We all face challenges when it comes to living a healthier lifestyle, and making changes to our daily patterns can be a challenge in itself. One of the best ways to make an impactful change is to start with small, daily steps that can eventually develop into a habit. One excellent habit to work toward is adding more unsaturated fats into your diet.
The current 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting saturated fat to less than 10% of total daily calories. These types of fats are often found in meat, lard, nondairy creamers, palm oil and hydrogenated margarine and shortening. Unsaturated fat, sometimes called “good fat,” can actually reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Some of the health benefits of unsaturated fats include:
Below are some excellent sources of unsaturated fats. (The appropriate serving size has also been included for reference.)
This week, choose one of the unsaturated fat options above to add to your diet each day. To challenge yourself further, try replacing one source of saturated fat in your diet with one of the unsaturated fat options above each day. You may be surprised at how delicious and satisfying healthy fats can be!
Below are some simple ways to incorporate unsaturated fats into your diet. Do be aware of serving sizes to ensure you don’t consume more than the recommended amounts. When eating nuts or seeds as a snack, for example, it helps to pre-portion your servings to avoid the temptation of eating more than you should.
By continuing to make these simple adjustments to your diet, you can develop lifelong habits that will positively affect your overall health. You may be surprised with the changes to your cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels after only a few weeks. If you want to take your dietary changes a step further, try consuming these healthy fats as part of an overall healthy diet plan, such as the Mediterranean diet or DASH diet, both of which are recommended by the American Heart Association.
Did you know that Pennsylvania has the fifth largest older adult population in the nation with 3.4 million individuals?1 As the population continues to age, more people are weighing their options when it comes to downsizing, moving into a senior living community, or choosing to age in the comfort of their homes. According to a 2021 Home and Community Preferences survey by AARP of 2,826 U.S. adults, about 75% of people over the age of 50 expressed that they would like to remain in their current houses and communitiesmeaning aging in place is becoming a more prevalent life choice among older adults.2What to Know About Aging in PlaceIf youre leaning toward spending your years in the place where you feel the most content and safe, then you need to be willing to make some modifications to your home. As you age, your needs change, which means certain features in your home may need to be adjusted. Wider doorways and walkways; accessible bathrooms, kitchens, and bedrooms; ramps and lifts; non-slip floors; and stability aids like grab bars and handrails are some of the most common enhancements that come to mind, but assistive technology can play an important role in aging in place too.Many people choose to age in place because they want to maintain their independence, and assistive technology helps make that possible. From smart home devices that allow you to control the temperature or lights with voice commands to amplified phones and doorbells, there are plenty of high-tech tools that can help you navigate your day-to-day with ease. If youre a senior with hearing loss, Captioned Telephone Relay Service is a free service that allows you to read captions of whats said to you during phone conversations using a uniquely designed CapTel phone.CapTel Makes Phone Conversations Clearer Using CapTel, you can confidently and securely age in place knowing that you can effectively communicate over the phone. Whether youre calling loved ones to catch up, chatting with your doctor, or contacting first responders in an emergency, CapTel is a dependable communication solution for older adults who have hearing loss.Best of all, the CapTel captioning service is free and available in English and Spanish, with captions appearing on the bright, built-in display screen of the CapTel phone just moments after the other caller has spoken. CapTel phones can be purchased directly for $75 through a third-party vendor, or qualified Pennsylvania residents can apply for a CapTel device through the states Telecommunications Device Distribution Program (TDDP)which provides specialized equipment to individuals who find it difficult to use a standard phone. Age in Place Confidently with CapTelTo learn more about CapTel, including how to purchase or apply for an assistive communication device, visit pactrs.com today!Sources:1Master Plan for Older Adults, Pennsylvania Department of Aging 22021 Home and Community Preferences Survey: A National Survey of Adults Age 18-Plus | Joannne Binette & Fanni Farago, AARP Research CapTel is a registered trademark of Ultratec, Inc.
