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For those of us who love someone elderly, it is important to be aware of red flags that signal potentially serious health issues. These signs are especially important if we can only visit the people we care about infrequently. Although phone calls can provide some information, many elderly people are reluctant to share their health concerns — even with their own children. It is also common for them to be unaware of potentially serious issues that are affecting them.

Here are 5 signs to watch out for:

1. Unexplained weight loss or weight gain

Unexplained weight loss is often a red flag for a serious underlying illness, in particular cancer. Even when the weight loss is not caused by serious illness, it is often a sign of depression, or a reflection of the individual's growing inability to care for themselves.

Unexplained weight gain is also a red flag, commonly reflecting depression, and a lack of interest in taking care of oneself. Snack foods are easier to eat than cooking a proper meal. And when people become depressed, their concern for proper nutrition is often one of the first things to go.

2. An unkempt appearance

When visiting an elderly person, one of the first things we should be aware of is their appearance. Are they clean? Are their clothes clean? Is their hair properly combed? Do their nails need to be trimmed? If any of these sorts of questions are answered in the negative, it’s a red flag.

Individuals who were formerly well groomed but no longer are, may be suffering from depression or an early stage of dementia. Another possible explanation for these changes is that a physical ailment may make taking care of themselves painful and difficult.

As mentioned, many elderly people are reluctant to mention their various ailments, and consequently their loved ones may be unaware of the situation. It is important to remember, when questioning an older person, that we not injure their pride. Our questions, therefore, must be asked in a respectful and tactful manner. But they must be asked.

3. Memory Loss

A certain degree of memory loss is, unfortunately, a common part of the aging process. However, when people begin forgetting important pieces of information, or are unable to remember important events in their life, we should be aware of the possibility of dementia or Alzheimer's disease. As with most diseases, the earlier a proper diagnosis is confirmed, the better the prognosis.

All signs of memory loss, for example, getting lost in a familiar place or an inability to find the right words to express an idea, should raise a red flag. In some cases, it is best to note the behavior and keep a close watch on it, rather than immediately rushing to the doctor and thereby alarming the person you are trying to protect. However, when you see a clear or accelerated decline, the time for a doctor visit has arrived.

4. Social isolation

Elderly people, especially those who have lost their spouse, can become isolated from those around them. Their loneliness can be extremely painful, and social isolation can lead to depression.

People with dementia often fear social situations, since they may be put in positions where their inability to remember facts and events will be apparent to those around them. However, being involved with other people is fundamental to staying psychologically healthy. If we are aware that the social habits of the elderly person we care about have changed, we should find out the reason for this change. Continual answers such as, "I'm just not in the mood," raise a red flag.

5. Decreased mobility

Falling is the main way for an elderly person to lose their independence. It is important to note if the senior we care about is having more trouble moving around their home. Do they seem to lose their balance more frequently? Do they need to lean on tables or against the wall in order to provide support as they move from one place to another? If the answers to any of these questions is yes, then steps need to be taken to ensure their safety.

For those who are walking independently, it might be time for a cane. For those using a cane, it might be time for a walker. And for those using a walker, it might be time for a wheelchair. It is not uncommon to encounter resistance to such suggestions, but it is extremely important for an older person to do what they can to avoid falling.

One important way to facilitate safe mobility is to ensure that the environment they live in is suited to their current physical abilities. For example, steps may no longer be possible, or there might be too many objects in the environment to make it possible to walk without the risk of tripping over something.

Clearly, regular medical care is important for an older person. But our concern for our aging parent or relative, along with our knowledge of their usual behaviors and our attention to the details mentioned above, can be equally important. We will often notice something long before a doctor would have noticed it. In this way we can help our loved one enjoy a higher quality of life, over a longer period of time.

If enough red flags have been raised, your loved one may no longer be safe at home. If that becomes the case, it is crucial to find a place where they will thrive, while being well-cared for, such as one of the Regency care centers. At Regency, 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.

