Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Getting Older and Forgetting Who You Don't Like!

My mom is moving. To a senior apartment in a fabulous place. It has a movie theater, a fine dining restaurant, a cocktail hour bar. She’s moving from a 2300 square foot 3 bedroom, 2 full bath townhome. She’s downsizing but to a much nicer place with lots of social activity and more.Although we’ve never, really, gotten along for all my or her life, she thinks (or needs to believe) we are best friends now. She’s constantly telling me “I don’t know what I would do without you.” And, because we’ve never (and still don’t) get along all that well, I tend to think she’s only saying that because there is no one else in the family who can, or will, help her. I have a sister who doesn’t and hasn’t done anything to help her in years. The only other person who helps her is my son who, conveniently, lives 7 miles away and can fix “stuff”. Thank goodness because her *stuff* isn’t the only stuff that needs help; I’m always first or second on the list of “help me, please?”Point being is I think when we get older and more help-less we may tend to believe those who help us (even though we may not really like the helper’s) are our favorite(s). When it comes to being an older person and all alone? Does our idea of “love” change, depending upon how much help we need?I have an ex-sister-in-law who is 62 years old. She’s living with her son and daughter-in-law and has been for almost 4 years. After a year of living in her current situation after her divorce (living with her son and his family was supposed to be temporary) she ended up living at her son’s place longer than planned and taking care of his and his wife’s 2 children, thus the total of 4 years now. She’s seeing an 82 year old man and surprised me a couple of weeks ago with the statement “I think I might marry him.” I was a bit shocked as she had sex with him, maybe once (said it was fabulous - ?) and hasn’t stayed overnight at his home but once or twice in a year since having great sex with him. I’m of the opinion that she, too, is only hanging out with the guy because she’ll be leaving her son’s soon, this Spring, when the last of the 2 kids will be in school full time.Need. Neediness. Confusing love with need or easiness. Is this what happens to us when we get desperate? Or is this what happens to us when we get old? Or both?

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Hospital Germ Is On The Warpath

I'm publishing this article from the November 2014 issue of the AARP Bulletin. I've never heard of this bug before, "C.diff", and that it can only be eradicated by bleach. So, start wearing white and mix up a little bleach and water and carry it with you. I think Clorox has wipes with bleach in the wipes - this way you can wear whatever color you want! Hate those bleach dot stains..........

Grace Voros was 85 and enjoying life, watching her family grow and taking romantic walks with the man she fell in love with 61 years ago, when she took a minor fall. She went to the hospital for an x-ray, where tests confirmed she had no broken bones. But while there, she contracted an infection no one in the family had ever heard about, “C. diff,” and died.
C. diff, short for Clostridium difficile, is raging through hospitals, infecting hundreds of thousands of patients a year. The bacteria contaminate every surface, including bed rails, bed tables, nurses’ uniforms, privacy curtains, faucets and call buttons. When patients touch these surfaces and then pick up food without washing their hands, they ingest the germ. Any patient taking antibiotics who ingests C. diff is in danger of developing severe diarrhea, leading to dehydration, inflammation of the colon and even death.
Routine cleaning isn’t enough to protect you from C. diff. Researchers at Case Western Reserve and the Cleveland VA Medical Center found that after routine cleaning at a hospital, 78 percent of surfaces were still contaminated. To kill the germ, you need to use bleach.
When surfaces are not properly disinfected, the results can be deadly. At Thomas Jefferson Medical Center in Philadelphia, three consecutive patients occupying the same room came down with C. diff. One died.
Staffs at many U.S. hospitals are woefully uninformed about what to do. One study reported that 39 percent of medical personnel didn’t know that C. diff could be spread on stethoscopes, blood pressure cuffs and other equipment. About two-thirds of medical staff were unaware they should clean their hands with soap and water, because alcohol sanitizers don’t kill this superbug.
What can you do to protect yourself? Insist that everyone treating you clean their hands before touching you.
Clean your own hands thoroughly before eating. Do not touch your hands to your lips. Do not place your food or utensils on any surface except your plate. Ask family to bring wipes containing bleach to clean the items around your bed.
When you leave the hospital, assume any belongings you bring home are contaminated. Do not mix clothes from the hospital with the family wash; wash with bleach. Regular laundry detergents do not kill C. diff.If you are visiting someone in the hospital, be careful about eating in the cafeteria or a restaurant where the staff go in their scrubs or uniforms. These uniforms could be covered in invisible superbugs. More than 20 percent of nurses’ uniforms had C. diff on them at the end of a workday, according to one study. Imagine sliding into a restaurant booth after a nurse has left the germ on the table or the seat. You could easily pick it up on your hands and then ingest it with your sandwich.Poor hospital hygiene and lax practices such as wearing scrubs in public are putting all of us at risk. That’s why I founded RID, the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths, so that other families won’t have to go through what Grace Voros’ family suffered.
This article was written by Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Turning The Big 60

