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Staying Healthy Archive
Preparing your feet for summer
Summertime activities often trigger foot pain from overuse or the lack of support in shoes. To prepare feet for summer, it helps to get shoes or sandals with good support and seek physical therapy to strengthen foot muscles. People who expect to be walking on a beach barefoot can give their feet a little practice and time to adapt by wearing slightly less supportive shoes at home, and then shoes with even less support. It's also a good idea to learn about ways to relieve foot pain if it strikes, such as foot baths, topical medications, and foot massage.
Caregivers: You deserve a break
Caregivers may benefit from substitute caregivers who can give them a break. This "respite care" might come from a family member or friend who volunteers to help out. Or it can come from outside services such as adult or child day care centers, short-term stays (seven to 30 days) in a skilled nursing or memory care facility, professional child care or nanny services, or private duty care (which can send someone to be with a loved one up to 24 hours per day).
Tools that help when it's hard to see
High-tech tools can help people with vision impairment. Examples include accessibility features (such as speech-to-text or text-to-speech) on a smartphone or computer; apps for navigation, magnification, or describing a scene; wearable devices that use video cameras to capture images and then project them onto tiny screens inside a headset; peripheral prism glasses, which shift light from one side of the eye to the other to make up for losses in field of vision; and household gadgets such as "talking" thermometers, scales, and calculators that audibly read out results.
Why won't my primary care doctor oversee my hospital care?
Increasingly, hospitalist doctors (who are present in the hospital 24 hours a day) take care of hospitalized patients, with advice from the patients' primary care doctors. This helps solve the dilemma of primary care doctors needing to be in two places at once—in a hospital with some patients and in an office with others. It's not a perfect solution: hospitalists often don't know the patients they're caring for, and they are unfamiliar with patients' extensive medical records. But ultimately, the increasing number of hospitalists is probably improving the quality and efficiency of hospital care.
Activity-related sudden cardiac arrest rare in older adults
The risk of experiencing sudden cardiac arrest while exercising or participating in sports is quite low among active older adults, according to a 2023 study.
Stretching it out
Proper flexibility means you can bend, reach, twist, stretch, and sit and stand with a greater range of motion and less effort. While flexibility usually declines with age, adopting a regular stretching routine can help improve flexibility no matter your age. Besides improving flexibility, stretching also helps to reduce exercise soreness and injury risk and improve performance in sports and activities.
Winning the skin game
As people age, earlier sun damage to the skin, especially on the face and neck, shows up as dry skin, wrinkles, and age spots. While much of this sun damage occurred in the past, people can take steps later to reverse some of it. Adopting a three-step daily skin care routine—washing, moisturizing, and applying sunscreen—is the best way to treat existing skin problems, maintain healthy skin, and protect against future harm.
What should I ask at my annual physical?
An estimated 32% of Americans delayed routine medical care during the pandemic. People resuming their annual physicals should ask their doctor if they need vaccinations, screening tests, prescription changes, or lifestyle modifications to improve their health.
Is biting my nails really that bad?
Nail-biting can introduce germs into people's mouths that can cause a range of illnesses, including colds or salmonella. The habit also creates tiny fissures in skin that can become infected. People who bite their nails should occupy their mouth and hands with other tasks.
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