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Working to Prevent Dementia recently published an article discussing a new study that recognizes the power of lifestyle choices in dementia prevention.

The article discusses that over one-third of all dementia cases may be preventable due to positive lifestyle choices. Encouraging public health strategies, such as regular exercise, protecting hearing and staying in school, can have large impacts on the numbers of people afflicted with dementia.

In their study, the researchers found that avoiding the below risk factors would reduce the global prevalence of dementia by 35 percent.

  • Discontinuing education before the age of 15
  • Untreated hearing loss in middle age
  • Smoking after the age of 65
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Depression
  • Physical inactivity
  • Social isolation
  • Diabetes in adults over 65

While there are many risk factors related to dementia that researchers are still trying to understand, they believe that working on reducing the known risk factors is a good start to prevention.

Read the full article here.

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Winter Safety Tips for Seniors

Photo credit to UMH

In the cold weather, sometimes the ice, snow and freezing temperatures can interfere with safety for everyone. has many helpful suggestions for preventing common winter dangers that seniors face.

Avoid Slipping on Ice: Unfortunately, falls are a common occurrence for seniors during winter months because of ice and snow. To try avoiding falls, make sure to wear shoes with good traction and non-skid soles, stay inside until roads and sidewalks are clear, replace worn cane tips to make walking easier and take off shoes as soon as you return indoors to avoid slippery conditions.

Dress for Warmth: Cold temperatures can lead to frostbite and hypothermia, so if you venture outside, make sure to wear warm socks, a heavy coat, a warm hat, gloves and a scarf. In very cold temperatures, make sure to cover all exposed skin and cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs. Additionally, make sure to not let indoor temperatures get too low!

Fight Wintertime Depression: Because it can be more difficult to get around in colder months, many seniors have less contact with others. To help avoid these issues, make sure to have family members check up on you and meet up with neighbors and friends frequently.

Check the Car: Driving during the winter can be hazardous for everyone, but it is especially dangerous as you get older, do not drive as much and have slower reflexes. Make sure you get your car serviced before wintertime hits and take advantage of family members or senior services that can give you rides to where you need to be.

Eat a Varied Diet: As people spend more time indoors and eat a smaller variety of foods, nutritional deficits – especially Vitamin D deficiency – can become a problem. Make sure to talk to your doctor about your diet to ensure that you are getting all your nutrients!

Read more about winter safety tips here.

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The Village of Bedford Walk Sponsors the Hugh E. Stephenson, Jr. Heart & Stroke Ball

The 15th annual Hugh E. Stephenson, Jr. Heart & Stroke Ball was held in Columbia, Missouri on January 27, 2018. This event celebrates the mission of the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association. As heart disease is the number one cause of death in both men and women in the United States, and strokes are number five, these organizations are very important to The Village of Bedford Walk and many others.

The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association’s goals are to fund research and education of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Families in every Missouri community have benefited from research nationwide that has led to many lifesaving discoveries.

The Village of Bedford Walk is proud to help fund this mission and show support of the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association!

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Senior Living: Why Retire in a College Town

As more and more baby boomers approach retirement, a new trend is emerging. Many in the 55+ community are looking at college and university towns for retirement living. In some cases, this decision means a return to their alma mater, while other individuals strike out for a college town that is entirely new to them, but still offers a combination of factors that suits their personal lifestyle choices.

One common thread that runs among college towns is the vibrant and energetic community atmosphere, one which embraces an intellectual curiosity and provides opportunities for cultural enrichment.  When combined with the presence of an academic environment and access to life-enhancing health care, reasonable cost of living, affordable housing and natural scenic beauty, the lure of living in a college town is proving to be a highly desirable option for a growing number of boomers searching for senior independent living.

Columbia, Missouri is no exception, offering lifelong learning for the 55+ community through organizations like OSHER Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Missouri.  World-class healthcare is readily available at Boone Hospital Center, an affiliate of BJC Healthcare and the University of Missouri’s academic health center, MU Health Care, with a broad range of options for private health care available to seniors as well.

JES | Prime Senior Living appreciates everything that college towns have to offer for older adults, and that is why we chose to create our flagship property, The Village of Bedford Walk, in the vibrant community of Columbia, Missouri. The Village of Bedford Walk is a retirement community designed around everything that makes living in a college town great: opportunities for physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual growth. Whether it is using our private transportation for a doctor’s appointment or joining other Bedford residents for a football game at Faurot Field, our residents can take advantage of our concierge, service-driven lifestyle.

To learn more about what The Village of Bedford Walk and all Columbia, Missouri has to offer, call 573.303.7252 to schedule a tour. We look forward to meeting you!

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Senior Living: Swimming for Seniors

Exercise offers numerous benefits to people of all ages, including improving heart health, bettering flexibility and strengthening muscles. An exercise that is especially beneficial to seniors is swimming. Water exercises allow a way to optimize health without putting added stress or strain on the body.

