Tag Archives: Wellness

Understanding Dementia: A Helpful Resource

Memory loss is scary. The thought of not being able to remember important information, life events, and loved ones can naturally cause anxiety and worry. Unfortunately, the time usually comes when we start asking ourselves if we, or someone we know, is experiencing symptoms of memory loss or dementia. In this situation, truly understanding dementia is important, and the best course of action is to arm yourself with knowledge and get as much practical advice as possible.

One of the best resources we have come across is the FreeDem Films. These short animated films answer important questions about dementia, such as "Am I Getting Dementia?" and "What's the Difference Between Alzheimer's and Dementia?" Not only do they answer important questions, they are also clear and easy to follow, making these videos a valuable resource for understanding dementia.

If you or your loved one are suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s and need professional care, American In-Home Care can help. We always refers qualified, credentialed and screened care providers that can assist you in the comfort and safety of your own home, and can even refer nurses that specialize in Alzheimer’s and dementia care. Contact us today at 1-844-505-0004 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss what care options are right for you and your family.

The Cause of Heart Disease: Uncovering the Truth

The cause of heart disease is high cholesterol. It is a medical and scientific fact. Or is it?

There is evidence that not only is this not the cause of heart disease, it is a misconception that is actually causing health problems and obesity in America. Renowned heart surgeon Dr. Dwight Lundell, former Chief of Staff and Chief of Surgery at Banner Heart Hospital in Mesa, Arizona is one of the people who has evidence to support this claim.

Lundell told Disclose.tv that the real cause of heart disease is inflammation in the arteries, and that before this discovery, the accepted methods for preventing or treat heart disease were prescribing medications to lower cholesterol, and following a diet to reduce the intake of fats.

However, these low-fat diets that have been long accepted as a beneficial "heart healthy diet," have actually been the cause behind the epidemics of diabetes and obesity in the United States.

"Despite the fact that 25% of the population takes expensive medications, and despite the fact we have reduced the fat content of our diets, more Americans will die this year of heart disease than ever before," said Lundell.

The Real Cause Of Heart Disease

So if elevetaed blood cholesterol isn't the culprit, then what is? The answer is inflammation. Inflammation of the artery wall causes cholesterol to get trapped in the arteries where it causes damage. Without inflammation, cholesterol could flow freely through the blood without getting trapped.

Inflammation is your body's natural response to foreign invaders such as a virus, bacteria, or toxin. Inflammation is a healthy and important cycle in our bodies, however, when we continually expose our body to the thing that is causing the inflammation, it doesn't have time to heal, and thus chronic inflammation is born. Constantly consuming food that humans were never designed to process regularly exposes us to chronic inflammation in our bodies and our arteries.

Why would someone repeatedly consume food that is causing this damage? Lundell told Disclose.tv that it is because they had been following the mainstream "low-fat - high carb" diet that was prescribed to prevent heart disease, not knowing that they were actually causing injury to their bodies.

"The injury and inflammation in our blood vessels is caused by the low fat diet recommended for years by mainstream medicine," said Lundell.

What Causes Inflammation

The biggest cause of inflammation is the overload of simple, highly processed carbohydrates - sugars, flours and all of the products made from them - and the excessive consumption of omega-6 vegetable oils such as soybean, corn and sunflower oils that are found in almost all processed foods.

Because these foods have a very long shelf-life, they have become staples of the American diet for the past several decades, and according to Lundell, have been poisoning Americans ever since. Although those sweets, breads, and fried foods taste delicious when we consume them, they are wreaking havoc on our bodies.

"A diseased artery looks as if someone took a brush and scrubbed repeatedly against its wall. Several times a day, every day, the foods we eat create small injuries compounding into more injuries, causing the body to respond continuously and appropriately with inflammation," said Lundell.

How Do Carbohydrates Cause Inflammation?

How does a little piece of cake cause so much damage? When we consume simple carbohydrates like sugar, our blood sugar rises rapidly. In response to this, our pancreas produces a substance that exists to bring the sugar into our cells, where it is then stored as fat. However, if the cell is full and doesn't need any more sugar, it will reject it. This increases blood sugar even more, creating more excess in the body.

The excess sugar attaches to proteins in the blood vessels and causes repeated injury, and this eventually causes chronic inflammation. And when you consider that that piece of cake or that bag of chips not only contains simple carbohydrates, but is also likely coated in or contains several vegetable oils, the inflammatory property increase exponentially.

