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Medical Matters and Aging Seniors Well-being for Aging Seniors

How to Help a Senior Safely Manage Allergy Season

This article was shared on AgingCare.com

Unfortunately, some of the nicest weather and foliage during the year are accompanied by an onslaught of allergens. As pollen fills the air, people afflicted by seasonal allergies begin to groan.

The 2018 National Health Interview Survey found that 19.2 million Americans over age 18 had been diagnosed with hay fever (allergic rhinitis) in the past 12 months. While allergies are often considered a condition that presents earlier in life, seniors are not exempt from bothersome allergy symptoms. In fact, research suggests that age-related changes to the immune system may leave older adults at greater risk for autoimmune diseases, infections and allergic inflammation. To complicate matters further, seniors often have chronic diseases and take multiple medications that can make it difficult to diagnose, manage and treat their seasonal allergies.

Tips for Managing Allergies in the Elderly

Christopher Randolph, M.D., Fellow of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) and allergist/immunologist in private practice in Connecticut, offers the following suggestions to help caregivers make allergy season more bearable for their aging loved ones.

  1. Look for Allergy Symptoms
    Allergies don

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Medical Matters and Aging Seniors

Dementia Care Dos & Don

This article was originally posted on APlaceForMom.com

Mid-to-late stage dementia often presents a variety of challenging behavioral problems. This discussion of common symptoms may help prepare you to effectively support a person with dementia.

What Patient Behavior Is Typical of Dementia?

Anger, confusion, anxiety, and sadness are a few of the emotional symptoms a dementia patient might experience. The overwhelming nature of these feelings often results in a range of unpredictable behaviors that requires the caregiver to be extremely patient. A dementia patient may become irritable and even belligerent, with little provocation. He or she may go in and out of being confused and disoriented, or even attempt to manipulate those around them. Struggling with communication is one of the most upsetting aspects of taking care of someone with Alzheimer

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Exercise and Activity for Aging Seniors and the Elderly

Can you boost your memory by walking backward?

Article originally posted on Harvard Health Publishing/Harvard Medical School.

A study shows that moving in reverse may help with short-term memory.

Lost your car keys? Instead of retracing your steps, you might want to try walking backward to jog your memory.

A study published in the January issue of Cognition found that people who walked backward, imagined they were walking backward, or even watched a video simulating backward motion had better recall of past events than those who walked forward or sat still.

Why? That’s still something of a mystery, says Dr. Daniel Schacter, the William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. It’s possible that people associate going backward with the past and this somehow triggers a memory response. “We know it can’t have anything to do with how they’ve encoded the information,” says Dr. Schacter. After all, people weren’t walking backward when they stored the memories tested in this study. It may take future studies to shed additional light on the issue. “But I found the results intriguing,” says Dr. Schacter.

Testing the effects of motion

Researchers decided to test the effect of backward movement on memory because numerous past studies have found links between motion and memory. They recruited 114 people to take part in six different memory experiments. In the experiments, they showed participants a video of a staged crime, a word list, or a group of images. They then asked the participants to walk forward, walk backward, sit still, watch a video that simulated forward or backward motion, or imagine walking forward or backward. The participants then answered questions related to the information they saw earlier.

In all cases, people who were moving backward, thought about moving backward, or saw a video depicting reverse motion were better able to recall the information they had been shown earlier, compared with those sitting still. In five of the six experiments, memory was better when people moved backward than when they moved forward. On average, the boost in memory lasted for 10 minutes after people stopped moving.

In the staged crime experiment, for example, participants watched a video of a woman, sitting in a park, who has her bag stolen. Researchers tested how well people could answer 20 questions about the simulated crime, depending on the direction they moved or if they sat still. They found that people who walked backward were significantly more likely to answer more questions correctly, regardless of how old they were or other factors.

The findings suggest that this motion strategy might be a means of helping people better recall past events.

Improving memory recall

Dr. Schacter says backward motion could one day be added to existing techniques already in use to boost memory. One such method is called a cognitive interview. The interviewing technique helps people to recall details of a recent event, for example, if they witnessed a crime. “What interviewers are trying to do is get as much accurate information as they can without inducing a false memory,” says Dr. Schacter. They do this by metaphorically walking the person through the event forward and backward. It’s possible that literally walking backward may do something similar in the brain, he says.

