Health Blog

Natural Ways to Fight Depression This May


Depression is the most common form of mental illness. As much as 26% of the adult population in the United States suffers from depression. Since 1949, Mental Health America has observed that May as Mental Health Awareness Month. Mental Read more

The Benefits of Exercise and an Active Lifestyle


May is National Sports and Physical Fitness month. Now is a great time to spread awareness of the many benefits provided by engaging in an active lifestyle. Many Americans don't get enough exercise in their day to day lives. Read more

7 Ways Gardening Can Extend Your Life


In honor of April being National Garden Month, and this beautiful spring weather, we’d like to share some of the amazing health benefits gardening can bring into your life. Gardening is so healthy that it could, in fact, add Read more

8 Ways Pets Improve Our Health


If you ask any pet owner who their best friend is, they just might name one or several furry little friends. Scientists, doctors, and therapists all agree that having a pet is beneficial to both your physical and mental Read more

Caregiver Time Management Tips

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Time Management Tips for Balancing Care for Loved Ones

Too often it seems life throws more at us than we can handle. Balancing between careers and home life it can be difficult to accomplish everything that needs to be done each day. And while it may not be deemed a chore, caring for an older loved one can take a toll on everyone involved. Time Management

That being said, don’t forget to take your own needs into consideration. It isn’t selfish to want to take time for yourself once in a while. In fact, one of the most important things to consider when looking after an elderly family member is being able to take care of your own health first. The better you feel, the more efficient you’ll be when it comes to juggling the tasks at hand.

Writing a list is a good place to start. Making a note of each thing that needs to be completed, no matter how miniscule, will help you map out your day and ensure nothing is forgotten. Decide which tasks are the most important and tackle them first. Multi-tasking can be beneficial, but be aware of your level of efficiency when doing so.

Don’t be afraid to pencil in a little “me time” on your schedule as well. Spending an hour or so each day to push everything else aside will allow you to relax and better focus on what still needs to be done when you’re back from your mini-vacation.

Pushing yourself too hard to constantly meet the needs of your aging relatives will take a toll on your health. Stress can cause major health problems at any age, including heart disease and depression. Do your best to try and truly relax. Read a book, take a nap or work in the garden. Quite often the best way to care for your loved one is allowing your own body to unwind and recover.

Being responsible for another doesn’t have to be challenging. Managing your time efficiently and looking after your own well-being will greatly alleviate the sense of feeling overwhelmed. Take small steps each day to focus on what’s important—you may even find enjoyment in the process and discover new ways to interact with your charge while checking off that hefty to-do list.


Yoga for Seniors

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Stretching into Seniors’ Health with Yoga

Reaching the “golden years” of life doesn’t mean having to slow down. Living an active lifestyle is not only enjoyable but essential to maintaining health and nourishing a positive attitude. Yoga isn’t just a hip fad for the younger generation. The benefits of yoga can extend across all age groups—it’s an exercise that becomes arguably more important in later years.yoga

As we age we have a natural tendency to slow down. But we must resist that urge in order to keep ourselves healthy. Staying active will combat the issues that come with a sedentary lifestyle, including loss of flexibility and osteoporosis.

According to an article on Livestrong.com, practicing yoga can help reduce the effects of many chronic illnesses and conditions. It’s a great way to relieve stress, both mentally and physically. Yoga can alleviate joint pain and stiffness and even help lower blood pressure. The key is the focus on specific trouble areas that tend to stiffen and hinder mobility. Many of the exercises are meant to increase flexibility and loosen tense muscles, which will help reduce the strains typically associated with aging.

Along with the physical benefits, yoga has certain social implications as well. Joining a yoga group designed specifically for seniors will not only ensure a proper workout, but it can open doors to meet new people from all walks of life.

Retaining physical dexterity in later years is also a great confidence booster. Having the ability to move about independently is something many of us take for granted, and being able to rely on our own bodies for balance and mobility is not something to be taken lightly. Yoga is a perfect exercise to try because it can help increase flexibility over time. Similar to lifting heavier weights, yoga exercises become easier the more they are practiced.

It’s certainly not a magical cure to what ails the body, but with regular workouts yoga can be a great way to stay in shape. There are many programs in existence designed specifically for the young at heart, and joining will improve both the physical and social qualities of life we cherish so much. What are you waiting for? Get off the couch and start taking an active role in your well-being!


