Archive for category: Advena Living Communities

Senior Tech Trends: New Health Technology for 2023

We started to see an increase in seniors embracing technology during the height of Covid-19. Many people were shut off from the rest of the world and starving for connection. Whether in a senior living environment or isolating at home, many people turned to their tablets to video chat. Others relied on video calling hubs like Meta Portal, Amazon Echo and Google Nest.

“As more Baby Boomers age into senior and post-acute care services, they’re bringing with them smart devices such as phones, tablets and smart TVs,” according to Health Tech Magazine. “The new generation of older adults is more comfortable with technology than ever before.”

AARP conducted an in-depth study into the technology habits of older adults. Eighty percent of respondents in an online poll said technology has become a big part of their life and it’s used frequently to connect with loved ones.

Meeting the Demand

As the need for senior-focused technology expands, companies are looking into services to increase connectivity, independence, entertainment and more.

The Consumer Technology Association just wrapped up CES 2023, the self-dubbed “most influential tech event in the world.” The conference puts the spotlight on tech trends and innovation.

Some of those proposed ideas include more lifelike robots to foldable cellphones to fancy new cars. Others addressed common issues people face or focused on improving your health.

One Stop Shop

One of the latest products pitched at CES 2023 is aimed to make your smart home smarter, easier and more reliable.

Matter is a universal smart home system that bundles everything together. Basically, you take all of your smart devices from any manufacturer and they work together in one hub. That means your Alexa, security system, heating system, and entertainment can all be connected by one platform.

AARP’s survey found, while older adults want to use more technology, they often find it difficult to learn or navigate. Sixty-eight percent do not believe technology is designed for them to use. That’s why something like Matter could be great for seniors, as it combines multiple devices and programs into one.

 

Monitoring Your Health

Two innovations to come out of CES 2023 this year involve monitoring your health with the help of your toilet.

U-Scan is a sensor that attaches to your toilet bowl and analyzes your urine. It tracks nutrition, metabolic information, hormones and more.

Meanwhile, the Heart Seat is a smart toilet seat that monitors heart rate, blood oxygen and blood pressure.

 

Life-Changing Technology

Other proposed technology at CES 2023 focuses on solving health problems or improving the quality of life:

  • Healables: smart clothing to treat chronic pain
  • Orbitor: a smart cushion for your wheelchair to reduce pressure injuries
  • Jabra Enhance Plus: wireless and advanced hearing aids
  • Touchpoints: a non-invasive way to reduce stress and improve focus
  • Xander Glasses: glasses that display real-time captions of in-person conversations to help people with hearing loss
  • Whissp: AI-powered speech technology

While many of these products are newly introduced and haven’t hit the market, they’re game changers in improving the quality of life for older adults.

About Advena Living

At Advena Living, we encourage residents to bring a tablet, smartphone or whatever other technology that helps connect you to your loved ones, and another other devices that help their overall wellbeing.

We aim to be so much more than a traditional nursing home. Even in a heavily regulated environment, we strive to make the concept of “home” a real thing for everyone who lives in our communities. It is our goal to ensure that each resident gets to live how they want to, on their own schedule, and is able to maintain those special daily pleasures, rituals and traditions that make them who they are.

Advena Living specializes in assisted living, skilled nursing, rehabilitation, and long-term care throughout the state. Our locations include Bonner Springs, Cherryvale, Clay Center, Clearwater, Rose Hill, Topeka, and Wichita.

Mediterranean diet

Go Greek: Eating Your Way to a Healthier Life

Mediterranean diet

If eating better in 2023 is your New Year’s resolution, then it’s time to load up your plate with chickpeas. For the sixth year in a row, US News & World Report lists Mediterranean food as the best cuisine for healthy living. This type of eating style packs a punch when it comes to health benefits.

Researchers found that people in countries bordering the Mediterranean sea were exceptionally healthy and had a lower risk of chronic health conditions.

