What are some of the routine medical tests for seniors?

A wide range of screening and
preventive measures are available and recommended for people over the age of
65. These guidelines follow the recommendations by the U.S. Preventive Services
Task Force (USPSTF) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and are based on
extensive clinical data. 
The following lists some of the
important preventive and screening measures for seniors.
  • Influenza vaccination
  • Pneumonia vaccination
  • Vaccination against shingles (60 and older; some
    doctors recommend starting at age 50)
  • Colon
    cancer screening for adults between ages 50 and 75 (younger
    starting age in high risk groups)
  • Breast
    cancer screening with yearly mammogram
    for females between 40 and 75 (younger starting age for high risk groups)
  • Prostate cancer
    screening with annual rectal exam and PSA (prostate sensitive antigen) in
    males above age 50
  • Osteoporosis screening with bone
    density scan in women above age of 65
  • Lipid disorder screening yearly for men above 35 and
    women above 45
  • Diabetes screening in people with high blood pressure,
    high cholesterol, obesity,
    or previous high blood sugar levels with or without symptoms of diabetes
  • Blood pressure screening at least once a year
  • Smoking cessation counseling
Other screening tests may be
recommended by doctors are:
  • vision and hearing exams
  • skin cancer screening
  • cardiac stress
    tests
  • thyroid function tests
  • mental status exam
  • peripheral vascular disease screening
It is worth noting that even though
these are general health maintenance guidelines, primary care doctors may draft
an individualized plan for each person based on their personal history. 
Many of these tests are recommended
to be performed periodically. As people get older, the benefits of detecting
certain diseases may diminish, obviating the need for further screening.
Accordingly, the patient’s primary physician may help guide patients with their
decisions regarding recommended health screening tests. 
Sometimes the possible risks
associated with certain tests may outweigh the potential benefits. Therefore,
there are times when the right decision for an individual is to not have
further testing for certain conditions. 
Source:
www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=22405

To
reach one of our Advanced Senior Solution’s team members, either go to
the Contact Us tab or call 727-443-2273. We’re here to help with all of
your elder care questions, care needs, and much more! Call us today for a
free no-obligation care consultation via phone or in person.

What are lifestyle changes seniors can make to lead a healthy life as they age?

A
balanced diet and participation in regular exercise are paramount in
maintaining a healthy life for people of all ages. Routine exercise and
healthy diet in seniors can have an even more noticeable impact in their
general well-being. 

Many
diseases in seniors may be prevented or at least slowed down as a
result of a healthy lifestyle. Osteoporosis, arthritis, heart disease,
high blood pressures, diabetes, high cholesterol, dementia, depression,
and certain cancers are some of the common conditions that can be
positively modified in seniors through diet, exercise, and other simple
lifestyle changes.

In addition to diet and exercise, other important life style modifications to lead a healthier life in seniors include:

  • Limiting alcohol intake to one drink daily
  • Smoking cessation
  • Using skin moisturizers and sun protection
  • Brushing and flossing teeth once or twice a day
  • Staying proactive in own healthcare and participating in decision making
  • Going to the primary care doctor routinely
  • Reviewing list of medications with their doctor(s) often
  • Following recommended instructions for health screening, preventive tests, and vaccinations
  • Visiting a dentist annually or biannually
  • Following up with eye doctor and foot doctor, especially for people with diabetes
  • Being
    aware of potential medication side effects and drug interactions
    including over-the-counter drugs, herbals, and alternative medicine
  • Adhering to routine sleep schedule and using good sleep hygiene
  • Engaging in routine and scheduled social activities
  • Taking vacations

Source: www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=22405

To reach one of our Advanced Senior Solution’s team members, either go
to the Contact Us tab or call 727-443-2273. We’re here to help with all
of your elder care questions, care needs, and much more! Call us today
for a free no-obligation care consultation via phone or in person.

How can Social Issues affect the Life and Health of Seniors?

