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  • Benefits of Reading for Seniors

    Reading has always been a way of enriching your mind and escaping from the monotony of everyday life—seniors can benefit a lot by adding a few more books to their monthly rotation. There are multiple benefits that reading has on seniors:

    EntertainmentSeniors can benefit a lot by adding a few more books to their monthly rotation.

    The most important reason anyone reads is to be entertained—reading lets you discover new worlds, new characters, and new opinions all from the comfort of your favorite armchair. The amount of truly good TV shows is limited these days and most senior citizens don’t prefer spending hours and hours staring at the television. Picking up a book can be a great source of entertainment and new information for people of all ages, especially seniors.

    Community

    Book clubs are one of the best ways to meet new people, so if you live in a retirement community, try to join a book club. It will most likely be ladies and gentlemen snacking and chatting about their lives, rather than an in-depth discussion of the book, so no need to stress or worry. Grandkids can make great book club partners too, re-reading the classics with your grandkids as they read them in school can be very meaningful since you are experiencing them at a different phase in your life. You can also bond with your grandchildren as you read together.

    Stress Reduction

    Senior citizens don’t exactly have stress-free lives, with rising healthcare costs and a lot of changes in their day to day lives when it comes time to retire. According to Synergy Home Care, reading can reduce stress by absorbing your mind and distracting you from your worry.

    Mental Stimulation

    As we age, our memories and our minds aren’t as sharp as they used to be. However, reading frequently can actually help keep your memory and mind sharp. Home Care Assistance says that some research indicates that reading can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s and slow memory loss.

    To help make your life better and more comfortable, browse the products we offer at BEK. Call us today at 915-599-1129 if you have any questions because our concern is simply you and we strive to meet all of your needs!

  • Financial Issues Seniors Face

    Financial Issues Seniors FaceAdjusting to life as a senior citizen can be tricky and it definitely comes with challenges. Your health is likely not what it used to be and many seniors are transitioning into retirement.

    Aging is often a big adjustment, especially when it comes to finances.

    There are several different financial issues that many seniors face. Becoming aware of them can often help you avoid them or at least understand how to manage them.

    Retirement Income

    The first, and most obvious challenge for seniors, is financial issues upon retiring. It can be hard to estimate exactly how much money you’ll need to spend during your retirement. Struggling to manage money after retiring can lead to serious issues such as defaulted mortgage payments. Speak to a financial advisor about your assets as you near retirement and decide the steps you’ll need to take before and during retirement to maintain financial stability.

    Debt Management

    Many senior citizens are facing more debt than generations ago, and it can be difficult to understand how to handle debt, especially when there are so many different forms of debt. If you have debt when you retire, talk to a credit counselor. They can help you create a budget so you can stay on top of your payments and enjoy retirement.

    Identity Theft

    Scams and identity theft also plague senior citizens these days. With technology constantly advancing, many people solicit money digitally, aiming the crimes towards senior citizens. Make sure that you keep an eye on your credit cards and credit score, and report any unusual activity. If you start to get strange phone calls claiming to need financial information, hang up and call your bank directly. If you don’t feel confident enough to manage your own finances, allow someone you trust to do so.

    For all of the home medical equipment that you might need as you age, visit BEK Medical.

  • Common Senior Citizen Illnesses

    Common Senior Citizen IllnessesSeniors are living longer and longer thanks to modern medicine.

    As seniors age, it’s not uncommon to develop any of a range of chronic conditions or illnesses.

    If a senior is suffering from any of these ailments, it’s important to get a diagnosis and proper treatment. Seniors tend to be more vulnerable to certain conditions as they age.

    Here are handful of common senior citizen illnesses and conditions to look out for:

    • Alzheimer’s Disease: According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s Disease is “a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior.” This type of cognitive impairment can not only impact the senior’s mental health, but overall health, which can lead to death. In fact, 1 in 3 seniors dies with Alzheimer's or another dementia, according to the Alzheimer's Association.

