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 Hypnotherapy Helps Manage Phobias, OCD, & Anxiety Disorders

When escalating mental health symptoms become unmanageable, it’s hard to know where to turn for help. For some, hypnotherapy is a doorway to recovery and transformation. Here’s how to help yourself or your loved ones find the help they require.

Take the First Step

Hypnotherapy offers a non-obtrusive and non judgmental place to confront and learn to manage symptoms related to phobias, OCD and anxiety disorders. For many, finding a safe space to take the first step and find a trusted professional is the most difficult. To find a qualified therapist, look for a practitioner with membership in the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis or the Society for Clinical Experimental Hypnosis.

Using Hypnosis to Change Mindset

Your physical symptoms can be strongly linked to mindset. If you feel isolated, trapped in a cycle of negative thinking, or lonely – hypnosis may help break the cycle. A certified professional can help you alter habits that keep you from feeling yourself. Break bad nighttime habits, unlock artistic potential and turn your pain and negativity into positive energy.

Hypnosis for Relief of Pain Symptoms

Hypnotherapy may help mitigate relief for many types of pain. In some cases, it can be more effective than other methods. Learning how to manage symptoms related to mental health is easier with guidance from someone you trust. You may be struggling with a loss or change in your life or preparing for a difficult procedure or surgery – if so, hypnotherapy can help you through the recovery process.

Reach Out Today

As you and your loved one’s age, getting help for mental health symptoms is not always easy.
A professional can help you find the self-confidence and reassurance you seek. A foundational approach uses a combination of methods proven to help. Look for guidance from mental health counselors working with such integrative modalities such as hypnotherapy, neuro-linguistic programming, and cognitive behavioral therapy.

Professionals can help you reduce symptoms and manage a myriad of emotions related to phobia, OCD, or anxiety disorders. Together, you can help you or your family find balance.

By |April 11th, 2021|Categories: Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Tags: |Comments Off on Guest Blog: How Hypnotherapy Helps Manage Phobias, OCD, & Anxiety Disorders

A Mom for all Seasons

I have been fortunate to have a number of mothers in my life – by birth, marriage, or adoption. Each of these women has helped to shape my perspectives and  values in various ways during different seasons of life.  As Mother’s Day approaches, reflecting on the role that mothers play in our lives is a worthy exercise. So, here is my tribute to my mothers.

My first mother is the one who gave me life. I like to think of this as the Spring of my life. Mom Phyllis raised me until the age of 9 years. She tended to the scrapes and cuts, helped to mold my personality, hand-made my clothes, and made life an adventure, all whilst being the wife of a busy doctor who was studying to be a pediatric surgeon. Thank you, Mom, for treasuring my childhood.

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When my parents got divorced, a second mother entered the Summer of my life. Mom Kay took three confused and fragile children under her wings as a young step-mother in her early 20’s. She nurtured us as if we were her own. She helped me navigate the difficult teenage years and transition into young adulthood, listening to countless stories of puppy love, crushed hearts, and future dreams. Mom brought faith and light into a home that had been shattered by divorce. She has given me an example of a loving and faithful wife to my father for 45 years. Thank you, Mom, for preserving my spirit and encouraging my faith in God.

In college, I attended a little Baptist church where they had a program in which families could “adopt” a college student. Through a round-about way, I was adopted by Marvin and Patsy Bell. Grandma Bell, as my children later called her, saw me through my first 17-year  marriage, a painful divorce, and was a second mother to many other young women like me. She has been a faithful friend and mentor for more than 38 years. Ma Bell stood in the place of the mothers who couldn’t be with me during some of the coldest and darkest Winters of life. She attended countless school programs for my kids and never forgets a birthday to this day. Thank you, Ma, for giving me the example of the kind of Grandmother I want to be.

Lastly, when I remarried to my current husband, Jim, I gained a wonderful mother-in-law. Gracie is true to her name. She has a loving and nonjudgmental spirit. She always thinks the best of people and is kind and gentle.  In the Fall of my life, she embraced me as a daughter and is always ready to help in times of need.  Thank you, Mom Mauk, for showing me what unconditional love looks like.

All of us have mothers in our lives that we need to thank. So, this Mother’s Day, purpose to give a special blessing to those women who have so influenced your life. Without them, our days would be less rich and the journey much lonelier. Celebrate those who have traversed the seasons of life with you!

By |April 10th, 2021|Categories: Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Tags: |Comments Off on A Mom for all Seasons

Seniors and Pet Ownership

 

Whether you enjoy the company of dogs, cats, or even iguanas, pets have been proven to benefit seniors in plenty of ways. For many, they have become an integral part of the family. In fact, assisted-living facilities have adopted a few animals from shelters to keep residents company and uplift their spirits. Pet ownership has helped so many seniors by keeping them physically active, providing emotional support, and even improving cardiovascular health.

