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Living and Medical Advice from the Web and from the Experience of Fellow Members of this Center 

An excellent senior advice source is found at http://www.savvysenior.org/.

New Shingles Shot Almost Manditory!!! <Click Here to Read Article>


A SENIOR CITIZEN OUGHT TO EXERCISE; BETTER HEALTH, BETTER MOOD, BETTER LIFE

Did you read the Lawton Constitution today? (Memorial Day, 2012, http://swoknews.com/main.asp?ArticleID=43416&SectionID=6&SubSectionID=83) K.W. Hillis' article on seniors in the Lawton area  staying active, suggested several way and locations for local seniors to go and exercise. The Wichita Mountains Area Senior Center was mentioned highlighting Dorothy Ranges' Thursday activities, including the machines in the exercise room and the DVD-led Tai Chi. Also today, the Savvy Senior web publication linked to the National Institute of Health web site discussing the importance of seniors focusing on appropriate exercise rather than becoming  more and more sedentary. Recommended: http://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/exercise-and-physical-activity-getting-fit-life

YOUR KIDS LIKELY DO NOT HAVE TO PAY YOUR DEBTS WHEN YOU DIE!

Jim T Miller discusses another interesting senior's topic in his blog, Dying with Debt, on Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jim-t-miller/savvy-senior-dying-with-d_b_1414499.html). What happens to our debts (if they out-weigh your assets) when we go off to enjoy our greater reward? Read the blog, then tell your kids that they shouldn't worry about (or PAY off!) your debts after you die. Oklahoma City's Miller is the creator and brains of the Savvy Senior.

SOLVE TYPE-2 DIABETES WITH WEIGHT-LOSS SURGERY?

Well, folks, the Senior Newswire web site (reference the source at the top right), tells us about another life-saving, quality-of-life finding that people with diabetes might find useful. A Los Angeles Times article  says that putting a surgical sleeve on a diabetic's stomach offers a good possibility of aiding in the fight against that crippling ailment. See http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-bariatric-surgery-diabetes-20120327,0,6447925.story

WHY DO WE OLD FOLKS HAVE SO MANY STROKES AND HEART ATTACKS?

According to the CDC (Healthday, http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=658318, had the article), fewer than half of Americans who should be taking a low-dose aspirin a day to reduce their risk of stroke and heart attack are taking one. Less than half of the 68 million American adults with high blood pressure have it under control, although it is usually easy for medicine to do that with few side effects. Only one in three Americans with high cholesterol receive effective treatment. Fewer than a quarter of smokers get help to quit when they see their doctor, even with the warnings their own cigarette package give them.

MEASURE YOUR HEIGHT REGULARLY FOR BETTER HEALTH

When your kids were growing up, was there a place in the house that you kept a mark and a date on the wall to show how much they had grown? You might want to do the same thing for YOURSELF, now that you are a senior citizen. After 30 years of age or so, everyone shrinks. How fast you are shrinking can tell a lot about the state of your health. Your doctor should be keeping track of your height in your health records, but most don't. If yours does, he already is looking after the effects of height loss. What causes height loss? Disks in your backbone, those gel-filled pads between your vertebrae, lose fluid over time. your tummy muscles get weaker resulting in posture loss. Even the arch in your foot drops. All this cause a loss of height. The RATE of the loss of height is what is important. Normal seems to be for men is to lose 1.2 inches between age 30 and 70 and another half inch by age 80, with women losing 2 inches between 30 and 70 and another 1.1 inches by age 80. Any loss greater than that should be brought to the attention of your doctor. This subject is covered in greater detail the following Wall Street Journal web site. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904194604576580720025344668.html 


FREE MEDICARE VISITS TO YOUR DOCTOR? ARE YOU GETTING YOURS?

Starting last January (2011) some visits to your doctor are fully funded by Medicare. For instance, colonoscopies are covered. For women, mammograms and pelvic exams are free. Once a year beneficiaries can now get a "wellness visit" annually at no-charge. The first one sets a baseline, and subsequent annual visits track "basic health," looking for changes that need to be followed. This is all explained on www.medicare.gov/share-the-health. Your doctor's staff can also explain what is covered and what is not. If there is any question at the doctor's office tell them you are talking about billing codes G0438 (for the first wellness visit) and G0439 (for later ones). 

