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Heart disease is the leading cause of death both in the United States, and globally. For men in particular, half of all death are caused by heart disease.
Over the last few decades, many powerful new drugs have been invented to stave off or lower the risk of cardiovascular disease: statins to control cholesterol and triglycerides, new blood thinners and blood pressure medications to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes, beta blockers, and many more. Although many of these medications have been proven to lower an individual's risk of a cardiovascular event, the overall risk for such events still remains high.
Recently, a large study, published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, revealed that a new drug may prove to be an important step forward in the search for drugs to control and prevent heart disease. The new drug, Vascepa, is derived from fish oil. Since fish oil, and omega-3 fatty acids in general, were already known to be good for the heart, it is not surprising that this highly purified and concentrated omega-3 fatty acid has been shown to be beneficial for the heart. What was surprising, however, was the extent of benefit provided; it surpassed all expectations.
An initial study of Vascepa's effectiveness was conducted with approximately 10,000 high-risk patients already taking heart medications. The results of the study showed that this drug reduced the occurrence of first, second, and subsequent heart attacks, as well as strokes and other cardiovascular problems, by nearly one third.
The study's lead investigator, Dr. Deepak Bhatt, stated, "With this drug, we are not only preventing that first heart attack, but potentially the second stroke and maybe that third fatal event. [...] Prevention of such subsequent cardiovascular events could improve patient outcomes and quality of life and may lower the total cost burden of medical care."
Results of this study were presented at the American College of Cardiology scientific meeting in New Orleans. A detailed breakdown of the data presented showed that Vascepa cut the rate of a first cardiovascular event by 25%, a second cardiovascular event by 32%, and further cardiovascular events by 48%, in comparison to the control group.
It is important to remember, that besides the cholesterol-lowering statin drugs that almost all of the participants in this study were taking, most participants were also taking other heart medications to control their blood pressure or to prevent blood clots. The implications of this are that Vascepa provides a important new addition to the arsenal of weapons that can be used to fight heart disease.
The pace of medical innovation today is astounding. It is not unreasonable to expect that this pace will only continue to accelerate, and that fundamental breakthroughs will be made to fight cardiovascular disease.

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.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death both in the United States, and globally. For men in particular, half of all death are caused by heart disease.
Over the last few decades, many powerful new drugs have been invented to stave off or lower the risk of cardiovascular disease: statins to control cholesterol and triglycerides, new blood thinners and blood pressure medications to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes, beta blockers, and many more. Although many of these medications have been proven to lower an individual's risk of a cardiovascular event, the overall risk for such events still remains high.
Recently, a large study, published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, revealed that a new drug may prove to be an important step forward in the search for drugs to control and prevent heart disease. The new drug, Vascepa, is derived from fish oil. Since fish oil, and omega-3 fatty acids in general, were already known to be good for the heart, it is not surprising that this highly purified and concentrated omega-3 fatty acid has been shown to be beneficial for the heart. What was surprising, however, was the extent of benefit provided; it surpassed all expectations.
An initial study of Vascepa's effectiveness was conducted with approximately 10,000 high-risk patients already taking heart medications. The results of the study showed that this drug reduced the occurrence of first, second, and subsequent heart attacks, as well as strokes and other cardiovascular problems, by nearly one third.
The study's lead investigator, Dr. Deepak Bhatt, stated, "With this drug, we are not only preventing that first heart attack, but potentially the second stroke and maybe that third fatal event. [...] Prevention of such subsequent cardiovascular events could improve patient outcomes and quality of life and may lower the total cost burden of medical care."
Results of this study were presented at the American College of Cardiology scientific meeting in New Orleans. A detailed breakdown of the data presented showed that Vascepa cut the rate of a first cardiovascular event by 25%, a second cardiovascular event by 32%, and further cardiovascular events by 48%, in comparison to the control group.
It is important to remember, that besides the cholesterol-lowering statin drugs that almost all of the participants in this study were taking, most participants were also taking other heart medications to control their blood pressure or to prevent blood clots. The implications of this are that Vascepa provides a important new addition to the arsenal of weapons that can be used to fight heart disease.
The pace of medical innovation today is astounding. It is not unreasonable to expect that this pace will only continue to accelerate, and that fundamental breakthroughs will be made to fight cardiovascular disease.

