Canine influenza is a viral disease of dogs. You may have read reports about this in the news. Luckily, there are some easy ways you can prevent your dog from getting this disease (and other viruses).
FOR A QUICK OVERVIEW, HERE ARE 5 EASY WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR DOG:
1. Know more about how this virus is spread to your dog
2. Get your dog vaccinated against canine influenza
3. Stay away from areas where your dog will encounter other dogs
4. Learn more about whether canine influenza can spread to other species
5. Understand what it looks like if your dog may be infected with canine influenza
How is the disease spread? Canine influenza is spread to other dogs like human influenza virus is spread to other people–coughing, sneezing, and even indirectly through objects like leashes, food bowls and clothing that can carry the live virus (this virus can live on surfaces for up to 48 hours).
What about a vaccine for canine influenza? Like the human influenza virus changes every year, so can canine influenza. Therefore, currently available canine influenza vaccines may not be 100% protective. Regardless, they are likely to help your dog’s immune system fight against exposure to many strains of canine influenza. Talk to your veterinarian about what vaccines are recommended for your dogs.
How can you prevent your dog from getting exposed to canine influenza? One of the best ways to prevent the spread of canine influenza is to keep your dog away from other dogs. However, you may want to balance the risk of exposure versus your dog’s happiness. If your dog loves to have “playdates” with other dogs, be sure you know that your dog’s playmates are receiving the same kind of precautions you give your dog, like vaccines. Similarly, make sure that if your dog needs to go to dog day care or to a boarding facility, that the facility has stringent guidelines about vaccinations (plus disease testing for heartworm and parasite control)....
Summer in Ohio is the time to finally be able to enjoy the outdoors, which make becoming more physically fit doable. Summer also is a good time to take the “Financially Fit Challenge.” Here are some ways to help your aging loved one do both.
WARD OFF HEALTH ISSUES
The days are longer, which means more time to plan activities to increase your physical fitness. Being physically fit helps you ward off health problems, have more energy, and feel better inside and out. You can become physically fit by adding more steps each day while enjoying the outdoors.
Take the challenge every summer by turning off the television or electronic device for at least an hour to enjoy more of summer’s fresh air in an outdoor physical activity. It only takes 21 days to create a new healthy habit, and you will have the satisfaction of meeting your fitness goal.
BE MONEY WISE
At the same time, you can become more financially fit by setting aside time to “Close the holes in your financial security bucket.” Did you realize that most people do not check their beneficiary forms that they may have completed a long time ago for their insurance, investment or retirement (IRA, 401k or 403b) accounts?
Just like getting a physical each year, your financial and risk protection house needs an annual check-up to cover up any holes. Adjust your plan to meet yearly changes. Eight out of 10 people do not have their important legal documents completed to ensure that their wishes will be completed their way during life or after they pass.
Have you thought about what would happen to your nest egg if you become too ill to take care of yourself or make your own decisions?
Without a plan, you may not have “your wishes, your way.” With a solid plan, your care will be followed the way you want it to happen....
A bit of arthritis. High cholesterol. Diabetes. Aging takes its toll on everyone. As health issues mount, so do the number of prescription medications. A hodgepodge of pill bottles lining a kitchen windowsill or crowded into a bathroom drawer can be a dangerous way to manage medication.
Take one drug twice daily, another only at bedtime, a third with meals — it’s easy to make a mistake. Aging family members can have a difficult time sorting through an ever-increasing assortment of prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, vitamins and other supplements. The problem can be magnified by possible memory and other issues.
Personalized Help Via Technology
While the everyday pill box can help keep things organized, there are organizations around the region that sort and deliver prescriptions in personalized pouches. One example is the Cleveland area-based Exactcare Pharmacy.
With no additional cost beyond the usual pharmacy charge, the company will provide an in-home assessment of all medications that someone takes.
A trained staff member looks at every prescription and over-the-counter medication, contacts each physician to review dosages and other details and turns the information over to the company’s online pharmacy. All insurance claims and other paperwork are handled by Exactcare. Drugs are sorted and packed into carefully marked pouches that detail the day, time and other dosage information. The box of drugs, including any inhalers, diabetic supplies and over-the-counter medicines, is delivered to the home with no shipping charges, says Dale Wollschleger, company founder and president.
It’s best suited for people who take five or more medications regularly. Antibiotics, for example, are taken for a specific amount of time and don’t lend themselves to the program.
Wollschleger, a pharmacist, had worked with mental health patients and devised a system to help them take multi-doses of medications. He knew the system could be helpful to others, so he started Exactcare....
If the older adult in your care has health problems, he or she may have a hard time starting or consistently doing exercises. Those health problems may reduce energy levels or make activities feel too difficult.
However, there are easy exercises for those who do not have much energy or do not feel well. Getting started is the hardest part. You can help your loved one start at a lower level that he or she can tolerate before building up to recommended levels of activity.
If you do the exercises together, not only will you gain the benefits of the exercise, you will be spending quality time with your loved one and may find that some of the stress associated with caregiving is reduced.
BENEFITS OF EXERCISE
Older adults who regularly exercise or maintain high levels of physical activity have a better quality of life, as well as improved memory, mood and ability to do daily tasks. Physical activity is important, and possible, even for people who have physical health, memory or mental health problems. Although health problems can make it challenging to be physically active, exercise can still be beneficial.
Even older adults with severe memory problems experience benefits from regular exercise. Early findings from a study by the Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging — the Reducing Disability in Alzheimer’s Disease study — show that exercising helped improve the ability for people with dementia to do daily activeties, such as dressing, bathing and walking. The exercises helped improve their mood, too.
CREATING AN EXERCISE PLAN
The American Heart Association recommends that older adults spend two and half to five hours per week doing moderate-intensity exercise; or about 30-60 minutes a day, five times a week. This can be done all at once or in increments as little as 10 minutes at a time....
The weather is turning warmer and for many, thoughts are turning to the dozens of great outdoor parks, fairs and festivals that Ohio’s communities offer.
The Ohio Department of Aging, through its STEADY U and HEALTHY U initiatives, urges all Ohioans to think about health and safety while enjoying the festivities.
HERE ARE SOME TIPS TO STAY SAFE THIS SEASON:
● As much as possible, stick to paved surfaces and sidewalks. Consider using a cane or walking stick for off-road walking.
● Trash, hoses and cables in walkways can cause you to slip or trip.
● Heavy crowds can affect the way you walk and cause you to trip or be knocked over. Consider attending events and attractions during off-peak times, such as early in the day and on weekdays, to avoid large crowds.
● Dehydration and exhaustion can make you unsteady on your feet before you realize you feel tired or thirsty. Take frequent breaks to sit down and rest. Drink plenty of non-alcoholic liquids to stay hydrated. Watch for signs of dehydration and heat-related illness, such as muscle cramps, light-headedness, nausea, rapid heartbeat, flushed or clammy skin and disorientation. Seek cool environments and medical attention if you experience symptoms.
GET THE MOST OUT OF SUMMER DESTINATIONS:
● Make a budget for your visit. Know how much you expect to spend for travel, parking, admission, food, gifts and other expenses.
● Contact the venue in advance to ask about discounts on admission, food or gifts for veterans, seniors or groups.
● Call ahead to ask about wheelchair or mobility scooter rentals and prices, or if you can bring your own. Ask if there are any areas of the venue that are not accessible for people with limited mobility.
● Bring any necessary medications with you in a sealed, waterproof container, along with a list of the medicines you take and dosage information....