Sunday, July 27, 2008

My take on healthy 90-year-olds

People in their 90's were obviously born in the 1910's and on. They survived the flu epidemic of 1917 and the various childhood diseases that killed many. My mom was such a 95-er who died in 2001.

The food they ate, and the food I ate, was nutritious. They got exercise as they went about their daily lives. They walked to school, lived without central heat and AC...and drank clean water. They breathed cleaner air as kids - depending on where they lived - and did without radios and TVs for most of their lives.

What has changed? Even when I was a kid, a lot of what I listed above was still true. Good food, cleaner air [and I lived in NYC] no TV til I was about 10 - and clean water. But then we hit the 1950's post WWII boom and paved the country, built communities that necessitated driving and encouraged a TV for every house - then every room in every house :-).

We've killed the soil as the major corporations took over "farming," using chemicals to make food bigger with longer shelf lives - or truck lives now...Food is not ripened in the fields - it ripens in the truck or in your home - that's not nutrition - it's "filler."

I went shopping today and wanted some avocados - they were all like rocks. I won't buy them like that. By the time they ripen in my home, they are usually yukky. And that was from the "better" stores......

So how do we get healthy 90-year-olds in the future? We need to encourage healthy nutrition and life styles in women before they get pregnant and the same for children from the time they are born. To do that we need to turn around the unhealthy lifestyles we are now encouraging - lowering the obesity rate for children and adults - and going back to sustainable farming taking food-based supplements - because most of our food, sadly, is lacking nutrition....

We can do it...

Friday, July 25, 2008

What do we know about active 90-year-olds?

Almost nothing!

This news clip is amazing!

Knowledge about human health outgrew the size of a single textbook long ago. Today our understanding of prenatal health alone could fill a small library, from fetal wound healing to the effects of air pollution, X-rays, even methamphetamines on fetal growth.

But if you are over the age of 90, the answers are few and far between.
Ann Johansson/for The Star-LedgerHal Peoples, 94, lawn bowls at the Laguna Woods Village retirement community in Laguna Woods, Calif.

The efficacy of dialysis for chronic kidney disease? Unknown.

Heart surgery outcomes? Unknown.

Risks from colonoscopy, high cholesterol or chemotherapy?

No one really knows, even though nonagenarians are the fastest-growing age group around the world.
Full article:

Why don't we know? Because no one knows where to find healthy active seems we only know where to find the sicker ones!

In the USA, we have generally ignored the "real" aging population - focusing instead on our bias that all "old people" are frail, needing help and afraid of doing anything that may lead to getting hurt. So we only look at the frail, weak and less active among the older generations.

We need to put a major focus on healthy aging and prevention..we are a country obsessed with disease and "cures" but the old saying about that "ounce of prevention" works for all ages. We say we have a health care system but we have a disease care sytem. We need to stop spending all the time and money on cures and start spending on prevention of the problems as well.

As the article concludes:
All the cures in the world...will mean little until we understand how and why we age:

"Let's say you cure a 70-year-old woman of breast cancer, but she's frail, she's in a nursing home and she has Alzheimer's. Have you really done anything to increase her quality of life?"

Monday, July 21, 2008

An open letter to AARP's Bill Novelli

Dear Mr. Novelli

I have emailed you many times about my displeasure at your support of Medicare Part D and a request for an apology. I have sometimes been emailed back that my mail was forwarded to the appropriate department - or some such message [I think of that department as the "round file cabinet" of old – or today's trash button.]

I have not mailed you as I assume I'd also just be wasting my time as well trying that method – but after yet another letter from you filled with petitions and the ever present request to send money - I am posting this as an open letter on my blog. You may never see it - but others will.

Back when you supported Medicare Part D and I call it part D[umb] many of us predicted that costs for medications would sky rocket as would all health/medical costs. You dismissed our concerns and put the full power and credibility of AARP behind YOUR support of Medicare Part D[umb]. And guess what? We, the concerned non-supporters of that measure, were correct.

In my emails to you since that time I have asked for an apology. None came - I have not even seen you discuss your role in this – but then I don’t read every page of the AARP materials. I've also wondered what, if any, were the financial gains to you personally and to AARP - as it sells it's "name" to some of the very “health care” companies that are constantly raising their rates.

