Regal Blog

Ready to “Fall Back” this Weekend?

Tuesday, October 27, 2015 @ 01:10 PM

This weekend it’s time to turn the clocks back 1 hour – Daylight Savings Time ends at 2:00 AM on Sunday, November 1st, but you may want to fix your clocks Saturday night before you climb into bed after the Halloween festivities!

Some clocks will automatically adjust but you may still have to manually adjust:

  •        ~  microwaves/ovens
  •        ~  bedside alarm clocks
  •        ~  clocks in your automobile
  •        ~  timers for sprinklers, lamps, coffee pots etc.
  •        ~  regular wrist watches
  •        ~  and any other household gadget with a clock on it!

Wondering how to weather through the time change? Take a look at these helpful sleep tips:

  •        ~  If you can, later this week start adjusting your sleep schedule forward by 15- 20 minutes over three or four days
  •        ~  Otherwise go to bed at your regular time on Saturday, and get up at your regular time on Sunday
  •        ~  Get some exercise during the day so you feel tired earlier
  •        ~  Avoid alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, they interfere with sleep
  •        ~  Try to relax before bedtime, shut off the smart phone, lower the lights and the temperature a bit

Seniors adjust to time changesRemember, it will take your body a few days to adjust naturally to the time change, darkness earlier in the day and more light in the morning. If you regularly have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, take WebMD’s Sleep Habit Assessment here:

Do yourself a favor and check out Regal’s article on how a better night’s sleep can lower blood pressure here:

Also – remember this is a good time to replace the batteries on your household smoke alarms if you didn’t do so during “Spring Forward” season.

Regal’s prescription for handling medications is a practical one: BE PROACTIVE in handling your pills!!!! Here is a great guide for storing, dispensing and disposing of prescription medicines, because how you handle them may cause harm. Our top twelve tips:

          1)  Always store medications in a cool, dark, dry place, unless of course they need to be refrigerated

          2)  Check the expiration dates – do NOT take expired medications, be wary if they have changed color etc.

          3)  Be sure to follow instructions as to dosage and time of day to be taken

          4)  Ask if you should take the prescription with or without food

          5)  Use a daily pill organizer if you take multiple medications over the course of a week

          6)  Do not share medications and keep them stored securely away from children and others in the house that might abuse them

          7)  When traveling, carry-on your prescription items in case your luggage is stolen or lost

          8)  Don’t keep medicine in the car or glove compartment of a vehicle, or the bottom of your handbag

          9)  Do not just toss expired items in the trash – dispose of them properly (see below)

          10)  Be sure to put the lights on – never take meds in the dark

          11)  Take out the cotton in the pill bottle once you open it, and always close containers tightly to keep out moisture

          12) Keep local poison control phone numbers handy in case of emergency or overdose

You should always read the leaflets enclosed in the box or attached to the container because there are important facts like side effects to be expected etc.  If you have questions or concerns about the meds you are taking, talk to your doctor or the pharmacist, especially if toxic interactions with other prescriptions you are taking are possible or you are experiencing side effects. Other rules of thumb include keeping medicine all in one convenient location, in the original container or bottle, and taking an inventory every 6 months. The FDA has specific guidelines on how to dispose of unused medicines, visit: You may also wish to review our website article entitled Mixing Your Meds Can Be Dangerous!

CONTACT US: With so many Seniors taking different medications for multiple conditions and chronic pain, the potential for drug-related problems is increasing so medication management is especially important. Adverse side effects, duplication of drugs, interactions with other medications, and even overdose can be serious and life threatening. If you or a Senior loved one are having trouble keeping track of the medicines you are being prescribed, perhaps you are a candidate for medication management or care management. In addition to private duty nursing and home health services, Regal professionals can provide you or a loved one with medication management and care management as well as assistance with daily needs while you are ill, receiving treatment and recovering. Contact Ferial Andre, RN, CCM, CDP, at 561-499-8382 or

This article is not intended as medical advice

Seniors, Dump the Diet and Still Lose Weight!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015 @ 01:10 PM

dump the diet

Are you a Senior struggling with weight loss due to a stubborn slowing metabolism and perhaps poor eating habits? The only thing scarier than Halloween is getting on the scale and seeing another pound pop up! There are a lot of good reasons to lose weight, one of which is healthier aging. For Boomers the benefits include increased cognition, resistance to illness, more energy and better management of chronic health problems.

