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National Senior Citizens Day!

National Senior Citizens Day!

Do you have an elderly person in your life that you love and appreciate? National Senior Citizens Day, August 21,  is the day to let them know how much you care and it’s an opportunity to recognize their accomplishments.

At Private Home Care, every day is National Senior Citizens Day! Our mission is to provide high quality caregiving to enable seniors to live their best quality of life by aging in place. We love working with seniors for many reasons, including their special outlook on life after having lived so many years. Seniors have incredible wisdom and resilience – although their body or mind may not be what it used to be, they still live full lives and can serve as an inspiration. Private Home Care has had the pleasure of working with seniors for the past 30 years! Our care providers are passionate about working with older adults and blend human touch with professionalism creating a warm, comfortable and memorable experience for seniors and their loved ones.

Today, on National Senior Citizens Day, it provides an opportunity to show our appreciation for their dedication, achievements and services they give throughout their lives. We encourage you to reach out to seniors in your life or folks at a senior center to connect with this special population. 

Happy Senior Citizens Day!

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Ice Cream Pie Day!

Ice Cream Pie Day!

National Ice Cream Pie Day

National Soft Ice Cream Day on August 18th celebrates this tasty treat! Everybody loves ice cream, especially ice cream pie! Ice cream pies are a delicious, indulgent way to cool off on a hot summer day, and a perfect summertime treat for a birthday or fun event. Ice cream is a great opportunity to get together, and you can eat ice cream with others while still being socially distanced!

Ice cream pie can be made out of hard or soft serve ice cream. The original commercial ice cream pie was created by the brand Carvel. There are many flavors to choose from, and at Carvel ice cream stores you can choose your own combination for the ice cream pie. A cool option for ice cream cakes is the customized photo ice cream pie. This means – yes – you can have your photo on the ice cream pie itself! You submit a photo and a special printer prints the image with edible ink right onto the ice cream pie! You can also make your own ice cream pie right at home in your freezer.

History of the soft serve ice cream pie:

In 1934 on Memorial Day weekend in Hartsdale, New York, Tom Carvel had a flat tire. After pulling his ice cream truck into a parking lot, the businessman knew his product was melting. As vacationers drove by, Carvel sold the softened ice cream to them. Surprisingly, they loved the soft ice cream! The potential for a new dessert was not lost on the salesman. Instead of a roving ice cream truck, Carvel could have a fixed location with soft ice cream.Two years later, Tom Carvel opened his first ice cream store on the site where his truck broke down. In the preceding years, Carvel patented a super low-temperature ice cream machine and created a secret formula ice cream. From there he went on to create the ice cream pie – now an iconic dessert at any birthday party or special event! But hurry up – eat the ice cream pie before it melts!

Soft vs. Hard Ice Creams:

How different are soft and hard ice creams? While they are made with the same ingredients, soft ice cream has less milk fat. It also has more air than hard ice cream. Both of these factors contribute to the ice cream being more delicate and smoother. The milk fats in the hard ice cream cause it to be firmer when frozen. Another difference is the temperatures the ice creams are kept frozen. Soft ice cream machines keep a temperature of -6°C. However, hard ice cream is kept at a temperature of -12°C. While that might not seem like a big difference, the evidence is in the ice creams.

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National Couple’s Day

National Couple’s Day

It’s National Couple’s Day, the time to celebrate the one you adore. Your partner in crime, your ride or die, and sometimes your pain in the neck. Love isn’t always easy, but when you find that special someone, it’s definitely worth it. Though you should tell your partner how you feel everyday, today is definitely the day to celebrate your significant other.

There are many health benefits of having a significant other!

Less stress: People who are married or in committed relationships have less production of stress hormones. Having the social and emotional support of a partner is a great buffer against stress.

Stronger immune system: Stress causes inflammation in the body, and that can wreak havoc on body systems. This also means that couples tend to have stronger immune systems and become sick less often.

Better healing: Whether it’s having someone there to remind you to take your medicine, or having a partner to help take your mind off the pain, research suggests married people who have undergone heart surgery are three times more likely to survive the first three months after surgery than single patients. Married patients also reported feeling more confident about their ability to handle post-surgery pain and were less worried about the surgery in general. A little emotional support can go a long way toward helping a person recover from a procedure or illness.

