Benefits of Yoga for Seniors and Their Caregivers

Harry Cline, info@newcaregiver.org

a nursing home administrator shared that he has seen the enormous mental and physical health benefits yoga and meditation can provide the elderly… but outside a nursing home setting, he imagined it’s sometimes hard for seniors to know how to get started.  So he was very kind and composed the following article to share with Healthy Lombard:

Seniors can improve their overall health and well-being by introducing positive activities into their routines. Exercise, including yoga, can help improve physical and mental health. Some seniors are closely connected to the people who provide their care. Increasingly, these caregivers are family members, and the rigors of providing attentive care to a senior can cause them mental and physical problems. Yoga can provide a double benefit for seniors and their caregivers, helping to strengthen not only their bodies but also their bond. Perhaps best of all, it’s easy to get started and doesn’t require any expensive equipment. You can easily set aside space or room for practicing yoga and mindfulness by choosing an area away from high-traffic spaces, adding a few nature-inspired decor items, and removing clutter, which is known to increase stress and is the last thing you want to focus on during your yoga practice.

How yoga increases physical health

Yoga poses take muscles through natural ranges of motion to invigorate, stretch, and flex muscles and joints. The physical results are a greater range of motion, reduced joint inflammation, increased muscle strength, and pain relief. Read more

What Happened to NIHSeniorHealth.gov?

According to “Medical Alert Buyer’s Guide,”  from 2002 – 2017 senior citizens looking for reliable, evidence-based health information could begin their search with NIHSeniorHealth.gov. However, starting Aug 1, 2017, the site was retired, and seniors visiting the URL today receive a simple 404 “Page Not Found” error.

It’s clear that more seniors than ever are going online. For example, the 2017 Pew Internet survey showed 67% of seniors go online, as compared to merely 14% in 2000 — a nearly 5-fold increase. And, it’s also clear that the volume of health information without clear scientific backing is also increasing. The US Federal Trade Commission, for example, recently published warnings about fraudulent “miracle health claims” related to cancer, HIV and arthritis.

Given the dramatic increase in both seniors using the internet and fraudulent claims about health products, why was the NIHSeniorHealth.gov website taken down?

The History of NIHSeniorHealth.gov

Originally created in 2002 by the US National Institutes of Health, NIHSeniorHealth.gov was designed as a place for seniors to find evidence-based health information. When the site first launched, Richard J. Hodes, Director of the National Institute on Aging (NIA), and Donald A.B. Lindberg, Director of the National Library of Medicine (NLM), stated that the goal of the site was to increase the accessibility of the valuable resources of the NIH to seniors and caregivers.

Although the site was mostly compiled by the NIA and the NLM, some of its content was reviewed by the American Geriatrics Society. In its early days, the site contained relatively few articles, but the topics covered grew over time. Citing changes in memory, vision, text comprehension, and information processing speed in older adults, the site’s designers ensured seniors would be able to navigate the site by providing information in large-print, short, simple “chunked” information, a screen reader option that allowed readers to play the text aloud, and buttons to enlarge the text or increase the contrast on the screen. The site was then thoroughly tested with people aged 60 to 88 to check its navigability. NIHSeniorHealth.gov also complied with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which aimed to make electronic government resources available and accessible to individuals with disabilities. Read more

Help address the nurse shortage in Lombard

The demand for BSN and MSN educated nurses is on the rise. This is why Nursing.org strives to connect nursing professionals at any level with online programs to match their education and career goals. Our guides answer your questions about earning a valuable degree in nursing.

In the U.S., we are projected to experience a shortage of nurses that will only be compounded by the aging Baby Boomer generation. Nurses’ contributions to a wide range of medical fields mean that this would significantly impact our society’s health at large and especially vulnerable populations’. It’s thus more important than ever to encourage individuals to pursue or advance their careers in nursing.

