Search Site

Health and First Aid Advice for Seniors

  • Seniors and Falls

    The CDC is making major strides in helping the medical profession address a serious issue for Seniors: Falls.

    Do you fall because your hip breaks or does your hip break because you fall?

    SteadiAccording to the New Hampshire Orthopaedic Center, both can happen but falls probably account for the majority of fractures as programs to help to minimize the risk of falls and the use of hip protectors to cushion the hip in high risk patients can reduce (but not completely prevent) hip fractures.

    Falls are not an inevitable part of aging. There are specific things that you, as their health care provider, can do to reduce their chances of falling. STEADI's tools and educational materials will help you to:

    • Identify patients at low, moderate, and high risk for a fall;
    • Identify modifiable risk factors; and
    • Offer effective interventions.

    3 Questions That Can Help Protect Older Adults from Falls

    New STEADI Older Adult Fall Prevention Online Training for Providers


    • Continuing Education available for this free interactive course.
    • Make fall prevention part of your clinical practice and learn to screen patients 65+ for falls, identify risk factors, and offer interventions.
    • Log in or create an account on CDC TRAIN, then search for "STEADI".

    New funding comes from the CDC for advancement in these areas...  Research to Advance Primary Care-Pharmacy Linkage for Medication Review to Reduce Older Adult Falls

    Research Funding Opportunity Announcement

    Research to Advance Primary Care-Pharmacy Linkage for Medication Review to Reduce Older Adult Falls (RFA-CE-16-002)

    CDC’s Injury Center intends to commit approximately $1,050,000 over a 3-year project period with a maximum of $350,000 per year. This funding will support one application to research how community pharmacists can work with their primary care providers on medication management to increase the potential health impact of fall prevention efforts. Promising practices identified by this research could be reproduced and integrated into more comprehensive fall risk assessment and management strategies.

    The purpose of this research is to investigate sustainable and reproducible models that would link community pharmacists to primary care providers, enhancing medication review and management to reduce the risk of falls in older adults. This research should also examine potential health benefits, implementation costs, and sustainability of the proposed pharmacy-primary care linkages.

    Important Dates

    • Letter of Intent Due: 01/15/2016
    • Application Due: 02/15/2016

    Learn More

    The funding opportunity announcement can be found at


    A hip fracture is a dreaded injury for most older adults. It is extremely common; there are over 300,000 hospitalizations for hip fractures each year. It is estimated that 1 out of every 7 post menopausal Caucasian women will have a hip fracture during their lifetime. There are some steps you can take to decrease your risk of breaking your hip.

    Home Safety. Falls are a common cause of fractures. Look around your home. Secure loose area rugs. Install grab bars in the bathrooms and showers. Make sure stairs are well lit and do not leave objects on stairs. Make sure slippery driveways and stairs are salted in the winter, and stay indoors if the weather is bad. Flashlights should be located near your bedroom in case of power outages at night. Keep the floor clear of clutter. Pets, although loving companions, are frequently implicated in falls, especially small dogs and cats. Do not rush. Many people who fall were in a hurry! Do not be too proud to use a cane or walker if you need one.

    Heath and Wellness. Have your vision checked yearly. Get new glasses if you need them. Review your list of medications yearly with your medical doctor. Some medications can have side effects or interact with other drugs causing dizziness or fatigue. Low blood pressure or abnormal heart rhythms may also contribute to falls. An undiagnosed urinary tract infection may result in confusion and a fall. Excessive use of alcohol also contributes to falls. Stop smoking. Nicotine decreases bone density and contributes to the development of osteoporosis.

    Exercise. As you age, muscle mass decreases causing weakness and poor balance. A regular exercise program incorporating strength training and balance exercises can help to prevent falls. Weight bearing exercise such as walking can maintain and improve bone density. Tai Chi exercises have been shown to be very beneficial in improving balance. A structured physical therapy program can help you improve your strength, balance, and gait.

