They fought for rights. They fought for values. They fought for freedom. They fought to defend Old Glory. They fought because someone else fought before they did. They fought for what was right.
They fought on foreign soil where they were hated. They fought against those who had no regard for human life. They fought to save women and children. They fought to free the oppressed.
They provided security to those who lived in constant fear. They gave medical care to the wounded. They brought food to the starving and water to the desperate. They gave hope to those who had lost everything.
They are men. They are women. They are young and full of life. They are aging gracefully. They come from all backgrounds. And they all have one thing in common…
They served for us.
Veterans are our nation’s greatest treasure. They protect our lives. They protect our liberties. They protect our happiness. They hold our history in their hands.
On behalf of the St. William’s Living Center community, we thank you, veterans.
joy of the season and with all of its good cheer and merriment, most of us find
only shifting spurts of jolliness here and there during the holidays. Of course, this oftentimes is self-imposed,
with the expectations of “doing it all”, like putting up the most awesome Christmas
tree and lights, doing cookie and candy exchanges, sending packed Christmas
letters, and buying the right presents for everyone and their brother, and
making sure this Christmas is the best one for the kids. Too much of a good thing, I suppose,
about those dear people who find this time fraught with sadness? There are all sorts of reasons or situations
that preclude some from the Christmas spirit, be it lingering loneliness with a
lack of family connection or close friends, the reality of setting the table
for one less person due to a loss in the recent or remote past, being paled
with increased pain and suffering from surging medical issues, having no money,
or dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder whose vision is shadowed by dark
colored glasses. ‘Tis the season to be
joyful, with fistfuls of love and compassion thrown out to all who can grasp
it, like candy at a parade; it is part of the Christmas spirit! Yet, sadness can be spotted any which way you
look during the holiday season, if we choose to see it.
nose and off our face, most of us have “good reason” for keeping those fistfuls
of love clutched in our own hands.
Oftentimes, we become discombobulated with our own list of “must do’s”, putting
off the other list of “extra’s” or niceties until the end, if there is time. And, then there are those awkward moments that
keep us from reaching out to help a stranger; “What should I do? What if my approach is wrong? What if I say
or do the wrong thing? What if they think I’m nosy? Would my effort even be worth it? What if I offend them when I try to
help?”. So, on with our traditions; celebrate
with our spurts of joy as we rejoice in the season of Christmas, and leave well
enough alone, right? Still, for many of
us, there is that looming sadness underneath it all that just stays inside.
And in our
silent ways, we all know that somehow, during the holiday season, giving out love
and touching someone who needs it, seeing the joy in their face and feeling a
little shiver inside, has to be one of the greatest gifts of all? So, what does all this mean anyways?
And, you may
wonder what this has to do with good mental health during the Christmas
season. You guessed it; it has
everything to do with it! Feeling good,
doing good, feeling loved and giving love makes it all better for most.
For most people, this is just a sign of an
aging brain and not a major health issue. But, in about 1% of these cases, the
person goes on to develop dementia or other forms of advanced memory loss.
It’s important that you learn to spot the
signs of memory problems in your elderly loved one. Keep reading to learn how.
They’ll Fight the War of the
If you’ve ever tried and failed to come up
with the right word to describe something, you know how frustrating it is.
People who have issues with memory experience this war of the words often and
you’ll notice it happening more and more as they age.
Your loved one might have to pause longer when
speaking in order to get the words out correctly. They may stop in the middle
of a sentence and get lost in thought. Or they may fail to join conversations
at all for fear of not being able to speak how they’d like to speak.
This applies to written words too. You may
notice their handwriting becomes shakier and uneven. They also might make more
spelling and grammar errors than you’re used to seeing.
You’ll See All the Emotions
As we mentioned, not being able to remember
words is super frustrating. And you might notice your loved one getting angry
when they can’t participate in a conversation. Someone who’s normally sweet and
kind might lash out at others in situations where they can’t think of the right
You also might notice more frequent mood
swings. They may be happy one moment and sad or withdrawn the next because they
can’t remember something from their past.
Other common emotions are fear and anxiety. If
they’re having issues remembering what they did in recent days, they may become
anxious or even suspicious of those around them.
The Familiar Becomes Unfamiliar
Simple daily tasks, like shaving or cooking
breakfast, may become more difficult for them to perform. They may forget how
to turn on their oven or how to hold a razor. Or they may repeat things because
they’ve forgotten they did them in the first place.
Misplacing items is common with those suffering
from memory problems. You might find a cell phone sitting in the sugar bowl or
other strange occurrences like that. And they’ll lose common items, like car
keys and gloves, more often because they’ll lose the ability to retrace their
Social Butterfly, No More
It’s often difficult for people to deal with
the changes that come with memory loss. They’ll know there’s something wrong,
but won’t be able to put their finger on it. A normally social person may
become withdrawn and depressed.
You might notice that they have a hard time
planning ahead and remembering when they need to be at certain places. They may
lose interest in hobbies or attending activities because of fear that they’ll
forget how to participate.
When to Seek Help for Memory
There are some things that you can do to help
your loved one improve their memory. You can talk to them often and make sure
they’re eating a good diet and drinking plenty of
water. Many times, memory problems are caused by dehydration or fatigue.
But if you notice that the issues are getting
worse and memory lapses are becoming more frequent and distressing, it’s time
to get some help. Make an appointment with their doctor to discuss your
concerns about their memory problems.
At St. William’s Living Center, we offer a
variety of care services to help our residents navigate life as they age. Call us today to talk to one of our
experienced staff members.
It is December, and the onset of winter has come
before us. Usually, crops are in, farm
equipment has been put away, and farmers can finally sit back and chalk it up
to another year. Yet, Mother Nature has the final call – farmers see in plain
sight the fear of freezing temperatures or accumulated snow in their fields. Harvesting is a month behind already, and
farmers hope and pray that their corn will soon dry sufficiently without the
leering risks of foreseen elevated costs and a disappointing bottom line.
Yes, farmers either know the hazards before they
take on the lifestyle, or learn all about it by living in its trenches. Each
farmer is called to determine their own risk level and their ability to manage
the rollercoaster of the occupation. There
are blessings and risks abound, and the lifestyle is likely one of the primary
motives to keep on keeping on.
So, why is the suicide rate among farmers more
than double that of veterans and 5 times higher compared to that of the general
population, reported by the 2018 Center for Disease Control (CDC). Why is
depression and anxiety rampant among this group?
For farmers, their work is who they are, and oftentimes
considered their life purpose. To change
careers is way beyond consideration as farming is a way of life. Most difficulties are beyond the control of
farmers. Some of the challenges faced by
farmers and those living in rural and remote communities include dealing with
fluctuating crop and input prices, shifting interest rates on land and loans,
weather changes, current politics around tariffs, trade and the farm bill, and
difficulty accessing services.
Primarily, the culture of farming takes on a
number of principles that may also lead one towards increased mental health
struggles or suicide.
Overall, farmers do their work alone, and they
suffer with depression and anxiety alone.
Seeking help or talking to friends about their struggles goes straight
against privacy and independence. A typical phrase in farm communities include;
“Don’t air your
dirty laundry in public”. They simply
“suck it up” and push through the emotional pain. It is part of the culture. It is part of that independence.
Unfortunately, the farming culture views their
high rates of anxiety and depression as weaknesses, and not common conditions. The perception of personal failure when
things don’t go right feeds into the need to do it all; work harder, work
longer, breathe endurance. It’s like the
saying, “When the going gets
tough, the tough get going”.
With all this, farming does have its mental health
vulnerabilities. Suicide is an isolated
decision; and with the forced winds of today’s obstacles, a culture of
independence, isolation and privacy, an erroneous belief that mental health
issues are not for the strong, and self-identification is determined by their
success or failure, “checking in” with them once in a while could save a life.
Usually, we look at Thanksgiving as a
holiday started by the pilgrimage of our ancestors who celebrated a successful
harvest in the new land. Being grateful
this day is usually the tradition. It may
also be of interest to know that if you take the words, “Thanks” and “Giving”,
you also have two primary keys to improved mental health. As is oftentimes the case, those who feel
over-whelmed with negativity easily lose perspective on the part of their lives
that they otherwise might feel more grateful.
Gratitude is a choice, and it
isn’t necessarily easy. In the end, you
have to choose between being thankful or remaining in the habit of reveling in
negative emotions. Of course, you can remain luke-warm with gratitude by reflecting
on it during special occasions, like Thanksgiving; but you may be sure that in
the midst of mental health problems, negative emotions will remain dominant.
