Saturday, August 30, 2008

More on Seniors and Bankruptcy

I'm sorry - but in the USA when an 80-year old has no option but to file bankruptcy - I get royally pissed!

This 80-year-old woman was still working to supplement her social security income but she needed surgery and like too many other Americans - she used credit cards for food...and now she is filing for bankruptcy.

Unfortunately she is not alone!
In 1991, the 55-plus age group accounted for about 8 percent of bankruptcy filers, according to the study, which looked at more than 6,000 cases filed in 1991, 2001 or 2007. By last year, filers 55 and over accounted for 22 percent.

Each age group under 55 saw double-digit percentage drops in their bankruptcy filing rates over the survey period, older Americans saw remarkable increases. The filing rate per thousand people ages 55-64 was up 40 percent; among 65- to 74-year-olds it increased 125 percent; and among the 75-to-84-year-old set, it was up 433 percent.
[emphasis added by Lynn]

Full article HERE

My mother used to worry about outliving her money - so should the rest of us as it is more of a reality.

Again I ask - why do we treat our elders this way? Why do we allow medical establishments to force us into bankruptcy? With the big pharmas helping push all along on this same path? [often with meds we do not need]

We need a sane medical policy like universal coverage - which would help alleviate a lot of the sky rocketing costs.

The USA has among the highest medical costs in the world - but not even the best care anymore...that is sad too.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Youth Obsession

In this and other countries we tend to have an obsession with "youth" - especially for females.

Older men are seen as sexy, vibrant, etc. Older women are fired from jobs, traded in for trophy wives, etc. and so have become the targets of all the "get younger" sales pitches.

The companies selling the look young and get young products are preying on the fears of women. Yes there are hair dyes for men saying look younger, but I do not see the plethora of ads I see pitched to women.

Maybe it will take a few more generations of older women for the media to catch on that you can't go backwards no matter how much you might want to. And maybe that same media will lose it's nonsensical idea that only young women can be seen on major TV shows and the alleged "news." [I call it the alleged news now as it's all infotainment.]

Today I was reading about products for sale that make you "lose years," "stop aging," "reverse your aging, " etc. as if all we needed to do was pop a pill or wipe on some magic lotion and we'd be 21 again:-)

Sorry to say but the only way I know we can stop aging is to die...the rest is about taking care of the body you live in so you get older and stay in good shape...

There is no magic cure for turning back the clock - but there are products that can keep us looking good and feeling good at the age we are! I jokingly say I am over 65 going on 45....but that's because I am so active and believe I am in good shape. But everyone knows it's a joke.

I am over 65 and a lot closer to 70 now than to 65...I don't always like that fact, as you know, but that's tough :-) I am the age I matter what I put on my skin it can only look better - it does not not get matter what vitamins and supplements I take, they only keep me feeling good...they can not make me 45 again!

And yes I color my hair, and have done so for decades, since I am vain enough to not like the washed out look of gray at my temples..but that only helps me psychologically - it does not make me "young."

We can't grow younger better - we can only grow older take care of your body no matter what age you are now - so it can be in the best shape it can be as you age....

Thursday, August 21, 2008


If you have been reading this blog you know I harp on obesity - it's bad and getting worse - for adults and for kids..

A new report came out this week which indicates that obesity rates have increased in 37 states! And in more than half of the states - more than 25% of the adults are now obese...

The worst state? Mississippi - where 31.7% are obese. The best is Colorado where only 18.4 % are obese. But to my way of thinking - even 18% is bad; there is nothing good about being obese.

Full article here so you can see where your state falls on the scale:

And the problem is increasing every year. We have not been able to convince people that super sizing and lack of activity are bad for them.

A good sized meal is one that is about the size of your fist! That's sufficient fuel for your body - unless you are Michael Phelps and swimming in the Olympics! But it isn't just how much you eat - it's what.

I've never seen the research on this but I am a firm believer that the obesity problem parallels the low fat no fat "matters" that went on sale. The more we eat of those chemical laden "matters" the fatter we are getting and the more health problems we are having. I have a rule of thumb when reading ingredients - if it sounds like a chemical or I can't even pronounce it - I don't buy it.. All those "matters" [I can't honestly call them food] need chemicals to give them some taste so you'll keep buying them.

