Help Your Nurse Aides Make 2016 Their Healthiest Year Ever!

In our last blog post, we shared some resources that may help your nursing assistants ring in the New Year with a healthier outlook on life!  As we all know, one of the biggest health issues across America is the obesity epidemic…and those of us in the nursing field are not immune from it.  More than half of all nurses and nurse aides in the United States are overweight.  This isn’t surprising when you consider that nearly 70% of all Americans weigh more than they should for optimum health.

Let’s look back in time. In the 1950s, about a third of Americans were overweight but less than 10% of them were considered obese.  By 1990, more than half of all Americans were overweight and nearly 25% of them fell into the obese category.  Today, at least 35% of American adults are suffering from obesity.

 

While there are many factors that contributed to this rise in obesity, one that has recently been discussed in the mainstream media is our culture’s obsession with low fat foods.  For decades, we’ve been told to eat margarine, non-fat yogurt, skim milk…and to ease up on eggs, butter and other “fatty” foods.  Now, the experts are changing their tune.  Did you see the recent cover of Time magazine, declaring that butter is back?

 

A well-known nutritionist, Ann Louise Gittleman, has been trying to get across the message about fat for decades.  A New York Times bestselling author of 30 books, Ann Louise has this to say:

“For over 30 years, I have maintained my position against fat-free and low-fat eating.  I’ve shown how low fat can make you fat and why the right fats are the key to igniting effortless weight loss.  Eating the right fats can crush sugar cravings, stoke energy, promote longevity and ensure overall good health.”

In 1999, Ann Louise wrote a book called Eat Fat, Lose Weight.  At the time, her work was highly criticized by conventional dietitians, physicians and journalists.  Now, the nutrition world is catching up with her and Ann Louise is releasing an updated version of that book.  It is NOT a diet book but, rather, a primer that explains how eating a diet high in healthy fats (macadamia nut oil, anyone?) can help resolve health and weight issues.

Ann Louise has a special place in her heart for those of us in the nursing field.  Here’s what she told us:

“I have such great admiration for all nurses and nursing assistants. Thank you for being the real health advocates for the people under your care!  On a personal note, my niece, Shira, became a nurse recently and I couldn’t be more proud of her chosen profession!  And, during the extended care of my parents, the healing hearts and warm smiles of their nursing assistants and nurses filled me with gratitude.  All of you in the nursing field are truly unsung heroes and heroines. Please take as good care of yourselves as you do of others!”

While Eat Fat, Lose Weight is not a diet book, it does contain some fabulous recipes.  Here’s one that is going on my table during the holidays!

You can get the recipe for Avocado Key Lime Pie by clicking here.

If you would like to know more about Ann Louise’s work, check out her website.

And, if you are interested in reading Eat Fat, Lose Weight, you can take a look at it on Amazon.

The Health and Well Being of Your Nurse Aides

All of us at In the Know have boundless respect for nursing assistants.  Every day, they dedicate themselves to caring for people who are elderly, ill and/or disabled.  There aren’t enough words to thank them for all they do!

However, so many of us in the nursing field tend to take better care of others than we do of ourselves!  We are conditioned to put the needs of our patients/clients/residents first.  If that means only stopping for one bathroom break all day, so be it.  Or, if it means gobbling down a soda and candy bar for lunch, it’s just the price we have to pay.  But is it?  Shouldn’t we follow the same healthy advice we give our patients?  You bet we should!

During the month of December, In the Know will be focusing on steps that nurses and nurse aides can take to nurture themselves and improve their health and well being.  And, what better way to start than with the subject most of us dread around the holidays…our weight!

Recent studies found that more than half of all nursing employees in the U.S. are overweight.  And, it’s not just Americans.  Our neighbors to the north in Canada share similar statistics for people in nursing: 45% of them are overweight and 14% are obese.  Stress at work, lack of sleep, poor eating habits and no time for exercise are all factors that can affect weight.

If you (or your employees) struggle with weight issues, here are some resources that may help:

Do you wonder whether your weight falls in the healthy range?  Visit this site and plug in your height and weight to find out.

How about exercise?  You’ve probably heard that to maintain a healthy weight, people should take at least 10,000 steps daily.  Ever wonder how many steps you take in one day?  If you (or your employees) have a smart phone, it can count them for you…for free!  Whether your phone is an Apple or Android, look for an app called Argus.  It will track your steps, your weight, your heart rate and more!  And, for a wealth of information about exercise and healthy living, check out a great website: Shape Up America.  In addition to information, the site offers motivational support for people struggling to control their weight.

What about stress?  Is it affecting the lives and health of your caregivers?  Share this online quiz  with your employees to give them some insight into their stress levels.

As we all know, information is power.  By sharing these free resources with your employees, you may help empower them to make healthy choices for themselves–today, through the holidays and every day to come!

 

 

Are Your CNAs Prepared for the Diabetes Epidemic?

Diabetes is an epidemic.  That’s not news.  But have you seen the latest global statistics? 

  • Someone dies from diabetes every six seconds.
  • Diabetes kills more people every year than HIV, tuberculosis and malaria combined. 
  • And, in just one generation, the number of cases of type 2 diabetes has exploded. In 1985, there were “only” 30 million people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.  That jumped to 415 million in 2015.  And, if nothing changes, the projection is that there will be 642 million type 2 diabetics by 2040.
  • Most countries are spending as much as 20% of their healthcare budget on diabetes.  Twenty dollars out of every $100 on just ONE disease!

It’s clear that we are not winning the battle against this preventable condition.  No doubt, every healthcare organization–including yours–has clients who are dealing with type 2 diabetes.  And, chances are that you also have employees who have diabetes…or are pre-diabetic.

When it comes to diabetes, knowledge is power.  In the Know inservice modules give your aides the tools they need  to help clients control their diabetes.  Here’s what one nurse manager had to say:

“After completing the ‘Understanding Diabetes’ inservice, one of our home health aides recognized the signs of hypoglycemia and impending insulin shock in her client. She called EMS and literally saved the client’s life because of the information she learned from In the Know!”       ~Tamika Y., Generations Solutions

Here are some inservice modules that can help keep your nurse aides “in the know” about the diabetes epidemic and how to prevent it:

Understanding Diabetes

Understanding Blood Sugar

Basic Nutrition & Hydration

Nutrition for Diabetic Clients

Personal Wellness for Nurse Aides

Working with Non-Compliant Clients

Cooking for Your Clients

As healthcare professionals, we need to take the lead in educating people about the effects that nutrition and lifestyle choices contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes. And that includes educating ourselves and our employees.  

If you have an idea for an inservice related to diabetes that you would like us to add to our library, please let us know.  All of us at In the Know are committed to doing our part to turn the tide against this rising epidemic.  We look forward to your feedback!