January 2014

A First for The Meadows: The Anti-Gravity Treadmill

Skilled rehab just got better in Nashville. The Meadows Skilled Rehab Center is the first skilled nursing facility in Nashville to install the new AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill. The new treadmill is a game changer in physical therapy rehabilitation. Whether patients are dealing with lower body injuries or chronic pain neurological conditions that inhibit mobility, patients can benefit from the “unweighting” capabilities of the Anti-Gravity Treadmill.

AlterG TreadmillThe AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill is ideal for senior patients recovering from neurologic and orthopedic-related injuries. The treadmill reduces gravity’s impact by selecting any weight between 20% and 100% of your body weight by 1% increments. The Anti-Gravity Treadmill also provides long-term care patients a way to safely improve their functional mobility and overall health.

The treadmills allows patients and the physical therapist to:

  • Walk or run with no pain while maintaining a normal gait.
  • Reduce stress on joints and injured areas of your lower body.
  • Gain the confidence and ability to run or walk longer and recover faster with less pain.
  • Accelerate therapy after surgery, injury or other mobility impairment.
  • Potentially prevent functional decline and enable greater independence during essential activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, getting up from a chair, and using the bathroom.

At The Meadows, both short-term skilled rehab patients and residents have access to the skilled rehabilitation facilities. Skilled rehab care is available at The Meadows for anyone needing special recovery care after a hospital stay. Many of the patients needing rehab care come directly from the hospital following strokes, traumatic injury, hip and knee fractures, or surgery. The specialized care is designed to aid patients who need additional care and rehabilitation before transitioning back to their home.

If you have questions or an upcoming need, please email Rhonda Furlough or call 615-662-3214 for more information.

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Six Ways to Prevent Medication Mistakes

Woman-reading-med-labelTaking medication correctly is vitally important for seniors. When doses are skipped or not taken appropriately, the results can be serious. Approximately 200,000 older adults are hospitalized annually due to adverse drug reactions.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 55 percent of older Americans don’t take their prescriptions according to the doctor’s orders. The average older adult may take five or more prescriptions daily, as well as over-the-counter medications such as antacids, pain-killers, laxatives and allergy medications.

Here are some of the most common problems with prescription non-adherence and some tips on preventing medication mistakes.

  1. Vision Problems.  Inability to read small print or distinguish between pills can lead to misuse. Ask the pharmacist for medications labels in a larger print size or ask for different color bottle lids.
  2. Hearing Loss.  Hearing can keep a patient from hearing the proper instructions given by their physician and/or pharmacist. Seniors should always get instructions in writing.
  3. Memory Loss.  Some seniors may simply forget to take their medicine or double up on doses. Use a pill organizer. There are different kinds available with built-in reminders.
  4. Swallowing Problems.  Some older people may have trouble swallowing a tablet or capsule due to health conditions. They may try to chew, crush, break or mix the tablet or capsule in food or drink. This can cause a negative effect because some are long-acting medicines that will be released too fast. Other medicines either will not work properly. Never crush pills without asking your physician or pharmacist if it is all right. Ask the pharmacist if the drug comes in a different form like a liquid.
  5. Social Isolation.  Studies have shown that persons who live alone are more likely to miss medications. Home health care can assist in making sure seniors take their prescriptions in a timely manner. Or, it may be time to look into a senior residential community where medicines can be monitored.
  6. Income.  Low-income seniors, or those on fixed incomes, may not have the money to buy the medications they need. Some will split pills or cut back on the prescribed doses. Research financial assistance programs and ask your pharmacy about discount programs available. Use generic drugs when possible.

An advocate in helping sort out prescription issues is your pharmacist. Make sure you fill all prescriptions at the same pharmacy, so the pharmacist is aware of all the medications you or your senior is taking, and can look out for potential drug interactions.

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Events and Info

TTB_logotypeFinancial Strategies for Seniors – February 11

Kendall Regen and Craig Hendrix will be with us on Tuesday, February 11, 2:00 pm, at The Meadows, to discuss little-known tax strategies, investing and estate planning. The free program is presented by Granite Financial and Regen Tax. The popular CPA duo can be heard on Tennessee Tax Busters on 1510 WLAC each Saturday at 10 am.


