Monthly Archives: October, 2015

“To Age Well, Change How You Feel About Aging” – The Wall Street Journal

“Negative stereotypes about getting older can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. How to improve your mind-set—and well-being.”

aging myths

“Scientists are discovering something very peculiar about aging: How we feel about getting old matters. A lot.

“In test after test, researchers are finding that if we think about getting older in terms of decline or disability, our health likely will suffer. If, on the other hand, we see aging in terms of opportunity and growth, our bodies respond in kind.”

myth 2

“That research holds out the possibility for much healthier aging. But it also points to a very big obstacle: Negative stereotypes about aging are pervasive in America. Even many older adults embrace the idea that getting old is a bad thing—which means they’re doing potentially serious harm to their health without realizing it.

“Can we change the way we feel about aging—and improve our prospects for healthier senior years? A growing body of research offers hope.”

Read this article in its entirety at The Wall Street Journal.



“The Lonely Death of George Bell” – The New York Times

This article in today’s New York Times explains what inspired the author to investigate those who die alone.


The man who lived behind this door in Queens, New York, is one story of a person who dies alone.

Each year around 50,000 people die in New York, some alone and unseen. Yet death even in such forlorn form can cause a surprising amount of activity. Sometimes, along the way, a life’s secrets are revealed.

“They found him in the living room, crumpled up on the mottled carpet. The police did. Sniffing a fetid odor, a neighbor had called 911. The apartment was in north-central Queens, in an unassertive building on 79th Street in Jackson Heights.

“The apartment belonged to a George Bell. He lived alone. Thus the presumption was that the corpse also belonged to George Bell.”

Click here to read the compelling New York Times article about the happenings following George Bell’s death in its entirety.

“Lifestyle changes could help reduce risk of memory loss as we age” – just+care

“What do walkable communities, Mediterranean diets, increased Social Security benefits and participating in artistic activities all have in common?”


“Some estimates suggest that as many as one in five people over 65 have mild cognitive impairments. Since virtually all of us would like to hold onto our memories as long as possible as we age, researchers are studying all kinds of ways to prevent or forestall cognitive decline, including lifestyle changes. The latest research finds that participating in artistic activities could really help keep our minds from slipping.

“In a recent study, researchers at the Mayo Clinic found that people who engage in artistic activities in middle and older age had a 73 percent lower risk of developing a mild cognitive impairment. People who engaged in crafts had a 45 percent lower risk. People who socialized had a 55 percent lower risk. And, believe it or not, people who used a computer had a 53 percent lower risk.”

Read this article in its entirety at

Department of Aging wrap-up for Friday, October 16, 2015

PA department of aging logo

Each week the Pennsylvania Department of Aging releases a Friday newsletter with information relevant to activities, issues and events for older Pennsylvanians and persons with disabilities across the Commonwealth.

Click here to read the October 16  newsletter.

“Nope, the flu vaccine won’t give you the flu” – The Conversation

“You absolutely cannot get the flu from the standard vaccine shot”

flu vaccine“‘Vaccines like this are the real success stories of medicine,’ says John Quarles. ‘They have saved countless lives and wiped out many deadly epidemics. The public should not fear them.’” (Credit: Offutt Air Force Base/Flickr)

“This fall, lots of people will brush off their physician’s advice to get vaccinated against the flu virus. Why? Because of a complete myth that getting vaccinated can give you the flu.

“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu outbreaks can happen as early as October—and contagious influenza causes millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations, and thousands of deaths every season. Each year, vaccines are updated to better match the circulating viruses.

Click here to continue reading this Conversation article.

“Explainer: why does our balance get worse as we grow older?” – The Conversation


“All of us have taken a tumble at some point in our lives. But as we grow older, the risks associated with falling over become greater: we lose physical strength and bone density, our sense of balance deteriorates and we take longer to recover from a fall. Alarmingly, this process begins around the age of 25. The reasons for this are varied and complex, but by understanding them better, we can find ways to mitigate the effects of old age.

“The first thing to know is that the human body is inherently unstable, with a small base relative to its height. Maintaining an upright position and moving from place to place while staying balanced is a continual challenge for our bodies. Our success depends on the well-being and integration of many different systems within our bodies.

“There are three main systems that provide us with the sensory information about our bodies and the surrounding environment that we need to maintain balance.”

Read the entire article at The Conversation, click here.

Department of Aging wrap-up for Friday, October 9, 2015

PA department of aging logo

Each week the Pennsylvania Department of Aging releases a Friday newsletter with information relevant to activities, issues and events for older Pennsylvanians and persons with disabilities across the Commonwealth.

Click here to read the October 9  newsletter.

“Frequent face-to-face visits are linked to less depression late in life, study finds” –

FamilyWalk640“An analysis of the data revealed that the risk of depression increased as the frequency of face-to-face contact with family and friends decreased.” | Creative Commons/jon hayes

by Susan Perry
“People aged 50 and older who see family and friends at least three times a week are about half as likely to develop depression as those who have such social encounters only every few months, according to a study published this week in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society.”Physicians ‘should consider encouraging face-to-face social interactions as preventive strategy for depression,’ the authors of the study conclude.

“The influence of social relationships on health has long intrigued researchers, and many previous studies have found an association between social isolation and depression, particularly among older populations.

“This new study, which was conducted by researchers from the University of Michigan and Portland State University in Oregon, looked at the topic from a slightly different angle. It examined whether the mode of social contact — meeting in person, talking on the telephone, or communicating through letter or e-mail — also made a difference in the risk of depression.”

Read this article in its entirety at

Think about your safety this week – Fire prevention Week – and all the time

Today, October 8, marks the remembrance of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

“Since 1922, Fire Prevention Week has been observed on the Sunday through Saturday period in which October 9 falls.”


The US Fire Administration reminds: “Older adults have an increased risk of dying in a fire.”

And click here to get more information and resources that can be used to help keep people with disabilities safe from home fires.

home fires are preventable


National Disability Employment Awareness Month – October – 2015

disability awareness

Celebrating 70 Years!

Held each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is a time to celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. The theme for this year — which marks 70 years since the first observance — is “My Disability is One Part of Who I Am.”

“This year’s theme encapsulates the important message that people with disabilities are just that — people,” said Jennifer Sheehy, acting assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy. “And like all people, we are the sum of many parts, including our work experiences. Disability is an important perspective we bring to the table, but, of course, it’s not the only one.”

National Disability Employment Awareness Month, known as NDEAM is a nationwide campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the contributions of America’s workers with disabilities, past and present. Each spring, the year’s theme is announced to help workplaces, individuals and communities begin planning activities.

The 2015 theme echoes the ODEP-funded Campaign for Disability Employment’sWho I Am” television public service announcement, currently in national distribution. This announcement features nine diverse people with disabilities — some obvious and some not — sharing the many ways they describe themselves, from personal interests to family relationships to occupations. Among them is actor RJ Mitte, known for his work on AMC’s critically acclaimed series “Breaking Bad.”

NDEAM dates back to 1945, when Congress declared the first week in October “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” The word “physically” was deleted in 1962 to acknowledge individuals with all types of disabilities. The week was expanded to a month by Congress in 1988 and its name was also changed to NDEAM. When ODEP was created in 2001, it was given responsibility for NDEAM, including selection of its annual theme.