CareNotes: The Home Care Newsletter Vol 5. Issue 1
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Letter From the Editor:
My first thought on January 1st is always what will the new year bring? 2011 was an exciting year for Home Care Assistance with thousands of caregivers providing nearly 6 million hours of in-home care, providing security and comfort for our clients and peace of mind for their families. We published the second and third books in our health and wellness series, The Handbook of Live-in Care and From Hospital to Home Care, which are now available on Amazon. We also launched a Corporate Social Responsibility initiative to further serve our communities through active engagement, education and philanthropy. Reflecting on the successful year that has passed, I look forward to sharing with you in the comings months the many exciting developments and projects we will be launching in the year ahead!
To kick off another milestone year at Home Care Assistance, we are excited to share the first CareNotes newsletter for 2012. To add to your New Year’s resolutions, I will share a Five-Day Full Body Recharge Plan created by Dr. Oz to help rejuvenate each of the five senses, as dulling of the senses is a common complaint among older adults. Also recent research has been published about a superfood with which we are all familiar: broccoli. I will share the reasons why you should find a way to incorporate this vegetable into your daily diet starting today. I will also discuss the growing momentum of the aging in place movement among older adults. As a response to the housing crisis and by virtue of older adults becoming savvier in researching the long term costs and quality of life impacts of various care options, many seniors are holding onto their homes and opting for in-home care instead of selling their homes and moving into an assisted or independent living facility.
Lastly, I would like to congratulate DeeDee Bradley from Home Care Assistance of Milwaukee for being selected for this month’s Caregiver Spotlight. We would like to recognize DeeDee for the professionalism and unyielding care she brings with her in caring for our clients!
Aging Gracefully: The Five-Day Full-Body Recharge Plan
Aging is inevitable, but there are ways to delay the onset of physical signs like wrinkles or graying hair as well as mental and sensory signs, according to Dr. Mehmet Oz, prominent cardiac surgeon and health personality.
Dr. Oz recently announced a five-day plan to help rejuvenate each of the five senses, as a common aging associated outcome is dulling of the senses.This is particularly interesting for those at risk for developing Alzheimer’s as the plan Dr. Oz has developed can also highlight warning signs for early symptoms of the disease. Below you will find the first two days of the sensory recharge plan, an excellent exercise for anyone looking to promote healthy longevity in his or her own life.
Day 1: Focuses on testing your senses and seeing which areas need improvement and which areas are fully functional at a normal capacity. This is what Dr. Oz suggests for each sense:
Test: Hold your arms straight down with your wrists pressing against each other for 10 seconds. If you feel numbness in several of your fingers then you may have some nerve compression in your hands.
Remedy: “To maintain and strengthen the sensation in your nerves, take 10 mcg of vitamin B12 each day.”
Test: Take a swab of alcohol away from your nose and near your waist. Slowly raise the swab towards your nose until you can smell it. If you can smell the alcohol around chest level then your sense of smell is fine. If not, this is what Dr. Oz suggests:
Remedy: “If you find your sense of smell lacking, try taking 600mg of the supplement Alpha Lipoic Acid daily to increase the function of the olfactory nerve, which is instrumental in one’s sense of smell.”
Test: Mix zinc sulfate with water and swish it around your mouth for ten seconds. If you do not sense a metallic taste, then your sense of taste may be deficient.
Remedy: “Take 15 mg of zinc daily if you experience a taste deficiency. Within 2-3 weeks your sense of taste should be restored. Otherwise, consult your doctor.”
Day 2: The second day focuses on skin rejuvenation, as the skin is one of the most obvious signs of aging as it begins to wrinkle and show signs of weathering. The mixture of nutmeg and cinnamon can serve as a rejuvenation agent for wrinkled skin. Take 6 teaspoons of cinnamon and nutmeg and run it though your coffee machine’s filter. Then, pour this mixture directly into a warm bath and soak in it.
Alternatively, you can let the mixture cool and use it as a face or body wash instead.
As always, you should consult your physician or other health care professional before starting this or any other wellness plan to determine if it is right for your needs.
