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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.

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. 

Tips for long distance caregivers

Long distance caregivingWhile caring for an aging family member is a rewarding job, it can also be a challenging one. Family caregivers often have many other responsibilities to juggle along with caregiving, including another full-time job. And when you add distance to the equation, managing all your responsibilities can be even more taxing.

A long-distance caregiver can be someone who lives an hour’s drive away from an aging relative, or a plane ride away. The National Institute on Aging estimates there are more than seven million long-distance caregivers.

While they can’t often provide hands-on care, long-distance caregivers do provide many valuable services – they research local resources and care options; help manage finances, medical records and legal papers; monitor the quality of care their loved one receives; offer emotional support; and help connect their loved one with benefits and programs that will help meet their needs.

Prevent heat stress and dehydration­ in seniors

Heat stress and seniorsPeople aged 65 and older are more vulnerable to heat stress and dehydration than younger individuals. There are many reasons for this, including: