Not taking your meds? Caution!..

I must admit that I am guilty of not taking my medications sometimes.  It’s not intentional really, but it does happen. It could seem like a simple thing missing, or not taking your meds. Right?  It turns out that it could actually be life threatening !  Yes!

Following is a summary of a New York Times article. You can check and find out whether you are using these excuses for not taking your meds. Non-adherence to taking prescribed medications results in
50 % of prescriptions for chronic diseases not being taken as prescribed, typically people take only half of their prescribed doses.

  • Approximately 125,000 deaths and 10 percent of hospitalizations are the cause of non-adherence to prescriptions. If the drugs are not taken correctly they do not work.
  • A third of kidney transplant patients don’t take their anti- rejection medications. In addition, heart attack patients do not take their blood pressure meds.  Moreover, children with asthma do not use their inhalers at all, or consistently.

Continue reading Not taking your meds? Caution!..

Traveling: Thru Airports FYI

One of the dreams’ I hear from senior citizens all the time, is their excitement about traveling.  They can’t wait to visit all of those faraway places that have escaped them all of their working lives.  It is distressing that it seems traveling outside of your home city is more and more cumbersome: lines for checking if the luggage is safe; confinement on how many toiletries you can travel with; having strangers ‘pat’ you down for suspicious articles that could be unsafe for the flight.  It made me think are there some easier ways to get through the ‘process’ and to the location, location, location faster?

  • An article in the NY Times reviewed a number of ‘Trusted Traveler’ programs, which provided some guidance for the various options available to travelers to make their travels ‘easier’, and to inform travelers of some changes.  For example, earlier this month, some green card holders were notified that their Global Entry Trusted Traveler Network status had been revoked. Source – New York Times

Below is a summary of various programs and benefits you acquire when you join a program.  For complete details see the article by clicking the source link.

T.S.A. (Trusted Security Administration)

  • T.S.A. PreCheck – Cost $85 for 5 years. Suggested for domestic travelers. Perks: expedited security lines; shoes, belt and light jacket stay on. You can leave your laptop in your bag (children 12 years and younger can apply). You get a ‘known traveler number’ once approved, which takes about one-two weeks.
  • Global Entry – Cost $100 for 5 years. Suggested for International travelers. Perks: fast track through US immigration and T.S.A. PreCheck. US Customs and Border Protection – preapproved travelers do not have to do the paperwork and processing lines when returning from international trips. Members automatically enrolled in T.S.A. PreCheck.
  • Clear – Cost $179 for 1 year. Suggested for Baseball fans, frequent fliers who use Clear’s airport locations. Perks: automatically go to the front of the security line. Private traveler program, which is sanctioned by T.S.A. Officers do not check your ID and boarding pass. Identity is verified by fingerprints or iris scan. If you do not have T.S.A. PreCheck – shoes still come off, and laptop comes out of bag etc. Clear lanes are located in international hubs: San Francisco, Miami and Kennedy in New York.  Clear also used at baseball stadiums i.e. NY Citi Field, Yankee Stadium.   Not meant for the occasional traveler.
  • Nexus – Cost $50 for 5 years. Suggested for Canadians and Americans who live near the northern border. Perks: Quick processing at airports and borders for US and Canada. Includes enrollment in Global Entry and T.S.A. PreCheck. Applicants must interview at Nexus enrollment center, which are solely in Canadian and American cities near northern border. Best for Nexus members to enjoy T.S.A. PreCheck and Global Entry benefits.  However, only works best for those who live near a Nexus enrollment center.

Now you can really get started on those trips.  Enjoy!

Read Source:  NY Times Trusted Traveler Program

Healthy Eyes & Eye Care

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When is the last time you visited your Eye Doctor?  Whom did you see?  Was it your Optometrist, Ophthalmologist, or Optician? Do you know that senior citizens should have their eyes checked yearly?

