Thursday, December 27, 2018

Tips on Healthy Caregiving and THSC Christmas!

Healthy Caregiving During the Holidays


Many caregivers are perpetually tired from the demands that result from caring for their loved one. Just the thought of your normal routine plus decorating the house, attending special events, shop­ping for gifts, and preparing special food for the holidays can be overwhelming.
But what if you had more control over the events, expectations, and relationships that often make holiday times so stressful? This could make a huge difference in the way you and your loved one experience the season. It requires exercising some choices you may not be accustomed to. Here are some suggestions to help make this holiday season a joyous, healthful and manageable one for you and your loved one.
Set realistic expectations for yourself and your loved one
Take control of the holidays by deciding what you and your loved one want. How many events, if any, can you both attend or host without overdoing it? Who are the people you most want to be with? What contributions are you capable of making in terms of food, drink and gifts? These are basic questions that most caregivers don’t ask themselves. Instead of making decisions that are in their best interest, many wait for others to tell them where to go, what to bring, and so on. This year, give yourself permission to say ‘no’ to unwanted demands.
Let others know when you need help
Caregivers typically try to do everything themselves. But during the holidays there are often family and friends around who are eager to help. If you want help, such as time away for relaxation or an extra hand or two in the kitchen, don’t be afraid to ask. Not only does this help you, but it can be very stimulating and enjoyable for your loved one to have others to interact with and share in his or her care.
Express your emotions with family and friends
The holidays can trigger emotions ranging from joy to depression in caregivers. A strong sense of loss may work its way into your life during the holidays. It might involve coming to grips with the permanent loss of your loved one’s mental or physical abilities. Or perhaps you have a strong feeling that this may be your loved one’s last holiday. Maybe it is the loss of your own freedom with caregiver responsibilities that hits hardest during the holidays. Regardless, talk with others about how you feel. By expressing your feelings with others you can lighten your emotional burden.
Take time out for yourself
Everyone seems extra busy during the holidays but for caregivers this can literally mean no rest from morning to night. Start with the essentials: Get adequate sleep, eat well and take time on most days for some physical activity. If possible, get out of the house for brief periods to maintain perspective. Consider shopping online or by catalogue for many of your gifts this holiday season. Then use the extra time and energy you would have spent fighting traffic and standing in check-out lines on taking better care of yourself.
Practice rituals that you and your loved one find meaningful
Rituals are important ways to add meaning to your holidays. Yet it’s very easy for the busyness of the holidays to squeeze out any real meaning in the season. Practice rituals that you and your loved one find meaningful, even if no one else is there to share it. This might involve a favorite holiday meal, listening to a song together, visiting a place with special memories for you both, etc. It can also involve family and friends. And don’t be afraid to create new rituals as old ones may have painful memories attached to them.
Celebrate what you and your loved one have right now
Caregiving often involves the loss of things you want to hold onto, which can create a sense of helplessness and anxiety. When we experience these emotions, it signals that we are probably either mourning the past or worried about the future. But there is little we can do about either—we can only address what’s happening in the present moment. Celebrate what you and your loved one share right now, even though it’s not what you might ultimately prefer. Try to let go of what was or what could be and make the most of what you have.
It really boils down to making choices. You only have a limited amount of time, energy and resources available. The question is: How are you and your loved one going to spend these? With a little planning and clear communication with friends or family on your intentions, it’s possible to care for your loved one, take care of yourself, and still take joy in celebrating the holidays.
By Gary Gilles, LCPC

Our Christmas Party video went up last weekend! Have you seen it? We had a ton of fun sharing stories, and playing various Christmas Games like Jingle Toss, Shake your Booty, and Dirty Santa!  We also took time to recognize our Employee of the Year and every employee of the month for 2018.

