Home Instead Senior Care

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The Secrets of Blue Zones and Centenarians

There are a few geographical locations worldwide called “Blue Zones” where individuals live about 100 years old. Dan Buettner, an author, and scientific researcher traveled worldwide to find longevity among certain people. He and his colleagues circled with a blue marker the areas on the map where people lived to 100, coining the term “Blue Zone.”  He observed that the Centenarians also tend to be happier with their life.  In this blog, we will discuss a few facts about how to live longer, healthier, and more satisfied with the secrets of Blue Zones.

Blue Zones

            The five known places to be Blue zones are Icaria, Greece; Sardinia, Italy; Okinawa, Japan; Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica; and Loma Linda, California. Even though these places are different culturally and geographically, they have certain similarities between, such as ways to improve your health, happiness, and life. A few of the similarities are longevity, lower rates of chronic disease, fewer mental health issues, constantly engaged with people, and just being happier than most people. Interestingly, genetics probably only account for 20–30% of longevity, according to PubMed Central.  

Different Blue Zones Around The World

Daily Exercise

            A common thing in Blue Zones is that the individuals who live there are always active. Many individuals work on cultivating their land, maintaining their house, doing chores, walking, and socializing every day. Light to moderate activity is essential to reducing chronic illness and reduce death by 39%.  For example, the Sardinian Blue Zone shows men walking on steep slopes, traveling long distances, and raising animals. Also, the people living in the Okinawan Blue Zone are active walkers and grow vegetables from their gardens.

Fewer Portions

            Typically, people living in Blue Zones fast often and follow the 80% rule. The 80% rule is where a person only eats until they feel 80% full. Numerous studies are showing that eating too many calories can lead to obesity and chronic disease. Blue Zoners residing in Loma Linda have a statement that says,” Breakfast like a king; lunch like a prince; dinner like a pauper.” Also, many individuals, such as the Icarians, fast throughout specific times in the year due to religious purposes.

Blue Zoners Eat a Plant-Based Diet and Limited Meats

Plant-Based Diet

            95% of people who live in Blue Zones eat a diet full of whole plant foods. Many of the groups are not vegetarians and tend to eat meat around five times a month. Their diet richly consists of vegetables, legumes, whole grains, fruit, nut, and good fats such as coconut. These types of food avoid inflammation. Icaria and Sardinia are two places where fish is often consumed because it promotes omega-3 fats essential for heart and brain health.

Solid Relationships

            Relationships are one of the keys to promote a healthy life. The best influence for health is creating friendships that edify happiness, contentment, longevity, and excellent mental health. Lots of these areas have solid spiritual communities that help them with social support and reducing depression.

Blue Zoners Have Lots Of Close Relationships and Stay Active Together

Limited Alcohol Consumption

            People in Blue Zones typically don’t over-consume alcohol. The National Institutes of Health state that “drinking one to two alcoholic drinks per day can significantly reduce mortality, particularly from heart disease.” Also, those who do consume wine receive high levels of antioxidants from the grapes. Antioxidants are known to prevent damage to DNA that can contribute to aging.

Staying Refreshed

            The Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica has a saying, “Plan de Vida,” translated to “reason to live.” Most people living in Blue Zones have a purpose of living and don’t stress the small stuff. They develop daily habits such as sleeping early, mediating, naps, and hanging out with friends. 


            The lives of individuals living in Blue Zones are an incredible and inspiring push for us to live better. These helpful habits not only help us with our longevity but bring more happiness. Home Instead Senior Care understands the importance of these principles and offers personal care that helps your loved ones with specific needs. We have the best caregivers to help your family eat healthier, exercise, and feel happier with our friendliness. For more information, visit our website.

Signs it’s Time to Hang up the Car Keys for Good

Sooner or later retiring your keys and driver’s license will be the right thing to do to ensure the safety of everyone on the road. For some that time will come sooner rather than later, and determining exactly when that is can be difficult for families and aging individuals to navigate. Below we discuss three major signs that may indicate it’s time for a driver to retire their keys for good.

Declining Vision

Regular trips to the eye doctor for up to date vision tests is the best way to definitively determine if it’s safe to continue driving. Each state has their own laws regarding the age at which seniors must visit the DMV in order to keep their licenses. Most DMV locations also offer convenient vision tests and refresher courses for individuals over a certain age.


Regularly getting lost or confused while behind the wheel is a major sign one should no longer be driving, especially if it happens in familiar locations. Regardless if the individual has experienced any other signs of memory loss or early dementia, becoming disoriented while driving should always be taken very seriously.

