We take our skeletons for granted. As children, skeletons are little more than spooky Halloween decorations; but as we age, our bones can become the difference between aging well or painfully.
One of the major diseases that effects the skeleton, Osteoporosis, is often forgotten when people consider the perils of aging. The disease weakens bones, making them thin and fragile. The disease means that painful breaks and slow, incomplete healing are common occurrences.
“Osteoporosis is especially common in older women,” says the National Institute on Aging. But the group is quick to point out that the disease doesn’t only effect women. “One out of every two women and one in four men over age 50 will have an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime, most often breaking bones in the hip, spine, and wrist.”
There are many genetic factors that determine whether you’re prone to this disease. Sadly, being a post-menopausal woman means that you’re already in the risk category. People who are naturally small and thin run a greater risk. Caucasian and Asian women (though all races can suffer from the disease) tend to develop the disease in larger numbers. A few chronic disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes and anorexia might mean you’re especially susceptible to the disease. If you are in any of these categories, it’s important to monitor your bone density and health.
Though many of the risk factors of Osteoporosis are genetic, there are a few things you can do to strengthen your bones and reduce the likelihood of the disease occurring. Smoking, which is detrimental to your health for many reasons, can weaken your body systems and your bones. Excessive alcohol consumption is another risk factor. The CDC recommends that men have no more than 2 drinks per day and women limit themselves to 1 drink per day.
To bolster your bones, the National Institute on Aging recommends consuming a diet that is rich in dairy products, calcium and vitamin D. It’s also important to keep your body strong through exercise.
Because Osteoporosis is often hard to diagnose before a bone break, it’s often called the “silent disease”. It’s important to be vigilant with your health, so be aware of these warning signs. First, and most obvious, if you break a bone past the age of 45, you are at risk. If you’ve found yourself shrinking, or losing height, it may be time to see a doctor. Be aware of your posture and body, if you’ve developed a hunch or sudden back pain, consult your physician.
At Capital City Nurses, we know that good bones are a sign of a bright future. So make sure you drink your milk and keep yourself active so you and your skeleton will continue looking good through the years.

When’s the last time you got a good night’s sleep? Sleep is a great time to let your mind and body recharge, and as you age, it becomes even more important to get good quality sleep. At Capital City Nurses, we know that good sleep leads to good aging, and we want to help you get to sleep – after you finish this blog.
A University of Oregon study recently found that sleep plays an important part in cognitive functions. People who sleep longer than nine hours or less than six hours were found to have significant deficits in their cognitive functions when they were tested against those who got six to eight hours of sleep.
But putting in the hours isn’t enough: quality sleep, in which you cycle through deep REM sleep, is the goal. The National Institute on Aging reports that as we age, our body naturally gets less and less REM sleep. This lack of REM sleep may explain why you become a lighter sleeper as you age.
“If you don’t get a good night’s sleep,” says the National Institute on Aging. “The next day you may be irritable, have memory problems, feel depressed, have more falls, or feel very sleepy during the day.”
How do you avoid these problems? Develop a sleep strategy.
The National Institute on Aging recommends building up a sleep schedule, by going to bed at the same time every night and skipping naps. You should also keep your bedroom a calm environment, dedicated to sleep: keep it dark, quiet and comfortable to promote sleep. If you’re not planning on sleeping, avoid your bedroom. This will help you mentally associate the room with sleep.
Keeping a healthy diet and good exercise cycle will help your quality of sleep as well. Try to get some Vitamin D in your body, by venturing into sunlight or with a supplement. If you’re a chocoholic, get your fix early. The caffeine found in chocolate can be just as damaging to your sleep cycle as the caffeine found in coffee, soda and tea. If you find yourself getting up in the night to use the lavatory, you may want to consider limiting your beverage intake before bed.
If you still find yourself having trouble sleeping, it may be time to see a doctor. Remember that you should not wake up exhausted after a full night’s sleep.
Whether you’re hoping to improve your restless nights or realizing that your bedtime needs to be altered, it’s important to give your body a proper rest. Quality sleep is the key to aging well, so make sure you’re giving your body everything it needs to keep you bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in the morning.
Good night.

