Managing High Blood Pressure During Summer Humidity

August 6, 2018

5 steps to preventing a humidity-related health crisis

Summer heat and humidity can be especially dangerous to people with high blood pressure. Here’s what seniors and caregivers should know.

Many of us are aware that weather can play a role in triggering certain health problems. Seniors who suffer from arthritis symptoms, for example, often say winter leaves them feeling tough. Older adults who like to spend time outdoors working in the garden usually realize they need to be careful not to become dehydrated. But people aren’t often aware of the danger associated with high humidity and high blood pressure.

Research shows that high humidity can have serious health consequences for people with high blood pressure and heart disease. For those who live in southern climates, that’s important to know.

As part of Legacy Senior Living’s commitment to quality care for older adults, we are sharing this information for family caregivers to review.

The Connection Between High Humidity and High Blood Pressure

Experts say risk begins to rise when the outside temperature is over 70 degrees and the humidity is at 70 percent or greater. That’s because high humidity and hot temperatures cause the heart to work harder. In fact, the body might need to circulate twice as much blood per minute to remain cool than it does on an average day.

The problem is when there is too much moisture in the air, also known as high humidity, the body has a difficult time sweating enough. While most of us think of sweating as a nuisance, it’s important because it helps cool the body down. Excessive sweating also increases the risk for dehydration because it lowers the amount of fluid in the body. That places even greater strain on the heart.

Who Is Most at Risk for Illnesses Related to Heat and Humidity?

Though heat and humidity can be dangerous to people of all ages, some factors make adults even more vulnerable to a heat-related crisis:

  • People age 50 and over
  • Adults with heart, lung, and kidney problems
  • Seniors who follow a low-salt or low-sodium diet
  • People who have a circulatory disease or problems with circulation
  • Adults who take diuretics, sedatives, and blood-pressure medication

Warning Signs Caregivers Should Learn to Recognize

If you are a senior or the caregiver for one, it’s important to take a few minutes to review and learn the warning signs of heat- and humidity-related illnesses:

  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Disorientation
  • Rapid pulse
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Excessive sweating or an inability to sweat
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Muscle cramps or spasms
  • Swelling in extremities

If you or a loved one are exhibiting more than one or two of these symptoms, it’s important to seek medical intervention immediately. In most cases, that means calling 911 for help.

5 Steps to Preventing a Humidity-Related Health Crisis

Here are a few steps you can take that may help you or a senior loved one avoid a heat- or humidity-related medical crisis:

  1. Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water and consume foods that have high water content such as cucumber, melon, berries, leafy greens, and tomatoes.
  2. Avoid mid-day heat: Heat and humidity usually reach their peak between noon and 4:00 pm. Schedule errands, chores, and outings around those times whenever possible.
  3. Wear a hat: Invest in a natural fiber hat with a brim that shields the face.
  4. Eat smart: Avoid caffeinated foods and beverages, as well as alcohol. They can contribute to dehydration and increase the odds of a heat-related crisis.
  5. Apply sunscreen: Many people fail to apply sunscreen or don’t apply it often enough. This can lead to sunburn or even a more serious case of sun poisoning. Follow the directions on the sunscreen bottle closely and apply it any time you will be outdoors or riding in a car.

For more articles and resources on health and safety topics for seniors, we encourage you to bookmark the Legacy Blog and stop back often. We share new resources every week!

Stay Independent at Every Age

July 3, 2018

Stay independent at every age

In honor of Independence Day, Legacy Senior Living shares tips to help older adults stay independent at every age.

Maintaining independence is important to adults of any age, including seniors. Having the ability to manage a household, come and go as you please, and remain self-sufficient is something older adults often cite as their goal for retirement.

What can seniors do to protect their independence?

As we celebrate Independence Day and our nation’s birth, we have a few tips you and the seniors in your life may find helpful for remaining independent.

