Study Shows Mentally Stimulating Activities Reduce Cognitive Impairment


By Kristina Mancino

          Mild cognitive impairment is known clinically as the intermediate stage between normal cognitive function and dementia. A new study researched whether or not mentally stimulating activities can reduce the risk of mild cognitive impairment. In several long-term studies, between 16 and 20 percent of people developed mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Mild cognitive impairment is the loss of cognitive function, it’s not severe enough to interfere with daily activities, but it’s likely 20 to 40 percent of people with MCI develop dementia.

         Dr. Yonas E. Geda from the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, AZ, led the new study, which took a look a the possible link between brain-stimulating activities and cognitive functioning in healthy adults aged 70+. The study also analyzed the influence of the apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 genotype. During the study, Mayo Clinic Study of Aging, 1,929 cognitively healthy seniors, were examined for 4 years to see how many would develop mild cognitive impairment. Dr. Geda and her team used the Cox regression models for statistical analysis and adjusted it for sex, age, and education.  Participants were given an examine before starting, all were cognitively normal and provided information about the brain stimulating activities they participated in during that year. Every 15 months each participant were given a neurocognitive assessment starting with the baseline for seniors. They also took blood tests to determine APOE ε4 genotyping with is commonly associated with a high risk of late-onset dementia. It has yet to be determined the mechanism responsible between the gene variant and the buildup of Alzheimer’s-related amyloid plaques.  

         The end result of the study showed 456 participants (over 23 percent) developed new-onset mild cognitive impairment. Furthermore, it was concluded that 512 participants (26.7 percent) carried the APOE ε4 genotype. The research also found that brain-stimulating activities such as computer use, crafts, social activities, and playing game significantly decreased the risk on new-onset mild cognitive impairment. Statistically, reading books was associated with a significant decrease. People who weren’t carriers of APOE ε4 genotype and participated in mentally stimulating activitied had the lowest risk of mild cognitive impairment. Noted, those did carry APOE ε4 and did not actively engage in mentally stimulating activities showed the highest risk of developing mild cognitive impairment.

         The conclusion of the study found that engaging in brain-stimulating activities later in life can lower the chances of developing MCI.

SMOKEY CHICKEN WITH AVOCADO SAUCE

SMOKEY CHICKEN WITH AVOCADO SAUCE

Ingredients

  • Chicken
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 14 ounces boneless chicken breast
  • Avocado Sauce
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Greek Yogurt or Homemade Mayo
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice.

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl combine oil, salt, smoked paprika and onion powder. Place chicken in a large zip top plastic bag and pour oil mixture over. Allow to marinate for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, make the avocado sauce by combining the avocado, Greek Yogurt, red onion cilantro, jalapeño and lime juice in a blender. Process until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. Preheat grill pan to medium heat. Remove chicken from marinate and place on grill pan. Cook about 8 minutes per side, or until cooked through.
  4. To serve, place chicken on a plate and top with avocado sauce.

Executive Order: Halt & Review of Consumer Protection Rule For Retirement

Executive Order: Halt & Review of Consumer Protection Rule For Retirement

By Kristina Mancino

         In April of 2017, The Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, better known as the “conflict-of interest rule,” was set to be complied by financial professionals. The federal rule would make financial professionals to act in the best interest of their clients regarding any investment advice on retirement accounts.

The Labor Department regulation covers financial professionals who are compensated for investment advice on 401(k)s, IRAs and other retirement accounts, whether through a flat fee or commission or other means. These professionals would have to adhere to a “fiduciary standard” that requires them to act in a client’s best interest — not their own.”

As the new President of the United States, Donald Trump, begins his first 100 days in office, he has sign a lot of executive orders. Some have been newsworthy while others slide by without anyone noticing. In the beginning of February, Donald Trump signed an executive order to further review, revise, or even get rid of the conflict-of-interest rule.

         So what does this mean for your retirement planning? Workers and other investors in IRAs, 401(k)s and similar account can continue to incur hidden fees that could chip away a person’s retirement security. It’s estimated, by proponents of the rule, that these fees cost Americans $17 billion a year on IRAs. The four-decades-old regulations on investment advice has been a hot topic with consumer advocated arguing that it’s outdated and lacks in protecting millions of Americans who are responsible for their own retirement plans through IRAs and 401(k)s.  

         To comply with the April 2017 deadline of implementing the new fiduciary standard, time and money have been spent by firms, brokers, and agents. Opponents of the conflict-of-interest rule argue that the new regulations would reduce advisers’ compensations from commissions and fees. This could result in higher services charges and could because unaffordable to small investors. Time will tell what happens with this new possible regulations. Either people will protected against hidden fees or they will continue to have to pay.

