Regency Nursing and Rehabilitation Center

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Whether you’re 20 or 80, healthy or sick, you need to have this conversation at your next annual exam.

It’s not about your current health concerns, it’s about your future ones.

Advance Care Planning involves thinking about the types of medical decisions you will want made for you if you are in a situation where you cannot state them yourself.

Sound morbid? It doesn’t have to be. This is a time for you to think about and communicate your personal values and desires about end-of-life care.

If you are receiving Medicare benefits, Medicare will pay for Advance Care Planning at your Welcome to Medicare Exam — and again at each Annual Wellness Visit.

The Advance Directive

The specific decisions you make are written into a legal document called an advance directive.

An advance directive might include whether you want to be put on a ventilator if you cannot breathe on your own, and whether you want CPR if your heart stops.

It is important to remember that these decisions are not set in stone. You can change them at any time — and likely will — as your situation, your health, or your feelings change.

The Healthcare Proxy

If you are currently young and in good health, it may be difficult to imagine what you would want at some unknown future point. For these reasons, it is best to designate a healthcare proxy, someone you trust to make medical decisions for you.

Your healthcare proxy might be a relative, but it doesn’t have to be. You might feel that a close friend or a person in your spiritual community might have a better sense of your values — and a clearer head in a medical emergency.

Both the advance directive and healthcare proxy form are legal documents, and how they are witnessed varies from state to state. Sometimes they even need to be notarized.

If you have Medicare coverage, the best time to have these discussions with your doctor is at the Welcome to Medicare visit or at your Annual Wellness Visit, when Medicare will cover the entire cost. But if you have missed that opportunity this year, don’t let that stop you. These are important decisions! Medicare’s Plan B also covers Advance Care Planning.

Who can guide you when you are admitting your loved one to a nursing home? Most people turn to their doctor. But a study published in The Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine suggests that this trusted source may not have all the answers the family needs.

The study found that internal medicine residents scored below 50% on a test regarding nursing homes, better known today as skilled nursing facilities (SNFs). Even after training, they were still uncertain about exactly what a skilled nursing facility is, what services it provides, and how it is staffed.

The study concludes that, “efforts to improve this knowledge are needed to assure proper triage of patients and safe transitions to the SNF.”

As is always true when making important medical decisions, the family should be as involved as possible when admitting a family member to a skilled nursing facility; they should not leave all decision-making to medical personnel.

The American Medical Directors Association (AMDA) has issued guidelines to help families ensure safe transfers — and, consequently, successful outcomes — for their loved ones.

They recommend the following 3 steps be the basis for every transfer from a hospital to a skilled nursing facility:

1. The patient’s preferences

Too often, discussions regarding a patient exclude the person most affected by the decision: the patient themselves. Include your loved one in discussions regarding the continuation of their care. This also means discussing — and documenting —their preferences for care at end-of-life.

2. Educating the family                                                                                                                                        

Decisions must be made, and the family should be sure they understand the reasons for them. For example, why is a skilled nursing facility being suggested, rather than a rehab facility?

3. Prompt and thorough communication about medication

Whenever someone is being moved from one facility to another, there is a risk that important information, especially information about medications, is not communicated. This increases the likelihood of errors in patient care.

At the Regency Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers, we pride ourselves on our ability to initiate and maintain communication with the patient’s doctors, their family, and of course the patient themselves. It’s just one of the reasons so many people trust us with the care of their loved ones.

We follow 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.

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.

 

Chickenpox may be a childhood disease, but it can recur in adults —much more virulently — as shingles. Both chickenpox and shingles are caused by the varicella-zoster virus, but the virus has very different effects in each case. While chickenpox results in an itchy, blistering rash, shingles first presents as pain, followed by a red rash after several days.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in three Americans will develop shingles. The risk increases with age: people over age 60 are at greater risk than younger people, and those over 80 have a 50% risk of developing the disease.

A weak immune system increases the risk of shingles. Antirejection medication after an organ transplant or steroid use, or undergoing radiation or chemotherapy increases the risk.

Not only are seniors far more likely to develop shingles, they are also more likely to have serious complications from it. The most common complication is postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), pain that lasts persists even after the rash disappears. PHN can last for years, and is often debilitating. Both the risk and the severity of PHN is greater the older the person is.

Other complications of shingles in seniors include pneumonia, hearing loss, facial paralysis, blindness, toxic shock syndrome, bacterial infection, and encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain.

