April 18, 2016 by Leigh St John
· Comments Off on The Development of Old Age and Related Issues
Filed under: General
In traditional Chinese and other Asian cultures the aged were highly respected and cared for. The Igabo tribesmen of Eastern Nigeria value dependency in their aged and involve them in care of children and the administration of tribal affairs (Shelton, A. in Kalish R. Uni Michigan 1969).
In Eskimo culture the grandmother was pushed out into the ice-flow to die as soon as she became useless.
Western societies today usually resemble to some degree the Eskimo culture, only the “ice-flows” have names such a “Sunset Vista” and the like. Younger generations no longer assign status to the aged and their abandonment is always in danger of becoming the social norm.
There has been a tendency to remove the aged from their homes and put them in custodial care. To some degree the government provides domiciliary care services to prevent or delay this, but the motivation probably has more to do with expense than humanity.
In Canada and some parts of the USA old people are being utilised as foster-grandparents in child care agencies.
SOME BASIC DEFINITIONS
What is Aging?
Aging: Aging is a natural phenomenon that refers to changes occurring throughout the life span and result in differences in structure and function between the youthful and elder generation.
Gerontology: Gerontology is the study of aging and includes science, psychology and sociology.
Geriatrics: A relatively new field of medicine specialising in the health problems of advanced age.
Social aging: Refers to the social habits and roles of individuals with respect to their culture and society. As social aging increases individual usually experience a decrease in meaningful social interactions.
Biological aging: Refers to the physical changes in the body systems during the later decades of life. It may begin long before the individual reaches chronological age 65.
Cognitive aging: Refers to decreasing ability to assimilate new information and learn new behaviours and skills.
GENERAL PROBLEMS OF AGING
Eric Erikson (Youth and the life cycle. Children. 7:43-49 Mch/April 1960) developed an “ages and stages” theory of human development that involved 8 stages after birth each of which involved a basic dichotomy representing best case and worst case outcomes. Below are the dichotomies and their developmental relevance:
Prenatal stage – conception to birth.
- Infancy. Birth to 2 years – basic trust vs. basic distrust. Hope.
- Early childhood, 3 to 4 years – autonomy vs. self doubt/shame. Will.
- Play age, 5 to 8 years – initiative vs. guilt. Purpose.
- School age, 9to 12 – industry vs. inferiority. Competence.
- Adolescence, 13 to 19 – identity vs. identity confusion. Fidelity.
- Young adulthood – intimacy vs. isolation. Love.
- Adulthood, generativity vs. self absorption. Care.
- Mature age- Ego Integrity vs. Despair. Wisdom.
This stage of older adulthood, i.e. stage 8, begins about the time of retirement and continues throughout one’s life. Achieving ego integrity is a sign of maturity while failing to reach this stage is an indication of poor development in prior stages through the life course.
Ego integrity: This means coming to accept one’s whole life and reflecting on it in a positive manner. According to Erikson, achieving integrity means fully accepting one’ self and coming to terms with death. Accepting responsibility for one’s life and being able to review the past with satisfaction is essential. The inability to do this leads to despair and the individual will begin to fear death. If a favourable balance is achieved during this stage, then wisdom is developed.
Psychological and personality aspects:
Aging has psychological implications. Next to dying our recognition that we are aging may be one of the most profound shocks we ever receive. Once we pass the invisible line of 65 our years are bench marked for the remainder of the game of life. We are no longer “mature age” we are instead classified as “old”, or “senior citizens”. How we cope with the changes we face and stresses of altered status depends on our basic personality. Here are 3 basic personality types that have been identified. It may be a oversimplification but it makes the point about personality effectively:
a. The autonomous – people who seem to have the resources for self-renewal. They may be dedicated to a goal or idea and committed to continuing productivity. This appears to protect them somewhat even against physiological aging.
b.The adjusted – people who are rigid and lacking in adaptability but are supported by their power, prestige or well structured routine. But if their situation changes drastically they become psychiatric casualties.
c.The anomic. These are people who do not have clear inner values or a protective life vision. Such people have been described as prematurely resigned and they may deteriorate rapidly.
Summary of stresses of old age.
a. Retirement and reduced income. Most people rely on work for self worth, identity and social interaction. Forced retirement can be demoralising.
b. Fear of invalidism and death. The increased probability of falling prey to illness from which there is no recovery is a continual source of anxiety. When one has a heart attack or stroke the stress becomes much worse.
Some persons face death with equanimity, often psychologically supported by a religion or philosophy. Others may welcome death as an end to suffering or insoluble problems and with little concern for life or human existence. Still others face impending death with suffering of great stress against which they have no ego defenses.
c. Isolation and loneliness. Older people face inevitable loss of loved ones, friends and contemporaries. The loss of a spouse whom one has depended on for companionship and moral support is particularly distressing. Children grow up, marry and become preoccupied or move away. Failing memory, visual and aural impairment may all work to make social interaction difficult. And if this then leads to a souring of outlook and rigidity of attitude then social interaction becomes further lessened and the individual may not even utilise the avenues for social activity that are still available.
d. Reduction in sexual function and physical attractiveness. Kinsey et al, in their Sexual behaviour in the human male, (Phil., Saunders, 1948) found that there is a gradual decrease in sexual activity with advancing age and that reasonably gratifying patterns of sexual activity can continue into extreme old age. The aging person also has to adapt to loss of sexual attractiveness in a society which puts extreme emphasis on sexual attractiveness. The adjustment in self image and self concept that are required can be very hard to make.
e. Forces tending to self devaluation. Often the experience of the older generation has little perceived relevance to the problems of the young and the older person becomes deprived of participation in decision making both in occupational and family settings. Many parents are seen as unwanted burdens and their children may secretly wish they would die so they can be free of the burden and experience some financial relief or benefit. Senior citizens may be pushed into the role of being an old person with all this implies in terms of self devaluation.
4 Major Categories of Problems or Needs:
Physiological Changes: Catabolism (the breakdown of protoplasm) overtakes anabolism (the build-up of protoplasm). All body systems are affected and repair systems become slowed. The aging process occurs at different rates in different individuals.
Physical appearance and other changes:
Loss of subcutaneous fat and less elastic skin gives rise to wrinkled appearance, sagging and loss of smoothness of body contours. Joints stiffen and become painful and range of joint movement becomes restricted, general mobility lessened.
Increase of fibrous tissue in chest walls and lungs leads restricts respiratory movement and less oxygen is consumed. Older people more likelyto have lower respiratory infections whereas young people have upper respiratory infections.
Tooth decay and loss of teeth can detract from ease and enjoyment in eating. Atrophy of the taste buds means food is inclined to be tasteless and this should be taken into account by carers. Digestive changes occur from lack of exercise (stimulating intestines) and decrease in digestive juice production. Constipation and indigestion are likely to follow as a result. Financial problems can lead to the elderly eating an excess of cheap carbohydrates rather than the more expensive protein and vegetable foods and this exacerbates the problem, leading to reduced vitamin intake and such problems as anemia and increased susceptibility to infection.
