A Juggling Act: Work and Caregiving

When her mother’s dementia progressed, Jamie from Alabama stepped up to help her remain at home. She is one of the 42 million Americans who give their hearts as family caregivers every day, helping older parents, spouses or other loved ones live independently, with dignity. “We all pitched in to help,” Jamie said. “In the early years, it was possible for us to take turns having her stay in our homes for several months at a time. Her illness had …

What’s Different About Family Caregiving Today?

This is a pivotal time. Converging sociodemographic trends and more complex care needs are contributing to historically unprecedented challenges in family care of older people in the U.S. For most of human history, requiring help in old age was uncommon. As Atul Gawande writes in Being Mortal, “The natural course was to die before old age.” Only 41 percent of people born in 1900 survived to age 65. In sharp contrast, an estimated 84 percent of people born in 2010 …

Midlife Diabetes Tied to Memory Problems Later in Life

Having diabetes or prediabetes in midlife is linked to memory problems later in life, according to new research published in Annals of Internal Medicine. In fact, diabetes appears to age the brain about five years faster than normal aging. Johns Hopkins researchers in Baltimore tracked the blood sugar levels and brain health of more than 15,000 adults ages 48 to 67 with regular exams for 20 years and found there was nearly 20 percent greater decline in memory and cognitive function in those with …

This Week: A Singular Look at Stephen Hawking

In Theaters: A heartfelt look at the burden of genius. At Home: Rob Reiner’s latest. Plus: The first true horror movie looks better than ever.   The Theory of Everything The life of a monumental thinker gets landmark treatment in this superbly acted and lovingly directed biography. Eddie Redmayne plays astrophysicist Stephen Hawking from his carefree college days, through his heartrending descent into Lou Gehrig’s Disease, to his ultimate triumph in the realm of science. Felicity Jones costars as his first …

Lost in My Memory System

I was absolutely certain we were in the right neighborhood, on the right street, in the right city of the right county and in the right solar system, but I was wrong. It is difficult for me to admit that because it is a confession that will haunt me for the remainder of my wretched life. It was the right area on the right planet, all right, but the street we had been looking for during the past hour and …

If You’re 65, You Have 18 to 20 More Years to Live

Older Americans are living longer than ever, with a life expectancy at age 65 of about 20 more years for women and 18 more years for men, according to a new government report. Americans’ life expectancy from birth also reached a record high in 2012 — 78.8 years, said researchers with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We can thank a healthier lifestyle — as well as fewer deaths from major diseases including Alzheimer’s, heart disease, cancer, stroke …