senior health tips

The Benefits of Exercise and an Active Lifestyle

Mario Villavicencio Active Living, Healthy Eating, Senior Lifestyle Comments Off on 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. An active lifestyle can improve your mood, promote social interaction and even increase the longevity of your life. If you are someone who is not getting enough physical activity, here are a few reasons why now is great time to make some positive changes in your life.

Make Small Changes

Don’t set yourself up for failure when starting to make changes to your lifestyle. It’s not always easy to break out of comfort zones. Set small goals first, and make small accomplishments. Encourage family and friends to join in your physical activity, like taking a walk together or going for a bike ride. Getting active is a great way to build lasting friendships and build a sense of community. Communities can work together to create opportunities for everyone to be lead a more active lifestyle.

Improved Heart Health

Heart disease and stroke are leading causes of death in the United States. However, just two and half hours per week of moderate aerobic workout can improve you heart’s health and lower your risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke. Maintaining a regular active lifestyle can also improve your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Improved Mood and Mental Health

Regular physical activity can reduce the risk of depression. It can also help keep your cognition skills sharp as you age. Sharper motor skills can reduce the risk for falls and injuries. An active lifestyle can help boost endorphin production in the brain, resulting in a happier mood. An active lifestyle can even help you sleep better naturally as well.

Control your Weight

Scientific evidence shows that physical activity can help manage weight gain over time. The exact amount of physical activity varies from person to person. However, an average of 150 minutes per week of moderate aerobic exercise and a healthy balanced diet is a great recipe to manage caloric intake and manage your weight.

There are many health benefits of exercise, and even more creative ways to engage in some form of physical activity. Even for individuals who are home bound or have physical limitations, Phoenix home health care professionals provide a variety of in home physical therapy and training. 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.


March is National Nutrition Month

Mario Villavicencio Active Living, Caregiver Information, Healthy Eating Comments Off on March is National Nutrition Month , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

March is National Nutrition Month, which is an education and information campaign created annually by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This year’s theme strives to help people manage their weight successfully and reduce their risk of chronic disease while promoting general health. Consuming fewer calories, getting daily exercise and making educated food choices are part of this year’s goals. There are many easy ways to engage in a healthy lifestyle.

Cut the Calories Without Going Hungry

 Cutting down on calories is an easy way to feel better and prevent unnecessary weight gain. There is more to reducing caloric intake than just simply  “eating less.” Making simple choices in what foods you eat is easier than depraving yourself from eating. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables over processed snacks and red meat is a healthy way to cut calories. Snacking on fruit before every meal is a great way to reduce cravings and eat more sensibly at meal time. Try an apple 15 minutes before lunch to curb a ravenous appetite.

Daily Exercise

 Daily exercise is important for a healthy cardiovascular system. Elevating your heart rate for 20 to 30 minutes a day is a clinically researched way to promote heart health. If you are someone who needs home assistance, one of our processional caregivers would be glad to assist you with an exercise routine. Strengthening therapy is just one of many medical services provided by our Phoenix home health care professionals.

 Informed Decisions

 Making educated food choices is important to a healthy lifestyle. Make sure to know your body’s caloric and nutritional needs by talking to your doctor or a health care professional. Eating organic food is a great way to provide wholesome nutrition to your body without the risk of contamination from toxic pesticides. Eating a plant based diet is also a great way to cut down on calories and give your body the nutrition it needs. Cut down on processed and packaged foods and stick to the ones that can be found at local farmers’ market.

Cutting calories, daily exercise and making informed decisions when buying food are all stepping stones to a healthy lifestyle. The food we eat is directly connected to how we feel and the health of our bodies. Let this National Nutritional Month be an inspiration to start some new healthy habits. To find out more about our Phoenix home health 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

Mario Villavicencio Active Living, Caregiver Information, Hiring a Caregiver, Senior Lifestyle Comments Off on Why Fall Prevention is So Important , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

 


February is National Senior Independence Month

Mario Villavicencio Active Living, Senior Lifestyle Comments Off on February is National Senior Independence Month , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

February is a month that is dedicated to celebrating senior independence, and putting a bit of extra time into promoting and assisting a senior in your life in any way that helps with their independence in staying at home, while receiving the care that they need. As caregivers and Phoenix home health care professionals, we are extra excited about February, and have a variety of suggestions for ways that you can join in and promote senior independence this month as well.

