Life, like a chunk of granite, only takes shape when you — the artist of your life — decide what to make of it. With many experiences and milestones already collected in your past, the New Year is a good time to take stock and see what shape your life and your legacy are taking.
Some people view their legacy as something material – a house they built by hand or a building they designed, a book they wrote, a major gift they gave or financial security they’ve achieved for their family. For others, it’s accumulative: a long career at a business or university or in a specific field of endeavor where they will be remembered for changing the status quo. For still others, it’s more personal and emotional – managing a family thru life’s ups and downs or collecting wisdom and knowledge to be shared with future generations
A survey conducted by 60 Minutes and Vanity Fair explored how different people view “immortality.” Respondents were asked, “Which would you like most to be named after you?” Choices included a grandchild, a street in your hometown, and a pew in your church, a national holiday, or a rest stop along a highway. (Admittedly, not the only or even the best choices.) The most popular response – by far — was a “grandchild.”
A legacy doesn’t just have to happen to you. You have choices about that, too, if you don’t wait too long to begin shaping it and defining it.
Here are some suggestions collected from experts about how to take stock of what matters most in your life and how to make sure others see it the same way.
To think through what makes you unique, try one of these exercises:
- Write the title and introduction of your (hypothetical) autobiography.
- Start a running list of your preferences in all categories you can think of: food, entertainment, politics, activities, friends, charitable causes. The list forms a composite profile of what makes you YOU.
- Write a new resume – but not just about the professional you. Include all the “roles” you’ve managed and mastered in your life.
- Prepare the eulogy you’d like to be delivered in celebration of your life.
- Interview yourself. Find an interview with a celebrity you think hits some important topics and ask yourself the same questions.
- When you’re clear about how you’d like your life to be interpreted, write it down. A letter to your children or best friend. A brief summary of your life story, complete with your life philosophy or lessons you’ve learned. Even your own obituary. This exercise serves a double purpose. Putting your legacy in writing and giving it to someone you trust, improves the likelihood that others will see you in that light, too.
- Baby boomers were born in the prosperous years following World War II.
- As they age, they are now facing financial, health, and economic challenges.
- Some of their most pressing problems are saving enough for retirement and caring for elderly parents.
- Baby Boomers are facing a slew of challenges.
- Boomers, or those born from the 1940s to the 1960s, grew up during the prosperous post-WWII years. But as they inch closer to retirement, a slew of financial, health, and economic challenges are starting to plague many in the generation.
Though people say they’re happiest when they get older, many baby boomers feel pressured to work longer to support themselves or, if unable to work, are worried about outliving their savings.
Not only do boomers have to think about their own retirement plans, they also have to care for their elderly parents — which can have an emotional cost in addition to the financial cost.
Boomers might be thinking about or currently paying their parents’ medical bills, nursing homes, or live-in nurses, or even considering having their parents live with them as they get older.
Just like boomers need to make plans for their parents, they will also need to figure out who will be taking care of them as they get older.
This might involve figuring out plans with their children, or saving enough money for medical bills or even a nurse.
The oldest boomers are in their early 70s today. For some, current health issues get in the way of planning for retirement.
Boomers will enter their senior years with “higher rates of obesity and diabetes and lower rates of very good or excellent health status, putting significant strain on our healthcare system,” a 2016 United Health Foundation study of the health of senior Americans found.
Not only are some boomers facing health issues, but they are also seeing rising healthcare costs.
Healthcare costs have risen by significantly more than costs for everything else in the United States over the last several decades, which is illustrated in the chart above.
Just 23% of baby boomers think that their savings will last through retirement or that they have done a good job preparing for retirement, according to a survey by the Insured Retirement Institute, a trade association for the retirement industry, from earlier this year.
Only 54% had any retirement savings at all, and only 40% had tried to calculate how much money they would need to retire.
Some older Americans are working around the problem of not having enough savings by staying employed far into their 70s, at least in part-time positions. But working longer is not a realistic option for every person.
Physically demanding jobs are often difficult for older workers, and learning a new skill could be a difficult challenge.
