Dr. Mauk’s Boomer Blog
Each week, Dr. Mauk shares thoughts relevant to Baby Boomers that are aimed to educate and amuse.
Have you felt like your increasing age is taking a toll on you? As men increase in age, their normal hormone levels decrease and result in different types of male hormone imbalances. One of which is andropause or “male menopause” – a decline in a man’s levels of testosterone, their primary male sex hormone.
A gradual but significant decline in a man’s testosterone begins at age 30 at a rate of 1 to 2% per year. By about age 70, a man’s testosterone levels may have declined by 50%. Because testosterone plays a huge role in a man’s overall health, low T levels may produce different adverse effects.
Andropause and senior health
Here are the most common symptoms and changes you can expect from andropause in your senior years:
- Sleep disturbances: Sleeping difficulties or disturbances in andropause men include insomnia, sleep apnea, night sweats, and restless leg syndrome (RLS).
- Emotional changes: Different changes in emotions during andropause often result to a lack of motivation, depression, forgetfulness, and lack of concentration.
- Sexual dysfunction: During andropause, a man’s sexual function also weakens and lays low, which may result in low sex drive, infertility, and erectile dysfunction.
- Osteoporosis: With declining testosterone levels, men become more susceptible to osteoporosis. Low levels of testosterone lead to loss of bone tissue and mass.
- Physical changes: Other physical manifestations of andropause in men include increased abdominal fat, decreased muscle mass, hair loss, and swollen breasts.
Dealing with andropause
Although andropause can’t be escaped, it can be managed. Men can deal with the different symptoms and risks brought about by andropause with these simple steps:
- Weight management: Stored extra fat, especially in the belly, can convert testosterone to estradiol. Healthier lifestyle choices such as proper diet and regular exercise are greatly recommended.
- Physical activity: Engaging in physical activities can help alleviate unpleasant symptoms of andropause, such as mood swings and sleeping difficulties, while helping manage your weight.
- Proper nutrition: Practice eating healthier food choices including fiber-rich foods, omega-3 fatty acids, lean meat, and fruits and vegetables for overall health, increased energy, and strength.
- Getting checked for depression: Depression is one of the symptoms of andropause that you should keep an eye on. Beware of signs of depression or have your primary care provider screen you for possible depression.
- Expert consultation: The best way to deal with andropause is through an expert doctor’s help. Be honest about your symptoms for proper diagnosis and treatment. For some, testosterone replacement therapy can be given as an effective treatment.
Get equipped and be ready for the andropause battle!
The younger generation may think that all of today’s technology is reserved only for their use, but that’s simply not the truth. Many areas of this digital age can greatly benefit senior citizens, and here are just five ways that older folks can use technology to enhance their lives.
1. Cellphones: Today’s seniors aren’t typically sitting home in rocking chairs or baking cookies. Active senior citizens may enjoy travel or fast-paced social lives, and this makes a cell phone the perfect way to keep in touch wherever you roam. While many phones are difficult to use and feature tiny buttons, there are some very easy to use cell phones for seniors that utilize large, easy-to-see buttons that are just perfect for the older population.
2. Advanced Recliners Nothing beats a hot massage at the end of the day. New technologies in recliners are ready for the 21st century. Today some power lift recliners heat, massage, and much more. They can even help you get up after your snooze.
3. Medical Alert Systems: If you’re a senior citizen who has been afflicted with health issues, then you can still live alone in your own home without fear. Many companies offer medical alert systems that allow you to wear a pendant-style device that can summon help with the press of a button. Others are programmed to call for assistance if a fall is detected, and there are even companies that track your movements through GPS so that you can be helped even when you’re away from home.
4. Computers: Internet companies are keeping senior citizens connected throughout the world. It’s a wonderful method of making new friends, joining groups with those who share your favorite hobbies and keeping up with local and worldwide news. Seniors may also keep up with their extended family and see related pictures through social media, shop online, research medical concerns and arrange for local services online.
