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Special Supplement of Lee Central Coast Newspapers

Health & Wellness Taking Care of the Basics Healthy Weight Why Donate Blood? Assisted Living Memory Care Centers


A2 |  January 27, 2019 | Health & Wellness / Lee Central Coast Newspapers

care of the basics B

eing healthy starts well before you ever get sick and need a doctor. Preventative health care can go a long way toward keeping your immune system strong and helping you physically and mentally cope better with stress.

Eating right

Everyone knows to eat a balanced diet, but it’s still one of the most important factors in good health. Eating lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, while avoiding too many rich and heavy foods, can help you have more energy and feel better.

A healthy diet can also help stave off conditions like diabetes, heart disease and obesity or help you in controlling those conditions.


Regular exercise can also help you feel better overall, in addition to managing long-term health conditions such as diabetes. Your joints last longer and hurt less if you’re exercising regularly, plus getting outside and working up a sweat is good for your mental health. Find physical activity that you enjoy and can do regularly. This can be highintensity exercises like running, hiking, kickboxing or weightlifting, or

low-intensity exercises like walking, yoga and pilates.

Sleeping enough

The CDC suggests seven to nine hours of sleep a night for adults. Simply being in bed for that long isn’t sufficient, though; you need good quality sleep at night. If you’re waking up after eight hours of sleep and still feeling tired, waking up multiple times a night or if you snore or gasp for air while you sleep, you’re probably not getting enough deep sleep. Try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day and cultivate other good sleep habits, including reducing screen time right before

bed; having a quiet, dark room; keeping screens out of the bedroom; and not eating large meals of drinking caffeine right before you go to bed.

Getting regular health care

See your doctor for an annual physical to get your blood pressure and cholesterol checked and get any tests you may need (such as for mammograms and pap smears for women and prostate exams for men). Make sure you’re up to date on vaccines, and take this chance to talk over any concerns or ask questions. You should see a dentist twice a year and see an eye doctor regularly as well.

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January 27, 2019 | Health & Wellness / Lee Central Coast Newspapers | A3

A Central Coast native with deep roots in northern Santa Barbara County, Venessa specializes in providing top rated audiological services including diagnostic hearing tests and hearing aid sales, programming, and maintenance. As a former small business owner she served the community as a board member of the Santa Maria Women's Network, a speaker for business workshops, and was co-host of a radio show helping other local business owners develop marketing and business management skills. With over nine years of experience in the pharmaceutical and medical industries, as well as six years focused on quality of life care for the elderty, Vanessa looks forward to continuing service to the community through education and maintenance of auditory health.



A4 |  January 27, 2019 | Health & Wellness / Lee Central Coast Newspapers

eight is no one’s favorite topic, but it is an important factor in your health. Being overweight or obese puts people at greater risk of being diagnosed with chronic conditions like diabetes, arthritis and heart disease, it puts greater stress on your joints and can make exercise harder and have an overall greater sense of dissatisfaction with your health. That means maintaining or reaching a healthy weight or reaching a healthy weight. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, what that number looks like is different for everyone; talk to your doctor to find out what range you should be in, and, as you’re making lifestyle changes, think more about how much energy you have, how your clothes are fitting and how you’re feeling than just the number on the scale.

Healthy weight management will not happen through fad diets or even short-term changes. For most people, it doesn’t mean cutting out certain foods either. If you love cookies, any long-term diet that doesn’t include cookies isn’t likely to be successful for you. Instead, find a lifestyle that includes a mix of healthy eating and regular exercise. The first step is to determine the number of calories you need in a day. The standard 2,000 recommended daily allowance is more than many American adults need. Once you know your calorie count, start planning meals that fit into your intake, provide the nutrients you need and taste good. A healthy diet is full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products; lean meat like poultry and fish, as well as

other lean proteins like beans, eggs and nuts; and is low in saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, salt and added sugars. This necessitates avoiding processed foods, which means more cooking and meal preparation on your part, but there are shortcuts or different methods that will still taste good and be healthy — use frozen, already sliced or canned fruits and vegetables (just make sure canned fruit is packed in juice, not syrup); substitute brown rice for white rice; and find healthier substitutions for ingredients in your favorite dishes or different ways of cooking, such as sautéing instead of deep frying food. For high-calorie foods like desserts, chips, French fries, cheese and anything with butter, keep them as part of your diet, but cut back how much you eat and how frequently.

A healthy diet is full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lowfat dairy products; lean meat like poultry and fish, as well as other lean proteins like beans, eggs and nuts; and is low in saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, salt and added sugars.

WHY DONATE BLOOD? of Americans are even eligible to donate. Of those who are eligible, only 10 percent donate annually. Once blood is donated, health care providers run 13 tests on each pint, 11 of which are for infectious diseases. While health care providers can use donated blood throughout the year, blood is most needed during the summer and winter holidays. All blood types are needed, but blood centers often are short of type O and type B. O negative is the universal blood type for donation, meaning the blood can be given to any recipient, and AB is the universal recipient. Blood donors must be at least 17 years old and weigh at least 110 pounds. Donors can only give blood every two months; although the body replaces the fluid in a few hours and the red blood cells in four weeks, you need eight weeks to restore the iron lost after donating. People who donate told the Community Blood Center in a survey that their No. 1 reason for giving blood is to help other people. If you start donating blood at 17 and donate every 56 days, as allowed, you’ll donate 46 gallons of blood by the time you’re 80.

Do Good for Yourself and Others. Donate Blood. Receive a mini-physical prior to your blood donation including temperature, blood pressure, pulse and hemoglobin. Santa Maria Donation Center 1770 S. Broadway St.

