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health condition | Nevada Senior Guide

Drug interactions causing a significant impact on statin use

November 29, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

A new study has found that many people who stopped taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs were also taking an average of three other drugs that interfered with the normal metabolism of the statins.

The other drugs can contribute to a common side effect of taking statins – muscle pain – and often led people to discontinue use of a medication that could otherwise help save their life, researchers learned.

The interactions of many drugs with statins have been known of for some time, researchers said, but are not being adequately managed by physicians and pharmacists, who could often choose different medications or adjust dosages to retain the value of statin drugs without causing this side effect.

The research, done as part of a survey of more than 10,000 current and former statin users, found that use of medications which interfere with statin metabolism almost doubles the chance that a person will discontinue statin use due to muscle pain.

The issue is of growing importance because statin drugs are some of the most widely used medications in the world, proven to lower LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, and decrease the risk of heart attacks, heart disease, strokes and death. About 20 million people in the U.S. now take statins, and new guidelines have just been issued to further expand the types of health conditions for which statins may be of benefit. Based on those guidelines, the number of statin users could increase to more than 30 million.

The findings were published in the Journal of Clinical Lipidology by scientists from Oregon State University and four other universities or research institutes.

“We’ve known for some time of many medications that can interact with statins, but only now is it becoming clear that this is a significant contributor to the side effects, and often the reason some patients stop taking statins,” said Matt Ito, a professor in the OSU College of Pharmacy and president of the National Lipid Association, which funded this study.

“This issue is something physicians, pharmacists and patients all need to be more aware of,” Ito said. “There’s a lot we can do besides discontinue use of these valuable medications. You can change dosages, use drugs that don’t cause interactions, use different types of statins. Patients need to be proactive in understanding this issue and working with their health care providers to address it.”

Persons who have problems taking statins should discuss options with their physicians or pharmacists, Ito said, and not assume the drug has be to discontinued. A Medscape web site at http://reference.medscape.com/drug-interactionchecker also can help individuals learn more about possible interactions between statins and the full range of medications they may be taking.

Statins are usually well-tolerated, but in the recent survey, a muscle-related side effect was reported by 29 percent of participants. In former statin users, 62 percent of the people said that side effects, mostly muscle pain, were the reason they stopped taking the drugs.

There are many drugs that can interfere with statin metabolism, increase systemic exposure to the statin and raise the risk of this muscle pain, the researchers said in their report. This can include some common antibiotics, cardiovascular drugs, and others taken for treatment of cancer, mental health, HIV treatment and other conditions.

These interactions are not always adequately considered by physicians and pharmacists, however. One recent report found that as many as 20 percent of significant statin-drug interactions were missed in 64 pharmacies.

Besides drug interactions, statin side effects are also more common in women and associated with increasing age, history of cardiovascular disease, and some other conditions. Statin discontinuation has been associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity and death.

About the OSU College of Pharmacy: The College of Pharmacy prepares students of today to be the pharmacy practitioners and pharmaceutical sciences researchers of tomorrow by contributing to improved health, advancing patient care and the discovery and understanding of medicines.

Actor Lee Majors Joins Flu + You Campaign to Raise Awareness of Risks of Flu for People 65 and Older

September 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Press-Media Releases 

Actor Lee Majors Joins Flu + You Campaign to Raise Awareness of Risks of Flu for People 65 and Older

National Council on Aging Launches Second Year of Education Program for Older Adults and Those Who Care for Them Aimed at Helping to Protect More Older Adults from the Flu

Actor Lee Majors, best known for his iconic roles on The Big Valley, The Fall Guy, and The Six Million Dollar Man, is joining the National Council on Aging (NCOA) Flu + You program to help protect older adults from influenza (commonly known as “the flu”). Flu + You aims to inform adults 65 and older, their caregivers, and those who care about them, about the dangers of the flu, the importance of annual vaccination, and available vaccine options.

As a part of his involvement in the Flu + You campaign, Majors will appear in a public service announcement (PSA) that follows him as he embarks on an important and action-packed mission: learning about his vaccine options and getting vaccinated against the flu. The PSA will educate the public about the increased risk of flu in adults 65 years of age and older and the importance of knowing your vaccine options and getting a flu vaccine, even for tough guys like Majors.

