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National Picnic Month

National Picnic Month

July is National Picnic Month! In New England, we wait all year for the perfect summer picnic weather. Now that it is here, time to enjoy picnics as much as we can! Picnics are a fun activity for the whole family and friends. They can take place in any outdoor setting, whether it be in the woods, a park, at the beach, or more.

Picnics are a great way to socialize – picnics are a fun way to socialize! Being in the company of others and socializing Social engagement is associated with a stronger immune system, especially for older adults. This means that you are better able to fight off colds, the flu, and even some types of cancer. You will enjoy better mental health. Interacting with others boosts feelings of well-being and decreases feelings of depression.

You get to spend time in the great outdoors! Enjoying outdoors in a beautiful environment is calming and a great stress reliever. Fresh air outside is very healthy for your lungs! Being outside on a beautiful day just makes you feel good in general, doesn’t it?!

Vitamin D – when you are outside, you absorb Vitamin D from the sun. Vitamin D is important for fighting depression and building strong bones!

Mindful eating – eating outdoors at a picnic helps with mindful eating because you are not rushing to get the next task done. At a picnic you are also socializing while you are eating and enjoying being outside, which makes eating even more enjoyable! When you are eating while you are happy and having a good time, it is less likely that you will overeat to deal with emotions.

Stay active – going on a picnic encourages being active, whether it be going for a walk, playing catch, or swimming. You are also being social while you are moving, especially when you are doing a group activity like playing catch, instead of just solo exercise.

Enjoy at any age – picnics can be enjoyed at any age, from young babies to older adults. As long there is fair, temperate weather and there is a comfortable chair, seniors can join in on the fun! For seniors who may need increased assistance, having a backyard barbecue or picnic can be a great and accessible option.

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National Hug Day!

National Hug Day!

Tomorrow, June 29th, is National Hug Holiday!

Everyone loves hugs! By nature, humans are very social. Research has found that social ties and bonding is very important not only to wellness, but health, including emotional, physical, and mental. Hugging is an important social act that creates strong bonds. Hugging releases oxytocin. This hormone alone has tremendous health benefits. Besides giving us warm and fuzzy feelings, oxytocin reduces pain. So when the cold has made those muscles and joints ache, cuddling can help reduce those aches and pains. Oxytocin also helps relieve stress. Stress is tied to many chronic conditions and prolonged stress is harmful to your health. Regularly getting enough oxytocin from hugging can help reduce heart disease, lowers blood pressure, stress, and anxiety. Hugging also releases dopamine — a chemical in the brain that helps improve focus and memory.

Communication is more than just e-mails, texts, or conversation. Physical touch can communicate trust, commitment, safety, and reassurance. This goes for human to human contact as well as human to pet contact. Hugging expresses all these things, which are vital to a healthy relationship. If you live on your own or do not have a significant other, you can still benefit from hugging! There is nothing like hugging a pet. (Cats may not always like it, but depends on the cat!) You can get the same benefits from hugging and cuddling with your pet dog or cat as you do with another human.

Hugging someone enhances your bond with that person. Even if you’re not verbally communicating, this type of contact helps increase feelings of trust, comfort, safety, and reassurance between cuddle partners. These feelings can also remain long after the cuddle session is over. It is so important that when babies are not hugged enough, it is harmful for their health. Hugging is a natural thing, and it is good for you in every way.

So today, on National Hug Day, do just that, and find someone to hug! Private Home Health Care encourages hugs! 

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National Insurance Awareness Day

National Insurance Awareness Day

National insurance awareness day

On June 28th each year, National Insurance Awareness Day encourages us to review our insurance policies. Insurance is one of those things we forget about until we need it, kind of like a spare tire.

Insurance offers security, covering loved ones, and recovering losses in the event of damage, illness, or death. It offers protection but over time the value of our homes and the items in them may appreciate or change. What was once worth $100,000.00 a decade ago may be worth much more today. Be sure your policies keep up with the values.

No matter where we live, replacing everything we own would be difficult if disaster struck. From the first-time apartment to the 30-year mortgage, our possessions, property, and loved ones deserve the protection that comes with homeowners or renters policy.

To observe National Insurance Awareness Day, review your insurance policies. It is a good opportunity to compare competitive rates, evaluate life changes that may call for insurance adjustments, or find out about added features and services.

