Managing Medications

Prescribed medications come in several forms and are taken in different ways. Even though they are meant to improve health, taking medications the wrong way can be dangerous. It is important to use medications as directed by your health care provider.

Here are six ways to help you better manage your medicine(s).

Make sure your doctor knows all the medications you’re taking and if you have any allergies.Tell your doctor if you are taking vitamins and/or herbal supplements.Read the label on each medication you are taking to learn the side effects and how to properly administer the medication.Have a routine for taking your medications. Consider using a weekly pill box to help you stay on track.If you have trouble opening your medications, talk to your pharmacist about bottles that are easier to open.Keep all your medications in a safe and secure place. 

Reducing Your Risk of Memory Loss

Forgetting things from time to time is normal, but unusual forgetfulness that gets worse over time can be a more serious matter. Memory loss can be caused by medications, emotional disorders, injury or illness. If you’re experiencing memory loss, see your health care provider to determine a cause. 
In the meantime, here are some things you can do to help reduce the risk of developing memory problems: Lower your cholesterol and blood pressure. Don’t smoke or abuse alcohol.Get regular exercise. Physical activity at a moderate-intensity may help maintain blood flow to the brain and improve memory.Maintain healthy eating habits. Eating more green leafy vegetables and less saturated fats has been shown to help brain function. A serving of vegetables is considered a cup of raw vegetables or two cups of leafy greens.Reduce stress by maintaining social interactions.Keep your brain active. Challenge your brain with activities like reading, writing or learning a new skill.

Eating for a Healthy Heart

It may be tough to change your eating habits, but your life could depend on it! A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy proteins can lower your risk for developing heart disease. Dump foods with added sugar, calories and unhealthy fats.

Try these simple guidelines when preparing heart-healthy meals:
Control portion sizes using a smaller plate or bowl.Eat at least 4.5 cups of fruits and vegetables a day, including a variety of dark-green, red, and orange vegetables, beans and peas.Eat seafood (including oily fish) in place of some meat and poultry.Eat whole grains—the equivalent of at least three, 1-ounce servings a day.Use oils to replace solid fats.Use fat-free or low-fat versions of dairy products.

Stay at Your Peak!

Taking care of your health should be a priority at any age, but as we get older, maintaining health and function can be a challenge. Unfortunately, there’s no magic pill or quick fix to healthy aging. Lifestyle is key! No matter what your age, you can stay at your peak by following these tips!

1. Get moving. Exercise regularly to maintain a healthy body and brain. Try taking a walk with a friend, going to a zumba class or go on a bike ride to stay active.

2. Stay social! Take a class, volunteer, play games, see old friends and make new ones. Find new interests or try something that you’ve always wanted to do!

3. Add some spice to your life! Add herbs and spices to your meals if medications dull your taste buds. Seasoning can make a huge difference in how you enjoy your meals.

4. Stay balanced. Practice yoga or tai chi regularly to improve agility and prevent falls. Talk to your doctor about good stretches and exercises for you to do daily for balance.

5. Don’t forget! If you’re havin…

Bounce Back from Emotional Exhaustion

Sometimes exhaustion isn't about being physically tired or in need of an emotional pick-me-up. You might experience times when you are just done for a minute. Coping with emotional exhaustion is a combination of recognizing it as natural and looking for specific ways to ease these feelings so you can eventually shift out of them.
Increase your self-care. Has your self-care routine been off lately? Lean into it now and practice healthy discipline. Even if you don't think it will help, go through the motions—because it will help! Take your supplements, eat cleaner, do some light exercise. Connect with your body, that sacred container for your soul. Temporarily take some responsibilities off your plate. What would make you feel better right now, and is something simple and actionable? Can you take a mental health day from work and go sit in the park? Ask someone else to watch your toddler for the afternoon and write at your favorite bookstore cafe? Put off a household chore unti…

Caring for Caregivers

Caregivers typically provide assistance to someone who has a chronic illness or disabling condition. Whether a family member with special needs is a child or an adult, combining personal, caregiving and everyday needs can be challenging. Use these tips to help you find a way to manage caregiving on a daily basis.
Be informed. Take time to learn about your family member’s condition and special needs requirements. Talk to health care providers and other professionals who work with families with special needs. Understand the needs of you and your family, and work together to make good choices about housing, schools, health services and more.Get support. It’s important to remember that even when you feel isolated, you are not alone. Join a local or online support group. Search for local and national groups that provide services, recreation and information for families with special needs. Find out about local, state, federal or other programs that may be available.Be an advocate. Ask quest…

Make Mealtimes Meaningful

Eating dinner together as a family is not just about the food; it’s about the connection. Spending time together builds healthy families and healthy kids. Here are a few tips for making mealtime memorable!
Keep a question jar. Place a container on the dinner table with blank slips of paper, and whenever you think of a cool question, write it down and toss it in. “What’s something you can do better than your parents?” “If there were a holiday named after you, how would people celebrate it?” Once a week, use some of the questions in the basket to spark conversations at dinner.Shake it up. Every so often, have a wacky family dinner night. Eat with the big serving utensils or use serving platters instead of plates! You could even serve dinner as a picnic, outside on a blanket or have an indoor picnic in the living room or playroom.Have a reading dinner. Choose a book and read aloud while you eat. If your kids are old enough, they can take a turn.Enjoy special food outings. Have a regular,…