Articles Posted in Health and Wellness

AdobeStock_113836857-300x200It’s so confusing! HIPAA, Health Care Directives, Powers of Attorney. How does one differ from the others?

A HIPAA Authorization, a Health Care Directive, and a Health Care Power of Attorney can easily be confused because all three have to do with your permission about your medical care and medical information.

Plus, both health care directives (aka living wills) and health care powers of attorney are known as “advance directives,” which only adds to the confusion.

AdobeStock_67245954-300x200By Carol Frances

It was a mystery. Every evening around 5 o’clock, my mom would change. She’d become resistant, paranoid and sometimes belligerent. She would even hallucinate – claiming to have watched me from the window as I marched in a parade!

A few hours later, and certainly the next day, she would be back to her happy, easy-going self.

AdobeStock_19241426-300x200Our need for sleep changes throughout our lifetimes, but maybe not as much as we once thought. Contrary to popular belief, adults 65 and older do not require less sleep than they did at 35 or 50. The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours of sleep a night for adults of all ages.

Unfortunately, many adults over 65 do sleep less than the 7-9 recommended hours, which can be detrimental to overall health. Here’s what to know about sleep and how to improve sleeping habits.

What happens when you don’t sleep enough

AdobeStock_58147411-300x169You may have personally experienced the calming effect of an animal — the contented purring of a cat or the companionable presence of a dog. But did you know that many scientific studies have proven that spending time with animals, even as few as 15 minutes, can actually change your brain chemistry in positive ways?

“A small pet animal is often an excellent companion for the sick, for long chronic cases especially.” In 1859, Florence Nightingale wrote this in her book, Notes On Nursing: What It Is and What It Is Not,

One hundred fifty-eight years later, her advice still rings true, and not only for the sick, but also for seniors. In fact, it can be said without much argument that everyone — young and old, sick and well — can benefit from spending time with animals.

Driving CarHave you ever thought it might be nice to make a little extra money to supplement your retirement?

Maybe you need a bit more income just to make ends meet, or maybe you’re doing okay but wouldn’t mind having some room in your budget for nice-to-have treats like a special night out or a weekend away.

Many digital-savvy seniors have found fun and creative ways to earn this kind of additional money as participants in the sharing economy. Continue reading

The mechanical arm and a butterfly.

You may not be ready for a robot caregiver – believe it or not they exist – but a growing number of technologies are available today to help older adults maintain their health, manage chronic conditions, and live safely and successfully in their own homes.

This is great news!

Because if you’re like most people, you’d rather stay put and never have to call a nursing home “home.” Technology tools also make life a little easier for family caregivers, trying to keep all the balls in the air.

So what can technology do to lighten the load? Continue reading

downsizing

“Downsizing” is one of those words that seems simple, but can be wrought with overwhelming and emotional baggage. While it’s easy to embrace the concept – a smaller space, fewer possessions – actually getting rid of stuff is often harder than expected.

This shouldn’t really come as a surprise since we spend most of our lives accumulating “stuff.”

Year after year, we buy and collect, receive gifts, and save mementos, and it slowly fills up every drawer, shelf, attic space, closet, and corner of the garage. And then, in the course of a few weeks or months, we’re faced with undoing decades’ worth of acquiring.

It’s not easy. Continue reading

man-listeningGood news!  You can now take a hearing test over the phone.

That’s right, the National Institute of Health has provided a grant to support this easy test that you can take in the privacy of your home.

Why should you consider taking the test? Read on…

No one wants to admit they’re losing their hearing, but according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) hearing loss is a reality for more than a third of people age 65 to 74, and more than half of those over the age of 75.

These numbers make it one of the most prevalent health issues for older Americans. Only arthritis and heart disease affect more seniors. Continue reading

happy senior woman painting pictureIt’s never too late to explore your artistic side. In fact, many people discover that the second half of life is the perfect time to learn an art or craft.

Whether you decide to pick up a pencil or a paintbrush, sit down at a potter’s wheel, or strap on some dancing shoes, the arts offer countless opportunities for enrichment, fulfillment, and joy.

Many of our most beloved artists got their starts later in life. Monet didn’t get serious about painting until he was in his forties. Forty may be young by today’s standards, but in Monet’s day the average life expectancy hovered around the early sixties, making forty almost “venerable.”

Brain is weightlifting againUse it or lose is the old adage, and it applies to your brain as well as your body. In this post, we’re going to give you a long list of things you can do to use your brain and keep it healthy.

Consider the alternative – succumbing to Alzheimer’s. This may sound draconian, but here are the harsh realities:

  • Alzheimer’s affects 5.1 million people age 65 and older in 2015.
  • By 2025 that number will reach 7.1 million – a whopping 40 percent increase!
  • By 2050, unless there’s a cure, the number may triple compared to 2015 – to 16 million.

Happily, we may be able to do something about it. Continue reading

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