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Expert Insights

Analysis of trends in senior care, advice for people coping with an aging patent, and health advice for seniors.

Tips for managing Parkinson’s

Managing Parkinson's Parkinson’s disease affects as many as ten million people worldwide, and one million people in the United States. With such widespread prevalence, it’s important to understand the issues Parkinson’s poses and strategies for managing it.  

The first symptom of Parkinson’s, as you likely know, is usually slightly shaking limbs. As the disease progresses, individuals tend to experience stiff muscles, difficulty walking and other issues related to movement. Difficulty with movement and coordination results from drops in dopamine levels, which also affects mood. Consequently, many people with Parkinson’s also suffer depression. Others may also experience difficulty swallowing, dry skin and scalp, constipation or sleep problems. Roughly 20 percent of people diagnosed with Parkinson’s have dementia or other cognitive disorders.

Dance improves seniors’ health

National Dance DayDid you know that July 26 marks National Dance Day? Initiated in 2010 by the Dizzy Feet Foundation, National Dance Day is celebrated the last Saturday of July to encourage Americans to embrace dance as a fun way to maintain good health.   

Why you need to identify as a caregiver

Family caregiver tipsAlthough nearly 10 million adults aged 50 and older care for their aging parents, many do not think of themselves as caregivers. Yet, how these family caregivers identify themselves affects their wellbeing.

Travel promotes healthy aging

Travel and healthy agingNow that we’re in the thick of summer, many people have vacations on their mind. Recent studies suggest that vacations are more than simply relaxing and fun – they can even improve your health. Now that’s some good news!

The Global Coalition on Aging surveyed adults’ perspectives on travel. More than 70 percent said vacations are mentally stimulating, 75 percent said they help improve stress levels and even physical health, and a whopping 86 percent reported boosts in mood and overall happiness as a result of travel.

Perhaps the most obvious explanation for the powerful impact of travel is that it’s relaxing by nature – as such, it helps reduce our stress and subsequently, reduce stress hormones that speed up the aging process.

Boost heart health for brain health

Heart and brain healthRecently, the American Heart Association released “Life’s Simple 7,” an assessment tool measuring cardiovascular health.

As the name suggests, the assessment tool zeros in on seven areas of our lives – usually behaviors linked with heart health. The test asks questions related to your blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, smoking status, body mass index, physical activity and diet. Sample questions include the level of fruit, vegetables, whole grains and sodium consumed per day, as well as the level of moderate and vigorous exercise you engage in per week.

If you score high on the assessment – congratulations! Your cardiovascular health is in tip-top shape. As an added bonus, you’re also less likely to develop cognitive impairment later in life.