Bob McCarthy and his lovely wife of 60+ years, Marilyn
Client Profile: Bob McCarthy
A recent conversation between SRC CEO Anthony Falco and an SRC client (as told with client authorization), prompted the following thoughts by Anthony:
My Dad’s best friend Bob, 88 years old, is someone I’ve known my whole life. Currently, he is ill so I called him to say hello. We talked for 15 minutes. I called with the intent to “brighten his day” (because in my self- assured mind, a call from me would do that). Of course, MY DAY was brightened. We started with simple stories of Bob and my Dad and ultimately lead to life’s great lessons. For example he deals with his illness by simply “keeping it in the day”. He said “I don’t regret or live in the past; I don’t think about the future, I live in the present and that’s why it’s a GIFT”. You could look at this as corny, but I don’t because he sincerely meant it and I really did see it working in his life. Afterward we started talking about the Red Sox and he reminisced about serving in Korea with Ted Williams. For those of you that don’t know, Ted was a bomber pilot (gave up many years of his amazing career to do it, by the way). Bob’s unit would be on the ground and Ted’s plane would be off on a mission (his plane was clearly marked, they knew it was Ted), and they would joke “he better not prematurely drop one of us!” Bob ran into Ted when they were in their 70s in Florida and Bob brought this this up to Ted. Bob told me about the instant bond the two had, not as super star hall of famer and post office worker, but two brothers who fought for their country together. So, I’m calling Bob to brighten up his day? NOT! I hope Bob brightened up your day a little too! Is there a “Bob” in your life you need to call today?
Bob McCarthy, Korea, Circa 1952
Ted Williams, Korea, Circa 1952
SRC's Comittment To Nutrition, Health And Wellness
Even More Evidence Has Linked Parkinson's Disease to Our Gut Bacteria.
Researchers have found yet another reason to think the symptoms of Parkinson's disease could be a consequence of the type of bacteria living in our gut.
Such discoveries could help us use changes in our gut bacteria to not only diagnose the debilitating disorder earlier, but potentially create better targeted treatments.
Once referred to as 'the shaking palsy', Parkinson's disease is mostly characterised by tremors and a loss of fine motor control, later progressing into dementia, difficulty walking, and sometimes chronic depression.
In most studies on the condition the brain has been the focus, with the blame for the disease primarily falling on the death of cells in a part of the brain called the substantia nigra – a lump of tissue responsible for movement and reward.
In recent years, however, scientists studying the root cause of Parkinson's disease have shifted their attention from the nervous system onto the denizens of our gut, identifying significant differences in the types of bacteria living in the guts of those with the condition and those who don't.
Now a team of scientists at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in the US have contributed yet another piece of evidence tying Parkinson's disease with our personal community of microorganisms – or microbiota.
"We know that a well-balanced gut microbiota is critical for maintaining general health, and alterations in the composition of gut microbiota have been linked to a range of disorders," said researcher Haydeh Payami.
The researchers analysed samples of gut microbes from 197 patients with Parkinson's disease from Seattle, New York, and Atlanta – representing three distinct regions around the US – and compared their species and functions with samples taken from 130 individuals without the condition.
Not only did the results show marked differences in the numbers and types of bacteria between the two groups, they also noticed a difference in the metabolism of various medications.
In other words, either the various drugs taken by those with Parkinson's disease were also having a unique impact on the bacteria, or their microbiota was affecting how their bodies responded to pharmaceutical treatments.
This includes not only the medications used to treat conditions such as Parkinson's disease, but chemicals in their environment such as pesticides and herbicides.
Given farmers seem to be more prone to Parkinson's disease than the general population, thanks possibly to the chemicals they use, it's possible that the bacteria in their guts could be their body's first casualties.
"It could be that, in some people, a drug alters the microbiome so that it causes additional health problems in the form of side effects," Payami said.
"Another consideration is that the natural variability in the microbiome could be a reason some people benefit from a given drug and others are unresponsive. The growing field of pharmacogenomics – tailoring drugs based on an individual's genetic makeup – may need to take the microbiome into consideration."
One of the early symptoms of Parkinson's disease is constipation, so correlations such as these shouldn't come as much of a surprise.
As with many things in science, however, it's hard to tell if a difference in microbiota is a cause of Parkinson's disease or an effect.
Last year researchers at the Californian Institute of Technology found mice who had been engineered to be susceptible to Parkinson's disease developed less severe symptoms if they were raised in sterile conditions.
Injecting microflora from the guts of human Parkinson's patients led to a rapid deterioration, suggesting the type of microbes could be at least partially responsible for the severity of the symptoms.
However it's clear the relationship is a two-way street, making for a complex interaction which demands further study.
We're only beginning to learn how important our body's tiny citizens are, but as we find more links like these, we open up new horizons to treating or even preventing diseases such as Parkinson's.
