Senior Living Communities Can Contribute to a Healthy Heart

February is American Heart Month

Torrance, CA  (February 2017) Ever since President Lyndon B. Johnson declared the first American Heart Month in 1964, the month of February has been dedicated to cardiovascular health awareness. Cardiovascular disease is the nation’s No. 1 cause of death for both men and women, killing an estimated 630,000 Americans each year. That is why many senior living communities such as Vista Village incorporate a heart healthy lifestyle into everyday living.

Whether it is through the prepared meals or the organized activities and onsite exercise programs, senior’s living in communities can find it easier to stay healthy because they have help to make it happen.

“Our residents often tell us they are eating healthier food choices because a chef is preparing meals with the right choices and making it taste good. In addition many find they engage in exercise more frequently once they live in a community due to the availability of our activity programs and friends to work out with,” said Heidi Gonzalez for Welbrook South Bay.

Through a heart-healthy lifestyle, seniors can prevent and control many coronary heart disease (CHD) risk factors. Some risk factors can be controlled or at least made better like high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, and obesity. Only a few risk factors—such as age, gender, and family history—can’t be controlled through healthy choices.

To reduce risk, seniors should try and control each major risk factor:

  • Weight: Maintain a healthy weight
  • Smoking: Quit or don’t start smoking
  • Exercise: Exercise 30 to 60 minutes a day on most days of the week, cardio is best for a healthy heart even a simple walk works
  • Diet: Eat a diet that’s low in saturated fat, cholesterol and salt
  • Sleep: Get plenty of sleep
  • The “Other” Heart: The saying goes that people can die of a broken heart or in other words emotions can indeed affect the heart. Keep it happy with:
  • Gratitude. Remind yourself of what you have to be grateful for
  • Laugh. Yes just laugh
  • Connect. Get out, find a group, take a class, call an old friend – your heart will be lighter.

To learn more about a healthy senior lifestyle contact Welbrook South Bay at 310-997-0838.

About Welbrook South Bay

Welbrook South Bay provides the finest in independent living, assisted living, and memory care options for residents. Located in Torrance, California, the expertly trained staff provides residents with the highest standards of senior care services. It is operated by Integral Senior Living, which manages independent, assisted living and memory care properties. ISL is founded on a care philosophy that fosters dignity and respect for residents and promotes their independence and individuality. For more information call 310-997-0838 or visit www.welbrooksouthbay.com.

Media Contact:

Heidi Gonzales

310-997-0838

Welbrooksouthbaydsm1@ISLLLC.com

Tips to Protect Your Hearing

As we get older, our hearing tends to get a little less clear. It is a natural part of the aging process.

Some people are more affected than others, but the onset of presbycusis—to give it its medical name—can be slowed if we take sensible measures to limit the amount of loud noise that we are exposed to. There are other risk factors—for example smoking, family history, diabetes and certain other conditions and some medicines—but by far and away the most common and most easily manageable factor relates to the amount of noise we are routinely exposed to.

A delicate mechanism

Our hearing is activated by a collection of tiny hairs in our inner ear or cochlea. These hairs, which are no more than structural protein filaments, project out into the fluid of the inner ear and are sensitive to the sound frequencies that surround us, and relay those signals to the brain via nerve impulses.

These hairs are extremely fragile and any damage done to them is permanent and cannot be repaired. The latest medical information says that it is only by avoiding damage to this delicate mechanism that we can best hope to preserve and prolong our hearing over time.

Routinely avoiding noisy environments is the easiest way to safeguard hearing acuity. Anything over 80 decibels (Db)—about the level of a mechanical lawnmower—can potentially cause hearing damage, if exposure is allowed to go on unchecked (normal conversation is usually in the range 60-65 Db).

The obvious remedy to reducing this risk is wearing ear defenders. These heavy duty devices (which resemble ear muffs) go around the ear and offer considerably more protection than simple ear plugs, which are capable of reducing noise exposure by 15 to 35 Db.

There are environments where it is easy to be unaware of just how much noise we are experiencing. Nowhere is this truer than in the car, where the gradual build-up of engine and traffic noise can tempt us to ramp up the volume of the car stereo. Needless to say, this can very quickly reach a level we should be trying to avoid.

Noise at work

Noise in the workplace is now a highly publicized matter, but it is still worth seriously paying attention to how loud your workplace is. As with the car, it is easy to be lulled into a false sense of security.

There are a number of apps available for smartphone and iPad that will measure the volume of noise. These include SoundMeter+ and Play it Down. These easy to use apps will not only make it possible for you to assess precisely what the levels of noise are in your environment. At the same time, by using them, you will automatically be attuning yourself to what is an easily overlooked aspect of our environments, especially in urban areas.

