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Wednesday, December 31, 2008
At Grandparents.com, we've scoured the news for grandparents, famous and not-so famous, who have affected the world, leading through example or changing the way we think. As the year comes to a close, we celebrate these extraordinary individuals who embody the finest attributes of today's grandparents — love, strength, and bold new perspectives — with our first Top 11 Grandparents awards.
11. Paul McCartney
The former Beatle proved that the birth of a grandchild never gets old — even if it's your sixth. The call of the American open road and the celebration of his 66th birthday with new love Nancy Shevell couldn't keep Sir Paul from flying back to England to meet his new grandson, Sam, born to daughter Mary.
10. Sarah Palin
Despite the controversy surrounding her teenage daughter Bristol's pregnancy, the vice-presidential nominee stood strong in support of her child. Nary an excuse flew out of her mouth, nor did she give a cold shoulder to the baby daddy. Instead, Palin embraced the situation and declared that her first grandchild will grow up in a loving family.
9. Sonia Briggs
Armed with her medical bag, weapon, ammunition pack, and her laptop (to keep in touch with the family), Sonia Briggs, 50, left the trappings of regular life to assume her role as a corporal nurse in Britain's Royal Auxiliary Air Force in Afghanistan. The grandmother of three humbly told the The Mirror she wanted to do "her bit," giving patriotism a new face along the way.
8. Dolph Overton
Serious collectors seek out the most beautiful and rare examples of the objects they love. For the North Carolinian, Korean War ace, 82-year-old Dolph Overton, it was a 1929 Ford 4-AT-E Tri-Motor airplane hit by bullets during the 1941 attack Pearl Harbor. Overton restored the plane and then decided it was time to sell, saying some things are more important than possessions. The funds will pay for the education of his ten grandchildren.
7. Louise Stoll
Watching her pregnant daughter awkwardly exit a plane carrying a toddler on one hip, a car seat on the other, and a diaper bag, Louise Stoll, 69, of Vermont, had a simple idea — ditch the car seat. Stoll designed the Child Aviation Restraint System (CARES), a harness for children between 22 and 44 pounds, making it easier for little ones to travel. With nearly half of all grandparents living 200 miles or more from a grandchild, according to an AARP survey, Stoll's invention helps bring families together safely.
6. Jacilyn Dalenberg and Crystal Sirignano
No parent wants to watch a child suffer through the pains of infertility but Jacilyn Dalenberg, 56, of Ohio, and Crystal Sirignano, 52, of Michigan, showed an uncommon level of support by acting as surrogates for their daughters' children. Dalenberg gave birth to three granddaughters and Sirignano to a girl and boy. Sirignano called it, "the best experience of my life."
5. Shimon and Yehudit Rosenberg
The three-day terrorist siege in Mumbai over theThanksgiving holiday claimed the lives of 163 people, including Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife, Rivka, who ran the city's Chabad-Lubavitch center. Rivka's parents, Shimon and Yehudit Rosenberg of Israel, won't let an act of hate destroy the couples' legacy. They are raising their two-year-old grandson, Moshe, and said they will rebuild the center.
4. James Lewin
James Lewin, 65, was walking his newborn granddaughter in her carriage after a holiday celebration when a pickup truck came careening toward them. The Colorado grandfather pushed the carriage to safety but sustained life-threatening injuries that he continues to battle in the hospital. Lewin's heroics have become a symbol of the unconditional sacrifices grandparents make for the youngest generation.
3. Pope Benedict XVI
Okay, so he's not a grandpa, but the rock-star pontiff ingratiated himself to our cause when he said grandparents are "a treasure which the younger generation should not be denied." Speaking at a conference last April meant to highlight grandparents' roles in families, the Pope called grandparents "a precious resource … to be better valued." We couldn't agree more.
2. Marian Lucille Herndon McQuade
Marian Lucille Herndon McQuade, the West Virginia, housewife who lobbied for the creation of Grandparents Day, passed away this year at the age of 91. Her work serves as a national reminder to take the time to honor everyday heroes who make the world a better place for their grandchildren.
1. Marian Robinson
Her son-in-law Barack Obama got the lion's share of ink this year, but Marian Robinson, 71, is truly the "unsung hero," as the President-Elect referred to her on 60 Minutes. As the First Granny, Robinson is likely headed to D.C., at the behest of her daughter, Michelle. So far, grandparenthood has been hectic, with Robinson putting her own needs second to those of her granddaughters, Sasha and Malia, by devoting herself to maintaining their daily routine during the campaign. An extended Obama family proves the importance of grandparents in raising strong children. Now might be Obama's time, but the future is Sasha's and Malia's, as far as Robinson is concerned.
The study began in 2001 and included women at least 78 years old who were free of signs of dementia. Researchers conducted follow-up interviews between 2002 and 2005 (American Journal of Public Health, July 2008).
