Poor Sleep and Cognitive Decline Connected, and Other News to Know

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Poor sleep may lead to cognitive decline

Sleep troubles may promote cognitive decline in aging men who don’t have pre-existing impairment, says a new report from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).  Waking up multiple times during the night, not being able to fall back asleep after waking up, and shorter time spent in deep sleep all contributed to an increased risk of cognitive issues in a study of more than 2,800 men whose average age was 76. Quality, not quantity of sleep appears to be what matters most. An analysis of the findings concluded that a pattern of poor quality sleep could be as detrimental to an elderly man’s executive functioning processes—reasoning, working memory, problem solving, planning, etc.—as a five year increase in age. Learn how to catch some extra Zs with these 11 Tips for the Best Sleep Ever.

Tax season scammers use email to obtain information

Confusion and anxiety abound during tax season. Adding to this year’s stress is an email scam aimed at getting an individual to divulge their personal information. According to theInternal Revenue Service (IRS) website, these pseudo emails feature a warning that a person’s reported income for 2013 wasn’t able to be properly processed, along with instructions to contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service to prevent further filing delays. The unwitting recipient is also typically provided with links to an outside website that asks for personal information that is then used to steal their money and identity. This scam especially hard to spot since the Taxpayer Advocate Service is an actual IRS organization that assists in the resolution of tax issues. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the IRS never uses email, social media, or texts to first contact a taxpayer with a problem. People who receive this email are instructed to avoid clicking on the links, and forward the messages to phishing@irs.gov. For more information on the 2013 tax season, visit the Tax Tips for Caregivers section.

End-of-life planning now the norm

Americans are taking end-of-life planning more seriously, according to a recent University of Michigan Medical School study that found nearly three-quarters of elderly adults have already created a living will—a written document meant to guide family members and medical practitioners on a person’s healthcare preferences, should they become incapacitated. Despite the double-digit percentage increase in the number of elders creating living wills, study authors were surprised to find that no corresponding decrease in hospitalizations occurred. The prevailing theory was that seniors who were making living wills would rather receive hospice care—which focuses on managing physical and emotional pain in the terminally ill, rather than delivering medical treatment—during their final months of life, as opposed to being hospitalized. But the rate of seniors being hospitalized during their final months of life has increased over the years. While it may not have cut down on hospitalizations, the jump in the number of older individuals making living wills indicates that people are becoming more comfortable with talking to their loved ones about end-of-life issues. “It’s become part of the routine check list in getting affairs in order, especially for older adults,” says lead study author and palliative care specialist, Maria Silveira, M.D., in a press release. Living wills aren’t the only important care planning papers for seniors to prepare; take a look at this list of essential legal documents to make healthcare decisions for a loved one.

Terminal cancer won’t stop this grandma from inspiring the world

In an online world dominated by “selfies” and overexposed celebrities, there’s one social media star you’ll be glad to follow. GrandmaBetty33 isn’t letting a terminal cancer diagnosis get her down—on the contrary, the spunky 80-year-old is using the popular sharing site, Instagram, to inspire and embolden others facing a fight with cancer. Her account was created by her great-grandson and has over 500,000 followers around the world. The page features 71 posts, all of which are approved by Grandma Betty, and most of which incorporate the words “love,” “smile,” or “happy” in some way. Not every post paints a rosy picture, though—some feature images of a tired Grandma Betty sleeping on the couch, or a text-based update on her condition from her great-grandson. This unique blend of hope and reality creates a life-affirming experience that even the most staunch social media detractors can find meaning in.

Source: agingcare.com

Contact Pure Home Care Services at (586) 293-2457 today! If you live in Utica or the surrounding area, we can help you care for your loved ones.

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