Healthful New Year’s Resolutions That You Truly Should Make

To be totally awesomeIt’s that time of year again, when many of us start to evaluate our inner and outer selves and see where we need to set the bar higher for the upcoming year. If you are a resolution maker, then in order to succeed here are a few tips that will help you achieve your goals for 2012.

Experimental psychologist, Richard Wiseman, tracked over 3000 people who were attempting to meet their New Year’s Resolutions. In this study:

  • 52% thought that they would succeed
  • One year later, only 12% actually did succeed
These results should lead us to come to some concrete revelations. To start, we should really make the kind of New Year’s Resolutions that we know that we can succeed at:
  1. Make only One Major Resolution-And then..Just Do It!  Look at your life. Really come to terms with yourself and what area (s)  you need to resolve to change, then set forth to meet your goal. You then will be able to offer the best you to yourself and your family!
  2. Make a Healthful Resolution– Would it be best for you to loose weight, exercise or perhaps you should truly just make an appointment with your primary care provider to finally have the blood work and physical exam that you have been putting off? Whatever the case may be, prioritize your health and wellness plan for yourself and assist your loved ones in doing so also. Take the time to sit down with a loved one to assess where they are at physically and mentally and check in on how they are doing. Showing empathy and caring about others is a wonderful way to stay happy!
  3. Make a Plan and Stick to it! – It’s been said that having a plan or goal and working that plan by writing it down can help keep you on track to achieving that goal. You can even amplify this by showing it to others and posting it in a prominent place so that you allow yourself to be held accountable for your actions. If it’s truly what you focus on, you’ll stay on track and keep a positive attitude.
  4. Partner for Success! Grab a buddy, talk about your Resolutions together and create healthful habits that will last far beyond 2012 together!
  5. Make a Resolution that will Bless Others, not just yourself! – Don’t focus so much of your time and effort on yourself. By doing so, you will find your level of satisfaction with your life go up and your relationships flourish. When you spend time focusing on your family, loved ones and building relationships, you’ll be sure to have an even more fulfilling year than ever before!
Have any other New Year’s Resolution tips to share? WE always welcome your comments and suggestions- We’re looking forward to an Awesome 2012!
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5 Signs it May be Time for In Home Health Care

It is vital, as those we love begin to enter new stages of life, that we are able to recognize situations that may be early warning signs of trouble ahead.

Here are five signs it may be time to look into in home care options.

More and more people in their golden years are turning to In Home Health Care. This genre of private duty health care is not only for those who cannot provide for themselves, but also for those who may need just a little more help, whether in the form of running errands or assisting with household chores, companion care and medication management.

There are situations that arise that are solid indicators that it indeed may be time to look into assisting your loved one in the comfort of their own home by contacting an in home care provider and/or service.

 1. Trouble with Household Chores

Admit it, as we age household chores become more difficult. When everyday household chores become more than just nuisances for your loved ones, it may be time to consider the assistance of private in home care. If you find them struggling to accomplish tasks such as sweeping, dusting, an cleaning,chances are they may enjoy having additional help around the house to tackle some of the more taxing chores.

An early warning sign of trouble with household chores is a home environment that always was clean and tidy but has recently become increasingly cluttered. Spills that aren’t wiped up, food in the refrigerator months past the expiration date, trash that isn’t removed, and piles of clutter are signs that help may be needed.

2. Limited Mobility

When we’re nestled in our favorite chair, we may not feel the need to move a muscle. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with relaxation, especially when it’s complemented by a healthy diet and an exercise routine. However, if your loved one finds it challenging to make their way up stairs or if they fear slipping in the bathtub, you may want to look into skilled nursing care.

Lack of physical activity can lead to muscle atrophy and an even more complicated situation. If your elderly parents are spending most of their hours sitting or lying down, part time or full time skilled nursing care can provide just the boost and assistance they need to enjoy outdoor activity and a better quality of life.

 3.  Problems Organizing Medications

Keeping up with medication times and amounts can be confusing. If you or your loved one is missing doses or experiencing frustration when it comes to understanding medications, there’s no reason for it. A unique schedule of daily or weekly visits from an RN. or LPN. to help with medications can provide the relief and peace of mind necessary, without any intrusion on daily living.

 4.  Decrease in Personal Care

One of the first signs that help may be needed is a marked decrease in personal care and hygiene. Often, elderly parents begin to neglect personal hygiene after a spouse or companion passes on. This may simply be a sign of loneliness or slight depression. Extra help through in home care can provide the necessary interaction that can ultimately serve two purposes; personal care assistance and a companion care- friendship that can help keep an elderly adult from sinking into isolation or a decreased will to thrive.

