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HEALTH   -   SENIORS
Aging Well
New Year's Resolutions
February, 2012 - Issue #88
Create a Safe, Healthy Med Management Plan
Did you know that 50 percent of all people aged 65 or older take three or more prescribed medications a day? Those with chronic conditions often take many more. Make a New Year's resolution to manage your meds, no matter what you take, in the safest, healthiest way:

Make a list of all your current medications. Include dosages and times you need to take them. Make sure you keep the list near a phone or on the refrigerator - someplace it can be found in the event of an emergency.

Check for drug interactions with your pharmacist. Especially if you have new medications on your list, check with your pharmacist to make sure there are no possible drug interactions with other meds you're taking. If there's a question, call your doctor.

Create a dosing schedule chart. Some meds should be taken in the morning, some at night, some with food, some on an empty stomach. Check to make sure you're taking them appropriately, and try to take them the same time every day. If you're having trouble following the dosing chart, set up a weekly pill box, possibly with the help of a friend or relative. It can help make pill-taking easy and failsafe.
Clear out all your old and/or expired medications. Put them all in a bag and take them to your pharmacist. He'll dispose of them safely, and you won't need to worry about taking something you shouldn't.
Tips courtesy of Home Instead Senior Care; 254-8701 www.homeinstead.com/618

Prevent Cold & Flu
In our area, the biggest winter health hazards affecting seniors are colds and flu. A simple case of flu can have serious effects on a senior, especially if they are already dealing with other ailments or decreased body functions that come along with the aging process.

Here are some good flu prevention tips, sourced from the DRM International Learning Center (www.drmilc.com). Also important, and not mentioned below, are maintaining good nutrition to maximize the function of the immune system - and getting a flu vaccine.

Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.

Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. (Especially after touching door knobs and stair rails in public places!)

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. (Especially after touching door knobs and stair rails in public places. Germs spread this way.)

Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone - except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)

While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
Tips courtesy of Visiting Angels Living Assistance Services; 263-2273


Help Seniors Winterize their Homes
Install weather strips around doors and caulk windows to keep cold air out and warm air inside. Seal any holes in the house's foundation to keep animals from crawling underneath the house for shelter. Clean out gutters and ensure spouts are clear so any water flows away from the house. Make sure the furnace is in good working order and clear any materials that may become a fire hazard. Install carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and store enough batteries for both. Have other heating units inspected and serviced. Clean the fireplace and leave wood in easy reach for seniors to use. If your loved one does not already have one, purchase a fire extinguisher and teach them to use it.
Tips courtesy of Comfort Keepers In-home Care; 287-4200 www.comfortkeepers.com

Make Funeral & Casket Decisions Now
End-of-life decisions are rarely pleasant to make, but knowing that you are saving yourself - or your loved ones - thousands of dollars can markedly improve the experience.

Wholesale Casket Warehouse is a local family-owned business in Newhall, run by Roger and Pia Roberge, that is ready to help you save casket expenses. They don't have a fancy showroom and they're not located in a luxurious building, but that's what helps them save you money. In fact, Wholesale Casket Warehouse can help you save thousands on your funeral costs - as much as a third of the price that some funeral parlors ask.

They offer a variety of wood caskets and metal caskets, both with fancy accents and without. We also offer airbrushed art on the caskets. Urns are available, too. See the opposite page to take advantage of a 20-percent off coupon that never expires.

Make an appointment at your convenience (emergency appointments are available); 287-3275
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