Dogs can provide great benefits to our mental state. They get us to go outside and socialize, improving our physical health and ensuring that we do not isolate ourselves. They provide routine and structure, but can also offer the greatest level of support possible for children and adults alike who are feeling lost and alone in the world.
The health benefits of exercise for older adults are the same as those throughout life – increased longevity, improved mental clarity, energy and strength to meet the physical demands of daily living. This is true even if you don’t start exercising until your later years.
Read more from the National Council for Aging Care about the benefits of exercise and how to start and maintain an exercise plan and routine.
Also known as the elderly disease, osteoporosis is a chronic disease that affects the bones. Several of the most serious consequences are fractures; in senior people, these have a detrimental effect on their general wellbeing. Osteoporosis affects the quality of one’s lifestyle, and even though there are preventive treatments that one can opt for, there’s no definitive treatment.
An undertreated disease
Many seniors don’t take osteoporosis seriously, and they undergo treatment when the disease is too advanced. There are things you can do to prevent its onset. For example, you should quit smoking and adopt a healthier lifestyle. Including healthy foods in your daily diet, and exercising is extremely important. Furthermore, a physician may recommend supplementation and vitamins to help strengthen the bones and restore mobility.
Why aren’t older seniors receiving proper treatment for osteoporosis?
Most seniors don’t get proper treatment because the symptoms are misleading. In other cases, they might even receive the wrong treatment. Some don’t want to consult with a physician, and choose to take supplements or vitamins at random. With a complete set of blood tests, it’s literally impossible to keep the condition under control.
In time, osteoporosis can severely affect your lifestyle. Sadly, the system is faulty and it needs to improve. There are seniors who can’t afford medical insurance, and even if they do, oftentimes prescription medication to keep the condition under control is not discounted. This discourages the elderly from buying them.
If osteoporosis is spotted in time, it can easily be supervised. However, without a change in lifestyle and diet, there’s really not much you can do. It’s crucial that you convince your aging parent to eat more dairy products, vegetables, lean meat and fruits. Proper nutrition matters because it strengthens the bones and keeps the whole body feeling strong and vigorous. Also, it’s equally important to take walks and engage in mild exercise. Vitamin D matters just as much as best source of the power of the sun. In senior adults vitamin D deficiency is extremely common. Bone cartilages become extremely weak as people age. To prevent bone loss, supplementation might be required. However, seniors are not advised to take supplements at random. Visiting a physician is recommended, to make sure you are given the right type of treatment.
Is your mom or dad losing a lot of weight?
Do you feel that your mom or dad is losing a lot of weight, too fast? Osteoporosis is the kind of disease that doesn’t always present clear symptoms. It can be tough to tell that your parent has weak bones. In some circumstances, the symptoms may come too late. The good news is there are things you can do to make things better.
Take mom to the doctor’s office and get a bone density test. The most popular type of test is the DEXA. It’s a painless test that only takes a few minutes, and it is extremely accurate. Following the results, you should start the treatment. You shouldn’t wait because things can get worse, and you wouldn’t want to see mom struggle to get out, walk or get out of bed.
Whether we like it or not, we have to mention that oftentimes physicians make mistakes. Older adults don’t get the right treatment because their condition is misdiagnosed. Osteoporosis must not be confused with arthritis. To begin with, osteoporosis is a chronic disease that affects bone density. Basically, fractures occur more often when you suffer from osteoporosis. In the US, over 53 million older adults suffer from this condition. The side effects are acute: back pain, height loss and evident changes in body posture. Bone tissue is lost, and your parent’s physical condition may be severely affected triggering impairment and the inability to perform daily activity, such as walk or lift heavy items. Bottom line is the body becomes extremely fragile with age. As a last resort, you may be compelled to consider care homes or assisted living facilities where professional caregivers will be with your parent every step of the way, providing treatment and extra care. But if you start treatment ahead of time, you have the best chances of postponing the onset of osteoporosis.
Speakers: John H. Fullerton, MD and Minoo Parsa, BS
Dr. Fullerton is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Geriatrics, Hospice, Palliative Medicine, and Addiction Medicine, as well as board certified Medical Review Officer, Medical Director, Forensic Physician, and Home Care Physician. A primary care physician and clinician educator for 26+ years, Dr. Fullerton is the Co-Founder and CMO for Hampton Health., which specializes in ambulatory and urgent care, including a focus on the transitions of care between acute, rehabilitative & hospitalbased SNF, secured Dementia Units, Assisted and Independent Living Facilities, Home Care, and Hospice & Palliative Care. Minoo Parsa is the Founder of Fall Prevention and Dizziness Therapy a program she established in November 2016 and which has become a trademark of Hampton Health.
- Date & Time
- Friday, April 28, 2017
3:30 — 5:30pm
- The Coventry Place — 5th Floor
1550 Sutter Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
- 1.800.805.7104 or events@LivingWellAH.com
Refreshments will be served.
After fighting for equal rights and against negative stereotypes, baby-boomer women find themselves in a society that obsessively worships youth and relegates its seniors to second-class status. Baby boomer women grew up around the fighting of the feminist movement in the sixties and seventies; many were feisty revolutionaries.
In the eighties, the message to them was to embrace the inner Goddess within. Now in their golden years, they imagine a new role as sage, which will help them obtain the freedom they have been chasing since their youth. But what is this new role? What if wisdom is lacking? Where then do they find meaning in their lives?
