Thursday, January 29, 2015

8 Common Mistakes Older Job Seekers Make

and How to Fix Them
from an Article in AARP The Magazine by Kerry Hannon

Here are some of the mistakes as listed in the article:

"I refuse to take a job for less money
than I was making before."

"I'm not gonna apply since I don't
meet all the job requirements."

"The longer my resume the more
impressed employers will be."

"If I'm patient a job perfectly suited to
my experience will come along."

To read the entire article and see how to fix these mistakes click here.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Restarting Your Stalled Career

From an article in the Wall Street Journal by Joann Lublin

Job hopping may mean a demotion.  A sales manager for an information-technology storage business concluded he wouldn’t advance after the top brass launched a year-long attempt to sell the company.  In early 2014, he accepted a salesman’s position and sizable pay cut by joining one of his employer’s distributors. It was a step down, but he already has been promoted twice.  He’s currently regional vice president of sales. To make such a move work, “you have to broaden your vision, take risks and be prepared to work really hard to establish your credibility with the new employer,” observes

To read the entire article Click Here.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Flu Symptoms for Boomers and Seniors

All types of flu have similar symptoms. Although the flu and common cold have similar symptoms, the flu tends to be more severe. Flu symptoms include a fever, body aches, tiredness, and cough. Your health care provider can give you a test to determine whether or not you have the flu.

What are the symptoms of the flu?

Flu symptoms include:
  • A 100 degrees F or higher fever or feeling feverish (not everyone with the flu has a fever) 
  • A cough and/or sore throat
  • A runny or stuffy nose
  • Headaches and/or body aches
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea (most common in children)

    Make sure you get a shot this year

    According to the CDC few than 1/2 Americans get a flu shot.
    The CDC suggests that senior citizens get a second type of vaccine against pneumoccoccus, a bacteria that can cause pneumonia and hospitalizes 50,000 Americans each year.
    Those 65 and older can get a one-time vaccination with the combination pneumococcal vaccine Prevnar 13. Seniors should also get a second one-time vaccination with another polysaccharid vaccine that protects against 23 strains of pneumococcus.
    The shots should be taken 6 months apart.

    Flu Vaccine May Not Be Good Match For This Year's Strain
    This year a mutated strain of influenza will be less effective against the virulent strain. In September, health officials detected the changes in the most prevalent flu strain so far in the U.S., the virulent H3N2, after the vaccine for this year already went into production. The CDC continues to recommend flu vaccine as the single best way to protect yourself against the flu. The current vaccine will give some protection against the flu.                   

    Tamiflue is an antiviral drug that is recommended by the US Center for Disease Control and the only drug approved by the FDA for flu treatment. To be effective it should be taken at the first appearance of flu symptoms. Contact your physician if symptoms occur and children, older Americans and those in poor health should be particularly concerned. Side effects of taking Tamiflu can be nausea and vomiting.
    From the New York Times, September 3, 2014

    A Better Flu Shot

    For the past four years, doctors’ offices, medical clinics and pharmacies have offered older adults high-dose versions of the annual flu vaccine. The hope was that this alternative would better protect seniors, but scientific evidence proving its effectiveness has been lacking.
    Now a study, published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine, finds that Fluzone High-Dose does indeed prevent influenza in older adults, reducing cases of the flu by 24% compared with the standard version.

    But some experts warn that it remains difficult to assess the effectiveness of flu vaccines generally in older patients. Fluzone High-Dose contains four times the amount of antigen (an agent that stimulates the immune system) found in other flu shots. Previous research had indicated this boost produced a greater antibody response in recipients — significant because the immune response becomes less robust with age.

    The cost of the high-dose vaccine is $28.65 a dose (2014 cost), and Medicare covers one shot a year without a co-payment.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Having Trouble Sleeping?

