Category Archives: In-Home Care Blog

5 Critical Steps to Reducing Your Risk of Diabetes

5 Critical Steps to Reducing Your Risk of Diabetes

Whew! We made it through the long holiday weekend with our sanity intact, our bank accounts in the black and our diets not destroyed. All kidding aside, we hope you had a truly amazing Thanksgiving weekend full of friends, food and good shopping deals. We know we certainly did.

Although the star of November is Thanksgiving, there’s a lesser known but equally important observation during the month of November. What could this be you ask. It’s National Diabetes Month, of course.

Each November, communities, doctors and health care centers nationwide join together to raise awareness of the impact Diabetes has on millions of Americans.

In fact, according to statistics from diabetes.org, in 2015 there was nearly 30.3 million Americans who suffered from Type 1 or 2 Diabetes. In addition, one in three people will develop Diabetes in their lifetime. The numbers are even worse for older Americans with nearly 25% of all loved ones over the age of 65 suffering from the disease. Furthermore, diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States.

Finally, as if having Diabetes isn’t bad enough, medical costs are twice as high for people with Diabetes than people without. It is estimated that total costs of Diabetes in the United States top $245 billion annually.

There are 3 main types of Diabetes (Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational), with 9 out of 10 of those people suffering from Diabetes Type 2. Unfortunately, there is currently no known cure for Type 1 Diabetes. However, the silver lining is that the risk for Type 2 Diabetes can be greatly minimized by making lifestyle changes.

Keep reading to find out how you can lower you and your loved one’s risk of having Type 2 Diabetes.

Before we discuss tactics to lower your risk, you should know what puts you at risk for Type 2 Diabetes. The Center for Disease Control lists the following as risk factors:

  • Having higher than average blood sugar levels.
  • Being overweight
  • Being over 45 years old
  • Having family members with Type 2 diabetes
  • Being physically inactive

So, now that you know the risk factors of Type 2 diabetes, how can you lower risk?

Step 1: Maintain a Healthy Body Weight
As you already know, being overweight is a big risk factor for diabetes. Maintaining a healthy body weight can greatly reduce your risk. In fact, experts claim that every 2.2 pounds lost reduces your risk of diabetes by 16 percent.

Step 2: Partake in Physical Activity
Making sure you get an adequate amount of physical activity will not only help you maintain your physical health and a good body weight, it will also help you lower your risk of diabetes.  Research suggests that the best way to reduce your risk of diabetes is aerobic exercise and resistance training.

Step 3: Optimize Your Diet
Optimizing your diet isn’t just about eating healthier food but also eating healthier portion sizes. Smaller portions will help you lose weight by reducing the number of calories you bring in. We recommend limiting fatty foods and replacing sugary soft drinks with water. Make sure to add foods high in fiber such as fruits, veggies, beans, whole grains and nuts.

Step 4: Make Small Changes
We know all these changes can be difficult and time consuming to make. We recommend taking small steps each day towards your health goals. This will make it seem less daunting and more achievable.

Step 5: Remember Your ABCs
If you are prediabetes or on the verge of Diabetes, you should work with your doctor on the diabetes ABCs. According to the CDC, this acronym stands for:

  • —the A1C test, which measures average blood sugar over 2 to 3 months.
  • blood pressure, the force of blood flow inside blood vessels.  
  • cholesterol, a group of blood fats that affect the risk of heart attack or stroke.
  • —stop smoking or don’t start.

These are just a few of the many ways you can help your elderly loved one reduce their risk of Diabetes. 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.

Wow Your Thanksgiving Guests With These 10 Turkey Day Fun Facts

Unless you live under a rock (in which case you wouldn’t be reading this blog), you know that the holiday season is upon us. After all, the radio is filled with warm holiday music, seemingly every commercial on tv has a holiday jingle and reference to jolly ol’ saint Nick, and retail stores have aisles of Christmas decorations on display.

Wait, what? Christmas decorations? Yep, you read that right, the turkey hasn’t even had his big day, but Saint Nick is already stealing the show.

Now don’t get us wrong, we aren’t the kind of people who get upset by Christmas overtaking Thanksgiving, but we do love all holidays equally. So, this week for our blog we thought it would be fun to share some Thanksgiving fun facts and trivia so you can wow your dinner guests over your delicious Thanksgiving meal.

The First Thanksgiving
We all know the story of the first Thanksgiving held in 1621 with the Pilgrims and Native Americans. But, did you know many historians believe that among the 50 pilgrims only 5 were women due to the harshness of the first year in North America?

Thanksgiving Gave Way to the TV Dinner
In 1953, Swanson had so much extra turkey leftover from Thanksgiving that they started packaging it in aluminum trays with other sides. Thus, the TV dinner was created.