There is an unfair stigma associated with moving to an assisted living facility. Many see the facilities as tantamount to a nursing home, but modern assisted living is so much more than nursing care and accessible rooms.
As you age, living alone can actually affect your health. A recent study by the National Institute on Aging tested cognitive training as a way to help retain memory and mental abilities in aging Americans. The Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly (ACTIVE) study found that community dwelling seniors had more success with the cognitive training.
At Capital City Nurses, we believe that refined residential living fuses health care with luxury. Our new Bethesda property, the Cottage at Curry Manor, combines the indulgence of a hotel with exemplary health care service.
At Curry Manor, we know that it’s vital to keep our residents as active as possible. The National Institute on Aging has found that exercise and mental stimulations (such as learning a new language) are vital ways of keeping yourself healthy and staving off diseases that commonly effect older people. Curry Manor provides a full slate of activities that will help you stay active, both mentally and physically.
To keep you mentally active, Curry Manor helps you spice up your kitchen routine with seasonal cooking classes taught by renowned local chefs. You can also try your hand at viniculture at wine-making events held throughout the year.
Most importantly, we strive to keep you learning. Take classes with us to broaden your horizons or tell your story at memoir writing classes.
To keep you physically active, we boast an excellent art and theater program, offering musical, dance and drama activities that will allow you to step into the spotlight. You can also green your thumb by helping us tend our flower, herb and vegetable gardens.
Curry Manor is, in essence, a five star hotel that happens to boast the best nursing staff in the Washington Metropolitan Area (we even offer turndown chocolates!). Though we’re focused on keeping you active mentally and physically, we also staff Curry Manor with handpicked caregivers, each of whom has exceeded Capital City Nurses’ rigorous standards. Curry Manor has one of the highest caregiver to resident ratios in the area, meaning that we are able to focus on you and offer you attentive service throughout your stay.
Whether you’re interested in moving into a community of fine living and fun or want to know that your loved one will receive superlative care as they age, The Cottage at Curry Manor is the best choice for refined residential living. Visit us today or take the virtual tour to learn more.

Since the moment you were born, you’ve been aging. And while it’s exciting to age when you’re 16, the prospect can be less appealing when you’re 55. Thanks to the Baby Boomer generation retirees will make up 20 percent of the US population by the year 2030.
At Capital City Nurses, we know that aging doesn’t have to be a frightening prospect, as long as you focus on your mind, body and finances.

Mind
A mind is a powerful thing to waste. If you want your brain to stay sharp as you age, it’s important to use it. Spend your time taking classes, learning new things and challenging your mental abilities, it will allow you to retain your cognitive function as you grow older.
Planning on traveling when you retire? Lean the language of the nation you’re visiting. A University of Edinburgh study found that learning another language delays aging in the brain.
“Certain mental exercises can offset some of the expected decline in older adults’ thinking skills and show promise for maintaining cognitive abilities needed to do everyday tasks such as shopping, making meals and handling finances,” says the National Institute on Aging. Enroll in college classes, pick up a new craft at the community center or work your brain with daily crossword puzzles to keep yourself sharp at any age.

Body
As you age, your activity level becomes more important.
“Regular exercise and physical activity can reduce the risk of developing some diseases and disabilities that develop as people grow older,” says the National Institute on Aging. Exercise can also be effective in reducing symptoms for chronic conditions like arthritis, heart disease and diabetes.
You don’t need to run the Boston Marathon to be fit, the CDC recommends 2.5 hours of moderate aerobic activity. That could be walking with friends a few times a week, vigorous gardening or an exercise class. It’s crucial to pick an activity you enjoy because consistency is the key to achieving the benefits of exercise.

Finances
The last key to aging well is the most unpleasant to discuss. In fact, one fourth of Americans aren’t saving for their retirement at all, according to a recent Financial Security Index survey. Though the topic is uncomfortable, it’s imperative that you begin saving for retirement and plan for any possible bumps in the road.
“Retirees need at least 70 percent of your annual pre-retirement income to maintain your standard of living after you retire, possibly more,” says the National Institute on Aging.
As you save, it’s important to consider a few factors, such as possible medical complications and caregiving needs. Look at your medical history and any chronic conditions that run in your family. If you have a chronic condition in your history, it may be beneficial to set money aside for possible medical expenses. Also, be sure to understand your medical insurance and what precisely your policy covers.
Aging isn’t something that we as a society should fear, but it is something we should prepare for. Get started today!

