Archive for category: Healthy Aging

Catching Zzz’s: How Covid-19 Affected Our Sleep Habits

We’ve all seen the many studies about the aftermath of Covid-19 on everything from how it affected our health and wellbeing, to our consumer habits, and even how we work. A new study by Samsung released this week looked at how Covid-19 changed how we sleep.

The data was gathered from Samsung’s Health platform during the pandemic. What the company found was that people spent more time in their bed but the sleep quality had decreased.

“In other words, people have spent more time trying to sleep and less time getting their much-needed rest.”

The full analysis of the study can be found here.

Tips for Better Sleep

The CDC says it’s important to establish healthy habits throughout the day to help you sleep better at night.

Here are five tips to improve your sleep:

  • Consistency is key: go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning to establish a routine.
  • Keep your bedroom dark, quiet, relaxing and at a comfortable temperature.
  • Remove electronic devices from the bedroom.
  • Avoid large meals, caffeine and alcohol before bedtime.
  • Get some exercise throughout the day.

For more tips, including what to do if you don’t fall asleep within 20 minutes, visit the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

 

About Advena Living

At Advena Living, we encourage residents to continue their sleep habits and routines, regardless of their environment. That’s why we don’t have scheduled wake up and bed times at any of our seven communities. Residents can wake up whenever they want to, and we will be ready to greet their day with a hot meal.

Advena Living specializes in assisted living, skilled nursing, rehabilitation, and long-term care throughout the state. We have locations in Bonner Springs, Cherryvale, Clay Center, Clearwater, Rose Hill, Topeka, and Wichita.

Our name “Advena” means newcomer. We welcome newcomers seeking a caring environment where they may continue to live their best lives.

Creating Community: Why A Social Network is Important For Aging

The social distancing and lockdowns of Covid-19 shed light on the dangers of isolation and loneliness. That was especially true for seniors, who are already at risk of those things.

As we begin to see more studies and information disseminated on healthy aging, it’s more apparent than ever that social connections and community are an important piece.

An in-depth report on aging from the World Health Organization (WHO), found that having a sense of community or connectedness is the key to aging more successfully. Positive health benefits included lower rates of anxiety, stronger immune system, improved cognitive function.

Similar studies have found having a social network wards off depression and maintains or increases physical activity.

The big question is how do we create a sense of community if we don’t have one already? According to a Livestrong.com article there are eleven ways to get started.

The first step to creating community is taking inventory of your current group. Look at how often you’re interacting and the types of activities and decide what you need to be fulfilled. Examine your relationships and determine which ones need nurturing and who is part of your real support system.

If you’re looking for new people to join your circle, consider meeting them through shared hobbies and activities. “Getting back to these interests can increase autonomy and feelings of purposefulness, as well as give you a chance to explore social connections with new people.”

Volunteering also opens doors into new friendships and provides the added benefit of giving back.

For more tips on how to create a healthy aging community, click here.

About Advena Living

Moving to an assisted living or long-term community comes with a built-in social group. We try to facilitate connections between residents as we get to know their individual preferences, hobbies and interests. Our Activities Directors provide ample opportunities for social engagement through activities in and out of the building and other special events.

Advena Living specializes in skilled nursing, long-term care, rehabilitation and assisted living services throughout the state. We have locations in Bonner Springs, Cherryvale, Clay Center, Clearwater, Rose Hill, Topeka, and Wichita.

Our name “Advena” means newcomer. We welcome newcomers seeking a senior living environment where they may continue to enjoy a full life.

“Life is Good”— A New Impression of Aging

Would you take a pill that granted you 10 extra years of life? That was one of the many proposed questions from an in-depth study regarding Americans’ perceptions of aging. (75% of people surveyed said yes, by the way.)

The collaboration between AARP and National Geographic, “The Second Half of Life Study,” focused on aging in relation to health, happiness, home, finances, dying and more. To get the best results, they surveyed more than 2,500 adults from 18 to their 90s across all different backgrounds, ethnicities and demographics.

The results were a lot to unpack. You can read the findings here. But the common theme was of hope and positivity when it comes to aging in America.

Research showed an increase in happiness as you get older. “The focus on happiness isn’t about wealth, beauty or any of the other standards typically associated with youth-driven pop culture. Instead, as people age, an optimism and contentment emerge in parallel with an alignment of expectations and realities.”

The study found happiness comes focusing on quality of life, relationships and independence.

Interestingly, we learned that stress and anxiety also diminish with aging. We have more concerns about our future when we are under 40 than in our 70s and 80s.

“The people in the study with the most real-life aging experience to draw on— those 85 and up—report that in almost every important category, life worked out just fine. Up to 90 percent say so about meaningful relationships, living arrangements, mental sharpness, finances and mobility.”

