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Making Your Retirement Savings Last




How a Rising Cost of Living Will Affect Social Security


Mayo Clinic Q&A: Patients Ask Common Questions About Age-Associated Body Changes


Want Healthy Eyes? What to Know at 40 and Beyond


Sleep Well and Reduce Your Risk of Dementia and Death


Ask the Harvard Health Experts




Brain Food: What to Eat to Protect Your Memory


Rx for Stroke Prevention: A Healthy Diet and Lifestyle




Eat Right for Healthy Aging

This special publication was produced by the advertising department of Anchorage Daily News. The ADN newsroom was not involved in its production. MARCH 2022 • SENIOR LIVING IN ALASKA




Once you’ve reached your retirement goal, you face another challenge: Figuring out how much of your savings you can safely withdraw each year without running out of money. A guideline that has stood the test of time is the 4% rule, which was developed by William Bengen, an MIT graduate in aeronautics and astronautics who later became a certified financial planner. How it works: In the first year of retirement, withdraw 4% from your IRAs, 401(k)s and other tax-deferred accounts, which is where most workers hold their retirement savings. For every year after that, increase the dollar amount of your annual withdrawal by the previous year’s inflation rate. For example, if you have a $1 million nest egg, you would withdraw $40,000 the first year of retirement. If inflation that year is 2%, in the second year of retirement you would boost your withdrawal to $40,800.


Sandra Block, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

This provides a handy way to calculate whether you’ve saved enough to generate the amount of income you believe you’ll need in retirement. But a recent report by investment research firm Morningstar says retirees may want to consider a more conservative withdrawal rate of 3.3%. Under that scenario, a retiree with $1 million in savings would only be able to withdraw $33,000 in the first year of retirement. Morningstar’s conclusion is based on a combination of high stock market valuations, which are unlikely to continue, and low yields on fixed-income investments. Its analysis assumes that a retiree has a portfolio consisting of 50% bonds and 50% stocks and will take withdrawals over 30 years. Reducing the amount you withdraw every year means you’ll need to save more to generate the income you want. But there are steps retirees can take that will allow them to take larger withdrawals without increasing the risk that they’ll outlive their savings.

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Delaying Social Security is one strategy. You’ll get an 8% credit for each year you delay taking benefits after full retirement age, or FRA, until age 70. (FRA is age 66 if you were born between 1943 and 1954 and gradually rises to 67 for younger people.) Plus, Social Security benefits receive an annual cost-of-living adjustment. Another strategy is to adjust withdrawals based on market performance, taking smaller amounts during down years and higher withdrawals when the market has performed well. Still another strategy is to forgo inflation adjustments, which would automatically reduce the amount you withdraw.

Robert Ellis, Au.D.

Goldie Pappan-Hall, Au.D.

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How a rising cost of living will affect Social Security Sandra Block, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

IF YOU RECEIVE BENEFITS, YOU’LL GET A SIGNIFICANT RAISE IN 2022 — AND HIGH EARNERS WILL OWE MORE IN PAYROLL TAXES. Social Security beneficiaries will receive a 5.9% cost-ofliving adjustment in their Social Security benefits in 2022, the biggest jump since 1982, when benefits rose 7.4%. In 2021, the COLA was just 1.3%. The average monthly benefit will rise from $1,565 to $1,657 in 2022, or $92 a month. The average monthly payment for a married couple who are both receiving benefits will increase to $2,753, from $2,599.


But given price hikes for everything from gas to restaurant meals, some seniors may discover that the pay raise will fall short of increases in their cost of living — particularly when health care costs are taken into account.

Medicare Part B premiums, which cover doctor visits and outpatient services, are rising to $170.10 per month in 2022, up from $148.50 the year before, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

High earners who are subject to the Medicare Part B surcharge will pay $238.10 to $578.30 per month in 2022, up from 207.90 to $504.90 in 2021. The average premium for Medicare Part D, which covers prescription drugs, will be $33 per month in 2022, compared with $31.47 in 2021. Higher thresholds for workers. The amount of earnings subject to the Social Security payroll tax (6.2% for employees and 6.2% for employers) will rise about 3%, to $147,000, from $142,800 in 2021. Earnings above the $147,000 payroll cap aren’t subject to the Social Security tax.

