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?
We often associate the term “frail” with older adults, particularly the “oldest old,” defined as individuals 85 and older. Frailty has become a particularly important geriatric topic as the ranks of seniors continue to grow at an unprecedented rate. As someone who has devoted a career to aging research, I have focused a significant amount of my work on understanding frailty— how we define and treat it.
Dementia is one of the most feared health conditions, especially in older adults. Adults with early signs of dementia and their families are often reluctant to seek advice. In fact, more than half of adults with dementia go undiagnosed.
By age 75, about 70% of seniors have cataracts, one of the most commonly diagnosed eye disorders in older adults. June is National Cataract Awareness Month, which makes it a great time to remind older adults to get their eyes checked, especially if they have vision problems that interfere with daily activities.
Your 68-year-old mother isn’t acting like herself lately — she seems a little down and unfocused. Is she depressed? Are these early symptoms of dementia? You may be surprised to learn that thyroid disease could be another possible cause.
Thyroid disease is fairly common, and occurs most often in aging women. It can be difficult to diagnose in the elderly because the symptoms can mimic those of many other diseases — or the normal signs of aging.
Arthritis is an inflammation of one or more joints caused by the breakdown of cartilage, the spongy tissue that covers the ends of bones. There are different types of arthritis, but the most common is osteoarthritis, or “wear and tear” arthritis— it occurs most often in the knees, hips, lower back, neck, or joints of the fingers, thumb and big toe.
Summer is the perfect time of year to get outdoors, enjoy the sunshine and explore a new activity. In the summer edition of our Seasons Wellness Guide series, Hebrew SeniorLife medical experts provide advice and information for everyday inspiration to help you optimize your time and enjoy the season.
Finally! Spring has arrived, and with it, the promise of warmer temperatures, longer days, and the renewal of all that winter has kept hidden for much too long. It is refreshing to see the daffodils coming to life again, the buds on the lilacs getting bigger each day, and to hear the peepers chirping at dusk each evening.
But…are you missing the sound of those peepers? Have you bluffed your way through a story your friend shared in that noisy restaurant last week, smiling and nodding, but not really able to follow the words clearly? Have you perhaps been hiding a hearing problem?