The First Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade
Macy’s started their holiday parade tradition way back in 1924 to celebrate their expansion and new title as the ‘World’s Largest Store’. Back then it was called the Macy’s Christmas Parade, and it featured several live zoo animals loaned from the Central Park Zoo.

Black Friday Isn’t Just the Busiest Shopping Day of the Year
For many, Black Friday signifies the busiest shopping day of the year. However, a recent study found that plumbing company calls increase by 50% the Friday after Thanksgiving and business increases by 21%.

Mary Had a Little…turkey?
Sarah Josepha Hale, the writer and editor who penned the popular ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’ was also responsible for convincing President Lincoln to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday.

Turkey by the Numbers
The National Turkey Foundation, yes that’s a real foundation, claims that 88% of Americans consume Turkey on Thanksgiving. This adds up to nearly 46 million turkeys.

It’s Not the Tryptophan that Has You Trippin’
Most people assume that it is the tryptophan in the turkey that causes you to be tired after Thanksgiving dinner. The truth is, chicken has more tryptophan than turkey. You’re just more tired because of how hard your body is working to digest the large meal.

The Leftovers
According to a recent Harris Poll, 80% of Americans prefer Thanksgiving leftovers to the original meal itself.

The Turkey Bowl
The Thanksgiving Day tradition of a football game played on the holiday started in 1924 “when the Detroit Lions played the Chicago Bears in the first NFL game broadcast nationally.”

A Thanksgiving World Record
The heaviest recorded turkey by the Guinness Book of World Records weighed in at a whopping 86 pounds.

We hope you enjoyed these Thanksgiving Day fun facts. If you care for or plan on hosting an elderly loved one for the holiday we urge you to read our blog discussing 11 Thanksgiving Tips for the Elderly. You can find it here: http://wisercareservices.com/blog/11-thanksgiving-tips-for-the-elderly/ .

If 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 and help prevent falls and fall-related injuries.

Happy Thanksgiving!

The 2 Things You Need to Know to Prevent a Stroke

The 2 Things You Need to Know to Prevent a Stroke

Did you know that Strokes are the fifth leading cause of death in the United States? According to statistics, every 4 minutes someone in the United States dies from a stroke. That’s nearly 130,000 people.

Although this is a large number, consider the nearly 670,000 people in the United States each year that suffer from a stroke but do not die. This group of people is extremely susceptible to long term disability due to the stroke. In fact, strokes are the number one preventable cause of disability in the United States. Worldwide strokes are responsible for the loss of 44 million years of healthy life each year.

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. Which is why the World Stroke Organization established the World Stroke Day campaign.

The goal of this one-day campaign, which took place on Sunday October 29, was to educate communities about the dangers and symptoms of strokes by partnering with doctors and organizations globally to share a united message.

To help do our part, we thought we would share the two most important steps in helping prevent strokes:

  1. Taking Preventative Measures
  2. Understanding the Symptoms

The most important thing you can do to prevent a stroke is to avoid behaviors that are known to increase your risk for a stroke such as eating food known to increase blood pressure, smoking, and excessively drinking alcohol. Below are three additional things experts suggest you should do to lower your risk.

  1. Eat a Low Salt Diet
    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. 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.

Even if you take all the necessary precautions to avoid a stroke, it might still happen. In that case, it is important to know the signs and symptoms leading up to and right after 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.

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.

The Caregiver's Guide to Emotional Health and Wellness

The Caregiver’s Guide to Emotional Health and Wellness

Have you ever felt like you were getting a cold so you took a bunch of Vitamin C, Airborne supplements, or other vitamins to boost your immune system and beat the sickness?

Chances are you probably have. Because, as we all know, keeping your body in good physical health is important. This idea of maintaining good physical health is drilled into us from the day we are born.

Think about it. We are inundated with regular doctor’s appointments, entire sections of stores are devoted to health supplements, we are bombarded by pharmaceutical ads on TV to maintain good physical health, we are taught that physical exercise is critical for our health, and if we do get sick many jobs provide sick leave.

Don’t get us wrong, we think physical health is extremely important but do you know what else is equally important and receives exponentially less attention? Our emotional health and wellness! Which is why every year the entire month of October is dedicated to celebrating and raising awareness of the importance of emotional health and wellness.

As caregivers, focusing on our own mental and emotional health is critical but often overlooked. We get so overtaken but taking care of our loved ones that we forget to take care of ourselves. Even worse, we feel guilty for wanting to take time for ourselves.

We get it. We truly get how you feel, but we are here to tell you that you need to stop feeling that way. After all, if you can’t take care of yourself how can you take care of someone else?

Caregiving is emotionally draining and the longer you ignore your emotional health, the potentially more dangerous it can be for you or your loved one, but thinking of ways to mend your emotional health can be difficult. To help you, we have gathered our top 8 favorite ways to stay emotionally and mentally healthy. Keep reading. We hope you enjoy!

