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Guest Blog: What to Look For in a Senior Living Community

Before you look up a senior living community or Google personal care homes near me, you should first get to know about the common options available for where your aging parents can reside.

Below are the most popular and preferred options to pick from –

  • Independent Living – This type of living is good for the elderly who can largely function independently with occasional medical care required. Medical care is provided in collaboration with hospitals or medical establishments. Typical services include accommodation, laundry, transportation, housekeeping, and other amenities like pool, concierge service, library, fitness center, etc.
  • Assisted Living Assisted living centers, in addition to accommodation also provide onsite health care and help with ADLs like dressing, bathing, and medication management so residents can live independently. The setting is very home-like without the residents having to worry about maintenance, cooking, or cleaning. There’s round-the-clock supervision available.
  • Memory Care – This facility is specifically designed to treat and care for people with dementia or Alzheimer’s. The staff is medically trained to handle their special medical needs. The rooms and buildings are structured to avoid wandering. Supervision is available all the time with plenty of programs for socialization. There are housing and laundry services along with an emergency medical call system.
  • Enhanced Living – You can think of this facility as a move up from Independent living with a whole lot of extra services available.

 

Things To Look For In A Senior Living Community

Senior Living Culture

Now the living culture is not something that you define in words. It’s mostly just a feel or a vibe that you pick up on. At times, you just know it when you visit the facility. Other times it’s a hunch of an intuition.

To truly assess the culture, it’s better if you call up your list of communities and visit them one by one. Observe the residents and see if they seem happy. How is the staff? Are they polite to respond? Is the overall energy of the place happy? Ask for social activities to keep the residents happy.

Lifestyle & Wellness

Lifestyle and wellness largely depend on the social calendar of the place. So, be sure to look at those activities as well as exercise, health, and wellness programs. Make sure to ask about how often the residents are allowed to go out for activities.

What about housekeeping and laundry services? How often are friends and families allowed to visit? Is there a dedicated private or common area for family get-togethers? What about pets? Are they allowed?

Staff and Care

How many staff members are present at the facility? Are the staff members nice to interact with the residents? Do they seem polite? What kind of help can you expect from them? Is the medical staff made to undergo regular training to update their knowledge?

What’s the mode of communication for updating families on the health updates of the residents? Also, how quickly can you expect your questions to be answered? What kind of care is available for residents with special medical issues such as diabetes, memory, or mobility issues?

What’s Food Like?

Food is a huge part of staying healthy during old age. So, this is something you must not overlook. If possible, arrange for a tour of the mess/kitchen. Look into how the food is prepared. Are the conditions there hygienic?

What about the food menu? Does it look interesting? Is it extensive and accommodates special dietary restrictions such as gluten-free and vegan-friendly foods? What are the dining hours like and is there food sampling available?

Extra Amenities

It’s not uncommon for people to get stuck between two close contenders. Sometimes two communities can look exactly the same; making it difficult to pick one. When faced with such a dilemma it’s often the extra amenities that help you make the right choice.

See if the laundry and housekeeping services are free. Some facilities charge extra for those. Look into community events, transportation, or socialization activities. Anything extra is a good thing to consider.

History and Reputation

How long has the community been in business? For how long has the management been with the community? What about the staff? For how many years they have been working there?

One of the best things to discern all this and more is to go online. Check out reviews and see what they have to say. Pay attention to how the community has responded to negative reviews. Only avoid the community if you come across something disturbing like bad handling of residents or complete neglect on part of the staff.

Bottom Line

Selecting the right living community for your senior can seem like a daunting task. But, if you invest a little bit of time and effort, it should be a cakewalk.

By |2021-09-07T10:42:59-05:00September 7th, 2021|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: What to Look For in a Senior Living Community

What Your Back Pain is Trying to Tell You

Experiencing back, shoulder or neck pain? Your body may be speaking to you and you just don’t know it. Getting older doesn’t have to mean accepting regular aches and pains. Depending on your day to day activity, environment, and mobility, your back pain can be sending loud and clear messages like:

You’re not active enough: This might seem counter intuitive, especially to older adults who are avoiding activity so they don’t “further injure” themselves or cause more pain. The reality is, low-impact exercise and activity helps to alleviate pain and soreness by stretching out your muscles and spine, boosting blood circulation, and reducing inflammation in your muscles, joints, and tendons. Along with keeping off excess weight.

