Being a Man
Top 10 Causes of Death Among Adults Over Age 65
9 Ways to Beat a Sedentary Lifestyle
'Safe home' design may prevent injuries in elderly
He Who Dies with the Most Toys, Still Dies
Seniors & Health
Sex and Aging
The Boomer Sex Surprise
5 Myths About Sex After 50
What I Learned About Sex After 50
Seniors and Suicide
Elder Care
Elder Abuse
Aging Changes in the Senses
Brains of the elderly slow because they know so much......
Sexuality and Physical Changes With Aging plus a Dr. Ruth 2:10 Video
The Caregiver's Dilemma: Financing Care for Your Aging Parents
Widower's Peak: As Males Live Longer, More Are, Unexpectedly, All Alone
When Sex Doesn't Work, What Do You Do?
When the Thrill Is Gone
Planning for the Future for Seniors with Special Needs
Home Organization for Newly Disabled Seniors
Should They Stay or Should They Go: Selling a Home with Modifications
Legal Guide for Newly Disabled Seniors
Lifts and Other Home Modifications for Accessibility
Let’s get real about planning: What an average retirement costs
Related Issues:
DeafnessElder Care, Senior Health, Skin, Senior Triathlon
Journals - on Elder Abuse and Trauma
Seniors, AIDS & Aging, Mature Smart
Tansition,  Grandpa Knows Best


Journey to the Old Age
Born to be Wild
Green Side of the Grass
Memory-a spoof by Pam Peterson
I Ain't As Sexy As I Used To Be
Classic Rock Songs updated for the singer’s age
Older Ladies by Donnalou Stevens
I Don't Look Good Naked Anymore

9 Ways to Beat a Sedentary Lifestyle

An increasingly sedentary lifestyle is one of the banes of our modern existence—and a major cause of the obesity epidemic. Research has found that being sedentary, including sitting for longer than 4 hours per day, greatly increases the risk of cardiovascular disease (perhaps even more than smoking!) and diabetes. Below are nine ways by which you can escape falling into the too-sedentary trap.

1. Take a Walk. Plenty of research has borne out the health benefits of a daily 30-minute walk. In the Nurses’ Health Study, for instance, those who walked briskly or otherwise achieved moderate-intensity exercise for at least 30 minutes every day had a low risk of sudden cardiac death during 26 years of follow up. Other research has shown that walking can prevent dementia better than any number of crossword puzzles can.

Yet another study has found that as little as three five-minute walks throughout the workday can reverse the harm caused to peripheral arteries (in the legs) by prolonged sitting. So get up and walk. Hold walking meetings instead of sitting around a conference table for hours at a time. Walk your dog—or your cat, if you (and your cat) are into that sort of thing. The point is to get—and keep—moving.

2. Take the Stairs. Studies have found that stair climbing, which is considered vigorous-intensity physical activity, burns more calories per minute than jogging. One company, StepJockey, which is funded by the United Kingdom Department of Health and has as its sole mission the goal of getting everyone to take the stairs whenever and wherever possible, notes that stair climbing expends eight to nine times more energy than sitting and about seven times more energy than taking the elevator.

And it is so easy to do. The stairs are often right there in front of you, and thus it can be a lot easier, and quicker, to take the stairs than to get to the gym or the sports field.

3. Stand Up. If you have a desk job or any other occupational activity that requires you to sit, make it a point to stand up at least every 20 minutes. Or get one of the standing desks that are becoming more and more popular. Take calls standing up. Stand up and get a drink of water. Stand up and walk over to the next cubicle or down the hallway to deliver news to a colleague.

In the United Kingdom, finding that British people sit for 8.9 hours each day on average, a unique and innovative campaign, known as Get Britain Standing, is underway to “grow awareness and education of the dangers of sedentary working (i.e., sitting more than 4 hours).” This campaign provides a variety of resources, including a “sitting calculator” that will help you estimate the time you spend sitting daily and correlate this with your “risk level.” They also provide a number of solutions for “Active Working."

