Time to Start Talking: Making Parents Part of the Aging Process Now

Communication_TipDiscussing aging issues, such as living arrangements, finances, dating, end-of-life decisions and driving, early and often can save families years of heartache, tension and even legal battles. Yet, research indicates that about two-thirds of American families put off these conversations, either because they are uncomfortable with the topics or they just don’t know where to start. 1

Statistics show that 34 percent of adults surveyed are conversation avoiders. 2 That is, they haven’t talked about any important end-of-life issues with their parents or children, or they have talked about just one issue. 

To help, the local Home Instead Senior Care office is sponsoring the “40-70 Rule®” program, which includes an Action Plan for Successful AgingSM and other resources to help ease these conversations between adult children and their parents. 

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Foods to Make Your Eyes Sparkle and Shine

shutterstock_132455525You can tell a lot about a person from their eyes. If a smile reaches a person’s eyes, psychologists call that a Duchenne smile, which people classify as genuine. Healthy eyes are seen as a sign of beauty, vigor and wisdom, but the sparkle in your eyes also is affected by your health and nutrition. So it makes sense to eat foods that will support and promote healthy looking and feeling eyes.

Get Your Carotenoids

If cartoons are true, then bunnies have great eyes. Lutein and Zeaxanthin carotenoids are known to support eye health, according to Nutrients, an open access nutrition journal. Carotenoids are a pigment inhibitor which gives certain fruits and vegetables an orange or yellow color. Yes, carrots are in this category as are cantaloupe, corn and yellow peppers. Lutein and Zeaxanthin carotenoids have been linked to a reduced risk of macular degenerative disease and cataracts. They also serve to filter out damaging blue light, which gives the eye that shiny, sparkly appearance of health. However, carrots are not the best source of carotenoids but rather kale, basil and parsley top the list. If you have a hard time getting enough vitamins through your food, try a vitamin supplement like Lipotriad. You can purchase this supplement as well as a variety of others online through Vision Direct.

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9 Steps to Take after Being Diagnosed with a Serious Condition

Screen Shot 2013-11-21 at 1.59.39 PMBy Melissa E. Clarke MD

When patients first receive the upsetting news that they have a serious condition such as cancer, they typically feel distressed. After the initial anger, fear, and sadness, these patients often tell me they feel overwhelmed and lost. They don’t know what steps to take next.

It’s important for patients to feel empowered when it comes to their healthcare. According to a recent study published in the journal Health Affairs, patients who are more engaged in their healthcare have better outcomes than those who are passive (read the study findings here). Making informed decisions will help you meet the challenge of your illness, get good-quality care, and minimize aggravation caused by the tricks and traps inherent in our current healthcare maze.

Here are 9 strategies to follow.
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Ending Your Life Is Not The Answer To Your Situation

PopovichBy Stan Popovich

You are at the end of your rope and you can’t take it any much longer. You are in pain and you are suffering and you feel there is no hope. The first thing that you need to do is to seek the services of a professional counselor. As a published author of a managing fear book and as a Layman, here are five reasons why suicide is not an option to your problems.

1. Things Change Over Time

Regardless of your situation, things do not stay the same. You may feel very bad today, but it won’t last forever. Remember this fact:  Regardless of your current situation, everything changes over time. This includes your current situation. Nothing remains the same forever.

2. There Are Always Other Options…..Always

You may feel lost and confused but the answers to your specific problems are out there. The key is that you have to find the answers. The answers to your problem will not come to you. As mentioned before, the first step in finding the solution to your problem is to seek help from a qualified professional.

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Eating Disorders: No Longer Just For Young Females

By Dr. Kim Dennis

For decades, the topic of eating disorders conjured an immediate stereotype – female, beautiful, a high achiever, affluent, often the first-born, and above all, young. She might be the high school prom queen, or the college cheerleader, but hardly ever was she a middle-aged mother of three. Indeed, the very idea that a woman in midlife could suffer from anorexia or bulimia was nearly unimaginable.

In years past, experts believed eating disorders rarely, if ever, occurred after the age of 35; we now know anorexia occurs across the lifespan, in girls and women, boys and men. In fact, behavioral and mental health professionals report that in the past decade, they are treating an increasing number of women in their 30s, 40s and 50s who are starving themselves. Additionally, these women are abusing laxatives, exercising to dangerous extremes and self-harming – behaviors that frequently co-occur.