Social issues can have a significant impact on life and both physical and mental health for seniors. Some of the major contributors to social and psychological problems for seniors are as follows:

Loneliness from losing a spouse and friends

Inability to independently manage regular activities of living

Difficulty coping and accepting physical changes of aging

Frustration with ongoing medical problems and increasing number of medications

Social isolation as adult children are engaged in their own lives

Feeling inadequate from inability to continue to work

Boredom from retirement and lack of routine activities

Financial stresses from the loss of regular income

These factors can have a negative impact on overall health of an older individual. Addressing these psychological problems is an integral component of seniors’ complex medical care.

Source: www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey-22405

To reach one of our Advanced Senior Solution’s team members, either go to the Contact Us tab or call 727-443-2273. We’re here to help with all of your elder care questions, care needs, and much more! Call us today for a free no-obligation care consultation via phone or in person.

What Changes Occur in the Body as we age?

A
wide range of changes can happen in the body to different degrees as we
age. These changes are not necessarily indicative of an underlying
disease but they can be distressing to the individual. Even though the
aging process cannot be stopped, being aware of these changes and
adopting a healthy lifestyle can reduce their impact on overall health.
 
  • Skin: With
    aging, skin becomes less flexible, thinner, and more fragile. Easy
    bruising is noticeable, and wrinkles, age spots, and skin tags may
    become more apparent. Skin can also become more dry and itchy as a
    result of less natural skin oil production.
  • Bones, joints, and muscles: Bones
    typically lose density and shrink in size making them more susceptible
    to fractures. Muscles shrink in mass and become weaker. Joints can
    suffer from normal wear and tear; joints become painful, inflamed, and
    less flexible.
  • Mobility and balance: A
    person’s mobility and balance can be affected by various age related
    changes. Bone, joint, and muscle problems listed above in conjunction
    with changes in the nervous system are the major contributors to balance
    problems. Falls may occur resulting in further damage with bruises and
    fractures.
  • Body shape: As
    a result of bony changes of aging, body stature can become shorter and
    curvature of the back vertebrae may be altered. Increased muscle loss
    and reduced fat metabolism can also occur. Fat can redistribute to the
    abdominal area and buttock areas. Maintaining an ideal body weight
    becomes more difficult.
  • Face: Aging
    changes also take place in the face. Other than wrinkles and age spots,
    the overall facial contour can change. Overall loss of volume from
    facial bone and fat can result in less tightness of the facial skin and
    sagging. The face becomes droopier and bottom heavy.
  • Teeth and gums: Teeth
    can become more, weak, brittle, and dry. Salivary glands produce less
    saliva; Gums can also recede from the teeth. These changes may result in
    dry mouth, tooth decay, infections, bad breath, tooth loss, and gum
    disease.
  • Hair and nail: Hair
    can become thinner and weaker as a person ages. Dry hair may lead to
    itching and discomfort. Nails may become brittle and unshapely. Nails
    can also get dry and form vertical ridges. Toe nail thickening (ram’s
    horn shape) is common. Nail fungal infections may occur frequently.
  • Hormones and endocrine glands: Hormonal
    changes are seen commonly in the elderly. Most common is the hormonal
    control of blood sugar and carbohydrate metabolism leading to diabetes.
    Thyroid dysfunction and problems with fat and cholesterol metabolism are
    also commonly encountered. Calcium and vitamin D metabolism may also
    become altered.
  • Memory: Problems
    with memory are common in seniors. However, it is important to realize
    that minor memory problems so not constitute dementia or Alzheimer’s
    disease. Simple lapses of memory such as not remembering where you left
    your car keys or whether you locked the door are a normal part of aging.
  • Immunity: The
    body’s immune system can get weaker with age. Blood cells that fight
    infections (white blood cells) become less effective leading to more
    frequent infections.
  • Hearing: Changes
    in nerves pf hearing and ear structures can dim hearing and cause
    age-related hearing loss. Higher frequencies become harder to hear.
  • Vision: Eyes
    can become drier and the lens can lose its accuracy as we age. Vision
    can be affected by these changes and can become blurry and out of focus.
    Glasses or contact lenses can help correct these problems.
  • Taste and smell: Sense of smell and less commonly, sense of taste may fade leading to poor appetite and weight loss.
  • Bowel and bladder: Bowel
    and bladder control can cause problems with incontinence. Additionally,
    bowel and bladder habit can change. Constipation is common in older
    adults, as are urinary frequency and difficulty initiating urine.
  • Sleep: Sleep
    patterns can significantly change with age. Duration of sleep, quality
    of sleep, and frequent night time awakening are commonly seen in
    seniors.
Source: www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=22405

