Dementia is common in elderly people, and if you are responsible for taking care of an aging parent with signs of dementia, it is important to be proactive against the dangers associated with this disease. One of the biggest dangers is wandering. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that more than 60 percent of people with Alzheimer’s wander away from their home or caregiver at some point. Whether the person simply can’t remember the way back home or is looking for something familiar, wandering can be scary for everyone. But with some preparation, you can help your loved one navigate through this disorder safely.
Identify the patient. The first step to taking care of a person with dementia is to invest in medical alert jewelry and make sure that it is worn at all times. Medical officials are trained to look for this jewelry right away, and an accessory, such as a bracelet, could also let other people know of your parent’s dementia if the wandering occurs in a neighborhood or store. Even if your parent is in a nursing home or assisted living facility, investing in id bracelet could end up saving them from getting lost.
Notify neighbors and friends. If your elderly parent is living at home, it is important to let the neighbors know where your parent lives and of his or her dementia. Take a recent photo as well so they know who to look for in case of an emergency. Also tell friends of your parent’s disease in case you ever need help looking for your parent if he or she wanders off.
Don’t let your parent out of your sight in public places. Although it may seem like a nice thing to do, dropping your parent off at the door of a store while you park the car is not a good idea. If your parent suffers from dementia, it is likely that he or she won’t be there when you get to the storefront. It is also important to walk behind the person with dementia in public so you can always keep an eye on him or her. Elderly people can disappear very quickly if you turn away.
Take away the keys. Although it may seem like your parent can drive normally, if he or she is showing signs of dementia, the chances of an accident increase. Plus, it’s very possible that he or she may not know how to get somewhere, or worse, back home. This may only occur every now and then, but all it takes is one time of becoming lost behind the wheel. Find a way to get your parent to the store once a week. Also, the local senior center might have a bus to pick up elderly people. You may also want to look into assisted living at this point, so that your parent can be around people and have his or her needs met without having to drive anywhere.
What you eat strongly influences your health and longevity. Since much of our food is packaged, it’s important to read nutritional labels to get the healthiest food for you and your family. Sometimes, though, reading food labels can be a bit confusing. Here are a few tips to help make you more food label savvy when shopping for the week’s groceries.
Serving Size: Many people overlook the serving size when purchasing and consuming a food item. The food label only lists nutritional information for one serving. You need to look at the serving size to determine the amount of fat and calories in the whole package. For example, a box of crackers may come with 2.5 servings, which means if the fat content is 6 grams, multiply that by 2.5.
Calories: Despite all the talk about carbs and fat, calories are what count for weight control. So the first thing to look for on a label is the number of calories per serving. The FDA’s new Calories Count program aims to make calorie information on labels easier to find by putting it in larger, bolder type.
Sodium: You’ll be surprised just how much sodium is in some foods – not good for people with high blood pressure. Just one or two foods can meet or even surpass a complete daily allowance of salt. Check your prescribed salt limit and shop accordingly. Keep in mind that 2,300 mg of salt is less than 1 teaspoon, and almost twice the recommended daily limit. Buy less processed foods to cut down on the salt.
Sugar: This is a type of carbohydrate that occurs naturally in food or is added to most processed foods. It comes under many different names (corn syrup, dextrose, glucose, etc.). If you’re diabetic, find out the amount of sugar and carbohydrates for you to safely consume in a day. To help control calories, choose foods with less than 5 grams of sugar per serving.
Dietary Fiber: You need at least 25 grams daily. A food that contains 5 grams per serving is considered high in fiber. Most fiber comes from whole grains, fruits and vegetables. So, instead of eating a candy bar for a snack, consider eating a high fiber oat or cereal bar. Just watch out for the added sugar.
Ingredient List: Manufacturers must list all of the ingredients contained in the product. The first ingredient listed is the most prevalent. This tells you the total composition and is important for people who have food allergies.
If you have a food allergy or other condition, it is important to take precaution when eating certain foods. Another thing you can do is wear a medical alert bracelet or necklace in case you eat something that reacts with your body. In the event of a severe reaction, a medical alert bracelet or necklace provides medical personnel with your medical information to facilitate treatment. Visit American Medical ID today to view the many colors and styles available. Remember, in an emergency, when you might not be able to speak for yourself, a medical ID bracelet or necklace speaks for you.
We’ve all heard of stranger danger and the importance of looking both ways before crossing the street, but children with Autism bring a whole new pool of safety concerns into the mix. If you see signs that your child is autistic, it is a good idea to focus on safety matters for inside and outside the home.
Children with Autism sometimes wander.
Children with Autism don’t always communicate like other children.
American Medical ID has dog tags, bracelets and other accessories that can help your child stay safe. Emergency medical officials are trained to look for this jewelry as it is engraved with a patient’s pertinent medical information. Find the perfect medical ID jewelry for your child today and make sure that it is worn at all times.
