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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.

Tai Chi and yoga for healthy aging

yoga for healthy agingPhysical and mental activities are both essential to healthy aging.

Physical exercise of course improves your overall health, reducing your risk for heart disease and other illnesses. Meanwhile, it can reduce your risk for falls by improving your balance. By increasing muscle strength and flexibility, exercise also improves mobility, helping you maintain your independence longer.

Reducing overused medical services

Overused medical servicesAccording to a study from the Harvard Medical School Department of Health Care Policy, overused medical services are costing Medicare a pretty penny.

Tips for managing medications

Medication Management TipsMay brings Older Americans Month – a time not only to celebrate our seniors, but also to look out for their wellbeing. Protecting seniors is at the heart of this year’s theme, “Safe Today, Healthy Tomorrow,” highlighting injury prevention.

Unfortunately, seniors are the population at greatest risk for accidental injuries. On average, older Americans are treated for six million injuries every year. This means we all need to promote safe practices that help seniors live longer, healthier lives. One way we can do this is by learning effective strategies for managing medications.  

Combat age-related sleep decline

Age-related sleep declineMany people experience a decline in sleep quality as they age. It becomes increasingly difficult to fall and stay asleep. Often, this is due to naturally-occurring changes in the way we sleep. The older we get, the more time we spend in the lighter stages of sleep.

The good news is that a new study published in PLOS Biology suggests age-related sleep decline may be preventable and even reversible.

Although it may sound strange, the researchers studied fruit flies to learn more about age-related sleep changes. The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster is actually used in aging research frequently, in particular because its sleep patterns are similar to humans’. For example, they sleep at night and are active during the day, and they even experience a decline in sleep quality as they age.  

Alzheimer’s gene poses greater risk to women

Alzheimer’s researchers have known for a while that the gene APOE4 increases the risk for developing this devastating memory-impairing disease. What they didn’t know was that this gene may pose a greater risk to women than men.

According to a new study published in Annals of Neurology, APOE4 nearly doubles women’s likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease, while men are only slightly more likely to develop it. 

This may help explain why women are disproportionately affected by the disease – roughly two-thirds of the five million people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in the United States are women. Another widely accepted explanation for this is that because women generally outlive men, they have more time to develop the disease.