Benefits of Walking
- reduces blood pressure
- lowers "bad LDL" cholesterol
- tunes up muscles
- strengthens bones
- aids weight loss
It is easy, inexpensive and has few side effects.
Taking three brisk walks a week is one of the best things for
your body. It is also a very safe way to exercise. Make walking
a part of your lifestyle.
- Build a walk into your trip to work; park
away from the office.
- Walk to the shops, or any other short
- Take the family and pets out for long
Check to be sure that you are
physically ready by consulting your doctor. Warm up and stretch
the lower body, especially the calves. Prepare your route, what
you plan to wear (depending on expected weather), and learn
how to deal with any emergencies that may come up (carry your
cell phone). When beginning your walking program, concentrate
on safe routes in busy areas that you know, just in case you
feel ill, or simply too tired to continue, and to avoid getting
lost. Public parks, shopping areas and zoos are all ideal beginners'
routes. Begin with short slow walks and pick up speed and duration
on subsequent trips. To get the most fitness improvements from
walking, you need to make it a regular activity and increase
your efforts slowly at your own pace.
Choose different routes to walk,
taking in the scenery, and if possible, photographing where
you have been. Try to walk with a partner; it makes the time
go faster and the peer relationship will be a motivator on days
when your will power is low. Of course in some areas there are
walking groups. If you can't find one, start one (try putting
up a poster at your local supermarket, for instance). Monitor
your increase in fitness, and how you feel both during your
walk and for the balance of your day. Use the walk time to reflect
on your life, feel positive about yourself, and purge any negative
The Arthritis Today Walking Guide (Item No. 835.7048AI) covers everything you need to get
started to the elements that are crucial for your exercise program.
Available FREE at:
Wheelchair Options and Accessories
|Wheelchair options and accessories make a wheelchair
more suitable for a persons specific illness, injury or
Medicare covers options and accessories for wheelchairs when
a patient has a wheelchair that meets Medicare coverage guidelines,
and the options or accessories are necessary for the patient
to perform normal daily activities.
For an option or accessory for a manual wheelchair to be covered,
a written signed and dated order must be received by the supplier
before a claim is submitted to the DMERC. If the supplier bills
for an item without first receiving the completed order, the
item will be denied as not medically necessary. Also, supporting
documentation for the medical need of this item must be on file.
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Mumps is Back
Between January and April of 2006, there were
more than 600 possible mumps cases reported in the Midwestern
United States. The source of the outbreak and why it has spread
in such large numbers is unknown. Vaccination is the best way
to prevent mumps. Although many children receive two doses of
the mumps vaccine (as part of immunization against measles and
rubella) known as MMR, some people may have only received one
dose as a child, and most seniors have never received even one.
For more information, contact a local medical clinic or health
care provider or go to http://www.cdc.gov/nip/diseases/mumps/vac-chart.htm.
Though the disease is rarely fatal, it can cause severe complications
and often requires several days of home care and possibly hospitalization.706
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Tips to Lower Cholesterol
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CAN HELP LOWER CHOLESTEROL
From an EATINGWELL magazine article February/March
Foods that contain plant sterols (phytosterolds)
and stanols (phytostanols) have proven effective in lowering
LDL, the lethal or bad cholesterol. But it is not practical
to consume enough of those foods to make a significant difference
i.e. lower your LDL cholesterol 10 to 14%. Can you imagine eating
"10 heads of cauliflower twice a day or 44 apples in the
morning and 5 cups of almonds in the evening"? That would
provide your body the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute
recommended amount of sterols and stanols, but it is impractical
to even contemplate.
To achieve a 10 to 14% reduction in LDL cholesterol,
Robert Nicolosi, Pd.D, director of the Center for Health and
Disease Research at the University of Massachusetts, says an
average American diet contains 100 to 300 mg of plant sterols
or stanols daily. To help reach the LDL-lowering amount of 1000-2000
mg daily foods that are artificially supplemented with sterols
and stanols are the wiser way to go.
The most commonly known foods enriched with
plant sterols and stanols are margarine-like spreads (Benecol
and Take Control), snack bars and salad dressings. As of 3 years
ago the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began permitting
food labels to claim their ability to lower LDL cholesterol
encouraging more manufacturers to try to qualify for this labeling.
Sterols and stanols work by blocking the absorption
of cholesterol thereby lowering the amount entering the bloodstream
following eating. Combine these foods with other dietary changes
such as reduction in saturated fats, addition of soy and more
fiber and the improvement can be compounded.
Benecol and Take Control are two products with
the longest shelf history, but keep checking labels when you
shop. There is a demand for more foods and supplements that
help people get healthier without prescription drugs. To have
FDA permission to say it can lower Cholesterol, a food product
must not only have at least 400 mg. phytosterols per serving,
but also qualify as a low-cholesterol, low-saturated-fat food,
and have at least 10 percent of one or more key nutrients.
