Preventing Senior Falls Can Be a REAL Lifesaver

“I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” We all remember the commercials from the late 1980s. While those campy ads were somewhat laughable, the reality is that falls are a major problem for older people as well as a serious concern (and liability) for senior living and retirement communities.

One-third of seniors will suffer a fall

According to the CDC, one in three older Americans falls each year, with the severity of related injuries ranging from minor scrapes and a bruised ego to death.

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a concern at any age when someone falls and hits their head, but for seniors, a fall is much more likely to cause a broken bone than in younger people. As we age, we experience a constant slow loss of bone, especially in post-menopausal women, and weaker bones are more likely to break with the impact of serious falls.

Some more startling statistics about falls and seniors from the CDC:

  • One in five falls by seniors results in a serious injury (such as broken bones or a head injury).
  • Annually, 2.5 million seniors are treated in ERs for fall-related injuries.
  • Over 250,000 older people are hospitalized annually for hip fractures, and more than 95 percent of those fractures are caused by falling. Of this group, one in five dies within a year of their hip fracture.
  • Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
  • The annual medical costs in the United States for injuries sustained during a fall are $34 billion, with hospital costs accounting for two-thirds of that amount.

For seniors, even if you do not think you were seriously injured during a fall, you should see a doctor, especially if you hit your head during the incident. Head injuries may not be visible or apparent initially, but an injury to the brain can be very serious, especially for people who are taking certain medicines like blood thinners.

Why seniors are at higher risk of falling

With most falls among older people, the person has several risk factors in play. And if you have fallen once, your risk for falling again increases. For seniors, here are a few conditions that increase your odds of falling:

  • Muscle weakness in the lower body
  • A vitamin D deficiency
  • Problems with walking and balance
  • Certain medications
  • Vision problems
  • Foot pain or improper footwear

The cruel irony is that many older people who have had a fall–even if there was no major injury–begin to fear another fall, leading them to reduce their day-to-day activities. And when a senior becomes less active, they grow weaker, which in turn increases their odds of falling again.

How to help prevent senior falls

But take heart: there are numerous things you can do to stay safe and help prevent a fall.

For individuals:

  • Talk to your doctor about your risk of falling; ask if you should be taking a vitamin D or calcium supplement to strengthen bones, and always review prescription and over-the-counter medication side effects with your doctor or pharmacist to see if dizziness is possible.
  • Get your vision checked annually and update your prescription if needed. If you wear bifocals or progressive lens, you may want to get a pair of single prescription distance lens to wear when doing physical activities.
  • If your doctor says you are healthy enough, begin an exercise program to promote strength, balance, and agility. Many seniors find benefits from Tai Chi, light weightlifting, and swimming.
  • Use a cane, walker or ankle braces, which increases stability by adding extra points of contact to the ground. Many seniors resist using a cane because they feel it makes them look old, but your safety and health should take priority over appearances.
  • If you still live in your own home, consider some of the safety and maintenance suggestions mentioned below.

For senior living communities and retirement communities:

  • Repair broke or uneven walkways and steps, indoors and out. For single low steps (like those commonly found at entryways), put down brightly colored tape and path lighting to make them more visible.
  • Remove throw rugs, cords, and other clutter like toys and shoes that can be tripped over.
  • Be sure handrails are available on both sides of stairways, and for extra safety, consider adding handrails in the toilet area and bathtub.
  • Offer a variety of senior-friendly exercise programs such as Tai Chi or water aerobics to improve strength and balance.
  • Make sure all rooms have ample light; consider adding more lighting at floor-level and use brighter-wattage light bulbs throughout buildings.
  • Initiate a reputable fall prevention program for your community’s independent residents.

A few extra steps for better safety

A fall can be a major health risk to seniors and becomes a reputational risk and insurance liability for senior living facilities. By taking a few simple precautions, you can make your surroundings safer and decrease the likelihood of a senior suffering from a preventable fall.

A Quick And Easy Chicken Soup Recipe For Cold And Flu Season

I’ve been in bed for a week. Count it. Seven days. One hundred and sixty-eight hours. Six hundred four thousand and eight hundred seconds.

Remember the old Nyquil commercials?

NyQuil. The nighttime sniffling sneezing, coughing, aching, aching, stuffy head, fever, so-you-can-rest medicine.

I remember watching that miserable guy coughing, sneezing and looking pretty grim. I began to feel grim after watching him.

My husband is wonderful about taking good care of me.  He’s a godsend when I’m ill, and despite being busy at work he always takes time to cook up some deliciously healthy soups. I’ve never been a big “soup person” but I love his. Yum.

