Senior Lifestyle

Tips for dealing with Alzheimer’s

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Tips for Dealing With Alzheimer’s

The effects of Alzheimer’s disease are utterly devastating. With no cure for the ailment, the patient only worsens as time passes and Alzheimer’s continues to progress. Even the most basic day-to-day activities become more of a challenge. So, for those suffering from Alzheimer’s, and their relatives and caretakers, it is very important to adopt major practical tips for effectively handling the disease, which in turn can maximize the quality of life for everyone involved.

Accept changes. With Alzheimer’s, just like any other degenerative disease, change is inevitable. The patient begins to experience memory loss; progresses to speech difficulty, irritability, and outbursts of unpremeditated aggression; and, finally, apathy, exhaustion, and loss of speech. These changes can cause some sufferers to deny that they are happening, so they put up a front to avoid feeling embarrassed. However, denying the existence of Alzheimer’s can increase stress on the person. Rather, the patient should accept the changes in his or her abilities to ward off anxiety and work towards coping with the disease.

Reduce frustrations with the disease. It is hard to imagine having difficulty with even the simplest daily tasks of one’s life. However, there are things patients can do to ease the frustration. They can use a schedule to make each day more predictable and less confusing for them; that includes taking more time for performing tasks, so that they don’t feel rushed or that they’re holding up something. Also, patients should be able to do as much as they can with the least amount of assistance. That way, they can feel a considerable level of independence. It would also be helpful to reduce distractions—such as turning off the TV—for increased concentration on accomplishing tasks.

Be more flexible. It is not just the schedule of the Alzheimer’s patient that is affected. The loved ones in the person’s life also have to adapt to the ravages of the disease. For instance, certain foods that the patient once loved might suddenly become unappealing, which would require adjusting the menu accordingly.Helping Seniors

Rely on professional assistance. If caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease becomes too much of a burden, people can turn to the assistance of home health care providers. A prime example is MD Home Health, which is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona. State licensed and Medicare-certified, MD Home Health provides a wide range of medical and non-medical services. Patients can be tended to in their own homes or at the facility; relatives can determine the best option or range of personal care services needed to ensure the ultimate goal of a high-quality life—even with Alzheimer’s.


Alzheimer’s: Taking Care of Parents & Kids

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Alzheimer’s: Taking Care of Parents & Kids

Becoming a caregiver for a loved one with Alzheimer’s is a job in itself.  You are not only responsible for yourself, but also for the daily activities and well-being of a dependent adult.  You may already be trying to juggle caregiving responsibilities and the time-consuming demands of a career.  But what if you also have a role as a caregiver of kids?  Wearing so many caregiving hats can be a struggle, even for the most organized among us.  Often, caregivers find themselves sandwiched between the need to care for a parent afflicted with Alzheimer’s and the immediate needs of their child.  Switching between these roles is never easy, but by doing some planning, life can become a little easier for both you and your family.How to Assist Elders by MD Home Health

Ask for help

Caregiving requires patience, skills, and time.  Taking care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s can overwhelm our abilities to meet their needs, especially when also caring for children. When any of these critical caregiving qualities fall short, you need assistance.  Organizations such as Home Care Phoenix can provide you with dependable caregiver support, to help you better manage your time, responsibilities, and caregiving resources.  A healthcare professional can also help educate you regarding the many nonintuitive facets of Alzheimer’s care.

Caring is a long-term commitment

Entering into the caregiving role means coming to terms with the many facets of Alzheimer’s Disease.  Patients with Alzheimer’s can live upwards of 10 years after the diagnosis, and as the disease progresses, so does the caregiving time commitment.  Becoming a caregiver means coming to terms with the fact that you are in this for the long haul.  That means your relationship with your family will also inevitably be changed.  Although time can be tight, be sure to set aside at least a small amount of time each week to reconnect with your family outside of your Alzheimer’s caregiver role.  This will allow your kids and spouse the chance to have their voices heard.

Taking care of you

Not least of all, you need to care for your own well-being.  Your role as a caregiver is weakened, for both your kids and for an Alzheimer’s patient, if you are physically or mentally diminished.  Time management will become a critical part of your role as caregiver, allowing critical time for your own well-being.  Delegate part of the caregiving responsibilities to a professional care provider, such as Phoenix Home Health Care.  Having help will not only free up valuable time for yourself, but will also allow the Alzheimer’s patient a chance to physically and socially interact with a different care provider.

