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Seniors Connections Matter: Connecting Seniors Through Technology

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Seniors Connections Matter: Connecting Seniors Through Technology

The impact of the coronavirus on our nation’s elder citizens has been enormous and  has highlighted the disconnect elders experience from family and loved ones. Directives from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Federal agency that oversees Nursing Homes, is that all visitation is to be restricted, exceptions noted in the case of end-of-life or comfort-care. This has resulted in nursing home residents being isolated from families and loved ones.  Family members and loved ones are also increasingly concerned about their loved ones, knowing all too well that their presence plays a key role in their ability to  advocate to for their loved ones  care. As we move forward from the virus, and the possibility of easing restrictions for in-person family nursing home visits ensues, the need for families who live a distance from their loved ones residing in nursing homes having access to virtual visits should not be any less of a priority.

We all need and crave connection, especially with loved ones, and now more than ever.  Understanding that need, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services,  has urged facilities to facilitate visual connections between residents and their loved ones. Many residents do not have mobile devices to establish these connections or, if so, need assistance to use them. Of the 15,600 nursing homes, the vast majority of facilities may not be equipped with a sufficient number of devices to enable residents and families/loved ones to have frequent virtual visits, especially since many facilities have upwards of 200, 400, and 500 residents.

Nursing home residents are isolated, lonely and understandably frightened. The stress from prolonged isolation is documented and can be considered equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes/day. It impacts anxiety, sleep disorders, falls, cognitive decline and symptoms of depression.

Of all the states, Florida took swift action in mid-March to ban visits to nursing homes in an effort to manage the spread of the virus. Now, Governor Rick DeSantis, in a May 26th Forbes magazine article,[1] suggests that “we must restrict visits to nursing homes by family and friends for at least the next several months, with the possible exception of those who can prove that they are not actively infected with the novel coronavirus”. If this suggestion becomes a reality, residents and family members may not be able to have valuable in-person visits in the foreseeable future.

Please think about the mothers, father, grandmothers, grandfathers, sisters, brothers, uncles, aunts, in the nursing homes all across the United States and Donate Now. A Nursing Home resident and Family member/loved one will thank you.

“Nursing Homes have been my life’s work. Seeing the pervasive loneliness and isolation nursing home residents experience as a result of being disconnected from their families and friends is heartbreaking. It’s important for me to find a way to bridge that gap.”

PLEASE HELP US!! Visit Senior Connections Matter, Connecting Seniors Through Technology https://www.gofundme.com/f/senior-connections-matter


[1]Roy, A. The Most Important Coronavirus Statistic: 42% of U.S. Deaths Are from 0.6 % Of The Population, Forbes, May 26, 2020.https://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2020/05/26/nursing-homes-assisted-living-facilities-0-6-of-the-u-s-population-43-of-u-s-covid-19-deaths/

A Paradigm Shift in Alzheimer’s Disease: the Top Takeaways from a Radio Show with Dr. Gary Rosenberg

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Health & Wellness
A Paradigm Shift in Alzheimer’s Disease: the Top Takeaways from a Radio Show with Dr. Gary Rosenberg


The Paradigm Shift in Alzheimer’s Disease

One of the leading U.S. researchers in vascular dementia was a guest on the Living to 100 Club Radio show last December, who discussed the latest findings on the assessment and treatment of dementia. Among other subjects, Dr. Gary Rosenberg from the University of New Mexico highlighted a growing interest among researchers on  “mixed dementia, ” a combination of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. This appears to manifest as a more damaging and rapid type of cognitive decline but also one that may be subject to modifications in lifestyle.


* Alzheimer’s disease is a slow accumulation of abnormal proteins in the brain, which finally leads to cell death. It begins with memory problems and then after a few years, begins to progress to disorientation. And toward the end, there can be changes in personality, aggressive behavior, agitation, and finally the motor system gets involved.

* Vascular dementia, formerly know as multi-infarct dementia, is usually related to vascular risk factors, hypertension being the main one, diabetes, sleep apnea, and high cholesterol. These end up damaging the blood vessels and generally, they make the brain less oxygenated, less blood flow is going to the brain, and that creates a hypoxic situation that turns on inflammation and slowly damages the deeper structures in the brain.

* Fronto-temporal dementia is similar to Alzheimer’s disease, but primarily involves the language centers and changes the personality. There’s also a Parkinson-related disease, called Lewy Body dementia where a certain protein damages cells. And there’s also Parkinson’s disease with dementia where people with this disease also begin to have cognitive problems. There are other variations in dementia that researchers are now finding pathologically, but they’re not easy to separate out clinically.

* “Mixed dementia” is where a person has both the Alzheimer’s type proteins, but also has a lot of vascular risk factors and vascular disease, and it’s actually of a more damaging type of process than either the Alzheimer’s or the vascular type because it accelerates the decline in thinking.

* Vascular disease is a disease of aging. So, a person who has high blood pressure when he or she is 40 and that can be 140/90, is at a greater risk of having vascular dementia by the time they’re 60.

* Diabetes is another major cause of vascular dementia, which is also at least controllable and related to obesity. We should be focused on lifestyle changes. Exercise, a proper diet, social contact; these are all things that will reduce the impact of vascular disease and slow the onset of dementia.

* The genetic types of Alzheimer’s disease are only present in about 5% of the patients, which means that there are 95% that are not genetic. For the families that have the genes, and the risk is raised if these abnormal proteins are present, it makes the onset earlier, though the progression is not necessarily faster. The onset can be even in the 40’s or 50’s, it is more likely to have one of these genetic defects which generally do run in families.

* People who have higher cognitive reserve tend to get dementia later. This is a difficult thing to control, but probably through educating our children better, we can provide some protection. It won’t protect necessarily against the genetic factors, but certainly the lifestyle factors. There are also instances where we lose some memory and yet it does not have an impact on our daily life.

* There are several FDA approved treatments for Dementia, and can be effective in slowing the progression of memory loss: Donepezil – trade name is Aricept and Memantine – Namenda.

* Leukoaraiosis means in Latin “white matter change”. These are patients that have difficulty walking, they’re incontinent and they have small strokes. Though this white matter change is not a disease, the more common type occurs in someone who is beginning to have problems with their memory, yet does not have Alzheimer’s disease. It does become, though, a risk factor for Alzheimer’s.

We are fortunate to have guests like Dr. Rosenberg on our program.  And we look forward to future programs to inform and entertain our listeners, and to help our audiences meet the challenges of aging with a positive spirit. As our readers know, the goal of the Club is to help members live longer, healthier, and happier lives, and if this isn’t in the cards, stay positive in the process.

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The Living to 100 Club website focuses on sharing useful information with our Club Members and visitors. Our goal is to provide useful content, through our Live Radio Show, Show Recordings and Transcripts, The Club Newsletter and Blog, Member Handbook, and Premium Membership. Be sure to subscribe to our weekly Newsletter / Blog as well as Announcements about upcoming guests of our Radio show.


The Premium Membership has been expanded and now offers the Blog and Announcements, PLUS exclusive content — a copy of the new DVD of the movie Lives Well Lived by Sky Bergman; a copy of the book, The Blue Zones Solution by Dan Buettner; Radio show recordings, transcripts, and top takeaways; revised Club Member Handbook; learning and retirement opportunities; senior websites; tips and recommendations; and promotional discounts from Amazon. This is content gleaned from an array of sources, updated monthly, only for our members and with a low monthly subscription. Sign up to become a Premium Member today.


Look for the tab Curated Articles on the Living to 100 Club website for a series of current, actionable articles on baby boomers, successful aging, positive thinking, and overcoming obstacles. All articles can be downloaded, and focus on moving forward.


Visit our expanded Club Store for a collection of fun and inspirational products to help keep that positive outlook.


