11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and fun …   1. Dr. Phil has a $65,000 “fountain of youth” pod – reportedly one of only 16 in the world – in his house. (Learn more at AARP) 2.Passengers and crew members on a flight diverted to Newfoundland on Sept. 11, 2001, have helped send to college more than 130 students from Lewisporte, the tiny Canadian town that took in the flight members. (Learn more at AARP) 3. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh have …

A Senior Nursery Rhyme: And We All Fall Down

I did not gather you here today to form a circle and lead you in a child’s game of Ring Around the Rosy, at the end of which we all fall down. It was fun when we were kids and could bounce up off the play yard like balloons, laughing and clapping in delight. Well, it ain’t so much fun anymore. The death and injury rate among seniors who take spills has risen steadily over the years to become the …

5 Tips for Staying Safe in the Hospital: A Checklist

By Roni Caryn Rabin This KHN story was produced in collaboration with The Washington Post Wanted: an advocate for a hospital patient. Long hours, no pay. Must be articulate, assertive, able to ask tough questions and stay cool under pressure. Blood relative or close friend preferred. Knowledge about the health-care system a plus. “It would be ideal to have Dr. Marcus Welby looking in on you and coordinating everything, and giving you a big reassuring smile but that’s not the …

What Did Your Doctor Ask You? Not Much, Says Poll

Doctors are falling short in the primary care they offer Americans age 65 and older, says a new poll. This is not about expensive medical procedures — just some basic questions and interventions that could protect against future health problems as we age. The new survey, from the John H. Hartford Foundation, looked at whether seniors had received seven services that would support “healthy aging.” The seven included: an annual medication review, a falls risk assessment and history, depression screening, …

The Takeaway: Eating Right, Avoiding Trans-Fats Keeps Older Brains Sharp; Obesity Tied To Greater Risk of Falls

Older adults with higher levels of certain vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids in their blood scored better on mental quickness tests than those whose diets were high in junk food and trans-fats. // A new study conducted by New York’s Syracuse University found obese older adults were between 12 and 50 percent more likely to suffer a fall than normal-weight peers.

When a Parent Pushes Back

When people meet my Mom the word “sweet” invariably comes up. She has a sort of a queen-like quality about her; an air of gentle beauty from within. A few months ago, as she woke up after a seven-hour hour operation that removed a bone fragment near her spinal cord, she immediately gave me that sweet smile. No one but my Mom is that pleasant after surgery!  Throughout her six-month-long health crisis - through procedures and care that challenged her …