If you have a special senior in your life that you would like to see stay in their home, and out of hospice care, it would be a good idea to take an assessment of their needs. A needs assessment can help you to better understand the daily struggles your loved one faces, and also where they might have needs for greater health and safety in their normal routines. If you’re unsure of how to conduct a thorough needs assessment, contact your local Phoenix home care professionals, and they can send someone to the home of your special senior to conduct a needs assessment and consultation for free.

There are likely to be a variety of medical and non-medical services required in the home of your loved one, and deciding whether to help with some of these tasks, or to hire a caregiver is going to be your next decision. You may even want to split up some of the tasks between yourself and family members, while adding the help of a professional caregiver. Things like grocery shopping, laundry, cooking, cleaning the home, and administering meds may sound like reasonable tasks that you can handle, while the more medical needs will require the help of a medical caregiver. There are also a variety of non-medical needs your loved one may have, such as having someone there to help them dress each day and to bathe, that you may want to hire a caregiver to help with.

Another great way to help promote independence in seniors this month is to help promote a decent amount of exercise into their daily routines. This is something you will want to discuss with your loved one’s doctor first, to ensure they aren’t over exerting themselves, or bringing extra risk to a health condition. Any amount of consistent exercise has been found to be the single most important factor for those over 65 in promoting independence, longevity and reducing the risk of falls. Falling is one of the most prevalent risk factors for seniors, and is the biggest cause of injury death for this age group.

National Senior Independence Month will be more effective the more it is acknowledged and observed, so spreading the word is another great way to help promote awareness. A great way to spread awareness is by asking your municipal government to declare February as Senior Independence Month in your city or town. Here is a great example of a proclamation that you may use to spread the word to your local community.

Every bit of help in spreading awareness about Senior Independence Month is certainly appreciated. And for those of you who do not have a special senior in your life, but would like to help in promoting senior independence in your community, look no further than your local YMCA. They offer a SilverSneakers Fitness Program for those 65 and older, and you can get involved by volunteering, and helping facilitate senior fitness in any way that you can. If you would like more information on National Senior Independence Month, or our services, experience, or rates, call (602) 396-5742, or fill out our contact form. We look forward to serving you.

 


10 Things that Burn 500+ Calories

Mario Villavicencio Active Living, Senior Lifestyle Comments Off on 10 Things that Burn 500+ Calories , , , , , ,

Summer may be over, and while cooler days allow for big comfy sweaters, we shouldn’t throw away our exercise routines–especially with the holidays around the corner. Since it requires the burning of 3500 calories to lose one pound, a healthy goal is to burn 500 extra calories per day. This may sound like a lot of hard work, but it doesn’t have to be. Not if you choose activities you truly enjoy, and work them into your daily routine. Here’s a list of 10 activities which burn 500 calories, and are easy to fit into anyone’s daily routine.

(Keep in mind that the more a person weights, the more calories these activities will burn. The following are calculated for women weighting 135 lb.)

Shoveling Snow

While this may not sound like a fun past-time, it is certainly a necessity in areas that experience winter snowfall. Shoveling snow is a great way to maintain your home, and burn 500 calories if you do it for 80 minutes.

Surfing

For those of you lucky enough to experience warm weather year-round, or tolerable weather to surf in a wet suit, grab a surf board and catch some waves. One hour of this activity will burn your 500 calories for the day and leave you feeling cleansed and refreshed.

Running

This is one of the fastest ways to burn 500 calories, as it only takes 30 minutes. Running may not be for everyone, so if this isn’t your thing, don’t do it. You may also opt for jogging instead, which takes 60 minutes. The important thing is that you find an activity that you enjoy.

Cycling

Those who don’t like to run may prefer cycling instead. You may decide to take your bike out for a nice ride, or take a high intensity spinning class. Spinning classes can burn you over 700 calories in 45 minutes to an hour, while a bike ride can burn you anywhere from 250 to nearly 800 calories in an hour.

Dancing

If dancing is a passion of yours, it may not even feel like you’re exercising. Depending upon the style of dance you choose, you could burn 200-800 calories per hour. Slow dancing is on the lower end, while intricate, fast-paced dancing is on the higher end. To burn 500 calories, crank up your favorite dance tunes, and cut a rug.

