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Cousins

Cousins are those relatives that you might see once in a while or often.  You might see them at family events or perhaps you visit each other’s houses over the years. Strong bonds can be built with this family member.

Often a relationship begins with your cousin when you are very young.  Your parents’ brothers and sisters might have children who add on to the family.  

When your families get together it’s natural that children would play with each other and that’s when relationships begin. The relationship grows as you age.  It can be dependent on family ties which are hopefully positive.

Due to those family ties a cousin is someone to play with when a lot of adults are around.  At family gatherings, it’s someone you can talk to or play with.  A cousin your age might be someone who has the same skills at a pick up family baseball game that you do.

A summer family vacation at the beach or pool adds to the camaraderie. You might go on an adventure or find ways to get in trouble together.  That definitely creates close bonds.

Over the years the experiences grow, the stories accumulate and the bonds get stronger.  You might even find that a cousin might be a better listener than a sibling at certain times.

As the years go on and lives get busier, it might get more difficult to make plans.  Hopefully there are traditional family gatherings, during the summer or around the holidays for time to catch up.  Private Home Health Care believes that family relationships are important to our mental health and well being. We hope you can reach out or visit with a cousin soon.

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Loneliness and Social Isolation

In 2019, the National Institute of Aging, NIA, began conducting research studies on the two areas of loneliness and social isolation.  

Private Home Health Care believes this research is informative today.

The initial study asked:  are loneliness and social isolation two different processes that therefore affect health differently or is it that loneliness leads to social isolation that then affects health?

The late Dr. John Cacioppo, Ph.D found that living alone, social isolation, is an objective physical separation from other people. Loneliness is more of a distressed feeling of being isolated from people and is subjective.

You could feel lonely when surrounded by a group of people and vice versa when you are alone you might not feel lonely. The continued feeling of loneliness can lead to social isolation and additionally affect your health.

As an elderly person you are particularly at risk. Your loneliness can lead to an increase in cognitive decline, depression and heart disease.

According to the NIA approximately 28% of the US population or 13.8 million people are living alone.  Many of these people do not feel lonely or isolated.  Why? 

People who are engaged with others in meaningful and productive activities tend to live longer.  These give you a sense of purpose and help to boost your mood. Your overall well being and your cognitive functions are maintained.

Do you admit that you are lonely?  Here are a few suggestions to help.

Remind yourself you are not alone.

Be realistic and persevere.

Write down positive memories.

Smile.

Make a note of all the things you are grateful for.

Volunteer.

Get a pet or spend time with someone else’s.

Join a club or take a class.

Pick up the phone.  Talk to friends and family.

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National Ice Cream Month

July is set aside as National Ice Cream Month.  You and I may think that makes sense because we may get hit with the urge to eat ice cream during warm summer months.

What kind of ice cream do you like?  Vanilla, chocolate, cookie dough, mint chocolate chip?  The list of flavors has become very long!

As I began to ponder my favorite flavor I started to wonder about ice cream.  How long has it been around and how has it evolved?

Historical facts

Did you know that King Tang of Shang in China was responsible for one of the first versions of ice cream? Back in 200 BC he had about 94 “ice men” create a cold dessert of buffalo milk, flour and camphor.

What about the Romans you ask?  The Romans were known to send slaves high up into the mountains to collect snow to flavor with fruits and juices.

Charles I of England was executed in 1649.  Do you think that’s because he paid his chef to keep his ice cream recipe a secret?

Modern days

In 1904 at the St. Louis World Fair, a Syrian vendor trying to help a neighbor who had run out of bowls, created a waffle cone with his batter.  What a great idea!

Do you have ice cream trucks that visit your neighborhood?  The first one started in 1920 by a man named Harry Burt.  I can hear the tune now!

You know July as the official Ice Cream Month because Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation back in 1984. The proclamation read, “Ice cream is a nutritious and wholesome food, …”. “It enjoys a reputation as the perfect dessert and snack food.” 

Hmmmm . . .

Private Home Health Care loves ice cream during the summer.  Likewise we enjoy it in moderation. If you are like the average American and eat 4 gallons a year you might think about scaling back to be more healthy. 🙂

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World Listening Day

Tomorrow is World Listening Day, a fairly recent day to encourage all of us to take time to stop and listen to what is around us.

