Top Five Alternative Therapies for Seniors with Arthritis

Senior Health CareAs a senior with arthritis, you need to be extra cautious in terms of the treatment options you choose. This is because you may be taking medications for treating other health conditions, meaning that there is an increased risk of one medication reacting badly with another. As a result, many elderly arthritis patients opt for non-medicinal forms of treatment for their condition. Let’s take a look at the most popular and effective alternative therapies for arthritis:

  • Green Tea – Green tea contains an active ingredient known as polyphenois, which shows promising results in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Several studies are being conducted to determine how exactly this ingredient affects the body to relieve the symptoms of these conditions. It is believed that the polyphenois strengthens the immune system and helps in fighting the substances responsible for joint damage in arthritis patients.
  • Exercise – Regular exercise is highly beneficial for seniors who are living with some form of arthritis. The condition does not only result in pain but also stresses out the joints to cause more problems in the future. By exercising, you can maintain your strength and flexibility to prevent further deterioration of the joints. Since it is not easy for an arthritis patient to perform strenuous exercises, it is recommended that you choose moderate exercises like biking, swimming, walking, tai chi, and yoga.
  • Mind-body therapies – Elderly individuals who suffer from arthritis tend to go through undue physical and mental stress because of their condition. An alternate treatment method known as mind-body therapy can be beneficial for them, as it involves using the mind to improve your physical health. Breathing exercises, biofeedback, guided relaxation, and mindfulness meditation are all a part of this therapy. Through these exercises, you can train your mind to focus on coping with physical pain. Tai chi and meditation are also known to improve mood as well as quality of life.
  • Ayurveda – An ancient technique of treating medical problems, Ayurveda originated in India and involves the use of herbs and massage oils. It also incorporates detoxification programs and diet changes for overall therapy. This natural therapy may be able to relieve some of the symptoms of arthritis such as stiffness and pain.
  • Hot and cold treatments – This form of treatment makes use of one of the simplest and most effective home remedies – heat. Painful muscles and joints can be relieved with a 15-20 minute hot shower or bath. You can even use a heating pad to apply heat to a certain area or an ice pack to cool it down. Try alternating between a hot pack and a cold pack for effective pain relief. However, make sure you don’t overdo this therapy to avoid aggravating the condition. You should consult your doctor about the safety concerns of hot and cold treatments.

There are a several other forms of alternate treatments for arthritis including massages and acupuncture. You can speak with Senior’s care provider first before you decide to start any of these therapies. Hopefully, you should be able to determine the right type of non-medicinal treatment to effectively relieve the pain and discomfort caused by arthritis.

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How to Treat Anxiety in Seniors without Using Medication

Senior CareAnxiety is highly common in the elderly, as their health deteriorates and they tend to worry about numerous issues. While there are medications to treat or relieve this problem, adding another medication to your daily regimen may not be the best option. You need to consider negative side effects that might occur when you mix a certain medication with another. Let’s take a look at some of the non-medication treatment options for anxiety:

  • Meditation – Meditation is a highly recommended method of treating anxiety in the elderly. It relaxes your body and slows down the body’s processes such as breathing and heart rate. This technique of relaxation is especially useful for treating several diseases that are common in seniors including insomnia, high blood pressure, anxiety, and pain. In fact, there are chances that meditation can reduce your mortality risk by relieving stress and boosting your immune function.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – In 2007, the Journal of American Medical Association published a study, which reported that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is among the best methods of treating anxiety in the elderly. Using this therapy, you can not only face your fears but also deconstruct them with the help of coping techniques like deep breathing. This technique can be highly beneficial for those who plan on fighting anxiety without the need for medication.Cognitive Behavioral Therapy also involves educating patients about their anxiety issues. They can pick up useful techniques like sleep management, which is a large part of anxiety treatment. The therapy also provides group as well as individual support, making it easier for patients to find comfort in times of difficulties.
  • Nutritious meal plan – A nutrient-rich diet can have a huge impact on the condition of a person suffering from anxiety. Seniors living with this condition should consume plenty of vitamin B-complex, which can be found in foods like lentils, whole grains, and bananas. These vitamins are useful for maintaining a healthy nervous system and a sharp mental ability.Your daily diet should consist of dairy products and green vegetables, which can provide you with your daily calcium requirement. Mental confusion, anxiety, and mood swings can result from a deficiency in calcium. You should also try to eat plenty of foods that are rich in selenium, which is a trace element found in fish, mushroom, and Brazil nuts. This element is useful for fighting anxiety and relieving symptoms of senility. If necessary, use nutrient-dense and multivitamin supplements like fish oil, molasses, yeast, and wheat germ.
  • Herbs – Herbs used in Ayurveda and naturopathy can have a positive effect on the symptoms of anxiety. Valerian root and kava are known to have calming properties, which can be beneficial for elderly anxiety patients. Consult a certified herbalist to find out which herb should be best for you, as some of these herbs may have negative side effects as well.

