From news you can use to finds you might love, click through our picks from the week online.
Teen invents glasses for grandmother – will help millions with macular degeneration
An eight-grader in Oregon wanted to help his grandmother, Marian Reekie, who has lost her central vision and can’t afford the $15,000 contraption that could help her see. So Christopher offered to make something similar. Using Kickstarter to crowdfund, he raised enough money to buy a 3D printer, then developed a product that uses a high-definition video glasses connected to a micro computer. And it worked! Marian can now see the faces in front of her, and Christopher is planning to put the glasses into production. He estimates that they will sell for around $1,500. (Hat tip to Alternet for digging up this April story last week.) Read more here and watch the video below for a description of the technology behind these glasses).
Fasting-mimicking diet shows promise for slowing the aging process
Researchers have known for quite a while that fasting can help the body “reboot,” slowing the effects of aging, guarding against diseases of aging and boosting the immune system. But because fasting can be dangerous (not to mention no fun), doctors have not recommended it. Now, a new study of a 5-day-a-month diet that mimics the effects of more heavy duty fasting has had very promising results. After a small group of study participants adopted the diet for three months, researchers found that they had decreased risk factors and fewer biomarkers for disease. Read more about the study here and watch the video below for more details of the diet.
Professor teaches about ageism by reversing it
Ageism goes both ways. Leni Marshall is capitalizing on that reality as she teaches her students at the University of Wisconsin to question the way they perceive older age – she starts by having them look at how older people perceive them (they say they’re seen as irresponsible, apolitical, lazy and entitled). Then she turns it around and asks what they think of older people (sleep a lot, slow, grumpy, set in their ways, hate technology, drive badly). Her intervention, she says, leads students to realize how they stereotype old people, who “might feel equally constrained by stereotypes about elders” as they do. Marshall says she’s motivated by research showing that people who believe in ageist stereotypes die younger than those who don’t; she’s now hoping to win National Institute on Aging funding to create interventions among larger numbers of college students. Read more here.
Rejoice: Chocolate is good for you, study finds
It turns out that not just dark chocolate but all chocolate reduces the risk of stroke and heart disease, decreases blood pressure and helps ease symptoms of chronic fatigue, according to a large new study. How much chocolate? Plenty. Researchers warn that the added calories could make this a counterintuitive choice for people who are overweight and – before you rush out and buy family pack of Hershey’s – say that more studies are needed. Too read more about the study, click here.
How the Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling affects estate planning
In naming SCOTUS our Person of the Week last week, Senior Planet had more than love in mind. Especially when it comes to end of life issues, the court’s ruling has major implications for same-sex couples. Forbes spells it all out, from the right to ride in the ambulance, to protected pension rights and the right to plan your spouse’s funeral. Read about the many reasons why marriage for gay seniors is such a big deal on Forbes.com. (See also “Money Advice for Same-Sex Couples after the Supreme Court Ruling.”)
Guidelines for preventative cognitive health
The American College of Physicians has come up with a series of steps that your doctor can take to help you protect your cognitive health. Among the recommendations: Detect early warning signs by offering a formal screening test during each annual wellness visit, along with screening for conditions that increase the risk for cognitive impairment; talk to you about lifestyle and other interventions that can minimize your risk; discuss meds you may be taking that can cause cognitive issues; and if you should end up in the hospital, making sure certain routines are followed that can help guard against what’s known as delirium, which affects some 50 percent of older hospital patients. Your doc’s not following the guidelines? Read more on Healio and email him or her the link.
Amazon is doing an Etsy
Last week, we reported that Etsy is doing a Kickstarter by starting a crowdfunding service. This week, Amazon announced its new online “Etsy” – a store that will make it very easy for craftspeople and artists to sell their wares. Amazon describes Handmade as “an invite-only community of hand-selected artisans,” setting it apart from Etsy, which changed its rules this year to allow designers’ mass produced goods. No word yet on when Handmade will launch, but Amazon put up a Handmade invitation page for crafters who want to sign up. Click here to read more and here to access Handmade.
4 myths about global aging
Reporting from the recent Age Boom Academy in NYC, Richard Eisenberg itemizes – and knocks down – misconceptions that many share about the booming of our planet’s senior population. These myths: Only developed countries are dealing with the challenges of aging populations (wrong!); cities are for young people (actually, the percentage of older people living in cities will skyrocket as they become more age-friendly); age-related chronic disease is a first-world problem (nope; less wealthy countries have the highest incidences of diabetes and heart disease); families in traditional cultures take good care of their elders (sadly, not so). Read the details on Marketwatch.
Meanwhile in Greece…
With the country hurtling toward a default on its debts after bailout talks failed over the weekend, the Greek government closed banks on Monday to prevent a run on cash. ATM withdrawals were limited to some $65 a day. But many Greek pensioners do not have ATM cards, and some were left without money to buy even a loaf of bread. Crowds of seniors waited outside banks from as early as 4am in the hope that they would open for them – to no avail. Read more here.
Google now lets you unsend an email :)
If you’re a Gmail user who has ever hit send prematurely, sent an email meant for your bestie to someone you hardly know or committed some other email blunder, you’ll be relieved to know that Google has your back. Gmail’s new unsend feature lets you retrieve that email if you act fast – and sometimes a few seconds is all you need. Once you’ve activated the feature in your settings, all you have to do is click “Undo.” Learn how to unsend Gmails on Wired.
Plus – more on health
- Fats from plants and fish may help us live longer
- Better memory in older age is tied to how well we adapt to cognitive decline
- Knee surgery may not be the best option for older patients