ElderCarelink Blog

Personalized preventive care plans for elders

by Dorian Martin
April 3rd, 2013 at 10:00 am

I’ve seen first-hand how quickly an elder’s condition can deteriorate when they don’t take proper care of themselves.

My mother, who struggled with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, began experiencing memory issues in 2003. As those issues progressed, Mom started mis-medicating herself, sometimes forgetting to take her medication and other times taking too much because she had forgotten she had already taken it. Her memory issues led her to avoid doctor’s visits because of her fear of receiving a dementia diagnosis. She didn’t exercise and ate primarily prepackaged foods. Her health decreased rapidly between 2003 and 2005 when she was indeed diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and placed in a nursing home for care.

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A bad break: elders at risk from bone fractures

by Dorian Martin
March 27th, 2013 at 10:00 am

Dad has had a couple of falls recently. Fortunately, he hasn’t broken anything.

Some of my acquaintances haven’t had this type of luck in regard to their elders. When I recounted Dad’s spills to our family veterinarian, he told me that his 98-year-old mother had fallen and broken a hip, and she was admitted to the hospital for surgery. Her fracture underscores the importance of bone health for seniors. The National Bone Health Alliance (NBHA), a private-public partnership of about 50 health care organizations, offers some alarming stats on this topic — for example, “breaking a hip more than doubles a woman’s risk of death.”

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Estimating the risk of mortality for elders

by Dorian Martin
March 20th, 2013 at 10:10 am

My 87-year-old father has a number of health issues. He has a bad back and difficulty walking. His lack of mobility makes it difficulty for him to get in and out of the bathtub in order to bathe. He also has high blood pressure and is prediabetic. So how bad is his health picture, especially in terms of how long he might live?

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Harsh flu season in 2013: hazard to elders

by Dorian Martin
January 17th, 2013 at 10:10 am

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to learn how to knit. I’m making fast work on this particular goal, having signed up for a series of three classes this month. I went to the first class and really enjoyed it and have since been working on my homework. But when my second class came up this week, I postponed it. Why? I had received an email the day before that the yarn store owner (who teaches the class) and her employee had closed up the store were going home sick. I probably would have gone to the class if I lived alone, but I decided to postpone the lesson since my 87-year-old father lives with me and I wasn’t sure whether the yarn store owner was still contagious.

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Food fight: diet vs. heart attack and stroke

by Dorian Martin
December 12th, 2012 at 10:00 am

Research shows improved diet is a weapon in the fight against heart attacks and strokes, cutting potential cardiovascular risks. If food is one of the best medicines available, are elders eating the right foods? It turns out they may be doing better than some other age groups, and those nutritional choices may help to protect their health — but there’s a lot of room for improvement. I keep coming back to the importance of good nutrition for caregivers and elders; for example, you can read another blog post about my efforts to influence my father’s eating habits and lifestyle.
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