Seniors and their Families
Is it difficult for you to get to the doctor’s office?
Do you have physical limitations that make transportation difficult?
Do you need to rely on someone else to bring you to see the doctor?
Have you ever wished that the doctor could just come to see you in your home?
Are you a caregiver struggling to access health care for a senior?
If any of the above applies to you, contact us at MD HomeCall Inc. where we can arrange to have a physician visit you in your home. We understand the importance of access to health care and convenient home care for seniors and their families, and can help connect you to a physician today!
Call us at 416-322-3303 or click here to Request a Visit
Meals On Wheels
Canadian Red Cross
Mid-Toronto Community Services
SPRINT (Senior Peoples’ Resource in North Toronto)
416 392 8630
Osteoporosis causes the bones to weaken over time, affecting posture and the ability to withstand bone fractures. It’s a disease that affects more women than men, and typically appears between the ages of 45 and 75. However, you need to be aware of the importance of osteoporosis no matter how old you are, and take correct measures now to prevent it.
Measure Bone Mass
The first step to prevention is to get an accurate measurement of your bone mass. Doctors and health professionals use special x-rays to detect degrees of bone loss, even minor losses, referred to as a T-score. Another term you might hear is the standard deviation score. A T-score of less than -2.5 will result in a diagnosis of osteoporosis. Early detection of any amount of bone loss is key to preventing osteoporosis. A screening bone mass measurement is offered to women over age 50 and men over age 65 in Canada. If any bone loss is detected, you and your doctor will have to explore preventative options that will stop further loss of bone density, or even reverse it.
You lose bone density when minerals “leak” out of the bones. It’s important to strengthen your bones to help combat mineral loss, and weight-bearing exercises can help. Lifting weights and walking are options to try. Before you start an exercise program, ask your doctor which is best for you, taking into account your overall health.
Grandmothers and mothers for generations made their children drink milk, and the reason given was to ensure strong, healthy bones. They never called it calcium supplementation, but that’s what they had in mind, and they were right. Daily calcium intake helps to prevent osteoporosis. Drinking milk helps, but is not necessary today (and may not be enough, depending on your age and bone loss), as there are many dietary supplements available that can give you what you need. Add Vitamin D to any calcium supplementation, because it improves the absorption of calcium and strengthens the health of your bones.
Like with many other diseases, the best prevention method for osteoporosis is a healthy lifestyle. Starting at home with a proper diet and exercise are key to absorbing the calcium you do take in from supplements and foods, and these make your bone defenses much stronger. Consider your current lifestyle and alter any habits that encourage the onset of osteoporosis.
Harvard professor and medical doctor George E. Vaillant has spent his life studying people and how to increase the likelihood of being a happy, healthy senior. He wondered what role genetics has, lifestyle choices and coping mechanisms in successful aging.
He followed 3 groups of people to get his answers. One group was comprised of 248 men who attended Harvard University. Another group consisted of 456 men that would be considered unfortunate and lived in a poor inner city community in Boston. The last group included 682 women from a study that looked at gifted children with an IQ greater than 140. These groups of people were born between 1911 and 1930. For this study, they were followed until as recently as the year 2000.
Data was collected through the years to see how long they went to school, if they married, what type of illnesses they got, were they happy with life, were they successful.
Dr. Vaillant came to the following conclusions: Although a privileged childhood predicted if someone would make more money it did not influence happiness in old age. Those that were happily married at 50 years old seemed to be happier and healthier overall by age 80. Never smoking or quitting before age 45 led to greater health and longer life expectancy. Avoiding excess alcohol, being at an ideal weight and staying active were important in the long run-cholesterol levels were not. More years of education (regardless of social class, IQ or income) was associated with healthy aging. Having friends, continuing to play and being creative in your older years also increased your chance of aging well.
Interestingly, many of these factors are controllable and not genetically inherited. For the full account of his very interesting study, check out Dr. Vaillant’s book Aging Well.
Signs of A Stroke
Strokes are the leading cause of disability in older people. About 20% of people die from having a stroke and the other 80% are usually left with some form of permanent paralysis or dysfunction.
TIME IS BRAIN
Identifying a stroke early can save valuable brain tissue, which can help with less damage and a quicker recovery time.
Go to the nearest emergency department if you suddenly notice any of the following symptoms:
- Limb weakness: for example not being able to lift an arm or difficulty walking
- Blurry vision
- Inability to speak
- Facial drooping
How to Avoid having a stroke:
Living a healthy lifestyle is your best defence against having a stroke. Eating a healthy diet, being your ideal weight, exercising regularly, maintaining a normal blood pressure and having low cholesterol all help to limit your risk of having a stroke. If you have a family history of someone who has had a stroke, inform your primary care provider so that they can closely monitor your individual risk.