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Healthy Meal Planning: Tips for Older Adults

May 13, 2024

Eating healthfully and having an active lifestyle can support healthy aging. Use the resources below to learn about different patterns of healthy eating and ways to create a nutritious meal plan.

Older adults’ unique nutrition needs

Simple adjustments can go a long way toward building a healthier eating pattern. Follow these tips to get the most out of foods and beverages while meeting your nutrient needs and reducing the risk of disease:

Read and share this infographic and spread the word about ways that may help foster healthy aging.

  • Enjoy a variety of foods from each food group to help reduce the risk of developing diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. Choose foods with little to no added sugar, saturated fats, and sodium.
  • To get enough protein throughout the day and maintain muscle, try adding seafood, dairy, or fortified soy products along with beans, peas, and lentils to your meals. Learn more about protein and other important nutrients.
  • Add sliced or chopped fruits and vegetables to meals and snacks. Look for pre-cut varieties if slicing and chopping are a challenge for you.
  • Try foods fortified with vitamin B12, such as some cereals, or talk to your doctor about taking a B12 supplement. Learn more about key vitamins and minerals.
  • Reduce sodium intake by seasoning foods with herbs and citrus such as lemon juice.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day to help stay hydrated and aid in the digestion of food and absorption of nutrients. Avoid sugary drinks.

It can be hard for some people to follow through on smart food choices. Read about common roadblocks and how to overcome them and check out the USDA’s tips for older adults.

USDA Food Patterns

Eating habits can change as we grow older. The USDA has developed Food Patterns to help people understand different ways they can eat healthy. The food patterns include:

  • Healthy U.S.-Style Eating Pattern: This is based on the types of foods Americans typically consume. The main types of food in this eating pattern include a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat dairy, seafood, poultry, and meat, as well as eggs, nuts, seeds, and soy products. Check out this sample menu to get started.
  • Healthy Mediterranean-Style Eating Pattern: This one contains more fruits and seafood and less dairy than the Healthy U.S.-Style Eating Pattern.
  • Healthy Vegetarian Eating Pattern: This pattern contains no meat, poultry, or seafood, but does contain fat-free or low-fat dairy. Compared with the Healthy U.S.-Style Eating Pattern, it contains more soy products, eggs, beans and peas, nuts and seeds, and whole grains.

Visit the USDA Food Patterns webpage for more information on each eating pattern and recommended daily intake amounts for each food group.

Meal planning

Read and share this infographic to learn about making healthier food choices as you age.

Answering the question “what should I eat?” doesn’t need to leave you feeling baffled and frustrated. In fact, when you have the right information and motivation, you can feel good about making healthy choices. Use these tips to plan healthy and delicious meals:

  • Plan in advance. Meal planning takes the guesswork out of eating and can help ensure you eat a variety of nutritious foods throughout the day.
  • Find budget-friendly foods. Create a shopping list in advance to help stick to a budget and follow these SNAP-friendly recipes.
  • Consider preparation time. Some meals can be made in as little as five minutes. If you love cooking, or if you’re preparing a meal with or for friends or family, you may want to try something a little more challenging.
  • Keep calories in mind. The number of calories people need each day varies by individual. Always discuss your weight and fitness goals with your health care provider before making big changes. Read about calorie goals and healthy food swaps.

Find Recipes

When planning meals, looking for recipes that sound delicious to you can be a good place to start. The USDA features the MyPlate Kitchen, a resource that helps you find healthy recipes that fit your nutrition needs and create a shopping list. The MyPlate Plan tool will create a customized food plan for you based on your age, height, weight, and physical activity level.

Some of the recipes available at MyPlate Kitchen include:

  • 20-Minute Chicken Creole: This Creole-inspired dish uses chili sauce and cayenne pepper. It can be cooked on the stovetop or with an electric skillet in just 20 minutes.
  • Five A Day Salad: This nutrient-packed salad uses 10 different vegetables, and each serving is equal to five cups of vegetables.
  • Apple Carrot Soup: Ginger and orange peel are the secret ingredients to this pork, apple, and carrot soup.

When you create your shopping list, don’t forget nutritious basics such as fresh fruits and vegetables and whole-grain bread. This sample shopping list (PDF, 108 KB) includes a variety of healthy foods you may want to have in your kitchen.

Sample menus

Here are some meal options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, including links to recipes as well as simpler choices that can be put together without a recipe.

