Stay hydrated

Some advice about hydration as the summer heats up.

Our member, Callie Wight, R.N., offers this advice about hydration as the summer heats up. This information originally appeared in the Idyllwild Town Crier on May 16, 2018.

Begin quoteDehydration is common and a very serious condition in older adults (64 years and older). Maintaining the body’s fluid balance is critical to healthy aging. Dehydration when not adequately treated can be fatal; it’s associated with serious effects like poor mental functioning, blood clots, infectious diseases, kidney stones, and severe constipation. Dehydration should be prevented whenever possible; properly diagnosed and treated when present.

As we age, there is a decrease in overall body hydration (the absolute amount of water in the body). In addition, kidney function and the sensation of thirst decline in older adults. Taken together, these account for the prevalence of dehydration. (Note: if you are thirsty you are already dehydrated).

With increasing age, a substantial number of older adults drinks less than 1 quart of fluid per day. The lower our body weight and overall body hydration, the sooner the loss of even a small amount of body water will cause dehydration. Environmental and disease-related risk factors play a substantial role among older adults. For instance, even a viral infection with its high fevers, vomiting and diarrhea can dehydrate.

The most important risk factors for dehydration were identified in a large study on a nursing home population: Being over 85 years old, female, having five or more chronic diseases, taking five or more kinds of medication, and being bedridden. Being dependent on others for care, and therefore water intake, can increase the risk of dehydration. Since much fluid is taken with meals, eating “like a bird” may lead to lesser intakes of water than is desirable.

Diagnosing dehydration in the older population isn’t straightforward. Classical signs such as the time it takes skin to rebound when pinched (recoil), increased thirst, and drops in blood pressure upon standing up are not reliable in older adults. At the same time, dehydration often causes symptoms associated with several other conditions in the elderly; symptoms like confusion, constipation, fever or falls. This all muddies the diagnostic waters.

However, good news, we can self-manage. When older adults know that they should not trust to thirst to signal dehydration (if you’re thirsty you’re already dehydrated), but drink water because it is healthy, their intake increases above the absolute minimum intake of 57 ½ fluid ounces of water per day.

For calculating the minimum amount of fluid per day, an easy method is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water daily. Remember, that’s merely a minimum. Be sure to increase intake by many ounces in pregnancy/breastfeeding, hot weather, dry or humid climates, high altitudes and physical activity.

Caffeine leeches water from your body, so avoid it in sodas, coffee and even teas. (Black and green teas both contain caffeine.) Alcoholic drinks as well as fluids with high protein intake also leech body water.

Reminders to yourself, friends, loved ones to drink water plus keeping water visibly handy during the day can help. Don’t underestimate dehydration!End quoted material

See also:

CA DMV Now Issuing REAL IDs — You’ll Need It By 2020

By 2020, anyone who plans to travel domestically will need a REAL ID.

This post originally appeared in the Palm Desert Patch on January 22, 2018

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CALIFORNIA — The Department of Motor Vehicles began issuing REAL IDs on Monday. The identification cards comply with the federal Department of Homeland Security’s new requirements for traveling. The REAL ID card has a special marking in the upper right hand corner. The marking is of the California grizzly bear with a star, the DMV said.

Beginning 2020, anyone looking to travel domestically will need a REAL ID card with the exception of those under the age of 18. According to the DMV, you do not need a REAL ID to drive, apply or receive federal benefits, enter a federal facility, visit a hospital or receive life-saving services.

To apply for a REAL ID, you can make an appointment or walk into any DMV office. You will need proof of identity, proof of a social security number and a California residency document. For more information, go to REALID.dmv.ca.gov.

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Image: The Palm Desert Patch via the CA DMV

Binding and Loosing

Let us follow Jesus in offering forgiveness.

Breaking Free

Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 18:18

Set Free (via Brother Give Us a Word)
Jesus’ unbinding is understood metaphorically as the experience of forgiveness, of being set free from a prison of our own past: things done or left undone, said or left unsaid, by others to us or by us ourselves.
-Br. Curtis Almquist, SSJE

September is National Preparedness Month

Feeling prepared for a situation – be it a job interview, a new baby or a sudden disaster – not only helps us experience less fear and anxiety, but can actually improve how things go. The three most important things you can do to prepare for a disaster are to make a plan, be informed and get a kit.

2017 National Preparedness Month

As our own Episcopal Relief & Development Fund (ERD) works to respond, recover, and rebuild with local partners after Hurricane Harvey, so, too, do they encourage us to be prepared.

