Wednesday, February 10, 2016


Look Who’s Turning 65

Feb. 14—Terry Gross

Terry Gross is the host and co-executive producer of Fresh Air, an interview format radio show produced by WHYY-FM in Philadelphia and distributed throughout the United States by NPR. Since 1975 she has conducted thousands of interviews. Gross began her radio career in 1973 at WBFO, a public radio station in Buffalo, N.Y., where she started out as a volunteer. When she moved to WHYY-FM, Fresh Air was a local interview program. In 1985, Fresh Air with Terry Gross went national, being distributed weekly by NPR, and two years later became a daily program. The show reaches an audience of millions of daily listeners.

The San Francisco Chronicle wrote that Gross' interviews are "a remarkable blend of empathy, warmth, genuine curiosity and sharp intelligence." She prides herself on preparation; prior to interviewing guests, she reads their books, watches their movies and/or listens to their CDs. The Boston Phoenix opined that "Terry Gross . . . is almost certainly the best cultural interviewer in America, and one of the best all-around interviewers, period. Her smart, thoughtful questioning pushes her guests in unlikely directions. Her interviews are revelatory in a way other people's seldom are."

Some of her interviews have not gone smoothly. Gross asked Nancy Reagan about the lack of funding and mishandling of HIV/AIDS by her husband, President Ronald Reagan, which was not well received. At least a few interview subjects have exited their interviews early, including Lou Reed, Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner, Faye Dunaway and Monica Lewinsky. Gross has been married to Francis Davis, jazz critic of The Village Voice, since 1994.

Feb. 15—Jane Seymour

Jane Seymour is a British-American actress best known for her performances in the James Bond film Live and Let Die (1973) and the television series Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman (1993–1998). In 1973, she gained her first major television role in the series The Onedin Line and achieved international fame in her role as Bond Girl Solitaire in the James Bond film Live and Let Die. After that, she starred in Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1975) and the Battlestar Galactica film (1978), and in the first five episodes of the television series. Seymour returned to the big screen in the comedy Oh Heavenly Dog opposite Chevy Chase.

In 1980, Seymour played opposite Christopher Reeve in Somewhere in Time, which marked the start of her friendship with the actor. In 1981, her role in the television film East of Eden won her a Golden Globe. In 1988, Seymour got the female lead in the 12-part television miniseries War and Remembrance. In the 1990s, Seymour earned popular and critical praise for her role as Dr. Michaela "Mike" Quinn in the television series Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman and its television sequels (1993–2001). Her work on the series earned her a second Golden Globe Award.

In the 1980s, Seymour began a career as a writer of self-help and inspirational books, including Jane Seymour's Guide to Romantic Living (1986) and Among Angels (2010). She also co-authored several children's books with her then-husband James Keach. In 2008, Seymour replaced Selina Scott as the new face of fashion label CC (formerly known as Country Casuals). In 2008, she teamed up with and designed the "Open Heart Collection" for Kay Jewelers. Seymour was married four times and has two children.

Feb. 15—Melissa Manchester

Melissa Manchester, a singer-songwriter and actress, began recording in the 1970s generally in the adult contemporary genre. She has also appeared as an actress on television, in films and on stage. The daughter of a bassoonist for the New York Metropolitan Opera, Manchester started a singing career at an early age. In the Manhattan club scene, she was discovered by Barry Manilow, who introduced her to Bette Midler. In 1971, she became a member of the Harlettes, the backup singers for Midler. Her debut album, Home to Myself, was released in 1973. Two years later, her album Melissa produced her first Top 10 hit, "Midnight Blue." In 1979, Manchester reached No. 10 with "Don't Cry Out Loud," for which she received a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Female Vocal Performance.

In 1982, her album You Should Hear How She Talks About You, won the 1983 Grammy for Best Pop Female Vocal Performance. Throughout the 1980s, Manchester continued to place singles on the Adult Contemporary charts, including a 1989 updating of Dionne Warwick's "Walk on By." In 2004, she returned with her first album in 10 years: When I Look Down That Road. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Manchester alternated recording with acting, appearing with Bette Midler in the film For the Boys, on the television series Blossom and co-writing and starring in the musical I Sent a Letter to My Love. In April 2007, she returned to theater, starring in the Chicago production of HATS! The Musical, a show to which she contributed two (cowritten) songs. Manchester’s 20th studio album, You Gotta Love the Life, released in February 2015, hit No. 17 on the Billboard Magazine Jazz Albums chart. The single "Feelin' for You," premiered at No. 2 on the smooth jazz charts.

Feb. 23—Ed Lee "Too Tall" Jones

Ed Lee "Too Tall" Jones is a retired American football player who played 15 seasons (1974–1978, 1980–1989) in the National Football League (NFL) for the Dallas Cowboys. Jones was one of the most dominant defensive players of his era, playing in 16 playoff games and three Super Bowls. He was part of three NFC championship teams and the Super Bowl XII champion. His success batting down passes convinced the NFL to keep track of it as an official stat.