You’re not sleeping well: A bad night’s sleep can undo any number of steps you took towards relieving back pain during the day. Older mattresses that don’t support proper spine alignment while you sleep can result in the pull and strain of your muscles and tendons and lead to bad posture during the day. Optimize on the natural curve of your spine while you sleep by simply using a pillow – on your side in a fetal position, try sleeping with a pillow between your knees. If you sleep on your back, place a pillow underneath your knees.

You’re stressed: Feelings of stress, anxiety or depression can physically translate into tense muscles that lead to back pain and thoughtless behaviors like eating poorly or not exercising, which exacerbate existing conditions. Aging seniors with complex medical conditions or cognitive decline are more likely to experience stress and anxiety as well as feelings of frustration and anger.

You’re not practicing self-care: Incorporating daily care routines into your life can make a huge difference in both your experience of back pain as well as your personal outlook on life. Self-care can be as simple as eating a healthy diet, stretching and exercising to care for your body, meditating, decluttering your environment, and practicing self-soothing techniques like rubbing lotion on your hands and feet before bed. Relieving back pain starts with you and your own self-awareness of what you need and deserve to live your best life.

You’re sitting down too much: Countless aging seniors will spend hours each day sitting down – at meals, watching tv, reading, and at the computer. Sustained inactivity and sitting in one spot for an extended period of time puts significant pressure on the spine and promotes bad posture, all of which lead to back pain and discomfort. Experts recommend not going more than 30 or 45 minutes sitting in one place without getting up to stretch, walk around, and change positions.

Get this!

According to a recent report published by the American College of Physicians*, people who experience moderate to acute back pain are actually more likely to experience relief when they try exercise, yoga, acupuncture or massage instead of taking pain killers. The comprehensive study revealed that most types of back pain go away over time whether they are treated or not and that drugs should be a last resort for alleviating pain, after mindfulness-based practices, exercise, spinal manipulation, even heat wraps.

http://annals.org/aim/article/2603228/noninvasive-treatments-acute-subacute-chronic-low-back-pain-clinical-practice

Joe Fleming

Co-Founder, Vive Health

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By |2021-08-27T10:58:50-05:00September 7th, 2021|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on What Your Back Pain is Trying to Tell You

Guest Blog: 5 Healthy Practices To Prevent Oral Disease

Oral health is apparently one of the most important aspects of health that many people take for granted. A lot of people today think that as long as their teeth are white and they can give away a bright smile, it already means that there is no problem with their oral health. But little did they know that oral diseases are very subtle.

Oral diseases such as tooth decay and gum problems are very much apparent to many people in the recent years. In fact, nearly all adults experience having these problems in their day-to-day living. Although these are quite treatable, even preventable, still, a lot of people do not pay attention to their oral health.

As it happens, having healthy teeth, gums, and mouth requires effort and time. And one must really invest when it comes to achieving oral health in its optimal state. But while it is considered as an investment, healthy practices for your oral health is quite simple and easy to do. Also, not only that these practices are convenient to do, but they would not require you with many expenses. And in doing these practices on a daily basis, you would certainly achieve healthy teeth and gums.

Here are the 5 healthy practices that you may want to start now to prevent oral diseases:

1. Brush properly
It is already common knowledge that brushing your teeth is important. But keep in mind that the way you are brushing is equally essential as well. The truth is – when you do not brush properly, it’s almost the same thing as not brushing your teeth at all.

All people brush their teeth and gums in several ways. But the most recommendable way of brushing is by gently stroking the toothbrush in a circular motion towards the teeth. Through this way, the plaque will be removed from all sides and corners of the teeth.

Additionally, keep in mind that unremoved plaque will result in hardening which contains numerous bacteria that are not good for your oral health. And once it hardens, this will eventually lead to the calculus buildup and other oral health problems like early stages of gum diseases.

2. Treat flossing as important as brushing
Practicing teeth whitening at home is much more prevalent than flossing as a routine for many people. In fact, 8 out of 10 individuals are found to neglect flossing and this is as bad as not brushing at all. Apparently, dentists and specialists require everyone to floss at least once a day. And whether you do it in the morning or the evening, it does not matter just as long as you floss.

Originally, flossing is a very effective way of dealing with the left plaque and food in between your teeth that are not pretty reachable for all kinds of toothbrushes. And thanks to floss, you can easily remove them and prevent your teeth from having buildups.