Healthier behaviors: When your partner leads a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise and a healthy diet, you are more likely to do the same. Also, having a spouse means that someone is there to watch out for you and can help hold you accountable for your health. Examples are reminding their significant other to take medications, going with them to doctors appointments, and promoting overall health.

Overall health: Marriage appears to have a positive effect on a variety of health outcomes. Mental health is the most prominent; married men have a lower risk of depression and a higher likelihood of satisfaction with life in retirement than their unmarried peers. Being married has also been linked to better cognitive function, a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease, improved blood sugar levels, and better outcomes for hospitalized patients.

Longer and more fulfilling life: It’s natural for humans to want to feel needed, and like they’re part of something bigger. Many people strive to feel like they’re doing something good for someone else, and improving the world in some way. Being in a loving relationship, no matter what kind, can give a person a sense of well-being and purpose. In fact, it’s possible that having a sense of purpose can actually add years to your life. Studies show that this is especially true for men, and it is proven that on average married men live longer than single men.

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World Honeybee Day

World Honeybee Day

World Honeybee Day!

World Honey Bee Day on the third Saturday in August brings a buzzing celebration for beekeepers, honey lovers, and all blooming things. The day recognizes both the honey bee and the beekeepers who tend the hives.

Honey has many beneficial properties, especially high quality, raw honey!

Antioxidants – Raw honey contains an array of plant chemicals that act as antioxidants. Some types of honey have as many antioxidants as fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants help to protect your body from cell damage due to free radicals.

Free radicals contribute to the aging process and may also contribute to the development of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Research shows that antioxidant compounds in honey called polyphenols may play a role in preventing heart disease. Add a little bit of honey to your diet for your health? Sounds sweet!  

Antibacterial and antifungal properties – Research has shown that raw honey can kill unwanted bacteria and fungus. It naturally contains hydrogen peroxide, an antiseptic. Its effectiveness as an antibacterial or antifungal varies depending on the honey, but it’s clearly more than a folk remedy for these kinds of infections.

Because of this, honey is used to promote burn and wound healing. Hospitals use special medical grade honey as an effective treatment for diabetic foot ulcers and skin conditions such as psoriasis and herpes lesions. Studies show that special Manuka honey is especially effective. 

Soothe a sore throat – Have a cold? Try a spoonful of honey. Honey is an old sore throat remedy. Add it to hot tea with lemon when a cold virus hits you. Anyone who has tried can attest to this that it helps!

It also works as a cough suppressant. Research has suggested that honey is as effective as dextromethorphan, a common ingredient in over-the-counter cough medication. Just take one or two teaspoonfuls, straight.

Another important part of the day includes learning about honey bees and providing them with a supportive environment. When we plant wildflowers, orchards, and other flowering plants, we support pollinators such as honey bees. They depend on the nectar of a variety of plants for their survival. Conversely, we depend on honeybees for our survival, too! Without their pollinating abilities, many nutritious plants wouldn’t reproduce. It also encourages everyone to enjoy and buy locally grown honey. Supporting locally grown honey is important because honey bees help pollinate plants, which means that it improves your environment and makes it a better and more beautiful place to live. 

Honey bees do sting, but only if they perceive a threat – damage to their hive or being swatted at. If a honey bee comes close, either hold still or move slowly away. The honey bee will fly along to the next sweet thing as long as it doesn’t feel threatened. But remember – the fuzzy honey bees do not string!

Have a sweet World Honeybee Day!

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National Tell A Joke Day!

National Tell A Joke Day!

Yesterday was National Tell A Joke Day!

All joking aside, get out there and laugh a little and tell some funny ones. This day will be filled with smiles and laughter from morning till night. The more jokes you tell, the more fun you will have and so will those around you.

Joking is also good for your health! The old saying that ‘laughter is the best medicine’ is no joke!Health benefits of telling jokes and laughing:

It helps relieve stress!

-Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.

-Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.

-Joke telling and laughing activate and relieve your stress response. A good laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response, and it can increase and then decrease your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling.

Lessens Pain

-Laughing can cause your body to produce natural painkillers! A study conducted by researchers from Oxford University showed that the more subjects laughed, the less pain they felt. The study also suggests that it’s laughter itself, not just positive emotions, that aids in pain relief. This benefit increases the more often you laugh!