67 for those born later —Social Security will deduct $1 for every $2 you earn above $19,560 in 2022, up from $18,960 the year before. In the year you reach your full retirement age, Social Security will deduct $1 for every $3 you earn above $51,960 in 2022, up from $50,520 in 2021. Once you reach your full retirement age, the earnings test disappears. Sandra Block is a senior editor at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. For more on this and similar money topics, visit Kiplinger.com.

Social Security beneficiaries who have a side gig or parttime job will be able to earn a little more before they’re subject to the earnings test. If you claim benefits before you reach your full retirement age — 66 for people born between 1943 and 1954 and gradually rising to

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Patients ask common questions about age-associated body changes Steven Perkins, D.O., Tribune Content Agency

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I am 56 and have noticed a few things are changing as I get older. I know as I age there will be more changes in my body and mind, but can you provide insights on what are some common things that I can expect? ANSWER: Throughout life, your body is constantly changing, and there are some surprising changes that can occur within your body and mind. As you age, some of those changes become more obvious, like wrinkles or forgetfulness. Learning what to expect as you get older can help alleviate some anxiety with aging.

You can help prevent bone breakdown to a substantial degree through weight-bearing exercise, such as walking, jogging, aerobics or resistance training, and through a healthy diet rich in calcium and vitamins. Also, speak to your primary health care provider about appropriate screening for your risk of osteoporosis. Though screening recommendations differ, most organizations suggest screening universally at 65 for women and 75 for men. However, other risk factors, such as premature menopause, fractures and hormone deficiency, can warrant earlier testing. Q: I LEAK URINE WHEN I LAUGH. WHAT CAN I DO?

Below are some common questions from patients about aging: Q: I USED TO BE 6 FEET TALL. NOW I AM 5 FEET, 11 INCHES TALL. WHY AM I SHRINKING? A: When looking at height loss, some changes are normal, and some are not. You have 24 bones, or vertebrae, in your spine with discs in between each vertebra. These discs begin to lose strength and thin as you age. This thinning process causes you to start to shrink. The bone remodeling process becomes more disordered after age 25. This causes you to break down your bones faster than you rebuild them.


A: Urinary incontinence, or urinary leakage, is a common problem, especially for older women. This issue can result from many causes, including pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, overactive bladder muscles, weakened pelvic muscles and nerve damage. The right treatment will require a proper diagnosis. Making the right diagnosis will include a full history of symptoms; a physical exam; urine testing; and possibly more advanced studies, such as urodynamic testing, or ultrasound and X-ray imaging. Treatments are helpful, and they include behavioral modifications, dietary changes, pelvic muscle strengthening, medications and surgery. Incontinence or voiding difficulties in men can be a sign of an enlarged

prostate or prostate cancer. Generally, I would recommend talking with your health care provider about these symptoms.

Just as staying physically fit is important as you age, so, too, is keeping your mind active. You’re encouraged to keep active physically, mentally and socially to the best of your ability.

