Strokes are the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. A stroke occurs when blood circulation to the brain fails, primarily due to a blood clot or narrowing of the artery leading to the brain. This deprives the brain of much-needed oxygen and nutrients. As scary as this can sound, there are steps you can take to lower your risk of suffering a stroke.
It’s important to control your blood pressure by having it checked annually and treated if it is high.
Having a heart attack can be a frightening experience, but with the appropriate recovery approach, it’s possible to return to normal life with productive activity. It’s important to understand that having a heart attack means you will have to make changes in your life, depending on how badly your heart was damaged and what degree of heart disease you have.
Checking blood pressure is a normal part of most visits to your doctor’s office, but many patients don’t understand what the numbers mean from a medical and health perspective. It’s important to understand the basics of blood pressure, especially as we age, since high blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease, kidney disease and stroke, contributing to more than 275,000 deaths each year.
I often hear my patients say, “If only people spoke more clearly, I wouldn’t have as much trouble hearing.” Although damage to the hair cells of the inner ear does cause some inherent distortion in the received speech signal, it is true that clear spoken speech CAN make listening easier for hearing impaired people. Research suggests that in less than an hour, partners of people with a hearing loss can improve their ability to be understood by 40% or more, even in noisy backgrounds. So, what IS “clear speech”?
• Speaking slightly slower, with more precise pronunciation
It’s one of the most simple, but important things you can do for your body – drink plenty of water. Next to oxygen, water is the most significant nutrient your body needs to function properly. It makes up nearly 70 percent of the human body and plays a vital role in nearly every bodily function, including regulating temperature and carrying nutrients throughout the body.
I often remind my patients of ways to stay hydrated because without proper fluid intake, the body becomes dehydrated. Untreated severe dehydration can lead to seizures, permanent brain damage, and even death. Seniors must take extra precautions because their thirst mechanism is not as sensitive as it once was and they are often not aware that they have become dangerously dehydrated.
Every June, Men’s Health Month is celebrated across the country as a way to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men. I’m thrilled by any opportunity to offer patients more information when it comes to their health, so that they are empowered to make the best decisions possible.
Taking ownership of one’s health care, which is something strongly encouraged at Hebrew SeniorLife, relies greatly on patient education. In honor of Men’s Health Month, I’m highlighting three health issues older men frequently face – and what they can to do prevent them.
With summer upon us, we tend to hear a great deal about healthy eating and getting in tip-top shape. There is no shortage of diets, drinks and pills being marketed, all promising slim waistlines for the summer season. But the truth is – healthy eating isn’t limited to a particular time of year. It’s a lifestyle and one that is incredibly important as we age.
Many studies indicate that people with untreated hearing loss may be at an increased risk of depression. Further, when these people use hearing aids, they experience significant improvements in quality of life and a decrease in depressive symptoms. A study published in the Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics examined the effects of hearing aids on cognitive function and depressive signs in people 65 and older. Researchers found that after three months of using a hearing aid, all patients showed significant improvement in their psychosocial and cognitive conditions.
Hearing loss often occurs with age. However, research has revealed that hearing loss can actually be accelerated in patients with diabetes, especially if blood-glucose levels are not being controlled with medication and diet.
Diabetes is a chronic disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin, a hormone required to convert sugar, starches and other foods into energy needed for daily life. People with diabetes have too much glucose, a form of sugar, in their blood. More than half of the 16 million Americans living with diabetes are over the age of 60.
It’s no secret that seniors are often taking more than one prescription medication. As we age, we are more likely to develop chronic illnesses – and frequently need medication to lead healthy and active lives. However, medications in older adults come with safety concerns, especially when multiple prescriptions are involved. There are more chances for overdoses, under-doses and dangerous side effects.