Education Center

Health care-focused resources for seniors and medical community.

Get Vaccinated Against the Flu

heidi Resources for Seniors Comments Off on Get Vaccinated Against the Flu
Get your flu shot by the end of October, recommends the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Older adults, people with chronic medical conditions and children younger than six months old are at increased risk of flu complications.

Get your flu shot by the end of October, recommends the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Older adults, people with chronic medical conditions and children younger than six months old are at increased risk of flu complications.

Flu vaccination can help keep you from getting sick from flu. When you protect yourself from flu, you also protect the people around you who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness. People at increased risk of flu complications include older adults, people with chronic medical conditions, and children younger than 6 months old.

It takes about two weeks after vaccination for your body to develop protection against flu. Take your best shot in the fight against flu! Protect yourself and your loved ones, and get a flu shot by the end of October, if possible, recommends the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Misconceptions about the flu, reports the CDC:

  1. A flu vaccine cannot give you the flu. The most common side effects from a flu shot are soreness, redness and/or swelling where the shot was given, fever, and/or muscle aches. These side effects are NOT flu. If you do experience side effects, they are usually mild and short-lived, especially when compared to symptoms from a bad case of flu.
  2. Flu vaccines are among the safest medical products in use. Hundreds of millions of Americans have safely received flu vaccines over the past 50 years. There has been extensive research supporting the safety of flu vaccines. CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) closely monitor the safety of vaccines approved for use in the United States.

What vaccine to get this season:

CDC recommends use of injectable influenza vaccines (including inactivated influenza vaccines and recombinant influenza vaccines) during 2017-2018. Similar to last season, the nasal spray flu vaccine (live attenuated influenza vaccine or LAIV) is not recommended for the 2017-2018 flu season. Both trivalent (three-component) and quadrivalent (four-component) flu vaccines will be available. There is no preferential recommendation for any of the licensed and recommended vaccines this season. For a list of available flu vaccines, visit FAQ: Types of Influenza Vaccines.

If you have questions, talk to your doctor or other health care professional about the benefits of flu vaccination. Along with CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the National Foundation of Infectious Diseases, and many other professional medical groups recommend an annual influenza vaccine. While there are many people who skip getting a flu vaccine, thinking that they do not work, or that the flu shot will give them the flu, there is a lot of research that disproves these misconceptions, according to the CDC.

 


Physically Active Mid-Lifers More Likely to be Active Into Old Age

heidi Elder Care Issues, Resources for Seniors Comments Off on Physically Active Mid-Lifers More Likely to be Active Into Old Age

Physically Active Mid-Lifers More Likely to be Active Into Old Age

Men who are physically active in mid-life are more likely to continue the habit into older age as well, finds a long term tracking study published in the online journal BMJ OpenPlaying sport is the physical activity most likely to stand the test of time, the findings show, prompting the researchers to suggest that encouraging early and sustained participation in sports might help people to stay active in old age. The health benefits of being physically active throughout the life course are well known, but the transition from mid-life to old age often coincides with major life events, such as retirement, when both the amount and frequency of exercise are likely to change, say the researchers. (Gray, 9/20)


Managing Diabetes: How Food Affects Blood Sugar

heidi Resources for Seniors Comments Off on Managing Diabetes: How Food Affects Blood Sugar
Get healthy and tasty recipes and meal plans courtesy of the American Diabetes Association.

Get healthy and tasty recipes and meal plans courtesy of the American Diabetes Association.

If you have diabetes, you need to know how the foods you eat affect your blood sugar levels. It’s not only the type of food you eat but also how much you eat and the combinations of food types you eat. Here are some tips from the Mayo Clinic:

  • Learn about carbohydrate counting and portion sizes. A key to many diabetes management plans is learning how to count carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the foods that often have the biggest impact on your blood sugar levels. And for people taking mealtime insulin, it’s crucial to know the amount of carbohydrates in your food, so you get the proper insulin dose. Learn what portion size is appropriate for each type of food. Simplify your meal planning by writing down portions for the foods you eat often. Use measuring cups or a scale to ensure proper portion size and an accurate carbohydrate count.
  • Make every meal well-balanced. As much as possible, plan for every meal to have a good mix of starches, fruits and vegetables, proteins and fats. It’s especially important to pay attention to the types of carbohydrates you choose. Some carbohydrates, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, are better for you than are others. These foods are low in carbohydrates and contain fiber that helps keep your blood sugar levels more stable. Talk to your doctor, nurse or dietitian about the best food choices and the appropriate balance of food types.
  • Coordinate your meals and medications. Too little food in proportion to your diabetes medications — especially insulin — may result in dangerously low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Too much food may cause your blood sugar level to climb too high (hyperglycemia). Talk to your diabetes health care team about how to best coordinate meal and medication schedules.
  • Avoid sugar-sweetened beverages. Sugar-sweetened beverages — including those sweetened with high fructose corn syrup or sucrose — tend to be high in calories and offer little in the way of nutrition. And because they cause blood sugar to rise quickly, it’s best to avoid these types of drinks if you have diabetes. The exception is if you are experiencing a low blood sugar level. Sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soda, juice and sports drinks, can be used as an effective treatment for quickly raising blood sugar that is too low.

 

Here are some recipes for healthy living from The American Diabetes Association. You can get meal plans, recipes, food and kitchen tips and a calorie counting section.