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Holiday Stress Self Care for Caregivers Part 2

Holiday Stress Self Care for Caregivers Part 2

Mindfulness! 

What does mindfulness have to do with dealing with holiday stress? Everything! Mindfulness brings us back to the present and helps us cope with the anxiety and pressures of everyday life and during the holiday season. At Private Home Care, we wholeheartedly support a mindful lifestyle, and mindfulness is also proven to help improve cognitive function! 

Mindful antidotes for holiday stressors:

  1. Demands on time – from events and prepping for the holidays, your schedule can fill up quickly, which can feel overwhelming when trying to juggle demands of day to day life.

→ Antidote: Treat yourself! You don’t have to say yes to everything, make sure to make time for things you enjoy, like a long bath.

  1. Loneliness during the holidays – Not everyone has friends and family close by to celebrate the holidays with, which can cause feelings of loneliness. 

→ Antidote: Reach out to your community. You can donate your time to those less fortunate or participate in public events at local libraries or community centers.

  1. Expectations of perfection – Sometimes you can get too carried away with the idea of creating a ‘perfect’ holiday out of a Hallmark Channel movie, which is a lot of pressure.

→ Antidote: Reflect on the meaning of the holiday. Remember what really matters whether it be religion, tradition, or family and friends. 

  1. The indulge/guilt cycle – During the holiday season health and wellness can fall by the wayside. People often overindulge during the holidays, which can result in feelings of guilt.

→ Antidote: Moderation is key! Take time to savor and enjoy all of the flavors of the holiday season. Make sure to drink plenty of water (thirst can be mistaken for hunger!) and start off with a two-bite size portion of everything on your plate.

  1. Stress and family anxiety – “While there might actually be very real difficulties surrounding the interpersonal dynamics of our family, we sometimes get caught up in fueling the fire, rather than abating it.”

→ Antidote: Engage in gratitude! Take a moment to pause and appreciate the positive aspects of the holiday season – a little gratitude goes a long way towards peace of mind this holiday season.

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Holiday Stress Self Care for Caregivers Part 1

Holiday Stress Self Care for Caregivers Part 1

The holidays are a lovely time of year, but they can also be stressful. With all of the holiday shopping, decorating, prepping, cooking, and social engagements, you can easily feel overextended. Private Home Care understands the unique dynamic of holiday stress and demands when also being a caregiver or someone who is concerned about a loved one. Here are a few easy steps to help reduce stress during the holiday season:

  1. Identify specific stressors. These could include not having enough time to get things done, worrying that the needs of the loved one you are caring for are not being met, and more. Once your stressors have been identified, it is easier to tackle them.
  2. Accept that no one can do it all! We suggest simplifying holiday celebrations, such as asking everyone to bring a dish for a potluck dinner, instead of cooking it all yourself. 
  3. Responding to invitations – it’s ok to say no! Caregiving requires a lot of time and energy, and sometimes accepting invitations to events is too much. On the flip side, don’t feel guilty for going out for a night to a holiday party. Private Home Care is here to provide the best care for your loved ones at home while you go out and enjoy yourself!
  4. Self-care! This is a big one! Private Health Care promotes a holistic healthy lifestyle – including caring for your physical and mental health! It is amazing what a small mindfulness exercise or going for a 10 minute walk can do for your mental well-being during stressful holiday times. These things are also very good for your brain health!

https://www.fivestarseniorliving.com/blog/health-wellness/4-steps-to-manage-caregiver-stress-during-the-holidays

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December is National Pear Month!

December is National Pear Month!

Is there anything better than biting into a fresh, ripe, juicy pear?! We love pears at Private Home Care! 

In addition to being delicious, pears are nutrition-packed. They contain 6 grams of fiber (roughly 24% of suggested daily intake), found mostly in the skin of the fruit. Fiber is an important nutrient that helps regulate the digestive system, maintain bowel health, and stabilize blood sugar! Pears may also help lower cholesterol because naturally occurring pectin helps to bind to cholesterol and remove it from the body! Pears are also considered hypoallergenic, which is great for people with food allergies. They are soft and easy to eat, so anyone can enjoy!     

Most pears are harvested in the month of December, make sure to take advantage and enjoy this wonderful fruit!

https://usapears.org/articles/celebrate-national-pear-month/

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Older Driver Awareness Safety Week

Older Driver Awareness Safety Week

The first week of December was National Older Driver Safety Awareness Week. This week highlights the important role of driving, mobility and transportation play to keep older adults active in their communities and continued independence, which we at Private Home Care value greatly.

As the body matures, there may be declines in vision, cognition, and physical changes that might affect driving. Certain medications may also impact safe operation of vehicles. National Older Driver Awareness week recommends that you express to loved ones any concerns about their safety. 

