Mature Life Features

Cecil Scaglione, Editor

Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

We’ve Been Invited . . .

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. . . to a car show

by our next-door neighbors at Sky Ridge

beginning at 4 p.m. Cinco de Mayo (Friday).

+ + +

And don’t forget our weekly indoor bocce at 11 a.m.

in the 2nd floor multi-purpose room.

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Men “Bulletproof”

Until First Heart Attack

A major health concern in the fact that many men in their 50s and older haven’t seen a doctor in years. With the aging of the baby boomers, more than 150,000 men a month are turning 50 from coast to coast.

Men also are not conditioned, as women are, to have annual checkups. This means a large segment of the population doesn’t know about or use the health-care system. Things begin to change after about age 45 because of three critical ailments that begin to emerge – joint deterioration, cancer, and the number-one killer around the world – heart disease.

A handful of simple steps has been developed by medical experts to help solve what has become a major health-care problem: men in their late 40s and older who do not visit doctors regularly.

The first move is to have an annual physical exam to screen for general problems, such as stress and anxiety. Then each of the following steps should be taken each year (they can be scheduled with your annual physical): check blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar or glucose level, blood analysis for such disorders a kidney and liver disease and urine analysis, and a stool test for blood.

Men should undergo a prostate-wall and prostate-specific antigen test annually. They also should have at least one thyroid screening and periodic electrocardiograms to check for heart abnormalities after they turn 50. They also should have their lower bowel viewed with a flexible camera to check for polyps that are precursors to cancer.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

May 4, 2023 at 9:00 pm

Posted in Auto, Health

Tagged with ,

For Those of You . . .

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. . . who didn’t make it to the food-service meeting,

the possibility of doing away with Sunday brunch and

replacing it with regular week-day breakfast and lunch service

is being explored.

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Eyes Give First Glimpse

of Health Problems

The old adage that the eye is the window to the body has been found to be literally true as many diseases manifest themselves first in the eyes. Diabetes and high blood-pressure are two health problems optometrists can pick up on early during an eye exam. Rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are just two conditions that have ocular manifestations easily detected by the optometrist.

Vascular diseases, such as atherosclerosis, that can put a person at risk for heart attack or stroke also can be detected via an eye exam, even when a patient has no visible symptoms.

The following symptoms are red flags that require an immediate visit to the optometrist:

— Fleeting loss of vision;

— Fluctuating vision;

— One or both eyes turning red;

— Soreness and inflammation of one or both eyes, or

— Worsening vision.

The medical community suggests adults have eye examinations once every year or two from ages 41 to 60, then once a year from age 60 onward.

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Written by Cecil Scaglione

May 3, 2023 at 8:33 pm

Posted in Health, News / Events

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Val Vista Pharmacy . . .

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. . . is back again

at noon today

to answer all your prescription questions.


Written by Cecil Scaglione

April 24, 2023 at 5:49 am

Posted in Health

Tagged with

A Friend Recently .. .

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. . .mulled replacing some of her furniture

but she gave it up because she said

she and her recliner go way back.

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Caregivers Pay Economic, Emotional Prices

Besides the shoulder-stooping emotional cost of caring for ill and ailing loved ones, there is can be an enormous economic price to pay by the more than 22 million U.S. families who provide such care.

Caregiving costs individuals some $660,000 over their lifetimes in lost wages, and lost pension contributions and Social Security because they take time off, leave their jobs or miss out on opportunities for training, promotions, and plum assignments.

Almost 85 percent of employees reportedly make adjustments to their work schedules by taking sick leave or vacation time, decreasing work hours, taking a leave of absence, switching to part-time employment from full-time, resigning, or retiring.

Elder care has more negative impacts on workers than does child care, particularly for those who are the primary caretakers for an older adult. Taking care of an aging parent is always difficult, but it is even more difficult for employees who have to care for their parent in their own home. It essentially means employees have a second shift of work when they get home.

As the population ages, the number of caregivers grows and the personal and corporate costs rise. Employees who care for elderly or sick relatives with long-term-care insurance are twice as likely to stay in the workforce as are workers who care for relatives without coverage, according to data from three MetLife institute surveys.

In addition, working caregivers of loved ones with long-term-care insurance coverage are less likely to experience such types of stress as having to provide constant attention to the care recipient or having to offer caregiving while ailing themselves.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

April 22, 2023 at 9:05 pm

Attention All Bocce . . .

