FITNESS DECREASES DEMENTIA RISK IN WOMEN
Staying fit can reduce the risk of dementia. A study published in Neurology stated, “The study involved 1,500 women in Sweden who provided information on their physical activity levels and took cognitive tests for up to 44 years. Scientists found that women with higher fitness levels were 88% less likely to develop dementia, compared to women with average fitness. Women with lower fitness had a 41% higher risk of developing dementia than women with average fitness.”
Helena Horder, a physiotherapist from the Center for Aging and Health-AGECAP at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, and colleagues measured cardiovascular fitness. “If the small blood vessels and circulation in the heart are okay, then the brain is also affected in a positive way by good small vessel circulation,” says Horder. She continues, “While there is strong data showing that having low fitness is unhealthy for the heart and brain, I was very surprised that high fitness was so protective, and that so few developed dementias in the high fitness group. What the results show is that even though genes can work against you for developing dementia, through behavior you can prevent a lot of diseases,” notes Horder.
See “A Long Journey with Alzheimer's,” pp. 218-227 in this issue.—http://time.com/5197635/fitness-lower-dementia-risk/
HELPING THOSE AFFECTED BY HOMELESSNESS
“When we label, we negate people. People are not their circumstances,” writes Mary Jarowski, in Daily Nurse. She suggests 10 ways to help those affected by homelessness:
- Change the language. Labels can hold people back. Create language that notes transitioning to a better outcome.
- Offer frostbite checks in the streets and the shelters. Frostbite is the killer of digits, ear lobes, and limbs.
- Offer footgear. Shoes and boots need to be protective. Start a shoe/boot drive. On average, a person affected by homelessness walks 5 miles daily.
- Offer foot care clinics at shelters or churches. Create a monthly clinic; recruit nursing colleagues.
- Provide socks. Wool socks are helpful in cold climate areas. For summer weather, provide a cotton blend.
- Provide coffee shop cards. A 5-dollar gift card makes someone a paying customer and gets them out of the heat or cold.
- Provide feminine hygiene products. Women affected by homelessness have menstrual cycles, too.
- Without judgment, just help. Do conscious inner work to extinguish the urge to judge what brings a person to be without a permanent residence.
- Have a stash of “benevolent baggies” available. Plastic storage bags with a gift card, socks, snack bar, water, underwear, or other items can be kept in your car and handed out, as needed.
- Work for social change. Pick any one of these suggestions and go to work. Learn about the bigger issues. Use your knowledge and compassion to create change in one person at a time.
Want to learn more? Read “Homeless No More: A Christ-Centered, Comprehensive Homeless Recovery Program” on pp. 228-233 of this issue.—https://dailynurse.com/10-ways-nurses-can-help-affected-homelessness/
DON'T FOLLOW YOUR HEART
“The ‘follow your heart’ creed certainly isn't found in the Bible. The Bible actually thinks our hearts have a disease: ‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?’ (Jeremiah 17:9).”
“The truth is, no one lies to us more than our own hearts. No one. ... No, our hearts will not save us. We need to be saved from our hearts. Our hearts were never designed to be followed, but to be led. Our hearts were never designed to be gods in whom we believe; they were designed to believe in God.”
“Therefore, don't believe your heart; direct your heart to believe in God. Don't follow your heart; follow Jesus. Jesus is your shepherd (Psalm 23:1; John 10:14). Listen to his voice in his word and follow him (John 10:27). Let him be, in the words of a great hymn, the ‘heart of your own heart whatever befall.’ He is the truth, he is the way, and he will lead you to life (John 14:6.)”—From Don't Follow Your Heart: God's Ways Are Not Your Ways (2015) by Jon Bloom, pp. 6-8. Desiring God: Minneapolis, Minnesota.