4. Wash the Dishes. That’s right—instead of (barely) moving from table to couch, get up and clean your kitchen after dinner. You will be standing up and doing the dishes, then engaging in more physical activity as you clean the countertops, sweep the floor, etc. This will help you continue the increased physical activity you began at work (assuming you begin doing the above), and engaging in physical activity after eating helps lower blood sugar levels as well as the risk of insulin resistance in the long run.

If you’re eating out (which you should do less, especially if trying to lose weight, because eating out tends to lead to overeating), plan to take a nice walk after your dinner. You can continue conversations with companions while walking.

5. Get Up During Commercial Breaks. If you watch television at home, you can use commercial breaks as more time for physical activity. Standing up and doing something during commercial breaks—whether it be folding clothes, doing a few push-ups or sit-ups, or any number of other activities—will break up the extra sedentary time that tends to accrue during most, if not all, screen-based activities.

6. Go for a Run. You don’t have to be a running guru to reap the benefits of running. A recent study found that running for as little as five to ten minutes per day at slow speeds (less than six miles per hour) was associated with significantly reduced risks of death from all causes and from cardiovascular disease.

7. Do some gardening. Any gardener can tell you just how much physical effort is involved in every kind of gardening activity, and the American Heart Association considers general gardening to be one of many forms of exercise that fall under the category of moderate-intensity physical activity. Most gardeners find that gardening is not only mentally and spiritually stimulating, but that it is a fantastic physical activity as well—one that can prevent obesity.

8. Park Farther Away. Whenever you can do so safely, make it a point to park a little farther away from your destination so you have to walk a few steps more. Every step counts, and these extra steps will add up throughout the day to increase your overall physical activity. Wondering how many steps you’re taking on a daily basis? A number of pedometers are now on the market in every shape and color, it seems, and tracking your steps may help you get more active and lose more weight in the long term.

9. Better yet: Walk, Bike, or Take Public Transit. Mode of transportation has now been found to be associated with overweight and obesity. Active modes of travel such as walking or cycling have greater health benefits and greater potential to prevent obesity. Even public transit seems to be associated with lower body mass index (BMI) than driving your own car to work.

If you can do many or all of the above, you will be well on your way to staying in motion, which is key for lifelong health.


Levine JA. The chairman’s curse: lethal sitting. Mayo Clin Proc 2014;89:1030-1032.

Chiuve SE, Fung TT, Rexrode KM, Spiegelman D, et al. Adherence to a low-risk, healthy lifestyle and risk of sudden cardiac death among women. JAMA 2011; 306:62-69.

Thosar SS, Bielko SL, Mather KJ, et al. Effect of prolonged sitting and breaks in sitting time on endothelial function. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2014 Aug 18. [Epub ahead of print]

Lee DC, Pate RR, Lavie CJ, et al. Leisure-time running reduces all-cause and cardiovascular mortality risk. J Am Coll Cardiol 2014;64:472-81.

Flint E, Cummins S, Sacker A. Associations between active commuting, body fat, and body mass index: population based, cross sectional study in the United Kingdom. BMJ 2014;349:g4887.

'Safe home' design may prevent injuries in elderly

Research shows that 80% of injuries in people over 50 years of age occur in the home. In response to this statistic, Brazilian doctors held a competition that called for people to design a "Casa Segura" (Safe Home), suitable for an elderly person.

He Who Dies with the Most Toys, Still Dies

Most Men Will Die Before They Can Retire. I found a page on the web that listed life expectancy rates for women and men by the date they were born. I ran out of ink about a third of the way through and can't find it again. It was NVSR data, Table 6, Life Expectancy at birth by race and sex, US 1940, 1950, 1960 and 1970-96. It showed that all men born before 1992 have a life expectancy of 72 years or less. Black men born in 1996 or before aren't expected to make it to 66 and all men of color aren't expected to make it to 72 if born prior to 1996.

With Social Security, though you can get reduced benefits before 72, full funds don't happen until 72. That means that most men will never collect social security. Not a bad system from a governmental standpoint. I'm collecting mine starting at 62 - to hell with them. You pay into a system for 54 years (working from 18-72) and don't get anything back. No wonder the National Institute of Health isn't interested in figuring out how to end men's early death rate in all 15 major causes of death. What a country.

