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Our skin is the largest organ in our body. And as anyone who has seen their first wrinkle knows, our skin ages as we do. While some may fret over smile lines, there are far more serious issues with ageing skin. Thinning skin, decreased circulation, and diminished immune function leave seniors vulnerable to nonhealing wounds and skin infections.

For tips on everyday skin care, see our blog post on elderly skin.

In addition to the usual issues that affect older skin, such as thinning and loss of elasticity, seniors are also more likely to have medical conditions that affect their skin. Diabetes, which affects a staggering 25% of seniors, is associated with nonhealing foot sores, an issue so serious it is the leading cause of lower leg amputation in the US. Hypothyroidism, another common condition in older people, also leads to impairment of the skin. If a senior is bedridden, skin issues are exacerbated.

All these factors make wound care an essential part of caring for the elderly.

The following 6 issues prevent wounds from healing, and can decrease a senior’s quality of life:

1. Immobility

If a senior is bedridden, or even if they just lead a sedentary lifestyle, friction and constant pressure can cause bedsores.

2. Poor Diet

A diet that lacks essential nutrients, particularly protein, vitamin C, and zinc, will cause wounds to heal more slowly, or even to worsen.

3. Dead Skin

Dead skin surrounding a wound, known as necrosis, can interfere with the body’s ability to heal the wound.

4. Infection

An open wound is vulnerable to bacterial infection, at which point the immune system turns to fighting the infection rather than healing the wound.

5. Moisture

In order to heal, a wound needs a certain level of moisture. Too little or too much moisture impair healing. Proper wound care requires frequent changing and monitoring of dressings and bandages.

At the Regency Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers, we offer the very best of care in a patient-centered environment, understand the importance of wound care for our residents This means following our residents’ health carefully, listening to them, and respecting their capabilities, while helping them to achieve maximum functionality and independence — and always maintaining the highest professional and quality standards in our staff and our facilities. Our 25 years of excellent care have led to us being awarded a Best Nursing Homes award by US News & World Today, a 5-Star rating by USA Today, and an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau, among many other awards.

Contact us by clicking here to see which of our three facilities will best meet your needs or the needs of your loved one.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately half of all adults in the United States suffer from gum disease. Without consistent care and attention, a person's gums will become swollen and infected. Swelling and infection will in turn lead to a buildup of plaque and bacteria, a condition known as gingivitis. Left untreated, gingivitis will cause the structures supporting the teeth to weaken, leading to the condition known as gum disease or periodontitis.

The effect of proper oral hygiene on our overall health is only now being fully understood. Numerous research efforts have shown that there is a clear statistical link between gum disease and cardiovascular disease. However, the mechanism underlying this connection is not fully understood.

Two basic mechanisms are currently being studied which scientists hypothesize are the basis for the connection between gum disease and cardiovascular disease.

  1. As mentioned above, gum disease is associated with inflammation and infection. Scientists believe that the bacteria associated with infection are able to enter the bloodstream via the diseased gums themselves. In other words, gum disease is both the cause of infection and the doorway which allows bacteria to enter the bloodstream.

Once in the bloodstream, bacteria can reach multiple destinations, where it will cause inflammation, infection and destruction in susceptible areas. The heart, in particular, and the cardiovascular system, in general, are highly susceptible to damage caused by infection.

Included in the evidence for this hypothesis is the fact that researchers have shown that the most common bacteria found in the coronary arteries is P. gingivalis. Combined with the fact that more than half of all adults in the United States suffer from some form of gum disease, it is not surprising that this particular bacteria is the type most commonly found in the coronary arteries.

  1. Generally speaking, inflammation is a protective mechanism which occurs as a response to pathogens. However, chronic inflammation often leads to illness or disease. In the case of gum disease, it is hypothesized that chronic inflammation and infection lead to inflammation of the cardiovascular system. Eventually this cardiovascular inflammation will itself becomes chronic, causing cardiovascular disease.

As mentioned above, researchers have shown that the most common bacteria found in the coronary arteries is P. gingivalis. This bacteria is a known cause of inflammation.              

So, in other worlds, don’t be surprised if your cardiologist reminds you to be consistent and careful about taking care of our teeth and gums. Proper oral hygiene may allow us to prevent or slow the devastating effects of the nation's number one killer, heart disease.

