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

 

 

Wet Macular Degeneration

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If you have recently been diagnosed with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), you may feel relieved to put a name to what has been going on with your vision.  However, on the other hand you are now probably worried about the information your doctor shared regarding the fact that wet AMD can eventually lead to vision loss.

To better understand AMD, you need to know that it affects the back of the eye called the retina.  As J. Michael Jumper, MD, a partner of the West Coast Retina Medical Group in San Francisco and a board member of the American Society of Retina Specialists explains, “The macula is the area in the center of the retina, and that’s where your eye sharply focuses when recognizing faces and reading.”  Furthermore, while there are two types of AMD (wet and dry), wet AMD is a progression of dry AMD rather than a separate condition.  Luckily most people do not progress from dry AMD to wet AMD.

Doctors say while there is no cure for wet AMD, it is important to get regular eye exams as there are therapies and treatments to help lessen the damage from the disease and preserve your vision.  Dr. Jumper says. “There’s now a good chance of maintaining vision with proper treatment. The earlier wet AMD is detected and the better vision is when treatment is started, the better the long-term outcome may be.”

The American Academy of Ophthalmology says while the disease progresses slowly the symptoms of wet AMD include seeing a dark spot or several dark spots in the center of your field of vision. Another sign is noticing lines or a grid appears wavy or blurry.

Age is the biggest risk factor for wet AMD and more common in people 60 years or older.  The disease also has other risk factors such as being Caucasian, a family history of AMD, smoking, heart disease, high cholesterol, and being overweight.  Doctors say eating foods rich in saturated fats may also contribute to wet AMD.

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 our exceptional community.

Sources:

everydayhealth.com/hs/managing-wet-amd/understanding/?xid=cs_001_023_106&gclid=Cj0KCQjwttbWBRDyARIsAN8zhbL9KNaZNax997eubZPP4-b7VcTWXoRbFLSvNoe6SmaA2MfujBFH7qcaAhkFEALw_wcB

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. 

 

 

What is COPD?

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The COPD Foundation states that, “Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is an umbrella term used to describe progressive lung diseases including emphysema, chronic bronchitis, refractory (non-reversible) asthma, and some forms of bronchiectasis.”  As COPD progresses, it results in increasing breathlessness as the lungs are further damaged.  The damage is permanent and is the 4th leading cause of death for people 65 to 84 years old.

Often in the early stages, people mistake the symptoms of COPD with fatigue and getting older.  In addition, many people may have the disease for years before experiencing the symptoms of COPD that includes breathlessness, wheezing, or a chronic cough.

You may be at risk for COPD if you have a history of long-term smoking, a job that exposed you to dust or chemicals or other indoor air pollutants, second-hand smoke exposure, or lots of exposure to outdoor air pollution.  You may additionally be at risk if you had lots of respiratory infections as a child or have a genetic risk factor for emphysema that is related to a deficiency of the Alpha-1 Antitrypsin protein in the bloodstream.

COPD is diagnosed with a simple procedure known as a spirometry test that measures how well your lungs are working.  If your results show signs of COPD, you will need to consult with your doctor regarding treatment.  It is important for anyone with COPD to get a yearly flu shot and a vaccine for pneumonia as they can help to prevent some infections.  Good nutrition and staying as active as possible is also important.

The Mayo Clinic reminds anyone diagnosed with COPD that is not the end of the world.   They say most people have a mild form of the disease and require little therapy other than to quit smoking.  For more advanced cases, there are effective therapies available to “control symptoms, reduce your risk of complications and exacerbations, and improve your ability to lead an active life.”

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 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. Call to schedule a visit to our exceptional community.

Source: copdfoundation.org/What-is-COPD/Understanding-COPD/What-Causes-COPD.aspx

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/

Help Prevent Falls with the Right Shoes

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Surprisingly, preventing falls can be as simple as wearing the right shoes at the right time.  Dr. Carol Frey, director of the Foot and Ankle Center at Orthopedic Hospital in Los Angeles, conducted a year-long study regarding safe footwear for seniors.  Her research showed that in many cases shoes that are generally considered “safer footwear” were often to blame for falls that caused injuries.

The study involved 185 men and women over the age of 55.  With participants 65 or older, shoes were often to blame for falls.  Dr. Frey found that “bulky rubber soles worn on carpet can be hazardous while athletic shoes that are flat or worn are dangerous on wet surfaces.”  Of the group that fell, 28% said that their footwear caught or dragged on the floor or was too slippery.  Her recommendation is for older adults to consider the walking surface to best determine the type of shoe they should wear.

When buying footwear, seniors should select low-heeled shoes that fit well and provide support.  A walking shoe with a light rubber sole is a good everyday choice as it provides both traction and support.  Avoid shoes with a heavy sole or rubber over the toes as they can stick to carpet and cause falls.  Other things to keep in mind are to avoid loose-fitting shoes or slippers, shoes with worn outer soles or with smooth leather or plastic soles.  A beveled heel helps to prevent slipping and a broad flared heel maximizes contact with the ground.  Also shoes with laces hold the shoe on the foot while walking and textured soles prevent slipping.

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 a 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 committed to creating a true home for residents. Contact us to schedule a visit to learn more about our exceptional community. 

Sources: nytimes.com/1998/02/24/science/when-the-elderly-fall-shoes-may-be-to-blame.html

caring-for-aging-parents.com/shoes-for-elderly-women.html