heart health jacksonville

3 Tips for Heart Health

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February is National Heart Health month. Creating heart healthy habits is not just important for increasing the longevity of your life, but for improving the quality of your life. Here are three tips to incorporate at any age to promote heart health. 

1 Increase Your Activity

There are many ways to increase your activity. From reaching a daily step goal to participating in an exercise program- there’s enough variety for people of every age to find something to enjoy!

  • Find walking or running difficult? Do chair exercises
  • Join a water aerobics class
  • Offer to walk the dog- it’s good for both of you!
  • Park farther away from the front of the store
  • Take the stairs
  • Use your arms 
  • Play your favorite music and dance- shoot for 10 minutes 
  • Use your core- try Pilates 

2 Eat More Fiber

Fiber may not sound fun, but increasing your daily fiber intake can be both delicious and beneficial. According to Harvard Medical School, “Fiber’s role in preventing heart disease is thought to stem from its ability to lower both blood pressure and cholesterol. It also fills you up, which helps you eat less and perhaps lose weight.” Check out their list of delicious high fiber foods! 

3 Choose Plant Based Protein 

Did you know there are many ways to get your protein without the cholesterol? Try something new! Find a delicious, simple, affordable, quick, heart healthy recipe to try this month! 

We care about your heart health. This month, focus on improving the heart health of those you love (including yourself) by trying out our useful tips. Looking for more ideas or guidance on caring for a loved one? Contact us for information on Adult Daycare, Assisted Living Care and Caregiving.

How Can I Prevent Dehydration?

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How Can I Prevent Dehydration?

 

Simply stated it is making sure there is fluid intake. Everyone needs to be properly hydrated.

Encourage drinking a glass of water each time medication is taken. Buy a reusable water bottle or use a special cup just for your loved one. It can be filled in the morning and you can make a game of making sure it is empty by bedtime. Besides water or other fluids, you could try to encourage eating foods such as fruit, vegetables, jello or soup. We always have popsicles on hand in our facilities. This is another fun way to get some hydration.

We encourage folks to drink not just when they are thirsty but at mealtimes, snack times and times in between.

If you want to mask the non-flavor of water, add a squirt of lemon, lime or orange juice. There are also liquid and powder flavor additions you can buy to add to the water.

There is never a bad time to take a drink of water.

 

Resolutions: Make Them or Break Them?

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Happy New Year 2020!

At this time of year, I always think about making resolutions. Isn’t that what we all do? I expect the best of myself every January 1. Then reality kicks in and my best intentions are swept away with everyday life. This is not how it’s supposed to happen, is it? Why not try something different this year. A lot has been mentioned about finding your word for the year. Makes sense. Why not just wake up and go to bed each night and think about your one word. It could be anything that is meaningful to you. Some friends have shared their words, such as health, connection, gather, focus, content, happiness and simple. I love this idea since I never keep my resolutions! I won’t feel bad this year rather I will feel empowered by my own personal word. No one really needs to know what it is, right? You can share it or keep it a secret. I would like to share my word for the year. My word is “FOCUS”. It’s your own special way to make yourself feel good about life.

Having a Good Life

Not only words but actions can help you feel good about life. I challenge you this year to think about your own health in addition to your loved one. They depend so much on you that we want to keep you healthy. One lifestyle change that could help both of you is to walk a little bit each day. Here in Florida we have such beautiful weather this time of year. I love to get out and feel the sunshine and take a short walk.

Walking is Good for the Brain

Physical exercise, low key or strenuous, is essential for maintaining good blood flow to your brain. Just 10 minutes a day can help lift your mood and help to refocus your thoughts. One of your thoughts can be your special word for the year. Here’s to happy thoughts!

Where did the time go?

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Walks with Madaline

My daughter, Madaline turned 18 a week before this year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Her first Walk was literally a few days before she was born. Madaline was named after my mother who is the reason why I have been an advocate for Alzheimer’s patients and families for 30 plus years.  I have attended all Jacksonville Walks since 1988 and was overwhelmed at the growth of this year’s participants.

