What We Need Most As We Age (The Answer Isn’t Health)!

When Dr. Deborah Heiser was an undergraduate student majoring in psychology, in the 1990s, her grandmother became sick while residing in an assisted living facility in Florida.

“Your grandmother is depressed. I’ll make her better,’ a psychologist at the home told me,” Deborah recalled. “And, she did! That’s when I knew I wanted to do something with the elderly.”  Now, as founder and CEO of the I.M.AGE Institute, Deborah is “redefining what being older looks and feels like,” showing us how to age well so we can lead “happy, fulfilled, meaningful lives.”

During a conversation with FabOverFifty, Deborah shed light on depression and aging–a subject too often swept under the rug–as well as on how to be “emotionally proactive” as we move from birthday to birthday.

FABOVERFIFTY: Please tell us a little about the field of ‘aging.’

DEBORAH: When I went to graduate school, about 20 years ago, there was one place in Alabama that had an aging program. The stigma around aging was quite profound. If an older person went to the ER, for example, the care probably wasn’t going to be as good. People didn’t think much about older people then. It’s changed, but still it isn’t where I’d like it to be. (more…)

An Easy Way To Protect Your Eye Health As You Age

If you’re over 40 years old, you’ve probably started to realize that your vision just isn’t as sharp as it used to be, even if you’re wearing prescription glasses.

That’s why FabOverFifty has partnered with ZeaVision, the makers of EyePromise Vizual EDGE, to bring you valuable information on how to support your long-term eye health and feel more comfortable driving at night.


Illustration by Simone Brin

Why your vision deteriorates after 40

Changes to our eyes occur gradually, over decades, until we suddenly recognize changes in our vision. As we age, our pupils shrink and dilate less in the dark, which reduces the amount of light entering our eyes. This can even make it seem as if we’re wearing dark sunglasses at night.

We’re also at greater risk for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the deterioration (or thinning) of the macula, a critical part of your eye responsible for your central vision. In some cases of AMD, blood vessels can form under the retina and leak blood and fluid into the eye. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in adults over 55.

Zeaxanthin and lutein are powerful nutrients which can help protect our eyes against further deterioration and support the natural functions of your eye. The nutrients also help protect against harsh light from glare and oncoming traffic, improve clarity and decrease eye stress.

“Zeaxanthin and lutein protect the most important retinal real estate of the eye–the macula–which allows us to see detail. It is therefore critical to maintain the quality and health of this area of retinal tissue in a modern society that depends upon using computer screens and driving automobiles safely,” said Dr. Stuart Richer, doctor of optometry.


While leafy greens, certain fish, and other foods contain trace amounts of these nutrients, the amount we need to protect and improve our eye health can be found only in a supplement like EyePromise Vizual EDGE.

Learn more and give your eyes the
nutrients it needs.


Are YOU uncomfortable driving at night?
Tell us in the comments section below.

What You Should Know About Dementia and Alzheimer’s, But Were Afraid To Ask!

I met Dr. Michael Serby about 35 years ago, when our toddler boys played together at the local playground. He did research in Alzheimer’s and had a practice in geriatric psychiatry, but those subjects were not uppermost in my mind at the time. Now they are, so I decided to ask Dr. Serby if he’d be willing to do an interview with me about his life’s work. I’m delighted he accepted my invitation, because so many of us have seen Alzheimer’s wreak a horrific toll on family and friends, and are frightened it will hit us, too.

FabOverFifty: What happens to our minds as we age?

Dr. Serby: Some people have long-standing psychiatric problems that started when they were young, or younger, and have become more of a problem. Maybe the frequency of their problems increases. Maybe they don’t have the family they once had to help them.

“Many people have diminishing cognitive function as they get older, that may begin as early as their 50s, but I know one woman who is 106 and is as sharp as can be; not a sign of diminishing cognitive function. So it’s not age, per se, that’s responsible for the development of cognitive change. It’s just more common as you get older.”

How do you define many and what happens what exactly is diminishing cognitive function?

“The majority of people over 50, certainly over 60, will experience some change in their cognitive functioning. They can’t find the right word, for example. They’ll say ‘it’s on the tip of my tongue,’ this kind of thing. That’s considered normal.

