Friday, February 26, 2010

Don't Gamble With Your Life: Gaming Industry Targets Boomers And Seniors

Guess what could cause your cardiac or neurological problems, migraines, ulcers and other physical maladies? Something that appears unrelated--like an addiction.

The number of older gamblers is rising since there are more opportunities to gamble including on the internet. When younger people are working, older audiences are purposely being lured by the gaming industry into the casinos. In fact, many believe that boomers and seniors are their "bread and butter."

Often a gambler has to hit rock bottom before agreeing to treatment. When that happens, consult with Gamblers Anonymous or National Council on Problem Gambling.

For more on addictions, visit

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Walking the Smart Way: Seniors Advised

Walk the right way--as instructed by the UC Berkeley May, 2008, Wellness Letter. You can get more out of your walking workouts when you:
  • Walk briskly for a half hour every day or for 1 hour 4 days a week
  • Walk often
  • Use a pedometer for motivation
  • Swing your arms
  • Speed up every 5 minutes for 1-2 minutes
  • Walk up and down hills
  • Walk on different surfaces like grass or gravel
  • Try using a walking stick or pole
  • Use hand weights (start with 1 pounders)
  • Try walking backwards
  • Choose the right shoes
For more on walking, visit

Saturday, February 20, 2010

UPS vs. US Postal Service

Lawgirl and sodaman have a new queen-size bed in their guest room, compliments of Carman, mom and me. We have ulterior (and anterior) motives for gifting the bed--we're the ones who will be resting our backsides on it when we visit!

I searched through my cupboards and found linens and blankets and packed them in a really cool apple box. On Tuesday I sent Carman to mail it to the Bay Area. I told him it would probably be cheaper to go through the postal system. He countered that UPS was the way to go.

When Carman arrived at the UPS store, he stood in line behind an irate lady.

"My daughter just went back to college (in the Bay area) and she left her bottle of medicine. She needs it by Friday. How much would it cost to send it to her?"

"For 2-day delivery, that would be $22.00. It'll get there by Thursday."

"$22.00!!!! I'll kill her!!!!!"

She paid and left.

Carman stepped forward and wondered how much his large and heavy box would cost given that the miniature pill bottle cost so much.

"That'll be $15.01."

Carman paid and while he was exiting the store, called back and asked, "When can I tell lawgirl and sodaman to expect the package?"

"They'll get it on Wednesday or Thursday."

Moral 1 of the story: Don't make assumptions about anything. Ask.

Moral 2 of the story: Don't expect government services to be less expensive than those offered by the private sector.

Moral 3 of the story: Don't leave medicine at home or someone might kill you!

For more about mail, visit

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Seniors Work To Keep The Brain Healthy

Crossword puzzles aren't just for fun.

Researchers have found that the more the elderly (who subsequently developed dementia) participate in mentally-challenging activities like classes, group discussions, board games, bingo, volunteer work, eating out, going to the movies, reading, playing music and similar pastimes, the longer they went without showing obvious signs of memory loss and other symptoms.

Study author Charles B. Hall, Ph.D., of Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York reported that the above pastimes may help to build up so-called cognitive reserve, "or the ability of the brain to function normally despite showing signs of damage from Alzheimer's Disease".

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Are Stockbrokers Making More Money Than Mr./Mrs. Average American?

You know all the money you lost in the stock market?

You're in good company. Except that many stockbrokers lost MORE money than the average investor, according to one reliable source who has seen thousands of income taxes.

We discuss diversification and risk with our brokers but they ignore their own mantra and assume lots more risk by buying and selling frequently.

The moral of the story: Practice what you preach.

To learn more about investing, visit

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Keeping Your Pearly Whites: Advice For Prettier Teeth

Do you ever wonder which toothpaste to buy?

Me too...until I read that the FDA approved Colgate Total and Crest Pro-Health. Both are said to combat gum disease by reducing tartar and gingivitis.

This is also what I learned:

Most over-the-counter whitening agents don't work.

Don't mask bad breath. Get rid of tartar build-up and use an antibacterial toothpaste.

Baking soda is an abrasive. It's not as effective as a fluoride toothpaste.

A little dab will do ya.

Floss at least once a day.

Brush 2+ minutes 2 or more times daily using a soft or electric toothbrush in good condition.

Visit your dentist twice a year.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Cold Symptoms Reduced, Thanks To Canada

The equivalent of the FDA in Canada has approved Cold-fx, a ginseng-derived product that "helps reduce the frequency, severity and duration of cold and flu symptoms by building the immune system."

Taken according to instructions, this product has significantly helped during the cold season.

Ask your doctor before taking this medication especially if you are using blood thinners because ginseng may act as an anti-coagulant.

For more on alternative medicine, visit

Friday, February 5, 2010

Seniors Need To Stay Warm When It's Cold Out

A drop in temperature might not concern younger people but for an older adult, it can bring on the onset of hypothermia, a condition that causes the body's temperature to drop to 96 degrees or lower. Underlying medical conditions and inactivity can cause diminished reaction to cold.

Hypothermia is serious and should be attended to immediately. Symptoms include slowed or slurred speech, sleepiness or confusion, shivering or stiffness in arms and legs, poor control over body movements, or a weak pulse.

This is what you can do to prevent hypothermia in the elderly:

1. Keep the home at 68-70 degrees.

2. Layer clothes including long underwear. Wear warm socks and slippers and keep a toasty blanket close at hand. Wear a hat or cap, mittens or gloves and a scarf outdoors.

3. Make sure that your medications don't increase your risk.

For more about hypothermia and other first aids, visit

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Life Crisis Can Take Many Forms: Tools To Help During a Crisis

When you're in the midst of a crisis, it is difficult to think clearly and make rational decisions. That's why it is important to have the right tools to help you get where you want to be.

A life crisis can take many forms.

You might be dealing with a long-term illness or disability.

You might have joined the ranks of the unemployed.

Or you might be suffering the devastating loss of a spouse.

Sometimes the crisis happens so quickly that you have little time to prepare.

That's when you can thank AARP for its well-thought-out escape plans. Use them. They really help. I know.

For more on stress management or grief, visit