Regal has come up with a list of top tips that will bust that belly and fight that flab:

  •           ~  Sleep more, you will snack less
  •           ~  Consume more veggies and fruit for fiber
  •           ~  Choose whole grain foods and products – they fill you up faster
  •           ~  Slide the sauce to the sideline
  •           ~  Don’t drown your salad in dressing
  •           ~  Skip the sugar in your coffee or tea
  •           ~  Stop drinking soda
  •           ~  Limit alcohol intake – switch to light beer
  •           ~  Don’t eat out as often
  •           ~  Skimp on meat meals, splurge on fish and skinless chicken instead
  •           ~  Slow down; chew when you chow down to give your stomach time to tell your brain it’s full
  •           ~  Portion your food, and leave a bite or two on your plate
  •           ~  Chew sugarless gum to ward off a snack attack
  •           ~  Eat from smaller plates and drink from smaller glasses
  •           ~  Increase your exercise routine by 10 – 20 minutes

Feel free to share!

CONTACT US: Regal professionals take a “whole”-istic approach to care. We believe that healthy nutrition habits, daily activities, proper medication management and monitoring of symptoms translate to better patient outcomes whatever the underlying conditions might be that are being treated. Regal’s proactive and preventative approach results in a plan of care that helps individuals reach their optimum level of wellness sooner. For more information on our services contact Ferial Andre, RN, CCM, CDP, at 561-499-8382 or

This article is not intended as medical advice.

Dreaming About Lower Blood Pressure? Get More Sleep!

Sunday, October 11, 2015 @ 04:10 PM

Sleep quantity as well as sleep quality can affect a person’s blood pressure according to a recent study. sleep_Blood pressureThe Mayo Clinic discovered that prolonged periods of shorter sleep time resulted in higher blood pressure at night and a higher heartbeat rate for the sleep subjects tracked!

Key Point: Blood pressure naturally fluctuates throughout the day, peaking in mid-afternoon, then falling at night when we sleep. High blood pressure at night is a major risk factor for a heart attack.

Americans typically do not get enough sleep according to the National Sleep Foundation. The CDC says the percentage of adults sleeping less than 6 hours each night has increased by 30%  over the last 30 years! Sometimes this is due to chronic pain, overindulgence, medications, and sleep apnea, but a 24 hour culture with little work/life balance could also be a contributing factor to less sleep.  Stress, heartbreak, divorce, although limited in duration are also a few possible causes for lack of rest. The result is a decrease in the quality and quantity of sleep AND a resulting increase in hypertension, heart disease, mood swings and memory problems.

Too few hours in dreamland has been linked to hormone changes, snooze more for healthobesity, diabetes, stroke arthritis, heartburn, asthma, thyroid issues, and poor immune response in addition to hypertension and heart disease. Insufficient sleep can be responsible for irritability and depression, delayed reaction, and slow response times, and poor physical performance as well as mental performance. Research has even shown the human sleep cycle is crucial to making memories. Unfortunately the older we get, the harder it is to fall asleep and stay asleep!

So if Americans are chronically sleep deprived – what can it’s citizens to do about it? Sometimes stress or illness gets the best of us, as do isolated incidents like job changes, break-ups, and the passing of loved ones, but overall there are lifestyle changes we can make.

So how do you get 7 hours of ZZZs a night???

The experts say an average of 7 hours a night is optimal for most adults, so be prepared to do the following for a better night’s sleep:

     ~  go to bed and wake up at the same time each day (even weekends!)

