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food safety

Food Safety for Older Adults

By Linda Larsen

July 4, 2017

“The FDA has released information about food safety for older adults. Anyone who is over the age of 65 needs to be very vigilant about food safety. Many of those who become seriously ill and even die from food poisoning are elderly.

The bodies of older adults do not work as well as they did decades ago. The stomach and intestinal tract hold onto food for longer periods of time, the senses of smell and taste are altered, and the liver and kidneys don’t work as well to get rid of toxins. And by the age of 65, many people have been diagnosed with a serious illness. That is a double whammy, since people with chronic health problems are also at higher risk for serious complications from food poisoning.

After the age of 75, many people also have reduced immune system responses. That means that body doesn’t recognize and get rid of pathogens such as bacteria that cause food poisoning. Older adults are more likely to be sick longer when they contract food poisoning and need to be hospitalized.”

Follow the steps of Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill to keep food safe.

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“Age shouldn’t be a reason to slow down”

age‘No One Wants To Be Old’: How To Put The ‘Non-Age’ in Nonagenerian

By Sharon Jayson, Kaiser Health News

June 26, 2017

“Wilhelmina Delco learned to swim at 80. Harold Berman is in his 67th year practicing law. Mildred Walston spent 76 years on the job at a candy company. And brothers Joe and Warren Barger are finding new spots in their respective homes for the gold medals they’ve just earned in track-and-field events at the National Senior Games.

These octogenarians and nonagenarians may not be widely known outside their local communities, but just as their more famous peers — think Carl Reiner, Betty White, Dr. Ruth (Westheimer) or Tony Bennett — the thread that binds them is not the year on their birth certificate but the way they live.

‘Age shouldn’t be a reason to slow down,’ said Joe Barger, 91, of Austin, Texas.

It never hurts to have longevity in your genes and few chronic health problems, but mindset plays a role in how people age, experts say. Some older adults have been termed ‘superagers’ for mental acuity despite their years because the typical age-related decline in brain volume is much slower.”

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Improve your digestion

Improve your digestionStomach Trouble? 5 Steps Help Prevent Digestive Problems as You Age

Medications, inactivity, poor diet may all play a role

By Digestion Health Team at the Cleveland Clinic, June 13, 2017

“The ‘tummy aches’ you may have had as a child can evolve into a long list of digestive problems as you age. They’re annoying, but the good news is that things like acid reflux and constipation are irritations that you can treat. Often, simple lifestyle changes will do the trick.

‘Many older adults fixate on their gastrointestinal problems,’ says gastroenterologist Maged Rizk, MD. ‘The gastrointestinal tract ages with the rest of us. I tell patients not to get too upset by it.’

Older adults and digestive ailments

Medicine, inactivity and even gravity all can take their toll and contribute to digestive troubles as you get older, Dr. Rizk says.

Here, according to Dr. Rizk, are the main culprits and the symptoms they cause:

  • Multiple medications — These may cause a variety of gastrointestinal issues, including constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and bleeding ulcers.
  • Inactivity and dehydration — These issues are more common as you age and they can make constipation worse.
  • Gravity — Over time the diaphragm can sink, causing decreased support where the esophagus joins the stomach (a hiatal hernia). And it typically causes heartburn and reflux. Medication often helps, but surgery is sometimes needed.
  • A weakened sphincter muscle, sedentary lifestyle and chronic constipation — These all may contribute to cause hemorrhoids, which are swollen veins in the lower gastrointestinal tract. Hemorrhoids are common in older adults.”

Read 5 steps to improve your digestion and more

Note:  I never thought I would be putting a picture of a toilet on this webpage. 🙂

Are you getting enough protein?

Protein important to repairing, rebuilding muscle tissue


By Marnie Walth, Bismarck Tribune

May 24, 2017

“One of my favorite wellness tips from my sister, Sherri, a sports nutrition guru, is to drink chocolate milk after a race or a hard workout. There’s nothing particularly extraordinary about chocolate milk other than it’s a delicious, convenient delivery system for what my body needs to repair and rebuild depleted muscle tissue — carbohydrates and protein.

Lowfat chocolate milk inexpensively delivers what expensive sports recovery drinks try to do — a drinkable four-to-one ratio of carbohydrate and protein grams. The 4:1 punch precisely provides the right dose of carbohydrates needed to transport sugar into muscles, where it becomes glycogen (energy storage) and protein to stimulate muscle repair and growth.

…There is perhaps less understanding around protein and its role in maintaining key body functions. In addition to building and repairing muscle tissue, protein is key to making enzymes, hormones and other body chemicals and is a building block of bones, cartilage, skin and blood.

Warning signs that you’re not getting enough protein include low energy, slow muscle recovery after exercise, hair loss, reduced strength, declining bone density and a weakened immune system.”

Read more about the RDA and protein-rich foods

Need dental work?

dental workGet Dental Work Before You Retire

by Kim Blanton, Squared Away Blog

March 9, 2017

“Caps, gum surgeries, implants, dental exotica – all kinds of things can and do go wrong in retirees’ mouths.

dental workBut dental coverage also drops sharply for older Americans, because when people retire, they give up their employer’s dental insurance. Without it, retirees needing dental work can face an unexpected, mini financial crisis.

Medicare does not cover routine dental procedures, a fact that a majority of working baby boomers are unaware of. But most seniors also aren’t covered through a spouse or under, say, a union dental insurance plan for retirees. The private dental insurance market is their only option for care, and very few purchase it.

Uninsured older Americans shell out $1,126 annually, on average, for dental work, which is $400 more than people with coverage spend. Out-of-pocket costs can be much higher in a year when extensive work is required.

There is also a hidden cost to not being covered.  Failing to deal with dental problems can cause other serious illnesses, from malnutrition to heart trouble.”

Read more about getting dental work

Blueberry supplements provide benefits

blueberry supplements

Concentrated blueberry supplement increases cognitive function in older adults, study finds

March 7, 2017

“Drinking concentrated blueberry juice improves brain function in older people, according to research by the University of Exeter.

In the study, healthy people aged 65-77 who drank concentrated blueberry juice every day showed improvements in cognitive function, blood flow to the brain and activation of the brain while carrying out cognitive tests.

There was also evidence suggesting improvement in working memory.”

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Medication management

medication management

Preventing medication mismanagement

Canadian Pharmacists Association

March 5, 2017

“Medication management is an important issue for seniors and their families. Failure to properly manage medications can threaten the lives of seniors, highlighting the emphasis families must place on ensuring seniors take their medications in strict adherence to their instructions.

Polypharmacy, or the taking of multiple medications for different conditions, can be a potential health hazard for the thousands of seniors who must manage health conditions with prescription drugs. Harmful drug interactions are a result of the confusion that can arise when seniors take multiple medications at the same time. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists estimates that more than 34 percent of senior citizens are prescribed medications by more than one physician and 72 percent use medications they were prescribed more than six months prior. Many people also have begun ‘pharmacy shopping’ to save money. According to a study published in 2010 in American Nurse Today, 44 percent of men and 57 percent of women older than age 65 take five or more medications per week, with some taking as many as 10.

Medication confusion is one risk, but older adults also metabolize medications differently than young people. As a result, they may be more susceptible to overdose or other ill effects. Families looking to help seniors effectively manage their medications should consider the following tips.

• Keep a running list of medications. Maintain a list of all medications being taken, noting both prescription and over-the-counter medications and any supplements and herbs. Provide a copy to any new doctors you visit and any new pharmacies you patronize.”

More tips

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