Health News – Masters in Health Care Earn your master's in health care online. Read through our summaries of different types of health care degrees and find out which one will help you get your career started. Fri, 04 Mar 2016 21:43:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Top Alternative Health Care Careers for 2013 Wed, 31 Oct 2012 03:43:31 +0000
If you’re looking for a career in health care, consider foregoing Western medicine. Although nurses and doctors are an important, vital part of the health care picture, there are alternatives to these careers, as well. 2013 is on its way, and the new year will present new opportunities in alternative health care careers. Consider one of these top alternative health care professions if you’re looking to change courses in 2013.

  1. Acupuncture

    Acupuncture has gained popularity in the U.S. in recent decades and will continue to do so as its ancient methods prove themselves. Acupuncturists typically attend traditional Chinese medicine schools, learning body meridian techniques used for thousands of years. If you haven’t done it, try it. And if you love it, consider pursuing training in this scientific art.

  2. Yoga

    A great yoga teacher can change your life. Yoga is an ancient art that’s recently been infused full force in the Western world. Poses and breathing techniques aid in centering and balancing the body and its functions, particularly in relation to the glandular systems. Yoga isn’t going anywhere, and yoga teacher trainings are available across the world. There are many different types of yoga, and it’s the perfect way for all ages to "zen out."

  3. Massage

    A masseuse can work through your internal tension by working your muscles for you. Stress relief, body alignment, and detoxification are just a few of the benefits of frequent massage. 2013 will see massage gaining in its already explosive popularity, and many schools offer training in this alternative health practice.

  4. Reiki

    Energy workers perform this type of massage without touching their client. Centering and balancing chakras and energy fields, Reiki is rapidly gaining popularity among the alternative health crowd. Many people believe, however, that this type of healing is based on psuedo-science and is overly hyped. The decision is up to you, but many masseurs become reiki workers in an attempt to advance their careers.

  5. Reflexology

    Reflexologists are similar to acupuncturists, but use their hands instead of small needles. Balancing body meridians and organs through directed massage of the extremities works, and reflexologists often have good techniques and advice for things like difficult digestion. Yoga teachers, masseurs, and other alternative health practitioners should add this to their list of specialties, as it will only increase in popularity in the coming years.

  6. Ayurvedism

    It’s called the art of being, and it’s a healthy lifestyle that needs more Western practitioners. Intense training from an ayurvedic doctor or guru is required, and often only available in countries such as India. Limited access to training in this ancient career may make it difficult to study in hopes of a future career, but learning ayurvedism is worth it. Those who practice this lifestyle often take on clients who are too busy to devote the time and effort to study it themselves.

  7. Nutritionist

    Nutritionists are the new doctors, and this trend will only make more waves in 2013. Even if you’re not convinced that alternative medicine is a decent alternative, studying and teaching the basics of nutrition can be a route to preventative health. Nutritionists are some of the most important health workers today, and will continue to be sought out in coming years.

  8. Art Therapy

    Art and music therapy are accepted by Western culture for help with psychological issues. Children especially respond well to these active therapeutic techniques. Art therapists will see increasing demand, as alternatives to psychotherapy are further developed and explored.

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The Best Health Foods for Breast Cancer Mon, 29 Oct 2012 04:39:34 +0000 Have you seen Tig Notaro’s fantastic stand-up set, "Live"? The master comedian delivered some of the best stand-up in recent memory shortly after being diagnosed with cancer. After laughing along with Notaro’s pain, and with Breast Cancer Awareness Month coming to a close, it’s time to review your diet. Those hoping to ward off breast cancer should try incorporating some cancer-fighting superfoods into your diet. And if you’re a survivor, we salute you. Continue your commitment to your health, listen to Tig Notaro, and enjoy these best health foods for breast cancer. Bonus: They’re all delicious. And cheap.

  1. Citrus Fruit

    Ideally, you need about 10 servings of fruits and vegetables per day to help ward off cancer. And citrus fruits, such as oranges and grapefruit, can fight the disease. Rich in vitamins and antioxidants, these fruits and their juices are a great addition to a cancer-fighting diet.

  2. Nuts

    Adding a few handfuls of nuts per week to your diet might help fight cancer. Rich in proteins and monosaturated fats, just a few handfuls per week can net excellent health benefits for the entire body. Walnuts and almonds are especially great nuts to have for a snack. Monosaturated fats, especially, are good for those fighting or fighting against breast cancer.

  3. Salmon

    Salmon, tuna, sardines, and other fatty fish are rich in nutrients and good fats. Like nuts, this source of protein is rich in omega-3 fats and could help arm your body to fight cancer. If most of the meat in your diet is this type of fish, you’ll be doing your body and your health a favor.

  4. Peaches and Plums

    Like blueberries, these delicious fruits are rich in antioxidants and might aid in killing breast cancer cells. Polyphenols are present in these foods, and they have cancer fighting properties, as well as being delicious fruits to add to any meal.

  5. Broccoli

    You’ve always been taught to eat your greens, but if you’re fighting or warding off cancer, this is more important. Dark-colored leafy greens are great for fighting cancer, as is broccoli. The delicious and healthy vegetable can be prepared in many ways, from steaming to eating it raw. Sulforaphane is a compound found in the vegetable, and it has been known to reduce cancerous cells. Watch out for boiling your broccoli — some of the healthy compounds are destroyed with this cooking technique.

  6. Garlic

    Garlic is an incredible food, and can aid with many of your body’s processes. Garlic is known for its healing properties, and can act as a powerful flavor addition to almost any recipe. Herbs, spices, and other similar foods (such as ginger) can also help to fight or reverse the effects of cancerous cells.

  7. Flax

    Whether it’s in seed or oil form, a few tablespoons of flax per day can keep the doctor — and the cancer — away. Especially for female cancers, flax contains lignan precursors — helpful in fighting or preventing estrogen-responsive tumors, typically found in females. It’s a plant-based way to get your omega-3’s, as well. Flax is great for many things, and recommended daily allowances differ based on body type and cancer type.

  8. Tea

    Green tea, whether hot or iced, could also be helpful in warding off cancer. If you use green tea for your daily caffeine kick, you could also be fighting disease with this pick-me-up. Green tea contains the compound EGCG, an important cancer-fighting agent. Eat up, drink down, and fight cancer!

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The 30 Best Blogs for Dental Students Thu, 30 Jun 2011 04:09:38 +0000

The dental profession has progressed a great deal since ancient times, with new technological tools replacing the much scarier and more primitive ones of old. One of the tech tools that many dentists are using with great success these days is the web, whether advertising their own practices or sharing advice on all things dental. Dental students still in college or preparing to graduate soon can find a great deal of information on these blogs that can make dental school and the ensuing transition into professional business world a little bit easier. Here are 30 blogs we think dental students should give a read to learn more about everything they’ll need to succeed in school and beyond.

For Students

Made by students or especially for them, these blogs are ideal reads for any dental student.