DinnerSnack
Chicken breast, roasted vegetables, hummus Roasted salmon, zucchini, and sweet potato Whole-wheat pasta, ground turkey, and tomato sauce Argentinean grilled steak with salsa criolla Eve’s tasty turkey tetrazzini Fish with spinachBaby carrots and hummus Celery with natural peanut butter Fruit and yogurt Banana cocoa yogurt pops Chili popcorn Yummy bean dip

National Nurses Week 2024: Deals, Discounts, Gifts & Freebies!

May 8, 2024

We are preparing for an amazing celebration of National Nurses Week this year! Many companies are showing their gratitude for nurses and healthcare workers by offering awesome deals and freebies during Nurses Week and throughout the year. Whether you are a healthcare worker looking for a good deal or you’re shopping for a healthcare hero in your life, check out these great deals!

Electronics & Technology

  • Verizon – Nurses and their families can get welcome unlimited for $20 per line for four lines. Available for new or existing customers. The new discounts will be available to eligible new and existing Verizon customers. Must confirm eligibility through ID.me. Nurses can also get Verizon’s Fios 1 Gig Internet plan for $49.99/month.
  • AT&T Wireless – During Nurse/Physician Appreciation Week, nurses, physicians, and their families get 25% off their best-unlimited plans.
  • Bose – Nurses will get a special discount on orders of $199 or more. Verification with ID.me.
  • Lenovo – Save an extra 5% off new tech like smartphones, laptops, and more with ID.me during checkout.
  • Ring.com Doorbell – One-time discount on select Ring.com purchases after verification with VerifyPass. 
  • SONOS – 15% off for nurses through the ID.me page. 
  • PC Liquidations – Healthcare workers receive 10% off any refurbished gadget products with no minimum purchase.
  • MedShop – Nurses can get 10% off on nursing scrubs and other product lines through May 19 by using the discount code “NURSE2024”.
  • Therabody – Therabody is offering 20% off regular-priced Theragun or Theraone CBD for nurses.
  • Philips – Philips is offering 25% off purchases. Use ID.me for verification.
  • Samsung – Samsung offers up to 30% off for all first responders.
  • iRobot – iRobot offers up to 15% off select robots for nurses.
  • Leatherman – Leatherman offers 30% off multi-tools for all healthcare professionals.

Scrubs

  • Figs Scrubs – Get a 20% OFF discount on Figs scrubs. 
  • Jaanuu Scrubs – Get a 30% OFF discount on Jaanuu scrubs.
  • Fabletics Scrubs – Nurses Week promo (20% off scrubs + free embroidery) for VIP Members only May 6-12. Our activating offer for those who want to become a VIP Member is $19 for a set
  • OliveUs Scrubs – Get a 10% OFF on OliveUs scrubs.
  • Dickies – Get a 20% discount on scrubs from May 1 – May 14.
  • AllSeasonsUniforms.com – Get a 20% OFF discount on our medical scrubs and lab coat lines.

Food & Dining

  • Buffalo Wild Wings – Nurses get 20% off their orders from May 6-12. 
  • Chick-Fil-A – Chick-fil-A doesn’t offer a national nurses’ week discount, but local franchises do. Check their website to find your local restaurant.
  • Chipotle – Chipotle is continuing its annual recognition of the healthcare community by awarding 100,000 healthcare workers with free burrito e-cards, equivalent to over $1M in free food. From Monday (5/6) through Friday (5/10), healthcare workers can sign up for a chance to win a free burrito e-card. Read more about Chipotle’s Nurses Week deals.
  • Cinnabon – Nurses get a FREE Classic cinnamon roll or a Minibon roll, at select locations. 
  • Dunkin Donuts – Get a FREE medium hot/iced coffee on May 6 at select locations. No purchase necessary.
  • MOD Pizza – MOD Pizza is recognizing both teachers and nurses with a BOGO deal available from May 6th to 9th.
  • G.O.A.T. Fuel – Get this health-forward energy drink from NFL G.O.A.T. Jerry Rice and his daughter Jaqui Rice Gold for 15% off. 
  • Outback Steakhouse – Get 10% off your entire check with a valid medical ID.
  • Mrs. Fields  Cookies – Save as much as 25% off the entire Heroes Collection of gifts for Nurses weeks. 
  • Texas de Brazil – Bring your ID to any Texas de Brazil locations in the continental U.S. to get 15% off your dine-in dinner or lunch for up to 4 people. (Not valid on U.S. holidays.)
  • Kind – Kind has not announced their nurse’s week discount yet, check back for updates. 
  • Thrive Market – Thrive Market offers free memberships to nurses. Use ID.me for verification.
  • Hello Fresh – Hello Fresh is offering 55% off and free shipping on their first Hello Fresh box. Plus ongoing 15% off for all nurses. 
  • Yogurtland – Nurses get FREE delivery on orders of more than $15 made through the website or mobile app (use the code FREEDELIVERY).

