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A Short Guide To Feeling Good While Aging

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How To Look And Feel Amazing As You Age

Until someone stumbles upon the legendary Fountain of Youth, there is no way to avoid getting older. There are, however, some things that you can do that can minimize the effects of aging on your body and your mind, helping you to look and feel amazing as you age.

It goes without saying that one of the cornerstones to better health as you get older is to lead an active, healthy lifestyle. Here are some tips that you can use to look and feel your absolute best regardless of your age.

The Keys To Aging Gracefully

Scientists have discovered quite a few different techniques that you can use to slow down the aging process. Try using some of these suggestions to feel as young and attractive as possible:

Assisting Hands Houston | Caregiver Services in Houston1. Maintain an active social life.

Studies have shown that socializing with friends can actually increase your lifespan. Enjoying companionship and finding ways to laugh with others can boost your mood and can help keep depression at bay. Socializing can become more difficult as you age, simply because you may not be working or participating in as many activities as you did when you were younger.

Fortunately, there are some ways that you can get more socially active. One way is to look for groups in your area that you can join. If you are Internet-savvy, there are plenty of websites that you can use to search for groups of people who meet in your area who also share your interests. Going to church provides another opportunity to meet new people. You can also look into volunteering. Not only does it give you a chance to help others but it also allows you to meet people who are as committed to improving your community as you are.

Socializing can provide countless benefits. In addition to lengthening your lifespan, it can also help you get more out of your life. After all, living is all about having fun and enjoying yourself. Regular socializing rivals exercise in terms of the positive impact that it can have on your physical and mental health.

2. Get moving.

Exercising can do wonders for your body and your mind as you age. Along with helping you maintain a healthy weight, it can also reduce hormone levels in your body that are associated with stress.

Don’t feel like the only way to exercise is to run on a treadmill or to lift weights. There are plenty of things that you can do in your everyday life that can get your heart pumping. Taking a walk, signing up for a local yoga class, or digging in your garden can all positively impact your health by keeping you active.

3. Make smart food choices.

The food that you eat can have a major impact on your overall level of health as well as on your appearance. It is easy to fall into the habit of eating junk food. However, if you can incorporate healthier foods into your diet, your energy levels will naturally increase, making it easier to get through the day with enthusiasm. You may also notice improvements in your skin, hair, and nails when you get the nutrition that you need.

Eating right can also minimize the risk of age-related problems like osteoporosis. If you aren’t sure what you should be eating, the USDA publishes a lot of helpful information that you can use to design a healthy diet that will give you the energy that you need.

Please call us today or contact Assisting Hands Houston today for more information on the best caregivers in Houston!

How To Prevent Sibling Rivalry As A Caregiver

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How To Manage Sibling Rivalry While You Are Caregiving

Assisting Hands Houston | Being A Caregiver in Houston TXWhen aging parents start experiencing health problems requiring caregiving, issues of sibling rivalry can arise.

Despite everybody’s best intentions, they can sabotage all of the efforts made to offer good care.

The key to making sure this extra stress is avoided as well as major family conflicts, is to learn how to manage sibling conflicts before they cause serious problems.

Conflicts among siblings frequently originate in childhood. This can make it tricky to work them out. Even those adults who believe they have been able to leave their old feelings in the past frequently find them resurfacing whenever family pressures start to intensify.

Old Rivalries May Be Replaced By New Family Dynamics

Fortunately, there are several potential pathways that can be taken to improve the relationships you have with your siblings. Finding the one that will work best for your specific situation is the key.

The following are a couple of suggestions from family relationship experts.

1. Maintain A Good Perspective On What Is Important

Sibling rivalry can increase stress levels noticeably for everybody, including your parents. Health and Houston caregivers issues that are associated with aging already have the potential to increase stress levels, but when sibling rivalry is added to the mix it can raise levels of toxicity even more.

Your sibling fights can potentially become another health problems for the very individual you are trying to help!

Try to take a step back and remember what is most important and what is at stake: the safety and health of your parent. When you stop to do that it may make it easier for you to resolve the problems you are having with your siblings.

2. Realize That Stakes Are Also High In Other Ways

AARP clinical psychologist and family therapist Barry J. Jacobs, states that the way people behave during the caregiving process remains with you all of your life. So those years of caregiving may set the tone for the way you get along with your siblings long after your parent has passed.

3. Keep Your Communication Open

When there are strong emotions involved it can be hard to keep communication open and clear. It is also very difficult to keep everybody informed when you have siblings living all across the country. You need to make your best effort to keep in touch since poor communication can make relations tense.

In these types of situations, one of the biggest complaints is that one sibling will feel disrespected or hurt when they discover that a decision has been made without their input. Frequently, medical conditions may suddenly arise, and somebody may forget to inform a sibling that lives far away.