  1. This blog is a haven for dental students looking for advice, guidance and support. Readers will find great articles as well as a new forum for talking with other dental students.
  2. The Student Doctor Network: The SDN offers up information for dental students that can help them to prepare for exams, get advice on working as a dentist, and much more.
  3. University of the Pacific Dental Student Blog: You don’t have to attend this dental school to take advantage of the articles posted on their blog, which is all about issues pertinent to dental school studies.
  4. The Dental Student: This dental student shares everything from product reviews to his thoughts on the world of dentistry through this blog.
  5. All Dentists Blog: If you’re looking for guidance in building your practice and career or just making it through dental school with sanity intact, then give this informational blog a read.
  6. Mouthing Off: The blog of the American Student Dental Association, this site is an invaluable resource on topics like finding work, meeting other dentists, and enjoying the perks of being a dentistry student (free stuff).
  7. The Junior Dentist: Here, a young dental student shares what he learns from day to day in dental school, which can be a great review or educational resource for any dental student to peruse.
  8. The New Dentist Clinical Buzz: Geared towards the newly graduated dental student, this blog will help you to keep up with the latest clinical research in dental practice, ideas for improving your own work and much more.

News and Information

Want to keep abreast of all the latest news in the dental world? These blogs can help.

  1. Dentistry: A basic resource on the field of dentistry, this blog explores a number of dental issues.
  2. WorldDental: An online dental health magazine, WorldDental will help readers learn about an incredibly diverse range of topics, from the latest in dental implant technology to practicing more environmentally-friendly dentistry.
  3. Dr. Bicuspid: Geared towards professionals in the dental field, this blog publishes some great articles that will help any young professional not only learn to be a better dentist, but stay on the cutting edge of new technology and developments.
  4. Dental Blogging: Here, dental students can sink their teeth into dental blogs written by professionals and students alike, all aggregated to this one site.
  5. Dentistry News: From issues that patients might worry about to news that may affect your dental practice, this blog collects the best news on dentistry from around the web.
  6. Open Wide: The Chicago Dental Society maintains this blog for professionals (and dental students) that reports on new research, dental events and other professional topics.
  7. ADA News: One of the best sites for staying on top of the dental world, this American Dental Association blog is full of dental health care news.
  8. Science Daily Dentistry News: With updates that will help you stay on top of the most amazing and groundbreaking work being done in dentistry today, this news site is a must-read for any dental student.

Dental Practice

The whole point of dental school is to one day become a dentist and to do that, you’ll need to join a practice or start your own. These blogs offer up some advice to make the transition from dental school into professional dentistry a little easier.

  1. The Visible Dentist: The web can be a valuable tool for dental professionals promoting their businesses, and on this blog you’ll learn how to use SEO and other online practices to better market your future practice.
  2. Dentistry’s Business Secrets: Being a successful dentist isn’t just about knowing your stuff when it comes to medicine — it’s also a business. Through this blog, you’ll learn some tips and tools to better build your practice or bring something new to an existing one.
  3. Exceptional Dental Practice Management: Don’t let all that hard work at dental school go down the tubes because you don’t have business savvy. This blog will show you how to build a better dental practice from the ground up.
  4. The Dental Blog: This blog offers up dental news as well as asks some tough questions that you’ll need to figure out as a practicing dentist.
  5. The TAO of Dentistry: Do you have a philosophy for your future dental practice in mind? If not, this blog will show you why having this simple idea in your head could make a big difference.
  6. The Digital Dentist: Visit this blog for ideas on how to better use technology to build a successful dentistry practice.
  7. Dental Heroes: Focusing on dental practice management, this blog will help you better hone your business, from analyzing your management processes to finding new patients and employees.
  8. The Curious Dentist: Chris Salierno, a well known-dentist and expert on practice management, uses this blog to share updates on new dental practices, ways to adjust your business, and much more.


Who better to teach you about what being a dentist is all about than those who have years of experience working in the field? Make these blogs regular reads for inspiration and advice.

  1. Dental News and Technology: Dentist Marty Jablow shares dental news and updates on technology on this blog, many of which will affect you in the professional world.
  2. The Tooth Booth Dental Blog: Dr. Hans Skariah muses about science and the dental profession on this blog.
  3. The Daily Grind: Written by three seasoned dental professionals, this blog is a great place to go for insights into what it’s really like to work as a dentist.
  4. Flap’s Dentistry Blog: This California dentist and blogger posts on the dental profession at large, from costs to employment trends, making it an educational read for anyone about to enter into the working world.
  5. The Endo Blog: Curious about endontics? Learn a bit more about what it entails, whether it might be right for you and talk to others in the field right now on this site.
  6. Teeth, Tech and Truth: On this blog, Dr. Jeff Rohde comments on all things dental, from marketing to teeth whitening.
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15 Famous People Who’ve Helped Demystify Depression Tue, 21 Jun 2011 04:09:38 +0000 By Leslie

Not all famous people flit about as completely useless wads of silicone and botulism — many actually wield their clout as a tool for positive social change. 9.5% of American adults suffer from mood disorders, with 45% of these cases qualifying as severe. Despite their prevalence, however, society still sees fit to demonize and misrepresent the conditions and accompanying treatment options. Because it doesn’t seem to seriously care about what experts have to say, celebrities have to step in and educate the populace on depression mental health realities. Many of them actually know what they’re talking about, more often than not because of personal experiences. They bravely utilize such privilege as a pulpit for tearing away at the unfair myths perpetuating marginalization, giving back something worthwhile to the society that made them.

All of the stories here intentionally reflect a broad experience spectrum. Some individuals may not suffer from depression, but still play their part in dispelling falsehoods all the same. Some prefer working towards de-stigmatizing mental illness in general. Some felt suicidal; some required medication; some never even had to visit a psychology professional. Clinical depression and its co-morbid disorders manifest themselves in numerous destructive ways; every story differs in the details, but always rotates around an anxious, terrified and hopeless center. Each individual — famous or not — sharing her or his unique story adds yet another voice to the integral de-stigmatization movement. It puts a very real, very human face on suffering frequently tossed aside, even outright mocked, by the general public.

  1. Joey Pantoliano: No Kidding, Me Too is a movie, nonprofit and a movement fronted by The Matrix and Memento actor Joey Pantoliano. Although he suffers from ADHD and clinical depression, the organization’s main goals revolve around de-stigmatizing all mental illnesses. In order to encourage others to speak out about their psychological and psychiatric experiences, Pantoliano remains exceptionally candid about his own deeply personal struggles. Many individuals with depression will likely find something relatable in his myriad writings, videos and interviews.

  2. Winston Churchill: Former, famed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill referred to his mounting depression as his "black dog" — a term many of his fellow sufferers have appropriated over time. While his stressful political tenure was understandably pockmarked with exceptionally low episodes, most of the leader’s worst times settled in during the retirement years. Some theorize that Alzheimer’s or strokes may have hastened the issue, and many believe he may have actually been bipolar. Churchill’s memoirs chronicle these periods both eloquently and evocatively.

