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pharmacist | Nevada Senior Guide

Fight the Flu with Healthy Habits

January 27, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

11949(Family Features) With cold and flu season upon us, it may be tempting to hibernate until the danger of red, puffy eyes and a stuffy nose disappears. Waiting for a cold or flu to run its course can truly feel like an eternity, especially when the symptoms have you looking as bad as you feel.

 

While there is no guaranteed strategy for avoiding the flu or sniffles, there are steps you can take to safeguard yourself and your family. And if you do fall ill, taking extra care will help ease you through until you’re on the mend.

 

While the Centers for Disease Control recommends the flu shot as the single best preventive measure, you can also help ward off illness with healthy habits like these:

 

  • Keep yourself and your belongings away from others who may be sick to prevent the spread of germs. Don’t share dishes and utensils in the kitchen, and provide sick family members with their own hand towels in the kitchen and bathroom.

 

  • Wash your hands frequently using soap and water or an alcohol-based rub. Avoid unnecessarily touching your eyes, nose and mouth, which are easy portals for germs to enter your body.

 

  • Keep your immune system running strong by eating sensible and nutritious meals, exercising regularly, managing stress in a healthy way and getting plenty of sleep.

 

If your prevention falls short and you find yourself combatting sniffles, take these steps to nudge yourself back to good health:

 

  • Consult with your pharmacist or doctor about which medications may help relieve your symptoms.

 

  • Use a soft facial tissue on your irritated skin. Puffs Plus Lotion is dermatologist-tested to be gentle and helps soothe irritated skin by locking in moisture

 

  • Stay home for at least 24 hours after a fever passes. This will help you catch up on much-needed rest and prevent the chance of passing anything contagious on to your friends and co-workers.

 

  • Calm stuffy sinuses with the steam of a long, hot shower. Take the sinus soothing a step further by using Puffs Plus Lotion with the Scent of Vicks.

 

  • Cover your nose or mouth with a tissue like Puffs when sneezing or coughing to minimize the spread of germs.

 

As your symptoms ease, remember to take it easy and allow your body to fully recover so you don’t suffer a setback that needlessly prolongs your illness.

 

For more tips for warding off discomfort from a cold, flu or allergies, visit www.puffs.com.

 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

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.

In an Aging Society – Are Senior Citizens Driving Safely? by Diane Carbo

August 15, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

Remember when you couldn’t wait until you were old enough to drive. Getting a driver’s license gave us an opportunity to experience a new freedom we did not have before. For those of us with two parents working, driving meant taking ourselves and our siblings to after school activities and work. Driving took us to a level of independence that we had not experienced before. In an aging society of drivers, those very same feelings exist in many today. Driving gives us a sense of independence and freedom, the ability to go out and socialize, go to work or to church. Safety issues are a concern as many move into the golden years. The life expectancy of seniors is increasing. There are more active senior citizens out on the road today than ever before. Since we all age differently, many aging adults, can drive into their seventies and eighties. As we age, the risks for having a serious car accident that requires hospitalization rises. Statistics show that fatal car accidents rise after the age of seventy.

If you know an aging adult driver who is experiencing difficulty with driving, it is important to carefully monitor the situation. This article can help you determine whether you should take steps to encourage the senior to stop driving.

An aging society and risk

Some key risk factors that affect our aging society are:

Vision declines affecting depth perception and ability to judge speed of oncoming traffic. Night vision becomes a problem as our eyes loose the ability to process light. By age 60, you need three times the amount of light that you did at age 20 in order to drive safely after nightfall. We also become more sensitive to bright light and glare. Signs and road markings can be difficult to see.

With age, flexibility may decrease as response time increases. A full range of motion is crucial on the road. Turning your head both ways to see oncoming traffic, moving both hands and feet can be difficult for those with chronic conditions such a rheumatoid arthritis, or Parkinson’s disease, heart disease and diabetes.

