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Happy Memorial Day!

Private Home Health Care honors the courage and dedication of those protecting our freedom over the years.

We are grateful for the service and sacrifice made by brave men and women of our country.

On this day, let us take a moment to pay our respect to those heroes.

Wishing everyone a happy and safe Memorial Day.  May our flag fly forever free.

#memorialday 

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Did You Ever Make a Paper Airplane?

This Sunday marks National Paper Airplane Day.  Yes, it’s true.

This has us thinking back to our childhood and the paper airplanes we made.  Do you have memories of making those too?

Like us, you may have made them in grade school.  There seemed to be plenty of paper to fold simply, in half, then corners and wings.  You may have decorated the plane too.

For sure you had to try to see how they flew.  Did your plane fly far?  How long did it stay in the air?

Some of you may have made paper airplanes in high school as well.  Was it the love of making a good airplane or a way to antagonize a substitute teacher?

Believe it or not you don’t have to be a child to enjoy trying to create the best paper airplane that flies far and long.  There are plenty of grown ups who love to do this too.

You can tell people that you are doing “aerogami.”  It comes from the word origami and could make you sound very knowledgeable as you build your plane.

If you want to have some fun this weekend, you could start a paper airplane contest.  You don’t need a lot of supplies and you might have a few laughs.  

You can check out this website for tips on the contest too:  https://www.foldnfly.com/lounge/paper-airplane-contests.php

Private Home Health Care loves returning to our youth.  Paper airplanes can be fun so we may just take some time to try our hand at making some this weekend.

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What Do You Do When Your Day Turns Crazy?

Have you ever had a day that did not go exactly as you had planned?

At any given time this can happen to you?  You start out your day just as you do every day.

You have breakfast, clean up and then head off to work.  

It could be that you volunteer somewhere or you go to help someone so not exactly work, but the next thing on your list for the day.

When you get to your next stop you could find out that there is a need for extra coverage.  Ok, that can be managed.  You are a team player after all.

Your morning is different because you are helping out someplace else but all goes well.  You head outside and suddenly someone goes off the rails.  You need assistance and you have to make sure that everyone else is feeling safe.

One situation managed, on to the next task.  Your schedule is broken up into little pieces and you work with people you are unfamiliar with for a couple of hours but again that goes well.

You return home, a bit depleted, but happy to have survived the day so far.  

Oops!  You remember you need to check on a friend’s cat and you have an appointment and then a dinner date.  Time for an iced coffee, an allergy pill for the cat visit so you aren’t all teary eyed for your dinner.

Your visit with the cat goes well.  Water changed, food refilled, litter box emptied, some play time.  Head home to change for your appointment and dinner.

After dinner you head home and go straight to bed.  How do you feel?

Do you feel overwhelmed by your day? Did you think about how flexible you were?  Do you say a prayer that you don’t have to be “flexible” tomorrow?   

Private Home Health Care has crazy days sometimes.  Our motto is to do our best and keep on smiling!  You can never know how life will be one day to the next but we are grateful for each day.

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The Mighty Strawberry

In New England, the month of June starts the strawberry season.  It’s time to time to look at all of the goodness of these berries.  They are so great it’s almost  too hard to tell you all about them in one blog!

Strawberries are low in calories.  That’s a plus if you are watching your weight.  That’s not all though because they are also packed with nutrients and antioxidants.

If you eat one cup of strawberries you will get dietary fiber, potassium, magnesium, Vitamins A and C, folate and a small amount of protein, sodium and sugar.

The antioxidants in strawberries can help you with chronic inflammation.  They can also help to support healthy blood pressure and help you lower your risk for heart disease.

Do you want to help your cognition and help keep you mentally sharp?  Studies have shown that strawberries can help here too.

The fiber in strawberries can help regulate your digestive system.  Turn to strawberries if you ever have systems of constipation.

Additionally, the strawberry has a low glycemic index, slowing your blood sugar absorption.  This is a good fruit if you are fighting diabetes.

That’s a lot of goodness in one berry!

You do need to be careful however and give them a good washing to remove any pesticides before you eat them.  If you can find organic strawberries that’s even better..

Use these delicious berries in yogurt, on cereal, in smoothies, on a salad, in your water or simply eating them as they are.