  3. Tipper Gore: Clinical depression, as with all mental illnesses, further (and unnecessarily) burdens its victims with social ostracism and crippling misconceptions. Tired of the general public’s ignorance, the former Second Lady appeared on 60 Minutes to discuss her experience. Along with host Mike Wallace — for whom depression also caused disruptions — she showcased the realities of therapy and medication. Although the latter does not always work for all patients, no shame should be attached to those finding it a viable solution.

  4. Glenn Close: Unlike many of the other famous faces listed here, Glenn Close herself does not suffer from any mental illness. Her sister, however, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and together they launched the Bring Change 2 Mind initiative. This nonprofit hopes to rework public perception and rhetoric against those with psychiatric disorders, instilling hope in those with everything from mild depression to severely catatonic schizophrenia — and all conditions between them.

  5. Ron Artest: When Lakers forward Ron Artest thanked his psychiatrist after winning the 2010 NBA championships, more than a few fans and commentators very unfortunately scratched their heads. He would then courageously go on to auction off his championship ring to further mental health awareness and de-stigmatization. Ever since his stint with the Houston Rockets, Artest has regularly visited a therapist, whom he credits as essential to overcoming anxiety and achieving professional success. Although he remains mum about the exact nature of what afflicts him, the basketball star certainly played an integral role in encouraging the depressed and others suffering with psychiatric disorders to seek help.

  6. Kurt Vonnegut: Creative types often channel their destructive emotions into lauded artistic works, and the iconic Kurt Vonnegut makes for a notable example. Following his 2007 passing, fans with clinical depression touched by his oeuvre paid tribute both online and in person, praising his up-front talks about what it all feels like. In 1984, he attempted suicide after Slaughterhouse-Five achieved success; Vonnegut himself lost his own mother to the condition. The incident ended up relayed in many of his fictional and nonfictional works, giving a voice to many who found themselves shamed and quieted by mainstream society.

  7. Woody Allen: This influential director has never shied away from talking candidly about his therapy, depression, anxiety and other mental struggles. In fact, Woody Allen attributes his entire film career — both the successes and failures — to the constant barrage of confusing negative emotions associated with the disorder. Writing, directing and starring in movies served as a welcome, creative distraction. The more he focused on productivity, the less he would on his own neuroses.

  8. Jon Hamm: As the world’s sexiest individual and lauded front man of the wildly successful Mad Men, most people would probably assume Jon Hamm enjoys a charmed existence. While grateful for his accomplishments, the actor never would have earned Emmy nods and a Golden Globe without intense therapy. Losing his mother at 10 and father at 20 left him misplaced, traumatized and lonely — and when combined with an unforgiving film career, eventually rendered life too much to handle. Regular psychiatrist visits and antidepressants made all the difference when Hamm thought himself "lost in [his] own spiral."

  9. J.K. Rowling: J.K. Rowling contemplated suicide before publishing Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, a gutsy admission for the author of a beloved young adult series. Like many of the other individuals listed here, she openly talks about depression and the accompanying self-destruction with the hope of inspiring and de-stigmatizing. Rowling credits her daughter with encouraging her to enter into mental health treatment with a GP, working through a horrific patch using cognitive behavior therapy.

  10. Brooke Shields: Depression remains a largely misunderstood mystery in today’s society, but postpartum depression grapples against these factors even more. Following the birth of her first child, model and actress Brooke Shields discovered herself crushed beneath the disorder’s full weight. Coming to terms with a frequently painful and unfairly dismissed condition inspired her towards activism, an experience she famously relayed on ABC News. Today, Shields educates childbearing women and their partners about postpartum depression’s harsh realities.

  11. Stephen Fry: BBC’s The Secret Life of a Manic Depressive may not be comedian, author and actor Stephen Fry’s first foray into mental health activism, but it’s probably his most high-profile. Bipolar disorder and depression — including a truly frightening incident involving a fugue state and international meandering — instill undue stress and suffering in the venerable Renaissance man. Rather than snap underneath the pressure, Fry has instead devoted much of his life to debunking mental health myths, misconceptions and stigmas through numerous media venues.

  12. Amy Tan: Family sits as a central theme of The Joy Luck Club and The Bonesetter’s Daughter, so it’s understandable that such a stimulus piqued author Amy Tan’s depression. While the former enjoyed critical success as both a novel and a film, all she could think about was death, hopelessness, despair and panic because of her mother’s Alzheimer’s descent. Both nature and nurture played a role in Tan’s mental health, as her mom also experienced temptations towards suicide (even homicide). Writing and jazz eventually proved far more therapeutic than psychological professionals — especially after one allegedly fell asleep during a session!

  13. Drew Carey: Hollywood isn’t exactly a friendly or forgiving place, and the popular comedian and actor found life there instilling overwhelming depression. Twice Drew Carey attempted suicide, once at 18 and again a few years later. Loneliness and anxiety over his career eventually led him down such a dark path, but he attributes reading to his eventual success and personal comfort. Self-help books especially provided Carey with enough inspiration and information to press forward.

  14. Sarah Silverman: Love her or loathe her, controversial comedienne Sarah Silverman deserves credit for adding another valuable public perspective on a frequently shamed medical condition. As with many of the famous folks here, she holds no qualms about discussing her depression and resultant antidepressant usage — even wringing humor out of painful situations. Silverman understands that medication doesn’t necessarily work for everyone, admitting she "really lucked out" on finding effective Zoloft treatment.

  15. Carrie Fisher: The former Star Wars siren once self-medicated with excessive alcohol and drugs to quell some of bipolar disorder’s (co-morbid with depression in this case) intensity. Originally diagnosed in her 20s, Carrie Fisher now undergoes electroshock therapy once every 6 weeks, and openly shares her experiences with the hopes of dispelling myths. Such treatments certainly meet their own fair share of hostility and mistrust from the general public thanks to media misrepresentation; for her, though, they do an excellent job of calming the symptoms.


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12 Incredible TED Talks on Cancer Sun, 19 Jun 2011 16:20:17 +0000 By Leslie

Cancer terrifies and traumatizes. Despite hearing about it constantly, not everyone grasps the hauntingly human face of its ravages until it (or even the threat of it) slithers up and strikes them or someone they love. Although medicine continues to make progress in prevention, detection and treatment, many more victories are needed if it hopes to fully eradicate the disease. TED, unsurprisingly, offers an excellent forum for healthcare professionals, patients and survivors alike to discuss cancer’s influence. Whether their discussions revolve around the clinical or the personal, they all compellingly reflect how the disease hurts and — in some cases — even actually heals.

