Archive

Archive for the ‘Exercise, Nutrition & Well Being’ Category

Probiotics – The Big Cheese In Improving Elderly Immune Systems

August 3, 2011 Leave a comment

Probiotics, often referred to as the “good” bacteria, are live microorganisms thought to be healthy for the host organism. Probiotics are most often consumed as part of fermented foods with specially added active live cultures such as in yogurt, soy or in dietary supplements. They are thought to aid in the alleviation of chronic intestinal inflammatory diseases, prevention and treatment of pathogen induced diarrhea, urogenital infections and atopic or allergic disorders. Profound and complex changes in the immune response occur during the aging process. Age related deterioration of the immune system is known as immunosenescene. This deterioration means the body is unable to kill tumor cells and reduces the immune response to vaccinations and infections. Infectious diseases, chronic inflammation disorders and cancer are hallmarks of immunosenescene. This can leave elderly people more vulnerable to infection and disease because it is harder for the body to kill cancerous cells and reduces the immune response to vaccinations and infections.

Scientists at the University of Turku in Finland discovered that probiotic cheese can tackle the age related deterioration. Dr. Fandi Ibrahim, lead author of the study published in the medical journal FEMS Immunology & Medical Microbiology said, “The increase in the proportion of aged individuals in modern society makes finding innovative ways to thwart the deterioration of the immune system a priority. “The intake of probiotic bacteria has been reported to enhance the immune response through other products, such as yogurt and certain milks, and now we have discovered that cheese can be a carrier of the same bacteria.” The team asked volunteers aged between 72 and 103, all of whom lived in the same care home, to eat either one slice of probiotic Gouda cheese or a slice of placebo cheese with their breakfast for four weeks. The study said the fact that all the volunteers were living in the same building helped to reduce any differences caused by variations in diet and other environmental factors.

I LOVE CHEESE. by *bendwater88 on deviantART

Both the Gouda cheeses used in the experiment were commercially available, said the scientists. The probiotic Gouda cheese was rich in the bacteria Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001 and Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM. Blood tests were carried out to discover the effects of the probiotic bacteria contained within the cheese on the immune system. Ibrahim said the results revealed a clear enhancement of natural and acquired immunity. “The aim of our study was to see if specific probiotic bacteria in cheese would have immune enhancing effects on healthy older individuals in a nursing home setting,” concluded Ibrahim. “We have demonstrated that the regular intake of probiotic cheese can help to boost the immune system and that including it in a regular diet may help to improve an elderly person’s immune response to external challenges.

800Seniors.com is a leading referral system in the Elderly Healthcare industry. We are located on 5400 Atlantis Court, Moorpark, California 93021. 800Seniors.com provides the perfect match between seniors searching for health care provisions such as Home Care, Home Health, Skilled Nursing, Hospice Care, Medical Supplies, as well as a variety of Assisted Living Phoenix and Care Homes nationwide. Take the confusion and hassle out of the search. For more information call 1-800-768-8221, visit http://800seniors.com or fax us your details at (805)517-1623.

About The Author: Gloria Ha’o Schneider is an expert in senior citizen and baby boomer issues. Her topics revolve around Senior Living and Healthcare to provide the latest information to this demographic as well as their families and loved ones.

Advertisements

Laughter Is The Best Medicine, Or Is It?

August 3, 2011 Leave a comment

Just about everybody agrees that laughter is a good thing, although a couple of recent studies are trying to take the “guffaw” out of belly laughing, especially for senior citizens. Before you read any further, (although if I try really hard, I think I understand their point), don’t believe it. Smiling, giggling, chuckling or gut wrenching laughter is not only a good thing, but possible for everyone, at any age. That’s why elderly people in assisted living or nursing homes are frequently entertained by planned events created with laughter inducing antidotes in mind.  It’s also why a sudden collapse on the steps of a restaurant on a family outing turned into a chuckle.

Instead of becoming just another grim reminder of my mother’s failing health; the incident was turned into a “silly,” when my husband asked her, “What in the world made you decide to suddenly plop down on those steps and sit on my foot?” Yes, you got it, humor took the edge off. Maybe it’s not laughter, but being silly, that makes everything so much more fun. I can recall countless times with family and friends when just because of the “mood” of the crowd, something as simple as playing word games while stuck in traffic can turn into euphoric laughter. My “study” included both young and old participants.