One exception is if you have berry allergies.  You should contact your health professional before you add them to your diet if you have any allergies to berries just to be safe.

Private Home Health Care loves strawberries and we can’t wait for strawberry season to begin!

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Are you a Pack Rat?

Are you downsizing?  Do you have a lot of stuff that you want to clear out?  Is it hard for you to say goodbye to things in your house or apartment?

Many of us have collected decorations, mementos, furniture or things in general.  If you do have to downsize or if you are just interested in decluttering a bit it can be overwhelming.

Today we are going to suggest ways that you can cut back on things that you have so that you can move to a smaller place or just live simpler.

First, you should try to come up with a timeline and scope.  Do you want to go into each room, some rooms and based on what is there is it a week long job or a month long job?  

Once the scope is decided, work in one room at a time and don’t put a lot of pressure on yourself.  Assign your belongings to each category below.  This can be difficult.  Do some then go back later if you get overwhelmed..

Next, you set up and label containers for five possibilities:

  • Keep put away where it belongs.
  • Fix or mend and then put it away.
  • Recycle.
  • Trash meaning you just don’t need it anymore.
  • Donate.  It’s still in good condition and someone else might use it.

Finally, there are some decluttering “rules” that you might find helpful:

20/20 rule: This means you get rid of anything that you can purchase or replace for $20 or in 20 minutes.

80/20 rule:  Get rid of or store 80% of your belongings.  It turns out that you and I usually use 20% of our belongings regularly which means that 80% goes unused.

Five second rule:  Give yourself five seconds with each belonging.  If you can’t remember in five seconds when you last used it, it’s time to say goodbye.

Private Home Health Care knows many people who are downsizing.  It can be hard to make decisions on belongings that you have had for a while.  It can also be satisfying to get organized and sometimes it just needs to be done.

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Senior Financial Fraud

According to the United States FBI, elder fraud increases by 14% in 2023.  Each victim lost an average of $33,915 in a given year.

This is a very important matter for you, especially if you are over sixty years of age.  Scammers love to target older adults to work to get money.  

Fraud is more common than you think.  One in ten of you will be caught off guard and scammed.

A key to helping you stay financially safe is to understand how scammers try and hook you into giving them money.

At the top of the list and the most popular is investment scams.  This is when you are asked to invest in something so that you’ll earn more money in the long run.  Beware.

Next most used is someone posing as a tech person, say with Microsoft, who says that you need updates for your computer.  Tech companies do not make random calls like this.

Additionally other scams are:

  • A relative is stranded or held hostage and needs money right away.
  • A government official gets in touch for non-payment of a bill.
  • You are told that there’s been a breach of your personal information and you need to clear it up.
  • You get involved with a long distance romance who gains your trust then asks for money or help with something illegal.

By being aware of different situations it helps you avoid getting involved and listening to these scammers.  No matter the reason, it’s important for you to check in with someone from your bank or a trusted family member or friend before you release any money.

If you live alone it’s even more important that you don’t take phone calls from people you don’t know.  Also you should not respond to emails if you are on your computer.  Always check with someone you trust before you do anything.

The FBI is always available to help.  If you feel you’ve been scammed, call 1-800-CALL-FBI to report it.

Private Home Health Care realizes that you may be lonely and feeling like you want to be helpful.  We want you and your financial stability to be safe so be very careful and check in with friends and family if you are contacted by someone you don’t know asking for money.

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Dementia, What’s New?

Dementia.  You and I have heard about this and also may have experienced this disease first hand but how much do we understand and what is new in the area of research?

Dementia is actually the umbrella term for a set of symptoms with five common manifestations.  These include:

  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Vascular Dementia
  • Frontotemporal Dementia
  • Lewy body Dementia
  • Young-onset Dementia

You’ll find that many of the symptoms also are common with changes from aging. Forgetfulness, difficulty with speech and communicating and writing clearly.  Additionally, people with dementia often have personality changes too.

There is some promising news on the horizon.  On the research side, The University of California, Berkeley has a theory they are working on an approach that would stop brain cells from being killed. It is dying brain cells that is a factor in dementia.

On the treatment side, you may have heard of a new drug approved by the FDA last year. It was developed by a Japanese Company and U.S. Biogen.  The name is Leqembi and is a potential treatment for those afflicted.  Currently, the cost is very high so the hope is that medicare will cover it.

