Posts By: icepickdev

Home Safety – Preparing For the Winter

Winter storms and cold weather can be dangerous, so it’s important to plan and prepare for the winter. Here are a few steps you can take to stay safe during the winter:

  1. Winter-Proof Your Home
  • Install weather stripping, storm windows, and insulation.
  • Insulate water lines running along exterior walls.
  • Clean out the gutters.
  1. Check Your Heating Systems
  • Get your heating system serviced professionally, making sure it’s clean, ventilated, and works properly.
  • Inspect and clean chimneys and fireplaces to prevent carbon monoxide (CO) emergencies.
  • Install a smoke detector or replace batteries that should last the winter
  • Have a safe alternate heating source available.
  1. Stock Up on Food

Essential supplies like food and water need to be kept stocked in case of a blizzard or some storm that makes it dangerous to step outside for a while.

  1. Watch for Water Issues on the Roof

Check the roof for the following problems:

  • Excess snowfall
  • Icy Gutters
  • Icicles
  1. Prepare for Possible Power Outages

You are more likely to experience a power outage during the winter season. With icy conditions and heavy snowfall, power lines get affected, and power outages become common. Stock up on flashlights and batteries and be sure to have nonperishable food items stocked in your pantry.

  1. Keep a Fire Extinguisher At Home

It is important to have a fire extinguisher in the house at all times, especially during the winter. During the colder months, you may use items that you only utilize during the winter, such as the fireplace, a space heater, and a gas stove.  In the unfortunate circumstance of something going wrong and a fire starting, you should have a fire extinguisher on-hand and ready to use.

If you are unsure of how to use a fire extinguisher, have a family member or a professional firefighter teach you so that you can protect yourself and your family in case of an emergency.

  1. In-Home Care during Weather Emergencies

Many older adults can care for themselves regularly, but others require in-home assistance. It is strongly recommended to arrange for in-home care during weather emergencies to ensure safety throughout the winter season. You could hire help for general tasks during weather emergencies that could be harder without electricity or treacherous walk and roadways. Just having another set of hands can be extremely helpful in completing daily tasks that become difficult during the winter months.

Now that you know the steps to home safety and preparing for the winter, you are all set to enjoy a safe and cozy winter without any worries.

Use Holiday Visits to Assess Senior Well-Being

The holidays allow family members of all generations to see how one another is doing and whether anyone may need help or encouragement during this time.

If you are visiting a parent or senior loved one over the holidays, you can also use your visit as an opportunity to assess their well-being.

  1. Emotional State

Keep an eye out for changes in your loved one’s moods and behavior. You can’t always gauge someone’s emotional state over the telephone, even if you speak to them every day. Look for signs of depression and anxiety, including withdrawal from social activities, changes in sleep patterns, loss of interest in hobbies, and changes in basic home maintenance and personal hygiene. The latter can be an indicator of dementia or other physical ailments like dehydration, which often happens to elders in the winter months and can be serious. If you notice sudden odd behavior in your loved one, such as confusion or agitation, be sure to seek medical attention. These are common symptoms of a urinary tract infection (UTI), which is prevalent in seniors and easily resolved with antibiotics.

  1. Weight Loss

One of the most obvious signs of bad health, both physical and mental, is weight loss. Possible causes of noticeable weight loss could be cancer, depression, or dementia. Certain medications and aging, in general, can also change the way food tastes and/or result in a loss of appetite. If weight loss is evident, talk to your loved one about your concerns and schedule a doctor’s appointment to address the issue.

  1. Balance and Mobility

Pay close attention to the way your loved one moves and how they walk. A reluctance to walk, changes in gait, or obvious pain during movement can be a sign of joint, muscle, or neurological problems. If your loved one is unsteady on their feet, they may be at risk of falling, which can cause severe injury or worse. If you notice changes in their mobility and coordination, make an appointment with their doctor to discuss options to keep them safe and mobile, such as pain management, physical therapy, and mobility aids.

  1. Home Environment

Attention must also be paid to a senior’s surroundings. For instance, if your loved one has always been a stickler for neatness and paying bills promptly, but you discover excess clutter and piles of unopened mail while visiting, it indicates a problem. Take a walk-through of their home while you’re visiting to see if they are keeping their house to the usual standards. Be aware that sometimes the signs of trouble are a bit subtler. Scorched cookware could indicate that your loved one forgets food on the stove or in the oven, and an overflowing hamper could mean they don’t have the strength and/or desire to do laundry. Check the expiration dates on their medications and try to determine if they’re taking any prescribed medications appropriately. You know your loved one and their habits best, so go with your gut if something seems off.

  1. Appearance and Hygiene

Are they keeping up their appearance? Or do they look like they need to be taken care of? Do they dress appropriately for the weather and occasion and take care of their hygiene? If not, it may be a good idea to hire a caregiver.  

  1. Medication

Are you aware of all the medications prescribed to them? Check if they are taking all their medication regularly. Also, make sure that the medicines have not expired. This is crucial to their health.

  1. Mental Health

Do they experience mood swings, forgetfulness, loneliness, depression, and difficulty maintaining friends? Are they generally less interested in life than before? They might need professional help if they show signs of mental decline. It could also be an indication of the beginning of a disease like dementia.

While you may want to keep things light during the holiday season, take this opportunity to address any red flags that you observe. Unfortunately, the age-related decline can happen quickly, and in many cases, seniors are skilled at concealing new and worsening problems. Collect any necessary information while you are visiting to avoid added frustration in the event of a crisis down the road.

Halloween Activities for Older Adults

Halloween isn’t just for kids. It’s a great excuse for seniors to dress up, do some spooky crafts, and, of course, eat goodies. Here are five activities your senior loved ones can enjoy:

  1. Movie Nights.

What’s Halloween without a spooky movie? Here are some of our favorites that are fun for all ages:

  • Hocus Pocus: a light-hearted comedy about witches seeking revenge, featuring Bette Midler.
  • Casper: based on the comic book character, this movie is about a ghost who wants to make friends.
  • The Witches: a humorous movie about outsmarting an evil witch, played by Angelica Houston, and her plan to turn all children into mice.
  1. Spooky Photos

Photo props are great for creating fun memories. Pull together old clothes and accessories or create your props using craft sticks and paper. Use them at a Halloween family gathering and take lots of photos to cherish for years to come. 

  1. Halloween Snacks

There are a lot of other snacks to enjoy apart from the candy. For a senior-friendly take on candy apples, make or buy caramel apple dip and serve with sliced apples. Create a sweet and salty snack by mixing candy corn with either popcorn or peanuts. 

  1. Make a Mask

There is no need for a full costume when seniors can be just as festive in a simple mask. It’s easy to make your own with a plain masquerade mask and craft supplies like feathers, rhinestones, and glitter. Have your senior parent wear the mask on Halloween night to surprise their grandkids or unexpecting trick-or-treaters.

  1. Pumpkin Games

You can set up several games using pumpkins, like Pumpkin Knock Down game. Another pumpkin game could be guessing the pumpkin’s weight. Award the winners with great prizes.

  1. Halloween Trivia

You can educate people with fun facts about Halloween. This could be a movie trivia test or a general trivia but make the contest interesting and challenging.

Tell your guests the plot line of a famous horror movie. Keep in mind that the movie must be relevant to the senior generation. Using only hints from the plot, let the guests guess the name of the movie. Keep score of the correct answers.

  1. Attend a Costume Party

Choosing a Halloween costume can be fun and wearing it at a costume party can be even more exciting. Attending parties is also a great way for seniors to increase social interaction which benefits their health. It also provides a sense of belonging and increases self-esteem.

  1. Making Cards

Seniors can express their talent by making unique Halloween cards. This can help them connect with friends and family and keep them engaged.

  1. Prepare for Halloween Trick-or-Treaters

You’ll probably be handing out a lot of treats to children during their trick-or-treating sessions. It’s important to prepare for this beforehand. You can make pumpkin pouch goody bags, decorate your front door to look more welcoming, and perhaps make a mixed bag of candy, as well. Get creative!

