arizona senior lifestyle

What To Expect from In-Home Assistance

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Having an extra hand around the house when caring for a loved one can be priceless, which is likely why there’s a variety of in-home services available today. Whether you need assistance caring for someone or would simply like some help around the house while you do, there’s an in-home service that’s perfect for your unique needs.

Knowing what to expect from in-home assistance is crucial when looking for a good provider. From medical to non-medical services, there’s a wide variety of options available, with numerous factors to consider first.

Searching for in-home care might feel overwhelming at first; but by the time you’re finished reading this blog post, you’ll know exactly what to look for when seeking out a high quality provider.

Range of Services

There’s a wide variety of in-home services available for those seeking assistance. Companies which offer both non-medical and medical services give you the most options. A good in-home care provider will offer non-medical services such as personal care assistance and homemaking tasks, plus the back-up of licensed nurses who can provide you with valuable consulting as well as provide skilled services for potential medical issues.

Personal care services include bathing, shaving, shampooing, dressing, skin & nail care, and assistance with the toilet. Other services might entail feeding and medication reminders.

If a person needs assistance with personal care tasks, they’re likely to also need help with household tasks as well. Common housekeeping services include cleaning and dusting, doing laundry, washing dishes, running errands, cooking meals, and making beds.

A full-service provider will even include things like tucking in and waking up, companionship, transportation, newborn care, sick childcare and post-surgical care. Depending on the level of need, a caretaker can live in the home, or visit on an as-needed basis.

Customized Care

Every person seeking care has their own set of individual needs, and an excellent healthcare provider will offer intake services to meet with the client, their physician, and their loved ones when creating an individual care plan. This includes all of the individual’s medical, physical, nutritional, environmental, cultural, social and emotional needs.

Caregivers

Once the level of care and individual care plan has been established, the right caregivers will be selected to be placed in the home.

All caregivers should undergo extensive criminal background checks, fingerprint scans, driving record inspections, TB tests, drug tests, license verifications and written competency exams.

Once caregivers have meet these criteria, they should be monitored by their employer through: on-site visits at the patient’s home; weekly review of the caregivers’ notes compared with doctors’ orders and care plans; individual supervision; discussions with the patient and other staff; and yearly mandatory continuing education.

 

Insurance

A competent and reputable in-home service will have insurance covering their caregiver activities. This is meant to protect both the patients and the service providers so that patients and clients can rest assured knowing their home, livelihood and belongings are covered in the event of an accident.

A good service provider will also consider their patient’s medical insurance in order to identify exactly what is covered, then work with either their private/commercial insurance, Medicaid/AHCCCS, Veteran’s Administration, Division of Development Disabilities (DDD), worker’s compensation, etc. to get them all they’re entitled to. They may even offer competitive pricing for cash-paying clients.

Are you searching for such a service in the Phoenix, Arizona area? Look no further than MD Home Health. We offer everything listed above, with the highest-quality caregivers around. Give us a call today to discuss your individual care plan—and we’d love to provide you with the information and assistance you need.


Important Information About Medicare

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Important information about Medicare

By October, many Medicare recipients are deep in the doughnut hole.  Medicare prescription drug plans (Part D) typically have a “doughnut hole”, or coverage gap, which imposes a temporary limit on coverage for drugs.  Most people enter this gap after they have reached a spending threshold for covered drugs.  For the year 2014, this threshold is $2850.  Once this ceiling is reached, you have reached the coverage gap.  The good news is that this threshold will be higher in 2015, with increasing subsidies to help you save in the coverage gap.Happy senior people in nursing home with walker and wheelchair

Medicare coverage for the remainder of 2014

 Currently, once you reach the coverage gap, you pay 47.5% for brand-name drugs and 72% for generic drugs for the remainder of the year.  You are required to make these copayments until you get out of the doughnut hole.  How do you climb your way out of the hole?  Although you’re paying 47.5% of your plan’s cost for brand-name prescription drugs, 97.5% of that price gets counted as out-of-pocket costs, which go toward getting you out of the coverage gap.  For generic drugs, all of what you pay will be counted as out-of-pocket spending to help you get out of the coverage gap.  For 2014, you are free of the doughnut hole once your out-of-pocket spending reaches up to $4550. http://www.medicare.gov/part-d/costs/coverage-gap/part-d-coverage-gap.html

How Medicare is changing through 2020

Fortunately, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) incorporates improvements to Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage for future years.  These improvements were designed to help seniors afford their prescriptions while they are in the doughnut hole.  In 2015, beneficiaries will pay 45% for brand names, and 65% for generics.  Gradually, copayments required for both brand name and generic drugs are being reduced to 25% for both drug types in the year 2020.  This is the same percentage you pay from the time you meet the deductible until the out-of-pocket spending limit is reached (up to $4700 for 2015). http://www.medicare.gov/part-d/costs/coverage-gap/more-drug-savings-in-2020.html  As 2015 rapidly approaches, now is a good time to determine if your health care plan is meeting your needs.  An appointment with Phoenix Home Health Care can help you organize your appointments, screenings, and prescription needs in order to optimize your insurance coverage.

