The Journey to Healthy Aging – How Living with Purpose is the Key to Happiness and Good Health

Journey-to-Healthy-Aging-How-Living-with-Purpose-is-the-Key-to-Happiness-and-Good-Health

Like fine wine, you can age gracefully. Maintaining an active lifestyle as you age keeps your body healthy, and so does making smarter food choices. However, there’s more to healthy aging than exercise and a well-balanced diet.

Having a sense of purpose can do wonders for your health and happiness. In an interview with Margaret Manning, Dr. Sanjiv Chopra, former Faculty Dean at Harvard Medical School, illustrates how our search for meaning influences our journey to healthy aging.

Why You Need to Find a Sense of Purpose

Living with purpose makes you happier as you age. If you embrace a purpose-driven life, you are more likely going to outlive those who aren’t motivated by such aspirations. Having a strong sense of purpose will inspire you to pursue a healthier, happier life.

Even as you face the mental and physical changes caused by aging, a sense of purpose will motivate you to set meaningful goals and empower you to pursue them. You can stay mentally and physically active in your pursuit of these goals. As a result, you can improve your health and well-being.

What Gives Meaning to Your Life?

Only you – and you alone – have the answer to this question. Like many people, you might not be able to find what you’re looking for right away. However, you can try and try again until you finally understand what gives meaning to your life.

In your search for purpose, you can reflect on it alone or engage in discussions with your friends. Keeping a written record of everything you do in a day might also help you figure out your purpose in life. By rating each item on that list from one to ten (ten being the highest), you can understand what activities make you the happiest and which ones make you miserable.

At the end of the month, cross off everything you rated from one to six. Focus on the activities that are marked seven to ten because your purpose in life is most likely going to be one of those.

How Can You Cultivate a Sense of Purpose?

Sometimes, people realize their purpose in life after witnessing tragedy, much like Colombian national Jaime Jaramillo Uribe, who is popularly called Papa Jaime. After witnessing the tragic death of a 7-year-old child, he knew what he wanted to do in life – save as many orphans as he could.

However, your purpose doesn’t need to be as bold and audacious as Papa Jaime’s. Even the simplest of acts like taking care of your grandchild or tending a garden can motivate you to keep going in life. Doing these small acts of kindness can make a difference in the lives of others as well as your own.

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Source: CareTips

How Do You Know You Have Just Enough? The Secret to Staying Downsized

Staying Downsized

You’ve gone through the incredibly hard process of downsizing your house to a smaller place – maybe a much smaller place. You’ve moved, organized things, and figured out just where to put everything you took with you.

If you haven’t, you’ve probably gotten rid of more things or rented an external storage unit, for which you’re paying a not insignificant amount every month.

But then, after you’ve settled in for some time, you’re horrified to find that spaces are beginning to fill up again! All those empty bookshelves now have books and other things on them.

It’s gradually beginning to get harder and harder to hang another new pair of jeans in the closet. The drawers in the kitchen are getting fuller and fuller, so that, again, you’re beginning to have to hold things down to close the drawer.

You realize that it’s time to STOP! Good for you!

Downsizing Is a Process, Not an Event

Over the past couple of years since my own downsizing, moving into a much smaller place, and writing of my book The Upside of Downsizing: Getting to Enough, I’ve come to believe that downsizing is not a one-time event – it’s a way of life.

And just like any other way of life, it requires constant vigilance until it is so habitual you don’t need to think about it. It’s just the way you live.

Think about a time when you decided to make some kind of significant change in your life. It may have been to stop eating red meat, or go completely vegetarian. It may have been to exercise at least 10 minutes every single day, or to get eight hours of sleep no matter what.

It may have been to cut your daily screen time by half, and then by another half. Or to have a real family dinner with conversation at least two nights a week. Or whatever else you decided was important for you and/or for your family.

Remember those first few days and weeks. Sticking to your commitment to yourself was really tough, and it took a lot of resolve and thought to keep at it. But gradually, if you did stick with it, it became easier and easier until it was just the way you live.

My Own Journey

I remember when I stopped eating red meat. It was in the mid-1980s. I was living in New York, and suddenly meat was very expensive. I had my first teaching job at a university and, although it was much more money than I had ever earned in my life, it was not a lot to live comfortably in New York City.