Adaptation to stress:
All of us face stress at all ages. Adaptation to stress requires the consumption of energy. The 3 main phases of stress are:
1. Initial alarm reaction. 2. Resistance. 3. Exhaustion
and if stress continues tissue damage or aging occurs. Older persons have had a lifetime of dealing with stresses. Energy reserves are depleted and the older person succumbs to stress earlier than the younger person. Stress is cumulative over a lifetime. Research results, including experiments with animals suggests that each stress leaves us more vulnerable to the next and that although we might think we’ve “bounced back” 100% in fact each stress leaves it scar. Further, stress is psycho-biological meaning the kind of stress is irrelevant. A physical stress may leave one more vulnerable to psychological stress and vice versa. Rest does not completely restore one after a stressor. Care workers need to be mindful of this and cognizant of the kinds of things that can produce stress for aged persons.
COGNITIVE CHANGE Habitual Behaviour:
Sigmund Freud noted that after the age of 50, treatment of neuroses via psychoanalysis was difficult because the opinions and reactions of older people were relatively fixed and hard to shift.
Over-learned behaviour: This is behaviour that has been learned so well and repeated so often that it has become automatic, like for example typing or running down stairs. Over-learned behaviour is hard to change. If one has lived a long time one is likely to have fixed opinions and ritualised behaviour patterns or habits.
Compulsive behaviour: Habits and attitudes that have been learned in the course of finding ways to overcome frustration and difficulty are very hard to break. Tension reducing habits such as nail biting, incessant humming, smoking or drinking alcohol are especially hard to change at any age and particularly hard for persons who have been practising them over a life time.
The psychology of over-learned and compulsive behaviours has severe implications for older persons who find they have to live in what for them is a new and alien environment with new rules and power relations.
Older people have a continual background of neural noise making it more difficult for them to sort out and interpret complex sensory input. In talking to an older person one should turn off the TV, eliminate as many noises and distractions as possible, talk slowly and relate to one message or idea at a time.
Memories from the distant past are stronger than more recent memories. New memories are the first to fade and last to return.
Time patterns also can get mixed – old and new may get mixed.
Intelligence reaches a peak and can stay high with little deterioration if there is no neurological damage. People who have unusually high intelligence to begin with seem to suffer the least decline. Education and stimulation also seem to play a role in maintaining intelligence.
Intellectual impairment. Two diseases of old age causing cognitive decline are Alzheimer’s syndrome and Pick’s syndrome. In Pick’s syndrome there is inability to concentrate and learn and also affective responses are impaired.
Degenerative Diseases: Slow progressive physical degeneration of cells in the nervous system. Genetics appear to be an important factor. Usually start after age 40 (but can occur as early as 20s).
ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE Degeneration of all areas of cortex but particularly frontal and temporal lobes. The affected cells actually die. Early symptoms resemble neurotic disorders: Anxiety, depression, restlessness sleep difficulties.
Progressive deterioration of all intellectual faculties (memory deficiency being the most well known and obvious). Total mass of the brain decreases, ventricles become larger. No established treatment.
PICK’S DISEASE Rare degenerative disease. Similar to Alzheimer’s in terms of onset, symptomatology and possible genetic aetiology. However it affects circumscribed areas of the brain, particularly the frontal areas which leads to a loss of normal affect.
PARKINSON’S DISEASE Neuropathology: Loss of neurons in the basal ganglia.
Symptoms: Movement abnormalities: rhythmical alternating tremor of extremities, eyelids and tongue along with rigidity of the muscles and slowness of movement (akinesia).
It was once thought that Parkinson’s disease was not associated with intellectual deterioration, but it is now known that there is an association between global intellectual impairment and Parkinson’s where it occurs late in life.
The cells lost in Parkinson’s are associated with the neuro-chemical Dopamine and the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s are associated the dopamine deficiency. Treatment involves administration of dopamine precursor L-dopa which can alleviate symptoms including intellectual impairment. Research suggests it may possibly bring to the fore emotional effects in patients who have had psychiatric illness at some prior stage in their lives.
AFFECTIVE DOMAIN In old age our self concept gets its final revision. We make a final assessment of the value of our lives and our balance of success and failures.
How well a person adapts to old age may be predicated by how well the person adapted to earlier significant changes. If the person suffered an emotional crisis each time a significant change was needed then adaptation to the exigencies of old age may also be difficult. Factors such as economic security, geographic location and physical health are important to the adaptive process.
Need Fulfilment: For all of us, according to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory, we are not free to pursue the higher needs of self actualisation unless the basic needs are secured. When one considers that many, perhaps most, old people are living in poverty and continually concerned with basic survival needs, they are not likely to be happily satisfying needs related to prestige, achievement and beauty.
Belonging, love, identification
Esteem: Achievement, prestige, success, self respect
Self actualisation: Expressing one’s interests and talents to the full.
Note: Old people who have secured their basic needs may be motivated to work on tasks of the highest levels in the hierarchy – activities concerned with aesthetics, creativity and altruistic matters, as compensation for loss of sexual attractiveness and athleticism. Aged care workers fixated on getting old people to focus on social activities may only succeed in frustrating and irritating them if their basic survival concerns are not secured to their satisfaction.
Social aging according to Cumming, E. and Henry, W. (Growing old: the aging process of disengagement, NY, Basic 1961) follows a well defined pattern:
- Change in role. Change in occupation and productivity. Possibly change in attitude to work.
- Loss of role, e.g. retirement or death of a husband.
- Reduced social interaction. With loss of role social interactions are diminished, eccentric adjustment can further reduce social interaction, damage to self concept, depression.
- Awareness of scarcity of remaining time. This produces further curtailment of activity in interest of saving time.
Havighurst, R. et al (in B. Neugarten (ed.) Middle age and aging, U. of Chicago, 1968) and others have suggested that disengagement is not an inevitable process. They believe the needs of the old are essentially the same as in middle age and the activities of middle age should be extended as long as possible. Havighurst points out the decrease in social interaction of the aged is often largely the result of society withdrawing from the individual as much as the reverse. To combat this he believes the individual must vigorously resist the limitations of his social world.
DEATH The fear of the dead amongst tribal societies is well established. Persons who had ministered to the dead were taboo and required observe various rituals including seclusion for varying periods of time. In some societies from South America to Australia it is taboo for certain persons to utter the name of the dead. Widows and widowers are expected to observe rituals in respect for the dead.
Widows in the Highlands of New Guinea around Goroka chop of one of their own fingers. The dead continue their existence as spirits and upsetting them can bring dire consequences.
