Friday, 30 April 2010

And after all of the scary news ........

A US Study has found that people who keep themselves fit and healthy are still interested in sex in their eighth decade.
But their unfit counterparts give up on lovemaking up to 20 years earlier. And good health means people are almost twice as likely to be interested in sex as those who are ill or in poor health.
The study examining the sex lives of more than 6,000 people, found that those who are healthy are also likely to have regular sex — once or more a week — and report better quality lovemaking.
Researchers Stacy Tessler Lindau and Natalia Gavrilova, from the University of Chicago, looked at data from one group of men and women aged 25 to 74 and another group aged 57 to 85.
Volunteers were interviewed and filled in questionnaires on their marital status and sex lives. They also rated their health on a scale between poor and excellent.
Overall, it seems men are more interested in sex and report a good sex life than women.
The difference between the genders was most noticeable among the 75 to 85 age group, where 39 percent of men compared with 17 percent of women were sexually active.
Seventy-one percent of men who were sexually active at this age reported a good sex life compared with 51 percent of women.
Forty-one percent of men were interested in sex compared with 11 per cent of women.
The study, published online in the British Medical Journal, also revealed how many years of active sex people have left at different ages.
Aged-30 men can expect a sexually active life for an average of another 35 years while women can expect 31 more years of sex.
Being married or having a partner makes this gender difference less obvious, the research found.
The findings were published on the same day researchers from Exeter and East Anglia Universities in Great Britain reveal that those who live near a green space are more likely to be healthier than those who don’t — because they take more exercise.
So people with homes near parks could find they enjoy an active sex life, even in their twilight years. But maybe not a good idea to combine the two - you might get arrested!

Thursday, 29 April 2010

As if we didn't have enough to worry about - Part 2!

Yesterday I posted about the link between cancer and alcohol so surprise, surprise, today we get a warning about not taking fizzy drinks either! 

The study, published in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal (FASEB), shows that phospates - also added to processed meats, cakes and breads - can make the skin and muscles wither, and can also damage the heart and kidneys.
Scientists made their discovery after examining the effects of high phosphate levels in three groups of mice. Those fed a high-phosphate diet lived 8 to 15 weeks, compared to those with substantially less amounts in their bodies which lived up to 20 weeks.
‘Humans need a healthy diet and keeping the balance of phosphate in the diet may be important for a healthy life and longevity,' says Mohammed Razzaque, from the Department of Medicine, Infection and Immunity at the Harvard School of Medicine. ‘Avoid phosphate toxity and enjoy a healthy life.'
Gerald Weissmann, of the research journal FASEB agrees. ‘Soda is the caffeine delivery vehicle of choice for millions of people worldwide, but comes with phosphorous as a passenger.
‘The research suggests that our phosphorous balance influenced the ageing process, so don't tip it.'

Guess its back to the water then. Still of course.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

As if we didn't have enough to worry about!

Researchers have found that drinking damages part of the cells that are linked to premature ageing and cancer.
They discovered that it causes stress and inflammation to telomeres – the ends of DNA strands that stop them unravelling much like the ends of shoelaces.
As people age, telomere length shortens progressively and eventually they are so damaged the cell dies.
The study found alcohol accelerates this process.
Since telomere shortening is thought to also increase cancer risk, the researchers speculated that those with shorter telomeres due to heavy alcohol consumption would have an increased risk of cancer.
Andrea Baccarelli, the lead researcher at the University of Milan in Italy, said: "Heavy alcohol users tend to look haggard, and it is commonly thought heavy drinking leads to premature ageing and earlier onset of diseases of ageing."
The researchers looked at more than 250 volunteers some of whom drank more than four alcoholic drinks per day.
They were similar in age and other factors that might affect telomere length, such as diet, physical exercise, work-related stress and environmental exposures.
Results showed that telomere length was dramatically shortened in those who consumed heavy amounts of alcohol. In some telomere length was nearly half as long as telomere length in the non-abusers.
Results of the study were presented at the American Association for Cancer Research's annual conference. 

Its all enough to turn you to drink isn't it!

Friday, 23 April 2010

50+ - the latest statistics

Saga have commissioned a new report on the over 50's which has produced some fascinating stats.

  • ONE in eight of the people who turn 50 this year will live to the grand old age of 100
  • One in seven of the runners in this weekend’s London Marathon will be aged 50 or older and  46 per cent say they are taking more exercise than they have ever done before.
  • Three-quarters of the age group say they are more concerned about being healthy than they have ever been. By comparison with their parents’ generation, today’s over-50s are less than half as likely to smoke cigarettes – 40 per cent in the mid Seventies, down to 15 per cent now.  
  • They are also four times more likely to take health supplements and vitamins and six times more likely to be on a low-fat or low-cholesterol diet. One in five 60-year-olds say they have climbed a mountain in their 50s, and almost a quarter, or 23 per cent, have run or jogged at least a mile in their 50s. 
  • One in six 70-year-olds claims to have run more than a mile at some point during their 60s. Six in 10 over-50s have tried “brain training” computer games and one in eight men over 50 claim to have taken Viagra in the past five years. 

