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Thursday, July 19, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Improve Your Mental Clarity and Focus


We all know how useless a scattered mind can be. It makes everything difficult from focusing on a simple task to making some of the important decisions in your life. This is, in part, due to the effects of modern technology, which overstimulates our minds and paralyzes them by bombarding them with information every second. Eventually, your mind becomes muddled by everything going on around you that it makes it hard to get through your day.

We spoke to the team at BestNootropicsNow.com and asked if there’s anything that can be done about the issue. BestNootropicsNow says that the prevailing opinion among neuroscientists is that technology is the major reason why our minds are so cluttered. Basically, due to all the overstimulation we’re getting, our neural pathways are getting rewired to be shallower so we can multitask more effectively. The result is that, over time, we become less capable of focusing deeply on a single thing.

“But the situation isn’t entirely hopeless,” says BestNootropicsNow. “There are effective habits you can adopt that make it easier to declutter your brain and manage some deep focus and mental clarity. It’s possible to repair our brains if we do the right things.”

Here is a list of some habits that can get you well on your way to complete mental clarity and focus.

Clutter Outside Means Clutter Inside


Believe it or not, there is a very strong connection between the state of your external physical space and your internal mental space. As it turns out, a messed up external environment often leads to increased stress in the mind. When you have a cluttered physical space, then your mind will be constantly distracted and exposed to too many stimuli. For this reason alone, you should treat your physical space like a sanctuary — a sort of temple where your mind can be at peace.

If there are items you aren’t using at a particular time, make sure they remain outside of your field of vision, including your periphery. Once these items are out of your sight, they will most likely be out of your mind as well. The same applies for your virtual space as well. If there are files that you aren’t using on your desktop, make sure you put them neatly in appropriate folders. You should also strive to keep your online space as neat and organized as possible.

The Power of Routine

 
There is a tradition among sports psychologists to take their athletes through a well-defined set of steps before they make their play. Some of these may not make any sense. They’re movements that seem pretty unusual, and even unnecessary. They are important, however, for the simple reason that they make their mind relax and get into a familiar place. That way, it and they are prepped for a great performance. In a much similar way, having a well-defined daily routine, such as a ritual you go through every morning, will get your mind into the zone it needs to be in order to do some of its best work.

That routine could pretty much be anything. You might prefer to get up and make yourself a cup of coffee. Perhaps a little exercise before you begin your day. Whatever works, do it. You can experiment here and there to try out different routines and different configurations for your workspace to find what works. You will eventually notice that some routines and workspaces make you highly focused and productive. Remember, as a human being, you are primarily a creature of habit. You can use this to your advantages by molding habits for yourself that get you to perform at your very best every single time.

Aim for the 'Flow' State



This is something most people can identify with. You must have been in a situation where you were deeply absorbed in a particular activity. So absorbed, in fact, that you even lost all sense of the passage of time. You were immune to all distraction and seemed to exist solely in a cocoon with whatever activity it was that you were engaged in. That is what psychologists call the state of “flow.” It is a state where your mind becomes completely occupied by the task at hand. Many people say that it is probably the happiest a human being can be because it involves a state of absolute peace with yourself and a selfless devotion to what you’re doing.

If you want to get into this state, you have to strike a certain balance between the amount of skill you have and the complexity of the challenge you’re facing. If you happen to be more skilled than the challenge that lies before you demands, then you’re more likely than not to get bored and stop working altogether. On the other hand, if the challenge is far more complex than your skills can match, then you’re going to be frustrated and anxious about your performance.

The trick here is to find a way to stretch yourself so that you’re always just beyond your comfort zone in terms of skill. However, don’t stretch yourself so far that you suffer from performance anxiety. That way, you ensure a continuous state of growth. Being in that sweet spot keeps your mind constantly in focus and ensures you’re performing at your optimal level.
 

The Evils of Multitasking


People think that multitasking is something to be proud of. I can’t count the number of times I hear people say “I can multitask” like it’s supposed to be a superpower. My pet peeve is when it’s used as a gender stereotype like when people say women are better at multitasking than men. Well, it isn’t a good thing, and it certainly isn’t something to be proud of, especially in this day and age when multitasking is the rule rather than the exception.

To be entirely honest, the term “multitask” is often used incorrectly these days. What people really do when they think they’re multitasking is that they switch between tasks. It’s a fairly useful thing when you’re trying to do many mundane things at the same time — the kind of things that don’t require you to think too hard. It’s not very useful, though, when you’re using it on more significant tasks that require a deeper focus. In fact, during such times, it is more detrimental than it is beneficial.