Every year in the United States, roughly nine out of 10 flu-related deaths and more than six out of 10 flu-related hospitalizations occur in people 65 and older. Older adults are at a greater risk for flu due, in part, to the weakening of the immune system that typically occurs with age. This means that no matter how healthy or youthful we feel, as we age we become more vulnerable to the flu and its related complications.

“The CDC recommends an annual flu vaccine as the single best way to protect yourself from the flu, yet a third of people 65 and older still don’t get vaccinated,” said Richard Birkel, PhD, MPA, NCOA Senior Vice President for Healthy Aging and Director of NCOA’s Self-Management Alliance. “As NCOA continues to educate older adults about the flu and the potential severity of the illness, we hope to encourage more people to protect themselves and their loved ones by getting an annual flu shot.”

The flu vaccine offers the best defense to protect against the flu, and adults 65 years of age and older have several vaccine options. In addition to the traditional flu vaccine (which helps protect against three strains of the flu virus), there is also a quadrivalent vaccine (which helps protect against four strains), and a higher dose vaccine that was designed specifically for adults 65 and older. By improving the production of antibodies in older patients, the higher dose vaccine can provide a stronger immune response to the flu than traditional vaccines. All flu vaccines are covered as a Medicare Part B benefit, which means there is no copay for Medicare beneficiaries 65 years of age and older.

“I get the flu shot every year and encourage my peers to do the same – it’s a simple step you can take to protect yourself from the flu,” says actor Lee Majors.  “I urge everyone 65 years of age and older to talk to their health care provider about their vaccine options this flu season.”

The flu can make existing health conditions worse, and it is especially dangerous for people with lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, and cancer—conditions that commonly affect older adults. Nationwide, 86 percent of adults 65 years of age and older have at least one chronic health condition and approximately 66 percent of Medicare beneficiaries have two or more chronic conditions, putting them at increased risk of the flu and flu-related complications, which can be severe and include hospitalization and even death.

For more facts about flu, and to order free educational materials, including a brochure and fact sheet, visit www.ncoa.org/Flu.

About Flu + You
Flu + You is a national public education initiative, from the National Council on Aging with support from Sanofi Pasteur, to educate adults 65 years and older about the dangers of the influenza virus, the importance of annual vaccination, and available vaccine options. Older adults and their caregivers can learn more on the Flu + You website, www.ncoa.org/Flu, which features a public service announcement with Lee Majors and facts about the flu. Also available on the website is a calendar of Flu + You events that will be held in 12 cities throughout the United States in September and October. At the events, older adults will have the opportunity to learn more about their risks for flu and available vaccine options, as well as talk to a health care provider and receive a flu vaccination.

About NCOA
The National Council on Aging is a nonprofit service and advocacy organization headquartered in Washington, DC. NCOA is a national voice for millions of older adults—especially those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged—and the community organizations that serve them. It brings together nonprofit organizations, businesses, and government to develop creative solutions that improve the lives of all older adults. NCOA works with thousands of organizations across the country to help seniors find jobs and benefits, improve their health, live independently, and remain active in their communities. For more information, please visit:

www.NCOA.org | www.facebook.com/NCOAging | www.twitter.com/NCOAging

 

CONTACT: Dana Kinker, (212) 301-7181, dkinker@wcgworld.com

Massage For Senior Citizens – Benefits and Precautions by Eva Gnech

August 20, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

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Probably the most important benefit of massage is the pleasure of human touch, and the companionship provided during massage therapy sessions. This provides a relaxation which alone may relieve some of the loneliness, depression and fears that many seniors suffer from. A recent study found that all senior citizens who were receiving regular massages showed a dramatic improvement in their moods and their attitudes toward life in general. Nearly 50% of the same group tested also showed additional health benefits;a reduction in their rates of breathing, an increase in their range of motion, an improvement of their postures, development of more body awareness, their skin took on healthier colors and their muscle tones were enhanced.

In addition to these general life improvements, some health conditions that may respond positively to regular massage include:

– inflammations in the joints;

– arthritis;

– skin discoloration and other dermatological conditions;

– deteriorating muscles and bones;

– reduced appetite and therefore weight loss;

– poor blood circulation;

– sleep disorders;

– weakened mental capacity,

– tendonitis;

– bursitis;

– asthma;

– emphysema;

– high blood pressures;

– diminished functions of the internal vital organs such as the heart, the liver, the brain, the thyroid, the stomach and the intestines.

