Regency Nursing Centers Excelling During COVID-19

Lately, select facilities have been touting and promoting the fact that they are now COVID-19 free.

To be sure, this is a great accomplishment and worthy of promotion. We have been blessed to be able to state the same, thanks to the herculean effort of our heroic staff of nurses and caregivers.

At the same time, more impressive than us promoting our own successes, is when our grateful families send us messages expressing their own gratitude.

Here is a review that was just posted on Caring.com for Regency Grande in Dover, NJ:

About Regency Nursing Centers

Regency prides itself on offering the very best of care in a patient-centered environment. This means always listening to our residents and patients and respecting their capabilities, while helping them to achieve maximum functionality and independence. And always maintaining the highest professional and quality standards in our staff and our facilities. Our 25 years of excellent care have led to us being awarded a Best Nursing Homes award by US News & World Today, a 5-Star rating by USA Today, and an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau, among many other awards.

Contact us by clicking here.

A Universal Flu Vaccine?

It’s the end of October. Time for sweaters, pumpkins, and… flu shots.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone be immunized against the flu, starting now. This will allow the vaccine to take full effect before flu season hits.

This is especially important advice for seniors, who are among the populations most vulnerable to the flu and its complications.

And it is especially important advice for today, when the senior population is increasing by 10,000 people every day in the US, and when the flu itself is becoming increasingly virulent.

In 2015, more than 700,000 people in the United States were hospitalized with the flu; 56,000 of these individuals died. It was the worst flu epidemic on record since 2009. The 2017 flu season was yet more severe than the epidemic of 2015, causing more hospitalizations and deaths than any year in decades. And the 2018 season was the longest in recorded history.

Why is it so hard to protect against the flu?

One of the difficulties of preventing a flu epidemic is having a sufficient supply of an effective flu vaccine. It takes several months to produce a sufficient quantity of a particular flu vaccine. Therefore, in order to have a sufficient supply of flu vaccine available before flu season arrives, complicated mathematical modeling is used to predict the type of flu expected to strike.

However, these models are extremely complex: many factors can influence the type of flu which will eventually strike a population, and it is virtually impossible to account for all factors. For this reason, the vaccines are often less effective than expected.

Recently, a study led by Dr. Katherine Koutsakos, of the University of Melbourne in Australia and Dr. Peter Doherty, of the Institute for Infection and Immunity, in Melbourne, sought to develop a single vaccine that would be effective against all strains of the flu.

The research team’s starting point was the analysis of every different flu strain. Their goal was to find common factors between them. These common factors would then become common targets to attack.

Generally speaking, there are three basic strains of the flu virus: A, B, and C. The influenza B virus has generally remained unstudied, since it does not have the same epidemic potential as types A and C. However, by studying all three types, the researchers were able to find the common elements they were searching for.

The team’s research was aided by scientists at the Purcell laboratory at the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute in Clayton, Australia. The Purcell laboratory specializes in identifying epitopes (viral targets), using mass spectrometry.

With the help of the Purcell Institute, Dr. Koutsakos and her team turned their attention towards a group of “killer” T-cells that were shown to protect against all types of influenza.

The team found ways to activate these T-cells, allowing them to markedly reduce levels of flu virus, as well as the inflammation of the airways that so often causes deadly complications. Their work was published in the journal Nature Immunology.

The researchers expect their new understanding to lead to the development of a universal flu vaccine. This vaccine would be far more precise and effective in our fight against the flu since no mathematical modeling would be required to predict the type of flu expected. Further, sufficient levels of an effective flu vaccine would always be available.

At the Regency Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers, we offer the very best of care in a patient-centered environment. This means ensuring that our residents are protected against the flu, and all other risks.

It also means following our residents’ health carefully, listening to them, and respecting their capabilities, while helping them to achieve maximum functionality and independence — and always maintaining the highest professional and quality standards in our staff and our facilities. Our 25 years of excellent care have led to us being awarded a Best Nursing Homes award by US News & World Today, a 5-Star rating by USA Today, and an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau, among many other awards.

Contact us by clicking here to see which of our three facilities will best meet your needs or the needs of your loved one.

New Hope in the Fight against Antibiotic-Resistant Superbugs

In 1928, Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin, the very first antibiotic, and ushered in an era in which bacterial infections were no longer life-threatening illnesses.

