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  • The heat of the desert summer is here, so this is a good time to review some vital safety tips for seniors.  Elderly persons are more prone to the effects of heat and at greater risk for dehydration. Make sure
    Read More
    • Coachella Valley
    • Education
    • Heat
    • Lgbt Senior Care
    • Palm Springs
    • Safety
    • Safety Tips
    • Summer
  • Pain Management for Seniors

    Monday, 17 July 2017
    Up to 88% of older adults report some form of chronic pain. Seniors are more vulnerable to chronic pain for a number of reasons, including greater joint and muscle wear, the presence of other medical conditions and a general decrease
    Read More
    • Aging
    • Controlling Pain
    • Pain Free
    • Pain Management
  • It is standard practice for businesses to tackle tough issues through meetings with concerned parties. Similarly, meetings with family members and caregivers for the purpose of coordinating the care of an elderly family member and addressing problems as they arise
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    • Aging
    • Conversations
    • Coordinator
    • Planning Ahead
    • Senior Care
  • By Healthy Aging Team Top 10 Chronic Conditions in Adults 65+ and What You Can do to Prevent or Manage Them Age, family genetics, and gender make it nearly impossible for older adults to avoid becoming a chronic disease statistic. Eighty
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  • Let's End Ageism

    Tuesday, 15 August 2017
    It's not the passage of time that makes it so hard to get older. It's ageism, a prejudice that pits us against our future selves -- and each other. Ashton Applewhite urges us to dismantle the dread and mobilize against the
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  • How to Take Care of Others Without Burning Out Emma Seppälä Aug 07, 2017   TIME Health For more, visit TIME Health. In our over-stressed world, many health care providers, social workers and caregivers are suffering from slow yet painful burnout.
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  • Yolanda has worked for Sheridan Care since 2014. She was so beloved by her previous client, she worked with her until she passed away. She is very dedicated, kind and compassionate. She is an excellent communicator and consistently updates our
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  • Seniors with limited mobility can still enjoy a variety of activities Many older adults lose mobility due to conditions like stroke, severe arthritis, or injuries from falls. When that happens, activities and hobbies they used to enjoy might now be too difficult.
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  • We already know that a healthy lifestyle is a major factor in living a long life, but studies now show that having hobbies and staying socially active are equally important. Learn more from these secrets to living a longer life,
    Read More
  • 9 Commonly Overlooked Fall Risks

    Saturday, 30 September 2017
    At any age, falling can lead to injury, sometimes severe. We all know environmental risks for falls — ice in the winter, slippery rain surfaces and strong winds. But there are risks in your own home that you may be overlooking.
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  • Healthy Eating Tips for Seniors

    Wednesday, 11 October 2017
    Healthy eating begins with you! Giving your body the right nutrients and maintaining a healthy weight can help you stay active and independent. You’ll also spend less time and money at the doctor. This is especially true if you have a
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  • Meals from the sunny Mediterranean have been linked to stronger bones, a healthier heart and longer life, along with a reduced risk for diabetes and high blood pressure. Now you can add lowering your risk for dementia to the ever growing
    Read More

News

Pain Management for Seniors

Up to 88% of older adults report some form of chronic pain. Seniors are more vulnerable to chronic pain for a number of reasons, including greater joint and muscle wear, the presence of other medical conditions and a general decrease in activity levels. Chronic pain also leads to a greater risk of accidents such as falls. Older adults who have chronic joint pain or muscle aches, especially in the legs, are 50% more prone to falling than seniors without it. The most common types of chronic pain in seniors are: Arthritis / joint pain, peripheral neuropathy (often associated with diabetes), lingering pain from injuries (such as a rotator cuff tear or hip fracture), Cancer pain and depression-associated pain.

Nevertheless, chronic pain should not be an accepted part of life for older adults. Seniors working with their healthcare providers can learn to manage their conditions and live a full life in spite of pain, no matter what their age. However, dealing with chronic pain in seniors can be a challenge for caregivers because it is often harder to diagnose and treat. Older adults are less likely to be forthcoming about their pain when speaking with their doctors. This could be out of fear of potential illness or because they do not want to appear weak. Seniors often feel that pain comes with age, and that reporting it is unnecessary. Some may also have trouble communicating their pain because of compromised abilities associated with a stroke or even dementia. The result can leave many seniors trying to cope with chronic pain unguided, leaving them open to anxiety and depression.

Pain Treatments
Because of the reticence of many seniors to acknowledge their pain, the most important first step to pain management is for caregivers to carefully monitor and communicate with the senior about the pain he or she might be experiencing. Good communication is the critical first step to effective treatment. A thorough evaluation by the senior’s doctor to determine the causes of pain should follow, along with recommendations for treatment. Here are some treatment options the National Institute of Aging recommends.

