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Patience

The freedictionary.com defines patience as the following:

  1. The bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain without complaint, loss of temper or anger.
  2. An ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay.
  3. Quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence

Patience is an important, but not always easily attained, trait for all of us for different reasons during the stages of our life.  It can change with time.

When we are young, we need to learn patience.  Patience to share a toy, patience to wait in line, patience to save for that special item.  Children can find this very difficult at times.

As teenagers, there are times that we hope that those around us will have patience with our moods and teenage needs.  We might not see it this way at the time.

In our adult years patience can shift between patience with ourselves and patience toward others. 

If you are starting a new job it could be that you need to be patient with yourself as you learn new tasks.  If you are aging, you could find it difficult to handle the same activities you did when you were younger.  This also requires you to be patient with yourself.  This can be challenging as this can bring feelings of anger or restlessness.

Older adults can require a lot of help and a lot of patience especially if they are declining in health.  Dementia can be a difficult disease as it requires quiet and steady perseverance when dealing with the afflicted person.  

Private Home Health Care believes that patience is key as we age.  We need to help a person understand that they need to be patient with themselves.  We also need to work to provide  calm, and patient care to those people we serve.

Two quotes to think about:

“Patience is a conquering virtue.”  Geoffrey Chaucer

“He that can have patience can have what he will.”  Benjamin Franklin

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Peaches

Peach season runs from mid-July until September in Massachusetts..  This explains why you see all the peaches at local stores and farms.  It turns out that fresh peaches have many health benefits along with a delicious taste!

Did you know that one medium peach gives you vitamins, fiber and a mineral?  Check out what that one peach gives you (WebMD):

Vitamin C – 13% of your daily intake.  Helps your immune system. 

Vitamin A – a beta-carotene antioxidant.  Helps your eyesight.

Fiber – 6%-9% of daily intake.

Calories – low in calories, only 60 with 85% water.  No cholesterol, saturated fats or sodium.

Potassium – has as much as 285 milligrams.  You need approximately 4,700 milligrams daily.

Do you want  to buy the perfect peach?

Smell it!  

No smell, usually means no taste.  It should smell the way you want it to taste.

Feel it!  

It should be heavy. Hold the peach in your palm. Gently squeeze it.

If it’s  baseball hard it means it was picked too early.  Don’t buy it!

Tennis anyone?  If it feels like a tennis ball that’s ok.  Take it home to ripen.

Real give when squeezed?  Eat it when you get home or after its been on the counter 

a day or two.  These are great for baking!

Soft to the touch should be eaten right away.  These should bruise easily to the touch.

Private Home Health Care loves peach season.  This juicy and delicious fruit is yummy on cereal, makes a great smoothie and is delicious in a special treat of a peach cobbler.

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The Stages of Grief

Today is the birthday of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross (July 8, 1926-August 24, 2004.  She was a Swiss-American psychiatrist and a pioneer in near-death studies.

Elisabeth knew she wanted to be a doctor but her father did not allow it.  She ended up leaving home at age 16, volunteering in WWII and then going to medical school in 1951.  She married and came to the United States which is where her studies progressed.  

What she is known for is her book called “Death and Dying” in which she identified the five stages that terminally ill patients experience:  denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.  These are stages for those who are dying but also for those who experience a loss.  

The five stages (source: psycom.net):

Denial – Avoidance, confusion, elation, shock, fear.  This stage can help you initially handle or survive the loss.

Anger – Frustration, irritation, anxiety. You might think why did this happen? It’s a natural response that helps with healing.

Bargaining – Struggling to find meaning, reaching out to others, telling one’s story.  You are so desperate to get your life back to normal that you are willing to do anything to change things.  You can also feel guilty during this stage, what if . . .

Depression – Overwhelmed, Helplessness, Hostility, Flight.  This is when you feel the emptiness when you are in reality and realize the loss.  You could need to seek out help if this feeling gets too overwhelming.

Acceptance– Exploring options, new plan in place, moving on.  Your emotions may begin to stabilize.  You come to terms with the fact of your loss or your illness. 

