CareNotes: The Home Care Newsletter Vol 7. Issue 2
Letter From the Editor:
First I want to thank everyone who participated in the survey we sent out last Friday. The response was overwhelming and we will be taking your feedback into account when selecting the topics for our weekly newsletters! We value each and every response.
In this issue of our CareNotes Newsletter, we introduce some foods that can alleviate troublesome aches and pains as well as seven simple steps you can take to stay active throughout the year to achieve optimal health. We also share a delicious recipe for Salmon Salad that is packed with protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Not only does this make for a refreshing lunch or dinner, but given salmon’s anti-inflammatory properties, this is a great meal to eat following a workout to fuel your body and help rebuild your muscles. Last, but not least, I would like to congratulate our Caregiver of the Month, Mariam Ba, from Home Care Assistance of Cincinnati! Mariam’s spirit and passion for caregiving are evident in the superior care she provides to each and every one of her clients. We are lucky to have her as a member of the Home Care Assistance team!
6 Foods that Can Alleviate Troublesome Aches and Pains
Instead of reaching into the medicine cabinet the next time you’re plagued by bothersome body pains, try reaching inside the fridge. Are you suffering from knee pain? Then drink some soy milk. Is your sore back troubling you? Try some fresh salmon. From fresh fruits like cherries and grapes, to herbs and spices like ginger and turmeric, to fish and soy products, certain foods can actually deliver as much pain-fighting power as over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Plus, foods don’t have the dangerous side effects associated with some pain-relief medications, making them the likely healthier choice.
Below are 6 foods that can help alleviate pain and discomfort.
1. Red Grapes…and Red Wine!
Red grapes, as well as blueberries and cranberries, contain resveratrol, a powerful compound that blocks the enzymes associated with tissue degeneration. Evidence has shown that resveratrol can help protect against cartilage damage that causes back pain.
Another option is to drink a glass of red wine—good news for the wine enthusiast!
“Resveratrol in red wine is far more easily absorbed due to the form it is in,” says researcher Xin Li, M.D., Ph.D., a biochemistry instructor at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.
In addition to acting as a digestive aid, ginger is also an effective painkiller. Ginger helps to relieve pain by blocking an enzyme responsible for inflammation. According to a study in Miami, nearly two-thirds of patients suffering from chronic knee pain reported less soreness after taking a ginger extract.
Studies have found that soy’s anti-inflammatory properties can reduce osteoarthritis knee pain by over 30 percent. Food options include soy milk, tofu and edamame.
Turmeric, a spice commonly found in many Indian dishes, has been found to fight the pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis as effectively as ibuprofen.
The key to cherries’ pain-fighting power lies in their high levels of antioxidants called anthocyanins. One study found that subjects who consumed 45 Bing cherries every day for 28 days experienced a significant decrease in inflammation. Another study found that drinking a cherry-juice beverage reduced symptoms of muscle damage among men who exercised regularly. Anthocyanins can also be found in strawberries, blackberries and raspberries.
Fish, like salmon, that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help relieve inflammatory pain associated with migraines, rheumatoid arthritis and some autoimmune conditions like Crohn’s disease. Patients who have increased their fish consumption or taken a fish oil supplement have also reported reduced neck and back pain. Great fish options include halibut, salmon, sardines, Atlantic mackerel, trout, light tuna, striped bass and snapper.
For examples of healthy recipes incorporating many of these powerful foods, request a copy of our Comfort Foods Cookbook or Smoothie Recipes Booklet from your local office.
7 Simple Starters for Getting Fit and Staying Fit
Did your New Year’s resolution include improving your diet and exercise routine? Now that we are a quarter of the way through 2014, has your resolution resolve begun to decline? You don’t have to let those resolutions fall by the wayside! Diet and exercise are paramount to healthy aging, and by following these 7 simple steps you can get active and stay active throughout the year.
- Pace YourselfOne of the biggest pitfalls to starting a consistent workout regimen is attempting to do too much too soon. Many people who were previously inactive will start their new routines at a sprint, quickly leading to injury and burnout. While your intentions may be good, try to refrain from overdoing it and start slowly, making sure you stretch before and after any exercise.
