Thursday, June 20, 2019

Elder Abuse

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While most people love and care for their elders, it is a sad truth that Elder Abuse is far too frequent in today's society.  Last Saturday was Elder Abuse Awareness day and in honor of it, I would like to bring up the common types of elder abuse.

Over half a million US citizens are victims to elder abuse each year, and abuse can come in many forms.  Abuse is not just physical, but can also be emotional or financial.  Physical abuse is easy to spot, like bruises, scared behavior.  Other forms of abuse can be much more difficult to identify.

Physical elder abuse – The non-accidental use of force against an elderly person that results in physical pain, injury, or impairment. Such abuse includes not only physical assaults such as hitting or shoving but the inappropriate use of drugs, restraints, or confinement.

Emotional elder abuse – The treatment of an older adult in ways that cause emotional or psychological pain or distress, including; Intimidation through yelling or threats, humiliation and ridicule, habitual blaming or scapegoating, ignoring the elderly person, isolating an elder from friends or activities, or terrorizing or menacing the elderly person.
Sexual elder abuse – Contact with an elderly person without their consent. Such contact can involve physical sex acts, but activities such as showing an elderly person pornographic material, forcing the person to watch sex acts, or forcing the elder to undress are also considered sexual elder abuse
Elder neglect – Failure to fulfill a caretaking obligation. This constitutes more than half of all reported cases of elder abuse. It can be intentional or unintentional, based on factors such as ignorance or denial that an elderly charge needs as much care as they do.
Financial exploitation – The unauthorized use of an elderly person’s funds or property, either by a caregiver or an outside scam artist. An unscrupulous caregiver might; misuse an elder’s personal accounts, steal money or household goods, forge the elder’s signature, engage in identity theft. Typical scams that target elders include; announcement of a “prize” that the elderly person has won but must pay money to claim, phony charities, investment fraud.
Healthcare fraud and abuse – Carried out by unethical doctors, nurses, hospital personnel, and other professional care providers. This can include; not providing healthcare but charging for it, overcharging or double-billing for medical care or services,getting kickbacks for referrals to other providers or for prescribing certain drugs, overmedicating or undermedicating, recommending fraudulent remedies for illnesses or other medical conditions, medicaid fraud.
If you suspect someone is a victim of elder abuse or are a victim of elder abuse yourself, seek help immediately.  Contact your doctor, a family member you can trust, a close friend, and contact an elder care hotline such as: 1-800-677-1116 for the Elder Care Locator.  Your safety is important, do not confront you or your loved one's abuser alone.
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Thursday, June 13, 2019

Exercise tips: Knees

As we get older, our joints begin to deteriorate, and we lose the ability to move the way we used to.  You might be worried that if you exercise with your weakened joints, that you'll only cause further pain and hurt yourself rather than help.  It's a logical fear, but worry not, our bodies aren't like Car Breaks or the Tip of an Eraser where the more you use it, the less effective it is.  The more we work out our joints the stronger they become, the key is to pace yourself and do some warm ups.

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Riding an elliptical, walk on a treadmill, do wall push ups. These and other light exercises are low impact and will warm up your body for exercise. Reducing your risk for injury and help get your body into the momentum of a workout!


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1. Straight Leg Raises

If your knee’s not at its best, start with a simple strengthening exercise for your quadriceps, the muscles in the front of the thigh. This move puts little to no strain on the knee. Lie on your back on the floor or another flat surface. Bend one knee and place your foot flat on the floor. Keeping the other leg straight, raise it to the height of the opposite knee. Repeat 10-15 times for three sets.

2. Hamstring Curls

These are the muscles along the back of your thigh. Lie flat on your stomach. Slowly bring your heels as close to your butt as you can, and hold that position. Do three sets of 15. You can also do this exercise standing while you hold onto a chair and lift one leg at a time. If this becomes easy, you can add ankle weights, slowly increasing the weight from 1 to 3 to 5 pounds.

3. Prone Straight Leg Raises

Lie on your stomach with your legs straight. Tighten the muscles in your bottom and the hamstring of one leg, and lift toward the ceiling. Hold 3-5 seconds, lower, and repeat. Do 10-15 lifts and switch sides. You can add ankle weights as you gain strength. You shouldn’t feel back pain. If you do, limit how high you lift up. If it still hurts, stop and talk to your doctor.

3. Prone Straight Leg Raises

Lie on your stomach with your legs straight. Tighten the muscles in your bottom and the hamstring of one leg, and lift toward the ceiling. Hold 3-5 seconds, lower, and repeat. Do 10-15 lifts and switch sides. You can add ankle weights as you gain strength. You shouldn’t feel back pain. If you do, limit how high you lift up. If it still hurts, stop and talk to your doctor.

