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9 Things That Happen to Your Body as You Age

The goal is to grow old, right? Everyone wants to have a long life. You may notice that your body changes as you get older though. Some of these changes are good, others are not so good. Some may even just be plain confusing. Here are 9 things that happen to your body as you age.

9 Things That Happen to Your Body as You Age

9 Things That Happen to Your Body as You Age

 

These changes may surprise you.

1. You Sweat Less

Researchers have found that the sweat glands shrink and become less sensitive as you age. So, no more awkward sweat stains on your shirt. Though this can also mean that you get hot very quickly, very easily.

2. You Lose Muscles

Muscle mass begins to decline as soon as you turn 30. It’s replaced by fat. By 75, your body fat is twice as much as when you were younger.

3. Teeth Less Sensitive

The hard inner tissue, dentin, is built up between the enamel of your tooth and its central nerve. This added padding decreases greatly later in life.

Plus, your gums recede, exposing the roots. This can make it easier to lose teeth or get cavities.

4. Smaller Brain

As you get older, parts of your brain shrink. Specifically, the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, which are key to learning and memory.

It’s been estimated that the brain loses neurons at a rate of 50, 000 a day after age 30.

Though the average human brain has more than 100 billion neurons and brains learn how to adapt.

5. Less Colds

By the time you reach middle age, you’ve built up quite the immune system. So no more runny noses for you.

6. Less Migraines

This is for the ladies specifically. Because of menopause, you get less migraines. Studies show that 67% get relief after menopause because of hormone levels.

7. You Taste Less

By the time you reach age 60, you have lost half of your taste buds. This is why older people eat food that is high in sugar, salt, and fat.

8. Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can happen as early as your 20s.  It tends be slow and not noticeable until you turn 50. 1 in 3 adults have hearing loss by age 65. By 75, it’s 1 in 2 adults.

9. You Get Happier

Studies have shown that older people are happier with time. As a kid, you are happy. Then, as you get older, that sense of happiness lessens. Then by the time you are a senior, you’re happy again. Some people believe this is due to either hormones or the stages you are at in your life.

Read more here.

Is Telemedicine the Future of Treating Seniors?

Is Telemedicine the Future of Treating Seniors?

Telemedicine is always developing. It’s going to start impacting all aspects of healthcare. BDO USA, LLP released a report that showed how executives, clinical leaders, and clinicians plan to invest time and money into different areas of care by 2020. Telemedicine is going to be the future of treating seniors.

Is Telemedicine the Future of Treating Seniors?

Is Telemedicine the Future of Treating Seniors?

 

Technology will be able to change the way seniors are treated for illness. This will work for both as needed and preventative medicine.

This is sort of thinking is based on the fact that the aging population is increasing greatly with each passing year. This is causing people to wonder how everyone will be able to not only get treatment, but afford it as well.

What Technology Will Help the Most?

 

It’s been said that a variety of innovative tech will be helpful. One particular field is digital health. This includes wearables, sensors, robotics, driverless cars, and telemedicine tools.

This type of tech could give seniors more independence as well. They can stay home longer, have lower health costs, and have better access to doctors.

The other part that will help seniors is getting better data faster and robotics. The idea is that this combo will improve individual healthcare.

It should also lessen some of the little things that caregivers usually do.

An example of this would be taking vitals. If technology can advance enough, while you are taking at vitals at home, a doctor will be able to see it. Then, they can decide if it’s worth checking out, or if it’s just abnormality.

The Future for Seniors

 

If everything goes as these people expect it to, telemedicine can help with chronic care management, interventions, home monitoring, remote counseling, and online therapy.

This will also be incredibly helpful for any seniors who live in rural areas or don’t have access to transportation.

Read more here.

Keeping the Same Doctor Can Reduce Death Risk

AI Changing Senior Care

Seeing the same doctor each time you need medical care, can reduce your death risk, according to research. Of course, this is if the doctor is good and listens to you.

Keeping the Same Doctor Can Reduce Death Risk

Keeping the Same Doctor Can Reduce Death Risk

 

Previous studies have shown that continuity of care is linked to a number of benefits. This can include patients following medical advice more closely, better uptake of vaccines and other preventive measures, and fewer emergency hospital admissions.

Researchers are now saying that benefits also appear to exist for mortality. They are saying the bond between patients and their doctors might be even more important than we thought.

