The doctor will see you now, in your home

Home-based medical care enables older adults to receive regular medical care—from doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, or other providers—right in their own homes. These house calls are typically covered by insurance, as long as the health care provider certifies that the visit is medically necessary and that the patient has a condition that restricts the ability to leave home. The benefits go beyond getting necessary medical care. Home visits help foster the provider-patient relationship, and they give providers a better understanding of a person’s daily health challenges. (Locked) More »

Dive into a swimming regimen

Lap swimming has many benefits for older adults. It’s great aerobic activity (which helps improve endurance and cardiovascular health and lower blood pressure); it’s great for strengthening muscles; and it helps maintain flexibility. Older adults can consider a lap swimming regimen if they’re generally healthy, are good swimmers, and get clearance from their doctors. It helps to warm up before swimming; use the proper equipment, such as goggles and a bathing cap; and stretch the muscles after a workout. (Locked) More »

Closing in on tinnitus treatments

Tinnitus is a ringing in the ears that occurs with age. It may be triggered by impaired hearing, leading to diminished sound impulses moving along the auditory nerve between the ear and the brain. In some people, the brain tries to compensate for this loss of input by turning up internal volume and tuning into background sounds in the brain. Tinnitus can be difficult to treat. There’s no way to measure it directly, which is needed for diagnosis and effective treatment. Researchers are working to identify a physical signature for tinnitus by using measurements of the pupils and brain activity. More »

New thinking on daily food goals

Dietary guidelines have shifted away from daily food goals measured in servings. Instead, they now focus on daily food totals that are measured in cups, ounces, or tablespoons. The daily goals depend on one’s health, sex, and age. For example, for moderately active adults ages 66 or older, men are advised to eat 2,200 calories per day; women are advised to eat 1,800 calories per day. Daily food goals for those diets include 2.5 to 3 cups of vegetables, 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit, and 6 to 7 ounces of whole grains. More »

The risk of inactive ingredients in everyday drugs

Inactive ingredients serve many purposes in medications. For example, artificial sweeteners mask a bitter taste, fatty acids help promote the absorption of some drugs, and lactose and other sugars bind ingredients together. But inactive ingredients may also cause adverse reactions, such as an allergic response or gastrointestinal symptoms. It’s best to carefully read a medication’s ingredient list before taking the pill, and consult a doctor if there are any ingredients that are a concern. (Locked) More »

Pill-free treatment for urinary incontinence

A study published online March 18, 2019, by Annals of Internal Medicine suggests that behavioral therapy is more effective than medication or neuromodulation for stress incontinence and urge incontinence. More »

Walk your dog, break a bone?

A study published online March 6, 2019, by JAMA Surgery identified a rising number of fractures among older adults walking leashed dogs: 1,700 in 2004, climbing to almost 4,400 in 2017. Most of the bone breaks were in the upper arm. More »