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. . .aficionados ! ! !

It’s Friday again

so dive into your playing gear

and climb aboard the team bus

at the Verena front door at 11 a.m.

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Mental Exercise Sharpens Seniors’ Mind

A few mental push-ups here and there can help keep an older adult’s mind just about as sharp as ever — much the same way physical exercise can help maintain physical fitness, according to the Pennsylvania State University’s Gerontology Center. Researchers worked with 5,000 men and women for more than three decades and found less than half showed a decline in mental ability, even those aged 74 to 81.

Does mental ability start to decline in middle age? Ridiculous, not even at age 60, they report. Just as you can maintain physical well-being as you age by exercising and eating properly, you can maintain mental well-being by engaging in stimulating activities, continuing to make decisions and leading an active life.

Mind-sharpening exercises include watching television informational programs rather than soap operas, playing bridge instead of bingo, playing blackjack instead of slot machines, and taking up word games like Scrabble or anagrams. They even recommend square-dancing because not only is it good for you physically, it’s also mentally challenging because you have to follow intricate patterns chanted by the caller.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

April 20, 2023 at 8:42 pm

Posted in Aging, Health

Tagged with ,

Dr. Raz in Residence

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Therapist Dr. Candace Raczkowski

will introduce her healing service to us at

1 p.m. in the 2nd floor theater

Her knowledge, experience, training and background

treating and preventing problems with


post-surgical recuperation,

joint inflation and

a wide-range of chronic conditions

will help most us overcome stiffness and pain.

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Married Couples More Wealthy Than Singles

Just like love and marriage, marriage and wealth‑building go hand in hand.

Don’t leap astride your high horse should someone suggest you or a dear friend or relative is marrying for money.

A Purdue University study reveals that marriage has a lot to do with wealth accumulation. Getting and staying married appears to provide institutional benefits that greatly impact long‑term economic well‑being.

A survey of more than 7,000 households that included at least one pre‑retirement person between 51 and 61 years of age indicated that people who never married had only 14 percent of the financial assets that married people accumulated.

Even when divorced individuals and surviving spouses remarried, they still did not make up as much financial ground as partners who were continuously married. The negative effects are greater when a marriage ends in divorce.

Financial potentials that are greater in marriage include home ownership, insurance coverage for spouses, survivor pension benefits, and increased rates of saving. A continuous marriage is more important to acquiring housing equity than other type of assets.

Which leads sponsors of the study to warn married couples pondering divorce to consult with a financial counselor before calling their attorneys.

A financial consultant can help because quickly liquidating jointly held property and establishing two households with the proceeds can be costly to both parties. And spinning off from that is the need to review individually held property before forging a marriage contract, whether it’s the first marriage or the latest in a series. Pre‑nuptial financial agreements should be given as much priority as legally binding romantic bonds.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

April 17, 2023 at 8:56 pm

Posted in Finance, Health

Tagged with ,

If You Don’t Like . . .

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. . .tucking your hearing aids into your ears,

put them in your pocket and take them down to

the 2nd floor multi-purpose room

at 3 p.m. to get them

checked and cleaned.

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It’s a good thing I became a wordsmith because

I can’t even count the times I failed math at school.

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Too Sick to Seek Care

Imagine being too sick to get help from becoming sicker. That’s what appears to happening to a lot of the elderly. Poor physical health and disabilities could be keeping older patients from seeking preventive care, such as mammograms and flu shots, according to a report by the Washington, D.C.-based Center for the Advancement of Health.

It also seems that physical-health problems affect the elderly’s health behavior more than mental-health problems like depression. The one exception, according to results of a survey of more than 4,500 individuals aged 65 to 103, is that older patients who reported being depressed were more likely to smoke.

Most people are less likely to smoke or drink alcohol frequently as they age but are also less likely to have mammograms, lose weight, and exercise as they grow older. Minority and low-income patients, as well as those with physical-health limitation, are less likely to use preventive medical services.

On the other hand, elderly respondents taking multiple prescription medications or who had recent falls were more likely to use preventive care and to practice good-health behaviors. This suggests that regular contact with health-care providers encourages better good-health practices. Additional visits also give health-care providers more opportunities to suggest vaccinations, go over opportunities for advance directives, and discuss needs for behavioral changes.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

April 11, 2023 at 8:40 pm

Posted in Health

Tagged with ,

Blood Pressure checking . . .