Shingles is also associated with a significant increase in stroke and heart attack in the week following the occurrence.

Antiviral medications can reduce the severity of an attack of shingles, but prevention is the best medicine. The CDC recommends that healthy adults above the age of 50 get vaccinated against shingles. Most insurance plans, including Medicare Part D, cover at least part of the cost of the shingles vaccine. For those who cannot pay, GlaxoSmithKline, the manufacturer of Shingrix, the preferred shingles vaccine, offers financial assistance.

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.

 

As the population ages, more effort is directed into research about one of the most frightening diseases associated with the elder years: Alzheimer’s Disease. A variety of risk factors, including cardiovascular disease, depression, diabetes, and smoking, have already been identified as risk factors for Alzheimer’s. But now a large study has uncovered a new risk factor: loneliness.

The study, published in The Journals of Gerontology, followed over 12,000 people aged 50 and over for ten years. Researchers, controlling for other known risk factors, found that loneliness was associated with an increased Alzheimer’s risk of 40% over the course of the ten-year period. The increased risk was unrelated to gender, race, ethnic city, or education.

Interestingly, the increased risk provided by loneliness was also independent to whether the study participant was socially isolated. “Social isolation” is an objective measure of how many social contacts a person has on a regular basis. “Loneliness,” however, is a purely subjective experience. The study demonstrated that if a person feels lonely, they have an increased risk of Alzheimer’s, regardless of the number of friends they have.

The study reinforces our understanding that risk factors are not simply objective measurements, but also the subjective interpretation a person has of their situation.

The good news, according to Dr. Angelina Sutin, lead author of the study, is that loneliness “is a modifiable risk factor.” How can you modify this risk factor for your loved one? By ensuring that someone is looking out for your loved one, taking note of their emotional state, and taking action to ensure they are healthy, emotionally as well as physically.

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.

Because an active, involved and rewarding lifestyle is vital to our residents’ total well-being, at Regency, our recreation staff is much larger than a typical facility of similar size.

A comprehensive and stimulating array of programs is designed to appeal to a variety of tastes, interests and levels of ability, and is offered 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 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.

We always 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.

Loneliness is Associated with Alzheimer’s Disease

As the population ages, more effort is directed into research about one of the most frightening diseases associated with the elder years: Alzheimer’s Disease. A variety of risk factors, including cardiovascular disease, depression, diabetes, and smoking, have already been identified as risk factors for Alzheimer’s. But now a large study has uncovered a new risk factor: loneliness.

The study, published in The Journals of Gerontology, followed over 12,000 people aged 50 and over for ten years. Researchers, controlling for other known risk factors, found that loneliness was associated with an increased Alzheimer’s risk of 40% over the course of the ten-year period. The increased risk was unrelated to gender, race, ethnic city, or education.

Interestingly, the increased risk provided by loneliness was also independent to whether the study participant was socially isolated. “Social isolation” is an objective measure of how many social contacts a person has on a regular basis. “Loneliness,” however, is a purely subjective experience. The study demonstrated that if a person feels lonely, they have an increased risk of Alzheimer’s, regardless of the number of friends they have.

The study reinforces our understanding that risk factors are not simply objective measurements, but also the subjective interpretation a person has of their situation.

The good news, according to Dr. Angelina Sutin, lead author of the study, is that loneliness “is a modifiable risk factor.” How can you modify this risk factor for your loved one? By ensuring that someone is looking out for your loved one, taking note of their emotional state, and taking action to ensure they are healthy, emotionally as well as physically.

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.

Because an active, involved and rewarding lifestyle is vital to our residents’ total well-being, at Regency, our recreation staff is much larger than a typical facility of similar size.

A comprehensive and stimulating array of programs is designed to appeal to a variety of tastes, interests and levels of ability, and is offered 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 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.

We always 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.

 

Every year, you have the opportunity to review and, if you choose, to change Parts A, B and D of your Medicare plan. The time to do this is during the Open Enrollment Period, which runs from October 15 through December 7. Any changes you make during that time will be effective January 1, 2020.

Because plans change every year — and your medical needs do, as well — it is important to use the Open Enrollment Period to make sure you have the plan that best suits your needs and your budget.

Here are 3 ways to help you decide whether or not you want to keep your plan:

1. Create a list of the services and benefits you received last year.

Include all the medications you take in this list. (Don’t have a list of your medications? This is a good time to create one. Having this list, and bringing it to every doctor’s appointment, will help keep you safe from dangerous medicine interactions, as well as multiple medicines for the same condition.)

