Easy ways to senior-proof your home
The most common cause of falls among older adults is a slip, trip, or fall that happens on a hard surface in the home. Even one fall can be threatening for an older adult. If you want to remain safe in your own home as you age, safety modifications are a must.
Knowing that you are safe in your home can be pleasant, but you need to take steps to make sure it is a safe place to live in. Here are some tips that can help you get started in creating a safe place to live:
- Proactive Safety
As a senior, you must always be ready just in case an emergency might happen. That is why it is important to keep emergency contacts on speed dial or written on a note beside the landline. Emergency numbers include your loved ones, your doctor, the police or the barangay.
- Fall-Proofing your home
Falls are very dangerous especially for older people however its chances could be mitigated if proper safeguards are in place. First thing to consider is the use of safety equipment around the home such as anti-slip mats, motion activated night lights and grab bars in high risk areas of the home such as stairs or the shower. Also, being aware of the side effects of medications can help your guardian or caregiver plan a safe time for your indoor walk.
Having many items lying around the house can increase the risk of a fall. Things as simple as a misplaced children’s toy, a rag (basahan) or electrical cables can be a danger to a senior walking around the house. For safety, you can use cable ties or wire management accessories to help keep those stray cables from becoming trip hazards.
- Rearrange Furniture
Furniture in the wrong place can be dangerous. A low table can be a trip hazard especially in low lighted areas. Sharp table and counter corners can also cause injury if it is hit accidentally. That is why putting furniture away from the pathways of your house can decrease the risk of an accident. Also changing your furniture or adding bump protections on furniture with sharp corners can help prevent potential injury.
There are many other ways to make your living spaces senior-proof. You should try to consult your doctor, caregiver and interior designer for a more in-depth plan for your home.
Senior-proofing your home will enable you to have more freedom around your own house. It might take some effort and cost to cover all the bases but the sense of security that you and your loved ones will feel makes it worth it. So start planning the changes you need for your home. Also make sure you have proper nutrition needed in your senior years. Drink Birch Tree Advance Adult Nutritional Supplement Powder Drink, specifically formulated to meet the nutritional needs of older adults. Power up! Drink Birch Tree Advance today
What types of doctors do Seniors need?
As we get older, our body is more prone to injury and various health problems. It is important for senior adults and their families to find out how to prevent health issues before they can cause any harm.
That is why when it comes to health, it is a very good habit to consult your doctor and get your Annual Physical Exam (APE). When you have a checkup, your doctor will evaluate your physical and mental wellbeing so they can give you a diagnosis and work with you towards prevention or treatment.
Here are some things you can do for your next checkup:
- Blood Pressure
It is important to always keep tabs on your blood pressure levels. Increased levels is a sign of hypertension that can lead to stroke and heart disease.
- Blood Sugar Test
Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disease that arises from high blood sugar levels. This disease is one of the leading causes of death in the Philippines.
- Vision and Hearing Test
As we age, our vision and hearing deteriorates. It is a good idea to have these tests early to prevent the onset of worse issues such as cataracts for the eyes and infections for the ears.
- Dental Exam
Oral health is important especially for older adults. Your specialist can check your teeth, mouth and throat for any signs of infections that may lead to more serious problems.
- Electrocardiography (ECG)
An ECG records the electrical activity of your heart and returns data such as heart rate and rhythm. This test is used to detect if you have an enlarged heart that puts you at risk for heart disease.
All these test results can be evaluated by your personal doctor. On top of that your doctor can give you access to more advanced tests such as bone density and cancer screening exams that can help you take steps in preventing more serious health issues from arising.
If you do not have a doctor yet, there are medical specialists called geriatric doctors you can try to contact.
Geriatric doctors specialize in caring for older people. They help reduce the costs related to aging by providing more preventive medical care. Also, they work with caregivers and family members to manage their patient’s treatment and care needs.
You can also keep healthy and fit any day by nourishing your body with Birch Tree Advance - the adult nutritional supplement powdered drink that contains Zinc and other essential vitamins and minerals. Drink Birch Tree Advance today!
Senior Nutrient Deficiencies: What Vitamins and Nutrients do Seniors Need?
