Vermont State Women’s Golf Association

July 26, 2018  
Filed under Health & Wellness, News

Press Release – July 20, 2018

 

Parker Wins 10th Senior Women’s Golf Title

 

Defending champion Reggie Parker of Ekwanok Country Club in Manchester captured her 10th Vermont Senior Women’s Amateur golf title and the Ruth Raymond Jones memorial trophy this week at the Ralph Myhre Golf Course in Middlebury.

 

Parker went into the final day of play with a 3-stroke lead over Mary Brush of Burlington CC and held steady, finishing with a 2-day total 160 to Brush’s 164. Brush was awarded the Loretta Tupper Lillie Runner-up trophy. Nancy Devaux of West Bolton Golf Club, playing in her first Senior championship, finished in third place with 168.

 

Parker also won the Mary R. Emans Legend trophy for low gross score among players 70 years and older. Susie Bremner of Rocky Ridge GC won the Dolores Frenier Messier Super Senior trophy in the 65-69 age category.

 

The low Net winner was Lois Forester of Brattleboro CC. Williston GC and Burlington CC, always strong contenders, were the co-winners of the Pat Job Cup team competition. The first day featured a low-putt contest, which was won by Cathy Neff of Vermont National CC with just 26 putts.

 

The Ruth Raymond Jones Memorial Seniors’ Championship began in 1966. The event is open to women golfers 55 years and older who are Vermont residents or who belong to a Vermont real estate golf club.

Seventy women from around the state participated this year and enjoyed two perfect days of golf weather and the camaraderie of their fellow competitors.

 

Full field results and photos are available at www.vswga.org

 

 

 

Natural Pain Relief is as Close as Your Garden

July 3, 2018  
Filed under Food, Health & Wellness

By Melinda Myers

Busy schedules, over indulging, and strenuous summer activities can lead to sore muscles, indigestion and headaches. When searching for pain relief, look no further than your own garden or your local farmer’s market. These five foods fresh from the garden – or pot – are packed with super pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory power.

Mint
Infuse mint into your tea or ice water to refresh and rejuvenate, so you’re ready for more summer fun. Mint also helps relieve headaches and general aches and pain. Grow this vigorous perennial herb in a container so it won’t overtake your other plants.  Then at the end of the season, root a few cuttings to start new plants to grow indoors. All you need is a sunny window, quality potting mix and regular watering. Read more

Older Americans Who Neglect Oral Care Put Overall Health At Risk

June 19, 2018  
Filed under Aging Parents, Health & Wellness

 

Conscientious parents constantly remind their children to brush and floss, and routinely schedule dental checkups to make sure their teeth and gums are healthy – and staying that way.

But youngsters aren’t the only ones who who can use such reminders. Older Americans need to put a priority on their oral health as well, and research shows that as a group they aren’t doing so.

In fact, the statistics are grim. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that almost every single American over age 65 (96 percent) has had a cavity, and 20 percent have untreated tooth decay. Another 65 percent suffer from gum disease, an ailment that has been linked to a host of other problems, such as strokes, heart disease and diabetes.

“Anyone who thinks they can ease up on dental care as they age is making a big mistake,” says Dr. Harold Katz, a dentist, bacteriologist and developer of TheraBreath Healthy Gums Oral Rinse (www.therabreath.com).

“Not only do poor dental habits affect what’s going on in your mouth, they also affect your overall health.”

