Quality Home Health Care

Healthy Living Tips to Help Seniors Live Longer

Many seniors today enjoy excellent health during their golden years, and in general, seniors enjoy a longer life expectancy than ever before. Growing older can’t be avoided, but taking the following steps can help to increase your life expectancy.

Diet and Life Expectancy

If you want to celebrate your 100th birthday, maintaining a healthy diet is one of the best things you can do. If your diet isn’t quite what it should be, you should seriously consider making some significant changes in what you eat.A healthy elderly man  with his family

Living a long life is common in Okinawa, which enjoys one of the highest life expectancies anywhere. Seniors in this chain of Japanese islands are more likely to be free from heart disease and cancer, as well as more likely to live longer.

Soy, legumes and small amounts of fish are an important part of the diet in this area, which helps to increase the life expectancy of the residents. Many residents eat purple sweet potato rather than rice, and green and yellow vegetables typically make up about 30 percent of the diet.

If you are trying to lose weight, you may want to consider moving to Okinawa, as the diet there is especially conducive to weight loss, comprising about 1785 calories. Fewer grains, sugar, meat and polyunsaturated fats are consumed there, in contrast to the rest of Japan.aide serving elderly woman a healthy meal

Plenty of beans, fruit, nuts, whole grains and fish are staples of the Mediterranean diet, which is also known for its extensive use of olive oil. This diet is popular on the island of Sardinia, where residents enjoy a higher than average life expectancy. Heart disease and depression are less likely with anyone following this diet, which limits the amount of cheese, meats, and sugary foods.

Seafood is healthy because of the presence of Omega 3 fats and it features heavily in the diet of the European country of Monaco, whose residents also enjoy a high life expectancy. Fruits and vegetables are also eaten often by Monaco residents.

People in Macau also enjoy a long life, partly due to their diet which focuses on vegetables and seafood. Different spices, the use of fresh ingredients and a combination of Portuguese and Asian flavors also feature in the local diet.

The high amounts of antioxidants in the Japanese diet help to contribute to the long life of residents of that country. However, eating plenty of leafy green vegetables, seaweed, fish, and tofu also help to increase the life expectancy of Japanese seniors and minimize the possibility of cancer or heart disease.

In the US, seniors also enjoy a higher life expectancy in the California city of Loma Linda. Plenty of exercise and a healthy diet are characteristics of the Seventh-day Adventist religion, which is practiced by many of the residents here.

It doesn’t take too much to see what most of these communities have in common, and why their residents enjoy a long life. Natural and non-processed foods are common in all of these diets, and it can make a huge difference to anyone looking to increase their life expectancy. Red meat and poultry are eaten sparingly or are replaced by fish and seafood.

Plenty of vegetables and fruits in the diet are also essential for anyone seeking a long life. The typical American diet contains more calories than the healthy diets described above.

Adding some of these healthy choices into your own diet can help to increase your life expectancy and also improve your overall health.

Lifestyle and Life Expectancy

The right lifestyle can make a huge difference, whether you are a senior or you are in your teens. Increased life expectancy and better overall health can be the results of taking more exercise.

Too little sleep can make you feel tired and listless, and can actually adversely affect your health. Good mental and physical health is essential for seniors, and making sure that you are getting 8 hours sleep every night is important. Don’t be fooled by the popular misconception that less sleep is needed as we get older.

Elderly man exercising with aides helpA lack of exercise can be detrimental to your health, whether you are a teen or a senior, and getting plenty of exercise is important, regardless of age. Simple workouts at home, walking, riding a bike or swimming are all excellent and inexpensive ways to stay in shape, although before you commence any exercise routine, always talk to your doctor first.

A long life is more likely if you do all possible to avoid stress, which is more harmful than you might think. Soaking in the bath, exercising, reading or listening to music are all excellent ways to lower your stress levels. If you are routinely stressed out, consult your doctor or confide in a close friend if you have something on your mind.

