Prime Of Your Life | May 2018

healthy people age 65 and older are strongly encouraged to get vaccines for flu, pneumo- nia and shingles: susceptibility and negative response to these diseases increase with age. Those vaccines are critical as we get older, Gill said, since these illnesses can be fatal, even for healthy seniors. Hearing loss is common, Kritchevsky said, especially for men. Reaching age 60 can be emotionally trying for some, as it was for Reuben, who recalls 60 “was a very tough birthday for me. Reflection and self-doubt is pretty com- mon in your 60s,” he said. “You realize that you are too old to be hired for certain jobs.” The odds of suffering some form of dementia doubles every five years beginning at age 65, Gill said, citing an American Jour- nal of Public Health report. While it’s hardly dementia, he said, people in their 60s might begin to recognize a slowing of information retrieval. “This doesn’t mean you have an underlying disease,” he said. “Retrieving information slows down with age.” Many people in their mid-70s function as people did in their mid-60s just a gen- eration ago, Gill said. But this is the age when chronic conditions, like hypertension or diabetes or even dementia, often take hold. “A small percentage of people will enter their 70s without a chronic condition or without having some experiences with serious illness,” he said. People in their 70s are losing bone and muscle mass, which makes them more susceptible to sustaining a serious injury or fracture in a fall, Gill said. The 70s are the pivotal decade for phys- ical functioning, Kritchevsky said. Toward the end of their 70s, many people start to lose height, strength and weight. Some people report problems with mobility, he said, as they develop issues in their hips, knees or feet. At the same time, roughly half of men age 75 and older experience some sort of hearing impairment, compared with about 40 percent of women, Kritchevsky said, referring to a 2016 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People in their 70s also tend to take an increasing number of medications used for “preventive” reasons. But these medica- tions are likely to have side effects on their own or in combination, not all of which are predictable, Gill said. “Our kidneys and liver may not tolerate the meds as well as we did earlier in life,” he said. Perhaps the biggest emotional impact of reaching age 70 is figuring out what to do with your time. Most people have retired by age 70, Reuben said, “and the biggest challenge is to make your life as meaning- ful as it was when you were working.” If you are in your 80s and living at home, the chance you might fall in a given year becomes more likely, Kritchevsky said. About 40 percent of people 65 and up who are living at home will fall at least once a year, and about 1 in 40 of them will be hospitalized, he said, citing a study from the UCLA School of Medicine and Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center. By age 80, people are more likely to spend time in the hospital, often due to elective procedures such as hip or knee replacements, Gill said, basing this on his observation as a geriatric specialist. Because of diminished reserve capacities, it’s also tougher to recover from surgery or illnesses in your 80s, he said. By age 90, people have roughly a 1-in-3 chance of exhibiting signs of dementia caused by Alzheimer’s disease, Gill said, citing a Rush Institute for Healthy Aging study. The best strategy to fight demen- tia isn’t mental activity but at least 150 minutes per week of “moderate” physical activity, he said. It can be as simple as brisk walking. Call Today for a Free Screen! 308-698-2820 Maintaining balance is essential for carrying out activities of daily living such as washing, dressing, getting in and out of the car and walking up stairs. Not only might a balance problem affect your ability to carry out these and other tasks, it also puts you at an increased risk for falls. Our staff is committed to provide quality, effective balance retraining programs designed for the prevention of falls and improvements in balance, mobility and coordination. Balance/Mobility Clinic: 615 W. 39th St., Suite A Kearney, NE • 308.698.2820 Specific exercises tailored to your needs to keep you mobile in your own home. Satellite Clinics: Lexington, Minden, Franklin, Ravenna and Wood River BALANCE & MOBILITY VISIT OUR CENTER Call to schedule a visit. Walk-ins always welcome! •OptimumLife ® - Helps you live at your peek level; within a lifestyle that promotes health, wholeness and fulfillment. •Brain Fit Programs, IPAD Exploration •In-house Home Health Services •Signature Dining Independent Living and Assisted Living 5410 17th Avenue Kearney, NE 68845 308-698-5410 Follow us on Facebook Continued from previous page BH News Service, courtesy HEARING AIDS that can cost more than $2,000 apiece are only slightly more effective than some over-the-counter sound-amplification devices that sell for just a few hundred dollars, according to a recent study.