 

Mediterranean Cuisine

The basis of the Mediterranean diet includes plant-based foods like fruits and vegetables, along with whole grains, beans, seeds and nuts.

Extra-virgin olive oil is a staple and provides the good kind of fat that lowers cholesterol.

Don’t forget that piece of salmon. Eating fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids is also on the Mediterranean menu.

Meanwhile eggs, dairy and poultry are eaten in smaller portions and red meat is used sparingly.

Red wine consumption is allowed on the Mediterranean diet, in moderation. Red wine offers more antioxidants than other alcohol, along with less sugar. It’s also low in carbs and fat. There’s also plenty of research on the health benefits to drinking red wine— from reducing cognitive decline to lowering your risk of stroke and heart disease.

Trans fats, foods with added sugars, ultra-processed foods and refined grains are to be avoided.

For more information on foods to include and avoid, click here.

 

Get Moving

Part of any healthy lifestyle involves exercise and movement.

The National Institutes of Health say that combining the Mediterranean eating pattern with physical activity can protect against inflammation and chronic disease.

The emphasis here is on exercise that is also enjoyable, like a walk, hike, swimming or riding a bike.

 

Health Benefits

There are a myriad of health benefits from consuming Mediterranean foods. Experts at Johns Hopkins say it lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes and high cholesterol.

Other studies find the Mediterranean diet has helped with brain health.

 

About Advena Living

At Advena Living, we support whatever lifestyle you want to follow—whether that’s eating a plant-based diet, ending your day with a glass of red wine, or taking a stroll outside.

We believe in treating everyone with compassion, respect and dignity, while encouraging residents to live their best lives.

Advena Living specialize in assisted living, skilled nursing, rehabilitation, and long-term care throughout the state. Our locations include Bonner Springs, Cherryvale, Clay Center, Clearwater, Rose Hill, Topeka, and Wichita.

Winter Storm Safety: Protect Yourself in Extreme Cold Weather

Across Kansas, we’re getting hit with Winter Storm Warnings and Wind Chill Warnings. That comes frigid temperatures, snow and potentially threatening weather conditions.

Even just a few minutes outside in sub-zero temps can be dangerous.

Signs of Hypothermia

Hypothermia can happen in very cold weather. “In cold weather, your body begins to lose heat faster than it can be produced, which can lead to serious health problems,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

If you notice any of these symptoms of hypothermia, call for help immediately:

  • Shivering
  • Exhaustion
  • Confusion or impaired judgement
  • Fumbling hands
  • Memory loss
  • Slurred speech
  • Drowsiness
  • Glassy stare

Try to restore normal body temperature while waiting for emergency crews to arrive. The American Red Cross recommends the following tips:

  1. Move the individual to a warm place.
  2. Remove any wet clothing and put on dry clothes.
  3. Warm the person by wrapping in layers and blankets.
  4. Monitor breathing and circulation and perform CPR if needed.

How to Spot Frostbite

Exposing skin to winter weather and extremely cold temps can also lead to frostbite. “It leads to a loss of feeling and color in the areas it affects, usually extremities such as the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, and toes. Frostbite can permanently damage the body, and severe cases can lead to amputation,” according to the CDC.

Individuals with poor circulation and those who are not appropriately dressed for winter weather are at most risk for frostbite.

Look out for redness or pain on your skin, which may be the first sign of frostbite. Other symptoms from the Red Cross include:

  • Discolored skin that is white, gray, yellow or blue
  • Skin that feels firm, waxy or cold to the touch
  • Numbness or lack of feeling

If someone is experiencing frostbite due to cold weather, check to see if they are also showing signs of hypothermia. Regardless, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately and take action in the meantime:

  1. Move the person out of the cold and in a warm place.
  2. Do not rub the affected area. Handle it gently.
  3. Put the frostbitten area in warm, but not hot, water until it appears red and feels warm.
  4. If water isn’t available, use body heat. For example, if your fingertips have frostbite, place them under your armpit.
  5. If toes are frostbitten, use dry gauze between toes to keep them separated.
  6. Do not use heating pads or heat from a stove or fireplace as the area is already numb and can burn easily.

