It’s Never Too Late for Seniors to Improve Their Health

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It is more important than ever to take care of your health as Americans are living longer and we all want to ensure a healthier old age.  However even if you are already a senior, health care professionals say it is never too late to start improving your health.

Sian Robinson, a professor of nutritional epidemiology at the University of Southampton, recently authored a study on senior nutrition and states that, “Improving the quality of your diet can have a beneficial effect on health, whatever your age.”  One recommendation is to eat more foods containing fiber.  Doctors report the addition of more fiber can positively impact your overall health by helping:  your colon work better and avoid constipation; reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and colon cancer; and lower your blood cholesterol level.

Another change that can improve your overall health as well as help to make you feel better and increase your level of energy is to add physical activity to your daily life.  This also can strengthen your bones and muscles, which in turn can help to prevent falls.  If you do fall, stronger bones are less likely to break.  Physical active has additionally been found to help your brain as studies show people who exercise regularly make better decisions.

It is also beneficial for seniors to keep their minds active. Like our muscles, our brains need to be exercised regularly to improve memory loss and cognitive skills.  Activities such as targeted brain exercises and playing word and trivia games can help.  Other habits that can enhance your health include not smoking, having regular checkups and learning how to prevent falls.

Looking for the best senior living Peoria AZ or Glendale AZ offers?  MorningStar at Arrowhead provides seniors with a lifestyle of comfort, wellness and community.   Along with beautiful private suites, we also offer residents resort-style amenities and services as well as a range of activities, wellness programs and nutritional, tasty meals.  Visit our website to learn more.

This post is intended for informational purposes only.  Please contact your health care provider with any questions or concerns you have regarding your health. 

MorningStar at Arrowhead represents the finest in senior living with our unique mission statement “to honor, to serve, to invest.” Arrowhead’s foundation is built on honoring God, valuing all seniors and selecting staff with a felt calling to serve, all directed at creating a true home for our residents. Contact us to schedule a tour to fully experience the finest senior living Peoria AZ and the surrounding area has to offer. 

Source: familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/seniors/staying-healthy/good-health-habits-at-age-60-and-beyond.html

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Learn More About Macular Degeneration

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The National Eye Institute states that age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of visual loss in America.  According to their statics, close to 2.1 million people 50 years and older had macular degeneration in 2010.  That number is expected to more than double by 2050.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say approximately 6.5 percent of Americans age 40 and above have some degree of the disease.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) occurs most often after age 60 and causes loss in the center of the field of vision. The two types of macular degeneration include dry macular degeneration that causes the center of the retina to begin to deteriorate.  In wet macular degeneration, new blood vessels grow beneath the retina and leak blood and fluid.  Unusually fuzzy or distorted vision is one symptom and the dry form (85 to 90 percent of AMD cases) is more common than the wet form.  Wet macular degeneration typically leads to more serious vision loss.

The degeneration of the macula affects our ability to read, recognize faces, drive, and many other visual tasks that requires us to see fine detail.  As the condition progresses, the areas of blurred vision may increase and blank spots may appear.

The good news is that patients with dry AMD are less likely to go blind than in the past with today’s treatment options that include a specific combination of high-dose vitamins and minerals.  Dr. Peter Campbell, a retina specialist, says that “Prompt recognition of macular degeneration is important to avoid it advancing to the point where failing central vision means people can no longer recognize faces.”  The most important advice he gives is for people over 60 to get regular eye exams.  Risks for the disease include age, smoking and family history.

At MorningStar at Bear Creek, we are dedicated to providing one of the best Alzheimer homes in the area.  Our community has 48 suites for the individualized care of those suffering from dementia, and in addition, we are a resource for families in the Colorado Springs area dealing with Alzheimer’s.  At Bear Creek, we lovingly care for seniors from the onset of the disease right through to the most advanced stages.

This post is intended for informational purposes only.  Please contact your health care provider with any questions or concerns you have regarding your health. 

MorningStar at Bear Creek embodies the very best in Alzheimer homes with a distinct mission statement of “to honor, to serve, to invest”.  With a foundation built on honoring God, valuing seniors and investing in a staff with a felt calling to serve, we offer loving, compassionate care within a beautiful home-like setting.  Please set up a tour to see for yourself our exceptional community.

 

Source:

health.usnews.com/health-care/patient-advice/articles/2018-02-23/macular-degeneration-managing-this-vision-condition

Study Shows New Hope in the Fight Against Alzheimer’s Disease

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Although it is estimated that over 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease and that the number will triple in the coming decades, experts are giving us some reason to hope.  Recently reported results from a large study show that while cases of Alzheimer’s are still increasing at an all-time rate, the increase appears to be slowing.

The new research suggests “higher levels of education and heart-healthy lifestyle measures may be helping to perhaps prevent, or at least delay, the onset of dementia.”  So as researchers race to find a cure for Alzheimer’s, the study is another indication that people can make specific changes in their lifestyle to help delay the onset of Alzheimer’s.