Visit the ERD Page US Disaster Program Preparedness Resources. Once there, follow up by evaluating and improving your preparedness for disasters of all kinds.

Resources for Seniors in Riverside County, CA

We’ve updated our Resource List for Seniors and Caregivers. Our list begins with the Riverside County Office on Aging.

Precious Elder Ministry of St. Hugh's

We’ve updated our Resource List for Seniors and Caregivers. The resources listed are within driving distance of Idyllwild and our Mountain Communities.

View or Download our Resouce List updated 1 September 2017

New heart treatment is biggest breakthrough since statins, scientists say

A report in the Guardian about research, on heart health and anti-inflammatory treatment, conducted over the last 4 years in the US.

US researchers find heart attack survivors given anti-inflammatory injections have fewer future episodes and lower cancer risk

Source: New heart treatment is biggest breakthrough since statins, scientists say | Science | The Guardian

Thyroid Cancer is the Fastest-Growing Cancer in America

In seeking to keep older Americans healthy and well, the AARP regularly posts information and suggestions for each of us to consider. Here is a recent article about Thyroid Cancer.

 

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Originally posted by Cheryl Bond-Nelms, on AARP, July 5, 2017.

As with all articles expressing facts and/or opinions about health and wellness: nothing in the sharing of this article is meant to be medical advice. Please consult your own healthcare provider as you monitor and/or research your own health needs.

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Nearly three out of four cases of thyroid cancer are found in women.

Although the death rate from cancer in America is down 25 percent since 1991, there is one type of cancer rapidly increasing in the U.S. According to the American Cancer Society, the chance of being diagnosed with thyroid cancer has tripled over the last three decades, making it the fastest-growing cancer.The thyroid is a gland located in the front of the neck, shaped like a butterfly. It produces hormones that enter the bloodstream and affect the metabolism, heart, brain, muscles and liver, and keep the body functioning properly and effectively.The estimates for cases of thyroid cancer in America for 2017 have increased, and rates are higher in women than men, according to these figures published on cancer.org.

  • In 2017, there will be an estimated 56,870 new cases of thyroid cancer  — 42,470 in women and 14,400 in men.
  • An estimated 2,010 deaths will result from thyroid cancer  — 1,090 in women and 920 in men.

Women account for nearly three-quarters of thyroid cancer cases. The exact cause of most thyroid cancers is unknown. Research has concluded that better imaging technology has increased the number of thyroid cancer cases diagnosed. “Much of this rise appears to be the result of the increased use of thyroid ultrasound, which can detect small thyroid nodules that might not otherwise have been found in the past,” the American Cancer Society says.What are the signs or symptoms related to thyroid cancer? The American Cancer Society lists the following on cancer.org:

  • lump in the neck, sometimes growing quickly
  • Swelling in the neck
  • Pain in the front of the neck, sometimes going up to the ears
  • Hoarseness or other voice changes that do not go away
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Trouble breathing
  • A constant cough that is not due to a cold

Talk with your doctor immediately if you have any of the signs or symptoms associated with thyroid cancer. Noncancerous conditions or even other cancers can also cause many of the symptoms.How can you protect yourself?Experts say most people found to have thyroid cancer have no known risk factors, and so emphasize that most cases can not be prevented. Professionals suggest regular self-exams to catch thyroid changes in the earliest stages as one of the best means of protection.Here are five steps to performing a self-exam from thyroidawareness.com:

  1. Hold a mirror in your hand, focusing on the lower front area of your neck, above the collarbones and below the voice box (larynx).
  2. While focusing on this area in the mirror, tip your head back.
  3. Take a drink of water and swallow.
  4. As you swallow, look at your neck. Check for any bulges or protrusions in this area when you swallow. Reminder: Don’t confuse the Adam’s apple with the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is located farther down the neck, closer to the collarbone. You may want to repeat this process several times.
  5. If you see any bulges or protrusions in this area, see your physician. You may have an enlarged thyroid gland or a thyroid nodule that should be checked to determine whether further evaluation is needed.

Health professionals estimate that 15 million Americans have undiagnosed thyroid problems. The good news is that the survival rate of thyroid cancer patients is higher than for most other cancers. Early detection of thyroid cancer can open up more treatment options. You can also ask your doctor to check your thyroid health with a thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) test, a blood test that can determine whether the gland is functioning normally.

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