If you or your spouse is having difficulty going to sleep or staying asleep during the night this information should help.
Poor sleep habits are not well understood and are often the cause of insomnia, not being able to stay asleep or awakening too early in the morning. Many Americans stay up too late and get up too early. Taking various kinds of drugs and chemicals (too much caffeine), working late, watching TV and other late evening or night activities overstimulate ourselves and result in sleep problems.
Suggestions that help most people fall asleep, sleep better and sleep longer.
Fix a bedtime and an awakening timeDo not be one of those people who allows bedtime and awakening time to drift. The body "gets used" to falling asleep at a certain time, but only if this is relatively fixed. Even if you are retired or not working, this is an essential component of good sleeping habits.
Avoid napping during the day. If you nap throughout the day, it is no wonder that you will not be able to sleep at night. The late afternoon for most people is a "sleepy time." Many people will take a nap at that time. This is generally not a bad thing to do, provided you limit the nap to 30-45 minutes and can sleep well at night.
Avoid alcohol 4-6 hours before bedtime. Many people believe that alcohol helps them sleep. While alcohol has an immediate sleep-inducing effect, a few hours later as the alcohol levels in your blood start to fall, there is a stimulant or wake-up effect.
Avoid caffeine 4-6 hours before bedtime. This includes caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea and many sodas, as well as chocolate, so be careful.
Avoid heavy, spicy, or sugary foods 4-6 hours before bedtime. These can affect your ability to stay asleep.
Exercise regularly, but not right before bed. Regular exercise, particularly in the afternoon, can help deepen sleep. Strenuous exercise within the 2 hours before bedtime, however, can decrease your ability to fall asleep.
Use comfortable bedding. Uncomfortable bedding can prevent good sleep. Evaluate whether or not this is a source of your problem, and make appropriate changes.
Find a comfortable temperature setting for sleeping and keep the room well ventilated. If your bedroom is too cold or too hot, it can keep you awake. A cool (not cold) bedroom is often the most conducive to sleep.
      Block out all distracting noise, and eliminate as much light as possible.
Reserve the bed for sleep. Don't use the bed as an office, workroom or recreation room. Let your body "know" that the bed is associated with sleeping.
Try a light snack before bed. Warm milk and foods high in the amino acid tryptophan, such as bananas, may help you to sleep.
Practice relaxation techniques before bed. Relaxation techniques such as yoga, deep breathing and others may help relieve anxiety and reduce muscle tension. 
Don't take your worries to bed. Leave your worries about job, school, daily life, etc., behind when you go to bed. Problem solving or even thinking of disturbing things can keep you awake. If you must think of something pick relaxing and fun things to think about—even phantasies can help you sleep.
Establish a pre-sleep ritual. Pre-sleep rituals, such as a warm bath or a few minutes of reading, can help you sleep.
Get into your favorite sleeping position. If you don't fall asleep within 15-30 minutes, get up, go into another room, and read until sleepy.

Getting up in the middle of the night
Most people wake up one or two times a night for various reasons. If you find that you get up in the middle of night and cannot get back to sleep within 15-20 minutes, then do not remain in the bed "trying hard" to sleep. Get out of bed. Leave the bedroom. Read, have a light snack, do some quiet activity, or take a bath. You will generally find that you can get back to sleep 20 minutes or so later. Do not perform challenging or engaging activity such as office work, housework, etc. Do not watch television.
Many people fall asleep with the television on in their room. Watching television before bedtime is often a bad idea. Television is a very engaging medium that tends to keep you up, particularly if the programming is stimulating.. Some people find that the radio or music helps them go to sleep.
Physical, psychological and medicinal factors
  • Several physical factors are known to upset sleep. These include arthritis, acid reflux with heartburn, menstruation, headaches and hot flashes.
  • Psychological and mental health problems like depression, anxiety and stress are often associated with sleeping difficulty. In many cases, difficulty staying asleep may be the only presenting sign of depression. A physician should be consulted about these issues to help determine the problem and the best treatment.
  • Many medications can cause sleeplessness as a side effect. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if medications you are taking can lead to sleeplessness.
  • To help overall improvement in sleep patterns, your doctor may prescribe sleep medications for short-term relief of a sleep problem. The decision to take sleeping aids is a medical one to be made in the context of your overall health picture.
Follow the advice of your physician and other healthcare professionals. The goal is to rediscover how to sleep naturally.
  • For more information or to arrange for a sleep consultation for adults call 410-706-4771. For children, call 410-706-3285.

Primary Content source:
University of Maryland Medical Center

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