4. Wall Squats

This is a more advanced move. You’ll keep your feet on the floor. Stand with your back against a wall, your feet about shoulder-width apart. Slowly bend your knees, and keep your back and pelvis against the wall. Hold for 5-10 seconds. Don’t bend too deeply. If you feel pressure or discomfort in your knees, change your position. Repeat the exercise, and try to hold the sit position a few seconds longer each time.

5. Calf Raises

Stand facing the back of a sturdy chair, other support such as the back of a couch, or a wall bar at the gym. You can also do this on the stairs, holding on to the banister with your heels hanging off the edge of the step. Slowly raise the heels as high as you can, then lower. Do three sets of 10-15. When it becomes easy, lift one foot slightly off the floor, with all your weight on the other foot.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Health and Safety tips: Raw Food Safety

I'm sure most of you already know, but it's not safe to eat raw meats.  Raw meats can contain an array of harmful bacteria and parasites that could lead to dangerous food borne illnesses.  Here are a few tips to keep your food fresher longer, by knowing how to properly handle raw meats.

Proper Storage: Always store your raw meats on the bottom most shelf of your fridge, this will prevent food contamination should the packaging ever leak.  Last thing you would want is raw meat drippings on your fruits and cooked foods.  Make sure your fridge is anywhere between 34 - 40 Degrees Fahrenheit.

Handling: Always separate raw meats from other foods when cooking, especially on cutting boards and utensils. Never place cooked meat on a surface that was in contact with raw meat unless its been cleaned with hot, soapy water.

Cooking Guidelines: Washing meat is pointless unless your trying to remove particulate, all it will do is contaminate other surfaces with the splash.  The only way to kill contaminates is to cook food to a proper food temperature. When you get your food, freeze it unless you plan to cook it within the next 3-5 days.  Fresh beef, lamb, pork, and veal, should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees, while poultry is safe at 165 degrees, and ground meats should be cooked to 160 degrees.

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You might be wondering why some animals can eat raw meat and not get sick, that might be because they have stronger appendix than us.  According to newer studies, the appendix protects the good bacteria in your digestive tract from the bad bacteria.  The reason we cook our food other than it tastes good, it kills harmful bacteria and parasites that might have made its way onto or inside your food.  Generations of cooking our food means we were ingesting less and less food borne bacteria, making our appendix weaker as humanity grew. Some meats are safer to eat raw or near raw like sushi or steak, but it is always best to make sure food is cooked to a proper internal temperature.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Getting Important Resource info

When a loved one develops dementia, it can be a very scary process.  You might not know where to go or how to care for your loved one.  It's this reason that Gulf Coast Dementia Services exists.  Gina Germany had started a non profit, who's goal is to spread awareness of dementia, and make resources available to those in need.  So I and a few board members teamed up and prepared the Resource Guide Book.  It has everything you need, from information about dementia, some steps you may need to take, and a complete list of phone numbers of experts you can call (all sorted in specific categories, no less!)

(IMAGE OF GUIDEBOOK NOT ACTUAL LINKED BUTTON)

So now you might be asking, "How can I get a hold of this compendium of information that I need?" Well my dear friend you are in luck, because it is absolutely free! If you live in the Gulf Coast region of Alabama you might have already seen this book at some hospitals and senior care facilities.  If you haven't seen it or don't want to waste time hunting one down, you can call us at 251-445-4204 and I'll prepare a book for you or you can go to GCDS's website and download a digital copy to print for yourself. Just go to gcseniorservices.com and scroll all the way to the bottom of the home page.  There you will see the image listed above with a working button to let you download a readable PDF of our book.  From there all you have to do is press "print" when you open the file.  Hopefully you find this information helpful, and you can help donate to Gulf Coast Dementia Services so we can continue to bring you more resource guides and spread awareness to the troubles of Dementia!

Friday, May 24, 2019

Dangers of Summer Heat

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It's progressively getting hotter as the days get longer and there are some hidden dangers of the sunny days, especially with cars.  While it may only be 70 - 90 degrees outside the insides of cars trap in heat and it can get much hotter, dangerously so.  While a typical, 80 degree, day might be toasty but nice, in a car it would only take a few minutes to get to 110 degrees.  That may not sound too hot to be dangerous but remember, if your core temperature reaches 107 degrees, then the proteins and enzymes in your body will breakdown and cease to function, leading to death.  This is why you should never leave a child, pet, or anyone in the car unattended in the summer.  Cracking a window isn't enough the airflow is too stagnant to get the heat out at a safe rate, if you ever have to leave someone in the car, leave it running with the AC on full blast.

