Causes and Symptoms of COPD

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The COPD Foundation states that, “Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is an umbrella term used to describe progressive lung diseases including emphysema, chronic bronchitis, refractory (non-reversible) asthma, and some forms of bronchiectasis.”  As COPD progresses, it results in increasing breathlessness as the lungs are further damaged.  The damage is permanent and is the 4th leading cause of death for people 65 to 84 years old. 

Often in the early stages, people mistake the symptoms of COPD with fatigue and getting older.  In addition, many people may have the disease for years before experiencing the symptoms of COPD that includes breathlessness, wheezing, or a chronic cough.

You may be at risk for COPD if you have a history of long-term smoking, a job that exposed you to dust or chemicals or other indoor air pollutants, second-hand smoke exposure, or lots of exposure to outdoor air pollution.  You may additionally be at risk if you had lots of respiratory infections as a child or have a genetic risk factor for emphysema that is related to a deficiency of the Alpha-1 Antitrypsin protein in the bloodstream.

COPD is diagnosed with a simple procedure known as a spirometry test that measures how well your lungs are working.  If your results show signs of COPD, you will need to consult with your doctor regarding treatment.  It is important for anyone with COPD to get a yearly flu shot and a vaccine for pneumonia as they can help to prevent some infections.  Good nutrition and staying as active as possible is also important.

The Mayo Clinic reminds anyone diagnosed with COPD that is not the end of the world. They say most people have a mild form of the disease and require little therapy other than to quick smoking.  For more advanced cases, there are effective therapies available to “control symptoms, reduce your risk of complications and exacerbations, and improve your ability to lead an active life.”

This post is for information purposes only; please consult your health care providers with any health concerns.

MorningStar of Fort Collins represents the very best in senior living with a mission “to honor, to serve, to invest.”  Our foundation is one built upon honoring God, valuing all seniors and selecting team members with a felt calling to serve.  We invite you to schedule a tour to discover the finest assisted living Fort Collins has to offer.

Source: copdfoundation.org/What-is-COPD/Understanding-COPD/What-Causes-COPD.aspx

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Bring Your Pet to MorningStar

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Research continues to show a strong correlation between pet ownership and a number of benefits to seniors.  Everything from helping the elderly to stay physically active, to lowering blood pressure, reducing stress, providing companionship and making depression less likely are attributed to having a pet.  In fact there are several studies that indicate that patients with heart problems do better when they are responsible for a pet.

Not only do pets offer lots of affection and unconditional love but they can also help seniors cope with the loss of a loved one.  In an article from AgingCare.com, a New Jersey psychotherapist, Dr. Jay P. Granat, discusses some of the other intangibles that pets offer to the elderly.  He states that, “Dogs—and other pets—live very much in the here and now. They don’t worry about tomorrow. And tomorrow can be very scary for an older person. By having an animal with that sense of now, it tends to rub off on people.”

At MorningStar Senior Living of Billings, we wholeheartedly agree that pets provide many benefits to seniors, which is why we are proud that our community is pet friendly.  Along with our residents’ pets, we also have a special “house dog” that provides companionship and warmth throughout our entire community.

Grace, an adorable Golden Doodle, is a gentle, loving dog who is a big hit with all of our residents and staff.  Grace joined our MorningStar family in 2015 and we all agree she is the cutest, most cuddly dog in the world!  Feel free to stop by and meet our girl.

MorningStar Senior Living of Billings represents the finest in senior living with a mission “to honor, to serve, to invest.”  Our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing all seniors and selecting team members with a felt calling to serve.  Dedicated to creating a real home for residents, we encourage you to visit to see for yourself our exceptional community for independent and assisted living.

Sources:petsfortheelderly.org/articles.html

agingcare.com/Articles/benefits-of-elderly-owning-pets-113294.htm

Controlling Diabetes May Reduce the Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

Assisted Living

The connection between Diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease is currently being studied but is not yet completely understood.  Many, but not all, studies suggest people with diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes, are at higher risk of eventually developing Alzheimer’s Disease or other forms of dementia.  Controlling diabetes may help reduce your risk of cognitive decline as well as other complications of the disease. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) states that living with diabetes can be difficult but with the right care and treatment, it can be effectively managed.

Along with your health care provider, organizations such as the ADA and the National Institute of Health offer tips and information for coping with the disease and ways to avoid or delay complications.  Also even if you do not have the disease, it is still a good idea to education yourself to try and prevent the onset.

The ADA recommends the following suggestions for living as healthy as possible with type 2 diabetes.  Their first recommendation is to keep your blood glucose levels under control.  Know your target range and check your levels daily or as recommended by your doctor.  In addition make the appropriate changes to your diet to not only lower your blood glucose, but to lower your risk for heart disease.