You’ll also find in the Club Store a collection of books (including those authored by guests on our Radio show). We will be expanding our library to showcase books that have relevance to successful aging, managing setbacks, and staying informed about navigating the challenges ahead.


Schedule a 30-minute phone call with the Living to 100 Club proprietor, Joseph M. Casciani, to explore your journey or your organization’s journey on the road to successful aging. Calls are scheduled via Skype (audio only) to joseph.casciani. Please use the scheduling calendar for appointments.


Chief Curator of the Living to 100 Club, Dr. Joe Casciani, has now presented his talk on Fresh and Inspiring Perspectives on Living to 100 for different groups. If you are interested in this presentation for your group or organization, please send a letter of interest to jc@Livingto100.Club for more information.


The Living to 100 Club is all about staying positive as we age. Our blog articles and our weekly live Radio Show emphasize longevity, successful aging, risk management, and handling setbacks whenever they occur.  We are pleased to announce that the Show has had over 12,000 listeners of the live episodes or on-demand recordings. Be sure to tune in to our weekly Radio Talk Show on VoiceAmericaHealth, every Friday at 2pm Pacific, with your Host, Dr. Joe Casciani.

Missed the live event?  Recordings of all episodes can be accessed on the Club website. Scroll down on the audio player and select “Episode Listing” to display the selections. And now, you can see the schedule of upcoming guests – take a look. We have more exciting guests lined up, and hope you will continue to join us.


If you enjoy this content and find some value in it, please take a minute to share these newsletters and blogs on your social media platforms. You’ll find share links below.

The Eldercare Advocate: A Calmer You; A Path to A Healthier You

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The Eldercare Advocate: A Calmer You; A Path to A Healthier You

A calmer mind can help you respond to stressful situations in a way that is less harmful to your body. There is even research which indicates that the stress one experiences may play a role in one’s hair turning gray

There is evidentiary research that becoming calmer and achieving inner peace has powerful benefits on overall health and wellness. There are many ways and practices to help on the path to achieving an improved level of calm but one of the simplest is breathing.

Breathing is an autonomic nervous system response that is controlled by the respiratory center in an area at the base of the brain. We do not have to consciously control our breathing; it is an involuntary function. However, that doesn’t mean we don’t have the ability to control it. We actually CAN control our breathing. In doing so we can use it as a valuable tool to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety which in turn can help us feel more calm. Thus, breathing exercises can be beneficial to your mental and physical wellbeing.

There are even those that believe that merely being around a person who has achieved inner peace can have a positive impact on their own mood or level of calm. This is reflected in the statement: “the tension was so thick you can cut it with a knife”. This implies that that one is able to feel the tension in the environment which can cause a heightened response in our own body and influence our behavior. Thus, it stands to reason, that being around a person who is more calm can help inspire a feeling of calm within ourselves.

There are a variety of breathing techniques that you can practice to help you achieve a greater feeling of inner calm or peace.

1.  Abdominal or diaphragmatic breathing is the basis of all breathing exercises. Did you ever notice that when a baby sleeps their abdomen moves up and down? Did you ever notice that when you are laying down, in the most relaxed position, when you breathe your abdomen goes up and down.This is because this is how the body’s optimal brething functioning. It is the deepest form of breathing, when the most breath completely fills our lungs and every cell in our body becomes oxygenated.

To begin, sit down in a comfortable position, put one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. Take a deep breath in through your nose. If done correctly the diaphragm will inflates fully so that air goes to completely fill the our triangle shaped lungs all the way to their base. The breath should push the hand on the stomach out, while the other hand on the chest does not move. Try setting aside time 10 minutes each day to using this technique to take six to ten slow, deep breaths per minute for approximately ten minutes. You may experience immediate benefits such as a reduced heart rate and/or blood pressure level. After regularly practicing this for six to eight weeks you may see other advantages. This technique can beneficial if utilized prior to stress causing events.

