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Memorial Day Weekend

Today is the first day of the long Memorial Day Weekend.  This is a special time to thank those who have defended our country over the years.  The commemoration often happens on the Monday of Memorial Day weekend.  Check local stations and websites for a parade and ceremony near you.

This weekend is also a very big travel weekend and many of us travel by car.  With the gas prices high at this time we might find ourselves staying closer to home.  Private Home Health Care would offer a few suggestions for things to do locally.

In Boston, you can visit the Boston Common where over 37,000 flags have been planted.  These flags represent everyone in Massachusetts who died defending our country since the Revolutionary War.  It is quite a sight to see.

At the Boston Opera House, the Boston Ballet is presenting Swan Lake from May 26-June 5.  Do you like museums?  The Massachusetts Institute of Fine Art and Institute of Contemporary art are both offering free admissions on May 30.

Gloucester offers Whale Watches, beaches and a guided- or self-guided tour of Hammond Castle.  $20 for adults, $15 for seniors, $10 ages 5-12 and free under 4.

No cost things to do in Salem, including walking along Chestnut Street to see the old houses.  It claims to be the first planned street in the US.  You can also picnic and play ball at the Salem Common.  There are lots of old cemeteries to visit and many shops to explore.

Private Home Health Care wishes everyone a lovely and relaxing weekend on this unofficial beginning of summer.

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Senior Fitness

The last Wednesday in May is all about Senior Health and Fitness.  Fitness and exercising is good for all ages and it doesn’t need to stop when we get older.

Today is a day when many places have events for seniors that involve exercise.  Check your local senior or community center, YMCA or retirement community and see what you can find.  You can modify exercises to fit your body and level of fitness.  The important part is making sure you are physically active. Today is a day to work to improve your health or highlight what you do to stay active.  The benefits of staying fit are enormous!

As you age your balance gets compromised.  Exercising helps you maintain your balance.  If you are active it helps keep muscles and joints strong.  Arthritis can give you lots of aches and pains.  Movement and exercises can help alleviate the pain.  Do you have high blood pressure?  Regular activity can help keep it stable. Do you feel anxious?  Physical exercise can not only help with anxiety, if you exercise in a group it provides a sense of community too.

Private Home Health Care believes in doing whatever you can to live your best life.  Being physically active can definitely help.  Share what you do on social media using #SeniorHealthFitnessDay.  

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Fun

When was the last time you had some fun?  Scavenger hunts are one way people have fun and tomorrow just happens to be National Scavenger Hunt Day.  

The goal of the scavenger hunt is for you to work with a team to find a list of items and be the first to do it.  You are not allowed to purchase anything.  You may need to go to multiple places to find what you are looking for.  Everything on the list could also be in one location.  It all depends on who creates the list.  

For extra fun and a bit more challenge, you can use riddles to describe the item to be found.  First work with your team to figure out the answer and then find the item.  Does that sound like fun?

A scavenger hunt can be as easy or as hard as you make it.  It all depends on who wants to play.  It definitely uses brain power so it’s good for all ages.

Elsa Maxwell, a woman from Iowa who became a gossip columnist and a professional hostess, is credited with coming up with the first scavenger hunt as a party game.  Elsa did create a scavenger list in Paris in 1927 that ended up causing disturbances in the city so do be careful with what you create!

Private Home Health Care wishes you some fun tomorrow having a scavenger hunt or playing a game with friends.

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May is Stroke Awareness month

Private Home Health Care would like to remind you of how to look for signs of a stroke.  We would also like to share tips from the CDC on how to prevent strokes.

Signs to look for:  BE FAST  (www.strokeawareness.com)

B – Balance – loss of balance or dizziness

E – Eyes – vision changes

F – Face – face drooping, bad headache

A – Arms – weakness, numbness

S – Speech – trouble speaking, confusion

T – Time – time to call 911

Ways to prevent strokes:  (www.cdc.gov/stroke)

Choose healthy foods and drinks.  We have spoken of this before.  Foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol, high in fiber.  Eat lots of fruits and vegetables.

Keep a healthy weight – check with your doctor on what’s right for you.

Get regular physical activity – moderate activity like a brisk walk, 30 minutes per day

Don’t smoke

Limit alcohol

Work with your doctor to control medical conditions and blood pressure, check cholesterol, and treat any heart issues.

If your doctor recommends medicines make sure you understand and ask questions.  

In 2018, 17% of deaths were attributed to strokes.  Private Home Health Care wants you to gain knowledge to keep you as healthy as possible.

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National Walnut Day

National Walnut Day

Walnuts.  You can find them in the grocery store, whole, shelled in pieces or chopped.  Easy right?  Wrong.

Did you know that walnuts grow on trees?  Trees that when planted take five to seven years to become an adult with walnuts.  The walnuts are surrounded by a green husk.  They are ready for harvesting when the husk dries and splits revealing the walnut.

In California, it’s usually August when the walnuts are ready to harvest.  Once harvesting begins it can last up until late November to complete.  That’s four months!

Yesterday was National Walnut Day.  According to studies by Harvard Health back in 2018, there are health benefits to the mighty walnut.  These nuts may not be the answer to all your health problems but there are ways that adding walnuts to your diet can help make improvements.

Walnuts contain a lot of polyunsaturated fatty acids.  These are much better than saturated fats.  Based on the studies a diet rich in walnuts can help with cholesterol with reductions in total cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides between 3-5%. There are also anti-inflammatory qualities in the walnut.