"When you spike your blood sugar level several times a day, every day, it is exactly like taking sandpaper to the inside of your delicate blood vessels. While you may not be able to see it, rest assured it is there. I saw it in over 5,000 surgical patients spanning 25 years who all shared one common denominator — inflammation in their arteries," said Lundell.

So What Is The Real Heart Healthy Diet?

Omega-6 oils are not dangerous in-and-of themselves, it is only when they are eaten in excess and the balance between omega-6 oils and omega-3 oils shifts drastically. Lundell told Disclose.tv that the mainstream American diet of processed foods has produced a huge imbalance of these two fats in favor of omega-6.

"There is no escaping the fact that the more we consume prepared and processed foods, the more we trip the inflammation switch little by little each day. The human body cannot process, nor was it designed to consume, foods packed with sugars and soaked in omega-6 oils," said Lundell.

So what can we do to reduce inflammation and truly lower our risk of heart disease?

The one simple answer is to return to eating foods that are closer to their natural state, pure and unprocessed. Eat more protein, choose carbohydrates that are very complex such as colorful fruits and vegetables. Cut down on or eliminate inflammation-causing omega-6 fats like corn and soybean oil, and the processed foods that are made from them.

Instead of choosing corn or soybean oil, use natural olive oil or coconut oil, or even ghee or butter from grass-fed beef. And add fats back in to your diet! With all the facts surrounding inflammation, it is no longer a legitimate concern to be worried about consuming fats. In fact, quite the opposite. Consuming a proportional amount of saturated fats, especially animal fats is actually good for your body and your heart. Healthy fats can be found in animal products, coconut flesh, milk, and oil, avocados and nuts.

"By eliminating inflammatory foods and adding essential nutrients from fresh unprocessed food, you will reverse years of damage in your arteries and throughout your body," said Lundell.

Bringing a qualified care provider into your home can help you or your aging loved one maintain a healthy and balanced diet by preparing meals and monitoring their eating habits. American In-Home Care always refers qualified, screened, care providers that are compassionate and ready to help. Contact us at 1-844-505-0004 to schedule your free in-home consultation to discuss which care options are right for you and your family.


Source: Dr. Dwight Lundell, M.D. "World Renowned Heart Surgeon Speaks Out On What Really Causes Heart Disease." Disclove.tv. Jan. 21 2015. <http://m.disclose.tv/news/World_Renowned_Heart_Surgeon_Speaks_Out_On_What_Really_Causes_Heart_Disease/113103>


Heart Health Tips: Lower Your Risk For Heart Disease

Heart disease is the number one killer of adults in the United States, claiming the lives of over one million men and women every year, according to The Heart Foundation. That means every 60 seconds, someone dies from a heart-disease related event.

This is a scary statistic, but the silver lining for heart disease is that the potential for preventing it is huge. We have probably all heard that eating right, exercising, and controlling risk factors - like smoking and high blood pressure - will help protect our hearts, but how can we truly lower your risk for heart disease?

1. Smokers are twice as likely to suffer a heart attack than non-smokers

Smoking is a nuclear time bomb for heart disease. Not only are smokers more likely to suffer from a heart attack, they are more likely to die as a result. And of the 46 million Americans that smoke, women who smoke and take the contraceptive pill are at a particularly high risk for heart attack.

Smoking is such a high risk factor because the nicotine and carbon monoxide in tobacco smoke damages the heart and cardiovascular system. So, quitting smoking is the number one way to prevent heart disease.

2. Walking every day lowers your risk by 10 percent

In a Leicester study conducted in 2014, adults age 50 and over who were at high risk of heart disease and diabetes were studied to determine the effects of increasing exercise. People who walked an additional 2,000 steps a day (about 20 minutes of lively walking) reduced their risk of having a heart attack or stroke by 10 percent over the next six years.

Other than quitting smoking, regular exercise is the next best prevention method.  By doing moderate aerobic exercise five times a week for at least 30 minutes, and/or strength training three times a week for at least 20 minutes, the risk of heart disease lowers significantly.

Try starting out the month by going for 15-minute walks, three times a week. As the month progresses, amp up your walks up to 30 minutes per walk, 4 times a week. Take a friend or a dog with you for extra fun and support!

3. Consuming an extra 7 grams of fiber daily lowers your risk by 9 percent

In a recent study, British researchers found that people who ate seven more grams of dietary fiber daily had a nine percent lower risk of heart disease. Not only is eating more fiber a marker of a healthier diet, it is also good for your blood glucose, cholesterol and the gastrointestinal tract.

