Author Archives: hollisl

8 Ways to Keep Your Elderly Loved One Safe This Summer

Life is pretty good right now in the Pacific Northwest. School is out for the year; the sun has come out to stay for a while and everyone is happy. Summer has officially arrived!

We are just a little bit excited. After all, we have had to live through months of rain and cold weather to get to this point. If you’re anything like us, then you likely have Summer activities planned every weekend from here until Labor Day.

However, with all the fun in the sun planned, the Summer weather and increased outdoor activity can pose significant health and safety risks for your elderly loved one.

As a matter of fact, statistics show that high summer temperatures can increase the risk of death for people who suffer from chronic lung disease, diabetes, heart attack sufferers and heart failure sufferers. In addition, researchers found that mortality risk for those aged 65 and older increases slightly during the summer.

Fortunately, with the proper knowledge of what to look for and how to remedy it, you can ensure your loved one stays safe during these hot months. Below you will find 8 ways to help your elderly loved one have a safe, fun and memorable Summer.

Dress for Success
As in any season, dressing appropriately for the weather during the Summer is critical. We suggest wearing clothing that fits loosely and is light in weight and color. The darker the color, the more it soaks up the heat. In addition, wearing full coverage hats and sunglasses that block out UVA and UVB rays can keep your head and eyes safe from the rays.

Lather on the SPF
Whether its cloudy or hot with clear skies, whenever your elderly loved one ventures outdoors make sure you have them apply sunscreen to their skin. This prevents them from burning and harming their skin. Experts recommend opting for sunscreen with an SPF rating of 30 or higher.

Drink the Right Liquids
Staying hydrated in the Summer could mean the difference between a good time and a hospital visit, and not all liquids are created equal. During the hot summer months, you will want to limit the amount of alcohol and caffeine your loved one drinks because they accelerate dehydration. Your loved one should aim to drink 8 or more 8 ounce glasses of water or juice each day. Finally, since your body is losing sodium and potassium through sweating it is good to drink sports drinks such as Gatorade and Powerade to stave off dehydration.

Enjoy the Cool of the Day
Everyone loves the Summer because the good weather makes getting outside for activities that much more enjoyable. However, during periods of extreme heat you should plan your outdoor activities/chores for early in the morning or in the evening once the temperature cools off. As a matter of fact, many recommend staying out of direct sunlight during the peak hours of 10 am- 3 pm.

Huddle Around the Air Conditioning Unit
Ok, so you don’t really have to huddle around it, but we do recommend spending Summer days with extreme heat in a cool, air conditioned building. Fans will work good as long as the building temperature does not exceed 85 degrees. If you do not have an air conditioning unit and your building is uncomfortably hot, there are many public buildings that have air conditioning including libraries, malls and community centers to name a few.

Check Your Medicine
Many elderly loved ones take daily medication. Since there are some medicines with side effects that include increased sensitivity to sunlight, it is important to check your medications. If your loved one does take a medicine with that side effect, consult a doctor to see what their options are.

Don’t Forget the Bug Spray
As we all know, Summer is synonymous with mosquito season. Not only are bug bites annoying, elderly loved ones are more susceptible to contracting diseases such as West Nile Virus. So, before your elderly loved one treks outside, make sure they spray on some insect repellant.

Know the Signs of Heat Stroke/Exhaustion
If your loved one spends extended periods of time in the heat, please be aware of the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. If you would like to know more about heat exhaustion you can read our blog regarding the topic here: Heat Illness.

Finally, if you care for an elderly loved one and would like help developing a care plan of any kind please feel free to contact us. Wiser Home Care Services can help your family establish a care plan to personally accommodate your loved one’s needs.

The Ultimate Father’s Day Blog: Dad Facts, Dad Jokes and Dad Gifts

Perhaps it’s their dry sense of humor, outdated sense of fashion or lackadaisical parenting styles, whatever it is, Dad’s seem to be the butt of many jokes. In fact, there are entire websites and blogs devoted to ‘Dad’ jokes.

