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.

Life Insurance and Health Issues

Life Insurance and Health Issues

Typically, life insurance is most often associated with the protection it offers financially upon the event of death. However, most people don’t take into account that health complications can occur randomly and at a moment’s notice at that. Did you know though, that some life insurance policies are equipped with certain options that facilitate this?

What Happens if a Health Issue Arises?

With some policies there is the option that allows the policy holder to obtain part or all of the death benefit in the event of certain ailments. This enables not only you, but your loved ones as well, to divert the full brunt of the financial woes associated with treatment.

In fact, the expedited payments can be used for a number of financial implications including:

1.) The overall care of yourself. In other words, the advance payment can be used to cover the costs of paying a professional or even a family member to tend to your needs and care.

2.) Tending to life events. Money from your policy can be used towards paying somebody (usually a family member) to assist you in attending certain events, regardless of distance.

3.) Home modifications. Last but certainly not least, the money can also be used to help you remain where you are. In other words, modifications made to the home to make it more accessible.

As with any “perks” or policy changes, restrictions do exist in most cases. Aside from restrictions, policy holders must also meet specific qualifications in order to receive the death benefit prematurely. Therefore, it is absolutely vital that you make sure your decision is the right one as it can have potentially-detrimental impact financially on your family, as well as yourself.

Can I Still Obtain Insurance After a Health Issue?

Encountering a health issue—minor or major—does not necessarily mean that you are uninsurable during or after the fact. Surprising yes, but most affordable health insurance companies, such as Health Net, are ready and willing to assist potential clients even if they suffer from major ailments such as cancer. However, because someone suffering from certain health issues presents more of a liability than say, a person with a clean bill of health, the insurance coverage will cost more.

While it may surprise some people, many insurance companies will provide life insurance to people who suffer from hypertension, Alzheimer’s, and even cancer. Naturally, coverage will cost more than it would for a person without such conditions. The Prudential Insurance Company of America and its affiliates has been underwriting life insurance policies for breast and prostate cancer survivors for more than 80 years so if this is a concern for you, they may be right for you.

Originally posted 2014-08-18 20:00:10.

Health: The Weight of the Nation

We have been watching the HBO movie titled The Weight of the Nation, about confronting America’s obesity epidemic. Even though we have seen several other movies of this type like Food Inc. and other, this was a shocking reminder to be mindful of what you eat.

We have been watching the HBO movie titled The Weight of the Nation, about confronting America’s obesity epidemic.   Even though we have seem several other movies of this type like Food Inc, this was a shocking reminder to be mindful of what you eat.

The movie shows in a practical way how bad things have gotten.  Some examples and facts they give were quite enlightening, although not surprising.

Food obtained outside the home tends to be higher in calories and fat than food prepared at home.  40% of every dollar spent on food is spent on food prepared outside the home.

In the 25 years between 1987 and 2010, the number of American’s diagnosed with diabetes almost tripled to 20.9 million.

Children consume more than 7.5 hours of media a day, 7 days a week.

In the United States in 2010, over 63% of people are overweight or obese.

The percentage of children aged 6-11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 20% in 2008.

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate to intense aerobic activity every week for adults.

The movie showed all the “cheap” processed food that people eat lke snacks and dollar menu items.  They are cheap but the health care down the road is going to be very expensive.  It is much better to eat quality food that may cost a little more but is healthier for you because of less fat and more nutriments.

As Ann has pointed out many times, getting up and get moving to get some exercise is the other part of the solution.

If you want to get motivated, see this movie Weight of the Nation.  You probably already know a lot of this stuff, but the graphics are strong and will surely motivate you to take action.

I think it worked for us.   Today rather than grilling a hamburger we went the the market and came back with the fruits, nuts, and vegetables pictured at the top of this post.   Now that’s yummy!

Weight of the Nation

Boomer Health

Originally posted 2012-05-27 15:06:36.

Dental For Seniors

Good oral hygiene is important to our over all health. According to an article that I read from the Mayo Clinc

Good oral hygiene is important to our over all health.  According to an article that I read from the Mayo Clinic , bacteria in the mouth can contribute to heart disease, Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis and other illnesses.  We can take simple steps that will help prevent bacteria by brushing, flossing, changing our tooth brushes, and regular visits to our dentist.

