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Alleviate Arthritis Pain Naturally With These 4 Simple Techniques

Everyone will experience mild to severe arthritis at some point in our lives. A lot of people associate the painful condition as a natural part of getting older, but that’s not true. Although the inflammation of bodily joints is common among older populations, there have been instances of younger people experiencing arthritis. So what can be done to dissolve the pain?

The first way is the recommended way, which is consulting a physician if your symptoms become too serious and uncomfortable to ignore. Your doctor can then prescribe you with the appropriate prescription medication or advise you to take aspirin, which can help ease the inflammation. But if you prefer not to use medication, there are other natural methods you can use to alleviate any pain you may feel when dealing with arthritis:

1. Hot and cold treatments – Methods involving these opposite temperatures, such as a heated pad or a cold compress, can go a long way in helping you overcome arthritis pain. Cold therapies can be applied directly to the affected area to sooth any swelling and warm or hot showers and baths can ease stiffness in your joints.

2. Exercise – Regular exercise keeps your joints flexible. If you’re experiencing moderate to severe pain, refrain from doing high impact cardio and weight training. Instead, opt for lower impact exercises like swimming or light jogging to prevent any additional stress on your joints.

3. Massage – as if anyone needed another reason to get a massage, add reducing arthritis pain to the list. A good masseuse can help melt away the stress and tensions you carry in stiff joints. Anyone suffering from moderate to severe arthritis pain should avoid deep tissue massage as the session might exacerbate your discomfort. Hot stone or Swedish massages are recommended.

4. Turmeric – Turmeric is considered a super food. This tasty spice is commonly found in Indian cuisine and its yellow pigment is prominent in popular dishes. Turmeric also contains a chemical called curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory propreties thus can reduce arthritis pain.


These are but a few tried and tested techniques science has shown to be useful in the fight against arthritis.

The 4 Reasons Why You Experience Memory Loss

As we get older, we’re going to get more forgetful. In fact, our brain mass actually starts to shrink in our 30s in addition to blood flow decreasing. Our neural network won’t be as sharp as it once was, but there might be some external factors that accelerate this decline. In fact, some innocent habits we carry out on a daily basis may be contributing to memory loss. These triggers include:

1) Taking certain medications – whether they are over-the-counter drugs or prescription medication, they may inhibit your memory as part of the long list of side effects. This is especially the case for any medication, like antidepressants, that directly affect your brain and neural network. You may take medication to treat a psychiatric condition, but while that’s being treated, your memory might be getting chipped away

2) High stress – if we are so focused on high-pressure situations that we let it consume us, we may forget previous situations. Stress can never be avoided but it can be properly managed so that we don’t experience physical side effects like headaches, weight gain, and memory loss.

3) Not sleeping enough – if we don’t get enough rest in general, we expose ourselves to a slew of health risks, such as memory loss. We need to give our brains enough rest to process everything that happened that day. Memory consolidation and those extra neural connections to store those memories occurs in REM sleep, so rest up to remember!

4) Poor diet – A healthy diet leads to a healthy brain. A “smart” diet consists of:

  1. Healthy fat – Foods with unsaturated fat and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) helps keep your neurons in contact with each other. Such foods include avocado, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, and tofu.
  2. Fish – Fish like salmon, tuna, and sardines are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which is an essential nutrient for brain health
  3. Whole grains – Whole-grain foods haven’t been processed and stripped of their nutrients. Foods like quinoa, whole-wheat bread, and wild rice have fiber and lots of vitamins and minerals to keep your brain fueled.

Keep your memories intact by taking better care of yourself. If you need to take certain medications, talk to your doctor first to ensure that they won’t affect your memory.

What You Need to Know About Donating Blood

January is National Blood Donor month. Many of our facilities regularly hold blood drives in collaboration with the American Red Cross. Our next blood drives will be held at Amsterdam Cares, Ontario Center, and Waterfront Center. Mark your calendars for these blood drives if you are in the area:

Waterfront Center’s Blood Drive – Tuesday, February 21st from 12 PM – 4 PM: https://www.facebook.com/events/224244571351205/

Ontario Center’s Blood Drive – Wednesday, February 22nd from 12 PM – 4 PM: https://www.facebook.com/events/1240948175985253/

Amsterdam Cares’s Blood Drive – Friday, February 21st from 12 PM – 4 PM: https://www.facebook.com/events/218889705187930/


As our aging population continues to grow, they will need more procedures done thus further increasing the need for blood, which has been in short supply for many years. Luckily, millions of volunteers donate blood every year, almost a third of these volunteers were first-time donors.

