Senior-citizen-health-care

4 Ways of Coping with the Loss of a Loved One

Almost everyone has experienced the loss of a loved one and has tried to find positive ways to deal with it. There are many different ways of doing this and naturally each method varies by person. Here are five tips on dealing with the loss of a loved one.

Don’t isolate yourself.
There is no better time than now for you to turn to your family and friends for support. Accept their dinner invitations, stop by for family parties or even just grab a cup of coffee and talk. Lean on them when your emotions are too strong to carry alone. Having someone to talk to and share your feelings with through a  good conversation can also help.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Be sure to get enough sleep, eat right and exercise. Exercise gives you the ability to control the situation and it offers a sense of purpose. It also increases the level of endorphins (feel good hormones) that are released in the brain. Even gentle exercise for just 30 minutes a day can increase your mental well-being such as gardening or going for a short walk.

Celebrate the life of your lost loved one.
Celebrating all the wonderful things that your loved one accomplished in their life honors them in a positive way. Continue with traditions that your loved one was a part of. Partake in activities you used to enjoy together. And even create new moments that honor who your loved one was during their life such as a memorial birthday.

Seek professional help.
Speaking with a health care provider or a trusted professional is a relieving process for many people and can offer an additional outlet to cope with your grief. Grief counselors tailor their treatment to meet the specific needs of a person. For example, a counselor may help find different ways to maintain healthy connections with your lost loved one through memory, reflection, ritual or dialogue. There are many therapists that specialize in grief counseling and there are many resources to help you find one in your area.

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Clean Air tips for Seniors

For those senior citizens who struggle with breathing problems, living in a clean environment is essential. Knowing the importance of keeping the air in your home clean can help prevent against illness and disease. Here are some common issues that should be regularly addressed to keep your home clean, and your body healthy.

Dust

It’s a common air pollutant that can cause a variety of hazardous health problems, especially for those with asthma. It comes from many different sources such as our skin, hair, clothes and even pets! If not properly taken care of, dust can quickly get out of control. Consistent dusting helps to keep those particles to a minimum and prevent an unhealthy amount of dust build up.

Mold

Mold can be very dangerous if one is overexposed! Illnesses such as pneumonia, coughs, rashes and asthma, especially for senior citizens, can be caused by mold. Mold tends to grow in cool, moist areas of the home and should be eliminated at its initial spotting. Treating mold areas with bleach quickly and thoroughly will prevent it from becoming airborne.

Dirty Air Filters

Dirty air filters are easy to ignore, but can cause very poor air quality in your home. A filter that is not cleaned can harvest dust and mold, which is then expelled into the air. Make sure to get your filters changed on a regular basis to keep the air in your home as healthy and clean as possible.

If you or a loved one would like to learn more information about keeping your air conditions at their best, or anything else, please feel free to contact us. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Senior lady having his blood pressure checked by a doctor

Recommended Vaccines for Seniors

When it comes to vaccines, most people think they’re just for kids. Although, they do help protect children from childhood diseases and the flu, it’s important for adults to get vaccines too. Remaining your healthiest will help to keep you and your loved ones safe from unexpected diseases. In order to remain your healthiest, both physically and mentally, ask your doctor about these top 4 vaccines to be aware of in your golden years.

The Flu Vaccine

The Flu vaccine is administered seasonally to protect against influenza A and B. As we grow older, our immune system is more apt to break down and as a result, we contract diseases easier. It is important to maintain your flu shot each year to lower your risk of getting sick.

Zoster

Although you may have had chicken pox when you were younger, the virus, Varicella Zoster, stays within the nerve cells of the body. Around the age of 50, this virus could cause what is commonly known as shingles, a painful disease associated with red blisters. These symptoms can also affect adults when the virus is reactivated.

Td/Tdap

Tdap stands for a plethora of diseases such as tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. This vaccine is recommended in order to deter illnesses such as throat infections and even whooping cough. Although this shot is usually administered as a child, a booster shot is suggested later on in life.

Pneumococcal Vaccine

This vaccine helps prevent against diseases affecting the lungs or bloodstream. At an older age, people are more likely to deal with respiratory related illnesses. This vaccine will reduce the risk of experiencing any of the relevant conditionsAs always, individuals are encouraged to talk with their doctor and make sure these vaccines are right for them.

If you or your loved ones have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us!

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Hiring a Care Giver

There’s no place like home. However, some may need to consider having the regular attention of a medical professional. By hiring a caregiver, you are able to achieve peace of mind for you and your loved one. Here is some advice for finding and hiring the right home health aide.

