Florence Nightingale advocated for the use of pets in improving the health of the sick. Studies have shown pets have a positive effect in lowering blood pressure, improving mood and calming heart rate. Pets can stimulate conversation, improve socialization and decrease disruptive behaviors. What do many of us do after a stressful day? Many of us find solace in petting our cat, talking to our dog or caring for other kinds of pets. The staff of Pine Valley have been using pet therapy for some time to improve the lives of residents. A wonderful family member brings her dogs to visit residents regularly. Surrogate life-like pets are used when a resident would not be able to hold a real animal with many of the same benefits. Residents can watch live birds in the aviary and assisted living residents are able to keep a small pet in their room. Past blogs have described use of non-pharmacological approaches such as: music, brain games and now pet therapy to increase health benefits and to treat the whole individual. If you are interested in playing a part in your own wellness, then consider some of these easy and fairly inexpensive ways to boost your health!
Recent reports indicate that simple changes to lifestyle may contribute to brain health. Whether or not that translates to delaying the start of dementia warrants further study for definitive confirmation. Researchers recommend keeping your mind active with what can be called “cognitive training”, controlling your blood pressure and getting routine exercise to contribute to brain health. One study suggested that regular cognitive training that was practiced over time with structured programs may improve long-term mental function in healthy adults. Controlling blood pressure and physical activity pays health dividends in lots of other conditions as well. Another study suggested that a diet rich in leafy greens contributed to a sharper memory. New research reported in the U.K. claims that people with positive attitudes towards aging had a lower risk of developing dementia. Genetics may be the biggest deciding factor in whether or not someone develops dementia, but if you want to take responsibility for your brain health, adopting these simple steps may help.
Music is enjoyable and a form of communication. Drums were used to communicate across a distance by early man. Recently, science has proven music to be much more than pure enjoyment or communication. Listening to music has shown to benefit the human brain. It reduces stress and depression by lifting mood, boosting immunity and aiding social bonding. It has been shown to increase cognition by enhancing reading, reasoning and mathematical ability. It improves memory and has positive health outcomes for premature infants, autistic children, learning disabilities, those suffering emotional trauma, physical disabilities, pain, depression, Parkinson’s and more. Listening to music releases dopamine in the brain, the “feel good” neurotransmitter. Pine Valley staff received special training on the benefits of music and use it to enhance the lives of residents, and would like to share the positive effects of music with you. Why not do yourself some good and join Pine Valley February 14 from 1:30-3 pm for the Jim Gorman band in the Community Room. On March 18th from 2-3 pm, Brass in the Pines ensemble will play in the Community Room. Both events are free and the public is welcome.
Career Education Cooperative (CEC) Healthcare Partners continue conversations with State and Federal Agencies to advocate for 17 year old Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) Youth Apprentices to independently operate a patient lift.
At a time when the healthcare workforce is experiencing a crisis level of shortage, the Career Education Cooperative is providing the opportunity for local students from Kickapoo, Hillsboro, Riverdale, Ithaca, Richland Center, and Eagle Schools to start on a healthcare career path. Through the CEC program, 16 and 17 year old students are taking college-level nursing courses, completing their CNA, and working as a paid Youth Apprenticeship (for at least 450 hours) with local healthcare partners.
However well-trained and mature these students are as they enter the workforce to help address this healthcare workforce crisis, they are blocked from doing their complete job because of their age. A Department of Labor Ruling states students under 18 cannot independently operate a patient lift. The CEC healthcare providers are speaking up on how this ruling interferes with patient care, limits the hours high school seniors can work, and creates a barrier for getting seniors in High School started on a healthcare career track. CEC partners agree that training and employing high school students in the nursing field is a viable path in addressing the healthcare worker shortage crisis. CEC partners also agree that it will be best for health care providers, young nurses, and patients if the DOL ruling is changed.
On September 7, 2017, at Pine Valley Community Village, Joe Knilians, Director of WI Business Administration, brought Leslie Davies, U.S. Small Business Administration. They met with the following CEC healthcare partners to understand the issue better and help with the advocacy efforts to change the DOL ruling.
- Cory Nugent, Dycora, Nursing Home Administrator
- Sarah Buroker, Dycora, Director of Nursing
- Jessy John, Richland Renewable Energy Chemist and Career Education Cooperative Board Member
- William Bartlet, Schmitt Woodland Hills, Development Director
- Morgan Goodyear, CEC Student, Schmitt Woodland Hills, graduate of Richland Center High School
- Echo Bristol, Pine Valley Community Village, Nurse Manager
- Becky Dahl, Career Education Cooperative Co- President
Morgan Goodyear was a 2016-2017 Youth Apprenticeship student in the CEC program. She continues to work at Schmitt Woodland Hills while continuing her education at Southwest Technical College.
At the September 7th meeting, Echo Bristol demonstrated a patient lift to help Leslie Davies better understand the issue. Sarah Buroker shared with Leslie Davies, “as a Director of Nursing it is a noted value when nurses are able to actually work as a CNA prior to getting their nursing license.” The CEC provides this training and employment opportunity enhancing the experience of new nurses.