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.

Skin care rules that we followed when we were young —  such as avoiding smoking, and using sunscreen and moisturizers —  are still important as we get older. However, as we age, our skin ages, as well, and starts to need special care.

Over the years, our skin becomes thinner and more fragile. The protective layer of fat that lies just below it begins to disappear, causing us to bruise and our skin to tear more easily. In addition, medications commonly used by seniors, such as aspirin; corticosteroids, such as prednisone; and blood thinners such as Coumadin, Plavix, and Eliquis, lead to thinning skin. Even the conditions that crop up more frequently as we get older,, like diabetes and circulation problems, can cause older skin to weaken.

For seniors, weakened skin leads to a greater likelihood of skin tears, which can lead to complications such as infection if they do not receive prompt and proper care.

The following tips for senior skin care can help prevent thinning skin from becoming a problem.

Protect the Most Vulnerable Areas of the Body

  • Most bruises and tears occur on the arms and lower legs, so it is a good idea to wear long sleeves and either long pants or knee-high socks.
  • People who are especially prone to bruises and skin tears should wear shin guards and padded arm guards.

Treat Skin with Care

Older skin is prone to dryness, which can make it itchy. Here’s how to keep it supple and prevent irritation and tearing.

  • Baths dehydrate skin. Take showers instead.
  • Use warm rather than hot water.
  • Unscented, pH balanced soaps minimize irritation.
  • Wiping your skin dry can lead to irritation. Pat it dry instead.
  • After washing, while skin is still moist, apply a thick moisturizing cream. The Mayo Clinic recommends Vanicream, CeraVe or Cetaphil.
  • When bandaging wounds, use bandages marked "for sensitive skin."

With proper care, senior skin can still be healthy skin.

At the Regency Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers, we offer the very best of care in the most appropriate and patient-centered environment. This means 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.

It’s not news we ever want to hear, but sometimes, doctors will inform us that cure is no longer possible for our loved one, and that the best possible care is to offer comfort, and try to ease the way for everyone involved, patient and family.

That is where hospice comes in.

The goal of hospice is to decrease the pain and fear of the dying process. When it is agreed that a patient’s condition is terminal, that the prognosis is no more than six months, that treatment will no longer prolong life, hospice offers the best care possible.

The goal of hospice care is to treat pain and distress — of both the patient and their family — whether that distress is physical, emotional, or spiritual.

Hospice patients and their families are assigned a team of doctors, nurses, counselors, social workers, and, if desired, chaplains, to make the patient’s remaining days more comfortable. Although curative therapies are stopped, any treatment that a therapy — such as physical, occupational, or speech therapy — improves the patient’s quality of life is provided.

Hospice care extends even beyond the patient’s passing; it includes bereavement counseling for the family.

We all want a cure, but when cure is no longer possible, we can still offer care and comfort. Everyone deserves a good end.

At the Regency Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers, we are uniquely qualified to care for the needs of seniors — including their needs and the needs of their families, at the end of life.

In addition to hospice care, Regency offers a full continuum of care, including exceptional short-term rehabilitation, sub-acute care, long-term nursing, a range of specialty programs and complex clinical services, hospice care and temporary respite care.

Our compassionate, personalized approach has established our long-standing and unparalleled reputation for excellence.

The anterior olfactory nucleus, a region in the forebrain that registers odor, has recently been implicated in areas that range far beyond — but is still linked with — the sense of smell.

Recently, a team of Swedish investigators published a study in the Journal of Neuroscience, reporting that breathing through the nose is more helpful for the storage and consolidation of memories than breathing through the mouth.

