Seniors Archives

NoraNagatani.com Ends Regular Run

My Precious Grandchildren

It is a bittersweet moment as I write this post — my 150th — and as I make this my final regular post.  I started this three years ago as a fun project and as an activity to keep my brain stimulated. It has definitely been fun and I’ve never been at a loss as to what to write. I’ve always been on the lookout for interesting topics, at least to me and hopefully to you, too, and they have always come my way. However, a couple of months ago, I launched a “Gracefully Age” newsletter with my Gracefully Age Program, so I’ve decided to put my efforts into the newsletter. Please sign up for my newsletter on the Home page of my new Web site, GracefullyAge.com.

Additionally, everyone knows most seniors have health issues. Have you gotten together with your senior friends and noticed that inevitably, the topic of conversations revolves around health or most likely, lack thereof. Do these sound familiar?

  • My back hurts or my neck hurts or my knee hurts.
  • I’m a pre-diabetic or I’ve become a diabetic.
  • I can’t keep up with my grandkids.
  • I don’t sleep well at night.
  • Etc.

As an energy healer, I have studied and practiced a number of modalities, but most recently, I came across one called, The Emotion Code (TEC). Previous to finding TEC, I had studied another modality which I liked, but it was very hard to explain to my clients. TEC turned out to be similar, but uses words that my clients and I understand. So I became certified in TEC.

I am really excited about being able to help people and seeing their pain and problems disappear using TEC. Depending on the number of trapped emotions that the person has, it could be a very quick session or it might take several sessions. It could be done in-person, over the phone, or simply by my being your proxy. Understand that everything is energy and that you simply need the desire to rid yourself of your trapped emotions that could be causing any number of health issues or diseases. For more information, please go to GracefullyAge.com/emotion-code.

As I say goodbye for now, I want to thank everyone for their support. As I shift my energies in other ways to help the senior population, I hope you will join me in my new endeavors. If you’re not getting up excited every morning to pursue your passion, then perhaps I can help. Check out the Gracefully Age Program and sign up for your complimentary session.

Good luck and all the best for the rest of your awesome life!

Enhanced by Zemanta

Dangers and Complications of Diabetes

Logo of the Centers for Disease Control and Pr...

Image via Wikipedia

Over the years, I’ve written about the dangers and complications of diabetes, but I recently came across some staggering figures from the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention affecting the senior population. I know many seniors who are in the pre-diabetes stage, but many of them take it in stride and don’t seem to understand the consequences.

Here are the statistics that may be of concern to you:

  • Among U.S. residents aged 65 years and older, 10.9 million, or 26.9%,  had diabetes in 2010.
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, non-traumatic lower-limb amputations, and new cases of blindness among adults in the United States.
  • Diabetes is a major cause of heart disease and stroke.
  • Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. Overall, the risk for death among people with diabetes is about twice that of people of similar age but without diabetes.

The estimated number of new cases in 2010 was also remarkable. For those between 45 to 54 it was 1,052,000 and for those 65 and over it was 390,000 making it a total of almost 1.5 million people. Medical expenses for people with diabetes are more than two times higher than for people without diabetes. People with diabetes are more susceptible to many other illnesses. Once they acquire these illnesses, they often have worse prognoses. For example, they are more likely to die with pneumonia or influenza than people who do not have diabetes.

People with diabetes aged 60 years or older are 2–3 times more likely to report an inability to walk one-quarter of a mile, climb stairs, or do housework compared with people without diabetes in the same age group. Diabetes is a lifestyle disease and can be reversed, but it takes a lot of work. If you need a partner to get started and hold you accountable, check out the Gracefully Age Program and grow out of being a diabetic statistic.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

A couple of weeks ago, I had arthroscopic knee surgery because of a fall more than a dozen years ago. It was partially exploratory to determine the next step as well as to “clean it up.” The next two weeks will determine my options, but total knee replacement is not necessary.

In order to go through this surgery, I had to get a second opinion and while the second doctor determined that surgery is necessary, it was his opinion that a total knee replacement should be considered “just in case” I might need one down the road. On the other hand, my world-renowned knee specialist said you never replace anything that’s in good condition and basically, other than my knee cap, my knee is in very good condition. But the most important lesson in this is to prevent falls in the first place and to prevent arthritis from creeping in.

