A 2009 study found that more than half of Americans over the age of 65 take 5 or more prescription drugs regularly and one in 4 seniors takes between 10 and 19 pills per day. And that the more medications a senior takes, the more room there is for error.
When medications are taken incorrectly, serious, life-threatening harm may result. In medical terms, this would be described as an “adverse medical event.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that older adults are twice as likely as others to visit the emergency room due to an adverse drug event – over 177,000 visits per year. Reasons for these visits may include dizziness, falls, delirium and changes in vital signs.
Ahhhhhh, the holidays are here, the sweet wonderful holidays. And we all know what that means… get togethers and sweet treats! I love this time of the year, but I know a lot of people dread it. Work parties, family gatherings, drinks with friends all can be a challenge on our belts. I try to tell my clients that this is what we train for. The holiday season is our Superbowl. My motto is we workout so we can enjoy our life, and part of enjoying life is being social and a big part of being social is eating and drinking with your family and friends. So enjoy it! But what if you haven’t been working out all year? How can you survive the holidays without gaining the average 7 pounds that most Americans gain over the holidays? It’s easy! Just follow my 3 holiday eating rules.
When I was in nursing school in the mid eighties, I had not yet attained influenza vaccination enlightenment, and in the middle of that winter season, I got the flu. What ensued was a week of being bedridden. I was unable to eat, drink or move. I was helpless. I had a high fever, body aches and the whole week was a complete blur, except for the one thing I remember very clearly. I was so sick, I came very close to asking my roommate to give me a Tylenol suppository. I was too embarrassed, so I suffered through it. I will never forget it. I will never forget that feeling.
As the admissions counselor for Assisted Living at NewBridge on the Charles, I frequently talk to families of seniors about the advantages of an assisted living lifestyle. While supports like meal preparation, medication reminders and bathing and dressing help can be brought into a senior’s home, assisted living communities offer residents the added benefit of living among a community of peers and caring staff members. I’ve seen seniors not only gain the physical care they need but also regain access to the human connections that give life meaning and purpose. Here are some interesting facts about how even minimal daily social contact can improve an elder’s health:
For many Jewish elders, fasting on Yom Kippur is a religious and cultural imperative as well as a life-long tradition. In fact, many seniors who may not be traditional in other ways continue the practice of abstaining from all food on this holiest day of the Jewish year, the Day of Atonement.
But is it safe for seniors to fast? And what does Judaism have to say for those whose health issues may make fasting dangerous?
Almost all of my hearing aid patients ask me “what’s new” in the world of hearing aids when they come in for their check ups.
Like all technology, there is almost always something new! I generally tell my patients that each hearing aid manufacturer will roll out a new product 1-2 times a year. Does this make their current product obsolete? No. But, for those who might be in the market for new hearing aids, or, those who always seek the latest products, asking about the new developments is wise.
Osteoporosis is a disease in which the bones become weak and are more likely to break. People with osteoporosis most often break bones in the hip, spine, and wrist. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, 54 million Americans have osteoporosis or low bone mass, putting them at risk for broken bones. Therefore, researchers are continuing to work towards finding strategies to improve bone health and decrease osteoporosis risk.
Generally speaking, seniors want to do all they can to stay healthy. Sometimes my patients tell me there’s just too much information available, and they are not sure what advice is important and should be followed. A question I hear over and over again is: What vaccines do I really need?
While every person is different and needs to consult with his or her primary care clinician, I find myself telling more and more of my patients about Tdap. This vaccine is one way to protect yourself from serious and sometimes life threatening diseases.
Young and old alike love summer. It’s a time to be with friends and family, enjoying the outdoors and celebrating with festive picnics and activities. Because we tend to be more active during warmer months, summer can pose additional health and safety risks, particularly for older adults. Use the following 6 tips as a guide to ensure a memorable and safe summer.
According to America’s Health Rankings Senior Report 2014, seniors in Massachusetts are some of the healthiest in the United States. Rated using a broad spectrum of wellness criteria, only three states outrank us and one of those is Hawaii –which I say is not fair competition!
According to their website, “America’s Health Rankings is the longest-running annual assessment of the nation’s health on a state-by-state basis,” and the report analyzes “the health of the nation holistically, with in-depth data and analysis.”