In the ninety years since then, antibiotics have saved countless lives — and have now led to the proliferation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. So serious is antibiotic resistance that the World Health Organization (WHO) has called it “one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development today.” In the US alone, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that at least 2 million people contract an antibiotic-resistant bacterial illness, known as a “superbug,” every year. More than 23,000 people a year die from that infection.

However, there is good news.

Research published in Nature Public Journals: Systems Biology and Applications tested combinations of different antibiotics against the deadly bacteria e. coli.

While it was previously assumed that different antibiotics would “cancel each other out,” the study found that combining four or five different antibiotics worked synergistically against the bacteria. Researchers used the analogy of attacking a fortress: utilizing a variety of methods of attack was more effective than using just one method.

Previously, only one or two drugs were used to combat bacteria, but the study looked at different combinations of four and five drugs from among 18,000 known antibiotics. The result: 8000 different combinations were found to be effective against the bacteria.

Michael Kurilla, the director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Division of Clinical Innovation, spoke enthusiastically about the results. “With the specter of antibiotic resistance threatening to turn back healthcare to the pre-antibiotic era, the ability to more judiciously use combinations of existing antibiotics that are singly losing potency is welcome. This work will accelerate the testing in humans of promising antibiotic combinations for bacterial infections that we are ill-equipped to deal with today.”

At the Regency Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers, we follow medical news closely. Because older people often have a weakened immune system, whether due to their age or to any of a variety of medical conditions, we use best practices to keep our residents healthy and happy. We maintain the highest professional and quality standards in our staff and our facilities. Our 25 years of excellent care have led to us being awarded a Best Nursing Homes award by US News & World Today, a 5-Star rating by USA Today, and an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau, among many other awards.

Contact us by clicking here to see which of our three facilities will best meet your needs or the needs of your

New Hope in the Fight against Antibiotic-Resistant Superbugs

In 1928, Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin, the very first antibiotic, and ushered in an era in which bacterial infections were no longer life-threatening illnesses.

In the ninety years since then, antibiotics have saved countless lives — and have now led to the proliferation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. So serious is antibiotic resistance that the World Health Organization (WHO) has called it “one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development today.” In the US alone, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that at least 2 million people contract an antibiotic-resistant bacterial illness, known as a “superbug,” every year. More than 23,000 people a year die from that infection.

However, there is good news.

Research published in Nature Public Journals: Systems Biology and Applications tested combinations of different antibiotics against the deadly bacteria e. coli.

While it was previously assumed that different antibiotics would “cancel each other out,” the study found that combining four or five different antibiotics worked synergistically against the bacteria. Researchers used the analogy of attacking a fortress: utilizing a variety of methods of attack was more effective than using just one method.

Previously, only one or two drugs were used to combat bacteria, but the study looked at different combinations of four and five drugs from among 18,000 known antibiotics. The result: 8000 different combinations were found to be effective against the bacteria.

Michael Kurilla, the director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Division of Clinical Innovation, spoke enthusiastically about the results. “With the specter of antibiotic resistance threatening to turn back healthcare to the pre-antibiotic era, the ability to more judiciously use combinations of existing antibiotics that are singly losing potency is welcome. This work will accelerate the testing in humans of promising antibiotic combinations for bacterial infections that we are ill-equipped to deal with today.”

At the Regency Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers, we follow medical news closely. Because older people often have a weakened immune system, whether due to their age or to any of a variety of medical conditions, we use best practices to keep our residents healthy and happy. We maintain the highest professional and quality standards in our staff and our facilities. Our 25 years of excellent care have led to us being awarded a Best Nursing Homes award by US News & World Today, a 5-Star rating by USA Today, and an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau, among many other awards.

Contact us by clicking here to see which of our three facilities will best meet your needs or the needs of your loved one.

An Unusual – But Important Place to Check a Pulse

Diabetics know to have their feet checked every time they see their doctor, but everyone else should do that, as well. Feet should be checked for any discoloration or unusual nail growth, and the doctor should also take a pulse — yes, a pulse! — in the foot.

Taking a pulse in the foot uncovers signs of peripheral artery disease (PAD), a narrowing of the arteries to the limbs. While most people have heard of coronary artery disease (CAD), which is caused by a narrowing of the major blood vessels to the heart, they may not have heard of PAD. But, the two go hand-in-hand. If someone has CAD, they probably have PAD, and vice versa. If your blood vessels are narrowed in one part of the body, they’re probably narrowed in other parts as well.

