Some like it hot

seniors-cold-572x290Last week I hosted an early morning meeting of care professionals at Senior Concerns. As we sailed into the second hour of our meeting and the early morning coolness gave way to summer heat, many of us in the room were sweating. When I asked why the room’s air conditioning hadn’t kicked in, I was told the thermostat was set at 78 degrees, as our Adult Day Program participants like it hot. No surprise here—thermostat wars happen every day at Senior Concerns. One person’s temperature comfort zone is different than another’s. When I asked the question though, I was reminded that, when it comes to our senior visitors, most like it nice and warm. I decided to do some research on why so many seniors prefer sauna-like conditions. I learned that babies and older people generally lose heat more easily through their skin because there is less fat and muscle to insulate them. If a senior is very thin, they will experience cold much more than seniors with a little more “meat on their...

The last taste to go

ice cream 2I come from a family who loves great food. My maternal grandmother made the most magnificent pasta sauces, handmade meat tortellini and mouthwatering veal parmesan. My paternal grandmother made succulent lamb and beef roasts and the best pies on the planet. Today, at the age of 80, my mom is still making linguini with shrimp and sun-dried tomatoes, baked haddock with a cracker topping and homemade apple crisp. Over the past few years, however, my mother has begun altering her recipes to allow my dad to enjoy them more. My dad has dysphagia, a condition that causes him to have difficulty chewing and swallowing. He began to have trouble swallowing 30 years ago. In his 50s, he was diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), caused by stomach acid backing up into the esophagus. This reflux caused inflammation and a narrowing of the esophagus and sometimes made it hard for him to swallow solid foods. At the time none of us thought about altering his diet. His physician...

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