However, the variety of degree and certificate options, and all the acronyms that come with them – ASN, BSN, MSN, NDP – can make the field daunting to navigate. In order to help dispel the confusion, my team at Nursing.org compiled a series of guides breaking down what each degree level entails and what jobs graduates are qualified for. You can check them out below:

Read more

Reaching for Health Equity

CDC’s Office of Minority Health and Health Equity believes healthy lives for everyone is possible. Read more about what we’re doing to advance health equity.

In 2018, the CDC’s Office of Minority Health and Health Equity (OMHHE) celebrated 30 years of service. The 30th-anniversary theme,

Mission: Possible. Healthy Lives for Everyone” commemorated OMHHE’s milestones related to reducing health disparities and advancing health equity.

In 1988, in response to the 1985 Report of the Secretary’s Task Force on Black and Minority Health (also known as the Heckler Report), CDC established an Office of Minority Health. To reflect the office’s evolving mission, in 1998, the name changed to the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities. The name has since changed (2011) to Office of Minority Health and Health Equity. Over the years, the name has changed but its mission remains the same: reducing and
eliminating health disparities and reaching health equity.

View this timeline to learn more about achievements in minority health and OMHHE’s 30 years of service.

 

What is Health Equity?

Health equity is when everyone has the opportunity to be as healthy as possible. Read more

Is it heartburn or a heart attack? Don’t guess.

Edwards-Elmhurst Health asks you to picture a 22-year-old guy out for the evening with friends. Settled in a favorite restaurant, he consumes a pile of hot wings with greasy fries and chases it down with a couple of beers and countless cups of coffee. When he wakes up during the night with a burning sensation in his chest and a sour taste in his mouth, he blames last night’s food and drink choices, and pops some antacid tablets.

”For someone in their 20s with no risk factors of heart disease, it’s probably safe to assume that heartburn is causing these symptoms, especially if the antacid brings relief,” says Daryl Wilson, M.D., an emergency medicine physician at Edward Hospital.

Of course, chest pain isn’t always so benign. Some people are stuck with the type of pain often associated with a heart attack — an overwhelming, crushing feeling that radiates into the arm or other parts of the body. In these cases, the afflicted person or someone who’s with them usually knows it’s time to call 911.

But some cases aren’t as black and white. Heartburn can closely mimic a heart attack. While a heart attack is often announced by pressure or pain in the chest, that’s not always true. Read more

Healthy food swaps you’ll barely notice

Alanna Elliott, RD, LDNDietitian an outpatient dietitian for Edwards-Elmhurst Health shared in their Healthy Driven Blog that there’s no more comforting food on a winter day than a big helping of creamy mashed potatoes or a plate piled with steaming hot pasta.

Comfort food is a go-to dinner on a cold night. I get that. The only problem is that most comfort food will leave you feeling uncomfortably stuffed full of high-calorie sugar or fat.

Don’t despair! You can still enjoy your favorite foods without as many calories or unhealthy fat. By replacing some of the ingredients with healthier options, you get the same meal with much better nutrition.

Take a look at some of these easy swaps:

  • Cauliflower. Cauliflower is full of fiber and vitamin C is low in calories and carbs and tastes very similar to potatoes. It’s a great substitute for mashed potatoes, which are high in carbohydrates and can raise your blood sugars quickly. You could also use mashed cauliflower instead of cream in cream-based soups, sub it for rice, or mash it into a pizza crust! When you use mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes and use low-fat milk instead of cream and butter, you save over 150 calories and about 35 grams of carbs per cup.

Read more

Be Prepared to Stay Safe and Healthy in Winter

Winter storms and cold temperatures can be dangerous. Stay safe and healthy by planning ahead. Prepare your home and cars. Prepare for power outages and outdoor activity. 

Although winter comes as no surprise, many of us are not ready for its arrival. If you are prepared for the hazards of winter, you will be more likely to stay safe and healthy when temperatures start to fall.

