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September is Healthy Aging Month…a reminder that practicing good health and fitness habits can help prolong our lives.  For seniors, this is especially important because doing such things as eating the right foods may cut the risk of heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers and other threatening conditions. Since this also happens to be autumn and harvest time, nature offers a colorful array of delicious fruits and vegetables that are known to preserve good health, and possibly even slow the aging process. Dark green leafy vegetables contain anti-oxidants that can stave off or slow macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in adults 65 and older.  Examples are mustard greens, kale and spinach. To minimize wrinkles, it’s wise to eat plenty…

While getting the flu is never pleasant, it can be especially devastating for seniors. According to the Center for Disease Control, half of all confirmed flu cases in the U.S. are people 65 or older. The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases states that about 24,000 adults die from the flu each year; 90% of these deaths occur in people over 65. As we age, our immunity to illnesses weakens.  Persons in their 70s and 80s are less resistant to the flu than those in their 60s.  They also may suffer from chronic conditions like congestive heart failure that already pose significant health difficulties.  If the flu is contracted, complications like pneumonia can arise with this heightened susceptibility to other infections…

Taking care of an elderly parent upon their release from a rehab facility can be a difficult task.  Pre-planning can make the transition easier for both the caregiver and the senior adult. The following checklist offers advise to assist you as you adapt your home to provide the best care and safety for your loved one recently discharged into your care. Furniture Positioning Furniture should be positioned to create wide paths that can accommodate wheelchairs or walkers. The minimum clear space for the width of a wheelchair is 36” in all directions. The average distance an adult needs to make a complete circle is estimated to be 60” of clear floor space. Removing rugs, extension cords or clutter will help…

August is National Immunization Awareness Month. At Home Care Assistance, we know that even seniors who have received certain vaccines as a child should be vaccinated for serious diseases that can cause very harmful consequences, including death.  People age 65 or older are at higher risk of complications from these diseases (should they get them), so they should not take the recommendations lightly.  An estimated 45,000 adults needlessly die each year from such complications, which could have been prevented with proper vaccinations. Recommended Vaccines for Seniors There are several vaccines that are available to seniors at low cost or covered on their medical plans. Make sure to check with your physician if you need to schedule immunization from a vaccine…

According to the World Health Organization, over 150 million people are chronically infected with the Hepatitis C virus. In the United States, it is estimated that 3.2 million people have some form of Hepatitis infection. The scary part is most people don’t even know they are infected because they don’t look or feel sick. What is Hepatitis? Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. It is the name of a family of viral infections known as Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C. Hepatitis A is considered an acute virus, short in duration, typically severe but not chronic. People with Hepatitis A usually improve without treatment. Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C can also appear as acute infections, but in some people,…

Stay Busy, Stay Happy. Research shows that the happiest people avoid idleness. Seniors who are inactive tend to have more accidents and are prone to depression.  There are many ways for older adults to keep active both physically and mentally. Physical Exercise Many adults don’t exercise as they get older. Having a regular exercise program not only helps you physically but also can boost your mental health by improving your confidence and outlook on life. There are many low impact exercise options to keep seniors active well into their later years. It is important to keep our bodies healthy and strong even as we grow older. Common examples are walking, swimming, cycling, dancing or even walking up stairs. Getting Started…

 The Sandwich Generation   If you’re caught between trying to support your children and caring for an elderly parent, welcome to the “Sandwich Generation.”  Nearly 10 million (1 in 7) adults between the ages of 40 and 59 fall into this personal and financial pressure point that can be amplified by mounting layoffs, the recession and college expenses.  Add such stressful challenges as balancing career, marriage, and finding time for oneself…and life is quickly complicated when caring for an elderly parent is part of the equation.  If parents live a long distance away, the stress and guilt can be even greater. Quality In Home Care Support The demands of providing quality care to an aging parent while raising children do…

Typically, high blood pressure (hypertension) develops slowly over many years. It is often called the “silent killer” because without noticeable symptoms, many people are not aware that they have it. High blood pressure is a common condition which affects about 1 in 3 people in the United States. This puts them at risk for heart disease and stroke, both leading causes of death in this country, and may contribute to kidney disease and diabetes. Family history can also put you at risk for hypertension. This is why it is important to get checked at regular intervals. How to Detect High Blood Pressure Seniors should have their blood pressure checked regularly. Blood pressure is measured as systolic/ diastolic pressure. Systolic designates…

There are many types of Arthritis; Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid are the most common forms. Osteoarthritis, often referred to as “wear and tear,” is typically a disease of older people and the most common type of Arthritis. Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic disorder, and symptoms can worsen as time goes on. Symptoms of arthritis include difficulty moving the joint, muscle weakness and pain, weight loss, poor sleep, fatigue, the inability to use your hand or sometimes even walk. Early treatment is key to stopping the progression of arthritis. These symptoms can impact one’s life greatly both physically and emotionally. Living with arthritis is challenging, and taking care of an arthritis sufferer can be difficult. Some arthritis patients struggle with the activities…

At Home Care Assistance, we provide quality in home care for seniors who have suffered from a stroke. Our caregivers are specifically trained to recognize the signs of a stroke and also to help facilitate recovery. Recognizing the symptoms of a stroke can be difficult in the elderly. Often times the signs are overlooked and may be confused with those of other conditions.   There are two major kinds of strokes. Ischemic and Hemorrhagic. In an Ischemic stroke, a blood vessel becomes blocked and can cause a portion of the brain to quit working. A Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen to the brain bursts and causes a certain portion of the brain to become deprived…