We question how the women’s movement has affected women of age. The women who took what they learned as activists in the civil-rights movement and applied it to the rampant sexism of the civil-rights and black-power movements – who participated in the first sweeping consciousness-raising process that Bettina Aptheker called “learning to name our oppression” – these women are still too young to have been included in Coming of Age.
But that phase of the women’s movement spawned two generations of equal rights, abortion rights, lesbian and gay rights, anti-ageism, and AIDS activists; a devoted, beleaguered army of caretakers of abused women and children in the shelter movement; and labor groups such as the CLUW and Women in the Trades, to name only a few “special-interest” groups. Many old women, some place along the line, have been affected by those struggles, as I was, and by the huge body of songs, poems, essays, and visual art that celebrates them, as I was.
Elderly woman today face personal challenges, triggering some profound questions–among them: What is their role as they age? Reproduction is no longer a goal; nor is raising children. If they had a career, it is in the past, or nearly so. Traditional roles for midlife or older women, such as caring for grandchildren or caregiving for a husband or other family member–are still common for women. These limited identities may be difficult to bear for those who spent a lifetime trying to make a difference.
To those old ones who still do battle with dragons 
The “aging” woman, with her dry skin and wrinkled body does not represent the pretty, sexy, vital or accomplished; she is considered to be in her dimmed time. Jungian psychotherapist and author Jean Shinoda Bolen has said, “In a youth-oriented patriarchy, especially, to become an older woman is to become invisible: a nonentity.” Or, as historian Bettina Aptheker recently said of older people, especially women, “We’re either invisible, or we’re in the way.” What’s the future for this woman? What role should aging women play in our society?
Food for thought!
 Studs Terkel. In Coming of Age: The Story of Our Century by Those Who’ve Lived It. St. Martin’s Press; 1st St. Martin’s Griffin Ed edition (September 1996)
 May 8, 2008: Bettina Aptheker on Feminism and Ageism. A public lecture at Pacific Institute. San Francisco.
Over 65% of thepeople living in US get their annual flu shot. However, the percentage has recently dropped to 63. Every year, the estimated number of people getting hospitalized with the flu is somewhere at 220,000 according to the CDC. Between 50 and 70% of these people are seniors with ages over 65. Older adults cannot afford to get sick, and common health concerns such as the flu can greatly affect their overall wellbeing.
In 2014, nearly 61% of older people have got pneumococcal vaccines. These are meant to protect the body from infections that might cause meningitis and pneumonia. Basically, there’s no improvement; thus, meaning that millions of seniors out there are still vulnerable. Why aren’t people getting vaccinated? What are the main reasons for them to skip on such important health measures?
Increased health coverage for senior adults, yet no reaction
Nearly 58% of seniors have gotten a tetanus shot over the past 10 years. However, only 14% has got the advised dose of the well-known Tdap vaccine; which protects against whooping cough and diphtheria as well. Grandparents need to take better care of themselves because they’re the ones that spend more time with grandkids that are too young to get any type of vaccine.
Why aren’t seniors getting vaccinated? One of the main causes is because they don’t have coverage. Even though the FDA has approved many of the above over 10 years ago, people are still ignorant. Some seniors don’t even know that they can get affordable healthcare. In 2014, only 31% of people over 65 had health insurance. The numbers have increased dramatically, although if people they don’t get informed, they can’t know how much these shots cost, or if they cost at all.
Medical experts claim that vaccines are not part of the medical routine of older people. That may be one of the main reasons people don’t get vaccinated. However, when kids come in for a checkup, the first thing that the pediatrician recommends is a vaccine. Seniors often have more severe medical issues. Most specialists focus on other health concerns in the oncology or cardiology sector; almost no physician cares about common conditions, such as the flu.
It is important for older people and their caregivers to discuss more about the importance of vaccination. There are useful guidelines and even a quiz on the CDC website that provides lots of useful advice. For shingles, the most recent vaccine called Zostavax may reduce the risk of contracting a disease in seniors by nearly 50%. The problem is that the vaccine is short on supply, and things haven’t changed since 2012. Also, the increased price may also be an impediment, as not many seniors can afford it.
In a recent study, performed in the summer of this year, the statistics show that almost 40% of older people who asked for it couldn’t pay for it with their own money. Zostavax is covered by the Affordable Care Act only if the patient also has private health insurance. Many seniors don’t have that sort of coverage.
Effectiveness of vaccines on older people
As opposite to Zostavax, many specialists agree that Shingrix – a newcomer, is a lot better. Apparently, it can reduce the incidence of contracting shingles to 90%. But, the efficiency doesn’t seem to be lower in seniors like Zostavax. Shingrix comes with its fair share of side-effects. It demands a second dose after a few months from getting the first. Many people will forget about that aspect. Also, the manufacturing company hasn’t settled on a final price. However, if the vaccine gets approved by the FDA and the CDC recommends it, Shingrix may become extremely useful. But that will only happen if the people remember that they need a second shot.
Public health leaders are not very eager to find out what the FDA has planned. In 2017, an estimated number of 1 million people will get shingles in the US. The CDC doesn’t want to wait, and compels older adults to get vaccinated as soon as possible and avoid hospitalization. Some nursing homes, like Forest HC in England help with short-term recovery, but the bottom line is seniors need to take better care of them to avoid any unnecessary post-operative following their lack of immunity. They must become more aware that their bodies are vulnerable, and many are willing to do that if they can get more affordable health insurance.