Why is the need for blood so great? To put things in perspective, someone who was in a nasty car accident would need as many as 100 pints of blood. The blood donation process can only acquire up to 1 pint of blood per donor. 100 generous volunteers must come together to save the life of 1.


To be an eligible blood donor, a person must:

– Be at least 16 years of age (depending on your state law)

– Weight at least 110 pounds

– Must be in good health (a cold, flu, bout of hypertension, anemia, or diabetes might make the donor temporarily ineligible.)


A potential blood donor becomes ineligible if they:

– Ever used needles to take drugs

– Are HIV positive

– Suffer from Hepatitis


There is no other way to create blood. The only way patients can get the blood they need for live saving medical procedures is through the kindness of donors. Blood donation only requires a fraction of the total amount of blood an average adult pumps in their body, and eligible donors can donate every 56 days.

We appreciate any way you can donate. Whether you are a blood donor or financial donor, you’ll be saving lives.

5 Popular Myths about Protein That Are Simply False

1. I’m not eating enough protein: You may or may not be eating enough protein depending on your age, gender, and body goals. Even though the Dietary Reference Intake recommends that men and women between the ages of 40-50 consume 56 grams and 46 grams of protein respectively, this number serves as a baseline and does not apply to every age group and body type. For athletes, bodybuilders, or anyone trying to build muscle, the recommended amount of protein is 1.2-1.7x that of your body weight.

2. High-protein, low-carb diets are the way to go: Before you ditch bread, rice, and any other food with complex carbs altogether, remember that your body NEEDS carbohydrates! Carbohydrates are the body’s primary source of energy. If there are not carbs for our cells to gobble up, then they will settle for the next best thing: protein. If you don’t consume enough carbs, you’re in danger of losing your muscle mass.

3. Protein is only in meat: Good news for vegetarians: protein can be found in nuts, beans, and some whole grains. Some of your favorite foods like peanut butter, black beans, or almonds, have around 7 grams per serving. Half a cup of tofu or any soy product will contain 11 grams of protein. And the popular super grain quinoa has 9 grams of protein per cup.

4. Too much protein is bad for your kidneys: Consuming too much of any one nutrient is bad for you; eat in moderation. The kidneys are like our body’s waste filtration system. If we eat too much of something or consume something dangerous, healthy kidneys can extract those unhealthy components and dispose of them. A huge increase in protein will not break your kidneys. If you experience any kidney pain or adverse symptoms, then you might not have to worry about your protein consumption, as this could be indicative of a more serious condition.

5. Protein makes you gain weight: An increase in protein consumption will make you heavier, but the extra weight is in muscle and lean body mass. And, if you regularly eat high levels of protein, you will lose weight in the long run. So don’t let the scale alarm you the next time you weigh yourself and you’ve gained a few pounds; you’re also losing that pesky flab.

Don’t be afraid to chug that protein shake or eat an extra piece of meat! Your body will thank you for making it stronger.

6 Fascinating Facts About Blood You Didn’t Know

Blood is the delivery system our bodies use to circulate nutrients and oxygen to every single cell. We all know that there are different types of blood cells, like red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets; it’s been a part of elementary school science curriculum for ages. But there’s more to our blood than many of us may not have known. For example:

1. Blood consists mostly of plasma, not blood cells. Yes, you read that right: blood isn’t even blood. 55% of human blood consists of plasma whereas 40% of blood consists of red blood cells. And plasma itself is light yellow in color, not red. Plasma is the component in blood that transports nutrients to the parts of the body that need it and holds the waste byproducts from cells.

2. Not all blood is colored red. Human blood is red, but other animals have different colored blood. Some worms have green blood. Spiders, squid, and crustaceans have blue blood. And some insects like beetles and butterflies have colorless or pale yellow blood. What makes blood a different color? There’s pigment in blood used to transport oxygen, and every type of organism has different pigments. The respiratory pigment in human blood is hemoglobin, which is found in red blood cells.