Senior living with anxiety should also participate in moderate physical exercise every once in a while. Exercise can relieve anxiety symptoms by increasing the body temperature and releasing endorphins in the body. These non-medication treatment methods for anxiety should be able to give you significant relief from the symptoms of anxiety and help you live your life to the fullest.

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Blood Pressure Medications: Possible Treatment for Cognitive Diseases

blood+pressure+drugs+may+help+people+with+dementia_554_801617287_0_0_5970_300When it comes to cognitive problems such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, one of the biggest challenges is in finding an effective solution for slowing down the development of their symptoms. A possible breakthrough in accomplishing this challenge is a recent study conducted by experts at University College Cork. The study discovered that ACE inhibitors, which are commonly used in regulating blood pressure, may alleviate or slow down some of the symptoms of these cognitive diseases.

Studies on ACE inhibitors and cognitive diseases

The study published in BMJ Open, involved a careful research on 800 different medical records of individuals with vascular dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers kept a track on how the disease progressed over a period of six months. The data suggested that individuals undergoing blood pressure treatments with ACE inhibitors experienced loss of memory at a rate 20-30% slower than those who didn’t use these medications.

A similar study was conducted at Lennox Hill Hospital, New York City. A team of researchers studied more than 350 elderly individuals living with a cognitive problem, out of which 1/4th were using ACE inhibitors. 30 more were started on the medications during the study. According to data collected, dementia patients who began using the medications experienced a slight improvement during the first six months. These medications work by entering the brain through the bloodstream. The most common of these medications include captopril (Capoten), rampiril (Altace), perindopril (Aceon), and fosinopril (Monopril).

According to the study, there was a decline of 1.8 points in the cognitive test scores of participants who were already using ACE inhibitors. For those who were not on the medications, there was a decline rate of 2.1 points. Patients who started using the medications during the study period had a 1.2 points rise in their test scores during the first six months,

Limitations on the studies

Despite the fact that these results are quite promising, extensive research is yet to be conducted for conclusive results. Experts believe that the research on cognitive diseases are still directed at the treatment for their symptoms, yet there is hardly any information on preventing and curing these conditions. Currently, symptomatic drugs are basically the medications used in the treatments of conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Since they only have a temporary effect, there is much to be done in finding a medication for prevention of these conditions. What we have learned so far is that lifestyle choices may play an important role in whether or not an individual develops a cognitive disease.

However, these latest studies suggest that an individual’s cardiovascular health could be closely connected to their cognitive abilities. Past studies conducted by various research teams have revealed that individuals whose hearts pumped less blood are likely to have smaller brains than those with regular cardiac function. A study conducted by the Boston University School of Medicine reported that individuals with poor cardiac output tended to age two years faster than healthier individuals.

All these studies suggest that managing your blood pressure as well as other cardiovascular risk factors may be a key factor in preventing or slowing down the progression of dementia. Clinical trials are yet to be conducted to prove whether or not ACE inhibitors can effectively slow down the development of dementia symptoms.

 

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How to Choose the Right Independent Living Facility

Independent Living FacilitiesMaking a move to an independent living facility is a huge step. It requires delicate planning and making tough choices. Before you even decide on when to move in, you need to consider all the options available in independent living communities. It is highly recommended that you first visit a few facilities before you make your decision. Choosing the right independent living facilities requires careful consideration, so here are a few tips on how to make the right choice.

  • Observe the people – During your visit to the facility, you need to pay close attention to the people living there. This includes both residents and staff. Observe how the staff interacts with the residents as well as with each other. Are they friendly and helpful?

    It would also do you good to observe whether or not the residents of the facility seem to be truly independent. Ask yourself if you are interested in getting to know them better. Can you find anyone who shares the same interests and hobbies as you? Can you see yourself fitting into the environment?

  • Get a feel of the place – An important step to finding the right independent living facility is to compare the community with what you have in mind. For instance, if you are fonder of the peace and quiet, a small and quiet community would be a better option than a large one, bustling with active residents.

    Choose a place where you feel comfortable and easily adjusted. People who are used to living in houses may find it difficult to adjust to living in an apartment. Make sure you find out all the features of the facility you have shortlisted including its pet-friendliness, storage spaces, and ease of access. You also need to find out whether or not there are any restrictions that could prevent you from enjoying your life in the facility.

  • Consider the activity options – If possible, request for the calendar of events at the facility. What types of activities are available and are you interested in joining any of them? Are there any special interest clubs you can join and benefit from? If religious services are important to you, you should also find out whether or not these services are offered at the community.

    Many senior citizens find that independent living communities are ideal for them because they get to socialize with other elderly adults. With a clear understanding of what activities are offered in the community, you can compare them with the activities that are important to you. This can play a huge role in your decision.

  • Find out the quality of dining service – One of the major factors that should play a role in your choice of independent living community is the quality of food provided. Find out important points like the meals covered under the monthly fee and whether or not you can purchase additional meals. Menus planned by a dietician can provide an additional benefit for many individuals.

