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National Health Education Month

National Health Education Month

October 19-23rd is National Health Education Week. At Private Home Care, we are passionate about health education and promoting wellness. We are proud to incorporate health education in caregiving, as well as via social media and hosting community events and lectures. The purpose of National Health Education Week is to improve the health status of people, communities, and the nation. Healthcare professionals and educators work to strengthen the quality of life for all individuals and reduce premature deaths and disabilities. Health education specifically focuses on prevention, which is a major factor for reducing the risk of developing chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Private Home Care loves to educate about nutrition and healthy diets. We cannot overstate the importance of a healthy diet. All disease starts with inflammation, and a healthy diet such as the Mediterranean Diet can help decrease inflammation in the body. Exercising regularly is also vital for health, and PHC has provided community education about tai chi, particularly for benefits that it can provide seniors, like fall and injury prevention.

Created in 1995, National Health Education Week has worked to raise awareness of the importance of health education specialists and their contribution to consumer wellness as well as educate the next generation of students. People in this profession provide knowledge, skills, and training to complement health providers, policy makers, human resource personnel, educators, and other professionals that impact human wellness. Without this subject being taught by education specialists, members of omitted communities may be negatively affected. Private Home Care believes that everyone has the right to wellness and a healthy life. Living a healthy lifestyle increases the likelihood of living a long, high quality life. We are proud to have held public events for the community about subjects like healthy aging and brain health to spread awareness and help encourage people to make healthy choices.

The three main goals of National Health Education Week are:

-To train and educate the public on health issues and where to access information.

-To increase awareness of health education and health literacy across the country and empower individuals to get involved in their personal care.

-To provide support and resources for health education specialists and other health education professionals.

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World Osteoporosis Day

Private Home Care shares that today is World Osteoporosis Day. This important day is dedicated to raising awareness of the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a disease in which the density and strength of the bone are reduced. Osteoporosis renders bones so frail and brittle that any slight action including even a sneeze or a fall can be life-threatening, causing long lasting pain and discomfort from entire bone breaks and fractures.

Private Home Care is passionate about supporting this cause because it impacts seniors, especially women. In the United States and Europe, 30% of all menopausal women have osteoporosis. A vast majority of these women are likely to experience at least one bone fracture during their later years. Once a fracture occurs, it increases the likelihood of having another. Common fractures caused by osteoporosis include vertebral fractures, hip fractures, and wrist fractures. Fractures and broken bones may create challenges for aging at home. Fortunately, our highly skilled caregiving and years of experience lend us the expertise to support those with osteoporosis. In addition, our Fall Prevention and Home Safety Assessment and Services help to stop injuries before they happen to help protect your loved ones. Private Home Care’s attentive, compassionate caregivers and wide institutional knowledge ensures that elderly individuals can comfortably and safely age in place.

White and Asian women, especially those past menopause, are at the highest risk of getting osteoporosis. Other people are at risk of getting this degenerative bone disease. These people include those with a family history of the disease and men and women with smaller body frames. People who do not get enough calcium, and those who have had gastrointestinal surgery are also more prone to getting osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis affects over 200 million people in the world. Because of its prevalence, osteoporosis is considered a significant public health concern. One of the most important tools for preventing or monitoring osteoporosis is checking bone density. Bones that are less dense are more liable to easily break or fracture at sudden movement or during minor falls. One World Osteoporosis Day, bone density tests are available all over the world. There is no cure for osteoporosis. Once bone loss occurs, it’s not possible to get it back. This is why prevention is the best medicine. And as we know at Private Home Care, the best prevention for any illness or disease is through a healthy diet. A key nutrient for strengthening bones and preventing osteoporosis is calcium. It is critical especially for at risk populations, such as white and Asian women with petite body frames, to get adequate amounts of calcium. Foods rich in calcium include:

-Low-fat dairy products

-Almonds and almond milk

-Dark leafy green vegetables

-Canned salmon or sardines with bones

-Calcium-fortified orange juice

-Soy beans

Another way to prevent osteoporosis is to practice weight-bearing activities, such as walking, dancing, and aerobics. Getting enough Vitamin D is also essential. Foods rich in Vitamin D include:

-Fatty fish, like tuna, mackerel, and salmon

-Foods fortified with vitamin D, like some dairy products, orange juice, soy milk, and cereals

-Beef liver

-Cheese

-Egg yolks

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National Dental Hygiene Month

National Dental Hygiene Month

Private Home Care is glad to announce that October is National Dental Hygiene Month! This month is dedicated to promoting healthy mouths all across the country, and celebrating the hard work your favorite dental hygienist or dentist does to keep your pearly whites squeaky clean. Dental hygiene is simple, and regular small habits can go a long way. It is as simple as 1-2-3: floss, brush for two minutes, and rinse with mouthwash twice a day. Dentists also recommend chewing sugar free gum to keep your mouth and teeth nice and healthy.

While sometimes overlooked, oral hygiene is key to overall health and wellness. There is no pain quite like a toothache (ouch!), and others can be impacted by your level of care for your teeth – no one likes bad breath!. Dental hygiene can be critical and even life saving. If it is neglected, plaque from food residue can build up around teeth and gums. That plaque, along with sugars, are acidic to your teeth and gums and start to break them down, which is how cavities and gum disease forms. If the tissue underneath the teeth gets infected, it can cause a dangerous blood infection that can travel throughout the whole body. When this happens it is life threatening and it can even result in death.

Oral health is serious for more vulnerable populations like seniors. As our bodies age, our teeth break down over the years. During later years, people are more prone to tooth infections that have built up, and because of their age, may take longer to heal. That is why a lifetime practice of proper dental hygiene is important. There are a number of things that dentists notice with their patients that can help them achieve optimum dental health:

-Floss! Flossing is imperative for getting rid of debris between teeth and stuck in gums. It also provides a little ‘massage’ for gums and keeps the blood stimulated and healthy. There are so many different ways to floss with traditional floss, mini plastic flossers, water flossers, etc., that there is a good option for everyone.

-Don’t brush too hard! Many people think that if they brush harder, it will clean their teeth better. This is damaging to the enamel and gums, and wears down the teeth, as well as increases sensitivity. Make sure to use a soft bristle and brush in gentle circles.

-Two whole minutes! Sometimes when we are in a rush, we do not brush for long enough. Taking the extra time to brush your teeth properly makes a world of difference (ask any dentist). A good way to ensure this is to use an electric toothbrush that is timed. Don’t forget to brush your tongue!

Ironically, National Dental Hygiene Month is during the same month as candy-centric Halloween (or is this on purpose?). Diet plays a large role in oral health. Eating a diet heavy in sugar, processed foods, salt, and fat is not tooth-friendly. Anyone with a sweeth tooth can tell you that their trips to the dentist are not fun, as sugar helps cause tooth cavities. This is especially so when proper dental hygiene is not practiced. A diet that is low in sugar, such as the Mediterranean Diet, is ideal for oral health. The Mediterranean Diet is rich in fruits and veggies, whole grains, lean meats, dairy, and healthy fats. A nice addition that supports oral health is coconut! Coconut has natural antibacterial and enamel-strengthening properties that bolster oral health!

In honor of National Dental Hygiene Month, Private Home Care encourages you to call and schedule an appointment with your dentist for a cleaning! You can also celebrate by buying a new toothbrush or eating more coconut!

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National Long Term Care Planning Month

National Long Term Care Planning Month

October is National Long Term Care Planning Month. It was established to remind people to plan properly for their later years or on behalf of a loved one. While no one can predict the future, Long Term Care Planning Month provides an opportunity to explore the options available should the time arise when the services would be needed. Private Home Care provides exceptional caregiving for seniors, and our clients stand that choosing PHC was sincerely the best choice for long term care. For National Long Term Care Planning Month, it is important to anticipate what your or your loved one’s needs may be.

Take the time to familiarize yourself or loved ones with what caregiving may entail. Long-term care involves a variety of services designed to meet a person’s health or personal care needs during a short or long period of time. These services help people live as independently and safely as possible when they can no longer perform everyday activities on their own. This includes assistance with activities of daily living (ADL’s), support for cognitive decline, medication management, companionship, and more. Private Home Care has over 30 years of experience providing personalized care and pride ourselves on our flexibility and dedication to meet individual needs and preferences. We invite you to inquire with us today about how we can best work with you and your loved ones to create a successful long term care plan.

Aging in place is the most comfortable, familiar, and dignified manner of living for the elderly. Private Home Care provides highly skilled caregiving in order to support healthy aging in place. It has been proven time and again that aging in place is the healthiest option for seniors for nearly all measurements of health. This is proven to help slow advancement of memory loss in part due to routine and familiarity, which helps trigger memory. Smell is one of the most powerful memory facilitators for example, and studies have shown that in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, smells increase memory recall. Staying in your own home helps ensure familiar sights, sounds, and smells to help keep you connected cognitively.

Also, because of the increased network connection and being able to maintain your current social network that comes with staying in your home and community, cognitive decline can be slowed. In fact, a study found that seniors with frequent social activity and participation enjoyed a 70% reduction in cognitive decline compared to seniors who were more isolated.

Private Home Care encourages people to learn more about senior care and establish the right later in life plans for Long Term Care Planning Month. Private Home Care has a wealth of knowledge about long term care planning and can help you understand how we can best help your loved ones. We are proud that our experienced care providers blend human touch with professionalism creating a warm, comfortable and memorable experience. Trust Private Home Care and no one else to provide the best care possible.

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More About Chocolate’s Health Benefits!

More About Chocolate’s Health Benefits!

Private Home Care is glad to share more about dark chocolate in honor of National Chocolate Cupcake Day!

Chocolate supports brain health! One study of healthy volunteers showed that eating high-flavanol cocoa for five days improved blood flow to the brain. That, coupled with antioxidant properties, has shown to significantly improve cognitive function in elderly people with cognitive impairment. Additionally, cocoa contains stimulant substances like caffeine and theobromine, which can provide short term help with memory and focus. Improvements in brain health may be due to the high levels of flavonoids in dark chocolate, which in the long term has found to have accumulated in regions of the brain responsible for learning and memory.

Science officially supports what we have known all along – dark chocolate is a mood booster! Research has shown chocolate stimulates neural activity in areas of the brain associated with pleasure and reward, which in turn decreases stress and improves your mood.

Improves skin- The bioactive compounds in dark chocolate may also be great for your skin. The flavonols in cocoa can protect against sun damage, improve blood flow to the skin and increase skin density and hydration. The minimal erythemal dose (MED) is the minimum amount of UVB rays required to cause redness in the skin 24 hours after exposure. In one study of 30 people, the MED more than doubled after consuming dark chocolate high in flavanols for 12 weeks. Before going on vacation to a sunny place, have some dark chocolate for a while beforehand (in moderation of course!).

Private Home Care encourages consuming dark chocolate in a healthy way! Check out this healthy chocolate cupcake recipe! We like this one because it uses oat flour (which is high in fiber and makes it gluten free), protein added from eggs, coconut sugar instead of refined sugar, and coconut oil instead of butter. Each cupcake only has 167 calories!

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National Chocolate Cupcake Day

National Chocolate Cupcake Day

It is National Chocolate Cupcake Day! Who doesn’t love chocolate cupcakes?! Private Home Care is happy to share that the best part about this treat is that there are many health benefits of eating dark chocolate! 

Dark chocolate is packed with nutrients and rich in antioxidants. The darker the chocolate the better, but any 70 percent dark chocolate or higher contains antioxidants, fiber, potassium, calcium, copper, and magnesium. The fatty acid profile of cocoa and dark chocolate is considered excellent by dieticians. Fatty acids play an important role in cell functioning. The fats are mostly saturated and monounsaturated, with small amounts of polyunsaturated fat. In other words, chocolate boasts ‘good’ fats – the cocoa butter that makes up chocolate contains oleic acid, which is a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat that is also found in olive oil.

Chocolate is good for the heart – Indulging in dark chocolate on a regular basis may reduce the risk of heart disease. Studies found that people who ate dark chocolate more than five times a week reduced their risk of heart disease by 57 percent. Researchers hypothesize it’s the flavonoids in dark chocolate that maintain heart health by lowering blood pressure. These chemicals help produce nitric oxide, which causes blood vessels to relax, improves blood flow to the brain and heart, and makes blood platelets less sticky and able to clot. 

