Saturday, December 20, 2014
     

Columns

Wednesday, December 17, 2014
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Fred Pattie's Peanut Butter Patties are a Christmas tradition.

I once knew a man whose name was Fred Pattie. His wife's name was Patty Pattie. I'm not kidding.

But wait, it gets better.

Fred Pattie, who was an over-the-road trucker, made the most amazing candy, which he would give as gifts during the holidays.

My favorite? Peanut Butter Patties. This candy tastes just like those iconic, round favorites we all love.

Ever since Fred gave me that recipe, this candy has been a holiday staple in my house, and now my kids even make it, and not just for the holidays.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Q. How extensive is alcoholism among older people?

Alcoholism is a serious problem among seniors. Here are just a few statistics:

About 70 percent of hospital admissions for older adults are for illness and accidents related to alcohol.

About half of older adults in nursing homes have an alcohol problem.

Older adults lose an average of 10 years off their lives because of alcohol abuse.

About 80 percent of doctors misdiagnose alcoholism as depression in older women.

The highest growing number of alcoholics is among 75-year-old widowers.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Q. What causes motion sickness?

Many people including me suffer nausea when traveling by boat, car or airplane. It also happens on rides in amusement parks and playgrounds. The symptoms of motion sickness are caused by conflicting messages arriving at the central nervous system.

Different parts of your body let your brain know where you are and what you're doing. The inner ears let you know if you're turning, or moving forward-backward, side-to-side, and up-and-down.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies

My mother made the same Christmas cookies every year. She might add one or two different varieties, but there were always the ones we could count on: "S" Cookies, Dusan Confections, Caramel Spritz and Cappuccino Flats.

Mom's Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies, however, were everyone's favorite. (Except me, mine are the "S" Cookies.) My kids love them and my friends always ask for the recipe. I think if we didn't have them on the cookie plate on Christmas Eve, there would be a revolt in the house.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Q. Whenever I drink a little too much wine, I find that I wake up at night and my heart seems to race for a while. Can wine do that?

The short answer is yes. But, first, it sounds like you haven't told a doctor about this. And you should immediately. What you're describing could be atrial fibrillation. The risk of atrial fibrillation increases with age, particularly after age 60.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Country superstar's new  book an entertaining dream

Things get hectic this time of year. Not only are we looking for gifts, we're also looking for fun, easy ways to entertain.

Because we're so busy, we also want to make simple weeknight meals because other than those marathon cooking days, like Thanksgiving and Christmas, we just don't have time to spend in the kitchen.

I think Martina McBride might have the answer to your problems.

The country singer superstar recently published a beautiful cookbook and entertainment guide that offers an array of recipes for special gatherings and family-friendly options.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Q. Is it my imagination, but am I getting fewer fevers than I did when I was younger?

The immune system doesn't function as efficiently in older adults as it does in younger people.

The body's fever response to infection is not always automatic in elderly people. More than 20 percent of adults over age 65 who have serious bacterial infections do not have fevers.

This brings us to germs, which are defined as microbes that cause disease. Infectious diseases caused by microbes are the leading cause of death.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Q. What exactly is congestive heart failure?

If you have congestive heart failure your heart can't pump enough blood. This condition develops over time. It is the number one reason people over age 65 go into the hospital.

Heart failure is most common in older people, and is more common in African-Americans. Men have a higher rate of heart failure than women. But, because women usually live longer, the condition affects more women in their 70s and 80s.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Deliciously Decadent Macaroni and Cheese

I've never been one to believe that comfort food has to be rich and fattening to be satisfying. Usually, for me at least, it's all about the memories that food evokes.

I get just as excited about a salad of curly endive dressed with red wine vinegar and lots of garlic as I do about a homemade cavatelli covered in a thick marinara.

But there are days when I want something that will make me feel good, at least when I'm eating it, even though I know the guilt will come soon enough.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Q. I heard that marijuana helps glaucoma. I'd like to try it, but won't I get in trouble?

Marijuana can help your glaucoma and it could get you in trouble because there are legal restrictions upon its use.

If you are interested in trying medical marijuana for your glaucoma, discuss this treatment with your doctor. (I could write an entire column on the marijuana laws, but I'll stick to the health issues.)