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Is it a Cold or is it the Flu?

Is it a Cold or is it the Flu?

During the fall and winter season, you are more likely to get sick. The problem is that sometimes it is hard to know if you just have a cold or if it is more severe, like the flu. We want you to stay healthy this winter! Below are some of the key differences between the common cold and the influenza virus, according to the CDC.

Cold:

  1. Symptoms are gradual.
  2. Normally you do not have a fever.
  3. You typically will not have aches and chills.
  4. Rarely will you have fatigue and weakness.
  5. It is common to sneeze and have a stuffy nose.
  6. Sore throats are common.
  7. Coughs and chest discomfort are mild to moderate.
  8. Headaches are rare.

Flu:

  1. Symptoms are abrupt.
  2. Fevers are common.
  3. Aches and chills are fairly common.
  4. Fatigue and weakness is usual.
  5. Sometimes you will sneeze and have a stuffy nose, but not always.
  6. Sometimes you will have a sore throat, but not always.
  7. Cough and chest discomfort is common and more severe.
  8. Headaches are common.

If you want to learn more about the key differences between a cold and the flu, attend the Winter Woes: Cold vs. Flu class. Remember you do not have to be a patient or resident to attend. Bring your friends and please register below!

YOU’RE INVITED

Attend a Free Learning Course


We're sorry, there are currently no classes scheduled at The Learning Center. Please check back at a later date for upcoming classes in your area.


Exercises & Activities to Increase Your Balance

Are you looking for ways to maintain or increase your balance? Strength and balance exercises play an important role in reducing your risk of falling. Below are some gentle exercises and activities you can do to improve strength, balance, flexibility and coordination.

Exercises

1. Walking is a low-impact exercise and has many health benefits. It is recommended to walk 30 minutes a day, three times per week. Use a walker or cane if needed.

2. Yoga is a gentle exercise that uses specific body movements to strengthen your muscles, while increasing balance and stability.

3. Tai Chi originates from China. It is similar to yoga and involves slow, meditative movements.

4. Water aerobics is a type of resistance exercise that generally takes place in waist-deep water in a swimming pool.

Activities

1. Stand on One Foot

  • Grab a sturdy object you can grip for balance.
  • Stand on one foot.
  • Hold for 10 seconds.
  • Repeat 10 times.
  • Repeat 10 times with the other leg.

2. Walk Heel to Toe

  • Put your right foot in front of your left foot. The heel of your right foot should be touching the toes of your left foot.
  • Then place your left foot in front of your right, putting your weight on your heel.
  • After, shift your weight to your toes.
  • Walk this way for 20 steps.

3. Back Leg Raises

  • Grab a sturdy object you can grip for balance, like a chair.
  • Slowly lift your right leg straight back. Do not bend your knees or point your toes.
  • Stay in that position for one second, and then bring your leg back down.
  • Repeat this 10-15 times per leg.

4. Side Leg Raises

  • Stand behind a chair with your feet slightly apart.
  • Slowly lift your right leg to the side.
  • Keep toe facing forward and your back straight.
  • Stay in that position for one second, and then lower your right leg down slowly.
  • Repeat this exercise ten to 15 times per leg.

“Walk daily. Involve yourself in exercises such as water aerobics, yoga, and balance exercises. This will help keep you young, strong and fit for life.” Dianne Doane-Bustetter, ARNP-BC, CWCN at Belleview Care Center


Don’t Fall! How to Avoid Fall-Related Injuries in Your Home

Most falls are preventable by taking a few extra steps in your home. There are simple actions you can take that will reduce your risk of tripping. Below you will find tips to avoid injury in your home.

  1. Use a cane or walker when walking through your house.
  2. Remove coffee tables, boxes and cords from hallways or areas you frequently walk through.
  3. Ensure the lights are on before using the stairs.
  4. Secure loose carpeting or scattered rugs with slip-resistant backing.
  5. Clean up spilled liquid or food from the floor without delay.
  6. Keep night lights on when navigating to the bathroom during the night.
  7. Place a bath seat or non-slip mats in your bathtub.
  8. Put devices in your home to assist you, such as hand rails on stairways, a raised toilet seat with armrests and grab bars for the shower.