Approximately half of people with PAD have no symptoms, especially at the early stages. Or, to be more precise, they are unaware that they have symptoms. They may have leg pain while walking, but write it off as a normal feature of aging. However, if it is not normal aging, but undetected PAD, it puts the person at greater risk of cardiac events like a heart attack or a stroke.

Symptoms

Not everyone with PAD has symptoms, but, if they do, the following symptoms are the most common:

  • Cramping, fatigue, or sense of heaviness in the lower body during exertion. This usually occurs in the calves, but may also be felt in one or both hips or thighs. The feeling may or may not go away after a few minutes of rest. This is called claudication, and is the most common symptom of PAD.
  • A sensation of numbness or weakness in one or both legs
  • Decreased temperature of one lower leg or foot, as compared to the other leg or foot or the rest of the body
  • Any change in the color of the legs, feet, or toes
  • Shiny leg skin
  • Unusually slow toenail growth
  • Decreased hair growth on legs, feet, or toes
  • Dead tissue (gangrene)
  • Non-healing or slow-healing sores or wounds on the leg, foot, or toe

Risk Factors

If the symptoms listed above make you think of diabetes, you’re onto something. One of the greatest risk factors for PAD is diabetes, and more than 25% of diabetics have PAD. The other major risk factor for PAD is smoking.

Other risk factors for PAD include:

  • Being over 65 years old
  • Being over 50 years old, with:
    a family history of PAD,
    a history of diabetes or smoking,
    high cholesterol,
    high blood pressure, or
    obesity
  • Being under 50 years old, with diabetes and any of the risk factors listed above
  • A diagnosis of atherosclerosis, at any age

Complications

Complications from PAD put a person at risk of

  • Critical limb ischemia, in which decreased blood flow to the legs causes chronic sores or infections. Left untreated, these can lead to gangrene, and may require amputation of the affected part of the leg
  • Heart attack or If the blood vessels in your legs are narrowed, the blood vessels to your heart and brain are probably narrowed as well.

Treatment

  • Most people with PAD can be treated with therapeutic life changes (TLC), such as a structured exercise program. They may also be put on a statin and aspirin.
  • If someone is diabetic, it is imperative that they keep their blood sugar under control in order to prevent PAD from progressing.
  • Patients with advanced PAD may require a stent. Even if they undergo this procedure, they will need to institute TLC in order to prevent further progression of the disease.

PAD is a serious condition, but with appropriate lifestyle changes, it can be stopped in its tracks.

At the Regency Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers, we offer the very best of care in a patient-centered environment. This means following our residents’ health carefully, listening to them, and respecting their capabilities, while helping them to achieve maximum functionality and independence — and always maintaining the highest professional and quality standards in our staff and our facilities. Our 25 years of excellent care have led to us being awarded a Best Nursing Homes award by US News & World Today, a 5-Star rating by USA Today, and an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau, among many other awards.

Contact us by clicking here to see which of our three facilities will best meet your needs or the needs of your loved one.

Influenza: Not Just another Name for a Cold

Influenza is not just a fancy name for a cold. While both the common cold and the flu are caused by viruses, a cold is usually harmless but the flu is potentially life-threatening. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that between 9 and 35 million people get the flu every year in the United States. Between 140,000 and 710,000 of these people will require hospitalization. Between 12,000 and 56,000 will die.

Flu season typically starts in October and ends in May, though the number of infections peaks between December and February.

The flu is highly contagious, especially in the first 3 to 4 days after infection with the virus. Unfortunately, symptoms can begin anywhere from 1 to 4 days after infection, which means that you can get the flu from someone who doesn’t even feel or appear to be sick. Moreover, some people can be infected with the flu virus, not become sick themselves, but still be able to spread the virus and make other people sick.

The best way to avoid this dangerous virus? Get vaccinated. The CDC recommends that everyone over the age of six months get vaccinated every year against that year’s flu strain.

It is especially important for seniors to be vaccinated, because they are at high risk of developing complications from the flu. People who have medical conditions, including asthma, heart disease, diabetes, liver or kidney disorders, or weakened immune systems are also more likely to have serious complications from the flu.

Don’t like to get shots? That’s no excuse for avoiding the flu vaccine: it is available as a nasal spray, as well as an injection. And the nasal spray is no less effective than the injectable vaccine.

The flu vaccine is available at doctors’ offices, health clinics, and even at pharmacies and some schools, and is covered by Medicare and most private insurance plans.

