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Kendal at Home Blog

Older Adult Mental Health: Types of Anxiety Disorders

Posted by Kendal at Home on April 19, 2018 at 6:55 AM

If you have an anxiety disorder, you likely feel fearful, worrying about problems in a way that’s disproportionate to the actual situation at hand. Anxiety is twice as prevalent as dementia in older adults, and four to eight times as prevalent as major depression. Because anxiety can cause a significant negative impact on the quality of life, it’s important to address this condition, but that can present unique challenges for older adults. Here’s why.older-adult-mental-health.jpg

According to an in-depth report originally published in Geriatrics and Aging, titled The Silent Geriatric Giant: Anxiety Disorders in Late Life, anxiety disorders in older adults can be difficult to diagnose. In fact, until recently, it was believed that the incidence of anxiety disorders went down as people aged, but it’s been determined that this is because older adults report fewer psychiatric symptoms, focusing instead on physical ones. In reality, anxiety is now believed to be as common in older adults as in younger ones.

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Topics: staying heatlhy

Senior Sexuality: Common Sexual Problems Among Older Adults

Posted by Kendal at Home on April 17, 2018 at 6:00 AM

For many older adults, maintaining their sexuality is an important part of their lives. But, unlike their younger counterparts, older adults may find they experience unique issues when it comes to their sexual health.senior-sexuality.jpg

Fortunately, a lot of these issues have simple solutions. So, if you’re interested in maintaining your sexuality as you age, read on to learn about some common sexual problems for older adults and what you can do about them.

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Topics: staying heatlhy

What Older Adults Should Know About Bladder Health

Posted by Kendal at Home on April 11, 2018 at 6:00 AM

We all use our bladders several times a day, and for most of us, we usually don’t think about it. However, for those with bladder control problems like urinary incontinence, using the bathroom can be upsetting.bladder-health.jpg

Bladder issues become more common as we age thanks to changes in the bladder tissue. The usual elastic tissue of this hollow organ may become less stretchy and tough with age, and the bladder walls and pelvic floor muscles may also become weaker. These changes can cause problems with bladder emptying and leaking urine.

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Topics: staying heatlhy

Questions to Ask Your Doctor at Your Next Appointment

Posted by Kendal at Home on April 5, 2018 at 6:00 AM

A key to a good doctor-patient relationship is your ability as the patient to ask questions. Doing so can help put your mind at ease and potentially stop a complication—like if you don’t understand medication dosages, for example.primary-care.jpg

But many times, doctors don’t raise certain subjects or questions with you. It’s not because they don’t care or are too busy, they may not know the issue is important to you, which underscores the importance of speaking up during your appointment. Here, we’ll look at some questions to ask your doctor at your next appointment and how you can better remember the information share.

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Topics: staying heatlhy

How an Aging Brain Affects Thinking

Posted by Kendal at Home on April 3, 2018 at 6:00 AM

From remembering to planning, organizing and decision making, the brain is in control. As people age, though, cognitive changes typically occur; fortunately, they can be positive as well as negative.

On the challenging side, as you age, you may find it more difficult to recall names and otherwise think of the word you want to use. You may find it more challenging to multi-task and pay attention as sharply as you once did. On the plus side, people can typically continue to learn new things, including but not limited to vocabulary and other language skills, and to create new memories. Growing amounts of evidence is showing that people can, overall, continue to adapt to new tasks and challenges as they age.aging-brain.jpg

The National Institute on Aging provides an overview of common cognitive health changes, along with why they happen in the aging brain.

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Topics: staying heatlhy

Surprising Ways Loneliness Affects Your Health

Posted by Kendal at Home on March 28, 2018 at 6:00 AM

“The potentially harmful effects of loneliness and social isolation on health and longevity, especially among older adults, are well established,” according to a December 2017 article in the New York Times. Feeling lonely, the article continues, can raise stress hormone levels and inflammation. This, in turn, boosts the risk of developing multiple diseases, including heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, dementia and arthritis.loneliness.jpg

Approximately 30 percent of older adults feel lonely fairly often, according to the article, with effects more far-reaching than you might imagine. Older adults who feel isolated and/or left out and are lacking companionship can even lose some ability to perform daily activities, including bathing/grooming and preparing meals. Research has also shown that loneliness can lead to “disrupted sleep, abnormal immune responses and accelerated cognitive decline.”