To
reach one of our Advanced Senior Solution’s team members, either go to
the Contact Us tab or call 727-443-2273. We’re here to help with all of
your elder care questions, care needs, and much more! Call us today for a
free no-obligation care consultation via phone or in person.

Find Resources for Your Aging Parent

When you are the person responsible for providing care for
your aging parents, life can become quite hectic. This situation is
particularly stressful for adults who have the dual responsibility of caring
for their own children as well as their aging parents. One of the best ways to
cope with aging parent care is to find resources and help within your local
community. Here are a few ideas for finding those resources:
1.      
Talk to your church representatives. If you are
active in a local church, you will often find a lot of resources, help, and
advice from then that will be extremely helpful with caring for your aging
parents. Your minister is often very connected to the community, and will know
about a variety of services and programs that you may never have heard of
before. Your church may also have social workers and specialists on staff whose
job is specifically created to help families with aging parents.
2.      
Look in the yellow pages. If you live in a large
community, there might be a wealth of resources for your aging parent right
there in the phone book. These cab range from senior community centers, day
trip organizers, adult day care, home health aides or assistants, and more.
3.      
Join a support group as the support group is for
you, the caregiver because as a caregiver to an aging parent, your
responsibilities can become vast. They’re also quite stressful, and many women
particularly try to do everything themselves, and end up burning out from
trying to do too much without any help. By joining a support group, you will
have a large source of emotional support on hand whenever you need it, and that
support will come from others who have gone through the same things you are
experiencing.
4.      
Speak to your doctor. By speaking to your
doctor, or your parent’s doctor, you will often find they know many community
resources that can help you care for your aging parents. Doctors who specialize
in geriatric care will have the most information and resources for you about
available community services, but even family practitioners are often very well
connected within the community, and they may have some excellent contacts for you
to get started with.
5.      
Ask friends and other family members. If you
have a large network of friends and family members nearby, they may know about
resources in your community too. Friends, particularly, who have started caring
for their own elderly parents, may be looking for or have already found
community resources for their own needs and they’re more willing to help you as
well. If you and a friend can split the work of finding community resources and
share them with each other regularly.

Source:
www.seniorslist.com/inner.php?aid-1184

To reach one of our Advanced Senior Solution’s team members, either go to the Contact Us tab or call 727-443-2273. We’re here to help with all of your elder care questions, care needs, and much more! Call us today for a free no-obligation care consultation via phone or in person.

How to Cope with Your Parents Aging

How do you cope
with your parents aging? It depends if you are ready for your parents aging and
if you are close enough to help with the issues of your parents aging. It also
depends on what age your parents are, what they are going through, and how much
financial help you are able to give.
Parents Aging Needs
How you cope
with your parents aging depends on your situation. Are your parents elderly and
have experience health/medical issues for some time? Or have your parents
health declined rapidly? That will decide how you cope with your parents aging.
It comes down to how you emotionally handle your aging parents to how you will
cope.
How do you cope with Your Parents
Aging Needs?
Your aging
parents will have care needs that sometimes you are not able to care for. That is
why nursing homes and agencies like us, Advanced Senior Solutions are able to
step in and help with nursing care. If you are also busy with working a
full-time job then you will be lacking in time, but you will still be able to
provide support in other ways.
If your
parent is no longer able to care for their day-to-day living needs then maybe
you will be able to organize an assessment team to enter the home and decide
what type of home care needs your parents qualify for.
What about
the fact that your parents are no longer able to be the parent figure? There
will be a stage in your life when you will become the parent and your parents
almost become the child. Are you ready for that stage of life? How do you cope
with your parents aging needs? You will need a good support system behind you,
offering you a shoulder to lean on so that your own health will be looked
after.
Parents Do Age
All parents
age. It is a matter of when, a matter of how, and a matter of how you will
cope. If you do your research and know what options are available then you will
be emotionally and physically ready for when your parents do age. Remember you
are only human and will need a break at times from the situation of your aging
parents, and need to look after yourself before you look after another person.
Resource:
www.seniorslist.com/inner.php?aid=4381

