Prevent falls; manage changes

Fall Changes, Falls, and Your Changes

Prevent falls; manage changes
Physical changes can increase risk of falls.

In Maryland, the leaves are turning beautiful fall colors. The air is crisp more often, and that fuzzy blanket feels good at night! The move from summer to autumn makes itself known in obvious and in subtle ways.

Throughout life, your body makes changes, too. Some are obvious. Some are subtle.

Many of these changes increase your risk for falls and/or injury with a fall.

Obvious changes

  • Joints get stiffer
  • Lung capacity gradually decreases – you might get short of breath easier
  • Skin gets drier as overall body water content decreases
  • Vision changes, especially your ability to see up close
  • Skin and tissues get looser

Subtle changes

These changes are usually caught when your doctor monitors your labs, your urine, or does a physical exam.

  • Kidneys slow down
  • Liver slows down
  • Bones get less dense (hard)
  • Reflexes aren’t as quick
  • Risk for urinary track infection goes up
  • Hormone production changes – for men and women

Association with falls

As we move slower, have more joint pain, lose some of our range of motion, and reflexes slow, the risk of falls goes up. As senses such as vision, hearing, touch, smell, and even taste change, these also increase the risk of falls.

The kidney and liver changes are especially important as we think about the impact on how our body handles medications. The liver is the key organ that breaks down medicines in our body. The kidney is one of the primary ways they are then removed. So, as our kidneys and liver slow down, for many medicines, we need lower doses. Sometimes, at some point in the decline of kidneys or liver, some medications should NOT be used at all.

Falls can lead to losing your ability to walk, run, climb stairs, and be as active as you would like to be.

Remember, with accumulated years we also grow in wisdom, in maturity, and learn to count the blessings in our lives! Graceful aging is a beautiful thing. I just don’t want you to fall!

Call us at Meds MASH for a thorough assessment of your current changes, your medications, and ways to decrease your risk of falls. This is one of our specialties! Michelle is one of the creators of a comprehensive falls risk assessment.

You can reach Michelle at michelle@medsmash.com; 410-472-5078; www.medsmash.com/contact.

BIBLICATION APPLICATION

Our bodies aren’t the only things that change with time. Our Christian walk is also a journey with twists and turns. Ideally it is an uphill climb to more maturity. But without practice and several bumps in the road, it can be a very flat journey.

Ephesians 4:14-15 ESV

So that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,

Growing, learning, and changing take effort and dedication. Practice makes perfect. I don’t expect any of us will reach perfect until Heaven, but practice can certainly help us with improvement.

Hebrews 5:12-13 ESV

For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child.

To grow and change, we take risks, learn from our mistakes, and gain confidence as God sees us through each obstacle.

James 1:1-27 ESV

James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings. Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. …

Romans 5:3-4 ESV

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,

Rather than avoid the changes that include hardship, know that God will get you through them, and you will grow and change in beautiful ways with each piece of the journey.

Blessings,

Michelle

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Hate and Health – Surviving These Days

Hate and ugliness can shape your life. It often comes out of nowhere. How you deal with it has a huge impact on your health.

You often can’t prevent it. You can’t predict. It hits you out of nowhere, so you can’t prepare for it. Yet, hate and ugliness touch most, if not all, of us at some time at least once.

What is the ugliest event that has occurred in your life? How have you been touched by hate? How did you handle it at the time? How have you handled it since?

As a nation and a global community we have seen and experienced acts of hate in so many forms recently. There is unrest stirred by fear, threats, and acts of terror. If this fear takes over in your life, your stress levels increase, your heart works harder, your risk of depression goes way up, anxiety increases, sleep is impaired, and your overall health declines.

Last week I talked about the health benefits of thinking about other people and their needs rather than focusing just on yourself. Altruism is very directly linked to improved health.