Older adults in an aging society will often need to begin to take medications. Certain medications, as well as a combination of medications and alcohol, can increase driving risk. Be aware and careful about medication side-effects and interactions between medications. It is important to talk to your pharmacist to be aware of interactions that could affect your driving safely. Some medications cause drowsiness.

Aging affects our quality of sleep, resulting in daytime sleepiness. Falling asleep at the wheel is a major concern for those that dose off during the day.

The beginning of dementia or mental impairment can make driving more dangerous. A decreased mental capacity or decrease tolerance to stressful driving situations such as complex and confusing intersections may cause delayed reactions to sudden or confusing situations on the road. An aging brain and body does not have the same response time as we did when we were younger.

Look for warning signs

There are multiple warning signs that an aging adult is becoming or is an unsafe driver. Some of them are small, but if there are multiple concerns it may be time to talk about your concerns with the aging driver. Warning signs of an unsafe driver include

 

  • Abrupt lane changes, braking, or acceleration.
  • Increase in the dents and scrapes on the car or on fences, mailboxes, garage doors, curbs, etc
  • Trouble reading signs or navigating directions to get somewhere
  • Range-of-motion issues (looking over the shoulder, moving the hands or feet, etc.)
  • Becoming anxious or fearful while driving or feeling exhausted after driving
  • Experiencing more conflict on the road: other drivers honking; frustration or anger at other drivers. Oblivious to the frustration of other drivers towards them
  • Getting lost more often
  • Trouble paying attention to signals, road signs, pavement markings, or pedestrians
  • Slow reaction to changes in the driving environment
  • Increased traffic tickets or “warnings” by traffic or law enforcement officers
  • Forgetting to put on a safety belt

 

If you are concerned about an aging adult driver, closely monitor their driving before deciding whether they need a refresher coarse on their driving skills or approaching them to give up their driver’s license altogether. Ongoing and open communication is important to addressing the issue of driving. Studies conducted by Harvard and MIT show that while most drivers preferred to discuss the issue with their spouse, doctor or adult children (in that order), this is not the case for everyone. The right person may not necessarily be the most forceful or outspoken one, but rather someone whose judgment and empathy are especially trusted by the driver.

Talk with other family members, your doctor, and close friends to determine the best person for “the conversation.” Remember driving signifies independence, freedom and being self sufficient to active senior citizens. Realize you may meet with resistance and the aging driver may become defensive. Emotion may get in the way of a rational conversation. Express your concerns and give specific reasons for those concerns.

The goal is to get the aging driver be part of the decision making process

You may begin by asking your loved one to make some concessions because of your concerns.

 

  • Taking a driver refresher course
  • Not driving at night
  • Suggest they not drive on busy thoroughfares or during rush hour
  • Taking shorter trips
  • Not driving under adverse weather conditions
  • Encourage a visit to their primary care physician or pharmacist to go over medications that may affect driving skills. Your physician may be able to recommend a Driver Rehabilitation Specialist. This individual can assess driving safety by an office exam and driving test and make recommendations regarding special equipment or techniques that can improve the driver’s safety. Consider ways to decrease the need to drive. Check out alternatives to shopping by car, including:

  • Arrange for home deliveries of groceries and other goods, and try to arrange for home visits by clergy, medical and personal care providers, and government service providers.
  • Use financial services that don’t require bank visits, like automatic bill paying, direct deposit, and bank-by-phone or on-line banking services.

Fears of those living in an aging society 

Fear of isolation and decrease in socializing is a real concern for the aging driver. It is important to keep spirits high as the aging driver makes the adjustments to becoming a non driver. Be in tune to their need for fun, volunteering, work and religious activities. Create a transportation plan that can make it easier for the aging driver to give up driving. You can create a list of friends and family that are willing to drive, contact the church and the local Area Agency on Aging in regards to transportation programs in the area.

Some seniors may adjust better if they can keep their own car, but have others drive them. Their own car may feel more comfortable and familiar, and the sense of loss from not driving may be lessened. Remember, baby boomers have grown up walking out the door and being able to go where they want to go. We need to keep the aging adult driver and those on the road with them safe.