In high school, his basketball skills earned him All-America honors and scholarship offers from several Division I (NCAA) programs. As a senior, he fought a Golden Gloves boxing match, recording a knockout of his opponent in less than a minute. He played football under Tennessee State University head coach John Merritt. The 6-foot-9 Jones received his famous nickname during his first football practice, after a teammate mentioned that his pants didn't fit, because he was “too tall to play football." At Tennessee State, he became a 2-time All-American defensive lineman, playing on a team that only lost two games en route to winning the black college football national championship in 1971 and 1973.

The Dallas Cowboys drafted Jones, making him the first football player from a historically black college to go that high in the NFL draft. He became a starter at left defensive end during his second season in 1975, and by 1977 he had helped the Cowboys win Super Bowl XII. After playing five years for the Cowboys from 1974 through 1978, at 28 years old and in the prime of his athletic career, Jones left football to attempt a professional boxing career. From November 1979 through January 1980, he won the six bouts he fought as a heavyweight, recording five knockouts. He returned to play for the Dallas Cowboys for the 1980 season, earning All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors three times from 1981 to 1983. He retired at the end of the 1989 season, having never missed a game, playing the most games by any Cowboys player (232).

Source: Wikipedia

FAMOUS & 65 is a featured article in the February 2016 Senior Spirit newsletter.

Blog posting provided by Society of Certified Senior Advisors

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Reward Yourself with the Right Credit Card

Choosing the right credit card

Choosing a credit card used to be a fairly simple decision. Today there’s a wealth of options for credit cards that reward you for your purchases: everything from free travel to cash back. How do you decide?

Choosing a credit card used to be a fairly simple decision. You might have one credit card attached to your bank and others for your favorite stores. Now, there’s a wealth of options for credit cards that reward you for your purchases: everything from free travel to cash back. How do you decide?

Types of Credit Cards

Know Your Terms

When reviewing different credit cards, it helps to understand the lingo. Here are some key terms (from “Making Sense of Key Credit Card Terms,”

  • Balance transfer. Cardholders pay off one card by making a charge to another. Promotional balance transfers offer lower interest rates for a limited period of time, allowing cardholders to save money by paying off their balance on cards that have a higher interest rate. However, these transactions often cost you a fee of 3 percent or more.

  • Grace period. After a statement period closes, cardholders can pay their statement balance in full without the risk of accruing interest.

  • Foreign transaction fee. Credit card companies impose this fee on all charges processed outside of the United States, regardless of where you are or what currency you use. Some credit cards offer the benefit of no foreign transaction fees.

  • APR. The annual percentage rate is the rate of interest that would be accumulated over the course of a year. However, card issuers can add interest charges to the total, called compounding, every month or even every day. This makes the actual amount of interest charged during a year greater than the result of simply multiplying the balance by the interest rate expressed as an APR.

  • Variable rate. Before the Credit Card Act of 2009, card issuers could change customer’s rates for virtually any reason, while referring to the rates as “fixed.” Thankfully, card issuers must now disclose their rates as variable, and these rates are typically tied to the prime rate, which is what banks charge to their best customers, and is typically 3 percent higher than the federal funds rate.

Rewards cards come in different forms. Unlike the traditional credit card, many have an annual fee and slightly higher interest rates. Be sure these expenses don’t cost more than the value you earn from membership.

Cash Back

The most common credit-card reward is cash back, where for every dollar you spend, you get a certain percentage in return. Most cards offer a fixed rate of 1 percent cash back on all purchases. However, Citi’s Double Cash became the first credit card to pay 2 percent cash back on purchases. (You earn 1 percent when you make the transaction and another 1 percent when you pay your bill on time.)

Loyalty Cards

The second rewards category links to a specific brand, such as Amazon, a hotel chain or airline. Airline credit cards are popular, especially for people who travel a lot, because the rewards are often worth more than the points you earn on a cash-back card—in the form of free mileage (with other perks, such as priority boarding or free checked luggage). Typically, the cardholder accumulates points from both making purchases and flying on the airline.

However, such loyalty cards can be more difficult to manage (and limit you to one airline or hotel chain), and availability is not always assured because of travel restrictions (like flying at peak times). If you are able to plan ahead, you’ll get the best deals. Many people, however, don’t want to deal with the hassle of figuring out how to make the most of their airline rewards card and let their free mileage go to waste.

For international travelers, it's critical you get a card that waives foreign transaction fees—often up to 3 percent, which can negate the value of earned points.