Property Damage

An increasing number of dents, dings, scratches and scrapes on one’s vehicle may hint at difficulties with night vision, depth perception, or delayed reflexes. Regularly assessing the vehicle for damages can help determine how often these mishaps occur and if they become more frequent.

Final Thoughts

Ensure your aging loved one can always get around comfortably and safely with professional transportation services. Home Instead Senior Care is a nationwide provider of home care and safe transportation services that help keep the rhythm of everyday life in place with rides to the hair salon, grocery store, worship services and other events. Contact us at (402) 205-8492 for more information.

3 Things to Know About Hip Replacement

            Are you worried about your loved one’s hip placement procedure?  The good news is the medical procedure is a common and aims to improve your loved one’s hip function. Hip replacement is a procedure that a surgeon performs on a damaged hip joint. The operation includes replacing the hip joint with an implant or a prosthesis. Here are three things to know about hip replacement.

Who needs it?

Most of the time, elderly adults get ailments that harm the hip joints. Bone health decreases with age, cumulating the threat of a hip fracture. But, anybody with substantial pain and inadequate movement may profit from a hip replacement. Before the operation, physicians try out non-surgical treatments. Patients will undergo medications, physical therapy, and injections to help with their hip issues. Yet, doctors will usually offer hip replacement surgery to those who have constant symptoms.

What are the Risks?

There are different implant procedures for substituting parts of the hips. There are many surgical techniques for the operation replacement of the ball on the top of the femur. It also includes replacing the cup, or socket, in the pelvis. Hip replacement surgery lessens discomfort and increases movement. A hip placement operation has risks including infection, bleeding, blood clots, pulmonary embolus, and dislocation. In severe cases, the surgical operation can bring nerve damage and the implant loosening.

Aftercare and Recovery

After the operation, the patient will need to use a walker, crutches, or a cane to help them walk. A physician will offer medicines to support the patient in the recovery process. Many patients take two to three days to recover in the hospital. Some medical centers perform outpatient or same-day, total hip replacement surgeries for your convenience. At home, patients must do exercises to toughen the hip and recover mobility. The exercises can be easy activities around the house, such as learning to walk around with the new hip.


Hip problems are a severe issue for many older people and cause lots of pain, discomfort, and the inability to move. It is most common for people who have osteoarthritis of the hip. Home Instead Senior Care offers arthritis care and activities for seniors with arthritis and related conditions. We understand the importance of daily exercise and safe activities, which is why we tailor our care plan to your loved one’s specific needs. For more information about in-home arthritis care services in the Wilmington, NC area, call us at (910) 342-0455.

The Hypertension Diets for Seniors

Hypertension is a manageable condition otherwise known as high blood pressure, which is when the force of blood against the artery walls is too high. If hypertension is left untreated it can lead to severe consequences including heart attack, stroke, aneurysm or worse. Below we discuss some diets that have shown to make the most significant positive changes in the health of those living with hypertension.  


The DASH diet stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. It’s comprised of dietary guidelines that, when followed, encourage a greater consumption of a variety of nutrients that naturally reduce blood pressure. The basic rules of this diet involve eating mostly fruits, vegetables, and low fat dairy products as well as whole grains, lean protein, and nuts.

Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet is very similar to the DASH diet in that they both naturally promote overall health and work to reduce hypertension naturally. This diet is based upon a pyramid structure with a foundation of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, a second tier of fish, a third tier of poultry and dairy, and a top tier of red meats and sweets.

Salt Reduction

The easiest and simplest way to reduce blood pressure and hypertension naturally is to decrease the levels of salt you ingest. According to Harvard Health when you consume too much salt your body holds on to water in an effort to dilute it. Unfortunately this extra water increases your blood volume, which causes your heart to work harder to pump blood through your blood vessels. 

Final Thoughts

When you or your loved one is diagnosed with hypertension the reasons to stay proactive in its management are endless. If your family could use more support when it comes to senior care, nutrition, socialization and more call on the compassionate professionals at Home Instead Senior Care. Our goal has always been to help our clients and their families’ age happily together at home.

Best Exercises for Seniors with Arthritis

When seniors refer to arthritis, they usually mean joint pain or joint disease – along with stiffness, swelling, and compromised range of motion. Arthritis can be painful, which is a reason why seniors may avoid exercise. However, there are low-impact exercises that are safe and joint-friendly for the elderly community. Read along in our blog as we discuss safe and simple activities for seniors with arthritis.

Water Aerobics

Water aerobics are a great way to exercise without a lot of joint impact. The resistance of the water helps with building strength and muscle. In addition, a heated pool may relieve pain and be more comfortable for swimming. Seniors can simply walk from one edge of the pool and continue along the side, modifying their movement when necessary.


