Archive for September, 2011

‘How to keep your memory stronger longer’ program

Arlene Albert of DeerBrook Care Center will present a program titled, “Keep Your Memory Stronger Longer” at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19, at The Timbers of Shorewood, 1100 N. River Road, Shorewood.
 
Forgetting where you placed your keys, the name of a person, or where you are going can happen at any age. Though memory lapses can be aggravating and occur at any age, it is more pressing among older adults.
 
Seniors with increasing memory lapses can raise concern and fear of possible diseases associated with memory loss including depression, dementia, Alzheimers, and physical injury.
 
Older seniors may take longer to learn and recall information simply because the mind is not as quick as it used to be. But in most cases, if the mind is exercised through simple daily routines memory loss can be halted as well as prevented.
 
Mayo Clinic suggests several tips to help prevent memory loss:
 
1.    Stay mentally active
 
Just as physical activity helps keep your body in shape, mentally stimulating activities help keep your brain in shape — and perhaps keep memory loss at bay. Do crossword puzzles. Read a section of the newspaper that you normally skip. Take alternate routes when driving. Learn to play a musical instrument. Volunteer at a local school or community organization.
 
2.    Socialize regularly
 
Social interaction helps ward off depression and stress, both of which can contribute to memory loss. Look for opportunities to get together with loved ones, friends and others — especially if you live alone. When you’re invited to share a meal or attend an event, go!
 
3.    Get organized
 
You’re more likely to forget things if your home is cluttered and your notes are in disarray. Jot down tasks, appointments and other events in a special notebook, calendar or electronic planner. You might even repeat each entry out loud as you jot it down to help cement it in your memory. Keep to-do lists current, and check off items you’ve completed. Set aside a certain place for your wallet, keys and other essentials.
 
4.    Focus
 
Limit distractions, and don’t try to do too many things at once. If you focus on the information that you’re trying to remember, you’ll be more likely to recall it later. It might also help to connect what you’re trying to remember to a favorite song or another familiar concept.
 
5.    Eat a healthy diet
 
A heart-healthy diet may be as good for your brain as it is for your heart. Focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Choose low-fat protein sources, such as fish, lean meat and skinless poultry. What you drink counts, too. Not enough water or too much alcohol can lead to confusion and memory loss.
 
6.    Include physical activity in your daily routine
 
Physical activity increases blood flow to your whole body, including your brain. This may help keep your memory sharp. For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity (think brisk walking) or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity (such as jogging) — preferably spread throughout the week. If you don’t have time for a full workout, squeeze in a few 10-minute walks throughout the day.
 
7.    Manage chronic conditions
 
Follow your doctor’s treatment recommendations for any chronic conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and depression. The better you take care of yourself, the better your memory is likely to be. In addition, review your medications with your doctor regularly. Various medications can impact memory.

The Timbers of Shorewood is a rental retirement community which provides independent living and assisted living apartments and a full schedule of activities and services. Furnished apartments are also available for a short-term stay – a weekend, a week, a month or longer.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information contact Shelly Goggins at (815) 609-0669.

Share

Seniors in Shorewood tackle arthritis

Oh my aching knee… so says someone with arthritis – one of the most prevalent chronic health problems in America. According to arthritis.org, 46 million people suffer from it. That’s one in five adults. That’s a lot.

Arthritis strikes more women than men, and half of those Americans with arthritis don’t think anything can be done to help them. Of course, Baby Boomers are now at prime risk. More than half those affected are under age 65.
Arthritis is the inflammation of one or more joints which results in pain, swelling, stiffness, and limited movement. There are over 100 different types of arthritis.

Arthritis involves the breakdown of cartilage. Cartilage normally protects the joint, allowing for smooth movement. Cartilage also absorbs shock when pressure is placed on the joint, like when a person walks. Without the usual amount of cartilage, the bones rub together, causing pain, swelling (inflammation), and stiffness.

