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Archives for Happiness

Aging

The Twilight Saga and The Redemptive Power of Love

I used to be baffled by the hype about Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga.  I assumed the movies and books were designed for adolescent girls and as someone in middle-age, there seemed not one good reason to read about vampires and those who love them. After prodding from several (albeit younger) Twilight fans, I read the series and understood that this particular vampire story has a lot to offer regarding the power of love...
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Aging

Can You Control Your Genes?

Many of us are concerned about how to protect ourselves from disease. Are there things we can do to ameliorate the role genetics play in the development of illness?

The answer may be yes.

A study reported in Scientific American offers hope about the control we have when it comes to fighting heart disease.

The authors of the study report that those who had a genetic marker for heart disease had...
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Aging

What’s Fair? The Medicare Crisis

Medicare cuts are in the news again. Medicare payments are slated to be decreased in January, and the anxiety is already mounting. According to KUT news (a part of the npr digital network), one-half of doctors in Texas have said they will stop taking Medicare if the cuts are enacted.

Though this is alarming news, it is not necessarily surprising. Doctors have been quietly ceasing to accept Medicare for some time now, in large...
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Aging

Why Are We Critical of Those Who Don’t Want Children?

This week I read one of the most interesting pieces of literary journalism I have come across in a while. Lisa Miller published an article in New York Magazine about people who have children at advanced ages—meaning people in the fifth decade of life.

The article raises a number of concerns about the uses of medical technology employed to have a baby later in life. As I have written about...
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Aging

Aging is Hard: Denial May Be Harder

A recent report on  demonstrates the muddled reality of aging. Boomers report feeling younger than they actually are, but at the same time report difficulties of aging and illness.

If you are feeling confused, don’t worry. It’s complicated; but then so are the dynamics of denial. Consider this conflicting statement:  “The comparative data shows that the notion that Boomers feel seven years younger than their age has been consistent since 1993. What’s grown...
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Aging

Aging, Illness and Self-Esteem

Although people can flourish as they get older, aging is difficult and requires us to manage a number of blows regarding the ways our bodies change and let us down. Among these difficulties are alterations in physical appearance, a feeling of less control over our bodies, susceptibility to injury and illness, and an increase in physical pain.

Aging and illness requires us to manage a number...
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Aging

How To Talk About Illness: Part II

In my last article, I talked about some common ways loved ones are not as helpful as they could be when talking about illness. Although I previously emphasized illnesses that may be hard to notice, anyone with a visible chronic disease knows all too well that communication can falter among well-meaning friends and family. In this post, I will address some more common pitfalls and why they occur.

Friends and family are often terrified by...
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Aging

Providing Support: How To Talk About Illness

When illness affects someone we care about it's hard to know what to say. The subject of illness is rarely a part of social interactions, but given increasing rates of chronic disease in our country, it is useful to think about how we can better support people who may feel emotionally isolated due to chronic health problems.

Although there are no rules for how to talk about illness, there are some things that can be...
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Aging

The New Normal: Boomers and Job, Financial Stress

The tough economy has placed an additional burden on Baby Boomers in the workplace.  Whereas many Boomers had planned on a typical retirement at the age of sixty-five, financial woes are keeping them on the job longer.  For some, this is causing increased stress.

A USA Today article by Anita Bruzzese describes how job, retirement and financial stress have impacted the Boomer generation. (Bias disclosure: I was interviewed for the article.)

There was a...
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Aging

Caretakers, Is Your Workplace Taking Care of You?

A recent report by AARP, as described in the North Carolina publication The Progressive Pulse, finds that in North Carolina alone, million residents cared for a family member, partner or friend with a chronic illness.

That’s a lot for one state. Regarding the entire country, the AARP Report notes that “in 2009, about million family caregivers in the United States provided care to an adult with limitations in daily activities at any...
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