Are You Getting Enough Vitamin D?

IMG_0889.JPGDo low energy, aches and pains, brain fog, mood swings, difficulty sleeping… Sound familiar?

These issues, along with many other “age-related” health complaints, could merely be symptoms of a common vitamin deficiency.  And this deficiency can be corrected quickly, easily and inexpensively, making it possible to rejuvenate your health while vastly improving your well-being.  Roughly three out of four people in the United States have low levels of vitamin D.

There are two ways to get vitamin D in the amounts you need for optimal health.

  1. Several hours per day of direct sun exposure (but use sunscreen)
  2. Daily vitamin D supplementation

For many people, a vitamin D supplement is a necessity to reach healthy levels, but it’s important to take the right amount and the right form to get the full benefits.  Dr. John Cannel, who is the director of The Vitamin D Council, recommends adults take a minimum of 5,000 IU and no more than 10,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day.   Many people make the mistake of just taking whatever is on the shelf of their local drugstore.

D2 is less expensive and less absorbable than D3, which is why manufacturers looking to cut corners typically use it to fortify foods and make supplements.

Vitamin D deficiency may be symptom-less in its early stages, but it’s important to catch it before it progresses. It is important for: overall longevity, strong bones and muscle strength, energy levels, Cardiovascular health including blood pressure, immune function, vision, balance blood sugar, healthy breast tissue and pregnancies, balanced moods and cognitive function.

4 tips to ensure that you’re getting the best vitamin D possible:

  • Take a supplement made with 100% natural D3, it’s safest and absorbs the best – avoid the synthetic D2 at all costs
  • The highly recommended dose of 5,000 IU per day
  • Look for a supplement that is made with a base of pure safflower oil it has more antioxidants
  • A fair price is about $8 for 30 tabs (D-Pure ships to you for free and is $7.95 for 30)

(Information from online research)

At St. Anne’s, many of our residents enjoy sitting outside when the weather is nice.  We also optimize Vitamin D absorption by taking our residents out walking.

Guest Post by retired nurse, Kathy Neumann

 

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A Talent Shared

We are so blessed here at St. Anne’s to have a “resident artist!”  Ron Danielson has been producing beautiful images for use in our monthly resident newsletter, The Broadcaster, for the last two years.  He even created the artwork for our annual Christmas letter in 2014.

 

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Ron enjoys painting model airplanes.

Ron has a real, natural talent, and we are so glad he is willing to share it with the rest of us!

In this issue of The St. Anne’s Scoop, we’ll share a little interview with Ron, done by his neighbor and friend, Patricia Schildberger.

Picture1.pngWhat kind of art have you done?   Sketching with pencil, charcoal, art using a combination of pencil, pen and colored pencils and oil painting and various other art forms

How many siblings do you have?  Five-two sisters and three brothers

How did you first get into art?  I was born with the art skill, started art in 1st grade or earlier, [and] did a lot of art work till 12th grade when took off to work.  I had art classes in school always carried an “A” for my grade.

 

 

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What do you enjoy most?  Pencil, pen and color pencil art.  I do enjoy doing art for the Broadcaster.

 

 

 

 

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What work have you done?  I started working for the railroad when I was still in high school. Then went on to work a variety of jobs some of which are plant and construction work among others and my last job was working for a moving company  which was moving households in and out of their respective locations.

 

 

Laughter is the Best Medicine!!

St. Anne's staff know how to laugh!On the occasion of “International Moment of Laughter Day,” we are sharing an article from January 2015

Various sources illustrate the benefits of humor.  According to an article by the Mayo Clinic, there are physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual health benefits to laughter.  According to WebMD, the “belly laugh” (the inspiration for this post), can “boost heart rate, improve blood flow, and stabilize blood pressure.”  This same source pointed out that laughter reduces stress hormones and boosts the immune system.

As people age, they need to be more conscious of health concerns.  An article by Senior Homes made some interesting observations related to laughter and health in the aging population.  One emotional benefit it points out is “the release of endorphins, natural feel-good substances that make you feel happy and content.”  These endorphins, according the article, also “have been proven to reduce the perception of physical pain.”  According to a study of 53,000 Norwegian seniors, those who had a sense of humor had a 20% lower mortality rate.

