Benefits of Yoga for Seniors and Their Caregivers

Harry Cline,

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 can a caregiver do from far away?

The National Institute on Aging shared that anyone, anywhere, can be a long-distance caregiver, no matter your gender, income, age, social status, or employment. If you are living an hour or more away from a person who needs your help, you’re probably a long-distance caregiver.

You may ask yourself—what can I really do from far away? Long-distance caregivers take on different roles. You may:

  • Help with finances, money management, or bill paying
  • Arrange for in-home care—hire professional caregivers or home health or nursing aides and help get needed durable medical equipment
  • Locate care in an assisted living facility or nursing home (also known as a skilled nursing facility)
  • Provide emotional support and occasional respite care for a primary caregiver, the person who takes on most of the everyday caregiving responsibilities
  • Serve as an information coordinator—research health problems or medicines, help navigate through a maze of new needs and clarify insurance benefits and claims

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Eight Tips for Better Digestive Health

Dr. Veronica Broton, Family Medicine Physician at Edwards Elmhurst Health shared that these days, it seems more people than ever are experiencing digestive issues, such as gas, bloating and upset stomach. This is often due to lifestyle factors – convenience is king and people are dining out more and consuming processed foods.

However, there are many issues that play into digestive health. Here are eight simple things you can try to feel better:

  1. Eat smaller, more frequent meals
  2. Avoid processed, fatty foods
  3. Eat fiber-rich foods, such as whole grains, vegetables, and fruit
  4. Stay hydrated
  5. Get regular exercise
  6. Quit smoking
  7. Avoid or limit alcohol
  8. Lower stress levels

Probiotics are another option that may help improve digestive health, but studies aren’t conclusive.

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Winter is Coming

College of DuPage Nursing Student Lee Minyoung.Winter in Chicago is brutal! The lakes freeze up, snow is everywhere, and the streets need to be consistently shoveled. Average high temperatures in Chicago typically range from 30 to 38 degrees F and the average annual snowfall is ~ 37 inches.

When the cold temperature hit our body, our blood vessels constrict, and in a younger generation, our sympathetic nerve system, also known of as the fight or flight response, is stimulated, and this contributes to the release of the chemical, norepinephrine, or ‘noradrenaline’, similar to the substance adrenaline in our body. Our body reacts to increase blood flow to warm the body. For elderly individuals, this process may be slightly slower, since, with aging, blood vessels become thicker, stiffer, and less flexible. When the cold Chicago winter strikes and blood vessels constrict, the blood pressure increases in addition to an increase in the risk for hypertension and stroke. The blood vessels located in our head are the closest to our skin, so these are most exposed during the winter months. Research studies have demonstrated mortality rates in winter to be about 26% higher than other seasons, and 52% of the deaths are caused by cardiovascular disease Read more

Early Childhood Event – November 13

You are invited to come and hear Dr. Dana Suskind on November 14, 2018, speak on “Thirty Million Words: Building a Child’s Brain”   at the Glen Ellyn Public Library, 400 Duane Street  Glen Ellyn

You will learn why the single most important thing you can do for your child’s future success in life is to talk to them. Dr. Dana Suskind, a pediatric physician, author, and founder of the Thirty Million Words Initiative will discuss what nurtures the brains of our youngest so they can reach optimum intelligence. 

Don’t miss this special opportunity to learn about the critical importance of early language exposure and the techniques that put the science into practice. We’ll uncover strategies to enhance the home and educational environment in ways that optimize a child’s brain development and their ability to learn. 

Participants will understand the power of language and discover how parents can tune in, talk more, and take turns building a child’s brain to help them reach their full potential. Continuing education credits are always available at these free programs.   Read more

The healthiest diet?

The Nutrition Action Newsletter that if you want to protect your heart, eat more fruits and veggies, and cut unhealthy carbs, one of the healthiest diets—it’s endorsed by the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology, and other health authorities—is DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension).

That’s because a DASH-style diet is low in saturated fat, sugar, and salt, and rich in fruits and vegetables. It’s also rich in nutrients like potassium, magnesium, calcium, and fiber.