There are two important aspects of the study’s findings. The first is that memory is better stored and consolidated while breathing through the nose. The second concerns the process that mediates between breathing, learning, and memory retrieval.

The team pointed out that although their scientific investigation of the relationship between breathing and memory, as well as the technology they are using for their investigations, is new, the concept of breathing affecting our behavior and our memory is actually very old.

In the words of lead author Dr. Artin Arshamian,"This knowledge has been around for thousands of years, in such areas as meditation. But no one has managed to prove scientifically what actually goes on the brain. We now have tools that can reveal new clinical knowledge."

The anterior olfactory nucleus also plays a lead role in another study, published in Nature Communications, which shows that people with good spatial memory are better at identifying smells than people with poor spatial memory.

The sense of smell even seems to hold a key to dementia risk. A study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found a strong connection between a person’s ability to identify smells and their risk of developing dementia.

Losing one’s sense of smell may prove to be an strong indicator of dementia risk, and the study’s researchers posit that risk of dementia may be one day be able to be assessed through a simple, inexpensive smell test.

A hospital stay is difficult, especially for an older person. Going home? Not necessarily much easier.

Getting to the “new normal” may involve postsurgical wound care, a new diet, new medications, and a flurry of follow-up appointments. The home may even need to be retrofitted with grab bars and ramps, even for a short-term recovery.

Transitioning to home from the hospital is so difficult, in fact, that 20% of Medicare patients discharged from a hospital must be readmitted within the month.

This transition can be made easier — and safer — by including a stay in a short-term rehabilitation program. A short-term rehab program, like that at the Regency Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers, can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks, depending on the patient’s condition, and can make all the difference in the patient’s recovery.

Healthcare professionals and families throughout New Jersey have come to rely on Regency Rehab to fill this crucial transitional role between the hospital and home.

Regency Rehab’s approach to rehabilitation is informed and driven by the same unique experience and philosophy that guides our long-term care mission. We think of each individual in our care as a “total patient” while focusing on specific rehabilitation needs. This approach also means that we recognize that some of our patients will not benefit from aggressive therapy and that for others, returning home to independent living may not be a realistic goal. In these cases, our programs are designed to ensure high levels of comfort and stability, while helping to achieve maximum independence and quality of life.

At Regency, we maintain 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.

Aging is a risk factor for many serious conditions, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and most of the major causes of mortality in adults. In addition, there are two other age-related conditions that impact our quality of life, even though they do not directly cause death.

As we age, we tend to lose muscle, and it is also common for our bones to weaken, causing osteopenia or osteoporosis. The combination of weakened bones and loss of muscle mass make it far more likely for an older person to fall. And the most common way for a senior to lose their independence is through a fall.

Obviously, a fall can cause various degrees of damage. Someone who falls might sustain a relatively minor injury, like a bruise, or a far more serious injury, like a broken hip. In some instances, a fall might lead to radical damage, such as paraplegia, in which the entire lower part of the body becomes paralyzed.

Although paraplegia is a seemingly hopeless situation, a team of researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN and the University of California, Los Angeles, have just devised a new strategy for helping paraplegics.

In a recent paper, published in the journal Nature Medicine, The researchers were able to implant an electrode in an individual's epidural space, the region that contains the spinal cord and cerebrospinal fluid.

The research reported the astounding success of a surgery performed by Dr. Kendall Lee, of the Mayo Clinic, on a paraplegic. Dr. Lee successfully implanted an electrode in the epidural space, connected to a pulse generator. The pulse generator itself was accessible wirelessly via an external controller; its settings were adjustable so that the patient could find the setting optimal settings for them.

After rehabilitation, the patient regained the ability to walk the length of a football field on his own, using a walker. He was also able to walk for a duration of 16 minutes with only slight assistance.