This same article shared a cute little story which might be a good starting-point in trying to laugh more: “The preacher came to call the other day. He said at my age I should be thinking of the hereafter. I told him, “Oh, I do it all the time. No matter where I am – in the parlor, upstairs, in the kitchen, or down in the basement – I ask myself, “Now, what am I here after?”

Another article by the Mayo Clinic points out laughter’s advantages for stress relief and illustrates its short and long-term benefits.  I wouldn’t have guessed it, but laughter stimulates various organs; it also increases your air intake. Better circulation and muscle relaxation can also result from laughter. It can help with depression and anxiety as well. Laughter may even help keep blood sugars down. Mayo Clinic research also points out that “humor relieves stress and tension, decreases pain and often diffuses conflict.”

Intellectually, according to the first sited Mayo Clinic article, can lead to better attention, creativity and imagination. It can also positively influence interpersonal relationships.

Whether your hoping to boost your mood and outlook or improve your health, making laughter a part of your daily routine is not a bad idea.  Why not try a good belly laugh?  Bellylaughday.com suggests that on January 24 at 1:24 p.m. you should smile, throw your arms in the air and laugh out loud!

It Is Not Good for Man (or woman) to Be Alone!

The Benefits of a Communal Living Setting for Older Adults

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAlthough many seniors try to live on their own as long as possible, this is not as glamorous as it may appear.

As a person ages and health declines, one can become more and more isolated when living alone.  A person’s children often move away, friends die or don’t come around as much, and other factors contribute to isolation, not to mention decreased ability or willingness to drive and travel.  There are many reasons that living a communal setting, rather than in one’s own home, can be very beneficial.

Below, we’ll highlight the advantages.

Alleviate the Stress of Maintenance and Yard Work

As a person ages, maintaining a home often gets harder: the knees don’t bend like they used to, etc.  Living in a communal setting takes care of the need to manage one’s own house repairs and take care of a yard.

 

No Need to Drive

At a home like St. Anne’s, rides to shopping outings and medical appointments are provided.  A person doesn’t need to deal with parking and the possible uneasiness associated with having to find one’s way to such outings.

 

Less Stress and Pressure for Family Members

When an aging parent or loved one lives alone, there can be a heavy burden for the adult children.  They have to look after the needs of the parent, along with taking care of their own family and work commitments.  If the loved one lives in a setting, like that offered at St. Anne’s, these needs are taken care of.  It can lift an emotional burden, knowing that the loved one is taken care of.  It also can be very freeing.

 

Good Nutrition

Sometimes as people age and mental acuity decreases, eating habits suffer.  Another part of this may be lack of motivation to cook healthy meals.  When living in a communal setting, meals are provided.  A person can eat nutritious, tasty meals without having to “slave over a hot stove.”

 

Excellent Socialization

When a person lives alone, they may get an occasional phone call or visit, but the majority of the time is spent alone.  It can be very isolating.  Living in a communal setting, like St. Anne’s takes care of this problem very well.  There are people around all the time and ample opportunities to make new friends.  Family and old friends can still maintain relationships, with plenty of common spaces to use for visiting.  Sometimes our residents even have a family member come and eat lunch with them.  Living in a common setting can be a monumental way of alleviating loneliness and depression.

Engaging Activities

IMG_1451An engaging activities program in another benefit.  Here at St/ Anne’s, we have an excellent activities program.  Along with bingo and outings, we frequently have live music.  We also have weekly ecumenical church services for our Protestant residents and daily rosary and Mass.  There’s so much, all under one roof, with no need to go out for everything, which is nice, especially in the winter.

 

Peace of Mind

A move to a supervised setting can bring peace of mind to both the older person and to their family.  There is the security of knowing that the person is being looked after by caring staff.  Worries associated with lack of supervision in living alone are taken away as well.

Safety

Living alone, with declining health and mobility poses safety risks.  One may fall when walking or bathing.  No one is there to find them right away, or assist them in order to prevent such a fall.  However, a person living in a basic care setting, like that offered here, has staff available to assist.  Furthermore, if a fall should occur (when they are alone in their room), they will not lay helplessly for hours or days, as can happen when living alone.  Also, cooking dangers can be a major concern.  When a person lives in a setting such as basic care at St. Anne’s, this safety concern no longer exists.

Resources:

Conversely, living alone as one ages poses some weighty drawbacks.  Failing health, memory, and eyesight and lack of socialization contribute heavily to this.