There is a method Hayes told us about that we liked a lot. It is called the three-to-one method and is very simple in principle. When you have several things to do, narrow them down to the three most important tasks. Once you’ve done that, focus on one of the three tasks at a time, giving it your full attention for a while. Give yourself enough time on the task that you can do something meaningful and productive while you’re on it. The, you can move onto the next task and the next, and then come back to the first and so on. That way, you rotate between the three tasks but you give yourself ample time to do meaningful work for each. That kind of balance ensures your mind is able to focus more deeply on the task at hand and makes it more productive.

Master a Good Rhythm Between Work and Rest



There are plenty of studies that show that people are at their most productive when they have a working rhythm of work and rest. They work intensely for a period of time, then take a short rest, then get back to work, and so on. Perhaps the most popular application of this theory is the Pomodoro Technique. Here, you work nonstop for a period of 25 minutes then rest for 5 minutes. The full cycle of work and rest is 30 minutes and keeps repeating itself. After a few cycles, say 5, you can take a longer break of 15 or 20 minutes. Note that it doesn’t have to be 25 minutes and 5 minutes. You could just as easily work for 50 minutes and take a rest of 20 minutes. The idea is to start with smaller cycles and work your way up to the longer ones gradually.

In order for you to be at your most productive, it’s important that you give your mind the opportunity to rest, especially after a prolonged period of deep and intensive work. You don’t have to settle for any specific cycle. Anything that works for you is good enough.
 

Don’t Forget About Sleep and Diet


What you eat goes a long way in determining the state of your body. You are, as the saying goes, what you eat. If you tend to eat foods that are too high in refined carbohydrates or fats like processed foods, you will experience a general slowing down of the mind and body. Studies actually show that such foods tend to have a negative effect on our thinking process.

The same is true if you don’t get enough sleep. Not even scientists have a definitive answer for why humans need to sleep. The fact of the matter, however, is that our minds and bodies can’t function well without it. A lack of sleep leads to stunted thinking and learning skills along with a host of health-related issues.

The best advice I can give you here is to do your best to stay away from processed foods, animal products and refined sugars. Eat more fruits and vegetables and go for as much whole plant food as you can. It really does pay off for your brain.

This is a guest blog entry.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Smart Steps for Growing Older

Throughout our lives, things change. Whether it's from childhood to the teenage years or middle age to early senior status, there's no denying that things in our new life stage won't be quite the same as things in the old one.

When those changes involve reduced independence, they can be very difficult to accept. However, whether we accept them or not, they are coming, and we need to be prepared to deal with them.

For those of us reaching senior citizen age, there are many different issues we need to think about. Some can be a little intimidating, but the most important thing to remember is that when you make a change by choice, it can keep you from having to make a change without a choice.

One of the most common ones is a reduction in mobility. After many years of working hard and playing hard, sometimes our bodies just don't have the balance or range of motion that they once did, or at least not without pain.

Fortunately, creative people in health care have come up with some great products that can do a lot to minimize the impact of lower mobility. For people who may be able to move around unassisted for daily activities but may need some help with longer distances, the bulky wheelchair has been replaced by a compact electric wheel chair that provides all the help they need without taking up half the car and requiring assistance to move around.

Another common transition for seniors is in their living arrangements. Oftentimes the sprawling multi-level home where they raised the family is too big to keep up, too difficult to get around in, or too far from close friends. As a result, they end up moving to a senior residential development of some kind, which could be anything from an apartment to a townhouse or any of countless other options.

Developments like these are built to be comfortable and safe for senior residents, with difficult maintenance tasks and even meals provided by staff. This reduces the burden of daily living and allows seniors to avoid the most difficult or dangerous tasks, letting them focus on relaxing and socializing with friends and neighbors with similar interests.

One other option is for seniors to stay in their longtime homes but to get assistance with the most problematic tasks. An early choice here is often to hire someone for lawn care and house cleaning, but there are many other options available.

A good example is home health care. Seniors who are recovering from injuries or from events such as strokes or heart attacks can often benefit from in-home medical care from a nurse or other caregiver. These workers visit on a regular schedule and oversee things like physical therapy and medications.

They also provide companionship and monitor the senior for changes in health, such as increasing difficulty moving around or early signs of dementia, providing an earlier opportunity to intervene and slow the progression of these conditions. Home care is often covered by Medicare and private insurers, so the cost can be manageable.

No matter what age we are, we see changes in our lives with each new year. The question isn't whether things will stay the same but rather how we will adapt to those changes, and it's no different for people entering their golden years. Fortunately, a good plan for anticipating and reacting to these changes will help minimize their impact and help seniors maintain independence and quality of life.

