Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms or Something Else? MaryGail’s Care Partner Story of Determination to Find Answers for Her Father

This post was developed in collaboration with Lundbeck.

If it’s true that “not all heroes wear capes,” then those who care and advocate for loved ones are among those who best fulfill this adage.

One of the most strenuous and stressful roles one can play is caring for someone with a chronic condition. This situation becomes even more taxing when caring for someone with a lesser-known condition that takes years to diagnose, which was the case with MaryGail.

As the primary care partner for her father, Ralph, MaryGail and her father struggled to find an explanation for her father’s symptoms when he fell ill. In honor of National Caregivers Awareness Month, MaryGail shared her care partner story and her relentless pursuit to find answers and treatment for her father when she suspected that something wasn’t quite right.

The Early Signs

My dad was a construction foreman, always outside and working with his hands. He was also in the Navy and served his country during the Vietnam War. As most in the armed services would agree, you’re conditioned to be neat and tidy – and dad was the embodiment of this – from the clothes he wore to the way we kept our home. So, when I began noticing that he wasn’t keeping up with the house and was spending more time lying on the couch, I became concerned.

One day, as I was cleaning up, I found medication bottles for Parkinson’s disease (PD). When I confronted him about it, my father told me that he had been recently diagnosed with PD, but brushed it off like it was insignificant.

Soon after, he began talking to me about symptoms he was experiencing, specifically getting dizzy when standing up or feeling like he would pass out when getting out of bed. His symptoms were causing him to be leery of standing or walking, feeling much safer lying down and, unfortunately, that’s why he started spending more time on the couch and in bed. His condition was causing him to change his lifestyle out of fear.

Taking Control

I knew something wasn’t right. Yes, he had PD, but the symptoms he was experiencing just didn’t sit well with me. Over the course of the next few years, he was continuously in and out of hospitals and rehab centers. We talked to countless doctors. Cardiologists would say he needed to see a neurologist, and neurologists would argue it was a cardiac problem. No one seemed to agree or genuinely take the time to listen to my father.

After yet another trip to the emergency department, his neurologist decided that he didn’t have PD but, rather, a different neurodegenerative condition called multiple system atrophy. I had enough. None of what we were being told made sense. No one could explain their rationale to me or provide a straight answer, and I was asking all the important questions.

I decided to take matters into my own hands. As a care partner, sometimes you need to put your foot down and take control of the situation. My dad went through a spell of about three days where he was constantly sleeping and not getting out of bed. I was working in the healthcare field, so I asked my colleagues who had loved ones with Parkinson’s for their advice. One of the doctors informed me that I needed to get my dad to a neurologist who specialized in movement disorders.

Finally Finding Answers

After explaining his symptoms of being dizzy when he stood up and the feeling like he was going to black out, our new neurologist, who specialized in movement disorders, took his blood pressure readings in different positions, both lying down and standing up. This was the first time anyone had ever taken this approach.

The neurologist immediately knew what was going on after seeing his blood pressure readings. We were told that my dad did in fact of PD but also a separate, and manageable condition from PD called neurogenic orthostatic hypotension (nOH), which often presents itself in patients with neurodegenerative conditions. Best of all, there was a medication that could help manage his symptoms, NORTHERA® (droxidopa). Please review the full Use for Northera and Important Safety Information below, including a boxed warning for Supine Hypertension.

What we learned was that nOH is a dysfunction in a person’s autonomic nervous system, which causes blood pressure to drop significantly when trying to stand or when changing positions, causing people to feel dizzy or lightheaded. For some, they feel like they’ll black out. Learning of nOH’s symptoms explained why he felt safer lying down and would constantly feel dizzy when he stood.

I had never felt more relieved to know that my father may not have to live the rest of his life experiencing the symptoms of nOH. Of course, NORTHERA might not be right for everyone, so I would encourage anyone to speak with their physician about treatment options that might be right for them.

This long journey has left me with three pieces of advice for anyone who is caring for a loved one and trying to find answers:

  1. Be assertive. You know what is right for your loved one and what they need. Don’t be afraid to ask for it, there is nothing wrong with being firm.
  2. Ask questions. A lot of them. There is no such thing as a dumb question when it comes to the health and safety of the person you are caring for. If you don’t feel comfortable with what you are being told, get a second or third opinion.
  3. Trust your gut. At the end of the day, you are the one spending the most time with your loved one, observing them, and listening to how they are feeling. Sometimes you know best. Trust the feeling.

Caring for a loved one isn’t easy, but it’s an important and meaningful role, especially to the person for whom you are providing care. I often say “we” when I speak about my father’s diagnosis journey because even though he was the one being treated for nOH, we went through it together.

USE OF NORTHERA (droxidopa) CAPSULES (100 mg, 200 mg, 300 mg)

NORTHERA (droxidopa) is a prescription medication used to reduce dizziness, lightheadedness, or the “feeling that you are about to black out” in adults who experience a significant drop in blood pressure when changing positions or standing (called symptomatic neurogenic orthostatic hypotension (nOH)) and who have one of the following:

      −  Parkinson’s disease (PD), a neurodegenerative disease that causes slowness in muscle movement as well as shaking in the hands

      −  Multiple system atrophy (MSA), a Parkinson’s-like disorder with more widespread effects on the brain and body

      −  Pure autonomic failure (PAF), a neurodegenerative disease that results in frequent drops in blood pressure upon standing

      −  Dopamine beta-hydroxylase deficiency, a condition where the body cannot make enough of the hormones that help regulate blood pressure

      −  Non-diabetic autonomic neuropathy, an inability to maintain blood pressure upon standing that can be caused by a number of rare diseases

Effectiveness beyond 2 weeks of treatment has not been established, and your doctor will decide if you should continue taking NORTHERA.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

WARNING: SUPINE HYPERTENSION (this is high blood pressure while lying down)

When lying down, elevating the head and upper body lowers the risk of high blood pressure. Check your blood pressure in this position prior to starting and during NORTHERA treatment. If you experience high blood pressure, talk to your doctor about your NORTHERA treatment.