Osteoarthritis is the most common type and is more likely to occur with aging. It may be felt in any joint, but according to Mayo Clinic, (www.mayoclinic.com)  the most common affected joints are hands, hips, knees, neck and lower back.
Factors that increase the risk of osteoarthritis include older age, gender, bone deformities, joint injuries, obesity, and certain occupations that involve repetitive stress on a particular joint. Also people with gout, rheumatoid arthritis, Paget’s disease of bone or septic arthritis are at increased risk of developing osteoarthritis.

The bad news is osteoarthritis gradually worsens with time, and no cure exists. But osteoarthritis treatments can relieve pain and help maintain an active lifestyle.

The following are ideas that can help a great deal:

  • If you’re experiencing pain or inflammation in your joint, rest it for 12 to 24 hours. Find activities that don’t require repetitive movement. Try taking a 10-minute break every hour.
  • With the doctor’s approval, get regular exercise. Stick to gentle exercises, such as walking, biking or swimming. Exercise can increase endurance and strengthen the muscles around the joint, making the joint more stable. Avoid exercising tender, injured or swollen joints. If you feel new joint pain, stop. New pain that lasts more than two hours after you exercise probably means you’ve overdone it.
  • Being overweight or obese increases the stress on your weight-bearing joints, such as your knees and your hips. Even a small amount of weight loss can relieve some pressure and reduce your pain. Aim to lose 1 or 2 pounds a week, at most. Most people combine changes in their diet with increased exercise.
  • Both heat and cold can relieve pain in your joint. Heat also relieves stiffness and cold can relieve muscle spasms. Soothe a painful joint with heat using a heating pad, hot water bottle or warm bath. Heat should be warm, not hot. Apply heat for 20 minutes several times a day. Cool the pain in your joint with cold treatments such as with ice packs. You can use cold treatments several times a day, but don’t use cold treatments if you have poor circulation or numbness.
  • Creams and gels available at the drugstore may provide temporary relief from osteoarthritis pain. Some creams numb the pain by creating a hot or cool sensation. Other creams contain medications, such as aspirin-like compounds, that are absorbed into your skin. Pain creams work best on joints that are close the surface of your skin, such as your knees and fingers.
  • Assistive devices can make it easier to go about your day without stressing your painful joint. A cane may take weight off your knee or hip as you walk. Gripping and grabbing tools may make it easier to work in the kitchen if you have osteoarthritis in your fingers. Your doctor or occupational therapist may have ideas about what sorts of assistive devices may be helpful to you. Catalogs and medical supply stores also may be places to look for ideas.

And finally, learn about living your best life with arthritis. Understand the challenges and changes arthritis brings on and how they affect relationships and families. Find practical solutions to make daily activities easier as well as the information you need to deal with health insurance and the cost of care.

 

 

Share

Seniors in Shorewood follow the DASH diet

The DASH diet is making news and with good reason. It is bringing down the blood pressures of many many people. By following the DASH diet, a person can  reduce blood pressure by a few points in just two weeks. Over time, blood pressure could drop by eight to 14 points, and this can make a significant difference in health risks.

According to mayo clinic, DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The plan calls for reduced sodium in the diet and says to eat a variety of foods rich in nutrients that help lower blood pressure such as potassium, calcium and magnesium. In addition, it emphasizes portion size, eating a variety of foods and getting the right amount of nutrients.

This eating plan received the top ranking from an expert panel in US New & World Reports published in June, 2011 (dashdiet.org), and it is endorsed by the American Heart Association, The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (one of the National Institutes of Health, of the US Department of Health and Human Services), and a host of other respected health organizations.

Because the DASH diet is a healthy way of eating, it offers health benefits besides lowering blood pressure. It may offer protection against osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes. And while the DASH diet is not a weight-loss program, many people do lose unwanted pounds because it offers guidance toward healthier meals and snacks.

