HEALTH IN THE VALLEY
Element Care: Top 12 Ways to Support Healthy Aging for Older Adults
September is Healthy Aging Month, which was designated to focus national attention on the positive aspects of growing older. To support this month, Element Care developed the top 12 ways to support Healthy Aging for Older Adults. This list was created to help older adults age well so they can continue to live independently and to build awareness for National PACE Month and National Healthy Aging Month. Among the top 12 items included on the list are:
Get your immunizations: Get ready for flu season! Make sure to get your annual flu shot and other vaccinations for shingles, pneumonia, etc.
Be Mindful of Your Medications: Remembering to take all your medications can be challenging, especially if like many older adults you take many medications each day. Taking too many or too few of your medications can put you at risk for dizziness, falls or other serious side effects so it is important to use a system such as a 7-day medication planner to ensure that you take all your meds every day.
Consider Using Telehealth Tools to Stay Safe: With the onset of COVID-19, telehealth tools have been growing in popularity. See if your provider offers these convenient, fast and safe ways to see your doctor and other clinical professionals.
To read the complete Top 12 Ways to Support Healthy Aging for Older Adults and see how Element Care helps its participants address them, click here.
ESMV-NS Pilot Launch Virtual Matter of Balance Program
One in four older adults falls every year, and falls are a leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries. Falls threaten seniors’ safety and independence and generate enormous economic and personal costs. Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley and North Shore have launched the first-of-its kind virtual version of It’s a Matter of Balance (MOB) program to reduce the risk of falls.
The four-week MOB virtual workshop is conducted over nine sessions and led by trained coaches over Zoom. The program’s goal is to reduce fear of falling by emphasizing practical coping strategies and increase activity levels and confidence among older adults.
The in-person version of the program had been on pause because of COVID until MaineHealth, the home of the MOB program, reached out to Elder Services about creating a virtual version. ETHOS of Boston and Bristol Elder Services joined ESMV-NS to pilot the program via Zoom thanks to funding from the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation.
The program is shown to reduce costs in unplanned hospitalization, skilled nursing and home health and a $938 decrease in total annual medical costs.
Virtual MOB workshops are being held this month and through October. For more information about Matter of Balance and this pilot program, visit here.
WELLNESS AROUND THE WEB
Here’s Why Prebiotic Fiber Is the Most Important Kind You Can Eat
Probiotics — the beneficial bacteria that live in our gastrointestinal tract — are important for overall health, but there’s another component to a healthy gut that is equally important.
Prebiotic fiber is an indigestible fiber that can’t be completely broken down in your stomach. Instead, these fibers are fermented by probiotic gut bacteria in your small intestine and colon where they provide food for those same bacteria.
“Prebiotics and probiotics work together to support your health in almost countless ways,” ChowHound.com explains, “When the bacteria ferment prebiotic fibers, it produces important byproducts, including the production of essential nutrients and short-chain fatty acids.” Studies show that low levels of short-chain fatty acids are linked to digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis and more.
According to the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, the highest amounts of prebiotics are found in raw versions of garlic, onions, asparagus, leeks, bananas and seaweed.
Is the Living Mushroom Coffin the Way of the Future?
It can take up to a decade for a human body to decompose from within a conventional coffin, but the “Living Cocoon” can compost a corpse in just two to three years.
The Living Cocoon, developed by Bob Hendrikx, expedites the decomposition process and enriches the soil, DutchNews.nl reports.
Hendrikx expects the Living Cocoon will be able to complete this entire process in two to three years. Not only are the waste products from the human body converted into nutrients, but the quality of the surrounding soil is also improved, giving it new life and an opportunity to thrive.
The production process takes several weeks and the mycelium is grown in the shape of a coffin and then dried naturally, pausing its growth. Once it has been exposed to ground water for some time, the mycelium starts to live again, starting the composting process.