Taking Control of Stress and Menopause Symptoms

September 27, 2018  
Filed under Health & Wellness, News

It’s another one of those chicken-or-the-egg dilemmas…do bothersome menopause symptoms create stress or does stress bring on menopause symptoms? The correct answer might not matter since a new study suggests that higher mindfulness may lower stress and the impact of menopause-related symptoms such as hot flashes. Study results will be presented during The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) Annual Meeting in San Diego, October 3-6, 2018.

Mindfulness has been a topic of increased popularity in recent years. Long-practiced in Far Eastern cultures, it has only recently gained attention in the West. The practice of mindfulness, which allows patients to be aware of the present moment, without concern for past or future consequences, calmly accepting their feelings about the present event or person, has been touted by some in the medical field as one of the most important developments in the mental health discipline in the past 20 years.

Thanks to a new study out of the Mayo Clinic, enhancing mindfulness may now be considered a viable treatment option for helping midlife women deal with stress and bothersome menopause-related symptoms. The cross-sectional study of 1,744 women aged 40-65 years showed that higher mindfulness correlated with lower menopause symptom scores, as well as lower stress scores in this population. A correlation was seen between higher menopause symptom scores and higher perceived stress. In women with higher stress, the benefits of mindfulness on menopause symptom scores were even more significant.

“Although more research is needed, this study provides a strong signal for the potential role of mindfulness in improving psychological symptoms, emotional response to menopause symptoms, and stress in women during midlife,” says Dr. Richa Sood, lead author of the study from the Mayo Clinic.

“This study provides encouraging results as it demonstrates that women may have a tool to help them control stress and menopause symptoms and improve their overall quality of life,” says Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, NAMS executive director.

 

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

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