For more tips on caregiving management, visit us at MD Home Health, where you can learn more about Homecare Phoenix. Take care of yourself, stay educated, and find additional caregiving through the Phoenix home health care team!


September is National Apple Month

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September is National Apple Day Month

MD Home Health, a Phoenix Home Health Care provider, is excited to celebrate National Apple Day Month with all our friends and family. Did you know that our nation has been celebrating the glory of apples since 1904? And did you know that National Apple Day Month actually starts in September and continues through November? To help you to enjoy this three-month celebration to its fullest, we decided to share a few fun but practical facts about apples so you can understand why every home care in Phoenix should include this delicious fruit in their diet!

An Apple A Day Keeps the Doctor Away: Fact or Myth?

It’s that time of year to celebrate your juicy, round friend. As a timeless favorite for fruit, snack, dessert, and cider making, the yummy apples you see in the market every day dominate the hearts of every culture with its thin red or green skin, sweet aroma, and crisp flesh. However besides tasting good and looking good, apples are loved for their delicious taste and nutritious value.In fact, apples are extremely rich in dietary fiber and flavanoids. The phytonutrients (vitamins A and E and beta carotene) in apples can help you regulate your blood sugar, while the antioxidants in apples have been found to reduce the risk of many common ailments such as cancer and diabetes. According to a recent study led by Bahram H. Arjmandi, PhD, RD, Margaret A. Sitton Professor and Chair, Department of Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences at The Florida State University in Tallahassee, eating apples regularly will keep your body healthy and your doctors far away! The Office of Child Development also confirms that the complex carbohydrates in apples will help the body to sustain and improve its energy level so that you can tackle your daily routines with better productivity, performance, and attitude. Additionally, because apples are absolutely fat-free, its fiber and rich boron will not only encourage bowel movement but also help prevent osteoporosis.

Interesting Nutrition Facts of Apple

When people think about the nutritious makeup of apples, carbohydrates and vitamin C are among the commonly named. But apples also contain pectin, boron, quercetin, and phytonutrients. Pectin is known for lowering both blood pressure and glucose level. As a form of soluble fiber, pectin can effectively lower your “bad” cholesterol level to improve your overall circulation and body metabolism. Quercetin, on the other hand, promises to reduc the free radical damage. As University of Maryland Medical Center explains, “Quercetin belongs to a group of plant pigments called flavonoids that give many fruits, flowers, and vegetables their color…Quercetin acts like an antihistamine and an anti-inflammatory, and may help protect against heart disease and cancer…”

Eat Your Apples and Live Healthier

Apple is definitely a superfruit for everyone! When you eat an apple, try to leave the peels on. Apple peels have been known to be packed with rich vitamins, minerals, and fiber. As for pesticide residues, Dr. Dianne Hyson from U.C. Davis explains that, “Despite public misperceptions, laboratories have consistently found very low levels — if any — of pesticide residues on the skin of apples.”

So enjoy your apples and experiment with a variety of apple types and recipes to give your body and taste buds some generous treats!

To learn more about improving your diet with apples and other nutritious fruits and vegetables, visit MD Home Health. We will help you to discover a savoring and healthy eating routine!


Easy Ways For the Elderly to Stay in Shape

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Though regular exercise has long since been proven to have a multitude of health benefits, many fail to make the effort to stay in shape.  As we get older and our bodies slow down, it can be even more difficult to pick ourselves off the couch for a jog around the park.  Multiple studies, however, show that exercise is extremely beneficial for the elderly, not only does it offset and prevent diseases typically associated with old age, it’s also been linked to improved mental health and higher life-expectancies.  This holds true even for those who have not previously engaged in an exercise routine.  Health experts recommend the elderly engage in a program that incorporates aerobic exercise, strength training, and flexibility.

Aerobic Exercise for the Elderly

Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic, or ‘cardio’, exercise is any activity that increases your heart rate, whether it’s biking, running, or dancing.  Engaging in aerobic exercise is key for the elderly to maintain a healthy weight by burning calories quickly.  To be effective, any aerobic activity should be at least 10 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity.  The level of intensity any activity has will depend on each individual’s personal fitness level and it’s imperative that whatever regimen you participate in you start at a level you are comfortable and build slowly.

Strength Training

One of the most pressing problems for seniors is muscle loss and associated disease, occurring at higher rates for women than men. Strength is essential to everyday function, from lifting objects to walking up stairs, and incorporating even a little bit into an exercise program will help maintain muscle mass and improve balance.  Using free weights, machines, elastic bands, or your own body weight are all ways you can engage your muscles.  

