Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Maintaining Emotional Balance: The Elderly, Parkinson’s Disease & Home Care

Maintaining Emotional Balance - Parkinson's DiseaseWhen a person receives a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease, it is frightening for the individual as well as for their loved ones.  You want to know how the disease will progress, what treatments are available, how bad it’s going to get, and how long it is going to last.  

These are all valid questions, but there are no definitive answers.  Vicki Conte, Program Manager for the Department of Neurology at Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin, leads a number of support groups for people with Parkinson’s and their care partners.  She says that “no one can predict the direction the disease will take.  One person may still be driving 15 years after receiving a diagnosis.  Another one may become quite disabled in a much shorter period of time.”

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Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

What You Need to Know About Geriatric Obesity

Geriatric ObesityObesity can put a person in a much higher risk category for physical health problems, particularly those related to proper cardiovascular functioning. Heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and diabetes are all more prominent in individuals with body mass indexes that exceed the safe range. No one is immune from becoming overweight. In a society where fast food chains and sedentary activities are the norm for many, there is little wonder as to why so many children and adults have weight problems.

While it is problematic on many fronts for those of all ages, the elderly tend to suffer more severe consequences from the condition. Their bodies are already in a delicate state; excess weight in no way helps brittle bones. The stress put on aching joints resulting from osteoarthritis and other afflictions that affect older adults in high numbers is...Click to Read More

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Managing Arthritis with Exercise and Yoga

Elderly Woman On BeachCould an hour of yoga a day bring the life back to limbs ailed by osteoarthritis? This seems to be the general consensus, as more and more patients are finding new ways to stay limber and pain-free. No cure for arthritis currently exists, but studies have shown the more active an individual is, the less severe his or her symptoms will be.

Why Movement Matters for Arthritis Patients

A study conducted by Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine found that individuals with sedentary lifestyles are the ones who are affected most severely by osteoarthritis. Exercising your joints and their attached ligaments daily can prevent them from becoming stiff. Not performing some form of physical activity on a routine basis can eventually cause the joint pain to render you immobile. Surgery is typically required in these...Click to Read More

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

8 Warning Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease in the Elderly

Nurse Helping ElderlyMichael J. Fox is a one of the more famous individuals with Parkinson’s Disease that affects nearly 1 million adults living in the United States. Perhaps the worst part of the disease is that, according to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF), it is classified as both chronic and progressive. This means that the disease’s symptoms continue to get worse as patients age.

Doctors are not exactly sure what causes Parkinson’s Disease, but numerous medical studies have found that this condition results from problems with the brain’s neurological structure. Certain nerve cells in Parkinson’s patients malfunction and effectively die for no apparent reason in the region of the brain known as the substantia nigra. According to the National Institutes of Health, the nerve cells located in this portion of the brain are responsible for releasing neurotransmitters such as dopamine...Click to Read More

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

5 Ways Occupational Therapy & Home Care Can Help Your Loved One

Occupational TherapyContrary to popular belief, home health care and occupational therapy is not just for the elderly. It can be extraordinarily beneficial for people of all ages, and encompasses a comprehensive approach intended to help an individual improve their physical and psychosocial abilities. Life threatening illnesses and injuries can render a person immobile, but that does not mean the effects have to be permanent.

An occupational therapist is a health professional who can help people of all ages recover skills and guide individuals -- particularly older adults -- through “physical and cognitive changes,” as defined by the American Occupational Therapy Association.

As a caregiver, you known you cannot be there for your loved one 24/7. You may also fear the day when he or she will be unable to provide basic care for them (e.g. cooking, personal hygiene, cleaning, etc.). It’s...Click to Read More

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Natural Remedies for Joint Pain in the Elderly

pain in finger jointsAccording to the Arthritis Foundation, more than 45 million Americans have some form of arthritis. Though this potentially debilitating health condition can affect a person of any age, those over the age of 60 typically feel its effects the most.

The term itself is a bit misleading, as arthritis, in fact comprises a vast range of medical issues that affect the body’s joints. Nevertheless, when most people hear the word, they associate it with the more prevalent subtype osteoarthritis (OA), otherwise referred to as degenerative joint disease.

What are the symptoms of arthritis?

At best, joint inflammation is uncomfortable. At its worst, it’s incredibly painful in its most severe forms. Common problems associated with arthritis in general and osteoarthritis...Click to Read More

Monday, March 31st, 2014

[Infographic] Sleep Apnea Facts You Can Count On

Sleep Apnea Facts You Can Count OnSleep apnea is a chronic condition that pauses the breath of a person while they are asleep. The soft tissue at the back of the throat reclines and obstructs a person’s airway while they sleep. It affects people of all ages, however, sleep apnea occurs most often in adults over the age of 60. In fact, over 20% of all older adults in the United States are affected by this disorder.

Not only does sleep apnea affect the quality of a person’s sleep, but also impacts other areas of their health and quality of life, causing headaches, memory problems, and puts sufferers at risk of developing more serious conditions such as stroke or cardiac arrest. A study by the University of California San Francisco pointed out a particular concern to older adults with the discovery of a...Click to Read More

Friday, March 28th, 2014

The Scoop on Senior Stress

Elderly Man StressedAfter a lifetime of working, child-rearing, relationships and lifestyle upkeep, retirement is akin to finally making the hike and reaching the city on a hill – Finally, you think, the stress is over.

But unfortunately, it’s not. Not even close, according to the Holmes-Rahe stress scale for elderly.

In 1967, psychiatrists Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe pioneered the life-events-related stress scale after surveying 5,000 patients about life events and their illnesses. A numerical point system was developed that was attached to 43 life events, which found a positive relationship between the life events and purported illnesses. Further assessments by universities like Cornell have since validated the analysis.

Among the Top 5 stresses most likely to cause illness:

  • Spousal Death
  • Divorce
  • Marital Separation
  • Detention in Jail or Other Institution
  • Death of a Close Family Member

The logic is simple with stress in elderly people: The older...Click to Read More

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Diet Restrictions & Considerations for Older Adults

Just as our bodies change as we age, so do our nutritional requirements. Some foods become more important for our health because they supply adequate vitamins and minerals needed for healthy immune system.

portrait of a senior woman eating a fresh salad indoorWhat to Eat & What Not to Eat

The elderly are one age group in particular that has special dietary needs. The importance of staying in good shape increases as one gets older since the risk of developing life-threatening diseases rises over time. As the density of a person’s bones lessens with age, for instance, the higher demand for daily intake of calcium is evident.

The Elderly and Dietary Restrictions

Making changes to your diet and lifestyle can have a profound effect on your health. You want to be flexible, mobile, and to feel great for as...Click to Read More

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Sleep Apnea in the Elderly

Sleeping woman resting at homeDo you or a loved suffer from lethargy and feelings of restlessness? A busy lifestyle is enough to make anyone feel sluggish and tired at the end of the day, but an excessive loss of energy could indicate an underlying health issue. One medical condition that often goes unnoticed is sleep apnea.

The name for this chronic disorder comes from the Greek word “apneas,” which means “without breath.” Sleep apnea occurs when a person stops breathing multiple times throughout the night. According to the National Institutes of Health, these lapses in breath can last from a few seconds to a few minutes. Those afflicted resume breathing after snorting loudly or making a choking sound in their sleep.

Upon waking the next morning, the patient still feels tired, despite thinking they got a good night’s rest. In severe cases...Click to Read More