Health & Wellness

Age Related Muscle Loss

Tips to Slow Down Age-Related Muscle Loss

Let’s face it, as we age our bodies start to break down and one way that happens is through loss of muscle mass, strength and function. For most of us, loss of muscle starts happening in our 30’s and although the rate of decline varies from person to person, experts believe that we may lose anywhere between 3 and 5 percent of muscle mass each decade.READ MORE

Heat Stroke

The Hidden Dangers of Heat Stroke

With the summer season now upon us, it’s important for anyone planning to spend time in the great outdoors to recognize the signs and symptoms of heat stroke and the potential danger associated with this very serious condition.  But before we dive deeper into the dangers of heat stroke, let’s first get a better understanding of what heat stroke is. READ MORE

Senior loneliness and depression

Are Depression and Loneliness Connected With Aging?

For many elderly seniors, age is just a number. Many are living life to the fullest, taking advantage of everything life at this age has to offer. Building new friendships, traveling around the world, regular golf and tennis outings, family gatherings, etc. But this isn’t the case for every member of the elderly population. In fact, research indicates that as a society, we are lonelier than ever before. This is especially true of the elderly population. There are no accurate estimates on the number of elderly persons experiencing loneliness and depression, but the number is high and it’s getting higher.

So what’s contributing to this growing epidemic and is there anything that can be done about it?

 

Factors Contributing to Loneliness & Depression

Loss of spouse – Many elderly seniors are living alone for the first time in many years as a result of losing a spouse.

Extended family (children, grandchildren, cousins, etc.) live in another state – More people are moving for jobs and/or better quality of life.

Socioeconomic status – Some people just don’t have the financial means to travel the world or live out their retirement years in an active senior living community full of amenities.

Health related – Conditions like arthritis, urinary incontinence, tiredness, side-effects from medication, etc. can all lead to an inactive social life. According to a study published by the National Institutes of Health, a person’s physical health is a major cause of depression in late life. This may be due to several factors including:

  • The psychological effects of living with an illness and disability
  • The effects of chronic pain
  • The biological effects of some conditions and medications that can cause depression through direct effects on the brain
  • The social restrictions that some illnesses place upon life-style resulting in isolation and loneliness

Unfortunately, the loneliness and depression associated with health issues can often lead to even more and sometimes bigger health issues.

Loss of close friends and lack of desire to create new friends – Social isolation can lead to feelings of emptiness and depression.

Fear of driving – As we age, it’s common to have more anxiety about driving, especially on the freeways. Let’s face it, reaction time and eyesight aren’t what they used to be and hopping on the freeway or a busy road to visit a friend, go to the mall or head to the community center isn’t as appealing as it once was.

Moving to a new neighborhood or apartment as a result of downsizing – Many of the elderly experiencing loneliness and depression have had to downsize due to financial reasons or the inability to handle the upkeep of a larger home. This can lead to more loneliness as a result of moving away from friends, experiencing unfamiliarity with their surroundings, etc.

 

These are not the only reasons for the increasing rate of loneliness and depression among the elderly population, but they are prime contributors. There are things that can be done to help, but it takes some effort on the part of the individual. Many cities have free regular classes and activities for seniors, but they don’t do much good if the person doesn’t have the ability to get there. See if these places offer transportation or look into Uber. Uber has opened up a world of possibilities for seniors stuck at home. For more on Uber and senior transportation, go here.

Here are some other ways to combat loneliness:

Adopt a pet – Check with reputable local shelters to ask if they have any specific pet adoption programs geared specifically toward seniors.

Start a blog – Starting a blog is a relatively easy, inexpensive and fun way to pass time. The great thing about blogs is that you can blog about anything you know about. Many seniors like to write blogs on cooking, family, travel, hobbies, books, etc. The list is endless. Blogging also provides a way to interact with other people who have the same interests.

Find a new hobby – It’s never too late to start a new hobby. With all of the “how to” videos now available on YouTube, it’s easier than ever before to learn something new.

Volunteer – For mobile elderly seniors, volunteering is a great way to get out and meet new people. Volunteering opportunities can be easily found online.

Start a neighborhood club – If the community has a community center, talk with the community manager to see if there is an opportunity to put up a flyer and host the club at the community center.

 

Whatever you decide to do either for yourself or on behalf of someone you know, it’s important to do something. Loneliness isn’t going to go away by ignoring it, and if left ignored, it can lead to even more serious issues.

 

Paget’s Disease of the Bone – What is it?

Paget’s disease is a slow-progressing, relatively uncommon condition which causes the body to generate new bone faster than normal. Over the regular course of our lives, our bodies go through a process known as “bone remodeling”, where new bone tissue (ossification) gradually replaces older bone tissue (bone resorption). This transfer of tissue helps maintain normal calcium levels in our blood. In adults, this bone replacement normally occurs at a rate of about 10% per year.

Because Paget’s disease causes your body to generate new bone faster than normal, the new bone tissue is softer and weaker than normal bone and often abnormally shaped, which can lead to bone pain, arthritis, pinched-nerves, deformities, fractures and even hearing loss. The disease most often impacts the spine, legs, pelvis and skull. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Paget’s disease impacts approximately 2 to 3% of the population over the age of 55. Men are more often affected than women.