Think about it - we have diseases and health problems that are either new or on the increase. Fybromyalgia, asthma, obesity, varieties of diabetes, auto immune system problems, etc. And in my head - the increase in these parallels the loss of food in our food.

I don't want to eat a tomato or peach that ripened in a truck nor do I want food that is grown large to look good for sales but has no nutrition left.

This is a very alarming trend and one that is increasing - that in spite of ads and articles about exercising and eating well.. How will this affect the aging process. We already know how obesity affect our children ? and our own bodies? ...

It's scary as no one seems to really be paying attention....

Monday, August 18, 2008

Mothers and Flashbacks

My mother was born in August and died in August - so maybe that's why I have been having random flashbacks about her of late.

We used to speak on the phone most every Sunday and yesterday I had the urge to call her. I know she is dead - but wow was that a strong feeling...even after 7 years.

It was like after my father died, I'd be visiting my mother and I'd say something like - aren't we going to wait til dad comes home before we eat?

Maybe I'm odd - after all I was the one stepping over a space on the floor after my old cat died..I was sure she was there and underfoot. It was even weirder though when my dog also stepped over that same spot....

Or maybe we are wired to still see, hear and feel those people and pets who were once close to us...

Friday, August 15, 2008


100 yesterday and it will go over 100 today...and tomorrow!

I was never tolerant of heat and any day over 80 is too hot for me....When the hot days come in a row - I am not a happy camper. I know "older" people are more prone to problems with heat - so if I am already intolerant of heat- what on earth will happen when I am "old?" [snark snark]

Anyway - this afternoon I dealt with it by doing my best Michael Phelps imitation and am sitting around in a wet bathing suit ready to go back in. One aspect of living here that I am still getting used to is that the hottest part of the day is from 3- 6 PM - [and not 12- 3 PM] So until 6 or 7 wet bathing suit it is!

Another thing is that although the river seems calm, when trying to swim upstream - it was obvious there was a strong current...

Here's the "big pool" - the open, current laden,
part of my "backyard"

And here is my "lap pool" - the space between mine and my neighbor's house where the current is reduced.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Beware the newest spam - "news alert"

My spam box has been filled lately with subject lines like breaking news from CNN or MSNBC.

My filters all alert me that these are not from who they say...they are part of a vicious program to trick you into opening and/or downloading programs that will take over your computer.

You can tell who email is from by clicking on the tab [for your particular email program] that says something like more information - when the mail is spam - the return address is usually very odd as it is most always not a US configuration.

But if you are not sure - be safe and just delete any email that is a news alert. You can read news alerts by going directly to the CNN or MSNBC sites...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Top 100 list - and this blog is on it!

I got an email today from a group, Nursing School Search, that listed the top 100 women's health blogs and said this one was on the list!

It's down there at #78 - in the category called Fit and Healthy over 40....

Here's the link: top 100 womens health blogs

Thank you...

And PS - I did go for a mile run/walk this was such fun that I'll do it again and at some point it will be more run than walk :-)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Maybe It's Time to Start Running Again

I used to run - not far and not consistently. When I lived in Boston the Boston Marathon always was an incentive to start running but...that fizzled in the heat of a Boston summer or cold of a Boston winter...

Then in DC I lived near a track and ran on that with some neighbors and trained a bit with a friend who was into marathons. Back in New England I ran again but since arriving in Portland - I have not run at all - oops.. but I walk a lot :-)

So when read this today - I thought - hmmm - maybe it is time to start running again..
Regular running slows the effects of aging, according to a new study from Stanford University School of Medicine that has tracked 500 older runners for more than 20 years. Elderly runners have fewer disabilities, a longer span of active life and are half as likely as aging non runners to die early deaths, the research found.
"The study has a very pro-exercise message," said James Fries, MD, an emeritus professor of medicine at the medical school and the study's senior author. "If you had to pick one thing to make people healthier as they age, it would be aerobic exercise." The new findings will appear in the Aug. 11 issue of the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.

