Boomer’s Blog

Boomer’s Blog2018-05-18T08:58:16-05:00

Dr. Mauk’s Boomer Blog

Each week, Dr. Kristen Mauk shares thoughts relevant to Baby Boomers that are aimed to educate and amuse.

Dr. Kristen L. Mauk, PhD, DNP, RN, CRRN, GCNS-BC, GNP-BC, FAAN

Guest Blog: How Seniors Can Reduce Financial Stress

 

Anxiety and worrying about financial problems is a common issue that seniors often face. Obviously, finding a reliable stream of income after retirement is not easy.

Well, one way to reduce mental stress is to visit retirement locations. Another method to alleviate financial problems is to invest in gold bullions at a young age by getting them from Gold Bullion Australia.

Let’s discuss some other techniques to cope with financial stress and live with a mind free from any worries.

Think Positive
Positivity is the key to bringing a healthy change in your life. If you are surrounded with negativity, either in the shape of people or in the form of thoughts, you cannot work on anything without stressing out.

Although it can be difficult to ignore or put your financial problems aside, you can adopt an optimistic approach every time you think about your economic condition.

Define a Budget
Emphasizing on a budget might look like adding more worries to your list, but it is an effective way to get a control on your financial stress. Defining a fixed amount will help you to decide how and when to spend cash.

A budget maintains a balance between savings and spending. When the amount you spend significantly limits the amount you save, you can cut down your budget.

Initially, it will be difficult to make a budget plan because it is not easy to determine how much to save and how much to spend. Once you get a grip of your financial plan, you can easily allocate your budget.

Start by saving on a small scale, and then each month cut down your spending. When you find a right balance, define a budget plan and follow that every month.

An Emergency Fund Can Come in Handy
The money that you set aside for emergency situations and unexpected accidents or incidents is an emergency fund. Allocate a fixed amount to put in the emergency fund box and don’t open that box to take out money until you really have a financial emergency.

This is an effective method to cope with financial stress since you know that you have some spare cash for an unexpected moment.

Although it is not easy to set money aside for an emergency fund, you should really adopt this technique to get out of any trouble in future without asking for monetary help for others or taking bank loans.

Getting Financial Help from Others
In case you are not able to handle your financial problems in spite of having an emergency fund, you might need help from others.

A bank loan or borrowing some money from your friends and family can work in this situation. Keep in mind that a bank loan has to be paid back with interest, while you might not need to pay extra money to your loved ones. So, choose wisely to avoid any financial stress in future.

By |August 22nd, 2019|Categories: Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Tags: , , |Comments Off on Guest Blog: How Seniors Can Reduce Financial Stress

Guest Blog: 5 Signs of Mental Health Issues for Seniors


When you’ve started to notice changes in an elderly relative, you may wonder if a mental health issue is the cause. While it is important a mental health professional diagnoses these issues, some signs exist indicating that the time has come to make an appointment.

Depression

Depression can occur for a host of reasons. Elderly individuals may be suffering from the loss of a loved one, or they may feel alienated, isolated or otherwise separated from their friends or from their interests outside of the house. Individuals who seem filled with sadness and negative emotions or who are hinting about emotional turmoil may need outpatient or inpatient treatment for depression.

Anxiety Issues/Bipolar Disorder

You may also notice that your loved ones are having heightened periods of elevation followed by periods of deep sadness. They could be suffering from bipolar disorder. Serious anxieties could begin to manifest at this age too. For example, you may notice that your elderly relatives always seem to be thinking about their own death or about expected loss of other loved ones.

Memory Loss

As people age, you may think that it is a normal occurrence for them to forget information that they would have once remembered. However, these early slips could be signs of a more serious problem that is coming into fruition. Your loved ones might now be forgetting about certain dates or social events, but these struggles could turn into failures to take medication or complete other necessary medical tasks.

Personal Care

If you notice that your loved ones are not taking care of themselves as they used to, this situation could also be a sign of mental health issues. For example, you may have noticed that your relatives are no longer brushing their teeth or bathing on a regular basis. Seeking professional help can uncover the root of the issue so that a plan of treatment can be devised.

Social Withdrawal

Your loved ones might also seem to not want to participate in social activities anymore. Whether they are constantly declining invites to attend family functions or they do not want to participate in community activities any longer, these decisions could be signs that a mental health issue is present.