Wow! It just didn't feel like anything.
What's up with that? I mean, it really didn't "feel" like anything at all. I'm beginning to believe 60 is, indeed, the new 40!
Here's a great link to Readers Digest where 50 Celebs were interviewed and share what they learned by Andrew Zuckerman, author of "Wisdom".
Okay, any of you remember these people who are turning 60 this year of 2008?
(Remember, the oldest real Boomers will be turning 64 this year!)

In no particular order, Americans born in 1948 include:

* John Carpenter
* Joe Roth
* Leslie Marmon Silko
* Rhea Perlman
* Ronnie Van Zant (d. 1977)
* Wayne Kramer
* Todd Rundgren
* Alice Cooper
* Raymond Kurzweil
* Teller
* Kate Pierson
* Stevie Nicks
* Dianne Wiest
* James Ellroy
* James Taylor
* Billy Crystal
* William Gibson
* Errol Morris
* Richard Simmons
* Elizabeth Blackburn
* Jerry Mathers
* Phylicia Rashad
* John Ritter (d. 2003)
* Sally Struthers
* Jackson Browne
* Johnny Ramone (d. 2004)
* T. Coraghessan Boyle
* Lester Bangs (d. 1982)
* Samuel L. Jackson
* Mikhail Baryshnikov (who portrays Peter Pan in Disney's latest ads)
* Andrew Lloyd Webber
* Jimmy Cliff
* Brian Eno
* Grace Jones
* John Bonham (d. 1980)
* Nick Drake (d. 1974)
* Raffi
* Cat Stevens
* Garry Trudeau
* Robert Plant
* Phil Hartman (d. 1998)
* Art Spiegelman
* Prince Charles
* GĂ©rard Depardieu

Now, after reading this list? Don't you still feel young? After all, many of these people are still rockin' and rollin' and acting and arting and practicing their craft. Makes me want to get up and dance!

Thank you to Brainiac/Joshua Glenn for the list of Boomers turning 60 this year.
Born between 1954 and 1993 and still unsure about whether you're a Boomer, Xer, Yer, or Millennial? Here's a handy guide.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Memory Loss, Forgetfulness and Aging After 50

This article is copied with permission from Pam Sissons. You can read more of her writings at the links below.

Does memory loss and forgetfulness have to be part of your life after turning fifty? Noticing changes in your memory function as you age is completely normal!

Approaching midlife often brings challenges of many kinds – including normal memory loss or forgetfulness. If and when those incidents of memory loss seem to be happening more frequently, they can be frightening.“Where the heck did I put the car keys?” “What was the name of that movie we just saw?” “What did I come in here for?”

Changes in memory function can begin in your 40s or 50s and come slowly or gradually at first. The fact is that some memory loss, forgetfulness, or "fuzzy brain" is perfectly normal after turning fifty, and probably does not signal the onset of a debilitating memory disorder or dementia such as Alzheimer's.

About Memory Function
There are many types of memory that deal with everything from remembering what the word "spoon" means, to being able to recall a neighbor's phone number. The ability to drive a car or put on a pair of pants becomes an inherent part of you, as opposed to remembering computer passwords at will, which may be information that continues to elude you in the most frustrating of ways!

Two Basic Forms of Memory
Short term memory is also referred to as working memory. With a duration of probably less than a minute, short term memory is what allows you to remember a phone number long enough to dial it, or remember what was read in the first half of a sentence.
The many types of long term memory include everything else, from your amazing ability to recite the capitals of all 50 states, to how to write your name, and where you parked your car at the mall yesterday.
Memory is complicated. The amount of information that is stored in your brain is incredible, from the time you were an infant until today – everything you have heard or felt, learned or experienced; the amount is mind-boggling. The neurotransmitters that are the workhorse of the brain are aging as well: a normal process that actually begins in your 20s, but doesn’t usually become apparent until your 40s.