Dr. Laura Cloukey, Medical Director at Pinellas Care Center shares her tips on how you can reduce your fall risk:

“Be aware of your environment. Put pride aside and use a walker or cane for gait stability. Falls occur commonly when people who are descending stairs have their minds on where they are going instead of where they currently are. Remember pets can easily get under your feet, be aware of their presence. Stay current on your eye care with vision correction efforts. Lastly, ask for assistance when needed. We all need a little help some of the time.” Dr. Laura Cloukey, Medical Director at Pinellas Care Center

 

If you do fall, we are here for you. Talk with your primary care physician first. If necessary, they will coordinate your care with one of our orthopaedic specialists.

To learn more about how you can prevent falls, join us for one of our free fall prevention classes. Register online at www.tvhealth.wpengine.com/learing-center.


Fall Prevention Tips

Are you worried about falling? Each year, millions of people over the age of 65 fall. According to the CDC, “Over 800,000 patients a year in the United States are hospitalized because of a fall injury, most often because of a head injury or hip fracture.”

September is National Fall Prevention month and we are sharing simple tips on how to decrease your risk of falling. Staying on your feet is key to keeping you out of the hospital so you can stay healthy and live out your dreams.

Below you will find several resources to help you prevent falls.

dON’T FALL! HOW TO AVOID FALL-RELATED INJURies IN YOUR HOME

Most falls are preventable by taking a few extra steps in your home. There are simple actions you can take that will reduce your risk of tripping. Below you will find tips to avoid injury in your home.

  1. Use a cane or walker when walking through your house.
  2. Remove coffee tables, boxes and cords from hallways or areas you frequently walk through.
  3. Ensure the lights are on before using the stairs.
  4. Secure loose carpeting or scattered rugs with slip-resistant backing.
  5. Clean up spilled liquid or food from the floor without delay.
  6. Keep night lights on when navigating to the bathroom during the night.
  7. Place a bath seat or non-slip mats in your bathtub.
  8. Put devices in your home to assist you, such as hand rails on stairways, a raised toilet seat with armrests and grab bars for the shower.

Dr. Laura Cloukey, Medical Director at Pinellas Care Center shares her tips on how you can reduce your fall risk:

“Be aware of your environment. Put pride aside and use a walker or cane for gait stability. Falls occur commonly when people who are descending stairs have their minds on where they are going instead of where they currently are. Remember pets can easily get under your feet, be aware of their presence. Stay current on your eye care with vision correction efforts. Lastly, ask for assistance when needed. We all need a little help some of the time.” Dr. Laura Cloukey, Medical Director at Pinellas Care Center

 

If you do fall, we are here for you. Talk with your primary care physician first. If necessary, they will coordinate your care with one of our orthopaedic specialists.

To learn more about how you can prevent falls, join us for one of our free fall prevention classes listed below.

rEGISTER FOR A FREE FALL PREVENTION CLASS

Do you find yourself losing your balance often? You are not alone! According to the CDC, one in three adults fall every year. We don’t want you to get hurt and become a fall victim. Join us to learn important information on how to reduce your risk of falling. Classes are free to the entire community. You do not have to be a patient or resident to attend, so bring your friends. Register below!

Fall Prevention

Belleview Care Center
Tuesday, September 4 at 10:00 AM

Santa Barbara Care Center
Friday, September 7 at 9:00 AM

Brownwood Care Center
Wednesday, September 12 at 1:00 PM

Belleview Care Center
Tuesday, September 18 at 1:00 PM

Creekside Care Center
Friday, September 21 at 9:00 AM

Colony Care Center
Tuesday, September 25 at 1:00 PM

How to improve your balance

Are you looking for ways to maintain or increase your balance? Strength and balance exercises play an important role in reducing your risk of falling. Below are some gentle exercises and activities you can do to improve strength, balance, flexibility and coordination.

Exercises

1. Walking

  • Walking is a low-impact exercise and has many health benefits. It is recommended to walk 30 minutes a day, three times per week. Use a walker or cane if needed.

