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The Holidays and Alzheimer’s

The Holidays and Alzheimer’s

Family rituals and holiday traditions can be a positive experience for those with Alzheimers, which connects them with a more familiar past. However, all of the hubbub and the increased amount of people around can cause confusion or anxiety for those with Alzheimers. Private Home Care is here to assist and reassure caregivers that holidays can go smoothly for you and your loved ones with Alzheimers. We are experts at caring for clients with Alzheimers and provide the best care that is tailored to your needs.

Here are suggestions for caregivers of those with Alzheimers:

-Try to involve your loved one with Alzheimers as much as possible! This could mean helping with simple holiday preparations or observe the preparations. 

– Simplify your holiday celebrations. As a caretaker, your situation is different now and you do not have to live up to others’ expectations.

-Limit the number of people visiting at one time, try to plan visits around the times when your loved one is doing best. 

-Try to keep their daily routine as close to normal as possible. 

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World Arabic Language Day

World Arabic Language Day

Sabach alkhyr! (Good morning!) At Private Home Care, we speak many languages, including Arabic.

December 18th is World Arabic Language Day, which celebrates the Arabic language, we well as promoting multilingualism and cultural diversity. More than 290 million people around the world speak Arabic, making it the 6th most spoken language in the world, and it is one of the official languages of the United Nations. It is also one of the many languages spoken at Private Home Care, which helps us take the best care of your loved ones of all backgrounds!

Did you know that many common words in English come from Arabic? Words such as algebra, alcohol, lemon and coffee are all of Arabic origin. 

There is another invention from Arabic that is critical to our lives that we use every day. Can you guess what that is? 

Numbers! Our modern numbers are actually Arabic numerals (1-10), and without them our lives would be very different! 

The Arabic language has a strong history in the arts due to the beautiful way it is written, such as the gorgeous ceramic wall pictured above!

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Holiday Stress Self Care for Caregivers Part 2

Holiday Stress Self Care for Caregivers Part 2

Mindfulness! 

What does mindfulness have to do with dealing with holiday stress? Everything! Mindfulness brings us back to the present and helps us cope with the anxiety and pressures of everyday life and during the holiday season. At Private Home Care, we wholeheartedly support a mindful lifestyle, and mindfulness is also proven to help improve cognitive function! 

Mindful antidotes for holiday stressors:

  1. Demands on time – from events and prepping for the holidays, your schedule can fill up quickly, which can feel overwhelming when trying to juggle demands of day to day life.

→ Antidote: Treat yourself! You don’t have to say yes to everything, make sure to make time for things you enjoy, like a long bath.

  1. Loneliness during the holidays – Not everyone has friends and family close by to celebrate the holidays with, which can cause feelings of loneliness. 

→ Antidote: Reach out to your community. You can donate your time to those less fortunate or participate in public events at local libraries or community centers.

  1. Expectations of perfection – Sometimes you can get too carried away with the idea of creating a ‘perfect’ holiday out of a Hallmark Channel movie, which is a lot of pressure.

→ Antidote: Reflect on the meaning of the holiday. Remember what really matters whether it be religion, tradition, or family and friends. 

  1. The indulge/guilt cycle – During the holiday season health and wellness can fall by the wayside. People often overindulge during the holidays, which can result in feelings of guilt.

→ Antidote: Moderation is key! Take time to savor and enjoy all of the flavors of the holiday season. Make sure to drink plenty of water (thirst can be mistaken for hunger!) and start off with a two-bite size portion of everything on your plate.

  1. Stress and family anxiety – “While there might actually be very real difficulties surrounding the interpersonal dynamics of our family, we sometimes get caught up in fueling the fire, rather than abating it.”

→ Antidote: Engage in gratitude! Take a moment to pause and appreciate the positive aspects of the holiday season – a little gratitude goes a long way towards peace of mind this holiday season.

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Holiday Stress Self Care for Caregivers Part 1

Holiday Stress Self Care for Caregivers Part 1

The holidays are a lovely time of year, but they can also be stressful. With all of the holiday shopping, decorating, prepping, cooking, and social engagements, you can easily feel overextended. Private Home Care understands the unique dynamic of holiday stress and demands when also being a caregiver or someone who is concerned about a loved one. Here are a few easy steps to help reduce stress during the holiday season:

  1. Identify specific stressors. These could include not having enough time to get things done, worrying that the needs of the loved one you are caring for are not being met, and more. Once your stressors have been identified, it is easier to tackle them.
  2. Accept that no one can do it all! We suggest simplifying holiday celebrations, such as asking everyone to bring a dish for a potluck dinner, instead of cooking it all yourself. 
  3. Responding to invitations – it’s ok to say no! Caregiving requires a lot of time and energy, and sometimes accepting invitations to events is too much. On the flip side, don’t feel guilty for going out for a night to a holiday party. Private Home Care is here to provide the best care for your loved ones at home while you go out and enjoy yourself!
  4. Self-care! This is a big one! Private Health Care promotes a holistic healthy lifestyle – including caring for your physical and mental health! It is amazing what a small mindfulness exercise or going for a 10 minute walk can do for your mental well-being during stressful holiday times. These things are also very good for your brain health!

https://www.fivestarseniorliving.com/blog/health-wellness/4-steps-to-manage-caregiver-stress-during-the-holidays

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December is National Pear Month!

December is National Pear Month!

Is there anything better than biting into a fresh, ripe, juicy pear?! We love pears at Private Home Care! 

In addition to being delicious, pears are nutrition-packed. They contain 6 grams of fiber (roughly 24% of suggested daily intake), found mostly in the skin of the fruit. Fiber is an important nutrient that helps regulate the digestive system, maintain bowel health, and stabilize blood sugar! Pears may also help lower cholesterol because naturally occurring pectin helps to bind to cholesterol and remove it from the body! Pears are also considered hypoallergenic, which is great for people with food allergies. They are soft and easy to eat, so anyone can enjoy!     

Most pears are harvested in the month of December, make sure to take advantage and enjoy this wonderful fruit!

https://usapears.org/articles/celebrate-national-pear-month/

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Older Driver Awareness Safety Week

Older Driver Awareness Safety Week

The first week of December was National Older Driver Safety Awareness Week. This week highlights the important role of driving, mobility and transportation play to keep older adults active in their communities and continued independence, which we at Private Home Care value greatly.

As the body matures, there may be declines in vision, cognition, and physical changes that might affect driving. Certain medications may also impact safe operation of vehicles. National Older Driver Awareness week recommends that you express to loved ones any concerns about their safety. 

The CDC recommends these steps to stay safe on the road: 

  • Discuss any medical issues with your doctor to determine if they might affect your driving.
  • Discuss stopping or changing your medications with your pharmacist or doctor if you experience any side effects that could interfere with safe driving such as blurry vision, dizziness, sleepiness, confusion, fatigue, and/or loss of consciousness.
  • Have your eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year. Wear glasses and corrective lenses as directed.
  • Plan your route before you drive.
  • Consider potential alternatives to driving, such as riding with a friend, using public transit, or car ride services.

https://www.cdc.gov/features/older-driver-safety/index.html

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Gingerbread House Day!

Gingerbread House Day!

Today, December 12 2019, is national gingerbread house day!

Gingerbread house building is a favorite holiday pastime for all members of the family! Gingerbread was first brought to Europe around 992 AD from the Middle East (where ginger was used to help preserve bread) by an Armenian monk named Gregory Nicopolis, where it was used for religious ceremonies and the sturdy could be molded into images of saints. 

People started making gingerbread houses when the fairytale Hansel and Gretel was introduced, because the witch lived in a house made out of gingerbread. Soon people started putting gingerbread houses to a move creative and festive holiday use, adding snowy Christmas scenes to the gingerbread houses. 

What are your favorite gingerbread house memories? P.S. Participating in crafty activities like this can boost brain function!

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December is Root Vegetable and Exotic Fruit Month!

December is Root Vegetable and Exotic Fruit Month!

Private Home Care is always glad for another reason to promote and appreciate healthy eating and living!

Although these fruits and vegetables may seem like opposites, they share many of the same health benefits. These foods are loaded with important nutrients such as fiber, vitamins and carotenoids. Carotenoids are an organic pigment found in many root vegetables such as carrots, turnips, and sweet potatoes that helps prevent eye disease and certain cancers by protecting healthy cells against mutation.

Both of these types of foods are also high in vitamin C, which has also been found to protect healthy cells from mutation, and can help reduce blood pressure, boost the immune system, and prevent iron deficiencies. In addition, exotic fruits are high in antioxidants! More common exotic fruits include dragonfruit and persimmon. At Private Home Care we love to try new fruits and veggies, we cannot wait to try some of these exotic fruits! 

https://www.nfcr.org/blog/root-vegetables-and-exotic-fruits-month-superfoods/

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National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

Tomorrow, December 7th 2019, is National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, and marks the 78th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Pearl Harbor Navy base in Hawaii was bombed by Japanese forces, and this event drew the U.S. into WWII. Private Home Care remembers and solutes the bravery of our servicemen and women during this difficult chapter in U.S. history. 

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