Q: WHY AM I IN THE BATHROOM AGAIN? A: Nocturia, or getting up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, is a common problem for many people. About one-third of men over 30 make at least two trips to the bathroom after they’ve gone to bed. This is usually caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, which is an enlarged prostate. However, there are other causes, including medications; alcohol; caffeine; nighttime drinking and dietary habits; diabetes; heart conditions; and sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea. Treatment for nocturia requires a proper diagnosis by your health care provider. This visit will involve a history, an exam and simple laboratory testing to start. Treatments include behavioral modifications, dietary changes, medications or surgical intervention. Q: WHY DO I HAVE SO MANY WRINKLES? A: Wrinkles are a natural part of aging that can be caused by several factors. Some common factors can include stress and sun exposure — both of which break down the elastin fibers and collagen in skin. Exposure to air pollutants and tobacco smoke also can play a significant role. As you age, skin becomes less elastic, and the natural oil production in skin decreases, causing it to dry out. You start to lose the fat in the deeper layers of your skin, and the crevices and lines become more prominent. Wrinkles are also genetic. You can slow the effects on the skin by using sunscreen; wearing protective clothing, including hats; using moisturizers; eliminating smoking; and eating a diet full of natural antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables. If you are interested in treatment beyond these tips, talk to your health care provider or a dermatologist who can suggest more specific cosmetic options. Q: EVERY DAY I SEEM TO LOSE MY READING GLASSES. WHY CAN’T I REMEMBER THE SIMPLEST THINGS ANYMORE? A: Just like your joints, muscles and skin, your brain ages too. While it may seem like your glasses are misplacing themselves, your brain is simply having a harder time with recall. You may notice that you forget names or can’t remember a loved one’s birthday. You also may find it takes longer to learn new things. All of these are usually signs of normal aging.

Certainly, there are other causes of memory loss, including medication interactions; vitamin deficiencies; metabolic conditions, such as a thyroid disorder; depression; anxiety; or ongoing infections. If you or your loved ones have noticed that memory is a problem for you, you’re encouraged to talk with your health care provider to determine if it is normal aging or something more significant. Aging can be challenging, so continue to maintain regular touch points with your health care provider so you can address any concerns in a timely fashion. Being prepared for the future will make it easier for you to enjoy your upcoming birthdays. — Steven Perkins, D.O., Family Medicine, Mayo Clinic Health System, La Crosse, Wis. Mayo Clinic Q & A is an educational resource and doesn’t replace regular medical care. Email a question to MayoClinicQ&A@mayo.edu. For more information, visit www.mayoclinic.org.

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WHAT TO KNOW AT 40 AND BEYOND Kelly Bilodeau, Harvard Health Blog

DID THE PRINT ON THAT LABEL SUDDENLY SHRINK? IF YOU’RE IN YOUR 40S OR BEYOND, YOU MAY HAVE ASKED YOURSELF THAT QUESTION AS YOU STRUGGLED TO READ SOMETHING THAT YOU USED TO BE ABLE TO SEE CLEARLY WITH NO PROBLEM. Blame your aging eyes. Much like our joints, our eyes undergo age-related changes. While eye problems can affect people of any age, some conditions become more common after age 40.

GETTING OLDER? THREE COMMON EYE CONDITIONS PRESBYOPIA. The lens of the eye gets stiffer with age, which makes it harder to focus on objects nearby — hence your label-reading struggles. Many people find satisfaction with inexpensive reading glasses, but once you need them, it’s time for a midlife vision check-up. CATARACTS. Another common condition that can crop up as you age is cataracts, a clouding of the lens of your eye that can impair vision. Cataracts affect about half of people ages 65 to 74. Treatment typically involves


an outpatient surgical procedure to replaces the clouded lens. DRY EYE SYNDROME. This condition affects more than 15 million adults in the United States, and occurs due to a reduction in tear production. With less natural lubrication your eyes can become irritated, sticky, or you may feel a burning or scratchy sensation in the eye. Depending on severity, symptoms can be treated using eye drops that simulate your natural tears, a topical prescription drug, or a device to increase tear production.

ADDITIONAL EYE CONDITIONS THAT MAY OCCUR WITH AGE OR ILLNESS POSTERIOR VITREOUS DETACHMENT (PVD). Signs of this condition include visual disruptions, such as seeing light streaks, floaters, or a cobweb-like haze. These occur because the jelly-like substance called vitreous in the eye starts to liquefy and shrink, causing it tug on the retina. Call your medical team right away if you notice these signs. While most people experiencing PVD won’t need

