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Tips for Improving Prostate Health

Tips for Improving Prostate Health

Most men will experience some sort of prostate problem in their lifetime, and about 1 in 9 American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. The good news? The disease can be prevented with simple lifestyle changes and early detection. Learn how to prioritize your prostate health.

Eat a Healthy Diet

What you eat can make a difference in your prostate health. Eating more anti-inflammatory foods and antioxidants can reduce the likelihood of prostate cancer and slow its progression. Eat more of these foods:

  • Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, bok choy, kale, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. Cruciferous vegetables are high in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, which help protect our DNA from ingested or environmental carcinogens.
  • Berries like strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries are full of antioxidants known as anthocyanins, which have antidiabetic, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anti-obesity effects, according to the National Library of Medicine.
  • Fish like salmon, sardines, and trout provide anti-inflammatory fats. This is a benefit because inflammation in the prostate can heighten prostate cancer risk.
  • Cooked tomatoes are full of a powerful antioxidant called lycopene, which helps protect against heart disease and prostate cancer, among others.

On the other hand, there are certain foods you should avoid – like red meat. When red meat is charred, a chemical compound called PhIP is released. This compound is linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer.  

Always talk with your doctor before starting a new diet.

Exercise Regularly

Regular physical activity benefits not only your heart but your prostate health too! According to Harvard Medical School, a study of more than 1,400 men diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer revealed men who walked briskly for at least three hours a week were 57% less likely to have their cancer progress than those who walked less often and less vigorously. 

Try senior-friendly, low-impact exercises like:

  • Walking
  • Yoga
  • Swimming/aquatic exercises
  • Dancing

It’s recommended that seniors get at least 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week. Always talk with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.

Get More Vitamin D

You probably associate vitamin D with strong bones – not prostate health. However, many studies have shown there’s a link between vitamin D and prostate cancer. Men with the lowest levels of vitamin D have the highest risk of getting prostate cancer, and prostate cancer rates in the U.S. are highest in areas with the least amount of sun. Here are a few easy ways to increase your vitamin D:

  • Eat foods rich in vitamin D, such as mushrooms, salmon, egg yolks, and yogurt.
  • Get outside and spend time in the sun – just don’t forget the sunblock!
  • Take a vitamin D supplement. Consult your doctor before starting any new supplements.

Get Screened

Early detection is prevention! Prostate cancer screenings can be done through a rectal exam, as well as a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. This test measures the level of PSA in the blood, which may be increased in men with prostate cancer. Because some men have no symptoms, screenings can help find cancer at an early stage, which may make it easier to treat. 

How Grand Oaks Can Help

Located on the campus of Sibley Memorial Hospital, Grand Oaks residents have the unique opportunity to access world-class care from the comfort of their homes. 24-hour nursing support is available for any questions or concerns residents have regarding their prostate health or screenings.

Contact us today.

Prostate Cancer 101

Find everything you should know about this common disease.

Memory Lapse vs. Dementia: Key Differences

Memory Lapse vs. Dementia: Key Differences

Many seniors regularly experience memory lapses – such as forgetting to pay a bill, misplacing items like keys, and forgetting a friend’s birthday. Minor memory lapses are a normal part of aging and shouldn’t be worried about. However, because forgetfulness is a common sign of dementia, many don’t know the difference between age-related memory lapses and the early signs of dementia. Learn the key differences below.

Key Differences

Normal: Occasionally misplacing your reading glasses or keys.

Not normal: Not being able to find missing items or placing items in odd spots (i.e., placing the TV remote in the refrigerator).


Normal: Having trouble reading small-print text.

Not normal: Forgetting common words when speaking or mixing words up, such as saying “couch” instead of “kitchen.” Your handwriting looks shaky or increasingly indecipherable.


Normal: Occasional confusion in unfamiliar situations.

Not normal: Asking the same questions or repeating the same stories consecutively.


Normal: Forgetting a friend’s birthday.

Not normal: Losing track of dates, months, seasons, or time completely.


Normal: Needing to use a map or GPS when going somewhere unfamiliar.