"We've interviewed people who were not demented and who were able to report on their social network at baseline in 2001," said lead author Valerie Crooks, DSW, director of clinical trials administration and a research scientist at the Southern California Permanente Medical Group. "By starting with people who are cognitively intact and following them over time, you can begin to make a legitimate link between social networks and dementia."
Women frequently experience increasing social isolation as they age, but it has been difficult to make a solid connection between this social separation and cognitive function and dementia.
For this study, researchers pooled data from 2,249 members of a health maintenance organization, comparing health conditions and demographic information for women with and without dementia at follow-up, at which time they identified 268 new dementia cases in the previously screened women.
The researchers rated each woman's social network by asking about the number of friends and family members who kept in regular contact, and of these, how many she felt she could rely on for help or confide in.
Of the 456 women with low "social network" scores, 80 women (18 percent) had developed dementia. Of the 1793 women with stronger social networks, 188 (10 percent) had developed dementia.
"The study does a laudatory job of addressing the relationship of these variables," said Deborah Newquist, PhD, director of geriatric services at Louisville, Ky.-based ResCare, Inc. However, concluding that isolation causes dementia might be overstating the case, said Dr. Newquist, who is not associated with the study.
"The fundamental problem here is one of the chicken and the egg," she said. "Are weak social relationships caused by dementia or the other way around?"
"Finding ways to help older adults remain engaged in productive and enjoyable activities is an important component of successful aging," said Cathleen Connell, PhD, head researcher at the Center for Managing Chronic Disease at the University of Michigan. "Not only have social networks been linked to positive physical and mental health outcomes, but also to quality of life."
"Our findings indicate that it's important to think about ways to try to reduce the amount of isolation people have - even those with families," Dr. Crooks said. "It's also important for us to find out what kinds of social support groups we can create for people who are isolated based on extreme age or lack of family."
Two mothers I claim.
Two different people ..
Yet with the same name.
Two separate women ...
Diverse by design.
But I loved them both
Because they were both mine.
The first was the mother
who carried me here
Gave birth and nurtured and
launched my career.
She was the one whose features I bear.
Complete with the facial expression I wear.
She gave me some music which follows me yet.
Along with examples in the lafe that she set.
Then as I got older she some younger grew.
And we'd laugh as just mothers and daughter do.
As quickly she changed and turned to the other.
A stranger who dressed in the clothes of my mother.
Oh she looked the same at least at arms length
But she was the child now and I was her strength.
We'd come full circle we women three.
My mother the first, the second and me.
And if my own children should come to a day
When a new mother comes and the old goes away
I'd ask of them nothing that I didn't do
Love both of your mothers as both have loved you.
2. Contact your local Alzheimer's Association chapter. Consider enrolling your family member in the Alzheimer's Association's Safe Return® Program, which helps find people with dementia in the event that they wander off and become lost. For more information, go to www.alz.org and http://www.alz.org/we_can_help_safe_return.asp.
3. Inform other family members. Involve them in the decision-making and planning processes. Consider involving the most appropriate family members first, bringing in others as needs arise.
4. Educate yourself and your family about the disease, caregiving needs and available options. Consult educational resources such as www.lightbridgehealthcare.com and www.alz.org.
5. Safety-proof your house, and restrict the family member's access to driving a car.
6. Discuss medications for dementia as well as other health issues and general health maintenance with your family member's doctors. Additionally, explore non-drug treatments for dementia-related issues.
7. Consider your own health--always make sure to take care of yourself. Try to get regular exercise, sleep, and relaxing moments to yourself. Find the things that bring you joy or happiness and seek them out. Try to keep your sense of humor.
8. Find activities that you and your family member can still enjoy and make time for those activities.
9. Review the state of your family member's finances, insurance, and health resources. Try to anticipate medical and financial issues. Seek advice from a lawyer regarding powers of attorney, wills, insurance, and other legal matters. Consider meeting with a financial planner regarding finances.
10. Develop a long-term plan of action for treatment and care. Consider whether at-home care, paid residential care, or a nursing home works best for you, your family, and your loved one with dementia.
You can also contact in India : firstname.lastname@example.org and http://www.mykerala.net/alzheimer/ ; www.silverinnings.com
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
This is thanks to the Unorganised Sector Workers Social Security Bill, 2008, which was passed by the Parliament in the recently concluded Winter Session.
The Bill, which is an enabling legislation, incorporates 11 social security schemes.
It also has provision for a 34-member National Social Security Board that will take decisions relating to the schemes.
It mandates the Gujarat government to formulate and notify welfare schemes relating to provident fund, employment injury benefit, housing, education for children, skill upgradation, funeral assistance and old age homes.
The Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) informed that although Gujarat already has schemes like group insurance for landless agricultural labourers, fishermen, forest workers, salt workers, and the Shramik
Suraksha Scheme, the problem has been that the acts, as they exist today, apply only to workers with a clear employer-employee relationship.
