Friday, July 13, 2018
Here's fun news. This week, one-time Arizona State golfer and a favorite pro, JoAnne Carner, shot her age -- 79 -- in the opening round at the U.S. Senior Women's Open tournament in Chicago.
Monday, May 21, 2018
Lisa Stegall, Assistant Professor of Biology at Hamline University, reports on positive results from a study where adults aged 60 to 80 participated in a weekly program of simple dance moves. From her report for Academic Minute:
Once a week for nine weeks, seniors aged 60 to 80 years old participated in an hour of music and movement training called Dalcroze eurhythmics. Led by a certified instructor who played improvised music on a piano, the seniors walked in time with the music, changed directions, and handled and passed objects rhythmically. They moved individually, with a partner, and in small groups to increase social interaction.
Our research team, made up of faculty and students from the Exercise Science, Music, and Public Health programs, tested the participants’ walking ability before and after the intervention, and found that gait (or walking) speed significantly improved. This held true even when participants were asked to walk and perform another task at the same time, called dual tasking. This latter finding is important because most falls occur while walking, especially when also performing other tasks.
Why did this intervention improve dual-task walking speed by 20%? We hypothesize that the improvement was due to the multicomponent movement training that’s unique to Dalcroze eurhythmics. Stepping to the beat of the music while carrying a ball, and passing that ball to another person in time with the music requires awareness, attention, balance, and coordination. These are the same skills needed when navigating the home, neighborhood, or the grocery store.
I expect we will see Dalcroze Eurhythmics classes coming soon to a gym or dance studio near you! My thanks to Dickinson Law colleague Laurel Terry for this tip.
Friday, February 10, 2017
When I first saw the news stories of the French cyclist who had set a cycling record for sixty minutes, I wasn't particularly impressed -- that is, until I realized that Mr. Robert Marchand is now age 105 and he's trying to break his own record of almost 17 miles per hour, set when he was 103. Turns out this is part of a much larger story about fitness in aging. From the New York Times:
At the age of 105, the French amateur cyclist and world-record holder Robert Marchand is more aerobically fit than most 50-year-olds — and appears to be getting even fitter as he ages, according to a revelatory new study of his physiology.
The study, which appeared in December in the Journal of Applied Physiology, may help to rewrite scientific expectations of how our bodies age and what is possible for any of us athletically, no matter how old we are.
For more, read Lessons on Aging Well, From a 105 Year-Old Cyclist. Inspiration for your own weekend workout, perhaps!
Thursday, August 25, 2016
I was happy to see Nike's latest commercial for its Unlimited campaign featuring the triathlete dubbed the Iron Nun. According to an article in the Huffington Post, "Buder said that she manages to fit her training for these races in with her daily life. The sister, who is part of a nontraditional religious order called the Sisters for Christian Community, runs to her church in Spokane, Washington. She also runs to the local jail, where she volunteers to chat with inmates." I suspect the narration for the commercial is intended as amusing since it relies on aging stereotypes, but the Sister's accomplishments blow those stereotypes out of the water. Ad of the Day: Nike Celebrates the 'Iron Nun', an 86-Year-Old Triathlete With God on Her Side features the ad, as well as the behind the scenes interview with the sister without the narration. The quote I liked from Sister Buder: "the only failure is not to try". Huffington Post quotes from an article on her in Cosmo, "Don’t pay attention to how old you are, only focus on how old you feel ... And be patient — one of my worst enemies is patience, I’m still trying to fine-tune it so that I’m able to stop and smell the roses.”
Kudos Sister for your accomplishments!
Wednesday, April 6, 2016
American Society on Aging (ASA) recently posted about 5 TED talks on Aging. 5 TED Talks on Aging to Inspire You range from curing Alzheimer's to a grandson's invention to help his grandfather with dementia from wandering. There's a talk from Diana Nyad about her historic swim ("In the pitch-black night, stung by jellyfish, choking on salt water, singing to herself, hallucinating ... Diana Nyad just kept on swimming. And that's how she finally achieved her lifetime goal as an athlete: an extreme 100-mile swim from Cuba to Florida") and a chat between Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda where they "discuss longevity, feminism, the differences between male and female friendship, what it means to live well and women's role in future of our planet. 'I don't even know what I would do without my women friends," Fonda says. "I exist because I have my women friends.'"
