How to Volunteer This Holiday Season

 

abc volunteer holidays.pngThe holidays are the perfect time to give back and help others. They’re a time to celebrate with friends and family. There are hundreds of organizations supporting those in during the holidays and throughout the year.  The holidays can be a wonderful time for seniors to get involved and share their

passion and talents with others through volunteering with these organizations.

Volunteering gives seniors a greater sense of purpose and bring more meaning to their days.  Knowing that they are helping others and making a difference can be very motivating and rewarding. It’s easy to find an opportunity or organization that fits with their interests, abilities, and schedule.

Here are just a few ways to get involved:

Soup Kitchens or Shelters: Serving meals during the holidays requires a lot of support. People are needed to prepare and serve food, greet families, set and clear tables, provide entertainment, put together to-go boxes, and much more. Seniors may also be able to help deliver meals to residents who are homebound. Also, shelters for homeless families such as Interfaith Housing Alliance in Ambler, PA may need clothing/food/furniture donations and drivers.

Food Banks: Help sort donations and put together holiday meal boxes or baskets for community members in need.  Volunteer locally at Mattie Dixon Food Pantry in Ambler, PA.

Make Something: Seniors can put their sewing, knitting, or crocheting skills to use to create hats, scarves, blankets, and other items that will be distributed throughout the community. They can take pride in knowing that they’re helping to keep someone warm.  Project Linus is a local organization for donated hand-made blankets.

Write Cards: They can decorate cards and write inspirational messages to others.  Cards may be sent to deployed troops who cannot be home with their families over the holidays through a cause such as Operation Gratitude. It lets the troops know that they are remembered and what they do is appreciated.

Visit Others: Seniors can also volunteer to spend time visiting other seniors who may be in assisted living or nursing homes. Having visitors can bring a smile to their face by providing companionship and an opportunity to play a game of cards or share memories.

There are so many different ways that seniors can help out. If they’re unsure about what to do, they can talk to friends and family and ask about ideas. Perhaps they could get a group together to volunteer. Others may also be able to direct them toward different opportunities or organizations looking for help. Volunteering is a great way to not only lift others’ spirits and lend a helping hand, but also to boost seniors’ own mood and give back.

Spending time out in the community also helps to ward off isolation and boredom, meet new people, stay active, and keep their mind sharp. Seniors can fill their time in constructive ways and know that they are part of something bigger than themselves. Volunteering can start a new tradition and give them something to look forward to, especially during times when family is not nearby.

Could you or your loved one use additional support or assistance over the holidays? Always Best Care provides flexible in-home care to meet seniors’ needs and help with a variety of activities around the home while also offering companionship. Give yourself greater peace of mind knowing that your loved one is receiving the care they need to age in place more safely and comfortably while making the most of each day. Contact Always Best Care at (267) 217-7059  dbaim@abc-seniors.com to schedule a free consultation.

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How to Fight Off Seasonal Depression

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While it can be beautiful to watch snowflakes as they fall gracefully to the ground and see the twinkle of holiday lights, winter also comes with shorter days and colder temperatures. This decrease in daylight hours may contribute to seniors developing seasonal affective disorder, also known as SAD or seasonal depression. SAD may leave seniors feeling more depressed, fatigued, and irritable and less motivated. Concentration and the ability to get things done becomes more difficult.

By staying involved in hobbies, older adults can fight back against seasonal depression and boost their mood. Engaging in activities which are enjoyable as well as socializing with others can increase serotonin levels in the brain and helps lift one’s spirits.

In terms of practical tips, if the weather is decent and sunny, but not too cold or windy, getting outside to go for a walk by yourself or with a companion can be helpful. Stop to enjoy the beauty of the world and the details that bring nature to life. Exposure to natural sunlight is also beneficial for fighting depression. If getting outside is not possible or safe, seniors can sit near a window or door as the sun’s rays shine through.

Here are some suggestions for indoor hobbies to help alleviate SAD:

  • Play cards or board games with friends. Seniors can enjoy one other’s company and the laughter it brings. Many community centers have bridge clubs, activities and other groups for seniors.
  • Start a book club. Escape to another world through reading and engage in lively discussion about the story to stimulate the mind.
  • Create.   Whether seniors enjoy painting, knitting, crocheting, building models, or working on DIY projects, these are valuable ways they can keep busy and explore their creativity. They are also beneficial outlets for self-expression and also a fun way to make handmade gifts for the holidays.
  • Sign up for an exercise class like yoga, Pilates, or Zumba. Physical activity increases endorphins, which help people to feel happier and more positive. Plus, it can help seniors stay in shape over the winter.
  • Scrapbook to cherish all of the memories they’ve made and reflect on good times. It can also be a wonderful way to share these memories with others and have something to look at if they’re feeling down and need a pick-me-up.

