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How America’s change-leading generation has redesigned aging

  • Written by BPT

America’s baby boomers first came on the scene in 1946. They’ve been turning the world on its head ever since.

Known as the country’s greatest generation for leading change, baby boomers make up roughly 26 percent of the United States’ total population - at about 78 million people. Over the years they’ve reinvented almost everything about the way America lives - from the music we listen to, to the cars we drive, to the technology we rely upon, to the way we age.

The oldest baby boomers have already begun crossing the threshold into their golden years - and as expected, they’re redesigning what’s on the other side.

Never known as an understated generation, baby boomers have already made it clear that they won’t be fading quietly into retirement. On the contrary, they’re all about staying active and engaged. Chronologically they may be aging, but their spirits aren’t. So whether it’s finding a new career, rock-climbing, volunteering, adventure travel or online dating, baby boomers are embracing life’s second act with gusto.

More than any generation before them, baby boomers have adopted lifestyles that help them stay healthy and fit. And they’re embracing modern technologies that enable them to stay connected to the world around them and involved in it. An important way in which active baby boomers are keeping up their youthful pace is by taking care of their hearing.

This generation understands that in order to fully enjoy the experiences of life, you need to stay connected to it. So rather than deny a hearing loss and suffer the negative social, cognitive and professional consequences that inevitably result from leaving it unaddressed, baby boomers are increasingly dealing with hearing loss head on.

Boomers in their 40s, 50s and 60s are getting their hearing tested. And they’re benefitting from the technological revolution taking place in the hearing aid marketplace. Simply put, the generation has caught onto the fact that today’s state-of-the-art hearing aids are highly effective, sleek and sophisticated wearable electronics that can help them stay actively connected to life - not to mention to all their other prized electronics.

America’s baby boomers have been shaking the place up for decades. It’s no wonder, then, that they’re now redesigning the golden years. For more information on hearing loss, visit the Better Hearing Institute at www.betterhearing.org.

 

Five trending facts about today’s hearing aids:

1. They’re virtually invisible. Many of today’s hearing aids sit discreetly and comfortably inside the ear canal, providing both natural sound quality, and discreet and easy use.

2. They automatically adjust to all kinds of soundscapes. Recent technological advances with directional microphones have made hearing aids far more versatile than ever before - and in a broad range of sound environments.

3. You can enjoy water sports and sweat while wearing them. Waterproof digital hearing aids have arrived. This feature is built into some newly designed hearing aids for those concerned about water, humidity and dust. This feature suits the active lifestyles of swimmers, skiers, snowboarders, intensive sports enthusiasts and anyone working in dusty, demanding environments.

4. They work with smartphones, home entertainment systems and other prized electronics. Wireless, digital hearing aids are now the norm. That means seamless connectivity - directly into your hearing aid(s) at volumes that are just right for you - from your smartphone, MP3 player, television and other high-tech gadgets.

5. They’re always at the ready. A new rechargeable feature on some newly designed hearing aids allows you to recharge your hearing aids every night, so they’re ready in the morning. It’s super convenient - and there’s no more fumbling with small batteries.

Sports Physicals & Back to School Health

  • Written by Dr. Elizabeth Thybulle & Dr. Lanika Buchanan

by Dr. Elizabeth Thybulle & Dr. Lanika Buchanan

The new school year is here and so are those required sports physicals. School sports are an exciting opportunity to grow mentally, physically and emotionally. Be sure your student is in the best health to start the year and ready to compete in their chosen activity.

Fall sports like football, soccer, swim/dive, tennis, golf, cross country and volleyball require physicals. Winter and spring sports also need physicals and it may be easier to get them done in the fall. Winter brings basketball, wrestling, swim/dive and gymnastics, while spring has track, baseball, soccer, tennis and golf. Each of these sports has different physical requirements necessitating more specific nutritional needs.

Whether you are feeding a line backer or a golfer, you want to be sure you are giving them the correct balance of goodies.

Healthy eating for athletes includes foods in their natural form, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, fish, lean meats, nuts, seeds and beans. Limit the junk and sugary foods and be sure they get plenty of good old plain water.

Quality performance also means getting plenty of rest and mental down time.