Mature Smart

This is a commercial site, but the products are straight-forward and useful, very appropriate for an older or disabled person.


Senate Probe: Abuse In Nursing Homes Not Treated Like Other Crimes

Nursing home patients have been dragged down hallways, doused with ice water, sexually assaulted and beaten in their beds, yet few prosecutions have resulted, a congressional investigation found.

Video 2:10
The normal aging process brings about physial changes in both men and women. These changes can have an impact on one's ability to enjoy sex.

Sexuality and Physical Changes With Aging

Sex and sexuality communicate a great deal: affection, love, esteem, warmth, sharing, and bonding. These gifts are as much the right of older adults as they are of those who are much younger.

Three aspects of sexuality are covered in this topic: the changes that come with aging, suggestions on how to adjust to these changes, and information about sexually transmitted diseases.

In most healthy adults, pleasure and interest in sex do not diminish with age. Age alone is no reason to change the sexual practices that you have enjoyed throughout your life. However, you may have to make a few minor adjustments to accommodate any physical limitations you may have or the effects of certain illnesses or medications.

The Boomer Sex Surprise

Get this surprising fact: Sex on a first date is twice as likely for people over 50 than for singles in their twenties and thirties, according to a new survey. Why? "As most people age, they become more confident, less inhibited and more likely to take a chance on someone new," says Beverly Mahone, a baby boomer expert and author of Whatever! A Baby Boomer's Journey Into Middle Age. "What's more, if you've been around the dating block a few times, you grow tired of the games and recognize what you like in a person much faster. Which means the dating process can be sped up considerably."

Get this surprising fact: Sex on a first date is twice as likely for people over 50 than for singles in their twenties and thirties, according to a new survey. Why? "As most people age, they become more confident, less inhibited and more likely to take a chance on someone new," says Beverly Mahone, a baby boomer expert and author of Whatever! A Baby Boomer's Journey Into Middle Age. "What's more, if you've been around the dating block a few times, you grow tired of the games and recognize what you like in a person much faster. Which means the dating process can be sped up considerably."

Meet Someone New...

So what's fueling these red-hot dates? Plain old lust! Turns out that 53 percent of singles over 50 say finding a relationship filled with fireworks is more important than landing a mate who is marriage-material. "There's a misconception that Boomers have conservative views toward sex, but let's not forget -- this is a generation that started the Sexual Revolution," says David Noble, founder and executive chief of, a lifestyle website for Boomers that conducted the study. "The truth is, most people in the stages of mid-life are not looking to re-marry. Many are divorced, have raised their kids and are now seeking fun and pleasure, not to grow old in a rocking chair." And it's true -- the study also found that 73% of single Boomers aim to find a satisfying sexual relationship in the next year, while 84% hope to have an intense sexual connection with the next person they meet.

"As people experience a drop in libido and women go through menopause, having feelings of lust and passion become more important than in their youth, when raging hormones ruled the day," adds Mahone.

So if you just met someone who makes your heart race and you're feeling spontaneous, it's OK to go for it -- just bear in mind this expert advice. "Whether you realize it or not, any time you have sex, you make an emotional investment," says Mahone. "Sometimes sleeping with someone too quickly can rev up expectations which can be awkward. If you do decide to hit the sheets, just make sure your relationship goals -- or lack thereof -- are on the same page," she says. "And of course, use protection."

Elise Nersesian is a New York-based writer who's contributed to Redbook, Health and other national magazines.


5 Myths About Sex After 50

Whether you've been single for a while or are just getting back into the dating scene, you probably have a few ideas about what your love life should be like at this age. Maybe you've even joked to yourself, "What love life? Aren't I too old to act like a hormonal teenager?" But the truth is, these years can bring on your very best sexual experiences. To show you how, I've laid out some of the most common misconceptions about sex at this age, and explained where faulty logic may lead you astray. Keep these reality checks in mind and plenty of satisfying experiences await.