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Cars aren't the only danger with summer heat, asphalt is also dangerous in the sun.  As you might already know, black and other dark colors absorb heat very well and can heat up fast.  Roads and parking lots are exposed to the sunlight all day making them very hot.  Walking across one can lead to a heat stroke if you dont stay hydrated, and could even burn your feet if you aren't wearing shoes. For the safety of pets and small children, please avoid pavement where possible and walk on grass.

Summer is great and fun, but remember that there are dangers everywhere.  Take necessary precautions, stay hydrated, and be safe!

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Hip Replacements and How to Prevent Them

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Modern medicine is amazing these days, we can repair parts of our bodies that fail, or even gain prosthetics that react to our own muscle movements for our lost limbs.  One modern marvel is the Hip replacement, a ceramic or metal ball and socket used to replace our own hip joint should the bone degenerate or break.  This procedure is fairly common in people over the ages of 65 (370,000 Americans each year replace their hip) and it helps correct the joint pain of a bad hip.  Unfortunately medicine isn't perfect, and at least 10% of all people who get a hip replacement have to have a 2nd procedure to repair the new joint because of mechanical failure, dislocation, or infection.  So what can we do to avoid getting a hip replacement? Exercise of course, keeping your body in peak condition is the best thing you can do to keep yourself healthy!

Below are various hip exercises you can do to build muscle strength and reduce your risk of having to replace that hip!

The Good Morning, stand with your feet spread apart slightly, then bow as far as you can or until your torso is parallel with the floor.  Keep your core braced, don't want to injure your back while you're protecting your hips!

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The Glute Bridge, lay on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor, clench your glutes as you raise your hips til you form a slope.  Hold the position for a bit, then lower.

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Hip Abduction, put a resistance band around the leg of heavy furniture or a pole, and around your ankle facing that object. Spread your legs, shoulder width apart and bring the banded leg in until your ankles touch. you can also do this by putting the band around both legs, and spreading your legs.

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Keep your body healthy and strong, and you shouldn't need a hip replacement, but if you are noticing significant joint pain, go see your doctor and discuss options!!

Friday, May 10, 2019

Spring Activities



Is everyone enjoying spring so far? The sun is shining, the days are getting warmer, flowers are blooming and birds are chirping!

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Keeping a healthy body keeps your mind healthy, and can reduce your chances of developing dementia.  So, lets take advantage of this lovely weather!  Jog for a bit, get your blood pumping.  Make sure to stay hydrated, especially in Alabama, where it's been in the 90s these last few days.  If it's too hot, go for a swim, the water offers great resistance training that is very low impact on your body, while keeping you cooled and refreshed, meaning you can exercise more for longer and it wont feel nearly as draining on your body and joints!  There are many great spring activities that can count for exercise, like biking, roller blading, frisbee, soccer, and even golf (if you use a hand caddie).  What ever you you prefer to do outside, it's leagues better for your health than sitting at home and watching TV all day! Just be safe on hot days and stay hydrated!

Here are some graphics from Ontario Parks showing some of the health benefits of some activities!
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HPHP hiking info

Thursday, May 2, 2019

It's May!

Happy May everybody! Enjoying that lovely spring weather?  It's getting hot here in Alabama, reminds me of a late summer in New York. It's Lupus awareness month!


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Lupus is a long term Autoimmune disease where your immune system becomes overactive and starts attacking the body instead of just foreign particles (like viruses, and bacteria).  Your immune system could damage muscle cells, organ tissue, just about anything organic that your blood can reach is affected by Lupus.  If untreated it will cause organ failure and death, but thanks to modern medicine, 90% of people treated for Lupus can live a normal lifespan.  Unfortunately that isn't the case for everyone, so researchers need help with funding to better research and understand what exactly is Lupus and how to cure/prevent it.  We had a guest speaker for our Tuesday Tea meetings, who is with Hats and Heels non profit to talk to us and raise awareness for Lupus.  Watch the video below to hear from Andreannia Bush!



Thursday, April 25, 2019

Prepping for the Hurricane Season



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It's no secret that storms are getting worse and storm seasons are coming earlier and earlier.  The Atlantic Hurricane Season, which is supposed to start June 1st, has started early for 4 years in a row now.  With the weather being as unpredictable as it is, it cant hurt to prepare!
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Make sure you store up on enough water and non perishable food should anything happen, this includes water bottles, canned food, ramen, pretty much anything edible that doesn't require a fridge to keep safe for consumption.  You never know if you'll lose power for extended periods of time so you wont be able to rely on your cold foods in the event of an emergency.

