When it comes to chronic health care, seniors are the experts, hands down, with up to three out of four seniors affected by a number of conditions that are ongoing, necessitate long-term medical treatment, and place restrictions on activities. With the never-ending barrage of bloodwork as well as other tests, physicians’ appointments and procedures, and medications, managing chronic diseases usually takes both a physical and emotional toll, and may quickly become daunting.
Dr. Mary Tinetti, chief of geriatrics and internist at Yale School of Medicine, said, “Once you get three, four, or five and six diseases, several things happen: Number one, almost guaranteed, trying to get one of these diseases under control is going to make one of the other … Read More »
Our facial expressions divulge so much to those around us, and when you’re feeling an unusual level of caregiver stress, well-meaning family members will certainly recognize it, possibly encouraging you to essentially, “Cheer up, buttercup!” In reality, of course, it takes a whole lot more than a couple of words to turn our mood around.
Nonetheless, recent research does support the concept of positive thinking as a method to minimize levels of depression and anxiety which might develop when we’re bombarded with stress – something critical for busy family caregivers to take to heart to decrease the possibility for burnout.
Judith Moskowitz, head psychologist in the research project who consequently established a program to combat the downward spiral of emotions so typical in individuals providing … Read More »
Think of a typical day in the life of a senior loved one. Hopefully it provides several positive and enriching experiences: enjoying breakfast, engaging in a fun hobby or interest, visiting with a friend or family member, watching a favorite TV show. Nevertheless, there’s a difference between positivity and purpose and meaning for seniors; and the need for a life rich with significance and purpose is starting to become more evident, particularly in the life of aging parents.
Viktor Frankl , world-renowned psychiatrist and survivor of the Holocaust, shares poignantly, “What matters is not the meaning in life in general, but rather the specific meaning of a person’s life at a given moment.”
For people whose identity has been focused on a career and raising … Read More »
In our younger years, physical activity was a given. Our days were filled with participating in sports programs, recess on the playground, and games of tag with friends. All of this naturally gave our heart the workout it needed to stay healthy. But as we grow older, a more sedentary lifestyle can settle in – having serious repercussions on our hearts, including stiffness, a decreased efficiency in oxygen production, and an elevated risk of heart disease and failure. Is there anything we can do to improve heart health and possibly even restore its functioning to what it was when we were younger?
Let’s face it: a lot of us delay going to the doctor’s office. It could be somewhat uncomfortable, and downright distressing when something is wrong and we’re looking at the prospect of an unwanted diagnosis. Even so, we understand it’s wise to complete what’s best for our health and wellbeing and to be diligent about receiving necessary medical care.
Do you remember that feeling as a young child when the school bell rang, indicating the conclusion of science and the start of the best part of the day: recess? There was an immense feeling of freedom bounding out onto the playground, leaving behind the pressure of school work for a quick period of unstructured play. Regrettably, for the majority of adults, this is just a happy but distant memory. Play for seniors isn’t usually something that’s considered by many adults. Nevertheless, is it possible, and even worthwhile, to recapture the enjoyment of playing?
As the seniors in your life become older and lose some of their physical and/or mental abilities, they become more susceptible to elder abuse and less equipped to protect themselves. Elder abuse is real and can have a traumatizing effect on the seniors in your life. It’s important that to protect seniors against elder abuse, including physical, emotional, financial, or sexual abuse, you know the proper precautions to take and are aware of the key warning signs.
The best way to help prevent elder abuse is to visit and call the seniors in your life often. The more you can see a senior loved one in person or hear their voice, the more you will be able to notice changes in or on their body and in … Read More »
With many older adults taking multiple prescriptions, and with physicians adding and changing dosages and medications to determine the ideal solutions, it’s essential to know where to safely dispose of unused medications. There are several options:
Check labels. The medication’s label or informational literature might provide instructions on how to properly dispose of the drug. You could also consult the pharmacist for suggestions.
Participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. This is the suggested method to properly dispose of unwanted medications, and is held once a year in locations across the country by the United States Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration. Discover the location closest to you as well as the next date for the event here.
Exercise caution before flushing medication down the toilet. Flushing medications down the toilet … Read More »
Juggling the numerous medical appointments, procedures, tests, medications, lifestyle changes, and more is a way of life for the many seniors with chronic health needs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a full 85% of seniors have at least one chronic health care need, and 60% are diagnosed with two or more. The challenges may seem overwhelming. But there’s one essential component to effectively managing a chronic health condition: care management.
Diagnoses such as diabetes, COPD, heart disease, and more are life-changing. They impact a person’s mental as well as physical health, and it’s important to enlist help in meeting all care needs. Geriatric care managers, also known as aging life care specialists, are skilled professionals with expertise in meeting all of the diverse … Read More »
Being a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or any other kind of dementia requires empathy, creativity, and patience, the capacity to step away from your individual reasoning and logic and realize why a specific behavior is occurring, and then to understand just how to effectively manage it. That is certainly the case with senior personal care needs, such as a loved one who won’t change his/her clothing, in spite of how dirty or unkempt an outfit has become.
There are several reasons why a senior with Alzheimer’s disease may insist upon wearing the same outfit, including:
Memory or judgment problems, including losing track of time or thinking the clothes were recently changed
The comfort and familiarity of a particular piece of clothing
A need to maintain control
Struggles with … Read More »