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Stretching Out The Years

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Guide to Stretching Out The Years

Just because the years are catching up with you doesn’t mean it has to show. After all, as the old adage goes, “age is only a number.” For older adults, stretching is an important part of keeping the reminders of your aging physiology at bay. With age come stiffness, poor posture, poor circulation, and achy joints – all of which can be alleviated simply by stretching every other day for about five to ten minutes each time. So, where do you start? Here are some helpful tips to guide you through the process:stretching

  • Get warm. Because your muscles tend to loosen up after a workout or a warm shower, this is the ideal time to stretch. Not only will you reduce the risk of injury and pain that can be caused by stretching “cold” muscles, but you will also increase your blood circulation, lengthen your muscles more effectively, and reduce soreness.

 

  • Don’t bounce. Static stretching is most effective for increasing flexibility because it holds your stretched muscle in an elongated position for longer (about fifteen to thirty seconds). Always be careful, however, not to overextend your muscles, as this can be quite painful. You should feel steady tension but not any significant distress.

 

  • Stretch for you. It’s helpful to look up specific stretching exercises (especially for specific ailments), but if you come across a stretching exercise that is unnecessarily painful, discontinue it immediately. Proper stretching should improve your quality of life and relieve discomfort without becoming a painful and burdensome chore.

With these tips in mind, you should be ready to start incorporating brief, relaxing stretches into your weekly routine, minimizing pain and stiffness and maximizing your years. At MD Home Health, we try our best to help you feel young again, both in body and spirit.


Eating Well as you Age

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Healthy Eating Tips

healthy eating habits

Eating properly is essential to everyday life no matter what your age, but it is especially important as you get older. Growing older causes your body to react and work slower which makes it harder to digest certain foods. Another thing a lot of people forget when they are young is that they will not always have a fast metabolism and they cannot continue to eat unhealthy food like they used to. I was once a victim of this and I have definitely learned that as I get older I have to start eating healthier or I will easily gain weight. As you get older though, problems like diabetes can arise and if you already struggle with obesity the chances quickly rise.

Diabetes occurs when a person has high blood sugar because their cells do not accept the insulin naturally produced by the body or because the body does not produce the required amount of insulin. It is becoming more common in overweight and obese children and adults as well, but can be stopped early with healthy eating habits. According to the American Diabetes Association, eating well and maintaining a healthy weight are big factors when it comes to lowering your risk of diabetes. Being overweight accelerates the resistance to insulin which causes diabetes in kids and is even more of a risk in older people. A healthy diet including more fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, lean cuts of meat, low fat dairy, and grain breads or cereals. A tough one for many people is quitting soda, but if you switch to water and real juice with meals it will not only be much healthier but save you a lot of money as well.

Diabetes is not the only problem that can arise from not eating healthy as you grow older. Unfortunately there are many other problems that can arise such as clogged arteries from eating too much high fat food, stomach problems from over eating, heart failure, heart attack, pancreatitis and many more. A healthy and consistent diet is the best way to avoid problems as you get older.

Are you in need of home health care or assistance? Do you need someone to care for an elder loved one, but don’t want them in a nursing home? If so, MD Home Health has the solution for you.  We offer an array of services from home care to nursing to therapy and much more. For more information please visit us at MDHomeHealth.com.


Easy Tips for Healthy Eating

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Eating Right Done Right

In a fast-paced world, it’s easy to get caught up in day-to-day activity, and then resolve to settle for either a frozen or fast food dinner. Eating right doesn’t have to be a chore. By following these simple steps, eating right and developing healthy eating habits will be easier than reaching for a frozen entrée.eating

Eat Slowly

Enjoy your food by eating slowly and not just swallowing it down. Take in the flavors present in every bite and allow yourself to get full faster by eating slower.

Eat in a Relaxed Setting

Don’t rush through a meal. Eat in a relaxed environment. Rather than eating in front of the TV, or hunched over a desk at work, eat in a setting where you can enjoy your meal instead of being rushed through it.

Start Cooking

When ordering from a restaurant or zapping a frozen entrée in the microwave, you can never be sure of what goes into it. By cooking your own meals you have a hand in every step and every ingredient. You can also make sure that fresh veggies are used instead of frozen.

Start Off Your Mornings with Protein

Start your mornings off with protein such as multi-grain bread, eggs, unsweetened yogurt, nuts, honey, cheese and fresh fruit to have you feeling full longer.

Be Mindful of Portions

Portions are important, but that doesn’t mean you have to be left hungry. Eat smaller portions spread throughout the day to ensure health.

Don’t Eat in Front of the TV, or While on Your Phone

Don’t multi-task while you eat to make sure that you give full attention to your meal. It’s proven that while eating in front of the TV, or chatting on the phone, your body has a harder time registering that you’re full.

Eat Fresh Over Frozen

Fresh veggies not only taste better, but they’re better for you. Lightly sautéed vegetables contain more nutrients than vegetables that have been fully cooked then frozen. Fresh are not only good for you, but they also taste better in any meal.