Women seeking treatment later in life typically fall into one of three categories: those who have secretly struggled with an eating disorder for many years yet did not receive help; those who were treated for an eating disorder in younger years; and those who developed an eating disorder as an adult.

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Regain Flexibility With Ease After Your Back Surgery

BLD054342Worried about whether or not you’ll be able to return to your favorite activities following your back surgery? Not to fret. Today, sports physiologists encourage many post-surgical patients to return to some form of exercise almost right away. From gentle water walking to personalized stretching routines, your rehabilitation program can be fun and get you back to the activities you love most — fast!

Walk Your Way to Flexibility…In the Water

Aerobic water walking has become one of the most popular forms of rehabilitation following back surgery. Many people begin water routines with the sole purpose of entering their recovery program with ease, only to discover the fun whole body benefits. Some ranges of motion require subtle movement following surgery. Performing these ranges of motion while submerged in water takes away much of the pressure gravity exerts on land, making it easier to stretch. One of the major issues patients report is a fear of falling just following surgery. Water walking takes that fear away by offering the ultimate cushion as you regain your equilibrium. The YMCA offers classes throughout the U.S. that are led by certified instructors to help get you in the groove.
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Poor Health: A Frayed Safety Net

More than a quarter of the hospitals in the Pittsburgh area closed in the first decade of the 21s century, drastically reducing the amount of charitable care available to the poor.

The failure of the remaining hospitals to provide adequate care to low-income patients and the inability of free and government-funded clinics to fill the gap has left the region’s health safety net badly frayed.

The closures of 11 of 39 hospitals here between 2000 and 2010 left the region’s poor “worse off,” said Wilford Payne, executive director of Primary Care Health Services in Pittsburgh, which runs 11 federally qualified health centers in Allegheny County.

Read more at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Surviving Eldercare: 6 Tips for the Sandwich Generation

Screen Shot 2014-02-02 at 1.44.58 PMBy Carol-Ann Hamilton

Here are some alarming statistics.

According to a recent Statistics Canada census (figures globally will be equivalent, anywhere burgeoning elder populations exist):

The number of seniors who live with relatives and non-relatives in private dwellings is 393,150 – up from 285,370 only a few years’ previously;

Twenty-five percent of those aged 45 to 64 (the so-called Sandwich Generation) have children living at home and perform some form of eldercare;

Fifteen percent of those workers must take time off from their job to care for aging relatives.

Juggling multiple competing demands is tough at the best of times.  You’re already split umpteen ways daily through your employment or business, significant other, children, grandchildren, home and/or car maintenance, your health and tons more.

You’re not alone.

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Leading the Fight Against Mesothelioma

By Bari Faye Siegel 

mesotheliomalawyerchrisplacitella

Chris Placitella

About five years ago, New Jersey attorney Chris Placitella received a phone call from a South Jersey woman. She was very upset having just come from the doctor who told her she had mesothelioma. 

“I went to her home on the day she was diagnosed with mesothelioma. She was given two years to live. I made some phone calls and connected her with the right doctors at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital,” explained Placitella, well known for his tireless work fighting for the legal rights of people sickened by asbestos. “It’s five years later and she is still alive. The day I met her, it wasn’t all about the case for me. It was about getting this woman the care she needed.” Ultimately, Placitella did obtain a substantial settlement in the case on behalf of his client. 

The interesting thing, noted Placitella, is that his client never worked in a factory. She never worked in construction. She was a housewife and a daughter who regularly cleaned her husband’s and father’s work clothes. They were boilermakers. 

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Health Department Offers Tips on How to Avoid Ticks and Lyme Disease

In response to a recent increase in the number of reported cases, the Allegheny County Health Department is offering advice on how to reduce the risk of Lyme disease, which can be contracted in wooded areas as well as yards and neighborhoods with low bushes or tall grass, from which ticks that spread the disease can most easily attach to a person.

In 2013, 145 cases of Lyme disease were reported in county residents, up sharply from several years ago.  From 2004 through 2008, the number of cases fluctuated between 16 and 35 per year.

Lyme disease, transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected tick, may be acquired not only on trips outside the area but also increasingly so locally, because the tick that transmits Lyme disease, Ixodes scapularis, also known as the deer tick, is the most commonly found tick on people and pets in Allegheny County.

In 2013, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection tested 56 deer ticks found in Allegheny County for Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that cause Lyme disease, and found that 19 or 34% of the ticks were infected.

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