Checklist of Tips to Help Seniors Stay Independent

Here are a few suggestions you can use to stay safe, healthy, and independent during retirement:

  • Conduct a safety audit of the home or hire a physical or occupational therapist to do so. Creating a safe environment can help you avoid disabling falls and other hazards that might be lurking in your home.
  • Make exercise a priority. Physical fitness is one of the keys to a long, healthy, and independent life. Walking, swimming, practicing chair yoga, and biking are all low-impact forms of exercise. Also try to work strength training in a few days a week. Go4Life, a senior fitness program from the National Institute on Aging at NIH, has great resources to help you get started.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet that takes into consideration how nutritional needs change with age. My Plate from the United States Department of Agriculture is a helpful tool you can use to plan menus.
  • Follow your doctor’s orders. Whether it is scheduling routine health screenings, like a mammogram or cholesterol test, or a mandate to work on lowering your stress level, listening to your physician is important for protecting independence.
  • Stay engaged with your social network and greater community. Isolation is a known health risk for older adults. It can lead to diabetes, depression, obesity, and more. You can maintain your health and your independence by staying socially connected. It could be by volunteering, joining a club, taking a class, or just regularly spending time with family and friends.
  • Nurturing the spirit also helps older adults maintain independence. That doesn’t have to mean being part of a religious organization. Some seniors find communing with nature through hobbies, such as bird-watching or gardening, keeps them connected with their spirit.
  • Give your brain an aerobic workout every day. Hobbies like arts, crafts, and music promote cognitive health. Taking classes, reading, writing, and exploring new challenges do as well. By keeping your brain healthy, you can live a more independent lifestyle longer.

Independent Living at Legacy Senior Living

Residents in independent living at Concordia of Bella Vista in northwest Arkansas, Renaissance Marquis in Rome, Georgia, and Heritage Place at Legacy Retirement Village in Cleveland, Tennessee, enjoy the benefits of an active living community. Because the chores and repairs associated with home ownership are handled by staff, residents are free to explore new passions and interests or reconnect with old ones.

We invite you to call the community nearest you to schedule a private tour to learn more about living independently at every age!

5 Therapeutic Benefits of Gardening During Retirement

June 7, 2018

Therapeutic Benefits of Gardening

Gardening offers therapeutic benefits for people of all ages and that includes active seniors and adults with dementia. Digging in the dirt helps to nurture and heal the body, mind, and spirit.

In honor of National Gardening Week, celebrated from June 3rd through June 9th, we are sharing a few of the therapeutic benefits associated with gardening during retirement years.

5 Ways Gardening Keeps Seniors Healthier

  1. Reduce stress and manage anxiety: Research published in the Journal of Health Psychology revealed that gardening can decrease cortisol levels in the brain. Cortisol is known as the body’s “stress hormone.” When you are feeling anxious and stressed, cortisol levels often rise. Seniors can combat that increase by spending time digging in the dirt.
  2. Improve stamina and physical fitness: Gardening can be a real workout. It improves flexibility, range of motion, strength, and overall stamina. The best part of it is that gardening can be adapted to meet a senior’s physical abilities. Raised beds, window boxes, vertical gardens, and container gardens are all safer forms of gardening for seniors. Even these lighter forms of exercise can help you stay healthier.
  3. Connect with nature and boost mood: Communing with nature and soaking up the sun’s rays can increase serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is the chemical that boosts mood and soothes the spirit. Remember to protect yourself by wearing sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses before you head outside.
  4. Reduce dementia risk: A growing amount of research indicates that gardening may lower a senior’s risk for developing dementia by as much as 36%. Experts believe the meditative qualities of gardening help reduce stress, which many consider a risk factor for dementia. Staying active also helps senior gardeners avoid some of the dangers linked to a sedentary lifestyle and higher risk of dementia, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
  5. Boost the immune system: Without a doubt, gardening is dirty work. But all that dirt may actually strengthen the body’s immunity. Studies have shown that a type of bacteria often found in garden soil—mycobacterium vaccae—boosts the immune system. This friendly form of bacteria might help reduce symptoms caused by seasonal allergies and asthma.

Gardening Opportunities at Legacy Senior Living

At Legacy communities throughout the south, we make gardening easier and safer for seniors. Residents at each of our communities can create vertical gardens using Juice Plus+® Tower Gardens.

See what Mary Katherine Fordham, an assisted living resident at Legacy Village of Jacksonville, has to say about being able to safely continue her hobby of gardening. She maintains three tower gardens using a process known as aeroponics. Visit the Legacy community nearest you to learn more!

Busting the 5 Most Common Myths About Aging

May 4, 2018

5 Most Common Myths About AgingThe misconceptions about aging are too numerous to count. In honor of National Older Americans Month, Legacy Senior Living busts some of the most common myths.