To help avoid these kinds of potential family conflicts, plan for better communication.

4. Do Some Planning To Be Proactive

A small bit of planning can really go a long way. The best time to discuss caregiving responsibilities and roles before there is a major crisis. The most effective way to ensure that there is a good collaboration between sibling is decide which caregiving roles, if any, should be outsourced and divide up tasks and responsibilities between siblings ahead of time.

It is also essential to plan the financial aspects of your family caregiving. Financial factors associated with caregiving can potentially be a major source of conflict among siblings. Make sure to discuss and plan this aspect of caregiving with your siblings.

Consider Getting Help For Your Caregiving

Whenever an issue arises that none of your family members feel confident in handling, you should consider getting outside help. Assisting Hands Houston is able to help with issues such as how senior living can be financed or assisting when the main caregiver is going on vacation.

Give us a call today or contact us to learn about what Houston caregivers services we offer for short-term visitors or speak with one of our residents at Assisting Hands Houston to find out how they enjoy being a full-time resident with an Assisting Hands Houston caregiver.

Vaccinations Your Loved Ones Should Speak With Their Physicians About

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Key Immunization Conversations For Seniors And Their Physicians

There can be little doubt about the miraculous nature of vaccines and their ability to stop previously deadly diseases from developing in those treated with them. Thus, it is most perplexing that a large number of seniors citizens have failed to keep current when it comes to being vaccinated themselves. Those who are aged 65 or older may in fact be in need of boosters for vaccines already administered in the past.

There is no better time to discuss this issue with your physician than August, which is National Immunizations Month. Diseases that can be prevented with modern vaccines run the gamut from diphtheria to shingles, and it makes good sense to stay on top of them.

Key Vaccinations For Senior Citizens

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has indicated that those older than 65 must remain current on the following vaccines:

Assisting Hands Houston | Vaccinations For Elder Care In Houston1. Influenza/Seasonal Flu

Seniors have been told for years and years by physicians that they face a far greater risk of serious flu complications than younger individuals. With aging, the immune system loses strength and thus makes individuals far more susceptible to ailments related to the flu.

Annual statistics show that senior citizens are over-represented in the number of flu-induced hospitalizations and fatalities. Anyone under the impression that the flu vaccine has unacceptable levels of risk needs to know that both the CDC and the Public Health Agency of Canada strongly suggest that all seniors remain current with flu vaccinations, as these are the best defense obtainable.

2. Tdap or TD

The TD shot is a booster designed to guard against diphtheria as well as tetanus. Similarly, the Tdap vaccination provides coverage for those illnesses as well as whooping cough, otherwise known as pertussis. Each of these sicknesses has the potential to become deadly. Breathing issues are known to stem from diphtheria, due to the thickening that arises in the throat. Furthermore, tetanus can produce lockjaw, a condition which proves fatal in roughly one out of every five cases. The coughing that results from pertussis can be difficult to quell and is known to cause brain damage, seizures and even death in those affected.

3. Pneumococcal Vaccinations

The truth is that a pneumococcal disease is essentially a type of infection. It is the result of bacteria and may lead to bacterial meningitis, pneumonia, middle-ear infections and blood infections. Both young and old are vulnerable to this type of infection, and vaccination is the only mode of prevention. However, senior citizens are at greater risk of developing pneumococcal disease than all other demographic groups.

4. Zoster Vaccinations

This is a vaccine known to guard against an illness that plagues older individuals at alarming rates, namely, shingles. If you have ever known an individual afflicted by shingles, you already know that it brings excruciating pain and debilitating rashes. While the Zoster vaccination does not provide absolute protection against shingles, it does dramatically lessen the risk of acquiring the ailment. Also, if a case of shingles does emerge, it will be far less severe in someone who has received the Zoster vaccine.

Help From A Qualified Care Manager

When the time comes to have a discussion with your physician about vaccinations, having an advocate on your side can be a great help. Assisting Hands Houston employs the type of in home caregiver Houston trusts most. Not only can these professionals help with daily needs, they can also assist in the development of their Individualized Service Plan which provides a road map for comprehensive care.

Call us now or contact us today for more information!

Tips For The Family Caregiver in Houston

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A Guide For Keeping Your Marriage Strong

Many baby boomers are facing a decision about caregiving for their elderly parents or other relatives. This is not an easy decision and if a person decides to take on the role of primary caregiver, it can be quite stressful. This stress will often migrate into the caregiver’s marriage and cause problems. Providing full-time caregiving is extremely difficult and usually results in the caregiver trying to work in responsibilities involving caregiving, family, and marriage. This tightly packed and incredibly organized schedule typically results in very little time for the caregiver themselves. They are tired, stressed, and often feeling frustrated.

