Healthy Eating Habits for Common Health Conditions

Having a healthy diet is important to your wellness as a whole, but when you have specific health conditions, it may be time to inspect how changes to your diet can impact your well-being. Check out these areas of health that recommend specific diets.

Heart Health

Your cardiovascular health is incredibly important to your overall health. As heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, having a diet that promotes heart health is crucial. Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and healthy protein will aid in your heart health. Choosing whole-grain options and minimizing processed foods, salt, and alcohol in your diet will also be beneficial to your cardiovascular health.

Creating a diet plan with your doctor can help you understand what foods help or harm you in the long run, as well as help you understand the importance of maintaining a healthy diet. You should monitor your heart health frequently as you age to ensure the swift identification of any changes to your cardiovascular wellness.

Eye Health

As you age, the health of your eyes changes. Between glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy, it’s incredibly important for you to have your eye health top of mind. Introducing eye-friendly nutrients into your diet can ensure the longevity of your eye health. Lutein, which you’ll find in dark leafy vegetables, along with vitamin c, vitamin e, and omega-3 fatty acids, can all play an important role in the health of your vision.

Aside from your diet, reviewing your corrective lenses on an annual basis is a small task that can yield great results for your overall health. This can include making sure you update your prescription eyeglasses often so you can quickly identify any changes to your vision. Catching these changes early on ensures you take the right steps in adjusting your lifestyle for the sake of your eye health. Prioritizing your vision and making a diet conducive to the optimal health of your eyes can help ward off the onset of many age-related eye problems.

To keep the health of your gut top of mind, creating a gut-conscious diet is imperative. This diet should include probiotics, prebiotics, fiber, and fermented foods. Incorporating foods like this should increase the good bacteria found in your gut which helps ward off illness. If you have any of the above-mentioned autoimmune disorders in your family history, it is important to take care of your gut early on and learn about the ways you can make your health as optimal as possible.

Staying on top of your health will always need to be a top priority. Understanding any conditions you have, or could have in the future based on your family history, helps you create a prevention plan. Diet, exercise, and environmental changes are all things you can alter for the sake of your health. Prioritizing your wellness will always be a necessary step for the longevity of your life.

 

By |2022-03-16T10:19:39-05:00March 10th, 2022|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Healthy Eating Habits for Common Health Conditions

Guest Blog: Four Easy Winter Safety Tips for Seniors

For many people, winter is a magical time. They get to play in the snow, celebrate holidays with family and friends, and cuddle up by the fire. But, for some, including seniors, winter can be a difficult and even potentially dangerous time.

Between the risks of slipping and falling and arthritis pain made worse by the cold weather, many seniors find themselves dreading the winter months. If you’re in this group, there’s no need to fear the cold and snow.

Read on to learn about four winter safety tips that every senior should keep in mind as the weather cools down.

1. Avoid Slips and Falls
Your chances of slipping and falling increase dramatically in the winter.

To avoid falls and potentially serious injuries, be sure to only walk on sidewalks and walkways that have been cleared and salted. If you’re not sure, err on the side of caution and take another route.

It’s also important to wear proper winter boots with non-skid soles. Replace the rubber tip on your cane, if you use one, too.

2. Drive Safely
You also need to take extra precautions when you drive during the winter months. Have your car checked during the fall or early winter to make sure everything is operating properly. Be sure to keep your cell phone with you whenever you drive, too.

Avoid driving on icy roads whenever you can, and stick to well-plowed, bigger roads when snow hits. They’re usually cleared more quickly than backroads.

3. Minimize Joint Pain
If you suffer from arthritis or joint pain, you mind find that it gets worse during the winter. Some things you can do to relieve your pain and stay comfortable include:

Dress warmly
Find ways to exercise indoors
Eat a balanced, anti-inflammatory diet
Use balms or creams to relieve knee pain
Soak in a warm bath or hot tub to loosen up your joints

4. Fight Seasonal Affective Disorder
Finally, keep in mind that Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD or winter depression, is also common among seniors, especially seniors who live alone and don’t socialize as much during the winter.

If you find yourself feeling depressed or isolated when the weather cools down, seek out new ways to connect with loved ones. Schedule daily or weekly phone calls, or arrange for family members and friends to come and visit you.

By |2021-11-30T16:27:57-05:00December 14th, 2021|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: Four Easy Winter Safety Tips for Seniors

Guest Blog: 5 Things You Should Never Expect From Assisted Living Facilities

 

Eldercare homes are all about the care and comfort of senior citizens. The best ones, like Whittier, assisted living offers physical and mental treatment to their elder residents, which is always lacking in other places.

Regardless, there are some things you should know before you consider visiting or living in assisted living facilities (ALFs). Here are five things that these facilities should never give you:

1) False promises

Most older people have a certain set of the idea when it comes to assisted living. They expect warm bedding, lavish meals, a luxurious atmosphere, expert doctors on call at any time of the day, 24/7 security services, along with so many other benefits. But in reality, ALFs can provide nothing more than regular nursing homes do.

The fact is that assisted living homes are not here to make false promises. They put down everything in writing, so you know what to expect from the place before moving in. Look for an ALF that has all its promises documented with legal documents.

2) Flowers and chocolates on your birthday

We all like flowers and chocolates on our birthdays, who doesn’t! But residents of ALFs don’t receive these things as often as they might like because it’s simply not practical. It does happen now and then, but nothing more than that.

ALFs provide basic amenities like food, water, electricity, clothes, etc., but they do not spend money on frivolous things like providing flowers and chocolates on your birthday. So if you are looking for a place that cares for the tiny details, ALFs might not be the best choice.

