active senior lifestyle

Home Health Care to be Revolutionized with Smartwatch Technology


Watches are in and they are no stranger to helping people out; especially home health care patients. It seems as though necklaces aka life alert systems are a thing of the past thanks to Samsung and their recent partnership Read more

Home Health Care to Get "Uberized" in the Future: What Does This Mean?


Improvements in technology seem to be bettering the quality of everything in life these days when it comes to convenience and control. In an attempt to “uberize” the healthcare system, well-known company Axxess, intends on appealing to the convenience Read more

Alzheimer’s Patients Find Way Around Memory Loss Through Babysitting


There may just be hope for those that suffer from the gradual effects of Alzheimer’s and we have babies to thank for it. A new study in Australia has revealed that “spending a moderate amount of time caring for Read more

Healthy Summer Snacks to Help Keep You Hydrated, Cool and Slim


Summer is right around the corner. Many people associate summer with cold beers and hanging out by the pool to keep cool. However, the foods you eat can have a large effect on how you feel in the heat Read more

7 Ways Gardening Can Extend Your Life

mdhomehealthadmin Active Living, Senior Lifestyle Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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 years your life. Here are some of our favorite health benefits one can gain from the healthy hobby of gardening.

Improves Brain Health and Reduces Alzheimer’s Risk

A study conducted on the long-term effects of gardening on the brain found that daily gardening was the single most effective activity in reducing the prevalence of dementia by 36-47%. This is likely due to the various health benefits the act of gardening brings, such as increased strength, endurance, learning, dexterity, sensory function and problem solving skills.

Improves Self-Esteem and Lowers Stress

There was a Dutch study conducted that showed the cortisol (stress hormone) levels of those who gardened for 30 minutes, vs. those who read for 30 minutes. The study found that those who gardened for 30 minutes had much lower cortisol levels, and much higher self-esteem levels than those who read.

Reduces Risk for Stroke and Increases Heart Health

A study conducted in Stockholm found that regular gardening reduced the risk for stroke in those over the age of 60 by 30%. For those who may have physical difficulties or need home health care, bending or leaning over to garden may present some problems. This is an easy fix through incorporating raised garden beds. It is also a healthy idea to expose your skin to the sun without sunscreen for 10-15 minutes per day in order to absorb your daily dose of Vitamin D. This is another factor in reducing heart disease and other issues associated with heart health. It’s also best to conduct gardening sessions in smaller time segments than doing it all at once, as sitting is another cause for poor heart health.

Reduced Depression Symptoms and Improved Mental Health

There are a variety of factors associated with gardening that can help stimulate one’s mental health. These factors include physical activity, sunlight, being surrounded by nature, the satisfaction one gets from a job well done, and the cognitive stimulation it provides. For the best mental health benefits associated with gardening, keep a garden that has a balanced mix of plants to nourish all of the senses, such as food-producing plants, flowers for visual appeal and nicely scented plants.

Regulates the Immune System

The immune system is elevated due to the Vitamin D absorption gardening brings. It is also boosted when one decides to forego the gardening gloves, and get their hands dirty. Gardening dirt contains nutrient bacteria or “Mycobacterium vaccae”. This bacterium has shown to improve common symptoms of a weak immune system, such as asthma, allergies and psoriasis.

Better Nutrition

There’s nothing healthier than growing your own vegetables. So long as you use healthy soil, lay off the pesticides, and eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables from your garden when they are ripe, you will be greatly increasing your health on numerous levels. It’s also a cost-effective solution to purchasing expensive organic produce at your local store, farmer’s market, or co-op.

Being Surrounded by Green Plants Adds Years to Your Life

It’s no secret that being surrounded by nature and green spaces can benefit our physical and mental health.  A couple of studies conducted by the CDC and Michigan State University found that small increases of 10% in green space surrounding a person’s location of home could increase their life by a number of years.

This just goes to show how important gardening and being outdoors in nature is for our well-being. If you’d like more information on health care in Phoenix, finding a caregiver to assist you in gardening, or getting more active outdoors, we are here for you.  For more information on our services, experience, or rates, call (602) 396-5742 or fill out our contact form. We look forward to serving you.


