Keeping Well at Home as You Age: A Guide

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What habits and routines have you adopted to take better care of yourself? Although you spend a large portion of your day at work, what do you do to boost your health when you go home from your job? Do you prep your meals ahead of time, in order to eat healthy? Do you work out?

There are various different ways that you can remain healthy as you age, and all in all, you need to make more health-conscious decisions. More so, it’s not an expensive lifestyle to live either, as you can easily purchase food from farmer’s markets and work out within the comforts of your home. In addition, there are certain moments in your life where you will need medical help, and you shouldn’t shy away from it, the same way you should never neglect the importance of being socially active. All of these points will be outlined in greater detail below.

Work out daily

Working out on a daily basis will benefit your health. You can choose to practice an organized sport, do yoga in your living room, go for afternoon or evening runs, or anything else for that matter. So long as you stay active, and exercise your body, you will be more fit for years to come. When you reach the age of retirement, you will want to be energetic and have stamina.

Eat properly

In order to eat properly, you need to adopt a habit of healthy eating at all times. This means that you should practice cooking with only the best ingredients, and the next time you step foot into the grocery store, avoid the junk food aisles that you often peruse through.

Getting the help you need

When you are older, you will need more help at home. This is particularly the case for elderly individuals, who are more likely to fall and injure themselves. You never know what can happen and when, and thus, you must always take safety precautions. For instance, you should consider investing in a medical alert system where you can get in touch with a response associate who will get you medical help you need when you fall down. All you need to do is click a button and help will come soon after the fact.

Stay socially active

People are social creatures, and as a result, if you want to take care of your mental wellbeing, you should also be socially active. Friendships are important, and as are family members, as these are the people whose company you enjoy. They know just what to say to put a smile on your face.

As you continue to age, you will have to put more effort into the type of healthy choices that you make every single day. Moreover, your habits will start to change slightly the older you get. The workout and exercise routine that you do in your 20s, will not stand to benefit you in your 60s and 70s. Be mindful of your age at all times, but continue making choices that will better your health and wellbeing at all times.

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How To Use Prescription Drugs Safely

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When you need prescription drugs, you need to use them exactly as your doctor or the directions tell you to. If you don’t, you could become even more unwell than you were before. Drugs are powerful; they work to help your body protect and heal itself. Too much of them, or the wrong type, can have the opposite effect, breaking down your body’s defenses and causing you pain and misery. Not using prescription drugs safely can even be fatal in some cases. This is why it is imperative that you know how to use prescriptions drugs in the right way. Our guide will help you with this.

Ask Questions

No matter whether you are obtaining specific drugs from your doctor’s surgery, or you are buying online medication, asking questions is vital. Before you make your purchase or visit your doctor, you would have a list of important questions that you want the answers to. If, when you ask them, you understand the answers and are completely happy with the responses, then you know you can use the drugs absolutely safely with no problems.

Questions should include asking why you need to take the drugs and why it specifically is being prescribed (this is especially useful if there are alternatives that could have been offered instead). It is also good to know how long it should take to start working because if nothing is happening, you may need to speak again to a professional for a different kind of drug.

Understand the side effects that may occur with any drug is also useful. If you know what they are, then you will know if you ever suffer from them, and you can stop taking the drugs rather than carrying on because you didn’t have the information and making yourself more unwell.

List Your Medications

It is a good idea to keep a list of any and all medications that you take with you at all times. You can keep it in your purse or wallet so that should anyone need to know what you are taking, you can quickly and easily show them. If the worst were to happen and you were in some kind of accident and unconscious, they would find this list, and it would help them to determine which drugs to give you – some drugs don’t work well with others, and without the full facts medical professionals might give you one drug that makes you more sick than another would, just because it is interacting badly with your other medication.

As well as including the drug’s brand name and generic name on your list, you should also include how often you take it during the day, the name of the doctor who prescribed it, and any other instructions you were given when you were prescribed the drug such as not driving, or stay out of the sun. The more information you can give, the better you can be treated if you need to be.

Read The Information

No matter what drugs you are taking or where they came from, there will be a leaflet inside the box. Most people just throw this in the trash, or keep it but ignore it, but actually, although it may not be that interesting, it is an important thing to read and take note of. It contains valuable information about what the side effects could be, and what other medication shouldn’t be taken at the same time.

In the past, these leaflets were difficult to read because they were full of technical jargon, but today they are written so that everyone can understand them. Take the time to read yours and you’ll be much better informed, and you’ll be able to take your drugs in a safe way.

Talk To Your Pharmacist

Of course, you will have asked your doctor about the drugs and why they prescribed them for you, but doctors are busy people and can often need to get to the next patient – although they will happily answer your questions, they may not do so in an in-depth way. This is why it is important to speak to your pharmacist, either in person or online, when you pick up your drugs, or buy them for yourself. Ask the same kinds of questions, just to be safe. It won’t hurt to get the same information twice, and remember, drugs are what pharmacists deal with all day, every day – they know everything there is to know about them, so this is definitely the place to go if you have any more questions further on in your treatment too.