The CDC recommends these steps to stay safe on the road: 

  • Discuss any medical issues with your doctor to determine if they might affect your driving.
  • Discuss stopping or changing your medications with your pharmacist or doctor if you experience any side effects that could interfere with safe driving such as blurry vision, dizziness, sleepiness, confusion, fatigue, and/or loss of consciousness.
  • Have your eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year. Wear glasses and corrective lenses as directed.
  • Plan your route before you drive.
  • Consider potential alternatives to driving, such as riding with a friend, using public transit, or car ride services.

https://www.cdc.gov/features/older-driver-safety/index.html

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Gingerbread House Day!

Gingerbread House Day!

Today, December 12 2019, is national gingerbread house day!

Gingerbread house building is a favorite holiday pastime for all members of the family! Gingerbread was first brought to Europe around 992 AD from the Middle East (where ginger was used to help preserve bread) by an Armenian monk named Gregory Nicopolis, where it was used for religious ceremonies and the sturdy could be molded into images of saints. 

People started making gingerbread houses when the fairytale Hansel and Gretel was introduced, because the witch lived in a house made out of gingerbread. Soon people started putting gingerbread houses to a move creative and festive holiday use, adding snowy Christmas scenes to the gingerbread houses. 

What are your favorite gingerbread house memories? P.S. Participating in crafty activities like this can boost brain function!

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December is Root Vegetable and Exotic Fruit Month!

December is Root Vegetable and Exotic Fruit Month!

Private Home Care is always glad for another reason to promote and appreciate healthy eating and living!

Although these fruits and vegetables may seem like opposites, they share many of the same health benefits. These foods are loaded with important nutrients such as fiber, vitamins and carotenoids. Carotenoids are an organic pigment found in many root vegetables such as carrots, turnips, and sweet potatoes that helps prevent eye disease and certain cancers by protecting healthy cells against mutation.

Both of these types of foods are also high in vitamin C, which has also been found to protect healthy cells from mutation, and can help reduce blood pressure, boost the immune system, and prevent iron deficiencies. In addition, exotic fruits are high in antioxidants! More common exotic fruits include dragonfruit and persimmon. At Private Home Care we love to try new fruits and veggies, we cannot wait to try some of these exotic fruits! 

https://www.nfcr.org/blog/root-vegetables-and-exotic-fruits-month-superfoods/

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National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

Tomorrow, December 7th 2019, is National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, and marks the 78th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Pearl Harbor Navy base in Hawaii was bombed by Japanese forces, and this event drew the U.S. into WWII. Private Home Care remembers and solutes the bravery of our servicemen and women during this difficult chapter in U.S. history. 

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Singing Showtunes Proven to Fight Off Dementia and Alzheimers

Neuroscientists at George Mason University have found that singing show tunes may help dementia and Alzheimers patients to regain some cognitive skills! 

“Before, everyone in the moderate and severe dementia groups had similar cognitive test results respective to their counterparts. After the sessions, those that sang along had more improved scores on both cognitive tasks compared to participants that just listened.”

“The researchers also looked at brain scans of the subjects as they sang or listened to show tunes. The listeners had more activity in the temporal lobe on the right side of the brain, while watching someone else instruct lit up the visual areas. Singing and speaking activated the left side of the brain more.”

At Private Home Care we are glad to hear yet another reason to sing musicals and showtunes! What are your favorites?

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National Handwashing Awareness Week! December 2-6

National Handwashing Awareness Week! December 2-6

This week (December 2-8) is National Handwashing Awareness Week, which raises awareness of the importance of washing your hands. Regular hand washing with liquid or bar soap is the best way to prevent the spread of germs and illness. Many illnesses and infection start by germs on the hands, and washing your hands often is important for a healthy lifestyle.

During this flu and cold season, the best ways to keep yourself healthy is to get a flu shot and to wash your hands regularly to prevent you and others from becoming infected. For effective handwashing, make sure to scrub for at least 20 seconds, or about the time it takes to hum the ‘Happy Birthday’ song twice. Studies have shown that using paper towels for drying your hands is best for removing germs. As always, Private Home Care is dedicated to the health of our clients and promoting healthy lifestyles!

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World Antibiotics Awareness Week

World Antibiotics Awareness Week

World Antibiotic Awareness week

Private Home Care would like to acknowledge World Antibiotic Awareness Week (Nov 11-17), which bring awareness to antibiotic resistance and how the medical community is educating us about the proper use of these disease-fighting drugs.

DID YOU KNOW?

“At least 30% of the antibiotics in U.S. outpatient settings are prescribed unnecessarily. Any time antibiotics are used, they can cause side effects and lead to antibiotic resistance, one of the most urgent threats to the public’s health. ” CDC https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/week/get-involved.html

Antibiotics are crucial to modern medicine but if they are overused or not used properly, there can be dangerous outcomes. Private Home Care is operated under medical expertise to ensure the safety and well-being of you and your loved ones.

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