Lighting Can Be Your Eyes’ Best Friend As You Age

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – One out of every 20 Americans over age 50 is diagnosed with Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD). The worst part of this reality is that most people with PAD don’t experience any symptoms. PAD is dangerous, especially when there are no warning signs.
Peripheral Arterial Disease is a progressive disease commonly called clogged arteries in the legs, poor circulation or a hardening of the arteries.
People have PAD when the arteries in their legs become narrowed or clogged with fatty deposits, or plaque. The buildup of plaque causes the arteries to harden and narrow, which is called atherosclerosis. This reduces blood flow to the legs and feet.
The severity of the disease depends on how early it’s diagnosed as well as pre-existing health issues. PAD’s primary symptom is an intermittent cramping of leg muscles during walks or hikes. For some, the pain may feel more like numbness, weakness or heaviness. Whether or not you have symptoms, having PAD means that you’re at a higher risk for heart attack, stroke and even death.
Many people don’t get tested for PAD because they have no symptoms and never feel a thing. The good news is that proper treatment saves lives. If you’re over 50, talk to your health care provider about getting tested for PAD.
The test for PAD is called the “ABI” or ankle-brachial index. It’s a comparison of blood pressure measurements taken at the arms and ankles. It can also assess the severity of the disease.
Despite the presence or lack of symptoms, individuals are their own first line of defense. When face time with actual doctors is limited, it’s helpful to have a list of prepared questions on hand.
The Vascular Disease Foundation (VDF), a non-profit dedicated to public awareness and education regarding vascular health, has compiled some questions to ask doctors about PAD:
* Does my medical history raise my risk for PAD?
* What can I do to reduce my blood sugar level if it’s too high or if I have diabetes?
* What do you recommend to quit smoking?
For more information, or to get a free Heart and Sole kit, go to www.vdf.org or 1-866-PADINFO (1-866-723-4636).

Is Your Child at Risk With Grandpa?

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Grandparents and grandchildren have much to learn from one another, and such valuable relationships should be cultivated. However, not all grandparents are fortunate enough to have the health to chase after youngsters.
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), approximately 17 percent of American adults experience some level of hearing loss. Age and hearing loss are strongly related — 30 percent of seniors from 65 to 74 years old suffer from a hearing disability. For adults 75 years of age or older, hearing loss jumps to 47 percent.
Taking the grandkids to the pool can turn dangerous if grandma can’t hear possible cries for help. Fire alarms and smoke detectors become useless when the kids are napping and elderly grandparents can’t hear the warning. Driving puts the children at risk if the grandparents cannot hear oncoming traffic or car horns.
The NIDCD reports that only one out of every five people who needs a hearing aid actually wears one. This is largely due to the extravagant cost of most hearing aids.
“I found that I saw too many patients with hearing loss going home without a solution because they couldn’t afford hearing aid prices,” says Sreek Cherukuri, MD, a board-certified ear, nose and throat physician based in Chicago, Ill.
Cherukuri’s response was to develop inexpensive, but effective, hearing aids. “With today’s technology, a quality hearing aid shouldn’t cost more than a digital camera or iPod,” Cherukuri says.
MDHearingAid, found at www.mdhearingaid.com, isn’t just a reliable source for the best affordable hearing aids, it’s also a good source for expert consumer information.
“You should see a physician and get the best hearing aid you can afford. We offer an excellent choice for those who cannot afford a custom hearing aid,” Cherukuri says.
Senior citizens should fully enjoy the benefits of their ripe age, and not fear putting anyone in danger. This includes plenty of quality time with grandchildren.
For more information on hearing aids, hearing loss or cost-efficient alternatives, visit MDHearingAid.com.

Boomers: Don’t Take Old Age Laying Down

Many aging baby boomers expect to exercise well into their seventies, and most plan to live independently for as long as possible. Luckily, companies are designing products that help boomers retain their active lifestyles.

To help consumers find products that are easy to use at any age, the Arthritis Foundation developed its Ease of Use program, which employs testers with moderate-to-severe arthritis to evaluate products. The Arthritis Foundation provides the following tips for boomers unwilling to let age interfere with their favorite activities:

Three Tips to Care for Your Aging Cat

Cats’ health needs change as they get older, but unlike aging humans, they can’t vocalize complaints about aching bones and stiff joints. It is important for cat owners to exercise extra vigilance when it comes to caring for an aging cat.

