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Alzheimer’s

6 Ways to Kick the Holiday Blues: Tips for Seniors

Got a case of the holiday blues? Rest assured you’re not the only one who doesn’t feel joyous when the holiday decorations go on display and the festive music begins to play in every Kansas City store and on every radio station. Many seniors feel sad around the holidays. Maybe you’re facing your first holiday season without your spouse. Or your kids and grandkids are unable to visit, and you don’t want to travel alone. Or you don’t have money for travel or gift giving. Whatever your reason for feeling sad when the holidays roll around, there are some ways to kick those holiday blues. Here are some tips: Start a new holiday tradition. Sometimes, people feel depressed around the holidays because new family dynamics […]
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Holiday Travel Safety for Seniors

Older people often hesitate to travel during the holidays, especially if travelling alone. But if children and grandchildren have made new homes outside of Kansas City, the idea of not seeing them at Christmas can sometimes lead to holiday depression. If you’re nervous about holiday travel, taking measures to ensure your safety may alleviate your anxiety. Here are some suggestions: Get your meds in order. Before you travel, update your medication list. You’ll want to take it with you in case of emergency. It’s also a good idea to take the list to your pharmacy, and ask if there are any potential medication or food interactions. Keep your medications in their original bottles, and make sure you have enough of each to last two or […]
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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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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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Caring for Someone Who’s Not Very Nice

It’s tough being a Kansas City caregiver. Even harder to take care of someone who doesn’t seem to appreciate what you do for them, criticizes you, and/or is verbally or physically abusive. Sometimes, people who require 24-hour senior care become angry and frustrated by their limitations, which causes them to lash out. People who have Alzheimer’s (or other form of dementia) tend to become verbally or physically aggressive, particularly during the later stages of illness. And some people are just plain mean to begin with. Here are some tips that can help smooth things over: Be patient. Try to determine the source of the anger. Is it frustration? Fear? Instead of fighting back, ask questions to see if you can determine why your loved one […]
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Keeping Your Balance as You Age: How to Avoid Falls

If your exercise program doesn’t include balance exercises, you’re still at risk for falls. Balance exercises improve your strength and flexibility. They also sharpen the sensory perception needed to keep your balance. Adding some simple balance exercises to your current workout routine can help you maintain or regain your balance, thereby reducing your risk for falls. Here are some examples, most of which can be done from your Kansas City home: Stand on one leg. Stand on one leg for 30 seconds; then switch to the other. If necessary, find something to hold onto at first while attempting this exercise. Once you’ve gotten to where you can do this on both sides multiple times without wobbling, try doing it with your eyes closed. Walk heel-to-toe. […]
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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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Healthy Aging Tips for People in Kansas City

If you’re heading toward your twilight years, there are a number of things things you can do to stay as healthy as possible as you age. And Kansas City is a great place to be; there are tons of resources that can help. Here are some tips for healthy aging in Kansas City: Nourish your body. Your body needs certain nutrients to maintain optimal health, and the best way to get them is through the foods you eat. You need lots of fruits and vegetables, plus lean protein, low-fat dairy, and whole grains. And almost every Kansas City suburb has a farmers market each summer where you can buy fresh fruits and vegetables. The city also has several Whole Foods Markets where you can buy […]
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Reducing Your Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease

Are you over the age of 65? Did a parent or grandparent have Alzheimer’s disease? Do you have heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol? Any of these things can put you at risk for Alzheimer’s. Obviously, you can’t change your age or your genetic makeup, but there are still somethings you can do to reduce your risk for dementia. Here are some tips: Eat a healthy diet. A healthy diet can reduce your risk for Alzheimer’s by giving your brain the nutrients it needs. It can also reduce your risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, all of which are Alzheimer’s risk factors. It seems the idea of what constitutes a “healthy diet” has evolved somewhat over time. You […]
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