Author Archives: VGMAdmin

Cut Back on Adult Incontinence with These 6 Tips

suffer from incontinence. It’s a problem that usually creeps up later in life, but it can also happen earlier, especially to women who have given birth vaginally. Luckily, Choice Health Management is here to help with 6 tips to managing adult incontinence:

 

  • Timed Voiding.

 

This is a technique where you use the bathroom during regularly timed intervals. By scheduling your trips to the bathroom every 60 to 90 minutes, you should be able to avoid the accidents that occur due to sudden urgency.

 

  • Practice Kegel exercises.

 

Also known as pelvic floor exercises, these can help strengthen the muscles that are used to prevent you from urinating.

 

  • Cut back on the caffeine.

 

Studies suggest that high caffeine consumption could lead to a higher rate of incontinence. If you drink 4 to 10 cups a day of a caffeinated beverage, you are considered to be a high-intake consumer, and are urged to cut back how much you drink in order to reduce your risk of having an accident.

 

  • Manage your fluid intake.

 

It seems straightforward that consuming too many liquids can increase your chances of having an accident, but too few can also impact your incontinence issues! By alternating how much you drink each day, you can determine how much liquid you actually need and how much is too much and how little is too little.

 

  • Talk to your doctor.

Your doctor may be able to prescribe medication that can help control your incontinence. They may also be able to point to some other condition that is causing it—such as lifestyle choices or medication that you’re currently taking.

 

  • Quit smoking.

 

Smoking causes many health issues, including incontinence. It’s never too late to quit!

 

 

 

Remember to stay positive throughout this process. You are not less of a human being because you are having issues with your bladder. The caring staff at Choice Health Management are here to help. We supply adult incontinence supplies, and ensure that our residents who are unable to care for themselves are looked after.

What You Should Know About Age-Related Muscle Loss

The human body contains 600 muscles, and if you’re over the age of 60, you might find they just don’t work as well for you as they did when you were in your 20s. Maybe it starts with not being able to grip something as hard, or maybe you find it harder and harder to get up from your chair.

Age-related muscle loss is something many Americans face. After the age of 40, you can lose up to a quarter pound of muscle each year, which can lead to an 8 percent decrease in mass by the time you’re 50. After that, you’ll continue to lose more mass, with up to 15 percent lost each decade after 70.

This is one of the reasons why 25 percent of Americans suffer a fall-related injury each year. Once you’ve had a fall, you then are at an increased risk of having another one, as even 3 days of being bedridden can lead to you losing 2.5 pounds of muscles.

However, age-related muscle loss isn’t something that you have to shrug off and accept as an inevitability of growing older. There are some changes you can make to your lifestyle and diet to avoid this—and it’s easier than you think!

There are certain nutrients that are important to building muscle mass, and protein none more so than them. Most people don’t get as much as they should. Protein can be found in eggs, meats and beans. Other nutrients you should seek to ingest regularly include:

  • Vitamin D: Supports muscle density.
  • HMB: Supports muscle health.
  • Zinc: Builds testosterone, which leads to more muscle mass.
  • Magnesium: Allows muscles to contract properly.

Finally, doing even low-intensity exercise early on can help, as long as you are doing it regularly. Activities such as walking, throwing a ball and using resistance bands can all aid in helping your muscles stay in shape over the years.

Choice Health Management wants your Golden Years to be healthy ones. If you’re looking for a place where you can age well, contact us today to see the Choice difference!

Sundowner’s Syndrome: How to Recognize It and What You Can Do

If one of your parents has Alzheimer’s, you’re probably familiar with the memory loss, disorientation and the struggle to express themselves properly. But have you noticed a sudden shift in behavior at night? Does mom strike out at those trying to help her? Does dad go on rants about people who are long in his past?

This phenomenon is known as “Sundowner’s Syndrome,” and it affects approximately 20 percent of those who have Alzheimer’s disease. It causes their moods to darken, their memory and confusion to worsen and leads to difficult behavior.

Some of the things that can trigger it include:

  • Vision Impairment: If your loved one is visually impaired, the darkening lights at the end of the day can make it harder for them to see.
  • Exhaustion: If the day has just worn out your loved one, Sundowner’s Syndrome can be triggered.
  • Seasonal: If Seasonal Affective Disorder is already an issue for your loved one, it can exacerbate Sundowner’s Syndrome.
  • Hormones: A hormonal imbalance or disruptions in their internal clock are thought to be some of the top contributes to Sundowner’s Syndrome.
  • Too much chaos: The end of the day sometimes brings a lot of activity, including staff change, visitors leaving, and other residents going back to their respective rooms. All this hustle and bustle can get to someone with Sundowner’s Syndrome.

