Hypertension is a common ailment among seniors, and there are special considerations that should be taken into account when treating hypertension in this demographic. According to American Family Physician, blood pressure measurement should be based on at least two readings. Measuring blood pressure in seniors can be difficult because of the changes in the cardiovascular system occur naturally with aging. There is also “pseudohypertension” in which the blood pressure reading is skewed by the blood pressure cuff. Patients with “resistant hypertension” are more prone to this in which case ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (a relatively new technique for measuring hypertension) is used. Lifestyle changes Any medication that is given for hypertension should be in tandem with lifestyle changes. Weight, diet, physical activity and alcohol consumption should be strictly monitored. Patients should strive to maintain a normal weight in accordance with their body-mass index. Diet should be mainly fruit, vegetables and…> Read More
While bipolar disorder is more common among young people, it can also surface in older adults. According to one study, 25 percent of patients diagnosed with bipolar disorder were over the age of sixty. In a separate study, many older individuals who had bipolar disorder had experienced symptoms as early as the age of 40. It is not as easy to detect symptoms of bipolar disorder accurately in older adults due to the high probability that these symptoms can be signs of other illnesses common to older adults such as depression, dementia or stroke, but certain behaviours are usually exhibited. Depression and irritability Older individuals suffering from bipolar disorder will likely exhibit restless or irritable behaviour as well as depression. Some of the symptoms of depression include: Prolonged episodes of sadness Obsession with health A feeling of helplessness Lack of concentration Physical complaints that are unclear and without a clear…> Read More
Hearing loss naturally occurs as we get older. The tiny hairs inside your ears that are designed to pick up sound vibrations become worn or damaged, and this leads to a reduction in hearing levels. Once you lose your hearing it is difficult or impossible to reverse, and while it is inevitable that your hearing will gradually go down with age, there are ways you can prevent or slow the deterioration of your hearing ability. Very often it comes down to adjusting your lifestyle as well as controlling your environment as it relates to the level of noise to which you are exposed. Below are our most important tips to maintaining the health of your hearing long into your elder years. Avoid noisy places The most basic thing you can do is to avoid places where there are high levels of noise as much as you can. Bars, concerts, restaurants…> Read More
Choosing a caregiver for a member of your family is a very important decision. Depending on the intensity of your loved one’s needs, a caregiver could become an important part of your loved one’s and your family’s life. Here are 4 tips for choosing the best caregiver for your loved one. Assess your loved one’s needs in detail Everyone’s needs are different. Some people require more intense health or medical care, whereas others only require that their caregiver complete household chores or merely provide companionship. It’s important to honestly assess the needs of your loved one’s so you can select a caregiver who has the necessary skills and expertise. Watch a prospective caregiver interacting with your loved one Invite a prospective caregiver to spend some time with you and your loved one. You can do this in an interview or more informal setting following an initial interview. The goal here…> Read More
The demands of caring for a loved one with physical or cognitive impairments can be immense. Caregiver burnout occurs when you’ve reached the limit of physical and emotional energy you can expend caring for your loved one. Here, we outline some strategies you can employ in order to prevent caregiver burnout, recognize caregiver burnout, and address caregiver burnout in the event it begins to affect you. How to Avoid Caregiver Burnout Find a confidant The feeling of facing your situation ‘alone’ is common among caregivers. Having a confidant or support group to share your feelings with can greatly reduce this feeling, especially if those you’re confiding in are/have been in similar situations. Set aside time for yourself Setting aside time for your own interests and hobbies is essential for your emotional well-being. If you are spending all your time and energy caring for your loved one, your emotional needs certainly…> Read More
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