How to Start Helping Aging Parents: What You Must Know

How do you know if your parents need help?  Sometimes it's very obvious-- and can begin with a dire medical event such as stroke or fall.  For others it's a more lengthy but clear downward path that may be as a result of an early diagnosis of cognitive impairement. And for many it's not clear and we don't often recognize more subtle signs, and don't recognize that a few seemingly...

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Step-by-Step Guide for Selecting A Medicare Care Drug (Part D) Plan

It’s Medicare Open Enrollment time (October 15 - December 7)!  Maybe it’s because many of us are nearing Medicare age,  that I’m receiving many calls on how to select a Part D Drug Plan.  I thought I’d lay out a step-by-step guide on how to go about it. No doubt about it, finding a drug plan can be a daunting experience.  In fact, Jane Gross, creator of the New Old Age Blog in...

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Hospice Care in South Florida

I receive a lot of inquiries about Hospice so I thought a quick post was in order. There are many misconceptions about Hospice and what it is and what it does. Hospice addresses the physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of dying patients and their families. A team of interdisciplinary experts work together to provide palliative care, with the goal of making the patient as comfortable...

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A Different Take On Caregiving

Finding a competent, compassionate caregiver can be stressful. Who can you trust when you can’t be there for your loved one? For those who want to use a private caregiver, you'll be happy to learn about and meet Carespotter, a company that screens private caregivers with a tenacity that’s so important for this endeavor. Its five­ step screening process includes an intensive background check....

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Important Questions To Ask When Selecting A Home Care Agency

Selecting a Home Healthcare Agency can be a difficult task. It's not your typical business transaction. We tend to think only about the actual caregiver that will be sent to your home.  But like the caregiver, you must have some "chemistry" with the agency and the way they operate. They will work with you to make sure your parent, spouse, or loved gets the best caregiver for them-and it's...

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Know Your Loved Ones Wishes In The Case Of Serious Illness Or Incapacity

It happens all too often: families come to see me, distressed, because they don’t know what to do when their loved one has suffered a serious illness or becomes incapacitated. They don’t know what type of medical interventions their loved one would want, how they feel about artificial nutrition, like a feeding tube, or if they should just try and keep them comfortable. It adds tremendous pressure...

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Does Your Parents' Doctor Still Make The Grade?

Breaking up with your physician, someone who’s been there for you for a long time - maybe decades - isn’t easy. It’s awkward and difficult to give up a comfortable relationship with the doctor and his or her staff. This is especially true for our parents, who, in their senior years, are loathe to start anew with someone who doesn’t know them well, and is often young enough to be a grandchild....

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Finally A Company That Can Answer Your Medicare Questions.

Does the word Medicare make you feel uneasy? If so, you can be sure you're not alone. With so much complicated information out there it’s so difficult to make informed choices for yourself or an aging relative. You will be happy to be rescued by 65 incorporated. The company, founded by recognized Medicare expert Diane Omdahl and marketing guru Melinda Caughill, has distilled the wealth of...

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Having Trouble Finding A Geriatric Physician For An Aging Relative?

Are you having trouble finding a geriatric physician for an aging relative? You're not alone. The paltry reimbursement fees that doctors are entitled to under medicare have made this much needed specialty a very unpopular field to be in. And it's getting worse. A recent and provocative article by Judith Graham in the New Old Age Blog Walking Away From Medicare, describes one Geriatrician's...

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This Full Service Pharmacy Will Shorten Your To-Do List.

You’re going to thank me for introducing you to Surf Med - the latest addition to our directory of trusted, prescreened businesses in South Florida. That’s because this pharmacy, a family run business that’s been around for more than 50 years, does more than fill prescription vials. They carry everything you can think of from home medical equipment and supplies for sale or rent, to scooters and...

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Exercises For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Can Help Relieve Symptoms

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome  (CTS) occurs when the median nerve that controls sensation and movement in the thumb and first three fingers is either compressed or pinched, causing weakness, pain, numbness in the hand. It can develop very slowly, and often you hardly recognize the slight symptoms of tingling or a little discomfort which can be relived by simply shaking your hand. As it progresses,...

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Preventing Hand And Wrist Problems

Hand pain has many causes, including injury and disease. Some of the most common conditions causing hand pain are De Quervain's Tendinitis (causes pain on the thumb side of the wrist), Carpal Tunnel Syndrome ( causes pain in the palm, some fingers and the forearm), fractures (cause pain, swelling and loss of movement), Arthritis (causes pain and swelling in...

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Geriatric Care Manager (GCM): A Professional That Caregivers Should Know About

Old age isn’t for sissies. Or for their caregivers, who often juggle full-time jobs, families of their own and other responsibilities. Taking care of an elderly loved one can be an overwhelming, challenging, emotionally draining "job." And, yes, sometimes it does take a village. We’ve found that one of the most helpful people is a Geriatric Care Manager, an expert that helps families...

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Why A Chiropractor May Be The Answer For You.

So what do I do for an aching neck or back? I usually have a therapeutic massage or a chiropractic treatment. Having recently covered massage in my blog, I will focus on the benefits of chiropractic manipulation in this one. I have been seeing chiropractors since the 1980's for everything from a dislocated thumb, stiff neck, lower back spasm and sciatica. Recently, she adjusted the carpal tunnel...

