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Hosting a Healthy Super Bowl Party

Posted on: January 16th, 2015 by Steven Katz

Easy tips to reduce the calories of favorite Super Bowl foodsThanksgiving

Game day is almost here! And just as Americans eat turkey for Thanksgiving and chocolate for Valentine’s Day, certain foods have become Super Bowl  traditions. Unfortunately, these easy-to-eat munchies aren’t necessarily the healthiest. New York-Presbyterian Hospital experts offer some tips for adapting some of these classic dishes so you can eat healthy while cheering for your favorite team:

  • Nacho Layer Dip: Replace with a seven-layer dip for a festive, tasty alternative. Layer avocado, low-fat Greek yogurt, black beans, tomatoes, lettuce and cheddar cheese for a dip that’s high in fiber and low in fat. Serve with baked pita chips to save even more calories. You save: 900 calories and 60 grams of fat.
  • Baked Chicken Fingers: Instead of fried, bake your own at home. Bread chicken breast tenders in crushed cornflakes and then bake until crispy. Save calories by making an easy honey mustard using honey and spicy mustard instead of store bought. You save: 400 calories and 15 grams of fat.
  • Kale chips instead of potato chips: Kale is all the rage right now, as are the chips made from its leaves. Kale chips are simple to make — tear the leaves into small pieces, rub with olive oil, sprinkle on some sea salt and spices, and toss in the oven. You’ll not only save calories and fat, but you’ll also get your fill of nutrients such as Vitamins A and C, potassium and calcium. You save: 340 calories and 25 grams of fat.
  • Turkey Chili: With just a few simple substitutions, you can cut over half of the total fat as well as unhealthy saturated fat, without losing any of the beloved flavors. Replace ground beef with lean ground turkey or lean ground sirloin to lower the saturated fat. Top with reduced-fat cheese to further reduce the calories. You save: 100 calories and 8 grams of fat.
  • Pizza: Instead of delivery, make your own at home! Use a pre-packaged thin crust or a whole wheat tortilla, top with tomato sauce and a mix of full-fat and reduced-fat cheese to save in both calories and fat. If you still are craving your favorite delivery, choose a thin crust style and cut the slices in half. You save: 100-150 calories and 5 grams of fat.
  • Light Beer: Light beer saves about 40 calories per bottle. A good rule of thumb is for every drink you consume, drink a glass of water. This will help to pace yourself — an important element, because light beer or not — those calories add up! You save: 40 calories per bottle.

Source: New York-Presbyterian Hospital, adapted by IlluminAge AgeWise.

Raining? Snowing? That’s No Reason to Skimp on Physical Activity

Posted on: January 12th, 2015 by Steven Katz

Mom always told us to get outside for some exercise. But if you’re like many of us in the U.S. these Workoutdays, freezing cold, snow and ice might make it unsafe—at the least unpleasant—to get our workout in the great outdoors.

If it’s too cold, rainy or icy (or in a few months, too hot), it takes a little creativity to be active indoors. The National Institute on Aging (NIA) offers these great ideas for seniors who want to get some exercise even when weather conditions aren’t great:

  • Walk on the treadmill, ride the stationary bike, or use the rowing machine that’s gathering dust in your bedroom or basement. Or use one at a nearby gym or fitness center.
  • Work out with an exercise DVD. You can get a free one from the NIA’s Go4Life program (
  • Go bowling with friends.
  • Join a local mall walking group.
  • Walk around an art gallery or museum to catch a new exhibit.
  • Check out an exercise class at your neighborhood Y or senior center.
  • If you like dancing, take a Zumba or salsa class.
  • Try yoga or Tai Chi.
  • Go to the gym and work on your strength, balance, and flexibility exercises or set up your own home gym. All you need is a sturdy chair, a towel, and some weights. Soup cans or water bottles will do if you don’t have your own set of weights.
  • Go to an indoor pool and swim laps or try water aerobics.
  • How about a game of indoor tennis, hockey, basketball or soccer?
  • Go indoor ice skating or roller skating.
  • Maybe it’s time for some heavy-duty cleaning. Vacuum, mop, sweep. Dust those hard-to-reach areas.
  • Play ping pong with the grandkids.