    Osteoporosis Treatment and Prevention. There are many things you can do to prevent osteoporosis. Adequate levels of calcium and Vitamin D are important in building and maintaining bone mass. Bone density can be quantified with a DEXA scan. If you have osteoporosis you should discuss treatment options with your medical doctor.

  • Preserving the Power of Antibiotics for Humans and Animals

    During this year’s #GetSmartWeek, we’ve been reminded that the single most important action to slow the development and spread of antibiotic-resistant infections is for every one of us to improve the way antibiotics are prescribed and used.

    Download the free infographic! Download the free infographic!

    On CDC’s Safe Healthcare blog today, Dr. Lonnie King discusses how antibiotics in human and veterinary medicine remain the cornerstone of treating and preventing serious bacterial infections. And how it will take commitment from all sectors, including the human health side and the animal health side, in order to preserve the power of antibiotics.

    Learn more about how  you can keep Get Smart About Antibiotics activities going, even after the awareness week.

  • Health IQ: Free App!

    Challenge Your Health IQDo you know the minimum SPF needed to protect yourself from the sun's harmful rays? Or how many seconds you should wash your hands to kill germs? Test your health IQ to see how your health skills stack up. Choose from three levels of difficulty or be surprised by selecting a Random mix. Each quiz delivers a mix of 10 questions. Correctly answer as many of the 10 questions as quickly as possible with the hopes of earning bonuses like A+ Student, Public Health Nerd, and Einstein or score poorly and earn the Hot Mess achievement! New questions will be added frequently. Play again and again and try to beat your highest score!

    More Apps:

  • Slippery When Wet

    Slips, Trips and Falls -

    There's a reason Autumn is known as "Fall". Leaves fall, People Fall. Between falling leaves and branches, clutter , debris and moisture; Fall can be a serious slip, trip, and fall time.

    This is a danger in the workplace for employees and guests, and at home for all - but especially seniors and children.

    Keep walkways clear, dry, and well lit, and think about slip and trip hazards.

    Slips, Trips and Falls - OSHA Safety Training

    slips-trips-falls-tileMost employees don't give much thought to the prospect of slipping, tripping or even falling on the job. Yet these types of accidents account for more workplace injuries annually than any other accident category. Many of these injuries can be disabling... or even fatal.

    Our training products on "Slips, Trips and Falls" show employees the situations that can lead to slips, trips and falls, and what they can do to avoid or prevent these accidents. Topics covered in these products include:

    • Why slips, trips and falls occur.
    • Common causes of accidents.
    • Potential health effects of resulting injuries.
    • Techniques used to avoid injury.
    • The importance of safety shoes.
    • How to fall safely.
    • and more.

    Get a Quote for a Class:
    Slips, Trips and Falls Live Instruction Training Courses at YOUR Location

  • Halloween is not the only creepy thing

    CDC releases combined summary of notifiable infectious, noninfectious diseases...

    The Summary (Infectious) summarizes data on dozens of nationally notifiable diseases and conditions in the United States.  Highlights include:

    • West Nile virus (WNV) In 2013, 47 states and the District of Columbia reported 2,469 cases of WNV disease – including 1,267 cases of WNV meningitis, encephalitis, and acute flaccid paralysis. There were 119 deaths. WNV disease incidence was similar to that during 2004-2007 but was higher than during 2008-2011.
    • Chlamydia — In 2013, about 1.4 million cases of this sexually transmitted disease were reported – decrease of 1.5 percent from 4.46.6 to 453.3 cases per 100,000 population. This is the first time since national chlamydia reporting began that the overall rate declined – largely due to decreases among women. It is not clear whether the decrease is due to fewer chlamydia infections or to a drop in chlamydia screening.
    • Pandemic & Germ Preparedness

      Valley fever (coccidioidomycosis) —This fungal infection caused by inhalation of spores present in the dry soil of the southwestern U.S. and California was recently detected in Washington State, far outside its usual range. The 9,438 reported cases in 2013 are a 47 percent decrease from 2012. Cases decreased by 55 percent in Arizona, which reports the most cases of any state, and by 27 percent in California. Despite the decrease, valley fever remains a major source of illness in affected areas.