Image result for assorted batteriesGet some back-up power supplies, batteries for flashlights, portable phone chargers, maybe even a gas powered generator if you can afford it! In the event of a power outage, you'll want to keep lightsources, radios, and phones powered so you can hear the news and see in the dark.  Additionally, pack some long lasting emergency candles and matches in the event your flashlights break or run out of power.

Make sure your house (or your loved in a hurricane area) is in a house built to stand up to the weather, and if the house has storm shudders.  If not, get some plywood slats to reinforce the windows, and learn the area's evacuation routes should you still need to find shelter!

Image result for hurricane evacuation signPay close attention to the weather reports, sometimes meteorologists are wrong in their initial predictions of the weather and will announce any changes as they happen.  The storm could get worse than initially predicted, and you may have to prepare to evacuate or hunker down and wait it out.

When in the storm, stay indoors at all times, and make sure the storm is gone if you notice the weather stop.  You could be in the eye of the storm and that means it will resume very soon as it passes over you. Once you are certain the storm has passed be wary of any debris outside, report any damaged power lines and avoid touching them at all costs.
Hurricane season will be starting soon, so everyone please be safe and plan accordingly!!

If you need further tips on how to prepare, visit https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes to read more about what you can do during this weather!

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Easter Weekend and Dementia

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Easter is right around the corner!  I hope everyone will have a nice Sunday with their families and enjoy a nice Easter Dinner. If you're visiting elderly family, keep an eye on any changes no matter how subtle.  Dementia is not part of normal aging and is becoming more and more common as the years go on.  Dementia can be very subtle at first, and knowing what to key in on is very important in identifying whether or not your loved one has it, that way you can look for the help your family needs!

Memory Loss

Obviously one of the biggest indicators of dementia is memory loss.  However, don't be worried if it's mall details here and there, everyone gets a little forgetful as we get older.  If you are noticing major memories being forgotten or many minor memories being forgotten.

Difficulty Performing Tasks

Dementia not only affects your memory, but affects how your brain works in general, including motor functions and reasoning. You may notice someone developing dementia if they lose the ability to perform normal tasks they could do with ease. It's especially concerning if its a long time hobby or daily routine task that they cannot do anymore.

Problems with Language

People with dementia have difficulties with basic language, from both spelling and speaking.  Common issues range from writing the wrong letters, speaking the wrong words, or even forgetting the terms entirely.

Disorientation to Time or Place

As dementia progresses, the person may forget what day it is, or thing they're in another year entirely! This can be a very confusing time for the individual because their own home could be seen as a stranger's home because dementia is preventing them from remembering where or when they are.

Poor Judgement

Dementia impacts our reasoning drastically, so someone affected may do things like not dress appropriately, or might say things one wouldn't normally say in certain situations.

Misplacing Things

We have all left our keys in the wrong spot, left our keys in the car, misplaced the TV remote, but people with dementia can misplace things in troubling locations.  Like storing raw meats in a clothes dresser, or putting the iron in the fridge.  It may be more subtle than that, so make note of all the misplaced things and how frequently these events happen.

Changes in Mood

While we all experience mood swings from time to time, Dementia can make mood swings drastic and rapid.  Something slightly distressing could make them incredibly irate, but as soon as it's resolved, they would be fine.

Loss of Initiative

We can all get depressed or lose motivation some times, and it'll eventually come to pass.  Dementia can make this depression worse and last much longer.  You may see your loved one sleep more and more, doing less each day, becoming even more passive.

Pay special attention to your loved one's behaviors.  If you notice one or more of these changes please seek out a neuro-specialist and see if its normal ageing or the early stages of dementia.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Whats new with THSC?

Happy Friday everybody! It's been a while since we've had a little recap on all the exciting things that has happened.  So let's take a moment and take a look, shall we?



TOUCHING HEARTS AT RIBBON CUTTING

Were you near Fowl River? The Mobile Chamber was holding a ribbon cutting ceremony for a brand new Ace Hardware!  We are members of the chamber and came by to commemorate the new store, and welcoming them to our community.  Best of luck to the new Ace Hardware Store, I hope the owners are successful in their newest endeavor!












FIT MINDS PROGRAM

As you may have heard, we just recently launched our Fit Minds program.  We now offer one on one cognitive coaching to help your elderly family members train their brain and help reduce the effects of dementia!

Through a variety of exercises, our coaches will create a custom course for your loved one, that will help train their brain without being too difficult for them to achieve.  Thanks to this one on one method, our coaches can give your loved one the time they need to learn and improve with each session!  Fit minds only has 10 coaches across the country, and Touching hearts has 2 of them! If you are interested, call us at 251-445-4204 and we'll get you a personalized training session as soon as possible!