treatment, in some cases the vitreous can completely detach from or tear the retina. A tear or detachment can cause vision loss, and requires a laser procedure or surgery to repair the problem, according to the American Society of Retina Specialists. GLAUCOMA. Another condition that becomes more common after age 40 is glaucoma. This painless, often symptomless condition damages the optic nerve that transmits information from your eyes to your brain. When not treated, glaucoma can lead to peripheral or central vision loss. Most often, glaucoma is treated with prescription eye drops designed to reduce the pressure in your eye. Less commonly, your doctor may recommend a laser procedure or surgery. AGE-RELATED MACULAR DEGENERATION (AMD). This condition causes degeneration of the retina, a thin layer of tissue at the back of the eye. Light-sensitive cells of the retina capture images and transmit them to the brain through the optic nerve. AMD affects a central part of the retina called the macula. It can lead to blurred or distorted vision, and possibly a blind spot in a person’s field of vision. Treatment, which may include medication or laser therapy, can often help prevent or at least delay vision loss. DIABETIC RETINOPATHY. This condition also causes damage to the retina. For people with diabetes, keeping blood sugar and blood pressure under control helps prevent diabetic retinopathy. If it is detected, your eye specialist will recommend treatment, usually eye injections or laser therapy.

EASY WAYS TO MAINTAIN EYE HEALTH Many eye conditions can be effectively treated to protect your vision if they are caught early. That’s why it’s wise to get regular eye exams, to spot potential problems and address them before they affect your eyesight. You can also take other steps to ensure that your eyes stay healthy, such as exercising, eating a healthy diet, quitting smoking, and protecting your eyes from ultraviolet rays by wearing sunglasses outside. Kelly Bilodeau is executive editor at Harvard Women’s Health Watch.

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Sleep well and reduce your risk of dementia and death Andrew E. Budson, M.D., Harvard Health Blog

In one blog post I discussed how beneficial sleep is for memory function. But sleep isn’t just good for your memory; it can actually reduce your risk of dementia — and death. Although it has been known for some time that individuals with dementia frequently have poor, fragmented sleep, two studies suggest that if you don’t get enough sleep, you are at increased risk for dementia.

SLEEP SIX TO EIGHT HOURS EACH NIGHT In the first study, researchers at Harvard Medical School studied more than 2,800 individuals ages 65 and older participating in the National Health and Aging Trends Study to examine the relationship between their selfreport of sleep characteristics in 2013 or 2014, and their


development of dementia and/or death five years later. Researchers found that individuals who slept fewer than five hours per night were twice as likely to develop dementia, and twice as likely to die, compared to those who slept six to eight hours per night. This study controlled for demographic characteristics including age, marital status, race, education, health conditions and body weight. In the second study, researchers in Europe (including France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Finland) examined data from almost 8,000 participants from a different study and found that consistently sleeping six hours or less at age 50, 60 and 70 was associated with a 30% increase in dementia risk

compared to a normal sleep duration of seven hours. The mean age of dementia diagnosis was 77 years. This study controlled for sociodemographic, behavioral, cardiometabolic, and mental health factors, although most participants were white, better educated, and healthier than the general population. In addition, approximately half of the participants had their sleep duration measured objectively using a wearable accelerometer — a device that tracked their sleep using body movements — which confirmed the questionnaire data.

and their connections actually shrink. This shrinking allows more space between the brain cells, so that beta amyloid and other substances that accumulate during the day can be flushed away. So the theory is, if you don’t get enough sleep, your brain won’t have enough time to drain away beta amyloid and other substances. These substances then continue to accumulate, day after day, until they cause dementia. The good news

