Archive for the ‘Senior Health’ Category
Carlos Sallis, DDS, will hold a “Dentures Seminar” at 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, in the ballroom at the Timbers of Shorewood retirement community, 1100 N. River Road. This is a free event and is open to the public.
Like all other body parts, teeth weaken and decay as people age. Certain medical conditions or prescription medications can also cause oral health issues and accelerate tooth loss.
Nearly one in four people age 65 and over have lost all of their teeth, and approximately 40 percent of seniors wear either a full or partial set of dentures – a removable set of false teeth.
Even though a person may not have real teeth left, regular dental checkups are still necessary because oral disease can spread in areas not easily seen, like gum disease underneath dentures. Mouth diseases, if left untreated, can then spread to other parts of the body.
Maintenance of proper oral care at home is just as important with the use of dentures, if not more so. Real teeth have bacteria fighting elements that resist infections, but dentures do not. Dentures do, however, have microscopic dents and crevices which cannot be cleaned by regular brushing.
Denture-wearers should always:
• Clean and brush every day with toothpaste and a toothbrush specially designed for dentures.
• Soak dentures at night, because they may lose their shape if they dry out.
• Store dentures in a safe place; they are delicate and may easily break.
Although some people wear their first set of dentures for an average of 17 years, it is suggested that they either be replaced or adjusted every five to seven years.
For more than 32 years Dr. Sallis has been practicing dentistry in both Illinois and Wisconsin. He is a general dentist with a special focus in treating geriatric patients with removable dental prosthetics (dentures). He is a graduate of Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, and finished his studies in 1980 at the College of Dentistry at the University of Illinois.
Dr. Sallis is a member of the American Dental Association, Chicago Dental Society, Illinois Dental Society, and is board certified in enteral sedation by the American Dental Association of Anesthesiology.
Formerly the executive dental consultant with GlaxoSmithKline, Inc., and the client relations manager for Milestone Scientific, Inc., Dr. Sallis enjoys trail bicycling, walking, skiing, swimming, range shooting and off-road go-karting in his free time.
The Timbers of Shorewood is a rental retirement community which provides independent and assisted living apartments and a full schedule of activities and services. Residents, whose needs may change, are able to stay in the same place and receive appropriate care.
This event is free and open to the public. For more information, call Shelly Goggins at 815-609-0669.
Flu season can begin as early as October, and last as late as May. For this reason, October or November is the best time to get vaccinated.
Symptoms of the flu may include:
• Fever (usually high)
• Extreme Tiredness
• Dry Cough
• Sore Throat
• Runny or Stuffy Nose
• Muscle Aches
Stomach symptoms like nausea, vomiting and diarrhea may occur, though it is more common in children.
Complications of the flu can include:
• Worsening of chronic medical conditions like asthma, emphysema and heart disease
Colds usually last for about a week. Symptoms of a cold may include:
• Runny nose
• Weakened sense of taste and smell
• Scratchy throat
Cold and flu viruses enter the body through the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose or mouth. Every time you touch your hand to one of these areas you could be infecting yourself. It is important to wash your hands often
The Timbers of Shorewood is a rental retirement community which provides independent and assisted living apartments and a full schedule of activities and services. Furnished apartments are also available for a short-term stay – a weekend, a week, a month or longer.
The program is open to the public and admission is free. For more information or to register, call Shelly Goggins at 815-609-0669.
Robert Hart of the American Association for Wartime Veterans (AAWV) will present a free informational seminar titled, “Aid and Attendance,” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25, at The Timbers of Shorewood, 1100 N. River Rd.
Hart will explain the benefits which are available to qualifying veterans, widowed spouses or disabled adult children.
Once awarded Aid and Attendance or Housebound status, veterans may obtain as much as $1,703 a month, surviving spouses $1,094 a month, and existing couples $2,019 a month. In addition to income, they may qualify for free medications, medical equipment, incontinence supplies, glasses and hearing aids.
Hart will explain eligibility and how to initiate a claim. For example, the claimant’s physician must declare the veteran as housebound and in need of assistance from another individual which may include services offered by assisted living. Also the veteran must have served at least 90 days active duty with one day of the 90 during a war period.
Founded in 2002, AAWV is a privately held community outreach service formed to provide information about the improved pension program to wartime veterans and surviving spouses. To date, approximately $2.6 million a month is being paid in benefits as a result of AAWV’s efforts. There is no charge for AAWV’s services.
