The Secret to Healthy Aging

As we age, it becomes increasingly more important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you’re looking to improve your lifestyle, Visiting Angels West Cincinnati shares some insights.

The first thing you can do to improve your health is exercise. We all know the many benefits it provides and while you don’t necessarily have to lift weights, there are plenty of alternatives that will benefit you just as much. Whether you spend time in the swimming pool, ride a bike, or even go for a walk, as long as you are staying active you will be well on your way to having a healthy lifestyle.

To accompany exercising, it is equally important to incorporate healthier eating habits. Again, we all know the benefits having a healthy diet provides but you need to follow through. You can even start out small by eating small amounts of fruit and vegetables each week. As long as you continue to develop your taste in healthier food choices, you’ll not only see a difference in your weight, but you’ll also feel a difference in your energy and mood.

These are just a couple of changes you can make to improve your aging lifestyle. For more tips, you can view the full article here.

Aging Independently

Senior man sitting alone in coffee shop

Despite the amount of experience and knowledge we’ve accumulated over our lifetime, there comes a point at which our bodies begin to slowdown. What we were once capable of is now a challenge. Because we hold our independence with great pride, we may be apprehensive to asking for help and instead try to handle these tasks on our own. Doing so can put us and others in great risk of injury. Whether it be yard work or driving a car, we need to take a moment to ask ourselves if maintaining our independence is really worth risking our safety.

Be Honest with Our Limitations

Giving up the things that define our adulthood is difficult. Over our lifetime, we’ve been so successful at providing for our family and accomplishing so many other achievements that the idea of not being able to do those kinds of things may be unfathomable. But we’re talking about a time when our bodies were more capable. As we age, we tend to lose our strength and hand-eye coordination which can make even the simplest of tasks seem challenging.

When this happens, we have to be brutally honest with ourselves and evaluate what our limitations are. It can be difficult to admit our shortcomings, but it is something we must come to face with. In order to age at home, we must look within ourselves and admit what needs to change so that we may remain safe.

Ask for Assistance in the Community

Once we have come to terms with our limitations, it is time for us to look for assistance in the community. When there is yard work that needs to be done, see if someone from your local church or neighborhood would be willing to come and help.

When you need assistance with more than just yard work, hiring a caregiver will be of great help. Visiting Angels Barrington is a home care provider who specialize with senior citizens. With their professional caregivers, you’ll have the assistance you need all while maintaining your independence.

As a senior, we need to come to terms with the fact that there is nothing wrong with having someone help us throughout our day. By recognizing that our bodies are not as capable as they use to be and seeking for assistance with daily tasks, it puts us in a safer environment that benefits everyone around us.

The Road to Recovery After a Stroke

When a stroke occurs, blood supply to the brain that carries nutrients and oxygen gets disrupted. Following this, brain cells begin to die which leads to the person suffering to have lost certain abilities. While a stroke can cause death, it can cause lasting after-effects for those who survive a stroke. Often times, those who have survived a stroke experience a lost of feeling and functionality on one side of their body, slurred speech, and even memory impairment. While strokes are typically associated with older adults, it can happen to anyone at any time.

For someone who has survived a stroke, the road to recover is long and difficult. Depending on the severity of the stroke, a loved one may end up having to go through rehabilitation in a short-term care facility for an extended period of time. They may need to learn how to eat, talk, write, and walk all over again. Their sense of independence becomes lost as they may constantly need assistance with simple tasks they were once capable of. To them the future may seem grim, but it doesn’t have to be. To help your loved one on their journey to recovery, Visiting Angels Punta Gorda share some insights on what you can do to make them feel reassured of themselves.

Actively Listen to Them

One of the first things you can do when you visit them is to practice active listening. By putting aside all distractions, you allow yourself the opportunity to truly listen to your loved one. For them, the future is uncertain which can be unsettling. Many questions may fill their minds with doubt and uncertainty. Listen to what they are really saying. Let them know that you are there for them and you will get through this difficult time together.

Be Their Voice

When someone is recovering from a stroke, their ability to communicate becomes increasingly difficult. While they are in a short-term care facility, they may not be able to communicate with the staff properly. They are in a setting that is unfamiliar to them that may make them feel alienated. Be their voice when you visit them. While they may struggle with their speech, you can relay to the care staff any preferences your loved one may have. Whether it’s letting the staff know of preferred TV channels or what food they would rather eat, your loved one will appreciate you trying to make them feel more comfortable during their short-term stay.

Be Their Cheerleader

As they go through their physical and speech rehabilitation, they may get encouragement from the staff. But what they really need is words of encouragement from you. If you’re able to, attend their therapy sessions so that you can witness each achievement they make. After each session, you can do something fun together like going outside or playing their favorite game. Just by being there and cheering them on is more than enough to give them the positive outlook they need for their recovery. By knowing they have someone close who is supporting them every step of the way will make them feel much more confident.

Attend a Support Group

While it’s important to ensure your loved one is taken care of, it’s equally important to remember to take care of yourself. Having a loved one who is recovery from a stroke isn’t only hard for them but it’s also hard for you. After a stroke, they may not seem like the person you once knew at first. The idea of seeing them struggle with tasks they were once capable of can be disheartening. The best way to cope with these kinds of feelings is to attend a support group filled with individuals who have also been affected by someone who has suffered a stroke. When you surround yourself with others who have had a similar experience, it can be liberating to know that they will understand your feelings of depression, frustration, and even guilt.

When someone suffers a stroke, the road to recovery is difficult for everyone. By sticking by their side and getting through it together, it can make a world of difference. When your loved one needs assistance at home after their short-term stay, Visiting Angels Punta Gorda is there for you and your family. Visiting Angels Punta Gorda provides caregivers who will assist in getting your loved one to their doctor’s appointments and helping them around their home. If you need the extra assistance at home, contact them today.