Why Fall Prevention is So Important

mdhomehealthadmin Active Living, Caregiver Information, Hiring a Caregiver, Senior Lifestyle Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , , , , ,

February is National Senior Independence Month, and while many are doing their part in promoting healthy living, caregiving and exercise, it is equally important to stress the risk of falls, and to join in promoting fall prevention this month. According to the CDC, one out of every three adults age 65 and over falls each year. Falling is also the leading cause of accident related deaths for this age group. This makes falling one of the single highest threats to the independence of seniors. It is for this reason that we are going to dedicate an entire blog post to the topic of fall prevention this month; in spreading awareness, and helping prevent accidents, while promoting senior independence.

Important Statistics

According to the CDC, falling is a serious and costly issue facing those 65 and older, and their website has listed the following shocking statistics:

  • 1 of 5 falls causes a serious injury–broken bones or a head injury.
  • Over 300,000 seniors are hospitalized annually for hip fractures.
  • Nearly 3 million seniors are treated in the ER for injuries resulting from a fall.
  • Over 800,000 seniors are hospitalized yearly for fall injuries. Hip fractures and head injuries are the most common.
  • Over 95% of hip fractures are caused from falling, and usually onto one’s side.
  • The most common cause for traumatic brain injuries is falling.
  • The annual cost incurred from fall injuries is $31 billion. 2/3 of this results from hospital costs.

After a Fall

After a person falls, they are likely to suffer from broken bones. Common breaks from falling include wrists, arms, hips and ankles. They may also suffer a head injury. Head injuries can be serious, and medications such as blood thinners can make them even more dangerous. If a senior has hit their head, they should see a doctor immediately to rule out brain injury. Even if the senior has fallen and was lucky enough to escape serious injury, a fall can have debilitating mental effects that could cause the person to become fearful of falling again. This is likely to interfere with their normal daily routines, and cause them to become less active. Being less active is only going to increase their risk of a future fall more in the long run, so a good therapist may be essential after a loved one has experienced a fall.

Risk Factors

The Center for Disease Control has identified the following factors for increased risk of falling. Most falls are the result of a combination of risk factors, and the more factors someone has, the higher their risk of experiencing a fall.

  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Weak lower body
  • Troubles walking or balancing
  • Foot pain, or poorly made footwear
  • Medications that affect one’s balance (over-the-counter or prescription)
  • Home hazards
    • Uneven or broken steps
    • Lack of handrails next to stairs or in the bathroom
    • Throw rugs or clutter that one may trip over

Fall Prevention

The best way to help your loved one to prevent a fall is to evaluate their risk first in their home, and second with their medical doctor. You may want to ask a Phoenix home health care professional to evaluate your loved one’s home. You may even want to hire a Phoenix home care provider to visit the home of your loved one on a regular basis to clean, or assist them during daily tasks that open them up to greater risk for falling. Your doctor can help you find ways to reduce fall risk around the home, and you may want to review the medications your loved one is taking, and add a vitamin D supplement into their daily diet. The biggest factor in reducing the risk of falling is exercise. Tai Chi is great for helping increase lower body strength and balance.

For more information on preventing falls, our services, experience, or rates, call (602) 396-5742 or fill out our contact form. We look forward to serving you.

 


Five Reasons to Take a Daily Walk This Fall

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In recent years, a great deal of scientific research has focused on the benefits of walking and how it can be highly advantageous to your health and well-being. There are lots of reasons why you should get up off your chair, and get outside to enjoy the crisp autumn air, while you take a stroll around the neighborhood. Some of those reasons are listed below.

Sitting is bad for you

The very first reason to consider about why you should take a walk this fall is because of what might happen if you don’t. Scientific research has uncovered a whole slew of health issues that result from sitting all day and being largely sedentary, including all sorts of problems with your legs, feet and ankles. So the very first reason for you to get up and take a good walk this fall is to simply eliminate that whole catalog of health problems that might befall you, if you simply take up residence on the couch.

