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Fun Facts about Nurses for National Nurses Week

Nurses are the backbone of our healthcare system. They are responsible for so many things to ensure people are happy, healthy and on the way to healing. For National Nurses Week, we want to thank all of our wonderful nurses at Advena Living for their commitment and dedication.

Did you know that National Nurses Week starts on May 6th and ends on May 12th, which is Florence Nightingale’s birthday? That is one of the many interesting and fun facts about nursing.

Here are 5 other tidbits we learned this week:

The Lady with the Lamp

Florence Nightingale was best known as the founder of modern nursing, according to History.com. But getting there wasn’t without challenges. As part of an affluent family during the Victorian Era, Nightingale was forbidden by her parents from pursing nursing because it was considered low-class at the time. Despite their objections, she continued to follow her calling.

She earned the nickname “Lady with the Lamp” during the Crimean War, when she would check on patients at night carrying her lamp.

The Symbolic Nursing Cap

Nursing apparel certainly has changes from the days of a crisp white dress and the symbolic white nurse’s cap. The cap is thought to have evolved from a nun’s habit as a head covering, and later became a “hallmark of the profession,” according to researchers from americannursinghistory.org.

Eventually, nursing caps became obsolete because they were uncomfortable, hard to keep clean, and because of gender biases.


Nurses,
the TV Show

Nurses was the first primetime medical drama to feature nurses. The series ran from 1962 to 1965 and was a spinoff of the show Empty Nest, which was a spinoff of Golden Girls. Since then, there have been many dramas set in the hospital that blur the lines between reality and fiction.


These Shoes Were Made for Walking

If you’re a nurse, you better get out your pedometer. This study found nurses walk a whopping 4-5 miles during an average 12-hour shift. For comparison, most Americans walk about half that in 18 hours.

Rise to the Top

When it comes to professions, nursing continues to be at the top of US News & World Report’s 100 Best Jobs for paying well, opportunities for professional advancement and satisfying work/life balance.


About Advena Living

At Advena Living, we support our team members in developing professionally and we strive to be a company where people choose to work. We take pride in shaping our organizational culture to support and appreciate all employees. At our core, we believe every person who works and lives in our communities has value.

We are always looking for dedicated people to join and grow with our team. Those individuals should be passionate and committed to providing quality care and enriching the lives of all community members.

Advena Living offers skilled nursing, rehabilitation and assisted living services at multiple locations in Kansas.

To apply, click here.

Happy and You Know It: 10 Real Ways to Attain Happiness

Within the past couple of decades, there have been numerous studies on happiness and how to attain it. While there haven’t been any groundbreaking discoveries, a team of international researchers were able to pinpoint certain activities that are actually achievable.

Seeking Happiness

In the study, the team came up nearly 70 ways people are often told how to be happier. That number alone shows that this is a widely studied topic and people are often seeking ways to achieve happiness and lead more fulfilled lives.

Researchers then asked academic experts on the science of happiness to rate those dozens of ways to determine which ones were most feasible and effective.

Achievable Strategies

At the top of the list, they found these 10 strategies can lead to greater happiness:

  1. Invest in time with friends and family
  2. Join a club
  3. Be active both mentally and physically
  4. Practice your religion
  5. Get regular physical exercise
  6. Be nice to others
  7. Be generous
  8. Check your health
  9. Experience nature
  10. Socialize with colleagues outside of work

For the complete list, which includes volunteering, sleep and gardening, click here.

About Advena Living

At Advena Living, we believe our community members should continue to enjoy the simple daily pleasures, rituals and activities that make them who they are.

We know that moving to a long-term care or assisted living community can be a challenge. That’s why our team works to ensure that new residents do not feel alone and are comfortable in their new environment. We strive to make the concept of “home” a real thing for everyone who lives at our communities, no matter how they define it.

Advena Living is a family-owned company that specializes in skilled nursing, long-term care, rehab and assisted living services throughout Kansas. Our name “Advena” means newcomer.  We welcome newcomers seeking a senior living environment where they may continue to enjoy a full life, and where their personal choices are respected and upheld.

The Power of Plants: How They Relieve Stress and Offer Other Benefits

There’s a simple way to reduce stress, be more productive at work and help improve your overall wellbeing. All you have to do is buy a plant.

Reducing Stress

Researchers from the Journal of Physiological Anthropology wanted to see if there was any correlation between interacting with plants and stress levels.

This relatively simple study involved two tasks: repotting a plant and doing a computer activity. After each task, researchers measured blood pressure and heart rate.