Some of the CDC’s findings that Katz says are troubling include:

  • Tooth loss. Nearly one in five adults aged 65 or older have lost all of their teeth. Complete tooth loss is twice as prevalent among adults aged 75 and older (26 percent) compared with adults aged 65 to 74 (13 percent).  The CDC points out that having missing teeth, or wearing dentures, can have a detrimental effect on nutrition. “It’s not surprising that people who have lost teeth, or wear denture, often are going to choose soft food they chew easily,” Katz says. “They will pass up fresh fruits and vegetables that are more nutritious, but are more difficult for them to eat.”
  • Oral cancer. Cancers of the mouth (oral and pharyngeal cancers) are primarily diagnosed in older adults; median age at diagnosis is 62 years. “That’s another reason it’s important for older people to have regular checkups,” Katz says. “Your dentist can check for signs of oral cancer during those visits.”
  • Dry mouth caused by medications. Most older Americans take both prescription and over-the-counter drugs, many of which can cause dry mouth. Reduced saliva flow increases the risk of cavities. Saliva helps prevent tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath, and also lubricates the mouth, making it easier to eat, swallow, speak and taste food. “Sometimes dry mouth might just cause mild discomfort,” Katz says. “At other times it can lead to significant oral disease that can compromise the person’s health, dietary intake and quality of life.”

“As  you age, proper oral care is just as important as ever,” Katz says. “It’s not something you want to ignore because your overall health is at stake.”

 

VT SENIOR GAMES ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES SUMMER SEASON OF EVENTS

June 19, 2018  
Filed under Health & Wellness, News

Hundreds of VT athletes over 50 get ready for major summer competitions

 

The Vermont Senior Games Association (VSGA), a program of the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, announces its summer season of competitive athletic events for people over 50.

Read more

Here are ten tips to ACE your posture

June 14, 2018  
Filed under Health & Wellness

Mom was right, posture is important, especially as we spend our days hunched over phones and computers. Poor posture strains muscles and joints, and is linked to back and neck pain, as well as overall stress and even depression. Plus slumping makes you look older.

Read more

Chin-ups and Facelifts May Have a New Definition

June 14, 2018  
Filed under Health & Wellness

Can Face Yoga Reduce Signs of Aging?

By Melissa Erickson

When it comes to better-looking skin, some women opt for invasive surgery or Botox, but new research finds that doing simple facial exercises can help banish lines and wrinkles and lead to younger-looking skin.

Read more

A Woman’s Best Friend, Too

June 14, 2018  
Filed under Health & Wellness

Dog temperaments to consider for women living on their own

By Melissa Erickson

Dogs aren’t just man’s best friend — they’re woman’s best friend, too. While dogs provide companionship and love, security and an exercise partner, the best pet will also match your lifestyle, finances, energy and activity levels.

What dog is right for a woman living alone?

“Don’t just go with the cutest pup you find. I’ve seen many Australian shepherds end up at shelters or with behavior issues because owners choose them for their great looks without considering the breed’s high energy needs and at times frustrating herding instinct,” said Meg Marrs, senior editor at K9 of Mine (k9ofmine.com).

“Overall there are a lot of things to think about when choosing a new pet, but current lifestyle should be among the top considerations,” said veterinarian Aaron Vine, vice president of Central Veterinary Associates. “If a person is fit and active, choosing an active breed of dog would be best. If a person has medical concerns, such as arthritis, or has difficulty getting around, a smaller-breed dog should be chosen. A woman who is older and not in the best of shape should only choose a smaller-breed dog. The larger-breed dogs such as Rottweilers, Golden Retrievers, Labradors and others can require a lot of strength just to take them for a walk, but they do also make great jogging partners.”

Protection/security

“There’s a reason that so many German shepherds are used as police dogs,” said Benjamin Nelson, co-editor of the Super Whiskers blog (superwhiskers.com). These imposing and strong dogs have a physical presence that will help you feel safe at home and out on your own, plus they’re intelligent and easy to train, Nelson said.

“While almost any dog may help deter a burglar, breeds like Rottweilers and Dobermans look intimidating, and no one will think about messing with you if you have one of these dogs at your side,” Marrs said. “Despite their reputation, most owners will attest to how sweet and gentle these dogs really are. They actually make great family dogs.”

Small space

The most famous characteristic of the English bulldog makes these dogs perfect if you live in a small space: They’re lazy.