To reduce symptoms of arthritis, yoga is highly recommended. Using a range of motion, seniors can use yoga as a way to stretch and relax with low-impact exercises. Easing into the movements isn’t as stressful to the joints like jogging or running. Plus, yoga can be practiced almost anywhere, making this type of exercise easy to do.

Weight Lifting

Weight lifting doesn’t have to mean using heavy weights. In fact, a pair of light dumbbells can help develop strong muscles. Seniors need muscle to support joints, so it’s best to target major muscle groups for quality results. As an alternative, resistance bands can be used since they offer enough resistance to build muscle and they come in different strengths.


Home Instead Senior Care offers arthritis care and activities for seniors with arthritis and related conditions. We understand the importance of daily exercise and safe activities, which is why we tailor our care plan to your loved one’s specific needs. For more information about in-home arthritis care services in the Wilmington, NC area, call us at (910) 342-0455.

Getting Social with Seniors During the Holidays

The holidays are supposed to be a magical time for people of all ages. However sometimes it can become increasingly difficult for seniors to stay active, festive, and remain included in the numerous festivities happening around them. Below we discuss some simple ways to get social with your elders this holiday season and the benefits of doing so.

Holiday Themed Activities:

  • Driving or walking to see local Christmas light displays
  • Baking holiday cookies and treats
  • Going caroling or going to watch carolers
  • Putting up holiday decorations
  • Cook holiday themed meals
  • Watch holiday movies
  • Do holiday themes arts & crafts
  • Make DIY decorations
  • Online shop together
  • Go to church
  • Volunteer together

How Socializing Benefits Seniors

Lack of social support is related to negative impacts on health and well-being for people of all ages, but especially for older people. According to the AASC, increased social support from others can be important in reducing stress, increasing physical health and defeating psychological problems such as depression and anxiety. Activities that promote positive self-awareness are especially valuable for helping improve a person’s overall quality of life and satisfaction.

Final Thoughts

Each passing year we get to spend with our loved ones brings with it an increased value and preciousness that cannot be taken for granted. Finding inclusive activities that the entire family can enjoy together doesn’t have to be difficult, forced, or stressful when you are effectively prepared and supported. For supplemental senior support during the busiest time of the year, call on the selfless CAREGivers at Home Instead Senior Care.

Caregiving for Early-Onset Alzheimer’s

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If your loved one has been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s, this doesn’t mean that they can’t be independent. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, “he or she may still drive, take part in social activities, volunteer and even work.” However, everyone is affected differently and should be treated with the personalized care they deserve. This means providing support when they need it, while planning ahead for the future. Learn how caregivers can maximize independence with your loved one.

Routine Reminders

During the early stages of Alzheimer’s, there may be some confusion or frustration when it comes to remembering names and dates. Names may become harder to recall. Similarly, dates for upcoming events or appointments may also be forgotten, especially if they’re not written down or saved on a phone. Caregivers can prompt your loved one to write important information, set reminders, and more. If needed, the caregiver can help with planning and organization for appointments and so on.


If a person with Alzheimer’s feels disoriented or confused while driving, this can be dangerous for them and others on the road. It’s important for those with early-onset Alzheimer’s to communicate if they need help with driving so they can be safe, while also keeping their independence. Many caregiving agencies offer transportation services, which can be a relief for family members and reduce stress/anxiety about driving for your loved one.

Health and Wellness

Prioritizing the health and wellness of someone with Alzheimer’s is important. From maintaining a balanced diet to encouraging physical activities, a caregiver can focus on your loved one’s needs directly. They can come up with a plan to help a person in the early stages of dementia with basic cooking and prepping. Also, caregivers can support your loved one’s activities, whether that be exercising outside or moving around the house.

The Next Step

If you have a family member with early on-set Alzheimer’s, contact Home Instead Senior Care for dedicated caregiving services. We are devoted to your loved one’s needs and are here to help families like yours with Alzheimer’s care. For more information about our home care services, call (910) 342-0455 today.

How to Show You Care When You Can’t Be There

Today more than ever we have to remain vigilant in protecting our elders from being exposed to serious illnesses. In order to properly maintain our respective distance it can become increasingly hard to check in on and spend time with our aging loved ones. Below are a few ways you can send your love and thoughtfulness from a distance.

Video Chat

Anyone with a cell phone, tablet, or computer is most likely able to participate in some form of video chat. While Facetime isn’t available to everyone, Skype, Whatsapp, and Facebook video chat are! Most of these platforms will also allow you to add screens from multiple locations, allowing the entire family to join!

