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Health News

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 trip.
  • Take the family and pets out for long steady walks.

Getting Started

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.

Staying Motivated

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 feelings.

Walking Guide

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:

Wheelcahir Options Accessories

Wheelchair Options and Accessories

Wheelchair options and accessories make a wheelchair more suitable for a person’s specific illness, injury or condition.

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.

Get an Electric Wheelchair through your insurance

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Health Facts

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 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

From an EATINGWELL magazine article February/March 2006

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.

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Senior Health Issues Library

Quit Smoking Study

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."

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Safe Drinking Water Divider

Water Quality Plus 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
  • Disinfectants
  • Microbiological Contaminants

Visit the site now and see your water quality,

US Deaths by Age and Disease

US Deaths by Age and Disease

Below is the Global Burden of Diseases (GBD) data for the United States.

War & disaster, Intentional injuries, Unintentional injuries, Transport injuries, Other-non-communicable , Musculoskeletal disorders, Diabetes/urogen/blood/endo, Mental & behavioral disorders, Neurological disorders, Cirrhosis, Chronic respiratory diseases, cardio & circulatory diseases, cancer, other communicable, nutritional deficiencies, neonatal disorders, maternal disorders, NTD & malaria, Diarrhea/LRI/other infectious, HIV/AIDS & tuberculosis Click to Enlarge

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

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 animal shelter.

Information is from

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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.

Go Older!
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.

Social Opportunities
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!

Additional Resources:

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


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 doctor.
  • 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, or medicines.

*Reprinted from


Prescriptions OnLine

Prescriptions OnLine

Buying Prescriptions on the Internet

The internet can be daunting place for even the most experienced web surfer. And when it comes to buying things on the internet it gets a whole lot more complicated. It's a world where seemingly every product under the sun is available for purchase. Because of ease of use and with prices often much lower than at brick and mortar stores, internet purchases have risen sharply since the start of the millennium. However, with this increase in online sales comes an increase in online fraud. We've all seen the horror stories on the evening news of individuals ripped off by one internet scam after another. It makes you wonder why anyone would order from the internet at all. And why people would trust their medication to an online pharmacy seems even more startling.

Well the reason that people still order on the internet is that by taking a few practical steps you can almost completely avoid internet fraud - and in the process save yourself a bundle. In this article, I am speaking specifically about internet pharmacies, but many of the ideas I am going to share are applicable to other forms of e-commerce.

First off, take a look at the site. If the site looks like it was thrown together in a couple of minutes, it probably isn't trustworthy. The sites that I would buy from are fairly complex with a lot of different options and text to peruse. Unfortunately, to the beginner this may not be a viable option, as it takes a little bit of time before you can distinguish a genuine e-commerce site from a less-reliable one.

Secondly, make sure there is someone really there. You would be surprised by the number of people who make purchases online without actually doing this. It is a simple thing to do, too. Simply look for a contact phone number or email address to establish that there is someone really there. If every prospective customer did this I would estimate that roughly 95% of internet fraud would be eliminated.

Thirdly, do a little research for yourself. Check to see if there is FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section. Check out the return policy, if indeed there is one. (For example, on my site,, we offer a 100% money back guarantee on all of our medications). Also, type the name of the site into Google and see if there are any sites listed that speak negatively of the company.

Fourth and finally, make sure the site is secure. This is another great way to protect yourself against fraud. Not necessarily from the company you are ordering from, but from someone outside who may hack into the system to take your details. The best way to do this is to check on the site to find a little image that says something like "The site is secured by…" or "SSL provided by…" this means that the site is independently secured to keep any purchasing information you use confidential.

By following these simple steps you should be able to avoid internet fraud. While nothing is ever 100% secure, neither is making a purchase at your local shop. And by ordering through the internet pragmatically, you stand to save a lot of money!

  • Bryan Huber is Website Manager of an online pharmacy based in the UK helping US customers save on their prescription meds.

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Find Low Drug Prices

Save money! Compare prescription drug prices for 1,000+ medications. You'll also see online pharmacy ratings and shipping fees so you can compare total costs.

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Fruits & Vegetables and the
2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

My Plate The new 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans places increased emphasis on the role fruits and vegetable play in a healthful diet. The following two recommendations are related to the consumption of fruits and vegetables:
  • Consume a sufficient amount of fruits and vegetables while staying within energy needs.

    For a 2,000 calorie diet you will need to eat 2 cups of fruit and 2 ½ cups of vegetables each day. This amounts 9 servings fruits and vegetables

    For 1,200 calories the recommended amount would be 1 cup of fruit and 1 ½ cups of vegetables or a total 5 servings for fruits and vegetables.

  • Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables each day. In particular, select from all five vegetable subgroups (dark green, orange, legumes, starchy vegetables, and other vegetables) several times a week.

When following these two recommendations keep in mind:

  • Focus on Fruits. Select fresh, frozen, canned, or dried rather than fruit juice for most of your fruit choices.
  • Vary your vegetables. Eat more dark green vegetables, such as broccoli, kale, and other dark leafy greens; orange vegetables, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and winter squash; and beans and peas, such as pinto beans, kidney beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, split peas and lentils.

    Meeting the Dietary Guidelines
    5 or More the Easy Way

  • It is easy to get 5 to 9 of fruits and vegetables into your diet every day. Include one or more fruits and vegetable choices(s) at all meals.
  • Toss fruit into your green salad for extra flavor, variety, color and crunch.
  • Save time with pre-cut vegetables and salad mixes.

    Add apples, raisins, or pineapple chunks to deli salads like chicken, tuna, or pasta.

  • Add frozen mixed vegetables to canned or dried soup.

  • Make a quick smoothie using frozen fruit.
  • Keep an easy-to-grab- pre-washed bowl of fruit on the counter.
  • Try fajitas with red bell peppers, summer squash, and garlic.

    What is a Serving?

  • One medium-size fruit

  • ½ cup raw, cooked, frozen or canned fruits (in 100% fruit juice) or vegetables

  • ¾ cup (6 oz.) 100% fruits or vegetable juice

  • ½ cup cooked, canned or frozen legumes (beans and peas)

  • 1 cup raw, leafy vegetable

Washing Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

  • Remove and discard the outer leaves from vegetables such as lettuce and cabbage before washing.

  • Wash fruits and vegetables (including organically grown, farmer's market, and homegrown produce) just before cooking or eating.

  • Wash under running drinking water.

  • Scrub fruits and vegetables with a clean scrub brush or with hands.

  • Include dry fruits and vegetables

Medicare Advisor

Medicare Advisor

United Medicare Advisors

Dental Savings

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Vital Savings by Aetna gives you and your family a great way to get significant discounts on a wide array of dental services. Plus, you’ll have thousands of dentists to choose from. It’s so easy to use, it will have your whole family smiling!

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Glaucoma Guide

Glaucoma is an eye disease that gradually diminishes sight without warning and often without symptoms. The damage results from an increase in the pressure of fluid within the eye. The rise in pressure caused by fluid build-up leads to progressive damage to the optic nerve. Over time, glaucoma can lead to a gradual loss of peripheral vision. Get more information at Glaucoma Research Foundation(1-800-826-6693). Receive a free copy of Prevent Blindness America's Guide for People with Glaucoma at:

Low Vision an Issue? .... Learn More Here....The Kindle Can Help!.


AMD/Low Vision

Macular degeneration, often called AMD, is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness for senior Americans. Low vision is commonly used to mean partial sight, or sight that is not corrected with standard contact lenses or glasses. Vision is still functional but the vision loss is to the degree that it interferes with the ability to perform daily activities. A person with low vision has any or all of the following: severely reduced visual acuity or contrast sensitivity, a significantly obstructed field of vision. The severity can be moderate to almost total blindness. Some signs of Low Vision are: difficulty recognizing a familiar face, difficulty reading -- print appears broken, distorted or incomplete, difficulty seeing objects and potential hazards such as steps, curbs, walls, uneven surfaces and furniture

Low Vision an Issue? .... Learn More Here....The Kindle Can Help!.

Difference Between Alzheimer's and Normal Age-Related Memory Changes

  • Someone with Alzheimer's disease symptoms
    • Someone with normal age-related memory changes
  • Forgets entire experiences
    • Forgets part of an experience
  • Rarely remembers something after a time lapse
    • Often remembers something after a time lapse
  • 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

      Alzheimer's Association National Office 225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 60601

Get more information

It is crucial for people suffering from Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, and the people caring for them, to get the most current, reliable information on their treatment options. Where better to turn for cutting-edge advances in Alzheimer's disease and dementia than Johns Hopkins, ranked #1 of America's Best Hospitals for 16 years?

Visit Johns Hopkins Health Alerts Topic Page:Memory. Here Johns Hopkins experts explain the difference between the normal memory lapses that occur with age and the signs of a more serious memory deficit. They bring you the latest knowledge about how to boost your memory and how to reduce your risk of conditions that can interfere with it.

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All information in Medical Information Page, including Medical Analysis articles, forms, documents, videos and FAQs, are for educational purposes and may not fit your specific situation. Due to the intense personal nature of any medical issue, it is suggested that you consult with appropriate doctor to ensure your issues are resolved to your satisfaction.

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