For Active Long Lifers: Sept. 2014

Healthy living is important, particularly as you reach your golden years. The tips in this article can help you deal with the challenges of bladder leakage, arthritis, dry mouth, foot care, constipation and more.

Taking your medications correctly

In order for you to get the most benefit from your medicines, it is important that you take them exactly as prescribed.

Fall is a good time to learn more about your medications. Schedule a FREE "once a year" comprehensive review of your medications with the Pharmacist at Walmart today!

Here are some of the most common reasons that people give for not taking their medication properly:

  • "I forget"
  • "I didn’t think I needed the medicine anymore"
  • "I’m afraid of the side effects"
  • "I ran out of the medicine"
  • "I’m not sure how to take it"

Managing multiple medications is no easy task. The good news is that the Pharmacist at Walmart can help by providing you with blister packs and/or dosettes to organize your medications and help remind you when it’s time to take them.


The Pharmacist at Walmart will:

  • Talk with you privately in a one-on-one session about all your prescriptions, over-the-counter and herbal medications, inhalers & vitamins, to make sure they are right for you
  • Make sure you know exactly when and how to take your medications
  • Recommend ways for you to better remember to take your medications and reorder your prescriptions on time

A recipe for wellness

Click here to learn how to make Baked Maple Salmon.


Bladder leakage: when the going is just too much

Did you know that 1 in 5 Canadian seniors have bladder control problems (incontinence)?

There are several types of incontinence:

  • Stress incontinence is when small amounts of urine leak out because of increased pressure on the bladder during things such as coughing, laughing, or jumping.
  • Urge incontinence is when urine leaks from the bladder when you have a strong urge to urinate but you can’t reach the toilet fast enough.
  • Overflow incontinence occurs when there is a blockage in the bladder that causes the bladder to overfill and leak.
  • Functional incontinence occurs when a person can’t get to the toilet in a timely manner (This occurs in situations where people have mobility issues or other disabilities, e.g., dementia, and can’t get to a washroom or remove clothing on time).

Constipation: when you gotta go, but can’t

Five truths about constipation:

  1. You are considered constipated if you have had less than 3 bowel movements (BM) in a week.
  2. Gradually increasing your fibre intake to 14 g daily can help. Consider flax seeds, psyllium, bran, whole grains, fruits & vegetables. You can also drink more water to supplement the higher fibre diet.
  3. Regular exercise such as walking or yoga can help keep your bowels moving.
  4. Gentle laxatives that work with your body to keep water in the stool can help improve constipation without causing urgent BMs.
  5. It’s good to have a regular scheduled time for toilet use, and never ignore the urge to go.

Get tough on arthritis

Arthritis literally means joint inflammation. It is used to describe over 100 different diseases and conditions that affect joints, the tissues around joints, and other connective tissues.

There are things that can help protect your joints, for example:

  1. Keeping active can help keep you fit and flexible.
  2. Watching your weight – even losing a few pounds can reduce stress on your joints.
  3. Alternative therapies such as meditation and massage therapy can help with relaxation and lowering stress.
  4. Talk to the Pharmacist at Walmart and ask about over-the-counter (OTC) products that can help lower your pain and inflammation.

Get control of diabetes

Controlling your blood sugar is a very important part of managing diabetes. Testing your blood sugar regularly helps you make sure your meal plan, physical activity and medications are all working. You can use this information to make decisions about your diabetes, like continuing with a workout program, or if you need to eat a snack.

To make the most out of this information, you need to record it. You can use either a diabetes logbook (ask the Pharmacist at Walmart about one) or a simple journal. Be sure to write down the following:

  • Blood sugar levels just before you eat & 2 hours after meals
  • What you ate
  • Physical activity

Over time, you will begin to learn how the different things you eat and do can affect your blood sugar levels. The Pharmacist at Walmart is always available to review your log book with you.

Did you know? Many Pharmacists at Walmart are Certified Diabetes Educators (CDEs), who are available to help you live well with diabetes.

What is dry mouth?

Dry mouth can happen when there is a lower amount of saliva in your mouth. It can affect your oral health and quality of life. Sometimes certain conditions, like diabetes, can cause dry mouth. However, it commonly occurs as a side effect of medications.

These are some ways to help identify whether you have dry mouth:

  • You are constantly thirsty.
  • Your mouth always feels dry.
  • You have trouble swallowing food.



Medications are the #1 cause of dry mouth

  • More than 400 commonly used medications are linked with dry mouth.
  • Taking three or more medications increases the risk of dry mouth.



Ten of the most common medication categories associated with dry mouth:

  1. Allergy
  2. Antibiotics
  3. Antipsychotics
  4. Cancer medications
  5. Heartburn/ulcer medications
  6. Heart disease/high blood pressure
  7. HIV
  8. Mental health
  9. Pain (narcotics)
  10. Parkinson’s syndrome

Speak to the Pharmacist at Walmart about your medication use and dry mouth.

Did you know...? Saliva not only helps you chew and swallow but it also helps you taste your food.

‘Tis the season for cold sores

Cold sores are blisters that form on or around the lips and are typically caused by the herpes simplex virus.

Cold sores are common and contagious. They can cause pain, itchiness, redness, and if left untreated, can last from 6 to 10 days or even longer.

Top tips for managing cold sores:

  1. Early intervention is key – treat at the first sign of a tingle or itch.
  2. Just ask. The Pharmacist at Walmart is a valuable source to recommend medications.
  3. Treat until fully healed.

Prevent the spread of the virus
The virus is easily passed through contact, so take care around others. Avoid sharing drinks & food, kissing, and touching the cold sore. Wash your hands regularly.


Caring for your feet

Over time, our feet take a lot of abuse – walking, standing, jumping, running. So, it’s time to give them a little TLC.

Step 1 – Create a good daily foot care routine

  1. Check your feet every day for changes in how they look and feel
  2. Keep your feet clean and dry
  3. Wear fresh clean socks and well-fitting shoes
  4. Exercise regularly to improve circulation

Step 2 – Create a foot care kit
Your foot care kit should contain:

  • Good quality nail clippers
  • A nail file
  • Moisturizing lotion or mousse
  • A pumice stone
  • A non-breakable hand mirror (to look at the bottom of your feet)
If you have diabetes, remember to always protect your feet; wear good quality shoes when outside and comfy slippers indoors.

Important information

The Pharmacist at Walmart is happy to help you care for yourself as you age... Just ask!

This information should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your doctor. There may be variations in treatment that your physician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances. If you have questions about your symptoms, ask the Pharmacist at Walmart for more information, and/or contact your doctor.


*The pharmacist at Walmart does not endorse or recommend any sponsor or their products or services.
Any representation, performance claim, warranty or guarantee in any materials herein is the sole responsibility of the sponsor that has prepared such materials and is not independently verified by Walmart.
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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