Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Black Ice Safety and the I Spy Contest

It's getting colder as the year comes to a close!  While it's rare down south, ice can still form on the road.  It's very rare for a southern state to salt roads in the winter like they do in New York, so black ice has a tendency to form when the evening dew gets cold enough to freeze overnight.  Thankfully, it's usually warm enough to melt during the day, but driving in the morning is still very dangerous.  Black ice is difficult to turn or stop on, so make sure to drive slow, and slowly press on your breaks.  Give yourself enough time to slowly come to a stop at a light, stop sign, or what have you.  Pressing on your breaks too fast with result in your car skidding across the pavement, similar to hydroplaning in very rainy weather.  All too often I see people blaring down a 40mph street going 60mph, only to find them in a ditch around the corner because they had no traction.  If not for the sake of other's road safety, please drive cautiously for your own personal safety too.  It's better to be late to work than to miss days because your injured in the hospital or worse.  Be safe, and on cold days, assume all wet spots on the road are ice, or have ice.

The month has nearly come to a close! Have you spotted our Touching Hearts Senior Care Kia?  It's still not too late, keep your eye out for a Kia Soul with the Touching Hearts logo and Rosie the Bear on it, snap a photo, and upload it to our Facebook page.  The winner will be selected in December and receive a 50 dollar gift card from Outback Steakhouse! Here are some recent entries:

Photo by Lisa Moore

Photo by Latosha Rabb

Keep your eye out on our YouTube Channel this Thanksgiving! We have an extra special video we would like to share with you all!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The coming holiday season!

Good afternoon everybody! I hope you all enjoyed Veterans Day.  Thank you to all the Vets who served our country, protecting what makes America great.  The holiday season is approaching fast, we just had Veterans Day, next Thursday is Thanksgiving, Friday is Black Friday, then we have Cyber Monday (think Black Friday for online stores like Amazon), and then all that's left is the Holidays (Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, what have you) before the new years!

Speaking of holidays, it's the time for families to reconnect and share love and meals.  Odds are your family has someone who has some form of dementia and most people don't know how to deal with the situations that dementia brings.  Make sure you avoid correcting them, as they'll only feel frustrated and won't understand why.  Furthermore, don't keep asking them if they remember something specific, because that too will lead to frustration.  Making someone with dementia try to remember isn't like rehabilitating someone with muscular atrophy, exercises won't correct the problem, modern medicine just hasn't caught up with dementia yet.  Just be there for your loved one, make them feel comfortable, and enjoy the positive moments, isn't that the main focus of the holidays anyways?

What's your favorite part of a Thanksgiving meal and do you have a favorite memory at Thanksgiving? Share yours in the comments!

I like Turkey, stuffing, and gravy! Especially if its the next day's leftovers mixed into a sandwich!

As for memories (when I was very young), my mother had overcooked a spiral ham and it had dried out to the point of being crispy, and my sister and I found out that certain parts of the "ham jerky" split in squares without cutting.  We took those squares and stuck them between our lips and teeth similar to gag gift buck teeth.  It looked so gross, having huge brown teeth, making faces at each other, but it was loads of fun.  I think we played with our food more than we ate it that day, but we did it as a family.

Let's not forget to congratulate Gabrielle Young for being our Employee of the Month for November!  Her dedication and hard work really makes her shine as a caregiver!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Alzheimer's Awareness Month and Election day!

Hello again everyone! It's November, have you all adjusted to daylight savings?  I know I enjoyed my extra hour of sleep on Sunday!  November is a very important month for us as it's National Alzheimer's Awareness Month.  Currently, Alzheimer's is an incurable brain disease that affects countless elderly across the world.  Memory loss is only the tip of the iceberg with this disease, it can completely rewire a person's behavior as the brain begins to fail. 

There currently is no cure but there are treatments available, but with your help we can fund research into a possible cure, or at least a greater understanding and more effective treatments.  If you would like to help fight Alzheimer's and Dementia, spread the word and donate to a charity of your choice that's working towards curing Alzheimer's.

Today is Election Day! Did you know millions of Americans don't vote?  Whether it's laziness or just the hopeless feeling that your 1 small vote doesn't matter.  Sometime's it's hard to see just how important your one vote is. But if you feel your vote doesn't matter, odds are someone else doesn't feel their vote matters too, and it just keeps going until a large chunk of the populous isn't making their voice heard.  The mid term elections could be the most important votes you could make, even compared to voting for the president! You're more likely to experience policies by the senate and governors than you will from the POTUS (President of the United States).  I don't care what your political standing is, you have your own viewpoints, so shouldn't you cast your vote for the people who best represent you?  Vote for change if you want change, vote to keep things the way they are, what ever it is, you have the right to make your voice heard, it's one of the many blessings we have in the United States.  If you are legally allowed to vote, you should exercise your right to do so, and if not voting is what you truly want then go for it, but ask yourself, "Is there anything about the country I'd like to see change or stay the way it is?"  If you answered yes, then you should go vote, it'll only help the chances you'll see the changes you want to see.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Happy Halloween!

