News About Aging

Sarah West, a resident of Cathedral Village continuing care retirement community, enjoys horticultural pursuits there. (Photo courtesy of Presbyterian Senior Living)
Posted By Marcia Siegal

Horitculture provides therapy

By Marcia Z. Siegal

Flowers bloom year-round at the Cathedral Village continuing care retirement community in Roxborough. And for many residents, joy blossoms with the tomatoes, herbs, cacti and other plants they help to cultivate.

Posted By Marcia Siegal

Book offers advice for caregivers

An Alzheimer’s diagnosis may leave a family stunned and silent. Then comes a flood of questions: What is Alzheimer’s disease? How will it progress? What will our loved one need?

November is National Caregiver Month (iStock)
Posted By Marcia Siegal

PCA to host free caregiver workshop on Nov. 13

In honor of National Family Caregivers Month, Philadelphia Corporation for Aging (PCA) and Lutheran Settlement House will present a free caregiver workshop, “Caregiving Counts: How to Maximize Your Time Around the Clock,” on Monday, Nov. 13. The workshop will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at PCA, 642 N. Broad St. Expert speakers will make presentations on finding your organizational style, easy meal preparation, medication management, care coordination, caregiving skill-building and self-care. Lunch is included. For more information or to register, call 215-765-9000, ext. 4391 or email

Posted By Marcia Siegal

Right diet can benefit brain

It’s often been said that “you are what you eat.” Increasingly, research links that adage to brain health. “A poor diet can increase the risk of developing hypertension, cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes, which in turn can end up compromising an individual’s cognitive function … A good diet reduces the risk of chronic illness and is beneficial to the brain,” reported Judith Graham in Kaiser Health News. “Diets designed to boost brain health, targeted largely at older adults, are a new, noteworthy development in the field of nutrition.”

Posted By Marcia Siegal

Opioid addiction in senior population is rising

Opioid addiction seems to have launched a stealth attack on seniors. Falls and forgetfulness, which are possible signs of addiction, may masquerade as normal issues of aging. Family and friends of an addicted person may chalk up the individual’s more negligent grooming and housekeeping to the decreased energy of advanced age. And a senior with an addiction may be seen as simply following the doctor’s orders by repeatedly refilling a prescription for pain medication.

Posted By Christine Hoffman

Aging Research & Issues: Oct. 30-Nov. 3, 2017

  • When Did Old Age Stop Being Depressing? Depression Trajectories of Older Americans and Britons 2002–2012.  Gindo Tampubolon, M.S., Ph.D., Asri Maharani, M.D., Ph.D.  American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, November 2017, Volume 25, Issue 11, Pages 1187–1195.  Open access.  The trajectories of depression of older cohorts, particularly those of the prewar cohorts in both countries and the war cohort in England, followed a U-shape. Conversely, the trajectories of depression of the younger cohort, particularly those of the postwar cohorts in both countries and the war cohort in the United States, took an inverted U-shape.
  • Evacuating People and Their Pets: Older Floridians’ Need for and Proximity to Pet-Friendly Shelters.  Rachel Douglas MS PhD, Ayberk Kocatepe PhD, Anne E Barrett PhD, Eren Erman Ozguven PhD, Clayton Gumber, MS, PhD.  The Journals of Gerontology: Series B, gbx119.  Advance article.   Published: October  4, 2017.  High pet shelter need coupled with low availability exacerbates older adults’ heightened vulnerability during Florida’s hurricane season.
Vanity can be an obstacle to using a walker for some people. (
Posted By Marcia Siegal

Walking tall: Lessons from using a walker

By Sally Friedman

It began with a twinge. One of those annoying lower-back events that reminds us that backs seem to have minds of their own. The twinge graduated from an ache to a major pain. Of course, all of this was happening during one of the busiest times in our family life.

Pain can range in severity. (iStock)
Posted By Marcia Siegal

Dealing with pain

By Frank Burd

On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate the pain?” How many times have you heard a doctor or physical therapist ask you that question? And how do you answer? “Well, if I don’t move, it’s a 3. If I stand up, it’s a 5. If I walk, it’s a 7, and if I stand on my head…” You get my point.

Posted By Christine Hoffman

Aging Research & Issues: October 23-27, 2017

  • Caregiver Stressors and Depressive Symptoms among Older Husbands and Wives in the United States.  Min Hee Kim, Ruth E. Dunkle, Amanda J. Lehning, Huei-Wern Shen, Sheila Feld & Angela K. Perone.  Journal of Women & Aging, Volume 29, 2017 – Issue 6, Pages 494-504.  Published online: September 27, 2016.  To illuminate strategies for reducing the higher distress experienced by wife caregivers engaged in personal care assistance, further studies are needed incorporating couples’ relational dynamics and gendered experiences in personal care.
  • Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease: Lessons Learned and Applied.   James E. Galvin MD, MPH.  Special Article – Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, Volume 65, Issue 10, October 2017, Pages 2128–2133.  First published:  August 2, 2017.  Dementia may be a disorder that develops over a lifetime, with individualized ways to build a better brain as we age.
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