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Items of Interest

News and Stories Related to Aging

Presented here are a variety of news items of current national and global interest to the aging community. Subjects range from the results of medical research and scientific breakthroughs to public policy and general quality of life issues. Please keep in mind that the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability is neither responsible for the content on the linked sites, nor does the inclusion of a linked item imply an endorsement of the content. These links are provided for informational purposes only, and it is up to the individual reader to determine the merit and reliability of each news item.

You can also get useful news and information from AARP Tennessee.

NPT Aging Matters: Dental Health

The following episode of Aging Matters explores the relationship between oral health and overall health, as well as the challenges low-income older adults face when trying to access affordable dental care. Oral health is linked to chronic disease, good nutrition, social and emotional well-being, and overall quality of life. (Description source: NPT Reports)

Watch more episodes of Aging Matters, along with NPT reports on other important topics.


Gum Disease-Causing Bacteria Linked to Alzheimer's?

It's too early to know for sure if there's a solid connection, but CBS News shares a report on a study suggesting a possible link between Alzheimer's Disease and bacteria found in a common type of gum disease. Read the full story.

Added January 28, 2019

Young At Heart

The Senior Citizens of Hendersonville, Inc. invited a group of more than 90 fourth- and fifth-grade students to hang out at the senior center. Sound like fun? It was! Read about this great multigenerational pow wow and what it meant for both groups.

Added November 15, 2018

Flu Season: When to Get Your Shot

Flu season isn't too far off. The CDC recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October. And remember, there are two vaccines designed specifically for people 65 and older: (1) the "high dose vaccine"; and (2) the adjuvanted flu vaccine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about these.

The CDC also warns that, "People 65 years of age and older should not get the nasal spray flu vaccine, the intradermal flu shot, or jet injector flu vaccine."

Added August 24, 2018

An Inflammatory Theory of Brain Disease

PBS's NOVA reports on the possible relationship between body and brain inflammation, chronic disease, and diseases of the brain.

Added June 29, 2018

Following a Couple from Diagnosis to the Final Stages of Alzheimer's

CBS News has followed the Dalys since 2008, telling the story of their battle with Alzheimer's: Carol's story as someone with Alzheimer's and Mike's story as a caregiver.

Added June 11, 2018

The Ever-Rising Cost of Long-Term Care Insurance

The number of insurers offering long-term care policies is dwindling. Rates are rising, benefits are falling. What went wrong, what it could mean for you, and what you can do to plan for a future in which long-term care insurance may not provide the stability you thought it would. Read the story from CBS News.

Added June 11, 2018

"Land of the Immortals": Living to 100+ in Japan

CNN spotlights Okinawa, Japan, a place well recognized for the longevity of its citizens. Read why we "need to shift away from the outdated stereotype that people retire and that's that, to ensuring that older people can continue to participate in society."

Added June 11, 2018

One-Third of Dementia Cases Could be Prevented, Report Says

A report shared through CBS News advises that, "One-third of cases of dementia worldwide could potentially be prevented through better management of lifestyle factors such as smoking, hypertension, depression, and hearing loss over the course of a lifetime."

Added July 21, 2017

Interrupted Sleep May Lead to Alzheimer's, New Studies Show

The Washington Post reports that there is a strong association between sleep loss over time and dementia risk. Read the full story.

Added July 19, 2017

Beyond Birthing, Doulas Now Offer Comfort to the Dying

From CNN, a story  about a changing role for doulas, expanding from an aid in birth to a comfort in death.

Added April 20, 2016

World's Oldest Person, Last Known Born in 1800s, Passes Away

CNN reports that Emma Morano, Guinness World Record holder of the oldest living person title, passed away on April 15 at age 117.

Added April 17, 2016

Davidson County Property Taxes

Nashville's WKRN advises seniors and low-income homeowners that there are ways to help offset climbing home values and related taxes. 

"Homeowners 65 or older with a joint income less than $41,600 for 2015 can apply annually to have their property taxes frozen at their current amount. Homeowners who are 65 or older, disabled, or disabled veterans with a joint income less than $29,180 for 2015 can have their property taxes rebated by the state."

Read the full story for more details, including application deadlines.

Added February 21, 2016

Are Statins a Key to Preventing Alzheimer's Disease?

CNN reports on a study suggesting that statins could, in addition to being good for the heart and circulatory system, help reduce the risk of Alzheimer's Disease.

