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The 2019 flu season is beginning, and here at Regency Nursing we’d like to remind you all to get your flu shots.

Last year’s flu season was one of the worst on record, with over 80,000 Americans dying from the flu or related complications.

While there’s no way to predict how virulent this year’s strains will be, experts agree that the best way to protect yourself is with a flu shot. If you have an elderly, very young, or immunocompromised loved one, the best thing you can do for them is get your flu shot on time.

And if you’re elderly yourself, you should get vaccinated as soon as possible to minimize your risk of catching the flu.

Here are some other ways you can protect yourself and your loved ones from catching the flu:

Wash your hands properly and often.

The most important part of handwashing is vigorously scrubbing your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds; the water temperature or type of soap doesn’t really matter.

Mayo Clinic gives specific handwashing instructions to banish germs:

  • Wet your hands with running water.
  • Apply soap to one hand, and lather up. You should not use antibacterial soap, as that can contribute to antibiotic-resistant bugs.
  • Rub your hands together forcefully for at least 20 seconds—that’s the time it takes to sing the ABCs slowly. Pay attention to the backs of your hands, your wrists, between your fingers, and under your fingernails.
  • Rinse off the soap.
  • Dry your hands with a clean towel or paper towel.
  • Use the towel to turn off the faucet, so you don't transfer the germs back to your clean hands.

Wash your hands after you cough, sneeze, or blow your nose. It’s especially important to wash your hands before and after visiting a hospital or nursing home. At Regency Nursing, we have clear handwashing protocols in place for all our staff.

Use hand sanitizer when you can’t wash.

It's not as effective as washing properly with soap and running water, but hand sanitizer is better than nothing if you can’t make it to a sink. Use a product that contains at least 60% alcohol, as anything less than that will not effectively eliminate flu germs.

Boost your immune system

A strong immune system is the best defense to any invasive germ. Maintain a good sleep cycle, eat your veggies, and exercise to the best of your ability.

Other important factors in strong immunity is practicing effective stress relief techniques, quitting smoking, and getting enough vitamin D. Most people are deficient in vitamin D during the winter months, when the sun isn’t as strong. Talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of taking a supplemental vitamin D pill.

You can also talk to your doctor about other ways to avoid catching the flu.

Regency Nursing wishes all our readers a healthy winter!

 

 

Special thanks to our Guest Writer, Hazel Bridges of Aging Wellness, for contributing this exclusive article for our Regency readers

As a society, we’re living longer, healthier lives than ever before. There are many ways we can maximize our potential to stay well and improve how we feel. Thankfully, with the aid of technology, things that used to be timely and difficult are now more accessible.

Make Exercise Fun and Safe

The best way to stick to an exercise regimen is to enjoy it. However, we want to be sure that the workout we choose is safe for us. One way to avoid injury is to make sure your activities are low-impact. Some areas you may want to focus on are strength, flexibility and balance. If you need to protect your joints, as many of us do, consider yoga or swimming. Both use just about every muscle in the body and swimming can strengthen the heart. If you’re looking for something a bit more active, you could take dancing lessons designed specifically for seniors. You could engage in golf, one of the country’s more popular pastimes. Or you can simply go for walks in the park, an indoor mall or around the neighborhood. Walking is good exercise for the muscles and the heart and less impacting than jogging.

Keep Sharp

While one of the best ways to keep our brains healthy is to keep up with exercise, there are plenty of entertaining methods to add to it. Hobbies and games are a fun way to pass time and keep your mind sharp. You could try classic card or board games, but don’t overlook the games available on your smartphone or tablet. Reading regularly can reduce your chance of dementia by up to fifty percent. Just 30 minutes of relaxing reading daily can lead to great improvement in cognitive function, but you can also try taking adult education classes to keep your mind fresh. You may even be able to get reduced tuition thanks to scholarships specifically created for seniors. You might be surprised to see how many other retirees are at your local university. Writing is another fun hobby you can pick up to keep your brain healthy, but not just any writing. Try handwriting in a journal or notebook for maximum benefit.

Eat for Health

Nutrition plays an important role in health throughout our lives, but is especially important as we age. If you struggle to eat a balanced diet, never fear. There are plenty of ways to improve your dietary habits. Cooking from home is a good way to ensure you know exactly what you eat, and being adventurous can also be advantageous. Branch out and try new fruits and vegetables, or even cook ones you may not be thrilled with in new ways. This can be a fun way to broaden your diet and improve health. If you don’t like cooking, have difficulty leaving the home, or find yourself with too little time on your hands, you may want to look at meal delivery services. They can help you to have nutritious meals with no effort on your part and technology makes it easier. Smartphone apps can help you create healthy shopping lists, or have groceries and meals delivered right to your front door.

Stay Connected

It may be surprising, but our emotional connections play a large role not only in quality of life, but also in our health. If you lead a busy life, finding time for such things can seem difficult, but it doesn’t take much. You can plan your shopping trips with a friend and catch up together as you browse. It could be taking a class at a community center, or grabbing a cup of tea every other week with a loved one. These small actions add up and greatly improve how we feel -- and may even affect how long we live.

Staying well may seem daunting, but it can be fun. Find things you enjoy doing, bring a friend, and invest in eating nutritious foods. You might be surprised how much better you feel each and every day following a healthy routine.

As Boomers Become Seniors, Healthcare Technology Demand Grows

With baby boomers all grown up, a new generation of tech-savvy seniors is emerging.

Tech-savvy seniors will begin to enter the healthcare market in the coming years, so the industry needs to prepare for this new type of aging patient. An estimated 3.5 million US citizens a year are expected to reach 65-years-old through 2023, according to an Accenture study. Internet use from 2000 to 2012 tripled for those 65 and older, and doubled among those 50 to 64-years-old, as documented by the Pew Internet and American Life Project.

A different study found 73 percent of baby boomers and Generation Xers want to age in their own home, and 95 percent don't think today's technology will allow them to do so. Georgetown University's Global Social Enterprise Initiative and Philips surveyed current and future seniors' attitudes on technology, finding most boomers and Gen Xers skeptical of the technology that awaits them as they enter their senior years.

Information Week: Healthcare

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