Published in The New England Journal of Medicine, the findings are part of the Framingham Heart Study and included 5,200 participants.  One of the study’s authors, Dr. Sudha Seshadri, a professor of neurology at Boston University School of Medicine, says she hopes effective preventive measures will lessen the estimated increase in the number of people affected with the disease in the coming decades.

This study provides the best evidence to date to suggest better education and improvements in heart health may be staving off dementia.  Researchers studied risk factors such as smoking, obesity, high blood pressure and levels of education and found the biggest declines were in those who took better control of their cardiovascular health.  Vascular dementia had the highest decline but researchers also saw declines in Alzheimer’s; however, they noted many people with Alzheimer’s also have signs of vascular dementia.

To summarize the study, researchers explain a healthier lifestyle appears to be an important part of Alzheimer’s prevention and includes eating well, challenging the brain, and participating in regular physical activity.  A healthier lifestyle also offers the benefit of increased energy levels and better thinking skills in old age.

Please visit MorningStar at Bear Creek’s website to learn more about our dedicated and compassionate assisted living for dementia residents.  We consider it an honor to walk alongside the memory-impaired (and their families) on this unexpected journey.

MorningStar at Bear Creek brings a unique vision to senior living with our mission statement “to honor, to serve, to invest.” Our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing all seniors and selecting staff with a felt calling to serve. We are dedicated to creating a true home within an ideal setting and invite you to schedule a tour to see firsthand the best assisted living for dementia residents in Colorado Springs.

Source:alzinfo.org/articles/research/dementia-rates-are-slowing-but-alzheimers-cases-continue-to-rise/

Bruising in Seniors

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Is frequent bruising indicative of a bigger problem?  Most likely not says the Mayo Clinic because as we age people bruise more easily.  The reason for this is older skin is thinner and has lost some of its fatty layers that used to work as a cushion to protect blood vessels from injury.  Also women are more prone to bruising than men.

The medical term for a bruise is contusion, and is typically caused when small blood vessels near the skin’s surface are ruptured by an impact from an injury or a blow to the area.  This causes blood to start leaking out of the vessels and create the visible black-and-blue mark (ecchymosis) of a bruise.  As the body reabsorbs the blood, the bruise begins to heal.

The Mayo Clinic says that certain medications can cause bruising such as aspirin and anticoagulants such as Coumadin® that thin the blood and reduces its ability to clot.  This means that “bleeding from capillary damage might take longer than usual to stop — which allows enough blood to leak out and cause a bruise.”  Dietary supplements like fish oil and ginkgo have a blood thinning effect that can also increase the risk for bruising.

However bruising can sometimes be a sign of serious medical conditions such as low levels or abnormally functioning platelets.  They can also indicate problems with the proteins that help to clot blood.  The Mayo Clinic recommends consulting your doctor if large bruises appear on your body, if they are painful, or you start bruising after beginning a new medication. Additionally, check with your doctor if a bruise increases in size and becomes swollen and hard as it may be a hematoma, a localized collection of blood which becomes clotted or partially clotted.

To prevent bruising, Dr. Aarthi Anand, a board certified geriatrician and family medicine practitioner, suggests removing furniture and other obstacles to create a clear path throughout the home to avoid bumps and falls.  If you or your loved one is unsteady on their feet, install handrails when possible and consider using a walker or cane.

This post is intended for informational purposes only.  Please contact your health care provider with any questions or concerns you have regarding your health. 

MorningStar at Bear Creek brings a unique vision to senior living with a mission statement “to honor, to serve, to invest.” Built on a foundation of honoring God, valuing all seniors and selecting staff with a felt calling to serve, we are committed to creating a true home for residents in a magnificent setting. Contact us to schedule a visit to learn more about our loving dementia care. 

Sources:

mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/healthy-aging/in-depth/easy-bruising/art-20045762

aplaceformom.com/planning-and-advice/articles/elderly-bruising

Socialization is Important to Our Health & Wellbeing

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While children are encouraged to socialize, we often forget it is important for all of us, especially older adults, to socialize.  However as we age, circumstances such as retirement, the death of a spouse, and friends moving away or falling ill can makes it difficult for seniors to maintain healthy social connections.

The National Institute on Aging recently reported on several studies that appear to suggest a strong correlation between social interactions and the health and well-being of older adults.  The research indicates social isolation and loneliness may have significant adverse effects on the elderly and impact their physical as well as mental health.  Scientists explain that, “Positive indicators of social well-being may be associated with lower levels of interleukin-6 in otherwise healthy people. Interleukin-6 is an inflammatory factor implicated in age-related disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and some forms of cancer.”

The studies suggest that socially isolated older adults have a higher risk of morbidity and mortality.  Loneliness may be a contributing factor for elevated systolic blood pressure as well as put older adults at risk for symptoms of depression.

Researchers believe that strong social connections may help to reduce stress and stave off anxiety and depression.  One study even showed a 70 percent slower decrease in cognitive decline in those with a strong social network.