Wednesday, 21 April 2010


This is the title of a scary article in the Daily Express which might be sensational but does address the real fears of many older people. Read it and see what you think.

Age Uk now launched

Age UK has finally launched itself this month with a number of high profile ads. Here is one of the first featuring Brain Cox.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Older people 'ignored by society'

Nearly eight out of 10 over-60s think older people are ignored by society, according to a new survey.
Age UK, the new charity which combines Age Concern and Help the Aged, asked more than 1,000 people aged 60 plus how they thought older people were treated.
Some 78% said "ignored" and 80% said older people's voices were not heard as much as younger people's.
Almost two-thirds (64%) said they believed working people had a greater voice than those who were retired.
The survey was released as Age UK launches a new television campaign which starts on Monday during the ITV1 soap Emmerdale. The adverts feature the faces of actors Brian Cox, Sir Ian McKellen and Eleanor Bron, who are all over 60, but the voices of different older people from around the UK.
The survey also found 95% of those questioned thought getting older should be a time of enjoyment and celebration and Age UK wants older people from across the country to tell their inspiring stories.
Michelle Mitchell, Age UK's charity director, said: "As a group within society, people in later life often feel ignored and this research clearly demonstrates how this is a reality experienced by the majority. Ageing can present many challenges, particularly for those experiencing disadvantage. Age UK campaigns and provides services and solutions to help improve later life.
"However, we believe an ageing society presents tremendous opportunities that should rightly be celebrated and it is heartening to see that this is a belief held by such a high percentage of those polled. The search to find these inspirational stories is just one way to celebrate later life and is a first step in ensuring that the voices of people in later life are heard loud and clear."
The campaign is been fronted by Diana Moran, best known as television fitness expert The Green Goddess.
:: YouGov questioned 1,076 adults aged 60 and above online between April 9 and 12. The figures were weighted and are representative of all 60 plus adults in Britain.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

How often do we see our adult children?

Not very much according to some recent research commissioned by live-in care agency Christies Care. The extent to which the nation’s ageing population feel alone and largely ignored emerged in a survey of 3,000 people over the age of 40.

Four in ten adults admit that they do not see their parents as much as they should and in addition one in eight Brits have gone a whole year or more without seeing their parents.

Forty-three per cent of people claimed they live too far away from their parents, and a third blamed their busy lifestyles from making more regular contact.

Three in 10 fear their parents are becoming isolated due to illness, death of a partner or low income and it emerged grandparents spend nearly six hours a day completely alone. 
Just 12% of ageing parents get to see their sons, daughters and grandchildren once every four months.

However, in their time of need 85% polled would be prepared to look after their parents if and when they needed help and two thirds would even move house to be closer to them.

The study also found that eight in ten people said living at home would be their parent’s preferred choice in old age, rather than residential or nursing homes.

But only half knew that a service for care assistants to live-in at home providing round the clock help for elderly or disabled people exists.

A staggering 73% said their parents had no plans to pay for any care they would need.

Monday, 12 April 2010

THE over-50s are now Britain's most regular drinkers

THE over-50s are now Britain's most regular drinkers, a new study has revealed.
Four in 10 people of all ages admit to drinking alcohol a few times a week.
But despite the stereotype of binge-drinking 20-somethings, the most frequent drinkers are the over-50s, according toOpinium Research.About 44 per cent of those over 50 like a tipple a few times a week, compared to less than a third of those in their 20s.
Men are more prolific drinkers than women and the most boozy region is the north-west of England with 45 per cent drinking a few times a week.


Tuesday, 6 April 2010

So am I old or what?

Last year the Dept of Work and Pensions produced a report bringing together a number of surveys which basically says that most people think that old age starts at 63 with youth stopping at 45. An exception to this was people in their 80's who thought that old age started at 67. Well - I was 67 on bank holiday Monday. I don't feel any older. I don't feel old. Watching 69 year old Ken Clarke making most of his younger panellists look inexperienced on last week's Question Time also emphasised yet again just how irrelevant chronological age is. Other then when people take it seriously as sadly some employers still do. In our book and whenever I give talks on this issue I always mention Sydney Prior from B&Q who I am glad to report is still alive and working as a Meeter and Greeter now at the age of 95.
"Working with people of all ages gives youngsters the chance to learn a little from an old timer like myself, and they help to keep me young at heart," he explained. "I have no plans to retire any time soon."

   The world's Oldest Meeter-Greeter described his secret to staying young as plenty of socialising, lunches out and nights at the theatre.

   "I started at B&Q Wimbledon when I was 76 years of age, I'm now 95 and I'm in my twentieth year. When I started I thought I might be here 1 year or 2 at the most and here I am."

   Before joining B&Q he'd been a sales manager, a green grocer and served in the British army.

   The oldest meeter-greeter in the world started working when he was 14 and has never been without a job since.

   "When I was 76 and first started the job the manager took me on solely because he had a special job he wanted done and he couldn't get the youngsters to do it because they found it boring. I stuck it for three and half years before they transferred me to garden."

   After working for 81 years, Syd's taking it easy - he now only works one day a week. 

So - I think I have a good few years left!