Vegetables, beans, fruits, nuts and whole grains are all good sources of fiber. For reference, one apple has about five grams of dietary fiber, and a half a cup of lentils has eight.

4. A daily glass of wine lowers your risk by 25 percent 

Research shows that drinking in moderation is heart healthy. Moderation is considered one daily drink for women, and two for men. Alcohol relaxes the blood vessels and thus reduces the blood's ability to clot, making it a useful preventative method for heart disease.

All alcohol has benefits, but wine has slightly more due to the fact that it contains antioxidants and can help boost good cholesterol while lowering LDL, or bad cholesterol.

5. Getting the flu shot reduces risk of heart attack by 36 percent for people with heart disease

People with heart disease and those who have had a stroke are at high risk for developing serious complications from the flu. For these people, getting the flu can be very serious because it puts a lot of stress on the body, which increases the chance of getting another heart attack by 36 percent.

Vaccination is the most important step in protecting against the flu. Even if you don’t see a regular doctor, you can get a flu vaccine from doctor's offices, clinics and pharmacies. Flu shots are approved for people with heart disease and other health conditions, however, don't get the nasal spray flu vaccine if you have heart disease, because its safety has not been established in people with heart disease and other serious conditions.

6. Following a Mediterranean diet lowers your risk by 30 percent

major Spanish study found that adults age 55 to 80 who ate a Mediterranean diet were 30 percent less likely to have a heart attack or stroke, or die from heart disease over the next five years.

A Mediterranean diet consists of many productive elements, such as healthy fats (olive oil, olives, nuts, seeds), moderate consumption of wine, low consumption of red meats, and lots of high fiber foods such as fruits, nuts, vegetables, legumes and fish. The major benefit of the Mediterranean diet is that it is not just one healthy element, but rather it is a healthy nutritional choice.

Making simple changes in your diet, like reducing the amount of salt and simple carbohydrates you eat, can make a big impact on your heart health. Instead of opting for a side of rice, pasta, or potatoes, go for a salad or a side of steamed veggies instead. Also try replacing the salt in your meal with fresh herbs or spices, and challenge yourself to cook at home at least 3 times a week to explore healthy cooking!

7. Make regular appointments with your doctor

Even if you aren't "sick," making regular check-ups and physicals with your doctor is important. They will be able to track your overall health, as well as your heart health specifically, and they can help you set goals based on this. Be sure to ask them lots of questions, and be up-front and honest with them about things you are experiencing. Trust your doctor's advice, and stick to your health plan that you develop with them as much as possible.

It is also important to  take all your medications as prescribed, especially cholesterol and blood pressure medications. If you notice any side effects, or are having a hard time regularly taking your medications, be sure to talk to your doctor as soon as you can.

Tools to support heart health

It is important to make a pact to yourself to make choices for a healthier lifestyle that will lower your risk for heart disease. However, it isn't always easy to make these choices on your own. Below are a few useful tools for taking control of your heart health:

We always refer credentialed, screened, care providers that specialize in a variety of services, including meal preparation, diet monitoring, or starting/executing an exercise regimen, so that you can find the perfect care provider and care options for you. Contact us today at 1-844-505-0004 to schedule your free consultation to determine your in-home care needs.


Preventing Diabetes: Tips For Fighting The Statistics

Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States. Of this overall percent, seniors age 65 and older that are diagnosed with diabetes is alarmingly high at 25.9 percent.

Even more alarming is the fact that half of all seniors age 65 and older suffer from prediabetes, which means that blood-glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. People with prediabetes are at an increased risk for developing Type 2 diabetes and for heart disease and stroke.

Diabetes and prediabetes are very serious conditions that require attention to ensure early diagnosis and treatment methods. If left untreated, diabetics can suffer from kidney damage, blindness, hearing impairment, amputation, stroke, heart disease and eventually death.

However, there is a silver lining. Because so many Americans suffer from diabetes, or are at risk for it, research and government programs such as the CDC are working and conducting research to find cures, prevention methods, solutions and support.

In the 1990's, the National Institute of Health (NIH) conducted a large national clinical trial among 1,000 overweight adults at risk for Type 2 diabetes. After three years of the program, which was aimed at changing lifestyle habits and promoting weight loss, participants lowered their risk of diabetes by 58 percent. Even more significant, those aged 60 and older had a 71 percent reduced risk.