With much of your life spent at work, it’s not uncommon for adults to feel constantly overwhelmed by to-do lists, appointments and just the speed of life in general. High stress levels are dangerous, so although you may think you’re doing a good job keeping your head above water, you could actually be opening a floodgate for future health concerns. It’s never too late to start managing your stress at work.
1. Take a walk in the morning.
Not only will a walk every morning before work wake you up better than that cup of coffee, but you’ll have the time to sort your day out in your mind. This might make the tasks and appointments of the day easier to tackle because you’ll be ready for them. A walk every morning will also get your blood flowing, which has excellent health benefits. You may or may not lose weight, but you are lowering your risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and much more.
2. Throw out unrealistic goals.
Want to be able to finish an impossible amount of work one day? If it’s clear that this just can’t happen, stop trying to make it work. You’re only setting yourself up for disappointment at the end of the day. Instead of telling yourself that giving up lunch, cutting your appointments short and even staying an hour late could help you reach your goal, start planning for a realistic day.
3. Take a break when you’re feeling stressed.
Step back and analyze your range of emotions. When you’re feeling good, you’re happy. When something unexpected happens, you deal with it and move on. If something else goes wrong, are you frustrated at this point? As the stress levels build, your emotions change gradually from good to bad. Figure out at which point you’re feeling frustrated, long before you’re feeling frantic, angry or upset – and when you’ve reached out, step out. When you’re feeling like you can breathe again, go back to your desk. Taking a few 5-minute breaks in the day won’t set you back, and they’ll help you a lot in the end.
4. Bring healthy snacks to work.
Not only does bringing snacks save you a dollar here and there at the vending machine, but there are many other benefits to bringing snacks to work, too. Two candy bars a day might make you feel remorseful, but fruit or nuts are healthy and give you vitamins and nutrients your body needs to function. Also, staving off hunger before it really takes a hold of you can also lower stress levels significantly. If you want, go the extra mile and bring lunch to work, too. The money you save and the extra calories from fast food you spared are sure to brighten your week.
5. Connect with your co-workers.
Being social is key to keeping a smile on your face. If you have an office, start leaving your door open so that your co-workers will feel comfortable stopping in for a brief chat. This simple gesture could get you an invite to their usual happy-hour outings or other social activities outside of work. If you’re working with people you like, you’ll like your job more. Or if you have a work-from-home job, take that laptop to a public place with free Wi-Fi. Just being around others every day is good for you and you may even get a lot more done.
It’s never too late to take your health into account.
By integrating these small changes into your day, you could lower your stress levels significantly. Not only will you see direct results by changes in your mood, but lowering your blood pressure – or preventing it from rising – will benefit you in the long run. High blood pressure is one of the biggest causes of heart disease, which is the No. 1 killer in America. Lower your risk of heart attacks and stroke now, and you’ll live a happier, healthier life when you’re older.
If you’re already suffering from high blood pressure or something more serious, it’s never too late to be proactive. You can still manage your stress levels, but it’s important to identify yourself in the process. If a medical emergency arises while you are at work, your co-workers will most likely not know your medical history or medication that you are on. If you’re wearing medical alert jewelry, emergency personnel can identify what treatment is right for you right away. This could be the difference between life and death. Shop for bracelets, dog tags and more at AmericanMedical-ID.com today and find what’s right for you.
There is more to vitamin D deficiency that just feeling sluggish; it can actually make your bones brittle and increase your risk of heart disease. It can also make it harder to lose weight. A study by researchers at the University of Minnesota shows a correlation between vitamin D and weight loss. The study found that people who were overweight were more successful at shedding pounds after increasing their vitamin D levels.
The study placed 38 overweight men and women on a diet program, some with more emphasis on vitamin D consumption, and found that the participants with increased D levels lost up to half a pound more than those who followed a regular diet plan. The reason for this is simple.
Vitamin D, in combination with calcium, has been shown to regulate and maintain normal blood sugar levels. A lack of either nutrients results in the body’s production of synthase, a fatty acid enzyme that turns calories into fat.
To combat this process, many physicians suggest increasing your daily vitamin D intake in a number of ways. Vitamin D is found in sunlight, some foods and in pill form.
Many meats and fruit juices are fortified with vitamin D, but few fruits and vegetables contain this necessary nutrient. That’s why many medical professionals recommend taking a daily vitamin D supplement. Before doing so, talk to your doctor about what dosage is right for you. It isn’t a cure-all pill or something that should be relied upon for weight loss. Exercise and a healthy diet are keys to weight loss, but boosting your vitamin D levels may help you reach your goals.
