Need a medic!

Inspirational Senior Stories
-Senior Citizens Encouraged to Inspire Young People. More here>>

Senior Caregiver News
-The Dementia Caregiver’s Toolbox. More here>>

Senior Home Care Tips
-Cuts to hit senior services; home care may be spared More here>>

Senior  Care News

Alternative Medicine Spending Soars:

The amount of money that Americans are shelling out for herbal supplements, meditation, acupuncture and other forms of “alternative” medical care is continuing to skyrocket, according to a new government data out today.

Americans spent $33.9 billion out-of-pocket on “complementary and alternative” or CAM therapies in 2007, according to the nationally representative survey of nearly 24,000 adults conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics.

About $22 billion of that was for products, including classes, materials and non-vitamin, non-mineral natural products such as fish oil, glucosamine and Echinacea. Most of that — $14.8 billion — was for the supplements, according to the results, which were released by the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The rest, about $11.9 billion, was for an estimated 354.2 million visits to acupuncturists, chiropractors, massage therapists and other CAM practitioners.

To put the numbers in context, the $14.8 billion is equivalent to about one-third of out-of-pocket spending for regular prescription drugs, and the $11.9 billion is equivalent to about one-quarter of out-of-pocket spending for regular doctors visits. More here>>

-Kathy Johnson, PhD, CMC

A recent survey of 15,000 senior citizens in seven countries had interesting results– eating fish, which has omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, helps decrease the risk of dementia.

International researchers set out to figure out the risk of dementia amongst those 65 years+ and in middle to low income countries, such as China, India, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Mexico, and Peru. They specifically looked into how much meat and fish that were consumed.

In all of the countries that were surveyed, except India, there was an association between the amount of fish eaten and whether dementia was prevalent or not. The more fish that was consumed, the lower was their risk for dementia. Similarly, the less fish that was consumed, the higher their risk for dementia.

However, the link between eating meat and the risks of dementia was not found in this survey.

-Dr. Kathy Johnson, PhD, CMC

Scientists have long known that maintaining and developing new social relationships can help decrease the risk of dementia. However, a new study found that relationships during one’s midlife can have an effect on Alzheimer’s.

The new study followed 2000 men and women from Finland from age 50 and tracked them for 21 years.  The researchers found that the subjects who were living with a partner or spouse during their midlife actually had a 50 percent lower chance of developing dementia than those who lived alone. The scientists also found an interesting correlation between the amount of time someone lived alone and their risk for developing dementia. The study showed that those who lived alone their entire adult life ran twice the risk of developing the disease while those who had married and then divorced and remained single had three times the risk of developing dementia.

Individuals who had lost their partner before midlife and then continued to live as a widow or widower were six times as likely to develop dementia.  This study is extremely important as most research has focused on Alzheimer’s and its relation to the elderly.  But, more and more studies are showing that Alzheimer’s can be affected earlier in life as well.

-Dr. Kathy Johnson, PhD, CMC

Over 4 million in U.S. over age 60 are diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis OA. Researchers from Tufts University School of Medicine found that Senior citizens (over age 65) with knee osteoarthritis (OA) saw an improvement in their physical function and experienced less pain after regular Tai Chi exercise.

Tai Chi (Chuan) is a traditional style of Chinese martial arts. It involves slow, rhythmic movements to induce mental relaxation and enhance balance, strength, flexibility, and self-efficacy. The November issue of Arthritis Care & Research, a journal of the American College of Rheumatology has the full findings of the study published. The elderly population is at most risk for developing knee OA, resulting in pain, functional limitations or disabilities and a reduced quality of life.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 4.3 million U.S. adults over age 60 suffer from knee OA, a common form of arthritis that causes wearing of joint cartilage. A recent CDC report further explains that half of American adults are likely to develop symptoms of OA in at least one knee by age 85.

For this study, Chenchen Wang, M.D., M.Sc., and colleagues recruited 40 patients from the greater Boston area with a confirmed knee OA but were otherwise in good health.  The mean age of participants was 65 years and the mean body mass index of 30.0 kg/m2. Patients were randomly selected. 20 of them were asked to participate in 60-minute Yang style Tai Chi sessions twice weekly for 12 weeks.

Each session involved a 10-minute self-massage and a review of Tai Chi principles; 30 minutes of Tai Chi movement; 10 minutes of breathing technique; and 10 minutes of relaxation. “Tai Chi is a mind-body approach that appears to be an applicable treatment for older adults with knee OA,” said Dr. Wang.

The physical components of Tai Chi are consistent with current exercise recommendations for OA, which include a range of motion, flexibility, muscle conditioning, and aerobic workout. Apart from these, the researchers believe that the mental feature of Tai Chi addresses the negative effects of chronic pain by promoting psychological wellbeing, life satisfaction, and perceptions of health.

The remaining 20 participants of the control group attended two 60-minute class sessions per week for 12 weeks. Each session involved 40 minutes of instruction covering OA as a disease, diet and nutrition, therapies to treat their OA, or physical and mental health education. The final 20 minutes involved stretching exercises for the upper body, trunk, and lower body, with each of the stretch being held for 10-15 seconds.

It was found that at the end of the 12-week period, the patients who practiced Tai Chi exhibited a significant decrease in knee pain compared with those in the control group. Using the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) pain scale, a –118.80 reduction in pain from baseline was found between the Tai Chi and control group.

Improved physical function, self-efficacy, depression, and health status for knee OA was observed in subjects in the Tai Chi group.

Parenting my parents.

Nov 12, 2009 admin | Uncategorized

-Stephanie Erickson MSW, LCSW

When we were young children, we looked to our parents to tell us right from wrong, to make decisions for us and to protect us.  As we became a young adult, our relationship to our parents became different.  We still turned to our parents, but more for guidance and support.  Never did we imagine or expect that one day we would be the parent to our parent.  When did it happen?  When was the shift?  Now we are the ones in the “worry seat.”

As a geriatric social worker, I get calls from adult children expressing concern about their parents and looking for guidance.  My clients say things to me like:

“I’m so worried about my mom living alone.  She keeps falling.”

“Last time I was at my dad’s house, he asked me to look at some of his mail and I saw that he hasn’t paid the electricity in three months.”

“I’ve tried to talk to my parents about getting someone into the home to help them but they just won’t discuss it.”

Where do you start?

