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Guest Blog: The Secret behind the Bond of Senior Citizens and Pets

The research demonstrates the importance of pets in older individuals’ well-being and life expectancy. The aim of developing measures is to ensure that older adults can sustain a high level of health and well-being must include approaches that encourage the importance of pet-senior relationships.

One can be very socially isolated in old age. Nearest and dearest as well as mates shift somewhere or may die of old age, and it becomes increasingly tough to engage in once-loved hobbies. But there is one source of comfort and affection that helps seniors in many ways. These pets need affection and care, but they will surely offer their owners as much or more love in return. These should be handled nicely and taken care of as well. One can find lots of tips online on PetSafe’s official website that guides regarding pet handling and health concerns.

Researches have also shown that it can be physically and psychologically helpful for people of any age to own a pet. For elderly people, only 15 minutes of animal interaction causes a metabolic chain of events in the mind, reducing the stress and anger hormone, cortisol, and increase the release of the happiness hormone serotonin.

Pets are buddies, partners, mental state boosters, and perfect for fitness and social connections. Dogs and cats can add profound meaning to the life of an elderly person.

Let’s discuss few benefits of keeping pets for seniors

This reduces loneliness by having an animal companion with you. Some pets make perfect friends for traveling, as well. The elderly with pets have less anxiety than the elderly without pets. You get a chance to interact with other fellow humans as you take your dogs outside for a walk. And maintaining better relations with people around you is good for mental health so that pets implicitly make you more social. Pets allow you to frequently wake up, eat, work, exercise and sleep. Routines provide the objective and rhythm of your day that is helpful for dealing with depression.

Keeping pets can keep you healthy.

Let’s dive deeper into few health benefits associated with having animal companions:

 

Heart Benefits

Those with dogs or cats are less likely to suffer from coronary heart disease. Pet owners have much higher chances of surviving the heart attack, lesser resting pulse rate, and blood pressure. Also, it is being shown that pet owners have smaller increases in heart rate and blood pressure in reaction to stress and anxiety, and faster recovery from stress.

Mental Health Benefits

Many older adults are isolated, and dog walks can assist them to interact with others. Plus, when the house itself is quiet, a pet friend becomes a center of affection, which decreases the sense of loneliness.

It turns out that pets are a big inspiration for their owners. In general, dogs are perfect for inspiring owners to exercise, which can be good for depressed people. They can help to relax and ease the mind by petting, lying next to an animal, or playing. Pets are like members of your family and give you a sense of being the one with whom you can share your everyday routine.

Active and sound body

A person who walked with pets increased their usual walking pace and duration and was much more inclined to go out for a walk than others who walked with a human partner. Human partners sometimes discourage one another from walking. In addition, dog-walking was correlated with lower body mass index, no other commitments in daily life, fewer medical visits, more regular moderate exercise.

For elderly people, other advantages of pet companionship also include decreases in blood pressure, cholesterol, and pulse rate. A study revealed that seniors who’ve had pets are 21 percent less likely to visit the doctor’s office and exhibit reduced symptoms of aging.

Seniors’ Pet Therapy

Those working to care for the elderly claim that walking and pampering the pet, helps seniors come out of their isolation, offers mild exercise and cardio, as well as provides a way to feel valued and engage with the world. Pet therapy can also assist with the Sundowners Syndrome of Alzheimer’s. For older individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, nighttime can be very disturbing and discomforting. This is when certain people with Alzheimer’s decision to run away or leave their families. Having those with Alzheimer’s associated with and distracted with a pet can prevent this problem.

 

By |2021-02-18T12:36:29-05:00February 19th, 2021|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: The Secret behind the Bond of Senior Citizens and Pets

4 Ways to Turn Your Walk Into a Workout


While senior fitness offerings continue to explode in gyms around the country, the age-old tradition of simply ‘going for a walk’ still touts loads of health benefits, especially for older adults.

