The Risk of UTIs As You Age

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Here’s to Your Health

UTIs are the most common type of bacterial infection in adults over age 65-especially in women. “UTIs are a common problem seen in most medical practices, especially in older patients,” said Gerald Oldham, MD, a geriatric medicine physician with Banner Health Center in Peoria, Ariz. “They seldom occur between ages 15-50, are more common in women and can be a severe issue in dementia patients.”

Why Do Seniors Get UTIs? Older adults are more vulnerable to UTIs, because as we age, we tend to have weaker muscles in our bladder and pelvic floor that can cause urine retention or incontinence. Whenever the urine stays in the urinary tract, there’s a potential for bacteria, such as E. coli, to multiply and cause an infection to spread. Other factors that increase the risk of UTIs in seniors are a weakened immune system, the use of catheters to empty the bladder, diabetes and kidney problems.

What Are the Symptoms? The common, symptoms of a UT include burning while urinating, frequent or urgent need to urinate, a feeling the bladder is not completely empty, and lower abdominal or pelvic pain. More severe symptoms of a complicated UTI include: Fever, worsening abdominal pain, chills, fatigue, and nausea and/or vomiting. 

Why are Dementia Patients at Greater Risk? In older age, symptoms of UTIs may not be so evident, especially for those who have Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Rather than showing pain symptoms, they may start to act more erratically. “Oftentimes dementia patients can’t tell us they have UTI symptoms, but if left untreated their symptoms can escalate quickly, causing confusion and a state of delirium,” Dr. Oldham said. “It’s important to watch for worsening symptoms of confusion and disorientation.” If you suspect a loved one has a UTI, it’s best to have them checked by their doctor, so the doctor can rule out other possible infections or begin treatment for a UTI.

Is There Anything I Can Do to Prevent UTIs? Antibiotics can help treat UTIs, but there are precautions you can take to help to prevent them altogether:

  • Drink plenty of water and fluids.
  • Empty the bladder frequently and as soon as there is a need.
  • Wipe front to back.
  • Wear loose, breathable clothes.

If you would like to learn the importance of having trained, knowledgeable Caregivers to support a loved one with dementia or striving to manage a chronic condition, please contact one of our friendly and resourceful Amada Senior Care advisors by visiting or calling 205-208-9466. 

Len Everts -Len Everts,

Amada Senior Care

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Here’s to Your Health

Lakeshore Foundation recently announced that U.S. Veterans and their household families now qualify for free memberships at its 45-acre campus in Homewood, Ala. “This new program reflects our deep commitment to veterans and builds on our efforts to support the overall well-being of our veterans through recreation, athletics, fitness, and aquatics. Lakeshore’s expert staff deliver engaging activities including cycling, shooting, archery, golf, wheelchair basketball, and pickleball,” said John D.  Kemp, President & CEO, Lakeshore Foundation.

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Lakeshore Foundation is offering free memberships to all local veterans and household family with or without a disability. The Premier membership package($65 per month value) includes aquatics center access.

The new Lakeshore Foundation Veterans Program is funded by a grant from the State of Alabama. “There is nothing more important to me than supporting the needs of our Veterans here in Alabama and across the U.S.,” said Will Ainsworth, Lt. Governor, State of Alabama. “We worked with Alabama legislators to create and fund this grant so that every Veteran household qualifies for a free membership to Lakeshore Foundation.”

Veterans Program Announcement Kemp on far left
John D.  Kemp, President & CEO, Lakeshore Foundation recently announced the new Lakeshore Foundation free Veterans program. Lakeshore has also been instrumental in supporting and providing its expertise to injured military-focused sporting events like Invictus Games, Valor Games and Paralyzed Veterans of America camps.

In 2003, Lakeshore was designated as an official U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Site. In 2006, as a response to the significant number of men and women acquiring injuries from Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, Lakeshore Foundation formalized its long-held commitment to veterans with the establishment of Operation Lima Foxtrot which offers camps and programs for injured military and their families from across the country at no cost. In addition, Lakeshore established Operation Endurance, which offered free Lakeshore memberships to local veterans with a service-connected disability. Lakeshore currently provides opportunities for veterans to live a healthy lifestyle through physical activity, research, advocacy, and health promotion. Programs at Lakeshore are inclusive of veterans with and without physical disabilities including dozens of fitness, aquatics, and recreational activities at its Birmingham facility. “Just as important as the activities is the strong sense of community created through Lakeshore Foundation’s programs,” said Kemp. “All veterans and their families deserve a place to exercise, as well as rejuvenate their minds, hearts and bodies.”