Take These Steps for Your Home

Many people prefer to remain indoors during winter, but staying inside is no guarantee of safety. Take these steps to keep your home safe and warm during the winter months.

  • Winterize your home.
    • Install weather stripping, insulation, and storm windows.
    • Insulate water lines that run along exterior walls.
    • Clean out gutters and repair roof leaks.
  • Check your heating systems.
    • Have your heating system serviced professionally to make sure that it is clean, working properly, and ventilated to the outside.
    • Inspect and clean fireplaces and chimneys.
    • Install a smoke detector. Test batteries monthly and replace them twice a year.
    • Have a safe alternate heating source and alternate fuels available.
    • Prevent carbon monoxide (CO) emergencies.
      • Install a CO detector to alert you of the presence of the deadly, odorless, colorless gas. Check batteries when you change your clocks in the fall and spring.
      • Learn symptoms of CO poisoning: headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion.

Cars driving on snowy roadGet your car ready for cold weather use before winter arrives.

Don’t Forget to Prepare Your Car

Get your car ready for cold weather use before winter arrives.

  • Service the radiator and maintain antifreeze level; check tire tread or, if necessary, replace tires with all-weather or snow tires.
    • Keep gas tank full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.
    • Use a wintertime formula in your windshield washer.
    • Prepare a winter emergency kit to keep in your car in case you become stranded. The kit should include:
      • cell phone, portable charger, and extra batteries;
      • blankets;
      • food and water;
      • booster cables, flares, tire pump, and a bag of sand or cat litter (for traction);
      • compass and maps;
      • flashlight, battery-powered radio, and extra batteries;
      • first-aid kit; and
      • plastic bags (for sanitation).

Equip in Advance for Emergencies

Be prepared for weather-related emergencies, including power outages.

  • Stock food that needs no cooking or refrigeration and water stored in clean containers.
  • Ensure that your cell phone is fully charged.
  • When planning travel, be aware of current and forecast weather conditions.
  • Keep an up-to-date emergency kit, including:
    • Battery-operated devices, such as a flashlight, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio, and lamps;
    • extra batteries;
    • first-aid kit and extra medicine;
    • baby items; and
    • cat litter or sand for icy walkways.
  • Protect your family from carbon monoxide.
    • Keep grills, camp stoves, and generators out of the house, basement and garage.
    • Locate generators at least 20 feet from the house.
    • Leave your home immediately if the CO detector sounds, and call 911.

Children playing in the snow
Wear appropriate outdoor clothing: layers of light, warm clothing; windproof coat, mittens; hats; scarves; and waterproof boots.

Take These Precautions Outdoors

Many people spend time outdoors in the winter working, traveling, or enjoying winter sports. Outdoor activities can expose you to several safety hazards, but you can take these steps to prepare for them:

  • Wear appropriate outdoor clothing: wear a tightly woven, preferably wind-resistant coat or jacket; inner layers of light, warm clothing; mittens; hats; scarves; and waterproof boots.
  • Sprinkle cat litter or sand on icy patches.
  • Learn safety precautions to follow when outdoors.
    • Work slowly when doing outside chores.
    • Take a buddy and an emergency kit when you are participating in outdoor recreation.
    • Carry a cell phone.

Grandson hugging grandfather
Be prepared to check on family and neighbors who are especially at risk from cold weather hazards.

Do This When You Plan to Travel

When planning travel, be aware of current and forecast weather conditions.