Laughter by *cho-oka on deviantART

Study Number One  ScienceDaily (June 5, 2010) — A sense of humor helps to keep people healthy and increases their chances of reaching retirement age. But after the age of 70, the health benefits of humor decrease, researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) have found. Study Number Two  ScienceDaily (Aug. 2, 2007) — It’s no laughing matter that older adults have a tougher time understanding basic jokes than do younger adults. It’s partially due to a cognitive decline associated with age, according to Washington University in St. Louis researchers Wingyun Mak, a graduate student in psychology in Arts & Sciences, and Brian Carpenter, Ph.D., Washington University associate professor of psychology.

Three different cognitive measures were tested in the study — abstract reasoning, short-term memory, and cognitive flexibility. Previous researchers have attributed some of the age-related deficits in humor comprehension to deficits in frontal lobe-mediated abilities. Laughter is a physical activity — it burns calories, strengthens abdominal muscles, and boosts the immune system, among other benefits. Although they did not study the specific benefits of laughter and humor, it has been well documented that, as Mak said, “It can’t hurt your physical state to be able to understand humor.”
Laughter also has sociological benefits and plays a role in building and maintaining relationships. Thus, many older adult day services and programs incorporate humor as a way to improve both physical and psychological aspects of participants’ lives.

The idea that humor can help older adults cope with life-changing events is not a new one, but relatively unstudied by researchers. “The holy grail is, of course, humor appreciation. Understanding how humor comprehension works in older adults is the first step in this process,” said Carpenter.
As mentioned earlier in the article, understanding the humor process especially that of those cognitively impaired, may reveal better methods of reaching this group who will ultimately benefit.
Until such time, it is hoped that recognizing the positive effect of laughter and finding ways to add humor to the lives of the elderly in assisted living or nursing homes, or anywhere for that matter, is something worth striving for.

Short-Term Benefits
A good laugh has great short term effects. When you start to laugh, it doesn’t just lighten your load mentally, it actually induces physical changes in your body.
Laughter can:
Stimulate many organs. Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.
Activate and relieve your stress response. A rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response and increases your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling.
Soothe tension. Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.

Long-Term Effects
Laughter isn’t just a quick pick me up. It’s also good for you over the long haul. Laughter may:
Improve your immune system. Negative thoughts manifest into chemical reactions that can impact your body by bringing more stress into your system and decreasing your immunity. In contrast, positive thoughts actually release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more serious illnesses.
Relieve pain. Laughter may ease pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers. Laughter may also break the pain spasm cycle common to some muscle disorders.
Increase personal satisfaction. Laughter can also make it easier to cope with difficult situations. It also helps you connect with other people.
Best of all, laughter makes us feel good, and it has absolutely nothing to do with age.

800Seniors.com is a leading referral system in the Elderly Healthcare industry. We are located on 5400 Atlantis Court, Moorpark, California 93021. 800Seniors.com provides the perfect match between seniors searching for health care provisions such as Home Care, Home Health, Skilled Nursing, Hospice Care, Medical Supplies, as well as a variety of Assisted Living Houston and Care Homes nationwide. Take the confusion and hassle out of the search. For more information call 1-800-768-8221, visit http://800seniors.com or fax us your details at (805)517-1623.

About The Author: Gloria Ha’o Schneider is an expert in senior citizen and baby boomer issues. Her topics revolve around Senior Living and Healthcare to provide the latest information to this demographic as well as their families and loved ones.

Breaking the Achy Cycle

July 14, 2011 Leave a comment

I know several elderly people; relatives, neighbors and parents of friends and acquaintances. Each of them live in different environments, pursue different lifestyles and have varying levels of health conditions. Although some of them are less prone to complaining than others, one common thread is that when asked how they’re doing, all of them say pretty much the same thing. They have aches and pains.

One of these days, rather than listen sympathetically, I’m going to ask the question. “If you could spend 15 minutes each day doing something that would lead to overall better health, fitness and peace of mind, would you do it?”

Tai Chi is a slow motion, low impact, stretching, moving form of meditative exercise for relaxation and better health. It doesn’t involve kicking, leaping or running. The exercise uses a set of “forms” which consist of a sequence of movements. The way the “forms” are performed in Tai Chi is slowly, softly and gracefully with smooth and even transitions between them.

Originally, from China, Tai Chi has gained enormous popularity in America and throughout the rest of the world for its health benefits and has been proven a way for elderly people to get back into exercising.

What it helps: Because of the slow movements, Tai Chi promotes calmness and relaxation, while also helping participants to slow their breathing. This may lead to lower blood pressure. This is especially beneficial for older practitioners, but low blood pressure is good for everyone. The continuous movements of Tai Chi that increase flexibility have also been shown to reduce the pain of arthritis and improve general physical function. Practicing Tai Chi on a regular basis can potentially provide enough exercise to help lower high cholesterol.

What it prevents: The postural elements of Tai Chi helps in preventing dangerous falls,  backache, stiff neck, gastric reflux, and easing the effects of osteoporosis and Dowager’s hump. It strengthens the immune system and helps reduce loss of muscle mass and strength.

With grants from the National Institute on Aging, a study was done on how the ancient Chinese exercise form can help older people feel better and regain some the physical functioning they may have lost to inactivity.

The study included 72 people between the ages of 65 and 96 who were split into a group that went to an hour-long class twice a week for six months and a control group that was promised a four-week class at the end ofthe study.

“We found significant improvements within three months on a low intensity program conducted twice a week. Our results also showed improved benefits from six months of participation, suggesting that additional health gains can be derived from a longer period of participation,” the researchers say.

On completion of the study, the Tai Chi students were also twice as likely as the control group to report not being limited in their ability to perform moderate to vigorous activities.

Seniors interested in trying out the exercise form and the likelihood of being free of aches and pains, can contact their local senior center or visit American Tai Chi and Quigong Association to find a class locator.

800Seniors.com is a leading referral system in the Elderly Healthcare industry. We are located on 5400 Atlantis Court, Moorpark, California 93021. 800Seniors.com provides the perfect match between seniors searching for health care provisions such as Home Care, Home Health, Skilled Nursing, Hospice Care, Medical Supplies, as well as a variety of Assisted Living Los Angeles and Care Homes nationwide. Take the confusion and hassle out of the search. For more information call 1-800-768-8221, visit http://800seniors.com or fax us your details at (805)517-1623.

About The Author: Gloria Ha’o Schneider is an expert in senior citizen and baby boomer issues. Her topics revolve around Senior Living and Healthcare to provide the latest information to this demographic as well as their families and loved ones.

Vanity Hair – Highlight Of The Week For Homebound Seniors

June 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Most assisted living facilities and nursing homes offer services for getting a shave, cut, wash and blow dry for their residents. But what if seniors living at home are finding it increasingly difficult and exhausting to wash their own hair? Why not talk it over with an elderly relative or friend and offer to arrange a weekly visit to a local hair salon or barber shop?

Seniors living alone at home rely heavily on routine to give structure to their everyday activities, but as they lose the independence of driving and physical ailments prevent them from doing certain hobbies such as gardening or cooking, they may find themselves staring out a window all day instead. Mental and physical activity, socializing and interaction with others are such important factors in keeping up morale and healthy living. There should be more to life than looking forward to, (or dreading) going to regularly scheduled doctor appointments.

 

Paul's Hair Salon by *MiniStarr on deviantART

Depending on your area, you might want to call around to see if any salons or barbers specialize in senior citizen services and/or offer senior discounts on certain days. If driving themselves to the appointment is not an option and there aren’t any family members or friends available to drive, you could research senior transportation services offered by most communities, arrange a pick up, and drop off for a weekly trip to the hairdresser. It might not be for everyone, but for some, it could very well be the highlight of their week!

800Seniors.com is a leading referral system in the Elderly Healthcare industry. We are located on 5400 Atlantis Court, Moorpark, California 93021. 800Seniors.com provides the perfect match between seniors searching for health care provisions such as Home Care, Home Health, Skilled Nursing, Hospice Care, Medical Supplies, as well as a variety of Assisted Living San Antonio and Care Homes nationwide. Take the confusion and hassle out of the search. For more information call 1-800-768-8221, visit http://800seniors.com or fax us your details at (805)517-1623.

About The Author: Gloria Ha’o Schneider is an expert in senior citizen and baby boomer issues. Her topics revolve around Senior Living and Healthcare to provide the latest information to this demographic as well as their families and loved ones.

Seniors & Golf – Drive Yourself To Fitness

June 20, 2011 Leave a comment

Seniors know that keeping active is important, but sometimes it takes a little extra effort to continue participating in an activity you enjoy because your stamina just isn’t what it used to be. Any activity to keep the blood pumping is a good thing and will not only increase your chances of remaining physically healthy, but will keep you engaged and mentally fit. Just as the distinction for what makes someone a “senior” varies in many circles, in terms of the sport of golf it looks to be around 50 years of age. I doubt however, that too many people who have reached this milestone really feel that to be true, there are a fews things to consider that can keep your game going.

The popularity of senior golfers has gained notoriety due to the Champions Tour, a golf tour run by the PGA. It hosts a series of annual events in the US and UK for golfers 50 years of age and older. Many of the PGA Tour’s most successful golfers have gone on to play on the Champions Tour. Great players from the past and today compete on a regular basis for some big dollars on T.V. If you haven’t seen them on the tube or live in your area you should watch. These golfers play some great games along with being some of the best characters personality wise you’ll find anywhere. It’s very entertaining to watch.

Golf by *GiZmO0o on deviantART

Senior Golf Equipment
Manufacturers are on your side. Many of the larger ones are wisely stepping up to this growing market by providing clubs and other equipment constructed specifically for the older generation. This can include drivers, iron sets, putters, fairway woods, balls, bags, shoes, and the most popular hybrid clubs. All this type of equipment can be custom fit for you just like the regular equipment. There are a number of things done to the senior line of equipment to help you keep up and even hit better and further than the your younger counterparts.

Exercises
Mike Pedersen is one of the top golf trainers in the country. He is also the author of the widely acclaimed Ultimate Golf Fitness Guide and founder of several cutting-edge online golf fitness sites. He recommends the Lying Leg Crossover, which is just one of dozens of simple golf exercises you can do with minimal or no equipment that will quickly and dramatically transform your game for years to come: Lie on back with legs extended. Raise one leg and bend at knee to 90 degrees in knee and hip. Cross that leg over extended leg, while opposite shoulder stays on ground. Go until slight pull in the buttocks and lower back. Hold and repeat once more. Switch legs and do opposite side

800Seniors.com is a leading referral system in the Elderly Healthcare industry. We are located on 5400 Atlantis Court, Moorpark, California 93021. 800Seniors.com provides the perfect match between seniors searching for health care provisions such as Home Care, Home Health, Skilled Nursing, Hospice Care, Medical Supplies, as well as a variety of Assisted Living Los Angeles and Care Homes nationwide. Take the confusion and hassle out of the search. For more information call 1-800-768-8221, visit http://800seniors.com or fax us your details at (805)517-1623.

About The Author: Gloria Ha’o Schneider is an expert in senior citizen and baby boomer issues. Her topics revolve around Senior Living and Healthcare to provide the latest information to this demographic as well as their families and loved ones.

Assisted Living Homes Confirm Exercise Is the Most Reliable Cancer Fighter For Seniors

June 15, 2011 Leave a comment

Recent studies have proven that cancer cannot live in the body if it has a consistent level of oxygenated blood. Having more oxygen in the bloodstream can be an important firewall against getting cancer and can even mimic some of the effects of having a healthy, low fat diet. Dr. Otto Warburg, who discovered the root cause of cancer in 1923 and won the Nobel Prize in 1931 for the discovery, quoted, “All normal cells have an absolute requirement for oxygen, but cancer cells can’t live without oxygen – a rule without exception”, he said. “Deprive a cell 35% of its oxygen for 48 hours and it may become cancerous.” These most recent studies have taken the task of expanding on Dr. Warburg’s theories.

According to the data, as we age, we lose a significant portion of our lean muscle mass every year. Over time, this process becomes much more severe when it’s coupled with a lack of exercise. As a result, the body tends to become very frail. Using exercise is a key component is a solution that can rebuild the lost muscle that comes with age. This is easily done with such activities as lifting small weights and stretching. Also, as people age, their muscles and tendons get shorter and become less hydrated. Doing yoga or even stretching exercises can help the body stay limber and strong. All muscle can only shorten 2/3rds of its total length so as a result, the longer your muscle is, the stronger it is naturally. This is very important for those 40 and over. For this reason Assisted adult living facilities have a variety of exercise classes and programs for seniors to participate in. These activities can range from water aerobics, tai-chi, yoga, meditation, dance and more. All of these activities are not too strenuous and help seniors keep active and allow fresh oxygen to pump into their blood stream. Assisted adult living facilities know that the more active their seniors are the more likely they are going to remain healthy and live longer.

 

Senior South Florida 3 by *castnoshadow on deviantART

Activities like massage and meditation activate the parasympathetic system to help the body relax and provide much needed oxygen and chemicals to the body in order to reduce stress. Even walking can significantly increase your oxygen intake. One reliable way to incorporate activity and exercise in your life is to pick one or more activities that interest you and get a friend to join you. Most assisted adult living facilities print out calendars for their seniors to see what activities are scheduled.

In today’s world, people have become more sedentary because of the advancements in technology. As a result, moving the body has become an even more conscious effort. You might find walking the stairs as opposed to taking the elevator a healthy option for you. Assisted adult living facilities have activities organized that are specifically ideal for senior citizens. It’s best to start out gently, slowly and then build up to longer sessions of activity. If you haven’t been active for some time it is best to consult your doctor.

800Seniors.com is a leading referral system in the Elderly Healthcare industry. We are located on 5400 Atlantis Court, Moorpark, California 93021. 800Seniors.com provides the perfect match between seniors searching for health care provisions such as Home Care, Home Health, Skilled Nursing, Hospice Care, Medical Supplies, as well as a variety of Assisted Living San Antonio and Care Homes nationwide. Take the confusion and hassle out of the search. For more information call 1-800-768-8221, visit http://800seniors.com or fax us your details at (805)517-1623.

About The Author: Gloria Ha’o Schneider is an expert in senior citizen and baby boomer issues. Her topics revolve around Senior Living and Healthcare to provide the latest information to this demographic as well as their families and loved ones.

Exercise Therapy Can Help Dizziness, Balance in Inner Ear Fluid Levels

June 10, 2011 Leave a comment

Nearly 90 million Americans, or more than one-third of the population, report bouts of dizziness at some point in their lives, according to studies from the National Institutes of Health. Of those, 76 million suffer from inner-ear disorders, which can be caused by whiplash, blows to the head, viral infections, and high doses of certain antibiotics, strokes or degeneration of the inner ear’s balance function, also known as the vestibular system, which often deteriorates with age. The vestibular system works with the visual system to keep objects in focus when the head is moving. When the head is tilted or the body position is changed with respect to gravity, the displacement of the stones causes the hair cells to bend. If there are any irregularities in this balance system of ‘bobbing buoys’ and fluid, we lose the ability to remain balanced.

Experiencing dizziness and problems with balance can be extremely disruptive, but there are many things that you can do to help your dizziness naturally. Drinking adequate amounts of fluid daily, change positions slowly to avoid dizziness and disorientation, limit the amount of salt you eat in a day to decrease the pressure of your inner ear, can all help. In many cases, a physician will recommend a physical therapist that can customize a home-exercise program designed for each patient. In the instance of an elderly person living at home, a therapist can make home visits and assist with the exercises. Some common exercises, like jumping, sitting up and lying down rapidly and turning in circles with assistance from the therapist can help “jar” inner ear fluids.

:Live Healthy: by *ghstlydrkness08 on deviantART

Along with the habituation exercises, vestibular rehabilitation patients are given eye exercises that retrain the vestibular ocular reflex, an adjustment controlled by the inner ear that allows the eye to keep the field of vision steady as a person moves. The eye exercises, in which patients repeatedly move their heads from side to side or up and down while focusing on a specific target, like a letter taped to the wall, help patients steady their gaze.

800Seniors.com is a leading referral system in the Elderly Healthcare industry. We are located on 5400 Atlantis Court, Moorpark, California 93021. 800Seniors.com provides the perfect match between seniors searching for health care provisions such as Home Care Phoenix, Home Health, Skilled Nursing, Hospice Care, Medical Supplies, as well as a variety of Assisted Living Facilities and Care Homes nationwide. Take the confusion and hassle out of the search. For more information call 1-800-768-8221, visit http://800seniors.com or fax us your details at (805)517-1623.

About The Author: Gloria Ha’o Schneider is an expert in senior citizen and baby boomer issues. Her topics revolve around Senior Living and Healthcare to provide the latest information to this demographic as well as their families and loved ones.

%d bloggers like this: