Driving helps older adults—persons 65 and older—stay mobile and independent. However, as we age, declines in vision and cognition (ability to reason and remember), and physical changes may affect driving. Certain medical problems such as heart disease, dementia, sleep disorders, and limited hearing and vision place older adults at an increased risk of car crashes. Additionally, medicines, both prescription and over the counter, such as those used for sleep, mood, pain, and/or allergies among others may affect driving safety.
November has been designated National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. It is a time to spread awareness about this disease that affects nearly two million Americans today. An estimated five million Americans are affected by Alzheimer’s disease. This number is expected to increase to 60 million by 2050 in the U.S. alone. What is more distressing isn’t the fact that it is an incurable disease or that there are limited treatment options, but that Alzheimer’s disease has an insidious onset, often not being recognized until it is too late.
Osteoporosis makes your bones weak and more likely to break. Anyone can develop osteoporosis, but it is common in older woman. As many as half of all woman and a quarter of men older than 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a silent disease. You might not know you have it until you break a bone. A bone mineral density test is the best way to check your bone health. To keep bones strong, eat a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, exercise and do not smoke. If needed, medicines can also help.
This is one of the most debated topics in the world and that is euthanasia. Euthanasia literally means good death but in this context it means mercy killing. The debate is regarding the legalization of euthanasia. This debate is a continuing one as some people are of the view that life is sacred and no one has got the right to end it whereas on the other hand some say that life belongs to oneself and so each person has got the right to decide what he wants to do with it even if it amounts to dying.
I have learned more about the issues facing our seniors dealing with the current healthcare system. I have witnessed chronic, non-acute conditions that plague seniors like spattered falls, non – acute ,carpal tunnel, pneumonia, eye infections, and other incidental events. The on-going frustration of chronic conditions can often be mitigated (if not cured) by conscious, often low-tech management. The total package adds up to one unhappy, frightened aging adult whose days are very long, ever confining and less active, without anything but worse days ahead.