Monday, May 30, 2016
Friday, May 27, 2016
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Monday, May 23, 2016
Friday, May 20, 2016
Aging: What to expect
Wonder what's considered a normal part of the aging process? Here's what to expect as you get older — and what to do about it.By Mayo Clinic Staff
You know that aging will likely cause you to develop wrinkles and gray hair. But do you know how the aging process will affect your teeth, heart and sexuality? Find out what kind of changes you can expect in your body as you continue aging — and what you can do to promote good health at any age.
Your cardiovascular system
As you age, your heart rate becomes slightly slower, and your heart might become bigger. Your blood vessels and your arteries also become stiffer, causing your heart to work harder to pump blood through them. This can lead to high blood pressure (hypertension) and other cardiovascular problems.
What you can do
To promote heart health:
- Include physical activity in your daily routine. Try walking, swimming or other activities you enjoy. Regular moderate physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight, lower blood pressure and lessen the extent of arterial stiffening.
- Eat a healthy diet. Choose vegetables, fruits, whole grains, high-fiber foods and lean sources of protein, such as fish. Limit foods high in saturated fat and sodium. A healthy diet can help you keep your heart and arteries healthy.
- Don't smoke. Smoking contributes to the hardening of your arteries and increases your blood pressure and heart rate. If you smoke or use other tobacco products, ask your doctor to help you quit.
- Manage stress. Stress can take a toll on your heart. Take steps to reduce stress — or learn to deal with stress in healthy ways.
- Get enough sleep. Quality sleep plays an important role in healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. People's needs vary, but generally aim for 7 to 8 hours a night.
Your bones, joints and muscles
With age, bones tend to shrink in size and density — which weakens them and makes them more susceptible to fracture. You might even become a bit shorter. Muscles generally lose strength and flexibility, and you might become less coordinated or have trouble balancing.
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
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Monday, May 16, 2016
Friday, May 13, 2016
Long-term care: Early planning pays off
It's best to talk about long term care early — before the need for medical or personal care is imminent. Here's help understanding, choosing and financing long term care.By Mayo Clinic Staff
Long-term care is a term used to describe home and community-based services for adults who need help taking care of themselves.
If you're considering long-term care options for yourself, a parent or another loved one, start the research and discussions early. If you wait, an injury or illness might force your hand — leading to a hasty decision that might not be best in the long run.
Here's help getting familiar with long-term care options.
Understanding types of long-term care
Understanding the various levels of long-term care can help you choose the type that's most appropriate for you or your loved one. For example:
- Home care. Personal or home health aides can help with bathing, dressing and other personal needs at home, as well as housekeeping, meals and shopping. Home health nurses provide basic medical care at home, such as helping with medications.
- Day program. Day programs for adults offer social interaction, meals and activities — often including exercise, games, field trips, art and music — for adults who don't need round-the-clock care. Some programs provide transportation to and from the care center as well as certain medical services, such as help taking medications or checking blood pressure.
- Senior housing. Many communities offer rental apartments intended for older adults. Some senior housing facilities offer meals, transportation, housekeeping and activities.
- Assisted living. These facilities offer staff members to help with activities such as taking medication, bathing and dressing — as well as meals, transportation, housekeeping and social activities. Some assisted living facilities have on-site beauty shops and other amenities.
- Continuing-care retirement community. These communities offer several levels of care in one setting — such as senior housing for those who are healthy, assisted living for those who need help with daily activities, and round-the-clock nursing care for those who are no longer independent. Residents can move among the various levels of care depending on their needs.
- Nursing home. Nursing homes offer 24-hour nursing care for those recovering from illness or injury and serve as long-term residences for people who are unable to care for themselves. Nursing homes also offer end-of-life care. Services typically include help eating, dressing, bathing and toileting, as well as wound care and rehabilitative therapy.
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Monday, May 9, 2016
Friday, May 6, 2016
Concerned about memory loss? Take heart. Simple steps — from staying mentally active to including physical activity in your daily routine — might help sharpen your memory.By Mayo Clinic Staff
Can't find your car keys? Forget what's on your grocery list? Can't remember the name of the personal trainer you liked at the gym? You're not alone. Everyone forgets things occasionally. Still, memory loss is nothing to take lightly.
Although there are no guarantees when it comes to preventing memory loss or dementia, memory tricks can be helpful. Consider seven simple ways to sharpen your memory — and know when to seek help for memory loss.
1. Stay mentally active
Just as physical activity helps keep your body in shape, mentally stimulating activities help keep your brain in shape — and might keep memory loss at bay. Do crossword puzzles. Read a section of the newspaper that you normally skip. Take alternate routes when driving. Learn to play a musical instrument. Volunteer at a local school or community organization.
2. Socialize regularly
Social interaction helps ward off depression and stress, both of which can contribute to memory loss. Look for opportunities to get together with loved ones, friends and others — especially if you live alone. When you're invited to share a meal or attend an event, go!
3. Get organized
You're more likely to forget things if your home is cluttered and your notes are in disarray. Jot down tasks, appointments and other events in a special notebook, calendar or electronic planner. You might even repeat each entry out loud as you jot it down to help cement it in your memory. Keep to-do lists current and check off items you've completed. Set aside a certain place for your wallet, keys and other essentials.
Limit distractions and don't try to do too many things at once. If you focus on the information that you're trying to remember, you'll be more likely to recall it later. It might also help to connect what you're trying to remember to a favorite song or another familiar concept.
4. Sleep well
Sleep plays an important role in helping you consolidate your memories, so you can recall them down the road. Make getting enough sleep a priority. Most adults need seven to eight hours of sleep a day.
5. Eat a healthy diet
A healthy diet might be as good for your brain as it is for your heart. Eat fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Choose low-fat protein sources, such as fish, lean meat and skinless poultry. What you drink counts, too. Not enough water or too much alcohol can lead to confusion and memory loss.
6. Include physical activity in your daily routine
Physical activity increases blood flow to your whole body, including your brain. This might help keep your memory sharp. For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity (think brisk walking) or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity (such as jogging) — preferably spread throughout the week. If you don't have time for a full workout, squeeze in a few 10-minute walks throughout the day.
7. Manage chronic conditions
Follow your doctor's treatment recommendations for any chronic conditions, such as depression or kidney or thyroid problems. The better you take care of yourself, the better your memory is likely to be. In addition, review your medications with your doctor regularly. Various medications can impact memory.
When to seek help for memory loss
If you're worried about memory loss — especially if memory loss affects your ability to complete your usual daily activities — consult your doctor. He or she will likely do a physical exam, as well as check your memory and problem-solving skills. Sometimes other tests are needed as well. Treatment will depend on what's contributing to the memory loss.