Dr. Mauk’s Boomer Blog

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

Guest Blog: 5 Simple Ways for Seniors to Combat Hip Pain

Almost one-fourth (23.9 percent) of seniors between the ages of 60 and 90 suffer from frequent hip pain.

Whether it’s the result of a bad fall or is brought on by a combination of poor mechanics and old age, it’s important for seniors to know that they’re not doomed to suffer from hip pain for the rest of their lives.

Read on to learn some simple tips to help seniors combat hip pain.

1. Do Hip Bridges
A hip bridge is one of the best exercises you can do to combat hip pain.

To do this exercise, simply lie on your back with your feet hip-distance apart and planted on the ground. Press into the ground and lift your hips in the air, trying to form a straight line from your shoulders to your knees (don’t arch your back).

Hold for 3-5 seconds, then return to the beginning. Complete ten repetitions.

2. Use Ice Daily
Icing your hip can work wonders for relieving pain and inflammation, especially if your hip pain is brought on by bursitis or arthritis. Depending on your pain level, you can ice your hip up to 4-5 times per day in 10-15-minute increments.

3. Raise the Seat
Many seniors find that their hip pain is aggravated when they try to lower themselves onto and raise themselves up from a chair, sofa, or even a toilet. Devices like a chairlift or a raised toilet seat can help reduce hip strain for seniors as they stand up and sit down.

4. Stretch Consistently
Consistent stretching is also important for relieving pain and improving hip mobility. The figure 4 stretch is one of the best for hip pain.

Start by lying on your back with your knees bent. Lift the leg that’s bothering you and cross it over your other leg so that your ankle is resting on your opposite thigh. Pull the bent leg in toward your chest, clasping your hands around the back of your thigh if possible. Hold for 10-15 seconds, then release and switch sides.

5. Use Natural Anti-Inflammatories
Finally, instead of using over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, which can cause serious issues for seniors, try using a natural anti-inflammatory like curcumin (found in turmeric). Turmeric is safe for most people, and research shows it works just as well as ibuprofen for improving joint pain and function.

By |2022-09-29T15:14:31-05:00October 3rd, 2022|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: 5 Simple Ways for Seniors to Combat Hip Pain

Tips to make sure the seniors in your life receive the care they need

As people age, their need for support increases. Old age usually comes with mental function deterioration, increased risk of disease, and loneliness. Being there for an aging parent often comes with lots of responsibilities. The goal is to help improve the quality of their life. Here are some guidelines to help you care for your aging parents.

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Watch out for health concerns

Senior people are predisposed to a wealth of health concerns, both physical and mental. Some people creep up suddenly, whereas others may experience depression and severe anxiety. As their caregiver, it is important to keep an eye on their general wellbeing. Identify potential concerns ahead of time, and be there to help. Start researching more information on common health problems in seniors. Often, your aging parent may even tell you if there’s something wrong and if they experience any concerning symptoms. However, there are times when the aging parent doesn’t realize that something is wrong. Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are progressive diseases that can be difficult to tackle. Spend as much as time as you can with your loved one, and this way you’ll be able to determine potential symptoms that are more harming than they look.

Professional help

In case your parent or relative experiences mental of physical decline that you can’t handle by yourself, it might be a good idea to look for professional help. There are lots of healthcare services you can consider. Don’t miss out on weekly appointments to the doctor and search for ways to make their lives easier; even that may mean looking into assisted living facilities and nursing homes. Many people ignore the symptoms their aging parents have. Stay alert and look for assistance in your local community. Thanks to advanced technology, there are solutions to be close to your parent even if you live miles apart.

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Make time to visit

The elderly are not just affected by medical problems. Studies have shown that many seniors living alone fight with depression, anxiety, loneliness, and severe fatigue. It might be a good idea to visit your parents at least once a week. Offer them emotional support, take the grandkids with you, and make them feel loved and cared for. Face to face visits are the best, although if that’s not possible you can stick to phone calls, or Skype chats.

 

Encourage socialization

Many seniors don’t want to get out of the house. They’ve been used to watching TV all day, and that’s it. Sedentary activities increase the risk of depression, so it might be a good idea to take parents out. Do things together every week. Go grocery shopping together, spend time in the park, and have a good time. Qualitative family time makes seniors feel valued. If you can’t visit often, recommend them to join a book club. Or encourage socializing with their neighbors. Living in isolation leads to physical and emotional distress. In the long term, loneliness may lead to increased fears (e.g. fear to go out, fear to talk to people, fear to call a child to say hello).

