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Aging News

Presented here are a variety of news items of current national and global interest to the aging community. Subjects range from the results of medical research and scientfic breakthroughs to public policy and general quality of life issues. Please keep in mind that the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disabilty is neither responsible for the content on the linked sites, nor does the inclusion of a linked item imply an endorsement of the content. These links are provided for informational purposes only, and it is up to the individual reader to determine the merit and reliability of each news item.

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You can also get useful news and information from AARP Tennessee.


Seniors Safer Exercising Indoors in Winter


As of this post, winter is over, but this article from The Tennessean offers exercise tips good year round. (And we have it on good authority that we'll have another winter next year.)


Added March 22, 2013

Why Your Grandma Should Start Playing Xbox


A study reveals a link between happiness—better emotional functioning—and video games for those seniors who play them at least occasionally. The article suggests humorously that it might be worth "setting aside some time with grandma and grandpa to school them in the nuances." Could it be that time spent learning and playing the games with children and grandchildren explains at least some of the benefit?


Added March 7, 2013

How Boomers Will Shift the Economy


Tom Sightings writes for U.S. News and World Report about the market impact of aging consumers, both as purchasers and as signposts for investors.


Added February 22, 2013

Why Long-Married Couples Split


An article by Dr. Pepper Schwartz from AARP discussing the impact of longer lifespans, as well as other factors, on marriage. Despite declining divorce rates over time, could greater longevity cause a new spike?


Added February 22, 2013

PET Scans Helpful, But Not Definitive for Alzheimer's Diagnosis


A discussion of the appropriate application of positron emission tomography, or PET, scans toward diagnosing Alzheimer's Disease in dementia sufferers. *Alzheimer's is a form of dementia, but not the only form that dementia takes, and it does present unique symptoms. Amyloid brain plaque is recognized as a physical symptom of Alzheimer's, but its presence could previously only be confirmed with an autopsy following death.

PET scans can now be used to detect brain amyloid in the living, but the scans are not appropriate for everyone, and this report helps clarify their proper use.


Added January 31, 2013

Scientists Test Brain Pacemakers to Zap Alzheimer's


Researchers are taking a new approach to Alzheimer's treatment, choosing to test the effects of mild electric deep brain stimulation rather than continue to rely primarily on drugs and pharmaceutical research.


The Search for Successful Alzheimer's Treatments Moves in New Direction reports on the same investigation and offers additional information.


Added January 24, 2013

Whole Body Vibration May Help Elderly Get Up and Go


This Reuters story discusses the potential benefits of vibration therapy, used in conjuction with exercise and diet, on the physical capacity of seniors. "[S]tints on a vibrating platform may help older adults become slightly stronger, faster and more agile," according to the report. It is clear that studies are in the early stages, with questions remaining.


More information is available online about the study of whole body vibration, including a brief review on the Mayo Clinic website.


Added January 18, 2013

Social Security: Eligibility Age Still 65 for Medicare Coverage


The elaborates on the age of eligibility for Medicare and provides useful web addresses for more information, as well as enrollment.


Added January 2, 2013

Caregivers Must Approach Dementia Patients As People


The Tennessean presents an opinion piece on the use of antipsychotics in nursing homes, the consequences of the misapplication of those drugs, and the policies that may lead to their use.


Added December 26, 2012

Additions to Social Security Compassionate Allowances Program


The Social Security Administration has announced that it will add 35 additional conditions to its Compassionate Allowances program. The program accelerates the decision-making process with respect to disability benefits, and the announced change will bring the total number of qualifying conditions to 200.


Added December 7, 2012

Just like a second job: Struggles faced by Alzheimer's caregivers go beyond the home


For those of you in the workforce and also working on behalf of someone with dementia, an article from discussing the increasing demands placed upon caregivers.


Added November 30, 2012

Celebrating Thanksgiving with 'Generation Alzheimer's'


This CNN article discusses the challenges of sharing the holidays with loved ones who, because of dementia, may not experience them as they did in the past. In addition to personal stories, there are tips for navigating the season that may be beneficial both to those suffering from dementia, as well as their families and caregivers.


Added November 21, 2012

A Risky Lifeline for the Elderly is Costing Some Their Homes


A New York Times article on the risks associated with reverse mortgages. "Concerns about the multibillion-dollar reverse mortgage market echo those raised in the lead-up to the financial crisis when consumers were marketed loans — often carrying hidden risks — that they could not afford."


Added October 19, 2012

Seniors on Social Security Squeezed by Rising Prices


This CNN Money article discusses the continuing disconnect between Social Security payment amounts and the rising cost of living for those who rely on those payments.


Added October 19, 2012

Medicare Part D is Working Well in Tennessee


Adrienne Newman reports for The Tennessean, discussing the positive impact of the Medicare Part D program at a time when government spending is receiving intense scrutiny.


Added October 19, 2012

Men Find Purpose, Joy in Caring for Aging Relatives


This is a wonderful article written by Jessica Bliss for The Tennessean. While focused on the changing demographics of caregiving, the story also presents a very engaging look at the challenges and rewards of the caregiving role, as well as the symptoms and lifestyle changes associated with dementia sufferers and their families. Whether you are a caregiver or not, this is something everyone should read.


Added September 21, 2012

Evidence Some Blood Pressure Medication May Slow Alzheimer's


No clinical trials have yet been done, but a recent study suggests that angiotensin receptor blockers, taken as blood pressure medication, may reduce the plaque associated with Alzheimer's Disease. The medications include losartan (Cozaar), Candesartan (Atacand), irbesartan (Avapro), olmesartan (Benicar), valsartan (Diovan), telmisartan (Micardis) and eprosartan (Teveten).


For the full article, click here.


Added September 18, 2012

September is National Senior Center Month!


Senior centers have evolved to offer much more than the average person might expect. They have become centers of fitness, travel and transportation, dining, and possibly employment, and in most cases they are open to anyone aged 50 or older. With America's senior population on the rise, now is a great time to investigate the opportunities and experiences your nearest senior center has to offer.


For more information, click here to visit the National Council on Aging's website.


Added September 18, 2012

Tennessee Elders Increasingly Victims of Abuse


Nashville's WSMV highlights a recent Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) report documenting a rise in crime against the elderly. For a variety of reasons, elders are among those at greatest risk of criminal victimization.


For the article and a link to the full TBI report, click here.


Added August 27, 2012

National Alzheimer's Plan


America now has a proposed long-term plan for preventing and more aggressively treating Alzheimer's Disease by the year 2025. The plan is intended to focus necessary resources toward what is clearly a growing a problem. However, it is important to note that the plan has not yet been funded by Congress.


To learn more about the plan, click here.


To contact your members of Congress to urge them to fund the plan, click here.


Added August 27, 2012

Gammagard Clinical Trials


July brought news of promising results from Gammagard, a potential treatment for Alzheimer's Disease that may actually prevent decline. The benefits of existing Alzheimer's medications, Aricept and Namenda, are only temporary.


For further details about the study, which is scheduled to move into larger scale trials later in 2012, click here.


Added August 15, 2012

Elders Providing Elder Care


"More than 60 percent of all eldercare comes from people who are 45 and older, and a sixth of all eldercare is provided by other elders," according to a U.S. News and World Report article that breaks down some of the numbers from The 2011 American Time Use Survey.


To read the full article for yourself, click here.


Added August 10, 2012