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World Mental Health Day

Tomorrow, October 10th, is World Mental Health Day. Private Home Care supports the mission to recognize the importance of mental health and remove stigma attached to it. Many, many people have struggled with mental health over the past few months, especially due to the lack of social interaction. World Mental Health Day is an opportunity to educate as well as bring light and hope to those struggling.

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National Pumpkin Seed Day!

Tomorrow, October 7th, is National Pumpkin Seed Day. This day celebrates these tasty seeds that come from everyone’s favorite gourd, pumpkins! Though they may be small, pumpkin seeds are packed full of valuable nutrients! Eating only a small amount of them can provide you with a substantial quantity of healthy fats, magnesium and zinc. Not only are they delicious, but did you know that pumpkin seeds boast a host of nutritional benefits? These include improved heart health, prostate health and protection against certain cancers.

A one ounce serving of shell-free pumpkin seeds has roughly 151 calories, which are mainly from fat and protein. Here are some nutritional facts: Fiber: 1.7 grams; Carbs: 5 grams; Protein: 7 grams; Fat: 13 grams (6 of which are omega-6s!); Vitamin K: 18% of the RDI; Phosphorus: 33% of the RDI; Manganese: 42% of the RDI; Magnesium: 37% of the RDI; Iron: 23% of the RDI; Zinc: 14% of the RDI; Copper: 19% of the RDI

-Pumpkin seeds are rich in antioxidants! These include antioxidants like carotenoids and vitamin E. Antioxidants such as Vitamin E can reduce inflammation and protect your cells from harmful free radicals, as well as slow the process of aging. Consuming foods rich in antioxidants like pumpkin seeds can help with healthy aging, brain health, and protect against many diseases.

-Improves Prostate and Bladder Health: Pumpkin seeds may help relieve symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a condition in which the prostate gland enlarges, causing problems with urination including an overactive bladder. This condition may occur with aging for men, and in a one-year study in over 1,400 men with BPH, pumpkin seed consumption reduced symptoms and improved quality of life. Another study in 45 men and women with overactive bladders found that 10 grams of pumpkin seed extract daily improved urinary function.

-Linked to cancer prevention: Diets rich in pumpkin seeds have been associated with a reduced risk of stomach, breast, lung, prostate and colon cancers. Studies suggest that the lignans in pumpkin seeds may play a key role in preventing and treating breast cancer. Further test-tube studies found that a supplement containing pumpkin seeds had the potential to slow down the growth of prostate cancer cells.

-Rich in Magnesium: Pumpkin seeds are rich in magnesium. Healthy magnesium levels are important for your blood pressure, blood sugar levels, as well as heart and bone health. Pumpkin seeds are one of the best natural sources of magnesium — a mineral that is often lacking in the diets of many Western populations. In the US, around 79% of adults have a magnesium intake below the recommended daily amount, and fortunately pumpkin seeds are readily available to help with that.

-Good For Your Heart! Pumpkin seeds are a good source of antioxidants, magnesium, zinc and fatty acids — all of which may help keep your heart healthy. Studies suggest that pumpkins’ ability to increase nitric oxide generation in your body may be responsible for its positive effects on heart health. Nitric oxide helps expand blood vessels, improving blood flow and reducing the risk of plaque growth in your arteries. Research has also shown that pumpkin seed oil may reduce high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels — two important risk factors for heart disease.

-Improves sleep: If you have trouble sleeping, you may want to eat some pumpkin seeds before bed. They’re a natural source of tryptophan, an amino acid that can help promote sleep, and consuming around 1 gram of tryptophan daily is thought to improve sleep. Also the zinc in pumpkin seeds can help with hormonal processes related to sleep. Zinc assists with converting tryptophan to serotonin, which is then changed into melatonin, the hormone that regulates your sleep cycle. In addition, pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of magnesium. Adequate magnesium levels have also been associated with better sleep. As we know, the better sleep that we have, the better it is for our mental health. In that way, pumpkin seeds improve mental well being as well!

Pumpkin season is in full swing, and while carving jack-o-lanterns or making pumpkin pie or soup, people may not know what to do with all of the seeds. Please do not throw these wonderful pumpkin seeds out! What is great about pumpkin seeds is that they can be easily incorporated into the diet, and use them in recipes. Private Home Care invites you tomorrow to eat extra pumpkin seeds for your health and to celebrate fall!