General rewards

For those who can’t decide between cash back and loyalty cards, a general (or transferable) credit card gives you points for purchases, which you can use for gift cards, electronics, hotel stays, plane tickets, jewelry, pet supplies or cash. You can transfer points to numerous airline and hotel loyalty programs. As with loyalty cards, the options can be confusing and overwhelming, so you need to stay on top of your account. Two of the better known transferable points cards are Membership Rewards and Chase Sapphire Ultimate Reward.

How to Decide

As with any decision, choosing a credit card starts with figuring out what you need the most. If you’re a big traveler or there’s one retail chain where you exclusively shop, the choice is obvious.

You can get help in your decision-making by going to websites that offer credit card comparisons and questions to ask yourself before getting a new card. Bankrate asks you about your credit history and future needs, such as “How is your credit?,” “Is this card for personal or business needs?” and “Will you be using this card to make a big purchase?” Your answers lead to a recommended type of card.

Another is NerdWallet, which asks you to select a type of credit card, such as rewards, cash-back, travel or balance transfer and, depending on your answer, lists the attributes of different brands of cards, including the annual fee, rewards rate and bonus value.

Many rewards cards offer bonuses just for signing up, ranging from 10,000 to 75,000 (or more) points within the first few months of opening your account, as long as you make a certain amount of purchases. Compare deals to see which is the best, and always remember to balance enticing promotions with annual fees.

Many people have more than one card, so you can strategize how best to use individual cards to get the rewards you want.


“Find the best credit card for you,” Bankrate,

“This is the research you should do before picking a credit card,” Aug. 18, 2015, Business Insider

“Find the Right Credit Card for You,” Sept. 28, 2015,

“What type of card are you looking for?,” NerdWallet

“The Points Guy: How to pick a rewards card,” Bankrate

“Cash Or Miles: How to Choose the Best Credit Card ,” April 15, 2015,

Reward Yourself with the Right Credit Card is a featured article in the February 2016 Senior Spirit newsletter.

Blog posting provided by Society of Certified Senior Advisors

Monday, February 8, 2016

Stand Up Straight! Exercise to Create Good Posture

Exercise to Create Good Posture

We can avoid debilitating problems from poor posture by working now on core strength, balance and flexibility. The right exercises and physical training are good places to start.

Anyone who has been in a nursing home or assisted-living facility will have noticed older adults so stooped over that their heads are looking down rather than straight ahead. Although common, such conditions are not inevitable with aging. By working on our core muscles when we are younger, we can help prevent bad posture and everything that goes along with it: weak muscles, poor balance, limited flexibility and increased susceptibility to falls. On the other hand, good posture means your whole body is properly aligned and working.

“When your head is pulled forward, your torso is rolling forward and your chest caves in,” says Steven P. Weiniger, author of Stand Taller, Live Longer: An Anti-Aging Strategy. “You can’t take a deep breath. Studies have shown that people with weak posture are more likely to have incidents of cardiovascular and pulmonary issues” (quoted in the Huffington Post).

Benefits of Good Posture

Proper posture is more than standing up straight. It keeps you healthy and strong in various ways by:

  • Keeping bones and joints in correct alignment, thus decreasing the wearing of joint surfaces that could result in degenerative arthritis and joint pain.

  • Reducing muscle strain and fatigue in your neck, shoulders and lower back because bones and joints are better aligned and muscles therefore work more efficiently.

  • Reducing the stress on the ligaments holding the spinal joints together, minimizing the likelihood of injury.

  • Increasing your core strength by engaging core abdominal and back muscles, which contributes to good balance and physical agility.

  • Decreasing risk of bone deformity because bones are constantly forming new cells and over time respond to chronic pressure to change shape.

  • Improving your energy and mood. Several studies, notably by Dutch behavioral scientist Erik Peper, have linked sitting or standing up straight to being better able to remember positive memories and having more confidence.

What Is Good Posture?

Proper posture is more than just pulling back your shoulders. The spine has two natural curves, called the “double C” or “S” curves, which go from the base of your head to your shoulders and from the upper back to the base of the spine. When standing straight up, your weight should be evenly distributed on your feet.

The American Chiropractic Association offers tips for sitting and standing properly.


  • Keep your feet on the floor or on a footrest if they don't reach the floor.

  • Avoid crossing your legs. Your ankles should be in front of your knees.

  • Keep a small gap between the back of your knees and the front of your seat.

  • Your knees should be at or below the level of your hips.

  • Adjust the backrest of your chair to support your low- and mid-back or use a back support.

  • Relax your shoulders and keep your forearms parallel to the ground.

  • Avoid sitting in the same position for long periods of time.


  • Bear your weight primarily on the balls of your feet.

  • Keep your knees slightly bent.

  • Keep your feet about shoulder-width apart.

  • Let your arms hang naturally down the sides of the body.

  • Stand straight and tall with your shoulders pulled backward.

  • Tuck in your stomach.

  • Keep your head level; your earlobes should be in line with your shoulders. Do not push your head forward, backward or to the side.

  • Shift your weight from your toes to your heels, or from one foot to the other, if you have to stand for a long time.

Exercises to Help

Work on Balance and Alignment

Here are two exercises to improve your balance and alignment (from the Huffington Post):

  • Balance: Stand near a wall or, better yet, in a doorway. Adjust your posture. Then raise one leg and bend at the knee so that your thigh is parallel to the floor. Hold that position for 20 seconds. Repeat on the other side. If you feel that you cannot hold the pose, reach out to the wall or doorway to steady yourself. Over time you’ll be able to hold the pose without gripping the wall. This exercise trains your muscles to help you balance better.

  • Alignment: Put your heels against the wall and then step forward about the length of your foot. Now lean back until your buttocks and back touch the wall. Push your head back, keeping it level until it touches the wall. If you cannot get your head back without tilting it, push it back as far as it will go while staying level. Hold it there for 20 seconds. In time, you should improve your alignment enough so your head will reach the wall.

Exercises that improve posture include cardio, strength and flexibility training. Classes such as Pilates or yoga help to strengthen and improve flexibility in the core muscles that support posture. Changes won’t happen quickly, because poor posture likely took a long time to create and will take some time to improve. Therefore, awareness of your posture should be an ongoing, daily practice.

The National Osteoporosis Foundation offers two posture exercises to get you started:

Head presses.

These help align your head over your shoulders and reduce tightness in your spine, neck and upper back.

  • Sit in a chair with your middle and lower back well-supported.

  • Move your head straight back as far as possible.

  • Keep your chin level with the floor and look straight ahead. Do not tilt your chin or forehead.

  • Hold your head back in this position for 3 or 4 seconds.

  • Relax back into your normal posture for a second or two.

  • Repeat five times.

  • Repeat several times a day.

Standing back bends.

These stretch your spine and muscles for greater flexibility and movement.

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your buttocks against a counter or heavy table that won’t move.

  • Place your hands at your waist. Pinch your shoulder blades back as if you are trying to squeeze a pencil between them. Then lean back slightly but stay comfortable.

  • Keep your head in its normal position. The underneath part of the chin should be level with the ground. Look straight ahead.

  • Hold for a slow count of five.

  • Relax back into your normal posture.

  • Repeat five times.

  • Repeat several times a day.


“Senior Fitness: Importance of good posture ,” Jan. 22, 2013, National Institute for Fitness and Sports

“3 Ways To Improve Your Posture—And Why You Should,” Sept. 28, 2013, Huffington Post

“Posture is Essential to Balance and Function,” National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability

“Stand straighter, live longer: Good posture can help you age better, “ June 7, 2013, Sun Sentinel

“3 Benefits of Improving Your Posture,” Health Status

“The Science Behind Posture and How It Affects Your Brain,” Life Hacker

“How posture influences mood, energy, thoughts,” Sept. 3, 2013. SF Gate

“Posture Exercises,” National Osteoporosis Foundation

Stand Up Straight! Exercise to Create Good Posture is a featured article in the February 2016 Senior Spirit newsletter.

Blog posting provided by Society of Certified Senior Advisors

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Many Kinds of Dementias: Why Specific Diagnosis Matters

Not All Dementias Are The Same.

They present in many forms, and it’s important to recognize and understand the differences.

One of the most common referrals seen in primary are is for cognitive evaluation of older persons, whose families are concerned about cognitive decline. Often, the referral is bypassed completely and a primary care provider (PCP) will simply enter a diagnosis of dementia into the chart based on family report. A member of the drug class known as acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (ex. Donepezil [Aricpet], Rivastigmine [Excelon])—a type of drug that may treat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s dementia—will be prescribed and the family will go on its way.

Many people are content with this process, as it confirms what their families were suspecting, and gives them a method of addressing their concerns through use of a medication. Where there is value in simplifying the process of diagnosing dementia, there is a lot missed in simply labeling cognitive decline or loss of independence as dementia. This would be similar to dermatologist labeling all presenting problems as "rashes” and prescribing the same cream.

The term dementia encompasses a wide range of diagnoses and symptoms. Where there are common symptom presentations across dementias, the specific diagnoses are unique and carry with them differing prognoses (expectations of lifespan and the nature of decline), treatments, symptoms, drug interactions, and support needs for family members and caregivers.Families and patients often assume that dementia and Alzheimer’s are synonymous, and that all dementias follow a common course. This is not true. As this article will demonstrate, there is value in specific assessment and clarification of what kind of dementia a person has.

