Writer reflects on her acupuncture odyssey
By M.L. Polak
Through a chance recommendation from a holistic friend, I started going to an acupuncturist about 25 years ago – and for me, it was love at first needle. Acupuncture is a holistic or alternative health technique from traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in which trained practitioners stimulate specific points on the body by inserting filament-thin needles into the skin to galvanize the flow of qi (pronounced “chi”), or energy, along internal pathways called meridians. Don’t worry – the needles are stainless steel and sterilized. They are used just once, then discarded.
Strokes: ‘BE FAST’ to help minimize risk
By Alicia M. Colombo
Every 40 seconds, someone has a stroke. That adds up to nearly 800,000 strokes each year. According to the National Stroke Association, stroke is the leading cause of disability among older adults and the fifth leading cause of death in America. These statistics are certainly cause for concern, but not for panic.
Up to 80 percent of strokes can be prevented, and the chance of long-term disability after a stroke may be greatly reduced by acting quickly at the onset of symptoms.
Emotional intelligence can increase with age
By Michael Hanisco
Despite popular notions of seniors being stubborn or set in their ways, evidence suggests that we may actually gain in skills known as “emotional intelligence” as we age. October was designated as Emotional Intelligence Awareness Month by the nonprofit Emotional Intelligence Institute to improve emotional literacy, communication and mindfulness.
How to navigate the annual Medicare open enrollment
By Marcia Z. Siegal
The annual open enrollment period for Medicare starts October 15 and extends through December 7. If you are already enrolled in Medicare, the country’s health insurance program for those 65-plus (and also for people younger than 65 who have certain disabilities and health conditions), you have the opportunity to change your Medicare health plan and prescription drug coverage for the following year. It is recommended that you review your plan every year to evaluate whether the same or another plan would best meet your upcoming needs.
Benefits of socialization for seniors’ health
The negative effects of loneliness and social isolation have been widely reported in recent years. Loneliness is on par with obesity, lack of exercise and smoking as a risk factor for illness and early death, according to the journal Heart. On the other hand, researchers are increasingly finding that socialization may have positive impacts on health.
An empowered death: Taking control of the end of life
By Constance Garcia-Barrio
Death, like superb wine, claims a starring role at some dinners these days. Death dinners, where people meet over fabulous food to talk about dying, help guests ditch the taboo around discussing life’s final transition. More than 100,000 such dinners have taken place in 30 countries, according to deathoverdinner.org, a website that points out the benefits of having the sometimes-tough conversation.
Know the importance of vaccines for older adults
August is National Immunization Awareness Month, an annual observance designed to highlight the importance of vaccination for people of all ages. In the United States, vaccines have greatly reduced and even eliminated many infectious diseases – such a polio – that once harmed or killed millions of people.
Learn about Community HealthChoices
A major shift in the way Medicaid-funded long-term services are provided in the home is coming to Philadelphia. Community HealthChoices (CHC), a new state-mandated program, will affect up to 88,000 seniors or adults with disabilities in Philadelphia. The program, which has already begun in the southwest part of the state, will start in Southeast Pennsylvania in January 2019.
Under CHC, both physical health care and “long-term services and supports” – meaning home-based or nursing-home care – will be coordinated through three state-selected managed-care organizations (MCOs): KeystoneFirst (a member of AmeriHealth Caritas), Pennsylvania Health & Wellness, and UPMC Community HealthChoices. CHC participants will have to choose one of these organizations.