In an Australian study of 1,700 men age 70 and older, those who regularly swam were 33 percent less likely to suffer a fall during day-to-day activities. “Unlike [with] land-based sports, swimmers are required to create their own base of support and, at the same time, to produce a coordinated movement of both upper and lower extremities,” said Dafna Merom, an associate professor of physical activity and health at the University of Western Sydney in Australia and author of the study.

The Village of Bedford Walk is a firm believer in the physical, emotional and mental acuity benefits that come from exercise. Because water is such an excellent medium for the senior community to preserve health and maintain their independence, our senior independent living community features a resistance swimming pool. The Swim-Ex hydrotherapy pool is used by residents for water aerobics, strengthening exercises and private swimming, and it is located in the main building, just a short elevator ride away from our independent senior living apartments. Don’t like to swim? Not a problem! Activities Coordinator, Laura Roeder, has created a calendar with plenty of other opportunities to enhance your physical well-being, including: trips to the Fitness Company, Walking Club, Tai Chi and more.

To learn more about ways that The Village of Bedford Walk can help maintain your independence with our robust activities program, call 573.303.7252 to schedule a tour.

The Village of Bedford Walk’s hydrotherapy pool and hot tub are frequently used by residents for recreation and relaxation.
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United Way’s Night of Honor for Jeffrey E. Smith

On Thursday, September 14, 2017, The Village of Bedford Walk hosted an evening in honor of Jeffrey E. Smith, JES Holdings President and CEO. Due to his immense support of Heart of Missouri United Way, Mr. Smith was presented with the Alexis de Tocqueville Society Bo Fraser Leadership Award.

This award is given to individuals who have donated exceptional financial and personal support to United Way. As a donor in the Alexis de Tocqueville Society, Mr. Smith continually demonstrates his commitment to philanthropy by encouraging other individuals and companies to financially support United Way. Additionally, his commitment to bringing individuals together to advance the common good and providing assistance and opportunities for those in need led to his nomination for the award.

“Jeff Smith’s support of United Way and work in our community illustrates all of the criteria for the award. It was an honor to present the award to him and to recognize not only his support, but also the support and commitment provided by the Smith family and the employees at JES Holdings to United Way,” said Andrew Grabau of United Way.

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Healthy Foods that are Great Sources of Iron

Photo credit to Everyday Health

In an article by Everyday Health, they discuss the importance of iron in your diet and some foods that you can eat to attain the much-needed iron.

According to the article, iron is essential for metabolism, muscles and normal bodily functions. The two types of iron discussed are heme iron, which comes from animal sources, and non-heme iron, which comes from plant sources. Heme iron is more easily absorbed by the body, so it is important to eat more non-heme iron if you are a vegetarian to ensure that you get the amount of iron you need.

Below are 11 healthy foods high in iron:

  • Eggs
  • Red meat, liver and giblets
  • Oysters, mussels and clams
  • Chickpeas
  • Iron-fortified breakfast cereals
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Soybeans
  • Black beans
  • Lentils
  • Spinach
  • Sesame Seeds

Click here to learn more about each source of iron and review some associated recipes!

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Seven Risk Factors for Falls

Photo credit to Senior Planet

A recent article by Senior Planet discusses the significance of falling as you age and gives tips to avoid them. According to the article, every year, one out of every three adults over the age of 65 takes a tumble. Below are some risk factors for falls that we often do not think about.

The problem: As we age, our eyes refocus more slowly; that is why we need reading glasses, bifocals or trifocals. These glasses can blur faraway objects, impairing depth perception and contrast sensitivity. If you walk around wearing your reading glasses, you may miss a stair step or fail to see a loose extension cord on the floor.

What you can do about it: If you wear multifocal glasses for distance vision while walking, tilt your head down so that you can see the floor through your glasses, rather than looking with your eyes through the bottom part of the lens.

Gangly Gait
The problem: Falling can be caused by problems in the way we walk, stand and even sit – commonly referred to as “gait.” Gait can be affected by factors ranging from joint problems to plain old age. Signs of gait disturbance include an unsteady or slow walk, poor balance, stooped posture, muscle weakness and slowed reflexes.

What you can do about it: Your primary care doctor should perform the Tinetti Balance and Gait Evaluation, which looks not only at how you walk and how fast, but also how you get up from and sit down in a chair, and how you balance while standing with eyes open or closed. Every check-up should include the simplest gait assessment of them all: watching an older person walk down a hall. If your doctor does notice issues with your gait, then he or she can give you exercises or suggest a physical therapist who will help improve your movements.

“Sensible” Shoes
The problem: With age, we can lose some of the neurological functions that coordinate movement, such as sensation in the feet. Feedback from our feet, legs and inner ear, as well as our eyes, literally tells us where we stand.

What you can do about it: Those thick-soled “sensible” shoes and sneakers can trip us up – literally. They dull sensation from the feet. If you are prone to falls, you should actually wear thinner-soled shoes so you can feel the floor better.