Help Your Knees Recover from Surgery with Exercise

Bandaging a knee
Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

Pains and aches gradually start appearing as our bodies age. In order to combat those pains, people often seek a form of relief. Within the United States, many people undergo knee surgery to reduce the discomfort caused by their bad knee(s). The problem with knee surgery is that a lot of people do not know what to do after the surgery. Elmhurst Extended Care Center is a nursing home skilled in a variety of services, and they have noticed how people struggle post-surgery. As a result, EECC wrote a blog suggesting 4 knee exercises to help recovering patients

Straight Leg Raise 

To perform straight leg raises, you will need a flat surface to lay down on. A carpet or bed would be some soft surfaces that EECC recommends laying on. Once you chose your location, gradually lower yourself onto the ground. Place your back flat on the surface and relax.  

When you are ready, you will bend your leg with your non-operated knee. After propping your leg up, you want to keep your recovering knee straight. While keeping your knee straight, slowly lift it up. Keep your leg in the air for 5 seconds and then gently lower it back down. 

Heel Slides 

Like the straight leg raise, you will need to pick a comfortable surface to lay on. Lower yourself smoothly onto the ground and take a deep breath. You will need to keep your non-operated knee straight during this exercise. EECC suggest putting a pillow under your leg to keep it straight.  

To start off you will need to slowly move your leg associated with your operated knee towards you. Slide your foot underneath your leg and keep sliding as far as you can. Once you think your knee has reached its limit, hold that position for 5 seconds. Then relax your knee and let your leg straighten out.  

Standing Knee Flexion 

EECC says that you will need support to lean on when performing the standing knee flexion. You can use a heavy chair, a countertop, or a walker. After finding your support object, you will need to get a solid grip on it with your hands and face it while standing.  

In the beginning, you want to keep both feet firmly on the ground. When you are ready, you will gently bend your recovering knee. Raise the leg connected with your operated knee and move your foot upwards behind you. Bend your knee and raise your foot as far as you can. Then lower your foot back to the ground and relax.  

Sitting Knee Extension 

The sitting knee extension requires a chair. After finding some ground that is even and smooth, place your chair on top of it. Make sure your chair does not move, it should be sturdy. If you think your chair is fine, then take a seat. 

First, you need your feet to touch the ground. Additionally, you will need to sit up straight while also bending your knees slightly at the edge of the seat. After positioning yourself, all you must do is take your operated knee and straighten It. Hold your knee up straight for 5 seconds and then gradually place it on the ground again. 

These exercises should be performed 10 times and 2-3 times a day. If you would like more advice on recovering after a surgery, contact EECC to take advantage of their skilled physical rehabilitation program. 

Good and Bad Cholesterol

Healthy food in bowls.
Photo by Ella Olsson from Pexels

In simple terms, cholesterol is fat found within your bloodstream. There is LDL and HDL cholesterol. Having high levels of LDL cholesterol is bad for your health because it can lead to heart problems and blood clots. Your HDL cholesterol is there to keep your LDL levels in check and under control. There are steps you can take to lower your LDL levels. Elmhurst Extended Care Center has 4 suggestions to lower your cholesterol naturally.   

Exercising Is Good for You 

Though the first step seems a bit time consuming, rest assured that exercise just means you should increase your daily physical activity. In other words, simply walking and moving around more can benefit your health. Instead of driving everywhere, try walking. If you see a part of your home that needs some cleaning, get some cleaning supplies and make that room squeaky clean. You do not have to follow through with a whole fitness plan in order to lower your cholesterol levels. 

On the other hand, if you are a busy person, you can try making a workout plan. If your daily schedule is packed, just plan a good workout for 3 days out of your week. Those 3 days are better than not exercising in general. Plus, if you have bodily pain, like arthritis, any form of exercise will benefit you. Before you know it, you will feel healthier inside and out. 

Do Not Smoke 

It is already a known fact that cigarettes are bad for your health. But did you know that they can also affect your cholesterol levels? When you smoke, you inhale a vapor called toxin acrolein. When you inhale that man-made poison into your lungs, your bloodstream absorbs the toxin from your lungs. Once the toxin is in your bloodstream, it can negatively affect the way your body metabolizes cholesterol.  

You can inhale the vapor as a secondhand smoker or directly as a smoker, but as soon as the toxin makes its way into your bloodstream, health problems may arise. You can suffer from heart problems or high levels of cholesterol. The best option is to avoid cigarettes as much as you can, for your own body and for others who inhale secondhand smoke.   

Saturated Fats are Not Healthy 

Dairy and meat products usually contain saturated fat. Butter, cheese and red meat are some good examples of food that contain saturated fat. Saturated fats are bad because they can elevate your LDL levels; however, you can consume limited amounts of saturated fats and still be fine. EECC did some research and found out that 5-6% of caloric intake of saturated fat would be the ideal amount to eat when planning out your diet. 

Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Monounsaturated Fats 

Like good cholesterol, there are also good fats. Both Omega-3 fatty acid and Monounsaturated fats are good for your cholesterol and overall health. Food such as fish, avocado and nuts contain these great nutrients. Omega-3 fatty acids can also be found in fish and krill oil supplements. Both decrease LDL cholesterol levels while also helping HDL levels. If you incorporated Monounsaturated fats and Omega-3 fatty acids into your diet, your cholesterol, blood pressure, and overall health will improve. 

If you want more health advice from skilled nurses and dietitians, contact Elmhurst Extended Care Center.