There are countless other activities to do as well such as playing an instrument, getting involved in a senior theater group, volunteering in the community, baking, or joining a social club. Seniors should follow their interests and explore new opportunities as well. Make it a point to be social instead of becoming isolated.  Take a look at our Pinterest boards to gather even more ideas for winter activities.
An in-home caregiver can be a wonderful source of companionship and also support seniors in attending a variety of activities or events.

how-to-fight-off-seasonal-depression-this-winterAlways Best Care Senior Services provides personalized care for seniors to help individuals make the most of each day and safely age in place. Seniors can build wonderful friendships and have someone to talk to, eat meals and attend events with, and assist with entertaining and other tasks. The holidays can be a difficult time for seniors, but staying active and having someone to check in on them can help things to run more smoothly. Contact Always Best Care today  at (267) 217-7059 or  dbaim@abc-seniors.com for a free consultation and to learn more about how in-home care can support seniors.

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Respite Care: Giving a Break to Caregivers

abc-respite-careRespite Care: Giving a Break to Caregivers

Caring for an aging parent is a very rewarding and fulfilling experience knowing that you are giving back and supporting a loved one. You know they are safe and taken care of because you are assuming these responsibilities yourself. However, caregiving can also be exhausting, especially if your loved one has dementia, Alzheimer’s, or other medical conditions. When you devote so much time to caring for a loved one, you may put your own health and well-being on hold.

Respite care provides relief for the family caregiver and an opportunity for you to take a much-needed break so that you can be the best caregiver possible. One individual should not be expected to do it all on their own, and there is nothing wrong with asking for help or admitting that you need some time off.
In fact, it shows how much you care about your loved one and want what is best for them.

You may opt for respite care services a few hours a week or every few weeks. During this time, focus on the following:

  • Recharge your own batteries

Use this downtime to take care of your own needs, whether that means catching up with friends over lunch, getting your nails done, hitting a round of golf, running errands, going to an overdue appointment, or simply relaxing. Give your mind a break and focus on other important aspects of your life so that upon return, you can give more energy and attention to your loved one.

  • Have peace of mind knowing they’re in good hands

Respite caregivers are well-trained to work with seniors and help them with activities of daily living or provide stimulating companionship. You’ll know that while you are doing other things, your loved one is receiving the care and quality attention they need and deserve. It is comforting to know someone else is available to step in and provide continuity of care when you need to step out.

  • Enjoy a change of pace

Caring for an aging parent can be exhausting and you may get stuck in the same routine. Giving yourself a break changes things up and allows you more time to pursue your own interests. You may decide to sign up for an art or photography class, take Zumba or yoga, or join a recreational sports team. Or maybe you want to explore the local museum or library and have some quiet time to yourself.

  • Gain perspective

When you step out of your normal routine and have a chance to reflect and think things through, a clearer perspective is realized. You may find that your aging parent needs more help or support than you thought. This is also an opportunity to  discover additional resources or supports allowing you to better balance your own life and needs with those of your loved one.

Always Best Care provides senior services that can give you the break you need and deserve while ensuring that your loved one is in good hands. In-home caregivers can be a wonderful source of companionship, help your senior stay organized and complete tasks around the home, support meal prep, escort them to activities, ensure they’re taking their medication as prescribed, assist with morning or nighttime routines, and much more. You can schedule caregiving for times that fit with your schedule and commitments. Give yourself peace of mind knowing that your loved one is in excellent hands while you’re away. Contact Always Best Care at (267) 217-7059 or email David Baim, dbaim@abc-seniors.com, to arrange a free consultation and learn more about valuable senior services.

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Celebrate the Holidays with Aging Parents

Always Best Care Senior Services Plymouth Meeting PAGoing Home for the Holidays to Celebrate with Aging Parents

The holiday season is upon us, and it’s traditionally a time for travel, celebration, and family. It can be exciting for seniors to spend time with family members they may not have the opportunity to see very often. Going home for the holidays is also an opportunity to check in on your aging parent and ensure that they’re doing well and have the support they need.

Here are a few ways to make the most of your trip back home:

Keep your loved one involved. Whether your aging parent has some mobility issues or is dealing with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, it is still nice to feel a part of things. Modify your planned activities so that they can partake as well, whether you’re cooking, baking, decorating, or going on an outing.

Create healthy meals. Take into consideration any special dietary considerations, such as low sodium, low sugar or soft foods. Plan a meal that is full of flavor, provides balanced nutrition, and doesn’t exclude your senior from enjoying the same delicious offerings as other guests. Pack up healthy leftovers in freezer containers for them to enjoy after the family goes back home.