Brisk walking a offers low-impact activity that is relatively simple, can be done most anywhere, is fun to do with friends, and is easily modifiable to increase calorie burn. In addition to strengthening your bones and muscles, routine walking can also help prevent lifestyle conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure, as well as improve your balance, coordination, and even your mood.

If you are looking for quick ways to take your daily walk to the next level, don’t miss these expert tips:

Speed Up
The best exercise is that which gets your heart rate up to at least 55 to 85% of your MHR (maximum heart rate). The formula for MHR = 220 – your age. So if you are 65, for example, your maximum heart rate is around 155. Speeding up your walk so your heart rate climbs over 109 (70% of 155) for at least 10 minutes is going to count as good aerobic exercise that is helping strengthen your heart muscle.

Climb Hills
Walking up an incline naturally requires the body to work harder and use up more energy. This can help you build endurance over time and tone muscle groups in your legs you weren’t previously engaging. If you are concerned about a weak knee, reduce lateral knee movement and prevent discomfort with a knee brace specifically designed for walking.

Change Terrain
Instead of doing your usual walk around the roads in your neighborhood, head to a local trail and take a hike. Hiking up and downhill will burn more calories as well as pose a greater challenge to your balance and coordination skills. Exercising like this in nature has also been shown to boost feelings of attentiveness and positivity.

Add Intervals
Incorporate more intervals of high-intensity activity into your walk and you can both improve your endurance and aerobic capacity as well as give your metabolism a boost. 5 minutes of brisk walking punctuated with 30 seconds of squats, lunges, or crunches, followed by another 5 minutes of walking and then 1 minute of jogging and so on and so forth also spices up your walking routine and makes it a little more fun.

By |2021-02-01T13:09:28-05:00February 4th, 2021|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on 4 Ways to Turn Your Walk Into a Workout

Guest Blog: Tips For Preventing Falls Among The Elderly

Falls among seniors are more common than you think.

According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 36 million older adults suffer a fall each year.

Our muscles lose strength, and our balance and coordination decline as we get older. As our senior loved ones are already at a certain age, they are now more prone to falls, and it could only get worse as they get on in years.

However, we can take steps to keep our seniors from suffering falls. Here are some tips on how to prevent falls among the elderly.

Declutter

Make sure your parent’s or grandparent’s space is clutter-free. You can’t have random stuff lying all over the place, becoming a tripping hazard for seniors. The floors that your elderly loved one walks on should always be clear, with nothing to step, slip, and trip on.

Put Up Grab Bars & Handrails In Strategic Spots

Seniors can use additional support when walking around the house. So, it would be great if the hallways, bathrooms, and stairways are fitted with handrails and grab bars.

Add More Lights

Our seniors typically have poor eyesight, which can only get worse under poor lighting conditions. By installing additional lights (and brighter ones at that), seniors will have a better chance of seeing and avoiding tripping and slipping hazards as they go about the house.

Use Only Non-Slip Mats & Rugs

All the mats and rugs in the house should be the non-slip type or secured to the floor.

Get Them To Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise is crucial to keeping the muscles, bones, and sense of balance of our seniors strong. Walking, lifting light weights, climbing stairs, or doing something as simple as standing on one leg for a minute or two can already help them stay as fit as possible. The fitter they are, the lower their risk of suffering a fall.

Tell Them To Be More Careful

Sometimes, seniors fall because they try to move too fast when walking across the room or getting out of bed. Tell them they need to be more careful when doing so and always move at a more comfortable pace.

Falls don’t have to be synonymous with getting older. By taking the necessary precautions, our seniors stand a better chance of avoiding them.

 

About the Author

 Melissa Andrews is the Content Marketing Strategist for Paradise Living Centers, an assisted living center for seniors with locations in Paradise Valley and Phoenix, Arizona. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking and going on hiking trips with her siblings and cousins.

