Oophorectomy and its Impact on Women's Health - A Comprehensive Review

Oophorectomy is a procedure wherein one or both ovaries are removed. There are different procedures for how oophorectomy is performed as well as different types of oophorectomy. If needed, you’ll undergo a specific type of oophorectomy based on your doctor’s recommendations.

In most cases, going through an oophorectomy will make menopause start earlier than expected. There are two major types of oophorectomy which are, bilateral and unilateral both of which may affect your fertility and menstrual cycle. Read on to know more about oophorectomy, its types, procedures, and risks. Additionally, you’ll learn if oophorectomy is a good choice for you.

Before Oophorectomy

Before deciding on going through Oophorectomy, your doctor will first explain the options and the risk factors involved in such procedures. You may also undergo a series of tests such as:

What are the Types?

There are 2 major types of Oophorectomy which are:

  1. Bilateral Oophorectomy - This refers to the removal of both ovaries.
  2. Unilateral Oophorectomy - This refers to the removal of only 1 ovary.

Aside from the 2 mentioned, there are other specific types of Oophorectomy which are:

Reasons Why Oophorectomy is Performed

There are several reasons why your doctor may recommend you to go through an Oophorectomy. Some reasons include:

How Oophorectomy is Performed

Once you and your doctor have discussed what type of Oophorectomy you should undergo, the next thing to do is to decide how it is performed. There are different ways to remove your ovaries. The options include:

Risks Involve in Oophorectomy

Though Oophorectomy is known to be a very safe procedure, some risk factors should be kept in mind before going through it. These include:

Menopause After Oophorectomy

After going through Oophorectomy, your body will go through various changes. If you have undergone a bilateral type of Oophorectomy, expect that your menopause will begin right away and you’ll experience common menopausal symptoms such as:

Also, since both ovaries are removed, abrupt changes in the production of certain hormones can cause other complications such as:

Recovery Period After Oophorectomy

The duration of recovery may vary from person to person. It may also depend on how the surgery was performed. For people who have undergone a vaginal approach, doctors may allow them to leave the hospital the same day, however, for some procedures like laparotomy, you might be required to stay for a few days or a week in the hospital.

Your doctor may also recommend you practice the following during your recovery period:

Frequently Asked Questions
Can I still get pregnant after Oophorectomy?

Most women who have undergone Oophorectomy ask if they are still able to get pregnant. If you have undergone the unilateral type of oophorectomy, you’ll still be able to have a normal and healthy pregnancy so long as the other ovary is functioning normally. In some cases though, you might need to get fertility support like IVF.

Another option would be through egg freezing or egg donor, options which are suitable for women who got both ovaries removed. Learn more about this through this link.

Can I still get my period after Oophorectomy?

Women who had unilateral Oophorectomy are the only ones who still have their monthly cycle. Women who got both ovaries removed, on the other hand, will no longer have a monthly cycle, but instead, menopause will begin shortly after the operation.

What signs to watch out for after Oophorectomy?

If you notice any of the following signs after surgery, contact your healthcare provider immediately.

• Incisions are swelling
Can I still get pregnant after Oophorectomy? Most women who have undergone Oophorectomy ask if they are still able to get pregnant. If you have undergone the unilateral type of oophorectomy, you’ll still be able to have a normal and healthy pregnancy so long as the other ovary is functioning normally. In some cases though, you might need to get fertility support like IVF.

Another option would be through egg freezing or egg donor, options which are suitable for women who got both ovaries removed.
Can I still get my period after Oophorectomy? Women who had unilateral Oophorectomy are the only ones who still have their monthly cycle. Women who got both ovaries removed, on the other hand, will no longer have a monthly cycle, but instead, menopause will begin shortly after the operation.
What signs to watch out for after Oophorectomy? If you notice any of the following signs after surgery, contact your healthcare provider immediately.

• Incisions are swelling
• Leaking of pus from incisions
• Swelling and pain in the legs/blood clots
• Persistent pain in the pelvic area
• Nausea with or without vomiting
• Pain during urinating
• Fevers
• Foul-smelling vaginal discharge

Shy Drager Syndrome: Unraveling the Mysteries of a Rare Neurological Disorder

Shy Drager Syndrome or now known by its present name, Multiple System Atrophy (MSA), is a rare neurological disorder that affects essential bodily functions such as mobility, speech, vision, and internal body functions such as blood pressure, digestive tract, and urinary tract. People will MSA may experience low blood pressure, constipation, or incontinence.

Just like other chronic illnesses, Shy Drager Syndrome or MSA is common in older adults who are above 60 and is more common in older men than women. Read on to learn more about Shy Drager Syndrome or MSA.

Renaming of Shy Drager Syndrome

Shy Drager Syndrome was discovered by a neurologist, Dr. Milton Shy from the National Institute of Health and Glen Drager of the College of Medicine wherein they first theorized that orthostatic hypotension is the culprit.

However, as researchers in the field continued to examine and investigate, They were able to come up with a deeper understanding of the disease. That’s why in 1998, Shy Drager Syndrome is changed to a more appropriate name which is Multiple System Atrophy or MSA.

SubTypes or Multiple System Atrophy

Also, with the continuous research on the disease, scientists have come up with two subtypes of Shy Drager Syndrome of MSA, namely:

  1. Cerebellar MSA (MSA-C) - This subtype usually attacks basic functions such as vision and speech difficulties.
  2. Parkinsonian MSA (MSA-P) - On the other hand, Parkinsonian MSA commonly affects muscles, movements, balance, and coordination.

