May 20
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Coping with a family member with Alzheimer's Disease

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Alzheimer's has become the sixth leading cause of death in the nation. It is a progressive and fatal disease. Alzheimer's is considered to be the most common form of dementia. As the population ages, the instances of Alzheimer's increase. This leaves more families trying to cope with this disease.

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May 13
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6 Top Concerns For Senior Dental Care

Download printable guide HERE

Proper senior dental care becomes more of an issue as you age. There is a widely believed myth that as we age tooth loss is inevitable, this is just not true! Proper oral care will keep us smiling well into those golden years. If you take care of your teeth they can and will last you a lifetime.

As we age we do need more specialized dental care. It is important to know what to look for. Some of the common dental issues affecting seniors are:

1. Gum (periodontal) disease. Gum disease is an infection of the gum tissue that supports the teeth and is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults with an even greater impact on proper senior dental care . Most adults show some signs of gum disease.

Gingivitis. Gingivitis is an early stage of gum disease that is reversible with good oral hygiene and professional treatment. Gingivitis is caused by the bacteria found in plaque. Symptoms of gingivitis include red, swollen gums and possible bleeding when you brush. If you have any of these symptoms, see a dentist at once. If left untreated, gingivitis can advance into periodontitis.

Periodontitis. Periodontitis, a more severe form of gum disease, affects more than half of 65- to 74-year-olds. With this condition, bacterial infection causes your gums and the bone supporting the teeth to break down. Your gums may begin to recede, pulling back from the teeth. In the worst cases, the bone supporting the teeth is destroyed and, if untreated, can lead to tooth loss.

2. Root caries (decay). As we age, gums may recede due to the damage caused by brushing too hard or gum disease. Receding gums cause the exposure of the root surfaces of teeth and negatively impact proper senior dental care . Root surfaces are softer and more porous and therefore more susceptible to decay than the tooth crown.

3. Oral cancer. Oral cancer most often occurs in people over 40 years of age. See a dentist immediately if you notice any red or white patches on your gums, tongue or other oral tissues, and watch for sores that fail to heal within two weeks. Unfortunately, oral cancer is often difficult to detect in its early stages, when it can be cured more easily. Your dentist should perform a head and neck exam to screen for signs of cancer at your regular checkups.

4. Dry mouth. Many seniors take medications that can cause changes to the oral tissues. Many common medications cause a decrease in saliva, leading to dry mouth. Since saliva plays a major role in preventing tooth decay by rinsing away bacteria and food particles and by neutralizing harmful acids, you should talk to your dentist about ways to treat dry mouth.

5. Difficulty brushing and flossing. If you have arthritis, you may find it difficult to brush and floss. Ask your dentist for ways to overcome this problem. Certain dental products are designed to make oral care more comfortable. You may want to try strapping the toothbrush to a larger object, such as a ball, to make the brush more comfortable to handle. Electric toothbrushes do a good job of removing plaque and can help by doing some of the work for you. Tools to help make flossing easier are available in most drug stores.

6. Limited dentist access. Some seniors have less access to dental services because of lack of transportation, medical conditions or limited mobility. Family members or caregivers can play an important role in helping to schedule regular dental visits for homebound seniors or those in nursing homes. Seniors planning to enter a nursing home or assisted living facility should inquire about the facility’s dental care service.

source: http://www.chcaustell.org/news/2013/12/30/6-top-dental-concerns-for-seniors

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May 06
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Seniors Improve Their Health and Well-Being

DALLAS — A recent United States of Aging Survey found that Americans aged 60 years and older report they are more motivated than the past two years to improve their health by exercising regularly and setting health goals — two simple steps which also relate to reported increases in optimism among seniors.
According to the third annual survey, more than one-third of seniors (37%) say they exercise every day, compared with 26% in 2013. For many seniors, high activity levels correspond to a positive perspective on life: seniors who exercise daily are much more likely than those who never exercise to say the past year of their life has been better than normal rather than worse (28% compared with 15%).
More than half of seniors (53%) report setting health goals in 2014, compared with 47% in 2013. Seniors who set health goals are more than twice as likely to think their overall quality of life will improve compared with those who did not set health goals (38% vs. 16%), and more than three times as likely to be confident their health will be better in future years (28% vs. 9%). The top three health goals set by seniors this year are eating healthier (37%), losing weight (30%) and living a more physically active lifestyle (24%).
The results of the 2014 survey are being released today at the 39th Annual n4a Conference & Tradeshow in Dallas as part of a larger effort led by n4a, NCOA, UnitedHealthcare and USA TODAY to examine seniors’ attitudes on a range of issues such as health, finances and community support.
“More Americans are living longer lives than ever before,” stated Rhonda Randall, chief medical officer, UnitedHealthcare Retiree Solutions. “It is highly encouraging to see more older Americans taking charge of how they age, making deliberate choices and setting goals to help themselves live healthier and more independently during their extended senior years.”
When asked who is the most influential person motivating them to live a healthy lifestyle, nearly 4 in 10 seniors (39%) say themselves. More than one quarter of seniors (26%) say their spouse motivates them, and 15% say their adult children do. Regardless of the source of motivation, this year’s uptick in healthy behavior corresponds with a notable shift: for the first time in the three-year history of the United States of Aging Survey, more seniors say the past year of their life was better than normal (24%) as opposed to worse than normal (22%).
“The findings show that seniors are moving in the right direction with their health, but there is still room for improvement,” commented James Firman, president and CEO, NCOA. “Building upon this trend and getting even more boomers and older adults to take these simple steps are keys to creating a healthier and more productive society.”
When asked what worries them the most about their senior years, the top three answers for seniors are “not being able to take care of myself” (16%), “losing my memory” (14%), and “being a burden” (9%); however, a majority of seniors (85%) feel confident that they are prepared for changes in their health as they age.
More than half of Americans over 60 (58%) say they have discussed end-of-life care with loved ones, a proportion that rises to 64% for seniors 75 and older. More than half of seniors (53%) report creating advance directives such as a living will, and 50% have shared advance directives with loved ones. Still, one in 10 seniors say they do not want to plan for or think about end-of-life care.
For complete survey results, visit NCOA.org/UnitedStatesofAging. To watch live as the survey is presented at the Annual n4a Conference and Tradeshow in Dallas, including an interview with featured keynote speaker former First Lady Laura Bush, visit USofAging.USATODAY.com. Join the conversation on Twitter with #USofAging.
Source:
http://www.drugstorenews.com/article/2014-united-states-aging-survey-seniors-motivated-improve-their-health
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