I saw my Optometrist (OD) recently.  Optometrists provide eye care and vision care services; they are not required to attend medical school. The majority complete an undergraduate degree, then they attend a specialized training program to obtain an optometry degree (OD).  Source: http://glassescrafter.com/information/MD-vs-OD-vs-DO.html

  • When my OD finished the complete eye examination she indicated on my chart how my prescription had changed.  Afterwards, I saw the optician who reviewed the prescription and helped me with fitting and choosing eyeglasses. Not all opticians require a license. The licensing requirement varies by state.  In some states, opticians must complete an opticianry training program and be licensed. Source: http://www.allaboutvision.com/eye-doctor/choose.htm

I’ve used  theratears for my dry eye problem. My OD advised new research suggests that using Fish Oil or FlaxSeed helps with tear film –  the liquid consisting of lipids, water, and mucin that coats the outer surface of the eye, lubricating it. Source: Tear Film.
Refresh Optive Advanced can also help to lubricate your eyes.

Click the source below to find out how you can use flaxseed oil or fish oil to help with dry eyes 🙂abstract-19141_1920

 Flaxseed oil and fish oil contain important dietary fatty acids that have multiple health benefits, including prevention or treatment of dry eyes. Other benefits include a lower risk of heart disease and a reduction of chronic inflammation that can lead to a variety of serious diseases, including cancer and stroke. Chronic inflammation also has been indicated as an underlying cause of osteoarthritis and Alzheimer’s disease. Source: Flaxseed Oil and Fish Oil for Dry Eyes

Last Word
Visit your Optometrist and your Optician. Get your eyes checked at least once a year, every year – especially if you are a senior citizen.

 

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In February, KQED proudly celebrates… a special Black History Month programming lineup on KQED Public Television. Click the link for more information. Source: February 2017 – Black History Month | On Q Insider | Heritage Months | About KQED

Easing Arthritis Pain with Essential Oils

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As some of you know, I am an Essential Oils Enthusiast.  So, you can imagine my delight when I learned that I can use Essential Oils to ease my arthritis pain, which I have developed in my hands. Arthritis is not uncommon in senior citizens.  As I read information from the Arthritis Foundation, I learned  some of the key points cited below, and  I think they may be useful to those of you who are also suffering from arthritic pain.

  • While the risk of arthritis increases as you age – half of people 65 and older have arthritis – the truth is people of all ages get arthritis including children and young adults. Source: Home – Arthritis Foundation Blog
  • Aromatherapy can have a powerful impact on your well-being, including your level of pain. “Certain scents activate smell receptors in the nose, which triggers a reaction in the nervous system,” says Julie Chen, MD, an integrative medicine physician in San Jose, Calif. This, in turn, stimulates the part of your brain that controls emotion, triggering the release of hormones such as feel-good dopamine. Source: Aromatherapy for Pain Relief – Living With Arthritis

essential-bottles-w-herbsTry some of the suggestions below for relieving your arthritis pain:

  • Bergamot and Lavender for Pain : This blend reduced pain levels in people with chronic pain who inhaled it regularly over four months, a 2014 study in BioMed Research International found.
  • Try it: Blend 2 to 12 drops of essential oil with a tablespoon of milk or vegetable oil (undiluted essential oil can irritate skin), and add it to a bath. Or mix 15 to 20 drops with 1 ounce of jojoba or almond oil to dab on your wrists or massage into skin.
  • Ginger for Pain: A 2008 study in Complementary Therapies in Medicine showed that people with moderate to severe knee pain reported less pain and stiffness after they were massaged with a ginger-and-orange oil than an unscented one.
  • Try it. Mix 10 to 15 drops of ginger essential oil with 1 ounce of jojoba or almond oil; massage directly on the skin.

You can learn more about essential oils at my  Website: http://www.judithguerra.com/  Click the More button  
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Embracing Aging Beauty

aging-processHave you embraced the aging beauty you’ve become yet? Or, have you been hiding under the covers of I wish I looked the way I did when I was younger?african-am-woman

When we are consistently wishing for another time, another “age”, we miss out on our beautiful present moments.  I love what Helen Mirren had to say about aging:

“The best thing about being over 70 is being over 70,” Mirren says in an interview with AARP The Magazine for its December/January Issue. “Certainly when I was 45, the idea of being 70 was like ‘Arghhh!’ but you only have two options in life: Die young or get old. There is nothing else. Source: Cele|bitchy | Helen Mirren: ‘You have two options in life: Die young or get old’

aging-caucasian-womanSo why don’t you choose the option of embracing that you’re still alive, and you are an aging beauty?