For those who lose their job at an older age, it is not always easy or financially possible to learn new skills or return to school. This trend is especially problematic for boomers who are not yet of retirement age.
Since baby boomers are living longer, people who plan to retire in their mid-60s to early 70s need to have enough money saved up for a decade or two more than they might have in the past.
Saving is a great start, but planning to reach your financial goals is even better.
Are you saving for retirement? Great. Are you planning for retirement? That is even better. Planning for your retirement and other long-range financial goals is an essential step—one that could make achieving those goals easier.
Saving without investing your savings isn’t enough. Since interest rates are so low today, money in a typical savings account barely grows. It may not even grow enough to keep up with inflation, leaving the saver at a long-term financial disadvantage.
Very few Americans retire on savings alone. Rather, they invest some of their savings and retire mostly on the accumulated earnings those invested dollars generate over time.
Investing without planning usually isn’t enough. Most people invest with a general idea of building wealth, particularly for retirement. The problem is that too many of them invest without a plan. They are guessing how much money they will need once they leave work, and that guess may be way off. Some have no idea at all.
Growing and retaining wealth takes more than just investing. Along the way, you must plan to manage risk and defer or reduce taxes. A good financial plan—created with the assistance of an experienced financial professional—addresses those priorities while defining your investment approach. It changes over time, to reflect changes in your life and your financial objectives.
With a plan, you can set short-term and long-term goals and benchmarks. You can estimate the amount of money you will likely need to meet retirement, college, and health care expenses. You can plot a way to wind down your business or exit your career with confidence. You can also get a good look at your present financial situation—where you stand in terms of your assets and liabilities, the distance between where you are financially and where you would like to be.
October is National Financial Planning Month—an ideal time to plan your financial future. The end of the year is approaching and a new one will soon begin, so this is the right time to think about what you have done in 2018 and what you could do in 2019. You might want to do something new; you may want to do some things differently. Your financial future is in your hands, so be proactive and plan.
LAST MINUTE SUMMER BUCKET LIST IDEAS
1. Plan a weekend getaway with some of your closest friends.
2. Discover a new lake and spend the day fishing, boating, etc.
3. Go to a state park.
4. Spend a weekend camping with your family.
5. Watch a fireworks show.
6. Go kayaking, canoeing, and tubing.
7. Go to a local festival.
8. Go to a concert or music festival.
9. Go to a Major League Baseball game.
10. Find a new hiking trail and explore it for the day.
Some places to go:
Pennsylvania Dutch Country, better known as Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is an idyllic
place to visit during the harvest season. There are apple orchards ripe for the picking,
corn mazes that hearken back to a simpler time and farmers markets bursting with
homemade baked goods and fresh produce. And just 30 minutes northeast, you’ll find
“Antiques Capital, U.S.A.” in Adamstown, home to over 3,000 antique dealers,
traditional Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine and, of course, that Amish charm.
Shenandoah Valley’s Skyline Drive offers 105 miles of scenic byway surrounded by
stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. Whether you tackle the sloping,
winding road by bike or car, you’ll encounter plenty of quaint Virginian towns along the
way. Stop in Staunton’s Red Brick District to check out the arts scene or visit
Waynesboro for world-class fishing.
WORLD’S END STATE PARK
Worlds End State Park is situated in a narrow S-shaped valley of the Loyalsock Creek,
just south of Forksville, Sullivan County.
Surrounded by the Loyalsock State Forest, the 780-acre park offers visitors diverse
recreational opportunities within a pristine environment. The rugged natural beauty
coursing through the heart of the Endless Mountains landscape provides many
Major League Ball Clubs:
Your choice: Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Mets,
New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles….all within 4 hours of Benton
MAKE IT A GREAT WEEK!
- 4 eggs
- 1 2/3 cups white sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- In a medium bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Stir into the pumpkin mixture until thoroughly combined.
- Spread the batter evenly into an ungreased 10×15 inch jellyroll pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in preheated oven. Cool before frosting.