Boost your immune system- Laughter may increase the number of infection-fighting antibodies and boost immune cells. Likewise, positive thoughts and feelings — such as those released with laughter — have the potential to release neuropeptides, which help fight illness and stress.

Improves blood pressure

-Laughing at jokes and stand-up comedy can improve blood flow and reduce your blood pressure. Studies have found that laughter improves the flow of blood through dialating the body’s arteries, thus reducing blood pressure as well as subjects’ risk of heart disease. Most amazingly, one study indicated that watching a funny movie improved blood pressure “for a full 24 hours” after the program was viewed.

Stimulates Your Brain

-Cognitive neuroscientist Dr. Scott Weems shares that “Comedy is like mental exercise, and just as physical exercise strengthens the body, comedy pumps up the mind.” Telling jokes also requires verbal skills and creativity, so the more jokes you tell, the more you can improve those skills!

Improves Quality of Life

-Telling at jokes and laughing help connect you to others socially, and strong social ties are closely linked to a better quality of life.

It’s A Good Workout!

-Laughing burns calories, and 10-15 minutes of laughing can burn about 50 calories. Laughing also works your stomach muscles by causing them to expand and contract. It also works out your shoulders and exercises the diaphragm and heart. Who needs the gym for a good ab workout when you can tell jokes?!

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Comfortable Shoes Mean Healthy and Happy Feet!

Anyone who spends a lot of time on their feet, such as nurses, can tell you the importance of well fitting, comfortable shoes! Being on your feet all day can take a toll on your feet as well as your body.

Seventy five percent of the adult population has foot problems. Podiatrists say that improper shoe choices account for the majority of those problems. Watch out for shoes that cram the toes, which can cause stress on the feet and bones, shoes without proper cushioning or arch support, and too-stiff shoes. Research on older adults says that too-short or too-narrow shoes can lead to foot deformities and increased risk for weakness and falls, as well as growths like bunions, corns and calluses. The healthiest footwear for both older and younger adults should fit well and have a low, broad heel, a thin and flexible sole, and some kind of lace, strap or Velcro to ensure the shoe stays firmly attached to the foot.

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Foot Health

Foot Health

National I LOVE My Feet Day! is observed annually on August 17th. This is a day to appreciate how valuable our feet are, to practice good foot care and pamper our feet. They are at the very bottom of the body, and sometimes they come last in terms of self care. Often we don’t realize how much we rely on our feet – they help us stand, walk, run, jump, job, dance, ski, swim, and all manner of activities. Humans are unique in that we walk on two legs, and our feet evolved in order to support activities and movement.

Our feet withstand all the things we do in our everyday lives and accomplish things our hands cannot.But do you know just how important foot health is? Foot health can be indicative of our overall state of health. Swelling in feet may indicate high blood pressure or the need for weight loss. Your feet can show many signs for diabetes, including tingling or numbness in feet, sores that won’t heal, swollen feet, and more. Cold feet can be a sign of poor circulation or thyroid problem, as well as hair loss, patchy spots or discoloration. Foot cramps can mean dietary deficiencies, dehydration, or overwork. Sore toe joints may signal arthritis, and stress fractures in the foot can be caused by low bone density. Also, if you have any foot pain while walking or any other chronic foot-related issue, do not wait to see a doctor, and take care of it as soon as you can.

Taking care of our feet is necessary for current well-being as well as preventative health. As we age, the years of wear and tear on our feet can be hard on them, which is why it is important to take care of our feet as much as possible. The best way to take care of your feet is to wear comfortable shoes that fit properly, trim toenails correctly, regular stretching and massages, and proper hygiene. Which means yes, get frequent pedicures for your health, your feet will thank you!

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National Relaxation Day

National Relaxation Day

National Relaxation Day on August 15th encourages us to slow down and unwind. It’s a day to focus on taking care of ourselves and take a moment to relax.

National Relaxation Day is an important day as we all need a break from the fast-paced and often hectic lifestyles we live. Taking time to recuperate and rejuvenate our tired minds and bodies may help prevent many health risks, too.

Being overly busy and constantly stressed, as well as not relaxing enough can have real effects on our health. Physically, it can make people feel tired, more prone to getting sick, headaches, stomachaches, high blood pressure, and more likely to suffer from heart attack or stroke. Mentally and emotionally, too much stress can cause depression and anxiety.

