What’s New for the Flu in 2016Learn what to do about the flu and why people 65 years and older are at greater risk of serious complications from the flu.

Older adults have another option for the vaccine this year

by Emily Gurnon

October 19, 2016

“You probably know that the flu vaccine is a little different each year. Manufacturers alter it to make it as close a ‘match’ to the currently circulating viruses as possible. There are some other changes you should be aware of for the 2016 flu season, too. But the most important thing to know, experts say, is: Get the flu shot, even if you think you don’t need it.

‘The more people that get the vaccine, the better it is for everybody — and in the process, you protect yourself,’ said Dr. Jesse T. Jacob, associate professor of medicine at Emory University and hospital epidemiologist at Emory University Hospital Midtown in Atlanta.

Potentially Deadly

The flu can be a very serious illness, especially for those 65 and over and for children. About 90 percent of flu-related deaths occur in those 65 and older, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).flu shot

Over three decades between 1976-1977 to 2006-2007, the flu and associated illnesses like pneumonia killed between a low of 3,000 and a high of 49,000 people per season, according to the CDC. Exact numbers are not known, because states are not required to report influenza deaths in adults.”

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“Bottom line: Don’t risk letting yourself get sick, and don’t be the source of an illness for someone else. Get vaccinated.

To find out which shots are available in your area, go to Vaccine Finder and type in your location.”

Emily Gurnon is Senior Content Editor covering health and caregiving for Next Avenue. She previously spent 20 years as a newspaper reporter in the San Francisco Bay Area and St. Paul.

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Image result for elderly sleep disorders imagesElderly Sleep Disorders

Some of my neighbors and I were discussing the difficulties of getting enough sleep as we age, so I decided to do a little research on common sleep disorders:

In an article titled “Sleep Disorders in Older People” (Age and Ageing 2002) author Joseph Harbison revealed these key points:

  • Sleep disorders are very common in older people, particularly those living in long-term care, and may be markers for other diseases.
  • Doctors are sometimes unaware of the propensity for commonly used drugs to cause sleep disturbance.  Insomnia is often multifactorial in elderly people.
  • Benzodiazepines should be used to treat insomnia only when it is severe, disabling, or subjecting the individual to extreme distress.  Try non-pharmacological method instead.
  • Circadian rhythm disorders, parasomnias, and sleep related movement disorders are all common amongst older people and are often easily treated.
  • Older people should be warned that they need longer to adjust to long haul flights.

Read the full report and see a table of Commonly Used Drugs Causing Insomnia and Sleep Disturbance


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Hydration and the Elderly

September 12, 2016

United States presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (age 68) has been in the news lately due to dehydration issues. I have never been much for drinking water either so I recently added the free Water Drink Reminder app to my phone. It reminds me to drink water and I log my intake throughout the day to make sure I am drinking enough.  It has helped me to become more hydrated.  Maybe Mrs. Clinton should add the app to her cell phone.

The Hydration 4 Health website reports the following about Hydration and the Elderly:old woman drinking water

“As we get older, body water content decreases, the risk for dehydration increases, and the consequences become more serious.

Dehydration has been associated with increased mortality rates among hospitalized older adults1 and can precipitate emergency hospitalization and increase the risk of repeated stays in hospital.2,3

Dehydration is a frequent cause of hospitalization of older adults and one of the ten most frequent diagnoses responsible for hospitalization in the United-States.3
Evidence suggests high dehydration rates of elderly patients within hospitals and other health care institutions.2

Dehydration has also been associated with various morbidities, such as impaired cognition or acute confusion, falling or constipation.”

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From the Editors of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance…12 Great Places to Retire for Good Health

July 2016

“The most important component of a happy retirement? It’s not financial security (although that’s nice to have) or proximity to family and friends. It’s good health.

With that in mind, we chose retirement destinations that are havens for healthy living, with lots of opportunities to pursue an active lifestyle and great medical facilities. Using data provided by Trulia, the online real estate marketplace, we identified neighborhoods that have quiet streets, trails, parks, golf courses and other amenities, and easy access to hospitals and pharmacies.

Our destinations span the country and range from walkable neighborhoods in big cities to small towns with top-ranked hospitals. Most of our neighborhoods are in cities with good air quality (which is why you don’t see any Southern California cities on the list) and low crime rates. And with the exception of Omaha and Billings, all are in states that are tax-friendly or tax-neutral for retirees. We’ve listed them from smallest to largest population.”

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Healthy Living Made Simple

by Joyce Dillon

July/August 2015

“Why just survive as you age when you can thrive?

The human body is a beautiful, intricate system that functions at its best when we consciously care for each part of the whole: our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual self. If we neglect even just one seemingly small part of our body’s system, our whole body tends to not function at its highest potential. So, to enjoy a long, healthy and vibrant life, I suggest you develop and maintain those four key areas by incorporating these 10 tips.

  1. Love yourself – Aging well begins and ends with love. Practice giving and receiving love; it will change your life. Embracing and sharing love is the key to living well and maintaining a youthful spirit.
  2. Keep learning – Stay informed about current issues, technology and health trends. Be open and willing to meet new people. Travel to unknown destinations. Read and learn something new each day. Learning keeps your brain active and sharp.
  3. Laugh – Laughter really is great medicine because it’s a natural stress reducer. Laughing releases chemicals in our bodies that can drive away pain and fear, two emotions usually associated with aging, so laugh often. If you have to, buy a laugh: Rent a movie.
  4. Exercise – Keep your feet moving daily. Impaired mobility and balance are top aging concerns, for good reason. Daily exercise and foot care are extremely important because your feet make movement possible. Benefits of regular exercise include less depression, increased alertness, clearer thinking, improved ability to handle stress, and enjoyment of a positive mood. Start now, get moving, dance and kick up your heels.
  5. Eat well and healthy – Learn about antioxidants, phytonutrients and essential fatty acids; consume them every day. Prepare or buy savory food for yourself, and enjoy. Make mealtime a pleasure. Avoid eating in front of the TV while you watch stressful news.”

For tips 6-10 as well as advice for “a day in the life of a healthy aging individual” read the entire article at:

Joyce Dillon, RN, MN, BCC, is the founder of Joyce Dillon Inc.  She is a certified life and wellness coach, holistic nurse, author and intuitive painter.

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Ease the Pain of Health Care Costs in Retirement

by Kimberly Lankford, Kiplinger’s Retirement Report

February 2016

“This number should hurt a lot: The average 65-year-old couple will pay $240,000 in out-of-pocket costs for health care during retirement, according to Fidelity Investments. And that does not include potential long-term-care costs.

Critical, yes. Incurable, no. The worst thing you can do is take to your bed and expect the pain will go away with an aspirin or two. The best medicine is to make sure your retirement plan takes into account this large line item — and to find ways to cut future costs or develop income streams to pay expenses.images (50)

It’s easy to see how the costs can add up. Just Medicare premiums alone for 25 years — for standard Part B (which pays for outpatient care), a Part D prescription-drug policy and a Medigap supplemental insurance policy — will set a couple back close to $200,000. And that does not include dental and vision care, hearing aids, and out-of-pocket drug costs. A Medicare Advantage plan could cost somewhat less. Thank goodness Part A, which pays for hospital care, is free.

In your planning, prepare for unexpected spikes in spending, such as a new dental crown. Also, adjust your estimates for inflation, perhaps by 4% a year. And if you expect to live longer than average, plan for those extra years.

Here are some strategies to ease the pain of an acute case of health care costs.”

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