Friday, June 12, 2020

                                               POP-IN SERVICE 

How does a Pop-In Service work? 
Aunt Theresa wants to stay in her home for as long as possible. The family wants to keep her in her home as long as possible. Because Aunt Theresa is unsteady on her feet, and sometimes doesn’t bother to make herself a hot meal and forgets to take her medications so the family help.

However, with all the responsibilities and work the family members have, it is difficult to make it over to Aunt Theresa’s house every day and she needs someone to help on a consistent basis. Touching Hearts Senior Care is the best solution, we will send a perfectly matched caregiver over to her house at the designated time she and the family decide. This service is excellent for the person who needs just a little help to stay independent in their home. Each Pop-In Service is customized to the individual’s situation.

The service guidelines are as follows:
Requires a consistent schedule
 Is offered in Mobile proper, however, in some cases it depends on caregiver availability
 Is available in 1, 2 and 3 hours.
 Typically used by clients who only require a short visit in situations like those below:

o Check on a loved one and make sure s/he is okay
o Ensure a loved one is taking medications
o Help with a quick dusting, vacuuming, or other light cleaning
o Help with a quick trip to/from the grocery store or an appointment
o Take out the garbage, get the mail, heat up a quick meal
o Provide peace of mind that a loved one is cared for
o Help with or monitor bathing/showering
o Help getting in and out of bed
o Help putting on and taking off support stockings Call for rates, 251-445-4204 

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Electronic Caregiver

How is everyone today? I hope you all are staying safe during the pandemic; only going out when you absolutely need to, staying 5-6 feet away from others, washing your hands thoroughly, and coughing into your sleeve.  With everything shutting down, and people staying at home, some people will unfortunately not be receiving the care that they need.  Let me introduce you to Electronic Caregiver:

This device is pretty interesting and can be very useful to anyone, not just the elderly!  One of the most important is the combination of GPS location and 24/7 physician support.  This device communicates with cell phone towers, so if you are in a situation where you can't call 911 for medical emergencies, you can press the little watch button and get immediately connected to an operator who will relay your location and status to the nearest emergency responder!  Not in a medical emergency, and don't want to risk going outside during the pandemic for a doctor's appointment? Press the button and ask to speak with a physician! They'll give you medical advice and talk with you on how to proceed.

It's simple design is easy to use for elderly, and easy to set up for the family. The main hub docks just like a landline phone, and the family can download their app to connect it to the WIFI so they can monitor their loved one from home, giving your elders the independence they would like to keep.  The watch syncs up with the hub device so if your loved one is at home, they only need to keep on the watch.  If they are going outside, the hub is very low profile and can fit in all pockets, but it also has a convenient belt holder if you want to free up pocket space!

The Electronic Caregiver In Depth Overview - Caregiverology

The watch also comes in a wide variety of colors so that way it's more like you are wearing a smart watch, rather than carrying an advanced Life-Alert on you.

While it's intended use is for elderly family members wanting to keep their independence and giving you peace of mind, anyone in the family can use this! I'm sure a lot of us forget to take a new prescription from time to time, or would like a simple yet effective backup in case our smartphones are not available, or maybe your child is going out into the world on their own, like going to dorm at a college.  Everyone can benefit from having a doctor or emergency responder ready at the push of a button!

Here is a video of Electronic Caregiver's own CEO who uses their product, not just for himself, but for his family too!

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Kicking Bad Habits

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Let's be honest, you have a bad habit that you can't seem to kick, not matter how many times you try to quit, cold-turkey.  Whether it be smoking, picking your nose, cracking your knuckles, chewing with your mouth open, mindlessly scrolling on social media, we all have a bad habit here and there, and stopping a habit is no easy task.  A study by Judson Brewer M.D. from Brown University, 60% of people who try to quit a habit with sheer will power alone, end up relapsing.  I'm sure you've felt this failure just like me: you quit the habit, go a few days, maybe a month, and then you drop all progress to go back to the status quo.  Humans are designed to be habitual creatures, it's what guaranteed our survival before civilization, something becomes a habit so you dedicate less brain power on something small so your brain can focus on avoiding dangers and finding food.  Now a days, we aren't fending off predators and slacking off won't lead to us starving to death, but we still have the ability to form habits because that's what got us to where we are today, as such, beating a deeply ingrained behavior is no small feat.  One must be methodical, plan, and strategize a way to beat the old habit.

