Senior Sex – More Frequency, Better Outcomes
New research found that older adults who reported having sex at least once each week got better scores on certain cognitive tests than those who reported having it only once per month or not at all. You can read the full story on senior sex here.
I was a guest on a segment on Charlotte Today where we discussed this issue. I condensed a lot of that article into this blog – http://www.theagingexperience.com/2016/12/09/senior-citizen-sex/
Taking Care of Yourself
Every day we need to learn a lesson from our caregiving journey. As with the person in the story on Smilecast, it became clear that unlike himself, who could take care of his mom, he had no social support in place should he need care. Taking Care of Yourself – learning how to do when you don’t need it is key. Who will you have important family discussions with to assure your wishes are heard, documented and carried out? I already know who that is in my family!
Traveling with Seniors
With summer here it’s time to make vacation plans. When it comes to traveling with seniors, a little extra planning is necessary to assure that caregivers and seniors alike enjoy the vacation. I cover the following from my Charlotte Today segment:
- How can we know whether a senior is capable of handling a trip especially if it is an extended one or far away?
- How do you start planning?
- How do you choose where to go?
- Are there best places to go that are recommended by experts?
- Are there online resources that can help boomers and seniors plan.
Temple University Study Provide More Proof of Benefits of Extra-virgin Olive Oil and the Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet, rich in plant-based foods, is associated with a variety of health benefits, including a lower incidence of dementia. Now, researchers at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University (LKSOM) have identified a specific ingredient that protects against cognitive decline: extra-virgin olive oil, a major component of the Mediterranean diet. In a new study, the researchers show that the consumption of extra-virgin olive oil protects memory and learning ability and reduces the formation of amyloid-beta plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain — classic markers of Alzheimer’s disease.
The Temple team also identified the mechanisms underlying the protective effects of extra-virgin olive oil. “We found that olive oil reduces brain inflammation but most importantly activates a process known as autophagy,” explained senior investigator Domenico Praticò, MD, Professor in the Departments of Pharmacology and Microbiology and the Center for Translational Medicine at LKSOM. Autophagy is the process by which cells break down and clear out intracellular debris and toxins, such as amyloid plaques and tau tangles.
“Brain cells from mice fed diets enriched with extra-virgin olive oil had higher levels of autophagy and reduced levels of amyloid plaques and phosphorylated tau,” Dr. Praticò said. The latter substance, phosphorylated tau, is responsible for neurofibrillary tangles, which are suspected of contributing to the nerve cell dysfunction in the brain that is responsible for Alzheimer’s memory symptoms.
Previous studies have suggested that the widespread use of extra-virgin olive oil in the diets of people living in the Mediterranean areas is largely responsible for the many health benefits linked to the Mediterranean diet. “The thinking is that extra-virgin olive oil is better than fruits and vegetables alone, and as a monounsaturated vegetable fat it is healthier than saturated animal fats,” according to Dr. Praticò.
Dr. Praticò and colleagues plan next to investigate the effects of introducing extra-virgin olive oil into the diet of the same mice at 12 months of age, when they have already developed plaques and tangles. “Usually when a patient sees a doctor for suspected symptoms of dementia, the disease is already present,” Dr. Praticò added. “We want to know whether olive oil added at a later time point in the diet can stop or reverse the disease.”