These healthy eating habits won’t form overnight, but by taking small steps towards eating right, you are one step closer to a healthier lifestyle. If cooking is a difficult task, MD Home Health also offers non-clinical services such as meal preparation. Learn more at www.mdhomehealth.com

 


Strength Training for Seniors

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Strength Training Tips for Seniors

As we age, our bodies take on a toll of the burdens we’ve put our bodies through over the years. Aging doesn’t mean that we should stop working out altogether, rather, we should strive to be at our best even in our later years. Here are some top strength training tips to get started on a regiment of building up muscle strength.strength

#1) Stand in front of a chair, then alternate repeatedly between sitting and standing. Don’t plop down; lower into the chair with control every time.

#2) Practice pushups, modified to your comfort level such as knees on floor, or standing pushup in which you’re pushing off a wall or railing. Remember to go at your own pace, and to only do as much as you’re comfortable with.

#3) Squats with light hand placement on secure object for balance. Don’t push yourself too hard, if you feel like you need to take a break, or stop and catch a breath, do what your body is telling you to do.

#4) Deadlifts: The deadlift is when you stand before a barbell that’s on the floor or a tracked device such as a Smith machine. Keeping legs nearly straight (slightly bent knees), you bend at the hips, keeping back slightly arched. Do not hunch your back. Bend over just enough to pick up the barbell. Usually, palms face away from you, but they can face forward.

Keeping legs nearly straight, back slightly arched, arms nearly straight (do not lock out elbows, but don’t bend arms, either), pull the weight up as you return to your start position. That is one repetition.

#5) Leg presses: It’s best to do these on a leg press machine, and to keep your back straight. It’s also helpful to remember to exhale as you push out.

The detriment of not doing strength training is a result in a loss of muscle, beginning at around age 30. This starts occurring in people who don’t do strength training – structured weight-bearing workouts. This muscle loss equates to about five pounds per decade. So even though an elderly woman may still be able to “fit” into her wedding dress of decades past, her body composition has radically changed if she’s been losing five pounds of muscle every decade!

Keep these strength training tips in handy, and remember to that should you or your loved one require assistance, to get in touch with one of our qualified caregivers at www.mdhomehealth.com


Sleep and Aging

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Sleep to your Health

As we get older many changes happen to our body, both physically in appearance and durability and mentally in our memory and our sleeping patterns.sleep

The older people get, the harder it is to not only fall asleep, but to stay asleep once they do. Although some may think that as we get older we need less sleep, the truth is that people need to have consistent sleep throughout adulthood.

There are different stages of sleep in the sleeping cycle beginning with light dreamless stage and venturing into a deep sleep where active dreaming can occur. These stages of sleep continue during the night as you sleep, but as you get older, you tend to stay in the lighter sleep stage a lot more. This causes you to wake up and still feel very tired and stay tired in the middle of the day.

It also takes older adults a lot longer to fall asleep and once they do it takes away deep sleep time which can cause you to wake up in the night and feel tired the next day.

There are numerous sleep disorders that are more prone to older adults that can seriously affect the amount of sleep they get. One such disorder is called “advanced sleep phase syndrome” in which they become tired and fall asleep very early in the evening and wake up much earlier than everyone else. They get the same hours of sleep but the sleep is not as good and once in the cycle it is hard to break. Exposure to light makes it harder to fall asleep and therapy for this syndrome typically involves light therapy to help keep them awake a bit later and get their sleeping schedule back to normal.

Insomnia is very high among older adults and can be extremely detrimental for your health. The 2003 Sleep in America poll by the NSF showed that nearly half of older adults have symptoms of insomnia. The loss of sleep caused by insomnia can make life very complicated as well. People who experience it can go without sleep for up to a week or more if they do not have any treatment for it.

If you feel that you may be having any symptoms relating to sleeping disorders it might be worth it to speak with your doctor to find out more information and your doctor can make a sound assessment to determine if there is a problem or not. If you can’t get through to your doctor and would like some immediate information please visit us at mdhomehealth.com.


Love Gets Better with Age

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Growing Old and In Love Together

It may seem today that the idea of true love is only reserved for fairy tales and romance novels. Relationships are shorter and less fulfilling. Divorce rates are high. Instead of committing to one another for the sake of happiness, couples are doing it for financial and economic benefits.

Elderly Couples

Even so, the definition of “love” doesn’t have to be so jaded. There are still plenty of people out there who yearn for longevity and satisfaction within a romantic relationship, especially progressing into the later years or life. Nourishing a healthy and virtuous romance is beneficial not only for soulful satisfaction, but for maintaining a healthy mental and emotional lifestyle.

There are many components that exist when it comes to building a relationship that lasts. Ultimately, it boils down to communication and honesty with your partner. You may already be well-versed in the poetry of courting and companionship, but you’ll find there is always room to learn more. After all, life is but a continuation of exploration and discovery, and being able to share that with the one you love makes the experience all the more richer.