Your bones may change with age. Your joints may change with age. Your skin may change with age. Everything changes with age, but if there’s nothing pathological in those areas I mentioned, that’s great. Your memory for words also may show some change, but it’s not significant if it doesn’t affect your daily life, your functioning. You can continue to work as a lawyer or a writer. But some people panic as soon as they can’t think of a word. They’re looking for that first clue that they’re going to get Alzheimer’s. People are being evaluated in dementia centers all the time who are considered ‘normal.’”


How do you know when your ‘diminishing cognitive function’ is out of a range considered ‘normal’?

“You might have trouble planning, with language, with spatial skills.* It’s pretty noticeable, and gets in the way of your daily ability to function, but it hasn’t gotten to the point of dementia When this happens we call it Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI).”

* Visual-spatial skills are critical for success in solving many tasks in everyday life, such as using a map to guide you through an unfamiliar city (pre-GPS); merging into high-speed traffic, and orienting yourself in your environment, as when you’re learning your way around a new office. Some tasks that require visual-spatial ability include packing for a trip (deciding if a certain box is large enough for the objects you want to put into it) and using mirror images (as when you comb your hair while looking into a mirror).

If you’re diagnosed with MCI, will you automatically get Alzheimer’s?

“About half of patients with MCI will go on to dementia, but many seem to hang there and continue (with MCI), maybe forever.”

Let’s say you and your husband have driven the same route to the mall, hundreds of times over the last 35 years, but one day he forgets which way to turn when you’re at the exit. Is this cause to worry?

“You shouldn’t hang your hat on one episode like that, because there are many possibilities that have nothing to do with dementia. Perhaps the husband didn’t sleep well the night before, and he had an isolated memory lapse; maybe a TIA is beginning, which is common in older people. (Note: A transient ischemic attack is a brief interruption of the blood supply to part of the brain that can result in confusion, temporary memory loss, sudden fatigue, difficulty speaking, vision changes, and poor balance. High blood pressure is a major cause of TIAs, but they also can be caused by issues including diabetes and high cholesterol, according to popular website healthline.com)
couple“If this happens, and the person gets more confused that day, it would suggest that he be seen by a doctor. They might need to get cardiac and neurological exams.

“Alzheimer’s is very slow, but a wife who experiences an incident like you described might say to me: ‘I can tell you exactly when the Alzheimer’s started.’ That’s not true. It’s just when she noticed something because it was so clear cut. You can associate a stroke with a specific event, but not Alzheimer’s. Don’t make any assumptions without an evaluation.”

Keep Reading…

How To Take Control Of Your Long-Term Health

This post is sponsored by Humana.

Wouldn’t it be better to prevent chronic medical conditions than spending decades treating them?

Maintaining your health is the most important gift you can give yourself, and it’s never too late to begin. Making smart lifestyle choices today, whether you’re 35 or 65, will surely contribute to your health and well being in the decades to come.

vertical-leadThat’s why FabOverFifty is honored to partner with Humana health insurance to promote its #StartWithHealthy initiative. What better time than during the crisp fall to start your program to stay in tip-top shape. When you look at statistics from the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you’ll grasp right away how many millions of Americans are affected by long-term conditions, and how critical it is that each and every one of us take steps to reduce that number in the future. Take a look at these four common conditions, and what you can do to make sure you’re supporting your health from this day forward.

“Our parents didn’t have the health knowledge we have today, or the tools to keep themselves in the best shape possible. But we do, and there is no excuse for not taking full charge of your mind and your body, so you can spend every day with joy,” said Geri Brin, founder of FabOverFifty.com. (more…)

Combat Your Cough With Honey

Sometimes during the winter, lots of us get colds and start coughing, and coughing, and coughing, until our throats become unbearably irritated.


Known as tissus in the medical community, “a cough is a sudden reflex humans and many animals have to clear the throat and breathing passage of foreign particles, microbes, irritants, fluids and mucus, a rapid expulsion of air from the lungs,” according to medicalnewstoday.com. We’ll run to a drugstore, and try to determine which of the countless syrups, lozenges, sprays and pills will help give us relief, without making us either hyperactive from the added sugar and high fructose corn syrup, or completely groggy.  

