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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Managing Money as you Age

6355351769_766503f534_bFinances are something we all worry about throughout our lives, but particularly so as we age. Typically, as you get older income decreases but expenses stay constant or sometimes increase. However, with the right strategies and plans in place, you should stretch your budget and still live comfortably in retirement.

Change up your Savings: As you hit your 40s and 50s, start rethinking your savings. How is your retirement savings looking? It can be worthwhile to put more of your income into a savings account or bonds. Don’t forget to take advantage of matching contributions by your employer. Seek out a financial planner so you make informed decisions with your hard-earned money.

Evaluate Monthly Expenses: Track where your money is really going. As much as you want to help others, consider your own needs. Look for unnecessary expenses or areas where to cut back. Can you cut costs by going with another provider, consolidating, or refinancing any loans? Consider downsizing your home if you have unused extra space with high maintenance costs just eating into your budget. You can still live well on less!

What daily or weekly activities are eating away at your savings? You also have to weigh these items with what gives you the most joy in your life.

Look for ways to Save: Take advantage of discount and savings programs on things like prescriptions, travel, and purchases. Look for sales, use coupons, and ask for senior discounts when possible.   Memberships at Costco, AAA and other club-like companies offer many savings incentives.

Hold out on Social Security: If you can wait a few more years to start drawing Social Security, you may receive higher payments. This may help stretch your income as you age and help your savings last a little longer.

Stay Active: Cut back on healthcare expenses by staying active and becoming proactive about your health. Maintain a healthy diet and engage in regular physical activity to stay in shape and ward off illness and injury.  Schedule maintenance visits to the doctor and don’t ignore any warning signs of illness or disease.

Think Ahead: Be realistic about the future. If you know you won’t be working for another 10 years, don’t plan your finances around the idea that you will. Weigh the costs and benefits of aging in place, downsizing, or moving to an assisted living community. Look at all of the associated expenses to decide the optimal time to buy and sell or to make other major transitions. Selling furniture and property you no longer need can also be a way to provide some extra income.

Have an Open Discussion:  Invite your children into your financial world and share your fiscal information.  They are probably going to be helping you down the road so why not give them any monetary surprises.  Make sure they are clear on your plans for your home and any other large assets.

Practicing good financial skills can allow you to maximize your savings and get the most out of your retirement. Just because you are on a fixed income doesn’t mean you can’t live comfortably. The earlier you start planning and managing your money wisely, the better off you will be. Saving a little bit at a time can add up over the years.

If you’re weighing your options and looking toward senior services or assisted living, contact Always Best Care today to schedule a free consultation. We can also assist you with referrals as necessary. It’s not too early to start planning for your future and lining up the supports and services you may need as you age. Call  David Baim at Always Best Care (267) 217-7059 Or email dbaim@abc-seniors.com to get started.
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Fruits and Vegetables to Eat this Summer

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASummer is a great time to check out your local farmers market or supermarket and stock up on fresh produce. Not only can fruits and vegetables be a healthy snack, they can also add flavor, nutrients, and other benefits as a side dish or main meal. Selecting seasonal produce can also save you money. Increase interest in eating healthy by letting family members pick out their favorite fruits and vegetables to snack on or prepare for meals.

As you’re perusing the aisles or stands, here are a few fruits and vegetables to consider which have valuable health benefits and delicious tastes:

  • Tomatoes: Tomatoes are a wonderful source of lycopene, an antioxidant, as well as vitamin C. As an added bonus, lycopene can also help to protect your skin from sun damage.  Tomatoes are also a good source of potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, and copper.
  • Watermelon: Hydration is especially important during hot summer days, and watermelon is a great source since it is around 92 percent water. It is also low calorie, contains lycopene, antioxidants and amino acids.
  • Radishes: Often overlooked, this vegetable can be a great addition to salads and meals. Radishes are high in water content and a good source of vitamin C, folate, potassium, and fiber.
  • Berries: Stock up on strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries, which are high in fiber and vitamin C. They also contain flavonoids that may support cognitive health and skin health.
  • Avocados: Avocados are considered a superfood and a healthy source of monounsaturated fat which can boost heart health. However, eat them in moderation as they are high in calories.  They are loaded with potassium and fiber.
  • Corn: You may not consider this starchy vegetable to be healthy, but it does have its benefits. Corn contains antioxidants that can help protect eye health and reduce risk of age-related macular degeneration. Whether its white, yellow, blue, purple or red corn, each color signifies various levels of antioxidants and nutrients.
  • Peaches: Peaches pack a punch with 10 different vitamins and plenty of fiber. They’re low in calories and also contain other essential nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
  • Zucchini: This versatile vegetable can be eaten raw, baked, grilled, or boiled. Many people replace traditional pasta with zucchini instead. (By either slicing it thin or by using a spiralizer.) Zucchini is low in calories, contain no fat or cholesterol, and is packed with vitamin C, fiber, and potassium.

You and your family can eat these foods plain, just as they are, or you can spice things up by adding a variety of seasonings or combining them with other foods. The possibilities are endless. A quick recipe search can yield many ways to prepare these fruits and vegetables in dishes your family will love. Having plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables on hand make for a quick and simple choice when it comes to grabbing a healthy snack.

Make sure your senior is eating right all year long by getting them the support they need. An in-home caregiver can assist with meal planning, grocery shopping, meal preparation, checking food expirations, and providing companionship during meal times. Help your loved one live a safer, healthier lifestyle by contacting Always Best Care today to schedule a free consultation! Call (267) 217-7059 to speak with David Baim.

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Alzheimer’s… When Do You Need Assisted Living?

abcstock4Making the decision to move a loved one from living on their own with in-home care to an assisted living facility can be a difficult choice. However, sometimes it’s a necessary one, especially if your loved one has Alzheimer’s disease. It can help to keep things consistent and allow them to remain in a familiar setting, but that is not always the safest option.

As Alzheimer’s progresses, your aging parent may become disoriented, agitated and forgetful more frequently. This can put them and others at risk. It can be burden for you as a caregiver to try to manage your own family on top of caring for an aging parent with Alzheimer’s disease.

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Here are some signs your loved one may benefit from assisted living:

  • They get lost. If they have the tendency to wander and lose their way, this can be very dangerous, especially if they are outside or still driving. An assisted living facility is more secure and has round-the-clock monitoring to keep your loved one safe and prevent roaming.
  • They are unsafe by themselves. Has your senior been falling more often? Do they forget to turn the oven off or answer the door to strangers? You can’t be there all of the time. When they are alert, they may be very safe and independent, but you never know when confusion will set in.
  • Their self-care has decreased. Has your loved one been forgetting to drink, eat or take medication? Do they have dirty clothes, unwashed hair or a messier house than usual? If your parent has started to falter on basic activities of daily living and having trouble caring for themselves, assisted living can offer the support they need.
  • They are aggressive or agitated. Changes in mood and behavior can become more common as Alzheimer’s progresses. This can be stressful on you and other family members. Your aging parent may have outbursts and become difficult to deal with. They may need more support and attention than you are able to provide.
  • You’re becoming stressed out. When your aging parent’s needs become more demanding due to their Alzheimer’s, this can be physically, mentally, and emotionally draining. While you are trying to keep up with your own needs and responsibilities while simultaneously tending to theirs. This can put a strain on your relationship and not allow you to really enjoy the time spent together.

Assisted living can give you peace of mind. You are confident your loved one is safe and  well cared for. Their needs are being met and you don’t have to handle everything on your own. This can allow you to appreciate the time you do spend together and make the most of these opportunities. Your loved one will also have access to more resources and activities that can support a higher quality of living. It can be tough to admit your loved one needs more help, however, it’s usually best for everyone.

Always Best Care can work with you to choose the right assisted living community for your loved one. We have built strong connections within the community and will help you find a placement that best suits your senior’s needs. We offer assisted living services for free to all of our clients as yet another way we can support you and your family. Contact David Baim, at Always Best Care , (267) 217-7059 or email dbaim@abc-seniors.com for more information.

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5 Signs It’s Time For Assisted Living

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Many seniors view living on their own as a sign of independence, and it’s one they’re often not ready to give up. Driving to the supermarket, meeting with friends or paying the bills on their own are activities which give seniors a sense of pride and content.

With support from an in-home care provider, your loved one may be able to age in place for a longer period of time, however, there comes a point when assisted living becomes more beneficial. Much of their independence can be maintained, but having a safer, monitored environment seems to ease family member worry.

It can be a difficult decision to transition your aging parent to an assisted living facility, but it can give you peace of mind to know they are living a higher quality life with all of the necessary supports  . There is never a perfect time to make the switch, but here are a few warning signs that may indicate assisted living could be beneficial:

1. Cognitive decline.

Is your elderly parent developing dementia or Alzheimer’s? Are they becoming more forgetful and putting their own health and safety at risk? Occasional forgetfulness may not be a big deal, but as it progresses and you notice the state of their home and hygiene declining, it may be time to step in.  Take a look at their banking practices or bill payments from time-to-time and ask their neighbors or friends what they think if there is cause for concern.

2. Mobility issues.

Slips and falls can come with a variety of consequences. If your loved one is having more trouble getting around and you notice they have bumps and bruises, they may be better suited for assisted living. In an assisted living environment,  if they fall, someone can respond more quickly. Their room can also be set up with less clutter, more space, and more safety features.

3. Trouble keeping up with daily tasks.

Have they forgotten to take the trash out again or do laundry? Is there hardly any food in the refrigerator and the plants haven’t been watered in several days? Do they have trouble getting their shoes on or getting dressed? Are they eating, drinking enough and sleeping when they should? Most people are expected to easily accomplish these activities when living on their own. If they’re having trouble keeping up, more support may be necessary.

