Posts Tagged ‘health news’

How Will You Celebrate Spring’s Arrival in Florida?

by: John Aker | March 12th, 2015

March may come in like a lion or a lamb.

Florida home care

via www.123friendster.com

But regardless of the weather when it arrives, March contains many special days you may want to celebrate. Some of the notable days this month include:

  • Purim (March 5)
  • Daylight Saving Time Beginning (March 8)
  • International Women’s Day (March 8)
  • World Kidney Day (March 12)
  • The Ides of March (March 15)–any Shakespeare fans remember the warning, Beware the Ides of March?
  • St. Patrick’s Day (March 17)
  • First Day of Spring (March 20)
  • Palm Sunday (March 29)
  • National Doctors’ Day (March 30)

This month has also been claimed for:

National Nutrition Month

American Red Cross Month

Brain Injury Awareness Month

Women’s History Month

Many of these observations are important and some are also quite fun. The weather across the county is in the process of warming and SPRING is just around the corner. Spring is a powerful season–it seems to compel us to consider what is coming!  New leaves on the trees and buds on the flower buses remind us that we, too–despite our numeric age–can start anew and be refreshed.

Admittedly, it may be a bit difficult to be impressed visually by the arrival of spring when you live in Florida. But take a moment to reflect on that new life that spring offers and make an effort to renew yourself. We are never too old to try and we are wise enough now to know what we want for ourselves and what we want to share with those around us. Celebrate spring this year–do something to refresh your mind and body.

The reason various organizations claim a ‘national month’ is to raise awareness of their cause and many of them attempt to deliver a torrent of educational materials which will urge us to take action, whether it be to improve or adopt new healthier habits or become involved by donating our time, talents, or treasury to further their work to help others. If you are already healthy and want to renew your spirit this spring, check out the website of one of these organizations above and educate and refresh your mind. You may learn something new and you may determine to partner with one of these organizations. Learning and giving back are two great ways to celebrate spring!

Another way to celebrate Spring is to choose just one little healthy habit to re-commit to doing every day. Your in-home caregiver can assist you in setting a goal and recording your efforts. Think of a reward you’ll grant yourself when you meet your goal (a scoop of frozen yogurt?) and keep a diary of your progress allowing your caregiver to cheer you on to victory.

Maybe you want to become more agile, like the tree branches swaying in the breeze, displaying their shiny new green leaves.  Or simply enjoy the scenery and sunshine–try to get outside each day for 15 minutes to soak up some natural Vitamin D from the sun. You could also enjoy taking time to phone an old friend or a grandchild once a week–that will be a spring gift for both of you.

Even enjoying healthier meals and snacks can have a big impact from little effort. Ask your home health aide to help you plan menus and shop for healthy foods and treats. Nutritious snacks like fruits or whole grain toast can be an easy, enjoyable addition to your daily routine. Try to drink more water during the day than you think you need–that can aide digestion and prevent dehydration.

Strive to sit less and walk a bit more. Many doctors are fond of the saying, Motion is lotion for the joints. You don’t have to walk for miles, just a bit extra will help:

  • ask your caregiver to park three spaces further from the entrance to the grocery store;
  • or accompany you on a walk to your mailbox;
  • or do some range of motion exercises at home.

Mark each bit of exercise on the calendar. And enjoy the satisfaction of your achievement!

How will you welcome spring this year? How will you be refreshed and renewed? Let us know if you’ve been inspired. We would love to know how we can encourage you this spring and throughout the rest of the year–tell us now!

If you’d like to celebrate spring by researching Florida home care options for yourself or a loved one, contact us today!

Marching On

by: John Aker | March 27th, 2013

March is nearly over. Did it come in like a lion or a lamb for you? We have enjoyed windy weather, the ides of March, college basketball’s March Madness is in full swing, and now you may find yourself involved in a religious observation of Passover or Resurrection Sunday, then the month is concluded. But wait! There’s more! It’s not over just yet.

March is also National Nutrition Month and before the month marches on, we wanted to remind you of a few resources to encourage you to eat well–all year long–and present you with a fun challenge…

Marching On Resources and Reminders
Remaining independent at home is a top priority for many of us.  As a home health provider, we are here to help you do just that!  So, we strongly encourage you to march on. Marching on consists of taking control of that which is within your grasp–namely eating right and exercising–foundations for well-being.