  1. Enjoy the Fresh Air and Nature

Fall is a great time to enjoy nature. Breathe in the fresh air, admire the colors on display and go for a walk. You can do any of the following:

  • Crack open a window to enjoy the fresh air
  • Relax in the backyard
  • Go for a walk through the local park
  • Stroll in your neighborhood
  • Take your pet out for a walk

Making festive treats, engaging in games, hosting a party, or taking your grandkid trick-or-treating are just some more ideas about what an older person can do during Halloween. There’s no need to feel restricted by your age. Enjoy the occasion to the best of your ability by doing any of the above-mentioned activities.

Halloween is great for kids, but seniors can have some fun with it, too. 

Tips on How to Boost Memory

Everyone has moments of forgetfulness from time to time, especially when life gets busy.

While this can be a completely normal occurrence, having a poor memory can be frustrating.

Genetics plays a role in memory loss, especially in serious neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. However, research has shown that diet and lifestyle have a major impact on memory too.

Here are several evidence-based ways to improve your memory naturally.

  1. Have Food Known to Improve Memory
  • Avocado
  • Berries
  • Almonds
  • Coconut Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Cold-Water, Fatty Fish
  • Green Leafy Vegetables
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Eggs
  • Green Tea
  • Fermented Foods
  • Sea Vegetables
  • Turmeric
  • Walnuts
  1. Avoid Sugar

Eating too much added sugar has been linked to many health issues and chronic diseases, including cognitive decline.

Research has shown that a sugar-laden diet can lead to poor memory and reduced brain volume, particularly in the area of the brain that stores short-term memory.

For example, one study of more than 4,000 people found that those with a higher intake of sugary beverages like soda had lower total brain volumes and poorer memories on average compared to people who consumed less sugar.

Cutting back on sugar not only helps your memory but also improves your overall health.

  1. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Maintaining healthy body weight is essential for well-being and is one of the best ways to keep your body and mind in top condition.

Several studies have established obesity as a risk factor for cognitive decline.

Interestingly, being obese can cause changes to memory-associated genes in the brain, negatively affecting memory.

Obesity can also lead to insulin resistance and inflammation, both of which can negatively impact the brain.

A study of 50 people between the ages of 18 and 35 found that a higher body mass index was associated with significantly worse performance on memory tests.

Obesity is also associated with a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive disease that destroys memory and cognitive function.

  1. Try Brain Workouts

Practicing mindfulness and trying to keep your brain active are great ways to boost your memory. For instance, you can learn a new language, or meditate to improve focus and concentration.

The practice of meditation may positively affect your health in many ways.

It is relaxing and soothing and has been found to reduce stress and pain, lower blood pressure and even improve memory.

In fact, meditation has been shown to increase gray matter in the brain. Gray matter contains neuron cell bodies.

As you age, gray matter declines, which negatively impacts memory and cognition.

Meditation and relaxation techniques have been shown to improve short-term memory in people of all ages, from people in their 20s to the elderly.

For example, one study demonstrated that Taiwanese college students who engaged in meditation practices like mindfulness had significantly better spatial working memory than students who did not practice meditation.

Spatial working memory is the ability to hold and process information in your mind about the positions of objects in space.

  1. Get Enough Sleep

Lack of proper sleep has been associated with a poor memory for quite some time.

Sleep plays an important role in memory consolidation, a process in which short-term memories are strengthened and transformed into long-lasting memories.

Research shows that if you are sleep-deprived, you could be negatively impacting your memory.

For example, one study looked at the effects of sleep in 40 children between the ages of 10 and 14.

One group of children was trained for memory tests in the evening, then tested the following morning after a night’s sleep. The other group was trained and tested on the same day, with no sleep between training and testing.

The group that slept between training and testing performed 20% better on the memory tests.

Another study found that nurses working the night shift made more mathematical errors and that 68% of them scored lower on memory tests compared to nurses working the day shift.

Health experts recommend adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night for optimal health.