Inadequate sleep in midlife may lead to dementia What’s new here is that inadequate sleep in midlife raises one’s risk of dementia. There are many reasons for poor sleep in middle age: shift work, insomnia, caretaking responsibilities, anxiety, and pressing deadlines, just to name a few. Although not all of these are controllable, some are. For example, if you’re currently only sleeping four to five hours because you’re up late working every night, you might want to change your habits, otherwise you risk developing dementia by the time you retire! This relationship between sleep in midlife and dementia in late life is important not only from a clinical perspective, but also from a scientific one. It had always been a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem when trying to interpret the relationship between poor sleep and dementia. Was it really poor sleep that caused dementia, or just early dementia symptoms causing poor sleep? By looking at individuals who were initially studied in midlife — some as young as age 50 — we now have greater certainty that poor sleep can increase one’s risk of developing dementia 25 years or more in the future. Flush your brain while you sleep Although it is not totally understood why inadequate sleep increases your dementia risk, one possible reason relates to the deposition of the Alzheimer’s protein, beta amyloid. Beta amyloid is the protein that clusters and clumps together to form Alzheimer’s plaques. No one is completely certain what its normal function is, although there is increasing evidence it is involved in the brain’s defense against invading microorganisms.

The good news is that you can reduce your risk of developing dementia by getting adequate sleep. One study from researchers in Toronto and Chicago examined people who were at increased genetic risk of developing Alzheimer’s. They found that better sleep not only reduced the likelihood of developing clinical Alzheimer’s disease, but it also reduced the development of tangle pathology in the brain — another substance that accumulates in Alzheimer’s disease. The bottom line

Sleep isn’t merely an annoying interruption between the important aspects of our waking lives. Just like eating right and exercising, sleep is absolutely essential for good brain health.

These two new studies show that the harmful effects of inadequate sleep can start at age 50 (if not earlier), and they can lead to early dementia and death. But the good news is that you can reduce your risk of dementia by simply giving yourself six to eight hours of sleep each night. Try to avoid sleeping pills, as they don’t give you the deep sleep you need. If you’re having trouble sleeping, nonpharmacological approaches are best. Andrew E. Budson, M.D., is a contributor to Harvard Health Publications.

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Q: I AM A 62-YEAR-OLD WOMAN WITH OSTEOPOROSIS. I SEE ADVERTISEMENTS FOR SEVERAL DIFFERENT TREATMENTS. HOW DOES ONE CHOOSE? A: First, make getting enough calcium and vitamin D a daily priority. Calcium rich foods include dairy products, sardines, salmon, green leafy vegetables and calcium-fortified foods and beverages. Your doctor may also prescribe a calcium supplement. You should have a blood test to be sure your vitamin D level is adequate. Even if it is, a daily vitamin D supplement of 1,000 IU per day is good insurance. In addition, you want to stay physically active, with daily scheduled exercise times. For example, do moderate-intensity aerobics 5 days per week and resistance training on the other two days. Limit alcohol consumption, and if you smoke, it’s time to quit.


Throughout our lives, our bones undergo constant turnover. Cells called osteoclasts break down and remove old bone, and then cells called osteoblasts lay down new bone. After menopause, the rate of bone breakdown speeds up. To slow bone breakdown, many doctors first turn to bisphosphonates. There are several bisphosphonates to choose from: •

• •

Pills, such as alendronate (Fosamax), ibandronate (Boniva), or risedronate (Actonel, Atelvia), taken daily, weekly, or monthly Intravenous (IV) infusion of ibandronate (Boniva), given once every three months IV infusion of zoledronic acid (Reclast), given once a year.

Your doctor will also consider where your bone loss is centered. Alendronate, risedronate, and ibandronate have all been shown effective for reducing spine fractures. For women with a history of hip or non-spinal fractures, alendronate or risedronate may be preferred.

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If you have gastrointestinal problems like reflux, or if you can’t sit or stand upright for the full 30 to 60 minutes required after taking an oral bisphosphonate, your doctor may recommend one of the intravenous bisphosphonates. Most women take these drugs for about five years. The good news is that the bone-protective benefits continue even after you stop taking bisphosphonates. For postmenopausal women who aren’t starting with a bisphosphonate, or those who’ve already been on one for five years, here are a few other options. Raloxifene (Evista) is an oral selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) that works by binding with estrogen receptors around the body to produce estrogen-like effects, one of which is to decrease bone turnover. Teriparatide (Forteo) and abaloparatide (Tymlos) are synthetic versions of parathyroid hormone that increases bone density and strength. Women on teriparatide or abaloparatide need to give themselves a daily injection. Denosumab (Prolia) is a monoclonal antibody given as a twice-yearly IV infusion. It prevents bonedissolving osteoclast cells from forming. Romosozumab (Evenity) is another monoclonal available for women with very severe osteoporosis. It acts by blocking sclerostin, a protein that inhibits bone formation. The medication is injected once a month using two separate prefilled syringes for a full dose.