Not normal: Getting confused or lost when walking or driving to a familiar place, like the grocery store.


Normal: Occasionally skipping chores.

Not normal: Not caring for yourself, i.e., not bathing, eating poorly, or behaving unsafely.


Normal: Forgetting a small step in a recipe.

Not normal: Being unable to follow a recipe – or anything else with step-by-step directions.


When to Seek Help

Talk to your doctor immediately if you or a loved one have experienced any of the above symptoms. Since it will require more than a one-time memory test to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, it’s best to schedule an appointment with a memory care expert.

Tips to Improve Memory

When experiencing normal memory lapses, follow these tips to help keep your day on track:

  • Place your wallet, phone, and keys in the same place (such as a table next to your front door).
  • Create a daily to-do list to ensure you complete all chores and errands.
  • Use memory tools like calendars or sticky notes to remind you of important dates.

How Grand Oaks Can Help

When you or your loved one lives with Alzheimer’s or other memory-related disorders, you deserve a residence specializing in memory care. The Oasis Neighborhood at Grand Oaks offers an experienced staff that provides attentive support grounded in respect and compassion and personalized care routines as unique as the person receiving them.

Early Warning Signs of Dementia

Learn what symptoms to look out for.

Renal Health: Tips for a Kidney-Healthy Diet

Renal Health: Tips for a Kidney-Healthy Diet

Renal health may not be a term you hear as often as heart health or brain health, but it’s just as important to monitor when aging. Renal health refers to your kidneys, which are essential organs that help filter waste from your body, control your blood pressure, keep your bones healthy, and more.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a growing epidemic in our country, currently affecting more than 1 in 7 American adults, according to the American Kidney Fund. Further, 9 out of 10 people with CKD are unaware they have it.

While CKD can develop during any stage of life, your chances greatly increase over the age of 60. In fact, researchers from John Hopkins University found that more than 50% of seniors over the age of 75 are believed to have kidney disease. Luckily, there are preventative measures—diet being one. Read on to learn how a renal-healthy diet protects your kidneys.

Lay Off the Salt

Sodium is everywhere—especially in prepackaged or processed foods. A higher salt intake can lead to high blood pressure. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, aim to consume no more than 2,300 milligrams (about 1 teaspoon) of sodium daily. Try these tips to cut back on sodium:

  • Cook at home using whole, unprocessed foods so you can control the sodium level.
  • Limit dining at restaurants or eating takeout food, as nutritional information is often omitted from menus.
  • Use salt-free spices and herbs in place of salt when cooking.
  • Drain and rinse canned vegetables, beans, meat, and fish before eating.
  • Avoid processed meats like ham, bacon, sausage, hot dogs, and lunch meats.
  • Always check Nutrition Facts labels.

Portion Your Proteins

Your kidneys naturally remove waste produced when you eat proteins. Eating more protein than necessary causes your kidneys to overwork. Eating smaller portions of protein-rich foods can help protect your renal health.

  • Animal proteins include chicken, fish, meat, dairy, and eggs. A cooked portion of chicken, fish, or meat is about 2 to 3 ounces (about the size of a deck of cards). A portion of dairy foods is ½ cup of milk or yogurt or 1 ounce of cheese.
  • Plant proteins include foods like beans and nuts. A portion of cooked beans is about ½ cup, and a portion of nuts is ¼ cup.

Swap Simple Carbs for Complex Carbs

Carbohydrates (carbs) are your body’s main source of energy. Eating too many carbs can lead to weight gain, which puts you at risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and more. Always choose complex carbs over simple carbs, as complex carbs take longer to digest and are a more stable energy source.

  • Choose complex carbs like beans, brown rice, oatmeal, 100% whole-wheat bread, quinoa, barley, and sweet potatoes.
  • Avoid simple carbs like soda, baked goods, potato chips, breakfast cereal, and candy.

Avoid Alcohol

Drinking too much can harm your kidneys, liver, heart, brain, and more. When you drink alcohol, your kidneys have to filter its waste, making them less efficient. Plus, alcohol dehydrates and impacts your kidneys’ ability to regulate your body’s water levels.

