University Place Policy Practice

0 Commentsby   |  03.20.19  |  #PGCACU. Pruett Gerontology Center, ACU/PGC History, Aging In Texas, GERO Student Focus, PGC, Student Research, This Week's Highlights, Uncategorized, You and Your Aging Parent

ACU’s Social Work students visited University Place as a field trip for one of their classes. Students interacted with a few members of University Place during lunch time. The residents shared how they ended up at University Place and told life stories. The students asked questions and discussed current policy issues affecting the resident’s lives. 

Feeling Unhappy With the Doctor

0 Commentsby   |  03.08.19  |  #PGCACU. Pruett Gerontology Center, Aging In Texas, PGC

Misunderstandings come up frequently when dealing with the doctor or the doctor’s staff. The best thing to do is to be direct, but respectful. For example, if the doctor was being short with you and hurrying during the visit, and it led to hurt feelings. Say something along the lines of, “I know you have had a long day and have been busy, but I feel frustrated when the appointment is rushed.” Being honest is better than avoiding the doctor’s office, and working out the problem will be more beneficial. If circumstances do not improve, there is the option of looking for a new doctor.

Seeing a Specialist

0 Commentsby   |  03.06.19  |  #PGCACU. Pruett Gerontology Center, ACU/PGC History, Aging In Texas, PGC, You and Your Aging Parent

A doctor may refer you to a specialist if a condition requires further evaluation. When visiting a specialist, it is important to ask questions if areas are left unclear. If the specialist gives a diagnosis that you are unfamiliar with, ask the doctor to explain it and how it will affect the body.

Questions to ask the specialist:

  • What is my diagnosis?
  • What treatment do I need?
  • Can you discuss the condition with my primary doctor?
  • When do I need to begin treatment?
  • What are the necessary steps I should take?
  • Do I need any more referrals?
  • How will this affect my day to day life?

 

Source: National Institute on Aging

 

Evaluating Health Information Online

0 Commentsby   |  03.01.19  |  #PGCACU. Pruett Gerontology Center, Aging In Texas

When searching online to find information on medical issues, it is important to read from reliable and credible sources.

Here are a few questions to consider when looking at a website:

  • Is the author affiliated with medical institutions?
  • What are the author’s credentials?
  • Is the source peer-reviewed or read by a medical or scientific board?
  • Does the source have cited statistics? Where do the statistics come from?
  • Is the website a reputable source? 
  • Is the published article outdated? Look for a date to see how long it has been since the article was written. 
  • Who is responsible for the content published? For example, it could be from a professional organization or the government.

Remember, it is important to talk to the doctor about medical concerns. Do not just rely on the internet.

Source: National Institute on Aging

 

Tips for Healthy Aging

0 Commentsby   |  02.27.19  |  #PGCACU. Pruett Gerontology Center, Aging In Texas, PGC, You and Your Aging Parent

Eat Healthy

By incorporating a healthy diet into daily life, the body can benefit in many ways. Be sure to incorporate healthy foods which can include fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. It is important to limit consumption of sugary food and excess carbohydrates.

Sleep Enough

Sleeping is necessary to function well throughout the day. Seven to nine hours is the recommended amount of sleep older adults should get. If you are having trouble sleeping at night, it is important to visit with the doctor.

Spend Time in the Community

Community involvement helps individuals stay active regardless of any age. It helps you get out of the house and it also gives purpose. Staying active in the community can help encourage socializing and developing friendships.

Maintain Cognitive Health

As we age, our cognitive functions naturally decline. If we keep our brains active and stimulated, research has proven that it can reduce cognitive decline. A few ideas to keep the brain active would be reading and solving puzzles like crosswords. 

Take Control of Your Health

Exercising has many benefits and it is important for  older adults to stay active. Exercising can help lose or maintain weight, reduce high blood pressure, release endorphins, and strengthen muscles. As a person ages, the body can get weak and become prone to falls. Visit the local gym and see what options are available. There are classes available that can be fun to go to such as yoga, zumba, or swimming. Consult a personal trainer to learn how to work the machines or how to properly exercise.  

Practice Prevention

Many conditions are preventable such as receiving a flu shot annually, falling due to weakness, or reducing blood pressure by exercising. Falling can be prevented by exercising to strengthen muscles and maintain balance, removing obstacles around the house, fixing bad lighting, and installing handrails around the stairs and shower.  

Reduce Stress

Stress can cause many problems such as high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, anxiety, and fatigue. Consult the doctor about the concerns you are facing. The doctor might recommend medicine, counseling, or offering resources such as joining an exercise class.

 

Signs of Abuse

0 Commentsby   |  02.22.19  |  #PGCACU. Pruett Gerontology Center, Aging In Texas, PGC

The National Center for Elder Abuse states that “over 40% of nursing home residents report abuse and 95% report neglect.” It is crucial to stay informed and to look out for the signs and symptoms of abuse.