I decided that I would stop buying the very expensive meat so that I would have money to do other fun things I wanted to do.

Well, I had grown up in the Midwest, and every night our dinners consisted of meat, potatoes, and vegetable. Always meat. Always. So, not having meat night after night for dinner was really hard, but I did it because I wanted to be able to do other things.

Looking back now, I’m not sure when it became just the way I eat, but it definitely did. It would never occur to me now to have a big, fat hamburger or thick steak. I don’t feel deprived. I don’t long for any of those things.

And that’s the direction we need to head in when we decide to have a downsized way of life. We just don’t acquire anything without carefully thinking about it.

Stop Acquiring Before It Starts (Again)

When a new object tries to enter your life, ask yourself: “Do I really need this?” If not, “Do I really want it?” If so, “Where will it go? What will I get rid of to make room for it? What if I wait one week until I get it?” After the week is over, if you still want it, go ahead.

You can also keep a bag in the corner of the room. As you come across things you realize you don’t need, put them in the bag, promising yourself that anything that goes in doesn’t come out, unless it really, truly went in by mistake. (Or it belongs to someone else and they suddenly realized it’s missing and want it back.)

We Are Enough

For many of us, it’s important to remember that we are enough. Just the way we are. We are complete. We are ourselves. There’s never been another person like us, and there never will be again.

There may sometimes be things about ourselves we’d like to change, but that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong now. There’s just something we decide we’d like to make different about how we are in the world.

Fundamentally, you’re still you, I’m still me, and we’re both just fine the way we are. We are enough, and we don’t need to add anything to be more OK, in spite of all the advertising messages we get every day telling us, how much better or happier we’ll be after we buy whatever they’re selling.

Choosing a downsizing way of life is not necessarily an easy way to go. Many of us have spent a lifetime acquiring, acquiring, acquiring… and then holding onto a thing “just in case we need it again.”

What we are committing to today is to no longer live that way. Going forward, we will strive to live with “just enough,” not too much, and not too little.

I’d love to hear from you about how it’s going for you. I’ve committed to it, and I still need to remind myself every day. Find a friend who would like to try this with you. Let’s help each other.

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Source: CareTips

60 Is Not the End of the Game: Start Exercising and Reap All the Benefits

60 Is Not the End of the Game: Start Exercising and Reap All the Benefits

It can get old hearing exhortation after exhortation about exercising. In fact, it’s almost as exhausting reading or hearing about it as doing it. After all, isn’t it just too late at this point?

This study says otherwise.

It’s Never Too Late

For those of us who are in our 60s or later, the simple truth is that no matter where we are, it’s never too late to get the benefits of regular exercise. That’s true – believe it or not – even for those of us who have totally slacked off for decades, or even for those wheelchair-bound.

This tends to fly in the face of conventional wisdom, which leads too many of us to believe that once we hit a certain point, there’s no going back.

Nothing could be further from the truth. However, there are some provisos.

While all of us can benefit tremendously from regular movement, be it Gentle Yoga or just walking the block, let’s be clear. That 25” waist you and I may have sported in our youth may not come back.

It might, but in all fairness to the bodies which have carried us thus far (and in many cases, delivered one or more children), can we kindly give ourselves permission to be where we are?

It’s Not Really About Age

The real issue is health. Fitness. The ability to live a good life, a happy life, underscored by a better level of fitness.

While the study focused on folks in mid-life, the same is true for those later in life. The Internet is full of stories of women who took up running or bodybuilding or other exercises at or near 60 or later and transformed themselves.

The point is to get up and get out, as the late and great, the godfather of fitness, Jack Lalanne used to exhort us to do. Fitness is not just for the young.

It is for anyone of us who wants to have a more youthful body and the attendant attitude that vibrant health can deliver. In fact, for many, exercise may well even, in some ways, reverse or slow down our aging process.

Fitness, Your Style

Let’s be fair here. You don’t have to be like my friend Susan, who, at 67, is an international triathlete. You don’t have to be like my buddy Annie, who, at the very same age, goes rafting in the Arctic and is an avid horseback rider. You most certainly do not need to do adventure travel like I do.

It’s not about “be like.” There is no imperative to be like anyone except the best possible version of who you can be. What that looks like is completely up to you and is dependent upon your patience with your body. And, a sense of humor about how we have inevitably changed with age.