One simple way to protect yourself is to listen to the radio or TV using headphones. By muffling all extraneous sound the headphones will allow you to listen at a quieter volume and hence reduce the impact on your inner ear.

It is also recommended to try to rest the ears after any particularly loud exposure in order to limit any potential damage.

Practical steps and other useful advice are available, but the key watchword is to take your hearing and the level and amount of noise you are routinely exposed to with the utmost seriousness.

The Facts About Coffee

When the nation’s top nutrition panel released its latest dietary recommendations on Thursday, the group did something it had never done before: weigh in on whether people should be drinking coffee. What it had to say is pretty surprising.

Not only can people stop worrying about whether drinking coffee is bad for them, according to the panel, they might even want to consider drinking a bit more.

The panel cited minimal health risks associated with drinking between three and five cups per day. It also said that consuming as many as five cups of coffee each day (400 mg) is tied to several health benefits, including a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

“We saw that coffee has a lot of health benefits,” said Miriam Nelson, a professor at Tufts University and one of the committee’s members. “Specifically when you’re drinking more than a couple cups per day.”

That’s great news if you’re already drinking between three and five cups each day, which Nelson and the rest of the panel consider a “moderate” level of consumption. But you know what? You probably aren’t, because people in this country actually tend to consume a lot less than that. On average, Americans only drink about one cup of coffee per day, according to data collected by the United States Department of Agriculture. Even when Americans drank the most coffee they ever have, back in 1946, they still only drank two cups a day on average.

Interestingly enough, it isn’t just people in the United States who drink less-than-moderate amounts of joe each day. No country in the world downs more than 3 cups each day per capita, according to market research firm Euromonitor. The country that drinks the most—Netherlands—still falls more than half a cup short of the three cup threshold each day.

Now this doesn’t mean that drinking between three and five cups of coffee per day correlates will necessarily make you healthier or stronger. It might. But even if it doesn’t, it’s unlikely to do anything other than make you more alert and awake.

“I don’t want to get into implying coffee cures cancer — nobody thinks that,” Tom Brenna, a member of the committee and a nutritionist at Cornell University, told Bloomberg on Thursday. “But there is no evidence for increased risk, if anything, the other way around.”

The decision, which broke the committee’s more than 40 years of silence on coffee, was driven by heightened interest in the caffeinated beverage as well as a growing anxiety about potential health risks associated with it, according to Nelson. It remains to be seen whether the Department of Health and Human Services or the Agriculture Department will take the committee’s recommendations for coffee intake to heart and include them in the official dietary guidelines update, which is due out later this year. But it’s rare for the government agencies to ignore the panel’s advice, so it’s fair to expect a federal endorsement for drinking coffee—as much as five cups a day no less—to be just around the bend

Mild Cognitive Impairment: 10 Things to Know

With age often comes an increase in the number and frequency of memory slips—forgetting where you put your keys, blanking on the name of an acquaintance, etc. These experiences, in turn, fuel fears that one has Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, leading to one crucial question:

What’s the difference between dementia and normal aging?  <Read More…>

March is National Nutrition Month®

Everyone is Encouraged to ‘Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle’ Including Seniors

“Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle” is the theme for National Nutrition Month 2015. This year’s theme encourages people to adopt a healthy lifestyle that is focused on consuming fewer calories, making informed food choices and getting daily exercise. We understand the importance of offering well-balanced, nutritional meals/snacks and promoting exercise to its residents on a daily basis to achieve a healthy senior lifestyle.

It is our goal is to serve nutritious meals and snacks that are not only delicious but also of course healthy by consistently incorporating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and dairy. In addition we fully see the benefits of exercise for our residents and encourage them to be as physically active as possible each and every day.

During the month of March, we are encouraging all seniors to celebrate National Nutrition Month by taking a good look their food choices. A healthy diet filled with important nutrients can help stave off potential health problems that are common in senior citizens, like heart problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. One way to do this is to focus on healthy snacks. Contrary to their reputation, chosen carefully, and planned ahead, sensible snacks can be part of any healthful eating plan.

For older adults with smaller appetites or limited energy, several small meals including snacks may be easier for their bodies to handle. Also snacks can prevent overeating at mealtimes and throughout the day. Snacks especially offer a great way to eat more fruits, vegetables, whole-grains and low-fat dairy.”

During National Nutrition Month, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics offers smart snacking ideas that help seniors and anyone “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle.”