  1. Drink Caffeine Strategically

Caffeine is a mind-altering drug. People often have it to increase productivity and memory. And while it is helpful, too much of it can leave you feeling irritable, anxious, or addicted. Given that it is addictive it’s important to drink it strategically.

  1. Drink Less Alcohol

Consuming too many alcoholic beverages can be detrimental to your health in many ways and can negatively impact your memory.

Binge drinking is a pattern of drinking that raises your blood alcohol levels to 0.08 grams per ml or above. Studies have shown it alters the brain and results in memory deficits.

A study of 155 college freshmen found that students who consumed six or more drinks within a short period of time, either weekly or monthly, had difficulties in immediate and delayed memory-recall tests compared to students who never binge drank.

Alcohol exhibits neurotoxic effects on the brain. Repeated episodes of binge drinking can damage the hippocampus, a part of the brain that plays a vital role in memory.

While having a drink or two now and then is perfectly healthy, avoiding excessive alcohol intake is a smart way to protect your memory.

  1. Exercise More

Exercise is important for overall physical and mental health.

Research has established that it’s beneficial for the brain and may help improve memory in people of all ages, from children to older adults.

For example, a study of 144 people aged 19 to 93 showed that a single bout of 15 minutes of moderate exercise on a stationary bike led to improved cognitive performance, including memory, across all ages.

Many studies have shown exercise may increase the secretion of neuroprotective proteins and improve the growth and development of neurons, leading to improved brain health.

Regular exercise in midlife is also associated with a decreased risk of developing dementia later in life.

  1. Quit Smoking

One drag on your cigarette releases millions of free radicals (unattached oxygen molecules) which kill brain cells. Smoking too much can increase your risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

  1. Take Essential Oils for Instant Memory Boost

Essential oils are naturally occurring volatile compounds extracted from plants. A few of them are known for their ability to give instant memory boosts. For instance, rosemary and peppermint can help keep you alert and improve memory.

There are many fun, simple, and even delicious ways to improve your memory.

Exercising your mind and body, enjoying a quality piece of chocolate, and reducing the amount of added sugar in your diet are all excellent techniques.

Try adding a few of these science-backed tips to your daily routine to boost your brain health and keep your memory in top condition.

Fall Prevention Awareness Week

Among older adults, falling is the leading cause of trauma, injury, or even death. Falls can take a toll on older adults’ quality of life and independence.

Fall Prevention Awareness Week September 23rd – 29th.

We’ll examine, the seriousness of falls along with ways to reduce the risk of falling.

While age increases the risk of falling, other factors such as chronic disease and vision loss also contribute to falls. Below are several ways of preventing or minimizing the risk of falling.

  1. Regular Exercise and Activity

Regular exercise and activity help promote muscle strength and balance, thus lessening the risk of falling.  It’s also good for overall physical and mental health.

  1. Alarm Systems

There are several alarm systems available for seniors and their caretakers which can be used in case of a fall. A monitor  can be worn or installed  in the home, making it easier to contact emergency services and receive help quickly

  1. Voice Commands for Smart Hubs

Voice control through home automation may also be beneficial to older adults. Smart hubs compile all the smart devices in your home and allow you to control them with your voice from a single hub. This device can reduce the number of times an older adult walks up and down stairs or around the home unnecessarily, resulting in a reduced risk of falling.                      

  1. Stairlifts

For some older adults, a stairlift is a good investment. Less strength in muscles means climbing stairs can be dangerous. Stairlifts allow seniors to ascend and descend flights of stairs without help or difficulty.

  1. Programmable Smart Lights

Lighting is important for preventing falls by being both efficient and convenient. With smart lights, it’s easy to remotely control the brightness of a room or walkways outside the home. Users can program lights to turn on when they walk into a room which is very important in preventing falls, especially for visually impaired adults.

  1. Optimum Health

Identifying and treating health risk factors is important, including treating blood pressure, vitamin D and calcium supplementation, and treating visual impairment. Exercises and balance training can help with these conditions.

There’s no doubt that aging increases the risk of falls, but that doesn’t mean older adults shouldn’t and can’t take precautionary measures to minimize their risk.

