Both average life expectancy and the prevalence of diabetes are continuing to rise.
For seniors, type 2 diabetes is a growing problem, and a larger proportion of newly diagnosed diabetics are older in age. Treating and diagnosing diabetes amongst the elderly can be a challenge. Since April is National Defeat Diabetes Month, let’s look at how this impacts seniors specifically.
So, what are some differences in diagnosing diabetes among the elderly when compared to diabetes in the young?
1. Elderly people who are at risk of developing diabetes, or who have already developed the disease, may not exhibit the classic symptoms expected.
2. Age-related changes can mean that some symptoms will be masked, or harder to spot.
All diabetes complications can occur amongst older patients. Cognitive complications are more common amongst the elderly. Further problems may include pre-existing or co-existing health problems. Many elderly diabetic patients are pre-disposed to hypoglycemia. Understanding diabetes is an important step. Education, of both the patient and caregiver, can be important in recognizing warning signs before a crisis occurs.
According to the American Diabetes Association, “Diabetes is a common disease, yet every individual needs unique care. We encourage people with diabetes and their families to learn as much as possible about the latest medical therapies and approaches, as well as healthy lifestyle choices. Good communication with a team of experts can help you feel in control and respond to changing needs.” It is important to have regular checkups with your primary care physician and communicate any concerns. Dealing with diabetes will be so much easier when you have a team approach.
This week we shared some delicious fresh strawberries from our local folks at Backyard Orchards. They were absolutely divine! Not only were they tasty…they were delivered right to our door from one of the owners! Talk about sweet! And since National Pick Strawberries Day is coming up on May 20th, I decided to share some health benefits and a strawberry dessert recipe from one of our residents.
Now I have been obsessed with strawberries since my days as a young girl in the 80s playing with my Strawberry Shortcake dolls. (Yes, I may be giving away my age.) But I had no idea how good they are for you! According to organicfacts.net, strawberries have many nutrients, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that contribute to overall health. These include folate, potassium, dietary fiber and magnesium. They have 150% of your daily requirement of Vitamin C in a single serving! Together, these components are responsible for the overwhelming health benefits of strawberries. Here are 6 of the Top Health Benefits of the Strawberry
- They boost your immune system. Want to stay well and fight off sickness? Eat a healthy diet, rich in this healthy fruit.
- They reduce the risk of eye related ailments. Strawberries are helpful because of the potassium they contain that helps our eyes maintain the right pressure.
- Strawberries have even been shown to help maintain normal blood pressures!
- They lower the risk of arthritis, gout and cancer.
- Strawberries have been shown to help regulate proper functioning of the nervous system.
- They also can help prevent heart diseases and reduce cholesterol.
Those are all wonderful reasons to eat strawberries! And if you are like me and are drawn to desserts with the delicious fruit…here is a link to our website with a finger licking favorite that is perfect to feature your fresh strawberries and just screams summertime.
Gardens of Daphne resident Shirley Hartley loves sharing her baking skills. She has her very own recipe book called “Squirrelly Shirley Cookbook Specials” that has sold over 300 copies. Here is one of her strawberry favorite recipes that she wanted to share!
Mother’s Strawberry Cake
1 box white cake mix
1 small box strawberry Jello
1 cup oil
1/2 cup of milk
1 cup of frozen strawberries, thawed (do not drain)
1 cup chopped pecans
Mix first 4 ingredients. Mix in eggs, one at a time. Add strawberries and pecans. Pour in greased and floured pans and bake at 350 degrees ( 9″X13″ pan for 40 minutes) or (Two 9″ pans for 20-25 minutes)
1 stick of butter, softened
4 cups of confectioners sugar
Combine until smooth-Add 1 cup of strawberries thawed and drained and 1/2 cup chopped pecans
I guess it never really dawned on me until I starting working in the senior living industry that just as our hearing and eyesight are impacted as we age…so are our taste buds. SERIOUSLY!! Those go away?? Well, that is just fabulous, right? Now don’t go thinking all is lost! But believe me when I say that there is a GREAT DEAL of time and energy that is spent in planning meals for Assisted Living Communities. And what is on the plate is not what you would expect! We are not talking cafeteria style boredom. Sure it may be difficult to appeal to a crowd of differing tastes and disappearing taste buds. It can be a tall order! But we have more than one approach to take on the task. While bearing in mind that Assisted Living residents are given a type of diet that their physician suggests…but remembering that the resident is the captain of their own ship. They have resident rights to direct their care and this includes their nutrition. Our job is to do our novel best to offer food to meet their dietary needs. It is also helpful to know that ALF communities have regulations in place that cover food from everything from receiving and storing to cooking and serving. By following these best practices, we can offer safe, delicious and nutritious meals. Here are some ways we aim to please.
