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Long-Term Care

For those over the age of 65, there is a 70% chance that you will be in need of long-term care at some point in your life. 

The month of November established National Long-Term Care to offer support to those of you who are caretakers.  Long-term care can be very stressful. 

If you are a caregiver your average age is 46.  You have likely had to change your work schedule.  On average you spend 21 hours providing care. You may have even skipped a vacation because you were the person responsible for the care.

How then do you take care of yourself if you are the main caregiver for a family member or a friend?

Here are some tips from Caring Bridge, a website created for people to share information on day-to-day short or long-term care.

  • First, rally family, friends and those in your community for support.  You don’t need to do it all by yourself.  People will help in a variety of ways.
  • Next, make sure you take care of your basic needs like eating, sleeping, exercising, doing something you enjoy.  
  • Give yourself some appreciation.  Caring without feeling appreciated can be difficult.  You can join an online support group.  If you are comfortable, reach out to friends and let them know your trials and ask for support.
  • Do you forgive yourself and practice gratitude? You don’t need to be perfect.  You are doing the best you can and you need to be mindful of that.
  • You should accept help from others when offered.  This can be difficult but in the long run you get a break and some time to relax.  
  • Finally, find some hobbies for yourself.  Caregiving is important but it doesn’t need to define you.  A hobby can help on many levels.

Private Home Health Care understands how difficult long-term care can be.  We hope those of you in that situation make sure to take care of yourself too.

#LongTermCareAwarenessMonth

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Sweet Potatoes

This month we are thinking about sweet potatoes and wondering if you have even tried them?

We have long been aware of the many varieties of white potatoes available.  There are colorfully named potatoes like red, white and yellow. Likewise, russet and fingerling are two more names.

Like us, you have probably heard about the root vegetable sweet potatoes.  Yes, you may be surprised but they are actually a root vegetable and not in the potato family.   

We have a new found love of this vegetable.  You easily find them in the grocery store in funny shapes and with lots of bumps.  Don’t let those scare you.  They cook up great!

You can bake a sweet potato just like a white potato or in the oven with your favorite spices.  Likewise, the air fryer is a great way for you to cook them and enjoy delicious and healthy fries.  Sweet potatoes are very versatile..

Why eat sweet potatoes?  They are packed with lots of good nutrients and a diabetic friendly food eaten in moderation.

Sweet potatoes give you few calories, little fat, protein, manageable carbs and fiber, soluble and insoluble.  

Let’s talk about the vitamins  in a sweet potato.  You’ll get healthy amounts of beta-carotene, vitamin C, and potassium.  Additionally, your body will get manganese and vitamins, B5, B6 and E.  

That’s a lot of goodness in one vegetable!

Private Home Health Care loves to eat sweet potatoes.  We are so happy that we can easily find them in local grocery stores and at farmer’s markets.  This month try a sweet potato if it’s new to you.  You will hopefully be pleasantly surprised!

 #SweetPotatoAwarenessMonth

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Loosen Up, Lighten Up Day

Tuesday, November 14th is Loosen Up, Lighten Up Day.  It’s a day for you to try and live stress free, if only for a little while.

Life can bring you ups and downs.  You are entering the season where there can be additional stressors with Thanksgiving and the holidays in December.

On Tuesday, do your best to focus on each moment in your life. Work on not planning far ahead.  If you make a list, have one goal then set it aside.

Give yourself permission to take a break.  Take a walk, have coffee with a friend, read a book.  Do something that you will enjoy.

Is your family at school?  You might use that time.  Is there a time between clients or patients?  What about quiet time at the senior center or your nursing home?  

This day is meant to relax you for as much time as possible.   It doesn’t need to be all day.  Find what works for you.

You could try meditation or yoga!  Meditation has been around for centuries.  Those people long ago and today who meditate must be on to something.

Stress can upset our minds and hurt our bodies.  The older we get the harder it can be to relax.  We have more ailments and it may be harder for us day-to-day.  

Use this day tomorrow to forget it all and have some fun.  Do some exercises, even if they have to be done using a chair.  There are no wrong answers if you can find time to let it all go for a while.

Private Home Health Care knows how stressful life can be at times.  Try to find a way “loosen and lighten up and enjoy some relaxation! 🙂

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Veteran’s Day, 2023

Happy Veteran’s Day to all those who have sacrificed for our country.  That includes those who have served in the past and those active-military members serving today.