Lisa Moore the Fairy

Levi Holl the Shadow Man

Happy Halloween everybody!  We hope you have a spooky and fun holiday! Please be safe and responsible if you plan to go to any parties.  Keep an eye on your children if you plan to go trick or treating with them as well! It's difficult to see out of some masks at night and some costumes are hard to see in the dark, putting children at risk for car related injuries.  Get some reflective tape or a toy with lots of flashing lights for your child's costume, Flashlight, they even have light up candy pails for kids too! Anything to improve visibility in the dark.  What ever you do for Halloween, we hope you have loads of fun with friends and family!

Everyone knows fish is super healthy for you to eat, but fish can be pretty tricky if you don't know how to cook it!  Thankfully I love cooking fish, especially salmon, and I know a few pointers to get you started in the right direction.  The first and most important thing to think about is what you want to eat, have you had fish before? If not you should probably look into more mild fish like Cod or Haddock, and make sure its skinless.  While the skin has the most nutrients in it, that's where most of the fish oily flavor comes from, and people new to fish don't particularly care fore that.  Pay close attention to the quality of the meat too, more vibrant colors means its fresh, and has the best flavor!

As you can see here, the Tuna on the right is a deep red freshly cut, sushi-grade delicious, whereas the tuna on the left is pale pink, still tasty but not as fresh.  Get your fresh cuts and you won't be sorry!

Now you want to start thinking about seasoning.  Refine that flavor.  Sometimes salt and pepper is all you need, but shop around, smell some seasoning containers, a good rule of thumb is if it smells good it'll taste good.  I personally love a grilled salmon with lemon pepper seasoning.  You can't go wrong with seasoning, especially if you don't like strong fishy flavors.  Make sure you rub the seasoning into the flesh, coat the top and bottom, and let it rest in your fridge for a half hour at minimum.  That will let the seasoning have enough time to soak into the meat, giving a more even and rich flavor.

Got your meat ready? Time to cook!  There are many ways to cook a fish, each method has its own quirk, and every cut of meat has its own cook times.  Don't be afraid to google a recipe or proper cook times of your particular fish.  You can steam, fry, grill, bake, even microwave, it all depends on what you have and how much time you need.  Thankfully fish cooks very fast so its a good meal to make on the fly.  Grilling and Steaming are probably the easiest and healthiest methods since they don't require a lot of oils.  I grill my fish on each side until it's blackened, cooking on a medium-high heat to quickly char the outside but not so fast as to leave the inside still raw.  You shouldn't have to flip your fish more than once if you grill it, fish is a flimsy meat that falls apart very easily when cooked, so you want to avoid touching it as much as possible.  Don't be afraid to drizzle a little bit of citrus juice over your fish while cooking, lemon pairs incredibly well with fish, especially salmon!

You'll know when your food is ready to eat when the flesh has a significant color change, obviously the color will vary depending on the raw color of you initial fish cut.  Salmon should go from a pink-orange to a pale orange when steamed, or a deep golden brown if you grill it.  Steaming tends to make the meat pale where as grilling and pan-frying tends to make it dark on the outside.  If you are still unsure if it's ready, get a food thermometer, prod the thickest part of the meat and see how hot it is.  The minimum safe cooking temperature for fish is 145 Degrees Fahrenheit.  Some fish meat can safely be eaten raw, but don't risk it unless you are certain from your seller that it was Sushi Grade Fish.

Too long to read? Here's a brief recap:

Get the vibrant meat
Pick your seasoning
Decide how to cook
Dont flip the meat too much or it'll break apart
145 degrees or sushi grade? Dig in!

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Things to Look Out for This Holiday

Greetings everyone! As you all are aware, the Holiday Season is right around the corner!  It's the time to reconnect with family, sit down, have nice dinners and enjoy each other's company.  We all have parents and grandparents who are growing older, so we need to keep our eyes out for signs of dementia.  With 1 out of every 10 Americans over 65 developing dementia, odds are we all have a family member with it.  My grandfather slowly developed it where we didn't even notice, and then two years ago it progressed seemingly overnight.  It can't hurt to be prepared.  Pay attention to their behavior like; forgotten and unpaid bills, expired foods, slowed movement, disorganization, and worsening memory issues.  These are all signs that alone could just be forgetfulness and aging, but together and rapid progression might signify something worse, like dementia.  It can't hurt to see a neurologist, and even start preparing to bring on additional help like an in home caregiver.

