Clear Up Your Confusion about Medicare Benefits: The Complete Guide, Part 1

Clear Up Your Confusion about Medicare Benefits: The Complete Guide, Part 1

Health content, knowledge
Are you one of the nearly 60 million Americans currently enrolled in Medicare? Despite Medicare's broad use, many people are unsure of what all Medicare covers and how to use that coverage. Even after enrollment, Medicare's rules, deadlines and costs can be overwhelming. Parts A through D, hospital stays and home health care, supplements and prescribed medication—so much is involved! For example, you might know that you can use Medicare if you're admitted to the hospital or need to see a doctor, but you may be unsure how Medicare works when you need ancillary services such as physical therapy. To help our Heather Lane Physical Therapy community understand what to expect if you're enrolled in Medicare and need physical therapy, we've put together a 3-part series. This is Part 1,…
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Why Sleep Changes When You Get Older (And How to Get Better Rest)

Why Sleep Changes When You Get Older (And How to Get Better Rest)

Health content, knowledge
Seniors and sleep often have a complicated relationship, leading older adults to question whether sleep is a friend or foe. Insomnia plagues nearly 50% of adults 65 and older, and millions more toss and turn every night because of other sleep-disrupting factors. Some seniors give up on eight hours of sleep altogether, rationalizing that they need less sleep now that they’re older. But our time needed in slumberland doesn’t change as we age. What does change are our sleep patterns—or our sleep "architecture." Even with the sleep changes we experience, we have ways to make sure we’re getting better, more restful sleep. Normal sleep vs. aging sleep Normally, people go through multiple sleep cycles at night. Each cycle lasts 90-110 minutes and consists of two states. The non-rapid eye movement…
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Physical Therapy is Helping Both Patients and Non-patients During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Physical Therapy is Helping Both Patients and Non-patients During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Health content, knowledge
Recovering from Covid-19 has proven to be unpredictable. As we now know, some people diagnosed with the virus experience no symptoms at all, others can feel as if they’ve had a mild flu with a timely recovery, and some people experience severe symptoms that require hospitalization. Although most of them recover, unfortunately there’s a growing number of patients who, months after diagnosis, still are reporting trouble getting back to feeling 100% like their “old selves.” As doctors study these mysteriously persistent symptoms, they do know how to relieve one troublesome aspect: the effects of long periods of being sedentary. Patients who have been on ventilators or for other reasons confined to hospital beds for days or weeks face challenges in getting back to their previous levels of activity. The cost…
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Advanced Osteoarthritis and Athletes: How Physical Therapy Can Help You Return To Competitive Sports

Advanced Osteoarthritis and Athletes: How Physical Therapy Can Help You Return To Competitive Sports

Arthritis, Exercise, Health content, knowledge, Pain
Joint pain can make even everyday activities challenging. For athletes, the degenerative pain of osteoarthritis can feel especially devastating. If you're used to the challenges and health benefits of participating in sports, slowing down is a big adjustment. The good news is that you may not have to give up your sport for long. With the right physical therapy and pain medication, you can get back to the activities you love, including athletics. What is advanced osteoarthritis? Osteoarthritis is a condition that occurs when the cartilage that lines your joints starts to break down. Cartilage acts like a shock absorber when there is impact. If improperly stressed, over time the cartilage starts to crumble. It can occur in any joint on your body and is commonly seen in the knees…
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The Link Between Sleep and the Pesky Peptic Ulcer

The Link Between Sleep and the Pesky Peptic Ulcer

knowledge
Trouble sleeping at night is a common complaint among seniors. Whether it’s due to medications, poor sleep hygiene, health conditions or other issues, the result is the same—insomnia. Another common problem, especially for seniors 65 to 74 years old, is peptic ulcers. When both problems are chronic, there can be a connection. What is a peptic ulcer? A peptic ulcer is a sore inside your stomach's lining or the upper part of your small intestine, also known as the duodenum. There are two types of peptic ulcer: Gastric ulcer, when the sore is located in the stomach.Duodenal ulcer, when the sore is located in the duodenum. Ulcers may result in pain, heartburn, nausea, fatty-food intolerances and other ailments, although 75% of patients experience no symptoms at all. Poor sleep can…
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Sexual Function in Older Women and the Role of Physical Therapy