  1. William Li: Can we eat to starve cancer?: Filmed in February 2010, this 20-minute TED Talk proposes some incredibly interesting strategies for cancer prevention. Angiogenesis Foundation head William Li highlights the surprising relationship between fewer blood vessels and many killer chronic diseases — including cancer. Diet, of course, plays an integral role in staving off the onset of cancer, diabetes, heart conditions and more, and this lecture suggests grapes (and grape products such as wine), teas, tomatoes and other nutritious eats as almost medically miraculous eats.

  2. Ananda Shankar Jayant fights cancer with dance: In this evocative, emotional performance, Ananda Shankar Jayant funnels all of her anxiety and fear over a breast cancer diagnosis into some hauntingly beautiful movement. A lauded practitioner of traditional Indian dance, she presents here a metaphor for the battle, focusing on mother goddess Durga and adding a distinctly spiritual element. For Jayant, turning her attentions towards creation allowed her physical, emotional and mental respite from something so very destructive.

  3. Alan Russell on regenerating our bodies: Regenerative medicine might very well hold the key to wiping out cancer and other debilitating, chronic conditions. Funding, unfortunately, remains elusive, but the research accumulated thus far holds considerable progress — which surgeon and chemical engineer Alan Russell stunningly relays here. He believes stem cells instructed to grow into tissues (maybe even organs) will make all the difference in healing bodies ravaged by any number of horrific diseases.

  4. Stacey Kramer: The best gift I ever survived: Stacey Kramer’s story only lasts about 3 minutes, but what she has to offer completely transcends limited speaking space. For her, a brain tumor ended up what she considers among the greatest things to ever pop into her life. She opens her heart to TED audiences and points out some of the little blessings that came unexpectedly packaged with the traumatic news — including flowers, gourmet meals, vacation time and (of course) more meaningful time with loved ones.

  5. David Agus: A new strategy in the war on cancer: This oncologist devotes his TED time to challenging the usual methods of cancer treatment, which tend to emphasize symptoms and cells rather than the overarching issues. As "a disease of the aged," there exists numerous risk factors that David Agus argues need controlling rather than understanding — and medicine has spent far more time and resources on the latter. He believes rethinking the rhetoric and approach of healthcare will result in a higher remission and curative rate.

  6. Eva Vertes looks to the future of medicine: Cancer and Alzheimer’s particularly pique Eva Vertes’ professional and personal interest, and her bright lecture reflects both facets well. Although she admits the idea seems "very farfetched," part of her wonders if the body’s method of attacking itself may someday be replicated in order to eliminate degenerative cells. Vertes also posits that working different tissues might also help combat certain ailments — the trick is to discover how exactly to accomplish this.

  7. Dean Ornish on the world’s killer diet: Most of the TED Talk revolves around cardiovascular disease, which actually kills more humans worldwide than cancer, AIDS and diabetes. However, Dean Ornish still talks prostate cancer and how researching its prevention and cure has led to improved heart disease treatment. In both instances, significant lifestyle and dietary changes meant a significantly decreased risk — a "70 percent regression in tumor growth" when it came to the cancer, in fact.

  8. Randy Pausch: Really achieving your childhood dreams: After a pancreatic cancer diagnosis, Carnegie Mellon computer science professor Randy Pausch delivered his "Last Lecture" with the hope of inspiring more than just the student body. Relayed through TED, he offers up a stirring, poignant and frequently pitch-black comedic motivational speech about setting and accomplishing goals. Deeply personal, Pausch illustrates how such suffering serves as one of the most provocative, inspiring lessons of all.

  9. Deborah Rhodes: A tool that finds 3x more breast tumors, and why it’s not available to you: Deborah Rhodes heads up Mayo Clinic’s Executive Health Program and is considered amongst the world’s foremost breast cancer experts — as evidenced in her role in developing an amazing new mammography machine. Along with a group of physicists, she created a method detecting tumors with triple the accuracy of old methods. Thanks to a complex series of economic and political roadblocks, an absolutely amazing, game-changing medical wonder is unavailable for mainstream usage.

  10. Mark Roth: Suspended animation is within our grasp: Admittedly, Mark Roth’s TED Talk isn’t really about cancer, but the disease does form the bulk of his research — eventually inspiring him to famously experiment with suspended animation. In association with others at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, he developed a startling method of depriving a zebrafish embryo of oxygen and keeping it alive for hours. Obviously, it requires more testing and sophistication, but the positive implications for trauma and chronic patients is undeniable.

  11. Bruce Feiler: The council of dads: Like many patients afflicted with cancer, Bruce Feiler considered it a springboard to inter- and intrapersonal reflection. The Council of Dads resulted from anxiety over what would happen to his wife and twin daughters, reflecting how he pulled together 6 of his fellow fathers as guides. Both the book and the burgeoning movement bring together families and friends to ensure children losing a parent to cancer still grow up happy, healthy and strong.

  12. Julia Sweeney on letting go of God: Saturday Night Live veteran Julia Sweeney’s one-woman performance piece Letting Go of God — the first 15 minutes of which she performed at TED — chronicles her transition from Catholicism to atheism. While not directly about cancer, her harrowing experience with the disease did begin unraveling her faith, as she poignantly covers in God Said "Ha!". Rarely does society peer into stories of sloughing off religion after a tragic life change, so Sweeney’s point of view is certainly a fascinating one.

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9 Personal Hygiene Practices Americans Take for Granted Thu, 16 Jun 2011 04:09:26 +0000 In the United States, personal hygiene can make or break your chances in the job world and in your personal life. We take for granted that daily bathing, access to toilets and regular hand washing with soap and clean water makes us smell good and keeps the flu at bay, but in other areas around the world, personal hygiene is a matter of life and death. Here are nine cleanliness habits we should feel lucky to practice.