    • Cyclosporiasis — This intestinal illness is caused by a microscopic parasite lurking in contaminated food and water. In 2013, the largest number of outbreak-associated cases of cyclosporiasis – 784 -- was reported to CDC since 1997. At least two outbreaks were linked to fresh produce imported from Mexico (bagged salad mix and cilantro). But the vehicle of infection for more than two thirds of reported cases could not be determined. CDC is working to develop advanced molecular detection methods to link cases to specific sources of infection.
    • Dengue — Spread by mosquitoes, dengue is a potentially serious viral infection. In 2013, dengue outbreaks occurred in Florida, Texas, and Puerto Rico. Epidemics in the Caribbean and in Central and South America resulted in 794 travel-associated cases – more than in previous years.
    • Gonorrhea — U.S. cases of this sexually transmitted bacterial infection increased 8.8 percent from 2009 to 2012, but decreased slightly (by 0.6 percent) in 2013 to 106.1 cases per 100,000 population. Nationwide, the gonorrhea rate increased 4.3 percent among men and decreased 5.1 percent among women. Treatment for gonorrhea is complicated by the bacteria’s growing resistance to antibiotics.
    • Influenza-associated pediatric deaths — From Dec. 30, 2012, to Dec. 28, 2013, CDC received reports of 161 deaths among people under the age 18 years – a more than three-fold increase compared with 2012, and a two-fold decrease compared with the pandemic year 2009. There were 69 pediatric deaths from seasonal influenza per calendar year during 2005-2012 and 358 pediatric deaths reported during the 2009-2010 flu pandemic.
    • Measles — There were 10 measles outbreaks in 2013, accounting for three-fourths of reported cases. The three largest outbreaks accounted for more than half of cases. In each outbreak, measles spread after a U.S. resident who caught measles abroad introduced the extremely contagious viral infection into communities with pockets of people unvaccinated because of philosophical or religious beliefs.
    • Meningococcal Disease In 2013, U.S. rates of meningococcal disease continued to be at historic lows. However, there were serogroup B outbreaks at two universities – one in California and one in New Jersey – resulting in 13 cases and one death.
    • Novel flu viruses   In 2013, there were 21 cases of human infection with variant flu viruses in the U.S. – all associated with direct or indirect contact with swine. There were no human-to-human transmissions. Any public health laboratory that receives a suspicious specimen of flu virus – one that cannot be subtyped using standard methods -- immediately submits that specimen to CDC for further testing.
    • Whooping cough (pertussis) Reported pertussis cases decreased from 2012 to 2013. However, cases continue to exceed those reported during the 1990s and early 2000s.
    • Salmonellosis   Salmonella causes an estimated 1.2 million illnesses per year in the U.S. The largest multistate outbreak in 2013 was traced to contaminated chicken. Other notable outbreaks were linked to live poultry, tahini sesame paste, cucumbers, and small pet turtles.
    • Hepatitis C (HCV)  After receiving reports of about 800 to 1,000 cases of acute HCV infection per year from 2006-2010, there was an increase of 73.9 percent to 2,138 cases in 2013. Investigations show a marked increase in the number of acute cases of HCV among young, nonminority people who inject drugs, many of whom also abuse oral prescription opioid drugs.
  • Fall is Ripe for Safety

    We thought it was about time to offer up some fall & autumn safety tips;

    Things to consider... Get a flu shot. Flu vaccination doesn't guarantee you won't come down with influenza, it does help lessen the chances of personal illness, as well as this Flu Season building into another pandemic. Learn more: Cough? Cold? Flu? Infection? Pandemic?

