Oral health and good dental care play an important but often overlooked role in your health and well-being. Through self-care and dentist’s visits, you can prevent gum disease (gingivitis, periodontitis) and tooth decay, which are leading causes of tooth loss. Despite this, only two out of three adults have seen a dentist in the past year.

The word “vitamin” was originally coined by the Polish biochemist Casimir Funk in 1912. He discovered why people who ate brown rice, which is rich in B vitamins, were less susceptible to beriberi—a disease caused by vitamin B1 (thiamine) deficiency. 

The strongest of pain medications, opioids/narcotics, have recently made headlines because abuse, misuse, and resulting side effects are rising at an alarming rate. In Massachusetts alone, opioid-related hospital visits nearly doubled from 2007 to 2014. Nationwide in 2009, over 400,000 visits to emergency rooms involved nonmedical uses of these painkillers.

For our third and final column about the rewards and challenges of caregiving, we will shift our focus to long-distance caregivers: the caregivers who live over one hour from their loved one.

Studies show that 15% to 20% of our nation’s estimated 34 million caregivers are helping from a long distance—that’s as many as 5–7 million people. 

Last month, we discussed the rewards and challenges associated with caregiving. Given the importance of this topic and the millions of caregivers who do such important work, we thought we would continue the discussion this month with a focus on caregiving for individuals with memory impairment or dementia.

Last month, we discussed the rewards and challenges associated with caregiving. Given the importance of this topic and the millions of caregivers who do such important work, we thought we would continue the discussion this month with a focus on caregiving for individuals with memory impairment or dementia.

With age comes wisdom. But regardless of how much wisdom you’ve gained or how much life experience you’ve had, little can prepare you for the enormous stress of being a primary caregiver for someone with a chronic, progressive, or terminal disease.

“Birds do it, bees do it, even educated fleas do it. Let’s do it, let’s fall in love…”

The very best investment you can make in your short- and long-term health is engaging in physical activity. The benefits are extraordinary and range from prevention of heart attack, stroke, and dementia to better sleep and bone health. Despite increased awareness of this, active seniors remain a minority.

Last month, I wrote about how not all memory loss is dementia and not all dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. This month, let’s explore what we can do to prevent and even treat conditions associated with memory loss and signs of dementia.

One area in health that is both anxiety-provoking and confusing is the topic of memory loss, including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia often evokes more fear among seniors than heart disease and cancer. 

Living freely without limitation is a fundamental goal for us all and a basic aspect of maintaining independence is having control of our bladder function. Urinary incontinence or loss of bladder control is remarkably common, with one out of three older women and a significant number of men being affected.