This brings me to another subject.  What about those that suffer from dental stress and anxiety?  Yes, I admit it.  I fit into that category of baby boomers who suffered from fear due to some very unpleasant experiences in my early years at the dentist office.  I have written blogs about how to over come fear but when I entered a dentist office I could feel my blood pressure rising.  After the trauma associated with heart surgery last year, I chose to avoid any more fear or pain.  As life has it, sometimes this is not possible.

On one of my visits to my medical doctor, I noticed a dental office in O’fallon, Missouri that was next door to my medical doctor.  There was a sign in front that said, “Dr. Logan is accepting new patients.”  With shaking hands, I decided to just step into that office and look around a bit.  I was greeted by a friendly person who I really liked at first glance.  The office was clean and very pretty.  Now most of you that have read my blogs know that I try to be positive and choose to believe in good things.  I took a card and told the nice lady that I would be calling.  I already knew then that my last dentist, prior to my heart attack, stated that I needed a deep cleaning on my teeth.

It took months for me to make that call since I was allowing fear to come before doing what I needed to do for my health.  I looked up the office on face book.  I watched the neat things that they posted rolling through my face book stream.  Finally, I did it!  I called to make that dreaded appointment.  Now with my dental fear, I once again started to panic.  I was very relieved when I received a call from the office on my telephone recorder asking if I would be able to reschedule for a different time.  My head was so grateful that I didn’t bother to call back.  Fear won again!

Then the day came that I saw another nice post on my face book screen from the dental office.  I got a little courage and called.  This was almost a year later.  Can you believe it?  Not only that, the person that answered the phone remembered me.  I started telling her about my heart attack and fear.  She was kind, understanding and encouraging.  Also she made my appointment for the next week with no months of waiting to think about it.

The day arrived.  It was time.  I suited up in my big girl baby boomer pants and just did it.  My hands were sweating, my legs were wobbling but I got there and walked right in.  Again, I was met by a group of people with nice smiles who welcomed me to the office.  Of course I had to fill out that dreaded paper work with a questionnaire.  The last question made me giggle.  It said something like this.  How would you want your teeth to be in twenty-five years.  I drew a smiley face and answered, ” In my mouth.”  After all ,may I remind my readers that I am a sixty-three year old senior baby boomer.  🙂  Another question was, What can we do to help you with dental stress and anxiety?  I answered, “Listen, be compassionate, caring and understanding.”

The staff and dentist gave me everything that I asked for when I answered their questionnaire.  I am proud to say, I had a deep scale cleaning with no pain.  With the knowledge of these find people, they helped me to overcome my dental stress and anxiety.  Here are some of the things that they did for me.

  1. They gave me an appointment right away and did not make me wait in the office.
  2. They were friendly, understanding, considerate, caring, gentle and LISTENED.
  3. The office was clean with a pleasant view out the window with relaxing music in the background.
  4. The equipment was modern and up to date.
  5. They took the time to explain what I needed to know and showed me a nice picture of my teeth.
  6. There was no high sales pitches nor did they put me down in any way or lecture me on good oral hygiene.
  7. They showed RESPECT by focusing on ME.  They took the time to explain the procedures plus answered my questions without rushing.
  8. They had a cost sheet worked up before beginning so that I had no hidden surprises of a bill that I could not pay.  They gave me choices again without high pressure sales pitches.
  9. The staff, showed interest in me as a person, a REAL HUMAN BEING.
  10. Most of all,their kind and caring attitude, created an atmosphere of relaxation, stress reduction and a feeling of well being.

If you suffer from dental stress and anxiety, I encourage you to find the right professional dental people that understand as these people did.  I now have nice clean teeth, a different attitude about dentists, and an over all good feeling about dental care.  Say good bye to dental stress and anxiety by finding great people that understand and help you to overcome dental fear.  Trust your health to those professionals that take the time to treat you with the respect that you deserve.  It is important!  You are important!  It is as important as exercise and good eating habits.  Remember, as boomers we want to enjoy life and can with the help of others that understand.