 

About Advena Living

At Advena Living, we welcome newcomers seeking a senior living environment where they may continue to enjoy a full life.

Part of our guiding philosophy is that we honor choice. We believe that community members should always have a say in how they live their lives. That means deciding when you want to eat, wake up, go to sleep and participate in activities.

We want you to continue to enjoy the simple daily pleasures, rituals and activities that make you  who you are.

Advena Living specializes in skilled nursing, long-term care, rehabilitation and assisted living services throughout the state. We have locations in Bonner Springs, Cherryvale, Clay Center, Clearwater, Rose Hill, Topeka, and Wichita.

 

 

“Mind after Midnight”— Why Our Brains Want to Go to Sleep Earlier

You’ve probably heard the saying, “nothing good happens after midnight.” Now new research shows there may be some truth to going to sleep earlier rather than staying up late.

A new study published in the journal Frontiers in Network Psychology suggests that the mind is not “designed” to be active after midnight.

The research goes on to say the mind doesn’t work the same way at night as it does during the daytime. And those physiological changes at night can lead to “psychiatric disorders and unsafe behaviors.”

“I think everyone knows that getting good sleep is important for thinking clearly and making good decisions, mostly because we’ve all felt stupid and made bad choices after a bad night of sleep,” said Andrew Tubbs, one of the study’s authors from the University of Arizona College of Medicine in a recent interview. “But the amount of sleep you have is just one part of a bigger puzzle because sleep happens in the context of our circadian rhythms, the 24-hour cycles in which we live our lives.”

Mind over Matter

According to Tubbs, “People are more likely to make bad decisions when they haven’t had enough sleep and they’re awake when their circadian rhythms are telling them to be asleep. For most people, that’s between 2 and 3 AM.”

The study does point out that many people reported that their creativity spikes after midnight. Tubbs said this fits into their Mind after Midnight hypothesis. “We think that one of the big drivers of risk is behavioral disinhibition, such that people say or do things they wouldn’t ordinarily do. For someone creative, this disinhibition may help them turn off their inner critic and push forward with new and exciting ideas.”

Tubbs also added that there is very little data on what people do in the middle of the night. The study suggests further research is needed to explore the effects of nighttime activity on mental health.

 

About Advena Living

Whether you’re a night owl, early bird or self-proclaimed exhausted pigeon, there’s a place for you at our Advena Living communities. We’ll encourage a restful night’s sleep but we won’t tell you when you have to go to bed. That’s because we honor choice and we believe that community members get to have a say in how they live their lives.

We will work hard to accommodate what you want your schedule to be every day. If you typically wake up at 6 AM and start your day off with a fresh cup of coffee and a newspaper, we’ll make that happen. Similarly if you’d rather sleep in and ease into your day, we’ll help you with that too.

Advena Living specializes in skilled nursing, long-term care, rehabilitation and assisted living services throughout the state. Our name “Advena” means newcomer. We welcome newcomers seeking a senior living environment where they may continue to enjoy a full life, as well as passionate employees who want to feel fulfilled in their careers.

The Latest Buzz: Drinking Coffee Helps You Live Longer

Your morning cup of Joe might do more than keep you awake. Turns out, drinking coffee every day could increase your lifespan.

A new study in the Annals of Internal Medicine followed the coffee habits of 170,00 people in the United Kingdom over seven years. The participants ranged from 37 to 73 years old. None of them had cardiovascular or cancer at the start of the study.

Researchers controlled factors like lifestyle, socioeconomic status and chronic medical problems.

The study found 1.5 to 3.5 cups of unsweetened and sugar-sweetened coffee was consistently associated with a lower risk for early death. This was not true for artificially sweetened coffee.

Previous studies have looked at the correlation between coffee drinking and mortality. In all studies, it was suggested that the benefit came from the substances in coffee, rather than the caffeine. That implies the benefit comes from both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee.

Researchers are quick to point out: correlation does not necessarily mean causation.

 

About Advena Living

Start your day off with a hot cup of coffee at Advena Living. If you prefer warm tea, we have that too. It’s important to us that our community members feel at home. We believe everyone should have a say in their lives. That means deciding when to eat, wake up, go to sleep and participate in activities.

Advena Living is a family-based company in Manhattan, KS. We specialize in skilled nursing, long-term care, rehabilitation and assisted living services throughout the state.

Our name “Advena” means newcomer. We welcome newcomers seeking a senior living environment where they continue to enjoy a full life, and where their personal choices are respected and upheld.