Types of Abuse:

Physical:

Watch out for signs of physical abuse that causes harm such as hitting, pushing, or slapping.

The following can be signs of physical abuse:

  • Bruises
  • Cuts
  • Sores

Emotional:

Emotional abuse involves saying hurtful words, yelling, threatening, or ignoring a person.

Signs of emotional abuse can include:

  • Withdrawal
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion

Neglect:

Signs of neglect happens when a caregiver is not meeting the patient’s needs.

A person who is neglected may have:

  • Lack of basic hygiene
  • Weight loss due to lack of adequate food
  • Bed sores
  • Missing medications, glasses, or dentures 

Sexual:

This happens when the caregiver forces the patient to watch or participate in inappropriate acts.

Sexual abuse signs can include:

  • Bruises
  • Bleeding
  • Engaging in unusual or aggressive behavior

 

Sources: National Institute on Aging, The National Center for Elder Abuse 

 

Problems with Family Members

0 Commentsby   |  02.20.19  |  #PGCACU. Pruett Gerontology Center, Aging In Texas, Uncategorized, You and Your Aging Parent

Every family has problems periodically, especially under times of stress. Sometimes discussing problems occurring can be painful, but letting the doctor know what is happening can help significantly. The doctor is a safe place to discuss any circumstances affecting your health. The good news is that the doctor can make recommendations to help improve the relationship between family members. The doctor can also make referrals if the relationships between family members needs help beyond his/her scope of practice.

If family members are either mistreating or taking advantage of you, it is important to let the doctor know immediately. Abuse can be physical, verbal, emotional, or financial. Informing the doctor can help you out of the situation, as well as receiving help, referrals, or resources. Added stress with family members  can decrease quality of health, and it is crucial to ask for help when needed.

 

Source: National Institute on Aging 

 

Preparing for an Appointment

0 Commentsby   |  02.15.19  |  #PGCACU. Pruett Gerontology Center, PGC

It is always a good idea to prepare before going to an appointment. Here are a few tips to make sure that you and the doctor cover everything that is necessary for the appointment.

Prepare a List of Concerns

Start the list by beginning with what is most important. If you have multiple questions, write them down to avoid forgetting to mention it. Avoid waiting until the end of the appointment to bring questions up.

Bring Family or a Friend

It can be helpful to bring a family member or friend along to the appointment. They can help remember important questions to ask, hear everything the doctor explains, and also help remember what the doctor says.

Make Sure You Can See and Hear as Much as Possible

Make sure to take glasses with you and to remember to put hearing aids in. It is important to make sure the hearing aids are in working order.

 

Decide What You Want in a Doctor

0 Commentsby   |  02.13.19  |  #PGCACU. Pruett Gerontology Center, Aging In Texas, Intergenerational Focus, PGC, Uncategorized

Choosing a doctor can be a daunting and difficult task. Many important considerations are required before making a final decision.

Here are a few questions to think about:

  • Do you prefer a male or a female doctor?
  • Is the doctor within a moderate driving distance from the home?
  • Do they see many older patients?
  • Do they work well with the patient’s family, including caregivers?
  • Does the doctor speak your language?

A few considerations:

  • Read ratings online about the doctor
  • Is the doctor known to have a good bedside manner?

 

Falling and Injuy Prevention

0 Commentsby   |  02.06.19  |  #PGCACU. Pruett Gerontology Center, Aging In Texas, PGC

Aging presents many different issues and risks. Growing older makes a person more susceptible to falling due to weakness of muscles and an increase in frailness of bones.

Signs of an increased fall risk include:

  • Having difficulty getting up from a chair or couch
  • Using objects such as tables, counter tops, or rails to steady balance when getting up or walking
  • Inability to balance for more than five seconds.
  • If falling has occurred previously

A few ways to decrease the risk of falling:

  • Make time to exercise at few times a week. It is important to remain active and strengthen the muscles, which will also aid in balance and coordination.
  • Remove cords, wires, or clutter on the floor that may present as an obstacle.
  • Know the side effects from medication. Medication can sometimes make a person dizzy or sleepy. Talk to the doctor if this is affecting balance.
  • Make sure to have adequate lighting in the home. Replace light bulbs that are not working or bright. Make sure the lighting is not overly bright since that can affect vision.  This will help prevent tripping or running into objects around the house.
  • Install handrails in the bathroom to help get up and also prevent falling in the shower.
  • Visit the optometrist to get vision checked. This is really important because it can prevent falling and tripping over objects.
  • If a fall has happened previously, it is important to tell the doctor. Physical therapy, different medication, or a walking aid might be recommended.