 

 

By |2020-11-05T15:05:55-05:00November 5th, 2020|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: Tips For Preventing Falls Among The Elderly

Guest Blog: Common Skin Conditions Affecting the Elderly

No matter how well we take care of ourselves, advancing age eventually takes its toll – especially on our skin. Over time, the various components that make up our bodies gradually become less able to resist the onset of decay. The epidermis, which is the body’s largest organ, is no exception. As we age, it dries out, grows thinner, and becomes more vulnerable to disease. These naturally-occurring difficulties are compounded when an elderly patient is confined to a long-term care facility.

In some cases, a skin problem may indicate an underlying condition that has gone undetected. Skin conditions can also arise from problems in positioning for patients who are confined to a bed or a wheelchair for an extended period. Once the wound has been healed, the caregiver should make sure that its cause is determined and addressed, and nothing else is being overlooked.

While there are many possible skin disorders that can affect the epidermis of an elderly patient, not all of them will require treatment. Some do, however, and the following are a few of the more common conditions and their possible treatments.

Allergic Reactions

It has been estimated that approximately 5-10% of people 65 or older suffer from an allergic disease. In addition to those who suffer from allergies throughout their lives, some individuals only develop allergies once they reach an advanced age. Underlying medical conditions, memory issues, the use of several medications simultaneously, and overall poor health, can also contribute to the late appearance of an allergy problem in an elderly patient.

Prescription medications are often the culprit when a geriatric patient develops a systemic allergic reaction. Because of this, anyone who does have allergies should be asked about any recent new medications he or she may have begun taking. However, there are other potential causes, including exposure to detergents or mites. Allergic reactions can present in a wide array of symptoms, making it difficult to sometimes narrow down a specific cause.

Allergic reactions should always be treated with topical steroids for one to two weeks. The caregiver should also make sure that the cause of the reaction has been addressed.

Fungal Infections

The most common fungal infection, regardless of a patient’s age, is candidiasis, which is a yeast infection that tends to appear on occluded regions of the epidermis, such as in the folds of the skin or under dressings. It’s most dangerous to older patients and most transmittable to patients who are confined to bed or a wheelchair. In geriatric patients, candidiasis presents with chills, fever, pustular skin lesions, and in some cases, symptoms indicating sepsis.

Fortunately, candidiasis can be prevented by applying miconazole powder to at-risk patches of skin. When it does appear, it should be treated by applying clotrimazole or nystatin cream to the affected areas. If it becomes a recurring problem for patients, bowel eradication using nystatin pastilles should be considered. The provider should also be sure to check the patient for signs of retinal lesions, as many elderly patients suffer from cataracts.

Another common fungal problem is seborrheic dermatitis, which is caused by infection from a different type of yeast, malassezia furfur. It presents as red and scaly patches of skin typically found in areas where hair is present; particularly the head, neck, and chest. It can be treated with ketoconazole (nizoral) 2% shampoo or selenium sulfide 2.5% (Selsun Blue).

Staph and Strep infections

Staph and strep infections are also among the most common problems health professionals will face in patients at a long-term care facility. Studies have estimated that, at any given time, 30-40% of long-term care residents are experiencing a fungal infection.

A staph infection typically results when bacteria enter the epidermis through a sore or a cut (including in areas where a patient may be attached to a catheter or other medical device). The infection presents painfully as a red, swollen patch on the skin. This may be accompanied by pus drainage, a skin abscess, warmth in the area, and a fever as well. In more severe cases, patients may even experience shortness of breath, chills, chest pain, fatigue, muscle aches, headaches, and rashes.

When a geriatric patient is suffering from a staph or strep infection, it should first be treated with a topical antibiotic such as mupirocin (bactroban). If this does not cure the infection and it enters the surrounding tissue, a tissue culture should then be taken to determine what organism is causing the problem. Depending on the results, a systemic antibiotic – usually augmentin, bactrim, ciprofloxacin, or tetracycline – should be given to the patient.

By |2020-11-03T12:19:57-05:00November 4th, 2020|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: Common Skin Conditions Affecting the Elderly