Proper nutrition plays an large role in our well-being, more so if you have any chronic conditions. Our Community Resource Library has great cookbooks–some of which center on meal planning and preparation for those with Arthritis, Diabetes, Hearth Health issues, Pain or inflammatory concerns, Parkinsons’s and even those who require soft foods only. If these are of interest to you, call 561-955-6010 and ask about borrowing a book or having a staff nurse assist you in reviewing them.

Be sure to spend some time investigating the latest information, helpful tips, and great recipes at:

 www.eatright.org       www.choosemyplate.gov      www.nutrition411.com

Did you know that our caregivers can help you choose healthy options at the grocery store and assist you in preparing and eating nutritious meals and snacks? Make a game of it and try a new, healthy recipe together. When you are ready to march on toward something bigger than just nutrition, tackle our challenge below.

The Challenge
To make eating healthier fun and prove it makes a difference, write down all that you eat and drink over a 7 day period. Weigh yourself the first day and write it down. Then write down all the foods and drinks you consume for the next seven days then weigh yourself again. Review your dietary choices. You may be surprised to learn you are already eating good, nutritious meals and snacks. Or, you might find that a few small changes are in order–give yourself some new marching orders.

If you do need to make healthier food choices, begin doing so and log all your food again for another week. (Be sure to list your beverages too–you may be surprised how little water you drink. And many medications can have a dehydrating effect so drinking more water could pay dividends in how you feel.) Weigh yourself again at the end of that week.

The next step would be to march on. That is, add a little walking to your day–your in home caregiver can accompany you. (Be sure to ask your doctor what level of exercise is safe for you.) Even if you can’t walk, you could easily add some movement to your day in the comfort of your own home. Our Community Resource Library offers chair exercise videos so dare your spouse or caregiver to exercise with you–see who can keep a smile on their face through an exercise. Let the winner choose the day’s healthy snack. Keep marching on, you will quickly feel a sense of accomplishment. And in just a short time, exercise and proper nutrition will make a big difference in how you feel!

If you embark on this home health challenge, please let us know. We would love to help encourage and support your healthy changes and celebrate with you when you feel better. Eat well and enjoy the rest of March!

At the top right hand corner of this page, click on the Face Book, Twitter, or Google+ icons to join the conversation. We can’t wait to hear from you…

The content of this page is meant to educate, but it should not be used as a substitute for personal medical advice. The reader should consult his or her physician or clinician for specific information concerning specific medical conditions. While all reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that all information presented is accurate, as research and development in the medical field is ongoing, it is possible that new findings may supersede some data presented.

5 Ways to Lower Blood Pressure & Sodium Intake

by: John Aker | March 28th, 2012

Do you have a heart condition, high blood pressure, or a concern about your weight? If so, your physician may have encouraged you to modify your diet to improve your cholesterol, blood pressure or weight.

It may seem overwhelming at times when you feel need to make a lot of changes in your eating plan to make a difference in your cholesterol, blood pressure or weight. The good news is you can make simple, small changes with both your food choices and how you prepare your foods in order to positively impact your health.

In the coming weeks, we will explore other simple steps you can take to cut back on fat and calories and wyas to eat more high-fiber and whole-grain foods–all important steps toward a healthier diet. First, let’s look at 5 ways to lower your blood pressure and sodium intake because if you are concerned about your blood pressure, reducing sodium intake is important.

  1. Season foods with black pepper, herbs and spices instead of salt. There are plenty of herbs and spices to add zest to your food–you will probably never miss the salt! Low- or No-Sodium salt substitutes are available, but check with your physician before using them if you have kidney problems.
  2. Buy fresh, plain frozen or no-salt-added canned vegetables.
  3. Use fresh poultry, fish, and meat instead of canned or processed meats. If you use prepackaged lunchmeat, be sure to purchase only low or no-sodium varieties. And beware: pre-seasoned items from your grocery store’s deli or meat counter may save you a minute in your kitchen, but could be loaded with sodium.
  4. Cook pasta, rice, and hot cereal without salt. Flavored pasta, rice mixes and instant hot cereal usually have added salt. Preparing pasta with a squirt of lemon or lime and steam rice with no-sodium chicken broth can add great flavor so you aren’t tempted to add salt at the table…
  5. Rinse canned foods, such as tuna and beans, before eating or adding to other foods to reduce the sodium content.