Stop pondering and make a beeline for honey, a completely natural remedy that has been used for centuries to reduce or relieve symptoms of the common cold. Human use of honey has been traced to about 8,000 years ago, when it was depicted in Stone Age paintings. Reported to have an inhibitory effect on about “60 species of bacteria, some species of fungi and viruses, honey is a by-product of flower nectar and the upper aero-digestive tract of the honey bee, which is concentrated through a dehydration process inside the beehive,” according to the National Institutes of Health. Often called “nature’s cough medicine,” honey has the ability to sweetly coat dry, irritated throats and suppress coughs. (more…)

How To Stay On Top Of Your Health This Fall And Winter

Cold and flu season is approaching, and it’s better to plan ahead than to wait until you’re already sick! We’ve partnered with CVS Pharmacy to make sure you know the best ways to keep you and your family healthy in the coming months.

lead-image (more…)

Don’t Let The Internet Make You Sick

If you’re like me, and most every woman I know, you race to Google every ache, pain or unusual physical symptom that pops up.



What To Do If You’re Uncomfortable Driving At Night

Geri is one of the 40% of people over 40 who feel uncomfortable driving at night. See why she avoided driving after dark, and what she did to start feeling secure again behind the wheel!

Changes to our eyes occur gradually, over decades, until we suddenly realize we simply don’t see as well as we used to. As we age, our pupils shrink and dilate less in the dark, which reduces the amount of light entering our eyes. This can even make it seem as if we’re wearing dark sunglasses at night. (more…)

[GIVEAWAY] All-Natural Pain Relief From Noxicare

Common pain relievers such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen and other NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can cause serious health problems, from permanent liver damage to increased risk of heart attack and stroke, reports the renowned Cleveland Clinic. Today, we’re excited to introduce you to Noxicare, an all-natural pain relief solution, made from turmeric, willow bark, holy basil, rosemary, ginger, boswellia and alpha lipoic acid.

Traditionally used in Eastern medicine, turmeric has a number of long-term pain relief and anti-inflammatory properties, to alleviate conditions including arthritis, athletic injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, neuropathy pain associated with diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders and tension headaches.

Available in both a cream and a capsule, Noxicare can be used for daily relief. If you’re experiencing site-specific, acute pain, try the cream, the only topical formula with turmeric. The capsule is best used for general, overall pain.


Four lucky ladies will win a three-month supply of Noxicare Cream ($86.85 for three 3.5 fl oz tubes).


By entering this giveaway, which is sponsored by Herbal Health Care (HHC), the makers of Noxicare, you agree to receive emails from FabOverFifty and HHC.

Want a free, full-size sample of Noxicare Cream? Call 1-888-386-9898 or email info@noxicare.com.


4 FOFs will win. (See official rules, here.) Contest closes June 15, 2016 at midnight E.S.T. Contest limited to residents of the continental U.S.


Staying Healthy And Fresh This Summer

We seem to be forever trying to get ourselves in good shape for summer, hoping those unsightly bulges disappear by the time we’re (unofficially) mandated to don swimwear. But the health and fitness regime often goes out the window when summer actually arrives, with most of us trying to fill every hour of sun with enjoyment and relaxation.

Unfortunately, the effects of this can be significant – leading to short term and long term health problems. So, here FabOverFifty offers a handful of  tips to help you stay healthy and fresh through the summer ( we promise none of these take place in the gym).

Get Eight Hours of Sleep

We all know that when the temperature rises , it can be incredibly difficult to get to sleep.  It’s also tempting to stay up later with the windows open and a glass of wine in hand, and you may find that your much-needed eight hours’ kip is compromised.

Maintaining a healthy amount of sleep can help curb the risks of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, and premature aging thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. Halle Berry (amazingly 50 later this year) claims that her youthful glow is largely owed to her nightly eight hours of sleep, earning her place on this ‘icons who love sleep’ list.  

So it’s vital that you allow yourself a little extra time to get comfortable, and settle down to a health-giving night’s sleep.