If you do indeed choose gratitude,
there is increased research showing that gratitude exuberates both physical
health as well as mental and emotional well-being. According to the National Institute of
Mental Health’s research and numerous other resources, gratitude expands self-esteem. As it
is difficult to blend depression or resentment with a grateful heart, bad
thoughts take a back seat while gratitude takes the lead. Similarly, gratitude expels worries and
ruminations with a growing habit of thanksgiving and a focus on others. Gratitude
also helps calm down stress and improves symptoms of trauma. It also supports and encourages resilience
while fighting off the worst of times. Of
course, this doesn’t mean that with gratitude, there are no more mental health
issues, but it does help to manage them better.
opens the door to more and truer relationships through appreciation,
cooperation, enhanced empathy, reduced aggression and acknowledging others’
contributions. In addition, gratitude
improves physical health with a tendency to experience fewer aches and pains,
increased motivation towards a healthier self and an overall focus on feeling
healthier. Another advantage of
gratitude is that it helps people sleep better, just by jotting down a few
grateful sentiments before bed. Being
grateful is a way we can back away from a place of lacking
to a place of contentedness.
if gratitude spawns enhanced empathy as is implied with the word,
“Thanksgiving”, giving is also a natural next step for improved mental health.
Within society, many of us think well-being in terms of what we have, such as
our level of comfort, or our income, or our possessions, or our status as the
markers. But evidence shows that what we do and the way we think actually have a far more meaningful
impact on mental health and wellbeing.
According to neuroscience, increased activation and strengthening of
certain parts of the brain occur when we give to others. So, “Thanks” and “Giving” may be the way to
go to improve our mental well-being.
Scar tissue can build up, affecting flexibility and range of motion. PT improves range of motion through specific exercises that target the area where the scar tissue has developed. Greater range of motion means less pain and less chance that you’ll re-injure the area in the future.
Also, injuries may cause you to favor one set of muscles over another. This lack of use can cause weakness in the muscles surrounding the injury point. A physical therapist treats this by giving you exercises that strengthen the muscles around the injury site. Strengthening these muscles will not only help heal the old injury, but it will prevent future injuries in the same area.
Get Pain Relief Without Pills
Physical pain from an injury can last for weeks or months. And it can severely limit your ability to move and interact with others.
Pain medication is one way to limit pain, but it isn’t always the best answer. Strong medication is potentially addictive and dangerous if abused. Plus, it doesn’t actually treat an injury, but instead, only masks the pain.
PT is an excellent alternative to pain medication. Stretching is one way that physical therapists help relieve pain. Muscle and joint stretches loosen up tight tissues, giving you greater flexibility and reducing painful movements.
Also, your physical therapist will work on ways to improve blood flow to injured tissue, which reduces inflammation. Inflammation is one of the most common causes of pain in the body. They treat inflammation with heat/cold therapy, massage therapy, and ultrasound treatments.
Heal the Injury, Avoid the Surgery
It’s true that sometimes, surgery is necessary. Especially if you’re dealing with an injury that’s been lingering for months or years. But it’s also true that giving physical therapy a try might help you avoid surgery altogether.
There are a number of common ailments that often benefit more from PT than from surgery. Minor knee issues, like meniscal tears, improve over time with strengthening exercises performed by a physical therapist.
A physical therapist can improve mild to moderate arthritis through weight-bearing exercises that strengthen the joints. And smaller rotator cuff tears respond really well to stretching and strengthening.
Whenever you can skip the surgery, it’s a win for you. It allows you to avoid the additional pain and recovery time it takes to heal from surgery. Plus, you avoid a hospital stay, which comes with a hefty price tag.
Injury Treatment Done the Right Way
PT is an excellent form of injury treatment. If you suffer from recurring injuries, it’s time you get to the root of the problem and treat the underlying cause. Nobody should have to live with recurring pain from injuries. At St. William’s Living Center, we have an incredibly talented outpatient therapy team. Visit our website to learn more about the types of therapy we offer. And make your physical therapy appointment today!
Have you ever worked at “the
power of positive thinking”? Have you
ever met someone who mostly felt optimistic and upbeat? You know; the kind that easily throws out a
litany of jokes and readily smiles with an easy laugh; the person that stands
out in a crowd and easily makes others feel good; the one that infects others
so that the happy feeling is contagious.
How do they do it? Maybe it’s
heredity, or they had a positive family or good environment while growing up.
Or, maybe it’s in the genes. Well, whatever
it is, what do the rest of us do if we aren’t so lucky?