- To make the frosting, cream together the cream cheese and butter. Stir in vanilla. Add confectioners’ sugar a little at a time, beating until mixture is smooth. Spread evenly on top of the cooled bars. Cut into squares.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2018 Allrecipes.com
Printed From Allrecipes.com 9/18/2018
Increased incidence of acid reflux appears to be linked to a spike in one form of a particularly
One out of 5 Americans experience heartburn or acid reflux on a weekly basis; 40 percent of us deal with it at least once a month. In many cases, we just blame the hot sauce and take an over-the-counter medicine to remedy it. Perhaps it’s time to think differently.
Esophageal adenocarcinoma—cancer of the lining of the soft tube that delivers food and drink from the mouth to the stomach—has increased sevenfold since the early 1970s, says Paul Oberstein, director of the gastrointestinal medical oncology program at NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center in Manhattan. The American Cancer Society estimates that 15,850 Americans will die of esophageal cancer this year. Eighty-five percent of esophageal cancers are found in people 55 and older; roughly four times as many men get the disease as women.
“It’s one of the fastest-growing issues we have in our population,” says David Odell, assistant professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and lead investigator on a study of esophageal cancer funded by the American Cancer Society.
The cancer’s increase has paralleled the rise of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), the medical name for when you have bouts of acid reflux two or more times per week. GERD has several causes, led by obesity, a tendency toward large meals and a high-stress lifestyle. But many people don’t realize that common heartburn symptoms can both lead to, and mask, something more serious.
Chronic heartburn can sometimes lead to a disorder called Barrett’s esophagus, in which the cells of the esophagus, normally squamous cells like those of your skin, begin to change into glandular cells like those of the stomach. “When it’s exposed to stomach acid, the esophagus tries to make itself look more like the stomach.” Odell explains. “Five percent of GERD patients will develop Barrett’s, and 10 percent of those will go on to develop cancer.”
Unfortunately, it’s easy to mistake signs of cancer for simple heartburn. That’s exactly what happened to Ellen Tauscher, 66. Her job may have been more stressful than most: Tauscher was an undersecretary of state in the Obama administration. In 2010, during a particularly stressful time of her life (she was in Geneva, negotiating an arms control treaty with Russia), she began to experience classic symptoms of acid reflux. “I had a pain in my chest after most meals and had difficulty swallowing,” she explains. “I wasn’t sure what I was experiencing. A moment went by, and the tight feeling began to ease. I chalked it up to stress and left it at that.”
But over the next five months, her symptoms increased in both frequency and severity. At times, it rendered eating impossible. When she called her primary physician, he concluded that her symptoms were unusual and asked her to come in the next day.
“If my doctor had told me that day what many patients are told when they first complain of reflux symptoms—take Prilosec for six weeks and see if the symptoms abate—I’d be dead today,” Tauscher says. Instead, he ordered an endoscopy, a procedure in which a thin tube with a light and camera at the end is fed into your digestive tract so the doctor can inspect it. The test revealed that Tauscher’s symptoms were caused by a three-inch-long tumor that had grown nearly three-quarters of the way around the inside of her esophagus.
Part of the reason Tauscher’s cancer was diagnosed so quickly was that she didn’t have a history of GERD. Chronic reflux sufferers aren’t likely to get such immediate care, which is part of the reason esophageal cancer has a five-year survival rate of less than 20 percent. That’s something Oberstein wants to change.
“If someone has heartburn that is not controlled by medication or simple measures like not laying down after eating, it’s critical that they follow up with their doctor or a gastroenterologist,” he says. Your doctor may recommend an endoscopy to see if your have signs of esophageal issues.
Bottom line, says Odell: “If you have reflux, discuss it with your physician to make sure there’s nothing else going on. And if you have difficulty swallowing, see your doctor immediately; it could be the first sign of a tumor.”
(by Stephen Perrine for AARP Bulletin, June 2018)
Thousands of widows and widowers leave money on the table each year
Here’s news: More than 11,000 widows and widowers who are now on Social Security could have had higher benefits if someone had bothered to tell them about their claiming options. That unhappy fact comes from the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General. It highlights how little people know about survivors benefits and what the choices are. Here are some tips…..