5. Electronic Readers: Aging eyes can lose the ability to read normal-size print, and this is a great loss to those who have loved to read their entire lives. With the help of various tablets and e-readers, senior citizens can download books, newspapers and magazines, which can be read at any size that the individual requires. These e-readers can also change the brightness to suit your visual needs.
As automotive technology has improved, increasingly more consumers are seeking out that technology during the car shopping process. Every year, the rate at which technology changes personal transportation accelerates. As a matter of fact, NY speeding violations lawyer http://www.zevgoldsteinlaw.com/ quotes General Motors CEO Mary Barra; “We’re going to see more change in the next five to ten years than we’ve seen in the last 50.”
For baby boomers, who are hoping to stay on the road for as long as possible, this is more important than ever. The question many consumers find themselves asking, however, is what technologies will make their way into the mainstream market and which ones will remain in the realm of science fiction. In the very near future, there are 25 advanced car technologies that we expect to see making their way into showrooms.
- Intelligent Brake Lights are being developed that indicate whether a driver is stopping quickly or simply decreasing acceleration.
- Smart Windshields will use augmented reality to help display key information about what’s happening on the road.
- Night Vision Enhancements make it easier for seniors and others with night vision troubles to see when they’re out on the road at night, removing obstacles that might create an earlier curfew for seniors.
- Automated Parking Systems make parking easy. Simply put the car into parking mode and it will slide itself into the parking space—perfect for those who have started to see their motor skills deteriorating.
- Lane Departure Warning Systems don’t just help distracted drivers who might have wandered out of their designated lane. They’re also designed to help elderly drivers who may struggle to keep their car inside the lane when they’re driving.
- Crash Notification and Avoidance Technologies recognize the conditions that can lead to an accident, from someone running into the road to a car slamming on its brakes ahead. Some of them are designed to notify drivers so that they can react. Others may even slam on the brakes or have another reaction to help avoid the collision.
- Blind Spot Detection and Back-Over Prevention Systems note any time there’s something behind the car or in a blind spot, making it easier to avoid accidents.
- Fatigue Warning Systems analyze driver behavior and notify them when they are becoming fatigued, letting drivers know when it’s time to pull over for a while.
- Forward Collision Warning with Auto Brake notices when accidents are going to happen and puts on the brakes to avoid them.
- Self-Driving Cars were the technology of the future just a few short years ago. Now, however, they’re becoming a very real possibility, removing the responsibility of driving the car from the senior’s shoulders.
- Driver Override Systems recognize when drivers are accelerating faster than the driver intended, such as when the gas pedal is slammed instead of the brake. The unsafe response is then overridden.
- Biometric Vehicle Access offers an even greater level of safety and protection, pulling together the safety systems needed by an individual driver based on biometric scans.
- Comprehensive Vehicle Tracking lets you know where your car is at any moment. It’s a fantastic resource for children who might worry about their elderly parents wandering off.
- Active Window Displays bring GPS and other apps straight to the windshield, removing the need to look away in order to effectively use those apps.
- Remote Vehicle Shutdown allows a car to be shut down from a distance—especially effective in conjunction with the GPS tracking that will let adult children know if their parents are out of the geographic area where they should be traveling. This feature is one of 10 advanced car technologies predicted by Forbes contributor Karl Brauer by 2020.
- Active Health Monitoring is something nearly everyone is now familiar with. Active health monitoring in a vehicle allows drivers to know when their health isn’t adequate to safe driving.
- Reconfigurable Body Panels change the shape of the car, making it possible to use a single vehicle for many purposes.
- Tablet Transforming Steering Wheels use gesture control, similar to what’s used on a tablet screen, to make cars easier to maneuver—even for those with joint problems.
- High-Tech Car Seats with Stress Gauges help drivers stay calm behind the wheel, shifting responses to help create a safer driving experience.
- Dashboard Safety Integration provides safety information on the dashboard, where it’s easy to view while driving.
- Augmented Reality provides warning messages and other key information on the windshield, making it easier to see obstacles and other concerns.