5. Trouble Driving

Have you noticed unexplained dents and scratches in your aging parent’s vehicle? Has an increase in traffic tickets or warnings caused concern? If your elderly parents can no longer get from point A to point B safely, they may feel embarrassed or a sense of helplessness. It may be time for help. Not only does our private in home care provide nursing assistance, but we also help with errands, without causing your parent or loved one to feel a lack of control of their life.

Accidents can happen, especially as your loved ones begin to age. Fortunately, they can easily be prevented by careful, constant awareness of any health changes that are taking place. One of the best ways to avoid a crisis situation is by considering in home care long before an emergency situation occurs.

If you’ve noticed any of the above five warning signs, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Our services can be tailored to fit your loved one’s unique needs. You’ll find that our private in home care will provide youwith peace of mind without infringing on your parent’s feelings of independence.

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Is 80 The New 60? How Aging is Changing

Sweethearts

Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional. 

~Chili Davis

According to the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, 7.6 million Americans receive skilled nursing care from one of the 17,000 home care staffing services in this country, while only 1.6 Americans actually reside in nursing homes or senior care facilities.

While many of these elderly individuals may need help at home homecare on occasion, most are avoiding nursing homes and remaining healthier longer due to a more health conscious, active, and self-sufficient lifestyle. That’s good news!

A New Breed of Seniors

The baby boomer generation has quietly crept up to retirement age, but age seems to mean very little these days. With 40 being the new 30, and 80 looking like the new 60, there’s not much stopping any of us.

There is a conscious move in every generation toward health, longevity, and self-preservation. Living life to the fullest and making the
most of every second is definitely the mantra of the over 65 crowd today.

Consider for a moment one of the top celebrities these days, Betty White. This popular actress may be in her mid-80s, but she is still going strong, starring in new television
shows and even hosting Saturday Night Live and connecting with this generation.

And she isn’t the only baby boomer who has become an energizing role model for aging men and women.

  • Louise Hay, the founder of a self-help movement, turned 81 lasted year and starred in her first movie.
  • Hazel Soares, a 94 year old woman, attended Mills College and recently graduated with an art history degree. When asked why it took her so long to obtain her degree, the mother of six and grandmother to 40 stated that she has had a busy life!
  • Another remarkable individual is Mimi Kirk, author, raw food enthusiast, and winner of PETA’s “Sexiest Vegetarian Over 50” contest. When Mimi earned this title, she was over 70! Full of energy and with a strikingly youthful appearance, she attributes her energy and health to her clean, healthy, vegan diet.

Changes in Aging and Home Care Needs

Along with the changes to how we, as a nation are aging, the number of baby boomers relying on in home health care instead of spending their 60s, 70s, and 80s in a nursing home is also on the rise. Home Health Care allows seniors the autonomy of staying at home and the majority are remaining self-sufficient for longer periods of time.

How are they doing it?

Exercise– Over the past 20 years, the American Sports Data Inc. (ASD), has kept tract of trends in exercise. Surprisingly, a recent survey by this organization has found  a startling increase, more than 380% since the year 1987, in individuals older than 55 who spend time at the gym. Many of these individuals are focusing on low impact exercises like yoga, Pilates, recumbent bikes, and elliptical trainers. These exercises focus on relaxation, flexibility, firming up back muscles, and reducing stress on problems areas like knees, ankles, and backs.

Fulfilling Dreams– For many baby boomers, taking advantage of their later years to fulfill their dreams is a way to stay youthful. Women, who may have had to postpone their graduate school plans, career advances, and world explorations to raise their families, can use their later years to fulfill these life goals.Seniors Dancing

Health Care– According to Science Daily, the aging process is being postponed because individuals are reaching an older age in better health. This stems from public health efforts made to prevent disease, improvements in living conditions, and improvements in medical care, according to the head of Duke University’s Center on the Demography of Aging.

Income– In 1959, the number of individuals over the age of 65 living below the poverty line was at 35%. In 2003, this number fell to 10% due to the support of Social Security. With this increase in income, the elderly are able to live better eat healthier, and enjoy a better quality of life.

If you are in the Sarasota, Bradenton, or Venice area and feel you might benefit from a bit of extra help at home, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Receiving home care is no longer reserved for the bedridden or ill. Improve your overall lifestyle by taking advantage of our numerous temporary or full time in home client services. From preparing meals, light
cleaning, and running errands to skilled nursing care, we will help you live your best life now!

