Senior Health

COPD Tips: How to Communicate Better with Your COPD Care Partner

COPD Tips: How to Communicate Better with Your COPD Care Partner It began with your inner circle, those closest to you, and has gradually been spreading outward to friends and acquaintances. Sharing your COPD diagnosis and knowing how to answer the many questions that arise about it can be uncomfortable – for you, and for those you’re speaking with as well. Surprisingly, you may find that the greatest challenges come in communicating with your primary care partner – the person who is closest to you. The caregiver/care receiver relationship can raise a variety of emotions. The person on the receiving end of care may feel self-conscious and insecure as a result of needing assistance, which can lead to feelings of anger, sadness, and frustration, just to name a few. The caregiver may feel incapable of meeting all of the required needs, regretful for mistakes made, and downright exhausted from trying to manage someone else’s care needs with their own. There are some key ways to improve communication with your care partner: Make sure you’re both…

Just Diagnosed: Family Caregiver Tips for a New Health Concern

Just Diagnosed: Family Caregiver Tips for a New Health Concern It may have been suspected, or perhaps broadsided you out of the blue. Mom has just received the official diagnosis for a progressive disease that’s going to make independent life difficult. While there are lots of uncertainties, one thing is for sure: she is adamant about remaining at home – meaning you’ll have some decisions to make about how to provide for the care she’ll need. Welcome to your new role as family caregiver! If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed with what to expect next, these tips can help. Learn as much as you can about the disease. The senior’s doctor can provide you with resources and educational materials to help you know what to expect and to gain confidence in your caregiving role. Get organized. Create a folder in which to store important paperwork: test results, prescription details, contact information for physicians’ offices and the pharmacy, and any other pertinent medical information. Start a journal to help track any changes in condition or concerns…

Discover the Secret to Helping Seniors Live Longer

Discover the Secret to Helping Seniors Live Longer What inspires you to get up out of bed each morning? The answer is different for each one of us, of course, but there is one commonality: it could help you to live longer. Scientific studies are showing us that having a feeling of purpose is an integral aspect in longevity, something evidenced in Japan – the country with the highest life expectancy on earth. Interestingly, there is no word for our definition of “retirement” in the Japanese language. Instead, there is a concentration on maintaining meaning and purpose beyond a person’s working years and defining themselves according to their current pastimes and passions. So what are the steps to helping seniors – and ourselves – stay involved in what ignites interest and makes a difference in the world around us? Here are some inspiring suggestions to allow you to get started: Cultivate a sense of compassion for other people. There’s no shortage of suffering in this world, and there’s something that all of us can do in…

Lessons for Aging Well

Lessons for Aging Well Did you ever encounter a person so motivating that it thoroughly transformed your viewpoint on life? It may cause you to pause and wonder just what it is about that person that provides them with the drive and energy to stand out from everyone else. At the Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center at Columbia University, researchers set out to examine this further with their “Exceeding Expectations” venture. They followed 20 older New Yorkers from various backgrounds and cultures for a two-year time period. Here is what they discovered about the resiliency of these extraordinary individuals, and what their secrets were to aging well. They don’t let their hurdles define them. One example is Jacquie Murdock, an 87-year-old previous professional dancer and current fashionista – which is how others recognize her – who also just happens to be sight-impaired and a cancer survivor. Dorian Block, director of the project, points out, “Some people live with health and other challenges as…

Understanding Pain Management in the Elderly with Dementia

Understanding Pain Management in the Elderly with Dementia You see a senior loved one with dementia rocking back and forth, refusing food, and repeating the same words over and over again. While these could be typical dementia-driven behaviors, they could also indicate that the senior is experiencing pain. The communication disconnect that often happens in a person with dementia may make it difficult or impossible for an older adult to describe what’s hurting. Or it may be that the senior has lost the ability to recognize or remember the feeling of pain. Sometimes, the fear of having to face a hospitalization, to take additional medications, or to be put in a nursing home will prevent an older adult from sharing the pain being experienced. It could even be simply a matter of pride for a senior who is still in a position to effectively communicate, but believes he or she should deal with the pain sensation independently. Understanding pain management in the elderly who have dementia is important. It’s critical to learn the signs to watch for…

What We’re Now Learning About Senior Fitness and Strength Post-Pandemic

What We’re Now Learning About Senior Fitness and Strength Post-Pandemic As we gradually ease our way out of the pandemic, we’re uncovering more information on how senior fitness and strength have been diminished. We know that older adults are at a higher risk of serious side effects and death from the COVID-19 virus, yet the impact of 15 months of social isolation and physical distancing is just as distressing. Dr. Jonathan Bean of the New England Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center at the Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System has noted a “significant decline in functioning” in both his elderly patients and his own mother. While she had been able to walk with the assistance of a walker, take part in conversations, and engage in other activities of day-to-day life independently before the pandemic, her self-care and cognitive abilities have diminished rapidly. Physical therapist Linda Teodosio confirms, explaining, “Immobility and debility are outcomes to this horrific pandemic that people aren’t even talking about yet.” She is…

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