11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and … fun 1. Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird, wrote about the same characters in an earlier book, which will be published in 2015. (Learn more at AARP) 2. Some common medications might be connected with a higher risk of dementia. (Learn more at AARP) 3. “Light” jogging helps you live longer, while running strenuously might not be better than no exercise at all. (Learn more at Discovery) 4. People over 65 might need a little less sleep than …

Brain Health Is Important Today…and Even More So Tomorrow

The average person lives to be 78 today, which is three decades longer than a century ago. Scientists say they will soon be able to extend life well beyond 120. Many billionaires, particularly from Silicon Valley, are spending millions annually to disrupt death. Even Google set up Calico (California Life Co.) in September 2013 to reverse-engineer the biology that controls lifespan and “devise interventions that enable people to lead longer and healthier lives.” The longer we live, the higher the …

Common Sleep and Allergy Medications Linked to Dementia, Alzheimer’s

You may want to check your medicine cabinet after reading this. A new study links long-term use of common medications — including over-the-counter drugs for insomnia and hay fever — to a higher risk of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. Medications in the study included antihistamines found in Benadryl, sleep aids found in Tylenol PM, and certain antidepressants and treatments for bladder control. >> Hidden Dangers of Common Cold Meds Dementia risk in older adults starts to rise after three years of regular use …

Hearing Loss? Denial Doesn’t Work. Trust Me.

En español | Boomers and beyond: It may be time to face up to the fact that you probably have hearing loss. An estimated 48 million Americans do, and 55 percent of them are under the age of 60. It’s easy to ignore, but your life will be much better if you don’t.  Like many people, I spent years — decades! — denying that my hearing loss was a problem. It came on suddenly and strongly, so I couldn’t deny its existence. But …

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 …

Poor Sleep Quality, Sleep Apnea May Raise Dementia Risk

Does your spouse complain that you snore loudly or gasp in your sleep? Better pay attention — and not just for the purposes of marital harmony. A new study finds that people who have breathing problems while sleeping and those who don’t get enough deep sleep are at higher risk for dementia, according to a new study published in the journal Neurology. Scientists are increasingly finding that good sleep is crucial to brain health. Previous studies have suggested sleep quality and duration are connected to memory …