Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Evolve at Rye is proud to announce its deficiency-free survey from the state of New Hampshire

We would like to take the opportunity to personally thank all our incredible staff in achieving a deficiency-free perfect clinical survey conducted by the State of New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services Bureau of Inspection.

This was a concerted effort by all staff, and we want you to know how proud we are of what you have accomplished. You have been great to work with and we are glad to see you receive this recognition from the state as well. We want it to be known that you consistently deliver excellence and rise to the occasion not just for the state survey, but every day. Anyone can look good for a visitor, but it takes commitment to make it happen each and every day. This is the mark of your professionalism.
It is an inspiration to see what a finely tuned team can accomplish when you all pull together. We at EvoLve Senior Living are proud to be associated with a dedicated team such as yours. Your focus and commitment to your work has been constant and unwavering. Your insight and sensitivity towards our residents and guests has now literally set the standard upon which excellence in memory care will be measured in your community.
Clearly, each of you have turned challenge into achievement. For that we offer our congratulations, our admiration, and our respect.
We realize that sometimes it seems as though we are all just tiny drops of water in a sea of regulatory compliance, but you know, sometimes when a ray of sunshine hits those drops just right, they sparkle…they do sparkle!
Thank you for bringing the sparkle to the eyes of EvoLve at Rye.
Congratulations on behalf of the owners and partners, 
Benjamin Pearce
CEO | EvoLve Senior Living

For more information visit www.evolveatrye.com or call (603) 379-1898

Feeling a little Guilty?

There are few people on earth better equipped with the natural innate ability to make us feel guilty than our mothers. In our culture guilt has been instinctively crafted to an art form designed to influence our behaviors. It is a learned behavior passed on from generation to generation. Feelings of guilt can be self-inflicted or can be imposed upon us by other people. When guilt is legitimate, it spurs us to do better. When it is unwarranted, it only causes anxiety and hinders our ability to make sound decisions and provide quality care.
As a parent's care needs increase while they undergo the natural aging process, the amount of time and energy required of the caregiver increases exponentially. It is very normal to have feelings of resentment as demands on our time begin to radically change our daily routines. Often adult children already have their hands full caring for the needs of their own children. The average woman in America today will spend more time caring for her parents than for her children. She is typically 45 to 65-year-old married female with children at home, in college, or with families of their own and thus can feel herself sandwiched between two generations. As her parents' needs for assistance increase over time, she often feels as though she simply cannot do enough for them. Often she will become frustrated when her efforts to try to "fix" things that go wrong in her parents life begin to create conflicts in her own life, and the fixes never seem to last. Ultimately she begins to feel that she is losing control of her life and realizes that things that were once routine for her and easily manageable are quickly becoming more than she can handle. Conflicting priorities can often lead to feelings of helplessness and guilt that she is not doing anything well. This self-imposed guilt then becomes her constant companion.
Others can also impose guilt upon us. Failures in our elder caring duties, and obligations to our own families can lead to criticism from those whose opinions we value most. One is never really prepared to accept responsibilities thrust upon them by their aging parents. Few people understand the complexities of health problems, insurance coverage, assisted living and nursing homes, drug plans, Medicare, legal obligations and other senior-related issues. Caregivers continuously bombarded by these issues are bound to make mistakes, which will frustrate them even further. Uninformed family members, and siblings seeking to offer help, often only serve to highlight the primary caregiver's shortcomings. Just remember, there is nothing out there that you can't learn, seek out the advice of professionals such as Geriatric Care Managers, Eldercare Attorneys, local support groups, and the local library.
Feelings of responsibility set us up for the probability of occasional feelings of guilt. We must be able to distinguish between legitimate guilt that motivates us to do better and harmful guilt that might be undeserved and leave us dispirited.
Sometimes it might be helpful to write down the things that make you feel guilty. Examine the underlying reasons and determine if a solution is within your power. Sometimes compartmentalizing a large problem into several smaller, issues can make things more manageable. Constantly fretting over what seems to be an insurmountable responsibility can only lead to more anguish and more guilt. Tackling and completing a few problems can give you a sense of accomplishment and build your confidence to handle those never-ending new surprises as they arise. Consider that your parent may be feeling guilty because of they are imposing on you, while you are feeling guilty that you don't have the time to do more.1 Also, it is never helpful anguish about the past, concentrate on what can be done now and resist the temptation to allow old conflicts to create guilt today.
To determine if the guilt you are feeling is warranted, ask yourself if you have done everything that is practical and necessary within your own limitations. What is important is ensuring the quality of life and meeting the realistic needs of the elderly. It is not your role to insure everyone's happiness, only your own. Perhaps much of the guilt comes from thinking that you have more influence than you really do.

