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Helen Beamer

Recent Posts

Physical Function, Food and Falls

Posted by Helen Beamer on September 5, 2018 at 11:10 AM

You’ve likely heard the saying, “You are what you eat.” Research from Brigham and Women’s Hospital takes that concept further by supporting the notion, “You become what you eat.” The study, which compared diet quality and physical function in over 50,000 women, found that those who maintained a healthy diet over the years were less likely to develop problems with physical function as they grew older.

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Topics: Aging, Fall Prevention, Healthy Living

Making the Grade: The Link Between Elementary School Performance and Dementia

Posted by Helen Beamer on September 5, 2018 at 9:15 AM

The new school year is well underway and the first report cards will be out soon. Most children started off to elementary school with new backpacks, shiny three-ring binders and pencils sharpened in hopes of academic success. Parents also work to promote good learning, with the understanding that their children’s school performance can influence future co-curricular activities, college choices and vocation.

It turns out that those elementary grades may carry more weight than most parents realize. Some recent research suggests that how well kids do in school may be an indication of how their brains will function as they grow old.

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Topics: Alzheimer's and Dementia

Reaching Out to Older Adults: How a Simple Conversation Can Be a Life Line

Posted by Helen Beamer on August 3, 2018 at 10:30 AM

Sometimes we avoid the most important conversations we should have with older adults. We think our deliberate silence may prevent hurt feelings, angry outbursts or uncomfortable, awkward moments. However, keeping quiet may pose serious risks to their health and safety.

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Topics: Aging, Healthy Living

3 Effective Ways to Talk to Your Loved One About In-Home Care

Posted by Helen Beamer on August 3, 2018 at 9:45 AM

At times, we all need a little extra help. This is especially true for those who are full-time family caregivers. Perhaps you’re considering hiring an in-home care professional but are not sure what steps to take. You may feel hesitant about setting up in-home care because your loved one is reluctant to receive help from anyone besides yourself.

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9 Ways to Prevent Delirium in Older Adults

Posted by Helen Beamer on July 31, 2018 at 8:00 AM

Older adults are at increased risk for delirium, a serious medical condition with sudden onset that causes fluctuating changes in thinking and behavior. Infections, dehydration, medication effects, poor sleep, surgery and hospitalization are some factors that can lead to delirium. Delirium is a medical emergency.

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Topics: Aging, Healthy Living

Senior Safety in the Home: 8 Things to Check

Posted by Helen Beamer on July 2, 2018 at 2:25 PM

Home should be a place of comfort and safety. However, as time passes, those familiar surroundings may pose safety concerns for elderly people. Due to increasing age, older adults see and hear less clearly, their balance is less steady, and their reaction times are slower. Household and personal tasks that were once safe and easy to complete can become difficult and even dangerous.

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Topics: Fall Prevention, Safety

Intergenerational Summer Fun: 7 Activities for the Kid in All of Us

Posted by Helen Beamer on July 2, 2018 at 2:00 PM

Summer days bring out the child in each of us. Whether you are young or old, or somewhere in-between, the hot days of summer can be filled with laughter, play and happy times together.

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Topics: Activities and Lifestyle

Normal Age-Related Forgetfulness

Posted by Helen Beamer on June 27, 2018 at 8:00 AM

You want to do some shopping – but you can’t seem to find your keys. After a few minutes of frantic searching, you spot them on the kitchen counter, next to a pile of junk mail. “Now I remember,” you say, “That’s right where I put them yesterday when I brought in the mail.”
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Topics: Aging, Alzheimer's and Dementia

Smoking and COPD: Living Life One Breath at a Time

Posted by Helen Beamer on June 6, 2018 at 8:00 AM

I love to watch black and white movies from the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s. However, a darker side of those entertaining musicals, dramas and screwball comedies is the way smoking features in the storyline.

That depiction of smoking was accurate for the time. According to a Gallup poll, about 45 percent of U.S. adults smoked cigarettes, cigars or pipes in 1954. Nowadays, people are more aware of the health risks of smoking. Recent statistics from the CDC indicate about 15.5 percent of adults smoke cigarettes.

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Topics: Aging, Healthy Living

Family Caregiving: How to Manage the Costs

Posted by Helen Beamer on April 25, 2018 at 8:00 AM

Caregiving for a family member is like taking steps into the ocean. At first, the water playfully splashes against your toes – it’s a quick errand or medical appointment with your loved one. Then the waves come with greater force and urgency – your loved one needs daily reminders for medications or has a fall and breaks a hip. Before you know it, the water is nearly up to your head – your loved one has advanced Alzheimer’s or another chronic health condition requiring around-the-clock care.

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Topics: Home Care Planning, Caregiving, Finances

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