Summer Heat

We live in the hot and humid south but there are ways to help you stay healthy and save energy at the same time. Seniors are particularly prone to hot weather & its threat. There are several reasons for elderly heat vulnerability. People’s ability to notice changes in their body temperature decreases with age. Many seniors also have underlying health conditions that make them less able to adapt to heat. Furthermore, many medicines that seniors take can contribute to dehydration.
Dehydration is the root of many heat related health problems. Drink plenty of water or juice, even if you’re not thirsty. But always check with your doctor if you are on any medication or have any fluid restriction. Know what the Heat index is. When there’s a lot of moisture in their air (high humidity), the body’s ability to cool itself through sweating is impaired. The heat index factors humidity and temperature to approximate how the how the weather really feels. Stay indoors during the hottest time of the day mostly from 10:00 till 5:00. Cut down on your air conditioning use by closing curtains and blinds on the sunny side of your home. Keep you’re a/c at a consent temperature, it cost more to run if you turn it off & then on or turn if high when you are not home & then down when you get home. If you can keep it around 78 in the summer time & change the filters monthly it should help. Wear light, loose fitting clothes, they will help keep you cool. Eat lightly, minimize the use of your oven. Microwaves, crockpots and toaster ovens are great warm-weather stand-ins. Use portable fans for rooms that are used the most, such as the living room and bedroom. Make use of hand-held, battery-operated fans and misters. These inexpensive gadgets usually can be found in many stores. They can be lifesavers during hot weather, especially if the power goes out. Run the dry at night when it is cooler out & shut off the heat dry on your dishwasher. Unplug electronics don’t forget about phone chargers and any other chargers or placing the computer in sleep mode. Use a power strips, allow you to shut off electricity to these devices all at once. You can also contact your local electric company for an energy audit. There are also programs that can assist with electric bill some of based on income and some aren’t. Call 211 or our office for more information on programs.

June is National Men’s Health Month

There are facts that a silent health crisis is in America…it’s that fact that, on average, American men live sicker and die
younger than American women. One of the reasons is that women are 100% more likely to visit the doctor for annual
examinations and preventive services than men. Men have higher death rates for all of the 15 leading causes of death (with the exception of Alzheimer’s disease) and die more than five years younger than women. Men’s health issues don’t affect only men; they have a significant impact on everyone around them. And because women live longer than men, they see their fathers, brothers, sons, and husbands suffer or die prematurely. Women typically pay better attention to their health than men and can help men to adopt healthier habits. Some of the problems facing men’s health can be solved within an individual family with a few simple changes. Other problems need to be addressed by society at large and require the support of women not only in the family, but also as health care providers, activists, authors, and contributors to social values and attitudes. Most men are taught from an early age to cope quietly with pain instead of telling others about their ailments. Being told, either by family or peers, that big boys don’t cry over skinned knees often leads to reluctance to seek medical attention for health afflictions decades later, especially if symptoms are related to sexual health or not plainly visible.
The male denial factor is unrelated to occupation, age level, race or socioeconomic status. No matter how smart a man is, no matter what kind of professional status he’s achieved, he can still ignore things he shouldn’t ignore and pay the unnecessary consequences.
There are some health issues that are common to both and then there are some that men have a higher rate of such as hearing loss, men are 2x higher to have hearing loss then women. Another one is Testosterone is linked to elevations of
LDL, the bad cholesterol, and declines in HDL, the good cholesterol that can lead to a lot of other issues such as cardiovascular disease. Which is why fewer people are aware that men are more likely than women to develop the disease earlier and die at younger ages and close to 90% of sudden cardiac events occur in men and that for half of the men who die, the first symptom of heart disease is death.
One of the reasons for Men’s Health month is to bring awareness of issues in men’s health. One of the keys to improving the overall health of men, even more
than we currently see, is for men to become better informed about managing risk and treating underlying conditions that lead to high death rates and then to take charge of their own health as a first step on your journey to beat the odds. Know your numbers for Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, PSA, Blood Sugar and BMI. Get screened for health issues, if you have insurance most screenings are covered at no cost or low cost, since prevention is a key factor is fighting health issues. Talk with your doctor about your health issues, if needed write down the questions that you want to ask so you don’t forget. Knowing what we do and don’t face is a lot less stressful than the fruits of a vivid imagination.