Manali Shah of SEWA, an Ahmedabad-based trade union of unorganised sector having nearly 11 lakh members across India, said, “We welcome this Bill as it proposes to change that.”
The Bill redefines ‘unorganised worker’ to include all types of workers — those with a fixed employer, self-employed, casual labourers, contract-based and home-based among others.
It identifies each unorganised worker and gives a unique social security number and social security card to each of them.
The Bill offers a variety of social security benefits, including health insurance, maternity benefits, and pensions among others.
This Bill will also benefit Senior Citizens.
It binds the Centre to provide a minimum amount of benefits and funds. It creates a participatory structure, an architecture that works with the government and includes civil society groups and semi-government organisations.
A glance at the social security schemes under the Bill
1. National Old Age Pension Scheme
2. National Family Benefit Scheme
3. National Maternity Benefit Scheme
4. Mahatma Gandhi Bunkar Bima Yojana
5. Health Insurance Scheme for Handloom Weaver
6. Scheme for Pension to Master Craftsperson
7. Group Accident Insurance Scheme for Active Fishermen
8. Saving-Cum-Relief for Fishermen
9. Janshree Bima Yojana
10. Aam Admi Bima Yojana
11. Swasthya Bima Yojana
Monday, December 29, 2008
After attending International Symposium and Conference of Gerontology and Geriatrics at Tirupati ,Iam still suffering from the conference hangover.
To capatilise on this,Iam seriously thinking to start National Online Data Bank on Ageing.This data bank will be one stop recourse for all the research paper/study on various segment of Ageing - Gerontology and Geriatrics.
This will help civil society to understand the issues and problems of ageing and will also disseminate the study and knowledge of Ageing to common man.
At present many research scholar,institution,organisation under take research and this thesis only becomes part of conference, manuals,library racks,souvenirs.I remember Prof. Jamuna informing us about 4000 papers on ageing till date.
I appeal to all the people working in India and South East Asia in field of Ageing to help/guide me to establish such data bank for the benefit of the Elderly.
Wish you all Very Happy New Year,hope the year 2009 will get us on common platform for the cause.
Ctc me : email@example.com
Founder President - Silver Inning Foundation
Among the host of conditions specified in the Primary Information Memorandum and Expression of Interest (EOI) package, the Pension Fund Regulatory & Development Authority (PFRDA) intends to allow up to 26 per cent foreign investment but with the rider that the direct or indirect holding should not exceed 26 per cent.
The stipulation is akin to the foreign investment regime in the insurance sector, in which the regulator had also initially decided to factor in the indirect holding in the firm. Over the years, however, the norms were relaxed and the indirect holding is not counted in the 26 per cent ceiling for the sector.
The move from PFRDA is the latest in a series of financial sector reforms that the United Progressive Alliance government has managed to push through after the Left parties withdrew the support they extended in Parliament in June following disagreements over the Indo-US civil nuclear agreement.
Earlier this week, the government introduced a Bill to amend the insurance laws, which among other things, proposes to raise the foreign investment ceiling to 49 per cent.
If Parliament approves the insurance Bill, the foreign investment ceiling for the pension sector will also go up. A Bill to provide statutory backing to PFRDA is pending in Parliament but could not be approved owing to opposition from the Left parties. For the time being, however, PFRDA has proposed that the pension fund managers will sign an investment management agreement (IMA) with the board of the New Pension Scheme (NPS Trust).
The fund managers will be required to invest in line with the norms prescribed with a default option that is to be decided. The default option will come into play if an investor is unable to decide whether to invest in a balanced, growth or debt scheme. The investor will have the option of changing schemes periodically.
ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR FUND MANAGERS:
* A new company has to be floated, which will get a ‘certificate of commencement of business’ from PFRDA
* At least 5 years experience of fund management
* Monthly average assets under management not less than Rs 8,000 crore for the last 12 months
* Direct and indirect foreign investment not more than 26%
* Net worth of Rs 10 crore
* Sponsor will not hold more than 10% of equity in any other pension fund
* Sponsor will not hold more than 10% of equity in central record keeping agency under NPS
* Sponsor will not hold more than 5% of equity stake in NPS Custodian
* 50% independent directors
Central or state public sector companies or entities regulated by the Reserve Bank of India, Securities & Exchange Board of India or Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority are eligible to bid to be sponsors of a pension fund.
While 14 mutual fund houses had average assets under management of over Rs 8,000 at the end of November 2008, most insurance companies meet the eligibility norms by virtue of having a foreign joint venture partner. Most banks are also eligible to bid.
In addition, the three fund managers – State Bank of India, UTI and Life Insurance Corporation – that already manage the pension contribution of central and state government employees who joined from January 2004, will also be eligible to manage non-government business but will have to segregate the operations.
