Boomer Wellness - Successful Aging Through Education
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Traveling and Health, Part 2

Thank you, my devoted readers, for waiting so patiently for Part 2 of "Traveling and Health."  Now that I have returned, I have had the opportunity to reflect on my journey. I would like to share my experiences with you, so that you too, can remain healthy and safe during your summer travels. 

As I quickly discovered, and you are no doubt 
aware, not all motels/hotels are createdequally.  The biggest issue I had was with safety in the bathrooms.  Let's take a look:

Traveling and Health, Part I

My daughter recently made the decision to relocate to Los Angeles.  Being the good and supportive mom I am, I was not going to let her travel alone across the country.  That said, we left Connecticut on Saturday, making our way to the west coast. 

Since I am diabetic (not insulin-dependent), I had to give thought as to how I was going to keep my blood sugars steady while on the road.  After all, the last thing I want is an episode of either high or blood sugar. Here is what you can do to stay safe, especially while driving:

Older Americans Month: What is it and What You Can Do to Help

 
Each May since 1963, we celebrate the contributions and sacrifices of our older citizens.  President Jimmy Carter
designated the celebratory month as "Older Americans Month," replacing the original name "Senior Citizens Month."   This celebration recognizes older Americans for their accomplishments, and demonstrates our nation's commitment to helping them stay healthy and active. 
 
The theme for this year's Older American Month is "Safe Today.

Time to Spring into Action

Thankfully, the long, snowy winter here in Connecticut is now well behind us!  The piles of snow that accumulated in my neighborhood have been replaced with pretty, pink blooming trees.  Even the geranium I nurtured all winter long is sporting beautiful new pink flowers!  Such reawakening of life inspires me to take advantage of being active outside.  When I think about the multitude of health benefits of physical activity, how can I resist?  Benefits of being physically active include:

Diabetes: What You Don't Know Can Hurt You

Choosing the topic of diabetes for the present blog post is timely, given that Tuesday, March 25th, is Diabetes Alert Day.  The American Diabetes Association reports that as of January 2011, approximately 10.9 million adults over the age of 65 have diabetes!  If left untreated, diabetes can result in serious health consquences such as heart disease, blindness, amputation of lower limbs, and kidney disease.  Did you know that people with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have a stroke (diabetes.

Medications: Can They Make You Sick?

As the body ages, it is prone to developing chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes.  Treatment may consist of taking several medications, which can be quite a daunting task, particularly for older adults.  Consider the fact that as people age, they face challenges in hearing, sight, digestion, absorption, and memory.  Arthritis sufferers bear an additional burden when handling medications and pill bottles.  Although these drugs are often a necessity, they can pose a risk if not used properly.

Lifestyle Changes Can Make a Difference

During a recent presentation, I spoke about how a nutrient-rich diet, combined with physical activity can delay and/or prevent the onset of many chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiac issues.  In fact, in many cases, medications prescribed to treat such conditions can be alleviated with a commitment to a change in lifestyle.  As a professional familiar with these facts, I decided that an improvement to my current regimen would not be a bad idea.  Here is what I suggest, which helped me tremendously:

Lifelong Learning: Can It Benefit Your Health?

Recent literature reveals that mature adults are no longer content to own a home in a beachfront community or on a golf course.  Rather, they are seeking vital communities, often in close proximities to universities, where intellectual, cultural, and socialization opportunities abound. Interesting courses are being offered throughout the country at various institutions such as theAcademy of Lifelong Learning at Eastern Illinois University.  If accessibility is problematic,Senior Learning Network

Painting with Dementia Patients

I recently had the most wonderful experience that is worth sharing.  My eighty-three year old father has dementia and lives in an assisted living community.  Visits can be difficult because of his inability to effectively communicate on a consistent basis.  Last week, I decided to bring a little wooden sled, paint, and a paintbrush with me to the visit.  After selecting a color and given a little direction, he began to paint the sled as I held it for him.  Dad appeared to be quite relaxed as he worked carefully to coat the sled with bright green paint.

A Christmas Miracle

 
This time of year, the melodious sound of Christmas music can be heard ubiquitously, often prompting me to hum along.  The lyrics of "Away in a Manger," and "Little Drummer Boy" are soothing to me amidst the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.  If it can be soothing to me, can it work its magic on people who suffer from dementia?  What kind of effect does it have on individuals who are otherwise memory impaired?  My questions were answered during a recent visit with my father.