As a physician and Chief Medical Officer of Golden Living, I’m committed to the idea that one of our greatest treasures is our health and well-being. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.”
Today is National Doctors’ Day , a perfect time to pause and recognize the doctors who serve the residents and patients in our Golden LivingCenters nationwide. This is a perfect time to thank these men and women who have dedicated their professional lives to helping others live fuller, longer, and more productive lives.
Our doctors offer vital diagnoses, treatment, and care through a full spectrum of integrated health and wellness programs, services, and products. They support wellness , help restore health to those who are sick, and are vital players in the health of their communities.
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The excitement is building and the opportunity to learn and develop skills and relationships has arrived. Are you ready to take advantage of the educational sessions, tour the expos and network with your peers at conferences this year?
For allied health professionals – such as speech, physical and occupational therapists - these professional development events offer unique opportunities to expand knowledge, meet new people, and learn about the latest advances in the field.
Additionally, attending a professional conference provides traveling therapists with a chance to step back and reflect on their work and look at the big picture. It can be a much-needed holiday from day-to-day activities and routine.
Finally, these conferences offer therapists the chance to network, network, network! One of the greatest benefits of conference attendance is simply meeting other folks in the field and sharing stories, information, and wisdom.
So get out your calendar and mark these “must attend” conferences.
Occupational therapists and assistants
The American Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference & Expo, April 26-29, 2012, in Indianapolis, Ind. http://www.aota.org/conference
Why you should attend: This conference offers advanced-level learning in topic-focused pre-conference institutes and seminars. It’s one-stop CE learning with more than 700 sessions and up to 24 contact hours. There’s an exciting opening night at the welcome ceremony and expo reception and attendees will get insight and energy boost from Florence Clark’s presidential address. This is also home to popular special events and wonderful networking opportunities.
Physical therapists and assistants
American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) hosts three distinct national conferences each year.
Nutrition is important throughout our life, but it is especially important as we age. During National Nutrition Month, we want to take a look at how the foods we eat can help us stay healthy and strong.
In general, older adults burn fewer calories due to changes in their metabolism. As a result, many older individuals may tend to lose some interest in food. However, a decreased interest in eating may be due to a lack of companionship during meals or having dental issues that create problems chewing. Decreased mobility may be another source of apathy toward eating, because it may more difficult to go to the grocery store to buy food or to restaurants for dining out.
Because of this, every calorie counts in older adults and needs to be packed with as much nutrition as possible.
Ten tips for great nutrition for those over 65
1. Avoid empty calories found in foods with lots of calories but few nutrients, such as snack crackers, sweets, sodas and alcoholic drinks.
2. Choose foods that are low in cholesterol and fat, especially saturated and trans fats.
3. Read the Nutrition Fact Label on packaged food and make sure it is full of fiber, potassium, vitamin A, calcium and vitamin D. Consumers should also look for food that is low in fat, sugars, cholesterol and sodium.
4. The ingredient list on packaged foods goes in order from most to least. Skip the ones with sugars, refined flours or saturated fats in the first few ingredients.
Travel therapists bring a multitude of marketable traits to their job to include: flexibility, experience working in multiple locations, exposure to different kinds of people and the ability to think “on the fly.” Therefore, learning a second language is a natural fit and only makes this already adventurous group more appealing to employers. Still further, a bilingual or even trilingual therapist adds a whole new level of opportunity and fun to the job.
In all seriousness, a second language allows allied health professionals to communicate with more patients and better meet their needs. The United States is an incredibly diverse place with dozens of languages spoken here by hundreds of thousands of people. In fact, three states are by de facto bilingual. In Maine, English and French are both legally recognized; in Louisiana, English and French are widely spoken and in New Mexico – although there is no official language – laws are published in English and Spanish, and the government materials and services are required to be accessible in both languages.
In many other states, like those bordering Mexico, Spanish is also widely spoken. California recognizes a multitude of languages and goes so far as to publish its Department of Motor Vehicles documentation in nine languages. Still more, their state documents are translated into Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Tagalog, Persian, Russian, Vietnamese and Thai.
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Each year in the U.S., there are about 1.5 million osteoporosis-related fractures. Many people may not even know they have this bone-thinning disease until a fracture happens. It can be a rather disruptive experience, in terms of physical recovery and emotionally coping with the fear that future movement could cause another fracture.