“Basically we are saying that at a time when the emphasis in the reports in the press are all about new machines and new technology, that this is an article that shows the human side of medicine is still very important and even a matter of life and death.” Sir Denis Pereira Gray: first author of the research studies

Writing in the journal BMJ Open, Gray and colleagues from the University of Exeter and University of Manchester hunted through previously published research to unearth studies with data on whether patients saw the same doctor, as well as info on mortality.

The team discovered 22 studies that fit this criteria that were published since 2010. They took place in 9 different countries ranging from the US to South Korea.

The team found 18 of the studies showed a marked link between continuity of care and lower death rates.

Research Limitations

 

The authors do say the study doesn’t show that seeing the same doctor is what is driving the reduction in mortality. The research also has a number of limitations. Among them are that many of the studies involved looking at patient records, rather than recruiting and then following individuals over time.

Not all the studies took into account the whole range of other possible influeneces such as age, sex, smoking status, and socioeconmic status.

Also, as individuals become sicker, or have many different health problems, they may need to see more doctors. This can also increase their risk of death.

More research needs to be done before anything is certain.

Read more here.

9 Habits of People Who Never Get Sick

How NH Will Handle Healthcare Worker Shortage

Getting sick is the worst. It’s even more frustrating when there are people around you that never get sick. You wonder if they are some sort of super human, or maybe they bathe in hand sanitizer. Well, we have found 9 habits of people who never get sick.

9 Habits of People Who Never Get Sick

9 Habits of Those Who Never Get Sick

 

1. They’re Rested

Sleep is so important! Not getting enough sleep can lead to more colds, memory problems, and more. People who sleep less than 7 hours are 3 times more likely to catch a cold than those who sleep 8 hours or more.

2. They Get Their Flu Shot

The shot is 50 to 60 percent effective at preventing the flu and reduces severity of symptoms. It also lowers the risk of heart attack, stroke, heart failure, or other cardiac events by about a third.

3. They Don’t Smoke

This is such a bad habit. It can damage the mucus membranes which act as the frontline barrier to infectious agents. This makes smokers twice as likely to catch colds and the flu.

It also suppresses the immune system overall. Then, there is the cancers smoking causes: bladder, blood, cervix colorectal, esophagus, kidney, larynx liver, lung, and more.

4. They Exercise.

We all know the importance of exercise. A study from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle found that postmenopausal women who excised regularly lowered their risks of colds. This is compared to women that didn’t move as much.

Physical activity boost the amount of immune cells in the blood and saliva.

5. They Wash Regularly.

Many microbial threats are easily washed away which lowers the chances of getting sick. Plain soap and water do the trick, nothing fancy is needed.

In fact, a study showed that people that used antimicrobial cleansers didn’t have less colds than those who used soap. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.

6. They Are Social.

Having a social life can help keep you healthy. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon exposed a group of people to a cold and waited to see who would show symptoms.

The least likely to get it were people who had different social networks, like book clubs, bridge clubs, and faith communities. Having 6 or more of these types of networks gave people the greatest edge against illness.

People who had 3 or lower social networks were almost 4 times as likely to catch the bug.

7. They Laugh.

Laughter is really the best medicine. A study from Western Kentucky University showed that women who

8. They Can Enjoy a Drink.

Drinking a glass or two of wine has been shown to be good for your heart, but can also help with illness. Specifically lower the risk of respiratory illnesses.

Red wine seems to be protective against colds. Researchers think this is due to the anti-flammaroty actinor the phenol.

9. They Stay Positive.

People who are content and relaxed are 3 times more likely to avoid a cold then those who are depressed, anxious, or angry. Positive attitudes lower stress hormones like cortisol that make people more susceptible to illness.

Read more here.

Older Americans May Be Taking Too Many Vitamins

Government are Warning About a Drug Being Pushed on the Elderly

More than half of America take vitamin supplements. 68 percent of those who take vitamins are 65 and older. Of that 68, 29 percent take 4 or more supplements of any kind. Are older Americans taking too many vitamins?

Older Americans May Be Taking Too Many Vitamins

Wanting an Easy Solution

 

The National Institutes of Health have spent more than 2.4 billion dollars since 1999 studying vitamins and minerals. They don’t appear to have much to show for it. There’s no conclusive evidence that dietary supplements prevent chronic disease in the average American. While there’s been the occasional positive finding, it isn’t enough to recommend it to the general public.

Part of the problem is believed to be that people think they need more vitamins than a regular diet provides. This includes doctors as well. Even though research shows that people who eat a lot of fruits and vegetables are plenty healthy without vitamins.

