When Illness Strikes Are You Prepared?

When illness strikes it can be swiftly and without warning. This can be devastating if you are not prepared. When one is not feeling well it is more difficult to think and respond as one should. How many of us though really take the time to set up small things in our lives that help us when something happens unexpectedly?

Preparation for Illness

When illness strikes it can be swiftly and without warning.  This can be devastating if you are not prepared.   When one is not feeling well it is more difficult to think and respond as one should.  How many of us though really take the time to set up small things in our lives that help us when something happens unexpectedly?

I have read where boomers are living longer.  Some are living alone.  Some may not have near by relatives or friends that can be there for them on a minutes notice.  Some times we may just need to prepare small things for ourselves in order to deal and carry out our own responsibilities as they happen.

Our thinking can effect our life situations and how we feel.   Do we think positive for positive results?  Are we prepared when our thinking might not be at its best until we have time to recover? In skilled nursing homes, hospitals and rehabilitation centers, professionals work with patients to help them think and prepare.  Maybe it would be good to focus on just a few of these things today. Also if one is fortunate to have a person to assist them then having these things done in advance could also make it much easier for another to assist us.

  1. Do you have a full bottle of an over the counter pain reliever in your medicine cabinet at all times?
  2. Do you have plenty of liquids in your home that might go easy on your stomach if it gets a little upset?
  3. Do you know that it is better to take most medicines after eating a little something to keep the medications from upsetting your stomach?
  4. Do you know that ice is for swelling?  Do you know when to use ice or heat?
  5. Do you have a small first aid kit available?
  6. Do you have a small bag packed with small necessities such as tooth brush, a change of night clothing, brush, comb, or any small items that you use on a daily basis?
  7. Do you have a list of your medications written down with the dosages in case you have to go to the Dr. or a hospital?
  8. Do you have your insurance cards in a place where you can find them easily?
  9. Do you know that in addition to a co pay some insurances have an out of pocket expense to be met before the insurance company starts paying.  Some physicians offices and hospitals require this to be paid prior to non life treating emergencies before treatment?
  10. Do you have an advanced directive written which is also called a living will in case you are unable to speak for yourself?
  11. Do you have a list of phone numbers written down in case your cell phone has lost its charge and your numbers are in it?  This will include your Dr.,relatives, hospital, employer, fire dept, police and etc.
  12. Do you keep Popsicles, small cups of pudding, jello,canned soup,ice cream and etc. on hand instead of having to run to the grocery store if you get sick in the middle of the night or there is a snow storm outside?
  13. Do you keep enough gasoline in your tank in case you have to leave your home quickly and do not have the time to stop to fill your tank?
  14. If you have a pet is there enough pet food in your home to feed that pet for a few days?
  15. If you have a neighbor that you feel comfortable enough with, have you asked for their phone number and written it down in case of an emergency?
  16. Do you have an extra spare car and home key hidden somewhere?
  17. Do you really know how to put a large pill in your mouth to swallow so that you do not risk choking?  What would you do if you were alone and found that you were choking?
  18. If you wear glasses do you have a set of readers or a spare set of regular glasses somewhere in case yours break?  I would be up a creek if I had to drive or read without my glasses.
  19. When the electric goes out and there is no television but there is light, do you have some fun magazines, books, and etc. to keep yourself entertained until the electric has been restored?
  20. Have you ever put off doing the laundry until there is no more clean underwear?  What if you get sick and need a clean pair?
  21. Have you ever been late for something and the button just popped off your favorite shirt?  Do you have a needle and tread handy?
  22. Do you have new batteries in the flashlight by your night stand?  A flash light will do no good if the batteries do not work you know.
  23. Do you always have enough toilet paper on hand or do you get down to your last roll?
  24. Do you have an umbrella in your car and your home?  It does little good if your umbrella is in the car when you need to get to the car?
  25. Do you have an ice scraper and boots for that unexpected snow?
  26. Oh and how about a fly swat or old newspaper for that spider on the wall or the fly that flew in while the door was open.
  27. Do you keep inexpensive baking soda in your refrigerator?  It also has many many other purposes other that as a refrigerator fresher.
  28. Do you have a bottle of vinegar?  It too can be used for many different things.  Just read up on vinegar as a cleaning agent.
  29. Did you know that an infected tooth can carry infection to your heart which could result in death? Other wards keep your appointments for your dental check ups.
  30. Did you know there are many foods that can help lower blood pressure and others that increases blood pressure?  What are some of those foods?  Are you eating them?