In a nutshell, the DASH eating plan advocates food choices that are low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and total fat. Fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy foods, whole-grain products, nuts, poultry, and fish are strongly promoted. The diet also includes some fish, poultry and legumes. You can eat red meat, sweets and fats in small amounts.

Adopting the DASH, or any life-prolonging eating plan, requires a commitment to living it, not dabbling in it. The best likelihood of success is making the changeover gradually. According to netplaces.com, the following suggestions are in keeping with the DASH diet:

  • Cut back meat portions by a third or half.
  • Use more vegetables, pasta, and beans, and cut back meat in one-dish meals like stir-fry or casseroles.
  • Have a couple of vegetarian meals each week.
  • Add a serving of vegetables to lunch and dinner.
  • Make substitutions to get to three fat-free or low-fat dairy servings a day such as skim milk instead of soda or wine.
  • Eat fruit for a snack or add it to a meal.

Grains include bread, cereal, rice and pasta. Focus on whole grains. For instance, use brown rice instead of white rice, whole-wheat pasta instead of regular pasta and whole-grain bread instead of white bread. Grains are naturally low in fat, so avoid spreading on butter or adding cream and cheese sauces.

Tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, greens and other vegetables are full of fiber and vitamins. A hearty blend of vegetables served over brown rice or whole-wheat noodles can serve as the main dish for a meal. When buying frozen and canned vegetables, choose those labeled as low sodium or without added salt.

Like vegetables, fruits are packed with fiber, potassium and magnesium and are typically low in fat. Exceptions include avocados and coconuts. Leave on edible peels whenever possible. Citrus fruits and juice, such as grapefruit, can interact with certain medications, so check with the doctor or pharmacist to see if they’re OK.

Choose dairy products that are low-fat or fat-free. Low-fat or fat-free frozen yogurt can help boost the amount of dairy products while offering a sweet treat. Go easy on regular and even fat-free cheeses because they are typically high in sodium.

Don’t make meats a mainstay. Cut back typical meat portions by one-third or one-half and pile on the vegetables instead. Examples of one serving include 1 oz. cooked skinless poultry, seafood or lean meat, 1 egg, or 1 oz. water-packed, no-salt-added canned tuna. Trim away skin and fat from meat and then broil, grill, roast or poach instead of frying. Eat heart-healthy fish, such as salmon, herring and tuna.

The DASH diet provides 30 percent or less of daily calories from fat with a focus on the healthier unsaturated fats. Saturated fat and trans fat are the main dietary culprits in raising cholesterol and increasing the risk of coronary artery disease. Trans fat are found in processed food such as crackers, baked goods and fried items. DASH helps keep daily saturated fat to less than 10 percent of total calories by limiting use of meat, butter, cheese, whole milk, cream and eggs, along with foods made from lard, solid shortenings, and palm and coconut oils.

As for sweets, don’t banish them, but go easy. Choose fat-free or low-fat sweets such as sorbets, fruit ices, jelly beans, hard candy, graham crackers or low-fat cookies.

New research shows that following the DASH diet over time will reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease as well as kidney stones. The benefits of the DASH diet have also been seen in teens with hypertension. The DASH diet truly is a  diet for everyone.

Share
Connect with us
Click here to visit to The Timbers of Shorewood Website and learn about senior care in Joliet, Shorewood, and Plainfield. Click here to send an email to the Timbers of Shorewood. Click here to follow The Timbers of Shorewood on Twitter and learn about senior care in Joliet, Shorewood and Plainfield. Click here to visit The Timbers of Shorewood Facebook Page and learn about senior care in Joliet, Shorewood and Plainfield. Click here to subscribe to the Joliet Assisted Living blog RSS Feed.
Communities we serve
Shorewood, Joliet, Plainfield, Channahon, Crest Hill, Minooka, Naperville, Morris, Aurora, Lockport, Romeoville, Homer Glen, New Lenox, Manhattan, and Mokena