Look. As fit as I am, I still have boobs under my arms that weren’t there 10 years ago. It’s part of the price that we pay for the longer lives we live. Having a laugh at what life throws at our bodies is part of what life mastery looks like.

Someday, when women take over the brassiere industry (as they did with Spanx), they will design bras that neither create the side boobs, nor will they overemphasize what we do or don’t have. They will be uber-comfortable, especially for the aging body, and kindly accommodate whatever spillover exists.

It’s All About Movement

But I digress.

Movement gets us life. Many of us grew up with an aging Jack Lalanne, and many of our mothers sweated on the floor to his exuberant energy. He finally passed, the original fitness icon, at 96 in 2011.

His endless joie de vivre was in part driven by his exceptional health, his fitness regime, and careful nutrition habits. He tried hard to imbue a nation with his message.

Here’s one of my favorite Lalanne quotes from an interview for Alive Magazine in March of 2007:

The first thing I did when I was 40 years old, I put handcuffs on and I jumped off Alcatraz prison and swam to San Francisco handcuffed. That made national publicity. Then, there were three or four years where I would do more difficult feats.

Another birthday I towed a thousand-pound boat across the Golden Gate. On my 65th Birthday, I towed 65 boats a mile and a half in Tokyo. On my 70th Birthday, I towed 70 boats with 70 people in them, with my feet and hands tied, a mile and a half in Long Beach… My next Birthday I will be 93. I’m gonna tow my wife across the bathtub.

You and I don’t have to be Jack. Nor do we have to be Jane Fonda, who looks unbelievable at 80. (Okay, yes, she has a great surgeon, but she also is a fitness enthusiast. This YouTube video is hilarious and wise.)

Look for Joy When You Exercise

The point is to find something that allows you to enter the exercise world easily, with limited discomfort, and which gives you joy. What will you do regularly that you enjoy? It makes no difference.

The point is to move, because movement is life.

That movement gives you options as you age, which is the whole point. It’s not about being thin. It’s not about becoming a late-in-life athlete. This is not about trying to be like anyone else or to look like a fitness model at 69.

It is about reclaiming your birthright to be happy and energetic at any age, at any waist size, no matter how many extra breasts we may have sprouted (or lost, for that matter) and to have the best possible life you can imagine. With health, you and I have options. Without it, the options diminish.

Enjoy Your Best Years

Is it way too late? Never. Not at all. Find a friend. Start walking. Start the Gentle Yoga program. Rediscover the joy of movement, and with that, the joy of life and a youthful attitude.

Because these really can be your best years. That is, if you and I give up any notion of reclaiming our 20-something figure and instead concentrate on having the fittest, healthiest, happiest life we can possibly enjoy.

Not to coin a phrase or anything but, Just do it.

And I might add, NOW.

The rest of your life is waiting.

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Source: CareTips

3 Reasons Why Your Workout Isn’t Working (and How to Fix It)

workout after 60

If I had a dime for every time someone told me, “I’ve tried everything and still can’t lose weight / get fit / tone my arms!” I’d be writing this from my own private island in the middle of the South Pacific.

Such is not the case. I’m in my home office without an island in sight, yet I still receive these emails without compensation.

First, a brief backstory…

Like so many trainers, when I began my career in 1995 (let’s have a moment of silence for that era), I got into the business thinking I could rid the world of unwanted poundage, inspire the uninspired to get off their couches, and share the wonders of fitness to the world!

In other words, I was completely off my rocker.

I soon learned the cold, hard truth: It’s not that easy, and not everyone gets results.

In fact, more than half of new exercisers quit and go back to their couches and ditch this whole crazy get-fit idea after about six weeks, surveys show.

So, if you decided to get in shape this past January 1st, chances are good you’ve fallen by the wayside, so to speak, by now.

If not, good for you! You’ve beat the odds.

If so, I can help.

Let’s take a look at why so many people fail to see results and what you can do to avoid becoming a statistic.

Fitness Fail #1: You Set Unrealistic Expectations

Going from zero to 100 mph in the form of “not working out at all” to “working out every day” is not going to happen. Sure, you may do it for a week or so, but if you’re doing the same routine over and over each day, one of a couple things is bound to happen: you get bored or you get injured.

Both are motivation killers.