Diane Carbo RN- As a geriatric care manager, that has cared for her father and mother in law in their homes, she learned first hand how overwhelming, stressful, and time consuming caring for a loved one can be. Staying in their homes was very important to them. As a result, Diane started http://www.aginghomehealthcare.com to assist others age in familiar surroundings and avoid the emotional and frustrating task of maneuvering the medical delivery system

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

A Guide to Medications For Senior Citizens by David Crumrine

June 24, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

Although modern medicines have many benefits for senior citizens in treatment of age-related disease, caution needs to be taken when using a combination of medicines. Medicine or “drugs” can refer to any substance you get with a prescription, any oral or topical substance used for pain relief, and dietary supplements. Any substance that has the potential to interact with other substances in the body can be considered in this category. To prevent mixing medicinal substances together that could be harmful, always let your doctor know what medications you take in addition to those prescribed. Senior citizens should keep a list of medications and doses that they take and bring it to every doctor’s appointment.

It is very important to practice safe habits with medication as many drugs can be lethal is taken in the wrong way. Senior citizens should use the following tips to ensure safe use of medication. Companions or caregivers should use these tips to help facilitate and encourage proper medication use.

Tips for when you are Prescribed Medications

When a doctor prescribes a new medication for specified symptoms, remember the following tips for how to proceed afterward:

 

  • Tell your doctor about all other medications you currently take,
  • Remind primary care physicians about allergies that you have or side effects that you experience from other types of medications.
  • Be sure that you understand exactly how all of your medications work and how to properly take them.

 

Here are some helpful questions to get this information:

 

  • What is the name of the medication?
  • Why am I taking it?
  • How many times a day should I take it?
  • Should I take this medication before, during, or after meals?
  • What does “as needed” mean?
  • When should I stop taking the medication?
  • If I forget to take the medication, what should I do?
  • What side effects can I expect?

 

You can also ask your pharmacist these questions and others to get more information about your medication. By having all of your medications filled at the same pharmacy, the pharmacy may be able to predict harmful interactions if all of your medications are kept on file. When getting a prescription filled at the pharmacy, keep these tips in mind:

 

  • Be sure that you can read and understand all directions and writing materials that accompany prescribed medication.
  • Check that you can open the container the medicine is in.
  • Let your pharmacist know if you have difficulty swallowing pills, so that you can get a liquid variety if available – Do not crush or chew medication meant to be swallowed.
  • Ask about the best way to store the medication.
  • Be sure that the label of the medication indicates that it is the correct medication you were prescribed and displays your name.

Tips for Taking Medications 

After filling a prescription for a medication that you received from your doctor, you should be sure that you follow directions for taking that medication. Here are some tips for safely taking a combination of medications:

 

  • Have a list of medications; include the doctor who prescribed it, the name of the medication, the reason you take it, and the directions for use.
  • Read and save all written information that comes with prescribed medication
  • Take your medication exactly in the way that it is meant to be taken.
  • Let your doctor know immediately if you experience any unexpected side effects from the medication.
  • Use charts, calendars, or weekly pillboxes to help you remember which medications to take on a daily basis.
  • Make sure companions or caregivers know when and how you are supposed to take your medication so that they can remind you.
  • Do not skip medication – if you have trouble affording medication, research programs that can aid in funding for needed medications. Medicare, a government program for senior citizens, may be a good place to start.
  • Avoid mixing alcohol and medication – alcohol can cause medications to not work correctly.
  • Take medication until it is finished or your doctor instructs you to stop.
  • Do not take medication prescribed to others.
  • Do not take medication in the dark to avoid making a mistake.
  • Check expiration dates on your pill bottles in case a medication should be replaced.
  • Do not leave your medication in the open where children or pets could get to them.

 

The Caring Space
http://www.TheCaringSpace.com

David Crumrine at the Caring Space
We are an organization that connects caregivers and care seekers, providing an easy and affordable resource for families seeking care for friends/loved ones and caregivers seeking employment.

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

 

  • 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!