Blog Posts - health literacy

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Dementia in Films: Getting It Wrong

Dementia in Films: Getting It Wrong
Fiona, a woman in her 70s living with Alzheimer’s disease, announces to her husband, Grant, “We are at that stage.” She means the point at which she belongs in a nursing home. Her husband, like almost all family caregivers, finds it hard to take that step. But Fiona says, “You don’t have to make that decision alone, Grant, I’ve already made up my mind.” That’s a shocking statement, in part because people with dementia find making decisions difficult.  Read more...


 

What a Living Will Can—and Can’t—Do for You

What a Living Will Can—and Can’t—Do for You
My friend Anne taught me some important things about dying.

Anne had congestive heart failure. In January 2012 her cardiologist told her regretfully that she probably wouldn’t live past the end of the month, so she went home to set her affairs in order and to say her goodbyes. She made up her mind to refuse any medical procedures aimed at keeping her alive; she’d let nature take its course.  Read more...


 

Weighty Issue

Weighty Issue
Are we teaching our children today what they need to know to assure good health beyond childhood and throughout their lives?  Read more...


 

Accepting Losses, Discovering Gains

Accepting Losses, Discovering Gains
After my mother came to live with me, I gradually took on more and more of her care. By the end of the first year I was doing what any Alzheimer’s caregiver does. I bathed her, helped her dress, handled her finances, did her laundry, tried to be patient answering her repeated questions, gave her medications, coaxed her back to bed if she was wide awake in the middle of the night, prepared her meals, cleaned up when she had spells of incontinence, tried to find music or videos she might enjoy, took her on walks, helped her dial the phone and took her to 42 doctor’s appointments.  Read more...


 

Where Medicare Fails

Where Medicare Fails
A friend of mine was hospitalized recently. What really worried her, she told me the day before she went in, was not the procedure she was about to have but her medical bills if the hospital decided not to admit her and instead placed her under observation.  Read more...


 

Getting Out Alive (and Staying That Way)

Getting Out Alive (and Staying That Way)
My role as caregiver and advocate has me quite familiar with transitioning a patient from hospital back to home sweet home. In my experience, the weak link in the process is almost always with discharge instructions and expectations. Patients leaving facilities are overwhelmed with instructions they (and even their caregivers) can't understand; doctors' orders get lost and misinterpreted; one doctor doesn't know what the other has prescribed, and so on. When patients return home to an unsafe environment, unprepared to cope with new limitations, too often they end up right back in the hospital. It's a problem so pervasive that hospitals are now literally paying the price for readmissions—they're fined by Medicare.  Read more...


 

How (and When) to Say ‘No’ to Your Doctor

How (and When) to Say ‘No’ to Your Doctor
In the 1950s, a doctor convinced my mother he could remove my sinus polyps with a brand-new, painless therapy: radiation. In those days, kids with adolescent acne were also getting radiation treatments. The polyps went away but the therapy was overkill. Much later, I learned that thyroid cancer is a possible side effect. Because of that experience and others, I’ve always thought that, except when I’m in dire straits, less is better when it comes to medical treatments.  Read more...


 

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Our Mission

The Silver Century Foundation promotes a positive view of aging. The Foundation challenges entrenched and harmful stereotypes, encourages dialogue between generations, advocates planning for the second half of life, and raises awareness to educate and inspire everyone to live long, healthy, empowered lives.

Notable Quote

"It is not by muscle, speed, or physical dexterity that great things are achieved, but by reflection, force of character, and judgment; in these qualities old age is usually not poorer, but is even richer."

Cicero (106-43 BC)