Have you tried to just stop and listen?  There are so many different sounds in the world outside, especially in the summer.

The creators of the day want us to try to become a better listener.  Listening is important for all of us to communicate with each other.  You and I speak to each other often but are we truly listening?

The focus of each year’s World Listening Day changes.  Consequently this year’s focus is listening to the world outside your window.  When you listen you explore the interactions between us as humans and nature.  

The official name for this listening to nature is “acoustic ecology.”  Do you want to try using acoustic ecology tomorrow?  You might be surprised at what you hear.

Have you ever tried listening to bird calls?  You can have fun listening to the sounds and learn to identify the bird.  You can discover how it flies and where it lives.

We at Private Home Health Care have been noticing the sounds of many birds around us.  We’ve begun to learn the sounds of chickadees, robins, cardinals, and cat birds. We have even seen Cooper Hawks in our backyard. Amazing.

No matter where you live there are sounds outside your window. You may hear birds, airplanes overhead, children playing outside, and maybe street cleaners all in your neighborhood. Once you stop and listen, the sounds come alive.

Tomorrow we hope you try and take the time to listen to the sounds outside around you.  Additionally, you might try listening to the people in your life too.  You could be very surprised!

#WorldListeningDay

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Today is Global Forgiveness Day.

Forgiveness.  Not always an easy thing to do.  

Sometimes you have little offenses that have happened to you.  Other times the offense feels gigantic.  Do you feel you are able to forgive either transgression?

The day began in British Columbia, Canada with a goal of encouraging forgiveness.  In many ways it appears that by forgiving it benefits your overall health.

Holding off on forgiving can cause you a lot of anger and frustration.  You might not even be aware of the stress that swirls around it.  Too much stress can cause you health issues.  You might feel depressed or overwhelmed at times.

The Mayo Clinic defines forgiveness as “letting go of grudges and bitterness when someone you care about hurts you.”

I’m sure at some point each of us has been hurt at some point.  It’s a very human experience.  It’s not always easy to forgive.  Many families have strained relationships based on hurts and an inability to forgive.

You may even find that at times you get frustrated with yourself.  Did you also forgive yourself after?

On this day there are some suggestions on how to work towards being more forgiving  . . .

  • Try to practice forgiving someone.
  • Share your feelings and experiences on forgiving with a friend or on social media. 
  • If you find that someone forgives you, try to be accepting.

Private Home Health Care knows that forgiving can be difficult and at times feels impossible.  The following quote from Alexander Pope in the 18th century may help, “To Err is Human, to Forgive Divine.”

​​#GlobalForgivenessDay

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Getting Back Into Our Routines

Private Home Health Care enjoyed the 4th of July holiday.  The festivities were fun and time with family and friends was awesome. Now what’s next?

After the holidays we can feel a bit unsettled.  We may have had company at our house, a block party or outside activities.  Our normal routines went out the window as they should have.

Now that the party’s over, how do you and I get back into our routines and the more normal pace of our lives?

First, go easy on yourself.  You cannot control everything so think about the areas you can control and focus on those.

Next, do not forget to take care of yourself.  Try not to beat yourself up on things that may have slipped through the cracks.  Did not get the bedroom or garage cleaned out?  Acknowledge it and then move on or take care of it now.

Check your self-talk.  Is it positive or are you reviewing what you had planned that did not get completed?  Try to be positive in your thoughts.  It helps keep the stress level in check.

Reassess your priorities.  Do they still make sense or do you need to make some changes? What’s done is done.  Do you still need it to be done?

You and I can find comfort in following our usual patterns.  It gives a rhythm to our lives. 

Schedule your positive habits back into your daily life if you need to because it can help you to feel like you are being productive.

Our lives can feel so fleeting at times, especially as we age.  It’s important to make sure we try to help ourselves by controlling and managing the areas open to us.  Be sure to take good care of yourself.

#routines

#selfcare

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Happy Independence Day

Private Home Health Care would like to wish everyone a very Happy and Festive 4th of July!

We hope that you can enjoy this day with family and friends no matter the weather.

We appreciate all that our forefathers and mothers did to form this great country of ours!