Or, another common unrealistic goal may be striving to drop a bunch of dress sizes within a short period of time.

FITNESS FIX: Start from where you are and set small goals. Instead of vowing to exercise every day, start with three times a week. Or, better yet, do something active but different on alternate days.

For example, if you weight-train Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, plan on doing cardio, yoga or stretching on alternate days.

Fitness Fail #2: You Do a Little but Expect a Lot

Performing a couple sets of ab crunches and expecting flatter abs is like eating a salad and wondering why you’ve not yet lost weight.

The problem is, technology allows us to download books in seconds, receive groceries within hours, and view movies on demand.

But here’s the thing: Our bodies did not get the same memo.

Evolutionary beliefs aside, not a whole lot has changed within the human species in the way of metabolism, digestion muscle building, and other bodily processes.

Real change takes time.

People who see results stick with a routine or workout for weeks or even months before expecting to see visible changes in their bodies.

Of course, you’ll experience other benefits such as sleeping more soundly and feeling more energetic fairly quickly, but seeing a new line of definition in your triceps? You’ll need to hang in there a bit for that.

But when that day rolls around you’ll be ordering a case of tank tops to reveal those puppies to the world.

FITNESS FIX: Trust that it’s happening beneath the surface. Patience and consistency win the race! Do the right things and focus on the process, not the outcome. Results will happen as long as you stay on track… which brings me to my final point.

Fitness Fail #3: You’re Not Doing It Right

“Not doing it right” may refer to several issues:

  • You’re using poor exercise form from either copying someone else at the gym – or trying to “wing it” on your own.
  • You only do the things you want to do, so your program isn’t well rounded.
  • You do a little of this and a bit of that, cross your fingers, and hope for the best.
  • You stay within your comfort zone and never push yourself a bit.

FITNESS FIX: Do your research. Look for nationally certified trainers, whether you hire one for an in-person workout or follow them on social media for guidance and instruction.

Be sure to include both cardio and strength training and challenge yourself while staying within your own abilities. For example, a leisurely stroll is fine for socializing, but if you want to burn serious calories you’ll need to pick up the pace.

Same goes for lifting weights: You’ll need to use enough weight to feel you’re putting in some effort, or you won’t see the changes you’d like.

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Source: CareTips

Blending Technology with Older Traditions to Preserve Memories

Blending Technology with Older Traditions to Preserve Memories

Not so long ago, the way to hold onto memories was to create photo albums and scrapbooks. Today most people use apps like Facebook and tag their photos. Online backups keep photos safe indefinitely. I could go on, but you get the idea.

What If All Is Lost?

The next logical question would be, what if the worst happens and all is lost? No online backup. No Facebook app. Nothing online at all. Yes, I have been reading fiction about having no power. Basically, the apocalypse.

I was given an Amazon gift by Amazon – no idea why they gave it to me – and I used it to buy sets of books for my Kindle. More than one set was about “the worst happens and there is no power,” anywhere of any kind.

No zombies – just no power. Many would say that having no power is worse than dealing with zombies. But I digress…

As someone who likes crafting, I thought I would take the best of both worlds and blend them together to make something tangible. That way if the worst happens, I will still have some memories.

A New Way to Save Memories

My husband and I started taking selfies. It was actually his idea. I am surprised that I did not think of it myself. Anyway, I like to do things myself rather than taking advantage of a service like Shutterfly.

I have a handy app on my phone that allows me to print photos to my printer. So, when I take a selfie, I edit it a bit if necessary, then I just have to print it out and place it in an actual memory book.

You can call it a scrapbook or a photo album or whatever name you want to apply to it. The point is, I have a backup copy of my photos, and I can embellish the pages in whatever manner I like.

Create Your Own Memory Book

There are so many options to choose from for making a memory book. I have a Cricut machine and a sewing machine. I also have local shops nearby that carry all kinds of supplies at reasonable prices.

I have a reputation of never buying anything at full price. It has to be on sale, clearance or at the Dollar Stores or I don’t buy it. If you don’t already know, after Christmas is the best time to buy wrapping paper and gift bags. Everything is on clearance then.

You can create your own embellishments as well. I have done many of them myself. For example: Buy a package of sticker stars and add glue and glitter or whatever else you can think of that you would like.

One advantage to making your own memory book is that you can design it according to your preference. You are not limited to those pre-made photo albums or scrapbooks. You can create and display your own style.

This is one of those subjects that one could go on and on about, but I won’t. I will leave it here.

If you enjoy being creative and making your own embellishments, great! If not, there are many ready-made options to choose from at very reasonable prices. Either way, save your memories and have fun doing it! You never know when the apocalypse might hit. Will your memories be safe?

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Source: CareTips

Spring Greens Can Give Your Aging Body a Boost: Learn How with These Tips!

Spring-Greens-Can-Give-Your-Aging-Body-a-Boost

Do you ever stroll through a garden or a forest in springtime, with the sun shining down upon you, and you almost “see” the greens spring up before your eyes?

These beautiful greens have been in a dormant phase for several months, just waiting for the soil to warm up so new growth can burst forth. Watching them sprout can be inspirational to those of us who are not great fans of the cold dark months of winter.

Change of Seasons – Change of Menu

I do not, as a rule, eat raw salads in the winter. Salads are cold foods, and most of the ingredients are not local to where I live, so I switch from salads to cooked or roasted vegetables during the cold season. That makes the arrival of spring even more glorious.

Just as I’m getting tired of cooked vegetables, the wondrous spring salad makes its grand appearance. They might be a mix of raw spinach, early lettuce, scallions, finely chopped kale, avocado, and a burst of chopped pear or apple if tomatoes aren’t looking great yet.

So Many Choices

What’s really fascinating about greens is they are the perfect antidote to those extra pounds you may have gained over the winter. They are high nutrient/low-calorie foods.

Spring greens – spinach, spring peas, green beans, asparagus, kale, collard greens, bok choy, and chard, to name a few – are hydrating and support the liver and gall bladder.

They are quite effective in flushing out the sludge of heavier foods you might have eaten to keep you warm in winter. What’s more, green vegetables are treasure troves of vitamins and minerals you need every day to give your body energy and protection from disease.

If you’re wondering which foods are especially appropriate for the spring season, I’ve prepared a shopping guide to help you out.

Take Care of Yourself and Feel the Difference

In addition to eating copious amounts of green vegetables in spring, here are 4 tips to help your body and your mind feel younger than you have in years. Remember, it’s not the number, it’s how we live, mind and body, that tells the real story of who we are.

  • Stretch! Before and after any activity, give your body a good stretch.
  • Get moving! Moving is essential for staying young. Your joints need movement to support a healthy metabolism or energy burn.
  • Get outdoors. Fresh air and sunshine are good medicine for mind and body.
  • Plant something and care for it as it grows. This will expand your connection with the world. It’s also therapeutic!

As you get more active you will notice how incorporating lots of greens into your spring diet will support the things you want to do. They will enable your muscles to be more flexible while reducing the incidence of leg cramps (ooh, those hurt). As an added bonus, greens will nourish your skin.

Cleansing is a common practice for clearing out the winter sludge, and I can help you out with a simple 5-day online cleanse that will restore your energy and vigor.

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Source: CareTips

Mobilize Your Money: Manage Your Post Retirement Funds Wherever You Go

Manage-Your-Post-Retirement-Funds

Online and mobile banking allows us to manage our money without having to step foot in a bank. The banking industry has evolved significantly over the past decade. With the prevalence of smartphones, online banking is becoming the primary way people are managing their finances.

While it may be a little scary to start banking online, it can simplify your life. If you can connect to the Internet, you can take care of almost all your banking needs from anywhere at any time of day or night.

Online Banking Benefits

There are a ton of benefits to online banking, and here are the top three:

Electronic Statements

With e-statements, you don’t have to wait until you receive your monthly report in the mail to check your balance, checks cleared, etc. If you have a question about your account, the information is at your fingertips.

Also, receiving your statements electronically is more friendly to the environment. You can download them and save them on your computer or smartphone if you choose, or just know that they are accessible for several years by logging into your account.

Automated Bill Payments

Almost all your bill payment can now be set up as automatic; everything from your mortgage, car, utilities, and insurance.

Once you set-up the automated payments, you don’t have to even think about them. Payment is sent on the same day at the scheduled time frame (i.e., once a month, or every month on the 20th).

Mobile Check Deposits

No more having to drive to your local bank branch or an ATM to deposit a check! You can do it from anywhere by just snapping a photo of the front and back of a check.

