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.
We all make resolutions when the New Year rolls around. And usually, our resolutions are chosen to improve ourselves in some way. Do we want to eat better? Lose weight? Exercise more? Find ways to lessen stress?
If you, or any of your loved ones, have been struggling with hearing problems, perhaps 2013 is the time to resolve to hear BETTER!
But, like our resolutions, it’s best to set realistic expectations. Personally, I don’t think I’ll ever make it back into that two piece bathing suit. I can’t see myself doing a marathon, or, for that matter, a mini-marathon. But maybe I CAN feel better in my clothing. Or, perhaps I CAN commit to walking four days week.
Holidays bring to mind thoughts of family, friends, fun, food…and maybe, in the face of hearing loss, some stress knowing it will be hard to keep up with the conversations. Maybe, when Cousin Bob tells his latest joke, you laugh at the punch line. NOT because you heard it, but because everyone else is laughing. Maybe, when the group is reminiscing at the kitchen table, you sneak off into the other room where it’s quiet, and you don’t have to participate. After all, it can be stressful to listen and try to catch every word. Much easier if it’s just you and the TV.
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.
Let’s face it – winters can be tough. Months of frigid temperatures and heavy snow fall can make daily life difficult and isolation at home even more common for seniors. You can, however, safely maneuver through winter weather by realizing the high risk for falls during icy and snowy conditions and taking proper precautions.
As a staff geriatrician for Hebrew SeniorLife, I regularly see injuries from falls during winter months and urge patients to be extra vigilant when outdoors during the winter season. Fractured ankles and broken hips (especially for those over 50) are two of the most common injuries and can mean lengthy, frustrating recovery periods for seniors.