The other thing that was directly related to this particular medical mission to Jamaica from which I just returned was a tragic act of hate. The group with whom I worked, Teams for Medical Missions, www.t4mm.org, has been served for many years by long-term missionary couples in Jamaica. These couples have developed programs for children, programs for youth, programs to train ministers for local churches, built many houses, provided chronic and acute medical care by hosting medical mission teams, and so much more. They are Christian missionaries with a real passion for the people of Jamaica, in particular those in the more rural and underserved area of St. Mary Parish.

At the end of April, the two men of these couples were riding their motorcycles on some trails at the top of a mountain known to have beautiful views of the island. Two young men were in that area and heard the motorcycle motors. They decided to wait in a particular place where the motorcycles were sure to pass and ambush them. Both missionaries were killed. It was not a targeted act, just a needless act of hate.

This shook the entire island. The young men who had been actively served by events hosted by these couples for years now stay close to the wife who remains, and they have been staying at her house so she is not alone. The Prime Minister, head of island security, and many others have come to show their respect. Many people have expressed their sorrow in many tender ways.

These medical teams typically provide care in provisional clinics in four local churches once a quarter. People are given a 3-month supply of medication for chronic illnesses, and acute illnesses are treated. Many people in that Parish rely on those clinics for their medical care. I had the humbling experience of seeing the love and gratitude shared with the missionary wife and all of the team members. (All had been on these teams several times and knew the slain missionaries well. This was a very emotional trip for all who were simultaneously grieving and expressing the desire to keep moving forward.) Many residents expressed surprise the clinics were continuing. There was an expectation the mission would fold and return to the US after these deaths.

In spite of these acts of hate, the hope continues. Teri, an incredibly strong and faithful woman is staying and planning what the future can hold in this completely new scenario. Her grief is real and raw. Yet, she is not curled in a corner refusing to move forward.

Health in the midst of hate

The elements that are associated with maintaining health in the midst of hate are:

  • friends to talk to
  • people who care about you
  • a sense of self-worth
  • forgiveness
  • security
  • conflict management skills
  • religion/spirituality

These have all been linked with improved health.

And I will add having a source of HOPE. I believe hope is powerful in the midst of difficulty.

So, knowing that hate and ugliness can strike at any time, the best you can prepare is to take care of yourself, cherish your friends and family, develop your conflict management skills, and forgive others. Find your personal source of hope.  Like Teri, find ways to find hope and stay positive and undeterred in the face of hate.

For more information about hate and health, contact us at www.medsmash.com/contact.

BIBLICAL APPLICATION

Hate, terror, oppression, racism, and other ugliness are all around. And, the Bible gives us indication this will only get worse.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 MSG

Don’t be naive. There are difficult times ahead. As the end approaches, people are going to be self-absorbed, money-hungry, self-promoting, stuck-up, profane, contemptuous of parents, crude, coarse, dog-eat-dog, unbending, slanderers, impulsively wild, savage, cynical, treacherous, ruthless, bloated windbags, addicted to lust, and allergic to God. They’ll make a show of religion, but behind the scenes they’re animals. Stay clear of these people.

I believe our role in these days is three fold:

  1. Be prepared

1 Peter 3:14-16 ESV

But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.

  1. Be discerning

Matthew 24:4-8 MSG

Jesus said, “Watch out for doomsday deceivers. Many leaders are going to show up with forged identities, claiming, ‘I am Christ, the Messiah.’ They will deceive a lot of people. When reports come in of wars and rumored wars, keep your head and don’t panic. This is routine history; this is no sign of the end. Nation will fight nation and ruler fight ruler, over and over. Famines and earthquakes will occur in various places. This is nothing compared to what is coming.

  1. Be reaching out

Philippians 2:1-4 MSG

If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.

And another version of my favorite verses of the year about hope!

Romans 5:3-5 MSG

There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!

Blessings,

Michelle

Spiritual health

Four Components of True Health – Spiritual Health

Spiritual health
Spirituality is a key component of total health

Spiritual health is the third of the four components of health. True health requires health in all four components. Over the last two weeks we covered physical and mental health. Next week we will cover the fourth component.

This blog is being released on the most important holiday of the Christian religion. It seems timely to talk about spirituality and why and how it is linked with your health.