Myth #1: If you're having sex with someone, you can assume it's serious

You may remember back in high school when, after three dates, you were officially a committed couple. But times have changed. Today, even if you've been dating and/or sleeping with someone for months, you can never assume you're exclusive -- or, for that matter, that your one-and-only is dying to find a life partner and settle down. Many 50-somethings want to date around, especially if they're divorced and experiencing single life again for the first time in years. So, don't get so caught up in the excitement of your new romance that you let this crucial detail slide. Many people find that the best time to pop the question is once it becomes clear that you may soon start having sex. If that's your case, consider saying it this way: "Before we sleep together, I need to know this relationship is exclusive." Or if you've already crossed that line, it's completely fine to pull back and say, "I'm not comfortable continuing to sleep with you unless we're in a committed relationship." That way, you're both clear on your expectations and won't be blindsided by surprises.

Myth #2: You're too old to worry about STDs

Just because the risk of pregnancy is gone after menopause doesn't mean you're in the clear when it comes to having unprotected sex. Sexually transmitted diseases can be passed from partner to partner at any age and aren't merely something younger generations need to worry about. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 23 percent of the total diagnoses of HIV in the past year were in men and women who were 45 or older. Overall, about 10 percent of all people with AIDS in the U.S. are age 50 and older. And that's not all there is to watch out for -- herpes, HPV, Chlamydia, and other ailments are all surprisingly common in this age group. So make sure to use condoms and consider both getting tested before you jump into action.

Myth #3: Your aging body is no longer as attractive as it once was

Sure, many of today's most prevalent sex symbols -- Paris Hilton, Lindsey Lohan and Justin Timberlake -- are young. Still, there are plenty of celebrities over 50 -- Goldie Hawn, Susan Sarandon, and Sean Connery, to name a few -- who prove that people can be hot at any age. So stop worrying about your wrinkles, gray hair and less-than-youthful assets and revel in the ways age has made you even more seductive: Now, more than ever, you're in touch with your turn-ons, turn-offs, and what makes you tick. And that's very attractive! Plus, take a cue from some of those older hotties I mentioned by staying fit, getting a new hairstyle, or splurging on a new outfit or two to feel fabulous and up-to-date. Also, if you are meeting someone, forgo the sedentary dinner date and ask this person to go on a walk or dancing instead. Revving your energy like this can boost your body image and pave the way to a lustier post-date encounter.

Myth #4: Sex should feel the same as it did when you were younger

It's a fact of life: Sex is going to feel different as you age. Post-menopausal women lubricate less, which can make sex uncomfortable. Men over 50 may find that their erections are not as firm or frequent as they were when they were younger. This is all normal, and in no way means you can't enjoy yourself by making some adjustments. Consider getting a water-based lubricant (many are available at drugstores) to help out where nature has left off. Men, see a doctor to find out if Viagra or a similar medication will give you the boost you may need. But products and prescriptions are not the only solutions. When the action's lagging, consider switching from intercourse to oral sex or asking each other, "What can I do to make you feel good?" Keep the lines of communication open, and you'll easily adapt to your body's changes and those of your partner.

Myth #5: By this point, you know what you like -- and should stick to it

Think you've been there, done that with all things sexual and have a good handle on what floats your boat in bed? Guess again: People's tastes and turn-ons change through the years, and sometimes, the only way to figure out what works is to try it -- or, if you already did decades ago, give it a second chance. Maybe sex toys seemed silly or embarrassing to you during your younger years. Now, however, they are an array of cute, non-threatening products available in non-sleazy stores and online sites (like Or, maybe you were never a fan of a certain sex position (like woman on top) or activity (like talking dirty). Well, now's the time to reconsider. It sure beats doing the same old, same old for the next few decades. Treat sex like the ongoing adventure it should be, and the fun will never end!.

Source: Dr. Sari Locker, Ph.D., is a sex educator, TV personality, and author of the bestseller, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Amazing Sex. She has an M.S. in sex education and a Ph.D. in psychology, and was the host of Late Date with Sari on Lifetime Television. Her website is

What I Learned About Sex After 50

When you're in your 50s and back on the dating scene, you quickly realize that the rules of lovemaking aren't exactly the same as they were when you were first dating. While you may fear that the old gray mare just ain't what she used to be, you might be surprised to find out that there can be some incredible in-bed benefits to being a bit more seasoned. Below, men and women share their revelations of how sex can be an entirely new experience over 50.

