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National Stay Out of the Sun Day!

National Stay Out of the Sun Day!

Today is National Stay Out of the Sun Day! 

National Stay Out of the Sun Day encourages us to give our skin a much-needed break from the sweltering heat. Although one doesn’t technically need to be indoors to avoid the sun, any excuse to lounge around the house for a lengthy period of time can (and should) be taken full advantage of. For those with a shady porch, that is also a great way to enjoy a beautiful summer day while staying out of the sun.

Moderate sun exposure will provide you with a healthy, all-natural dose of Vitamin D, but spending too much time basking in the sun speeds up the aging process and can cause skin cancer. Vitamin D is very important because it helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. These nutrients are needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy.  

To safely expose yourself to the sun, make sure to avoid being out between 11a-2p, when the sun is most strong. If you are going to be out during those hours, try to only be out for 10-15 minutes, and take proper precautions such as wearing a hat, applying 30+SPF,  wearing clothing that covers, and staying hydrated!   

Whether you opt to spend this holiday relishing in the great indoors, or relaxing in a hammock in the shade —  enjoy Stay Out of the Sun Day!

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Happy Fourth of July!

Each year on July 4th, the United States celebrates Independence Day. This federal holiday commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from Great Britain.

On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of Lee’s resolution for independence in a near-unanimous vote. On that day, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail that July 2 “will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival” and that celebration should include “Pomp and Parade…Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other.”

On July 4th, the Continental Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence, which had been written largely by Jefferson. Though the vote for actual independence took place on July 2nd, from then on the 4th became the day that was celebrated as the birth of American independence. 

For nearly 250 years, the country has been celebrating a day in history that inspires us still today. On July 4th, communities host speeches and ceremonies across the nation. Across the country, people crowd cities for parades and festivals. Cities deck the streets in red, white, and blue bunting and flags.

Festivities including concerts, bonfires, parades and the firing of cannons and muskets usually accompanied the first public readings of the Declaration of Independence, beginning immediately after its adoption. Philadelphia held the first annual commemoration of independence on July 4, 1777, while Congress was still occupied with the ongoing war.

After the Revolutionary War, Americans continues to commemorate Independence Day every year, in celebrations that allowed the new nation’s emerging political leaders to address citizens and create a feeling of unity.

Today, many communities hold spectacular fireworks displays re-enacting moments of victory. Patriotic music accompanies the performance while spectators view the show from blankets strewn along capital lawns or from boats floating in bays. In some parts of the country, people will shot their own fireworks while children delight in the bright colors and sparklers.

The tradition of setting off fireworks on the 4 of July began in Philadelphia on July 4, 1777, during the first organized celebration of Independence Day. Ship’s cannon fired a 13-gun salute in honor of the 13 colonies. The Pennsylvania Evening Post reported: “at night there was a grand exhibition of fireworks (which began and concluded with thirteen rockets) on the Commons, and the city was beautifully illuminated.” That same night, the Sons of Liberty set off fireworks over Boston Common.

Families and friends also gather for some of the most mouthwatering food – large picnics and barbecues, local fairs provide a taste of culture and mom’s home cooking, too. With so many converging on their hometowns, family and school reunions take place.

The tradition of patriotic celebration became even more widespread after the War of 1812, in which the United States again faced Great Britain. In 1870, the U.S, Congress made July 4th a federal holiday; in 1941, the provision was expanded to grant paid holiday to all federal employees.

Over the years, the political importance of the holiday would decline, but Independence Day remained an important national holiday and a symbol of patriotism.

Falling in mid-summer, the Fourth of July has since the late 19th century become a major focus of leisure activities and a common occasion for family get-togethers, often involving fireworks and outdoor barbecues.

Spend this weekend celebration independence. Attend any social distanced local events or celebrate with your family at home! Have a Happy Fourth of July!

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National Postal Stamp Day – How Stamps Can Help with Dementia!

National Postal Stamp Day – How Stamps Can Help with Dementia!

Tomorrow, July 1, is National Postal Stamp Day!

On July 1st, National US Postage Stamp Day recognizes the ease and simplicity with which we can send and receive mail. A stamp represents payment for the delivery of a letter or a package.

Did you know that stamp collecting can help those with dementia and Alzheimer’s?! Stamp collecting provides mental exercise, stamp collecting focuses your loved ones on good memories, and it allows seniors to socialize!

