A holistic approach to health and wellness is particularly important for seniors; every diagnosis and treatment should consider the whole individual and be a part of a comprehensive plan. This came to mind recently when I read a report by researchers from the University of Toronto about the potential risks associated with starting high blood pressure medicine.

Matt Narrett, M.D., is chief medical officer for Erickson Living and leads the medical team at all Erickson Living communities. He received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School and has been providing care for seniors for over three decades. The world of health care is changing, and these changes have affected the doctor-patient relationship.

Vitamin D is critically important to bone health and healthy aging, yet many Americans are vitamin D deficient. Estimates from a number of studies demonstrate that up to 50% of seniors have inadequate levels of this vitamin, which is so important to our bones as well as our muscle strength and balance.

Recently, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPTF) recommended against using daily supplemental calcium pills for the prevention of fractures in post-menopausal women, and the AARP Diet and Health Study showed an increase in mortality among men who take these supplements.

Emotional health is vitally important to our well-being. As a society, we tend to primarily focus on the physical component, but in reality, it is our mood that sets the tone for our days. Seniors in general enjoy remarkably good mental health and are among the happiest age groups in our society.

Modern medicine and technology have brought many wonderful advances and opportunities. Procedures, evaluations, and surgeries previously performed on a limited basis such as coronary artery bypass or knee replacements have now become routine. While this is good news for us all, these opportunities also come with some risk.

Around the year 400, pirates dragged away a 16-year-old boy from Wales and sold him as a slave to a cruel Druid chieftain in Northern Ireland. One day, while herding pigs, the boy began reciting Bible verses that his father had taught him, and the rest is history. In a strange land, he wrote, the Lord opened my unbelieving eyes and I was converted. After six years, St.

Did you know that one in four Americans over age 65 has diabetes and that this serious condition is expected to become even more common? Diabetes is characterized by high blood sugar levels, and it can be associated with heart disease, kidney disease, vision loss, and other significant complications. Fortunately, we have learned a lot about diabetes.

Matt Narrett, M.D., is chief medical officer for Erickson Living and leads the medical team at all Erickson Living communities.

When we think about which parts of our body are most important, we rarely think of our feet. We are much more likely to consider the heart or the brain, yet our feet are the body s foundation. We count on them each and every day to get us around, and they typically require little from us in the form of care.

Matt Narrett, M.D., is chief medical officer for EricksonLiving and directs the provision of medical care at all Erickson Living communities. He received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School and is board certified in internal medicine and geriatrics.

Matt Narrett, M.D., is chief medical officer for Erickson Living and directs the provision of medical care at all Erickson Living communities. He received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School and is board certified in internal medicine and geriatrics.