Aging Well in the Gorge November 14th 2018

Everyone has heard of Osteoporosis – a thinning and weakening of the bones. But have you heard of sarcopenia? According to MedlinePlus, the website for the U.S. National Library of Medicine, sarcopenia is the loss of muscle mass, strength and function affecting an estimated 13% to as many as half of all adults in their 80’s. And according to Dr. Jeremy D. Walston, geriatrician at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, “Sarcopenia is one of the most important causes of functional decline and loss of independence in older adults.”
Doesn’t sound good, does it. So, what can you do to help prevent or reduce the effects of sarcopenia?
The most obvious is physical activity – particularly resistance or strength training. Some research shows it is even possible to rebuild muscle strength at an advanced age (If you want to get started, the Center offers Strong Women and Strength Yoga: two classes that include strength training.)
But often forgotten is the importance of nutrition especially protein – the main constituent of healthy muscle tissue. Protein deficiency is a particular concern for older adults because they tend to take in fewer calories in general (I don’t eat as much as I used to – even pizza!) and older adults absorb protein less effectively.
Acccording to Dr. John E. Morley, geriatrician at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, to enhance muscle mass older adults require at least 0.54 grams of protein per pound of ideal body weight (what you should weigh) which is generally much more than what older adults typically consume.
For example, if you are a sedentary and your ideal weight is 150 pounds, you may need to eat as much as 81 grams (0.54 x 150) of protein daily. To give you an idea what that means, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter has 8 grams of protein; 1 cup of nonfat milk = 8.8 grams; 2 medium eggs =11.4 grams; one chicken drumstick = 2.2 grams; a half-cup of cottage cheese = 15 grams; and 3 ounces of turkey = 26.8 grams of protein. And if you’re getting your protein primarily from meat and cereal grains, it should be balanced with a diet high in fruits and vegetable in order to effectively treat sarcopenia.
To avoid the loss of independence associated with sarcopenia consider adding strength training to your exercise routine. Just as important, include in your diet enough protein to help build up your muscle mass so you can pick up both feet – and avoid those nasty falls. And before you start anything new it is always a good idea to check with your health care provider.
The holiday bazaars have begun. And the granddaddy of them all, the St. Peter’s 40thAnnual Bazaar, will be held November 17th from 9:00 – 4:00 at the St. Mary’s Academy. And on the same day, across 10th Street, the Center will be holding its own Bazaar from 9:00 – 3:00. This is your chance to “double your pleasure” shopping two great bazaars at once.
The name of the clean-cut band that had four top-three hits in 1965 including “I’m Henery the Eighth I Am”, (spelled “Henery” but pronounced “‘Enery” in the Cockney style normally used to sing it) was the Herman’s Hermits. I received correct answers from Lana Tepfer, Cherie Brent and Carol Earl this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket. And last week I missed Sharon Hull.)
Did anyone have time to listen to pop hits in the 70’s particularly during the Disco era? If you did, you might remember the answer to this week’s “Remember When” question. In 1955 these three brothers formed their first band in England called the Rattlesnakes. But they changed the band’s name, and by the end of the 1970’s their band had sold over 200 million records worldwide and recorded three of the Billboard’s Top 20 hits of the 1970’s. What was the name of this band most remembered for their hits from 1975 to 1979 that extended the disco craze? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send your answer with the movie starring John Travolta as Tony Manero, a working-class young man who spends his weekends dancing and drinking at a local Brooklyn discothèque.
Well, it’s been another week tiptoeing around life’s traps that get in my way. Until we meet again, keep searching for that balance between what is real and what is possible.

“It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little.” Sydney Smith, English Preacher

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