Senior Nutrient Deficiencies: What Vitamins and Nutrients do Seniors Need?
A healthy body is important to everyone, but the older you get, the more prone it is to certain diseases and deficiencies. Senior nutrient deficiencies are linked to a wide range of health issues, such as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and low bone density.
In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, your body needs to be properly nourished with the important vitamins and minerals an older adult needs. Your nerves, immune system, muscles and bones need Vitamins B and C, Zinc, Iron and Calcium for nourishment and maintenance.
Here is why these nutrients are important in keeping your body healthy:
- Vitamin C
This vitamin has always been touted as the immune boosting antioxidant. This is important because your body’s immune system weakens as you age. By taking your daily dose of vitamin C, you can protect yourself from the free radicals that can cause infections and disease
- Vitamin B
As you grow older, your brain is more prone to diseases such as Alzhimer’s and dementia. Vitamin B contains properties that delays the process of brain shrinkage due to aging.
Just like Vitamin C, this nutrient is very important for the maintenance of your immune system. Zinc is crucial in the creation of new immune system cells in the body used to combat diseases.
Iron deficiency is one of the main causes of anemia for the elderly. This information is crucial as anemia can increase your susceptibility to falls which is very undesirable for elderly bodies.
Calcium deficiency can cause various problems that can affect your muscles and bones. The most well known effect of this is osteoporosis which is the lessening of bone density increasing its susceptibility to fractures.
As seniors, your body needs higher doses of nutrients than younger people because of lowered appetites. This is why it is important to have a varied and balanced diet in order to get your daily required nutrients. According to the DOST Food and Nutrition Institute, these are the generally recommended food servings for older adults. However, it is always best to consult a nutritionist based on your specific dietary requirements.:
- Fish, meat and poultry
It is recommended to have 1 medium sized fish or a few tablespoons of beef, pork or chicken per day. These are a good source of your B vitamins, Zinc and Iron.
These contain a wealth of vitamins and minerals for your body. Consuming 1 cup of raw or ½ cup of cooked vegetables a day will give you all the Vitamin C, vitamin B, Iron you need.
Fruits are a great source of Vitamin C and B. For seniors it is recommended to have 1 medium sized fruit a day to meet the dietary requirement.
A food staple of many Filipinos, rice contains a good amount of Vitamin B and Iron. It is recommended to have 1 cup of cooked rice a day to meet your dietary requirement.
The best source of Calcium and other nutrients. It is recommended to drink 1 glass of whole milk or 4 tablespoons of diluted powdered milk per day.
Having a varied and balanced diet is a great way to nourish your body. However, sometimes it may not be enough because you might miss out on some nutrients depending on the food you eat. That is why it is important to supplement your diet with Birch Tree Advance - the adult nutritional supplement powdered drink with Activ3+ Complex. It has all the nutrients your body needs as a senior. Stay fit and healthy, drink Birch Tree Advance today!
Food and Drinks for Aging Gracefully
When we were young, we were carefree about the activities we did and the food and drinks we chose to consume. Then over the years, our bodies became more sensitive to the physical stress we put on them. Now that we are older, we are more mindful of the activities we do making self-care one of our most important priorities.
There are many ways to practice self-care in our senior years. Here are some examples of some activities you can do in the safety of your home:
- Consult your Doctor
It is now easier to connect with your doctor for consultation. You would only need an online communication tool like Zoom or Viber to make an online call. Your doctor can give you valuable information that can help prevent sickness and keep you in perfect shape.
Your doctor can give you advice on your:
- Physical and mental wellbeing
- Nutritional Assessment and Requirements
- Additional Supplements and Medication, if any
- Medical procedures you need
- Eating Right
You are what you eat. The food you eat manifests on your bodily health. Eating the right food will mean a healthier and more youthful you. So make sure to eat a healthy and varied diet.
Nutrients to look for:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamins B6 and B12
By moving around and doing light exercises we can keep our minds and bodies active and slow down the degenerative processes of ageing. Doing this has surprising benefits to your body such as improving blood flow and keeping your muscles and bones strong.
