Caffeine: How Much Is Too Much In Your Daily Schedule?

Caffeine in the morning, for most of us, gives us the energy boost we need to get our day started off the right way. But, how much is too much caffeine? And, why does it matter? We already know that caffeine is a positive influence, as t has been found to:

  • Boost energy, memory, and athletic performance
  • Ease headaches
  • Help prevent constipation and type 2 diabetes
  • Protect against brain diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

Caffeine: Negative Effects

On the other hand, there is evidence that too much caffeine can make you anxious, nervous, or jittery. It can also affect sleep, digestion, blood pressure, heart rate, and heart rhythm.

Some of those negatives include:

  • Adrenal fatigue
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Hallucinations
  • Accelerates bone loss.
  • Tremors

Increased risk of heart attacks among young adults. One study found that young adults who were diagnosed with mild hypertension had 4 times the risk of having a heart attack if they consumed the amount the equivalent of 4 cups of coffee.

It may not be healthy for type 2 diabetics. A study conducted by the American Diabetes Association showed that caffeine impaired glucose metabolism in those with type 2 diabetes.

It increases the amount of sugary beverages consumed by people, which contributes to obesity and diabetes.

Caffeine: Overview

Caffeine is a drug that affects people differently just like any other substance. It’s important that consumers understand how it interacts with their bodies in regards to their personal health histories.

The food and beverage industry spends millions, if not billions, of dollars worldwide to fund studies and promote caffeinated products as safe or even healthy.

Fortunately, this is one of the most researched substances on the planet and there does exist some unbiased data in which to glean some reliable information from.

While much of the research published does indicate its safety, there also are research studies that highlight the potentially harmful effects.

The risks are diminished by being aware of how much is personally being consumed daily.

It is also important to be aware of any pre-existing medical conditions that may contribute to negative effects.


Skilled Nursing Homes 3-Day Rule

The House re-introduced a bill last month seeking to rescind a long-standing Medicare provision that restricts beneficiaries from receiving rehabilitation services in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs).

The bill is called the Creating Access to Rehabilitation for Every Senior Act (H.R. 4701), or the CARES Act of 2017. It would eliminate Medicare’s current prior three-day hospitalization requirement for subsequent coverage for skilled nursing care.

The bill is sponsored by Rep. James Renacci, an Ohio Republican. The CARES Act was originally introduced in the House in 2015 during the 114th Congress; however, it was not passed.

What Is The Current 3-Day Hospital Stay?

Medicare patients are eligible for inpatient skilled nursing care only when they have been first admitted to the hospital as an inpatient for three consecutive days. This, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

This provision is commonly known as the SNF three-day rule., or ‘Qualifying Hospital Stay ‘ (QHS) . In addition, Medicare only covers up to 100 days of skilled nursing facility care per episode of care. Payment is made after the patient can show proof of their qualifying three-day inpatient hospital stay.

Furthermore, observation nights don’t count toward the three-day requirement, and are not covered by Medicare.  This causes confusion and anger among patients who later find that their care is not covered.

The 3-day rule angers skilled nursing practitioners, as organizations such as AARP and the American Health Care Association lobby for its removal. In addition, the SNF’s object to the observation stays, in which patients stay overnight in hospitals for observation without ever being formally admitted.

What The Care Act Rescind  Does

Eliminating the 3-day required hospital stay will speed up seniors receiving acute care in skilled nursing facilities. These patients are typically the oldest and frailest of the Medicare population and immediate access to acute health services is critical.

A Word of Caution

In my own experience as Admissions Director at our post-acute rehab facility, Regency Park Nursing and Rehabilitation, in Hazlet, NJ, I recall instances where patients who spent at least several days at the local Bayshore Community Hospital, were under the mistaken impression that they had achieved a qualifying hospital stay for in-patient rehabilitation, when in reality, they were listed under observation only.

Check your hospital records and ask questions so that you have the proper clarity before making important decisions related to your health and well being.


Regency Resident Spotlight: Marion Pianko

Heritage Staff with Marion Pianko


Periodically, we will spotlight one of our beloved Regency residents, who continually inspires us all to reach higher, do better and never take our residents for granted.

