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By Nancy Blethen, 9:00 am on August 4, 2016

Under normal circumstances, the body produces vitamin D3 when the skin is directly exposed to sunlight. However, in older people, this ability gradually diminishes, which leads to vitamin D deficiencies. Patients diagnosed as having heart failure are often simultaneously suffering from a lack of sufficient vitamin D. Researchers from the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom performed studies to determine a correlation between the nutrient and heart function. Annapolis senior care professionals share what the researchers discovered. The scientists performed a five-year study that involved 163 volunteers who were on average 70 years old. Each also demonstrated a vitamin D deficiency. The research involved evaluating the effects of vitamin D supplementation in heart failure patients. The group was particularly interested in the ejection fraction, or the amount of blood that the heart pumps through the chambers with each contraction.  In adults having healthy hearts, the ejection fraction rate is anywhere from 60 to 70 percent. In patients diagnosed with heart failure, this rate reduces dramatically to around 25 percent. When heart failure patients received vitamin D3 supplementation every day, the ejection fraction rate improved by 26 to 34 percent. Patients receiving a daily dose of a placebo showed no cardiac …

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5 Ways to Protect Senior Vision in Annapolis, CT
By Nancy Blethen, 9:00 am on June 30, 2016
5 Ways to Protect Senior Vision in Annapolis, CT

Preserving good vision is important for everyone, but particularly the elderly who are more at risk of vision loss. Here, Home Care Assistance of Annapolis offers several ways they can care for their eyes and increase their odds of maintaining good eye health. 1. Identify problems early. An eye exam will often notice vision changes before they are detectable to the individual. Seniors should have eye exams annually as long as they are healthy, and every 3-6 months if health or eye problems are a concern. Make certain the eye doctor is aware of any current prescriptions the patient is on, because many can have adverse effects on eye health. 2. Avoid eyestrain. The number of people with reduced vision is growing and many experts believe electronic devices are to …

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Can Researchers Use Nanogel to Reverse Alzheimer's and Parkinson's in Annapolis, CT?
By Nancy Blethen, 9:00 am on June 23, 2016
Can Researchers Use Nanogel to Reverse Alzheimer's and Parkinson's in Annapolis, CT?

Stopping the production of two enzymes associated with damage to brain cells may be the key to reversing symptoms linked to Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease, giving renewed hope to Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s caregivers. In laboratory studies involving fruit flies, researchers observed that lowering toxic metabolites caused by a process in the liver resulted in improved motor skills and signs of improved cognitive functioning. Reducing Toxic Enzymes During the five-year study, researchers discovered that lowering levels of the enzymes tryptophan-2,3-dioxygenase (TDO) and kynurenine 3-monooxygenase (KMO) provided added protection for brain cells. A combination of genetic adjustments and the use of certain drugs was used to reduce levels of these enzymes that become toxic when metabolized by the liver. Protecting Brain Cells Scientists already know that nerve cells in people with …

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Inside Muhammad Ali's Battle with Parkinson's in Annapolis, CT
By Nancy Blethen, 9:00 am on June 16, 2016
Inside Muhammad Ali's Battle with Parkinson's in Annapolis, CT

For celebrated athlete Muhammad Ali, the fight of his life took place outside of a boxing ring. The man who once floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee waged a battle with Parkinson’s disease for more than 30 years until recently passing away from an unrelated infection that may have been exacerbated by PD. Ali’s struggle with Parkinson’s is an example of the toll the disease can take as it progresses. Early Signs of Parkinson’s At first, Ali’s doctor attributed that fact that the boxer was sometimes tripping over things, shuffling while he walked, and having some difficulty with his speech to a prior viral infection. Ali did, however, present what’s considered classic early signs of PD, which typically include: • Shaking in one limb • Abnormal facial …

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Important Driving Safety Tips for Seniors This Summer in Annapolis, CT
By Nancy Blethen, 9:00 am on June 9, 2016
Important Driving Safety Tips for Seniors This Summer in Annapolis, CT

After the long, dreary months of winter, it can be exciting for seniors to get out and enjoy the night weather. Yet, it is important to remember that the summer heat can be just as dangerous as winter storms. Seniors and their at-home caregivers should use these safety tips to avoid a roadside disaster during the summer months. 1. Schedule a Pre-Summer Inspection When the temperature rises, little problems with a car can escalate into a dangerous situation. Therefore, it is important to have an inspection conducted by a trained mechanic that can check for cracked hoses, worn tires and other minor issues that are easier to correct before they leave a senior stranded. 2. Protect Your Vision The summer glare can increase the risk of accidents by making it …