Full article here

Tomorrow morning - I'm going out for a run!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Yoga and pets

Many yoga poses are named after cats and it's not a surprise that my dog thinks some poses are an invite for him to play with me. But he weighs almost as much as I do and he's a leaner - so I have worked hard to teach him to be quiet and watch as I do yoga...

This "training" usually works in the summer as outside is much more entertaining than watching me - he has the neighbors convinced he lacks for food and attention :- ). But sometimes he just needs to be right at the edge of my mat watching....especially if I lie still on the mat [it's called corpse pose for a reason]

I've tried telling him that yoga will keep me around longer so he need not worry that I am actually going to expire - but he doesn't always listen - and when he worries himself enough - he lies on top of me or hits me with his paw.....The cat also sometimes decides that we can "share " the mat...and when she tries that - the dog also wants to "share." And - as It's a normal sized yoga mat - guess who loses her space and can't continue doing her yoga?

It's fun to do yoga with pets around - it teaches lessons that I'm guessing the yogis probably never intended :-) or maybe they did?

When not on my yoga mat this is where they are:-)

Sam in his usual summer spot

And Sheba in hers:

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Take meds? Then read this!

If you have been a reader of this blog, you know I do not take kindly to what are called the Big Pharmas...

Yet even I can be disgusted more than I already was as I just finished reading this book by Melody Petersen:
Our Daily Meds: How the Pharmaceutical Companies Transformed Themselves into Slick Marketing Machines and Hooked the Nation on Prescription Drugs
She was the drug industry reporter for the New York Times from 1999 to 2003 and boy did she do some research!

The disgusting thesis of the book is that the big pharmas "create" diseases and ailments in order to sell a pill that they are designing or have already made! It's that simple. Are they trying to cure anything? Not really - just pushing pills - especially onto older Americans!

From what I gather, they tried to push the pills in Europe - but Europeans are a bit more sophisticated as are their governments and so did not allow some sales.. Here? Big pharmas run the government and no one says NO to them, their money or their pills.

Got a problem? Take a pill! Pill cause a problem? Take another! That pill create a problem? Here is yet another pill.

Do we care if you are over-pilled and the pills can - and do - kill you? Not at all - we make money and that's all that matters!

An article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported that an estimated 106,000 hospitalized patients die each year from drugs which, by medical standards, are properly prescribed and properly administered. More than two million suffer serious side effects. [emphasis added]

Reference: Lazarou J, Pomeranz BH, Corey PN: "Incidence of adverse drug reactions in hospitalized patients." JAMA 1998;279:1200

Adverse drug reactions from prescribed drugs - not street drugs - is the 4th leading killer in the USA and these adverse reactions have been on the increase since 1998.

I had my thyroid gland nuked 20 years ago and so must take that one med.. I have steadfastly refused to add pills for "hormone replacement, "stave off osteoporosis", "protect your heart" and other such maladies.

I am not suggesting you stop taking meds, but I do suggest you sit down with your physician and talk about the list of meds you take and if yo really need all those newly made up ones that docs are paid to prescribe.

That's my soap box for another day - [and I've said that before] - but yes - most docs are paid well by the big pharmas to get you to take and keep taking your daily doses of pills!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

The "fat and uglies"

I had a good friend, one of those who died last year, who would say she was having "one of those fat and ugly" days. She was neither fat nor ugly but I knew what she meant - [after all :-) we were both psychologists.]

Thought of her the other day - probably as I have an old medicine bottle she once gave me and I was dusting it...

I passed the 1/2 year mark recently and I've begun to think I have had some of "those unfit and old" days. I'm not unfit but I might be "old." How do I or we define old? I'm teaching a lifespan class this summer and it's been fun to hear what students label "old" - but even their definitions have changed as they have read thru the text.

Are you only as old as you feel? or act? And if so, that can change every day or even a few times a day. Or do we take the average or the median as a measure? I don't know - but I sure know we don't take the "real number" - just as in the good old days - we never were really fat and ugly.....