Loneliness can make you ill

Lonely people, it seems, are at greater risk than gregarious individuals of developing illnesses associated with chronic inflammation, such as heart disease and certain cancers. According to a paper published last year in the Public Library of Science, Medicine, the effect on mortality of those with loneliness is comparable with those that smoke and drink.  The combined results of 148 previous studies that followed 300,000 individuals over an average period of 7.5 years with controlled factors such as age and pre-existing illness, concluded that a gregarious person has a 50 percent better chance of surviving than a lonely one.

On a scientific level, Dr. Steven Cole of the University of California, Los Angeles, conducted a study of the white blood cells in both lonely and social people. By measuring the production of messenger RNA, the molecules that tell the white blood cells which protein to make, he found two functional group of genes in lonely people: one group less active and involved in fighting viral infections; and the other more active and involved in protecting against bacterial infections, thus causing an inflammation response.

Gregarious and lonely individuals generate the same level of RNA, but are regulated differently according to how socialable an individual is.  Viral infections are transmitted from person-to-person, whereas, bacterial infections can thrive in just about any environment.  Lonely individuals also have greater protection against bacterial infections, which causes them to have a higher relative risk to their health. When loneliness becomes chronic, the inflammatory response becomes chronic at the same time, thus one can develop illnesses associated with chronic inflammation.

With this knowledge, take a few minutes to call up a loved one or friend and plan an exciting outing together!

(via Home Care Blog)


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.

Five surprisingly salty foods from your grocery store

Here are five surprisingly salty foods found at your local grocery store. Notice most of these are low calorie options, which tricks the consumer into thinking they are choosing a healthy option.

Ken’s Steakhouse Lite Italian Salad Dressing – 440 mg every 2 tbsp
Fresh veggies—like spinach, tomatoes, and carrots—are typically low in sodium. Don’t ruin your salad by using dressings that are heavy on the salt.

Campbell’s Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup – 940 mg per ½ cup serving
One cup of this soup would supply you with 80% of your daily intake of sodium.

Lean Cuisine Baja-Style Chicken Quesadilla - 690 mg per meal
Frozen meals are often full of sodium. Although low in calories, it delivers almost 30% of your daily sodium intake.

Rice-a-Roni Spanish Rice – 1,250 mg per 1-cup serving
This side dish contains more than 50% of your daily amount of sodium.

Vlasic Kosher Dill Whole Pickles – 880 mg per pickle
If you eat the whole thing, you’ve consumed more than one-third of your daily sodium.

Here are the remaining 20 items listed in the article.


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 - Eat Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids — found in fish oil and flaxseed - reduce the amount of telemere shorterning over time. Telemeres are protective caps at the ends of chromosomes that can be a predictor of death risk in humans.

Source: Time Magazine - How to Live 100 Years


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.

10 Everyday Activities for Seniors to Boost Memory

Changes in your thinking processes and memory are inevitable as we age. According to the 2011 Alzheimer's Association's Annual Report, someone in the U.S. develops Alzheimer's disease every 70 seconds. Luckily, simple lifestyle activities, both physical and mental, can decrease your chances of dementia and keep your mind sharp as a tack!

Also note that debilitating memory loss doesn't happen to everyone. Here are 10 ways to boost your memory power. You will notice that most of these activities are probably already incorporated into your daily routine.

1.    Take the stairs – Exercise benefits your brain as well as the rest of your body. Increasing blood flow to the brain results in less brain shrinkage and lowers the risk for Alzheimer's disease.

Remember, one step at a time – it all adds up.  Avoid elevators, park at the far end of the lot and try taking an evening walk around your block.

2.    Take a nap during the day – Memory storage happens while you sleep, which is why a good night’s sleep is so valuable. A six-minute nap is as valuable for short-term recall as a 90-minute nap has been shown to speed up the process that helps the brain consolidate long-term memories.

3.    Play a ‘brain’ game - A study in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society shows that people over 65 who used a computerized cognitive training program for an hour a day, over a period of eight weeks, improved memory and attention more than the control group.

4.    A Cup of Joe - Green and black teas have a protective effect on memory by influencing enzymes in the brain while the caffeine sparks concentration. People who drink moderate amounts of coffee, as many as three to five cups, have lower odds of developing dementia later life.

5.    Eat your greens - People who are deficient in folate and vitamin B12 have an increased risk of developing dementia. Great vegetable sources for folate include romaine lettuce, spinach, asparagus, turnip greens, mustard greens, parsley, collards, broccoli, cauliflower and beets. Don’t like vegetables?  An abundant amount of Folate can also be found in lentils, calf's liver, pinto and black beans. Home Care Assistance offers a great health-oriented program for clients that caregivers are trained in called the Balanced Care Method.

6. Learn something new - Pursue a new type of  activity using skills far different from those you are accustomed to using. Learn a new language or try a sculpting class!

7. Eat chocolate! - In 2007, a study by the Journal of Neuroscience reported on the memory-boosting effects in rats from a plant compound called epicatechin. In addition to cocoa, epicatechin is found in blueberries, grapes and tea.

8. Put everything in its place - Your memory needs a certain amount of familiarity to keep your life functioning smoothly. Place your keys and glasses in the same place every time. Write notes to yourself as a reminder (the very act of writing will help your recall).

9. Don’t retire – Volunteer. A satisfying work life offers social stimulation and decision-making opportunities, exercises and problem-solving skills. Volunteering after retirement involves learning new material and interacting with others.

10. Spend time with loved ones – Being around other people who keep you engaged and stimulated lowers your risk of developing dementia.

By setting aside time each day to walk, learning something new and munching on chocolate, you can help boost your memory for years to come.

(via Home Care Blog)


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 - De-stress

According to medical journal Stress, men with the highest stress levels had twice the risk of a fatal stroke compared to those who were stress-free.

Source: Men's Health


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.

Eat Right and Get Active - Get the adrenaline pumping

According to a study researchers at Texas A&M University, people who partake in adrenaline-pumping exercises like mountain climbing or white water rafting handle stress better than those who live sedentary lifestyles.

Source: Men's Health


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.

Eat Right and Get Active - Tip #3 Drink Green Tea

Green tea increases metabolism, strengthens the immune system and is a good supply of vitamins A, B, B5, C, D, E, H, and K.


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.

Why you should watch how much sodium you eat

Eating a sodium-free diet by choice may be difficult to imagine, especially when you don’t suffer from high blood pressure or food-restricting conditions like diabetes. However, it may be a smart move.

A recent article in the Huffington Post lists numerous negative health effects caused by high sodium consumption, which includes kidney disease, osteoporosis, asthma and even gastric cancer. The majority of these negative health affects are a result of the average sodium intake in America today. About 3500mg of sodium is consumed by a single individual in a day. Compared to our early ancestral diet of natural foods where there was only 1000mg of sodium, this is a grotesquely high number.

Living in a society where fast food and other unhealthy options are readily available makes sodium and diet constrictions a challenge for many.  Unfortunately, a high sodium diet puts even the healthiest person at risk for health trouble beyond high blood pressure. So much so, that the American Heart Association has recently dropped its recommended maximum sodium intake from 2300 mg to 1500 mg.

Unhealthy eating trends over the past decade have varied among North Americans. Only until recently, has affordable, organic food become more mainstream and widely available. Stores like Trader Joe’s can be found in more local neighborhoods. Whole Foods, although pricier, offers organic, pre-made balanced meals that provide consumers a variety of options to chose from.

Eating less sodium doesn’t have to be a painful alteration to your lifestyle. Not to mention, the health benefits you will gain from eating a low sodium diet will far outweigh how you looked and felt before!

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.

 
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