Taking care of a pet can improve your health

A dog may be more than just a best friend – research is suggesting the importance of a pet as a means for treatment.

According to aarp.com, 62% of Americans own a pet for the companionship, love and affection that these animals afford them. While these benefits are great, numerous studies are reporting actual health benefits associated with owning a furry friend.

Here are a few ways in which pets can improve your health:
  • Pets help recovery from heart attacks – A study from the National Institutes of Health found that dog owners had a higher survival rate after a heart attack, compared to those who did not own dogs.
  • Pets help reduce stress…more so than humans do.
  • Pet owners are less obese – Pet owners are more active, simply because they want their pets to stay active and healthy as well.
  • Pet owners have better mobility as they age – a National Institutes of Health study found that adults aged 71-82 who regularly walked their dogs were more mobile, compared to those who did not own pets.
  • Pets can help with cholesterol – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that owning a pet can decrease cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure.

There are so many different pet options out there for everyone. If you are not a cat or dog person, try getting a fish or other small animal. It will be great for your health and happiness!

Courtesy of CareNotes: The Home Care Newsletter

Home Care Assistance offers the highest quality 24/7 live-in home care in the Region of Halton (Oakville, Burlington, Halton Hills, and Milton), Region of Peel (Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon), Hamilton and surrounding areas.

How to Live to 102 - Secret #36

Home remedy for colds and flus: Mix 1/2 a teaspoon of garlic juice and 1/2 a teaspoon of honey into a cup of warm water. Drink a cup of this mixture three times a day.


Home Care Assistance offers the highest quality 24/7 live-in home care in the Region of Halton (Oakville, Burlington, Halton Hills, and Milton), Region of Peel (Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon), Hamilton and surrounding areas.

Six lifestyle changes to protect your brain

It is never too early to be concerned for your mental well-being. According to an article in The Huffington Post, by the year 2030, 615,000 people are said to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. By 2050, that annual number is expected to be just under 1 million, with someone developing Alzheimer’s every 33 seconds.
Those are very harrowing statistics. Thankfully, there are things that we can do to hopefully decrease those numbers.

Dr. Cindy Haines shares six lifestyle changes to protect your brainpower:
  1. Avoid Other Chronic Conditions – People with other chronic conditions, like diabetes, are about twice as likely to develop dementia. Obesity, high cholesterol and high blood pressure are all potentially chronic problems that you can control.
  2. Try Mediterranean Food – The Mediterranean diet is gaining popularity in its ability to help prevent dementia. The diet consists of fruits and vegetables, whole-grain bread and other whole-grain foods, beans, seeds and nuts.
  3. Stay Active – Regular exercise keeps your blood vessels healthy, which can help prevent vascular dementia and other forms of Alzheimer’s.
  4. Avoid Tobacco Smoke – Smoking has been proven to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s. Furthermore, new research is suggesting that simply being exposed to tobacco smoke can also increase that risk, so avoiding it altogether is the best bet.
  5. Keep Your Brain Busy and Stay Socially Engaged – Studies have shown that people who keep their brains active are less likely to develop dementia. Activities like crossword puzzles and reading increase your cognitive reserve.
  6. Keep an Eye on Depression – Currently, there still needs to be more research involving exactly how depression and dementia are linked, but studies show that there is a strong connection between the two.
As mentioned, it is important to start taking precautions to prevent dementia, no matter your age.

Courtesy of CareNotes: The Home Care Newsletter

Home Care Assistance offers the highest quality 24/7 live-in home care in the Region of Halton (Oakville, Burlington, Halton Hills, and Milton), Region of Peel (Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon), Hamilton and surrounding areas.

Storytelling may lead to improved health

Storytelling is one of the oldest human traditions on earth. Stories are integral aspects of our lives and an important part of how we communicate, learn and grow.


According to an article in The New York Times, research is supporting the idea that storytelling is also imperative in improving health. Doctors and patients alike suggest the power of personal narratives to effectively communicate and interpret experiences concerning certain health issues.

A recent study published in The Annals of Internal Medicine reported that listening to personal narratives helped control high blood pressure in one group of patients, an outcome that was just as successful as taking additional medications.

“Telling and listening to stories is the way we make sense of our lives,” said Dr. Thomas K. Houston, lead author of the study and a researcher at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Bedford, Mass. “That natural tendency may have the potential to alter behavior and improve health.”

Researchers explain that storytelling counteracts the initial denial a patient experiences when diagnosed. Similarly, patients might distrust the medical system or have difficulty understanding all of the information. However, stories and personal narratives are relatable, and therefore help the patient make sense of their own situation.

Stories are particularly beneficial with the more “silent” chronic diseases, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. They can help the patient realize the importance of addressing a disease that has few obvious symptoms.

“Storytelling is human,” Dr. Houston said. “We learn through stories, and we use them to make sense of our lives. It’s a natural extension to think that we could use stories to improve our health.”

Courtesy of CareNotes: The Home Care Newsletter


Home Care Assistance offers the highest quality 24/7 live-in home care in the Region of Halton (Oakville, Burlington, Halton Hills, and Milton), Region of Peel (Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon), Hamilton and surrounding areas.

The challenges of caring for someone with Alzheimer's

Caring for an older loved one is never easy, but caring for someone with Alzheimer’s presents special challenges. The Alzheimer’s Association reports that 40% of these caregivers suffer a “high” level of emotional stress. And according to a study published by The Journal of Immunology, caring for someone with Alzheimer’s can actually shorten a caregiver's life by up to 8 years!

The truth is that individuals with Alzheimer’s are extremely difficult to care for. Seeing someone you love slowly slip away takes an incredible emotional toll.

Given the seriousness of symptoms like memory loss, wandering and hallucination, people with Alzheimer’s often require “around the clock” care. They cannot be left alone for a minute. And most family caregivers who try to provide this level of 24/7 care eventually feel overwhelmed and exhausted.

Dr. Kathy Johnson, PhD, CMC, Certified Geriatric Care Manager and Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Home Care Assistance offers the following suggestions to those caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s:

1. Contact the Alzheimer's Association or your local senior center. Both will help you find the appropriate resources and support groups to join.

2. Arrange for respite care. Do not hesitate to call relatives, neighbors or friends and ask for help. Put together a weekly schedule of people you trust. This will allow you the time you need to run errands, buy groceries, or take a few hours off from caregiving. Home care agencies like Home Care Assistance are experts when it comes to respite care. Whether you need a caregiver for a few hours or 24/7, we are there for you.

3. Research Adult Day Care Centers. These are daily programs that typically run from 9am-4pm. Families will drop off their loved one for the day, knowing they are in a safe, professional environment.

4. Hire a Geriatric Care Manager. Visit www.caremanager.org for a list of care managers in your area. These professionals will coordinate all the services you need. As a result, your stress level will be reduced and your loved one will have your full attention.

5. Read a book, medical journal or go online. The more you know about Alzheimer’s the better. Those who are highly informed on this disease will make smarter decisions when it comes to caregiving.


Home Care Assistance offers the highest quality 24/7 live-in home care in the Region of Halton (Oakville, Burlington, Halton Hills, and Milton), Region of Peel (Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon), Hamilton and surrounding areas.

 
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