Research shows that people who let themselves relax often are physically healthier and even tend to live longer lives! Relaxation is also linked to stronger cognitive abilities later in life as well as an overall better quality of life. Looks like taking time to relax really pays off in the short and long term!

There are many ways to relax! Relaxation may look different to different people – some like to quietly read a book, and other people like to go on a long bike ride.

Some good relaxation activities:

-Reading a book

-Fishing with a friend

-A picnic in the park

-Yoga

-Walking along the beach

-Taking a drive in the country

-Painting

-Spa

-Getting a massage

-Meditation

-Golfing

-Photography

-A movie

-Lunch with friends

-Drinks with friends

-Watching sports

-Swimming

-Gardening

-Listening to music

These are just a few of the many possible relaxation ideas that you may want to use to celebrate this holiday. What are your favorite ways to relax??

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International Lefthanders Day!

International Lefthanders Day!

International Left Handers Day on August 13th recognizes all those individuals who have mastered using their left hand in a right-handed world. We take our hats off to you – left-handed!

Approximately 10% of the population are ‘southpaws’, or left handed. Scientists speculate that genetics and environment both play a role in left-handedness. It is more likely a child will be left-handed if one parent is a lefty, too. Parents of left-handed children used to force them to use their right hands. In the past, in the eyes of right-handers, the predominant use of the left hand seemed evil.While we accept left-handedness more readily than days gone by, its occurrence hasn’t increased.

Studies have shown that left handed people have some advantages over right handed people. Although counter intuitive, the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body, and vice versa. This means for left-handed people, the right side of the brain, which is responsible for fine motor skills, and is also responsible for divergent, creative thinking that helps think of solutions. This may also be because to survive in a right-handed majority world, left-handers have to be creative and use both of their hands more.

Having to use both sides of the brain more in daily life has led scientists to find that left handers tend to have faster connections and responses between their right and left sides of the brain. In fact, left-handed stroke victims reportedly recover faster. While the reason is unclear, some believe it’s due to left-handed people having to strengthen both sides of the brain to succeed in a right-handed world. Because many lefties are better at using their non-dominant hand, it’s less difficult for them to recover from a stroke that damages one part of their brain.

There are many successful and famous people who are left handed, including Presidents Reagan and Clinton, as well as Ben Franklin, Henry Ford, Babe Ruth, Paul McCartney, Oprah Winfrey, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Steve Jobs.

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National Creamsicle Day

National Creamsicle Day

National Creamsicle Day on August 14th celebrates the creamy citrus dessert on a stick. During the height of summer, what better way to enjoy refreshment than with a creamsicle! Who does’nt love this yummy, creamy, orange flavored treat?! We sure do at Private Home Care!

“Creamsicle” is the brand name of an ice cream treat. It consists of vanilla ice cream on a Popsicle stick with an outer coating of sherbert. While many other flavors now exist, the original flavor was orange.

Today, recipes abound with creamsicle flavors. From beverages to desserts, the flavor has long been a favorite. Generations have enjoyed the fruity, frozen treats and they continue to do so!

At Private Home Care, we are big fans of creamsicles! While we love the traditional store bought creamsicle as a treat, we have a healthy spin that is just as delish!

Creamsicle for breakfast? Sure! How to: Mix orange juice (fresh is best!) with almond milk (sweetened or unsweetened – your choice) and JuicePlus Complete vanilla powder in a blender. Blend for about 10 seconds, or until well incorporated. Pour into a tall glass and enjoy!

A healthy creamsicle recipe is attached, using fresh mashed oranges, greek yogurt, vanilla, and maple syrup – sweetener is optional! If you want to up the protein in this treat, add more Greek yogurt or add some JuicePlus complete to the yogurt. If you want super orangey flavor, add a bit of orange zest.

Why we love this recipe: it contains 40% of your recommended daily value of Vitamin C and 3 grams of protein! Fresh oranges also have fiber, potassium and folate. In addition, oranges are antioxidant superstars. Flavonoid antioxidants in oranges provide anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antimicrobial benefits. They also defend against oxidative stress, which is essentially an imbalance between the production of cell-damaging free radicals and the body’s ability to counter their harmful effects. Antioxidants are also proven to promote brain health, which can help delay or counter dementia and Alzheimer’s!

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