To reach one of our Advanced Senior Solution’s team members, either go to the Contact Us tab or call 727-443-2273. We’re here to help with all of your elder care questions, care needs, and much more! Call us today for a free no-obligation care consultation via phone or in person.

6 Types of Normal Memory Loss

      1.   Absentmindedness
Where did you leave your keys? Or why
did you walk into the living room? Both of these are very common lapses that
usually stem from lack of attention or focus.
Memory
Tip:

Focus on what you are doing or thinking in any given moment, and you will stop
a lot of these lapses. If you find yourself in the middle of one, retracing
your steps, mentally or actually, can help.
      2.    
Blocking
This is the frustrating
tip-of-the-tongue moment. You know the word you are trying to say, but you
can’t quite retrieve it from memory.
Memory
Tip:

Review mentally or even write down the elements or facts of a story or event
before you talk about them. If you find yourself stuck in the moment, try to
remember other details about the event, name or place, which often will trigger
the memory you are searching for.
      3.    
Scrambling
This is when you accurately remember
most of an event or other chunk of information, but confuse certain key
details. Example: A friend tells you over dinner at a restaurant that she is
taking out a second mortgage on her home. Later, you recall the gist of her
news but think she told you during a phone conversation.
Memory
Tip:
Draw on mental cues from an experience or event to trigger
an accurate recollection. Focus on piecing together specific details of the
memory such as the time. Place, the people you saw, the reason for the event,
topics of conversation.
      4.    
Fade
Out
The brain is always sweeping out old
memories to make room for new ones, the more time that passes between an
experience and when you want to recall it, the more likely you are to have
forgotten much of it. So while it is typically fairly easy to remember what you
did over the past several hours, recalling the same events and activities a
month, or a year ago is more difficult. This is the basic “use-it-or-lose-it”
feature of memory known as transience is normal at all ages.
Memory
Tip:
Studies show that events we discuss, ponder over, record
or rehearse are recalled in the most detail and for longest periods of time. So
one of the best ways to remember events and experiences whether every day or
life changing is to talk or think about them.
      5.    
Retrieval
You were introduced to someone and
seconds later you can’t recall his/her name. Aging changes the strengths of the
connections between neurons in the brain. New information can bump out other
items from short-term memory unless it is used over and over again.
Memory
Tip:
This type of short-term memory loss can be avoided by
focusing in any given moment and eliminating distractions.
      6.    
Muddled
Multitasking
This is when the number of things you
can do effectively at one time diminishes. For example, maybe you can’t watch
the news and talk on the phone at the same time anymore.
Studies show that the older we get, the
more the brain has to exert effort to maintain focus. Further, it takes longer
to get back to an original task after an interruption.
Memory
Tip:
Avoid interruptions and concentrate on one task at a
time.  According to a 2009 Stanford
University study, this advice holds true at any age because most multitaskers
are not truly focused. “People who are regularly bombarded with several streams
of electronic information do not pay attention, control their memory or switch
from one job to another as well as those who prefer to complete one task at a
time,’ the researchers concluded.

