831 Santa Barbara Blvd., Cape Coral, Florida, 33991Memory Care
The Windsor of Cape Coral is the premiere assisted living community in Lee County; offering 84 spacious apartments. We are built to Hurricane 5 standards; two-story with two elevators; 24/7 nurse in the community; opened in 2009. Seven spacious floor plans in assisted living, and 14 private room secured memory care with private baths and showers. We have the best activities program by far with over 300 activities per month for our residents and their families. We invite you to come visit us!
Some seniors don't realize how much hearing loss affects them and the people around them. Others avoid treating their hearing loss because they think hearing aids may be uncomfortable, noisy, or ugly a misperception that comes from witnessing older devices their parents or grandparents might have worn.Modern hearing aids are much smaller, come in a variety of colors, and don't always require bulky customized ear molds to fit, Green said.Some seniors don't realize how much hearing loss affects them and the people around them. Others avoid treating their hearing loss because they think hearing aids may be uncomfortable, noisy, or ugly a misperception that comes from witnessing older devices their parents or grandparents might have worn.Modern hearing aids are much smaller, come in a variety of colors, and don't always require bulky customized ear molds to fit, Green said.If you suspect you have hearing loss, dont hesitate to see an audiologist. Dr. Green recommends scheduling an appointment with a licensed, reputable audiologist to have your hearing evaluated. (You may need a referral; always consult your insurance company for coverage information.)Seniors who use hearing aids are often amazed by how much they were missing out on, and how isolated they had been, Green said. Every senior deserves to communicate with their loved ones and engage in their communities. Hearing aids are simply a tool to do that."
May is both National Arthritis Awareness Month and National Stroke Awareness Month. While those may seem unrelated afflictions, they have at least three essential things in common: Anybody can be affected by them; the incidence of both conditions increases with age; and the things you can do to help one condition may also help or prevent the other. Do You Have Arthritis?Youre not alone. Far from it. Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the U.S., with more than 100 types and related conditions. Arthritis does not respect age, sex or race. Curiously, geography may be a factor. Those in rural areas are somewhat more prone to arthritis than urban dwellers, but thats not to suggest that moving from one to the other would affect your arthritis. The most common symptoms:Joint swellingPain in the jointsStiffness and diminished range of motionYou may have mild symptoms, and your symptoms may come and go. Progression can be slow or sudden. We consider arthritis severe when chronic pain makes it difficult to perform routine activities, walking, dressing, cooking, and climbing stairs. You may think of arthritis by its visible symptoms: knobby finger joints, for example. But arthritis can be invisible, detected only through X-ray or MRI.So far, we've talked about the symptoms primarily associated with osteoarthritis. Gout is a type of arthritis often associated with diet and shows up as severe joint pain. Autoimmune types of arthritis are different still, marked by inflammation and can affect the heart, lungs, kidneys, eyes, and skin. Autoimmune is a broad category that includes rheumatoid, psoriatic, spinal, and juvenile variations. Finally, bacteria entering a cut or sore can introduce arthritis of the infectious type.We have found one of the best sources for arthritis and treatment is "Answers To Your Arthritis Questions," available from the Arthritis Foundation (arthritis.org). The information is worth reviewing if you are concerned about the types, causes, and treatment. What can you do if you have arthritis? Rely on non-drug therapies as much as possible.Apply heat and cold treatments to help ease pain and stiffness.Use braces, canes, and assistive devices to address mobility issues. Consult your doctor before any treatment. A treatment that might be right for one person might not be for another. You don't want to aggravate your condition or dismiss a therapy because you tried it, and it didn't work. Your doctor may also prescribe physical or occupational therapy to increase strength, range of motion and mobility, and help with advice on protecting your joint.Youll also want to explore therapies that you can integrate with conventional treatments. Supplements, massage, acupuncture, biofeedback therapy, meditation, and relaxation techniques can help you manage pain and help with depression. Many who never thought a holistic medicine approach was for them have found these therapies complement their conventional treatment, if not replacing it. Tell Your Arthritis to Take a WalkWalking is proven to improve arthritis pain, fatigue, function, and quality of life. What better time to start or recommit yourself to a walking routine than the spring? Walking is an excellent way for people with arthritis who live in rural areas to be physically active. For those uncertain about walking, proven programs such as Walk with Ease can help people get started.The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, found on Health.gov, recommends all adults (including adults with arthritis) get two and a half hours (150 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week. Activities may include brisk walking per week. Also, include muscle-strengthening exercises two or more days a week. Exercise and activity are one