Do you and your partner still want the same things out of life? Now that life has (hopefully) begun to settle down, what are your goals for the future? Will you and your loved one finally travel the world, or are you both content to simply watch the sunset each day? Whatever your daily desires, sharing them with your partner will only serve to strengthen your relationship.

No matter your goals or desires, the key to building a healthy relationship is to remember that in the end, it isn’t wealth or material possessions that define happiness. Being content with yourself and your partner is important, and that simple joy can be the foundation of a lasting love.

We want you to feel fulfilled in all aspects of life. Our customized Care Plans are designed to take the stress and worry out of the simple day-to-day tasks so you can focus on the more important aspects of living. Cultivating a healthy partnership is just one way to extend longevity and discover the true happiness of life. Let us help you reach that goal. Here at MD Home Health we want to see you and your loved one thrive.


Effects of a Good Night’s Sleep

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Health Benefits of Sleep

There are many health benefits of getting quality sleep. A good night ‘s sleep or some quality naptime will greatly improve your health, weight and cognitive ability, just to mention a few! Healthy sleep habits will lead to improved memory, attention and learning, healthy weight maintenance or weight loss and reduced chance of disease.good night's sleep

Cognitive Ability

There have been many studies that have show that a benefit of sleep is improving the brain’s ability to learn and remember more efficiently. Sleep helps us to focus more when we are awake and improves our creative abilities. It also helps our brains to problem solve and promotes better alertness, which greatly reduces the chance of accident or mistake.

Healthy Weight

Sleep benefits our metabolism, blood sugar levels and digestive abilities. A study at the University of Chicago found that people who got enough sleep lost 56% more fat than those who were sleep deprived. It was also found that people in the study who got less sleep felt hungrier for more of the day. This study showed that sleep and metabolism are deeply tied. Getting enough sleep helps our bodies regulate appetite and metabolism controlling hormones. If you want to lose weight or keep a healthy weight, make sure to get enough sleep!

Sleep Benefits: Reduce Chance of Disease

Many diseases can be prevented or cured by getting the proper amount of sleep each night. Not getting enough sleep effects the cardiovascular system, blood pressure, cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels. Not enough sleep also causes inflammation in the body and can lead to arthritis, pre-mature aging and all other kinds of negative disease in the body.  Getting enough sleep reduces our risk for heart disease and type II diabetes. Make sure to get enough sleep to avoid unnecessary disease such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol and other hearth disease. Getting enough sleep also enhances our immune systems and makes it less likely that we will catch a cold or other illness.

Sleep is important! There are so many benefits to getting a good night’s sleep each night. Some times we have so many things to do that it is hard to find the time to get enough sleep. Even simple tasks like cooking, cleaning, or elderly home care can take up our precious sleep time. At MD Home Health we offer many services that can assist you with your daily living activities and chores, and make space in your life for more sleep. Whether you or someone you love is in need of home care assistance, we offer medical and non-medical home care to make your life more enjoyable, easy and restful.

Visit our website, MD Home Health to learn more about the services we offer. We would love to help you to have a more relaxing and healthy life.


Natural Home Remedies

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Holistic Home Remedies

Home remedies are quickly becoming more prevalent than over –the-counter medications due to the more natural properties of healing. By using home remedies that promote healing, you’re not only saving on a visit to the doctor, but you are not filling your body with harsh outside agents. Treat your body and your ailments to a natural alternative to harsher antibiotics and other medications.home remedies

Sinus Headache

You have many options in home remedies for sinus headache symptoms. To start, use a humidifier and/or steam treatments to moisturize your nasal passages. Saline nasal sprays may help improve sinus drainage. Warm compresses over the sinuses can relieve pain and pressure. Apple cider vinegar, natural pain relievers, and aromatherapy such as with peppermint oil may help open up the sinuses, kill off an infection, or simply relieve sinus headache pain. Oner herbal remedy you may want to consider is feverfew, a plant that has some documented support as to its effectiveness for headache in general and sinus headaches particularly.

Sore Throat

Home Remedy Ingredients: Cayenne Pepper – 1 teaspoon Warm Water – Small Glass Far and away the most popular sore throat remedy. Add a teaspoon of powdered cayenne pepper to a glass of warm water and repeatedly gargle with it. Sore throat pain vanishes, and other cold-like symptoms improve as well! (If your lips are raw, put on a little chapstick first to protect them).

ACV mimics the acidic environment of the stomach and helps food to break down. Many people report reduced symptoms of reflux or heartburn after using Apple Cider Vinegar, which is logical, since many times these conditions are caused by too little stomach acid, rather than too much. If you suffer from Reflux or Heartburn, consider taking 1 tsp- 1 TBSP of ACV in water before each meal, and whenever symptoms hit.

Cough

Pour some honey in a small container ( I used an 8 ounce mason jar) and mix in some cinnamon to taste.  Take one spoonful as needed to quiet cough.  Both cinnamon and honey are anti-bacterial and anti-viral, and the honey coats and soothes the throat.


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!