What to do when reading gets harder

Many aspects of health in older age can affect the ability to read, such as poor vision, pain, hand tremors, and difficulty concentrating. Treating an underlying condition can help (such as getting a new pair of reading glasses). And sometimes all it takes to improve reading is using a few strategies. If it’s painful to hold a book, one can try propping it up on a pillow or book holder. For vision challenges, electronic reading devices and large-print books can help greatly. When attention is the challenge, reading in a quiet space or reading out loud can help. (Locked) More »

Caregiver nation: New tools to manage a family members health as well as your own

There are all kinds of free educational opportunities designed to help family caregivers jump into their roles and better manage their own health. Family caregiver education is available in classes or workshops you attend in person. The Internet offers how-to articles, videos, podcasts, books, and guides for caregivers. Topics range from the basics of caregiving to the more nuanced challenges, such as communicating with a person with dementia. Many classes focus on how to cope as a caregiver and maintain one’s health and wellness. (Locked) More »

How much sleep do we really need?

Some people need less sleep while others need more, but in general trying to get the recommended amount (seven to nine hours a night for adults, seven to eight for seniors) is probably a prudent choice. (Locked) More »

Maximizing home food delivery

There are many options for home food delivery, such as grocery store delivery, restaurant food delivery, and subscription produce clubs. Most services require customers to place orders on a website or smartphone app. When restaurant food arrives, one should make sure it’s still warm, and eat it right away or put it into the refrigerator. If a person isn’t home to receive a delivery of food from the grocery store or from a produce club, food will be left outside, potentially allowing cold items to spoil. So one should try to be home when a delivery is expected. (Locked) More »

5 medications that can cause problems in older age

Medications that caused few if any side effects in youth can cause discomfort or risky side effects later in life. Common offenders include anti-anxiety drugs, antihistamines, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, sleeping pills, and tricyclic antidepressants. While a person may not have to avoid using these medications in older age, it may be necessary to use them carefully and judiciously: minimizing doses, using them only when necessary, and turning to other methods to manage symptoms when they arise. (Locked) More »

4 stretches to keep your shoulders in shape

An easy way to stave off shoulder problems is to regularly stretch the muscles that support the joints. Stretching the muscles fixes the shortening that occurs with disuse and extends muscles to their full length. The more one stretches the muscles, the longer and more flexible they’ll become. That will help increase range of motion, ward off pain, reduce the risk for injury, and improve your posture. In order to stretch the muscles, one should warm up the muscles and then hold stretches without moving for 30 seconds to two minutes. More »

Skip vitamins, focus on lifestyle to avoid dementia

New guidelines released May 19, 2019, by the World Health Organization recommend a healthy lifestyle—such as keeping weight under control and getting lots of exercise—in order to delay the onset of dementia or slow its progression. More »