2.  A Basic Calming Breath involves initially taking a long, slow breath in through your nose, first filling your lower lungs, then your upper lungs, holding the breath for a count of “three” and then slowly exhaling through pursed lips while you simultaneously think about relaxing the muscles of your face, jaw, shoulders and stomach.

3.  Dr. Andrew Weil, the founder and director of the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, is a proponent of the 4-7-8 breathing technique also known as “relaxing breath”. The technique is as follows: breathe in for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds and exhale for 8 seconds. Focusing on long deep controlled breaths in a specific rhythm is also a core practice of many meditation and yoga practices which also promote relaxation. The scientific evidence supporting this technique is limited; however, individual people have reported that achieving this type of rhythmic breathing has helped them reduce anxiety thereby creating a sense of relaxation which leads to sleep. Achieving an inner calm obviously helps us in reducing our anger responses as well. How many times have we heard the expression “count to 10’ before we respond. This is meant to serve the same purpose. Paired with purposeful, controlled breathing, this can go a long way to helping us achieve inner calm and respond more favorably to a variety of challenging situations that we all face whether in our personal or work lives/environments.

4.  Alternate Nostril breathing is a yogic practice of breath control which has been demonstrated to be beneficial. In 2016, Vogue magazine declared “Breathing Is the New Yoga”, which is the primary technique in the Art of Living’s Happiness Program known as Sudarshan Kriya which we know as meditation. There are over 65 independent studies which show that Sudarshan Kriya is effective in reducing levels of the stress hormone cortisol, increases mental focus, enhances levels of immunity and decreases depression and anxiety, with quick and lasting effects.

In Sanskrit, Alternate Nostril Breathing is called Nadi Shodhana Pranayama, which translated means “subtle energy clearing breathing technique”. Alternate Nostril Breathing helps calm the mind, reduce anxiety, and bring a feeling of relaxation to the entire body. If performed for just a few minutes, Alternate Nostril Breathing can instantly reduce stress and fatigue, but can also be used to reduce stress before high-stress situations such as job interviews, performances or public speaking events. Some people describe the burst of energy they feel from alternate nostril breathing as similar to the jolt they get after drinking a cup of coffee. This can help you achieve a heightened sense of awareness or help you to be more focused.

Though alternate nostril breathing can be done as part of or is integral to it can also be done as its own practice to help quiet and still your mind. This technique may be helpful for caregivers who can use it to help manage the stresses that often accompany being in that role. You may also find that practicing alternate nostril breathing helps you to be more mindful of the present moment.

An overview of the procedure:

·  Sit in a comfortable position with the spine long and the hips relaxed. Release any tension from your jaw. Close your eyes.

·  Take a deep breath in

·  On an exhalation, take your index finger and close the right nostril and breathe out through the left nostril.

·  Then without moving your finger, breathe in through the left nostril.

·  Then release that finger and take your opposite hand and use your index finger to close the left nostril.

·  Then breathe out through the right nostril.

·  Then Inhale through the right nostril. Release the finger on your left nostril, close the right nostril with your index finger of the opposite hand and breathe out through your left nostril.

·  Repeat the process.

·  These two full breaths are called one round of Alternate Nostril Breath.

·  Perform 5 to 9 rounds of this alternating breath between the nostrils.

·  Remember to always inhale through the same nostril you just exhaled through.

It may take a few tries before you get the coordination of inhaling, exhaling and moving your fingers back and forth between nostrils. This is not unusual so try not to get frustrated. Keep at it and you’ll get it.

Additional interesting information about alternate nostril breathing:

There was a study completed in that found that people who practiced alternate nostril breathing lowered their perceived stress levels.

Yogic breathing practices are also believed to improve lung function and respiratory endurance. This was based on a small study done in 2017 in which the effects of pranayama practice on the lung functions of competitive swimmers was found that it had a positive effect on respiratory endurance.