Top Fruits and Veggies for Seniors

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The Importance of a Healthy Diet

Fruits and veggies are extremely beneficial to seniors and are packed with crucial vitamins and fiber which are an important part to diets not only for seniors, but people in general. With as little as 3 servings of fruits and veggies everyday you can obtain the amount of vitamins needed to stay healthy and prevent future health problems. The beautiful part is that most fruits taste great as they are without any added preparation time or ingredients and can be taken on the go easily. Vegetables often take time to prepare, but can make an average meal healthy and add flavor as well as variety to the meal. An easy and delicious way to eat your daily intake of veggies is to make a tasty salad with dark, leafy greens which have the most vitamins in them. A good size salad with lunch and dinner can be extremely impactful toward your health. Both fruits and veggies have been proven to improve your health and prevent health problems in the future.

fruits and veggiesWhen it comes to fruits, it is better to avoid juices and stick with good old fashioned whole fruit to obtain your healthy daily intake. Apples and bananas are a couple of the best on the go fruits for seniors. According to Cara Rosenbloom of Canadian Living, apples can help decrease the risk of diabetes as well as asthma because of the antioxidants they have. She also brings up a fun fact about apples that many people may not know about saying “Apples are also a natural mouth freshener and clean your teeth with each crunchy bite.” Rosebloom describes bananas as a very healthy fruit with a large amount of potassium which can bring down blood pressure. These two fruits are great for seniors and can be easily taken on the go or prepared as a side with breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Veggies can be easily added to the three daily meals and bring out amazing flavors when prepared well. Sarah Kelsey from She Knows Health & Wellness has broken down the top ten veggies along with their health benefits and I was intrigued by the top two although one may not be considered a veggie all. According to Kelsey, both tomatoes and broccoli are extremely healthy veggies with many added health benefits. Tomatoes are packed full of vitamins and help fight cancer as well as lower blood pressure. Broccoli is one of the healthiest veggies out there and helps to fight off different types of cancers and can increase immunity during cold/flu season. It is amazing how beneficial the best fruits and veggies truly can be for seniors.


Stress: The Effects on your Health

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The Benefits of Living Stress Free

StressThere are many negative effects of stress on health. It is important to reduce stress to maintain optimal health.  In this modern world we experience many causes of stress in our daily lives. This is why it is important to actively reduce stress and causes of stress. There are multiple methods of stress reduction that can help you live a healthier, happier and longer life.

 The Effects of Stress on the Body

 Some of the effects of stress on health include heart disease, depression, weight gain and obesity, digestive problems, sleep problems, depression and skin conditions. It is important to reduce stress to prevent these effects. Some other effects of stress on the body include muscle tension and soreness, lung problems, arthritis pain, stomach ulcers, and many other disorders. 

 You may notice the effects of stress in your body by your heart racing, sweaty palms, inability to sleep, upset stomach, nausea, stiff neck or jaw, tightness or pain in your back or diarrhea. Another effect of chronic stress is low fertility.  Some effects of stress are noticeable through your mood. People that are jumpy, cranky, moody or get frustrated or angry easily are often under stress.

 Causes of Stress

 Stress can be caused by many different factors. We can experience stress from our jobs, our relationships, our lack of self-care, world issues, traffic and the busyness of this modern lifestyle. It is important to identify what is causing stress in your life and change your lifestyle so you experience less stress on a daily basis.

 Stress Management

 There are many ways to combat stress with stress management techniques. Some of these include meditation, proper exercise, meditative movement such as yoga, tai chi or qi-gong, time spent in nature, and spending more time with loved ones. It is also important to have a balance between work and pleasure, so make sure that you have enough time in your schedule for leisure activities.

 Another way to manage stress is getting the proper care you need. At MD Home Health we provide caregiver services that help take care of your basic needs as well as your medical needs. When you are well taken care of with your basic needs met and the proper medical assistance, you will notice that your stress level lowers. This in turn will improve your health and reduce the effects of stress in your body. We are happy to provide these services for you to help reduce the effects of stress on your health.

 

 


Arthritic Knee Workouts

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Everyday Arthritic Knee Exercises

arthritic Exercise is essential for everyone regardless of age. When it comes to those who are older and have limitations to working out, there are still effective exercise routines that can be used daily. Those who are older and have arthritic knees can benefit from the exercises below.

 Arthritic Knee Exercise #1: Side Stepping: This easy exercise is literally hard to resist. Just place a resistance band around both of your ankles, and step sideways until you feel resistance. Move 10-20 steps in one direction, then reverse. As your muscles strengthen, you’ll notice you can take larger steps.