HITTING THE RUNWAY FOR OUR VETERANS

Touching Hearts Senior Care had attended a charity fashion show to help support our returning Veterans Reintegrate to society!  Even though many soldiers leave the front lines, the battle still rages on for them in other ways.  Burdened hearts, Shell shock, Disfiguring injuries, each soldier that returns has a challenge that they must fight to overcome.  Veterans Recovery Resource is a non profit with the goal to help suffering soldiers get the aid they need to move on and live a comfortable life.  Visit https://veteransrecoveryresources.org/ for more info!  We had donated many purses to this charity show for their purse raffle, and we made a video, come see!




Friday, April 5, 2019

Parkinson's Disease

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It's April and today we are taking a look at Parkinson's Disease since it is Parkinson's Awareness Month!  What is Parkinson's? It's a degenerative disease in the nervous system, which basically means, the cells of the nervous system are failing and the nervous system is one of our most important bodily organs.  Nerves are all over your bodies, it's how your brain sends signals to your body to function properly.  Which is why people affected with Parkinson's can have trouble with just about any function in their body, like tremors (shaking) or sluggish movement, difficulties speaking and breathing, and even stiffness of the joints and poor balance.  Unfortunately there is no cure, but we have treatments available to limit the problems Parkinson's causes.  You may not realize it but the brain is made up entirely of nerve cells, and as the cells degenerate, you become more prone to anxiety and depression as well as losing bodily functions.  Because of this, treatments for Parkinson's also includes anti-depressants.  Don't panic though, just because you may have depression, it doesn't mean you have Parkinson's.  See a doctor if you fear you might be developing it as it does affect roughly 200,000 Americans per year.  The sooner you take treatments, the longer you can enjoy a better quality of life before the disease progresses.  If you can, please donate to a charity fund of your choice and help fund the research needed to find a cure!


Also Nuris Sanchez is our Employee of the month for April 2019! She's very dedicated to her clients and has made Touching Hearts proud to have her as a member of our Team and Family.  Thank you Nuris, and keep up that hard work!

Friday, March 29, 2019

Pain relief

As we get older, we become more prone to chronic pains, whether it be headaches, arthritis, menstrual cramps, gastrointestinal cramps, charlie horses, back aches, or back pains.  There are many different types of pain, and some people learn to accept the pain while others need to seek out pain relievers.  Thankfully, modern medicine has you covered with an array of medications that match an array of pains.  Let's take a look at some common pains, and some over the counter medications that are suited for that pain.

Image result for motrinIbuprofen: (Advil/Motrin)

Best for: Everyday aches; Headaches, menstrual cramps, back joint and muscle pains

Cautions: Ibuprofen can cause gastric distress, like upset stomachs, or acid reflux.  Don't use it as much if you have stomach conditions.  It can also cause Kidney issues if you're taking the maximum dosage each day.  To prevent the stomach issues, eat a snack before you take your Ibuprofen, it'll create a barrier that can protect your stomach lining.

Acetaminophen: (Tylenol)

Best for: Fevers, and aches caused by a cold or flu
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Cautions: Acetaminophen is relatively safe so long as you stay within the proper dosages and is one of the few pain relievers safe enough for pregnant women to take.  However, acetaminophen is very dangerous when taking too much, and is one of the most common causes of accidental overdose.  Too much acetaminophen (5 - 7.5 grams) can lead to liver failure, and its a common ingredient in a lot of medications, so its easy to accidentally double dose.  Go to the ER if you experience, nausea, vomiting, and abnormal pain, after taking acetaminophen products.

Aspirin:

Image result for aspirinPeople tend to thing Aspirin is a pain reliever, while it may work to an extent, it should always be your last choice due to how ineffective it is at pain relief.  Aspirin relieves pains by improving blood flow by restricting your blood's ability to clot.  Its superb for preventing heart attacks, but too much aspirin can cause stomach and intestinal ulcers which could lead to intestinal bleeding since aspirin prevents clotting.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Jelly Drops and Dementia

Image result for jelly drops dementiaOne of the most common dangers with Dementia is dehydration.  More often than not, people with dementia cant convey that they're thirsty, or forget to stay properly hydrated.  Very recently two UK researchers have invented a marvelous source of hydration for people with Dementia, they're called Jelly Drops, and they're so simple yet so innovative.  Lewis Hornby had studied various people, including his own grandmother with dementia, and had noticed that people with dementia were becoming dehydrated because of a litany of issues.  Whether it be the inability to recognize cups, recognize their own thirst, loss of dexterity, get combative at assistance with drinking, or even how easy it is to spill liquids, Lewis had recognized that it was easier for people with dementia to eat than it was to drink.  Furthermore, Lewis had noticed that people with dementia are far more receptive to eating treats than meals, something about getting a piece of candy resonates with them more than properly plated foods, and his grandmother was more comfortable eating in social situations than she was independently.


