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This can be a very busy and stressful time of year.  You may be preparing for a holiday or interacting with people who are preparing for a holiday.  Stores are busy, traffic can be heavy and it can make you feel wound up and stressed just by being around it all.

Here are some easy suggestions to relieve some of the stress.  They just might work! 

Find music that will relax you and play it.  You can do it while you are working or take some time away to listen.

Take a 20-30 minute walk.  Yes, you have time to do that.  The fresh air will help and you’ll feel a bit renewed when you get back.

Meditate.  Find a quiet, comfortable place and sit and calm your mind.  Take as much time as you need or feel you can spare.

Exercise or a yoga class can lower stress.  It’s time away and good for the heart and mind.

If you like to be organized, make a list of things that need to get done.  Break the list into manageable pisces.  Tackle a little bit at a time.

Reach out for help.  No one ever said that you have to do everything yourself.  That’s what family and friends are for, right?

Private Home Health Care realizes that too much stress can affect our health.  We want you to enjoy the busy season along with keeping the stress away!  

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Feeling Lonely?  What Can You Do?

Loneliness is defined by Merriam-Webster as being without company or cut off from company. It’s no surprise that you don’t feel too happy or satisfied when you are feeling lonely.

The US Department of Health and Human Services finds that about 28% or 13.8 million people live alone.  Are all of those people lonely, not necessarily but living alone can lead to it.

If you do feel lonely you need to be careful.  Loneliness can lead to cognitive decline, depression, high blood pressure and heart disease.  You may find that you add on weight as well.

What can you do to help with any feelings of loneliness?

You should stay in contact with people.  Call a friend or family member.  Have a chat.  See if there could be a regular time for a phone call, short or long.

Do you live close to friends or family?  See if you can get a visitor to spend some time over a cup of tea, coffee or water?  If no one lives near you, see if you can arrange for a neighbor, church member or elder service to stop by.  Conversation and close contact can wake up your brain.

Learn new technology.  Is there someone you know that can teach you how to use the internet?  Perhaps you use the internet and you need suggestions for new sites to visit.  You may be able to find a safe chat group to join.

Investigate a hobby or interest.  You may be a good knitter or gardener.  You might be a great carpenter or a lover of puzzles.  Any of these activities can help your brain and if you do the activity in a group at a senior center you’ll have social interactions.

Would you like to volunteer?  There are so many places that need help.  If you love animals there are animal shelters looking for volunteers.  Do you like books? Volunteer at a library.  There are so many opportunities available.  Check them out.

Private Home Health Care understands that for some people this time of the year can be difficult causing feelings of loneliness.  Look for ways to stay connected to people. Staying connected can keep you happy and healthy.

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National Influenza Vaccination Week

The first week in December has been designated by the CDC as National Influenza Vaccination Week.

A recent flu season had as many as 49 million Americans ill.  You can expect to have symptoms of fatigue, fever, chills, sweats, aching muscles and a headache.  You generally just feel basically awful.

Generally, flu season starts to hit in October but it peaks December through February.  Early December is a perfect time to get protected.

While it’s not unusual for a large number of people to get the flu each year, you will find that it affects people differently.  You could end up in bed for a number of days or in the hospital.  Complications from the flu can lead to bacterial pneumonia, sinus infections, ear infections or worsening of an existing medical condition.

You can find many studies on the flu and because of these the flu shot is highly recommended by the CDC.  You can get a shot for a nasal spray.

The recommendation is for anyone over 6 months of age to get a vaccination. If you are over age 65 there are also three new vaccinations offered for the 2022-2023 flu season.  Talk to your doctor about the options.

There are some who should be careful about getting a flu vaccination.  Contact your doctor to confirm.  There can be issues with age, health (now or past) or allergies that might not work for you.

Private Home Health Care works with many people over the age of 65.   We know that nothing is guaranteed but taking precautions are important especially as we get older.


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Older Driver Awareness Week

Back in 2009 the American Occupational Therapy Association started this week.  The group thought that it’s important for all of us to be aware of and help keep safe the older drivers that we know and love.

According to the CDC there are over 44 million of us over the age of 65 in the US.  You may have someone over 65 in your life now.  As you age, your body changes. Your reflexes, sight and hearing can be affected.

Likewise, when you drive you feel independent because you can take care of yourself.  Consequently, independence can help keep a person happy and active. With all this in mind, the week is dedicated to making sure the older drivers in your life are traveling safely.

You should check in and see if the driver knows the following safety tips?  Ask them:

  • Do you remember all the rules of the road to obey?
  • If possible, can you try not to drive at night?
  • Can you avoid driving in bad weather?
  • Do you have a route to follow?
  • You don’t drink and drive right?  (that applies to all of us!)
  • Do you get your vision checked once a year?

You can talk to them to make sure they are not afraid to drive. It doesn’t have to be scary, especially if the driver is careful and watchful.

Private Home Health Care knows many seniors who have chosen to drive locally.  This week we hope that you can take some time to check on an elderly driver.  Make sure they are aware of ways to stay safe while driving.  It’s a responsibility we all share for the greater good in our community. 


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National Mousse Day

On this last day of November we are feeling a bit tempted by a little devil sitting on our shoulder.  It’s National Mousse Day. Do we write about this yummy but not necessarily one hundred percent healthy food?

Private Home Health Care has decided that yes we will.  Every once in a while we need to stray a bit from our healthy diet and enjoy something delicious. That little devil won this round.

The word mousse is French for “foam”.  Some say mousse originated from France in the 1700’s from a master confectioner.  There may be some other origins as well but that works for us!