DO YOU HAVE ALL OF YOUR SHOTS? SENIORS, NOT JUST YOUNGSTERS, NEED HEED THAT QUESTION.

There is a lot of advice about immunizations for seniors that I had not heard 'til now. The government (Center for Disaese Control) has  a web site quiz that can tell you everything you need to know about the shots you need and when to get them. Go to www2.cdc.gov/nip/adultimmsched. Read more at:

 http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/05/06/3056857/boost-your-knowledge-of-vaccine.html#tvg#ixzz1LrwCU6yB


AGAIN ON SHINGLES: HAVING HAD IT ONCE DOES NOT SAY YOU CANNOT HAVE IT AGAIN!

Heck! They kept telling us that once you have Chicken Pox, you may have Shingles. But once you have shingles, you will never have shingles again. Turns out, that is NOT the way it is. Some folks who have had shingles MAY come down with the horrible itching, rash, and pain AGAIN! While the shingles vaccine will only prevent about half of the occurrences of shingles, they say the vaccine will make the shingles attack milder in those who get it. Find out more at: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704476604576158262168447774.html?mod=ITP_personaljournal_1


HIGH GOOD CHOLESTEROL (HDL) MAY KEEP ALZHEIMER'S AWAY, STUDY SAYS

Only about one percent of senior citizens age 65-69 have Alzheimer's. That rate increases to 60% over age 95, but study says high HDL cholesterol signals decreased risk of possible Alzheimer's. The whole story at: http://www.seniorjournal.com/NEWS/Alzheimers/2010/20101213-SenCitWithHighLevels.htm


CAPSAICIN ISN'T JUST SOMETHING YOU ENJOY AT SALAS'.

That hot Mexican food that leaves your mouth remembering the jalapeños as you leave your favorite Mexican restaurant may be doing more for you than just satisfying your taste buds. Dr. Andrew Weil, my computer doctor, says that the compound that makes hot peppers hot, capsaicin, likely has health benefits, too. He says that lab research shows that it might help lower blood pressure. Long-term consumption of capsaicin could help relax blood vessels and guard blood vessels against inflammation and dysfunction. Plus, it might enhance the metabolism of fat, and help inhibit inflammation. And  capsaicin comes in an ointment that can help minimize symptoms of shingles, eczema, and arthritic aches. Who woulda thunk!

Submitted by Tom Spears (information from  9/27/10 Dr. Weil Daily Tip), September 2010

JUST LIKE PULLING TEETH ~~ FOR FREE!

"Our church has a Dental Clinic Ministry!" the lady told me. I was getting the broken frame on my glasses replaced, and she was at the check-out desk. She gave me a pamphlet from Lawton's Calvary Baptist Church. I told her that I would put the information on our web site. Here is what the pamphlet said:

  • The church dental clinic is open on the second Thursday of each month
  • Local dentists donate their time and services
  • They ONLY do extractions. No children. Patients must fill out a medical history form
  • The service begins at 10 AM, but people wanting dental service must show up EARLY
  • The clinic is located at the 707 SW H Ave. 2nd house (white) east of the church

                Submitted by Tom Spears (The lady with the pamphlet was Frankie Ross), September 2010

DRINKING FOR BETTER HEALTH?

Did you know that having a drink or two (well..... one a day for a woman and one or two drinks for a man) is better for you than not drinking at all? I have long heard that those two drinks a day will keep you a little bit healthier than skipping them..... and a bottle of Kentucky Bourbon is cheaper than a bottle of pills. Even if that is true I still do not get around to having more than one or two drinks a year. You know, like on special occasions or my drinking cousin comes by. Then today I ran across an article that says the advice is probably true. Look at http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=642365 for a full discussion. "Just one tonight, bartender, I'm driving."