The Importance of Having Fun in Long-Term Care

We saw a fun video on TikTok where a senior living community did dolphin rides with their residents. They inflated a dolphin float, put it on a dolly and wheeled people through the building. It looked like so much fun that we knew we had to try that at Advena Living of Bonner Springs. As you can see in this video, our community members had a fantastic time! (Be sure to check out our Advena Living of Bonner Springs Facebook page for more fun photos and videos.)

At Advena Living, we believe you shouldn’t have to give up who you are or stop having fun just because you’re moving to a new environment.

That’s why it’s important for all of our communities to have activities and events that are entertaining and engaging.  We try to have a variety of things going on from daily activities, to events for family members and friends, to outings around town.

We value input from our community members and try to tailor our social calendars to their preferences.

About Advena Living

At Advena Living, we want everyone who lives at our communities to feel at home. Each person gets to live how they want, on their own schedule. That means having a say in when to eat, wake up, go to sleep, and participate in activities. Because we follow a person-centered care approach, we include community members in decisions that affect them.

We are a family-owned company with skilled nursing and rehab in seven locations through Kansas. Our name “Advena” means newcomer. Communities welcome newcomers seeking a senior living experience where they may continue to enjoy a full life, and where their personal choices are respected and upheld.

What to Know About Short-Term Rehabilitation

Life is unpredictable. One minute you’re fine and the next, an accident or illness changes everything. After a visit to the hospital, the doctor may recommend a short-term rehab stay before you return home. While it may seem daunting, communities like Advena Living exist to help you get stronger and back home quicker. So what can you expect?

 

What is Rehabilitation Therapy?

Short-term rehab services or post-acute care is for individuals who are working hard to recover and return home after surgery, illness or injury.

Advena Living and other rehabilitation communities offer safe and supportive environments along with intensive therapies to help accomplish each person’s specific health goals.

 

Types of Therapies

Physical therapy focuses on improvement of coordinator, balance, strength and endurance.

Occupational therapy uses goal-directed activities to help restore, maintain and improve daily living skills.

Speech and language pathology looks at how to improve swallowing, hearing, speech and language. Speech therapists assess and provide treatment to help individuals recover lost skills or develop new ones.

 

Length of Visit

The typical length of stay is about 20 days, according to various sources, although it could be shorter or longer depending on your progress.

Medicare covers inpatient rehab in a skilled nursing community for up to 100 days, after a qualifying hospital stay meets the 3-rule. That means you must be admitted to the hospital as an inpatient for at least 3 days. The AARP Medicare Plans website provides more detailed information on Medicare Coverage.

 

Packing for a Short-Term Stay

If you do have to complete a post-hospital rehabilitation stay, you will need to bring comfortable loose clothing for therapy, as well as other personal items.

Here are a few suggestions of necessary items for your stay:

  • Shoes with non-skid soles
  • Comfortable clothing
  • Underwear, socks
  • Pajamas, robe, slippers with tread
  • Toiletries: shampoo, soap, cosmetics, toothpaste and toothbrush, etc.
  • Other personal hygiene products
  • Dentures, glasses, hearing aids, cane, walker
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Entertainment: laptop or tablet, books, magazines, crossword puzzles, cards, knitting

It is not recommended that you bring valuable items, jewelry or cash.

It is also not a requirement to bring bedding, but if you have a warm blanket or pillow that will make you more comfortable, bring those items.

 

Learn More about Short-Term Rehab

To learn more about short-term rehabilitation stays at Advena Living, call our Marketing and Admissions Director at (620) 584-2271.

 

About Advena Living

If your goal is to get well, strengthen and return to your home in the greater community, the team at Advena Living will make that our goal as well. We provide in-house physical, occupational and speech therapy services seven days a week, and we specialize in return-to-home plans and services. We can help you restore mobility, independence and autonomy as we work together on a plan to accomplish your goals to the best of our ability.

While the intention is to go home, that doesn’t always happen. For different reasons, an individual may not meet their goals and may require long-term care. Advena Living specializes in skilled nursing, long-term care, rehab and assisted living services throughout Kansas. Our name “Advena” means newcomer, which is what we do—welcome newcomers seeking a senior living environment where they may continue to enjoy a full life, and where their personal choices are respected and upheld.

The Speed of Aging: How We Age Predicts Health Issues

Have you ever looked at someone the same age as you and thought that person looked much older or younger than you? Perhaps it’s because you are actually aging at different speeds.

A 2015 study looked at the pace of aging by studying biomarkers such as blood pressure, gum health, cholesterol, lung and kidney function, among others. The participants were all 38 years. Shockingly, after studying those biomarkers, the biological age of individuals actually varied between 28 years old to 61 years old. Those who were aging more quickly appeared older and reported more health issues.

This year, research supported by the National Institute on Aging took that data one step further to see if studying these biomarkers and the rate of aging could serve as early indicators for chronic conditions.