area where arthritis treatment and stroke prevention cross paths. Most doctors recommend a generally healthy lifestyle and physical activity for both. Walking serves the purpose very well, so your walking routine is doing double-duty to prevent stroke. Quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, eating healthfully, getting enough sleep, and limiting stress also can help control inflammation, protect joints and contribute to overall health. These healthy habits may also prevent strokes. So, let's talk about stroke especially if you think it doesnt apply to you. 80% of Strokes Are PreventableIts a tragedy an avoidable tragedy that so many people live with or die from the effects of stroke when, according to medical professionals, 80% of strokes are preventable. You can significantly decrease your chances of stroke with simple preventive measures. The first prevention is to know if you're having a stroke. Every second counts: A Stroke Is an Emergency!Call 911 immediately if you notice any of these signs. Lost time means greater disability:There is sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body.Sudden droopiness in the mouth while trying to smile.The sudden change of vision blurred, blackened, or double-vision in one or both eyes.Sudden severe or persistent headacheSudden loss of balance or coordinationSudden trouble with speaking or understanding speech What Causes a Stroke and What Can I Do About It?Strokes happen when oxygen-rich arteries supplying the brain are constricted or obstructed, as by a blood clot. The closing or clogging of the arteries to the brain is directly related to the arteries' health, which is affected by how you eat, how much you eat, your physical activity, blood pressure, whether you smoke, and whether you have diabetes among other factors. Those are factors mainly under your control. You can't control your age, gender, race, and family history, all of which can play a part in your stroke profile. So, let's focus on the things you can change. The Stroke Recovery Foundation offers 11 Pillars of Stroke Prevention, all easily achieved goals and routines that everyone should attend to daily. 11 Pillars of Stroke PreventionHave an annual physical exam and talk with your physician about any medical issues you may be having.Take control of your blood pressure! There are now new, more stringent guidelines to be considered.Eat less - everything you eat contains calories.Exercise and increase your day-to-day physical movement.Stop smoking stop.Lose weight every pound counts.Drink in moderation! Consider red wine.Carotid artery screening may be appropriate. See your doctor.Control your diabetes if that is an issue.Attend to atrial fibrillation should you have it.Take your prescription medications and manage your supplements. Second Strokes Can Be PreventedBecause stroke is a leading disabler among diseases, you may have already had a stroke or strokes if you're an older adult reading this. If so, you're familiar with all the above, all of which still apply to you. One of the best sources of information on strokes, The American Stroke Association (StrokeAssociation.org), a division of the American Heart Association, provides a checklist of eight simple items to prevent a second stroke:Monitor your blood pressure.Control your cholesterol.Keep your blood sugar down.Get active.Eat better.Lose weight if you need to.Dont smoke, period.Talk to your doctor about aspirin or other medications. (Aspirin is not appropriate for everyone, so be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen.) Know Your Numbers!Have all your vital signs and health numbers recorded at your doctors office, along with a complete physical and blood panel. And then monitor your numbers at home. Daily. Technology and home test kits have made it extremely easy and affordable to monitor your blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, resting and active heart rate, body mass index (a ratio of weight and height), the number of calories you take in, even the number of steps or miles you walk every day. The only number you need to know for cigarettes is zero.When you know your numbers, youll feel a sense of control over your health that you havent felt before. Every day is a snapshot of your health, and this makes it easy to tell if youre moving in the right direction. Kaiser Permanente provides five essential health numbers: blood pressure, cholesterol, waist size, body mass index, and blood sugar. Visit the site or ask your doctor for the proper range and how to measure them. Arthritis, Stroke and the Benefits of Senior LivingEventually, the balance of your attention will shift from your house, job, and all the business of daily life to your health and the years you'll spend as an aging adult. This article has been a relatively lengthy discussion of just two of the health factors you need to be aware of, and weve barely scratched the surface on those. Its a lot to pay attention to, along with your everyday busy life. It's easy to say, "Well, just stay healthy, and you won't have to worry about it." But it's more realistic to say that all of this works better when people with similar health goals surround you.Eating healthy, monitoring your health numbers, and staying active are all parts of any senior living residence worthy of your consideration. Experts in Senior Living, such as our Legend and Windsor Associates, are well-trained in nutrition, exercise, and socialization, with a mission to serve the whole person, mentally, physically, and spiritually. Here, you'll be in the supportive company of friends and associates. Your awareness level for your health will be top of mind, and all the help you need to reach your goals will be right at hand.