- Who gets survivors benefits? They’re paid to the souse of a worker who dies. You have to have been married for at least nine months, although there are exceptions—for example, if your spouse died in an accident. Qualified children get benefits, too, as do ex-spouses if the marriage lasted at least 10 years.
- What does the benefit pay? You get 100 percent of what your late spouse was receiving, provided that you file at your own full retirement age—66 or 67. (Note that the survivor’s retirement age can be up to four months earlier than the age required for full retirement benefits.)
Payments can start at age 60 (50 if you’re disabled), but filing before your full retirement age reduces your check. If your spouse dies before claiming benefits, your payments are calculated as if he or she has reached full retirement age, plus any deffered retirement credits.
- If you have a retirement benefit based on your own work, can you take a survivors benefit, too? Here’s where many people miss out. You can’t take both benefits at the same time. But you can raise your lifetime income by taking them serially—something that your Social Security rep might not explain.
If your future retirement benefit at 70 will be greater than your full survivors benefit, and you expect to have a normal life span, take the survivors benefit right away, says Bill Reichenstein of SocialSecuritySolutions.com. Switch to your own retirement benefit at age 70, when it will have had years to grow.
Conversely, if your retirement benefit at 70 is the smaller one, take that benefit right away; switch to survivors benefits once you reach full retirement age. (Unlike retirement benefits, survivors benefits do not grow after you reach that milestone.)
VERY IMPORTANT: To use either switching strategy, you must restrict your initial application to the one benefit you want to start with. Otherwise, you may be considered as having applied for both retirement and survivor benefits at once and won’t be able to switch.
- What if you’ve been married twice? You generally collect on the account of your second spouse. If you remarried after you turned 60, you can collect on the account of the spouse with the higher benefit.
- How do you collect? Notify Social Security as soon as your spouse dies. Benefits generally start from the time you apply, not the time your spouse died. If you’re currently collecting spousal benefits on a retired worker’s account and they’re low, you’ll probably be switched to the higher benefit automatically. But if you have a retirement benefit of your own, visit a Social Security office to sort out your options.
(by Jane Bryant Quinn for AARP Bulletin, June 2018)
Friendship and Purpose
(Changes in lifestyle and outlook can affect longevity)
As we think about the prospect of living longer, millions of us are taking more responsibility for
our own health. We’re realizing that the choices we make each day are more important than
an occasional visit to the doctor’s office.
As a result, we’re seeking more and better information to help us make healthier decisions, and
tools for lifestyle changes that lead us toward physical and mental fitness and enhance our
well-being, not just treat our ailments.
But we also need to focus on things like building strong social connections and reducing
loneliness and social isolation, realizing a sense of purpose, and developing a more positive,
optimistic outlook on aging.
Social connections are important to your health. People with close friends are more likely to
get plenty of sleep, eat healthy foods, maintain peace of mind and have less stress, engage in
brain health activities and take on new challenges or hobbies.
Loneliness is the new smoking—according to one researcher, it is equally as bad for you as
inhaling 15 cigarettes a day. Studies show that loneliness can shave eight years off life
expectancy, that it has a big negative effect on quality of life, and that it’s the single largest
predictor of dissatisfaction with health care. The mortality risk for loneliness is greater than
that of obesity. Social isolation of older adults is associated with an estimated $6.7 billion in
additional Medicare spending annually.
Having a purpose in life is also important to health as we get older and is a key factor in aging
successfully. A sense of purpose for many is more important than making money, and it’s
associated with a wide range of better health outcomes including reduced risk of mortality,
stroke, heart attack and Alzheimer’s disease. People with a sense of purpose also get better
sleep, have fewer nights of hospital admission and go to the doctor less often. And they are
more likely to take care of their health—to eat healthier, exercise more, avoid abusing drugs
and alcohol, and seek out better preventive health services.
Evidence also shows that optimism about aging has an impact on our health, adding 7.5 years
to our lives. Those with an upbeat view of aging are more likely to fully recover from a severe
disability and have up to an 80 percent lower risk of a cardiovascular event.
We’re discovering that changes in lifestyle and medical advances can increase our life-span and
shrink the number of years spent with a disability. But it’s also vital that we have something to
get us up in the morning and someone to share our lives with—and that we approach each day
with a smile.
