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Know Your Numbers for Better Health

Medical experts say there are five numbers adults should know that can impact their health. Dr. Deepak L. Bhatt, editor-in-chief at the Harvard Heart Letter and part of the interventional cardiovascular programs at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital, explains, "For my patients, I typically look at their blood pressure, blood sugar, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides values, and their waist circumference." While there are specific recommendations, doctors also say the ideal values are good goals for most people but your doctor may suggest different numbers based on your age and other health conditions. Current recommended blood pressure numbers are less than 120/80 mm Hg. Systolic blood pressure is the first number and diastolic blood pressure, the second number, and together they measure how hard your heart is working and the condition of your blood vessels. High blood pressure (HBP) can damage blood vessels and increase a person’s risk for a stroke or heart att
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Tips to Improve Concentration

As we grow older, not only do our physical abilities slow down but so do our cognitive abilities. We may find ourselves not able to remember facts the same way we used to or have difficulty thinking about two problems at the same time. Professionals say these changes make it harder for us to stay focused and easier to get distracted. You may not recall new information as you did in the past because you didn’t really learn it. Changes can start as early as in our 50s and 60s but experts say to remember that most age-related memory loss and thinking problems are normal and not necessarily a sign of Alzheimer’s. They explain it can “simply reflect a slower processing speed and poor encoding and retrieval of new memories as a result of diminished attention.” Despite your brain moving a little slower, your judgement is still intact and you have the ability to make sense of what you know and form reasonable arguments. Another thing to consider is even the smallest hearing loss can make proc

Dealing with High Blood Pressure?

If so, you are not alone. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate half of the adults in the U.S. (47%, or 116 million) have hypertension, defined as a systolic blood pressure greater than 130 mmHg or a diastolic blood pressure greater than 80 mmHg, or are taking medication for hypertension . Experts say sometimes it can be difficult to know if a patient has HBP because of what doctors’ call “white coat hypertension,” which shows up as HBP at a doctor’s office but is otherwise normal. Others have what is referred to as “masked hypertension”, showing up normal in the office but as HBP in normal settings. Given the number of people with hypertension and the chance for inaccurate readings, doctors say monitoring your blood pressure at home is more important for many people. That being said, professionals offer tips to help achieve a more accurate read. To start with, they recommend a traditional cuff rather than one measuring on the wrist. It should be able to wrap aro

A 5-Star Dining Service Designed to Please

A move to senior living can mean a lot of changes for a person. Our job at MorningStar at River Oaks is to make sure that experience is full of positive changes. One of the things we feel showcases our home is an outstanding food service, which is under the direction of our own Executive Chef. As a resident, you will be treated to a variety of seasonal menus featuring the freshest ingredients from high quality produce locally sourced whenever possible, or from our own resident-gardens. You will also enjoy all-day, restaurant-style dining in our beautifully designed, relaxing dining room. For those times you wish to have an intimate dinner with friends or family, go ahead and reserve our private dining room. MorningStar’s flexible meal service even offers ready-to-go and finished-to-order meals for residents to take to their suites if they prefer a quiet meal alone. Our chef is specifically trained in culinary skills and menu creations that appeal to seniors, and knows how to modify me

Medications that Increase Your Risk for a Fall

The Harvard Medical School reports it is estimated 1 in 3 people over age 65 will fall each year; and every 19 minutes a senior dies from a fall-related injury. Statistics show women are at higher risk for a fall but men are more likely to die from their injuries than women. Seniors should be aware of several things that can affect balance and lead to a fall. These include certain medications, inner ear problems, foot pain, weight changes and a vitamin D deficiency. Anti-hypertensive medications prescribed to keep blood pressure under control or decrease the risk of stroke and heart failure are all known to affect balance. A common side effect is orthostatic hypotension, a condition that happens if blood pressure gets too low; and results in lightheadedness, faintness and dizziness especially when the person attempts to stand from a sitting or lying down position. Medications that suppress the central nervous system may also result in a fall as they reduce alertness, and slow reaction

Certain Medications Cause Memory Problems in Seniors

As we age, many seniors experience occasional “brain fog” or forgetfulness and have trouble comprehending and processing new information. Medical experts say this may be a normal part of aging but could also be from some of the medications you are taking. Dr. Mark Albers, a neurologist at the McCance Center for Brain Health at Harvard - affiliated with the Massachusetts General Hospital, says it is not all that uncommon for seniors to experience symptoms of brain fog when taking certain medications for the first time. He explains medications can affect memory more in aging adults as “older people tend to metabolize drugs more slowly, making them more sensitive to medications and more vulnerable to side effects.” Other reasons medications cause more problems in seniors are they often take larger doses of a drug and more frequently as well as take several drugs to treat one health condition. Moreover older people may have a weakened blood-brain barrier. This barrier works to block toxins

Use Caution When Using the Internet for Medical Information

Let’s be honest, many of us rely on the Internet for medical advice. While it can supply good answers, doctors also caution you have to be careful what sites you trust. There are many websites providing good medical information but there are also sites with misleading or even dangerous advice. Dr. Michael Langan, an internal medicine physician at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, cautions anyone with a blog can dispense information and advice; and a good way to avoid misinformation is to ask your doctor to recommend the sites they trust. Additionally, the National Institute on Aging recommends using health websites sponsored by Federal Government agencies. They say a good place for reliable, up-to-date information is the National Institutes of Health, but at the same time, remind everyone that the Internet is no substitute for seeing your doctor or other health professional who can give you advice that caters to your specific situation. Other things to look for include name