In the Western world, people are living longer, healthier lives than ever before. As everyone ages, there is a desire to stay mobile, and in particular continue to drive in order to maintain their lifestyles. Shops and services are becoming dispersed, moving away from villages and towns to larger urban areas. Connections to lifelong family and friends need to be maintained often through long distance travel. It’s therefore no surprise that there has been a huge increase in older driving licence holders, and in the number of miles driven by the over-70s.
In 1975, UK figures showed that 15% of people aged over 70 held a driving licence; in 2014, this figure was 62%. Overall, fewer women now hold licences than men -– but there has been a substantial increase in female licence holders in the older age bracket, from 4% in 1975-6 to 47% in 2014. Correspondingly, 32% of men held a licence in 1975, compared to 80% in 2014. Since 1995, the increase in miles driven has fallen across all age groups by 8%, however for those aged 60-69 and those aged over 70, miles driven have increased by 37% and 77% respectively.
Driving has become both such a necessity and a desire that giving it up has been linked to loneliness and isolation, an increase in depression and health-related problems. One US study even found that non-drivers were four to six times more likely to die within three years than drivers within a three-year period.
Washington state Governor Jay Inslee has proclaimed a state of emergency for 20 counties in response to multiple wildfires in Eastern Washington threatening homes, businesses, public infrastructure and natural resources. Inslee toured the Spokane-area fires this morning.
The proclamation covers Adams, Asotin, Benton, Chelan, Columbia, Douglas, Ferry, Franklin, Garfield, Grant, Kittitas, Klickitat, Lincoln, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens, Yakima, Walla Walla and Whitman counties.
Here are some tips from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on how to protect your and your family’s health during wildfire season with links to to additional resources.
From the CDC:
More and more people make their homes in areas that are prone to wildfires. You can take steps to be ready for a wildfire and prepare your home and landscaping to reduce your risk.
Learn how to protect yourself and your family from a wildfire, evacuate safely during a wildfire, and how to stay healthy when you return home.
By Rachel Bluth
Kaiser Health News
Assisted living residents who abuse other residents or staff are likely to have dementia or severe mental illness, afflictions that pose unappreciated risks in facilities occupied by vulnerable elderly adults, a new study reported.
That abuse can include physical, verbal and sexual incidents, according to a study published online last month in the Journal of Applied Gerontology. Other studies have examined resident aggression in nursing homes, but the authors said few have explored the problem in assisted living.
“Resident aggression and abuse in assisted living facilities is prevalent and warrants greater attention from policy makers, researchers and long-term care providers,” the researchers said. [Read more…]
By Caroline Wright/TheConversation.com
Senior Lecturer in Horticulture
Nottingham Trent University, United Kingdom
We’ve all been there, you buy some potatoes, pop them in the cupboard, and then promptly forget about them. Then the next time you open up the cupboard, you discover said potatoes have started sprouting and now resemble an alien lifeform.
So what do you do? Do you cut off the sprouts and bring them to the boil, or chuck them in the bin deeming them inedible?
You may have heard horror stories of people being poisoned by sprouting potatoes, but is there actually any truth to any of these tales? To answer this question, first we need to know a little bit about what a potato actually is in terms of its botanical structure. [Read more…]
From the US Food and Drug Administration
Whatever your complexion, it’s important to use products that will help your skin and not damage it. But as you wade through the beauty aisles, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cautions that you should avoid skin creams, beauty and antiseptic soaps, and lotions that contain mercury.
How will you know if mercury’s in the cosmetic, especially one that’s marketed as “anti-aging” or “skin lightening”? Check the label. If the words “mercurous chloride,” “calomel,” “mercuric,” “mercurio,” or “mercury” are listed on the label, mercury’s in it—and you should stop using the product immediately.
The products are usually marketed as skin lighteners and anti-aging treatments that remove age spots, freckles, blemishes, and wrinkles. Adolescents may use these products as acne treatments. [Read more…]
Lower death rates in high-income comparison countries suggest that progress is possible
From the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
About 90 people die each day from motor vehicle crashes in the United States, resulting in the highest death rate among 19 high-income comparison countries.
The country has made progress in road safety, reducing crash deaths by 31 percent from 2000 to 2013.
But other high-income countries reduced crash deaths even further—by an average of 56 percent during the same period, according to the latest Vital Signs report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Compared with other high-income countries, the US had the:
- most motor vehicle crash deaths per 100,000 population and per 10,000 registered vehicles;
- second highest percentage of deaths involving alcohol (31 percent); and
- third lowest front seat belt use (87 percent).
If the U.S. had the same motor vehicle crash death rate as Belgium—the country with the second highest death rate after the U.S.—about 12,000 fewer lives would have been lost and an estimated $140 million in direct medical costs would have been averted in 2013.
And if the U.S. had the same rate as Sweden—the country with the lowest crash death rate—about 24,000 fewer lives would have been lost and an estimated $281 million in direct medical costs would have been averted in 2013. [Read more…]