Shoes

  • STAND+ (formerly Gales) – STAND+ is giving away 5 pairs of our new AntiGrav1 style using this application. The contest will be open from the 6th-12th and winners will be contacted on the 17th. 
  • Crocs Shoes – 15% off after verifying your ID through SheerID.
  • NurseMates.com – Get a 25% OFF discount for Nurses Appreciation from 4/26 – 5/12. Use code: NURSE25
  • AlignShoe.com – Get a 25% OFF discount for Nurses Appreciation from 4/26 – 5/12. Use code: NURSE25
  • Clove Shoes – Get a FREE pair of socks with your purchase.
  • Clove x Owala Nurse Week Collaboration – In addition to this limited edition collaboration, the first 500 purchases will be able to secure an exclusive bundle: The Limited-edition Owala® FreeSip® 24oz bottle plus a FREE Clovey™ shoe accessory in Owala® bottle design.
  • The Good Feet Store – From May 6th to May 12th, with a valid nurse’s ID and the purchase of a Good Feet Arch Support System, nurses will receive three pairs of OS1st Comfort socks and a pair of architek Comfort Slip-On shoes completely free!
  • Nike – After verification through SheerID, get a 10% off discount code. 
  • Asics Shoes – Nurses and medical professionals get 25% off full-priced products at Asics. You’ll need to verify with SheerID to get a one-time promo code. 
  • Adidas – Nurses and medical professionals get 30% off in-store and on the Adidas website, along with 20% off at factory outlet stores with ID.me
  • Reebok – Get an impressive 50% off discount online after verification. 
  • Nurse Mates Shoes – NurseMates.com and AlignShoe.com will both be running a 25% off promotion for Nurses Appreciation! 4/26 – 5/12 with code: NURSE25
  • Rothy’s – Verify your ID to get 20% off any pair of shoes. Limit one discount code per person per calendar year.
  • Hunter Boots – Score 20% off. 
  • Uni Shoes – 15% off with discount code: NURSEORG

Stethoscopes

  • Eko Stethoscope – Month-long E-commerce Promotions (5/1-5/31) – Free Case with purchase of the CORE 500™ or 3M™ Littmann® CORE Digital Stethoscope. Plus save $80 on the 3M™ Littmann® CORE Digital Stethoscope all month long.
  • MDF Stethoscopes – Celebrate Nurses Week and shop select glitter stethoscopes on sale at 30% off while supplies last! Add a free large case and free engraving for a total savings value of $104. Nurses Week Sale 5/5-5/11 – Free Engraving on all stethoscopes. Plus, save $30 on the CORE 500™ Digital Stethoscope. Don’t see the glitter stethoscope of your dreams? Get a free large case and free engraving with any ProCardial® Titanium Mprint printed stethoscope and save $44! 

Furniture, Bedding & Home Goods

Glasses & Eyewear

Apparel

Wellness – Vitamins & Supplements

  • replenishift – During the month of May, use code NURSEWEEK2024 for 30% off, plus a free gift with purchase!
  • Pachamama CBD Oil – 30% off for all frontline workers: get it here.
  • GNC – GNC is giving 10% off purchases. Use ID.me for verification. 
  • Ritual – Ritual is giving 20% off your first three months. Use ID.me for verification. 
  • Natural Cycles – Natural Cycles: Healthcare workers & first responders get 20% off.

Tumblers & Drinkware

  • Stanley – Stay hydrated with a new Stanley that’s up to 20% off through ID.me. 
  • Yeti – Shop for coolers, tumblers, drinkware, and more for 20% off through ID.me. 

Study Guides & NCLEX Prep

  • Nursing.com – NURSING.com FREE Access. 2,500+ Clear, Concise, Visual Nursing School/NCLEX Videos.  10 Minutes Of FREE Video Viewing Unlocked Every Day.
  • Simplenursing.com – Get 35% off on SimpleNursing memberships from 5/3 to 5/10
  • Nurseinthemaking.com – Get 10% off your next purchase of Custom-Made Nursing School Study Guides on NurseInTheMaking.com. May 6 – Sunday, May 12, get 15% OFF all physical products and 20% off all digital products. 

Entertainment & Sporting Events

Nurse Appreciation Nights at Baseball Games Across The Country!

Nurse.org teamed up with MLB teams across the country to offer special discounts, recognition, and appreciation events for nurses during Nurse’s Month in May 2024! Buy DISCOUNT tickets, vote for nurses to throw the first pitch, and get all the details about Nurse Night in a city near you. 

