Helpful information from repuatable sources about caring for yourself or a loved one who has a debilitating condition.

Delirium—an acute decline in cognition and attention affecting more than 7 million hospitalized Americans every year—takes a significant toll on older adults and family caregivers. To better understand this burden, NIA-funded researchers developed and tested questionnaires that measure factors such as awareness of symptoms, situational stress, and emotional response. The results, published online May 8 in The Gerontologist, may provide a first step toward improving the experience of those affected by delirium.

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Exercise has benefits all year, even during winter. But before you brave the cold, take a few extra steps to stay safe. Exposure to cold can cause health problems such as hypothermia, a dangerous drop in body temperature.

If you want to walk, ski, ice skate, shovel snow, or do other outdoor activities when it’s cold outside:

  • Check the weather forecast. If it’s very windy or cold, exercise inside with Go4Life videos on YouTube, and go out another time.

  • Also watch out for snow and icy sidewalks.

  • Warm up your muscles first. Try walking or light arm pumping before you go out.

  • Wear several layers of loose clothing. The layers will trap warm air between them.

  • Avoid tight clothing, which can keep your blood from flowing freely and lead to loss of body heat.

  • Wear a waterproof coat or jacket if it’s snowy or rainy.

  • Wear a hat, scarf, and gloves.

  • Know the signs of hypothermia.

Older adults can lose body heat fast—faster than when they were young. Changes in your body that come with aging can make it harder for you to be aware of getting cold. A big chill can turn into a dangerous problem before an older person even knows what's happening. Doctors call this serious problem hypothermia.

What Is Hypothermia?

Hypothermia is what happens when your body temperature gets very low. For an older person, a body temperature of 95°F or lower can cause many health problems, such as a heart attack, kidney problems, liver damage, or worse.

Being outside in the cold, or even being in a very cold house, can lead to hypothermia. Try to stay away from cold places, and pay attention to how cold it is where you are. You can take steps to lower your chance of getting hypothermia.

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If you are like most people, you feel cold every now and then during the winter. What you may not know is that just being really cold can make you very sick.

Older adults can lose body heat fast—faster than when they were young. Changes in your body that come with aging can make it harder for you to be aware of getting cold. A big chill can turn into a dangerous problem before an older person even knows what's happening. Doctors call this serious problem hypothermia.

Keep Warm Inside

Living in a cold house, apartment, or other building can cause hypothermia. In fact, hypothermia can happen to someone in a nursing home or group facility if the rooms are not kept warm enough. If someone you know is in a group facility, pay attention to the inside temperature and to whether that person is dressed warmly enough.

People who are sick may have special problems keeping warm. Do not let it get too cold inside and dress warmly. Even if you keep your temperature between 60°F and 65°F, your home or apartment may not be warm enough to keep you safe. 

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Did you know that your sense of smell and taste are connected? As you get older, these senses can change, and, like Sally, you may find that certain foods aren’t as flavorful as they used to be. Changes in smell or taste can also be a sign of a larger problem.

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If you are age 60 or older—and especially if you are an older woman living alone—you may be a special target of people who sell bogus products and services by telephone. Telemarketing scams often involve offers of free prizes, low-cost vitamins and health care products, and inexpensive vacations.

When you send money to people you do not know personally or give personal or financial information to unknown callers, you increase your chances of becoming a victim of telemarketing fraud.

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You might think you’re never going to fall, but the truth is 1 in 4 older adults fall every year in the U.S.  Every 11 seconds, an older adult is seen in an emergency department for a fall-related injury.  The good news is that most falls are preventable. Start by learning 6 easy steps:

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Fraudsters use a variety of tactics to find homeowners in distress. Some sift through public foreclosure notices in newspapers and on the internet or through public files at local government offices, and then send personalized letters to homeowners. Others take a broader approach through ads on the internet, on television or radio, or in newspapers; posters on telephone poles, median strips, and at bus stops; or flyers, business cards, or people at your front door. The scam artists use simple – but potentially deceptive – messages, like:

"Stop foreclosure now!"

"Get a loan modification!"

"Over 90% of our customers get results."

"We have special relationships with banks that can speed up the approval process."

"100% Money Back Guarantee."

"Keep Your Home. We know your home is scheduled to be sold. No Problem!"

Once they have your attention, they use a variety of tactics to get your money. By knowing how their scams work, the FTC says you'll be better able to defend against fraud.

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 A study published in BMC Public Health finds that elderly men across Europe and the US spend less time on housework than elderly women. The study also finds that, while those who do more housework feel healthier, women who do long hours of housework combined with too much or too little sleep report poorer health. We take a closer look at the research. 

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