Beginning Your Search
When choosing the right home caregiver check with your insurance plan or Medicare to see if home health care is covered. Reaching out to home health agencies that are Medicare-certified can reduce your out-of-pocket expenses.

Once you’ve figured out what’s covered, you can get an idea of your budget for caregiver expenses. You can then start researching a Medicare-certified home health agency in your area and consult your doctor for any recommendations. Keep in mind that you can use your current network in order to find qualified caregivers. Friends or family might have dealt with a similar situation and would be glad to connect you with their relation.

Knowing Your Needs
Be sure to write down exactly what you are looking for in a candidate. By knowing precisely what you want, you are able to weed out caregivers that might not be a good fit for your needs. As important as it is to know what you want, it’s also imperative to know what you are willing to offer as well. Before contacting applicants, make sure you figure out all of the details of the job requirement. Specifically, you want to know how much you are willing to pay, additional taxes and benefits and how many hours per week you’ll need their services.

Making the Right Choice
When conducting interviews, it never hurts to have a friend or family member there for a second opinion. Additionally, they might offer questions that you might not have thought of. Also, make sure you have an honest policy. This includes being clear about your needs and expectations as well as the applicants’ outlook on the job. By making sure your objectives match up, you’re guaranteed a more harmonious relationship. Do ask about past work experience as well as any qualifications or special training they might have. It is important to note if you or your loved one have any diseases or illnesses, to ask whether they have any training and/or familiarity treating such ailments. Above all, trust your gut. This person will be involved in your everyday life. Make sure you feel comfortable and safe working with them.

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Eat right to protect your sight

Did you know that macular degeneration is the leading cause of legal blindness in people over 55 in the U.S.?  In the next ten years, the population of baby boomers over 55 will be six times greater than it was in 1990. In a mere decade, macular degeneration may reach epidemic proportions.

 

So what exactly is macular degeneration? Basically, it is damage to the central part of your retina (the macula) caused by aging. Our macula is what allows us to view details near and far — it enables us to drive, read and see people’s faces. Tell-tale signs of the disease are dark smudges that appear in your central vision.There currently is no cure for the disease, but there is plenty that you can do to lower the risk of developing macular degeneration, or lower the risk of going blind once you are diagnosed, and it involves your diet. Dr. Johanna Seddon at Tufts University School of Medicine has linked the effects of antioxidants and other nutrients to eye health.While following a diet rich in antioxidants is not a cure all for the disease, it can help bolster your defense against it. Here’s what you should have in your pantry and refrigerator:

  • Vitamin A: liver, fish oils, egg yolks, dairy
  • Cartenoids (a precursor to vitamin A, such as betacarotene and lutein): red peppers, mangoes, kale, or other colorful fruits and vegetables
  • Vitamin D3: salmon, mackerel, sardines, beef liver, fortified milk
  • Vitamin C: fruits, cauliflower, green cabbage
  • Vitamin E: broccoli, peanuts, almonds, avocados, sunflower seeds
  • Omega 3 fatty acids: fatty fish, flaxseed, walnuts, squash, tofu
  • Zinc: oysters, crab, nuts, whole grains
  • Lycopene: tomatoes, watermelon, pink grapefruit
  • Antioxidants: cranberries, blueberries, pomegranates, and other dark foods

For optimal eye health, there are a few culinary tricks, too. For example, if you are making a spinach salad, adding sliced oranges or strawberry slices will give you an extra boost of Vitamin C, which enhances the absorption of iron found in plant foods. You could even grill salmon and serve it on a bed of spinach topped with peppered strawberries for a delicious meal that promotes optimal eye health.

Similarly, Vitamin D, A, E and K are fat soluble, so the presence of a bit of dietary fat helps with vitamin absorption. If you’re serving broccoli with sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts, for example, leave the nuts raw rather than toasting for that extra bit of oil. While toasting nuts releases the oils and intensifies the flavor, leaving nuts raw will maximize the potential health benefits.

Sometimes foods that are cooked are also more nutritious. In a spinach omelet, for example, cooking the spinach briefly helps your body retain more carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin.

It’s hard enough to know what to eat, let alone how, to save your eyes. And saying that mackerel is good for your eyes is all well and good, but who knows how to cook mackerel? And what other fish might work just as well?  (Hint: fatty fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids…salmon, bluefish, herring, etc.) That’s why I wrote Eat Right for Your Sight. While I don’t have macular degeneration, I think it’s that important to eat well to protect our bodies. What’s good for your eyes is also good for your heart, bones and the rest of you.

Jennifer Trainer Thompson is the author of 18 books, including Eat Right for Your Sight, which was published last spring in collaboration with the American Macular Degeneration Foundation.