Healthy Cooking Demonstration – February 19

Join us on Wednesday, February 19 at The Meadows when Gordon Foods provides a free Healthy Cooking Demonstration. Tasty and healthy can go together in easy, delicious combinations.


Like us on Facebook

Keep up with the activities at The Meadows and Heartland by “liking us” on Facebook. Each month, we will have a drawing for a free $25 gift card or donate $25 to the Alzheimer’s Association in your name.

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Having a Healthy Heart for God

JAM_0830During the month of February, a great deal of emphasis is placed on the physical heart and is even referred to as “Heart Month”. While we know the importance of keeping our hearts strong and healthy, February is also a good time to check our hearts in a spiritual sense.  The Bible mentions the word “heart” 867 times with much attention given to instruction about the care and safe-keeping of our hearts.

Our hearts are vital in maintaining a healthy relationship with God

1 Samuel 16:7 states, “But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

A strong heart will outweigh our physical difficulties

2 Corinthians 4:16, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.”

The heart is the center of our emotions

Terms such as heartbroken, heartsick, heartache are often used to refer to human suffering. God consoles our hearts in John 14:27. “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

The good and evil man is identified through his heart

Luke 6:45 says, “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.”

God’s promises are fulfilled in the heart

Psalm 24:3-5,  “Who may ascend the hill of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false.  He will receive blessing from the LORD and vindication from God his Savior.”

As we consider the health of our hearts this month, go to the Bible for a real ‘heart check-up’.

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The Flu Season and What Seniors Need to Know

flu-shot-signIt’s not too late to be vaccinated against the flu, and no, the vaccine can’t give you the flu.

The flu season is in full swing, with reports of high levels of influenza reports in the Southeast.  Three flu strains are circulating this year, the most common of which is H1N1, and, according to experts, the flu vaccine this year contains antibodies to H1N1 and is an excellent match.  It’s still not too late to get a flu and/or pneumonia immunization because the flu season usually extends through March.

Flu vaccines have shown to be effective for around one-quarter of older adults. And seniors who get the flu vaccine have significantly lower rates of sickness and death.  Seniors who get the flu also have a higher chance of getting pneumonia, so a pneumonia vaccine also may be recommended at the time of an influenza shot.

Keeping our immune systems healthy is important as we age.  The aging process reduces the immune system response. So the older we get, the more susceptible we become to infections, inflammatory diseases and cancer. In fact, the leading causes of death for people over age 65 across the world are respiratory infections, influenza and pneumonia.

Additional steps seniors can take to stay healthy during the flu season.

  1. Wash your hands often with soap and water.
  2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, and be sure to cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze.  Also try to avoid contact with anyone who is ill.
  3. Exercise regularly.  Physical activity promotes circulation, heart health, and relaxes the body and mind. Walks, bike rides, yoga classes and other forms of exercise help boost seniors’ immune system performance and ward off infections.
  4. Stay positive.  A healthy outlook on life will boost our endorphins, which make us feel good. Seniors who keep up with activities and hobbies that make them happy or challenge them in an enjoyable way have a better chance of staying positive and healthy.
  5. Get plenty of sleep.  A natural immune system booster, sleep helps us respond better to stress and inflammation. It’s also shown to improve our response to the flu vaccine.
  6. Drink plenty of fluids and eat healthy foods.  Fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, and zinc are essential to good health. Foods like kale, broccoli, avocados, certain mushrooms, berries and others have shown to improve seniors’ immune system performance.
  7. Wipe down doorknobs, bathroom faucets and phones with a household disinfectant and make sure linens are washed and dried on a hot setting on a regular basis.

Signs and Symptoms of the Flu

Signs of the flu are similar to those of a common cold. Seniors or their caregivers should seek immediate attention if they have:

  • Fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
  • Cough and/or sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Headaches and/or body aches including pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Chills
  • Fatigue and/or confusion
  • Nausea, sudden dizziness, vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Seizures
  • Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return

Prevention is the key to staying healthy this flu season.