Here's some photos from the Party!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Capturing Memories

Capturing Family Memories with Oral Histories

This article is the first of two on the topic of “family stories.” Part One deals with oral histories, Part Two on starting a family tree.
We find ourselves in a world-wide genealogy craze, as a variety of DNA testing options have become available and increasingly affordable, and a wide array of genealogy websites invite those who are mildly curious about their ancestry to dive in—sometimes hooking them into a life-long passion. But what many people discover when they begin their genealogy research is that the most important source of information about your family is your living relatives’ memories—of their own family experiences as well as the stories passed down to them through the generations. Increasingly our Greatest Generation is passing on, taking vital information about relatives and our family stories with them.
Capturing the facts and stories about our family by asking our relatives questions is called an “oral history.” These can take the form of relatively informal question and answer sessions around a dinner table recorded by hand, to a more structured interview involving audio or video recordings that can later be edited together to provide a valuable family media archive. However you choose to approach gathering and compiling this information, there are a few basic “best practices” to keep in mind as follows.
Collaborate with other family members. Brainstorm with as many family members as you can before starting an oral history. Discuss who are the most important people to interview and what people think the key things are that need to be recorded—whether that be missing facts about relatives who have passed—names, places and dates which will be helpful in building a picture of your family tree, or the more personal family stories and traditions. It is also useful to include as many accounts of the same information as possible, since people will have different memories of the same event.
Define your project. Clarity is key. Telling an entire family history in any form is a daunting project, so start with specific questions on information you wish to know. Start by gathering short vignettes. Maybe there's a critical aspect of your own childhood you'd like to recapture such as a memorable family vacation. Often we are trying to identify facts we may not know about specific relatives, or where our family originated and how we got to where we are today. The whole story can't be told overnight, but as you collect these

separate anecdotes, the larger story will begin to emerge.
Have a list of questions ready. Experts advise framing questions in a way that invites expansive answers. Ask about early memories, or about happiest (and saddest) moments. The idea is to get a conversation started. StoryCorps, the oral history project created by the American Folklife Center, offers suggested questions and an interactive guide ( great-questions).
Techniques for recording information. While hand-written notes may be necessary when trying to record information on the fly, you probably already have the most useful tool for an oral history in your pocket. Smartphones can be used very successfully for video or audio documentation. Also, video conferencing services such as Skype and FaceTime offer recording options for interviewing distant relatives. If you choose to create a video of your interviews, easy-to-use software such as Apple’s iMovie and Microsoft’s Movie Maker are preinstalled on your computer.
Collecting and compiling oral histories entail effort and planning, but in the end, they bring generations of families together and foster an appreciation for listening and telling stories.
By Caren Parnes
For The Senior’s Choice

Christmas is nearly here! Are you ready for the holidays?  I sure am.  I hope all of you have a safe and fun holiday this year, and that you make a ton of good memories!  If you need a caregiver for some help this year, give us a call! We have plenty of hard working caregivers who would love to help you during this tiring, and wonderful, time of year.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Myths about the Flu

Hello everyone! Since it's still chilly out, make sure you're healthy and hopefully these Senior's Choice facts will help put you at ease about the Flu Vaccine!