Submitted by Tom Spears, September 2010

ANTIOXIDANTS FOR HEALTH

My computer doctor, Andrew Weil, MD, advises everyone to worry their antioxidants. On his web site: www.drweil.com, he has posted a food pyramid that you might find helpful in choosing foods that will keep you healthy: http://www.drweilonhealthyaging.com/hya/ecs/images/pyramid_nutri_med.gif

Submitted by Tom Spears, July 2010
WHY HAVE A STROKE?

information came from a multinational study of 6,000 people. Half had had a stroke and half had not. The primary cause of stroke, they said, was high blood pressure. Other risk factors for stroke in order of importance were 2) smoking, 3) fat around the abdomen, 4)diet of fats and sugars, and 5)lack of physical activity. That set me to thinking. We who volunteer at the center, if we just control our blood pressure, shouldn't have any strokes. We can't smoke there, we eat great (oh, there might be a little bit of fat in the Indian tacos), and we work so hard there that getting exercise is really no problem.
                                                                                        Submitted by Tom Spears, June 2010


Speaking of Shingles.

Eva got a case of shingles last December. Reggie has shingles. Others in our little group has had an outbreak of shingles or has people in their families that has suffered from the virus. The shingles vaccine has been available for several years, but many of us haven't gotten the shot. I wonder why. I got mine last January (shortly after I heard how Eva was suffering!). I went to Fort Sill and was inoculated. The information I got there was that I am now 50% LESS likely to get shingles than before I got the shot. Not a bad improvement in my chances. I have been encouraging every senior in our group who is susceptible to get the shot. (Susceptible, as I understand it is: Had chicken pox as a child, hasn't had shingles yet as an adult). The New York Times recently discussed why people do not get the shingles show. You might want to read the article: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/10/health/10chen.html?ref=health

                                                                                        submitted by Tom Spears, June 2010 


Seniors should be very, very wary about buying those el cheapo health insurance policies from companies advertising on the TV and the ones you find on the computer. Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner, Kim Holland says, " I've never seen anything like this," talking about the scam insurance companies. Not only in Oklahoma, many states are finding sham companies trying to steal from individuals. 

Among the questionable groups that state regulators are targeting:

• American Trade Association

Smart Data Solutions. 

• Consolidated Workers Association

National Alliance of Benefit Services Association (NABSA),.

• HealthcareOne

                                                                                       Submitted by Tom Spears, April 2010

Did you read that article in Parade Magazine last January about osteoporosis in men? Since most of us read the Lawton Constitution where the magazine insert is This Week, you probably didn't. I recently read the article at the doctors office. It said "According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, about 6% of all men over the age of 50 will experience a hip fracture and about 5% will fracture one of the bones of the spine as a result of osteoporosis." Men, here's a little news. If your doctor wants to check you for osteoporosis (I had it and took my medicine and my calcium for 15 years and now I have much improved bones... and no longer have to take my fosamax!), you go to a place called "Women's Imaging" to have the test done. Let me tell you that the women waiting for their tests really look at you while you sit there waiting to be called.

Submitted by Tom Spears, April 2010  


If a senior wants to stay healthy....... MOVE!  No, don't relocate. Move around more.  <Click here>

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Pneumonia Warning -- 
Seniors who think their flu shot makes them invincible this winter may want to think again. A recent Group Health study of 3,500 people found that those who got the vaccine had th same risk of getting pneumonia as those who weren't vaccinated. Researchers suspect that either the flu vaccine doesnt work as well as it should in seniors or that their pneumonia is not from the flu.
The Bottom Line: Lead study author Michael L. Jackson, PhD, still recommends an annual flu shot. He also suggests freaquent hand washing. If you're over 65 or have a cronic condition, ask your doctor about the PPV vaccine, which may protect against many types of pneumonia.


The Readers Digest, Nov., 2008


Shingles -- My doctor said it is a good idea for everyone over sixty to get a shingles shot. 

Then he said: 
  • If you have ever had shingles, you don't need the shot because it won't do any good.
  • The shingles shot decreases your chance of getting shingles by fifty percent.
  • The shot is expensive. Be sure your insurance will cover it.
Submitted by Tom Spears  Oct. 06, 2008