By: Mike McCrae, sciencealert.com
SRC's Recipe Of The Month
Chia seeds are growing in popularity due to their versatility and for the powerful nutrition they provide. These tiny seeds (yes, the same ones that you see on your Chia Pet!) originated in Mexico. The Aztec warriors consumed them for sustained energy and they were even used as currency!
Chia seeds are wonderful for digestion due to their fiber content (11 grams) and easy digestibility. They help build strong bones and muscles, and are also a wonderful heart healthy food. They are rich in omega – fats for your brain health (a whopping 4915 mg), protein (4.5 grams), calcium (77 mg), potassium (44.8 mg), and other vitamins and important minerals. Chia seeds make a wonderful “pudding” that you don’t even have to cook! All you do is soak the seeds in your favorite milk, add a bit of healthy sweetener (like raw honey or real maple syrup, or stevia) and some berries and nuts.
Here is a very simple recipe to try. I like to make the night before and just stir it up and eat for a quick and healthy breakfast in the morning. Remember. We are what we eat! ( Don’t worry, you won’t turn into a Chia pet) Happy and Healthy eating!
- 3 tablespoons chia seeds’
- ¾ cup organic almond milk, milk of choice, or my new favorite “Milkadamia” brand made from macadamia nuts
- 1 tablespoon raw honey, or maple syrup, or just a dash of stevia
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Handful of fresh berries, sliced bananas, mangoes…..whichever you prefer.
Simply stir everything together except the fruit. Put in fridge for at least 4 hours or until thick and creamy. (The seeds expand and the pudding ends up almost like a tapioca) I do mine overnight. Stir well and add fruit. Enjoy your heart and brain healthy pudding!
Low-Impact Sports For Seniors
As baby boomers retire and move into senior living, many communities are providing access to low-impact sports so that everyone can enjoy the health and social benefits that being a part of a team provides.
Low-Impact Sports for Seniors
Join in on the fun by participating in one of these popular sports for seniors:
Bocce ball is a game with ancient roots, that was adopted by the Romans who viewed it as a sport of rulers and statesmen. The sport is now played across the globe in individual backyards, national leagues and in the Special Olympics.
Bocce ball is a popular choice at senior living communities due to its many health and social benefits for residents. It is a simple game, yet provides seniors a mental challenge as they learn strategies to improve their sport. The game also provides low-impact exercise, which can be enjoyed by those with disabilities through the use of ramps and other adaptations. Bocce Ball is a social activity as well, and allows players to enjoy friendly competition and learn new skills from others.
While the sport is traditionally played on a hard surface, it can easily be played on a lawn as long as the surface is level. To begin a game of bocce ball, a small ball is rolled onto the court and then each team takes turns tossing larger balls as close to the smaller ball as possible, the team with the most balls near the small ball wins.
Pickleball combines the best of badminton, ping pong and tennis into a sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and athletic abilities. Pickleball was born in the mid-60’s when three friends from Bainbridge Island, Washington, were unable to find their badminton equipment so they improvised with the equipment at hand. Although the name is odd, the game has nothing to do with pickles but was named after pickle boats in crew racing. The game uses a paddle comparable to a large ping pong paddle and a ball that is similar to a whiffle ball.
The game has become very popular with seniors, since it is a low-impact sport that can be played indoors or outdoors and with or without teams. I spoke with Andy Nelson from Pickleball Experts, and asked why pickleball has become so popular with seniors:
“First, it is a great low-impact form of exercise that has a ton of health benefits. It is a great alternative to tennis for those who no longer feel they can cover that much court or deal with the injuries. Second, pickleball is a great social game that has formed countless friendships and brought communities of people together.”
Getting started with pickleball is simple even if you are not near a league or in a senior community with a pickleball court. Both existing tennis courts and badminton courts can easily be modified for pickleball and the only gear you need is a paddle and a ball.
As Andy explains, “Pickleballs are similar to whiffle balls, but slightly smaller, with unique varieties for indoor and outdoor play. Paddles come in all sorts of materials, shapes and sizes, and there is now a huge variety available from a number of manufacturers. It can be intimidating to find the right paddle, so we’ve created a pickleball paddle guide that makes the process easy.”
Shuffleboard had its beginnings in 15th century England within a game called shove groat, which eventually evolved into shuffleboard and came to America with the colonists. Shuffleboard soon became popular in the U.S. and tournaments were held throughout the colonies and eagerly attended by fans.
The game can be played on an indoor table or an outdoor court, which makes it a popular amenity for senior living communities. The game provides low-impact exercise, mental stimulation and socialization for seniors of all abilities and skill levels. Shuffleboard is another game where the basic rules can be learned in a few minutes but skill and strategies can continually be improved.
Getting started with shuffleboard can be easily done by joining a group at a local senior center, shuffleboard league or by participating in your community’s shuffleboard activities if you live in a senior community.
This article only touches on a few of the possibilities for seniors to continue their lifelong enjoyment of competition. Whichever sport you choose to enjoy, you will continue to reap the benefits of healthy exercise for brain and body.