  • Do not take NORTHERA if you have a known allergy to NORTHERA or its ingredients.
  • NORTHERA may cause high blood pressure when lying down, which could lead to strokes, heart attacks, and death. To reduce this risk of supine hypertension, take your late afternoon dose of NORTHERA at least 3 hours before going to bed.
  • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) is a rare but potentially life-threatening side effect reported with NORTHERA. Call your doctor right away and go to the nearest emergency room if you develop these signs and symptoms: high fever, stiff muscles, movements that you cannot control, confusion or problems thinking, very fast or uneven heartbeats, or increased sweating. NORTHERA should be stopped immediately if NMS is diagnosed.
  • If you have coronary artery disease, irregular heartbeat, or heart failure, NORTHERA may worsen the symptoms of these disorders. Call your doctor if your symptoms become worse.
  • NORTHERA may cause allergic reactions. Stop taking NORTHERA and contact your doctor right away, or go to the nearest emergency room if you experience any signs or symptoms of an allergic reaction such as: fast heartbeat, nausea, vomiting, swelling, trouble breathing, hives, or rash. NORTHERA contains tartrazine (FD&C Yellow No. 5), which may also cause an allergic reaction, especially if you have had a reaction to aspirin.
  • The most common side effects with NORTHERA are headache, dizziness, nausea, and high blood pressure.
  • Taking NORTHERA with other medications may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if you take prescription or over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements.
  • You should not breastfeed during treatment with NORTHERA.
  • If you plan to become or are currently pregnant, talk to your doctor as it is notknown if NORTHERA could harm your unborn baby.
  • Take NORTHERA the same way each time, either with or without food.
  • If you miss a dose of NORTHERA, take your next dose at the regularly scheduled time. Do not double the dose

For more information, please see the full Prescribing Information, including Boxed Warning for supine hypertension or go to www.NORTHERA.com.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

©2020 Lundbeck. All rights reserved. NORTHERA is a registered trademark of Lundbeck NA. Ltd. DRX-B-100397

Use Your Flex Spending Account for a Stroke & Cardiovascular Disease Risk Screening

As the year comes to a close, many of us are busy with the hustle and bustle of the holidays. But make sure not to overlook the remaining funds in your Flex Spending Account (FSA). Unlike a Health Savings Account (HSA), an FSA has a “use it or lose it” policy.

One of the easiest ways to prevent FSA funds from going unused is to invest in your health with Life Line Screening. A $149 Screening Package assesses your risk for Stroke and Cardiovascular disease by checking for Carotid Artery Disease, Peripheral Artery Disease, Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA), Atrial Fibrillation, and Osteoporosis.

Screenings are easy, non-invasive and painless. Life Line Screening is offered throughout the year at more than 13,000 locations across the country. Over 9 million people have been screened since Life Line was introduced more than 20 years ago.

Get screened for Peace of Mind or Early Detection.

When In The US, Do As Italian Women Do: Use Collagenil

This is a post sponsored by Uniderm, which compensated FabOverFifty to write it. Regardless, we only recommend products or services that we believe will be helpful for our readers, as we’ve been doing for almost 11 years! 

After showering – morning or night – I pat my cleansed face dry and immediately apply two products from Italy that I swear start working the minute they touch my skin: Bio Longevity Serum and Re-Pulp 3D. My complexion instantly looks flush and healthy. And, after using this duo exclusively for three months straight, the folds on either side of my nose are less pronounced, and my overall skin tone and texture are brighter and smoother.

   Geri Brin, Founder of FabOverFifty

As editor of a website for women 50+, I have tried a parade of serums, creams and lotions over the years, and liked a number of them. These two products I don’t just like. These I adore. Maybe that’s because they’re formulated by a company that wasn’t born yesterday in an effort to capitalize on the anti-aging craze sweeping the country. 

Bio Longevity and Re-Pulp come from Rome-based Collagenil, which has been in the beauty business since 1985, when it teamed up with the Italian Society of Aesthetic Medicine to create products. That’s a whole lot of experience over many decades, and Collagenil remains a leading choice among Italian women who take especially good care of their appearance and skin. Improving tone, laxity, sun damage and pesky wrinkles like crows feet are among their most pressing concerns. Bio Longevity and Re-Pulp are part of a complete Collagenil collection that addresses all of them! 

Collagenil enjoys a devoted following with women throughout Europe and has started to spread the good word to their American sisters.

Enter code FABOVERFIFTY30 at checkout for 30% OFF Bio Longevity and Re-Pulp 3D from November 20 (12:00 am) until December 20 (11:59 pm). One time only.

 

Besides the decades of experience behind it, Collagenil is a cosmeceutical collection, which means the products offer both aesthetic and therapeutic (medical or drug-like) effects, and are intended to benefit our skin health and beauty. Like cosmetics, they’re applied topically as creams, serums or lotions, but contain active ingredients and delivery methods that  help improve our skin tone and texture, pigmentation and fine lines.

Beauty might only be skin deep, but we want to do everything we can to maintain the beauty of our skin. Especially as we age. Collagenil doesn’t skimp on active ingredients, so its formulas work more effectively.   

Lakesis, an oil extracted from the sap of a tree in Greece, is the magical anti-aging ingredient in Bio Longevity Serum. It helps my skin seem younger, thicker and firmer by strengthening its underlying structural framework. Blue microalgae, another key ingredient, has antioxidant properties that help hydrate, revitalize and tone my skin. I use the serum morning and evening on my face, neck and decollete. 

Bio Longevity Serum works on my wrinkles, fine lines and all of the areas that stress and years of California sun have weakened,” says Diana P, another devoted fan. “This serum makes me look and feel 10 years younger.” 

The microspheres of hydrating and plumping hyaluronic acid and botanical molecular complex in Re-Pulp 3D cream restore the color and natural contours of my face.  Another plant extract in the formula is thought to reduce the muscle tension that produces wrinkles. Acting like a safe herbal alternative to a well-known injectable, the extract minimizes wrinkles and age lines. 

My skin seemed smoother and tighter within a day of the first application, and the grooves on either side of my nose are noticeably reduced. I massage Re-Pulp – morning and night – into the areas of my face with the most sagging, such as my cheeks, cheekbones and around my nose. 

Originally available exclusively by prescription from aesthetic doctors and surgeons, Bio Longevity Serum and Re-Pulp 3D are reasonably priced so more women can take advantage of their outstanding benefits. 

AND START DELIVERING COLLAGENIL’S INDISPENSABLE INGREDIENTS TO YOUR SKIN

Enter code FABOVERFIFTY30 at checkout for 30% OFF Bio Longevity and Re-Pulp 3D from November 20 (12:00 am) until December 20 (11:59 pm). One time only.