The myths and negative misconceptions about aging are too numerous to count. The most common ones range from assuming all seniors have poor health to the misconception that older adults can’t master technology. Visit any senior living community, including any of the Legacy communities across the south, and you will see firsthand just how erroneous these myths are.

Every year Congress designates May as Older Americans Month. It’s a time to raise awareness about the vital role seniors play in our lives and to help younger people better understand the aging process.

During Older Americans Month this year, we want to bust some of the common myths about aging and shine a spotlight on how seniors are living longer, healthier lives.

Aging With Grace: Separating Fact From Fiction About Growing Older

Myth #1: Most seniors have some type of health problem.

Reality: Researchers have made a lot of progress in determining how lifestyle affects aging. We no longer think successful aging is due to genetics alone. In fact, experts now say lifestyle trumps genetics for almost all diseases.

A healthy lifestyle includes daily exercise and well-balanced meals. Both are considered the keys to successful aging. Not smoking (and avoiding secondhand smoke), managing stress, and staying socially active are also important.

At all Legacy Senior Living communities, we encourage residents to “Live Well”. We partner with each resident to provide the education, support and services he or she needs to help maintain, and many times improve, their health and wellbeing. We work with our residents to customize their “Live Well” service plan. They will find many opportunities to follow their individualized plan through social interaction, balanced nutritional choices, physical activity, and spiritual involvement. As each resident grows and is able to accomplish more, we will work with them to continually upgrade and change their service plan to suit their needs. As a result, they will grow stronger physically, mentally and spiritually.

Myth #2: Older adults are lonely and sad much of the time.

Reality: While isolation is a risk factor linked to health problems among older adults, most seniors live engaged lives and are enjoying retirement. According to a study at Stony Brook University, happiness begins to increase at age 50 and keeps climbing for several more decades.

Myth #3: People feel old by the time they reach 60.

Reality: This is another myth researchers have disproven. In fact, a 2009 Pew Research study revealed that 60% of people over 65 actually felt much younger than the date on their birth certificate. Many seniors said they felt like they were 10 to 20 years younger than they actually were. Older adults who indicated they felt younger also said they were grateful for all of their blessings in life.

Myth #4: Seniors don’t use technology and social media.

Reality: Studies prove just how inaccurate this myth is. Older adults are the fastest growing age group on several social media platforms, including Facebook. According to Pew Research, 60% of older adults use the internet and 77% have a cell phone.

Myth #5: Your brain shrinks as you age so you can’t learn new things or adapt to new situations very easily.

Reality: This myth might stem from the fact that we learn differently as we grow older, but we don’t stop learning at any stage in life. Another reason this misconception might persist is that seniors are often emotionally attached to a home they have lived in for decades. As they downsize for a move to a senior living community or to a smaller home, what looks like a resistance to change may actually be an older adult coming to terms with the memories they are leaving behind.

Interested in learning more about this annual celebration of seniors? Visit Older Americans Month to download more resources and tools to help spread the word in your local community.

Learn How Volunteering Keeps Older Adults Healthier

April 9, 2018

National Volunteer WeekIn honor of National Volunteer Week, Legacy Senior Living shares the benefits of volunteering during retirement and tips to connect with a meaningful opportunity.

Retirement is a time to relax and enjoy leisure activities. A time to pursue new hobbies and reconnect with those left behind during the busy days of child rearing and a demanding career. It’s also a good time to consider the benefits of volunteering, giving you purpose while promoting your health.

An estimated nine million seniors volunteer every year. Seniors who volunteer just eight or nine hours a month have better mental and physical health than their peers who don’t volunteer. Experts say the benefits of volunteering may be to help seniors avoid the dangers of isolation and live with a sense of purpose that leads to a more physically active lifestyle.

In honor of National Volunteer Week April 15–22, we are sharing how volunteering your time and talent for an organization you believe in can help you stay healthier and happier.

The Senior Volunteer: Health Benefits of Volunteering

Most volunteers say that they get more out of volunteering than they give. This is something we hear often from the volunteers who are a part of the Legacy Senior Living communities throughout the Southeast.

We know that volunteering also helps older adults in many ways:

  • Building a new circle of friends, which is often tough to do in retirement years.
  • Learning new skills and continuing to use those already honed during their past career.
  • Boosting self-esteem and confidence.
  • Socializing and staying engaged with their community.
  • Avoiding isolation and loneliness, which can both contribute to poor health.
  • Increasing feelings of happiness and joy in daily life.
  • Staying active and more physically fit.

