Spring is Here! - Senior Activities

Spring has finally arrived.

Elder Care Homecare recommends 3 easy activities to get you or your family members up and out of the house. Seniors should stay active. Especially if they have home care, their aides or caregivers should encourage seniors to get up and out of the house.

These activities can have a significant effect physically and emotionally.

1) Look up the Senior Centers in your community. Many hold picnics, outdoor events, outdoor book clubs, festivals and fairs. Some even include yoga, tai chi and other activities that are great for physical exercise flexibility and mental health.

2) Decorate your home with Easter or Passover themes. This can be a great family activity as well as a way to brighten your home with spring colors. Holidays are a great excuse to become festive.

3) Create an indoor or outdoor garden. Sometimes seniors are trouble growing difficult plants and physically can not stay too active. Plants like basil and mint are easy to maintain and can spread amazing scents in your home.

Home care begins with staying proactive. Do not wait until there is an incident and you need to begin physical therapy or occupational therapy to improve your habits.

Winter Home Safety Tips For Seniors

The winter season can be one of the most beautiful times of year. But while the season and staying warm and cozy, you might also find yourself in a bit of trouble if you’re one of millions of older people living alone or with limited mobility.

Preparation is key for you, your family and friends to ensure you home is safe. Whether you have home care, a caregiver or a friend to assist you, below are 5 Tips for Seniors to ensure their homes are safe.

1) Shovel and salt your walkways. One of the biggest dangers for seniors is falling. Fall prevention should always be in the back of your mind. Injuries can have serious detriments to long term health. Have a friend or hire a service to come shovel and salt your walk ways.

2) Prepare for power outages. Flashlights, batteries, blankets, food, water and basic necessities should be stored in easy to access places.

3) Buy an Artificial Christmas Tree. Even when the holidays are over, the Christmas tree and lights can help raise your spirits when it is cold outside.

4) Arrange for In-Home Care during Weather Emergencies. Work with agencies to ensure your family member / Senior is safe during storms. It is beneficial to call them before storms. Better safe than sorry.

5) Keep a Fire Extinguisher in Your Home. This tip could mean life or death for you during the winter time (and really any time of the year). Most households have a fire extinguisher, but very few people actually know how to use it. 

As a family member, you should make sure your seniors have everything they need. As we mentioned preparation is key, so make sure your loved one has everything they need to stay safe.


New Year - Start the New Year Off Right!

New Years resolutions are important for everyone. Whether its your own personal priorities or business, we all have areas to improve.

Below are 3 ways to help your loved one improve.

1) Help in the home is critical. Whether its families helping, delivery services, neighbors or home care, it is critical to be prepared. Seniors need companionship and the appropriate risk management. Seniors may not NEED help, but at times it is important to provide support so emergencies do not happen.

People and especially seniors are quick not to be a nuisance to others, so they push themselves too hard rather than ask for help.

2) Make schedules. Staying organized is key to a healthy mind. Not only should you stay organized and schedule time to see your family, it is important to schedule activities, bills and other daily activities to keep your mind organized.

3) Find the right team. Whether its a physician, psychologist, specialists, home care agency, it is important to have the best possible team in place. People do not know, what they do not know. Having people who can ask the right questions and work together is critical to avoid preventable problems.

Make 2019 a time for change and focusing on what is important.

Always prepare!

5 Holiday Activities For Seniors

Holidays are fast approaching and now is the time to think of all the fun family activities to participate in.

1) Decorations: Flowering and center piece arrangements are wonderful to spice up your home. Not only are they a fun activity for your family and friends to perform but also allow you to work on your creative side. It can even be seen as a form of occupational therapy.

2) Homemade Gifts: Take the time to make or build your own presents. Whether its bracelets, decorating ornaments, painting a flower pot, all are fun activities and really nice gifts.

3) Bake a Gingerbread House: This is a crowd favorite. Great to do with grand kids and family. Not only are they fun, but they taste great!

4) Holiday Shows or Movies: Try and get out of the house and go see a holiday show or concert. If traveling to large arenas or shows is difficult, try to get in the holiday spirit and have a movie night.

5) Give Back: The holidays are a time to give. There are a number of ways to volunteer or help, but creating Christmas or holiday cards for soldiers overseas, sick children in the hospital or other greeting cards can be an easy and nice way to help those who are lonely on the holiday.

Now go have fun and enjoy your holiday!

Four Ways to Boost Brain Activity!

Brain Booster #1: Move!

Get moving! An active life style can help clear your brain of a protein fragment called amyloid, which is believed to accumulate in and “gunk up” the brains of people with Alzheimer’s. “There’s no drug available that can lower amyloid,” says Dr. Isaacson. “The only thing we know that can do it is exercise.”

Active people have a 35 percent lower risk of cognitive decline than sedentary ones.

So get moving! Walk; Aim for at least 20 to 30 minutes of purposeful activity most days of the week (that’s the stuff that gets your heart rate up a bit) plus two short sessions of resistance training—squats, lunges, and the like—per week.

Brain Booster #2: Challenge your mind

Research continuously shows that to lower your risk of dementia is to challenge your brain so it becomes more flexible. That doesn’t mean solving Sudoku; it means doing new activities to continually work different parts of your brain in order to build connections between them.

When you’re scrambling to remember a name, for instance, and your mind hits a “roadblock” of nonfunctioning nerve cells, you’ll come up with nothing. But if there are available detours, your brain will try them until it finds the name you’re looking for.

It’s hard to fire up your brain with new things when you’re just trying to get through the same daily rush-rush routine. Make it a priority to try out different activities.

Brain Booster #3: Sleep!

I know everyone is happy to hear this one. Get the much needed sleep your body deserves. Cheat on sleep, and you rob your mind of its potential.

