What is the ESR Test?

The erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) test is a commonly-administered blood test that reveals inflammatory processes in the body. The test measures how quickly red blood cells sink to the bottom of a test tube of blood. Inflammation causes higher amounts of protein in the blood, causing red blood cells to “clump.” These clumps are heavier…

Read More

Caregivers: Make Sure this Document is in Your Loved One’s Legal File

You have all of Mom’s legal documents in order. Or do you? You may have a will, documentation of Power of Attorney, Advance Directives, and Healthcare Proxies, but without a Letter of Competency, these documents may still be subject to dispute. Too often, bitter arguments arise between family members about what their loved one really…

Read More

How to Tell the Difference between Alzheimer’s and Normal Aging

Dad forgot where he put his keys. Mom got frustrated because he couldn’t come up with the word she wanted. Moments like these make everyone wonder: Is it Alzheimer’s or is it normal aging? While we might be alarmed when we or our loved one has a lapse in memory or thinking skills, it’s important…

Read More

Managing COPD with Inhaled Steroids

Most individuals suffering from COPD have a bronchodilator with them at all times. Bronchodilators cause rapid widening of the bronchia, which can help with short-term relief from asthma-like symptoms. However, individuals whose COPD has become more severe often need more powerful medications. Among the most commonly prescribed are inhaled corticosteroids. Steroids, in general, are a…

Read More

5 Tips for Senior Downsizing   

It’s time for Mom and Dad to move into a place that can take care of them. The good news is that they agree it’s time. The bad news is that you are looking at a family home with thirty or more years of belongings, and wondering how you’re going to deal with it all.…

Read More

Pursed Lip Breathing Aids COPD Sufferers

The two most common diseases associated with COPD are emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Other severe breathing conditions, for example irreversible asthma, are also included in the various diseases that comprise COPD. Individuals with these conditions typically suffer from: Difficulty breathing A chronic cough Wheezing A buildup of mucus A feeling of tightness in the chest…

Read More

What to Pack When Traveling with Alzheimer’s

It’s almost the end of summer and you’d like to take Dad on a vacation. The issue: Da has Alzheimer’s. You’ve planned the travel with that in mind: the destination is no more than four hours away, you are traveling during his best hours of the day, and your itinerary allows for plenty of rest…

Read More

Bullae: A Complication of COPD

Lung conditions such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) can cause large air pockets to form inside of the lungs. These large air pockets are known as bullae. Without treatment, these bullae can continue to grow in size. As they grow, they take up an increasingly large space in the lungs, causing pressure to build…

Read More

10 Simple Ways to Make a Bathroom Safe for Seniors  

The bathroom is one of the two most dangerous rooms in the house. (The other is the kitchen.) For seniors, bathrooms in particular present extra risk. Water that splashes on the floor and nighttime visits to use the facilities can lead to falls, one of the greatest causes of accidental deaths in the US. How…

Read More

The Link Between Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Heart Disease

For decades, the three leading causes of death in the US were heart disease, cancer, and stroke. However, for the last ten years, lung disease has displaced stroke as the third to third-leading cause of death. The lung disease responsible for this rise? Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), which has been diagnosed in nearly 13…

Read More