- Start SmallStart simply with a five- or ten-minute walk. Once you feel comfortable, begin adding on another five minutes until you hit 45-60 minutes. Studies have proven the substantial benefits of walking. In a study of middle-aged men and women, a 12-week walking program led to a trimmer waistline, increased energy, healthier blood pressure levels and an overall feeling of wellbeing.
- Make it Fun!With today’s active-play video games, you can have fun and get in a great workout all within the comfort of your home. Test out Wii Fit or one of the many other virtual home fitness programs on the market. If your workout routine is something that you look forward to on a daily basis, you are more likely to stick with it throughout the year.
- Vary Your IntensityOnce you are actively grooving in your new workout regimen, begin to alternate “easy days” and “hard days”. An easy day can consist of a quick 20-minute workout, or walk around the block, while a hard day can include a 45- to 60-minute workout.
- Find the Time…It’s ThereRegardless of how busy we think we are, there is always time for a quick 10-minute workout. If you can’t manage a 30-minute workout at one time, consider breaking it up into three 10-minute intervals throughout the day. Shorter workouts with higher intensity have proven to be most effective at improving health.
- Variety is the Spice of LifeChoose an exercise that you’re good at and that you enjoy. Exercise should be fun! If you have two left feet, then an aerobic or dance-based class may not be the right fit. Since mixing up your workout routine is the key to achieving optimal fitness, find several physical activities or classes that motivate and give you confidence, because confidence creates the inner environment to succeed and stay committed.
- Seek Ad vice from an ExpertIt’s important to consult with your physician and/or physical therapist to determine a safe exercise regimen that will not result in injury.
Boost Your Brain Health with this Salmon Salad Recipe
This refreshing salad is packed with protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which studies show play an important role in brain health. Whether packed for lunch, or enjoyed for dinner, this healthy recipe makes for an easy, delicious and nutritious meal.
- 1 7.5-oz. can wild salmon, drained
- 1 Tbsp. basil pesto
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- 2 sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp. non-fat Greek yogurt
- 2 scallions, finely chopped
- 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 ripe, firm avocado halved with pit removed
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- In a bowl, combine salmon, pesto, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, Greek yogurt, scallions and vinegar; mash with a fork. Add a little water to adjust texture, if necessary. Season with salt and pepper.
- Spoon salmon salad into avocado halves and serve.
This recipe is in line with our commitment to promote optimal health in our clients through our proprietary Balanced Care Method, a revolutionary approach to care that emphasizes lifestyle factors linked to healthy longevity. Maintaining a healthy diet is a key component of this approach, which is why we provide our caregivers with the tools and techniques they need to cook nutritious and satisfying meals for our clients.
Caregiver of the Month Spotlight: Mariam Ba
May’s Caregiver of the Month is Mariam Ba from Home Care Assistance of Cincinnati!
Mariam is a friendly, warm and intelligent person who embodies the Balanced Care Method in her professional and personal lives. She is a firm believer in a positive attitude, eating healthy food and keeping physically active.
Mariam grew up in South Africa with a strong sense of family and is blessed with the ability to build meaningful relationships. Fluent in Arabic and French, she recently put her linguistics to good use working with a Parkinson’s client who also speaks Arabic! Imagine the relief felt by the client and his family when an instant relationship was created through the use of their native language. She also exhibits extreme patience working with a Lewy body dementia client who enjoys her company so much that he “creates” special tasks for Mariam just so she stays longer than really needed.
Mariam is a great cook and went out of her way at the last minute to ensure her Jewish client had homemade Kasha during the most recent Passover Holiday! She is in charge of grocery shopping for this same client and does a great job of ensuring his refrigerator is full of fresh fruits and vegetables and even makes a special trip to the store for his favorite orange juice.
“I can always tell when Mariam has been in a client’s house because not only does it sparkle, but everything is in its place and it feels like a home. She takes care of everything and everyone as if it were her own home and family,” said Will Reid, Owner of Home Care Assistance Cincinnati.
We appreciate Mariam’s dedication, reliability, compassion and willingness to help in any situation. Thank you for keeping our clients safe and well cared for, Mariam!