It is a lot easier to
ruminate about the negative things in life; you know, our short comings,
other’s deficiencies and how they affect us, all the bad things that have
happened to us or that we are currently experiencing, the money we don’t have,
the fun we aren’t having, the unfairness of it all, the famine and large
poverty base throughout the world, etc., etc., etc. With all this, how then do any of us succeed
at positive thinking? Well, there are
One strong restorative
approach is called “Turning the Mind”, a skill learned in therapy groups to
improve a client’s mood and perceptions of themselves, others and the world at
large. Turning the mind is actually a
hard process to do. It takes a lot of
work. Unfortunately, many attempts fail
just because we give up when we return to our old ways. You may not have known, but our brain
motherboard bends according to how we think and feel. So, if you are a negative thinker, your brain
has developed a neural electrical system that has supported and reinforced
depressing thoughts for as long as you have had them. It becomes harder and harder to break that
brain circuitry. However, it is possible.
Learning and practicing positive ways of
thinking and feeling can result in a change in how you view your life and how
to move forward.
In order to change the brain,
we need to become more aware of what we are doing to ourselves; how we feed and
get stuck with the bad thoughts and emotions, and how we pull away or discard
the positive ones. We have to learn
ways to be more mindful of our thoughts and feelings and how we can better
manage them. Oftentimes, spending time
meditating or in prayer can be key factors in learning how to see yourself at a
distance and guide yourself through this awareness. As you become more aware of how you get stuck
with your emotions or your negative thoughts, you then are more able to
recognize that you are in charge and you can make decisions about how to
regulate your emotions and thoughts. No
longer are you clutched into the grips of negativity by your thoughts and
feelings. Instead, you have the ability
to learn new skills and move towards a more positive you. With continued practice, “turning the mind”
towards an optimistic outlook is indeed within reach. It takes time and practice, but it does
happen. Just think, you may end up being
the one who carries the jokes and moves the crowd with your jovial self.
Senior Nutrition: Tips to Keep You Healthier as You Age
Age is just a number. Right?
It’s true that we should never let our age, a simple number, get in the way of how we live our lives. But it’s also true that, as we age, our relationship with food becomes more important than ever.
Aches, pains, and stiffness ambush our bones and joints the older we get. And one of the ways we can combat this attack is to follow a few basic rules regarding nutrition.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at senior nutrition. And give you some tips to keep you healthier as you age.
Water, Water, and More Water
You’ve probably heard that hydration is one of the keys to a healthy body. But the idea of hydration is even more important for senior nutrition.
Water is essential to keep your joints in good working order. There is a little sac of fluid that fills the space inside your joints. This fluid helps lubricate the working parts of the joint and brings nutrients to the cartilage.
Dehydration causes these fluid sacs to shrink, like a dry sponge. And this, in turn, causes you more pain as you move. Your joints lack the lubrication they need to work properly. Drink plenty of water every day to prevent this from happening.
Read the Labels
In an ideal world, we’d only eat fresh foods like fruits, nuts, vegetables, and meat. But we all know that it’s not so easy to stick to such a strict diet. That’s why it’s important to read the labels on your food before you purchase.
Avoid foods with very few nutrients and lots of calories. As we age, we tend to lose our appetites. So it’s really important to eat foods that are nutrient-dense so we can get the most bang for our buck when it comes to calories.
Stick to foods that are lower in saturated fats. These are fats that are solid at room temperature like butter and lard. They contribute to poor arterial health and heart disease.
But don’t avoid fat altogether! Fat is an essential ingredient to healthy senior nutrition. Instead, opt for foods rich in unsaturated fats.
Also, be on the lookout for vitamins like B12 and Vitamin D. B12 helps with blood and brain health. While Vitamin D makes your bones stronger.
Try Spices, Not Salt
Keep an open mind to new ways of cooking. As we mentioned before, salt is no good when it comes to heart health. So instead of adding salt to your food to season it, try adding spices instead. You’ll get the added bonus of some of the great health benefits of spices.
Turmeric is a great option to flavor food because it has lots of anti-inflammatory properties. Basil tastes great with tomato dishes and it helps build immunity at the same time. Add ginger to tea or other foods to help settle a rocky stomach.
Cook your meat with a mix of rosemary and garlic. It’s delicious, and it helps fight infections and keep allergies at bay. And add cinnamon to sweeter dishes instead of adding an extra teaspoon of sugar.
The Importance of Senior Nutrition
Remember that you need your body just as much as it needs you. So treat it well by incorporating a few of our senior nutrition tips into your daily life. Your body will thank you for it!
At St. William’s Living Center, we’re dedicated to improving the lives of our residents through daily activities, morning coffee, and, of course, delicious food! Call us today to find out more about the services we offer.
Eating is a required action we all share as a means
to maintain our health. There are those
who struggle with eating due to a medical condition, but there are others who
struggle with a medical condition due to their eating disorder.