Treat Dry, Crepey Skin All Year

Crepe Erase compensated FabOverFifty with an advertising sponsorship to write this article. Regardless, I only recommend products or services that I believe will benefit my FOFriends.—Geri Brin

Winter is visiting, which makes this the perfect time to start protecting your skin from the harsh winds and stinging cold. Take it from me. The skin on your body can stay soft, supple and sensationally smooth throughout the winter – and all year round – if you do what I’ve been doing for the last three years. My legs, my arms, my hand, my neck – all smooth!  I’ll tell you the thrilling reason why in a moment.

Dry skin is common in later life.

We naturally lose oil glands as we age, and the overheated indoor air we rely on to keep our homes comfortable during the winter makes the problem worse! Think about a favorite pair of leather shoes that’s stretched out and cracked after years of wear.  Like leather, your skin has countless pores that absorb or release moisture. When it releases too much of its moisture, it will dry up. If it dries up too much, cracks may form, especially on your elbows and feet. What’s more, your skin loses its wonderful foundation of collagen and elastin, making it loose and saggy. 

Even if you continually use body lotion from Thanksgiving to Easter it won’t provide lasting hydration or softness, and won’t do a thing for the crepiness. I’ve bought dozens of lotions and body creams–drugstore to high end– over the years, so I can speak from experience.

As editor of a popular website, I’m often invited to try out all kinds of beauty products. One brand–Crepe Erase™—jumped out at me because I’ll never forget seeing the actress, Jane Seymour, talk about it on TV. She looks amazing, at 69, and has been using Crepe Erase for years, a fine endorsement right there!

The formula features TruFirm Complex, an exclusive blend that includes three plant extracts, to help reinforce our skin’s netting, so the skin can appear tighter and firmer, and looks like it did when we were younger. Crepe Erase also contains seven powerful hydrators, including coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, olive oil, beeswax, cassava and Vitamin E, which absorb quickly and work to visibly soothe and renew the skin.

Crepe Erase is the #1 Selling Anti-Aging Body Treatment System for Dry, Crepey Skin*

(*Based on Crepe Erase sales data & IRI & NPD sales data for 2017.)

The Essentials Kit only includes two simple steps:

I grab my bottle of Exfoliating Body Polish when I shower, to lift away dead, rough surface cells and make my skin look smoother and more radiant. (By the way, don’t take long, hot showers because they’ll dry your skin even more!)  After the shower, I massage the Intensive Body Repair Treatment, with the TruFirm Complex, into the crepey skin around my neck, chest, arms and legs. The Body Polish has a beautiful, fresh scent and the Repair Treatment absorbs quickly and isn’t one bit greasy.

As I mentioned earlier, the skin on my body has felt smooth and hydrated for a few years, including during one exceptionally bitter winter. I’ve learned that the more consistently you use skincare products, the better the results. Adding Crepe Erase to my skincare routine has paid off when I need it most!

Crepe Erase™ isn’t a glorified body lotion. Trust me, it feels like I’ve tried them ALL.  If my word isn’t enough, look at these superb results from a 4-week Crepe Erase clinical study, not to mention the extraordinary before-and-after images they revealed on QVC.

98% EXPERIENCED IMPROVEMENT IN EVENNESS OF SKIN TONE ON THEIR DÉCOLLETÉ.

90% SHOWED IMPROVEMENT IN THE LOOK OF SKIN FIRMNESS ON THEIR ARMS.

88% OF WOMEN EXPERIENCED AN IMPROVEMENT IN THE LOOK OF SKIN ROUGHNESS ON THEIR LEGS AND KNEES.

{Based on average results of a 49 person evaluation by an expert clinical grader}

Results will vary.

Crepe Erase is so confident that you’ll love its products, it invites you to use them for 60 days, and, if you’re not satisfied, you can return the tubes–EVEN EMPTY–for a full refund, less s&h! This offer even gives me more confidence that these are quality beauty products. Plus, the line is incredibly reasonable in the first place!

and save 20% on the Crepe Erase Introductory Deluxe Kit + get FREE SHIPPING + a FREE GIFT valued at $38.

PS: While you’re at it, think about giving a Crepe Erase kit to your mom, daughter, sister or best pal so they’ll be as smooth as you in 2021.

The New & Only Authoritative Directory of Leading Menopause Specialists In The United States

Dear FOFriends, 

MENOPAUSE is a fact of life for women. For every single woman. Over 2M women enter menopause every year.

But millions of us – including women with PhDs – are caught completely off guard when the myriad – often troublesome – symptoms of menopause hit us. 

No surprise! 

Medical schools – even elite institutions – give little attention in their curriculum to the menopausal transition in our lives, not to mention to our  emotional well being in general.  Many gynecologists give short shrift to older patients’ distress about everything from trouble sleeping to weight gain, hot flashes to night sweats, declining libido to painful sex.  

And, we’re not talking about octogenarians when we say “older.” The majority of women begin noticing changes in their bodies during their 40s, but it’s entirely possible for a woman to enter perimenopause in her 30s. 

Fewer than 100 doctors nationwide can truly be called menopause mavens (MM)

Further complicating matters is the hesitation of many women to even bring up our experiences with our doctors. We’re embarrassed. We assume our difficulties will “pass.” Or, we figure we must grin and bear this “normal” – if not troubling – course of events. 

So, instead of enjoying this exciting and wildly productive period of our lives, we’re bedevilled by the miseries of menopause. 

Big mistake, ladies! 

Whether you suspect you’re experiencing a symptom related to this momentous transition in your life, or in the heat of it (literally and figuratively), the best thing you can do for yourself is to see a MM. There’s so much to know about this normal transition in our lives that unless you see one of these specialists, you’ll likely be misinterpreted and misdirected. 

But, up until now, finding a true MM  was no easy exercise. Google “Leading Menopause Doctors” and  you come up with a mishmash of listings covering doctors in different states. Many of them aren’t menopause specialists at all! Their websites include the popular SEO term “menopause,” so Google’s algorithms spit their names out at us. 

Even the directory on the website of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) is riddled with names of members who “have asked to be included on the list,” but are about as qualified to treat menopausal women as a dentist. I don’t want to disparage NAMS, but, like many professional associations, it is severely limited in its ability to market to and help real women. 

