Category Archives: Health Topics

ASK THE EXPERT // Music Therapy

What is Music Therapy?  It is the use of music to address the physical, emotional, cognitive and social needs of groups or individuals. 

Music can promote wellness, manage stress, alleviate pain, enhance memory, promote physical rehabilitation and improve communication.  Music Therapists utilize music and effectively help with the improvement of mental and physical health of individuals by using music therapy. 

The idea of music as a healing influence is as old as    ancient philosophy.  The modern birth of music therapy began after WWI and WWII when professional and   amateur musicians visited Veterans hospitals around the country.  Thousands of patients suffering with physical and emotional trauma from war responded to music.   This led doctors and nurses to request hiring of musicians by the hospitals.  It was soon evident that prior training before entering the hospitals would be of      benefit.  The first music therapy curriculum was founded at Michigan State University in 1944. 

Below is some information about Music Therapy.  We are grateful to have a Music Therapist on staff here at Copperfield Hill. 

· Music therapy is not just for people who are or were musicians. Anyone can have a connection with music and can benefit from music therapy.

· Music therapy can be used for people of all ages, from premature infants to older adults and everyone in between.

· Music therapy is a an evidence-based practice and rooted in research, just like physical, occupational and speech therapy.

· There are many different approaches and methods of music therapy.  However, all music therapy is grounded in three main principles: client preference, clinical expertise, and best available research.

· Music can be used by many individuals in ways that make us feel better, but that does not mean it is music therapy. In order to be considered music therapy, it must be performed by a board certified music therapist in a formal setting in which the music therapist and patient/client use music to work toward accomplishing specific goals. (This is the main misconception)

· While recorded music can be used for music therapy, live music is best for accomplishing most goals addressed in music therapy.

* Copperfield Hill’s Music Therapist, Bailey Blatchley, MT-BC contributed to this article.  Learn more at musictherapy.org

Posted in General Information /Health Topics /Human Interest /Spiritual Well Being /Uncategorized /

The Great American Smoke Out

Each year, the American Cancer Society hosts the Great American Smoke out on the third Thursday in November.  The Great American Smoke out is an opportunity for people who smoke, to make a plan to quit and commit to a smoke-free and healthier life.  The smoke out starts with one day, but it has the intention of providing individuals with the motivation to quit smoking for good.  Use this date to quit altogether or to make a plan to quit.  The Great American Smoke out event not only is the challenge for individuals to stop smoking but also help people with tools that they can use to help them quit and stay that way.

A deadly and tough to kick addiction, nicotine in cigarettes is one of the strongest additions one can have.  Quitting is not easy for many who smoke.  Like other health improvement plans, one needs the commitment and a plan to make that commitment realized.  There are many quitting methods, such as prescription medications and counseling support.  It is always recommended to consult your health care advisor for information and support.  Having support is a proven way to be successful.

The Great American Smoke out began in the 1970’s when smoking and second hand smoke were very common.  In 1970 at an event in Randolph, MA, people were asked to give up cigarettes for one day and donate the money they saved to a high school scholarship fund.  In 1974 in Monticello, MN another don’t smoke day was spearheaded.  The movement caught on and in 1976 the CA American Cancer Society got nearly 1 million people to quit for the day.  The Smoke out went nation-wide in 1977.  Since then, a lot has changed.  Public view of smoking has changed.  Many public places and work spaces began the move towards a smoke free environment.  Today, very few buildings allow smoking inside. 

Today, less than 16% of Americans smoke.  However over 37 million Americans still smoke.  Each year close to half a million people die from illness caused by smoking.  Smoking is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the US.

Changing attitudes have helped reduce the number of deaths and illness.  Improving your health and quitting smoking go hand in hand. 

Learn more at www.cancer.org.

Posted in General Information /Health Topics /Human Interest /

ASK THE EXPERT // Healthy Lungs

November is National Lung Cancer Awareness Month.  Many times what helps a movement, is just the simple part of getting the word out.  The American Lung Association’s Lung Force initiative is uniting women, men and caregivers to stand together in the fight against lung cancer. It is only with critical awareness that we can turn the tide against this life threatening disease. 

We take our lungs for granted.  Our bodies have natural defense systems to protect our lungs.  But the ALA suggests some ways to keep your lungs healthy.

1. Don’t Smoke—This is the major cause of lung cancer and COPD.  Cigarette smoke narrows the air ways in the lungs and causes chronic inflammation (swelling) in the lung.  If you smoke, quit.  Its never too late to benefit from quitting.

2. Avoid Exposure to Outdoor Air Pollution—Air quality can vary from day to day.  Knowing how this can affect your health and implementing useful strategies to minimize prolonged exposure can help keep you (and your family) well.  For example, the recent smoke from wild fires is one example of outdoor air pollution.