General statistics indicate that at least 30millionpeople of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder
in the U.S., and at least one person dies every 62 minutes as a direct result
from an eating disorder. Eating disorders are a serious
medical problem that can have long-term health consequences if left untreated. Eating
disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness of which
adolescents and women over 50 are more prevalent.
There are several types of eating disorders:
Nervosa or a focus on weight loss in which the individual has a poor body image
and believes they are never thin enough, prompting excessive dieting, exercise,
purging or use of laxatives.
Food Intake Disorder or restrictive eating or avoiding certain foods because of
its texture or odor. These symptoms
usually begin early in childhood.
Nervosa or the cycling of extreme overeating or binging to purging or other
behaviors to compensate for overeating.
Eating Disorder or excessive overeating
An unhealthy relationship with food is oftentimes a symptom
of an underlying problem. Usually, it is
prompted by various life stressors combined with psychological struggles, such
as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and/or overall difficulty coping with
emotions. Overuse of substances, genetic
traits or a having a family pre-disposition can also be contributors. Oftentimes,
those with an eating disorder initially use eating, or lack thereof, as a way
to control at least one aspect of their lives.
However, their eating behavior progressively spirals out of control and
they end up not being able to manage their own eating.
Treatment is complicated. You may have a friend or relative that has an
eating disorder, but do not even know it.
those with eating problems hide their behaviors and deny having a problem,
interfering in their first step in treatment; admitting they have a
problem. Mostly, individual or group
out-patient or in-patient psychotherapy and possibly psychotropic medications are
required to work through the denial, comply with a food monitoring plan, and
deal with secondary symptoms of depression, anxiety, etc., through stress
management, modification of unhealthy relationship patterns and learning
adaptive ways to feel in control of their eating and other aspects of their
lives. Unfortunately, symptoms of an
eating disorder can last for many years and return during times of stress,
despite previous treatment. Catch
yourself if you have an unhealthy relationship with food. There is too much at stake.
Have you planned for your future? If not, it’s
time to start!
You’ll want to consider creating a detailed long-term care plan. And that plan should
include what facility you’d like to live in if the time comes when you need
full-time nursing care.
St. William’s Living Center in Parkers Prairie,
MN should be at the top of your list. And we’re about to tell you why!
Keep reading to learn four undeniable reasons
that St. William’s is the long-term care facility for you.
State-Of-the-Art Therapy Clinic
In our recent remodel, we revamped our therapy
clinic. With our new, expanded facility, we can now support a wide variety of
therapies right here on our main campus.
The trained physical therapy staff works with
residents to improve range of motion, increase strength, and manage pain. And
the therapy clinic isn’t only for residents. We offer injury treatment services
to a wide variety of patients, including student-athletes.
Our occupational therapists work with
residents on day-to-day living activities like cooking and
cleaning. And our speech pathologists help residents communicate more effectively
and work on memory skills.
Private Rooms and Private
The new, remodeled campus offers private rooms
to all incoming residents. Private rooms are an important part of making your
new home feel more like your old home.
Most private rooms have their own private
bathroom. Many rooms have a handicap accessible-shower with your own space for
toiletries and personal items. These rooms have a more modern feel and improve
privacy for our residents.
Incredible Food and Fun
If you love delicious food, St. William’s has
you covered! In fact, resident satisfaction surveys consistently rate our food
as top-notch. When you choose St. William’s for your long-term care needs,
you’ll get a variety of food options for each meal.
We also have an all-star activities staff.
Every month, a new activities calendar comes out so you can plan your activity
time in advance. We treat our residents to live music, regular bingo sessions,
weekly happy hour, and weekend church services.
5-Star Rating on Medicare.gov
Nursing Home Compare
At St. William’s, we’re very proud to have a
consistent history of 5-star ratings from Medicare.gov’s Nursing Home Compare program. This means that
we rank above the state and national average in all of the following
Fire safety inspections
Quality of resident care
Zero fines or penalties in the
last three years
Resident care is our top priority and these
excellent ratings are a testament to the dedication of our amazing staff.
The Perfect Long-Term Care
Facility for You
When creating a long-term care plan, it’s
important to do your research. Discuss the options with your family members and
make sure they have a copy of your plan. This is the best way to ensure that
your wishes are carried out when the time comes for long-term care.
And part of your research should be to visit
the facility you’re interested in. St. William’s would love to show you
everything we have to offer! Contact us today to schedule a visit to our campus.