Oklahoma City, OK (February 2017) Ever since President Lyndon B. Johnson declared the first American Heart Month in 1964, the month of February has been dedicated to cardiovascular health awareness. Cardiovascular disease is the nation’s No. 1 cause of death for both men and women, killing an estimated 630,000 Americans each year. That is why many senior living communities such as Rambling Oaks Courtyard incorporate a heart healthy lifestyle into everyday living.
Whether it is through the prepared meals or the organized activities and onsite exercise programs, senior’s living in communities can find it easier to stay healthy because they have help to make it happen.
“Our residents often tell us they are eating healthier food choices because a chef is preparing meals with the right choices and making it taste good. In addition, many find they engage in exercise more frequently once they live in a community due to the availability of our activity programs and friends to work out with,” said Jessica Puga for Rambling Oaks Courtyard.
Through a heart-healthy lifestyle, seniors can prevent and control many coronary heart disease (CHD) risk factors. Some risk factors can be controlled or at least made better like high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, and obesity. Only a few risk factors—such as age, gender, and family history—can’t be controlled through healthy choices.
To reduce risk, seniors should try and control each major risk factor:
- Weight: Maintain a healthy weight
- Smoking: Quit or don’t start smoking
- Exercise: Exercise 30 to 60 minutes a day on most days of the week, cardio is best for a healthy heart even a simple walk works
- Diet: Eat a diet that’s low in saturated fat, cholesterol and salt
- Sleep: Get plenty of sleep
- The “Other” Heart: The saying goes that people can die of a broken heart or in other words emotions can indeed affect the heart. Keep it happy with:
- Gratitude. Remind yourself of what you have to be grateful for
- Laugh. Yes just laugh
- Connect. Get out, find a group, take a class, call an old friend – your heart will be lighter.
Growing numbers of seniors are enjoying living at communities like Rambling Oaks Courtyard
Oklahoma City, OK (January 2017) A large segment of the older population in the United States- individuals between the ages of 65 & 84- will increase by nearly 40 percent between 2010 and 2020, says the U.S. Census Bureau. The population over age 85 will rise by nearly 19 percent. By 2060, says the Administration of Aging (AOA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there will be about 98 million older persons, more than twice the number in 2014.
These statistics confirm the trend toward ever-growing numbers of older Americans whose need for senior-focused living situations has spurred one of the nation’s most powerful growth industries: living facilities that specialize in catering to older Americans.
By all accounts, the nearly 1 million older adults who currently live in senior communities are happy in their environments. A recent poll by Argentum (formerly Assisted Living Federation of America) found that 93 percent of residents in senior living facilities feel satisfied with the communities they live in. The survey also reported that nearly all residents—99 percent—say they feel safe in their living communities.
More communities such as Rambling Oaks Courtyard are designed and updated to appeal to active seniors with a variety of abilities, interests, and preferences. Here are a few of the most often cited reasons that older adults are choosing to move to senior living communities.
Safety. Good facilities have 24-hour staffing, state-of-the-art security systems, easy-access and handicap features, and emergency-medical services.
Social connections. Studies show that participating in social activities helps maintain cognitive health. Residents make friends, eat meals together, and celebrate holidays as a community. Senior facilities offer a wide variety of activities for residents, both on site and off. Classes, workshops, fitness options, dancing, reading groups, outdoor excursions, field trips—there is something for everyone!
No home maintenance and repair. Keeping up a home, inside and outside, is labor intensive, physically demanding, and expensive. Most senior-living residents are glad to say good-bye to these burdensome chores so they can spend time on other interests, hobbies, and activities.
Prepared meals. No more grocery shopping, meal planning, and food preparation. Residents can enjoy fine dining on a daily basis—without all the work. Many facilities offer alternative meals and can accommodate special diet needs. New residents commonly experience improvements in health and well being simply from everyday access to healthful, regular mealtimes.
“Speed the cure. Spread the word,” says the Glaucoma Research Foundation. The first month of the New Year is a good time to learn about and spread awareness of this sight-stealing disease. Glaucoma may affect as many as 4.2 million Americans by 2030, a 58 percent increase, says the National Eye Institute.
Glaucoma is known as “the sneak thief of sight” because there may be no symptoms and as much as 40 percent of vision can be slowly lost without a person noticing. And once vision is lost, it’s permanent.
The good news is that glaucoma is the leading cause of preventable blindness. While there is no cure for glaucoma—yet—medication or surgery can slow or prevent vision loss. Early detection is key to stopping the progress of the disease.
What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is characterized by increased intraocular pressure, or pressure due to buildup of fluid within the eye. This pressure can damage the optic nerve, leading to vision loss. In the U.S., approximately 120,000 people are blind from glaucoma, accounting for up to 12 percent of all cases of blindness.
Who is at risk?
People of any age or race can get glaucoma, but these groups are at higher risk:
- African Americans or Hispanics (especially over age 40)
- People over age 60
- People with a family history of the condition
- Those diagnosed (during an eye exam) with high internal eye pressure
- Those with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and sickle cell anemia
- Those who have had an eye injury or eye surgery
- Those with certain eye conditions, such as severe nearsightedness
- Women with early estrogen deficiency
- Those taking corticosteroid medication, specially eyedrops, for a long time
How can you protect your vision?
Early detection and treatment of glaucoma, before it causes vision loss, is the best way to control the disease. If you fall into one or more of the high-risk groups, is to get a comprehensive eye exam. The Mayo Clinic advises scheduling regular comprehensive eye exams beginning at age 40. Ask your doctor to recommend the right screening schedule for you.