    • Arthritis: You are more likely to get arthritis, or joint stiffness, as you get older. About 50 percent of U.S. seniors, aged 65 or older, reported that they’ve been diagnosed with arthritis between the years of 2013 and 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.
    • Cancer: Cancer is one of the most common chronic conditions that seniors, aged 65 or older, face. In fact, the CDC has designated it the second leading cause of death of seniors. Regular checkups and screenings are key to helping catch cancer early in order to treat it more effectively.
    • Depression: In today’s society, mental health disorders are sometimes not held with the same weight as medical conditions. However, depression is a very real and prominent condition affecting seniors. It’s not surprising that everything that comes with aging can get you down, but it’s critical to get this condition treated as depression can lead to a lower immunity.
    • Heart Disease: Designated by the CDC as the leading killer of seniors 65 or older, heart disease is one of the most common chronic conditions seniors face. Seniors are more likely to develop heart disease from aging-related risk factors like high cholesterol and blood pressure. Keeping a healthy lifestyle even as you age is the key to helping curb the likelihood of getting heart disease.

    For more information about senior citizen healthcare and home medical equipment, visit BEK Medical.

  • Handling the Heat as a Senior Citizen

    Handling the Heat as a Senior CitizenTemperatures are rising, and many of us are eager to get outside and start soaking up the sun.

    Although a bit of Vitamin D is encouraged, excessive heat exposure can be a major threat to senior citizens and result in severe health issues.

    A study at University of Chicago Medical Center found that 40% of heat-related deaths in the U.S. happen to people 65 and older.

    Many seniors struggle with hot weather which often results in dehydration and heat exhaustion.

    The aging body has a harder time regulating its internal temperature. If you’re worried about overheating, it’s important to know what symptoms might occur including lack of coordination, cold and/or clammy skin, dizziness, headache, thirst, muscle spasms, ankle swells, cramping in arms, legs or abdomen, fatigue, and more. If you or someone you’re with experiences any of these symptoms, you should immediately seek medical attention.

    Luckily, there are plenty of ways that seniors can help to prevent overheating. For example, seniors should be drinking as much water as possible. They should also be paying special attention to the weather forecast and avoid going out in severe temperatures. Be aware of how much alcohol or coffee you are consuming in summer months as well, both liquids can result in your body losing fluids.

    Warm weather can be inviting, and you should certainly get out and enjoy it. We just encourage seniors to be aware of how they are feeling and knowing their limits.

    To learn more about healthy lifestyle tips and all of your home medical equipment needs, visit BEK Medical.

  • Understanding UTI’s in Senior Citizens

    Understating UTI’s in Senior CitizensA urinary tract infection, (UTI) is an infection in any part of your urinary system, typically involving the lower urinary tract.

    UTI’s are can be pretty painful, and when left untreated, can lead to a kidney infection. A kidney infection can permanently damage kidneys or lead to kidney failure, which is why UTI’s need to be taken seriously.

    For senior citizens, UTI’s are especially dangerous and can also result in serious health issues if it goes untreated.

    Here are some facts about UTI’s in senior citizens:

    UTI’s are Common in Seniors
    According to Aging Care, elderly people’s bladder muscles often weaken, which leads to urine retention, incontinence and an inability to completely empty the bladder; all of which can result in UTI’s. Senior citizens also have weakened immune systems, making them more susceptible to infections.

    Understanding UTI Symptoms
    There are many symptoms that can indicate that a senior is suffering from a UTI. If a senior has a UTI, they might have cloudy, blood, or foul-smelling urine. They also might go to the bathroom frequently, and express feeling pain when they do. Some seniors also become confused when suffering from a UTI, and if they are normally of sharp mind, this can be a big indication that something else is wrong.

    What Seniors Citizens Can Do
    As a senior, and in general, it’s important to drink plenty of water on a daily basis. Water can help keep urine clear and prevent UTI’s from occurring. UTI’s can also be somewhat prevented if you urinate when you feel that you need to, showering instead of bathing, and changing soiled undergarments.

    Visit BEK Medical for a wide selection home medical equipment, including bathroom safety equipment.

  • Simple Outdoor Activities for Senior Citizens

    Simple Outdoor Activities for Senior CitizensEvery person deserves a chance to enjoy the beautiful springtime weather, especially senior citizens. Warmer temperatures and sunlight can do wonders for brain, bone and muscle functioning — in part thanks to Vitamin D exposure — which makes the benefit of heading outdoors for seniors all the more crucial.

    So in a world ripe with activities, what are some of best ones for senior citizens? BEK Medical investigates.