A Note about Terms

The term dementia comes from the Latin dÄ“ment, meaning “out of one’s mind” with the noun suffix “ia.” Because of the derogatory nature of this concept, there is a movement in the medical community to rename dementia to the major and minor neurocognitive disorders (APA 2013). Given that it is still the most commonly used term by professionals and systems, the neurocognitive disorders will continue to be referred to as “dementia” in this article due to this being the more familiar term. However, the transition is encouraged, because it emphasizes the biological foundations of dementia and reduces stigma.

The Commonalities Across Dementias

To understand why it is important to differentiate between the types of dementias (to the best of our ability, as this is not an exact science), it is important to first recognize their similarities. Most dementias have symptom commonalities that lead the people withthem and their families to believe that a diagnosis is warranted. It is these commonalities that cause families and practitioners to take pause in further diagnosis. Historically, the “treatment” of dementia was mostly focused on securing in-home health services and looking at possible placement in a facility.

Changes in Cognition

Memory loss is the first and most prominent complaint in patients and families concerned about dementias (Mayo Clinic 2014). It is important to note that what looks like memory loss may not always be related to the function of memory. People who have slower processing speed (it takes them longer to think about what others are saying), difficulty with attention, and problems with language, often look as though they cannot remember things, when it is another cognitive difficulty they are experiencing. Many people also notice and endorse difficulty finding words or speaking, confusion about previously familiar people and places, difficulty with complex tasks, and orientation (understanding when and where a person is). Changes in cognition are an aspect of all dementias. However, the nature of the change (true memory loss versus attention, language, or judgment) can help to identify a specific type of dementia.

Loss of Independence

All people with dementia have lost some independence in Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), such as brushing their teeth, dressing, feeding themselves, and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs), such as driving or navigating transportation, taking medications, paying bills. To diagnose any type of dementia, it’s necessary to establish that the changes in cognition interfere with daily life, and require the addition of a caregiver or other person providing assistance.

“Masking,” “Shopping,” & Other Behaviors of Frustration to Caregivers

There is a certain level of fluctuation in cognition that exists in all dementias. One of the most common complaints heard from family members and caregivers is “he’s so good at the doctor’s, but at home, he’s not like this at all.” This is something referred to in the industry as “masking,” when people with a dementia are able to rally in the moment and have a more clear presentation. Often they try to distract professionals through use of humor or engaging areas of strength (telling historical stories they recall well), that make them appear to be higher functioning than they are. People with dementias are also prone to collecting and hiding things, something referred to as “shopping.”

These types of behaviors are common to many people with dementias. They are often the result of a mix of issues with impulse control, recognition, and sometimes paranoia—the feeling that they need to hide things before others take them. These behaviors are often quite frustrating to caregivers, who worry that people will suspect them of lying about the severity of symptoms or accuse them of taking things that belong to the person with dementia.

Why Diagnosis Matters

With all of the commonalities associated with dementias, it is reasonable to ask: “Why does it matter what kind of dementia someone has?” In some cases, the answer may be a matter of life and death. The medical community has come a long way from the 1694 Thomas Willis’s disease of “Stupidity and Foolishness… some at first crafty and ingenious, become by degrees dull, and at length foolish, by the mere declining of age.” (Berrios 1989.) It has transitioned to a model of understanding the biological basis for symptom presentations, and the significant variations in these presentations in people with evidence of dementia. We have also transitioned from focusing on in-home health or placement to medications, behavioral plans, caregiver support, and education.

There are many different forms of dementia, each with its own etiology (history of development), diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment. This article serves to demonstrate the value of further clarifying diagnosis rather than provide in depth information about each of these variations of dementia. Of the many different forms of dementia, there are five major types that account for the vast majority of diagnoses (Keefover 2013).

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD)

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia, accounting for a range of 60-80 percent of dementias, and it is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States (Alzheimer’s Association 2015). AD is a slow progressing disorder, and usually presents as memory loss, progressing to further impairment across cognitive domains. Because of the memory loss, people with Alzheimer’s will often begin to demonstrate those “shopping” behaviors and may appear paranoid or accusatory of caregivers. Alzheimer’s dementia is one of the few dementias for which acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (ex. Donepezil [Aricpet], Rivastigmine [Excelon], and a multi-receptor antagonist, known as memantine (Namenda) may actually slow symptoms.

This is important to note: These drugs are often prescribed for all people who are diagnosed with dementia. However, they are only FDA approved to treat Alzheimer’s dementia. Some evidence suggests that they may be helpful in the treatment of other dementias, but these are not confirmed. Much of this prescribing comes from a desire of the medical community to give the family something that makes them feel as though they can help. These medications are not without cost and some significant side effects, which are important to consider when assessing the benefits and costs of taking a medication that may not be approved to treat the dementia someone has.