That’s why I decided to research and compile a directory of the 100 top menopause specialists in the country.  As editor of a website for women 45+, I knew about 25 doctors off the top of my head. But after that I had to comb through hundreds of bios, websites and multiple Google listings to determine who else qualifies for the list.  It took over 100 hours to pull it together. 

Although some of these doctors work with bioidentical hormones, I assiduously tried to avoid putting someone on the list whose only specialty was HRT (hormone replacement therapy.) Many women simply don’t wish to treat their symptoms with hormones – bioidentical or otherwise.

You may live in a city that isn’t terribly convenient to the doctors on the list, but I encourage you to meet with the closest one. Many doctors are offering telehealth sessions, or you can chat with a doctor on the phone. 

I trust there are doctors who probably should be added to the list (and maybe some who should be removed). I was hard pressed to come up with even one doctor in a couple of states, but I wanted every state to be represented. I encourage you to email your recommendations to me at geri@faboverfifty.com 

I can, however, attest to the fact that this is the best list you’ll find.

 

Become a Sage Woman 

I gratefully thank Ethan Lynette, partner, and Suzanne Munson, VP of product development, at Fairhaven Health, who sponsored this worthwhile project. They had absolutely no input into the names of the doctors on the list.

Fairhaven, a manufacturer of vaginal care and comfort products for each of a woman’s life stages, recently added Sage Moisturizer & Lubricant to its product lineup. It offers relief for everyday vaginal dryness and short term lubrication for increased pleasure during intimacy.

Sage is water based – without paraben preservatives – which makes it best for menopause-related vaginal dryness. It includes clary sage, a botanical with natural antibacterial properties.

I recommend that you try Sage.  You can read more about it here. 

 

ALABAMA 

Dr. Jimmy Sparks
Sparks & Favor
OB-GYN
2006 Brookwood Medical Center Drive, Suite 700
Birmingham, AL 35209
205.397.1286 

 

Bringing over 30 years experience to caring for his patients’ overall wellness, Dr. Sparks long-time interests include the menopause transition, osteoporosis, gynecologic surgery, and screening and risk-reducing strategies for women’s cancer. 

University of Alabama School of Medicine

 

ALASKA 

Dr. Maude Vance
Denali Obgyn Clinic 
OB-GYN
3976 University Lake Drive, Suite 300
Anchorage, AL 99508
907.222.9930 

 

Recognizing that every woman has different care and communication needs at each stage of life, Dr. Vance believes strongly in individualizing patients’ care. She has a special interest in perimenopause and menopause, which are often overlooked but can greatly impact a woman’s life.  

University of California, Davis, Medical School 

 

Ericka Mulder
Anchorage Women’s Clinic 
Providence Alaska Medical Center, C Tower, 4th floor
3260 Providence Drive, Suite 425
Anchorage, AL 99508
907.561.7111

 

Ericka is passionate about empowering women to put themselves first and wants to help them look at the small thing to enhance their own health and well being. She gives patients the tools to help themselves and actively listens to their concerns, working together with them to improve their lives. 

University of Alaska Masters of Science in Nursing

 

ARIZONA 

Dr. Paru S. David
Mayo Clinic 
Women’s Health Internist – Menopause Specialist 
13400 East Shea Blvd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85259
480.301.8000

 

Dr. Paru has studied menopause symptoms in women over 60 years old, and believes that increased awareness of the issues these women face can help healthcare providers improve the quality of their life. 

University of Missouri Medical School 

 

Dr. David L. Greenspan
Caring for Women’s Health
OB/GYN 
600 West Thomas Road
Phoenix, AZ 85013
602-562-5925 

 

As a leading OB/GYN in Phoenix, Dr.. Greenspan helps women manage their menopause symptoms by providing an array of care and treatment options that reduce symptoms as well as the risks of serious diseases.

Drexel University Medical School 

 

Dr. Kathleen M. Norman
St. Joseph’s Hospital & Medical Center
OB-GYN
350 W. Thomas Road
Phoenix, AZ 85013
602.406.7564

 

Dr. Norman’s expertise includes menopause management, bioidentical hormone therapy, laparoscopic hysterectomies and medical aesthetics. 

University of Minnesota Medical School

 

Hurry: The Pavilion Factory Outlet Gift Sale Ends in 5 Hours

Even if you won’t be able to hug many of your loved ones this holiday season, make sure they get their arms around your handpicked gifts. I heartily recommend that you visit PavilionGift.com on November 11, when it takes its popular Factory Outlet sale online for the first time in 17 years. 

Traditionally held at its headquarters in a small upstate New York town, the five-day event offers serious discounts up to 85 percent off Pavilion’s impressive products –  home decor and lifestyle to women’s accessories and baby clothes.

Now that the sale is going online, all of us can snap up cool and memorable presents for Christmas – and for holidays and special occasions throughout 2021. The company introduces hundreds of items every six months – mugs and frames (you can never have too many of these) to jewelry sparkling with Swarovski Elements and comfy cozy scarves (or too many of these, either.)  

I learned about Pavilion from my good friend Nancy, who’s been in the gift industry for ages, and I promise these gifts aren’t available anywhere else. They’re all designed exclusively by the company, and there’s something for every single person on your shopping list. Bringing inspiration to our hearts and our homes is Pavilion’s singular mission. 

[tribulant_slideshow gallery_id=15]


BRINGING INSPIRATION TO OUR HEARTS AND TO OUR HOMES 

This baby gown is “unbearably cute” for your new grandchild. And this mug and sock set will delight your cat-loving best friend. Pavilion doesn’t forget your pooch pals either. 

I’ve got my eyes on these luxe velvet slippers. Can’t wait to slip my feet into them on cold winter nights. 

The Pavilion We People collection celebrates the places and hobbies that fill our lives, from golf and tennis to beaches and mountains. You’ll even find a mug or a cap for your casinoor-cruise loving friends.

         The new Christmas Gift Set

Pavilion’s enchanting inspirational gifts have been warming people’s hearts for years, such as the beautiful and detailed Elements Angel line. The “Missing You” angel would make a perfect present this holiday season, when we aren’t seeing many of those we love most. 

And, its gift-boxed line of incredibly soft Comfort Blankets features satin embroidered hearts with sentiments including “Love You Mom. May you always feel comfort knowing you are very special and loved so very much.” What mother wouldn’t love to cuddle up with one of those? 