Does any of this apply to you?  Have you really taken the time to think and prepare for the unexpected?  How well are you prepared to take care of yourself?”  Just keeping things as simple as we can and being prepared for the little things can make our lives a lot less stressful, don’t you think? As human beings we want to meet life’s challenges with our BEST thinking and preparation.  As we do this we move forward from simple to better, and negative to positive thinking. This enables us to be our best self and seek out the best in others. So again why not prepare so that when our brain may be a little weary we can let it rest a bit and feel the comfort of knowing that we are prepared to take care of ourselves.

Originally posted 2011-01-17 17:44:14.

Boomer Living Trends

Here are some trends happening with us of the baby boomer generation. If you are a boomer, can you relate to any of these?

Buying a New Car

Boomers have been buying new cars, even though many of us are driving less. The catalyst for baby boomers to buy a new car is the safety equipment in new cars these days. My wife Mary Ann picked up her new Honda yesterday with Navigational system and Sensing, replacing her 2009 model car.  It is amazing what cars can do these days. Boomers feel these items make today’s cars safer and easier to drive.  One day when self driving cars become available, there may be another boomer car buying spree.
safer autos for baby boomers

Being More Active

Boomers are becoming more active and getting out for walks and playing pickleball and other sports.  I joined 10,500 boomers at the National Senior Games a couple of months ago and witnessed the passion first hand.
National Senior Games race walkers

Attend to Our Health

All boomers’ lives are affected by their health and that is becoming more clear by the day. The Medicare nurse comes to our homes each year to check up on us (if you have an Advantage Plan).  Many of us do annual physicals and preventative dental work.  We visit health fairs and do Health Screenings which are medical tests that doctors use to check for diseases and health conditions before there are any signs or symptoms. Screenings help find problems early, when they may be easier to treat. Many of us are dealing with chronic health conditions that alter our lifestyle.

Downsizing and Moving

Almost every boomer I talk with has downsized or is downsizing, getting rid of stuff they no longer need. Many times this is in preparation for a future move to a home more suitable to their needs, like a retirement home in a 55+ active adult community or small town.
retirement home

Traveling More

Travel while you can is our motto. Traveling is our new purpose it seems. I am astounded at the amount of travel quite a few of my friends are doing. Back to back major trips that would have been considered “trips of a lifetime” are taken in a year.

That’s the way I see it from here.

Robert Fowler
Village at Deaton Creek, a 55+ Del Webb Community

 

Originally posted 2017-09-01 15:35:24.

Health Care Tips for Baby Boomers

This article list some tips that any Baby Boomer might want to think about which could save you time, money and stress in health care.

Many of us Boomers go along in our day to day routines in a nonchalant way.  Then when something out of the ordinary happens we wonder why there is so much stress.  Some things could have been prevented or taken care of more easily if only we had been more knowledgeable or prepared before being confronted with a situation.  I will list some things that any Boomer might want to think about which could save you time, money and stress in health care.

