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Health Matters

A roundup of relevant news about health, fitness and care for seniors.

Diabetes Awareness Month

Before November comes to a close, we want to acknowledge Diabetes Awareness Month, observed every November. Diabetes largely impacts older adults – roughly 26 percent of Americans 65 and older have diabetes while roughly 50 percent have pre-diabetes. Diabetes is among the leading causes of disability and death in the United States. It can also increase the risk for additional health problems, including blindness, nerve damage, kidney disease and even Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Learning how to prevent or effectively manage diabetes is an important step to promoting your health.

Tips to aging well and living a more satisfying life

A resident from the Greek island of Ikaria—a seemingly magical place in the north Aegean Sea where cancer and disease are rare and people live to ripe, old ages—is offering tips on living longer in her new cookbook, “Ikaria: Lessons on Food, Life, and Longevity from the Greek Island Where People Forget to Die.”

The 99-square mile island has been the subject of much research and was even featured in a New York Times profile in 2012, featuring the story of an Ikarian man who left the island, only to return years later after a cancer diagnosis. He had been given less than a year to live, but found that his health returned once he moved back to his native island.

Reduce chronic inflammation through volunteering

Not only does volunteering allow you to give back, recent research has also linked it to reduced levels of inflammation. Researchers believe, among other things, that such productive activities can benefit older adults’ health because they provide meaningful social roles, which positively impact the volunteer’s well-being.

The study, published in The Gerontologist, looked at four different productive activities—employment, volunteering, attending meetings and caregiving—and how they might play a role in reducing chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation has been linked to the risk of heart attack and stroke, emphasizing the importance of keeping inflammation levels low.

This fall, protect yourself from the flu

flu tipsIt’s no wonder so many people love autumn – it brings beautiful fall foliage, delicious seasonal treats like hot apple cider and caramel apples, and plenty of fun festive activities, from apple picking to pumpkin carving to trick-or-treating with the kids. And yet, autumn also means that cold and flu season is approaching. At EPOCH, we want our residents and staff – as well as each and every one of you! – to enjoy all your favorite fall festivities, so we encourage everyone to be proactive about protecting their health.

A fit lifestyle has far-reaching benefits for seniors

Fitness for seniorsWe’ve written before about the benefits of exercise for aging adults – it reduces the risk for illness by boosting immunity, and reduces the risk for falls by improving balance and strength.

 
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