Pavilion is introducing fun, themed gift boxes this season, like this Christmas box overflowing with happy items like mugs, socks, ornaments and a canvas bag that says “Dear Santa, all I want is a FAT BANK ACCOUNT & a skinny body. PLEASE DON’T MIX IT UP again like last year!”

We can all use a laugh this year. Let Pavilion help you to send 2020 packing!

MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR THE STUPENDOUS PAVILION FACTORY OUTLET SALE STARTING WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 11, 2020.  

P.S. When you check out, please think about donating some of the oodles you’ve saved to Foodlink, a charity that collects, warehouses and distributes food to organizations including food pantries and soup kitchens. Its health programs also provide underserved communities with nutritious and affordable food. Passionate about helping Foodlink in its mission, Pavilion has been a dedicated partner for years.

Dreamy, Creamy, and Hydrating

L’Oreal’s Age Perfect Lipstick by @LorealParis: Glides on, Stays on and Looks Luscious 

When it comes to wasting money, I am a champion in the lipstick department. I try out so many shades my lips become irritated. Then I dislike the color I finally chose. After a few more guilt-driven applications, I shove the tube in a drawer, eventually tossing it in the trash after months – sometimes years – when I’m on a cleaning binge. 

Age Perfect Satin Lipstick in (l to r) Pink Petal, Glowing Nude, Vibrant Fuchsia, Subtle Primrose, and bRadiant Bronze (my personal favorite!)

I’ve bought reds so bright I look like a clown to pinks so pale I resemble a ghost. Long-lasting color that dries out my lips to lipstick that fades before the evening even begins.  

Once in a while I find a shade I like, but never so much that I stop my quest for GPL (Geri’s perfect lipstick)!

When L’Oreal Paris asked if I’d try its Age Perfect Satin Lipstick, I thought a drugstore product couldn’t possibly work for me when a parade of lipsticks from upscale department stores didn’t.  As a certified makeup snob, I’ve long been convinced that the more a beauty product costs, the better it would be. Nevertheless, I told L’Oreal I’d be delighted to try its lipstick, as well as other products in the Age Perfect collection. After all, I had absolutely nothing to lose!

Surprise, surprise. I adore these products – including the Satin Lipstick – which are specifically formulated to address the needs of aging skin. The Age Perfect foundations don’t cake and settle into wrinkles, and protect against sun damage. The mascara gives volume to thinning lashes.  The eyeliner goes on easily and precisely, and doesn’t dry out my lids. 

And the Satin Lipstick – oh, the Satin Lipstick – is dreamy creamy, nourishing and hydrating, thanks to precious oils like rosa canina, extracted from the seeds of the wild rose, and luxurious jojoba butter. Its rich pigments give my lips vibrant satin color, which glides on smoothly with no resistance at all!  What’s more, the non-drying formula stays put for hours without feathering. Feathers are fun for boas, but not around my lips. 

Age Perfect Satin Lipstick comes in 10 super shades for every woman’s taste, including Blooming Rose, a classic red; Petal Pink, as pretty as its name implies, and Radiant Bronze, my favorite. It’s warm and lightens up my face.

You might also want to try Age Perfect Luminous Hydrating Lipstick, which is infused with nourishing serum and deeply hydrating Pro Vitamin B5. It will keep your lips delightfully moist for nine hours and won’t feather. Comes in 10 shades, too. 

I admire L’Oreal Paris for creating makeup for women like you and me. There’s nothing like it in the beauty business. Then again, there’s nothing like FabOverFifty women! L’oreal knows it and now is the time for us to know L’Oreal Paris. #Loreal Paris Partner

TO TRY THE L’OREAL PARIS AGE PERFECT MAKEUP COLLECTION

L’Oreal Paris compensated FabOverFifty to write this sponsored post. Regardless, we only recommend products or services that we believe will be helpful for our readers. All insights and expressed opinions are our own.

Here’s to a Long Life – And Financial Independence

AgeUp compensated FOF to write this sponsored post. Regardless, we recommend only products or services that we believe will be helpful for our readers. All insights and expressed opinions are our own. —Geri Brin

My friend Linda plans to sell her New York co-op and move to a community living residence, but she’s worried her nest egg won’t last if she lives well into her 90s. Now 87 years old, Linda wishes the new AgeUp product had been available years ago to give her a supplemental income if she’s fortunate to live as long as her mom. “I’ve been independent my whole life, and I don’t want to turn to my daughter to help support me,” she said.

Available to any of us between 50 and 75 years old, AgeUp converts small monthly payments into greater – and guaranteed – monthly payouts once we reach a selected age between 91 and 100. Your monthly payment can be as low as $25, which makes AgeUp financially accessible. 

Think about it this way: Life insurance is based on the small probability that someone will die prematurely, and can help prevent the family left behind from becoming financially strapped. AgeUp addresses the other extreme, providing income when you live much longer than expected. These additional funds can help enable a higher quality of life and greater financial freedom – something that all of us desire in our later years. 

Consider that one out of every three Baby Boomers who are now 65 years old will live until at least age 90, and one out of seven will live until age 95, according to the Social Security Administration. While AgeUp is available to men and women, women would benefit the most as we’re more likely to live longer. AgeUp will help make sure we’re financially prepared so we can enjoy those extra years comfortably.

And how nice to be able to relieve our adult children of a possible burden. According to a survey conducted by AgeUp, a whopping 68 percent of millennials expect to provide financial contributions to their parents should they outlive their retirement savings. That means us! By planning for extended longevity now, we can set ourselves up to live the lifestyle that we want once we reach our 90s and beyond – one where we have our own resources and aren’t dependent on our children or family members for financial support. 

“We created AgeUp for physically healthy people in their 50s to early 70s who have longevity in their families and have a reasonable chance of living very, very long lives,” said Blair Baldwin, general manager. “My grandparents were financially comfortable, but my grandfather and grandmother needed years of in-home care in their later years, which can get quite expensive.” A product like AgeUp can help offset some of these costs, providing a recipient with a guaranteed income stream that lasts for the rest of her lifetime, plus the flexibility to spend the money as she chooses, with no restrictions or claims to file. 

HOW AGEUP WORKS 

First, you choose your monthly payment, which can be as low as $25 and as high as $250 a month. “Lots of people are choosing the $250 option, many more than I would have suspected,” Baldwin told me.