Using backward motion could potentially augment the cognitive interview or be used as a separate technique, he says. One key question that remains to be answered, however, is whether the technique would promote accurate recall of everyday events, says Dr. Schacter. “It’s really too early to say whether there would be practical applications,” he says.

The study authors said that future research will look to uncover not only why this technique seems to improve memory recall, but also whether motion-based memory aids could help elderly adults or people with dementia.

In the meantime, will walking backward help boost your short-term memory? “This study would suggest that there are some circumstances where this might be the case,” says Dr. Schacter. “It may be worth trying.”

A daily check-in call could be the lifeline, the joy you give someone that makes the biggest difference in their perception of what old age is like.

Contact me at 317-480-1038 today. Let

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Well-being for Aging Seniors

Massage Therapy for Senior Citizens

Massage therapy can offer senior citizens a number of benefits that will greatly improve their sense of health and wellbeing. As the population continues to age, it is important to consider ways that we can work to improve the lives of those affected by the passing of time. A number of studies have shown that massage therapy can have a direct impact in managing the effects of aging. It has also shown promise in bringing comfort to those suffering from arthritis and other physical ailments.

As people age, they naturally become less active. This lack of physical activity can lead to the onset of other conditions which, if not dealt with, can greatly reduce their quality of life. The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) has been promoting the use of massage therapy for some time now. According to a recent study, there is a general awareness of massage therapy but a lack of understanding of its direct benefits.

In the case of senior citizens, there are a number of benefits that be derived from therapeutic massage. According to the Touch Research Institute, it is extremely useful in the treatment of Alzheimer’s patients, as it can facilitate relaxation and communication. In the case of arthritis sufferers, it can greatly assist in pain management and help increase range of motion. It also triggers natural joint lubrication, which is extremely important for those suffering from arthritis.

Massage therapy has also shown promise by helping to increase strength and muscle coordination. It can also greatly improve one’s posture by reducing muscle tension, which has the added benefit of assisting seniors with a higher quality of rest. Massage has also been known to boost one’s natural energy levels, along with their mental awareness. Study after study has shown that there is a place for massage therapy within the health care community.

More and more people are becoming aware of the benefits of massage therapy. In an age where the common approach to pain management has been dominated by the interests of the pharmaceutical industry, massage therapy has shown to be an effective and natural solution to the ailments associated with process of aging.

A daily check-in call could be the lifeline, the joy you give someone that makes the biggest difference in their perception of what old age is like.

Contact me at 317-480-1038 today. Let

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Aging Parent Issues Caregiver Support Distant Caregiving Medical Matters and Aging Seniors Well-being for Aging Seniors

Eating Trans Fat May Damage Memory

Yet another reason to cut back on cookies: A new study shows that eating trans fat

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Medical Matters and Aging Seniors

Attention: Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month

EVERY SEVEN minutes in the U.S., a woman will receive a gynecologic cancer diagnosis, totaling nearly 95,000 new cases and approximately 28,500 deaths each year. Since 1999, the not-for-profit Foundation for Women’s Cancer has designated September as a month to increase awareness of all gynecologic cancers and raise funds to support research in the field.

Gynecologic cancers include cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal and vulvar cancer. Uterine cancer is the most common, with more than 52,500 new cases per year, while ovarian cancer is the deadliest, due to late-stage diagnoses.

Women diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer should seek care first from a gynecologic oncologist

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Aging Parent Issues Caregiver Support Distant Caregiving Medical Matters and Aging Seniors Well-being for Aging Seniors

How do Aging Seniors Eat? Often it

Many aging seniors pick at the food on their plates and eat like birds. Many elderly people who live on their own enjoy a bowl of cereal or a few cookies and completely bypass a well-balanced meal. Here are some reasons why your loved one might have such unhealthy eating:

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Aging Parent Issues Exercise and Activity for Aging Seniors and the Elderly Well-being for Aging Seniors

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Aging Parent Issues Caregiver Support Distant Caregiving Talking with Aging Parents Well-being for Aging Seniors

Senior Hunger and Malnutrition: True or False?

Senior Hunger and Malnutrition

You heard and watched it on TV, skinny kids with huge tummies and without nutritional food outside the United States. Are you shocked to read about senior hunger and malnutrition in our country?