Arthritic Knee Exercise #2: Knee Strengthener: This is a great exercise to do while loafing on your couch or easy chair. With your knees bent, cross one ankle over the other. Press down with the top leg and up with the bottom leg, maintaining equal pressure. Hold 10-20 seconds.

Arthritic Knee Exercise #3: Quad Strengthener: Remain seated. Extend one leg out, gradually lifting it until you can feel your quad muscles tighten (the quads are the four muscles on the front of your thigh, just above the knee). Hold for 10-20 seconds. Repeat with your other leg. You can also do this exercise in a standing position to improve your balance.

Arthritic Knee Exercise #4: Quad Stretch: Now that you’ve strengthened your quadriceps, it’s time to stretch them. In a standing position, with your left hand holding on to something for support, grab your right foot or ankle with your right hand and gradually bring the heel of your foot toward you until you feel a stretch. Hold for 10-20 seconds. Repeat with your other leg.

Arthritic Knee Exercise #5: Walking: One of the best things you can do for your knees is to move them, even if it feels a little uncomfortable. In a classic Catch 22, lack of use will make the muscles around your knees gradually become weaker, making it even more difficult and painful to move around (hence the old saw – use it or lose it). Try walking with a buddy or listening to your favorite music to distract you. Once you get past the initial discomfort of walking, the activity will become easier and more enjoyable.

 


Healthy Eating and Longevity

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The Benefits of Healthy Eating and Longevity

Health and Longevity

Eating healthy has many benefits, including adding to your longevity.

Healthy eating and longevity go hand in hand. Your body is a high performance piece of machinery.The food you ingest is your fuel, and like all high performance machines you want to supply your body with foods that promote a long and healthy life, the best fuel possible, to increase longevity and performance. I will be giving you tips on longevity eating; these tips, if followed, will have you feeling and looking your best.

First on the list for foods that promote a long and healthy life is wheatgrass. Wheatgrass is a great food to ingest to help your performance and longevity. Wheatgrass is 70% chlorophyll, which is the first product of light and contains a substantial amount of energy. Wheatgrass also contains a lot of oxygen, which helps improve brain and tissue functions. In addition the wheatgrass shot can improve blood sugar problems, washes drug deposits out of the body, is great for your skin such as acne and even scars/scar tissue. Taking a one or two ounce shot once a day, over time, will do great things for your body.

Next in the foods that promote a long and healthy life is bee pollen. Bee pollen is a great food to improve your health and the longevity of your life. You can have it blended into green smoothies, or sprinkled on top of your acai or pitaya (we will get to those in a minute.) Bee pollen is richer in protein than any animal source. It contains more protein than beef, cheese, or eggs in equal weight. It provides energy, aides in allergy issues, soothes irritated or inflames skin, can improve respiratory issues, and really boosts the health of your digestive system.

The most tasty, and easy way to get bee pollen in your diet is an acai or pitaya bowl. Acai and pitaya’s are super fruits. They are high in fiber- which is amazing for your digestive system, have key vitamins and nutrients the body needs, as well as antioxidants to help your immune system fight cancer. While there is so many great food and tips for improving your longevity health- these few tips are really some of the best out there. Improving your brain and tissue function, skin, respiratory system, helps with allergies, and gives you key nutrients to fight cancer and keep a healthy digestive tract are all things your body- as a high performance machine- needs and deserves.

While the effects of eating these snacks and pick me ups wont instantaneously cause you to start glowing or improve your IQ, if practiced over time and made into a life style there is no doubt you will see the results. Looking and feeling your best is something MD Home Health wants for you, why not start now!


The Importance of Early Diagnosis

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Instances when people have unknowingly possessed a disease or cancer that could have been treated prove the importance of early diagnosis. Getting checked regularly, especially if you notice any abnormal symptoms, is critical.

 The Importance of Early Diagnosis by MD Home Health

Below are some reasons why early diagnosis is crucial to your health.

1.     Your symptoms may be reversible.

Depending on your specific situation, there is a chance that your symptoms could be reversible. For example, if you have underlying dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease, diagnosis and treatment of reversible conditions can improve your brain function and help to reduce symptoms.

2.     You may be treatable.

The sooner you get diagnosed the better. For example, if you are in the early stages of breast cancer, you are highly treatable. You can receive treatment through surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy or adjuvant therapy.