At the Regency Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers, we offer the very best of care in a patient-centered environment, and that means taking adequate protection against anything that might put our residents at risk, including the flu. It also means following our residents’ health carefully, listening to them, and respecting their capabilities, while helping them to achieve maximum functionality and independence — and always maintaining the highest professional and quality standards in our staff and our facilities. Our 25 years of excellent care have led to us being awarded a Best Nursing Homes award by US News & World Today, a 5-Star rating by USA Today, and an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau, among many other awards.

Contact us by clicking here to see which of

Guidelines for Colon Cancer Screenings Updated

The American Cancer Society (ACS) has updated its guidelines for colorectal cancer, the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the US. It has lowered the age at which screening should start from 50 to 45, for people with an average risk of the disease. Those at higher risk, for example, people who have a family history of colorectal cancer or a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease, should start screening even earlier.

The revision was prompted by the results of an ACS study which found that colorectal cancer rates have been steadily increasing in young Americans. Even people in their twenties now have surprisingly high risk: someone who is twenty-eight years old today has four times the risk of colorectal cancer as someone who is sixty-eight years old.

There are several ways to screen for colorectal cancer. The ACS does not favor any of the tests any other. Instead, it advises people to discuss the various options with their doctor to determine which option is best for them.

According to the ACS, the five-year survival rate for colorectal cancer is 90% — if the cancer is discovered before it spreads. Unfortunately, today only 39% of cases are diagnosed at this early stage.

Early detection, which begins with early screening, is expected to make a huge difference in outcome for those with the disease.

At the Regency Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers, we offer the very best care — including preventive care — in a patient-centered environment. This means following our residents’ health carefully, listening to them, and respecting their capabilities, while helping them to achieve maximum functionality and independence

We also maintain the highest professional and quality standards in our staff and our facilities. Our 25 years of excellent care have led to us being awarded a Best Nursing Homes award by US News & World Today, a 5-Star rating by USA Today, and an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau, among many other awards.

Contact us by clicking here to see which of our three facilities will best meet your needs or the needs of your loved one.

New Approach for Alzheimer’s Vaccine

In 1906, the German psychiatrist and neuropathologist Dr. Alois Alzheimer examined the brain of a woman who had had a strange combination of memory loss, unpredictable behavior, and difficulties with language. He found two types of abnormalities. The first were unusual clumps of tissue; the second were tangles of fibers. He called the condition “presenile dementia,” but it quickly became known as Alzheimer’s D (AD)isease.

Today, Dr Alzheimer’s observations stand as the hallmarks of AD. We refer to the clumps of tissue as amyloid plaques, since they are caused by a buildup and clustering of amyloid proteins. The tangles of fibers are called tau (or neurofibrillary) tangles; they consist of tau proteins that have abnormally connected into long, tangled fibers.

Among the many approaches to Alzheimer’s research has been the search for a vaccine to prevent it. In the early 2000s, researchers attempted a vaccine that introduced antibodies to amyloid proteins, reducing the buildup of the protein. Inflammation is a common side effect of vaccines, but in the case of Alzheimer’s vaccines, the inflammation occurred in the brain. More than 5% of the time, brain inflammation resulted from Alzheimer’s vaccines, a percentage too high to be considered safe.

In a paper, published in the journal Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy, researchers reveal a new approach that sparks the immune system to prevent buildup of both amyloid plaques and tau tangles. The vaccine reduces amyloid plaques by 40 percent, and tau tangles by 50 percent. And it does so without causing brain inflammation, or any other adverse reaction.

The new approach is fundamentally different from all previous approaches to Alzheimer’s vaccines. Antibodies had always been developed in order to be used directly as vaccines. The new approach triggers the body to produce its own antibodies. Since the antibodies are “home-grown,” the body does not perceive them as foreign, and does not react to them.

To date, the vaccine has only been tested in animal models, and there is still much research that must be done before a clinical trial in humans is possible. But in the fight against Alzheimer’s, the potential for a vaccine is a tremendously exciting prospect.

Until Alzheimer’s can be eradicated, the best possible treatment is compassionate, dedicated care, offered by specialists in the field. At the Regency Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers, we offer special units designed to safely and compassionately provide for all of our residents, including those who suffer from various stages of dementia and other cognitive disabilities. Our Alzheimer’s patients thrive in comfort and security at all of our Regency facilities.

Our 25 years of excellent care have led to us being awarded a Best Nursing Homes award by US News & World Today, a 5-Star rating by USA Today, and an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau, among many other awards.