Usually you use egg whites to give the mousse a light and fluffy texture but that’s not your only option.  A mousse can also be savory and very creamy.  We are thinking of a salmon or smoked salmon mouse for example.

You may find recipes to use mousse in pastries and parfaits.  That sounds even more decadent doesn’t it??  Additionally, try topping off the mousse with a light and fluffy whipped cream.  Perfection with a chocolate mousse.  Add chocolate shavings and it’s complete.

Julia Child of course has a recipe but boy is it a lot of work. Private Home Health Care found a chocolate mousse recipe that’s not too tricky.  Because we just can’t help ourselves, the recipe is easy and a bit healthier.  Try this one and don’t give way to guilt. Enjoy it!  

Here you go:

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Spinach and Squash Month

The month of November highlights delicious spinach and squash.   We have talked about the versatility and health benefits of spinach so we turn today to squash.

You will find a Native American root in the word squash.  It means raw or uncooked vegetables.  That’s an interesting derivative since the various forms of squash come from a flower and contain seeds so they are considered a fruit.

Two kinds of squash come to mind, summer and winter.  Winter squash has the harder shell which comes from growing on a vine.  You can easily find acorn, spaghetti, butternut and kabocha in grocery stores at all times of year.  Try steaming it, roasting it or in a smooth puree.

Look at the health benefits you’ll see in squash. You’ll find vitamins, minerals and antioxidants:

Vitamin C – these can slow macular degeneration and help prevent cataracts

Vitamin B6 – this vitamin can help fight off depression

Beta-carotene – good to help protect your skin, but don’t over consume

In addition:  magnesium, calcium, iron and Vitamin A

Squash is low in calories and carbohydrates.  One cup of butternut squash has only 63 calories and 16 carbs.  That sounds like a healthy food to add to your diet.

Private Home Health Care loves all kinds of squash.  We love to make butternut squash soup and enjoy it with a fresh piece of wheat bread.  Try one squash or try them all and enjoy the great taste and health benefits!

Here is a link to a butternut soup recipe:

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Private Home Health Care would like to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!

On this eve of the holiday we hope that you will have safe travels if you are driving or flying. 

No matter if you are traveling near or far we hope that you will be with loving family and friends.  May your dinner be delicious and may you share some happy memories together.

We are very grateful for our family and all the gifts we have in our lives.

Be safe and enjoy! 

Your Friends at Private Home Health Care

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November is a month to honor all those who care for people in their homes or in their local communities.  The nurses, home care aids, therapists and social workers number in the millions.

It is estimated that each day, 10,000 people in America turn 65.  As you age that could turn into a lot of care as time goes on.  

You may know someone who is in need of care now.  If the person is still in their house and living on their own, home care is often the best choice.  Your home is where your heart is.  You know your surroundings and you are comfortable.  It is a place where you have thrived.  A home care aid can come in and help you with whatever you need.  

We have found that you can heal better in your own home.  This can ease fears and can provide comfort to you and your loved ones.

Private Home Health Care knows that during this month you and I have many things to be thankful for. Try and take some time to show your appreciation for any home health care aids, nurses and others who help with home and hospice care.  There is a lot of caring going around.

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Gluten-Free Diet Awareness

Do you know someone who follows a gluten-free diet?  If so they are part of the 1% of Americans who have Celiac’s Disease.  

Celiac’s disease is your body’s intolerance for any food that contains gluten.  You’ll find gluten in many foods.  These include wheat, barley, rye, malt, brewer’s yeast and oats.  If you check food labels, many foods contain some of these items.

If you eat gluten it affects your small intestine and its lining.  Consequently, there is damage to your lining and it keeps nutrients from being absorbed.  

After eating a food with gluten you could experience diarrhea, fatigue, weight, iron deficiency and anemia.  It can be very serious and super uncomfortable.

Your diet needs to change but that doesn’t mean that you can’t eat good food.  As with many of us trying to eat healthier you can eat lots of vegetables and fruits.  Beans, nuts, seeds, fish and lean meats are gluten free too.  There is gluten-free pasta and grains like rice, millet, quinoa and buckwheat.

Additionally, you need to be cautious when you eat at a restaurant.  Be sure to check with the servers to see if eggs are cooked on a separate grill from pancakes or french fries are cooked in a separate oil from chicken fingers for example.

The good news is that there are a lot of great resources for you.  

Private Home Health Care knows there are good cookbooks, dietitians and support groups where you can share recipes. You can also check out this website for lots of good information.


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National Book Awards Week

This week begins the National Book Awards Week as created by the National Book Foundation.  Have you heard of this before?

“The mission of the National Book Foundation is to celebrate the best literature published in the United States, expand its audience, and ensure that books have a prominent place in our culture.”

Consequently, the Foundation focuses on blossoming authors and it covers five categories.  The categories are fiction, non-fiction, poetry, translated literature and young people’s literature.

The judges are independent of the National Book Foundation. There are only five finalists in each category and from a list of 1,772 titles submitted by publishers!   

The winners for each category will be announced on November 16. You can find the ceremony on youTube and Facebook.  Winners are awarded $10,000 and a bronze medal and a statue.  

Reading a book at any age is a wonderful way for you to learn about something new.  It can help you escape for a bit to another place or time.  You may feel relaxed reading a book, especially if it holds you attention or touches you in the heart.  

Print books are still very popular.  You can purchase them or likewise get them from your local library. Do you prefer reading on a Kindle or iPad?  Those are options too.

There is a good free site to search for books you might like to read and there is no cost:

Private Home Health Care enjoys reading and we hope that you can find a good book to relax with.  You might even try starting a book group to discuss what you’ve read.  Find some friends and start reading!

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