Hearing Loss is Common in Seniors

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According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Commucation Disorders (NIDCD) about one in three people between the ages of 65 and 74 has hearing loss, and nearly half of those 75 and older have difficultly hearing.  This can make it hard for seniors to “understand and follow a doctor’s advice, to respond to warnings, and to hear doorbells and alarms.”  Difficultly hearing also makes it hard for many elderly people to follow and engage in conversation with their family and friends.

Known as presbycusis, hearing loss in seniors generally occurs gradually and initially affects the ability to hear higher pitched sounds.  The person may notice that while the speech is loud enough, it sounds as if the talker is mumbling.  The condition is commonly caused by the loss of nerve hair cells in the Cochlea or the deterioration of other parts of the inner ear or auditory nerves.   Age-related hearing loss typically affects both ears equally.

In some cases, health conditions more common among the elderly such as high blood pressure and diabetes can additionally affect hearing.  Furthermore, certain medications including some types of chemotherapy drugs can cause hearing loss.

The NIDCD has a checklist to help seniors determine if they are experiencing hearing problems.  Questions include: Do you feel frustrated when talking to members of your family because you have difficulty hearing them?; Do you have difficulty hearing when someone speaks in a whisper?; and Do you feel restricted or limited by a hearing problem?

Another cause of hearing loss can be the result of long-term exposure to loud noise and is one of the most common occupational hazards.  The exposure damages the sensory hair cells in the ears, which do not grow back.  It is estimated that 10 million Americans have irreversible hearing loss due to long-term exposure to noise.

Seniors should discuss any hearing problems with their health care provider who will refer them to an otolaryngologist who specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases of the ear, nose, throat, and neck.  The otolarynogogist will test your hearing, and if a problem is found, will refer you on to an audiologist who will determine the type and degree of hearing loss.   Either they or a hearing aid specialist will fit you for a hearing aid.

This post is intended for informational purposes only.  Please contact your health care provider with any questions or concerns you have regarding your health.

MorningStar at Bear Creek brings a unique vision to senior living with our mission statement “to honor, to serve, to invest.” Our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing all seniors and selecting staff with a felt calling to serve. We are dedicated to creating a true home for residents within an ideal setting and invite you to schedule a tour to see firsthand the best memory care in Colorado Springs. 

Source:  https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/age-related-hearing-loss

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Healthy Eating Tips for Seniors

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Good nutrition plays a major role in the quality of life for the elderly including providing better physical, mental, and social health.  Many older adults are less active than younger people and therefore do not need to consume as many calories each day and/or may have a decreased sense of appetite.  This means that it is even more critical that the calories seniors are getting each day are rich in nutrients and vitamins and they avoid filling up on unhealthy food options.

The USDA has put together a list of 10 healthy eating tips for people age 65+ called “Choosing Healthy Meals as You Get Older.”  The first tip is to make a point to drink plenty of liquids throughout the day, because as we age, we can lose our sense of thirst.  They recommend drinking water often and limit beverages that have lots of added sugars or salt.

They advise that you get into the habit of using spices and herbs to flavor food instead of salt and to have sliced fruits and vegetables available for snacks and meals.  Even if you have dental problems, you can always eat cooked or canned foods like unsweetened fruit, low-sodium soups, or canned tuna.  The USDA suggests seniors vary the color of vegetables at each meal to benefit from the different vitamins each one offers.    Another tip is to make eating a social event and to try and eat with others.

Every day seniors need food fortified with vitamin B12 such as fortified cereals, and 3 cups of fat-free of low-fat milk or yogurt and hard cheeses.  Choose lactose-free foods if you cannot tolerate dairy.   Another thing the USDA mentions to look out for are portion sizes and to try and eat as much food each day in order to maintain a healthy weight.

Guidelines for the National Institute of Aging state that physically inactive women 50 years and older need to consume about 1600 calories a day and moderately active women need about 1800 calories.  If you are a 50 year or older woman leading a very active lifestyle, you need to consume approximately 2,000 calories daily.  Inactive men 50+ only need 2,000 calories, somewhat active men about 2200-2400 and very active men about 2400-2800 calories.

MorningStar at Arrowhead represents the finest in senior living with our unique mission statement “to honor, to serve, to invest.” Arrowhead’s foundation is built on honoring God, valuing all seniors and selecting staff with a felt calling to serve, all directed at creating a true home for our residents. Contact us to schedule a tour to fully experience the finest senior living Peoria AZ/Glendale AZ area has to offer. 

Sources:Choosemyplateprod.azureedge.net/sites/default/files/tentips/DGTipsheet42ChoosingHealthyMealsAsYouGetOlder.pdf, nihseniorhealth.gov/eatingwellasyougetolder/benefitsofeatingwell/01.html

 

 

It is Easier to Improve Your Health than You Think!