To obtain a Veterans Lakeshore Foundation membership visit and fill out a membership application. You can also call 205-313-7400 to learn more and schedule a facility tour. †



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Here’s to Your Health

An estimated 33% of adults age 65 or older have diabetes. Currently, it is the eighth leading cause of death in the US.  When we eat, food is broken down into glucose and released into the bloodstream. When blood sugar goes up, the pancreas releases insulin into cells to use as energy. The presence of diabetes means the body cannot make enough insulin or can’t use it as well as it should. 

There are two more common types of diabetes. Type 1 is generally acquired in childhood, and Type 2 can occur at any age. About 90 to 95 percent of diabetes cases are Type 2.  In general, too much sugar from food stays in the bloodstream. If not managed, over time heart disease, stroke, vision loss, loss of limbs, dementia, and kidney disease may result. 

5 Steps for Seniors to Manage the Disease. While there is no cure for diabetes, there are ways diagnosed seniors can manage symptoms to avoid disease progression to more complicated health conditions. Lifestyle and daily routine are key factors. Here are five steps to help keep it in check. 

1. Monitor Blood Glucose Levels. Adhere to regular monitoring of your blood glucose (blood sugar) levels, as well as blood pressure and cholesterol. Today there are less painful and intrusive glucose monitoring systems, often covered by insurance, ranging from apps to subcutaneous implant devices and more

2. Follow a Healthy Diet. A proportionate weight can make all the difference in the health and longevity of people with diabetes. One approach is to eat several small, healthy meals a day, spaced just a few hours apart, instead of three big ones many hours apart. In this way blood sugar levels remain relatively constant. 

3. Exercise Daily. In connection with diabetes, movement cannot be underestimated. The same goes for a myriad of conditions and aging well in general. Being physically active works! Diabetes or otherwise, be sure to stay well hydrated when exercising. 

4. Reduce Alcohol Consumption. Alcohol can sometimes exacerbate diabetes complications, including eye disease and nerve damage. It can also interfere with medication.  

5. Quit Smoking. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) now says smoking is one cause of Type 2 diabetes.  

If you’d like to learn the importance of having trained, knowledgeable Caregivers to support a loved one with diabetes or striving to manage a chronic condition, please contact one of our friendly and resourceful Amada Senior Care advisors by visiting or calling 205-208-9466. 

Len Everts-Len Everts, Amada Senior Care 

Instructors leading the class

Healthy Living

Shoulder rolls, hip swivels, and wrist twirls are some of the fun moves in the Foundation Fitness class happening in Valleydale Church’s gym on Mondays and Thursdays. The class, taught by Gina Howell and Kathy Raymond, combines exercise, fellowship, and lots of fun. Ladies (most of whom are not members of Valleydale) meet to keep their bodies fit in a God-centered atmosphere. Long-time member Anne May says the exercise is challenging and fun, but she enjoys the love and friendships she has for all the ladies in the class.

Gina Howell and Kathy Raymond
Foundation Fitness is taught by Gina Howell and Kathy Raymond each Monday and Thursday from 9 a.m.- 10:30 a.m. at Valleydale Church.

The class starts with news updates, a devotional thought, maybe a joke or recipe, and special prayer requests. Fellowship is as important as exercise. Support for participants’ community projects is also optional. “If you walked into a random class, you may experience welcoming, joy, care, prayer,” says Marsha Cremer. Following the brief jam session, the playlist begins with stretching in a chair utilizing flex bands and hand weights. Then it’s on your feet to thematic tunes from artists such as The Beach Boys, the Beatles, Amy Grant, and Toby Mac. Whether secular or Christian, the “feel good” lyrics provide inspiration while doing grapevines, side-steps, and plies. A variety of dance moves, seasonal themes, and playlists offer plenty of diversity to keep participants coming back. “There is no format like ours,” says Raymond. 