Take As Directed

No matter what, you should take the medication you are given exactly as directed. Even if you feel as though you are better and over whatever it was that was causing you to be ill, don’t stop taking the drugs (unless the side effects are making you worse, that is). If you stop taking them too early, your body might regress back into a state of sickness, and you’ll have to start all over again. Just because you feel better that doesn’t mean you’re entirely over your illness, so keep taking the drugs until the course is complete to be totally safe and sure about it.

Look At The Expiry Date

All medication will have an expiry date on the label, and it is important that you check this when taking them. It is unlikely that new medication that you have just bought or been prescribed will be out of date, but it is worth checking the label anyway. Older medication that you might have had in your medicine cabinet for a number of months (or even longer) and that you think might be all right to take is a different matter; this is why your medication is more likely to be out of date.

You should not take medication that is past its expiry date. Firstly, it could harm you as it is not designed to be taken this way. Secondly, even if the medicine itself won’t harm you, it might not help you either. Drugs can lose their potency after the expiry date (which is why it is given in the first place). It is much better to seek medical advice rather than taking old medication that you find at home.

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Testosterone Replacement: It’s About More Than Sex

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It’s perfectly normal for a man’s testosterone level, or t level, to drop with age. Because of this, you may be wondering whether you should treat your low t or simply allow the natural aging process to run its course. This is a decision for you and your doctor to make together, but there are several benefits to treatment that you should know about.

Strong Bones

Though it was once thought of as a woman’s disease, doctors now know that osteoporosis also affects men. In populations over the age of 50, 40 percent of the fractures caused by brittle bones occur in males. Treatment at a low t clinic near Pittsburgh or your hometown can add density to your bones and help protect them.

A Better Physique

When treating low t levels, many men find that their belly fat starts to shrink while their muscles grow. This change can improve your appearance, but it can also improve your health. A better body composition helps the body function better, allowing for better sugar processing and reduced insulin resistance. Both of these improvements can help minimize your risk of diabetes.

Improved Heart Health

When studying men with heart disease, doctors found that cardiovascular disease and low testosterone levels go hand in hand. Though they’re not yet sure why this is, some researchers theorize that testosterone may help keep the arteries flexible enough to readily dilate and constrict as needed with blood flow. Others point to testosterone’s cholesterol-reducing tendencies. Whatever the reason, it appears treating low t levels might improve your heart health.

Increased Libido

Testosterone is a sex hormone, and without it you may feel your libido is lacking or experience erectile dysfunction. While you’ll never be 18 again, treating low t levels can have a profound effect on sexual desire and function. Many men on testosterone therapy report having sex more often and being aroused more easily.

A testosterone dip is a normal part of the aging process, but it’s one you can combat. Doing so can make you look and feel better while helping to protect your body from diabetes, heart disease and other age-related illnesses. It seems hormone replacement therapy is no longer reserved for the ladies.

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Advice For Treating A Prescription Painkiller Addiction

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Worryingly, addiction to prescription painkillers has become a national crisis in recent times because it can become incredibly easy for anyone to get addicted to them. They are highly effective in helping people with short-term pain management, but when patients misuse the drug, it can very quickly result in addiction which can ruin lives in multiple ways and even be fatal. If you or somebody that you care about is struggling with prescription painkiller addiction, then it can be hard to know what to do as completely cutting out the medication straight away is dangerous. Read on for advice on overcoming a prescription painkiller addiction.

Signs To Look Out For

You can tell if you or somebody that you know is addicted to painkillers if they are using the painkiller longer than it was prescribed or they are using higher dosages to get the same effect (tolerance increases with addiction). They may also move onto illegal drugs or attempt to get new prescriptions, and there may also be extreme changes in mental health and social behavior.

Getting Help

The first step to recovery is admitting that there is a problem and speaking to a health professional. If it is somebody that you know that is addicted it can be a delicate subject to approach but, ultimately, it is important that you take action. If they do not listen, you may want to consider an intervention as these can be highly effective at helping people to realize the extent of their addictions and the damage that it is doing.

Treatment

You should never attempt to treat prescription painkiller addiction without the help of a healthcare professional, so it is likely that you will be referred to a treatment facility. The detox process is a key stage as it can be dangerous to go “cold turkey” – Oxycodone withdrawal symptoms can be severe and trigger responses which could be damaging to your health. A medically monitored program can wean your body off of the drug safely, and the focus can then shift to using therapy to treat your addiction and provide coping strategies for staying off of the drug.

Support and Aftercare

Having a good support network is vital when attempting to come off of the drug and also once you have finished treatment. This will be those that are close to you who can provide emotional support, guidance and motivation to stay clean. You may also find it helpful to attend support groups where you can talk through your issues with those that have been through similar experiences. In many cases, a treatment facility will provide an aftercare system which will help you to stay on top of your addiction once treatment has ended.