However, keeping up with your pet’s needs may not be as easy as it was when you were younger. Elderly individuals may be at a disadvantage when matched with highly-energetic pets. The costs of pet care are also a big consideration in this situation, especially when you have your own care costs to contend with.

To keep all the hassles and stresses at bay, we have listed a few tips in living a happy life with your beloved pets.

  • Care providers who include pets

Many care providers include pet care in their list of services. This may consist of dog walking, pet sitting, boarding, grooming, and even training. So check with your care providers if they can also accommodate your pets.

  • Maintain a regular schedule for feeding and walking

Schedules and routines do not just benefit the animals; these also can help you maintain a good quality of life. Create a schedule for you and your pets to eliminate surprises and memory lapses that could possibly come with old age.

  • Set a spending limit and sticking to it

Though pets undeniably cost money, these expenses can be cut down to affordable amounts. Many veterinarians offer senior discounts, so check if yours provides any for special rates.

There are also various pet-care support programs, like selected Meals on Wheels, which help seniors in providing food for their pets. Low-cost clinics are also a great option for individuals on a budget.

  • Create an emergency plan

Individuals get affected by emergencies, which is why they plan and prepare for it. This is also true for our pets. As their caretakers, it is your duty to ensure their safety before, during, and after an unforeseen incident.

Using Ready.gov’s list of steps to take, you will be able to safeguard and care for your pets through pet and animal emergency planning. Through this, you get to rest soundly knowing that they are protected even when you are not present.

ALTCP.org provides free long term care information, resources, long term care insurance quotes and expert planning advice for seniors and adults. Our mission is to raise awareness and promote self-education on the need to plan for long term care and buy long term care insurance.

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By |April 7th, 2021|Categories: Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Seniors and Pet Ownership

5 Pieces of Technology Seniors Need

Seniors are using technological gadgets today more than ever according to a 2012 research. However, seniors have a long way ahead before they are tech savvy. Good technology can keep your senior loved ones engaged, connected and active both mentally and physically. Again, technology enhances safety for seniors living at home. Check out these five pieces of technology.

1. Tablets, iPads and Smartphones

Your senior loved one needs to have either or all of these devices. They are simple devices really that you may not even realize are needed. Tablets are iPads can be installed with games and apps that promote the mental fitness of your older parent. Seniors can also view photos, learn languages, listen to music and stay connected with people.

2. Medical alert systems

Medical alert systems are a must-have for all seniors. They are designed as simple smartwatches or bracelets and others are like a key fob that seniors hang around their neck. These systems help you monitor the location of loved ones at all times, it gives them calendar notifications and reminders, detect falls and some even have a panic/help button. Because the systems integrate with your smartphone, you have access to your senior loved ones as long as you have your smartphone.

3. Wireless Internet

Does your senior loved on use the internet? If they do, they will need wireless internet more. Even when a senior does not use the internet, most of the smart devices you install at home do; smart sensors, smart thermostats, smart home monitoring and surveillance systems and even the smartphones use internet. Today, most nursing homes are connected to the internet.

4. Smart Assistive Devices

Assistive technology help seniors stay independent at home and also stay safe. You do not have to get them Amazon’s Alexa but you can have other smart devices to help seniors with daily tasks at home. Besides the obvious technologies like home monitoring and GPS, you can install stove shut-off systems, photo-enhanced phone dialers, smart LED lights, and medication dispensing appliances. These systems come in handy when seniors have cognitive impairment.

5. Fitness Bands

Fitness bands have advanced greatly offering more than just activity stats. Bands such as FitBit, will monitor levels of activity throughout the day, heart rate and even warn when senior vitals are not normal. This way, it is easier to detect when seniors are suffering from a disease and seek medical help. Seeing that these bands can even detect blood sugar, and they are light enough to be worn 24/7, they are great for all seniors.

By |April 7th, 2021|Categories: Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Tags: , |Comments Off on 5 Pieces of Technology Seniors Need

Five tips for Grandparents to stay connected with family

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With the birth of my daughter’s second child, I began to reflect on the important role that grandparents can play in the lives of their grandchildren. Here are five essential tips for older adults who want to have a lasting influence in the lives of their children and grandchildren.