Follow these tips to help your feline friend age gracefully:

•    Stay current on vital vaccinations. As a cat grows older, it is essential to keep Cat Flu and Feline Infectious Enteritis in check. Though sometimes tempting to overlook, an older cat has a less efficient immune system and is thus more susceptible to disease. Most older cats will only require booster shots. However, if no vaccinations are on record for a cat, or if you are unsure, you can begin vaccinations at any age.

Tips for a Healthy Smile at Any Age

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – You’ve probably heard that a healthy smile makes a great first impression, but good looks aren’t the only reason to take care of your pearly …

Three Caring Tips to Keep Your Aging Cat From Becoming a Sourpuss

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Cats’ health needs change as they get older, but unlike aging humans, they can’t vocalize complaints about aching bones and stiff joints. It is important for cat owners to exercise extra vigilance when it comes to caring for an aging cat.

Follow these tips to help your feline friend age gracefully:

* Stay current on vital vaccinations. As a cat grows older, it is essential to keep Cat Flu and Feline Infectious Enteritis in check. Though sometimes tempting to overlook, an older cat has a less efficient immune system and is thus more susceptible to disease. Most older cats will only require booster shots. However, if no vaccinations are on record for a cat, or if you are unsure, you can begin vaccinations at any age.

Vaccinations can be found for Cat Flu, Enteritis, FeLV, Chlamydia, FIP and Rabies in most areas. Consult your veterinarian for specific details.

* Don’t hold your breath on oral health care. According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, 70 percent of cats have some form of oral disease by age three — by age 10, it’s safe to presume that cats’ mouths can be rife with infection.

At-home oral care programs are ideal to help address the daily oral hygiene needs of cats. According to most veterinarians, brushing cats’ teeth on a regular basis is the best action to take to promote good oral health. For cats that are a little more temperamental about pet owners or vets touching their teeth, a simple and effective solution can be found using a new type of probiotics, called Teddy’s Pride Oral Care, that have been designed specifically for the oral care needs of cats and dogs (www.MyTeddysPride.com). These probiotics can be used in addition to brushing or as a stand-alone oral care routine.

* Eliminate pesky parasites. Fleas are the most common skin parasite of cats, leaving many cats with an itchy reaction. To prevent flea bites, use a flea spray or flea powder specifically formulated for cats. Internal parasites, like tapeworms and roundworms, distress older cats, particularly those which go outdoors. Most vets recommend that cats be treated for worms every three to six months — indoor-only cats may have a longer lapses between treatments. Always check with your vet for the best possible treatment program.

Steady Steps to Prevent Seniors’ Slips and Falls

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(NewsUSA) – Slips and falls are a common cause of injury in the United States, and the risk increases with age. According to the Centers for Disease Control …

Patty Duke Family Reunites for Dinner: Medicare on the Menu

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Patty Duke is back – and this time she’s brought the entire family. The cast of the Patty Duke Show reunited for dinner and to create a series of public service announcements to promote Social Security’s new online Medicare application.

You can view the television spots at www.socialsecurity.gov/medicareonly.

Patty Duke and her television family entertained American households on the Patty Duke Show in the 1960s. Now, they want to serve families again -; by telling them just how easy and fast it is to apply online for Medicare -; even if they are not ready to retire. The application takes less than 10 minutes.

Even if you decide to wait until after you’re age 65 to apply for retirement benefits, most people should start getting Medicare at age 65. If you’d like to begin your Medicare coverage, you should apply within four months of reaching age 65.

It’s important to note that people who already receive Social Security retirement or disability benefits do not need to apply; they will be automatically enrolled in Medicare.

Why apply online? Because it’s fast, easy and convenient. You don’t need an appointment, and you can avoid waiting in traffic or in line. You don’t even have to do it all at once. Our secure technology ensures your information will be kept private.

If you’re within four months of turning age 65 or older, what are you waiting for? As Patty Duke and her television family will tell you, it takes less than 10 minutes! Just visit www.socialsecurity.gov and select the “Retirement/Medicare” link in the middle of the page.