Second, you decide when you want your payouts to begin – called the “payout” age – and whether or not you want your money returned to your beneficiaries if you die before the payout age. 

Choosing “yes” guarantees that you’ll get back at least what you put in, no matter what. If you die before your target payout age, 100% of the premiums you’ve paid to that point will be returned to your beneficiary. However, your payouts will be smaller if you do reach your target payout age.

If you choose “no” for the “death before payout age” option, there’s no return if you die before payouts begin. There’s a chance you could lose your premium payments, but your payouts will be larger if you live to your target payout age.

If you reach the payout age but pass away shortly thereafter, your money will be returned to a beneficiary until they receive the total amount that you had contributed. 

You can start, stop or change the amount you pay at any time.

Here’s an example1 of what a 55-year-old woman could receive at different payout ages if she makes payments of $25 per month:

Unlike long term care insurance, which is really expensive, can have a coverage limit, and must be spent on medical costs, AgeUp is a low cost product with unrestricted use. You can use your monthly payouts however you choose, helping you to enjoy the financial autonomy that you’re accustomed to in your later years.

“Our goal is to give you the most bang for your buck,” Baldwin stressed.

IS AGEUP RIGHT FOR YOU?

To determine your own estimated monthly payouts based on your current age, gender, monthly payments, payout age and return of premiums, visit the AgeUp website and click “Get an estimate.” From here, you’ll answer a few questions and then use the AgeUp calculator to adjust your monthly payments, payout age, and return of premium option. 

Should you have questions or need assistance, AgeUp offers customer support via online chat or email, or you can schedule a call to speak with a team member. There’s also a robust FAQ page and a detailed product snapshot available on the AgeUp website.

We don’t know what the future holds, but AgeUp can provide peace of mind if you think that you may live an exceptionally long life and will need additional financial resources to lead the lifestyle that you want. Here’s to you and your longevity! 

Sponsorship Disclosure

AgeUp is issued and backed by MassMutual, and sold by Haven Life Insurance Agency, a MassMutual-owned innovation hub. MassMutual has been in business since 1851 and is rated A++ for financial strength by A.M. Best2. For additional information, visit our website or check out our frequently asked questions.

AgeUp is a Deferred Income Annuity (ICC19DTCDIA) issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111 and offered exclusively through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC. Contract and rider form numbers and features may vary by state and may not be available in all states. Our Agency license number in Arkansas is 100139527.

 

1These examples are estimated payouts based on rates calculated on September 10, 2020. Estimated payouts and rates for future contributions are subject to change. See illustration for complete information.
2Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) and its subsidiaries C.M. Life Insurance Company and MML Bay State Life Insurance Company are rated by A.M. Best Company as A++ (Superior; Top category of 15). The rating is as of July 24, 2020 and is subject to change. MassMutual has received different ratings from other rating agencies.

 

Living in the Dark: Gail’s Story of Finding an Explanation for Her Mysterious Symptoms

This post was developed in collaboration with Lundbeck.

Gail had symptoms of dizziness, lightheadedness and nausea for most of her adult life, but had trouble articulating them to her doctor.

“It felt like a black cloud was following me. I would experience extreme dizziness and nausea after I stood up, and it felt like I was going to black out. When I would talk to my doctors about what I was experiencing, they would say it was because of my thyroid or that I needed a B12 shot.”

Gail’s health issues also affected her career.

“Before I retired, I was an elementary school music teacher and the symptoms I was experiencing greatly impacted my life. I started to hide my symptoms at work by spending most of my day sitting. The symptoms were making my world smaller and smaller. I started staying in my house more and avoided driving as much as I could.”

Gail was finally diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1999. She figured the reason why she had been experiencing the symptoms of dizziness, nausea, and the feeling like she was going to black out for all of those years was because of her undiagnosed Parkinson’s disease, but she came to find out that wasn’t the case. “After I retired and moved to Florida in 2000, I had to find a new neurologist. At one of my appointments, I mentioned my symptoms which prompted him to take my blood pressure readings in

different positions, including both sitting and standing, whereas my previous specialist would only take them while I was sitting down.”

It was after this appointment that she learned that the symptoms she had been experiencing all of her adult life weren’t typical for everyone with Parkinson’s.

“Ten years after my Parkinson’s diagnosis, my neurologist told me I had symptomatic neurogenic orthostatic hypotension, or nOH. I felt total relief when I found out that my symptoms were not from my Parkinson’s, but from a separate condition that is associated with neurodegenerative conditions, like Parkinson’s. The best news of all was when he told me that the symptoms could be managed.”

Gail’s neurologist informed her that there was a clinical trial starting for a drug called NORTHERA® (droxidopa) and he thought she would be a good candidate for it. “I was glad to know there was something I could try, to see if it would help manage my symptoms. I decided to participate in the clinical trial and fortunately for me, taking NORTHERA has helped relieve my symptoms, though NORTHERA might not work the same for everyone.” Please review the full Use for Northera and Important Safety Information below, including a boxed warning for Supine Hypertension.

Gail was so motivated to help others advocate for themselves that she decided to become an nOH Champion. nOH Champions are a network of patients and care partner ambassadors dedicated to educating and supporting others living with or caring for someone who has nOH. As an nOH Champion, Gail has the opportunity to share her story and raise awareness of this lesser-known condition, while empowering others at various stages of their journey. The nOH Champion program is a national program and is sponsored by Lundbeck, the manufacturer of NORTHERA.

“When people think about Parkinson’s, they tend to focus on the motor aspects of the disease, including tremors, loss of balance or difficulty moving. I wanted to share my story to encourage others who might be living with Parkinson’s disease or other neurodegenerative diseases to talk to their doctor if they are experiencing symptoms like I was. There may be a way to treat these symptoms, you just need to ask the right questions.”

      Dr. Salima Brillman

To learn more about nOH and how NORTHERA® helps treats it, Salima Brillman, MD, Neurologist and Movement Disorder Specialist from the Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center of Silicon Valley, provides the following information:

What is nOH?

“Neurogenic orthostatic hypotension is a lesser-known condition that can be associated with several neurodegenerative diseases, like Parkinson’s disease, multiple system atrophy and pure autonomic failure. It’s due in large part to

the fact that the body does not release enough norepinephrine upon standing. As a result, blood vessels are unable to tighten as they should, preventing the blood from circulating back up to the heart and brain. This deficiency is what causes symptoms like lightheadedness, dizziness or the feeling of blacking out, among other symptoms.”