Wahl, C in “The fear of death”, 1959 noted that the fear of death occurs as early as the 3rd year of life. When a child loses a pet or grandparent fears reside in the unspoken questions: Did I cause it? Will happen to you (parent) soon? Will this happen to me? The child in such situations needs to re-assure that the departure is not a censure, and that the parent is not likely to depart soon. Love, grief, guilt, anger are a mix of conflicting emotions that are experienced.
CONTEMPORARY ATTITUDES TO DEATH
Our culture places high value on youth, beauty, high status occupations, social class and anticipated future activities and achievement. Aging and dying are denied and avoided in this system. The death of each person reminds us of our own mortality.
The death of the elderly is less disturbing to members of Western society because the aged are not especially valued. Surveys have established that nurses for example attach more importance to saving a young life than an old life. In Western society there is a pattern of avoiding dealing with the aged and dying aged patient.
Stages of dying. Elisabeth Kubler Ross has specialised in working with dying patients and in her “On death and dying”, NY, Macmillan, 1969, summarised 5 stages in dying.
- Denial and isolation. “No, not me”.
- Anger. “I’ve lived a good life so why me?”
- Bargaining. Secret deals are struck with God. “If I can live until…I promise to…”
- Depression. (In general the greatest psychological problem of the aged is depression). Depression results from real and threatened loss.
- Acceptance of the inevitable.
Kubler Ross’s typology as set out above should, I believe be taken with a grain of salt and not slavishly accepted. Celebrated US Journalist David Rieff who was in June ’08 a guest of the Sydney writer’s festival in relation to his book, “Swimming in a sea of death: a son’s memoir” (Melbourne University Press) expressly denied the validity of the Kubler Ross typology in his Late Night Live interview (Australian ABC radio) with Philip Adams June 9th ’08. He said something to the effect that his mother had regarded her impending death as murder. My own experience with dying persons suggests that the human ego is extraordinarily resilient. I recall visiting a dying colleague in hospital just days before his death. He said, “I’m dying, I don’t like it but there’s nothing I can do about it”, and then went on to chortle about how senior academics at an Adelaide university had told him they were submitting his name for a the Order of Australia (the new “Knighthood” replacement in Australia). Falling in and out of lucid thought with an oxygen tube in his nostrils he was nevertheless still highly interested in the “vain glories of the world”. This observation to me seemed consistent with Rieff’s negative assessment of Kubler Ross’s theories.
THE AGED IN RELATION TO YOUNGER PEOPLE
The aged share with the young the same needs: However, the aged often have fewer or weaker resources to meet those needs. Their need for social interaction may be ignored by family and care workers.
Family should make time to visit their aged members and invite them to their homes. The aged like to visit children and relate to them through games and stories.
Meaningful relationships can be developed via foster-grandparent programs. Some aged are not aware of their income and health entitlements. Family and friends should take the time to explain these. Some aged are too proud to access their entitlements and this problem should be addressed in a kindly way where it occurs.
It is best that the aged be allowed as much choice as possible in matters related to living arrangements, social life and lifestyle.
Communities serving the aged need to provide for the aged via such things as lower curbing, and ramps.
Carers need to examine their own attitude to aging and dying. Denial in the carer is detected by the aged person and it can inhibit the aged person from expressing negative feelings – fear, anger. If the person can express these feelings to someone then that person is less likely to die with a sense of isolation and bitterness.
A METAPHYSICAL PERSPECTIVE
The following notes are my interpretation of a Dr. Depak Chopra lecture entitled, “The New Physics of Healing” which he presented to the 13th Scientific Conference of the American Holistic Medical Association. Dr. Depak Chopra is an endocrinologist and a former Chief of Staff of New England Hospital, Massachusetts. I am deliberately omitting the detail of his explanations of the more abstract, ephemeral and controversial ideas.
Original material from 735 Walnut Street, Boulder, Colorado 83002,
Phone. +303 449 6229.
In the lecture Dr. Chopra presents a model of the universe and of all organisms as structures of interacting centres of electromagnetic energy linked to each other in such a way that anything affecting one part of a system or structure has ramifications throughout the entire structure. This model becomes an analogue not only for what happens within the structure or organism itself, but between the organism and both its physical and social environments. In other words there is a correlation between psychological conditions, health and the aging process. Dr. Chopra in his lecture reconciles ancient Vedic (Hindu) philosophy with modern psychology and quantum physics.
Premature Precognitive Commitment: Dr. Chopra invokes experiments that have shown that flies kept for a long time in a jar do not quickly leave the jar when the top is taken off. Instead they accept the jar as the limit of their universe. He also points out that in India baby elephants are often kept tethered to a small twig or sapling. In adulthood when the elephant is capable of pulling over a medium sized tree it can still be successfully tethered to a twig! As another example he points to experiments in which fish are bred on
2 sides of a fish tank containing a divider between the 2 sides. When the divider is removed the fish are slow to learn that they can now swim throughout the whole tank but rather stay in the section that they accept as their universe. Other experiments have demonstrated that kittens brought up in an environment of vertical stripes and structures, when released in adulthood keep bumping into anything aligned horizontally as if they were unable to see anything that is horizontal. Conversely kittens brought up in an environment of horizontal stripes when released bump into vertical structures, apparently unable to see them.
The whole point of the above experiments is that they demonstrate Premature Precognitive Commitment. The lesson to be learned is that our sensory apparatus develops as a result of initial experience and how we’ve been taught to interpret it.
What is the real look of the world? It doesn’t exist. The way the world looks to us is determined by the sensory receptors we have and our interpretation of that look is determined by our premature precognitive commitments. Dr Chopra makes the point that less than a billionth of the available stimuli make it into our nervous systems. Most of it is screened, and what gets through to us is whatever we are expecting to find on the basis of our precognitive commitments.
Dr. Chopra also discusses the diseases that are actually caused by mainstream medical interventions, but this material gets too far away from my central intention. Dr. Chopra discusses in lay terms the physics of matter, energy and time by way of establishing the wider context of our existence. He makes the point that our bodies including the bodies of plants are mirrors of cosmic rhythms and exhibit changes correlating even with the tides.
Dr. Chopra cites the experiments of Dr. Herbert Spencer of the US National Institute of Health. He injected mice with Poly-IC, an immuno-stimulant while making the mice repeatedly smell camphor. After the effect of the Poly-IC had worn off he again exposed the mice to the camphor smell. The smell of camphor had the effect of causing the mice’s immune system to automatically strengthen as if they had been injected with the stimulant. He then took another batch of mice and injected them with cyclophosphamide which tends to destroy the immune system while exposing them to the smell of camphor. Later after being returned to normal just the smell of camphor was enough to cause destruction of their immune system. Dr. Chopra points out that whether or not camphor enhanced or destroyed the mice’s immune system was entirely determined by an interpretation of the meaning of the smell of camphor. The interpretation is not just in the brain but in each cell of the organism. We are bound to our imagination and our early experiences.
Chopra cites a study by the Massachusetts Dept of Health Education and Welfare into risk factors for heart disease – family history, cholesterol etc. The 2 most important risk factors were found to be psychological measures – Self Happiness Rating and Job Satisfaction. They found most people died of heart disease on a Monday!
