We should listen to our family too; they are the ones who care most. We do listen to our doctors, nurses and case managers; but quite often, actually following the advice goes out the door as soon as we go out the door! How many times have we put off or ignored what they told us and 5 years later looked back and knew they were right. We finally realize, sometimes too late, we would not be in our current health condition if we had just listened and acted upon what they told us to do, or not do! For your own sake, begin to change your ways, listen, be proactive and achieve a happier, healthier and more mobile life. Following sage advice is the pathway to a good life too!
Safety from the Eyes of the Beholder How many of us, as children, have been burned on a hot stove because we had to try it out, even after our parents told us the stove was hot and we would get hurt or burned? Our parents worried about our safety and wanted us to do the things that would keep us safe from harm—and stop or change doing things that would eventually bring harm to us. Our family members and good friends are no different. They naturally, out of instinct and caring, just as we had those instincts with our own children, watch over us to ensure that we will not harm ourselves (or do less of something, like exercise, which the lack of consistent exercise can be harmful to us too) in our later years.
Ask Yourself----Tell Us Are you doing the proper things to keep from falling or to have fewer accidents while at home or while trying to drive? Instead of waiting for someone to nag you about taking certain beneficial steps, grab the reins of your own life and independence and act on some of our “Health, Safety and Tips” that you read that is of interest or importance to you or your loved ones.
We have listed a number of tips below and will continue to add things every few months. Come back later and see what we have to offer. We are always open to suggestions, if you decide to email us, be sure and tell us the valid source of your tip, and especially the link to where you found it: name the website please. If you are a member of a support group, please inform us of the group name and chapter, we will happily give credit if the information is credible.
How are we going to “know” when we might need help when we age?
A group of geriatric professionals have developed the “Twelve I’s” as a comprehensive list of twelve issues to be watched on a regular basis. Each of these has specific treatment regimens. It's important to stay healthy, even exercise can be fun!
- Instability (falls and gait disorders)
- Intellectual impairment (delirium and dementia)
- Impairment of vision and hearing
- Irritable colon
- Impecunity (poverty)
- Iatrogenesis (medical errors)
- Immune deficiency
- Isolation (depression)
The 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer's1.) Memory loss: Forgetting recently learned information is one of the most common early signs of dementia. A person begins to forget more often and is unable to recall the information later.
What's Normal? Forgetting names or appointments occasionally.
2.) Difficulty performing familiar tasks: People with dementia often find it hard to plan or complete everyday tasks. Individuals may lose track of the steps to prepare a meal, place a telephone call or play a game.
What's Normal? Occasionally forgetting why you came into a room or what you planned to say.
3.)Problems with language: People with Alzheimer's disease often forget simple words or substitute unusual words, making their speech or writing hard to understand. They may be unable to find their toothbrush, for example, and instead ask for "that thing for my mouth."What's Normal? Sometimes having trouble finding the right word.
4.) Disorientation to time and place: People with Alzheimer's disease can become lost in their own neighborhoods, forget where they are and how they got there, and not know how to get back home.
What's Normal? Forgetting the day of the week or where you were going.
5.) Poor or decreased Judgment: Those with Alzheimer's may dress inappropriately, wearing several layers on a warm day or little clothing in the cold. They may show poor judgment about money, like giving away large sums to telemarketers.
What's Normal? Making a questionable or debatable decision from time to time.
6.) Problems with abstract thinking: Someone with Alzheimer's disease may have unusual difficulty performing complex mental tasks, like forgetting what numbers are and how they should be used.
What's Normal? Finding it challenging to balance a checkbook.
7.) Misplacing things: A person with Alzheimer's disease may put things in unusual places: an iron in the freezer or a wristwatch in the sugar bowl.
What's Normal? Misplacing keys or a wallet temporarily.
8.) Changes in mood or behavior: Someone with Alzheimer's disease may show rapid mood swings – from calm to tears to anger – for no apparent reason.
What's normal? Occasionally feeling sad or moody.
9.) Changes in personality: The personalities of people with dementia can change dramatically. They may become extremely confused, suspicious, fearful or dependent on a family member.
What's Normal? People’s personalities do change somewhat with age.
10.) Loss of initiative: A person with Alzheimer's disease may become very passive, sitting in front of the TV for hours, sleeping more than usual or not wanting to do usual activities.