Dark chocolate also helps protect against important risk factors for heart disease because it raises ‘good’ and lowers ‘bad’ cholesterol. Cocoa powder has been found to significantly decrease oxidized LDL cholesterol in men. Oxidized LDL means that the LDL (“bad” cholesterol) has reacted with free radicals, and is capable of damaging other tissues such as the lining of arteries in the heart. It also increased HDL (“good” cholesterol) and lowered total LDL for those with high cholesterol. It makes sense that cocoa lowers oxidized LDL. The abundance of powerful antioxidants found in dark chocolate that when in the bloodstream, they protect lipoproteins against oxidative damage. Also, dark chocolate can also reduce insulin resistance, which is another common risk factor for many diseases like heart disease and diabetes. Insulin resistance is in part thought to be caused by oxidative damage from free radicals, and the antioxidants in cocoa combat that!

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National Mammography Day

Today is National Mammography day, which is held on the third Friday of October every year since 1993. National Mammography Day is a cousin to Breast Cancer Awareness Month. They’re both committed to women’s self care but this day is set aside specifically to encourage women to take the time to make an appointment. Early detection means early treatment and the difference between life and death. Other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women. Mammograms are the best way to find breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat and before it is big enough to feel or cause symptoms.

A mammogram is an X-ray picture of the breast. Doctors use a mammogram to look for early signs of breast cancer. Regular mammograms are the best tests doctors have to find breast cancer early, sometimes up to three years before it can be felt. The most common misconception about mammograms is that they are painful. Though every person has a different pain threshold, the compression performed during a mammogram is most often described as only temporary discomfort. Doctors state that “Regular mammograms are the gold standard and best test we have to find breast cancer early. This can greatly improve prognosis if the cancer is detected earlier.”

Women with a strong family history of breast cancer are considered high-risk and should begin getting mammograms earlier than the recommended age. This often includes those with a first-degree relative that has been diagnosed. In addition, doctors can perform a risk assessment tool for the development of invasive breast cancer to determine if a patient is high risk or not.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is very important because it increases our awareness and early detection through regular screening. Regular screening with mammography has been found to detect cancer early, when it is most treatable. Fortunately, breast cancer deaths continue to decline thanks to our heightened awareness and early detection. Mammography has great potential to save lives. The American College of Radiology-ACR recommends that all women age 40 and over have annual mammograms. October National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, is a great month to remind women of the importance of mammography, especially if it has been over a year since the patient’s last mammogram.

A patient should take into consideration preparing for a mammogram. They should try to go to the same facility every time so mammograms can easily be compared from year to year. If a patient has had records at a different facility, try to get those records to bring with you to the new facility or have them sent there, so the old pictures can be compared to the new ones. A mammogram should be scheduled when the breasts are not tender or swollen to help reduce discomfort, which aids in getting better pictures (try to avoid the week just before your period). Also, on the day of the exam, the patient should not wear deodorant as the deodorant can show up as white spots on the x-ray.

Private Home Care encourages using National Mammography Day as a reminder to schedule a mammogram appointment. Mammograms can truly save lives!

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National Boss’s Day

National Boss’s Day

Today, October 16th, is National Boss’s Day. This is a day where we recognize hard working bosses in the workplace and all that they do overseeing the workplace. It is a chance to celebrate the people who keep us gainfully employed, and have shown kindness and fairness every day to help employees succeed.

An open letter to our company President and boss, Mary Demakes:

Dear Mary,

Happy National Boss’s Day! We recognize and respect all of the hard work you do every single day (24/7!) running and maintaining Private Home Care. We are very grateful for all of the opportunities that you provide. As a boss and very successful business owner, we recognize that you wear many different hats. You have incredible energy and passion that shine through – whether it is taking care to tuck in an extra blanket when caregiving for clients, asking how an employee’s weekend went, running community education events about healthy aging and nutrition, or throwing a fabulous Christmas get together, you always manage to do so with a smile and positivity.