Cindy Joseph, Baby Boomer/ senior citizen, had a flourishing modeling career during her youth, and is a ‘pro-age’ advocate for the beauty that is inherent in us all, who still models.  I agree with Cindy that beauty blossoms at every age.

Cindy’s Boom! beauty products are designed to show our aging beauty with a natural touch.  Her company makes the products with ingredients, which are organic, olive oil, honey.  educator-726386_1280

Her customers are so satisfied with her advice and products that they take ‘selfies’ of themselves and post their beauty on her website!  Click the pictures on this post to read the various stories and information at Cindy Joseph’s website.

StaBeautiful!

 

 

Sharp brain health

women-697928_1280I must admit, the aging process is a little intimidating. Sometimes, when you least expect it, a body part,  that was ok in the morning, all of a sudden is hurting later on that same day.  It’s that ‘wake-up call’, which then becomes a part of your daily life (chronic pain, osetoarthritis, knee pains and the like).

Is  your memory is ‘slipping’ ?  You can’t recall where you put an item down, or why you came upstair?  Needless to say, it’s an adjustment. Nevertheless, willy-nilly these changes are all part of an ongoing aging process.  That’s why I want to share with you a tool, which AARP has available for seniors and those approaching ‘senior-hood’.  It’s called  the ‘Staying Sharp Brain Health Assessment’.

Why don’t you take a ‘Leap’ and try it out by clicking the link below.

  • Better Brain Health Starts Here. Subscribe and take the Brain Health Assessment to get your Brain Health Score and a detailed report that will provide insight into how your brain works and how your lifestyle supports important cognitive functions like memory and focus. Then, get started on your personalized recommendations for fun ways to create simple habits that can help you improve and maintain brain health over time.
    Source: AARP Staying Sharp Brain Health Assessment

Osteoporosis & Men

canstockphoto6235141What Is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis, which means “porous bones,” is a condition that causes bones to gradually thin and weaken, leaving them susceptible to fractures. About 2 million fractures occur each year due to osteoporosis.   Source:  What is Osteoporosis? – WebMD

Oftentimes, when we hear or read  about Osteoporosis we connect this condition to women who can experience bone loss during menopause. However, in a recent New York Times article it states: Men experience about half as many osteoporotic fractures as women. But when a man breaks his hip because of osteoporosis, he is more likely than a woman similarly afflicted to be permanently disabled and twice as likely to die within a year. Source: Men Get Osteoporosis, Too – The New York Times

Below is a summary of some key issues that should be addressed and focused on by men:

  • Men with prior incidents, where bones were broken, can be at risk for oseoporotic fracture, and should have their bones checked. Every man over 70 should have a bone density test.
  • Osteoporosis should no longer be considered a disease solely of women.  Men can also lose bone as they age.  For example, almost 30 percent of all hip fractures occur in men.
  • Being underweight, smoking, and the number of alcoholic drinks per day are common risk factors for osteoporotic fractures in men.
  • Medications, rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson’s disease are some of the issues that increase risk.
  • There is a tool (FRAX) developed by the World Health Organization, which can evaluate risk of an osteoporotic fracture.
  • Calcium, vitamin D, exercise with weight-bearing and resistance, in addition to non smoking can all help to keep osteoporosis from becoming harmful.

Take a moment to read the full article for detailed information.

Walk your talk!

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21  years ago my doctors recommended and insisted that I had to have heart surgery. Yikes! So, an Open Heart Surgery was performed. Yes. They sawed me open and made of me a heart-healthy person.  I won’t entertain you with all the details, but, needless to say, the surgery was successful! ‘Cause I am here to walk my talk😎

It was after the surgery that I had an instance of Ms Oprah’s famous saying: an ‘AHA Moment’…!

