Cart-Aided Golf Still Packs a Workout
Ample fresh air and a moderate walking pace make golf feel like leisure, but this recent NPR piece reinforces that even with modifications like motorized carts, golf is indeed a sport. The number of steps a player takes when golfing with a cart can still equate to about two miles over the course of 18 holes, not to mention energy burn over 1,000 calories. Golf also works out a player’s core muscles and balance.
Courses and clubs like golf carts because they earn revenue and speed up players’ games, allowing for more tee times. For players with advanced age or health challenges, using a cart can make it possible to continue playing for longer. And with such a rarefied combination of enjoyment and exercise, hitting the links by any means necessary is a good thing.
Safe Ramadan Observance, Even with Type 2 Diabetes
The Muslim holy month of Ramadan is underway, which is observed in part by fasting during daylight hours. Although Islamic law makes allowances for individuals with diabetes, some patients with type 2 diabetes still prefer to fast. This raises risks of unregulated blood sugar during the day, as well as weight gain from overindulging after the fast is broken. Recent findings suggest that for adults with type 2 diabetes, educational clinics about safe fasting practices and individualized treatment plans can help keep blood glucose and weight under control, and also avoid severe episodes of hypoglycemia. (The study’s authors caution that their findings are for type 2 diabetes only — individuals with type 1 diabetes, children, and pregnant women with diabetes should not fast during Ramadan.)
Medicare Incentives Reward Home Health Successes
As part of the Affordable Care Act’s aim to reduce health care expenditures, a program called Independence at Home was established. The program theorized that coordinated care and home visits could help providers manage patients’ chronic conditions and avoid expensive emergency department visits and hospital stays. Providers who demonstrated successful cost savings would receive incentive payments as a reward. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently announced that the theory was borne out in the first year of the program: savings averaged about $3,000 per beneficiary, and quality goals were also met (and, in many cases, improved). They will award incentives of more then $11 million nationwide to providers for demonstrating that home health care promotes safer aging in place and reduces the cost of long-term care.
(Home-Based Care Program is a $25 Million Success for Medicare; Home Health Care News)
- Any exercise offers benefits, but a recent study demonstrated that a combination of intense balance and strength training substantially decreased not only fall risk, but also the risk of injury related to falls. (Elderly women who start exercising may break fewer bones; Reuters Health)
- Improved response times and procedures, as well as better self-management of risk factors, has drastically reduced the death rate from heart attacks. Learn about some of the advances that capitalize on speed and cooperation in treatment. (A Sea Change in Treating Heart Attacks; New York Times)
- Because chronic pain is not always well understood, treatments have been elusive and not widely successful. A recent genetic study could provide a new path to patient relief. (Potent approach shows promise for chronic pain; MNT)
- NPR contributor and early-onset Alzheimer’s patient Greg O’Brien continues his Inside Alzheimer’s series by describing the hallucinations he has been experiencing more frequently. (Seeing What Isn’t There: Inside Alzheimer’s Hallucinations; NPR)
- The Department of Health and Human Services reports that seniors who receive education for fall prevention do have fewer falls and related injuries. At Residential Home Health, our proven StepWise program similarly addresses home hazards and how to safely get up from a fall. (New HHS Fall Prevention Program Keeps Seniors at Home Longer, for Cheaper; Home Health Care News)
- Itching is a symptom that's hard to ignore, and treatments are usually soothing in nature, without stopping the urge. However, researchers may be closing on the source of the sensation, which could lead to treatments to curb the itch altogether. (Scientists Investigate What Makes Us Itch; NPR)
- Speaking of itching, scientists are discovering that the skin condition psoriasis may be linked to arthritis, although the specifics of the connection (how and why) are not yet clear. (Many psoriasis patients have undiagnosed arthritis; Reuters)
- Here’s a quick but comprehensive primer on long-distance caregiving. (Looking after elderly parents when they’re far away: Preparation is important; Bankrate)