To schedule your life-transforming appointment or to learn more visit



January 27, 2019 | Health & Wellness / Lee Central Coast Newspapers |


omeone in the United States needs a blood transfusion every two seconds, according to the Ameri-can Red Cross. This may be because of surgery, a car accident, a gunshot wound, an acute illness like cancer or anemia, or a chronic illness like hemophilia; it can be a person of any age, race, socio-economic status, overall health or blood type. According to the Community Blood Center, about one in seven people who enters a hospital needs blood, which is about 4.5 million Americans annually. The average blood donation recipient requires three pints of blood during his or her stay. Hospitals in the United States and Canada use about 43,000 pints of donated blood every day. How important is blood donation? Here are a few things to consider. Because it cannot be manufactured, health care providers around the country count on people vol-untarily donating their blood. One pint of blood can help up to three people. To protect the blood supply, there are stringent rules for donating blood, and only about 37 percent

A6 |  January 27, 2019 | Health & Wellness / Lee Central Coast Newspapers

What to Look for in an

ASSISTED LIVING CENTER People often need extra care as they age. Some, particularly those confronting severe health challenges, need regular care that is significantly beyond the scope of what family members or close friends are able to provide. In those cases, an assisted living facility can majorly improve quality of life. Many assisted care centers also double as full-time medical facilities, good news for people who need medical attention. In the past, long-term care could only be handled by a nursing home. Living in a hospital setting for an extended time was not a pleasant environment. When looking for an assisted care center, consider some of these factors.

Garden and landscaping

The landscaping of an assisted living center can give you a good indication about the quality of the facility. A well cared for lawn and garden is a good sign.

“Understanding the care the person requires will help you find a center that is a good fit.”

And if the prospective resident enjoys spending time in nature, look for a facility that has park-like areas. Some centers have community-style gardens and walkways for residents. Just being able to see nature as it grows and changes with the seasons can be uplifting and soothing. An assisted living center with a manicured lawn and garden can make a huge difference in the quality of life for a loved one.

Home amenities

Accommodations at these centers can range from luxurious, detached cottages to cozy condominiums. It all depends on what you are looking for, what you

can afford, and what is available. As you visit the facilities, try to personalize each space. Imagine how your loved one’s belongings might fit into the area and where decorations will be placed. Does the atmosphere bring about a feeling of peace and tranquility? How are the rooms decorated? Are they tasteful and soothing, or do they remind you of a hospital setting? Look at the home amenities and consider how you would feel about living there. Would you want your loved one living there? Is the facility within your budget.

Recreation facilities

Game and meeting areas can help the resident make new friends and keep them from feeling alone and lonely. Leaving the confines of their units is an important part of recovery. Make sure the center offers activities and space to occupy your loved one’s time. Quality facilities will have activities that match his or her hobbies. If your

family member enjoys crafts, then look for a center with a designated craft area or classes for your loved one to enjoy.

Personal care

Ask your loved one’s personal physician how much care is required to function safely. The doctor may even be able to guide you toward an appropriate facility. Be sure to seek advice on what qualifications and certifications you need to look for in the center’s staff. The center’s employees should be wellqualified to handle medical needs. If you monitor the medical care, you can avoid paying for extensive services that your loved one may not need. Understanding the care the person requires will help you find a center that is a good fit. Choosing an assisted living facility is about finding the right combination of medical services and amenities. With research and thought, you will find the perfect place to bring comfort and care to your loved one.

MEMORY CARE CENTER As the Baby Boomer generation ages, cases of Alzheimer’s and dementia are skyrocketing throughout the U.S. Millions of Americans are affected by these terrifying memory-robbing ailments every year. But the rise in prevalence of these diseases has also spurred an increase in alternative and traditional treatment options. If you or a loved one are suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, a memory care center is one such option that could prove a major help. Here’s what you need to know when picking a memory care facility.


The experience and attitude of the staff members is one of the most important considerations. They should treat all

patients with kindness and respect. The center should also provide continuing education to employees to assure that everyone is up to date with the latest in memory loss research and care. Always visit a memory care center before admitting a loved one. Tour the facilities to make sure the building is clean and organized. The atmosphere should be calm and relaxing. Consistency and stability are important to those suffering from memory loss. The center should have a low turnover rate among staff members. No memory care center should rely heavily on part-time workers. Ask about the ratio of staff to residents, as well as the backgrounds of any medical practitioners employed by the center. Your loved one needs

personalized care and attention. It is vital that the center has enough workers on staff to provide quality care for your loved one.

What kind of security features do they use? Note your general impressions of each center you visit.

Secure, comfortable setting


Quality memory care centers will resemble comfortable, inviting homes. They should not look like hospitals. The facility should be clean and sanitary without appearing sterile. A center’s cleanliness is an indication of the dedication and price of everyone who works there. Ask questions about the activities offered to residents, how visits are handled and the types of therapies available. Because patients can sometimes forget where they are, it is important to ask how the center protects its residents.

Quality memory care centers have support services for residents and families. Symptoms from dementia can range from mild to extreme. The center should be equipped to handle all stages of dementia. The best centers have support groups for residents and family members. You and your loved one should be comfortable with the memory care center you choose. The best facilities can give patients a much needed boost and improve their overall quality of life.

January 27, 2019 | Health & Wellness / Lee Central Coast Newspapers | A7

How to choose a

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A8 |  January 27, 2019 | Health & Wellness / Lee Central Coast Newspapers

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