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Topics: staying heatlhy

Power of Attorney: What to Know

Posted by Kendal at Home on March 22, 2018 at 6:07 AM

Power of attorney documents come in two overall types – healthcare and financial. The first document allows you to choose who you want to make health care decisions for you when you can’t make them for yourself. The second type provides a similar function, but this one designates who can make legal and financial decisions for you.power-of-attorney.jpg

AgingCare.com emphasizes how these documents should be prepared and signed “long before” you begin “having trouble handling certain aspects of life.” That’s because the person signing (the “principal”) must be considered to still be in “sound mind,” capable of making these important decisions, for the documents to legally go into effect. Powers of attorney “can be written so that the transfer of responsibilities occurs immediately.” Or they can be crafted so they go into effect if or when you become incapacitated, unable to make your own decisions.

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Planning for Long Term Care: 3 Tips to Get Your Affairs in Order

Posted by Kendal at Home on March 20, 2018 at 6:00 AM

Consider these two stories: Ben has been married to his wife Shirley for 47 years, and by all accounts both are healthy. Then, one day Ben has a stroke that leaves him unable to walk or talk. Now, Shirley — who understandably feels overwhelmed — is tasked with running and maintaining their home. She’s worried about Ben’s health, but now she finds herself struggling with paying the couple’s bills because she has no idea what accounts need to be paid or when they are due.long-term-care.jpg

In the same neighborhood, 80-year-old Louise lives alone. Like Ben and Shirley, she’s healthy and independent. One day, Louise falls and breaks her hip, which requires her to stay in the hospital for a week and then two months in a nursing home. The difference with Louise’s story, however, is that her son who lives across the country is easily able to pay her bills and deal with Medicare questions. Why? Louise and her son had a long term care plan in place that helped put her affairs in order.

Even though you’re healthy, consider planning for your long-term care now. Here’s what you need to know to get your affairs in order.

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Topics: growing older

Planning for Long Term Care: 3 Tips to Get Your Affairs in Order

Posted by Kendal at Home on March 20, 2018 at 6:00 AM

Consider these two stories: Ben has been married to his wife Shirley for 47 years, and by all accounts both are healthy. Then, one day Ben has a stroke that leaves him unable to walk or talk. Now, Shirley — who understandably feels overwhelmed — is tasked with running and maintaining their home. She’s worried about Ben’s health, but now she finds herself struggling with paying the couple’s bills because she has no idea what accounts need to be paid or when they are due.

In the same neighborhood, 80-year-old Louise lives alone. Like Ben and Shirley, she’s healthy and independent. One day, Louise falls and breaks her hip, which requires her to stay in the hospital for a week and then two months in a nursing home. The difference with Louise’s story, however, is that her son who lives across the country is easily able to pay her bills and deal with Medicare questions. Why? Louise and her son had a long term care plan in place that helped put her affairs in order.

Even though you’re healthy, consider planning for your long-term care now. Here’s what you need to know to get your affairs in order.

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Topics: long-term care insurance

3 Benefits of Incorporating Universal Design into Your Home

Posted by Kendal at Home on March 14, 2018 at 6:00 AM

You want to remain in your home as you age, and to do so, you’ve likely taken steps to ensure your health is protected, but have you thought about how your home could influence your ability to avoid a nursing home?

Older adults have the highest percentage of home ownership in the US at 80 percent, but many of these homeowners live in homes not well equipped to meet the needs of aging adults. That’s where universal design can help.universal-design.jpg

What is universal design?

Universal design is simple: It’s products or buildings that are accessible to people with an array of disabilities. The concept has many terms including: accessible design, inclusive design, aging in place or living in place. The bottom line? Whether you have disabilities or not, incorporating universal design features — like lever door knobs instead of standard round ones — into your home can help you stay independent.

Here are three benefits of universal design:

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Topics: falling

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