Physical therapists can help with the physical and emotional recovery to give patients the mobility and confidence to enjoy their lives again. Physical recovery measures depend on the kind of fracture, the severity of it and whether surgery will be needed. To cope with the emotional aspect of the situation, a therapist can help the patient identify safe ways to move so that they have the confidence and assurance to move about conducting their day-to-day activities. Regaining this emotional stability and confidence is a really important part of the healing process.
About osteoporosis fractures
The most common osteoporosis-related fractures happen to the wrist, spine and hip bones. Each has its own unique characteristics.
Wrist or forearm: These fractures tend to happen more to people in their 50s and 60s. They generally recover easily, without the need for surgery or hospitalization. These fractures are typically the result of a fall.
It’s Long Term Care Administrator’s Week and with over 300 locations in 21 states, Golden Living has hundreds of men and women to thank for their daily commitment to delivering quality, patient-centered care as well as creating a positive work environment for the staff. Their professionalism and dedication to their patients and LivingCenters is an example of leadership in our industry.
Since 1994, our industry has paused each March for this observance, sponsored by the American College of Health Care Administrators. During this week, we —the staff, residents, families, volunteers and co-workers—have an opportunity to extend a heart-felt thank you to all of our administrators who contribute to the success of our Golden LivingCenters.
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Do a quick search on the Internet about vitamin D and the health claims will astound you. Low blood levels of the “sunshine vitamin,” as it is called, are associated with increased mortality.
We’re also seeing links between vitamin D and a lowered risk of breast cancer, depression, multiple sclerosis, certain infections, inflammation and other illnesses. In addition, researchers are looking at possible links between vitamin D and brain function among older adults.
Vitamin D has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of the following conditions:
1. Heart disease
2. High blood pressure
3. Peripheral artery disease (poor circulation in the legs and feet)
4. Osteoporosis and fractures
5. Decreased immunity
6. Increased autoimmune disorders like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease
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The human eye is one of the most complex organs in the human body. It also happens to be one that continues to hold a great deal of mystery for scientists. Despite the fact that we have a lot of information, we don’t have a lot of answers. Some of the most simple ophthalmic issues are still without a cure. What’s more, are many eye conditions and diseases that are preventable and some that are not, yet. Considering all of the scientific mystery that surrounds this life-vital organ, the good news is that we do have a great deal of information and curative measures for cataracts.
A cataract is a gradual clouding of the lens in the eye and it affects vision. It’s a fairly common condition in older adults, but fortunately one with many options for treatment, including new glasses, brighter lighting, anti-glare sunglasses or surgery.
People with cataracts often describe their eyesight as blurry with faded colors, strong glare, poor night vision and double vision.
Here are ten things you may not know about cataracts:
1. By age 80, more than half of all Americans will have cataracts or have already had surgery for it. Still further, science points to factual data that cataracts are almost inevitable for anyone that lives to be 80.
2. There are five different types of cataracts: age-related, congenital (present at birth), secondary (linked to another condition, like diabetes), radiation (after radiation exposure) and traumatic (the result of an injury).
3. The origin of the word “cataract” is the Greek kataraktes, meaning something that is rushing or swooping down. Doctors in the 16th century started calling the clouding of the eye cataracts, using a simile for something that swooped in and robbed the eye of light.
4. A cataract cannot spread from one eye to the other.
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One of the great health triumphs of our time is colorectal cancer screenings. In the majority of cases, colorectal cancer grows from precancerous polyps (abnormal, grape-like growths on the wall of the intestine) in the colon or rectum. A colorectal screening can discover precancerous polyps and remove them, before they become cancerous. In addition, if cancer is already present, screening tests can find it early, when treatments are most effective. Experts estimate that 60% of deaths from this cancer could be avoided if everyone 50 and older were screened regularly.
March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and we want to shine the light of awareness on screenings, a vital medical tool.
Know the facts
Colorectal cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the United States. It is also the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths (after lung cancer). According to the American Cancer Society, almost 150,000 people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2012 and an estimated 50,000 will die of the disease.
The primary risk factor is age. More than 90% of cases are found in men and women over 50.
Know your risk
There are many studies on risk factors for colorectal cancer. Some show that higher levels of physical activity and a healthy weight may decrease the risk. However, the scientific evidence is less straightforward on other methods of prevention.
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