Forgetfulness is Not a Memory Disorder
The fact is that it simply takes a little longer to process as you age. As many seniors are well aware, the ability to learn new skills is still alive and well! However, you can still process new information and continually hone those skills, taking classes, starting new career ventures...whatever!

So, what is the benchmark for aging and normal memory loss? You may find yourself forgetting names, appointments, where you put something, or not be able to remember who told you what during a conversation. Although annoying and frustrating in turn, these incidents don’t imply anything more important than the happy fact that you've made it this far!

Coping with Memory Loss and Forgetfulness
Most individuals turning fifty or older may find themselves continually looking for the car keys or the dog leash. Here's a few tips for coping with the change:

Keep a list: this is one of the very best ways to remind yourself of appointments, tasks you want to accomplish, even writing down someone's name on a piece of paper can help you recall it next time you see him.
Consistency: Put your car keys in the same place every single time. Keep your list in the exact same place at all times – somewhere that you have easy access to it.
Exercise your memory: Yep, there's evidence that it may be a case of "use it or lose it"! Crossword puzzles, brain teasers, memory games...and don't forget a healthy diet!
Aging and changes in memory function are normal and to be expected with age. Discuss any questions about your ability to recall information on a regular basis, or whether you may be dealing with a memory disorder or the onset of Alzheimer's with your physician.

The copyright of the article Memory Loss, Forgetfulness and Aging in Seniors/Grandparents is owned by Pam Sissons. Permission to republish Memory Loss, Forgetfulness and Aging in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.
You can contact Pam by going to's contact page which is
You may have to sign up and log on. But there are lots of interesting articles at this site. Or go here to read Pam's blog:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Top Ten Foods For A Good Nights Sleep

There are many reasons of not getting a good night’s sleep. Whatever it is, try to enjoy some foods would can clam you and relax your tense muscle. Yahoo! Food suggests top 10 foods that helps you to get solid 8 hours of sleep. They are Bananas, Chamomile tea, Warm milk, Honey, Potatoes, Oatmeal, Almonds, Flaxseeds, Whole-wheat bread and Turkey. The easiest one is warm milk and whole-wheat bread.
Doesn't everything look so yummy?

Do you let friends or relatives drive your car? Prevent "Surprises"!

Do you occasionally lend your car out to a relative or a friend? If he or she gets into an accident, your auto insurance may not cover it.
Here are some tips:
  • Family policies offer broader coverage. Any relative in your household and any other person who has your permission to drive your vehicle is covered. I think the keyword here is "Family Policy". Check it out with your insurance agent - especially if you're single.
  • Named insured-only policies are more restrictive but they are often 10% to 15% cheaper than family coverage policies. As the name implies, they cover only the driver named in the policy. If you lend your car to a friend, your child or even your spouse and there's an accident? The policy will not pay out.
  • Not sure what type of policy you have? Contact your insurance company. If it's a named insured only policy, never let anyone drive your car.
  • If other people are sharing your car, change up to a family policy as the extra premium cost may well be worth it if there is an accident.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Here's a great Support Group site for Active Aging

Of course I have to share this and from WebMD you can be sure it's great information.
Want to know more?
"Aging? What's that? People today are living longer, healthier, more active lives. Share your ideas and get the information and support you need to put some pep in your step and grow younger in mind, body, and spirit no matter what your age!"

Connect here with your health community:

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Forgetfulness and shut off the car

I talked to my mom on Monday night.
She had gone to a senior center to hook up with a bunch of other women for their monthly "Lunch Bunch" meeting. Each month they meet at the senior center building, just about a block from my mom's house and the group divides up and a group of four will ride with one person. Apparently my mom drove to the center and hopped out of her car and went into the center to see if her friend was there. Her friend was in the center along with the rest of the group so they divided up and off they went to a restaurant for lunch.
When they returned to the center the receptionist came out, when she saw my mom, and handed my mother the keys to her car. Apparently, when my mother hopped out of the car, my mom had left her car running until someone noticed it had been running for how long? I didn't find that out.
So now what?
It wasn't but 3 months ago the doctor had her tested and said there was just a teeny weeny bit of brain dementia going on but the biggest problem was her electrolytes/sodium levels were too high which can cause confusion. So can a B12 deficiency but her B12 levels were just fine. She was told to drink more water and be tested again 30 days later.
She went and had her 30 day later blood test which showed sodium levels were okay and sugar was high and she was dehydrated. I told her she needed to keep on drinking more water but she's not. The nurse also said she's pre-diabetic, because of those sugar levels, that she should lay off on the sweets. Needless to say, I went over there the other day and there were (processed, grocery store bought) cookies, rolls, muffins. I don't eat that much pastry in a year that she's eating in a week.
I think she needs another lab test and another call to the doctor, by me as I'm wondering if the dehydration is becoming more serious and causes forgetfulness and confusion also. Or if dementia is something that can get worse with bad eating habits along with her constantly saying "I'm so forgetful, I think I'm losing my mind sometimes" . Like if you were to constantly tell yourself "I'm so stupid" you become stupid-acting?  How do we help someone who is constantly forgetting everything including what we tell them?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Blood Test for Alzheimer's?

