Active Senior Living

Simple strategies to help fend off disease and illness and promote an active, independent lifestyle.

Top 8 Medication Management Strategies to Keep You Safe

heidi Active Senior Living, Family / Caregiver Issues Comments Off on Top 8 Medication Management Strategies to Keep You Safe
Medication Management

It’s common for seniors to get confused by their medicines and forget which medicine they need to take and at what time of day.

Medication errors at home and in the hospital are occurring at an alarming rate and are the leading cause of death and injury among patients. Communicate with your health care providers to ensure your medicines add to your health, not take away from it.

When we are sick, we turn to medications to make us healthy. Medications keep many chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis in check. They make pains go away, allergy symptoms disappear, viruses vanish, and feelings of depression and anxiety manageable. When used correctly, medications make our lives so much better. However, on the flip side, when medications aren’t used correctly, our health can take a major turn for the worse.

An adverse drug event occurs when a patient is harmed as a result of exposure to a medication. Some common adverse drug events especially among older people include falls, depression, confusion, hallucinations, and malnutrition. Adverse drug events account for nearly 700,000 emergency department visits and 10,000 hospitalizations each year, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Fifty-three percent of hospitalized patients there for medication-related injuries are over age 65. Read more


Get Help for Depression and Anxiety

heidi Active Senior Living Comments Off on Get Help for Depression and Anxiety

Although the risk of experiencing anxiety and depression increases as we age, these mental health conditions often remain undiagnosed. Feeling extremely sad or anxious is not a normal part of the aging process. Treatment is available.

The aging process can take a toll on our bodies – both physical and mental. As we age, we are more likely to suffer from chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, COPD, and arthritis. Our ability to function becomes limited. Plus, we are more likely to experience social hardships, like the loss of a loved one, as well as financial stresses, like rising health care costs.

Many seniors – and even some health care professionals – assume that feelings of sadness and anxiety simply come with the territory of growing older. While it’s true that emotional experiences of anxiousness, grief, and temporary “blue” moods are normal as we age, depression itself is not normal; neither are anxiety disorders. Treatment is available for both of these mental health conditions.

Read more


Mediterranean Diet Reduces Heart Attack and Stroke Risk

heidi Active Senior Living Comments Off on Mediterranean Diet Reduces Heart Attack and Stroke Risk

Stock up on fatty fish, nuts, olive oil, fruits and vegetables for better cardiovascular health, new study reports.

Health care advocates have long been touting the benefits of a Mediterranean diet based on simple observational studies. Now there is actual proof that a diet rich in olive oil, nuts, beans, fish, fruits and vegetables, and red wine (in place of other alcoholic beverages) can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a 5-year study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The findings of the study: About 30 percent of heart attacks, strokes and deaths from heart disease can be prevented in people at high risk if they make the switch to this style of eating.

More than 7,000 people ranging in age from 55 to 80 years old participated in the study. To be eligible, participants had to have either type 2 diabetes or three of known heart disease risk factors including high blood pressure, smoking, overweight or obesity, family history of early coronary heart disease, elevated LDL level, and/or low HDL level.

Those who followed the Mediterranean ­diets were advised to emphasize olive oil, nuts, fresh fruits and vegetables, fatty fish, poultry instead of red meat, a sauce called “sofrito” (made by simmering herbs, garlic, tomatoes and oil together), and red wine with dinner, if they drank alcohol.

Key Components of the Mediterranean Diet

According to the Mayo Clinic, a Mediterranean diet emphasizes:

  • Getting plenty of exercise
  • Eating primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts
  • Replacing butter with healthy fats such as olive oil and canola oil
  • Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods
  • Limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month
  • Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
  • Drinking red wine in moderation (optional)

 

For breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes that adhere to a Mediterranean diet, go to Mayo Clinic Mediterranean Recipes.