Drug Therapy

Pain medications are the most common form of pain management, however they also pose risks for a variety of complications. Older adults tend to have more adverse reactions to pain medications, so all medications need to be monitored closely in seniors, and medication changes may require more time.

Some seniors simply won’t take pain medications because they do not want to suffer the side effects. Additionally, since seniors may have medical conditions that require regular medications, such as heart disease, lung disorders, diabetes and blood pressure problems, caregivers must be vigilant about possible drug interactions. The following are the major pain medication categories:

  • Analgesics such as Acetaminophen are effective for mild to moderate pain. It is not habit-forming but can be dangerous to your liver if taken in high doses.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) include aspirin and ibuprofen. These over-the-counter pain relievers can be unsafe for people who have high blood pressure.
  • Opioid pain relievers (narcotics) are powerful prescription drugs used to treat moderate to severe pain. They are often prescribed for pain after surgery. They can cause side effects like nausea, constipation, and sleepiness. Several examples are codeine, morphine, oxycodone, and hydrocodone. While these can be very effective, they can also lead to addiction.

Other Pain Therapies 

  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) uses electrical impulses to stimulate nerves in order to relieve pain.
  • Cognitive behavior therapy teaches you how to reduce your reaction to pain.
  • Acupuncture uses tiny needles to stimulate and relieve pain from specific parts of your body.
  • Massage therapy can release the tension in tight muscles.
  • Chiropractic treatment primarily manipulates the spine to address a variety of pain, most commonly lower back pain.
  • Exercising (physical therapy) such as weight training, stretching, walking, yoga and Pilates can complement other pain management therapies.Often a combination of these modalities ends up being most effective, so it can be useful to test a variety of treatment options with the supervision of your doctor.No senior should have to settle for living with pain. With the assistance of a support team of caregivers and medical professionals, and the range of pain treatment options now available, seniors should be able to experience aging with dignity and in comfort.

    By Caren Parnes

    Contributor for Sheridan Care Desert Cities, a proud member of The Seniors Choice

Top 3 Summer Safety Tips for Seniors

The heat of the desert summer is here, so this is a good time to review some vital safety tips for seniors.  Elderly persons are more prone to the effects of heat and at greater risk for dehydration. Make sure you or someone you can trust is checking in on your elderly family members.

  1.  Try to plan activities that require going outside during non-peak hours when it might be a little cooler.  Move exercise indoors.  Consider exercising at a gym, walking on a treadmill, or “mall walking” instead of outdoor walks or activities. Swimming and water aerobics are good options as well.
  2. Drink plenty of fluids (non-alcoholic, caffeine-free as these ingredients have a diuretic effect). Talk with your doctor if you take medications that affect fluid intake, such as Lasix.  Be aware of signs of dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. The most common signs of dehydration in the elderly are thirst, confusion, irritability and poor skin elasticity. Keeping hydrated on a regular basis is the most important preventative measure, and individuals should be encouraged to drink fluids even when not thirsty as thirst may not be triggered until already dehydrated.
  3. Check your loved one’s air-conditioning system, and do a maintenance review. If electricity goes out, or your loved one does not have air conditioning, consider alternative arrangements when heat is at dangerous levels.

Heat and dehydration may make seniors more prone to dizziness and falls and can cause or increase confusion.

Heat exhaustion is the more mild form of heat-related illness. Warning signs may include the following: Heavy sweating; Paleness; Muscle Cramps; Fatigu Nausea or vomiting; Fainting. Skin may be cool and moist. Pulse rate may be fast and weak. Breathing may be fast and shallow.

Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness. It occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature: the body’s temperature rises rapidly, the body loses its ability to sweat, and it is unable to cool down. Body temperatures rise to 106°F or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided. Warning signs may include the following: An extremely high body temperature (above 103°F); Red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating); e; Weakness; Dizziness; Headache;     Rapid, strong pulse; Throbbing headache; Dizziness; Nausea.

Any indication of heat stroke is a medical emergency. Seek immediate medical attention.

Be aware of other summer dangers. Talk with your loved one about alternatives if he/she handles maintenance around the home, such as yard work or cleaning gutters. This may be especially dangerous in the heat, but may also pose general risks for falling and safety. Be vigilant about sunscreen and protect against insect bites. If you or someone you know has a bite that seems abnormal or you notice any unusual symptoms, seek medical attention.  

—By Caren Parnes, for The Senior’s Choice

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