These results are particularly heartening because they show that taking a proactive approach with diet, exercise, and weight loss can significantly lower if not eliminate the risk for diabetes. This knowledge, coupled with early detection practices is a huge step towards preventing diabetes and lowering the statistics for diagnosed cases and deaths.

Warning Signs of Diabetes

It is fairly common for people to not display any symptoms of diabetes, especially in the early phases of the disease. However, diabetes symptoms generally include one or more of the following, and people should be aware if they start to develop these symptoms, especially if they know they are at an increased risk.

  • Urinating often
  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Feeling very hungry - even though you are eating
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
  • Weight loss - even though you are eating more (Type 1)
  • Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands/feet (Type 2)

It is important to recognize these symptoms as early as possible because early detection and treatment of diabetes can reduce the risk of developing complications associated with the disease. There are several tests that doctors can perform to diagnose diabetes, and you can even take risk tests to find out if you are at increased risk for developing Type 2 diabetes.

Change your Diet

Because the leading risk factor for diabetes is obesity, the best thing you can do to prevent diabetes is to lose weight. Taking steps to lose weight can include eating smaller meal portions and choosing healthier foods, including fruits and vegetables, while at the same time consuming fewer high-fat foods. The National Education Diabetes Program recommends eating whole grain foods, avoiding consumption of fried foods, and eating lean meats without the skins.

Another important step for losing weight is portion control. Try reducing portion sizes by only filling half of your plate or only eating until you are 80 percent full. Also always plan to take home half of your meal when you eat out, as restaurants are notorious for dishing out huge portions. Scaling back on dessert is also a factor to consider. Eating dessert is alright, but consume it less frequently and in smaller amounts. Yogurt is also a great substitute for dessert, as it is shown that regularly consuming dairy reduces the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Get More Exercise

Activity can reduce your risk for Type 2 diabetes because it helps make your cells more receptive. The National Education Diabetes Program recommends adding more activity each day until you reach at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Brisk walking, swimming and tennis or golf are great physical activities to get started, and you should also incorporate gentle strength and aerobic training into your physical activity regimen.

Stress and poor sleep also contribute to obesity and thus to diabetes. Exercising regularly can help reduce stress and get your body on a schedule, which helps regulate sleep habits. Other activities that can help with these include meditation, listening to soothing music, or sitting outside and enjoying relaxing activities such as reading or knitting.

Overall, being aware of your own personal risk for diabetes and keeping an eye on any developing symptoms is very important. But being proactive with your health and weight is something that every person can do, regardless if they already have diabetes or not, and these steps are enough to help lower your risk as well as reduce complications that might arise if/when the disease develops. With these subtle but dramatically important lifestyle changes, you can help beat the statistics of diabetes.

At American In-Home Care, we always refer qualified, screened, care providers that can assist with a variety of needs including meal preparation, diet monitoring, and exercise. Contact a Client Care Liaison at any time to set up a free assessment of your in-home care needs; they can provide you with additional information about which care options are right for you and your family. We are available to take calls 24/7 at 1-844-505-0004.


Caregiver Burnout: How to Avoid It As The Sole Caregiver

When an aging parent starts to show signs of needing permanent care and assistance, many families are unsure of what to do, so often a family member single-handedly takes on the role of caregiver. However, being the sole caregiver for an aging parent can be a big task, especially when an already busy family member takes on the role. This can easily lead to the caregiver beginning to neglect his or her own needs, and if ignored, caregiver burnout is inevitable.

While providing care for a parent can bring satisfaction, trying to keep up with the growing emotional and physical needs of the parent can easily overwhelm the family member who takes on such a large, personal task. When the safety of the parent starts to come in to question, the caregiver can start to feel guilt for not providing enough care, which leads to added stress and caregiver burnout.

How to Recognize Caregiver Burnout

  • Feeling down, depressed and unhappy
  • Not wanting to or not having enough energy to participate in hobbies and activities
  • Developing abnormal eating patterns, and losing or gaining a lot of weight
  • Turning to alcohol or abusing drugs to cope
  • Developing unhealthy sleeping habits such as insomnia or excessive sleeping
  • Withdrawing from friends and family, or becoming impatient or irritable with people around you
  • Getting sick more often or not being able to get rid of an illness
  • Thoughts of suicide or harming yourself or a loved one

