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Fading Out: Aging and Beyond RSS feed

Health news and advice (top sites)

Looking for good articles about health and wellness? Here are links to some of the best.
Kaiser Health News
Jane E. Brody (New York Times)
Well (New York Times section)
Medical links for patients, families, and caregivers
Shots (Health news from NPR)
Where journalists get their medical news and information
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How prepared are you for disaster?

Here are links to sites geared to helping you prepare for hurricanes, earthquakes, tornados, flood and flash floods, and to increase child and campus security. Let me know in comments if anything important is missing.
Hurricane Basics (Ready.gov, which has similar sits for other types of disaster, including active shooters, drought, explosions, landslides, pandemic, and so on)
Hurricane Safety  Read More 
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The flu: what you need to know

assembled by Pat McNees, updated 12-7-18
A Guide to the Seasonal Flu for Seniors (National Council for the Aging)
Flu Shots (elsewhere on this website)
Influenza virus in China remains potential pandemic threat (Bara Vaida, Covering Health, AHCJ, 12-5-18) A strain of an influenza virus now circulating in China remains a potential pandemic threat while many gaps remain in preparing for such an event, a group of global health experts at the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) warned last month. The virus spreading in China, called H7N9 (flu virus names reflect their protein makeup) first emerged among poultry workers in 2013 and has sickened 1,567 people and killed 615.
A Century After the 1918 Flu Pandemic: Why Are We Still Concerned Today? (National Academy of Medicine event, 11-26-18) Webcast said to be available.
In the Flu Battle, Hydration and Elevation May Be Your Best Weapons (Kate Murphy, NY Times, 1-12-18). A good explanation of how the flu works and how to deal with it. Drink a cup or so of water or other liquid every hour, and avoid alcoholic and caffeinated beverages. Over-the-counter medications that suppress your cough and dry your sinuses may not be the best idea; you want to get rid of the infection. 'Although you want to rest, lying flat all the time can be problematic because it collapses your lungs so you can’t cough as efficiently, trapping bacteria in your respiratory tract. If the virus destroys enough cells in your bronchial tubes it creates openings for bacteria to get into your lungs, which can lead to pneumonia, a potentially life-threatening complication of the flu. When your lungs are vertical rather than horizontal, “you’re able to breathe deeply and freely  Read More 
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Medical links for patients, families, and caregivers

After links to dictionary-style online sites come links to helpful sites with a more specific focus. Alphabetical order.
Cochran Library Evidence-based medicine. Review. Database. Trials. More resources.
Drugs.com (a free drug information service)
First Aid (Mayo Clinic's alphabetical links to how to  Read More 
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Helen Jean Medakovich Sarchielli(1939-2000)

Some deaths come too soon and Helen Jean Medakovich’s was one of them. When she succumbed to lung cancer on October 11, 2000, she was not yet 61—and she was a young 60. It was not only that she was too young to die—it was that she was so unlikely a person to stop being alive. Being alive was what Helen Jean did best.  Read More 
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Books about wrongful conviction and related issues

The following is a list of books about wrongful convictions and related issues, recommended by the highly valued Innocence Project, which works nationwide to free the innocent and reform our criminal justice system. "DNA testing has exonerated more than 345 innocent people in the United States – and others are still waiting for justice." Donations to The Innocence Project are 100% tax-deductible.*

Actual Innocence: When Justice Goes Wrong and How to Make it Right by Barry Scheck, Peter Neufeld, and Jim Dwyer (2000)
Adams vs. Texas: The True Story Made Famous by the Highly Acclaimed Film The Thin Blue Line by Randall Adams, with William Hoffer and . Read More 
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Why U.S. medical costs are so high and where the system needs fixing

by Pat McNees (updated 5-15-19;  orig. published 11-11-15)
Why are our medical bills so high? Why aren't drug prices regulated, as they are in other countries? Where is most of our health care budget spent? Where can we improve the system? Why do we overtreat the rich and undertreat the poor? Who is in charge, when a patient needs complex chronic care? Has our market-driven medical care system served us well or do we suffer from its perverse incentives? Ours is the most expensive health care system in the world but it is not delivering the most effective health care. What can we do? Here are links to key articles explaining the high cost of medical care in the United States -- and whether we're getting what we're paying for.
The Health Insurance Hustle: Why Your Health Insurer Doesn’t Care About Your Big Bills Patients may think their insurers are fighting on their behalf for the best prices. But saving patients money is often not their top Read More 

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Conversations About Dying

(assembled by Pat McNees to facilitate conversations about death, dying, and final wishes)

We should all have the end-of-life conversation (Ellen Goodman on The Conversation Project). "Too many people are dying in the way they would not choose. Surveys tell us that 70 percent of Americans, for example, want to die at home but 70 percent end up dying in hospitals and institutions....Too many survivors, for that matter, are left not just mourning but feeling guilty, depressed, uncertain of whether they have done the right thing.... And we cannot wait for "the right time"  Read More 
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What's wrong with the 21st Century Cures Act

Norman Bauman provided helpful links and comments about the 21st Century Cures Act in the Association of Health Care Journalists' discussion group. I share them (and quote from the sources) here:
• The 21st Century Cures Act is a deal that will give a lot of money to the NIH, FDA, Cancer Moonshot,etc., but will also weaken the FDA's standards of evidence used to approve drugs, particularly randomized, controlled trials (RCTs).  Read More 
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How storytelling can help dementia patients

Updated 8-24-17. This former journalist helps caregivers get to know who their patients once were, before dementia took hold (Tara Bahrampour, The Age, 12-16-16) Jay Newton-Small, a District resident, started a business writing anecdote-filled profiles of dementia patients after her father got Alzheimer’s. 'Until seeing her profile, caregivers for  Read More 
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