Send a Care Package

No one knows your loved one better than you do, so why not mail them a package with all of their favorite treats! From candies and notes to movies and small gifts, care packages can help families and friends share joy and sentiments with each other from worlds away.

Have a Meal Delivered

Having a hot and delicious meal delivered is one of the easiest ways to send a lot of love from a distance. Whether it’s from their favorite restaurant or something you made from scratch, nothing beats having prepared food delivered right to your door.

Final Thoughts

While it remains difficult for everyone, at this time maintaining a reasonable distance from our elders is by far the best way we can protect them from falling ill. When you can’t be there and meal deliveries are no longer cutting it, consider how professional home care services could help. In-home care services can be beneficial at any point within the aging process. Click here for more information about home care services in Wilmington, NC.

A Checklist for COVID-19 Safety

During the COVID-19 pandemic, let’s work together to flatten the curve. There are preventative measures you can follow to keep yourself safe. From social distancing to washing your hands, these practices are important to slow the spread and limit the exposure for higher risk groups, such as seniors and children. For more coronavirus safety tips, follow along in our blog.

1. Stay at Home

There are exceptions to the rule when it comes to staying at home, such as medical visits and grocery shopping. However, staying inside needs to be a priority. If you want to find more ways to lessen your exposure, many companies are offering drop-off services for groceries and other necessities. Additionally, elderly individuals can depend on senior care services for transportation and grocery pick-up, including fulfilling requests for personal care and meal preparation.

2. Practice Social Distancing

To protect your loved ones from COVID-19, it is recommended to practice social distancing. This means staying at least six feet apart and avoiding close contact with family and friends. Of course, caregivers should maintain caution when coming in contact with seniors for medical applications and otherwise.

3. Wash Hands

The CDC recommends to “wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. It’s especially important to wash before eating or preparing food, before touching your face, after using the restroom, etc.”

4. Clean and Disinfect

Fighting against the virus necessitates cleaning and disinfecting. Clean household items with disinfectant wipes that have antibacterial properties. Some areas to wipe down include countertops, light switches, doorknobs, toilet handles, faucets, and more.

5. Wear a Mask in Public

Prevent the spread of COVID-19 with a face covering. This is to limit the spread of droplets if you happen to cough or sneeze. A cloth covering is suggested by the CDC, as N95 masks are reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders. Wearing a mask in public settings where you cannot practice social distancing is also recommended.


To learn more about what Home Instead Senior Care is doing to slow the spread of COVID-19, visit us online. You can also follow us on our social media pages for the latest updates. Remember, we are all in this together!

Caregivers-A Guide to Self-Care

Being a caregiver can be a very emotionally and physically demanding job. In today’s events, emotions and stresses are at a much higher rate due to our nation’s fight against COVID-19. New regulations and restrictions have risen due to this virus, and seniors along with their caregivers and family members are some of the groups that felt these changes the most. It is important for caregivers to practice self-care and give themselves time to recharge. Read along as we discuss a few ways caregivers can practice self-care outside of work.

“Me” Time

“I’m going to have a me day,” can sound like a cliché to many, and even selfish. However, truth of the matter is that having a day to yourself is never selfish, in fact, it is necessary. Being on-the-go everyday and neglecting your own needs can lead to higher stress levels, mood changes, and unsatisfactory feelings. Practice self-care by investing in what brings you calmness and relaxation. Give your mind and body a break, we promise you’ll feel in a much better mood after indulging in things that help you recharge!

Good Meals & Good Sleep

When you are caring for someone else, it is easy to forget about your own meals. Having good, nutritional meals and a good night’s sleep can help prevent caregiver burnout. Make a schedule for yourself to ensure that you are eating at an appropriate time and not skipping any meals. Forgetting to eat can lead to an irritable mood and fatigue. A nighttime routine can also help you get much better sleep. Try going to sleep at the same time, avoid heavy meals at night, and reduce your consumption of alcohol at night to get the quality sleep you deserve.

Remain Social

The long hours of caregiving can lead to exhaustion, hindering your quality time with friends and family. While being social in a demanding job like caregiving, it is still important to remain socially connected to others in order to reduce that feeling of isolation and burnout.

Being a caregiver takes compassion, patience, and love for the position and those who you are caring for. It is understandable to feel overwhelmed and tired after a long day at work, which is why we put so much importance on taking time for yourself. Give yourself the same care and love that you give others, so that you can continue to do what you love with a good attitude and a rested body. Here at Home Instead Senior Care we appreciate our caregivers and their hard work. Learn more about our mission and services online.  

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