First, take a detailed inventory of all of the areas that you have observed to be of concern.  Use the following categories:

a.    Memory (short term, long term, immediate)
b.    Orientation problems (time, day, year, people, location)
c.    Judgment and decision making
d.    Safety concerns (isolation, driving, medication errors, leaving the stove on, etc.)
e.    Ambulation (falls, assisted devices)
f.    Hygiene
g.    Appetite and meal preparation
h.    Medication issues
i.    Existing relationships and contact with others
j.    Financial management

Locate an existing power of attorney to ensure your parents’ assets and personal affairs are protected.  If not, consult an attorney or notary and a financial advisor immediately and encourage your parent to draft these documents.

Contact your local community agency and share your “inventory” with your contact.  Ask about community services available to meet the identified needs.  What are the processes for finding an assisted living or full nursing care environment?  What are the costs?

Is your parent a veteran?  Contact the Veteran’s Affairs office to assess what services are available and what your parent can benefit from.

Do a search on line to access your provincial, state or federal government website.  You may have government sponsored programs or funding available to assist you.

You can also hire a private geriatric social worker to conduct a complete psychosocial evaluation and assist you in accessing appropriate resources.  If you do not live in the same city as your parent, this is a great resource to have.  Do a search on-line to locate a local referral.  Or, ask a community agency for a referral to a private social worker.  The local hospital social workers may also have a referral.

In terms of supportive services, depending on if your parent is autonomous, semi-autonomous or dependent, there are different services available.  You can look at home care support, a retirement community, assisted living, board and care, or a full care nursing facility.  You can find these resources with a search on-line, or a private, community or hospital social worker can provide referrals.

Once you have an idea of what your parent needs and what is available, you can begin to discuss or continue your discussions, sharing your concerns with your parent. I find that with most of my clients, this is the most difficult area.  See my article in next quarter’s newsletter in which initiating difficult topics with our parents will be discussed.

If you have further questions or are interested in tools to help you assess and organize your parent’s affairs, feel free to contact me directly at stephanie@ericksonresource.com.

Senior Care News
-Aging gracefully: Most don’t plan ahead for senior care decisions. More here>>

Senior Technology Updates
-More progress made in development of eldercare robots. More here>>

-Dr. Kathy Johnson, PhD, CMC

Senior citizens who take various psychotropic medications such as antidepressants or sedatives are more likely to experience falls. More than 30 percent of individuals above 65 will fall at least once a year, and falls and their complications are the fifth-leading cause of death in the developed world, says a new study.

Each year, 85 percent of injury-related hospital admissions and more than 40 percent of nursing home admissions are related to falls, and the annual costs related to falls and their complications are estimated to cost billions worldwide.
Both internal and external risk factors contribute to falls, and medications have previously been implicated in the probability of falling and in the risk of sustaining a fracture. John C. Woolcott, M.A., of the University of British Columbia and Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcomes Sciences, Vancouver, Canada, and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis of 22 previously published studies conducted between 1996 and 2007.

The studies involved 79,081 participants above 60 years and evaluated nine drug classes: antihypertensive agents; diuretics; beta-blockers; sedatives and hypnotics; neuroleptics and antipsychotics; antidepressants; benzodiazepines; narcotics; and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

“Given the divergent results shown by some observational assessments within specific medication classes, the results of our meta-analysis reiterate the need for caution when prescribing these medications to seniors,” the authors write.
An analysis of previous studies has been reported in the November 23 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

-Dr. Kathy Johnson, PhD, CMC

New Year’s resolutions are notoriously difficult to keep. Changing habits and behavior is challenging at any age but becomes much more difficult as we get older. Grand sweeping resolutions are rarely successful, neither are ones with goals that are too big or with vague end points. Try making a modest resolution with specific, regular, and measurable goals. These are the types of resolutions you can keep and that, after a year, will have changed your habits for the better. Here are ten possible resolutions that are in keeping with the Balanced Care Method™, any one of which can lead to a better 2010:

1. Increase your fruit and vegetable eating by one serving per day
The Balanced Care Method™ recommends that fresh fruits and vegetables, along with whole grains, compose the bulk of your daily diet. No matter how many you’re eating now, though, adding a serving per day will only improve matters. What is a serving of fruits or vegetables? About ½ cup of cooked vegetables, 1 cup of raw leafy greens, a small piece of fruit (many oranges and apples on the market count as 2 or even 3 servings each), or a ¼ cup of dried fruit. So sprinkle some chopped dates on your oatmeal, grab an apple as a morning snack, have a salad before dinner – these are all simple and delicious ways to add a serving a day.

2. Switch out one cup of coffee every day for a hot mug of antioxidant-rich green tea
Green tea has many health properties – and much less caffeine than coffee. Be sure to brew your green tea with fresh, rapidly boiling water and steep for 2 to 3 minutes for the best result. A squirt of lemon juice or a teaspoon of honey can be added to taste. There are many flavored green teas on the market – try genmaicha, a brown rice and green tea combination with a toasty warming taste perfect for cold winter days.

3. Add one serving of tofu, edamame, soy milk, miso, or tempeh to your weekly diet
These foods are all made from soy beans and are rich in flavonoids. While they are not standard in the Western diet, they are everyday foods for some of the world’s longest-lived and healthiest-lived people. If these foods are new to you, use soy milk in a smoothie or stir some cubed tofu into soup. If you already snack on edamame or use soy milk on your cereal, that’s great. Try adding a bit of crumbled tempeh on a salad or some baked tofu (available seasoned and ready to eat at many grocery stores) in a sandwich. Miso, a paste of fermented soy beans, has rich savory flavor. Just a spoonful adds depth to salad dressings, soups, and stews.

4. Eliminate alcohol
Limited alcohol intake is good advice no matter what age we are. Eliminate alcohol entirely or reduce your drinking to one small drink per day (if you don’t have any adverse medication warnings). Improved energy, sleep, balance, and memory are all possible benefits from reduced alcohol consumption.

5. Add 5 minutes of physical activity to your day each month
Simple math reveals that if you do this you will be an hour more active each day at the end of the year! That’s a hefty resolution in the end, but just adding 10 or 20 minutes total is a lot, too. Marathon training and heavy lifting are not required. A short walk, a bit of gardening, light housework, simple stretches – these are all ways to be physically active and help you keep the mobility you have.

6. Learn a new game
The game can be social (most card games, board games, word games) or individual (sudoku, crosswords, solitaire); the object is to give your brain something new to learn and have fun in the process. Even the most rigorous mental activities lose their punch and memory-improving power when they become too familiar. Trying new things is a great way to keep minds active (and entertained!) at any age.

7. Read (or Listen to) a New Genre
Life-long readers tend to know what they like. They can also get a bit stuck in what they like. Read, listen on tape or iPod, or have someone read to you a book from a genre you don’t usually read. Mystery readers could try a good biography; romance fans might give a riveting non-fiction account a try; dedicated history readers could reach for a novel. Worst case scenario is you get to re-affirm what you like; best case scenario is you fall in love with reading all over again in a new way.

