Monday, October 3, 2016

Time for your fall checkup!
~ Kyla Kelim, Aging in Alabama, Elder Attorney

We are pretty good about checkups. On your calendar, no doubt, you have appointments for physical checkups, eye checkups, dental checkups, HVAC checkups and even vehicular checkups. The one thing you may not have is your Medicare checkup, available for the next 9 weeks only.

Open enrollment for Medicare recipients occurs from October 15 to December 7 annually. This is the only time you can check your coverage for the next calendar year and, if appropriate, change to another program. For Alabama Medicare recipients, this is also the only time you can change your coverage under Blue Cross' supplemental plans.

Free counseling is available through the State Health Insurance Program (SHIP), to help seniors navigate through this quagmire of regulations and confusing information. This can save you thousands so do yourself and your loved ones a favor and put this checkup on your calendar. Call 1-800-AGELINE to make an appointment today.

In this silly season leading up to the election, we are hard pressed to find reasons to celebrate our government. The SHIP program is one of those rare reasons, so call and schedule your checkup today!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Hit the Beach

Your Body on the Ocean

Few things are more relaxing than a dose of sun, sand and sea air—and there is plenty of research to prove it.  Here’s how a day at the beach soothes your body and mind.

©     Lungs—Salty air has been shown to reduce lung inflammation, helping relieve asthma symptoms.  Many patients with lung diseases have also reported less coughing and sinus pressure when exposed to sea air.

©     Skin—Sea salt helps restore skin’s protective barrier, which seals in hydration longer, keeping skin smooth and softer.

©     Brain—A view of the ocean lowers stress, according to researchers who found that the more “blue space” you see, the calmer you feel.

©     Heart—If the water is a little chilly, take a dip anyway.  Plunging into cold ocean water improves circulation.

©     Joints—Swimming in the sea can ease pain of conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, possibly due in part to the inflammation taming effects of soaking in salt water.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Check Up for Your Medicine Cabinet

Checkup for Your Medicine Cabinet

1.       Check your expiration dates—Prescription medications have expiration dates on their original containers, but your pharmacist is required only to put a “Discard by” date on the bottle.  This date is usually 1 year from the date the Rx is filled.  Certain meds should never be used beyond their expiration dates: oral nitroglycerin, insulin inhalers and Epipens. 

2.      Know the dangers of common painkillers—Some analgesics including Advil and Aleve can trigger a heart attack or stroke.  Ibuprofen and naproxen can also increase bleeding risk and bump up blood pressure.  Studies show that acetaminophen can cause liver damage, especially when taken with alcohol.  If your physician has prescribed powerful opioid medications, such as OxyContin or Percocet, follow their orders strictly on dosage and frequency.

3.      Beware risky herbals—Herbal supplements can interact with certain prescription medications, causing dangerous side effects.  St. John’s wort can interfere with statins and high blood pressure medications.  Ginkgo and ginseng can interact with blood thinning meds and increase risk of bleeding.  Kava has been shown to cause liver damage.

4.      Don’t overdose on everyday vitamins—Watch daily limits on Vitamin B6, Vitamin A, Vitamin D and Vitamin C.  Taking too much of these everyday vitamins can have different adverse side effects.

5.      Cut back on Allergy and Sleeping Pills—Studies have shown that those who take certain insomnia and allergy medications long term—including such products as Benadryl and Nytol—are more likely to have problems with memory and decision making, plus have a higher risk of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.


Touching Hearts Senior Care is the gold standard when you consider selecting a home care provider.  Call us today at 251-445-4204 to schedule your free assessment.  Or visit us online at

Monday, August 1, 2016

The Future is Coming...Are You Ready?

Preparing for the Future
I met with a prospective client recently.  She is a widow who had spent 20 years collectively being a caregiver for her mother, her husband and her sister.  She is an independent woman who manages her own home and is a member of a women’s group that meets monthly.  Typically, this is not the type of person who needs caregiver services.

After talking with her, she expressed to me that she might need our services in the future with an upcoming eye surgery and possible knee replacement.  I was extremely impressed that this person has the forward thinking of what she might need for the future.  I speak with many people regarding our services and the many programs we have available.  These include caregiver services, case management services and dementia education.  So many people after hearing my presentation reply to me, “We don’t need that right now.”  As I fully understand and agree with this reply, I continue to think about how many prospective clients contact me when they are in a crisis.  They are overwhelmed by the amount of information and the decisions they have to make, all the while dealing with crisis at hand. 

