Seniors

Which end of life option is right for you and your loved ones? Burial Funeral, Cremation, University Donation, Live Organ Donation, or Body Donation to Science

Each day, potential donors ask us about the differences between burial, cremation, university donation, organ donation, and body donation to science.  We certainly understand the need to know the difference, as it is a very important choice to make.  Here at Science Care, we only coordinate body donation to science.  But the truth of the matter is, donating your body to science may not be the best fit for you. READ MORE

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.

End of life conversation

Have you discussed your end of life plans with your children?

The end of life conversation is not an easy conversation to have, and that’s why many people simply choose not to partake in the discussion. But not discussing your plans with your adult children can sometimes lead to issues down the road. Issues that can easily be prevented with a simple conversation. With families gathering together for the holiday season, now may be your best opportunity to have this important discussion.READ MORE

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

Rhinitis Symptoms

What is Rhinitis?

Although the name sounds somewhat threatening, Rhinitis is simply irritation and inflammation of the mucous membrane inside of the nose (“rhin” refers to the nose in medical terminology). The condition is usually accompanied by a stuffy or runny nose, sneezing and post-nasal drip. READ MORE

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