Eye health Feed

Dietary Needs Change for People Over 50: Here Are Some Tips

Food2Turning 50 is a milestone for many people. The half-century mark comes with new rules for medical tests and often brings a couple of health-related signals indicating that it’s for some dietary changes. Even if you have packed away a healthy 50 years or more, our nutritional needs change over time. Gradual dietary tweaks may be wise in order to ensure your golden years are, well, golden. To help you determine what nutrition your body needs as you age, it can be helpful to schedule a consultation with a registered dietician. To give AgingCare readers a head start, I asked Jeanna Freeman, RDN, to provide us with some rules of thumb for senior nutrition. As the clinical dietician at Blakeford, an elder care, and senior living provider in Nashville, Tennessee, Freeman works with elders of all ages and abilities to help them improve their health through smart eating.

Read full article on AgingCare about how our dietary needs change as we age:

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

An amazing book of stories that will touch your heart and encourage you, especially if you are a caregiver. Carol  Bradley Bursack also has an excellent website devoted to the elderly and their caregivers. - Carol Heilman


Making Life More Fulfilling for Older Adults with Low Vision

LowVisionMany people would consider losing their sight one of the worst potential losses that they could encounter. While most of us will not suffer from complete blindness, millions currently suffer from some form of visual impairment, with numbers growing rapidly as we age. According to the National Eye Institute (NEI), older adults represent the majority of the visually impaired population, with visual impairment included among the 10 most prevalent causes of disability in the U.S.

Read full article on Agingcare about making life easier for those with low vision:    

Support a caregiver or jump start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders e-mail Carol


Want Optimum Health? Changing Dietary Needs for People Over 50

Food2Turning 50 is a milestone for many people. The half-century mark comes with new rules for medical tests and often brings a couple of health-related signals indicating that it’s for some dietary changes. Even if you have packed away a healthy 50 years or more, our nutritional needs change over time. Gradual dietary tweaks may be wise in order to ensure your golden years are, well, golden.

Read full article on Agingcare about how to change your diet through the decades:

Support a caregiver or jump start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders e-mail Carol


Heart and Brain Health Closely Related

BerriesHCFor years the Alzheimer's Association has made good use of the catch phrase "what's good for the heart is good for the brain." As additional research is conducted in both areas, that simple phrase is proving to be solid thinking.The startling admission of notable researchers who attended the 2014 Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Copenhagen that a healthy lifestyle is, at this point, the best hope that we have to prevent or delay Alzheimer's symptoms underscores this concept. Not surprisingly, the lifestyle recommended for preventing Alzheimer’s disease is also the lifestyle that is recommended for staving off heart attacks and stroke. 

Read more on HealthCentral about maintaining heart health to maintain a healthy brain:

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Stop Eye Damage: Download NEHEP Tip Sheet for Diabetic Eye Care

OlderAdultEyesThe National Eye Health Education Program (NEHEP) is offering informative tip sheets for people with diabetes that may help them keep their sight. These tip sheets focus on different needs for different ethnic groups. Read below and download (you can cut and paste the link) for the tip sheet that works for you.  - Carol

Diabetes has become an epidemic in the United States. In the past 30 years, diagnosed cases of diabetes have increased more than 30 percent. If diabetes is not managed, it can lead to serious complications, including vision loss and blindness. In fact, diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults ages 20 to 74 years old.

All people with diabetes are at risk of losing vision from diabetic eye disease. However, 95 percent of severe vision loss can be prevented through early detection, timely treatment, and appropriate follow-up.

The National Eye Health Education Program (NEHEP), of the National Eye Institute (NEI), recently launched a tip sheets series, which includes ideas to engage African Americans, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Hispanics/Latinos, and older adults in learning more about diabetic eye disease.

Each tip sheet contains information on diabetic retinopathy as well as suggested educational resources that can be used to educate people about how to protect their vision by having a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year and keeping their health on TRACK. That means: Take your medications as prescribed by your doctor; Reach and maintain a healthy weight; Add more physical activity to your daily routine; Control your ABC’s—A1C, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels; and Kick the smoking habit.