Slowing down is sensual

''When I was younger, I hated hearing about how it takes you longer to respond sexually as you get older... but now that I am older, I realize it's a blessing. I think it's especially true that men feel this slowing down more than women... but that just gives them more time for foreplay, and I for one am not complaining about that!'' -- Deborah, 52, Great Neck, N.Y.

Lights out!

''When you hit 50, gravity's begun to work on your body. I think that as a result of this, some of us are a little less inclined to feel comfortable with their bodies, or at least to the same degree that we were in our younger years. Because of this, I found that a dimmer switch is a really great thing to have until you and your partner get comfortable with one another. 'Mood lighting' just helps take the edge off things!'' -- Mark, 57, Thousand Oaks, Calif.

More experience means everyone's happy!

''I actually enjoy sex a lot more than I did back when I was younger. Because I'm more experienced now than I was then, I am more attuned to what it is that I like. I'm also definitely more skilled than I was when I was less experienced, so I guess my partners are more thankful than they were back then, which also makes it a more enjoyable experience for me.'' -- Sharon, 55, Waco, Texas

The butterflies don't go away

''I've learned that even though I am much older than I was when I was first sexually active, I still have all of those nervous feelings before getting into bed with someone, and I still wonder about the same things: will I be good, will he be good, will the sex be good? It's funny how that giddy nervousness still crops up, but that's part of the thrill, I guess!'' -- Carole, 56, New York

Creativity counts

''You know the phrase, 'There's more than one way to cook a chicken'? Well, when you're in your 50s and have been having sex for quite some time, you've kind of gone through all of the recipes, if you catch my drift. Therefore, you kind of have to get inventive or it can get old. I've been pleasantly surprised to find out that the women I date are as into trying new 'recipes' as I am. I guess you sort of have to or sex can get really predictable.'' -- Robbie, 52, Coral Springs, Fla.

Buh-bye, birth control

''As most of the women I date have gone through menopause, the issue of getting one of them pregnant isn't there, which is a huge relief! I used to be so consumed with worrying about that when I was sexually active in my 20s and 30s. Not having to be concerned with it now is great; being able to have sex without that cloud of worry hanging over your head makes sex a lot more enjoyable, I think.''

You can be Mrs. (or Mr.) Robinson

''This may sound silly, but I have been dating some younger men over the last couple of years, and it is very exciting to know that they are interested in being with an older, more 'experienced' woman... that I can teach them a thing or two in the bedroom. I have spoken to some of my guy friends and they have had the same sentiments about dating younger women. Maybe it's all the Hollywood imagery we've been exposed to, but there is something that's a real turn-on about that situation. It's made me feel very strong and sensual and in control. I highly recommend it!'' -- Juliana, 58, St. Louis

Source: Chelsea Kaplan is deputy editor of and regularly appears as a guest on XM Radio's 'Broad Minded.' Her blog, ''I'm Somebody's Mother?'' can be found at . Check out

Let’s get real about planning: What an average retirement costs

The gray-haired couple sipping champagne on a beach at sunset. Grandpa teaching the grandkids how to fish at the family lake house. Are these scenes of carefree times in retirement based on financial reality?

According to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data, which is based on 2016 figures, “older households” — defined as those run by someone 65 and older — spend an average of $45,756 per year, or roughly $3,800 a month. That’s about $1,000 less than the monthly average spent by all U.S. households combined.

Naturally, your spending in retirement will vary based on countless variables, including the price of your preferred champagne and the annual property taxes on that lake house (if those things happen to be on your retirement vision board). Read on to learn how retirees’ spending habits tend to differ from the working population, and how you can plan for your personal post-work needs.

Spending by category

With fewer mouths to feed and no work-related costs to worry about, you may have expected retirement expenses to be even lower than the BLS data indicates.

In some categories, spending does indeed decrease, even in surprising ones like food. In others areas, like health care, life becomes more expensive as you age.