Private Home Health Care loves walnuts and we believe they are a healthy snack alternative to any diet.

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National Emergency Services Week

For 48 years we have recognized the third week in May as National Emergency Services (EMS) week.  Back in 1974 President Gerald Ford first observed the week to honor those professionals who work each day to save others’ lives.

EMS workers are first responders, emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics.  These men and women are trained to have quick reactions and good decision-making skills.  

They study emergency medical and paramedic technology.  They get a post secondary degree and they must be certified in CPR.  EMS workers must have state licensure and an NREMT certificate (National Registry of Emergency Technicians).

Emergency responders can be found everywhere, from rural communities to big cities.  They must be ready at any time to apply their knowledge in critical and life-saving situations.

This week, we hope you can thank a first responder that may have helped you.  Try sharing stories on social media using #NationalEMSWeek. 

Private Home Health Care sends a heartfelt thank you this week to all Emergency Services workers we know.

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International Hummus Day

Hummus, an arabic word for chickpea, is a healthy and yummy food that is easy to make and readily available in grocery stores.

It consists of chickpeas, tahini (ground sesame seeds), lemon juice, olive oil and garlic.  You mix all these ingredients in a food processor or blender and enjoy.

Hummus is a plant-based protein with vitamins like iron, phosphate, folate and vitamin B.  It’s naturally gluten-, nut- and dairy-free.   It has a low glycemic index so it helps control blood sugar levels.

The antioxidants from the olive oil and sesame seeds helps fight inflammation and the fiber in hummus feeds the healthy bacteria in your stomach to improve digestion.

The Mediterranean diet includes hummus paired with vegetables and whole-wheat pita bread. You can also include it in a sandwich on a whole-wheat wrap.  Homemade hummus will last 4-5 days in the refrigerator.  You can also put it in a well sealed container or zip lock bag and freeze it for 4 months.

Private Home Health Care loves to make hummus and enjoy it as a snack with red and yellow peppers.  Bon appetit!

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National Limerick Day

A limerick is a type of lyric poem with a very specific rhyme scheme and metric pattern.  Limericks are often for comedy but they can be satirical as well.  It is made up of 5 lines of poetry.

Tomorrow is National Limerick Day.

Lines 1, 2 and 5 have the same end rhyme and the same rhythm

Lines 3 and 4 have the same end rhyme and same rhythm

Lines 1, 2 and 5 are lengthier than lines 3 and 4

Each line follows a pattern of unstressed/unstressed/stressed syllables

The meter follows this pattern:

Lines 1 2 and 5 are usually 9 syllables

Lines 3 and 4 are usually 6 syllables

Here are a couple of examples of a Limerick poem:

“There was an Old Man with a beard

Who said, “It is just as I feared!”

Two Owls and a Hen

Four Larks and a Wren

Have all built their nests in my beard!”

Edward Lear (this Brit popularized the limerick)

“Our novels get longa and longa

Their language gets stronga and stronga

There’s much to be said 

For a life that is led

in illiterate places like Bonga”

HG Wells

Private Home Health Care hopes you can have some fun tomorrow working on your own limerick.  It’s good for your brain and you might add a bit of laughter to your day!

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National Asparagus Month

May is National Asparagus Month and this vegetable packs a lot of goodness!

Asparagus is a herbaceous, perennial plant.  It comes in green, white and purple with green being the most plentiful in our area.

Asparagus is very low in calories and it’s loaded with essential vitamins and minerals,  including folate and Vitamins A, C and K.

It’s a good source of antioxidants.  These are the compounds that help protect your cells from unstable molecules that can damage your DNA and lead to chronic disease.  It’s also excellent for digestive health because it contains good dietary fiber.

If you are pregnant the CDC encourages a diet rich in folic acid and in folate (Vitamin B9).  Asparagus is high in Vitamin B9.  Both are important early in the pregnancy to help prevent neural tube defects.  Neural tubes are involved in early brain and spine development.

More research is still needed but since asparagus is a good source of potassium it is believed that it can help keep blood pressure in the healthy range and it may even help lower it.

Asparagus is a healthy choice for a vegetable and Private Home Health Care would like to share how to pick out the freshest bunches.

#1 – make sure the stalks are firm.  They should not be dried out, wrinkly, rubbery, soft or limp.

#2 – the tips should be tightly closed and look fresh.  Avoid if they look dry or if they are starting to open.

#3 – the store should have the stalks sitting in water.  Water gives a better chance of them being fresh.

Happy shopping! 

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National Nurses Day

Nurses.  

You can find a nurse in a doctor’s office or administering a test at a hospital.  You might also find them at a patient’s side during a birth.  Look in any school and you’ll find a nurse dealing with scrapes, fevers and these days, Covid testing.  A nurse is also a person  providing round the clock home health care for those in need. 

It takes dedication and commitment to becoming a nurse and they are in many different health care facilities.

A nurse needs schooling of either two or four years.  They must also pass a test administered by the National Council by the State Boards of Nursing.  Once a nurse passes the test they apply for a license.  Each year there are continuing education units (CEUs) needed to keep licenses up-to-date.

A few interesting facts about nurses:

4-5 miles – walked by a nurse in a given day

#4 – ranking of nurse practitioners in the 2019 list of 25 Best Jobs

19 million – the number of nurses in the world

41% – the number of nurses working in hospitals

Private Home Health Care hopes on National Nurses Day you can find time to thank a nurse or give a gift card to a nurse.  You might also take time to learn about Florence Nightingale who is considered the pioneer of nursing.

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