How prevalent is nOH in people with neurodegenerative conditions?

“Symptomatic nOH can present itself in about 20% of people living with Parkinson’s disease, 80% of people living with multiple system atrophy and nearly 100% of people with pure autonomic failure. Like Gail, many people don’t realize they are living with this manageable condition, which is why it’s so important to raise awareness of it.”

How is nOH diagnosed?

“As Gail mentioned, one way that nOH can be diagnosed is by a physician taking blood pressure readings while standing and sitting or during a tilt-table test, along with monitoring heart rate. If there is a sustained drop in blood pressure without an increase in heart rate, it’s suggested that the symptoms are from nOH.”

What is NORTHERA and how does it work?

NORTHERA is a prescription medication that has been shown to improve symptoms of dizziness, lightheadedness and the feeling of blacking out. It is the only FDA-approved treatment specifically studied in patients with symptomatic nOH. The exact way it works is unknown, but it has been shown to have a small and temporary increase in norepinephrine. It’s important to talk with your doctor before starting or stopping any medications. Your healthcare provider should always be your first source of information and care.”

USE OF NORTHERA (droxidopa) CAPSULES (100 mg, 200 mg, 300 mg)

NORTHERA (droxidopa) is a prescription medication used to reduce dizziness, lightheadedness, or the “feeling that you are about to black out” in adults who experience a significant drop in blood pressure when changing positions or standing (called symptomatic neurogenic orthostatic hypotension (nOH)) and who have one of the following:

—  Parkinson’s disease (PD), a neurodegenerative disease that causes slowness in muscle movement as well as shaking in the hands

— Multiple system atrophy (MSA), a Parkinson’s-like disorder with more widespread effects on the brain and body

— Pure autonomic failure (PAF), a neurodegenerative disease that results in frequent drops in blood pressure upon standing

— Dopamine beta-hydroxylase deficiency, a condition where the body cannot make enough of the hormones that help regulate blood pressure

— Non-diabetic autonomic neuropathy, an inability to maintain blood pressure upon standing that can be caused by a number of rare diseases

Effectiveness beyond 2 weeks of treatment has not been established, and your doctor will decide if you should continue taking NORTHERA.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

WARNING: SUPINE HYPERTENSION (this is high blood pressure while      lying down)

When lying down, elevating the head and upper body lowers the risk of high blood pressure. Check your blood pressure in this position prior to starting and during NORTHERA treatment. If you experience high blood pressure, talk to your doctor about your NORTHERA treatment.

Do not take NORTHERA if you have a known allergy to NORTHERA or its ingredients.

• NORTHERA may cause high blood pressure when lying down, which could lead to strokes, heart attacks, and death. To reduce this risk of supine hypertension, take your late afternoon dose of NORTHERA at least 3 hours before going to bed.

• Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) is a rare but potentially life-threatening side effect reported with NORTHERA. Call your doctor right away and go to the nearest emergency room if you develop these signs and symptoms: high fever, stiff muscles, movements that you cannot control, confusion or problems thinking, very fast or uneven heartbeats, or increased sweating. NORTHERA should be stopped immediately if NMS is diagnosed.

• If you have coronary artery disease, irregular heartbeat, or heart failure, NORTHERA may worsen the symptoms of these disorders. Call your doctor if your symptoms become worse.

• NORTHERA may cause allergic reactions. Stop taking NORTHERA and contact your doctor right away, or go to the nearest emergency room if you experience any signs or symptoms of an allergic reaction such as: fast heartbeat, nausea, vomiting, swelling, trouble breathing, hives, or rash. NORTHERA contains tartrazine (FD&C Yellow No. 5), which may also cause an allergic reaction, especially if you have had a reaction to aspirin.

• The most common side effects with NORTHERA are headache, dizziness, nausea, and high blood pressure.

• Taking NORTHERA with other medications may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if you take prescription or over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements.

• You should not breastfeed during treatment with NORTHERA.

• If you plan to become or are currently pregnant, talk to your doctor as it is not known if NORTHERA could harm your unborn baby.

• Take NORTHERA the same way each time, either with or without food.

• If you miss a dose of NORTHERA, take your next dose at the regularly scheduled time. Do not double the dose.

For more information, please see the full Prescribing Information, including Boxed Warning for supine hypertension, or go to www.NORTHERA.com.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

©2020 Lundbeck. All rights reserved. NORTHERA is a registered trademark of Lundbeck NA. Ltd. DRX-B-100390

Life Line Screening Wants to Keep You Healthy

Life Line Screening compensated FOF with an advertising sponsorship to write this post. Regardless, I started having its health screenings years before this, and I only recommend products or services that I believe will benefit others. Geri Brin, Founder, faboverfifty.com 

Now more than ever, it’s critical to know your risk for Cardiovascular Disease

I’m concerned about being part of a high-risk group if I get the virus that’s turned our world upside down. And, at 73, my lungs and my heart could be even more vulnerable to harm if I had problems before COVID-19 became part of my vocabulary. While lung injury and respiratory problems took center stage as the most frightening complications of COVID-19, Cardiovascular Disease  is another. 

Alarming facts: About 10 percent of patients with pre-existing Cardiovascular Disease who contract COVID-19 will die, compared with only 1 percent of patients who are otherwise healthy, according to an article in the health blog from Harvard Medical School.  

Unfortunately, the absence of symptoms doesn’t mean you’re absolutely free of Cardiovascular Disease. This new viral infection, fever, and inflammation can destabilize heart vessel blockages you didn’t even know you had. This makes it imperative for anyone in the high-risk group to take ownership of your health and do everything you possibly can to avoid hospitalizations by eating right, exercising and getting screened for stroke and cardiovascular disease. 

Even without the risks associated with COVID-19, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Now that you’re moving around a bit more freely, one of the first tasks on your agenda should be to understand your risk for cardiovascular disease.