With all these key behaviors in people with Dementia, Lewis took to the kitchen and began to prototype out hydrating snacks that resembled jello.  He came up with a formula that is 95% water with all natural flavoring and no sugars to be as healthy as possible, and shaped this snack into an enticing treat with vibrant colors and unique packaging.  Just one box of his Jelly Drops contain half the daily recommended water consumption for any adult.  He was able to take a complex issue, and find a simple solution, and is now working with various facilities to make Jelly Drops widely available and better the lives of all people with dementia.

Check out his Ted Talk to hear about his process! I'm hoping Jelly Drops goes world wide soon, the world needs this level of innovation!

Friday, March 15, 2019

Insomnia and Tips to Get a Good Sleep Schedule

Image result for SleepSome days it's hard to get a good night sleep.  I have dealt with my fair share of insomnia, and I'm certain you have too, especially when studies show that 50% of adults suffer from periodic insomnia, and 10% have chronic insomnia.  So what could be causing these sleepless nights? Well that varies from person to person, but here are some tips that you can use to try and beat it!

Consistent Routine

This one can be tricky as it is difficult to form a new routine.  If you have your wake up and bed times the same time every day of the week, your body will adjust to your new sleep schedule and make sure you are out exercising or socializing during the day to tire out your body.  And lastly, make sure you go to bed 30 minutes prior to when you want to fall asleep, as the body takes about a half hour to fully fall into REM (rapid eye movement) sleep.

Exercise

Moving frequently will burn off your excess energy, not only will this help keep you awake during the day, but it will also help you sleep at night.  You don't need to vigorously exercise, but some activity through out the day will definitely work!

Cool Room

Image result for thermostatKeeping your bedroom colder will aid in sleep as your body relaxes in cooler environments.  This is because in nature, temperatures get cooler as the night comes.  Our bodies instinctually react to cooler temperatures because of this.

Get Evaluated

If your lack of sleep is getting out of hand, and is negatively impacting your life, you should go see a sleep specialist and have them examine your problems.  You could be suffering from sleep apnea, thyroid problems, restless leg syndrome, etc.  When in doubt always see your doctor!

Avoid Sleep Disruptors

Image result for sleep disruptorsAvoid taking long naps through the day, and coffee as you will have excess energy that'll make normal sleep more difficult.  Also avoid using your smartphone, computer, or TV 30-45 minutes before bed.  These devices emit a blue light, and blue lights are interpreted as the morning light to your brain, signaling a wake up.  Should you need some form of entertainment right up until bed time, read a book under a warm colored lamp.

Sleep Aids

Now this should always be a last resort. There are many prescription sleep aids, and regardless if you use Prescription or Over the Counter medications, you should always speak with your doctor first.  Not only will they help you get the most effective sleep aid for you, they'll also make sure you don't take any with adverse side effects.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Meet the Staff of THSC!

Hello everybody! I hope your week has gone well! Today we are going to do something a little different, here's a little bit about our hardworking staff here at THSC.





GINA GERMANY:     Mrs Gina Germany is a Certified Senior Advisor and Certified Dementia Practitioner who started Touching Hearts Senior Care back in August 1st, 2007.  Ever since then she has been making great strides in the community by providing top quality service for elderly peoples with and without dementia, and educating the community with Support Groups and her Non-Profit organization, Gulf Coast Dementia Services.  Gina loves to go biking, and has biked across the state of Oklahoma FIVE times!









Lisa Moore is the Office Coordinator at Touching Hearts Senior Care
LISA MOORE:     Lisa is the Office Administrator here at THSC.  Initially from California, Lisa came to Touching Hearts Senior Care in 2011 and worked her way to becoming the office administrator.  She enjoys many things, from cooking, drawing, yard work, music, boating, and spending time with her friends and family!




LEVI HOLL:     Levi is the Office Administrative Assistant, and Social Media Coordinator.  He has been all over the place, born in South Carolina, raised in New York only to move back to South Carolina, then moved to Alabama almost 2 years ago.  Levi is very tech oriented, usually helping out with computer issues throughout the office and in his spare time he assembles and paints 32mm scale miniatures and write comic books!

