Thursday, July 30, 2009

Alcohol Affects Seniors Differently

According to West Virginia University older people metabolize alcohol differently than younger folks. Their tolerance to alcohol is decreased as is their reaction time. Not only does alcohol increase body fat, it reduces the amount of muscle and stays in the body longer.

Alcohol can also impact health for seniors living with chronic disease, such as diabetes, heart problems, osteoporosis, sleep disorders, malnutrition, ulcers, cancer and depression.

One of my favorite sites, FamilyDoctor, helps people recognize the signs of problem drinking:
1. Having more than 7 drinks per week
2. Using alcohol to relieve anxiety or go to sleep
3. Not being able to stop once it's begun
4. Having tried to stop unsuccessfully
5. Not remembering what happened while drinking

Nowadays there are many avenues to get help including live person chats.

At, you can rate your drinking habits, easily connect with alcohol treatment programs and learn about late-onset alcoholism.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Difference Between and Annulment and Divorce

Recently, Car-man and I watched "The Other Boleyn Girl." In the movie (and real life) King Henry VIII prevailed upon (and was refused by) the Roman Catholic Church to annul his 24-year marriage to Catherine of Aragon in order to wed Anne Boleyn, the wife who he subsequently beheaded for allegedly committing adultery.

According to the law, an annulment is a court procedure that like a divorce dissolves a marriage. But unlike a divorce, an annulment treats a marriage as if it never happened.

Nolo, an excellent guide to the law that even a layman can understand, differentiates civil vs. religious annulments. Furthermore, the site explains divorce (including no fault divorce) in detail and separation.

Related articles discuss how to find a divorce lawyer and how property division and alimony is determined in your state.

For more on annulment and divorce, check out

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Non-Traditional Therapies

If you are faced with a life-threatening situation, you are often desperately "grabbing at straws" for a remedy or a reversal.

Maybe that's why American Cancer Society published a section on manual healing and physical touch in its "Making Treatment Decisions." Herbs, vitamins and minerals are discussed. So are pharmacological and biological treatment, diet and nutrition and mind, body and spirit.

Each procedure is clearly described with an emphasis on whether available scientific evidence supports the claims. For instance, one Danish study of 220 people suffering from migraine or tension headaches reported that the patients were helped or cured by reflexology (however, too many other factors were involved for accuracy) and "there are many individual reports about Reiki's power to increase feelings of well-being and refresh the spirit."

Scientific studies to date on each of the non-traditional therapies, it appears, have not supported their value. But that doesn't mean that the individual therapy might not work to decrease stress, anxiety, depression, pain and fatigue. ACS recommends that patients let their physicians know that they are considering using Complementary and Alternative medicine as an additional healing method in order to discuss treatment options.

For more on alternative therapies, check out

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Helping Someone Grieve

I'm always at a loss about what to do when a friend or acquaintance has lost a dear one. Positive Aging Resource Center supplied me with practical suggestions and I will be forever grateful:

1. Listen, hug, take a walk together

2. Help with practical tasks like bringing dinner, running errands, helping with housework

3. Give them space to be either alone or with others

4. Don't be judgmental on how a person chooses to grieve--one may want to talk while someone else might prefer the distraction of a movie

Later on...

1. Continue to call, visit and send cards

2. Remember the anniversary of the death and do something special

3. Extend invitations during holidays and special occasions

For more on Grief and Bereavement, check out this site.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Finding a Reputable Car Repair Shop

The California Department of Consumer Affairs' Bureau of Automotive Repair suggests how to find a reputable repair shop. Here's what they suggest:

1. Select a shop before you need one. You don't want to pick one when you're desperate.

2. Get recommendations from friends and family, especially those people who own a similar make and model.

3. Test the shop by having them do a minor repair.

4. Check the shop's hourly rates (and compare with other shops). Are they posted and guaranteed?

5. Make sure the station is licensed. Check for any complaints filed against them.

6. Look for cars similar to yours.

7. Does the shop look clean and well-organized?

8. Are the employees polite?

For more on cars, visit this site.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Buying Pre-Owned From the U.S. Government

Every month thousands of vehicles are seized and then auctioned to the public by different government agencies. Some of these vehicles are listed and sold at up to 95% off their original value. Most are only 2-3 years old and cannot be found other than on this site on the internet.

You have immediate access to over 4,000 updated auctions nationwide. Learn about auctions on a members-only tutorial. Find out what's listed in your state. Even read the testimonials from people like you.

For more on cars and driving and everything else an over-50 should know, visit

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Cool Down in Summer Heat

According to Mayo Clinic, heatstroke can be a life-threatening heat-related problem. Older adults are at high risk as are those people suffering from dehydration, alcohol use, cardiovascular disease and certain medications.

If you or someone you know shows any of these signs, heatstroke may be the problem:

Rapid heartbeat
Rapid and shallow breathing
Elevated or lowered blood pressure
Hot and dry skin
Irritability, confusion, unconsciousness
Dizziness or lightheadedness

Move the person out of the sun and into a cooler place.
Call for emergency assistance.
Cover with damp sheets or spray with cool water.
Blow cooler air onto the person.
Encourage water.

For more about heatstroke, heat exhaustion and other first aid topics, visit It's better and more thorough than ever.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Easy Access to Government Resources

If you're like me, you are overwhelmed by the amount of information on the web. For instance, if you want trusted information produced by the U.S. government and you'd rather not sift through everything that comes up on your screen, why not just go directly to the website?

Here you'll find an overview tutorial which explains exactly in video and transcript how you can easily find what you're looking for. Other video tutorials make it effortless to understand:

1. How to government tasks online;

2. Where to shop government auctions and sales for real estate, cars, gifts, etc.;

3. Where to find government benefits, grants, loans and financial aid;

4. How to get your questions answered to common "government" issues;

5. How to work, study, travel or do business in the U.S.;

6. How to locate in-person government services near you.

You can find information by organization (Federal, State, Local or Tribal Government). You can contact the Government. You can look up information by topic. Find images, news, maps. And if you still have trouble locating the data you want, try the government search box.

For another source for everything specifically for 50+, check out

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Find the Words to the Music, Then Try to Sing On-Key

A number of years ago we invited all my aunts and uncles (dad was one of 13 children) to our home. We had the piano tuned and I prepared a songbook. It wasn't long before my mostly Canadian born relatives burst into song when Uncle Joe occupied the piano bench.

With the internet did you know you can find lyrics to all your favorite songs with ease? I just tried it out with "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling." You can even hear it performed by several different artists!

Folks, this has got to be one of my current favorite sites. Don't miss it.

For more music links including early music and vaudeville, high quality music videos, concerts, internet radio and music news and reviews, visit