Vascular Dementia (VD)

Vascular Dementia (VD) is a form of dementia resulting from vascular (relating to blood vessels) complications. It can often be the result of a series of strokes, hence its historical name “post-stroke” or “post-infarct” dementia, but a person does not have to have a stroke to have VD. It accounts for about 10 percent of dementias (Alzheimer’s Association 2015), and is one of the few dementias that has the potential for prevention. VD results from blockages in vessels caused by lifestyle choices (diet, exercise, smoking), some chronic conditions, and microscopic bleeding (Mayo Clinic 2014).

Unlike AD, VD often presents as impairment in judgment, reasoning, and executive functioning (poor decisions) rather than memory loss, although memory loss can be a part of VD. Knowing risk factors for VD can serve to prevent development of the diagnosis in the first place. Once the diagnosis of VD is made, it can result in treatment of the underlying vascular conditions to slow decline. Due to the lifestyle choicesof many Americans, many people develop something called “mixed” dementia, which is a combination of AD and VD.

Lewy Body Dementia (LBD)

Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) is a lesserknown, and therefore under-diagnosed form of dementia that may actually be the second most common form of dementia in the United States (LBDA 2014). It is characterized by cognitive changes in combination with problems with movement (issues with walking, stability, tremors) and visual hallucinations. People with LBD may also have more variable cognition than people with other forms of dementia (more dramatic changes in alertness and memory). There is also some evidence of REM sleep disorder throughout the life history of people with LBD.

The importance of knowing the diagnosis of LBD is most significant when it comes to medications. According to the LBDA (2014), “Up to 50 percent of patients with LBD who are treated with any antipsychotic medication may experience severe neuroleptic sensitivity, such as worsening cognition, heavy sedation, increased or possibly irreversible parkinsonism, or symptoms resembling neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS), which can be fatal. (NMS causes severe fever, muscle rigidity, and breakdown that can lead to kidney failure).”

Given that neuoleptics are prescribed in many AD patients for behavioral and sleep problems, this is very important to know. LBD may also be one of the fastest progressing dementias, with an average life expectancy following diagnosis of about five years.

Parkinson’s Disease (PD)

Formerly its own diagnosis, PD is being combined with LBD due to their common foundations—protein deposits named after their founder “Lewy” in the brain. The difference between PD and LBD is mostly in the order of presentation of symptoms. PD presents first as a movement disorder, due to damage by the disease to the part of the brain that manages movement (Alzheimer’s Association, 2015). Parkinson’s disease is more common than previously thought. An estimated 2 percent of adults aged sixty-five and older have this neurological disorder. One of the principal treatments of PD is l-dopa, which is a synthetic drug designed to increase the amount of dopamine in the brain, which results in better movement. Sadly, a common side effect of increasing dopamine is hallucinations, for which doctors often prescribe the neuroleptics that are very dangerous to LBD and PD patients. Knowing the diagnosis of PD or LBD can help families work with their professionals to prevent possible dangerous side effects.

Fronto-Temporal Dementia (FTD)

FTD results from degeneration of the frontal lobes (responsible for reasoning, decision making, impulse control, and some emotion regulation), and the temporal lobes (responsible for language and some aspects of memory). FTD comes in three forms, known as clinical subtypes:

  • behavioral variant (marked by personality changes,impulse control and sometimes violence)
  • semantic dementia (the loss of verbal memory and understanding)
  • and progressive non-fluent aphasia (changes in the ability to speak, read, write, and understand what others are saying) (AFTD 2015, UCSF 2015)

All dementias are heartbreaking and difficult for patients and families to go through, but FTD is particularly insidious in some of its symptoms. There is significant value in knowing this diagnosis in the areas of preparing and educating family and caregivers. People with FTD have some of the greatest difficulty communicating and can become violent with caregivers.

Due to the unique variations across types, one can begin to see the value of more specific diagnosis, whether it relates to medication planning, family education, and treatment considerations. Why then, is it still common to see “dementia” diagnosed in the medical community? It’s a complicated process to establish diagnosis, and even then, the common saying amongst medical professionals is the only true way to truly know what type of dementia someone has is through autopsy. However with technology like MRI and CT scans, neuropsychological assessment, family history and interview, we are getting much better at diagnosing specific types of dementia during the lifetime of individuals.

Once a probable diagnosis is made, medical professionals can pair with families to provide education on the type of dementia, common presentations, methods of coping with changes, and long-term planning. Even something as simple as explaining to a family member that hallucinations are common with LBD patients can serve to dramatically reduce acute anxiety and give caregivers peace of mind.

Families and patients often demonstrate benefit from clarification of diagnosis. There is power in a name. It often leads to finding the community centered around the name. Each form of dementia has its own association with further information, groups and support options. It also aids the family and the patient in engaging their medical community to join with them in the progression of the disease and long-term care options.


Alzheimer’s Association 2015. “Types of dementia.” Retrieved from

— 2015. Parkinson’s disease. Retrived from

American Psychiatric Association. 2013. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-5 (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association Publishing.

Association for Fronto-Temporal Degeneration (AFTD). 2015.“Nonfluent/agrammatic variant primary progressive aphasia.” Retrieved from

Berrios, G.E. 1989. “Dementia: Historical overview.” In A. Burns and R. Levy (Eds.), Dementia. New York: Springer Publishing Co. Keefover, R.W. 2013. “Dementia. Presentation at the West Virginia

Integrated Behavioral Health Conference.” Retrieved from

Lewy Body Dementia Association (LBDA). 2014. “LBD diagnosis.” Retrieved from

Mayo Clinic. 2014. “Vascular dementia.” Retrieved from

University of California San Francisco (UCSF). 2015. “Fronto-temporal dementia.” Retrieved from

Article written by Carilyn Ellis, PsyD
Featured article in CSA Journal 64

Friday, January 15, 2016

Teens Introduce Seniors to the Internet

What happens when a generation that never used the computer links up with a generation that grew up with technology? 

In Cyber-Seniors, a humorous and heart-warming documentary feature, teenagers show older adults how to use email, get on Facebook and make friends on and with the Internet.

Teens Introduce Seniors to the Internet is a featured article in the January 2016 Senior Spirit newsletter.

Blog posting provided by Society of Certified Senior Advisors

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Famous & 65

Look Who's Turning 65...

January 9 — Crystal Gayle, an award-winning country music singer, is best known for her 1977 country-pop crossover hit song, "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue." During the 1970s and 1980s she accumulated 20 No. 1 country hits with six albums certified gold. Gayle became the first female artist in country music history to reach platinum sales with her 1977 album We Must Believe in Magic. Also famous for her nearly floor-length hair, she was voted one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world by People Magazine in 1983. She is the younger sister of singer Loretta Lynn, who once told her, “You record what I couldn't record—you do MOR,” middle of the road, "and that was the best advice I could get. I don't think I ever would have made it if I went down the road and did the music my sister did. I would only have been compared to her."

Gayle had her greatest success from 1977 to 1989 when she did music considered crossover. Her hits included “When I Dream,” "Talking in Your Sleep," "Why Have You Left the One You Left Me For," "Half the Way," "It's Like We Never Said Goodbye," "You and I" (a duet with Eddie Rabbitt), "The Sound of Goodbye," "Turning Away," "Makin' Up For Lost Time,” "Cry" and "Another World." Gayle continues to perform and tour.

January 12 — Kirstie Alley, an American actress and comedian, is best known for her role in the TV series Cheers, in which she played Rebecca Howe from 1987 to 1993, winning an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award as the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 1991. She is also known for her role in the thriller Shoot to Kill and the Look Who's Talking film series as Mollie Ubriacco. More recently, Alley has appeared in reality shows revolving around her life.

Alley made her movie debut in 1982 in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, playing the Vulcan Starfleet officer Lieutenant Saavik. In 1987, she joined the cast of Cheers, replacing Shelley Long and remaining on the show until its eleventh and final season. In 1989, Alley starred with John Travolta in Look Who's Talking, which grossed over $295,000,000 worldwide. They went on to make two other films centered on the same theme, Look Who's Talking Too and Look Who's Talking Now! In recent years, Alley’s weight gain and loss has received much public attention. In September 2012, she appeared on The Dr. Oz Show, where she said she spent her whole life eating obsessively. She has been a member of the Church of Scientology since 1979.

January 21 - Eric Holder, Jr. was the 82nd attorney general of the United States from 2009 to 2015. Serving in the administration of President Barack Obama, Holder is the first African American to hold the position of U.S. attorney general. Previously, he served as a judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, after being appointed in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan. In 1993, President Bill Clinton appointed him United States attorney for the District of Columbia, the first black American in that office, and in 1997, nominated him the deputy attorney general under Janet Reno. While U.S. attorney, Holder prosecuted Congressman Dan Rostenkowski (D–Illinois) for corruption charges related to his role in the congressional post office scandal.

During Obama's presidential campaign Holder was his senior legal adviser and one of three members of Obama's vice-presidential selection committee. During the Fast and Furious investigation (involving guns and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives), he became the only cabinet member in U.S. history to be held in contempt of Congress. From 2001 until he became attorney general, Holder worked as an attorney at Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C., representing clients such as Merck and the National Football League. After he resigned as attorney general in 2014, he returned to Covington & Burling. The law firm's clients have included many of the large banks Holder declined to prosecute for their alleged role in the financial crisis.

January 30 — Phil Collins is an English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, music producer, actor and author. He gained fame as both the drummer and lead singer for the rock band Genesis, as well as worldwide success as a solo artist. Collins sang the lead vocals on dozens of hit albums and singles in the U.K. and the U.S. between 1976 and 2010, either solo or with Genesis. He is among the best-selling music artists of all time, with 33.5 million albums sold in the U.S. and an estimated 150 million worldwide. He is one of three recording artists (along with Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson) who has sold over 100 million albums worldwide both as solo artists and (separately) as principal members of a band. AllMusic describes Collins as "one of the most successful pop and adult contemporary singers of the '80s and beyond."