    Handwashing - Wash your hands. One of the best ways to avoid getting sick is to wash them regularly and thoroughly. Use hot water, plenty of soap, and wash for at least 30 seconds. Last Thursday was Global Handwashing Day.

    Avoid going to work when sick - this only leads to spreading it to your workmates. Your boss and coworkers will thank you because group productivity won’t be at risk. It’s easier to deal with one person away from the office than several, all because you coughed on them. Read about Cough, Cold, Runny Nose

    Bundle up.When you’re outside and it’s chilly, wear a jacket. It sounds pretty basic, but you’d be surprised how many people think they’re “tough guys” walking around in a t-shirt when it’s 40 degrees out. Warmers make a huge difference, too - whether out in the rain or watching a football game from the stands - keeping warm and dry is essential.

    Raking leaves? Prevent back injuries by standing upright while raking and pull from your arms and legs. Don’t overfill leaf bags, and when picking them up, bend at the knee and use your legs, not your back, for support.

    If you use a leaf blower, shield yourself. Wear appropriate clothing, eye protection, and work boots to prevent injury.

    Do not allow children to play in leaf piles near the curb. The piles can obstruct the view of drivers and put your child at risk for getting hit, especially since it gets dark outside earlier. Also, there are nasty biting things in those piles, so remember to use insect repellent, even when it is cold out.

    Autumn Safety at Home

    Every month should be fire prevention month, but we tend to plug in a lot more devices in the fall and winter. It’s important to test all smoke alarms and have a family fire drill. Remember to replace used and expired fire extinguishers as well.

    Turn your heater on before the temperatures really plummet so you can ensure it works. Contact a technician to inspect that it’s operating properly if you suspect it needs servicing.

    Keep all flammable materials away from your furnace. This includes, clothing, paint products, toxic materials, cardboard and more.

    If you use a portable or space heater, keep it away from clothing, bedding, drapery and furniture. Remember to shut them off if you leave the house and don’t leave them unattended if you have children or pets.

    Do not use your space heater as a dryer for hats, gloves and other articles of clothing.
    If you have a fireplace, inspect the chimney to confirm it is free of debris, creosote buildup, and is unobstructed so combustibles can vent. Make sure the bricks, mortar and liner are in good condition.

    Do not warm your kitchen with a gas range or an open oven door, as this can lead to toxic air that is not safe to breathe.

    Keep matches, lighters and candles out of the reach of children and pets.

    When burning a candle, don’t leave them unattended, burning near other flammable items or on an unsteady surface.

    Doing laundry? Avoid fires by cleaning filters after each load of wash and removing lint that collects in dryer vents.

    Do a quick check for areas that may need repair before extreme weather hits: unsteady roof shingles, warped windowsills and concrete that might be sloping toward the house.
    Check all outdoor lighting fixtures to make sure they are working properly. This can safeguard you against falls and neighborhood crime. Clean your gutters by removing all debris and leaves. Before burning leaves, check your city’s regulations, as it may be illegal where you live. If you burn them, do so away from the house and use proper containers.

    Fall Car Safety

    With fewer hours of daylight, it can be difficult to see pedestrians or cyclists clearly, so if you don’t have automatic headlights, make sure they are on at the onset of dusk.

    DuskIn the mornings, the sun can be extremely bright, making it difficult to see brake lights ahead. Keep a pair of sunglasses in your car to reduce glare and protect your vision.

    Temperatures can also affect driving performance. Clear your windshield of frost before beginning your journey and turn on your defogger if necessary. Frost can also form on the road surface without being visible, so be cautious in wooded areas, bridges and overpasses, where ice can quickly develop. Remember, leaves + rain can also make for a very slippery surface!

    Keep an emergency kit in your trunk. Be sure yours includes a flashlight, first-aid kit, jumper cables, windshield washer fluid and basic tools. You might even consider purchasing a car battery charger if you have a long commute each day.

