Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Dehydration and Our Elders

In Health on May 5, 2012 at 3:49 am

With the warm weather upon us it is imperative we keep our Elders hydrated. As we age we get drier. Dehydration in our Elders often goes unnoticed until it is severe, however the complications that accompany dehydration can be avoided. Thirst plays a big role in elderly dehydration. Older persons do not feel as thirsty as they did when they were younger. Have you ever noticed an elderly person’s mouth and how it can look dry yet they are not thirsty? We ask why…

* Studies show they do not perceive thirst like they did when they were younger.
* The elderly get used to having “dry mouth”. Drinking more water will bring back some sensation.
* Over time as we start drinking less water the loss of thirst is our body’s way of dealing with the fact that water is not going to be consumed.
* The perceptions of thirst and hunger come from the same part of the brain. Thirst and hunger become confused in the minds of many older people; they eat when they should be drinking or drink when they should be eating.
* When our brains do detect thirst too many elders settle for a few ounces of water or sugary and/or caffeinated drinks instead of water.

I hear a lot of elders say they don’t like water. To get our elders to drink more water there are some good powder mixes with little or no sugar that will flavor the water.

Dehydration in our elders is something we can observe (in ourselves as well). Look at their skin, hair and mouth. Dehydration can have serious effects including confusion, dizziness, falls and even death. Given the fact that these symptoms are often mistaken for other health problems or “just because they are old” dehydration often goes undetected. If the elder in your life is experiencing some of these symptoms the solution may be as simple as getting more fluids into them. So let’s all drink to our health!


Heart Attack & Water

In Health on April 3, 2012 at 1:53 am

Something I didn’t know…I asked my Doctor why do people urinate (pee) so much at night time. Answer from my Cardiac Doctor = Gravity holds water in the lower part of your body when you are upright. When you lie down and the lower body (legs and other things) seeks level with the kidneys it is then that the kidneys remove the water because it is easier. This then ties in with the last statement! I knew you need your minimum water to help flush the toxins out of your body, but this was news to me. Correct time to drink water… Very Important. From A Cardiac Specialist! Drinking water at a certain time maximizes its effectiveness on the body:

2 glasses of water after waking up – helps activate internal organs
1 glass of water 30 minutes before a meal – helps digestion
1 glass of water before taking a bath – helps lower blood pressure
1 glass of water before going to bed – avoids stroke or heart attack

I can also add to this… My Physician told me that water at bed time will also help prevent night time leg cramps. Your leg muscles are seeking hydration when they cramp and wake you up with a Charlie Horse.

Animal-Assisted Therapy: Elizabeth Loved Oscar

In canine companionship, Health on March 3, 2012 at 2:07 am

Love is a game that two can play-and both can win.

The fact that Elizabeth loved Oscar might not sound like headline material, but for me it is. Elizabeth is my special granddaughter. She was born with mental retardation and life holds many challenges for her. One particularly frustrating challenge has been an absolute terror of dogs. Just the barking of a dog could send her screaming. It got so bad that Elizabeth would not go on walks in the neighborhood because of dogs behind fences. She was becoming more and more uncomfortable in the world.

A real breakthrough came the day she saw and held Oscar, a little longhaired, miniature [dachshund]. Weighing in at under two pounds, Elizabeth saw no threat in this tiny pup. She was delighted and we were
thrilled, so we gave Oscar to Elizabeth for her birthday. A few weeks later, our daughter Cindy Oates and her large golden retriever therapy dog, Emmitt, began working with Elizabeth in pet therapy. Cindy’s first goal was to get Elizabeth comfortable enough with Emmitt to touch him. This she accomplished in short order and Elizabeth is now comfortable around Emmitt and the Majority of other dogs as well.

The quality of Elizabeth’s life has improved considerably because of these two dogs, and she is not unique. All over the country, pets-and particularly dogs-are helping children, adults, and the elderly through pet therapy. Pet therapy is one of the fastest growing fields in America and the demand for dogs and adults to work with them far exceeds the supply. Today the objective of visits by trained therapy dogs in various hospital settings is to help patients do things they haven’t been able to do because of an accident, an addiction, or a trauma of some kind.

It’s true that others can give you pleasure, but happiness comes when you do things for other people. If your time permits, get involved in a pet therapy program. One reason a dog can be such a comfort when you’re feeling blue is that he doesn’t try to find out why.