You keep sending out letters telling me that medical costs are increasing. Duh! I think we all know this. But it’s when you say that health care must be more affordable that you really anger me. See I blame you for a large part of the increased costs of much of this due to your support of Medicare Part D[umb].

Your recent scare letter with it’s underlined, bolded, and large letters is yet another in the long line of mail that I get from you – all seemingly calculated into scarring us into sending you more money. This is obviously my personal perspective but one that is shared by many I know. And the petition part, along with the request for money comes filled out with my name and/or my name and address.

What this means to me is that I need to waste more of my time shredding these forms. And while I am on this train of thought – I need to carefully go through your magazines to pull out and shred all the advertising in it, which also has my name and address pre-printed! I mentioned this a friend and she said she just tosses the magazine without reading - so now she too will have to go through and pull out the ads for shredding.

Add to this the endless junk mail from your advertisers and alleged “health care” partner – also all filled out for me.... and I wonder why you tell us to be careful about identity theft when you seemingly add to the potential for that problem!

For all these reasons I am no longer an AARP member. I renewed a while ago as I had signed up for your alleged “heath care” partner’s insurance which required that I be a member. That “partner” misrepresented its monthly costs and got downright nasty when I cancelled. But that’s another issue which I’m sure you will ignore.

Yours truly,

Lynn Dorman

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Today my son turns 30!

If you are a parent - you are likely familiar with one of the following phrases:
How can my kid be 30? I remember his birth with vivid detail - it couldn't have been that long ago!
How can my kid be 30? I haven't aged 30 years since he was born!

Him then:

Him more recently - but he has added a beard since this photo

Friday, July 11, 2008

More about finances and aging

Read this today and got mad [at the politicians in charge] and sad [as it will get worse when winter arrives.]

These are tough economic times for people of all ages, but few are affected more than senior citizens living on pensions and Social Security, and juggling medical bills, credit card payments and mortgages along with soaring food and gas costs.

Americans age 55 or older experienced the sharpest rise in bankruptcy filings during the 16-year period between 1991 and 2007, according to a report released by AARP, "Generations of Struggle." The rate of personal bankruptcy filings among those ages 65 or older grew by 125 percent, while the bankruptcy rate of seniors ages 75 to 84 jumped a stunning 433.3 percent.

"It's frightening. It's a horror story in the making. It will not get better. It will continue to get worse," said Thomas Mackell., chairman of the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and author of "When the Good Pensions Go Away." "We are facing a generation of boomers where 55 percent of them are ill-prepared economically to retire."

Full article:

Home values are down, hard now to get refinancing, the company you worked for forever decides to stop paying pensions and heath care, etc. Your IRA is worthless with the market downturn and gas costs over $4 a gallon.

I don't usually post a personal business plan here - but now I am going to do just that - so if you don't want to read a "commercial" stop now : -)

If you do want to learn how to have at least an extra 3 to 6 thousand dollars in income 12 months from now, please get in touch with me: 503-477-5550. I'm part of a business group that has a structured, supportive team work approach to the business. I won't go into details here as that's not the gist of this blog - but for those who want or need that extra money - which will keep coming in even if you stop working this program - please contact me. If you have friends you'd like to partner with and all make this money - it's a great program for sharing - as we say in psychology - it's a win-win. Oh - you need only work between 6 to 10 hours a week...

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Aging and Finances

Every time I open the paper or log onto my computer I see articles about prices. Gas will never go low again, home heating oil will go up lots this winter, food costs more due to gas prices and will cost even more due to the Mid West floods. My local paper says we should prepare for higher electric costs - why? Utilities use oil too!

Those on fixed or semi-fixed incomes will not have an easy time this winter - especially those living in the North East. Home heating oil is the same as diesel and that's more costly than gas for your car - unless of course if you already have a diesel engine.

Will Social Security payments go up? Yea - the usual minuscule amount which is never enough to cover the REAL increased costs of living - and you know Medicare Part A will increase - hence I worry because the real cost of living this winter will be so very much higher than any increases in SSI.

Politicians in New England are already thinking how to deal with this potential looming disaster where people may have to make choices between heating homes or buying food. Add in medical costs and we have all the makings for a major disaster in the East and in other parts of the country.

We need to make serious changes in our country - and I hope they start getting made now so we are ready for next Fall and Winter BEFORE we get to those seasons.