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Healthy living

Preventing Mosquito and Tick Bites

May 23, 2013

Preventing Mosquito and Tick Bites

While tiny in size, mosquitoes can still manage to be pesky and persistent insects. Mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk during the warmer months.

Mosquitoes can be responsible for transmitting West Nile and Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) viruses to humans. We hear a lot about these viruses during the early fall, as that’s when mosquitoes are most likely to carry them. Researchers believe West Nile and EEE are spread when a mosquito bites an infected bird and then bites a person. While it’s rare to contract West Nile or EEE virus, severe cases can be life threatening, and old age is considered a risk factor for both viruses.

How to Maintain a Healthy Weight

April 23, 2013

How to Maintain a Healthy Weight

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.

Health Goals for Older Adults

Embracing the Potential of Aging

April 11, 2013

Health Goals for Older Adults

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.

Walking Health for Seniors

March 26, 2013

Walking Health for Seniors

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.

March comes in like a lion, and goes out like a… ram?

Nuances of Hearing Loss

March 25, 2013

Nuances of Hearing Loss

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!

Foot Problems in the Elderly

Taking the Right Steps to Understand Foot Ailments

March 21, 2013

Elderly Foot Problem

We expect a lot from our feet. They get us to all the places we need to go, while providing the anchor and balance crucial to physical activity. As we age, foot problems can become common. From aches and pain to bunions and corns, our feet are prone to many conditions that can cause discomfort and impact mobility.  This shouldn’t be surprising when you consider that the distance people walk in a lifetime would take them around the globe nearly six times. Yet, our feet are often neglected and foot pain is frequently written off as not a significant risk to health.  Researchers have also neglected foot problems when it comes to learning how they can affect overall senior health. 

Laughter and Health

The Best Medicine?

February 28, 2013

laughter as medicine

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.

Protecting Against Cold

Keeping Warm in Winter Months

February 21, 2013

Protecting against cold

It seems to go without saying – make sure to dress warmly during the cold winter months. For seniors, however, it’s particularly important to protect against the cold. As we age, our bodies become less efficient at retaining heat, making older people more vulnerable to hypothermia (low body temperature) often brought on by extreme temperatures.

Hypothermia symptoms often develop slowly. You can become confused, drowsy, and have trouble speaking. If not treated immediately, hypothermia can cause life-threatening emergencies. Stay warm and safe this winter with the following tips:

Heart Health and Hearing Loss

The Whisper of Sweet Nothings….Can you hear them?

February 13, 2013

heart health and hearing

Here it is: February. A short month in terms of days, but a long month for many, as it is usually cold and falls between the excitement of the holidays and the anticipation of spring.

February also claims Valentine’s Day and American Heart Health Month. Speaking of hearts, did you know that there is a link between heart health and hearing health? The inner ear is extremely sensitive to blood flow. Studies have shown that a healthy cardiovascular system—a person’s heart, arteries, and veins, has a positive effect on hearing. Conversely, inadequate blood flow and trauma to the blood vessels of the inner ear can contribute to hearing loss.

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

February 7, 2013

Seasonal Affective Disorder

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.

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