Health Info & Resources for Seniors
The darkest months of the year are upon us. Many of us will find it noticeably more difficult to carry out our activities of daily living over the winter months. Our daily rhythms are driven by biological functions called Circadian rhythms. Research suggests that seasonal or winter depression is often a result of an imbalance between your body’s circadian rhythms and rhythms of the environment! Secretions of the hormone melatonin appear to be particularly important in winter depression. This hormone, nicknamed the “Dracula” hormone, is secreted by the brain’s pineal gland when our surroundings are dark, but not when they are light. Most people are able to adjust to these internal changes. For those who struggle with mood changes in the winter, however, the results can feel crushing.
The Pennsylvania Department of Aging reminds consumers that the annual open enrollment period for Medicare beneficiaries will begin Thursday, October 15, 2020, and end Monday, December 7, 2020. Any new coverage selected takes effect January 1, 2021. During open enrollment, new Medicare beneficiaries can sign up for Medicare Prescription Drug coverage and health plans to complement Medicare, and current
Medicare beneficiaries can review and join, switch, or drop Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug Coverage so that it better meets their needs.
When the COVID-19 virus hit the Lehigh Valley this past March, it seemed like the whole nation completely changed overnight. Suddenly, there was panic and worry, and a lack of toilet paper in every store! Yet, one thing that remained the same was the dedication from our Meals on Wheels volunteers to uphold our mission of providing nourishing food to those in need. So far, during the 2019–2020 fiscal year, Meals on Wheels of the Greater Lehigh Valley has served over 300,000 meals to homebound seniors and adults with disabilities.
Take care during winter activities to prevent developing a hernia or reinjuring a repaired one, warns St. Luke’s general surgeon Emanuel F. Nogueira,MD.“A hernia occurs when an internal organ or other body part protrudes through the wall of a muscle or other tissue that normally contains it. A strenuous activity, such as lifting and throwing heavy snow, or yanking the starter cord of a snow blower, can put extra strain on the abdominal muscles. This could cause a hernia or reinjure one that had been repaired previously,” says Dr. Nogueira, chief of surgery and director of the Hernia Center of Excellence at St. Luke’s Upper Bucks Campus. Dr. Nogueira has earned the Surgeon of Excellence in Hernia Surgery™ (SOEHS) designation by Surgical Review Corporation.
Older adults are more susceptible to getting both the flu and COVID 19 — as well as developing serious complications from these diseases — than younger people. Consequently, geriatric medicine specialist, Roopa Anmolsingh, MD, urges seniors to get a flu shot this fall. “The latest recommendation is to get the vaccine in mid-to-late October in order to have more prolonged immunity through April,” said Dr. Anmolsingh, of St.
Luke’s Senior Care Associates.
Autumn’s colorful foliage and moderate temperatures make it a great time to get out and enjoy the great outdoors — but before lacing up your sneakers, keep these safety tips in mind, advises geriatric medicine specialist, Roopa Anmolsingh, MD. “While the changing leaves can be beautiful, they can also be treacherous,” warns Dr. Anmolsingh of St. Luke’s Senior Care Associates. “Fallen leaves can obscure walking hazards such as uneven pavement and potholes. If you’re walking on a path in the woods or a park, fallen leaves might cover rocks, loose gravel, and tree roots, that could cause you to trip. Wear proper-fitting, nonslip shoes with good traction. If you like to hike on wooded pathways, you might want to invest in a good pair of hiking shoes that can give you better footing and protect your toes.”