    In Michigan there is a saying – “Don’t veer for deer.” Meaning, don’t swerve! You could lose control of the car quickly, especially if you are on a curve or narrow road with little to no shoulder. Instead, brake firmly with both hands on the wheel to come to a controlled stop.

    Pet Safety in the colder Months

    If your pets spend a lot of time outdoors or live outside, make sure that they are fed more often during cooler weather to help them retain body heat. If you live in a more rural area, and own farm animals like horses, have a place where non-frozen water is accessible to them. Also read: Pet Safety & Holiday Happiness

    While many mushrooms are non-toxic, some are poisonous for dogs and it’s difficult to tell the difference. To avoid mushroom poisoning, walk them in areas that do not have fungi growing, and if you see your pet ingest one, call your local animal poison control center or ASPCA immediately. CDC’s Winter Weather Health & Safety Updates…Pet Safety

    It’s apple-picking season! Thinking of bringing your pets to the cider mill? Watch that they don’t eat apple stems, leaves or seeds, as they can cause vomiting, diarrhea, respiratory problems, coma and possibly death, if too much is consumed.

    Since pests tend to seek shelter from the cold indoors, you may decide to use some type of pest control chemical to keep them at bay. If you use them, particularly ones to kill rodents (rodenticides), keep them away from your pets, as even a small dose can be fatal, especially for dogs, if not treated immediately.

    Make the fall season a happy and safe one by being prepared, having a high level of awareness and knowing the right resources to contact if you’re in doubt of what to do.

    We hope you enjoyed these tips, they were based upon an excellent post "Autumn Safety Tips: Protect What Matters this Fall" by Victoria Araj who writes for Quicken Loans

  • Halloween is coming!

    Halloween, fin for kids and adults, but remember safety.

    We've spent a lot of time gathering and presenting Halloween Safety Tips over the years... these things don't change much, but you really should refresh your memory  whether you have kids or not, whether you are venturing out for Halloween festivities or not - there's something here for everyone:


  • Sweating? ☀️

    Summer.. Heat, Sun, Sweat.

    Dehydration can be deadly. Lean how to Beat the Heat:

    Heat Stress & Heat-Related Illness Heat Stress & Heat-Related Illness

    What is heat illness?

    The body normally cools itself by sweating. During hot weather, especially with high humidity, sweating isn't enough. Body temperature can rise to dangerous levels if precautions are not taken such as drinking water frequently and resting in the shade or air conditioning. Heat illnesses range from heat rash and heat cramps to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat stroke requires immediate medical attention and can result in death.

    How can heat illness be prevented?

    Employers should establish a complete heat illness prevention program to prevent heat illness. This includes: provide workers with water, rest and shade; gradually increase workloads and allow more frequent breaks for new workers or workers who have been away for a week or more to build a tolerance for working in the heat(acclimatization); modify work schedules as necessary; plan for emergencies and train workers about the symptoms of heat-related illnesses and their prevention; and monitor workers for signs of illness. Workers new to the heat or those that have been away from work and are returning can be most vulnerable to heat stress and they must be acclimatized (see box).

    To prevent heat related illness and fatalities:

    • Drink water every 15 minutes, even if you are not thirsty.
    • Rest in the shade to cool down.
    • Wear a hat and light-colored clothing.
    • Learn the signs of heat illness and what to do in an emergency.
    • Keep an eye on fellow workers.
    • "Easy does it" on your first days of work in the heat. You need to get used to it.

    If workers are new to working in the heat or returning from more than a week off, and for all workers on the first day of a sudden heat wave, implement a work schedule to allow them to get used to the heat gradually. Working in full sunlight can increase heat index values by 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep this in mind and plan additional precautions for working in these conditions.

    Remember these three simple words: Water, Rest, Shade. Taking these precautions can mean the difference between life and death.

    Who is affected?

    Any worker exposed to hot and humid conditions is at risk of heat illness, especially those doing heavy work tasks or using bulky protective clothing and equipment. Some workers might be at greater risk than others if they have not built up a tolerance to hot conditions, including new workers, temporary workers, or those returning to work after a week or more off. This also includes everyone during a heat wave.