Chopra says that for every feeling there is a molecule. If you are experiencing tranquillity your body will be producing natural valium. Chemical changes in the brain are reflected by changes in other cells including blood cells. The brain produces neuropeptides and brain structures are chemically tuned to these neuropeptide receptors. Neuropeptides (neurotransmitters) are the chemical concommitants of thought. Chopra points out the white blood cells (a part of the immune system) have neuropeptide receptors and are “eavesdropping” on our thinking. Conversely the immune system produces its own neuropeptides which can influence the nervous system. He goes on to say that cells in all parts of the body including heart and kidneys for example also produce neuropeptides and neuropeptide sensitivity. Chopra assures us that most neurologists would agree that the nervous system and the immune system are parallel systems.
Other studies in physiology: The blood interlukin-2 levels of medical students decreased as exam time neared and their interlukin receptor capacities also lowered. Chopra says if we are having fun to the point of exhilaration our natural interlukin-2 levels become higher. Interlukin-2 is a powerful and very expensive anti-cancer drug. The body is a printout of consciousness. If we could change the way we look at our bodies at a genuine, profound level then our bodies would actually change.
On the subject of “time” Chopra cites Sir Thomas Gall and Steven Hawkins, stating that our description of the universe as having a past, present, and future are constructed entirely out of our interpretation of change. But in reality linear time doesn’t exist.
Chopra explains the work of Alexander Leaf a former Harvard Professor of Preventative Medicine who toured the world investigating societies where people lived beyond 100 years (these included parts of Afghanistan, Soviet Georgia, Southern Andes). He looked at possible factors including climate, genetics, and diet. Leaf concluded the most important factor was the collective perception of aging in these societies.
Amongst the Tama Humara of the Southern Andes there was a collective belief that the older you got the more physically able you got. They had a tradition of running and the older one became then generally the better at running one got. The best runner was aged 60. Lung capacity and other measures actually improved with age. People were healthy until well into their 100s and died in their sleep. Chopra remarks that things have changed since the introduction of Budweiser (beer) and TV.
[DISCUSSION: How might TV be a factor in changing the former ideal state of things?]
Chopra refers to Dr. Ellen Langor a former Harvard Psychology professor’s work. Langor advertised for 100 volunteers aged over 70 years. She took them to a Monastery outside Boston to play “Let’s Pretend”. They were divided into 2 groups each of which resided in a different part of the building. One group, the control group spent several days talking about the 1950s. The other group, the experimental group had to live as if in the year 1959 and talk about it in the present tense. What appeared on their TV screens were the old newscasts and movies. They read old newspapers and magazines of the period. After 3 days everyone was photographed and the photographs judged by independent judges who knew nothing of the nature of the experiment. The experimental group seemed to have gotten younger in appearance. Langor then arranged for them to be tested for 100 physiological parameters of aging which included of course blood pressure, near point vision and DHEA levels. After 10 days of living as if in 1959 all parameters had reversed by the equivalent of at least 20 years.
Chopra concludes from Langor’s experiment: “We are the metabolic end product of our sensory experiences. How we interpret them depends on the collective mindset which influences individual biological entropy and aging.”
Can one escape the current collective mindset and reap the benefits in longevity and health? Langor says, society won’t let you escape. There are too many reminders of how most people think linear time is and how it expresses itself in entropy and aging – men are naughty at 40 and on social welfare at 55, women reach menopause at 40 etc. We get to see so many other people aging and dying that it sets the pattern that we follow.
Chopra concludes we are the metabolic product of our sensory experience and our interpretation gets structured in our biology itself. Real change comes from change in the collective consciousness – otherwise it cannot occur within the individual.
Chopra, D. The New Physics of Healing. 735 Walnut Street, Boulder, Colorado 83002,
Phone. +303 449 6229.
Coleman, J. C. Abnormal psychology and modern life. Scott Foresman & Co.
Lugo, J. and Hershey, L. Human development a multidisciplinary approach to the psychology of individual growth, NY, Macmillan.
Dennis. Psychology of human behaviour for nurses. Lond. W. B.Saunders.
Dr. Victor Barnes is an Adelaide psychologist and hypnotherapist. He has also had three decades of experience in adult education including serving as Dean of a Sri Lankan college (ICBT) teaching several Australian degrees. His overseas experience includes studies and consulting experience in USA, PNG, Poland and Sri Lanka.
By: Dr. Danika Bowen, Provost/Vice President of Academic Affairs and Accreditation Liaison Officer
Try being a heart!
When you are working – it’s working.
When you are playing – it’s working.
When you are sleeping – it’s working.
Your heart is under pressure to perform 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And if you are among the one in three adults in the United States living with high blood pressure, you run the risk of your heart “quitting” on you at any time – and you probably don’t even know it.
Virtually symptom-free, the American Heart Association (AHA) estimates that while more than 78 million people in the United States have high blood pressure, half don’t even know it. Uncontrolled and untreated high blood pressure can lead to stroke, heart attack, heart failure, erectile dysfunction, aneurysm, kidney failure, atherosclerosis (fatty buildup in the arteries) and even blindness.
May is High Blood Pressure Education Month. There is no better time to understand the risk factors that lead to high blood pressure and how to best combat this silent killer.
Blood pressure is the force of blood on the walls of the blood vessels as blood flows through them. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), this pressure naturally rises and falls during the day, but when it is consistently too high, it is considered high blood pressure. The medical term is hypertension.
Blood pressure is usually expressed as a fraction, where the first number – called systolic pressure – measures the force in the arteries when the heart pumps, and the second number – diastolic pressure – measures the heart at rest. Blood pressure measuring 120/80 is considered in the normal range.
High Blood Pressure
If your blood pressure is closer to 120-139 systolic or 80-89 diastolic, you are considered to have prehypertension. If your blood pressure is above 140 systolic or above 90 diastolic, you are considered to have high blood pressure, or hypertension.
While the exact cause of high blood pressure is unknown, the AHA reports the following potential risk factors to developing the condition:
- Heavy alcohol use
- High-sodium diet
- Race – African-Americans develop high blood pressure at a higher rate than any other race
- Age – Men are more likely to develop high blood pressure after age 35; women are more likely to develop high blood pressure after menopause
Combating High Blood Pressure
Among the easiest ways to reduce slightly elevated blood pressure or prehypertension:
- Lose weight
- Add foods with potassium, magnesium, calcium, lean proteins and fiber to your diet
- Limit foods with sodium, trans fats and saturated fats to your diet
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Quitting smoking and avoiding second hand smoke
If you develop hypertension, depending on the severity, the above tactics are recommended in combination with one or more prescribed medications, all of which should be done under a doctor’s care.
Our hearts beat approximately 100,000 times a day, and for someone suffering from high blood pressure, that’s 100,000 beats closer to a number of deadly conditions.
