With age comes wisdom, and unfortunately for many, health concerns.
We want our grandparents to be around as long as possible, and to be as healthy as possible. It could be helpful to be aware of some health issues that especially affect the elderly so you can help them seek medical treatment, if needed.
- Arthritis is one of the top issues people over 65 face; by maintaining some level of activity, depression can be avoided and further joint stiffening can be lessened
- Depression can lower immunity and lessen the ability to fight infections
- Chronic Respiratory Illness such as asthma, chronic bronchitis or emphysema make people more vulnerable to infection, and pneumonia
- Flu/Pneumonia are more serious in the elderly because they are less able to fight it
- Osteoporosis puts the elderly at a higher risk for fractures or broken bones
- Falls occur mostly at home, from hazards like area rugs and slippery bathroom floors
- High Blood Pressure and high cholesterol, if left unchecked, can lead to heart disease
- Obesity is a health risk factor that can contribute heart disease, diabetes, and cancer
- Diabetes if left unchecked, can lead to heart disease, sight loss and amputation of extremities
- Shingles is caused by the chickenpox virus and occurs in one out of three people over the age of 60. Medications are available that can speed up healing and slow down the progress of symptoms, especially if administered within the first 3 days of having symptoms
New England Urgent Care has the medical expertise and equipment to treat patients of any ages, from infants to the elderly. If your senior loved one has a health concern, stop in. No appointment is needed.
Each year, the National Grandparents Day occurs on the first Sunday after Labor Day. So this year, it falls on Sunday, September 8th. If you are fortunate enough to have your grandparents, then celebrate National Grand Parents Day with them!
In honor of grandparents everywhere, New England Urgent Care is offering FREE blood pressure checks during September and October.
Here are a few ways you can share your love and appreciation:
- Interview your grandparent — Ask them to share important events or stories from their past or how they grew up. It will help you understand their perspective!
- Cook or bake for your grandparents — If you’ve enjoyed recipes passed down from generation to generation, return the favor by making one of your favorites for them or better yet — with them.
Visit a nursing home — If your grandparents are no longer live, consider celebrating with the residents at a nursing home or assisted living. They’ll appreciate the time you spend with them and your gesture of kindness will make their day!
Related Article: 10 Health Concerns for Grandparents
There are just some people mosquitoes prefer to bite more than others.
Sadly, I’m one of them.
In fact, 1 out of 10 people are “mosquito magnets.” Researchers discovered 85% is due to genetics, (thanks, mom). But, there are other factors to consider in the mosquito equation.
Studies have shown mosquitoes are attracted to people who produce high amounts of carbon dioxide. It’s like their version of catnip. In fact, mosquitoes can smell a “meal” up to 3/10 of a mile away! They tend to prefer adults and pregnant women because they emit more carbon dioxide than children. They also like heat and movement. You breathe heavier when you exert yourself, thereby emitting more appealing carbon dioxide.
Although a mosquito bite can make an annoying, itchy bump, it can also cause a serious illness like West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), and Zika.
If you are a mosquito magnet like me, your best defense is to protect yourself.
- DEET has proven to be safe and effective since 1957. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that low concentrations of DEET (10% or less) are safe to use on infants over 2 months old.*
- Picaridin is an effective alternative to DEET. It is odorless and safe for children over 2 months old.
- Natural alternatives such as lemon eucalyptus products like Repel work, too, (and safe for children older than 3 years), but they do not work quite as well as the recommended concentrations of DEET or Picardin.
- Clothing treated the chemical insecticide permethrin works, too — especially for people who spend a lot of time outdoors or in the woods.
You can also try mosquito traps to attract and kill female mosquitoes, which are the ones that bite. There are many products on the market that use carbon dioxide, heat and/or moisture to draw and kill the females, which will lessen breeding and can significantly lower the overall mosquito population. (I personally use a Skeeter Vac for my yard).
- Avoid marshy, swampy areas
- Wear light-colored, long sleeve clothing if you’re going to be outside at dawn or dusk
- Eliminate breeding ground opportunities around your home by removing any standing water in garbage pails, plastic toys, or clogged gutters. (FYI: Birdbaths are notorious for breeding mosquitoes).
If you or your child exhibits flu-like symptoms for an extended period of time, stop in at any New England Urgent Care to be evaluated.
Source: Insect Bites and Safety Tips American Academy of Pediatrics
Dehydration can turn dangerous quickly, especially in children and the elderly. Even though people are most susceptible during summer months, dehydration can happen at any time of the year, to anyone, and no matter the age.
What is dehydration?
Your body needs a certain amount of fluids to function normally. Dehydration happens when you use or lose more fluid than you take in. If you don’t replenish the fluids you lose, you will become dehydrated.
Severe diarrhea and vomiting are the two most common causes of dehydration in young children. Older adults, however, may have minor illnesses, conditions or take medications that increase their risk of dehydration.
Dehydration is not limited to the very young or very old. Anyone who doesn’t drink enough water — especially when exercising or being outdoors for long periods of time in hot weather — can become dehydrated.
Mild to moderate dehydration can be reversed by drinking more fluids, but severe dehydration requires immediate medical treatment.
Symptoms of dehydration
You may not know if you are dehydrated! In fact, many people don’t even feel thirsty until they already are dehydrated.
Symptoms may differ depending on age. Here are some signs to look for…
Infants and young children
- Dry mouth and tongue
- No tears when crying
- No wet diapers for three hours
- Sunken eyes, cheeks
- Sunken soft spot on top of skull
- Sluggishness or crankiness
- Extreme thirst
- Infrequent urination
- Dark-colored urine
When to seek treatment
- Diarrhea that lasts for 24 hours or more
- Behavior that is irritable or disoriented and you feel more sleepy or less active than usual
- Can’t keep down fluids
- If you suspect that you have heat exhaustion or heat stroke
Did you know? New England Urgent Care can treat dehydration and administer IV fluids, if needed.
Complications of dehydration
Dehydration can be a serious matter. If left untreated, it can lead to:
- Heat cramps, heat exhaustion or potentially life-threatening heatstroke
- Kidney problems
- Hypovolemic shock also known as low blood volume. Which causes a drop in blood pressure and a drop in the amount of oxygen in your body.
Source: Mayo Clinic
Measles Outbreak: What You Should Know
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1,109 individual cases of measles have been confirmed in 28 states since the beginning of 2019, an increase of 737 cases from 2018.* On January 28, 2919, the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) announced that it has confirmed a case of measles in a New Haven County adult, the first confirmed case this year in the state.**
The CDC reports:
- The majority of people who contracted measles were not vaccinated
- About 1 in 4 people in the U.S. who get measles will be hospitalized
- 1 out of every 1,000 people with measles will develop brain swelling, which could lead to brain damage
- 1 or 2 out of 1,000 people with measles will die, even with the best care
Measles symptoms usually start with a fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat and followed by a rash that spreads over the body. Measles is a highly contagious, preventable disease that spreads through the air by coughing and sneezing.
Measles can cause serious health complications, especially in children younger than five years old. There is no way to tell in advance the severity of the symptoms your child will experience.
Before walking into an urgent care center, ER or a doctor’s office, contact them first to describe your symptoms so that they can tell you what to do next if you think you may have the measles. Special arrangements can be made to evaluate you, if needed, without putting other patients and medical staff at risk.
The best protection against measles is measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, which provides long-lasting protection against all strains. Your primary care provider can administer the appropriate vaccine for your family. If you do not have a primary care provider, contact New England Primary Care at 860 744-2244.
* Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
** Connecticut Department of Public Health