Additional assistance for low-income seniors

The ACA also offers further assistance for low-income beneficiaries by eliminating copayments for beneficiaries who may be recipients of home and community-based services, and who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid.  Assistance is also available in order to allow widows and widowers to preserve their low-income eligibility.

Home Care Phoenix can help you determine whether you are eligible for this additional assistance.

http://www.ncpssm.org/PublicPolicy/Medicare/Documents/ArticleID/1161/Closing-the-Medicare-Part-D-Donut-Hole

http://blog.aarp.org/2014/08/29/pay-less-for-your-prescription-drugs/?sf30575690=1

For tips on how to lower drug costs, visit us at MD Home Health, where you can learn more about Homecare Phoenix. Find health and drug plans, stay educated, and learn more about what Medicare covers through the Phoenix home health care team!


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!


Brain Exercises to Improve Memory

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Active Retired Seniors, Two Old Men Playing Chess At Park

Brain Exercises to Improve Memory

Brain exercises are a good way to keep your mind sharp and stay on top of your game. Reports find that brain exercises, some as simple as face recognition or number matching, can go a long way to improve memory and delay the effects of long term memory loss.

We all forget things from time to time, whether it a misplaced set of car keys or where we parked the car after going shopping. These instances of forgetfulness pale in comparison with the slow eroding effect of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia that 5 million people in this country suffers from and the 6th leading cause of death according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Strengthening your brain through the use of specifically designed exercises, such as those from Homecare Phoenix providers and others can go a long way to improving your memory and prolonging your life.

Ways to Exercise the Brain

When you engage in physical exercise, you also exercise your brain. Remaining physically active, even in your older years improves the flow of oxygen to the brain. Physical exercise also has the added benefit of staving off the development of certain medical conditions such as diabetes and diseases of the heart, both of which lower your memory retention and place your health at risk.

In addition to physical exercise, maintaining a connection with your social network, be it friends and family, is important for helping you stay connected as you age and keep your mind sharp. A Harvard University School of Public Health study found that elderly people with active social lives have a slower rate of memory decline.

How to Start Improving Your Memory

If you want to begin improving your memory, start by getting up, getting active and getting involved with those around you. You may also consider different memory games and other devices that are designed to exercise your brain, regardless of your physical condition or level of activity. Spending a few minutes a day playing mind games, moving about and interacting with others can go a long way to helping you enjoy more of your life and slow the rate of memory loss and the negative effects of aging.

Services like those provided through MD Home Health, a Phoenix home health care service provider, can help those looking to improve their memory. MD Homecare Phoenix provides those services that help not only exercise the body but also exercise the brain.

 


Six Tips for Better Napping

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Cute family sleeping together in bed

6 Tips for Better Napping

Hear what our experts have to say about improving Phoenix home health care with smart napping. Read our tips for better napping and give a pop quiz to your home care Phoenix providers. You will understand why our company is the best of the best when it comes to offering quality Phoenix Home Health Care. 

A Few Words about Sleep AND Naps

Sleep is an everyday pursuit that promotes physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness. No matter how young or old you are, having quality sleep during the night will ready you for a whole new day. While a good night’s sleep is important, recent studies have found that snoozing away on the couch in the afternoon can make for a more functional body. According to scientists and psychologists, napping can improve your cognitive memory processing and give your alertness level a quick but generous boost. However, as with everything, there is a way to nap right as there is a way to nap wrong. To maximize your napping experience, here are 6 tips that will steer you to a better and smarter napping routine: 

Tip #1: Know Your Nap Time

The ideal nap time generally falls between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Because most people start to lose their energy after a hearty lunch, Mayo Clinic recommends people to nap around 2 or 3 p.m. Anytime after 4 p.m. will likely interfere with your bedtime. Don’t let your nap turn you into a miserable night owl with a low energy level the following day.

Tip #2: Plan Your Nap

Planning your nap for the same time everyday will keep your body’s circadian clock in tune with your energy flow and recuperation need. Be consistent with your nap by setting apart a time to let your body relax and steal a few snoozes. Experts have also found that a regular nap can help you to sleep faster and wake up quicker!