Despite this, there’s no denying that we love our dads, which is why this Sunday is devoted completely to celebrating them. That’s right. Father’s Day is right around the corner.

To celebrate our dads, we thought it would be fun to devote this blog entirely to Fun Dad Facts, some good Dad-approved jokes and a few ideas of what to get your dad this Father’s Day.

Let’s get started with some Fun Dad Facts. Did you know…

  • Stay-at-home dads are one of the fastest growing groups in America with 214,000 and counting.
  • Giving dad a necktie is the most popular gift of all time.
  • Father’s Day is the busiest day of the year for collect phone calls.
  • A. Milne created Winnie the Pooh for his son, Christopher Robin.
  • 87 million cards are sent each year in the name of Father’s Day, which makes it the fourth-largest greeting card holiday.
  • The oldest father of a newborn was age 94 when his daughter was born.
  • Male seahorses carry the babies in eggs in a bodily pouch until they are fully developed.
  • Roses are the official flower of Father’s Day

We must admit, before this blog we didn’t know many of these facts either. They are pretty cool, huh?

So, who’s ready for some Dad-approved humor? AKA Dad Jokes. We sure are. Below are some of our favorites:

  1. How many apples grow on a tree? All of them.
  2. Why did the coffee file a police report? It got mugged.
  3. Why did the scarecrow win an award? He was outstanding in his field.
  4. Why couldn’t the bicycle stand up by itself? It was two tired.
  5. The shovel was a ground-breaking invention.
  6. Two goldfish are in a tank. One says to the other, “do you know how to drive this thing?”
  7. What time did the man go to the dentist? Tooth hurty
  8. A ham sandwich walks into a bar and orders a beer. Bartender says, “Sorry, we don’t serve food here.”
  9. Why do chicken coops only have two doors? Because if they had four, they would be chicken sedans.
  10. What’s Forrest Gump’s password? 1forrest1

We hope you got as much of a kick out of those jokes as we did. Don’t forget to share them with dad. We are sure he will love them.

On to the finale: The Father’s Day gift. This is the tough part. Buying gifts for our aging loved one’s can be difficult because they tend to be more interested in comfortable, practical gifts that improve their quality of life rather than gifts of grandeur.

To help you find the right gift, we have gathered several ideas below:

Hire a groundskeeper or do his chores for him
Dads are often in charge of maintaining the lawn, fixing the house and cleaning the outside. However, as we age this can become increasingly more difficult and dangerous. Hiring a helping hand for your dad would bless him greatly and keep him safe.

Go with the Gift Card
Living the retired life can be nice but being on a fixed income could cause loved ones to stress. This often leads to them only investing in necessities rather than wants. Treat your dad with a gift card to his favorite restaurant, store, sports team game or golf course. This will ensure that dad enjoys some financial-stress-free leisure.

Have a Nice Trip, See You Next Fall.
It’s always fun to look in old family albums and take a trip down memory lane. Take it one step further this year and plan a road trip to your father’s old stomping grounds. Not only will he love getting away for a while but the memories made on road trips last a lifetime and the nostalgia will create a perma-grin on your father’s face.

Go with the Cable Sports Package
If your dad loves sports, purchase him a year subscription to the upgraded cable tv sports package. Now he can watch all his favorite teams from the comfort of his living room.

Subscription to Ancestry.com
As we age, we tend to become more and more interested in our family’s history. Investing in a subscription to Ancestry.com will help your dad track the family tree and he may even learn some interesting facts about your family in the process.

Invest in Companion Care
Whether your dad is sick and in need of help, or simply lives alone and would love some company, Wiser Home Care Services provides companion care. Our base level of companion services includes a variety of help from laundry, errand services, and daily check-in to other basic services that make living at home easier.

We hope these ideas inspire you to give your dad the best Father’s Day he would never ask for.

From all of us here at Wiser Home Care Services: Happy Father’s Day.