Originally posted 2012-05-02 19:04:21.

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.

Georgia Golden Olympics | Warner Robins GA

Georgia Golden Olympics
Warner Robins GA

This past week I went down to Warner Robins GA to the Georgia Golden Olympics games to participate in the 1500 meter race walk in hopes of qualifying for the National Senior Games in Minneapolis MN in July 2015.

The Georgia Golden Olympics are held every year in September down in the middle Georgia city of Warner Robins, home of Robins Airbase.

This year those who participate and come in at the top four positions qualify for the National Senior Games which are only held every other year. 2014 is the qualifying year at the state level for the 2015 National Senior Games.

We only spend Thursday PM and left Friday PM but did get to see several events.

On Thursday our first stop was the Warner Robins Senior Activity Center where we registered and saw the list of people who would be competing in my event on Friday. We got a T-shirt and other items in a welcome package.

Next we headed over to Robins High School’s McConnell-Talbert Stadium on nearby S. Davis Drive where a lot of the Track and Field events were being held.

Track and Fields Events

We spent some time watching the high jump where both male and female contests had a friendly but competitive match. It amazed me how high they were jumping.  I saw more than a few ace bandages and ice packs.

High Jumpers at Georgia Golden Olympics

I got to check out the impressive track where I would be race walking the next day.

On Friday morning I got up early and was one of the first ones to arrive at the stadium for Jim Norvill’s race walking seminar.

Jim Norvill Race Walk Clinc

I stayed to watch and photograph the 5K race walk. There were about 11 contestants ranging from seasoned veterans to a new comer or two.

5K Race Walk – Georgia Golden Olympics

These race walkers really put a lot in to the contest which is about 3.1 miles or little over 12 times around the track. Several of the same race walkers would be coming back at 1pm for the 1500 meter race walk that I had signed up for.

Race Walkers pass by Judge Jim Norvill

I stopped by the Senior Activity Center again to check things out and met Ms. Vicki Pilgrim who was directing these games and doing an excellent job keeping track of so many things going on with the events and people.

After picking up my wife Mary Ann, checking out of the Hampton Inn on Watson Blvd and getting a bite to eat,  we headed over to the stadium to watch the 100 meter dash. I ran in to a fellow I had met back in Alpharetta training at the Old Milton High School.  He is 80 years old and had won the 50 meter dash the day before and I watched him win the gold in the 100 meter race too.  He did it faster than I could have and I am only a baby at age 68. He’s the gentleman at the top right in while shirt in the photo below.

100 Meters Race at Georgia Senior Games

Mary Ann’s brother Mike and wife Diane were nice enough to come watch me compete at 1pm in the 1500 race walk. I was uncertain as to how it would be going since I had only been race walking for two months and had hurt my hip a week before.  I did good and came in second in my age group winning the silver and qualifying myself for the National Senior Games. I think I may just make the trip to Minnesota for the National’s next year.

Robert Fowler Silver Medal 1500M Race Walk

While getting my medal engraved back at the senior activity center I stood in line with other medal winners and we shared our excitement and stories.  One lady (pictured below) had won several medals in shot put, discuss, race walking and others and is also planning on going to the nationals.

Medal winner Georgia Golden Olympics

 

“Others won medals in swimming, cycling, golf, pickleball, basketball, table tennis and horseshoes.”

We made the ride back to Atlanta tired but happy that I had won a medal. I would have loved to stay longer and participated in and viewed more of the competitions. Maybe next year I will stay two nights instead of one.

The registration is not open yet for the Nationals but when they do open this Fall, I will be planning my trip. This will be a great incentive for me to continue my race walking hobby and really improve my technique,  speed and endurance.  I plan to enter the 1500 meters and the 5K race walks. They are on two consecutive days so that will work out fine.

I have been to Minneapolis before to attend a conference but my wife never has been there. Attending the Nationals will be a good excuse to have a vacation getaway for us.

For more information on the National’s, visit their web site at National Senior Games Association.  For more information on Race Walking, visit Jim Norvill’s excellent site eRaceWalk.com.

Boomers Participate in Senior Games

1500M medal winners all categories

Originally posted 2014-09-21 22:33:55.