407-645-5933 ext. 236 marisa.west@shalomorlando.org

July 29, 2022

Dehydration in Seniors

Dehydration is dangerous no matter what your age, but seniors are at a greater risk for dehydration than other age groups. Dehydration happens when you don’t drink enough water. When your body’s water content is too low, it causes damage quickly. Dehydration is especially prevalent on hot days or after vigorous exercise. Mild or moderate dehydration is easy to recover from, but severe dehydration requires immediate medical attention.

Risks for seniors experiencing dehydration include:

  • Diarrhea and vomiting: in addition to losing fluids, your body’s electrolytes and minerals are quickly depleted;
  • Fever: high fevers quickly lead to dehydration. The higher the fever, the faster you become dehydrated;
  • Excessive sweating: if you don’t replace the fluids lost while sweating, you can become dehydrated. Don’t wait to replace fluids at the end of a workout or strenuous activity. Instead, drink a little water all along to avoid severe dehydration;
  • Increased urination: diabetes that isn’t yet diagnosed or controlled through diet or medication can lead to passing more urine and depleting your water supply.

Signs of dehydration include:

  • Feeling unquenchable thirst
  • Few or no tears
  • Dry, sticky mouth
  • Not urinating frequently
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Unexplained tiredness
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • Confusion
  • Black stool

Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms:

  • Diarrhea or vomiting that lasts longer than 24 hours
  • Feeling irritable and disoriented
  • Sleepier than usual without reason
  • Inability to keep fluids down

While most seniors face major adjustments when transitioning to an elder-care community, Jewish seniors face additional challenges. Not only do they lose their homes, and many of their friends, but they also lose ties to their cultural heritage. This is where the Jewish Pavilion, a 501c3 non-profit, steps in. The Pavilion serves as a resource that provides room visits, festive holiday celebrations, and more to 450 Jewish residents across 50 senior facilities. The Jewish Pavilion promotes inclusion, and thousands of seniors of all faiths are welcomed into our programs.

The Orlando Senior Help Desk (407-678-9363) helps thousands of callers navigate their way through the daunting senior maze, alleviating caregiver stress while giving advice on all types of elder issues.

July 22, 2022

Hydration for Seniors

Water, the most important liquid on the planet, makes up roughly 60% of the human body. That is why it is so important to stay hydrated. Most doctors agree that you should try and consume eight to ten 8-oz. cups (64-80 fluid ounces) of water each day.

The health benefits of drinking water are numerous:

  • Keeps your skin hydrated. Your skin is mostly made of water. When dehydrated, it can lead to disorders and wrinkles. Drinking water is the easiest and cheapest way to stay looking young!
  • Lubricates your joints. Cartilage contains 80% water. Dehydration lessens the effectiveness cartilage has on joints and, in turn, leads to pain and inflammation.
  • Aids in weight loss. Water is the perfect zero-calorie drink to replace soda or other sugary drinks. Drinking a big glass of water before a meal will also help prevent overeating.
  • Promotes healthy kidneys. Your kidneys are primarily used to filter liquids that come through your body. When dehydrated, kidney stones can start to form and, in extreme cases, dehydration can lead to kidney failure.
  • Relieves allergies. When your body is dehydrated, its airway constricts. This heightens breathing difficulties brought on by allergies or asthma.
  • Helps with healthy digestion. The digestive system is reliant on water to process food correctly. Dehydration can lead to digestive problems, constipation, and heartburn.

Water is so important to our everyday lives, and we should make a concerted effort to drink the recommended amount. Seniors tend to exercise less, and exercise increases one’s thirst, so they need to be especially careful to drink enough water. 

According to the Institute of Medicine, almost 75% of Americans suffer from dehydration. There are plenty of ways to make sure you reach your daily recommended water intake. Try remembering to drink a glass of water after every bathroom break, or use one of the numerous water tracking apps. Keep a water bottle by your side.

While most seniors face major adjustments when transitioning to an elder-care community, Jewish seniors face additional challenges. Not only do they lose their homes, and many of their friends, but they also lose ties to their cultural heritage. This is where the Jewish Pavilion, a 501c3 non-profit, steps in. The Pavilion serves as a resource that provides room visits, festive holiday celebrations, and more to 450 Jewish residents across 50 senior facilities. The Jewish Pavilion promotes inclusion, and thousands of seniors of all faiths are welcomed into our programs.

The Orlando Senior Help Desk (407-678-9363) helps thousands of callers navigate their way through the daunting senior maze, alleviating caregiver stress while giving advice on all types of elder issues.