In observance of National High Blood Pressure Education Month, Carrington College’s 18 campuses nationwide are attempting to set a Guinness Book World Record for the most blood pressure tested in an eight-hour period on May 21, 2015. To join in this World Record attempt and get your blood pressure checked for free, visit Carrington College located at 5740 S Eastern Ave #140 in Las Vegas on May 21 anytime from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. No appointment necessary.
Carrington College offers a variety of programs that lead to a certificate or associate degree. Programs prepare students for careers in the medical, dental and veterinary fields. For more information, visit carrington.edu.
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.
Not your ordinary joe – National Wellness Authority, Joe Piscatella, offers SIX-week Wellness and Heart Health Program
RENO, Nev. (Feb. 15, 2013) –One of the country’s foremost authorities on lifestyle habits and heart health, Joe Piscatella, will offer 6 Weeks to a Healthier Heart – a six-week wellness program designed to improve heart health. The program will focus on lifestyle changes that can have a lasting impact on overall and heart health.
Piscatella underwent coronary bypass surgery at age 32 – and according to his doctors, his prognosis wasn’t good. He found a way to stay faithful to a healthy lifestyle, turned his life around and now is one of the longest-living survivors of bypass surgery – 35 years and counting.
This program is designed specifically for people who could benefit from practical tips that can be applied to daily life to achieve lasting results. Piscatella’s seminars – which TIME magazine calls a “force for positive change” – have inspired millions to achieve a healthier, better-balanced life.
Cost for the six-week program is only $50, which includes all six sessions, as well as pre- and post-fitness profiles to track results. The fitness profiles include a blood draw to calculate total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol), LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol), triglycerides and glucose, as well as weight and Body Mass Index (BMI) measurements.
Program participants across the country have reported proven results upon completion of the program. “On average, participants have lost 10.5 pounds, reduced their LDL cholesterol by 6.2 percent and increased their weekly exercise and activity by 28 minutes,” Piscatella said. “What’s even more impressive is that participants continued to report positive results even five months after the program ends. It is truly inspiring to see people adopt healthy lifestyle habits and improve their health.”
Each weekly 90-minute seminar focuses on a specific topic. All seminars will be held 6-7:30 p.m. at Hyatt Place , 1790 E Plumb Lane in Reno .
- Monday, April 22: Make Your Health Last As Long As Your Life
- Wednesday, May 1: Eating Healthy In A Doubleburger.com World
- Wednesday, May 8: Move It Or Lose It
- Wednesday, May 15: Take A Load Off Your Heart
- Wednesday, May 22: Raising Fit Kids In A Fast World
- Wednesday, May 29: Healthy Cooking At Home
More information about the program, including online registration is available at www.renown.org/HeartEvents. For general inquiries, call 775-982-4892.
Special media opportunity: Does a program like this sound appealing to you or a loved one? Media interested in participating in the program and sharing their story are able to do so at no cost. Interested media should contact Ayse (I-Shay) Caglar at 775-982-4609.
Media Interview / Photo Opportunity: Joe Piscatella is available for in-person media interviews Monday, April 22. He is available for other media interviews before that time via phone. Please contact Ayse (I-Shay) Caglar at 775-982-4609
About Joe Piscatella
Joe Piscatella, President of the Institute for Fitness and Health, lectures extensively to a variety of associations, including Fortune 100 companies, professional and medical organizations. He has authored 13 best-selling books including “Don’t Eat Your Heart Out,” “The Road to a Healthy Heart Runs Through the Kitchen,” and “Positive Mind, Healthy Heart!”. Piscatella is a frequent guest on television and radio programs that include CNN, the “Today” show, “Fox News” and “Good Morning America,” and is a guest expert on WebMD. He serves on the Legislative Task Force on Youth Health which focuses on improving nutrition and fitness in elementary schools in Washington state. He is also the only non-medical member of the National Institutes of Health Expert Panel on Cardiac Rehabilitation.
About Renown Institute for Heart & Vascular Health
Renown Institute for Heart & Vascular Health has more than 30 years of recognition as the region’s leader in heart and vascular care. The Institute for Heart & Vascular Health has championed innovative heart care with a history of firsts including the region’s first open heart surgery, first angioplasty and first stent replacement. Today, the Institute for Heart & Vascular Health continues to lead the way in state-of-the-art technology like the da Vinci Si HD Robotic Surgical System, 64-slice CT scanner, nuclear medicine, cardiac catheterization and the region’s only D-SPECT cameras that rule out heart attacks faster so patients can be diagnosed and treated quickly. With 17 board-certified heart physicians – more than any other hospital in the region – the heart physicians at the Institute for Heart & Vascular Health offer a variety of specialties and more than 345 years of combined cardiology experience. And with several care centers in Reno , Carson City , rural Nevada and Northern California , patients have convenient access to quality heart care throughout the region. For more information, visit renown.org/heart.
Ayse E. Caglar, MBA | Marketing Business Partner II 1155 Mill St. H8 Reno , NV 89502 | P 775-982-4609 | F 775-982-4666
Experts are saying that senior citizens of today are a lot healthier than the elderly a few decades ago. Not only are they getting sick less, but they are also more active. They are living fuller lives, something that the old folks in the past couldn’t have done.
What the Numbers Say
Statistics show than one third of all seniors need medical attention in a hospital annually. The reasons for hospitalization are very varied, but most of it is caused by the declining condition of their bodies. The fact remains however, that life expectancy is on the rise.
What Increased Life Expectancy Means
The increase in life expectancy means that people people would need care for a longer period. Though they are living longer years, it does not mean that they are immune from the more common ailments. Even if they don’t get sick, their body conditions really aren’t at their top forms anymore.
Common Reasons for Hospitalization
When a person becomes a senior citizen, the chances of being hospitalized are increased. There are two major reasons why a person can be hospitalized, these are due to injuries and heart problems.
Common Senior Citizen Injuries
Falls are the most common causes of injuries for the elderly. As people grow older, the chances of falling are greatly increased. Half of all those who are over 80 are likely to experience falling at some point.
The most common type of injury for seniors who have fallen is a hip injury. It accounts for more than 40% of all the injuries that seniors suffer because of falls
We all know that as people start to age, their bones become a lot weaker. This would account for the brittleness of the bones. When a person who doesn’t have a strong structure falls, the bones could easily break.
Other Types of Injuries
There are other types of injuries that seniors are prone to getting. These include injuries from motor vehicle accidents, poisoning from medications and fires. Their frail physical conditions can make them suffer more from these injuries. It is important that they be given immediate medical attention should they suffer from any of them.
Illness among Senior Citizens
When it comes to illnesses, heart problems are the most common reasons why seniors get hospitalized. These problems include heart attacks and strokes. When seniors exhibit signs and symptoms of any heart ailment, they should be brought to the hospital right away so they can be treated.