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The Importance of the Power of Touch in Healthcare

Everyday while providing in home care for our patients, we strive to truly connect and deeply care for our clients as a loving family member would. The caring power of touch allows a health care provider to not only assess a patient, but shows without words the gentle nature of how much you want to attend to their needs.

In the digital age that we’re living in, automated patient care will surely make for a more impersonal level of medical assisting. Stanford University  Doctor of Medicine, Dr. Abraham Verghese implores us to not drift and forget how utterly important and cathartic the act of touch is in medicine. He claims that the iPatient is getting wonderful care on paper, but the real human patient is wondering where everyone is as technology seems to be in charge.

If you’re in any facet of offering healthcare today, let this post that was originally shared on Mind the Gap, written by Stephen Wilkins MPH, inspire you to get back to the basics of the Human side of patient and caregiving!

The Power Of A Physician’s Touch – A Sure Path To Better Patient Trust, Outcomes And Satisfaction-Stephen Wilkins

My wife has two world-class oncologists who help her manage her Stage 4 Lung Cancer.  Both are excellent clinicians.  Yet their skills differ in one very important way.  Her radiation oncologist physically touches her a lot (in a good way of course!).  There are the touches on her arm, a hand on the shoulder, hugs, and of course a thorough hands-on physician exam.  Her medical oncologist not so much.

We all recognize the therapeutic value of touch.  Dr. Abraham Verghese, a Stanford Physician and Professor, at the 2011 Med2.0 Conference, described the power of touch associated with the physical exam.  In the following scenario he describes an interaction with a chronic fatigue patient who came to him after being seen by many other physicians.

The patient was very voluble and kept talking as I began the physical.  I always begin my routine, my ritual with the patient’s hands…it seems natural to hold the hands.   I slip my figure to the radial pulse and then examine the fingers looking for cyanosis and clubbing….  As I began my routine, this talkative patient began to quiet down.   I had an eerie sense that the patient and I had slipped back into a primitive ritual…one in which I had a role and the patient had a role.

When I was done the patient said to me with some awe…I have never been examined like this before.   If this were true that was unfortunate since this patient had been examined by other physicians many times before.   Following the exam, I told the patient the same thing he had been told by other physicians, I don’t know what the problem is …but here’s what we will do.  I had earned the right to tell the patient this because of the examination.

Verghese believed that, unlike the other physicians seen by the patient, he had earned the right to diagnose the patient and expect the patient to accept and act on his findings.  Why?

Because of the patient trust he had earned in part through the power of touch.

According to researchers, people are able to more accurately discern a wider range of feelings and emotion from touch than from gestures, expressions, and sometimes even words.  That’s because touch is the first language we learn.  Tiffany Field, PhD of the Touch Research Institute in Miami has found that benefits of touch seem to stem largely from its ability to reduce levels of cortisol, a stress hormone manufactured by the body.

Given the high degree of personal stress associated with a trip to the doctor, a lab test, or hospital visit, I suspect we could use a whole lot more touching…not less as is the trend.  Verghese has a name for this trend – you know where clinicians gather around the computer and not the patient.  He calls it iMedicine….and it’s not a good thing.

 

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What do you think.. Have you seen the direct benefits of human touch in your medical career show themselves powerful? We would enjoy having you                 weigh in!

 

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What You Can Learn from Your Grandchildren

With the Holidays upon us, families are going to be visiting one another and spending some great quality time together! With this, comes a  great opportunity for those who are young at heart to realize that we still have alot to learn from our younger generations.

Our children and especially grandchildren, can be our best teachers, can’t they? They are young, hopeful, inquisitive, and constantly discovering the world around them. If we pay attention to our grandchildren, we can learn valuable lessons that can renew our hope and help us to better enjoy and appreciate our lives and see things in a whole new way.

  • “One More Time Grandpa!”

Your grandchildren may be among the most resilient people you will ever meet.  Giving up is often a foreign concept for them.  If it’s hard for them to reach the cereal on the top shelf, for example, they will stretch and tippy toe until they succeed, even if it means knocking everything out of the pantry and spilling most of the cereal on the floor! The point is that your little ones don’t give up easily. They teach us that with hard work, we can reach whatever goal we set our minds too.. even as we age, no matter how many tries it takes we should set goals and work toward meeting them.

  • Can I Try Grandma?”