The Timbers of Shorewood is a rental retirement community which provides independent and assisted living apartments and a full schedule of activities and services. Residents, whose needs may change, are able to stay in the same place and receive appropriate care.
This seminar is free and open to the public. For more information, call Shelly Goggins at 815-609-0669.
What is Aid and Attendance? A veteran who is determined by VA to be in need of the regular aid and assistance of another person, or a veteran who is permanently housebound, may be entitled to additional compensation or pension payments. A veteran evaluated at 30 % or more disabled is entitled to receive an additional payment for a spouse who is in need of the aid and attendance of another person.
• Discharged from service under other than dishonorable conditions
• Served 90 days or more of active duty with at least 1 day during a period of war
• Monthly income is less than the Aid and Attendance benefit
• Less than $80,000 in countable assets (doesn’t include home, life insurance or prepaid funeral plans)
• Have a diagnosis that requires supportive care
• 65 years of age or older
• Surviving spouse (if married at the time of death)
Periods of Service:
• WWI – 04/16/17 to 11/11/18
• WWII – 12/07/41 to 12/31/46
• Korea – 06/27/50 to 01/31/55
• Vietnam (inside) – 02/28/61 to 05/07/75
• Vietnam (outside) – 05/07/57 to 08/05/64
Hmmm. I misplaced my memory. Everyone “of a certain age” knows the frustration and/or embarrassment of being unable to remember something – names, book titles, where the keys are, etc. Most of this is normal, and certainly it’s not a reason for panic.
According to familydoctor.org, information is stored in different parts of your memory like this:
• Information stored in recent memory may include what you ate for breakfast this morning.
• Information stored in the short-term memory may include the name of a person you met moments ago.
• Information stored in the remote or long-term memory includes things that you stored in your memory years ago, such as memories of childhood.
It is true that a person loses brain cells from the time of young adulthood. The body, too, starts to make less of the chemicals brain cells need to work. The older you are, the more these changes can affect your memory. Also aging may affect memory by changing the way the brain stores information and by making it harder to recall stored information. Short-term and remote memories aren’t usually affected by aging. But recent memory may be affected.
At least half of those over age 65 say that they are more forgetful than they were when they were younger, experiencing “senior moments” about things like where they put things or recalling somebody’s name. Forgetting a friend’s name or not remembering a lunch date is something that most people without dementia do from time to time.
Of course, increasing forgetfulness should be checked out by the doctor. But for the annoying absentmindedness that plagues almost all older adults, remember (ha!) to keep a sense of humor.
Six Great Tips to Boost Memory: (www.seniorsforliving.com )
• Puzzle power: Brain activities like crossword puzzles or Sudoku can help keep the mind clear and focused.
• Lifelong learning: Stimulating mental activities like attending a lecture can aid in memory retention.
• Tea time: Have a cup or two of green tea. Studies have shown that green tea extracts improves cognition and spatial awareness in rats.
• Breathe out: Don’t stress. Some of the most common memory zaps include stress and anxiety. Activities like reading or meditation can help the brain stay clear.
• Social butterfly: Maintain strong social ties through social groups to help preserve memory.
• Get moving: Daily exercise for half an hour a day such as walking or jogging can help improve memory.
You may have no teeth, but you still need to see the dentist. Bummer, right? According to www.seniorsdaily.net, gum care is important – teeth or no teeth – and a dental professional needs to make certain that dentures fit properly. They may need to be relined, and they may no longer fit correctly.
Of course, dentures are the last resort, and every effort should be made to keep permanent teeth as long as possible. Even if you have lost some teeth, a partial denture is preferable to removal of all remaining teeth if those teeth are still in acceptable condition.
A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. Two types of dentures are available – complete and partial dentures. Complete dentures are used when all the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain.
According to www.webmd.com, complete dentures can be either “conventional” or “immediate.” Made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has begun to heal, a conventional denture is ready for placement in the mouth about 8 to 12 weeks after the teeth have been removed.
Unlike conventional dentures, immediate dentures are made in advance and can be positioned as soon as the teeth are removed. As a result, the wearer does not have to be without teeth during the healing period.
However, bones and gums shrink over time, especially during the healing period following tooth removal. Therefore a disadvantage of immediate dentures compared with conventional dentures is that they require more adjustments to fit properly during the healing process and generally should only be considered a temporary solution until conventional dentures can be made.
