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National Guide Dog Day

The last Wednesday in April is set aside for National Guide Dog Day.  The day is to acknowledge the unbelievably important place guide dogs have in people’s lives.  It’s a way to say thank you to the faithful guide dog.

Guide dogs are a lifeline for the visually impaired.  After very specific training, guide dogs provide ways for those visually impaired to live fulfilling and productive lives.  Not only do the dogs provide assistance to move about, they also provide great comfort.  A very strong bond grows between the guide dog and its owner.

Tennessee hails the home of the first US guide dog school back in 1929 and in 2010 the American Disabilities Act included legal protections to those using dogs as service animals.

The Top 5 Guide Dogs according to worlddogfinder,com:

Golden Retriever – goldens are very dedicated to their jobs, they obey rules well and they are devoted and affectionate.

Border Collie – these collies are very intelligent and their mission is to herd.  These dogs are very energetic so they need to be paired with a person with an active lifestyle.

Boxer – these devoted and loyal dogs have strong bonds with their owners.  They need consistent training because they can be playful and stubborn.

Labrador Retriever – Labs are the most popular of the guide dogs.  They are natural leaders who love to take charge.  Their temperament is friendly, calm and loveable.

German Shepherd – these intelligent, strong and energetic dogs need an owner with an active lifestyle.  They work hard and are very devoted to their owners.

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National Get Organized Day

Yes, today is the day to take some time to get yourself organized!  Every year April 26 is set aside for us to declutter or clean our living space.

Research has shown that cleaner, more organized spaces can give us mental clarity and happiness.  As we age, mental clarity can help with a good quality of life.  

Do you have lots of notes around and do you still need them?  Are you saving old papers that have outlasted their use? Are there clothes that need to be put away or donated? Do you see any areas that could use organizing?

When we get older there can be a lot of “things” we accumulate.  It can be overwhelming to think about getting organized and hard to think about throwing things away.  

Private Home Health Care believes that it is important to live a good quality of life and to feel productive.  If it’s too much to do alone, reach out to a family member or friend to help you and take your time.  You don’t have to try and get organized all in one day.  A little at a time can go a long way to helping you feel productive and restful.

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Earth Day

Today is Earth Day and if the sun is shining where you are we hope that you can get outside and relish the day.

Earth Day actually started over 50 years ago as a Proclamation signed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations and then on April 22, 1970, Gaylord Nelson officially founded the day.

The day is set aside to encourage ways to help the earth stay healthy.  Helping clean up in your community is a great way to get involved.  Look for information on your community’s website or on social media.  It’s a nice way to meet people.

Another easy way to help is by reusing bags when you shop.  There are bags of all sizes available and some have fun designs.

Private Home Health Care hopes that you get a chance to observe and enjoy the day.  #NationalEarthDay

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Bananas

It’s National Banana Day!  The yellow, fingerlike bananas are one of the most cultivated fruits in the world.  You can eat them when they are green, with a few brown spots or very soft and wow the health benefits!

One medium banana gives you 450mg or 13% of your daily potassium intake.  Potassium helps lower your blood pressure and fuels your muscles. Troubled by kidney stones?  Bananas can help keep them away. 

How about getting 10% of your fiber intake from a banana?  What about all the vitamins and minerals like Vitamin B6 (metabolism), Vitamin C (immune system), Magnesium (blood pressure and blood sugar) and Vitamin A (vision).

Bananas are jam packed with goodness but some of us need to be careful too.  If you have kidney problems you need to watch your potassium intake or when living with diabetes you should eat no more than half a banana for a snack.  Check with our physician for guidance.

Private Home Health Care loves bananas and we have a delicious recipe for a yummy protein shake below:

1 cup almond milk

1 scoop of JuliePlus+ Chocolate Complete Shake Mix

1 ½ Tbsp Peanut Butter

1 ½ tsp cocoa

1 frozen banana (freeze in slices)

Mix all together in a Magic Bullet or a blender and enjoy!

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Occupational Therapy Month

April is National Occupational Therapy month, a month to recognize the contributions that these therapists make.

Physical therapists and occupational therapists can often get confused.  Both help you get better but physical therapists focus on specific areas of the body to improve strength, movement and balance.  An occupational therapist focuses on getting you back to the activities you need, want or should be doing.

Occupational therapists help us get back to our day-to-day activities when we need it.  They advise us on how to bath, get out of bed or do household chores.  If you’ve had hip surgery, an occupational therapist can help you return home and adapt to doing tasks while your hip and joints are recovering.  

As we age we can get a disease that needs to be managed.  An occupational therapist can help us by slowing the progression with modifications and exercises.  The therapist would also help if you need to learn assistive devices and review if there are environmental changes that are needed.