Additional Benefits

Other benefits of using online banking (depending on your bank) are creating and managing your budget, setting up travel notifications, so there aren’t issues with credit cards when on vacation, and sending money to anyone you know with a couple of taps.

Is Online Banking Safe?

The online banking industry has a good track record, but there are always risks. The same way brick and mortar banks have safeguards in place to maintain security, so do their online counterparts.

Banks typically use 128-bit encryption or higher to protect your information. Encryption scrambles the data, making it more secure. When you’re online, check the web address of every website you are to log into, looking for https:// and the padlock before typing in your username and password.

Your bank is continuously monitoring your accounts for fraud. If they detect something they deem suspicious, you will be notified via text, email, or phone.

Be careful with scam email that may be masquerading as coming from your bank. Your bank will send notifications about something happening with your account or actions that are taken. It will not send you an email seeking private information, or to click on a link.

Many financial institutions require you to use two-step authentication to provide an additional layer of security. Either you can use an authenticator app or receive a text message with a code when you log in to your account. Two-factor authentication ensures that it’s you attempting to log in to your account.

While two-step authentication is the latest trend, some banks may use security questions, such as, “What is the name of your first pet?” Make sure the answers to these are not commonly known or easy for others to guess.

You Are Responsible for Your Online Security

When it comes to online safety, technology isn’t the problem. It is the people misusing the technology that leads to the issues.

Don’t just rely on the banks to keep your accounts safe, be proactive and educate yourself on online security best practices, such as:

  • Activate two-factor authentication.
  • Avoid public Wi-Fi unless you are using a secure VPN connection.
  • Use complex passwords. “Complex” means a random string of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols that is at least 12 characters.
  • Use unique passwords for every account you have (this is where a password manager comes in handy).
  • Don’t click on links in emails.
  • Keep your devices updated.
  • Secure your phone/computer/tablet with an 8-12-digit passcode or complex password.

Online banking gives you freedom to manage your money wherever you are. If you take some simple security steps, you can rest assured your funds are safe.

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Source: CareTips

5 Simple Things You Can Do to Live A Longer, Healthier Life – According to Dr. Sanjiv Chopra

Live-A-Longer-Healthier-Life-According-to-Dr.-Sanjiv-Chopra

Younger folks want to live as long as possible. But, as you age, your perspective about life will start to change with each passing year. Eventually, you will come to realize that it’s not just the number of years in your life, but the quality of the life you lead within those years.

Today, Margaret Manning sat down with Dr. Sanjiv Chopra, best-selling author, motivational speaker, and former Faculty Dean at Harvard Medical School, to discuss five simple yet essential habits that lead to a longer, healthier, happier life. Enjoy the show!

Drink Your Coffee

Liver cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths around the world. Since 2000, the mortality rates have increased by nearly 3% each year. However, drinking a cup or two of coffee a day lowers your risk of liver cancer, as well as six other types of cancers.

Some studies show that people who drink their coffee display less liver scarring than those who don’t. Others suggest that if you drink about two cups of coffee every day, you reduce your risk of hospitalization and early death. Drinking your coffee can also improve your cognitive function.

Exercise Regularly

If you love eating but don’t lead an active lifestyle, you increase your risk of obesity. Lack of exercise makes you susceptible to diabetes, liver disease, hypertension, and about twenty different types of cancers.

You don’t need to do rigorous exercise to stay healthy. Walking for about ten to fifteen minutes a day can help you maintain a healthy weight, manage various conditions, and live a healthier life.

Take Your Vitamin D3

To live a long, healthy, and happy life, take Vitamin D3 daily. Having sufficient levels of Vitamin D in your system keeps your bones strong and prevents bone disorders such as osteomalacia and rickets.

If you are deficient in other vitamins, make sure you take the recommended amount as well. Take your vitamins regularly, so you can stay healthy as you age. Take your vitamins at the same time every day so you won’t forget.

Eat Your Nuts

Some of the healthiest foods you can eat are nuts. Packed with unsaturated fatty acids and several nutrients, nuts raise your good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol. Eating small amounts every day can even help you live longer.

There’s also a study that suggests that overweight individuals who don’t exercise can live longer if they consume small amounts of nuts daily.