Last weekend we had out Annual Employee meeting, where we all meet up, talk about Touching Hearts as a business, and our caregivers have the opportunity to vent through our support group and eat food!  Each caregiver we employ is a family member to us, and while they are taking care of peoples loved ones, we want to make sure they are cared for as well, that their concerns are aired and questions answered.  To all our caregivers, we thank you so much for all your hard work, without you all, we wouldn't be the amazing team we are today!  If you have any concerns our doors are always open, and we want to make sure you have a fantastic experience while working with us!

Last Friday a new video went up! Did you see? It's a montage of all our memories with the community! Be sure to give it a look, and if you like our videos, why not give it a like? Maybe a comment, perhaps of what you would like to see more in the future for our videos? Subscribe too if you want to continue to see more from us as we post them!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Hurricane Michael and the Flu Season

I hope everyone stayed safe during Hurricane Michael!  Unfortunately the Florida Panhandle was hit hard by the hurricane and are in dire need of help.  If you can afford to help, please donate any supplies you can spare to your nearest collection drive, or volunteer for the relief efforts.  If you live in Mobile, the SouthWest Mobile Chamber of Commerce is accepting donations on weekdays from 9 am -5 pm.  You can donate anything from: water/sealed beverages, baby supplies, cleaning supplies, hygiene supplies, ready to eat foods (like canned goods or prepackaged snacks/meals), kitchen/household supplies, and blankets/sheets.  Anything you can spare to help the people of Florida.  Visit www.SWMCChamber.com for more details.

Flu Season is right around the corner! Thankfully due to the harsh flu season we had last year, we are unlikely to see that strain spread like it did, meaning a less severe year.  However, you shouldn't rely on herd immunity (herd immunity is the idea that if everyone else is immune, then they can't get sick so you won't either by being around them), be safe and get your flu shots before its too late.  Your body is designed to become immune to a virus after you have been exposed to it, "Now Levi," you ask "If we become immune after being exposed, how are people still getting the flu year after year?"  Good question, each flu strain has a unique structure to it, after we are infected by it, the body memorizes that particular strain, making you immune.  However, there isn't just one flu virus, the flu adapts and changes year after year into new strains that your body might not recognize.  This is where flu shots come in.  Shots have "deactivated flu viruses" in them, meaning a dead virus; it's just the parts your body uses to recognize the infection. These deactivated viruses are completely incapable of infecting someone, however you may display flu like symptoms and feel sick.  This is because the flu isn't what causes the symptoms, that's your cells reacting to pathogens in your body, it's perfectly natural, and shouldn't last nearly as long as a flu infection.  After your body has identified the deactivated strain you are immune to that particular flu and have a stronger resistance to modified strains of it.  For your health, it's very important to keep your immunizations up to date!  Not just for your sake, but even for the sake of people who have weaker immune systems or are allergic to the immunizations.  Seniors and small children are at the most risk when it comes to the influenza virus.  Hopefully you found this article interesting and informative!

Monday, October 8, 2018

Breast Cancer Awareness and Hurricane Michael

Happy Columbus Day everybody!  We hope you are enjoying your day off if you have it!

It's a little bit late, but this month is Breast Cancer Awareness month.  Did you know, that men can also develop breast cancer? It's very rare for men to get but it's still very likely!  Be sure to get regular check ups with your doctors, and if you notice any lumps (male or female) to speak with your doctor right away.  Early detection is very important when treating cancer!  If you can spare it, please donate to a cancer research center of your choosing or to a related charity to help fund the research needed to develop a cure.  Every penny helps and brings society one step closer to a cancer free world!

Last week we got our first I Spy submission from David Carpenter! There's still plenty of time so keep your eye out for this Kia Soul and send your picture to us on our Facebook Page!  Remember, your submission puts you in for a drawing for a $50 gift card for Outback Steakhouse!

Keep your eye out in these locations for our car this week!

-Mon: Mobile
-Tues: Saraland and Semmes Alabama
-Wednesday: Connie Hudson Senior Center
-Thursday: Mobile
-Friday: Mobile

Tomorrow we are holding our Bi-Monthly Dementia Support group!  If you're a caregiver or a family member who is taking care of someone with Dementia, feel free to come by our head quarters at 11 am tomorrow and the 23rd to speak with other caregivers and our professionals.  Share your stories, learn about the disease, and get referrals to respite services if you feel like you need it!

Everyone please be safe, Hurricane Michael is headed in our direction and was located off of the Gulf Coast today.  While it's projected to pass us without any issues, it is moving fast and may change directions.  If it does hit, meteorologists believe it will be on Wednesday.  Please take the necessary precautions, stock up on non perishable food, and drive safe until the storm has passed!