2. Yoga

  • Yoga is a gentle exercise that uses specific body movements to strengthen your muscles, while increasing balance and stability.

3. Tai Chi

  • Tai Chi originates from China. It is similar to yoga and involves slow, meditative movements.

4. Water Aerobics

  • Water aerobics is a type of resistance exercise that generally takes place in waist-deep water in a swimming pool.

Activities

1. Stand on One Foot

  • Grab a sturdy object you can grip for balance.
  • Stand on one foot.
  • Hold for 10 seconds.
  • Repeat 10 times.
  • Repeat 10 times with the other leg.

2. Walk Heel to Toe

  • Put your right foot in front of your left foot. The heel of your right foot should be touching the toes of your left foot.
  • Then place your left foot in front of your right, putting your weight on your heel.
  • After, shift your weight to your toes.
  • Walk this way for 20 steps.

3. Back Leg Raises

  • Grab a sturdy object you can grip for balance, like a chair.
  • Slowly lift your right leg straight back. Do not bend your knees or point your toes.
  • Stay in that position for one second, and then bring your leg back down.
  • Repeat this 10-15 times per leg.

4. Side Leg Raises

  • Stand behind a chair with your feet slightly apart.
  • Slowly lift your right leg to the side.
  • Keep toe facing forward and your back straight.
  • Stay in that position for one second, and then lower your right leg down slowly.
  • Repeat this exercise ten to 15 times per leg.

“Walk daily. Involve yourself in exercises such as water aerobics, yoga, and balance exercises. This will help keep you young, strong and fit for life.” Dianne Doane-Bustetter, ARNP-BC, CWCN at Belleview Care Center


Tips for Healthy Aging

As you grow older, you may find yourself looking for ways to feel younger, healthier and happier. You might have a few wrinkles on your face and a couple gray hairs, but that shouldn’t stop you from living life to the fullest.

Our goal is to keep you healthy, and if you do get sick, to heal you quickly. Below you will find several tips and resources to help you age gracefully so you can enjoy your lifestyle for years to come.

7 Tricks for Eating Well

The Fundamentals of Nutrition

One of the best ways to age with grace is to maintain a healthy diet in your later years. “You are what you eat.” This means the food you put in your mouth directly impacts how you feel, and subsequently how well you live! Feeling great is the best way to enjoy your active lifestyle for as long as possible.

Below you will find tips and tricks to eat well and maintain a heart-healthy diet.

  1. Increase your consumption of non-starchy vegetables: You should eat 3-5 servings of vegetables per day. Some non-starchy vegetables include asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and tomatoes.
  2. Limit your sodium intake: The American Heart Association recommends no more than 1,500 mg of sodium per day for most adults.
  3. Limit processed foods and foods high in fat and sugar: You should avoid foods that are pre-packaged. In the grocery store, do not walk down the center aisles. Instead, shop the perimeter to buy whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, meats and dairy products.
  4. Choose whole grain products: A few examples of whole grains include brown rice, quinoa and oats.
  5. Use unsaturated fats, reduce saturated fats and eliminate trans-fats: Healthy fats include coconut oil, avocado, eggs and nuts.
  6. Increase water intake: The Mayo Clinic recommends 124 ounces (15.5 cups) of fluid for men and 92 ounces (11.5 cups) of fluid for women.
  7. Prepare foods baked, broiled and grilled: Avoid frying your food.

To learn more about nutrition and how you can age with grace with a heart healthy diet, visit https://TheVillagesHealth.com/Learning-Center. You don’t have to be a patient or resident of The Villages to attend, so bring your friends!

6 Ways to Get a Good Night’s Rest

Wake Up with Zest & Energy

Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up feeling rested and energized every morning? Well, it’s certainly possible – especially if you get a good night’s rest. We all know that sleep plays an important role in our overall health and well-being – but it’s not always easy to fall asleep and stay asleep.

It is recommended to get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep every night so you can be at your best during the day. But how do you ensure a good night’s rest? Keep reading for a few tips, and try to stay awake!