- Hydrogen-Powered Fuel Cell Cars combine hydrogen and oxygen to produce the power for fuel cells that run the car—truly the car of the future.
- Rotating Motorized Lounge Chairs provide an increased level of comfort for drivers who might otherwise have trouble in the car.
- Eye-Tracking Holographic Dashboard technology uses gestures and eye movements to allow apps to be accessed without needing to touch the screen.
- Autopilot systems, like self-driving car technology, provide drivers with the safe travel they need without reducing their independence.
These new technologies have helped make traveling by car safer than it ever has been before. This is particularly true for older drivers who may need additional assistance behind the wheel. This offers a significant improvement in quality of life for aging baby boomers who may no longer feel safe behind the wheel. New technology, however, prepares the way for them to drive longer.
Most people don’t realize just how big of an impact architecture can have on the lives and well being of elderly individuals. For many years, innovative designs for care homes and retirement living have gone a long way in helping to both support and reassure elderly residents so they feel comfortable in their surroundings, and will do for many years to come. Here are three key ways in which architecture benefits the elderly.
Exposure to sunlight
One of the first architectural considerations for any residential project is ‘how does the building sit in relation to the sun?’ This can influence many factors such as the garden, conservatories and large windows, all because we want residents to have the best exposure to natural light as possible. Designs for many care homes ensure that there are no rooms that face exclusively north, so all residents receive direct, natural sunlight into their room at some point during the day. Not only are there psychological benefits of enjoying the sunshine, but exposure to the sun in moderation provides a healthy dose of Vitamin D, absorbed into the body to help strengthen bones which is a huge boost for the elderly to starve off the effects of frailty with age.
Residential architecture is not just about the building, but landscaping the garden area too. Retaining some green outdoor space is important for elderly residents for whom it may not be possible to venture to the nearest public park whenever they wish, so they can relax outdoors without completely leaving their home. For more mobile elderly residents, gardens also provide the opportunity to continue with a relaxing gardening hobby, or to even take it up. In care homes, gardens are kept in pristine condition all year round by qualified gardeners, and when the months begin to get warmer, residents can enjoy the various plants and colorful flowerbeds – some of which they may have helped to plant themselves.
Built to adapt
When it comes to care home facilities and retirement housing, architectural designs must cater for the ever-changing needs of the residents. Therefore, it has to be built to adapt. Many elderly who use wheelchairs will require spacious rooms with height adjustable surfaces, particularly in the kitchen, and ramps fitted on all entrances and exits. These features take even more prominence in care homes with more residents present, with designs also incorporating wide corridors to allow residents in wheelchairs or on mobility scooters to pass one another with ease, and interior walls within a resident’s living space fitted as panels that can be easily knocked out to create a larger open plan floor space if necessary.
Author bio: Mick Goode is a co-founder and co-director of Croft Goode Architects, based in Lancashire, UK. As a BIM-focused practice of chartered architects, we have a vast range of experience designing for all kinds of projects, including those for retirement living and healthcare buildings for the elderly and disabled.
As you age, so do your eyes. It is a simple fact of life, however, age related vision problems don’t need to be a lifestyle changer. Knowing what’s to come and how you can maintain your vision for the long haul is an essential first step, according to the American Optometric Association.
As you approach 60 years young, it is vital to pay more attention to the warning signs of age-related vision issues. Vision problems as you get older can be acute or chronic, but knowing how to steer clear of them is probably at the top of your list.
Making significant lifestyle choices and getting regular eye exams will help keep you focused on your eye health. Let’s face it, visiting your optometrist is more fun than seeing your dentist or primary physician. Let’s take a look at a few ways you can keep your vision strong, no matter your age.
- Visit Your Eye Doctor Regularly for Optimal Eye Health
There are some pretty unfavorable eye diseases you may be at risk for, especially if you skip your eye exams. In order to keep your vision as keen as a 20 year olds, visiting your optometrist regularly is vital.