Beauty Products & Cosmetics

  • Tula – Tula Skincare is giving 20% off purchases for nurses. Use ID.me for verification.
  • Josie Maran – Josie Maran is giving 10% off purchases. Use ID.me for verification.
  • Grande Cosmetics – Grande Cosmetics is giving 15% off purchases. Use ID.me for verification.
  • e.l.f – E.l.f is giving nurses 25% off purchases.
  • Beekman – Beekman is giving 20% off purchases. Use ID.me for verification.
  • Hairstory – Hairstory is giving 15% off purchases. Use ID.me for verification. 
  • Colorescience – Colorescience will apply a 15% discount on purchases after verification through ID.me 
  • R + Co – R + Co is giving 20% off purchases. Use ID.me for verification.
  • Joy Organics – Joy Organics is giving 50% off purchases. Use ID.me for verification. 

Travel & Vacations

  • Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin – Walt Disney World has multiple discounts available when booking using code “Y7N.” Valid ID must be shown at check-in. 
  • Hotwire – Hotwire offers 10% off “Hot Rate” hotel and car deals after verification. Use ID.me for verification.
  • Budget – Verified ID.me nurses receive up to 25% off on a rental car at locations nationwide. 
  • Wyndham – How does a complimentary Gold membership sound? It’s yours as a healthcare worker! All you have to do is sign in and describe your job. 
  • Great Wolf Lodge – Great Wolf Lodge is offering savings of up to 25% off your next getaway. Use promo code “HEROES”
  • Caesars – Caesars offers nurses up to 30% off hotel stays. Use ID.me for verification.
  • Paris Las Vegas – For more Las Vegas fun, score 30% off on a luxury room through ID.me
  • Caribe Royale Orlando / Buena Vista Suites – Nurses can receive 20% off the Best Available Rate year-round at both resorts. Valid for up to 2 Rooms. Caribe Royale Orlando: https://bit.ly/3QTJcf4 Buena Vista Suites:  https://bit.ly/3YSq2Ir 

Other Nurses Week Awards & Freebies

  • Bayada Giveaway:
    • 25 winners will receive a $300 gift package! Enter to win at nursesweek.com – gift packages include:
      • Keep Calm and Lead On:  Drinkware | The North Face backpack | Compression socks | Beats Pro headphones
      • Healing Meals:  Smart meat thermometer | Omaha Steaks | Vegetable chopper | Pasta machine
      • Rise & Thrive:  Drinkware | Herschel Supply Co. backpack | Apple Watch
      • Get in Your Comfort Zone:  Tea mug Massage gun | Organic tea sampler | Blanket | UGG pillows
      • Refine Your Shine:  Drinkware | The North Face backpack | Premium bento box | Bose noise-cancelling headphones
  • Vivian Nurses Week Leadership Award: 
    • Vivian is launching its Nurses Week Leadership Award, giving away $5,000 to one outstanding nurse to offset their student loan debt:
    • To enter, nurses are invited to share a 200-word story highlighting an instance of compassion, leadership, or positive impact on patients or colleagues. 
    • The contest is open from April 1 – May 12, 2024. Click here for full details.

Source: https://nurse.org/articles/free-nurse-week-giveaways/#Nurses-week-giveaway

Safety Tips for Exercising Outdoors for Older Adults

May 7, 2024

Staying safe when exercising outdoors for older adults

You’ve made a plan to be more active, and you’re ready to go outside and get started. But before you do, make sure that you can exercise safely in your neighborhood. Here are a few tips that can help you stay safe as you get moving.

Think ahead about safety.

  • Carry your ID with emergency contact information and bring a small amount of cash and a cell phone with you, especially if walking alone. Stay alert by not talking on the phone as you walk and keeping the volume low on your headphones.
  • Let others know where you’re going and when you plan to be back.
  • Stick to well-lit places with other people around.
  • Be seen to be safe. Wear light or brightly colored clothing during the day. Wear reflective material on your clothing and carry a flashlight at night. Put lights on the front and back of your bike.
  • Wear sturdy, appropriate shoes for your activity that give you proper footing.

Walk safely in rural areas.

  • If possible, walk during daylight hours.
  • Choose routes that are well-used, well-lit, and safe. Choose routes with places to sit in case you want to stop and rest.
  • Stay alert at all times. If you’re listening to music as you walk, turn down the volume so you can still hear bike bells and warnings from other walkers and runners coming up behind you.
  • Always walk facing oncoming traffic.
  • Walk on a sidewalk or a path whenever possible. Watch out for uneven sidewalks, which are tripping hazards.
  • Look for a smooth, stable surface alongside the road.