We offer a comprehensive and stimulating array of programs is designed to appeal to a variety of tastes, interests and levels of ability, seven days a week. With an emphasis on empowering the residents, our recreational programs encourage patients and residents to fulfill their potential and remain engaged and involved. Individually tailored activities and programs include live entertainment, lectures, trips and events that encourage socialization and participation.

Regency care centers also 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.

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 a difficult question, one most people would rather avoid, but will likely find they cannot: How do you ensure that your loved one, when nearing the end of their life, gets the care they need and want?

Surely, Dr. Atul Gawande would know. After all, in addition to being a professor at both Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health, a practicing surgeon at Harvard’s second-largest teaching hospital, and heading two public health organizations, he thinks deeply about the human aspects of medicine. That thinking has made him a staff writer for The New Yorker, the author of several best-selling books, and the recipient of a slew of awards, including the prestigious MacArthur fellowship.

If anyone would know what to do when approaching end-of-life decisions, Atul Gawande would.

And yet, he found that he did not. Not when it came to guiding his patients, and not even when it came to caring for his own ailing father.

So he did what most of us cannot: he spent three years researching the issue. The result was a series of articles, culminating in a book called Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End.

What did he find out? Shockingly, it was that one should simply talk to the patient, honestly and compassionately, about what they want the end of their life to look like. It’s a conversation — or a series of conversations — that happens far less frequently than it should.

Being Mortal is a book every mortal should read, but for the sake of expediency, we will distill Gawande’s into the short list of “a few important questions,” as enumerated in an adaptation of his book, printed in The New York Times as an op-ed entitled “The Best Possible Day”:

1. What is patient’s understanding of their health or condition?

Too often, it is too little. This may be because of cognitive decline, or because the family simply does not have the heart to tell the full truth to their loved one.

2. What are their goals if their health worsens?

Who could be blamed for trying to avoid this question? But if the patient is not cognitively impaired, it must be asked. Sometimes, the patient has already written an Advance Directive, colloquially known as a Living Will, stating what measures they want taken in a situation in which they are not able to speak for themselves.

But end-of-life decisions are vexing and complex. Simple wishes, stated long before they will ever be implemented, may not be relevant in the patient’s current condition.

3. What are their fears?

Another question that is hard to ask — and often hard to hear the answer to.

4. What are the trade-offs they are willing — and not willing — to make?

If the patient is of sound mind, the answers to this and all the other questions must be honored.

The questions are hard to ask, but by asking them, Gawande says, the family can “often unlock transformative possibilities.” Dr. Gawande also suggests that all these questions be repeated as the patient’s health condition evolves.

Regency Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers prides itself on ensuring its residents have everything they need to design the life they want. 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.

High blood pressure, known medically as hypertension, is known as “the silent killer” for good reason. Silent, because it has no symptoms as it ravages the arteries, the heart, the brain, the kidneys, and even the eyes. A killer, because approximately half of adults with untreated hypertension will die of heart disease, and approximately one-third will die of stroke.

Older adults are at most risk: hypertension is the most common chronic medical condition in seniors, with a whopping 60% currently in treatment.

Why is hypertension dangerous?

Hypertension refers to an increase in the force with which blood flows through the blood vessels. This extra force not only damages the arteries, but also increases the amount of work the heart is forced to do, thus damaging the heart as well.

What are the causes of hypertension?

There are many risk factors for hypertension. Some are uncontrollable, such as a family history of the condition and older age. Other risk factors, however, can be controlled. These include:

  • Smoking, including exposure to secondhand smoke
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Overweight
  • High cholesterol
  • Stress

Certain diseases also increase the risk of hypertension. These include:

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  • Kidney Disease
  • Diabetes

What are the symptoms of hypertension?

Because you cannot feel the movement of blood through your veins, hypertension has no symptoms. The only way to find out if you have this “silent killer” is to have your blood pressure checked regularly.

Can hypertension be treated?

