We think of our bones as being hard, tough and difficult to break. With osteoporosis, our bones become soft and brittle, making them easy to break. ALERT: it affects both men and women, however women are more likely to develop osteoporosis.
I remember working with physician Dr. B several years ago, who dedicated much of her career studying, diagnosing and treating osteoporosis. She was especially dedicated because her mother had been diagnosed when the disease was in its late stages.
Dr. B hated seeing her mother in continuous pain due to rib fractures and vertebral fractures. Mom’s back became deformed, and she had difficulty sitting and standing. Dr. B vowed to get the word out about osteoporosis and how to prevent the disease out ways dealing with it later.
Dr. B always emphasized that osteoporosis is not a normal part of aging. It is a disease that can be prevented, and it’s never too late to protect our bones. Protecting our bones begins early in life and we should never stop protecting them.
Some things we can do to protect our bones include:
- Limit alcohol consumption and avoid smoking
- Eat a well-balanced diet which includes foods that contain calcium and vitamin D
- Fruits and vegetables are good for bone heath
- Engage in regular weight bearing exercise
How is Osteoporosis diagnosed?
A medical evaluation will assist in diagnosing osteoporosis and your risk of bone loss and breaking a bone. You can have a bone density test that will confirm whether you have osteoporosis, or if you should be concerned about the disease. Ask your doctor today!
Osteoporosis can be treated with certain disease modifying agents. Your healthcare provider should work with you to choose the best one for you. Other wellness tips are to maintain good posture and balance, prevent falls, exercise regularly and eat well balanced meals. Make sure you get enough calcium and vitamin D.
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, “millions of Americans – 44 million to be exact – have low bone density or osteoporosis. In fact, about one in two women and up to one in four men over the age of 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis. By 2020, half of all Americans over age 50 are expected to have low bone density or osteoporosis.”
For more information on Osteoporosis visit the National Osteoporosis Foundation website. And watch dem bones!
When spring gets around to us, it makes us want to go OUTSIDE! And that means we may experience an increase in slips, trips and falls. One of the primary causes of broken bones and accidents in the senior population is AVOIDABLE ACCIDENTS – primarily falls.
Some safety tips to prevent avoidable accidents include:
- Maintain good posture
- Watch what you are doing
- Wear proper eye glasses and proper-fitting foot wear
- Minimize the use of throw/area rugs
- Use the appropriate assistive device ( i.e. walker, rollator, cane) prescribed by your physician, and obtain proper training by a physical therapist or designated healthcare provider
- DON’T use motorized wheelchairs on or in the middle of the street
Look at the stats from these well-known researchers at the Connecticut Collaboration for Fall Prevention, based at Yale University School of Medicine. According to these smart folks, falls and fall injuries:
- Are more common than strokes and can be just as serious in their consequences
- Are the most preventable cause of needing nursing home placement
- Lead to problems with daily activities like dressing, bathing, and walking around
Falls cause over 90% of broken hips; only half of those who break a hip will get around like they did before the hip was broken.
In the United States, 16 % of all emergency department visits and almost 7% of all hospitalizations are for fall-related injuries.
So how can we prevent falls? Good question!
Many of the health problems that increase the chance of falling are known and are treatable.
- Problems with walking or moving around
- medications (four or more)
- foot problems or unsafe footwear
- blood pressure dropping too much on getting up
- problems seeing
- tripping hazards at home
The good news is that you CAN decrease the chance of falling by working on these issues. Make a self-check and see which of these issues you can address. Talk to your doctor. Make some changes.
Get out there and enjoy spring!
Hey! It’s time to get your flu vaccine!
While there is little flu activity right now, flu season usually begins in October, and flu activity is expected to increase in the coming weeks to months. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that everyone aged six months and older get a flu vaccine every year. The vaccine protects against the three flu viruses research indicates will cause the most illness during the upcoming season.
Got yours yet?
What are you waiting for?
National Immunization Awareness Month. Wow. Doesn’t just roll right off the tongue, does it?
The folks down at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) want to highlight the need for improving overall immunization coverage levels across the USA, so they’re encouraging us to protect our health by being immunized against infectious diseases. Ow! But it’s a good Ow, right?
While the CDC doesn’t sponsor this month, CDC does support and encourage the efforts of state and local health departments and other immunization partners to celebrate NIAM and use this month to promote back to school immunizations, remind college students to catch up immunizations before they move into dormitories, and remind everyone that the influenza season is only a few months away. It’s a great reminder to our nation that people of all ages require timely immunization to protect their health.
We’re hip to that – and we want to encourage our residents and friends to get on the bandwagon, too!
Vaccine Information for Adults
Uh-huh. So, here goes…
The specific immunizations we need as adults are determined by factors such as age, lifestyle, high-risk conditions, types and locations of travel, and previous immunizations. Throughout our adult life, we need immunizations to get and maintain protection against: Seasonal influenza (flu)
• TDAP – Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough) – for all adults who have not previously received the TDAP vaccine
• Shingles – for adults 60 years and older
• Pneumococcal disease – for adults 65 years and older and/or adults with specific health conditions
• Hepatitis B infection – for adults who have diabetes or are at risk for hepatitis B
Other vaccinations you may need include those that protect against human papillomavirus (which can cause certain cancers), hepatitis A, chickenpox (varicella), and measles, mumps and rubella.
Immunizations are NOT just for kids! Regardless of our age, we ALL need immunizations to keep us healthy. With time, immunity from childhood vaccines can fade and we may become at risk for new and different diseases. With adulthood comes responsibility, including the need to protect ourselves and those we love.