  • Avoid traveling when the weather service has issued advisories.
  • If you must travel, inform a friend or relative of your proposed route and expected time of arrival.
  • Follow these safety rules if you become stranded in your car.
    • Make your car visible to rescuers. Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna, raise the hood of the car (if it is not snowing), and turn on the inside overhead lights (when your engine is running).
    • Move anything you need from the trunk into the passenger area. Stay with your car unless safety is no more than 100 yards away.
    • Keep your body warm. Wrap your entire body, including your head, in extra clothing, blankets, or newspapers. Huddle with other people if you can.
    • Stay awake and stay moving. You will be less vulnerable to cold-related health problems. As you sit, keep moving your arms and legs to improve circulation and stay warmer.
    • Run the motor (and heater) for about 10 minutes per hour, opening one window slightly to let in air. Make sure that snow is not blocking the exhaust pipe—this will reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Above all, be ready to check on family and neighbors who are especially at risk from cold weather hazards: young children, older adults, and the chronically ill. If you have pets, bring them inside. If you cannot bring them inside, provide adequate, warm shelter and unfrozen water to drink.

No one can stop the onset of winter. However, if you follow these suggestions, you will be ready for it when it comes.

Be sure to visit CDC’s Winter Weather webpage for more winter weather safety tips.

Neighborhoods With More Green Space May Mean Less Heart Disease

People who live in leafy, green neighborhoods may have a lower risk of developing heart disease and strokes, according to new research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

In this study, the first of its kind, researchers from the University of Louisville investigated the impact of neighborhood greenspaces on individual-level markers of stress and cardiovascular disease risk.

Over five-years, blood and urine samples were collected from 408 people of varying ages, ethnicities and socioeconomic levels, then assessed for biomarkers of blood vessel injury and the risk of having cardiovascular disease. The risk was calculated using biomarkers measured from blood and urine samples. The participants were recruited from the University of Louisville’s outpatient cardiology clinic and were largely at elevated risk for developing cardiovascular diseases.

The density of the greenspaces near the participants’ residences was measured using the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), a tool that indicates levels of vegetation density created from satellite imagery collected by NASA and USGS. Air pollution levels were also assessed using particulate matter from the EPA and roadway exposure measurements.

Researchers found living in areas with more green vegetation was associated with:

  • lower urinary levels of epinephrine, indicating lower levels of stress;
  • lower urinary levels of F2-isoprostane, indicating better health (less oxidative stress);
  • higher capacity to repair blood vessels.

Read more

How to keep your New Year’s resolutions

Ginny Grimsley shared in a Daily Herald article that if you’re one of the millions of Americans who will make a promise to improve yourself this New Year, there’s bad news: You’re 92 percent likely to fail in sticking to your resolutions, says a recent study from the University of Scranton’s Journal of Clinical Psychology.

About 45 percent of Americans make resolutions. Ranking at the top is losing weight and staying fit and healthy ranks No. 5.

“Of course, those statistics represent the average – you don’t have to be average,” says Dr. Virender Sodhi, founder of the Ayurvedic and Naturopathic Medical Clinic. “There are plenty of things individuals can do to improve their odds of success if they resolve to become healthier and fitter.”

Dr. Sodhi, author of the new guide, “Ayurvedic Herbs: The Comprehensive Resource for Ayurvedic Healing Solutions,” believes we can move much closer to a world of disease-free societies by following the laws of Mother Nature. Individual commitment to health via New Year’s resolutions is one path to take us there. Dr. Sodhi offers five tips for staying true to your goals.

• Get away from the instant-gratification mentality and avoid unrealistic goals. Don’t expect to go from zero to 60 — 60 being your ideal body image — in just a few months, especially if you have little background in training. Unfortunately, most who have resolutions like losing plenty of weight and quitting smoking are used to easy snack foods and quick rewards. Health is long-term labor of love; commit to the love and wait for results.

Read more

Happy New Years!

Some New Year thoughts from Healthy Lombard:

  • This year if you want a different result, make a different choice and do things in a different
  • New Year is like a restart button. Use it to start things over.
  • This year try and make small efforts to see big changes in your life.
  • Every year life gives us 365 days to find the meaning in our life.
  • Celebrate your life as each day comes. Happy New Year.
  • If you already tried things, this year focus on doing it.
  • Don’t wait for the luck to come to you, work hard and grab it with both hands.

So …   have a fabulous 2019 with full of great achievements and experiences. Read more