Tip #3: Watch Your Time

Timing is everything when it comes to napping. As a government study finds, “long naps are often associated with a loss of productivity and sleep inertia.” Short naps that last under 30 minutes are said to promote alertness, performance, and learning ability. Plan you nap and set an alarm for 20 or 30 minutes to reap the full benefits of napping.

Tip #4: Set the Stage

According to National Sleep Foundation, the environment you choose to nap plays a role in determining the quality of your nap session. Make sure that the room is at a comfortable temperature and try to rest in an area where noise is at the minimum. A quiet and dark room instills a feeling of calmness that is perfect for a cozy rest.

Tip #5: Watch Your Caffeine Intake

Having that second coffee in the morning may not be the best idea if you plan on napping later in the day. Caffeine may not be able to keep you going all day but it can definitely impede your ability to sleep in the afternoon. So, keep your caffeine intake down and help yourself to nap more soundly.

Tip #6: Find Your Personal Balance

It is important that you find your personal sleep balance. The recommended amounts of sleep (8 hours each night) is a guideline not a rule carved in stone. If you find that your afternoon nap is impeding your ability to get a good night’s sleep, then try napping a little earlier in the afternoon. Remember, sleep is not like a bank account so even if you make a deposit in the afternoon, you still need to sleep at night. So plan accordingly and have a great nap!

For more tips on how to keep your body rested, visit us at MD Home Health, and don’t forget to rest and find your balance.


Benefits of Swimming for the Elderly

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Elderly couple in pool

Benefits of Swimming for the Elderly

Swimming is an aerobic activity that gets the muscles going and is a perfect way for people to stay in shape, particularly the elderly thanks to its low-impact nature. As the fourth most popular sport in America, swimming for just two and a half hours a week can reduce the risk of chronic illness and cut the risk of death in half compared with those who are inactive, says the CDC. Older people who swim on a regular basis as part of homecare Phoenix experience improvements in their health related to diabetes and heart disease.

Physical Health Benefits

Swimming is perfect for the elderly because it’s easier on the joints and muscles than exercise on hard land. This is good news for those with chronic diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis, which is a decrease in bone density as a person ages. Water-based exercise has also been known to boost quality of life and decrease disability, helping to maintain bone health, particularly in older women. Swimming also boosts flexibility, especially in the neck, legs, arms and hips, leading to reduced back pain and sore muscles, as well as better posture and muscle coordination, according to the National Swimming Pool Foundation. Muscles tend to tone up easier, as every single muscle in the body is working hard to cut through that water, providing a resistance training of sorts. Building muscle strength can equal less flabby skin on the arms and legs. Because swimming is aerobic in nature, it boosts the health of the heart, leading to a reduction in coronary heart disease through lowered risk of inflammation.

Mental Health Benefits

The physical benefits of swimming are plenty, but the mind also benefits from a regular swimming regimen in seniors. This popular activity is a natural stress reliever which can improve moods and fight off depression. Seniors also experience a heightened sense of camaraderie when swimming in a public pool with friends or at a family member’s home. These situations create positive memories with children, grandchildren, spouses and friends, giving the elderly an outlet for socialization. This in turn combats feelings of isolation and loneliness, leading to better mental health overall thanks to the interaction and intimacy provided by swimming with others, according to Livestrong.

For more tips on how swimming helps keep you in shape, both physically and mentally, visit us at MD Home Health, where you can learn more about home care Phoenix. Keep your heart pumped, muscles toned, bones strong and attitude positive when you engage in swimming as part of Phoenix home health care!


Good vs. Bad, Let’s Talk Fresh Fruits

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Good Fruit vs. Bad Fruit

If you use a Home Care Phoenix provider, you’ve probably noticed that fruits are commonly served at meal times. Here at MD Home Health, we treat fruits as a healthy snack and encourage you to replace those unhealthy sweets with the all natural, nutritious apples, grapes, and more! As a professional Phoenix Home Health Care provider, we love fruits and hope you will love them too! But are all fruits created equal? Let us answer that question now.

Credit: BigStock.com

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The Case of Good vs. Bad Fruit

Good fruit. Bad fruit. These are terms you no doubt have heard before or even said them yourself. But frankly, “good fruit” and “bad fruit” simply don’t exist in the fruit world. When we label a fruit as “good” or “bad,” we are actually more concerned about whether a fruit is “fresh” or “not fresh.” Just think about it, every time a fruit recall takes place, it always has to do with the freshness of the fruit. Spoiled fruits are “bad” because they have suffered certain level of contamination from harmful chemicals, toxins, and bacteria. They are no longer fresh and can impose detrimental health effects to your body. This is why U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) takes great pain to encourage consumers to not only store and prepare their fruits properly (and safely), but also exercise wise purchasing decisions by avoiding fruits that show signs of bruises or other suspicious marks and damages. 