Sexual Function in Older Women and the Role of Physical Therapy

Health content, knowledge
Every aging woman who has experienced menopause knows that it changes her body, from bone loss and a higher risk of heart disease to bladder leakage, also known as urinary incontinence. Menopause can change your body's ability to function sexually as well, including your level of sexual desire. Physical changes that affect sex Some of the physical changes that make sex difficult are predictable and typically occur post-menopause. Being aware means that you can plan for these changes and address them so you can continue to enjoy sex long after menopause has brought you to a new stage of life. Common predictable changes include: Vaginal atrophy. The walls of the vagina become thinner and drier, making them more prone to inflammation. This can make sex painful.Urinary tract symptoms. Some women…
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Sexual Function in Older Men and the Role of Physical Therapy

Sexual Function in Older Men and the Role of Physical Therapy

Health content, knowledge
Men over the age of 40 know that testosterone gradually declines as they age. Fear not—this is perfectly normal. Still, sexual dysfunction causes side effects that can be distressing for men as well as their sexual partners. If you're an older man, you should be able to experience healthy sexual function for many years to come, although it may take some support at different stages. What can men expect as they age? The natural decline of testosterone in men causes decreased testicular function. In daily life, this often manifests as: Lower sexual interest in general.Feeling less arousal or requiring more stimulation to get aroused.Less success at achieving an erection and ejaculating. More aging complications Chronic diseases like diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure add to performance difficulties. On top…
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Source Your Community, Technology and Physical Therapy to Increase Critical Social Connections as You Age

Source Your Community, Technology and Physical Therapy to Increase Critical Social Connections as You Age

Health content, knowledge
Having strong social connections can be vital to your health as you age. This link between social connections and health has long been observed, and recent research has put scientific muscle behind the importance of human contact for your overall health. Multiple studies have shown that social connections can help you fight depression, keep your mind sharp and maybe even help you live longer. Physical benefits from an active social life It's not just mental benefits, either; people with more social support tend to have better cardiovascular health and a stronger immune system. In fact, research from the Harvard Medical School Nurses’ Health Study suggests that social connections play a more important role in longevity than other well-known factors, including obesity, activity level, income level and smoking. While researchers don't…
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After A Stroke, Therapy Can Help You Regain Physical and Cognitive Function

After A Stroke, Therapy Can Help You Regain Physical and Cognitive Function

Health content, knowledge
You might find that you have a hard time returning to your daily life and routines after having a stroke. Since a stroke causes brain damage, it will affect your entire body—but this doesn't mean a stroke has to slow you down permanently. With the help of medical professionals, you can regain many of your abilities as you recover. How is life different after a stroke? The effects of a stroke vary from person to person. Some people may see very few effects, while others may have severe complications that include: One-sided weaknessCommunication difficultyLimb numbnessFull or partial paralysisVision challengesCognitive decline Any one of these complications can make movements that used to come naturally seem nearly impossible. You can read more about life after a stroke on the American Stroke Association's…
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Is Active Aging Realistic? 4 Ways Physical Therapy Can Help You Live an Active Life

Is Active Aging Realistic? 4 Ways Physical Therapy Can Help You Live an Active Life

Balance, Exercise, Health content, knowledge, Treatment
Active aging is every senior’s dream come true. It’s a promise of leading a complete and engaged life, when the effects of aging don’t stop you from living to the fullest. But is active aging realistic? Yes! Contrary to popular belief, getting older doesn't have to set you on a downward spiral into declining mental and physical health. Many signs regarded as a "normal" part of aging can be minimized or even prevented. Physical therapy is one tool for helping to turn back the clock and make you feel like your more youthful self again. When we break down the typical decline, we can manage the pieces one by one: 1) mobility, 2) endurance and 3) strength, all contributing to 4) independence. 1. Mobility About 35 percent of people over…
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