Carry out family traditions or start new ones. Is there one aspect of the holidays that your loved one has always enjoyed such as going around the table giving thanks or making a special dessert? Keep the tradition going to give them a continued sense of routine and stability. Or, if the holidays are more difficult after a family member’s passing, start a new tradition to honor them and initiate a positive distraction.

Observe your senior at home. Evaluate how well they are able to navigate around their home and care for themselves. Are they showing signs of depression or forgetfulness? Are they having trouble keeping up with housekeeping or mail? You may start considering in-home care so that they can continue age in-place safely and comfortably.  Caregivers provide various opportunities to meet your loved one’s needs, whether it’s a few hours a week or a couple of hours a day.

Be in the present. Most importantly, relish the time you are able to spend together. Put aside work and other distractions and focus on spending quality time with your aging parent. Reminisce about the past, watch a favorite movie together, share delicious treats, and appreciate how much they mean to you. Make it a point to coordinate regular phone calls or visits to keep in touch and see how they are doing, especially if you don’t live nearby.

Celebrate all that the holidays have to offer and time spent with family and friends. If you are concerned about your loved one’s well-being and their ability to meet all of their needs living alone, contact Always Best Care Senior Services to find out how we can help. Call (267) 217-7059 to learn more about the benefits of in-home care and how to customize services aligning with your loved one’s individual needs. Give yourself peace of mind this holiday season by knowing they have the support they need when you’re unable to be there.

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How Seniors Stay Active

Staying Active with Hobbies for Seniors

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Now that autumn has arrived, summer activities such as gardening or boating are winding down. It’s time to make the switch and start in on  fall and winter hobbies instead. Staying active throughout the year is a wonderful way to exercise your mind and body, ward off boredom and isolation and try new things. By exploring new hobbies and activities you will broaden your horizons and enhance your knowledge base.
Here are a few autumn hobbies to test out:

  1. Photography

Head outside and capture images of the fall foliage, morning sunrises, evening sunsets, winter’s chill and rainbows after the rain. Look for birds, rabbits, squirrels, deer and other creatures enjoying the great outdoors, or find still life indoors that inspires you. You could also click photos of family and friends as you celebrate together, or participating in  day-to-day activities. Let your imagination run wild and your creativity shine.

  1. Knitting/Crocheting

What better way to prepare for cooler weather and upcoming holidays than by knitting or crocheting? Use this tutorial on YouTube for simple instructions. You can make baby blankets, scarves, mittens, socks, sweaters, and much more! What a special homemade gift or donation to charities in need. Craft stores and community centers teach knitting/crocheting or have weekly or monthly get-togethers where community members can come together and socialize while working on their craft.

  1. Canning

Put all of the wonderful produce you grew this summer or picked at the local farm to good use. Can your own jams and jellies, sauces, pickles, fruits, and much more! You’ll have delicious homemade goods to enjoy throughout the winter and spring until it’s time to start gardening again. This can also be a great way to use up the apples you’ve picked this fall.

  1. DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Projects

Whether you love painting, sewing, beadwork, needlepoint, woodworking, building, handyman or other tasks, autumn is a great time to start. There are lots of fall- and holiday-inspired crafts to make for decorating your home, selling, or giving as gifts. Put a personal touch on projects you find to make them your own. DIY projects can also be a wonderful way to spend time with grandchildren and do fun things together.  Are you good with odd jobs around the house?  Offer your services to a neighbor or friend in need.  Your hobby can become a way to give back to your community.

  1. Bird Watching

While you’re outside taking in the gorgeous weather and hiking, bring along a pair of binoculars and a small bird book and go bird watching. See how many different types of birds you can find in your area and how many you can identify. This is also a fun and easy hobby to do while you’re traveling.  Bird Clubs of America has groups throughout the U.S.  Search their locations here.

 

These are just a few of the many hobbies you can enjoy this fall & winter! You may also want to try baking, scrapbooking, painting, golf, hunting, antiquing, book clubs, writing, and much more. Find things that interest you and your social circle will widen!

If you’re concerned about your senior’s safety at home or feel that they could benefit from someone checking in and providing support with daily activities, contact Always Best Care today at (267) 217-7059 or email David Baim at dbaim@abc-seniors.com.
Empower your senior to stay active as they age in place and enjoy pleasant companionship through the help of an in-home caregiver.

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Always Best Care Plymouth Meeting PA

A Fun Fall With These Activities

Fun Fall Activities for SeniorsAlways Best Care Plymouth Meeting PA

The air is getting cooler, the leaves are changing colors, and pumpkin spice lattes are everywhere – autumn has arrived! This is a great time for seniors to get out and enjoy since it’s not quite so hot as the summer. There are plenty of fall festivities to get everyone in the mood for the changing seasons and upcoming holidays. Seniors can get together with friends or family to embrace all that autumn brings before winter arrives and snowflakes start falling.