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The New Year Healthy Checklist for Seniors

Healthy-ChecklistIt’s a New Year and it might be time to think about some of the suggested tests that will keep you healthy, happy and safe. The following list of routine tests are recommended for those older than 60.  Before you go to the physician, write down a list of issues and questions to take with you.  And don’t forget to be honest with your physician about medication, exercise or any changes in your overall health.

  1. Blood Pressure.  Your blood pressure should be checked by your doctor at least once a year.
  2. Weight Changes.  Weight changes up or down should be noted.  As our metabolism slows down, we tend to gain weight.  And any weight loss might signal another problem.
  3. Rectal and Fecal Occult Blood Test.  An annual rectal exam and a fecal occult blood test (FOBT) will tell if there are any masses or subtle bleeding that can not be seen with the naked eye.
  4. Color Cancer Screening.  A colonoscopy should be done every 10 years beginning at age 50.
  5. Breast exam and mammogram for women.  Breast cancer increases with age.  A mammogram is recommended every one to two years.
  6. A Pelvic exam and pap smear for women. Pap smears are recommended for women every three years.  If a women is older than 65 and has had three negative pap smears in a row or has had a total hysterectomy, a pap smear can be omitted.
  7. Eye Exams.  Your eyes should be checked yearly after the age 60 to detect macular degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma.
  8. Hearing Test.  At least 30% of people older than age 60 have some hearing loss, most of which is treatable. Get a hearing test at least once every three years.
  9. Bone Density Test.  Osteoporosis is especially prevalent among women.  If you have it and you suffer a fracture — especially of the hip — you’ve significantly increased your risk of permanent disability or death. Ask your doctor to refer you for a bone density test. Women should have a bone density test at age 65.
  10. Cholesterol Screening.  High cholesterol levels are a major reason why people have heart attacks and strokes. That is why measuring your levels of total cholesterol, HDL “good” cholesterol and LDL “bad” cholesterol, is important to do regularly.
  11. Vaccinations. People older than age 65 should get a pneumococcal vaccine to protect against pneumonia. Anyone older than age 50 should get an annual flu shot.
  12. Blood Sugar. Diabetes is a potentially life-threatening condition, but it doesn’t have to be. The American Diabetes Association recommends that a fasting blood sugar test be done at least once every 3 years, so you can catch diabetes early and manage it.
  13. Dental Exam. Gum disease can be an important indicator of your overall health. Your teeth, gums, mouth, and throat need to be regularly examined by a dentist. Regular brushing with fluoride toothpaste and flossing is important.
  14. Moles and Skin Cancers.  Don’t forget to ask your doctor to check your skin for unusual moles or skin changes once a year.

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Events and Info

5 cube
Watch Ask the Expert on NewsChannel 5+
Morning Line with Nick Beres
Wednesday, January 8 | 8:00 – 9:00 a.m.
See our own Amy Young, Social Services Director, and Brenda Underwood, Director of Nursing talk about skilled rehab and memory care.

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Rejoice in the Seasons of Life

JAM_0830While some of us may be longing for the longer, warmer days of Spring, take some time to reflect on the peaceful view of new-fallen snow; the crisp blue of a winter sky and the vibrant sunsets at the end of a bright, cold day. Winter, even with its challenges, is a beautiful time of the year.

Just as there is beauty in each Season in our world, there is also beauty in the “Seasons” of our lives. Our years are often compared to physical seasons with childhood and adolescence being compared to spring, young adulthood as summer, mid-life as autumn and our older years as winter. Each season has its own unique characteristics, struggles and joys.

Think back on those times as a young person when you longed to be older, taller, bigger, smarter. When being a ‘grown-up’ seemed to hold a freedom that you could only imagine. Then as time passed and you realized the responsibilities that came with being an adult, you wished for those carefree days of youth. The Bible teaches us that God has designed our lives to be enjoyed in each stage, and as we grow and mature physically, we are to grow and mature in our spiritual walk as well.I Corinthians 13 compares the progression of our spiritual growth to that of putting away childish things and looking at things in a mature manner as we grow older. He expects us to enjoy our lives, more with each passing year as we grow to trust Him more.

As we begin a new year, let us all rejoice in our individual season of life and find the blessings that we are given – Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall.

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