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World Cerebral Palsy Day

World Cerebral Palsy Day occurs every year on October 6th, and it recognizes individuals with Cerebral Palsy (CP). This day also aims to raise awareness about the condition and look beyond the disability. World Cerebral Palsy Day is a movement that acknowledges those affected, and works to ensure that children and adults with CP have the same rights, access and opportunities as anyone else in our society. 

What is Cerebral Palsy? 

The CDC defines Cerebral Palsy as: “A group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture. CP is the most common motor disability in childhood…CP is caused by abnormal brain development or damage to the developing brain that affects a person’s ability to control his or her muscles.

The symptoms of CP vary from person to person. A person with severe CP might need to use special equipment to be able to walk, or might not be able to walk at all and might need lifelong care. A person with mild CP, on the other hand, might walk a little awkwardly, but might not need any special help. CP does not get worse over time, though the exact symptoms can change over a person’s lifetime. All people with CP have problems with movement and posture. Many also have related conditions such as intellectual disability; seizures; problems with vision, hearing, or speech; changes in the spine; or joint problems.”

World CP Day is an opportunity for the whole world to come together to recognize and celebrate the 17 million people around the world living with cerebral palsy. In the US there are 500,000 children with CP. Every year during World Cerebral Palsy on October 6th, individuals, families and organizations all around the globe celebrate by sharing stories, hosting events, and wearing the color green. World CP Day also is also an opportunity to challenge myths about those with CP. There have been many talented individuals who have made contributions to our society. 

Though it is a lifelong condition, it can be managed with proper treatment and continued care, especially during childhood. One way to help manage CP is through a healthy diet and exercise, and it is of particular importance when the individuals with CP are children. Here at PHC we are always passionate about a healthy lifestyle for everyone, especially for those with chronic lifelong conditions who could substantially benefit. Eating a Mediterranean diet is beneficial for those with CP because it is one of the healthiest diets in the world and is known to reduce inflammation. The Mediterranean Diet is rich in fruits and vegetables, healthy fats including olive oil and nuts, whole grains, lean protein such as eggs and fish, and a minimal amount of red meat or processed foods. Along with physical therapy for those with CP, regular and light exercise appropriate to their abilities is very important to alleviate symptoms and bolster well being. As World CP Day continues to grow in popularity, we will continue to show the world all the incredible things that people with cerebral palsy achieve when barriers are removed. Private Home Care is passionate about supporting the rights and quality of life for those who are differently abled, as well as ensuring equity, accessibility and dignity.  

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National Get Funky Day

National Get Funky Day: Today is the day – to get funky! Every year on October 5th, we celebrate National Get Funky Day! This day encourages everyone to break out of their funk and get funky. We can always use more uplifting spirit in the world! Nowadays it is most important to remember to brighten up, turn up the energy, improve the mood, smile, laugh, and dance everywhere you go! Beat the blues and jam out to funk music!

Step out of your funk with…funk! Funkiness is infectious, and National Get Funky Day is a day to celebrate life, spread love, laughter, and light! ‘Getting funky’ is associated with many health benefits. Making a conscious effort to live a positive, happy life puts you at much less risk of mental illness like depression and anxiety because the feel good chemicals are flowing through your brain. Having a joyful lifestyle helps you feel socially connected, which fights against loneliness and isolation. Improved mood is associated with a healthier diet, better sleep, lowered blood sugar, and overall lower risk and incidence of chronic disease. All of this means that getting funky can increase your life expectancy!

But how does one funk? Funk is the kind of music that can make even the biggest wallflowers get out on the dance floor. So when someone tells you to get funky, they’re not telling you to stop taking showers, they want you to have fun! On National Get Funky Day do something to make yourself happy: wear bright, happy colors, smile, laugh, tell jokes, and definitely crank up some funky tunes and get dancing! Check out this video where seniors are teaching us how to get funky – with Uptown Funk!

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Do Something Nice Day

Do Something Nice Day

Today, October 5th is National Do Something Nice Day! Doing something nice just feels…nice! There are proven health benefits of being nice and doing nice things for others.

-Decreases Stress: According to a 2013 study examining the relationship between volunteering and hypertension, giving back can have a significant impact on lowered blood pressure. Researchers found that adults over 50 who volunteered about four hours a week were 40 percent less likely than non-volunteers to have developed hypertension four years later. High blood pressure due to stress is detrimental to our health, and is a major contributing factor to heart attacks and stroke, as well as mental health issues.