If you think your parents may have this, try the following things to help mitigate it:

  • Light therapy, or “Happy lights”: These are devices that mimic the infrared light that comes in from the sun, bringing with it the elements responsible for lifting our moods. It also helps to make sure the rest of the room is well-lit at the end of the day, so they can see.
  • Establish a routine: This can cut back on the anxiety you loved one feels at the end of the day, leading to fewer Sundowner’s incidents. It can also allow you to monitor their energy level, so they don’t become tired and lash out.
  • Avoid certain foods: Caffeine or large amounts of sugar can trigger Sundowner’s Syndrome, especially if it’s eaten later in the day.
  • Medication: It might help to talk to their doctor about being on medication, especially if they suffer from SAD or other types of depression.

 

Remember, your loved one is not acting this way on purpose. By following some of the above tips, you can help soothe them if they are suffering from Sundowner’s Syndrome. The staff at Choice Health Management can help as well. We offer memory care services, to ensure your loved one is looked after.

Look for These 7 Things When Visiting Assisted Living Facilities

Trying to find the perfect fit for your loved one when choosing an assisted living facility can be stressful.  You want to pick the right one so that they can be happy and stay healthy, but how do you know what the right one is?  That’s why Choice Health Management is here to give you some ideas of what to look for when touring an assisted living facility.

  1. Friendliness – The attitude and friendliness of the staff is the most important. Be sure to watch how they treat the residents.  Do they listen and make eye contact?  Do they really seem to want to help out and interact with the residents?
  2. Safety and Security – Finding out all of the procedures will give your peace of mind about your loved one. Ask how residents contact staff if they have an emergency.  Make sure that the staffing hours are consistent so that there will always be someone near or around your loved one.  Make sure that all rooms, especially the bathrooms, are accessible and have safety measures installed such as grab bars and shower seats.
  3. Food – Eat a meal at the facility to test its quality. It’s important to discuss food choices, dining hours, and procedures.  Make sure to talk to other residents to see how they feel about the food and what would happen if they didn’t make it to the dining center on time.
  4. Activities – Try to schedule your tour during a time where an event or activity will be taking place. Do the activities look like something your loved one would enjoy?  You can also look at their calendar of events to see what types of activities they offer.  Are there trips and outings away from the community?  Do the activities range in type and size?
  5. Outdoor Area – Take a walk outside to see what the outdoor areas look like. Do they have safe walking paths and security?  Look at the scenery and types of wildlife that may be hanging around to know what your loved one will get to see.
  6. Ask Questions about Personal Care – Discuss bathing options and preferences. It’s important to observe other residents to see if they are clean shaven and look taken care of.  Look at how the staff cares for them and if they look happy.  You can even talk to the residents to ask them how they feel about the care they are receiving.
  7. Get Feedback from Families and Residents – Ask questions and lots of them. As mentioned above, continue to ask residents how they feel in the place.  You can also go up to family members and ask them why they chose this facility and what they like about it.  There are also reviews online that you could look into.

In the end, you just have to trust yourself and know that you are making a good decision when choosing a facility.  If you have questions about our assisted living services, please don’t hesitate to contact us and schedule a visit soon!  At Choice Health Management, we want to help your loved one maintain a higher quality of life while providing any medical care they need.

 

Encouraging Elderly Parents to Look After Their Health

When you visit your mom at the assisted living facility, you may notice that she just seems to be in a decline, even though there are no impending health issues that mean she’s at the end.  Her hygiene may be bad or she’s not moving or she doesn’t want to go outside.  This can be a common struggle for the aging community.  Keeping elderly parents in a positive state of mind can be difficult at times when they get into a slump.  That’s why Choice Health Management has some tips for encouraging them to look after their health.

Declining Hygiene

If their hygiene goes bad, it might be a sign of depression.  When this happens, it’s important to encourage counseling or get them to talk about their feelings.  Ask simply if you can do anything to help instead of lecturing them on taking better care of themselves.  Your parents need to see the importance of taking better care of themselves before they will try to change their behavior.

