According to Tuttle, “In the United States, we spend more on medicine and health care, but we have very poor outcomes … What we need to do is the hard work of self care. Get enough rest, drink enough fluids, eat the right things … Many of us are going to live a lot longer than prior generations, … but how will we be living? We want to live well.”
Debbie Blank can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-934-4343, Ext. 113.
• Tuttle advised tailoring Medicare Part D for current medications. The insurer can be switched annually as medications change. • She suggested that persons 60 and up get shingles vaccines, which cost about $180 and are covered by Medicare and perhaps other insurance companies. "It's really worth it" to prevent the painful infection that can last for a long time. • "Another thing we recommend sometimes is a Lifeline unit" costing $35 a month so a senior citizen who is alone can push a button to phone for help. If he or she can't get to a phone, a Lifeline employee will ask questions using a microphone, then call a neighbor or friend listed to help. First Alert technology senses a fall and calls for help automatically for a $45 monthly fee. • A Phillips Medication Dispensing System sounds an alarm to let the person know it's time to take a medication. The system indicates if a pill is not taken and will not let a person take it late. The system, costing $75 monthly, can be filled with up to 40 days of medication, taken up to six times daily. • Nancy Reagan called Alzheimer's disease "the long goodbye." The manager noted when a person loses his or her memory, it can become "very distracting and upsetting to the mate." Caregivers may attend monthly support groups in Milan and Lawrenceburg. "You need that support." • "One of the things that is a little-known fact: Once you're in a hospital and go home, you're six times more likely to have a fall" due to being in bed, not exercising and taking medications. "The longer you can keep yourself functioning, you're giving yourself a gift" of quality of life. If a person does fall, the best way to get up, especially if alone, is to roll over on one side, rise up on all fours, crawl to a chair and push up.