April is Sexual Abuse Awareness Month

Sexual abuse is one of the most understudied aspects of elder mistreatment. Elderly sexual assault victims were not routinely evaluated to assess the psychological effects of an assault. The older the victim, the less likelihood that the offender would be convicted of sexual abuse. Perpetrators were more likely to be charged with a crime if victims exhibited signs of physical trauma. Sexual offenders are attracted to vulnerability. Perpetrators seek out potential victims who they perceive as easy to overpower and manipulate. They look for those who would be unlikely to report the assault and who would not be deemed credible if the assault were reported.
Older adults are especially vulnerable to sexual violence, and elder sexual assault is one of the most hidden crimes. Unfortunately, while elder sexual assault victims may require more assistance and specialized help, they often receive less services and intervention than younger victims for a number of reasons. Certain factors associated with the aging process put the elder population at heightened risk. In some cases, people of advanced age need others to provide basic necessities and assistance with daily functions. These circumstances increase one’s risk of sexual assault; elders are often victimized by those assisting them or those closest to them. Reduced cognitive or emotional functioning may also render older people more susceptible to sexual assault. Even for well elders, the social stigma of old age make them an easier target for perpetration and more likely to remain silent if victimized.
Victims in assisted living situations faced a lower likelihood than those living independently that charges would be brought and the assailant found guilty. Elder sexual abuse is the initiation of physical or sexual contact with an elderly person, when that contact is nonconsensual or unwanted. This abuse also includes making contact with an elderly person who is confused or unable to give consent. Whether or not the contact is significant or minor, if it is sexual in nature and nonconsensual, it is sexual abuse. Both rape of an elderly person and unwanted touching can count as elderly sexual abuse. Women are traditionally seen as weaker than men and less able to protect themselves. Elderly women are much more likely than elderly men to suffer from sexual abuse. Age is also a factor, and nursing home residents who are older are at greater risk of abuse. There is also a misperceptions
and stereotypes against older adults that has put elders at an increased risk for sexual assault.
One of the most egregious forms of elderly sexual abuse is the sexual abuse committed to patients who suffer from dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other forms of memory impairment. Because these patients are often confused, the abuser believes that no one will believe their complaints, therefor feeling more confident that they can abuse them without repercussions. Nursing home residents with dementia and other issues are at increased risk of sexual abuse. But this doesn’t mean that it only happens in Nursing homes or other facilities.
The definition or a person’s perception of what rape and/or sexual violence is and how/why it is perpetrated is a reflection of what they have been socialized to believe as well as personal experience. Views about sexual violence have changed dramatically in the last three decades due to the anti-sexual
violence movement and other factors. Advocates have
worked hard to create a society that blames the victim less
and acknowledges the reality of sexual violence as well as the
fact that rapists aren’t always strangers. As mentioned earlier, elders grew up with different generational beliefs about rape and abuse. Child sexual abuse was largely not recognized as a problem, and in many cases, children who disclosed molestation were not believed. In other cases, children were told to ignore and move past the assault. In either case, childhood victims of sexual abuse that are revictimized as elders may be less likely to disclose and may tend to internalize reactions to the recent abuse. In turn, these reactions to abuse can manifest as physical problems, irregular behavior, post-traumatic stress disorder,
substance abuse problems, and depression, as well as a multitude of other life long conditions. On the other hand, due again to the generational factors discussed above, there is a greater likelihood of an elder repressing a prior assault, only to have the affects resurface in later years. Any number of incidents can trigger a reaction to prior sexual abuse—and this list can go on and on because triggers are personal to individuals and the assault. Conditions such as dementia can make an individual more sensitive to triggers and/or bring up recessed memories. In several cases, elders with dementia have disclosed their assault as current.
While elder sexual abuse research is still in its infancy, studies have identified characteristics that can help define the problem.
• Perpetrators are likely to be paid or unpaid male caregivers.
• Older victims are most often females over age 70, who are totally dependent or functioning at a poor level.
• Older victims suffer more genital trauma from sexual assault than younger victims.
• Older victims are less likely to report sexual abuse than younger victims.

Bottom Line if you suspect Sexual Abuse, you are require to report it in the state of Florida to Adult Protective Services at 1-800-96ABUSE (1-800-962-2873) or online at https://reportabuse.dcf.state.fl.us/