Added February 17, 2016

Apple Cider Vinegar Helps Blood Sugar, Body Fat, Studies Say

CNN reports on a Japanese study that concluded apple cider vinegar, when added to a daily diet in certain ways over an extended period, appeared to have the following result: "People with pre-diabetes improved their blood glucose levels . . . by nearly half, while people with diabetes cut their blood glucose concentrations by 25%." The study says that less than an ounce of apple cider vinegar with a high-carb meal was enough to make the difference. The story also suggests a few ways to prepare or dilute the vinegar, as pure vinegar can be hard on teeth over time.

Added December 23, 2016

Tennessee Housing and Health: Need for Affordable and Supportive Housing

The Tennessee Housing Development Agency's Chief Strategy Officer, Lorrie Shearon, and TCAD Executive Director Jim Shulman have written for the American Society on Aging a piece on affordable, supportive housing and independent living. As we live longer, and as a larger portion of our state (and our country) transitions to an older adult population, appropriate housing solutions are becoming a critical problem. "In Tennessee, the gap between the number of very-low-income seniors and available affordable housing units is likely to grow as the senior population grows and federal funding for older adult housing remains stagnant or declines," despite a Congressional study that began reviewing the problem in 1999. Read the call to action.

Added December 5, 2016

Best Time to Get Your Flu Shot?

Kaiser Health News does an excellent job of explaining the flu shot, who should get it and when. 

Added September 16, 2016

Long-Term Care Insurance May Not Pay Off

CBS MoneyWatch warns that insurers are steadily pulling out of long-term care insurance coverage, raising rates for those who have policies or cutting benefits. Insurers apparently bet on a different outcome, not realizing what they were getting into when they began offering the policies decades ago. Now that people are placing claims on those policies, the insurance companies want out (or want more money from the policy holders).

The story encourages people to get financial advice before purchasing long-term care insurance now and in the future. For some, it may make more sense to save the money they would spend on the policy, a policy that may become worthless or unaffordable by the time they need to use it.

Added September 1, 2016

Two College Students Calling Assisted Living "Home"

McKnight's Senior Living shares a story of a Connecticut program, one in which college students pursuing studies related to aging are immersed in an assisted living setting by becoming residents.

Added September 1, 2016

New Alzheimer's Drug Could be a "Game Changer"

CNN reports that human trials of a new drug have shown that it can successfully remove brain plaques believed to contribute to Alzheimer's Disease. Another study with a larger group of participants is needed, but the results of this one are exciting.

Added September 1, 2016

Ten Medications Older Adults Should Avoid or Use with Caution

The Health in Aging Foundation has put together a list of medications and describes the potential side effects they may present for older adults. As many older adults take multiple medications on a regular basis, there is also a risk of drug interaction. This list may help some people avoid serious complications.

Added June 30, 2016

Can Memory Loss in Older Alzheimer's Patients Be Reversed?

CBS News reports that a "36-point individualized regimen of diet, exercise, brain stimulation, sleep improvements, medication and vitamins and other specific protocols for five to 24 months" may have resulted in some study participants regaining brain function they had lost. It's not conclusive, and opinion appears to be that the demands of the program can be difficult to follow, but it may be worth watching and investigating.

Added June 24, 2016

Retirement Planning Tips for an Older Divorcee

CBS MoneyWatch has packed quite a bit into this report, including some very detailed clarifications about Social Security benefits.

Added May 26, 2016

Traveling with Dementia

"If a person has Alzheimer's or other dementia, it doesn't mean he or she can no longer participate in meaningful activities such as travel; but it does require planning to ensure safety and enjoyment for everyone." That's the Alzheimer's Association's introduction to tips on preparing for the best trip possible with your dementia-diagnosed friend or loved one. Learn more at

Added May 17, 2016

The Cheapest Alzheimer's Aid, and Regrettably Overlooked

McKnight's shares a solid argument for learning a second language., and there are opportunities throughout Tennessee to learn. Some colleges even reduce, or all but eliminate, fees for people 60 years or older. Check out Middle Tennessee State University for an example. 

Don't think you have to go to college to learn another language, though. Chances are, there's a church, a non-profit, or a private tutor (or maybe all three) in your area that can get you started. Take that step! Who knows where it might lead?

Added April 29, 2016

Living to 100: An Action Plan

Think you'll make it that long? Hope you'll make it that long? Planning to make it that long? CBS Money Watch suggests some ways to make it happen, as well as some behaviors that will likely prevent you from making it to the century mark.

Added February 12, 2016