When is it Time to Hire Home Care Services?

Home care services can be a good solution for older adults who want to maintain their independence, but who need help with their medical procedures or day-to-day living. Every situation is different, but there are a few signs that may indicate it’s time to hire a home health aide.

  1. Balance Issues

Does your loved one walk in an unsteady manner that worries you? Do they experience pain while sitting or walking? If they do, they may be at risk of falling. So it’s best to hire help to them get around.

The inability to stand for long periods can make many aspects of home life more difficult. It can be hard to do basic chores like sweeping, vacuuming, or cooking. Home elder care will help with everyday chores and housekeeping. They will also help plan and cook nutritious meals, follow dietary guidelines, and keep track of intake if it is necessary for medical care. This can take a significant burden from seniors who have difficulty walking or standing.

  1. Forgetfulness

Although mild forgetfulness is a common part of aging, chronic forgetfulness is a problem. If you are worried about your loved one’s memory, then you might need to consult a doctor. A home health aide supports the senior deal with memory lapses, reducing the impact of memory loss.

  1. Missed Medication

With age comes more medications. As the number of medications increases, it can be difficult to keep track of what to take when and what might interact. One of the leading causes of ER visits in older adults is medication interaction, so it’s important to take these issues seriously. If you or a loved one is having a hard time keeping track, a home health aide can help keep records and make sure that all medications are taken at the correct time. Home care services can also include checking vital signs and mental state for conditions that require continuous monitoring.

  1. Decline in Personal Care

If your loved one is unable to take care of their personal hygiene, which could include having difficulty with daily personal grooming and care, or needs help getting in and out of a wheelchair, home care might be a good option. Cleanliness is important for health and healing, as well as general well-being. This help may include bathing, grooming, and dressing.

  1. Decline in the Home Environment

If there is expired food in the fridge, laundry piling up, unopened mail, and a general decline in their home environment then it’s an indication that your loved one can no longer keep up with the household chores and requires help.

  1. Depression or Loneliness

About half of seniors report feeling lonely. Although your loved one might be able to live on their own, loneliness can take a toll on their mental and physical health. If your loved one is spending too much time in front of a television and has lost interest in their favorite activities and hobbies, then they may be displaying signs of depression. In this scenario, they will benefit the most from companionship care.

  1. Desire to Remain Independent

Assisted living at home is a good alternative to nursing homes or full-time care. It allows an older adult to stay in his or her own home and maintain a usual routine whilst providing the medical and domestic attention necessary. Some older adults value their independence over all else, but still could use extra help, looking into home health care agencies might be the right choice.

  1. Family Caregiver Stress

Aging and elder care can be stressful for the older adult as well as their family. If the stress is putting a strain on everyday life or family relations, it may be time to find help. Home health care agencies will help educate the parent and the family about care and provide companionship for the parent throughout the day. Home health care can ease the strain and the workload for everyone involved.

Hiring home care is an important decision, and it may be a critical next step in helping an older adult remain safe, healthy, and happy at home. Home Care services can be medical or non-medical and can be easily customized to meet a person’s unique and changing needs.

Be sure to reach out to Corewood Care if you are considering home care services. Our services are available throughout Montgomery County, the District of Columbia, and parts of Northern Virginia for a few hours a day or around the clock. We’ll customize our care to meet your schedule.

Summer Safety Tips for Older Adults

Summertime is a time for fun and leisure; but for seniors, the heat and sun can be dangerous without proper precautions. Many older adults have conditions such as asthma, thyroid disease, and high blood pressure or heart problems that require some preparations to avoid overexposure to the sun. Here are some great tips that aging adults can use to make sure they have a fun and safe summer.

  1. Stay Hydrated

Seniors are more susceptible to dehydration than younger people because they lose their ability to conserve water as they age. They can also become less aware of their thirst and have difficulty adjusting to temperature changes. So it’s important to drink water often. Aim to have about 6 to 8 glasses of water a day. Try to avoid caffeine and alcohol or anything that could dehydrate your system.