Preventing Caregiver Burnout

  • Keep a daily routine for both yourself and your parent, and stick to it
  • Eat a well-balanced diet and be sure to drink lots of fluids and take supplements if necessary
  • Get sufficient rest. When your parent(s) is resting, you can rest too
  • Take a little time for yourself each day. Even 15 minutes of “me” time is important
  • Know your limits and do not try to do more than you are capable of handling
  • Don’t be afraid to ask family members or friends for help. They can give you days off or just help with certain tasks
  • Find a friend, support group or doctor that you can confide in and ask for advice and support when needed
  • Enjoy moments of happiness and laughter and try to focus on the satisfaction that you get from providing for your loved one

Caregivers are taking on a large, personal responsibility and so it is important to be able to recognize signs of burnout, and to be equipped to combat it. However, if you do find yourself suffering from burnout, reach out for help. Contact your doctor immediately if you become ill or start having suicidal thoughts, and join a support group who can provide support and ideas for making the experience easier.

Also consider in-home care services or Respite Care, as they can provide your parent with all of the expert, personal care and attention that he or she needs while allowing you to focus on your own health and well-being again. Remember it is important to take care of yourself first so that you can continue to be able to care for the ones you love for many years to come.

At American In-Home Care, we always refer qualified, screened, care providers that can assist you with your Respite Care needs. Contact a Client Care Liaison at any time to set up a free assessment of your in-home care needs; they can provide you with additional information about which care options are right for you and your family. We are available to take calls 24/7 at 1-844-505-0004.

Private Duty Nursing

Elderly Prescription Drug Use: How to Keep Pain and Pills in Check

Elderly Prescription Drug Use Picture your medicine cabinet, stacked top to bottom with different pill bottles, each one targeting a different ailment, each one taken in a different dosage at a different time of day.

On their own, these medications can be extremely beneficial, perhaps even life saving; each one is necessary for maintaining quality of life. However, taking many prescription medications coupled with all of the supplements and over-the-counter drugs is a condition known as polypharmacy, and can increase the risk of dangerous drug interactions. In fact, the American Geriatrics Society finds that every year, one in three people aged 65 and over has one or more harmful reactions to a medication.

One of the reasons for this high statistic is that the aging process causes changes to the body which can affect the way medication absorbs and reacts. Decreased kidney and liver function are a product of aging, and could affect how fast medications are processed in the body, and a slower GI tract can affect how much of the medication actually enters the bloodstream.

Another reason is the sheer difficultly of keeping track of medications and taking them directly as prescribed. With 44% of men and 57% of women older than age 65 taking five or more medications per week, it is no wonder that mistakes with medications occur frequently. Elderly prescription drug use also becomes problematic when patients are prescribed too many medications by multiple healthcare providers working independently, and no one doctor knows the patient's full history.

So what can you do to lower the risk of potential problems related to multiple drug use? There are several strategies to help get a handle on your medication habits to make sure that you are getting the proper amount that was intended for you.

1. Always ask the doctor questions

When you are diagnosed with an illness and have to be put on to a new medication, be sure to ask the doctor everything that is relevant to you so that you are prepared and know exactly how and when you should be taking the medication. Also be sure he or she knows what other medications you are taking so they could notice any possible interactions.

2. Educate yourself

While doctors and pharmacists will be able to advise you about prescription interactions and dosing, they will likely not be aware of all of the over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements and vitamins that you take also. And just because these medications are not prescription strength does not mean that they do not have the potential to interact with other medications. In fact it is quite the opposite - OTC products, such as vitamins, minerals, antacids, sleep aids and laxatives can all interfere with the effectiveness of other medications, so be sure to read up on possible interactions and let your doctor or pharmacist know if you have any questions.

Also, be sure that you are aware of the side effects of prescription medications so that you know what to expect and don't get caught in a dangerous situation. Many medications have side effects such as dizziness and drowsiness which can interfere with driving and increase the chances of accidents or falling if the warnings are not heeded.

3. Listen to your Doctor

Medications are meant to be taken exactly as prescribed, so do everything you can to take the medication as you had discussed with your doctor. This means taking it at the proper time of day, with or without food and taking the correct dosages. If any unexpected side effects occur, immediately call your doctor to discuss the best course of action, but never suddenly quit taking a medication without first discussing it with your healthcare provider.

4. Keep a Comprehensive List of Medications

You should create a comprehensive list that serves as the reference any time you go to the doctor or pharmacy. Be sure to add any over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements as well as prescriptions. The list should include the prescribed dose, how many times a day you take the medication, who prescribed it and what it was prescribed for. Keeping a list is a good way to make sure you never forget any medications when you meet with new doctors or go back for new appointments. Be sure to keep the list updated and on you at all times because being able to determine your medications could save your life in an emergency situation.

