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The Grey Zone with Alex Handyside

Alex Handyside is a certified professional consultant on aging and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. He spent the 12 years prior to his retirement as the owner of an award-winning home-care agency. He now writes and consults.

 
ALEX HANDYSIDE: Dementia preventia?  Changing your habits now can help

ALEX HANDYSIDE: Dementia preventia? Changing your habits now can help

A recent study published in The Lancet listed nine potentially modifiable lifestyle factors that contribute to the risk of dementia. Some will come as no surprise, but a couple of the factors — and the amount of associated risk — were a revelation.
ALEX HANDYSIDE: My Marmite addiction is a treatable condition — with more of this treat

ALEX HANDYSIDE: My Marmite addiction is a treatable condition — with more of this treat

Shhh, don’t tell anyone, but I have an addiction. I first tried it at university in the United Kingdom — the experimental sampling grounds of so many souls before me — and I’ve been hooked ever since.
ALEX HANDYSIDE: A common antibiotic with uncommon side-effects — is it worth the risk?

ALEX HANDYSIDE: A common antibiotic with uncommon side-effects — is it worth the risk?

In February, Health Canada issued a safety review about a common antibiotic called fluoroquinolone, which is frequently prescribed for respiratory (i.e. bronchitis and sinusitis) and urinary tract infections. Seniors, in particular, are vulnerable.
ALEX HANDYSIDE: Dodging depression among seniors begins with addressing isolation

ALEX HANDYSIDE: Dodging depression among seniors begins with addressing isolation

One in four seniors lives with a mental health problem, such as anxiety, depression or dementia. As if that isn’t going to cost society enough, the socially isolated are far more likely to need long-term care. Of those in Canadian residential care, almost 45 per cent exhibit signs of depression.
ALEX HANDYSIDE: What if heart attacks were a thing of the past?

ALEX HANDYSIDE: What if heart attacks were a thing of the past?

Talk of a wonder drug is rarely backed by solid scientific facts and figures or genuine applause from the medical community. Yet that is what is happening with evolocumab. Learn to say it — and its trade name, Repatha. The test results from a recent major study surprised even the researchers, and are sure to make this new drug a household name.
ALEX HANDYSIDE: Doughnuts and deep discussion at a death café near you

ALEX HANDYSIDE: Doughnuts and deep discussion at a death café near you

By bringing death out of the closet (and leaving the skeletons behind!), we can have a pre-mortem discussion about some deadly serious business.
ALEX HANDYSIDE: Doctor’s orders -- sex over 60 is good for you

ALEX HANDYSIDE: Doctor’s orders -- sex over 60 is good for you

The British Heart Foundation says sex can make you look younger, reduce stress, help you to sleep better and may help prevent coronary disease.
ALEX HANDYSIDE: Where in the world am I? 10 signs that point toward dementia

ALEX HANDYSIDE: Where in the world am I? 10 signs that point toward dementia

Forgetting a word or misplacing your keys are of no concern when they occur in isolation. Although dementia is not a natural part of aging, some slight memory loss is. It’s when such instances happen regularly, together with the other signs, that we need to take note.
ALEX HANDYSIDE: For folks checking out nursing homes, here's my personal checklist

ALEX HANDYSIDE: For folks checking out nursing homes, here's my personal checklist

Sadly, many seniors on the list for a provincial facility are given no time for research on the nursing home they are being offered. In Nova Scotia, seniors have just 24 hours to say yes to an offer of a place. Say no and you instantly drop to the bottom of the (long) list.
Could low blood pressure be a newly discovered cause of dementia?

Could low blood pressure be a newly discovered cause of dementia?

The results of a Dutch study showed that those who experienced repeated dizzy spells from low blood pressure were 15 per cent more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease or vascular dementia in the years that followed.