Before you make your appointment, make sure you take care of safety first:

– Find a massage therapist that is properly trained;

– Limit your appointments to 30-45 minutes at a time;the elderly appear to respond better to shorter, more frequent sessions.

– Be careful when positioning yourself on the massage table: ask for help or request a chair massage.

– Tell your massage therapist if it is your first massage: request a gentle relaxation massage. Your bones may be thinner and your joints stiffer than other patients; ease into it. Over time you may request a deeper tissue massage if it feels comfortable for you.

– Tell your massage therapist if you are not comfortable being touched in some areas: Many elderly prefer head, hands and feet massages. Even massaging these body parts alone will greatly benefit you.

– Request use of lotions or oils, or bring in your own favorite lotions: senior citizens’ skin tends to be thinner and less pliable, and using oils will help avoid cracking or damaging of your skin. Lotions will also soften and moisturize your skin, making it healthier and more pliable.

Relax and enjoy your massage! With the above precautions massages are perfectly safe regardless of your age. Most importantly, massages help you relax and improve your outlook on life. That alone may alleviate other aches and pains and make this worth your while.

So contact a qualified massage therapist today, and make the appointment that will help you relax and enjoy some TLC, you deserve it!

For a more detailed description of the benefits and precautions of Seniors Massage, see http://massagetherapystartup.com/massage_therapy_for_senior_citizens.html.

For more information regarding massage therapy, setting up your own massage therapy business, or how to make a lucrative living in the massage industry, see http://massagetherapystartup.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Eva_Gnech

Senior Citizens – If You Cannot Be Your Own Advocate For Your Medications, Get Help! by J Delms

June 7, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

Senior citizens purchase 35-40% of all prescribed and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. Seniors between the ages of 65-84 take from 14-to-18 prescriptions annually. Up to 25% of these medications are considered unnecessary or inaccurate.

The Internet offers numerous articles and other information on how senior citizens can protect themselves from over-medication and other unnecessary treatments. Some of these articles are written by physicians who realize that medical drugs are not the answer to all health conditions. Additionally, a recent midwestern newspaper article indicates that less than half of our medical care is supported by adequate scientific evidence. These kind of articles also offer recommendations for protection from the harmful side effects of too much medication.

Recommendations

1. Good insurance pays. Although health insurance is a good thing to have nowadays, do keep in mind that your insurance and drug plans could be prevailed upon for medical business reasons. If you already have medicare and other health insurance, your health condition could inadvertently be targeted for more treatments than really necessary.

2. Common sense. Listen to your best instincts about the treatments you might or might not need. Do not passively accept medication without knowing its exact health goal and purpose first. Ask questions about your prescription and why you need it for your specific condition? Make sure this treatment makes sense to you.

Although senior citizens account for only 13% of the population, they purchase up to 40% of all medications. Therefore, document any side effects from your prescriptions, and report them to your doctor, e.g., headache, cough, drowsiness, dizziness, pain, itching, gas, upset stomach, or constipation. Your doctor can change these medications if they cause you discomfort.

3. Take someone with you to an appointment. Take a friend or family member with you when you see your doctor. This person will add to your advocacy by giving you emotional support, and by helping you thwart questionable prescriptions or treatments. Three heads are better than one. Also, remember that 77% of the seniors between the ages of 65-70 have at least one chronic illness. Thus, you could really need one or two prescriptions of some kind.

Yet, other prescriptions are questionable. For example, if you have a desirable cholesterol level lower than 200-mg/dL, and your doctor prescribes a statin drug to enhance your cholesterol level, you will need to question that recommendation to find out exactly why you need it for your apparent condition. Will it affect your other bodily systems in some way, good or bad? In another reported situation, a study at a northwestern state university found that some doctors were prescribing powerful anti-psychotic drugs to patients for mild depression, anxiety, and insomnia. These drugs are approved only for serious mental and emotional disorders. Otherwise, the effects from these drugs can be harmful.

Still other adverse medical effects can be somewhat innocent. In one case, a senior started taking two common OTC pills daily to help reduce hip pain. However, these pills thinned that person’s blood, which caused his or her small colon fissures to bleed. After the resulting bleeding showed up in the stool, this senior was much relieved to find out it was not caused by cancer.

4. Learn about your medical condition. If you have a computer available, search the Internet for reliable information about your condition, and how to treat it. If not, try a public or medical library to find out as much about it as you can. This kind of knowledge is defensive power in favor of your continued good health.

