Fall Prevention for Older Adults: 6 Action Steps to Take Today

Fall prevention? Oh, I wish we had done more for my mom in this department. In June of 2008 my mother fell. She was 77 years old. She had had  a number of health challenges, but she had overcome them.  My mother was and  is resilient, determined, and, dare I say, tough. But then she took one misstep returning to her condo in the CCRC (Continuing Care Retirement Community) where she and my dad lived, and the last 10 years of her life have pretty much revolved around the resulting injuries and series of complications that followed that one fall.

Fall Prevention

Dad has since passed away and mom was making tremendous gains physically. Then on another June day, this time in 2013, she took another fall. Another busted knee with complication from blood thinners and she has been in a wheel chair with 24 hours care since. You see why I am passionate about fall prevention from this very personal connection to someone I love so much.

Statistics for Older Adults and Falls

Continue reading “Fall Prevention for Older Adults: 6 Action Steps to Take Today”

12 Senior Nutrition Myths Part 2 (#8-12)

In 12 Senior Nutrition Myths: How to Overcome Them (1-7) we explored nutrition myths that revolve around the ideas that it is normal to lose appetite and that nutrient requirements decrease as we age. There are 3 other categories of myths that we need to address:

1.) Social Issues

2.) It’s too Late to Matter

3.) … And More

More Senior Nutrition Myths


 Social Issues

8.) Eating Alone is Okay

I was just reading a Facebook post today by a friend who is a self-describe introvert. He was traveling on a train and really did not want to go to the dining car because he would be seated with 3 other people and would have to interact with them. Much to his very pleasant surprise he had a great time. He learned a lot, enjoyed their company, and basically they restored his faith in humanity. Okay, that last part may be a bit of an exaggeration.

The bottomline is that even the most introverted of us can benefit from social interaction over a meal. Age does not change this dynamic. If anything, age enhances the benefits of eating with others. Often, as people age, they find themselves alone much more than at any other time in their life. Making the effort to join with others for meal times may seem overwhelming or just too much trouble. But, when the effort is made, tremendous benefits follow.Group Meal

When we eat together we maintain, build, and deepen relationships. Our feelings of connection grow. We learn more about others in our lives including  their interests and concerns. We may even learn their opinions, and if we are lucky we just might learn why they hold those opinions. Sharing meals can give us a sense of security. Just knowing that we are important enough to someone else for them to share a meal with us can be a huge boost on a day we might spend much time alone. Talking and listening shows down our eating and just may improve our digestion. Continue reading “12 Senior Nutrition Myths Part 2 (#8-12)”

12 Senior Nutrition Myths: How to Overcome Them (Myths 1-7)

We are told many types of myths. We later learn they simply are not true. Nutrition myths are common. Senior Nutrition myths are no exception.

Reduced mobility, restricted food budgets, and social isolation can each lead to changes in eating habits as we age. Taken together, the effects can be profound. These changes can greatly affect the nutritional condition of Older Adults. We also may fall prey to nutrition myths, when believed, can actually affect our level of health. Let’s fight misconceptions and gain health along the way.

Malnutrition? Under nourishment? Older Adults and Malnutrition? Does this really happen? Does it happen frequently? Do Older Adults need different nutrients than younger people? Let’s dive in to nutrition myths and Older Adults, learn what they are, and dispel them once and for all.

The myths fall into 5 Basic Categories

  1. Normalcy of Loss of Appetite
  2. Misunderstanding of Nutrient Needs
  3. Social Issues
  4. It’s Too Late to Matter
  5. Miscellaneous Other Reasons

Senior Nutrition Myths

Continue reading “12 Senior Nutrition Myths: How to Overcome Them (Myths 1-7)”

Medical Emergency: 8 Simple Steps to Be Prepared

A Medical Emergency Is In Progress: Imagine the Scene

You or a loved one are having a medical emergency. The common emotions are anxiety, fear, trepidation, and perhaps a bit of frazzled disorganization. On the other hand, some people face emergencies stoically, calmly, and firmly in control. Sometimes people maintain their composure through the event and others, well, their legs become jelly once the immediate crisis has past. Which camp are you a member of?

Perhaps one way to help maintain that calm composure in the face of a medical emergency is to be prepared. Be prepared? Wait! If it is an emergency, how can you possibly be prepared?

Medical Emergency

In the article Emergency Preparedness we looked at how to prepare for others to take care of your responsibilities if you can’t. Today, it is time to take a deeper dive into preparation for a medical emergency.  Continue reading “Medical Emergency: 8 Simple Steps to Be Prepared”

Emergency Preparedness is Not All About Canned Food

Bruce Emmerling
Prepare ahead an emergency.

Emergency! That is a word that none of us ever want to hear, let alone experience. One thing you can count on with an emergency is that it is always a surprise. We may not be prepared for the surprise, but we can be prepared for the emergency. Being prepared for something, greatly affects the impact on us. The challenges can be  physical, mental, emotional, and financial.

Emergencies can come in several unexpected packages: a health crisis, a natural disaster, an accident, or a home-based disaster such as a fire. Regardless of their cause, we need to react. Reacting from a position of strength and faith, rather than one of fear, will help us recover and regroup. How do we prepare? Do you have the philosophy, if you  prepare you won’t need to be? I do. This is the reason I take a bunch of different kinds of medicines with us on a trip. I prepare for colds, headaches, upset stomachs, allergies, and cuts and scrapes. If I prepare and I have what I need, I won’t need it. Apply the same philosophy to preparing for emergencies and you will be ready.