8. Reach Out
Call or email someone you haven’t heard from in awhile or get in touch with one person with whom you wish you were still in touch. This may be an extended family member, an old friend, or a lost love – the idea is to reach out and make a connection, if only to wish each other well.

9. Meditate, pray, or quietly reflect for five minutes every day
While it is important to stay physically active and socially connected, taking time for quiet and reflection is key to life balance and stress management. Set aside five minutes each day to meditate, pray, or sit alone in peace and quiet. Better focus, reduced stress, and better sleep may await you with regular sessions.

10. Play It Safe
The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to make sure your home is safe. Check that you have the following phone numbers next to every phone: emergency (911 in most areas), non-emergency number for non-life-threatening situations, health care providers’ numbers, pharmacy number, poison control number, a list of your medical conditions and medications, and family and friends contact numbers. In some places – rural areas or locations near major highways – cell phone 911 calls are patched through to a state-wide office. Note any special number a cell phone user may need to call to be directed to local emergency services if necessary. Your home should also have a fire extinguisher on each floor, smoke alarms with fresh batteries on each floor and in every bedroom, basic first aid supplies, flashlights by beds, and nightlights in bedrooms, bathrooms, and hallways.

-Dr. Kathy Johnson, PhD, CMC

There has been much controversy regarding the safety of soy food and products for women that have survived breast cancer.  A recent study done by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that women in China who had breast cancer had an associated lower risk of death and breast cancer recurrence when they had a higher intake of soy food.

“Soy foods are rich in isoflavones, a major group of phytoestrogens that have been hypothesized to reduce the risk of breast cancer. However, the estrogen-like effect of isoflavones and the potential interaction between isoflavones and tamoxifen have led to concern about soy food consumption among breast cancer patients,” the authors write in explaining why they pursued this study.
The study analyzed data from the Shanghai Breast Caner Survival Study.  It was based off a large population of 5,042 women, all of whom were breast cancer survivors in China.  The women were between the ages of 20 and 75 and were diagnosed between March 2002 and April 2006 and followed up through June 2009.

The researchers collected information about the diagnosis, treatment, lifestyle after exposure and disease progression.  It was gather approximately 6 months after the diagnosis and reassessed at three follow-up interview conducted at 18, 36 and 60 months after diagnosis.

After 4 years there were 444 deaths and 534 recurrences out of the 5,042 women followed in this study.    Patients in the groups with the highest amount of soy protein intake had a 29% lower risk of death during the study and 32% lower risk of reoccurrence compared to the patients with the lowest intake of soy protein.

“The inverse association was evident among women with either estrogen receptor-positive or -negative breast cancer and was present in both users and nonusers of tamoxifen,” the researchers write.
“In summary, in this population-based prospective study, we found that soy food intake is safe and was associated with lower mortality and recurrence among breast cancer patients. “

”The association of soy food intake with mortality and recurrence appears to follow a linear dose-response pattern until soy food intake reached 11 grams/day of soy protein; no additional benefits on mortality and recurrence were observed with higher intakes of soy food. This study suggests that moderate soy food intake is safe and potentially beneficial for women with breast cancer.”

There were several different factors that went into their study such as the differences in the quality, type and quantity of soy food intake between China and the United States.  Also, the amount of time the doctors followed up with the women in remission was only 4 years, a short amount of time.

As well, US doctors that there are likely differences in screening rates in China compared with the US and a number of factors make it difficult to compare stage and treatment specific results in China with outcomes in the U.S.

“Even though the findings by Shu et al suggest that consumption of soy foods among breast cancer patients is probably safe, studies in larger cohorts are required to understand the effects of these foods among diverse clinical subgroups of breast cancer patients and survivors.

“In the meantime, clinicians can advise their patients with breast cancer that soy foods are safe to eat and that these foods may offer some protective benefit for long-term health. Moreover, the potential benefits are confined to soy foods, and inferences should not be made about the risks or benefits of soy-containing dietary supplements. Patients with breast cancer can be assured that enjoying a soy latte or indulging in pad thai with tofu causes no harm and, when consumed in plentiful amounts, may reduce risk of disease recurrence.”

-Dr. Kathy Johnson, PhD, CMC

The Alliance of Aging Research predicted that by 2030 the United States will need 36,000 geriatricians. However, today there are only 7,500 physicians who are certified in geriatric medicine. Even though Geriatricians study beyond three year residency after medical school, they earn less than other specialists.

Most American’s first line of health care is their primary physician which is a specialist in internal medicine or family practice. Dr. Steve Snyder, of San Francisco, is a board-certified internist and endocrinologist who received geriatric training later in his career recommends that older patients should have geriatricians as their primary care physicians. The doctors need to be in the mindset to recognize symptoms and causes of aging.

Dr. Cheryl Phillips, president of the American Geriatrics Society says, “Patients and their families need to talk with the primary about his views on medication management, fall assessment and memory loss. These conditions may occur as we get older, but unless the doctor is aware, he won’t ask about them.”

“Old Age, From Youth’s Narrow Prism”- a fascinating article from the New York Times.

“Even More Reasons to Get a Move on”- An great piece on why exercising is so important, from the New York Times’ Personal Health writer Jane E. Brody.

-Dr. Kathy Johnson, PhD, CMC

There has been a steady decline in Cancer death rates since 1990 according to a new study. This trend is great due to reductions in toabacco use, better Cancer screening technology, and improvement in treatments for certain cancers. These trends provide the best examples that the war on Cancer is improving. Early detection and treatment has helped with the decline tremendously.

New studies show that for all cancers combined, death rates in men increased from 1970 to 1990 but then decreased in 2006. There has been a 58.7% decline in all cancers in males from 1990 to 2006. Specific cancers include lung and bronchus, prostate, stomach, oral cavity, etc. These long term studies is what helps researchers have better understanding of Cancer. At the same time, during the years of 1970 to 1990, Cancer in women also increased and then decreased in 2006.

Researchers are still stressing that continued and increased investment into cancer prevention will yield a even higher decline in Cancer death.

-Dr. Kathy Johnson, PhD, CMC

The department of psychiatry at Rhode Island Hospital has created a new questionnaire and measurement scale to evaluate anxiety in senior citizens. Anxiety is a condition that is becoming more common as an individual gets older. In order to determine the condition of a medical  disorder, it is necessary to evaluate outcomes. Standardized scales are always recommended as a tool to treat psychiatric disorders.

