Arthritis & Exercise

The word about knee osteoarthritis (OA) and exercise is that the more you exercise the better you will feel!  I know it’s hard to believe when you’re feeling that pain in your knees, or hands, or back – name it, I’ve experienced it.  I continue to look for new ways to fight back.  Here is what some Arthritis sufferers have had to say about measures/precautions that helped them fight back.  I found these at:

  • Hot or cold compresses – 54%
  • Losing weight – 42%
  • Stretching – 36%
  • Over-the-Counter rubs, gels or patches – 35%
  • Walking  – 32%
  • Swimming – 28%
  • Other exercise or physical activity – 23%
  • Knee brace – 23%
  • Shoe orthotic/insert – 20%
  • Soaking in Epsom bath or hot tub – 17%
  • Yoga – 14%

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Can You/Should You Record Your Doctor Visits?

I don’t know about you, but I often find myself at difficulties when I am trying to recall everything my doctor talks to me about during a visit.  Sometimes, I have more than one doctor’s appointment in one day.  How about you?  Do you recall everything, or would it be helpful  if you could record your doctor visits?

You may be relieved to know the following:
Patients are using recordings of their doctor visits to aid them in recalling important details discussed during their health visits.
Some patients are recording their visits without the doctor’s knowledge.
Review more at: Washington Post

Currently 39 of the 50 states and Washington, D.C., conform to the ‘one-party consent rule, while the remaining 11 are ‘all-party’ states.

When must you get permission from everyone involved before recording? Use this link to find out the recording laws in your state:

For additional information see the article below.

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Arthritis Signs for Knees

Adjusting to the signs of aging is not intuitive.  In recent years, I have learned to read, listen to other seniors, and constantly pay attention to the signs my body gives me.

An article in the New York Times Well section brought to my attention that early signs of arthritis could be creaking and popping sounds.  Yes!

The condition for noises in the knees is called Crepitus by medical professionals. To date professionals are actually undecided whether these noises in the knees signal the beginning of Arthritis.  So, what should we be aware of?  Here are some guidelines: Continue reading “Arthritis Signs for Knees”

Hearing Loss & Dementia

How often have you found yourself questioning whether you heard something correctly, or have asked someone to repeat themselves? Does it happen in a crowded room?  Are you turning up the volume on your TV more often?

  • Hearing loss that occurs gradually as you age (presbycusis) is common. About 25 percent of people in the United States between the ages of 55 and 64 have some degree of hearing loss. For those older than 65, the number of people with some hearing loss is almost 1 in 2. Source: Hearing loss – Mayo Clinic

In my research the following information gave me a more serious approach to thinking about hearing loss and why I should pay attention.

  1. People with mild, moderate and severe hearing loss are 2, 3 and 5 times more likely to develop dementia respectively than people with normal hearing.Even after taking into account other factors that are associated with high risk of dementia, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, age, sex and race, hearing loss and dementia are still strongly associated.  Source: Dementia and hearing loss –
  2. The findings concerning hearing loss and dementia suggest that it might be possible to delay the onset of dementia through the use of hearing aids and paying more attention to the prevention and early identification of hearing loss.Source: Hearing aids, cognition and dementia –

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Acupuncture & Pain Relief

I admit that when some of my friends suggested I try Acupuncture to relieve the pain in my hands, I was hesitant.  What really prompted me to explore acupuncture was the severe pain I was struggling with in my hands.  In addition, I was taking Ibuprofen, and when the pain became unbearable, I took Naproxen.  My doctor had cautioned me not to take either of these medications on a frequent basis due to other side effects. As I was considering what I would do I came across an article in Health Matters, which is a publication of the White Plains Hospital (WPH) in Westchester, NY.  I was convinced that if WPH was willing to suggest acupuncture to its patients as part of their Cancer Wellness Center program, it was worth a try.

Today, acupuncture is being practiced in all 50 states by over 9,000 practitioners, with over 4,000 MDs including it in their practices. Acupuncture has shown notable success in treating many conditions, and over 15 million Americans have used it as a therapy. Source: Acupuncture | definition of acupuncture by Medical dictionary

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Are there benefits to positive thinking?

I’m not one to make light of the fact that for some seniors aging is a difficult challenge. Loss of the ability to function the way we could when we were younger; loss of friends and companions; sickness.  All of these things add to enormous stress, and sometimes despondent feelings.  But what if thinking positively could help us out?  Should we at least try to find a way to cultivate this habit?

An article in the New York Times suggest that our thoughts can do “far more than raise one’s spirits”.  How about if thinking positively could boost your immune system, alleviate depression, lower your blood pressure, give you better weight control.  Would you try it?

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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