You consistently make sure to lead with kindness and fairness, which employees are always grateful for. It is that kind of precedence that makes a great boss and helps encourage employees to continue Private Home Care’s mission of providing the absolute best caregiving as well as developing professionally. We would like to all say a big collective ‘thank you’ to Mary for being a wonderful boss who inspires our team to pursue the highest quality of caregiving, as well as inspiring us as individuals through kindness, professionalism, and healthy living.

With gratitude, best wishes and warm regards,

-The Private Home Care Team

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World Hospice and Palliative Care Day

World Hospice and Palliative Care Day

World Hospice and Palliative Care Day takes place on October 10 with the goal of improving the quality of life for people affected by serious health problems. Those that have life-limiting illnesses have the right to be cared for in the way that best suits their needs and this holiday emphasizes that. At Private Home Care, this is a day that is very close to our hearts. Our organization and highly skilled caregivers provide top notch care every day for those who may not be able to care for themselves. We wholeheartedly believe that every single person who has a life-limiting illness or condition deserves to live the best quality life. We live this conviction every day, and have been doing so for over the past 30 years. Let loved ones be assured that Private Home Care understands the challenges and complexities of hospice and palliative care. We use our experience and compassion to provide exceptional service and caregiving.  

This day was established in 2005, and it draws attention to the belief that every single person deserves to be cared for in a personalized and compassionate way that emphasizes their comfort. Every second year, a wave of concerts known as Voices for Hospices takes place to entertain, spread joy, and raise awareness of the importance of high quality hospice and palliative care. It was originally created in 1989 by Sheila Hurton in order to raise funds and public awareness of the Princess Alice Hospice in Esher. It started as a single concert titled “Come and Sing” and it grew to become a worldwide event. Private Home Care is passionate about caregiving in the comfort of one’s home. Hospice is not a place, but rather high-quality care that enables patients and families to focus on living as fully as possible despite a life-limiting illness. Palliative care brings this holistic model of care to people earlier in the course of a serious illness. When a patient can spend their time in their home, it is more pleasant, healthier, and more peaceful for both them and their loved ones. One of our specialties is hospice and palliative care, and we have dozens of testimonies speaking to our skilled and tender caregiving, because compassion is at the heart of our care. 

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Mental Health Day

All over the globe, people celebrate World Mental Health Day on October 10th. The day was established in 1992 by the World Health Organization as a response to a growing need for awareness for mental health issues. By having a day dedicated to this cause, we can become more aware of mental health to help break the stigma surrounding mental illness. As a result, it will encourage those who are living with mental illness seek the appropriate treatment and support they need. It will also help inform and educate the loved ones of those experiencing mental illness. Private Home Care supports this cause because mental health is just as important as physical health to our wellbeing.

World Mental Health day is not just about treating illness, but also strengthening mental health! Dr. Drew Ramsey is a world renowned psychiatrist who has helped pioneer the new field of nutritional psychiatry. It is scientifically proven that our diet impacts not only our physical health, but our mental health too. The Mediterranean Diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, lean meats, dairy, whole grains and less processed foods, or the ‘brain go brain grow diet’, will help improve mental health.

Building more mental health – Dr. Drew shares that eating one salad is not going to be a cure-all for mental illness. However, he says that taking small steps and incorporating a brain health diet in conjunction with whatever kind of treatment, including psychotherapy, medication, or meditation, will help bolster mental health. He cites studies where women who ate seafood rich in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids over a 3 month period were 25% less likely to be depressed. Some forms of mental illness may be more based on genetics (like bipolar disorder), and some more environmental (like social isolation from the pandemic), but there are ways of alleviating symptoms. Although struggling with mental illness may be difficult, it is important to remember that a healthy lifestyle will always help improve how you are feeling (even if just a little at first!), such as getting fresh air and exercise, and eating a healthy diet, and maintaining a healthy work/life balance.

Globally, one in three people will experience a mental illness at some point during their lifetime. On World Mental Health Day, we honor this occasion by encouraging those who struggle to tell their stories or reach out to loved ones who may not seem like themselves. Another way to help is to build up your mental health by practicing self care. Remind people that they are not alone and let’s break the stigma surrounding mental health, in order to help people live their best quality lives.

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