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.
Think of cataracts as the late stage of a continuum of age-related eye changes. As we get older, the part of the eye called the crystalline lens starts to harden, making it more difficult to focus. Cataracts take that process a step further — the normally transparent lens gets cloudy or opaque over time, causing vision problems.
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.
What is the thyroid? Located in the neck, this butterfly-shaped gland produces a hormone that controls the metabolism: It helps the body use energy and stay warm, and keeps organs like the brain and heart functioning properly.
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?
Making time for exercise is no easy matter. We’re all occupied with our daily routines, countless activities, and projects that force us to put exercise on the back burner.
But like anything else, those things that take hard work and commitment show the greatest results. Yes, I’m talking about exercise.
It’s one of the things you just have to make a commitment to doing and stick with it. For individuals with a chronic medical condition, exercise is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. Just like taking your prescribed medications or sticking to a diet, exercise requires the same degree of commitment.
Last year I wrote about resolutions and perhaps choosing better hearing as one of yours! This year, I’m writing about some lower tech interventions for hearing loss that might be useful for any person with hearing concerns.
It’s that time of year again when the days get shorter and colder. It is also the time of year when a condition known as fall-onset seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, becomes a problem for some older adults. I have blogged about this in the past, but with the shortest days of the upon us, I thought it would be helpful to revisit, and expand on the topic.
Gone is the belief that growing older means inevitable and irreversible physical decline. Thanks to aging research, including that conducted in the Institute for Aging Research at Hebrew SeniorLife, we now know that not only is physical activity possible at any age, but it is beneficial— from staying heart healthy, to helping prevent falls, to slowing the onslaught of dementia.
Physicians rely on bone mineral density testing as an important tool in assessing the risks for, and management of, the bone disease called osteoporosis. Although there are no guidelines for the frequency of repeating bone density tests, Medicare pays for screening every two years —without limiting the number of repeat tests, and regardless of the results of the patient's initial (or baseline) bone density scan.