Assisting Hands Houston | Houston Caregiver ServicesPrimary caregivers also face another challenge

taking care of their own health. When a person becomes a full-time caregiver it often results in the caregiver’s health failing before the health of person they’re caring for. It can also become financially difficult when someone becomes a primary caregiver. They often must give up their job or at least reduce their hours which results in a loss of income. When all of these challenges are combined, it can wreak havoc on a marriage.

Couples can survive the trials and tribulations of being a primary caregiver, but it takes work. There are some steps a couple can take to keep their marriage strong. If both partners are committed, they can make it through and come out stronger on the other side.

1. Own It

Both the caregiver and the spouse must acknowledge that the caregiving is impacting their relationship. Providing care for someone else is a hard job and at the end of the day, the caregiver probably doesn’t want to clean house or do the grocery shopping. They are tired and perhaps a bit short-tempered. Both partners must realize there are issues and work together to help each other out

2. Prioritize Your Spouse

Both partners must do this, but the caregiver may need to work hard at prioritizing their spouse when they are providing care for another person all day long. It is important that both partners make time to connect, even if it’s just a short chat while making dinner. It helps to plan something special every once in a while so both partners remember how important they are to each other.

3. Ask For Help

Family caregiving should be just that – family. When the primary caregiver needs a break, they should never hesitate to ask for help. If they don’t recognize when they need time away, it could end badly for both the caregiver and the one they are caring for. It is only human to need time for oneself, so ask family and friends to step in occasionally.

If there are no family or friends nearby, consider hiring a professional caregiver, if only for a day or a few hours. These home care companions can take your loved one to their doctor’s appointment or shopping or to the hair salon. Meanwhile, the caregiver can get a much-needed break or take care of a few personal errands.

4. Use Available Resources

There are usually resources available within the community to help family caregivers. The local Area Agency on Aging will have specialists who can provide help and advice. There may also be support groups where primary caregivers can meet others who are facing the same challenges.

5. Take Time For Yourselves

This is a big one. All marriages need recharging at times, so plan some time for yourselves. If you can’t get away, plan a “stay-cation” and try a new vineyard or go to a show. Spend this time together talking and strengthening your marriage bonds.

Many communities offer respite programs where your loved one can do a short-term stay at a local long-term care facility or senior retirement community. This is a great way to ensure your relative or friend is safe while you and your spouse get some much-needed time alone.

5. Know When To Stop

When the care giving is causing too many problems in the marriage, take a step back and admit you need help. Assisting Hands Houston is here to provide you assistance. Our caregiver in Houston specialists will work with you to determine if a change is needed for the health of everyone concerned. Give us a call or contact us today to talk about your options.

Assisting Hands Houston Addresses Stroke Prevention

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Does Stroke Prevention Help Decrease The Risk For Dementia?

There are many precautionary measures that a person can take to ensure that their heart and brain health is doing well, this will help them to age well.

Today, heart disease is the leading cause of death in America per the Center for Disease Control. Other conditions on the list include cancer, strokes and Alzheimer’s disease. As you age, the risk for all of these conditions rises which makes it important that you follow the right preventative measures to prevent such conditions.

Around the world, researchers are seeking answers to how these conditions form. Recently, researchers from the University of Western Ontario spent time on a study for stroke prevention for those over the age of 80. To help prevent strokes, we know that people must improve their diet, increase their exercises and this is yielding positive results to lower their stroke rates, however, it may also help in preventing dementia.

Assisting Hands Houston | Elder Home Care Houston TXThere is a link between dementia and strokes. When the blood supply to the brain is interrupted or slows, it may raise the risk for both strokes and dementia. According to the researchers in Western Ontario, there are some extreme lifestyle changes that can be made to help prevent strokes. These will help to combat the symptoms of stroke and dementia. High cholesterol, as an example, may lead to a plaque which can clog arteries. Thus, eating a healthier diet may help to lower cholesterol and thus prevent the risk of stroke and dementia.

Anyone who has had a stroke is at double the risk to develop vascular dementia according to the researchers. They will have a higher risk of memory loss, reasoning issues, judgment problems, and planning issues. As the blood supply is disrupted to the brain in a stroke, it also reduces the amount of oxygen which may cause permanent damage that may, in turn, lead to dementia.

When the researchers at University of Western Ontario were doing their research, they noted that there was a drop in the rate of strokes in the study participants that would lead to fewer cases of dementia. However, strokes aren’t the single cause of vascular dementia, blood clots, cardio issues, and even diabetes may all impact the flow of blood and reduce or cut off the oxygen levels to the person’s brain and cause serious damage to their cognitive abilities. This, in turn, can contribute to dementia. Following the same measures that will improve circulation to the brain and prevent strokes also were noted to prevent dementia.

It’s important that caregivers encourage their loved ones to remain active and reduce their risk of strokes and vascular dementia.