What Are The Symptoms?

The two subtypes of MSA each have distinct symptoms while general symptoms are also observed. Let’s take a look first at the general symptoms which include:

Now that you know the general symptoms of MSA, let’s now discuss the symptoms of the two subtypes.

Cerebellar MSA

According to Healthline, 20 percent of people with MSA may experience symptoms under Cerebellar MSA which include:

Parkinsonian MSA

Symptoms under Parkinsonian MSA are more common and affect 90% of MSA patients. These symptoms include:

Note: If you will notice, Cerebellar MSA has symptoms that mainly affect coordination, speech, and vision while Parkinsonian MSA includes symptoms similar to Parkinson's that affect movements and muscles.

What Causes Shy Drager Syndrome?

The cause of Shy Drager Syndrome of MSA is still unknown and cases usually occur at random. Based on the latest research on the disease, a protein known as alpha-synuclein in high amounts is found in the damaged brain tissues of MSA patients.

In this case, researchers theorize that the unusual accumulation of these proteins is one of the causes of MSA since this protein is also present in people with Parkinson’s disease.

Though this may be an indicator of the primary cause of MSA, there’s still limited research and evidence to support this claim.

Is there a Treatment/Cure for Shy Drager Syndrome?

With the complexity and limited research about the disease, a cure for Shy Drager Syndrome is still yet to be discovered. If you are diagnosed with Shy Drager Syndrome, your doctor might prescribe medications that will alleviate the symptoms specifically in:

For Respiratory Problems

  • CPAP
  • Tracheostomy

For Hypotension

  • Midodrine

For mobility Problems

  • Ropinirole
  • Pramipexole
  • Amantadine

For Speech Problems

  • Speech therapy

For Urinary Problems

  • Oxybutynin
  • Desmopressin
  • Catheterization

For Sexual Dysfunction

  • Sildenafil
  • Tadalafil
  • Vardenafil

For Nutrient Deficiencies (caused by difficulty swallowing/chewing)

  • Food supplements
What Are the Complications of Shy Drager Syndrome?

Shy Drager Syndrome or MSA is a progressive disease, meaning the symptoms will get worse as it progresses. Though the speed of the progression varies from person to person, the patient will experience complications like:

Patients with MSA typically live for 7-10 years starting from the onset of the symptoms. In most cases of MSA, patients die because of complications in their respiratory system and other infections.

Takeaway

Shy Drager Syndrome or now commonly referred to as MSA is a rare disease that affects various bodily functions. Though there’s still no cure for the disease, researchers and scientists are doing their best to increase their understanding of MSA. There are also treatments that you can take to slow the progression of the symptoms.

Physiotherapy: Integrating Mind, Body, and Spirit for Optimal Wellness

Physiotherapists are health professionals who deal with patients who have had injuries and illnesses that affected certain bodily functions and mobility. Additionally, Physiotherapists provide lifestyle advice to promote one’s physical health.

Examples of health conditions that physiotherapists treat include problems in cardiovascular health, blood circulation, bones, muscles, nervous system, and respiratory system. They can also help you prevent future health conditions by providing education on various lifestyle practices.

Physiotherapy Meaning

So what is a Physiotherapist exactly? In this section, we will discuss an overview of physiotherapy and the role of physiotherapists in the medical field.

Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy refers to treatment activities for people who are suffering from certain injuries and illnesses affecting their mobility. Undergoing physiotherapy may help one’s recovery faster. It can even reduce one’s risks of mobility problems in the future.

Physiotherapist

On the other hand, Physiotherapists refer to health care professionals who administer treatments to heal injuries and mobility problems. Throughout one’s recovery process, s/he may also receive lifestyle education wherein patients will be taught what habits to practice and avoid.

Important Roles of A Physiotherapist

Primarily, Physiotherapists help patients who are suffering from physical health problems in certain areas of the body. These may include problems in the:

Physiotherapist Salary

According to Salary.com, the average monthly salary for a Physiotherapist can range from 80,000 to 102,000 dollars. However, the exact salary amount may vary depending on your educational background, experience, and the place where you are applying.

If you are planning to pursue Physiotherapist as a profession, it’s important to earn a Doctor Of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. To get a DPT degree, you may enroll in a Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education-Accredited Physical Therapy Education Program. The DPT degree usually takes three years to complete, and after that, you must pass the state exam for Physiotherapists to get a license.

In this program, you may learn different branches of medical science:

  1. Physiology
  2. Biology
  3. Anatomy
  4. Biomechanics
  5. Neuroscience
  6. Behavioral sciences
Physiotherapist vs. Physical Therapist

Many people get confused about whether Physiotherapist is different or similar to Physical therapists. Though both share some commonalities, the question is whether there is an actual distinction between the two. Generally, Physiotherapy and Physical therapy are two synonymous terms and each term is used interchangeably depending on the country.

In countries like Canada, Australia, and some parts of Europe, the term that’s used is Physiotherapy. On the other hand, most countries in America, especially the United States prefer the term Physical Therapy.

However, some suggest that Physiotherapy and Physical Therapy are distinct from one another. According to Dr. JJ Thomas, a Licensed Physical Therapists, he stated that:

Pelvic Physiotherapist

Pelvic Physiotherapist pertains to health care professionals specializing in pelvic floor physical therapy. It is they who treat problems in the pelvic floor muscles in both males and females.

