a 23% decrease in total cholesterol and a 26% reduction in “bad” LDL cholesterol. Additionally, the progression of heart disease stopped in 47% of patients (13).

    It’s unclear how much of a role yoga may have had versus other factors like diet. Yet it can minimize stress, one of the major contributors to heart disease (14).

    SUMMARY:Alone or in combination with a healthy lifestyle, yoga may help decrease risk factors for heart disease.

    5. Improves Quality of Life

    Yoga is becoming increasingly common as an adjunct therapy to improve quality of life for many individuals.

    In one study, 135 seniors were assigned to either six months of yoga, walking or a control group. Practicing yoga significantly improved quality of life, as well as mood and fatigue, compared to the other groups (15).

    Other studies have looked at how yoga can improve quality of life and reduce symptoms in patients with cancer.

    One study followed women with breast cancer undergoing chemotherapy. Yoga decreased symptoms of chemotherapy, such as nausea and vomiting, while also improving overall quality of life (16).

    A similar study looked at how eight weeks of yoga affected women with breast cancer. At the end of the study, the women had less pain and fatigue with improvements in levels of invigoration, acceptance and relaxation (17).

    Other studies have found that yoga may help improve sleep quality, enhance spiritual well-being, improve social function and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression in patients with cancer (18, 19).

    SUMMARY:Some studies show that yoga could improve quality of life and may be used as an adjunct therapy for some conditions.

    6. May Fight Depression

    Some studies show that yoga may have an anti-depressant effect and could help decrease symptoms of depression.

    This may be because yoga is able to decrease levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that influences levels of serotonin, the neurotransmitter often associated with depression (20).

    In one study, participants in an alcohol dependence program practiced Sudarshan Kriya, a specific type of yoga that focuses on rhythmic breathing.

    After two weeks, participants had fewer symptoms of depression and lower levels of cortisol. They also had lower levels of ACTH, a hormone responsible for stimulating the release of cortisol (2).

    Other studies have had similar results, showing an association between practicing yoga and decreased symptoms of depression (21, 22).

    Based on these results, yoga may help fight depression, alone or in combination with traditional methods of treatment.

    SUMMARY:Several studies have found that yoga may decrease symptoms of depression by influencing the production of stress hormones in the body.

    7. Could Reduce Chronic Pain

    Chronic pain is a persistent problem that affects millions of people and has a range of possible causes, from injuries to arthritis.

    There is a growing body of research demonstrating that practicing yoga could help reduce many types of chronic pain.

    In one study, 42 individuals with carpal tunnel syndrome either received a wrist splint or did yoga for eight weeks.

    At the end of the study, yoga was found to be more effective in reducing pain and improving grip strength than wrist splinting (23).

    Another study in 2005 showed that yoga could help decrease pain and improve physical function in participants with osteoarthritis of the knees (24).

    Although more research is needed, incorporating yoga into your daily routine may be beneficial for those who suffer from chronic pain.

    SUMMARY:Yoga may help reduce chronic pain in conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome and osteoarthritis.

    8. Could Promote Sleep Quality

    Poor sleep quality has been associated with obesity, high blood pressure and depression, among other disorders (25, 26, 27).

    Studies show that incorporating yoga into your routine could help promote better sleep.

    In a 2005 study, 69 elderly patients were assigned to either practice yoga, take an herbal preparation or be part of the control group.

    The yoga group fell asleep faster, slept longer and felt more well-rested in the morning than the other groups (28).

    Another study looked at the effects of yoga on sleep in patients with lymphoma. They found that it decreased sleep disturbances, improved sleep quality and duration and reduced the need for sleep medications (29).

    Though the way it works is not clear, yoga has been shown to increase the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep and wakefulness (30).

    Yoga also has a significant effect on anxiety, depression, chronic pain and stress — all common contributors to sleep problems.

    SUMMARY:Yoga may help enhance sleep quality because of its effects on melatonin and its impact on several common contributors to sleep problems.

    9. Improves Flexibility and Balance

    Many people add yoga to their fitness routine to improve flexibility and balance.

    There is considerable research that backs this benefit, demonstrating that it can optimize performance through the use of specific poses that target flexibility and balance.

    A recent study looked at the impact of 10 weeks of yoga on 26 male college athletes. Doing yoga significantly increased several measures of flexibility and balance, compared to the control group (31).

    Another study assigned 66 elderly participants to either practice yoga or calisthenics, a type of body weight exercise.

    After one year, total flexibility of the yoga group increased by nearly four times that of the calisthenics group (32).

    A 2013 study also found that practicing yoga could help improve balance and mobility in older adults (33).

    Practicing just 15–30 minutes of yoga each day could make a big difference for those looking to enhance performance by increasing flexibility and balance.

    SUMMARY:Research shows that practicing yoga can help improve balance and increase flexibility.

    10. Could Help Improve Breathing

    Pranayama, or yogic breathing, is a practice in yoga that focuses on controlling the breath through breathing exercises and techniques.

    Most types of yoga incorporate these breathing exercises, and several studies have found that practicing yoga could help improve breathing.

    In one study, 287 college students took a 15-week class where they were taught various yoga poses and breathing exercises. At the end of the study, they had a significant increase in vital capacity (34).

    Vital capacity is a measure of the maximum amount of air that can be expelled from the lungs. It is especially important for those with lung disease, heart problems and asthma.

