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Sally Abrahms


I’m a long-time contributor to AARP with both a personal and professional interest in caregiving. For the last twelve years, I have cared for my father, then my mother and now my 94-year-old mother-in-law. I cover aging and boomers and have written for TIME, Newsweek, the New York Times, USA Today and the Huffington Post, among others.

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Sally Abrahms'sPosts

Why the Risk of Dementia May Be Declining

Posted on 12/5/2013 by | Caregiving | Comments

CaregivingExercise. Keep learning. Avoid obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Treat depression and cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure and cholesterol. Stay socially active. Retire later. Have an educated mother. That prescription may prevent or postpone dementia, according to an analysis, just published in the New England Journal of Medicine, of five studies from 2005 to 2013. Experts on aging have found that the risk of dementia for individuals seems to have gone down over the last 20 years, and …

What Does the New End-of-Life Study Mean?

Posted on 12/1/2013 by | Caregiving | Comments

CaregivingWhen it comes to end-of-life medical decisions, Americans are divided over what they think is right: to pull out all the stops and try everything regardless of the situation, or discontinue treatment and allow someone to die if he or she chooses. A newly released survey by the Pew Research Center asked nearly 2,000 adults by telephone to weigh in on their beliefs, including the hot-button issue of physician-assisted suicide. The results: 66 percent think a patient should be allowed …

Making Communities More Welcoming to People of All Ages

Posted on 11/20/2013 by | Caregiving | Comments

CaregivingTrust me, you don’t want to have problems getting around and be in Venice, Italy. Venice is an amazing city — the culture, the architecture, the food and the canals. But there are more than 400 bridges — many of them footbridges. You’re walking to yet another lovely square and, guess what? All of a sudden there are steep steps up and down if you want to continue on your way.  Good luck if you’re not up to the task — …

Encore! The Highest Honor for Veterans

Posted on 11/14/2013 by | Caregiving | Comments

CaregivingWhat timing for Veterans Day! Winners of the 2013 Purpose Prize, for people 60+ who are making a difference in others’ lives by combining their personal experience and passion, were announced this week. Two of these annual prizes, awarded by the nonprofit “second act” organization, went to people working with vets. This year’s social entrepreneurs could be a resource for readers. If nothing else, their efforts will blow you away. Vicki Thomas: A career public relations and marketing executive in Connecticut, …

Advance Planning for Eldercare Saves Money, A New Study Shows

Posted on 10/31/2013 by | Caregiving | Comments

Bulletin Today | CaregivingWhen it comes to planning for long-term care, the early bird does get the worm, according to a new  study: The report shows that families who anticipate their needs can save close to $11,000 a year in out of pocket expenses by planning in advance instead of waiting until a crisis. >> Sign up for the AARP Money Matters newsletter What’s more, 38 percent of family caregivers and 35 percent of care recipients in the study, commissioned by the insurance company Genworth …

Does Caregiving Help You Live Longer?

Posted on 10/16/2013 by | Caregiving | Comments

Bulletin Today | CaregivingIf you’ve heard that being a family caregiver can diminish your life expectancy, the results of a new report from Johns Hopkins University should make you relax. It turns out that caring for a chronically ill or disabled family member can, in fact, extend a caregiver’s life. Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter The recent research showed that caregivers live an average of nine months longer than non-caregivers. Researchers took participants from a pool of 30,000 in a National Institutes of Health …