The phone rings. It’s a representative from the Social Security Administration and, fortunately, the call wasn’t too long. The caller just needed to have some basic information confirmed, like your address and date of birth. And, oh. Yes. Your social security number, bank account number and “new” Medicare number. If you don’t respond, the caller warns, assets can be frozen until the situation is resolved, and/or other dire consequences may occur.
By all accounts, Bernadine Lewandowski was an independent, healthy older adult. She had minor illnesses, and minor cognitive impairment, but always functioned well. Until she suffered a compression fracture of her vertebra, which had her admitted to the hospital for pain relief.
Do you know your waist size? Knowing the girth of your midsection comes in handy for more than just selecting a pair of pants. Not only can visceral fat—the fat that accumulates around your abdominal organs—up your risk for heart disease and diabetes, researchers have found that belly fat is linked to an increased fall risk.
While depression is most often associated with sadness, for older adults the condition can manifest itself in different ways. You may feel tired or have trouble sleeping or feel grumpy or achy. You may even experience persistent digestive issues that don’t improve with treatment.
When you meditate, your breathing slows down, and so does you heart rate. Blood pressure and stress both decrease, digestion systems improve, and overall tension in the body is lowered. Meditation calms the mind and body alike and requires no fancy equipment. To meditate, you simply sit or lie down. As you relax, you train yourself to pay little attention to your thoughts, with a doctor quoted by USNews.com calling meditation an “antidote to the fight-or-flight response.”
This response originally served as a survival mechanism when a life-threatening situation occurred. It is a “carefully orchestrated yet near-instantaneous sequence of hormonal changes and physiological responses [that] helps someone to fight the threat off or flee to safety. Unfortunately, the body can also overreact to stressors that are not life-threatening, such as traffic jams, work pressure, and family difficulties,” according to Harvard University.
Meditation helps to calm this response without medication, provides multiple health benefits for older adults. Here are three benefits of meditation, the main types of meditation you can practice, along with resources to help you find classes.
Surgeries range from elective ones to those needed to save a life. And, no matter which type of surgery is taking place, older adults face more risks during the procedure.
You might be surprised to learn there is a direct relationship between caffeine and age, with the substance having a bigger effect on the average person as he or she ages. That’s because, according to a study discussed in Fitbit.com, younger people can metabolize caffeine more quickly, with people aged 65 to 70 metabolizing it 33 percent more slowly than younger adults.
More specifically, let’s say you consume 200 to 300 mg of caffeine first thing in the morning. Caffeine’s half-life is about six hours. So, a cup of coffee early in the morning shouldn’t affect your sleep that night. But, if you drink 200 mg at 4 p.m., the average adult would still have 100 mg to process at 10 p.m. As an older adult, you’re going to be 33 percent behind that curve, which means that caffeine could very well keep you up at night.
How often do you think about your heart? If you don’t have a heart problem, chances are you don’t pay much attention to the muscle that keeps your body running. However, if you’re over age 65, you’re more likely to suffer a heart-related problem. Not only that, these heart issues—like heart attack, stroke, heart disease or coronary artery disease—can limit your activity and decrease your quality of life.
You might be surprised to learn these heart issues can occur even if you follow a healthy diet and exercise regularly. Changes to your heart as you age can put you at risk for developing heart disease or experiencing a heart attack, but there are things you can do to support heart health.
Depending on your medical needs, your doctor may refer you to a medical specialist. Or, there may be a time when you request to see a medical specialist or speak with one during a hospital or emergency room visit.
A visit with a specialist is often quicker than a visit with your primary care doctor because the specialist is likely to already be familiar with your case. Just because your visit is shorter, however, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have time to discuss your needs with this new doctor. Here are some tips on how to effectively communicate with medical specialists.
Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers. But with early detection, it is also the easiest to cure.
An estimated 90 percent of skin aging is caused by sun exposure and, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, sun damage to skin is cumulative, based on this chart from the foundation.