John Wenzlau and Millie Oakeson

As each year comes to a close, many of us start to think about our next year’s resolutions. Each week, radio hosts John Wenzlau and Millie Oakeson of “Successful Aging” on Independent Talk 1100 KFNX, provide listeners with information on how to live life to the fullest and age well by talking with expert guests.

This week’s guests, Dan Hewson, audiologist and owner of Ascent Audiology & Hearing, and Sue Thew, media spokesperson for the United Blood Services Arizona, gave us positive ways we can impact our own lives, as well as those in our community.  

One of the greatest fears as we age is the fear of falling. Falls can occur for a number of reasons. Sometimes loss of hearing can be due to an infection or a build-up of ear wax and can be easily taken care of, but true hearing loss can increase your risk of falling and even affect your balance. Through a hearing exam, an audiologist can know for sure if hearing is the cause. Loss of hearing can also lead to lack of brain stimulation. There was a 25-year study out of Johns Hopkins University that shows there is a correlation between hearing loss and dementia.

An annual hearing test starting at the age of 50 is recommended, or before if you notice you don’t understand speech as well as you once did. There have been huge advances in hearing aid technology and it is important to become educated on your options and consult a professional before purchasing. For information, contact Ascent Audiology & Hearing at 602-652-2099, or

Oakeson asked the next guest, Thew from United Blood Services Arizona, “Is donating blood good for the donor”?  

Thew said, “The benefits to the blood donor are many. There is a sense of pride in helping save the lives of many with your individual donation.”

As for the recipients, the statistics are staggering. In Arizona there are 500 patients a day in need of a blood transfusion. To be a donor, you need to be at least 16 years old (parent/guardian permission required for donors under 18), weigh 110 pounds, or more, and in general good health. The need is great because of the shelf life of each donation. Whole blood donations have a shelf life of 42 days; plasma can be frozen for up to one year, and platelets, which are used for cancer patients, have a five-day shelf life with two of these days being used for testing.

A donor can donate whole blood every eight weeks and platelets once a week; however, this process takes a bit longer. Only 6 percent of the population donates, which leaves the blood banks in serious need of donations daily. To change a life by donating, sign up at

All blood type donations are needed, especially AB plasma.

Thew pointed out, “Nothing can replace blood, and there is no synthetic substitute.”

Donating blood, plasma and platelets are all gifts that save lives.

For more information on these topics or to ask a question, visit to Independent Talk KFNX 1100 as we continue to explore “Successful Aging.”