Additionally, many studies are being done on mice so there is quite a bit of research so we can be hopeful that the future holds a light for those with this very difficult disease.

Private Home Health Care understands the difficulty for patients with the disease and for their caregivers.  We are hopeful that research will continue to come up with treatments and ways to slow or even stop the onset of this disease.

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Aging – Memory and Cognitive Skills

In the last part of this series we will address what happens to the majority of us as we age.  That is our memory and cognitive skills.

How many of you have an aging parent or friend who has entered their eighties?  If you are like many of us there comes a time as the years go on that the person’s memory changes.  

As you age, knowing current dates can be challenging.  For one thing you are most likely retired.  That can make the days of the week blend together.  Not knowing the days of the week makes the dates even harder.

You might have trouble bringing a common word to mind to speak it.  It might take a few minutes or perhaps a day or two to bring it in.

Another possibility is that you look at the calendar and the notes on it, have it in your mind and then by the time you walk away it’s difficult to bring it all in.  Multitasking can be another area that causes trouble.  

It’s not always so easy to age is it but there are some things that you can do to help.

Keeping physically active, even if it’s not for long periods of time is important along with a healthy diet.

Additionally, staying mentally active and social are important.  Read, do puzzles or crossword puzzles, take up a new hobby or learn something new.  Visit with family and friends.  If you live in assisted living, eat in the dining room and head to the function hall instead of being by yourself.

Private Home Health Care knows that cognitive challenges can be frustrating and sometimes unsettling.  Try your best to live each day to your best ability and stay positive.

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Aging – Part 2

In our continuing series of what to expect as you age we are thinking about two areas today, your digestive system and your bladder and urinary tract.

Both of these can be a bit delicate to discuss because it isn’t always something you talk about but it’s important to understand the changes.

With your digestive system, it is changes to the large intestine that can have some of us stopped up with constipation.  You get extremely uncomfortable with this and if it’s prolonged you can run into additional issues.

There are times medications contribute to digestive issues so stay on top of the side effects of medicines you are taking.  Work with your medical professional.

For your bladder and urinary tract, it’s a case of your bladder being less flexible.  This is for both men and women.  You’ll find yourself going to the bathroom more often. When this happens at night it can leave you tired the next day.

Additionally you may find you have less bladder control so accidents can occur.  For men, it is your prostate that gets inflamed to cause these same issues.

Things that we can do at any stage to help.

  1. Once again, you need a healthy diet and be sure to include daily fiber.
  2. Pay attention when you have to go to the bathroom.  Be sure you go and go regularly.
  3. Do not smoke and if you do try and stop.
  4. You should avoid bladder irritants like caffeine, acidic foods, alcohol and those carbonated drinks.

Private Home Health Care includes physical activity in our day which keeps all of our systems healthy.  In addition, we try to listen to our bodies and understand ways we can adapt to help us feel better.

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Aging and How to Manage Changes

How many of you remember the book, “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”? If you are like us this was a very helpful book for when we were young and expecting a new baby.

Now, many of us find ourselves in a different stage of life as we age.  Like us, you may have noticed some “challenges.

This week our blog will be talking about some of the changes to be expected as you age.  In addition, we’ll add a tip or two on how you can help manage those changes.

As you age, changes come to your body and your mind.  It differs for all of us but the older you get the more you may experience.

Your heart and bones, joints and muscles are some of the physical areas that experience change.

Your heart often has a stiffening of your blood vessels and arteries.  This causes additional work for your heart which can cause high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems.

The bones, joints and muscles in your body change as well.  Bones become less dense and shrink.  Joints and muscles become weaker which causes less strength, flexibility and endurance.

You may say “Yikes” but there are things that we can do at any stage to help. 

  1. Movement – you can do light weights, work with a trainer on some safe exercises or even walk a few days a week as long as you are able.  Even ten minutes can help.
  1. Eating – try to eat healthy foods and meals.  Fruits and vegetables are great.  Fish and lean meats.  Try limiting sugary sweets.

Private Home Health Care understands that it can be difficult to age, especially if you have any chronic conditions.  There are things you can do to help so try and stay positive.

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