  1. If you usually just see one physician, that physician knows the medications that you are taking.  There are times though that we are referred to a specialist or end up in the emergency room unexpectedly.  Therefore, have a list of all your medications written down with the dosages and times that you take the medication.  The note area in your cell phone is a good place to put this if you normally carry your cell phone with you.
  2. Some medications are dosages of 25 mg. and some may be . 025mg. The small period is very important in order to ensure the proper dosage is given.  Always check this on your prescriptions for accuracy.  There are medications that this could mean a life or death situations.  Rule of thumb;  Check for periods and always even double check after your pharmacist or health care provider.
  3. Know the names of the medications that you take and why you take them.
  4. After having a prescription filled always check the bottle label.  Make sure it is the correct medication and the correct dosage before taking it.  Just the other day I found that one of my medications said 1/2 per day when in fact it was suppose to say 1/2 taken 2 x per day.
  5. When it is near a holiday, week end, or vacation, make sure that you have enough medications to last until your physician is back in the office.  Also pick your prescription up early in the day when possible in case your doctor needs to be called.  Some pharmacies close early also.
  6. Know how your insurance covers.  Know the difference from in network and out of network. Checkout online sites like Consumers Advocate.org for the best reviews of carriers.  This can save you money.
  7. When going to the emergency room most providers will collect your insurance copay at the time of service.  A lot of insurance companies will wave that co pay if you are admitted from the emergency room into the hospital.  For me, I found it easier to get my copay back if this has been collected in error right at that time if at all possible.  Later down the line it takes more time when you may need that money to pay for something else.
  8. When going to a health care facility to be registered for out patient or in patient services, know what an advanced directive is prior to that process.  If you have an advanced directive then take it with you.  If you do not and feel you need one, then it will save time to get that prior to the day you are registered.  This normally requires a notary and can save a lot of time depending on how the facility takes care of such manners.
  9. If your service requires a co pay or out of pocket payment then have your credit card, check book or cash with you.
  10. If you are a single person it is always good to have a friend or relative that knows where your important papers are kept before an emergency happens.
  11. If you have allergies to ANYTHING know what they are.  This might save your life.
  12. If being admitted into a hospital, it is good to know simple medical terminology such as, what is a clear liquid diet or a full liquid diet.  You can then check your own meal tray for accuracy.
  13. When one is ill, it is difficult to remember names of important people, their titles, or departments that they may work with on your case.  Things go very fast.  Do not hesitate if you need to write them down or ask more than once a name or question.  It is your right.  You are the patient.
  14. Yes, I know most of us have our telephone numbers in our cell phones.  Do you have a written list?  What if there is an emergency and your phone looses its charge.
  15. Last but Not Least!  Remember, when a person is ill, we are not always our best self.  It is easy to be cranky, forgetful and lack patience.  That is expected.  When possible though remember to show your appreciation and say thank you.  Then on the other hand if your treatment is not as it should be then speak up, question things, ask for clarification and above all remember you deserve respect and your dignity at ALL TIMES!

Good luck on your next health care visit.  It is important for all of us Boomers to help each other.

Originally posted 2018-11-26 12:19:44.

Boomers Can Cope Returning to Work After a Serious Illness

Working Boomer looks at the situation where Baby Boomers deal with returning to work after a major illness or surgery.

Baby Boomer at workAs most of you know, today’s economy and health care insurance needs are not at their best.  Most people need a job and health care benefits.  Life can throw some curves for all of us and staying positive is sometimes difficult when we are faced with life and death situations. Putting food on the table and a roof over our heads has to be done.  You may have spent some time in a hospital or had major unexpected surgery which has caught you off guard.  The bank account may be low or empty.  You may have had to go on family leave with no income.  In addition you are facing pain and a complete life style change.  Then comes that day when you are due back at work.  You might be 62 years of age and concerned if you can still do the job that you know that you have to do.  Prior to a heart surgery or cancer you may have been an over achiever.  Some people are just that way.  You still may be weak and not quite back to your normal self, but the leave has ended.  It is time to do what you have to do.  Fear may set in for a while.  That is normal but you can only do the best that you can do. You are human.