 

Home care

There’s a lot of debate around the notion of “home care”. Many people don’t like the idea because they associate it with improper care. The truth is, there are excellent home care facilities spread around the country. Many provide excellent services, apart from caregiving. Senior people need to stay social. They need to be active – both physically and mentally – to enjoy the best of life. Some of today’s advanced assisted living facilities are more comfortable than an actual home. These places provide excellent accommodation, lots of activities, treatments, and therapies that compel a senior to enjoy their lifestyles.

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It is important for aging parents to appreciate life. The best care home in Maidstone provides exquisite services. However, for the system to work seniors must be open to change. It’s no shame in not being able to live on your own house. Rather than struggle performing daily duties, assisted living facilities are all about increasing the quality of your life. They can help you feel better, socialize with people the same age, try out lots of activities, and boost cognitive function. All these improve the quality of your life by 30%.

 

 

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By |2022-07-30T11:50:41-05:00September 30th, 2022|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Post of the Day, News Posts|Comments Off on Tips to make sure the seniors in your life receive the care they need

Guest Blog: Health advise for patients using CBD oils for anxiety.

 

Like many mental disorders, anxiety can be very annoying to deal with and affect our everyday lives. There are many different cures and remedies people use to deal with anxiety and lower its impact. CBD oils have proven to be very effective against anxiety, but their usage isn’t as widespread as other substances.

For people who opt for CBD oils, there are some crucial things to remember regarding how they affect our bodies. We will look at the positive effects of using CBD oils and the side effects that are generally associated with the usage of CBD oils.

What exactly is CBD oil?

CBD oil stands for cannabidiol oil, and it comes from the cannabis plant. CBD oil is made by extracting CBD from cannabis plants and mixing it with something like hemp seed oil to dilute it.

Most of us know cannabis as a substance with mind-altering properties. The sensation of getting high comes from THC in the cannabis plant, which is a psychoactive cannabinoid. CBD oil and CBD oil products don’t have the same properties that can make a person high, making them safer for consumption.

Different people like to consume CBD oil in different ways. CBD oil can come in the form of dietary supplements or in the shape of something like gummies. Some people prefer consuming CBD oil through some drink like tea.

CBD oil in dealing with anxiety

Researchers have found CBD oils to be very effective in dealing with anxiety. The oil has many qualities that make it ideal for people who often suffer from anxiety. For people who are recovering addicts and feel anxious most of the time, CBD oils are very good in alleviating a lot of your symptoms.

The amount that you should use can differ from person to person. It is recommended that you talk to your doctor before CBD usage, especially if you have other health risks.

Many other benefits

There are also many other benefits of CBD oil usage. Not only do they calm your brain and help in dealing with anxiety, but CBD oils are also great in dealing with pain relief and sleep disorders. Some researchers have also found that CBD oils can help lower the chances of cancer and heart disease.

Side effects of CBD consumption

Despite all the positives associated with CBD consumption, there are some negatives you should be wary about before using CBD oil or CBD oil products. The most common side effects of CBD are:

  • Fatigue
  • Change in appetite: some people feel increased hunger, and others don’t feel like eating at all.
  • Weight loss: some people encountered random weight loss from CBD consumption
  • Diarrheic

Everyone does not feel these symptoms, but there have been cases where people have felt these to an extreme. Other than these symptoms, some people also encounter drowsiness from CBD oils.

Alternatives to CBD oil

CBD oils are recommended to be consumed in small doses regularly for effective long-term results. For many people, CBD might not be very effective and they might look for a different type or remedy. Kratom is a plant that, like CBD, is very effective against anxiety and other mental disorders. Ethnobotany is humans’ relation to plants in their locality, and both ethnobotanicals Kratom and CBD have benefits associated with consumption.

What makes kratom different is that kratom can be more potent when looking at a single dose and provides more instant relief from anxiety. Kratom consumption is not recommended for longer peridots of time, and it shares many of the adverse side effects of CBD.