A special thank you to ZigZiglar

Alzheimer’s Is Not Inevitable

In caregiving, community, Health on February 19, 2012 at 3:27 am

Many experts believe we can, if not prevent, delay dementia ~ even if it seems to run in the family. Reducing risk factors like diabetes, obesity, smoking and lack of physical activity just by 25% could prevent approximately 1/2 million cases of Alzheimer’s in the U.S. according to a recent analysis from the University of California.

The goal is to prolong it long enough that we can live a life without ever suffering from the sysptoms (Gary Small, MD UCLA’s director of Longevity Center). There seem to be four main areas.

GET MOVING ~ one of the key things we can do to keep our brains young is exercise. Higher exercise levels can reduce dementia risk by 30 – 40%. Physically active people tend to have better cognitive function and memory. Physical activity can also trigger the the growth of new nerve cells & promote nerve growth. Even a little exercise is better than none…15 minutes of regular exercise three times a week can help maintain the brain.

PUMP SOME IRON ~ Studies have shown lifting weights, even light weights, have increased cognitive function and increased the levels of growth factors in the brain, such as IGFI, which nourish & protect nerve cells.

LEARNING ~ When we challenge the brain, we increase the number of brain cells & the number of connections between those cells. It is not enough to do things like crossword puzzles if this is something you routinely do. You have to learn new things like sudoku or a new language. Engaging the mind can help older brains maintain healthy functioning.

REDUCE STRESS ~ chronic stress floods our brains with cortisol which leads to impaired memory. Harvard Researchers studied men & women trained in meditation and found they had reduced harmful stress hormones compared to individuls who were not taking “down time” to reduce the stress in their lives.

Bottom line, the things that we keep hearing about exercising, reducing stress, etc. seem to have way more positives than negatives so what do you have to loose? Get out there and “move your body”!

Texting for Seniors

In caregiving, community, Health on January 14, 2012 at 10:36 pm

Since more and more Seniors are texting and tweeting there appears to be a need for a STC (Senior Texting Code). If you qualify for Senior Discounts this is the code for you. Please pass this on to your children and grandchildren so they can understand your texts.

ATD: At The Doctor’s
BFF: Best Friend Fainted
BTW: Bring The Wheelchair
BYOT: Bring Your Own Teeth
CBM: Covered By Medicare
CGU: Can’t get up
CUATSC: See You At The Senior Center
DWI: Driving While Incontinent
FWB: Friend With Beta Blockers
FWIW: Forgot Where I Was
FYI: Found Your Insulin
GGPBL: Gotta Go Pacemaker Battery Low!
GHA: Got Heartburn Again
HGBM: Had Good Bowel Movement
IMHO: Is My Hearing-Aid On?
LMDO: Laughing My Dentures Out
LOL: Living On Lipitor
LWO: Lawrence Welk’s On
OMMR: On My Massage Recliner
OMSG: Oh My! Sorry Gas.
ROFL… CGU: Rolling On The Floor Laughing… And Can’t Get Up
TTYL: Talk To You Louder
WAITT: Who Am I Talking To?
WTFA: Wet The Furniture Again
WTP: Where’s The Prunes?
WWNO: Walker Wheels Need Oil
GGLKI: (Gotta Go Laxative Kicking In)

Just doing my job by keeping you in the know! You just have to take life in stride..and laugh; laughing does the body good!

Perception, Stop and Smell the Coffee!

In community, Health on December 19, 2011 at 2:00 am

In Washington , DC , at a Metro Station, on a cold January morning in 2007, this man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, approximately 2,000 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

After about 3 minutes, a middle-aged man noticed that there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds, and then he hurried on to meet his schedule.

About 4 minutes later:

The violinist received his first dollar. A woman threw money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

At 6 minutes:

A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

At 10 minutes:

A 3-year old boy stopped, but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head the whole time. This action was repeated by several other children, but every parent – without exception – forced their children to move on quickly.

At 45 minutes:

The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.

After 1 hour:

He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed and no one applauded. There was no recognition at all. No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world.

He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before, Joshua Bell sold-out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100 each to sit and listen to him play the same music.

This is a true story.

Joshua Bell, playing incognito in the D.C. Metro Station, was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people’s priorities. This experiment raised several questions:

*In a common-place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?