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Fitness Motivation

How much exercise is enough to get these benefits? The rule of thumb is about 3-4 times a week of exercise for a minimum of 30 min exercise session. Aerobic exercise is important to get your heart rate up, and this can be as simple as walking around your neighborhood or vacuuming! “Exercise will not only help you feel good today, but protect your brain from incurable diseases, and in this way it will change the trajectory of your life for the better.”

Exercise has Immediate effects on the brain, single workout will immediately increase dopamine, serotonin, and increase mood. Research has shown that a single workout can improve ability to shift and focus attention lasting 2 hours and reaction times. Exercise actually changes the brain’s anatomy, physiology, and function. The hippocampus produces brand new brain cells as it increases in volume, thus improving long term memory. In order to get the long lasting results, you must exercise regularly.

The biggest reason why people said that they don’t exercise is that they claim that they do not have time. There are 168 hours in a week, and you only need roughly 2 hours a week for the medical recommended amount of physical fitness activity. Another obstacle is lack of motivation. Physical fitness is more about our mental failures than our physical failures, meaning it is more about your attitude than your body’s abilities. How do you win the psychological battle of getting ourselves to exercise consistently? You make it a lifestyle. It is actually easier to work out 7 days a week than 3 days a week because 3 days a week is too many decisions. If you work out first thing in the morning you have a 300% more percent change of getting it done than at any other time of the day because you have more control over your schedule first thing in the morning. Try to make it just 20 min, the longer you design the workout, the less likely you are to do it.

On National Fitness Day, Private Home Health Care promotes fitness and regular exercise as part of a healthy, happy lifestyle!

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May 1st was National Fitness Day. We have all heard that fitness is good for your health, but did you know that fitness is very important for brain health and function as well?

Exercise is one of the most transformative things that you can do for your brain. Dr. Wendy Suzuki is a neuroscientist and leading researcher in neurology. Dr. Suzuki’s work provides scientific evidence that exercise has immediate, long lasting, and protective benefits for your brain!

There are three proven reasons how exercise can improve your brain function:

1. Immediate effects on your brain – a single workout will immediately increase the feel-good chemicals in your brain like dopamine and serotonin, which puts you in a good mood. It also improves your ability to shift and focus attention lasting 2 hours, as well as faster reaction times. However, you need to exercise regularly for long lasting results.

2. Exercise actually changes the brain’s anatomy, physiology, and function. With regular exercise over a long time span, the hippocampus actually produces new brain cells which makes it increase in volume. It also enhances your prefrontal cortex, which is the center in your brain for executive functioning that includes attention, focus, decision making, personality expression and aspects of speech and language.

3. With regular, long term exercise habits, you have long lasting improvement for attention, focus, mood, and long term memory.

Think about the brain as a muscle – the more you exercise, the stronger the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex become. This is important because the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex are the most susceptible parts of your brain to neurodegenerative disease and cognitive decline in aging. Unfortunately there is no cure for Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia. But with increased exercise over your lifetime, you are strengthening your brain and creating the strongest and biggest prefrontal cortex and hippocampus so it takes longer for these diseases to take effect. Dr. Suzuki calls regular exercise ‘a supercharged 401K for your brain’.

Private Home Health Care invites you to celebrate National Fitness Day by lacing up your sneakers and participating in your favorite form of exercise!

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World Laughter Day

World Laughter Day

Yesterday, May 2cnd, was World Laughter Day. Every year on the first Sunday in May, World Laughter Day raises awareness of laughter and the many healing benefits it provides. Another goal of the day is to manifest World Peace and build a global consciousness through laughter.

You have probably heard the saying, “laughter is the best medicine.” At Private Home Health Care, we are big believers in this, and take every opportunity we can to have some laughs. Even psychologists and medical doctors say there is truth to this statement. That’s because there is evidence that laughter can do so many wonderful things.

Here are just some of the many benefits of laughter:

-Helps to reduce pain and allows people to tolerate discomfort-Reduces blood sugar levels and increases glucose tolerance

-Improves job performance-Makes marriages and intimate relationships healthier

-Synchronizes the brain of speakers and listeners

-Restores a positive emotional climate between two people

-Helps blood vessels function better, which is good for the heart and brain

-Relieves stress and helps the body to relax

Additionally, laughter boosts the immune system and triggers the release of endorphins which promotes an overall sense of well-being. One more amazing benefit of laughter is that it burns calories! If you laugh for 10 to 15 minutes a day, you will burn about 40 calories.

