Cold Weather Safety for Older Adults

The National Institute on Aging shared that if you are like most people, you feel cold every now and then during the winter. What you may not know is that just being really cold can make you very sick.

Older adults can lose body heat fast—faster than when they were young. Changes in your body that come with aging can make it harder for you to be aware of getting cold. A big chill can turn into a dangerous problem before an older person even knows what’s happening. Doctors call this serious problem hypothermia.

What Is Hypothermia?

Hypothermia is what happens when your body temperature gets very low. For an older person, a body temperature colder than 95°F can cause many health problems, such as a heart attackkidney problemsliver damage, or worse.

Being outside in the cold, or even being in a very cold house, can lead to hypothermia. Try to stay away from cold places, and pay attention to how cold it is where you are. You can take steps to lower your chance of getting hypothermia.

Keep Warm Inside

Living in a cold house, apartment, or other building can cause hypothermia. In fact, hypothermia can happen to someone in a nursing home or group facility if the rooms are not kept warm enough. If someone you know is in a group facility, pay attention to the inside temperature and to whether that person is dressed warmly enough.

People who are sick may have special problems keeping warm. Do not let it get too cold inside and dress warmly. Even if you keep your temperature between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit, your home or apartment may not be warm enough to keep you safe. This is a special problem if you live alone because there is no one else to feel the chilliness of the house or notice if you are having symptoms of hypothermia. Read more

Tapping the brain to find how music heals

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6 Tips For Caring For Your Child With POTS Syndrome

Abby Drexler a contributing writer and media specialist for POTS Care who  regularly produces content for a variety of health and wellness blogs shared with Healthy Lombard the following information about POTS.

What Is Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome?  Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome is a condition that affects the human body’s circulatory system, including the blood vessels and heart. Patients refer to this condition as POTS syndrome, and it primarily affects females from the age of 15 to 50. However, it is possible for children to have POTS syndrome, and if a child has this condition, then their parents must understand how to manage the symptoms.

 

What Are the Symptoms Of Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome?

This circulatory problem manifests with an assortment of symptoms that include:

  • Light-headedness while standing
  • Rapid heartbeat at various times
  • Intermittent fainting episodes
  • Cognitive difficulties
  • Overall weakness
  • Blurry vision

In children, this condition might begin after a viral illness or surgery, and it is often combined with other medical issues such as chronic headaches or irritable bowel disease. Diagnosing POTS in children is difficult because the symptoms are similar to the ones in other conditions such as anemia, hyperthyroidism or dehydration.

 

What Causes Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome?

The cause of POTS varies but can include these factors:

  • Decrease in blood flow to the heart
  • An unusually low blood volume
  • An increase in heart rate to compensate for a low blood volume
  • Constriction of the blood vessels
  • Problems with neuropathy
  • Chronic fatigue following an illness

Children with autoimmune disorders, diabetes mellitus or a gastrointestinal condition are more likely to have POTS as a secondary condition.

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This Is the Best Diet to Go On (According to Harvard Researchers)

POPSUGAR shared that if you want to lose weight, what’s on your plate is often more important than the minutes you spend in the gym.

And if you want to see the most change, a 2015 study from Harvard says you should be cutting carbs, not fat.

For the study, published in PLoS One, researchers from Harvard and Brigham and Women’s Hospital reviewed 53 randomized trials of over 68,000 patients who had been assigned to either low-fat or low-carb diets. They found that low-carb diets were consistently better at helping patients lose weight than low-fat diets; the participants on the low-carb diets lost 2.5 pounds more than those on low-fat diets, with the average weight loss among all groups at about six pounds.

This latest study on the weight-loss benefits of a low-carb diet adds further evidence that if you want to lose weight, ditching bread — not olive oil — can help you see success. Another recent study, for example, showed that dieters who ate fewer than 40 grams of carbohydrates per day lost about eight pounds more than dieters who were put on a low-fat diet. Other studies have shown that high-carb diets may be the real heart-disease culprit, not saturated fat. All in all, this new review is a good reminder that if you want to lose weight, you should choose a diet rich in healthy fats, lean proteins, and fresh produce. Of course, not all fats are created equal. In the ongoing debate on whether fat is the enemy of waistlines and healthy hearts, an in-depth study may have the answer: if you want to lose weight and be healthier, opt for a low-carb diet over a low-fat one. Read more

Saving Our 5 Senses as We Age

Amy Paturel, a health and science writer shared  in the  AARP Bulletin, July-August 2017, that changes in sensory function can make everyday pleasures feel flat while increasing risk of other health issues.

Jazz trumpeter Kris Chesky pops in foam earplugs when he mows the lawn or gets on an airplane. Onstage, he asks the band to play quiet passages even more pianissimo. “Once you’ve got hearing loss, due to aging or sound exposure, you can’t get it back,” says Chesky, 58, a University of North Texas music professor and codirector of the Texas Center for Performing Arts Health. “I want to keep what I’ve got, even if it makes me a little unpopular sometimes.”