Another important part of living with diabetes is to work to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol levels in the normal ranges.  Many of the same lifestyle changes we do to control blood glucose can help control blood pressure.  The ADA advises that “people with diabetes keep their blood pressure below 140/80, but check with your health care professional about what target is best for you.”  Along with medications, you can lower your cholesterol by eating a healthy diet, losing weight and exercising.

You can also manage your diabetes better if you stop smoking.  We recognize that smoking is bad for everyone but it is far worse for those with diabetes.  Finally, if you increase your physical activity, you will gain more strength and energy and be better able to manage your blood glucose as well as help to lower your blood pressure.

This post is for informational purposes only.  Please consult your medical provider regarding any health concerns.

MorningStar at Bear Creek is a memory care community that uses progressive methods to palliate symptoms and revive joy.  Our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing our seniors and hiring staff with a felt calling to serve, and is devoted to creating a true home for residents within a serene setting.  Please contact us to schedule a visit to experience firsthand our loving community.

Sources:diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/seniors/?referrer=https://www.google.com/

diabetesstopshere.org/2013/09/06/seniors-with-diabetes-take-control-of-your-health/

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alzheimers-disease/in-depth/diabetes-and-alzheimers/art-20046987

Living with Type 2 Diabetes

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The American Diabetes Association (ADA) states that living with diabetes can be difficult but with the right care and treatment, it can be effectively managed.   We know the risk of getting type 2 diabetes increases as we age, and current statistics show about 25% of seniors in the United States age 60 and over have the disease.  Also as we age, the risk of complications increases.

Along with your health care provider, organizations such as the ADA and the National Institute of Health offer tips and information for coping with the disease and ways to avoid or delay complications.  Also even if you do not have the disease, it is still a good idea to education yourself to try and prevent the onset.

The ADA recommends the following suggestions for living as healthy as possible with type 2 diabetes.  Their first recommendation is to keep your blood glucose levels under control.  Know your target range and check your levels daily or as recommended by your doctor.  In addition make the appropriate changes to your diet to not only lower your blood glucose, but to lower your risk for heart disease.

Another important part of living with diabetes is to work to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol levels in the normal ranges.  Many of the same lifestyle changes we do to control blood glucose can help control blood pressure.  The ADA advises that “people with diabetes keep their blood pressure below 140/90, but check with your health care professional about what target is best for you.”  Along with medications, you can lower your cholesterol by eating a healthy diet, losing weight and exercising.

You can also manage your diabetes better if you stop smoking.  We recognize that smoking is bad for everyone but it is far worse for those with diabetes.  Finally if you increase your physical activity, you will gain more strength and energy and be better able to manage your blood glucose as well as help to lower your blood pressure.

This post is for informational purposes only.  Please consult your medical provider regarding any health concerns or questions.

MorningStar of Fort Collins provides the very best in senior living with our unique mission statement of “to honor, to serve, to invest.”  With a foundation built on honoring God, valuing all seniors and selecting staff with a felt calling to serve, we create a true home for residents in a beautiful setting.  We invite you to schedule a tour to discover one of the area’s top senior living communities.  

Source:diabetes.org/

Good Nutrition is Still Important as You Age

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Even for older adults, good nutrition is important for a healthy lifestyle.  A study from the National Institute of Health (NIH) states that “a good diet in your later years reduces your risk of osteoporosis, high blood pressure, heart diseases and certain cancers. As you age, you might need less energy. But you still need just as many of the nutrients in food.“

As a part of their findings, they recommend avoiding foods loaded with empty calories such as potato chips, cookies, soda and alcohol to ensure you get your proper amount of daily nutrients.  Instead they advise eating wholesome, nutrient-rich foods that are low in cholesterol and saturated or trans fats.

One of the benefits of eating well is that it may help to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, Type II diabetes and bone loss as well as some types of cancer.  In fact if you already suffer from one of those diseases, maintaining a healthy diet along with staying physically active can help you to better manage them.  Additionally adopting a healthy diet can help to reduce your blood pressure and lower your cholesterol.

Wholesome, healthy foods help keep muscles, bones, organs, and other body parts strong and vitamin-rich food can boost immunity and fight against illness-causing toxins.  Furthermore, a healthy diet can help you feel better as well as give you more energy.

At MorningStar at Jordan, we wholeheartedly agree that good nutrition is important for seniors.  This is why our residents are served three daily meals that are not only very healthy but also delicious.  Each of our meals are served restaurant-style in a beautiful dining room and prepared by our Executive Chef.  Please contact us to learn more about our wide range of services and programs offered by MorningStar.

This post is for informational purposes only.  Please consult your medical provider regarding any health concerns or questions. 

