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Senior Health

Lose weight before the holidays: 7 Tips for older adults

You may have noticed the holiday decorations are already on display in many Kansas City stores. Although it seems a bit early yet, in all reality, the holidays really aren’t that far away. And I don’t know about you, but that’s the time of year I usually start to pack on the pounds. So every year, I try to lose a little weight before the holidays so I can enjoy a few holiday treats without worrying so much about calories. But the older I get, the harder it is to take off that pre-holiday weight. That’s because when we age, our metabolism slows, and we just don’t burn as many calories. Which doesn’t make weight loss impossible. We just need to work a little harder. […]
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Cancer Screening for Seniors: What Tests to Get and When

Over the years, the rules for cancer screening tests in people who are over the age of 60 have changed as new studies have weighed early detection against screening risks. So every now and then, it’s a good idea to brush up on new updates. Here are the latest cancer screening recommendations for seniors*: Breast cancer screening. There’s a bit of a dispute among experts about whether people ages 55+ should get mammograms every year or every two years. Talk to your Kansas City doctor about any potential breast cancer risk factors you may have; then together, you can determine how often you should get a mammogram. Monthly self breast exams are also a good way to detect breast cancer in its early stages. Make […]
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7 Secrets to Aging Well

It’s no secret that some people age better than others. They have fewer wrinkles, more muscle tone, flatter stomachs, and fewer chronic illnesses. Scientists have conducted multiple studies to discover the keys to aging well. Here are some tips based on their findings: Don’t smoke. Nicotine can lead to a whole host of chronic illnesses, including COPD, lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke. It also damages your skin, causing premature wrinkles. Be social. An active social life will help ward off depression and also reduce your risk for Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. If you’re having a tough time meeting new people, try joining a club (e.g., book club, gardening club), doing volunteer work, joining a church group, and/or meeting people who have similar […]
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6 Benefits of Walking for Seniors

To some seniors, the idea of walking as exercise seems much too simple. But believe it or not, exercising can really be that easy! It turns out there are quite a few benefits to taking a brisk walk around your Kansas City neighborhood each day. Here are some examples: Improved balance. Walking strengthens the muscles in your lower body, which can help improve your balance and prevent falls. Weight loss. A brisk daily walk will burn calories and improve your metabolism, both of which can aid in weight loss. It can also help curb sugar cravings. A healthier heart. Walking boosts your heart rate, which is good for cardiovascular health. It can lower your blood pressure and your cholesterol, which will decrease your risk for […]
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The Warning Signs of Stroke

The faster you’re treated after a stroke, the more likely you are to survive. Early detection and treatment can also minimize brain damage and lower your risk of long-term disability. So it’s important to recognize stroke symptoms when you see them. Here are the common symptoms of stroke. Since you need to act quickly in the event of a stroke, the acronym FAST can help you remember them: FACE. When smiling, does one side of the face droop? ARMS. After lifting both hands, does one drop back down? SPEECH. Is speech slurred or otherwise odd? TIME. If the answer to any of the above questions is yes, it’s TIME to call for help. Remember, every minute counts. So you’ll want to dial 911 instead of taking […]
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It’s Time For Your Annual Flu Shot

If you haven’t already, you’ll probably soon begin seeing signs advertising flu shots at Kansas City area drug stores. Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends flu shots for anyone over the age of six months, it’s especially important for seniors to get vaccinated for the flu. And if you’re caring for someone who has Alzheimer’s or other type of dementia, or anyone older than 65, everyone in your home who’s over the age of 6 months should get a flu vaccine. Including the person who has Alzheimer’s. When to Get Your Flu Shot The CDC says you can get a flu shot as soon as it becomes available at Kansas City area pharmacies. Although it’s best to get it by October 31, […]
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8 ways to relieve pain from osteoarthritis

Around 27 million Americans  are suffering from osteoarthrosis, a chronic condition that causes joint pain. If you’re one of them, you know just how painful osteoarthritis can be. Your Kansas City rheumatologist or primary care physician can prescribe medications to help with the pain, but there also lifestyle changes you can make to ease your discomfort. Here are some suggestions: Exercise. Exercising while you’re in pain may seem counterproductive at first, but it will definitely pay off in the long run. Exercise will strengthen your bones and your muscles, which will relieves stress on your joints and improve your flexibility. Eat healthy foods. A balanced diet can help reduce osteoarthritis pain. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables and whole grains. Lean meats (e.g., chicken, turkey), fish that’s […]
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Are You at Risk for Diabetes?

There are currently 30 million people in the U.S. who have diabetes. And 25% of those people don’t even know they have it. Could you be one of them? If not, is there a chance you’re at risk? Types of Diabetes and Risk Factors There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes: Thought to be an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks the cells that produce insulin. Risk factors for Type 1 diabetes may include: Family history of Type 1 diabetes Certain viruses Environmental factors Type 2 diabetes:  A condition in which your body doesn’t produce insulin or doesn’t use insulin effectively. Risk factors for Type 2 diabetes may include: Obesity Age (>45) Sedentary lifestyle Family history of diabetes A history of […]
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Planning for Cataract Surgery in Kansas City

If you’ve been looking through clouded lenses, it may be time to start thinking about cataract surgery so you can see clearly again. And Kansas City is a good place to be if you need cataract surgery. It’s boasts some top notch eye surgeons. Need help getting started? Follow this simple plan: Step 1: See your ophthalmologist. Not all cataracts require surgery, so you’ll want to make sure you and your eye doctor are on the same page. Surgery is usually recommended when cataracts begin to interfere with your everyday life. Your eye doctor may (or may not) refer you to another Kansas City specialist for surgery. Or you can get recommendations from friends and family. Step 2. Ask questions. Here are some things you may […]
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Managing Bladder Control Problems

Bladder control problems (also known as urinary incontinence) are common in older adults. Many people view them as a normal sign of aging and figure they just have to live with them. But that may not necessarily be the case. There are three common types of urinary incontinence: Urge incontinence: When you have frequent urges to run to the bathroom, but don’t always get there in time Stress incontinence: Leakage of urine when you laugh or sneeze Overflow incontinence: Frequent (or constant) leakage of urine There are ways to manage (or even eliminate) all of these bladder control problems. So if you find your incontinence has confined you to your Kansas City home, or has otherwise interfered with your normal activities, it’s time to go […]
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