How vital is fitness to aging well? Very. A recent study of participants in the 2015 National Senior Games, also known as the Senior Olympics, revealed that the typical participant had a fitness age of more than 20 years younger than his or her chronological age. According to the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, fitness age is determined by a measure of cardiovascular endurance and is a better predictor of longevity than chronological age.
It should come as no surprise that optimistic thinking is, for the most part, better for one’s health than negative thinking. In fact, negative thinking has been connected to poor health for some time. A recent study confirms what was previously suspected, linking optimistic thinking to the preservation of memory and good judgement. Both of those traits bode well for staving off, if not preventing, Alzheimer’s disease.
... metabolisms slow naturally as we age, which can affect digestion, but when things come to a screeching halt, it can cause discomfort and anxiety. Although most people prefer not to talk about their bowels, if this issue does not resolve on its own or worsens, it can lead to serious health problems like impaction, anal fissures and bowel incontinence.
I watched my mom struggle with painful arthritis in every joint. She'd had two hip replacements and her knees rubbed bone against bone with every step. Sometimes, watching her struggle with her walker tore at my heart so much, I could hardly help but insist that she let me get her into the wheelchair. Yet, we both knew that if she didn't move she'd get worse.
Dear Carol: I’ve cared for my wife who has dementia for several years but now she’s begun wandering and needs constant supervision. Our kids think that both she and I are both better off if we place her in a nursing home, so we are on two waiting lists. One of the homes that we're considering has a rule that the family isn’t supposed to visit for the first two weeks after the person is admitted, and after that visits should be infrequent. They say that family visits disrupt the routine that they are trying to put into place for the elder and that seeing family members simply confuses them. The other home welcomes visits from the start, saying that while they hope that the family feels comfortable leaving their loved one in their care, they like to have families help with getting the person settled and as comfortable as possible. I hate the idea of leaving my wife in a new place and not being with her to help her settle in, but I want what is best for her. CF
It seems fitting that Healthy Aging Month and World Alzheimer’s Month share September for their awareness campaigns. While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, and no guaranteed way to avoid it, scientists have begun endorsing a healthy lifestyle as a possible way to at least delay Alzheimer's symptoms for one in three people who develop the disease. Therefore it seems that a dedication to healthy aging can not only be a good idea in general, it may be helpful in the battle against Alzheimer’s disease.
Caregivers often find that many of their superficial friends drift away over time because the caregiver is too busy to have fun. These friends are not bad people. They simply don't know what to do to help the caregiver and they find it easier to share their time with people whose lives are less complicated. Are you this kind of friend?
Flu isn't just an inconvenience, especially among the elderly population. For expert information on how caregivers can help their elders stay healthy and if possible avoid the flu, I reached out to Martie Moore, R.N., MAOM, CPHQ, who is Chief Nursing Officer, Medline Industries, Inc. for some answers.
...These statistics should make it glaringly obvious that family caregivers are indispensable to our nation as well as the rest of the world. Without this so called free care, global health systems would be in far worse trouble than they currently are. I am one of that army of caregivers. Over the span of two decades I provided primary care for a total of seven elders, four of whom had dementia of different types. Therefore, I know intimately the toll that years of caregiving for someone with dementia can take.
Most of us dread the thought of moving a loved one into a skilled nursing facility, and this sentiment doesn’t change for those who are fortunate enough to have a selection of stellar facilities to choose from. We know that we are giving up a certain amount of direct oversight, which can be hard even though we are well aware of our limitations as individual caregivers. We also know deep down that this move is an admission that a loved one has passed a certain point in their health where returning home or resuming even a few aspects of self-care is no longer a possibility. In other words, this transition is a direct dose of reality.