Senior Health & Lifestyles

15 Myths About the Flu Vaccine

Flu season is here. And along with the coughing, fevers and aches, you can expect a lot of unreliable or downright wrong information about the flu vaccine. Many people underestimate the health risks from flu. Flu and pneumonia combined consistently rank among the top 10 causes of death in the U.S., according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Thousands of Americans die from flu-related complications in a typical year. The flu season typically lasts from October to April.
Getting a shot isn't a perfect defense against flu. Some years the strains used to make vaccines aren't a good match for the type of flu that eventually strikes. But vaccination remains the most reliable way to reduce the risk for illness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older gets vaccinated against flu every year, with rare exceptions, such as those with life-threatening allergies to flu vaccine ingredients or potentially those with a history of Guillain-Barré syndrome.
Following is a list of common misconceptions about the flu vaccine and the corresponding facts. If you have specific questions about vaccination, consult your doctor or other health professional.
Myth #1: You don't need the flu vaccine this year if you got it last year. Fact: You need a new flu shot each year because the circulating strains change and immunity from the vaccine fades.
Myth #2: The flu shot is the only option available. Fact: You have several flu vaccine options, such as the shot, including egg-free versions, and a nasal spray.
Myth #3: The flu vaccine can give you the flu. Fact: The flu shot can't give you the flu because the virus it contains has been inactivated or severely weakened.
Myth #4: The flu shot doesn't work for me because last time I got it, I got the flu anyway. Fact: The flu shot cannot offer 100 percent protection against the flu, but it reduces your risk of getting it. Many people mistake symptoms from colds and other illnesses for the flu.
Myth #5: Pharmaceutical companies make a massive profit off flu vaccines. Fact: They're a tiny source of profit and are made by only a handful of companies.
Myth #6: Flu vaccines don't work for children. Fact: Flu vaccines effectively reduce the risk of flu for children ages 6 months and up.
Myth #7: Flu vaccines cause heart problems and strokes. Fact: Flu shots reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular events.
Myth #8: The flu vaccine weakens your body's immune response. Fact: The flu vaccine prepares your immune system to fight influenza by stimulating antibody production.
Myth #9: The flu vaccine causes nerve disorders such as Guillain-Barré syndrome. Fact: Only the 1976 swine flu vaccine was linked to Guillain-Barré syndrome, and influenza is more likely to cause the nerve disorder than the flu vaccine; the CDC says those with the Guillain-Barré should consult a doctor before getting the flu shot.
Myth #10: People don't die from the flu unless they have another underlying condition already. Fact: Otherwise healthy people do die from the flu. The elderly and young children are most vulnerable.
Myth #11: People with egg allergies can't get vaccinated against flu. Fact: People with egg allergies can get a flu shot but should consult their doctor or allergist on options if their allergy is severe.
Myth #12: I can protect myself from the flu by eating right and washing my hands regularly. Fact: A good diet and good hygiene are healthful habits that reduce the risk of illness but cannot prevent the flu on their own.
Myth #13: If I do get the flu, I'll just stay home so I'm not infecting others. Fact: You can transmit the flu without showing symptoms.
Myth #14: The "stomach flu" is the flu. Fact: The stomach flu refers to a variety of gastrointestinal illnesses unrelated to influenza.
Myth #15: If you haven't gotten a flu shot by November, there's no point in getting one. Fact: Getting the flu shot any time during flu season will reduce your risk of getting the flu.

We have nearly selected our winner for the I SPY contest, so stay tuned to discover the winner!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Senior's Choice Finance Resources and Elf on the Shelf!

This week's blog post comes to us right from The Senior's Choice!

Finance & Consumer Resources

Reevaluating Your Investments in an Uncertain Market

While most economic experts agree that the fundamentals of the economy are sound, many market watchers are beginning to ask the question: Is this Bull coming to an end? 2018 has been a year of uncertainty, and most financial advisors are recommending investors revisit their portfolios with at least an eye to rebalancing. Here are some suggestions for weathering a potential downturn in the market.
Know that you have the resources to weather a crisis. If you’re retired, knowing that you have the next couple years’ worth of living expenses in a bank account—and several more years in bonds that mature when you need the money—can help keep you calm and clear-headed. You might think you are risk tolerant, but if you haven’t structured your investments to handle a sharp drop, your financial capacity to handle risk may change your attitude when the market does drop.
Match your money to your goals. Map out a plan that takes into account what you’re saving for, whether near-term expenses or future financial goals like retirement. Structure your portfolio to match those goals. Money that you’ll need in the short term or that you can’t afford to lose—the down payment on a home, for example—is best invested in relatively stable assets, such as money market funds, certificates of deposit (CDs) or Treasury bills. Goals that need funding in three to five years should be addressed with a mixture of investment-grade bonds and CDs. For money you won’t need for five or more years, consider assets with the potential to grow, such as stocks, which are more volatile. Your allocation should also account for your time horizon and risk tolerance.
Remember: Downturns don’t last. The Schwab Center for Financial Research looked at both bull and bear markets in the S&P 500 going back to the late ’60s and found that the average bull ran for more than four years, delivering an average return of nearly 140%. The average bear market lasted a little longer than a year, delivering an average loss of 34.7%. The longest of the bears was a little more than two years—and was followed by a nearly five-year bull run. No bull market endures forever, but neither does a bear. And historically the market’s upward movement has prevailed over the declines.
Keep your portfolio diversified. Let’s say there is a slump—what is the best way to insulate against losses? Being well diversified is a preventive measure you can take now. Being diversified means you have a wide variety of investment grade bonds—corporate, municipals, Treasuries and possibly foreign issues. And they should have varying maturity dates, from short-term to mid-term, so you always have some bonds maturing and providing you with either income or money to reinvest. Your long-term assets should be divvied up among a wide array of domestic stocks—big and small, fast-growing and dividend-paying—as well as international stocks, real estate investment trusts (REITs) and commodities. This mix of assets gives you enough diversity that it provides a cushion in your portfolio if specific parts of the market are taking a hit so your exposure in a downturn is lessened.
Include cash in your portfolio. Cash in your portfolio offers protection against volatility, and cash reserves can come in handy in down markets. With cash you can buy in when prices are attractively low—without having to sell securities at a loss, if they are also at a low point.
Find an expert you can count on. If you’re not sure how to structure your portfolio correctly, or you think you’d be tempted to do something rash in a market slide, you should find a financial professional you trust to collaborate with you. That person can walk you through a complete portfolio review and help prepare you and your portfolio for times when the market gets tough.
By Caren Parnes
For The Senior’s Choice

