Category: Senior Focus

Healthy Geezer- Taste buds can diminish in later years

Q I have a bet with a friend that you start losing your sense of taste as you get older. She says that her taste is as strong as ever and thinks I?m wrong. Who wins the bet?

A In general, sensitivity to taste gradually decreases with age. But there are some whose taste isn?t affected by getting older. Who wins the bet? I won?t touch that one.

The ability to taste food and beverages means a lot to seniors. Let?s face it?we lose a lot of the pleasures of our youth, but eating well isn?t usually one of them.

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Healthy Geezer- Enlarged prostate not necessarily an indicator of cancer for seniors

Q I know I have an enlarged prostate. Is this a sign of cancer?

A Most men with enlarged prostates don?t develop prostate cancer, but there?s a lot more to this question.

The prostate is a walnut-size organ that surrounds the tube (urethra) that carries urine from the bladder. The urethra also transmits semen, which is a combination of sperm plus a fluid the prostate adds.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is the term used to describe an enlarged prostate, which is common in men 50 and older. An enlarged prostate may squeeze the urethra, making it hard to urinate. It may cause dribbling after you urinate or a frequent urge to urinate, especially at night.

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Parkside administrator returns to central Kansas roots
Parkside administrator returns to central Kansas roots

Parkside administrator returns to central Kansas roots

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Gretchen Wagner says she fell in love with seniors as a young girl. ?It just came kind of naturally,? she said.

Family drew her to Kansas, and quality of care attracted her to the role of administrator at Parkside Homes in Hillsboro.

Gretchen Wagner began her job at Parkside Oct. 1. As administrator, she is in charge of the long-term care facility.

?I love the people,? Wagner said. ?They have a great staff here and the residents are incredible. I was amazed by how many residents committed to pray for me within my first week here, and how welcoming the people were.?

Wagner, whose grandparents lived in Hillsboro, said she fell in love with seniors as a young girl. She grew up in Wichita but spent many winters with her grandparents in Sun City, Ariz.

?Having been close to my grandparents all my life, it just kind of came naturally,? she said of her commitment to senior care. ?Some of my favorite memories are of playing chess with the chess club in Sun City when I was 6 and 8 years old.?

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10 tips to make you healthier and happier this year
10 tips to make you healthier and happier this year

10 tips to make you healthier and happier this year

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Get a grip on safety by adding stylish grab bars, tread strips, and shower chairs.

With busy schedules and lifestyles, keeping your mind, body and soul healthy can be a major challenge. However, don?t let the hectic pace of life keep you from living yours to the fullest.

There are simple steps you can take that will leave you feeling energetic and upbeat. Consider these 10 tips to help you live a happy, healthy, safe and balanced life.

1. Get physical. Exercise not only helps you build muscle and lose weight, giving you more self-confidence, but it?s vital in maintaining a healthy heart. And don?t think you need to spend hours at the gym to achieve a new physical you.

From strength training and cardio workouts, to walking the dog or taking the stairs?anything that gets your heart pumping will benefit your health.

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Healthy Geezer- Its not to late to get that important flu shot

It?s time for a flu shot.Flu season in the northern hemisphere can range from as early as November to as late as May. The peak month usually is February.

The vaccine can be administered anytime during flu season. However, the best time to get inoculated is October-November. The protection provided by the vaccine lasts about a year. Adults over 50 are prime candidates for the vaccine because the flu can be fatal for people in this age group.

The Centers for Disease Con?trol and Prevention estimates that up to 20 percent of the population gets the flu each year. More than 200,000 flu victims are hospitalized annually in the United States; about 36,000 people die from complications of flu.

Flu is a contagious illness of the respiratory system caused by the influenza virus. Flu can lead to pneumonia, bronchitis, sinusitis, ear problems and dehydration.

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Down syndrome a common genetic condition among U.S. population

More than 400,000 people have Down syndrome in the United States, according to the National Down Syn?drome Society. October has been set aside as Down Syndrome Aware?ness Month, a time for the community to be educated on the genetic condition. Down syndrome occurs when an individual has three copies of the 21st chromosome, instead of the usual two. The condition […]

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Similarities outweigh the differences for young Ella
Similarities outweigh the differences for young Ella

Similarities outweigh the differences for young Ella

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Bruce and Kimberlee enjoy the fall day with their daughters Talia, 11 months, and Ella, 5. ?Ella enjoys and loves everything that everyone else does and hates everything that everybody else does,? said Kimberlee Jost, Ella?s mother. ?There are more similarities than differences. It just so happens that she wears her differences readily.?

Like most 5-year-olds, Ella Jost is an active child. She loves to run, watch ?Sesame Street,? ?Veggie Tales? and ?Finding Nemo,? play with her younger sister Talia, and read books, her favorite being ?Brown Bear, Brown Bear.?

Unlike the typical 5-year-old, Ella has Down syndrome.

?Ella enjoys and loves everything that everyone else does and hates everything that everybody else does,? said Kimberlee Jost, Ella?s mother. ?There are more similarities than differences. It just so happens that she wears her differences readily.?

The diagnosis

At birth, Ella was diagnosed with a random form of Down syndrome. Neither Kimberlee nor father Bruce are genetic carriers.

?We suspected (Ella had Down syndrome) the day she was born,? Bruce said. ?We didn?t know beforehand.?

The doctors took samples of Ella?s blood for diagnosis, but the Josts ?more than suspected? their firstborn had the genetic condition.

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Palin has raised Down syndrome profile

Republican vice presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska recently gave birth to a son with Down syndrome. ?A lot of people have said, when I heard about (Sarah Palin), I thought about you,? said Kimberlee Jost, Hillsboro mother of a child with Down syndrome. Palin?s recent national exposure has put a spotlight on Down syndrome. ?I think a lot […]

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Healthy Geezer- What should we do when we see potential abuse of elders?

Q I have a neighbor, a woman in her 80s. I think someone is hurting her. It might be her daughter. I don?t know what I should do about this.

A Recently, the U.S. Admini?stra?tion on Aging found that more than a half-million people over the age of 60 are abused or neglected each year. About 90 percent of the abusers are related to the victims.

All 50 states have elder-abuse prevention laws and have set up reporting systems. Adult Pro?tective Services agencies investigate reports of suspected elder abuse. To report elder abuse, contact APS through your state?s hotline.

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Boomers driving American volunteerism makeover
Boomers driving American volunteerism makeover

Boomers driving American volunteerism makeover

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As the first wave of retiring boomers leaves the work force and the next wave reaches 55, they are redefining another American institution?volunteerism.

Baby boomers have been rewriting American culture for decades. Now, as the first wave of retiring boomers leaves the work force and the next wave is reaching the 55-plus mark, they are redefining yet another great American institution?volunteerism.

In 2002, Dom Gieras retired from his job with the state of New York after 30 years. Where once his volunteering revolved around his family?s needs including stints managing his son?s baseball teams, today he is a volunteer technology consultant with the Executive Service Corps of the Tri-Cities. Gieras consults on projects for local nonprofit agencies, is a volunteer Webmaster for a literacy organization and is the creator of the Capital District Nonprofit Technology Assistance Project, a Web site that serves as a reference guide to technology solutions for local nonprofit professionals.

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