5. Keep and carry your own set of records. Carry your basic health history and information with you, in writing. List your chronic conditions, medications, allergies, blood type as well as your doctor’s name and phone number. Also keep a copy of these life-saving records in the open at your residence in case of an emergency, or in case you become unconscious and cannot provide this information verbally. Additionally, if possible, add copies of your laboratory test results to these records. Your life could depend on them.

6. Report suspected abuse or fraud. Medicare fraud costs tax payers multiple millions of dollars, and causes health insurance premiums to rise sharply. Study the suspect fraud carefully, and then report it. Such abuse can be reported to a senior-medicare patrol in your area or state if they exist. These offices or patrols are found at the government agencies on aging. For starters, see the links below for prevention and protection.

1. Avoid Medication Problems — http://longevity.about.com/od/optimizemedicalcare/a/medications.htm

2. Report Medicare Fraud — http://www.medicare.gov/fraudabuse/howtoreport.asp

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=J_Delms

 

Tips For Senior Citizen Travelers by Gerry Restrivera

April 23, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

Traveling is one thing that even older people can enjoy. Whether you are a  seasoned traveller or someone who is just beginning to enjoy traveling, these  travel advice can help you plan a safe and enjoyable trip. Here are some helpful  tips for senior citizen travelers:

Prepare your documents as early as possible. Passport is the most important  document and you can apply in person, through passport agencies and by mail.  When you receive your passport, be sure to fill in the information page so that  your family and friends can be notified in case of accident or emergency. Most  countries requires visa, so after acquiring a valid passport, you also need a  valid visa. These documents need time for processing and for senior citizen  travelers, it is best to apply 2-3 months before your trip to avoid stress and  rushing that could be bad for you.

Do not bring more than you need. Bring only the things that you need because  it will be so tiring to carry heavy suitcases. Senior citizen travelers, should  not burden themselves with too much luggage.  Wash and wear clothing is a  good idea so that you will not bring too many clothes.  Avoid bringing  valuable things like jewelries and dress simply to avoid being a target of  thieves. Bring only reasonable cash with you. Bring your additional budget in  the form of traveler’s check, credit card and ATM card.

Senior citizen travelers should check their health condition with their  doctor before traveling. Find out if you need immunization before traveling to  protect you from serious diseases abroad. If you are under medications, it is  important to bring enough supply to maintain your health. Bring your medicines  in its original packages or bottles and bring your doctor’s prescription to  avoid narcotics issues in foreign countries or airports. Review your insurance  policy and check if it covers your medical expenses abroad, if not it is best to  buy a policy that covers your travel medical expenses.

Read and get information about the country you want to visit. It is best for  senior citizen travelers to know the current situation of their destination in  terms of security, weather, culture, people, laws and other important things  about your destination.  You can protect your health, security and enjoy  more on your trip if you know more about your destination.

Don’t stress yourself. Senior citizen travelers should not subject themselves  to stressful situations. Even if this is the travel you’ve been waiting all your  life, it is not wise to stress yourself and fill in all your time with a lot of  activities. Take time to relax, you will not enjoy if you are too  tired.

Look for best deals to get the best out of your travel. Traveling could be  really expensive if you do not know where to find the best deals. There are a  lot of perks available especially for senior citizen travelers. Getting  discounts on your accommodation and airfare will give you more opportunity to  enjoy your trip. Find out how to get cheap airfare visit Your World Travel Guide  [http://www.yourworldtravelguide.com/]

To travel on a budget visit Travel Secrets

Gerry Restrivera writes informative articles on various subjects including  Tips for Senior Citizen Travelers. You are allowed to publish this article in  its entirety provided that author’s name, bio and website links must remain  intact and included with every reproduction.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Gerry_Restrivera

 

  • Senior Industry Network Group Events

    Monthly SING Meetings are held the first Thursday of every month at our NEW location below:

    Desert Canyon - HealthSouth
    9175 W. Oquendo Rd.
    Las Vegas, NV 89148

    S.I.N.G. Agenda:
    - Coffee and bagels will be served
    - A time to show gratitude by thanking those who have sent you referrals
    - Announcements around the room
    - One minute commercials
    - Open Discussion on topics of Self Empowerment

    * When? The 1st Thursday of every month. Networking starts at: 8:00am | Meeting starts at: 8:30am

    * How Much? It’s free!