This type of Physiotherapy primarily treats health conditions like:

Pelvic physiotherapists administer treatments like:

Sports Physiotherapist

Sports Physiotherapist pertains to physiotherapists who are specializing in Sports Physiotherapy. This type of therapy helps treat patients who have injuries in the bones, muscles, or joints due to sports activities and other physical activities.

Sports Physiotherapists may treat physical injuries by:

Treatments may include:

Other Types of Physiotherapy

Aside from the two mentioned, there are other types of Physiotherapy and these include:

Final Thoughts

Physiotherapy is a great help for people suffering from certain illnesses that affect balance, posture, and mobility. There are different types of Physiotherapy and each type cater to the patient’s specific needs based on his/her condition.

Metabolism and Age: How to Maintain a Healthy Metabolic Rate as You Get Older

Metabolism is a term we usually mention when we’re talking about nutrition, weight, and body composition. In fact, metabolism plays an important role in homeostasis or the proper functioning of our body.

For our bodily processes to work properly, our body needs calories and other nutrients. That’s why nutrition and metabolic functions go hand in hand. However, our metabolism can be affected by several factors like age, sex, and body composition. In this article, you will learn more about metabolism, how it works, what factors affect it, as well as tips to keep metabolism healthy.

Two Categories

Metabolism is divided into two categories, and before we jump on to the main function of metabolism, first let’s discuss these two categories.

  1. Catabolism - In this category, nutrients such as carbohydrates, protein, glucose, and fats are broken down into smaller forms. This will then provide sources of energy needed for growth, and repair in the body.
  2. Anabolism - After these nutrients are broken down, anabolism takes place. This refers to the utilization of energy for repairing and producing new cells in the body.

What is Metabolism and How it Works

Metabolism refers to the vital process in your body wherein the food that you eat is converted into energy. In the conversion process, carbohydrates, protein, fats, and other nutrients are broken down to become energy sources for various body functions namely:

Since metabolism and nutrition are linked together, how and what we eat influences how our metabolism works.

Metabolic Rate

We also have what they call the Metabolic Rate, which refers to the number of calories our body uses to maintain proper metabolic functions. Metabolic Rate may vary from person to person and it can be divided into three categories namely:

Factors That Affect Metabolic Rate

Many people blame metabolism for their weight problems. Though this is partly true, metabolism functions as it should, however, it can be affected by several factors namely:

  1. Age - As we reach our 30s or 60s, our body begins to decline. This means that various bodily functions weaken including our metabolic rate. That’s the reason why most seniors become more prone to being overweight and losing muscle and bone mass.
  2. Sex - Generally, men have a higher metabolic rate than women. This is because men have denser muscle mass and bigger body build compared to women.
  3. Muscle mass/Body Composition - The higher a person’s muscle density is, the more energy is used by his/her body at rest (BMR). And the lower the muscle density is, the lower energy is used.
  4. Physical activity - As mentioned earlier, the energy that our body uses during physical activity varies depending on how heavy or how frequent the activity is. The more active the person is, the more energy is used by the body, whereas the lesser activity, the lesser energy is used.
  5. Genes - Our genetic code can also influence how fast our metabolic rate is. This is because we tend to inherit the same build our parents have. For example, children who have parents with a small build and low muscle density will most likely have the same build as their parents.
  6. Smoking - Cigarettes have a harmful substance called nicotine, which may make your BMR faster, thus making you lose weight easily. Other substances like caffeine may also increase your metabolic rate.
Health Conditions That Affect Metabolic Rate

Certain health conditions may also affect our metabolic rate:

In some cases, metabolism can also impact your health. Metabolic rate is unique in every individual and it can directly influence one’s weight. This is the reason why people have a hard time losing or gaining weight. The most common metabolic conditions include:

Tips to Maintain Healthy Metabolism

Now that you know how metabolism works as well as the factors that affect its function, here are some valuable tips to boost your metabolism.

Final Thoughts

Metabolism plays a vital role in various functions of our body and to maintain a healthy metabolism, one should practice eating foods with high nutritional value. I hope this article helped you gain knowledge and understanding of metabolism, how it works, the factors that affect it, as well as simple but valuable tips you should keep in mind.

Diabetes and Mental Health: The Link between Chronic Illness and Psychological Well-being

Diabetes affects more than 422 million people across the globe and each year, about 1.5 million Diabetes-related death cases are reported. Though Diabetes is a chronic illness and does not have a cure, there are still treatments that help manage the disease.

It’s also important to remember that Diabetes is not something to underestimate and ignore. This disease can affect children, young adults, and older adults. Though there’s still limited research about the exact cause of Diabetes, experts recommend controlling sugar levels and maintaining good physical health to prevent getting Diabetes.

What is Diabetes

Diabetes is a common chronic health condition that affects almost 9.4 percent of the US population and it’s more prevalent in the senior population aged 60-65 years old according to the National Insitute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Additionally, NIDDK stated that 90-95 percent of patients fall under type 2 Diabetes.

Diabetes happens when the pancreas fails to produce or does not produce enough Insulin in your body. Insulin is an essential hormone that helps transfer glucose from the blood into your cells. Glucose refers to the sugar compound we get from the liver and food we eat, which is transferred to the blood and into your cells.