It can be incredibly easy to get addicted to prescription painkillers and, sadly, it is an epidemic in this country at the moment. While this is a problem that needs addressing, it is possible to help those that are addicted but it is important that you seek professional help in order to do this as it can be dangerous to treat a prescription painkiller addiction without medical care.

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How to Stop Worrying About Visiting Health Care Providers

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People’s attitudes towards their health and health care providers vary enormously. Some folks are off to see the doctor as soon as they have a tickle in their throat, while others avoid medical attention no matter how bad they feel. There are a number of reasons why such a lot of people avoid seeing a health professional even when they have potentially serious conditions, but if you’re one of them, you should think about why you stay away from doctors and dentists, and whether it’s in your best interests to do so.

Wasting the doctor’s time

Because so many people visit doctors for conditions they could manage perfectly well at home, it’s not unusual to see reminders about how to care for minor ailments, and when you should and shouldn’t see the doctor. Unfortunately, some people see this as a sign that they shouldn’t bother their health professionals unless they’re in the direst of straits. Very often that means they become far more ill than they need have done if they’d gone for treatment earlier.

Visiting the doctor is a sign of weakness

Sick people may be seen as weaker by healthy people, especially if they have numerous medical problems. It’s probably due to instinctive reactions going back to our ancestral roots. Thousands of years ago, anyone sick or weak would have put the rest of the group at risk, meaning they would be shunned or cast out.

The progress of civilization has meant we look after our sick and vulnerable citizens now, and value them as much as the well. However, that instinctive impulse is still there in our brains, and consequently, some people view going for medical help as weak. The thinking is that if you don’t visit the doctor, you must have a strong constitution. Unfortunately, it’s not a theory that holds a lot of water, because if you go without medical attention when you need it, you could end up seriously ill.

Additionally, there are three significant fears that people hold about going to the doctor or dentist, including:

1. Fear of pain

Worrying about what might happen if you visit the doctor is a common feeling. If you have a fear of needles, you might want to avoid the possibility of having to have blood taken. Maybe you’re worried about how much the examination procedure might hurt, or whether the doctor will recommend a form of treatment that sounds painful.

Fear of pain is a particular problem when it comes to visiting the dentist, despite the fantastic advances in treatments that have been made over recent years. For instance, would you be scared to have a tooth out? Your dentist would do everything they could to save your tooth of course, but extraction isn’t the painful process you might imagine if you find out more about how the procedure is carried out now. It’s thought that younger generations won’t have quite the same fear of the dentist as older people, simply because their experiences are generally positive and painless.

2. Fear of embarrassment

Is your health issue the kind of thing you don’t want anyone to know about? If you feel embarrassed about your problem, that can be a powerful motivation for not getting yourself checked out. It could be the symptoms, the location, or the cause that makes you want to keep your problem to yourself, but you should take reassurance from the fact that doctors have seen everything and won’t be surprised, shocked, or judgmental about your issue. Their only concern is to find out what’s wrong and help you get better, so any worries you have about medical staff being anything but utterly professional can be put to rest.

3. Fear of the diagnosis

Being afraid of what the doctor might say about your condition to the extent you ignore your symptoms seems counter-intuitive at first, but for many people, the fear of a poor prognosis can be crippling. It’s as if the mind is somehow able to fool itself into thinking that if you ignore the problem, it will go away. In truth, if you were diagnosed with something serious, the odds of treatment being effective are far higher if you attend in the early stages than if you leave it too long.

For example, if you find a lump in your breast, that’s bound to be scary and make you wonder if it’s something serious. There’s a good chance it won’t be anything to worry about, but if it were a tumor, taking swift action would be the best way of preventing it spreading and making your prognosis even poorer.

Dr. Google

The advent of access to self-diagnostic tools and medical information online was a phenomenon that changed the way patients approach health care, and now one of the first actions most people take when they have symptoms that are worrying them is to do a search on Google and see if they can work out for themselves what’s wrong.

There’s certainly a great deal of valuable and accurate information available online, but there’s also a disturbing amount of misinformation and unsubstantiated facts. If you’re going to look up your symptoms, always use a reliable, reputable source for your searches, like WebMD, the Mayo Clinic, or Medline Plus. Remember, it’s easy to scare yourself and imagine you have some awful disease, but only a qualified clinician can accurately diagnose your illness.

Final Thoughts

Some folk have such a pessimistic outlook they believe that even if they went to the doctor, they wouldn’t get better. Others are such positive thinkers they believe that their constitution is strong enough to see them through, or they have complete faith in the power of the mind or their spiritual beliefs. There’s also the concern about being able to see a doctor you know and like, or face having to talk to someone you don’t know and explain everything to them. If you’ve identified with any of these reasons, or have another of your own, try to remember the bottom line. Your health is your most precious possession, and overcoming your reluctance to get yourself checked out could be the most sensible decision you ever make.

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