Enjoy reflective time

Regular walking has been shown to be a powerful anti-anxiety activity which has a calming effect on the walker. Most people don’t realize this, but the simple sounds of nature do indeed have a soothing effect on humans. For instance the singing of birds, the buzzing of bees, and a softly falling rain or a babbling brook, all have subtle but powerful influences on the human psyche.

In addition, taking a walk can encourage creative and reflective thinking, and this notion is supported by a Stanford News study indicating that the creativity demonstrated by participants increased by 60% when people were walking, as opposed to those sitting.

Achieve balance in your life

Long walks throughout the neighborhood or the countryside yield even more results than calmness and creativity. It has been found that when anxious, stressed-out individuals settle into a program of regular walking, it can also provide a great opportunity to gain perspective, and to achieve a better balance in your life.

When the mind becomes more settled and more relaxed through a regular program of walking, it allows much greater opportunity for self-discovery and self-examination. This kind of reflection gives people more of a ‘big picture’ look at the important aspects of their lives.

Reduced risk of glaucoma

Walking can help to reduce pressure within your eyes, and it has been shown to reduce the risk factors associated with glaucoma, high blood pressure, and even diabetes. In addition to helping prevent the onset of any of these health problems, walking can be at least somewhat effective in treating the condition once you are ready have it.

Improved balance

Because you’re not always walking on smooth surfaces, the activity of walking can help to improve your balance, and this is something everyone can benefit by. When you have to walk on uneven surfaces like trails, paths, and sandy or gravelly walkways, those steps activate muscles throughout the body which work to stabilize you as you proceed. Over time, this acts to build up your balance so that you become more accommodated to uneven terrain and household obstacles.

In-home assistance experts

MD Home Health is a Phoenix home care company offering in-home assistance for persons temporarily or permanently disabled, and which provides care for loved ones as though they were family. For more information on our services, experience, or rates, call 602-396-5742, or fill out our contact form. We look forward to serving you through our Phoenix home health care services. If someone in your household needs a companion, personal care, home-making, or supportive services, call us at MD Home Health.

 

 


4 Ways to Stay Healthy and Active in the Cooler Months Ahead

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Active Fall

Both the calendar and the cooler weather are telling us that fall is fast approaching, and that means it’s time to start thinking about healthy fall activities to keep you active, while also enjoying the change of seasons. Here are some activities you can do which are low-impact in terms of effort required, and yet still take full advantage of the delightful freshness of the autumn season.

Raking leaves

This is not only a very practical activity, but it’s also pretty good exercise which you can do while appreciating the beautiful colors of the falling leaves. If there are kids in your household, they’ll find tons of ways to have fun and enjoy the piles of leaves you rake up, but even if no one else is around, this is a very productive and satisfying activity that goes beautifully with the season.

Take a walk

Walking is one of those healthy activities which burns calories and strengthens muscles, and also provides you an opportunity to just enjoy the sights and sounds of the fall season as it descends on your neighborhood. It’s also great for lifting your spirits, because you’ll probably be walking in sunshine and breathing in clean fresh air, all of which helps to brighten your outlook and improve your mood for the rest of the day. There’s even a benefit to you from just soaking up a little sunshine, because it supplies needed Vitamin D to your body.

Do some volunteer work

If you are physically able to do so, volunteering to help out with some worthy cause can do a world of good for you, and with the cooler fall weather, you won’t be exerting yourself in difficult weather conditions. This can be something as simple as volunteering at a local soup kitchen for a couple hours, or getting involved with a neighborhood cleanup project. The beauty of this activity is that you can exert yourself to whatever level you’re comfortable with, and afterward you’ll also have a wonderful sense of having made a contribution that helps others. One other definite benefit is that while you’re assisting other people, it gets your mind off your own problems, to give you a break from anything troubling you.

Go for a bike ride

Riding a bike is a wonderful cardiovascular activity, and it can be a very enjoyable experience as well, as you ride around your neighborhood and appreciate the signs of autumn all around you. Bike riding is one of those activities which you can do at just about any age and any level of fitness, as long as you’re not physically disabled. It gets you out into the fresh air to enjoy a little bit of the world around you, especially that part of the world which doesn’t include your favorite couch or chair.