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, senior men should limit alcohol consumption to no more than two drinks per day, and women should limit alcohol consumption to no more than one drink per day. One drink equals 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces (one shot glass) of distilled spirits.

Be Aware of Potassium and Phosphorous

Potassium and phosphorous are essential nutrients, but too much of either one can lead to health problems. When your kidneys aren’t performing fully, these minerals can build up in your blood. High phosphorous levels can pull calcium from your bones, making them weaker. High potassium levels can lead to heart problems.

  • Limit potassium-rich foods like oranges, bananas, potatoes, tomatoes, wild rice, and dairy foods.
  • Limit phosphorus-rich foods like meat, poultry, fish, dairy foods, lentils, beans, dark-colored sodas, fruit punch, and iced teas.

Always consult your doctor when starting a new diet.

Kidney Disease & Aging

Learn about kidney disease, its causes, and more.

Exercises that Improve Seniors’ Strength & Balance

Exercises that Improve Seniors’ Strength & Balance

The risk of falling—and fall-related injuries—increases as you age. In fact, 1 in 4 people aged 65 and older fall each year, according to the National Institute on Aging. Falls can cause broken bones, and for seniors, that can be the start of a more serious health condition or even long-term disability. The good news is that falls are preventable, and staying active is key to fall prevention. Learn what simple exercises improve strength and balance below.

Single Leg Balance

Practice this exercise anywhere as a simple way to improve strength and balance. Make sure to hold onto a chair for extra stability if needed.

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Extend your arms out. Slowly lift one knee up.
  3. Hold that position for 10-30 seconds.
  4. Repeat on each leg at least three times.

See this exercise.


This exercise helps build leg strength, which is key to preventing falls. If you need extra support, start this exercise while standing in front of a table or other furniture.

  1. Grab a sturdy chair that doesn’t roll or slide.
  2. Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart and your back facing the chair.
  3. Extend your arms straight in front of you for balance.
  4. Slowly lower yourself down onto the chair.
  5. Once seated, pause, then push yourself back into a standing position by slightly leaning your chest over your toes. Try to keep your back straight while you do this.
  6. Repeat 10 times, twice daily.

See this exercise.

Toe Raises

Some falls are caused by seniors shuffling their feet when walking rather than lifting them off the ground. This exercise can strengthen your ankle and shin muscles, helping you walk more confidently.

  1. If needed, start by putting two hands on the back of a chair. Otherwise, start in a standing position with your hands on your hips and your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Push your weight onto the balls of your feet, lift yourself up, and stand on your tiptoes. Hold for five seconds.
  3. Lower yourself back down until your feet are flat against the floor.
  4. Repeat 10-15 times.

See this exercise.


While walking is a great daily exercise for seniors to improve strength and balance, walking outside may not always be possible, especially in the winter. When you can’t get outside, marching in place is an excellent replacement activity.

  1. Start by standing and resting your hands on the back of a chair.
  2. Lift one knee, touching it to the back of the chair. Hold for one second. If you’re unable to bring your knee all the way to the back of the chair, lift your knee as high as you can.
  3. Complete 10 reps on each side.

See this exercise.

Over-the-Shoulder Walks

This exercise helps improve your balance by forcing your body to work together while performing two different tasks at the same time.

  1. Start in a standing position. Make sure the path in front of you is clear of obstacles for at least 25 feet.
  2. Turn your head to the right so your chin is level with your shoulder.
  3. Keeping your head in this position, walk forward five steps, then pause.
  4. Turn your head to the left so your chin is level with your shoulders.
  5. Keeping your head in this position, walk forward five steps, then pause.
  6. Repeat five times.

See this exercise.

Use Caution

Always talk to your doctor before beginning a new exercise routine. If you experience any pain while doing the above exercises, stop and consult your doctor.

Fall-Proof Your Home

Make your home safer with these tips.

Get a Taste of Life at Grand Oaks

See these plans and pictures come to life when you schedule a tour and walk through your future home at Grand Oaks.