Private Home Health Care understands the education and certifications needed by occupational therapists.  We are sharing this website to help find a properly certified therapist:  https://www.healthgrades.com/occupational-therapy-directory

#OTMonth or #OccupationalTherapyMonth

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National Volunteer Week

Today Private Home Health Care wants to talk about volunteering.  Next week marks the beginning of National Volunteer Week.  The week is set aside for us to thank the volunteers in our life for all they do.  It can also be a time to think about volunteering ourselves.

Volunteering is very rewarding.  It can give you a sense of purpose.  You can have great interactions with others who share similar interests.  You can also stimulate your mind doing a different activity.

There are many organizations where volunteers play an important role.  Animal shelters, nursing homes, food banks and soup kitchens are a few that come to mind.  If you are a resident at an assisted living or nursing home you might find that greeters are needed or perhaps help in the facilities’ library.  

Age is not always a factor when it comes to volunteering so if you feel well and it sounds like fun try and find a volunteer opportunity for you.  You can also spread good feelings by thanking a volunteer you know.  Share a story about volunteering that you have done in your lifetime.  Next week, take some time to think about volunteers and the important role they play.

#NationalVolunteerWeek

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National Scrabble Day

Today is National Scrabble Day.  The board game was created by Alfred Mosher Butts, born April, 13 1899. 

It was the Great Depression and Alfred found a way to get people together with a game of Scrabble.  Interesting fact: the game first carried the names of Lexiko and Criss-Cross Words before it finally became Scrabble.

The game is played with two to four players.  You create words using individual letter tiles on a 15 x 15 game board.  Each tile has a number of points assigned to it.  To win, you add up each word and keep track of total points for each player.  The player with the most points wins.  Hint: There are many two-letter words that can add up in points!

This is a great game to focus and stretch your mind. It’s also a great opportunity for you to interact and enjoy camaraderie with others.  Is it just you?  You can play Scrabble solitaire and challenge yourself.

Scrabble is now with Hasbro, Inc.  It is a popular game sold in 121 countries and in 29 different languages.  The game was even inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame in 2004 (who knew?)!  The cost varies but is offered as low as $20 so it’s definitely affordable.

We at Private Home Health Care love to challenge our minds to keep us fresh and vibrant!!  Playing Scrabble is one way to do it!

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National Pet Day

Today is National Pet Day, a day to enjoy and pamper our pets.  Give a treat to whoever your furry friend is.  You can hug your dog or cat, or put out special food for your bird or hamster.  There’s always a way to give a little extra care to those animals that make us happy.

Private Home Health Care knows that pets can have very good benefits for the elderly.  Depending on the pet, you can get more physical activity.  A pet also gives you social interactions and a sense of purpose and security. You may even decrease your risk for heart disease based on some studies.

The right pet can help you enjoy life a bit more and lower stress.  Pets can definitely make you feel loved and they can also help take your mind off of any pain.

We realize that it can be difficult for some to have a pet.  When you think about a pet, it’s important to keep in mind a few things:

Your mobility.  A pet needs to match your ability to move.  A cat or bird might be better if you have trouble getting out.

Costs – Some pets can get more expensive than others with vet bills and food.  If you are on a fixed income be sure to keep expenses in mind.

Housing – Where you live may determine what type of pet you can have.  Check in with your housing authority contact before you make any decisions.

Check out this site if you have any interest in getting a pet and good luck!  https://aginginplace.org/seniors-and-pets/

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April Flowers

One celebration in April is for National Garden Month.  April teases us with warm days and rain.  It promises sunnier and warmer days to come.  It can be the perfect time to think about gardens.

If you are a gardener, you know that it’s the time to start some seedlings or time to go to the garden store for some plants.  It’s also the time to admire your plantings from last fall.  The daffodils, hyacinth, tulips and crocus come to life.  Bright colors appear as a prelude to new blossoms to come.

You can find plants to make a patio garden if you live in an apartment or assisted living.  Flowers can really brighten our living space.  You might even try planting some veggies to enjoy later on in the summer.  Many plants do well in containers.

For those who are not gardeners, there are many ways to enjoy gardens this month.  Take a walk around your neighborhood and see what’s sprouting in neighbors’ yards.  Try visiting a local rose garden.  The roses are beautiful and have a nice scent.  Look for an Audubon Society location near you.  In addition to new plants growing you’ll most likely see and hear different birds.  You might spy birds preparing nests.  

Private Home Health Care loves springtime and beautiful plants and gardens.  It truly is a new beginning after a long, cold winter.

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