Reframe sleep as a priority and a must-do, not as a weakness. To help yourself snooze, pay attention to what experts call sleep hygiene—in other words, bias your bedroom toward your getting good sleep. And stay off digital screens for at least a half hour to an hour before bed; the blue light they emit keeps you from producing melatonin, a sleepiness hormone that rises in your body at night.

Brain Booster #4: Eat smarter

While there’s no single food that can prevent or cure cognitive impairment, an overall healthy eating pattern can help.

She recommends eating more of these: antioxidant-rich berries, vegetables (especially leafy greens), fish (for its omega-3 fatty acids, which likely make it easier for the brain’s nerve cells to communicate with one another), and whole grains.

The foods to cut down on: those with saturated and trans fats, both of which are believed to damage your cardiovascular system and thus your brain health. That means less red meat, butter, margarine, pastries and other sweets, and fried or fast foods. In Morris’s research, she saw that older people who stuck to this style of eating over five years lowered their risk of Alzheimer’s by 35 to 53 percent. The longer people stayed on the diet, the more their odds improved.

Senior Activities - Halloween!

There are a number of fun holidays to celebrate as a senior, but Halloween can be one of the best. Many of us have fond memories of Halloween as a child, so the nostalgic aspect can be very healthy for seniors. Using Halloween for some holiday-themed activities is always fun. Whether you live at home, an assisted living community or with family, it can give everyone a chance to enjoy some spooky fun.

1. Decorate pumpkins: Many of us love to carve pumpkins. It is one of the best traditional crafts for Halloween time. If you’re not sure about handing all of your seniors sharp implements, you can paint the pumpkin. Either way, this is benefit as almost occupational therapy for many seniors.

2. Homemade pumpkin seeds: If you are considering carving pumpkins or find that process to difficult, scooping the inside and making home made pumpkin seeds is a great activity. Not to mention the health benefits of eating pumpkin seeds! The aroma of cooking and home made food has been proven to have positive impacts on the brain as well.

3. Make decorative spiderwebs: These are fun to put in your house, hang around the community or even give to family members.

4) Make spooky candles: Consider purchasing easy to make kits. These are a fun activity and great to get their apartment or home ready for the holiday.

5) Movie time! Grab some popcorn and watch your favorite scary movie.

6) Homemade costume contests can be a great way to put together a fun outfit. Let the creativity begin!

Don’t forget to prepare for Trick or Treaters as well!

3 Easy Summer Activities for Seniors

It is important to stay active, but depending on where you live, it can be challenging in winter months. When summer arrives make the most of outdoor activities. Here are three easy ways to stay active and have fun!

1) Go for a walk or run outside! Whether it is just a walk around the block or walking to the park or beach, a little bit of fresh air and vitamin D is great. Make sure to wear sunscreen, and ensure you’re able to easily access cool shade by wearing a hat, bringing an umbrella, or sitting beside a tree. The benefits of walking outside are significant (not just from the physical workout). Seniors who lack vitamin D are at greater risk of fractures.

2) If you have access to an outdoor (or even indoor) body of water, summer is a great time to hop in! Because of the buoyancy, swimming is much easier on the joints than many other forms of exercise. This form of excursion is not only great for your muscles but swimming can be a great way to relax the mind as well.

3) Unique summer activity is Berry picking. If you live in the city you might needs to drive for a while, but picking berries can be a fun outdoor activity (with plenty of water and sunscreen). These activities give people more to talk about with friends and family. Also can lead to more activities such as baking a pie later, or hosting friends. Many times seniors can get into a "rut" since their daily activities become boring. Pushing your body physically, mentally and socially is important to a healthy lifestyle.

 

8 Ways to Stay Active

As our family members age it is always important to support them or encourage them to stay active. Below are 8 best activities we recommend

  1. Go for a walk. Keep a commitment to go for a walk a few times a week. Whether its to the park, down the block or in the back yard. Keeping the mind motivated and sharp is critical, and changing your environment as well as mentally pushing yourself to perform activities can make a significant difference.
  2. Schedule activities. Get your calendar out and choose 3-4 days that you (or your loved one) will feel comfortable performing an activity. Whether it be the advised physical therapy, additional walking or leg exercises, whatever it may be, make a goal and stick to it.
  3. Call or drop by your local Senior Center. Senior centers and local community centers have a variety of classes to participate in. Most offer daily exercise classes such as Yoga, Zumba, Water Aerobics, Muscle Conditioning, Line Dancing, Tai Chi and Meditation. Not only do we find group exercises help provide an additional place to stimulate the mind and body, but also as a great way to meet new friends.
  4. Go to the library. If you would rather exercise at home on your own time, visit your local library for exercise videos. Many libraries have large selections. If you have cable television, many on-demand features offer a variety of exercise shows.
  5. Spend time with family. Family time is critical and soothing. Making time for grandchildren and your family can help significantly. If you are the caregiver for a parent, make sure to bring your family and schedule time to see your loved one as often as you can.
  6. Workout any time. Strength exercises can be done any time. You can use household items to function as weights and do some repetitions while you watch TV or movie.
  7. Be realistic. Despite injury or limitation, there are a variety of options available. Chair-bound exercises are ideal for people with lower body injuries or disabilities, those with weight problems or diabetes, and elders looking to reduce their risk of falling. Any chair exercise can help alleviate body sores caused by sitting in the same position for long periods of time.
  8. Maintain the momentum. Don't keep it to yourself – talk to your friends, family and caregivers. Discussing your commitment will hold will increase your own commitment. Also communicating with friends and family may introduce you to new ideas, places, topics and hobbies that you may never have considered! Be open with your care team, they are here to help.