A removable partial denture or bridge usually consists of replacement teeth attached to a pink or gum-colored plastic base, which is connected by metal framework that holds the denture in place in the mouth. Partial dentures are used when one or more natural teeth remain in the upper or lower jaw. A fixed (permanent) bridge replaces one or more teeth by placing crowns on the teeth on either side of the space and attaching artificial teeth to them. This “bridge” is then cemented into place. Not only does a partial denture fill in the spaces created by missing teeth, it prevents other teeth from changing position. A precision partial denture is removable and has internal attachments rather than clasps that attach to the adjacent crowns. This is a more natural-looking appliance.
Are There Alternatives to Dentures?
Yes, dental implants can be used to support permanently cemented bridges, eliminating the need for a denture. The cost is usually greater, but the implants and bridges more closely resemble the feel of real teeth. Dental implants are becoming the alternative to dentures but not everyone is a candidate for implants. Consult your dentist for advice.
Does Insurance Cover the Cost of Dentures?
Most dental insurance providers cover some or all of the cost of dentures. However, contact your company to find out the specifics of what they will cover.
How Are Dentures Made?
The denture development process takes about three weeks to 1.5 months and several appointments. Once your dentist or prosthodontist (a dentist who specializes in the restoration and replacement of teeth) determines what type of appliance is best for you, the general steps are to:
1. Make a series of impressions of your jaw and take measurements of how your jaws relate to one another and how much space is between them.
2. Create models, wax forms, and/or plastic patterns in the exact shape and position of the denture to be made. You will “try in” this model several times and the denture will be assessed for color, shape, and fit before the final denture is cast.
3. Cast a final denture
4. Adjustments will be made as necessary
A dozen facts about dentures (www.denturehelp.com):
1. Dentures don’t last forever.
2. Even if dentures fit perfectly, you should still see a dental professional regularly.
3. No one has to know you’re wearing dentures.
4. Denture wearers can eat more normally.
5. Denture wearers can speak more clearly.
6. Adhesives can play a role in denture’s fit and comfort.
7. Over-the-counter and prescription medications can affect dentures.
8. Don’t assume regular denture care is too costly.
9. Never try to make your own denture repairs.
10. With planning, denture corrections can often be made in one day.
11. Don’t avoid replacing your denture just because you don’t want to go through another long adjustment period.
12. All dentures are not created equal. If you look for the lowest price, you’ll get what you pay for.
Oh my aching knee… so says someone with arthritis – one of the most prevalent chronic health problems in America. According to arthritis.org, 46 million people suffer from it. That’s one in five adults. That’s a lot.
Arthritis strikes more women than men, and half of those Americans with arthritis don’t think anything can be done to help them. Of course, Baby Boomers are now at prime risk. More than half those affected are under age 65.
Arthritis is the inflammation of one or more joints which results in pain, swelling, stiffness, and limited movement. There are over 100 different types of arthritis.
Arthritis involves the breakdown of cartilage. Cartilage normally protects the joint, allowing for smooth movement. Cartilage also absorbs shock when pressure is placed on the joint, like when a person walks. Without the usual amount of cartilage, the bones rub together, causing pain, swelling (inflammation), and stiffness.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type and is more likely to occur with aging. It may be felt in any joint, but according to Mayo Clinic, (www.mayoclinic.com) the most common affected joints are hands, hips, knees, neck and lower back.
Factors that increase the risk of osteoarthritis include older age, gender, bone deformities, joint injuries, obesity, and certain occupations that involve repetitive stress on a particular joint. Also people with gout, rheumatoid arthritis, Paget’s disease of bone or septic arthritis are at increased risk of developing osteoarthritis.
The bad news is osteoarthritis gradually worsens with time, and no cure exists. But osteoarthritis treatments can relieve pain and help maintain an active lifestyle.
The following are ideas that can help a great deal:
- If you’re experiencing pain or inflammation in your joint, rest it for 12 to 24 hours. Find activities that don’t require repetitive movement. Try taking a 10-minute break every hour.
- With the doctor’s approval, get regular exercise. Stick to gentle exercises, such as walking, biking or swimming. Exercise can increase endurance and strengthen the muscles around the joint, making the joint more stable. Avoid exercising tender, injured or swollen joints. If you feel new joint pain, stop. New pain that lasts more than two hours after you exercise probably means you’ve overdone it.