-Increases Life Expectancy: Researchers found a link between giving, unselfishness and a lower risk of early death. The findings show that people who often assisted friends or family members with doing things like running errands, helping with child care, etc. reported less stressful events and, consequently, had reduced mortality. Also, it gives us purpose and strengthens social bonds, which both have a direct connection to likelihood of a longer life. In other words, “helping others reduced mortality specifically by buffering the association between stress and mortality.”

-Helps Us Feel Better: Performing a good deed can come with a positive ‘rush’, and that sensation is known as ‘helper’s high’. When you do something nice, that good feeling is produced when your brain releases endorphins, the feel-good chemicals of the brain like oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine. When you do something good for someone else, your brain’s pleasure centers light up, releasing endorphins and producing this high. Not to mention, doing good has also been known to generate feelings of satisfaction and gratitude.

-Kindness Prevents Illness: Inflammation in the body is associated with all sorts of health problems such as diabetes, cancer, chronic pain, obesity, and migraines. It is also closely associated with brain aging and cognitive impairment and decline. According to a study of adults aged 57-85, “volunteering manifested the strongest association with lower levels of inflammation.” Oxytocin also reduces inflammation, and even little acts of kindness can trigger oxytocin’s release. Kindness may be the secret ingredient to a healthy, happy life. But don’t just take my word for it. Share a smile, make a donation, volunteer, or help others—then see how you feel!

Doing something nice doesn’t require much, just a little bit of good will and thoughtfulness. In fact, doing something nice has the power to change the course of a person’s day, no matter how small it is! It can even make the day of the person doing the nice thing. Some good ideas that take very little time and almost no effort include:

-Noticing someone’s signal in traffic and allowing them into your lane

-Opening or holding a door for another person

-Giving a compliment

-Letting someone with just a few items go before you in line at the grocery store

-Tipping your service staff an extra dollar or two more than you usually would

-Calling an elderly relative

-Buying a cup of coffee for someone in line at the coffee shop

-Sending flowers with a card that says “just because”

-Sending loved ones a text wishing them a good day

Doing nice things makes the world go round! Private Home Care encourages you to celebrate ‘National Do Something Nice Day’ by doing a little extra something nice, as well as doing nice deeds every single day!

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National Golf Lovers Day

Yesterday, October 4th, was National Golf Lovers Day. And we sure do love golf at Private Home Care! In many places in the US, golf is played year round. But in more northern regions, golfers cannot play all year, so today is a day to celebrate at least one last round of golf before the cold sets in!

Golfing in New England in October is a different experience than golfing in June. The cooler temperatures can make the muscles and joints stiff. It is important to really own your pre-round warm up before the course. It is suggested that you go for an easy walk prior to playing to get the blood flowing. Stretching is important too, so doing some light stretches before and after the walk can help prevent injury. Don’t forget to stretch after the game as well! Experts suggest having a stretching routine that is specifically tailored to your body and needs. Also, when it is a routine then you are likely not to skip any stretches that you could benefit from. Even though the sun may not be bearing down on the golf course like during the summer months, it is important to still keep hydrated! Although around here the golfing season winds down towards winter, the best way to stay on top of your golf game for the next season is to keep active! That means you should stay active and exercise regularly in order to prevent from getting rusty. You can also take golf vacations and swing inside at indoor golfing facilities. True golf lovers keep their enthusiasm for the game year-round, and this way you can get ahead of the game for the coming season. National Golf Lovers Day celebrates golf and the passion for the sport. Since 1952, the PGA has held a charity event each year for National Golf Day, which is held on different days each year.

A great way to celebrate your passion is to share it with others. National Golf Day can be observed by inviting friends to join you, even if they are new to the sport. Visit a course you’ve never been to before. Challenge yourself to a more difficult course. Improve your handicap or offer to teach someone the game. No matter what you do, include someone else in your endeavors. Private Home Care wishes you a happy National Golf Lovers Day!

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World Teachers Day

World Teachers Day on October 5th honors teachers all over the world and their incredible dedication and contributions to education. Teachers truly make the world go round. Where would we be without our teachers who taught us to read, do math, share on the playground and so much more? Teachers work hard every day to give their all to students. Education is one of the most important things in the world, and on World Teachers Day we celebrate the teachers who make that education possible. 

