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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: 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.
No more sugarcoating it: Dietary fat never was the enemy

No more sugarcoating it: Dietary fat never was the enemy

By Alex Handyside: 'The fat that we unquestioningly deleted from our diets in the eighties was replaced by carbohydrates, usually in the form of sugars. And it was the food industry of the 1980s that hoodwinked us, armed with some incredibly dodgy science.'
Dalhousie-devised frailty scale simple and effective in assessing seniors

Dalhousie-devised frailty scale simple and effective in assessing seniors

Frailty is obviously not an on-off switch: you don’t just wake up frail one morning. In the clinical sense, frailty is a range of increasing risk.
Superbugs: a good reason to avoid hospitals if you can

Superbugs: a good reason to avoid hospitals if you can

If you’re prescribed an antibiotic, do not stop taking it just because you feel better. By completing the full course of treatment, you’re doing the vulnerable a big favour — you are minimizing the likelihood of creating the superbug of tomorrow.