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How Loneliness Affects the Brains of Seniors in Annapolis, CT
By Nancy Blethen, 9:00 am on May 26, 2016
How Loneliness Affects the Brains of Seniors in Annapolis, CT

Approximately 11 million people 65 and older live alone, according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics. A new study suggests that, whether living alone or not, feeling lonely may lead to increased physical and mental decline and increase the risk of experiencing physical and mental decline. Loneliness and Cognitive Decline The Boston study of more than 8,000 seniors over 65 also noted a 20 percent higher risk of developing memory problems for those who reported feeling lonely. Other studies also report a link between depression and faster cognitive decline, which is significant because depression and loneliness can also be related. There was no link discovered between seniors with existing memory issues and loneliness, however, suggesting the correlation doesn’t go both ways. Possible Physiological Effects of Loneliness Feeling lonely after the death …

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4 Important Resources for Caregivers in Annapolis, CT
By Nancy Blethen, 9:00 am on May 19, 2016
4 Important Resources for Caregivers in Annapolis, CT

Caregiving is a demanding responsibility. Although it definitely has its rewards, it’s important to remain cognizant of the toll that this role can have on both physical and mental health, particularly if you’re finding yourself fighting countless battles on your own. The best way to maintain a sense of balance and wellbeing is by knowing your resources and using them. Following are four resources every live-in, hourly, and respite caregiver in Annapolis needs. 1. Family Caregiver Alliance The Family Caregiver Alliance is an organization that’s devoted to helping families find safe, affordable solutions for meeting the ongoing needs of aging adults. They supply a wealth of helpful information and services for family caregivers in need of outside support. By visiting their website at www.caregiver.org, it’s possible to access a state-by-state …

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4 Daytime Habits to Improve Senior Sleep Quality in Annapolis, CT
By Nancy Blethen, 9:00 am on May 12, 2016
4 Daytime Habits to Improve Senior Sleep Quality in Annapolis, CT

Sleep troubles are common among the senior demographic. Fortunately, there are several daytime strategies that aging adults and their hourly or live-in caregivers can use to ensure deep and restful slumber. Following are four activities that your elderly loved one can start doing right now. 1. Bask in the Rays of the Sun Spending too much time in a dimly lit indoor environment can actually upset the body’s circadian rhythms. Encouraging seniors to get outside in the fresh air is a great way to get their sleep schedules back on track. Exposure to sunlight during the day followed by relaxation in a significantly darker environment at night will gradually reestablish balance. 2. Take Sleeping Pills on an Empty Stomach When Necessary Seniors and their Annapolis caregivers should review the dosing …

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How Eating Japanese Food Promotes Longevity in Annapolis, CT
By Nancy Blethen, 9:00 am on May 5, 2016
How Eating Japanese Food Promotes Longevity in Annapolis, CT

A little over a decade ago, the Japanese government published dietary guidelines through its Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare. The “Spinning Top” is created in a format similar to the US Food Pyramid, identifying how many portions of each food group the average person should eat. These guidelines, as recent research has discovered, also promote health and longevity. Read on to learn more, presented by Annapolis Home Care Assistance. Effects of the Spinning Top Guidelines Questionnaires regarding diet were issued to more than 75,000 people from the ages of 49-75. The researchers then tracked the participants for years. The results were significant. The findings indicated that those whose diet closely followed the guidelines had a mortality rate of 15 percent less than other participants. The study indicated fewer incidences …

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What You Can Do to Get Your Senior Loved One to Bathe in Annapolis, CT
By Nancy Blethen, 9:00 am on April 28, 2016
What You Can Do to Get Your Senior Loved One to Bathe in Annapolis, CT

Personal hygiene can be a sensitive topic between seniors and their families, yet bathing is an essential element of every senior’s care plan. If your loved one suddenly refuses to bathe, then consider these strategies from Annapolis Home Care Assistance that can help address the underlying reasons. Discuss the Importance of Bathing Many people think of bathing as a way to look and smell better, yet this may not matter to a senior who has lost their sense of smell or vision. However, the benefits of bathing extend far beyond aesthetics. Consider talking to your parent about the health reasons for bathing regularly such as preventing infections and protecting their skin. Reduce the Risk of Falling Between slippery surfaces and a senior’s lack of balance, bathrooms can be scary places …

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