We know the benefits that lowering your heart rate can have on cardiovascular health. According to a study completed in 2006, engaging in a slow yogic breath such as alternative nostril breathing significantly decreased heart rate and average breathing rhythm. Research from a 2011 study found that an alternative nostril breathing program performed over a period of six weeks had a positive impact on physical and physiological fitness-based performance. The breathing technique was found to have a positive influence on blood pressure, heart rate, and vital capacity.

Additional studies found that different types of yogic breathing could have beneficial effects on neurocognitive, respiratory and metabolic functions as well as  on the nervous system.

Though safe for most people, there are medical conditions in which alternate nostril breathing may be contraindicated. (i.e., COPD, asthma, other heart or lung conditions) In the event you have any of those conditions or concerns, you should consult with your doctor to find out if it is safe for you to practice alternate nostril breathing. As with any other practice, if you experience any adverse affects, such as shortness of breath, lightheadedness, dizziness or nausea while using this technique, you should discontinue immediately.

Life can be stressful for everyone at times. Daily life events, professional and family responsibilities, personal and professional relationships, taking on new roles as a parent, caregiving for a loved one, serious life changing events or medical conditions, the list goes on and on. There is a difference between the stress from immediate short-term situations in which the body releases hormones that are part of a normal physiologic response so it goes into a heightened state of alert so it can react as in the fight or flight response. (i.e., increased breathing and heart rates) That is entirely normal.

However, stress reactions to a variety of other situations can be harmful to our health. Symptoms associated with that type of stress may include anxiety, irritability, depression, insomnia, headaches, muscle pain or tension, fatigue, sleep problems, and changes in general behavior.

Too much stress can also negatively impact general habits and behaviors. It can lead us to make poor food choices and leads to poor exercise habits. Stress can either increase or reduce appetite, most often it increases appetite and the food choices we make under stress tend to be of the more unhealthy variety, sweeter, fattier, higher calorie foods.. Psychologists have related eating to the stressed individual’s need of some manner of control over situations as well as deriving pleasure or some form of comfort.  Professionals have been known to liken eating to smoking; smokers tend to smoke more cigarettes when feeling stressed just as as individuals eat more under the same circumstances. Individuals also tend to feel fatigue or weariness with chronic stress.

Conscious breathing can help you find an inner peace and help you defend against daily frustrations and stress   Once you select a method that is right for you and begin to practice it regularly, not only  in “times of trouble” as the Beatles Song,  you’ll most likely experience a shift in how you are feeling, especially if feeling stress and frustration has been like a constant but unwanted “friend”. You might notice that you’ve become a little more resilient, and approach a variety of situations with a greater sense of peace and relaxation, are less fatigued at the end of the day, have more restful and peaceful sleep and therefore awaken with more energy  and find others responding to you in a more pleasant manner.

Listen to the Jan. 27. 2020  episode of Voices for Eldercare Advocacy  on the Voice America Empowerment Channel for the interview on finding inner peace with someone who has achieved this in his life and helped many others achieve the same by teaching meditation over the past 15 years.



Let’s Get Clinical: Understanding Depression, Dementia, and Delirium

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Health & Wellness
Let’s Get Clinical: Understanding Depression, Dementia, and Delirium


Let’s Get Clinical: Understanding Depression, Dementia, and Delirium

This blog is about three clinical syndromes that besiege many older adults: depression, dementia, and delirium. For those who are not working in the field of health care or may have heard the terms but don’t know how to distinguish among them, this blog sets out to explain their similarities and the differences.  And, if you happen to re-play Olivia Newton-John’s “Let’s Get Physical” in your head while reading, all the better.

Why is this an important subject? Caregivers, both paid and unpaid, are present in at least 20% of U.S. households, and this is expected to

grow rapidly over coming decades, for several reasons: demographics – the population is aging, medical advances that allow for shorter hospital stays, and more home technology that allow people to reside in their homes longer. Additionally,


Medicare Goes Bankrupt! by Tom Matt

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Medicare Goes Bankrupt! by Tom Matt


”Tom Matt’s “Boomers Rock” Radio Talk Show’ is heard every Monday at 6:00pm EST on the Variety channel right here on VoiceAmerica. Please like our Facebook fan page, ‘Boomers Rock’, or follow us on Twitter, ‘Boomers_Rock’ and post any questions comments reactions and suggestions to help us deliver the best content to all ‘MiddleLiving’ adults.