It’s a list that adds up to a win-win experience for seniors and the organization they volunteer their time with.

How can you find a volunteer opportunity during retirement years?

We have some ideas you might find helpful.

Finding a Meaningful Volunteer Opportunity

Here are a few tips for connecting with a volunteer opportunity:

  • Think about your interests: Have you always wanted to help rescue and rehabilitate animals? A humane society or animal shelter might be a good place to start your search. Do you have a passion for arts and crafts? Senior living communities like Legacy are always looking for volunteers to help organize classes and workshops for residents. Think about the things you enjoy doing and look for an organization that complements your skills.
  • Call your local United Way: Most local United Way chapters maintain a database of local agencies that are seeking volunteers. They can help match you with a volunteer opportunity that sounds appealing.
  • Online volunteer database: Another way to find a volunteer opportunity near you is by visiting an online matching service. Sites like VolunteerMatch and Create the Good walk you through a series of questions to help you find a local volunteer project that meets your criteria.

Thanking Our Volunteers

On behalf of the Legacy Senior Living staff, residents, and families, we would like to thank the volunteers who help enrich our communities every day. We appreciate having you as a part of our team!

7 Nutrition Tips to Help You Age Well

March 19, 2018

7 tips to help you age well

Nutrition plays a key role in aging well. Use these 7 tips to adopt a healthy diet at any age.

While most of us know that good nutrition is a key factor in determining how well we age, many of us aren’t exactly sure what constitutes a healthy diet. It seems as if there is a new diet being touted on television as the latest and greatest way to eat almost every week. It’s no wonder people are so confused, so we’ve collect 7 tips to help you age well with healthy eating habits.

March is National Nutrition Month, a time to raise awareness about the role a healthy diet plays in successful aging and what credible research says we should base our diet on.

7 Tips to Help You Age Well

Here’s what we know about healthy aging and diet:

  1. Fruit and vegetables: You can reap the rewards of a diet rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants by creating menus comprised mainly of fruits and vegetables. Brightly-colored vegetables like spinach, beets, and kale, as well as deep-colored fruits like blueberries, black berries, and tomatoes are all good options to incorporate in to your diet. These foods can also help to decrease inflammation in the body.
  2. Protein: Older adults often fail to eat enough protein to keep their muscles and bones strong. Easy-to-prepare, low-fat protein sources, such as poultry, fish, legumes, beans, eggs, and nuts, are often best for seniors. Avoid protein sources that are high in fat, such as red meat.
  3. Dairy: Older adults are often diagnosed with a vitamin D deficiency. Sometimes it is because they don’t spend as much time outdoors soaking up vitamin D from the sun’s rays, while other times it is because their body doesn’t process vitamin D and calcium properly. A vitamin D deficiency can lead to bone loss, bone fractures, and osteoporosis. Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt are all rich in vitamin D and calcium. Mushrooms, canned tuna, and sardines are other good choices.
  4. Limit refined sugar: Most of us eat far too much sugar, often without realizing it. The American Heart Association guidelines suggest that American women limit sugar intake to just 100 calories per day (about six teaspoons or 20 grams) and men to 150 calories per day (about nine teaspoons or 36 grams). The best way to keep sugar from creeping in to your diet is to read food labels, even for things that seem healthy. Ketchup, yogurt, fruit juice, protein bars, salad dressing, and canned fruits can all be hidden sources of sugar in your diet.
  5. Whole grains: Quinoa, oatmeal, grits, brown rice, wild rice, and whole-grain bread are all good things to include in your diet. These fiber-rich foods help stabilize blood sugar and manage cholesterol while also promoting digestive health.
  6. Avoid trans fats: By now you’ve probably heard that trans fats are bad for you, but like many people, you aren’t sure why. It’s largely because these unhealthy fats are linked to heart disease and other chronic health problems. Trans fats are especially high in some fast foods and convenience foods like frozen dinners.
  7. Stay hydrated: Water is another key part of a healthy diet. It helps flush toxins out of the body while also encouraging bowel regularity and a healthy immune system. If you or your senior loved one aren’t big water drinkers, foods like spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, melon, berries, cucumbers, and grapes all have a high water content that promotes hydration.

One final tip to help you create healthy menus for yourself or a senior you love is to take advantage of the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) calculator. The DRI was created by the Department of Agriculture to help calculate daily nutrient goals. Enter your height, weight, age, and activity level to receive a personalized report for everything from vitamin C to fiber.