Natural Remedies for Rheumatoid Arthritis

By Kristina Mancino

                   Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) affects an estimated 1.5 million people in the United States. More women than men deal with this autoimmune disease that can reduce a person’s quality of life and cause disability or premature death. Before we discuss natural remedies for this disease, we need to first identify what it is and what causes it.  Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic disease in which the immune system attacks the individual’s own body tissues. Most commonly in small joints like the hands and feet, symptoms can also affect other parts like the lungs. RA creates inflammation which then causes the lining of joints to become thickened. If not checked, damage from inflammation can occur in the cartilage and bones. 

         Causes of RA is unknown but some information can be linked to genetics, environmental, and hormonal factors. Symptoms often begin around middle aged people or older. People commonly encounter inflammation, stiffness, pain, and swelling in the area of the joint. The body as a whole can experience fatigue and weight loss. Symptoms come and go over time and may vary from person to person. Before beginning any new treatment, including natural remedies, speak to a doctor to learn about the options and make appropriate lifestyle changes. If inflammation or symptoms become worse, talk to your doctor. 

          RA can be treated medically or non-medically, it’s not uncommon if both methods are combined. Since RA is a progressive disease, if it’s not treated and it becomes worse, treatment could be aggressive. It’s important to get a diagnosis, within 3 months of using disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) it can help reduce disease activity and prevent the joints from deforming. To help reduce discomfort and improve mobility, people with RA should discuss medical treatments with specialists and simple remedies that can help them.

         Physical therapy may help those who have RA according to clinical guidelines from Orgao Oficial da Sociedade Portugue sa de Reumatologia. Here are some suggested natural remedies for rheumatoid arthritis:

Stretching 

          A study published in Health Technology Assessment concluded simple stretches, as well as strengthening programs, of the muscle around the joint could relieve RA symptoms in the hands and wrists. It could be a more effective supplement to traditional care methods. To prevent undue stress, contact your doctor or physical therapist before beginning a stretching regimen. 

Exercise

          Stretching and dynamic low-stress workouts may help. Things like swimming or cycling can help strengthen the muscles around the joins affected by RA, reducing the impact and slowing the progression on joints. 

Heat and Cold

          Many experts have argued the medical evidence of putting heat and cold on the affected areas. It’s possible this method may provide relief to the sore areas on the body. People can use heat packs and ice packs at home. For a deeper level treatment, ultrasound heat and cold spray which can deliver into deep levels of tissue without noticeably changing the temperature of the skin. 

Balanced Rest

          Rest for aching joints is very important. Balancing strengthening exercise with the proper rest period should be closely monitored by a doctor and physical therapist. Note, too much rest can making aching joints worse.

Diet

         Since RA causes inflammation in the joints, maintaining an anti-inflammatory diet can be key in reducing inflammation and other symptoms of RA. Complementary Therapies in Medicine published a study with 600 participants who followed this plant-based diet. The diet was rich in fresh fruits and vegetable, whole grain, legumes, nuts, and seeds. During the study, researchers found a reduction of a specific protein that is know for causing inflammation. Those who followed an anti-inflammatory vegan diet showed a noticeable reduction of systemic inflammation. For overall wellbeing and to reduce pain, people with RA should maintain an anti-inflammatory diet to remain healthy. 

Supplements

          Supplements like fish oil from cold water fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, cod, and herring contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids helps to fight against the inflammatory disease by blocking inflammatory receptors in the body. The Nutrition Society used a study by meta-analysis, that indicated people who used both fish oil and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for an extended time saw a decrease in joint pain. 

          Other supplements like boswellia or frankincense may also relieve symptoms. Researcher found that turmeric showed promise in reducing joint inflammation. Turmeric can be added to spice food up without side effect. *It’s noted that people who use turmeric supplements should use caution. People who are on Warfarin and other blood-thinning medication should not use turmeric. 

          Probiotics can also be beneficial for people with RA, a recent study stated, probiotic, L. casei 01 improved disease activity and inflammation. People can get all the probiotics they need by simply incorporating food such as yogurt, pickles, and cheese.

         Supplements may provide people with RA relief from this progressive disease but it’s important to speak with a doctor before taking any of these supplements because some can cause adverse side effects.. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) do not regulate herbs and supplements. 

Lifestyle Changes

It’s important to reduce any daily stresses on the body and mind. Things like mindful meditation, Tai chi, yoga, and qi gong can bring balance and relaxation to the body. Introducing these little changes can make a big impact to diminishing joint pain.