A true compassion and empathy amongst caregivers, care providers, those with the disease and those advocating was so apparent, that I was lifted off the ground with an overwhelming sense of pride for those who participated on Walk day. After all these years, I was still filled with hope to witness the many who are new to the pledge to carry on the challenge and the veterans that are still fighting for a cure.

I must admit, I was saddened thinking that this was our last Walk to End Alzheimer’s together. Madaline is off to college soon and I don’t know what her future will bring. Although, with Walks all over the country, I am sure we will stay true to our tradition and find one to participate in together.

As a Walk committee member, I thank all of you who participated in the 2019 Walk to End Alzheimer’s. For without your dedication and determination, we would not keep moving the mission forward.

Putting the Alzheimer’s Puzzle Together

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The Pieces

Alzheimer’s is a devastating disease that affects the person with the disease, the family and the community. As has been mentioned, the time to prepare and plan is now before life turns into one crisis after another. The diagnosis is a starting point for you and your loved one. Decide what your loved one wants now when they can share their thoughts and hopes with you. This will make it just a little bit easier when you are further down the road with the disease.

Honoring Choices

The diagnosis brings up so many questions and thoughts that need to be discussed. I offer the Honoring Choices Program as a model to start the discussion. It is an excellent resource for everyone in the family to consult not just for the newly diagnosed person. We should all pre-plan and have our wishes for care in a life-altering situation honored.

Communication

Communication with an Alzheimer’s patient is one of the most difficult challenges you will encounter. It is frustrating for all involved. My best advice is if all other communication fails – start singing and dancing. You will be amazed at the transformation when music and movement is part of the conversation.

Caring for the Caregiver

This is one of the most important puzzle pieces. This could be the four corner pieces of your Alzheimer’s puzzle. There are risks to caregiving such as depression, stress which causes medical issues, illnesses, mood swings, lack of sleep and unhealthy diets. As a caregiver you will experience constant grief. Alzheimer’s has been labeled the longest goodbye.  To keep check on your own wellbeing, when you are especially feeling the load of caregiving – H.A.L.T.

  • Hungry – eat properly and get the right nutrition
  • Angry – frustration or annoyance can expand to full blown anger
  • Lonely – you feel you are in this struggle all by yourself
  • Tired – you are challenged by fatigue

I highly encourage you to plan for all this by caring for yourself. Let go of perfection and just accept that life doesn’t have to be perfect but you should try to enjoy the special moments when they arise.

 

Highlights from the book Simply Caring: Putting the Alzheimer’s Puzzle Together by Almost Home CEO Jamie Glavich. View more at Simplycaringbook.com.

 

 

How Do I Communicate and Visit with My Loved One?

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Communication is an important aspect of any relationship, it is more than sending and receiving messages. To help with communication, be supportive, show you are interested, offer comfort and reassurance, give them time to get out their words and avoid criticizing or correcting. Each one of us is unique. What works for you one day may not work for you the next day. Be flexible. I share many tips with you in Chapter 9 of Simply Caring.

Music over Language

Our brain is wired differently to process music over language. Music is associated with many events in our lives. Music can set a mood and help with communication. During a challenging moment, start signing and the mood often changes.

Pain Indicators May Affect Communication

Always be on the lookout for differences in behavior and communication. Someone with Alzheimer’s may not be able to verbally communicate pain, either emotional or physical. This chapter of Simply Caring spells out many clues to look for when communication is breaking down such as changes in appetite and sleep or moaning and/or crying.

101 Things To Do With A Person Who Has Alzheimer’s Disease

This is my favorite list to share with a family. Visiting someone with memory loss takes effort and can be a challenge. The person with Alzheimer’s has about a 15-minute attention span. This is sometimes hard to get used to. This list shows that there are so many everyday ways to visit with a loved one. Be prepared and know how you want to spend your time. One day you could do a puzzle, the next visit could be looking at family photographs and the final visit of the week could be watching a few favorite TV shows together. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Just try to make yourself and your loved one comfortable when you are together.

 

Highlights from the book Simply Caring: Putting the Alzheimer’s Puzzle Together by Almost Home CEO Jamie Glavich. View more at SimplyCaringBook.com.