This is a blog post by Nancy Evans.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Phoenix the best place for martial arts


Are you tired of being bullied? Do you fear walking alone at night because you might be attacked? Worry not; Phoenix fight club is the right place for you. Located in Central, Hong Kong, the gym offers martial arts training. Some of the martial arts classes taught in the gym include Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, HIIT, Muay Thai, personal training, and mixed martial arts. The staff here is friendly, and the coaches are more than experienced to ensure that you acquire the best skills. The gym has produced many world martial arts champions thus proving to be among the best martial arts gyms in the world. Below is a short description of the martial arts classes taught in the gym. Phoenix is known for facilitating MMA Hong Kong competitions.

Brazilian jiu-jitsu

A martial art enhances the idea of a weaker person defending himself against a much stronger person. It involves fighting on the ground and making joint locks thereby forcing the opponent into submission. It is a sport which helps to shape the character of young people and promotes to the fitness of the entire body. The coaches are friendly and professionals who have competed in international competitions. It is a good sport to try and comes in handy in some stressful situations.

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)

It involves fast, extreme training drills followed by small recovery periods allowing your body to burn up excess fat effectively. The trainers in the gym ensure that you get the best workouts you can ever get and only work within your physical level. Are you tired of trying to eat clean and doing daily exercises to lose weight? Try HIIT and experience the difference.

Muay Thai

It is the most popular sport in Thailand. It was developed about seven centuries ago with the sole aim of using the whole body as a weapon. It is among the best self-defense mechanisms in the world. The coaches are well equipped with the knowledge of this art ensuring that you become the best you can be.
 
Personal training

The gym has qualified personal trainers who can give you the correct prescription for your daily exercises. This helps the client know their weaknesses and strengths. The personal trainers check one’s workout routine and nutrition plan. The personal trainer advises the trainee on the next course of action. Are you ready to make your body fit? Seek the help of a qualified personal trainer at Phoenix fight club.

Mixed Martial Arts

This full-contact martial art encompasses techniques from other martial arts. The sport is arguably the best martial art in the world. The game is most helpful in one on one unarmed situations as it combines multiple techniques from all martial arts. It is one of the centers, where MMA Hong Kong competitions are held. Phoenix fight club has all the necessary equipment to facilitate your training.

Are you ready to be taught about self- defense techniques? Then Phoenix fight club is the right place for you. Phoenix Fight club offers multiple martial arts training from the real professionals.

This is a guest blog entry.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

10 Ways That Sunlight Is Important for Your Health


With the prevalence of skin cancer warnings, it’s easy to forget that sunshine is not only good for you but is also crucial to the survival of this planet’s entire ecosystem.

Certainly, this is not to say one should carelessly run around in the blazing sun all day, as melanoma is still the most fatal form of all known cancers. However, when embraced in moderation, the sunlight keeps the body healthy and the mind happy. Here are 10 reasons why you should enjoy the sun responsibly.

1. Blood Pressure
When those warm rays stroke your skin, the body reacts by releasing nitric oxide into the bloodstream. As this oxide moves around your system, your vessels widen which reduces your overall blood pressure. This is exceptionally beneficial for your cardiovascular health, as it helps lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

2. Depression
Best known by its cleverly chosen acronym, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is when the lack of sunshine thwarts the brain’s natural serotonin production. These happy hormones are essential to emotional well-being, hence why this condition is commonly linked to people living in colder countries, those hard workers who are trapped in dark offices all day, or general individuals who are more susceptible to the winter blues. Thankfully, artificial UV solutions known as SAD lights are available.

3. Alzheimer's Disease
While the specifics are uncertain, there have been links drawn between the progress of dementia and a lack of the sun’s vitamin D. Furthermore, one widely reported symptom of this condition is what’s called sundowner’s syndrome, a term used to describe an increase in anxiety, confusion, or mood disruption when the sun goes down. The relieving effects of sunlight on depression, insomnia, and agitation are also important to note, as these factors are often associated with Alzheimer's too. Click here if you would like to know more about sundowning.

4. Cancer
Ultraviolet radiation is usually synonymous with cancer warnings, but there are surprising sunshine benefits when it comes to other forms of this abnormal cell growth. Certain studies have noted a reduced risk of breast and colon cancer with high levels of vitamin D, while other reports have provided similar results in cases of bladder, womb, kidney, and stomach tumors.

5. The Immune System
Whenever the body is invaded by an infection or detrimental bacteria, the immune system gets to work by ordering white blood cells to fight off these dangerous intruders. Sunlight supports these defense mechanisms by energizing these cells, granting them more power to destroy viruses and tumors, which vastly improves your resistance.