*Make sure to speak with you doctor and physical therapist before beginning any of these natural remedies.

White Bean Tuna Salad

(Photography Credit: Elise Bauer)

White Bean Tuna Salad

Deliciously packed with Omega-3 and Protein. Great for people who are on an anti-inflammatory diet.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (15.5 oz.) cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can tuna packed in olive oil (5-6 oz.); olive oil drained
  • 1 cup chopped curly parsley
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 1/4 cup finely diced onion
  • (We like vidalia onions, but you can use any kind you’d like)
Dressing Ingredients:
  • 3 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
  • Dash of black pepper
  • Dash of sea salt

Directions:

  1. In small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix beans, drained tuna, parsley, arugula and onions. 
  3. Drizzle dressing over salad; eat immediately or store in a tupperware container for up to 2 days.

Anti-Inflammatory Diet Linked To Osteoporosis Prevention

By Kristina Mancino

          The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that more than 53 millions people, in the United States, has or has the risk of developing osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition that affects our bones, it reduces strength which leads to a higher risk of fractured bones. It is the leading cause of fractures in postmenopausal women and the elderly. Injuries to the hip, wrist, and spine are most common with hip fractures being the most serious due to hospitalization and surgery. In previous years, it was believed to be a natural part of age but as research furthers, medical experts say it can be and should prevented.

         A new study lead by Tonya Orchard, an assistant professor of human nutrition at the Ohio State University, found a link between nutrition and osteoporosis. The study was published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Density. Orchard and her team investigated data from the Women’s Health Initiative (WIH), the largest health study of postmenopausal women, was used to compared levels of inflammatory nutrients in the diet with bone mineral density (BMD) level and fracture incidence. Loss of bone mass can happen to anyone, postmenopausal women have higher risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures. The study wanted conducted to see if there were benefits to maintaining an anti-inflammatory diet.

         From the longitudinal study, conducted between 1993 and 1998, researchers used the dietary inflammatory index (DII) comparing the measurements with the risk of fractures in the hip, lower-arm, or other fractures. To assist the changes in BMD and DII, food frequency questionnaires were given to 160,191 women, average aged 63, reported they did not have a history of hip fractures at the beginning of the study. For 6 years the women were studied, of the BMD data 10,290 women collected fraction data. Orchard used Cox models to calculate fracture hazard rations and adjust for age, race, ethnicity, and other variables.

          The study found that highly inflammatory diets were linked to fractures, but only in those of younger Caucasian women. Results in women under the age of 63 also found correlations of low-inflammatory diets and its benefits in helping young Caucasian to lowering the risk of osteoporosis and the prevention of loss of bone mass. White women, 63 years old and younger, with a higher DII score had a 50 percent higher risk of hip fractures. Women who had a lower inflammatory diet overall had lower bone density. As mentioned above, it’s suggested that a high quality, anti-inflammatory diet can prevent and lower risks of osteoporosis. A list of foods that support an anti-inflammatory diet include: fruit, vegetables, fish, whole grains, and nuts.

“[Our study] suggests that as women age, healthy diets are impacting their bones. I think this give us yet another reason to support the recommendations for a healthy diet in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.” – Tonya Orchard

The study’s senior author and director of Ohio State’s Center for Clinical and Translational Science, Rebecca Jackson, says the study confirms previous studies of inflammatory factors and how they increase the risk of osteoporosis.

“By looking at the full diet rather than individual nutrients, these data provide a foundation for studying how components of the diet might interact to provide benefit and better inform women’s health and lifestyle choices,” Jackson says.

 

4th of July Firecracker Jell-O Cups!

jello shots july 4

These Red, white, and blue 4th of July Firecracker Jell-O shots will be the hit at your Independence Day celebrations.

Do you host or attend a large July 4th party with family or friends? July 4th is one of our favorite holidays. There is nothing better than spending time with family, friends, enjoying great food and fireworks. I decided to feature these Firecracker Jell-O cups because they are kid-friendly. Plus, in my opinion, Jell-O for summer BBQ’s is always super fun. My girls are the first to snag a cup or load their plate with any Jell-O or treats we serve up. Jell-O is such a fun food. I am thinking the colors are what really puts all of us in a fun mood. It’s easy and fun to make these simple layers of Jell-O in small cups with a cherry on top to resemble a firecracker. How cute and fun! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend and enjoy your time with your loved ones.

