Put Some Pep in Your Step!

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Put Some Pep In Your Step!

 

Exercise can improve blood flow, brain memory, improve your sleep, decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease and improve mental health. It is recommended that adults get 150 minutes of moderate intensity activities each week.  Moderate intensity exercise would include things like a brisk walk, swimming, dancing or biking. Start with what you can and gradually work your way up to 150 minutes per week.

 

Brain Power

Exercise can improve brain health. By pumping your heart, you also pump more oxygen to your brain increasing the blood flow. Exercise also creates new connections in the brain by stimulating brain cells and blood vessels.

 

One small step and one giant leap?

An easy way to get your heart pumping is to go for a walk. A lot of people these days have fitness trackers or pedometers that can count the steps you take throughout the day.

 

Don’t focus on the numbers. Maybe 10,000 steps is not realistic for you. Don’t focus on this number of steps. It is better to get up and be active regardless of the step count than to be discouraged that you didn’t hit your step count. Your goal is YOUR goal. Not anyone else’s goal. Focus on you and your goal and get up and move!

 

Ways to get those extra steps without doing exercises!

There are many ways to add physical activity into your daily routine without having to actually do exercise at all. Check out some examples below.

 

  • Balance skills to help prevent falls while watching your favorite tv show. Stand on one foot or try to walk backwards.
  • Take your dog for a walk.
  • If you have grandchildren, take them to the park.
  • Window shop at the mall.
  • Take the stairs when able.
  • Park your car a little farther when going to the grocery store.
  • Do chores around the house like vacuuming, mopping, sweeping, and yard work.
  • Turn on some music and dance around.
  • Try yoga.

 

Regardless of the activity, it is important to get up and move around not only for mental health but for your brain health and your heart.

 

Co-written by Katie Wolf, graduate dietetic intern, and Heather Borders, Registered Dietitian with Kailo Nutrition.

What do I do when the Doctor says it’s Alzheimer’s?

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What Do I Do When the Doctor Says it’s Alzheimer’s?

 

I refer to Alzheimer’s as being like a light switch that goes on and off in the brain. From the moment you know the diagnosis – that is the time to start planning.  You never know when the switch will flip.  The time to take control is immediate because you don’t want to make decisions in crisis mode. It is much easier to plan when you have the opportunity to gather information rather than having a few options during a time of crisis.

Planning is  Key

Talk to your loved one and all the family members that want to be involved with planning. It is never too early to start planning. Some areas to think about include financial planning, health care planning, legal planning, directives, and safety in the house. Refer to the Checklist to Organize Family, Legal and Care Matters which I have created to help you start the conversation and gather the documents you will need. It is important to note that there are specialized Elder Law attorneys, insurance and financial planners that can give you expert and current information and will help in your planning to make sure you have things in proper order.

Be a Successful Caregiver

Alzheimer’s is a tricky disease. It can give you the sense that all is okay and then the light switch flips and you are switching to crisis mode. There will be many light switch moments as you work through the Alzheimer’s diagnosis. There are many people available to help you through each of the various situations.  In my book, Simply Caring: Putting the Alzheimer’s Puzzle Together, I have gathered many resources for you to use.  Reach out to the local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. Reach out to me.  Caregiving is stressful and you don’t have to go it alone.  I want you to have the tools, training, education and information to be a successful caregiver. I am here to help you, your loved one, and your family.

 

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

Ask the Dietitian: Popsicles, Smoothies and More!

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My Mom does not like to drink water.  I know it’s important for her to stay hydrated. Can you give me any tips?

Great question! It is so important for all of us to stay hydrated. Dehydration is associated with falls, heatstroke, urinary tract infections, and decreased immune function. Typical recommendations state that we should get 8 cups of water per day. One thing to remember is that the food we eat can contribute to hydration. So making sure our loved ones consume fruits and vegetables would be one way to sneak in some water.

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Simply Caring Book Launch

Simply Caring Book Launch Celebration

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Almost Home

Join Jamie and the Almost Home family as we celebrate the launch of Jamie’s book Simply Caring.