As your loved ones age, you may be the lookout for physical health issues. While addressing these problems is imperative, so is watching for signs of mental health struggles. May is mental health awareness month, get involved to help bring awareness to this important cause!

By |August 21st, 2019|Categories: Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on Guest Blog: 5 Signs of Mental Health Issues for Seniors

Starting the Conversation: How to Talk to Your Parents About Senior Care

Contributing Author: Christopher Norman, Geriatric Nurse Practitioner

An inevitable process has begun: Your parents are growing older. Maybe they are struggling to keep up with their personal needs, or they have worsening physical limitations. Whatever the reason, you realize it’s time to talk with them about senior care. If you are nervous about initiating this conversation, you are certainly not alone.

Seniors often resist this conversation for a variety of reasons. Transitioning from giving care as a parent to receiving care from others can be a difficult adjustment. Additionally, many seniors resist accepting help because it means acknowledging the passage of time and the loss of independence.

Regardless of why your parents are hesitant to acknowledge their need for help, the way you approach this conversation can make a huge difference in the way they respond. Below are a few tips you can use in navigating this difficult topic together.

Start By Listening
Not sure where to begin? The secret ingredients for a constructive conversation on the topic of senior care are empathy and active listening. Before you begin to share your point of view, ask open-ended questions to uncover what they think, feel, and believe about aging and senior care.

Be Prepared to Offer Solutions
As you transition to a discussion about specific senior care options, your parents will likely be much more receptive to your input if you take the role of a knowledgeable advisor. If you research ahead of time, you can be prepared to lay out their options and work through any barriers, whether real or perceived. Two of the most important topics to read up on are:

Finances. One of the older generation’s chief concerns is finances – how to pay for the care they need will most almost definitely be a point of concern. Prior to broaching the topic of senior care, learn about the different payment options and financial assistance available for the various levels of senior care, such as in-home care and assisted living.

Aging in place. Many seniors prefer to live in their own homes for as long as possible – also referred to as “aging in place.” Be ready to discuss the need for in-home care and the need to find or adapt a home with “Universal Design” principles, such as no-step entryways, walk-in bathtubs, and wide hallways. Another key component of safely aging in place is assistive technology such as a medical alert system, which provides access to immediate help in an emergency. Research the costs and options available from different companies, and consider adding a home security and automation system as well.

Keep Your Final Goal in Mind
It is difficult to predict exactly how the conversation about senior care will be received by your parents, but as long as you listen, empathize, and are prepared to answer questions, you can make this difficult transition easier on everyone. You can then move forward together to find a senior care option that gives peace of mind to both you and your parents, with the ultimate goal being their safety, health, and happiness.

By |August 19th, 2019|Categories: Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Tags: |Comments Off on Starting the Conversation: How to Talk to Your Parents About Senior Care

Guest Blog: How to reverse the over-40 eye syndrome

If you’re past your 40th birthday, you’ve likely noticed some subtle signs of aging despite your best efforts to eat right and exercise regularly.

One of the most common signs of aging is changes in our vision. The eyes gradually lose their elasticity as we age, leading to a variety of vision problems, including difficulty reading and seeing things up close.

Fortunately, many of these issues can be corrected, with corrective lenses or laser eye (LASIK) surgery.

Common eyesight problems for people over 40

There are more than a dozen vision problems directly related to aging. Some of the more common issues include:

  • Dry eye syndrome — As we age, we have fewer tears in our eyes and they can become dry and irritated as a result. This problem is especially prevalent in women. You can combat this problem by using artificial tears.
  • Changes in light and perception — Aging also affects the eye’s ability to adapt to darkness. This problem is particularly common among African-Americans. Prescription eye drops usually help ease this condition.
  • Presbyopia — Presbyopia is the gradual hardening of the eye’s lens as we age. This usually results in difficulty reading or seeing things at close range. Reading glasses are generally prescribed to correct this problem.
  • Cataracts — Cataracts are a cloudiness on the retina that affects vision. More than 22 million Americans are affected by this vision problem. In fact, more than half of Americans will develop this problem by the time they reach age 80. When vision becomes so cloudy it affects a person’s quality of life, cataracts are treated by eye surgery, a common and safe operation.
  • Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) — AMD is the leading cause of irreversible eye damage in those over age 50. This condition destroys the sharp, central vision needed for things like driving and reading. Lasik surgery can help prevent further damage to the eye, but can’t restore vision that has been lost.
  • Diabetic Retinopathy — Diabetes affects more than 4.5 million Americans over the age of 40. This chronic condition affects the blood flow to all parts of the body, including the eyes, resulting in blurred vision and “floaters.” Lasik surgery is usually performed to correct this problem.

