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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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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Walk to End Alzheimer’s

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The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s® is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Held annually in more than 600 communities nationwide, this inspiring event calls on participants of all ages and abilities to reclaim the future for millions.

The Philadelphia Walk is Sunday, November 8, 2015 at Citizens Bank Park. Registration at 9am, Contact: Keely Boyle 215-561-2919 DelvalWalk@alz.org

Together, we can end Alzheimer’s disease, the nation’s sixth-leading cause of death.
Our mission (Alzheimer’s Association)
To eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.

Our vision
A world without Alzheimer’s disease.

For more information go to Alz.org

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