Other words, you suit up and show up.  You put on the best smile possible.  You remain honest.  You ask for help if you need it, even though that is some thing that you are not use to doing.  You tell the truth.  You do the best that you can do without jeopardizing your health further.  If you are to reduce stress then take small breaks.  Let others talk if they must.  It is your life not theirs.  Eat healthy.  Take a walk at lunch time and get away from the chaos.  Talk to a trusted friend.  Use whatever resources that your work place has to offer you to get back on the proper track.  Eliminate worry.  It does no good.  Be easy on yourself and don’t expect others to be easy on you.  It is your life so treat it good.

Each day as you do this you will get stronger again.  Stay out of other people’s problems until you are able to deal with them, but show compassion.  Remember though, right now you are first.  Don’t expect to run a race with the person in the office that is twenty years younger than you.  Don’t expect special favoritism because of your condition.  You might get let down.  You are enough to give yourself love.

When it is time to end your work day, pat yourself on the back.  Say to yourself, I did the best that I could do; that is good enough for today.  Leave the work stress there when you leave.  Go home and enjoy your surroundings.  Pet the dog or cat.  Kiss the wife or husband if you have one.  Don’t feel guilty because you need extra rest.  Let things go that don’t have to be done immediately.  They will get done sooner or later.  Practice deep breathing.  Enjoy nature.  Love your sweet soft pillow and make use of a comfy bed.  Remember if you love yourself enough, this too shall pass.  There will be a day when you can relay this story to another human being that will go through the same thing.  Above all, be gentle with yourself. Learn to say no when it is necessary.

Live is full of unexpected curves.  It is full of unexpected events.  Say to your self each night prior to bedtime this one thing,  Self, I made it today and tomorrow I will try again.  I can and will do it.  I am the most important one to me today until my recovery is complete.  I will accept this one more boomer challenge in life just as many others are doing.  I am not alone.  Above all stay grateful!  You always can find something to be grateful for if you look hard enough.

Remember, it takes time for your body, mind, and spirit to heal after any major trauma or major surgery.  Listen to the body and be gentle.

Originally posted 2011-07-25 19:14:29.

Baby Boomers Stress

Working Boomer has bypass surgery and deals with baby boomers stress.

Writing is therapeutic so I have to get some thing off my chest so that I can get on with this thing called life as a Baby boomer.  Two and a half weeks ago, I started out to do my laundry at the mat.  Now I am not fond of the laundry mat nor am I fond of doing laundry on my day off.  Prior to leaving my apartment, I had had some chest pain.  I put in a call to my physician.  His office returned my call immediately.  They told me to go to the emergency room.  After dropping off my laundry I proceeded on down to the hospital.  Within hours, I found myself in the back of an ambulance headed to intensive care.  The next day I awaken from my triple by pass heart surgery.

Now I am here to tell you folks that life can throw you some curves and mess up a few plans.  It can even cause baby boomers stress and anger if you allow it.  You can act ridiculous and others can too.  That is a choice.  Bottom line is just this; you still need to deal with IT!  You can complain, stomp your feet, cry, throw a fit, curse, laugh, cry, meditate or spit if you want.  You can be childish or mature.  There is still no getting around the inevitable though.  You still have to DEAL WITH IT!  Oh and by the way, you can not change what others do during this time.  You can play poor pitiful me or get into the blame game.  You can be selfish or self caring.  You can fight or you can give up.  You can take the easy way out or you can put on your big boy or big girl pants and deal with it.  You might even get into that thing called stinking thinking and convince yourself that the world revolves around you.  Guess what, it does not!  It is just life, so make the best of what you can.

Everyone has stress.  Life is life and it is not going to quit happening.  We are all equal.  No one is better or less than another.  We all want love and deserve what is good in life.  So when you get to thinking that you are so special that stuff will not happen to you, then think again.  It will!  Take a deep breath.

