Staying Healthy in 2019: 4 Tips to Start the Year Right

It’s nearly 2019 – can you believe it?

A new year isn’t just time to get a new calendar. It can also be a reset of your life; a chance to refocus and identify your health goals.

Taking care of yourself – both physically and mentally – is important, especially if you’re a caregiver for a loved one. You’ve got to focus on your own health first before you can help someone else.

Here are a few tips for keeping healthy in the new year:

Staying Healthy

1. Get More Sleep

You might think you’re getting enough sleep, but you’re probably not. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend sleeping at least 7 hours each night. One in three adults don’t.

Not getting sleeping enough leaves you drowsy and unable to focus, making it more difficult to get through the day. While this alone is troublesome, sleep deprivation can lead to more serious health problems over time. It’s important to get your sleep in so you’re fully prepared for the tasks ahead of you.


2. Get Healthful Food

In a busy life, it’s tempting to want to grab a quick snack like chips or fast food when you’re on the run. But eating unprocessed foods, like whole grains, fruits and vegetables are the best fuel for your busy day.

That’s because eating lots of vitamins and minerals nourishes the brain, affecting its structure, and how well you feel: good food makes you feel good.

If you’re short on time, try buying pre-cut vegetables like baby carrots and meal prep your food for the week in advance so you’ve always got a healthy meal or snack ready.


3. Get Moving

Aside from its more obvious cardiovascular health benefits, exercise has also been shown to improve mental health – keeping you healthier, happier and sharper day-to-day.

Just 20 percent of Americans meet the federal government’s guidelines for physical exercise: 150 minutes a week, or 22 minutes a day.

If you’re not a marathoner or you’re new to the gym, maybe start by taking a morning walk around the block. Increasing your movement in short increments makes a difference in the long run. It can also help keep you agile and mobile for your day-to-day caregiver tasks.


4. Get a Healthy Schedule

A new year is a chance to re-evaluate if the schedule you’re operating on is working ideally for proper sleep, exercise, and nutrition. If you’re a caregiver, it may feel like you don’t have enough hours in the day. The best caregivers, however, are always rested and healthy.


Arise offers a senior day program to get your loved ones the extra care they need – as well as home care services.  Visit our website for more information.

Caring for Someone with Dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease

Finding out that your loved one has dementia or Alzheimer’s disease can feel daunting. But staying educated – along with keeping the right attitude – can help.

November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. An estimated 5.7 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Here are a few tips to consider about caring for your own loved one:

Blog Graphic

Accept Change

Over time, your loved one may need more support. Your relationship with them will change. They may need to adopt a new routine to make their day as easy as possible.

This could include scheduling tasks such as doctor’s appointments earlier in the day when they are more alert. It also may mean allowing your loved one more time to complete tasks and taking frequent breaks throughout the day. Try to stay flexible and relax your expectations.


Be Safe

Part of the change includes making adjustments to your loved one’s home to prevent the risk of injury. That’s because Alzheimer’s Disease can impair judgment.

Check the water temperature before your loved one takes a bath. You can also turn down the heat on the hot water heater to avoid burns. In addition, you should install safety mats and bars in the bathtub, or a shower chair.

You may also want to install locks on cabinets containing dangerous chemicals, medicines or tools, and keep matches and lighters out of reach.


Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help

Because every person with Alzheimer’s or dementia is different, every person may require a different amount of care. Sometimes, this may mean more care than you can accommodate all on your own.

Arise offers a senior day program to give your loved ones the attention they need– and you the time you need for vital errands. It’s staffed by compassionate, trained professionals and conveniently located in St. Cloud at 2907 Clearwater Road.


Arise also offers home care and long-term care. You can have peace of mind knowing your loved one’s needs are met. Visit our website for more information.


Self-Care Tips For Caregivers

Now that people are having children later in life, there is a whole generation of folks overwhelmed by caring for their school-age kids while also caring for elderly parents.

Between your daily tasks and all the needs you serve constantly, it is extremely important to take time for yourself. Self-care helps establish a life balance that will allow you to continue serving your loved ones without sacrificing your health or happiness.

Validate Your Feelings

It is normal to feel a whole array of emotions when giving so much of yourself away to someone else. Recognize your frustration, anxiety, sadness, fear, etc, and validate that it is okay.  Too often, caregivers ignore their emotions to be strong for those they are caring for. Your emotions are valid and you should not feel guilty for having them. Find solutions and constructive ways of coping with your feelings.

Spend Time Outdoors

Nothing lifts the spirits quite like nature. The bonus here is that time spent outdoors benefits everyone, so feel free to go on regular walks or enjoy time in nature with your elderly loved one. If you are stuck indoors, open a window and breathe in the fresh air deeply as you relax.

Nourish Your Body

Caregivers often neglect themselves to the point that basic needs are not being met. You will feel your best if you eat nutritious, healthy meals at regular intervals. Consider solutions to eating healthy when you are low on time. Also, try buying a fancy or decorative water bottle that you will want to carry with you and drink from all day. Six to eight glasses of water per day will drastically help your body feel better!

