Archive for category: Uncategorized

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.

 

 

Random Acts of Kindness: Why It Matters More Than You Think

The actor Morgan Freeman once said, “How do we change the world? One random act of kindness at a time.”

We all know it feels good to do nice things for other people. But new research suggests we may underestimate the impact kindness has on the recipients.

The study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology involved multiple experiments centered around giving away items.

In one, 84 participants chose whether to keep or give a cup of hot chocolate. Ninety percent chose to give away their drinks. The researchers then asked the participants to evaluate how they felt about it. They later talked to the recipients to see how it impacted their mood.

The study found that those 74 people who gave out the hot chocolate actually underestimated how good it made the receiver feel.

“They get that being kind to people makes them feel good,” said Amit Kumar, lead researcher and Assistant Professor of Marketing at UT Austin McCombs School of Business. “What we don’t get is how good [the random act of kindness] really makes others feel.”

“Performers are not fully taking into account that their warm acts provide value from the act itself,” Kumar said. “The fact that you’re being nice to others adds a lot of value beyond whatever the thing is.”

A fun side effect of the study was that they found random acts of kindness can actually be contagious. It creates a pay-it-forward effect where kindness spreads.

 

About Advena Living

At Advena Living, we believe in a person-centered approach to care, where we treat people with kindness, compassion and respect. We strive to accommodate community members’ personal choices, while supporting their care needs.

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.

 

Activities, Purpose and Engagement in Long-Term Care

Numerous studies that find staying physically and mentally active as we age is important for the mind, body and soul. We try to live each day with that frame of mind at Advena Living of Bonner Springs when scheduling activities.

Our activities are designed around the community members preferences and interests.

You can often find two of our residents, James and Steve, in the garden at Advena Living of Bonner Springs. They’re usually tending to the plants and making things look nice. (If you get a chance, ask James about gardening and all the plants he’s grown here. He has quite the green thumb!)

When our marketing director Kim invited them to go apple picking this weekend, they were thrilled at the idea.

The three of them went to a city park in Kansas City, KS where they picked a bush of apples for a local food bank. Those apples were then donated to two organizations in KCK: Young Women on the Move, an after-school mentoring program designed to empower young girls, and Avenue for Life, which supports families experiencing homelessness.

Kim and our activities director Cortney often collaborate to schedule interesting activities to keep resident engaged and happy. We encourage staff to get to know residents personally, find out their likes/dislikes and favorite hobbies. From there, we can coordinate activities, events and outings that the community members enjoy.

 

About Advena Living

Whether you prefer to be outside most of the day, you’re an avid reader of romance novels, or you like to cheer on the Chiefs, we’ll help tailor our activities at all our Advena Living communities to you.

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.

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.

“Mind after Midnight”— Why Our Brains Want to Go to Sleep Earlier

You’ve probably heard the saying, “nothing good happens after midnight.” Now new research shows there may be some truth to going to sleep earlier rather than staying up late.

A new study published in the journal Frontiers in Network Psychology suggests that the mind is not “designed” to be active after midnight.

The research goes on to say the mind doesn’t work the same way at night as it does during the daytime. And those physiological changes at night can lead to “psychiatric disorders and unsafe behaviors.”

“I think everyone knows that getting good sleep is important for thinking clearly and making good decisions, mostly because we’ve all felt stupid and made bad choices after a bad night of sleep,” said Andrew Tubbs, one of the study’s authors from the University of Arizona College of Medicine in a recent interview. “But the amount of sleep you have is just one part of a bigger puzzle because sleep happens in the context of our circadian rhythms, the 24-hour cycles in which we live our lives.”

Mind over Matter

According to Tubbs, “People are more likely to make bad decisions when they haven’t had enough sleep and they’re awake when their circadian rhythms are telling them to be asleep. For most people, that’s between 2 and 3 AM.”

The study does point out that many people reported that their creativity spikes after midnight. Tubbs said this fits into their Mind after Midnight hypothesis. “We think that one of the big drivers of risk is behavioral disinhibition, such that people say or do things they wouldn’t ordinarily do. For someone creative, this disinhibition may help them turn off their inner critic and push forward with new and exciting ideas.”

Tubbs also added that there is very little data on what people do in the middle of the night. The study suggests further research is needed to explore the effects of nighttime activity on mental health.

 

About Advena Living

Whether you’re a night owl, early bird or self-proclaimed exhausted pigeon, there’s a place for you at our Advena Living communities. We’ll encourage a restful night’s sleep but we won’t tell you when you have to go to bed. That’s because we honor choice and we believe that community members get to have a say in how they live their lives.

We will work hard to accommodate what you want your schedule to be every day. If you typically wake up at 6 AM and start your day off with a fresh cup of coffee and a newspaper, we’ll make that happen. Similarly if you’d rather sleep in and ease into your day, we’ll help you with that too.

Advena Living specializes in skilled nursing, long-term care, rehabilitation and assisted living services throughout the state. Our name “Advena” means newcomer. We welcome newcomers seeking a senior living environment where they may continue to enjoy a full life, as well as passionate employees who want to feel fulfilled in their careers.

Wellness in the Workplace: Self-Care During the Day

August is National Wellness Month, a time to focus on self-care and overall wellness. The term self-care has often been synonymous with Eastern medicine practices like yoga, meditation and reiki, or taking a trip to the spa or healing retreat. That may not be attainable.

 

Defining Self-Care

The Journal of Counseling Psychology defines self-care as a “multi-dimension, multi-faceted process of purposeful engagement in strategies that promote healthy functioning and enhance well-being.”

In the simplest terms, it’s an intentional that benefits your mental or emotional health. Self-care is whatever you want it to be. That may be going for a walk with your dog, unwinding with a bubble bath or good book, or just getting extra sleep.

 

Self-Care at Work

There are only so many hours in the day and many of those are spent at our jobs. Incorporating wellness into your daily routine can be beneficial.

According to popular job search site Indeed, ”practicing self-care at work is an important part of combatting feelings of stress or burnout.”

They recommend the following ways to add little moments of self-care throughout the day.

  1. Pack a healthy and nutritious lunch.
  2. Take breaks outside.
  3. Drink more water.
  4. Socialize with coworkers.
  5. Request time off when needed.
  6. Listen to your favorite music.
  7. Decorate your desk or personalize your workspace.
  8. Learn to be present in the moment.

To read the full article, click here.

Supporting Employees

A Harvard Business Review study found that organizations can’t function effectively with “struggling and suffering workers.” Workers want to feel like their companies care about them and support them financially, emotionally and mentally.

About Advena Living

At Advena Living, we want our employees to feel valued and supported in all our communities.

We promote open communication in the workplace. We also provide resources for support and guidance through an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). It’s a confidential counseling program available to staff and their families.

EAP services can help the following:

  • Life improvement and goal setting
  • Stress and anxiety with work or life
  • Financial or legal concerns
  • Emotional wellbeing
  • Family or relationship issues

Advena Living is a family-owned company in Manhattan, KS that specializes in skilled nursing, long-term care, rehabilitation and assisted living services throughout the state.

Our name “Advena” means newcomer. We welcome newcomers seeking a senior living environment where they may continue to enjoy a full life, as well as passionate employees who want to feel fulfilled in their careers.