Some symptoms of Anxiety fall into four general categories:

* Tense muscles, which leads to shaking, trembling, muscle restlessness, and easy tiring
* Increased nervous system activity which leads to shortness of breath, rapid heart reate, sweating, dry mouth, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, flushes or chills, frequent urination, or difficult swallowing
* Paranoia, feeling irritable
* Changes in normal behavior to avoid stressful situations such as avoiding meetings which leads to excessive hand washing for example

This new scale can be easily incorporated into routine clinical practice when treating for anxiety. Mark Zimmerman, MD director of outpatient psychiatry at Rhode Island Hospital and his colleagues created this new scale called CUXOS (Clinically Useful Anxiety Outcome Scale test”. 1000 outpatients completed the test in less than 1.5 minutes and each CUXOS could be scored in less than 15 seconds. This test has also been found to be a good valuation of symptom change. As Zimmerman says, “If the optimal delivery of mental health treatment ultimately depends on examining outcome, then precise, reliable, valid, informative, and user-friendly measurement is critical to evaluating the quality and efficiency of care in clinical practice.” This new scale is a valid test to measure anxiety in patients.

-Dr. Kathy Johnson, PhD, CMC

While most of the world is now converting to the complexities of Blackberries and iPhones, Snapfon is a new gadget doing just the opposite. Creating a simple phone, Snapfon can be the perfect tool to give you and your loved ones peace of mind. Let’s check out some of the features:

- The most important aspect that I found on the Snapfon is the big red SOS button on the back of the phone. When there is an emergency, it will consecutively call 4 of your programmed numbers until someone answers. As well, it will dial your local emergency response center. By activating the SOS button, it also sends a text message to all 4 numbers saying “Emergency please answer my call.”
- The numbers on the buttons and the screen are large and easy to read for seniors who may be hard of sight.
- If the 28-point font isn’t enough, there is a speaking keypad that will tell you the numbers that you dial.
- In the dark, there is an LED flashlight on the top of the phone.
- There is also a built-in digital FM tuner that can play through speakers or through a headset that is included in your Snapfon kit.
- They include a soft case and lanyard so that seniors can always carry the Snapfon around their necks for easy access.

The specs on this phone are definitely impressive– it is easy to use and has the seniors and visually-impaired users in mind. Now all you have to do is add them to your cell phone plan. It is comforting to know that your parents or grandparents can reach you when you are not nearby.

-Elder care: Communicating with elderly is often frustrating.  Click here for some communication tips>>
-Focusing on older Cancer patients: A clinical need and a research necessity. More here>>

-Sandy Harris

Did you know that your favorite maple syrup is effective in fighting cancer and diabetes?  According to the studies conducted by US researchers, there are strong evidences showing that maple syrup can substantially slow down the growth of cancer cells and can effectively reduce the risk of diabetes. The new research shows that your favorite maple syrup has thirteen active compounds that serve as antioxidants. These thirteen compounds were previously unknown. The discovery proved that maple syrup could be very effective in fighting bacterial infection, diabetes and cancer.

An Effective Solution or Diabetes Sufferers
Considerable amounts of the phytohormone, abscisic acid, are found in maple syrup. This acid is a powerful defense against diabetes and metabolic syndrome, because it encourages the release of insulin through pancreatic cells and enhances fat cells’ sensitivity to insulin. Seeram revealed the results of his tests on Canadian maple syrup during the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Francisco.

Maple Syrup as the Best Anti Cancer Food
A study by researchers at the Universite du Quebec a Chicoutimi, published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, implies that maple syrup can be more effective than broccoli, blueberries, carrots and tomatoes in significantly slowing cancerous cell growth in the brain, prostate and lungs and somewhat less significantly in the breast.

A Delicious Option in Fighting Cancer and Diabetes
The following is from a study titled: Antioxidant Activity, Inhibition of Nitric Oxide Overproduction, and In Vitro Antiproliferative Effect of Maple Sap and Syrup from Acer saccharum, published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, and written by Jean Legault, Karl Girard-Lalancette, Carole Grenon, Catherine Dussault and André Pichette: Maple sap and syrup from 30 producers in three Quebec, Canada, regions were evaluated concerning the time of harvest and abstract antioxidant activity, inhibition of nitric oxide (NO) overproduction and the antiproliferative effect of ethyl acetate extracts.

The harvest time does not have an analytically notable incidence on antioxidant activity of either maple sap or syrup extracts. Their Oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) values are 12 +/- 6 and 15 +/- 5 mumol of Trolox equivalents (TE)/mg, respectively. A cell-based assay also confirmed the antioxidant activity. The ORAC assay was also used to establish the antioxidant activity of pure maple syrup. The results show the pure maple syrup ORAC value of 8 +/- 2 mumol of TE/mL to be lower than the blueberry juice value of 24 +/- 1 mumol of TE/mL but similar to the strawberry juice value of 10.7 +/- 0.4 mumol of TE/mL and the orange juice value of 10.8 +/- 0.5 mumol of TE/mL. Lipopolysaccharide-induced NO overproduction in RAW264.7 murine macrophages was considerably inhibited by maple sap and syrup extracts.

It is believed that transforming maple sap into syrup enhances NO inhibition action, because the syrup extract was considerably more active than the sap extract. The maple syrup extracts induced the highest NO inhibition at the season’s end, and the darker syrup was more active than the clear syrup. This indicates that the activity could be partially attributed to some colored oxidized compounds.
Maple syrup extracts (50% inhibitory concentration = 42 +/- 6 mug/mL) and pure maple syrup have a discriminating in vitro antiproliferative action against cancerous cells.

For more information on diabetes, please click here.

Sandy W. Harris writes for diabeticsnacks.org, her personal hobby website focused on healthy recipes ideas to prevent, cure and manage diabetes.

-Dr. Kathy Johnson, PhD, CMC

Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who has been serving for 34 years, is planning to retire this summer. At almost 90 years young, Justice Stevens is ready for a late retirement. He approximates it to be in late June or early July after the court finishes its work for the summer. He has left plenty of time for the Obama administration to find a well-fitted successor– some of the candidates including Solicitor General Elena Kagan, Judge Merrick Garland, or Judge Diane Wood. According to Mr. Obama, he is going to choose a liberal-leaning replacement for Justice Stevens.

Whoever the new justice will be, he or she will be held to high standards because of the reputation that Stevens has left. The influential leader of the Liberals is known as the convincing justice who would be able to narrow majorities in large cases. He could successfully draw the votes of the swing decisions in the court. Stevens isn’t one to sit around and let things happen, but rather the one to initiate discussion or debate, and the one assigned to the writing of the opinion of his side during a split decision. Justice Stevens believes in protecting businesses, people’s rights, and the overall welfare of our society. As the second oldest and fourth longest-serving justice, he has certainly made an impact in the history of the United States. From his example, Stevens proves that even at 90, people can make a difference in the world.