The NIA reminds us that we’re more likely to exercise if it’s convenient. Put your weights next to the sofa so you can do some lifting while you watch TV. Walk around the house while you’re talking on the phone. Make an extra trip up and down the stairs when you do the laundry.
Visit to find more tips and resources for staying active.

Source: National Institute on Aging, adapted by IlluminAge AgeWise.

What Does Successful Aging Really Mean?

Posted on: January 4th, 2015 by Steven Katz

When we talk about “successful aging,” many Americans think of models in senior productLong Term Care Planning Sterling Care advertisements who—apart from their silver hair—seem to be untouched by age as they pose on the golf course, walk on the beach or dance the night away.

But few of us retain our physical and cognitive health indefinitely. Most of us will deal with increasing disability as the years advance, and while disease and disability aren’t “a normal part of aging,” they are challenges we are likely to face. According to a recent report from the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 40 percent of people older than 65 have at least one disability.

A researcher from University of Louisville recently urged that we reconsider our preconceptions of “successful aging.” Nursing professor Valerie Lander McCarthy, Ph.D., RN, collaborated with a visiting professor from China to develop a different definition of positive aging.

McCarthy says that it is unrealistic to measure “positive aging” solely on physical and mental capacity. She says that if they don’t fall into the 10 percent with exceptional physical and cognitive health, “older adults feel guilty when they get sick because they think they are not succeeding—and in the U.S., succeeding is important.”

McCarthy’s work with Shandong University’s Ji Hong appeared in the Journal of Transcultural Nursing. The team said, “Transcendence—a sense of meaning, well-being and life satisfaction—is the best predictor of positive aging. The concept involves relationships, creativity, contemplation, introspection and spirituality.”

McCarthy has worked with interventions to increase this type of positive aging. These include encouraging “a time for quiet solitude in natural beauty followed by a discussion about a person’s outlook, helping to develop a broadened perspective on life or a feeling of being an integral part of the cycle of life.” McCarthy says storytelling can also be beneficial.

“Successful aging is important for the rapidly growing population of older adults and their families and caregivers,” says McCarthy.  She urges more attention to interventions that promote a sense of successful aging, and reminds us:  “It is also significant for society as a whole, which will bear the burden of unprecendented demands on helath and aging services. “

Source: IlluminAgeAgeWise reporting on study from University of Louisville.

Is Online Socialization Really Socialization?

Posted on: January 4th, 2015 by Steven Katz

Spending time with others is crucial for the physical and cognitive health and all-around quality of lifeSenior couple at laptop of seniors. University of Chicago researcher John Cacioppo even says, “Chronic loneliness belongs among other health risk factors such as smoking, obesity or lack of exercise.”

But many seniors live alone. Mobility challenges, retirement, vision problems, perhaps the loss of spouse and friends—all make it harder to stay connected.

Fortunately, like people of every age these days, many seniors are supplementing in-person social connections with social media and other online technologies. Indeed, Pew Research Center reports that people over 65 are the fastest growing group to take up email, Facebook, Twitter, blogging, Skype and other electronic communications. The question is: Are these forms of communication really effective in meeting the social needs of older adults?

Many experts say yes! While online connections can’t completely take the place of in-person visits, or a hug, or meaningful time spent in the presence of others, studies are showing that it can be a beneficial supplement to more traditional human interaction:

  • Online social contact builds continuity in relationships, allowing for frequent interaction that was not available in the days when letters or long distance phone calls provided the only connection with far away friends and loved ones.
  • Online communications provide intellectual stimulation, keeping seniors in touch not only with friends and families, but with the world at large.
  • These technologies can be a lifeline for those with health problems that keep them confined to home.
  • Seniors who socialize online are also likely to increase their in-person social activities.

In December 2014, University of Exeter researchers reported the results of a two-year experimental program that supplied vulnerable older adults aged 60 to 95 with a computer, broadband connection, and training. Reported the team: “Those trained had heightened feelings of self-competence, engaged more in social activity, had a stronger sense of personal identity and showed improved cognitive capacity. These factors led to overall better mental health and well-being.”

Said senior participant Margaret Keohone, “Having this training changes people’s lives and opens up their worlds, invigorates their minds and for lots of us gives us a completely different way of recognizing our worth as we age.” Keohone said that before she began the program, “I was just slipping away into a slower way of life.”

