Steps to stay independent when you live alone

Older adults who live alone should consider using services and strategies that will help them stay independent longer. To stay safe, older adults should consider wearing a device that can contact 911 at the touch of a button, and keeping an emergency kit with food and medications on hand. They must make an effort to maintain social connections, even if it’s just visiting with a neighbor briefly. It’s also helpful to take advantage of services that deliver groceries, run errands, and clean homes. More »

Generic or brand-name drugs?

Generic drugs have the same active ingredients as their brand-name equivalents, and some doctors argue that generics may be more likely to produce positive health effects than brand-name drugs.  (Locked) More »

Should I take vitamin D?

A large randomized study is under way to find out the effects of taking vitamin D pills. Preliminary results are expected by 2019. More »

Mindfulness: Not just for stress reduction

More doctors are beginning to embrace mindfulness as a complementary therapy. The practice that trains the mind to focus on the present moment is being used to help manage high blood pressure, bronchitis, gastrointestinal distress, headaches, sleep disturbances, and sexual dysfunction, among other conditions. Mindfulness is effective in several ways. It can reduce stress, which may relieve symptoms and possibly resolve some disorders. Mindfulness also helps people cope better with disease by helping them accept discomfort and thereby suffer less.  (Locked) More »

Easy exercises for "keyboard athletes"

People who spend too much time looking down at smartphones or sitting at a computer keyboard are risking poor health. They can stay healthier by taking activity breaks every 30 to 60 minutes throughout the day. One type of break should include a quick burst of activity for two or three minutes. Another type of break should be a brief exercise routine. The routine can include one minute of standing heel raises, then one minute of squats, and one minute of pulling the shoulders back and squeezing the shoulder blades together. (Locked) More »

Better nutrition when cooking for one

People who live alone may not feel like preparing large meals for themselves. They may just want to eat convenience foods. That puts a person at risk for malnutrition. Instead, it’s better to change the definition of a meal, and make it convenient but still nutritious. Healthy meals should include lean meat, fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. An example is a grilled cheese and tomato sandwich on whole-wheat bread, with a piece of fruit.  (Locked) More »

Spice up your sex life with these 6 steps

Sexual activity has many benefits, such as improved mood and better physical health. But age-related physical changes can get in the way of sex. There are ways to boost one’s sex life. Pill-free ideas include smoking cessation, exercise, weight control, and alcohol moderation. When pill-free sex boosters aren’t enough to make a difference, it’s time consider medical intervention. It could be a matter of treating an underlying condition or switching to a medication that doesn’t hurt libido. Women may need relief from the effects of hormone changes. Men may need a prescription medication to boost erectile function.  (Locked) More »

Has the new sexual desire drug panned out?

During the initial months of availability for flibanserin (Addyi), the first medication for sexual desire disorders, there was not a big demand for the drug. Doctors say this may be due to the fact that the drug has a steep price tag and severe potential side effects, including very low blood pressure, fainting, and nausea. These risks become greater if a woman drinks alcohol or takes birth control pills. There are also strict rules for prescribing and dispensing the drug.  (Locked) More »