Nov 01

5 Healthy Habits for Seniors

Posted by Oaks Senior Living

If you are a family caregiver, ensuring your senior maintains their health can sometimes feel like an uphill battle. Inevitably, little things snowball into big things and can often lead to a decline in overall health. To help prevent this cycle, let’s look first at establishing healthy habits for your senior (or even yourself)!

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Mar 21

7 Nutrition Tips for a Healthy Lifestyle

Posted by Oaks Senior Living

At Oaks Senior Living, we focus on preparing quality meals for our residents to not only enjoy, but also include the right nutrients and ingredients to promote healthy living. For a long time the food pyramid has given us a look at a balanced approach to the foods we should be consuming daily. Not everyone has the time to reread the pyramid and build an active schedule to follow but also risk serious health issues such as malnutrition. Especially for our aging loved ones in senior living communities it’s important to eat the right foods to stay focused to maintain an active lifestyle!

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Dec 01

Finding the Right Senior Care Community

Your Elderly Loved One Deserves Only the Best Senior Care Community!

Finding the right senior care community for your loved ones who can no longer live alone can be a challenge. However, most modern senior care facilities are not the dreary and impersonal institutions of yesteryear. By talking over this decision with your elderly loved ones and doing diligent research, you can find a senior community that will not only see to their medical and personal needs, but improve their quality of life.

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Sep 15

Caring for Yourself as a Caregiver

Caring for yourself as a caregiver - How to take care of yourself so you can take of your elderly loved one

There are an estimated 50-million volunteer family caregivers in the United States. Did you know that eighty-percent of the daily care of the chronically sick in the US is continuously given by volunteer family caregivers?

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Sep 03

Arthritis Pain Management

Arthritis pain is the the painful inflammation and stiffness of the joints, can be debilitating. An estimated 50 million adults in America (22 percent) have been diagnosed by their doctors as having some form or degree of arthritis. It is projected that this number will increase to 67 million, or 25 percent, by the year 2030. New drugs are constantly being tested and discovered in the fight against this disease that threaten to cripple one quarter of the adult population of the United States in less than 20 years.

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May 13

6 Top Concerns For Senior Dental Care

Download printable guide HERE

Proper senior dental care becomes more of an issue as you age. There is a widely believed myth that as we age tooth loss is inevitable, this is just not true! Proper oral care will keep us smiling well into those golden years. If you take care of your teeth they can and will last you a lifetime.

As we age we do need more specialized dental care. It is important to know what to look for. Some of the common dental issues affecting seniors are:

1. Gum (periodontal) disease. Gum disease is an infection of the gum tissue that supports the teeth and is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults with an even greater impact on proper senior dental care . Most adults show some signs of gum disease.

Gingivitis. Gingivitis is an early stage of gum disease that is reversible with good oral hygiene and professional treatment. Gingivitis is caused by the bacteria found in plaque. Symptoms of gingivitis include red, swollen gums and possible bleeding when you brush. If you have any of these symptoms, see a dentist at once. If left untreated, gingivitis can advance into periodontitis.

Periodontitis. Periodontitis, a more severe form of gum disease, affects more than half of 65- to 74-year-olds. With this condition, bacterial infection causes your gums and the bone supporting the teeth to break down. Your gums may begin to recede, pulling back from the teeth. In the worst cases, the bone supporting the teeth is destroyed and, if untreated, can lead to tooth loss.

2. Root caries (decay). As we age, gums may recede due to the damage caused by brushing too hard or gum disease. Receding gums cause the exposure of the root surfaces of teeth and negatively impact proper senior dental care . Root surfaces are softer and more porous and therefore more susceptible to decay than the tooth crown.

3. Oral cancer. Oral cancer most often occurs in people over 40 years of age. See a dentist immediately if you notice any red or white patches on your gums, tongue or other oral tissues, and watch for sores that fail to heal within two weeks. Unfortunately, oral cancer is often difficult to detect in its early stages, when it can be cured more easily. Your dentist should perform a head and neck exam to screen for signs of cancer at your regular checkups.

4. Dry mouth. Many seniors take medications that can cause changes to the oral tissues. Many common medications cause a decrease in saliva, leading to dry mouth. Since saliva plays a major role in preventing tooth decay by rinsing away bacteria and food particles and by neutralizing harmful acids, you should talk to your dentist about ways to treat dry mouth.

5. Difficulty brushing and flossing. If you have arthritis, you may find it difficult to brush and floss. Ask your dentist for ways to overcome this problem. Certain dental products are designed to make oral care more comfortable. You may want to try strapping the toothbrush to a larger object, such as a ball, to make the brush more comfortable to handle. Electric toothbrushes do a good job of removing plaque and can help by doing some of the work for you. Tools to help make flossing easier are available in most drug stores.

6. Limited dentist access. Some seniors have less access to dental services because of lack of transportation, medical conditions or limited mobility. Family members or caregivers can play an important role in helping to schedule regular dental visits for homebound seniors or those in nursing homes. Seniors planning to enter a nursing home or assisted living facility should inquire about the facility’s dental care service.