Without enough Insulin, these Glucose compounds cannot be transferred to your cells. And over time, too much glucose in your blood will result in high sugar levels thus causing health problems such as:

What are the Type

There are various types of Diabetes, but the most common are the following:

Type 2 Diabetes

This is the most common type of Diabetes that affects almost 95 percent of patients with Diabetes and usually occurs among children, young adults, and older adults. Type 2 diabetes is usually caused by the inability of the pancreas to produce enough Insulin or the poor response of the cells in absorbing glucose from the bloodstream.

Maintaining good physical health like eating a well-balanced diet, getting regular exercise, and losing excess weight are good remedies to prevent this type of Diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes

This is a less common type of Diabetes that is caused by the autoimmune response of your body. Autoimmunity refers to the situation wherein your immune system mistakenly attacks your own body by mistake.

In the case of Diabetes type 1, it is believed that autoimmunity is the reason why the pancreas fails to produce the insulin needed for the cell’s glucose absorption. Unfortunately, there’s still no known cure for Diabetes 1, and patients, who are usually children and young adults, need to regularly take insulin to manage the disease.

Prediabetes

This type of Diabetes is less serious than type 1 and type 2 Diabetes. However, if not addressed, Prediabetes may progress into Diabetes type 2. Symptoms of this disease are usually mild. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 8 in 10 patients don’t realize they have Prediabetes.

The good news though is that this can be managed and reversed by maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Gestational Diabetes

Pregnant women are at risk of having Gestational Diabetes. Though this type of Diabetes usually goes away on its own after giving birth, it might still increase one’s risk of type 2 Diabetes later in life.

Women who had Gestational Diabetes during pregnancy may also put their children at risk of obesity and Diabetes when they grow up. That’s why it’s crucial to maintain good physical health by practicing a healthy lifestyle.

Risk Factors of Diabetes

Risk factors may differ for each type of Diabetes. To help you understand if you are most likely at risk of Diabetes, we’ll discuss the risk factors of the four common types of Diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes and Prediabetes

Risk factors of type 2 Diabetes and Prediabetes include:

Type 1 Diabetes

Risk factors of type 1 Diabetes include:

Gestational Diabetes

Risk factors of Gestational Diabetes include:

The general risk factors of Diabetes include:

Major Symptoms of Diabetes

General symptoms of Diabetes include:

Note: Symptoms may vary from person to person and may depend on the type of Diabetes the patient has. If you experience the following symptoms mentioned above, it might be time to get checked and tested if you have Diabetes.

Prevention Tips Against Diabetes

Why wait for Diabetes to get into your system if you can prevent it by removing bad habits and practicing healthy habits? In this section, we will share some of the best practices you should follow to reduce your risk of getting Diabetes.

  1. Maintain a healthy weight - Research has found that losing those extra weight helps reduce the risk of Diabetes. This is in line with the findings of a study published in the National Library of Medicine wherein it stated that excess weight contributes to the complications like heart disease and stroke among Type 2 Diabetes patients.
  2. Get more physically active - Keeping up with regular exercise helps maintain good physical health, thus reducing the risk of Diabetes. According to a study, it stated that Physical activity offers benefits to the body’s endothelial function, defense system, and insulin sensitivity, all of which prevent type 1 and type 2 Diabetes. Aerobic and resistance exercises are recommended if you want to establish good physical and cardiovascular health.
  3. Eat a well-balanced diet - According to usnews.com, the best diet to practice is the Mediterranean diet which consists of a lot of green vegetables and fruits. It should also include protein-rich foods like chicken and fish for lean and healthy muscles.
  4. Choose healthy fats - Healthy fats, also known as good cholesterol or High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) can be found in fishes like salmon, mackerel, and tuna. It’s also present in various seeds and nuts like sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, etc. You should also avoid junk foods and limit your consumption of red meat and sugary foods to avoid the build-up of bad cholesterol in your body.
  5. Monitor blood pressure - Monitoring your blood pressure at home is a good way to catch symptoms of high blood pressure which is an early sign of Diabetes.
  6. Quit smoking - Habitual smoking will increase your vulnerability to chronic illnesses later in life.
  7. Limit alcohol drinking - Habitual alcohol drinking can damage your organs, thus resulting in poor function of organ systems. Additionally, alcohol has high amounts of calories that may contribute to weight gain and unhealthy fat build-up.
Final Word

Diabetes can be a burden both in physical and financial matters. Not only do you have to endure having diet restrictions, but you also need to spend a lot of dollars on treatments and medications. That’s why it’s important to practice a healthy lifestyle through a healthy diet and regular exercise.

Benefits of Gardening for Seniors: Enhancing the Lives of Elderly through Horticultural Activities

Gardening activities for seniors offer a lot of benefits in terms of physical and mental well-being. Not only will it help seniors establish a positive connection with nature, but they will also be able to improve their physical mobility.

In fact, a study suggested that gardening promotes positive aging among seniors by way of improving both physical and social well-being. With that said, gardening is indeed one of the recommended activities for older adults, especially those who are suffering from chronic loneliness and depression.

Benefits of Gardening for Seniors

Just as research suggested, gardening offers a ton of benefits for older adults including:

Lowers stress

Research has proven that gardening lowers cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone responsible for an individual’s increased heart rate during stressful events. As gardening lowers the levels of this hormone, you may feel calmer and less tense.

Another study stated that the more one is engaged in gardening, the more mentally resilient s/he becomes especially in times of stressful events like the COVID-19 pandemic.