Ingredients

 

  • 1 Blue Jell-O Gelatin (like 3 oz package Berry Blue)
  • 1 Red Jell-O Gelatin (like 3 oz package Cherry)
  • 1 envelope Unflavored Gelatin (like Knox)
  • 1 1/3 cups boiling Water
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • Maraschino Cherries drained

 

 

Instructions

  1. If you can find tall shot glasses they will work best, but any clear glass will do.
  2. Place blue gelatin in a bowl and add 2/3 cup boiling water.
  3. Stir well until dissolved and allow to cool.
  4. Fill each cup 1/3 full of blue and place in refrigerator.
  5. Add 1/3 cup of milk to another bowl and sprinkle unflavored gelatin over top.
  6. Heat remaining 2/3 cup of milk to a boil.
  7. Remove from heat and stir in sugar to dissolve.
  8. Add heated milk to gelatin/milk mixture and stir until blended.
  9. Allow to cool.
  10. Gently fill all cups the next 1/3 of the way with white mixture and return to refrigerator.
  11. Place red gelatin in a bowl and add 2/3 cup boiling water.
  12. Stir well until dissolved and allow to cool.
  13. Place a cherry on top of each glass and add about 1/4″ of red gelatin to each.
  14. Place in refrigerator for 5 minutes.
  15. Pull from refrigerator and try to adjust to get stems to point upward.
  16. Fill each cup the rest of the way with red and place in refrigerator.

 

 

 

Cheers!

Happy Independence Day!!

Brought to you by Compass Senior Solutions

Loved one needing more help with daily living activities?
Can’t reach anyone on this holiday weekend?
Compass is here to meet all of your weekend needs!

Call us today at 407-630-0111!

 

5 Ways for Children to Volunteer with Senior Citizens

Make a Senior Smile Today

Gardeners...

One of the greatest gifts you can give is your time…
In 2010, there were 40.3 million adults over the age of 65 living in the U.S. This number is only expected to grow, which means that there are plenty of older adults to share your days with. Many senior citizens do not have children or grandchildren to visit them and their spouses or friends may not be around to socialize or keep them company. Because of this, many senior citizens would appreciate a visit from families with children. Hearing a child’s laughter and seeing a child’s smiling face may be just the thing to make them feel special.

Even if you don’t have an older adult in your life, you can still make someone’s day. We have ideas for five great ways to volunteer as a family. With these ideas, you will be guaranteed to make an older adult feel special and appreciated for all the good that they have done over the years.
If you know of an older adult who lives alone in your neighborhood, you and your children may wish to surprise him or her with some help around the house. Many senior citizens enjoy the independence of living alone in their own home, but there are plenty of projects that they would enjoy being helped with. Visit a neighbor and help them with these tedious tasks that can easily be forgotten about:
1. Help with Yardwork:
  • Mow the lawn while your children pull weeds around the house.
  •  Help with watering the flowers.
  • Pick up sticks or large branches in the yard and haul them away.
  • Clean out the gutters and have your kids read a story or go on a walk with your neighbor.
  • Dust and vacuum the house.
  • Clean out the kitchen cupboards and drawers.
  •  Clean out the closets and sort out items to donate to charity.
  •  Clean out the garage and dispose of any unwanted items, including any unwanted vehicles.
2. Visit a Retirement Home:

  • Bring in a collection of games to enjoy together. Ideas include Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit, Monopoly, Life, Apples to Apples, Clue, Yahtzee, Sorry, or Scattergories.
  •  Bring in movies that both kids and adults can enjoy. Consider movies such as Up, The Wizard of Oz, Finding Nemo, Mary Poppins, and Frozen.
  •  Help residents put together a family tree, scrapbook, or photo album. Interview residents and include their questions and answers in the scrapbook.
  •  If your children are old enough to navigate the internet, spend the day teaching residents how to use computers and the internet.

3. Start a Book Club:

  • Start a book club with your older neighbors around the neighborhood.
  • Start a book club with their grandparents and their friends.
  • Start one at your local retirement community. Walk around the community and ask others to join in. Take turns reading books at different times. Share your different point of views.

4. Ask Questions:

You and your children probably wish you knew more about your parents, grandparents, great grandparents, or older relatives. What were their hobbies? What did they want to be when they “grew up?” Who was their first date? This information is important for children to have and it’s something that they will cherish as they grow older. As a family, put together a list of interview questions for a senior citizen in your life. Ask them questions such as:
  •  What is your first memory?
  • How did your parents meet?
  • What did you like most about your childhood home?
  • How did your family celebrate holidays when you were a child? What is your favorite holiday memory?
  • How did you meet your spouse? What did you like most about him or her
  • Ask them about their wedding day and honeymoon. Ask to see photos of the wedding or any special items that they have saved over the years.
  •   Ask about their interests and hobbies.
  •   Have them explain their experiences as a parent (if they are).