Senior Health Updates

-Amazing new senior wellness center open in San Diego! Read more here.

-Senior Health: Prevention Is The Key. Read more here.

-Dr. Kathy Johnson, PhD, CMC

According to a report in the May issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, rates of mood and anxiety disorders appear to decline with age but the conditions remain common in older adults, especially women.

“Knowledge of the prevalence of mood and anxiety disorders and co-existing mood-anxiety disorder in older community-dwelling adults is important; these are hidden and under treated but treatable disorders associated with poor health outcomes,” the authors write as background information in the article

The study consisted of 2,575 survey participants, age 55 and older and the results were determined by Amy L. Byers, Ph.D., M.P.H., of the University of California, San Francisco, and San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and her colleges.  Of this group, 43 percent were ages 55 to 64; 32 percent, 65 to 74 years; 20 percent, 75 to 84 years; and 5 percent, 85 years or older.

A total of 5 percent of participants had a mood disorder, including major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder, within the previous year. Rates of anxiety disorders – such as panic disorder, agoraphobia, other phobias, generalized anxiety disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder – were 12 percent overall. About 3 percent had co-occurring mood and anxiety disorders.  Prevalence of all the conditions declined with age.

When comparing age groups, persons age 55 to 64 with those ages 85 and older;
? 7.6 percent vs. 2.4 percent had mood disorders,
? 16.6 percent vs. 8.1 percent had anxiety disorders, and
? 4.8 percent vs. 0 percent had both conditions.

Women were more likely to have any of the disorders than men;
? 6.4 percent of women and 3 percent of men had mood disorders,
? 14.7 percent of women and 7.6 percent of men had anxiety disorders, and
? 3.7 of women and 1.6 percent of men had both.

“The study of nationally representative samples provides evidence for research and policy planning that helps to define community-based priorities for future psychiatric research,” the authors write.

“The findings of this study emphasize the importance of individual and co-existing mood and anxiety disorders when studying older adults, even the oldest cohorts. Further study of risk factors, course and severity is needed to target intervention, prevention and health care needs.”

“Given the rapid aging of the U.S. population, the potential public health burden of late-life mental health disorders will likely grow as well, suggesting the importance of continued epidemiologic monitoring of the mental health status of the young-old, mid-old, old-old and oldest-old cohorts,” they conclude.

“More With Dementia Wander From Home” Read more here.

-Dr. Kathy Johnson, PhD, CMC

According to the latest edition of Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological and Medical Sciences, older adults increase their chances of falling by not taking their medications as directed.  This information comes from a recent study of Boston-area residents over age 70, which found those who sometimes neglected their medication experienced a 50 percent increased rate of falls compared with those who did not.

“Falls can now be added to the growing list of poor health outcomes associated with non-adherence to medication,” said lead author Sarah D. Berry, MD, MPH,  a research scientist with the Institute for Aging Research at Hebrew SeniorLife in Boston.

“Because non-adherence is common and easy to screen for, health care providers should discuss this subject with their patients.”

Berry and her co-authors are the first investigators to study the association between falls and medication adherence. The team used data gathered from subjects in the Maintenance of Balance, Independent Living, Intellect, and Zest in the Elderly of Boston (MOBILIZE Boston) Study, a community-based cohort of seniors recruited for the purpose of studying novel risk factors for falls.

They examined responses from a total of 246 senior men and 408 senior women with an average age of 78. Between 2005 and 2008, 376 individuals in this group reported a total of 1,052 falls.

A participant was characterized as having low medication adherence if he or she answered yes to any of the following questions:

Do you ever forget to take your medications?
Are you careless at times about taking your medications?
When you feel better do you sometimes stop taking your medications? Sometimes if you feel worse when taking your medication, do you stop taking it?
High adherence was defined as a “no” answer to every question. In total, 48 percent  of the respondents were classified as having low medication adherence.

Those in the low-adherence group experienced falls at an annual rate of 1.5 times that of the high adherence group. This association persisted after adjusting for other variables, including age, sex, cognitive function, and total number of medications.

Great article from CNNMoney on increasing your lifespan and improving your quality of life. More here.

Want a change of scenery? Great article on AARP.com that talks about the top five places to live in the U.S. and why.

-Dr.Kathy Johnson, PhD, CMC

With many of us Boomers now looking towards retirement and senior-citizenship, the question of how to remain financially independent is on everyone’s mind. Depending on your age, the answer is different.

Younger Boomers in their 40s and 50s still have the opportunity to educate themselves about how to pay for those later years, while older boomers must figure out what to do now that they are living those later years.

A recent study conducted by Jeff Faust, a specialist for Allianz Life, showed that 61% of the study’s 3,200 participants feared outliving their income “more than they feared death.” Clearly, this is a real concern for many people. However, with over 78 million Boomers, financial specialists don’t have all the answers.

Jan Yager, Ph.D. from Consumer Affairs attempts to aid Boomers with her “7 Steps to Avoid Out-Living Your Money”:

>> Keep working
>> Be more frugal
>> Pay off debt and avoid new debt
>> Downsize or relocate
>> Stay healthy
>> Consult an attorney about asset protection
>> Consider long term care insurance

While there are many Boomers with all different kinds of financial situations, Dr. Drummond Osmond, a financial advisor, often finds that everyone’s concerns are the same. Therefore, Osmond urges his clients to have a healthy relationship with their money, and to think about how they want to live before thinking about how much money they want to have.

In the end, no matter who you are, experts stress the importance of planning and being prepared in order to avoid outliving your money.

-Dr.Kathy Johnson, PhD, CMC

With nearly 5.3 million Americans suffering from Alzheimer’s today, we all eagerly await a cure for the tragic disease. Many doctors and scientists have developed treatments and medicines that they feel may help slow the process, but the Museum of Modern Art, along with the Alzheimer’s Association, have come up with a slightly different idea: art. “One of the ways to get to people with Alzheimer’s is to engage them through art, because art is so creative,” says Tania Becker, one of the people involved in this project.

Becker and her volunteers believe that art can help those with Alzheimer’s, because art is an easy way to express one’s emotions, and inability to express emotions is often one of the most isolating factors of the Alzheimer’s.  Therefore, Becker, along with some volunteers, has started an art class for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. Participants in Becker’s class can come in and paint virtually whatever they like – sometimes they paint an image from their minds, other times they paint the highlighted centerpiece provided by Becker. Becker believes that art can help her students live in the “here and now,” which is something they don’t get to experience often.