Trouble Moving Around

If they’re having trouble moving around, encourage Physical Therapy. It could show them exercises that can make them more mobile.  Also, encourage senior citizen exercise classes. They are easier on the stiff or arthritic joints that the elderly experience.  Getting regular exercise will be extremely beneficial to their health because it will make them stronger, happier, and healthier.

Won’t Leave Their Room

If your parent won’t leave their room to go outdoors or interact with other residents, try using grandchildren as bait.  Saying that they should come to some type of activity with their grandkids or go for a walk will get them up and out moving around without knowing you’re trying to push them to do something they didn’t want to do.  You could also try finding one of their closest friends within the facility and have them invite your parent to coffee or to play a board game to get them out of their room.

Resisting Care

Wait to talk to them with your family when they are relaxed.  Sometimes your loved one may feel that since they are in a care facility, they are losing their independence along with their freedom and choices.  Ask their preferences and what they want.  It’s important to allow your parent to feel self-sufficient at times and to make their own decisions when they can, so they still feel in control.

The key is to start simple by asking them to do something small and being there for them.  Your support and attention will mean the world to them.  At Choice Health Management, we are dedicated to creating a safer environment for your loved ones to make them happy and healthy.  If you have any questions regarding care for your loved one, contact us today!

8 Ways to Lower Your Risk of Breast Cancer

Lower Your Risk of Breast Cancer

Approximately one out of every eight women will develop invasive breast cancer during her life. While there is no way to completely eliminate your chances of getting cancer, there are some things women can do to decrease their risk:

 

  1. Breastfeed.

    We’ve all heard that “breast is best” for baby, but it has added benefits for mom as well. By breastfeeding your infant, you also decrease your risk for cancer.

  2. Cut back on alcohol intake.

    The American Cancer Society states that women who have two to five drink a day have 1.5 times the risk of developing breast cancer than women who don’t drink at all. Drinking can increase your chances of developing other cancers as well.

  3. Increase your physical activity.

    Evidence shows that regular, moderate exercise can decrease a woman’s chance of developing breast cancer by up to 18 percent.

  4. Keep a healthy weight after menopause.

    Prior to menopause, most of women’s estrogen comes from their ovaries, while a small amount comes from fat tissue. That ratio flips after menopause, enabling a higher concentration of fatty tissue can increase estrogen levels, further raising the risk of breast cancer. Being overweight can also add to insulin levels, which is linked to a higher risk of cancer.

  5. Don’t smoke.

    There’s now evidence that smoking increases the risk of breast cancer in premenopausal women.

  6. Limit hormone therapy.

    It’s common for women to receive hormone therapy in order to control the symptoms of menopause. However, higher doses over long periods of time can increase the risk of breast cancer. The Mayo Clinic recommends that women take the lowest dose possible and ask their doctor to monitor the length of time they are on hormone supplements.

  7. Avoid radiation.

    Computerized tomography and other medical-imaging methods use a large amount of radiation. There are some cases where it is vital to have these tests done, but if a woman is already at a high risk of developing breast cancer, she might want to ask her doctor about alternatives.

  8. Eat a Mediterranean diet.

    Healthy eating is good for you in general, and some of the foods found in Mediterranean diets is associated with a lower risk of breast cancer. These include extra-virgin olive oil, fish and nuts.

 

While there is no sure-fire way to completely eliminate your risk, following these steps can possibly reduce your chances of developing this pervasive disease. At Choice Health Management Services, we don’t provide mastectomy products, but we are here to care for the aging population.  If you have any questions about how to transition the care of your aging loved ones to an assisted living facility, contact us today!

4 Tips to Preventing a Fall

Tips to Preventing A Fall

Did you know that every 11 seconds, an Older American is admitted to the hospital due to a fall? It’s the number-one cause of injury for those older than 65, and can lead to hip fractures, traumatic brain injuries and broken bones. Furthermore, it carries a hefty price tag—the CDC estimates that the average cost of treating a fall runs around $30,000.

However, with a few preventative measures, you can cut back on the risk of your loved one experiencing a fall. We would like to share with you the following tips:

  1. Stay active.

    Many Older Americans stop exercising because they experience a decrease in their mobility through sarcopenia, or age-related muscle loss. Low-impact exercise can help restore some mobility, which is key in fall prevention. Many gyms and senior centers also offer balance classes, which can help re-train the muscles responsible for stability.

  2. Consult your doctor about whether your medications put you at risk.

    A study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that drug use among older adults has increased in the past few decades.  That means more Older Americans are experiencing pharmaceutical side-effects that can lead to a fall, such as dizziness and loss of balance.  Some over-the-counter sleep aids are especially notorious for this, so consult your doctor if you have trouble sleeping at night. Sleep disorders can be caused by a number of factors, including sleep apnea.

