The health benefits of shared living

Living with others in older age has many benefits. It may help stave off health risks brought on by loneliness and isolation, and it may provide companions who are able to assist older adults with household chores, personal care, and transportation. Common living situations for older adults include moving in with adult children, taking on boarders, or living with friends. In these situations, it’s important to set boundaries and establish ground rules about privacy and expectations. More »

What causes hiccups?

It’s unclear what causes hiccups. However, they don’t typically last long. Home remedies for hiccups include rubbing the back of the neck, breathing into a paper bag, sipping ice water, and swallowing a spoonful of dry sugar. (Locked) More »

What's that chest pain?

The big fear about chest pain is that it’s the result of a heart attack. Symptoms can include pressure or squeezing in the chest, lightheadedness, and pain in the shoulders, arms, neck, jaw, or back. However, chest pain can have any number of causes, such as heartburn, a panic attack, an overuse injury that inflames the chest wall, or a lung condition. Chest pain that is sudden or severe warrants a call to 911. If it’s been going on for months, it’s probably okay to be evaluated at a doctor’s office instead of the emergency department. (Locked) More »

Wearable weights: How they can help or hurt

Wearable weights serve several purposes. Wearable wrist weights can substitute for a dumbbell for people who can no longer grip weights in their hands. Wearable ankle weights can make the muscles work harder for people who do targeted leg and hip exercises. A weighted vest may be useful when worn on a walk. But wearing ankle or wrist weights on a walk may cause muscle imbalance. It’s best to check with a doctor before incorporating wearable weights into a workout. More »

Ways to dig out of a dietary rut

Sometimes older adults get into a menu rut or stop eating healthy, nutritious foods. This may reflect issues with money, mobility, or loneliness. A dietary rut may lead to a reliance on prepackaged foods, and even malnutrition. Suggestions to break out of a dietary rut include trying new foods; cooking in large quantities, with leftovers that can be eaten throughout the week; signing up for subscription meal kits; inviting friends to dinner; and asking friends to pitch in with a meal, with each person taking turns shopping and cooking. (Locked) More »

Managing your medications before a medical procedure

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), anticoagulants, and certain herbs and supplements can increase the risk of bleeding with surgery. They may need to be stopped before a procedure. However, some medications, such as those taken to manage blood pressure, Parkinson’s disease, or type 2 diabetes, may need to be taken on the day of surgery. Instructions for stopping or restarting medications and supplements should come from one’s doctor, at least one week before the surgery. (Locked) More »