(by Jo Ann Jenkins for AARP Bulletin, June 2018)
(WHAT TO DO AND WHAT TO AVOID TO LIVE LONGER & BETTER, BASED ON INTERVIEWS WITH DOZENS OF DOCTORS & MORE THAN 150 STUDIES)
A Stronger Heart! Fad: COCONUT OIL…..It sounds exotic, internet “experts” swear by it and a book called The Coconut Oil Miracle is in its fifth edition. But, “There are no known benefits of coconut oil,” says Steven E Nissen, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Coconut oil is 82 percent saturated fat—30 percent more than butter.
Fail: ANTIOXIDANT SUPPLEMENTS…..Eating lots of fruit and vegetables can slash your risk of heart attack by 30 percent, in part due to an abundance of antioxidants—nutrients that cool inflammation and reduce plaque in your arteries. But research shows that antioxidants like vitamins A, C and E and beta-carotene have no heart benefits when taken in pill form. In fact, high doses could indirectly hurt heart health by messing with the natural production of antioxidants.
Fail: HIGH-FIBER JUNK FOOD…..Yes, fiber helps control cholesterol and lower diabetes risk. But if you pack fiber into snack bars and other sweets, the sugar can do more damage than the fiber does good. Even though the Food and Drug Administration allows food with added fiber to have heart-health claims on its labels, you should also focus on the sugar level when assessing food to buy.
Fail: HOMEBLOOD-PRESSURE MONITORS (Unless you do this)…..If you’re among the 51 percent of 35-to-64 year-olds who use a blood pressure monitor at home, you get an A for effort. But 70 percent of home devices were off by at least 5 point in a 2017 University of Alberta study. For an A in your final grade, take yours to a doctor’s appointment once a year and compare results with a doctor’s monitor. You may simply need a bigger blood pressure cuff, the researchers note.
Fail: FISH OIL TABLETS…..These supplements don’t lower heart attack risk at all, according to a large Oxford University analysis involving more than 77,000 people. Because over-the-counter supplements aren’t regulated, “It’s not always clear what you’re getting,” says David Becker, a cardiologist with the Temple Heart and Vascular Institute in Philadelphia. Eat fish, not pills.
FIXES: A HANDFUL OF NUTS…..The tastiest news in heart disease prevention has to be the power of nuts to help cut heart attack risk by 30 percent. That’s what happened when people in a Spanish study added a small handful of nuts a day to an already healthy Mediterranean-style diet (plenty of produce, whole grains, lean protein). One caveat: Nuts are high in calories, which could lead to weight gain that could undermine any heart benefits you might otherwise see.
FIXES: SLOW-FAST WORKOUTS…..Couch potatoes in their 50s rebuilt heart strength and function with a doable exercise routine made up mostly of walking. The weekly workout used in the UT Southwestern Medical Center study looks like this:
- 1-2 days: 30 minutes moderate-intensity exercise like a brisk walk.
- 1 day: 60-minute session of the same.
- 1 day: 30 minutes of interval training (say, several four-minute bursts of high-speed walking, broken up by a slower pace to recover).
- 1-2 days: strength training sessions using weights or exercise machines.
A Happy Stomach! Fad: GLUTEN FREE ‘JUST BECAUSE’…..A 2013 survey showed that nearly 30 percent of US Adults were trying to minimize or avoid gluten. That makes sense if you have celiac disease or other symptoms of gluten sensitivity. Not for everyone else. A study published in 2017 of more than 110,000 people found that going gluten free could raise the risk of heart disease. “Cereals and grains have important health benefits,” says Shajan P Sugandha, a gastroenterologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Fail: COLON CLEANSE…..This involves putting large volumes of liquid into the rectum to detoxify the body, enhance immunity and fight disease. “It’s based off misinformation that things sit in your colon for years, which is ridiculous,” says John Pandolfino, chief of gastroenterology and hepatology at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago. Risks include cramping, pain, nausea, potentially fatal electrolyte imbalance, renal failure and gut perforations.