The Latest News on Aging Well

If you’d like to stay up to date with the latest news on aging well, we encourage you to bookmark the Legacy Senior Living Blog and stop back often. We share new information and resources on our blog each week.

7 Ways to Cut Your Risk of Cancer

February 5, 2018

Lower your cancer risk. Nearly 50 percent of most cancers can be prevented.Experts say as much as half of all cancer might be preventable. Learn 7 steps you can take that might help lower your cancer risk.

Cancer has touched most of our lives in same manner, whether it is a personal diagnosis with the disease or watching a loved one battle it. While many of us feel powerless to prevent this disease, experts say you can lower your cancer risk. Researchers believe as much as 50% of all cancers can be prevented with positive lifestyle choices.

In honor of National Cancer Month, we share 7 steps you can take to lower your cancer risk.

7 Steps to Lower Your Cancer Risk

1. Healthy diet: What you eat can lower or raise your risk for many types of cancer ranging from cancer of the colon to breast, kidney, lung, and liver cancer. A plant-based diet rich with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans is generally believed to be best. Limiting your intake of processed meats also helps.

2. Physical fitness: As most of us already know, exercise plays an important role in aging well. It helps prevent disease, maintain flexibility and strength, and boost the spirit. If you aren’t sure what types of physical fitness activities are best for you or how much exercise you need each day, talk with your physician. They can help you set realistic goals that you can safely achieve.

3. Healthy weight: Obesity is linked to a variety of health concerns such as diabetes, depression, and heart disease. It also exacerbates the pain of arthritis. When it comes to cancer, obesity is often found in people who are diagnosed with cancer of the breast, colon, rectum, kidney, and pancreas.

4. Physician partner: While it’s not a good idea to do, young adults don’t always take time to find a primary care physician they get to know and trust. As we grow older, however, this partnership between physician and patient becomes vital. Your physician can help you identify potential risk factors for illness or disease based on your lifestyle, personal history, and family medical history. The doctor can also keep you on track with routine screenings important at every stage in life. It helps them intervene early and prevent small concerns from becoming life-threatening health problems.

5. Avoid tobacco: This is one of the single best steps you can take to lower your risk of cancer. Tobacco is directly linked to cancer of the lung, mouth, throat, larynx, pancreas, bladder, cervix, and kidney. So if you smoke, find a smoking cessation program to help you stop. Avoid being around secondhand smoke. Experts say it’s just as deadly as smoking over the long term. Smokeless tobaccos are also linked to different types of cancer including in the mouth and pancreas.

6. Sun safety: Many of us enjoy spending time in the great outdoors. It lifts the spirits and boosts the mood, especially for those who live in colder climates where they are stuck inside much of the winter. But exposure to ultraviolet radiation can lead to skin damage and skin cancer so it’s important to practice good sun safety. Wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 when you are outside or riding in a car. Keep a hat on hand to wear while gardening or enjoying other outdoor activities.

7. Limit alcohol consumption: A glass of wine can be a nice way to end an evening with friends or catch up with loved ones on a wintery afternoon. Consuming too much alcohol, however, can increase your risk for cancer. Excessive use of alcohol can raise your risk of developing cancer, specifically cancer of the throat, liver, breast, mouth, and esophagus.

Live a Healthy Life at Legacy Senior Living

At Legacy Senior Living, we empower residents to live their best life and develop a genuine sense of well-being. Our Signature Programs are designed to promote a better quality of life for older adults whether they are active and independent or in need of memory care support for dementia.

We invite you to schedule a private visit to the Legacy community nearest you to learn more!

Healthy Resolutions for Caregivers to Start a Brand New Year

January 8, 2018

Make 2018 Healthier

Caregivers often put their own needs last. It’s why so many family caregivers experience a health crisis of their own. Use these resolutions to make 2018 healthier.

If you’ve been responsible for the care of a senior loved one, there’s a strong possibility that you’ve put your own health and well-being on the backburner. As the responsibilities of caregiving slowly increase, family members often don’t see the toll this role is taking on their own health.

From weight gain to high blood pressure and depression, caregivers experience health problems of their own at twice the rate of their non-caregiving peers. As a new year begins, we thought we would encourage family caregivers to make 2018 healthier with a few resolutions.