    Head to a Craft or Flea Market

    One of the utmost benefits of being outside is socialization. Experts say elders feel rejuvenated by increased interactions with other adults, animals and children, which is a great way to support their cognitive functioning and overall happiness. At a craft or flea market, there are ample opportunities for socializing with others. It can also be uplifting for senior citizens to see vintage items they may value from their youth.

    Attend an Outdoor Concert

    Music plays a vital role in all of our lives, and studies have shown many elders tend to remember songs or tunes far longer than facts. That’s because music seems to somehow stay deeply within us, evoking memories of an earlier time, and providing us with a therapeutic reprieve. By attending an outdoor concert, elders will benefit from all of these effects, and more. What’s better than the sound of a saxophone, alongside a nice breeze hitting your neck?

    Host a Picnic

    Food: the unifier of all ages, cultures and people. This activity goes without saying. By hosting a more casual version of a brunch, lunch or early dinner, elders will get the chance to visit with new friends and old, family members and acquaintances, while delighting in some of their favorite dishes. It is also, yet another chance, to enjoy the outdoors and soak up some sun.

    Play a Game!

    Activity at any elder age can be beneficial, so long as it’s not too physically demanding. Consider playing a board game or checkers — something that will activate the brain in a fun way. Feeling more competitive? Partake in a classic game of shuffleboard or a scavenger hunt. Both are filled with friendly interactions, and teamwork, which many seniors will find fulfilling.

    Do you know a senior in need of home medical equipment? Visit BEK Medical.

  • Simple Spring Gardening Jobs for Seniors

    Simple Spring Gardening Jobs for SeniorsIt is extremely important for senior citizens to keep active, however, many seniors have limitations that prevent them from doing so.

    Gardening is one physical activity that can be very beneficial for senior citizens. Gardening can help get senior citizens outside, keep them physically active, reduce stress levels, and can help improve their overall mood.

    However, gardening can be a difficult task so it’s important to tackle projects that senior citizens can easily handle.

    Be Aware of Plant Choices

    It is important that seniors, specifically those with health issues or physical limitations, have a garden full of plants that they can easily handle. Some plants and flowers are hard to upkeep and it’s important you choose ones that are pretty easy to care for. For example, choose plants that require minimal watering which some seniors might not be up for doing on a daily basis.

    Keep the Garden Small

    If seniors are eager to have a garden of their own, make sure it’s a manageable size for them. You can have an incredible garden even if it is relatively small. Consider planting in a container, which keeps plants and flowers condensed into one space which makes them easier to care for. This also makes the garden a bit more “mobile” and can be moved as needed to a more accessible space such as an outdoor tabletop.

    Get the Proper Tools

    Without the right tools, gardening can be difficult for anyone. Seniors should have sharp tools that will easily cut, preventing injury or strain. Tools such as a kneeler stool can help seniors kneel to garden in a comfortable position, and also have grips which can make it easy to stand up safely. Many kneeler stools also transition into a sitting stool, for when you might need a break or are tending to tall plants.

    We definitely encourage senior citizens to garden, especially if they enjoy doing so. Visit BEK Medical for a variety of home medical equipment to simply your life today.

  • Signs You Should Stop Driving

    Signs You Should Stop DrivingLife as a senior citizen can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to making decisions about things that were once second nature. Many seniors find it difficult to give up their car keys, and it can often be hard to tell whether or not you should.

    According to Caring.com, your health should be the major factor in determining whether or not you are fit to drive. If you are suffering from any health concerns that impair your vision, your muscles, your hearing, or your ability to make quick decisions, it is likely time to stop driving.

    If you have chronic pain, such as in your neck or back which can make it difficult to turn around, it could be hard to drive as a result. It is important to be able to turn around and check your surroundings at intersections or when reversing out of a parking lot, says HelpGuide.org.

    AARP says that if you have experienced many “close calls” where you almost got into an accident, but ultimately avoided it, it could be time to give up your keys. If you find yourself getting lost more often than before, or if you notice that you respond more slowly to unexpected situations such as someone going through a yellow light at the last minute, you could be putting yourself and other drivers on the road at risk.

    If you are a senior and you are still driving, make sure to have your vision and hearing checked regularly. Don’t drive if you’re taking new medication before you understand how it will affect your body, and make sure you get plenty of sleep each night which can improve cognitive and physical functions. If you’re unsure whether or not you should be driving, talk to your doctor.