How to prevent, reverse and/or retard eyesight problems related to aging

There are many things that you and your eye doctor can do to help you keep your good eyesight well into your golden years. Proper eye care is not just your doctor’s responsibility. Some of the things that you have control over include not smoking, eating eye-healthy foods full of vitamins C and E, exercising regularly, protecting your eyes with UV-rated sunglasses when outdoors and breathing clean air. In addition, it’s important to keep your regular, annual eye exams, so your doctor can identify and treat any problems early.

Lasik surgery and eye problems due to aging

Lasik surgery can help treat a number of vision issues associated with aging. In fact, more than 11 million Americans have had some sort of LASIK eye surgery since it became widely available in 1991. LASIK can help to improve vision in patients who are near-sighted, far-sighted and/or have an astigmatism. This type of eye surgery works by reshaping the cornea and is effective in improving vision in more than 96 percent of patients, according to WedMD.

Sources:

http://cvw1.davisvision.com/forms/StaticFiles/English/Over40_01ys.pdf
http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/lasik-laser-eye-surgery
http://bmctoday.net/crstodayeurope/2013/02/article.asp?f=ndyag-treatment-of-epithelial-ingrowth

 

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By |August 15th, 2019|Categories: Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: How to reverse the over-40 eye syndrome

Dental Care Tips for the Elderly People of Age 55+

 

1. Introduction to Oral Health

An increase in education about oral health, as well as better access to toothbrushes, fluoride toothpaste and floss, have led to more older adults retaining their original teeth. However, as you age, your teeth and gums require a little extra attention. Read on to learn about how to care for your teeth after 55.

2. Oral Health Challenges in Aged People

– Dry mouth
Hormonal changes and many medications contribute to reduced saliva production resulting in dry mouth. Dry mouth can increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease by allowing bacteria to breed more easily and can also lead to difficulty speaking and eating, fungal infections and problems wearing dentures.

– Attrition
Attrition refers to general wear and tear on teeth that occurs as you age. Years of chewing and grinding wears down tooth enamel increasing the risk of cavities.

– Diseases
Older adults over the age of 55 years old have an increased risk of developing thrush, a fungal infection of the mouth, as well as oral cancers.

– Root Decay
Gums can recede as you age exposing the base of the tooth to bacteria which can decay your teeth from the roots.

3. Common Conditions Found in Aged of 55+

Even with a good oral care routine, adults over the age of 55 years old have an increased risk of developing some problems with their teeth and gums. Some common conditions include:

• Darkened teeth which is often due to enamel erosion and changes in the dentine inside the teeth, but can also be caused by regular consumption of dark foods and beverages.
• A reduced sense of taste which may be due to the side effects of some medications but can also be caused by dentures.
• Gum disease which is most often caused by plaque build-up but can also be caused by cancer, anaemia and diabetes.
• Misaligned jawbone as a result of tooth extraction or loss without replacing the missing teeth which lets remaining teeth drift.

4. What Can You Do to Maintain Your Oral Health?

To keep your natural teeth strong and bright for many years to come, there are several ways you can protect your teeth and gums.

– Increase Fluoride
Fluoride is present in most drinking water and in dental products like toothpaste and mouthwash. Increasing your use of fluoride can help to protect your teeth from cavities by helping to remineralise your teeth after acid wear.

– Eliminate Tobacco Chewing
Tobacco chewing has been linked with several negative oral health issues including cavities and discolouration. But quitting tobacco can be a challenge. Talk to your doctor about resources to help you quit and make an appointment with your dentist in Southend for a tooth whitening treatment for a brighter smile.