Often as the caregiver is pulled in conflicting directions, she may invite her aging parent to come live with them. Caring for a loved one at home may not be the best solution for either. Many people have made promises to each other about their elder care when they are young thinking the day will never come, but it always does. Often the caregiver struggles to meet the ever-increasing needs of their loved one at great personal sacrifice. Be realistic about what level of care that you can safely provide. Financial resources should be applied before the caregiver themselves begin to weaken. Often the decision to move out of the home is delayed until a nursing home is the only option. Consider using the financial resources while she can still gain some benefit from them in a more social environment. Once the funds are exhausted, the Medicaid alternative is always available in the nursing home setting. Many senior living environments can provide the additional cushion of care for your parent when they really need it. This way professionals can deal with the issues that may be unfamiliar to you and when you visit your parent, your time with them can be spent more relaxed. This will help to relieve the stress that may be building in your relationship, and help to quiet the guilt.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Free Family Guidebook to Making the Move to Senior Living Communities

A complete family guide to making an informed decision regarding retirement communities and senior living options. Written by a 36- year veteran operations expert in Senior Housing and author. Learn about the different types of facilities, how they are priced, and how to choose which one is right for your situation. How the isolation of living at home alone can lead to avoidable health problems, tips on dealing with guilt, downsizing possessions and coordinating the move. Explore nancial resources and understand what Medicare and Medicaid cover in senior housing. Finally, learn how to deal with caregiver stress and burnout and the family member who says “But I’m not ready yet.” Pragmatic and condensed information without advertising.

Download the PDF here: Free Guidebook to Senior Living 

Monday, October 30, 2017

Shopping Smart to purchase Heart-healthy food

Navigating the grocery store

When shopping at a grocery store, it is best to circumnavigate the store first, using the outside aisles as a guide to the better selection of quality food products.  These areas include the fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy sections, avoiding the inner aisles as much as possible where the boxed and canned items are sold.  Boxed and canned items will contain higher amounts of preservatives, including artificial chemicals and salt, which allows a longer shelf life.  Watch for expiration dates that are listed on the label as to when the product will no longer have the proper nutrient or freshness level and know that the newer products are always stocked behind the ones about to expire.  Avoid any opened or dented cans and boxes as it may have allowed bacteria to enter.

Organic food labeling and GMO

For higher quality food products that will promote good health, look for the ‘certified organic’ label and which means it is also ‘non-GMO’.   GMO stands for ‘genetically modified organisms’ and means the food has been genetically engineered or changed in some way from the original food source. You can also see the term “GE foods” (genetically engineered) which means the same as GMO.  This process of genetically modifying foods is relatively new to the food industry, as there were no GMO or GE food crops planted in the US prior to 1994, however, there are now more than 165 million acres of GMO foods planted each year today.  It is estimated by the Center for Food Safety that 70-75% of all grocery store products contain at least one genetically modified ingredient.[i]  The reason for the growth in engineered food products is because they are often easier to grow due to their resistance to pests, along with pesticide use, and more profitable to produce.

The problem with GMO / GE foods lies with the health risks associated with them. Genes are the blueprint for making proteins, therefore a GMO food will contain new proteins that were not present in the food prior to its modification.  Since it is proteins that are often the basis for allergies and our immune system response, many scientists have speculated that these altered genetic GMO/GE proteins may be a source of recent increases in body system inflammatory responses, food allergies, digestive tract dysfunction, as well as autoimmune disorders.

Unfortunately, mandatory labeling laws for GMO or GE foods do not yet exist in the United States and until such labeling is widely adopted, the only practical way to lower GMO risks is to select ‘certified organic’ foods.  Since the U.S. National Organics Program forbids the use of genetic modification in foods to be certified as organic, purchasing organic is a great way to lower your exposure to GMO or GE foods.

[i] http://www.whfoods.org

Friday, October 13, 2017

Why Eating Right can Help you Heal

How your body processes and converts food into nutrition

Annually the U.S Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services produce Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which offers advice to promote health and to reduce the risk of chronic diseases through diet and physical activity. One of the basic messages of the Dietary Guidelines is that nutrient needs should be met primarily through consuming foods. In certain cases, fortified foods and dietary supplements may be necessary to provide one or more nutrients that otherwise might be consumed in less than recommended amounts.  Foods that provide an array of nutrients and other compounds, within calorie needs, that have beneficial effects on health. This is of particular importance for the older adult with set food habits, who with aging, tends to reduce the amount of calories consumed. Older adults require a high quality diet with nutrient-dense foods and beverages. This translates into food choices with sufficient calories and concentrated nutrients. All vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products, seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, beans and peas (legumes), and nuts and seeds that are prepared without added solid fats, sugars, starches, and sodium are nutrient-dense.  We are often feeding smaller appetites that require additional nutrients due to the physiological changes of aging that can impair nutrient absorption and utilization.