Celebrate living in the best country in the world!

#indepencenceday2023

#4thofJuly

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Seniors

On this last day of June we are thinking about our community’s senior citizens and some of the challenges of aging.   

There are an estimated 55.8 million Americans over the age of 65.  The younger you are the less you may feel some of the communication issues that older seniors encounter.

The older you get the more you slow down cognitively and your hearing can diminish.  If you live alone it can prove difficult to hear phone conversations. 

As an older senior you may not be technologically savvy and consequently that can make day-to-day living and communicating difficult. 

It’s important for all of us as we age to keep communication lines open.  It helps us to stay mentally well and less isolated.  

Are you able to learn a new skill with help?  Cell phones provide opportunities to connect with family members with a phone call or a visual.  See if your child or grandchild can help you. Facetime provides an opportunity to see the person you are speaking with no matter the distance between you.

Make time to visit or meet with friends.  Play a game at a senior center or in the activity room at your living facility.  

If you have access to a computer, see if you can access the internet. You can find out how to knit or crochet or build a birdhouse.  You can research your family history and then share the information.  Reach out for help if you need it.

As we age it’s very important for all of us to stay connected to each other.  Family and friends become vital to our well being and helps keep us from feeling isolated. 

Additionally, try to stay positive and keep an open mind to learning new things.

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National Day of Joy

As we close out the month of June we come to a day that is new to the national day calendar.  It is the National Day of Joy.

You may wonder why a special day for joy and why did this begin?

The day actually was created by a group of caregivers for seniors called the Comfort Keepers just recently, in 2019. The Comfort Keepers realized how important joyful moments are to our elderly population.

Oftentimes joy is defined by wealth and material things.   While both can help with your joy there are many other ways to experience true and lasting joy.

Think about what brings you joy and take time today to experience it.  

Do you have family members that make you happy?  Spend some time with them on the phone or in person.

Does music and singing bring you joy?  Surround yourself with it.

Religion is another road to joy for some people. Take some time today  to pray.

Does smiling and laughter give you a warm feeling?  Spread these when you go out and see the reaction you get from others.

In order to spread joy, you need to feel it.  If you spend time comparing yourself to others that can lead to unhappiness.  Each of us is unique with our own experiences and it’s important to understand and appreciate this.

Henri Nouwen, now deceased, was a Catholic priest and theologian.  He is quoted as saying, “Joy is not something that happens to us.  We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.”

Private Home Health Care believes that each of us is unique and special in our own way and because of this it’s important to add joy to our lives each and every day. 

#Joy

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National Rose Month

June is the month of the rose and there is a good reason as rose lovers most likely know. The blooming of the roses begins in June!

You can find over 150 varieties of roses in the United States and Canada. They have been so popular for their scent and beauty that in 1986 President Ronald Reagan made it the official flower of the United States.

Did you know that the rose is actually an ancient flower found in Asia and the Orient centuries ago?  Napoleon’s wife Josephine was a huge rose lover.  Their chateau in Malmaison outside of Paris had over 250 varieties of roses in the gardens.  

You’ll see references to the rose in poetry, music, religion, medicine, art and perfume. There are even edible roses.

The American Rose Society was established in 1892 with the goal of promoting the culture, preservation and appreciation for the rose. You can visit them at https://www.rose.org/.

The Society has actually classified roses into two categories. One is the old roses cultivated before 1867.  Likewise, the other category is the modern roses for any that came after mainly because that is the date of the hybrid tea rose.

The hybrid tea rose is very popular today.  They are a cross between hybrid perpetual roses and tea roses.  You know them by their large, high buds and tall, straight stems.  These are very easy to find to plant or to buy.

Likewise, if you are getting married and you want a bouquet of roses there are a few options from both old and new roses. 

  • Old garden roses are perfect if you’re looking for a strong scent and large bloom.  
  • Modern garden roses are mainly grown in greenhouses but you can choose from a wide variety of colors.
  • Sweetheart roses are great for corsages and flower girls as they are smaller.
  • Spray roses are smaller but they come in clusters.  These are good paired with other flowers.

Private Home Health Care hopes that now and throughout the summer you will take some time to smell the roses!  They really are beautiful.

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