Advance care planning is not just about old age. At any age, a medical crisis could leave you too ill to make your own healthcare decisions. Even if you are not sick now, planning for health care in the future is an important step toward making sure you get the medical care you would want, if you are unable to speak for yourself and doctors and family members are making the decisions for you.
Many Americans face questions about medical treatment but may not be capable of making those decisions, for example, in an emergency or at the end of life. This article will explain the types of decisions that may need to be made in such cases and questions you can think about now so you're prepared later. It can help you think about who you would want to make decisions for you if you can't make them yourself. It will also discuss ways you can share your wishes with others. Knowing who you want to make decisions on your behalf and how you would decide might take some of the burden off family and friends.
POSTED JULY 05, 2017, 10:30 AM
Matthew Solan, Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch
POSTED OCTOBER 22, 2019, 10:30 AM
Brad Manor, PhD, Contributor
Despite considerable research and clinical effort, falls among people 65 and older are on the rise. An older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall every 11 seconds, with injuries ranging from simple cuts and bruises to broken bones. Hip fractures are the most serious injury from falls, and more than half of older adults hospitalized for hip fractures after a fall never regain their previous levels of mobility or quality of life. Further, falls are a leading cause of death among older adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an older adult dies from a fall every 19 minutes. Despite these sobering statistics, falls are not an inescapable part of aging; on the contrary, most falls are largely preventable.
POSTED MAY 08, 2017, 10:00 AM
Robert John Waldinger, MD, Contributor
The Harvard Study of Adult Development has tracked the lives of 724 men from the time they were teenagers into old age — 268 Harvard College sophomores, and 456 boys from Boston’s inner city. Using questionnaires, interviews, medical records, and scans of blood and brains, we’ve monitored their physical and mental health, work lives, friendships, and romances.
Here are five of the big lessons we’ve learned about what contributes to a good life:
POSTED MARCH 31, 2017, 7:00 AM
Robert H. Shmerling, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing
Follow me on Twitter @RobShmerling
We’ve all heard it before: to be as healthy as you can be, choose a healthy diet. And while that’s easier said than done, the impact of improving your diet may be large. That’s according to a recent study that estimated the impact of dietary modifications on premature cardiovascular deaths in this country. The verdict? More than 400,000 deaths each year could be prevented with dietary improvement.
POSTED OCTOBER 16, 2019, 10:30 AM
David R. Topor, PhD, MS-HPEd , Contributor
POSTED NOVEMBER 02, 2019, 10:30 AM , UPDATED NOVEMBER 04, 2019, 9:27 AM
James Yeh, MD, MPH , Contributor
Nearly half of all premature deaths may be due to unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as insufficient exercise, poor diet, and smoking. These risk factors increase the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, and stroke.
The good news is that lifestyle changes can make a difference. In a study analyzing over 55,000 people, those with favorable lifestyle habits such as not smoking, not being obese, engaging in regular physical activity, and eating a healthy diet lowered their heart disease risk by nearly 50%.
The American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA) recently published guidelines detailing lifestyle and behavioral recommendations to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in those who do not yet have it. The guidelines addressed diet and nutrition, exercise and physical activity, body weight, and tobacco use. They draw from existing evidence that healthier lifestyle choices can reduce the risk of premature death and disability due to heart disease.
POSTED NOVEMBER 11, 2019, 10:30 AM , UPDATED NOVEMBER 12, 2019, 9:15 AM
Ashwini Bapat, MD, Contributor