Be Your Own Advocate During Medical Rehabilitation

Recovering from surgery or a serious illness is a challenging journey. As an experienced nurse advocate, I have seen firsthand how advocacy can lead to better outcomes and a positive rehabilitation (rehab) experience.  Here are some practical steps to help you, your loved one, or friend navigate this critical time effectively and safely. Know your… Read more »

Summer Heat and UTIs

Research shows that the chances of getting a urinary tract infection (UTI) are more common in the summer. As heat and humidity rise, it is easier for germs or bacteria to grow, thus, not staying hydrated this time of year can increase the risk of developing a UTI. There are steps you can take to… Read more »

When Flags Appear in Our Dreams

We see them so often we may take them for granted, but flags are essential to our waking and dreaming worlds. Their size, colors, shapes and designs communicate safety, caution, family lineage, social status, celebration and sometimes danger. Dreams are often a microcosm of our waking world, and like flags, also speak to us with… Read more »

The 50+ Set is Ready to Roll

The 50+ set is ready for exploration – hitting the roads, trails, waters and skies. From cross-continental bike trips through Africa to surfing school in Mexico, those in their 50s – 80s are stepping out of their comfort zone and looking for adventure (as Steppenwolf’s “Born to be Wild” plays in the background). The adventure… Read more »

Consoling Your Inner Child

“Only I can set her free; my inner child, the deepest part of me.” – Dr. Amy In 2004, when I wrote my doctoral dissertation, “Study of Attachment – The Impact of Early Attachment and Current Functioning Through Relational Models of Therapy,” I could not foresee the impact and importance this work would have in… Read more »

New Treatment Brings Hope for Alzheimer’s Patients

Alzheimer’s is a complex disease and recent breakthroughs in treatment are bringing hope to individuals affected by the disease and their families. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved several new medications to help manage the symptoms or treat the disease. Following is an overview of each. Cholinesterase inhibitors such as Galantamine (Razadyne), Rivastigmine… Read more »

Daily Inspiration

Publisher’s Note: We are very proud of Desert Health contributor Tracy Smith who just launched her first book, Moments of Divine Inspiration: 365 Daily Words for Self-Discovery, Transformation and Self-Love. Following is a page from the book which offers insights and practical tools to help readers “live a life of purpose, authenticity and love.” Prepare“The… Read more »

The Successes of Sages and Seekers

California State University San Bernardino (CSUSB) Palm Desert Campus is implementing an important class that teaches things not learned in books: intergenerational communication. The national program, called Sages and Seekers, brings seniors (sages) and students (seekers) together for one-on-one interaction, group discussions and collaborative activities in a structured and supportive environment. The eight-week pilot program,… Read more »

Seniors: Go Low and Slow When Trying Cannabis

During our five years of helping seniors better understand the benefits of medical and recreational cannabis, Senior-High has maintained one consistent stipulation: when first using cannabis with THC, go “low and slow.” We strongly suggest that first-time users who may have tried cannabis years ago approach today’s gummies, vapes, pre-rolls and tinctures cautiously. Only buy… Read more »

Holiday Tips for Loved Ones with Dementia

While, for most, the holidays are a joyful season spent together with loved ones, this time of year can create confusion and fear for people with dementia. Being adaptable and building an inclusive environment are key to creating dementia-friendly holidays and celebrations. Families caring for someone with dementia should consider the following steps to help… Read more »

Art and Music Therapy for Alzheimer’s

For many years, there has been a growing recognition that art and music can contribute meaningfully to the quality of life of persons with Alzheimer’s. Music has been shown to reduce anxiety, depression, and to some extent, behavioral symptoms that when unmitigated often lead to the use of antipsychotic medication or other sedatives. Art therapies… Read more »

Gummies: A Sticky Situation for Seniors

They look so innocent. Soft, little roly-poly morsels resembling the treats your grandkids love. You’ve heard that gummies are a great, less odiferous way to help you get a good night’s sleep or mellow out. What could go wrong? Sadly, plenty – if you’re not careful. As seniors educating others on the use of cannabis,… Read more »

Staying Home vs. Assisted Living

John* had been living on Mimosa Street* in the desert for nearly 30 years and had grown to love it. He had lived alone since his partner passed away, remaining in the same house, with the same neighbors and the same memories. However, as John aged, it became more and more difficult for him to… Read more »

Understanding Vascular Dementia

Vascular Dementia (VaD) is the second most common type of dementia, behind Alzheimer’s. While Alzheimer’s accounts for 60%-70% of cases of dementia, VaD accounts for 20%.  Unlike Alzheimer’s, VaD is not marked by a buildup of protein plaques in the brain, rather it’s diagnosed by looking closely at how blood moves through the brain. VaD… Read more »

Bridging the Generational Gap

In the heart of Palm Desert, a remarkable eight-week program is quietly making a profound impact on the lives of older adults and college students alike. The Sages & Seekers program, created and administered by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) Palm Desert Campus, offers a unique… Read more »

Think Good and It Will Be Good

Why is it so difficult to delete, refresh or update the 60,000 thoughts we have daily? We can clear the cache of our computers and the data is instantly gone. Our thoughts seem to be hardwired into the hard drives of our consciousness; stored forever in a cloud called our past. This documented history can… Read more »

Pros and Cons of Therapeutic Lying

“Don’t tell lies.” It’s a lesson your parents likely taught you at a young age. And yet, compassionate communication when interacting with someone with memory loss sometimes necessitates the need for “therapeutic lying.”  Therapeutic lying or fibbing, as it is sometimes called, is when you tell a fib or bend the truth to fit the… Read more »