Fitness expert Sonia Gow, in a previous post, shared her expertise about why people fall. She mentioned that falls are not a normal part of aging.

Did you know that falls are a leading cause of hospital admissions for people over 65? For those over 65, one in three will experience a fall each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 20 to 30 percent of the falls result in injuries such as lacerations, hip fractures, and head traumas with hospital bills averaging nearly $18,000 per patient.

According to Mary Tinetti, M.D., professor of internal medicine at the Yale School of Medicine, the more chronic health conditions you have, the more likely you are to suffer a fall.

  • Diabetes can worsen vision and desensitize nerves in the feet.
  • Depression can increase risk of falling.
  • Many medications cause dizziness and affect balance, especially sleep aids.

Other diseases causing a higher rate of falls include:

  • Circulatory disease
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Arthritis

Yoga and tai chi which has slow, rhythmic movements can help you with your balance. Don’t forget to strengthen your arms too since you can use them to steady yourself. Find a personal trainer or borrow/buy a DVD to help you.

Remembering Names

One of the biggest problems seniors often lament is remembering names. We recognize faces because that information has been registered in our subconscious minds, but remembering names is a different story. What’s your trick for recalling names that don’t come to you immediately? Going down the alphabet perhaps? David Perlmutter, MD, in The Better Brain Book, has an exercise that will help you to remember names immediately after being introduced and for an extended period after that. He says it should not take more than 10 minutes a day.

You will need a deck of cards and a phone book. Maybe your kids don’t have a phone book in their house, but surely you do.

  1. Each morning randomly select a name from the phone book; choose a card from the deck.
  2. Write down the first name selected from the phone book and the suit on the card.
  3. Say the name and the suit out loud after you write it down.
  4. Create a mental image of both the name and the suit being placed into your mental names file.
  5. After lunch try to recall both the name and the suit by creating a picture in your head of your names file and imagine yourself opening that file. Repeat after dinner. (If you were successful after dinner, but not after lunch, it counts as success).
  6. Do the above exercise daily for a week. Once you are successful for six out of the seven days, move on the to next step.
  7. Instead of writing down just the first name from the phone book, write the first and last name and pick one card from the deck.

Once you have mastered this exercise, remembering names should come to you easily. According to Perlmutter, the key to success is two-fold:

  • Say the person’s name out loud.
  • Visualize the name and the person and put it into your names file.

So the next time you meet this person, you’ll be greeting him or her by their name while the other person will be asking you for yours or have that puzzled look on their face trying to recall your name. Remembering names now comes easily to you. Let me know how this works for you.

Enhanced by Zemanta

How to Energize Yourself in Two Simple Steps

In my last post, I wrote about the grueling hike in the Cascades Recreation Area of the Jefferson National Forest. I definitely needed a lot of energy and tenacity. Senior hikers were in the extremely small minority. Being close to a college town, most of the hikers looked to be college students. In the video below, I want to share what I did to energize myself in two simple steps.

How to Energize Yourself in Two Simple Steps


 

Virginia Tech and Cascades Recreation Area

It was time for an out-of-town adventure and time to check off Virginia Tech from my bucket list. But a 4+ hour overnight trip would not be filled with just a visit to a university campus. In researching things to do in Blacksburg, Va, the Cascades Recreation Area in the Jefferson National Forest seemed like a worthwhile and fun place to visit. What seemed enticing was not only the hike, but the reward of seeing a magnificent 69 foot waterfall. (Seniors, you can get in free with your National Park Pass).

To get to the falls required a round trip four-mile hike which I thought would be a piece of cake considering I had done an 8.15 mile walk in the Great Aloha Run. Studying the map at the beginning of the hike, it appeared that the lower trail would be more scenic and “easier” because the upper trail was described as being more challenging because of the hill. Hence, we chose the lower trail and began our hike along the lovely Little Stoney Creek.

“Easier” is a relative term — easier if you’re younger and “grueling” in my book with having to step over all shapes and heights of rocks, twisted roots, numerous steps, and narrow pathways. Knowing what was at the end of the trail, I could not give up. Truthfully, I could not have done it without my husband. Well, maybe I could’ve, but it would’ve taken all day and there were dark clouds above and a thunderstorm looming. As we passed people coming down, they kept saying we were almost there and it was worth it.