In a world that continues to see a lack of peace in many areas you and I are especially honored by those who serve in order to keep our country safe.  Those men and women also help those in need around the world.

According to the US government there are approximately 16 million military veterans in our country.  Men and women who patriotically defend us.

If you speak to veterans from wars in the past it can be very difficult for them to share memories.  Wars cause a lot of trauma and for many it can be hard to bear.

This Veteran’s Day there are ways you can show your respect to the veterans in our lives.

Volunteering – you can look for a place to volunteer with veterans.

Donating – check online and find a veteran’s organization to donate to.

Posting – if you are a social media user you can post a message to our veterans.

Veteran’s Day has been used as a day of honoring veterans past and present for over a century now.  We think that you’ll agree that it is a very important day for all of us in this country.

Private Home Health Care honors all of the men and women who have defended us in the past and currently.  As a veteran you should be as proud of your service as we are.

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Peanut Butter Lovers Month

Peanut butter is a favorite food in the United States.  That is if you don’t have a peanut allergy!

In 2021, worldpopulationreview.com reported that the average person in the US consumes 7.9 pounds of peanut butter in a year.  That makes us a top consumer!

You have probably enjoyed peanut butter in a sandwich with your favorite jelly.  Perhaps you have dipped apples into peanut butter for a snack.

No matter how you use peanut butter there are good nutrients to be gained.  You need to watch out for brands that use a lot of sugar, vegetable oil and trans fats but with the right brand you get good nutritional benefits.

Peanut butter contains protein, some fiber, vitamin E, niacin, manganese, vitamin B6 and magnesium.  Most peanut butters are also vegan.  Check your labels. 

Additionally, you can use peanut butter in so many more ways than just in a sandwich.  Try adding it to your smoothie.  Spread it on wheat toast for breakfast with some bananas.  Look for dinner recipes that use peanut butter. 

For a treat you could even bake a batch of peanut butter cookies and enjoy them with a nice cup of milk.

For those with nut allergies there are some alternatives.  Almond butter is easy to find and there are also walnut and macadamia butters although these might be harder to find.

Private Home Health Care loves the creamy peanut butter but you may prefer a natural or crunchy type.  Whatever the case, try and add some peanut butter to your diet.  Moderation is a good philosophy and peanut butter is a good choice.

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National Pepper Month

What fruit come in green, yellow, orange and red and sometimes in the hot variety?  

If you guessed peppers then you were correct!

The pepper started in Latin America thousands of years ago so they’ve been enjoyed for a very long time.

It’s true that peppers are a fruit and not a vegetable.  It’s all about their seeds. If you’ve ever cut into a pepper you know the multitude of seeds they carry.  (Dry them and plant them and you’ll grow pepper plants.)

You can enjoy a pepper raw, with hummus or cooked to add nice flavor to dishes.  They are a very versatile fruit. Hot peppers like the jalapeno add a kick to dishes if you are feeling adventurous.

The health benefits from peppers are significant.  You won’t get many calories from them but you do get vitamins A and C, potassium, folic acid and fiber. (Red peppers stay on the vine longer so they are the most nutritious.)

Peppers can lower your blood pressure, help your digestion and reduce your risk of diabetes.  All very healthy benefits.

Peppers are not only popular on Earth but up in space as well.  They are grown and enjoyed on the International Space Station!

Private Home Health Care loves to eat peppers.  Sweet, hot, raw and cooked.  All are delicious.  We hope you’ll enjoy some and the health benefits they provide.

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The Pomegranate

Pomegranates are a delicious and healthy fruit that you can find from September until January.   

What have you heard about the pomegranate?  Is the word on the street that they are healthy?  If so, that’s true! 

To begin, one pomegranate carries Vitamin C to protect your cells and antioxidants that boost your immune system. 

If that’s not enough, you’ll discover fiber, manganese to help form bone and joint tissues and folate and thiamine to help with cell development and function.  

Furthermore, even though they are high in sugar, if you are diabetic you can enjoy them too.  You can thank the antioxidants that attach to the sugar flowing through your veins for that.

Pomegranates are interesting to look at and once you open them up there are tons of seeds, called arils.

Here are a few tips on how to buy, open and store pomegranates.

You should look for a pomegranate that is heavy.  Avoid any that are bruised, cut or slashed.

In order to open a pomegranate you cut off the top then score along the of the fruit where you see the “ribs”.  Next, pry the sections open with your hands.  You’ll see all the seeds and you can use your thumbs to pop them out into a bowl. 