Strength Weights for Elderly

Flexibility

As a rule, flexibility should be part of any exercise program and no where is this more true than for the elderly.  Stretching will help keep your joints healthy and increase your range of motion which makes you less prone to injury.  Tai chi and yoga are both excellent for choice for improving flexibility, but even a simple stretch routine will help.

Remain Physically Active & Choosing What You Love

The range of fitness levels in the elderly are extreme, some may be ready to run a marathon while others have a hard time getting out of a chair.  Building up an exercise regime will help you get the most out of your movement, but remaining physically active in everyday life is equally important.  For older seniors, simply increasing physical activity may be the first step to starting an exercise program. There’s ample opportunity to choose activities you love, whether it’s gardening or walking the dog.  Developing a program you enjoy will also help you stick with it as will doing so with a friend.   

For more tips on how to keep your body in shape, visit us at MD Home Health, and don’t forget to grab your best mate, get up, and get your heart pumping.


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.


How to Lower Stress (Part 2)

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Knowing how to lower stress is useful because everyone deals with it. According to a Psychology Today post, stress is simply a reaction to a stimulus that disturbs our physical or mental equilibrium.

No one is exempt. It doesn’t matter how happy their profiles pictures look on Facebook or how many Tweets they post about their “perfect” relationship. Everyone gets stressed out at some point. Some people just hide it better than others.

The trick is to learn how to lower stress.

Bob Greene shared a list of foods that help relieve stress in an article on oprah.com.

Other mood enhancing foods include sunflower seeds, as well as fruits and vegetables with orange and yellow pigments, such as papaya. Papayas, along with red bell peppers, contain vitamins A and C and folate, which increases energy and repairs cell damage caused by stress. Stress-reducing herbs include basil and arugula.

How to Lower Stress (Part 2) brought to you by MD Home Health

In addition, foods you may want to stay away from include caffeinated beverages, trans fatty acids, sugar and alcohol. Caffeine raises stress hormone levels, while trans fat comprises your immune system, which increases stress on the body. Sugar and alcohol both affect the adrenal glands, which protect your body against stress.

How to Lower Stress (Part 2) brought to you by MD Home Health

Keep this in mind during your next trip to the grocery store. If you know someone who is suffering from stress, feel free to share these tips. By teaching others how to lower stress, you may be making a huge difference in their lives and the lives of the people they associate with. Sometimes stressed out people make others stressed out by simply being around them and giving off that negative energy.

If you or a loved one is suffering from long-term or chronic stress, be sure to contact a doctor to get more information on how to lower stress.

If you’re seeking help, MD Home Health Home Assist provides both medical and non-medical home care and can offer you a free in-home consultation!

 


How To Lower Stress (Part 1)

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Learning how to lower stress can be a very difficult task.  Stress can be both mentally and physically draining, so it is important to do what you can to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Here are a few steps you can take to lower your stress levels:

Identify the source of your stress.

Your stress could be caused by lack of sleep, an upcoming exam, unemployment or problems with your relationship. Sometimes your stress can be caused by multiple factors, so it is important to determine what exactly the cause is. If you don’t know what the problem is, how can you fix it?MDLowerStress2

Create solutions for each source of stress you have identified.

For example, if you are stressed about an upcoming exam, develop a study chart. Break down your studying time into sessions to decrease the likelihood of becoming overworked. Try joining or creating a study group. Be sure not to procrastinate. Leaving everything until the last minute is sure to spike your stress levels.

Add some relaxing activities to your day.
Try joining a yoga class or purchasing a DVD to workout at home. If you find yourself getting overstressed, stop what you’re doing and count to ten, while breathing deeply. Meditating is also a great way to soothe your mind and body. If you’re not the quiet type, even some calm and relaxing music or nature sounds can do wonders. Play this in your car on your way to work. It may help keep you relaxed during rush hour traffic.MDLowerStress

Try implementing the above-mentioned tips on how to lower stress. Remember that while some stress is normal, long-term or chronic stress can wear you down and cause serious issues.

According to a WebMD article, there are emotional, physical, cognitive and behavioral symptoms that occur because of stress.

Ongoing, chronic stress can lead to serious health problems, including mental health problems, cardiovascular disease, obesity, menstrual problems, sexual dysfunction, skin and hair problems and gastrointestinal problems.