    Another study in 2009 found that practicing yogic breathing improved symptoms and lung function in patients with mild-to-moderate asthma (35).

    Improving breathing can help build endurance, optimize performance and keep your lungs and heart healthy.

    SUMMARY:Yoga incorporates many breathing exercises, which could help improve breathing and lung function.

    11. May Relieve Migraines

    Migraines are severe recurring headaches that affect an estimated 1 out of 7 Americans each year (36).

    Traditionally, migraines are treated with medications to relieve and manage symptoms.

    However, increasing evidence shows that yoga could be a useful adjunct therapy to help reduce migraine frequency.

    A 2007 study divided 72 patients with migraines into either a yoga therapy or self-care group for three months. Practicing yoga led to reductions in headache intensity, frequency and pain compared to the self-care group (37).

    Another study treated 60 patients with migraines using conventional care with or without yoga. Doing yoga resulted in a greater decrease in headache frequency and intensity than conventional care alone (38).

    Researchers suggest that doing yoga may help stimulate the vagus nerve, which has been shown to be effective in relieving migraines (39).

    SUMMARY:Studies show that yoga may stimulate the vagus nerve and reduce migraine intensity and frequency, alone or in combination with conventional care.

    12. Promotes Healthy Eating Habits

    Mindful eating, also known as intuitive eating, is a concept that encourages being present in the moment while eating.

    It’s about paying attention to the taste, smell and texture of your food and noticing any thoughts, feelings or sensations you experience while eating.

    This practice has been shown to promote healthy eating habits that help control blood sugar, increase weight loss and treat disordered eating behaviors (40, 41, 42).

    Because yoga places a similar emphasis on mindfulness, some studies show that it could be used to encourage healthy eating behaviors.

    One study incorporated yoga into an outpatient eating disorder treatment program with 54 patients, finding that yoga helped reduce both eating disorder symptoms and preoccupation with food (43).

    Another small study looked at how yoga affected symptoms of binge eating disorder, a disorder characterized by compulsive overeating and a feeling of loss of control.

    Yoga was found to cause a decrease in episodes of binge eating, an increase in physical activity and a small decrease in weight (44).

    For those with and without disordered eating behaviors, practicing mindfulness through yoga can aid in the development of healthy eating habits.

    SUMMARY:Yoga encourages mindfulness, which may be used to help promote mindful eating and healthy eating habits.

    13. Can Increase Strength

    In addition to improving flexibility, yoga is a great addition to an exercise routine for its strength-building benefits.

    In fact, there are specific poses in yoga that are designed to increase strength and build muscle.

    In one study, 79 adults performed 24 cycles of sun salutations — a series of foundational poses often used as a warm-up — six days a week for 24 weeks.

    They experienced a significant increase in upper body strength, endurance and weight loss. Women had a decrease in body fat percentage, as well (45).

    A 2015 study had similar findings, showing that 12 weeks of practice led to improvements in endurance, strength and flexibility in 173 participants (46).

    Based on these findings, practicing yoga can be an effective way to boost strength and endurance, especially when used in combination with a regular exercise routine.

    SUMMARY:Some studies show that yoga can cause an increase in strength, endurance and flexibility.

    The Bottom Line

    Multiple studies have confirmed the many mental and physical benefits of yoga.

    Incorporating it into your routine can help enhance your health, increase strength and flexibility and reduce symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety.

    Finding the time to practice yoga just a few times per week may be enough to make a noticeable difference when it comes to your health.

    Lowfat Protein in Your Diet August 31, 2017 16:29

    Protein contains essential amino acids needed to maintain many aspects of your health, including regulating growth and development and supporting lean muscle mass. Unfortunately many good sources of protein are also high in fat. Fats that come from animals, such as saturated fat and cholesterol, can contribute to elevated cholesterol levels, heart disease and stroke. Choosing lean meats and other low-fat protein sources helps you get the amino acids your body requires without the added fat and calories.

    1. Beans

    Consider increasing your intake of garbanzo beans, black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, lentils and soybeans. Good fiber, too!

    2. Grains

    Whole wheat bread, but watch for carb intake. Quinoa is easy to prepare and great in salads. Oatmeal is another good breakfast choice (not the sugary stuff.) Couscous, buckwheat, millet, brown rice and whole-wheat foods also provide low-fat vegetarian protein.

    3. Lean meats

    Such as chicken and turkey.

    4. Seafood

    Yes it can be pricey, but  a 3- ounce portion of bass, carp, cod, flounder, haddock or halibut provides you with 15 to 20 grams of protein!  Steam, bake or grill these seafood options to keep them low-fat.

    Many Seniors Face Isolation, Hunger August 31, 2017 16:09

    Even the most healthy and active among us, if fortunate to live long enough, may face some of the biggest threats of aging: hunger, isolation and loss of independence. With an average life expectancy nearing 80, living longer means more years spent in the struggles that accompany old age. Add to that the increase in geographic separation of our families and the result is millions of seniors left behind, hungry and alone.

    While we all celebrate the increase in lifespan, maintaining health while aging comes at a price. Without support from programs like Meals on Wheels, millions of seniors are forced to prematurely trade their homes for more costly alternatives.


    • 10.2 million seniors in America face the threat of hunger - that's 1 in 6!
    • 15.2 million seniors are isolated, living alone
    • 18.4 million seniors have difficulty paying for basic living needs
    • The senior population is projected to double by 2050