Improves mobility

It is common knowledge that people who live sedentary lives have an increased risk of mobility and skeletal problems. Gardening helps keep muscles and bones active, thus promoting better bone health as you get older.

Gardening is also a good type of exercise and therapy for seniors who had a stroke. It’s important to make sure though, that they have proper assistance during this activity.

Improves brain health

Gardening is also said to improve one’s brain health. While the exact cause of mental health diseases like Dementia is still unknown, studies found that gardening helps reduce one’s risk of Dementia.

One study concluded that indoor gardening has a positive effect on the performance of seniors with mild to moderate dementia. This means that gardening has the potential to improve symptoms of Dementia among senior patients.

Increases the happy hormones

Seniors experiencing anxiety and depression can make use of gardening activities as a therapy to reduce feelings of loneliness and depression.

A study published in the National Library of Medicine (NIH) stated that chronic isolation like during the pandemic increases anxiety and depression, but can be reduced by doing a weekly gardening routine even indoors.

Promotes social interaction

Gardening is also a good way to promote social interaction. You will encounter people who share the same interest as you in one way or another. It can be your neighbor, loved one, or an old friend. In that way, you’ll be able to enhance your social engagement and even learn useful gardening techniques from each other.

Promotes a sense of fulfillment

There’s nothing more fulfilling than reaping the fruits of your efforts. Gardening not only helps you in terms of mental and physical health, but it also gives you something to look forward to.

For example, when harvest time comes, you’ll be proud enough to say that all of those came from your own efforts. Not only that you’ll feel a sense of fulfillment, but you’ll also a sense of purpose in this world. It could also be a perk for you since you no longer have to spend dollars buying vegetable supplies for your kitchen.

Reduces risk of stroke and heart diseases

Physical activity during gardening promotes cardiovascular health among seniors. This is supported by a study published in The Guardian which stated that gardening is a good moderate exercise for older adults that promote physical and cardiovascular health.

Reduces risk of Osteoporosis and Arthritis

Osteoporosis and Arthritis are two of the most common bone diseases among older adults, and both of these diseases are partly caused by physical inactivity.

Gardening helps keep muscles and bones active, thus preventing bone diseases during old age. Light gardening activities like digging, watering, and planting are good activities for seniors suffering from early signs of Osteoporosis or Arthritis. Take note though, that assistance from a loved one or caregiver is imperative to prevent falls or injuries during gardening.

Considerations for Seniors

Though gardening is a good activity for seniors, important considerations should still be kept in mind. Seniors, unlike younger adults, have weaker bones and muscles. This means that they may not be as physically strong as before. As a senior, here are the things you should consider first before putting on your garden boots and shovel.

Skin sensitivity

Some seniors may be prone to skin dryness and sunburn. That’s why wearing protective gear such as long sleeves, hats, glasses, and gloves is crucial to keep skin healthy.

Vision problems

Poor eyesight is common among seniors. In fact, it’s one of the common causes of falls and injuries among older adults. That’s why wearing appropriately graded eyeglasses are important when gardening.

Calling a loved one or a caregiver for assistance is also a good option so that s/he can monitor your health and warn you of any potential risks and hazards while gardening.

Mobility problems

muscle and bone diseases like Osteoporosis or Arthritis may prevent you from doing heavy gardening activities. If you’re a senior suffering from these diseases, better opt for lighter activities like watering, trimming, or harvesting. You might also need an assistant with you to help with lifting stuff and digging deeper holes.

Mental capabilities

Leaving seniors with Dementia all alone in the garden is not advisable. There should always be a caregiver or a loved one looking after his/her elderly patient.

Sensitivity to temperature

It’s not advisable for seniors who have existing cardiovascular health conditions to stay in the garden for longer periods, especially during noon as it may cause hypertension or heart attack.

Might as well tend your garden for 1-2 hours every early morning or afternoon as these are the times with favorable outdoor temperatures.

Gardening Tips for Seniors

Now that you know the important considerations for seniors in gardening, the tips below may help you make your gardening safe and enjoyable despite your health conditions.

Things to do in Gardening

Seniors do not necessarily have to do a heavy job when gardening. For seniors who have mobility problems, you may want to get a caregiver or a loved one with you to assist. Below are some gardening activities that are suitable for you as a senior:

  1. Digging small holes - You can use a small garden shovel to dig small holes.
  2. Planting - Planting vegetable seedlings, flowering plants, and herbal plants are great options.
  3. Watering - This is a light and easy activity suitable for seniors with mental or physical health problems.
  4. Harvesting - You can do it with a loved one or a friend to promote social interaction and bonding.
  5. Trimming - Trimming flowering plants and bushes is also a suitable task for seniors with various health conditions.
  6. Other sensory activities - Seeing, holding, or smelling flowering plants is also a good therapeutic activity for seniors.

Gardening is indeed a good activity for seniors and it offers a ton of benefits, from physical, physiological, to even mental well-being. However, assistance and supervision from a caregiver or loved one is still necessary, especially if a senior has an existing health condition.

Nursing Home for the Elderly: Ensuring Safety and Quality of Life

A nursing home is an establishment meant for elderly people who don’t have enough sources of income to cater to their medical health needs or don’t have someone to care for them at home.