6. Bones
One of vitamin D’s most lauded characteristics is its promotion of calcium absorption. Calcium itself is a mineral which strengthens the bones, and this reduces the chance of fractures, breaks, or the development of osteoporosis as you age. These benefits extend to your teeth too, meaning that the more sunshine you regularly take in, the less of a concern cavities will be.

7. Skin Disorders

The relationship between UV rays and your skin is a complex one, and you should always consult a medical professional if you are unsure about what it is you are dealing with. However, in cases of various skin ailments (such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, fungal infection, etc) the sun has been shown to improve their symptoms. If any of these conditions apply to you, spend 20 minutes in the sun without sunscreen to test if this suggestion may help. However, it is imperative that you never burn yourself as this could lead to severe repercussions.

8. Growth
Just like a plant, it has been shown that prenatal exposure to sunlight has a significant impact on a child’s body size, in particular to their eventual adult height. The reasons behind these results are not entirely clear yet, but it could be linked to many of the aforementioned health properties that vitamin D provides.

9. Weight Loss
If you’re looking to lose a few excess pounds, it may be as simple as sunbathing. These regular rays are proven to reduce appetite, while their serotonin-boosting characteristics should also curb any compulsions for comfort food. Furthermore, the extra energy you acquire from the sun is a natural way to bounce through the day, burning off more calories as you go.

10. Sleep
Within your vertebrate brain, there is an endocrine gland more specifically known as the pineal gland. Its primary function is to produce melatonin, a hormone responsible for sleep patterns. If your body clock is correctly in sync with the solar cycle, this gland will be better tuned in with nighttime, prompting drowsiness and ultimately shutting you down into a healthy, blissful sleep.

This is a guest blog entry.

Five Foods That Will Improve Hair Growth


 We can never underestimate the healthy food we incorporate in our daily diet. After all, it is where we mainly source the essential nutrients our body needs. It’s apparent that our health truly depends on our food options and our diet determines how certain aspects of our system function – including our hair. In this article, we will tackle five different types of food that can help with improving hair growth.

There is definitely a reason why we call our hairs our ‘crowning glory’. It is because our hair significantly makes an impact on our overall physique. Therefore, we always try to find ways to make sure that it is at its healthiest. Topical hair care products surely work, but the secret lies in the proper nutrients our body receives from our food intake. Incorporating a protein-rich diet helps a lot in fortifying your hair strands and stimulating hair growth. Proteins, along with vitamins and minerals, will totally make positive effects to your hair’s overall condition. Here are top five foods that are highly beneficial to your hair. You may want to sneak these into your daily meals!

1.    Nuts

Nuts are essential for your hair. Luckily, there are so many types of nuts that are widely available in your favorite supermarket. Walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts are only some of the hundreds that you can easily incorporate in your ‘Operation: Healthy Hair’ diet.  Almonds and walnuts offer a high supply of biotin, which works efficiently in stimulating hair growth. Biotin also plays a vital role in cell repair which makes it a great solution for hair brittleness. Nuts are also rich in healthy fats, vitamin D, and magnesium that work in perfect synergy in terms of keeping the hair and scalp healthy.

2.     Special Seeds

We are in an era where including certain seeds in our diet is becoming a trend. Some seeds have magnificent properties that have tremendous health benefits for our bodies, most particularly for the hair. Chia, flax, pumpkin and sunflower seeds are loaded with essential nutrients that greatly benefit the hair. True enough, big things come in small packages!

You can take these seeds alternately on a daily basis to break a monotonous diet. These delicious seeds are very rich in omega-3 fatty acid, a component that plays an important role in the hair’s moisture balance. It is also quite crucial for hair growth because without proper supply of these healthy types of fatty acids, the hair may experience serious breakage. The body does not produce omega-3 on its own, so including foods rich in it will truly boost your hair’s softness and shine. Additionally, these nutritious seeds are also excellent sources of iron. Iron is scientifically proven to help stop hair loss.

3.    Avocado

Our list can never be complete without avocado. Avocado features a vast number of essential nutrients that deem to be extremely beneficial to the hair. It’s one of the main reasons why avocado and avocado oil are immensely popular in many hair products. This fruit is rich in vitamins A, B, and E. It is also packed with omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy types of fats will bring your hair the natural shine you have always wanted! 

This fruit also features excellent antioxidants and is also loaded with alpha-tocopherol. This compound fights against free radicals in the body that really damage your hair. The fruit also contains copper, which helps in building two vital components – collagen and elastin. With great supply of these natural components, your hair will surely be safe from damage, breakage and hair loss.