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Seniors often feel it is too late to make a difference in their health or that it may be too complicated to do so.  The truth is that taking better care of your physical health can be quite simple and enjoyable and may help you feel like a new person.

Our first piece of advice is to make sure you are managing your medical conditions, diseases and ailments in the most effective manner.  This includes making sure you are receiving the best medical care for your medical issues as well as learning about and practicing activities that can help you better manage your conditions.  Such as did you know that certain types of exercises can reduce your blood sugar and may even eliminate the need to take insulin?  Also making small changes to your diet may not only help you take off a few extra pounds but relieve pain in your back and knees.

Furthermore enough cannot be said about the benefits of regular physical activity regardless of your age or state of health.  Exercises for seniors should include daily or weekly routines to improve balance, flexibility, aerobic conditioning, and muscle strengthening.   However before you integrate an exercise activity into your life, please consult with your health care provider.

Another aspect of improving our physical health is to practice good nutrition.  Seniors can benefit from eating well and drinking plenty of water.   Changing to a healthier diet will give you more energy and help you lose weight and prevent or alleviate the severity of illnesses.

Lastly experts say it is important for people of any age including seniors to get enough sleep.  A good night’s sleep will help you feel more energetic during the day, and it is recommended seniors 65 years and older get seven to nine hours of sleep per night.

At MorningStar of Billings senior living community, we are honored to provide seniors with nutritional, tasty daily meals.  We also provide our residents with peace of mind knowing that others are around in the event of an emergency.   Please visit our website to see more about the resort-style amenities and services we provide to ensure the comfort, wellness and community of our residents.  

MorningStar Senior Living of Billings represents the finest in senior living with our unique mission statement “to honor, to serve, to invest.”  Our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing our seniors and hiring staff with a felt calling to serve in order to provide a true home for residents.  Please schedule a tour to experience firsthand our comfortable, home-like atmosphere. 

 

 

Diagnosing Alzheimer’s Disease

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In spite of all of the research done on Alzheimer’s and dementia, there is still no single test used to diagnose the disease.  Rather the Alzheimer’s Association explains that a diagnosis is made based on “a careful medical history, a physical examination and diagnostic tests, laboratory tests, and the characteristic changes in thinking, day-to-day function and behavior associated with each type.”

In some cases, a person with signs of the disease may be referred to a neurologist or geri-psychologist to ensure an accurate diagnosis.  Laboratory testing includes blood tests and brain imaging, which are used to rule out other causes that may be contributing to dementia-like symptoms.  Other conditions doctors are looking for are signs of depression, drug interactions, thyroid problems, excessive use of alcohol and vitamin deficiencies.  If memory loss does stem from any of these other causes, it can be dealt with and generally reversed.

Although Alzheimer’s cannot be cured, the Alzheimer’s Association emphasizes the importance of getting an early diagnosis as it gives someone a better chance of benefiting from available treatments.  If you need the name of a physician who is experienced in Alzheimer’s and dementia-related diseases, contact your local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association for a referral.  In addition, the organization offers a worksheet that you can fill out beforehand to help prepare for your visit with your physician.

Another reason why it is beneficial to understand what is happening to you or your loved one is that it not only can lessen anxieties, but also provides your family more time to prepare for the future.  Knowing what lies ahead also offers the individual an opportunity to be involved in future plans such as living options, care, transportation and financial matters.

This post is intended for informational purposes only.  Please contact your health care provider with any questions or concerns you have regarding your health. 

MorningStar at Arrowhead represents the finest in senior living with our unique mission statement “to honor, to serve, to invest.”  Built on a foundation of honoring God, valuing all seniors and selecting staff with a felt calling to serve, we are privileged to create a home infused with warmth and love.  Schedule a tour to learn more about our individualized, resident-directed approach and the best memory care Peoria AZ and the surrounding area has to offer.

 

Source: alz.org/alzheimers_disease_diagnosis.asp

 

Should You Get a Screening Test for Alzheimer’s Disease?

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With more and more research coming to light in terms of genetic links to a variety of diseases including Alzheimer’s, we are faced with the dilemma of whether we want to know about it beforehand.  Dr. Isaacson, director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at Weill Cornell Medicine’s Neurology Department in New York, says that dealing with the knowledge of an impending disease like Alzheimer’s years before a person is ill may not be productive.  He states that, “While genetic testing predicts risk, it certainly does not diagnose whether dangerous plaques or other symptoms of Alzheimer’s already exist in the brain,” and “implementing prevention measures early-on may be a better option than genetic testing”.

So what does genetic testing for Alzheimer’s tell a person?  For one thing, even if the ApoE4 gene is discovered, a person may be at risk for Alzheimer’s but not necessarily develop the disease.  Issues such as inflammation, obesity and other factors may need to be present before the disease can occur.  So if you get a positive result for the ApoE4 gene, it has not taken into account these other factors.