He doesn’t like to strictly follow any recipes, often improvising ingredients based on how he thinks the finished product will taste. I trust him. He knows a lot about eating healthy and staying fit. I’m proud and jealous that he’s the same weight he was when we first met. And while I’m downing my daily medications, he only has to take a multivitamin.

He’s my health guru.

Since it’s holiday time, and also cold and flu season, I thought I’d offer you my husband’s quick and easy chicken soup recipe that he made for me twice this week.  It’s easy to make, and absolutely delicious and nutritious.

My grandmother would have been proud to know that I married a man who makes chicken soup almost as well as she did. Shh, don’t tell him I said that.

Quick Chicken Soup for Two

1 boned chicken breast (with skin)

4 cups water or 3 cups water and 1-cup low sodium organic chicken broth

1 small chopped onion

3 sliced carrots

1 sliced celery stalk

1-½ cups chopped kale or Swiss chard

Pasta (any type, but he prefers capellini), 3 – 4 ounces

Sea salt and white pepper, to taste

1 clove fresh minced garlic

Fresh chopped ginger, to taste

Olive oil

Optional: chopped mushrooms, zucchini, white beans

Directions: In a small pot heat onions, celery and carrots in olive oil for 3-4 minutes to soften. Add salt, pepper, liquid, and chicken (completely cover chicken with liquid) and bring to boil. Maintain boil on low heat for approximately 20 minutes. Remove chicken and add remaining ingredients, then continue a low boil for 8 minutes. Cut chicken into pieces and return to soup. Continue low boil until chicken is cooked. Serve.

Why Choose Pillow For Side Sleeper

The so-called side sleeper pillow is one of the most commonly used in the presence of cervical arthrosis one of the most common causes of pain in this delicate body area. It should be placed under the normal lumbar curve of the neck to maintain the cervical vertebrae in light traction and due to the presence of lateral elevations, to avoid unwanted movements of the head.

The same structural scheme is common to many other types of shaped pillows, always useful in the presence of cervical pain and to be used strictly in the supine position. Some of these help to properly support the head, preventing the latter from getting misplaced positions even during resumption on one side.

A normal pillow to be placed under the knees helps to decrease the lumbar spine of the column and can, therefore, be useful for those suffering from lower back pain. Always placed under the legs, there are also special pillows, the so-called lift cushions, for those who suffer from circulatory problems, particularly widespread in the female sex. Much higher than traditional pimples, they facilitate the venous return to the heart and are therefore useful in the case of tired, swollen legs, varicose veins, water retention, calf cramps, and pregnancy.

The second category of pillows, united with the wedge shape, has been studied and reproduced to keep the shoulders and chest raised during rest. This type of pill is a good choice for those who suffer from dorsal hyperacidosis or respiratory disorders such as asthma, nighttime apnea, and snoring; the slight frontal flexion of the bust facilitates the respiratory action. There are also pillows devoted solely to the female public and especially to newcomers and those suffering from premenstrual syndrome, dysmenorrhea or mastopathy. Shaped on the chest, with two cavities at the sinuses, allows sleeping belly-down without painful compressions.

Even for pregnant women, there are special pillows, which must be passed under the belly and between the legs so as to sleep on one side avoiding dangerous pressure on the bacon. In any case, the choice of an orthopedic or special pillow for side sleeper should always be performed in relation to the individual characteristics which may make it counter-indicated in one case, use in another or vice versa. BackAware can aid you to take control as well as improve your health. For this reason, it is very important to consult a specialist with a specialist.

Therefore, in large lines, a standard pillow should be about a meter wide for a height ranging from 10 to 20 cm. Do not underestimate the individual preferences and feelings both in the short but especially in the long run. To avoid turning into a germ and dirt, it is good to air it every day, preferably not exposing it to the direct rays of the sun; It is also important to wash it whenever possible and use replaceable cotton liners. The average life, depending on usage and wear, is 2-5 years.

Generally, according to the currently available products. The best pillow is the one that has the following features: easily washable and non-hysterical, breathable, with the permanent anti-theft system and made up of a form memory.

Smile! Grandparents Make a Difference in Dental Care

Unless you’re in the dental field, you probably don’t spend a lot of time focusing on the dental care of your grandchildren. You should, though. Grandparents are in a perfect position to help promote good brushing habits and cavity prevention, and it’s never been important than now.

The United States is experiencing a resurgence in childhood tooth decay, according to top U.S. dental associations. Dental disease has become a top chronic health problem for children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Part of the problem lies in the fact many parents don’t think baby teeth are important, as they’ll be replaced by a child’s permanent teeth. Also, some pediatricians—my grandsons’ included—typically recommend a child first visit the dentist at three years of age. Dental associations, though, have recently updated their recommendation for dentist visits to be once the very first tooth has erupted. Grandparents can and should encourage parents to take the kiddos to the dentist as soon as that first tooth is celebrated.

