Health Feed

Dysphagia is a swallowing impairment that can occur after someone has a stroke or any type of brain injury. Dysphagia is also a concern with Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), oral cancer, and many other injuries and diseases. However, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), dysphagia is also a growing concern in Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). The NIH says that dysphagia “frequently leads to aspiration pneumonia, a common cause of death in this population, particularly in the later stage of AD.” Read more →

As years go by, most of us gain–or attempt to gain–perspective. By retelling personal stories, elders are often, consciously or subconsciously, trying to reframe their life from the perspective of time. If we give them the gift of attentive listening, we may find their stories more interesting and even learn something new about them. Since an elder’s history is part of our own, we might learn something new about ourselves, too. This mutually beneficial activity is the perfect gift for dads this Father’s Day. Read more →

I’ve lived with chronic migraines since I was 15, due to a P.E. class injury. I know what it is to quickly excuse myself to run to the bathroom and vomit, then return and try to look as though nothing is wrong. I know what it is to reek of different rubs — some herbal, some commercial — in order to function. I know what it is to tell my mother that I was fine even though she could see that my eyes were barely focusing. Even then, most of the time, I did carry on. Read more →

...The fact that Joe needed help was obvious. However, he was my first care receiver, other than my grandmother who lived with us when I was a teenager. That was different since with Grandma my parents were mostly in charge. Joe learned to depend on my daily visits for company and my help with doctors, groceries and some small chores. But I learned from Joe, that there is a line that we caregivers should not cross, and that line isn’t always clear. Read more →

Dear Carol: A friend of mine lives alone in an apartment. She’s 73 and has an active life. Recently, though, she has gotten lost when driving a couple of our mutual friends to familiar places. She's also been forgetting our regular get-togethers. Several of us have noticed that she repeats herself often. We’ve talked with her extended family but they say that she’s just getting older and aren’t interested in more involvement. Should I approach her in a non-threatening way to talk about changes we all experience as we age while I call attention to my own struggles? Maybe I can determine if she's self-aware or in denial. Should I contact her family again? Should I just stay out of it? GT Read more →

The study’s researchers at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario came to their conclusion after following the health of more than 1,600 Canadians over a period of five years. According to the abstract, physical exercise may be an effective strategy for preventing dementia. Read more →

As they age, millions of Americans develop health conditions, including chronic pain. For an expert’s view on prevention and treatment, HealthCentral interviewed Kenneth Thorpe, Ph.D., via email. Dr. Thorpe is the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Health Policy at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. He is also the chairman of the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, an organization that has made several public-policy recommendations to address chronic disease, encouraging ways to improve patient access to care and invest in medical innovation. Read on to become part of the conversation. Read more →

Studies have long tied oral bacteria to heart disease and infection in joint replacements. Now, they are looking at oral bacteria as one possible trigger for the type of Alzheimer’s disease that strikes people over 65. While we all have these bacteria, and there is a threat of the bacteria entering our bloodstream, the further threat is that some of these bacteria may get through the blood-brain barrier causing inflammation in the brain. Many researchers consider inflammation in the brain to be one of several triggers that may cause Alzheimer’s. Read more →

While these statistics are scary, you shouldn’t let them cloud the reality that many of us will age normally and will not develop AD, or any other type of dementia. Certainly, we will have some memory changes as we age. Improvements in our lifestyle may help mitigate some of those. Other changes we’ll just have to live with. So what is normal memory loss and when should we worry? Read more →

Dear Carol: My dad has been in the hospital for open-heart surgery. He's now being discharged and will come home with me until he recovers enough to go back to his home where he lives alone. Long-term, his heart problem should be taken care of, and other than that he’s healthy for his age. What I’m worried about is the discharge process and taking care of him after he comes home. People aren't kept in the hospital very long now so families often have more caregiving to provide than in the past. What questions do I ask when Dad's discharged? How do I make certain that I don’t forget to ask something important? – HF Read more →