Are You Watching Your Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure, or hypertension, refers to the force of blood pushing against your artery walls. High blood pressure is a concern because it can lead to heart disease and stroke.

According to WebMD, hypertension is the leading cause of stroke and a major cause of heart attack. In the U.S., over 74 million people have high blood pressure. This goes to show that watching your blood pressure as you continue to age is extremely important! Find out if you have a family history of high blood pressure. I know I have an increased risk of having high blood pressure because so many of my family members on both sides have high blood pressure along with high cholesterol.

High blood pressure rarely causes symptoms, so it’s best to practice healthy behaviors to prevent high blood pressure (and it’s complications). If high blood pressure is left untreated, it can lead to vision problems, heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure.

People Who are at Risk for Hypertension:

  • Those older than 55
  • The overweight
  • Smokers
  • Those who drink excessively
  • Those who eat foods high in saturated fats and salts
  • Those with a family history of high blood pressure, heart disease, or diabetes
  • Those who are not physically active.
It’s important to have your blood pressure checked regularly to manage your blood pressure and decrease your risk of complications.
The WebMd provides great tips of how you can lower your blood pressure here. These same tips will also help you prevent other diseases and live a long life.

Want to Look Younger?

One of the best ways to keep yourself looking young is to take care of your skin. Taking care of your skin will keep it fresh and bright. The sun is one of the main culprits to aging your skin; it can cause our skin to look rough, leathery, and gives us marks. Not only does the skin make our skin look less appealing, the sun can cause skin cancer. The good news is, it’s preventable!

Every time we go out into the sun we should protect our skin with layers of clothing or sunscreen.  Everyday we should apply sunscreen of least an SPF of 15. Many daily moisturizers contain SPF in them. If you plan on spending long periods of time in the sun, you should increase the SPF you are using and reapply sunscreen every couple of hours. Make sure the sunscreen you are applying blocks UVA and UVB rays. Preventing your skin from burning will prevent your chances of acquiring skin cancer.

Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers people acquire, yet it’s not the most deadly. Another way to prevent skin cancer is to check your skin often for new bumps or marks that wasn’t there before.

Signs include: 

  • Asymmetry
  • Border
  • Color
  • Diameter
Visiting the dermatologist annually will also prevent skin cancer and reduce the severity of skin cancer if noticed early.

Most Common Mistreatment

Self-neglect is the most common mistreatment among the elderly population in Houston. This kind of  mistreatment among the elderly is also increasing as the baby boomer’s continue to age. According to geriatric research, self-neglect is a risk factor for early death. “In Houston, Texas, more than 60 percent of 1500 cases handled each month by the Adult Protective Services deal with elderly people who no longer can protect and provide for themselves.” A 74 year old woman in Houston complained to the caseworker about vision problems and stomach pains. Come to find out, she hasn’t been taking her insulin; she’s too weak to get up from her chair. She is also too weak to take care of her lawn, clean her home, and her belongings completely cover the floor (a major hazard for falling).

 

Self-neglect is a serious and common thing among our elderly population. Loved ones and caregivers need to be mindful of common signs. Common signs include:

  • Little or no personal care
  • Disoriented or incoherent
  • Refusing medication
  • Unsafe living conditions
  • Inability to manage finances and property
  • Hoarding
  • Isolation

Once these signs are noticed and identified, then treatment can be given. It’s important for self-neglect to be identified early, so death can be prevented.  If you know someone experiencing these signs, find their family or seek medical help.

 

There are other forms of elder neglect as well, some in the form of elder abuse. Helpguide.org provides ample information including the definition, warning signs, risk factors, prevention, and help.

 

Houston story reported on Chron.

 

 


The Silent Disease: Osteoporosis

One of my biggest fears in life is developing osteoporosis. I’m so terrified. One of the risk factors includes being smaller built; this is the main reason I’m afraid I will have osteoporosis later in life. I’m weak. I have small bones. I didn’t like milk as a child ( I slightly blame my mother for not forcing me to drink milk. Ha!). Also, the fact that I am a women greatly increases my chance of getting osteoporosis.  So basically I am doomed to acquire osteoporosis. HOWEVER, not all is lost. There are things I can do now to prevent osteoporosis.

Prevention:

  • Eat a nutritious diet including adequate amounts of Vitamin D and calcium
  • Participate in weight bearing exercises
  • Don’t drink more than 2 alcoholic drinks a day
  • Don’t smoke

Osteoporosis is especially dangerous because you do not know if your bones are deteriorating or not. This is why it is so important to prevent osteoporosis. There are a few signs that you should be aware of.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Backache
  • Gradual loss of height or a hunched back
  • Fractures of the spine, hip, and wrist
  • Osteopenia (Diagnosed only through a bone mineral density test – ask your doctor!)

Remember, calcium supplements are available. Talk to your doctor about how much calcium you should be consuming. Calcium supplements are a great way to make sure you are consuming enough calcium for your bones.  Click here for more information about osteoporosis.


Blankets for Survivors

In spite of recent disasters, Utah’s senior citizens living at Heritage Place Senior Living are collecting almost 2,000 blankets to donate to charities who help disaster survivors. The blanket drive will go through July 22, 2011 when Bountiful celebrates Handcart Days.

2,000 blankets can almost cover 21 football fields, but Heritage Place is determined to meet their goal.

Anyone can go volunteer, multiple quilting frames will be set up. For additional questions, feel free to contact Heritage Place at 801.298.3241.

 

Serving others is another great way to live a long, meaningful life. Take time out of everyday to do a kind deed for someone other than yourself. Service is rewarding and gives you self worth. Service also provides networking and a place to make friends. Socializing is an important key to aging well; having friends gives meaning to life.  Additionally, studies have found that older adults participating in social service activities can improve brain functions. Click here to find out more.


What’s your RealAge?

Are you looking for a resource that will help you feel and look younger? Then, you should check out RealAge. It’s an interactive website that gives you lots of tips, healthy recipes, and expert advice. One of the most interesting part about the website is you can calculate your real age. After asking a series of questions (do you take your vitamins, eat whole grains, stress too much ect.) it will calculate what age you really are. Once the tests gives you the results it tells you exactly what you are doing right to age well and what you need to work on. It’s fun!

RealAge offers many other features that are entertaining, easy to follow, and a place to connect with others. Another great tool the website offers is the Weight Loss Tracker. The tracker allows you to set goals and keep motivated! Losing just 5%-10% of your weight can make a huge difference in your health!

Just remember to have fun and make losing weight a family thing!


Oldest Person in the World

Just this month, Maria Gomes Valentim, a Brazilian women, was proclaimed as the oldest living person in the world by Guinness World Records. Maria is a mere 114 years old, born July 9, 1896. Congratulations to Maria! (Besse Cooper, an American lost by 48 days.)  She is a great-great-grandmother and has seen her husband and a child passed away. Maria is wheelchair bound, and her granddaughter cares for her. For her living long secret click here.

We may not want to live passed our children, but there are plenty of ways to live a long, healthy life. Here are the top 3 tips to do so:

  1. Be completely tobacco free
  2. Consume a healthy diet
  3. Live an active life
For more tips visit Healthy Aging and Health Center at WebMD.
One of my favorite portions of the Today Show has always been “Happy Birthday from Today.” When I was younger, it was my goal in life to be a centenarian on the Today Show. It wasn’t until later that I realized that I needed some good genes and good habits. If you wish to honor a loved on the Today show click here.
“Age is strictly a case of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”- Mark Twain.