More about home health

You can learn about more healthy activities from the health experts who provide Phoenix home health care, and are dedicated to helping others with programs of wellness. Our Phoenix home care can be tailored to fit the needs of people of all ages and all health conditions. For more information on our services, experience, or rates, call (602) 396-5742 or fill out our contact form. We look forward to serving you.


When Should I Retire from Driving?

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Driving is considered a sign of independence and freedom in our society. Getting a driver’s license is seen as a rite of passage, and a person’s schedule is often dictated on whether or not they can drive. Most people want to be able to drive for as long as they live, but this may not always be an option as we age.

Elderly drivers don’t always have the greatest reputations on the road, even though they may not technically be as dangerous as teenage drivers or drunk drivers. Nevertheless, approximately 14 million people report being involved in auto accidents caused by elderly drivers in the past year. These accidents can be attributed to vision and hearing impairments, physical disabilities, dementia and other health conditions commonly associated with aging. Clearly not all senior drivers will experience these conditions; many people age gracefully and do not lose any of their driving abilities, yet it’s still important to look for these signs that it’s time to retire a driver’s license.

Frequent Close Calls

If you’ve noticed an increase in near crashes recently, it may be time for you or your loved one to give up driving. This is especially true if these close calls are due to an inattentive driver. It’s best to quit before a near miss becomes a potentially deadly crash.

Dings or Dents on a Car

Small dents or scratches in a car could be the result of a rude drivers in a parking lot, but they can also be caused by minor accidents. If you have an elderly driver in your family, check to see if their vehicle has any new scratches or dents.

Getting Lost

Everyone gets lost while they’re driving once in a while, but a senior driver who doesn’t know where they are frequently may be showing early signs of dementia, and should not be behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Limited Mobility

People lose mobility as they age, and that can affect their ability to drive. An senior who has trouble turning their head or moving from the gas pedal to the brake is definitely a liability on the road.

Limited Visibility

Being able to see is essential when it comes to driving. Drivers must be able to read road signs, judge distances between vehicles and stop quickly if they notice something on the road in front of them. Aging can affect a person’s vision, so all elderly drivers should have their eyes checked every year if they want to keep driving safely.

Care for the Elderly who Cannot Drive

Losing the ability to drive can come as a devastating blow, but a senior can still live a full life, even if they need to retire from the road. Many home health care services provide transportation for their clients so they can make it to their appointments and meet their other obligations. Companies providing home care may also provide counseling services for those who feel like they’re losing their independence by not driving.

As our population ages, we will have more senior drivers on the road, and more people finding that their age prevents them from driving. For more information on this and other aspects of home care in Phoenix, visit the MD Home Health/Home Assist website.


5 Myths about Aging & Exercise Debunked

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Even if you no longer believe in Santa Claus, you may still believe these 5 top myths about aging and exercise.

After all, there’s a ton of information out there, it can be conflicting, vague and overwhelming. So let’s debunk these 5 aging & exercise myths once and for all.

As we age, the importance of having an active lifestyle increases. Having a regular exercise routine is key for boosting energy levels, managing pain, treating illness and maintaining autonomy.

In addition to physiological advantages, exercise is essential for our psychological well-being, as it benefits the mind, memory, and mood.

The following five myths pertaining to exercise as we age may contribute to the tendency toward its decline over time.

I’m going to age whether I exercise or not, so what’s the point?

While it’s true that exercise cannot prevent aging altogether, it can most certainly slow it down, and even reverse some signs and symptoms. Participating in cardio and strength training helps us to feel and look younger, and even live longer.

There’s a saying, “use it or lose it,” which applies to our level of activity as we age.

This statement is supported by Dr. Wayne Scott Anderson in his health blog. He states that physical activity is directly correlated with longevity.

While genetics contribute to approximately 20-30% of our expected longevity, the other 70-80% is based upon our level of activity, as determined through twin studies.

Recent studies in The American Journal of Medicine and British Medical Journal have shown that those with larger amounts of muscle mass and physical aptitude live longer.