Moving to a personal care home is a big decision based on many factors. Cold winter months are drawing near, and the Farmers Almanac is forecasting a Winter Wonderland for the northeastern United States. Keeping this in mind, and to avoid winter chores, this is a great time to consider a respite stay and experience first-hand what life is like living in a personal care home.Experience an easier moveWinter weather conditions like snow and ice can complicate the move to a personal care home. Moving before bad weather conditions arrive allows seniors to avoid potential weather-related delays, accidents or other challenges during transportation and when moving belongings.Try out the personal care homeRespite care offers seniors a chance to try out a retirement community without making a long-term commitment. Country Meadows offers all-rental retirement living accommodations, so seniors are not beholden to a lengthy lease or an ownership stake. A respite stay can help older adults see for themselves whether or not the community is a good fit for a permanent move.Avoid winter weather challengesMany older adults struggle with winter chores such as shoveling snow, chipping away ice, walking on icy sidewalks, managing heating systems and driving in inclement weather. A temporary respite stay at a personal care home eliminates these responsibilities, as well as many other daily chores, removing worries. It provides seniors the opportunity to settle into their new living arrangement without the added stress of winter weather.Access daily assistance and health servicesAlong with cold weather, the winter season can also bring several challenges for older adults to maintain wellness. A major benefit to living at a personal care home is prompt, easy access to health resources and assistance. This is especially beneficial for seniors with health concerns and mobility issues. If a resident requires assistance with medications, dressing, bathing or another daily activity, simply push a call button and a personal care associate can provide needed help. And a wellness team keeps an eye on each residents overall health.Reduce lonelinessMany seniors experience loneliness and isolation while living at home. The winter months can magnify these feelings. Respite care offers opportunities for social interaction and engagement with new neighbors and friends in the same age group, reducing feelings of loneliness and providing mental stimulation.Participate in activities, enjoy entertainment and outingsSenior living communities often offer a variety of enriching activities and events. At Country Meadows, our Vibe program considers each residents physical, cognitive, social and spiritual needs and customizes activities, entertainment, outings and purposeful service opportunities. Events are organized seasonally by categories and offer opportunities for socialization and fun. When living at a personal care home, one doesnt need to brave the elements outside, because all the fun during winter is happening indoors, fostering a sense of belonging among residents.Provide relief for family caregiversA respite stay offers a break for family members and friends providing care in a seniors private home. This break is especially appreciated during winter months when private caregiving responsibilities might become more demanding due to inclement weather, illnesses or holiday-related activities.When considering respite care at a personal care home or retirement community over the winter months, its important to do some homework. Families and seniors should research and visit potential facilities to ensure the community can meet specific needs and preferences of each individual. The decision for respite care should prioritize the well-being, comfort and specific needs of each person, aiming to provide a supportive and enriching experience. Contact Country Meadows Retirement Communities today.
Intermittent fasting for seniors can be a beneficial dietary strategy when approached with caution and under medical guidance. At a retirement community, we understand the importance of promoting the health and well-being of our residents. In the next few paragraphs, well explore how retirees can safely embark on an intermittent fasting journey.Consult Your Doctor FirstBefore beginning any significant dietary changes, such as intermittent fasting, its imperative to talk to your healthcare provider. This is especially important for people who may have underlying health conditions. Your doctor can evaluate your individual health status and help you determine if intermittent fasting is right for you.Start Slow and GradualRetirees should approach intermittent fasting with a slow and gradual transition. Its important to acclimate your body to this new routine. Begin by extending your overnight fast by a few hours, ideally under the guidance of a healthcare professional.Choose the Right Intermittent Fasting PlanThere are various intermittent fasting plans, but for retirees, the 16/8 method is often recommended. This involves fasting for 16 hours and eating during an 8-hour window. This plan provides enough flexibility to suit most peoples schedules while reaping the benefits of fasting.Stay HydratedStaying well hydrated is absolutely necessary during intermittent fasting. Participants should make sure they drink enough water throughout the fasting period to prevent dehydration. Dehydration can make health issues worse, so maintaining proper hydration is essential.Prioritize Foods that Are Nutrient-DenseWhen you do eat, focus on foods classified as nutrient-dense. Especially when youre in your golden years, you need a well-balanced diet to support your health. Incorporate whole grains, lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats into your meals to make sure youre getting the required nutrients.Monitor Your HealthKeep a close eye on your health while practicing intermittent fasting. People in Memory Care and Assisted Living may want to involve their caregivers or nursing team in this process. Regular check-ups, blood pressure monitoring, and blood sugar checks can help make sure that fasting is not negatively affecting your health.Be Mindful of MedicationsRetirees often take medications, some of which may need to be taken with food. Consult your doctor to adjust the timing of your medication intake to align with your fasting schedule while ensuring the medications effectiveness.Listen to Your BodyYou should be attuned to your body during intermittent fasting. If you experience weakness, dizziness, or other worrisome symptoms, it may be a sign that fasting isnt suitable for you. Always prioritize your health and well-being.Break the Fast CarefullyWhen its time to stop your fast, do so with a small, balanced meal. Rushing into a large, heavy meal can cause digestive discomfort, which is especially important to avoid for those in Memory Care and Assisted Living.Stay Committed to Your Regular Exercise RoutineExercise is vital for your health. Continue with your regular exercise routine during intermittent fasting. But consider adjusting your workout schedule to align with your eating window for optimal results.Evaluate Progress and AdjustPeriodically assess your progress and how intermittent fasting affects your health and daily life. Make necessary adjustments to your fasting schedule if needed, with the guidance of your healthcare provider.Within reason, intermittent fasting for seniors can be a valuable approach to support health and well-being. But it should always be done under the supervision and guidance of a healthcare professional. Our retirement community offers Memory Care and Assisted Living options, where we prioritize your health and provide the support you need to safely embark on an intermittent fasting journey. Remember to consult your doctor, start slow, stay hydrated, and choose the right fasting plan to enjoy the potential benefits of intermittent fasting while maintaining your health and well-being.