I know we all hear about the importance of planning for our future.  Financial planning, insurance policies, and healthcare are all important areas to consider when we consider our quality of life in our later years.  I believe that those who address these issues before they are upon them, have a more seamless transition than those that do not.  Just some food for thought!

Tracey Eldridge is the Community Liaison for Touching Hearts Senior Care.  To contact Tracey, email

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Hurricane Preparedness...Are You Ready?

As the summer continues to heat up in August and September, hurricane season enters into it's more volatile months.  Are you and your family prepared if a major storm heads our way?  Do you have an evacuation plan? If not evacuating, are you prepared to spend several days without electricity or water?  We all need to prepare, especially when there is no storm in the Gulf.  Follow these steps to prepare you and your family for a hurricane.

1.    Determine your risk—Do you live in a low lying area for flooding?

2.   Develop an evacuation plan—When to leave and where to go.

3.   Secure an insurance check up—Are you covered?

4.   Assemble disaster supplies—If not evacuating, gather supplies to remain safely in your home.

5.   Prepare your home—Secure patio furniture and outdoor tools.

Please visit for tips on how to prepare you and your family for hurricane season.

Touching Hearts Senior Care updates and reviews our Emergency Preparedness Procedures every year and our goal is to ensure our clients and their families are prepared and safe in the event of a disaster.  Visit our website for more information about our services.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Awesome Healthy Snacks that Aren't Veggies

The Best Weight Loss Snacks That Aren’t Veggies

1.      Dark Chocolate—Studies show intense flavors like cocoa can tire out taste buds so you feel satisfied faster.

2.     Black or Green Olives—Chewy, briny olives are deeply flavorful and 5 set you back only 20 calories.

3.     Roasted Chickpeas—They deliver all the salty crunch of potato chips but with more protein and fiber.

4.     Avocado withSalsa—Researchers say the monosaturated fat in this fruit may keep you full for up to 5 hours.

5.     In Shell Pistachios—Packed with protein and healthy fat, this snack last longer, thanks to time spent shucking shells.

6.     Low fat cottage cheese with cinnamon—One cup at 28g of protein; adding cinnamon enhances dairy’s sweetness.

Touching Hearts Senior Care is dedicated to promoting health and wellness for people of any age.  Visit our website and follow us on Facebook at Touching Hearts Senior Care #1.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Favorite Foods for Healthier Living

If you are anything like me, you are often tempted to over eat and feel that satisfaction of feeling gloriously full.  While this full feeling is gratifying, it is also fleeting until the next time we are hungry.  You know the old saying, “a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips”.  So I am here to give you a list of 10 favorite foods to eat when you are tempted to gobble down that combo meal from your favorite fast food restaurant.

1.      Watermelon—A go to food when you are craving a sweet snack.

2.     Turkey—Great for wraps and salads and a great source of lean animal protein.

3.     Eggs—Great source of protein for breakfast or any time.

4.     Greek Yogurt—This thicker higher-protein yogurt is perfect for a snack or to add tangy richness to sweet and savory recipes.

5.     Lentils—These protein and fiber packed pulses may be the most filling food you can eat.  Use them in salads, soups and wraps.

6.     Feta Cheese—While higher in calories than most foods on this list, the traditional Greek cheese has a strong flavor, which means you can use a lot less and still get a satisfying punch.

7.     Kale—Want more nutrition?  Add Kale to salads, smoothies, saut├ęs, soups and even pizza.

8.     Almonds—Keep a stash of this nuts in your car and desk.

9.     Potato Skins—Bake potatoes, scoop out their insides, then roast only the skins with olive oil and spices.  Delicious.

10.                        Chocolate Chip Cookies—A forever fun food.  Do not deny yourself chocolate. Ever.

So I am vowing to use this list and these foods to stay on track for a healthier diet and a healthier me.

Tracey Eldridge is the Community Liaison for Touching Hearts Senior Care.  For more information about Tracey, visit our website