The United States issued its first postage stamp on July 1, 1847. At that time, stamps were not required. A letter could be mailed without a stamp and delivery paid for by the recipient. In 1855, the postage stamp became mandatory.

Philately is the study of stamps and postal history. Stamps often have a fascinating history. Everything from the inspiration and the artist to the postal rate in a given year affects the value of a stamp. Collectors look at quality and rarity as well.

Now I will never look at stamps the same way again!

Fun facts:

-Benjamin Franklin was appointed as the first postmaster General in the year 1775 and there by post office was established. The Position “Postmaster General” was included in the Cabinet Ministry in the year 1829.Postage stamp is embedded in American History during the civil war times where letters are used for Communication specialty by the prisoners.

-Inverted Jenny is one of the most valuable U.S postage Stamps. It became famous due to wrong depiction of the image of Curtiss JN-4.1. It was printed inversely and the mistake was not recognized at that time of selling by the postal clerk since he had not seen any airplane. He sold nearly more than 100 erroneous stamps and almost all were claimed to be recollected and shredded. However, one such stamp was sold for 135 million dollars at auction in the year 2016 in New York City.

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How Social Media Benefits Seniors

How Social Media Benefits Seniors

Social Media can be very beneficial for seniors. It provides an instant social network, which helps combat loneliness, isolation, and depression. This is very important because loneliness can have a huge negative impact on the health of older adults, and is associated with increased blood pressure, higher cholesterol levels, and a decrease in cognitive abilities and Alzheimer’s disease. 

Another wonderful thing about social media is the connectedness. People have been able to reconnect with old friends, classmates, or family that they lost touch with years ago. It is also great for staying close with family and friends who may live far away – video chatting is more intimate than a phone call, and social media makes it easy to share videos, pictures, articles, and more. It also helps bridge the generational gap to connect seniors with their grandkids, who may be more active on social media. 

Social media provides entertainment (let’s admit it – we have all seen and laughed at a cat video on social media). It also encourages hobbies and interests. This is key for seniors who are not very mobile but still want to interact with others who share hobbies – for instance someone can join groups about knitting, have discussions about knitting and share tips, and more! Sometimes new friendships can come from this as well! 

Social Media is also educational! There is an incredible nutrition and health food conscious community on Facebook (that we love!), where people post material like recipes, nutrition, food science, health, and more! We love reading those articles and participating in discussions!

Although new technology may be challenging for some, one great way to help reduce confusion is to download a ‘simple’ version of social media, such as facebook, that is more straightforward and easier for seniors to use. 

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World Social Media Day

World Social Media Day

Happy World Social Media Day!

Social Media Day is a way to recognize social media’s impact on global communication, and to bring the world together to celebrate it. Everyone uses social media everyday; it’s how we connect with people all over the world in a simple and fast way.

The first major social media platform was MySpace in 2003, and Facebook launched soon after in 2004. Facebook is the largest social media platforms in existence that now has over one billion people using it. Other popular social media platforms are Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Whatsapp, TikTok, and many others. These platforms have evolved from written messages, to pictures, and eventually videos that can be shared instantly and seen by millions.

Besides connecting with our friends and family in an easier way, social media has led to a whole new world of business growth, such as e-commerce brands popping up all over the world, advertising being displayed on every page in the web, and media sharing important news with people in a matter of minutes. Social media has had a significant impact on our world, and millions of people can’t imagine living without it now.

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Hugs for Seniors

Hugs for Seniors

When your body is stressed, you are more susceptible to becoming sick because higher cortisol (the stress hormone) levels can suppress your immune system. Hugs—as an indicator of social support but also because it involves touch—might pack a flu-fighting punch. Studies have shown that strong social ties can protect against stress, anxiety and depression, which in turn can help prevent or decrease illness.

A hug, pat on the shoulder and other forms of physical touch offer many health benefits, especially for seniors, who often get touched less often. Studies indicate that therapeutic touch can ease pain, improve sleep, ease anxiety and calm agitation in older adults with dementia. Physical touch can also help lower heart rate and improve blood flow, increase alertness, and ease the stress of interpersonal conflicts.

Unfortunately seniors receive the least touching of any age group. Researchers assert that the reason may be that many older adults live alone and may be socially isolated. Touch is especially important for older adults, who may be suffering from lack of social interaction, depression and chronic illness. We know how strong the link is between emotions and the immune system.