Contact us by clicking here to see which of our three facilities will best meet your needs or the needs of your loved one.

The Most Common Mistakes when Using an Inhaler

Inhalers are a daily fact of life for tens of millions of Americans, including 11 million with asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Nevertheless, studies show that two-thirds of people do not use their inhaler correctly.

Research at the Baylor College of Medicine, in Houston, Texas identified nine separate steps required for using an inhaler, and found that no patient they studied — including those who had been using inhalers for years — had proper technique.

What happens when inhalers are used incorrectly? A study at Rice University found that without proper technique, only 7% to 40% of medication actually reaches the lungs of an inhaler user.

The most common mistakes include:

  1. Not shaking the inhaler enough before using it. An inhaler contains both medication and propellant. It needs to be shaken 10-15 times before each use in order to combine them thoroughly.
  2. Positioning the inhaler incorrectly. A deviation of as little as 5 degrees from the correct position can cause the medication to remain in the mouth, rather than reaching the lungs. Using a spacer aids in avoiding this problem.
  3. Inhaling and exhaling too quickly. To properly reach the lungs, each puff should be inhaled for approximately five seconds, held in for ten seconds, then breathed out through the mouth for ten seconds.
  4. Taking a second puff too soon. If instructions are to take two puffs of an inhaler, it is important to allow the first puff enough time to open the passageways so that the second puff can reach further. Taking that second puff too soon is not merely useless, it can lead to trembling and shakiness rather than relief.
  5. Not cleaning the inhaler. The plastic mouthpiece of the inhaler should be rinsed at least once a week. This removes build-up of medication that can block a full dosage of spray.

Using a spacer aids in avoiding both the problem of positioning and of inhaling too quickly.

Asthma and COPD lead not only to increased mortality, but also to reduced quality of life. Managing them properly is essential. COPD sufferers should enroll in a pulmonary rehabilitation program in order to exercise their lungs, increase their fitness, as well as learn how to manage their disease with medications, including proper usage of their inhaler.

At the Regency Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers, we offer the very best of care in the most appropriate and patient-centered environment. This means always listening to our residents and patients and respecting their capabilities, while helping them to achieve maximum functionality and independence. And always maintaining the highest professional and quality standards in our staff and our facilities. Our 25 years of excellent care have led to us being awarded a Best Nursing Homes award by US News & World Today, a 5-Star rating by USA Today, and an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau, among many other awards.

Contact us by clicking here to see which of our three facilities will best meet your needs or the needs of your loved one.

An Overlooked Risk Factor for Senior Falls

We know that falling is a serious risk for older Americans: Falls are the leading cause of fatal injuries among seniors, and one in four seniors will fall every year. Every 19 minutes an older person dies from complications of a fall.

What’s new is the organization that just formed a task force to address falling in the elderly: the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE).

Falling? An endocrine issue?
An article in the Association’s journal Endocrine Practice notes that type 2 diabetes is implicated in many falls. The article notes that over 400 factors are associated with the risk of falls in the elderly, but type 2 diabetes is one of the most significant.

Older people with type 2 diabetes are more likely to fall than nondiabetics of similar age. One reason for this is that diabetics often lose sensation in their feet, a diabetic complication known as peripheral neuropathy. And if you can’t feel your feet, you’re more likely to fall. And while diabetes is a disease of high blood sugar, diabetics are also subject to hypoglycemia if their blood sugar falls too low. According to a study in the Journal of Managed Care and Specialty Pharmacy, hypoglycemia in elderly diabetics results in a twofold increase in falls over the course of a year.

Moreover, diabetics often take several medications, a practice known as polypharmacy. Polypharmacy is itself a risk factor for falling, since the more medications a person takes, the more likely those medications are to interact and result in an issue, such as dizziness or impaired cognitive function, that can precipitate a fall.

In short, while every senior has to worry about falling, diabetics — and those who care for and love them — need to be especially careful.

At the Regency Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers, we offer the very best of care in the most appropriate and patient-centered environment. This means always listening to our residents and patients and respecting their capabilities, while helping them to achieve maximum functionality and independence. And always maintaining the highest professional and quality standards in our staff and our facilities. Our 25 years of excellent care have led to us being awarded a Best Nursing Homes award by US News & World Today, a 5-Star rating by USA Today, and an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau, among many other awards.

Contact us by clicking here to see which of our three facilities will best meet your needs or the needs of your loved one.