If you are overweight or have a medical condition, consider taking a step towards managing your health by getting a medical ID bracelet. In the event of an emergency, medical professionals are trained to look for a medical ID bracelet before administering treatment. If you suffer from diabetes, heart disease, drug allergies, food allergies, asthma, autism or other conditions, a medical ID bracelet may speak for you when you can’t.
Morphine is a sedative used primarily in hospitals to ease pain associated with injuries and certain diseases. It is an effective and commonly used drug but as with anything, some people can experience strong reactions and allergies. Though rare, these reactions can cause the following:
Other symptoms of a morphine allergy can include a skin rash or headache. It is important to get treatment for any allergic reaction and avoid a reoccurrence in the future.
If you or your friends or family has a known morphine allergy, take a proactive step in preventing an episode by getting a medical ID bracelet or necklace. Wearing a medical ID bracelet or necklace alerts medical personnel to your morphine allergy in the event of an emergency. You don’t have to worry about a big, bulky tag identifying your condition. Medical ID bracelets and necklaces from American Medical ID are discreet and stylish, just like a fine piece of jewelry. You can even customize your jewelry with different colors and styles. They also make a great gift! Get yours today and keep morphine allergies at bay!
April is National Autism Awareness Month! Since the 1970s, the United States has recognized this month in honor of those who are affected by Autism to educate the public and raise awareness. Autism affects about one in 110 babies born in the United States. But what is Autism and how can you help?
Autism is a developmental disorder affecting a child’s ability to interact with others. It typically appears somewhere between birth and three years of age. It affects each child differently. Symptoms, severity and age all vary. Thus, it’s called a “spectrum disorder.” There is no known cause, and although at present it’s incurable, it can be controlled through treatment, especially if it’s diagnosed early on.
Again, if diagnosed early and treatment is started, significant improvements in outcome can be seen. Some signs include –
• Difficulty in achieving spoken language.
• Repetition in language or mannerisms such as hand flapping, object twirling, etc.
• Little or no eye contact, especially during communication.
• A distinct lack of interest in cultivating interpersonal relationships with peers.
• Lack of imaginative or spontaneous play.
• Focusing on an object’s parts rather than the whole.
The official symbol of National Autism Awareness Month is the Puzzle Ribbon. Show your support of the over 13 million families affected by the disorder by wearing the ribbon with pride. Whether it’s a pin, a magnet for your car, or something even more creative, be sure to show your support! Showing empathy, even in a small way, for all the families with children who suffer from Autism is the first step in helping out, and it’s a big part of April’s Awareness Month.
Local and federal legislators can help, too. Sometimes a simple letter to your representative telling them to “vote 4 Autism” is all it takes to make a big push in the right direction. Even a small push could make a real difference in the lives of so many affected by this disorder. “Vote 4 Autism” is a group dedicated to just that – making a change through legislation. Be sure to check with your local Autism Society chapter to stay up to date on the latest events and information.
Also, reaching out to your community can make a huge difference. Chances are, there are families near you who need at least a supportive word of encouragement or a friend. Maybe you even know a family affected by Autism personally. Reach out to help out!
Finally, attend a meeting and get educated! Since this is Autism Awareness Month, there will be plenty of events locally and nationally. The events will allow you to meet families, learn more about the disorder and find out even more ways to help.
If your child has Autism, consider taking a proactive step by purchasing medical ID jewelry that displays his or her condition. For most parents with an autistic child, safety is of the utmost importance. Medical ID jewelry can help by keeping your child’s teachers, friends, doctors and other family members in the know.
Autism awareness jewelry from American Medical ID comes in a fun array of colors and styles to match your child’s personality. Play a part in National Autism Awareness Month and help parents of other autistic children see the importance of Autism bracelets for the safety of their little ones. It may even become a new symbol of awareness!
The bad news: Having a stroke is the third leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer in the United States. It afflicts about 700,000 Americans per year and is also one of the leading causes of disability and dementia.
The good news: Strokes can be prevented. With good health, nutrition and daily exercise, the risk of stroke is much less.
People experience a stroke when the blood flow to the brain is interrupted or severely limited, effectively cutting off oxygen to the brain. This can hamper, slow or even stop bodily functions such as movement, perception, speech and consciousness. A stroke is not to be confused with a heart attack, which is when the blood supply to the heart is reduced or cut off.
It is important to recognize and respond to stroke symptoms as early as possible for a greater chance of survival. Here are the major stroke warning signs:
A stroke usually comes on suddenly but can also occur over several hours. It is not always easy to recognize symptoms of a stroke – especially a small stroke.
Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke. Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:
1. S - Ask the individual to SMILE.
2. T – Ask the person to TALK, to SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE.
(Coherently) (i.e. . . It is sunny out today.)
3. R – Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.
If he or she has trouble with any one of these tasks or if there is any doubt, call 911 immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher. Don’t take any chances.
There’s more good news: Up to 80 percent of strokes can be prevented. Although no one is immune, different risk factors can increase the chances of having one. These stroke prevention guidelines by the National Stroke Association Stroke Prevention Advisory Board will help you learn how to lessen your stroke risk. Talk to a healthcare professional and follow these guidelines:
Treat high blood pressure (hypertension). High blood pressure is a major stroke risk factor if left untreated. Have your blood pressure checked yearly. If your blood pressure is high, take measures to lower it immediately following directions from your doctor. A healthy diet and daily exercise can help decrease high blood pressure levels.
Stop smoking. Smoking doubles the risk of stroke. It damages blood vessel walls, speeds up artery clogging, raises blood pressure and makes the heart work harder to pump blood to the brain and body.
If you have an increased risk of stroke due to high blood pressure or another medical condition, don’t take any chances. Wearing a medical ID bracelet or other identifier can help alert medical providers to your situation in the event of an emergency. A brief description of vital medical facts engraved on your medical ID ensures appropriate and timely medical care. Wearing a simple, stylish bracelet, necklace or even keychain from American Medical ID may help save your life. They also make the perfect gift for someone you care about!
Before deciding to undergo any sort of medical procedure, it’s important to weigh the risks and benefits carefully with the aid of a licensed physician. Bariatric, or weight loss surgery, is no exception. Any elective surgery comes with its own pros and cons. Although weight loss surgery has the potential to change your life for the better, serious complications are always a possibility. Obesity-related health conditions are often reduced after losing weight, but surgery may not be the right step. Weigh your options before deciding that bariatric surgery is right for you.
Before electing to have bariatric surgery, talk to your doctor or specialist about your condition. As an alternative to surgery, many obesity-related diseases can be controlled with medication. If you suffer from hypertension, diabetes, high blood pressure or even mobility issues, consider a proactive way to manage your health conditions.
The decline of smoking in America has leveled out, according to CNN Health. From 24.1 percent in 1998 to 19.8 percent in 2007, the decline was well underway, but in 2008 and 2009, the numbers remained relatively unchanged. But the positive is that the percentage of American smokers in 1965 was more than 40 percent, much higher than in recent times. This successful decline was a result of endeavors like anti-smoking campaigns, tobacco product price increases and the simple fact that smoking became socially unacceptable.
In short, cigarettes just aren’t as cool as they used to be – which is a huge positive for American’s health. Many factors contributed to this downward trend. The first might have been in 1998 when the seven top tobacco companies were ordered to pay $206 billion to states as compensation for tobacco-related health care costs. That same year they were ordered to abandon their current marketing strategies, which towered over roads and highways on thousands of billboards. Point-of-purchase marketing tactics simply could not create the exposure the industry needed to continue its reign.
But lawmakers didn’t just stop there. In 2000, federal government officials announced that their goal was to decrease smoking to 19 percent of American adults, so they continued with their campaigns. In 2008, states raised sales tax on tobacco products and did so again in 2009. USAToday.com states that the average tax on cigarettes in the United States in $1.19 a pack. For a-pack-a-day smokers, this could break the bank or – as federal lawmakers predict – force them to quit.
For those unfazed by increased tobacco taxes, the FDA recently released 36 gruesome photos to be printed alongside the one-liners like “Smoking Kills” already on cigarette packs. If you think this is taking it too far, Canadians buy cigarette pack covers in order to avoid looking at the photos printed on the boxes. The U.S. is just catching up with the rest of the world.
Even pop culture and the alcohol industry have made efforts to reduce smoking. Magazines have replaced the cigarette in the model’s hand with another accessory. Almost all restaurants have converted their smoking section to just another non-smoking section, and even many bars have banned cigarettes to encourage the now more prominent non-smoker crowd to come in and have a drink.
Individuals have also taken it upon themselves to help the cause and have produced an overwhelming amount of anti-smoking campaigns. Perhaps the most well known are the “Truth” commercials. These national television ads expose, and even sometimes confront, prominent tobacco companies. One recent “Truth” ad pointed out the irony that despite the 2010 FDA ban on candy cigarettes, tobacco companies are still allowed to produce over 45 sweet flavors of real cigarettes. These ads usually mix humor with shock-value to get people’s attention.
Many people are convinced that smoking is dangerous but still can’t seem to kick the habit. Fears of developing cancer, becoming infertile and contributing to osteoporosis aren’t enough to make some quit. Even smokers who have already developed certain health problems, such as heart disease, emphysema, stomach ulcers and even dental issues may worsen the effects by continuing to smoke.
A proactive approach to those who have already developed health complications is to invest in medical id jewelry. In the event of an emergency, a medical ID bracelet, dog tags or even keychain with your medical condition engraved on it could save emergency personnel ample time, so that you can get the care you need right away. IdentifyYourself.com carries a line of stylish, personalized medical alert jewelry that speaks for you when you can’t.