5 Ways to Help Your Elderly Loved One Age Out Loud

 

If you think about it, we truly owe our lives to our elderly loved one’s. Not only are we here, living and breathing, because somewhere down the line our elderly loved ones fell in love, but we have them to thank for paving the way to all the modern-day successes and technology we enjoy.

Their hard work and contributions to America’s past, current and on-going success deserves recognition, which is why President Donald Trump declared the month of May to be National Older American’s Month. According to President Trump the goal of Older American’s Month is to “thank our seniors and recognize the enormous contributions they make to the Nation.”

Each year Older American’s Month is planned around a central theme by the Administration for Community Living (ACL). For 2017, the ACL designed the theme “Age Out Loud” which focuses on giving the aging a new voice – one that reflects what today’s older adults have to say.

So, how can you celebrate Older American’s Month and help your elderly loved one “Age Out Loud”?

Keep reading to learn 5 ways you can help encourage them to Age Out Loud.

  1. Talk to the Elderly
    Our elderly loved ones have a lot of wisdom they would be more than happy to share with us if we simply took the time to ask them questions and listen to what they have to say. This will help you learn about their experiences and help them Age Out Loud.
  2. Help Them Organize Their Memories
    Many people have memory boxes where they store cards, pictures, letters and any other memorable items. Offer to help your elderly loved one organize their memories into a scrap book or photo album. This will give you time with them and allow them to share their memorable past moments with you.
  3. Consider Doing an NPR Story Corp Interview
    NPR has an ongoing recording project known as Story Corp in which friends, associates and loved ones can record each other during an interview or oral storytelling session. These interviews are archived for public access, and some even make it onto the weekly Story Corp broadcast.
  4. Help Them Tell Their Story
    Keeping record of your elderly loved one’s life experiences for generations to come is a great way to help them age out loud and leave a lasting legacy. One way to do this is to sit down with your loved one and help them write out many of their memorable life moments. You could also share this on social media or via a blog.
  5. Help Them Age Their Way
    Even though we can’t stop getting older, we can take control of the aging process and age the way we want. Many older Americans are doing this by trying new careers and hobbies and taking control of their health. Help your senior Age Out Loud by recommending a potential new hobby, or maybe even a fun college course.

We hope this list helps you start thinking of ways you can help your elderly loved one Age Out Loud. As always, if you would like more help, feel free to reach out to us here at Wiser Home Care Services. We can help your family establish a care plan to personally accommodate your loved one’s needs.

The Wiser Home Care Guide to Preventing Strokes

Did you know that in the United States someone has a stroke every 40 seconds? That adds up to more than 788,000 stroke victims each year. What’s more is that 80% of strokes are preventable.

For something so avoidable, you might be wondering why the public doesn’t have a better handle on preventing strokes in the first place. The answer, like most things, is that people simply aren’t aware of the steps they need to take to prevent them.

This is why in May of 1989 President George H. W. Bush signed the Presidential Proclamation 5975 declaring May as National Stroke Awareness Month. Each May since that year, the government, National Stroke Association, American Heart Association and several non-profits combine efforts to raise awareness of the deadly force of strokes.

There are two main steps to helping prevent strokes:

  1. You should know the preventative measures one can take to lower their risk
  2. You must understand the symptoms

Over the next few paragraphs we will discuss each one of these steps in detail. Keep reading and you could potentially save a life!

Preventative Measures You Can Take
As we mentioned earlier, statistics have found that 80% of strokes that occur are completely preventable. So why aren’t they being prevented? The answer is: lack of knowledge regarding the correct steps one should take.

Below are four things experts suggest you can do to lower you or your loved one’s risk of experiencing a stroke.

  1. Keep Your Blood Pressure at a Health Level
    Did you know that high blood pressure nearly quadruples your risk of a stroke? To keep your blood pressure at a healthy level we suggest a low-salt diet that is rich in veggies and fruits, as well as exercising regularly. If you or a loved one have been prescribed medication to help regulate your blood pressure you need to remember to take it consistently.
  2. Exercise, Exercise, Exercise
    Did we mention exercise? We can’t stress this enough. Health professionals recommend aiming for at least 30 minutes of exercise-type activity five days a week. You have probably heard the old phrase “2 birds, 1 stone”, well exercising is “3 birds, 1 stone”. Not only does it increase your cardiovascular health it helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers blood pressure. All 3 of which, lower your risk of experiencing a stroke.
  3. Moderate Alcohol Consumption
    Unlike smoking, which you should quit immediately, it is ok to drink alcoholic beverages– just in moderation. Just make sure you watch your portions. If you do decide to keep drinking, make red wine your first choice, as it is the healthiest option.
  4. Visit Your Doctor
    The old saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” may be funny but you truly shouldn’t live by that mantra. We recommend having regular checkups with your doctor to make sure your body is working the way it should. Some health irregularities that you should keep an eye out for are: atrial fibrillation, diabetes, high cholesterol and atherosclerosis. Each of these can increase your risk of a stroke.

Now that you know some of the steps you can take to lower your risk of a stroke, it is equally as important to understand what the possible symptoms are that lead to a stroke.

Considering that each minute a stroke goes untreated nearly 2 million brain cells die, having an awareness of prevention methods and warning signs can ultimately save the life of your elderly loved one.

So, what are some of the symptoms of a stroke?
The American Stroke Association recommends watching for:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arms or legs
  • Quick onset confusion, trouble speaking or difficulty understanding
  • Vision issues
  • Trouble walking, dizziness and balance issues
  • A severe headache that comes up suddenly
  • Lack of coordination

Men and women also display stroke symptoms differently. In addition to the above symptoms, women should also be cautious of sudden:

  • Hiccups
  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Palpitations

Another good way to remember the warning signs of a stroke are by remembering the acronym F.A.S.T which stands for:

F- Face drooping
A- Arm Weakness
S- Speech Difficulty
T- Time to Call 911

These are just a few of the many ways you can help your elderly loved one reduce their risk of experiencing a stroke. If you would like more help, feel free to reach out to us here at Wiser Home Care Services. We can help your family establish a care plan to personally accommodate your loved one’s needs.

Forget the Flowers This Mother’s Day. We Know Exactly What She Wants.

“The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness.” – Honore de Balzac

What more can be said about our amazing mothers? They have known us the longest, changed our diapers and put up with us in our teen years and they still love us. We truly owe them our life.

After all they have done for us, doesn’t it seem like a single day of celebration is not enough? We certainly feel that way. With that being said, some of you may be feeling the pressure to make the one ‘official’ day that they have the best it can be. So, what can you do to make your mother’s special day the best it possibly can be?

Keep reading to find out…

What if she already has it, or what if she doesn’t like it? Is it good enough? These are valid questions that make finding the perfect present for mom difficult. Over our years of caregiving experience we have learned a lot about what our elderly loved one’s like. Below are some ideas to get you started.

Digitize Their Albums
Our elderly loved ones often have hundreds if not thousands of photos of years past in albums or simply laying around. As a gift, you could scan these onto a computer, zip drive or the cloud. This way they will be safe for years to come and will be easily accessible to view.

The Gamer
We all know our elderly loved ones enjoy playing card games and board games, but did you know that playing video games has recently become a popular trend for the elderly? It might be out of the ordinary but grandma may love a new gaming system. Video games are not only a great way to pass the time but give our senior loved ones a good brain and body workout, which can also help fight dementia.

Do the Robot
No one likes cleaning, but as we age cleaning is not only a despised chore it can become a difficult one as well. Grandma will be doing the happy robot dance if you invest in a Roomba for her. If you don’t know what a Roomba is, you can check out their website here:

Help Grandma Set the Mood Safely
Did you know that loved ones over the age of 85 have the highest fire death and injury rates of any age group? Keep grandma safe by investing in some flameless candles. They give off the same amount of light but keep grandma safe in the process.

The Gift of Food
Everyone loves food and most can agree that having someone cook for you is a nice break from the norm. Whether you buy grandma a monthly subscription to a food service or you cook her several meals that can be frozen and eaten later, she will love them.

Be Her Technology Guide
Does grandma have a DVR, tablet, smartphone, computer or a social media account? Modern technology is amazing, but can be difficult and frustrating for elderly loved ones to teach themselves how to use. Instead of buying grandma something, spend some time with her and teach her how to use it properly. You could even help them set it up with fun and helpful apps or games for them to use.

Although getting a gift is always nice, we can guarantee you that your elderly loved one would almost certainly rather spend time with you. Below we have gathered some fun Mother’s Day activities you could do with your mom or grandma.

  1. Take her out to eat at her favorite restaurant.
  2. Find a local garden and take her for a stroll through it to check out the flowers.
  3. Is she a sports fan? Find a local sporting event to attend.
  4. If she is religious, join her for her weekend service.
  5. Everyone loves shopping. Take her out to the mall and let her pick something out.
  6. Relax and watch her favorite movie or tv show with her.
  7. Have a board game tournament.
  8. Bake or cook together.

We hope these ideas help you create the most memorable Mother’s Day for your mom. From all of us here at Wiser Home Care Services, Happy Mother’s Day.

The Comprehensive 2017 Guide to Reducing Elderly Stress

Ben Franklin put it best when he said, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Fortunately, we can all say we made it through another year of taxes. However, we certainly took our hits from tax season, especially in the form of stress.

Many experts claim the holidays is when stress peaks for most of us, but we believe tax season comes in a close second. In fact, tax season has become so synonymous with stress that the Health Resource Network officially declared the month of April to be National Stress Awareness Month.

This year marks the 25th annual 30-day Stress Awareness campaign in which health professionals across the country team together to educate people nationwide on “the dangers of, proven strategies for managing, and widespread misconceptions about stress.”

Before we discuss these proven strategies for managing stress, let’s look at some of the numbers regarding the prevalence of stress. According to statistics cited on statisticbrain.com, 77% of Americans regularly experience physical symptoms of stress, while 73% regularly experience psychological symptoms of stress.

Furthermore, stress is the basic cause of 60% percent of illness, and 3 out of 4 doctor’s visits are due to stress related symptoms. Perhaps scariest of all though is that stress increases your loved one’s risk of a heart attack by 25%, heart disease by 40% and a stroke by 50%.

Understanding what causes stress and how stress will affect your elderly loved one are the first two things you need to know to successfully help your loved one minimize their stress.

What Causes Elderly Loved Ones to Experience Stress?
People who suffer from stress often cite job pressure, health, money and relationships as the main causes of their stress. For our elderly loved ones, research has shown that the following are leading causes of stress:

  • Weakening family bond or relationship
  • Financial insecurity
  • Poor health and nutrition
  • Lack of rest
  • Social environment

How Will Stress Affect Your Elderly Loved One?
Although stress affects us all differently there are some specific trends appearing in how it affects our elderly loved ones. Some of these commonly seen effects of stress on elderly are:

  • Damage to brain cells which increases risk of depression
  • Moodiness
  • Fatigue
  • Reduced immune-system strength
  • Increased consumption of alcohol
  • Loss of memory or concentration

Now that you understand the potential causes and effects of stress on your elderly loved one, we have gathered 5 great ways to help your elderly loved one minimize stress in their life.

  1. Find short term solutions- Often senior stress is caused by all the looming changes they are experiencing. Have your elder write down their worries and take a little time each day to figure out a short-term solution. Remember: It doesn’t matter how many steps it takes to get to where you want, as long as you get there.
  2. Turn off the TV and pick up a book- Increased media time, especially news channels, is linked to increased stress and trouble sleeping. Encourage your elderly loved one to spend time reading a positive book or poem rather than watching tv. Chicken Soup for the Soul is a great pick-me-up series.
  3. Meditate and Practice Breathing- Learning how to calm oneself through meditation and slow, deep breathing is proven to be a great way to reduce stress. Set aside time each morning for your senior to sit, close their eyes, and meditate on positive phrases. Having them say the phrases aloud and repeat them is another great way to instill stress-reducing habits.
  4. Spend time with a Pet- There’s just something special about playing with, petting or snuggling an animal. It is cathartic and stress relieving. In fact, many communities have visiting pet programs in which volunteers bring pets to senior homes to provide companionship for elderly loved ones.
  5. Get outside and be active- Not only will being active increase the overall health of your elderly loved one. The endorphins released during exercise are known to help increase happiness and decrease stress.

As always, If you care for an elderly loved one and would like help developing a care plan please feel free to contact us. We can help your family establish a care plan to personally accommodate your loved one’s needs.

Hosting A Senior Loved One For Easter? You’ll Want to Read This

In just a few short days, the ‘Easter Bunny’ will hop all over the world delivering chocolate, eggs and toys to kids and adults around the world. Ok, so we all know it isn’t really the Easter Bunny, but we still love to pretend it is. After all, that’s what makes these holidays so much fun.

Personally, we look forward to chocolate bunnies the most in our Easter Basket. Which, according to statistics, are one of the most popular food items to receive on Easter. In fact, 70% of the candy purchased for Easter is in the form of Chocolate.

Don’t let that fool you though, there’s a lot of other candy being consumed on this Spring Holiday. Check out these Easter Fun Food Facts:

  • 16 Billion- The number of Jelly Beans made for Easter
  • 120 Million- The number of pounds of Easter candy purchased annually
  • 90 Million- The number of Chocolate bunnies made for Easter
  • 9 Billion- The total amount spent on Easter food and candy annually
  • 5 Billion- The amount of Marshmallow peeps consumed around Easter
  • 89% – The amount of people who say chocolate bunnies should be eaten by the ears first
  • 1873- The year the first chocolate egg was produced

While the getting candy part of Easter is fun, the most important part of Easter is spending it with the ones you love. We put together some quick tips to ensure you enjoy a safe and fun Easter with your elderly loved one.

You don’t want to miss these. Keep reading —>

Is it Lunch time yet?
With all the excitement of Easter, it may be exhausting for your elderly loved one. Make sure you plan your Easter meal and festivities around their normal eating schedule. In addition, if they feel exhausted find a nice, quiet area for them to relax and possibly nap in.

What’s on the Menu
It’s a holiday, calories and junk food don’t count, right? Wrong. It’s ok to splurge a little, but you will want to make sure there are healthy items on your menu that your elderly loved one typically eats. In addition, make sure you follow any dietary restrictions your elderly loved one may have.

Use the Buddy System
If there are a lot of people at your Easter Celebration, assign someone your elderly loved one is comfortable with to be their companion for the event. Often, big events can be overwhelming for loved ones if they don’t know many people. Having a companion to spend the event with and talk to will ease any anxiety they may be feeling.

Be Vigilant
It’s important to be aware of things your loved one may need such as a bathroom break, nap, a more comfortable chair, something to drink, fresh air. Whatever it may be, staying on top of your loved one’s needs will ensure a safe and fun Easter celebration.

Chug, Chug, Chug Water
With all the rich food, staying hydrated throughout the day is an important key to a safe Easter celebration. We suggest keeping a bottle of water in an easily accessible location for them such as a hand bag.

Make Your Home Senior Friendly
If you are hosting your loved one for the Easter celebration, keep their safety and comfort in mind. Pick up clutter that might make them fall and fix any rugs that could increase the risk of a slip and fall.

Take a Walk
If your elderly loved one can, a good walk after a large Easter dinner will help the food settle and be a nice break.

As always, Wiser Home Care is here to help you with whatever you need, even your Easter Celebration. 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.

Can You Really Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes?

