Falls are one of the leading causes of injury in older adults. While there is no sure way to prevent falls, there are several strategies to help manage the risk for you or someone you love.
According to the National Institutes of Health, about 80 percent of Americans experience low back pain in their lifetime. For some, the pain only lasts for a short period of time then goes away. But for others, back pain can last for years, seriously affecting their quality of life.
As the Medical Director of South Shore Health System's Spine Center, I hear a lot of questions from patients about back pain. Here are some answers to some of their most common questions.
Each spring, more than 2,000 people from across the South Shore gather for the Walk for Hospice. Now in its 27th year, the Walk for Hospice raises funds to support the more than 600 hospice patients and their families served by Hospice of the South Shore.
Caring for a loved one for any length of time without much assistance can lead to significant stress for a caregiver. But it may be difficult for a caregiver to not only see how that strain affects his or her life, but also how to alleviate that stress in a healthy way.
It’s a fact of life that everyone gets older. With advancing age come changes in our physical, mental and sensory abilities. These changes are normal, but they can challenge a person's continued ability to drive safely. During the holiday season, many people visit their elderly loved ones and may discover that they need help to stay safe behind the wheel.
Topics: Seniors & Aging
As the holiday season approaches, many of us will travel from near or far to spend time with family and friends. During this time together, it’s common for many families to realize that a loved one might need additional help at home.
Unfortunately, all of us will grieve the loss of a loved one at some point in our lives. Despite the fact that loss is a universal experience, grief is something that most of our society is uncomfortable engaging, allowing myths to flourish. From the “stages of grief” to wondering why someone isn’t “acting sad” after a death, these myths are part of our culture, and can make it hard for those who are grieving to feel understood and supported.
Think about your favorite workout. Whether you shimmy at Zumba or compile a playlist of favorite songs for your long runs, music plays a part in your enjoyment of the activity. But you may not know that music can improve a sweat session. Research shows that playing music during low- to moderate-intensity workouts can make exercise feel easier and improves cardiovascular endurance.
Music is especially helpful in maintaining the physical health of seniors. According to the National Council on Aging, every 11 seconds an older adult is treated in the emergency room after a fall. Many older individuals fear falling so much they stop exercising, which increases their risk for injury or other health challenges.
Assuming the role as a caregiver is a selfless act requiring a level of commitment and patience that can be quite overwhelming. In fact, while caring for a loved one can be rewarding, more often than not, caregivers feel anxious by the amount of care their aging, sick or disabled family member needs.
“Family caregiving cannot be equated to professional caregivers, such as nurses who are taught to remove themselves emotionally after a day’s work,” said Tina Dwyer, RN, Director of Care Coordination for South Shore Health System's Home & Community Care division. “Family caregivers often juggle competing demands with the demands of their own life, which can be quite a challenge."
There are an estimated 65 million Americans caring for a chronically ill, disabled, or elderly family member or friend during any given year—the majority, baby-boomers who are not only managing the lives of aging family members, but also raising children, working full-time jobs, and handling the day-to-day responsibilities in their own lives.
“There is a tendency for caregivers to feel guilty when they are not focusing all their attention on the needs of their loved one,” Tina said. ”Over time, some caregivers may begin to disregard their own health.”
The good news is that through learning the specific signs of caregiver stress, we can effectively build awareness for ourselves and others so that the likelihood of stress-related health implications can be avoided.
The first principle of palliative medicine is to relieve the pain and other distressing symptoms that have otherwise become a burden to those living with serious or advanced illness. In addition to addressing pain or other symptoms systemically, palliative support helps coordinate complicated medical care—helping patients and families understand their treatment options while each patient formulates their personal goals.
In the rapidly changing landscape of health care, palliative care is actually a relatively new specialty—and because of that, it is often misunderstood by patients, families, and even some physicians. We want to eliminate the misunderstandings, so that our patients and families can instead focus on getting the support, counseling and resources to help reduce the stress that often comes with a serious medical diagnosis.
Here are five common myths about palliative care that we would like patients and families to get the facts on:
Topics: Seniors & Aging