Fitness with a Flair InstructorsAlthough Howell and Raymond are certified Zumba instructors, Howell says their moves are a “spaghetti” combination of salsa, ballet, modern dance, cumbia, and country. Howell started the class ten years ago under two conditions: 1) that it was open to any woman from any denomination, and 2) there would be no charge. “God is the reason we are doing this,” says Howell as Raymond shakes her head in affirmation. Raymond joined Howell to co-teach five years into the class. 

The name of the class, Foundation Fitness, is taken from I Corinthians 3:11 and is based on being grounded not only in the body but at the foot of the cross. “The group has grown and changed in demographics over the years, but what hasn’t changed is the care the women have for each other,” says Denise Willey. “We pray for one another.” No guys are allowed in this ladies-only class. The age range of current participants is 50-86, but any age is welcome. Even if you aren’t a dancer or in shape, that is no deterrent. There are no divas! See what it’s all about Mondays and Thursdays from 9 a.m.-10:30 a.m. Contact for more information.

-Karen O. Allen

Author of Confronting Cancer with Faith


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Healthy Living

Community Partner Logo 22 FINAL 1Brought to you by: Community Partner COMPACT,

Did you know that the younger the brain when drugs are first tried, the greater the risk from moving from drug use to drug addiction? According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, 15% of high school students have misused prescription drugs in the past year. When used as prescribed, prescription drugs are highly effective in managing pain and treating diseases. When not taken as prescribed, they can be deadly and lead to lifelong addiction. 

The 3 Most Misused Prescription Drugs

  1. Opioids such as morphine and hydrocodone are prescribed for pain relief.
  2. Central nervous depressants, such as valium and Xanax, work by slowing brain function and causing feelings of drowsiness and calmness.
  3. Stimulants, such as Ritalin and Adderall, cause increased alertness, attention and energy. 

Each class of drug has its own appeal which leads to the potential misuse then to possible lifelong addiction. At Compact, our goal is to arm you with this information so you can ask your physician the appropriate questions when or if your teen is prescribed one of these potentially addictive drugs. 

What are the most common ways teens have access to these potentially dangerous drugs? Social media provides easy access through many apps that are believed to be untraceable. Innocent emojis and code words make it difficult for parents to recognize that their children are having talks right in their presence. 

Do you know what’s in your medicine cabinet? Does your teen know what’s in there? Where do you store your medicine and your old medicine? Home is the main source for teens to get these prescription drugs.

The DEA’s National Drug Take Back Day is Saturday, October 29. Drop off locations will be set up for individuals to turn in any unused, unwanted, or out-of-date medications. For more information on this topic and for prescription drop box locations, visit us on Facebook @Compact2020 or call 205-605-1827. †

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Healthy Living

Growing up, Dr. Lisa Franklin always had an interest in math and science. “I’ve always been interested in how the human body works,” Dr. Franklin says. After graduating from Jacksonville State University, this interest led her to attend medical school at the University of South Alabama. A native of Alexandria, Ala., she has lived in the state her entire life except for her four years of residency at Georgia Baptist Medical Center in Atlanta.

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Dr. Lisa Franklin has been married to her husband Robert for 29 years. They have two daughters.

Dr. Franklin joined the Henderson & Walton Women’s Center, P.C. (HWWC) nine years ago. One aspect of her job that she especially enjoys is getting to know her patients. “I love being a part of people’s lives as they grow into a family,” she says. One of her favorite parts of being a doctor is “getting to be involved in a patient’s care from having babies and watching their children grow up.”

Dr. Franklin doesn’t just serve patients in the Cullman and Birmingham HWWC offices. She has been on medical mission trips to Malawi, Ecuador, and the Dominican Republic! She strives to help women make the best choices for their personal health.

For more than 30 years, Henderson & Walton Women’s Center has been specializing in women’s health care in the Birmingham and surrounding areas. All the OB/GYN physicians, including Dr. Franklin, are board certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. For patient convenience, HWWC sees patients in Birmingham, Alabaster, Chelsea, Cullman, Rainbow City/Gadsden, Jasper and Tuscaloosa. To learn more about Dr. Franklin and the team of physicians and staff at Henderson & Walton Women’s Center, P.C., visit or call 205-930-1800.