Life Line Screening makes it easy by offering a special package of five preventative screening tests: 1) Atrial fibrillation or AFIB, a quivering or irregular heartbeat that can lead to blood clot, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications. 2) Peripheral arterial disease, a circulatory condition in which blood vessels narrowed by plaque reduce blood flow to the limbs. P.A.D. usually affects the arteries in the legs, but it also can affect the arteries that carry blood from your heart to your head, arms, kidneys, and stomach. Peripheral artery disease may be an indication that plaque is also present in other areas of the body. 3) Plaque in the carotid arteries, which are the two large blood vessels on each side of the neck that supply oxygenated blood to the brain, neck and face. The carotid artery narrows and affects blood flow to the brain when it becomes clogged with plaque, and complications can be serious. If any of the plaque breaks off, it can block the blood flow to the brain completely, causing a stroke. Plaque in the arteries can develop over time without causing a singly symptom. 4) Abdominal aortic aneurysm, a bulging, weakened area in the wall of the aorta, which is the largest artery in the body. Over time, the blood vessel balloons and is at risk for bursting or tearing, which can cause life- threatening bleeding and potentially death. 5) Osteoporosis, a loss of bone density or mass. 

Life Line has provided preventive screening to millions for 25 years – and at remarkably fair fees – precisely what convinced me to first have its tests in 2010.

IMPORTANT NOTE: In response to COVID-19, Lifeline is taking precautions to protect its customers and employees by following all CDC, state and local guidelines for cleanliness, personal protective equipment and social distancing. Masks are required for everyone; appointments are limited, and temperatures are taken prior to entering a facility.

Life Line Warned Me. I Didn’t Listen

I wasn’t overly concerned when I learned my right carotid artery had mild fatty plaque since it wasn’t a dire threat to my health, at least not immediately. Uncharacteristically, I dismissed the report recommendation to follow up with my doctor, too preoccupied with launching this website at the time. I felt good and had no signs of a problem. My weight was reasonable. I exercised. Didn’t smoke or drink. 

My blasé attitude had troubling consequences. 

By last year, my weight had spun out of control, I was working out less, and a new ultrasound showed a dramatic increase in the plaque. Now the bad stuff was narrowing the right carotid artery somewhere between 59 and 80 percent. That got my attention, even if there wasn’t a single symptom. If a piece of plaque broke off and blocked the blood flow, I could have a stroke. To make matters worse, my cholesterol numbers were dismal. My doctor started me on statin therapy right away to lower my cholesterol, told me to lose weight, start exercising again, and to take low-dose baby aspirin every day.  

Ironically, most doctors won’t recommend screenings for carotid artery or peripheral arterial disease for asymptomatic patients with no family history of stroke or heart attack. What’s more, Medicare doesn’t cover the tests unless someone has experienced symptoms. Without coverage, it’s costly to have tests like this done at a hospital. The United States health system isn’t a shining example of how to practice preventive medicine. 

Having no reason to suspect any cardiovascular problems a decade ago, I actually arranged for the first ultrasound through Life Line Screening as a preventive measure. When the original results showed mild plaque, it should have been fair warning not to let myself go. After all, that’s what preventive health care means. That’s what makes Life Line a smart idea.

The Life Line Screening Difference

View of right carotid artery

When Life Line recently contacted me about introducing its screening service to my FOFriends, I didn’t hesitate. After all, they discovered the plaque in my carotid artery at an early stage, not to mention early bone loss, and suggested that I see my own doctor. Pretty foolish not to heed their advice. “Every day we find people across the country with significant carotid artery and cardiovascular disease,” said Dr. Keith Coffee, Chief Medical Officer at Life Line. 

Only $149 For All Five Screenings

“We discovered about 62K overall health risks in 2017 alone,” Dr. Coffee said. A team of highly qualified, board-certified radiologists throughout the country, led by a vascular surgeon, reads all ultrasound images as well as the electrocardiograms for AFIB. 

“These are screenings, not diagnostic tests,” Dr. Coffee stressed. “We encourage patients to share their results with their doctors so they can together discuss the appropriate treatment, if necessary.” (Remember, that’s what I didn’t do!)  Life Line doesn’t have physicians available who can discuss the test results with patients, and it doesn’t interact with patients’ physicians. They do provide a summary of the results that you can share with your doctor. “We simply provide the incentive for patients to take the right steps for their health,” Dr. Coffee noted. 

If Life Line Screening discovers a life threatening condition, however, such as an aneurysm that’s about to rupture, it will send someone right to the ER and call for an ambulance if they wish. “Our customers tell us that we’ve possibly saved their lives. We get letters all the time from people who had no symptoms and thought they were just fine, but were at risk for having a large aneurysm about the rupture,” Dr. Coffee said.

In and Out In 90 Minutes Or Less

Life Line serves 60 cities across the country each day. Teams at the screening sites include at least two ultrasound stenographers who hold certificates in ultrasound technology, and two medical assistants who are cross trained to perform tests including electrocardiograms for heart rhythm, fingerstick blood tests, and peripheral pulses. A nurse practitioner joins most of the teams to see people 65+ years old for Annual Wellness Visits, which are covered under Medicare.

While most people opt for the basic, five-test package I described earlier, many decide to get their cholesterol and glucose checked during the same appointment, Dr. Coffee told me.  Life Line Screening offers 15 preventive screening blood tests, including thyroid function, vitamin D, and hemoglobin A1C for diabetes. It also provides a take-home test for detection of colorectal cancer. A call center with 300 trained employees helps participants decide what tests are right for them, based on their age, risk factors and medical history.

Testing is done in churches, at community centers, fraternal organizations and occasionally in hotel ballrooms. When Life Line works with affiliates, such as hospitals, anyone with abnormal results is referred back to the hospital. It also offers exclusive screenings for employees of large corporations as part of their healthcare plans. “Our goal is to get people in and out in 60 to 90 minutes, which includes paperwork and waiting time,” Dr. Coffee said. 

The Results Are In

A results package arrives in the mail about three weeks after your screening. It reports on every test you took and on your risk for stroke and cardiovascular disease in general, taking into account factors including smoking, high cholesterol and family history. “We give you all the information we can to help you make lifestyle changes and modifications if you need to,” Dr. Coffee explained. If a major issue such as AFIB is discovered, a Life Line representative will call you directly, rather than having you wait for the results package. 

People generally have their first Life Line screenings at 50 years old. “We have patients in their 40s who just want to know where they fit healthwise, or maybe they have a family history of early strokes. And, we have people in their 90s,” Dr. Coffee said. Returning patients account for about half of Life Line’s annual screenings, and close to 90 percent of all patients have their own physicians. 

Get preventive screenings once you’re age fifty, whether or not you have symptoms. And pay attention to what you learn.