To download the tip sheet series and find other diabetic eye disease resources from NEHEP visit

www.nei.nih.gov/nehep/programs/diabeticeyedisease/educational


Glaucoma Awareness Month: You Could Have Glaucoma and Not Know It

GlaucomaBelow is an important article from the NIH about your site or your loved one's site. This is vital information for all of us, but especially those with a family history of the disease. - Carol

As you plan for a healthier 2016, why not add this sight-saving exercise to your list of resolutions: Get a comprehensive dilated eye exam. It’s the only way to find out for sure whether you have glaucoma, one of the leading causes of blindness in America. 


An eye disease that can rob you of your vision, glaucoma often comes with no early warning. No pain. No discomfort. No blurry vision. Nearly 3 million people have glaucoma, yet half don’t know they have it.

Glaucoma starts with a buildup of fluid that increases the pressure in your eye and can cause damage to the optic nerve, the bundle of nerve fibers that transfers visual images to your brain. Glaucoma first affects your peripheral, or side, vision. As the disease advances, more noticeable vision loss will occur, and if not controlled, the disease can lead to permanent vision loss and blindness.

You can take action to protect yourself from glaucoma.

“If glaucoma is detected in its early stages, pressure can be
controlled through medication or surgery, and the progression
of the disease can be delayed,” says Dr. Paul Sieving, director
of the National Eye Institute (NEI). “Early detection by having a
comprehensive dilated eye exam every one to two years is key
to protecting vision, especially if you are at higher risk.”

Are you at higher risk for glaucoma? You could be if you:

  • Are African American and age 40 or older
  • Are over age 60, especially if you are Hispanic/Latino
  • Have a family history of the disease

Everyone at higher risk should get a comprehensive dilated eye exam, which is different from the basic eye exam for glasses. A comprehensive dilated eye exam is a procedure in which an eye care professional places drops in your eyes to widen the pupil and looks at the optic nerve for signs of the disease.

This year, make a resolution for healthier vision. Make sure your eyes are healthy and you are seeing your best in 2016. Schedule a comprehensive dilated eye exam and encourage your friends and loved ones to do the same. 

To learn more about glaucoma, view this animated video. For tips on finding an eye care professional and for information on financial assistance, visit www.nei.nih.gov/glaucoma or call NEI at 301–496–5248.

The National Eye Institute (NEI) leads the federal government’s research on the visual system and eye diseases. NEI supports basic and clinical science programs to develop sight-saving treatments and address the special needs of people with vision loss. For more information, visit www.nei.nih.gov.


Brain Health Important to Majority of Americans

Break_eat_picnic_218633A recent AARP survey discovered that 93% of Americans find maintaining brain health to be very important, however very few know the best ways to make this happen. When asked how to maintain brain health, results showed that many of the methods that are scientifically proven to improve or maintain brain health ranked as low priority areas for most respondents. 

Read more on HealthCentral about the importance of brain health:

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“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer


Aging Eyes Play Role In Many Diseases According To Study

BridgeToCloudMany of us become aware of vision changes in our early to mid-40s, when we find, as my mother used to say, that “the print in the newspaper keeps getting smaller.” What’s happening, of course, is presbyopia. As the eye ages, the lens of the eye gradually loses its ability to focus on close objects, thus the prevalence of reading glasses in our mid-years. 

Read more on HealthCentral about aging eyes and disease:

Contact Lenses, Glasses and Accessories: 

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Managing Diabetes Helps Prevent Cognitive Decline

BlueberriesHugeAn article on the UCSF website reports on a 9-year long study by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and the San Francisco VA Medical Center. The Health, Aging, and Body Composition (Health ABC) Study enrolled 3,069 adults over 70 at two community clinics in Memphis, TN and Pittsburgh, PA beginning in 1997. All the patients provided periodic blood samples and took regular cognitive tests over time. 

Continue reading about how managing diabetes helps reduce cognitive decline:

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Spouse Continues Unhealthy Lifestyle Even After Diabetes Diagnosis

Dear Carol: My husband has Type 2 diabetes and refuses to take care of himself. He’s overweight and is haphazard about taking his medications. He eats what he wants without a thought toward his disease. I try to cook healthy meals aimed at his needs but he complains and wants his old favorites. I try to get him to go for walks so that he gets some exercise but he’s always got an excuse. 

Read more on Inforum about unhealthy lifestyles marriage:

Find local resources for walk-in tubs:

Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer