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Good Oral Hygiene & Cognitive Function

August 11, 2011 Leave a comment

What does loving to eat Gummy Bears and hating the idea of flossing have in common? Both activities, and lack thereof, can contribute to plaque on your teeth, which is also surprisingly bad for your brain and other vital organs. According to Dr. Michael Roizen, co-author of YOU – The Owner’s Manual: An Insider’s Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger, “The plaque between teeth can cause an immune reaction that attacks arteries, which then can’t deliver vital nutrients to brain cells.” Studies suggest that gum disease, in particular, can affect the brain.  Some studies have found that older people with gum disease are more likely to have memory loss and other cognitive problems. Research reveals that diseased gums pump high levels of harmful bacteria into the bloodstream. The skin of the oral cavity is known as “oral mucosa.” It is very rich with blood vessels and if outside bacteria and the toxins that they produce get into the blood stream, they are off and running throughout your bodies.

According to a team of dentists and psychiatrists in the UK, oral health is clearly connected to cognitive health and therefore another reason to brush up on dental hygiene. There is growing interest in the relationships between aging, nutritional status, and cognitive function. Research in this area has tended to focus on advanced old age, although many of the pathways implicated may exist over a much longer period from early or mid-adult life. Oral health is recognized as being an important factor in nutritional status and general health. Periodontal disease is a common oral condition and a significant source of chronic infection and inflammation. Dietary changes because of poor oral health may lead to compromised nutritional status, both in general and through specific deficiencies.

valdemarrr by *valdemarrr on deviantART

Following a study involving 5,138 people aged 20 to 59; the researchers discovered that periodontal disease and gingivitis were linked to poorer cognitive function and not just in later years, but also throughout adult life. The survey included a comprehensive dental examination and a series of tests to determine cognitive function.  The Symbol Digit Substitution Test and Serial Digit Learning Test were administered to test cognitive ability. Both tests were provided in English or Spanish and were preceded by a practice segment.

In the SDST, a set of nine symbols matched to the digits 1 to 9 were presented to the subject. The participants were shown a series of symbols and were required to match a symbol with its corresponding digit as quickly as possible. This task aimed to measure information processing speed, concentration and motor control. Performance in SDST was scored as the average time in seconds needed to correctly match the numbers and symbols on the best two out of four trials. Those participants with recorded data on both oral health status and individual measures of cognitive function were selected for a planned secondary analysis. In a subsample of participants aged 20 to 59 years, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol and smoking status were considered as potential confounding factors; there was little evidence of this from the analysis. The association between cognitive function and oral health status seemed to be present in the results of the research study, indicating the far-reaching consequences of proper oral hygiene throughout life and for the elderly.

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 Los Angeles, 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.

Seniors In Assisted Living Communities Learn Ways To Stop Spread Of Germs

August 4, 2011 Leave a comment

Most people are diligent about protecting themselves from the flu and colds. Good manners alone account for the majority of people who automatically cover their mouths when they sneeze, wash their hands afterward and scrub up after touching people and surfaces in public places. Fewer probably realize that contacting herpes simplex virus, the medical term for the common cold sore, is also possible by touching contaminated surfaces. Cold sores, sometimes called fever blisters, are groups of small blisters on the lip and around the mouth. This virus type can cause lip and mouth sores and genital herpes. The herpes simplex virus usually enters the body through a break in the skin around or inside the mouth.

It is most often spread when a person touches a cold sore or touches infected fluid when sharing eating utensils or razors, kissing an infected person, or coming in contact with that person’s saliva. Cold sores can also be spread to areas of the body other than the mouth and lip area. Seniors who reside in group environments such as assisted living centers are counseled by the healthcare staff on what to expect, especially during cold and flu season, and are given pointers on how to avoid spreading germs.The first symptoms of cold sores may include tingling and pain around the mouth and lips, a fever, a sore throat, or swollen glands in the neck or other parts of the body. Small children sometimes drool before cold sores appear. After the blisters appear, the cold sore usually breaks open, leaks a clear fluid and then crusts over and disappears after several days to 2 weeks. For some people, cold sores can be very painful. A few people who have the virus do not have an actual cold sore outbreak.

