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Don't mix medications

If you take many medications, you may not find it easy to remember what to take and when. Prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications, such as aspirin and vitamins often provide effective relief, but they can pose some risks. Mixing incompatible drugs or overdosing by taking too much of a drug may cause adverse reactions, such as upset stomach and diarrhea, blurred vision, dizziness and skin rashes, and the need for emergency medical care.

Take these simple precautions to avoid unwelcome surprises:

1. Make sure your doctor is aware of ALL the medications you are taking, including over-the-counter drugs, vitamins and supplements.

2. Ask your doctor and pharmacist to tell you exactly how and when to take your medications and what side effects to expect, if any.

3. Keep a drug diary to bring and update on doctors' visits. Include dosage amounts, when and how you take your medication and any side effects you've experienced.

4. Read the labels BEFORE taking over-the-counter drugs.

5. Check the labels on your pharmacy prescriptions to be sure they're EXACTLY what your doctor ordered.

6. NEVER share prescriptions.

Also, get all of your medications from the same pharmacy. They can check for incompatibility.

Food safety for seniors

Knowledge of food safety is important for Seniors. Some of the changes that our bodies undergo as we age affect our ability to combat bacteria. This makes safe food handling vitally important.

Here are a few guidelines:

• Refrigerate or freeze all perishable foods

Your refrigerator temperature should be 40 degrees or less; the freezer should be at zero degrees or less.

• NEVER thaw at room temperature

Thaw in the fridge or microwave. When thawing n the microwave, you must cook the food immediately.

• Wash hands, utensils, and other work surfaces thoroughly after contact with raw meat or poultry to prevent cross-contamination.

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