Here’s the data, shown as a monthly breakdown of how households headed by a retirement-age person spend money, on average, in seven major categories:

Housing: $1,322

You may be close to paying off your mortgage, but housing is the biggest spending category for all age groups — retirees included. Some costs never go away, even when a home loan is fully paid. This monthly expenditure includes property taxes, insurance, utilities, repairs and maintenance and household supplies.

Transportation: $567

People older than 65 do catch a break on transportation costs. The $6,814 annual average outlay, which includes the costs of gas, insurance and maintenance and repairs, is about one-third less than the nearly $9,000 average households of other ages shell out each year.

Health care: $499

Insurance premiums — which run more than $4,000 a year on average for the 65-plus set — are a spending category that just gets bigger as you age, at least until 75 when BLS data shows costs dipping about $30 per year. While a financial assist from an employer may no longer exist, at least there’s Medicare to help cover some costs.

Food: $483

This is another major budget category for all ages. Yet retirees spend nearly 20% less than the average household does on food, maybe thanks to more home cooking? Or capitalizing on the classic retiree early-bird special?

Personal insurance/pensions: $237

Those in the household who are still employed (bringing in earned income) are required to pay their fair share of salary to Social Security and perhaps even the company pension, which combined account for the bulk of this average monthly expense.

Cash contributions: $202

Apparently with age comes a greater appreciation of one’s financial blessings. Retirees report dedicating $2,429 of their annual income to “cash contributions” (which include charitable donations), compared with $2,081 by the average household.

Entertainment: $197

Living it up without having to get up and schlep to the office early the next morning is a perk of retirement. Here older households spend about as much on fun stuff as do those ages 25 to 34, but somewhat less than the broader average ($243 per month).

How this affects retirement planning

A widely accepted rule-of-thumb is that in retirement you’ll need to replace from 70% to 90% of your income to maintain your standard of living. But again, your mileage may vary depending on when you retire, where you choose to live, how long you live, when you start taking Social Security and a host of other factors.

The bottom line is that what you save today will determine how strictly you’ll have to budget down the road.

Don’t wait for the first sign of gray to see where you stand. Pick the age you want to stop working, type in how much money you’ve saved so far and this retirement calculator will show how much in inflation-adjusted dollars you’ll have available to spend each month in retirement. Adjust the numbers to see how small changes in your savings habits now can have a big impact in the future.

Secretary Thompson Hails 30th Anniversary Of The Older Americans Act Nutrition Program

Calling it the one of the most successful community-based programs for seniors in America, HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson today renewed his commitment to the Older Americans Act (OAA) Nutrition Program and launched its 30th anniversary celebration.

Census: More Elderly Live Together

Vic Pelton, 73 and in love, says there are no wedding bells in his future. He's content to share house keys and closet space - but not "I do's" - with his girlfriend of nearly two decades.

Gray hair can be a signature life event

Whether dyed, rinsed or allowed to grow naturally, gray hair can be a signature life event. Find out why it happens.

Census Finds 2.4 Million Grandparents Taking Primary Caregiver Roles Again

Hunched on the living room floor in front of a Lego set, 5-year-old Michael Simmons turned and waved at his grandfather. "Look, Grandpa," he said, holding a newly built toy in hand.

Boomers Age, Housing Needs Change

Experts call it the home of the future: wider hallways, nonslip floors, bathroom grab bars and adjustable shower seats - all for the comfort and convenience, too, of aging baby boomers.

UN: People Over 60 Will Quadruple

The number of people over 60 years of age will quadruple during the next half century in a worldwide "demographic revolution" that will strain pension and health care systems, U.N. officials and experts on aging said Wednesday. ,Source:

Get the Most from Your Health Care Team

Whether you are the primary caregiver for a family member, or even taking care of yourself, it pays to ask questions in a clear and assertive manner. Don't assume "the doctor will let us know if..." The best work actively with the health care team.

Use these suggestions to take the initiative:

  • Stay educated on each condition or treatment
  • Discuss personal wishes
  • Prepare for doctor's appointments
  • Schedule regular discussions with all care team members
  • Call in "the cavalry" when necessary

Stay educated on each condition or treatment

Research suggests that caregivers and patients who educate themselves get better results from doctors. Learn all you can to explore treatment options and alternatives knowledgeably.