- Being overweight or obese increases the stress on your weight-bearing joints, such as your knees and your hips. Even a small amount of weight loss can relieve some pressure and reduce your pain. Aim to lose 1 or 2 pounds a week, at most. Most people combine changes in their diet with increased exercise.
- Both heat and cold can relieve pain in your joint. Heat also relieves stiffness and cold can relieve muscle spasms. Soothe a painful joint with heat using a heating pad, hot water bottle or warm bath. Heat should be warm, not hot. Apply heat for 20 minutes several times a day. Cool the pain in your joint with cold treatments such as with ice packs. You can use cold treatments several times a day, but don’t use cold treatments if you have poor circulation or numbness.
- Creams and gels available at the drugstore may provide temporary relief from osteoarthritis pain. Some creams numb the pain by creating a hot or cool sensation. Other creams contain medications, such as aspirin-like compounds, that are absorbed into your skin. Pain creams work best on joints that are close the surface of your skin, such as your knees and fingers.
- Assistive devices can make it easier to go about your day without stressing your painful joint. A cane may take weight off your knee or hip as you walk. Gripping and grabbing tools may make it easier to work in the kitchen if you have osteoarthritis in your fingers. Your doctor or occupational therapist may have ideas about what sorts of assistive devices may be helpful to you. Catalogs and medical supply stores also may be places to look for ideas.
And finally, learn about living your best life with arthritis. Understand the challenges and changes arthritis brings on and how they affect relationships and families. Find practical solutions to make daily activities easier as well as the information you need to deal with health insurance and the cost of care.
The DASH diet is making news and with good reason. It is bringing down the blood pressures of many many people. By following the DASH diet, a person can reduce blood pressure by a few points in just two weeks. Over time, blood pressure could drop by eight to 14 points, and this can make a significant difference in health risks.
According to mayo clinic, DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The plan calls for reduced sodium in the diet and says to eat a variety of foods rich in nutrients that help lower blood pressure such as potassium, calcium and magnesium. In addition, it emphasizes portion size, eating a variety of foods and getting the right amount of nutrients.
This eating plan received the top ranking from an expert panel in US New & World Reports published in June, 2011 (dashdiet.org), and it is endorsed by the American Heart Association, The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (one of the National Institutes of Health, of the US Department of Health and Human Services), and a host of other respected health organizations.
Because the DASH diet is a healthy way of eating, it offers health benefits besides lowering blood pressure. It may offer protection against osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes. And while the DASH diet is not a weight-loss program, many people do lose unwanted pounds because it offers guidance toward healthier meals and snacks.
In a nutshell, the DASH eating plan advocates food choices that are low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and total fat. Fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy foods, whole-grain products, nuts, poultry, and fish are strongly promoted. The diet also includes some fish, poultry and legumes. You can eat red meat, sweets and fats in small amounts.
Adopting the DASH, or any life-prolonging eating plan, requires a commitment to living it, not dabbling in it. The best likelihood of success is making the changeover gradually. According to netplaces.com, the following suggestions are in keeping with the DASH diet:
- Cut back meat portions by a third or half.
- Use more vegetables, pasta, and beans, and cut back meat in one-dish meals like stir-fry or casseroles.
- Have a couple of vegetarian meals each week.
- Add a serving of vegetables to lunch and dinner.
- Make substitutions to get to three fat-free or low-fat dairy servings a day such as skim milk instead of soda or wine.
- Eat fruit for a snack or add it to a meal.
Grains include bread, cereal, rice and pasta. Focus on whole grains. For instance, use brown rice instead of white rice, whole-wheat pasta instead of regular pasta and whole-grain bread instead of white bread. Grains are naturally low in fat, so avoid spreading on butter or adding cream and cheese sauces.
Tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, greens and other vegetables are full of fiber and vitamins. A hearty blend of vegetables served over brown rice or whole-wheat noodles can serve as the main dish for a meal. When buying frozen and canned vegetables, choose those labeled as low sodium or without added salt.
Like vegetables, fruits are packed with fiber, potassium and magnesium and are typically low in fat. Exceptions include avocados and coconuts. Leave on edible peels whenever possible. Citrus fruits and juice, such as grapefruit, can interact with certain medications, so check with the doctor or pharmacist to see if they’re OK.