Private Home Health Care realizes that everyone’s grief is unique.  You do not necessarily go through each stage or in the order listed.  You might also have another stage.  What we learned from Elisabeth is how to identify our feelings and how to cope with our loss, all a part of this wonderful life.

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Global Forgiveness Day

Tomorrow is Global Forgiveness Day.  Forgiveness Day was set for July 7 in Victoria, British Columbia in 1994. 

True forgiveness is not an easy task.  If the offense causes great hurt it may take you time to be able to forgive.  Pardoning someone is not always what you want to do in a given moment.  You could have anger and resentment towards the perceived or actual offender.

Studies done in the United States have shown that if you forgive someone you lessen your chance of suffering from certain illnesses.  On the other hand, if you have a hard time forgiving it can leave you holding a lot of anger and resentment.  This can cause you stress and lead to symptoms of anxiety, high blood pressure and depression.

This seems to make sense because a reaction to an emotional hurt can be anger.  Anger can leave you feeling very unsettled and unfulfilled.  Anger can make you very tired too.

There are hurts and offenses that are very hard to forgive.  You may need to meditate or pray.  Writing or journaling or talking with someone about it may help too. A key point to remember is that letting go of pain or resentment can be very uplifting.  You can focus on other, happier parts of your life.

Private Home Health Care knows that the word forgiveness holds a lot of weight and can be very challenging.  We wish you well on your forgiveness journey.  We want to leave you with a quote from Alexander Pope, a 18th century poet who wrote the poem, “An Essay on Criticism.” 

The phrase he coined for us to remember is, “To err is human, to forgive, divine.”

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Independence Day!

Wishing you all a very Happy 4th of July.

 I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder, as the opening of a grand scene and design in providence, for the illumination of the ignorant and the emancipation of the slavish part of mankind all over the earth. – John Adams

Thanks to all who have served our great country to afford us the freedom we enjoy as a nation.

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National Blueberry Month

The entire month of July is set aside for the wonderfully healthy blueberry.  It turns out that the blueberry is one of the healthiest fruits for us!

According to dietitian, Julia Zumpany, RD, LD from the Cleveland Clinic, “Studies have shown that they help against aging, cancer and damage to your DNA.”  Julia actually feels that there is no downside to eating fresh, uncooked blueberries.

Benefits of blueberries:

  • High in antioxidants – helps with stress.  “Antioxidants create a barrier or a shield around a cell to help protect it from being damaged.”
  • Packed with vitamins and minerals 
    • Vitamin C
    • Vitamin K
    • Manganese
    • Dietary fiber
  • Can help manage cholesterol – high in soluble fiber

Some studies have shown that if you eat blueberries it can reduce your blood sugar.  In addition, it may help reduce your blood pressure if you live with metabolic syndrome. 

Tips from Julia:

You should eat raw, fresh, organic blueberries.  These are the best.  Be careful of exposure to heat as that can damage the antioxidants.

If you cannot get organic blueberries, she recommends that you soak them for a couple of minutes in water with a dash of lemon.  

Private Home Health Care is so happy that it’s summer so you can get the freshest blueberries!  Try eating blueberries on cereal, in hot oatmeal and in smoothies.  A bowl of milk and blueberries is delicious too.  Enjoy!

#NationalBlueberryMonth

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Social Media Day

This day was created to observe the way that social media has become a worldwide way for you to collaborate, communicate, and share information and images with family and friends.  In 2002 Friendster was created and in 2003 it was MySpace.  

Since that time there have been many social media sites that have surpassed them including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube to name a few.  

Private Home Health Care writes our blog and shares it on some of these sites.  We love the way anyone from any location in the world can access the wide variety of information provided.

It is truly amazing how social media has grown and now become full of active participants. You can share all kinds of information in writing or with imagery.  You can learn how to do something new on YouTube.   

Private Home Health Care loves staying connected via social media.  We also believe that it’s important to remember that nothing can replace getting together physically.  

It is especially important for our elderly community.  You need to spend physical time with those alone or located in a care facility.  You cannot replace listening to people and sharing stories together.  It is too precious. 

