Falls are one of the biggest obstacles when it comes to healthy senior living. An estimated one-third of adults 65 and older experience a fall each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and it is the leading cause of injury-related death among the senior population. In addition to taking proactive steps to prevent falls, it's also important for health care providers to respond quickly if they do happen, and new technology from the University of Utah may help them do just that.
Researchers from the Salt Lake City school developed a series of wireless sensors that alert caregivers to the fact that their parents or grandparents have experienced a fall. The process works by monitoring any disturbances between two sensors placed on the opposite side of the room. Brad Mager, an electrical engineer and leader of the study, is confident the findings could have a significant impact on senior health.
"With this detection system, a person's location in a room or building can be pinpointed with high accuracy, eliminating the need to wear a device," Mager said. "This technology can also indicate whether a person is standing up or lying down."
There are a number of ways for seniors to reduce their risk of falling, but one of the best is for them to stay physically active. According to the Mayo Clinic, regular exercise can improve flexibility, balance and coordination, all of which are crucial to preventing falls.
By this point in the year, most seniors should have gotten the flu vaccination to protect themselves against this season's particularly virulent strain of the disease. However, even those who have gotten the shot are still not 100 percent immune to the illness, and other older adults may not have had the time or resources to get to a clinic. In such cases, individuals must be prepared to take good care of themselves should they fall ill. Here are some tips for seniors who come down with the flu this winter:
Alzheimer's disease is an illness that changes over time. The early stages may be almost identical to normal age-related memory loss, while later stages often require the full-time assistance of a professional or family caregiver. A new report from the Alzheimer's Society, which is based in the U.K., finds that many people who are living with Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia often feel trapped in their own homes. Researchers say the report underscores the necessity of developing programs and resources to help make communities welcoming and comfortable for individuals who have been diagnosed with dementia.
There has been a considerable amount of discussion about the growing senior population. By 2050, the number of adults 65 and older in the U.S. will reach more than 72 million and that trend will extend around the world. Given the attention paid to seniors' increasing numbers, it would seem to reason that communities around the globe would be preparing, but a recent study found that many countries may be ill-prepared for the influx of older adults.
New research from the University of Wisconsin-Madison may indicate the possibility of a cure for the common cold in the near future. According to the Wisconsin State Journal, a model of the virus created by university scientists helps identify differences between various rhinovirus strains that could be beneficial in designing preventative drugs. Currently, the National Institutes of Health estimate that around 1 billion people in the U.S. per year contract colds, with young children and people in retirement living being particularly prone to complications. Until a medication can be produced and tested, the NIH recommends the following methods to avoid or remedy cold symptoms: