Monthly Archives: March 2018

How to Conquer Daylight Saving Time Safely and with Minimal Coffee

If there’s one thing we love more than sunny weather and caregiving, it’s our sleep. And thanks to Daylight Saving Time we lost some of it this weekend. Fortunately, we live in the Pacific Northwest, arguably one of the top coffee meccas of the world, or else we’d be in a lot more pain.

If you can’t tell, we are a little bitter about our loss of sleep. Can you blame us? We’re caregivers and need all the rest we can get so our clients get the best care.

Daylight Saving Time isn’t all bad, though. At the very least, it signifies that longer days are on the horizon and we are certainly looking forward to that. However, before we can make it to Spring and those longer days, we have to make it through this first week of the time change.

You may think we are being melodramatic, and that losing an hour of sleep isn’t really that big of a deal, but statistically speaking it can be a big deal. In fact, research has found that car accidents, strokes and heart attacks all spike in the days after the Daylight Saving Time change. In addition, the time change is also linked to increased workplace injuries, increased web surfing, restless sleep and increased occurrences of cluster headaches.

If you’re in the same boat as us, and the coffee isn’t quite cutting it, keep reading to learn the 7 other tips that are helping us safely adjust to the time change.

Get the Same Amount of Sleep
Just because we lost an hour, does not mean you have to lose an hour of sleep. Just compensate for it by going to bed a little bit earlier, or if you have the luxury, sleep in a little bit longer.

Adjust Gradually
Tip #1 will only help ensure you get enough sleep. However, your body will eventually need to sync with the time change. To do this as easily as possible, we suggest going to bed 15 minutes earlier each night. This will help you ease into the time change.

Enjoy the Longer Day by Being Active
As we mentioned earlier, Daylight Saving Time is bittersweet because while we lose an hour of sleep, we gain an hour of daylight. That means you can get out and actively enjoy the good weather. In fact, being active during the day will help you sleep better at night. Just make sure you end your workout at least 2 hours before you plan on going to bed.

Treat Yourself to Caffeine only in the Morning
Trust us, we know how important caffeine is. We suffer from the same problems. But, if you’re going to make it through this week with your sanity intact, you will want to cut off the caffeinated beverages by noon each day. Otherwise, the caffeine will increase your risk of sleep fragmentation.

For some of us, this is a pretty tough thing we are asking to do, but your body will thank you. To get your brain in the right mood for optimized sleep, experts recommend unplugging from screened devices for a little while. The blue light from electronic screens is known to reduce the body’s production of melatonin (the hormone that tells the brain it is time for bed).

Forego the Nap
Your body may be begging you for a nap, but we urge you to reconsider. While a short nap may be helpful, if you accidentally sleep too long it could backfire and make it more difficult for you to get quality sleep during the night.

Be Wary of Sundowners Syndrome
Sundowners Syndrome is a “symptom of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia in which loved one’s get confused and agitated in the late afternoon and evening.” This problem can be further worsened by the time change. Read our blog titled, “The Caregiver’s Guide to Managing Sundowners Syndrome”, to learn more. You can find it here:

As always, Wiser Home Care is here to help you with whatever you need, even if it means helping you get used to the time change. From providing care to developing an extensive care plan for your loved one, and everything in between, we are happy to help. Please contact us, and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

6 Simple Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease

There’s no denying that the biggest day in the shortest month is Valentine’s Day. In fact, thanks to Valentine’s Day and pop culture, February is often called the month of love. But did you know that February is host to another celebration of the heart? However, instead of one day, this celebration goes on for the entire month.

Since 1964, Americans have joined together every February to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of heart health through a nationwide event known as the American Heart Month.

You may be thinking: Everyone knows that heart health is important. Why do we need an entire month to celebrate it?

You’re right. Many people do know how important heart health is in order to live a long and fulfilling life. Despite this, heart disease is rampant amongst the population and remains the leading cause of death in America.

According to statistics provided by the American Heart Association, 2300 Americans die of heart disease each day. That computes to roughly 1 death every 38 seconds.

The good news is that with the right knowledge and some hard work, you can greatly reduce your risk of heart disease. Keep reading to learn 6 simple ways to do just that.

Reduce Stress
Stress is a silent killer and can lead to a greatly increased risk of heart disease. In fact, several studies have found a link between heart disease and stress in a person’s life. To find ways to reduce your elderly loved one’s stress check out our blog titled: The Comprehensive 2017 Guide to Reducing Elderly Stress.

Get Some Exercise
We all know that the heart is a muscle that needs to be worked out just like any other muscle in your body. But how much do you need to work it out? The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity each week. This adds up to only 30 minutes a day for 5 days. If 30 minutes at one time is too difficult, the AHA claims that you will experience the same benefits even if you break it into two or three segments of 10 to 15 minutes.

Don’t Eat Your Heart Out
You know the old saying, “eat your heart out”? Well, we think we all know that’s not physically possible but what is possible is eating so poorly that your heart gives out. Below is a list of foods that you should try minimizing in your diet:

  • Foods high in fat
  • Foods high in cholesterol
  • Foods high in sodium
  • Foods high in sugar

Yikes! That seems like a lot of food you should avoid. Fortunately, there are still plenty of heart healthy options out there such as fruits, veggies, foods high in fiber and lean meat to name a few.

Minimize Your Vices
If you smoke, you should try quitting as soon as possible. We don’t expect you to go cold turkey, but you should work on weaning yourself off smoking. Many have found that going for a walk instead of a smoke can help you quit and increase your health. As far as drinking goes, we recommend limiting alcohol usage. It is still ok to drink a little bit but not too much. This means no more than 2 drinks a day for men, and 1 drink a day for women on average.

Get Enough Sleep
Losing sleep not only makes you tired, it also raises your risk of high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes. Which all lead to an increased risk of heart disease. Professionals recommend staying on a normal sleep schedule and aiming for 7-9 hours of sleep each night.

Take Your Medication
If your Doctor has prescribed any sort of heart medication to you, make sure you take it as frequently as the doctor recommends. Missing vital doses of prescribed medicine can increase your risk of heart failure.

These 6 tips won’t guarantee you or your loved one doesn’t suffer from heart disease, but with consistency they will greatly lower your risk. We hope you join us in the fight to increase awareness of heart disease. Together we can save lives.

As always, Wiser Home Care Services is here to help you with whatever you need. From providing care to developing an extensive care plan for your loved one, and everything in between, we are happy to help. Please contact us and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.