Q: I AM IN MY 70S. I KEEP HEARING ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF A STRONG CORE. WHAT ARE SOME EASY EXERCISES I CAN DO? A: Your core is the stable part of your body that’s more than just your abdominal muscles, it also involves your hips, back and even your shoulders.


A strong core helps make everyday movements more efficient and safer — like whenever you reach, carry, walk, bend, or twist. Core strength is crucial for fall prevention. Our bodies constantly have to adapt not only to different surfaces, but different weighted loads. Adequate core stability and strength can prepare you to better react to these changes and keep you from losing your balance and stumbling. Some floor exercises like the plank and superman poses are great for engaging your core muscles. A plank pose is where you hold a push-up position — with straight arms or resting on your forearms. You might only be able to hold it for 15 seconds at first, but over time you will increase the duration of the plank. With superman, you lie face down with arms extended overhead, and you lift legs, shoulders, and arms off the floor simultaneously and hold for two to three seconds. Another type of core workout involves walk-andcarry exercises, also known as “loaded carries.” You hold weights, such as dumbbells or kettlebells, while walking. Carrying a heavy object while you walk engages much of your entire core musculature. Loaded carries can improve everyday movements like holding and carrying groceries, moving furniture, or rising out of bed. Here are three easy-to-do loaded carries to try. Farmer’s carry. Stand tall and hold either a dumbbell or kettlebell in each hand. (Begin with a moderate weight, like the amount you use to do biceps curls.) Keep your arms down at your sides. Engage your core muscles by taking in a deep belly breath and then blowing it out while you tighten your abs. Walk for a minute. (You mimic a farmer carrying pails of milk, hence the name.) Continue to breathe throughout the carry, maintain proper posture, and try to keep the tension in your abs as you move. Rest for 30 seconds, and repeat until you’ve completed two or three sets.

Cross-body carry. This is performed like the farmer’s carry, except you keep one arm straight overhead with the other hand down at your side as you walk. After you have completed your walk, rest for 30 seconds, switch hand positions, and repeat. This completes one set. Do two or three sets. Suitcase carry. This is also done like the farmer’s carry, except you hold a weight in only one hand while your other hand is free. After you have completed your walk, rest for 30 seconds, switch the weight to the other hand, and repeat the walk to finish one set. Do two or three sets. Howard LeWine, M.D., is an internist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. For additional consumer health information, please visit www.health.harvard.edu.

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it comes to brain food? Unsaturated fats (considered healthier fats) may help protect and preserve your memory. Diets that contain plenty of healthy, unsaturated fats have been linked to lower rates of dementia and mild cognitive impairment.

There are two main types of unsaturated fats: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat. The richest sources of unsaturated fats are avocados, nuts, seeds and vegetable oils. Examples of foods rich in monounsaturated fats include olives, olive oil and avocados. Foods high in polyunsaturated fats include walnuts, flax seeds and sunflower seeds. These foods support brain growth and development. Vegetable oils, nuts and seeds, although they’re considered brain food, should be consumed in moderation because they’re high in calories. OMEGA-3S Omega-3 fatty acids (omega-3 fats) are

a type of polyunsaturated fat. They’re associated with lowering blood pressure, raising HDL (“good”) cholesterol, and reducing the risk of some neurological disorders.