A Little Broccoli Goes a Long Way
I am always looking for ways to incorporate healthy foods into my daily diet. One easy way to accomplish this is by choosing fresh, organic (if possible) and nutrient rich options when shopping for foods. Many of us know that a diet high in fruits, vegetables and lean proteins is ideal, but one particular vegetable has a significant number of health benefits that sets it apart from other vegetables, according to recent research; this superfood is broccoli. Though often humorously disliked for its taste (though I personally have always loved the taste!), broccoli is high in fiber, iron and other vitamins, such as Vitamins A, B, C, and K, and is favored by nutritionists for its cancer fighting properties in the form of a phytochemical called sulforaphane.
Below, Beth Gilbert, M.D., lists seven more key benefits broccoli offers older adults:
1) Improves immunity with its high vitamin C content.
2) Helps fight depression with its mood boosting B vitamin folate.
3) Enhances bone health as a result of high calcium content.
4) Neutralizes sodium levels in the body as a result of its rich potassium content.
5) Offers some protection against heart disease and stroke.
6) Improves digestion.
7) Contains lutein, which is important for eye health. Studies have shown that lutein helps prevent age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
For those of you who aren’t very fond of plain broccoli, there are many ways you can add flavor to the vegetable without decreasing its nutritional value. Add lightly steamed broccoli to a whole wheat pasta dish with grilled chicken for added protein or sprinkle reduced-fat parmesan cheese over steamed broccoli for added flavor.
Home Care: The Preferred and Practical Choice
When it comes to long term care options for themselves, 9 out of 10 seniors would prefer to age in place at home, according to an often-quoted AARP survey. Not only are seniors able to maintain their independence in their own homes, but they are also able to remain in a familiar place surrounded by the memories and belongings they love. As older adults aged in the past, they were more likely to consider selling their homes for financial reasons, but a number of factors have made this trend less appealing in more recent years.
As a response to the housing crisis and by virtue of older adults becoming savvier in researching the long term costs and quality of life impacts of various care options, many seniors are holding onto their homes and opting for in-home care instead of selling their homes and moving into an assisted or independent living facility. The good news, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, is that caregiving will become the second fastest growing occupation in the country, with more than 50% projected growth by 2016. This means that as the aging population lives longer due to technological and medical advancements, there will also be enough caregivers to provide in-home care to those who wish to remain in their own homes.
So when you or your loved one reach a point where living at home without assistance is unsafe and not ideal, sit down with your family members and have a frank and honest discussion about what the best and most financially wise care option is for you.
Caregiver of the Month Spotlight: DeeDee Bradley
This month’s Caregiver Spotlight honors DeeDee Bradley from Home Care Assistance of Milwaukee for her professional and empathetic care and dedication to her elderly clients.
It comes as no surprise that DeeDee is from a long line of caregivers. In fact, she often comments that her extraordinary and natural caregiving abilities may even be genetic. Interestingly, five out of her nine siblings are also in healthcare careers. DeeDee says, “my passion for compassion is my mission in life and it most certainly comes from my heart.
This strong, vivacious mother of three and grandmother of seven was one of Home Care Assistance of Milwaukee’s first hires. DeeDee quickly set a benchmark for other caregivers to strive toward and helped the office staff realize the special personal characteristics and skills they wanted in future caregivers. DeeDee earned her certified nursing assistant (CNA) license and comprehensive CBRF trainings 12 years ago; she added to this a wealth of experience from her job at Marion Franciscan Nursing Home in Milwaukee. In the three years that she has been a valued employee with Home Care Assistance, DeeDee has profoundly touched the lives of over 25 clients with her exceptional care and compassion. She is always willing to fill in when needed and has proven to be an excellent member of the Milwaukee team.
Although DeeDee loves all aspects of caregiving, the hospice focus of home care is what she is most passionate about. It is her ability to almost instantly create a genuine and loving relationship rooted in trust and respect with her clients and their families that is so comforting when the end is near. She has often asked to remain with her client on a live-in basis until – as one client expressed – “she becomes the angel that ushers our loved one home”. During this time, Deedee’s “passion for compassion” with her clients is also extended to the client’s loved ones and their needs. It is truly inspirational to hear DeeDee’s express how caregiving is her life mission and calling.
On behalf of everyone at Home Care Assistance, we are proud to call DeeDee Bradley a member of our family. Thank you for helping us achieve our mission of changing the way the world ages!