The last date for submitting the expression of interest is January 9, sources said, and PFRDA intends to appoint the fund managers by the first week of February. In addition, it is expected to start the process of appointment of point of presence, where subscribers can deposit their funds, over the next week to 10 days. To ensure that cross-holding does not lead to conflict of interest, PFRDA has decided to restrict a sponsor’s holding in another fund and National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL) the central record-keeping agency. In addition, the pension fund cannot hold over 5 per cent stake in the NPS custodian, Stock Holding Corporation.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Most of the banks including the largest public sector lender State Bank of India (SBI) has decided to cut down the peak deposit rates by another 100 basis points from January 1.
SBI, which earlier paid interest at the rate of 10.5 per cent (11 per cent to senior citizens) in October, will slash its peak rates on fixed deposits to 8.5 per cent.
The other large state-owned lenders like Bank of Baroda and Bank of India too have announced plans to cut deposit rates in the new year.
Deposit rates are expected to come down by another 200 basis points in the next six months as inflation has softened considerably, said a senior official of Oriental Bank of Commerce.
Making a case for "aggressive" reduction in interest rates, the Government in its Mid-Year Review of the Economy, tabled in Parliament said "there is considerable scope for monetary policy easing over the next six to 12 months to offset the global increase in demand for money that is being transmitted to India".
According to the Crisil Principal Economist D K Joshi, the declining inflation rate provides more leeway to the RBI to further slash interest rates. I expect a 100 basis point cut in both the repo (short-term lending rate) and reverse repo (short-term borrowing) rates."
Isn’t it ironic that the idea of having birthdays appeals to most everyone, but the idea of getting older doesn’t appeal to nearly as many people? Birthdays are truly a celebration of life. However, straining to see through the nearsighted eyes of a youth oriented society, many Americans tend to consider every birthday past 29 as a forerunner for loss.
Growing older does offer challenges, but it also provides rewards. To assist in dispelling negative stereotypes of aging, we may need to be reminded of the positive aspects of aging.
You Are Wiser: It has been said that there is a mysterious ingredient that occasionally accompanies aging—wisdom. This must be qualified by the fact that aging is a process of becoming more of what we have been. Hopefully, we have learned how to live what we have learned. The first 40 years of life give us the text, the next 40 years supply the commentary.
You Are Mellow: Coping skills have become better. We are more tolerant of the little aggravations of life. We have learned that it is better to take things in stride. This can bring about a reduction in anger, anxiety, and impulsiveness. It is better to be kind than to be right.
You Are Confident: Later years can be a time to enjoy the benefits of experience from the life that has been lived. Many people get satisfaction and security out of reflecting on their accomplishments and realizing they have something to offer others.
You Are Your Own Person: Generally, you don’t experience an identity crisis. You know who you are, and you know what you like and don’t like. You don’t take rejection as personal. It can be liberating to realize the way people treat us is often a reflection of their own insecurities.
You Become a Grandparent: Grandchildren can remind us that we need to nourish the child that is within each of us. Grandchildren provide us with an opportunity to be curious, to be excited about life, and to be playful.As Michael Prichard says, “You don’t stop playing because you grow old; you grow old because you stop playing.”
Your World Broadens: By fostering friendships and making new ones, there can be a network of old friends and new friends as well as the extended family. It is rewarding to reach out to others and to stay involved in life.
You Are More Motivated: There is an increased awareness of how precious time is and a desire to use it more wisely. There is time for pursuing a variety of interests—such as lifelong learning, leisure activities, and volunteerism. Vital absorbing interests can promote good health and extend life.
Aging may be inevitable, but disease and disability are not. We’re not getting older, we’re getting better.
By Shirley VanDyke, Education Consultant, Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging
Courtesy: Ohio Department of Aging
After the death of my husband, I distributed all of my tangible and intangible property to my sons. Though I had preferred to stay with the youngest son, I could not live there, as I became the reason of quarrel for the son and daughter-in-law every passing day. I thought I would better live out of the home and one fine day I decided to leave while they were not around, Radhika Devi Singh, 86, (name changed) shared her pangs with The Rising Nepal.
"Now, I have no one to look after me. When I was physically and mentally sound, I used to manage and control all the family members and resources by myself. Until the age of 70, I was very healthy, sound and perfect. The family members would love and care for me too. But, now at 86, when I want somebody to be by my side, to fulfil my demands, to help me move in and out, to get water for me to drink and to take care of me; no one is here. I am totally alone. Everything pampered. I am deserted," shared Singh who is taking shelter at one of the elderly homes in the capital.
This is not the story of Radhika Devi Singh alone, with the advancement in medical science and technology, the life expectancy of the people has increased resulting in a large elderly population. Although the proportion of elderly is increasing both in absolute and proportional number, traditional family norms and values of supporting the elderly are eroding at an alarming rate causing problems for the security of the aged people, particularly above 65 years of age.
Depleting socio-cultural value system, occupational diversification basically agricultural to non-agricultural, higher mobility of economically active persons to towns abroad for job opportunities, and the gradual replacement of the existing joint family system with a nuclear family system have been identified as the causes behind the dismal state of the elderly.
On the other hand, Nepal Government’s social security system is also poor and that has not been able to cover all such elderly groups of the society.
The problems of elderly are growing day by day and they are being compelled to lead a lonely and deserted life due to the irresponsible attitude of the government, non-government organizations and their line agencies.
"Neither the government and the civil society nor the donor agencies give priority to the senior citizens who spent their whole life for the development of the nation," says Prof. Dr. Leela Devi K.C. president of National Senior Citizen Organisation Network, Nepal.
Dr. K.C. said that there were too many dreadful issues and problems of the senior citizens in the country, which were becoming aggravated further with the flow of time.
Although the ageing population is given top priority worldwide, plans and programme to address the problems of this feeble population are glaringly lacking in our part of the world and especially our own country.. The older population is increasing both in terms of absolute numbers and as a proportion of the total population, however, traditional family norms and values of supporting the elderly are waning.
Dr. K.C. says that if the government does not take any measure to mitigate the problems of senior citizens at the moment and ensure that their basic necessities are treated as the fundamental rights in the new constitution, the nation would have to face a lot of problems.
Prem Prasad Upreti, officer secretary at the Centre of Services for Helpless, says that it was high time to address the issues and problems of the senior citizens as the nation was going to draft a new constitution. He said though the government has provided some of the social security services, the senior citizens were deprived of such facilities. The official procedures performed by the government officials asking the elderly to present the citizenship certificate and migration letter has resulted in additional problems for them. "They often demand for the documents but many senior citizens living in such old age homes do not have citizenship and migration letter," he says.
He says that it was not the problem in the town only, the senior citizens hailing from the rural areas and are destitute have more painful stories to share. He says the number of senior citizen coming in search of shelter was increasing in the town.
Though the number of senior citizen coming to the shelter homes is increasing day by day, such home also lack proper management, care giving training and rehabilitation facilities.
Manohar Upreti, an advocate, says that besides this, the case of abuse of senior citizens was another big problem they were facing. The quarrel among the sons, domestic violence and poverty has played a very crucial role in pushing the senior citizens into a life of grief and pain. He says that in the absence of appropriate laws and their proper implementation, the senior citizens were bound to live a life of an animal even in their own home.
Upreti said that the government should increase access for elderly persons to basic rights and facilities (food, shelter, clothes, education and health) at home and in the society improving quality of services with simple procedures for elderly people with an effective implementation of government plan and policies.
He also says that the pilot ageing education should be incorporated in the schools to minimise generation gaps- mainstreaming ageing issues as children and youth could play instrumental roles to respect elderly people as grandparents and think-tank of the society, as in the traditional societies.
Despite this, the elderly people are more vulnerable to disease and need more care. They are prone to the diseases like alzheimer, dementia, ocular disorders, ENT, orthopedic, blood pressure, asthma, diabetes etc. but the ironically they are deprived even from general regular check ups.
Until recently very little attention was paid particularly in developing countries like Nepal about the dynamics of ageing in human beings. However, the continued increase in percentage of elderly people in the population is creating humanitarian, social and economic problems.
Though, the increase in the population of elderly in Nepal is not so rapid as compared to the developed countries (as high as 13%), it indicates the starting of the ageing dynamics in Nepal, which will have adverse effects on the Nepalese social structure and economy in the long run.
Against this backdrop, the problem of taking care and providing necessary goods and services to those elderly groups has to be increased and the policies and measures to address their problems should be taken immediately.
The study of human and mice brains suggests a reduction of blood flow deprives energy to the brain, setting off a process that ultimately produces the sticky clumps of protein researchers believe is a cause of the disease, they said.
The finding could lead to strategies such as exercise, reducing cholesterol and managing blood pressure to keep Alzheimer's at bay, Robert Vassar and colleagues at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago reported."This finding is significant because it suggests that improving blood flow to the brain might be an effective therapeutic approach to prevent or treat Alzheimer's," Vassar, who led the study, said in a statement.
"If people start early enough, maybe they can dodge the bullet."
Alzheimer's disease is incurable and is the most common form of dementia among older people. It affects the regions of the brain involving thought, memory and language.
While the most advanced drugs have focused on removing clumps of beta amyloid protein that forms plaques in the brain, researchers also are looking at therapies to address the toxic tangles caused by an abnormal build-up of the protein tau.
Vassar and colleagues analyzed human and mice brains to discover that a protein called elF2alpha is altered when the brain does not get enough energy. This boosts production of an enzyme that in turn flips a switch to produce the sticky protein clumps.
The finding published in the journal Neuron could lead to drugs designed to block the elF2alpha production that begins the formation of the protein clumps, also known as amyloid plaques, Vassar added.
"What we are talking about is a slow, insidious process over many years," he said. "It's so mild (people) don't even notice it, but it has an effect over time because it's producing a chronic reduction in the blood flow."