October 28, 2022

Bathroom Safety

Statistics show that many preventable accidents like falls occur in bathrooms. Wet floors and small spaces are some of the causes for concern in a bathroom setting. 

Tips to Aid in Transfers:

  • Do not pull on a person’s arms or under their shoulders.
  • Use a gait belt secured around the loved one’s waist for assistance.
  • Explain each step of the transfer, then give physical assistance and verbal cues during the movement.
  • Allow a loved one time to comprehend what’s expected and to follow through even if he or she is slow.

Bathroom Modeling Tips:

On a toilet, a raised seat or toilet safety frame is recommended to complete the transfer as safely as possible. It is ideal to replace a tub with a stall and a shower chair. Another essential tool for a bathroom transfer is a non-skid bathmat. Grab bars are a must for any caregiver looking to make a loved one’s bathroom transfer-friendly. 

Safety Measures in the Bathroom Design:

  • Use anti-skid material for the bathroom floor.
  • Keep the floor clean and dry.
  • Limit obstacles in the floor plan.
  • Use non-slip strips in your tub or shower.
  • Select impact-resistant shower and bathtub attachments.
  • Put a bathmat with non-skid base next to the bathtub and shower.
  • Install scald-prevention devices, these devices will keep a check on the water temperature.
  • Electrical switches and plugs should always be kept away from water sources.
  • Make sure all electrical outlets have ground fault circuit interrupters.
  • Use door locks that can be unlocked from both sides.

While most seniors face major adjustments when transitioning to an elder-care community, Jewish seniors face additional challenges. Not only do they lose their homes, and many of their friends, but they also lose ties to their cultural heritage. This is where the Jewish Pavilion, a 501c3 non-profit, steps in. The Pavilion serves as a resource that provides room visits, festive holiday celebrations, and more to 450 Jewish residents across 50 senior facilities. The Jewish Pavilion promotes inclusion, and thousands of seniors of all faiths are welcomed into our programs.

The Orlando Senior Help Desk (407-678-9363) helps thousands of callers navigate their way through the daunting senior maze, alleviating caregiver stress while giving advice on all types of elder issues.

July 15, 2022

Nutrition for Seniors

Nutrition is about eating a healthy and balanced diet so your body gets the nutrients it needs. Nutrients are substances in foods that our bodies need to function, and include carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and water.

Good nutrition is important for energy at every age.  It may also help prevent some diseases, such as osteoporosis, high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers.

But as you age, your body and life change, and so does what you need to stay healthy. For example, you may need fewer calories, but you still need to get enough nutrients. 

Eat foods that give you lots of nutrients without a lot of extra calories, such as:

    • Fruits and vegetables—bright colors are the most nutritious;
    • Whole grains like oatmeal, whole wheat bread, and brown rice;
    • Fat-free or low-fat milk and cheese, or soy or rice milk that has added vitamin D and calcium;
    • Seafood, lean meats like poultry, and eggs;
    • Beans, nuts, and seeds.

Avoid empty calories. These are foods with lots of calories but few nutrients, such as chips, candy, baked goods, soda, and alcohol.

Pick foods that are low in cholesterol and fat. You especially want to try to avoid saturated and trans fats. Saturated fats are usually fats that come from animals. Trans fats are processed fats in stick margarine and vegetable shortening.

While most seniors face major adjustments when transitioning to an elder-care community, Jewish seniors face additional challenges. Not only do they lose their homes, and many of their friends, but they also lose ties to their cultural heritage. This is where the Jewish Pavilion, a 501c3 non-profit, steps in. The Pavilion serves as a resource that provides room visits, festive holiday celebrations, and more to 450 Jewish residents across 50 senior facilities. The Jewish Pavilion promotes inclusion, and thousands of seniors of all faiths are welcomed into our programs.

The Orlando Senior Help Desk (407-678-9363) helps thousands of callers navigate their way through the daunting senior maze, alleviating caregiver stress while giving advice on all types of elder issues.

August 5, 2022

Summer Safety

Summer weather can pose special health risks to older adults and people with chronic medical conditions. 

Hyperthermia is caused by a failure of the heat-regulating mechanisms of the body. Heat fatigue, heat syncope (sudden dizziness after prolonged exposure to the heat), heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke are all forms of hyperthermia. Older adults are at particular risk for these conditions, and this risk can increase with the combination of higher temperature, individual lifestyle, and general health.