5. Get Help to Remember

With all the different medications, times and doses, it is hard to remember and easy to make mistakes. The best way to avoid this is to get help in some way. Try syncing your pill schedule with meals so you remember, or get a pill box and/or pill calendar to help keep track. There are even high tech options now with programmable prescription caps that sound an alarm, and a device called the CompuMed Dispenser that dispenses the proper amount of medication at the right time and gives you the instructions as you take it.

But if it gets to the point where this is not enough, care providers can be wonderful helpers when it comes to medication, because they can help administer the exact right medication and dosages throughout the day, and are there if there is ever any problem with negative drug interactions or reactions.

At American In-Home Care, we always refer qualified, screened, care providers that can assist you with your in-home care needs, including medication management and reminders. Contact a Client Care Liaison at any time to set up a free assessment of your in-home care needs; they can provide you with additional information about which care options are right for you and your family. We are available to take calls 24/7 at 1-844-505-0004.

Elderly Prescription Drug Use

Treating Parkinson's Naturally: Using Exercise As Medicine

senior home care florida Parkinson's Disease (PD) cannot be cured. But it can be managed, and quite effectively at that. Aside from medications and possible surgery, lifestyle changes such as adding exercise into a routine are a way of treating Parkinson's naturally, and can have a positive effect on the course of the disease.

Parkinson's causes brain cells to stop producing dopamine, which leads to decreased balance and strength, slowed movement and tremors, and speech impairment. People living with PD often feel like they are at the mercy of the disease, but this doesn't have to be the case. Adding an exercise regimen can help control symptoms by improving stability, flexibility and management of tremors.


Exercises that specifically benefit Parkinson's patients:

  • Walking and balancing drills
  • Cardiovascular exercise
  • Stretching
  • Strength training (with and without weights)
  • Core exercises
  • Voice and facial exercises

Those with PD should follow a specific type of exercise regimen that is safe and effective, and targets specific areas affected by the disease. David Zid, a certified personal trainer and president of Columbus Health Works, has worked with Thomas H. Mallory, M.D. to create and publish a comprehensive exercise guide for sufferers of Parkinson's. Diagnosed with PD several years ago, Dr. Mallory has stuck to Zid's regimen and seen great results and improvement in his symptoms.

Their workbook and corresponding video detail specific exercises that are tailored to the Parkinson's patient, and emphasize a physical and mental commitment to not giving up. The program is designed to proactively improve flexibility, stability and strength while minimizing tremors, making daily activities such as standing up from a chair or walking on uneven ground easier. Not only can a targeted exercise regimen such as this help PD patients maintain independence, it can also give them much needed hope.

Dr. Mallory and David Zid give a thorough breakdown of exercises in each of these categories along with visual demonstrations in their workbook.

Why is exercise beneficial?

Exercise has been proven to be beneficial for everyone's general health, and aerobic activities can improve heart and lung function, as well as having noticeable benefits on the physical body. These physical benefits create a better quality of life for PD patients; however, in the case of Parkinson's, perhaps the most important aspect of exercise is the effect it has on the brain.

Exercise decreases anxiety and depression, but a recent study out of Pittsburgh has demonstrated that exercise also appears to prevent loss of brain cells that worsens PD. So, a program of tailored exercises plus medication can have a very positive effect on symptoms and vastly improve the quality of life for someone living with Parkinson's.

The most important thing to remember is that it is never too late to get started on a exercise regimen, to get control of symptoms and to start living a better quality life. When your ability to move improves, so does your feeling of accomplishment and sense of well being.

At American In-Home Care, we always refer qualified, screened, care providers that can assist you with your senior home care Florida needs, including exercises and companionship. Contact a Client Care Liaison at any time to set up a free assessment of your in-home care needs; they can provide you with additional information about which care options are right for you and your family. We are available to take calls 24/7 at 1-844-505-0004.

Treating Parkinson's Naturally

Healthy Exercises For Seniors: Build A Workout Regimen

However, just repeating one type of exercise or activity actually lowers the potential benefits. The ultimate goal of exercising is to be creative and well-rounded, regularly alternating between all four types of exercise to reap the maximum benefits, and choosing healthy exercises for seniors that will help you build a healthy and realistic workout regimen.
Endurance activities are also known as aerobic activities, and are responsible for strengthening and improving overall health of the heart, lungs and circulatory system. Endurance activities will increase heart rate and accelerate breathing, which helps strengthen the body and improve overall fitness, as well as lowering the chance of developing diabetes, osteoporosis and heart disease.

