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Senior Assisted Living Blog

Body Knowledge: Vitamin D

Joseph Coupal - Friday, June 11, 2010

Our Licensed Health Professionals offer a wealth of knowledge.  This health tip is about "Vitamin D".  "Vitamin D" occurs in  two forms: D2 (produced by plants) and D3 (produced by the human skin).  Both forms help maintain blood levels of calcium and phosphorus.  Recent research suggests Vitamin D may protect against osteoporosis, hypertension, and some forms of cancer.  Just 10-15 minutes of sun exposure during non-peak hours provides the daily recommended intake. If no sun, then fatty fish, egg yolks, and fortified milk also do the trick. 

Important Exercise Fitness Tip - Squat, Don't Bend

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, June 08, 2010

We love to offer simple tips about activities to help improve our residents (and their family's)  overall health and happiness.  Here's a really simple idea.  Do a squat instead of a bend when you need to pick things up.  This act provides for better balance and lessons the likelihood of a fall.  The squat builds leg strength which over time and extends one's range of movement.  Strong legs improve quality of life.  Give it a try.

Follow That Bird

Joseph Coupal - Friday, June 04, 2010

Bird-watching, or simply called "birding" by avid feather-finding fans, is a popular pastime for seniors, and the hobby continues to gain momentum.  What's the big deal?  A recent article in AARP The Magazine suggests that bird-watching provides a great escape.  It offers an opportunity to sit and experience the thrill of the unexpected.  In a  world where we try to modify and control everything, birding is something we can't control.  All Spring Arbor Living locations offer superb birding opportunities.

No birds outside?  No problem.  For a virtual birding experience, log on to AARP's Lifestyle Bird Page to view photos of common and rare species and test your knowledge of different bird calls.  And if your Dad does not have a great set of binoculars, remember, Father's Day is just around the corner.  

History of Father's Day

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Which President established the third Sunday of June to be a permanent national observance of "Father's Day"?  The answer is provided later in this blog.
The idea for creating a day for children to honor their fathers began in Spokane, Washington. A woman by the name of Sonora Smart Dodd thought of the idea for Father's Day while listening to a Mother's Day sermon in 1909. Having been raised by her father, William Jackson Smart, after her mother died, Sonora wanted her father to know how special he was to her. It was her father that made all the parental sacrifices and was, in the eyes of his daughter, a courageous, selfless, and loving man. Sonora's father was born in June, so she chose to hold the first Father's Day celebration in Spokane, Washington on the 19th of June, 1910.  Soon thereafter, the idea caught fire across the country.

So which President formally established "Father's Day"?  Here's a hint. Father's day was recognized by a Joint Resolution of Congress in 1956.  So as you might have guessed, it was……….Richard Nixon???  I bet we tricked some of you into thinking it was Dwight D. Eisenhower.   "Father's Day" was not official until 1972 when President Richard Nixon established a permanent national observance of Father's Day to be held on the third Sunday of June.  All of us at Spring Arbor Living look forward to celebrating with you this Father's Day. 

Prescription Diets-Notify and Educate Visiting Friends and Family

Joseph Coupal - Friday, May 28, 2010

Is your loved one on a diet prescribed by a doctor?  If yes, then it is extremely important that you notify all visiting friends and family members about this fact.  Explain the consequences of diet violations as described by the physician.  

We take extreme measure to regulate our resident's diet and to offer them friendly reminders about their diet restrictions.  However, we all share the responsibility to protect your loved ones from uninformed (but well-intentioned) visitors.

Rediscover Your Local Farmer’s Market For Healthy Fun

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Many of us realize the benefits of organically grown food but do not consume organically grown products because of the added  expense.  Consider your local Farmer's Market as a source for the freshest produce available.  Many (but not all) local farmers produce organic foods and offer them at a valued price.  

Food isn't the only thing happening at most Farmer's Markets. Go there to enjoy live music, arts and crafts, and talent shows.  To find a list of the Farmer's Markets in your area, navigate to and use the market search function at the top/right of the website.

Don't consider your local Farmer's Market as just a source of fresh and organic produce.  Consider it a great way to spend a morning with your friends and loved ones.

Motion Sickness - An Unnoticed Thief Of Senior's Quality of Life

Joseph Coupal - Friday, May 21, 2010

Did you know that the wheelchair can cause motion just like the car or boat?  It is important to understand this fact because undiagnosed motion sickness subconsciously de-motivates an individual from engaging in therapeutic activities.  Without even knowing it, motion sickness may have you or your loved one avoiding that "Sunday drive" or that wheeled "walk in the park".  

Here are some simple tips that our staff promotes for avoiding motion sickness: 1) Face forward as much as possible, 2) look at the horizon, 3) don't read in the car, and 4) avoid pungent smells.  Take our advice and reconsider taking that long walk downwind of the paper mill or pig farm.

Taking Care of the Caregiver

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Being a caregiver can take a toll on health and well being.  Caregiver stress is a common condition among those who care for those suffering from physical handicaps, Alzheimer's disease, or other forms of dementia.  If you're feeling overwhelmed caring for a loved one, you may be neglecting your own health.  Follow these tips from the Alzheimer's Association to keep your physical and mental health in good shape:

1)   Good Nutrition: Take time to eat a balanced diet.  Good nutrition maximizes your energy level.  
2)   Get Active:  Perform at least 30 minutes of exercise at least five days a week.  This provides both physical and mental reward.
3)   Get a good night's sleep: One of the most important things you can do.
4)   Proactively address stress:  Reflect upon what relaxes you and prioritize those activities.
5)   Get some backup:  You don't have to do everything alone.  Learn what community resources are available in your local community.

The bottom line is this.  To take good care of others, you must first take good care of yourself.

Dollars and Sense May Be Signs of Alzheimers

Joseph Coupal - Saturday, May 15, 2010

Dollars and Sense May Be Signs of Alzheimer’s

(From Mays Rocky Mount Cottage Newsletter)

A red flag that signals whether someone may be facing a life with Alzheimer' disease focuses on some green-green as in money.  A decline in money management skills appear to be an early sign of Alzheimer’, based on a study funded in 2009 by the National Institute on Aging.  The study looked at people with mild memory impairment, a phase before the onset of Alzheimer’s.  For 25 out of 87 patients who succumbed to Alzheimer’s a year after the study started, financial skills wont on a steep decline.  These patients had a tough time balancing and understanding a checkbook (including writing a check correctly but failing to calculate the balance), counting change, detecting potential fraud, preparing bills to mail on time, making grocery purchases and reading bank statements.  

Because the ability to manage finances is important for successful independent living, family members, care givers, and doctors need to be aware of how a patient is coping with finances.  Closely watch the situation, and check to see if the patient is missing payments, losing track of money, or making other funding faux pas.

Become familiar with Stages of Alzheimers

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Become familiar with Stages of Alzheimer's

Alzheimer's disease is progressive disease … meaning it worsens with time. Alzheimer's is also terminal, meaning all who develop it will eventually succumb to it. As Alzheimer's rides its course, it renders those who suffer from it increasingly dependent on the care of others.

This is true for all people who develop Alzheimer's, but the particular symptoms and the degree to which they show themselves vary among individuals. For convenience, the progression of Alzheimer's is often divided into three stages: early/mild, middle/moderate, and late/severe.

The symptoms and signs of Alzheimer's have been identified by observing people with Alzheimer's disease as a group. An individual may not show all of the symptoms in each stage of progression. For example, many -- but not all -- Alzheimer's patients develop severe psychiatric problems, such as delusions and hallucinations. Among those who do, the symptoms appear in the middle to late stages of Alzheimer's.

It may help friends and family to familiarize themselves with the typical stages of Alzheimer's disease so that they know what to expect in the coming years. The early/mild stage of Alzheimer's is characterized by declining ability to form new memories, impaired ability to organize and manipulate complex ideas, and, sometimes, by personality changes.