According to a new study conducted by Northwestern Medicine, older, heavier women may have more memory issues and poorer brain function than those who are a healthy weight.

The study was conducted on 8,745 women, ages 65 to 79, and it was found that a higher BMI (Body Mass Index) had a “detrimental effect” on memory and brain function. Even further, the study discovered that women whose excess weight is carried around their hips rather than around their waists experienced even more memory loss and decreased brain function. While there are still more tests to be conducted, researchers believe that this phenomenon may have something to do with the type of fat that accumulates around the hips. Obese women have more cytokines, which are a type of hormone released from the most common kind of fat in the body.

According to Diana Kerwin, M.D., from Northwestern Medicine, “The fat may contribute to…Alzheimer’s disease or a restricted blood flow to the brain.” While researchers are still trying to gather more information on this subject, the current findings can help doctors know with whom they need to be the most aggressive about weight

-Dr.Kathy Johnson, PhD, CMC

Falls have become a devastating issue for seniors living at home. In order to increase the quality of home health, the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research has found that there are many ways to help seniors avoid health problems related to falls.

According to the 2007 California Health Interview Survey, which researchers used as a reference, 14.5% of Californians over the age of 65 fell at least once in that year alone. Falling can cause many severe health problems for seniors, and one fall makes an elder much more likely to fall again. Furthermore, only about half of the seniors who reported falling actually went to the doctor after their fall. Many of those who did go to the doctor did not use all the prevention techniques described by their doctor.

The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research is giving a great push for seniors living at home to seek help and preventative strategies. The Center is also encouraging medical professionals to try to get seniors on board. This is an incredibly important issue for many seniors who wish to live at home as they grow older, because it can increase their home health and allow them to continue living in their own home for much longer.

Who will live to 100?

Aug 12, 2010 admin | Uncategorized

Living to be 100 may seem nearly impossible, but some Americans do, and scientists may now be able to tell, through your genes, if you will be a centenarian.

According to Dr. Thomas Perls, director of the New England Centenarian Study, centenarians actually tend to be the vision of health in that about “90 percent of centenarians are disability-free until around age 93.” The study looked at a little over 1,000 Caucasian centenarians in the United States and found several common DNA sequences.

According to this research, about 15% of Americans should be predisposed to live to 100. This is not the case, however, as there is only one centenarian per 6,000 people in the U.S. today. Researchers attribute this to the fact that at the time when most centenarians (or would-be centenarians) were born and raised, medicine was not as advanced as it is now, proving that environment and lifestyle play a role in healthy aging as well. Lifestyle factors can be further stressed when researchers found that very few who live to be 100 smoke or are obese, and many have very healthy diets and exercise regularly. Researchers also discovered that healthy aging may be attributed to a wide range of genetic variants protecting people from all sorts of diseases. Drugs are now being tested using information from these tests to improve quality of life. “Our goal is not to make people live to 100,” says Dr. Nir Barzilai, director of the Institute for Aging Research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, “the goal is to have good quality of life at the end of their life.”

Happy to 102: The Best Kept Secrets of a Long and Happy Life, co-authored by Home Care Assistance Founders Dr. Kathy and Jim Johnson as well Lily Sarafan, COO, addresses Dr. Barzilai’s goal in regards to quality of life in our later years and how to achieve this effectively.

-Dr.Kathy Johnson, PhD, CMC

Since September is National Cholesterol Awareness Month I thought that it would be a good opportunity to talk about ways in which we can all work on lowering our cholesterol. Drugs that are taken for lower low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) cholesterol are the most widely prescribed drugs in the entire world. Bet you didn’t know that.  I read an interesting article the other day on CNN.com that talked about The National Cholesterol Education Program and what they recommend to lower cholesterol through exercise and diet.  Basically lifestyle changes you can make to lower your cholesterol so you do not need to turn to prescription drugs.

Diet is a key factor.   Lowering the amount of saturated fat as a percentage of total calories is the first step toward decreasing your cholesterol, as saturated fat goes hand-in-hand with higher cholesterol. Another suggestion is to eat more plant- based foods and whole grains as well as limit red meat, full- fat dairy products, baked goods and fried foods.  All of these dietary changes can help reduce saturated fats. The intake of soluble fiber is another thing they stress.  Foods with high amounts of soluble fiber include oats, beans, fruits and vegetables. Soluble fibers are effective because they trap cholesterol in the digestive tract so that it passes through your body instead of into your blood stream. Adding stanols and sterols such as vegetable oils, nuts and seeds also help decrease cholesterol levels because they compete with cholesterol for absorption into the body’s system.

Living a therapeutic lifestyle that incorporates daily exercise is also very important. Women and men with belly fat are more likely to have high cholesterol and need to lose as much as 10 percent of one’s body weight to significantly improve health.

If you make the above lifestyle changes, The National Cholesterol Education Program claims you can avoid the negative side effects that come from cholesterol reducing prescription drugs.

El negocio del futuro

Oct 12, 2011 admin | Uncategorized

Recordemos que solo el 62% de las personas hace click sobre los resultados de la primera página versus el 28% que hace clicks sobre los resultados de la segunda página. Quiere decir que si no aparecemos entre la primera y la segunda página es poco probable que un usuario que no nos conozca nos encuentre. Adicionalmente el 90% del tráfico de Internet llega a través de los buscadores más conocidos. Para lograr esto es necesario que el sitio a optimizar sea visible con las palabras clave que los usuarios frecuentemente usan para sus consultas. Con una buena estrategia de posicionamento con técnicas Online y Offline, se logrará que su sitio sea accesible por los clientes potenciales en el momento que se solicita la información sobre el producto o servicio. El posicionamiento en el listado natural es una herramienta de negocios potencial ya que al permitirle a los usuarios que lo ubiquen más facilmente, ayuda a generar más tráfico, visitas y por ende clientes potenciales a su site. posicionamiento web chile. Hace solo un año que Google lanzó Caffeine y Google Instant para mostrar los resultados de búsqueda a medida que el usuario va escribiendo lo que está buscando. Facebook cambió el “Házte Fan” por el “Me gusta”.

Ahora bien, no te preocupes si no conoces alguno de estos puntos que menciono arriba. Sin embargo, es necesario que conozcas lo necesario sobre cómo funcionan algunos aspectos básicos en los motores de búsqueda, cuando “visitan” e interactúan con nuestra Web.

Además, recuerda colocar el contenido propio de cada página en un lugar accesible para la araña de búsqueda. Ellas recorren el sitio de izquierda a derecha y de arriba hacia abajo.