They found the interaction with plants resulted in a lower stress response and participants reported feeling more relaxed, as compared to the computer task.

Other Benefits

Other studies found having a house plant can help sharpen your attention and boost your productivity. And in some cases, it may improve your outlook on your job, in general.

To learn more about science-backed benefits of indoor plants, click here.

About Advena Living

At Advena Living, we believe that plants should always be part of the indoor décor. While we love our beautiful hanging baskets and flower gardens outside our communities, we know there are benefits to having indoor plants as well.

Science tells us that plants can lower stress, improve quality of air, and even recover from an illness faster. Those are some great benefits. We also look at it a different way, as a way to feel more at home.

Advena Living communities strive to make the concept of “home” a real thing for everyone who lives in our communities. Our goal is to ensure each community member gets to live how they want to, on their own schedule, and can maintain those special daily pleasures that are a part of who they are.

For some people, that may be growing violets by their windowsill, something they’ve always done. For others it may be about working with their hands out in the garden and giving them a purpose. Or it could simply be that a plant reminds them of their previous home and provides a sense of comfort.

Advena Living is a family-owned company that specializes in skilled nursing, long-term care, rehab and assisted living services throughout Kansas. Our name “Advena” means newcomer, which is what we do—welcome newcomers seeking a senior living environment where they may continue to enjoy a full life, and where their personal choices are respected and upheld.

 

Sometimes there are days where it feels like we’re going through the motions. Wake up, go to work, come home, make dinner, maybe watch TV, go to bed and do it all over again. A change of mindset may be all it takes to get excited about your work day. Here are five easy ways to overcome the monotony.

Start Your Day with Gratitude

Practicing gratitude can have a positive effect on our mental health and overall wellbeing. First thing in the morning after you wake up, think of three things you are thankful for. Experts who start each day with a grateful mindset believe recalling people, happy experiences or positive events allow you to also feel the good emotions that come along with those things.

Remember Your Passion

It’s worth reflecting on what drew you to this line of work in the first place. Maybe it was because you wanted to help people and change lives. If you’ve been in the same job field for many years, it’s easy to lose sight of this. Remembering why you chose this career can help get you excited about your job and give you a new sense of purpose.

Add Value

Think about the value you add to your company. What are you really good at? What is it that you do that no one else does? Consider all the ways that you contribute to your organization and take pride in that. While we all have parts of our jobs that aren’t our favorite, instead, focus on what you do great and the parts that you enjoy.

Share those skills. Teaching or mentoring coworkers can give you a confidence boost in your abilities and the potential to support others.

Try Something New

Consider taking on a new project or learning a new skill at work. It will not only help build your resume and make you more invaluable in your job, but it can also combat any feelings of boredom you may be experiencing at work.

Have Something to Look Forward To

For some people, the excitement of an upcoming vacation or fun activity is almost as fun as the actual event itself. Chase that feeling every day on a smaller scale. The anticipation of something to look forward to, like lunch with a coworker, may be all it takes to motivate you to get through the day.

About Advena Living

At Advena Living, we strive to be a company where people choose to work. We take pride in shaping our organizational culture to support and appreciate all employees. At our core, we believe every person who works and lives in our communities has value.

We are always looking for dedicated people to join and grow with our team. Those individuals should be passionate and committed to providing quality care and enriching the lives of all community members.

Advena Living offers long-term care, skilled nursing and assisted living services at multiple locations in Kansas.

Lonely Hearts Club: Socially Isolated Older Women at Risk for Heart Disease

Harry Nilsson sang about one being the loneliest number. And he wasn’t the only one. While being alone may not be good for the proverbial heart, it also could have effects on cardiovascular health.

A new study finds being socially isolated and having feelings of loneliness may increase the risk of heart disease in older women.

The recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) looked at nearly 58,000 women 65 years and older over the course of eight years. None of the participants in the study had a history of heart disease.

It found women who had both greater social isolation and higher level of loneliness had a 13% to 27% higher risk of cardiovascular disease compared to women who were more social and less isolated.

Changes in Life

The study points out that life changes in this age group, like retirement and loss of friends and family, only add to the risk of social isolation and loneliness. The current pandemic where people are continuing to socially distance doesn’t do much to curb the problem.

Although this study focuses on older women, isolation and loneliness can affect elderly men as well. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) found more than 30% of older adults report feeling lonely and 25% report feeling isolated.