Preventing strokes and dementia is often just a matter of following a proper diet and good exercise. As these lifestyle changes are presented patients should also keep in mind that reducing or eliminating tobacco products and sticking to a healthier diet and lifestyle will go far in helping to reduce the incidence of stroke and dementia. The incidence of strokes has dropped by 37.9 percent by following these measures and dementia has dropped by 15.4 percent. While little can be done about a genetic predisposition to such conditions, there are steps that can help to reduce the severity if one will follow a healthier diet and add in proper exercise.

According to the National Stroke Association or NSA, proper nutrition to prevent strokes includes:

  • Eating a variety of vegetables including both starches and leafy greens
  • Eating more fresh and whole fruits
  • Following a fat-free and low-fat diet especially with dairy products
  • Eating more whole-grain foods
  • Consuming lean proteins
  • Using heart-healthy oils

The NSA has also recommended that you not add sugar, sodium or trans fats to your diet. These should make up less than ten percent of a person’s daily diet.

It’s also vital to limit the intake of alcohol and men should have no more than two drinks per day while women shouldn’t have more than one drink per day. No tobacco should be used. Smoking especially can double the risk of the incidence of strokes and dementia. This can lead to the plaque buildup in the body and affect the required amounts of blood to the brain.

Exercise will help to strengthen the lungs and the heart and this will improve the blood circulation to the brain. Adults should have at least 2.5 hours of exercise per week. This can include brisk walks. They should also strive for two days worth of muscle strengthening such as weight lifting. Working things like crossword puzzles will also help to improve the health of the brain per Assisting Hands of Houston, which promotes Independent Senior Living Houston.

Always check with your doctor prior to starting any type of new diet or exercise to ensure that the person is well enough to participate in such activities. Some medications will interact with some diets so always have a doctor monitor any dietary changes as well. These steps may help to prevent strokes and vascular dementia.

We at Assisting Hands Houston hope that the information we have provided you not only helps your loved ones but also helps you to be a better caregiver. Please contact us or call today if you have any questions regarding elder in-home care or assisted living for your loved ones.

A Guide To Effective Caregiving In Houston Texas

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How To Be An Effective Caregiver Without Burning Out

Being An Effective Caregiver Also Means Caring For Yourself

There is a common misconception that people who are caregivers have to put all of their needs aside, only focusing on the person who is in their care. In a way, it is like they are expected to check their own feelings at the door, only focusing on what the other person wants or needs. This image of a caregiver requires them to sacrifice their wants and needs in order to support the person that they are caring for.

In reality, however, it is impossible to separate yourself from your emotions when you are a caregiver. As much as you try to focus on the other person, certain emotions are bound to bubble up during the process. It is important to learn more about what it is really like to care give for another person so that you can effectively deal with the feelings that you experience throughout the process.

Ask For Help If You Need It

One of the biggest mistakes that caregivers make is trying to do too much. Providing around-the-clock care for someone else can be physically and emotionally draining. In many cases, you may need to get professional help. If you are like many caregivers, the thought of hiring someone to assist with the process can feel like you are being weak or like you are giving up. In fact, however, getting support from a trained professional can make you more effective at caring for your loved one by keeping you from getting exhausted and overwhelmed.

Take Care Of Yourself

If you don’t take care of your own health and your own emotional needs, you won’t be able to effectively care for someone else. There are limits on what you can do. You need to be aware of these limits and take care not to push yourself too hard. Otherwise, you could burn out.

Emotional Responses Are Normal

it is impossible to care for another person without having your emotions come into play. Along with feelings of love and compassion, you may experience some negative emotions that catch you off guard. For instance, you may find yourself feeling frustrated or discouraged. These types of feelings are totally normal and are to be expected. You shouldn’t feel like you are a bad person or like you have done anything wrong if you find yourself experiencing emotions that could be considered negative.

Take A Break If You Need It

No one can be expected to care for another person around-the-clock without having to take a break every now and then. It is important to stop and nurture your body and your mind so that you have the physical and emotional strength to care for the other person.

Caring for someone else can be an emotional roller coaster. One way to keep everything in perspective is to remind yourself of why you decided to become a caregiver in the first place. At the same time, you should be aware of how you are feeling so that you can gauge when you need a break. Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance or to take time off to recharge your batteries if you need to.

Assisting Hands Houston | Elder Care Houston Texas

Senior living communities in Houston can be a good resource if you need assistance caring for a loved one. They can provide professional in-home care that takes some of the burdens off of your shoulders, allowing you to stay healthy and strong so that you can support your loved one in the best possible way.

Trying to figure out the best course of action to take when it comes to caring for an elderly loved one can be challenging. Hiring a professional caregiver to provide advice and assistance can help make the process easier. Instead of being physically and emotionally overwhelmed by the day-to-day tasks associated with being a caregiver, you can stay strong so that you can provide your loved one with the emotional support that they need.