Researchers say a better solution is to focus on tests that can detect the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s.  Right now a test is available but it is very expensive.  The advantage to discovering pre-Alzheimer’s in people still in their 40s or 50s is that early intervention and treatments can be started.

MorningStar at Bear Creek provides the area with quality, compassionate memory care.   We have 48 secure suites and can care for someone in the early onset of the disease right through to the most advanced stages.  Please visit our website to learn about our individualized care as well as pricing and availability information.

MorningStar at Bear Creek brings a unique vision to senior living with our mission statement “to honor, to serve, to invest.” Our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing all seniors and selecting staff with a felt calling to serve. We are dedicated to creating a true home for residents within an ideal setting and invite you to schedule a tour to see firsthand our exceptional community. 

Source: aplaceformom.com/blog/should-you-rely-on-an-at-home-genetic-test-for-alzheimers/

The Many Benefits of Walking for Older Adults

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There have been a number of studies done that document the benefits of walking for older adults, and it is considered by many experts to be the safest and best exercise for the elderly.  Not only can it be performed at a low or moderate intensity and is easy on the joints, but it is also easy to start as it does not require any special equipment.

To get the most benefit out of walking, it is recommended you do it regularly.  The heart-healthy exercise can improve cardiovascular health and has been linked to lower risks of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and strokes.  Furthermore researchers   have found that “even small amounts of walking each week have been shown to reduce these risks around 15% to 20%.”  Daily walking regimens have “shown a 30% to 50% reduction in participants’ risk of cardiac arrest.”

Other benefits of walking include stopping or decreasing bone mass loss as well as strengthening leg and abdominal muscles, which can improve balance and stability.  Walking can also lead to weight loss or help maintain weight if needed.  Seniors who regularly walk have shown an improvement in their sleep patterns and an increase in mental sharpness.  In addition it assists with joint support by moving the fluid within our joints/cartilage.  It can also help make you feel happier.

At MorningStar of Billings, we believe in providing seniors with opportunities to stay fit and keep moving.  Our daily calendar includes a variety of physical activities such as Sit and be Fit, and Gentle Yoga Movements in a Chair.  We also have lots of other activities to engage residents including crafts, sing-a-longs, games, movies and much more.  Please visit our website to learn more about Billings’ best independent living, assisted living and memory care.

MorningStar Senior Living of Billings represents the finest in senior living with our unique mission statement “to honor, to serve, to invest.”  Our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing our seniors and hiring staff with a felt calling to serve in order to provide a true home for residents.  Please schedule a tour to experience firsthand our comfortable, home-like atmosphere.   

 

Source: thecaregiverspace.org/8-science-backed-health-benefits-to-walking-for-seniors/

Eye Care Recommendations from the Experts

morningstar general 12The American Academy of Ophthalmology says that early signs of disease or changes in vision can start years before they become a real problem.  This is why they recommend “adults with no signs or risk factors for eye disease should receive a baseline comprehensive eye evaluation at age 40.”

They also advise that individuals without any risk factors should have an eye exam by an ophthalmologist every 2 to 4 years.  People age 55 to 64 without risk factors should be examined by an ophthalmologist every 1 to 3 years.  Seniors 65 years and older without risk factors should be examined by an ophthalmologist every 1 to 2 years as the incidence of unrecognized ocular disease increases with age.

Getting regular eye exams and being aware of any changes to your vision is important as many age-related eye problems do not show early symptoms.  Furthermore, common health problems including diabetes and hypertension can cause eye-related issues as well as some medications.

A thorough eye exam will check your visual acuity and peripheral vision, coordination of eye muscles and the pupils’ response to light and color testing.  The ophthalmologist also examines the interior and back of the eye along with the inside and outside of the eyelid.  In addition, eye fluid pressure is measured with a tonometer, which blows a puff of air onto the eye.  The test is used to check for glaucoma and other diseases.

You will additionally be monitored for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) disease.  This test uses special instruments to examine the back of your eye to detect and monitor conditions affecting the macula.

Since many eye conditions do not develop symptoms until they are quite advanced, it is important to follow the eye exam recommendations.   Also, the risk of glaucoma, cataracts and age-related macular degeneration increases as we get older.

This post is intended for informational purposes only.  Please consult with your health care provider if you notice any changes in your vision.

MorningStar at Arrowhead represents the best in senior living with a unique mission statement “to honor, to serve, to invest.” We have built our foundation on honoring God, valuing all seniors and selecting staff with a felt calling to serve…all of which contributes to creating a true home for residents amid a beautiful, serene setting. Please schedule a visit to experience firsthand our beautiful community.

Source: aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/eye-exams-101