  1. Apply Sunscreen & Wear a Hat

Before going outside, apply sunscreen and put on a hat. Seniors especially need extra sun protection to help keep them healthy. It’s also a good idea to gently remind loved ones about re-applying sunscreen every few hours.

  1. Wear Loose Fitting Clothes

As a general rule, the best fabrics for warm weather are lightweight and made from natural materials such as cotton or linen. Natural fabrics offer more comfort than synthetic fibers. Stock your summer wardrobe with light-colored and loose-fitting clothes to help feel cooler and more comfortable.

  1. Protect your Eyes

Vision loss can be common among seniors, and too much exposure to the sun can irritate eyes and cause further damage. Wearing sunglasses can protect your eyes from harmful UV rays and preserve your vision. Sunglasses can also slow the development of wrinkles around your eyes, delay the onset of cataracts, protect against glaucoma-related light sensitivity, and shield you from distracting glare while you drive.

  1. Apply Bug Spray

Seniors are particularly prone to West Nile Virus and encephalitis. If you live in areas where there are a lot of mosquitoes and where West Nile Virus is present, and if you spend a lot of time outdoors (particularly at night), use mosquito repellent to help reduce the risk of being bitten by a mosquito carrying this virus.

  1. Exercise Smart

When the temperature goes up in the summer months, exercising outside can become challenging. If you enjoy outdoor activities, such as walking or gardening, make sure to wear the proper clothing and protective gear. Try to avoid exercising outside in the early afternoon. It’s usually the hottest between noon and 3 p.m. It’s also important to keep track of time. Don’t stay out for long periods and make sure to drink even more water than usual when exercising.

  1. Keep Emergency Numbers

Everyone knows how to dial 911 in the case of an emergency, but you should also keep a list of other numbers you might need in case of summer emergencies. Some key phone numbers include your local fire department, your doctors, your local hospital, your vet (if you own pets), your insurance provider, and family members that you want to notify if you become ill.  

  1. Know the Symptoms of a Heat Stroke

It’s extremely important to know the signs of a heat stroke.

During the summer, be particularly cautious about abnormally high body temperatures, a condition known as hyperthermia. A heatstroke is an advanced form of hyperthermia that can be life-threatening. Make sure to know the warning signs and get medical attention immediately if you or anyone you know is experiencing these symptoms:

  • Body temperature greater than 104 degrees
  • A change in behavior, such as acting confused, agitated or grouchy
  • Dry, flushed skin
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Heavy breathing or a rapid pulse
  • Not sweating, even if it’s hot out
  • Fainting

Elderly individuals have a harder time knowing when they are dehydrated, and their bodies have more difficulty regulating their temperatures. As a result, older adults are more prone to heatstroke. If you (or an elderly loved one) start to feel any of these symptoms, ask for medical help and get out of the heat, lie down and place ice packs on your body.

  1. Stay Indoors during Extreme Temperatures

When temperatures are too high, stay indoors — ideally, as described above, in air conditioning. The most dangerous times are typically between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. when the sun is at its hottest. When you do need to go outdoors, dress appropriately in clothing that is lightweight, loose-fitting, and light-colored. Also important: sunglasses and wide-brimmed hats. 

  1. Properly Store Medications

The heat can have a negative effect on certain medications, so it’s a good idea to check in with your doctor or pharmacist when the temperature starts to rise. You may need to move some medications to the fridge or a cool area of the home (like the basement) to avoid spoilage and reduced effectiveness.

Summer Activities for Older Adults

The weather is getting hotter, making it the perfect time of year to enjoy spending time outdoors. If you’ve reached retirement age, the old summer tradition of visiting an amusement park to ride the roller coasters is probably no longer your cup of tea. If it is, more power to you; keep riding those coasters until you can’t take it anymore. If you’re like most seniors, though, you’re probably looking for something a bit more mellow. Read on for ten fun summer activities.