3.     You can make better decisions.

Once you are diagnosed, you will obviously need to make some lifestyle changes to adjust to the news. For example, if you have lung cancer and a smoking habit, you will need to begin some type of program to help you quit if it is too difficult to stop cold turkey.

4.     You will be aware and prepared.

While news of a diagnosis may be unsettling and even scary, it is better to be aware than oblivious for your own protection and safety. For instance, if you have dementia, it would be best not to travel alone. Therefore, if you have somewhere you need to go, you will have to make plans accordingly.

As you can see, there are several reasons showing the importance of early diagnosis. Being told you have a cancer or disease may not be easy, but you can make the process go a little smoother by tackling the situation head on right from the start and MD Home Health Home Assist is ready to help you do it.



Treatment for Dementia

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Early diagnosis is important, especially if there is a possibility for treatment for dementia.

MDdementiaAccording to the Alzheimer’s Association, dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life. Memory loss is an example.

The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer’s.

Living with dementia can be difficult for both those suffering from the disease and for those around them.

Because there is a possibility of treatment for dementia, you should make sure to look out for warning signs for you and your loved ones.

Based on information from the Alzheimer’s Association, here are 10 warning signs to watch out for:

  1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life.
  2. Challenges in planning or problem solving.
  3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure.
  4. Confusion with time or place.
  5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships.
  6. New problems with words in speaking or writing.
  7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps.
  8. Decreased or poor judgment.
  9. Withdrawal from work or social activities.
  10. Changes in mood and personality.

By looking out for these signs, you will be able to seek help early and get treatment for dementia.

According to a WebMD article, you can do the following in order to treat the cause of dementia:

  1. Take vitamins for a deficiency of vitamin B12.
  2. Take thyroid hormones for hypothyroidism.
  3. Have surgery to remove a brain tumor or to reduce pressure on the brain.
  4. Stop or change medicines that are causing memory loss or confusion.
  5. Take medicines to treat an infection, such as encephalitis.
  6. Take medicine to treat depression.
  7. Get treatment for reversible conditions caused by AIDS.

If you or a loved one is suffering from Alzheimer’s/Dementia, you can seek help from MD Home Health Home Assist, which offers a specialty program designed specifically for Alzheimer’s/Dementia patients.

Contact MD Home Health Home Assist today for your free in-home consultation, regarding treatment for dementia.


Cognitive Training Exercises

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Cognitive training exercises target a group of mental processes that include attention, memory, producing and understanding language, learning, reasoning, problem solving and decision-making.

Cognitive training exercises provide mental benefits for people of all ages.

Lumosity – the leading brain training program designed by neuroscientists ­– is currently known as the web’s #1 brain training program. Lumosity is a free online program that offers games in the areas of memory, attention, flexibility, speed of processing and problem solving. While you’re having fun playing games, you’ll forget that you’re also training your brain.

Cognitive Training Exercises Provide Mental Benefits

Over 35 million people and climbing already use Lumosity.com with positive results.

“Competitive rowing requires focus, flexibility, alertness, and strong peripheral vision. Lumosity training has increased all these for me: I am able to maintain my focus on the finish line for the last kilometer of each head race, I am able to adapt to new situations I encounter during these events, I am much more focused on the task at hand during training and racing, and I have increased the range of my peripheral vision. Thanks, Lumosity, for helping a fifty-something win medals!”

–      Linda E.

It’s possible that cognitive training exercises provide mental benefits for people suffering from dementia, as well. Although more studies need to be conducted in order to state that cognitive training exercises can prevent or delay dementia, such as Alzheimer’s, a WebMD article stated that a number of studies have shown the benefits of staying mentally active.

“I play to keep up with my 2-year old and to hopefully stave off Alzheimer’s or any other deterioration of the brain.”

–      Whitney M.

If you or a loved one is suffering from dementia, such as Alzheimer’s, you can seek help from MD Home Health Home Assist.

“I will not hesitate to recommend MD Home Health and MD Home Assist to my friends and family when in need of home care services. Thank you for everything you did for my husband and me.”

-Kent & Adriana M. Patient April 2010

MD Home Health Home Assist has specialty programs for Alzheimer’s/Dementia for individuals in their homes or group facilities. Services are available 24 hours per day/seven days per week and are provided on a visit, hourly or daily basis.

For more information on how cognitive training exercises provide mental benefits, contact MD Home Health Home Assist today for your free in-home consultation.