  1. Daily bathing: Americans scoff at certain European cultures for forgoing a daily bath, and some people in this country even take multiple showers, especially in hot, sticky climates or after a workout. But full-on daily bathing has only been standard — even in the U.S. — since the mid-1800s, much later in rural areas and in newer American cities. NDTV suggests the 1940s as a tipping point for obsessing about daily showers, making our ingrained sensibility about hygiene a relatively new phenomenon. And in regions around the world that don’t have any kind of plumbing — or even soap — settle for washing themselves with their hands or dipping into streams or rivers, which may be contaminated. The green movement is picking up a new type of personal hygiene rebel, however, as conserving water becomes more important. In fact, as soap-dodgers bathe less, they’re even starting to realize they need a daily shower less frequently.
  2. Dental hygiene and correction: As a nation, we’re pretty snobby about our teeth. Not everyone can afford braces for sure, but the families who can, value smile correction as much as their actual, physical health. But before braces even become an option, children are taught to brush and floss twice daily, and people often bring toothbrushes with them on the plane, to work, and to school to brush between meals. But the rest of the world (and we don’t just mean England) doesn’t have the luxury to brush, floss, or receive cosmetic teeth treatment. In fact, the World Dental Relief’s mission is to distribute dental supplies to health care facilities to Latin American, South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia, where dental hygiene really does become a health issue.
  3. Private bedrooms and bathrooms: Outside of a college dormitory, most Americans prefer to have private bathrooms and bedrooms, and even privileged siblings don’t have to share sinks or sleeping space. Hotel rooms all have private bathrooms, and businesses with clean public bathrooms have started promoting their novelty services as a huge draw for Americans who can’t stand sharing germs. But in places like India, toilets — let alone private bathrooms — aren’t as readily available to much of the population. UN experts believe that just 31% of the population of India has access to modern sanitation and that 1.1 billion people around the world do the number two with no walls, doors or toilets protecting their privacy.
  4. Clean water: You can only get so "clean" by using dirty water to wash your hands, brush your teeth, or wash your food and clothes. Water sources around the world are more than a little filthy: more than 884 million people worldwide don’t have access to safe, clean drinking water. Communities in these areas are forced to either forgo using the water altogether — and many personal hygiene habits that require it — or use it and get sick. For Americans, the only time we’re really confronted with a dangerous water situation is after a major natural disaster or similar emergency situation.
  5. Menstruation: When a woman in the United States gets her period, she might complain of bloating, cramps, irritation and/or fatigue. But as much as PMS slows our busy lives down here, women and girls in other parts of the world miss out on school because they have no disposable supplies or even a second pair of underclothes to see them through their cycle. They fall behind in classes, adding to the drastic imbalance of educated women in their countries.
  6. Deodorant: Our big concern with deodorant is whether or not it really contains harmful, cancer-causing chemicals, not having access to it. Underarm odor is one of the biggest stigmas regarding personal hygiene in America, and can negatively affect your job interview, romantic life, and ability to retain any friends. Mainstream deodorants usually cost between $3-6 and are a standard application for most Americans over the age of 10 (at least) — but for regions of the world where soap and clean water is hard to find, having fresh, rain-smelling arm pits isn’t high on the list of personal hygiene priorities.
  7. Bandages and wound care: Beyond brushing your teeth or controlling underarm odor, there are some less superficial personal hygiene practices Americans still take for granted, namely, wound care. Band-aids, rubbing alcohol and tweezers are readily available to clean up even mild scrapes, preventing infection. But clean, adhesive, disposable bandages are a rarity — if not a total anomaly — in many underserved populations.
  8. Laundry: Polluted water in many areas of the world — including China, India’s Ganges River, and in other regions — is the only source for washing clothes. Clean water is reserved for food preparation and drinking water, and American-sized washing machines and dryers aren’t even an option. While we search for apartments with private laundry units, other communities couldn’t even dream of such a luxury. Even in Europe, washing machines are much smaller than our own.
  9. Soap: We use variations of soap daily to wash our hair, dishes, clothes, cars and hands — but some underserved populations rely on a single bar of soap for keeping themselves clean and healthy. Just having soap to wash their hands with "can reduce the millions of deaths of little children due to respiratory and diarrheal illnesses" in third world countries, according the Sanitation Updates Blog.
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10 Fascinating TED Talks on Aging Mon, 13 Jun 2011 04:12:42 +0000 Many cultures today unfortunately dismiss the elderly because of the diseases and infirmities that settle in as time marches forward. But, as with all things, there exists a very precise, very unique science behind why everything — most especially biological matter — eventually ages and dies. Understanding the various corners behind this inevitable phenomenon marks the first step in combating many of the oft-debilitating conditions associated with growing old. Alzheimer’s, cancer, diabetes and more could eventually fade to nothing someday thanks to the painstaking research by innovative professionals. Although the following TED Talks may not explicitly cover age as it relates to humans, it does offer a nicely broad glimpse at some of the associated issues and insights.

  1. Aubrey de Gray says we can avoid aging: This talk is sure to pique curiosity and discussion: Cambridge aging expert Aubrey de Gray draws some compelling parallels between growing old and suffering from diseases. From these conclusions, he believes that age can actually be cured, outlining seven particular points that would need addressing. Slowing the process would certainly quell the suffering of billions and (in theory) allow them more time in which to enjoy life and accomplish goals.

  2. Gregory Petsko on the coming neurological epidemic: In less than six minutes, this lecture peers into issues associated with the swelling elderly population that comes with improved healthcare. An increase in Alzheimer’s and other dementia disorders is Gregory Petsko’s main concern, and he argues that brain science needs more funding and serious research and inquiry as a result. Without it, the demographic runs the risk of suffering en masse from the various neurological diseases accompanying aging.

  3. Ed Ulbrich: How Benjamin Button got his face: So the aging mentioned here is completely digital rather than an organic process, but anyone interested in intersections between biology and technology will find Ed Ulbrich’s TED Talk wonderfully enlightening. Marvel at how Digital Domain painstakingly studied the human face — as well as available media — to artificially pack the years onto Brad Pitt. They ended up winning an Academy Award for their efforts, which come detailed in loving depth in this lecture.

  4. Dean Ornish says your genes are not your fate: Sometimes, genetics seems like a ticking time bomb of bioterror, lurking in wait for specific ages to crop up so they can unleash hell. But Dean Ornish believes that mindful and healthy habits — such as chowing down on chocolate and blueberries – may actually override some of these factors. Trying some of the strategies he recommends slow the aging process and bulk up the brain cells, resulting in the longer, happier life most people seem to want.

  5. Dan Buettner: How to live to be 100+: Blue zones, such as the ones found in Sardinia and Okinawa, boast more centenarians than anywhere else in the world. Dan Buettner has devoted his life to studying their secrets, and uses his lecture time to discuss how these individuals carved out such healthy and lengthy existences. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the answer lay in their simple, healthy lifestyle habits — some of which even date back all the way to the Bronze Age!

  6. Rachel Sussman: The world’s oldest living things: Rachel Sussman uses her TED Talk to discuss her research into plants and animals living continuously for over two millennia, including a Chilean plant, Tobagonian brain coral and Antarctic moss. Although the lecture obviously doesn’t discuss the human aging process, her work might very well open the floodgates to further study on organic longevity. In addition, Sussman also showcases some startling photos of what might very well be the oldest living thing currently kicking it today.

  7. Anthony Atala on growing new organs: Organ replacement obviously plays a pivotal role in keeping individuals alive and able to enjoy a longer, healthier life. But despite this, "a patient dies from diseases that could be treated with tissue replacement" roughly every 30 seconds. Anthony Atala hopes to address this dire situation with some amazing bioengineering works that grow viable tissues and organs right there in a laboratory setting – saving countless lives and changing the way science and society look at the aging process.

  8. Eva Vertes looks to the future of medicine: Alzheimer’s fascinates Eva Vertes, who shares both her medical research and personal connection with science in this lecture. Viable cures for both the neurological disorder and cancer, she argues, should be top priorities to the healthcare community. Rethinking and exploring how they form and operate may very well mean a healthier elderly population enjoying a lengthened existence.