Have you made your holiday shopping list and checked it twice? Now that it is time to go shopping for the special people on your list, it is also the ideal time to brush up on your shopping safety habits. Unfortunately, senior adults can be more vulnerable to crime including theft or financial scams. Here is what you need to know to stay safe as you shop this season. Staying Safe While Shopping In PersonFor most seniors, the preferred method for purchasing gifts is to go shopping in person at brick and mortar establishments. If you are heading out to give business to your favorite local stores, keep these safety considerations in mind:Avoid driving when the weather conditions are poorPark as close to the entrance of the business as possibleBefore leaving your vehicle, double check that you have your wallet, list, and keysIf you take public transportation or a senior services bus to your destination, make sure you know the schedule and where to catch your ride homeNever pull out a large amount of cash while paying for your purchases; instead, keep your envelope or wallet of cash in your purse and pull out bills individuallyIf you are alone, ask a security guard or staff member to walk you out to your car if you feel unsafe, if it is dark, or if you cannot safely carry all of your purchasesCheck in with family members via phone call or text throughout your time shoppingHave a designated family member to call in case of emergencyIf you have a fall detection device, such as a neck pendant or watch, ensure it is charged and you are wearing it correctlyPack any medications you might need to take during your time outStop often to drink water or rest as neededTrust your instincts; if you feel unsafe at all, find an employee and ask for help The coronavirus pandemic has added extra stress or worry over going to stores for holiday shopping. You can keep yourself as safe and healthy as possible by following these best practices:Wear your mask when shoppingUse hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content before and after entering different storesKeep a distance of at least 6 feet between other customers while shoppingTake advantage of any special early hours designated for older adults Staying Safe While Shopping OnlineThanks to technology and the internet, shopping online is a viable option for people of all ages. Seniors, no matter if they are beginners or experts when it comes to the online marketplace, can benefit from refreshing their safety practices. Here are a few to consider before clicking the buy now button:Only use strong and unique passwords when setting up accounts at different online sitesAvoid clicking on links that come from unreliable emails or social media accountsVisit store sites directly when possible, and not through a third party link or websiteNever keep your credit card information out in the openSecure websites begin with https: and not http:; try to only ever pay on sites that have that s in the addressBefore ordering, double check the sites return policy; having a difficult return process is an indicator that you should find the gift elsewhereLook to support online businesses that ship as locally as possible; waiting for a product that is shipping from overseas is frustrating, especially during the busy holiday seasonNo vendor should ever ask for personal identifying information such as your social security number or Medicare numberAvoid online giving unless you can verify the site supports the organization you want to donate toNever give out your ATM pin number or account informationInvite a family member to help you with your online shopping; you can feel more confident if someone more experienced is nearby The team at Legend Senior Living wishes you a successful and safe holiday shopping season!
Moving into a senior living residence doesnt mean giving up your independence. There are many ways you can remain in control and retain your sense of self.Get InvolvedSenior living residences offer a wide variety of engaging activities. By getting involved, you can meet new people, try new things or continue with hobbies and interests you already have. Knowing your peers and neighbors in the residence will give you a feeling of connection that you may have missed by living in your own home.Personalize Your SpaceJust because you have moved, doesnt mean you have to give up the items that have meaning for you. Make your space your own by including your pictures, collectibles, furniture and more. Show off your personal style.Meal Variety with Dining OptionsA major benefit of living in a senior living residence is having the chef prepare your delicious meals. But that doesnt mean you have to give up your choices. Dining room menus offer a variety of options to pick from at each meal, ranging from light to hearty choices. And youll want to save room for dessert, of course.Utilizing SupportOne of the best ways to feel independent is by feeling secure and healthy. With a residence full of caring and knowledgeable associates, seniors can live the way they want and know that help is there if it is ever needed.By choosing the support and stability of a senior living residence for your next home, you regain free time while still reflecting your unique personality and pursuing interests. You can be the best version of yourself!
Identifying Dementia and Knowing When to Seek HelpHaving a conversation about dementia can be difficult for all involved. These conversations are challenging, but they have a meaningful, deeply personal impact on the lives of your loved one and family.At Legend Senior Living, our goal is to help those in need find the care they deserve while maintaining respect, independence, and dignity. Over the years, weve learned some tried and true tips from residents and their families that can help you have a difficult conversation about dementia. Signs of DementiaThere are at least 12 well-known types of dementia, and the symptoms are so diverse and can come on so fast, which makes it even more difficult for caregivers. Being aware of the warning signs can help you know what to look for.Some early signs of dementia include:Difficulty doing chores or other tasksConfusion with everyday tasksRepetition, especially in conversationEmotional flatnessLost interest in hobbiesPoor short-term memoryDifficulty finding words when talkingGetting lost in familiar environmentsAggressivenessRestlessnessDifferent types of dementia and memory disordersOver a period of time, dementia and other memory disorders cause progressive impairment in stages that lead to an eventual need for complete, full-time caregivers due to inability to function independently. People with dementia can even forget how to walk or sit up straight. The first step is identifying which type of dementia they might have. Alzheimers DiseaseOne of the most common types of dementia, scientists arent quite sure what causes Alzheimers Disease. Its due to an accumulation of abnormal brain proteins. Most cases of Alzheimers disease begin between the ages of 40-65, and it typically progresses rapidly. Frontotemporal DementiaFrontotemporal dementia is caused by atrophy of the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. It causes forgetfulness and word-finding problems, impulsivity, personality changes, and poor judgement. Vascular DementiaThe second most common type of dementia, vascular dementia is caused by strokes occurring within the brain. Patients often go without noticing symptoms (like weakness, visual loss, or numbness) because its caused by untreated high blood pressure or heart disease. Mixed DementiaMixed dementia occurs when people develop more than one type of dementia simultaneously. It is also called multifactorial because many types of memory disorders cause similar brain changes. Creutzfeldt-Jakob DiseaseAssociated with abnormal muscle movements and destruction of brain cells, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease typically progresses rapidly over a few years. Lewy Body DementiaRobin Williams was diagnosed with Lewy body dementia before his death, prompting scientists to research more about it. Its characterized by forgetfulness and hallucination, which can seem very real. Those with this disorder often suffer the symptoms of Parkinsons disease, like tremors and slowness. Traumatic Brain InjuriesRecent studies suggest that concussions and other brain injuries often lead to memory issues and dementia, especially the changes identified in Alzheimers disease. Alcoholic DementiaAlso known as Korsakoff syndrome, alcoholic dementia is caused by a deficiency in B vitamins due to excessive drinking, but can also be caused by malnourishment. Huntingtons DiseaseHuntingtons disease causes abnormal movements (chorea), which is the hallmark of the diagnosis. Normal Pressure HydrocephalusUsually attributed to abnormal enlargement of the fluid-filled spaces in the brain, this type of memory disease leads to problems with walking, memory, and incontinence. Caring for someone with dementia or Alzheimers DiseaseThe most important part of any dementia or memory disorder diagnosis is to have the support and resources necessary to care for aging loved ones (and provide caregiver relief), as well as a great deal of patience and time to help.During the early stages of the disease, family members function as caregivers, cooking meals or monitoring medications. Later however, they find themselves providing basic care, such as bathing, dressing, going to the bathroom, etc. This can also include transportation, attending doctors appointments, installing safety railing, stairs and locks, and developing procedures to make sure loved ones dont wander off.While theres no way to completely stop the development of dementia, there are ways one can help prevent the disease through heart-healthy diets and regular exercise. If, however, you and your family are dealing with it, Legend Senior Living can help. We understand these kinds of lifestyle changes can be difficult and have developed award-winning therapies, unique activities and purposefully designed environments to help those with dementia.