I subscribe to the Amen Clinic's E-Newsletter (has nothing to do with religion) and everything to do with brain, behavior, health.

This month's newsletter is about Alzheimer's testing, especially for those of us who may have the disease in the family. The test is "within sight and could eventually help us in our quest toward reversing the disease's onset....."
The two pictures are of a healthy brain, the smooth one and an Alzheimer's patients brain, the lumpy one. The pictures are called Spect scans.
My mom is 82 and she got *confused* a couple of months ago. They did a blood test on her and found she was dehydrated - dehydration can cause confusion. The doctor also said he tested for a B12 deficiency, which also can cause Alzheimer's behavior. Besides getting confused she continues to say things like "I can't remember right now, I think my mind is going". I try to reassure her that all of us are more forgetful these days than ever before, that years ago all you had to remember was your telephone number. Today? We must all remember social security numbers, pin numbers, license plate numbers and a host of other things I can't remember right now! lol!
Check out Amen Clinics for some great information and note there are more pictures on the site of all different kinds of brains on alcohol; brains on drugs, brains on coffee and cigarettes. All very interesting as well as informative and rather scary. How far we've come in researching the human body.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Exercise, Exercise, Exercise...........whew!

Just got home from a 2 ½ hour, beginning, Tai Ji class taught by a woman who looks 40 and I’ll bet she’s almost 70. She said her father was a Tai Ji Master for over 50 years and only after he had ulcers and some other bad medical stuff happening to him at the age of 20. After a year of doing Tai Ji his ulcers had healed, his allergies were gone and his arthritis had disappeared. She said it all has to do with the range of motion we get while exercising. Unlike American exercise where you go up and down, side to side or forward or backward, this has to do with twisting and turning your body and a total range of motion moving your joints. She said because Tai Ji makes us use both sides of our brain, Alzheimer's isn't in the cards for people who do Tai Ji daily. As is Osteoporosis non-existent with Tai Ji. Makes sense to me. Sure feels like its working – already – only after 2 lessons. The lessons are only once a week but we’re to do 20 minutes a day. And, she said, we can do 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes at night, we can do the 20 minutes whenever we want. Wow! I thought after she said that tonight. So not like American doctors telling us we need 30 minutes of exercise every other day and “get that heart rate up” yada yada yada. I like the idea of 20 minutes a day and being able to break it up into 10 minutes here and 10 minutes there.I think I’m going to like this new, painless, form of exercise! Oh, and her father has since died, after being a Tai Ji Master for over 50 years and she says “he’s teaching Tai Ji to God now.”I’ll bet he is. And I hope he keeps it up – at least until I’ve reached…………that level!

Welcome To The Boomers And Beyond........

Definition Of A Baby Boomer
Baby boomers are people born during the demographic Post–World War II baby boom between the years 1946 and 1964. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the term "baby boomer" is also used in a cultural context

This is the first post on this blog and we welcome to all of you.
The point of this blog is to cross generational lines, a little bit or a lot more, while being as diverse as possible. Here you'll find topics on exercise, news, recipes, gardening, current affairs, books, debates, stories of years past, jokes and more! It's your own personal rant, rave, emotional outlet, a place for you to connect with and to people. It's local, it's national, it's international. It's a pen pal site. And it's a place to go when the newspaper or all online news is just too overwhelming.
Begin a topic, come here for all your useful information from others or just lurk until you're ready to post!
Any and all suggestions will be considered. Remember, this is your blog! Have fun! And just about anything goes......except bad words and indecent content, of course.