Moving into a Community

Moving into a long-term care or assisted living community can help combat feelings of loneliness and isolation. Staff at our Advena Living communities encourage socialization and engagement in a variety of activities. Our social services directors hold regular resident council meetings and encourage feedback, so they can plan events and activities that community members want to do. Sharing a meal or going for a stroll with your new neighbors can also help provide a much-needed social outlet.

About Advena Living

Advena Living communities offer long-term care, skilled nursing and assisted living services at multiple locations in Kansas. We are dedicated to the vision that each person has value, and we should honor their individual choices. When a person moves into one of our Advena Living communities, our goal is to welcome them and their family as new members of our extended family. We work hard to accommodate what they want their schedule to be and what choice they want to make.

See the Light: Treating SAD with Light Therapy

This time of year, you may be a little moodier, have a lack of energy, or feel disconnected from others. You’re not alone. Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD is a common type of depression that happens around the winter months. According to the Mayo Clinic, other symptoms can include irritability, difficulty concentrating, weight gain, sleeping too much and feeling hopeless. While there isn’t a specific way to prevent SAD, an easy and inexpensive way to manage symptoms is with light therapy.


Using Light Therapy to Treat SAD

Phototherapy or light therapy is an effective treatment for seasonal affective disorder.

Dr. Craig Sawchuk, a Mayo Clinic psychologist, says light therapy affects brain chemicals that are linked to mood and sleep by giving off a light that is similar to natural outdoor light. He recommends using a 10,000-lux light box or lamp for 20 minutes within an hour of waking up.

“You don’t have to stare directly at the light, but you want to keep your eyes open,” suggests Dr. Sawchuk. He recommends people eat breakfast or read the paper near the light.

 

Light at the End of the Tunnel

Talk to your doctor if you are feeling the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder and want to consider phototherapy. In most cases, SAD symptoms often fade around spring or summer.

At Advena Living, we know how difficult these cold winter months can be. We encourage our community members to get involved with social activities and get some vitamin D when the weather permits.

 

About Advena Living

Advena Living communities offer long-term care, skilled nursing and assisted living services at multiple locations in Kansas. We are dedicated to the vision that each person has value, and we should honor their individual choices. Even in a heavily regulated environment, Advena Living understands the importance of making home a real thing. We do this through the pursuit of person-centered care, the preservation of autonomy, and participative decision-making throughout the organization.

When a person moves into one of our Advena Living communities, our goal is to welcome them and their family as new members of our extended family. We work hard to accommodate what they want their schedule to be and what choice they want to make.

Making Mondays Matter: Health Habits That Stick

The start of the new year is often filled with optimism. Resolutions are made and one-word intentions are set for who we want to become, what we hope to achieve, and what we need to change. For many people, those goals are centered around improving their health.

Still at the top of the resolutions list are exercising more, eating healthier or losing weight, and quitting smoking, according to various studies. The problem is that many people don’t follow through on their New Year’s resolutions. A report from U.S. News & World Report found that 80% of resolutions fail. Most are abandoned as early as the middle of February.

As we try to make choices to improve our health, it can be discouraging when we fail. But we need to give ourselves grace and the option to start over. The Monday Campaign, in collaboration with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, started a public health initiative for a “fresh start” Monday mindset. Their research showed people are most open to positive change at the start of the week, and view Mondays as a time to re-set.

In the full report, the study’s authors Jillian Fry, MPH and Roni Neff, PhD, MS seek to “reframe Monday as a positive experience and an opportunity to begin the week with a new perspective.” In fact, during their research, they found that more than half of the 1,500 adults they surveyed viewed Monday as a day to “get their act together or a day for a fresh start.” Almost half of those surveyed said they would start a diet or new exercise program on a Monday.

The Healthy Monday Refresh proposes that by setting intentions in the beginning of the week we can develop lasting habits over time. The steps to making it happen couldn’t be easier: set an intention, pick an action, and make it happen. And remember, if at first you don’t succeed, there’s always next Monday.

At Advena Living, we welcome individuals to our community who are looking to make positive changes for their overall health and wellbeing Monday and every other day of the week– whether it’s a short-term rehab stay to get your strength back after surgery, or it’s a move to an assisted living facility or nursing home because you need a little extra help. By following a person-centered care philosophy, we respect and accommodate community member’s individual choices, while trying to make them feel at home. Our team values your input as we develop specific health plans to get you on the right track.

