Archive for category: Mental Health

High Stress Levels Could Impact Your Memory

As if we need another reason not to stress, it could affect our brain functioning.

A new study finds people with higher than normal levels of stress are more likely to have a decline in cognitive function. That can affect concentration, ability to learn new things and memory.


Stress Test

The JAMA study looked at nearly 25,000 participants who were 45 years or older over the course of a decade. Stress was measured using the Cohen Perceived Stress Scale, a self-assessment with 10 questions. Participants took the questionnaire once at the beginning and later during a follow-up visit. Their cognitive function was also assessed with regular check-ins.

Nearly 5,600 participants reported elevated levels of stress. Those individuals with higher levels were associated with having higher odds of poor cognition.


Significance of the Study

Experts have suggested that there are modifiable risk factors for Alzheimer’s and dementia. And according to the JAMA study, a 10-25% reduction in behavior factors, like stress, could prevent over a million cases of Alzheimer’s.

Diving a little deeper, it can impact other areas of your life. Medical experts have noted that stress leads to unhealthy behaviors like smoking, poor eating habits, and lack of exercise, as well as sleep problems. All of those lifestyle factors contribute to a variety of health issues.

The JAMA study points out that stress is a modifiable risk factor. Therefore the researchers suggest there should be a screening for high-risk older adults to employ strategies to reduce it.


Stress Less

The solution to lowering this modifiable risk factor is just to relax. That’s easier said than done.

The Mayo Clinic, along with other reputable sources, offer these 10 suggestions:

  1. Be more physically active
  2. Eat a healthy diet
  3. Try to quit unhealthy habits like smoking or excessive caffeine or alcohol
  4. Meditate
  5. Connect with others
  6. Incorporate yoga into your routine
  7. Get enough sleep
  8. Write in a journal
  9. Find a creative outlet like music or art
  10. Seek counseling

About Advena Living

At Advena Living, we want to help our residents live their best lives. For some people, moving into a long-term community might exacerbate their stress levels. That’s why our teams help new residents get acclimated to their new surroundings and neighbors.

We specialize in assisted living, skilled nursing, rehabilitation, and long-term care. We have seven locations throughout Kansas, including Bonner Springs, Cherryvale, Clay Center, Clearwater, Rose Hill, Topeka, and Wichita.

Our rehab-to-home programs help individuals recover after an illness, accident or procedure and who need intensive therapies to get stronger and return to independence. For those who need assistance with routine activities on a daily basis, we also offer long-term care.

Wellness in the Workplace: Self-Care During the Day

August is National Wellness Month, a time to focus on self-care and overall wellness. The term self-care has often been synonymous with Eastern medicine practices like yoga, meditation and reiki, or taking a trip to the spa or healing retreat. That may not be attainable.


Defining Self-Care

The Journal of Counseling Psychology defines self-care as a “multi-dimension, multi-faceted process of purposeful engagement in strategies that promote healthy functioning and enhance well-being.”

In the simplest terms, it’s an intentional that benefits your mental or emotional health. Self-care is whatever you want it to be. That may be going for a walk with your dog, unwinding with a bubble bath or good book, or just getting extra sleep.


Self-Care at Work

There are only so many hours in the day and many of those are spent at our jobs. Incorporating wellness into your daily routine can be beneficial.

According to popular job search site Indeed, ”practicing self-care at work is an important part of combatting feelings of stress or burnout.”

They recommend the following ways to add little moments of self-care throughout the day.

  1. Pack a healthy and nutritious lunch.
  2. Take breaks outside.
  3. Drink more water.
  4. Socialize with coworkers.
  5. Request time off when needed.
  6. Listen to your favorite music.
  7. Decorate your desk or personalize your workspace.
  8. Learn to be present in the moment.

To read the full article, click here.

Supporting Employees

A Harvard Business Review study found that organizations can’t function effectively with “struggling and suffering workers.” Workers want to feel like their companies care about them and support them financially, emotionally and mentally.

About Advena Living

At Advena Living, we want our employees to feel valued and supported in all our communities.

We promote open communication in the workplace. We also provide resources for support and guidance through an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). It’s a confidential counseling program available to staff and their families.

EAP services can help the following:

  • Life improvement and goal setting
  • Stress and anxiety with work or life
  • Financial or legal concerns
  • Emotional wellbeing
  • Family or relationship issues

Advena Living is a family-owned company in Manhattan, KS that specializes in skilled nursing, long-term care, rehabilitation and assisted living services throughout the state.

Our name “Advena” means newcomer. We welcome newcomers seeking a senior living environment where they may continue to enjoy a full life, as well as passionate employees who want to feel fulfilled in their careers.

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.