  1. Create a Sleep Schedule: Go to bed and wake-up at the same time every day, including the weekends. Doing this will help your body get in a consistent routine. It will help you fall asleep and stay asleep through the night.
  2. Exercise Daily: Exercise uses your bodies energy, which will help you fall asleep faster. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults:
    • Aim for 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week, like walking fast, dancing or swimming.
    • Do muscle-strengthening activities, like lifting weights or using exercise bands – at least 2 days per week.
  3. Avoid Naps: If you have trouble falling asleep, avoid napping. Do not take naps in the afternoon. Even short catnaps can cause some people to experience difficulty falling asleep.
  4. Evaluate Mattress and Pillows: Dust, moisture and debris cause mattresses and pillows to wear out. The life expectancy of a mattress is 8-10 years. The lifespan of a pillow is 2 years. If your pillows and mattress are no longer comfortable and supportive, it may be time to replace them.
  5. Beware of Bright Lights: Sometimes watching television and using your smartphone or laptop right before bed can cause a disruption in your ability to fall asleep because it activates your brain. Avoid bright lights one hour prior to bedtime.
  6. Establish a Bed Time Ritual: Relax before bedtime with activities such as reading a book, listening to soothing music or soaking in a warm bath.

Sleep plays a vital role in your health and well-being. Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your physical and mental health.

To learn more healthy sleep tips, register now for our free Getting a Good Night’s Sleep class. You don’t have to be a patient or resident of The Villages to attend, so bring your friends!

Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
Belleview Care Center
Thursday, August 23 at 10:00 AM

How to Age with Grace & Dignity

Seven Dimensions of Wellness to Live a Happier, Healthier Life

As you age, you may notice several changes in your health and wellness. You might struggle to hear your children speak on the phone. Seeing the television might be hard. You might move slower than you used to in your younger years.

These changes are inevitable, but there are ways you can continue to enjoy the later years of your life. The key is healthy mindset across seven dimensions of wellness.

Wellness is an active process where you decide to make choices towards a happier, healthier life in the following areas:

Physical Dimension

  1. Maintain a healthy body weight.
  2. Eat clean, healthy foods.
  3. Engage in exercise regularly.
  4. Get a good night’s sleep.

Spiritual Dimension

  1. Believe in a greater purpose.
  2. Appreciate life.
  3. Practice mindfulness. Live in the present.
  4. Be consistent in your beliefs, values and behaviors.

Financial Dimension

  1. Be aware of your current financial situation.
  2. Update your estate plan and living will.
  3. Review your credit report.
  4. Live within your means.

Environmental Dimension

  1. Protect and care for the environment.
  2. Clean up litter.
  3. Recycle and conserve resources.
  4. Choose environmentally-friendly products.

Social Dimension

  1. Nurture relationships with people who are respectful, positive and supportive.
  2. Give back and contribute to your community.
  3. Sustain a strong support network.
  4. Be conscious of the effects of your behaviors on others. Honor your commitments.

Emotional Dimension

  1. Be positive and have a friendly attitude.
  2. Learn how to handle stress and anxiety.
  3. Remember gratitude is a great attitude.
  4. Avoid criticism, judgment and blame.

Intellectual

  1. Open your mind to new ideas and experiences.
  2. Listen more.
  3. Learn new (or improve) skills and knowledge.
  4. Seek challenges daily.

“We’re the oldest ones in our neighborhood and as my neighbor pointed out, we are inspirations for how to grow old gracefully. The Villages Health encourages us to be healthy.”
John & Jane Munger, 90 and 92 years young, Patients at Creekside & Specialty Care Center

 

If you can conquer the seven dimensions of wellness, then you are sure to age with grace and dignity!

To learn more healthy aging tips, register now for The Art of Aging class. You don’t have to be a patient or resident of The Villages to attend, so bring your friends!

The Art of Aging
Belleview Care Center
Tuesday, August 21 at 2:30 PM


7 Tricks for Eating Well

One of the best ways to age with grace is to maintain a healthy diet in your later years. “You are what you eat.” This means the food you put in your mouth directly impacts how you feel, and subsequently how well you live! Feeling great is the best way to enjoy your active lifestyle for as long as possible.

Below you will find tips and tricks to eat well and maintain a heart-healthy diet.