When considering all these factors, you shouldn’t have a hard time deciding on the best independent living facility for yourself. Always make it a point to compare the cost of living and accommodation with the benefits you can get from staying in the facility.

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Best Safety Tips for the Independent Living Seniors

Senior Assisted LivingIndependent living may be a good choice for many elderly adults who are fond of their freedom. However, there are many things you need to prepare for when you live alone. Growing older means our bodies also become weaker, preventing us from completing certain tasks and running some errands. You need to plan ahead and ensure a safe and happy life for yourself during your golden years. Here are few best independent living tips for  senior.

  • Stay organized – You may not notice it right now, but your memory may not always stay as sharp as it used to be in your twenties. It is important to stay organized at all times, so you can avoid missed appointments and other issues. Keep a date book or an organizer, where you can make a note of the important dates and appointments. A proper system of organization can help you stay on top of things and avoid many problems.
  • Keep fit – It is important for elderly adults to stay fit both mentally and physically. To maintain an alert and sharp mind, you can use brain-sharpening puzzles, games, and other activities. For instance, crossword puzzles and Sudoku are highly recommended.Growing older doesn’t mean you lose your ability to maintain your physical fitness. You can find physical activities and exercises that are especially designed for people your age. Whether you are suffering from a health condition or a physical disability that’s preventing you from performing normal exercises, you can still find suitable physical exercises to keep you fit. Maintaining your physical fitness can help you avoid age-related problems like joint aches, muscle pain, and other health issues.
  • Maintain an updated medical record – Make sure you keep an updated record of your medical history, so that you can avoid misdiagnosis and other issues when going to a new doctor. Also, an updated medical record can be useful for your caretaker to ensure prompt treatment and care in case of any emergencies.Along with records of your previous visits to the doctor, you also need to include your past illnesses, tests, and procedures. You should also make it a point to keep all your insurance, Medicare, and Medigap information in one place.
  • Keep your home organized – A clean and well-organized home can have a huge impact on your productivity. Living in a cluttered home means you end up spending more time completing a task than you normally do when living in a clean home. Also, regularly cleaning your home can prevent unsanitary circumstances like mold problems, which can be harmful for your health.You can try cleaning a little every day, so you don’t have to worry about cleaning up a huge clutter at the end of the week. If there are physical limitations preventing you from completing household chores, you might want to consider hiring a housekeeping service.

Elderly adults can also benefit greatly from maintaining an active social life and a useful support network. Not only will your quality of life improve, you will also have someone to call in times of emergencies. Hopefully, these four tips will be able to help you in ensuring your own safety when living independently.

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Top Five Health Foods for Seniors with Diabetes

Diabetes ManagementA healthy and nutritious diet plays an important role in long-term diabetes management. However, when developing a diabetes-friendly diet, it is easy to focus only on the foods that should be avoided and not on the healthy foods that can promote healthy blood sugar levels. There are several foods that are considered as ‘super foods’ for individuals living with diabetes. These food items are packed with the top 4 healthy nutrients that are necessary in diabetes management – fiber, vitamin D, calcium, and omega-3.

Top health foods

Let’s take a look at some of the top healthy foods that can help seniors in managing their diabetes:

  • Beans – Beans are high in fiber, so they help in maintaining a steady blood sugar level and keep you feeling full for a long time. They have the ability to lower cholesterol level. Beans also contain sufficient amounts of calcium, helping your burn body fat. You can even get plenty of protein from beans, while limiting your intake of saturated fat. This means you get your required supply of protein without an increased risk of developing heart diseases, unlike when you use meat as a protein source.
  • Salmon – Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are healthy fats that can help in preventing heart diseases. Regularly consuming salmon can promote healthy weight loss and an improved insulin resistance. The fatty acids can also reduce inflammation. Aside from omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is also a good source of vitamin D.
  • Berries – Although berries are sweet and delicious, they are not harmful for your health unlike sugary cakes and cookies. Berries are rich in fiber and a type of antioxidant known as poly phenols. According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2008, individuals with heart disease risk factors experienced a drop in blood pressure after eating berries for 8 weeks. These individuals also saw a boost in the level of “good” HDL cholesterol in their bodies.
  • Dairy – Dairy is one of the best sources of vitamin D and calcium you could possibly find. This combination is ideal for controlling diabetes and reducing the risks of future complications. Yogurt, milk, and cottage cheese are highly recommended for seniors living with diabetes. Since the regular dairy products are high in saturated fat, it is recommended that you opt for the low-fat or fat-free versions.
  • Oats – With their high fiber content, oats are highly effective for lowering your total cholesterol level as well as the level of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol in your body. They can also improve your insulin resistance. The soluble fiber found in oats can slow down the rate at which carbohydrates are absorbed and broken down by your body. This means that you can get a table blood sugar level with regular consumption of oats.

These food items should be included in your daily meal plans to ensure efficient blood sugar and insulin management. Look for recipes online, so you can prepare them in different ways that are enjoyable for you. Implementing these food items to your diet can result in effective and long-term diabetes management.

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