Today, we’d like to profile long time resident at Regency Jewish Heritage, Marion Pianko!

Marion was born during the depression to parents who had recently immigrated to America.  Her father, Jack Burstein, came to America on his own from Poland, and her mother, Anna Gelman Burstein, came to America with her family from the Ukraine.  Marion was the oldest of four children, two brothers and a sister.  The family spoke Yiddish and Marion did not learn English until she entered Kindergarten.  Nonetheless, by elementary school, Marion handled paperwork for her family.  Her father became disabled from a heart attack when Marion was in High School, and from then on, Marion’s mother supported the family by taking in boarders. Marion was devoted to her parents throughout their lives.

Although there were many Jews in the area of the Bronx where the family lived, Marion’s family was one of the few that remained Orthodox despite economic and social pressures to assimilate.  The family valued Jewish education for both boys and girls. So in addition to public school, Marion attended Hebrew school through high school.  She graduated from both City College and a Hebrew Teachers College, with degrees in education. She also earned a Masters degree in education from Trenton State College.  Although Marion was certified to teach in New York City public schools, she chose to serve in religious schools.

At 21, Marion married Rabbi Jack Pianko and took on the role of Rebitzen.  Their marriage was a true partnership, working together in the synagogue and Hebrew school.  They lived and worked in Allentown, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Staten Island. Around 25 years ago, Marion and her husband moved to Edison, NJ to be near their daughter.  At that time, Marion was teaching at Neve Shalom in Metuchen. She retired from that position about 10 years ago, shortly before her husband passed away. Marion has four children, Arlene, Lenny, David and Judy, 18 grandchildren, and 16 great grandchildren.

We love you Marion and wish you many more years of health and happiness.


Telemedicine In 2018 For The Nursing Home Industry

Prognosticators are already jumping over themselves to “define skilled nursing health trends for 2018.”

The year isn’t yet 3 days old and we’ve already “defined trends” and are eager to offer predictions on the course of the SNF industry for 2018.

Well, it’s no secret that one of the big projections, is  related to Telemedicine.

Telemedicine takes off in 2018?

For years, skilled nursing providers have been excited about telemedicine, saying that virtual visits with physicians and other clinicians could improve care quality while decreasing the stress and costs of transporting residents. With Congress making moves to loosen some obstacles to adoption, and evidence piling up as to the benefits of telemedicine, 2018 could be a turning point for the technology.

Over the past several years, lawmakers and regulators have taken steps to make telemedicine more accessible. For instance, the 21st Century Cures Act required a report to Congress on potential ways to increase telemedicine’s role in the Medicare program, where there have been strict rules in place regarding when these services can be reimbursed.

Meanwhile, vendors and providers are already taking action, encouraged by recent research findings. Results from the TRECS Institute (Targeting Revolutionary Elder Care Solutions), released last August, showed that telemedicine is a highly effective way of preventing hospital re-admissions from SNFs. TRECS Executive Director John Whitman predicted every SNF will be utilizing telemedicine within three to five years.

Umm.. Memo to Mr. Whitman:

At Regency Skilled Nursing Centers of New Jersey, we implemented this technology at our centers over a year ago and have been using it successfully ever since.

Take a look



5 Essential COPD Questions

What is COPD?

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive lung disease that over time makes it hard to breathe.

Key Points

  1. COPD is chronic. In other words, you live with it every day.
  2. It can cause serious long-term disability and early death.
  3. There is no cure for COPD, but it is often preventable and treatable.
  4. COPD is sometimes referred to as chronic bronchitis or emphysema.

What to ask if you suffer from COPD

If you’ve been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), you likely already know the difficulties that come with being unable to properly process oxygen through your lungs. But you may have several questions about the progression of the disease, as well as your treatment options. Here are a few questions you should ask your doctor before beginning a treatment program for COPD

  1. What can I expect f I stop smoking?
  2. What side effects can I expect from my medication?
  3. Are there any changes I can make to help my condition?
  4. Besides smoking, what other factors can aggravate my COPD?
  5. Do I need any shots or vaccinations?