If someone else prepares your meals and snacks, as many of our home health specialists do, be sure to tell them if you are concerned about sodium intake so they can help avoided added salt in your diet.

For more information about obtaining help with meal preparation, go to our Contact page and let us know. We will be happy to help!

Vaccination Recommendations

by: John Aker | July 22nd, 2011

Vaccination Recommendations for Older People by Simeon Margolis, M.D., Ph.D.

Jul 22, 2011 As seen on Yahoo! Health

Flu: Influenza (flu) vaccine

Many older people think they don’t need to worry about something as insignificant as the flu. But an annual vaccination against influenza virus is recommended each fall or winter for adults of all ages. Although earlier studies probably overestimated the dangers of influenza in the elderly, bouts of the flu can produce severe symptoms, may require hospitalization, and can be fatal. Influenza is also recognized to increase the risk of heart attacks. One problem is that the flu vaccine is less effective in older individuals. Nonetheless, the vaccine offers at least some protection for most older individuals and should be obtained each year.

Pneumonia: pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (Pneumovax 23)

Another common and potentially dangerous illness is pneumonia. There are about four million cases of pneumonia each year in the U.S., and the pneumococcus is the most common agent leading to hospitalization for pneumonia in people of all ages. Influenza infection greatly increases the risk of developing pneumococcal pneumonia. The pneumonia may be mild and easily treated, but some develop an overwhelming infection that can be fatal.

This vaccine can protect against pneumonia that is caused by the 23 types of the pneumococcus bacterium that are responsible for the vast majority of pneumococcal pneumonia. However, it offers no protection against pneumonia caused by the other 60 or more types of pneumococcus, or by other bacteria or viruses. Recommendations: the vaccine should be given one time to all people who are 65 or older with no prior pnumococcal vaccination or when the history of vaccination is unknown. The vaccine should also be given for those 65 or older if it’s been five years since a previous vaccination. The vaccine is also recommended for some who are younger than 65, for example those with liver disease, diabetes, or chronic heart or lung diseases.

Shingles: Herpes zoster (Zostavax)

Shingles results from activation of the varicella virus that causes chicken pox and then remains dormant for many years. Shingles can attack any of the 95 percent of adult Americans who have had chicken pox. As a result, between 10 and 20 percent of them will develop shingles during their lifetime. Most often shingles begins with an unexplained throbbing or burning pain in a limited area on one side of the chest or lower back. Days to weeks later a painful rash appears and evolves into pus-filled blisters with the same band-like distribution as the pain. The rash is not contagious, but bacteria may infect the blisters.

Recommendation: because the incidence of shingles increases progressively with age, the vaccine in recommended for everyone 60 years of age or older. The zoster vaccine (Zostavax) is given as a single, one-time injection, regardless of a previous history of herpes zoster (shingles) or chicken pox.

Contraindications to giving these vaccines

A vaccine should not be given to an individual who has had a prior severe reaction to the vaccine or at a time when he or she is suffering from a moderate to severe acute illness.

Other possible vaccines

A booster injection against tetanus is recommended every 10 years. Some older people may wish to get protection against hepatitis A and/or B, especially if they will be travelling to underdeveloped countries or are exposed to people with a high likelihood of these disorders.

Check with your doctor about your need for all of these vaccines. We will even accompany you to your doctor’s office to help you understand the information they provide. Call Aker Kasten Home Health Care today at 561-955-6010 or 561-737-4990.

 

The content of this Aker Kasten Home Health Care Agency News page is meant to educate, but it should not be used as a substitute for personal medical advice. The reader should consult his or her physician or clinician for specific information concerning specific medical conditions. While all reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that all information presented is accurate, as research and development in the medical field is ongoing, it is possible that new findings may supersede some data presented.