Organized sports are great endurance activities, and the competition and teamwork associated with them provides great motivation. However, endurance activities can be done inside and around the house as well.

Endurance Exercises:

  • Tennis
  • Golf
  • Seated volleyball
  • Walking
  • Stationary Bicycle
  • Bowling
  • Dancing
  • Gardening
  • Sweeping
  • Mopping


Strength training is an important part of a well-balanced exercise regimen and requires pushing or pulling weight. Age isn't excuse to avoid strength training, as even small changes in muscle strength can lead to noticeable increases in the ability to perform everyday functions, like getting up from a chair, climbing the stairs or playing with grandchildren.

It is important to include both upper-body and lower-body strengthening exercises into your routine, and to make sure you progress slowly by gradually increasing the amount of weight used to build strength.

Strength Training Exercises


Balance training is perhaps the most important type of exercise for aging adults because improved balance lowers the risk of falling and can help avoid injuries and disabilities that come along with a fall. For safety, it is best to start off doing balance exercises with a sturdy chair or person to hold on to, and gradually reduce the amount of support you need.

Balance Exercises:


Flexibility exercises are also known as stretching exercises and are great for improving freedom of movement which can improve ability to complete everyday activities such as getting dressed. However, it is important to remember that stretching, although very beneficial, will not improve strength or endurance, so it should only make up a part of an overall regimen.

There are many different flexibility and stretching exercises for each part of the body. By alternating exercises in these areas of the body, gradually they will become more limber and will increase overall mobility.

Flexibility Exercises:

Overall it is important to remember that any exercise is good exercise, but to maximize the benefits and increase strength, endurance, balance and flexibility that all four areas must be worked on independently. Craft an exercise plan that alternates between these four types of activities so that it is easy to incorporate all of them in a creative, organized way, and remember to always progress slowly and safely.

At American In-Home Care, we always refer qualified, screened, care providers that can assist you with your in-home care needs, including mobility and exercise. Contact a Client Care Liaison at any time to set up a free assessment of your in-home care needs; they can provide you with additional information about which care options are right for you and your family. We are available to take calls 24/7 at 1-844-505-0004.

Healthy Exercises For Seniors

Active Aging: Tips for Getting And Staying In Shape

Physical activity is the key to healthy aging, but by age 75, one in three men, and one in two women engage in no physical activity. This is a disheartening statistic considering all of the evidence linking physical activity in older age to benefits such as decreasing the risk of dementia, lowering the chance of falling, and increasing the quality of life for those living with chronic conditions.

So why are so many older adults inactive? The task of beginning to exercise again can seem daunting or painful, and there is a general lack of motivation. However, when considering the benefits, there shouldn't be excuses to avoid getting out and moving. We have compiled a list of several tips to help ease the transition back in to exercising, and to make active aging a normal part of life.

Getting Started

You have taken the first step. You have made the decision to start reaping the benefits of physical activity. Now where do you start? First off, it is important not to be too hard on yourself, whatever has kept you from exercising thus far is in the past now, and you are on the way to getting back to your activities. Here are a few easy steps to follow to get your exercise routine back on track:

1. Think about the reasons you want to start exercising

When you think about specific reasons you want to get active again - be more social, alleviate pain, spend time outside, strengthen muscles - and set small goals to get there, it helps to create motivation and gives you something to work toward. If you ever have to take a break from exercise in the future, remembering these reasons can help you get started again.

2. Make a physical activity plan

Plans help you stay motivated and organized. Once you have decided why you want to exercise, draft up a plan to get the process underway. Your plan should include reasons for getting active, short and long term goals, specific activities, and details about where, when and who will be exercising with you.

3. Start at a comfortable level of activity and gradually build back up

All older adults who are planning to get back into an exercise routine should first talk to their doctor to discuss what is right for them. However, for seniors that are just getting active again, it’s best to start with 5-10 minutes of moderate physical activity per day, and gradually build up to the desired amount.

4. Try an activity you have never done before

It is easier to get back into exercise if you are excited about the activity, new types of exercise can provide this excitement. Low impact exercising is easier on your body, especially your joints. Try something in the water - water aerobics and swimming are great for older adults. Tai Chi and yoga are also fun ways to get moving.