3) Luxurious furnishings throughout

Another misconception about assisted living homes is that they provide residents with luxurious furniture throughout the facility. But nothing could be further from the truth. It’s just not possible to have luxury furniture in all parts of an assisted living home. Some places might have it, but that’s just because their owners are very generous.

You should know that older people find it challenging to move around, so having luxury furniture everywhere in an ALF makes no sense. Leave expensive things like designer chairs, couches, etc., at home or buy them for yourself if you need them. ALFs provide basic amenities, and you must get the things you think are essential.

4) A daily visit from a doctor or nurse

When you check into an assisted living facility, one of the most significant benefits is round-the-clock security with trained staff members who can help whenever they are needed. But this does not mean that there will be a full-time medic on duty.

ALFs employ doctors who come in on a weekly or monthly basis, depending on their availability and the requirement of residents. So make sure to find out how often a doctor will visit before finalizing any place for yourself. If it isn’t made clear, ask questions till you get all of the answers.

5) 24-hour internet connection

The idea of ‘wired town’ cannot be implemented in ALFs because it’s simply not possible to do so. Some places might have a wifi facility, but it won’t work throughout the day; there will be certain timings when it works and times when it doesn’t.

Even if you get a place where the wifi does work, then you should know that there is no guarantee that everyone in your family will be able to use it at all times. So before you decide for yourself, make sure to ask these questions: What time of the day will I be able to use the internet? Will my children also be able to access the net? Will I be able to use it after 8 pm?

Wrapping Up!

The only important thing is that you should check every facility and promise through legal documentation. DO NOT take any verbal promises for granted; there might be a miscommunication that can cost you your money and peace of mind.

If you think about it, there’s no way that a care facility can be perfect all the time because they’re dealing with older adults who cannot always do things by themselves. Like we mentioned above, your loved one will probably never become a completely different person due to the aging process. However, even if they do, there’s still bound to be problems when it comes to them doing what they’re told (i.e., not eating when it’s time for dinner).

I’m not saying that every facility out there provides atrocious care – most of them do try their best to make life comfortable for their residents – but keep in mind that humans are only human. Mistakes will be made, accidents will happen, and sometimes they’ll be forced to cut corners when they can’t afford something – it’s just the way life is, so don’t expect perfection.

 

 

By |2021-12-08T18:35:32-05:00December 8th, 2021|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: 5 Things You Should Never Expect From Assisted Living Facilities

Guest Blog: How to Best Care for Elderly Patients with COVID-19

 

COVID-19 is an infectious disease that is characterized by dry cough, fever, and fatigue. It is usually caused by SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Most of the people who suffer from this disease end up recovering even without receiving any treatment. Others become seriously sick and need intensive medical care. The people who are at risk of severe illness are older adults and people with underlying health conditions. That is why you need to be careful when taking care of an older adult suffering from COVID-19. Below are more details on how you should take care of such a person.

Help Cover Their Basic Needs

Just like other people, older people suffering from COVID-19 have basic needs that have to be met. For instance, they need to eat, put on clothes and sleep well. Therefore, as a caregiver, you need to ensure that the sick person eats and sleeps well. When shopping for foods, buy them fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, legumes, and unprocessed food. Eating these foods will help boost the patient’s immune system, helping them recover from COVID-19.

You should also encourage the patient to take at least eight cups of water every day. This water will transport nutrients throughout their body and regulate their body temperature. If they are not willing to drink too much water, encourage them to consume fruits and vegetables that contain water.

Ensure That They Take Their Medications

COVID-19 patients are often advised to take a few over-the-counter medicines that help manage COVID-19 symptoms. For instance, some of them are told to take medications that help reduce fever and cough syrups. Hiring in-home senior care would ensure that your patient takes all their medications.

While caring for this person, you should check whether the prescribed medications are helping improve the patient’s symptoms or not. If they are not improving, you should contact the patient’s doctor. You should also help the sick person follow any other instructions given by the doctor.

Monitor The Patient’s Symptoms

You should constantly monitor the symptoms that the sick elderly are experiencing. A home pulse oximeter can help you do that. This medical device measures the amount of oxygen in a person’s bloodstream. Therefore, it can help you know when your patient is experiencing difficulty in breathing. For instance, if it shows a reading of less than 92%, you should know that the patient is experiencing difficulty in breathing, and you should have them hospitalized. You should also have your patient hospitalized if they are experiencing emergency warning signs. These warning signs include:

  • Bluish face or lips
  • Blue, pale, or grey-colored nail beds, skin or lips
  • Persistent chest pain
  • Trouble breathing
  • Confusion

Do Not Leave the Patient Alone

You may be tempted to go out and leave your patient alone after you notice that they are doing fine. However, you should not do that as the patient’s health condition may worsen after you go out. If you have to go out, request a good in-home senior care provider to take care of the sick person while you are away.

While spending time with the sick person, you should wear a face mask and encourage the sick person to wear a face mask. You should not touch your face mask while wearing it, and you should throw it away immediately after use. You should also ensure that you stay at least 6 feet away from this person.

Clean The Patient’s Personal Items

While caring for an older adult suffering from COVID-19, you should clean this patient’s personal items. For instance, you should wash their clothes and personal household items. You should use regular detergent to clean these items and warm water. You should wear disposable gloves while cleaning these items. After you are done cleaning them, remove the gloves and wash your hands with water and soap. You should place the dirty gloves in the waste bin kept in the sick person’s room. You should also clean the surfaces in your home that people often touch. These surfaces include tabletops, doorknobs, and counters.

COVID-19 is an infectious disease. That is why you need to be careful when caring for an elderly person suffering from this disease. You should ensure that this person takes their medications, eats well, and gets enough rest.

 

 

By |2021-09-24T11:53:41-05:00September 24th, 2021|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: How to Best Care for Elderly Patients with COVID-19

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