Other ways grandparents can promote good brushing habits and cavity prevention:

  • Be sure grandchildren brush morning and night when staying with Grandma and Grandpa. Have fun (and spare) toothbrushes on hand, as well as flavored toothpaste that appeals to the little ones. Maybe make a game of it and brush together. Also, be sure to supervise the older ones and do the actual brushing for little ones.
  • When seeking small gift ideas, consider giving new toothbrushes and toothpaste featuring a child’s favorite characters. Or maybe a battery powered one if a grandchild doesn’t have one at home.
  • Limit candy, soda, juices, and sweet treats that aren’t good for teeth.
  • Same goes for fast food and processed foods, which are typically high in sugar.
  • Never share eating utensils with children as that can transfer cavity-producing bacteria from your mouth to theirs.
  • Keep on the lookout for tooth decay and halitosis (bad breath). If noticed, mention it—tactfully, of course—to Mom or Dad.
  • Read picture books together that focus on good dental habits. Some to consider: ABC Dentist: Healthy Teeth from A to Z by Harriet Ziefert and the many books including favorite characters—Dora the Explorer, Berenstain Bears, Elmo—visiting the dentist.

Benefits of Tea Tree Oil

Nature is rich in various herbs and plants. Microbes, viruses, bacteria along with fungi are responsible for various health issues and there are also various medicinal plants available in treating lots of dangerous health problems and Tea tree is one of those. It is associated with the capability of curing certain dangerous and horrible bacterial infections that are basically developed on the tropics.

Some wounds may be associated with bacterial infections and may be efficiently protected and cured through its oil. It can also be helpful in curing bacterial infections (internal) those develop in intestines, stomach, colon, urinary system, and excretory system. It may also be used for tuberculosis treatment.

This particular Tea tree essential oil is featured with the balsamic properties, which are helpful in boosting health. It helps in promoting the nutrients’ absorption from the food along with it provides protection from various diseases. It is capable to kill along with keeping away some microbes that cause critical tropical fevers, malaria and so on.

Melaleuca oil has been used for skin for its strong antioxidant features. It helps in improving the scars and blemishes’ appearance. The strong melaleuca oil helps in eliminating age spots along with beauty marks. It helps in bringing the smooth and young appearance of the skin. The melaleuca oil might be helpful in reducing the wrinkles’ appearance.

The Tea Tree Oil is helpful in rupturing the virus cyst in certain viruses as well as acts as a protection giver for some of them. It also helps in curing various viral infections, such as influenza, common cold and so on.

Could Omega-3 Fatty Acids Cure Depression

Today, the antidepressant medicines continue to raise more concerns about their side effects. These include clinical worsening depression, odd changes in the behaviour of children and adolescents, and suicide.

In recent times, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) directed all drug manufacturers to attach black box warnings to their antidepressant drugs. This label is the most serious warning for a prescription drug.

Both doctors and patients are looking for safer alternative treatments. A new research paper tells that omega-3 fatty acids may successfully ease depression without the risky side effects.

There is growing evidence that omega-3s can improve the mood and helps in restoring the structural integrity of the brain cells that are essential in performing different cognitive functions.

The omega-3 fatty acids EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) may be highly efficient in preventing and managing depression and cognitive turndown, according to a mounting body of evidence.

The treatment recommended by the American Psychiatric Association for the use of omega-3 fatty acids provides proof to this kind of strategy. Dr. Joseph R. Hibbeln tells that the “strongest evidence was discovered for managing major depressive symptoms, with the effect of omega-3 fatty acids being at least as great, if not greater than, antidepressant treatments.” Dr. Hibbeln works at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism or NIAAA. He added that deficient intakes of omega-3s may increase the hazard for mental suffering.

There are many studies suggesting the benefits for omega-3s, which are abundant in fish oils. Omega-3 fatty acids might ease the pain of arthritis and lower the risk of heart attack.

If you consume lots of omega-3 fatty acids may offer potent protection against depression. There was a Norwegian study with 22,000 participants revealing that those people who frequently took cod liver oil are less likely to have high levels of depression.

The effect of omega-3 supplementation was studied by the Royal College of Surgeon in Ireland. They observed 49 patients and were randomly assigned to receive placebo or “1200 mg EPA plus 900 mg DHA” for 12 months.

At the end of the experiment, the group received omega-3 fatty acids had considerably greater improvements compared with the group who took the placebo in scores for daily stresses, depression, and suicidality.