Weak Knees (and Bad Canes)
The problem: Some 70 percent of people over 70 suffer from osteoarthritis, which often affects knees and feet, and thus your gait. If you have knee osteoarthritis, chances are you lack strength in key leg and thigh muscles, as well as in your core muscles and upper body. All of this makes you unsteady.

What is more, the cane you use may actually be making you less steady as well. “Many people do not use canes properly,” says geriatrician Amy R. Ehrlich, MD, an associate professor of clinical medicine at the Albert Einstein School of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center. “Especially while navigating stairs.”

What you can do about it: After a fall, you might be prescribed an assistive device by a hospital or rehab facility. Do not just walk into the local drugstore and walk out with a cane; find a physical therapy practice in your area and get advice on its use.

Too Many Meds
The problem: More than 60 percent of adults age 65 to 85 use five or more prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs and/or dietary supplements. Taking multiple meds puts nearly one in 25 adults at risk for a major drug interaction that can lead to a fall. Big culprits include psychiatric drugs, sedatives and sleep aids, especially popular over-the-counter meds that combine acetaminophen and Benadryl.

What you can do about it: Many falls occur in the morning or during nighttime bathroom trips. When we get up from the bed, our aging bodies don’t adjust quickly from their normally-lower blood pressure during sleep. This problem may be compounded by over-the-counter sleep aids or medications that lower blood pressure. Make sure you ask your doctor about side effects of your medicine so you can learn to be more aware when doing certain tasks.

Mini Strokes and Vascular Disease

The problem: Many strokes are so small that they may go unnoticed. These mini-strokes, called transient ischemic attacks, in some cases can cause vascular dementia, leading to gait problems and falls. This is the second most common kind of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease.

If you have vascular dementia you may stoop, taking short, shuffling or halting steps, and often moving one foot forward, then stopping to bring the other foot next to it, rather than using a normal alternating stride. You may also fall backward due to a loss of normal postural reflexes.

What you can do about it: Vascular dementia shares some physical characteristics with Parkinson’s disease, such as rigidity in lower extremities, which a doctor can feel during an exam. Since signs of vascular dementia may not be seen on brain scans, physical signs combined with cognitive testing can be helpful in making a diagnosis. If you are diagnosed with one of these forms of dementia, your doctor will work with you to prevent related falls.

Fear of Falling
The problem: One of the biggest hidden risk factors for falling is fear of falling. As we age many of us, especially those who are naturally anxious, actually overestimate our risk of falls.

“People who fear falling do less. And the less you do, the less you want to do,” says Dr. Ehrlich. That means you walk less often, losing muscle mass and muscle memory. Being fearful can also prompt you to walk hesitantly, possibly leading to a fall.

What you can do about it: Start building muscle mass with some simple chair exercises so you can start walking and build those muscles more. When you feel strong, you should feel less vulnerable.


Find more information to prevent falls here.

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The Village of Bedford Walk Nominated for Best of Columbia

The Village of Bedford Walk, a JES | Prime Senior Living community, was recently nominated for Inside Columbia Magazine’s Best of Columbia 2017 in the category of Best Place for Seniors to Live.

Every year, Columbia residents cast their votes for their favorite places, foods and more in Columbia, Missouri. Then, Inside Columbia tallies the votes and announces the category winners.

Cast your votes here to support The Village of Bedford Walk!

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Tips for Healthy Eating as You Age

The National Council on Aging has many useful tips throughout its website, including advice on how seniors can ensure they eat healthy as they age. Below are five helpful tips on what to eat and how to choose the food best for you.

  1. Know what a healthy plate looks like. You might remember the food pyramid, but the USDA recently unveiled a simpler way to help people see what they should eat each day. It is called MyPlate. The simple graphic shows exactly how the five food groups should stack up on your plate. These are the building blocks for a healthy diet.
  2. Look for important nutrients. Make sure you eat a variety of foods to get all the nutrients you need. Your plate should like a rainbow – bright, colored natural foods are always the best choice! A healthy meal should include:
    • Lean protein (lean meats, seafood, eggs, beans, leafy greens)
    • Fruits and vegetables (think orange, red, green and purple)
    • Whole grains (brown rice, whole wheat pasta)
    • Low-fat dairy (milk and its alternatives)

    Remember to choose foods that are high in fiber and low in sodium or salt. Also, look for Vitamin D, which is an important mineral as we age.

  3. Read the nutrition facts label.The healthiest foods are whole foods. These are often found on the perimeter of the grocery store in the produce, meat and dairy sections. When you do eat packaged foods, be a smart shopper! Read the labels to find items that are lower in fat, added sugars, sodium and additives.
  4. Use recommended servings.To maintain your weight, you must eat the right amount of food for your age and body. The American Heart Association provides recommended daily servings for adults aged 60 and up.
  5. Stay hydrated.Water is an important nutrient too! Do not let yourself get dehydrated – drink small amounts of fluids consistently throughout the day. Water, tea and coffee are your best choices. Keep fluids with sugar and salt at a minimum, unless your doctor has suggested otherwise.


    Read more healthy eating tips here.


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