Surround yourself with caring loving people until the rough times go by.  Laugh a little.  Pet your dog.  Be grateful that you can smell and see.  Look for something positive.  Love yourself like you have never loved yourself before.  Be grateful for those that understand and are there to listen to you. Hang strong!  Be gentle with yourself.  Above all appreciate those that care and forgive those that do not have a clue.  After all you are wearing the pants so stand up tall and show the world what you are really about.  Be good to yourself.  You earned it!  You deserve it!  If others are stressed, let them have their problem because you have got your own right now. That is more than enough to deal with at the time.  Guess what folks, this too shall pass and you will be a better person for dealing with it too!

By the way, a special thank you to all those healthcare people out there that see us through some very difficult times as we go through our stuff.  They are great!  As a matter of fact sometimes they show us more love and compassion than we show ourselves.  Guess what?  They are human and have stress too.

Originally posted 2011-05-31 20:02:17.

Baby Boomers And Pain Management

As boomers age it is normal to have a certain amount of pain. There are those that suffer from acute pain or chronic pain. There are over 75 million people that suffer from pain due to diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined. Some boomers think the pain is imaginary, but it is not. There are boomers that suffer from arthritis, fibromyalgia, low back pain, headaches and neurogenic pain to list but a few. Relationships are affected and job performances can be difficult. We boomers need to get the best that we can out of life therefore there are things that we can do. Above all, see a physician and follow his advice. There is hope.

As boomers age it is normal to have a certain amount of pain.  There are those that suffer from acute pain or chronic pain.  Messages are sent to our brains which says, “Ouch that hurts so stop.”  The brain sends the message to the body part as pain.  Unfortunately we can not always stop.  There are over 75 million people that suffer from pain due to diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined.  Some boomers think the pain is imaginary, but it is not.  Stress is one of the main culprits of pain.  Inflammation causes pain.

There are boomers that suffer from arthritis, fibromyalgia, low back pain, headaches and neurogenic pain to list but a few.  Relationships are affected and job performances can be difficult.  We boomers need to get the best that we can out of life therefore there are things that we can do.  Above all, see a physician and follow his advice.  There is hope.

Here are some things that you may want to try doing on your own to aid in the healing process of pain or to help you cope.

  1. Alleviate as much stress out of your life as possible.  Exercise each day.  Even a short walk will help.  Instead of watching a boring rerun on television take a short walk.  Stretch to loosen those stiff muscles and joints.  Maybe lift a few cans while cooking and count.  Bend over a few more times than necessary to tie your shoes.  Go back and forth toe then heal.  Give those calves a stretch.
  2. Eat more fruits and vegetables.  Peaches, bananas and berries are very good for pain.  Actually fruit salad makes a delicious snack instead of potato chips.  Try keeping a container of raw vegetables in the refrigerator for quick access.  Carrots, broccoli, cauliflower,radishes, and even spinach leafs are good.  Olive oil and whole grain has been know to help pain.  Try those new whole grain crackers that are flavored with olive oil and garlic. Keep a container of whole grain pasta prepared and refrigerated.  There are many things that you can mix with pasta cold or hot.  Eat more oats.  Try to avoid sugar,milk and flour as much as possible.
  3. Try deep breathing and meditation.  Deep breathing can help clear the lungs.  Start slow and work up to longer periods.  The more you do, the better you will get.  Set aside time for this.  Try it while you are waiting on a friend to visit or bored on a rainy day.

Focus on the present and stay centered.  Again, the more that you practice this the easier it will become.  Think positive thoughts.  Let your mind go to pleasurable places.  The mind is very powerful.  It will try to play tricks on you.  Be patient and soon you will be in the drivers seat.  Let pain know that you are in charge not IT.

There are many places out there to get help such as pain management centers, physical therapy offices, physician’s practices, yoga and meditation classes, holistic medicines, and massage therapy.  Then there is the pain pill and patches.  No matter what we boomers choose we still must do the work.  Make a decision.  Discuss options with a health care person.  Put your best foot forward and do what you can.  After all, why not get the best that you can out of life by working to defeat pain or learning to deal with it.

Originally posted 2011-08-03 16:11:59.