Aging Parents and Us: Must Age, Health Decline, and Dependency go Hand in Hand?

 Growing Older Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Growing Old

We may question this assumption if we’re in the midst of caring for aging parents with health issues. On the other hand, the results of research, published last month in the Journals of Gerontology, may be heartening for us if our parents are still relatively healthy and independent–and also heartening as we think about our years ahead. It’s written by Dana Goldman, a most distinguished professor at USC, who is an adjunct professor at UCLA as well.

In short: after analyzing extensive survey data of Americans aged 51+, researchers  from U. of Illinois at Chicago, Stanford, and the University of Southern California, “found that a substantial group of individuals at all ages experienced not just exceptional health, but their mental and physical functioning was at a level exhibited by people decades younger.” (The MacArthur Foundation, a longtime a leader in aging research  and the  National Institute on Aging funded the study.)   Isn’t that good news!

Dr. Goldman’s article is an easy, quick read (less than 2 minutes) with interesting details. Sometimes, when we feel burdened, hearing something positive, based on  facts, is just “what the doctor ordered.”

And if you need/want more of “what the doctor ordered,” watch/listen to the interview link below, courtesy of the 12/2/13 Huffington Post, for a futuristic way of delivering medical information and services.

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If we’re currently dealing with parents’ health issues, and frustrated with the communication problems that often arise, this interview from the 12/2/13   Huffington Post, with Dr./billionaire Patrick-Soon-Shiong is a must-watch. I believe cancer was an initial motivating factor in his work, but everyone who has health issues will benefit.

Using the cloud, genome data, a specially designed super-computer, and more, he has created an infrastructure for a new medical delivery system that includes a “fluid medical information highway.” This could soon bode well for everyone’s health care, regardless of age. (FYI– Pancreatic cancer patients have been free of the disease for 5 years using these futuristic technologies.)

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The Thanksgiving holiday provided me time to catch up on some reading and  learn a bit about telomeres and aging from my husband’s cousin (a highly respected researcher at one of the two top institutes of technology in the US). It also caused me to post this a day late.  (Returned to NY last night.) A post about telomeres will appear once I’ve had it vetted for accuracy.

Research clearly provides us with interesting, exciting and hopefully personally helpful information, as we continue to meet the challenges of helping parents age well.

Changing weekly: “Of Current Interest”(right sidebar). Links to timely information and research from top universities, plus some free and some fun stuff–to help parents age well.


One thought on “Aging Parents and Us: Must Age, Health Decline, and Dependency go Hand in Hand?

  1. Thank you for the good news about older people in today’s blog, Susan…also for the interview link
    about new ways of delivering health… the future that is already upon us…

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