There comes a point where the lower trail and upper trail meet and it becomes just one path to the falls. I asked a group if they had taken the upper trail (the one we had not chosen) and they said yes and a gentleman explained that it was a road that the park uses for maintenance. Therefore, it was wide and smooth. What a relief that we had an easier way back, but it was raining so the mud road was a little slippery. But, we could still walk much faster and get back to our car.

It took about 1.5 hours to get to the top and it was definitely worthwhile. I was drenched in perspiration on a cool day, but what an awesome view and an exhilarating feeling of accomplishment. I had an apple for nourishment which my body really needed. Unfortunately, it started to rain so we did not have much time to enjoy the view and had to start our descent on some slippery rocks and steps. However, once we got to the maintenance road, it felt as though we were home free.

It was a wonderful trip in every way — one of the best front desk people I’ve ever encountered (Ritz Carlton quality at a Hampton Inn), excellent service and food at Sal’s Italian Restaurant, and on the way home we stopped at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum in Staunton, Va where we had an excellent tour guide. That was the icing on the cake. Oh, and yes, the visit to Virginia Tech and their hokie stone buildings was also awesome. Now I know why they’re called Hokies.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Chronic Stress and Aging

As your bones creak, wrinkles deepen, or even worse, diseases set in, do you find that you’re looking for ways to slow down aging? We have no control over many factors, but one study has shown that there is a link between chronic stress and aging. Long term emotional strain such as seniors taking care of their elderly parents, can take its toll on health and aging.

The first study done at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) led by Elissa Epel, Ph.D. was conducted on a group of healthy mothers caring for chronically ill children. It showed that telomeres shorten in those experiencing psychological stress – i.e., they age the cells and hasten the body’s deterioration allowing the increased risk of diseases. Telomeres are caps at the end of chromosomes (molecules that carry genes) like plastic caps at the end of shoe laces to prevent fraying. When a cell divides, telomeres get shorter. In the natural aging process, the telomeres eventually get so short that cells can no longer divide, and they die producing all of the undesirable effects of aging. Telomerase is an enzyme which helps rebuild telomeres; telomerase levels also decline with age. Over time, however, telomeres do get shorter.

A key factor, however, is perception. The greater the perceived stress, the shorter the telomeres. In the above study, those with the highest perceived stress had telomeres equivalent to someone 10 years older.

In another study led by Edward Nelson, MD of the University of California at Irvine, their research suggests that stress management can stop telomeres from shortening and promote repair as well. The Hayflick countdown was being reset. (Hayflick discovered that after 50-70 cell divisions, a chromosome can grow no shorter and the cell it is in can divide no more). This study involved telephone counseling for women who had been treated for cervical cancer. The counseling worked mentally, physically, and improved their immune system.

In still another study, Elizabeth Blackburn, Ph.D. of UCSF (who shared the Nobel prize for the discovery of the telomerase enzyme that repairs telomeres), showed that exercise has a similar effect to counseling on the telomeres of the stressed.

The bottom line is the only difference among the subjects in all of these studies is attitude. So the good news is you can do something about chronic stress and aging.

Related Resources:

Stress may increase risk for Alzheimer’s disease

Stress and Cellular Aging
Dr. Elissa Epel, UCSF

Enhanced by Zemanta

Ooma vs Magic Jack VoIP Phone System

Ooma Telo

Ever heard of Ooma? I hadn’t until I read about it in the May 2011 issue of Consumer Reports. So here’s a money-saving tip for seniors. You simply buy a base (adapter) like shown on the left and on one side you connect it to your router or modem and on the other side you connect it to the base station of your landline phone. Your calls will be going over the Internet so you do need Internet service and you do need to register with Ooma online, but once you do that, you do not need to keep your computer on like you do with similar services such as Magic Jack or Skype. I’ve not tried Ooma, but I am a fan of Magic Jack and Skype.

The downside is that the base costs about $200 at amazon.com. That’s the lowest price I found in checking prices at cnet.com. You do have to pay for taxes and fees each month, but after testing several zip codes, it was only $3.47. The Ooma Web site provides a tax calculator for you to input your zip code. According to a review at PC World, the pros of Ooma are the free local and long-distance domestic calls and excellent sound quality, but the cons are that the advanced calling features cost extra and the long-distance calling does not include Canada. But according to their Web site, you can call 70 countries for less than a penny per minute.

