Engaging Mind and Body to Fight the Ugly Truth of Ageism

Engaging Mind and Body to Fight the Ugly Truth of Ageism

Health content, knowledge, Prevention
Fighting ageism keeps you busy! We receive humorous birthday card with the words “over the hill” displayed on the front. We excuse an ordinary error by saying we had a “senior moment.” Well-meaning friends compliment us with, “Wow! You look good—for your age.” We accept these everyday occurrences, but they are hurdles when it comes to fighting ageism. Ageism is a form of discrimination or prejudice as a result of your age. Ageism occurs in the workplace as well as in personal relationships. While younger people experience a different sort of ageism, seniors can find ageism detrimental to their wellbeing. Research shows this to be especially true when seniors believe the negative stereotypes associated with getting older. These stereotypes include memory issues, loss of independence, and developing new symptoms and…
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Medications Can Cause Falls in Older Adults – Manage Yours to Avoid Taking a Tumble!

Medications Can Cause Falls in Older Adults – Manage Yours to Avoid Taking a Tumble!

Balance, Health content, Prevention
Did you know that a number of medications commonly given to older adults can make it more likely that you will fall? While some of these medications are necessary no matter what the side effects, it’s important to know about your risk of falling, and how to minimize that risk, before you decide to take the medication. Why would medicine cause me to fall? A medication can increase the risk for falls because of the medication’s desired effect or because of its side effects. For instance, your medicine might: Cause drowsiness or make you feel tired Change the way your heart beats Cause low blood sugar Lower your bone density Change the way your nerve endings perceive pressure and pain Lowering your bone density has the compounded risk of making…
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Prevent and Treat Hammertoe: Better Shoes Are Just Part of It

Prevent and Treat Hammertoe: Better Shoes Are Just Part of It

foot, Health content, Pain, Prevention, Treatment
Women love shoes. Not all women and not all shoes, but many women like the way a little bit of heel and a pointy toe can take an outfit from everyday wear to nighttime splendor. Men, too, may prefer a sleek, narrow dress shoe for a professional appearance. Unfortunately, those good looks can add up over the years to form the hammertoe that many seniors experience. If this has already happened to you, is it too late to fix it? What Is Hammertoe? Hammertoe refers to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons and ligaments surrounding middle toe joints. When one of these parts weakens, the toe may have a hard time returning to a neutral position. When the toe is stuck in a bent position, eventually the muscles tighten so…
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How to Start an Exercise Routine as an Older Adult

How to Start an Exercise Routine as an Older Adult

Exercise, Health content, Prevention
Aging takes a toll on the body. Muscle mass dwindles, balance becomes precarious, and various medical conditions—Type 2 Diabetes, cardiovascular issues, high blood pressure, strokes—become more common. However, you may be able to keep these conditions away or under control with a regular exercise routine. Also, exercise will give you greater flexibility and higher levels of energy. Even if you have never exercised before, you can start an exercise routine at any time. Within a short time, you should see significant improvements to your health and improve your lifestyle. Do older adults really need an exercise routine? Older adults often assume that exercise is for younger people. They believe they are past their prime and should have started long ago. Banish these thoughts! Older adults can still see many improvements…
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Don’t Fear Aging: Improve Your Mindset to Age  Better

Don’t Fear Aging: Improve Your Mindset to Age Better

Health content, Prevention
Did you know that changing how you think can increase your lifespan, make you healthier and improve your memory, too? It’s true! No matter how old you are, positive change is always possible. Mindset matters! Two beliefs to increase longevity Being optimistic doesn’t mean being a Pollyanna in your view of the world. It does mean having: A general expectation that good things are coming.A belief that you have control over important outcomes. Research indicates that holding these two beliefs can help you live 11-15% longer! Grow your optimism If you don’t have these two beliefs, don’t worry! You can teach your brain to think differently by reframing experiences that feel negative. Start by writing down an experience that carries negative emotions. Read what you wrote. Then, rewrite the experience…
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When Physical Therapy Sessions End, You’re In  Charge of Continued Recovery