I was out of the hospital. For all intents and purposes, the doctors did exceptional work. I would continue to live feeling better. However, I was so weak I could not walk across the street(!) I was still a young woman in my 40’s. I realized in that moment that walking is not an entitlement. It is a gift. I promised myself that I would walk again and looked forward to attaining the strength and ability to do so. walk-498070_1920

My cardiologist later advised me to walk as a way to continue exercising and that it would be enough to sustain the practice.

heart-914682_1920The American Heart Association advises that 10,000 steps a day is a good way to satisfy our minimal exercise commitment. It helps our mobility; positively influences issues with cholesterol, diabetes, memory,  and general well-being, including our weight level.

Why not take a leap toward a healthful day and step-up! Walk your talk.

Click the pictures for walking guidelines😎💕

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Exercising Living Senior

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A lot of what I’ve read recently about the aging process brings me to the conclusion that the road  to the ‘fountain of youth’ goes through the city of exercise.  That is to say, the more we exercise, the more we will keep our bodies ‘in tune’, ‘well-oiled’ for a healthful and independent future . Easy enough right?

Suppose you have physical limitations?  The answer is: ‘where there is a will, there is a way.’ And, to help us with our ‘will’ the Department of Aging has suggested certain exercises for us to do while sitting, or standing. There is  no health club cost required. Listed below are some of the disabilities, which regular exercise can help you with.

  • arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, balance problems, and trouble walking.
  • Benefits:  increased energy, lower cholesterol, prevent weight gain, bone strength, enhance mental well-being.

What’s the difference between Physical Activity and Exercise? Both terms refer to the voluntary movements you do that burn calories.

  • Physical activities are activities that get your body moving such as gardening, walking the dog, raking leaves, and taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Exercise is a form of physical activity that is specifically planned, structured, and repetitive such as weight training, tai chi, or an aerobics class

Click here to order the book: https://order.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/order/bk004

By picking up this book and looking through it, you’ve taken an important first step toward good health. Source: Exercise & Physical Activity: Your Everyday Guide from the National Institute on Aging | National Institute on Aging

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Once you get started you will not want to stop!  Let’s get physical 🙂 !

Sharing Seniorhood Info!

canstockphoto13201257For many of us retiring to a new lifestyle is not an easy transition.  Yes,  you hear all the suggestions about ‘having something to do‘, but how do you get started?  What are some of the first  steps towards this new life experience?

First things, first … What will be the income you can rely on? How will your healthcare be handled?   How do you sign-up for medicare and when?

What advice do the experts give about the best time to retire?  Are you still healthy?  Are you working because you really don’t know what else to do?  Should you transition to a part-time job, or do you need a part-time job?  The truth is, these answers are different for each person.  Below are links that I found on the www that may help you in creating a plan for yourself.  It’s amazing what the social security offices have made available for us to decide.  Just click the Source links to get further details.

Applying for Retirement Benefits

  • Social Security offers an online retirement application that you can complete in as little as 15 minutes. It’s so easy. Better yet, you can apply from the comfort of your home or office at a time most convenient for you. There’s no need to drive to a local Social Security office or wait for an appointment with a Social Security representative. Source: Retirement Benefits

If you are waiting to retire until you are 70 years of age, below is a sample chart of how your income will increase based on a social security benefit of  $1000.00 per month.

  • Let’s say your full retirement age for Social Security benefits is 66, and your monthly benefit at that age is $1,000. Here’s what your monthly benefit would be, starting at different ages:
    * Age 62 = $750 * Age 63 = $800 * Age 64 = $866 * Age 65 = $933 * Age 66 = $1,000
    * Age 67 = $1,080 * Age 68 = $1,160 * Age 69 = $1,240 * Age 70 = $1,320
    Source: The Best Age for YOU to Retire | Social Security Matters

So what’s the maximum amount of retirement income you can receive?
Your maximum social security retirement benefit depends upon the age you retire. If you retire at full retirement age (FRA) in 2016 the maximum benefit is $2,639.  If you retire at the age of 70 in 2016, your maximum benefit is $3,576.  However, if you retire at the age of 62 in 2016, your maximum benefit would be $2,102. Source: What is the maximum I can receive from my Social Security retirement benefit? | Investopedia

Note:  This website has great suggestions for Retirement Planning. Click the Topics picture.  great retirement ideas