Second Opinions: Not Just for the Comedian in Your Family

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Rodney Dangerfield, the comedian who never got any respect, had a staple joke in his stand-up repertoire that went something like this:

Doctor Vinnie: “You need to lose some weight.” Rodney: “I want a second opinion.”
Doctor Vinnie: “OK, you’re ugly, too.”

Dangerfield levity aside, getting a second opinion is not a laughing matter, and seniors who are facing a serious diagnosis, or who don’t understand a course of treatment, should always seek a second opinion. Many seniors fear “offending” a favorite ...

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Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: Honoring Veterans and Their Wartime Experiences

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“Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder,” defined as “a serious disorder that results from exposure to a traumatic event [and] involves severe fear, helplessness and horror,” was first diagnosed during the Vietnam War, but there’s not much argument the condition existed long before it was identified. In the WWI/WWII era, it was mostly referred to as “shell shock.”

PTSD for seniors who bravely served our country during wartime or have had a traumatic life-event, such as cancer or a heart attack, and/or especially those who survived ...

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RAH Founder & CEO Brian Carrigan interviewed by News Talk 1340 WGAU’s Barbara Dooley

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RAH’s Brian Carrigan interviewed by Athens, GA legend (and radio personality) Barbara Dooley on News Talk 1340 WGAU.

 

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Hearing Impaired Seniors: Tips on How to Communicate Effectively

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In addition to our capacity to love and care for one another, perhaps a human being’s greatest gift is the ability to communicate. Thanks to breakthroughs in technology, we now can carry on conversations in dozens of ways, both real and virtual.

But our innate skill to communicate orally, which comes so easily to most of us, can be a challenge for others, primarily due to physical impairments, like being “clinically deaf” or “hard of hearing.” Major differences exist between the ...

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Elderly Birthdays: To Celebrate or Not?

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The old saying goes, “You’re never too old for a birthday,” yet senior citizens often-times shy away from planning or agreeing to their own birthday celebrations.

The most common excuse is the “inconvenience factor,” that a celebration of life will be an imposition on friends and relatives. Another common reason for bowing out of a birthday party is the feeling that because many of their peers and close relatives have already passed, there would simply be no one to invite to ...

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Hanging Up the Car Keys: When it is No Longer Safe for Seniors to Drive

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One of the most-asked questions of geriatric physicians throughout America won’t come as a surprise to many of you: When is it time to take away the keys? Also not surprising is that for many senior citizens being able to drive a vehicle represents the last bastion of independence.

Obviously, then, opinions and answers to the question can vary widely. Statistically speaking, in the US, there are currently around 35 million drivers who are 65 and older. Most operate their vehicles ...

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Disaster Zone: Keeping Seniors Safe During A Home Emergency

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For some of us more imaginary types, the word “disaster” immediately conjures up visions from a Bruce Willis or Will Smith movie: fiery infernos, killer tornadoes, even invaders from another planet. For others, Hurricane Katrina or 9/11 comes to mind.

Yet there are plenty of disasters that are far more common and can be equally as dangerous to seniors: grease fires, snowstorms, excessive rain, broken pipes, and slick or uneven surfaces. These kinds of “everyday” catastrophes are most likely to happen ...

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Moving On: New Life and Love After the Death of a Spouse

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Spouses who are left behind when their wives or husbands of many years pass have untold changes and challenges to weather as they face a future, ostensibly, alone. But the human spirit has a tendency to survive, and even thrive in the face of adversity. While widows and widowers must do the hard work of facing the essential tasks of life bravely, it is heartening for them, as well as their families, to know they don’t have to face these ...

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Hospice Care: Reality vs. Misconception

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Hospice and palliative care (a fancy way of saying “comfort care”) are concepts that have been around for hundreds of years. In fact, the term “hospice” can be traced back to medieval times when it referred to a place of shelter and rest for weary or ill travelers.

The modern concept of specialized care for the dying involves a team-oriented approach to thoughtfully seeing to the needs of the terminally ill as they enter the final months, weeks and days of ...

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Sundowner’s Syndrome: Some Helpful Tips on Diagnosing and Coping

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With a handful of exceptions (i.e., shift workers, college students and arguably rock stars), most of us would agree that we’re often sharper during the waking hours, rather than when evening comes to call. But imagine the unfortunate situation when towards the end of the afternoon, you realize your cognitive abilities and mood are diminishing proportionate to the setting sun.

There is a very real diagnosis that surrounds this fateful condition. Occurring in people who almost exclusively suffer from Alzheimer’s and ...

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