And be sure to catch TV’s most famous identical cousins and the whole family for dinner at www.socialsecurity.gov/medicareonly.

Give the Gift of Musical Instruments This Holiday Season

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – In this day and age, where gifts are forgotten in favor of the next “new thing” almost as soon as they’re unwrapped, choosing meaningful gifts can prove challenging. Giving a gift of experience, however, will last a lifetime. And few experiences prove more meaningful than a musical education.

The vast majority of people wish that they could play a musical instrument. According to a 2009 Gallup poll conducted by NAMM, the trade association of the international music products industry, 85 percent of the Americans who do not play musical instruments wish that they could.

And no wonder. Not only does music offer a fun personal outlet, but study after study reports its benefits. Infants who are sung to are more content, sleep better and have an overall better sense of well-being than other babies. In schoolchildren, a musical education can improve performance in other areas of study. In one study, children who received one year of musical training demonstrated improved memory. Art programs help children develop critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.

Don’t think that music’s benefits diminish with age. Playing an instrument helps adolescents and teenagers cope with peer pressure, substance abuse, academic stress and loss.

Music helps everyone, even boomers over age 45. For workers, playing music reduces stress and helps alleviate depression. For seniors, music improves health and wellness while providing a recreational and social outlet.

So, what’s the best way to give the gift of music to a loved one? NAMM suggests purchasing a musical instrument -; the gift will provide a lifetime of enrichment. Arranging music lessons is another meaningful gift. Consider purchasing a gift certificate for music lessons, either in lieu of or along with a musical instrument. To find music lessons near you, use the Lesson Locator, a database of lesson providers and stores at www.wannaplaymusic.com.

D-Licious and D-Lightful Vitamin D

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – For years we’ve heard about the dangers of sun exposure — premature lines and wrinkles, brown splotches and the biggest scare of all, skin cancer. We slather on the sunscreen, wear hats and don UV-protective clothing. Meanwhile, our teeth and bones pay the price — staying out of the sun means we don’t activate production of our sunshine vitamin, vitamin D, which is critical to strong bones and pearly whites.

In addition to our obsession with UV protection, numerous studies point to the fact that the Dietary Reference Intakes (RDIs) for vitamin D set in the 1990s are no longer sufficient based on new research that shows vitamin D wears more than a “calcium absorption” hat. It turns out that vitamin D could be a strong defensive player against cancer, heart disease, immunity and neuromuscular disorders. Based on this, you can bet that the Institute of Medicine (IOM) has set determining the optimal intake of vitamin D as a high priority.

Most Americans face a serious vitamin D deficiency, with women having the greatest risk of deficiency. Nearly half of us don’t meet our recommended daily intake for vitamin D, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the American Dietetic Association.

A lack of vitamin D in our diets has put us on a path toward some serious health problems. Studies show that a lack of vitamin D may put people at risk for diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis.

Geography, age, skin color and the amount of SPF we apply plays a serious role in how much or how little vitamin D our bodies produce. Today, most vitamin D comes from the foods we eat. Fish is one of the few foods naturally rich in vitamin D. Tuna, salmon, sardines and mackerel are especially excellent sources of vitamin D, but it’s unlikely that we’re eating enough to make up for our vitamin D deficit. Products such as milk and yogurt, certain baked goods and oil spreads usually pack extra vitamin D, too.

So, how much should be we be getting? Well, we won’t know for sure until the IOM sets new recommendations. You can visit your doctor and request a blood test for the active form of vitamin D, known as 25 hydroxy D3. The amount of vitamin D needed to maintain optimal levels in our blood has not yet been established, but initial studies suggest the range to be a concentration somewhere between 40 and 80 nanomoles/liter. This test can be taken at your annual check-up to see how effective your diet is in providing you with vitamin D.

In the meantime, eat the foods I’ve mentioned as being high in vitamin D. You can also supplement 200 IUs per day (if you’re under 50 years of age) or 400 IUs a day (if you’re over 50 years of age). Eating a LUNA bar is another great way to get vitamin D, as well as other vitamins and minerals, such as iron, calcium and folic acid, that women need. Your bones, teeth and taste buds will thank you!