6 Resolutions for Caregivers to Make 2018 Healthier

1. Ask for and accept help: We put this at the top of this list because it is the one thing caregivers can do to immediately improve their well-being. Adult children are often reluctant to ask for and accept help with a parent’s care. But doing it all on your own will eventually take a toll. Resolve to make 2018 the year you give yourself permission to seek help from friends, family, and even professional caregivers.

2. Explore local respite services: One way to care for yourself is by routinely utilizing respite care services. It might be by using home care services a few hours a week, while also taking advantage of short-term stays at an assisted living community every few months. Having “me time” that you can regularly count on will help reduce stress and give you an opportunity to tend to your own health and well-being.

3. See your doctor: Another good new year’s resolution to make is to schedule an appointment with your primary care physician if you haven’t been there in the last year. The doctor can conduct a physical exam and help you schedule any routine health screenings that are due.

4. Connect with a support group: Caregivers face many challenges each day. Caregiving itself is demanding, and even more so when you juggle work and family life. Connecting with a peer group – either online or in person – can help provide you with tips and guidance, as well as emotional support.

5. Eat a healthy diet: Family caregivers often rely on a diet of convenience: frozen foods, fast foods, and takeout. While they can be a quick solution for an overscheduled caregiver, few of these choices are very healthy. Planning and freezing a few weeks’ worth of entrees on a weekend afternoon is one solution. Then you can add a fresh salad or frozen vegetable and have a healthy dinner in a hurry. Another option is to research restaurants that have healthy food choices. Also see if they offer delivery or participate in a delivery service like Uber Eats. One final suggestion is to join a meal delivery program, such as Hello Fresh or Blue Apron.

6. Exercise: It’s easy to let physical fitness activities fall off your “to do” list when you are busy juggling many responsibilities. One solution is to find several forms of exercise that you and your senior loved one can enjoy together and work them in to your weekly schedule. Walking, chair yoga, swimming, and even marching in place are all ideas to consider. The National Institute on Aging also created a workout series for seniors that can be completed in the privacy of your own living room. Go4Life has free guides and tools you can download.

Aging Resources at Legacy Senior Living

At Legacy Senior Living, we know how important it is to connect with the support you need. It’s why we created our Aging Resources page. Here you will find links to organizations ranging from the Administration on Aging to the Alzheimer’s Association. We hope you find it useful!

Managing Diabetes during Holiday Party Season

December 4, 2017

Managing diabetesThe holidays are a festive time, but the focus on food can make it hard to eat right. Here’s a quick guide to enjoying holiday parties while making good food choices.

The holidays are a wonderful season to celebrate and enjoy time with friends and loved ones. But the focus on food at parties and family gatherings can make it tough to stick to a healthy lifestyle. The festivities are even tougher on the millions of Americans who live with diabetes.

When temptations abound, it’s more important than ever to manage your diabetes in a smart, well-planned way.

A Simple Guide for Managing Your Diabetes at Holiday Parties

Here are some tips that may help to get you through the holiday celebrations while safely managing your diabetes.

  1. Know the Best Holiday Foods to Eat

When it comes to the holiday buffet, healthy eating can be a matter of making the right choices. Start by eating veggies. They’ll take the edge off your appetite so you’ll be less likely to overindulge on the not-so-healthy stuff.

It’s also wise to plan your meal so that your overall carb intake isn’t too high. For example, if you can’t wait to savor the pumpkin pie cousin Grace always makes, skip the potatoes and bread.

It’s not always necessary to skip dessert, but you do have to make smart choices. For example, choosing pumpkin pie over pecan pie means you’ll be cutting calories and sugar by a third or more.

  1. Know Which Holiday Foods to Avoid

Let’s face it: holiday foods aren’t exactly synonymous with a healthy diet. Lots of sweets and rich food seem to go hand in hand with the celebrations. You can still enjoy your favorites by limiting portion size and making substitutions. However, there are some you should outright avoid.

Alcohol is a prime example. It may cause your blood sugar to swing dramatically. Plus, it is often loaded with calories. According to WebMD, one drink counts as two fat exchanges, so keep that in mind when you reach for the holiday grog.

Here are a few other interesting facts about alcohol and diabetes:

  • Alcohol stimulates your appetite. When you drink, your willpower and judgment may become weakened, which can lead you to make bad food choices.
  • Sweet wine and beer contain carbs, which can impact your blood sugar.
  • Alcohol can interfere with medications or insulin, putting you at risk for problems with your diabetes.