Fail: PREBIOTIC SUPPLEMENTS…..These nondigestible fiber compounds promise to decrease inflammation and lower your risk of disease. Save your money, says Stacy Sims, a senior research fellow at the University of Waikato in New Zealand. The supplements are expensive—about $20 a bottle. And, she says, “You may not need to promote the growth of the bacteria they’re promising to promote.” Instead, eat foods that are rich in prebiotics, such as garlic, onions, asparagus, bananas, dandelion greens and Jerusalem artichokes.
Fail: PROBIOTIC FOODS…..Stores sell bacteria-spiked foods like dark chocolate and muffin mixes, not to mention probiotic pills. Don’t buy in. “Though supplements have large numbers of bacteria, they’re often not diverse—and the gut biome is extremely diverse,” Sims says. You should consume naturally probiotic-rich, unpasteurized fermented foods and drinks like yogurt, sauerkraut and kombucha.
FIXES: PEPPERMINT OIL…..A review of 121 trials found that peppermint oil is effective at treating irritable bowel syndrome. “The menthol, its main constituent, has a very relaxing effect on the GI tract,” says Rosario Ligresti, M.D., director of the Pancreas Center at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey.
FIXES: FECAL TRANSPLANT…..Donor stool with healthy bacteria is inserted into a patient’s colon to alter the flora and treat ailments such as lupus and diabetes. “People have pooh-poohed this idea for years,” Ligresti says. “But we now know that, for certain conditions, it can change your life almost overnight.” In a study of 30 people (average age 67) with inflamed colons from C. difficile infections, 29 recovered through this therapy.
Smoother Skin: Fad: MICRONEEDLING…..This beauty trend involves poking tiny holes in your skin, using a device that looks like a lint roller covered in short needles. The procedure stimulates the production of collagen, the skin’s main structural protein, and purports to firm your face and give it a more youthful appearance. “This is a fad that actually works,” says Tina Alster, a clinical professor of dermatology at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington. The procedure has come to rival the use of lasers in dermatologists’ offices, but Alster, founding director of the Washington Institure of Dermatologic Laser Surgery, says home devices can also be effective. Such dermal rollers commonly sell for about $25 and up. Makers claim the procedure is painless; reports can vary.
Fails: COLLAGEN CREAMS…..Collagen does work as an injectable to decrease wrinkles. However, you can rub it into the skin all day long, and there’s no science that says it’s going to do anything.
Fails: HEMORRHOID CREAM FOR PUFFY EYES…..A lot of people swear by dabbing Preparation H around the eyes to shrink swelling. And while it does work, you should save it for special occasions. Most hemorrhoid creams contain hydrocortisone, which can thin the skin with extended use.
Fails: PLACENTA CREAMS…..Fillers, creams and facials containing placenta (and the stem cells inside) have become a skin rejuvenation craze, but don’t run so fast to buy them. There’s no scientific research confirming that fillers or creams containing placenta will affect your skin. And while stem cells can be miraculous in causing cells to grow, they may also present a risk that cancer cells will grow. “Stem cells can go rogue,” Alster says. “There has not been enough research to show the long-term safety of them.”
Fails: WATER…..Drinking water won’t improve the look of your skin, unless you’re already dehydrated. “If you’re hydrated and you drink more water, you just go to the bathroom more,” Alster says. “For your skin’s sake, hydrate from the outside in, not from the inside out.” In other words: Moisturizing can be more beneficial to the skin than drinking extra water.
FIXES: HYALURONIC ACID…..As we age, collagen and hyaluronic acid (HA) both diminish. Collagen injections are old news; the latest procedure is to inject HA into the wrinkle. Common brands are Juvederm and Restylane. Not only does HA plump up the wrinkle, it is a surfactant, which attracts water to the area for further lifting. “Hyaluronic acid is what makes babies’ cheeks chubby, and aby adding it to all the right places, we can restore contour,” says Patricia Farris, a dermatologist in New Orleans. Look for HA pills, too. A recent study showed that oral ingestion of HA for 12 weeks in people 59 and under suppressed wrinkles and improved skin luster.