What Defines an Emergency?

Merriam-Webster defines emergency as a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action. Continue reading “Emergency Preparedness is Not All About Canned Food”

Try Social Interaction: One Activity, Multiple Benefits:

How important are the benefits of social interaction? Could just one activity help you live longer, enjoy better physical and mental health, and lower your risk of dementia? According to this article in Psychology Today all of these are possible from engaging in social activity. Wow! Let’s get out and see the people. if you can’t get out today, take advantage of positive social media and engage on-line. Have a great day. 🙂 Even better reach out to someone you know who isn’t able to get out. Give them a call or stop by for a visit. You both will benefit.
Benefits of Social Interaction
Who are you engaging with today?
Too often  we think that improving our health has to be hard. We think about eating more vegetables and less sugar. We might think about fitting in 30-45 minutes of exercise everyday. Stress reduction and sleeping more, and, and, and. By the time we think of trying to accomplish all of that, we are exhausted. But how great is it that getting out and being with people can reap such huge rewards without the stress of thinking about all of those other important ways to get healthier?
Truthfully, it may be easier to do most of those other healthful activities if we spend some time focusing on this one solution. Meals shared with others, walks shared with others, and conversation shared with others all lead to improved health. It starts with that interaction.

No Better Time than the Present for Social Interaction!

Since Spring has finally sprung around here, let’s celebrate! Well, for the most part. We shouldn’t have to worry about ice on the roads or on the sidewalks. What a great time to be outside and enjoy the sunshine and a conversation with a neighbor.
Social interaction is still possible even if you are still mired in the cold of winter, reach out to others. Pick up the phone. Call a friend you saw last week or one you haven’t heard from in years. Reach out. It will do you and your friend a lot of good. Getting healthier can be fun and it doesn’t have to be hard.
Just in case you want to try one of those other mains ways of improving your health, check out this post about the benefits of sleep and how to improve yours.
Who are you reaching out to today? Let us hear about what you are doing to improve your health in a fun way with others?

Stress Response: The Good, the Bad, and the Helpful

StressYes, we all have stress. It is a part of how we are made. Most of the time, most of us deal with stressful situations and move on. However, there are times in our lives when stress seems unrelenting and we remain in  a state of heighten physical and emotional response. This is not good for our wellness, and really not good for no one around us. We do know that events are going to happen. We need to monitor our response to them. What we do on a regular basis can have a great impact on how we respond to those stress-inducing events. So before life throws “life” at us, let’s engage in habits that will help us have a healthier response.

3 Ways to Strengthen Our Response to Stress: 

Continue reading “Stress Response: The Good, the Bad, and the Helpful”

Quality Sleep, Precious Sleep: Yes, Quality Matters

Importance of quality sleep

I love my children, but 2 in 16 months does not equal quality sleep, or quantity either.  They do have a lot in common, but when it comes to sleep, well…. Let’s just say one has always known the value of a good night of sleep and the other hasn’t ever really been a fan. Personally, I love sleep. When you are little you may have looked at having to take a nap as a punishment. Along with read a book and take a bath, having to take a nap was not fun. Now, those three would make a perfect afternoon.

If you want to improve your learning and memory, metabolism and weight, safety, mood, cardiovascular health, and boost your immune system, you may want to consider making a concerted effort to improve your sleep. Continue reading “Quality Sleep, Precious Sleep: Yes, Quality Matters”

Top 10 Aging Myths…. Dispelling Them One By One

Aging MythsEvery culture has had myths. We may be most familiar with Greek and Roman ones. As defined by Merriam-Webster, a myth is “a traditional story, especially one concerning the early history of a people or explaining some natural or social phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events.” One more thing. myths are not the truth. That is my personal definition. Myths are often misconceptions of reality, what we think, rather than what can be proven true.  Again, my personal definition and accurate when it comes to discussing aging myths.

What are the top 10 Aging Myths:

  • Old = Sick
  • “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”
  • Too late for changes in lifestyle to make a difference
  • Older adults only take from society and do not contribute
  • Most older adults live in nursing homes
  • Engage in few activities other than watching TV
  • Most older adults are unable to adapt to change
  • Older workers cannot work as efficiently as younger workers
  • Most Older Adults experience significant memory loss
  • Older Adults only want to relax and lead a life of leisure

Let’s look at the first 5 in-depth:  Continue reading “Top 10 Aging Myths…. Dispelling Them One By One”

Insulin Resistance, Blood Sugar and Alzheimer’s Disease

Insulin Resistance, blood sugar issues and Alzheimer’s Disease seems to be related. Parkinson’s may be also.

Here’s our story

My dad passed away April 1, 2013. April Fool’s Day was never one of my favorite days prior to that anyway. Parkinson’s with Dementia had ravaged his brain and body for a number of years before that. I wish we had known more years ago. Perhaps it would have helped this brilliant man maintain his cognitive abilities. Prevention of Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia are a major reason I have cut way back on carbohydrates in my diet. Real food and real nutrition may make a tremendous impact on your brain health.

Please check out this article to learn the why’s of blood sugar, insulin resistance and brain disease.

Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease Is Easier Than You Think