As one of Billings Montana’s top senior living facilities, the MorningStar of Billings’ community offers a whole host of wellness programs and activities that enhance and support mental, physical, spiritual and social connections.  Each day residents have the opportunity to engage the mind, body and spirit and find ways to learn and contribute.  Please visit our website to learn why our independent living, assisted living and memory care facility is such a great place to call home.

MorningStar Senior Living of Billings represents the finest in senior living with a unique mission statement of: “to honor, to serve, to invest.”  Proving a true home for residents, our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing all seniors and hiring staff with a felt calling to serve.  We invite you to setup a tour to experience firsthand the loving atmosphere of one of the area’s top senior living facilities.     

Source:

nia.nih.gov/about/living-long-well-21st-century-strategic-directions-research-aging/research-suggests-positive

It’s Important to Get Screened for Osteoporosis

morningstar general 15The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that 25 percent of American women aged 65 years or older suffer from osteoporosis.  In men over 65 years, it is closer to 5 percent.  Since anyone with osteoporosis is more at risk for dangerous fractures, it is important for seniors to be aware of whether they suffer from the condition.

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, “Osteoporosis means “porous bone.” Healthy bones look like a honeycomb when viewed under a microscope, but for those with osteoporosis, the holes and spaces in the honeycombs are much larger and the abnormal porous bone is compressible or sponge-like.  As the bones lose density or mass and are made up of more abnormal tissue structure, the bones become less dense, weaken and more likely to break.

Healthy, strong bone is composed of protein, collagen and calcium. Osteopenia is the term used when a person’s bones are slightly less dense than normal bones but are not considered as severely compromised as those with osteoporosis.

Thankfully it is easy to evaluate a person’s risk of fracture with a painless X-ray absorptiometry test (also called DXA or DEXA).  The noninvasive test measures the bone mineral density (BMD) of the spine, hip or total body bone density and only takes about 10 to 20 minutes.

Health care professionals recommend a bone mineral density test for all postmenopausal women with risk factors and all women 65 or older.  Men should be tested at age 70 or at age 50-69 based on risk factors.  The test lets you and your doctor know if you have normal bone density, low bone density (osteopenia) or osteoporosis, and if there appears to be a problem, what steps to take to help prevent broken bones in the future.  If you are taking osteoporosis medications, professionals advise having a bone density test by central DXA annually or once every two years to determine if your medication is working.

This post is intended for informational purposes only.  Please contact your health care provider with any questions or concerns you have regarding your health.

MorningStar at Arrowhead represents the finest in senior living with our unique mission statement “to honor, to serve, to invest.” Arrowhead’s foundation is built on honoring God, valuing all seniors and selecting staff with a felt calling to serve, all directed at creating a true home for our residents. Contact us to schedule a tour to fully experience the finest senior living Peoria AZ & Glendale AZ has to offer.

 

Hearing Loss is Common in Seniors

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According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Commucation Disorders (NIDCD) about one in three people between the ages of 65 and 74 has hearing loss, and nearly half of those 75 and older have difficultly hearing.  This can make it hard for seniors to “understand and follow a doctor’s advice, to respond to warnings, and to hear doorbells and alarms.”  Difficultly hearing also makes it hard for many elderly people to follow and engage in conversation with their family and friends.

Known as presbycusis, hearing loss in seniors generally occurs gradually and initially affects the ability to hear higher pitched sounds.  The person may notice that while the speech is loud enough, it sounds as if the talker is mumbling.  The condition is commonly caused by the loss of nerve hair cells in the Cochlea or the deterioration of other parts of the inner ear or auditory nerves.   Age-related hearing loss typically affects both ears equally.

In some cases, health conditions more common among the elderly such as high blood pressure and diabetes can additionally affect hearing.  Furthermore, certain medications including some types of chemotherapy drugs can cause hearing loss.

The NIDCD has a checklist to help seniors determine if they are experiencing hearing problems.  Questions include: Do you feel frustrated when talking to members of your family because you have difficulty hearing them?; Do you have difficulty hearing when someone speaks in a whisper?; and Do you feel restricted or limited by a hearing problem?

Another cause of hearing loss can be the result of long-term exposure to loud noise and is one of the most common occupational hazards.  The exposure damages the sensory hair cells in the ears, which do not grow back.  It is estimated that 10 million Americans have irreversible hearing loss due to long-term exposure to noise.

Seniors should discuss any hearing problems with their health care provider who will refer them to an otolaryngologist who specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases of the ear, nose, throat, and neck.  The otolarynogogist will test your hearing, and if a problem is found, will refer you on to an audiologist who will determine the type and degree of hearing loss.   Either they or a hearing aid specialist will fit you for a hearing aid.

This post is intended for informational purposes only.  Please contact your health care provider with any questions or concerns you have regarding your health.

MorningStar at Bear Creek brings a unique vision to senior living with our mission statement “to honor, to serve, to invest.” Our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing all seniors and selecting staff with a felt calling to serve. We are dedicated to creating a true home for residents within an ideal setting and invite you to schedule a tour to see firsthand the best memory care in Colorado Springs. 

Source:  https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/age-related-hearing-loss