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National Sunglasses Day

National Sunglasses Day has been celebrated on June 27 since 2009.  The goal of the day is to let you know about the importance of wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes.  It’s super important in the summer since we tend to be outside more but you need them during winter as well.

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology studies from 2018 showed that overexposure to the sun on unprotected eyes increases your risk of eye diseases.  Potential diseases include cataracts, macular degeneration, growths and even eye cancer.  

If you are someone who is out on water a lot, lakes, rivers or oceans, the sun reflecting on the water can give a sunburn to the front of the eye.  This is very painful and you could develop redness, blurry vision and sensitivity to bright lights.

Here are recommendations from the Academy to help you protect your eyes.

# 1 and most important.  Your eyeglass lenses must block 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB radiation.

Consider getting oversized or wraparound-style frames to cover more of your eye.

Be careful.  Dark lenses don’t necessarily mean more protection from UV rays.

Athletes may need amber, green or gray lenses to help in their sport.

Polarized lenses can help you reduce glare driving in water or pavement.

Higher prices do not mean more protection.  Shop carefully.  Find a style that you like that also has the 99 to 100 UV protection.

Private Home Health Care wants you to learn so you can protect your eyes. Share images of you wearing sunglasses using #NationalSunglassesDay.

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Roses

Every year the month of June celebrates the timeless and beautiful rose.  Roses have been around for quite a long time.  Rose fossil bones date back 35 million years.  In Hildesheim Germany at the Hildesheim Cathedral you will find a thousand year old rose along the wall. Amazing right?

Rose petals are edible, either from rose water added to jams and jellies or the berries, called rose hips that are jammed with Vitamin C.  These can be made into dry tea.

Rose oil is used in perfumes but don’t try and make it yourself.  You need about 2,000 roses to make just 1 gram of oil.

This US National flower, (thanks to President Ronald Regan in 1986), is grouped into three categories:  Hybrid tea, Floribunda and Shrub.  

There are 150 varieties and about ten different colors.  The colors have different meanings:

Red – love and romance

Pink – grace and elegance

Yellow – friendship and cheer

White – sympathy but also purity, spirituality and innocence

Orange – congratulatory

An interesting trivia fact.  It took 15 years for a famous rose breeder named David Austin to create a rare rose variety called the Juliet.  He spent $5 million but sold the rose in 2006 for $15.8 million!

Private Home Health Care loves roses and enjoys growing them in containers.  Here are a few tips to grow your own beautiful roses in containers.  

You should get floribunda, hybrid tea (no longer that 4”-5”) or miniature.  Make sure your roses have enough soil for deep roots and excellent drainage.  Width and depth of the pot is important.  If you have a 20” diameter pot, the depth should be the same or deeper.  Finally, do not use a lot of fertilizer at the beginning.  Young roses don’t like it.  

Happy planting!

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Hydration

Are you hydrated or dehydrated?  For those of you over the age of 65 dehydration affects 20% to 30% of you and can have devastating results.

A good basis to determine the correct amount for the average elder is to drink one third of your body weight.  For example, if you weigh 150 pounds you would intake 50 ounces or 6 cups of fluids.

It is essential that you think about the importance of hydration, especially as you age.  WebMD recommends that if you are elderly you should drink 6-8 cups of fluids a day.  If you are incontinent more fluids are needed.

What are signs of dehydration?

Thirsty – this is especially hard for those with dementia or stroke

Lower % of body water – as we age our body weight is less than younger adults

Impaired renal function – hormones do not respond as well

Medications – some medications can lead to dehydration, like laxatives and diuretics

Visual signs of dehydration include:

Dry mouth, tongue, lips

Sunken eyes, papery skin

Unusually drowsy or confused

The good news is that you can up your fluid intake in different ways.

Water (of course) – but add some oranges or lemons for flavor

Sports drinks – ones with no artificial additives and low in sugar

Soups, broths and stews

Fruits like cucumber, celery, strawberries, grapefruit, spinach and watermelon

Tea and coffee – up to 4 cups a day

Private Home Health Care encourages you to keep a glass of water by your side at home and a water bottle when you travel for good hydration!   Bottoms up!

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