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Senior Health Articles

A Holistic Approach to Healthy Aging

iStock 000021964189XSmallWe hear the buzzword “holistic” a lot these days. But what does it really mean for us as we age?

The term “holistic” comes from the Greek “holism,” which means all, whole, entire, total. A holistic philosophy encompasses the entirety of an interdependent system. It recognizes that each aspect has an effect on the whole; that individual components do not function in isolation. Everything affects everything else.

   

Aging, Arthritis, and Exercise

iStock 000024427240Small“You’re just getting older.”  
“You’re too old for surgery.”  
“There’s not much we can do at your age.”  

How often have you heard these refrains from doctors? Did you believe them? Why do doctors say these kinds of things to older patients? And how often is it actually true? Let’s take a look at some of the myths regarding arthritis, exercise and aging.

   

Am I Losing My Mind?

An Accurate Diagnosis is Key to Treating Symptoms of Memory Loss

Photo AlbumMemory loss is a condition that people experience as a result of many complex inter-related dynamics: medical conditions, mental health issues, environmental factors, and other contributors. What is “normal” aging, and when do you need to be concerned? In my experience, ageism can sometimes get in the way of a correct diagnosis. Busy physicians may not take the time to look beyond the obvious to investigate the true underlying causes. If you are experiencing memory loss, it is important to have your symptoms diagnosed accurately and early, to understand what’s really going on and get the best treatment possible for your specific condition.

   

Baby, It's Cold Outside

How to thrive through a Colorado winter
 

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We Coloradoans are all familiar with the typical winter season roller coaster: 50 degrees and sunny one day; 5 degrees and icy the next (and everything in between)! Learning to go with the flow and be prepared for anything can help you get through the short and sometimes inclement days while enjoying the pleasant ones when they arrive.

   

Choosing Vitamins and Supplements

What's Right for You?

iStock 000013205431SmallPatients often have questions about vitamins and supplements. Navigating the supplement shelves in the health store, grocery store or drug store can be confusing and expensive. How do you know what you really need and what’s right for you? Here’s the advice we typically give to our senior patients.

   

Colorado's MOST Advance Directive:

Are you ready?

iStock 000012566607Small“Advance medical directives” is a broad term used to describe any written statement documenting a person’s wishes with regard to medical treatment. Meant to be used in the event you can’t speak for yourself, advance directives can, theoretically, be scribbled on a napkin or prepared by your attorney, signed and notarized (with varying degrees of effectiveness, of course). There are many types of documents that fall into this category, including living wills, CPR directives, and The Five Wishes workbook, for example.

   

Coping with Erectile Dysfunction

Is a Prescription the Right Thing for You?

iStock 000023629100SmallAs a geriatrician, I believe that seniors are entitled to have healthy, satisfying sex. I frequently see patients who fall in love and develop new relationships later in life. Yet, unfortunately, our society is age biased. We forget that older people have sexual needs and desires. I hear that most physicians don’t even ask senior patients if they’re sexually active. For some seniors, sexual issues may not be at the top of the priority list during a visit to the doctor. Others may be hesitant or simply embarrassed.

   

Do You Remember That You're Forgetting?

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As a specialist in geriatric medicine, I often tell my patients, “If you remember that you’re forgetting, then your memory is probably ok!” While this may not be entirely true, it is pretty close. Many people of all ages will forget names, or forget what they went to get out of the refrigerator. This may get a little worse with aging, but it is not serious. There is a big difference between what we call “age-associated memory impairment,” and the development of a progressive dementing illness such as Alzheimer’s disease.  So how do you know what’s going on?

   

Doctors Plus Computers - Better Health Outcomes?

Demystifying the Electronic Health Record
 
iStock 000022314610SmallYou've probably noticed a change happening at your physician's office over the past few years. In "the old days," your doctor wouldcome into the exam room carrying your chart—a folder containing all of the information compiled about you over the years. The physician might make a few notes, tick off a box or two, and perhaps write a prescription. The rest of the visit would consist of the doctor examining you and asking you questions. Fast forward to today. It is likely that your doctor may now be using a computerized electronic health record ("EHR") or electronic medical record ("EMR"). Instead of relying on the paper chart, he or she may either carry a laptop or use a computer in the room. And, because this is all new, it may even seem like the physician is paying more attention to that computer than to you.
   

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Senior Health Articles