Weight Loss vs Age: The Winner is …….

by The Sibyls

Is It Harder to Lose Weight When You’re Older?

This was the title to an article in the New York Times last week. The answer, according to the medical experts interviewed, is ‘Yes’ for three reasons:

1. We start losing muscle mass at 30 years of age, often replacing it with fat. Muscles use more energy that fat.

2. As we age our declining hormone levels compound this muscle loss.

3. Early weight loss can train our bodies to be more efficient with calorie use. In other words, your metabolism is more efficient.

63 Year old Style Icon

by Kerry Cue

Looking  for  a  quote  to  head  this  post  about  63 – year – old  New  Yorker,  Lyn  Slater, Associate Professor and Style Icon, I couldn’t find one that fitted the bill. So I made one up. Her Accidental Icon Instagram account has 100,000 followers! Her Accidental Icon blog is equally fascinating.

Style does not depend on age. Look at the images of Lyn (below) taken from her Instagram account. Confidence and flair seem to sum up the impact of her fashion style. May there be more like her.

 

 

How Do You Slow Down Aging? Move Fast

The Sibyls

An  encouraging  article  for mature-age  readers  was pubished  in  the New York Times this week.  The Best Exercise for Aging Muscles  (Gretchen Reynolds,  23 March,  2017) reported  on   research   showed   that   ‘decline   in  the   cellular   health   of   muscles   associated  with  aging  was  “corrected”  with  exercise,  especially  if  it  was  intense’  according  to  Dr. Sreekumaran Nair, a professor of medicine and an endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic.

This research highlights one simple message for those in the mature years. GET MOVING.

Binge Drinking? It’s a Middle-Aged Problem.

by Kerry Cue

sibylesque-drinking-quote

The article quoted (above) in The Telegraph, UK, has fascinating information about the drinking habits of the 55 – 64 year old demographic. This age group is not generally associated with reckless behaviour, but statistics prove otherwise. According to Dr Tony Rao, a consultant psychiatrist and a leading expert in substance abuse among the older population, “The baby boomers have very liberal attitudes towards alcohol.”

Research by the UK lottery-funded, Drink Wise, Age Well program found:

’17 per cent of over 50s class themselves as “increasing risk drinkers”. Among the older adults surveyed who said they were now drinking more than they previously did, 40 per cent blamed it on retirement, 26 per cent on bereavement and 20 per cent on a loss of sense of purpose.’

sibylesque-drinking-on-the-sly

If you earn more, you drink more and in retirement such bad habits can grow as you have more time. Retirement did not pan out well for ex-rock star Phil Collins, 65. In his recent memoir, Not Yet Dead, he described the problems he faced retiring to the edge of Lake Geneva, Switzerland. It sounds idyllic. But firstly, his 3rd marraige fell apart. And then, the afternoon glass of wine turned into a couple of bottles. He had too much time on his hands. According to The Telegraph article:

‘Before long he was downing vodka straight from the bottle for breakfast.  Eventually he ended up in a Swiss intensive care with acute pancreatitis.’

He is now back touring and on the wagon.

You will find more information at the Drink Wise, Age Well website.

The Sibyls Salute: Gloria Steinem

by The Sibyls

Gloria Steinem Quote

Gloria Steinem, feminist icon, founding editor MS magazine, social activist and commentator is currently on tour in Australia. In an article titled Gloria Steinem at 82: a hopeless hopeaholic always on the move by Susan Wyndham (18 May 2016, SMH) Gloria claimed she will have to live to 100 years of age to keep up with her current commitments.

‘On her to-do list: help get Hillary Clinton elected as US president (“I think she can win and she has to win”); introduce a Vice series of documentaries on violence against women around the world; consult on an HBO TV series about Ms, the feminist magazine she co-founded in the ’70s; work on a one-woman theatre show in which actor Kathy Najimy plays Steinem and the real Steinem joins in for an audience Q&A.

Gloria Steinem Sibylesque

We, The Sibyls, salute Gloria Steinem for her lifetime involvement in social reform and her continuing commitment to improving the lives of minority groups and the disadvantaged. She has been politically active for over 50 years and an inspiration for generations of women. Now, at 82 years of age, she is a role model for older women. She is an articulate, intelligent and vital life force, who demonstrates how much can be achieved at any age by anyone willing to put up their hand and become involved.

1 hour interview on ABC Radio 774 with Jon Faine and Kaz Cooke

Vote 1 Wisdom ….. or How not to be a victim by Hillary Clinton

by Kerry Cue

Sibylesque Wise woman quoteHillary Clinton is 67 years old and running for President. If she is voted into office, an increasingly unlikely scenario, she will be 70 years old and, after 2 possible terms, she will be 78 years old.

Why all the brouhaha? Opponents have dubbed Hillary ‘grandma’, which, indeed, she is, but the term is used as an insult. It is meant to demean her status.

Sibylesque Vote 1 for WisdomThere have been 44 presidents with 3 in Hillary’s demographic. Margaret Thatcher was 54 when she became Prime Minister in 1979 and held that office for 11 years. Golda Meir was 71 when elected Prime Minister of Israel in 1969. Angela Merkel was 51 when elected German Chancellor. She remains in office at the age of 61.

There are now 46 million Americans over 65 and the numbers are rising. Last election they represented 23% of the voting population. Only a fool would set out to insult 23% of potential voters. Then again, fools rush in where the older and wiser fear to tread.