Bacteria by *alphamonkey on deviantART

How are cold sores diagnosed?
A doctor can tell if you have cold sores by asking questions to find out whether you have come into contact with the virus and by examining you. Most of the time diagnosing a herpes simplex virus does not require testing.
How are cold sores treated?
Cold sores will usually start to heal on their own within a few days. If they cause pain or embarrassment because of their unsightly appearance, they can be treated. Treatment may include skin creams, ointments, or sometimes pills. Using these methods may get rid of the cold sore, but frequently only 1 to 2 days faster, but it will help ease painful blisters or other uncomfortable symptoms. The herpes simplex virus that causes cold sores cannot be cured. After becoming infected, the virus stays in the body for the rest of your life. If cold sores occur often, medication can reduce the number and severity.
How can cold sores be prevented?
There are some things that can be done to prevent contracting the herpes simplex virus.
Avoid coming into contact with infected body fluids by kissing or touching an infected person.
Avoid sharing eating utensils, drinking cups, or other items that a person with a cold sore may have used.

After having been infected with the virus, there is no sure way to prevent future cold sores. There are a few things that can be done to reduce the number of outbreaks and prevent spreading the virus. Try to avoid the things that trigger cold sores, such as stress and colds or the flu. Always use lip balm and sunscreen on your face when outdoors. Too much sunlight can cause cold sores to flare. Avoid sharing towels, razors, silverware, toothbrushes or other objects that a person with a cold sore may have used. Make sure to wash hands often, and try to avoid touching the sore. This can help keep from spreading the virus to the eyes or genital area or to other people. Talk to a doctor if there are frequent outbreaks. Sometimes prescription medication is used to prevent further outbreaks.

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 Chicago 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.

Caregivers Observe Assisted Living Residents For Signs Of Pain

July 5, 2011 Leave a comment

How many times have you heard the so called reminder, “Big boys don’t cry,” coming from a mother or father? It’s no wonder some of us, and in many cases, grown men, tend to ignore or minimize pain or the seriousness of an injury.  Athletes in particular, seem to pop up from the ground after a hard hit, shake it off and pretend to be just fine. Ignoring pain however, is not being tough, it’s being dumb, and doing so can put your life in danger. Healthcare workers in Assisted Living Communities and hospitals are trained to listen, observe and report any signs of distress from any of their residents, even if they don’t actually verbalize that they’re experiencing pain. Man of the House has put together a list of pain symptoms that can possibly indicate the onset of much more serious conditions.

Headache
The onset of a severe, debilitating headache unlike anything you’ve ever suffered, could be a warning of serious medical conditions including:
Stroke
Aneurysm
Bleeding on the Brain especially if you suffered a blow to the head recently
Brain tumor
Meningitis
If the headache is accompanied by mental confusion, speaking difficulties or changes in vision, which suggests a stroke, it should be considered an emergency.

Abdominal Pain
Most people have had indigestion after a big meal of fried or spicy food but persistent or intense pain could be:
An Ulcer
Abdominal Aneurysm which also can cause severe back pain and can be fatal
Appendicitis especially if the pain is in your lower right abdomen, which usually requires immediate surgery. It can be very serious if it bursts before the appendix is removed
Gallbladder especially if it’s in the upper abdomen, again requiring removal
Pancreatitis again in the upper abdomen, but treated without surgery
Intestinal blockage which may require surgery

Caregiver by *BexHix on deviantART

For Men, an Extremely Tender Scrotum. If the most sensitive spots have become so tender that it’s painful and does not go away, there’s a good chance there is a problem that should not be ignored. It could be:
Testicular torsion, a condition where a testicle and blood vessels, twist inside the scrotum; if it’s serious enough, it can cut off the blood supply and require emergency surgery to save the testicle
Epididymitis, an infection of the testicle that could be caused by an enlarged prostate from a sexually transmitted disease
Kidney stone, pain from a kidney stone can radiate into the scrotum area; kidney stones also can cause lower back pain
Testicular cancer or tumor
Inguinal hernia, a hernia bulge that can protrude into the scrotum

Chest Pain
Everyone knows sharp chest pains can be a heart attack unfolding but the pain can be more subtle. Chest pain could be a heart attack or even pneumonia if the pain or discomfort is accompanied by:
Sweating or nausea
A feeling you can’t catch your breath or you feel chest squeezing or fullness
Pain, discomfort or tingling radiating into your jaw, neck or down your arms
Weakness or a lethargic feeling
Surviving a heart attack often is determined by how quickly one receives medical attention. And, while pneumonia can be treated with antibiotics, it’s only going to get worse if left untreated. If ignored or left untreated, pneumonia can be fatal.