Important Nutrient Needs for Older Adults

Protein—Protein is the foundation upon which every living organism is built. The body does not store amino acids (the building blocks of proteins), so an adequate daily intake of protein is needed to supply your body with all the 20 major amino acids.  Adequate intake of dietary protein is extremely important for tissue repair and healing, especially in the older adult.  Illness, surgery, and inadequate food intake can result in protein energy malnutrition that can impair immune function, increase susceptibility to infections, slow wound healing and increase skin breakdown. 

New evidence indicates that eating peanuts and certain tree nuts (i.e., walnuts, almonds, and pistachios), which are high in protein, reduces risk factors for cardiovascular disease when consumed as part of a diet that is nutritionally adequate and within calorie needs. Because nuts and seeds are also high in calories, they should be eaten in small portions and used to replace other protein foods.  They are so energy dense and tasty that it can be easy to eat excessive amounts. Choose unsalted nuts and seeds to help reduce sodium intake. 

In 2003, FDA allowed the first qualified health claim for nuts, suggesting that scientific evidence supports that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts as part of a diet low in saturated fats and cholesterol may reduce the risk for heart disease.  Clinical trials with tree nuts have reported favorable reduction in cholesterol levels, particularly the bad LDL cholesterol that elevates heart disease risk. This effect has been demonstrated consistently in different population groups using different study designs and methods.

Carbohydrates and Fiber — Sufficient carbohydrates are needed to protect protein from being used as an energy source, however it is recommended that carbohydrate intake is limited to whole-grain high fiber unprocessed foods.  The refining of whole grains involves a process that results in the loss of vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber.  There are three types of carbohydrates - sugar, starch and fiber. Both sugar and starch are turned into sugar and since the body lacks the enzymes needed to digest fiber, it is the only carbohydrate that doesn’t convert to sugar.  

By limiting your daily intake of low fiber highly refined carbohydrates, you also limit your sugar intake.  About 78 million Americans—35 percent of the U.S. adult population over age 18 —have pre-diabetes, which means that blood glucose (sugar) levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be called diabetes. Carbohydrates in the form of fiber can be found in a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grain foods.  Avoid highly refined grains, as these also can be high in solid fats and added sugars (e.g., cookies and cakes).  

Calcium — As people age, a decrease in calcium absorption occurs. When the body does not get enough calcium per day, it draws calcium from your bones.  Bone loss also occurs as part of the normal aging process, particularly in postmenopausal women due to decreased amounts of estrogen.  The elderly population is especially susceptible to osteoporosis (bone loss) and bone fractures. One out of every two women and one in four men over age 50 will have an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime. Many factors increase the risk of developing osteoporosis, including being female, thin, inactive, or of advanced age; smoking cigarettes; drinking excessive amounts of alcohol; and having a family history of osteoporosis. Supplementation with calcium plus vitamin D has been shown to be effective in reducing fractures and falls (which can cause fractures) in institutionalized older adults. Some good sources of calcium include yogurt, milk, cheese, firm tofu, canned salmon with bones, spinach, and rhubarb. 

Vitamin D Vitamin D is generally referred to as ‘the sunshine vitamin’ as it is created by our bodies with sun exposure.  However, recent findings of low Vitamin D levels in many patients lead some to believe that despite getting at least 20 minutes of sunshine daily and adequate intake of foods high in Vitamin D, a daily supplementation is necessary to reach optimum levels.  Additionally, if your body doesn’t have sufficient precursors in your skin to convert to Vitamin D, no amount of sunshine will help and supplementation will be required.  Recent research has shown a possible link between Vitamin D supplementation and lowered risk of dementia, heart failure, diabetic neuropathy, and even cancer.  Adequate vitamin D also can help reduce the risk of bone fractures, especially when taken with calcium supplementation.  Some sources of Vitamin D are vitamin D milk, egg yolk, salmon, tuna fish, and sardines. You can ask for a simple blood test from your healthcare provider to determine your risk for Vitamin D deficiency.

Water Aging adults are more susceptible to dehydration due to inadequate daily intake of fluids. The ability to sense ‘thirst’ is reduced and can significantly decrease optimum fluid intake to cause dehydration.  By the time one senses they are thirsty, the body is already dehydrated to a slight degree so that sensing a feeling of thirstiness is actually a symptom of dehydration.  Because our bodies need water to function normally, when you’re dehydrated you may feel tired, have trouble concentrating or wind up eating more than usual since our bodies often misinterpret thirst as hunger.  Beverages that contain caffeine or alcohol can be dehydrating, so be sure you drink plenty of water to offset your coffee or alcohol consumption.  A minimum of 1500 cc’s / day is recommended for most adults, but there can be lesser requirements for some patients with certain medical conditions (like kidney disease). Be sure to consult your healthcare professional for the amount of fluid you are allowed to consume daily.