February is American Heart Health month, which makes it a great time to make changes that can improve the health of your heart. As a geriatrician at Center Communities of Brookline, I’m thrilled when patients want to make changes to positively impact their health, especially the health of the heart. Cardiovascular disease (which includes heart attack, stroke and high blood pressure) continues to be the number 1 killer of men and women in the U.S.
Ahhhhhh, the holidays are here, the sweet wonderful holidays. And we all know what that means… get togethers and sweet treats! I love this time of the year, but I know a lot of people dread it. Work parties, family gatherings, drinks with friends all can be a challenge on our belts. I try to tell my clients that this is what we train for. The holiday season is our Superbowl. My motto is we workout so we can enjoy our life, and part of enjoying life is being social and a big part of being social is eating and drinking with your family and friends. So enjoy it!
The holiday season is a time for many of us when our thoughts turn naturally to bringing joy to others, especially children, seniors, and families in need.
Many faiths include giving back as part of their holiday traditions. For Jews, performing a mitzvah means to do a good deed, or charitable act. Many Jewish people even have a tradition of volunteering on Christmas Day. Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, or are just reflecting on the end of another year, December presents many opportunities for volunteer service.
When I was in nursing school in the mid eighties, I had not yet attained influenza vaccination enlightenment, and in the middle of that winter season, I got the flu. What ensued was a week of being bedridden. I was unable to eat, drink or move. I was helpless. I had a high fever, body aches and the whole week was a complete blur, except for the one thing I remember very clearly. I was so sick, I came very close to asking my roommate to give me a Tylenol suppository. I was too embarrassed, so I suffered through it.
In 2004, ABC News journalist Dan Harris experienced a panic attack while reading the news on Good Morning America. This led him down a path of exploring the connection between our mind and our bodies, ultimately finding meditation as an answer to quieting his “internal narrator.” Dan wrote about his journey in the best-selling book 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Works – a True Story.
For many Jewish elders, fasting on Yom Kippur is a religious and cultural imperative as well as a life-long tradition. In fact, many seniors who may not be traditional in other ways continue the practice of abstaining from all food on this holiest day of the Jewish year, the Day of Atonement.
But is it safe for seniors to fast? And what does Judaism have to say for those whose health issues may make fasting dangerous?
Osteoporosis is a disease in which the bones become weak and are more likely to break. People with osteoporosis most often break bones in the hip, spine, and wrist. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, 54 million Americans have osteoporosis or low bone mass, putting them at risk for broken bones. Therefore, researchers are continuing to work towards finding strategies to improve bone health and decrease osteoporosis risk.
Generally speaking, seniors want to do all they can to stay healthy. Sometimes my patients tell me there’s just too much information available, and they are not sure what advice is important and should be followed. A question I hear over and over again is: What vaccines do I really need?
I’m pleased to join HSL’s blogging team, representing Information Technology (IT) in health care. I thought for my first post, I’d begin by reflecting on Hebrew SeniorLife’s pioneering effort to bring electronic medical records (EMR) to the long-term and post-acute care environment.