Although Diabetes was a prevalent issue long before the popular 2009 commercial with Wilford Bradley aired, the commercial captured the American audience and truly opened their eyes to the risks associated with Diabetes. Many accredit the commercial’s success to its timely message and somewhat humorous pronunciation of the word Diabetes.

Despite the commercial’s subtly humorous approach, Diabetes is truly no laughing matter. Even though the disease can easily be prevented, it is the 7th leading cause of death in America with nearly 70,000 deaths annually directly attributed to the disease and more than 230,000 deaths with diabetes as an underlying cause.

According to the American Diabetes Association, there are approximately 29.1 million people living with Diabetes and an additional 1.4 million cases will be diagnosed this year in America alone.

Considering these staggering statistics, the American Diabetes Association established its National Alert Day in 1986. This day, which takes place on the 4th Tuesday in March each year, is used to educate and raise awareness of diabetes and the steps you can take to prevent you and your loved one from getting Diabetes.

Joining with the ADA to raise awareness of Diabetes, you will find six ways to reduce you or your loved one’s risk of experiencing diabetes below:

Get Your Fiber
Whether you take a fiber supplement or you fill your diet with foods high in fiber, make sure you are getting plenty of fiber. A healthy diet of fiber will allow you to control your blood sugar, effectively reducing your risk of diabetes. Some foods high in fiber are as follows:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Beans
  • Whole Grains
  • Nuts

Fast! Get Rid of the Fast Food
Fast food and convenient meals are full of processed food, sugar, fat and salt. All of these will raise your blood pressure and increase your risk of diabetes. If you have trouble figuring out what to cook, we suggest subscribing to meal services like Blue Apron. These services will ship you healthy ingredients for home cooked meals in the correct portion sizes.

It’s Time to Cut
If you have extra body weight you are carrying around, now would be a good time to focus on losing it. Some studies have found that if you lose just 7% of your unhealthy weight, you can decrease your chances of diabetes by up to 60%. If you don’t know if you are in the right weight range for your height, check out the Body Mass Index (BMI). Ideally, you should have a BMI in the 18.5-24.9 range. You can check yours here: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/BMI/bmicalc.htm

Limit Your Alcohol and Smoking
We know we say this almost every blog, but we are serious. These vices truly are bad for your health. You don’t necessarily have to give them up completely, but the less you smoke and drink the easier it will be to keep your risk of diabetes to a minimum. Experts recommend no more than 2 regular alcoholic beverages a day for men, and no more than 1 for women.

Screen Yourself for Diabetes
Life! Is an Australian Health Service that provides an online evaluation of your Diabetes Risk. By answering this assessment honestly, you will find out how high of a risk you are at for developing Type 2 Diabetes. You can find the assessment here: http://www.lifeprogram.org.au

Be on a First Name Basis with Your Doctor
Ok, so you really don’t have to be on a first name basis, but you should schedule regular checkups with your doctor. As we age, our bodies can change for the negative fast if we don’t stay on top of them. During these visits, your doctor should blood glucose, blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels.

As always, Wiser Home Care 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.

7 Simple Ways to Beat Daylight Savings Time

It only happens twice a year, and this time we are on the losing end of the battle. However, if you live Arizona and Hawaii, you never have to worry about it. You may be wondering what we are talking about … its daylight savings time of course.

As if coming back to work after a fun-filled weekend isn’t tough enough, this Sunday at 2 A.M. the clocks all rolled forward an hour. This time change often feels like we are losing an hour of sleep and the side-effects can sometimes be dangerous. In fact, research has found that car accidents, strokes and heart attacks all spike in the days after the Daylight Savings 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.

We have gathered 7 simple tips to ensure you and your loved one experience a safe time change transition this year.

Start the Transition Early
Part of what makes daylight savings time so tough is that we “lose” an hour of sleep over the course of 1 day. Adjusting your sleep schedule takes time. You should start by going to bed 15 minutes earlier each night the week before the change.

Sleep Like a Toddler
Just like a toddler, if you feel tired during the day, give yourself the ok to take a quick powernap. When we say quick, we mean it. Anything over 20 minutes will make it worse.