You can email Tom- tom@boomersrock.us as well as join the family and collective at Boomers Rock.


Not to be Mr. Doomsday-er or anything, but I interviewed my mentor Dr. George Bartzokis (I received permission to refer to him as my mentor) for the fourth time since we started my radio show, “Boomers Rock”. If you are not aware, Dr. Bartzokis (aka Dr. G) is an eminent neuroscientist and Professor at UCLA dealing primarily with brain health, specifically Alzheimer’s. Our conversations revolve around these topics and it is really interesting to hear his perspective on how the breakdown of Myelin is, in his opinion, based on the breakdown of this fatty substance that surrounds and protects the axons.

Myelin gives insulation to our nerves so the transmission of electrical impulses, from our muscles to our brain, works like a symphony in perfect tune. Really anything that has to do with cognitive (thinking) is determined by these impulses, so you could say it is pretty important timing.


Dr. G refers to the following factoids as the “impending tsunami”:

The total estimated worldwide costs of dementia were $604 billion in 2010, according to the newly released World Alzheimer Report 2010: The Global Economic Impact of Dementia from Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI), which is a London-based, nonprofit, international federation of 73 national Alzheimer organizations including the Alzheimer’s Association (U.S.). Released on World Alzheimer’s Day, September 21st, the Report found that:

Dementia care costs around 1% of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP).
If dementia care were a country, it would be the world’s 18th largest economy (ranking between Turkey and Indonesia).


If dementia care was a company, it would be the world’s largest by annual revenue, exceeding Wal-Mart ($414 billion) and Exxon Mobil ($311 billion).

By 2030, worldwide societal costs will increase by 85% (a very conservative estimate considering only increases in the number of people with dementia).
Worldwide, the costs of dementia are set to soar.

The Report finds that costs in low and middle income countries are likely to rise much faster than in high income countries because, with economic development, costs will increase towards levels seen in high income countries, and because increases in numbers of people with dementia will be much sharper in those regions.


“Repairing our brain is the name of the game,” as Dr G stated. Since there is no cure and Alzheimer’s (and dementia) are age related conditions, the ½ trillion dollars that it will take to care for the patients in the future will bankrupt Medicare. The time is now for action.

Here is my action plan:

Incorporate the “Fantastic Five Percent” mindset.

Understand the benefit of movement and exercise in brain health.

Lose weight because excess body fat, as Dr. Bartzokis stated, is toxic.

Eat less red meat and sugar; eat more fruits and vegetables.

Know your three key numbers: cholesterol, blood pressure, and triglycerides.

Do brain healthy activities, dancing, reading, socializing. The bottom line: stay active and busy.

Give ourselves better odds to live a longer, higher-quality life
Weaken the approaching tsunami by reducing the number of individuals suffering dementia

And remember, please e-mail me if you have a question about my “Fantastic Five Percent” plan of action.


Try these thoughts, in your own way, and like I said if in one month you don’t see a change, you don’t feel a little bit better about things, send me an email to
Tom@boomersrock.us or see much more content at Boomers Rock

Tom Matt is the host of the weekly talk show “Boomers Rock”, heard on WGHN 1370 AM Saturday mornings at 9:00 in Grand Haven, Michigan, and syndicated on the Internet here at VoiceAmerica. His show is also heard on the Spartan Sports network SSN/247. This is where he brings experts in to discuss all issues that enhance our quality of life.

He welcomes comments and feedback, on his site Boomers rock, please join our family and change the world! Visit our website, sign up and become part of the solution, its free and always welcoming/

All aboard! –

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