 

 

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Walk to End Alzheimer's Jacksonville, Florida

Why I Walk to End Alzheimer’s

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Jamie's mom in pink dressWhy I Walk to End Alzheimer’s

I walk for my mother, Madaline, who passed in 2002 with an Alzheimer’s related dementia. In 1989, I got involved with the Walk to honor her memory. Mom was my best friend and I became her caregiver. Whenever I needed coaching or encouragement, Mom was always there with the right words. Mom did not get to enjoy my wedding, the birth of my daughter – her namesake – or enjoy the pleasures of being a grandmom. In raising awareness and through research, I hope that one day no one will have to endure the disappointment and emotional pain that consumes families with this disease.

Team Almost Home

Team Almost Home, with Jamie Glavich as Team Captain, was created to participate in the Jacksonville Walk to End Alzheimer’s. The 2019 Walk will be held on Saturday, November 16, 2019 starting in Hemming Plaza, downtown Jacksonville, Florida. Check-in time is 8:00 am with the Walk start at approximately 9:00 am.

Walk Committee 

Trish and I are on the 2019 Walk to End Alzheimer’s planning committee which has been meeting since the beginning of the year. We are hosting two areas this year.  I will be the host of the Champions Tent. This is a special area for the largest fundraisers to enjoy a catered breakfast before the start of the Walk. Trish will be the host of the Promise Garden Tent. This is the place to pick up a Promise Flower. Through color, these Promise Flowers represent the diverse motivation of the Walkers:  Blue – I have Alzheimer’s/Dementia; Yellow – I am supporting or caring for someone with Alzheimer’s/Dementia; Purple – I have lost someone to Alzheimer’s/Dementia; Orange – I support the cause and the Alzheimer’s Association’s vision of a world without Alzheimer’s; White – the first survivor.

Please consider supporting our Team by Joining the Walk or Sponsoring Our Team!

 

The Day is Almost Over – What to do Next?

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The Day is Almost Over – What To Do Next?

 

It’s nighttime. A light dinner has been served, a little relaxation and it’s time for the getting ready for bed routine.

Have a Routine

I strongly suggest a nightly routine. This is good for everyone. The repetition is helpful for you and your loved one. Some nights will be harder than others, this is to be expected. Patience is often called for especially at night. I have included many tips and highlights in my book, Simply Caring, under Chapter 8.

Write in Your Journal

My final thought for the day is to journal. I know, you think there’s no time, but I strongly suggest you make time. The journal can be your way of getting out your thoughts and feelings about the day. It is also a way to record changes that are happening with your loved one. You can write about challenges and how you successfully dealt with them. It might be helpful if the same instances arise to go back through your notes and see what worked. Not everything will work a second time, but it’s good to read about how you handled things and what the outcomes were. As the caregiver, you must be creative, patient and analytical while dealing with a variety of behaviors and issues.

 

Highlights from the book Simply Caring: Putting the Alzheimer’s Puzzle Together by Almost Home CEO Jamie Glavich. View more at SimplyCaringBook.com.

 

 

 

How Do I Get Through the Day and What is Sundowning?

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Making lists for the day

Plan, plan, plan. I guess you can tell I am all about planning for the day ahead. How else will you remember all that needs to be done? Do you have any appointments? Need to get groceries and supplies? Make lists because you just cannot remember everything that you need to do for yourself and your loved one.

It makes your day more manageable to have a plan. I do not mean to say it will be easier, just, hopefully, less stressful if you have a plan.

 Sundowning begins

I highly recommend doing all your outside activities before lunch. It seems the afternoon is for taking naps. Anytime after 3:00 pm is when Sundowning may occur. Sundowning has been explained to me as a state of confusion, anxiety, aggression or ignoring directions. Many folks who experience sundowning will pace or try to wander.

Sundowning isn’t a disease, but a group of symptoms that occur at a specific time of the day that may affect people with dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease. The exact cause of this behavior is unknown. I describe many reasons and tips for dealing with sundowning in Chapter 7 of my book, Simply Caring.