4.    Eggs

Who doesn’t love eating eggs? They make amazing breakfast, after all! Many people start their day with an egg or two because of the fact that it’s very nutritious. It also has substantial benefits for your hair’s health. One egg means that you are ingesting an ample supply of zinc, iron, biotin, and proteins. Typically, adding eggs in your diet significantly assists your hair in regenerating healthy cells flawlessly.

The zinc mineral present in eggs will help with tissue development and tissue repairs, which the hair crucially needs to produce new strands. The skin also has oil-secreting glands that are typically connected to your hair follicle. Zinc will help keep them in place.

Apart from zinc, eggs are also a great source of iron and biotin – ingredients we previously mentioned that play a vital role in hair growth. With these three components wrapped up in a shell, you can definitely assure your hair that it’s getting the best nutrients it requires.

5.    Your Leafy Greens

Your meals cannot afford to lack leafy greens! While leafy, green vegetables are not always pleasing to our taste buds, there are still a ton of different ways to include it in our meals. Turn it into a smoothie, salad, or basically however you’d like to enjoy it and it will still do its wonders! You’re not only making your body healthy but your locks happy as well.

Leafy green vegetables such as kales, spinach, arugula, and broccoli have rich and potent nutrients beneficial to the hair. They are famous for being a rich source of iron. As what was mentioned earlier, iron is an awesome compound to help you combat hair loss. Leafy greens can also supply you with vitamins A, C and E, which are all helpful to the hair.

Moisture is very important when it comes to keeping your hair healthy and strong. These foods will also help you maintain the right moisture balance that your hair needs. Hair loss is not an easy battle to win. However, making drastic changes in your diet will absolutely solve your hair concerns. Just make sure to plan your diet carefully, with the needs of your hair being taken in great consideration. Take note of these super foods and try to increase your daily intake. Pair this up with proper exercise, ample amount of water intake and efficient organic hair products for optimum results! By doing so, you will have longer, fuller, moisturized, shiny, and fabulous hair.

Author’s bio: Nikolay Stoyanov is the owner of the popular brazilian hair shop HotBrazilianHair.com. The site sells high-quality brazilian wigs and extensions worldwide and is famous for its high standards, free shipping and fast delivery.

Friday, July 06, 2018

What You Need to Know About Emergency Dental Care


A dental emergency is any type of dental problem that has to be treated or looked at immediately. Fortunately, there are many emergency dental clinics that are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The sooner you seek out a clinic that offers emergency dental in Melbourne, the easier it will be to treat the problem. Here’s what you need to know about seeking emergency dental care. 

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 Signs You May Need Emergency Dental Care
  • Knocked Out Tooth – A knocked out tooth is an example of something that must be treated at an emergency dental clinic as soon as possible, as a dentist may be able to reattach the tooth and prevent it from sustaining any more damage. Before you visit an emergency dentist, you’ll need to pick the tooth up by its crown and rinse it. Do not touch the root, and carefully place the tooth back into the socket. If it’s not possible to do this, place the tooth in a glass of milk.
     
  •  Severe Toothache – A toothache is almost always an indication of a problem. If a toothache is severe, you should seek out emergency dental in Melbourne as soon as possible. An abscessed tooth is one of the possible causes of a toothache, while tooth decay and gum disease can also lead to a severe toothache. An over-the-counter pain reliever can temporarily reduce pain, but it’s important to note that the pain will not go away completely until the cause of the toothache is treated.
     
  • Cracked or Chipped Tooth – A cracked or chipped tooth is a dental emergency because it can easily result in an infection. You can apply a cold compress to the area to get some temporary relief. You can also take an over-the-counter pain reliever until you can get to an emergency dentist.
     
  • Bitten Tongue – If you bite your tongue and the bleeding is excessive, you’ll need emergency dental care as soon as possible. You can apply a cold compress to the area while you’re waiting to see the dentist. 
Available Emergency Dental Procedures

There are a variety of treatments and procedures available to treat dental emergencies. The type of treatment that’s recommended will ultimately depend on the emergency. For example, for a severe toothache caused by decay, an emergency dental clinic can perform a root canal to remove the pulp. After that, they’ll clean the space and place a filling in it. The dentist may also place a crown over the tooth to provide strength and protection. If the tooth cannot be saved, then an extraction will be performed. This is always a last resort, as it’s always better to save the tooth.

If your tooth has been knocked out, the dentist will use water to remove any debris from the tooth. After that, they’ll attempt to put the tooth back in its place. The dentist may have to use soft wire or composite material to splint the tooth. In some cases, a root canal may need to be performed.

How to Prevent Dental Emergencies

Dental emergencies cannot always be prevented. However, you can do the following to reduce the risk:
  1. Have routine checkups
  2. Practice goodWear a mouthguard when participating in recreational activities
  3. Be careful when chewing hard foods
This is a guest blog entry.