Walk safely in urban areas.

  • If the road has guardrails, see if there’s a smooth, flat surface behind the barrier where you can walk. If you need to walk on a paved shoulder, stay as far away from traffic as possible.
  • Watch for bridges and narrow shoulders.
  • Cross at crosswalks or intersections. Jaywalking increases your risk of a serious accident. Pay attention to the traffic signal. Cross only when you have the pedestrian crossing signal.
  • Never assume a driver sees you crossing the street. Try to make eye contact with drivers as they approach. Before you start to cross a street, make sure you have plenty of time to get across. Rushing increases your risk of falling.
  • Look across ALL lanes you must cross and make sure each lane is clear before proceeding. Look left, right, and left again before crossing. Just because one driver stops, don’t presume drivers in other lanes will stop for you.
  • Check out city parks. Many parks have walking or jogging trails away from traffic.

If you don’t feel safe exercising outdoors, be active inside.

Bicycle safety for older adults

Riding a bicycle is not only a fun family activity, it’s also a great way to exercise. Some people even use their bicycle to commute to work, go to the grocery store, or visit friends and family. When you’re out and about on your bike, it’s important to know how to be safe.

For more information about biking safely, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Tips for exercising in hot weather

Many people enjoy warm-weather outdoor activities like walking, gardening, or playing tennis. Make sure to play it safe in hot weather. Too much heat can be risky for older adults and people with health problems. Being hot for too long can cause hyperthermia — a heat-related illness that includes heat stroke and heat exhaustion.

If you want to be active when it’s hot outside:

  • Check the weather forecast. If it’s very hot or humid, exercise inside with videos online, or walk in an air-conditioned building like a shopping mall.
  • Drink plenty of liquids. Water and fruit juices are good options. Avoid caffeine and alcohol. If your doctor has told you to limit liquids, ask what to do when it is very hot outside.
  • Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothes in natural fabrics.
  • Dress in layers so you can remove clothing as your body warms up from activity.
  • Know the signs of heat-related illnesses and get medical help right away if you think someone has one.

Tips for exercising in cold weather

You can exercise outdoors in the winter, but take a few extra steps to stay safe before braving the cold. Exposure to cold can cause health problems such as hypothermia, a dangerous drop in body temperature.

If you want to do outdoor activities when it’s cold outside:

  • Check the weather forecast. If it’s very windy or cold, exercise inside with videos online and go out another time.
  • Watch out for snow and icy sidewalks.
  • Warm up your muscles first. Try walking or light arm pumping before you go out.
  • Pick the right clothes. Wear several layers of loose clothing. The layers will trap warm air between them. Avoid tight clothing, which can keep your blood from flowing freely and lead to loss of body heat.
  • Wear a waterproof coat or jacket if it’s snowy or rainy. Wear a hat, scarf, and gloves.
  • Learn the signs of hypothermia.

To learn more, please visit https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/exercise-and-physical-activity/safety-tips-exercising-outdoors-older-adults.

Beware of Scams Targeting Older Adults

April 30, 2024

Older adults are often the target of scams. Scammers are savvy and convincing, and their scams are designed to catch people off guard. Don’t be ashamed if you think you or someone you know has been a victim of a scam — it can happen to anyone.

Common scams aimed at older adults include:

What can you do?

Here are a few steps you can take to help protect yourself and your loved ones from scams:

  • Don’t give out sensitive personal information over the phone or in response to an email, social media post, or text message. Sensitive information includes your Social Security number, bank account information, credit card numbers, PINs, and passwords.
  • Check incoming bills, including utility bills and credit card statements, for charges that you didn’t authorize. Contact the utility provider, credit card company, or bank if you see any charges you don’t recognize.
  • Protect your electronic accounts by keeping the security software on your computer and smartphone up to date and by using multifactor authentication when possible.
  • Don’t transfer money to strangers or to someone over the phone. Similarly, never buy a gift card to pay someone over the phone. Once you transfer money or share the numbers on the back of a gift card, there’s usually no way to get your money back.
  • If someone is trying to scam you, they may threaten you or pressure you to act immediately. If this happens to you, don’t panic. Slow down and think about what the person is saying. If you suspect it’s a scam, end the call and talk to someone you trust.

One reason that scammers target older adults is that they are less likely to report suspected fraud. If you think that you or someone in your life has been the target of a scam, contact the National Elder Fraud Hotline at 833–372–8311. You can also contact your local police department or the attorney general of your state or territory, and you can report the scam to the Federal Trade Commission.

To learn more, please visit https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/safety/beware-scams-targeting-older-adults.