• By Laurel J. Kelly

Housecall: The benefits of pet therapy

September 18, 2017

an elderly man in a hospital bed, enjoying a visit from a small pet therapy dogPet therapy: Man's best friend as healer
They may not have medical degrees, but furry friends may help you feel better. See how pet therapy can help people recover from, or better cope with, health problems, such as heart disease, cancer and mental health disorders, and provide comfort and enjoyment for nursing home residents.

Prescription drug abuse: Signs and symptoms
If you're an older adult with health problems and take multiple medications, you may be more likely to misuse drugs or become addicted. If you think you may have a problem with prescription drug use, talk with your health care provider right away, before it becomes an addiction and leads to more serious problems. Here's what you should know.

EXPERT ANSWERS
What causes parkinsonism?
Parkinsonism is any condition that causes a combination of the movement abnormalities seen in Parkinson's disease, such as tremor, slow movement, impaired speech or muscle stiffness. Not everyone who has parkinsonism has Parkinson's disease. Learn more from Dr. Joseph Matsumoto, a Mayo Clinic neurologist.

Can L-arginine supplements lower blood pressure?
L-arginine, a substance that's found in nuts, fish, red meat, soy, whole grains, beans and dairy products, sometimes is touted as being able to reduce blood pressure. What does the research show? Learn more from Dr. Sheldon Sheps, an emeritus Mayo Clinic nephrologist.

PLUS ADDITIONAL HIGHLIGHTS
Empty-nest syndrome: Tips for coping
Stress incontinence: Lifestyle and home remedies
Treating bee stings
Legionnaires' disease: Symptoms and causes

HEALTHY RECIPES
Apple cinnamon muffins
Pasta salad with mixed vegetables
Spicy beef kebabs
Sweet and spicy snack mix

HEALTH TIP OF THE WEEK
How long can you keep leftovers safely?
Keep leftovers in the refrigerator for no more than four days to prevent food poisoning. If you won't eat leftovers that quickly, freeze them immediately. For best food safety, refrigerate perishable foods, such as meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs and casseroles, within two hours, or within one hour in temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius). Uncooked foods, such as cold salads or sandwiches, also should be eaten or refrigerated promptly.

Need practical advice on diet and exercise? Want creative solutions for stress and other lifestyle issues? Discover more healthy lifestyle topics at mayoclinic.org.

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