Avoiding Infections in the Hospital - Topic Overview
Hospitals are full of sick people, so they have a lot of germs. And although health care workers do their best to kill germs and protect patients, they can't always prevent infections. Hospital infections can be very serious, especially if you're already weak from whatever illness or problem put you in the hospital in the first place. An infection can add weeks to your hospital stay.So it's important to learn the steps you need to take to keep yourself as healthy as possible during your hospital stay.Wash your handsThis is one of the most important things you can do to prevent infection while you're in the hospital. Make sure to wash your hands:After returning to your room from other parts of the hospital.After shaking hands or otherwise touching visitors or members of your health care team.Before and after you eat.After using the bathroom.After using the phone or the TV remote control in your room or touching anything else in the room, like your window curtains.Anytime you
Preventing Falls in the Hospital - Topic Overview
During a hospital stay, you may have a higher-than-normal risk of falling. You might get medicines that make you dizzy and more likely to fall. You may get weak and confused because of illness, surgery, or treatments, and you may have a hard time getting out of bed. And things like crutches, bandages, or being connected to intravenous tubing can affect how well you can walk.If you and your family know that you have a risk of falling, you can plan ahead. Talk to doctors and nurses about helping you avoid falls. Ask your doctor if working with a physical or occupational therapist would help you prevent a fall. Don't be afraid to ask for help, even with minor things. If you or a family member or friend sees a safety hazard, make sure to point it out to the hospital staff.How can you help prevent a fall?When you go to the hospital, bring nonskid socks, slippers, or shoes that stay securely on your feet. If you don't have these, ask the nurse for a pair of nonskid socks. If you use a
Choosing Long-Term Care
Here's an article about how to find a long-term care provider -- from community services like transportation for the elderly to full-time nursing home care.
Age-Related Foot Changes - Topic Overview
Normal changes occur in your feet as you age. Feet tend to spread,possibly causing shoe size to change. Have your feet measured each time you buy shoes. Do not assume that your shoe size has not changed. The bottoms of the feet lose the fatty pads (especially the heel pad) that cushion the feet. Skin becomes thinner and less elastic and may get injured or infected more easily. Ligaments ...
Generic Drugs: Answers to Common Questions
WebMD has the answers to common questions about generics: are they as safe as brand-name drugs, are there any differences between generics and brand-names, why are generics so much cheaper than brand-name drugs, and more.
Milestone Medical Tests in Your 50s
Learn the important medical tests to get in your 50s, including thyroid tests, colon and rectal exams, PSA and prostate tests, as well as blood pressure and cholesterol exams.
Frailty in Older Adults - Topic Overview
What is frailty?Growing older often means getting tired faster and moving slower than before. But some older people become very weak, and everyday activities become hard to do. This may be a health problem called frailty. Frailty is more than just slowing down. An older adult may be frail if a combination of these two things is happening:The person feels very weak and tired. He or she has no energy.The person has been losing weight without trying.What happens when an older adult becomes frail?People who are frail may have trouble doing everyday tasks—going shopping, getting dressed, getting in or out of bed, or using the toilet. They may feel weak and off-balance and worry about falling.Experts think frailty develops because of changes in how the body works. These body changes are more likely to happen when a person has certain other health problems, such as diabetes or dementia. These other health problems can cause frailty to get worse quickly.People who are frail are more likely
Aging Well: Choosing a Nursing Home
Finding the right nursing home can help you or your loved one feel safe and cared for. A good first step to choosing a nursing home is to make a list of homes you might be interested in. Talk to family, friends, doctors, and others to get recommendations of good nursing homes. If you can, it's good to plan ahead so you have time to learn all you can about the nursing homes you're interested in. If you need to make a decision quickly, try to visit the nursing homes on your list at least once before you choose. Make sure you understand the cost and payment options for each nursing home. What do you need to know about choosing a nursing home? Why is it so important to visit the nursing home in person? How can you be sure you're choosing the right nursing home? Where can you learn more about choosing the right nursing home?Return to topic:Writing an Advance Directive
The Legal Issues of Caregiving
Being a caregiver also involves making legal preparations for your loved one. Learn how.
Questions to Ask About Your Medicines - Topic Overview
It's important to know as much as possible about the medicines you're taking. Here are some examples of questions you might ask your doctor or pharmacist: What can you tell me about this medicine? How will I know that this medicine is working? How long will it take before I notice anything? Will I need any tests while I'm on this medicine? Is an older or less expensive generic version available? ...