Category Archives: Health

Two scientists receive award for Parkinson’s work on deep brain stimulation

William’s suicide thrust Parkinson’s disease onto the world stage recently.   The progressive neurological disorder affects about 60,000 Americans each year.  Well-known people like Michael J. Fox, Muhammad Ali and Janet Reno join the million or so Americans who struggle with symptoms such as tremors, vocal spasms and perhaps one of its most overlooked symptom—depression.  This…

10 recommendations from Geriatricians

At the American Geriatrics Society annual meeting in May, Dr. Paul Mulhausen, chief medical officer for Telligen, spoke out against liquid nutritional supplements such as Boost and Ensure that often make up such a large portion of diets for older people.  Mulhausen, who headed the Society’s Choosing Wisely workgroup, cautions that those supplements are often…

Don’t trust Medicare’s Nursing Home star ratings

If you must choose a nursing home for care for either yourself or someone you love, do your research.  But a recent story in the New York Times suggests your research needs to go way beyond trusting Medicare’s star ratings.  That’s because much of Medicare’s vaunted star rating system relies on self-reporting and that reporting…

Increase your physical and mental health by dancing

While I’ve called the Northwest my home for decades, my home town lies in the big woods of Minnesota.  It’s a town small enough that Friday night mean dance night and dance nights are crowded with people from 2 to 102.  The single nursing home in town also holds dances and people all over the…

Seeing clearly may be a minor surgery away

In grade school, our teachers teach that our five senses are smell, taste, sight, hearing and touch.  Although human don’t have particular good senses taken individually when compared to other mammals, on the whole they allow us to actively engage in our world.  Because of them, we can participate fully in the things around us. …

Insurance Commissioner announces special enrollment period for health exchange

Some consumers using Washington’s health exchange continue to experience problems months after the deadline for getting insurance.  To help some of them, Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler announced Monday that effective Aug. 27 he was instituting a special enrollment period for individuals who are experiencing billing or payment issues.  The special enrollment will run until Nov.14,…

Dealing with memory issues

When we are faced with knowledge or information that shakes up our world view and turns it upside down, we resort to a kind of denial called cognitive dissonance.  It’s a natural response to avoid losing our emotional equilibrium and reduce psychological tension and distress.  Admitting to memory problems can be the road to loss…

Staying independent means caring for your knees

My dad’s in his 70s but he has had knee pain for years.  It turns out that roughly 30 percent of adults report knee pain. The problem with having knee pain, aside from the pain part of it, is that having knee pain can lead to mobility issues.  That’s one reason it’s so important to…

Dementia Severity Worksheet

Dr. Marty Levine, a primary care physician and geriatrician has developed a worksheet to help families determine where family members cognitive function rates.  The Dementia Severity Worksheet is one tool families can use to help them have a starting point when talking to medical care providers or housing experts about their family members.  ” I’ve found…

6 Stories about how having a purpose will improve your life

How do you find a purpose in the second half of your life?  Probably no other generation before the Baby Boomer generation has been so stuck on having a purpose in retirement or having a purpose-driven life or being purposeful.  Those are all important sentiments because we already know that having a purpose increases the…