Hillary had the last say. She started a Twitter account #Grandmotherknowsbest.

Thus ends the lesson in how not to be a victim.

curlicuePhotosource: Winedentity

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OMG! It’s Official. I’m a Card Carrying Senior

By Kerry Cue

Sibylesque Kerry Cue Quote 4

Adele HorinAdele Horin runs the fabulous and informative Coming of Age Blog. In her article, I hate my Senior’s Card, Adele captures the emotions many of us feel from ambivalence to downright hostility when we are first declared a certified senior.

 ‘What boomer can relate to being a “senior”?‘ Adele asks, adding, ‘It reminds me of senior centres where very old people play bingo. I recently cycled 280 km beside the Danube River. I lift weights in the gym. Just a few months ago I was called a worker.’

Adele’s husband suggests she is ‘in denial’, but she protests that now she is lumped in the same age category as her 84-year-old mother. Is this fair? Is it accurate? Could some other word be used to describe ‘younger’ seniors?

Sibylesque Body Builder 86

Adele hates all the baggage the comes with her seniors card, but will she leave it at home. No. She loves the discounts.

 We, THE SIBYLS, declare Adele Horin an Honorary Sibyl for her brutal honesty, sharp observations and her meticulous and thoughtful reporting on age-related topics.

 

Adele HorinAdele Horin has worked as a journalist in Washington, New York and London covering politics, society and economics. She wrote about social issues for The Sydney Morning Herald for 18 years. Then in 2012, at 62 years of age, she retired from the SMH “not to spend the day in a dressing gown but to think, write, participate, and to engage with my generation in a different way” And her blog, Coming of Age,certainly does engage with her generation on multiple levels.

Photo Source: Coming of Age Blog, pinterest.

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What’s your poison …. Botox, flu shots or designer drugs?

by Kerry Cue

Sibylesque Vaccination quote

We, Baby Boomers, are the last generation that can remember kids who suffered from Diphtheria, Polio and/or Whooping Cough. As kids many of us caught the common childhood diseases including  measles, german measles, mumps and, definitely, Chicken Pox. In Melbourne, in the 1950s, my next door neighbour Roy had TB.  When I was 8 years old, he taught me a skill he picked up in the Sanatorium, namely how to blanket stitch a felt toy.

Sibylesque girliron lung

It is not surprising then that most of us are pro-vaccination. For those in doubt look here. This is a You Tube clip posted by the Mayo Clinic of a baby with Whooping Cough. Parents of a baby afflicted with such a terrible disease as Whooping Cough say they would do anything to help their little baby, but it is too late.

So what vaccinations might be appropriate for our 50+ age group?

Flu shots.

Pneumonia Vaccination especially if you are prone to respiratory diseases.

And, the latest, SHINGLES SHOTS.

Shingles is a very painful condition caused by the Chicken Pox virus that lays dormant in the nerve roots near the spine of anyone who ever had the disease. According to the AMA the ‘risk and severity of the condition increases markedly with age’. The American-made vaccine, Zostavax , has been approved by the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) for use by Australians aged 50 years or older. The vaccine has not been added to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Schedule yet so a Shingles Shot is expensive (Around $200), but it is a price any shingles sufferer would gladly pay if they could.

Finally, we often get Top Up shots, especially new grandmothers, for the standard vaccinations we had in our youth including measles, mumps and so on. You would need to consult your medical practitioner for further information.

Photo: Unknown Source

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It’s Detox or Dementia: Why Pill Poppin’ Mamas should be worried!

Kerry Cue

Sibuylesque Orwell Quote 1As we age, many of us collect more and more medications. But specialists in geriatric medicine (Oops! That’s the 65+ age group) are telling patients around the world it is time to DETOX. Overmedication is causing more dementia than it is curing.

Sibylesque pill bottlesFor instance, 40% of Australians in the 65+ age group take 5 or more medications. In an article by Jill Robotham (Health Risk for Over Medicated Elderly, The Age, 5 Jan 2009) David Le Couteur, director of the Centre for Education and Research on Ageing at the University of Sydney said ‘Ceasing to take medicines such as sleeping pills and antidepressants improved people’s mental abilities and reduced the likelihood of serious falls’. Professor Le Couteur, a geriatrician at Concord Hospital, Sydney, explained that evidence based research looking into the effects of taking multiple drugs is “almost non-existent”. Meanwhile, in one study 85% of older patients had stable blood pressure 6 months to five years after being taken off blood pressure tablets.

Dr Tannenbaum's 18 week Benzodiapapinne DETOX schedule.

Dr Tannenbaum’s 18 week benzodiazepine DETOX schedule.

Meanwhile, in another informative article in the New York Times by honorary Sibyl, Paula Span (Weaning Older Patients Off Sleeping Pills, 2 Jul 2014), Dr. Cara Tannenbaum, who holds an endowed chair in geriatric pharmacy at the University of Montreal, explained ‘People taking sleeping pills are five times more likely to report problems with concentration and memory … Twice as likely to have a hip fracture. Twice as likely to have a car accident the next day if they’re driving.’

They also experience more incontinence.

Not only does Dr. Tannenbaum and colleagues want older people to detox by weaning themselves from benzodiazepines (Sleep and anxiety medication. Brand names include: Ativan, Ambien, Halcion, Klonopin, Lunesta, Sonata, Valium and Xanax.), they have produced a downloadable brochure to help them do it.

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