What happens when one of our residents is not up to speed, perhaps a little bit lost, or is in need of a little kindness?
Well, it’s not exactly Ghostbusters. It’s the 35th annual National Nursing Assistants Week and we’ve got your CNAs for you. We call them CFPs – which means Certified Family Partner, because that’s exactly what they are. They’re part of your family – and ours.
CFPs are at the heart of caring and interactions with our residents, their families and friends; they ARE caring. The words they use may be powerful and can encourage, reassure, support and convey respect, or they can communicate concern.
We’ve all seen the changes that are occurring in senior housing today. People are living at home longer or finding residence in assisted or supportive living, just like what we have here at Greenview Place. Seniors want to stay independent – imagine that!
Our residents are encouraged to make decisions and choices, enjoy activities, go on trips, and eat three well-balanced meals each day. If they require assistance, our CFPs are available to assist with showers, housekeeping, laundry, escorts to the dining room and activities. When a resident requires hospice, he or she can stay at Greenview Place with extra care. Our CFP teams take that additional responsibility very seriously, making each resident comfortable and helping to avoid loneliness. Our team’s goal is to allow the resident to stay in his/her home and continue to live with pride and dignity – for as long as possible.
And, yes, the Dining Services and Wellness teams band together to deliver the hot-ticket items: comfort foods like grilled cheese sandwiches, soda, even Jello!
Now as never before, attention is being directed to care of our most senior citizens and the spotlight is also shining on the workers who provide hands-on care and caring. So say thanks to our fabulous CFP teams: Alma, Chantina, Doreen, Elnora, Enid, Erin, Jennifer, Latasha, Linda, Ofelia, Rocio, Sheanell, Tenietha.
Hard to argue with success.
Did you know? April is Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month. And we all know that getting our swerve on – uh, putting on makeup is a big part of a women’s day. Here’s some great info – believe it or not from the FDA – on how to get it going on while being safe about it.
- Keep everything clean and wash hands (I know, kind of basic, right?)
- Don’t moisten cosmetic products. Don’t add saliva or water to moisten eye cosmetics. Doing so can introduce bacteria. Ew!
- Don’t share or swap. Women can be harmed by others’ germs when they share eye makeup. This includes “testers” at retail stores. Hmm.
- Don’t apply or remove eye makeup in a moving vehicle. Any bump or sudden stop can cause injury to your eye with a mascara wand or other applicator. Duh!
- Check ingredients, including color additives. As with any cosmetic product sold to consumers, eye cosmetics are required to have an ingredient declaration on the label. If they don’t, they are considered misbranded and illegal. Oy.
- Use only cosmetics intended for the eyes on the eyes. Don’t use a lip liner as an eye liner, for example. You may expose eyes either to contamination from your mouth or to color additives that are not approved for use near the eyes. Keep your lips and your eyes apart. 😎
- Say “no” to kohl! Also known as al-kahl, kajal, or surma, kohl is used in some parts of the world for enhancing the appearance of the eyes. But kohl is unapproved for cosmetic use in the United State. Darn! (Kidding)
- Don’t dye eyelashes and eyebrows. No color additives are approved by FDA for permanent dyeing or tinting of eyelashes and eyebrows. Permanent eyelash and eyebrow tints and dyes have been known to cause serious eye injuries. Guess that means no eye tattoos.
- Use care with false eyelashes or extensions. False eyelashes and extensions, as well as their adhesives, must meet the safety and labeling requirements for cosmetics. Since the eyelids are delicate, an allergic reaction, irritation, or injury in the eye area can occur. Check the ingredients to make sure you are not allergic to the adhesives. That sounds like a no-brainer.
- Don’t use eye cosmetics that cause irritation. Stop using a product immediately if irritation occurs. See a doctor if irritation persists. Okay, again – you don’t need to be a mental giant to figure that one out, right?
- Avoid using eye cosmetics if you have an eye infection. Discard any eye cosmetics you were using when you got the infection. Also, don’t use eye cosmetics if the skin around the eye is inflamed. That’s not a good look, for sure.
- Don’t use old eye cosmetics. Manufacturers usually recommend discarding mascara two to four months after purchase. Discard dried-up mascara. That one makes my wallet cringe.
- Don’t store cosmetics at temperatures above 85° F. Preservatives that keep bacteria or fungi from growing can lose their effectiveness, for example, in cosmetics kept for long periods in hot cars. Yeah, but then I’d look hotter, right?
- Maintain good eye health and have an eye exam. Okay, this one I can’t argue with.
I had a great opportunity to attend a two-day symposium recently on Infection Prevention. Wow! And you might just be thinking *YAWN* what could they possibly talk about for two days. Believe it or not, it was quite interesting. I swear!
One thing I would like to share is the new take on hand hygiene. Remember for decades we’ve been told to wash our hands, wash our hands. Well that’s great if we always have access to a sink, soap and paper towels. But according to the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control, the Gold Standard is alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
What does this mean? Well, of course we need to wash our hands when they are visibly soiled or have been in contact with any bodily fluids. But when hand washing is not an option, we should use hand sanitizer before and after eating, before and after using the restroom and before and after assisting a resident with activities of daily living. In general, we should sanitize as well to prevent the spread of infection-causing germs and bacteria.
At Greenview Place, we have hand sanitizer dispensers at each elevator and throughout the property. We also thoroughly clean the common areas twice a day. Every little bit helps to keep our residents and staff hale and hearty.
We continue keeping it clean at Greenview!