Leg Pain
Most people have probably heard the advice about getting up and moving around if you’re on a long flight overseas. Sitting anywhere for long periods of time can cause a blood clot in your legs that’s also called deep vein thrombosis. This throbbing leg pain is usually accompanied by swelling and tenderness.
The problem with blood clots is they can be fatal if they travel up to the heart and lungs. Clots can be dissolved if discovered soon enough.

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.

Where To Turn When There’s A Problem At A Senior Care Facility

June 28, 2011 3 comments

The word “ombudsman” is defined by Dictionary.com as follows :
om·buds·man – /ˈɒm bədz mən, -ˌmæn, -bʊdz-, ˈɔm-, ɒmˈbʊdz mən, -ˌmæn, ɔm-/ (om-buh dz-muh) –noun a government official who hears and investigates complaints by private citizens against other officials or government agencies. a person who investigates and attempts to resolve complaints and problems, as between employees and an employer or between students and a university.

If you reside in a senior care facility or have a family member who does, you may not know where to turn if a problem arises that cannot be resolved with the management or is believed to be of a criminal nature, a government Ombudsman Program is where you can go for help. The California State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is authorized by the Federal Older American Act and its State companion, the Older Californians Act. The primary responsibility of the program is to investigate and resolve complaints made by, or on behalf of, individual residents in long-term care facilities. These facilities include nursing homes, residential care facilities for the elderly, and assisted living facilities. The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program investigates elder abuse complaints in long-term care facilities and in residential care facilities for the elderly.

The goal of the program is to advocate for the rights of all residents of long-term care facilities. The Ombudsman’s advocacy role takes two forms :

To receive and resolve individual complaints and issues by, or on behalf of, these residents;

To pursue resident advocacy in the long term care system, its laws, policies, regulations, and administration through public education and consensus building. Residents or their family members can file a complaint directly with the local Long-Term Care Ombudsman or by calling the Crisis Line. All long-term care facilities are required to post, in a conspicuous location, the phone number for the local Ombudsman office and the Statewide CRISISline number 1-800-231-4024. This CRISISline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to take calls and refer complaints from residents.

Elder Abuse Recipe Card by *d00mtree on deviantART

Ombudsman services are free and confidential. Contact your local LTC Ombudsman.

Program for the following resident services :

Questions or concerns about quality of care
Questions or concerns about financial abuse
Suspected physical, mental or emotional abuse of residents
Witnessing services for Advance Health Care Directives
Requesting an Ombudsman to attend a resident care plan meeting
Requesting an Ombudsman to attend a resident or family council meeting

Information provided by CA.GOV – California Department of Aging.

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 Jose 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.

Taking Medications Correctly – What You Need to Know

June 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Everyone knows about the rising costs of health care insurance along with how expensive prescription medication can be. These changes have especially affected senior citizens since they require extensive medical care as they get older. However, many seniors and elderly citizens don’t consider the cost they will have to shell out if they don’t take their medication properly or fail to take it at all.

According to recent medical studies, 125,000 people in the U.S. die every year due to improper dosage of their medications. Americans could be saving billions of dollars which are being spent on trips to the emergency room and repeat visits to health care facilities for this reason. An alarming statistic says that at least 10% of all hospital admissions are a result of improper intake of medicines. If more seniors resorted to assisted living facilities to spend their years of retirement this problem could be drastically minimized. Assisted living facilities have medical staff to ensure seniors and elderly citizens take their medication on time. It leaves the senior worry free since the nurses and medical staff is responsible for giving the proper dosages in a timely manner.

Medication by *Jadian on deviantART

There are many reasons that people fail to take their medication properly. Forgetting to take medications is one of the biggest reasons seniors can end up in the emergency room. Some seniors can forget they have already taken it and can unintentionally overdose themselves which lead to more serious situations. Skipping a medicine dose may not seem like a big deal to us, but in the case of many seniors, elderly citizens and their complicated health conditions, it can be the difference between life or death. If you have senior loved ones that you are concerned about, it may be the right time to start thinking about placing them in an assisted living facility. Assisted living facilities are ideal for seniors that are starting to have trouble carrying out their day to day routines on their own.

Hundred of senior citizens have found happiness and enjoy the lifestyle after moving to an assisted living facility. Assisted living facilities offer the medical care and recreational amenities seniors find appealing. They feel safe knowing medical staff is nearby to address any emergency or general health concerns. Assisted living facilities customize specific service plans for their residents, so seniors can retain their usual lifestyle and habits as much as possible. This kind of lifestyle leaves the senior stress free and able to focus on thoroughly enjoying the remaining years they have left. Families that have placed their seniors loved ones in assisted living facilities rest easier knowing they are safe and well taken care of. Assisted living facilities in many cases can be an affordable option to hospitals.