Senior Health Issues Library
Quit Smoking Study
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The University of Minnesota Medical School
and Minneapolis VA Medical Center research shows that smokers
who receive support over the telephone when trying to quit are
more successful in kicking the habit than those who receive
help as part of routine medical care.
The research is published in the March 13,
2006, issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives
journals. Lawrence C. An, M.D., assistant professor of medicine,
and colleagues studied daily smokers who received care at five
Veterans Affairs medical centers in the upper Midwest and were
committed to quitting within one month.
"The findings suggest that health-care
providers should consider adding telephone care to their smoking
cessation programs," An said. "With the telephone
support, we are able to bring the service to the smokers instead
of making them come to us to get help."
Is Your Drinking Water Safe?
Illness and disease can come from many types of contaminants in drinking water. Water may come from a lake, a river, an underground aquifer, a public water utility, even bottled water. All these sources may be contaminated by impurities. These contaminants may include chemicals like pesticides, heavy metals such as copper and lead, human and animal waste, and even disinfectant-products introduced during water treatment. Your health may be impacted by these impurities.
To help you make a quick assessment of the water quality in your area, our sister site Water Quality Plus, presents the status of the following contaminants in an easy to understand format.
- Inorganic Contaminants
- Lead & Copper
- Organic Contaminants
- Microbiological Contaminants
Visit the site now and see your water quality, www.waterqualityplus.com.
Pets - a Key Aging Asset
Why You Should Consider a Pet
Animals do affect human emotions and physiology.
Many studies have been done on the complex relationship between
people and animals. We all have observed how our system tends
to relax after petting a soft small animal. The studies put this
into perspective and show owning and tending animals has significant
health benefits. This is especially true for the elderly. They
tend to live longer, healthier, and more enjoyably.
In May of 1999 a study published in the Journal
of the American Geriatrics Society showed that independently living
seniors with pets tend to have better physical health and mental
wellbeing than those that don't. These seniors were found to be
healthier, more active, and cope better with stress.
Other studies have shown that elderly pet owners
had significantly lower blood pressure overall those without pets.
Lower mortality rates have been observed where a nursing home
with over 100 small animals.
Adopt a Senior Mutt
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|ADOPT A SENIOR MUTT TODAY!-It
can improve your spirits and general well being.
Five reasons why one might consider adopting
an older (Senior) dog, rather than a puppy,
1. LOYALTY, LOYALTY, LOYALTY! Chances are good
that by adopting a senior dog you have rescued a wonderful,
loving canine from an untimely, unfortunate and unwarranted
death. A senior dog can sense that he or she was saved and will
be eternally loyal to his or her new "forever" family.
2. BETTER HEALTH Numerous studies have shown
the health benefits a calm, loving dog can have on a senior
citizen. Senior dogs need daily/weekly walks which can help
the overall health of the adopter and adoptee!
3. COMPANIONSHIP Senior dogs have often had
difficult lives shuffled from home to home. They have so much
love to give and will bond quickly with the adopter that gives
them their "forever" home. Senior dogs are also very
mellow and often happiest resting at your feet or putting a
loving head in your lap. It is hard to feel lonely with a loving
dog near you.
4. NO TERRIBLE TWOS OR UNRULY TEENS Senior
dogs are over the puppy-chewing and destructive stages. They
are usually house trained and many already know basic commands.
Although some senior dogs may require more frequent veterinary
visits, their love and devotion far outweigh the effort.
5. NO SURPRISES Senior dogs are full grown
and their personalities are completely developed. When you meet
with your senior dog you will instantly know what kind of wonderful,
loving dog he or she will be.
So why not give it a go! Contact your local
Information is from http://www.seniormuttmatch.com
Senior Dogs Living with Seniors
Many studies have shown that a pet
around the house even a visiting pet can enhance the livesof older
Americans. There is just something about caring for an appreciative,
loving companion that brings joy into the lives of people. Pets
rely upon us, and give back endlessly in thanks through unconditional
love. Additionally, you may be saving the life of an animal who
might otherwise be "put down" or spend the rest of its
life in a cage in a kennel.
The problem is a pet can be not only a responsibility, but a rather
bouncy one, too! Puppies and kittens are cute, but may not be
the best pairing for the senior citizen who is enjoying life at
a subdued pace. Sure, you're active and get out of the home. You
walk, go to outside activities, spend time with friends but chasing
a puppy around probably wasn't on your retirement checklist of
things to do.
The answer? How about adopting an older pet? They're like you
seen it all, ready for a walk but maybe not a run headlong into
the sunset. The older pet often isn't interested in new tricks.