Tens of millions of Americans suffer age-related losses in at least one of their senses, according to a recent University of Chicago study. Such changes can make everyday pleasures feel flat while increasing the risk of other health issues, such as poor nutrition, falling, depression or dementia.

Hearing

A lifetime of noise — power tools, a loud workplace, that Who concert — along with normal aging can cause deterioration. The tiny hair cells in your ears that send signals to your brain don’t regenerate, notes Frank Lin, associate professor of otolaryngology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

Your brain shrinks as you age, but hearing loss can accelerate this shrinking, which can more than double the risk of dementia. You’re also more likely to suffer falls. “Balance gets thrown off when you can’t hear your footsteps,” Lin says. Hearing loss also increases your odds for depression and loneliness.

What you can do: 

  • Wear foam earplugs or ear-protecting headphones around loud sounds.
  • Watch your weight, blood sugar level and blood pressure to keep the tiny arteries that fuel hair cells in your ears healthy.
  • Visit the AARP Hearing Resource Center for more information.
  • Use hearing aids or devices to amplify the sound of your phone or TV. In a 2016 study at Columbia University in New York, hearing aid users scored better than nonusers on cognitive and memory tests.

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Vitamin D plays important role

Patrick B. Massey, MD, PH.D., medical director for complementary and alternative medicine at Alexian Brothers Hospital Network and president of ALT-MED Medical and Physical Therapy, 1544 Nerge Road, Elk Grove Village, shared with the Daily Herald Newspaper that you might be surprised to learn that a low blood level of vitamin D increases the risk of developing a thyroid illness known as Hashimoto’s disease.

Indeed, in some medical studies vitamin D supplementation may help to reverse this disease. In these studies, robust supplementation with vitamin D significantly reduced the blood markers for Hashimoto’s disease.

Hashimoto’s disease (HD) is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks and slowly kills the thyroid gland. It is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in technologically advanced countries.

The symptoms of HD are quite variable depending on how badly the thyroid has been damaged. Early in the disease there is often an increased release of thyroid hormone. Symptoms may resemble that of hyperthyroidism such as weight loss, high blood pressure and a rapid heart rate.

Blood tests at this time may suggest, but not always, a hyperthyroid state.

As the disease progresses, more thyroid tissue is damaged. At this time the symptoms of HD mimic a sluggish thyroid gland or even frank hypothyroidism. Read more

Staying Healthy during Cold and Flu Season

Jennifer McGrath, L.Ac., Dipl.OM shared that this year it is predicted that there will be 1 billion colds and 95 million cases of the flu in the United States alone. While the misery of cold and flu season might be inevitable, one thing is changing: where we look for relief.

The easiest way to protect against the flu is to have a healthy immune system. However, that doesn’t mean you still won’t come into contact with airborne virus particles. That’s why your first line of defense against the flu, or any other illness, is to strengthen your immune system.

When it comes to staying healthy during cold and flu season, acupuncture and Oriental medicine have a lot to offer. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help prevent colds and flu by strengthening the immune system with just a few needles inserted into key points along the body’s energy pathways.

In Oriental medicine, disease prevention begins by focusing on the protective layer around the exterior of the body called Wei Qi or defensive energy. The Wei Qi involves acupuncture points known for strengthening the circulation of blood and energy to boost your body’s defenses.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can also provide relief and faster healing if you have already come down with a cold or the flu by helping to relieve symptoms you are currently experiencing including chills, fever, body aches, runny nose, congestion, sore throat and cough. While bringing some immediate relief, treatments will also reduce the incidence of an upper respiratory tract infection and shorten the length of the illness.

Boost your Wei Qi and Stay Healthy

“To treat disease that has already developed is comparable to the behavior of those persons who begin to dig a well after they have become thirsty, and of those who begin to cast weapons after they have already engaged in battle. Would these actions not be too late?” – Huangdi Neijing

Seasonal changes affect the body’s environment. With wind, rain and snow come the colds, flu viruses and the aches and pains that accompany them.

If you catch colds easily, have low energy and require a long time recuperating from an illness your Wei Qi may be deficient. Through the process of evaluating subtle physical signs as well as the emotional condition of a person, practitioners of acupuncture and Oriental medicine can detect health problems in their earliest stages, before a person becomes gravely ill.

Once the nature of an imbalance has been determined, a customized program can be created for you. Your treatment may include acupuncture, herbal therapy and Tui Na, as well as food, exercise and lifestyle recommendations.

Schedule a Seasonal Tune-Up:
Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can prevent colds and flu by building up the immune system with just a few needles inserted into key points along the body’s energy pathways. These points are known for strengthening the circulation of blood and energy and for consolidating the outer defense layers of the skin and muscle (Wei Qi) so that germs and viruses cannot enter through them.

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Tips on preventing malnutrition in senior citizens

According to a 2014 study, more than half of American seniors seen in emergency rooms are either malnourished or at risk for malnutrition. The University of Illinois Extension offers tips for seniors, including signing up for Meals on Wheels.

An article in the Daily Herald Newspaper submitted by  the University of Illinois Extension stated that as Americans live longer, malnutrition, or undernutrition, is increasing in the elderly population. However, seniors and other community members can take active steps toward prevention.