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Most Popular Senior Living Options Explained


While many senior citizens choose to retire in the home they’ve lived in for many years, this is often not possible due to various reasons. This may be because their primary caregivers (who are often their children) simply do not have the time or knowledge to care for their loved one. As such, there are certain senior living options that are available to all seniors that they should know about. Here we will discuss the 3 most popular options for seniors during retirement: assisted living facilities, nursing homes and senior apartments:

Senior Apartments

This is generally the most independent living option for seniors. Senior living apartments provide seniors with all of the amenities they need in an apartment to live a worry-free and maintenance-free life. When looking for senior apartments near them, seniors and their loved ones should know that senior citizen apartments often come in the form of studios, 1-bedroom and even 2 bedrooms for those seniors who require additional space. Senior citizen apartments often come without any assistance services and are perfect for those seniors who do not need any help with their daily lives. Some 55+ apartments are part of larger continuing care communities, so in those apartments it is possible to find assisted living services from the communities. As a general rule, in all senior apartments seniors can choose to contract with home health care agencies to receive assistance as they need it.

Assisted Living Facilities

You can think of assisted living facilities as senior apartments with a little extra help when it comes to daily living activities. Assisted living facilities are generally part of assisted living communities and include numerous dining, entertainment and recreational opportunities for senior citizens. In addition to senior apartments, senior citizens get help with 2 or more daily living activities such as dressing, eating, bathing, going to the toilet or moving in and out of bed. Assisted living services in such communities can be purchased a-la-carte whenever they are needed, or can be done via assisted living packages that the senior and their family purchase prior to moving in. Almost all assisted living communities near you will generally have a nurse on staff in case of any emergencies, though 24/7 nursing services are not provided in the homes. Assisted living facilities can be part of large complexes with hundreds of apartments, or small residential care homes that house only 5 to 10 residents. Assisted living facilities are perfect for senior citizens who are relatively independent but need some help with daily activities. Assisted living costs are usually not covered by Medicaid or Medicare, so they have to be paid out of pocket using retirement savings or long-term care insurance.
Nursing Homes

Probably the most known and sometimes stigmatized senior living option out there, nursing homes are for those senior citizens who require 24/7 skilled nursing care. Many people mistakenly think that nearby nursing homes are the only senior living option out there and do know about assisted living facilities, which are often a better choice for their loved one who may not need nursing care but needs help with daily living. The great thing about nursing homes is that they can be generally paid for via Medicare, at least in part. Nursing homes accept both short-term residents who require rehabilitation, such as after a stroke, a fall, or surgery, as well as long-term residents who are simply too frail to live on their own and cannot manage to live at home or in assisted living facilities. Similar to assisted living facilities, nursing homes will include dining and recreation as part of their care package.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs)

The most expensive senior living option of them all, CCRCs are senior communities that allow senior citizens to enjoy retirement no matter what their health is. They usually include all senior living options: independent senior apartments, assisted living and skilled nursing care. A resident can start their retirement journey in a senior apartment without any daily living help and can easily transfer to assisted living or nursing home whenever their health needs change, without having to switch communities. CCRCs are also perfect for older couples who have different requirements, where one may not need any assistance while the other may be in worse health and require assisted living services.

This is a guest blog entry.

The Symptoms and Effects of Nursing Home Abuse


Just like all humans, our parents develop health issues as they grow up. Once they fall, it is the responsibility of us, as their children to take care of our elderly parents in just the same way they took care of us. Most of the time, elderly patients need hospitalization or 24/7 care due to several health complications. Although Healthcare is costly in the United States, most of the children always try to provide the best medical attention to their elderly parents and prefer admitting them in Nursing Homes where they believe their parents would be taken care of in the best way possible. But during a recent 3-year study by the University of Canton Center for Elderly Health, there was a series of shocking videos which revealed the truth of what happens inside the walls of a Nursing Home once the family members of the elderly patients leave the spot.

Horrible Nursing Homes

Generally speaking, people believe that they could give their parents the best medical care by getting them admitted to Nursing Homes. However, these facilities can turn out to be some of the worst places in the United States to leave your elderly parent or relative. A recent video which surfaced on the Internet as a part of the University of Canton study, shows show elderly parents who are rarely visited by family people are abused to the worst extent in nursing homes by the staff. The staff can be extremely rude to most of the patients and in the video, a nurse was shown kicking a 70-year-old elderly patient and continually abusing him almost every day and tossing him like a football from the wheelchair to the bed in the most inhumane way possible.  Such Nursing Homes will only worsen the health condition of the patient instead of improving them.

