Monday, December 28, 2015

Five tips on using medicines and medical devices at home

5 mg tips on health care

When I say 5 mg, I mean 5 tips only in this post.
1. When you
 a blister to take the pill out, do not start from the side of the blister that has the expiry date printed on back. You will, most likely, lose the legibility of the expiry date.  Start from the other side of the blister. This will be specially useful for those medicines to which you may return after several months or more (such as antibiotics, anti-vomiting, anti-rash, anti-diarrhoea medicines, etc.).   
2. When your pharmacist cuts two or three pills from a blister for you, to conform to your doctor's prescription, insist on seeing the expiry date on that blister. He or his Assistant may be giving you expired medicines unintentionally, given that a pharmacist does not check the expiry date of the thousands of medicines in his shop everyday.
3. When you are doing a finger-tip blood sugar test at home, make sure that your finger is clean and completely dry. Do not use sprit on the area to be pricked, but use spirit after the prick to prevent infection. The blood drop that oozes will interact with anything on the finger and this will affect the reading. Do not forget to check your blood sugar using your electronic device at home before going for your periodic lab tests, and then compare the readings and "calibrate" your electronic device to translate its readings to match your lab test readings (your electronic device may be giving you either a lower or a higher reading).
4. Do not leave the batteries of your blood sugar testing device in the battery chamber. Take them out after you are done with the procedure. Check your batteries for their strength after a year (they usually last for two years, if not more). Buy a battery tester if you do not have one. It would be worth the investment.
5. The electronic blood pressure testing devices are helpful but not completely reliable. The doctors hate them! Do not forget to check your blood pressure using your electronic device before going to see your doctor, and then compare his/her BP readings with the ones from your electronic device, and calibrate your device (as for the blood sugar testing device I explained above). Replace batteries (usually AAA) of your device after using them for about 20 times of using your device. You need strong batteries for a nearly-accurate reading. Do not be a kanjoos and buy cheap batteries for your electronic devices. The used batteries will still work well in your wall clock and other devices at home that take AAA batteries.
These tips are based on my own experiments with life, my interactions with my doctors, and/or my research on the Internet.


Posted by: Surendra Varma <>


Saturday, December 19, 2015

Fwd: Home Safety Tips For Seniors

Home Safety Tips For Senior Citizens
Copied from website: seniorneeds

6 out of 10 falls happen at home. These accidents could be prevented by making simple changes in your living areas. With the increasing popularity of in-home care for seniors, it is important to ensure the safety of your loved one and be aware of the possible dangers that may occur at home and prepare accordingly. In order to help keep your loved ones safe.

Keep floors clean and uncluttered
One of the most important steps toward preventing accidents and falls at home is by removing anything that may cause them to slip or fall while walking. Slipping on rugs or tripping on phone cords, pet bowls, small furniture or clutter may cause falls. Also, remove items from pathways, hallways and stairs.

Proper lighting
Make sure that each room has enough lighting. Light bulbs with the highest wattage are your best option. Place night lights in the kitchen, bedroom, hallways and bathroom. Also, it best to have a flash light ready near their bed in case the power goes out and they need to get up. Good lighting on the stairway is also important.

Re-arrange things
It might be helpful to re-arrange commonly used items to make them more accessible. Place food, clothing, dishes, boxes and everyday essentials within easy reach. This simple step is beneficial as it may prevent a fall that might occur from standing on a stool to reach a certain item.

Bathroom safety
Install grab bars in the shower, tub and next to the toilet to help prevent falls. Make sure they are properly secured and attached to the wall. Putting non-slip rubber mats on the floor of the shower or tub is also recommended. If possible, don't allow them to bathe on their own.