Quitting "cold-turkey" is just too abrupt of an adjustment, and your brain will actively crave your old habit to return to normalcy.  So one of the best methods to kicking a habit, is setting small, easily attainable, goals.  Your brain releases dopamine (the reward hormone) when you achieve a goal.  Habits also release dopamine to encourage repeat behavior.  Chemically this is why hard stopping usually fails, your brain is getting a sudden drop of dopamine, making you feel generally awful.  Now if we slowly limit our bad habit while also slowly doing a simple yet rewarding task, you wont be losing out on dopamine, it's just coming from a better source.

Image result for stress ballsImage result for cracking knuckles

For example, lets say you start cracking your knuckles because it made your hands feel less stiff in a hurry, you repeat this behavior over time, and before you know it, you're just cracking your knuckles without thinking about it.  Your hands then feel stiffer as the seconds pass, and your hands ache because you just cracked your knuckles and are trying again thanks to your awareness of the problem.  So what can we do to fix it? Well, I have personally found that squeezing a stressball helps when the need to crack occurs.  The squish of the ball feels nice in my hand, it also provides a bit of resistance, giving my fingers a bit of a work out, and my brain is now focused on the ball rather than the knuckles.  After I get tired of squeezing the ball, my hands feel more relaxed and don't ache from repeated crackings.

No one person will have the same method for beating a bad habit.  The key is to find the right method for you and repeat it.  The more you repeat it, the more it will ingrain in your brain.  Now if this is a chemical habit, like nicotine addiction, it may be harder to quit with a normal method like this.  Seek help if your withdrawals are particularly bad.  There is no shame to admitting your addiction and seeking help.  It shows that you have the strength to recognize a problem, and take steps to fix it.

It's your life, be proud that you are trying to improve it by kicking bad habits. Don't be ashamed of your faults and failures, because you have the strength to seek a happier and healthier life, and at the end of the road, you can hold your head up high and proud in spite of those who didn't believe in you, and those who supported you will be all the more proud of your accomplishments.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Mardi Gras!

Hey hey, it's Mardi Gras again! That's a big deal for us in Mobile Alabama, the birthplace of American Mardi Gras.  As such I found the official schedule of the parades for us, and we have a parade tonight!  Which parade are you most excited for?  Who knows, you might see us there, enjoying the festivities!
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Have fun at Mardi Gras and be safe!

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Here's an exerpt from Wikipedia on the origins on Mardi Gras:

"While not observed nationally throughout the United States, a number of traditionally ethnic French cities and regions in the country have notable celebrations. Mardi Gras arrived in North America as a French Catholic tradition with the Le Moyne brothers,[12] Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville and Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, in the late 17th century, when King Louis XIV sent the pair to defend France's claim on the territory of Louisiane, which included what are now the U.S. states of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and part of eastern Texas.[12]
The expedition, led by Iberville, entered the mouth of the Mississippi River on the evening of 2 March 1699 (new style), Lundi Gras. They did not yet know it was the river explored and claimed for France by RenĂ©-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle in 1683. The party proceeded upstream to a place on the east bank about 60 miles downriver from where New Orleans is today, and made camp. This was on 3 March 1699, Mardi Gras, so in honour of this holiday, Iberville named the spot Point du Mardi Gras (French: "Mardi Gras Point") and called the nearby tributary Bayou Mardi Gras.[13] Bienville went on to found the settlement of Mobile, Alabama in 1702 as the first capital of French Louisiana.[14] In 1703 French settlers in Mobile established the first organised Mardi Gras celebration tradition in what was to become the United States.[12][15][16][17] The first informal mystic society, or krewe, was formed in Mobile in 1711, the Boeuf Gras Society.[15] By 1720, Biloxi had been made capital of Louisiana. The French Mardi Gras customs had accompanied the colonists who settled there.[12]"
It's Crazy to think that at one point in our history, Mobile was a territory owned by the French, before it became a part of the States.

