Tips to avoid caregiver stress

People who provide in-home, long-term care for older adult family members with a chronic illness are often overwhelmed by it. The weight of the job may result in a type of stress known as caregiver burden. This can manifest in many ways, including physical ailments, mental illness, and social isolation. To avoid caregiver burden, one can ask for help, either from a family member or a service; take care of yourself physically; pay attention to emotional health; reduce stress; and maintain social connections. (Locked) More »

Should you work chocolate into your diet?

Certain compounds in chocolate, called cocoa flavanols, have been shown to boost health, but the amount of flavanols in chocolate is not always listed. As a general rule, dark chocolate has more cocoa and therefore more flavanols than milk chocolate, but the amount can vary enormously depending on how the chocolate has been processed. The best way to get cocoa flavanols is from unsweetened cocoa powder that has not been processed using the Dutch method. This method includes alkali to reduce acidity, but reduces the flavanol content. (Locked) More »

Walkers: Take steps to enjoy this great mobility tool

Walkers help give people their independence back. They improve daily function, and they reduce the risk of falling. For most people, it takes a few physical therapy sessions to learn to use a walker correctly. The key is practice. Users learn how to navigate different surfaces, such as carpeting, tile floors, sidewalks, and grass. They must also learn how to use all of the features of the equipment, such as which buttons to push so that the walker folds. (Locked) More »

Should you get your nutrients from food or from supplements?

Nutrients are most potent when they come from food. Supplements may be helpful for people who are unable to get enough nutrients from the diet or who have a genuine deficiency in a particular nutrient, such as vitamin D. A multivitamin may be a good option. It should include vitamin D, B vitamins (especially folate), iron, magnesium, and calcium. Using a multivitamin from a well-known brand that’s been around for a long time means that the vitamin is likely well tested. More »

Did youthful fun in the sun put you at risk for an eye condition now?

It’s debated whether sunlight directly causes common eye conditions. But there’s good evidence that sun exposure can cause an eye condition called exfoliation syndrome, which often leads to other problems. The condition leaves tiny dandruff-like flakes throughout the body, but mostly in the eye, where a buildup clogs the eye’s natural drains. The best way to stop exfoliation syndrome and other eye conditions from ruining vision is to catch them early with a comprehensive eye exam. (Locked) More »

Adding a diuretic to your blood pressure drug

People who have trouble getting to their target blood pressure may benefit from switching to or adding another drug, called a diuretic, to their medication regimen. Diuretics reduce sodium and water levels in the body; lower fluid levels mean less blood volume, which lowers blood pressure. There are three types of diuretics. Two of them may cause potassium levels to drop. A third type helps a person to retain more potassium. The most common side effect of diuretics is frequent urination, but it’s only temporary. (Locked) More »