    Remember: we know it feels like you’re giving up a lot of your own freedom, but the biggest concern is for your safety and the safety of other people on the road.

    For more information on finding independence at any age, or to learn how BEK Medical products may be able to help you, call us today at 915-599-1129.

  • Best Breakfast Choices for Senior Citizens

    Best Breakfast Choices for Senior CitizensWith a weakened sense of smell and taste, a lack of appetite is a common challenge for seniors. It’s also not surprisingly that as you get older, you become less active. This combination makes it even more critical that seniors are eating a nutritious and balanced breakfast daily.

    They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day and that’s especially true for senior citizens.

    Breakfast is not only a prime opportunity for a nutritious meal, but it’s also your initial fuel to get your day started. However, you don’t necessarily have to have a gourmet breakfast every morning. There are simple meal options that you can work into your diet with little effort.

    Here are five easy-to-make and easy-to-eat breakfast ideas for seniors:

    Hardboiled Eggs
    This no fuss, yet delicious, low-cost breakfast option is also easy to prepare. You can boil the two eggs fresh each morning or save time by boiling a whole dozen at a time. When making a week’s worth, make sure to refrigerate in a sealed container.

    Toast
    Toast can be a simple, nutritious and delicious way to start your day. Consider pairing one or two slices of whole wheat or multigrain bread with avocado for healthy fats, or almond or peanut butter for protein as well as healthy fats.

    Yogurt & Fresh Berries
    A great source of protein, non-fat Greek yogurt is always a safe bet for breakfast. Avoid yogurts with high sugar content. You can buy individual portions or larger tubs, which allow you to portion it out yourself, which usually comes with some savings. If you’re looking to sweeten it up, consider adding a small amount of organic honey as a natural sweetener. Berries and nuts also pair well.

    Oatmeal
    A bowl of warm steel-cut oatmeal is another easy option. If you’re looking to save some time, try the individualized packs or instant oats. Dried cranberries, raisins and nuts are all delicious topping options.

    Fresh Fruit
    You can never go wrong with an assortment of fresh fruit to start your day off right. Feel free to mix it up with different types of fruit, including strawberries, blueberries, watermelon, bananas, cantaloupes and melons. You can prepare your own fruit salads or buy pre-prepared mixed fruit at your local grocery store.

    For more healthy lifestyle tips and all your home medical equipment needs, visit BEK Medical.

  • Importance of Taking Medications as Directed

    Importance of Taking Medications as Directed  If you take a lot of medications, you might fall into the habit of taking them “as needed” or at your own discretion. Many people, especially seniors, take it upon themselves to decide when they need medications.

    However, it is vital that you take medications as directed.

    According to the FDA, about 125,000 deaths each year in the United States are due to improper use of prescribed medications. In fact, about 20-30% of new drugs prescribed by doctors are not even filled by the patient and many patients decrease their dosage or stop taking their medication without speaking to their doctor.

    Some patients don’t take their medications as prescribed because they don’t understand the instructions. Elderly patients should ask questions at their doctor’s office, or bring a loved one along with them, in order to understand how to take their medication correctly. About 55% of elderly patients are not taking their prescriptions as directed, and about 200,000 are hospitalized due to drug reactions per year.

    If you fail to take your prescriptions as directed, the issue they are intended to treat will not improve or change. For example, if you’re prescribed blood pressure medication to regulate your blood pressure, not taking the medications as directed will not help you. Medications will only work if they are taken as prescribed.

    Many people, specifically seniors, don’t take their medications as directed due to forgetfulness: if you have ever forgotten to take your medication, consider picking up a weekly pill container, and placing the pills you need each day in the proper container. This will remind you to take your medication as needed. You can also set reminders on computers, phones, and otherwise. (Or, simply mark your calendar!)

    If you’re confused about directions that your doctor gave you about how to take your medication, or if you feel that you’re experiencing side effects that make you want to stop your medication all together, talk to your doctor right away.

    This applies to over-the-counter meds, too—if you’re confused about the directions of cold meds or pain killers, speak to a pharmacist before you leave the store, and make sure you understand how to take the medication before you start it.

    Click here to view some of BEK’s available pill containers to help you ensure that you are taking your medications just as you should be.

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