Aging Rate Predicts Health Problems

Researchers looked at the same participants, now seven years later at the age of 45 in hopes of coming up with a “Pace of Aging” score which would determine if someone was aging one year each calendar year, or if they were aging faster or slower than that.

The test found mid-life and older adults who scored higher were at increased risk for chronic disease, disability and mortality. The study also found young adults with childhood adversity indicated faster aging.

“Together, these measurements can help us understand the factors that drive accelerated aging in at-risk populations and identify interventions that can slow aging to build aging health equity,”

said Daniel Belsky, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia University and the first author on both the 2015 and 2022 studies.

To learn more about this research, click here.

 

About Advena Living

At Advena Living, we know that age is just a number and it’s more about how you feel. That’s why we strive to be more than a traditional, institutional nursing home to give people a better quality of life. We want community members to able to continue to enjoy the simple daily pleasures, rituals and activities that make them who they are.

We know that moving to a long-term care or assisted living community can be a challenge. That’s why our team works to ensure that new residents do not feel alone and are comfortable in their new environment. We strive to make the concept of “home” a real thing for everyone who lives at our communities, no matter how they define it.

Advena Living is a family-owned company that specializes in skilled nursing, long-term care, rehab and assisted living services throughout Kansas. Our name “Advena” means newcomer, which is what we do—welcome newcomers seeking a senior living environment where they may continue to enjoy a full life, and where their personal choices are respected and upheld.

Happy and You Know It: 10 Real Ways to Attain Happiness

Within the past couple of decades, there have been numerous studies on happiness and how to attain it. While there haven’t been any groundbreaking discoveries, a team of international researchers were able to pinpoint certain activities that are actually achievable.

Seeking Happiness

In the study, the team came up nearly 70 ways people are often told how to be happier. That number alone shows that this is a widely studied topic and people are often seeking ways to achieve happiness and lead more fulfilled lives.

Researchers then asked academic experts on the science of happiness to rate those dozens of ways to determine which ones were most feasible and effective.

Achievable Strategies

At the top of the list, they found these 10 strategies can lead to greater happiness:

  1. Invest in time with friends and family
  2. Join a club
  3. Be active both mentally and physically
  4. Practice your religion
  5. Get regular physical exercise
  6. Be nice to others
  7. Be generous
  8. Check your health
  9. Experience nature
  10. Socialize with colleagues outside of work

For the complete list, which includes volunteering, sleep and gardening, click here.

About Advena Living

At Advena Living, we believe our community members should continue to enjoy the simple daily pleasures, rituals and activities that make them who they are.

We know that moving to a long-term care or assisted living community can be a challenge. That’s why our team works to ensure that new residents do not feel alone and are comfortable in their new environment. We strive to make the concept of “home” a real thing for everyone who lives at our communities, no matter how they define it.

Advena Living is a family-owned company that specializes in skilled nursing, long-term care, rehab and assisted living services throughout Kansas. Our name “Advena” means newcomer.  We welcome newcomers seeking a senior living environment where they may continue to enjoy a full life, and where their personal choices are respected and upheld.

Lonely Hearts Club: Socially Isolated Older Women at Risk for Heart Disease

Harry Nilsson sang about one being the loneliest number. And he wasn’t the only one. While being alone may not be good for the proverbial heart, it also could have effects on cardiovascular health.

A new study finds being socially isolated and having feelings of loneliness may increase the risk of heart disease in older women.

The recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) looked at nearly 58,000 women 65 years and older over the course of eight years. None of the participants in the study had a history of heart disease.

It found women who had both greater social isolation and higher level of loneliness had a 13% to 27% higher risk of cardiovascular disease compared to women who were more social and less isolated.

Changes in Life

The study points out that life changes in this age group, like retirement and loss of friends and family, only add to the risk of social isolation and loneliness. The current pandemic where people are continuing to socially distance doesn’t do much to curb the problem.

Although this study focuses on older women, isolation and loneliness can affect elderly men as well. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) found more than 30% of older adults report feeling lonely and 25% report feeling isolated.

Moving into a Community

Moving into a long-term care or assisted living community can help combat feelings of loneliness and isolation. Staff at our Advena Living communities encourage socialization and engagement in a variety of activities. Our social services directors hold regular resident council meetings and encourage feedback, so they can plan events and activities that community members want to do. Sharing a meal or going for a stroll with your new neighbors can also help provide a much-needed social outlet.

About Advena Living

Advena Living communities offer long-term care, skilled nursing and assisted living services at multiple locations in Kansas. We are dedicated to the vision that each person has value, and we should honor their individual choices. When a person moves into one of our Advena Living communities, our goal is to welcome them and their family as new members of our extended family. We work hard to accommodate what they want their schedule to be and what choice they want to make.