You can enjoy better health and an increased life expectancy if companionship and friendship are important parts of your life. A life spent socializing and interacting with others is much healthier and much more enjoyable, and if you live alone, make a point to address that. Volunteering, participating in a sport or craft, or taking part in a community activity can all be beneficial and enjoyable.

Giving up unhealthy habits are just as important as diet and exercise for any seniors wanting to increase their chances of living a long life. Make a point of not drinking to excess, quitting smoking, and avoiding illegal or addictive drugs. Your doctor can help if you are having difficulty giving any of these things up.

Seniors also have a better life expectancy as well as better health if they have a sense of purpose. Meaning and purpose in life are important to anyone, but especially so as we get older, and you can find purpose in volunteering, writing a diary, taking up a new hobby or simply babysitting for a friend or neighbor.

You can get useful tips on prolonging your life and improving your overall quality of life by consulting your doctor regularly. And of course, your doctor can also keep track of any treatment you might need or preventative measures to be taken.

Regular visits to your dentist are a must too, whether you still have your own teeth or have succumbed to dentures. Serious medical issues can be prevented by visiting your dentist regularly, as oral health often affects our overall health.

If your goal is to reach your 100th birthday, the diet, exercise and healthy living tips above can really help to make that dream a reality. It is never too early or too late to make positive change and you really can take steps to increase your life expectancy.

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Meals on Wheels: A Program Worth Fighting For

Not many programs were birthed from the heart and perpetuated by the human spirit like Meals on Wheels. Meals on Wheels recipient and volunteerThe program brings much needed assistance to millions of seniors. It seems impossible that the program could be threatened by an administration or circumstance and yet it is.

The True Value of Meals on Wheels

The concept behind this program originated in the United Kingdom. It started during the Blitz, where many people in the country lost everything.

Homes were destroyed during these trying times, but the people behind the Women’s Volunteer Service for Civil Defence saw an opportunity to make a difference. The idea was to simply bring prepared food to people who needed it, which is how the program started.

The program has transformed over the years and through different cultures, but the core idea remains the same: to help people. The program delivers food to the needy, to those who cannot prepare their own meals, and to elderly people.

Meals on Wheels did not officially arrive to the United States until 1974, and many welcomed the program.

The program is under attack under the new President of the United States. It seems that the current administration believes the program is not being run correctly. The officials seem to believe that Meals on Wheels is not targeting the people that need this service the most, which makes it ineffective.

These statements were made as the administration announced that it was planning to cut funding to Meals on Wheels. It should be noted that the program is already suffering. Data shows that the program, as a whole, has had to reduce the number of meals delivered by 23 million since 2005. This is on top of the fact that the program’s waiting list is growing, which shows just how greatly the program is needed.

Some will likely point out that Meals on Wheels will be just fine without the financial support it receives from the government. There probably is some truth to that since the program’s budget states that only around 3 percent of its revenue comes from the government. Most of the program’s revenue actually comes from companies and good-hearted people.

The problem here is that the program can use all the help it can get. Charities and other similar initiatives are always going to give more than they receive.

It is very hard, some might say impossible, to make a profit from helping people. Furthermore, no charity should really begin by hoping to make a profit off of giving but rather give as much as possible. The key thing to understand is that the reward is that people are ultimately helped by the program.

Meals on Wheels delivered 219.4 million meals in 2015. That is a large number, and it also represents the number of victories this program has had. For the administration to say that this program shows no results is quite a stretch.

The Other Side of Meals on Wheels

There are additional services that Meals on Wheels provides that some may overlook like companionship. Many seniors that are visited by the volunteers of this program are lonely and rarely get additional visitors.

Human beings are naturally social creatures, so giving lonely seniors an opportunity to meet with others should have a positive effect on some.

It should be pointed out that some people cannot prepare a meal without considerable strain due to some type of disability. Forcing people with debilitating afflictions to prepare their own meals by stripping away help could actually put some of these people in danger. Many people know that elderly people have been known to trip or fall, which could be fatal.