Friday, March 1, 2019

Health Screenings PSA

Image result for health screeningsThere are many health dangers that could happen at a moments notice that could kill you or do significant damage to you.  Heart disease, stroke, cancer, and many more scary conditions exist out there.  We all want to make sure we are in the clear, who doesn't want to make sure they're healthy after all?  It's important to get tested but there's a danger to over testing when you don't need it.  Not only is it expensive but it may have unforeseen consequences.  Places that offer free health screenings will also offer you additional screenings at cost playing on your fear of the unknown.  Your insurance could see the results of every screening you undergo, raising your risk score, ultimately increasing your insurance or preventing you from having the insurance you need for being "too high risk."  When in doubt always consult your personal physician before undergoing a series of tests.  Your doctor will be better at identifying your health risks from already knowing your medical records and family history.  They'll know that if you don't have a history of heart disease in your family that you'll be a low risk and can perform low cost, non invasive, screenings should you need that assurance.  No need getting several Xrays for conditions you would have a very low risk of developing, excess radiation comes with its own problems.  Health screenings need review from the FDA before they are available to the public, but they don't regulate how the screenings are applied, leading to companies using fear mongering to persuade you to get tests you don't need.  Don't let that discourage you from getting screenings if you truly feel that you need it, just have a bit of skepticism if a company is trying to sell you on taking more screenings than what you initially came for, and when in doubt ask your doctor for their professional opinion!

Speaking of PSA, Banks Ladd wanted us to film a PSA about Trust Planning and that is available on our YouTube Channel!


Friday, February 22, 2019

Identifying headaches

As we grow older, we are prone to more headaches an migraines, but what are the causes? Turns out there are many factors, and there are even causes we aren't aware of.  Here are some causes that can help you identify what you might be going through right now!


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Caffeine Withdrawal:  If you regularly consume coffee or a caffeinated beverage and didn't drink at your usual time, you might be undergoing a withdrawal headache.  These happen because your brain learns to function on caffeine and a break in its supply will throw off your equilibrium and lead to a painful ache.  You can either resume your caffeine supply to fix it, or wean yourself off with headache medication that has caffeine in it, to get your brain used to not having caffeine in its system.

Rebound Headaches:  If you regularly take OTC pain medications, your nervous system can become sensitive and make your aches and pains much worse.  You should see your physician if you are still feeling pains after taking 2-3 OTC pills per week.

Dehydration:  This one is a simple fix but is very easy to overlook.  If you aren't drinking enough water per day, ideally 16 ounces or more, your body may suffer dehydration headaches.  This is also the reason hangovers exist, alcohol dehydrates the body, and when you wake up with a splitting headache you'll need to drink plenty of water to quell it.  Most people who never get hangovers, are ones who regularly drink water with alcohol consumption.

Barometric Headache:  Changes in weather affect the atmosphere pressure, also known as Barometric Pressure.  While we don't feel it, the atmosphere around us is always exerting a pressure on us, and when the weather changes (most abruptly in thunder and lightning storms) the differentials in pressure can cause a headache.  There's not much you can do to prevent this other than take some headache pills when you feel a headache come on.

Hunger Headache:  This headache is very similar to a dehydration or caffeine headache.  When you don't eat, your body is lacking in vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to function.  The term "brain food" applies here, if you aren't getting nutrition, your brain isn't getting what it needs to function properly, triggering a headache.

Sleep Deprivation:  If you haven't been getting proper rest, then neither has your brain.  You need to see a sleep specialist if you consistently suffering from insomnia, or sleep apnea, as these will trigger frequent headaches.  Not only will sleep deprivation give you headaches, it will also increase your risk for heart troubles.

There are many more causes for headaches, and some of them could be signs of serious problems, so when should you see a doctor?  If you feel weak, begin to lose your vision, have balance problems, or trouble talking, you should see a doctor right away.  And if you suddenly have a headache that feels like the worst pain of your life, you may be having an aneurism, and should call 911 as soon as possible.  Sudden headaches like that can also be referred to as a "thunderclap".

Also a new video was released today! Go check out our YouTube channel! Be sure to like, comment and subscribe if you would like to see more!



Friday, February 15, 2019

Presidents Birthdays

Did you know that some of our most famous presidents share birthdays this month? There are four actually! We only celebrate two of the four though.  George Washington (February 22, 1732), William Henry Harrison (February 9, 1773), Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809), and Ronald Regan (February 6, 1911). We only celebrate George Washington's birthday and Abraham Lincoln's Birthdays for how significant their terms meaned to the United States.

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As George Washington was the first president of the United States of America, it's only natural that we celebrate his birthday as a holiday.  However, it wasn't until 1971 that we move the celebration to every 3rd Monday as President's day, so employees and students would get a 3 day weekend rather than have the week, awkwardly, split up with time offs.