Something as simple as flu can cause the hospitalization of a senior. In their stage in life, a simple flu can cause a great deal of problems already. It should be treated right away so that it won’t get any worse or cause other conditions.
These are the most common reasons why seniors get taken to a hospital. If you are living with a member of your family who is a senior citizen, then you should know about these things so you can take better care of them. You can also share what you’ve learned to make them aware of the health risks.
Family First HomeCare is the perfect solution for seniors and others in need in New Jersey who are not ready to leave their home for an institutional setting, but because of illness or chronic conditions need support to remain at home. We improve your life by providing compassionate, one-on-one care in the comfort of your own home. Find out more about senior care services in New Jersey.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Warren_Comer
Northern Nevada Medical Center welcomes two additional local cardiologists to their team of physicians affiliated with the Northern Nevada Medical Group.
Chad Bidart, MD, FACC and Colin Fuller, MD, FACC, FACP, FSCAI, are providing heart and vascular care at Northern Nevada Medical Center’s Accredited Chest Pain Center. They join Northern Nevada Medical Group cardiologists Dr. Kosta Arger, Dr. Michael Newmark, Dr. Tom Nylk and Dr. Thomas Truong.
“We sincerely welcome these prestigious local cardiologists to our family,” said Tiffany Meert, Chief Operating Officer at Northern Nevada Medical Center. “The Accredited Chest Pain Center at NNMC has long been known for quality and expedient cardiovascular care. These cardiologists bring a breadth of experience and multidisciplinary skills, and they will continue to serve our community well.”
Dr. Bidart is board certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular disease and electrophysiology. He specializes in heart arrhythmia. A native of Winnemucca, NV, Dr. Bidart earned his medical degree at UNR and completed his residency and fellowship in cardiovascular disease at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona. He also completed a fellowship in cardiac electrophysiology at UCLA.
Dr. Fuller is board certified in internal medicine and cardiovascular disease. He specializes in peripheral arterial disease, cardiac sports medicine, and clinical and preventive cardiology. He is also a team physician for UNR Athletics. Dr. Fuller earned his medical degree at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston and completed his residency at UC, Davis. He completed his fellowship in cardiovascular disease at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas.
The cardiologists’ office is located on the Northern Nevada Medical Center campus at Sparks Medical Office Building, 2385 E. Prater Way, Suite 205, and they are also seeing patients in south Reno at 5575 Kietzke, just south of the Neil roundabout. To ensure continuity of care, Dr. Bidart and Dr. Fuller will continue to see their existing patients. They are also accepting new patients and are on most of the areas health plans including Medicare. To schedule an appointment please call (775) 352-5300.
The Chest Pain Center at Northern Nevada Medical Center is accredited by the Society of Chest Pain Centers for its ability to assess, diagnose, and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack. By becoming an Accredited Chest Pain Center, NNMC has enhanced the quality of care for the cardiac patients, and demonstrated a commitment to higher standards. When it comes to a heart attack, minutes matter.
Ten minutes a day is all you need to be heart healthy. Walking the dog, knowing your numbers, eating your greens – those are a few heart-healthy things that only Take 10.
Since 1963, to urge Americans to join the battle against heart and vascular diseases, Congress has advised the president to proclaim February “American Heart Month.” To celebrate American Heart Month this year, Renown Institute for Heart & Vascular Health is offering a variety of educational and screening events and opportunities for disease prevention and to support the fight against heart disease and stroke.
1. Beginning Feb. 1 though Feb. 28, Renown is helping people commit to improve their heart health in just 10 minutes a day. Every day in February, visit the Take 10 tab on the Renown Health Facebook page. From heart-savvy information and healthy recipes to useful apps, Renown will reveal a simple health tip that takes 10 minutes or less. Also enter to win an Ultimate Health Screening Package ($219 value).
2. Friday, Feb. 1, people are encouraged to promote awareness of heart disease by dressing in red on National Wear Red Day.
3. Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 5 and 6, Renown South Meadows Medical Center will host the life-saving services of Life Line Screening, the nation’s largest provider of preventive screenings. The screening event is designed to help local residents identify their risk of stroke, vascular disease and osteoporosis before the life-changing effects of these conditions can occur. The event is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Northview Conference Room. Call 1-800-690-0295 to schedule an appointment.
4. Throughout February: Low-cost health screenings. These events include a variety of health screenings for cholesterol, diabetes, arthritis, heart disease and more. No appointment required. The schedule includes:
Feb 6, 8 – 10 a.m.: Renown Medical Group, 202 Los Altos Parkway.
Feb 13, 8 – 10 a.m.: 850 Mill St.
Feb 20, 8 – 10 a.m.: Renown Medical Group, 1343 W. Newlands Drive, Fernley
Feb 27, 8 – 10 a.m.: Renown South Meadows Medical Center, Northview Conference Room
5. Saturday, Feb. 9, Renown will participate in the Save a Heart – Simple 7 Health Expo featuring the American Heart Association’s Simple 7, steps to heart healthy living: Get Active, Control Cholesterol, Eat Better, Manage Blood Pressure, Lose Weight, Reduce Blood Sugar and Stop Smoking. The expo takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Scheels, Legends at Sparks Marina. The event is open to the public. No RSVP needed.
6. Friday, Feb. 15, at 12 noon, Renown will host a free Online Health Series webinar on the link between gout and heart disease. Renown Health Rheumatologist Malin Prupas, MD, FACP, will be the featured presenter. Register for this webinar at renown.org/onlinehealthseries.
7. Wednesday, Feb. 27, at 12 noon, Renown will host a free Online Health Series webinar on the early warning signs of heart attacks. Karen Meskimen, DNP, RN, will be the featured presenter. Register for this webinar at renown.org/onlinehealthseries.
8. Thursday, Feb. 28, Renown will host its annual Save Your Heart Luncheon featuring Letitia Anderson, MD, FACC. The educational luncheon will be from 12 noon to 1 p.m. at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa, Paradise Ballrooms D & E. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. Cost is $10 and includes lunch. To RSVP, call 775-982-6483.
9. Friday, March 1, the American Heart Association will host its annual Go Red For Women Luncheon from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa:
Renown Provides Advanced Training for Healthcare Professionals
RENO, Nev. (Oct. 30, 2012) – Renown Institute for Heart & Vascular Health is teaming up with the Nevada Academy of Family Physicians (NAFP) to provide advanced training for healthcare professionals across northern Nevada this weekend in a three-day educational conference.
The 23rd Annual Trends in Cardiovascular Medicine Conference will be held at the Resort at Squaw Creek in Olympic Valley, Calif., Friday through Sunday, Nov. 2 – 4. This continuing medical education program is designed for internal medicine and family physicians, hospitalists, cardiovascular specialists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists, nurses and all other physicians and healthcare personnel.
Topics include the most recent advances and current established guidelines for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, stroke and diseases or problems associated with heart disease.