Ask For Help

Some of the tasks a caregiver does can be delegated to others. Perhaps you have a teenage child or sibling who would be willing to schedule doctor appointments. Perhaps you can create a quick check-in routine multiple friends and family can accomplish each day so you can free up a little more time. If you are feeling overwhelmed with caregiver responsibilities, learn to ask for help!

These four tips are by no means all you can do to care for yourself as someone else’s caregiver. The thing here to remember is that your health and happiness is just as important as the loved ones you are caring for!


Healthy Heart Habits for You and Your Loved Ones

February is National Heart Health Month, which means there couldn’t be a better time to learn more about the heart and what it means to keep it healthy, especially as we age.

Heart health affects more than just the heart. If your heart is healthy, you’ll feel the effects because the heart is pumping as it should and circulating proper amounts of blood and nutrients throughout your body. Conversely, if you’re heart is unhealthy, you’ll feel the negative effects throughout your entire body and find that it hinders many parts of your life.

Healthy Heart

Caregivers should be putting heart health on the front burner this month and remind their aging loved ones that it’s never too late to start practicing healthy heart habits!

Here are 6 habits that promote heart health and longevity that seniors and caregivers should learn to incorporate into their daily routines:

Healthy Heart Habits to Adopt:

  1. Stop smoking! This is perhaps the WORST thing you can do for your heart at any age, but even more so as you age.
  2. Exercise regularly by doing something you love. It will get your blood pumping, keeping you strong and healthy.
  3. Eat a colorful range of fruits and veggies because different colors and varieties of fruits and veggies will give you the nutrients needed to stay healthy.
  4. Take an omega-3 supplement. Most Americans are deficient in omega-3 fatty acids, which causes the risk for heart disease to sky-rocket.
  5. Prioritize your protein by avoiding red meats like beef, lamb, and pork. Instead, stick to healthy protein like fish and eggs, as well as leaner meats like turkey and chicken.
  6. Know the symptoms and warning signs of heart disease. In addition to working on better heart health, it’s important to work on your overall health. Health conditions that are not related to the heart can actually increase your risk for heart disease, so make sure you’re taking care of yourself in all areas of your life!

Although heart disease risks increase with age, it doesn’t have to be an inevitable part of getting older. Making the right diet choices and creating healthy habits can help protect you.

February is not only National Heart Health Month, but it’s also the month of Valentine’s Day, which means it’s important to keep your heart healthy for yourself, as well as your loved ones.

7 Signs Your Parent Needs Extra Care at Home

Deciding to seek additional in-home care for an aging parent is a difficult but important decision. It is a step that could not only drastically improve the daily life of a loved one, but keep them much safer as their needs change. Watch for these signs that your parent needs extra help in the home from a service like Arise Cares.

1. Forgetting the Basics

If your parent is constantly forgetting things like where the keys are, how to work the microwave, or forgetting their medication, you should consider in-home assistance to guide them through their day and help remind them to take their medications.


2. Not Eating or Loss of Weight

Not eating can be caused by a number of issues. Elderly people can have trouble preparing meals for themselves, they may experience tastes differently, have GI issues, or have a loss of appetite, while patients with dementia can sometimes forget to eat.

Check the refrigerator and the pantry. Is there old or spoiled food that hasn’t been thrown away? Is there minimal food or only unhealthy foods available? Your loved one may need help with preparing meals and cleaning up the kitchen, which will ultimately keep them safer and healthier.


3. Unkempt House

It may be getting difficult for your parent to navigate and clean their home without help. Vacuuming, dusting, or mopping can be too hard and these tasks can become neglected for long periods of time.


4. Falls

Falls are the number one reason for ER visits among those over 65, often caused by poor balance, eyesight problems, decreased muscle strength, or arthritis. If your parent has fallen, or you see fall risks around their home, such as difficult steps or uneven thresholds, they may need additional help navigating the home.


5. Lack of Hygiene

People with dementia can forget to bathe, brush their teeth, or change their clothes. It may be overwhelming to make decisions regarding what to wear or to complete a task, such as laundry.  Luckily, these are tasks that an in-home professional can easily assist them with.


6. Dents or Scratches on Car

Operating the car can be a big challenge as reaction times, eyesight, and spatial awareness worsen with age. If you see dents or scratches, it could be a sign that driving is no longer a safe activity for them or other motorists.


7. Not Paying Bills on Time

Finances can be overwhelming and confusing, especially when so much is managed online and requires passwords. If bills have been neglected or ignored, someone needs to help take control of mom or dad’s finances to avoid services being turned off or more serious repercussions.

Arise’s Home Care Program provides companion care or personal care services to seniors or adults throughout Central Minnesota. Their circumstances may include age-related illness, dementia or memory-related conditions, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, or any chronic condition. Our goal is to help your loved one maintain independence, better manage their illness, injury, or condition, and enjoy a richer quality of life.

Request more information about Arise Cares’ service here.