Nancy LaFever

Don’t Ditch Your Landline Just Yet

Don’t Ditch Your Landline Just Yet

I’m part of a rapidly shrinking group of people who still has a landline phone in my home. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), which keeps track of phone usage in the U.S., cell phone usage had increased by 35 percent in 2012 from 2008. I’ve even had friends jokingly harass me and ask why I don’t just rely on my mobile phone. My rationale is I live in a rural area that often has bad electrical storms and although my cell phone coverage is usually fine, there have been times it has been less than ideal.

There really are a number of very valid reasons to keep your landline and most seniors will tell you their first concern is for safety and security. So if you’re considering ditching your landline, you may not want to do it just yet.

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Helping Seniors With Time Management Stress

Helping Seniors With Time Management Stress

Trying to plan an outing recently with my mother made me realize an area in which my life approach widely differs from that of my senior parent. When I asked her about going out to lunch, I was met with a litany of all the things crowding her calendar. She said, “I need to concentrate on my appointment with the cardiologist.” This appointment was three weeks off. She then again read her to-do list that was obviously causing her considerable stress. After a similar conversation with my mother-in-law, I understood this state of feeling overwhelmed was not unique to my mother. Her long list of “chores” was also preventing her from putting any enjoyable activities on the calendar.

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Better Utilization of Nurses Will Benefit Seniors’ Recovery

Better Utilization of Nurses Will Benefit Seniors’ Recovery

It may not be National Nurses Week (that’s in May), but it’s always a good time to acknowledge how crucial nursing is in the welfare of patients. But despite the important function nurses serve in aiding patients’ recovery during hospitalizations, their duties have progressively migrated from that patient-focused role. Asked to assume many more administrative, clerical, and adjunctive tasks, direct patient care time has been considerably reduced. Recently, however, hospitals are making new efforts to better utilize nurses’ skills and redirecting them back to more patient-related time.

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Alzheimer’s Treatment Focus Shifts to Prevention

Alzheimer’s Treatment Focus Shifts to Prevention

A decisive shift was evident in the scientific world’s approach to Alzheimer’s disease at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Copenhagen earlier this month. The focus of fighting this ravaging disease has become more of a prevention model than treatment of symptoms and effects on the brain.

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Easy Gardening Solutions for Seniors

Easy Gardening Solutions for Seniors

As we head into July, many gardeners have finished up their season’s planting and yard clean-up tasks. But others are still looking forward to putting out a colorful display of blooms, later-season vegetables, and herbs. Garden centers and nurseries’ stock has diminished, but you will still find things to plant to enjoy the rest of the summer into fall. For seniors, particularly those in senior living communities, gardening work can feel a bit overwhelming. It’s hot, hard work. However, with some planning and the right tools, even older adults with physical limitations can take part in this healthy pastime.

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Reducing Seniors’ Reliance on Sleeping Pills

Reducing Seniors’ Reliance on Sleeping Pills

Recently, my first experience with poison ivy caused several sleepless nights, which made the following days not particularly productive. Although with age, I’ve noticed my sleep patterns are more easily disrupted, I also now know I’m at my best after at least seven hours. Coincidentally, seven hours is the number sleep experts have decided is the optimal average for most adults. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, several newer studies are moving away from the standard seven to nine recommended hours of sleep per night.

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Older Men on Statin Drugs Exercising Less

Older Men on Statin Drugs Exercising Less

Statins are prescribed to lower cholesterol and close to a third of older adults in the U.S. are regularly taking the drugs. Although there is much discussion and controversy over the side effects and some unintended health impact of statins, they are still a popular choice in the prevention of heart attacks and stroke in seniors. But a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine reports on another concern for older adult men taking statins.

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Minnesota Ranks Top in Long-Term Care

Minnesota Ranks Top in Long-Term Care

As senior population numbers rapidly rise, the need for quality long-term care also drastically increases. This from the report “Raising Expectations: A State Scorecard on Long-Term Services and Supports for Older Adults, People with Disabilities, and Family Caregivers.” The study, which contains statistics from AARP, the SCAN Foundation and Commonwealth Fund, compares the states’ delivery of long-term services and supports (LTSS) to older adults, disabled adults and family caregivers. The state-by-state evaluation ranked Minnesota at the top.

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Study Shows Ageism Affects Health More Than Racism or Sexism

ageism is worse than racism or sexism

We know from many studies that the “isms” – racism, sexism, and ageism can have negative psychological and even physical consequences on those experiencing discrimination. But a new study by the Florida State University College of Medicine showed that perceived age and weight discrimination had worse health outcomes for older adults than the perception of racism and sexism. The results of the study, published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry showed health changes over a four-year period and grew out of research on perceived discrimination related to body weight as a factor in risk of obesity.

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Negative Social Contact Raises Blood Pressure in Senior Women

negative social contact in senior women raises blood pressure

We’ve all had bad social encounters that cast a negative spell on the entire day. Whether someone is being rude, very critical, or upset with us, it’s difficult not to react emotionally to the situation and take it personally. Although we may tell ourselves not to react and that it shouldn’t affect us so much, negative social contact does impact our psychological state of mind. Recently, new research confirmed that not only do we take a hit emotionally; these interactions actually can affect our health.

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