Families, senior living communities and other organizations that serve the senior population are finding that with a little help getting set up, older adults can take advantage of these tools to feel more plugged in to family and community events.

Copyright © IlluminAge AgeWise, 2015.

Benzodiazepine Use for Seniors

Posted on: January 2nd, 2015 by Steven Katz

The National Institute of Mental Health cautions that benzodiazepines—sedative and anti-anxietyLorazepam sedative and hypnotic drug (benzodiazepine class), che drugs such as Valium, Xanax and Ativan—can be dangerous for seniors, even raising the risk of Alzheimer’s. Yet older adults are prescribed these drugs more than any other age group.


Source: AgeWise

U.S. Government Approves Skin Cancer Treatment

Posted on: January 2nd, 2015 by Steven Katz

The Food and Drug Administration has recently approved Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.’s Opdivo, a Vials and Syringetreatment for advanced skin cancer. It is a new drug in the cancer immunotherapy market. This drug marks the PD-1 protein, a molecular brake that keeps the immune system from seeing tumors as invaders and allows cancer to stay away from any harm.

Learn more here.

Using Electronic Gadgets Before Bedtime

Posted on: January 2nd, 2015 by Steven Katz

A study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston show that using electronic gadgets beforeiStock_000038929044Medium bedtime may alter your sleeping pattern. Electronic gadgets transmit a shorter wavelength of light than the reflected encompassing light from a printed book, another study found. Experts also say that shorter wavelengths curbs the release of melatonin, the hormone that helps you sleep. Read more here to learn more about some facts and tips about this topic.

The Making of an Influenza Immunization

Posted on: January 2nd, 2015 by Steven Katz

What are flu vaccines are made of? How is it made up? Read more here to know more about the Vials and Syringeprocesses in making an influenza vaccine and how the scientists study it further to develop a quality vaccine to cure influenza.

New Census Bureau Report Underscores the Need for Senior Care

Posted on: December 25th, 2014 by Steven Katz

The Baby Boom is now creating a Senior Boom. According to a new report from the U.S. Census iStock_000019828833SmallBureau, the number of individuals age 65 and older is projected to reach nearly 84 million by 2050, almost double the size from 2012. Another factor contributing to the boom is the fact that people are living longer: Currently, the average American is living to be almost 79 years old, up from about 71 years in 1970.

This raises the question of how we, as a country, plan on taking care of our aging citizenry. According to the Congressional Budget Office, about one-third of people age 65 or older report functional limitations of one kind or another—limitations that require assistance in dressing, bathing, preparing meals, managing medications, etc. Among people age 85 or older, about two-thirds report functional limitations. And experts project that two-thirds of all seniors will need assistance to deal with a loss in functioning at some point during their remaining years of life.

“Changes in the age structure of the U.S. population will have implications for health care services and providers, national and local policymakers, and businesses seeking to anticipate the influence that this population may have on their services, family structure and the American landscape,” says Jennifer Ortman, chief of the Census Bureau’s Population Projections Branch.

The aging population presents numerous challenges and great opportunities for agencies and companies that provide senior care. Home care and home health care services, community care facilities for the older population, and continuing care retirement communities are all expanding. All showed an increase of 20 percent or more in their number of employees between 2007 and 2011. Additionally, age-restricted communities are becoming more and more popular. One such community, The Villages in Sumter County, Florida, was the nation’s fastest growing metro area from 2012 to 2013.

Fortunately, the Senior Boom wasn’t an unforeseen phenomenon. We’ve known for nearly 60 years that Baby Boomers would eventually grow old and need greater care. The associated industries caring for these individuals have, so far, been able to keep pace with demand, although occupancy at senior living communities is on the rise, reaching 89.9% in the second quarter of 2014. Fortunately, construction of new communities is also on the rise. It’s safe to say that senior care will be a growing industry for many years to come

“Healthy Aging Goals for 2015” Wordfind

Posted on: December 25th, 2014 by Steven Katz

It’s that time of the year when we set goals and make our resolutions! Why not make healthy aging a iStock_000051229964Mediumprominent focus in your list this year?

The 18 words in this wordfind puzzle all have to do with choices we can make to take care of our mind, body and spirit. Give your brain a workout and find them all! Click here to download the puzzle .

Need a little help? Click here for the puzzle solution .

Copyright © IlluminAge AgeWise, 2014