For your grandchildren, there is nothing more exciting than discovering something new. When you introduce them to a new game or toy, it’s as if their whole world has just changed. They can’t wait to jump right in and get started.  They love to learn and to try new things and as you learn to share their enthusiasm, you may learn to adapt to a healthier mental view of the world around you. Looking at the world through the enthusiasm of a child you can learn to embrace different experiences, just like your grandchildren do.

  • Comedy Hour for All!

Laughter comes naturally for your grandchildren. They don’t hold back or wonder who may hear them and they certainly aren’t inhibited by insecurities. In fact, they love nothing more than when others join in and laugh along with whatever silly dance or joke they’ve created.  You can learn to let go of your anxieties and your inhibitions and laugh right along with your grandchildren. Research shows that laughter reduces stress and makes it possible for adults, and seniors, to live healthier, longer lives.

  • Can Anyone Help, Please ..?

Though kids like to feel all grown up and often try to do things themselves, they are not opposed to asking for advice on how to accomplish their goals. By observing your grandchildren, you can figure out what it means to be your own person while accepting help from the people who care about you. Whether you may be experiencing the need for in home homecare or are thinking of asking your grandson for computer tips..admitting that you could use some help is a positive step towards a healthier lifestyle.

  • “Let’s Get Out & Play Today!”

Playtime is more than fun; it’s good for you! More than likely, your grandkids love playing in the fresh air and sunshine. As you learn to enjoy spending more time outdoors, you will find that the health benefits are quite worth it. Being outdoors is proven to relieve harmful stress, and increased oxygen intake promotes healthier brain function. So get outside with your grandkids and enjoy their company each time they visit you, as well as the health benefits that will come along with it!

Life is all about perspective. If you learn to enjoy your life and the simple things, just like your grandchildren do, you’ll find that you can enter your senior years and even a bit of help at home healthcare with a positive, bright attitude.

At Help at Home Homecare, it’s our desire to assist you or your loved one whenever you are in need. From transportation, meal preparation, companion care to extensive skilled in home nursing care, we’re here for you. WE are ready to meet your needs and allow you to enjoy every season of your Life!

Contact Us for a Free Assessment when you are ready- We’re here for you!

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It’s Time for Healthcare Professionals to Become Social Media Experts

Momma always said.. “There’s No Time Like the Present”, and this addage is no less true today than it was years ago. In regards to Social Media and the opportunities that it presents for businesses, brands, Doctors, hospitals and home health care providers, now is the present time to get on board and start engaging with an entirely new online audience.

  • The largest growing demographic creating Facebook profiles are baby boomers. Studies show that the 74+ age group is logging in at the fastest rate, and that internet users age 65+ grew at the rate of 100% in the past year!
  • What the internet is showing us, is that as our society ages we will continue to desire to be more connected and engage with not only our family, friends and grandchildren who may live miles away, yet we are also wanting to be in communication with our Health Care Professionals as we taking charge of our own health care.

Pew-May-2011

Professional health care providers, in home home care agencies and other medical professions that are progressive and desire to advance their reach to an online target audience should truly be getting on board with Social Media Marketing.

A Doctor, Dentist, Dermotologist, PA,  R.N. or office liason can utilize online Socail Media Profiles to become an informative after care tool to clear any vague areas that may not have been covered during the office visit. Most should realize that direct diagnosis etc. most definitely should NOT be discussed online, but many other topics can be discussed and specific content can be shared that’s an added value to their patient care and benefits all parties involved.

Knowledge is Power, and so many internet users log on daily to sites like WebMd, Discovery Health, CNN Health and more to learn what the next latest and greatest anti-aging remedy is, or how to eat our way to live to be a centurion. Wouldn’t it be best to be able to converse directly with your local health care provider about your concerns rather than a conglomerate site?  WE think the answer is a resounding.. Yes!

The next time you’re on Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter, search and see if your Doctor, Dentist, Plastic Surgeon or Health Care Professional is online and active within Social Media Networks.

Here is a great article that offers super tips for your office, or for you to share with your health care provider as they start their online Social Media communities:

Social Media for Doctors

Related articles                                                                                                                                                                                               

In our local Southwest Florida area of Sarasota, Florida- Sarasota Memorial Healthcare System really seems to be knocking it out of the park and finding a common ground of engagement within Social Media. You can find them on Twitter and Facebook.
Do you know of any other Health Care Professionals online?.. Please share them in the Comments below- We’d enjoy following them! 

flash ethnography: observations of a doctor's use of mobile tech with a patient

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