*If so, do we stop to appreciate it?

*Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made . . .How many other things are we missing as we rush through life?

Enjoy life NOW .. .it has an expiration date !

Author Unknown

Thank You For Your Caregiving Advice

In caregiving, Health on December 17, 2011 at 2:59 am

As we prepare to depart the year 2011 and progress into the critical the year 2012, I want to thank all of you for your educational e-mails over the past year. I am totally screwed up now and have little chance of recovery.

I no longer open a bathroom door without using a paper towel, or have the waitress put lemon slices in my ice water without worrying about the bacteria on the lemon peel.

I can’t use the remote in a hotel room because I don’t know what the last person was doing while flipping through the adult movie channels.

I can’t sit down on the hotel bedspread because I can only imagine what has happened on it since it was last washed.

I have trouble shaking hands with someone who has been driving because the number one pastime while driving alone is picking ones nose.

Eating a little snack sends me on a guilt trip because I can only imagine how many gallons of trans fats I have consumed over the years.

I cant touch any woman’s purse for fear she has placed it on the floor of a public bathroom.

I MUST SEND MY SPECIAL THANKS to whoever sent me the one about rat poop in the glue on envelopes because I now have to use a wet sponge with every envelope that needs sealing.

ALSO, now I have to scrub the top of every can I open for the same reason.

I no longer have any savings because I gave it to a sick girl (Penny Brown) who is about to die for the 1,387,258th time.

I no longer have any money, but that will change once I receive the $15,000 that Bill Gates/Microsoft and AOL are sending me for participating in their special e-mail program.

I no longer worry about my soul because I have 363,214 angels looking out for me, and St Theresa’s Novena has granted my every wish.

I can’t have a drink in a bar because I’ll wake up in a bathtub full of ice with my kidneys gone.

I can’t eat at KFC because their chickens are actually horrible mutant freaks with no eyes, feet or feathers.

I can’t use cancer-causing deodorants even though I smell like a water buffalo on a hot day.

THANKS TO YOU I have learned that my prayers only get answered if I forward an e-mail to seven of my friends and make a wish within five minutes.

BECAUSE OF YOUR CONCERN, I no longer drink Coca Cola because it can remove toilet stains.

I no longer buy gas without taking someone along to watch the car so a serial killer doesn’t crawl in my back seat when I’m filling up.

I no longer drink Pepsi or Fanta since the people who make these products are atheists who refuse to put “Under God” on their cans.

I no longer use Cling Wrap in the microwave because it causes seven different types of cancer.

AND THANKS FOR LETTING ME KNOW I can’t boil a cup of water in the microwave anymore because it will blow up in my face. Disfiguring me for life.

I no longer go to the movies because I could be pricked with a needle infected with AIDS when I sit down.

I no longer go to shopping malls because someone will drug me with a perfume sample and rob me.

I no longer receive packages from UPS or Fed Ex since they are actuallyAl Qaeda agents in disguise.

And I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask me to dial a number for which I will get a phone bill with calls to Jamaica , Uganda , Singapore , and Uzbekistan .

I no longer buy cookies from Neiman-Marcus since I now have their recipe.

THANKS TO YOU I can’t use anyone’s toilet but mine because a big black snake could be lurking under the seat and cause me instant death when it bites my butt.

AND THANKS TO YOUR GREAT ADVICE I can’t ever pick up a .25 cent coin dropped in the parking lot because it probably was placed there by a sex molester waiting to grab me as I bend over.

I no longer drive my car because buying gas from some companies supports Al Qaeda, and buying gas from all the others supports South American dictators.

I can’t do any gardening because I’m afraid I’ll get bitten by the Violin Spider and my hand will fall off.

If you don’t send this e-mail to at least 144,000 people in the next 70 minutes, a large dove with diarrhea will land on your head at 5:00 p.m tomorrow afternoon, and the fleas from 120 camels will infest your back, causing you to grow a hairy hump. I know this will occur because it actually happened to a friend of my next door neighbors ex-mother-in-laws second husbands cousins best friends beautician . . .

Oh, by the way…..

A German scientist from Argentina , after a lengthy study, has discovered that people with insufficient brain activity read their e-mail with their hand on the mouse.

Don’t bother taking it off now, its too late.

