How to Fight Off Seasonal Depression

a_librarian_left_and_a_teacher_both_employees_of_senior_high_school_in_new_ulm_minnesota-_are_seen_playing_bridge-_-_nara_-_558227
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.

Advertisements
Standard

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.

Standard

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.

Standard

How Seniors Stay Active

Staying Active with Hobbies for Seniors

abc-hobby
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.

Standard

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

 

Standard

6 Tips for Aging More Gracefully

6-tips-for-aging-more-gracefully
“Age is just a number.” Depending on how well you take care of yourself, you can be 80 years old and feel like you’re 50, or you may be 50 years old and feel like you are 80.
September is Healthy Aging Month and a wonderful time to reflect on your lifestyle and how you can make improvements for the future.

  1. Exercise your Mind.

Stay active at work and continue striving learning new things. If you are retired, get involved in volunteering, community service, or play bridge-anything to challenge different parts of your brain. The more you read, problem solve, do puzzles, play games, and keep yourself thinking, the healthier your mind will be.

  1. Surround yourself with Positive People.

The company you keep is important. Your physical and mental health will take a toll if you are surrounded by those with  a negative attitude or are depressed. Socialize with people who make you laugh and brighten your day. This way you will stay in better spirits, build lasting connections and avoid isolation as you get older.

  1. Keep Moving.

Exercise is important at every age. By continuing to strengthen your muscles and joints, you can improve your balance and flexibility which reduces your risk of falls or injury. It also helps alleviate pain. Join a fitness class, take up yoga, swim, or go on brisk walks through the neighborhood. Keeping your body in good physical health can help you to look and feel younger.  Go to the local YMCA to find classes especially designed for seniors.

  1. Maintain a healthy diet.

Just because you’re getting older doesn’t mean your diet should take a back seat. As you age, your metabolism slows down and your body may have varied nutritional needs. By eating a well-balanced diet,  your doctor can help you ensure you’re eating right for your health.  The Mediterranean diet has recently been studied and was found to help your memory as you age.

  1. Pay attention to body.

Paying attention to various symptoms and what your body is telling you paramount in staying healthy.  Early detection can help resolve or minimize the impact of many health conditions. Managing chronic health conditions will reduce the risk further complications. Call your doctor if you feel as though something is not right.

  1. Keep Saving.

Don’t forget about your financial health as well. Budgeting, investing, and saving can help you feel more secure in your financial future and give you the ability to live more comfortably in retirement. If you are retired, stay within your budget so that you have extra money for an emergency or just-in-case.  Talk to a financial advisor about your options and make sure you’re managing your money wisely.

Healthy aging can have a positive impact on your physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being. Taking the time to figure out how you can best improve your lifestyle to support a healthier future is critical to aging more gracefully.

If you need help around your home or are looking for companionship, an in-home caregiver can be a wonderful source of support. Whether they come a few hours a week or a few hours a day, a caregiver can make a positive difference in your quality of life and promote healthy aging. Contact Always Best Care today at (267) 217-7059, dbaim@abc-seniors.com, to learn more about our wide range of senior services.

Standard

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.
abcstock3

Standard