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DrugsDB.com: A Great Resource For Caregivers Who Manage Their Parents' Medications

Caregivers often ask me for suggestions about how to make sure their loved ones are getting more benefits than negative side effects from their medications. My response and one of the most important caregiving tips: is to understand the medications that your loved takes. "Medication Management" is a critical responsibility of the caregiver.  Considering the staggering amounts of medications...

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Meet Candice Brown, RN: A Certified Geriatric Care Manager And A Very Welcomed Addition To Our Provider Directory

It's no secret that I feel very strongly about Geriatric Care Managers (GCM's) and how important they can be in senior care. A previous blog post described what they do.  I am thrilled that Candice Brown, RN has joined the Seniority Matters Service Provider Directory. Candice is an expert at navigating mazes. And that’s imperative when dealing with the daunting health care...

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Massage Therapy: So Many Types---So Many Benefits

Massage therapy is one of the oldest healing arts and is found in most cultures around the world. There are so many different kinds of massage, that I will only describe some of those that are well known and widely done in the US. Accupressure: uses the fingers to press on key points on the skin. When pressed, these points release muscular tension and promote blood circulation and...

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When Good Herbs Have Bad Reactions

I’m sure you’ve heard this: Herbal remedies are all natural, so they must be safe. While these ancient therapies have been known to cure - or at least help - many maladies, they can also cause serious health problems if mixed with certain prescription drugs. In other words, more is not always better. Taking ginko to help improve your memory? Don’t mix it with anticonvulsants - it will increase...

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The Benefits Of Exercise For Alzheimer's Patients

The other day I went to visit a friend who has Alzheimer's Disease at her Assisted Living Facility. She appeared to have declined since my last visit. She was walking very slowly and tentatively, she shut her eyes several times and had to be prompted to open them, and her voice was almost inaudible. So I went into trainer mode...we walked, climbed stairs and did chair squats for almost one and a...

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Are Your Meds Making You Sick?

What if a book really could save your life. Would you buy it?”  That’s the question pharmacist Robert Steven Gold poses while touting his book Are Your Meds Making You Sick? A Pharmacist's Guide to Avoiding Dangerous Drug Interactions, Reactions and Side Effects.  Gold, a longtime Indiana pharmacist and Perdue University clinical pharmacy instructor, penned the 280-page...

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The Importance Of Human Touch

There are many health benefits associated with human touch. Research conducted by the University of Miami's Touch Research Institute demonstrated that being touched can:  Lessen pain Lower blood glucose Slow the heart rate Lower blood pressure Improve pulmonary function Improve immune function Increase growth in infants Touch is the major form of...

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Introducing Elderly Alerts: Offering Safety And Peace Of Mind

If it’s new, state-of-the art and makes life safer for seniors, ElderlyAlerts.com probably can deliver it. Its mission is to deliver the most affordable and technologically advanced personal medical alarms available - and it’s on the cutting edge with its products, including a unit designed to work in homes without a land line. ElderlyAlerts.com, which recently joined the Seniority Matters...

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South Florida Easter Seals: A Gem For Alzheimer's Patients & Their Caregivers

We get many calls from Caregivers inquiring about Adult Day Care services for their family members with Memory Disorders. Our mission at Seniority Matters is to arm you with as much information as possible so that you can make good and informed decisions. So yesterday I visited the South Florida Easter Seals to learn more about the programs and centers they operate throughout South Florida for...

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New Research Shows That Soy Doesn't Prevent Bone Loss Or Help With Menopause Symptoms

Women who consume soy supplements thinking…hoping… that they will help reduce or eliminate menopausal symptoms such as bone loss, insomnia or hot flashes will be very disappointed at the findings of a clinical trial published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. I know this study well as I worked on it for 3 years at the University of Miami—managing and analyzing the data—and co-authored...

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Feet Hurt? What You Can Do For Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis (PLANT-er fash-EYE-tis) causes a stabbing-like pain in the heel of the foot. It usually occurs in only one foot, but can affect both as well. Sometimes, the pain is felt in the arch or on the ball of the foot. It is most common in runners, athletes and women between 40 and 60. Heel pain is caused by stress placed on the plantar fascia ligaments (under the bottom of the foot...

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Anyone Can Exercise...Even Those With Fibromyalgia

About two percent of the population in the United States has a condition known as fibromyalgia. It affects more women than men and the risk of getting it increases with age. People who have fibromyalgia feel pain in their muscles, tendons and ligaments. They have tender points, where, when pressure is applied, they feel additional pain. Sleep patterns are also disturbed, with a lack of deep sleep...

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Osteoporosis: Can We Prevent It?

Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones become weak and can break easily. Fractures usually occur in the wrist, hip and spine, but can occur in any part of the body. When the vertebrae begin to break or collapse people lose height and/or develop a stooped posture. About 10 million Americans have osteoporosis. Post-menopausal women are particularly vulnerable, but men get it, too. Getting...

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Fear Of Falling

September 23 is National Fall Prevention Day.  Every year over 250,000 people fall, many requiring medical attention. I am going to pay special attention to it on the 23rd, and on other days as well. I worry a lot about my father falling. Sometimes the most unnoticeable misstep results in him catapulting across the room. I have been there when it has occurred and it happens so quickly that...

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Just Get Moving!

Why fitness now?   Life expectancy has increased from 47 years of age in 1900 to 76 years in 1996. The number of people 65 years or older is predicted to increase to 69 million by 2030. It has been proven that seniors who exercise regularly enjoy better overall health than those who don't and regular exercise is associated with reduced risk of disability and dependence. Benefits of exercise...

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