3. Prevent Infections—This is as simple as practicing good hygiene.  Wash your hands to prevent unwanted germs.  Avoid crowed places during cold and flu season.  Good oral hygiene is important, too.  Talk to your doctor about getting an influenza vaccination, pneumonia vaccination and the COVID-19 vaccine if it is the right thing for you.  These are effective tools to prevent severe illness. 

4. Get Regular Check-ups—Prevention and early detection of any illness is a strong way to avoid and fight disease. 

5. Exercise—It doesn’t matter your age or ability, being physically active can keep your lungs healthy.  Mild to moderate exercise not only can make you feel better, it can make a big difference in your overall health.

6. Breathe—Breathing exercises and deep breathing can help with your overall lung health.

Learn more at:  www.lung.org, rush.edu

Posted in General Information /Health Topics /Uncategorized /

Denture care:  How do I clean my dentures?*

 

We are focusing on dental health this month, which includes many who use dentures.  Proper care is required for removable partial or full dentures.  It is important to keep them clean and free from stains.

Good denture care includes:

• Remove dentures after eating and run water over them to remove food debris.
• Be careful handling dentures.  When wet they become slippery.  If dropped you can cause damage to dentures.  Also, be sure not to bend or damage the plastic or the denture clasps when cleaning.
• Clean your mouth after removing your dentures.  Use a soft brush or gauze and clean your entire mouth (palate).  Remove any remnant denture adhesive.
• Brush your dentures (at least) daily.  Soak and brush with soft bristled brush and nonabrasive denture cleanser.  Don’t use denture cleaner inside your mouth.
• Soak dentures overnight.  Most types need to stay moist to hold their shape.  Water or mild denture –soaking solution can be used.  Check with your dentist about proper overnight storing of dentures.  Follow manufacturer’s guidelines on cleaning and soaking.
• Rinse well before putting dentures back in your mouth.  Some solutions contain harsh chemicals that can cause burning or pain is swallowed.
• Schedule regular dental exams.  For many reasons, this is important.  Your dentist can help with overall oral hygiene and health as well as proper use of dentures.  Make sure to check with your dentist if the fit of your dentures is not right.  Poor fitting dentures can cause irritation, sores and infection.

Avoid:

• Abrasive cleaning materials.  This can cause damage to dentures.
• Whitening toothpastes.  Often containing peroxide, whitening toothpastes do little to change the color of denture teeth.
• Bleach-containing products.  This can weaken dentures and change their color.  Don’t soak dentures in solutions that contain chlorine bleach.  It can tarnish and corrode the metal in dentures.
• Hot water.  Boiling water can warp your dentures.

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*Mayoclinic.org/denture-care

Posted in General Information /Health Topics /

The Tooth Brush – A History

October is National Oral Hygiene Month

The modern toothbrush was invented in 1938.  Early forms of a “tooth brush” date to 3000 BC.  Ancient people used a “chew stick”,  a stick that someone would chew on until it became frayed.  The sticks were rubbed against the teeth.

The bristle toothbrush was invented in the mid 1400’s in China.  With handles of bamboo or bone, the bristles were usually taken from an animal with coarse hair.  Boar bristles were often used.  With the invention of plastics in the late 1930’s, nylon bristles were introduced.  The first commercial tooth brush was called Doctor West’s Miracle Toothbrush.  Disciplined oral hygiene became more of a practice in the 1940’s.  This was due to the disciplined hygiene habits of WWII soldiers.

The first American to patent a toothbrush was H. N. Wadsworth, (patent #18,653) on Nov. 7, 1857.  One of the first electric toothbrushes to hit the American market was in 1960. It was marketed by the Squibb company under the name Broxodent.toothbrush

Sources: loc.gov, colgate.com and history.com

 

Posted in Fun Facts /General Information /Health Topics /Uncategorized /

Ask the Expert

October is National Oral Hygiene Month

Dental

We take note of what dental hygienists do and raise awareness of the importance of good oral hygiene and oral health.

It does not matter what age you are, oral hygiene is very important to your overall health. The following are five issues that dental hygienists address: Periodontal Disease, Teeth Whitening, General Oral Care, Cavities and Inflammation

Everyone loves a clean mouth. So, here are the basic steps to keep it clean and healthy!

Floss Daily – There are places a tooth brush just can’t reach.

Brush Twice Daily – Morning and night, brush for two minutes to prevent cavities and gum disease.

Rinse with Mouth Wash – Not only does this keep your mouth clean, it does wonders for your breath.

Question: What is the connection between oral health and overall health?