“Short walks will keep them happy, and for the rest of the time they will just be happy with you on the couch. … They don’t get particularly big either, and combined with a very funny personality, they will be the perfect dog for a small space,” Nelson said.

Other low-maintenance dogs with minimal exercise requirements and few grooming needs include pugs, Chihuahuas, Boston terriers and Malteses, Marrs said.

Get a fit friend

If you are looking for an exercise partner, a retired greyhound “will be a better motivator than any personal trainer,” Nelson said.

Greyhounds range from 50 to 80 pounds “yet they are known as little big dogs, because they are extremely happy in small spaces,” said Lisa Sallie, president and founder of the non-profit Grateful Greyhounds (gratefulgreyhounds.org). “Retired racing greyhounds generally come off the tracks around age 2.5, and live to be about 13; so, you do not have the puppy years or habits to endure, but generally a decade with a lovely dog.”

Other high-energy breeds include Golden Retrievers, Labradors, shepherds or terriers, Marrs said.

Small dog, big investment

“I think the easiest breeds for older women are the smaller breeds who do not need the level of activity that larger dogs do, like Yorkies, Morkies, Maltese,” said Lynette Whiteman, executive director, Caregiver Volunteers.

A small poodle “is a perfect match for more sedentary women who are after companionship, and a hypoallergenic breed,” said Lazhar Ichir, founder of BreedingBusiness.com, a resource for dog breeders.

For a less-mobile woman, a Shih Tzu is a great choice because they don’t need a huge amount of exercise and they’re very light shedders, Nelson said.

Crossbreeds

Crossbreeds “make great pets and often have less inherited diseases,” said Marina Cholakova, spokeswoman for Cloud 9 Vets, which specializes in at-home end-of-life veterinary care. “Also, consider getting a rescue dog rather than buying a puppy. There are so many dogs in charities and rescue centers that just need a second chance of a happy home, and these centers will assist in finding the right dog to match your situation.”

4 Common Retirement  Planning Mistakes

June 14, 2018  
Filed under Aging Parents, Health & Wellness, Money

And How to Avoid Them

Constructing a smart retirement income plan isn’t easy. Throughout the working years there are many factors to consider, such as salary, expenses – monthly and unforeseen – debt and college for the kids, just to name a few. Read more

Engage… at Any Age!

June 14, 2018  
Filed under Health & Wellness

You are never too old (or young) to take part in activities that enrich your physical, mental and emotional well-being. No matter your age, there is no better time than now to start.

To help do just that, consider these tips from the Administration for Community Living:

Be Well Read more

Better Sleep Can Prevent Cognitive Decline

June 11, 2018  
Filed under Aging Parents, Health & Wellness

Better Sleep Can Prevent Cognitive Decline

Psychiatrist and Sleep Expert Offers Tips on Sleep and Brain Health

By Dr. Alex Dimitriu

 

Menlo Park, CA, June 2018 – Sleep is as important to our health as good nutrition and regular exercise. Not getting enough sleep is detrimental to daytime functioning – to our mood, energy, concentration and reaction time – and over the long term, it contributes to obesity and the risk of serious illness. But according to psychiatrist and sleep specialist Dr. Alex Dimitriu, sleepless nights have implications well beyond making you sleepy the next day. “Some of the most exciting research in sleep science is studying the effects of sleep on the brain and what happens when you deprive your brain of restorative sleep,” he says. “New research suggests that sleeping less than seven to eight hours a night can be linked to memory loss, cognitive decline, and even Alzheimer’s disease.”

 

Our brains don’t sleep when we do.

During waking hours, the brain is bombarded with more stimuli than it can process. When we go to sleep, the brain goes to work, making order out of chaos and archiving memories for later retrieval. It does this by strengthening critical neural connections, discarding unimportant ones, and solidifying new memories.

 

“We’ve all noticed, and research has confirmed that ‘sleeping on it’ helps us recall a newly learned task,” says Dr. Dimitriu. “This explains why people suffering memory deficits can recall a name from forty years ago but not what they had for lunch yesterday. Their brains have become less efficient at making new connections and storing new memories. Better sleep may improve this key brain function.”