Here are some recommended exercises you can do at home to keep you fit:
- Walking indoors or in your garden
- Dancing, Zumba
- Lightweight training
- Yoga or Light Stretching
- Stay Connected
If there is one thing that can be a detriment to your health, it would be emotional stress. Loneliness and anxiety can have a negative impact on your mental health which in turn can manifest in your physical health as well. Technology found a way to bring us closer to our loved ones during this pandemic. Always keep in touch with friends and family. Spread the love.
Knowing what is good for your mind and body is already your first step to a healthier you. The next step is to include these tips in your daily routine to form habits that will become your new lifestyle. A perfect habit you can add to your self-care routine is drinking Birch Tree Advance - the adult nutritional supplement that contains the important nutrients your body needs in your senior years. Drink Birch Tree Advance today!
Nutritious meals from your own garden!
One of the things that was brought about by the pandemic was the trend of home gardening. This started the “Plantitas” and “Plantitos” craze that spread on social media like wildfire. Though the roots (no pun intended) of this trend came from self reflection and self care during a time of high anxiety, there are many benefits to home gardening especially when we grow our own food.
If you introduce food gardening into your lifestyle you can reap many of its proven benefits:
- It adds more to your table
Having your own food garden is like having your own fresh produce section in your home. If you need a tomato, it would be great to just pick it in your own backyard. Not only will this supplement your foodstores at home, it will also lessen the amount of produce bought from the grocery store.
- You get fresh and nutritious food
Produce grown in your garden is an accessible source of nutrients for your body. It is now easier to boost your meals with Calcium and Magnesium from your sides of organic vegetables with a trip to your own garden.
- It is good for the mind and body
Gardening is proven to be good for your mental health as this activity improves mood and lowers anxiety. It is good for your body too since gardening can provide you with the exercise and sunlight you need for a healthy body.
Here are the things to consider to help get you started on your own homegrown sustainable food garden:
- Choose the right plant. Plants native to our weather and soil will be easy to grow.
- Build the right bed or pot for your plants. Each plant grows differently so research the perfect bed for your ideal plant.
- Plant in the right season. Many plants have a specific time frame for growing. Be aware of which season is the best to start growing each of your plant varieties.
- Use the right fertilizer for your plant. There are many types of fertilizer so be aware of the different types and which one is best for your plants.
- Choose the right soil for your plants. Just like fertilizers, there are different soil types for different plant varieties. Find out which type of soil is best for your plants.
Now that you are ready to start your very own garden you might want to start planting fruits and vegetables that are easy to grow and good for your health. These are some produce native to the Philippines that also are good sources of Calcium and Magnesium for good healthy bones and muscles:
This fruit is a staple in Filipino delicacies and is very rich in nutrients. A 150g serving contains a good amount of Magnesium (19.8 mg, 8.25% DV*) and a lot of Vitamin C (24.7mg, 35.29% DV).
- Mustard / Mustasa
A bitter vegetable that goes well with your sinigang ad ensalada. A 56g serving of Mustasa contains Calcium (64.4 mg, 8.05% DV) and Magnesium (17.92 mg, 7.47% DV). It is also an excellent source of Vitamin C (39.2 mg, 56% DV).
- Water Spinach / Kangkong
This highly nutritious vegetable is used in many Filipino dishes. A 100g serving of Kangkong is a good source of Magnesium (71mg, 29.58% DV) and Calcium (77mg, 9.62% DV).
A tasty vegetable for your homemade Pinakbet, a 100g serving of Okra contains Calcium (82mg, 10.25% DV) and Magnesium (57mg, 23.75% DV).
Homegrown fruits and vegetables are a good source of Calcium and Magnesium. However, this may not be enough in giving you the optimal nutrition for your daily needs. You can supplement your diet with Birchtree Advance, an adult nutritional supplement powdered drink that contains Calcium, Magnesium and Vitamin D for strong and healthy bones and muscles. Be strong and fit in your senior years, drink Birchtree Advance today!
Why Zinc aside from Vitamin C is good for Senior Immunity?
