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A Guide to Improving the Respiratory Health of Seniors

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With growing age, maintaining your physical health is important. The respiratory system performs the most essential of the tasks for your body and breathing is vital for humans. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping the respiratory system healthier has become a priority, especially for seniors. The following is a helpful guide to improving and maintaining the respiratory health of seniors.

1. Quit smoking.

Smoking is one of the leading reasons for a weak respiratory system in seniors. Even passive smoking harms the lungs and damages the respiratory system. Regardless of how long you have been smoking, the best time to quit is right now. Get your breath back by giving up on tobacco and nicotine today.

2. Set the right posture.

Your lungs are made up of soft tissue. With a bent and poor posture, the lungs bend as well. They’ll occupy as much room as your posture allows. Stay mindful of your posture and try to sit as straight as possible. This ensures that the lungs are unobstructed, and you can breathe much easier with this simple step.

3. Add exercise to your daily routine.

Exercising is great for all ages. Seniors can still benefit from it to improve their cardiovascular and respiratory health. Exercise also prevents muscle atrophy around the chest, which helps the lungs to open up freely. You can also incorporate deep breathing exercises in your daily workout to ensure better lung health. If you’re not sure what exercises are safe for you, please consult with your doctor.

4. Get screened and checked routinely.

Going for routine checkups should be on the priority list. Don’t miss your doctor’s appointment under any circumstances. It is better to get screened and checked routinely so the doctor can catch any sort of medical anomaly early on. Early detection of medical conditions can save your life and finances from a huge loss.

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Conclusion

Depending on your physical capabilities, taking care of your respiratory health as a senior can be difficult alone. Let the trained and experienced professionals take care of you. That is what we are here for. Home Instead Senior Care provides compassionate in-home care services which includes personal care, light housekeeping, meal prepping, grocery shopping, transportation, and much more. Learn more about how we can help by visiting our website. Get in touch with us by calling (910) 421-2574 to avail our services.

Best Nutritional Foods to Improve a Senior’s Diet

“Health is wealth.” We’ve all heard this very famous quote but often fail to prioritize our health. Moreover, as we get older, we regret the health choices we’ve made. Are you a person taking care of a senior but don’t know which foods to incorporate into their daily diet? Don’t stress! There are many healthy food options to choose from. To help you, we have listed all the important nutritional foods to help you establish a balanced diet for your senior citizen.

  • Grains
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Nothing is better than whole grain food. This type of grain is low in fat, contains complex carbohydrates, and is high in fiber. This will prevent seniors from overeating and keep them full longer. Some of the best grain foods that you can choose are:

  1. Brown rice 
  2. Barley, quinoa, whole corn, etc.
  3. Wheat crackers and bread
  4. Whole wheat pasta 
  5. Steel-cut oats 
  • Fruits and Vegetables

A bowl of fresh fruits and vegetables is amongst the most popular healthy foods. These are low in fat and packed with nutrients, flavors, and minerals. Some of the best colorful fruits and vegetables that you can choose are:

  1. Apples, mangoes, oranges, pineapples 
  2. Blueberries, strawberries, cherries, pomegranates
  3. Citrus fruits: grapefruits and oranges.
  4. Peaches, pears, and melons
  5. Dark green vegetables: spinach and kale 
  6. Leafy green vegetables: cabbage and romaine 
  7. Tomatoes and avocados

Adding these healthy food items to a senior’s daily diet will not only keep them healthy but will reduce the risk of heart disease, cholesterol, high blood pressure, and other health issues. 

Related: 3 Tips to Improve Your Memory – Home Instead Senior Care (homeinsteadseniorblog.com)

  • Meat, Poultry, Fish, and Beans
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Incorporate lean meats and fresh fish into your senior’s diet. We recommend serving these foods baked, boiled, grilled, and roasted instead of deep-frying. This is a great start to a healthy meal, as well as keeping your loved one from not becoming constipated and prevent weight gain in the long run. As they age, it may become difficult for a senior citizen to lose weight and burn calories. We suggest the following meats and fish for a balanced diet:

  1. A lean cut of beef or lamb
  2. Turkey and bacon.
  3. Chicken breast 
  4. Haddock, white fish, salmon, tuna, etc. 
  5. Shrimps, mussels, scallops, and lobsters
  6. Beans, lentils, and chickpeas
  • Dairy and Dairy Substitutes

Often, people experience joint pain, loss of bone mass, weakness, and slow movement as they age. A lack of proteins, vitamins, and calcium can lead to osteoporosis, causing the bones to become weak and more likely to break. In order to keep your senior bones healthy, you need to increase the intake of enriched milk substitutes such as:

  1. Sting cheese
  2. Low-fat milk 
  3. Low-fat cottage cheese 
  4. Plain, no-fat yogurt

The Bottom Line

As people age, it becomes quite essential to maintain a healthy diet. We hope that our guide will help you pick the best nutrient-rich food to meet your senior’s daily needs. If you’re looking for the most professional and friendly caregivers in Wilmington, NC, Home Instead Senior Care is the best choice. We have decades of experience in taking care of seniors’ meal prep and other lifestyle areas. For more information about our home care services, call (910) 342-0455 today!