 

Paget’s Disease Symptoms

It is often difficult to know if you have Paget’s disease as many people with the condition do not exhibit any symptoms. For those that do experience symptoms, the most common complaint is bone pain. The disease is often discovered when given x-rays for another reason. An abnormal alkaline phosphatase (ALP) test can also be an indicator of the disease. High levels of ALP found through routine blood-work can indicate liver disease or bone disorders.

 

What Causes Paget’s?

According to the Mayo Clinic, the exact cause of Paget’s disease of bone is unknown. It is believed that a combination of genetic and environmental factors contribute to the disease. If you are diagnosed with Paget’s disease, your doctor will recommend the best course of treatment which may include osteoporosis medications.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and is it real?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), chronic fatigue syndrome is a serious, long-term illness which has the potential to affect multiple systems within the body. The condition is characterized by extreme fatigue that does not improve with rest and is estimated to affect approximately 1 million Americans.

The challenges of this condition or disorder begin with the diagnosis itself. There is no single test available that will make the determination as to whether or not a person has chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Many of the symptoms associated with CFS such as fatigue, sore throat, enlarged lymph nodes, headaches, inability to concentrate, etc., can also be associated with other diseases and conditions. In order to determine if a person has CFS, doctors first need to rule our other potential health problems.

Another challenge associated with CFS, is that there is no known cause. Some experts believe the onset of the condition may be associated with a viral infection or possibly psychological stress. Others believe CFS may be brought on by a weakened immune system, hormonal imbalances or a combination of factors and events. No one knows for sure.

Treating CFS presents yet another challenge as symptoms can differ with each individual affected. There is currently no known cure or FDA-approved treatments for CFS, so doctors usually focus on management of individual symptoms to improve quality of life.READ MORE

spinal stenosis

What is Spinal Stenosis?

In medical terms, stenosis refers to the abnormal narrowing of a body channel. When this process occurs in the spinal region, it is called Spinal Stenosis – a narrowing of the bone channel occupied by the spinal nerves or the spinal cord. This narrowing can put pressure on nerves that travel through the spine, leading to symptoms which may include pain, numbness, tingling sensations and muscle weakness. READ MORE

Letting Your Legacy Live On

Have you ever thought about how much your children and grandchildren actually know about your life?

It may be surprising to learn that many of us have very little knowledge about the lives of our grandparents and we know even less about our great grandparents. According to a survey conducted by Ancestry.com, one in three adults couldn’t name any of their great-grandparents. Why is this important? Because knowing more about who and where we came from can help us learn more about ourselves. Passing on stories and traditions to your children and grandchildren not only helps to preserve your legacy, it helps teach some valuable life lessons as well.

And don’t worry if you think you’ve lived a less than exciting life. What may not seem like a big deal to you might have a lot of meaning to others. We all have interesting stories to tell, so tell them. Here are a few ways that you can start preserving your legacy:

 

Write down family traditions

Even if you no longer do them, traditions give us all a sense of belonging. Think about some of the family traditions you had as a child, or even those you’ve heard about from long-lost relatives.

 

Write down family stories

Maybe your grandfather ran away from home at 12 years old to join the circus. Or you’re your great uncle Bob was a minor league baseball player. Or Aunt Helen served in the Army Nurse Corps in WWII. Maybe your parents got engaged on the Empire State Building, or maybe they got engaged on the farm. It doesn’t matter. What’s important is being able to pass on the story.

 

Write down stories about you

Don’t forget about yourself. Nobody knows more about you than you do. You can also record a video.

 

Pass along skills

Even the skills you think are not important might offer a fun learning and bonding experience for your grandchildren.

 

Write down family recipes

It might be fun to gather up all of your family recipes (the good ones!), make multiple copies and put them in a binder for your children or grandchildren.

 

Family photos (who’s who)

Most of us have a collection of family photos. In fact, you may have several old photos that your parents and grandparents had collected. The problem most of us have with old family photos is that we don’t always know who is in the picture. Don’t let this happen to your grandchildren and great grandchildren. Make a note on the back of your photos (recent and not-so-recent) as to who everyone is.

 

Take a DNA test

DNA tests are relatively inexpensive and very easy to do. You might be surprised to find out that what you thought were your roots, aren’t really your roots at all.

 

Start a Family Tree

Most of us have someone in the family who maintains the family tree, but if your family is lacking one, then by all means, start one. You can begin by listing information on everyone you know about and how they are all connected. Once you’ve done that, there are plenty of online resources available to help you get more information.

What is Celiac Disease and how do you know if you have it?

We’re all familiar with the ever so popular gluten-free trend. In fact, the trend is so popular that an estimated 22 percent of adults are trying to avoid eating gluten, according to research firm Mintel. But what may be a fad for some people, is a medical necessity for others. We’re talking about people with Celiac disease, and it is estimated that they make up approximately .5% to 1% of the population. And according to the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research, that number is growing, especially among the elderly.READ MORE

What is Gout and What Causes it?

According to the Arthritis Foundation, gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis that develops in some people who have high levels of uric acid in the blood. OK, so now that we know what it is, how did it get such a weird name? According to historians who study this sort of thing, the term “Gout” is derived from the Latin word gutta, meaning “a drop” (as in a drop of liquid – a reference to the belief that it was caused by a drop-by-drop accumulation of humors in the joints). It is a condition that has existed for centuries.READ MORE

Call Now Button