The answer to this is an emphatic Yes! One of the best ways to treat — and, even better, to avoid — hypertension is to address the risk factors mentioned above. In addition, salt increases blood pressure; reducing sodium intake is a helpful step in controlling hypertension.

If high blood pressure cannot be managed by lifestyle changes, a healthcare provider may recommend one or more blood pressure medications. Someone diagnosed with hypertension should see their healthcare provider monthly until their blood pressure is under good control.

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.

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.

It is well-known that physical activity has a direct, positive effect on an individual's physical and emotional health. In recent years there have been numerous research studies designed to quantify and qualify the ways in which exercise decreases an individual's risk of mortality and determine the amount and intensity of physical activity required to have these positive effects.

Several years ago, it was reported that 30 minutes of physical activity three or four times a week directly lowered the risk for a variety of illnesses and diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression and cancer. But the truly striking result of this research was that it made no difference regarding an individual's decrease in their risk of mortality whether an individual worked out for 30 minutes straight or worked out 3 times a day for 10 minutes at a time.

This research was both surprising and important. To have the discipline to exercise for 30 minutes straight requires commitment. But a 10 minute walk? Not so much.

Now, new research in the British Journal of Sports Medicine reveals an even more astounding result. The scientists showed conclusively that even low-level, leisurely physical activity, such as walking or gardening, protects both cognitive function and cardiovascular health.

More importantly, the researchers confirmed that individuals who engaged in any leisurely activity for at least one 10 minute session a week had an 18% lower risk of death from all causes. This was an astounding result, as requires neither vigorous activity nor a large investment of time.

It was true, however, that as the amount of time and the intensity of the activities increase, overall mortality rate decline further. People who engage in leisurely physical activities for 150 minutes a week lowered their overall risk of death by 31%. And those involved in physical activity for 1500 minutes or more per week saw their overall risk of mortality declined by more than 46%.

The researchers also noted that when given the choice of more time or more vigorous exercise, the statistics clearly indicated that more intense physical exercise caused a greater reduction of mortality, as well as a series of other positive physical and emotional benefits.

The good news for us is that however sedentary we might be, it is difficult to say that we cannot find 10 minutes a week to take a leisurely walk or do some pleasant physical activity. To add to this good news is the fact that once a person begins with 10 minutes of physical activity a week, they will find that within a month it will be easy to add more.

And finding more leisurely activities is itself a fun activity that will improve both our physical life and the pleasure we derive from life. We just need to find an activity we enjoy, whether it’s dancing slowly to a song we like, planting a garden, or going window shopping are all easy and pleasant.

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.

It’s almost summer. Your friends are planning summer vacations, but you’re not because you’re taking care of Mom. You’re hardly alone. According to an AARP report, nearly 40 million Americans act as caregiver for an older adult, usually a relative.

Caregiving is not an easy job. Nearly half of family caregivers consider themselves “somewhat stressed,” and over one-third say they are “highly stressed.” The care their loved ones receive might be free, but caregivers themselves often pay an unexpectedly heavy price: burnout.

Caregiver Syndrome is only an “unofficial” diagnosis, but it reflects a very real problem. Caregivers, often caring for an older relative while also being a spouse and parent, often find that they neglect their own care. This leaves them subject to burnout, a condition that includes a high level of stress, and high incidence of depression and chronic illness.

How can you prevent Caregiver Syndrome? The Cleveland Clinic recommends respite care. By allowing your loved one to have a short stay in a well-run facility, you give the time you need for to recharge your own batteries.

Regency Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers, we offer the very best of care in the most appropriate and patient-centered environment. Our respite program includes three delicious, healthful meals a day, stimulating and entertaining recreational programs, and the opportunity for your loved one to enjoy social interaction with their peers. Allow us to give you the opportunity to tend to your needs at the same time that your loved one is receiving everything they need in a warm and compassionate environment.

