We at Loving Arms Elder Care offer news and information on health, activities for seniors, and other topics of interest.
• Range of Motion Exercises
• Winter Blues - Fact or Fiction
• Digestive Health
• Lewy Body Dementia (LBD)
• Parkinson's Disease Dementia (PDD)
• Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
• Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
• The Spirit of Gardening
• Depression vs. Dementia
• Recognizing a Stroke
• Advance Directives in Pennsylvania
• Range of Motion Exercises
• Music Therapy
• Identity Theft
As the trees start to bloom and the pollen gets airborne, allergy sufferers begin their annual ritual of sniffling and sneezing. You may have been struggling with allergies for years, but that doesn't mean you can't learn a few new tricks about coping with them. Seasonal and other indoor/outdoor allergies aren't just annoying, they can affect your quality of life. It can lead to sinus infections, disrupt your sleep and affect your ability to be productive. Airborne allergens also can trigger asthma attacks which can be dangerous and even life-threatening. Learn more...(PDF)
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Range-of-motion exercises (also called stretching, ROM or flexibility exercises) help preserve flexibility and mobility of the joints on which they are performed. Range of motion is the term that is used to describe the amount of movement you have at each joint. Every joint in the body has a "normal" range of motion. Joints maintain their normal range of motion by being moved. It is therefore very important to move all your joints every day. Stiff joints can cause pain and can make it hard for you to do your normal daily activities. Learn more...(PDF)
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As the days get shorter, daylight becomes scarce and the nights get colder, it is natural to feel a little down. The winter months might even have a more pronounced impact on seniors who live alone and experience the frigid weather and icy sidewalks making it more difficult to get out and socialize, run errands, shop, and even maintain regular routines. This may all lead to the "winter blues". The "winter blues" (also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)) are characterized by mild depression, fatigue, sleeping more, changes in activity level, not wanting to engage in regular activities and changes in appetite.
Luckily, there's a lot you can do to prevent the blues from coming on and get yourself back to normal. Learn more...(PDF)
Constipation and irregularity are among seniors' top complaints for many reasons. It can make you feel miserable, and leads to problems like hemorrhoids, anal fissures or even intestinal blockages.
Your digestive system is vital to your health. It processes the food you take in, absorbs the nutrients and energy your body needs and eliminates the waste that you don't need.
Healthy adults normally move their bowels every day or two, but that can vary widely from person to person. Some people move their bowels two or three times a day and some people regularly go for several days without a bowel movement, and that doesn't necessarily mean anything is wrong. However, if you don't have a bowel movement for several days and you feel bloated or uncomfortable you may be constipated. If your stool is very hard and you have to strain a lot in order to move your bowels, or if bowel movements are painful, that is not normal. Learn more...(PDF)
Lewy body dementia, the second most common type of progressive dementia after Alzheimer's disease, affects an estimated 1.3 million individuals in the United States. Because LBD symptoms may closely resemble other more commonly known diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, it is currently widely under-diagnosed. In fact, it is often confused in its early stages with Alzheimer's disease although, where Alzheimer's disease usually begins quite gradually, LBD often has a rapid or acute onset, with an especially rapid decline in the first few months. LBD tends to progress more quickly than Alzheimer's disease. Learn more...(PDF)
Parkinson's disease dementia occurs when a patient with Parkinson's disease develops a progressive dementia at least two years after a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease has been made, and other causes of dementia have been ruled out. Not all people with Parkinson's disease have dementia--only 50% of people with Parkinson's disease have some mild cognitive impairment. As many as 20-40% may have more severe symptoms or dementia. For those patients with Parkinson's disease who go on to develop dementia, there is usually at least a 10 to 15 year lag time between their Parkinson's diagnosis and the onset of dementia. After having Parkinson's disease for 15 years, the prevalence of Parkinson's disease dementia increases to 68%. Learn more...(PDF)
Heart failure affects nearly five million Americans. Roughly 550,000 people are diagnosed with heart failure each year. Heart failure does not mean the heart has stopped working. Rather, it means that the heart's pumping power is weaker than normal. With heart failure, blood moves through the heart and body at a slower rate, and pressure in the heart increases. As a result, the heart cannot pump enough oxygen and nutrients to meet the body's needs. If fluid builds up in the arms, legs, ankles, feet, lungs, or other organs, the body becomes congested, and congestive heart failure is the term used to describe this condition. CHF is the leading cause of hospitalization in people older than 65. Learn more...(PDF)
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) refers to a group of lung diseases that block airflow as you exhale and make it increasingly difficult for you to breathe. The key words are "chronic" and "obstructive." Chronic means that it's going to be with you a long time and obstructive means that airflow in the lungs is partly blocked. In all cases, damage to your airways eventually interferes with the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your lungs. COPD is a leading cause of death and illness worldwide. Learn more...(PDF)
It is hardly surprising that many elderly people enjoy gardening as it's a healthy way of maintaining fitness and is an activity which can be strenuous or gentle depending on your capabilities. New growth, beautiful colors and delicious scents also boost our spirits and build memories. Even if you have some kind of disability, there are many things you can do, adaptations you can make and special equipment you can buy to make gardening accessible. Learn more...(PDF)
Never assume that a loss of mental sharpness is just a normal sign of old age. Dementia and depression are both common problems among the elderly, and can share many of the same symptoms making it difficult to tell the two apart. There are, however, some differences that can help you distinguish between the two. Learn more...(PDF)
Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and a leading cause of serious,
long-term disability in adults. The good news is that treatments are available that can
greatly reduce the damage caused by a stroke. However, you need to recognize the
symptoms of a stroke and get to a hospital quickly. Getting treatment within 60 minutes can
prevent disability. Learn more...(PDF)
In Pennsylvania you have the right to decide whether to accept, reject or discontinue medical care and treatment. There may be times, however, when you cannot make your wishes known. For example, you may be incompetent, in a terminal condition or in a state of permanent unconsciousness, and unable to tell the doctor what kind of care you would like to receive or not receive. This can be addressed through an advance directive. Advance directives convey decisions, in advance, about end-of-life or life-sustaining care. Advance directives are not used for decision-making if you are able to make the decision.
There are two types of advance directives, a living will and a health care power of attorney. Learn more...(PDF)
The "range-of-motion" is the normal amount your joints can be moved in certain directions. If your joints are very painful and swollen, move them gently through their range of motion. You should try to move your joints through their full range of motion every day. These exercises reduce stiffness and help keep your joints flexible. Learn more...(PDF)
The idea of music as a healing influence which could affect health and behavior is not a new concept, but has been used throughout history. Music therapy is the use of music to promote healing and enhance quality of life. Music therapy may be used to encourage emotional expression, promote social interaction, relieve certain symptoms, and for other purposes.
Learn what you can do to protect your identity. We'd like to thank Stephen White (retired chief) from the Doylestown Township Police Department for providing us with this vital information!
• Identity Theft-Steps for an Investigation (PDF)
• Identity Theft-Contact Information (PDF)
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