Have you been following our social media? Since it's December, we are posting daily Elf on the Shelf shenanigans again this year to get into the holiday spirit!  Meet Valerie, the Touching Hearts Elf on the Shelf!  She just came back from the North Pole the other day and is going to keep an eye on the office for Santa.  What kind of adventures will she have this year?

Follow us on your preferred social media to find out!

And for christmas, there will be a very special video on our YouTube page!

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

I Spy and the End of November

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving!  Shared some laughs, good food, and all around good times with your families.  I hope everyone was in good health!  Did you notice a family member developing dementia? It's unfortunate but statistically it's going to happen, when it does you can always rely on to Touching Hearts to help you through this time!  Whether it's scheduling a Certified Dementia Caregiver or coming to our Bi-Monthly support groups, we are always happy to help!

This last week of November is GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) Awareness month!  Also known as Acid Reflux, and is a very common disease that affects 1 in 5 adults.  The most common symptom of GERD is moderate to severe heart burn, but can also have symptoms of excessive salivation, constant belching, and difficulty swallowing.  Due to the variations in pain and discomfort, some people go their whole lives without a diagnosis, where as others don't get the right level of treatment and have to undergo drastic lifestyle changes to adjust to GERD.  With enough funding, scientists can research into more effective methods of understanding the Causes and Treatments of GERD.

The last day of our I SPY giveaway is coming up fast! You have until the 30th to spot the car and if you do, then you have a chance to win a 50 dollar gift card for Outback Steakhouse!  All you have to do is snap a picture and post it on our Facebook Page!

December is nearly Here!

Last year I had a ton of fun with posting Elf on the Shelf, so guess who is returning this year?

Could it be? It's Touching Heart's Elf on the Shelf Valerie! Coming soon she's here to stay. Bringing mischief and cheer until Christmas day!

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 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!

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Back to Blogging!

Hello everyone, sorry there hasn't been a post in a while!  My name is Levi, and I'm in charge of the social media for Touching Hearts Senior Care now.  I will be giving weekly recaps of what's going on, up coming events and other interesting information from Touching Hearts Senior Care!

Coming up we have Gina Germany, Janet Rich Pittman, Dr. Douglas Brown, and David Johnson speaking at a seminar called "The Dementia Tsunami!"  This November, come learn about what dementia is, how to recognize it, and how to care for someone with cognitive disabilities.

You can RSVP any time between now and the 14th by calling us at the office, 251-445-4204, or sending an email to!

Come learn about Dementia and earn some CEUs while you're there!

The Dementia Tsunami is coming to the Ben May Library on 11/15/18, at 9am.  We hope to see you there!

We are sponsoring another event coming this month as well! At the end of this month you can come to the Connie Hudson Senior Center and learn about identity theft, how it happens, and the steps you can take to protect yourself in case it does happen. 

This event is on October 30th, 2018 from 10 am to 12 pm.

In big news, we have restarted our YouTube Channel!  We post a new video every Friday that I personally edit.  This week we are celebrating one of our most reliable caregivers, Lisa Donahue, as our October Employee of the Month!