Plan to stay busy

Even with planning, the day will be long. Those with Alzheimer’s have a difficult time entertaining themselves. The attention span for any task is about 15 minutes. A thought to keep you on cue: the busier you keep your loved one, the less busy they will keep you. You must have activities at the ready such as coloring books, word search, puzzles, movies or favorite shows.

Repetition is one of the more challenging behaviors that the caregiver will need to handle. Words may be repeated. Constantly walking in circles. Repetitive behavior which mimics an obsessive-compulsive disorder. Hoarding and rummaging. It can be common for someone with Alzheimer’s to pick up everything. They will try to be helpful by putting things away. Mostly this does not help.

Always practice Safety First

My last thought is to please not leave someone diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia home alone. Remember Safety First. You must be their protector.

Highlights from the book Simply Caring: Putting the Alzheimer’s Puzzle Together by Almost Home CEO Jamie Glavich. View more at SimplyCaringBook.com.

Benefits of a Plant-Centered Diet

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Benefits of a Plant-Centered Diet

According to the American Diabetes Association, there are 29 million Americans who live with Diabetes, 90-95% of which have type 2 diabetes, and 86 million more are currently at risk of developing diabetes.

While individuals may be genetically predisposed to developing Type 2 diabetes, a dietary lifestyle that is high in fat (especially saturated fat) could be the trigger for diabetes to rear its ugly head.

Why Does Type 2 Diabetes Occur?

Type 2 diabetes occurs when sugar has a hard time getting into the body’s cells. Blood sugar rises, and the typical recommendation is to limit consumption of carbohydrates (which, ultimately break down into sugar, aka glucose). However, the latest nutrition research reveals another piece of the puzzle that must be included into the conversation.

When we eat high-fat diet (when fat calories are >20% of total calories and come from meat, dairy, oils, or processed foods) little, teeny, tiny, fat globules may build up inside our cells. This is different than the type of fat we try to exercise (or wish or pray) away. Ever wonder why there are individuals who are diagnosed with diabetes who are as thin as a toothpick? This is why. A high-fat diet can result in high-fat cells. And high-fat cells is the reason behind insulin resistance. Decreasing fat consumption can clear out the fat inside our body cells and improve insulin sensitivity dramatically.

How does a high-fat diet affect our cells?

When there is a build up of fat inside our cells, it acts like gum jamming up a lock. Insulin, the key, cannot open the door which will ultimately let glucose into the cell so we can go about our daily lives. Subsequently, glucose builds up in our blood stream. Over time, chronically high blood glucose levels will cause inflammation and can affect the vessels of the brain, eye, kidneys, and limbs. For a person diagnosed with pre-diabetes or diabetes, finding ways to add more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans can totally change the trajectory of your life.

The Benefits of a Plant-Centered Diet on Type 2 Diabetes

By reducing fat intake, increasing dietary fiber, and increasing vegetable protein, you can help battle insulin resistance. This could mean blood sugar control and reduction or even elimination of medications.

 

This blog post was written by Karen Chaska, University of North Florida graduate student and dietetic intern and Heather Borders, Registered Dietitian with Kailo Nutrition.

References:

  1. Kuhlmann J, Neumann-Haefelin C, Belz U, et al. Intramyocellular lipid and insulin resistance. 2003 Jan; 52(1): 138-144.
  2. Barnard ND, Katcher HI, Jenkins DJA, et al. Vegetarian and vegan diets in type 2 diabetes management. Nutrition Reviews. 2009; 67(5): 255-263.
  3. Lee YM, Kim SA, Kim JG, et al. Effect of a brown rice based vegan diet and conventional diabetic diet on glycemic control of patients with type 2 diabetes: a 12 week randomized clinical trial. PLoS ONE. 2016; 11(6): 1-14.
  4. Rinaldi S, Campbell EE, Fournier J, et al. A comprehensive review of the literature supporting recommendations from the Canadian Diabetes Association for the use of a plant-based diet for management of type 2 diabetes. Can J Diabetes. 2016; 40: 471-477.

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