  9. Ray Kurzweil on how technology will transform us: Nanotechnology might completely overcome human thought someday, claims prominent futurist philosopher and scientist Ray Kurzweil. While such a scenario undoubtedly presents a few existential (and, for some, ethical) issues, what it could mean for individuals suffering from developmental, dementia or other neurological disorders is rather clear. If such machinery comes to perfectly mimic (if not exceed) normal human function, it may very well help combat — if not cure! — many deadly, degenerative brain diseases and defects.

  10. Martin Rees asks: Is this our final century?: Rather than looking at the longevity of individuals, this lauded astronomer prefers contemplating how much longer the human species itself has to live. Although most advances in technology carry with them some amazing potential, they also could cut a hefty swath of destruction as well. For the good of all, Martin Rees begs all current and future innovators to curb scientific and technical abuse of their creations.

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15 Shocking Statistics on Nursing Homes Wed, 08 Jun 2011 04:05:17 +0000 Many elderly people are in long term care facilities like nursing homes, and most families believe that their loved ones will receive excellent care there. Plenty of nursing home patients receive good care and live happy, healthy lives in the care of facilities, but others are subjected to abuse and neglect. These statistics take a look at some of the problems in nursing homes, and explore just how bad things really are.

  1. More than 30% of all nursing homes experience some form of resident abuse: Nearly 1/3 of all nursing homes have residents that are subject to abuse, whether it’s by staff or other residents. These include malnutrition, physical abuse, psychological distress, exploitation, neglect, and sexual abuse.
  2. In 2005, almost all nursing homes had at least one deficiency: Statistics show that in 2005, 91.7% of America’s nursing homes were cited by health inspectors for at least one deficiency.
  3. 90% of abusers are known: Nearly all of the time, those who abuse nursing home residents are not strangers. That means staff members, residents, or familiar visitors are almost always to blame for nursing home abuse.
  4. 5,000 deaths in 1999 may be due to negligence: Red flags for nursing home negligence were listed on 5,000 death certificates of nursing home patients in 1999. These include starvation, dehydration, or bedsores as the cause of death.
  5. 30 incidents of aggression can happen in one 8-hour shift: In one investigation, 12 nurses observed aggression between residents 30 times in an 8-hour shift.
  6. Only about 20% of abuse cases are ever reported: Many nursing home residents do not have the mental presence or confidence to report abuse for themselves, and it may go unnoticed by family and other caretakers, so often, nursing home abuse cases are not reported.
  7. 92% of all nursing homes employ at least one convicted criminal: Nearly all nursing homes open their doors to at least one convicted criminal, and there are no national requirements for background checks for nursing home employees.
  8. One-third of all nursing home patients take antipsychotic drugs: It is suspected that older adults are being overmedicated with antipsychotic drugs in nursing homes, used to prevent combative behavior, agitation, and outbursts by dementia patients.
  9. There are not enough nursing home beds to serve the entire elderly population: In 2008, there were only 1.8 million total nursing facility beds, but there were 18.8 million people aged 65-74, and 14.7 million people aged 75 or older.
  10. More than 50% of nursing home residents don’t have close relatives: Many residents of nursing homes are without family support that can watch out for neglect or abuse.
  11. One nurse’s aid may care for up to 30 people: Often, the ratio of nurse’s aids to patients is 1:15, but it can go as high as 30. The recommendation is 1:3 during a meal and 1:6 during non-meal times.
  12. 90% of US nursing homes have staff levels too low for adequate care: Statistics on abuse and neglect are not so shocking when you realize that 90% of nursing homes do not have the staff levels available to care for their patients effectively.
  13. The average annual cost for a private nursing home room may be $175,000 by 2021: The average cost for a room at a private nursing home in 2003 was $66,000, but that figure may rise exponentially.
  14. One out of four nursing homes is cited for death or serious injury to a resident: In 2001, one of of every four nursing homes received a citation for causing serious injury or death to a patient.
  15. Twenty complaints per nursing home were received in 2007: With 257,872 complaints relating to quality of care, facilities, staffing, and other factors, there was an average of 20 complaints per nursing home in 2007.
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The 50 All-Time Best Books for Doctors Thu, 02 Jun 2011 04:11:49 +0000 Considering the amount of schooling necessary to become a doctor — any flavor — anyone wishing to enter the profession must overindulge in a glut of reading and studying. Not surprisingly, many books on the medical sciences haven risen to prominence in both classrooms and offices alike. Whether textbooks, references, diagnostic manuals, popular science literature or something completely different, these reads have contributed greatly to the understanding of how the human body and mind work (and work together).

It probably goes without saying that tastes differ from professional to professional, and different doctors need different resources at their disposal. This list tries to combine a diverse selection of reads for a wider range of interests and proficiencies, so obviously plenty will agree and disagree with the selections. Just remember that none of this is meant to be taken as definitive.

Anatomy and Physiology

  1. Anatomy, Descriptive and Surgical by Henry Gray and Timothy Holmes: While not the only anatomy and physiology resource by any stretch of the imagination, Gray’s is probably the most famous, owing to its popularity in both medicine and art.

  2. Atlas of Human Anatomy by Frank H. Netter: Keep up with the latest volumes of Frank H. Netter’s highly detailed anatomical drawings and photographs, labeling each bodily nuance with care.

  3. The Human Body Book by Steve Parker: Along with the accompanying DVD, The Human Body Book makes for an excellent reference accessible to students, professionals and families alike.

  4. Principles of Anatomy and Physiology by Bryan Derrickson and Gerard J. Tortora: Both authors make sure to include commentary on abnormalities in anatomy and physiology of interest to the medical community.

  5. Clinically Oriented Anatomy by Anne M.R. Agur, Arthur F. Dalley and Keith L. Moore: Aimed at first-year medical students and new allied health professionals, Clinically Oriented Anatomy thoroughly analyzes the human body with excellent case studies, illustrations, photos and plenty more.

  6. Grant’s Atlas of Anatomy by Anne M.R. Agur and Ming J. Lee: Doctors and medical students generally prefer either Netter’s or Grant’s anatomical references, oftentimes entering into some pretty deep debates over their advantages and disadvantages.

  7. Human Anatomy by Michael McKinley and Valerie Dean O’Laughlin: Although the authors hope to target students, even seasoned medical care professionals can still look to as a great refresher.

  8. Atlas of Anatomy by Anne M. Gilroy, Brian R. MacPherson and Lawrence M. Ross: All of the Thieme Anatomy books make for amazing additions to a medical bookshelf, so doctors can pick and choose the ones they need most.

  9. Color Atlas of Anatomy by Elke Lutjen-Drecoll, Johannes W. Rohen and Chihiro Yokochi: Photographs of dissected cadavers provide readers with an up-close and personal view of how everything in the human body works together.

  10. Clemente’s Anatomy Dissector by Carmine D. Clemente: When it comes time to dissect bodies or perform surgery, this handy guide provides everything students and doctors need to know about all the wee squishy details.