This establishment is like a hospital with nurse staff available 24 hours who tend to the needs of their elderly residents. Some nursing homes try their best to establish a homey ambiance for the elderly to feel more at home. Additionally, unlike in hospitals, nurses tend to be more friendly and accommodating so as to establish good relationships with elders.

If you’re elderly or a loved one who’s considering a nursing home, there are many establishments available out there. And in this article, I will share significant information about nursing homes as well as a simple guide to choosing the right nursing home for you.


What Can You Find in a Nursing Home for the Elderly?

Older adults are already in the stage of health decline, that’s why they need more care and attention. Nursing homes provide a wide variety of medical services for the elderly, especially those who are suffering from chronic illnesses, cognitive impairments, and other mental and physical conditions. Each nursing home’s services may vary from one another, but the following are their commonalities:

  1. Quality nursing care
  2. Wound care
  3. Physical therapy
  4. Occupational therapy
  5. Speech therapy
  6. Breathing treatments
  7. Orthopedic care
  8. Antibiotics and intravenous therapy
  9. After surgery support and therapy

Aside from medical services, nursing homes also conduct recreational activities, counseling, social work services, end-of-life care, respite care, and hospice care.

A nursing home may provide medical services for the elderly, but it doesn’t mean that they provide intensive care and medical procedures like those found in hospitals. Thus, nursing homes only provide necessary care based on their resident’s needs.

Why Consider a Nursing Home?

Opting for a nursing home for you or for your older loved one can be a tough decision to make, considering the emotional consequences it may bring. Some families decide on taking their loved ones to a nursing home because of the unavailability of relatives to provide care or a worsening illness that needs more serious attention.

Whatever the reason is, careful assessment of the situation is still crucial before making a final decision. When considering a nursing home, try to ask yourself these questions:

Are the Needs Can Be Safely Met In the Nursing Home?

If you have a severe condition such as a rapidly progressing Alzheimer’s disease, then a skilled nursing home facility is the best option for you. In milder cases where 24-hour care is not needed, the assisted living facility is a better choice.

Has There Been a Recent Medical Assessment?

If you have just been released from hospitalization and are considering a nursing home, your transfer usually doesn’t need further paper works. However, if you are planning to transfer to a nursing home from your home or another nursing facility, there will be a careful assessment as to what your needs are and what nursing homes are suitable for your health care needs.

Is the Need for a Nursing Home Permanent or Temporary?

Before deciding to be admitted to a nursing home, you should also ask yourself if your stay there will be short-term or permanent. If you just had surgery and need support services, this is considered a temporary stay, and most insurances usually cover the cost. However, if your situation requires a permanent stay, expect that it might be a bit more expensive and will not be wholly covered by your insurance.

Can a Caregiver Be Enough to Meet the Needs?

Caregivers play a vital role in providing necessary care for the elderly. However, in some situations, home care services are not enough and the patient needs more than what a caregiver can provide especially for older adults who have severe health conditions or are terminally ill.

Factors Affecting Admission

There are also factors that increase your chances of getting admitted to a nursing home. These factors include:

Guide for Choosing

When you finally decided on transferring to a nursing home, another tricky part is choosing the right facility for you or for your older loved one’s needs.

It’s also advisable to visit the nursing home of your choice to get a feel of the place’s atmosphere and staff. You may also ask yourself any of the questions below to help you evaluate what nursing home is the most suitable.

You can also ask medical staff, administrators, and directors about other information that might be useful for your evaluation.

Final Thoughts

Some elderly fear being transferred to nursing homes due to negative myths about the facilities. Fortunately, nowadays most nursing homes are now committed to providing highly regulated and high-quality services for older adults who are in need of care and attention.

Before opting for a nursing home, you should always weigh things down first and ask the questions mentioned earlier. And when you finally made a decision, now it’s time to carefully evaluate whether a nursing home is suitable for your needs. I hope this article helped you understand nursing homes for the elderly.

Rheumatoid Arthritis: Strategies for Managing Pain and Improving Quality of Life

Rheumatoid Arthritis also known as RA, is a kind of autoimmune disease that particularly attacks people who reached their 60s. Autoimmune disease refers to the case wherein your immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissues causing them to be inflamed and painful.

In the case of RA, this autoimmune disease attacks particular tissues located in your joints. That’s why people who suffer from this disease endure joint pains, usually on the knees, hands, and wrists.

Long-term effects of this illness include deformity of joints, chronic pain, and loss of proper balance. There are also cases wherein RA affects not just joint tissues, but also other tissues in your body. This may lead to various organ problems.

Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Symptoms of RA can be mild and severe. People who suffer from this disease may experience flares and remissions of the symptoms. Flares are periods when symptoms are severe and painful. On the other hand, remissions happen when the symptoms cease into mild bearable pain. Symptoms of RA that you should look out for are the following:

  1. Pain in the joints
  2. Stiff joints
  3. Inflamed joints
  4. Fatigue
  5. Fever
  6. Weight loss
  7. Loss of appetite
  8. Loss of balance
  9. Joint deformity

Causes and Risk Factors

There is still no clear explanation as to the cause of RA, but there are certain risk factors that might make you more susceptible to getting RA. The risk factors include the following:

Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment and Medications

Your doctor may diagnose you with RA after careful assessment of the symptoms, physical examinations, and X-rays. You will then be given the most appropriate treatment for the illness. The treatment to be given will help relieve the pain and reduce the frequency of symptom flare-ups.