5. Create homemade baskets:

  • Put together gift baskets or gift bags filled with cookies, candies, baking mixes, jams, crackers, and other fun snacks. Bring them to a retirement community and have your children distribute them amongst the residents.
  • Create a gift basket with fitness tools to encourage seniors to stay fit and strong. Light weights, stretch bands, a gentle exercise video, or even a yoga mat might be good ideas.
  • Create a gift basket with different types of stationary, such as notepads, pens, paper, greeting cards, tape, and folders.
  • Put together a game basket with puzzles, word finds, and board games.
  • Make a gift bag with craft supplies, yarn, sewing materials, and patterns that can be used for knitting or crocheting.

Full article here

Finding the right senior living option can be an overwhelming and emotionally draining process. Let us take away those worries and navigate you to a better tomorrow.

Call Compass Senior Solutions today
at 407-630-0111!

Ready to meet this Summer’s premier cocktail?

Say hello to the Paloma cocktail! Summer’s easiest cocktail to make!

Paloma cocktail

Happy Friday to everyone! Summer has officially begun!

 

Summer is always hectic for me with the kids being out of school, the July 4th holiday and several family birthdays to celebrate. As many of you may already know, the Paloma is probably one of the simplest cocktails to make but it doesn’t make it any less tastier! The Paloma is the perfect cocktail to feature to kick off the Summer season.

Yields 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups silver tequila
  • 4 ½ cups grapefruit soda
  • juice of 6 limes + lime wedges to garnish

Instructions

  1. Combine tequila, grapefruit soda, and lime juice in a pitcher; stir to combine.
  2. Pour over ice-filled glasses and garnish each with a wedge of lime.
  3. Serve immediately & enjoy!

Full recipe details at Goop

Cheers!

Brought to you by Compass Senior Solutions

Loved one needing more help with daily living activities?
Can’t reach anyone on a weekend?
Compass is here to meet all of your weekend needs!

Call us today at 407-630-0111!

Why Hungry Seniors Aren’t Getting Enough To Eat

When we picture hungry Americans, we may see the faces of children, or single moms. But many of the people who struggle to fill their bellies are beyond age 65. Some of them are even malnourished, a condition that sets them up for all kinds of other health risks, like falling.

Malnutrition may go undetected — by the general public and by doctors — until the seniors show up in the emergency room, often for an injury or other reason.

A study published online on Aug. 12 in the Annals of Emergency Medicine found that more than half of the elderly patients who visited an emergency room were malnourished or at risk for malnutrition. Other studies have estimated that about 6 percent of elderly people living on their own are malnourished, but rates are as high as 85 percent in hospitals and long-term care facilities.

Timothy Platts-Mills, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was the lead author of the paper. He says malnourished seniors “fly under the radar.” And he was surprised to see the prevalence rate of malnutrition as high as it was – 60 percent — among the 138 elderly patients surveyed for the study. Each had visited the emergency department during the study’s two-month period in 2013.

Tom Neville of Catholic Services knocks before entering with a Meals on Wheels delivery to an elderly widow on March 12, in Hainesville, N.J.

Tom Neville of Catholic Services knocks before entering with a Meals on Wheels delivery to an elderly widow on March 12, in Hainesville, N.J.

John Moore/Getty Images

When Platts-Mills and his co-authors asked the seniors who were diagnosed with malnutrition through a screening process why they weren’t getting enough to eat, they cited a variety of reasons — depression, dental problems, other difficulties in eating and difficulty buying groceries.

The good news, Platts-Mills says, is that if they can be identified, many seniors who are at risk can be linked to services like Meals-On-Wheels and food pantries that can help them get access to good quality food.

“For some of these patients, we’re not going to change what happens — they may have a terminal illness,” he says. “But for others, we can have a lasting impact on health and quality of life. That’s a group we should be identifying nationally, and we’re talking about a relatively inexpensive intervention.”

According to Feeding America, a national food assistance organization, seniors are among the most food insecure of all people in the U.S.; one in three recurrent food bank clients is 60 or older.

Some food banks are now specifically targeting the elderly, like one in rural Arkansas profiled in this National Geographic multimedia feature on hunger.

Article source, NPR

If you are noticing your aging loved one’s daily needs or hygiene declining, it may be time to look into their senior care choices.

Give us a call today at 407-630-0111