 

As with every organ in the body that converts fuel into energy, the brain produces waste that accumulates during waking hours and is cleared out while we sleep. There is more space between brain cells while we’re asleep, making it easier for cerebrospinal fluid to flush out toxins. Researchers are just beginning to understand this cleansing process – called the glymphatic system – but it appears that the more waste that’s littering the brain, the easier it is for degenerative diseases to take hold. Among these waste products is beta-amyloid, the toxic protein best known for its presence in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. The glymphatic system, which becomes less efficient as we age, does its work while we sleep, raising the possibility that better sleep can improve the processes that flush beta-amyloid and other toxins from the brain.

 

Older adults with dementia suffer sleep disturbances that have generally been considered a consequence of diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Now researchers are looking into whether sleep problems might themselves be a risk factor for cognitive decline, dementia, and Alzheimer’s. In a recent study funded by the National Institutes of Health, it was found that losing just one night of sleep led to an immediate increase in beta-amyloid in the brain. These beta-amyloid proteins clump together to form the amyloid plaques that impair communication between neurons and are a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Dimitriu notes: “While previous studies have shown that sleep deprivation elevates the level of beta-amyloid proteins in the brains of mice, this is one of the first to show that sleep may play an important role in clearing beta-amyloid in the human brain. This is an important step in helping us understand the pathology of Alzheimer’s and potentially how to prevent it.”

 

Reversing cognitive decline

“We are seeing more and more evidence that sleep plays a critical role in maintaining brain function as we age,” Dr. Dimitriu continues. “The question of reversing cognitive decline by improving sleep is another interesting avenue for investigation.” A 2014 study tested a novel therapeutic program for reducing mild cognitive impairment based on the idea that clinical trials in pursuit of a “magic bullet” drug have yielded little but that a combination of therapies that address multiple targets in the underlying pathology of Alzheimer’s might have an additive or synergistic effect. The program included life style changes, including sleep optimization, as well as a regimen of medication and supplements designed to optimize metabolic factors implicated in Alzheimer’s, correct imbalances, reduce beta-amyloid, and more. “The study was small but showed impressive results,” says Dr. Dimitriu. “Clearly this combination approach shows promise.”

 

Improving sleep

Everyone has trouble falling asleep occasionally. For most of the millions of Americans who regularly struggle to get to sleep or stay asleep, improving sleep habits can restore a restful night’s sleep. Dr, Dimitriu makes these recommendations:

 

·        Don’t eat a heavy meal or drink a lot of liquid close to bedtime. Reduce or eliminate stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine during the day and alcohol in the evening.

·        Exercise regularly – but early in the day, not within several hours of bedtime.

·        Stick to a sleep schedule, going to bed and waking at the same time each day, including weekends. Avoid naps or limit them to 30 minutes; don’t nap after 3:00pm.

·        Keep your room cooler than during the day. Use a fan or noise machine to mask distracting sounds. Try room-darkening shades if morning light wakes you too early.

·        Take about 30 minutes to wind down before going to bed. Do something relaxing, like reading or listening to quiet music. If you can’t fall asleep after 20 minutes, do something relaxing for 20 minutes, or until you feel sleepy.

·        Sleeping on your side, particularly on your left side, may improve circulation while you sleep.

·        Don’t use a computer, tablet or smart phone right before going to bed! The light from the screen stimulates the brain and makes it hard to fall asleep.

 

“We’ve long known that sleep is important for overall health and especially for brain function,” Dr. Dimitriu concludes. “Now, as we uncover the mechanisms at work, we have the opportunity to make great strides in preventing and treating cognitive decline and degenerative disease.”

 

Alex Dimitriu, MD, is double board-certified in psychiatry and sleep medicine and is the founder of the Menlo Park Psychiatry and Sleep Medicine Center in Menlo Park, CA. 

Next Page »