Some treatments include:

Medications

DMARDs are given to patients with moderate to severe RA and are usually taken for life. Although DMARDs are effective treatments for RA, patients still suffer from side effects like liver damage, stomach ulcers, infections, and hair loss.

Biologic Treatments

TNF-Alpha inhibitor - This is another effective treatment for RA that works the same as DMARDs. It targets your immune system by inhibiting the inflammatory substance called TNF Alpha. TNF-Alpha is released by the immune system when it faces an infection or any threat to the body.

In the case of RA, the immune system mistakenly judges the joint tissues to be a threat. The TNF-Alpha inhibitor then prevents the immune system to attack the tissues to prevent inflammation and damage to your joints.

Examples of TNF-Alpha inhibitors are:

Physical And Occupational Therapy

Other treatment options are physical and occupational therapies wherein patients are taught different strategies on how to do tasks and cope with the illness. Other therapists introduce various assistive tools such as a cane, wheelchair, crutches, and other mobility aids to be able for RA patients to move and walk despite their condition.

Surgery

In some cases, doctors advise their patients to undergo surgery to treat damaged joints, deformed tissues, and persistent pain caused by RA. Surgeries can range from arthroscopic surgery, carpal tunnel release, and arthroplasty depending on the severity of the disease.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Prevention

Although RA cannot be completely prevented, there are ways you can do to reduce the risk of
getting this illness.

Stay Physically Active

Having a sedentary lifestyle affects your overall health, and it increases the risk of getting various illnesses. That’s why staying physically active is a crucial part of healthy living. Experts recommend establishing at least 30 minutes of daily physical activity like swimming, biking, or jogging to be done 5 days a week. This will help keep your body fit, avoid cholesterol build-up, and maintain healthy bones.

Quit Smoking

Smoking increases not just the risk of RA but also other illnesses. Another effect of smoking on your health is fatigue. This will make it hard for you to stay physically active which is crucial for managing your RA.

Maintain Normal Weight

As mentioned earlier, the more overweight you are, the more susceptible you are to RA. That’s why it is important to maintain a normal weight by eating a healthy diet and maintaining regular exercise.

Final Thoughts

Rheumatoid Arthritis is one of the most common and undesirable illnesses seniors are suffering from. Although there are no clear ways on preventing this illness, there are still ways to reduce the possibility of getting it as well as practices to manage the symptoms. I hope this article helped you have a deeper understanding of RA.

Dental Care for Seniors: Common Dental Problems Faced by Older Adults and How to Address Them

Dental Care for Seniors, aside from mental and physical health care is a crucial matter for seniors. However, it seems to be taken for granted, and most people have a mindset that oral problems are a natural part of aging. Though this may be true, there are still ways to avoid enduring these problems.

Importance of Dental Care for Seniors

Dental care should be one of the seniors’ health priorities. In fact, according to an article published in the University of Illinois Chicago, it stated that dental health care is taken for granted especially in low-income communities that have limited access to insurance benefits. This resulted in an increased rate of oral health problems like tooth decay and cavities.

Specifically, dental care is crucial among seniors because:

  1. It helps prevent cavity and plaque build-up
  2. It significantly lowers the risk of tooth decay
  3. Untreated oral health problems can worsen over time causing pain, discomfort, and large expenses.

Age as a Factor Affecting Dental Health Among Seniors

A higher risk of dental health problems is common as we get older. It is because of the changes that occur in our mouth which include:

Other Factors That Affect Dental Health Among Seniors

Common Dental Issues among Seniors

Some of the most common dental health issues that seniors experience include:

Gum Disease

Also known as Periodontitis, this is one of the most common oral health conditions that seniors face. In the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it stated that 2 out of every 3 seniors at 65 and above have gum disease.

Periodontitis usually has no evident symptoms at first but will result in sore gums, bleeding gums, and troubled chewing if left untreated. Getting regular checkups and keeping up with proper oral hygiene can help prevent this from happening.

Tooth Decay

This is another common condition not just in older adults, but also in children. Build-up cavities usually cause this condition due to the bacteria that harm the tooth enamel.

Older adults have a higher risk of getting tooth decay. This is because a dry mouth, which is caused by certain medications for chronic diseases, can increase bacteria in one’s mouth, thus increasing the risk of plaque and cavities.

Tooth Loss

Tooth loss can have devastating effects on seniors as it affects one’s ability to eat food. In this case, s/he will not be able to get enough nutrients needed by his/her body.

Oral Cancer

As our age increases, our risk of getting oral cancer also increases. People who smoke are more at risk of this disease, that’s why doctors always recommend that to stop smoking as soon as possible and never engage in such vices while you still haven’t started.

Dry Mouth

This condition is caused by medications such as diuretics, antidepressants, or alpha-blockers, which are usually taken by seniors. A dry mouth can also be triggered by radiation therapies for cancer. It’s important to tell your doctor if you are experiencing dry mouth to be given the right treatment for the condition.

Oral Hygiene Tips Seniors Should Practice

Dental care is as important as maintaining one’s hygiene. To achieve a healthy mouth, listed below are some oral hygiene tips you should practice:

Don’t forget to brush your teeth

Brushing your teeth twice daily is enough to keep your mouth clean. Preferably, use toothpaste that contains fluoride. For people who have mobility problems, you can use an electric toothbrush to make cleaning easier.

Setting reminders is also helpful to keep up with your regular brushing schedule, especially for forgetful seniors. If you’re a loved one or caregiver, you should remind your elderly to brush their teeth regularly.