And lastly, we are holding a contest giveaway for 50 dollars to Outback Steakhouse! To enter all you need to do is keep your eye out for our brand new company car.  If you see it in public, take a picture and post it to our Facebook Page:

You have until November 30th to submit a photo, so keep your eyes peeled!

This giveaway is solely held by Touching Hearts Senior Care, and is in no way sponsored or affiliated with Outback Steakhouse, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, or LinkedIn.

Monday, June 4, 2018

                                 June is National Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month !

     Stroke, Bell's palsy, and sudden deafness are conditions that each have a specific window of time to get evaluated or treated. Learn the signs and seek immediate help to reduce or reverse any disability.

Stroke: There are two kinds of stroke. An ischemic stroke is a blockage that prevents blood flow to the brain, says David Wang, DO, FAAN, chair of The American Academy of Neurology Stroke Section and Clinical professor of neurology at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria.

Know the signs:
  1. Facial droop
  2. Arm or leg weakness
  3. Speech problems (an inability to speak or garbled speech)
  4. Sudden bad headache
  5. Double vision
  6. Difficulty walking
  7. Vision loss
  8. Sudden loss of sensation on one side of the body

                                Pharmaceutical companies make me hot under the collar:

                                             We Americans need a call to action:

The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) and other leading medical organizations have called for major changes in how drug prices are determined in the United States. In early 2017, the AAN issued a position statement on three major areas of action that would lower drug costs.

#1:  Negotiate Price: Grant authority to federal agencies to negotiate prices with drug manufacturers under Medicare . This would allow the government to use its purchasing power to obtain prescription drugs at a lower price.( and where Medicare goes, private insurers typically follow.)

#2:  Be Transparent : Require manufacturers to disclose pricing information, including how drugs are priced and the prices paid by insurers and consumers, and limit direct -to-consumer advertising, which creates demand for unnecessary or inappropriate medications and contributes to marketing costs.

#3:  Allow importation : Allow the importation of the same high-quality prescription drugs from Canada when prices for those prescriptions are less expensive than in the United States. Many specialty drugs are priced much higher in the United States than in other countries.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

                                                     What is Alzheimer's Disease?

What is it?

 Alzheimer's is a progressive disease of memory loss and thinking difficulties. It involves protein fragments called plaques and tangles , which are suspected of disrupting communication among nerve cells in the brain.

Who is most at risk?

People over age 65,those with a family history of the disease, and those with certain genetic mutations in a gene called APOE. Mild cognitive impairment, severe head trauma, and lack of social and intellectual engagement appear to raise risk, too. there's also evidence that the odds of getting the disease with unhealthy behaviors such as smoking or as being sedentary.

How to prevent it:

" A healthy heart life-style is a brain-healthy lifestyle, " potentially reducing Alzhiemer 's disease symptoms by as much as 40%, says Pierre Tariot, director of the Banner Alzheimer's disease Institute in Phoenix and a professor at The University of Arizona Medical School. The goal is to lower inflammation to keep blood vessels and the brain cells healthy, since "the cardiovascular system provides the pipes that provide blood to our brain," says Tariot.

Follow the Mind Diet:

This diet focuses on the 10 brain-healthy foods including beans, berries, fish, nuts, vegetables, and whole grains. The diet-developed by Martha Clare Morris, a nutritional epidemiologist at Rush University's medical school, along with several colleagues-emphasizes the importance of eating these foods while severely limiting consumption of butter, cheese, and fried and fast foods. One study showed that this diet can lower the risk of developing Alzheimer's by 53% if followed rigorously. 

Exercise regularly and maintain normal blood pressure.

Get enough sleep" Aim for 7 to 8 hours a night. Beta-amyloid, one of the proteins associated with Alzheimer's, diminishes in sleep. Plus, " the brain literally clears itself out " during sleep, says Rudolph Tanzi, a neurology professor at Harvard University and director of Massachusetts General Hospital's Genetics and Aging research Unit.

Try Brain Training Excercises. The recent Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly Study, funded by the National Institute On Aging, found that cognitive activities showed help in enhancing reasoning and showed promise in keeping Alzheimer's at bay.