Regency Jewish Heritage has partnered with the area's leading cardiologists and pulmonologists to form The NJ Heart and Lung Center™

Our program:

  • Reduces hospital readmissions and patient length of stay
  • Maximizes ability for patient to regain ADL skills and independence
  • Offers 24/7/365 physician coverage through on-site staff and advanced telemedicine program
  • Has an on-site sleep study program to unlock Medicare benefit for Bipap utilization upon discharge
  • Offers STAT availability of Labs, X-Ray and other diagnostic tools

Our Outcomes & Capabilities include:

  • Cardiologist and pulmonologist on site daily for immediate intervention
  • Specialized rehab & nursing protocols developed in partnership with leading cardiologists & pulmonologists
  • A plan proven to prevent readmission to the hospital and improve patient independence and functionality
  • Regular Communication Between Patient, Family, Staff & Physicians
  • Collaborative care planning with other physician & therapy specialists
  • Advanced staff education & training
  • Transitional care nurse & enhanced discharge-to-home process
  • Follow-up home visit within 24-48 hours
  • Educational material provided to patients & families

We offer the very best of care in a patient-centered environment. This means always listening to our residents and patients and respecting their capabilities, while helping them to achieve maximum functionality and independence. And always maintaining the highest professional and quality standards in our staff and our facilities. Our 25 years of excellent care have led to us being awarded a Best Nursing Homes award by US News & World Today, a 5-Star rating by USA Today, and an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau, among many other awards.

Contact us by clicking here to contact us.

What is Congestive Heart Failure?

Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a condition in which the heart cannot beat strongly enough to supply the body with blood.

What Causes Congestive Heart Failure?

Any condition that overworks the heart can cause congestive heart failure. It can happen in an instant, as after a heart attack, or very slowly, after years of untreated high blood pressure.

What Are the Risk Factors for Congestive Heart Failure?

While genes play a role in heart health, many of the risk factors for CHF are related to unhealthy lifestyle choices, including obesity and smoking.

Certain medical conditions also increase one’s risk. These include:

  • Abnormal thyroid function, including overactive and underactive function
  • Anemia, an inadequate number of red blood cells
  • Amyloidosis, a condition in which the body accumulates abnormal deposits of proteins
  • Arrhythmias, abnormal heart rhythm. If the heartbeats too quickly, it can overtax the heart; if it beats too slowly, it may not be able to pump blood to all parts of the body
  • Emphysema, a chronic disease, often caused by smoking, that makes breathing difficult
  • Hemochromatosis, a condition in which iron accumulates in the body
  • Lupus, an autoimmune disease
  • Myocarditis, a condition in which the heart muscle is inflamed
  • Type II diabetes

What Are the Symptoms of Congestive Heart Failure?

  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Unusually rapid heartbeat, even when resting
  • Shortness of breath, especially when lying down
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness or confusion
  • Dry cough
  • Water retention

How Is Congestive Heart Failure Diagnosed?

A variety of tests can determine whether a person has congestive heart failure. These include:

  • Blood tests check for B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP), a heart hormone released into the blood when the heart is being overtaxed; red blood cell count; and live and thyroid function.
  • Urine tests give indications of kidney function.
  • An electrocardiogram (EKG), which records the heart’s rhythm and electrical activity.
  • A chest x-ray will show enlargement of the heart, as well as a build-up of fluid in the lungs
  • An echocardiogram, an ultrasound measurement of how much blood is being pumped with each beat of the heart, yields a called ejection fraction. The lower the measurement of ejection fraction, the worse the congestive heart failure.
  • Cardiac MRI or CT scans allow visualization of the heart’s arteries and valves, as well as measure ejection fraction.

How Is Congestive Heart Failure Treated?

While the damage to the heart caused by CHF cannot be reversed, treatment is available to relieve symptoms, and keep the condition under control. The choice of treatment will be guided by the conditions that cause the heart failure.

Common medications for congestive heart failure include:

  • ACE inhibitors, which relax the arteries, making it easier for blood to flow through the body.
  • Beta-blockers, which improve the heart’s ability to pump blood.
  • Diuretics, which relieve water retention. Diuretics will also relieve the shortness of breath caused by fluid in the lungs.

CHF does not always respond to medication, however. In some cases, surgery is required.

Common procedures for CHF include:

  • Coronary artery bypass grafts (CABGs), in which healthy arteries are grafted to provide new pathways for blood flow.
  • Heart valve surgery, which repairs damaged valves.
  • Heart transplants are the treatment of last resort for CHF. A person may receive an implantable left ventricular assist device (LVAD) to keep their heart working while waiting for a new heart to become available. The LVAD requires the person to remain hospitalized until the transplant.

At the Regency Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers, we offer the very best of care in the most appropriate and patient-centered environment. This means always listening to our residents and patients and respecting their capabilities, while helping them to achieve maximum functionality and independence. And always maintaining the highest professional and quality standards in our staff and our facilities. Our 25 years of excellent care have led to us being awarded a Best Nursing Homes award by US News & World Today, a 5-Star rating by USA Today, and an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau, among many other awards.

Contact us by clicking here to see which of our three facilities will best meet your needs or the needs of your loved one.

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