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.
Life is a continual balancing act. When we’re young, it may seem as though we’re able to take on everyday activities with ease. But, as we grow older, our senses and ability to efficiently perform multiple tasks at the same time start to slowly deteriorate. Even the simplest of simultaneous activities, such as walking and talking, can disrupt our balance and put us at risk for a serious fall-related injury.
I have devoted my research career to advancing the understanding of a serious condition called delirium and the impact it has on clinical outcomes. As a medical resident, I observed symptoms of confusion and disorientation in many of the seniors I cared for during my hospital rotations. These symptoms were generally shrugged off as just something that sometimes happens to older patients. Little, if anything was done to prevent or treat it despite its devastating effects.
This blog is part of a year-long series aimed at addressing some of the most frequently asked questions we hear from family and adult children on the topics most concerning them regarding their aging parents or loved one. In 2012 Hebrew SeniorLife published the eBook "You & Your Aging Parent: A Family Approach to Lifelong Health, Wellness & Care," a compilation of answers from HSL geriatric experts in response to the many of the most frequently asked questions. We're reposting some of the most popular Q&A posts from our original eBook which was downloaded over 2,000 times. We're also adding new Q&As throughout the series that address topics not originally included in our eBook.