By the time you read this, the reported deaths from COVID-19 will have exceeded 450,000 in the U.S. As staggering as that statistic is, it's 150,000 short of the 600,000 Americans who die every year from heart disease, the number one killer in all groups.Let's not allow the topic to overwhelm the fact there's a miracle inside your chest. Weighing about as much as a grapefruit, the heart is a powerful pump that drives five to six quarts of blood to every microscopic part of your body every second. And if it fails for even a second, the body is very unforgiving. Even though it's the one piece of machinery driven by the brain, we tend to treat the heart like a kitchen appliance that we take for granted. Rarely serviced, rarely cleaned, and overworked until it burns out. Although heart bypass and transplant have become routine since the pioneering operations in the 1960s, it's not like replacing the coffee maker you neglected too long. One Thing at a TimeThe better way to treat your heart with the respect it deserves is to start with changing just small habits. That way, you'll avoid the relapse from trying to change everything at once and falling back to unhealthy heart habits inside of a month. The most obvious: if you're a smoker or heavy drinker, work on that first. Imagine a small team of remodelers arriving at your heart to do a makeover. The first thing they're going to say is, "Well, we can't do anything with the plumbing until we clear the smoke." Look for Help During Heart MonthQuitting smoking and to reduce alcohol is never easy, but this is probably as good a time as any during the year to start a cessation program with help. February is American Heart Month, so you're likely to be reminded frequently of heart health and offered tips on modifying your routine to help your heart and prolong a happy life. If you only look to one place, trust the American Heart Association www.heart.org. Prediabetes and Heart DiseaseWhat's your blood sugar level? If you don't know, you should find out from your doctor if you're not already monitoring it yourself. You could be pre-diabetic without knowing it or showing any symptoms. There's a good chance you could avoid becoming diabetic and reverse your pre-diabetic blood sugar to normal with relatively little change to your diet and a slight increase in your activity. Diabetes has long been linked to heart disease, but recent studies suggest that reversing prediabetes is also linked to fewer heart attacks and strokes. ["Reversing Prediabetes linked to fewer heart attacks, strokes," heart.org, Jan. 26, 2021.] While you're at it, get your cholesterol tested and routinely monitor your blood pressure.If you're worried you might be at risk for heart disease, ask your doctor to perform a simple cholesterol test to let you know if you're at risk and should adjust your diet. Home blood pressure monitors are not expensive, they're digital, and they're easy to use. Blood pressure stations are common in supermarkets now, and you can also check your weight and pulse. Women's Heart HealthWhy the emphasis on women's heart health? The American Heart Association tells us that cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year about one woman every minute. They devote an entire website to women's heart health: Go Red for Women (www.goredforwomen.org). Here are just a few of the common misconceptions about women's heart health: Myth: Heart disease is for men, and cancer is the real threat for womenFact: Heart disease is a killer that strikes more women than men and is more deadly than all cancer forms combined. While one in 31 American women dies from breast cancer each year, heart disease is the cause of one out of every three deaths. Myth: Heart disease is for old peopleFact: Heart disease affects women of all ages. For younger women, the combination of birth control pills and smoking boosts heart disease risks by 20 percent. Heart defects are more common than you might think: 1.3 million Americans alive today have some form of congenital heart defect and at least nine of every 1,000 infants born each year have a heart defect. Even if you live a completely healthy lifestyle, being born with an underlying heart condition can be a risk factor. Myth: "I run marathons no way I could be at risk."Fact: Factors like cholesterol, eating habits, and smoking can counterbalance your other healthy habits. You can be thin and have high cholesterol. The American Heart Association says to start getting your cholesterol checked at age 20. Earlier, if your family has a history of heart disease. Age and Heart HealthMany things, like wine and most people, grow better with age. The heart, however, takes more tending than a glass of fine wine. Avoid things that weaken your heart beyond the normal aging process. These are the usual suspects: smoking and tobacco use, lack of exercise, diet, alcohol, overeating, and stress. Some preexisting conditions you can't control: irregular heartbeat, congenital (inherited) heart defects, sleep apnea (although this may be a product of obesity or alcohol consumption). Viruses and Myocarditis.Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle mostly caused by a virus, including COVID-19, and can lead to left-sided heart failure. The left ventricle of the heart is the part that pumps oxygen-rich blood back to the body. This valve tends to stiffen with age. That's one of the many reasons why age combined with a preexisting condition puts you at greater risk of death from COVID-19. Even survivors of the novel coronavirus infection can sustain permanent heart damage. All people must protect themselves and others from COVID-19 by observing precautions, not just because of its immediate lethality but also because of the it's impact on the heart, known and unknown. How to Start with Your HeartThe factors involved in heart health and the onset of heart disease are many, varied, and complicated. But the common preventions (listed here, from the Mayo Clinic) are simple. You probably already know them by heart, so to speak: Not smokingControlling certain conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetesStaying physically activeEating healthy foodsMaintaining a healthy weightReducing and