  1. Going to a Musem

Many museums offer discounted tickets for seniors, so don’t miss your chance to take advantage of these money-saving opportunities. Tour an art or natural history museum in your area, or look for something a bit out of the ordinary. Museums are popping up all over the country with focuses on niche interests, like collectibles, specific points in history, particular regions, and more. A quick internet search can reveal a plethora of opportunities in your area, with some just a short train or bus ride away.

  1. Fishing 

Fishing is a relaxing activity that appeals to older adults. Seniors might enjoy spending time with old friends or a grandchild. Seniors can go to local fishing spots during the early morning hours or in the evening—basically when temperatures are not too intense. 

  1. Attending Local Outdoor Events 

Weekly outdoor events are becoming popular in many communities. Some places offer concerts, which give seniors a chance to hear their favorite songs, while others feature live plays or outdoor movies weekly. These outdoor events tend to take place in the evenings when it’s cooler.

  1. Bird Watching

Invest in a bird feeder and you can enjoy many hours of bird watching. This can be a more in-depth activity if you borrow books from a local library and identify the various birds you see. A pair of binoculars can be useful in seeing further and could help with vision issues.

  1. Joining Adult Classes 

Many community centers and colleges offer classes during summertime. Seniors can opt for these classes and learn a foreign language. Learning stimulates different regions of the brain, preventing cognitive impairment. Interacting with other students will help seniors broaden their social circle. 

  1. Go Swimming or Wading

Aqua aerobics isn’t just for cruise ships and resorts anymore. Many popular fitness centers and public swimming pools offer these classes, giving you the chance to stay in shape while also beating the heat. Check with your local gym or a public pool for specific class times and difficulty levels. Most of these workouts are low-impact, making it perfect for elderly individuals. Depending on the instructor’s style, though, some of these challenges can be much more challenging. If you are unsure if a particular class is suitable for your ability level, feel free to ask the instructor before signing up for the class.

  1. Have a Picnic

Seniors can plan a picnic with their families. They can gather snacks, a few drinks, a blanket, and perhaps some music and head to the local park to spend a fun-filled day.

Or if a picnic is not your thing, try dining al fresco. At most restaurants, the lunch menu is more affordable than the dinner menu, and the portions tend to be smaller as well. Check review sites like Yelp and OpenTable to find restaurant recommendations in your neighborhood. These sites will also tell you which restaurants have outdoor seating. Summer is the perfect season for Al Fresco Dining, so put on your favorite hat to protect your face from the sun and meet up with some friends for a leisurely lunch at a new spot.

  1. Go for a Nature Walk 

Perhaps alone or with your grandchildren, head out for a nature walk. There are so many parks you can visit! It’s a healthy activity.

And don’t be frightened by the word “hike” if you aren’t as mobile as you used to be. There is no need to scale Mount Everest at this stage in your life unless you’ve been preparing for years. Check with your local Department of Parks & Recreation to learn about hiking trails in your area. You’ll be surprised by how many trails are rated easy or very easy, with minimal incline and smooth, well-worn trails. Put on some sunscreen, fill up your water bottle, and enjoy a relaxing stroll in the outdoors. Feel free to set the pace as fast or slow as you wish.

  1. Gardening

Flowers bloom like crazy this time of the year, so head to your local nursery or home improvement store to pick up some new plants for your garden. Don’t feel the need to redo your entire yard; even a simple flower box can spruce up your home, giving it new life. When working outside, be sure to drink plenty of water and take frequent breaks to stretch your legs and back. Gardening is meant to be a fun pastime, not a chore, so take care not to overdo it.

  1. Join or Start Your Own Book Club

If your community does not have a book club, you can start one. Ask your local churches or library to help spread the word. Then start by just sharing books that everyone has enjoyed.

Being a senior doesn’t mean you’re bound to your home. You can enjoy many of the past-times you did when you were younger. These are just a few of the many potential activities you can try out this summer with your family or friends to make the most of the year’s warmest season. The more active you are, the more active your body will want to be; so pick your favorite from this list, get out there, and enjoy the summer!

Diet and How it Can Help Your Memory

Even though a plate of fries and a beef burger sound delicious, you might want to know this before you order: what we eat has a high chance of affecting our memory.