But today, new studies and reports suggest that flossing is not only ideal for removing the left plaque and food. As it happens, flossing is also found a great way to stimulate the gums and reduce inflammation. And these benefits are really helpful if one wants to pay attention to their oral health. Hence, it is recommended to treat flossing as important and as necessary as brushing.

3. Quit smoking
Another reason to quit smoking permanently is due to the fact that smoking actually does a lot of damage to your teeth and gums. As you may know, smoking kills. And one of the first things that smoking do to you aside from weakening your immune system is its capability of damaging your oral health.

Since smoking weakens dramatically the immune system, your immunity will no longer be able to prevent several infections to your body including your mouth and gums. Also, when your gums became damaged, it will be difficult for your teeth and gums to recover and heal quickly as smoking can only worsen the conditions.

Also, smoking causes nicotine stains on your teeth. Not only that these stains are unpleasing to look at, but they are also quite difficult to remove, especially if the mouth is already subjected to smoking for quite a long time now. In addition, smoking causes your breath to smell really bad. Hence, smoking does not provide anything good for your overall oral and physical health. And you must quit it now before it worsens your state.

4. Limit sugary and acidic foods
Sugar is as bad as smoking. But while sugar is known to be everyone’s ultimate guilty pleasure, sugar erodes the enamel of your teeth. And this not good for your oral health.

Apparently, when you take high amounts of sugar and sugar-rich foods, these components convert into acid to your mouth. And once the conversion has been successful, it then promotes the production of plaque and bacteria in your mouth. So, not only that sugar can damage your teeth, but it can also lead to various oral health complications.

However, it is quite difficult for some to stop taking sugar-rich foods like fruits and coffee. And if this is the case, then you must try to be mindful instead. It won’t actually hurt you to regard and consider what you’ve been eating, especially if you are really firm to change your oral health practices.

5. Visit your dentist at least twice a year
These healthy practices will definitely help you achieve much healthier teeth and gums. But even so, your oral health is still prone to several risks and potential diseases. And even if you are the most diligent brusher and flosser, the risk of having oral diseases is still at large. So, the best way to complement your healthy practices is to visit your dentist at least twice a year.

Your dentists know what’s best for your teeth and gums. And they will also tell you the condition of your oral health.

All in all, your oral health is as important as your physical health. This is where your daily supplementation starts. So, you must really take good care of it. And through these 5 healthy practices, you will surely decrease the risks of various oral diseases and even prevent them from happening in the future.

Josh Elizetxe is the inventor and founder of Snow. He is an accomplished philanthropist and successful entrepreneur with several 8-figure exits. His latest focus is on disrupting the $65 billion oral care market with revolutionary, patented products supercharged by celebrity partnerships.

By |2021-08-27T10:58:30-05:00September 5th, 2021|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: 5 Healthy Practices To Prevent Oral Disease

Aging in Place: Home Preparations and Modifications for Alzheimer’s Patients

 

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the disease affects five million Americans. However, this number doesn’t reflect the many more Americans that are affected by Alzheimer’s indirectly. This includes family and friends that take on the great responsibility of caring for a loved one with the disease. Many of these caregivers have numerous considerations to keep in mind, and one of these is altering and modifying the home to provide better comfort and safety.

Let’s look at some home preparations and modifications you can make if you need to accommodate a loved one with Alzheimer’s.

 

Safety and Comfort.

The first consideration should be thinking about is how you can reduce the risk of your loved one tripping, falling, or becoming confused or disoriented.

● Remove objects that can be obstructive in high-traffic areas. Avoid having stuff on the floor or low tables and furniture that can be easy to miss.
● Lock cabinets that might contain hazardous chemicals and materials.
● Keep dark corners of the house well-lit and illuminated. This includes stairwells and basements.
● Check your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
● Ensure your loved ones don’t have easy exits where they can wander out.

Functionality and Design

Making your house function better for Alzheimer’s patients means helping them avoid unnecessary disorientation, fear, or depression. The following are some tips:

● Remove clutter or scattered objects that might overstimulate. For example, instead of having five pairs of shoes for your loved one to choose from, leave only one pair. This might eliminate an unnecessary episode of confusion when getting dressed.
● Rearrange furniture in a simple and straightforward way. The way the furniture is arranged can dictate the atmosphere of the room. For example, if the only chair is facing the television, you might have them constantly sitting in front of the TV.
● The Huffington Post suggests that creating a personalized space with familiar objects and smells can be a great way to keep an Alzheimer’s patient comfortable. At the same time, you should avoid having busy patterns on furniture or curtains, confusing colors, or rugs that can cause tripping.