The following nutrients have been linked with better brain health. They come from food choices that provide us with the energy needed to focus and learn while helping to protect against brain diseases. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that has been linked to improved memory and cognitive performance. Good sources include green, leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, and mustard and turnip greens, as well as asparagus, almonds and sunflower seeds. Vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and folate are linked with lower homocysteine levels, which are associated with a lower risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. Legumes (beans, peas and lentils), nuts, whole wheat, quinoa, brown and wild rice, and millet are good sources of these B vitamins. Include plenty of plant foods and fish and limit your intake of saturated and trans fats and added sugars, to support your brain’s abilities to remember, concentrate, make decisions and engage in functions for daily living. Environmental Nutrition is the award-winning independent newsletter written by nutrition experts dedicated to providing readers up-to-date, accurate information about health and nutrition in clear, concise English. For more information, visit www.environmentalnutrition.com.

Omega-3s also are associated with better memory. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in cold-water fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, lake trout, herring and sardines. Plant-based omega-3 sources, including walnuts, flaxseed and flaxseed oil, and chia seeds, make great brain food. FRUITS AND VEGETABLES You can support optimum

cognitive function and improve the health of your blood vessels with the help of nutrient-dense, antioxidantrich vegetables and fruits. Dietary patterns that contain plenty of whole or minimally processed fruits and vegetables are linked with a lower stroke risk.





IF THERE EXISTED A CONDITION THAT WAS IN THE TOP FIVE CAUSES OF DEATH AND A LEADING CAUSE OF DISABILITY IN THE U.S., AFFECTED SOMEONE IN THE U.S. EVERY 40 SECONDS, TOTALING MORE THAN 795,000 PEOPLE EACH YEAR, AND THERE WAS SOMETHING YOU COULD DO TO SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE YOUR RISK OF IT HAPPENING TO YOU, YOU’D DO IT WOULDN’T YOU? There is such a condition, and that condition is stroke. Studies show that you can reduce your stroke risk by 80% by eating a healthful diet and making healthy lifestyle changes. The risk for stroke increases with age, the incidence doubling with each decade after the age of 45 years and over 70% of all strokes occur above the age of 65. Making healthy choices becomes even more important with each year that passes.


THE RESEARCH In the U.S. Health Professionals study and the Nurses’ Health Study, poor lifestyle choices accounted for more than half of all strokes. Study participants who adhered to the five pillars of stroke prevention — did not smoke, had a body mass index of less than 25, took part in at least 30 minutes a day of moderate activity, consumed alcohol in moderation (less than 9 drinks a week for women or less than 14 for men), and scored within the top 40% of a healthy diet score — had an 80% reduction of stroke compared with participants who followed none of those healthy diet and lifestyle measures. A study out of Sweden, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, found a similar benefit. An analysis of 13 studies found following a Mediterranean-style diet alone, characterized by high amounts of olive oil, nuts, fruits, vegetables and cereal; moderate amounts of fish and poultry; low consumption of dairy products, red and processed meat, and sweets; and consuming wine in moderation was associated with a 30 percent reduced risk of having a stroke.

HOW DIET HELPS PREVENT STROKE Diet can reduce the risk of stroke in a variety of ways, including helping to lower blood pressure, lowering blood cholesterol and triglycerides (compounds that may clog arteries), preventing blood clots from forming, reducing inflammation, helping to regulate blood sugar, increasing the “good” bacteria in the colon, and aiding in weight management. BOTTOM LINE

reduce your risk and protect your health against other disease conditions as well. According to the American Stroke Association, one in four stroke survivors will have a second stroke. Because the risk of having a second stroke is high, following a healthy diet and lifestyle is the best approach for protecting your future health. Environmental Nutrition is the award-winning independent newsletter written by nutrition experts dedicated to providing readers up-to-date, accurate information about health and nutrition in clear, concise English. For more information, visit www.environmentalnutrition.com.

