Dehydration dangers–Do you drink enough water?


Many seniors have this drinking problem, but it’s not alcohol

“At the retirement community where Helen Rollins lives, 10 residents were hospitalized last year for a problem that seems easily prevented.

The seniors, all independent-living residents of a retirement community in Salt Lake City, were dehydrated and exhibited symptoms of urinary tract infections, one of the leading causes of emergency-room visits by older adults, she said.

In a nation awash with potable water — including the 12.8 billion gallons sold in bottles in 2016 — it seems strange that Americans of any age could be dehydrated. Yet some studies suggest that a third of seniors are chronically dehydrated and unaware that the condition may be responsible for health problems such as dizziness, confusion and constipation.

The solution, however, is not as simple as it seems. In America, chronic dehydration is not usually caused by the unavailability of water, but by a confluence of factors that include diuretic medicines, decreased thirst perception and other changes in the aging body.

There’s also another, more heartrending reason: Many seniors don’t drink enough because they fear the difficulty of getting to the bathroom and the risk of falling, especially during the night.

That creates a loop of health risks, however, since dehydration can make seniors more likely to fall, and falls are the leading cause of injuries among American seniors, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

Develop a water schedule similar to a schedule for taking medicine.

Read more about the dangers of dehydration and get great tips

The MIND diet may boost brain health

MIND diet

To Help Ward Off Alzheimer’s, Think Before You Eat

“Diets designed to boost brain health, targeted largely at older adults, are a new, noteworthy development in the field of nutrition.

The latest version is the Canadian Brain Health Food Guide, created by scientists in Toronto. Another, the MIND diet, comes from experts at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Both diets draw from a growing body of research suggesting that certain nutrients — mostly found in plant-based foods, whole grains, beans, nuts, vegetable oils and fish — help protect cells in the brain while fighting harmful inflammation and oxidation.

Both have yielded preliminary, promising results in observational studies. The Canadian version — similar to the Mediterranean diet but adapted to Western eating habits — is associated with a 36 percent reduction in the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The MIND diet — a hybrid of the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) — lowered the risk of Alzheimer’s by 53 percent.”

Read more about warding off Alzheimer’s and the MIND diet

The mourning process provides relief and healing

mourning process

Help in the mourning offers comfort

By Valerie McCullough, Loveland Reporter-Herald

March 30, 2017

“Since Bill’s death in late January, I’ve had three grief counseling sessions.

I feel fortunate that Pathways Hospice offers these sessions for families of their deceased patients.

I started grief counseling about three weeks after Bill died.

One of the odd things about being in counseling is I think I’m doing ‘just fine’ as I head into the session. ‘I don’t really need to be in counseling,’ I say to myself.

As the counselor and I seat ourselves comfortably in her office, we exchange pleasantries. After a few minutes, she may ask something like, ‘How are things going?’

Then I begin to talk about what’s in my heart and mind.

During my first two sessions, I recounted the days in the hospital just before Bill’s death and then the death itself — and tears flowed.”

Read more about the mourning process

Home fire dangers – are you safe?

Home fire danger

In 2015, my son-in-law’s childhood home caught fire accidentally.  His mom (in her 60’s) was home.  She got out safely with just the phone in hand which she used to call 911. Unfortunately, she lost almost everything, including her car which was in the garage.  She basically just had the clothes on her back: pajamas and a robe.  She was relocated for over six months as her home was repaired. Luckily, she had good insurance and she is back in home but without many of her family’s treasures.  Could this happen to you and would you be able to get out quickly and safely?

“National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) statistics show that people age 65 and older are twice as likely to die in a home fire as the population at large. This high risk can be greatly reduced by following simple fire prevention rules.

Why are Older Adults at Risk?

If you are an older adult, you are at a higher risk for death and injury from fire for a number of reasons:

• You may be physically less able to take quick action in a fire emergency.
• If you are on medication, it may affect your ability to make quick decisions.
• If you live alone, others may not be around to help should an accident occur

What Fire Hazards Affect Older Adults?

• Cooking is the leading cause of fire-related injuries for older adults. The kitchen is one of the most active and potentially dangerous rooms in the home.
• The unsafe use of smoking materials is the leading cause of fire deaths among older adults.
• Heating equipment is responsible for a big share of fires in older adults’ homes. Extra caution should be used with alternative heaters such as wood stoves or electric space heaters.
• Faulty wiring is another major cause of fires affecting the elderly. Older homes can have serious problems, ranging from old appliances with bad wiring to overloaded sockets.”

View or print helpful tips about how to prevent fires

Heart health may improve by doing daily household chores

heart healthOlder Adults Should Engage in Household Work to Keep the Heart Healthy

NDTV Food, March 27, 2017

“Staying active can take you a long way to good health. It is not without reason that doctors tell us to engage in physical activities and lead an active lifestyle. It has various beneficial effects on our body, aiding day-to-day functions as well as keeping diseases at bay. Elders too should keep active to not fall prey to health problems. Even walking or carrying out household chores can work wonders. According to a recent study by University of Pittsburgh, engaging in daily activities like making bed, doing the laundry, climbing stairs, carrying groceries, dancing or walking can help immensely, even in their road to recovery from heart attack or other ailments.

According to researchers, a daily walk is proven to be beneficial, and tai chi, yoga and balance training can also help, but encouraging patients to do more chores around the house is the simplest way to get people moving. The study published by the American Heart Association said patients should be encouraged to do everyday household chores instead of simply given medication.”

Read more about heart health

Valuable financial advice

financial advice

How to prepare your finances for widowhood

By Natasha Burton, Market Watch

March 9, 2017

“Despite more women becoming involved in, or even taking over, the family finances, widowhood remains a significant risk factor when it comes to transitioning into poverty. More than one in five women living in poverty are 60 and older; and widows accounted for a nearly 46% of poor women age 60 and older in 2008.

A recent survey of women whose partners died showed that half of them lost at least 50% of their income following their loss, and 48% had difficulty determining what benefits they were entitled to from Social Security.

Given that women live longer than men — in every country in the world, in fact — it’s important to be prepared for your post-spouse life and start looking at widowhood as a when, rather than a what if. Here’s what you need to do to remain financially secure:

Get involved in the family finances

If your husband currently handles all of your money, it’s time to change that, advises certified financial adviser and founder and president of EverGuide Financial Group Mark Painter, who has worked with several widows as clients.

‘Be involved with financial decision making,’ he says. ‘If you and your husband use a financial adviser, be involved in the meetings. I have found that clients with a dual role are more successful than those with one decision maker.'”

Read more valuable financial advice

Social media helps seniors stay connected

social media

Social media complements face-to-face interactions for residents

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