When Physical Therapy Sessions End, You’re In Charge of Continued Recovery

Health content, Prevention
Discharge instructions are not always something we take seriously. Sometimes they just end up in the recycle bin. But paying more attention to the post-treatment weeks can contribute to your full, pain-free recovery, according to Dr. Patrick Donovan, owner and physical therapist at Heather Lane Physical Therapy in Denver. “You may be thinking, ‘I finished physical therapy, so I’m done,’” Dr. Donovan says. “But the movement strategies and exercises you learned in your PT sessions can do you a world of good even after you’ve finished the formal treatment.” How long to continue the exercises? The time frame for continuing to do the exercises depends on: The length of your PT course. According to Dr. Donovan, the rule of thumb is that the longer you were in physical therapy, the…
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Get Wet! Joining a Pool Can Help You Stay Fit

Get Wet! Joining a Pool Can Help You Stay Fit

Health content, Prevention
Determined to improve your fitness for the New Year? You may be considering joining a gym, taking some skiing weekends, starting yoga or simply resolving to take a daily walk. Don't forget to check out your nearest indoor pool—or outdoor pool if you live in a warm enough climate. People who suffer from a number of conditions can benefit from swimming and other water exercises, according to Dr. Patrick Donovan, owner of Heather Lane Physical Therapy in Denver. “When our bodies are submerged in water, we become lighter,” Dr. Donovan explains. “This lightness, coupled with the natural resistance water places on movement, makes water exercise ideal for people who face issues related to strength, balance, sore joints or pain, even when the cause is a chronic condition such as arthritis…
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Bend, Lift, Twist, Reach: Prepare Your Body for the Holiday Season

Bend, Lift, Twist, Reach: Prepare Your Body for the Holiday Season

Prevention
You're hauling up boxes of holiday decorations from the basement and hanging their contents. You're shopping for hours at a time—carrying bags laden with stocking stuffers—and then wrapping the gifts and tucking them high and low, into your favorite hiding places. You'll labor over a hot oven, lift that huge ham or turkey into the car and drive it over to the holiday dinner you're attending. With all of the bending, lifting, twisting and reaching, it's no wonder that your back, shoulders, knees and hips are feeling the holiday pressure! "December is the ideal time for a refresher on proper lifting methods," says physical therapist Patrick Donovan, owner of Heather Lane Physical Therapy in Denver. "Back pain and injury can put a real damper on the holiday season. We see…
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A Little Stiff? Older Adults Benefit from Flexibility Training

A Little Stiff? Older Adults Benefit from Flexibility Training

Prevention
Information abounds for older adults about the importance of cardio and strength training, but there’s less data available on flexibility training. However, a handful of studies do show that improving flexibility is key for increasing your comfort and longevity as you age.   Why do you need flexibility? Flexibility refers to how easily you bend and how much range of motion you have in your joints. As we age, our muscles and tendons tighten and atrophy, and our joints become stiff, causing a reduction in flexibility. Tight muscles can act as a splint on a joint, preventing it from moving properly. Lower flexibility makes it harder for us to do everyday things, such as: Sit downStand upRoll over in bedGet dressedTake a bath or showerClean the houseWalk the dogReach for…
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Everything You Need to Know About Osteoarthritis of the Knee

Everything You Need to Know About Osteoarthritis of the Knee

Health content, Prevention
If you're one of the more than 250 million people suffering with osteoarthritis (OA), you probably struggle with pain and decreased mobility. And if you're not, you may want to take preventive measures to avoid joining the roughly 10 percent of men and 13 percent of women over the age of 60 who have osteoarthritis of the knee—a key joint for so many everyday movements. Symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee Pain is the hallmark symptom of osteoarthritis of the knee as well as of other joints. Sufferers often experience "pain flares"—short episodes of intense and unpredictable pain. As a result, people with arthritis of the knee may shy away from participating in social or physical activity to avoid triggering a flare. 4 progressive stages of osteoarthritis of the knee…
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