“This situation not only decreases quality of life, but it also heightens the risk for additional health issues,” said Laura Barr, University of Illinois Extension Nutrition and Wellness Educator.

“As we age, we need less calories because we are not as active, and our thirst and hunger prompts decline,” Barr said. “Other barriers may include chewing or swallowing problems, lack of transportation or support systems, medication interactions and being on a fixed income.”

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, 3.7 million seniors were diagnosed with malnutrition in 2012.

More than half of American seniors seen in emergency rooms are either malnourished or at risk for malnutrition, per a 2014 study in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

“Decreased physical activity and progressive depletion of lean body mass associated with aging both exacerbate the condition,” said Barr. “Malnutrition weakens the immune system which increases risk of other infections and greater health care costs. Prevention is always better.”

Barr recommends the National Council on Aging’s six steps to prevent malnutrition:

• Understand malnutrition. Check it out at www.ncoa.org/NutritionTools;

• Make smart food choices; visit www.ncoa.org/EatWell;

• Try an oral nutritional supplement;

• Take care of your teeth;

• Consult with your health care provider.

• Find help, such as www.MealsonWheelsAmerica.org or BenefitsCheckUp.org/SNAP.

“Malnutrition is less of an issue when older adults are connected to the community through senior centers, park districts and places of worship,” said Barr.

She also urges adults to check-in on older family and community members, especially when they are sick, or when the weather is hot or very cold.

“Together we can beat malnutrition in our communities.”

For more information on University of Illinois Extension programs, visit go.illinois.edu/extensiondkk.

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Come and Join In The Fun TODAY At the Lombard Senior Fair

The Village of Lombard hosts an annual Senior Fair where area senior citizens can learn about programs, events and local residence options. While attending, seniors can have their blood pressure checked by the Lombard Fire Department, get a flu shot or take advantage of free massages, snacks and giveaways. The event is hosted by the Community Relations Committee.

The 2017 Senior Fair will take place on Wednesday, October 4, from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Lombard Community Building located at Lombard Common Park.

Lombard’s Senior of the Year will also be announced at approximately 10 a.m. The award aims to celebrate the accomplishments of seniors in the community. Nominees must have a Lombard mailing address and be 65 years of age or older.

The winners, selected by the Village’s Community Relations committee, will receive the Village President’s Award along with a gift certificate to a local restaurant. The “Senior of the Year” award winner will also be honored by riding in the 2018 Lilac Time Parade.

The 2017 Senior Fair is full.  There is no cost, however vendors must represent a community organization, service, or business that provides useful and beneficial information to seniors. Vendors are chosen on a first come, first serve basis. If you are interested in becoming a vendor for the 2017 Senior Fair, the deadline to sign up as a Senior Fair vendor is September 15, 2017. Please send information on what types of service or information you would be able to provide to attending seniors to Communications Coordinator Avis Meade at meadea@villageoflombard.org.

Below is a list of 2017 Vendors:

Lombard Community Organizations will provide information on events, classes, and opportunities for seniors. 

  • Alcoholics Anonymous will share information on their support group and meetings
  • DuPage Homeownership Center is a non-profit organization that provides a full range of services to promote responsible sustainable home ownership, and assists individuals in homeowner crisis.
  • DuPage Senior Citizen Council’s Meals on Wheels provides food services for house bound individuals.
  • Healthy Lombard will share information on healthy habits for every age.
  • Helen Plum Library offers classes for seniors as well as reading devices for individuals with vision restrictions.
  • Lombard Park District hosts classes to help keep seniors active and involved and to enjoy an active and social lifestyle.
  • Lombard Senior Men’s Club will share about information about their club.
  • Lions Club‘s mobile unit will be on site to offer hearing tests.
  • Senior Suburban Orchestra representatives will provide information about their all senior orchestra.
  • Tri Town YMCA offers seniors the Senior “Sunshine” Program.
  • B.R. Ryall YMCA will share information on Senior Programs.
  • York Township representatives will provide information on this unincorporated area of Lombard.

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Junk food: Eating for two while Lactating leads to Obesity

College of DuPage Nursing Student Syeda Tariq researched that according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), at least one in five children in the US between the ages of 6 to 19 years is currently obese. The rate of childhood obesity since the 1970s has at least tripled, 1 and recent research suggests the time for prevention begins during pregnancy. Dr Stéphanie Bayol from Science Daily, found that consuming large quantities of junk food during pregnancy and/or while breastfeeding may impair normal appetite regulation and encourage the desire for junk food in the offspring. According to the CDC, an extra 300 kcal/day are recommended during pregnancy, and 500 kcal/day while breastfeeding, however, this is not the time for binge eating or consuming junk food. These temptations are relatively normal due to hormonal changes or a lack of knowledge regarding healthy food choices, but unhealthy eating at these crucial times in the child’s life may contribute to childhood obesity. Research also indicates that obesity during childhood may lead to obesity as an adult and increase the likelihood of high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, sleep apnea, bone and joint complications, or even cancer. Obese children may also suffer from self-esteem issues resulting in social isolation, depression, or bullying.

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