managing stress Those may seem like six significant challenges, especially if you take on all six. But you should notice something else about them. Almost every one of them can affect the other five. So, if you pick one, you'll find it easier to take on the next one. People who quit smoking usually discover that they have more energy within the first week, and exercise becomes easier. A little exercise and switching out one unhealthy food will help with weight, stress, blood pressure, and diabetes. Easy does it, especially if you're 65 and older. You've spent a whole life learning one way. You can take your time. Learn to enjoy your healthier heart. But start today. First, Get a Checkup!Most of the questions this article has raised in your mind ("What's my blood sugar level?" "What's my blood pressure?" "I used to smoke am I at risk?") can all be answered in a single doctor's visit with simple lab work done a few days before. Schedule it now, before you start a program of exercise and diet. And schedule a regular exam per your doctor's recommendation. Relieving the stress of not knowing will be a good start on your way to a healthier heart.
We all have memories of being forced to eat our veggies as a kid - or just eating food that we didnt necessarily like even though we knew it was good for us. When we grew up we pretty much ate what we wanted - until we saw just how bad some foods were (such as processed sugar, refined foods and unnecessary carbohydrates) and what they do to our waistlines, bodies and even our minds. And as more and more science is emerging, were learning its time to take the adage that you are what you eat seriously!A Seniors Diet Is Incredibly Important - Especially for Memory and Preventing DementiaDementia is a very serious condition for seniors. The syndrome deteriorates memory and limits performing everyday thinking and activities. It affects at least five million people in the United States, with that number expected to rise! And while this statistic sounds terrifying, the reality is that a lot of us could be living much healthier lives (which could dramatically reduce the risk of developing early onset dementia) - starting with our diets.Scientists at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago are building more and more evidence that a diet rich in 7 key foods can reduce the risk of developing dementia diseases like Alzheimers disease by as much as 50%*.This is because while genetics, not getting proper exercise, smoking, drinking and even the education a person receives play a role in people developing dementia, getting nutrients that feed your brain can restore cognitive function equivalent to being over 7 years younger.Studies published in the Alzheimers & Dementia journal that followed 900 people between the ages of 58 to 98 showed marked benefits in those who ate the following 7 foods:Leafy Green VeggiesKale, spinach and broccoli have at least one thing in common - theyre green. And its no wonder Popeye was so powerful after he ate them; theyre full of vitamins A, C, K, as well as iron, calcium and folate. Folate (also known as vitamin B9) specifically has been proven to reduce dementia risks. Plus the fiber helps keep you regular!NutsNuts are serious brain food, according to the MIND (Mediterranean) diet. With healthy fats, fiber and antioxidants they make a great snack that actually works to reduce the risk of heart disease. Whats more is that some nuts (like walnuts) have been linked to better memory and reasoning associated with remembering specific tasks or questions.BerriesBerries (especially strawberries, blueberries, acai fruit and raspberries) have been associated with a wide variety of positive benefits. Blueberries are packed with anthocyanins that have been proven to enhance memory, and raspberries have ellagic acid - which has anti-cancer properties. All berries have vitamin B12 and vitamin B6, which is an important factor in the metabolism of food and for the nervous system.BeansBeans are high in fiber, protein, B vitamins and loads of minerals they should always be a regular part of your diet. Beans reduce blood sugar, balance cholesterol levels, clean out your colon and help you maintain a healthy gut.Fish and PoultryFish and poultry have easily digestible fat, and Omega fatty acids have been shown to have marvelous effects on the brain and nervous system. By eating two or more servings of these foods a week, you give your body nutrients it doesnt make naturally itself (which prevents it from depleting internal vitamin storage from internal organs like the brain).Olive and Coconut OilAlong with reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke, coconut oil and olive oil both contain medium-chain-triglycerides that the body easily absorbs. Olive oil in particular is rich in antioxidants and phenolic compounds that have been shown to reduce inflammation (one of the main causes of damage to the brain).CoffeeWhen consumed responsibly, coffee has huge cognitive benefits that significantly lower the actual progression of cognitive impairment, spatial memory and working memory associated with dementia. This is both due to caffeine and the many antioxidants in coffee (including B vitamins).Scientists are discovering that many forms of dementia are caused by brain inflammation. Often, inflammation is due to excessive sugars, diabetes, or a lack of healthy fat and cholesterol to help pad the brain. Even more, its been proven that some foods actively increase your risk of developing dementia! Luckily, while there are a lot of things we cant control our diet is something we can! Plus, you dont have to completely change your diet - even small changes can make a difference.Its incredibly important to get information about dementia and dementia prevention and to take tours of assisted living residences and memory care apartments before you require full time caregiving, meal planning and special diets. Its important to remember that while caregiving for a senior with dementia can be difficult and time consuming, it can also be hard to cope with emotionally. Finding the right places to lend a helping hand makes all the difference! Call Legend Senior Living or visit our website to learn more.