Lifestyle Risks:

Seniors seldom drink enough fluids. Other risks include living in housing without air conditioning, lack of mobility and access to transportation, overdressing, visiting overcrowded places, and not understanding how to respond to hot weather conditions. Older people, particularly those with chronic medical conditions, should stay indoors in cooler spaces on hot and humid days, especially when an air pollution alert is in effect.

People without air conditioners should go to places that do have air conditioning, such as senior centers, shopping malls, movie theaters, and libraries. Cooling centers, which may be set up by local public health agencies, religious groups, and social service organizations in many communities, are another option.

Factors that increase the risk of hyperthermia may include:

  • Dehydration
  • High blood pressure or other health conditions that require changes in diet. For example, people on salt-restricted diets may be at increased risk. However, salt pills should not be used without first consulting a doctor.
  • Heart, lung, and kidney diseases, as well as any illness that causes general weakness or fever
  • Use of multiple medications. It is important, however, to continue to take prescribed medication and discuss possible problems with a physician.
  • Medication-reduced sweating, caused by diuretics, sedatives, tranquilizers, and certain heart and blood pressure drugs
  • Age-related changes to the skin such as poor blood circulation and inefficient sweat glands
  • Being substantially overweight or underweight
  • Alcohol use

Heat stroke is a life-threatening form of hyperthermia. It occurs when the body is overwhelmed by heat and unable to control its temperature. Signs and symptoms of heat stroke include a significant increase in body temperature (generally above 104 degrees Fahrenheit), changes in mental status (like confusion or combativeness,) strong rapid pulse, lack of sweating, dry flushed skin, feeling faint, staggering, or coma. Seek immediate emergency medical attention for a person with heat stroke symptoms, especially an older adult.

If you suspect that someone is suffering from a heat-related illness:

  • Get the person out of the heat and into a shady, air-conditioned, or other cool place. Urge them to lie down.
  • If you suspect heat stroke, call 911.
  • Encourage the individual to shower, bathe, or sponge off with cool water if it is safe to do so.
  • Apply a cold, wet cloth to the wrists, neck, armpits, and/or groin. These are places where blood passes close to the surface of the skin, and the cold cloths can help cool the blood.
  • If the person can swallow safely, offer fluids such as water, fruit, and vegetable juices. Avoid alcohol and caffeine.

While most seniors face major adjustments when transitioning to an elder-care community, Jewish seniors face additional challenges. Not only do they lose their homes, and many of their friends, but they also lose ties to their cultural heritage. This is where the Jewish Pavilion, a 501c3 non-profit, steps in. The Pavilion serves as a resource that provides room visits, festive holiday celebrations, and more to 450 Jewish residents across 50 senior facilities. The Jewish Pavilion promotes inclusion, and thousands of seniors of all faiths are welcomed into our programs.

The Orlando Senior Help Desk (407-678-9363) helps thousands of callers navigate their way through the daunting senior maze, alleviating caregiver stress while giving advice on all types of elder issues.

November 4, 2022

10 Brain-Boosting Activities

1. Sing: Seniors choirs offer joy and a feeling of togetherness. Musical instruments are appealing and playing boosts brain health. Safe Sauna bathing researchers say that the heat may activate protective proteins and better cardiovascular functioning, reduce inflammation, offer better sleep, reduce stress, and increase relaxation.

2. Tai chi. Tai chi is a slow-motion exercise for self-defense and meditation.

3. Cultivate a positive attitude toward aging. Negative attitudes about aging have a striking effect on memory and on health in general.

4. Get the flu and/or pneumonia vaccination.

5. Have a positive outlook and be optimistic.

6. Add berries, apples, and green tea to your diet.

7. Drink coffee.

8. Get a good night’s sleep.

9. Find a purpose such as giving emotional support to your extended family, volunteering, working at a worthwhile job, engaging in a hobby or creative activity or developing a business that uses your strengths and skills.

While most seniors face major adjustments when transitioning to an elder-care community, Jewish seniors face additional challenges. Not only do they lose their homes, and many of their friends, but they also lose ties to their cultural heritage. This is where the Jewish Pavilion, a 501c3 non-profit, steps in. The Pavilion serves as a resource that provides room visits, festive holiday celebrations, and more to 450 Jewish residents across 50 senior facilities. The Jewish Pavilion promotes inclusion, and thousands of seniors of all faiths are welcomed into our programs.

The Orlando Senior Help Desk (407-678-9363) helps thousands of callers navigate their way through the daunting senior maze, alleviating caregiver stress while giving advice on all types of elder issues.