At Private Home Care, we integrate this important element in our care. Whether it be holding someone’s hand, a loving hug, brushing hair, or a gentle pat on the back can be very healing and comforting for seniors because they do not feel isolated and alone. The power of therapeutic touch is strong and can help physical and emotional healing. Our motto is ‘Compassion is at the Heart of Our Care’. This inspires us to take the very best care of your loved ones, which of course includes hugs to nurture the basic human need for touch and social connection.

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Hugging Safely During COVID

Hugging during COVID

Now that infection and hospitalization rates are decreasing in MA (thank you healthcare workers!),

it is time to figure out how to return to normal day to day life, including hugging! As human beings, we all need hugs! It is a part of human nature, we need physical touch! 

When considering how to hug safely, it is all about risk reduction. 

For instance, please do not go out and hug every single person in the grocery store. That is not smart if you are trying to reduce risk of spreading infection, and even in normal circumstances that could make people feel quite uncomfortable. 

How do you do it safely?

First, make sure to hug those who you can trust that they have been practicing safety guidelines. This includes wearing a mask in crowded public places, frequent hand washing, and not travelling internationally.

Hugging safely: Stay outside, wear a mask, and keep it quick – no lingering embrace. 

Face away from each other – no face to face or cheek to cheek, rather hug with each person facing a different direction. 

Grandparents are being reintroduced back into people’s social bubbles, now that infection rates have decreased. When children and grandparents are hugging, do not have the grandparents crouch to hug their grandchildren, rather have the child hug them at waist level. If the grandparents want to kiss the grandchildren, give them a kiss on the back of their head. 

For social gatherings, it is best to do it outside, such as in a backyard, and at least 6 feet apart. Masks are up for discretion, depending on the health and comfort level of everyone.    

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What Happens to Your Body When You Hug!

What Happens to Your Body When You Hug!

What happens to your body when you hug!

1. Hugs boost oxytocin levels. Elevated oxytocin levels lead to lessening of feelings of anger, loneliness, and isolation.

2. Hugs raise serotonin levels. Elevated Serotonin levels improve your mood, create happiness, and help to regulate your sleep cycle.

3. Hugs release endorphins. Endorphins are the body’s natural pain relievers, so getting a hug will actually soothe your aches and pains!

4. Hugs increase production of dopamine. Dopamine is produced in the reward center of the brain and makes you happy, relieves depression, and just makes you feel good all over.

5. Hugs reduce levels of circulating cortisol in the blood. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone. By reducing the amount of cortisol circulating in the blood, hugs can alleviate stress and calm the mind.

6. Hugs lower blood pressure. Hugs activate pressure receptors in the skin called pacinian corpuscles, which send signals to the part of your brain responsible for lowering blood pressure.

7. Hugs strengthen your immune system. Hugs can help stimulate the thymus gland which regulates the body’s production of white blood cells, which fight off disease.

8. Hugs relax your muscles. Hugs relieve tension in the body and soothe pain. As a result, they increase circulation to the soft tissue and relax the muscles.

9. Hugs balance the nervous system. The same pacinian corpuscles which help to lower blood pressure also help balance out the nervous system. The longer the hug, the more balanced the nervous system becomes.

10. Hugs are wonderful! You didn’t need to read about the physiology behind hugs to know that they not only feel great but are also great for your health! Hugs help us connect with the loved ones in our lives and help strengthen our social network and support. They have a similar effect on the body as laughter and meditation by detaching you from stress and connecting you with mindfulness and happiness. So give someone you love a hug today. The bigger the better!

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Hugging Holiday!

Today is Hugging Holiday!

Hugs are important in many ways. They help strengthen social ties and express your emotions, but people actually need them to maintain health! Hugging helps boost your immune system, can relieve stress and pain, lowers blood pressure, and improves your mood!

Hugs become even more valuable as you age! Loneliness that may come with older years may increase stress and harm overall health. Hugging has been proven to directly fight feelings of loneliness and help improve the health of elderly experiencing loneliness!

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Coconut Water – Hydration Benefits

For your next workout, reach for coconut water instead of a sport’s drink!

Coconut water is incredibly hydrating with high levels of potassium, magnesium, and electrolytes. It is much better for you than sports drinks, which contain artificial sugar, flavoring and color.

Coconut water is a natural way to keep you hydrated during workouts, on a hot day, or in case you need a hydration boost!

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