To reach one of our Advanced Senior Solution’s team members, either go
to the Contact Us tab or call 727-443-2273.
We’re here to help with all of your elder care questions, care needs, and much
more! Call us today for a free no-obligation care consultation via phone or in
pe

Giving up driving adversely affects aging adults’ volunteer and work lives

For many senior drivers it is only a matter of time before
they are forced to give up their car keys due to failing eyesight or other
health issues. Now, University of Missouri researchers have studied how aging
adults’ driving cessation influences their work and social lives. The
researchers found that seniors’ loss of driving independence negatively
affected their ability to work and their volunteerism; the adults’ social lives
were not instantly affected yet dwindled over time.
“We found that seniors’ productive engagement, such as paid
work and formal volunteering, decreased when they stopped driving; however,
adults’ ability to connect with  people
in their immediate environments  was not
immediately compromised by their transitions to non-driver status,” said Angela
Curl, an assistant professor of social work at MU and the study’s lead author.
Planning for driving cessation should happen well before
older adults have to give up their car keys, and advance planning can help
seniors remain active in society after they quit driving, Curl said.
“Often when individuals stop driving, their health and
happiness decline,” Curl said. “For seniors, engaging more in their communities
is linked to maintained health, lower rates of depression and financial
benefits, and this is why adults need to better prepare before they quit
driving.”
For smoother transitions to non-driver status, Curl
suggested older adults think about alternative transportation options early on
and include their family members in the conversations.
“Older adults have a tendency to think about driving
cessation as something for other people, or they think of quitting as so far in
the future that they postpone planning,” Curl said. “Finally, when seniors do
start thinking about quitting driving it is too late, and they’re panicked and
overwhelmed thinking about all the freedoms they will lose.”
Many seniors lack appropriate driving alternatives, such as
finding rides or using public transportation; yet, Curl found that many older
adults will not ask their families for support during this time because they
don’t want to become burdens. Family members should offer their help to their
aging loved ones instead of waiting to be asked, Curl said.
According to Curl, one way for aging adults to help ease the
transition to not driving is to take public transportation once a month as
practice before completely losing mobility status or to relocate to a
retirement center that provides private transportation to its residents.

Source: www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/266312.php

To reach one of our Advanced Senior Solution’s team members, either go to the Contact Us tab or call 727-443-2273. We’re here to help with all of your elder care questions, care needs, and much more! Call us today for a free no-obligation care consultation via phone or in person.

How does depression in the elderly differ from depression in younger adults?

Clinical
depression in the elderly is common. Although, that doesn’t mean it’s normal.
Late-life depression affects about 6 million Americans age 65 and older. But
only 10% receive treatment for depression. The likely reason is that the
elderly often display symptoms of depression differently. Depression in the
elderly is also frequently confused with the effects of multiple illnesses and
the medicines used to treat them.
Depression
impacts older adults differently than younger people, In the elderly,
depression often occurs with other medical illnesses and disabilities and lasts
longer.
Depression in
the elderly often increases their risk of cardiac diseases and increases their
risk of death from illness. At the same time, depression reduces an elderly
person’s ability to rehabilitate. Studies of nursing home patients with physical
illnesses have shown that the presence of depression substantially increase the
likelihood of death from those illnesses. Depression also has been associated
with increased risk of death following a heart attack. For that reason, making
sure that an elderly person you are concerned about is evaluated and treated is
important, even if the depression is mild.
In addition, advancing
age is often accompanied by loss of social support systems due to death of a
spouse or siblings, retirement, or relocation of residence. Because of changes
in an elderly person’s circumstances and the fact that elderly people are expected
to slow down, doctors and family may miss the signs of depression. As a result,
effective treatment often gets delayed, forcing many elderly people unnecessarily
struggle with depression.
Source:
www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp

To reach one of our Advanced Senior Solution’s team members, either go to the Contact Us tab or call 727-443-2273. We’re here to help with all of your elder care questions, care needs, and much more! Call us today for a free no-obligation care consultation via phone or in person.

7 Things You Need to Know about Osteoarthritis

To reduce your risks, halt the progression of the disease or
ease the painful symptoms, here are seven things you need to know about
osteoarthritis.
1.      
Osteoarthritis is not inevitable
Age is a risk factor in developing
osteoarthritis, but pain from osteoarthritis is not an inevitable consequence
of aging.
The thinking about osteoarthritis has also
changed, from simply a “wear and tear” disease triggered by the breakdown of
cartilage as we get older, to a condition that affects the entire joint, not
just the cartilage. This shift in thinking may help doctors diagnose
osteoarthritis before significant cartilage damage sets on, by looking for
other signs of the disease, including morning stiffness, gelling (stiffness
after rest and inactivity) and locking or buckling in the joint.
2.      
Early detection tests are in the works
Despite the prevalence of osteoarthritis,
the disease often goes undiagnosed until it is in advanced stages.
There is no Food and Drug Administration
approved diagnostic test for osteoarthritis, which means it can’t be diagnosed
with a blood test.
While it is possible to see cartilage on an
MRI or ultrasound, subtle changes to the soft tissue that occur in earlier stages
of the disease are hard to detect.
3.      
Technology to halt disease progression is on the
horizon
While osteoarthritis has been long thought
to be a disease of the cartilage, researchers at Johns Hopkins University
discovered that the bone underneath the cartilage reacts to damage by forming
new bone. This new, unwanted bone growth further stretches the cartilage,
speeding its decline.
The research, published online May 19,
2013, in the journal Nature Medicine,
found that injecting a beta inhibitor called growth factor- Type I receptor
into the bone could halt its abnormal growth.
Researchers are developing a clinical trial
and are expected to begin recruiting patient participants in 2014.
4.      
Exercise is one of the best treatment options
For people who suffer from osteoarthritis,
the idea of using exercise to reduce pain is often met with skepticism. Many of
them have experienced greater osteoarthritis pain when they’ve upped their
levels of activity.
Rebecca Manno, M.D., assistant professor of
medicine in the division of rheumatology at John Hopkins says, “When you rest
the joint, you tend to feel less pain, but the inactivity can ultimately lead
to more discomfort.”
Exercise, on the other hand strengthens the
muscles around the joint, which ultimately helps reduce pain.
Exercise also releases endorphins, which
moderate pain, and helps overweight patients lose weight and reduce the stress
on their joints.
Low-impact exercises like swimming, water
aerobics, walking, and biking will put the least strain on the joints. Yoga has
also proved beneficial for decreasing osteoarthritis pain and improving
patients’ quality of life.
5.      
Extra pounds can make things worse
Excess weight only puts extra pressure on
the joints and may also trigger inflammation and other changes that increase
pain and stiffness, said the authors of a March study in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
The researchers estimate that half the
cases of osteoarthritis of the knee in the U.S. could be avoided if obese Americans could
reduce their weight.
6.      
Some treatments may be a waste of money
After evaluating the evidence for a variety
of treatments for knee osteoarthritis, the American Academy of Orthopaedic
Surgeons said there was “strong evidence against” these remedies: acupuncture,
taking the supplements glucosamine and chondroitin, getting injections of
hyaluronic acid in the knee, and “knee scraping” surgery to wash and smooth the
joint.
David Jevsevar, M.D., an orthopaedic
surgeon and the chair of the clinical practice guidelines work group for the
AAOS, noted that a lot of these are “legacy treatments” that doctors continue
to suggest because they have been used for a long time, despite a dearth of evidence.
7.      
You can do something about the pain
Although osteoarthritis is a progressive
disease and there are no treatments to restore cartilage or reverse joint
damage, there are effective treatments to improve joint functioning and reduce
pain.
Over the counter medications like acetaminophen
and ibuprofen, along with topical application of anti-inflammatory gels can
offer relief, says Manno.
For more severe symptoms, doctors may suggest
cortisone inject ions.
For advanced osteoarthritis, where the pain
is disrupting sleep and normal daily activities, your doctor may recommend
joint replacement surgery.
“There are treatments we can use that could
make a difference in daily functioning and pain management,” Manno says. “You
don’t have to resign yourself to living with painful joints.”
Source:
www.aarp.org/health/comditions-treatments/info-09-2013/osteoarthritis-what-you-need-to-know.html

To reach one of our Advanced Senior Solution’s team members, either go to the Contact Us tab or call 727-443-2273. We’re here to help with all of your elder care questions, care needs, and much more! Call us today for a free no-obligation care consultation via phone or in person.