Staying Active

The hard part is over. Getting started after a long break from exercise is the most difficult. Staying active should be fun and feel easier because your body is undergoing noticeable benefits. If you ever have to take a break from activity, don't be too hard on yourself, just pick back up where you left off. Here are a few tips for maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle:

1. Make time for exercise

It's good to exercise in the morning to avoid getting to busy later in the day. Also, evidence shows that you are more likely to exercise if it is convenient. Try to combine physical activity with something that is already part of your day, such as walking every aisle at the grocery store

2. Stick to your exercise plan

Use your exercise plan to keep you organized and on track, and keep updating it so that it picks up the pace to reflect your new energy and abilities. Not only will this keep you going, it's a great way to see how far you have come which is just some added motivation

3. Make it social and fun!

Exercise shouldn't feel like a chore. Do things that you think are fun and you are more likely to keep at them. Some of your favorite hobbies are already great exercise - golf is good for flexibility and gardening is a useful strength training exercise. Exercising with friends can boost morale and motivation, and it keeps you in touch with your buddies.

Now that you have some useful tips that are easy to implement, take the first step and get moving. Small changes in your daily routine can lead to wonderful benefits that improve your quality of life. Make the healthy choice and get active today, your body and your mind will thank you.

At American In-Home Care, we always refer qualified, screened, care providers that can assist you with your in-home care needs, including mobility and exercises. Contact a Client Care Liaison at any time to set up a free assessment of your in-home care needs; they can provide you with additional information about which care options are right for you and your family. We are available to take calls 24/7 at 1-844-505-0004.

Active Aging

Improve Your Balance and Prevent Falls

As we age, good balance can be a life-saver.

Improve Your Balance, Prevent Falls Falls among the elderly are a leading cause of debilitating injury (such as hip fractures) and a serious risk factor for premature death. By preventing balance problems and working to improve remaining ability, seniors can improve their quality of life and reduce crippling injuries. Follow these exercises below to improve your balance immediately, and to live a more active and healthy lifestyle.

10 Exercises for Improving Balance

  1. Knee lifts: Attempt to lift the knee as high as the hip using a secure object to assist in maintaining balance in the beginning. As you grow stronger, decrease the tendency to lean on a support, and try holding the leg up for 3 seconds or longer. It is important to never close your eyes while performing standing stretch and relaxation activities due to difficulties maintaining balance.
  2. Point and Flex: While sitting, point your toes and then flex them. Repeat with both feet.
  3. Toe Tapping: While sitting, tap your toes. Repeat with both feet.
  4. Sit-to-Stand: When necessary, use a chair for support when standing and again when returning to a sitting position. Try to gradually decrease use of the arms as the legs get stronger.
  5. Calf Muscle Strengthener: While holding onto a wall, chair or the kitchen sink, repeatedly raise yourself up and down on tiptoes. As your strength improves, go higher up on your toes and eventually try it on one foot at a time.
  6. Shin Muscle Strengthener: Lean your back against a wall with your heels placed seven to eight inches away from the wall. Lift the toes of both feet off the ground as high as possible.
  7. One-legged Stand: Hold onto a secure object during balance training, such as a sturdy chair. Lift one leg off the ground and try to maintain balance on the standing leg.
  8. Hip/Thigh Muscle Strengthener: Take extra trips up and down the stairs. Hold onto the banister with one hand and press the other hand against the wall for safety. If you’re wary of stairs, you can strengthen the same muscles by getting up out of a chair repeatedly. Grip the arms of the chair if you need to, but you’ll get more benefit from the exercise if you don’t push with your hands.
  9. Pelvis Exercise: When walking, if the pelvis does not shift far enough, the older adult’s foot will swing too low causing a decreased height in step, which can cause tripping and falling. Exercises that target the pelvis may be beneficial. Using a chair for support, pretend that you are trying to keep a hula hoop around your waist.
  10. Walking Check-in: In addition to lower step height, many older adults develop a shorter step length. Walking forward, backward, and sideways in front of a mirror will encourage the older adult to check posture, length of stride, and walking efficiency. Holding a balance bar, side-step right along the length of the bar and then repeat to the left.

Before beginning an exercise program, however, one should first have a complete history and physical, including a review of medications, a muscular/skeletal check for any abnormalities and blood tests to determine cholesterol and glucose levels. Additionally, any exercise program should build gradually to avoid burnout, boredom, or injuries.  Contact American In Home Care for more information on how to implement these exercises with a knowledgeable care team.

Improve Your Balance, Prevent Falls