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Researchers at the University of Southampton are investigating whether an Indian spice could hold the key to treating Alzheimer’s disease.
The study, funded by the Alzheimer’s Society, will investigate whether curcumin, found in the popular Indian spice turmeric, and a number of other drugs, could benefit people with Alzheimer’s.
The researchers will examine whether the drugs could counteract some of the brain changes that are characteristic of the disease. The study is one of eight new Alzheimer’s Society research projects.
Dr Amrit Mudher, lead researcher from the University of Southampton, says: “Dementia is a condition that is drastically underfunded and there are so many avenues of Alzheimer’s research being left unexplored. There is also no commercial gain in exploring existing drugs developed for other conditions, which is why it is so important that Alzheimer’s Society, as a charity, is able to fund this project.
“Indian communities that regularly eat curcumin have a surprisingly low incidence of Alzheimer’s, but we do not know why. Part of our research will investigate how curcumin may help protect the brain and prevent the disease.”
In healthy people, proteins in the brain’s nerve cells help them to communicate with each other. In Alzheimer sufferers these tau proteins become abnormal and disrupt the cells’ ability to communicate with each other and the nerve cells eventually die.
The Alzheimer’s Society previously funded research using genetically modified fruit flies with nerve cells containing abnormal proteins similar to those found in people with Alzheimer’s. Dr Mudher’s team will now use this model to see whether a number of potential drugs counteract the harmful effects of abnormal tau and warrant further investigation.
Dr Susanne Sorensen, Head of Research at the Alzheimer’s Society, says: “Unless we act now, one million people will develop dementia in the next 10 years. Alzheimer’s is a devastating disease that robs people of their lives. A cheap, accessible and safe treatment could transform the quality of life of thousands of people with the disease. With the right investment, dementia can be defeated.”
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) gradually destroys the central vision of the eye. It is linked to ageing but scientists have found that physical activity such as walking and climbing stairs has a protective effect against it, Health News reported. Exercise helps to reduce the odds of developing wet, (exudative) AMD - a form of the condition in which new blood vessels grow behind the eye causing bleeding and scarring, which leads to distorted vision and impaired sight.
Researchers from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, USA, studied the impact of exercise on 4,000 men and women in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin over 15 years. The volunteers were between 43 and 86 years old when the study started in 1988-1990. They were questioned about how much exercise they did and were assessed every five years. About 25 percent had an active lifestyle and nearly the same number climbed more than six flights of stairs each day. The effects of physical activity were still noticed after consideration of other risk factors such as weight, blood pressure and smoking.
Engaging in an active lifestyle or walking more reduced the risk of developing exudative AMD over 15 years by 70 percent and 30 percent, respectively. The researchers could not rule out other factors but added that the report provides evidence that a modifiable behaviour, regular physical activity, such as walking, may have a protective effect for incident AMD.
Monday, December 22, 2008
UN International Institute on Ageing Director Joseph Troisi stressed that all sections should work unitedly in providing quality care to elders in India.
In his keynote address at the International Symposium and Conference of Gerontology and Geriatrics (ISCGG-08) and 14th biennial meeting of Association of Gerontology (India) here, Dr Joseph said US led in quality care of the aged compared to India due to united work by all sections of the society for healthy ageing.
In many countries, the need for training in the field of aging had been recognised. The past decades had seen the emergence of a number of programmes and services for older persons.
He said he reiterated in the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing and various UN General Assemblies, the very implementation of the plan fundamentally required national capacity building and training to meet the challenges of population ageing.
The existence of national plans of action, programmes and services,though important, were not by themselves effective indicators of a country's implementation of the recommendations of the Madrid Plan. They depended fully on the individual country's human capacity to implement and oversee the policies and programmes.
Good health and socio-economic status are two most important pillars of successful ageing, he added.
This three day event in Temple town of Tirupati in India was oragnised by Centre for Research On Aging,Department of Psychology,Sri Venkateswara University from 16 to 18 Dec 2008 and was an historic moment for Ageing in India.The session was divided into Bio-Gerontology ; Geriatrics and Psycho-Social Gerontology. The excellent discussion on NPOP (National Policy for Older Person) and Care Givers and Care Providers added value to it.
Sailesh Mishra from Silver Inning Foundation once again demanded an Sepertae Ministry or National Commission for Elderly and also asked all the Political party to inculde Elderly and Elder care in their Manifesto.There is an urgent need to address Psycho - Social issues and problems of Elderly.He emphasized on proactive and activist role for Senior Citizens in India.
Everyone accepted to have an Joint National Forum to fight for Elder Right in India.
ISCGG Chairperson D Jamuna said young and senior gerontoligists of reputed institutions across the world participated in the scientific programme of the conference reflecting the cross-cultural perspective of ageing.