Personally, Magic Jack has worked very well for me. You simply insert it into a USB port on your computer and plug your phone into the jack on the Magic Jack adapter. Unlike Ooma, your computer needs to be on in order to talk on the phone. However, what I really like is that even though your Magic Jack is not plugged into your computer, people can still call you and leave a message. You will then be notified by e-mail if there’s a message and you can listen to the message via your e-mail. Once again, Amazon had the lowest price of $36.70. The first year is free and thereafter, it’s $20 a year for calls in the United States and Canada (Canada is a long distance call with Ooma).

If you are considering either of these services or any other service, be sure to do your due diligence before making a decision. But the services that use the Internet like Ooma and Magic Jack are definitely worth considering.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Don’t you love it when you have a book in your hands that’s so exciting that it’s hard to put down? As previously written, I’m a Cellular Response energy healer so my clients are interested in healing their bodies naturally. In my constant quest for all-natural healing, one of my clients introduced me to Earthing which was published last year and written by Clinton Ober, Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., and Martin Zucker. Last month it was selected as the “Book of the Month” by the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians.

The authors define Earthing as follows:

If possible, read this book sitting with your bare feet directly on the Earth — grass, gravel, dirt, sand, or concrete.

You will simultaneously experience what you are reading about — how contact with the Earth restores your body’s natural electrical state.

The positive shift you feel is the start of a process in which your body slowly becomes infused with the Earth’s omnipresent and ever-present healing energy.

This is Earthing, a remarkably simple, safe, and natural act of reducing pain and stress.

For those that need hard core scientific evidence, Earthing might not be acceptable to you. But for those that accept mostly anecdotal evidence and testimonies, this book is full of amazing results. There are also scientific studies included and many more are planned.

It’s a very simple concept and you can read a sample of the book at earthing.com.

All that I’m learning about electromedicine and healing energies is so exciting. This is the future of medicine. The planet Earth is giving us the greatest gift of all for our health. Let us gratefully accept it. With all of the chronic diseases of seniors  straining our medical system, it’s time to be pro-active and look for alternatives. You are responsible for your own health. Earthing can change the way medicine is practiced. Earthing changes the actual physiology of the grounded person in a healthier way.

So run to your favorite bookstore and buy the book or you can simply click on the Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever? link under Health Resources and Products to the right. To your health!

Last year The Canadian Press reported, “The prevalence of cognitive impairment was significantly lower in women aged 65 and older who reported they were physically active as teens than in those who were inactive in their teen years,” according to a study at the Heart and Stroke Foundation Centre for Stroke Recovery at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto. Principal investigator Laura Middleton said, “If we want to optimally prevent dementia, it’s important to start physical activity as early in life as possible.”

There have been a number of studies showing the benefits of exercise to stave off dementia and cognitive impairment in our middle age years and later, but this study adds the dimension of the earlier in life the better. Hence, as seniors, we need to encourage our grandchildren to remain active.

Middleton worked on the project while she was at the University of California in San Francisco, and used data from the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures. She analyzed the responses of 9,704 women in four U.S. cities: Baltimore, Minneapolis, Portland, Ore., and Monongahela Valley, Pa. The study was published in the July issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Highlights include the following:

  • Women reported on their physical activity as teens, ages 30, 50, and late life.
  • People who were active as teenagers had a greater reduction in their risk of cognitive impairment compared to any of the other ages.
  • Prevalence of cognitive impairment in the women who’d been physically active in their teen years was 8.5 per cent, compared to 16.7 per cent among those who weren’t physically active as teens.
  • For those active versus inactive at age 30, prevalence of cognitive impairment at age 65 or older was 8.9 per cent compared to 12 per cent, and at age 50, 8.5 per cent versus 13.1 per cent.
  • Women who were inactive as teenagers and became active in later life still had a lower risk of cognitive impairment than those who remained inactive.

Louis Bherer, director of clinical research at the Montreal University Geriatric Institute, said most people in the field agree that physical activity is probably the most promising strategy to protect against cognitive decline, but he added that there are limitations to this study.

When a door is always in use, the hinges will never rust. ~Chinese Proverb. Let’s get moving to increase our gray matter.