Take a moment and look around you. Half of all Americans live with at least one chronic disease, and 28 percent of us have two or more. Arthritis alone affects 50 million Americans and is now the most common cause of disability. Across the nation, health care costs associated with chronic diseases make up 75 percent of the $2 trillion spent on health care each year. This means 145 million of us can learn how to manage our symptoms and adopt healthy behaviors to help reduce the personal and societal burden of our diseases.
You have your advance directive (a legal document, such as a living will that is signed by a competent person to provide guidance for medical and health-care decisions, such as the termination of life support or organ donation, in the event the person becomes incompetent to make such decisions) completed and signed. Your doctor, the hospital, and your health care agent have copies. Everything is in place, right? Maybe. But there are often more decisions that need to be made as one nears the end of life. Will you or your loved one want cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), a feeding tube, an antibiotic, a surgery? The decisions can seem to be endless as options for healthcare have expanded. It can be particularly difficult deciding for another person, especially someone you love.
As we continue through the warm summer months, we look for outdoor and indoor activities to keep busy. For seniors who reside in long-term care facilities, getting the chance to go outside during the warm weather days can be difficult. Local assisted living facilities and nursing homes have activities and programs enabling seniors to stay active without breaking a sweat. Some examples include balloon tennis, bean bag toss, ring toss, gardening, cooking, or seated chair exercises. Facilities benefiting from having onsite therapy services invite residents to utilize their equipment for quick exercises; some examples include an arm pedal exerciser or a simple exercise bike.
For many aging Americans, May is a month to be celebrated loudly and proudly. Since 1963, when President Kennedy declared the month of May as Senior Citizens Month (later renamed Older Americans Month) the meaning of the celebration has changed drastically.
My husband and I recently planned a trip to Disney World with our 7-year-old granddaughter. We have planned Disney trips over the years but things have changed. Technology and options at Disney have changed, and so have we. We are a bit older. We have different goals and priorities. So, our family has had many discussions about the trip to determine what is best for us at this time.
Tai Chi, a traditional Chinese martial art, continuously is proven to have both physical and mental benefits for individuals of any age. This gentle form of martial art concentrates on controlled movements, breathing and relaxation. The commitment to Tai Chi is less than 30 minutes a day and does not require any equipment to get started.
You may know someone who recently revealed they are expecting a baby. Along with that announcement comes a great deal of planning. Parenting philosophies and birth plans are common topics for expectant parents to talk about with their doctor, family and friends.
As the aging population increases the number of people living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia does as well.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 47 million people are living with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia throughout the world today. In the US, someone develops Alzheimer’s every 66 seconds. Alzheimer’s takes more lives than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. It takes the life of one in three seniors. This makes Alzheimer’s the sixth leading cause of death in our nation. With so many people affected by dementia and Alzheimer’s, it’s important to be aware of dementia and the diseases it causes.
Sheboygan is seeing a tremendous increase in the geriatric population.