– Increase Oral Hydration
Staying hydrated is a great way to combat dry mouth as a result of medication. Keep a water bottle close by and sip throughout the day. You can also improve your oral hydration by chewing sugarless gum and limiting your intake of alcohol.

– Antibacterial Wash
Improve your oral health by reducing the build-up of plaque with antibacterial wash. Swish a small amount of alcohol-free mouthwash in your mouth after brushing at night.

5. Conclusion

With proper oral care your teeth and gums will last your lifetime but take extra care of your teeth after the age of 55. If you interested in learning more about how your oral health changes as you age, call your local dentist for an appointment.

Author bio:
Located on the Southchurch Road, Parmar Dental is a multi-award winning
Southend Orthodontics offering high standard and quality dental treatments that
patients always expect. Parmar Dental provides dental care in a very relaxed and
tranquil environment, where each visit would be a unique experience for their
patients.

By |August 15th, 2019|Categories: Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Tags: |Comments Off on Dental Care Tips for the Elderly People of Age 55+

Guest Blog: Ways to prevent and treat depression in older adults

 Older adults are at high risk of developing depression. As we age, the brain becomes less active and we often begin to experience mild memory losses. Even though many seniors choose to get treatment as soon as they realize their mental health begins to decline, they don’t want to become pariahs to their families. As a consequence, they refuse to get further help and end up in depression. How can we help our older parents overcome depression when they refuse to accept our assistance?

Depression – a real health concern we shouldn’t leave unattended

Depression is a proven health concern that manifests differently from individual to individual. The symptoms are real, and if they’re not treat in advance, the condition may lead to even greater health issues, including sleep deprivation, lack of interest in performing daily activities, isolation, lack of appetite, and more.

Sadly, too many seniors can’t or won’t want to admit that they feel depressed. They refuse to get help because they don’t want to be a burden to their loved ones. As their parent, you have to be more aware of the signs, so that you can help them get back on their feet. Depression shouldn’t be seen as a sign of weakness. Everyone can become depressed at any age, and regardless of any accomplishments of background.

Have a chat with your parents and talk about their feelings

Stress or bereavement are not the sole cause of depression in older adults. If you’ve noticed that your loved ones are not eating anymore or that they’ve lost interest in performing daily activities that once made them feel good, then they might be depressed. It’s very important to talk to your parents about their feelings.

Have a friendly conversation and ask them if they’re doing ok. Older adults become depressed when their health is in jeopardy; or when they begin losing their friends due to old age. If you can’t afford to hire a specialized caregiver, you can be their caregiver. All you have to do is listen to what they have to say. Be there to comfort them and find a way to lift their spirit by doing activities together.

The link between sadness and depression

There’s a very tight connection between sadness and depression. However many older adults claims they’re not sad, making you believe they’re not depressed. But deep down something’s off. Their depression might kick in and develop in a totally different way. Pay close attention to the signs, and if you notice that mom doesn’t talk as much or doesn’t want to do anything, then she might be depressed.

In older adults, depression can be observed physically. Your parent may suffer from insomnia, acute arthritis, lack of appetite, or lack of energy. Migraines and headaches can also be a predominant symptom. As we age, we begin losing some of the people we care most about. Loss is excruciating, and older seniors don’t know how to cope with it. Many grieve differently, and even though it’s normal, some adults end up depressed.

It’s tough to make the difference between depression and grief because oftentimes the symptoms are very similar. Nonetheless, there are ways to tell them apart. Grief involves a wealth of emotions; some are good, others are not so good. Sometimes, the person grieving a loved one may experience feelings of joy and happiness. When you’re depressed, positive feelings are completely eradicated, and you feel totally empty.

Helping a loved one cope with depression

Beating depression is hard, but not impossible. It demands a lot of hard work and determination. Support matters the most, they key often being to be there for your aging parent and engage in activities that make them feel positive and upbeat. Note that digital communication doesn’t help; talking to your mom every week over the phone is not enough to raise her spirit. You have to do it in person.

Make time to visit every week. Bring the kids over, go out for coffee, and find a way to have a good time and remember the good times. Residential care may not be the first thing that comes to mind when aiming to overcome depression. But it might be a good idea because it allows older adults to make new friendships and build relationships.

 

 

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By |August 14th, 2019|Categories: Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: Ways to prevent and treat depression in older adults