La mayoría de responsables SEO piensa que los que trabajan en SEM, perdón, en PPC no son grandes profesionales, porque con dinero es fácil conseguir visitas. No es ningún problema, la mayoría de profesionales del PPC (ahora sí lo dije bien) piensan que los SEOs son gente de poco fiar, ya que no pueden asegurar nunca en qué posición aparecerá un resultado. Y lo mejor de todo es que nos llevamos muy bien, pese a esto. También es cierto que los que piensan así, ambos, se equivocan totalmente (esa es mi opinión).

Si se hace un curso de posicionamiento en buscadores para profesionales del marketing online, que ya veremos si se hace algún día, todos seremos mucho más felices. Sobre todo los clientes.

Servicios SEO por lo general incluyen: investigación de palabras clave,optimización de páginas web, campaña de construcción de enlaces y los problemas con la definición de la indexación de un sitio por los motores de búsqueda. Sin embargo,hay otros servicios estrechamente relacionados con SEO como: investigación de mercado online, consultoría de usabilidad web, analisis web y otros. Nuestra empresa es capaz de proporcionar una gama completa de servicios de marketing .

Google a través de muchos algoritmos que usa, ha indexado o clasificado millones de sitios webs según un conjunto de factores y ha determinado cuales son más relevantes para determinado conjunto de palabras, en este caso ”accesorio para carros” y nos ofrece su lista de resultados que muy probablemente encaje con lo que estamos buscando. Estos factores y el orden de importante de cada uno es secreto de cada compañía (léase Google, Yahoo, MSN y similares) debido a la alta probabilidad que sea mal usado para lograr posicionamiento.

Las células madre poseen dos características que las distinguen de casi todas las demás células. La primera es que son en verdad células “no especializadas”, capaces de renovarse durante largos períodos de tiempo mediante replicación celular. La segunda es que bajo ciertas condiciones, tanto en vivo como en condiciones experimentales se transforman en células especializadas tales como células cardíacas o neuronas. La salud es entonces un equilibrio entre la muerte y degeneración celular y la regeneración y “mantención” de células y tejidos por estas maravillosas células, que son en último término las encargadas de “reparar” al organismo. Las constantes noticias sobre los avances en su investigación, sus aplicaciones actuales y el futuro de esta medicina regenerativa ha justificado denominarla “la nueva frontera de la medicina”.

En la terapia con células madre adultas es importante saber optar por el más serio banco de células que sea posible para respaldar su viabilidad.

Existen tres fuentes principales de células madre:.

Las células neurales madre eran consideradas, hasta hace poco, como estrictamente embriónicas. Numerosos descubrimientos han comprobado que esto es incorrecto. La identificación y localización de células neurales madre, tanto embriónicas como adultas, ha sido un foco importante de la investigación reciente. Algunos objetivos importantes para los transplantes de células neurales madre son los pacientes con derrames cerebrales, lesiones al cordón espinal, y enfermedades neurodegenerativas, como por ejemplo, la Enfermedad de Parkinson.
El conocimiento de las células madre ha hecho posible que los científicos puedan crecer piel nueva a partir de cabellos arrancados de la cabeza del paciente. Las células madre de la piel (llamadas queratinocitos) residen en los folículos del cabello y pueden ser removidas al arrancar el pelo de raíz. Estas células pueden ser cultivadas para formar un equivalente epidérmico de la piel de los pacientes y proveer tejido para un injerto autólogo, eliminando el problema del rechazo. Actualmente, este método está siendo estudiado en pruebas clínicas como una alternativa a los injertos quirúrgicos usados en los casos de úlceras venosas y víctimas con quemaduras.

Ayer aproveché un descuento de Hardcore Descuento para comprar un netbbok con descuento. Estaba con 70% de descuento, y aproveché para disfrutar de un regalo de navidad por anticipado. Lamentablemente no miré la letra chica y nos trae sistema operativo. Es decir, viene con el Mandrake o algo parecido, un OS Linux que nadie desea y que no sirve para nada. Así que obligado a pillar desde donde descargar windows 7 para poder tener un equipo bueno, que funcione sin tantos dramas. El problema después de descargarlo hay que encontrar como parchar windows 7 Windows 7, porque se debe buscarle un crack o algo parecido que muchas veces veces tienen virus o algo asi. Pero la única manera de saber es probando . Hay que jugar con fuego.

Hablando de Internet, mi netbook, que es viejito pero que aún funciona bastante bien, se infectó con un malware cabrón que me llena el browser de publicidad porno y venta de relojes. De verdad, eso es lo que hace, altera los anuncios que se muestran en los diferentes sitios web. Y, por otra parte, cuando uno trata de bajar un anvirus gratuito para limpiar el pc, lo que hace es llevarte a una página tipica con antivirus de mentira que dañan todavía más tu equipo.

Don’t confuse age-related macular degeneration with the loss of sight associated with the normal aging process. In fact, according to an article published on aarp.com, they are quite different.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a disease that affects 10 million people in the United States, with 1.75 million experiencing significant vision loss (aarp). Unlike, normal age-related vision loss, AMD cannot be fixed with corrective surgery or glasses. It affects the center of the retina, the part that gives you the ability to drive, read, golf, etc.  In this case, the lens cannot be changed or replaced because it is decaying with age, rendering some people legally blind.

“People who are in their 70s and 80s are extremely active,” says Dr. Karl Csaky, head of the Retina Foundation of the Southwest’s Harrington Molecular Laboratory and an ophthalmologist with Texas Retina Associates. “If you had even a relatively small disturbance in vision, that could be extremely devastating in terms of what you’re used to doing.”

By 2020, approximately 20 million Americans will be affected by AMD. Currently there are no cures or preventative treatments for the disease, but studies are showing that eating fish two or more times per week can help reduce the risk. Research performed at the National Eye Institution showed taking Vitamin A and C, as well as copper, zinc, and beta carotene slowed down the progression of a form of AMD as well. Additionally, there are other factors that may increase or decrease the risk, such as genetics and smoking.

As detrimental as this AMD seems, people are living with it every day. Tyler, a woman quoted in the article, puts the disease (and any disease for that matter) in perspective, “You can work with it and make it a positive thing, or it can devastate you. You make these choices in life. What am I going to do about it? Is it going to define me, or am I going to help define it?” She gets eye injections monthly and participates in studies for AMD on a regular basis in hopes of a cure.

Earlier this month I did a blog post on the Dutch study that biking is linked to diagnosing Parkinson’s. I reiterated that the study is more appropriate for those in the Netherlands who cycle with more frequency than the United States. Well, it looks like America is slowly starting to get the picture.