Improving Cognitive Health of Elderly People

Cognitive health is defined as the ability to think and remember clearly. It is considered an integral part of brain function. Recently, we have seen a clear demise in the mental capabilities of our aging seniors. This has led to conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.   

But there is no problem without a solution. Studies have shown that elderly people who constantly engage in meaningful activities have improved cognitive abilities and increased brain activity. This reduces the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s.

One of the ways to maintain and improve the cognitive health of elderly people is by managing stress. There are countless simple yet effective ways through which one can manage stress.

  1. Meditation: The simple act of following your breathing pattern can do wonders to help alleviate stress. It clears the mind and gets rid of all the unnecessary negative thoughts that can cloud one’s rational judgement.
  2. Journaling: Journaling is a perfect way to keep track of your emotions and daily activities. It is a candid reminder that one always has a safe place to vent out their feelings.
  3. Have Someone to Talk to: Aging seniors often require someone trustworthy to confide in and talk to. Someone who cares for them and shares a bond that allows them to express themselves freely. They are more likely to thrive with such freedom. It is crucial for your elderly to have a trained professional to take care of them.   

Conclusion

The caregivers at Home Instead are professionally trained to take care of your loved ones. In the elderly community, dementia and Alzheimer’s become quite common. But with proper care and assistance, all can easily be tackled and managed. Our team will keep your senior active and mentally stimulated so they can enjoy life to the fullest.

Tips for Seniors with Respiratory Concerns

Chronic conditions and the aging process itself leave many seniors at risk for encountering respiratory issues later in life. Infections and diseases can wreak havoc on even the healthiest immune systems, which is why seniors need to take extra care to protect themselves whenever possible. Follow along this month as we discuss some top tips for seniors and others suffering with respiratory issues or hope to prevent them.

Reduce Indoor Air Pollution

Reducing irritants in the air like pollen, fur, and dust can dramatically improve one’s ability to breathe when indoors. Whenever possible, reduce the amount of time the central heating or air conditioning is turned on and change out the filters whenever necessary. Regularly vacuum, dust, check for mold, and run an air purifier for an optimal indoor environment for your loved one.

Boost Endurance

Depending on how mobile a person is, light exercise can be a great way to boost the flow of oxygen throughout the body and tone chest muscles in and around the lungs. Sometimes boosting endurance will be in the form of resting and finding ways to conserve energy that will be needed later.

Change Your Wardrobe

Sometimes something as simple as trading in jeans for sweatpants can drastically improve how well someone can breathe comfortably. Removing tight and heavy layers from around the chest and abdomen can instantly provide a touch of lasting relief in a moment of discomfort.  

Final Thoughts

Sometimes certain respiratory concerns will require additional support and equipment that only the industry experts can adequately provide. Home care services let people flourish in the everyday life they already know and love while getting a little help to stay independent and mobile. Home Instead offers personalized care plans to lift the caregiving burden from family members and keep those strong family bonds intact. Visit our website to learn more about the areas we service and the types of care we can provide you and your family.

Seniors and Their Life-Space

Most young people have a very large life-space due to traveling for fun or for work. In general, when you’re younger, you have the time and energy to stay out with friends and to complete your own errands. So what happens to your life-space when you get older? In this month’s blog, we discuss the concept of life-space and what it means when it becomes more restricted with age and health issues.

What Is a Life-Space?

A life-space is the distance a person travels to perform activities within their environment and lifetime. This can range from their home to their neighborhood to the city and so on. The larger a person’s life-space is, the better their physical and psychological well-being. As seniors age, their life-space may begin to become smaller and more constricted due to health issues and having less energy. For example, being unable to drive due to worsening vision or having restricted physical capabilities due to severe arthritis. This can lead to feelings of frustration and sadness because they are unable to achieve what they were formerly able to do.

Isolation and Depression

As their life-space becomes smaller, seniors tend to spend most of their time at home. However, social isolation can be a problem for those who live alone and can negatively affect their overall mental and emotional health. According to the CDC, social isolation can significantly increase a person’s risk of premature death and is also associated with about a 50% increased risk of dementia. It is also associated with higher rates of depression and anxiety.

While some seniors may still have family and friends that visit and are nearby, there are many seniors who find themselves unexpectedly alone due to the death of a spouse or partner, separation from friends or family, and the lack of mobility and transportation. Having a restricted life-space along with the lack of love ones contributes to these feelings of loneliness and isolation.