Friday, January 31, 2020

American Heart Month

February is right around the corner! We are hosting a Heart Health and Wellness Fair this month.  We have door prizes, various resources, and educational information on keeping your heart and overall-self healthy.  Come to the Tillman's Corner Senior Center in Mobile on February 20th, 2020 between 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm!

Click the video to learn more about your heart and blood pressure!

Friday, January 24, 2020

Ultrasound Treatment Breakthrough

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Last week we talked about using Gene Therapy to potentially reverse aging and cure dementia.  While the treatment is showing promising signs in mice, there's still much research to go before human trials can begin.  However there's another treatment that is moving to human trials very soon!

Anyone who started a family or is familiar with the process, you might be aware of ultrasounds.  For those who don't, Ultrasound devices use vibration at super high frequencies to create an image based on the bounce back of the sound waves, like a miniature sonar.  Typically these are just for seeing into the abdomen to check on the development of a baby or for abnormalities in a patients body (it has more uses than just looking at babies).  This ultrasonic frequency has a shocking benefit.  When applied to the head, the frequency vibrates just high enough to stimulate the proteins in your brain that target the plaques associated with dementia!

Image result for ultrasound on brain

Initially this procedure was conceived to stimulate blood flow for dementia medications, but science has stumbled on the added benefit of being a drug free treatment!  Since this technique was discovered in 2015, scientists in The University of Queensland have had successful tests in using this method on various animals, and the board of ethics has approved human trials.

While this is excellent news in being one step closer to the potential cure for dementia, science is a slow and methodical process, and we may not see the results for at least a decade.  But we will keep our eyes on the studies and results as they develop!

Friday, January 17, 2020

Genetherapy and Dementia

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There are many different kind of dementias and each one has their own cause, Alzheimer's is a build up of plaques in the brain, Vascular dementia is caused when brain blood vessels fail (meaning the brain isn't getting proper oxygen), and Lewy bodies are the build up of malformed proteins in the brain.  All of these causes have one thing in common, they are the results of specific cells breaking down.

In short, our DNA has these end caps called telomeres, that shorten as we age.  It's excess data made to protect our chromosomes from fusing together or degrade from cell division.  When we get older, there's less telomeres, and our cells begin to fail at maintaining bodily functions, like producing enzymes to keep plaques from building up, or maintaining the integrity of blood vessels.

This is where the gene therapy comes in, geneticists in Michigan are looking at repairing these telomeres with an enzyme that extends a chromosome's telomere strands called telomerase.  Now if we know there is a way to repair telomeres, why haven't we tested already?  Telomerase comes from cancer cells, it's the reason cancer cells can reproduce indefinitely, and makes it incredibly difficult to kill.  Scientists fear that using telomerase on our own bodies could turn our cells into cancer cells.

Dr. Michael Fossel has been preparing trials on volunteers, but with how risky the procedure could be, progress has been slow.  Tests on mice have been very promising, but humans and mice are vastly different creatures, and we never will truly know until human trials begin.  Before we can expect to see any major trials and results, Dr. Fossel has to get approval from the board of ethics to ensure he has lowered the potential risks as much as possible.

Could this be the cure all for dementia? The theory sounds solid on paper, "if dementia is caused by failing cells, then fix the cells" But science is a slow and methodical process of tests, revisions, more tests, and humans are incomprehensibly complex biologically.  But every year, science slowly gets stronger and better, only time will tell when or if it's possible to reverse dementia.