Collins joined Genesis in 1970 as the group's drummer and became its lead singer in 1975 following Peter Gabriel’s departure. In 1981, Collins launched a solo career. His best-selling singles include "In the Air Tonight," "Against All Odds," "Sussudio" and "Another Day in Paradise." His music has earned him seven Grammy Awards, six Brit Awards, an Academy Award, two Golden Globe Awards and a Disney Legend Award. Totaling his work with Genesis, other artists and his solo career, Collins had more U.S. Top 40 singles than any other artist during the 1980s. In 2008, Collins was ranked the 22nd most successful artist on the "Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists."

Source: Wikipedia

Famous & 65  is a featured article in the January 2016 Senior Spirit newsletter

Blog posting provided by Society of Certified Senior Advisors

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Let an Online Manager Protect Your Passwords

For older brains that can’t retain everything, password managers provide an easy solution to memorizing dozens of passwords.

Older brains have less memory capacity. One of the more difficult challenges is remembering all our computer passwords. You likely have one for email, for each social media site (such as Facebook), for online banking, for your healthcare provider, for retail accounts (such as Amazon) and for organizations you belong to. The list goes on and on.

You probably have your own method of password management: using the same one over and over (not very safe), writing them down somewhere or coming up with clever combinations that you think are unhackable, but which you sometimes cleverly forget.

Online password managers are designed to take care of the problem by storing all your passwords in a safe place and letting you remember just one password. That helps makes all your websites secure because you can devise more complex passwords without worrying you will forget them.


Many of the top password managers share some, though not all, of these features:

  • Encrypts your passwords, making it more difficult for hackers to steal them
  • Stores your passwords, either on your computer or in the provider’s or user’s cloud (online data storage)
  • Synchronizes your password with other devices (phones, pads, computers)
  • Automatically fills in forms on other websites that want your name, address, phone number, email, etc.
  • Automatically captures and stores your passwords when you visit other website
  • Works on different platforms and with different browsers
  • Audits your passwords and lets you know if you have too many similar or weak ones
  • Generates strong passwords for you
  • Logs into sites for you


These popular password managers provide the basics plus more:

LastPass. One of the first password managers available, LastPass allows you to selectively share account login information with other LastPass users and will automatically change a password for you if a service you use has been hacked or compromised. The site will monitor your credit and notify you when an account on another website has been hacked. Its set of features support a wide range of mobile platforms and straightforward licensing. LastPass has its own cloud service to store user information and synchronize data. It's free to download and use, but you can upgrade for $12 per year.

Dashlane. This popular provider logs purchases and orders, shares passwords with emergency contacts when needed and is able to change multiple passwords on dozens of websites with a few clicks. With Dashlane, you must retain your master password, because the company is unable to retrieve it in the event of loss, a necessary side effect of its decision to not store a copy of your password in any form. It's free to download and use, but to sync your password across devices, you'll have to upgrade to Dashlane Premium for $40 per year.

KeePass. This open-source password manager stores your passwords inside an encrypted database that you control on your own system, and does not sync or upload to other devices. KeePass is portable, so you can take it with you—on a thumb drive, for example—and use it on other computers. With the right combination of plug-ins, KeePass can do almost anything you could require of a password manager, which means it can be complex and challenging to use. KeePass works in all windows and all browsers, which means that it can log in to sites that other password managers can't. Plus, it’s free.

1Password. When you change your password, this program provides secure notes for other passwords or notes that you want to keep private. It also offers a digital wallet to store bank account and payment information, and a password "recipe" builder that lets you customize your passwords. You can use 1Password locally without syncing any information to the web. You can even keep multiple vaults for different types of passwords and share passwords with others. 1Password's has a $50 one-time fee. 

RoboForm. While most password managers provide only email support, RoboForm also offers telephone support. In addition, it protects you from visiting potentially harmful fake sites because it knows the exact URLs of the sites you log into. RoboForm has bookmarking features to help keep track of your favorite sites. The first 10 logins are free, and after that you’ll need to upgrade to RoboForm Everywhere for $20 per year ($10 for the first year).


“Five Best Password Managers,” Jan. 11, 2015, lifehacker 

“Review: The best password managers for PCs, Macs, and mobile devices,” June 17, 2015, Infoworld 

“The Best Password Managers for 2015,” Nov. 13, 2015, PC Mag 

“Password Management Software Review,” Top Ten Reviews

Let an Online Manager Protect Your Passwords is a featured article in the January 2016 Senior Spirit newsletter

Blog posting provided by Society of Certified Senior Advisors