Meals on Wheels helps minimize the need for an elderly person to have to cook, and it provides a visitor who will also make sure everything is okay.

Some seniors also have trouble knowing if food is safe to eat due to afflictions that hinder the sense of smell or taste. This puts the senior in unnecessary risk. Thankfully, the good people in this program help feed some of these people. Seniors are happier with the assistance and also get to eat healthier, too.

No one is saying that the program is perfect. There are surely a few changes that can be made to target more people who are in need of help.

There are bound to be changes in policies that could make Meals on Wheels an even more effective program. Perhaps, some of these policy changes can connect the organization to the people who need it. It should also look for people who want to be involved.

Change should be welcomed because the goal should always be to improve, but cutting funding is a step backward. Cutting funding seems like it would hurt the program rather than help it.

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Thank You From Jewish Family Services

thank you  letter

Ruth and Norman Rales Jewish Family Services sent this thank you note to Lisa Kaufman of Boca Home Care Services for sponsoring the very successful food drive for the Jacobson Family Food Pantry.

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Foods That Naturally Lower Blood Pressure

Doctors sometimes discover patients are suffering from high blood pressure during a routine medical exam, but more frequently find out in the Emergency Room. blood pressure examinationSymptoms may take years to present themselves or could be triggered by secondary conditions. Worldwide, more than 7 million people will die of conditions related to high blood pressure, such as heart attack or stroke, while many more millions will suffer disability. The financial and emotional costs of failing to regulate blood pressure are enormous.

What Contributes to High Blood Pressure?

Numerous individuals in society of all sizes and every age group are at risk but are unaware. They have not yet presented any symptoms. Many such individuals are slender, possibly athletic, and their diets are considered healthy as determined by public health guidelines.

Most individuals who suffer from high blood pressure have chosen unhealthy lifestyles. They drink alcohol excessively, smoke, consume too much coffee, are sedentary, and they report high levels of stress. Their diets are rich in fat and table salt but low in fiber, good fats, vitamins, and minerals.

Sometimes, blood pressure changes can be traced to pre-existing conditions. Healthcare workers report that risks increase as a result of organ-related or thyroid diseases, for example. Certain gastric conditions which interfere with the body’s ability to absorb nutrients also contribute to heart problems.

Effects of High Blood Pressure

When consumers are genetically predisposed to heart disease, the first sign is elevated blood pressure. In their thirties and forties, possibly earlier, symptoms will become apparent such as headaches, fatigue, breathlessness, or chest tightness. Signs such as these should not be ignored. Consumers should see a doctor right away if they suffer from chest pain in particular. These are warning signs; precursors to emergency situations.

How to Reduce Blood Pressure

There are several ways to reduce blood pressure. Individuals leading a healthy lifestyle but suffering from a genetic condition will be prescribed medication if necessary. Since poor diet and lack of exercise are usually behind blood pressure anomalies, consumers are most likely to be given an ultimatum: lose weight, get fit, or symptoms will worsen. The urgency of a situation will often inspire a patient to start walking or swimming, reduce fat in his diet, and cut down on alcohol consumption. Moves to change lifestyle will have a positive effect on Type 2 Diabetes, a frequent contributor to high blood pressure and other conditions.

Stress-related health problems should be addressed by a counselor or psychologist as well as one’s doctor. A physician will treat the medical symptoms, but a counselor addresses the root of one’s stress and how to cope with stressors in healthy ways.

How to Reduce Blood Pressure with Food

Consumers with high blood pressure often eat too much salty, fatty food and lack essential nutrients, especially electrolytes. These are minerals which regulate blood pressure; potassium, magnesium, and calcium are the best-known and most important electrolytes. A healthy diet should contain adequate amounts of all three and cutting down on table salt or sodium. Although one can obtain essential minerals from multi-vitamins, foods are better sources because they also contain other nutrients such as fiber.