Other than that, lifestyle changes are also effective in dealing with anxiety. Exercising more, meditation, and being more social have proven to be very effective against anxiety. Some people might feel stronger symptoms and not be able to function properly. For them, something like CBD or kratom are the obvious choices.

Age of people who use CBD

CBD can be used by any adult that feels like they need it. That being said, for older adults, or people with other health conditions, it is recommended to use less of these substances and consult a doctor before using them. The symptoms older people feel can be much more amplified.

 

By |2022-09-26T15:42:42-05:00September 26th, 2022|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: Health advise for patients using CBD oils for anxiety.

Skin Cancer Warning Signs

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With summer upon us, we are happy to get out and enjoy the change from the long Indiana winter. However, prolonged exposure to that bright sunshine can have dire consequences for us as we age. The risk of skin cancer is higher in older adults, and the major risk factor is sun exposure. Although there are other less serious forms of skin cancer (basal cell and squamous cell), malignant melanoma is the most dangerous kind, accounting for more than 8,700 deaths per year (American Cancer Society, 2013).

As we age and our skin becomes more fragile, sun exposure can take its toll. You can be proactive in preventing skin cancer by following some simple tips:
Wear sunscreen when out in the sun and choose SPF 15 or higher every day, but choose SPF 30 with a waterproof barrier for long exposure. Avoid tanning booths. Wear clothing and hats that protect you from exposure. Ask your primary care provider to perform a skin check with your yearly physical, or visit your dermatologist if you have concerns. Know your own skin and check it regularly using the ABCDE method. Report any suspicious lesions to your doctor right away for follow-up.

The ABCDE method can help us remember the warning signs of skin cancer:
A = Asymmetry (if a line is drawn down the middle of the lesion, the two sides do not match)
B = Border (the borders of the lesion tend to be irregular)
C = Color (a variety of colors is present; the lesion is not uniform in color)
D = Diameter (MM lesions are usually larger)
E = Evolving (note any changes in shape or size, or any bleeding)
The good news is that even the most serious kind of skin cancer can be nearly 100% curable when detected early.

So, enjoy the sun, but be sun smart as well!

By |2022-07-30T11:50:01-05:00September 26th, 2022|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Skin Cancer Warning Signs

Guest Blog: Managing Back Pain as You Age

Like other critical parts of the musculoskeletal system, the spine experiences some wear and tear over the decades. Does this mean back pain is inevitable as you get older? Not necessarily.

What Happens to Your Spine as You Age?
The spine itself is composed of a series of stacked bones called vertebrae. Small joints between each vertebra allow for the spine’s range of movement and little rubbery discs with jelly-like centers inside make sure bones don’t rub against one another (they also serve as the spine’s shock absorbers).

Over time, these disks can dry out, shrink, and wear away, causing the spine to compress. This is known as degenerative disc disease. Sometimes the space surrounding the spinal cord will start to narrow too; this is known as spinal stenosis. Arthritis and osteoporosis may also affect the spine as you age leading to joint degradation and even spinal fractures.

Any of these age-related conditions can contribute to back pain, especially when bones start rubbing against one another and nerves get pinched. The body may even go as far as to grow bone spurs in an effort to stabilize a degenerating spine.

Preventing and Managing Back Pain
So, is there anything older adults can do to prevent it or at least manage the pain and discomfort that comes with those types of conditions? Definitely.

Experts recommend taking actions to relieve some of the burden your spine bears during daily activity. This includes:

  • Exercising to strengthen your back and core to more properly support the spine
    Practicing good posture when sitting, using the computer, texting, etc.
    Wearing a back brace for added posture support and lumbar compression
    Eating a healthy diet rich with anti-inflammatory foods that help you maintain a healthy weight and combat systemic inflammation in they body – think fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and lean proteins
    Reducing stress on the back. This may mean utilizing lumbar cushions when driving, updating your mattress to better support your spine when sleeping, and avoiding activities which exacerbate your back pain

Additional Thoughts
Of course, it is also important to remember that acute back pain can also stem from something as simple as a muscle strain. Lifting something heavy, straining your arms and neck reaching for something in an awkward position, even sitting for a long period of time in an uncomfortable chair – any of these things can cause back pain and inflammation.

By |2022-07-30T11:49:49-05:00September 24th, 2022|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: Managing Back Pain as You Age