Choose dairy products that are low-fat or fat-free. Low-fat or fat-free frozen yogurt can help boost the amount of dairy products while offering a sweet treat. Go easy on regular and even fat-free cheeses because they are typically high in sodium.
Don’t make meats a mainstay. Cut back typical meat portions by one-third or one-half and pile on the vegetables instead. Examples of one serving include 1 oz. cooked skinless poultry, seafood or lean meat, 1 egg, or 1 oz. water-packed, no-salt-added canned tuna. Trim away skin and fat from meat and then broil, grill, roast or poach instead of frying. Eat heart-healthy fish, such as salmon, herring and tuna.
The DASH diet provides 30 percent or less of daily calories from fat with a focus on the healthier unsaturated fats. Saturated fat and trans fat are the main dietary culprits in raising cholesterol and increasing the risk of coronary artery disease. Trans fat are found in processed food such as crackers, baked goods and fried items. DASH helps keep daily saturated fat to less than 10 percent of total calories by limiting use of meat, butter, cheese, whole milk, cream and eggs, along with foods made from lard, solid shortenings, and palm and coconut oils.
As for sweets, don’t banish them, but go easy. Choose fat-free or low-fat sweets such as sorbets, fruit ices, jelly beans, hard candy, graham crackers or low-fat cookies.
New research shows that following the DASH diet over time will reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease as well as kidney stones. The benefits of the DASH diet have also been seen in teens with hypertension. The DASH diet truly is a diet for everyone.
Many people set resolutions to “lose weight,” but not to reach a “healthy weight,” and there is a big difference. In order to become healthier, seniors need to know why excess weight is so bad for the human body, what a healthy weight range is, and steps needed to reach a healthy weight.
In terms of overall health, the World Health Organization reports that excess weight and obesity contribute to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and stroke, and certain forms of cancer. In addition, excess weight negatively affects blood pressure and cholesterol and puts increased strain on joints.
Mentally, obesity can lead to low self esteem because of feelings of rejection, social discrimination, unattractiveness, and guilt from a perceived lack of self control. All of these add up to a very high cost to carry excess weight.
What is a healthy weight? According to WebMD.com, one common method for determining a healthy weight range is to use a body mass index (BMI), however, BMI does not take into account how much of your weight is muscle and how much is fat. Another tool is to use waist circumference. For men, waist circumference should not exceed 40 inches and women, unless pregnant, should not exceed 35 inches. There are more accurate tests to determine BMI and waist circumference should not be seen as the gold standard for healthy weight measures, they are helpful for establishing a target weight range.
There is no magic bullet to lose weight. Until science produces effective medications, it always has been and it always will be – eat less and move more. Eating less doesn’t mean volume-wise but calorie-wise. Incorporating more fruits and vegetables is step one. Another idea is to substitute low fat dairy products for full fat and choose leaner cuts of meat. Choose whole grains over refined carbohydrates.
Some foods, while high calorie, have significant health benefits. These include the healthy fats in avocados and nuts as well as the fiber in beans. These foods can be eaten in moderation. Sodium and sugar intake needs to be in moderation, too. Too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure, and too much sugar will cause spikes in blood sugar levels. Also, drink plenty of water.
Physical activity is a key ingredient to reaching and maintaining a healthy weight. The best way is to find things you love doing. Take a walk, ride a bike, or swim laps at a local pool. If dancing is a passion, find a class. The “sneak in exercise” approach includes parking in the furthest spot, take grocery bags out of the car one at a time, walk to the mailbox instead of driving, and pace around the table while talking on the phone. These measures add up.
To end on a humorous note, some apt proverbs:
- Don’t dig your grave with your own knife and fork. ~English Proverb
- Your stomach shouldn’t be a “waist” basket. ~Author Unknown
Dehydration is one of the most frequent causes for hospitalization for seniors. It can occur quickly, often without notice. But most likely the process of mild, chronic dehydration may have taken hold years or decades earlier.
According to Seniorslist.com, an elderly person should drink a minimum of at least six, eight-ounce glasses of water per day. More would be better.
Interestingly, the process of physical dehydration begins in the fetus. It accelerates at birth, childhood and throughout adulthood. A fetus is over 93% water. Dehydration gradually continues into old age when a person’s water content reaches only 60%. Most of this is water lost from the inside of cells.