Black beans, Garbanzo beans (a.k.a. chickpeas), and Edameme beans are among the most nutritious legumes. Always choose dry or frozen sources which have not been preserved in salt or sugar. There is very little calcium in Black Beans but 20% of your daily requirement of magnesium and 18% of your recommended dose of potassium. These numbers for Edameme beans are 17% and 20%, respectively. Chickpeas provide about 10% of each.

Green Leafy Vegetables

Greens are excellent for many reasons, one of which is that they are rich in all three essential minerals which lower blood pressure. Kale and spinach are two of the best but among the least loved by some diners. Romaine lettuce and broccoli are more popular sources, but not as nutrient-rich. Kale contains 14% of the potassium required by an adult male or female, about 15% of the calcium, and 11% of one’s daily magnesium allowance.


Cheese is high in fat but also high in calcium. Cheddar contains 72% of the calcium most people need each day. Plain yogurt with about 4% fat features roughly half your daily calcium needs per serving. Vegans seeking non-dairy protein and minerals should look to nuts, especially almonds which contain more than 60% of the magnesium an average adult requires for good health.

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Opioid Induced Constipation in Seniors

Opioid-induced constipation is a common problem for seniors. As seniors can be prone to chronic pain, many prescription pain medications contain opioids.Elderly Constipated Woman

If you use these medications regularly, you may find the opioids cause constipation by decreasing the fluids in your intestines, intestinal movement, and the frequency in which you pass stools. Passing stools can require straining, and the stools are generally harder than before you started taking the pain medication.

How To Treat Opioid-Induced Constipation:

What To Avoid

There are two approaches you should not take if you are suffering from chronic constipation due to opioid use. One is to allow the problem to continue indefinitely. It is stressful and unhealthy to allow chronic constipation to go untreated.

Second, you should not rely on over the counter preparations for chronic constipation. Although it is not harmful to occasionally use a laxative or another over the counter product, it can be harmful to continue using the products on a long-term basis.

How To Treat Opioid Induced Constipation: Healthier Options

When you know you need to address the problem, you can start with some healthy lifestyle changes. In some cases, these changes are enough to reduce constipation.

First, if you know for certain that you do not have a bowel blockage, increase the amount of natural fiber in your daily diet. Eat plenty of whole grains and other fiber-rich foods every day.

Second, increase the amount of fluid you consume each day. While fruit and vegetable juices can be helpful, your main beverage should be pure water. It will increase the fluids in your intestines, and can produce easier bowel movements.

Third, as physical activity is useful for your digestive system, incorporate exercise into your daily schedule. Choose a form of exercise that is appropriate for your general health, and do it every day.

Fourth, as stress and anxiety can worsen constipation, give yourself plenty of time for your daily bathroom routines. It is best if you choose a specific time each day when you know you will have privacy. When your time in the bathroom is uninterrupted and quiet, it will be easier for you to relax.

You May Need To See Your Physician

While these lifestyle changes may be enough to resolve constipation, you may find they do not work as well as you expect. If the changes are not useful, it is time to consult with your doctor.

Your physician should perform a complete examination to ensure you do not have an underlying medical issue that is contributing to the problem. If he finds you are otherwise healthy, he may prescribe a medication that will counteract the opioids and relieve your constipation. In contrast, he may change your pain medication to one that does not contain opioids.

Never take a prescription medication unless it was advised by your own physician. Always use medications according to directions, and always follow your doctor’s advice.

Opioids And Seniors

Chronic pain can be bothersome enough for seniors. When you need to take pain medication containing opioids, constipation can be one of the most troubling side effects. You may be concerned about the effects of constipation on your health, and chronic constipation can interfere with your daily life.

Fortunately, you do not have to suffer from chronic constipation. Changes in diet, fluid intake, and exercise, along with reducing stress and anxiety, are often enough to relieve constipation.

However, you should not hesitate to visit your physician if constipation continues after making changes in your lifestyle. Your doctor wants you to feel good and be healthy. Relieving opioid induced constipation can be the start of a healthier life.

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