An article published on AARP.com, discusses the increasing number of cycling studios across America that are starting to add ‘mental life coaching’ to physical workouts. The aesthetics of the class combine to create an atmosphere that promotes focus and positive thinking.  The dark classroom, rhythmic choreography, carefully created playlists and instructors who double as motivational speakers, all help maintain a focused environment. One particular class at Velovoom in Washington maintains a no distraction policy (i.e. cellphones, iPads, etc.) as well.

The bike is the ultimate vehicle for the class, with resistance knobs that can be adjusted to fit anyone’s preference, and any age. And what makes this class so different from other cycling classes, is that its main focus is the bike. Velovoom’s owner, Marc Caputo, says the class allows for people to “become one with the bike.”

SoulCycle and Flywheel are both New York based studios who promote a similar message. Their complete workout routines, motivating instructors, and positive atmosphere allow their students to let go of any stress or anger and focus solely on what they came there to do. Cycle.

Again, the power of cycling to positively change one’s mental state – or diagnose Parkinson’s – brings awareness to alternative tests/treatments in the health industry.

Dr.Kathy Johnson, PhD, CMC

Currently there are approximately 483 million people over the age of 65 living in the world. By 2030, that number will jump to 974 million (about.com).

With an increasing elderly population, an emphasis on fitness has become a priority for the majority of the population who will make up that 974 million, more specifically, the baby boomer generation.

According to Babyboomer-Magazine.com, every 7 seconds another baby boomer turns 50. And as the aging continues, so does the focus on maintaining physical fitness. “USA Triathlon had 58,073 members in 2005. This year, it had 134,932, and, despite their advancing age, Boomers make up almost one-fourth of that membership — more than 32,000″ (AARP). A majority of the Boston Marathon and New York City Marathon are Boomers as well.

Values have changed since the 1950s when Boomers’ parents were focused on providing for the family and maintaining a strong work ethic. Although these things are still important, the Baby Boomer generation brought about a shift in values, emphasizing health and fitness as avenues to excelling in life as well.

Cycling, running, swimming, and hiking are just a few of the ways in which this generation is continuing to achieve great health. This passion for fitness is affecting our current generation as well, as more and more 20-year-olds are following in their parents’ footsteps.

Only positive things can come from staying fit!

How much does your elderly loved one depend on technology? When commenting on last week’s Consumer Electronics Show, the Wall Street Journal pointed out that the hottest product at the convention was not an iPhone or the latest BlackBerry tablet, but a “smart pillbox”- a timed product used to dispense medicine.

For the 32 million or so Americans taking three or more medications a day, according to the National Council on Patient Information and Education, inventions like the Smart Pillbox could become a beneficial asset for a stress-free lifestyle. For those in their senior years, the product can make a prolonged home-life seem more probable.

To mark the rising interest in event-monitoring technology, General Electric and Intel recently announced the cooperative endeavor of “Care Innovations,” which will provide a greater variety of products to assist the elderly lifestyle.

These trends are mostly in response to people living longer. Moreover, the desire of the elderly to continue to live completely on their own has always been of greatest concern. Realistically speaking, it is also important to point out that no invention can replace the consistency of human care giving. Technology can only go as far as electricity, power cords, and limited programming permits.

Of course, I am not saying that technology is not irrelevant. In fact, it is probably most useful when used hand-in-hand with a caregiver whom is present and highly experienced like the ones hired by Home Care Assistance. Simple awareness of the trends of the health market can prove to be the starting point for better solutions for our elderly.

Dr.Kathy Johnson, PhD, CMC

There are many problems that come to mind regarding the more serious risks associated with aging – falls are usually not at the top of that list. But, reports are finding that falls can be as serious for the elderly as heart attacks and strokes (Caring.com).

The risks associated with falls are innumerous. “Falls are one of the most common health problems experienced by older adults and are a common cause of losing functional independence. Given their frequency and consequences, falls are as serious a health problem for older persons as heart attacks and strokes,” the guideline panel co-chair Dr. Mary Tinetti, of Yale University School of Medicine, said in a journal news release.

According to the American and British Geriatrics societies, elder care programs and doctors’ offices should consider updating their guidelines to include fall screening and prevention. If patients show signs of muscle weakness, poor balance or a significant drop in blood pressure then they should take precautions to prevent falls in the future.

Some precautions include:

•    Exercises to improve balance, gait and strength, such as Tai Chi or physical therapy.
•    Making changes to reduce the risk of falls in the home and while doing daily activities.
•    Reduction of medications, particularly those that affect the brain, such as antidepressants and sleep drugs.
•    Boosting low blood pressure and managing heart rate and rhythm abnormalities. (Caring.com)

Read full article.

Dr.Kathy Johnson, PhD, CMC

Many of the diseases and conditions that we provide services for here at Home Care Assistance have to do with behavior – whether it be caring for a dementia patient who has behavioral issues or regulating a diabetic’s diet, behavior plays a enormous part in our day to day lives.

Although our caregiver’s support is helpful, a Stanford University study is showing that the patient may have more of an ability to regulate their own behavior than we think.

The study is based on the premise that people are generally placed into two groups in terms of their perception of willpower, wherein one group believes willpower is ‘unlimited’ and the other sees it as ‘limited.’ Researchers at Stanford University determined which group their test subjects fell under using a questionnaire, and then randomly split them up into two groups. The subjects in each group were then provided with an exam, one group’s being more difficult and involved than the others. Those who saw willpower as unlimited were more accurate on the test, regardless of its difficulty, than those who were less optimistic.

The researchers then went on to reproduce the same results with subjects who were manipulated into thinking willpower was limited or unlimited, suggesting that willpower can be controlled in certain circumstances.

The idea that willpower is limitless is very powerful. Heather Schwartz, a medical nutrition therapist at Stanford Hospital & Clinic sees the findings as beneficial to her patients’ health in the long-run. “If a patient finds sticking to their goals difficult,” Schwartz said, “I can now tell them that the willpower is there — and that they just have to ‘access it.’”

In lieu of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I wanted to provide a few ideas of ways to give back to the community on this national day of service. There are so many things you can do, no matter how much time you have.

•    Donate school supplies to local schools.
•    Volunteer at a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter.
•    Read with a child.
•    Take a loved one to the doctor.
•    Send a “Thinking of You” card to a loved one.
•    Go green! Carpool, turn down the heater, or turn off your lights.
•    Donate blood.
•    Run errands for a loved one.
•    Hold a food or used book drive.
•    Go to createthegood.com to find local events and activities in your community for you to give back!

It is so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives. Today reminds us that it is important to take a moment to give back to your community.

Now, go give back!

Recent Posts