Archive for category Research

The Benefits of Volunteering for Seniors

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This was a very interesting article related to volunteers over age 50.  It was conducted in 2005 and 2006 and published in the journal of The Gerontologist.  It showed that there were three important factors that were most beneficial to the volunteer, and produced the best outcomes:

  • Receiving a choice of activities (or areas in which to volunteer) and flexibility to work within their own schedules
  • Receiving an adequate training from the organization
  • Receiving on-going support from the organization

When the seniors received all of these items, they were more satisfied and fulfilled in their position.  When followed up a year later, these seniors reported they had “socioemotional” benefits which included:  significant improvements in their mental health, a greater feeling of productivity, increased social activity, and an overall sense that their life had improved.

http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/what_seniors_get_from_giving_back

 

 

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Bacteria Ultimately Wins?

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I read an interesting article about bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and how scientists are working to address this issue in order to help protect society.  This can be worrisome, but some of the best advice I have read about this topic in previous articles, is to not take antibiotics unless they are absolutely required (ie, not for a virus), finish all of the antibiotics prescribed, and to remember that good old fashioned hand washing is our best protection against germs.  For more, please read the article below.

http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-antibiotic-resistance-20160711-snap-story.html

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Body Weight & Other Factors Linked to Cancer

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Did you know that obesity is linked to an increased risk of cancer? According to the American Cancer Society, “the World Cancer Research Fund estimates that about 20% of all cancers diagnosed in the US are related to body fatness, physical inactivity, excess alcohol consumption, and/or poor nutrition, and thus could also be prevented.” This is very interesting and if you would like to learn more about this topic, check out this link:

http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/dietandphysicalactivity/bodyweightandcancerrisk/body-weight-and-cancer-risk-effects

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Possible Vaccine for Alzeimer’s?

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Did you know a company from Europe is working towards a vaccine that targets Alzheimer’s?    It is just a matter of time, and there will be a breakthrough for this disease.  If you want to read more about this, see the site below.

http://labiotech.eu/first-in-human-successful-phase-i-for-an-alzheimers-vaccine/

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Will GM Tomatoes be Used to Fight Diseases in the Future?

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http://www.thelatestnews.com/will-gm-tomatoes-be-used-to-fight-diseases-in-the-future/

Some people believe that genetically modified foods are unhealthy.  But the scientists at the John Innes Centre have developed a new strain of genetically modified tomatoes that are able to efficiently produce industrial volumes of natural disease-fighting compounds such as Resveratrol and Genistein.  Scientists believe this may be a good way to produce compounds that may be helpful in fighting disease or cancer- cheaply.

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Caregiving in the US -2009 Statistics

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Source: Acknowledgements – Caregiving_in_the_US_2009_full_report.pdf

Are you a caregiver or know someone who is?  Caregiving for another person, whether it be a child or adult can take a great amount of physical and mental energy.  The stress of being a caregiver is sometimes overwhelming.  The latest statistics that I am able to locate on this topic is found at the above site.  Even though it dates back to 2009, it provides very detailed information for those who want to learn more about this topic.  The research was conducted by the National Alliance for Caregiving, in collaboration with AARP.  It was funded by Metlife.

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Suicide in Caucasian Men over 85 years old

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Here is a statistic you may not be aware of- according to the CDC, white men over the age of 85 are more likely to commit suicide as compared to Americans in any other age group.  Here is excerpt from the CDC:
In 2013, there were over 41,000 suicides in the United States –an average of 113 each day. Each suicide takes a substantial toll on individuals, families and communities. The medical costs and lost wages associated with suicide are estimated to be $44.6 billion per year. These numbers underestimate the severity of the problem. In the United States, for every one suicide there are 25 attempted suicides. In 2013, over 494,000 people were treated in US emergency departments for self-inflected injuries. In addition, many more people struggle with thoughts of suicide. During 2008– 2009, over 8 million adults reported having suicidal thoughts in the previous year and 2.2 million adults reported having made suicide plans.
The risk for suicidal behavior is complex. People of all genders, ages, and ethnicities can be at risk for suicide but some groups are at higher risk than others. Men are about four times more likely than women to die from suicide. However, women are more likely to express suicidal thoughts and to make nonfatal attempts than men. In the past, suicide was addressed by providing mental health services to people who were already experiencing or showing signs of suicidal thoughts or behavior. While such services are critical, preventing suicide at a national level will require approaches that go beyond mental health issues to address broader family, community, and societal issues.
For more information related to seniors in particular, please see the article below from the Washington Post.

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