What is clear is that many elderly simply do not drink enough fluids especially water, and adequate hydration is a chronic problem for many seniors.
Why don’t older adults drink enough?
- A major contributing factor for dehydration in the elderly includes a lowered thirst response. “But I’m not thirsty,” is a common response to being asked to drink more. The thirst sensation decreases with age, so basically, it is not reliable.
- Some medications such as anti-depressants or for high blood pressure are diuretic and may affect a body’s ability to regulate fluid balance.
- Dry mouth becomes something the elderly get used to. However, drinking more water brings back some sensation.
- The perceptions of thirst and hunger come from the same part of the brain. Thirst and hunger could become confused in the minds of many seniors. They drink when they should be eating or vice versa.
- Frail seniors have a harder time getting up to get a drink when they’re thirsty.
- The loss of thirst is the body’s way of dealing with the information that water is not going to be consumed. Years of drinking less water for our body weight leads the mouth-brain connection to minimize the thirst sensation.
- When thirst is perceived, too many elderly settle for a few ounces of water or sugary and/or caffeinated drinks instead of water.
- As we age our bodies lose kidney function and are less able to conserve fluid. This is progressive from around the age of 50, but becomes more acute and noticeable over the age of 70.
- Illness, especially one that causes vomiting and/or diarrhea, also can cause elderly dehydration.
Some of the signs and symptoms of dehydration include dry mouth, fatigue, flushed skin, irritability, anxiety, depressed mood, insomnia, concentration problems, light-headedness or dizziness, darkening of urine, increased weight loss and muscle weakness. Severe dehydration can lead to kidney failure and even death if not recognized and treated.
To prevent dehydration, fluids need to be easily available. Set up a hydration schedule offering fluids every couple of hours. A reminder could include to drink every time urination takes place. Another reminder could be to fill up a bottle of water, place it in the refrigerator with the goal to drink it all by 3 hours before bedtime. The bottle could gradually get bigger as weeks pass.
It is also wise that older adults eat fruits and vegetables that are rich in water such as broccoli, tomatoes, and oranges.
Drink first thing in the morning. Drink two hours after meals. Drink with meals.
Dehydration in seniors can be managed. As people drink more water, some improvements may be experienced immediately. However, it could take weeks for cells to become hydrated, so…
…be patient and keep drinking.
One of the great things about yoga is that it is so adaptable to different populations with various physical abilities and needs. Most seniors are doing what they can to maintain and improve a sense of health and wellness. Many of the 36 million or so Americans who are 65 or older (stat provided by: about.com) are turning to yoga to keep them stay agile and in shape.
Although the trend is to become more sedentary, retirement is actually the perfect time to pick up healthy habits that will promote longevity. Yoga is well-suited for seniors, because it is low-impact, and risk of injury is minimal because the discipline does not require any contact with anyone or anything. In addition, yoga’s weight-bearing postures help build or maintain lean muscle mass, and its focus on balance develops coordination.
Yoga also helps combat many of the health conditions that come with age such as high blood pressure, arthritis and incontinence, because it keeps the body toned, strong and flexible..
An added benefit (and an important one) is the sense of community seniors find at yoga classes. As many elders live in isolation, the group setting of a yoga class offers seniors a way to connect.
According to dietsinreview.com, there are many yoga postures that can be safely performed by seniors. Such postures have both a restorative and therapeutic benefit to them. Of course, adaptations and adjustments should be made according to the person’s health status and their physical ability.
- Easy Pose (Sukhasana): The simple act of sitting down and breathing deeply and fully has an enormous capacity to tone the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems while also lengthening the spine, resting the mind, and cultivating a sense of peace. The beginner can do this posture for a minimum of 10 breaths and gradually work up to maintaining this posture for five to 10 minutes.
- Cat Pose (Bidalasana): This grounding posture helps tone the arm muscles while also strengthening the core and alleviating tightness in the low and upper back and neck. The beginner can do this posture for a minimum of five breath cycles and gradually work their way to doing more.
Older adults should get clearance from their doctor before starting a yoga practice. This is especially relevant for those who take medications or have a prior or current history of cardiovascular or pulmonary conditions. In addition, individuals should also seek out classes specifically designed for seniors, as they will take into account the unique health issues affecting them
Yoga classes especially for seniors are becoming increasingly available: check local senior centers, retirement communities, religious organizations and even health clubs.