Every one from Who's who in Aging in India like Prof. P.V.Ramamurti - the father of Gerontology in India,Dr.S.D.Gokhale and his Team from ILC-I, Sailesh Mishra and Amruta Lovekar from Silver Inning Foundation,Ms.Anupama Dutta from Helpage India,Dr.Abha from Anugrah India ,Dr.Gangadharan from Heritgae Hospital,Dr.Jacob Roy from ARDSI, Dr.P.Vysamoorthy from SSS Global ,Dr.Indira Jaiprakash,Dr.A.B.Dey , Prof.Thakur ,Prof Arun Bali and representative from Association of Gerontology, India and 18 countries were present at this important event.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Before Sunday’s basketball game, Coach Yogi Woods gathered the junior varsity at Lambuth University. Watch out for 73 on the other team, he said. He did not mean the player’s number. He meant his age.
The visitors, Roane State Community College, had a septuagenarian guard, Ken Mink, college basketball’s oldest player, who has started a second career after his first ended a half century ago with a mysterious shaving-cream incident.
If the 6-foot Mink was good enough to play, he was good enough to be guarded, Woods told the Lambuth players. Then he turned to the freshman Kendrick Coleman and said: “If he goes in for a layup, don’t let him have it. If he scores on you, we will never let you forget it.”
This mixture of curiosity and macho dread has greeted Mink all season at colleges throughout Tennessee. After all, how do you defend a guy whose peers are generally pumping iron to supplement their blood levels, not to build their muscles? On Nov. 3, the junior-varsity coach at King College told one of the Roane players, whom he had coached in high school, “If the old guy scores, we’re walking home.”
Late in that game, Mink entered and found himself open in the corner. He gave a pump fake, and the defender ended up draped over him like raccoon coat. Calmly, he hit both free throws. The Hack-a-Mink strategy had failed.
“I thought some teams would play along, humor him,” said Randy Nesbit, the coach of Roane State, located in Harriman, Tenn. “No, they’re not like the Washington Generals. They’re like sharks sensing blood.”
At home games, Mink has been a crowd favorite. Attendance, usually about 100 per game, has on occasion swelled to 400. Mink’s wife, Emilia, 68, wore a retro cheerleader outfit to the season opener, complete with saddle shoes and a poodle skirt. She held up a sign that said, “Ken Can, He’s Our Medicare Man.”
No one has been happier than the guy who runs the Roane concession stand.
“He even put a new item on the menu, polish sausage with peppers and onions,” Nesbit said. “It was just plain hotdogs before.”
For a guy Mink’s age, two-a-days are a likely reference to multivitamins, not double practices. But while shooting around in a neighbor’s driveway in the summer of 2007, he realized he still had his shooting stroke. So he sent e-mail messages to eight tiny colleges near his home in Knoxville, Tenn. Perhaps a small school could use a guy with an old-school push shot.
“You do realize you’re 72?” Emilia Mink asked her husband. “Do you think you can convince someone you’re not?”
Nesbit, the Roane coach, grew intrigued. A former point guard and coach at The Citadel, he kept himself in terrific shape at 50. He was curious about the possibilities of athletic performance at an age when Gatorade has been replaced as the sports drink of choice by Metamucil. Still, he wanted to meet Mink before offering him a spot on the team.
“I think he wanted to make sure Ken wasn’t out on a weekend pass,” Emilia Mink said.
Ken Mink told Nesbit a story of unfinished business: he had played at Lees College in Jackson, Ky., only to be expelled from the then-Presbyterian school in 1956 as his sophomore season began. His crime? Mink said he was accused of soaping the coach’s office with shaving cream, slathering the lights and even the coach’s shoes.
He denied it. “I don’t even shave,” he said he told the university president. Apparently, his alibi was not as smooth as his baby face.
“It’s been eating at him all these years,” Emilia Mink said. “Ken likes to finish what he started.”
Marcus Mullins, a student manager on that Lees team, said he remembered Mink as a “good, hard-nosed player, a big raw-boned kid.” (“I used to be 6-2,” Mink said.) While he was not certain of the facts, Mullins said, the university president at the time was a stern man who did not tolerate prankish misbehavior.
“I know there was an incident, and suddenly he was gone,” Mullins said of Mink. “I’m sure he’s telling the truth.”
Mink said he joined the Air Force in November 1956 and played regularly in military tournaments for four years. He then went on to a career as a newspaper editor, continuing to play basketball in recreation leagues. Since retiring in 1999, he and his wife said, Mink has kept active by playing golf, walking, hiking, skiing, even hang gliding. He has published a book, “So, You Want Your Kid to be a Sports Superstar,” and along with his wife, edits an online travel magazine.
His hair is gray and thinning, but he does look younger than 73. Still, basketball and school have required adjustments. Spanish gave him more trouble this semester than wind sprints, so he replaced it with sociology
I’m threatening a 3.0,” he said.
By that, he meant his grade point average. He would kill for that to be his scoring average.