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Sunday, December 13, 2015

How to manage your blood pressure and be a winner

By Dr Surendra Kumar Varma
Managing blood pressure for most seniors is a lifelong commitment.
What do the blood pressure (BP) readings mean? The upper figure in your BP measurement is your systolic (when the heart contracts to supply blood to the body, this is known
as a beat) and the lower figure is your diastolic (when the heart returns from its contraction to "relax" and receive the oxygenated blood from lungs) blood pressure. Thus, a normal BP will be expressed as 120/80. Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg).
Electronic blood pressure measuring devices are now available in the market at very affordable prices. These devices may not be as accurate as you would expect, but their readings are within the range of +/- 5 units, and are, thus, very helpful. What if there was a need for you to measure your BP at midnight? Would you be prepared to go to a doctor/hospital at that un-Godly hour? No.
Our blood pressure keeps on changing every minute if not every second, like the speed of our car when we drive through a chaotic traffic here. So, if you check your BP before and after reading an abusive e-mail, the readings will be different within a minute or two. Worry not. As soon as the abusive e-mail gets out of your system, your BP will return to normal. In such situations, listen to some songs/music of yesteryears, which you loved, or, better still, watch their clips.
For seniors, above 60, the threshold BP is 140/90. If it st​ays  ther​e​
or goes up, your doctor will most likely prescribe medication and/or lifestyle changes, including what you should and should not eat. Salt is the biggest culprit in causing high blood pressure.
High blood pressure could be caused by problems related to one's kidneys, liver and heart. But, the most common cause is hypertension. Your doctor will figure out what the real cause of your high blood pressure is from your lab tests and from your answers to his questions. Medication, thus, will vary from one individual to another.   
Whatever the root
​ ​
cause of a high blood pressure may be, it increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, heart failure, kidney disease, vision loss, and metabolic syndrome.
While medications and lifestyle changes, suggested by your doctor, must be followed, the following "Grandma's Nuskhas", using herbs, as adjuncts, can help in dealing with high BP:
Basil (Tulsi): Drink Tulsi leaves chai 2-3 times a day.
Cinnamon: Increase the use of cinnamon in your recipes.
Garlic: Other than in your curries, roast and eat garlic cloves every day. Or, use garlic in a supplement form everyday.
Before I leave you, let me not forget to say that a low blood pressure should also not be ignored. It can cause dizziness, fainting, fatigue, problems concentrating, blurry vision, etc. But you can treat it very quickly with anything salty. How about Haldiram's Dalmoth or Balaji's Samosa?.
PS: Stay tuned for more from me on health issues. I said in my intro to sss-global that my M.Sc. and Ph.D. are both very closely related to medical science and I taught Pre-Medical students for 15 years. That should explain my interest in medical science. My posts are intended only to improve knowledge about health issues, and no more.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

A brief report on sss-global meet on 8th Dec 2015

SSS-Global get together 8th December 2015 Belson Taj Secunderabad

The much awaited grand get together, with 52 people participating, started off around 10:30 am in Belson Taj Hotel. Ms Kamakshi, the prime mover behind the show, welcomed one and all. Dr Vyasamoorthy narrated how it all started 15 years ago. Owner of the group K Sivaram briefed how the group was born in a cyber cafĂ© in Marredpally. From that humble beginning we have grown to be 700 strong, with a daily exchange of about 70-80 messages; we have been No 7 among Yahoo Groups, Number 4 some years later and actually on top (Number 1) for few years. Now we are almost always on the top for activity and 4 or  5, for membership numbers. Sri Chary appealed to all members to keep away from politics in our discussions as that brings about bickering and disunity.

Subsequently many members spoke briefly.  Sri Nityanandam recalled fondly earlier meetings with which he was associated. Sri Khanapur Krishna Rao said how photography, music and compiling e-books have been his driving passions. He has written more than 100 pages of his autobiography and about 500 plus e-books. Sri SV Ramana detailed how he has become a globe trotter, belonging to nowhere! Sri Ramanamurthy shared a few good jokes. Moghe Couple sneaked in to give us a one minute skit of uproarious laughter. I call them EVEREADY batteries – always ready to entertain in an unfailing way.

From Ram Prabhakar we came to know how electricity charges can be cut to half by installing Solar energy system in houses. Social aspects of ageing was specially dealt with By Prof Kalluri Subba Rao. Sri Mital explained how he lost faith in astrology: according to their predictions, he should have died many times around – and the last time he went to counter the astrologer for wrong predictions, the astrologer had passed away.

Mr Sivaram announced the revival of music group in his premises shortly. Mr Moghe mentioned how, enthused by sss-global, a group for retired army officers has come up. Justice Rangarajan posed a legal question to rack our brains: A person willed that a diamond bracelet should go to his daughter in law. The ornament was converted into diamond necklace. Then, the man died. Everyone knew what had happened. Will DIL get the diamond Necklace? No, she won’t, as at the time of death, no diamond bracelet existed.  Other people who spoke are:  Mr SS Varma, Mr Yechury Murty.  There were songs by Sivaram and Bina.

Mr Rajendra Rao, Mr Desikamani,  Mr Shankar Rao took charge registration and handling (and handing over) cash. Ms Jayanti from the beginning kept track of participants – who is in and who is out. Sri Shankar Rao donated name badges and banner. Among the people who contributed indirectly – by not coming or not staying for lunch – though having paid, are: Mr RD Vakil Mr & Ms Ramachandran.

During the initial part of the program, there were some inconclusive discussions on the date for next get together. Whatever may be the date, going by the assurances and enthusiasm of Ms Kamakshi, we can safely surmise that years ahead will witness many more enjoyable get together meetings like this. Several photographs and video shots were taken and are available in the web. The meeting concluded with delicious lunch, for which Belson Taj is quite well known. On behalf of sss-global moderators and owner, I extend a million thanks to one and all.

Addendum: There were quizzes to keep people active. One on Words starting with CAR designed by Wg Cdr Bhaskar and another on decoding names of places / localities in Hyderabad based of clues
devised by Ms Kamakshi. Winners were given prizes. Congrat to all brainy people.