“Being a parent is the hardest thing in the world. .. . the psychological toll it takes on you because these lives are in your hands. I take it very seriously.” Actress Michelle Pfeiffer, 54
“Family is the ultimate narrative. It gives a story to your life in a remarkable way. And a witness.” Julianne Moore, in More magazine, March 2012
Heart-stopping: Many people who suffer heart attacks never have chest pain, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reports. This is especially true for both younger and middle-aged women; researchers found that 42 percent of women admitted to hospitals for heart attacks never had chest pain, compared with 30.7 percent of men. Women also were more likely to die; the mortality rate for women in the study of 1.1 million people was almost 15 percent, compared with 10 percent for men. Other symptoms that could be a warning of a heart attack in progress include nausea, shortness of breath, and pain in the jaw or back.
Reform is not the cure: A report released by the Older Women’s League, just in time for Mother’s Day, finds that the Affordable Care Act is a move forward but not a cure for the 74 million women over age 40 who need health-care reform. The group, known as OWL, advocates a universal system such as the ones in Canada and Great Britain. President Margaret Hellie Huyck particularly addressed the needs of mothers who often give unpaid care to family members that can affect not only their physical and emotional health but also their financial security. “The social system needs to support (mothers) and make sure their own health does not suffer by providing universal, affordable and high-quality health care,” Huyck said.
All alone with Alzheimer’s: Approximately one in seven Americans who have Alzheimer’s live alone, according to new data from the Alzheimer’s Association reported by the Associated Press. The surprising numbers emphasize the balancing act between the autonomy and the safety of someone who suffers with early dementia. According to U.S. Census data, nearly one-third of people 65 and older live alone, and more than half of women in their 80s do. The challenge of knowing when it is no longer safe for a loved one to live alone is only going to get more difficult as the number of those with Alzheimer’s grows.
What worries women: The top issues for 50-plus women in the coming election are, in order, health-care costs, jobs, social security/Medicare and government competence, according to the 2012 AARP Election Issues Survey. For men, the top issues are jobs, the deficit, government competence and health-care costs.