Biology and Evolution

  1. The Symbolic Species by Terrence W. Deacon: Neurology, anthropology and biology collide in an obscenely interesting read about the co-development of language and the human brain.

  2. The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin: As one of the most important scientific books ever published, is The Origin of Species is absolutely essential for anyone working with living organisms.

  3. The Structure of Evolutionary Theory by Stephen Jay Gould: Despite Stephen Jay Gould’s covering of evolution in a broader sense than the merely human, his research still warrants consideration.

  4. The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins: Another general, yet valuable, evolution book, this time by one of the most celebrated names in the scientific community.

  5. Sustaining Life edited by Aaron Bernstein and Eric Chivian: Doctors with an interest in ecology and green issues might enjoy exploring how sustainable initiatives and biodiversity improve overall human health.

  6. What Evolution Is by Ernst Mayr: Harvard zoologist Ernst Mayr makes the argument that evolution should be accepted as scientific fact rather than just a theory.

  7. Darwin’s Ghost by Steve Jones: Darwinists and doctors alike might very much enjoy reading a more modern perspective of the seminal The Origin of Species, which explores its relevance in today’s world.

  8. Our Inner Ape by Frans De Waal: One of primatology’s most lauded names showcases the intimate biological relationship between humanity and its close simian relatives.

  9. The Dragons of Eden by Carl Sagan: Though known largely for his astronomy and physics work, Carl Sagan still wrote some incredible insight into the origins of human brains.

  10. Extinct Humans by Jeffrey Schwartz and Ian Tattersall: Get a generous glimpse at ancient human history through some of the most startling archaeological finds of all time.


  1. The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins: One of the most respected reads on genetics ever published, The Selfish Gene challenges reader perceptions on DNA and the unused strands clogging the human body.

  2. Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters by Matt Ridley: The amazing Human Genome Project completely changed the ways in which science viewed mankind, and Matt Ridley’s fascinating book painstakingly chronicles both its lessons and the resulting impact.

  3. The Double Helix by James D. Watson: As one of the (supposedly) two founders of DNA’s actual structure, this Nobel Prize winner is in a prime position to expose the politics and personalities behind the science.

  4. Cracking the Genome by Kevin Davies: Pick up another perspective on the Human Genome Project, this time analyzing its relationship with politics, economics and society as well as science.

  5. Genes, Peoples and Languages by Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza: In this controversial read, a Stanford geneticist traces the entirety of evolution and looks at the way DNA split off into different races and cultures — and illustrates how he thinks they have far more in common than initially believed.

  6. Lewin’s Genes X by Elliott S. Goldstein, Stephen T. Kilpatrick and Jocelyn E. Krebs: New editions of Lewin’s Genes get printed every once in a while, so be sure to pick up the latest when searching for a detailed reference on life’s very building blocks.

  7. Genetics: From Genes to Genomes by Leland H. Hartwell, Leroy Hood, Michael L. Goldberg, Ann E. Reynolds, Lee M. Silver and Ruth C. Veres: Students just beginning their medical courses form the core audience of this lauded textbook, although seasoned professionals can still benefit from using it as a nice supplement or quick refresher.

  8. Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA by Brenda Maddox: Like many female scientists of her time, Rosalind Franklin never received any real recognition for her accomplishments — even if they included photographing DNA.

  9. Deep Ancestry by Spencer Wells: Spencer Wells opens up about National Geographic’s Genographic Project, which peels back the layers of human history to discover how its biological core gradually changed (or stayed the same) over time.

  10. The Impact of the Gene by Colin Tudge: Anyone, especially doctors, with an avid interest in natural history and philosophy might like this accessible rumination on genetic history and possible futures.

Pharmacology and Medicine

  1. Toxic Psychiatry by Peter Breggin: This book is old, thus rendering some of the research invalid, but its core theme remains the same — haphazardly prescribing psychiatric medications (which seems to be the case even now) can be exceptionally counterproductive, even dangerous. Especially when mixed in a cocktail with other drugs, thus making this a provocative read for anyone in the medical industry.

  2. The Greatest Benefit to Mankind by Roy Porter: Taking the time to understand medical history is not only extremely educational (not to mention professionally beneficial) but absolutely fascinating as well.

  3. Tarascon Pocket Pharmacopoeia edited by Richard J. Hamilton: Allied health professionals sanctioned to prescribe medication should keep the latest edition on hand as a quick resource on some of the essentials.

  4. Lexi-Comp’s Drug Information Handbook edited by Lora L. Armstrong, Morton P. Goldman, Charles F. Lacy and Leonard L. Lance: Another medication manual doctors must take pains to update whenever a new edition comes out — provided they find it to their liking, of course.

  5. Pocket Emergency Medicine Notebook edited by Richard D. Zane: Pretty much everything anyone needs to know about this book — suitable for anyone in the healthcare industry – can be found right there in the title.

  6. Pharmacotherapy Handbook by Cecily DiPiro, Joseph DiPiro, Terry Schwinghammer and Barbara Wells: Along with serving as quick pharmacopeia, this reference also serves as a diagnostic manual for some of the most common (and not-so-common) ailments.

  7. The Mold in Dr. Florey’s Coat by Eric Lax: It doesn’t take a PhD to know that penicillin completely revolutionized healthcare the world over. The Mold in Dr. Florey’s Coat presents a compelling biography of this miraculous medicine’s history.

  8. Pocket Medicine edited by Marc S. Sabatine: Hailing from the Massachusetts General Hospital, this easy-to-carry guide covers a nicely wide range of internal medicine topics.

  9. Complications by Atul Gawande: Whether a surgeon or professional working closely with one (or more!), Atul Gawande’s insightful look at the field and its myriad issues will prove an incredibly useful, educational read.

  10. The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy: International healthcare conglomerate Merck regularly prints one of the most critically acclaimed diagnostic manuals of all time.

Psychology and Sociology

  1. The Lonely Crowd by Reuel Denney, Nathan Glazer and David Riesman: For doctors working with American patients, this seminal work explores the culture’s perpetual struggle between individuality and conformity.

  2. The Freud Reader by Sigmund Freud: While many of Sigmund Freud’s theories have fallen out of fashion, he remains an undeniably important figure in the history of psychology and psychiatry.

  3. The Portable Jung by Carl Jung: The other major name in modern psychology pioneered the theory of the collective subconscious, analyzed common symbology and plenty more highly influential concepts.

  4. The Rules of Sociological Method by Emile Durkheim: Whether a sociologist or physician trying to better understand patients, the field’s most impactful book is incredible, intelligent and very, very educational.

  5. The Blank Slate by Steven Pinker: Steven Pinker uses science to debunk the popular tabula rasa theory, touting the very core of humanity as a blend of nature and nurture.

  6. The Time Paradox by Philip Zimbardo: Temporal psychology and perception form the core theme of the controversial Philip Zimbardo’s ruminations on proper management — a skill every healthcare professional must master.