It takes a special kind of person to be a teacher. Teaching is not just a job. It requires patience, passion not only for teaching and learning, and for helping develop minds. It is certainly not an easy profession, and handling a classroom of children is not a task for the faint hearted. Teachers work long hours outside of the classroom as well as year round. Lately teachers have faced unique challenges, and we salute every single teacher for rising to the occasion in a spectacular way. In the past few months there have been endless heartwarming stories of teachers going above and beyond to reach out to their students despite social distancing. Teachers are truly everyday heroes.  

Even though a teacher’s job is to teach, they wear many hats. They are also counselors, coaches, leaders, and if you are lucky enough later down the road – friends. To some students, they may even be guardian angels due to their true caring for their students. Teachers make a lifelong impression. If you ask any person – child or adult, what was the name of their favorite teacher, everyone will have an answer. 

Even when older adults experience cognitive decline or impairment, many can still recall the name of their favorite childhood teachers and the lasting impression that they had on their life. Perhaps many years ago that teacher inspired a love of reading and a senior enjoyed a career as a writer. Or there was a math teacher that once upon a time encouraged a little boy to one day become a rocket scientist and help launch the first spaceship to the moon. The ripple effect of teachers is astounding.  

World Teachers’ Day was established by the U.N. in 1994 and the holiday’s proclamation states: “Above all, we celebrate the work of dedicated teachers around the world who continue to strive every day to ensure that ‘inclusive and equitable quality education’ and the promotion of ‘lifelong learning opportunities for all’ become a reality in every corner of the globe.”

How to celebrate World Teachers Day:

The best thing you can do is thank a teacher who made a positive impact on your life. Praise your children’s teachers, as well. If you know a teacher, give them a gift card or take them out for lunch. In the case where it may have been may years since you were a student, tracking down your favorite teachers just to connect and say hello will surely help them feel recognized and appreciated. If you’re a student, be sure to thank your teachers for all they do to help you get a good education. Students probably don’t bring their teachers apples anymore, but they probably would accept coffee or chocolate!

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International Day of Older Persons

October 1 is International Day of Older Persons, and Private Home Care invites you to celebrate this important day that is dedicated to highlighting the contributions that older people make to society. The International Day of Older Persons is also observed in order to bring widespread awareness to the aging population. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the UN’s official proclamation of International Day of Older Persons, which was ratified in 1990.

Private Home Care honors seniors every day, and especially on this day we embrace the oldest members of our communities. Throughout history, older persons have played an essential role in society. Seniors have been leaders, teachers, and caretakers. However, older persons can also be very vulnerable for a number of reasons, particularly for health related circumstances. Private Home Care’s mission is to provide and encourage the highest quality of life for all seniors, so they may age in place with dignity and respect.

Unfortunately, they have faced discrimination, neglect and abuse. Our organization firmly condemns any negativity against seniors, and we work to advocate for seniors rights and wellbeing. By 2030, the number of people over the age of 60 is expected to grow by 46%. Part of the reason for this is older people are living longer than ever. The aging population are valuable members of society with a significant positive impact. In the US alone, the majority of people who volunteer are elderly. The elderly also contribute many things such as wisdom and inspiration.

An aging population also presents unprecedented challenges. One of the biggest challenges is healthcare. As people get older, their health tends to deteriorate. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of chronic diseases will increase. This includes cancer, dementia, obesity, and diabetes. There will also be an increase in the number of falls. Falling is the leading cause of injury among seniors. However, modern medicine is working hard to help maintain the health, quality and length of life for seniors today and in the future. Private Home Care is also passionate about providing education for adults and younger generations for how to prevent chronic diseases and healthy aging.

Being aware of these challenges now will help to prepare for the future of the aging population. It will also help to ensure rights for the elderly are implemented. For International Older Persons Day, call an elderly family member or neighbor and tell them that you appreciate them. You can also volunteer at a senior center or nursing home. Join us to honor older persons today and every day.

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National Hair Day

National Hair Day

National Hair Day! On October 1, we celebrate our luscious locks. Is there any better feeling than stepping out from the salon or barber with your hair looking great?! Women especially spend a lot of time and effort on hair. Our hair certainly changes as we age, it may turn grey and we may experience hair thinning or loss. That is why it can be more impactful for seniors when they go get their hair cut or styled.