But What About Sugar?

The word “sugar” has gained a pretty bad reputation in recent years. With American Diabetes Association declaring a diabetic epidemic that affects 25.8 million Americans (that’s 8.3% of the population), it is reasonable to be concerned. But as medical experts have clarified, people develop diabetes for their excessive sugar intake. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention further points out that sugars are carbohydrates and provide the much-needed energy source for your body. Plainly speaking, sugar is not the problem; excessive, artificial sugar consumption is. If you rid off your processed sugar treats and only consume fruits, your body is going to love the all-natural sugar and operate with improved wellness. As Dr. Robert Lustig observes, fruit fiber not only helps slow your absorption of fructose (the sugar in fruits), but also “changes our ‘intestinal flora,’ or microbiome, by helping different species of healthy bacteria thrive.”

Benefit of Eating Good, Fresh Fruits

Fruits are the primary source of many essential nutrients including potassium, dietary fiber, Vitamin C, and folate (folic acid). A study from Harvard has found that generous consumption of vegetables and fruits are linked to lowering blood pressure, risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and much more. Fruits are the primary source of many essential nutrients including potassium, dietary fiber, Vitamin C, and folate (folic acid). Dr. Lisa Young also finds that many fruits are rich in antioxidant with the ability to prevent and even cure certain ailments such as coronary heart diseases

When it comes to choosing good, fresh fruits, the rule of thumb is to buy local. Locally grown fruits tend to be more fresh because they don’t undergo the same extended transportation and packaging process imported fruits experience. Additionally, getting fruits in season ensures that your fruits are fresh and nutritious. This is because out-of-season fruits are picked prematurely to ensure that they don’t spoil along the way. However, harvesting fruits before they are ready not only negatively affects the fresh taste and aroma of your fruits and vegetables, it also causes vitamin degradation and nutrient loss. 

Are all fruits created equal? We believe all good and fresh fruits offer unique benefits that warrant your appreciation. Take a look at your fruit bowl. Feel free to pick and choose what you like — so long they are FRESH!

For more tips on how to keep your body healthy, visit us at MD Home Health, and see what other elements to consider in a healthy lifestyle. 


Not Enough or Too Much Sleep

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Young Woman Sleeps In Bed In The Bedroom.

Not Enough or Too Much Sleep

Sleep is important especially for those involved in home care. As a Phoenix Home Health Care provider, we encourage both our staff members and clients to practice a healthy sleep routine. Because we are passionate about home care in Phoenix, we have decided to share some tips about sleep deprivation and oversleep. Enjoy and have a sweet dream!

Sleep, Drowsiness, and Drunkenness

Everyone needs to sleep. A good night’s sleep will not only keep your body healthy but also your mind alert. Sleep deprivation, according to WebMD, will “dumb you down” by interfering with your ability to process efficiently. Because lack of sleep impairs attention, alertness, concentration, reasoning and problem solving, drowsy people are more prone to accidents than those with sufficient sleep. In fact, drowsiness can impede reaction time the same way as drunkenness. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that “cognitive impairment after approximately 18 hours awake is similar to that of someone with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.05%.” When that is extended to 24 hours, the impairment is equivalent to a BAC of 0.10%! The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also finds that fatigue is the cause behind 100,000 auto crashes that take place in the U.S. annually.

Sleep for Your Body and Mind

However, insufficient sleep can also take a toll on your body. As Centers for Disease Control and Prevention observes, insufficient sleep is associated with a myriad of chronic diseases and conditions. Diabetes, cardiovascular and obesity are some common physical problems incurred by sleep deprivation. Neuroimagining evidence has also shown that not having enough sleep also negatively affects a person’s prefrontal cortex, compromising critical cognitive capacities such as attention, memory and judgment. When it comes to the relationship between sleep and mood, you can only imagine that sleep deprivation is the cause behind depression and other mood disorders. Simply put, it is difficult to be happy when you are tired. Sleepiness turns a sweet little baby into a crying bundle of unhappiness. If you want to be liked and perform well in school, at work, or anywhere else, get some sleep!

How Much Sleep is Needed?