Research has shown that the probability of developing dementia and having poor memory is linked to the consumption of saturated fat. Saturated fat increases blood and cholesterol levels, which speeds up the formation of beta-amyloid plaque in the brain. This plaque damages the brain and causes Alzheimer’s.

Confused about what to have for lunch now? Here is a list of foods you can have, which will also boost your memory.

Fish

Salmon, mackerel, tuna, and other fish are linked to lower levels of beta-amyloid proteins in the blood and are, therefore, good for health. Further, eating fish, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, is crucial in the proper functioning of neurons.

Salads

Having salads does not only keep your body in shape but also your mind. Martha Clara Morris, director of the section on nutrition in the Department of Internal medicine at Rush University, clarifies that salads make for a good diet as they are high in Vitamin E.  This potent vitamin helps in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease by protecting nerve cells.  

Berries

Blueberries, strawberries, and acai berries are good for memory. Tuft University highlighted that consumption of such fruits can improve memory or delay memory loss. Toxic proteins that kill off cells are kept at bay by Anthocyanin- protective compounds found in Berries.

Whole grains

In order to remember things, the brain needs energy. A steady supply of energy can be obtained through the consumption of fiber-rich whole grains.  Including these in your diet will increase concentration and focus.

If you are eating whole grains, it would be a good option to go for rice, pasta, cereal, and granary bread. Including these in your diet can reduce inflammation, oxidative stress, high blood pressure — all of which increase the risk of brain diseases.

Tomatoes

Research has suggested that a powerful antioxidant, lycopene, found in tomatoes can help protect brain cells from damage. The best way to consume tomatoes is to cook them and eat them with olive oil.

Incorporating the foods mentioned above in your diet is highly recommended as they keep you physically and mentally fit.

When to Use a Care Manager

Feeling confused about when to hire a Care Manager? We’ve compiled a list of situations when hiring a Care Manager would be beneficial:

1.     When you want to save money

Many people believe that engaging the services of a Care Manager is expensive and beyond their reach. This is often a short-sighted view. Hiring a Care Manager can often save money. Yes, the initial cost may be high and often not covered by insurance, but a Care Manager can help you avoid costly mistakes.

Care Managers know the medical system, senior living communities, and local specialists better than any other senior resource.  Recommendations by a Care Manager, who are usually trained as a social worker or is a registered nurse,  can save you from making uninformed and hasty decisions. They can also assist in developing plans for future care and act as an honest agent of communication between the power of attorney, financial planner, and elder law attorney.

2.     When you’re confused about services

Trying to find the right care for an older adult can be confusing. Good news – there are a lot of choices out there. Bad news – there are a lot of choices out there. Hiring a Care Manager to navigate through these unchartered waters is indispensable. A Care Manager knows their local resources, a company’s reputation, and cost factors. If staying within a certain budget or remaining within a specific insurance plan is important, a Care Manager can guide you through all your options.

3.     What specialist to choose?

If a specialist, new primary care physician, or alternative treatments are on the table, a Care Manager can provide recommendations about local experts. It’s important to recognize that a Care Manager is working on your behalf. They receive no compensation from an outside source. They work for you and are looking out for your well-being. Thus, Care Managers can recommend a specialist for a particular treatment. They can also attend the doctor’s meeting with you, and they can help you communicate with your healthcare professional.

4.     Feel exhausted?

Many caregivers feel obligated to take on too much responsibility in caring for an older adult.  This effort can be exhausting for everyone: the caregiver, the caregiver’s family as well as the older adult. A Care Manager can help share the work burden and suggest ways for you to focus on yourself. A Care Manager can also assist in building your “circle of care” enabling others to assist you with your caregiving duties by driving, making meals, or spending time with your loved one.

When a referral is needed, a Care Manager’s commitment is to recommend the most trusted and respected local care providers. A Care Manager does not accept referral fees or other forms of compensation from the service providers that are recommended. A Care Manager wants you and your family to be completely comfortable when placing your trust in us.

Call Us: (301) 909-8117