  • Plan your snacks. Keep a variety of tasty, nutrient-rich, ready-to-eat foods nearby, for when you need a bite to take the edge off hunger. Then, you won’t be so tempted by less-healthy options from vending machines, convenience stores or the contents of your own kitchen. Snack ideas include fresh fruit, air-popped popcorn, whole-wheat crackers, dried fruit and nut mixes, almonds and fat-free yogurt.
  • Make snack calories count. Snack on foods that fill the nutrient gaps in your day’s eating plan. Think of snacks as mini-meals to help you eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy – foods we often don’t eat enough.
  • Go easy on high-calorie snacks such as chips, candy and soft drinks. They often contain solid fats, and added sugars. Make these occasional choices that fit your day’s plan.
  • Snack when you’re hungry – not because you’re bored, stressed or frustrated. Exercise can actually be a great way to feed those emotional urges.
  • Snack on sensible portions. Choose single-serve containers, or put a small helping in a bowl rather than eating directly from the package.
  • Quench your thirst. Water, low-fat or fat-free milk and 100-percent juice are just a few options. Flavored waters might be high in added sugars, so check the label.

Making the right food and nutrition choices is a necessary part of biting into a healthy lifestyle. More information is available at eatright.org.

To learn more about healthy senior lifestyles in a senior living community contact us today!

Keeping Relationships Strong While Caregiving: A True Story

An estimated 54 million people in the U.S. are taking care of an elderly or chronically ill loved one, according to the National Caregiver’s Association. Some care for a spouse, some for an aging parent. Jane Miller (we’ve changed her name to protect her family’s privacy) cares for both, and she knows first-hand the stresses caregiving can place on a relationship.
(READ MORE….)

3 Strategies for Boosting a Senior’s Self-Esteem

GetImage

Confidence that is supported by high self-esteem has long been touted as a vital component of living a happy life and having fulfilling interpersonal relationships. But a positive sense of self-worth may also stave off some of the negative effects of aging, according to two new studies.

Learn More Here: http://www.agingcare.com/Articles/strategies-boost-seniors-self-esteem

Celebrate Nutrition Month!

Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month? Created by the American Dietetic Association, the event is dedicated to bringing attention to various aspects of nutrition, including the importance of making informed food choices as well as developing and maintaining good eating and exercise habits. National Nutrition Month was first observed as a week long event in March 1973 and then became a month long celebration in 1980 due to increasing public interest in nutrition.  The March 2013 theme for National Nutrition Month is “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day.” The theme recognizes that food preferences, lifestyle, cultural and ethnic traditions and health concerns all impact individual food choices.

You might ask, why celebrate National Nutrition Month? Well, simply because good nutrition is important! The fact is that the majority of diseases that affect Americans today, such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, can be a result of unhealthy eating habits. A number of chronic conditions, such as hypertension, can be greatly improved by making healthy food choices. Following a healthy diet will also give you more energy and increase your general sense of well being! Ever heard the saying “you are what you eat?” Its true! Everything you put into your body affects your health in some way.

You can celebrate your own health and National Nutrition Month by keeping a few helpful health hints in mind. First of all, think fresh. Stock up on fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts for a healthy snack.  Snacking on these foods is smart they are low in fat and sugar and provide the body with essential vitamins and minerals. Unlike junk food, fruits and vegetables are high in fiber which will help keep you fuller longer! At meals, try to increase the amounts of fruits and vegetables you consume. A good guideline is to divide your plate into four sections and fill one-half with fruits and vegetables, one-quarter with meat, and the remaining quarter with starch. Be sure and chose lean meats (i.e chicken, turkey), whole grains (i.e whole wheat bread, wheat pasta) and low fat dairy products more often. When cooking, try using fresh herbs and spices for seasoning instead of butter and/or salt to cut fat and calories without losing good taste! Also be sure to drink a lot of water everyday and limit the amount of sodas and sweetened fruit juices you consume.

Eating healthy can be challenging at times, so don’t feel guilty if you indulge occasionally, as long as you are not doing so every day. Keep in mind that everything in moderation is OK! In my opinion, the best way to make successful changes to your lifestyle is to take baby steps toward your goals. For example, if you are an avid soda drinker, try cutting down the amount of soda you drink down by one can each week until you are down to zero cans instead of going cold turkey. If you find you have multiple goals focus on accomplishing only one or two at time so you aren’t overwhelmed.  Following a healthy diet might be a little hard at first but you will certainly reap the benefits in the long run. Therefore, I encourage you to celebrating National Nutrition Month this month by committing yourself to making healthy lifestyle changes!