Looking Out for Our Elders

By Amy Holler, Home Instead Senior Care.

For the first time in human history, there are more old than young! This is a growing trend as birth rates decline and longevity increases. Who is considered old, you might ask? Most developed countries consider 65 years of age as a reference point. This shift in population is having major global implications, including social, economic and cultural challenges. Although aging and longevity are one of humanity’s greatest feats, this unprecedented phenomenon also produces many challenges, of which the most detrimental is ageism. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines ageism “as pertaining to the stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination directed towards others or oneself based on age.”

Ageism is ingrained in our society and culture in many subtle ways. The beauty industry paints aging as a picture of fear and revulsion. Media and entertainment depict older adults in a negative, inconsequential way. Even healthcare professionals can assume ageist practices, such as talking to a family member in the exam room instead of the older adult. Myths and stereotypes surrounding aging tend to drive our thoughts and actions. 

However, ageism is being studied and analyzed by many global institutions, such as the WHO, the Global Coalition on Aging and the United Nations (UN), along with many universities and hospitals. These institutions are producing important data, which, in turn, is driving policies and legislation aimed at eradicating this type of discrimination. For example, the Homecare for Seniors Act, H.R. 2898, is being lobbied on Capitol Hill here in the U.S. This Health Savings Account (HSA) Act will allow senior citizens and their families to use their own money saved in HSAs to pay for home care services. 

The veil of ageism is slowly being pulled back across the globe. Leaders are striving to advance medicine and technology to help meet the challenges of longer life expectancy. Even so, changing how we think, feel and act toward the aged begins in our communities. The positive aging movement is sweeping the countryside, proselytizing the belief that productivity, growth and creativity are possible throughout a lifetime. We each have a wealth of opportunities to help people live and age better. As stated on a car bumper sticker, “Old People are Cool.”

Amy Holler – Franchise Owner of Home Instead Senior Care on MacDade Blvd in Holmes, PA. Contact the author at 267-551-4700 or by email: [email protected].

Technology and the Modern World

By Amy Holler of Home Instead Senior Care

Tech or no tech? That is the question. On the surface, we take some aspects of technology for granted, such as cameras at red lights, voice-controlled virtual assistants, video doorbells and self-checkouts. Most of us regularly use a cell phone and/or computer, not only to communicate but also to receive information. These advances in technology have become so quickly ingrained in our daily lives that they often go virtually unnoticed. But where does it end? Or, is this only the beginning?

There is no doubt that advancements in technology have proven extremely valuable in many aspects of modern life. Perpetrators of crimes can now be identified with the use of video cameras. Many office jobs can now be done remotely utilizing applications such as Zoom or Teams. Even some surgeries can now be performed by robots.  

Nevertheless, technology has its negative effects. Unemployment has been a result of computers entering the workspace since they can do the work of many people in less time.  Data security is a major issue since sharing a single piece of information online increases the chances of it reaching the hands of criminals and hackers. People have become addicted to technology such as social media, causing them to be complacent, thus affecting their health with issues such as obesity and insomnia.  

We now find ourselves thrust further into the world of technology through the advancement of artificial intelligence (AI). Encyclopedia Britannica explains AI as the project of developing systems endowed with the intellectual processes characteristic of humans, such as the ability to reason, discover meaning, generalize, or learn from past experiences. AI technology has many benefits, such as monitoring bank transactions for suspected payment fraud and reviewing large sets of medical data searching for disease patterns that would advance patient treatments.  However, society could be facing the most menacing aspect of this technology: self-developing AI systems. Computer and technology expert Stephen Hawking once stated, “I fear that AI may replace humans altogether. If people design computer viruses, someone will design AI that replicates itself. This will be a new form of life that will outperform humans.” Even the U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently expressed its concern over this technology’s potential dangers and lack of regulation.  

Technology is transforming every walk of life, even to the point of changing our brains and bodies. However, we can reap its benefits while not allowing it to overtake us. Developing healthy practices such as regularly “unplugging” from tech and enjoying nature walks are good ways to balance our lives and maintain both our physical and psychological well-being. After all, technology alone is neither good nor bad. It is the way and extent to which we use it that truly matters. 

Expert Contributor for Home Health Care, Amy Holler – Franchise Owner of Home Instead for more information contact Amy at 267-551-4700 or by email [email protected]

How to Choose the Right Vitamins and Supplements for You

By Chichi Ilonzo Momah, PharmD., Springfield Pharmacy Owner & Pharmacist

Premium supplements are dietary supplements that are made from high-quality and pure ingredients. They are designed to provide a wide range of health benefits to individuals who take them regularly. These premium supplements can help to improve quality of life and promote optimal health by providing:
– Improved nutrient absorption
– Increased energy
– Enhanced immune system
– Improved athletic performance
– Better overall health

Choosing the vitamins and supplements that are right for your body and lifestyle can be overwhelming. I recommend asking a healthcare provider to make recommendations based on your age, diet and health conditions. Here are some of the commonly deficient nutrients that they may recommend a supplement for.

Magnesium is essential for regulating the nervous system, easing sleep problems, balancing blood sugar, and making proteins in the body. Research suggests that it may improve glucose levels in those living with diabetes and improve insulin sensitivity for people with prediabetes. It can also help with blood pressure regulation.

A B-Complex vitamin is made up of eight different B vitamins, most notably vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 creates and sustains your energy supply by breaking down foods and identifying the micronutrients your body needs. Patients with type 2 diabetes who take metformin may have lower levels of B12.

Several B vitamins may also help reduce blood pressure levels, such as vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and vitamin B9 (folic acid).

The primary function of vitamin D is to help the body absorb calcium, which is vital for bone health. More than 40 percent of Americans don’t get enough sun exposure to achieve the daily recommended dose of vitamin D, and it is not commonly found in food. Research shows that people with high blood pressure tend to have lower levels of vitamin D than those without.

Fish oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which support heart health and brain function. Fish oil is found naturally in fatty fish tissue such as herring, tuna, anchovies and mackerel. If you don’t eat 1-2 servings of fish per week, supplementing with fish oil can help you get enough omega-3s.

Vitamin C has many functions in the body, from protecting against cardiovascular disease and prenatal health issues to working against eye disease and skin wrinkling.

It is important to talk to a healthcare provider any time you are planning to introduce a new vitamin or supplement to your regimen—especially if you are taking other medication. Without supervision, vitamins and supplements can cause potentially serious drug interactions or counteract the positive effects of the medication.

Not all vitamins and supplements are created equal. There is no standard or regulatory definition for dietary supplements from the FDA. Always double-check with a healthcare professional to make sure you’re getting a safe, high-quality, pharmaceutical-grade product.

To receive a recommendation from an expert, discuss your health history with your doctor or pharmacist. Healthcare professionals who are familiar with your health, your medications and your lifestyle are best suited to help you find the right supplements for your needs.

For more information about vitamins and supplements, call or stop by Springfield Pharmacy and talk to our trained staff.

Expert Article provided by Chichi Ilonzo, PharmD – Owner of Springfield Pharmacy
1154 Baltimore Pk, Springfield. Phone: 610-544-4645 – [email protected]