 

If you’re unsure of whether or not you should be drinking alcohol, talk to your doctor. They may tell you to avoid it altogether, or they might advise you on how much your limit should be.

  1. Treat Your Body Well

Holiday plans can disrupt your daily routine. Whether you’re attending parties or simply spending time shopping and visiting with friends, there’s a good chance you’re going out more.

Sometimes that means getting less sleep, which isn’t good for an adult with diabetes. Did you know sleep deprivation may cause you to eat more? And it can also cause you to crave food that is bad for you, like high-sugar, high-fat foods. Precisely the kind of food you’re apt to find at the holiday table. Try to get eight hours of sleep every night during the holiday season.

Getting adequate amounts of exercise also can help. Don’t let your packed schedule push exercise off your weekly calendar. It not only helps work off extra calories—it can also help reduce stress.

Lastly, stay on track with your medication schedule and continue to monitor your glucose.

  1. Remember What the Season is About

Finally, try to remember what’s truly important about the season. Holiday parties are for seeing friends and family and enjoying one another’s company. When you focus on that, you’re less likely to obsess about food and drink.

Live Well at Legacy Senior Living

At Legacy Senior Living, we’re committed to resident wellness. We know that spending time with loved ones is important for a senior’s mental and physical health. It’s why you’ll find an abundance of holiday events and activities for residents and their families to participate in all season long.

Call the Legacy community nearest you to ask for a copy of our holiday activities calendar, and make plans to celebrate the season by joining us for any event that looks enticing!

5 Ways to Honor the Veterans in Your Life and Town

November 6, 2017

Two veterans (VFW) holding US flags in a parade

Nov. 11th is Veterans Day. Are there any veterans living in your town? Here are some ways you can show your respect and honor the vets you know.

Next week is Veteran’s Day. As the nation prepares to honor those among us who have served, it’s a good time to reflect on the courage of our veterans.

Five Ways to Honor the Veterans Who Live in Your Town

As you consider what their service means to our nation, here are some ways to recognize veterans.

  1. Get Involved With the Veterans History Project

The stories of our veterans are priceless, and they can serve as reminders of the importance of history, citizenship, and valor.

In recognition of the value of these personal war stories, the Library of Congress began the Veterans History Project to help preserve veterans’ accounts of their service stories in the American Folklife Center in Washington, D.C.

You can assist the project by interviewing veterans in your neighborhood. The interviews can be recorded on audio or video equipment and must be at least 30 minutes long. For more information, visit the project’s website to find out how to register and participate. Once there, you can also find good tips on how to conduct the interview.

  1. Host a Fireside Chat

You may associate fireside chats with Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s comforting radio addresses during the Great Depression and World War II. Today, however, they’re held everywhere from Starbucks to universities, bringing people together to hear stories.

If there’s a veteran (or two) in your area who’d be willing to share some stories of their service, you can host a fireside chat. It could be set up as an interview or a storytelling session. Invite everyone in your neighborhood, serve refreshments, and be sure to give the veteran(s) a proper introduction.

  1. Create an ‘Honor Wall’ in Your Town

A temporary honor wall in a public space in your city, like the honor walls found in all Legacy Senior Living communities, is a gentle reminder of the sacrifice that veterans make for their country. Make yours special by including photos of veterans in your community. Include stories and put captions on all photos so passersby can learn about area residents who have served.

  1. Read a Poem at Dinner

Ever wonder about the symbolism of the red ‘remembrance’ poppy that’s used to memorialize soldiers who died in combat? It’s from a famous poem written in 1915 called “In Flanders Field the Poppies Grow.”

Reading this poem aloud is a traditional way to honor veterans on Veterans Day. Although it’s more closely associated with Memorial Day, it’s a nice way to honor the vets in your area.

  1. Raise the American Flag

Not all gestures have to be grand. The simple act of raising the flag is another good way to show your appreciation.

From Our Community to Yours: Honoring Vets on Veterans Day

Letting the veterans know how much they mean to you can be as simple as hanging a flag. It can also be as grand as hosting a fireside chat.

No matter how you choose to observe Veteran’s Day–whether it’s with a large or small gesture, know this: your actions will be heard, loud and clear. From all of us at Legacy Senior Living Communities, here’s to the vets in our lives who served our country and made us proud.

Want to know more about the communities in the Legacy Senior Living network? Contact us any time!