Meditate Every Day

Make meditation a daily habit. There are several reasons why you should. For starters, it helps you relieve stress. No matter what you’re going through, you can find inner peace, as well as the courage to face your challenges, by meditating.

Consistency is key to making it a habit. So, start by setting aside five minutes of your day to meditate. As they say, if you don’t have time to do that, you ought to meditate twice a day.

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Source: CareTips

Addus Exec: CMS’s Dual-Eligibles Move Encouraging for In-Home Care Providers

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced plans Wednesday to expand coverage options for Americans who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid, giving states the freedom to develop their own programs for dual-eligible beneficiaries.

While the directive doesn’t outline specific opportunities for home-based care providers, the move is still encouraging for the industry, at least one executive in the space believes.

“It represents continued CMS recognition of the value of coordination of care and looking to lower-cost providers and lower-cost settings, caring for people in the home and not in institutions,” Addus HomeCare Corporation (Nasdaq: ADUS) Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer Darby Anderson told Home Health Care News. “Home care providers should feel encouraged by CMS’s recognition of this and promotion of these kinds of opportunities.”

In a letter to state governors, CMS Administrator Seema Verma explained the need to better integrate care for more than 11 million Americans currently enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid, inviting states to participate in existing test programs for dual-eligible coverage or develop unique programs of their own.

“Our goal is to bring shared accountability for creating a more seamless experience for beneficiaries and providers across the two programs, while ensuring that the Medicaid programs’ incentives are aligned and pointed toward lower cost and better outcomes,” Verma wrote.

Dually eligible beneficiaries have higher rates of chronic illness, along with more chronic conditions and social risk factors than their singularly eligible counterparts. But because the rules governing federal Medicare and state Medicaid differ — and the programs communicate infrequently — dually eligible beneficiaries rarely have a single resource to use to maximize their benefits.

In fact, only 10% of dual-eligibles are currently enrolled in integrated care programs, Verma’s letter states.

“These challenges have contributed to sub-optimal health outcomes, despite our shared investment of over $300 billion a year to serve this population,” she wrote. “In many states, dually eligible individuals account for over a third of state spending on Medicaid.”

The options

The CMS directive encourages states to test one of three integrated models to improve care and maximize savings for dual-eligibles.

The first option is the capitated financial alignment model, in which Medicare and Medicaid team up with health plans known as Medicare-Medicaid Plans (MMPs) to provide a one-stop contract for dual-eligibles.

Nine states currently use this model on a pilot basis, which has been extended through 2023 and opened to any other state interested in participating. So far, the programs have achieved an estimated savings of 4.4% and 90% of users rating their experience as a seven or higher on the 0-to-10 satisfaction scale.

The second option is the managed fee-for-service model. It would encourage shared savings between Medicaid and Medicare.

In Washington, the model has generated 11% savings to Medicare Parts A and B, along with improvements in quality and enrollee satisfaction. However, a similar program in Colorado was not successful.

The final option allows states to create their own models for dually eligible beneficiaries. Still, the ultimate goal is to coordinate care, while reducing Medicare and Medicaid costs and improving outcomes.

“I encourage you to talk to your health policy staff and state Medicaid leadership about these opportunities to better serve those older adults and people with disabilities,” Verma wrote in the letter. “The Trump administration stands ready to partner with you and your staff on this important challenge.”

Addus, whose population is largely made up of dual-eligibles, is equally bullish on all three opportunities, Anderson said.

“We’d be willing to participate with anybody that is taking the responsibility and financial risk of coordinating both Medicaid and Medicare services,” he said. “In short, we’re kind of agnostic to the actual model because we feel like we can be supportive and beneficial to either type of program.”

Because Addus has a large percentage of Medicaid and senior clients, a substantial portion of its population is dually eligible.

“We would like to grow our dually eligible populations specifically through the expansion of dual-eligible projects such as [those] CMS is recommending.”

Additional reporting by Alex Spanko

The post Addus Exec: CMS’s Dual-Eligibles Move Encouraging for In-Home Care Providers appeared first on Home Health Care News.

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Source: CareTips

5 Reasons to Consider Taking Up Cross-Training for Seniors

Cross-Training-for-Seniors

If you’re looking for a new fitness mantra for your weekly workouts, you may want to consider “cross-training.”