The conference is sponsored by Renown Institute for Heart & Vascular Health. For more information and to register for the conference, visit renown.org/UpcomingEvents. Registration will also be available at the conference. To download a copy of the event program, click here.
About the Nevada Academy of Family Physicians:
The NAFP promotes the profession of family practice by preserving the scope of practice, promoting primary care research and encouraging family physicians to assume leadership roles. The NAFP works as an advocate for family physicians and their patients to various government and non-governmental organizations affecting healthcare access and delivery.
About Renown Institute for Heart & Vascular Health
Renown Institute for Heart & Vascular Health has more than 30 years of recognition as the region’s leader of heart and vascular care. More heart procedures are performed at Renown Institute for Heart & Vascular Health than anywhere else in northern Nevada. Renown’s heart physicians have access to sophisticated diagnostic and surgical equipment such as the D-SPECT camera that detects heart attacks faster, the da Vinci® S HD™ Robotic Surgical System, 64-slice CT scanner, nuclear medicine, MRI and cardiac catheterization so patients can be diagnosed and treated quickly. For more information, visit renown.org/heart.
Renown Health News Update – October 2012
Renown Health is committed to providing media with the latest news and events, national health trends and observances. Subject matter experts are available to discuss the following topics. Please contact Dan Davis at 775-982-6370 or email@example.com to schedule an interview. Photos and video can also be made available.
INSIDE RENOWN HEALTH
• Pinterest – Renown Health has launched a Pinterest page featuring boards like Kidtastic Art, No Place Like Home and Passion for Purple. Renown’s Motivated Mommies board features pins from healthy and active moms who maintain a balance between work, parenting and self. If you know someone who fits this description, nominate them to participate by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Flu Shots Available – As winter begins, so will an increase in cold and flu sicknesses. To keep from catching the flu virus, people should protect themselves with flu shots. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone six months and older get a flu vaccine each year. A Renown representative is available to speak about ways to prevent the flu virus and other methods to keep from getting sick.
• Komen Race for the Cure – Breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer and the fifth most common cause of death. To help spread awareness and raise funds, Renown Health’s team Renown Racers will raise money and participate in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Renown also offers preventative measures for women in the community. Screening and self breast exams are imperative to all women and should be discussed with a doctor. A medical expert is available to talk about the importance of early detection.
NATIONAL TRENDS LOCALIZED
• Halloween Tips and Tricks – As Halloween approaches, parents should prepare for a safe and healthy evening of trick or treating. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest offering nutritious snacks, limiting the number of treats children eat and ensuring that costumes and makeup are safe for children to wear. A Renown representative can discuss ways to make this Halloween night safe and fun for kids.
• Survival from Heart Attacks on the Rise – Death due to heart attacks is on the decline in the United States. Some doctors believe this trend is due to changes in healthcare and increases in medical technology. At Renown Institute for Heart & Vascular Health, leading edge physicians and technology help community members stay healthy and recover quickly if heart problems occur. A Renown representative is available to discuss ways to prevent heart attacks and to improve survival chances if one occurs.
• Paleo Diet – The Paleolithic Diet and other elimination diets like it have become increasingly popular as a way to lose weight quickly. Yet, once an individual stops dieting, he or she is likely to gain back most of the weight lost. A Renown representative is available to discuss more effective ways to lose weight and keep it off.
IMPORTANT HEALTH DATES/OBSERVANCES
• National Health Education Week – National Health Education Week is Oct. 15 to Oct. 19. This celebration focuses national attention on a major public health issue. This year’s health issue is “Adolescent Health: Planting Seeds for a Healthier Generation,” which aims to improve the health and future of America’s youth. A Renown representative is available to discuss ways to keep children healthy both physically and mentally.
• National Physical Therapy Month – October is dedicated to recognizing the important roles of those medical professionals who keep us moving. At the CARF accredited Renown Rehabilitation Hospital, physicians and physical therapists provide quality care to patients helping them to get back to their lives. A Renown Rehab representative can discuss how physical therapy helps people return to the quality of life they desire.
• Respiratory Care Week – Respiratory Care Week is Oct. 21 to Oct. 27. The week is dedicated to respiratory care professionals, and it is designed to bring awareness to the lung diseases like CDP and asthma. At Renown, the department of Respiratory Care Services dedicates itself to patients ensuring they receive the treatment necessary to manage their diseases. A Renown representative is available to discuss ways to manage respiratory diseases and treatment options available at Respiratory Care Services.
The transition to senior living doesn’t happen immediately. You have to research senior living, find out what’s available, understand the fees, and budget accordingly. Years ago, when we moved my father-in-law to senior living, we reserved a unit for ourselves.
“If you plan to live here within the next 10 years or more, you need to make a reservation now,” the marketing manager explained. “Move when you’re able to take advantage of what we have to offer.” We took his advice and paid a $1,000 deposit, which was put in a special account and earns interest.
When is it time to move to senior living? That’s the question we, and perhaps you, keep asking. Each person is different and has different reasons for moving. After weeks of thought, we identified the four top things that will determine when we move. These factors may apply to you.
Family responsibility is at the top of our list. After our daughter and former son-in-law were killed in separate car crashes, we were appointed as our grandchidren’s legal guardians. Our grandchildren are fraternal twins and moved in with us when they were 15 years old. Both graduated from high school with honors and are incoming college sophomores today.
Though we are no longer their guardians, the twins still live with us, and need a place to come home to at holiday time and in the summer. We won’t move until they graduate from college and graduate school.
Health is the second factor on our list and could easily become the first. Like many older adults, my husband and I have health problems and take prescribed medication. Our health is generally good. But health can change quickly if one of us has a heart attack, stroke, or is diagnosed with chronic illness. As long as we are in good health we will stay in our home.
Personal safety is another factor. Virginia McDaniel, MS writes about this issue in her “Living Well” magazine article, “Moving to Senior Housing, When and Why.” According to McDaniel, unsafe driving is one of the main reasons seniors move. Driving may become a burden instead of a pleasure. “One may lose the ability to drive due to the slowing down of reflexes or due to vision problems,” she writes.
Older adults may leave stove burners on or forget to lock up for the night. My husband and I monitor each other and, fortunately, we’re still safe people.
Unit availability is the fourth factor on our list and it changes constantly. Management sends us letters regularly, telling us which units are available and their monthly cost. Two-bedroom units are scarce because most retirees want them. We don’t want to settle for a one-bedroom unit because we think we’ll feel like we’re living in a cracker box.
So we continue to live in our house, enjoy the garden, make necessary repairs, and keep our home market ready. We’ve already started to “lighten the load.” According to the Senior Seasons website, giving things to relatives and friends who appreciate them is rewarding. I gave my beloved piano to my daughter, and she loves it.
Many factors determine when you move. What are your factors? Which are the most important? Thinking about this now can simply your life and ease the transition to senior housing. In the meantime, enjoy your home, your neighborhood and, most of all, your life.