     ~  stick to a routine – warm bath, read a novel

     ~  avoid caffeine late in the afternoon or evening

     ~  use your bed for sleep not as a workstation

     ~  cut down on late night activities

     ~  eliminate blue wavelength light from electronic devices a few hours before bedtime

     ~  exercise earlier in the day, stretch or do yogo to relax at night

     ~  eat nutritionally, and don’t go to bed hungry

     ~  if you snack in the evening, reach for Tryptophan-rich foods (see below)

     ~  limit liquids before bed to cut down on nighttime urination urges

     ~  remember alcohol is not a sedative

     ~  do not smoke before bedtime, nicotine is a stimulant

     ~  keep your sleeping quarters dark, quiet, and at an ideal temperature

     ~  limit late afternoon naps

In addition – many of the foods you eat can affect sleep! Remember a good night’s sleep is essential for keeping you alert and energetic, and for building your body’s defenses against infection, chronic illness, and even heart disease. So perhaps a few dietary changes might be in order. Check this list for some diet dos and don’ts for a restful night:

     DO: Drink milk, and chow down on dairy foods, and other Tryptophan rich ingredients like bananas, nuts, honey and eggs.

     DO: Indulge a craving for carbs, they increase tryptophan in the bloodstream, so combine them with dairy. Bread + cheese = sweet dreams!

      DON’T: Partake in high fat foods or spicy cuisine that can disrupt the sleep cycle.

     DON’T: Consume cola, chocolate, or other less known sources of caffeine; be wary of medications containing caffeine as well at nighttime.

doggone sleep for seniorsIn conclusion, lack of sleep not only threatens your health but your safety and the safety of others. Sleep deprivation has been linked to car accidents and injuries at work. It’s normal to have trouble sleeping once in a while but if you suffer from insomnia, check with your doctor. Review any medications you are taking for side effects as well. Unfortunately, some of the medications used to treat depression, anxiety, and stress can also cause insomnia. There could be other barriers to sleep that could be keeping you up, and causing you to procrastinate going to sleep every night – read a quick helpful article from Fast Company HERE. 

CONTACT US: We all need more high quality ZZZs! Sleep is very important for healthy aging. A proper night’s sleep allows the body to work on vital functions, and lets your cells and tissues recover, and is necessary for memory function.  Both men and women tend to have sleep problems after 65. Lack of sleep in Seniors and the elderly has led to the “sundowning” syndrome and increased wandering. Regal caregivers and care managers are trained in dealing with the symptoms of these conditions and trained in “resetting” the body clock. Read our prior article here: Let us help your loved ones and ease their suffering from the negative health effects of sleep deficiency. For more information on our services, please contact Ferial Andre, RN, CCM, CDP, at 561-499-8382 or

This article is not intended as medical advice.

PumpkinSeedSeasonIt’s Fall and you know what that means! Pumpkins are everywhere! The scent and taste (even color) of pumpkins can be found in muffins, salads, coffees, candies, pies and purees, etc. While enjoying this autumn cornucopia of seasonal treats don’t overlook the seeds – the most beneficial part of the pumpkin.

Pumpkin seeds offer the potential to:

     ~  improve your immune system (zinc also helps you sleep better)

     ~  pump up your potassium,

     ~  mobilize your magnesium (good for a healthy heart)

     ~  protect your prostrate

     ~  advance antioxidants (important for liver health)

     ~  support sleep (tryptophan promotes serotonin and melatonin production)

     ~ act as an anti-inflammatory

Other benefits include:

     ~ good source of protein and iron

     ~  fabulous for adding fiber to your diet

     ~ provides healthy fats like omega 3

     ~  have anti-microbial properties

So what are you waiting for! When you carve up that pumpkin for pumpkin pie, save the seeds (roasted or toasted, spiced or seasoned) and add them to your diet:

     ~  sprinkle them on your oatmeal or yoghurt

     ~  add them to baked goods like cookies and muffins

     ~  mix them in salads

CONTACT US:  Fall can be fun and autumn harvest can be healthy. At Regal we are all about health and wellness and aging gracefully. Our professionals understand the correlation between health and successful aging and work to integrate the physical, social, mental, emotional, spiritual, and environmental components of wellness into our plan of care for each patient or client. We also think holidays and seasonal celebrations as well as important life events are a critical component of care and strive to be sure our clients and patients continue to stay active and enjoy as much of their lifestyle as possible. Would you or a loved one benefit from care management or concierge services? Contact Ferial Andre, RN, CCM, CDP, at 561-499-8382 or 

This article is not intended as medical advice.