As we age, our body deteriorates, becoming less efficient at the tasks they were made for. A bad diet, unhealthy lifestyle and lack of exercise can accelerate the decline of these processes. Statistics show that 40% of elderly Filipinos suffer from Zinc deficiency, one of the leading causes of immune system deterioration in humans.
In order to keep our immune system healthy, we have to provide it with the necessary building blocks like Zinc and Vitamin C. Among these two, the one we hear more about is Vitamin C. However, Zinc plays such a crucial role in our immune system that it is recommended to take it with Vitamin C.
These are the recommended daily intake of these nutrients for seniors (60+ y/o):
Zinc - 6.5mg for male, 4.6 mg for female
To put this in perspective, a 40 gram lean roast beef contains approximately 3.3mg of Zinc (50.77% DV* for male; 71.74% DV for female), while a 40 gram pork chop offers 1.45mg of Zinc (22.3% DV for male; 31.5 DV for female).
*DV - daily value / recommended serving of Zinc per day
If one does not consume the recommended daily value of Zinc, there is a very high risk of Zinc deficiency. This is more prevalent among seniors because of the lowered intake of food consumption (lower Zinc intake), the decreased absorption of nutrients in the body due to ageing and the consumption of rice (a staple in Filipino diets), which contain Zinc absorption inhibitors.
Zinc deficiency can cause many different problems in the body, from superficial to severe.
- Hair loss
- Scaly rashes
- Poor appetite
- Poor wound healing
- Increased risk of infections (such as pneumonia)
By following a proper diet, you can get the full benefits of zinc including boosting the immune system which is the most important. Here are the best sources of Zinc we can find among Filipino foods:
- Crabs and Lobsters
- Red meats (Beef and Pork)
- Whole grains (oats and brown rice)
However, because ageing also decreases appetite, food might not be enough so it is important to get your recommended daily intake of Zinc from other sources too. Birch Tree Advance is an adult nutritional supplement powdered drink that contains Zinc and other essential vitamins and minerals. Drink Birch Tree Advance today!
What is an Adult Nutritional Supplement Drink?
Ah milk, the refreshing and delicious drink we all know growing up. Who could ever forget those white mustaches we have grown to laugh about after drinking milk. This drink is not only delicious but it is also good for the bones just like what mom and dad always used to say.
But now that we are grown adults do we still need to drink milk?
Absolutely! Milk is a great source of many nutrients that our bodies need like:
- Vitamins B2 & B12
- Vitamin A & D
As we age, our bodies wear down - it becomes easily fatigued and requires more recovery between activities. In order to replenish the body’s stockpile of essential building blocks for repair, we need to eat healthy foods. However due to aging, our appetite and our body’s ability to absorb nutrients diminishes. This is where adult nutritional supplements can make up for the nutrients that your body lacks.
What are adult nutritional supplements? They are food or consumable products that are classified as ‘for special dietary uses.’ According to the General Standard for the Labelling of and Claims for Prepackaged Foods for Special Dietary Uses, “Foods for Special Dietary Uses are those foods which are specially processed or formulated to satisfy particular dietary requirements which exist because of a particular physical or physiological condition and/or specific diseases and disorders…”
Therefore, seniors are strongly encouraged to add nutritional supplements to their regular diet. As they are especially formulated to provide additional nutrients that help protect them from health problems that may develop with physical aging.
Introducing BIRCH TREE ADVANCE! The new Adult Nutritional Supplement Powdered Drink complete with Activ3+ Complex to strengthen:
- Immunity Support Nutrients (Iron, Zinc, Selenium, Vitamin A, B6, B12, C, D)
- Bone and Muscle Support Nutrients (Calcium, Vitamin D and Magnesium)
- Omega 3 and Omega 6
Feed your mind and your body with the new Birch Tree Advance. Achieve your maximum Senior Power and make the switch! Get all the protein your body needs to help fight bone and muscle deterioration, and strengthen your muscle mass and immune system to make the rest of your life the best of your life. Be strong and be healthy in your golden years with the help of Birch Tree Advance, available in drugstores and supermarkets near you.