We offer a comprehensive and stimulating array of programs is designed to appeal to a variety of tastes, interests and levels of ability, seven days a week. With an emphasis on empowering the residents, our recreational programs encourage patients and residents to fulfill their potential and remain engaged and involved. Individually tailored activities and programs include live entertainment, lectures, trips and events that encourage socialization and participation.

Regency care centers also 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, and hospice care, as well as temporary respite care. Our compassionate, personalized approach has established our long-standing and unparalleled reputation for excellence.

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.

If you are a caregiver, remember that you also need to take care of yourself. So, make those vacation plans. Mom will be fine with us!

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

The humble fruit fly, drosophila melanogaster, is not merely a kitchen pest. Its short lifecycle and large number of offspring have made it a favorite for genetic research, including the massive Human Genome Project (HGP).

The fly’s genes were studied and mapped in the early 1900s, but it was not until the 1990s that international collaboration allowed the mapping all human genes, collectively known as the human “genome.” The project was completed in 2003, with over 20,000 human genes identified.

Since 2003, this new data has allowed the blossoming of genetic research and genetic counseling. It has also produced a new industry: “over-the-counter” genetic testing. With just a small sample of genetic material, usually obtained through a swab of saliva, a variety of companies are ready to sell you a “genetically-based prediction” of your response to a variety of medications. There’s just one problem: the tests are not necessarily accurate.

While genetically tailor-made treatments for various conditions are currently in the research phase, and perhaps one day we truly will be able to find out useful information about our health at low cost, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns that today is not that day.

The FDA published an alert to consumers and clinicians that the agency has not reviewed many of the claims made by genetic laboratories, and that those claims may not be backed by scientific evidence. The FDA warns of the “inappropriate treatment decisions and potentially serious health consequences” for people who rely on these tests, and recommends that no one change their medication based on an over-the-counter genetic test.

The FDA also announced that they are investigating developers who use misleading advertising to sell genetic tests. The agency requests that anyone who has a problem with any laboratory test files a report via Medwatch, the FDA’s Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program.

At the Regency Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers, we embrace innovation, but do not fall prey to trendy promises. We care for our residents with clinically-proven programming, nutritious and delicious meals, and, of course, compassionate care from specially trained caregivers and therapists.

We pride ourselves on offering 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 see which of our three facilities will best meet your needs or the needs of your loved one.

The humble fruit fly, drosophila melanogaster, is not merely a kitchen pest. Its short lifecycle and large number of offspring have made it a favorite for genetic research, including the massive Human Genome Project (HGP).

The fly’s genes were studied and mapped in the early 1900s, but it was not until the 1990s that international collaboration allowed the mapping all human genes, collectively known as the human “genome.” The project was completed in 2003, with over 20,000 human genes identified.

Since 2003, this new data has allowed the blossoming of genetic research and genetic counseling. It has also produced a new industry: “over-the-counter” genetic testing. With just a small sample of genetic material, usually obtained through a swab of saliva, a variety of companies are ready to sell you a “genetically-based prediction” of your response to a variety of medications. There’s just one problem: the tests are not necessarily accurate.

While genetically tailor-made treatments for various conditions are currently in the research phase, and perhaps one day we truly will be able to find out useful information about our health at low cost, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns that today is not that day.

The FDA published an alert to consumers and clinicians that the agency has not reviewed many of the claims made by genetic laboratories, and that those claims may not be backed by scientific evidence. The FDA warns of the “inappropriate treatment decisions and potentially serious health consequences” for people who rely on these tests, and recommends that no one change their medication based on an over-the-counter genetic test.

The FDA also announced that they are investigating developers who use misleading advertising to sell genetic tests. The agency requests that anyone who has a problem with any laboratory test files a report via Medwatch, the FDA’s Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program.

At the Regency Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers, we embrace innovation, but do not fall prey to trendy promises. We care for our residents with clinically-proven programming, nutritious and delicious meals, and, of course, compassionate care from specially trained caregivers and therapists.

We pride ourselves on offering 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 see which of our three facilities will best meet your needs or the needs of your loved one.

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