aging and fitness

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

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.


8 Ways to Beat the Heat and Stay Active this Summer

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People young and senior in water gymnastics physiotherapy with dumbbells

All adults and children should be as active as their level of fitness permits, because physical activities impart health benefits and help to stave off the negative effects of inactivity. Whether you happen to be the beneficiary of Phoenix home health care, or you are a professional who provides that care, you will benefit by being active and enjoying the companionship of others while doing so.

In the summertime however, the heat and humidity are sometimes enough to bother anyone, so that outdoor activities are less appealing than they might normally be. This doesn’t mean you should sacrifice activity altogether, it just means you need to be a little more creative about choosing Phoenix home health care activities to get involved with. Here are some ways you can beat the heat in summer and still stay active.

Go Swimming

Swimming is still the best way to cool off, and almost every neighborhood has a public pool or at least a private center where free swim time is regularly scheduled. Even if you can’t swim, just walking around in the water or splashing your feet over the side can be extremely refreshing – and it gets you moving.

Indoor Aerobics

If you have air-conditioning on the premises, or at least a good fan, aerobics are a great way to get in some good exercise even during summer. You can even avoid the real heat of the day by planning workouts in the morning, or later in the evening.

Have an Indoor Picnic

You can stay inside with the air conditioning for this one, but it will get you involved with meal planning and preparation while enjoying your Phoenix home health care.

Make Yourself a Cool Drink

Making smoothies can be fun for everyone, because you have to pick out the fruits and flavors to be used, and mix them altogether, before enjoying that sweet, cool, nutritious treat. If smoothies aren’t your thing, go out into your garden and pick some fresh mint leaves, then add a twist of lemon, some ice, and cold water – instant refreshment!

Take a Walk in the Mall

All malls are air-conditioned these days, and many have walk paths around the premises. This can be a great way to stay cool while checking out the summer sales, and when you get tired, there are always rest benches so you can catch your breath.

Enjoy some Ice Cream

If there’s a nearby store, walk to it and enjoy the exercise. If no stores are nearby, why not make your own, and cool off with your favorite flavor?

Visit the Pet Shop

Make sure it’s a store with air conditioning, so you can walk about and check out all the cute little pets with fur and wings, just waiting to entertain you.

Low-Impact Exercising

Without working up a big sweat, you can still get in some valuable exercise by practicing some simple yoga techniques or spending time stretching. Both will provide physical benefits as well as contribute to your emotional state of well-being.

Even when the sun beats down on the Southwest unmercifully in the summer time, there are still Phoenix home health care activities which can keep you moving, while also minimizing the powerful effects of the summer heat. MD Home Health, your Phoenix home health care experts, recommend that you stay active by putting some of these heat-busting ideas into practice.

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.

 


Tips for Staying Healthy this Summer

mdhomehealthadmin Active Living, Healthy Eating, Hiring a Caregiver, Seasonal/Holiday Leave a comment   , , , , , , , ,

Two little funny kid boys and their father on organic strawberry farm in summer picking and eating fresh ripe berries. Happy family spending time together.

The warmest season of the year is upon us, and although fun in the sun is something everyone looks forward to throughout the nine months beforehand, it’s just as important to be mindful of your health as the days grow longer and the nights shorter. There’s a good chance your stress levels decrease, since the summer’s usually marked by vacation and family time. The following are more great things you can do to maximize both your physical and mental well-being.

Be Mindful of Your Diet

It seems like everyone’s trying frantically to alter their diet in the months leading up to summer, in order to get into some semblance of a beach body shape. Truth is, too many people neglect essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients in an attempt to cut calories. One way to combat the decreased potency of your diet is to add fruit to it. Blackberries, strawberries, watermelon – any assortment of berries will do wonders for helping your body fight off disease and energizing you for the day. In fact, these fruits are chock-full of antioxidants, which are powerful natural remedies against many different illnesses.

Customize a Program of Care

Whether you’re young or old it’s essential to ensure you join us in having a healthy summer. This means making sure to get plenty of exercise – whether it’s taking a swim in the pool of the local YMCA, or making sure you have a dedicated caretaker to accompany you on daily walks. After all, school may be out for the kids, but the adults still have to work and provide a living for their families during the summer months. There’s no substitute for quality care; especially when your loved ones are involved. Exercise has been proven to increase mental well-being, in addition to the obvious physical health benefits – and both the young and elderly should engage in it this summer.

Take a Vacation

Two little funny kid boys and their father on organic strawberry farm in summer picking and eating fresh ripe berries. Happy family spending time together.

After all, what other time of the year will the whole family be together? This is what you work so hard for all year long, and a trip to any of the many wonderful destinations on the planet would do wonders for bonding and overall health. You can keep the vacation local, or spend a little more to see one of the wonders of the world, such as the Dead Sea on the border of Israel and Jordan. The combination of salt in this sea isn’t replicated in any other body of water in the world, and it represents a fantastic opportunity for memories and rejuvenation. Even within your own state, there are plenty of destinations that are sure to recharge.

Are you interested in hiring an in-home caregiver for help around the home, help with a family member, or for some extra support with the kids this summer? MD Home Health/Home Assist is happy to help Phoenix area households keep their cool during the summer months.


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.

 


Aging and Fitness

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As the years go by, each workout seems a little more painful then the last.  The running and lifting that used to come easy now leaves our bodies winded and sore.  However, this should not be a reason to stop exercising.  Aging and fitness go hand-in-hand, and continuing to exercise can lead to a better quality of life especially for adults and the elderly.yoga

Fitness is amongst the best anti-aging tools that we have.  Exercise can help prevent health related problems that occur later in life. Exercise such as weight lifting and aerobic activity can help lower the risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and depression.  By lifting weights or performing weight-bearing exercise, adults can increase bone density and reduce fractures that can lead to less hospital visits and home care.  Aerobic exercise can lead to lower cholesterol, therefore decreasing health related problems and need for medication.  With aging and fitness, exercise can lead to a happy and healthy aging process as long as adults continue to make it a regular habit.

So, what exercises should adults tend to lean toward as they become older to avoid injury?  Older adults should tend to do more low-impact activities.  Some of the better low-impact exercises are walking, swimming, cycling, lifting weights, and yoga.  Walking is easier on adult joints and can be done practically anywhere.  Swimming can help improve endurance, flexibility and conditioning.  Cycling aides with building muscle and endurance.  Lifting lighter weights can also help older adults build muscle and strength.  Finally, yoga can increase muscle without putting unnecessary strain on the body.  Yoga classes can typically be found at gyms or studios around the community.

So although exercise can be painful at times, adults should continue to maintain a regular regime. A good regime can have positive results on the aging and fitness process.

As always, adults and the elderly should consult a professional or a physician before starting any new exercise regime.  For information or questions regarding aging and fitness for the elderly contact MD Home Health / MD Home Assist at 602.266.9971 or visit their website at www.mdhomehealth.com.