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May 06

Seniors Improve Their Health and Well-Being

DALLAS — A recent United States of Aging Survey found that Americans aged 60 years and older report they are more motivated than the past two years to improve their health by exercising regularly and setting health goals — two simple steps which also relate to reported increases in optimism among seniors.
According to the third annual survey, more than one-third of seniors (37%) say they exercise every day, compared with 26% in 2013. For many seniors, high activity levels correspond to a positive perspective on life: seniors who exercise daily are much more likely than those who never exercise to say the past year of their life has been better than normal rather than worse (28% compared with 15%).
More than half of seniors (53%) report setting health goals in 2014, compared with 47% in 2013. Seniors who set health goals are more than twice as likely to think their overall quality of life will improve compared with those who did not set health goals (38% vs. 16%), and more than three times as likely to be confident their health will be better in future years (28% vs. 9%). The top three health goals set by seniors this year are eating healthier (37%), losing weight (30%) and living a more physically active lifestyle (24%).
The results of the 2014 survey are being released today at the 39th Annual n4a Conference & Tradeshow in Dallas as part of a larger effort led by n4a, NCOA, UnitedHealthcare and USA TODAY to examine seniors’ attitudes on a range of issues such as health, finances and community support.
“More Americans are living longer lives than ever before,” stated Rhonda Randall, chief medical officer, UnitedHealthcare Retiree Solutions. “It is highly encouraging to see more older Americans taking charge of how they age, making deliberate choices and setting goals to help themselves live healthier and more independently during their extended senior years.”
When asked who is the most influential person motivating them to live a healthy lifestyle, nearly 4 in 10 seniors (39%) say themselves. More than one quarter of seniors (26%) say their spouse motivates them, and 15% say their adult children do. Regardless of the source of motivation, this year’s uptick in healthy behavior corresponds with a notable shift: for the first time in the three-year history of the United States of Aging Survey, more seniors say the past year of their life was better than normal (24%) as opposed to worse than normal (22%).
“The findings show that seniors are moving in the right direction with their health, but there is still room for improvement,” commented James Firman, president and CEO, NCOA. “Building upon this trend and getting even more boomers and older adults to take these simple steps are keys to creating a healthier and more productive society.”
When asked what worries them the most about their senior years, the top three answers for seniors are “not being able to take care of myself” (16%), “losing my memory” (14%), and “being a burden” (9%); however, a majority of seniors (85%) feel confident that they are prepared for changes in their health as they age.
More than half of Americans over 60 (58%) say they have discussed end-of-life care with loved ones, a proportion that rises to 64% for seniors 75 and older. More than half of seniors (53%) report creating advance directives such as a living will, and 50% have shared advance directives with loved ones. Still, one in 10 seniors say they do not want to plan for or think about end-of-life care.
For complete survey results, visit To watch live as the survey is presented at the Annual n4a Conference and Tradeshow in Dallas, including an interview with featured keynote speaker former First Lady Laura Bush, visit Join the conversation on Twitter with #USofAging.
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Dec 08

Three Tools to Help Fight Alzheimer's Disease

There is no easy way to fight Fight Alzheimer's Disease but you can rest assured there effective methods at your disposal. Detection, prevention, and preclinical treatment are three key areas that may make a difference in the battle to reduce the rapid rise of new Alzheimer's disease (AD) cases every year. These three topics are the focus of an important new supplement to the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

Organized by Guest Editor Jack de la Torre, MD, PhD, Professor of Neuropsychology at The University of Texas at Austin, the supplement is a novel guide to how Alzheimer dementia may be approached and managed right now, not years from now. It includes 23 articles contributed by an international group of noted AD experts. "This issue will be of interest to established researchers and young investigators seeking a broader knowledge of the AD problem, as well as to clinicians who deal with elderly patients or with individuals who may show up at their clinics as outpatients showing signs of cognitive dysfunction," notes Dr. de la Torre.

Coverage of detection includes insightful reviews and discussions of techniques and strategies that seek ways to identify AD before it starts, such as risk factors to dementia, retinal pathology, cardiovascular disorders, neurocognitive testing, assorted brain markers, hemodynamic changes, and neuroimaging assorted brain lesions.

In the area of prevention, investigators explore how a multidisciplinary approach involving brain and heart specialists can better create a plan of intervention for patients at risk of AD or for people presenting preclinical signs of dementia. Additional reviews in prevention include risk assessments to dementia, lifestyle and cognitive counseling to maintain normal cognition, and established preventive techniques that can help delay AD onset.

The final topic centers on pre-clinical AD treatment. Contributions suggest how effective pre-clinical treatments of AD offer the hope of significantly lowering skyrocketing incidence while extending healthcare and quality of life.

While these treatments are still at the experimental stage, they may offer a departure from the failed attempts of amyloid-beta therapy. As an example, a team of researchers at the University of Texas at Austin led by Dr. Francisco Gonzalez-Lima have demonstrated that oral administration of methylene blue, a substance used since the 19th century to treat many medical disorders, lessens learning and memory loss in rats with a poor blood supply to the brain caused by chronic cerebral hypoperfusion. Chronic cerebral hypoperfusion in older people has been shown to be an important risk factor in Alzheimer's disease. Methylene blue appears to improve memory and learning in these animals by increasing mitochondrial energy activity in the brain. Mitochondrial energy dysfunction in the brain is not uncommon during advanced aging in the presence of disorders such as carotid occlusion, hypertension, brain trauma, diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Mitochondrial respiration leading to cognitive decline is also affected years before the onset of Alzheimer's disease in predisposed individuals. The results of this study suggests that daily oral administration of low dose methylene blue USP in elderly people at risk of Alzheimer's disease can be a useful treatment to fight Alzheimer's and prevent the start of memory decline or the beginning stages of the disease.

According to Dr de la Torre, "It seems an auspicious moment to open a dialogue between those pursuing a treatment for AD and those favoring prevention of this dementia. Such a dialogue could lead to a more effective course of action in confronting the needs of AD patients and those at risk of developing this disorder. The reviews contained in this supplementary issue of JAD may set the stage for such a discourse and in addition, provide some viable tracks on the road to discovering a realistic pathway for coping with this grim disorder."


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