3. We have a little over a gallon of blood. The adult human body contains 1.3 gallons of blood, which is about 7-8 percent of a person’s total body weight.

4. There’s gold in them thar blood! Human blood has a more intricate makeup than we thought. Blood contains trace amounts of metal atoms including zinc, lead, copper, iron, and even gold. But the estimated amount of gold found in blood is close to 0.2 milligrams, so nothing to get rich off of.

5. Blood types vary by region. The dominant blood type in a particular country or part of the world will vary. For example, the most common blood type in the United States is O positive where the least common blood type is AB negative. On the other side of the world in Japan, the most common blood type is A positive.

6. Ultraviolet rays can reduce blood pressure. Too much fun under the sun isn’t good for your skin as it could lead to wrinkles, discoloration, or even cancer. But, UV exposure has been shown to reduce blood pressure by increasing levels of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a mighty molecule that facilitates many cellular activities. It’s be shown to improve sleep quality, help your immune system, and reducing blood vessel tone which will improve circulation. Limited time under the sun will get the blood pumping.

These are some fascinating facts about our blood that you may not have known about. If you live in the Amsterdam, Gloversville, or Finger Lakes area, mark your calendars for their blood drives and donate what you can!

Steuben Blood Drive: Wednesday February 15th, 12-5 PM https://www.facebook.com/events/1194407660607146/

Fulton Blood Drive: Monday February 20th, 9 AM – 2 PM https://www.facebook.com/events/262779394151518/

Ontario Blood Drive: Wednesday February 22nd, 12-4 PM https://www.facebook.com/events/1240948175985253/

Amsterdam Blood Drive: Friday February 24th, 12-4 PM https://www.facebook.com/events/218889705187930/

Waterfront Blood Drive: Tuesday February 24th, 12-4 PM https://www.facebook.com/events/224244571351205/


5 Stubborn Myths About Body Fat DEBUNKED

Fat is NOT bad for you. Fat is a vital part of our body composition. Fatty tissue is in our brains, under our skin (known as subcutaneous fat that acts like a cushion for shock absorption,) and is lined around your kidneys and liver. Fats are part of cell membranes and they store energy for later consumption. The nervous system also needs fat as fat is the conduit used to transmit signals throughout the body. So no matter what we do, we need to have fat in our bodies in order to survive. And believing these myths about body fat isn’t helping:

1. Fatty foods increases body fat: Fat found in food and body fat are completely separate from each other. After we hit puberty, our bodies have accumulated all of the fat cells it will ever have. Should our bodies increase in size, it’s because our fat cells grow in size not quantity. In fact, eating foods high in the healthy unsaturated fat instead of saturated fat will actually help you LOSE weight!

2. Fat weighs less than muscle: A pound is a pound. A pound of bricks weigh just as much as a pound of rubber bands, and the same applies to muscle and fat. The difference between fat and muscle is that fat is higher in volume, which is why muscular people look leaner.

3. Muscle can turn into fat if I don’t work out: It’s physically impossible for a muscle to turn into fat, as they are two separate bodily components. Now if you don’t engage your muscles with physical activity, then that muscle mass can shrink in size. But it won’t be replaced with fat.

4. You can target where you want to lose fat: spot reduction is a myth concocted by the many infomercials and snake oil products promising to help you “lose that pesky fat in that unseemly part of your body.” No matter what exercise you do, you are targeting multiple muscle groups. There’s no way to isolate on specific area. So if you have a pesky lower belly, all of the crunches in the world won’t make it go away.

5. Low body fat percentages are good: This is a potentially dangerous mindset. As we mentioned earlier, our bodies NEED to have a certain amount of fat in order to function properly. Body fat percentages are also different based on your height, gender, and age. A pregnant woman in her 30s will not have similar body fat as a man in his 20s.

There’s no magic food, product, or exercise that will melt your body fat. A structured diet with healthy foods and no junk food along with a regular exercise regimen will get you the body you want.

Do You Feel Guilty Having Your Loved One in a Nursing Home?

It’s hard seeing your parents getting older. The roles seem to reverse as you, the child and caretaker, become a caregiver and your parent becomes the caretaker. It’s heart-wrenching to say the least as, if this reality didn’t hit you already, it will hit you now as you realize that your parents won’t be around forever. They’re getting older, their bodies are getting weaker, and their health is slipping. So you do what you can to make your parents’ older years golden years, despite making possibly controversial decisions. Establishing the measures needed to get your parents care they deserve is challenging, especially if you cannot commit to being a full-time caregiver for whatever reason. So we fully understand any hesitation you might have if you have to move your parent in a nursing home, and why guilt may arise.

Here are a few questions you should answer before you make this big decision:

– Is your parent currently suffering from a debilitating ailment?

– Is your parent at risk to get sick or injured?

– How mentally alert is your parent?

– How mobile is your parent?

– How much assistance (if any,) does your parent need to perform daily living activities like bathing, cooking, etc.?

– What do the other family members have to say?

– How does your parent feel? Are they looking for you to take care of them or do they want to remain independent?

– If it comes to it, are you able to be a full-time caregiver? Do you have the time and money to tend to your parents’ needs?

The nursing home industry is the most regulated industry in the United States; yes, even more so than nuclear power! All of these regulations are in place to ensure that short-term rehab and long-term residents are getting exemplary care. It’s a lose-lose for all parties involved if a nursing home continually falls short of those standards, which is why it’s very much in a nursing home’s best interest to do the very best they can in providing tremendous care.

A well-run nursing home can provide round the clock care where you cannot. Highly rated facilities will have plenty of nursing staff available 24/7 for residents. There is an entire team of enthusiastic and fun-loving aides that facilitate activities, ranging from arts and crafts to live entertainment. A lot of nursing homes are very vibrant places to live. And don’t take our word for it; our residents will gladly attest to this! So before you let yourself get gnawed by guilt, pay a visit to your local nursing home, talk to your loved one, and see if it makes sense for them. Learn more about our facilities at www.centershealthcare.com/locations.

The 5 Best Brain Foods That You Need To Eat More Of

If you decided to start off 2017 on a health kick, we’re with you 100%! Signing up for a new gym membership is not going to be enough. About 80% of your weight loss efforts will come from your diet, not just your exercise habits. But while you work on making a strong body, don’t forget about building a strong brain. Here are some of the best foods you can eat that your brain will thank you for:

1. Deep-water fish: Fish, like salmon, sardines, and herring, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which is an essential nutrient for brain health.

2. Avocado: This versatile fruit well deserves the label of “super food.” There are a multitude of yummy recipes that call for avocado, either by itself or as a delicious and healthier substitute (e.g. if a recipe calls for butter or eggs, you can swap it out with one ripe avocado!) Avocados lower blood pressure, which promotes good brain health. The only downside is that they are high in calories, so limit yourself to a quarter or a half of an avocado per meal.

3. Whole grains: whole grains, like brown rice, oatmeal, and whole-grain bread, are not only heart healthy, but brain healthy as well. Any food that promotes good cardiovascular health is good for the brain as a well-run circulatory system delivers much-needed oxygen to the brain. Not only that, but these foods contain brain healthy nutrients like Vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber.

4. Beans: Beans are a very underrated food group. One serving of black beans has 7 grams of protein and they are an excellent swap for grains for gluten free diets. Beans can also stabilize glucose levels, which the brain needs for fuel. The brain is unable to store glucose for its own energy expenditure, so it needs a steady supply to stay in peak condition.

5. Dark Chocolate: Last but definitely not least is everyone’s favorite guilty pleasure of a health food. A piece of dark chocolate packs a punch as it contains antioxidants and natural simulants that can improve concentration. Also, dark chocolate stimulates the release of endorphins, which is why you’re always in a better mood when you munch on a piece of it! Unlike the other colors of chocolate, dark chocolate is a bit of an acquired taste. Its darker color comes from a higher concentration of raw cacao. The higher percentage of cacao in dark chocolate, the “purer” it is and the more antioxidants and stimulants it will contain.

2016: A Year in Review at Centers Health Care

2016 was a pretty eventful year for the world. From an election that captivated the entire world to record-breaking moments in this year’s Olympic games, 2016 was quite a ride. And for all of us at Centers Health Care, we had a very uplifting year. Every single one of our facilities experienced monumental advancements as we continue to grow.

We sent over 10,000 handmade greeting cards and care packages to the brave men and women fighting overseas this holiday season. All of our facilities participated in this initiative, with Amsterdam Cares being the center of it all. We participated with the Erie County American Legion to make it possible. News 4 Amsterdam and TWC Amsterdam helped spread the news of this program throughout the region.