Another study suggests that individuals who are still depressed in spite of antidepressant medication. But when these people too omega-3 supplements, the intensity of their anxiety, depression, sleep dysfunction, sleep disturbances.

How Omega-3 Fatty Acids Fight Depression

Numerous scientists are intensely exploring how omega-3s helps in promoting a healthy mood.

A new research resolves and spells out on how omega-3 deficiency may worsen depressed mood. The scientists studied the plasma levels of neurosteroids and vital fatty acids, which are neuroactive chemicals, present in numerous disease and neurophysical processes.

They studied 18 men who are healthy, and 34 men with depression, alcoholism, or both. With those participants, it was found out that lower omega-3 level was linked with higher levels of “neuroactive steroids.”

It comes out that DHA deficiency has far-ranging hormonal effects, and increasing corticotrophin-releasing hormone. This is a hormone that balances emotionality. This event adds to hyperactivity within the HPA or hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis, which is a very important neuroendocrine system that controls aggression, mood, and “fight-or-flight” reactions linked with anxiety.

The facts are becoming pretty convincing that the increasing omega-3 intake boosts various aspects of brain function. This includes the aspects of personality and the control of mood. Dr. Brian M. Ross, an associate professor at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine of Lakehead University explained this thing.

If you will combine the outcomes of a series of clinical tests, they evidently show that omega-3 supplements, particularly EPA and DHA, help lessen the symptoms connected with clinical depression. Other data suggest that regular intake of omega-3 fatty acids reduce aggression and increase attention, possibly by boosting cognitive processes.

According to Dr. Ross, omega-3 deficiency in major depressive disorder may mirror the interaction between a diet deficient with important polyunsaturated fatty acids or PUFAs, and a hereditary determined defect in their metabolism, such that “cellular uptake” of omega-3 PUFAs is reduced. Low level of omega-3 fats could be a risk depression. On the other hand, dietary supplementation with omega-3s might be a valuable and well-tolerated management of major depressive disorder.

Since the brain tissue loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, predominantly in the membranes of 3 different kinds of brain cells, this connection between omega-3 fats and brain health is hardly unforeseen. These important fatty acids are needed for proper development, growth, and brain tissue function.

According to Dr. Douglas London, a medical faculty at Harvard Medical School and a Research Associate in Psychiatry at the Psychopharmacological Research Laboratory of McLean Hospital, the human brain is 60% fat. The omega-3 fatty acids are the fatty acids important for the structure of “certain parts of the brain cell membranes and the brain intercellular nerve connections.”

He added that a diet with insufficient amount of omega-3 fatty acids forces the brain cells to make use of the other fatty acids that are available, this results in cells built with substandard construction material. Dr. London said that the unavailability of omega-3 fatty acids affects brain function, and is related to emotional and cognitive disorders. There is mounting evidence that a large fraction of the U.S population is at risk for omega-3 deficiency.

How Omega-3 Fatty Acids Affect Brain Function and Mood

More proof can strengthen the relationship between omega-3 fatty acids deficiency and unhappy mood. The evidence was presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society in Budapest, Hungary in March 2007.

Dr. Sarah M. Conklin’s study is one of the studies presented at that conference. This postdoctoral scholar in Cardiovascular Behavioural Medicine, Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh mentioned that in healthy adults, the low EPA levels were associated with high levels of impetuous behaviour, aggression, and cynical thoughts. Low levels of either DHA or EPA are related to high degrees of outburst and anger.

Also, Dr. Conklin said that omega-3 fats have prevalent biological functions in the body, which includes the brain. Her study revealed that people who have higher levels of omega-3 in their blood are less expected to experience symptoms of depression.

Dr. Conklin presented another study in that meeting, which demonstrated that, the quantity of omega-3 present in a diet in fact, cause beneficial anatomical changes in areas of the brain that control emotion. The study shows that the more omega-3 fatty acids present in a diet leads to more gray matter volume in various areas of the brain, which are vital for regulating mood. It is true that some fats may yield effects against depression and other mood-related issues.

It is interesting to note that autopsy of the brains of patients with major depressive disorder illustrates “selective deficits in DHA in the orbitofrontal cortex. The orbitofrontal cortex is another region in the brain linked with mood disorders and depression.

Furthermore, low levels of omega-3s are associated with poor performance on memory and cognitive tests. As we age, we normally experience rapid cognitive deterioration.

A handful of marine foods is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which includes mollusks and salmon. It is very important for people to consume the adequate amount of it.

Mental function and mood are inevitably associated with damaging cognitive ability. As a matter of fact, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias initially appear as alterations in attitude and character. Needless to say, the insufficiency of omega-3 fats has also been linked to cognitive damage, whereas diets with omega-3 supplements are beneficial to the cognitive function.