P. S. I now keep my toothbrush in the living room, because I was told by e-mail that water splashes over 6 ft. out of the toilet.

This pretty much sums up all the advice I have received for caring for myself and my family. LOL

New Sign of Stroke

In caregiving, Health on December 10, 2011 at 2:38 am

There is a new indicator for recognizing a stroke, the Tongue. Remember: STRT

S = Ask the individual to SMILE
T = Ask the person to TALK, speak a simple sentence coherently (It is sunny out today.)
R = As them to RAISE BOTH ARMS.
T = Ask the person to STICK OUT THEIR TONGUE. If the tongue is “crooked” (goes to one side or the other) this is another indication of a stroke.

If the individual has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call 911 IMMEDIATELY!

Neurologists believe if they can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours they can totally reverse the effects of a stroke. This is why time is of the utmost importance so don’t wait!

Being Alone & Being Lonely Are Not the Same

In caregiving, Health on November 22, 2011 at 2:59 am

Being alone means being on your own. Being lonely usually refers to being unhappy with the emotional and social relationships that you do not have or with the ones you do have. It has a lot to do with feeling connected with people.

Growing older means dealing with a lot of changes including health and lifestyle. It can mean moving away from a community or having fewer opportunities to develop new friendships. Physical pain and loss of mobility can make it harder for older adults to get out and enjoy activities with other people. Even if you live with family it can be lonely. Our society does not always make seniors feel good about themselves.

Loneliness can be stressful and is very hard on a person’s health. Did you know that being lonely puts a person’s immune system under stress making it more likely to develop colds and infections?

Personal Strategies for Preventing or Reducing Loneliness:

Start with a smile. The quickest way to make a friend and it doesn’t cost you a dime.
Say “Hi”. Take a moment to speak with someone.
Reach out to others. Take the initiative to invite someone to go with you for a short walk or to have a cup of tea with you.
Be a friend and show interest in others. Everyone wants to be around people who are nice to them.
Take a chance on developing new relationships at any age.
Help someone with something. Anything you are able to do for another person.
Keep connected with others. Try to get to activities or just make regular visits with neighbors and/or family.

Test Yourself:

Do I have someone in my life who understands me? Yes No
Do I have someone I can easily talk to? Yes No
Have I felt close to someone for a long time? Yes No
Do I have a network of friends? Yes No
Do I like my life the way it is? Yes No

If you answered “No” to one or more of these questions, loneliness may be affecting your life.

Routinely assess our community. How senior friendly is it? What services are available to you? Regular telephone contact can increase feelings of security and show that people care. It can give a senior someone to connect to or unburden to about what they are going through. It provides a person-to-person link where the senior might not feel physically, emotionally, socially or financially up to having visitors.

You’re First provides reassurance services for less than $1 a day. We make that daily connection via telephone because we know how important it is!

We also provide canine companionship to combat feelings of isolation and loneliness. We bring the canine right to you wherever home is.

Dementia Not Normal Part of Aging

In caregiving, Health on October 30, 2011 at 11:25 pm

While we all are a little more forgetful as we age dementia is not a normal part of aging. Look at all of the people you know that lived well into their 90’s and even 100’s. Most were frail but still sharp, still having most or all of their faculties. For the past several decades we have gotten used to the notion that dementia comes with the territory as we get older. We are now realizing (coming to terms with) the fact that loosing precious brain function is not a normal part of aging. Scientists admit the condition, which most often plays itself out in the form of Alzheimer’s, is an abnormal neurological condition that is likely caused by a combination of factors, including but not limited to things like fluoride in the water, artificial chemicals in food and mercury and aluminum in a multitude of things (deodorant, filings, etc.).

Experts are now looking at the real possibility that many forms of dementia may be preventable. A lot more research and money is needed in order to figure out exactly how we can resolve this dilemma. Many studies have already linked environmental and other contaminants as contributors. Aluminum for instance, is a known neurotoxin and studies have identified the presence of aluminum in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s. Toxic fluoride is also linked to Alzheimer’s and other brain diseases.

I am not a physician or scientist but we have to ask ourselves “what has been different in our lives over the past few decades that has caused such an increase in the number of individuals diagnosied with dementias?” It only makes sense to look at how our lives have changed be it the environment or the products and food we eat.

We would love to hear from you, your comments are appreciated.