Copyright 2011 by Harriet Hodgson
Harriet Hodgson has been an independent journalist for 30+ years. Her book, Smiling Through Your Tears: Anticipating Grief, written with Lois Krahn, MD, is available from Amazon.
Her grief resources, Writing to Recover: The Journey from Loss and Grief to a New Life, a companion journal, and The Spiritual Woman: Quotes to Refresh and Sustain Your Soul, are available from Centering Corporation and Amazon. Happy Again! (Harriet’s latest grief resource) is also being published by Centering and is in productionnow.
Harriet has two other new books, 101 Affirmations to Ease Your Grief Journey, available from Amazon, and Real Meals on 18 Wheels: A Guide for Healthy Living, Kathryn Clements, RD, co-author and available from Amazon soon. Please visit her website, click on the blog, and share your thoughts with this busy author and grandmother.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Harriet_Hodgson
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6326189
PAIN IN THE DRAIN
IN THE COMMUNITY!
|Did You Know… …You can dispose of your expired and unused medicine at any Police Department in Clark County?
Drop Boxes are now located in the lobby of the Boulder City Police Department, the City of Henderson Police Department Substations, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department substations, the North Las Vegas Police Department substations and the Mesquite Plice Department substations.
Don’t Rush to Flush! Dispose of your expired medicines properly!
Only public employees may access public manholes for maintenance or monitoring activities. Other, illegal discharges might result in:
- Clogged or overflowing sewer lines
- Disruption of wastewater treatment plant processes
- Damage to sewer lines and laterals
- Buildup of toxic gases in the lines
- Harmful discharges into the environment
An example of an illegal discharge is a commercial vacuum truck dumping its contents of grease interceptors, sand/oil interceptors and septic tanks into the sewer system. Illegal dumping into public manholes is most likely to occur at night and away from major streets. If you see a potentially unauthorized discharge, please contact the Water Reclamation District at 702-668-8354.
|The Clark County Water Reclamation District and the Cities of Las Vegas, Henderson and North Las Vegas have teamed up to ask our residents to Just Can It! and help keep cooking fat, oils, grease and grit (FOGG) out of our community’s sewer systems. These agencies maintain extensive collection systems of several thousand miles of pipeline underneath the streets to deliver wastewater from homes, businesses and schools to the treatment facilities.
We call it wastewater, but it is not wasted at all. We reclaim every drop of this valuable resource by treating it to very high levels until suitable for reuse- for golf courses, soccer fields, industrial cooling and, most importantly, for return to Lake Mead and the Colorado River system for Return Flow Credits. In order to clean the water to the very high standards necessary, these agencies must keep the wastewater flowing through the pipelines to reach the plants for treatment.
|Q: What is FOGG, and is it a problem? A: FOGG is made up of fat, oil, grease, and grit, and it is a very BIG problem! FOGG does not mix with water because its components are insoluble and have a tendency to separate from a liquid solution. When fat, oil and grease are poured down the drain, they stick to the sewer pipe walls creating layers of buildup that restrict the wastewater flow. This problem requires pipes to be cleaned more frequently, causes pipes to be replaced sooner than expected, and causes blockages that can result in sewer overflows.
Q: How does fat, oil, grease, and grit (FOGG) create a sewer blockage? A: Fat, oil, grease, and grit in a warm, liquid form may appear to be harmless since they flow easily down the drain. However, as the liquid cools, the FOGG solidifies and floats to the top of the other liquid in the sewer pipes. The layer of FOGG sticks to the sewer pipes and over time, the flow of wastewater becomes restricted and can cause a backup or overflow. The gritty particles, including coffee grinds, eggshells, aquarium gravel, grain, rice, seeds, etc. get trapped in the greasy buildup, accelerating the problem rapidly.
Over time, FOGG accumulates in the sewer system in much the same way that cholesterol accumulates in our arteries. As FOGG builds in the pipes, wastewater becomes increasingly restricted. Suddenly, sometimes without warning, a sewer pipe backs up and overflows, similar to a heart attack. The result is a home flooded with sewage, or sewage overflowing in the street, where it flows – untreated – into area waterways.
Q: What products contain fat, oil, grease, and grit (FOGG) A: Fat, oil, grease and grit are natural by-products of the cooking and food preparation process. Common sources include food scraps, meat fats, cooking oils, lard, baked goods, salad dressings, sauces, marinades, dairy products, shortening, butter and margarine, coffee grinds, eggshells, grain, rice, seeds, etc. Anything put through the garbage disposal adds to the buildup.
Q: What can I do to keep fat, oil, grease, and grit (FOGG) out of the sewer and help prevent a grease related sewer overflow from occurring in my house or on my street? A: Everyone plays a role in preventing FOGG from damaging our sewer system. The following easy tips can help prevent a sewer overflow in your home or neighborhood.
- Fat, oil, grease, and grit should NEVER be poured down the sink. Sink drains and garbage disposals are not designed to handle these materials properly.
- Before washing, scrape and dry wipe pots, pans and dishes with paper towels and dispose of materials in the trash.
- Pour fat, oil, grease and grit into a disposable container, such as an empty glass jar or coffee can. Once the liquid has cooled and solidified, secure the lid and place the container in the trash.
- Disconnect, or at least minimize use of the garbage disposal to get rid of food scraps. The garbage disposal chops up food into small pieces, but can still cause a blockage in the pipe. Use sink strainers to catch food items, and then empty the strainer into the trash.
Q: Why is it important to dispose of FOGG properly? A: Sewer system maintenance in neighborhoods that experience sewer blockages and backups due to fat, oil, grease, and grit is expensive and can contribute to the amount that customers pay for sewer service. A sewer blockage or backup can also result in expensive repairs to the home.
Q: What should I do if I experience a sewer blockage or overflow? A: Call your sewer service provider at one of the following numbers:
- Clark County Water Reclamation District: 702-434-6600
- City of Las Vegas: 702-229-6594
- City of Henderson: 702-267-2500
- City of North Las Vegas: 702-633-1275
Pain in the Drain | Why Flushing is Bad
|Why Flushing is a Bad Idea When you flush medication down your drain, it ends up at one of our treatment facilities. These ingredients can remain in the treated water when it is released into the water cycle. When prescription or over-the-counter drugs are flushed down the sink or toilet, their chemical components may be added to the water supply. The presence of these substances in the environment is emerging as an important national and international issue. Although the concentration levels of these products in the environment is very low, research and monitoring are continuing worldwide.
Putting medications down the drain is not just a local concern. Increasingly, prescription and non-prescription medications, many of which are not effectively destroyed by sewage treatment plants, are finding their way into streams and drinking water supplies. A study conducted by the United States Geological Survey found that 80 percent of the 139 streams sampled across 30 states detected very low concentrations of chemicals commonly found in prescription drugs. While the concentration levels of these products are very low, they may be enough to cause adverse effects in the environment and to human health.