Stay Safe in Cold Weather

When the weather is this frigid, experts recommend you avoid being outside. If you have to go out, limit your time outdoors or take frequent breaks from the cold. Wear lots of layers to stay warm and cover exposed skin. That means a warm coat, hat, scarf, thick socks, boots and mittens or gloves.

Lastly, make sure at least one person knows your whereabouts at all times.

 

About Advena Living

At Advena Living, our priority is keeping community members warm and safe. At our seven locations throughout Kansas, we are prepared to handle severely cold temperatures. We have emergency plans in place in the event of a power outage, along with extra blankets and food.

We specialize in assisted living, skilled nursing, rehabilitation, and long-term care throughout the state. Our locations include Bonner Springs, Cherryvale, Clay Center, Clearwater, Rose Hill, Topeka, and Wichita.

To learn more about us, visit our website.

Healthy Holidays: Tips to Keep Yourself and Others Safe

Tis the season for the sniffles. We’ve been hearing about the “tripledemic” since Thanksgiving and it seems like sickness is in the air. With Christmas just around the corner, it’s important to prioritize staying healthy.

Healthy Habits

To make your holidays merry and bright, the CDC recommends the following five tips:

  1. Wash hands often to avoid spreading germs.
  2. Wear appropriate clothing outside and stay warm. Remember to wear layers.
  3. Manage stress. Stress can affect your immune system, making you more prone to getting sick.
  4. Get your flu vaccination and Covid booster. A flu vaccine takes about two weeks to become effective, so now might be the best time to get it if you haven’t already.
  5. Eat healthy foods and exercise.

Stay Healthy When Traveling

For many of us, Christmas involves traveling—whether that’s by plane or car. That can mean coming in contact with a lot of people and a lot of illnesses. To stay healthy, Conde Nast recommends you prioritize sleep, stay hydrated, sanitize frequently touched surfaces, and wear a mask.

Infectious disease specialists also recommend you be cautious before a trip to avoid exposing others to illness. If you’re planning on visiting grandparents, avoid potentially risky behavior and large groups of people inside a week or two before.

 

Boost Your Immune System

It’s important to keep your immune system strong to fight off infections and illnesses. Specialists recommend a healthy, diverse diet full of fruits and vegetables, along with exercise.

Another way to naturally boost your immune system is to get outside. Vitamin D can boost immune cell production.

If you’re cooking, add a little garlic to your food. Garlic and onions are strong sources of anti-inflammatories and antioxidants. For 10 other immune boosting foods, click here.

About Advena Living

At Advena Living, our goal is to keep community members healthy and happy. We believe every individual should get to live how they want, and be able to maintain special daily pleasures, rituals and traditions that make them who they are.

Advena Living specializes in assisted living, skilled nursing, rehabilitation, and long-term care throughout the state. We have seven locations in Bonner Springs, Cherryvale, Clay Center, Clearwater, Rose Hill, Topeka, and Wichita.

Stress Less This Thanksgiving

We’re entering the time of year when we collectively focus on gratitude. It’s even a ubiquitous tradition to say what you’re thankful for during Thanksgiving dinner. But between the frantic cleaning, food prep and traveling, it can be stressful.

Here are five tips to make Thanksgiving more carefree so you can focus on what matters.

 

Take Deep Breaths

Perhaps the easiest way to quickly reduce anxiety is by taking deep breaths.

“Deep breathing increases the supply of oxygen to your brain and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes a state of calmness,” according to the American Institute of Stress.

When the family dynamics start to get a bit overwhelming this Thanksgiving, take a few seconds to breathe.