We expanded our animal therapy program way beyond dogs and cats visiting our facilities. We now have certified therapy mini-horses visiting our facilities every month. Animal therapy has been proven to reduce stress and depression, and every staff member and resident just fell in love with these special animals. We’ve even had llama, therapy chickens and an armadillo – yes, an armadillo –visit our residents.

Another WW2 veteran from Essex Center participated in the North Country Honor Flight this year. He was flown to Washington D.C. where he joined other veterans at a ceremony in honor of their service to the country.

Triboro Center added a new sub-acute/short-term rehab unit, renovated the physical therapy suite, promoted several hard working nurses and nurse managers to well deserved positions, AND decreased re-hospitalizations by 12%!

Suffolk Center revitalized itself this year, sporting a brand new garden, rehab gym, main dining room, and more.

Richmond Center became our newest 4-Star facility and Boro Park Center became our newest 5-Star facility.

Hammonton Center, in addition to becoming a 4-Star Medicare rated facility, renovated an entire floor of patient rooms, and introduced a game room for residents young at heart.

We completed extensive interior renovations to our Waterfront and Amsterdam facilites, and even more are underway. By the middle of 2017, these two facilities will boast some of the newest and finest facility upgrades in the city.

Kingston Center in Rhode Island joined the Centers Health Care family in September of 2016.

More than 2,000 employees and their families braved a cold, rainy fall day to join us at our third annual Centers Health Care Family Fun Day and Charity Run. Donations of $7,500 were made to two area hospital charities.

We celebrated the centenarian birthdays in almost every single Centers facility, and we’re looking forward to celebrating many more birthdays in 2017.

We launched our Artists in Residence program to showcase the artwork of residents from all across the Centers family and display them in public building for all to enjoy.

In December we announced a new program to recognize social workers for all they do. The Centers Health Care Patient Advocacy Award will be presented annually to a social worker who exhibits inspiring, untiring dedication to the welfare of the patients they serve.

2017 is shaping up to be a more exciting and successful year! On behalf of the entire Centers Health Care family, we wish you and yours a very happy and prosperous new year!

6 Reasons Why You’re Having Trouble Sleeping

The average amount of sleep humans get in a 24-hour period is 8 hours. That means we spend a third of our lives catching Z’s. Every hour we spend recharging our batteries matters, so if you can’t sleep for whatever reason, it will definitely impact you the next day. Anyone who has burned the midnight oil on occasion, binge watched the latest new entry on Netflix, or pulled an all-nighter can attest how sluggish they feel the next day from the sleep deprivation. For anyone else who tries to get a good night’s sleep but can’t, these could be the reasons why:

1) Stress –Stress is considered to be a silent killer. Prolonged periods of stress can lead to high blood pressure, chronic headaches, and poor sleep habits. We go over stress management techniques in another blog post if you have trouble keep life’s stresses at bay.

2) Irregular schedule – We are all creatures of habit. If you work 4 AM to noon every Monday through Friday, you’d be thrilled to sleep in on the weekends. The big drawback with this habit is the grogginess you feel when you sleep in. So even if you hate waking up at 3 AM, waking up at noon Saturday and Sunday morning isn’t any better.

3) Sleep apnea – if you have trouble breathing when you sleep, snore loudly, or wake up frequently, you may have sleep apnea. Talk to your doctor if you have any of these symptoms, as this is one of the easiest sleep conditions to treat.

4) Eating right before bedtime – It takes up to four hours for consumed food to be digested by your stomach and move onto your small intestine. Eating within the four hours before you sleep could result in gastro esophageal reflex disease or GERD, which is when stomach acid backflows into the esophagus. This is one of the most common causes of disrupted sleep and could also be a result of your diet.

5) Taking OTC sleep medication – Sleep pills or PM medicines sometimes include antihistamines. Antihistamines are in allergy medicine and can also lead to drowsiness. Their primary purpose is to combat allergies, not as a sleep remedy.

6) Sleeping with your phone – The blue light from electronic screens, whether it’s a computer or smartphone, has been proven to disrupt circadian rhythms by reducing your body’s production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep. Remedy this by installing an app that reduces the blue light from your electronics or power down 2-3 hours before you go to bed.