4. Isolation.

Has your loved one stopped meeting up with friends or going to their favorite diner? Are they staying at home more than they’re interacting with others? Assisted living can help them to remain more social, meet friends, and stay involved in activities they enjoy. Isolation can lead to depression and other concerns.

5. Trouble driving.

Driving requires good vision, hearing, reaction time, decision making, problem solving, mobility, and more. If your loved one is getting into fender benders, forgetting where they’re going, or is hesitant to get behind the wheel at all, this can impact their quality of life. They’re not able to run errands and grocery shop, they become more isolated, and it can be restricting. In an assisted living facility, they don’t have to worry about these things. Transportation can be provided for them, and the facility may offer a number of services.

No one wants to take their loved one from home and move them to assisted living, but it can be the best decision for everyone involved. Your loved one should thrive in their new environment and you can know they are safe and happy.

Always Best Care offers free assisted living placement services to help you find the right facility and level of care for your aging parent. We work with facilities throughout the area and can help you find one that meets your loved one’s needs. Let us help you by contacting Always Best Care at (267) 217-7059.

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Senior Diets and Nutrition

alwaysbestcareseniors nutrition17512-an-elderly-woman-washing-produce-pvAs we age, our nutritional needs change. Seniors and older adults have different needs than children and younger adults. Many seniors also require fewer calories than they once did depending on their level of physical activity. Older women need between 1,600 and 2,200 calories while older men need between 2,000 and 2,800 calories.

Certain medications and health conditions can also impact our nutrition. For instance, someone with diabetes, celiac or heart disease will have different dietary guidelines than someone who doesn’t. There are several things that seniors should keep in mind when it comes to nutrition:

  • Increase Protein

Seniors can often benefit from adding more protein to their diets. Not only can this help reduce muscle loss, it can also boost mood and support clearer thinking. Lean meat and seafood can be a good source of protein, but nuts, seeds, and beans can be as well for more plant-based protein.  Milk, cheese, eggs, yogurt, soy or a meal replacement bar with added protein are all ideal sources.

  • Increase Fiber

Fiber promotes improved digestion and can reduce risk of heart disease and diabetes. It can also enhance your immune system.There are two types of fiber:  Soluble fiber is found in oats, oat bran, peas, rice bran, legumes/beans, apples, and citrus fruits. Examples of insoluble fiber include whole wheat flour, wheat bran, rye, cabbage, carrots, brussel sprouts and nuts.

  • Mediterranean Diet

Studies have shown that a Mediterranean diet can be beneficial for seniors. This type of diet involves replacing butter with healthy fats such as olive oil and canola oil, using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods and limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month. It also includes pasta and fresh bread. It includes very little processed foods so that seniors gain more benefits from the natural vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. The Mediterranean diet can be beneficial for helping to manage high cholesterol and diabetes.

  • Spice Things Up

As we age, our sense of taste can change. Medications can also affect how foods taste. A healthy option is to add more herbs and spices to meals to enhance the flavor. Fresh herbs can make dishes more flavorful without increasing calories, sodium, or other unwanted elements.

  • Incorporate Tomatoes

Tomatoes hold a lot of nut
ritional benefits. They’re high in antioxidants, lycopene, vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, beta-carotene, and potassium. They’re also very versatile and low in calories. Tomatoes can boost heart health and reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, build stronger bones, support improved eyesight, aid in digestion, and potentially help lower cancer risk  – all of which can be concerns for seniors.

  • Find the Right Texture

Dentures and difficulties with swallowing can affect senior nutrition. Preparing foods that are easy to eat and digest can promote a healthier appetite and diet. Ensure that foods are still flavorful and diverse even when softened, thickened, or pureed.  Look out for popcorn, sticky candy and nuts.  Instead choose sugar-free gum, olives and seedless grapes.

  • Stay Hydrated

Along with eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, seniors should also ensure that they’re drinking plenty of fluids – especially water. Staying hydrated helps with digestion and overall wellbeing. Seniors may feel less thirsty as they age, but it’s still important to keep drinking throughout the day. Add more flavor to beverages with slices of lemon, lime, or other fresh fruits.

Eating a well-balanced diet is important at every age but can help support a healthier, more active lifestyle for seniors. Check out the NIH (National Institute of Health) website for more information about Senior Nutrition. If making meals is a challenge, or your senior struggles because they’re eating alone, consider the benefits of an in-home caregiver. A caregiver can keep your loved one company, assist them in meal prep and grocery shopping, and ensure they’re eating right each day.

If you’re looking for a companion for your senior and someone to provide the level of support they need to live more safely as they age in place, call Always Best Care today at 1-(267) 217-7059. We’ll work with you to ensure your senior receives the care they need to maintain as much independence as possible.

Contact David Baim at Always Best Care, Plymouth Meeting, Pa at dbaim@abc-seniors.com

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