Healthline recommends these basic techniques for diaphragmatic breathing:

  1. Relax your shoulders.
  2. Place one hand on your chest and the other hand on your stomach.
  3. Breathe in through your nose until you can’t take in anymore air.
  4. Purse your lips as if sipping through a straw and exhale slowly through the mouth for four seconds.
  5. Repeat

 

Don’t Go Overboard

Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks and eat a big feast. But you might want to skip overindulging in food and spirits.

The Mayo Clinic recommends you have a healthy snack before your holiday meal, avoid excessive alcohol use and try to limit sweets and cheeses.

 

Pitch In

Consider this a day to all pitch in. Don’t rely on one person or one family to provide all the food and drinks, which can be costly and stressful.

Turn Thanksgiving into a potluck where everyone is responsible for one or two items.

 

Be Realistic

The holidays aren’t about perfection; they’re about spending time with the people you love.

“As we gear up for the holidays, we often set the bar impossibly high for ourselves and then feel upset when our celebrations don’t live up to expectations,” said Neda Gould, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and director of the Johns Hopkins Mindfulness Program at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Gould recommends you accept that imperfection is healthy and normal.

 

Express Gratitude

Above all, try not to lose sight of what Thanksgiving is all about. Find things to be grateful for and express your gratitude to your loved ones.

 

About Advena Living

At Advena Living, we are thankful to our employees who continue to work hard to care for our residents. Their compassion, commitment and kindness make residents at our communities feel at home.

Part of our guiding philosophy is that we strive to make the concept of “home” a real thing. It is our goal to ensure that each community member gets to live how they want to, on their own schedule, and is able to maintain those special daily pleasures, rituals and traditions that make them who they are.

Advena Living specializes in assisted living, skilled nursing, rehabilitation, and long-term care throughout the state. We have seven locations in Bonner Springs, Cherryvale, Clay Center, Clearwater, Rose Hill, Topeka, and Wichita.

6 New Studies on Alzheimer’s Disease

More than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s Disease, which is the most common type of dementia. Because of its prevalence, Alzheimer’s is widely studied. The National Institute on Aging alone is currently supporting over 400 clinical trials on Alzheimer’s and related dementias. Those trials include clinical drug development, non-pharmacological interventions, and dementia care.

“In the past century, scientists have made remarkable strides in understanding how Alzheimer’s affects the brain and learning how to make life better for affected individuals and families,” according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

 

Latest Research

In just the past recent months, there have been several new findings. Here are some of the latest studies:

 

  1. Researchers with the AHEAD study are looking at a drug that might protect people at risk of developing Alzheimer’s. It looks at whether this treatment can slow or stop the earliest brain change.
  2. Another study looks at the effect of beer hop compounds on protecting against Alzheimer’s.
  3. This study suggests different ethnicities respond differently to therapies. Researchers believe a blood pressure drug may lower the risk of Alzheimer’s in African American adults over 60 years old. However, it does not do the same for white seniors.
  4. Researchers are looking at a saliva test called genoSCORE to determine someone’s future risk for Alzheimer’s.
  5. A first nationally representative study finds more almost 1 in 10 older Americans have dementia.
  6. This study looks at how the “love hormone” or oxytocin may help improve memory. On a study done only with mice, oxytocin was shown to reverse cognitive impairment.

 

About Advena Living

At Advena Living, we are proud to serve individuals from all walks of life at all stages of life, including those who have dementia. We offer a safe, secure home for anyone who experience cognitive decline and need additional assistance.

We specialize in assisted living, skilled nursing, rehabilitation, and long-term care throughout the state. Our locations include Bonner Springs, Cherryvale, Clay Center, Clearwater, Rose Hill, Topeka, and Wichita.

The name “Advena” means newcomer. We welcome newcomers seeking a caring environment where they may continue to live their best lives. Part of our guiding philosophy is that we honor choice. We believe that community members should always have a say in how they live their lives. We will work hard to accommodate what you want your schedule to be every day.

