Senior Care Updates
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The National Institute of Mental Health reports elderly depression to be a Serious Public Health Problem.
Recent research shows 15% of persons over 60 or roughly 6.5 million Americans are suffering from Depression, while 25% state they suffer from sadness. Health practitioners that care and treat the elderly including primary care physicians are unprepared to detect and diagnose Depression.
Let’s review Depression’s warning signs:
- Are you experiencing feelings of helplessness or sadness most of the time lasting two weeks or longer?
- Have family members, friends noticed Social withdrawal, self neglect with personal hygiene, appearance, clothing , loss of appetite, weight loss and maybe dehydration.
- Has your physical pain increased, has there been a major loss, illness or surgery recently ?
- If any of these scenarios exist, an evaluation by a qualified MD is recommended successful treatment of Depression, would include both psychotherapy and medications.
Drinking Alcohol At 65+
New guidelines from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism for persons 65 and older reveal that if women drink more than 7 drinks per week or greater than 3 drinks per occasion and men 14 drinks per week or Greater than 4 drinks per occasion you are at risk for illness and or injury.
As the body ages, the tolerance to alcoholic beverages decreases, literally at 65 and older you are unable to process alcoholic beverages as say a person that is 45.
Alcoholic overuse and intolerance, can worsen mental confusion, problems with balance and falls, depressive disorders, dehydration, inadequate nutrition, adverse interaction with some medications and can lead to social isolation
One drink is 12 oz of beer, 5 oz of wine or 1.5 oz of liquor, or the amount in a shot glass. Are you ready to acknowledge that at age 65 and older that fewer than 7 drinks per week or one drink per day is the limit and offers you the advantages of leading a healthier and safer lifestyle?
The Benefits of Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS)
It is important to address a personal emergency response system in your home in case of falls or injuries. AARP encourages their use for many older Americans to enhance independence and security especially for those living alone.
Many brands of PERS are available on the market and seniors should consider their specific needs and budget before deciding on a system. The Federal Trade Commission provides free online information.
One can get a system as basic as wearing a necklace or bracelet and push a button that will transmit to an installed response center through your land line telephone.
In the event of an emergency (falls, chest pain, a suspected intruder), a press of the button will have an 911 ambulance dispatched to your home, even if you can not reach your phone. PERS systems can be rented or purchased through local hospitals and are affordable and serviced by representatives.