The typical person in their later sixties and older takes several medications for chronic conditions. These may be drugs to regulate blood sugar, thyroid, blood pressure, cholesterol, allergies, mood, or any of hundreds of other mild-to-serious conditions. Your comprehensive blood panel is your and your doctor's way of monitoring the effect of the drugs prescribed, as well as whether they're working or not or if they may be interacting with one another. And, besides, you're changing. How do we know you're changing? You're aging. Your liver and kidneys break down and eliminate drugs from your body, and your liver and kidneys are aging. You may lose muscle and gain fat, affecting how drugs work. All of this can complicate the effectiveness of meds and, especially important, create harmful side effects. So, consider these medication tips after you see your doctor. 1. Take Medicine as Prescribed with Regular Discussions with Your Health Care Provider On that all-important visit with your doctor, be involved. The doctor or nurse should ask you if your meds have changed or if you've stopped or started either prescribed medicine or over-the-counter drugs or supplements. They all count! If you're taking something prescribed by another doctor that's not on your primary's list speak up. Take only prescription meds your health care provider has prescribed. None of this, "Here, try one of mine" from your golf partner. Taking someone else's medicine can be very dangerous. This is particularly true of pain medication, which could worsen your condition or cause addiction. You probably know opioids are highly addictive but are not the only ones. The interaction of drugs is unpredictable. Your doctor has the proper outlook on your entire series of medications. Please don't stop taking or skip prescribed medications because you think you don't need them anymore, feel they've stopped working, or think they're causing a side effect. Consult your doctor about any side effects. Take side effects seriously. In the United States, 125,000 people die annually from incorrectly taking their medications! Talk to your pharmacist or health care provider about ways to help you take the proper dosage on time every time. It's typical to forget to take your meds. But it's not okay. Many antibiotics must be taken after the infection stops or after you stop feeling the symptom. Hence the instructions to take every dose until they're gone. If you're a family member or caregiver reading this, please provide the person under your care with prefilled pillboxes and automated reminders attached to pill bottles, or subscribe to a pill packaging service that sorts, packages, and delivers by individual dose. 2. Store Your Meds Safely and Keep Current Keep all medicine up and away from children, wherever you store them. Around 10,000 children are accidentally poisoned by prescription meds every year, and a child dies every 12 days from such poisoning. If you have questions about safely storing your medicines, contact your pharmacist or health care provider. Store meds in a safe, cool, dry place. A high drawer reserved for medications in a dresser or cabinet is good. Be careful that meds that need to be cooled are stored in the fridge, but give them a shelf where children can't reach them. There will be storage instructions on the bottle. Due to fluctuating heat and humidity, a bathroom medicine cabinet may be the worst place. Even if meds are not expired, improper storage can render them ineffective or unsafe. Remember we talked about how you're changing as you age? So is your medication. If you have an old bottle of aspirin that's been haunting the top shelf of a kitchen cabinet for a couple of decades, don't use it. Some meds lose their effectiveness, but others can degrade into toxicity. Check the expiration dates. There are proper ways to dispose of unused medications. Throwing them in the trash is not one of them. Discarded drugs can end up in the water supply and may be eaten by wildlife or pets. See any disposal instructions that may be on the side of the bottle. Many pharmacies have disposal sites where you can drop the old drugs. You can search for "medication disposal sites" or see the FDA's webpage that instructs you on the options of disposing of meds. 3. Be Aware of Potential Medication Interactions and Side Effects, Even Unexpected Interactions Grapefruit juice is always good for you. Here's something you may need to learn about grapefruit juice. The grapefruit has these beneficial enzymes that naturally protect it from the effects of insects and other harmful stressors. Unfortunately, these same enzymes inhibit the breakdown of certain medications in the human stomach, making some drugs ineffective or even toxic. So, what's good for the grapefruit is only sometimes suitable for the patient. Don't let this stop you from enjoying your morning grapefruit. Ask your doctor because this has been studied, and there's a list of drugs more likely to interact. And we only bring this up to illustrate how seemingly harmless or good-for-you foods and supplements can seriously interact with your medication. Ask your doctor about any potential adverse interactions. Prescription drugs can affect each other dramatically. For example, nitroglycerin, which treats angina, should not be taken with many erectile dysfunction medications, including Viagra and Cialis, because serious interactions can occur. Your pharmacist can also advise you about potential medication interactions and side effects. You may also have a medical condition that makes a particular medication risky. Again, your healthcare provider armed with your health record, a physical exam, and blood work is the best call here. Even herbal supplements you get off the shelf at the grocery store, though you're free to take them without a prescription, can interact. It may surprise you, but 40 percent of the drugs behind the pharmacist's counter are derived from plants used as natural remedies since ancient times. Grapefruit juice is used to prevent gout attacks, for example. Go figure. So, supplements are drugs, too, and they deserve the same caution as prescription meds when mixed with others. Not surprisingly, alcohol is a common offender. The NIH warns that "mixing alcohol with certain medications can cause nausea and vomiting, headaches, drowsiness, fainting, or loss of coordination. It also can put you at risk for internal bleeding, heart problems, and difficulties in breathing." In other words, alcohol, whether it has sedative or stimulant effects on any person, should be considered a drug when taking other medication. If you're experiencing something you suspect is a medical condition, such as memory loss or difficulty, dizziness, or sleepiness, particularly for seniors, the medication may mimic the symptoms. Before you skip or stop taking the meds, consult your doctor. Ask your healthcare provider if any new health problems you are experiencing could be due to your medications at your regular physical. 