Health Info & Resources for Seniors
Pursuing a new interest, skill or activity is a great alternative to making – and breaking – New Year’s resolutions, but where do you start? In addition to colleges, universities and senior centers, consider visiting the website of your local hospital. “Many hospitals and health centers offer programs to help members of the community improve their mental and physical health condition, as well to become better educated about health-related topics,” said David Yanoshik, associate vice president, marketing and public relations, St. Luke’s University Health Network. “For example, St. Luke’s lists many of these programs on the home page of its website. Just visit, sluhn.org, scroll down to the Event Calendar and click on ‘view all.’ It’s very easy to find something that might interest you.”
A ground-breaking advancement in surgery occurred in 1990 when a pair of Argentinian surgeons successfully repaired a large aneurysm in the artery of a 70-year-old man’s abdomen. What made this surgery so significant is they reached the aneurysm by making a small incision in the patient’s groin, threading a wire to the aneurysm and opening a graft inside the vessel diverting the blood flow away from the aneurysm. This restored the patient’s blood flow to the legs and prevented the risk that the artery would burst, causing him to bleed to death.
Medicine has progressed dramatically over the past 20 years, but perhaps no area has evolved more quickly than surgery. “In the 1990s, we performed surgery totally differently,” said Marian McDonald, MD, Chief, General Surgery, St. Luke’s University Health Network. “The change is as great as the difference between a rotary phone and the latest smart phone.” Today, the majority of surgeries are performed using minimally invasive procedures. To describe the impact, Dr. McDonald referenced gall bladder surgery. In the 1990s, surgeons reached the organ by cutting through the patient’s skin and muscle. As a result, patients spent many days in the hospital and needed several weeks to recover.
In recent years we’ve heard about the importance of not going to an emergency room unnecessarily. Although sometimes it’s obvious that you need emergency care, other times it may be less clear. When deciding whether to visit your nearest emergency room, Rebecca Pequeno, MD, Chair, Emergency Medicine, St. Luke’s University Health Network, suggests you first ask yourself how quickly does the person in distress need help? If someone’s life is at risk or they could be permanently disabled, don’t hesitate, call 911 immediately. Examples are chest pain, difficulty breathing, stroke symptoms, heavy bleeding, and a fall where the person can’t get up or is unconscious.
Wound Care Specialists Can Help You Heal
“People with diabetes are at risk for developing hard-to-heal wounds that can cause serious infections”, says wound care specialist Steven Bowers, DO, Network Medical Director of Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine at St. Luke’s University Health Network. “Diabetes and wounds are a dangerous combination” Dr. Bowers says. “Left untreated, wounds can become infected. These infections can be quite serious and can result in amputation or even death.”
When you were young, you thought nothing about a late-night pizza delivery or a run to an all-night greasy diner. For many older adults, however, such an indulgence today would result in a painful, restless night. “Over the years, we’ve become more susceptible to developing gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which can cause acid indigestion in the throat or a burning sensation in the chest, commonly called heartburn”, said Noel Martins, MD, of St. Luke’s Gastroenterology Specialists.