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NAVCARE.COM BLOG

Addressing Hearing Loss for Better Quality of Life

Addressing Hearing Loss for Better Quality of Life

Hearing is a complex sense involving both the ear's ability to detect sounds and the brain's ability to interpret those sounds, such as speech or music. Hearing loss is a sudden or gradual decrease in how well you can hear. It is one of the most common conditions affecting older adults. Hearing loss may be caused by noise, aging, disease, or heredity. Hearing impairment is the third most commonly reported chronic problem affecting older adults. Approximately one in three people between the ages of 65 and 74 has hearing loss and nearly half of those older than 75 have difficulty hearing. Men usually experience greater hearing loss and have earlier onset compared with women. Having trouble hearing can make it hard to understand and follow a doctor's advice, to respond to warnings, and to hear doorbells and alarms. It can also affect socializing with friends and family difficult. All of this can be frustrating, embarrassing, and even dangerous. Age-related hearing loss can also be caused by some chronic conditions such as diabetes and poor blood circulation, as well as environmental exposures like loud noises, use of certain medications, family history of hearing loss and smoking.

Recognizing and Addressing Signs of Dehydration in Senior Adults

Recognizing and Addressing Signs of Dehydration in Senior Adults

Older adults are more vulnerable to dehydration than younger people. Dehydration occurs when the body does not have enough water to keep up with the amount used in the body. Water helps carry nutrients to cells, eliminates bodily waste, regulates temperature through sweating, and lubricates and cushions joints. Dehydration can range from mild (e.g. constant thirst) to extreme (e.g. dry mouth, organ shut down, or fainting). Aging, in general, reduces the sense of thirst or natural thirst response, making it less likely to recognize the need to drink and hydrate. Incontinence, frequent urination and mobility concerns about using the restroom also can affect how older adults feel about drinking water of fears of drinking too much. Dehydration can also be caused by illnesses that induce vomiting or diarrhea, and medications such as diuretics which may cause frequent sweating, urination, and bodily water loss.

High Cholesterol in Older Adults

High Cholesterol in Older Adults

Cholesterol levels tend to peak in older adults around age 60. Patients with two or more chronic conditions must maintain good health overall, and be mindful of decreasing high cholesterol levels. Particularly, older adults at higher risk for heart disease, taking measures to lower cholesterol is the best approach to lowering the risk for peripheral vascular disease, heart attack, or stroke. High cholesterol is caused by a variety of things, including foods with saturated fats or trans fats, certain meats, cheese and eggs, being overweight and having low activity levels. High cholesterol can also be hereditary, and age and sex also play a role.

Ensuring Quality in Transitional Care

Ensuring Quality in Transitional Care

Transitional care encompasses a broad range of services and environments designed to promote the safe and timely movement of patients between levels of health care and across care settings. High-quality transitional care is especially important for older adults with multiple chronic conditions and complex care needs. Any gaps in care that exist for patients and their caregivers during critical transitions can lead to adverse events, unmet needs, low satisfaction with care, and high hospital readmission rates. Improving the quality of care for chronically ill older adults during critical transitions is important for lowered healthcare costs and improved health outcomes.

Nearly 13 percent of Medicare beneficiaries discharged from hospitals experience three or more provider transfers during a thirty-day period. Approximately 20 percent of Medicare beneficiaries discharged from hospitals were readmitted to a hospital within thirty days and more than 30 percent are readmitted within ninety days. It is during these transitions that mistakes commonly occur giving rise to adverse clinical events. For example, a patient transitioning from a hospital to a nursing home or other facility may not have their medication and treatment plan communicated clearly. There may be discrepancies in the prescriptions, medical supplies or care instructions for home health as another example.

Psoriasis in Older Adults

Psoriasis in Older Adults

Psoriasis can begin as early as age 60 and is often associated with other conditions such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertriglyceridemia and cardiovascular disease. Psoriasis is a skin condition in which the surface layers of skin rapidly build up cells to form thick, tough patches that could resemble scales. Psoriasis is a chronic condition as the symptoms can be persistent. According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, psoriasis begins with the immune system. T cells, which are a kind of white blood cell, are activated by mistake. Under normal conditions, they're only activated when there's a threat to the immune system. When they act erratically, the skin cells begin to die and reproduce at a rapid rate, causing the tissue to pile up on top of itself in the form of scales.

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