What's normal? Sometimes feeling weary of work or social obligations
The difference between Alzheimer's and normal age-related memory changes are shown in this chart:
|Someone with Alzheimer's |
|Someone with normal age-related |
|Forgets entire experiences |
|Forgets part of an experience |
|Rarely remembers later |
|Often remembers later |
|Is gradually unable to follow written/spoken directions |
|Is usually able to follow written/spoken directions |
|Is gradually unable to use notes as reminders |
|Is usually able to use notes as reminders |
|Is gradually unable to care for self |
|Is usually able to care for self |
For more information, go to: http://www.alz.org/greaterdallas/
|Who can get cancer? Anyone can get cancer. One of the biggest factors that can make a person more likely to get cancer is age: 3 out of 4 cancers are found in people aged 55 or older. But there are many other factors that affect cancer risk and some of them can be changed. It is only natural that people are looking for more ways to prevent cancer. |
Can cancer be prevented?Sometimes cancer can be prevented. Looking at the whole country, it is quite possible that more than half of cancer deaths could be prevented -- if no one used tobacco and if everyone took steps to improve their health. Of course, that is a big "if."
But is there a way to guarantee that you or your loved ones won't get cancer? So far, nothing has been found that is proven to prevent every case of cancer. As of 2008, there are ways to prevent many cases of cancer in large groups of people. And there are things you can do as an individual that might reduce your chances of getting cancer. If cancer does develop, doctors also use early detection tests to improve the odds that it will be found at an early stage when it is easier to treat. But, as of today, even the best methods of reducing your chances of getting cancer (called cancer risk reduction) cannot prevent all cancers.
When you hear about something new to prevent cancer
In your quest to be healthy, you may hear about something that you are told can reduce your risk of cancer -- a new way you haven't heard about before. It sounds like a good idea, and you want to try it.
You may have questions, though, since you are thinking about spending your money, time, and energy on something that may not be proven. At this point, you may not be sure whether it will actually reduce your risk of cancer, or if it could even cause you harm. Before you put your body and money on the line, there are ways to find out more.
FDA-approved drugs: The new method may be a medicine that your doctor recommends to you reduce your cancer risk. It's pretty easy to find out more about FDA-approved drugs, since there are many trustworthy sources and careful scientific studies involved. We can help you find out more, and there are others who can help, too. (See the "Additional resources" section at the end of this document.)
Methods being studied for FDA approval: Maybe the method you heard about hasn't been approved, but is "in the pipeline" to become a mainstream cancer prevention method in the future. It may take the form of a pill, a treatment, or something else. It is usually not too hard to find information about these kinds of treatments. If the treatment has ever been approved by the FDA for any medical use, you can usually find good information on risks and side effects. But it may be harder to find out about how well it works for cancer prevention.
Non-prescription herbs, supplements, diets, and special treatments: Other methods you uncover may be herbs, vitamins, other dietary supplements, health tonics, "body cleansings," or special diets that are supposed to boost the immune system, among many others. It used to be that there were almost no studies that looked at these methods, but doctors are now trying to study more of them in the same ways that they study other methods.
Lifestyle changes: There are other methods that you may find that are expected to help reduce your cancer risk. For instance, quitting tobacco, increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables you eat, getting more exercise, and losing weight are all methods that have gotten more attention lately. Studies on some these kinds of methods are fairly easy to find as well.
Whatever method you are thinking about, take the time to see what you can learn about it from sources you trust. Here we will give you some ideas to help you when you are searching for more information.
What is a TIA or transient ischemic attack?A TIA is a "warning stroke" or "mini-stroke" that produces stroke-like symptoms but no lasting damage. Recognizing and treating TIAs can reduce your risk of a major stroke.
Most strokes aren't preceded by TIAs. However, of the people who've had one or more TIAs, more than a third will later have a stroke. In fact, a person who's had one or more TIAs is more likely to have a stroke than someone of the same age and sex who hasn't.
TIAs are important in predicting if a stroke will occur rather than when one will happen. They can occur days, weeks or even months before a major stroke. In about half the cases, the stroke occurs within one year of the TIA.
What causes a transient ischemic attack?TIAs occur when a blood clot temporarily clogs an artery, and part of the brain doesn't get the blood it needs. The symptoms occur rapidly and last a relatively short time. Most TIAs last less than five minutes. The average is about a minute. Unlike stroke, when a TIA is over, there's no injury to the brain.
What are the symptoms of a TIA?It's very important to recognize the warning signs of a TIA or stroke. The usual TIA symptoms are the same as those of stroke, only temporary:
TIAs are extremely important predictors of stroke. Don't ignore them! If symptoms appear, CALL 9-1-1 TO GET MEDICAL HELP IMMEDIATELY. A doctor should determine if a TIA or stroke has occurred, or if it's another medical problem with similar symptoms. Some examples are seizure, fainting, migraine headache, or general medical or cardiac condition. Prompt medical or surgical attention to these symptoms could prevent a fatal or disabling stroke from occurring.
For more information, call the American Stroke Association at 1-888-4-STROKE or go to: http://www.americanheart.org/
Common Causes of Heart Disease Other kinds of heart problems may happen to the valves in the heart, or the heart may not pump well and cause heart failure while some people are born with heart disease.
The most common cause of heart disease is a narrowing of or blockage in the coronary arteries supplying blood to the heart muscle itself (coronary artery disease). some heart diseases are present at bitrth (congenital heart disease). other causes include:
- Abnormal heart valve function
- Abnormal heart rhythm
- Weakening of the heart's pumping ability caused by infection or toxins
- Alcoholic cardiomyopathy
- Aortic regurgitation
- Aortic stenosis
- Cardiogenic shock
- Congenital heart disease
- Coronary artery disease (CAD)Dilated cardiomyopathy
- Heart attack (myocardial infarction)
- Heart failure
- Heart tumor
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
- Idiopathic cardiomyopathy
- Ischemic cardiomyopathy
- Acute mitral regurgitation
- Chronic mitral regurgitation
- Mitral stenosis
- Mitral valve prolapse
- Peripartum cardiomyopathy
- Pulmonary stenosis
- Stable angina
- Unstable angina
- Tricuspid regurgitation
Prevention of Heart Disease
Heart disease is the leading cause of the death in the U.S. Over one quarter of all deaths are from heart disease. It is also a major cause of disability. The risk of heart disease increases as you age. You have a greater risk of heart disease if you are a man over age 45 or a woman over age 55. You also are at greater risk if you have a close family member who had heart disease at an early age.Fortunately, there are many things you can do reduce your chances of getting heart disease. You should:
- Know your blood pressure and keep it under control
- Exercise regularly
- Don't smoke
- Get tested for diabetes and if you have it, keep it under control
- Know your cholesterol and triglyceride levels and keep them under control
- Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables
- Maintain a healthy weight
For more information, go to: http://www.heartdisease.org
How to Prevent Pre-Diabetes
Pre-diabetes is a serious medical condition that can be treated. The good news is that the recently completed Diabetes Prevention Program study conclusively showed that people with pre-diabetes can prevent the development of type 2 diabetes by making changes in their diet and increasing their level of physical activity. They may even be able to return their blood glucose levels to the normal range.
While the DPP also showed that some medications may delay the development of diabetes, diet and exercise worked better. Just 30 minutes a day of moderate physical activity, coupled with a 5-10% reduction in body weight, produced a 58% reduction in diabetes.The American Diabetes Association is developing materials that will help people understand their risks for pre-diabetes and what they can do to halt the progression to diabetes and even to, "turn back the clock" In the meantime, ADA has a wealth of resources for people with diabetes or at risk for diabetes that can be of use to people interested in pre-diabetes.
Making Healthy Food Choices
See ADA's statement for health professionals on nutrition
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) bookstore has award-winning books on nutrition, recipes, weight loss, meal planning and more.
ExerciseTips on how to include a healthy amount of physical activity into your daily routine:
See ADA's statement for health professionals on exercise
You can get fit, reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes, and support the American Diabetes Association by participating in America's Walk for Diabetes.
See Small Steps. Big Rewards. Prevent type 2 diabetes.
The National Diabetes Education Program has designed a national awareness campaign to target people at risk for type 2 diabetes. The campaign will create awareness that type 2 diabetes can be prevented through modest lifestyle changes and losing about 5 to 7 percent of body weight.For More information, go to: http://www.diabetes.org/food-nutrition-lifestyle