Aging Gracefully? What is it?

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As an ‘elder citizen’ have you ever thought about what “Aging Gracefully” is?

Many of us are confronted with all types of challenges to that concept- not the Aging, but the “gracefully”. What is your idea of what that means for your life now? To help you contemplate how to employ “Aging Gracefully” in your own life, here is a definition of what the Healthline website defines it as:

Aging gracefully isn’t about trying to look like a 20-something — it’s about living your best life and having the physical and mental health to enjoy it. Like a bottle of wine, you can get better with age with the right care.

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Hearing Aids? Do you need them? How do you know?

My Everyday Tools: Hearing Aids and Glasses

It seems odd that hearing aids are not something I focused on as a tool for assisting my “wellbeing” in a significant way.  If you think about it at all, it would seem that hearing aids are just as important as glasses for reading and driving. My favorite question these days, which I have adopted from Rachel Maddow of MSNBC –  “Why is that?

Flash back to August of 2017, when I wrote a post about hearing loss, and at that time I called attention to the research, which determined that dementia ( I repeat, dementia) could be related to hearing loss. (https://livingsenior.me/2017/08/21/hearing-loss-dementia/)

Flash forward, after a recent hearing test (have you had one lately? ever had one?), my Audiologist doctor determined that I required hearing aids due to hearing loss in both ears.  In addition, she was concerned because difficulty hearing raises dementia risk. There it is again: dementia and hearing loss are related.

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Taking a Time-Out from Exercise

I have to admit when I look at someone sitting in a hammock I immediately relax.  It’s a symbol for  instant gratification, reading a book, or daydreaming. It does not remind me of taking that 30 minute walk that I promised to do.  A few days ago, I listened to an orator who suggested that the 30 minute walk I take every day is an act of “selflove”. That’s right.  He said, it takes a lot of ‘selflove’ to exercise, when you really want to do something else. Many of us would not think about it that way.  Do you?

Let’s talk about what happens when you take a ‘time-out’ from exercise both for seniors and younger adults. I’m not referring to a day or two.  That might be OK, but if you do that for a few weeks, the consequences become much more pervasive.  Here are some of the benefits that exercising on a regular basis provides us with: works against Type 2 diabetes; heightened blood sugar; protects against heart disease; lowers “bad” (LDL) cholesterol.  As seniors, we are often reminded of these points by our doctors.  For younger people, it’s easier to reverse these issues.
I try to get close to 10,000 steps a day. This includes a 30 minute walk, which is about 4,000 steps.   During the course of the rest of the day, I try to get 6,000 more steps or close to it by moving every chance I get.
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Tips for Home Alone Seniors

Have you ever heard that Aging is not for Sissies’ ? Well, some people make fun of this saying, but on a more serious note, living alone as a senior and aging can be difficult, which is why it is good to know some of the ways seniors can take precautions to protect themselves.  Here is a list of things that we seniors should take note of:

Safety Precautions for home alone seniors:
– Remove clutter.
– Remove tripping hazards (electrical cords, throw rugs).
– Use the grab bars in the shower (or install if you don’t have them).
– Prepare an emergency kit: flashlight, batteries, matches, candles. Put it in a place that is easy to remember.
– Keep track of your keys (put them in the same place every time you come in the door).  Don’t put your name and address on your key chain.
– If the doorbell rings call out,   ‘I’ll get it’,  which will alert the person ringing the bell that you are not alone.
– If you are expecting a service person like cable, or other repairman, have someone keep you company while the service is being handled.
– Have a list of friends that you speak with at least once a week.  You can set up a ‘buddy system’ with each other on specific days to touch base. Continue reading

Memory Protection for Seniors

As we age, memory loss is quite frustrating. For example, recalling names, details of incidents we just experienced, or giving directions to someone.  In addition to remembering our next appointment without checking the calendar to make sure.

I’ve often wondered how one can recognize dementia as opposed to memory loss.  Normal memory loss and dementia are not the same.  Dementia can impact your ability to take care of yourself.  If you are consistently forgetting where you put things time after time, could it be a sign of dementia? How concerned should we be? How can we discern the differences? What steps can we take to keep our brains and memory in good condition?

  • Recent statistics are that  by 2025, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s disease is estimated to reach 7.1 million – a 40 percent increase from the 5.1 million age 65 and older affected in 2015.  Source: www.alz.org/facts/overview.asp

Normal forgetfulness:  Occasionally forgetting where you left things that you use regularly, such as glasses or keys.  Forgetting names of acquaintances or blocking one memory with a similar one, such as calling a grandson by your son’s name.  Occasionally forgetting an appointment or walking into a room and forgetting why you entered.  ♦ Not quite being able to retrieve information you have “on the tip of your tongue.”   Continue reading

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: http://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis

  • 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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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