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STIs: a blind spot in elderly care

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It’s estimated that by 2030, over 20 percent of American citizens will be 65 or older. The growth of the senior population is likely to come with a number of challenges, one of which will be managing the increase in sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among this group.

Seniors and STIs
According to a 2007 study, three quarters of seniors aged 57 to 64 are sexually active, and over half of those aged 65 to 74 are. (The availability of performance-enhancing drugs is likely driving the increase in sexual activity among seniors.)

At the same time, the rate of STIs is climbing in adults who are over 45 years old. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that people aged 50 and over account for 15 percent of new HIV/AIDS diagnoses.

A difficult topic for seniors
There are many factors that make it difficult to address the issue of STIs in seniors. For starters, they typically don’t consider themselves as being at risk for STIs and HIV/AIDS.

Furthermore, some individuals feel guilt or shame when noticing symptoms such as a rash or discharge. Others may mistakenly blame aging for signs of a health problem and therefore disregard them.

Finally, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender seniors may face social stigmas when discussing their sexual health.

Institutional and social barriers
Most concerning is the lack of resources devoted to the sexual heath of the elderly population. According to some reports, seniors are excluded from close to 75 percent of clinical trials related to STI treatment and risk reduction. What’s worse is that healthcare professionals themselves often avoid discussing elderly patients’ sexual health.

Finally, though information is key in fighting the spread of STIs among seniors, there’s a noticeable lack of sexual education programs tailored to them.

Seniors need to practice safe sex and remember to discuss matters pertaining to their sexual health during doctors’ visits. As uncomfortable as it may be, there needs to a change in the way we deal with aging and sexuality. Doing so will ensure that our elders receive the care they deserve.

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The different types of muscle injuries

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Muscles are susceptible to many different types of injuries. A cramp is a sudden and involuntary tightening of a muscle. It tends to be painful and can occur either at rest or during exercise. If it persists for more than several days, it’s considered a contraction.

A muscle contusion occurs when there’s a direct blow to a contracted muscle. It’s accompanied by pain and swelling that will vary according to the force of the blow. Bruising might occur as the force of the impact can sometimes rupture small blood vessels.

Pulls (stretching or tearing of a few muscle fibers) and strains (a lot of overextended or torn fibers and some bleeding) occur when the muscles are overstretched. These injuries are characterized by intense pain that can affect mobility. The affected muscles become stiff, painful to the touch and difficult to stretch and contract.

If stretched or pulled too far, muscles can eventually tear. In this case, the muscle fibers are completely ruptured and might require surgery to be repaired. Consult a physical therapist to learn more about muscle injuries and how to treat them.

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Study finds hot flashes could herald heart problems

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Hot flashes are a well-known symptom of menopause. While they’re not dangerous in themselves, they may be more than an annoyance. Indeed, a recent study found that they may indicate a higher risk than average of cardiovascular issues.

What the study found
The 20-year study followed over 3,000 women. It found that those who experienced hot flashes earlier in menopause were twice as likely to develop cardiovascular disease, and those that experienced persistent hot flashes throughout menopause had an even higher risk.

What this means
Cardiovascular issues are a serious concern in women’s health, especially considering the lack of research on the way they may manifest early on. The discovery of a link between hot flashes and an increased risk could be the first step in developing new preventive strategies.

What you can do
If you remember experiencing early and intense hot flashes or are currently dealing with them, don’t be alarmed. While they could signal a significant increase in susceptibility to cardiovascular disease, the author of the study suggests interpreting the correlation between hot flashes and heart issues as a call to action for women to take steps to reduce their risk level.

If you’re worried, speak with your doctor. They’ll be able to make recommendations to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle and thus lower your chances of developing heart issues as you age.

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Physical therapy and arthritis pain

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Physical therapists play a crucial role in the treatment of arthritis and can help you re­duce the pain that comes with this ailment. Physical therapy strengthens the muscles around the affected joints, which helps preserve their shape and flexibility. There­fore, physical therapists can help you maintain and even improve joint mo­bi­lity, as well as reduce inflammation caused by arthritis. They’re also able to recommend various physical activities — which are critical in managing arthritis — that best suit your current condition.

Physical therapists can provide you with a wealth of useful ad­vice and recommendations to im­prove your quality of life. They can recommend less strenuous physical ac­tivities and instruct you on how to protect your joints while you move about. They can also teach you how proper posture and body me­chanics can prevent deformities. Consult a physical therapist to find out more about what physical therapy can do for you and your arthritis.

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Use high-quality equipment to get in shape!

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Do you want to get toned? Be more flexible? Enhance your endurance? For quick fitness results that you can see, the right performance equipment is key.

At home
If you’re planning to work out at home, you’ll need the right equipment. What you require, however, will depend on the type of training you do and the space you have available. Your local sporting goods store or exercise equipment retailer is sure to have everything you need.

At the gym
Alternatively, if you’re motivated by working out with other people or simply want more space, consider joining a gym. Whether you prefer a no-frills experience or want access to a full range of classes and facilities, there’s a gym that will suit your needs.

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4 must-have health apps

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Are you trying to take better care of yourself? These four free apps, available for both iOS and Android devices, are sure to help.

1. Medisafe. Thanks to this handy medication tracker, remembering to take your pills is a cinch. It also provides prescription refill reminders and can even contact someone if it seems you’ve forgotten to take an important dose.