This is due to the fact that as we age, we typically lose one pound of muscle mass per year after age 20. The muscle is then replaced with fat cells. This is why it is important to actually increase our level of activity (rather than decrease it) over time as we age. In order to keep the muscle mass we have, we must regularly use our muscles; preventing this gradual loss over time

Older people should rest, save their energy, and not exercise.

This is a very unhealthy myth to own. In case the above paragraphs haven’t convinced you, HelpGuide.org states that those aged 50 and up face serious health risks due to inactivity, such as increased pharmaceutical use, more frequent doctor and hospital visits, and an inability to do things they once could.

Exercise can increase my risk of falling.

It is actually the opposite. Exercise prevents bone loss, and builds strength and balance -thus, reducing the risk.

I’m too old to start exercising.

It’s never too late to form healthy behavior patterns. The best way to start is through making small changes to daily habits, such as walking more, taking the stairs, doing things by hand a machine used to (like dishes) and keeping a routine for the next 3-4 weeks, so that it becomes habitual. A good model for improving physical health is to start with some cardio, then to gradually add weights and flexibility/balance exercises. Activities such as water aerobics, yoga, Tai Chi and Qi Gong are useful in helping seniors achieve and maintain better health.

I’m disabled, I can’t exercise.

While being disabled and/or wheelchair bound presents challenges, it’s still possible to get exercise. Things such as stretching, lifting weights and even chair yoga can help increase the heart rate. Resistance bands are often useful in wheelchair bound exercises. For those who do not own weights or resistance bands, cans of soup may be used instead.

 

The recipe for greater health and longevity is now yours. It is important to remember that exercise should not hurt, and it is best to consult your doctor before beginning a new regimen. Assistance while increasing your activity is always here for you. Give us a call to learn more about in-home care.

 


The Active Senior Lifestyle in Phoenix

MD Home Health Senior Lifestyle Leave a comment   , , , , , , ,

It’s a new year and as always, people think about what changes they can make to live the active senior lifestyle in Phoenix. Time for the famous New Years Resolution!

Whether you want to focus on better nutrition, losing weight, or quitting smoking, one of the best resolutions is to invest in your health. As a senior, it may be more difficult to incorporate activities and exercise into your lifestyle, but the more active you are, the better you will feel. Now that we are in perfect weather mode here in Phoenix, there is no better time to take up a new activity or re-visit an old hobby. We compiled a short list of activities in the Phoenix area so you can start the New Year with an active senior lifestyle.

Hiking Trails in Phoenix

Hiking is one of the most delightful ways to get some exercise and a fresh dose of nature.  The Phoenix area has many hiking trails, so here are some easy to moderate trails to get your hiking regimen started and kickstart your active senior lifestyle.

Lost Dog Wash Trail 

North Trail

Tortilla Creek Loop

Golf Paradise

Phoenix is full of golfing options, and there is no better time than the winter and spring seasons to take advantage of them and help maintain your active senior lifestyle. From world-renowned golf courses to automatic driving ranges to miniature golf, Phoenix has all types of golfing opportunities to suit your skill-level and mood.

Golf Courses

Troon North Golf Club

Stone Creek Golf Course 

Driving Range and Miniature Golf

Cracker Jax 

Jambo! 

The active senior lifestyle in Phoenix is encouraged by MD Home Health

 Ballroom Dancing

One of the best ways to stick with you active senior lifestyle and have fun is ballroom dancing. Learn some Dancing With the Stars moves and twirl around the dance floor while getting a great workout and meeting some new people. The Phoenix Chapter USA Dance is a great resource to find events, classes, and senior dancing groups in the Phoenix area.

Arizona Senior Olympics

If you are into competition and want to test your skills, consider signing up for the Arizona Senior Olympics. The annual event is held on February 16- March 10, and includes many diverse sports such as archery, bowling, road race, tai chi, swimming and dance.

For more information about the active senior lifestyle in Phoenix, MD Home Health or MD Home Assist, rate quotes, or to schedule a free consultation, please contact us via: MD Home Health/MD Home Assist.