- Always Available Menus. So today is Taco Tuesday and Mexican food doesn’t agree with you? No problem! In our communities, we offer Always Available Menus that will give you options that are designed to please. With a little head’s up, the dietary staff can make sure that your mealtime doesn’t go South of the border.
- Menus that change with the Season. Guided by our Dietitian Consultant, we create menu suggestions that offer variety and nutrition to attempt to appeal to any palate.
- Another approach that we have incorporated is resident suggestion! Got a great recipe for your favorite dessert? Then we want to hear about it! We will do our best to submit it for approval to add to our menu. From the beginning intake process, we do our best to find out what you like and what you don’t like when it comes to food. No two tastes will be the same. But by treating everyone as an individual, it helps set the situation up for success.
Check out our menus at http://www.greatoaksmanagement.com
How many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches did you eat as a kid? How often did you come home from school and find peanut butter and crackers with a glass of cold milk as your after school snack? How many RC Colas have you drank topped off with a layer of salty peanuts?
Many of us associate peanuts and peanut butter with our childhood memories. As we become adults, sometimes we shy away from foods from our childhood. March is National Peanut Month so let’s take another look at this healthy nut.
Peanuts have more protein than any other nut. Protein can help keep our muscles and bones strong. Protein helps us “feel full” and can knock out that between meals hunger pains. Also, peanuts contain “good fats” so while they taste great, they are healthy.
So, in honor of National Peanut Month, take a hint from your childhood and jazz it up. How about a peanut pie? Have you tried a peanut butter smoothie? How about spicy peanuts as an afternoon snack? Go ahead and have some fun with this healthy nut.
For more helpful information, from nutrition and health topics to assisted living advice, visit us at GreatOaksManagement.com
The holidays are over, it’s cold outside, and so it’s time for soup. Nothing warms a body up like a hot bowl of homemade soup. January is National Soup Month and it couldn’t come at a better time.
Do you have fond memories of a favorite soup, simmering on the stove with the smell welcoming you into the house like a big hug? Is it vegetable, chicken, or maybe chili? Are there special events you have celebrated with soup?
The origins of soup are as old as mankind, probably dating back to the Neolithic Age. Early man used soup to stretch his food supply and to help survive harsh winters when fresh food was not available. Historically, soup has been used to strengthen people who were ill and to help families stretch their food budgets.
So get out those cookbooks. Whip up a big pot of your favorite soup to chase away the cold weather. Go ahead and look for something new, something you haven’t tried before and see if you can find a new favorite soup.
It’s no secret that eating healthy is probably a great life choice to make, no matter your age. But did you know that age does become a factor when selecting which healthy foods are consumed? Sodium, added sugars, and solid fats become items that need to be monitored more closely as we get older. You might be asking “Well then what should I be eating?”. That is what we are going to talk about today!
Nutrients to Know
There are five main food types that the body needs to stay healthy: proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals, and water.
- Proteins – Often called the building blocks of the body, good proteins include seafood, lean meat and poultry, eggs, beans, peas, soy products, and unsalted nuts and seeds.
- Carbohydrates – These are broken into two categories: Simple and Complex. Simple carbs include fruits, vegetables, and milk products as well as honey and sugar. Complex carbs are in breads, cereals, pasta, rice, beans, peas, potatoes, and corn.
- Fats – These are broken down into four groups: Monounsaturated, Polyunsaturated, Saturated, and Trans fats. Monounsaturated fats are in canola, olive, peanut, and safflower oils as well as avocados, peanut butter, and some nuts/seeds. Polyunsaturated fats are found in corn, soybean, and flaxseed oil as well as in fatty fish, walnuts, and some seeds. Saturated fats are found in red meat, milk products like butter, palm oil, and coconut oil. Regular cheese, pizza, and grain or dairy based desserts are also a souce. Trans fats are found in stick margarine and vegetable shortening.
- Vitamins – These help the body grow as well as regulate it. There are 13 vitamins: C, A, D, E, K, and the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, B6, B12, and folate). These can be found in vitamins/vitamin supplements as well as in some foods.
- Minerals – These help the body function. Some important minerals include iodine, flouride, calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium. Eating a varied diet is the best way to ensure a healthy mineral intake.
- Water – Seems like a no-brainer, right? You would be surprised how often health problems can be traced back to dehydration. Research indicates that seniors are far more likely to experience adverse health effects from insufficient levels of fluid than younger adults. On average, seniors have 10% less fluid in their bodies compared to younger adults. To read more about staying hydrated, check out our blog post on that topic here!
Here we gave you just a small overview of ways to eat healthier as you age. If you want to learn more, visit the National Institute on Aging.
For more information on our company Great Oaks Management and senior living communites, visit us at www.greatoaksmanagement.com.