Granted, Western diet has some issues with too much sodium, sugar, saturated fat, and calories in general, it’s not short on vitamins. People just want to swallow a pill and be better instead of putting some effort into creating and maintaining a good diet.

Taking Too Many Vitamins

 

There are more than 90,000 dietary supplements to choose from. Federal health agencies and advisors still recommend that Americans meet their nutritional needs through food, especially fruits and veggies.

American food actually tends to be highly fortified. There’s vitamin D in milk, iodine in salt, B vitamins in flour, and calcium in some types of orange juices. This can make it hard for proper studies because it’s not easy to find a control group who haven’t partaken in these fortified foods.

Taking too large a dose of vitamins and minerals—amounts that you wouldn’t get from food alone—could be causing more trouble than its worth for people. For example, an early study suggested that beta carotene, a substance found in carrots, could help prevent cancer. In the tiny amounts provided by fruits and vegetables, beta carotene appears to protect the body from a process called oxidation. This damages healthy cells.

Experts were shocked when a study done in the 1990s found that beta carotene pills actually increased lung cancer rates. A similar study found that vitamin E in large doses increased the risk of prostate cancer in men by 17 percent.

Read more here.

How Your Bucket List Can Help Your Health

Geriatricians Vs Primary Doctors

Many people have bucket lists. Whether it’s some random ideas in the back of your head to an actual written out list placed somewhere safe. It’s extremely helpful to share your bucket list with your doctor. It helps direct your health plan so that you can climb that mountain, run that marathon, or try skydiving.

How Your Bucket List Can Help Your Health

Why a Bucket List Matters

 

By sharing your bucket list, doctors can help cater your health goals to cross things off your list. It can also make you realize that you need to change your habits. For example, if you want to run a half marathon and are a continual smoker, obviously that isn’t going to work.

Dr. VJ Periyakoil co-published a study in a Journal of Palliative Medicine to discover more about Americans’ bucket lists. The study suggests 6 prevailing themes of list items. Things like wanting to travel, write a book, running a marathon, surfing, and more.

Why You Should Talk to Your Doctor

 

People think that they shouldn’t approach doctors about this sort of thing because it doesn’t seem relevant. But that’s just not the case, the connections can come in surprising ways.

Periyakoil says, “Many people—especially those who are not in perfect health—may underestimate the extensive coordination required to make their bucket list wishes possible.”

Read more here.

The Mountain Climber with Alzheimer’s

The Mountain Climber with Alzheimer's

Sion Jair is no ordinary mountain climber. The 68-year-old is a symbol of resilience. Not only had he recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, but he also suffers from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Pernicious Anaemia. Despite all this, he still climbs Old Man of Coniston every single day.

The Mountain Climber with Alzheimer's

Why He Climbs

 

Jair started to climb as a way to cope with his illnesses. Even though, short walks would exhaust him, slowly his tolerance increased. When he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and told that it was too far gone to help him, he looked to walking again. He says:

I just kept going and my body had two choices: I could either sit down and die, or the body had to get up and use what it had.”

He was told this four years ago. Yet he continues to climb his mountain. He often goes up twice a day, and he even rescued walkers who underestimated the terrain.

Why Exercise Matters

 

While there is no reliable cure for Alzheimer’s, what Jair is doing is the next best thing. Both Jair and his doctors believe that regular exercise is beneficial. While a lot of studies focus on preventing the disease, a 2017 paper from the University of Kanas looked at 68 men and women who had already been diagnosed. At the end of the study, all of the participants who exercised had improvement for everyday physical skills. Some even had higher scores on cognitive tests.

Jair is not surprised by these findings. He likes the exercise and the consistently, which he says he really needs. He does better exercising his body than his mind, he finds it hard to focus on doing crosswords or sudoku.

Read more here.

Dance Class for Those with Parkinson’s Disease

Dance Class for Those With Parkinson’s disease

David Leventhal is teaching a dance class for those with Parkinson’s disease. The disease, which affects one in a hundred people over sixty, is a degenerative neurological disorder. The class was developed by the Mark Morris Dance Group (MMDG), and doesn’t charge the students of the class. Leventhal takes special care of each of these individuals to make sure they have a good time and can participate.