4. Keep a Medication List There are many good reasons to keep a list of your current medications besides remembering which ones you're taking. Making a list is an excellent excuse to go through your cabinet or drawer and collect all your medicines. You can check duplicates and expired prescriptions (Don't mix expired medications with new ones!), find out if you need to take one you've forgotten about, and add any non-prescription medicine or supplements (including vitamins) you need to update your doctor on. Keep the list with you. And keep it current. Give a copy to a friend or relative for sure your emergency medical contact person in case of emergency and when you're traveling. Note any medicines you're allergic to or have had bad reactions to. Wear a medical alert bracelet for severe medicine needs (like insulin) or allergies. Store your medication list on your cell phone in a notepad app. If you're fortunate enough to have a healthcare provider who has your prescription record online, this can save you a lot of headaches when filling out medical forms even at the dentist. These forms almost always ask for the dosage, too, so those should be included. A medication list should include the following:Your prescription medicine's brand name or generic name.Over-the-counter medication, herbal preparations, and supplements that you take regularly or on occasion.Condition you're treating with the medication.The dosage (for instance, 300 mg).How often do you take it?Anything you're allergic or reactive to.The phone number of your pharmacy. Most people see more than one provider. Even if they don't ask, share your list with each provider and ensure it's updated at each visit. It's okay to suggest it to your provider, and it's essential, and it would be worth scheduling an annual review of medications with your primary care physician. Some meds are expensive, and sometimes there are generic alternatives. It also matters which insurance you use and where the pharmacy might get the medicine. These days, a good pharmacy can check the price of drugs from one provider or another. Using prescription discount cards (they're free) also can get you a surprising discount sometimes. Ask your healthcare provider if there is a less expensive, effective alternative. Also, tell your doctor if the medication doesn't work. If you're taking pain medication, it should lessen the pain. It could be a simple fix. New drugs are being developed all the time. Your primary physician is the one to ask. They may say it's safe to try it. Before you try a new brand-name pharmaceutical, you know the price. A drug that costs two dollars in its generic form may be $600 in its brand version.
As summer approaches and the weather gets hot, everyone needs to drink more fluids. This can be especially true for the seniors, because fluid and electrolyte deficiencies are among the most common issues seniors face.Dehydration can exacerbate situations common for seniors, including:Swallowing disorders caused by dementia, stroke, Parkinsons or AlzheimersObesity and diabetesBeing bedriddenMultiple chronic diseasesIllnesses like vomiting or diarrheaTaking multiple prescription medicationsDiminished drinking due to incontinence or fear of incontinence Symptoms of dehydration: knowing what to look forBecause seniors typically arent as thirsty as younger adults, it makes the warning signs of early dehydration hard to spot. Identifying these symptoms can be hard to diagnose, which is why the importance of hydration for seniors cant be understated.Aside from checking the color of urine for changes (dark urine or bladder problem symptoms), you should be familiar with what to look for. One of the easiest and fastest ways to check hydration in the elderly is to see how much the skin on the hand snaps back into place. If it doesnt snap back immediately, youre probably dehydrated. Other signs can include:ConfusionDry mouth or noseFatigueCrampingDifficulty walkingDizzinessHeadachesInability to sweatRapid heart rateLow blood pressureLow urine outputConstipationSimply drinking enough water is essential to maintain normal health and body function, and metabolism. In seniors, it also helps with:Preventing urinary tract infections in the elderlyConstipation relief and constipation treatmentKidney stone treatment and preventionReducing medicine toxicityReducing the risk of fallsShorter stays in rehab facilities Helpful tips to prevent dehydration in seniors:Its always better and healthier to take steps to prevent dehydration. There are several things you can do to ensure you arent suffering from dehydration.Modify diet Simply drinking enough water is important, but you should also eat foods that hydrate as the body digests them. Hydrating foods include:Fruit or vegetable juicesGelatins that are mainly waterSoups with vegetables and meat proteinsFruits and vegetables like melons, cucumbers, tomatoes, and applesMake hydration part of the daily routineOne of the simplest ways is to keep water bottles full and handy all day. Know if you take dehydrating medications, such as antihistamines, blood pressure medication, diuretics, laxatives, and chemotherapy. You should also:Monitor the early signs of dehydrationEnsure you consume fluids every 1.5 hours a dayConsume fluids during routine events (like before and after showering)Keep oral rehydration solutions availableAvoid coffee, alcohol and high-protein drinksIn large quantities, these beverages can be more damaging than you think. Diuretic beverages cause the elderly to lose more water than they can take in, leading to dehydration or even making it worse.Drink as much water as possibleThe age-old adage to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses fits here. Statistics show that drinking more water can decrease risk of coronary disease, as well as reduce swelling of the brain, decrease risk of kidney failure, and even prevent seizures. Legend Senior Living understands the importance of proper hydration education for the elderly, as well as implementing hydration programs to include drinking a wide variety of beverages all day, not only at meals but in between meals, too.We understand that these kinds of lifestyle changes can be difficult. If you have any questions or are interested in more information, give us a call and we can help you set up a tour of our respite care facilities to keep you or your loved ones healthy and happy.
