Issues — Healthy Aging

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Can Positive Thinking Keep You Well?

Many people believe a positive attitude can protect their health or that a fighting spirit can ensure their recovery if they’re ill. In this 2011 New York Times op ed, Richard P. Sloan, PhD, suggests there’s a downside to these beliefs. A professor at Columbia University Medical Center, Sloan is the author of Blind Faith: The Unholy Alliance of Religion and Medicine (2008).


Email, Skype and Facebook: Tools to End Isolation?

We know maintaining a good social life adds to longevity. When older people learn to use the internet, they can interact with a larger world and reconnect with friends even if they never leave home, writes Aylin Zafar in an Atlantic magazine article.


Unhealthy? Who, Me?

In a survey of 2,000 Americans, the majority claimed their own health was just fine, but that the rest of the country was going in the wrong direction, health wise. An article by the HealthDay news service in U.S. News & World Report speculates on why we tend to think others are in trouble medically but we’re not—even when we are.


How to Power Up Your Brain

Even if all you do is go for walks or work in the garden in your later years, studies show you’re less likely to forgot names or the whereabouts of your car keys, writes Gretchen Reynolds in the Well blog in the New York Times. A concurring article by Alice Park in Time magazine notes that resistance training seems to do as much for memory and learning as aerobic exercise does.


Can Exercise Influence Aging?

Research suggests that moderate exercise can boost your immune system and protect you from colds and flu while reducing the risk of some cancers and chronic diseases. It may slow the aging process, as well. The Informed Patient column at the Wall Street Journal sums up the benefits of workouts as simple as a brisk walk.


Can Money Buy a Longer Life?

Money and social class can, according to research done in England. An article at the science news site reports that people in lower socioeconomic circumstances aren’t as healthy and die younger than those with more wealth.


Not Too Late to Get Moving

Four different studies, one result: physical activity keeps you healthy, physically and mentally. In fact, according to this article from medical news site, regular exercise in midlife pays off at age 70 and beyond.


Medical Wisdom Flip Flops

In an article in the New York Times Magazine, author Gary Taubes considers why medical advice so often flip flops, as it did with hormone replacement therapy for women. HRT was widely prescribed to prevent heart attacks—until scientists discovered it made them more likely. Taubes wrote Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It (2010).


Knowledge Is Power

How to: find a doctor, understand a study, evaluate product information—it’s all sorted out for you in this special issue of Science Times in the New York Times, “Decoding Your Health.”


Death by Sitting

Stand up while you read these articles. Michelle Fay Cortez, at, explains it’s not just lack of exercise but too much sitting that is causing obesity, heart disease and other life-threatening illnesses. And in the New York Times Well blog, Gretchen Reynolds warns that men who sit a lot risk heart disease even if they do exercise.


Going to Extremes in Sports

In her blog Time Goes By, Ronni Bennett admits she doesn’t know how to feel about age-defying elders who participate in extreme sports or 90-year-old marathoners. Do stories like these diminish or inspire those who are doing less-demanding exercise, or those content to play bridge and read to grandkids?


Paying More for Bad Behavior

If people ignore medical advice, should health insurance companies punish them with higher rates and reduced benefits? Should doctors refuse to perform heart surgery on smokers? Should our taxes pay for the consequences of unhealthy lifestyle choices? Cardiologist Sandeep Jauhar examines these possibilities in a New York Times news analysis.


Expert Suggests Ways to Stay Connected as We Age

This Health blog from U.S. News & World Report offers simple tips to combat loneliness, suggestions from Laura Carstensen, founding director of the Stanford Center on Longevity.


Internet Challenges Boundaries between Patient and Doctor

Should you “friend“ your doctor on Facebook? Can he or she investigate you online? Judy Foreman asks what is appropriate and what is creepy in this Boston Globe article.


Staying Well by Doing Good

One way older people can reduce their risk of growing frail is to get involved in helping others, according to a study reported in Science Daily. Apparently, volunteer work offers unexpected benefits, physically and mentally.


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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)