Experts on aging say that hair should be given extra consideration when caring for an aging loved one. In fact, there is a thing called ‘Beauty Therapy’, which focuses on bolstering self esteem and confidence of the elderly through beauty! Far from being a frivolity, beauty treatments can lift residents’ moods and encourage a sense of individuality. When you feel good about yourself, it has wonderful effects on your health and happiness, and it improves quality of life. Wellbeing and dignity is promoted through good, person-centered care. And for that, taking care of your hair is key.

This goes for those around you as well. For example, when a loved one with dementia is smiling and feeling beautiful after a beauty session, it is a joy to see for their family members and it provides relief to know that they are enjoying themselves. For those who have been visiting the same salon for years, it is helpful for their memory because of the long established relationship with the stylist and the routine. The social connection is wonderful as well, because it helps beat loneliness. The attention is on that individual and how best to make them feel fabulous! What is more, hair stylists can make house calls as well! This may be a great option for seniors who are less mobile or have conditions (like dementia) that make being in new or different environments challenging.

Is there any better feeling than getting your hair washed with a head massage at the salon?! The power of touch cannot be understated. Many elderly who live alone do not experience touch, which perpetuates feelings of loneliness. When someone provides a gentle touch, it releases ‘feel good’ chemicals in the brain. It makes you happier and feel more socially connected. When you have beauty treatments, you are benefitting from touching during hair styling or a manicure, socialization and personalized positive attention from speaking with the stylist or manicurist, and the glowing feeling of looking and feeling fabulous with your polished look.

Beauty treatments are also good for your physical health in unexpected ways! Getting a haircut or manicure is stress relieving. The stress hormone, cortisol, is linked to negative health consequences like inflammation, cognitive decline, heart attack, stroke, and more. When we have less cortisol in our systems, our bodies are healthier, our quality of life is better, and there is an increased likelihood or longevity. Also, when beauty treatments help give seniors high self esteem and confidence, they are less likely to fall and become injured. Falls are a serious public health issue for the elderly, and having confidence makes falls less likely.

Today for National Hair Day, go to or book an appointment at your salon or barbershop to get your hair done! At home, celebrate your hair by brushing and styling it your favorite way.

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More to Smile About

More to Smile About

World Smile Day on October 2cnd was originally instituted to celebrate the universally recognizable ‘smiley face’ icon and what it means. This iconic yellow smiley face image was created by a commercial artist named Harvey Ball in 1963. It became so popular that Harvey worried that the commercialization of the symbol on tshirts, signs, notebooks, as an emoji, pins and more would lessen its impact. Instead, these little yellow faces are more than just a symbol, they’re a statement about the power of smiling.

A genuine smile is the same in every language, which is why it is World Smiling Day. On World Smile Day, people worldwide are encouraged to do an act of kindness and make at least one person smile. Sometimes the simplest way to make someone smile is just to smile yourself! Smiles are contagious. It turns out the benefits of smiling aren’t just limited to yourself — it can also affect those around you too and we are also rewarded when we see someone else smile too because the feel good and reward center of the brain is activated! A famous Swedish study suggests that we can’t help but react with a smile of our own when we see someone smiling — so it’s an all-out infectious loop of happiness.

At Private Home Care, we ensure our service with a smile (like Mary’s glowing smile on our social media presence!). We thoroughly enjoy working with seniors and the elderly, our caregivers say that it makes them smile every day. We also understand just how impactful a smile can be for our clients and their loved ones.

Loneliness and isolation is a major challenge for the elderly. However, smiling can provide solutions! Smiling is an attractive expression, which is more likely to draw people to you rather than push them away. This helps connect seniors to others. Smiling makes you appear more approachable. Interaction with others is easier and more enjoyable when smiles and laughs are shared, and these behaviors are contagious, making others feel better too, and make you a more appealing and attractive person to be around. Like mentioned above, smiling creates a loop of positivity, which may turn into a habit and have a positive effect on your well-being.

Also, when laughing and smiling, it can help you release emotions. This is especially so for those emotions that people may tend to bottle up inside. Everything looks that little bit better after a good laugh and life can be seen from a more positive perspective. Smiling can transform your life and is essential for physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual health. It is simple, free, and is a rewarding habit that is easy to continue. Now that is truly something to smile about.

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