Check them out!
Thursday, March 24, 2016
We don't use this blog to promote a specific product, so please don't read the following as that. There is some educational value in learning about efforts of world-renowned corporations to provide products for people with special needs. I'd heard Nike had shoes in the works for people with special needs so I wanted to share this article regarding their availability. Nike Expands Shoe Line For People With Special Needs was published in the March 16, 2016 issue of Disability Scoop. "The company was inspired to develop the unique system after hearing from then-16-year-old Matthew Walzer in 2012. Walzer, who has cerebral palsy, requested more accessible footwear so that he would be able to go off to college without needing assistance tying his shoes." According to the story, there are several models of the shoe from which to choose.
Friday, November 13, 2015
Studies have shown that those with deep interest in "fun" have healthier, happier lives as they age. Or at least, that's what I hope the studies show. Along that line, I discovered a new definition for the "Century Club," offered by the Dressage Foundation, for the "exclusive group of horse and rider pairs who perform a dressage test at a recognized [horse] show when their combined ages total 100 years or more."
An issue of The Chronicle of the Horse, in an article titled "Older, Wiser and Still Having Fun," features 24-year old dressage mount Toblerone and 77-year old rider Donna Donaghy. Donna is "not done yet" and she plans to keep on riding and showing as long as she can still throw a leg over the back of her horse.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
A company called CyberCycles sent me an advertisement recently. Normally I would resist promoting a product on our Blog, but I have to say that I enjoyed using these interactive cycles at university gyms while on my sabbatical, especially when avoiding the rains of Oregon and Northern Ireland. You could keep track of your results, compare them to other riders' times, and there were different "courses" for new challenges. I became quite fond of the competitive circuits on the interactive programs and found myself riding just a bit harder every session. (The photo here, howevver, is from a sunny day, watching the pros in Belfast. Yes, there are sunny days in Northern Ireland!)
As it turns out, there is research to support use of such "exergames," not just for the bodies but the brains of older adults, according to a study by the Healthy Aging and Neuropsychology Lab and Department of Psychology at Union College in Schenectady, New York. The article is "Exergaming and Older Adults Cognition: A Cluster Randomized Clinical Trial," by C. Anderson-Hanley and colleagues, published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, February 2012.
So, CyberCycles, do you still have the scary Abominable Snowman ride?
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
To keep up with commercial developments affecting elder law, one of my favorite e-news sources is McKnight's Long-Term Care News.
In a recent newsletter, McKnight's reported on developments from a company that distributes a new generation of hip protectors. The description of the technology strikes me as remarkable, involving a moldable layer that hardens only at the moment of impact, thus seeming to combine wearability with protection. The product takes advantage of refinements in technology used for high impact sports such as football. Indeed, while the underwear-like garment described has clear application in nursing homes and other care facilities, I can also see where it might come in handy on some of my bike trips. And yes, if I dig far enough down, I could probably find a picture of me on crutches instead of a picture of one of my bikes.
At the same time, the growing wave of entrepreneurs seeking to capitalize on the aging boomer dynamic by turning "silver into gold," raises the importance of outside research and independent evaluation, key roles for academics. Will the understandable desire of commercial developers for profit conflict with researchers who seek to analyze cost or efficacy of new apparatuses, drugs, medical procedures, long-term care options and other age-related commerce?
A recent Massachusetts Supreme Court decision may provide researchers with some greater reassurance that their critical review of technology for "older adults" will not make them an easy target for Big Business backlash suits. In HipSaver Inc. v. Kiel, 984 N.E. 2d 755 (Mass. 2013), the high court affirmed summary judgment in favor of a Harvard professor. The doctor had been sued by a device manufacturer (described as "one of at least 23 companies that markets hip protection devices") following publication in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) of an article on research into the efficacy of certain devices in nursing homes. In a detailed opinion, the court concluded the manufacturer had failed to demonstrate a reasonable expectation of proving all of what the court described as four essential elements of the cause of action for "commercial disparagement," also known as "injurious falsehood," "disparagement of property," "slander of goods," and "trade libel."
There is certainly room for a good law journal article or two on this same topic. Let us know if you are a recent author on a related topic!