RSV: Why Older Adults are at Risk

RSV or Respiratory Syncytial Virus case are skyrocketing across the country right now. Hospitals are becoming overcrowded with young children with RSV, a serious illness that can cause breathing problems and other complications.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), RSV infections typically occur during the fall and winter, and start to drop off in the spring. Symptoms include runny nose, coughing, sneezing, fever and wheezing.

The majority of people who get RSV will have mild symptoms and recover within two weeks. However, it can be dangerous for babies, young children and older adults. A severe RSV infection can lead to bronchiolitis and pneumonia, along with hospitalizations. Individuals with asthma, COPD and congestive heart failure may find RSV makes those chronic health issues worse.

Cases are Rising

RSV cases were down in 2020 and 2021, according to a study from the National Library of Medicine. This year, we’re seeing a surge in the virus. Medical experts say the mitigation measures we took during Covid-19, social distancing and wearing masks, also helped prevent the spread of other viruses, like RSV.

Those behaviors created what scientists are calling an “immunity gap.”

“Decreased exposure to endemic viruses created an immunity gap– a group of susceptible individuals who avoided infection and therefore lack pathogen-specific immunity to protect against future infection,” said two epidemiologists in the medical journal The Lancet.

RSV in Older Adults

While RSV is commonly thought of as a virus that affects babies and young children, older adults are also a high-risk population. Data from the CDC shows more than 177,000 older Americans are hospitalized each year from RSV. Around 14,000 die from it.

A report from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases suggests “gradual deterioration of the immune system due to aging is one of the several reasons why older adults are at an increased risk from viral respiratory disease.”

How to Treat RSV

There is no specific treatment or vaccination against this virus. Instead, it’s important to manage symptoms and prevent the spread of the virus by staying home when sick.

If you are having breathing problems or shortness of breath, seek medical attention immediately.

Keep Yourself Safe

RSV is very contagious. The CDC recommends avoiding close contact with other sick people and limiting the amount of time in potentially contagious settings during fall and winter. Wash your hands and clean commonly used surfaces. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

About Advena Living

At Advena Living, we take residents’ health and safety very seriously. We aim to maintain clean environments and prevent the spread of illnesses throughout best practices.

Advena Living specializes in assisted living, skilled nursing, rehabilitation, and long-term care throughout the state. We have locations in Bonner Springs, Cherryvale, Clay Center, Clearwater, Rose Hill, Topeka, and Wichita.

Our name “Advena” means newcomer. We welcome newcomers seeking a caring environment where they may continue to live their best lives.

Catching Zzz’s: How Covid-19 Affected Our Sleep Habits

We’ve all seen the many studies about the aftermath of Covid-19 on everything from how it affected our health and wellbeing, to our consumer habits, and even how we work. A new study by Samsung released this week looked at how Covid-19 changed how we sleep.

The data was gathered from Samsung’s Health platform during the pandemic. What the company found was that people spent more time in their bed but the sleep quality had decreased.

“In other words, people have spent more time trying to sleep and less time getting their much-needed rest.”

The full analysis of the study can be found here.

Tips for Better Sleep

The CDC says it’s important to establish healthy habits throughout the day to help you sleep better at night.

Here are five tips to improve your sleep:

  • Consistency is key: go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning to establish a routine.
  • Keep your bedroom dark, quiet, relaxing and at a comfortable temperature.
  • Remove electronic devices from the bedroom.
  • Avoid large meals, caffeine and alcohol before bedtime.
  • Get some exercise throughout the day.

For more tips, including what to do if you don’t fall asleep within 20 minutes, visit the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

 

About Advena Living

At Advena Living, we encourage residents to continue their sleep habits and routines, regardless of their environment. That’s why we don’t have scheduled wake up and bed times at any of our seven communities. Residents can wake up whenever they want to, and we will be ready to greet their day with a hot meal.