Visit often.  For those of us fortunate enough to live near our children and grandchildren, it is easy to see them often. Grandparents may even be the caregivers while parents are working. Visits don’t always have to be planned. Sometimes the best family time is a spontaneous invitation to dinner and a movie. However, sometimes distance can prevent regular visits. Some grandparents make it a goal to see their distant grandchildren once every 6 weeks or every few months. Be sure to take advantage of technology for your time together. Set a regular time to Skype or do Face-time. Don’t miss out on the subtle changes in those early years while babies are growing. Exchanging pictures may help, but they don’t replace the in-person experience. You may even think of relocating to be closer to family. For older grandchildren, be sure to have their cellphone number. Text them often and exchange pictures to stay involved in their lives and let them know you are available to them. Even small connections throughout the week (but without being annoying to teenagers of course) can make a difference in your relationship with your grandchildren.

Offer to help in practical ways. Working parents with young children will need a break at times. Ask how you can best help. Offer to keep the children for an overnight while mom and dad have a special dinner or weekend getaway. Many grandparents like to take their grandchildren on trips without the parents. Places like amusement parks, the zoo, or day trips to the water park or national forest all provide good diversion and quality time with Grandma and Grandpa while giving parents a rest. For even more quality time, take the older grandchildren on a cruise, camping in the mountains, or to a resort without their parents. For the mom with a newborn, take meals to the house (if you live close), do her grocery shopping or laundry, or send her a new bathrobe to show you are thinking of her. A favorite role model of mine sends the grandchildren a “baby shower in a box” with all sorts of goodies when she can’t be present due to distance or health concerns.

Plan special activities. Special activities need not be expensive. This could mean a trip to the park with Grandma or a special morning walk each week with Grandpa. My father used to take every grandson on a bow-hunting trip when they turned 12 years old. This was a rite of passage for every boy in the family. Grandpa would mount their first deer head for them and buy them a special hunting knife to commemorate the occasion. The girls in the family would take a trip to a Disney resort while the men were hunting. Grandchildren remember these events forever.

Attend special events. How fortunate are the kids whose grandparents are able to attend basketball and volleyball games, swimming tournaments, and Grandparent’s Day at school! Take advantage of being able to attend those dance recitals and school plays. If you live far, plan your visits to be able to attend some significant events like graduations, wedding showers, or school performances. This makes lasting memories with your family.

Be a constant in their lives. My parents divorced when I was 9 years old, and my paternal grandparents were the one constant in my life at that time. When a child’s world is jolted by change, grandparents can be that steadying influence that doesn’t change. They provide stability and security in an unsteady world for a child. The most important thing to remember is to be there. You don’t have to be the all-star parent or grandparent, but your children will remember that you were there for them when it counted the most.

By |April 6th, 2021|Categories: Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Five tips for Grandparents to stay connected with family

Four Most Effective Ways to Treat Bone Spurs

Group of older mature people lifting weights in the gym

Bone spurs, which are small projections that develop on the edges of bones, are a highly common ailment that affects about 2 percent of the U.S. population.

People of any age can develop bone spurs, but they’re especially common in senior citizens since they are often associated with osteoarthritis-related joint damage.

Bone spurs don’t always require medical treatment, but, depending on their location, they can contribute to joint inflammation, pain, and stiffness that limit mobility. Bone spurs along the spine are particularly problematic, as are ones that develop in the knee or ankle joints.

For seniors who are struggling with bone spurs, there are lots of different treatment options available, including the four listed below.

 

1. Weight Loss
Weight loss is one of the most effective treatments for managing bone spurs, especially spinal bone spurs.

Changing your diet will is, generally speaking, the most effective weight loss tool. Focus on limiting your caloric intake and cutting out greasy fast food and highly processed snacks. Replace them with high-quality protein, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats like avocados and olive oil.

Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids can also help lubricate the joints and relieve inflammation.

2. Lifestyle Aids
There are lots of tools out there as well that can help relieve pain caused by bone spurs. Some good options to invest in include:

Supportive shoes that cushion the feet and avoid putting extra strain on the joints
Orthotic inserts to provide extra support
A shoe horn to help you avoid bending over and aggravating your back while getting dressed

3. Regular Exercise
Exercise releases natural painkillers in the form of endorphins. It also strengthens the muscles to help support the joints and relieve pressure placed on them.

Resistance training, walking, and swimming are all good exercise options for people struggling with bone spurs. Work with a trainer or physical therapist to make sure you’re practicing proper form and not doing anything to aggravate your condition.

4. Minimally Invasive Surgery
Finally, some people require minimally invasive surgery to get rid of their bone spurs. When you undergo surgery, a doctor will use state-of-the-art equipment to identify the spur and extract it.

This is typically an outpatient procedure, and the recovery time only lasts a few hours — you’ll be up and walking shortly after and won’t have to deal with an extended hospital stay.

By |April 4th, 2021|Categories: Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Four Most Effective Ways to Treat Bone Spurs