Did we mention prioritize sleep?
You might be getting tired of us talking about sleep, but it really is that important during the time change. Listen to your body. Make sure you get 7-8 hours of consistent sleep.

Eat Dinner Early
What and when we eat truly affects how we sleep. To make sure you get a good night’s sleep, you should eat at least 2-3 hours before you plan on going to bed. You will also want to make sure that the meal isn’t too heavy.

Watch What You Drink
Until your body gets used to the time change transition you should be careful about what you drink. Too much caffeine too late in the day could affect the quality and quantity of your sleep. In addition to coffee, you will also want to avoid alcohol as well.

Raise Your Heartbeat
Getting out for some exercise is a great way to increase serotonin in your body. This natural chemical helps your body adjust to the time change. However, you will want to make sure you aren’t working out too late in the evening as this could affect your sleep negatively. 

Relax Before You Shut Your Eyes
Before you finally turn in for the night run yourself a nice warm bath, listen to some soothing music and maybe read a good book or magazine. Experts do warn about staying away from screens right before bed, since they also affect your sleep.

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.

5 Simple Steps to Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease

When people think of the month of February, they typically think of 2 things. Generally, they think about the fact that it is the shortest month of the year, but most of all they think of Valentines, love and their significant others. These thoughts of love are further fueled by the plethora of heart-shaped decorations, chocolate and jewelry that adorn stores and advertisements.

Because everyone is already thinking about hearts, the American Heart Association(AHA) came up with the idea that February should also serve as National American Heart Month. Due to their persistence, it was officially proclaimed a nationally recognized month on December 30, 1963 by President Lyndon B. Johnson, and a mere 33 days later, the first official American Heart Month took place in February 1964.

Since then, the AHA has worked tirelessly to increase awareness of the dangers of heart diseases and the steps people can take to avoid it.

The Numbers
The statistics regarding heart disease in the United States alone are astounding. According to the Heart Foundation, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and claims more lives than all forms of cancer combined.

In the US, someone suffers from a heart attack every 34 seconds, and every 60 seconds someone dies from a heart-related illness. This adds up to approximately 525,000 deaths each year. In fact, in 2011 heart disease killed nearly 787,000 people.

The Solution
As with any death-causing disease, the statistics are staggering and sad. Fortunately, there are many precautions and life-changes one can make to decrease their risk of suffering from heart disease.

Keep reading this week’s blog to find out how you can help reduce you and your loved one’s risk of heart disease in five simple steps.

Eat Your Heart Out
Ok, don’t literally eat your heart out, but do eat foods with an emphasis on heart health. Heart healthy foods include: fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, nuts, fish, lean poultry and meat. You will also want to limit salt and sugar intake.

Get a Check Up
One of the first things you should do is schedule a checkup with your doctor. Your doctor will screen you for any pre-existing conditions, tell you what you are at risk of and give you targeted ways you can reduce your risk of heart disease. This is also a good time to consult with your doctor about starting an exercise routine. Before you leave, you will want to make regular follow-up appointments to make sure you stay on track.

Put Down the Stick and Bottle
It’s no secret, smoking and drinking is horrible for your health, but we know giving it up is easier said than done. Taking small steps to reduce the amount you smoke or drink will significantly help in reducing your risk of heart disease. The sooner the better.

Sleep the Night Away
Getting the appropriate amount of sleep is an important aspect in reducing your risk of heart disease.

Take a Step
We mean this one literally. A good way to increase your heart health is to maintain an active lifestyle. Professionals recommend at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week of moderate exercise. This means any activity that gets you moving and sweating a little.

Kick Stress to The Curb
Stress is the fuel that feeds the heart disease fire. The more stress you have, the more strain you put on your heart and overall health. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to reduce stress in your life such as yoga, breathing exercises and time management techniques.

Reducing you and your loved one’s risk of heart disease, or managing heart disease itself can be tricky and stressful. As always, Wiser Home Care 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.