  1. Increase your consumption of non-starchy vegetables: You should eat 3-5 servings of vegetables per day. Some non-starchy vegetables include asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and tomatoes.
  2. Limit your sodium intake: The American Heart Association recommends no more than 1,500 mg of sodium per day for most adults.
  3. Limit processed foods and foods high in fat and sugar: You should avoid foods that are pre-packaged. In the grocery store, do not walk down the center aisles. Instead, shop the perimeter to buy whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, meats and dairy products.
  4. Choose whole grain products: A few examples of whole grains include brown rice, quinoa and oats.
  5. Use unsaturated fats, reduce saturated fats and eliminate trans-fats: Healthy fats include coconut oil, avocado, eggs and nuts.
  6. Increase water intake: The Mayo Clinic recommends 124 ounces (15.5 cups) of fluid for men and 92 ounces (11.5 cups) of fluid for women.
  7. Prepare foods baked, broiled and grilled: Avoid frying your food.

To learn more about how you can age with grace, visit https://TheVillagesHealth.com/HealthyAging.

 


6 Ways to Get a Good Night’s Rest

Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up feeling rested and energized every morning? Well, it’s certainly possible – especially if you get a good night’s rest. We all know that sleep plays an important role in our overall health and well-being – but it’s not always easy to fall asleep and stay asleep.

It is recommended to get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep every night so you can be at your best during the day. But how do you ensure a good night’s rest? Keep reading for a few tips, and try to stay awake!

  1. Create a Sleep Schedule: Go to bed and wake-up at the same time every day, including the weekends. Doing this will help your body get in a consistent routine. It will help you fall asleep and stay asleep through the night.
  2. Exercise Daily: Exercise uses your bodies energy, which will help you fall asleep faster. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults:
    • Aim for 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week like walking fast, dancing or swimming.
    • Do muscle-strengthening activities, like lifting weights or using exercise bands – at least 2 days per week.
  3. Avoid Naps: If you have trouble falling asleep, avoid napping. Do not take naps in the afternoon. Even short catnaps can cause some people to experience difficulty falling asleep.
  4. Evaluate Mattress and Pillows: Dust, moisture and debris cause mattresses and pillows to wear out. The life expectancy of a mattress is 8-10 years. The lifespan of a pillow is 2 years. If your pillows and mattress are no longer comfortable and supportive, it may be time to replace them.
  5. Beware of Bright Lights: Sometimes watching television and using your smartphone or laptop right before bed can cause a disruption in your ability to fall asleep because it activates your brain. Avoid bright lights one hour prior to bedtime.
  6. Establish a Bed Time Ritual: Relax before bedtime with activities such as reading a book, listening to soothing music or soaking in a warm bath.

Sleep plays a vital role in your health and well-being. Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your physical and mental health.

To learn more healthy sleep tips, register now for our free Getting a Good Night’s Sleep class. You don’t have to be a patient or resident of The Villages to attend, so bring your friends!

Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
Belleview Care Center
Thursday, August 23 at 10:00 AM


How to Age with Grace & Dignity

As you age, you may notice several changes in your health and wellness. You might struggle to hear your children speak on the phone. Seeing the television might be hard. You might move slower than you used to in your younger years.

These changes are inevitable, but there are ways you can continue to enjoy the later years of your life. The key is healthy mindset across seven dimensions of wellness.

Wellness is an active process where you decide to make choices towards a happier, healthier life in the following areas:

Physical Dimension

  1. Maintain a healthy body weight.
  2. Eat clean, healthy foods.
  3. Engage in exercise regularly.
  4. Get a good night’s sleep.

Spiritual Dimension

  1. Believe in a greater purpose.
  2. Appreciate life.
  3. Practice mindfulness. Live in the present.
  4. Be consistent in your beliefs, values and behaviors.

Financial Dimension

  1. Be aware of your current financial situation.
  2. Update your estate plan and living will.
  3. Review your credit report.
  4. Live within your means.

Environmental Dimension

  1. Protect and care for the environment.
  2. Clean up litter.
  3. Recycle and conserve resources.
  4. Choose environmentally-friendly products.

