Hot Times: How Summer Heat Affects Caregiving

The dog days of summer can complicate caregiving. For my 90-year-old dad, whose progressing Alzheimer’s disease makes him sensitive to extremes in temperature, the typical 110-degree Phoenix weather is too hot to go outside, but an overly air-conditioned room is too cold. The result for my father is low motivation, appetite and activity levels that aren’t good for his health. Here are some of the creative ways I use to keep up with my dad’s health care, socialization and exercise …

Danger: The Power of Salt, the Allure of Sugar

I apparently have had diabetes for many years but haven’t paid much attention to it other than maybe not eating the third slice of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving and using less than a cup of salt on my french fries. Today, I know better. Now if Señor Salt rides into our dining room like a South American gaucho, I am to ride my own horse the hell out of there. If Mademoiselle Sugar, the enticing French beauty, were to step …

Helping Your Knees, Step-by-6,000-Steps

Walking is the best, easiest way to avoid or reduce the pain of arthritic knees, but up to now no one seemed to agree on just how much walking was needed to get the most benefit. Now a new study suggests it’s less than we thought. Even though several guidelines say at least 10,000 steps a day are optimal, researchers with Boston University say only 6,000 steps are needed – the equivalent of about 60 minutes of walking – to …

Bone Up on Bone Health In May

May is National Osteoporosis Month – a good time to assess your risk of breaking a bone and figure out the best way for you to avoid osteoporosis down the road. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), where I am honored to serve as Bone Health Ambassador, 52 million Americans have osteoporosis. And thanks to population dynamics, the numbers rise each year: By 2020, half of all Americans over age 50 are expected to be affected. >> Sign up for …

Exercise, Not Lotions, May Reverse Aging in Skin

Want skin that looks 20 to 30 years younger? Forget the lotions and potions; instead, try exercising twice a week. Surprising new Canadian research on sedentary adults age 65-plus found that exercise significantly improved their skin composition. Skin samples viewed under a microscope before and after three months of exercise showed that exercise had reversed the aging effects: The skin layers were similar to those of people decades younger. “I don’t want to overhype the results, but, really, it was …

Working Out to Help His Brain Stay Sharp

T Michael Harty, 59, works out every day. But he doesn’t use elliptical trainers, weight machines or stationary bicycles. His workout regimen: brain exercises. The Shippensburg, Pa., man keeps his mind in fighting form by spending at least a half hour a day memorizing random cards, number sequences and words.  On March 29, he’ll put his skills to the test when he comes up against more than 70 other mental athletes at the USA Memory Championship in New York. Participants …