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Sonya Flanders, RN, ACNS-BC

Sonya is an adult clinical nurse specialist with Baylor and moved to Texas from Canada to become a Baylor nurse. She's focused on enhancing health education of older adults along with their families and caregivers.

Now is the time for advance health care planning

The letter Several months ago, I received a thick envelope in the mail from my parents. I wasn’t expecting anything from them, so I was surprised to read a letter addressed to me and my three sisters, along with copies of my parents’ advance directives. Yet the most powerful feeling I had was one of gratitude. …

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Low-sodium diet recommendations right for everyone?

In a recent Scrubbing In blog post about sodium, I shared American Heart Association (AHA) recommendations and U.S. Dietary Guidelines indicating Americans should limit sodium intake as part of a healthy diet. Recently, articles in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) raised new questions about whether general recommendations for low-sodium diets are appropriate and safe for everyone. Subsequent news …

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diabetes

CDC: Millions have diabetes and don’t know it

As a nurse, I have cared for many patients with diabetes, so a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) stating 9.3 percent of the U.S population (29.1 million people) has diabetes did not surprise me. What really got my attention is that a startling 8.1 million of those people are undiagnosed. That means more …

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The scoop on salt: You’re probably eating too much

It’s no secret a well-balanced diet has many health benefits. Information about the latest and greatest foods to eat is everywhere, from magazine covers to televisions shows to internet pop-up ads. But where do you begin? One approach is to look at information that’s been around for some time and has scientific backing from credible …

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Casey Kasem and Lewy Body Dementia: What Is It?

Casey Kasem is best known for his legendary radio voice, which he used to announce chart-topping songs week after week, year after year. During the months before his recent death, Kasem and his family put something else in the spotlight: Lewy Body Dementia, or LBD. Reports about Kasem’s health problems indicate he suffered from LBD, …

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delirium

Could a Sudden Behavior Change Be Delirium?

Delirium is a change in thinking and attention that comes on quickly, over a few hours or days. Family or friends are often the first to notice the changes that could signal delirium. If you notice such changes, reacting quickly is very important, because delirium can lead to other serious problems, such as falls, injuries, and …

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Medication and Older Adults: Your Role in Lowering Risk of Adverse Drug Events

The majority of older adults in the U.S. take one or more prescription medicines. Even more take non-prescription, or over-the-counter (OTC) medicines. Medicines are useful to treat or manage many health issues. But sometimes they have unwanted side effects, also called adverse drug events (ADEs). Some reasons older adults are at risk for unwanted side …

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Screening Recommendations for Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Today marks the end of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness month, so it’s a good time to review screening recommendations and take action if you need to. What is colorectal cancer? Colorectal cancer is cancer that starts in the colon (large intestine) or rectum. In the early stages, there may not be signs or symptoms. This …

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