Americans spend millions every year trying to stave off Father Time. Anti-aging creams, wrinkle serums and even plastic surgery: Recapturing youth is big business, even if the formulas aren’t always effective. But if you really want to age well, skip the beauty counter and focus on keeping your body and mind healthy.
At Capital City Nurses, we know that a healthy body is a happy one, especially as you age. The older you get, the more important fitness becomes. Regular exercise can help you maintain muscle strength; hold off the effects of diabetes or osteoporosis; allow you to maintain your independence; improve your balance; and fight feelings of depression.
“Even if you have difficulty standing or walking, you can still exercise and benefit from it. In fact, in most cases, you have more to lose by not doing anything,” says The National Institute on Aging.
How much exercise do you need to make a difference? The CDC recommends 150 minutes, or 2.5 hours, per week as a minimum. That might seem like a big number, but it doesn’t have to be. Break your activity up over seven days, and it will still be effective. “It’s about what works best for you, as long as you’re doing physical activity at a moderate or vigorous effort for at least 10 minutes at a time,” explains the CDC.
Though exercise can seem daunting at first, especially if you’re used to a sedentary lifestyle, becoming active doesn’t have to be trying. “Exercise is safe for almost everyone. If you haven’t been active for a long time, it’s important to start out at a low level of effort and work your way up slowly. Beginning slowly will help you become more fit without straining your body,” explains the NIA.
If you’re not ready to run a marathon, start at the home. Walk to the mailbox, walk around the block with some friends, or do some gardening or landscaping in your home. Every little bit helps.
A focus on exercise can also make a cosmetic difference in aging bodies. A recent study by scientists at McMaster University has found that exercising twice a week left their subjects’ in better condition than any anti-aging product. In fact, subjects who exercised actually changed the composition of their skin. A simple walk in the park twice weekly could help your skin and face look decades younger.
Whether you’re hoping to maintain your youthful appearance or simply want to keep up with your grandkids, an active lifestyle is essential to aging well. If you need some inspiration to get started, look up the activities schedule at your local Senior Center or YMCA for wonderful ways to stay healthy and independent as you age.

When’s the last time you tried something new? Has it been a long time since you’ve taken a class, cooked a new dish for dinner or tried an activity? If you’re having trouble remembering the last time you ventured into the unknown, it’s time to change that.
While many people know that exercising is a great way to keep your body young as you age, it’s just as important to work out your brain as you get older. At Capital City Nurses, we know that keeping your mind sharp is one of the easiest ways to age well.
“Thoughts of aging gracefully have been replaced by efforts to age successfully,” writes the Geriatric Mental Health Foundation. To get proper mental stimulation, the foundation recommends that aging Americans work puzzles, take classes and read as much as possible. These activities can help keep aging minds sharp and may help prevent some deficits from forming.
The National Institute of Aging has investigated the effects of cognitive training on adults with The Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly (ACTIVE) study. Doctors worked with subjects 55 and over, in three categories: The memory group, the reasoning group and the speed-of-processing group, teaching strategies for strengthening their minds. If these key areas of the mind are worked out on a daily basis, retain the cognitive function better than those who don’t and maintain their independence more easily.
“This large trial found that community-dwelling seniors who received cognitive training had less of a decline in certain thinking skills than their peers who did not have training,” says NIA Director Dr. Richard J. Hodes.
If you find yourself interested in community living, as a way to keep your mental acuity high or simply as a way to enjoy aging with your contemporaries, consider visiting The Cottage at Curry Manor. A refined residential living space in Bethesda, Cottage at Curry Manor helps seniors preserve their dignity while helping them live an independent life of luxury. The Manor prioritizes mental and physical enrichment for all its residents. You can tend the flower, herb and vegetable garden; learn how to get better growing results at horticultural classes; take a turn on the stage in our music, dance and drama workshops; or find a new way to prepare an old culinary favorite at cooking classes (which utilize fresh ingredients from the garden).