  7. Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl: The compelling story of the author’s Holocaust survival opens up some provocative insight into the human mind — both its resilience and the gruesome corners few want to acknowledge.

  8. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders by the American Psychological Association: Even doctors working outside the psychology and psychiatry fields must still contend with mental health issues every once in a while — especially when one considers that many involve physical components – so taking the time to understand the latest diagnostic criteria will probably prove valuable at some point.

  9. The Invisible Gorilla by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons: The authors challenge preconceived notions of perception and cognition in a manner even those without degrees or careers in psychology can still understand.

  10. Bowling Alone by Robert D. Putnam: Another incredibly insightful look at American society and the way staunch conformity breeds further isolation from social justice, politics, events and more.

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50 Fascinating Aging Facts for Older Americans Month Wed, 25 May 2011 04:06:16 +0000 Aging is an inevitable part of living, and can be fascinating for people of any age. Lives change, minds and bodies change, and time goes on. Here we will take a look at 50 interesting facts about aging in honor of Older Americans Month.


Aging Americans are an important part of the population-learn about their impact here.

  1. The over 65 population should reach 86.7 million: Estimates put the 65+ population at 86.7 by 2050.
  2. Life expectancy is increasing at a faster rate: Between 1900 and 1960, life expectancy increased by 2.4 years, but since 1960, it has increased by 3.5 years.
  3. The older population is nearly 40 million strong: In 2009, there were 39.6 million people aged 65 and older.
  4. Minorities make up almost half of the older population: 42% of people 65 and older in the US are part of minority groups.
  5. Many elderly are poor or close to it: 16.8% of the elderly in America are poor or near poor.
  6. There are more people over age 60 than under 15: Those over age 60 outnumber those under 15.
  7. The elderly are the fastest growing age group: The US Census Bureau indicates that individuals 85 and up are the fastest growing age group by percentage.

Societal Contributions

Growing older doesn’t have to mean shrinking away from society, as evidenced by these facts.

  1. The elderly make about $30,000 per year: $31,354 is the median 2009 income for those 65 and older.
  2. 3.7 million older Americans worked in 1998: Older Americans made up 2.8% of the US labor force in 1998.
  3. Poets, philosophers, and writers can create at a late age: Emmanuel Kant published his greatest works between 60 and 80.
  4. About half of the employed elderly work full time: Of those who are working past 65, 55% work full time.
  5. There are 9 million elderly veterans: The number of 65+ veterans is estimated to be about 9 million.
  6. Workers 45 and up are unemployed longer: Middle aged workers will stay unemployed longer than younger workers.
  7. 15 million older persons volunteer: Nearly half of all adults 65 and older volunteer in some form.
  8. The elderly vote more than any other age group: 70% of citizens 65 and older voted in 2008, with the highest turnout rate of any age group.
  9. There are millions of elderly in the labor force: In 2009, there were 6.5 million people 65 and older in the labor force, and that number should reach 11.1 million by 2018.


For some, getting older means relying on family and other sources of caregiving.

  1. Nursing home care costs $60,000: It costs more than $60,000 per patient for nursing home care for a year.
  2. A quarter of households are involved in caregiving: One in four households will care for a loved one aged 50 and older.
  3. Caregivers face health risks: Unpaid caregivers often have high stress, reduced immunity, and heart disease.
  4. Most elderly live with relatives: 66% of people aged 65+ live with relatives.
  5. Most elderly persons will need some type of long term care: The US Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Aging estimates that 70% of all people 65 and up will need long term care services in their lifetime.
  6. Unpaid caregivers make up 90% of long term care: Most long term caregivers are unpaid, and 83% are family members, friends, and neighbors.

Mental Health

These facts take a look at Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other mental afflictions affecting older Americans.

  1. Alzheimer’s affects millions: In the US alone, Alzheimer’s disease effects an estimated four million people.
  2. 20% of older Americans suffer from depression: Older adults experience depression at twice the rate of younger adults.
  3. Treatment for depression in the elderly is low: Although nearly 20% of the older population experiences depression, only 3% get treatment.
  4. Your brain never stops growing: We grow new neurons with time, and the brain is constantly reshaping itself in response to learning.
  5. As you get older, you get happier Many people report that they feel more content as they age.
  6. Alzheimer’s is spreading rapidly: Every 70 seconds, a person in America develops Alzheimer’s.
  7. Women are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s: More women will develop Alzheimer’s than men, and it’s believed this is because women tend to live longer.
  8. Being cautiously optimistic is healthy: Being too cheerful or optimistic can lead to an inability to cope, and a risk factor for premature death.
  9. Staying in school can save your brain: The longer you remain a student, the better you’ll be to fight of dementia.
  10. Seniors need just as much sleep as others: Seniors have to sleep as much as younger adults, but it may be harder for seniors to get enough sleep.

Physical Health

Learn about the potential for physical health as you age from these facts.

  1. Physical efficiency reaches its peak in the mid-20s: Efficiency increases from birth to the middle of your 20s.
  2. Seniors can exercise: Despite the common misconception that aging means physical inactivity, seniors are capable of exercising, and it’s great for health and wellbeing.
  3. Every breath ages you from the inside: Some oxygen molecules degrade into free radicals, which causes your body to rust from the inside.
  4. 18.2% of elderly have diabetes: In 2006, 18.2% of adults 65 and up reported a diabetes diagnosis.
  5. Most 65+ adults got a flu shot: 75% of adults 65 and older got a flu shot in the past 12 months.
  6. 66% of individuals 75 or older are in good health: Only 34% report fair or poor health at 75 or older.
  7. Negative thinking can cause problems: Elderly people who worry about falling over tend to fall over more often that those who don’t.
  8. Elderly drivers often have fewer accidents: Despite popular belief, drivers over 65 have fewer accidents per person than those under 65.
  9. Soda kills at any age: Phosphate, found in soda, caused mice to age faster.
  10. Chronic inflammation accelerates aging: Those who experienced high levels of infection-related inflammation as children die earlier and age faster.
  11. A negative childhood can shorten your life: Those who faced trauma as a child will typically age earlier than those who didn’t.

Living Longer

You can stretch your lifespan by taking these facts to heart.

  1. Exercise is key to successful aging: Physical fitness is at the crux of successful aging.
  2. Working past retirement can keep you alive: Many long lived professionals keep working after retirement age, even if it’s just part time.
  3. Women live longer than men: Women can generally expect to live longer than men.
  4. Conscientious people live longer: Being persistent, working hard, and a little obsessive is the secret to long life.
  5. A happy marriage can save your life: People living in happy marriages tend to live longer, but getting rid of a troublesome spouse can also have a positive effect on your longevity.
  6. HGH can be dangerous: HGH can give you a more youthful appearance, but when not used properly, can cause cancer cells to grow and spread faster.
  7. You can’t get enough reservatrol from wine: Reservatrol, found in wine, can slow the aging process, but wine does not contain enough to make a difference.
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