2. American Red Cross First Aid App. This app will help you keep your first aid skills up to date with videos and quizzes. It’s also integrated with 911 emergency services. It provides simple instructions for dealing with emergencies so you can help delay complications until help arrives.

3. iSleeping. The iSleeping app provides users with a wealth of information they can use to improve sleep quality. It monitors and analyzes nighttime movement, snoring, and periods of wakefulness to provide helpful data and tips tailored to the individual.

4. Mindfulness with Petit BamBou. This app offers many mindfulness and guided meditation programs based on positive psychology and cognitive behavioral therapy. It can be used by adults and kids alike and is suitable for both beginner and more experienced meditators.

While there’s a bounty of free health apps available, always confirm that they’ve received approval from specialists. In addition, keep in mind that they can never replace the advice of a healthcare professional.

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Aging at home: 10 ways to adapt your environment

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Aging can impact your mobility, balance and strength. In many cases, modifying your home is necessary if you wish to continue living in it. Here are 10 ways to help you make your environment safer and more comfortable.

1. If you have rugs, fix them in place with double-sided adhesive tape. You should also make sure your furniture doesn’t impede your movements.

2. Make certain your rooms are well-lit and install nightlights in the bathroom and along the path that leads to it.

3. Install anti-slip stair runners, both inside and outside the home.

4. Wear slippers that adequately support your feet and have grippy soles.

5. Place a small chair or bench near your front door so you can sit down to put your shoes on and take them off without risking a fall.

6. Get a firm mattress and adjust your bed so that it sits at the ideal height for you to get in and out of comfortably.

7. Install a lamp or switch that you can easily reach from your bed. Make sure the light emitted fully illuminates your bedroom.

8. Use light dishware and store often-used kitchen tools and appliances somewhere that’s easy to reach. This way, you won’t have to frequently bend over or reach high shelves to get what you need.

9. Place your living room coffee table against a wall instead of in the middle of the room so that you’re less likely to trip on it.

10. Install grab bars in the bathroom, especially near the bath and shower.

Everything you need to make your home safer can be found at your local hardware store or pharmacy, as well as at medical supply stores.

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Upcoming Events

Jan
20
Mon
9:00 am Martin Luther King Prayer Breakfast @ Esbie Baptist Church
Martin Luther King Prayer Breakfast @ Esbie Baptist Church
Jan 20 @ 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Martin Luther King Prayer Breakfast @ Esbie Baptist Church
Monday, January 20, 2020, starting at 9:00am, Esbie Baptist Church will be having their annual MLK Prayer Breakfast. The speaker of the hour will be Rev. Dr. Donald Reid, Pastor of Mt. Parah Baptist Church[...]
Jan
21
Tue
2:30 pm Inspiring speaker Rodney Smith t... @ Boggs Chapel at Randolph-Macon Academy
Inspiring speaker Rodney Smith t... @ Boggs Chapel at Randolph-Macon Academy
Jan 21 @ 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Inspiring speaker Rodney Smith to visit R-MA @ Boggs Chapel at Randolph-Macon Academy
On Tuesday, January 21st, at 2:30 pm, in Boggs Chapel at Randolph-Macon Academy (R-MA), the public is invited to be inspired by Rodney Smith, a man who has chosen to make a difference in the[...]
4:30 pm Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Jan 21 @ 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Children will explore popular books and book series through S.T.E.M. activities, games, food, and more! Tuesday, January 7 – Based on books about Balto, we will learn more about service dogs this week. For ages[...]
Jan
22
Wed
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Jan 22 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, December 18 and Thursday, December 19: Something we all enjoy this time of year is giving and receiving gifts. Our stories, songs, and craft will[...]
Jan
23
Thu
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Jan 23 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, December 18 and Thursday, December 19: Something we all enjoy this time of year is giving and receiving gifts. Our stories, songs, and craft will[...]
Jan
24
Fri
9:00 am Veterans Services Meeting at Abl... @ Able Forces
Veterans Services Meeting at Abl... @ Able Forces
Jan 24 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Veterans Services Meeting at Able Forces @ Able Forces
Able Forces Foundation will once again be hosting a visit by Andre Miller, Resource Specialist, Virginia Veteran and Family Support, Department of Veteran Services, Commonwealth of Virginia, and Danielle Cullers, Homeless Veteran Advocate-Volunteers of America[...]
Jan
25
Sat
11:00 am Goldilocks and the Three Bears @ Samuels Public Library
Goldilocks and the Three Bears @ Samuels Public Library
Jan 25 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Goldilocks and the Three Bears @ Samuels Public Library
A Story Ballet. Join us in a celebration of classic literature through dance! The whole family will enjoy this ballet performance, presented by the Northern Virginia Academy of Ballet.
2:00 pm Aspiring Artists @ Samuels Public Library
Aspiring Artists @ Samuels Public Library
Jan 25 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Aspiring Artists @ Samuels Public Library
Are you aged 7 or older? Do you enjoy art? If so, please join us for our children’s art class. Using the classic scissor cutting art of Scherenschnitte, we will make silhouettes in a nature[...]
Jan
28
Tue
4:30 pm Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Jan 28 @ 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Children will explore popular books and book series through S.T.E.M. activities, games, food, and more! Tuesday, January 7 – Based on books about Balto, we will learn more about service dogs this week. For ages[...]
Jan
29
Wed
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Jan 29 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, December 18 and Thursday, December 19: Something we all enjoy this time of year is giving and receiving gifts. Our stories, songs, and craft will[...]