Types of Abuse


There are such nursing homes throughout the U.S. which treat elderly patients whom had toiled throughout their life, with almost zero respect. A recent survey had revealed the shocking truth that almost half of the Nursing Homes in the United States had been accused in multiple instances of the abuse of Elderly Patients. The severity of the abuse varied with each nursing home and type of abuse also varied depending on the Nursing Home. The poor elderly patients were subjected to a wide range of abuses such as physical abuse and psychological abuse. However, few Nursing Home staff members did the unthinkable and had also sexually abused the poor and weak elderly patients. The survey also brought to light the sufferings and effects of this abuse on the elderly patients. Although this percentage was extremely low, the fact that it was present was concern enough.

Health Effects 

The shocking survey had not only exposed the vile nature of the Nursing Home staff but also the difficulties the victims had to face due to these abuses. Another shocking truth which came to light was that almost five out of six abuse cases go unreported. This means that most of the elderly victims of Nursing Home Abuse were silently suffering for a long time. This can cause a lot of health issues in the victims like Weight Loss and Fractures. The psychological effects can too be severe as they are let to suffer in solitude. This can cause a lot of psychological problems like emotional outbursts, wild mood swings, and sometimes even death. The other common health issues are dehydration, frequent infections from lack of hygiene, and signs of bruises. In some cases, the patient’s requests are ignored most of the times which can also cause Psychological and health issues in the victim.

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

There are a lot of easily identifiable issues which might be symptoms of Nursing Home Abuse on Elderly Patients like bruises, cuts, and fractures.  Elderly Abuse Attorney, Ed Atkinson, of Atkinson Law in Norfolk, VA states; “The next time you notice a bruise mark, question the staff about how it happened and if they do not give a proper reason, there are high chances of the elderly patient being abused in the Nursing Home.”If there are numerous documented instances of this type of occurrence, you may have good cause for a lawsuit on your hands.

Dehydration and unexplained weight loss are also signs of Nursing Home Abuse. If the patient suffers from mood swings or tends to be reclusive, it is possible that the patient has been abused regularly for a long time now. Refusal to take medicines from the nurse is another indicator that a patient has been subjected to physical abuse at the Nursing Home. If the elderly patient is unable to talk, ask them to convey their thoughts about the Nursing Home to find out if they are being abused.

Apart from this, placing a secret camera in your loved one’s room with their permission is one of the best ways to confirm suspected abuse and can also serve as proof if you sue the Nursing Home for abusing such elderly patients.

The information provided in this article should not serve as legal advice. If you or a loved one are believed to be victims of nursing home abuse, consult with a social services professional and/or or a local attorney specializing in the laws in your state regarding this subject matter.

This is a guest blog entry.

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Seven Ways for Seniors to Avoid Nighttime Falls


Approximately 25 percent of seniors over the age of 65 falls each year and many of those falls take place at night. Between the lack of natural light and disorientation from getting up after being asleep for a few hours, nighttime can easily be the most vulnerable time for an older adult.

If you’re concerned about an elderly loved one and want to make sure they stay safe when moving around at night, keep reading.

Listed below are seven simple adjustments seniors can make to avoid moving around at night and risking nighttime falls.

Common Causes of Nighttime Falls

Many senior falls occur because the victim is struggling with visual impairments. When they’re not able to see clearly, there’s a greater risk of tripping over an object on the ground or missing a step when walking down the stairs.

Chronic health conditions (low blood pressure, dementia, heart disease) and muscle weakness or other impairments can also contribute to a senior’s risk of falling at night.

Preventing Nighttime Falls

Nighttime falls can be incredibly scary for older adults, and they come with a number of serious consequences like sprains, fractures, and even death. Luckily, there are lots of things you can do to improve your loved one’s living situation and decrease the risk of nighttime falls.
 
1. Improve Lighting
 

One of the easiest ways to prevent nighttime falls is to make sure your elderly loved one’s home is well-lit in the evening. Installing nightlights in the bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and hallways can make a big difference for seniors who need to get up in the night.
 
2. Reduce Clutter

Another simple solution is to clean up the home so there is less clutter and nothing on the floor that someone could slip on. If there are old stacks of newspapers or mail on the floor, take them to the recycling bin. If your loved one has a habit of dropping clothes and shoes on the floor as they undress, emphasize the importance of putting these things away instead of letting them build up on the ground. Hiring a cleaning service to come in once a week can also be a good way to keep clutter at bay.
 