The mouth is loaded with bacteria. Most of it is harmless, but your mouth is an entry point for your respiratory and digestive systems. Sometimes, harmful bacteria can enter your system and cause disease.

⇒ The body’s natural defense system is strong. Most the time this defense system and good oral hygiene are enough to keep harmful bacteria at bay. But, if you don’t practice good oral hygiene, bacteria can reach high levels causing infections in your mouth that can lead to gum disease and tooth decay.

⇒ Various diseases such as Endocarditis, Cardiovascular Disease and Pneumonia have been linked to poor oral hygiene.

⇒ Conditions that might affect your overall oral health can include: Diabetes, Osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s Disease. Diabetes can put your gums at risk, Osteoporosis can cause weakening of the jaw bone and tooth loss and Alzheimer’s disease can diminish the ability for one to maintain their own oral hygiene.

Eating a healthy diet and limiting added sugar is also helpful. Avoiding tobacco use will also increase the general health of your gums and mouth. Don’t forget to keep a regular schedule of visiting your dentist and oral hygienist. Contacting your oral health professional as soon as you see a problem will help keep a small problem from getting bigger.

 

*Sources: mayoclinic.org, adha.org, nationaltoday.com

 

Posted in General Information /Health Topics /Uncategorized /

The Different Types of Grief

August is National Grief Month.  Last week our Pastor, Jan Hartsook talked about grief.  She touched on the different things that can cause us grief and the stages that many go through to work through grief.  Here is a little more information about some types of grief.*

• Normal/Common Grief – Many people cope with grief and carry on a normal daily routine despite their grief.  Under the surface, an individual may be grieving and experiencing intense feelings of grief at different times.  However, on the surface, they seem like they are carrying on as normal.

• Complicated Grief – this is grief such that it actually keeps the individual from carrying on their daily lives.  It can lead to irrational thoughts and avoidance behaviors, like avoiding anything that reminds the griever of their loss.  This can feel like a constant presence making one feel boxed in by the grief.

• Inhibited Grief – To avoid pain, some avoid facing the reality of their loss.  They might throw all their energy into something else; avoiding the grief to avoid the pain.  On occasion, inhibited grief can lead to physical problems like headaches, loss of sleep or digestive issues.

• Disenfranchised Grief – We grieve for many things and this is where disenfranchised grief can appear.  Losing something that does not seem worthy of grief, to others, can put more pressure on the griever to push down or suppress their feelings.  Loss of a pet, a job, someone we don’t actually know, these are all examples.

• Absent Grief – Similar to Inhibited Grief, this happens when feelings are silenced and pushed down.  When people act as if nothing has happened it can lead to denial and avoidance.

• Anticipatory Grief – This is when someone starts to feel grief before loss actually happens.   An example is when you know someone who has a terminal disease, and the emotion of grief begins before they pass away.

• Exaggerated Grief – This type of grief is similar to complicated grief where sorrow and the inability to function don’t improve over time.  Sometimes this happens if someone experiences more than one loss at a time or in a short period of time.  Life feels overwhelming and makes it hard for the griever to cope.

• Cumulative Grief – When there are multiple losses in a short period of time, this can cause cumulative grief.

• Delayed Grief – This is just as described, when feelings of grief don’t appear immediately.  It is possible that pent up feelings of grief can get stronger over time, making it more difficult to cope later than after the initial situation causing the grief.

• Collective Grief – This is a type of grief that is experienced by a group of people.  It might be someone in the public eye, like a political leader or celebrity that people are mourning.  It could also be something that comes as a large event like an earthquake, fire or other natural disaster.

Experiencing grief is a common experience.  We all experience grief, we just don’t all do it in the same way.  There is no one way to experience grief.  Individuals need to be able to recognize and be aware of what is causing them grief and then find the best ways to process it in a healthy and healing way.  Understanding the different types of grief might be of help when we are trying to process grief for ourselves, or when we are helping a loved one with their grief.

 

*Used as resources here, there are many, many resources for information about grief:  happiness.com, knowyourgrief.org, grief.com, mayoclinic.org, psychologytoday.com, health.com

Posted in General Information /Health Topics /Spiritual Well Being /

How We Got Through It

In March of 2020, we could never have imagined what lay ahead for our world and our community. As we look back on the past sixteen months, we can see an evolution. Navigating the uncertain waters of the pandemic will no doubt be remembered as the biggest challenge we know. Our reactions, teamwork, attitudes, sense of humor and determination are all pieces of the puzzle that when put together, pulled us through. We all looked out for our neighbors, co-workers and all the individuals who support Copperfield Hill. We learned a lot and as we creep back to normalcy, when asked what helped us get through, residents and staff gave us their thoughts:

♥ Activities with Beth and Erin

♥ Staying in touch with people through work, seeing family, time with my husband, Zoom/phone calls and prayer time with God