In fact, an article published in academic journal, American Family Physician (1999) found several common causes of vision loss in the elderly. The vision debilitating eye diseases you may be at risk for include Macular Degeneration, Glaucoma, Cataracts, and Diabetic Retinopathy, among others. Seeing your eye doctor will help you avoid these chronic vision loss conditions.
- Eat Right to See Right
What you eat directly affects your health. And the same applies for your eye health. Eating the healthy nutritious meals at least three times per day is one exceptional way to keep your focus on great vision.
Food loaded with nutrient rich vitamins and minerals, such as omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, and vitamin C, and vitamin E may help keep your eyes in superb shape. Those greens, eggs, nuts, and salmon are a great place to begin. You may even see a few pounds shrink away from your waist.
- Focus on Eye Health and Quit Smoking
Saving your lungs from smoking is also saving your vision from acute and chronic vision issues in the future. In fact, smoking increases your risk for cataracts, optic nerve damage, and macular degeneration.
If quitting your attempt to quit smoking continues to happen, don’t give up. Your vision as you age may depend on it. And if you quit smoking, you will most likely live longer, making it even more imperative to have great vision to see your grandchildren blossom.
- Look Cool and Protect Your Eyes with UV Sunglasses
If keeping your eyes healthy aligns with your fashion, even better. Wearing UV sunglasses may help protect your eyes from the sun’s powerful rays. Research suggests that too much UV exposure will increase your risk for cataracts and macular degeneration.
Pick up some sunglasses with 99% to 100% of both UVA and UVB rays. Protecting your peripheral vision is also important, so wraparound shades may be even better. There are even contacts with UV protection these days. However, sunglasses with UV block are best.
- Limit Your Screen Time for Better Vision Later in Life
Limiting your screen time is nothing new. In fact, mothers have been saying television ruins eyes for decades. If you want to protect your eyes, taking a break from so much screen time is essential.
This also extends to tech devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops. The American Macular Degeneration Foundation suggests that the blue light emitted by these tech screens may trigger macular degeneration, among other health issues.
Protecting your eyes today may pay off big time as you begin reaching those golden years. And it is never too late to start living healthy to improve your vision. Most of the suggestions made by professionals can also make a big impact on your overall health. Stay focused when it comes to eye health, because seeing is an important sense to maintain forever.
Reaching the golden age does not always come only with a great life experience but also with reasons to make you feel lonelier than ever. Years have passed by and many of those people you encountered and loved so much may have passed away over time. This is something that remains in your heart forever.
Feeling lonely is not something to be ashamed of but also not something to control your life. Discover below the best ways in which to reduce loneliness for the elderly in your life. They deserve to live happy during this new stage in their existence. Help them rediscover the joy of living!
Develop a Strategy to Defeat Seclusion
If you have elder people you love, you must engage more in their life. It is unavoidable for them to feel lonely from time to time. This is why they need your love and support more than ever. Make them feel loved and an important part of your life. Offer them reasons to smile and continue every day. Do not forget about them or ever leave them feeling like no one has time for them anymore.
Allow Them to Feel Useful
Feeling like there is nothing left for you to do in life is the worst possible feeling. Older people should be treasured because they have a life experience to share. Learn to listen to them more often, spend more time with them and allow these amazing people to teach you what they know. Engage with them in activities that are suitable for their age and help them keep themselves active. Never leave them alone for too much time and always advise them on how to stay clear of sadness and depression.
New Bridge for the Generation Gap
The generation gap between young people and older ones is obvious. However, there should always be a bridge built with love, compassion, and respect or understanding to help keep these two generations together. Teach your children to appreciate the elderly. If they have grandparents, guide them towards building close relationships with them. Spending time together and sharing experiences will be a great way in which to reduce loneliness for the elderly in your life. It will also be a great life lesson for your children.
To ensure a better life experience for them at this stage you can also consider professional help in care homes in Maidstone. The main stages of life are the same for all of us. We may go through them differently and face varied challenges, but we all get to the same place sooner or later. Let’s treasure the amount of experience and life stories these amazing people have to share. We will learn more from them than from any other experience in our life.