Archive for September, 2010

Med Students Move In with Seniors

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

A class at University of Minnesota Medical School matches med students with isolated seniors at local senior living apartments. The students get affordable housing, the seniors get someone with medical training keeping an eye on them. In an article on, med school professor, Ed Ratner, who piloted the program is quoted as saying:

Part of the idea is to change the general feeling of the apartment building by having some younger people the tenants can interact with so it can create a more useful and energetic environment for everybody.

Read the whole story at


Exercise Helps You Sleep; Sleep Helps You Stay Thin

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

It’s no surprise that exercise helps you lose weight, but it’s interesting to see how its affect on sleep factors into the mix. Here are a couple of interesting stories that just came across our computer screens:

  • senior couple on cycle ride in countrysideHaving trouble sleeping? Scientists at Northwestern University analyzed the habits of sedentary middle-aged and older adults. One group exercised for two 20 minute sessions four times a week. The control group didn’t exercise but did various mentally stimulating activities throughout the week including going to cooking classes and museum lectures. The group that exercised experienced better sleep, and as a results tended to be more aware during the day. Read more.
  • Want to lose weight? Sleep. According to an article in SELF magazine, a study of more than 68,000 women by the American Thorasic Society found that those who slept 7 or more hours weighed on average 5.5 pounds less than those who slept five hours or less. To sleep more, you should probably try to be less stressed, and that can help improve metabolism, too. Read more tips on improving your metabolism.

(Photo by Hygiene Matters via Flickr)

When Parents Move In

Monday, September 20th, 2010

There are a lot of stories these days about grown kids moving in with parents because they’re unable to find jobs. But the converse is also happening: parents, especially elderly parents, moving in with the kids.

The personal finance site,, recently posted a very useful short article, Tips for Caring for Your Elderly Parents. The article highlights four areas:

  • Finances first
  • Prepare your home
  • Connect to the neighborhood
  • Look into tax breaks

Concerns over too many medicines

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010


It seems that there’s a medicine today to alleviate or cure nearly everything that ails us, but a recent article explains how interactions among multiple drugs can cause unwanted and even dangerous side effects.

Dizziness, drowsiness and digestive problems are common side effects from some of the drugs this man is taking. Trying to treat adverse reactions with more drugs increases the likelihood that an older person will experience a serious complication that may lead to hospitalization.

Make sure that your doctor and pharmacist are aware of all the medications that you’re taking.

(Photo by swimboy1 via Flickr)

Good Advice from Hawaii: Fending off Falls

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Hawaii has a large senior population, which is no wonder. Why not spend your golden years in paradise? The Honolulu Star Advertiser, Hawaii’s largest news service, just ran a helpful 2-part series on how seniors can prepare their houses and your body to reduce the risk of falls.

Sure, there’s some advice is pretty specific to Hawaii residents, most of us aren’t likely be harvesting lychees and mangos, but most of the advice will apply to any senior, no matter where they live.

New Jersey Pony Kisses Elderly

Monday, September 13th, 2010

We think the title just about says it all, but click this link to see Sampson in action.

Risk factors for falls

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Several news outlets recently reported on a new study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society that studied the risk factors for falling among seniors. Approximately 40% of people aged 65 or older fall each year. Whereas most studies just look at falls indoors, this report looked at falls that occur both inside and outside of your home.

Here’s a brief summary of the study’s findings:

  • Risk factors for indoor falls included being female, older age, inactive lifestyle, disability, having lower cognitive function, taking more medications, and overall poorer health.
  • Risk factors for outdoor falls included being male, being younger and more physically active, having more education, and having average or better-than-average health.
  • Among all the falls that were recorded, 9.5% resulted in serious injury, including 10.2% of indoor falls and 9% of outdoor falls.
  • The majority of outdoor falls occurred on hard concrete surfaces, including sidewalks, streets, curbs, outdoors stairs, and parking lots.
  • Fourteen percent of outdoor falls occurred in yards or gardens.

From this list, it’s clear that we’re all at some risk of falling: you’re either male or female, younger or older, active or inactive, healthy or not. The key is to make sure that when you fall, you can get help as quickly as possible.

LifeStation’s medical alert system works inside and around your house. As soon as you press the LifeStation button, our monitoring center is notified. If we are unable to communicate with you, we’ll immediately put your personalized emergency plan into action.

To ensure that help is available if you fall, always wear your help button when you’re at home. Also consider installing inexpensive bathroom and hallway buttons around your home.

LifeStation Tip: Update Your Emergency Contact List

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Is your emergency contact list up to date? The list contains the phone numbers of the people whom you would like LifeStation’s Care Specialists to contact in case of an emergency. In addition to EMS, the list will include family members, neighbors and friends who you want notified. Has someone moved recently and changed their number? Did they recently get a new cell phone number?

To review your list and make updates, call LifeStation Customer Support at (877) 833-2020. We’re always ready to help.

Betty White Comic Book

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

She was hot to trot as Sue Ann Nivens on the Mary Tyler Moore show, but these days Betty White is hot in a whole new way, hosting Saturday Night Live and starring in Snickers commercials and a new sitcom, Hot in Cleveland.

Betty White is so popular and ubiquitous now, she’s even got her own comic book. Bluewater Productions announced today that Female Force: Betty White will be available this November.


3-wheelers provide a safe, healthy alternative to bicycles

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

Riding a bicycle can be a great way to get around and get exercise, and they say that once you’ve learned to ride a bicycle, you never forget. Unfortunately, the fear of falling keeps many elderly people from hopping onto the saddle. Seniors are turning to adult tricycles as a safe alternative, though some prefer the more dignified term, 3-wheelers.

Many of us rode Schwinn bicycles when we were kids and Schwinn now makes a selection of 3-wheelers which you can buy from Target and Wal-Mart among other stores. Trailmate makes a very extensive line of 3-wheelers including recumbent trikes, as well as a 4-wheeled two-seater.

Whether you’re looking for a better way to get to the grocery store or you just want to keep your body moving, these people-powered vehicles are definitely worth a look. Late summer and early autumn are a great time to get out and ride.

Read more about 3-wheelers.