♥ Essential Caregivers, my car, activities

♥ Allowing me to move in to Copperfield Hill during the pandemic

♥ Daily Delights and the activities cart that visited the apartments, weekly COVID updates were informative and encouraging, the staff> Calmness and support from the residents, they endured a lot and it was done with kindness

♥ Faith in God

♥ Family support of my belief to wear a mask and follow mandates

♥ Prayers, thank you notes/emails from residents and families

♥ Painting my house, yard work and watching Netflix with family

♥ Family, friends, my dog and lots of good books

♥ My strong faith in Christ and love for helping people

Our lives were all changed, but the main comment in regards to what got us through, was the presence of human connection. That is something we have and cherish at Copperfield Hill!

Posted in About Us /Activities /General Information /global interest /Health Topics /Spiritual Well Being /

Ask the Expert//

How to Sleep Better

sleep

We have all been there.  We dread going to bed because we don’t sleep well and never get enough sleep to feel rested.  How can we break this cycle?

Sleep is one of the most important components of a healthy lifestyle.  Adults should try to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night.  Proper sleep is what recharges your system, your brain in particular.  It helps our immune systems, metabolism, heart health, creativity, vitality and even our weight.

Losing even an hour of sleep per night can cause problems.  It doesn’t just mean a tired morning.  “ A good night’s sleep begins each morning,” says local wellness coach, Janet Johnson.  “When we sleep, our bodies do the important work of cleaning and repairing our brain and body,” adds Johnson.  Ultimately our daily habits contribute to a good night’s sleep.  The following are sleep well tips Johnson shares:

► Go to bed and get up at the same time every night/morning.  Consistent wake times and bedtimes will enable your body to get into a regular rhythm for sleep.

► Go outside for at least 10 minutes in the morning.  Look toward, but not at, the morning sun.  The yellow blue contrast rays of the morning sun will reset your circadian rhythm.  This helps produce melatonin for sleep 14-16 hours later.

► Do some physical activity in the morning or midday to stimulate your brain and body.

► Stop caffeine after 2pm.  Caffeine has a half-life of 7 hours.  If you have coffee at 3pm, half of the stimulating caffeine will still be in your body at 10pm.

► Wind down before bed.  Create a calming pre-bedtime routine.  Quiet activities, such as reading and meditation are good ways to start a restful transition to sleep.  Avoid TV, computers and your smart phone before bed.

► Avoid alcohol and large meals in the evening.  Alcohol may seem like a good idea but even a small amount makes it harder to stay asleep.  Eating a big meal at night can also interrupt sleep.  If our bodies have to focus on digesting a late dinner or snack, we won’t get all the cleaning and repairing that our brain/body needs.

 

What is Circadian Rhythm?

Circadian rhythms are 24-hour cycles that are part of the body’s internal clock. They help the body carry out essential functions and processes. One of the most important and well-known circadian rhythm is the sleep /wake cycle.

 

Sources: nia.nih.gov, helpguide.org, janetjohnsonwellness.com, sleepfoundation.org 

 

Posted in General Information /Health Topics /Uncategorized /

How to help break the stigma of mental illness

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, but what do we mean by mental health?

As discussed in an article by the The Mayo Clinic*, “Mental health is the overall wellness of how you think, regulate your feelings and behave.”

At times, physical illness, environmental stresses or a change in one’s personal situation can cause a disruption or interference with individual thought process and mental functioning. This is what can cause our mental wellness to be compromised.  Being aware of changes and recognizing signs that someone might be experiencing challenges with their mental health is helpful for all involved.  Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Openly talk about mental health – Break the stigma about talking about mental health issues.   Common and treatable, more people suffer from mental health then you may be aware.

Educate yourself – There are plenty of resources accessible to learn more about specific types of mental illnesses, treatments and support.  Talk to your health professional, visit the library or online resources.

Be aware of the language you use – The language we choose to use matters. Do not use insulting terms (ex. “Crazy” or “Psycho”). Identify the person first, not the illness. (ex. My brother who struggles with OCD vs. My OCD brother).

Show compassion towards those with mental illness – Be supportive to people with mental health conditions. Check in frequently, provide support and encouragement.

Speak up against the stigma – Be positive.  Don’t sit by idly as others pass judgements or speak in a derogatory manner.

 

Great resources to educate yourself about mental health:

www.nami.org

www.thedepressionproject.com

www.mayoclinic.org

www.mentalhealthmn.org

www.mn.gov

www.nimh.nih.gov

Sources: https://www.centracare.com/blog/2019/may/break-the-stigma/
*https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/mental-health/art-20044098

 

Posted in General Information /Health Topics /Uncategorized /