To store a pomegranate, you should be able to keep the seeds refrigerated in an airtight container for 3 weeks.  You can also freeze them for up to a year.

Pomegranate seeds can be eaten as they are or added to salads.  Likewise you can enjoy them in a smoothie or drink.  They are very versatile.

Private Home Health Care loves to eat pomegranate seeds and we also like to add them to our salads.  Additionally, they are good in smoothies and other drinks.

#NationalPomegranateMonth

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Respiratory Care

Have you ever had an issue with your lungs?  If you have and you’ve needed help you likely worked with a respiratory care professional.

Your lungs play a crucial role in your body.  They allow you to breathe, talk as well as send oxygen to various parts of your body.

If your lungs are compromised or not working to full capacity it can cause you distress.

  • You could be one of 65 million people with an airway disease like COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) or Asthma.
  • You might have a lung tissue disease such as pulmonary fibrosis or a rare case of sarcoidosis (inflammation and abnormal cell deposits.)
  • You could find yourself with a lung circulation disease.  Pulmonary hypertension is a form of high blood pressure.  This can be caused by various health issues.

There is a growing field in the respiratory care profession.  People focus on two areas of study:

  • Registered Pulmonary Function Technologist

You would operate equipment and screen pulmonary functions in this role.

  • Registered Therapist

Your responsibilities broaden with the ability to diagnose, treat and educate on different pulmonary conditions.  

Consequently, you need to go to college for both of these positions and state board certifications are also required.

Private Home Health Care encourages you to seek help and guidance from your medical professional if you notice any changes in your breathing.  We understand the importance of those in the respiratory care profession.

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All Hallow’s Eve – Halloween

Private Home Health Care wishes you a safe and Happy Halloween.

We are wondering how some of Halloween’s traditions began.  Are you?

The actual day began at the end of the harvest time and the start of the new year. You may recall that it was actually called Samhain, a Celtic festival.  Roots from our past in agriculture.

Today in addition to candy, Halloween has traditions of witches, Jack-O-Lanterns and bobbing for apples.  Do you know how each of these came to be?

Witches go way back to the Middle Ages.  

Women would sit in front of a fireplace and go into a trance, chanting and meditating.  Back then, the superstitious people believed that these women had broomsticks and would fly out their chimneys and scare people with magical deeds.

Jack-O-Lanterns 

Would you believe these started as Jack-O-Turnips?  That’s right.  Back in Ireland, you could easily find turnips.  People would carve and light the turnips and put them in their windows.  The hope was that this would keep away evil spirits and welcome their dead.

If you fast forward to the United States, Irish immigrants could not easily find turnips but pumpkins were plentiful.  Jack-O-Turnip turned into Jack-O-Lantern using a pumpkin.

Bobbing for Apples

Do you believe that apples represent love interests?  Well, it appears that the Romans did!

The festival of Pomona was around November 1 and they bobbed for apples.  They believed that the first person, male or female to catch it with their teeth would marry in the coming year.

Additionally, you would peel an apple in one continuous and unbroken strip and throw it over your shoulder while you are spinning.  The fallen peel would reveal the first initial of the peeler’s true love.

Whether you are taking out children to trick or treat or giving out the candy, we hope you have a wonderful and joyful time.

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Blindness

Have you ever wondered what it is like to be visually impaired or blind?

According to the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, there are 1.1 billion people worldwide living with vision loss.  Of those people 43 million are actually blind.

For those of us with our sight it can be a terrifying thought to lose it. Perhaps you were born blind or it could be that you have developed an eye condition with age.  Either way if you cannot see you need to find alternative ways to manage your life.  Where do you begin?

Independence is very important to all of us and if you are blind it is no different.  The good news is that there are organizations in the US that can help.

The National Federation for the Blind is one group that can help guide. They are an advocacy group for the blind with many good resources. They can be found at https://nfb.org/

There are also a few non-profit organizations that train you so that you can learn to cook, go shopping and learn computers and smartphones.  One of these is in Colorado https://cocenter.org/ 

These are two organizations that can help you if you find you are starting to lose your sight or if you are actually blind and trying to manage your life.

Private Home Health Care knows that it is possible to live independently if you are blind and we herald those people.  We also encourage regular visits to your optometrist or ophthalmologist to have your eyes checked and to manage any symptoms.

#BlindnessAwarenessMonth

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