20-Minute Easy Workouts for Seniors to prevent Muscle Loss
Experts recommend that older adults should exercise for at least 150 minutes a week, to build strength and muscle mass. As our bodies age, we experience loss of muscle mass that can begin as early as in our 30s or also known as sarcopenia. The term originates from the Greek words, “sarco” which means flesh and “penia” for poverty. The loss of muscle mass in seniors not only makes performing daily activities more difficult, but it also puts them at great risk for falls, which is the leading cause of accidental deaths among those age 65 and older.
Don’t worry! You can prevent loss of muscle mass by doing easy workouts 3 times a week for 20 minutes a day in the comfort and security of your own home—but before you begin, don’t forget to warm up for 5 minutes and always drink plenty of water! You can begin your workout routine with the following simple strength exercises recommended by The National Health Service in the United Kingdom:
- Sit on the edge of the chair, feet hip-width apart. Lean slightly forward.
- Stand up slowly using your legs, not arms. Keep looking forward and do not look down.
- Stand upright and then slowly sit down, using your hands or arms just to guide you if possible.
- Aim for 5 repetitions. The slower the repetitions, the better.
- Rest your hands on the back of the chair for stability and stand with your feet hip-width apart.
- Slowly bend your knees as far as is comfortable, keeping them facing forwards. Aim to bend your knees forward, past your big toe. Keep your back straight at all times.
- Gently come up to standing, squeezing (clenching) your buttocks as you do so.
- Repeat 5 times.
- Rest your hands on the back of a chair for stability.
- Lift both heels off the floor as high as it is comfortable. The movement should be slow and controlled.
- Repeat 5 times with each leg.
- To make this more difficult, perform the exercise without holding on to the chair and just balancing.
Sideways leg lift
- Rest your hands on the back of a chair for stability.
- Raise your left leg to the side as far & high as it is comfortable, keeping your back and hips straight. Avoid tilting to the right.
- Return to the starting position by bringing your left leg back down to center.
- Repeat 5 times with each leg.
- Rest your hands on the back of a chair for stability.
- Standing upright, raise your left leg backwards, keeping it straight. Hold the lift for up to 5 seconds.
- Bring your leg back down, but avoid arching your back by sucking your stomach in to keep your core strong. You should feel the effort in the back muscles of your thigh and buttocks.
- Repeat 5 times with each leg.
- Stand at arm's length from the wall. Place your palms flat against the wall at chest level, with your fingers pointing upwards.
- With your back straight, your stomach sucked in, and your buttocks tucked in, slowly bend your arms, keeping your elbows by your side. Aim to close the gap between you and the wall as much as you can.
- Slowly return to the starting position, pushing off the wall and straightening your arms while keeping your palms flat against the wall.
- Attempt 3 sets of 5 to 10 repetitions.
- Hold a pair of light weights (filled water bottles will do) and stand with your feet hip-width apart.
- Keeping your arms by your side, slowly bend your arms upward until the weight in your hand reaches your shoulder.
- Slowly lower again.
- This can also be carried out while sitting. Attempt 3 sets of 5 curls with each arm.
“Workout to Go” is a simple and convenient guide, featuring 13 exercises designed by The National Institute of Aging, and focuses on building strength, balance, and flexibility. You can start or add these exercises in your routine with only these simple items:
- A sturdy chair
- A pair of 1- to 2-pound weights, but you can also use unopened canned food or water bottles.
- 2 tennis balls
Begin by following the reminders on getting ready and safety tips as instructed in Workout to Go. After warming up, you can do each of the strength and balance exercises for 10-15 repetitions for each set. Try to do 3 sets for each exercise as shown in the guide.
- Hand Grip
- Wall Push-up
- Overhead Arm Raise
- Back Leg Raise
- Side Leg Raise
- Toe Stand
- Stand on One Foot
- Heel-to-Toe Walk
- Balance Walk
After performing strength and balance exercises, you should cool down with flexibility stretches for your:
- Shoulder and Upper Arm
Since it is not enough for older adults to rely on just a healthy diet, exercising is highly recommended in order to build muscle mass. This allows older adults to navigate their daily lives with ease and without discomfort or pain from weaker bones due to muscle mass loss. Let the rest of your life be the best of your life with the right balance of exercise and a healthy diet, equipping you for your next adventures. Best to also supplement with Birch Tree Advance. It has proteins that help build muscle mass. It is fortified with Bones & Muscle nutrients -- calcium, protein, magnesium, and potassium. Don’t forget to consult your doctor or medical professional for advice if these exercises are right for you or if you experience pain or discomfort.