They can learn new things, of course, but mostly they're just
taking it easy. We all need a little motivation in life, and you
and your pet will provide that for each other. Like older humans,
they are changing their lifestyle; someone they've previously
loved is missing, and they feel the onset of Mother Nature's ways
in their old age. Older dogs can be a godsend to a senior citizen
who would like a devoted companion to spend time with, walk with,
care for, and be unconditionally loved in return.
Do Your Homework First
Naturally, there are many factors involved that should be looked
at and worked out first. For instance, a particular pet might
not be the best for some living situations; certain breeds are
better for those afflicted with allergies. What about teaching
the care and feeding of an animal to a person who longs for companionship
but has never cared for a pet before? And finally, what about
the policies of the building in which the senior citizen is living?
These are all factors to be investigated especially if the pet
is a gift. Be sure you do not surprise your loved one with the
gift of the pet itself. A card and stuffed animal might be a way
to introduce the concept of a living companion as a gift.
Choosing Your Companion
There are many places from which an older pet can be adopted.
Many of them will have already given the dog a clean bill of health
before allowing them to be adopted, but you need to ask. When
you find an animal that seems right to you, take your new pet
to the vet for a check-up. The veterinarian will check the animal's
eyes, teeth, ears, and general health. After all, just as a human,
the older pet may have declining eyesight, too! This is a factor
in the care and feeding of your pet. You'll want to keep things
in regular spots so she knows where her bed is, where her favorite
toy is, and where the food and water are. It's comforting for
an animal to have a regular routine and lifestyle, just as it
is for humans. The veterinarian will offer advice to you on the
care and feeding of your new best friend, but be sure and follow
up with the reading he or she recommends.
Caring for Your Pet
Regular grooming is important and enjoyable for both of you. You'll
enjoy spending those few minutes each day brushing your pal's
coat, and he'll enjoy it too! You'll have less hair floating around,
and any skin problems that may arise are found quickly this way.
The vet will have treatments for them should something come up,
and finding "the dry spot" quickly will keep Fido from
rubbing and scratching it into a larger problem. Daily walks are
important for both of you! Mr. Fido-the-Dog gets his constitutional,
you get fresh air and exercise, and there is a certain comfort
in knowing he isn't at risk of soiling the carpet when you get
home. Your vet will recommend the
proper food for your breed's size, weight, age, and activity level.
Once an animal gets used to a certain food, stick with it.
Pets offer other social opportunities for seniors as well. You'll
meet other people with their animals when you're out walking with
yours. You might take a weekly trip to the "dog park."
Many cities set up special fenced-in areas where dogs are allowed
to run off-leash, and owners can catch up on events while their
furry friends are at play. Ever notice the jar of doggy treats
at the local coffee house? Those are there for your new friend!
When you go for your morning coffee you can take your pet with
for a morning walk. With a little planning, saving the life of
an older pet can be extremely rewarding and life enhancing for
a senior citizen with love and caring to offer to a new best friend!
Federal Mandates Allow Senior Citizens
to Have Pets
Border Collie Rescue
P.A.W.S Program Offers Free Felines
to Senior Citizens
Additional aging information can
be found at:
Internet Influence on Health Seekers
THE INTERNET'S POWERFUL INFLUENCE ON "HEALTH SEEKERS"
Fifty-two million American adults, or 55% of those
with Internet access, have used the Web to get health or medical
information. They are called "health seekers" and a
majority of them go online at least once a month for health information.
A great many health seekers say the resources they find on the
Web have a direct effect on the decisions they make about their
health care and on their interactions with doctors.
- 48% of these health seekers say the advice
they found on the Web has improved the way they take care
of themselves; and 55% say access to the Internet has improved
the way they get medical and health information.
- 92% of health seekers say the information
they found during their last online search was useful; 81%
said they learned something new.
- 47% of those who sought health information
for themselves during their last online search say the material
affected their decisions about treatments and care. Half of
these health seekers say the information influenced the way
they eat and exercise.
- 36% of those who sought health information
for someone else during their last online search say the material
affected their decisions on behalf of that loved one.
The Specific Impact
For the 21 million health seekers who say they were swayed
by what they read online the last time they sought health
information, the impact was as follows:
- 70% said the Web information influenced
their decision about how to treat an illness or condition.
- 50% said the Web information led them to
ask a doctor new questions or get a second opinion from another
- 28% said the Web information affected their
decision about whether or not to visit a doctor.
For Illness, Including Mental Illness, More Than for Fitness
The Internet is a tool for the sick more than it is an educational
resource for those who want to stay well.
- 91% of health seekers have looked for material
related to a physical illness.
- 26% have looked for mental health information.
- 13% have sought information about fitness
and nutrition, 11% have sought basic news about health care,
and 9% have sought information about specific doctors, hospitals,
*Reprinted from http://www.pewinternet.org/