Get a signed copy of her book “Simply Caring”.

When:
Tuesday, March 19th from 5:00pm – 7:00pm

Where:
Almost Home
3604 Cardinal Point Dr,
Jacksonville, FL 32257

Who: Friends of Almost Home and those interested in learning more about how to care for someone with memory loss / dementia

Founder of Almost Home, Jamie Glavich is on a mission to provide guidance, inspiration and resources to families dealing with the challenges of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

In her book Simply Caring, she discusses key points about the disease, what to expect and how to prepare. She answers important questions and provides resources to make sense and put the puzzle together of Alzheimer’s.

View the Facebook Event Listing »

Learn more about Jamie’s book Simply Caring & download a free chapter at SimplyCaringBook.com.

Art Therapy for Seniors

How Art Therapy Can Be Used to Create a Calming Environment

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It’s Not All About Crayons

Alzheimer’s patients are able to express their feelings on paper when they may not be able to with their words. Parts of the brain that deal with colors and composition can still be used and developed by those with Alzheimer’s. It is amazing that people are able to continue to create art. Working with art can be calming to someone with Alzheimer’s. It may help create a period of sustained concentration that will improve their mood for the day.

Creating a scrapbook with photos and artwork can help relive old memories. It is something that can be looked at over and over. This is a great memory for the caregiver and family as well.

Sharing this moment of happiness is what we area all striving for in life.

Remember – anyone can be considered an artist!

Consider using Art Therapy for creating a calm environment for your loved one.

For more helpful ideas to assist those with memory loss, follow Almost Home on Facebook.

From Mood to Memory: How Food Can Enhance Brain Health

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From Mood To Memory:  How Food Can Enhance Brain Health

A healthy brain depends on genes, the environment, and lifestyle. We can’t change our genes, and may not be able to alter our environment, but we definitely have control over our lifestyle! Lifestyle consists of diet, stress management, and activity. While each one is critical for maintaining brain health, below details how dietary choices can improve brain health and function.

As the control center of the body, it consists of billions of neurons that send signals through the brain. These signals allow for memory formation, thoughts, and feelings.  Our brain makes up 2% of our body weight but requires 20% of our resources. It’s mostly made up of fat and therefore dietary fat in the form of “Omegas” contribute to a healthy brain. Protein provides the necessary amino acids that allow for brain signaling and carbohydrates break down into glucose that provides steady, sustained brain power.

There are many nutrients that keep the brain running smoothly. Here are some general nutrition guidelines on what to focus on when considering improving brain health.

Heart Health is Brain Health

The brain needs constant and adequate blood flow, which provides the supply of oxygen to keep it functioning properly. This means that a healthy heart and vascular system is necessary to maintain a healthy brain! To maintain a smooth vascular system, one without atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), the focus is on fiber and antioxidants. So this means a lot of fruits, especially berries, and a balanced amount of beans, whole grains, and vegetables.

A Happy Gut is a Healthy Brain

Did you know most of the neurotransmitters that contribute to “feeling good” are created in the gut? Balancing the trillions of bacteria, both health promoting and opportunistic, in the gut can greatly improve our mood. Adding in Omega-3 fatty acids (almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, ground flax seeds), iron-rich foods (spinach, legumes, oats, nuts), and even spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and oregano can support a healthy, happy mood.

“B” the Change

B vitamins such as folate, B6 and B12 are critical for improving memory, mood, and maintaining a sharp mind. B vitamins are found in whole grains, mushrooms, broccoli, brussels sprouts, beans and potatoes. You can also find a healthy amount of folate in leafy greens (think foliage) and B12 can easily be obtained by supplementation.

A healthy lifestyle is not about restrictions, it’s about creating new habits. The combination of dietary interventions with added activity, intellectual and social stimulation, and quality sleep can make a profound improvement on one’s life. For more information regarding nutrition and brain health, please feel free to contact Registered Dietician, Heather Borders, with Kailo Nutrition at (904)250-0910 or heather@kailonutrition.com.