Considered Skincare

Perhaps the greatest temptation during the summer months is to try and make the most of sun by seeking out its rays at every opportunity with reckless abandon. However, we all know that this can lead to significant skin and health problems from dehydration and sunburn to, in extreme cases, melanoma.

Simply slapping on a low SPF sunscreen (to maximise the chance of a healthy tan) before basking in the sun all day can be incredibly dangerous. A suitable SPF sunscreen should be applied to the body 30 minutes before sun exposure, and should be reapplied every two hours.

Furthermore, the lotion should be reapplied after swimming, towelling off or excessive sweating.

Sunscreen is not the only vital form of protection against the sun; lip balms, hats and popped collars are all helpful guards against the ill effects of the sun. This guide from cruise holiday specialists, Cruise 1st UK, offers a handful of helpful skincare tips on your holidays or during a sunny spell at home.

Staying Hydrated

Ice-cold sangria may be thirst quenching, refreshing and incredibly delicious; hydrating, it’s not. Unfortunately, it  only will serve to dehydrate the body – making it increasingly important to maintain a healthy balance with hydrating drinks and food.

During summer months, it is important to pre-empt dehydration – by the time you feel thirsty, you might  already be dehydrated.

Dr. Pamila Brar discusses how much water we should be drinking every day in this article from Lifehacker. She suggests 13 cups of total fluids a day for men, and 9 cups for women – although this should be increased if you spend time in hot and dry weather.

We’d recommend trying to drink at least 12 cups of fluids during a summer’s day – almost one every hour when you’re awake (assuming you’re following our summer sleep suggestion).

And, a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables can complement hydration.

Prioritised Eye Care

Sun exposure is not at all kind to eyes and eyelids, causing short term and long term issues. This makes wearing protective eyewear incredibly important — sunglasses are not just for preventing glare and hiding the evidence of a few too many vinos from the night before.

Fortunately, large frame sunglasses are all the rage at the moment. As well as looking fab, these offer the most comprehensive protection for your eyes and eyelids. Investing in a robust pair of large frame sunglasses which are labelled UV 400, is a good start, as these will block all UVA and UVB rays.

A pair of sunglasses which tie around the back of your head can be incredibly helpful, making it easier to wear them at all times – even when going for a quick dip in a swimming pool, or a sun-soaked cycle ride.

Hay Fever Prevention

There are few things more irritating that the onset of hay fever when the pollen count is high. It can seem like an unavoidable by-product of the sunnier weather and blooming plant life, but there are a few tips to help you avoid sore eyes and the annoying need to sneeze. And with one-in-four people suffering from hay fever, chances are these tips will help at least one person in your household.

Just a little dab of Vaseline under your nose can help prevent pollen from sticking to the lining of your nose (the cause of so many sneezing episodes). Alternatively, a quick squirt of a drug-free nasal spray can achieve the same result.

Pollen counts are traditionally at their peak during 8am to 10am and from 5pm to 7pm, when the air is warming up and cooling off respectively. Where possible, try to avoid going outside at these times. Also,  open your windows at other  times to let cool breezes into your home, but not the sneeze-inducing pollen.

Dusting and vacuuming your home regularly can also remove any pollen which is sitting dormant, waiting for a moment to strike. When dusting, make sure you use a damp cloth to pick up any pollen rather than sparking it into action.

Recognise Hazardous Insects and Plants

It’s not just the human population of the UK which embraces the summer months;insects and plants turn out in droves when the sun is shining. Whilst most of these living creatures are completely harmless, there are a few hazardous examples (beyond the obvious wasps and nettles) which need our attention.

The NHS features  a list of the insects and plants to watch out for and  explains the tell-tale signs of these summer predators, and what you should do if you are afflicted.

Cool summer beach girl vector character flat illustration. Sexy woman in bandeau swim suit, pareo wraparound skirt and large white sun hat carrying beach bag with towel wearing wedge beach sandals - stock vectorEmbrace the Serotonin

Finally, we know how important happiness is to health – and the summer months naturally make us all happier. Sunlight boosts your body’s levels of serotonin, the feel-good hormone, helping you have a happy and healthy season in the sun.