“How much sleep is needed” is a topic subject to debate. Generally, newborns are recommended to sleep between 16-18 hours; preschool-aged children should have around 11-12 hours of sleep. School-aged children demand at least 10 hours of sleep, while teens require 9-10 hours of rest per night. By the time you reach adulthood, you need only 7-8 hours of sleep. Nonetheless, these breakdowns are just government guidelines, not laws. A pregnant woman, for example, may need a few more hours of sleep per night and a couple of power naps throughout the day. And when you get sick, your doctors always tell you to “get as much rest as possible.” To make sure you get enough sleep, adhere to the guidelines with discretion and flexibility. No one knows your body better than you do, so watch for signs of yawning, feelings of drowsiness, and other suspicious physical, cognitive and emotional symptoms to determine whether your body covets a few more hours of sleep.

Too Much Sleep

While someone can suffer from sleep deprivation, another may fall victim of oversleep. In fact, hypersomnia, a fancy way to say “oversleep,” is actually a medical disorder. Instead of feeling better, people who suffer prolonged oversleep, actually wake up feeling tired and disoriented. Anxiety, restlessness, loss of appetite and other memory problems are common symptoms for someone who sleeps too much. If you are someone experiencing any of these, please contact a medical doctor immediately for diagnosis and treatment. Remember, you know your body better than anyone else in the world. Listen to what it says and plan your sleep accordingly!

For more tips on how to keep your body healthy, visit us at MD Home Health, and make sure you are getting the right amounts of sleep.


Keep Your Brain Healthy By Feeding It With Words

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A good book is good for your health

In this digitally age, the Internet offers fast connections, videos at an accelerated speed and instant access to information  – all at a much faster rate than reading a traditional book. After all, why spend time flipping through 476 pages of Harry Potter when we can watch it in 3 hours on TV with sound effects and captivating graphics? Why waste time skimming the newspaper when we can access YouTube or even turn on NBC to the charming Brian Williams for updates instead? Even though we know that 99.9% of the time books offer a better experience, we still opt in for convenience and snuggle up to Netflix blockbusters instead of perusing through great novels.

However, recent studies suggest that reading information rather than streaming it online has better long-term benefits for the brain. Swapping the remote for a book can help fight against diseases while increasing memory and improving your social cognitive skills. Below are three benefits to how being a bookworm can boost your mental state and keep your brain healthy.

Reading may prevent Alzheimer’s disease

Just like exercising to keep the heart healthy, we need to stimulate the mind for a good workout to enhance our brain horsepower. According the study by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, adults who regularly challenge their intellectual curiosity with hobbies like reading, playing chess, or solving a Sudoku puzzle are 2.5 times less likely to be develop Alzheimer, a fatal brain condition that typically occurs after the age of 60.

The research conducted by Dr. Robert Friedland surveys people in their 70s and collected data on how participants enjoy their pastimes during early adulthood from age 20 to 39 through midlife from 40 to 60 years old. The study finds that subjects engaging in regular stimulating hobbies like reading a novel or knitting a sweater reduce the risk of Alzheimer from early on because they produce healthier brain cells to fight off destructive Alzheimer cells that kills off our brain neurons. The research emphasizes that though intellectual stimulation from early childhood does not completely immune individuals from the disease but trading in TVs for books will help delay the process.

 “Brain power unused is brain power lost”

Additionally, reading in the long run keeps your mind sharp when as you age. A study published in Neurology journal assesses that subjects participating in stimulating activities like reading throughout their life develop 32 percent slower cognitive decline compared to those who suffer 48 percent faster memory loss due to passive activity like watching TV or talking on the phone. Since the task of reading requires more processing than digesting a speech, sound, or image, your brain requires more function to infer information from sentences. It involves greater concentration skill to formulate and create a visual from just words alone. Therefore, invest in your memory by exercising it with books and physical activities. Instead of a movie night, have a slumber party with your family and friends for some intellectual fun, food and fiction!

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Reading enhances your social awareness

According to NPR, losing yourself in a literary fiction can expose you to a greater understanding of how “other people are thinking and feeling” (http://n.pr/1nqSAQz). In contrast to the clear-cut, drawn out protagonists and antagonists from popular movies, characters from literary writing require more complex analysis since they are usually not fully developed. They rely on readers to interpret their actions and push the audience to extrapolate their thoughts and emotions in order to create a complete narrative. “This is really the very same processes that we engage in when we try to guess other people’s thoughts and feelings and emotions, and to read their mind in everyday life,” Emanuele Castrano, Psychology professor of The New School for Social Research, further explains.

Whether you’re indulging yourself with the latest celebrity gossips, restaurant reviews, or political opinions, save at least an hour out of the day to immerse yourself in some compelling paperbacks and plot twists. Processing words not only improves your intellect and critical thinking skills but it also gives you the unique power to pause, think, and reflect—habits that will keep your brain healthy over time!

For more tips on how to maintain a healthy mind, visit us at MD Home Health, until then read a book.