Social Dimension

  1. Nurture relationships with people who are respectful, positive and supportive.
  2. Give back and contribute to your community.
  3. Sustain a strong support network.
  4. Be conscious of the effects of your behaviors on others. Honor your commitments.

Social Dimension

  1. Be positive and have a friendly attitude.
  2. Learn how to handle stress and anxiety.
  3. Remember gratitude is a great attitude.
  4. Avoid criticism, judgment and blame.

Intellectual

  1. Open your mind to new ideas and experiences.
  2. Listen more.
  3. Learn new (or improve) skills and knowledge.
  4. Seek challenges daily.

“We’re the oldest ones in our neighborhood and as my neighbor pointed out, we are inspirations for how to grow old gracefully. The Villages Health encourages us to be healthy.”
John & Jane Munger, 90 and 92 years young, Patients at Creekside & Specialty Care Center

 

If you can conquer the seven dimensions of wellness, then you are sure to age with grace and dignity!

To learn more healthy aging tips, register now for The Art of Aging class. You don’t have to be a patient or resident of The Villages to attend, so bring your friends!

The Art of Aging
Belleview Care Center
Tuesday, August 21 at 2:30 PM


Stay Safe Around Water

Who likes to swim? Swimming is a great exercise that builds muscle and develops endurance. It also is a great way to cool down during these hot summer days! In order to help you stay safe while participating in water activities, here are some helpful safety resources:

  • Wear Life Jackets: Many of us enjoy boating on the lake or in the ocean. When boating, it is always recommended to wear a life jacket. Even if you know how to swim, an emergency could happen that may impair your swimming ability. Just like you wear seatbelts in cars, make sure you wear life jackets on boats to ensure your safety.
  • Be Aware of Surroundings and Warning Signs: Sometimes when you are at the beach you may notice the lifeguard has put up a red flag. This flag notifies you that swimming conditions are dangerous. Avoid swimming when strong currents and riptides are present.
  • Know Your Limits: Swimming should be a fun activity, not stressful! Take a break if you are feeling tired while swimming.

One of the great things about living in Florida is that we have multiple bodies of water to swim in such as lakes, pools, rivers and oceans. Be safe and have fun out there!

To learn more summer safety tips, visit https://thevillageshealth.com/summer-safety.


Tips to Avoid Heat Strokes

Do you tend to get overheated? This is common, especially during these hot summer months in Florida. We have to be careful not to let our bodies get too hot. When your body reaches an extremely high temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit, you can be more susceptible to having a heat stroke. Heat strokes are the most serious form of heat injury. Some signs and symptoms include: nausea, rapid breathing, headaches and more. We don’t want you to have a heat stroke, so here are some tips to prevent them:

  • Drink Plenty of Fluids: Staying hydrated will allow your body to sweat and maintain a normal body temperature. Dehydration is a common cause of heat strokes so make sure you are drinking a lot of water! The Mayo Clinic recommends 124 ounces (15.5 cups) of fluid for men and 92 ounces (11.5 cups) of fluid for women.
  • Avoid Strenuous Activities: During the hottest parts of the day, limit physical activities. If you are exercising outdoors, plan to do it in the early morning or evening.
  • Take Caution with Medications: Certain medications can affect your body’s ability to stay cool and hydrated. Read the warning labels to make sure you don’t have a higher risk for a heat related injury.

“Drink plenty of fluids, avoid prolonged exercise and activities outdoors when temps are greater than 85 degrees. Take frequent breaks and dress in comfortable, cool clothing.”
Dr. Uyen Nguyen, Colony Care Center

 

If you happen to suffer from a heat related injury, call your doctor first. You don’t need to go to an urgent care facility. At The Villages Health, we have a doctor available 24/7. We also have on-site procedure rooms where we can provide you with IV fluids to re-hydrate your body.

To learn more summer safety tips, visit https://thevillageshealth.com/summer-safety.


Stay Informed

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When we were in Texas, sometimes I would sit waiting for my doctor for two hours. Here, we never have to wait. They are always ready for us.

Jim and Linda Ammons, Patients of Creekside Care Center