His goal is to score in double digits. Not for each game. For the season. With the holiday break approaching, Mink is 8 points short.
“His productivity has dropped since he shaved his mustache,” Nesbit said.
Still, there is a half-season remaining. Mink travels with his teammates in a vehicle the size of a rental-car bus, taking his own room on the road, receiving scraps of playing time during blowouts. He is writing a book about his season and a rap song for his teammates.
On one hand, his teammates admire the audacity of his effort. “Most 73-year-olds are using walkers,” forward Keith Bauer said. On the other hand, they do not spare him the tart wit of the locker room. When Mink joked that he had friends in high places, guard Philip Helton shot back, “Where, heaven?”
Mink has a nice shooting touch, and he can use his left hand around the basket, but it is the commonness of his talent, not the rarity, that makes him such an inspiring story, Nesbit said.
“He’s not a freak of nature beating Father Time,” Nesbit said. “There’s no special diet. People pull for him because he looks like a 73-year-old man. If people stay active and healthy, a lot could do what he’s doing.”
Sunday, after Roane’s lead had grown to double digits against Lambuth, Mink entered the game with 39.5 seconds remaining. He dribbled against pressure but did not take a shot before the buzzer sounded.
“At least, I didn’t turn the ball over,” he said.
There was no time to celebrate. The players piled in their bus for a long ride home. Final exams would begin in the morning. Earlier this season, teammates invited Mink to a party at a player’s apartment. He asked his wife for permission to attend, and she said no, according to Nesbit. It was just as well.
“If he starts breaking training, it’s all downhill,” Nesbit said.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
University of Phoenix instructor and IT expert, Jim Dearman, offers the following safety tips to help those who prefer to do their holiday shopping online:
1) Be skeptical of all unsolicited emails. Never supply your username, password, account number or any other personal information via e-mail.
2) Shop at company websites you know are reputable. Look for a privacy statement and third party site seals like BBB and security badges.
3) If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. No one in Kenya or Nigeria is dying to send you money and you probably didn’t win the UK lottery.
4) Don’t use the link received in an unsolicited e-mail. Type the website address into the address bar to avoid being sent to a fake website, created with the sole purpose of phishing (i.e. acquiring your account information). Your bank and credit card companies don’t need you to log in and re-enter all your information.
5) Enable the phishing protection provided by your browser.
6) When you provide any personal information at a website make sure encryption is ON. Look for https: in the address bar or the lock/key on your browser. If it isn’t ON, your information is sent in clear text and can be read by anyone that captures the web communication.
7) If you think your username/password information has been compromised, log into the real site and change your password as quickly as possible or contact the company.
8) Pay by credit card but make sure the page has encryption ON (see 6 above).
9) Check your bank and credit card statements often. Most are available online and are easy to review.
10) THINK before you CLICK.
Friday, December 12, 2008
mortgage scheme for senior citizens, a top banker said.
As per the current guidelines, a customer who mortgages his property to avail a reverse mortgage loan, will receive the monthly instalments for a period of twenty years after which the scheme will cease to exist.
"We are in talks with many insurance players and expect to come with this (the restructured scheme) in the next few months. This would enable senior citizens to avail the facility till their death," NHB's Chairman and Managing Director, S Sridhar told reporters here today.
Under the reverse mortgage scheme, senior citizens can avail loans against their properties. The customer need not pay back the amount during his life time. After his/her death, the legal heir can either surrender the property to the bank or repay the loan.
Though reverse mortgage is popular in western countries, the scheme has not been successful in the Indian market. Even major banks, including Punjab National Bank and Union Bank of India have evoked only a lukewarm response from their customers.
This can be gauged from the fact that 20 home lenders together have disbursed only around a mere Rs 550-crore worth loans to about 2,000 customers since the scheme was launched for the first time in the country last year, Sridhar said.
More number of customers are showing interest in the scheme after the government made the income received under the reverse mortgage scheme tax free.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
When things go wrong as they sometimes will
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
You want to smile but just sigh
When care is pressing you down a bit
Rest if you must but don't quit
Life is queer with its twists and turns
As everyone of us sometimes learns
And many a fellow turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out
Don't give up though, the pace seems slow
You may succeed with another blow
Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor's cup
And he learned too late when the night came down
How close he was to the golden crown
Success is failure turned inside out
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt
And you never can tell how close you are
It may be near when it seems so far
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit
It's when things seem worst that you mustn't quit.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
All are cordialy invited to the following Free interactive lecture.
Event : Lecture cum discussion on Alzheimer's and Dementia
DAY & DATE : Friday, 5th December, 2008
Time : 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Place: Merigold Hall, Tholiya Bhavan, 12th Road,Near Regency Hotel, Near Santacruz Signal on highway, Santacruz East, Mumbai 400 055
FORUM FOR HEALTH AWARENESS
Monday, December 1, 2008
National Insurance Building,
For complete details of our free health talks check our 'HELP TALK' google