Although the patient's ability to walk only occurred while electronic stimulation to the spinal cord was on — meaning that complete paralysis resumed when the electronic stimulation was turned off — this medical experiment offers new hope for those suffering from paraplegia as well as new insights about the condition.

Principal investigator Dr. Lee explained the significance of this breakthrough, explaining, "This is teaching us that the networks of neurons below a spinal cord injury still can function after paralysis."

At the Regency Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers, we can’t wait until we see paraplegics walk. In the meantime, we will offer them, and all the rest of our residents, 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.

Diabetes causes a range of complications. Between one-third and one-half of diabetics will suffer from peripheral neuropathy, nerve damage that typically affects the feet and legs. Combined with the reduced circulation that is also a common complication of diabetes, even a minor foot issue can quickly become a medical emergency for a diabetic, one which could possibly require amputation. For this reason, diabetic foot care should be high on the list of diabetic self-care.

But there is good news. According to a study at the Regenstrief Institute for Health Care in Indianapolis, diabetics who practiced proper foot care can reduce their risk of serious foot problems by nearly 60%.

If you are diabetic, follow these 9 tips to make sure your feet get the care they need to keep them healthy.

  1. Check your feet, including the bottoms and between the toes, every day. Can't see a part of your foot? Use a mirror or ask someone else to check for you.
    Issues to lookout for include:
    Athletes foot; blisters; calluses; corns; cuts; cracks in the skin; swelling; ingrown toenails; unusual odor; red spots; changes in how the foot looks, whether in color or shape; changes in how the foot feels, including tingling, numbness, warmth, or burning.
  2. Never treat any foot problem you might find with an over-the-counter medication. Diabetic feet are sensitive feet, and these products may exacerbate the problem. Call your doctor instead.
  3. Wash and your dry feet every day. Be sure to dry between your toes, since any moisture between the toes can lead to a fungal infection.
  4. Moisturize the tops and bottoms of feet (but not between the toes).
  5. Use talcum powder or cornstarch between your toes to keep those areas dry.
  6. Always wear socks and shoes. Going barefoot — even at home — or wearing shoes without socks can lead to cuts, abrasions, or other potentially dangerous injuries.
  7. Make sure your socks are always dry and clean. At minimum, you should change them daily. Change them more frequently if they become sweaty or wet.
  8. Help the circulation to your feet by putting them up whenever you're sitting. Don’t cross your legs for any extended period of time.
  9. Most importantly, keep your blood sugar under control. While this is not a foot care issue, your blood sugar level affects every aspect of your health.

If you have diabetes, these tips will keep you on your feet for years to come.

Regency post-acute, rehab and nursing centers are experts in helping diabetics live their best lives. We offer a full continuum of care, including exceptional short-term rehabilitation, sub-acute care, long-term nursing, a range of specialty programs and complex clinical services, hospice care and temporary respite care. Our compassionate, personalized approach, has established our long-standing and unparalleled reputation for excellence.

Call us by clicking here to see how we can help you or your loved one.

From USA Today:

WASHINGTON — About 1 million out of the more than 3.7 million people who logged into HealthCare.gov during the first week of open enrollment submitted applications, the Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday.

Nearly a half-million of those selected plans.

HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell called the first week's statistics a "solid start" but noted the government has "a lot of work to do every day between now and Feb. 15," the end of the open enrollment period. A week after the agency came under fire for misstating enrollment figures by including those who signed up for dental plans, Burwell said, "Those numbers have been checked and do not include dental."

Almost half — 48% — of those who chose plans were uninsured, Burwell said. One of the administration's goals during the three-month open enrollment period is to reduce the number of people without insurance. Another goal is encouraging those with insurance to shop around for better deals.

"The fact that a substantial number of people were able to get on HealthCare.gov and pick a plan in the first week shows that the systems are working," said Larry Levitt, senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation. "That's a big deal when you consider what a mess it all was last fall."

 

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