  3. Practice fall prevention at home.

    Make sure there aren’t any objects on the floor that you can trip on, and that your rooms are well-lit. The bathroom is one of the top culprits when it comes to falls among Older Americans. Equip your home with the proper bath safety products. Things such as bath mats and grab bars can go far in preventing you from taking a tumble.

  4. Have your vision checked regularly.

    As we age, less light enters our retina, making obstacles, tripping hazards and contrasting edges harder to see. If you do wear glasses, make sure that your prescription is up-to-date.  Avoid tint-changing lenses, as these take a while to adjust to your environment and can pose additional tripping hazards.

 

Choice Health Management Services is dedicated to helping residents remain safe and healthy as they age.  Please reach out to us if you have any questions about how we keep our residents safe and healthy!

Training Like a World Class Athlete: Staying Fit After 70

ChoiceHealthManagement_Blog_TrainLikeASeniorOlympian

The games are quickly approaching, and most of America is looking forward to watching some of the most athletic people in the world compete for their country.  A benefit of this excitement is getting everyone on track to train harder and get in shape no matter what age.  If you’re looking to help your aging loved one stay fit, Choice Health Management Services is here with some great tips for fitness after 70:

  • Consult your doctor. This will alert them to pay extra attention to your heart, lungs and bones. You don’t want to overstress your heart, and you want to make sure osteoporosis hasn’t started to set in and risk breaking a bone.
  • Start slow. You may feel like you’re miles behind everyone else at the gym, but it’s important you go at your pace. If you overdo it, you may find yourself back at the doctor’s—and not for good reasons!
  • Remember that you’re not 20 anymore. While you may remember the thrill of running 5 miles in 45 minutes or less, doing so now could put you in a lot of pain. It’s okay to not be in the same place as you used to be.
  • Stop if you feel pain! It’s your body’s warning signal that you’re overdoing it. Again, you’re not 20, so recovering from a hard workout now will take much longer than it used to.
  • Warm up. This is something you may not have had to do as a young adult, but as an older adult, not doing so can lead to injury.
  • Experiment with a variety of different exercises. Find one that you enjoy and that doesn’t overstress your body or put you in pain. Biking, walking, swimming and yoga are good things to consider.

Young or old, there’s no denying the benefits of regular exercise, and what better motivation for getting fit than watching the games.  At Choice Health Management Services, we believe strongly in staying active and fit no matter what age.  In addition to regularly scheduled activities, we offer in-patient and out-patient rehabilitation that is focused on helping residents return to prior levels of function.

Contact Choice Health Management Services today to discuss how we help residents stay active!

Helping Your Loved One Beat Extreme Heat While Living With COPD

ChoiceHealthManagement_Blog_HelpingYourLovedOne-BeatExtremeHeatWhileLivingWithCOPD

If your loved one is living with COPD, extreme heat can be downright dangerous. Not only does it exacerbate their condition, it can also turn fatal. However, by taking the correct precautions, you can help your loved one beat the heat and stay healthy for the remainder of the summer. Choice Health Management Services has these tips for you:

  • Help them stay inside as much as possible, especially on the days where the heat and the humidity are at their most extreme. If they don’t have air conditioning, then go someplace that does during the hottest part of the day (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.). Places such as the mall or the public library are good spots to take refuge in. Their community may have a senior center for them to stay at as well.
  • If your loved one must be outside, help them concentrate their activities during the morning or evening, when the sun is less intense. Make sure they take plenty of breaks where they’re sitting in the air conditioning for a while.
  • Make sure they drink lots of water. This is important in helping thin the mucous, which helps ease COPD symptoms. They should also avoid sugary and alcoholic drinks, as these can lead to dehydration.
  • Invest in a dehumidifier—in fact, have several throughout the house. Like the old saying goes, “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.” While we don’t completely agree with that—heat is bad for COPD—relieving those awful symptoms that come with humidity can go a long way to helping them feel better.

Overall, managing your loved one’s COPD symptoms on a hot day all comes down to taking it easy. It’s not worth it to end up in the hospital because they overexerted themselves too hard.  Choice Health Management Services has facilities throughout North Carolina and helps residents manage the heat on a daily basis.  If you have questions about how residents are cared for in extreme heat, reach out to us today!