Aerobics

This can be a fun and energizing way to burn calories. The duration of time needed to burn 500 calories depends upon the type of aerobics you choose. Step aerobics only takes approx. 50 minutes, while something less intense like water aerobics takes about two hours.

Horseback Riding

If you love horses, this is another activity that will not feel like working out. Take your horse out for a ride for two hours, and you’ve burned your calories for the day.

Tennis & Volleyball

These sports can be a lot of fun, and take roughly one hour to burn 500 calories. They also require multiple people, so they can be a lot of fun to do with friends, and may not feel like a workout. It also helps motivation to have friends to make plans with.

Hiking or Rock Climbing

Outdoor enthusiasts will love these. Hiking can take about 2 hours to burn 500 calories, while rock climbing takes about an hour.

If any of these activities sound exhausting to do for an hour or longer at a time, try breaking them up into 20-30 segments throughout the day. Also, before beginning any new exercise, be sure to consult your doctor, or a Phoenix home health care provider. If you’d like some extra motivation or assistance, our non-medical service caregivers in Phoenix can provide home care. Give us a call today, or fill out our contact form.


Eating Healthy by Season With the Help of a Phoenix Home Care Professional

Mario Villavicencio Active Living, Caregiver Information, Healthy Eating, Hiring a Caregiver, Seasonal/Holiday, Senior Lifestyle Comments Off on Eating Healthy by Season With the Help of a Phoenix Home Care Professional , , , , , , , , ,

Eating Healthy by Season (Small)When you require assistance at home, you may benefit from a variety of non-medical services. These services might include help with basic housekeeping tasks, grocery shopping, and getting errands done. One of the most common needs that a Phoenix home care professional may fulfill is to assist a client with meal preparation.

Eating healthfully all year long is crucial to maintaining a state of good physical, mental, and emotional health. In fact, the potential for developing a chronic disease increases as a result of unhealthy eating habits. If you hire a home care worker to help you with planning your meals, you may want to discuss a schedule of healthy meal plans for every season.

Why Eat According to the Season?

Eating fresh, healthy foods based on the season is a great way to support your overall health. When you consume local foods as much as possible, you are also supporting your community – which ultimately benefits everyone in the area. Cooking fresh, local foods enables you to enjoy a variety of highly nutritional items during every season.

Healthy Fall and Winter Recipes

Fall and winter offer an abundance of opportunities to create delicious, healthful meals. Some examples of fall and winter foods include cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, squash, and pumpkin. You and your home care worker might devise hundreds of meals based on healthy fall and winter recipes. Such recipes could include chicken breasts sautéed with mushrooms, hearty pumpkin soup, and “pasta” made from squash (this can be easily created with an inexpensive kitchen gadget that spiralizes vegetables). Other recipes you might enjoy in the fall and winter months are roasted cauliflower, oatmeal blended with figs and ricotta cheese, and freshly squeezed orange juice.

Healthful Spring and Summer Fare

Springtime and summertime bring a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables that may be savored via a wealth of nutritious recipes. The foods of the warmer months include strawberries, tomatoes, spinach, watermelon, and zucchini. Recipe ideas might include whole-grain pasta topped with fresh spring vegetables (such as artichoke, asparagus, and even dandelion greens), green salad with tomatoes, and smoothies made with blackberries, raspberries, and fresh pineapple juice. If you have access to an indoor or outdoor grill and some assistance, you could grill chicken, eggplant, and zucchini, followed by slices of fresh mango sprinkled lightly with cinnamon.

Once you know how to plan healthy meals, eating foods that nourish you can be fun. Remember to buy organic foods whenever you have the opportunity; they may be more expensive than other options, but you won’t be exposed to the harmful chemicals found in many non-organic items. A Phoenix home health care professional may be able to advise you on making solid choices for seasonal eating. With a little help from a home care worker and some careful planning, you may indulge in the delicious possibilities that each season yields.

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

Mario Villavicencio Active Living, Articles, Healthy Eating Comments Off on 8 Ways to Beat the Heat and Stay Active this Summer , , , , , , , , ,

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.