Dance Class for Those With Parkinson’s disease

What the Dance Class is Like

 

To start the class, there is an exercise that requires the dancers to greet each other. A piano plays in the background, encouraging participants to get up and moving. Leventhal’s co-teacher is current MMDG dancer, Lesley Garrison. She guides the students through some moves that the MMDG will be performing later. Leventhal and Garrison like to challenge the class with difficult patterns and movements. It’s not just exercise, it’s art. By challenging the students, they can slowly improve their balance and motor skills that start to fail due to the disease.

The class gives those with Parkinson’s self-confidence and a brighter spirit. The dancers even came up with the idea of staging a performance, and the project brought them into a close-knit community focused on a single goal. Their final performance displays the strength and grace that they’ve been able to access through dance.

When This Dance Class Started

 

The dance program started in 2001 when the Director of the Brooklyn Parkinson Group, Olie Westheimer, approached the dance company with the idea. Two dancers from MMDG, John Heginbotham and David Leventhal, along with a professional musician, started leading monthly classes for a small group of people. In 2004, MMDG began to teach classes in cities where they toured. The program is now offered in over 250 communities in 24 countries. MMDG has worked with medical professionals, dance teaching artists, and therapists who work with people with Parkinson’s disease to showcase the benefits of the class.

Read more here.

7 Signs of a Possible Heart Attack in Seniors

7 Signs of a Possible Heart Attack in Seniors

Signs of a heart attack can vary from person to person, no two are alike. Some people may not experience the symptoms all at once. Some people may have different symptoms if they have had a heart attack before. With a population as vulnerable as the elderly it’s up to those around them to keep an eye out for any of signs.

7 Signs of a Possible Heart Attack in Seniors

7 Signs of a Possible Heart Attack

 

1. Chest Pain

This may seem obvious, but it’s still worth pointing out. Chest pain may be the most well known symptom of a heart attack and should be taken very seriously

2. Heavy Pressure or Fullness in the Chest

This could also feel like a squeezing in their chest. If there is pain radiating to their neck, jaw, and arm, it’s especially serious.

3. Consistent Indigestion or Heartburn

While these two uncomfortable feelings are common, if they become too consistent or extremely painful, you should get your loved one checked out.

4. Shortness of Breath

Whenever someone is having a hard time breathing, it’s worrisome. If this is an unusual symptom for your loved one, best to try to get them to a doctor asap.

5. Nausea

While this symptom will not always connect to a heart attack, it’s good to be aware that it could be a sign.

6. Vomiting

Same with nausea, not always a heart attack but it’s good to be aware.

7. Sudden Sweating or Dizziness

Dizziness sometimes comes with getting older, but if your loved one is very dizzy and sweating a lot, then it could be a possible sign of a heart attack and they should get checked out.

Better Safe Than Sorry

 

While these signs are not always an indicator of a heart attack, it’s best to let a doctor decide. It’s better to be safe and know that it’s nothing than be caught in an emergency situation.

Read more here.

A New Way to Look at Our Bones

Breaking Bones is One the Rise

A new study out by the University of Utah is discussing the ties between bone fragility and bone breakage. This study is different than most though, it’s not done by doctors, but instead an engineer. Claire Acevedo, mechanical engineering assistant, is leading the study and believes that maybe falls are not the cause of broken bones. There’s a new way to look at our bones now.

A New Way to Look at Our Bones

A New Way to Look at Our Bones

 

Acevedo believes that older people’s bones are more likely to fracture from repeated stresses. These activities can be as simple as walking, and that the accumulation is what makes the bones break so easily. This is called microdamage and it affects the quality of bone.

This goes against the common idea that an elderly person’s bones break from one hard impact, like a fall. This may mean that instead of the bone breaking because of the fall, that the weak bones are the reason for the fall in the first place.

Acevedo is calling this theory “cyclic loading” (repeated and fluctuating loads) and it might be similar to the study of structures and engineered materials. This same type of stress in machines caused tragic accidents in the early 20th century and lead to the development of “fracture mechanics.”

Acevedo says that stress fatigue is the most common type of failure in machines and can be deadly. It can cause collapses of metal bridges, failure of ships, and even the cracking of aircraft airframes and engines.

This means that bone quality could be more important than previously thought. It’s not just the mineral density, but how well collagen can provide stretchability to the bone under stress and to resist fractures.

“Bone quality is much more important than what we have been thinking,” Acevedo says. “Old bones gradually lose their mechanical properties, their ability to self-repair and to recover bone quality to prevent the formation of a fracture.”

Read more here.