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Posts by Danelle Brown

How to Reduce Joint Pain in Fall and Winter

reduce joint painMany people experience increased joint pain as the weather starts to get cooler. Whether it’s the colder temperatures, a change in air pressure, or both, it’s important to know what you can do to reduce joint pain in the months to come, or at least minimize it.

Stay Warm

Since cold weather seems to be a primary predictor of joint pain, the first thing you need to do is stay warm. As soon as the weather starts to drop, pull out the pants, the long sleeves, and the layers. If it helps to keep the thermostat in your home turned up and you can afford the slight raise in utility bills, go for it. You also might want to consider an electric blanket or a heating pad you can keep in your bed to help you stay warm all night long.

Maintain a Healthy Diet

Inflammation, high blood sugar levels, and poor nutrition can also contribute to joint pain. Healthy fats, such as the ones found in olive oil, avocado oil, and nuts and seeds can help moderate both inflammation and blood sugar, while keeping us full. They can also help our skin from drying out.

Other tips to remember include getting plenty of micronutrients from fruits and veggies and staying away from sugar and trans fats. To be sure you’re doing everything you can to minimize joint pain through diet, you might want to consult a registered dietician.

Stay Active

This tip can be hard to follow since many of our opportunities for exercising outside disappear, especially if the cold weather makes it harder for you to move. If you enjoy outdoor activities in the fall and winter, just be sure to layer up every time you go outside. For many people, keeping up a constant (even low-level) movement is enough to stay warm and keep the pain at bay.

If going outside in the cold is too challenging for you, remember there are plenty of exercises you can do inside and even from the comfort of your own home. Whether it’s strength training (such as pushups and squats), jumping jacks, or yoga. Strength training also has proven benefits to keeping bones and joints strong and yoga has plenty to offer when it comes to, not only increasing flexibility, but lowering inflammation and improving joint pain.

Get a Massage

Not only do they feel wonderful, but in addition to lowering stress and inflammation, massages also improve circulation. If you’ve been having trouble with a particular joint, you might want to ask your massage therapist to focus on that particular area to help increase the blood flow and lower pain in that area.

Plan Ahead

Finally, it’s important to plan ahead. That can be easier said than done here in the Midwest where the weather can change on a moment’s notice, but try to keep an eye on the weather predictions and check the temperature before you go out so you know when to layer up. Staying one step ahead can be key to avoiding pain.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

How to Do A Quality Check on Assisted Living Communities

quality check on assisted livingThere are many reasons to be wary of choosing an assisted living community, either for yourself or a loved one. Since residents enter assisted living because they are either physically and or mentally weakened, they are in a vulnerable position, and it’s a sad fact that predators are always willing to take advantage. But a good assisted living community should not only assist, it should also protect your loved ones. Here’s what you need to look out for to make sure you’re loved one is in good hands:

Contact Your ALFA State Affiliate

ALFA is the National Assisted Living Federation of America and they have chapters in every state (although they only recognize one chapter per state as being their official chapter in that area). They have tons of information on assisted living communities in your area, so look them up, see what information they have available on their website, and when you’ve exhausted their site, don’t be afraid to call them up and ask questions.

Contact Your Local Regulatory Agency

Each state has its own agency that’s responsible for monitoring assisted living communities within the state and ALFA is responsible for overseeing all of these regulatory agencies, which is why it makes sense to contact ALFA first. Many of the regulatory agencies maintain databases on the assisted living communities they regulate, and they may even have a way to compare their ratings, services, locations, etc. Take a look at their website and see what they offer in the way of information and comparison tools.

Contact Your Local Long-Term Care Ombudsman

A long-term care ombudsman is someone who works as an advocate for residents of assisted living communities, nursing homes, and board and care homes. They can help you get information about how to find a facility and obtain quality care for your loved one. They are also trained to assist with complaints and resolve problems, which means they’re more likely to know which assisted living facility in your area is the cause of most of the recent complaints.

The federal Older Americans Act requires each state to maintain an Ombudsman Program to act as an advocate and address complaints.

See Which Assisted Living Communities Are JCAHO Accredited

The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) provides accreditation to assisted living communities, but accreditation is not mandatory. Only the assisted living communities that volunteer to participate receive accreditation, which means an assisted living community that’s not accredited may be just as reputable as one that is. That said, JCAHO maintains an online directory that makes it easy to access their information on each of the assisted living communities they have accredited, including a detailed report of their findings and a number score that is based on a 100-point scale.

Show Up

Once you’ve narrowed your search to a few good assisted living communities that meet your needs and budget, it’s time to start visiting them in person. While there are many great resources to help you gather information online, nothing beats actually walking it and seeing for yourself how the place looks and if it feels right for you and your loved one.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.