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As for Abraham Lincoln, we recognize his birthday because he was a huge civil rights advocate and recognized as a hero for making slavery illegal.  In New York his birthday was first recognized as a holiday in conjunction with, a former abolitionist, Fredrick Douglas's birthday on the 14th.  Starting the movement of becoming Black History week, and eventually growing to Black History Month today.




In other news, have you been to our Youtube Channel as of late?  We have a couple new videos!

Charla Ruby has done an outstanding job ever since we hired her last year, and she has earned our Employee of the Month Award for February 2019!


And we were recently at the Nix Center for their Volunteer Fair! Come by and see some of the photos we took!

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Tips for Good Heart Health

It's February and that means it's Heart Health Awareness month!  Our hearts are one of the most important organs in our bodies, being the organ that provides blood to all your organs.  Without it, oxygen couldn't get from your lungs to your brain, nutrients from your stomach to your body, and so on!  So with that established, let's look at ways you can keep your heart healthy!

(all tips researched and provided by the Cleaveland Health Clinic)
https://health.clevelandclinic.org/5-things-to-do-daily-to-keep-your-heart-healthy/

Image result for trans fats1) Avoid Trans Fats, Eat Healthy Fats

While you may be thinking, aren't all fats unhealthy? This is actually a myth, only Trans Fats are the bad fats.  They lead to raising your LDL cholesterol levels, which is the bad kind that clogs arteries.  Find foods that say 0% Trans Fats, and eat other fatty foods.  HDL is the good cholesterol and improves blood flow.  Look up foods that raise your HDL levels to help your heart!

Image result for sitting2) Don't sit too long. 

Studies have shown that sitting for extended periods of time is harmful to your health.  Of 800,000 observed people, the people who sat the most had a 147% increase in cardiovascular problems and a 90% increase in death.  So what can you do to reduce your chances of risk? Experts say 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous exercise per week will drastically reduce health risks, also investing in a standing desk or taking short walks throughout the work day will also help.

3) Maintain Good Dental Hygiene. 

Image result for dental hygieneNow this one most people wouldn't think to associate with Heart Health, but poor dental hygiene breeds bacteria in your mouth, and that bacteria can move into the blood stream and increase your chances for heart disease and stroke! Always floss and brush your teeth daily to combat gum disease.

4) Proper Sleep.

Image result for sleepWe all know sleep is important, but studies have shown us that of 3,000 people who get under 6 hours of sleep became about twice as likely for heart attacks and strokes.  Not sleeping interrupts your bodies natural processes and can lead to heart problems.  Shoot for 7-8 hours of sleep each night, and see a sleep specialist if you are having troubles like insomnia or apnea.

Image result for smoking5) Avoid Smoking and 2nd Hand Smoking.

It's no secret that tobacco products lead to many conditions like heart failure, lung cancer, and many more.  However, did you know that 2nd hand smoke is just as harmful to you?  Exposure to tobacco smoke contributes to 34,000 heart disease deaths and 7,300 lung cancer deaths. Avoid smoking areas, and make sure to let your smoking families and friends know not to smoke around you.  If you personally smoke, then there are many methods available to quit, nicotine patches, gum, and E-cigarettes/Vape mods are far cleaner options for your body to help wean you off of harmful tobacco products.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Ageism

As life goes on we all continue to age, but aging shouldn't be something that defines who we are.  They always say "age is just a number" and in a sense that is true, we shouldn't hinder ourselves because we're "getting old" but we should also be aware that our limits are changing.  That we should enjoy life as much as possible but don't go overboard and hurt yourself.  Our society, and many societies for that matter, view aging as growing weak and frail, waiting for the inevitable.  Ageism has even grown to the point where it affects our choices in the medical field; for example: if someone has a stroke in their 40s, the family will fight tooth and nail, getting as much medical care as possible to return them back to their highest function as possible.  Now, if someone in their 70s has a stroke, the family tends to focus on getting care to help them cope with their new conditions, rather than treat them.  Ageism also affects how a family will interact as well, as someone gets older, families feel that they need to help out more and a couple case studies showed that some elderly lost their independence because of their family over assisting around the house.  Rather than absorbing all responsibility, caregivers need to learn to share responsibility with their loved ones, helping out where they are truly needed, and promoting independence where possible because as we get older we gradually become less able to do things, but that doesn't mean we need to lose our independence all at once.  Don't let ageism define you, but don't let pride keep you from receiving the help you need.  There is no shame in admitting you need help in something you could do before, in fact it takes a strong person to admit they need help.


In other news! We are still doing our Evening Support Groups.  This coming tuesday will be the First Tuesday of February, so call us at 251-445-4204 to RSVP.  We hold our Support Groups every 1st and 3rd Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm over at Volunteers of America Southeast! 1204 Hillcrest Rd, Mobile, AL 36609