Once you have your list, consider whether your needs will change in the coming year. As you consider plans, you will want to know how well they fit your needs.

2. Look at the “Plan Annual Notice of Change” (ANOC) you received in September.

The ANOC notes any changes in your plan starting January 1, 2020. Your plan might change its cost, its member providers, and its coverage, so it is critical to review the changes and decide whether the plan still fits your needs. After all, if the primary care physician you love and have been with for the last thirty years is no longer in-network, you may want to change plans.

Can’t find your ANOC? (After all, it came several months ago.) Don’t worry. Contact your plan, and they’ll send you a new one.

3. Get Help from the Medicare Website

Not sure whether you’re getting the best deal? The Medicare website contains several interactive tools that can help you.

If you’re not sure which type of Medicare coverage is best for you: Original Medicare, a Medicare Advantage plan, or a supplemental “Medigap” policy, Medicare explains your options and helps you choose. Click here for the Medicare Coverage Options tool.

If you want to estimate what your out-of-pocket costs will be under different plans, use Medicare’s Out-Of-Pocket Cost Estimator tool, by clicking here.

Want to start from scratch, and look at all possible plans? Use the Medicare Plan Finder, by clicking here.

Don’t have internet? Don’t fret! A representative from Medicare can help you on the phone. Call 1-800- MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).

At the Regency Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers, we know all about Medicare. Our staff is happy to help you navigate the Medicare system, and make sure you get the care you need and deserve.

The Regency Centers 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.

According to research published by the Cleveland Clinic, moderate drinking of alcohol can increase an individual's risk of developing atrial fibrillation. And although many studies have suggested that an occasional glass of wine might be good for a person's health, other studies maintain that having even one alcoholic drink every day can increase a person's risk of developing atrial fibrillation.

An interesting study which helped explain the relationship between alcohol consumption and heart disease was carried out by Dr. Moritz Sinner, of the University Hospital Munich, in Germany, along with a team of colleagues. The team studied more than 3000 people who attended the Munich Oktoberfest, an annual folk festival held in Germany, which includes drinking large quantities of beer.

Using electrocardiography to determine a participant's heart rate, and a specialized device to measure their breath alcohol concentration, the team was able to definitively determine the effect of alcohol on an individual's heart rate. Their findings showed that an individual's heart rate increased in direct proportion to the amount of alcohol they consumed.

Dr. Sinnner and his colleagues pointed out that people who have an underlying heart condition are obviously at greater risk of being adversely affected by alcohol consumption. Furthemore, the effect that alcohol consumption had on an individual's heart rate was apparent even in healthy, young adults. For elderly people the effect was stronger and consequently posed a greater health risk.

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

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.

When you or your loved one first sees a doctor, you will typically be asked for a family medical history. This is no stroll down Memory Lane: a family medical history contains a wealth of information that can help guide clinicians in caring for their patient.

Why are family medical histories important?

Many diseases, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, blood clots, arthritis, and certain types of cancer, “run in families.” Diseases and chronic conditions can also be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors, and families share both.

By informing medical practitioners of health conditions that affected any of your relatives, you enable them to recommend ways to reduce your own risk of the condition. It also alerts them to keep an eye out for symptoms of specific problems, should they begin to appear.

What information is included in a family medical history?

In order to give the fullest, most helpful medical history, it is important to know:

  • If any of your blood relatives, including siblings, parents, grandparents, and aunts or uncles have or had chronic conditions, such as diabetes, or serious illnesses, such as cancer or stroke
  • The age of onset of any problems, if applicable
  • The age and cause of death, if appropriate

How can I get all the information required for my family medical history?

Most people don’t have all the pertinent health information about their families at their fingertips, so it’s important to do research, particularly if you suspect there is a family history of medical problems. This research might be a simple as asking family members —especially older family members, who are usually treasure troves of family history — or it might require researching family medical records and death certificates.

How do I store my family medical history in the most useful form?

The Surgeon General has released a web-based tool, My Family Health Portrait, that helps you collect and store family history. One of the benefits of this tool is that it allows you to send your partially completed medical history to other family members, who can fill in some of the blanks. The information is not shared with anyone other than the people you choose.

You can access this tool here.

Whether a condition that runs in your family is caused by nature or nurture, you share much in common with your family, and it’s in everyone’s interest to have as complete a family medical history as possible. Taking the time to gather accurate information is an important part of keeping yourself, and your loved ones, healthy.

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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