Advena Living specializes in assisted living, skilled nursing, rehabilitation, and long-term care throughout the state. We have locations in Bonner Springs, Cherryvale, Clay Center, Clearwater, Rose Hill, Topeka, and Wichita.

Our name “Advena” means newcomer. We welcome newcomers seeking a caring environment where they may continue to live their best lives.

Creating Community: Why A Social Network is Important For Aging

The social distancing and lockdowns of Covid-19 shed light on the dangers of isolation and loneliness. That was especially true for seniors, who are already at risk of those things.

As we begin to see more studies and information disseminated on healthy aging, it’s more apparent than ever that social connections and community are an important piece.

An in-depth report on aging from the World Health Organization (WHO), found that having a sense of community or connectedness is the key to aging more successfully. Positive health benefits included lower rates of anxiety, stronger immune system, improved cognitive function.

Similar studies have found having a social network wards off depression and maintains or increases physical activity.

The big question is how do we create a sense of community if we don’t have one already? According to a Livestrong.com article there are eleven ways to get started.

The first step to creating community is taking inventory of your current group. Look at how often you’re interacting and the types of activities and decide what you need to be fulfilled. Examine your relationships and determine which ones need nurturing and who is part of your real support system.

If you’re looking for new people to join your circle, consider meeting them through shared hobbies and activities. “Getting back to these interests can increase autonomy and feelings of purposefulness, as well as give you a chance to explore social connections with new people.”

Volunteering also opens doors into new friendships and provides the added benefit of giving back.

For more tips on how to create a healthy aging community, click here.

About Advena Living

Moving to an assisted living or long-term community comes with a built-in social group. We try to facilitate connections between residents as we get to know their individual preferences, hobbies and interests. Our Activities Directors provide ample opportunities for social engagement through activities in and out of the building and other special events.

Advena Living specializes in skilled nursing, long-term care, rehabilitation and assisted living services throughout the state. We have locations in Bonner Springs, Cherryvale, Clay Center, Clearwater, Rose Hill, Topeka, and Wichita.

Our name “Advena” means newcomer. We welcome newcomers seeking a senior living environment where they may continue to enjoy a full life.

“Life is Good”— A New Impression of Aging

Would you take a pill that granted you 10 extra years of life? That was one of the many proposed questions from an in-depth study regarding Americans’ perceptions of aging. (75% of people surveyed said yes, by the way.)

The collaboration between AARP and National Geographic, “The Second Half of Life Study,” focused on aging in relation to health, happiness, home, finances, dying and more. To get the best results, they surveyed more than 2,500 adults from 18 to their 90s across all different backgrounds, ethnicities and demographics.

The results were a lot to unpack. You can read the findings here. But the common theme was of hope and positivity when it comes to aging in America.

Research showed an increase in happiness as you get older. “The focus on happiness isn’t about wealth, beauty or any of the other standards typically associated with youth-driven pop culture. Instead, as people age, an optimism and contentment emerge in parallel with an alignment of expectations and realities.”

The study found happiness comes focusing on quality of life, relationships and independence.

Interestingly, we learned that stress and anxiety also diminish with aging. We have more concerns about our future when we are under 40 than in our 70s and 80s.

“The people in the study with the most real-life aging experience to draw on— those 85 and up—report that in almost every important category, life worked out just fine. Up to 90 percent say so about meaningful relationships, living arrangements, mental sharpness, finances and mobility.”

 

About Advena Living

At Advena Living, we welcome newcomers seeking a senior living environment where they may continue to enjoy a full life.

Part of our guiding philosophy is that we honor choice. We believe that community members should always have a say in how they live their lives. That means deciding when you want to eat, wake up, go to sleep and participate in activities.

We want you to continue to enjoy the simple daily pleasures, rituals and activities that make you  who you are.

Advena Living specializes in skilled nursing, long-term care, rehabilitation and assisted living services throughout the state. We have locations in Bonner Springs, Cherryvale, Clay Center, Clearwater, Rose Hill, Topeka, and Wichita.