How Home Instead Can Help

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Here at Home Instead, we understand how difficult it is to be stuck at home while feeling isolated and lonely. Our CAREGivers provide companionship and will always be there for your loved one. From crafting to gardening to walks and more, we are happy to provide companionship and personal care. We also provide transportation services so seniors who are no longer able to drive themselves are still able to maintain a larger life-space. This includes activities such as doctor appointments, worship services, fitness classes, club events, and much more. With our CAREGivers on the job, your senior loved one will not be alone.

Learn More About Us

Home Instead strives to provide dependable and compassionate senior home care services. Our personalized care plans help maintain a high quality of life while providing all of the necessary support. Learn more about our home care services in Wilmington, NC by visiting our website or contacting us at (910) 342-0455. We are here to help!

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.

Conclusion

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.  

DASH Diet

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.

Yoga

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.

Conclusion

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.

Fun & Safe Activities for Seniors During Quarantine

The world has been going through difficult times amid COVID-19. From mandatory quarantine to social distancing efforts, changes have been made worldwide to help flatten the curve of this virus. According to the CDC, anyone can get infected by the virus, but seniors ages 60 and up are at a much higher risk, which is why such an emphasis has been put on taking preventative measures to keep them as safe as possible. Here at Home Instead Senior Care, we have made a huge effort to help senior loved ones remain safe in their own home, and have found a variety of creative ways to keep they time at home fun and safe during quarantine. Read along to learn about some activities that you can partake in with your senior loved ones!

Puzzles & Painting

 Quarantining can be a bit underwhelming if one doesn’t make the effort to find fun activities to do around the house. This is especially true for seniors. Some fun and safe activities to do with seniors are puzzles and painting, both of these are engaging, allow for creativity, and can easily take up a good amount of time. You want activities that will keep them entertained for long periods of time so that they don’t get bored easily. Not only are these enjoyable, but they also allow you to sit down and enjoy some quality bonding time!

Video Calls

With social distancing orders in place, it is not recommended to have people outside of your household visit. Although you are not allowed to have visitors, it doesn’t mean that you have to lose touch with friends and family. A great way to see your loved ones is through a video call. If you are an iPhone user, FaceTime is the way to go. There are also other Apps such as Zoom, House Party, and Skype that you can download for free. Many have gotten creative and have even celebrated birthdays virtually, where family members and friends all video chat at the same time to celebrate.

Meditation

Not being able to go outside and partake in regular activities can take a toll on anyone both physically and mentally. Anxiety and depression can easily increase during these difficult times, especially for seniors. You can reduce anxiety and depression through some simple meditation. Find a quiet and comfortable place in your home where you can meditate for a period of time without being interrupted. Not only will this bring you some calmness and peace of mind, but it will help you manage the emotions that are rising do to the current pandemic.

Show your senior love and compassion during these tough times by engaging with them through some fun and safe home activities. Our experienced team is here to help your senior loved ones remain safe and comfortable in their own home.  Learn more about our essential services by visiting our website.

Healthy, Home-Cooked Meals for Your Senior

Preparing a healthy meal for your loved one doesn’t have to be a challenge! Even if you’re a busy individual but still need to care for your elder, you can plan ahead with a few simple meals. These dishes are not only delicious, but nutritious as well. They can be cooked with limited prep time and stay fresh in the freezer when you’re ready to use them. Find out which healthy meals you can make at home for your senior by reading our blog!

Nutritional Meal Ideas

Mix and match your senior’s menu with tasty recipes for lunch, dinner, or a mid-day snack. Ranging from sweet to savory, we’ve listed examples of meals that are packed with nutritional value, but still have the flavors your loved one can appreciate.

  • Chicken and vegetable hand pies: This entrée combines whole grains, vegetables, and chicken. It’s easy to make in batches that can be frozen for up to six months.
  • Apple cinnamon French toast: Almond milk, organic eggs, apples, flaxseed, and pumpkin puree are great sources of soluble fiber and protein in this recipe. You can make this ahead and freeze for up to two months.
  • Mediterranean quinoa burger: Another meal you can make and freeze for up to two months, these filling burgers are rich with fiber and protein. Whole grain wheat buns and fresh veggies complement this burger.
  • Egg muffins with kale, roasted red peppers, and feta cheese: These simple egg cups are a delicious source of protein that can be turned in to a meal any time of day. For a busy caregiver, they make a tasty on-the-go breakfast too.
  • Signature spicy, smoky, and sweet chili: This crockpot meal is easy to make and freeze. You can substitute the ground beef with ground turkey to make it even healthier.

Conclusion

Our trained caregivers at Home Instead Senior Care​ can help your loved one with a healthy, well-balanced diet. From the grocery shopping to the meal prep, our in-home caregivers can provide meals that appeal to all tastes and dietary restrictions. Call or visit our website to learn how our mealtime services can help your loved one eat well and stay well!

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