3. Install Grab Bars and Railings

Grab bars and railings installed next to the bed, in the bathroom, and along the hallway or staircase can give seniors something sturdy to hold on to and minimize their risk of falling if they have to get up during the night. Grab bars and railings are fairly inexpensive and easy to install, so they’re a great device to help seniors feel safer and more stable at night.
 
4. Bring the Bathroom to Them

One of the most common places for seniors to fall at any time of day is the bathroom. But, the risk of falls goes up at night, when they’re slightly disoriented or their vision hasn’t adjusted.

To decrease the risk of falling in the bathroom, you may want to look into devices that allow you to bring the bathroom to them. Some tools they can use to avoid a trip to the bathroom in the middle of the night include portable commodes, urinals, and bedpans.

5. Adjust Furniture Placement

Rearranging furniture is also helpful for preventing nighttime falls. Get rid of unnecessary furniture or move it to another part of the house to make sure your loved one has a clear path to the bathroom, kitchen, or anywhere else they might be headed.

6. Improve Sleep Quality

Many seniors end up getting up in the night because they’re restless and have a hard time getting good sleep.

To improve sleep quality, encourage your loved one to exercise regularly, practice relaxation techniques like meditation, and limit their caffeine and alcohol consumption. Sleep-inducing drugs should be a last resort, as they can be habit-forming and often come with side effects like dizziness, which increase a senior’s risk of falling.

7. Get Regular Checkups

Finally, make sure your loved one is going to the doctor regularly. This will help them ensure their vision is where it should be and will help them rule out health problems that increase their risk of falling.

This is a guest blog entry.

How Home Health Care can Help Your Elderly Parent and You


Are you the main caregiver for your parent? If so, do you have a lot of concerns about their home life and ability to care for themselves when you’re not there? In most cases, you can’t be with your loved one around the clock. In order for them to retain their independence, they’re going to need some assistance. A home health care agency can help with that as well as put your mind at ease while you’re away. Here are a few ways a home health care agency may be able to help you and your parent.

Obtaining the Right Equipment

Starting with your doctor, talk about which specific needs your parent has that are not being met.
From there, ask if a referral to a home health agency would be beneficial. If you all agree, you can set up an appointment for a consultation. When the agency's representative comes out, they will do a complete evaluation of the home and learn what your loved one’s needs are. One thing they will look at specifically is whether or not there is a need for any specific DME or durable medical equipment.

This may include the need for:
  • Bedside commodes or shower chairs
  • Canes or walkers
  • Hospital beds
Other items, such as medical supplies, can either be ordered through your home health care agency or a company like USAMedicalSurgical.com. These orders may include diapers, wipes, ostomy supplies, catheter care supplies and blood glucose monitors. Depending on what the patient’s personal and medical needs are, equipment that is designed to make life at home a little easier will also be considered. Instead of having to deal with a home medical supply company on your own and getting frustrated figuring out what to order and whether or not what you need to order is covered by insurance, ask your nurse to handle your initial and ongoing orders.

Getting the Proper Plan of Care in Place

Another advantage of hiring a home health care agency is that they often work in unison with your medical team to make sure your loved one gets the best continuous medical care while they are at home. Most agencies get together on a weekly basis or more frequently to talk about your loved one's care and to address any medical or interpersonal needs. From there they can adjust the home care visit schedule or incorporate visits from other pros like social workers, spiritual care advisors, and specialty nurses. The convenience here is that these professionals go directly to the patient’s home. This eliminates the need for the patient having to leave their home and travel to multiple doctors.

Fast Medical Care

Having a home care agency at your fingertips means you get fast medical care. Most agencies offer an on-call service so you don’t have to wait until morning to set up an appointment with your loved one's healthcare provider. If you have a medical concern, they will come out to your house and do a complete evaluation. This includes taking vital signs and looking directly at the health problem or concern. The other advantage is that the patient will not have to leave the home while feeling ill. Home health nurses also consult directly with a medical director who can make changes to the plan of care or prescribe a new medication without anybody having to go in and do a clinical office visit.

Peace of Mind

As the child or caregiver, knowing that your loved one can stay in the comfort of their own home is important. It brings you the peace of mind you need. You won't have to worry about your parent falling while out in public or when traveling to a doctor appointment. Some agencies also offer home services that help with ADLs or activities of daily living. They can assist with light housekeeping, bathing, dressing, and medication management. This gives your loved one a sense of independence without having to rely on family and friends for help with their personal care. Some agencies will also help with meal prep and make sure that your loved one eats and takes their meds on time.

If you have a concern for your loved one's overall care, talk to your doctor about home health care. You can also inquire directly through the home agency. From there, they will make the proper phone calls and contact your doctor about setting up a referral.

This is a blog post by Nancy Evans.