Recommended Reading and Resources: Cognitive Decline

At Healthassist, we try to be as pro-active as possible to prevent crises, so we pay close attention to vision and hearing issues.

As this article explains, a growing body of evidence suggests that when older people’s brains must work harder to see, declines in language, memory, attention, and more can occur. Similarly, this article discusses hearing loss and its relationship to cognitive decline.

Another thing we pay close attention to with our older adult clients is alcohol intake. We worry about changes in cognition, falls, sleep disturbances, gastrointestinal issues and, of course, alcohol’s impact on an individual’s cardiac status.

This article summarizes research on how alcohol intake can increase the risk of a cardiac arrhythmia called atrial fibrillation in people who have a history of the condition (something we see more and more of).

Recommended Reading and Resources: Covid among children

There is still so much we don’t know about COVID-19. Doctors are concerned about a growing number of long-haul covid cases among children, as explained in this article.

Rules designed to enforce transparency in hospital pricing were passed but many health care systems are not following them, yet! Learn more here.

I just loved this article: “There Are Two Kinds of Happy People.

“Some of us strive for a virtuous life. Others strive for a pleasant one. We could all use a better balance.”

Which type are you?

Recommended Reading and Resources: Bills

When we help clients enroll in insurance products, our overarching goal is for them to fully understand the requirements of their health insurance products so that they can follow the rules set out in their contractual relationship with their insurer. Still, bills sometimes arrive that are questionable and that require investigation and troubleshooting. This service, which uses crowdsourced investigation by Kaiser Health News and NPR, dissects and explains medical bills, shedding light on U.S. health care prices so that patients can be more active in managing costs.

Hereis a fabulous summary of resources available to assist older adults in becoming more technologically savvy.

I loved this piece about “deprescribing” as a means of reducing prescription overload.

Recommended Listening and Reading

For those of us who are health care professionals, it’s challenging to understand — let alone influence — those who remain vaccine hesitant. I sometimes wonder if it’s worth the effort.

This podcast, featuring Dr. Daniel Lewis of Greenville, Tennessee, with two of his patients, provided great examples of how to address concerns, giving me optimism and energy to continue to try!

On the same topic, this interactive article is based on the principles of motivational interviewing, a research-backed approach for encouraging people to get vaccinated. It’s used by health care professionals to harness people’s innate drive for change.

Recommended Reading: Unwinding Anxiety

I am a huge fan of Ezra Klein and his podcasts. In this recent one, “That Anxiety You’re Feeling? It’s a Habit You Can Unlearn,” he interviews Jud Brewer, an associate professor of psychiatry at Brown University and the Director of Research and Innovation at the Mindfulness Center. His new book, “Unwinding Anxiety: New Science Shows How to Break the Cycles of Worry and Fear to Heal Your Mind,” applies that research to anxiety, which he understands as a kind of addiction. As with any addiction, you must understand its rewards in order to begin addressing it.