Sorry kids, this does not include video games! Here’s a bit of information you might find interesting regarding sleep. Pre-teens require about 10-12 hours of sleep each night, while teens need 8½-9½ hours. They tend not to meet their needs due to demanding schedules filled with school, homework, friends, activities, sports, and jobs. That and the fact they just don’t want to go to bed.

Because of the demands on their time, they are often chronically sleep deprived. If your child misses one hour of sleep each night it will add up to an entire night of missed sleep by the end of the week.

This is a really big deal because the ability to pay attention in school is decreased along with diminished athletic performance, decreased response time and poor short-term memory.

A tired teen behind the wheel is also much more likely to smash up your car. (Arrgh!)

Now a bit about the immune system. Protect against those nasty buggies now before it’s too late! A good quality multiple vitamin is a start, but alone can’t stand up to the viral soup that most schools have become. In the Pacific Northwest it is usually a good idea to supplement additional vitamin D and vitamin C for an extra boost. You may also want to consider high quality fish oil supplements as they contain essential fatty acids which help reduce fatigue and improve memory, immunity, dry skin, mood swings and poor circulation.

At Health Moves we focus on overall support during a sports physical with activity specific dietary advice and nutritional support for those growing, maturing bodies and brains.

We turn simple sports physicals into an opportunity to learn about optimal health. Our Naturopathic Doctors look forward to seeing your junior high to college age student soon.

Dr. Thybulle is a Naturopathic Doctor & Dr. Lanika Buchanan is a Naturopathic Doctor and Acupuncturist.

They may be reached at: Health Moves 17311 135th Ave NE Ste. C-800 Woodinville, WA 98072

(425) 402-9999 or www.HealthMoves.org.

Let’s Cook it Right – Fighting Cancer with Food

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

Join Dr. Lisa Price, Northwest Natural Health Clinic, and 21 Acres Chef Emily Moore as they explore food choices and meal preparation in ways that support strong immune systems and prevent disease at "Let’s Cook it Right-Fighting Cancer with Food," Tuesday, September 24,  from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at 21 Acres. You’ll taste fresh samples of these meals prepared on the spot by Chef Emily.

Most Americans are aware of research that shows the linkages between eating habits and the risk for several types of cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that as many as 35 percent of cancer deaths may be related to food alone. Which foods are associated with a lower cancer risk? For sure, organic fruits and vegetables are prime candidates. So, how can you increase your consumption of fresh produce in simple ways? Dr. Price and Chef Emily will show you how to make several meals containing organic and sustainable ingredients that are known to be the most protective against cancer. 

Instructor  Dr. Lisa Price  is a graduate of Bastyr University in naturopathic medicine and has been an adjunct faculty member at Bastyr University for the past 11 years teaching biochemistry and microbiology. She was awarded a National Institutes of Health research fellowship to study the immunological effects of a natural product from 2005 to 2010 and currently practices at Northwest Natural Health Clinic in Bellevue. At the conclusion of the class, students will receive resources about the freshly prepared sample foods and recommendations for incorporating other foods known to promote optimum wellness.

Interested students may enroll and register one of three ways: 21acres.org/school; phone: (425) 481-1500; or e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . 

Stepping out to stop diabetes

  • Written by BPT

This year, co-workers, families and friends across the country are making every step count in the fight against diabetes. Your steps can count too.

Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes(R), the American Diabetes Association’s signature fundraising walk, has been taking place for more than 20 years.

Participants walk as individuals or as a team that can come in sizes of two or more. The many faces of Step Out all contribute to a community committed to doing their part to prevent and cure diabetes once and for all, including Red Striders, walkers living with type 1, type 2 or gestational diabetes. They are a reminder of why we walk.

One particular Red Strider walking this year is Heather Berg, the association’s 2013 National Youth Advocate diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 10. Her earliest experience with the disease, however, came a year and a half earlier when her younger brother was diagnosed with diabetes at only 14 months old.

While she and her brother were very young when they were first diagnosed, the fight to Stop Diabetes was more than a movement to Heather and her family – it was a mission.

"I’ve been part of the association’s teen advocacy programs for six years now and have attended several local Step Out walks as a volunteer, doing everything from handing out refreshments and granola bars to cheering on all of our diabetes champions at the finish line," says Berg.

By participating in Step Out, Berg has raised more than $30,000 to help Stop Diabetes. She will walk again this October with the National Advocates in Action team in Seattle.

"Every dollar helps, meaning the more people we have on board the better," she says. "As a person who has lived with type 1 diabetes for nearly a decade, it is extremely important to me to get the word out about our cause and to fundraise for research toward a cure."

Today, there are nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States who have diabetes, 7 million of whom are unaware that they have the disease.

Recent estimates predict that as many as one in three American adults will have diabetes in 2050 unless we take steps to Stop Diabetes.

"There’s nothing more inspiring than walking through the finish line with fellow Red Striders knowing that you all came for a common cause: to take steps toward ending diabetes," says Berg. "I’ve really enjoyed talking with peers who have lived with the disease for a number of years and those who were recently diagnosed. Step Out is a great place for finding new friends."

With more than 125 Step Out events around the country, chances are there’s a walk near you. For more information or to register for a walk in your community, visit www.diabetes.org/stepout or call (888) DIABETES (888-342-2383).

How to keep your health up and costs down

  • Written by BPT

No matter your age, you can help keep your body healthy and your money out of the health care system by eating right, exercising and avoiding habits that contribute to chronic illness. Having the appropriate insurance may also help your bottom line more than you think. Follow this guide to see if you have what you need at various stages in life.

20s
Younger people tend to have fewer medical issues, but that doesn’t mean you should ditch health insurance altogether. To save money while making sure you’re covered, consider a qualified high-deductible plan. Also known as a catastrophic health plan, this type of insurance typically covers costs for serious illness or unexpected accidents. But you’re responsible for minor or routine expenses. You’ll pay a lower monthly premium and a higher deductible than with a traditional plan.
 

“It also comes with a powerful triple tax benefit: Not only are contributions tax-deductible, but earnings and qualified withdrawals are tax-free, too,” says J.J. Montanaro, a certified financial planner at USAA.
 

Here’s another option: If you’re an unmarried dependent who doesn’t have access to employer-sponsored health care, you can stay on your parents’ health plan until you turn 26.

30s
Consider broadening your coverage. You may want to supplement your regular health insurance with accident insurance. It can help cover emergency treatment and related expenses, such as transportation and lodging, if you or covered family members are injured.
 

While a health plan may cover much of your treatment costs, a critical illness plan typically pays a lump-sum benefit if you’re diagnosed with a significant illness or suffer a heart attack or stroke. It may provide extra money for things like child care and housecleaning while you’re on the mend. “The benefits provided by accident and critical illness insurance help take away the financial stress so you can focus on recovering,” says Greg Galdau, USAA assistant vice president of health solutions.
 

Health insurance can pay some of your medical bills, but what about the income you could lose if you become seriously sick or are injured and can’t work? That’s what disability insurance is for. Your employer may provide some coverage, but it usually isn’t portable, so consider a personal policy you can take with you if you quit or lose your job.
 

Consider a flexible spending account. Your employer may offer one of these tax-advantaged plans that let you use pretax dollars to pay for medical expenses and dependent care, too.

40s
While it’s smart to begin saving for retirement in your 20s, most people start to focus a little more on the specifics once their 40s roll around. “As you start crunching the numbers more seriously, be sure to factor health care costs into your assumptions about your spending needs in retirement,” Galdau says. Out-of-pocket expenses for a 65-year-old couple could suck hundreds of thousands of dollars from a retirement nest egg, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute.
 

Start learning about long-term care insurance. If you equate long-term care insurance with nursing home coverage, think again. While it can cover those costs, it generally does something even more appealing - help give you the resources you need to stay in your home.

50s
Stop putting off long-term care insurance. Long-term care expenses can pose a real threat to your retirement savings and lifestyle. This insurance can be flexible in its design - you can typically vary the features of the policy to stay within a budget while still reducing risk to your assets.
 

If you’ve become a caregiver for a parent or other family member, tap into information resources such as care.com or those provided by the National Alliance for Caregiving to make your role as easy as possible.

60s
Don’t go without. If you retire early and lack employer-provided health insurance, don’t be tempted to cut costs and skip insurance until you’re eligible for Medicare at 65. Consider buying an individual policy to bridge the gap, if you have no other option. To avoid making important decisions under pressure, learn about your Medicare choices well before you have to make them.