Immunity Boosting Habits for Seniors
According to the World Health Organization, adults aged 60 and above belong in the most vulnerable and high risk groups for COVID-19, particularly if they are living with heart or lung disease, diabetes, or any health condition that leaves them immunocompromised such as cancer.
Boosting our immune systems should always be a top health priority at any age to prevent diseases and other conditions that can significantly affect our bodies and may even lead to irreparable damage. The DOST Food and Nutrition Institute of the Philippines offers a great food guide for older adults and they recommend following some important tips:
- Consume Energy Giving Food
Food that contains high fiber and nutrients such as brown rice, wheat bread, and oatmeal are important in avoiding diseases such as heart attacks and diabetes.
- Look for Food that promotes Body Building
Protein and Calcium are important in building a strong and healthy body. That is why you should look for foods that provide these such as fish, lean meat, milk and eggs.
- Eat Body Regulating Food
Include fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet so that you can maintain youryou body’s natural processes.
- Always be hydrated
Drink a lot of water so that you are always hydrated. Reduce the consumption of soft drinks and alcoholic beverages which cause dehydration and obesity.
Eating healthy is important but staying fit is too, especially during the pandemic. Here are a few tips to keep your mind and body in top condition:
- Online Exercises such as Zumba and Yoga can help keep your body busy while at home
- Light Exercises such as stretching, jogging in place and dancing will be great in maintaining your flexibility and cardio.
- Light weight training to keep your muscles active and strong
- And as a bonus, enjoy crossword puzzles, board games or video games with the family to keep your mind and memory sharp. .
As we have to live in a world with COVID19, it has become a must to have a healthy immune system. The new normal undeniably affected our everyday lives, which will also affect our way of living for years to come. However, it does not mean that we are defenseless against COVID-19. We are dedicated to strengthening and elevating your Senior Power as we provide you with simple yet effective measures on how you can live your golden years in these challenging times. Always remember to consult your doctor or a medical professional if you experience any COVID19-like symptoms.
Why are Omega 3 and Omega 6 Good For You?
Omega-3 and Omega-6 are two polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) that are very important because they contain compounds that have incredible benefits for your brain and body. This is the reason doctors recommend both of these fatty acids in anyone’s diet, especially older adults.
Researchers found that a balanced intake of Omega-3 and Omega-6 rich foods will yield these amazing benefits for the elderly:
- Healthy Cognitive Function
Fatty acids are neuroprotective and help lower the risk of Dementia and Depression.
- Improved Cardiovascular Health
Helps lower blood pressure and arterial plaque formation that can cause cardiovascular-related diseases such as heart attacks and strokes.
- Regulated Immune System
Inflammatory diseases such as arthritis are caused by an overactive immune system attacking body tissues. Fatty acids convert into powerful compounds that modulate the immune system and stop the onset of inflammation.
- Improved Muscle Mass and Function
Essential fatty acids help stimulate protein synthesis in muscles that helps protect your body from muscle loss and function.
- Improved Bone Health
Helps in calcium absorption and prevents the loss of bone density. This may help prevent osteoporosis and other bone loss-related diseases that come with ageing.
Doctors recommend Omega-3 and Omega-6 as part of one's diet, especially for the elderly. Fortunately, it is easy to get these essential fatty acids through our regular Filipino foods. Here are some Pinoy foods rich in Omega-3 and -6.
- Fatty fish - Tilapia, mackerel, sardines
- Tofu or Tokwa
- Canola Oil
- Omega enriched margarine, juices, and yogurts
Your body does not produce Omega fatty acids naturally that is why it is important to include these in your diet. However, because ageing also decreases appetite, food might not be enough to get your recommended daily intake of Omega-3 and Omega-6. Birch Tree Advance is an adult nutritional supplement powdered drink with Omega-3 and Omega-6. Drink Birch Tree Advance now!