Every year, nearly 1.5 million fractures are attributed to osteoporosis. But what causes bone disease and how can you protect yourself from it?
These are important questions – ones that scientists at the Musculoskeletal Research Center in Hebrew SeniorLife’s Institute for Aging Research have devoted their careers to, as well as identifying all health risks associated with bone disease. While we know osteoporosis occurs when bodies lose bone or make too little of it, what causes bones to fracture more easily with age is still not completely understood.
Use it or lose it. That’s the basic philosophy behind maintaining cognitive abilities later in life. For busy adults, this can be easy enough. Days are filled juggling work, appointments and household chores, providing plenty of stimulation to keep cognitive thinking skills sharp. I, however, often see seniors adjusting to a slower daily pace and it can take more effort to create opportunities to exercise these skills regularly. According to a major study completed by the Institute for Aging Research (IFAR) at Hebrew SeniorLife, it is worth that extra effort.
We often hear about the importance of losing weight – and the struggles that come along with it. The truth, however, is that maintaining a healthy weight can be just as challenging. Once you reach an ideal weight, seniors should still evaluate food choices and commit to exercising regularly. It’s truly about embracing an overall healthy lifestyle.
This lifestyle is rewarded with significant health benefits including lowering your risk for certain conditions including diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease.
I’m always impressed by seniors in our community and their commitment to healthy living. As Orchard Cove’s Vitalize360 coach, I regularly have the opportunity to help residents set and work on personal goals. It’s exciting to witness an 86-year-old woman recover from a hip fracture and commit to improve her physical fitness by taking on new activities such as swimming and Zumba. Sometimes, the goals are not related to fitness. I’ve watched watch a man revitalize his work as an artist at the age of 79 and discover new passions, such as singing in our choral group.
Fitness can be intimidating to many seniors. What’s safe? What’s effective? Where’s a good place to begin? The good news is you don’t need fancy gym equipment or a high-impact aerobics class to complete quality exercise that’s beneficial to your health. All you need is motivation and your own two feet.
Walking regularly is one of the safest and most effective forms of exercise available. You can proceed at your own pace and reap the benefits – including a healthier heart, lower stress and higher energy levels.
Okay, we KNOW it should be lamb, but very often, a person with hearing impairment may hear a similar word, but one that very much changes the meaning of the phrase. In the above example, familiarity with the phrase would help. But, what about this exchange?
“Hey, nice watch. What kind is it?”
“Oh, it’s 12:30.”
The most common complaint I hear from my patients is “I hear fine, I just don’t get the words.” This could very likely be because the ear is hearing SOME of the sounds within words normally, but is not picking up some of the softer sounding consonants….the “s”, the “f”, the “sh”, the “t”, for example. These consonants are the elements of words that give words MEANING!
It may be tempting to choose shoes based on style or a good sale, but poorly fitting shoes can cause a number of painful foot problems. Unfortunately, some seniors suffering from bunions, corns, calluses and other disabling problems because they are not wearing shoes that fit properly.
The best shoes for seniors are supportive and conform to the shape of their feet. In fact, a study by the Institute for Aging Research of Hebrew SeniorLife has revealed that certain shoe types increase future risk of heel and ankle pain. Wearing sandals with poor support and high heels in the past were reported to have caused foot pain in 64 percent of women who participated in the study.
When was the last time you had a good laugh? It may be more important than you think. Over time, we have learned there are numerous health benefits of laughter. Not only can it relieve physical stress and tension, but boost our immune systems, including reducing stress hormones and increasing the activity of immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies.
It’s no secret that New Englanders are well versed in the “winter blues.” With shortened daylight and chilly temperatures, it’s easy to feel sluggish and left longing for the summer months. For some people, however, depression during the winter is a serious problem. Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is a type of depression that occurs the same time every year, usually beginning in the fall as the days get shorter.
Falls can be scary business, especially when you consider the following statistics; each year, more than one-third of Americans over the age of 65 suffer a fall, resulting in roughly 13,700 deaths. Falls can also result in hip fractures– a common injury when you are older and one that usually requires surgical repair, replacement and intensive physical therapy.