 


Life After Surgery: Helping a Loved One Recover

Mario Villavicencio Caregiver Information, Hiring a Caregiver, Senior Lifestyle, Uncategorized Comments Off on Life After Surgery: Helping a Loved One Recover , , , , , , , , ,

Post Surgical Care

Having to undergo a major surgical procedure is one of the most stressful and frightening experiences in a person’s life, but helping a loved one recover from surgery can be equally taxing. The hard work may be technically over once the surgery is deemed a success, but it can take a long time for one’s body to heal even after the most routine surgeries. This can be especially troublesome when helping senior citizens recover from a procedure; even the highest quality Phoenix home health care doesn’t eliminate the risk of serious complications in an elderly family member.

Helping someone you love recover from a major surgery can indeed be difficult, but with the proper education and a lot of patience, you can still help administer home care during a loved one’s recovery period. Here are a few tips that will help you with that.

Educate Yourself

The most important thing you can do to help a loved one recover from a surgery or illness is to educate yourself. Learn as much as you can about what they have gone through and what they can expect as they heal. It’s entirely possible that they will recover on their own after a few days or weeks of rest, but major procedures may require you or a caregiver to change wound dressing, administer medications or assist the patient in their daily routine. A good Phoenix home health care service will be able to give you the advice you need, but the best source of information is always the patient’s doctor. Ask about anything you think you might need to know; there is no such thing as being too informed.

Have a Caregiver Present at All Times

This piece of advice mostly applies to those recovering from a serious medical procedure, but it’s always a good idea to have a caregiver on hand as often as possible. This caregiver could be you, but it could also be a home health aide or nurse hired for the patient. This is particularly important for elderly patients since they will require a higher level of care than a younger patient.

Encourage Independence

Even though it is important to have a caregiver present at all times, you should still encourage your loved one to regain their independence as much as possible. This may not be possible during the first few days after the surgery, but over time they should be able to do most or all of the things that they used to do before undergoing surgery. 

Caring for a loved one as they recover from surgery is emotionally taxing for many people, but there are always resources available to you. If you would like to learn more about home health care in Phoenix and gain and extra hand so you can best serve your loved ones, feel free to give us a call.


Healthy Indoor Plants for a Healthy Home

Mario Villavicencio Uncategorized Comments Off on Healthy Indoor Plants for a Healthy Home , , , , , , , , ,

It is well known that spending time outdoors in nature is proven to reduce anxiety and depression. But, there can also be many health benefits of bringing nature inside. Adding a few indoor plants to your home will not only boost your mood by adding splashes of color, but will also improve your health. Indoor plants naturally filter the toxic air in your household. Toxins can come into your house in many ways, through dry cleaning chemicals, household-cleaning products (such as furniture polish and oils), and from dish and laundry detergents. By selecting a few of your favorite plants or flowers and bringing them into the house, you will minimize the respiratory and neurological damage outside toxins can cause.

Flower Power

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Indoor flowers will require a little work and a lot of light. However, they bring cheer, fragrance, and cleaner air into any room you place them. Gerbera Daisies are beautiful flowers that come in a wide variation of pinks, reds, and yellows. These flowers can assist in removing the toxins benzene, which is present in many inks and dyes, and Trichloroethylene (also known as TCE), which contaminates our drinking water.

 

The popular Chrysanthemum, or ‘Mum’ is another fun, colorful flower option for your home. With lots of water and light, Mum’s will flourish in your home and clarify your air from benzene. For an added health benefit, use the leaves to make your own Chrysanthemum tea. The tea is known for its amazing health benefits, which range from helping clear sinuses, to preventing eye deterioration as you age.

Pick a Plant

Indoor plants tend to be a bit more durable compared to their flower counterparts, but still offer amazing health benefits. For a no fuss option, consider a Rubber Plant, which can tolerate low temperatures and little light. Bamboo Palms can add a tropical flair to your home while removing toxins such as benzene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde. Your Bamboo Palm will do best in a window with direct sunlight, and you can enjoy watching it grow to be several feet tall. If you are someone who often forgets to water your plants, consider an Aloe Vera plant .The Aloe plant requires minimal attention but still detoxifies your air, and can also be used to treat minor cuts and burns.

For more creative ways to make your home and body healthier, read more on our blog or contact MD Home Health