Stimulation and Socialization

It’s important for your loved one to get plenty of socialization and interaction with others. In a typical household, people are working or living their own lives as they juggle the responsibility of caregiving. Living at home without much visitation can often lead to patients becoming isolated and withdrawn. Try to arrange frequent visits by friends and family members. Consider taking loved ones with you if you have to run errands, going for short walks, or involving them in everyday activities.

How to Modify or Renovate Your Home

In order to maintain safety or functionality, it’s often important to do modifications to your home. One of the most common home alterations is improving or renovating bathrooms and kitchens. This is because these are two areas of the house that can be most hazardous and require a little more navigation.

For Bathrooms

Renovations for bathrooms cost an average of about $8,820 depending on the work to be done. Some common and important improvements for Alzheimer’s-friendly bathrooms include installing grab bars and handrails, swapping out a bathtub for a shower, and adding lighting and non-slip flooring.

For Kitchens

You might consider a kitchen modification as well. It will vary in complexity depending on your current setup. When restructuring your kitchen for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, consider faucets, accessibility of appliances, kitchen counter height, mobility, and difficulty of navigation.

Caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s is a great responsibility. Ensuring their safety and comfort at home will not only make their lives better, but it will make yours easier and remove unnecessary hazards and stress. Having confidence that your loved one is comfortable and at ease will take a big weight off your shoulders. Your loved one will be happy to be living at home. The Boston Globe reported that Alzheimer’s patients that remain at home live longer and better lives.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

By |2021-08-27T10:56:45-05:00September 3rd, 2021|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Aging in Place: Home Preparations and Modifications for Alzheimer’s Patients

Guest Blog: 4 Healthy Aging Routine Tips

It is never too late to adopt a healthy aging routine into your everyday life. Healthy aging isn’t necessarily about looking or feeling younger, but rather optimizing opportunities for overall good health. Making a simple skincare switch, keeping a balanced diet and getting at least 8 hours of sleep are simple things that can make you feel more energized and give your outer appearance a natural glow. To begin your anti-aging regimen on a positive note, check out these tips for some inspiration!

Skincare
Changing your skin care routine may seem like a daunting task at first. It’s difficult to break from the products you have used for a long time, but once you establish a new routine that works for you, you will see the benefits in a short amount of time. Skin hydration, regeneration, and protection are all essential for seniors. Without these, and the use of an exfoliator weekly, your entire body, will lack smoothness and shine from the accumulation of dry or dead skin.
Remember, skin care isn’t only about facial products. It’s essential to moisturize your arms, hands, legs, and feet too!

Nutrition
Various diseases and illnesses form as a result of inadequate or unbalanced nutrition and poor dieting. Once you reach a certain age, it is critical that you eat more fruits and vegetables to prevent illness and nutritional deficiencies. Substitute processed foods for whole foods to ensure your body is receiving the nutrients necessary for a healthy life. According to the USDA, foods that are high in antioxidants (high Orac) can protect cells from oxidative damage. Kale, spinach, blueberries, and blackberries are all great options! Try implementing a few of these high Orac foods listed below into your diet to slow aging down: Visit here for more information.

Vitamins and Supplements
Many seniors rule out food they aren’t willing to consume depending on their current health status or personal dislikes. Their pallets are fully developed, and for the most part, they aren’t in the mindset to try new foods. However, avoiding certain foods can result in a lack of minerals, nutrients, and vitamins that aid in preventing deficiencies and diseases. Take vitamins such as calcium and zinc to help boost brain power, along with Vitamin E, B3 and B5 help support skin elasticity. Furthermore, don’t leave out supplements that can help cellular health such as probiotics and products like Basis by Elysium Health.

Sleep
Sleep may come easier to some more than others. It is important to know that disrupting your circadian rhythm with poor rest can lead to metabolic disorders. Many seniors have insomnia which limits their hours of sleep. Exercise, sticking to a sleep schedule and establishing a bedtime routine can help aid seniors in gaining the rest they need at night or throughout the day.

Remember, it is never too late to make improvements to your current routine, especially if it will benefit you in the long run. Take the time to appreciate your body and embrace the natural process!

 

By |2021-08-27T10:56:10-05:00September 1st, 2021|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: 4 Healthy Aging Routine Tips