FIXES: CONED SUTURES…..A decade ago, dermatologists and plastic surgeons inserted permanent barbed sutures under the skin to create lift in sagging jawlines and other facial areas. But the sutures were prone to infection. “After a while, you could see some of the strings too, and people looked like marionettes,” Alster says. The sutures soon fell out of favor, but their new and improved cousin, InstaLift, is all the rage now. These coned sutures, which doctors slide under the skin using a local anesthetic, dissolve in about two years. While under your skin, they also stimulate collagen production so that, even after they dissolve, your face shouldn’t come crashing down.
FIXES: LASERS FOR LIVER SPOTS……People are increasingly using pigment-specific lasers—the kind usually used to remove tattoos—to treat liver spots. These lasers can be effective at blasting away a liver spot or two without a big recovery. If your liver spots are plentiful, more intensive ablative laser treatments are renowned for producing fast and excellent results, but recovery takes up to three weeks.
Relief from Pain: Fad: Cupping…..Much of the world discovered cupping when swimmer Michael Phelps revealed large circular bruises on his back during the 2016 Olympics. This pain-relief fad has only grown since. Used in traditional Chinese medicine, hot glass cups are placed along sensitive trigger points on the body to create suction. “It increases blood flow and can reduce muscle tension, which causes an increased sense of overall well-being,” says Stacey Simons of Simons Physical Therapy in Tucson AZ. However, “many patients will say that they have had no relief with it at all.”
Fails: DAITH PIERCINGS…..Some people who have found acupuncture helpful as a short-term treatment for reducing migraines are now getting their daith (the innermost cartilage fold of the outer ear) pierced, in the hopes that this will provide a more permanent end to their headache hell. While it may have a placebo effect, there is no research to indicate that this sometimes-painful piercing will affect the symptoms or frequency of chronic headaches.
Fails: SOFT NECK COLLAR…..If you’ve thought of purchasing a soft neck collar to wear during the day for neck pain, you should think again. While they do provide some support to the spine, the collars are best used at night. Extended daytime usage can actually weaken supporting muscles and structures in the neck, leaving you with less stability and ongoing neck problems.
FIXES: DRY NEEDLING…..Although it looks similar to acupuncture, dry needling has been around for only a decade. Whereas acupuncture is designed to remove blockages and restore chi (healing energy), dry needling is used to reduce muscular pain and has shown short-term success. The theory goes that the needle, inserted into a trigger point, causes biochemical changes that help reduce pain and create twitch responses that help the muscle to relax.
FIXES: ROLLERS…..It may feel silly, but getting down on the floor and rolling out those kinks in your back with a tennis ball or a long foam roller can make you feel better if you’re aching. Simons says these items release sensitive spots in the muscles or connective tissue, also known as trigger points. Do you have difficulty getting down on the floor? Put that tennis ball or foam roller between you and the wall and get rolling for up to five minutes.
(as written in AARP Bulletin, May 2018)
An easy-to-prepare caprese mac and cheese recipe is made entirely in the oven and topped with tomatoes, basil pesto and crispy crumbs.
- PAM(R) Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can Hunt’s(R) Diced Tomatoes, drained
- 1/3 cup refrigerated basil pesto
- 1 (16 ounce) package dry elbow macaroni, uncooked
- 4 ounces fontina cheese, shredded
- 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
- 6 tablespoons butter, divided
- 4 cups whole milk
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray 13×9-inch or shallow 3-quart baking dish with cooking spray. Stir together drained tomatoes and pesto in small bowl; set aside. Combine uncooked macaroni, fontina cheese and 1 cup mozzarella cheese in large bowl. Place in dish in an even layer.
- Microwave 4 tablespoons butter in large microwave-safe bowl on HIGH 30 seconds or until melted. Whisk in milk, flour, salt and pepper until blended. Pour over macaroni mixture. Spoon tomato mixture evenly over macaroni. Cover dish with aluminum foil; bake 40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, microwave remaining 2 tablespoons butter in small microwave-safe bowl on HIGH 20 seconds or until melted. Stir in bread crumbs. Top macaroni with remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese and bread crumb mixture. Bake uncovered 10 to 15 minutes more or until golden brown on top. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.