Calming Music at Bedtime: Improving Sleep for Older Adults

Ask any parent or grandparent how to put a fussy baby to sleep, and they’ll tell you to play or sing a lullaby. The soft, lilting notes of a lullaby have long been known for putting babies and children fast asleep. What many didn’t realize until recently is that calming music can be just as effective for sleep problems among older adults.

According to HealthinAging.org, as many as 40 percent of older adults experience insomnia, and up to 70 percent have some type of sleep problem – like trouble falling to sleep, waking up too early, or waking up several times during the night. Sleep problems are nothing to yawn at either. Poor sleep can lead to falls, accidents, memory problems, depression, or just plain feeling irritable the next day.

Prescription and over-the-counter sleep aids have their own list of side-effects, so a prescription for calming music as the solution to sleep problems might be just what the doctor orders.

The study defines calming music as music with a “slow tempo of 60 to 80 beats per minute and a smooth melody.” Rhythmic music that is faster and louder is not as helpful, studies showed. The researchers believe calming music lowers levels of stress and anxiety, slows heart rate and breathing, and lowers blood pressure.

Listening to music for longer than four weeks, apparently, is more effective for improving sleep quality than shorter efforts – so if it doesn’t work the first time, keep playing the music for 30 minutes or more each night for at least a month.

At Advena Living, we love improving the lives of the people who are part of our assisted living, long-term care and skilled nursing communities. There are all sorts of cutting-edge medical interventions for health issues that arise, but there are also simple little techniques that can make people’s lives better. We believe in the power of a calming environment, not just in a musical sense, but also in the look, feel and freedom we provide our community members. Reach out to us today for assistance with any questions you have or problems you’d like to discuss, including sleep issues.

About Advena Living

Advena, which is Latin for newcomer, is built on welcoming newcomers to our communities and creating a culture that means “home” to them. Because our community members are considered part of our extended family, we give them the flexibility and freedom to live the life they want, while providing the person-centered care they need. Your life, your choice – welcome home.

Reading the Signs – and Understanding Your Options for Memory Care

Memory issues are common with aging. How many of us have searched the house in a frenzy looking for reading glasses perched on our heads – or used the flashlight on a phone to search beneath the couch for that very phone?

That’s why it’s so important to be able to recognize when memory glitches might be more than just the normal, everyday lapses we all experience. Once you’ve accepted that Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia is at play, researching what the options are for safe, affordable memory care can seem an overwhelming task.

As noted in this article from U.S. News, here are five signs that it’s time to consider memory care options:

  1. Changes in behavior
  2. Confusion and disorientation that imperil physical safety
  3. A decline in physical health
  4. A caregiver’s deterioration
  5. Incontinence

There are many considerations to help determine whether memory issues can best be supported through in-home care, assisted living, specialized memory care, long-term nursing home care – or a combination of care settings and services therein.

At Advena Living, we can accommodate individuals with dementia or Alzheimer’s at any of our communities. We welcome new community members who may be experiencing escalating memory loss and need a safe, comfortable home with extra cognitive support. Reach out to us today and we can be part of the decision-making process.

About Advena Living

Advena, which is Latin for newcomer, is built on welcoming newcomers to our communities and creating a culture that means “home” to them. Because our community members are considered part of our extended family, we give them the flexibility and freedom to live the life they want, while providing the person-centered care they need. Your life, your choice – welcome home.

“A Happy Surprise” – New Research Shows Socializing Improves Cognition for Older Adults

Millions of Americans have Alzheimer’s disease – and since the COVID-19 pandemic began, socialization has decreased for many, which is known to have adverse effects.

That’s why Ruixue Zhaoyang, assistant research professor of the Center for Healthy Aging at Penn State, called it “a happy surprise” when his team concluded that cognitive abilities improve for days following joyful social interaction in adults aged 70-90. According to Zhaoyang:

“Our study is one of the first to show that [having] social interactions on one day can immediately affect your cognitive performance that same day and also on the following days. The fact that we found that the cognitive benefits of having pleasant social interactions could manifest over such a short time period was a happy surprise and could be a promising area for future intervention studies.”

At Advena Living, we care deeply about making sure our community members experience joy in their lives every day. In addition to excellence in memory care and nursing home/long-term care, we provide healthy and happy social interaction, and we welcome loved ones to come do the same.

You can read about the Penn State study here.

About Advena Living

Advena, which is Latin for newcomer, is built on welcoming newcomers to our communities and creating a culture that means “home” to them. Because our community members are considered part of our extended family, we give them the flexibility and freedom to live the life they want, while providing the person-centered care they need. Your life, your choice – welcome home.