New Lower Blood Pressure Goal: Is It for You?

For older adults with high blood pressure, experts have been arguing for more than a year about how low the optimal BP reading should go. Should patients age 50-plus aim for a systolic level (the higher number in the reading) of 140 to 150, as a panel of experts recommended in 2013? Or should they use extra medication to aggressively lower it to 120, as a major federal study of adults urged in September? That September announcement included the startling …

Join the 9/11 Celebration of Service and Help Lift Up Neighbors in Need

Washington is a city of monuments, but it’s also a city of neighborhoods, each with its own distinctive style. Those of us who live and work in the D.C. area often take these emblems of our heritage for granted. We barely even see them as we go about our busy daily lives. I remember, after the Sept. 11 attacks 14 years ago, looking at our nation’s monuments with renewed appreciation, even with a sense of protectiveness. And when I moved …

Join the Celebration of Service in Honor of 9/11

In the chaos that followed the Sept. 11 attacks 14 years ago, some things came into exquisite focus. We suddenly knew what really mattered — our loved ones, our country, our heroes and the huge loss we had all just suffered. We came together, bonded by an urge to counteract an unspeakable act of violence with countless acts of kindness. Every year since, on Sept. 11, millions of volunteers across America recapture that spirit of unity by exercising the healing …

Do This for 15 Minutes. You’ll Live Longer

There’s no debate that exercise can help us live a longer, healthier life. But let’s say you have a chronic health condition that makes exercise difficult. Or maybe you’re just very busy. Is there a minimum amount of exercise older adults can do to reap at least some benefits? If you ask the federal government, as well as numerous other national and international health agencies, the answer is 150 minutes a week of moderate to vigorous exercise — basically 30 minutes …

How to Get Food to More People Who Need It

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced this week a proposed program to improve access to groceries for homebound older Americans and people with disabilities who participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the food stamp program. AARP spoke with Vilsack about the pilot program and food insecurity among older adults. How will the program work? And why is it important? This program will fund 20 eligible entities — government or nonprofit organizations — that will allow …

Is the Era of Cheap Generic Drugs About to End?

En español | Prices for generic drugs most commonly used by older Americans fell by the smallest percentage since 2006, with 1 in 4 rising in price — some by more than 1,000 percent, according to a new report from AARP’s Public Policy Institute (PPI). The report looked at 2013 price trends for 280 generic prescription medications widely used by those age 50-plus. The majority of these generics saw price decreases, some of them substantial, but the overall decline slowed …