Researchers have studied what are the differences between the most healthy and the least health people in our world. Certainly some of the factors are:

  • our genes
  • our environment
  • our accessibility to healthcare
  • our social system

These are more tangible, or objective, types of factors. We can define and measure them. But, these measures alone can’t explain all of the differences in our health.

A component that many researches have included is the concept of religion. Most studies I have found don’t differentiate which religion. They just look at whether the person identifies with a religion. Studies have found that identifying with religion is associated with better health.

Why would spiritual health and religion be associated with better health?

One potential reason religion could enhance your health could be belief in a higher power. There is assurance and hope in having someone/something overseeing your life. In some religions there is a direct relationship with the higher power. In others, a common belief system provides a group to whom you can belong and share those beliefs.

Religion has also been credited with providing a way of coping with life events. In some religions, God can be asked for help. Some studies have demonstrated a positive benefit of prayer on health. In others, the care of one another by people within a religious group benefits health outcomes.

The sense of belonging, the social opportunities, and the structure of religion appear to add to enhanced health. In addition, religion provides additional opportunities for volunteering. Those who volunteer have been found to be healthier. Of course, there are non-religious ways to volunteer. But, some of the studies found those with a religious affiliation to be more likely to volunteer.

Altruism is one of the attributes associated with improved health. Altruism is defined as, “feelings and behaviors that show a desire to help other people and a lack of selfishness” (Merriam-Webster definition). Some of the major religions – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – encourage helping others. Then, God will reward such actions. Either way, people who think about and do positive things for other people are healthier.

There is growing interest in studying this. There is now evidence to support the crucial role of spirituality in overall health. Stay tuned to see how this information will be incorporated in to our healthcare system.

There are no medications for spirituality. So, you might wonder why Meds MASH would be posting about this topic. But, it is a core part of overall health. So in the interest of completeness, spirituality is an important topic.

For a list of references used in the writing of this blog, please contact us at www.medsmash.com.

BIBLICAL APPLICATION

Happy holiest of days! Our Savior lives!

The sun has been shining, the days are warming, my favorite color of spring green is starting to turn up everywhere, flowers are blooming! This season makes me so happy!

Have you noticed how circumstances can really improve your mood and make you happy?

I’ve injured my leg (again) and will likely need surgery. Insurance has made the treatment process incredibly long. How frustrating. Have you noticed how circumstances can dampen your mood?

How much is your life tossed up and down by circumstances? The roller coaster ride of the ups and down can be exhausting!

You can’t keep life circumstances from happening. Good things and bad things happen to everyone. There is no avoiding it. But, you have the ultimate hedge of protection around you like a solid house that protects you in a hurricane. No matter what happens in your life, because of what happened Holy Week, you have a source of hope and peace.

Jesus was betrayed by one of his closest friends. Many people worked together behind his back to find a way to destroy him. He was slandered. He experienced the ultimate defamation of his character. He was accused of crimes he never committed. He was humiliated. He was physically abused beyond recognition. He was tortured. Many who had supported him either abandoned him or turned against him. The official who could have protected him did not. He was murdered in public with additional humiliations in the worst, most painful way known to people at that time.

He was completely without sin. He did nothing wrong. He is the only person to ever walk the earth who could claim that.

So, why did he willingly go to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday knowing full well this was what would happen by the end of the week?

Romans 14:9 ESV

For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.

Isaiah 53:5 ESV

But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.

John 3:16 ESV

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

YOU are the reason Jesus endured all of this. His love for YOU. Your sins. All that separated you from God due your weaknesses is now gone. Because Jesus died for YOU, you have the promise of eternal life! There is no better gift anyone could ever give you.

Jesus did not remain in the grave. After three days He came back to life! Again, all for YOU!

John 11:25 ESV

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,

John 6:40 ESV

For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

1 Corinthians 6:14 ESV

And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power.

May you be richly blessed as you ponder this love that can protect you from any storm.

Michelle

Image source: colinsclipart.com