Practice flossing

Aside from brushing one’s teeth, seniors should also practice flossing at least once a day to remove hidden bacteria and plaque.

Keep your dentures clean

If you’re using dentures, it’s important to regularly clean them just as you clean your teeth. This will avoid bacteria build-up and avoid further tooth decay. Removing them every night is also highly recommended.

Use mouthwash

Gargling at least 2 times daily after brushing and flossing is also recommended for a cleaner mouth free from bacteria or plaque that are hidden in the corners of the mouth. Look for alcohol-free mouthwash for gentle cleansing and a milder taste.

Get regular dental checkups

Just as physical and mental health checkups, regular dental checkups are also important. Not only it’ll help you maintain healthy teeth and gums, but it’ll also catch any oral diseases at the earliest possible time.

Tell your doctor about existing oral conditions and medications

If you’re currently taking medications or have been diagnosed with other dental conditions, tell your doctor immediately. For example, if you’re experiencing dry mouth due to certain medicines, your doctor may help you treat or alleviate the symptoms.

Quit smoking

Cigarette smokers have a higher risk of getting oral cancer, and the best way to reduce it is to stop the vice itself. It’ll benefit not only your oral health but also your overall health.

Keep up a healthy diet

People who love sweets may be more susceptible to dental problems. To address this issue, try to cut off sugary foods from your diet and focus more on fruits, vegetables, and protein-rich foods.

Final Thoughts

Caring for your dental health is as important as caring for your mental and physical health. Not only do healthy teeth and gums keep you away from diseases like tooth decay, gum disease, tooth loss, or other oral health problems, but they will also give you the confidence to put a smile on your face in front of people.

To achieve good oral health, it’s important to practice the tips mentioned earlier and make it a habit every day throughout your lifetime.

Respite Care - How Taking Time for Yourself Can Help You Better Care for Your Loved Ones

Respite care services were established to give caregivers a temporary break from taking care of the elderly they are in charge of. The temporary break can range from hours, days, a few weeks, or several times a month. A caregiver’s work is not easy as it seems. It requires commitment and 24-hour availability especially if the elderly assigned to them are suffering from Alzheimer's disease or other severe illnesses.

Within the duration of respite care services, the elderly are temporarily assisted either by in-home respite care or out-of-home respite care. Respite care is indeed beneficial to both the elderly and the caregiver.

Respite Care - How It Works

When the primary caregiver leaves for a break from caregiving, another professional caregiver will take over temporarily. This is to provide for the elder’s needs while the primary caregiver is away.

There are various services that respite care has to offer. These services include:

  1. Personal care and grooming (e.g., bathing, changing clothes, brushing teeth, etc.)
  2. Cooking and meal service
  3. Socialization opportunities
  4. Medical care
  5. Dementia care
  6. Transportation
  7. Running errands
  8. Medication management
  9. Various recreational activities
  10. Companionship

Types and Options

To know what type of respite care is the most suitable for you or your loved one, let’s take a closer look at each type of respite care service.

In-Home Respite Care

From the name itself, in-home respite care occurs inside one’s own home. In this setup, the professional caregiver will visit the elderly’s house for a few hours, a full-time period, or a few weeks.

One of the major advantages of this type of respite care is that it can make your elderly feel more comfortable unlike in respite care facilities. However, this type of respite care might not be suitable for bedridden and severely ill older adults as a single in-home caregiver is not enough.

Out-Of-Home Respite Care

This is the opposite of in-home respite care where the elderly is put into a residential or non-residential facility while the primary caregiver is away. Out-of-home respite care also includes 2 categories which are:

There are also specialized types of respite care services such as:

Respite Care For Dementia Or Alzheimer’s Disease

This type of respite care is for elderly people with Alzheimer’s disease or Dementia. In-home or out-of-home setups are both good options.

Respite Care For Cancer

There are different types of cancer. Thus, this type of respite care includes personalized care depending on the type of cancer the patient has.

Respite Care For Stroke

Older adults with stroke usually have mobility difficulties. That’s why this respite care includes additional services that cater to the needs of stroke patients.

There are different types of respite care services and choosing the right one depends on the elderly’s health care needs. Also, in deciding the type of respite care to be done, both the family of the older loved one and the professional caregiver will work together to plan personalized care either at home or in a respite care facility.

When is it Needed?

Taking care of the elderly especially those with serious illnesses is no easy task for it needs 24/7 service for their patient. With that said, caregivers become prone to burnout. To address this issue, respite care services are established for the health and well-being of caregivers. Some of the reasons why caregivers need respite care are:

Finding Services

There are many respite care services out there. To further help you with your journey of finding one, here are 3 easy steps you can follow:

How Much is the Service Cost?

The exact cost of respite care depends on the type and duration of the respite care service. Below is the estimated cost of respite care:

Though some insurance companies may cover partial expenses, not all insurance plans include respite care in their coverage.

Sum Up

Caregivers are known to be committed to taking care of their elderly. And unlike other white color jobs, caregivers are on duty 24/7. The job takes a toll on their mental and physical well-being. Respite care plays an important role in keeping the caregivers’ mental and physical well-being at its peak. With that said, caregivers can now fulfill their roles better as they are more fit to do the job.

Also, in choosing a respite care service, it’s important to consider the elderly’s condition and environmental preferences. I hope this article helped you get a grasp of what respite care is all about.