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 Philadelphia 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 Can Avoid Cons And Scams By Moving To An Assisted Living Facility

June 20, 2011 Leave a comment

Many seniors have spent a lifetime saving their money only to be conned and lose it all. Seniors have been the target of con artists for quite some time and the number of incidents is only increasing. It’s also a well known fact that the perpetrators will focus their efforts on this demographic of the population because they are vulnerable and have larger assets. Assisted living communities are aware of these alarming facts and are dedicated to make sure seniors are not swindled by con artists. Because they know how vulnerable senior citizens are Assisted living facilities make sure they are out of reach from con artists and the general public.

Senior citizens are less likely to report a fraud because of the state of confusion they are in. Many times seniors aren’t sure what happened or what to do when they have been scammed. In many cases seniors are too ashamed to notify authorities that they have become victims of such a crime. An elderly victim may not report the crime because he or she is concerned that relatives may come to the conclusion that they no longer have the mental capacity to take care of their own financial affairs. Assisted living facilities offer guidance and assistance to help seniors manage their financial decisions in a secure manner.

In the event that an elderly victim does report the crime, they often don’t recount the facts well enough for authorities to be able to catch the con artist. The typical con artist preys on the elderly because they depend on elderly victims not being able to supply enough detailed information. Many seniors don’t even realize they have become victims and carry on life thinking all is fine. Assisted living facilities verify calls before putting them through to their senior residents. They screen each of their calls so that telemarketers and con artists cannot get through to their seniors. This allows seniors to relax and be at ease.

Aged by *MaAscund on deviantART

The following are questions asked to fraud victims:

How many times did the fraudster call?
What time of day did he/she call?
Did he provide a call back number or address?
Was it always the same person?
Did you meet in person?
Did you meet in person?
What did the fraudster look like?
Did he/she have any recognizable accent?
Where did you send the money?
What did you receive if anything and how was it delivered?
What promises were made and when?
Did you keep any notes of your conversations?

If you want to make sure your senior loved ones do not become victims of fraud, make sure they are placed in ideal assisted living homes. An assisted living home offers the safe and secure environment that a senior needs. Assisted living homes offer recreational activities and medical care along with security measures that protect them from the outside world. As seniors age they depend more on the assistance and attention of someone else to carry out the most basic activities. Though families love their senior members they are not at home enough to give them what they need. If this describes your situation it may be time to look for an assisted living facility.

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 Philadelphia 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.

Safe Driving Tips and Statistics for Seniors

June 20, 2011 Leave a comment

Although opinions may vary, it’s widely agreed that driving is a privilege, not a right. Many elderly drivers feel that taking away their freedom to drive is like taking away their right to a warm meal. It’s a difficult for a family to make the decision to take away a loved one’s keys, but they’re not just making that decision for the safety of the one they love, but for the safety of everyone on the road.

Driving Statistics for Senior Citizens
If you’re over 65, you’re more likely to be injured in an auto accident than a person who is younger. Seniors also have a higher rate of running stop signs, not yielding the right of way, making unsafe lane changes and turns, and being involved in multiple car accidents. There’s no doubt that these statistics are unsettling and that they need to be taken seriously.
The Driving Ability of Older Adults Can Be Affected By Their Health Issues
It’s not uncommon for the health issues of seniors to impair their driving at some point. This is why periodic vision and hearing exams are a good idea. Keeping hearing aids and glasses updated can be the deciding factor in preventing an accident.

Driving In The Old Style by *Basstard79 on deviantART

Other conditions that may cause an accident are:
-Lack of proper sleep
-Medications that can cause impaired behavior
-Inability to see at night
-Loss of mobility
-Dementia

Seniors who are unsure about their ability to drive should seek medical advice from their doctors. Also, many assisted living facilities offer free transportation services for their residents should one make the decision to relinquish their driving privilege.

Elderly Defensive Driving Courses
Defensive driving courses are available for seniors to brush up on their skills and to learn new safety rules. Some of the subjects that can be covered in defensive driving course are:
-How to compensate for hearing, vision, and slow reaction problems
-Proper driving etiquette for the road
-Use of safety devices
-Knowing where the blind spots in your car are located
-Eliminating distractions
By practicing safe driving habits, senior citizens can avoid become driving statistics. Not only do defensive driving courses lower one’s risks on the road, they may even lower car insurance costs.

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 New York 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.

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