How to stay in your own home longer

Two kinds of services help people remain in their homes longer. Home health care is covered by Medicare and brings professional nurses and therapists into the home to provide treatment. It’s intended for people who are recovering from illness, injury, or surgery. Private duty care is not covered by Medicare. It provides the day-to-day help most people need for the activities of daily living, such as housekeeping and meal preparation. Care is available for a few hours or 24 hours per day. More »

Try this to lower your blood pressure

It appears that monitoring blood pressure at home helps control hypertension better than just a doctor visit. Harvard experts say it’s because of two important factors. One, paying more attention to blood pressure levels helps people know when their blood pressure is elevated, which makes them more likely to ask for adjustments in medications. Two, home monitoring encourages people to become partners in the management of their blood pressure, which means they’ll be more likely to exercise and reduce salt intake, which are also important to lower high blood pressure. (Locked) More »

Easy fixes for aching shoulders

Shoulder pain may be caused by tendinitis, inflammation, neck pain, whiplash, arthritis, and rotator cuff tears. These conditions may occur from overuse of the shoulder. The cause may be something simple, such as reaching up when hanging curtains. Shoulder pain doesn’t always lead to surgery. Physical therapy can help strengthen the shoulder and reduce pain in 90% of cases. Physical therapy will focus on three goals: increasing your range of motion, strengthening the shoulder muscles, and stretching the muscles and ligaments to keep them supple. (Locked) More »

Simple steps to get happier and healthier

Improving overall well-being is a matter of boosting happiness and health. About 40% of what determines happiness is under one’s control. It’s not events, but responses to events that determine a level of happiness. Strategies to get happier include living in the moment, being grateful, savoring pleasure, applying one’s strengths to everyday life, and doing things for others. Strategies to improve health include taking responsibility for one’s health; setting small, reasonable goals; tracking health progress; and paying attention to the benefits of change. (Locked) More »

Could those common symptoms be thyroid trouble?

Sluggishness, fuzzy thinking, and unexplained weight gain are often missed as symptoms of an underactive thyroid. Harvard experts say it’s because the symptoms are often nonspecific, and since older adults generally have more of these nonspecific symptoms, they are even more likely to miss the problem. An underactive thyroid is diagnosed by measuring the level of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) in the blood. The condition is treated with synthetic thyroid hormones called levothyroxine sodium (Synthroid, Levoxyl). (Locked) More »

Do you need a hearing test?

People who feel that everyone is mumbling and have a hard time carrying on a conversation in a noisy environment may have hearing loss. The condition may be caused by aging, genes, or nerve cell damage from too much exposure to loud noise. People with symptoms of hearing loss should see an ear, nose, and throat doctor to determine if difficulty hearing represents hearing loss or results from infection, earwax buildup, or tumor growth. Hearing loss may be treated with hearing aids. (Locked) More »