A term with its roots in the athletic world, cross-training stems from the idea that training in a sport different from the one in which you already compete can actually enhance your overall skill and boost your performance.

While you may not be looking to enter the Olympics anytime soon, this notion of cross-training could still benefit your health and wellbeing in more ways than you know.

Benefits of Cross-Training?

In addition to being fun and refreshing, cross-training for seniors also offers:

Workout variety

Avoid falling into a workout rut by adding a little variety to the physical activities you do each week. If a daily walk is your go-to mode of exercise, try committing one day instead to light weightlifting, cycling, or resistance band training instead.

Incorporating different physical activities will keep your workouts interesting, exciting and more challenging.

Different muscle engagement

Is your fitness routine sufficiently engaging all your muscle groups equally? Chances are that one group, like your legs, get the brunt of a workout, while your arms, back, or core fall by the wayside.

Cross-training allows you to target a wider range of muscle groups and correct imbalances that may have occurred over the years.

Joint relief

Age-related wear and tear are often most notable in your joints. The cartilage that wears down over time is especially noticeable in the knees as you age.

Cross-training with low-impact activities like yoga and swimming can give your joints a break while still promoting flexibility, strength, and healthy weight management.

Injury prevention

You may be surprised to learn just how many “injuries” actually result from the repeated overuse of the body doing the same movements over and over for years.

Tendonitis (like tennis elbow) and IT band syndrome, for example, are often caused by repetitive activities. Cross-training reshapes your fitness routine to help you avoid the same repetitive activities and movements that can contribute to injury.

Rehabilitation

If you are recovering from an injury that has side-lined your usual sport or go-to workout regimen, cross-training provides an array of exercises that allow you to keep moving and rehabilitating while you heal.

Cross-Training Activities for Seniors

If you have been a runner your whole life or fell in love with weightlifting years ago, you may want to consider cross-training with activities like:

  • Yoga
  • Tai chi
  • Pilates
  • Hiking
  • Swimming
  • Dancing
  • Cycling
  • High-intensity interval training (HIIT)
  • Tennis
  • Bouldering
  • Rowing
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Body weight training

Tips for Cross-Training

When it comes to molding all your ideas and desires into a cross-training schedule that makes sense for your time and ability levels, planning ahead is a must.

Experts even say to go as far as to schedule out your 3 to 5 days of physical activity each week with notes on which activities you’ll do on which days.

For example, you may fill Monday with a yoga session and a hike. Tuesday you can work out to bicycling and body weight exercises. Wednesday you may attempt jogging or HIIT.

You can finish out the week with rowing, walking, and resistance band training. Or you can stick with your normal workout 4 days a week and switch up the 5th day with a new and different activity each week.

Experts recommend tracking your progress and making it a social affair by getting friends to join in on the fun. A workout partner isn’t just great company and motivation, but they can bring different fitness perspectives and exercise ideas to the table.

What if you and a friend alternate coming up with a surprise fitness activity to do one day a week as part of your cross-training journey? You never know what adventures you will get up to and what new physical feats you’ll accomplish!

The post 5 Reasons to Consider Taking Up Cross-Training for Seniors appeared first on Sixty And Me.

The post 5 Reasons to Consider Taking Up Cross-Training for Seniors appeared first on Best Homecare Tips.

Source: CareTips

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NewVision understands that navigating our healthcare system is complex for clients and families alike. That is why we also offer a comprehensive care management program that is strictly run by our advanced level nurses who are well-versed in the complexities of the healthcare system. Our approach is team-based and patient-centered, it is designed to make healthcare simple.  Services include but not limited:

  • Assess and develop individualized plan of care
  • Implementation of a comprehensive plan of care
  • Conduct ongoing assessments to monitor and implement changes in care
  • Oversee and direct care provided at home
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  • Assist families in positive decision making
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As clients transfer from acute and/or post acute care settings back into the communities, the process can be fragmented and as a result this can be detrimental to clients with complex care needs. Transitional care is there to prevent the care gap that exist between the “handoffs” from the hospital to the outpatient care teams. Our well trained and experienced advanced level nurses and nurse practitioners will connect the pieces from the acute and/or post acute care settings accurately. Our goal is to safely link clients back into the communities in a safe manner through coordination with inpatient, outpatient care teams along with family members. Our comprehensive plan of care is design to prevent unnecessary readmissions.

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