In 1997, a landmark study found that a DASH diet could lower blood pressure as well as some prescription drugs. That news was a bombshell because high blood pressure (hypertension) is a major risk factor for heart attacks and strokes.

The OmniHeart study diets

Then, in 2005, came another news flash. The OmniHeart study reported that two variations of the DASH diet were even better for your heart than the original:

The higher-protein variation replaced some of DASH’s carbs with protein—half from plant sources (like beans, peas, and nuts) and a half from animal foods (like fish, lean poultry, and low-fat dairy). Read more

Experimental Nasal Influenza Vaccine Tested in Kids, Teens

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shared  that an early-stage clinical trial testing the safety and immune-stimulating ability of an experimental nasal influenza vaccine in healthy 9- to 17-year-old children and teens has begun enrolling participants at a Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit (VTEU) site at Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri. The VTEU is funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.

Annual vaccination against influenza is recommended for everyone over six months of age. However, because the flu virus changes from year to year, vaccines must be reformulated annually to take account of those changes. When mismatches occur, vaccine effectiveness may suffer. “We are hopeful that newer kinds of influenza vaccines, such as the candidate being tested in this trial, will provide protection even if their components do not precisely match the currently circulating influenza virus strains,” said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D.

Principal investigator Daniel Hoft, M.D., Ph.D., leads the clinical trial, which will enroll 50 participants. Half will receive the candidate nasal vaccine and the other half will receive a dose of inactive saline solution delivered as a nasal spray. Neither the study staff nor volunteers will know whether a participant has received the experimental

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Key To Good Weight Management

Aileen Waldschmidt, LDN, RD, a licensed, registered dietitian and Bariatric Program Coordinator with Edward-Elmhurst Health shared in their blog that most of us know that what we eat matters if we want to keep our hearts healthy. As a result, we try to make healthy choices, like passing up the salt shaker or ordering a fruit salad instead of those greasy fries.For many, the most difficult part of keeping a heart-healthy relationship with food is getting to a healthy weight and staying there. People may try one of the latest fad diets or one of the impossible-sounding crash diets that celebrities often promote.

The challenge is separating facts from the hype about what’s effective and safe for weight management and heart health. That’s when consulting a weight management professional can help.

The key to any good weight management program is tailoring the approach to the individual. Some people who consult a dietitian may just need to tweak their food choices and exercise habits, while others may need a lifestyle overhaul which includes smoking cessation and stress management.

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Does coffee help brew a healthy heart?

Mary Gardner, RD, LDN, an outpatient dietitian at Edward Hospital, shared in the Edwards-Elmhurst Health Blog that coffee was long considered something of a guilty pleasure. After all, it’s how we start our days: “The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup!” Yet, one too many cups of coffee could give you the jitters and, if it’s late in the day, interfere with a good night’s sleep.The pros and cons of drinking coffee have been up for debate, with some experts saying to avoid the beverage because it could be harmful to your health. In recent years though, researchers have been looking at the flip side: What positive impact might those cups of joe have on a person’s health?

More studies will be needed to establish a clear cause and effect relationship between coffee and heart health, but there’s an extensive body of research linking coffee consumption to a reduced risk for heart-related problems, including heart failure, stroke and coronary artery disease, which can eventually block an artery and cause a heart attack.

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Any kind of regular physical activity can lengthen your life


 huge international study has confirmed that physical activity may really be the best medicine.

Moving, lifting, walking, sweeping, scrubbing, or doing almost anything physical for the equivalent of at least 30 minutes five times a week can cut your risk of dying by at least 20 percent, compared with being less active.

The Study

More than 130,000 healthy men and women aged 35 to 70 from urban and rural areas of 17 countries, including Canada, Brazil, Turkey, Zimbabwe, China, and Poland, volunteered to fill out questionnaires about their regular physical activity. None had cardiovascular disease.

Over the next seven years, those who reported being physically active for 2 ½ to 12 ½ hours a week were 20 percent less likely to die. Those who were active more than 12 ½ hours a week were 35 percent less likely to die.

The physical activity included housework, walking to work, job-related exertion, as well as jogging or going to the gym. It all counted toward better health.

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