MorningStar Assisted Living & Memory Care at Jordan represents the very best in senior living with our distinct mission statement of “to honor, to value, to invest.”  We provide a true home for residents amidst a beautiful, serene setting and a foundation built on honoring God, valuing all seniors and selecting staff with a felt calling to serve.   Please schedule a tour to experience firsthand our comfortable, home-like atmosphere.

Source:nihseniorhealth.gov/eatingwellasyougetolder/benefitsofeatingwell/01.html

Signs and Symptoms of a Stroke

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According to the Mayo Clinic, the following is a list of the signs and symptoms you need to know if you think someone may be having a stroke.  They recommend noting the time when you first notice the symptoms as it is important to know when seeking medical treatment.

The first sign is any difficulty with speaking or understanding as well as confusion.  A person may slur their words or have trouble processing what is being said.  Another thing to look for is any sudden numbness, weakness or paralysis in the face, arm or leg especially on one side of the body.  Ask the person to try and raise both arms over their head at the same time.  If one arm begins to fall, it may be a stroke.  Also another indication of a stroke is if one side of the mouth is drooping when you ask the person to smile.

Other signs of a stroke can include trouble with seeing in one or both eyes and exhibiting symptoms such as blurred or blackened vision or seeing double.  In addition trouble walking as well as dizziness or loss of balance and coordination can also be signs of a stroke.    Further stroke symptoms include a sudden onset of a severe headache along with vomiting, dizziness or altered consciousness.

Seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the signs of a stroke regardless of whether they appear to fluctuate or disappear.  The American Stroke Association’s F.A.S.T. acronym is an easy way to remember the signs of stroke. They state that you need to call 911 immediately if you or someone you are with experiences any of the following signs:

F        Face Drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven?

A        Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

S        Speech Difficulty – Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?

T        Time to call 9-1-1 – If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get the person to the hospital immediately. Check the time so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared.

Remember the longer a stroke goes untreated, there becomes a greater potential for brain damage and disability.  Once you have called for emergency assistance, continue to carefully watch the person.

For informational purposes only, please consult your health care provider if you have any questions regarding your health.

MorningStar Assisted Living & Memory Care at Jordan represents the very best in senior living with our distinct mission statement of “to honor, to value, to invest.”  We are dedicated to providing a true home for residents amidst a beautiful, serene setting and a foundation built on honoring God, valuing all seniors and selecting staff with a felt calling to serve.   Please schedule a tour to experience firsthand our comfortable, home-like atmosphere.    

 

Sources: mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/stroke/symptoms-causes/

strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/WarningSigns/Stroke-Warning-Signs-and-Symptoms_UCM_308528_SubHomePage.jsp

Know the Facts about Heart Disease

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According to the American Heart Association, heart attack warning signs involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes (or that goes away and comes back). They describe it like an “uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.”  Signs can also include discomfort in other areas of the upper body such as one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.  Other symptoms may include shortness of breath, sweating, nausea or lightheadedness.  As heart disease is the number one killer for both men and women in the U.S. as well as globally, it is important to know the facts and a great resource for up-to-date information is the American Heart Association’s website.

The site has lots of current information on the causes and treatment for atherosclerosis, which is the disease that develops when plaque builds up inside the arteries.  Once plaque has built up and narrowed the arteries, it is more difficult for the blood to flow through and increases the chance of a blood clot forming that can stop blood from flowing altogether.   Atherosclerosis is one of the leading causes of heart attacks, strokes, and peripheral vascular disease.

Ischemic strokes are the most common type of strokes and occur when a blood vessel that feeds the brain is blocked (typically from a blood clot).  Hemorrhagic strokes are caused when weakened blood vessels rupture.  There are two types of weakened blood vessels that are typically responsible: aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations (AVMs).

Congestive heart failure occurs when the heart is not pumping blood as effectively as it should, and thus, not meeting the body’s blood and oxygen needs.  It is one of the most common causes of hospitalization in adults 65 years and older.  Treatment includes medications, surgery and lifestyle changes.  If left untreated, the problem can worsen.

Our post is for information purposes only and not a substitute for seeking medical advice from your health care provider.

MorningStar Assisted Living & Memory Care at Jordan represents the very best in senior living with our distinct mission statement of “to honor, to value, to invest.”  We are dedicated to providing a true home for residents amidst a beautiful, serene setting and a foundation built on honoring God, valuing all seniors and selecting staff with a felt calling to serve.   Please schedule a tour to experience firsthand our comfortable, home-like atmosphere.      

Source:heart.org/HEARTORG/Caregiver/Resources/WhatisCardiovascularDisease/What-is-Cardiovascular-Disease_UCM_301852_Article.jsp#