Go pumpkin or apple picking: Make your way out to the farm and pick up a pumpkin or two to carve and use as Halloween decor. A mixture of small pumpkins and gourds are beautiful centerpiece. Apples are also in season right now. Enjoy fresh, hand-picked apples for making cider, homemade applesauce or apple pie, or just for eating as they are. Many farms also offer a variety of other fun fall family activities, so plan with your kids and grandkids.

Watch the leaves change: Go out and explore the area around you to find the best place to watch the leaves changing colors.   This Fodors.com article has the 10 best fall foliage trips in the U.S.
The northern states are especially beautiful this time of year, as are some of the mountainous areas. Drive up to a lookout or go hiking and connect with nature. It is also a great opportunity to take beautiful photographs.

Celebrate at a Fall Festival: Discover what’s going on in your own community (click here) and attend a local Fall Festival. There are sure to be plenty of delicious foods and drinks, great entertainment, and opportunities to simply enjoy time spent with friends and family making memories.

Roast marshmallows: Get together with family and make a fire in the fire pit. It’s a fun way to warm up while taking in the sights, sounds, and smells of the great outdoors. Bring along everything you need to roast marshmallows and make s’mores, or warm up hot chocolate or cider.

Fall can also be a wonderful time for seniors to share stories from when they were growing up and see how things have changed and what they are thankful for. Get to know family history and traditions that you can continue to share for years to come. Or, start making your own traditions that you can pass down through the generations.

An in-home care provider can be a great companion for sharing stories and reminiscing. They can also help seniors to plan activities, get their house decorated, go to different events, and bake holiday treats. Help your senior enjoy all that autumn has to offer while staying safe and receiving the support they need. Contact David Baim at Always Best Care today at (267) 217-7059 or visit us online to schedule a free care consultation.

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4 Natural Approaches for Managing Pain

4-naturalMany aches and pains are a natural part of getting older; however, this doesn’t always have to be the case. Being proactive and taking good care of your body helps reduce chronic pain and associated discomfort.  September is Pain Awareness Month and a reminder for seniors to speak up if they are experiencing ongoing pain. Open and honest communication may identify problems early and can help seniors, their caregivers, and their healthcare providers to be more proactive in reducing pain and enhancing quality of life.

One strategy to stay on top of pain is to remain active. Exercises don’t have to be strenuous to be effective. Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, walking, swimming, and biking all help to keep your muscles moving and build strength and flexibility.  Activities you may participate in with friends help with safety, motivation and socialization. Physical therapy and regular exercise is an excellent source of discomfort relief and may enhance the body’s natural production of endorphins, which block pain, but are also responsible for our feelings of pleasure.

Another natural element in reducing pain is your diet Certain foods can trigger inflammation while others reduce it. Know your body and how it responds to specific foods. Foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, and flavonoids can be beneficial. Adding spices such as ginger, turmeric, and chili powder adds flavor and decreases inflammation. Additional foods to add to your diet include fish, blueberries, raspberries, black beans, tomatoes, dark leafy vegetables, and green tea. A healthy diet also helps with weight management, another factor in managing pain.

Practicing meditation clears the mind and support pain management. It allows seniors to focus on the mind-body connection and deep breathing. Though this may not seem like much, many people find it helps them to overcome pain and keep a more positive attitude. Being able to relax the body and mind releases tension that can build up in muscles and contribute to pain.  Practice mindfulness, the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.  There are classes throughout the country all about mindfulness and meditation.

Massage or acupuncture may also help relieve pain naturally by alleviating tension in the muscles, improving blood flow, and restoring positive energy flow through the body.  Massage is used to promote relaxation and well-being and is beneficial in treating  musculature of the body such as postural misalignment and many painful conditions.  Go to your local salon or spa to book a massage.

If seniors are taking prescription or over-the-counter medications for pain relief, they should talk to their doctor about potential health risks and interactions with other medications. Seniors’ bodies may respond differently than young adults and process these drugs differently. There is also the risk for substance misuse or addiction. An in-home caregiver can support proper medication management and keep seniors safer as they navigate around their home and community.

Pain is a sign that there is an underlying problem that should be addressed. By treating pain when it occurs and taking steps to improve flexibility, balance, mobility, and stress reduction, seniors can be more proactive in managing pain and leading an active lifestyle. With the support of an in-home caregiver, seniors stay more active, prepare healthy meals, and receive reminders for appointments and medications. In addition, a caregiver can help them to schedule doctors’ appointments should they experience pain. To learn more about supportive senior services such as in-home care, contact Always Best Care at (267) 217-7059 or email David Baim, dbaim@abc-seniors.com.

Go to http://www.alwaysbestcare.com/usa/pa/southeast-montgomery-county/plymouth-meeting

 

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