Diet is a critical part of stroke prevention, regardless of age. Pairing a healthy and balanced diet with the four other pillars of stroke prevention can significantly

Alaska Community Development Corporation Providing healthy, safe and energy efficient housing for Alaskans

Housing Accessibility Needs?


laska Community Development Corporation can help with your housing accessibility needs in the Municipality of Anchorage, Mat-Su Borough, Kenai Pennisula & Fairbanks * Access ramps and lifts * Bathroom modifications * No cost to qualified households (55 and over) * The help you need to live in your own home Visit our website, www.alaskacdc.org to download an application. Or, call or stop by our office and we will gladly answer any questions. Funding by: Alaska Housing Finance Corporation

Anchorage 1 Person—$73,010 2 Person—$83,440 3 Person—$93,870 4 Person—$104,300 5 Person—$112,644 6 Person—$120,988 (Call for guidelines for other service areas)

1517 Industrial Way #8 Palmer, AK 99645 Phone: 907-746-5680 Fax: 907-746-5681 www.alaskacdc.org NMLS#358478



EAT RIGHT FOR HEALTHY AGING Eating right can help you age gracefully and healthfully — and sometimes all it takes to make smarter diet choices are just tiny tweaks. Consider these healthyaging helpers:

oranges, grapes, pears, watermelon — whatever you like best!


The risk for osteoporosis — a condition characterized by brittle bones — increases with age, but getting enough calcium (1,200 mg per day is the recommended amount for people over 50) can help reduce your risk. Get close to this goal before lunchtime by including a cup of calcium-fortified orange juice at breakfast and having a cup of low-fat yogurt for a mid-morning snack.

As you age, your metabolism slows, and so your calorie needs decrease. Since fat packs almost twice as many calories as carbs or protein, gram for gram, aiming to eat a lower-fat diet can be a smart move. But keep in mind that many “low-fat” or “fat-free” products — even healthy ones like yogurt — often contain added sugars, which bump up the calorie content. Read labels. HAVE A TUNA SANDWICH. Dietary guidelines suggest eating fish — particularly omega-3-rich types like tuna and salmon — twice a week for heart health. What’s more, some research shows that people who consume more omega-3 fatty acids from fish have a reduced risk of advanced agerelated macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in people over 50. Canned light tuna is an easy option. Mix it with low-fat mayo or a little Greek yogurt and enjoy with whole-grain bread or crackers, or simply plop it on top of a green salad and dress it up with some heart-healthy vinaigrette.


PICK AN AGE-APPROPRIATE MULTIVITAMIN. There’s a legitimate reason for age-specific vitaminmineral formulas: our nutrient needs change with age. For instance, after menopause, women need only 8 mg of iron each day (same as what men need) — that’s less than half of the recommended intake of the mineral for women of childbearing age. Too much iron (a concern if you’re taking the wrong supplement) can be harmful, particularly for people who have hemochromatosis, a genetic condition that causes a buildup of iron in the body’s organs. If you’re taking a multivitamin that includes iron, check to see that it doesn’t exceed your recommended 8 mg. WRITE WHAT YOU BITE.

ADD AN APPLE, AND A GLASS OF WATER, TO YOUR MEAL. Unfortunately, constipation often becomes more common as you age — but filling up on fiber and fluids can help improve digestion. Water and fiber are two main components of fresh fruits (which provide diseasefighting phytonutrients too). Whenever possible, add a side of fruit, and a cup of water, to your meal. To get the best variety of nutrients, go for a colorful mix: berries,


If middle-aged spread seems to be creeping on, try writing down what you eat in a food journal. Studies show that people tend to consistently underestimate what they eat. Keeping track can give you a more accurate idea of how many calories you’re consuming, and also help you see where you might cut back. EatingWell is a magazine and website devoted to healthy eating as a way of life. Online at www.eatingwell.com.

Gain Independence and Get Connected ATLA is the only statewide non-profit serving Alaskans of any age to make informed decisions about assistive technology that best meets their needs. The following two programs provide distance communication equipment and services for those that qualify.

Alaska Can Connect Free Program for Alaskans who are Low-Income + Significant Hearing and Vision Loss






& More

Alaska Relay Free Program for Alaskans who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, or Speech Disabled






& More

Alaska Telecommunications Relay Service is funded by a surcharge established by the Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA). © 2022 Alaska Relay. All rights reserved.

Learn More www.atlaak.org (907) 563 - 2599