Eating a nutritious and well-balanced diet is important for anyone, but even more important as you age and the needs of your body change. Eating well is going to ensure that you remain active and energized, maintain a healthy weight and stay in the best shape you possibly can. On top of that, a healthy diet is also crucial for minimizing the chance of contracting chronic diseases such as heart disease or high blood pressure. Many people dont know where to start when it comes to getting proper nutrition, but eating well doesnt have to be complicated. In fact, its pretty simple and can be summarized in the following phrase: what you put in is what you get out. The quality of the food you eat have a direct and immediate effect on your body and how you feel; therefore it makes sense to eat more healthy foods and less processed foods in your diet. With that in mind, were going to take a look at how your nutrition needs change with age, and what steps you can take to ensure that your diet is as healthy as it can possibly be in your later years.How Do Your Nutrition Needs Change with Age?As you get older, the needs of your body change in a number of different ways. These changes directly affect the type of nutrition you need and the reasons that you need it. Lets take a closer look at how these affect your diet below.You may need more or less caloriesAs you age, your energy requirements lessen considerably, and because of this you probably need fewer calories to maintain a healthy weight than you did when you were younger. This not only means you need to eat less, but also that youll gain weight more easily if you dont lessen your calorie intake.Aging adults also tend to slow down and use less energy. Due to this reduction in mobility and physical activities, the need for a higher caloric intake is reduced.You have to consider any existing medical conditionsThe likelihood of contracting chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes or arthritis increases greatly as we age, and treatment for any of these might call for changes to your diet. Someone suffering from high blood pressure, for example, may have to remove fatty foods from their diet completely while increasing their consumption of leafy green vegetables.Medications and changes in appetiteCertain types of medication can interfere with your appetite. Other conditions may also react negatively with specific foods, so you might have to change your diet to prevent these types of digestive clashes.If youre ever unsure whether the food youre eating might react poorly with the medication youre on, always consult your doctor.Immune system considerationsAs you age, your immune system starts to weaken. You may notice that you get sick more often and a lot easier than you did when you were younger. Because of this, your body may have trouble processing certain foods, and so it might make sense to remove them from your diet altogether. For example, consuming certain animal products such as unpasteurized milk or oysters could increase your risk of contracting food poisoning.Steps to Maintaining a Healthy DietNow that we know how nutrition needs change with age, lets take a look at some steps that you can take in order to maintain a healthy and well-rounded diet.Cut down on the junk foodThis point is hardly rocket science. Junk food - that is, processed foods high in sugar, unhealthy fats, sodium and preservatives - is terrible for you. Its not to say you shouldnt indulge in a slice of pizza every now and then, but eating junk food regularly is going to greatly increase your risk of contracting chronic diseases such as obesity, heart disease or Type 2 diabetes. Junk food also tends to have a lot of calories. Since you dont need to consume as many calories as you age, overindulging on junk food is a fast way to pack on unwanted and unnecessary pounds.Include more whole, nutrient-dense foodsWhile your caloric needs decrease with age, the amount of nutrients your body needs to remain healthy stays the same. Its for that reason that its important to consume as many whole, nutritious foods as you can. The goal here is to ensure you meet your daily requirement of micro- and macro-nutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. Foods high in these nutrients include: All fruits and vegetablesWhole grainsLean protein such as chicken and fishHealthy fats such as those found in avocadosNuts and seedsEggsAdd supplements to your dietIf you find that you dont have much appetite or arent able to eat certain foods, then adding supplements to your diet is a quick and easy way of ensuring that your daily nutritional needs are being met. Always consult your doctor before you start supplementing so they can advise you on the specific type of supplements you need to take. Certain supplements may also interfere with certain medications, so its important to double check before you begin adding supplements.Speak to your care provider about preparing healthier mealsLegend Senior Living, already offers top-tier, nutritious meals planned by dieticians through our Gold Leaf Dining program. But, if youre unsure whether or not youre getting enough vitamins and minerals in your food, simply speak to the chefs or residence director and let them know youd like to see more green on your dinner plate.