BLACK BOOMERS: Ten tips to keep you hydrated

Free Stock Photo: A glass of cold water with ice cubes

Keeping the body well hydrated is a problem for many older adults.  Dehydration, (not enough fluid) may cause the blood pressure to drop, and the person is at risk of falling.  It may also cause poor coordination, loss of balance, confusion, disorientation, constipation and heart problems.

During hot weather, people tend to drink more to avoid becoming dehydrated, but this is a problem that can occur at any time.  Besides hot weather, you may become dehydrated if you are taking water pills, (diuretics), blood pressure or heart medications, are on dialysis or have a medical condition such as diabetes.

The flu, a high temperature, constipation or a bout of diarrhea can cause dehydration.  Some persons do not like to drink because they fear wetting accidents, lack access to bathroom facilities, are physically disabled or have memory problems.  Some signs of dehydration are dry mouth, muscle cramps, weakness, headache, fainting, sunken eyes, and passing small amounts or no urine.

An easy test for dehydration is checking your urine.  Normally urine is light yellow in color.  Dark, concentrated urine is e an early warning sign of dehydration.  Another test is pinching the skin on the back of your hand, abdomen or chest.  The skin will form into a little tent which should return to normal within five to ten seconds.  If the skin is wrinkled and remains in folds, this indicates dehydration.

Dehydration can be serious and life-threatening if not treated immediately.  Some complications are seizures, brain swelling, low blood volume (hypovolemic shock), acute kidney failure, coma, and death.

Tips for Staying Hydrated

  • Increase your fluid intake – to at least eight glasses of water daily.
  • Eat fruit and vegetables with a high water content e.g.cucumbers, watermelons, celery
  • Drink fat-free or skim milk
  • Drink water before and during meals
  • Try teas, herbal, iced, coffee – limit caffeine
  • Try sports drinks – check for high calories, sugar, and sodium
  • Coconut water – be aware of high sugar content
  • Set up a hydration schedule
  • Carry bottled water
  • Add lemon or orange slices to water
  • Limit diet sodas (high salt) and energy drinks(high sugar)



Harriette Barker, Ph. D, RN, CHC



Facade: Dreaming


Free Stock Photo: A Golden Retriever fetching a tennis ball

It was a small house with a high green fence surrounding it.  As I passed this house daily, I tried to imagine the lives of the family  who lived in this cute house.  For sure they had two children a boy and a girl, and there was a fluffy little brown dog.  The children were not allowed to play outside of the fence but I could sense them running around with the dog chasing them.  I could not see the windows of the home because of the high fence, but somehow I knew that they were long lace curtains at the windows, blowing gently in the breeze.  Of course, there was a flower garden with roses, marigolds, hibiscus and bees  In this house, there was always soft music, laughter, kind words and gentle voices.  People cared about and supported each other. Everyone was happy, satisfied and peaceful.  There was no hunger, despair, depression, envy, jealousy or malice.   Only peace, joy, love and respect.  This house represented an ideal for our lives.  However, in reality, it is only a facade  that hides our fear, pain, and disappointments.



Black Boomers: No Magic to Weight Loss

Closeup of an older woman wearing a blue sports bra and watch : Free Stock Photo

One of my students presented me with a watch-like gadget.

“What is this?” I asked her

“It is to help you track your steps.  10,000 steps each day to keep you fit.”

A few days later my friend called me.  She was walking home from the train station trying to complete her targeted steps for that day.  Many persons are using technological devices to help lose weight and get into shape.  As I take my daily walk/jog, I see these fitness trackers on the arms and wrists of persons trying to get fit.  Some people swear that the gadgets help them in their goals to be fit.  I often questioned about those 10,000 steps.  It is like drinking eight glasses of water a day.  Good to do, but who is to say that more or less may not be just as effective.

A new study about weight loss and fitness trackers has indicated that technology alone does not aid in weight loss.  The two-year study compared standard behavioral weight loss interventions such as diet, exercise, tips, and counseling with the addition of fitness trackers.  The results indicated that adding a fitness device tracker did not make a significant difference.  It looks great wearing a tracker on your wrist or arm.  However, moderation and consistency in the diet are still the basics of weight loss goals.

Is there a place for technology such as fitness trackers in the battle of the bulge?  I believe that these devices can play an important role in helping persons to become motivated to achieve their goals.  However, this technology is not magic.  Those persons who are trying to lose weight must commit to healthy lifestyle changes that help to promote and sustain their weight management goals.


JAMA. 2016;316(11):1161-1171. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.12858.

Daily Prompt: Stylish

Image result for image of high heel shoes

Hat, dress and handbag and I’m ready to go.  Wow! these shoes look great!!!  I  wonder how  am I going to negotiate the subway steps.  Wait!! subway???  I am dressed to the nines.  There is no way I should be travelling on a subway.  What about a limousine? My purse is empty and my credit card is maxed out.  Okay, I have the solution.  Easy!

Flip Flops, Summer, Blue, Beach, Sandal










Together is an expectation that  whatever the situation, there is a bond that holds people together.  There are different kinds of bonds, love being the strongest.  When we love someone and pledge our commitment, we hope that through thick or thin that bond will hold.  Unfortunately, each day in our society we see that these bonds are dissolving as the news tell us of another celebrity couple who are going their separate ways. Not that celebrity couples are immune to failed marriages, but we believe that these persons possess many of the basic necessities that make day to day living easier.  However, we realized that money, power or position is often not enough to hold the bond in place.

Daily Prompt: Silence

I live in New York City.  This is a noisy place.  Sirens, car horns, people talking at the top of their voices.  There is no peace or quiet in this city. Last Sunday I attended a funeral service for one of our pastors.  The church was crowded and noisy.  People greeting each other, laughing and talking while the viewing was going on.  Culturally, this was shocking to me, because I was taught to be quiet and reverent in church.  To be silent and contemplative has escaped us.  It would seem that we have lost our voices as we depend more and more on isolation communication methods like texting, facebook, messenger and other communicative devices .  When we meet each other in a group, we become loud and effusive.  The silence of respect, dignity and  is lost.