-Melissa Armstrong


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Healthy Living

What is distracted driving? Anything that takes your attention away from the task of driving safely is distracted driving. You cannot drive safely unless driving has your full attention. Any non-driving activity you engage in has the potential of being a distraction and increases your risk of crashing. 

Community Partner Logo 20 Years 150x150Texting and Driving. Cell phones are a great invention that makes it easy to stay connected. However, we need to stay disconnected while driving. The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year. One out of every four car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving. Answering a text while driving takes your attention away from the road for about five seconds. If you are traveling at 55 miles per hour, that’s enough time to travel the length of a football field! Don’t let a text be the last thing you do. Put away your cell phone while driving. Your life is worth it. 

Passengers as Distractions. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, passengers are one of the most reported causes of distractions. With young children being four times as distracting as adults and infants being eight times more distracting, you need to train yourself to be considerate of everyone’s safety. As a driver, if you are experiencing a distraction, safely pull over to address the distraction. Do not attempt to deal with it while the car is in motion.

Other Distractions. Eating, reading, watching a video, or even adjusting the radio can all be very dangerous distractions while driving. When we drive, we should focus all our attention on the task at hand. When we divide our attention, we put everyone’s life in danger. Imagine having to live with the thought of harming someone else because you chose to drive distracted. 

We can all do our part in the fight to save lives by ending distracted driving. For more tips from Compact, visit or Facebook @Compact2020. †

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Healthy Living

There are many pharmacy options in and around Birmingham. What makes Mills Pharmacy different? “We simply strive to treat our customers like people we genuinely care about. In a business where most of the volume is dominated by publicly traded companies who are concerned with stock prices, that sets us apart,” says Josh Hardin, PharmD, one of three local owners of Mills Pharmacy, now serving families in 13 communities in Central Alabama.

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Mills Pharmacy owners Joe Jones, Josh Hardin and Beetina Long (L to R) each have deep ties to the Birmingham area and are passionate about making an impact in the community.

Robert Mills opened the first Mills Pharmacy location (previously named Robert’s Discount Pharmacy) in 2002. In 2020, he retired, and three long time members of his team took the helm- Joe Jones, Beetina Long, and Josh Hardin. “It was a challenging circumstance, as we purchased the business on March 16, which was the last day before the COVID pandemic began,” Joe Jones, PharmD, says, adding, “Despite the challenge, our fantastic teams at our 13 locations have gone above and beyond to serve our longtime and new customers in Central Alabama.”

The owners have a combined 40 years of experience in the Mills Pharmacy family. Long has worked on the operations side of the business for 15 years and has seen the pharmacy continually grow and serve more customers.  “In 2007, I moved to Birmingham and started working with Mills Pharmacy in Bluff Park. At that time, we began opening the 2nd location,” Long explains. Both Jones and Hardin have many years of experience serving families as pharmacists at multiple Mills locations.

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Not only is Mills Pharmacy a great place to get your medication, but several locations- like this one in Bluff Park- also have beautiful gift shops.

The owners place high priority on serving every customer well. “Customers can expect to pick up their medication in a timely manner from friendly people who care about their health outcomes. They can anticipate receiving attention from a pharmacist when they have questions about their condition or their medication,” Hardin says, adding, “And they can also expect our staff to be interested in them as people, not as numbers or dollar signs.”

The Mills Pharmacy mission statement is one that the team strives to live by daily. “We will improve patient wellness and health by problem-solving, listening, and providing the best care possible. We will be accessible, honest, and respectful. We will be visible, active members of the communities in which we serve. We will have a positive impact on every customer we encounter.”

Visit the Mills Pharmacy family at one of 13 locations in Bluff Park, Brookwood, Corner, Eutaw, Gardendale, Leeds, McCalla, Midfield, Parkway, Pinson, Pleasant Grove, and Woodlawn. Any location can help you with SmartPack: personalized packaging for prescriptions, free daily COVID-19 testing and vaccines, compounding, affordable generics, unique gifts, and more. To learn more about Mills Pharmacy and to find the nearest location to you, visit

-Melissa Armstrong 

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Mills Pharmacy’s newest location is in Bluff Park next door to Piggly Wiggly.
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Here’s to your Health

People often ask me how they can take control of their health in order to walk in freedom to what God has called them to do. I put together some practical ways to show you what taking ownership looks like in your health.

Here are a couple of symptoms of NOT taking ownership:
• Saying that our health is a priority, but our bank account, schedule, and focus prove otherwise.

• Not being able to do the things that God has called us to fully.

• Making excuses on how all of the external things in our life have determined our health, rather than OUR CHOICES.

• Not having PREDICTABILITY and CONTROL in our results and progress.

• Waiting until everything is “perfect” to start making changes. (There is no perfect season.)

• Doing a bunch of “diet” research on the first page of google because we feel guilty about how we ate over the weekend.

• ONLY getting free tips and tricks from people on social media.

• Thinking that just because we don’t have any health issues we don’t really need to be proactive.

Here are some examples of taking full ownership of your health:
• We are able to FULLY do what God has called us to do in every season.

• Our bank account and schedule clearly reflect that we make our health a priority. Anyone could take a look without even knowing us and see that clearly. (Where our treasure is there our heart will be also).

• We feel in full control of our progress and results because we have proven frameworks that work long term. There is no more confusion and discouragement.

• We take imperfect action and slowly progress toward our goals even through tough seasons.

• We lead our family and set a good example in our health. Our family feels at peace and doesn’t have to worry about us.

WE GET HELP. Instead of trying to do our own research and go in alone, we allow someone we trust to give us a proven system AND keep us accountable to that system.

We are PROACTIVE, instead of being reactive. When things come up, we look to what we want our health to look like in the future and structure our actions to help us get there.

We don’t just focus on “Getting by” in our health. We are intentional; at being excellent and using our health as one of the greatest assets we have. Take some time to reflect today. Which one of these areas do you need to change to start taking full ownership in the way you steward your body?

— Ashton Tate, Founder, Glory to Glory Fitness, 615-488-8203

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Here’s to your Health

For Dan Hudson, M.D., being a doctor runs in the family. “I was inspired to become a doctor by watching my father who was a urologist at Carraway Methodist Medical Center,” Dr. Hudson shares. In addition to his father’s influence, his brother eventually joined their father’s practice, and his sister is married to a physician. Dr. Hudson has three daughters who are all working in the medical field, too!

Dr. Dan Hudson
Dr. Dan Hudson married his wife, Tracy, 34 years ago and they have three daughters: one is currently a CRNA and two are soon to be CRNAs. 

Dr. Hudson is a native of Birmingham and earned his medical degree from the University of Alabama School of Medicine. He returned to Birmingham and completed his residency training at Carraway Methodist Medical Center. He has served with the Henderson & Walton Women’s Center, P.C. (HWWC) as an Obstetrician and Gynecologist since 1998. “One of the physicians asked me to join the team and it has been an enjoyable experience working with such dedicated physicians for the last 24 years,” Dr. Hudson says. 

Connecting with patients is just one aspect of being a physician that Dr. Hudson enjoys. “I always hope to be a positive influence in my patient’s lives,” he says, adding, “My faith is important in establishing a trusting, loving relationship with my patients. If I can exhibit the Fruits of the Spirit in my interactions with patients, they are drawn to that.” He also enjoys the surgical aspect of being an OBGYN. “I really enjoy performing robotic surgery.” Dr. Hudson sees patients four days a week at the Birmingham location. On Thursdays, he can be found at the Gadsden or Cullman offices. 

For more than 40 years, Henderson & Walton Women’s Center has been specializing in women’s health care. All the OB/GYN physicians, including Dr. Hudson, are board certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. For patient convenience, HWWC sees patients in Birmingham, Alabaster, Chelsea, Cullman, Rainbow City/Gadsden, Jasper, and Tuscaloosa. To learn more about Dr. Hudson and the team of physicians and staff at Henderson & Walton Women’s Center, P.C., visit or call 205-930-1800.

-Melissa Armstrong 

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