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.

Living Your Best Life: The Expo for Seniors 2018

The annual Expo for Seniors will take place this Saturday, August 18th at the River’s Edge Convention Center in Downtown St. Cloud. The event begins at 8 AM and runs through 12 PM.

 

One of the main goals of the expo is to provide education for adult children and their parents about senior services.

Expo for Seniors

Now in its 16th year, the Expo for Seniors is Central Minnesota’s largest event that offers products and services for older adults. And – as it is every year – it is free to attend! You can view each of the event guides from the last 16 events here.

Expo for Seniors

There will also be a free breakfast provided, free health screenings, and over 100 booths showcasing healthcare, housing, finance, fitness, safety, and more. The event is sponsored by The Good Shepherd Community, CentraCare St. Benedict’s Community, and Times Media.

 

In following with this year’s theme – Living Your Best Life –  the keynote speech will be presented by Ron Culberson. Ron is a speaker, author, and humorist and has written four books – including Do it Well, Make it Fun –  on living life to the fullest. He worked as a social worker Counseling manager, and Senior Director of Quality Services in a large hospice organization for ten years. Culberson works to show people how to make the most out of their lives by reducing stress, enhancing relationships, and improving the way they live.

 

Join us in living your best life at the Expo for Seniors this Saturday, August 18th. Call 320-258-9364 for more information, or visit the event’s website – Expoforseninors.com – to learn more.

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!

 

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.

Arise Care’s Senior Day Program: Our New Location!

Describe the process of designing the new location. Why is it laid out and decorated the way it is?

We know that families face obstacles/resistance when bringing their loved one to a program like this, so we wanted to make the space as homey and comfortable as possible. The space had to be inviting and warm for people to get past their initial fears. We try to put ourselves in our client’s shoes and ask the question, ”Would I bring my loved one here?” If we answer yes, then we know we are on the right track.

We feel we are on the right track!! We have a space with lots of natural light to sit and watch the outdoors, a separate larger space for activities, exercise and meals, and a nice quiet, cozy space relax.

 

What is the mission of the Senior Day Program?

Our mission is to provide peace of mind when life is hard! We know that many families face health challenges and difficulties as they age making it difficult to remain at home. Our goal is to help them stay at home for as long as possible. Our day program is just one more way for families to achieve this. It gives the family caregiver some much needed respite, but also offers the care recipient; socialization, activities, meals, and care when they are with us. If the family caregiver can stay healthy and have an opportunity to re-charge that leads to good outcomes. Our day program can assist that family caregiver by providing care while they recharge.

 

What are the benefits of the new location?

One primary benefit of our new location is that we have all of our resources in one location. Nursing staff, management staff and caregivers are all right here! Location and easy access make a difference in the decision process for families. The close proximity of many residential neighborhoods, medical resources (such as St. Cloud Medical Group – South Campus), the fast growing education corridor on 33rd Street South, and the easy access to some of the largest employers in St. Cloud make it easier for families to choose us for the care of their loved one. Often, the primary caregiver is an adult child still in the workforce. They are in need of support for their loved one so they can continue to work. Our location can be helpful for those in this situation.

 

What do you hope your clients and their families will gain from utilizing the services of the Senior Day Program?

We all hope that our client families gain peace of mind by using our services. That’s a BIG hope, yet we truly believe that we can do that for families. We have witnessed our clients put off moving to a facility for months or years by using our services. They can achieve some stability, especially when facing health decline, isolation in aging, dementia, or caregiver burnout.

 

What should people expect at the open house?

Our Senior Day Program Open House is taking place August 29th from 9-11 AM and 4-6 PM at our new location: 2907 Clearwater Road in St. Cloud.

At our Open House, visitors can expect a full tour of our facility. They will see the activities their loved one will participate in, they can visit with our staff, learn about our services, and enjoy light refreshments. We are very excited to meet with families. If you can’t make it to our open house, please call (320) 281-2306 or contact Sue Christensen to schedule a tour.

 

Recognizing Depression in Seniors

Depression is a difficult topic to discuss with anyone, especially family members.The stigma that looms over the title of “mental illness” is a difficult problem to solve. Many warning signs of depression are often overlooked and, unfortunately, are only realized after it is too late.

Woman with her hand on another woman's shoulderDepression in older adults can easily be written off as “moodiness” or “typical behaviors”. This is not always the case. Sure, everybody has an image of that cranky man on television that lives down the block, but depression is very different.

Warning signs of depression vary greatly from person to person, but can still be identified. The sooner they are recognized for what they are, the better chance there is to arm yourself and your loved ones with the right tools to battle depression.

According to the Administration on Aging, some common warning signs are:

  • Sad, discouraged mood
  • Persistent pessimism about the present, future and the past
  • Loss of interest in work, hobbies, social life, and sex
  • Difficulty in making decisions
  • Lack of energy and feeling slowed down
  • Restlessness and irritability
  • Loss of appetite and loss of weight
  • Disturbed sleep, especially early morning waking
  • Depressive, gloomy or desolate dreams
  • Suicidal thoughts

Signed into law by president, Lyndon Johnson, the Older Americans Act of 1965 (OAA) set out to maintain the dignity and welfare of older Americans. It also paved the way for services that organized and coordinated opportunities of older Americans and their families to recognize and treat symptoms of depression in the community.

The AOA website offers a vast amount of resources for families and caregivers that allow them to care for their loved ones with the respect and dignity they deserve.

Family sitting around elderly man smiling

If you or your loved one are feeling the effects of depression, know that there are resources that are available for you. Nobody needs to battle depression alone and the symptoms should not be disregarded as minor feelings. Call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the 24/7 Treatment Referral Line at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) to find the treatment that works for you.

Visit psycom.net with your loved one to obtain a better understanding of what you may be feeling.

 

Your health and wellbeing go far beyond physical wellness. At Arise, our philosophy is “Stay Home, Stay Safe. Stay Healthy,” And that is exactly what we want for al or patients- no matter the age and no matter the symptoms.