Why Our Young Adults Do the Things They Do

About a decade ago, Frances Jensen’s sweet-natured 15-year-old son returned home from a friend’s house with his hair dyed black and announced he was planning to add red streaks. Jensen’s reaction was typical of countless parents who suddenly confront a stranger living in their house. “I was gobsmacked. Is this really my child?” she writes. While many of us would just start ranting, Jensen, then a Harvard Medical School neurology professor and researcher, was inspired by the incident to start …

Tough Job? You May Reap Brain-Health Rewards Later

Ever feel like you’ve worked so hard that your brain needs a break at the end of the day? Or that you’ve negotiated your way through so many political minefields that you feel you should get a peace prize? Although it may seem as if your workplace is frying your brain, it turns out the mental demands of work help protect your memory and thinking skills later in life, at least according to one new study published in the journal …

AARP to Host “Still Alice” Screenings Nationwide

  As the Oscar-winning drama Still Alice comes to DVD and Blu-Ray on May 12, AARP’s Movies for Grownups has joined forces with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment to host more than 40 screenings of the film nationwide in May and June. Julianne Moore won an Oscar for her poignant and sympathetic portrayal of the title character, Alice Howland, who develops early-onset Alzheimer’s at age 50. In the exclusive video above, Moore discusses the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, while activist Maria Shriver — an executive …

It’s Not Your Father’s Old Age!

This article originally appeared in “The Power of Ideas: A Collection of Insights to Transform the Future,” The Milken Institute, April 2015. Our ability to live longer, healthier and more productive lives is one of mankind’s greatest accomplishments. Most people turning 50 today can expect to live another 30-plus years, most of it in relatively good health. That’s more time than they spent in childhood, in adolescence, and for many, it’s more time than they spend working. Yet, research shows …

Can’t Hear in a Restaurant? Time to Get Your Hearing Checked

If you’re finding it hard to hear what your companions are saying in a restaurant or at a party, it’s time to get your hearing checked. The inability to hear speech in a noisy environment is one of the first signs of hearing loss, and although it may bother you only in certain situations, it’s not something to ignore. Hearing loss should not be dismissed as a natural sign of aging any more than high blood pressure or cholesterol would …

Can a Healthy Body Equal a Healthy Brain?

AARP is celebrating health living for April. Overall, Americans perceive their health to be excellent or good, and our research shows perceived health declines only 7 percentage points over a 45-year age range (72 percent among those ages 35-39, 67 percent among those ages 55-59, and 65 percent ages 75 to 80). In AARP’s Happiness Study, when asked about serious health conditions (e.g., diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc.) 12 percent of those ages 35-39 had two or more …