Amid Pandemic, Programs Struggle To Reach Vulnerable Seniors Living At Home

Close down group meals for seniors. Cancel social gatherings.

The directive, from the Illinois Department on Aging, sent shock waves through senior service organizations late last week.

Overnight, Area Agencies on Aging had to figure out how to help people in their homes instead of at sites where they mingle and get various types of assistance.

This is the new reality as the COVID-19 virus barrels into communities across America. Older adults — the demographic group most at risk of dying if they become ill ― are being warned against going out and risking contagion. And programs that serve this population are struggling to ensure that seniors who live in the community, especially those who are sick and frail, aren’t neglected.

This vulnerable population far outstrips a group that has received more attention: older adults in nursing homes. In the U.S., only 1.4 million seniors reside in these institutions; by

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Curious about probiotics? Tread carefully | Health Beat

Many websites and sellers will make bold claims about the benefits of their probiotic products, often failing to cite scientific sources. (For Spectrum Health Beat)

Many people turn to the internet with health questions, but how reliable is the information you find?

When it comes to probiotics, a new study urges caution.

The research found that of 150 websites that came up with a search of probiotics, most were commercial sites, hoping to sell a product.

Others were news sites or health portals (providing links to other sites). Many of these sites mentioned potential benefits of probiotics, though not all had scientific evidence to back up those claims.

And just 1 in 4 of the websites mentioned any potential side effects from taking probiotics.

“This study demonstrates that a number of online claims on the health benefits of probiotics are not supported by scientific evidence,” said study co-author Dr. Michel

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Modern tastes for ancient grains | Health Beat

Quinoa and chia are considered superfoods because they deliver a rich supply of vitamins, minerals and protein. (For Spectrum Health Beat)

Many Americans limit themselves to only a few varieties of grains—or worse yet, they neglect grains altogether.

But there’s a whole world of grainy goodness out there, with countless benefits to be had.

A variety making significant headway in modern diets: ancient grains.

They’re rich in taste and texture. They’re a good source of protein. They’re double the fiber of most grains and high in antioxidants and Omega-3 fatty acids.

And, befitting today’s food trends, many are gluten-free.

It’s also not a stretch to call them green grains.

People can enjoy ancient grains for the mere fact they’re capable of surviving with lower levels of pesticides and fertilizers, which makes them cleaner and healthier. They also require less irrigation when growing, allowing farmers to produce them with a smaller

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