    Industries most affected by heat-related illness are: construction; trade, transportation and utilities; agriculture; building, grounds maintenance; landscaping services; and support activities for oil and gas operations.

  • Challenge to control your blood pressure!

    Of course High Blood Pressure is one of the leading causes of Cardiovascular Disease and Strokes. but you CAN control it!

    Million Hearts launches annual blood pressure control challenge

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services today launched an annual challenge designed to identify and honor clinicians and health care teams that have helped their patients control high blood pressure and prevent heart attacks and strokes.Million-Hearts


    The Million Hearts Hypertension Control Challenge recognizes exemplary public and private practices and providers that achieve sustained hypertension control rates of 70 percent or above. The challenge was developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in support of Million Hearts, an HHS initiative aimed at preventing 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.


    "Many heart attacks and strokes -- and needless early deaths -- can be prevented if we get better control of high blood pressure,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “We applaud the many medical practices which have made hypertension control a daily priority with all of their patients. We look forward to recognizing their achievements and learning from top performing practices.”


    Nearly one in three U.S. adults – or about 70 million people – has high blood pressure. Of that group, only about half has it under control. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, two of the leading causes of death nationwide. In 2013, high blood pressure was a primary or contributing cause of death for more than 360,000 Americans – that is nearly 1,000 deaths each day.


    Blood pressure management, a key strategy to prevent cardiovascular disease, is strongly emphasized by Million Hearts. Since 2012, Million Hearts has recognized 41 Champions that care for 12 million patients from small and large, urban and rural, and private, federal, and tribal health practices and systems. Past winners have used a variety of evidence-based strategies including hypertension treatment protocols, self-measured blood pressure monitoring, health information technology, and team-based care.


    “A growing number of public and private practices and systems are using evidence-based strategies to detect, connect and control high blood pressure,” said Janet S. Wright, M.D., F.A.C.C., executive director of Million Hearts. “This challenge is a way to find and celebrate these high performers and help others replicate their success. By excelling in hypertension control, Champions are helping prevent events and improving heart health across the country.”


    To enter the challenge, applicants must provide information about their practice, share verifiable high blood pressure control data, and describe how use of health information technology contributed to their success. Examples could include electronic health records, incentives for providers and patients, team-based care, and community involvement. The deadline to submit a nomination is before midnight on Oct. 31, 2015.

    For more information about the Hypertension Challenge, previous winners or to access resources, visit


    About Million Hearts Million Hearts is a national initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.  Million Hearts brings together communities, health systems, nonprofit organizations, federal agencies, and private-sector partners from across the country to fight heart disease and stroke.


    Learn More>>




    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


    CDC works 24/7 protecting America’s health, safety and security. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are curable or preventable, chronic or acute, stem from human error or deliberate attack, CDC is committed to respond to America’s most pressing health challenges.

  • Are you getting the vaccines you need?

    VaccineWe've discussed the importance of vaccination... mostly in relation to Child Safety, but what about you, our Adult Reader?

    According to the CDC, too few adults are getting the vaccines they need to protect against serious, and sometimes deadly, diseases.

    All adults need:

    • Influenza (flu) vaccine every year
    • Td or Tdap vaccine: Every adult should get the Tdap vaccine once if they did not receive it as an adolescent to protect against pertussis (whooping cough), and then a Td (tetanus, diphtheria) booster shot every 10 years. In addition, women should get the Tdap vaccine each time they are pregnant, preferably at 27 through 36 weeks.

    Other vaccines you may need as an adult are determined by factors such as:

    • age
    • lifestyle
    • health conditions
    • job
    • international travel
    • any previous vaccines you have received

    Learn more about what other vaccines may be recommended for you and talk to your healthcare professional about which vaccines are right for you.

Items 1 to 10 of 95 total

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. ...
  7. 10

Back to top