It’s easy and fun to participate in this day. All you need to do is have a good laugh, try doing things like:

-Tell someone a funny joke

-Look up inspirational quotes about laughter

-Post a funny picture to social media

-Read a funny book

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Melanoma Monday

Melanoma Monday

Melanoma Monday on the first Monday in May is an awareness campaign during National Melanoma Month. The American Academy of Dermatology has set aside this day to raise awareness about skin cancer.

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer, and it is the deadliest of skin cancers. The observance focuses on skin health, sun safety, tanning prevention, and skin cancer screenings. By providing resources and information, it’s hoped to reduce the number of melanoma diagnosed.

While melanoma and other skin cancers aren’t 100% preventable, there are ways to reduce your risk.

-Wear sunscreen to protect yourself from harmful UV rays. Reapply sunscreen throughout the day, too.

-Other types of sun protection include wearing a broad-brimmed hat, long sleeves, and pants. And don’t forget the back of your neck.

-Find shade. Trees, umbrellas, and awnings provide excellent sun protection on warm sunny days.

-Don’t let the clouds fool you. UV rays still reach the Earth and your skin on a cloudy day!

-Avoid tanning beds. The UV light in tanning beds puts you at risk for melanoma, too.

-Regularly check your skin for abnormal moles. If you notice changes, see your dermatologist to have it checked.

Today, make sure to take proper precautions and make sun safety a habit for life!

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Occupational Therapy Month

Occupational Therapy Month

April is Occupational Therapy Month! Private Home Health Care appreciates occupational therapists and how much they help our clients and elderly populations. Occupational therapists allow for people to live fully, more enjoyable lives. In home health care, occupational therapy can help people age in place, which is the healthiest and most pleasant experience for seniors. Following incidents like a stroke or injury, occupational therapists enable people to heal and improve their lives. Occupational therapy is an invaluable resource for many of our clients and we appreciate your incredible work. Private Home Health Care gives a wholehearted thank you to occupational therapists!

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National Storytelling Day

National Storytelling Day

At Private Home Health Care, we love a good story. National Tell a Story Day on April 27th each year in the United States encourages people of all ages to share stories. The stories can take many forms, too. You can read from a book or create one from your imagination. Stories recreated from childhood memory leave an indelible imprint on both the storyteller and the listener. No matter what story you tell, the day supports gathering with friends and family to share those stories.

The ancient practice of storytelling handed down knowledge from one generation to the next. It is a wonderful way to pass on family traditions, histories, and long-told tales. It can also be entertaining as well as educational. Any good storyteller will tell you, some of the very best stories come from real-life experiences. Storytelling is a wonderful intergenerational activity, and people of all ages can bond over a good story. Seniors can tell stories that make memories come alive, and it is also a great way to honor those who have passed. Those with cognitive decline or Alzheimer’s may not be able to remember new information, but can vividly recall a story from their childhood. Storytelling is a great way to sharpen memories and socialize.

Private Home Healthcare encourages you to share stories with loved ones today on National Storytelling Day!

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National Babe Ruth Day

National Babe Ruth Day

On April 27, baseball fans worldwide honor one of baseball’s all-time greatest players on National Babe Ruth Day. Private Home Health Care loves the great American sport of baseball and celebrates the legendary Babe Ruth on this day!

George Herman “Babe” Ruth, Jr., born on February 6, 1895, in Baltimore, Maryland, was nicknamed “the Bambino” and “the Sultan of Swat.” Spending 22 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB), he played for three teams from 1914 to 1935.

Babe Ruth’s baseball career started as a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox. He became a full-time right-fielder when the New York Yankees bought his contract in 1919. Being one of the league’s most prolific hitters, he helped the Yankees win seven pennants and four World Series titles.

Ruth set career records, in his time, for home runs, slugging percentage, runs batted in, and on-base plus slugging. In 1927, he was the very first player to hit 60 home runs in one season.

Following a short stint with the Boston Braves, Ruth retired in 1935. In 1936, he became one of the first five players to be elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

In 1946, after experiencing severe eye pain and difficulty swallowing, Babe Ruth was diagnosed with cancer. On April 27, 1947, he attended the proclaimed Babe Ruth Day and spoke briefly to a crowd of almost 60,000 people at Yankee Stadium.

At the age of 53, on August 16, 1948, at 8:01 pm, Babe Ruth died in his sleep.

Today, make it a home run and celebrate Babe Ruth day by catching a game of baseball on TV or, better yet, in person!

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