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. . . cancelled today

but don’t forget Val Vista Pharmacy personnel

available at 11 a.m. in 2nd floor theater

to review your prescriptions and

discuss how they can work with you

to provide automatic service and free delivery.

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Written by Cecil Scaglione

April 4, 2023 at 9:04 pm

While Tomatoes and Avocados . . .

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. . . are fruits,

it’s not a good idea to put them in a fruit salad.

And did you know that avocado peel

is extremely healthy but,

because it’s so bitter and chewy,

few people eat it.

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Follow The Doctor’s Orders

Taking medications correctly at the right time and in the right way as prescribed by your doctor can help control any medical issues. While not doing so can some grim consequences, not everyone follows those rules because they’re too busy, feel good without the medications, have pills too big to swallow or any number of other excuses.

About 30 percent of medication prescriptions are never filled, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 50 percent of cases studied, patients don’t continue medication as prescribed. This non-adherence to doctor’s orders causes as much as 50 percent of chronic disease treatment failures and 125,000 deaths per year.

One of the two most-common reasons medications are not taken as prescribed is, “I’m feeling better. I can stop taking medication.” Not taking medications as prescribed by your doctor can result in several negative outcomes.

If, for example, you’ve started on a new blood-pressure medication but you’re not taking it regularly, it may not properly control your blood pressure. If your doctor thinks you’re taking the medication as prescribed, they may look at high blood-pressure readings as a sign that you need additional medication.

The other most common reason for not following the prescribed medical course is, “My medication is too expensive. Missing one dose or taking a half-dose here and there to save a little shouldn’t be a big deal.” Your doctor may not notice you’ve missed a few doses here and there. But medications like those for your thyroid or blood thinners may have a huge impact if only one dose is missed.

To help you stick to a required regimen, don’t skip doses or take half doses to save money. If money is a problem, tell you doctor so the problem can be addressed and solved.

Keep taking the prescribed medicine until it’s completed or until your doctor tells you no longer need it. The reason you may be feeling is good is because the medication is working, so keep on taking it.

If you have any questions about the medication you’re taking, talk to your doctor and pharmacist.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

March 24, 2023 at 8:51 pm

Posted in Health

Tagged with ,

Something . . .

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. . .I never do:

I don’t stand

in front of elevator doors

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Alzheimer’s Toll Also Economic

Call it what you will: senior moments, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or any of several other descriptions of mental and memory meltdown. It still boils down to the emotionally loaded tearing down of a connection with a loved one. And it can take with it a sizeable economic loss that overwrought and overworked caregivers can easily overlook.

Adults who have paid their bills regularly as they matured will become addled by arithmetic if they fall victim to Alzheimer’s so it’s up to the family or friends near him or her to be alert to signs of faltering financial know-how. If a parent, sibling or spouse who’s handled household expenses or investment portfolios over the years begins showing signs of senior slippage, it’s time to move quickly to save the savings accumulated over the years.

Mail and bills piling up is an immediate signal of trouble.

You can conduct a simple test on your own. Go to lunch with the person and suggest you each pay for your own meal. Then observe how much difficulty he or she has figuring out what each owes, how to make change, and how much to leave as a tip. Another warning sign is the inability to recognize and address basic economic terms, such as interest, the difference between checking and savings accounts, and minimum credit-card payments.

Any of these can be signs of diminishing capabilities that can lead to increased dangers, such as a loss of credit standing and being victimized by scam artists by mail, phone, the Internet, or a knock at the door. Whether you’re in the will or not, you should take steps, or alert family members empowered to so do, to protect the slipping senior’s assets.

Recommendations should be discussed with the individual showing signs of shortcomings. He or she can be part of the process during lucid moments and outline his or her wants and likes. One simple step to take is to maintain a small checking account in his or her name so checks can be written on it to purchase Christmas gifts for the grandchildren or pay a bill. This protects the bulk of the assets while giving the person a feeling that he or she still has some financial control.

A team that includes members of the family and an attorney and financial advisor can protect both the economic and emotional, as well as the medical, needs of the person whose memory is being addled by the aging process.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

March 21, 2023 at 8:42 pm

Posted in Finance, Health