  • Ask the doctor for books, videotapes, or other materials that explain your loved one's condition and treatment.
  • Get information from condition-specific organizations, such as the Alzheimer's Association and the American Heart Association.
  • Speak up if you have questions or concerns. You have a right to question anyone involved with your loved one's care.

FamilyCare America ( ) offers articles designed to address the specific concerns of caregivers. The company's online resource locator can help narrow your search for relevant information.

Discuss personal wishes

Before meeting with the doctor, get firm answers to the tough questions. Review these issues as early as possible, before there is a crisis. And consult a lawyer about living wills, durable powers of attorney for health care, and other documents that can help insure your loved one's wishes are carried out.

  • Who should make medical decisions if your loved one cannot?
  • What kind of medical intervention does your loved one want? Under what circumstances should heroic measures not be taken?
  • What medications or procedures should be avoided?
  • What worries or fears does your loved one have?

Prepare for doctor's appointments

Before each meeting with the doctor, make a list of issues you want to discuss. Write down questions in advance and make sure you have a pen and paper handy to take notes and record the doctor's answers. Consider asking the following types of questions:

  • Can you explain the illness in non-medical terms? Where can I find more information?
  • How has the situation changed since the last appointment?
  • Are more tests required? A second opinion?
  • What treatment options are available? Are there alternatives? What is likely to occur without any treatment?
  • What are the side effects of these treatments? Of prescribed medications?
  • How can you be reached? If you are unavailable, whom should we contact?
  • What steps should we take in case of emergency? What is the likelihood of such an event?
  • What are the next steps in the procedure or diagnosis?

You can keep a record of all discussions by using the Appointment Information form and the Caregiver's Log worksheet found at

Schedule regular discussions with all team members

A health care team may include a primary doctor, specialists, nurses, health aides, care professionals, family, and friends. In cases of complicated illness, you may want to draw these people together for a "heath care conference" that will get everyone on the same page. Don't assume all members of the health care team know the full picture; ask the primary care physician to take charge as "quarterback" to make sure everyone is clear about their roles.

Call in "the cavalry" when necessary

If you are unable to get the results you want on your own, find professional assistance.

If you are dealing with an eldercare situation, consider hiring a geriatric care manager.

Most health care facilities have resource persons such as social workers, patient advocates, chaplains, and nurses who will work for you and help clarify any concerns.

If you are battling the "system," enlist the help of your state ombudsman for managed or long-term care. 

About this Article

This article is reprinted with permission of , a nationally recognized resource that provides families with interactive care planning tools, resource locators and helpful checklists to make caregiving easier. The company also provides corporations with a Work/Life program for employed caregivers.

Older Men and Community Building

Prof. John Macdonald, Director of MHIRC, presented a paper about the spiritual health of older men at the "Older Men and Community Building Seminar" in February 2001. New articles also include "Making it OK to be Male", by Professor John Macdonald, Dennis McDermott and Carmine di Campli, which was presented at the 8th National Australian Suicide Prevention Conference. These and other new papers are available on the "articles" page:

Brains of the elderly slow because they know so much......

The brains of older people only appear to be less speedy, because they have so much information to access, much like a full-up hard drive, scientists believe.

Elderly people have so much information in their brain that it takes longer for them to access it, scientific studies show.

Older people do not decline mentally with age, it just takes them longer to recall facts, because they have more information in their brains, research suggests.

Much like a computer takes longer as the hard drive gets full up; so, too, do humans take longer to access information, it has been reported.

Researchers say this slowing down it is not the same as cognitive decline.

“The human brain appears to work slower in old age,” said Dr. Michael Ramscar, “but only because so much information has been stored over time. Older people simply know more, so selecting a correct choice from the trove of stored data may take a bit longer.”

So there now!!!!!!

Just exactly what I've been saying: " Our 'main frames' are over-loaded!"

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Age is not a handicap. Age is nothing but a number. It is how you use it. - Ethel Payne

Old age comes at an inconvenient time.