Get Your ZZZ’s
Have you ever gotten so tired that your brain just won’t work no matter how hard you try? Or you can’t control your emotions? If you answered yes, then you have first-hand knowledge of how important sleep is. In fact, sleep deprivation has been proven to lead to emotional instability, a compromised immune system and cognitive dysfunction. To ensure you remain emotionally and physically healthy, doctors recommend at least 7-9 hours of sleep every night for adults.

Get Social
Staying emotionally healthy isn’t always hard work. In fact, one of the most important things you can do for your emotional health is to go out and have a good time with your friends. Go to a concert, see a movie, grab dinner and drinks, just have fun with your friends. According to research, positive social interactions not only boost your mood but also challenge your brain and improve memory function.

Know the Signs of Caregiver Stress and Take a Break
Caregiving is stressful and there’s no getting around it. The important part is to beat stress before it gets out of hand. To do this, you need to have a good understanding of the signs and symptoms of caregiving stress. These include:

  • Feeling overwhelmed or constantly worried
  • Being overly tired
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Quick to anger and irritation
  • Appetite changes

When you notice any of these, we recommend taking a break from caregiving and spending some time on yourself as soon as possible.

Get Fit
Yes, we know this seems more like a way to enhance your physical health, but exercise is known to create endorphins that help increase your mood and emotional health. Find a form of physical activity you love and set fitness goals. Working towards your goals will motivate you and help you feel good emotionally and physically.

Cut out Negativity
We all know a negative Ned or Nancy. You know those people who just drag your spirit down every time you are around them. You don’t need to cut them out of your life completely but what you should do is make your time with them minimal. Their negative attitude can greatly affect your emotional health and wellness.

Find a Support Group
Having a good group of friends to go out with will be a lot of help, but it is also important to consider finding a support group of people that share the same professional experience as you. You can share stories, garner professional wisdom and get emotional support from your peers. Here’s a good list of resources to get you started.

Don’t Feel Guilty
A common misconception amongst caregivers is that it’s a bad thing to want to do stuff for yourself. We understand that doing stuff for yourself may make you feel selfish or guilty but you should put those thoughts out of your head as fast as you can. It’s ok and important for your emotional health to do so.

Ask for Help
Wiser Home Care Services understands how draining caring for a loved one can be. We strongly believe that to be an effective and patient caregiver one must take care of oneself. No matter how much we love the people we are caring for and may want to care for them, it is still necessary to have breaks.

To help alleviate the stress, Wiser Home Care Services offers in-home respite care so the family can take care of other responsibilities and obligations or just have some down time to recharge.

Wiser Home Care Services can be there overnight so you can sleep, or just a few hours a week so you can:

  • Run errands, shop or exercise
  • Spend time with friends
  • Attend meetings or activities
  • Make a doctor or hair appointment
  • Enjoy much deserved quiet time

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 and help prevent falls and fall-related injuries.

The Wiser Home Care Services Guide to Active Aging in 2017

The Wiser Home Care Services Guide to Active Aging in 2017

“I’m too old for that.”

The older we get the easier it becomes for us to mutter those 5 words. At times, the phrase is simply used as an excuse to refrain from doing something we would rather not, but there are many times that we legitimately feel like we are too old for it.

Society itself has also been guilty of perpetuating the falsehood that as we age we need to do less and are ‘limited’ in our abilities. This is often called ageism.

Fortunately, there are organizations in place that work diligently to promote active aging and squash ageism. One such organization is the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA).

The organization works tirelessly to challenge society’s “diminished expectations of aging by showing that, regardless of age or health conditions, adults over 50 can live as fully as possible in all areas of life—physical, social, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, vocational and environmental.”

In addition, they founded Active Aging Week, a weeklong campaign in September that raises awareness of the positivity of aging, was founded by the ICAA.

According to the ICAA website, the entire objective to Active Aging Week is to “give as many older adults as possible the means to experience wellness activities and exercise in a safe, supportive environment.”

Since the 2017 Active Aging Week happens to be this week, September 23-30, we thought it would be a perfect time for us to discuss Wiser Home Care Services’ top 6 ways to help your elderly loved one age actively.

Join a Senior Friendly Gym
Joining a senior friendly gym will allow your elderly loved one to remain healthy by working out in a comfortable and non-intimidating environment. Many gyms also offer senior-centered group exercise sessions that focus on senior-friendly, safe exercise. In addition to staying healthy, the gym provides a community of other seniors to spend time with.

Don’t Make a Habit of Sleeping in Too Long
We get it, your entire life you had to wake up to an alarm to go to work and now that you’re retired you want to sleep in. Sleeping in every once in a while is good but once you have caught up on your sleep you may find yourself wanting to wake up early. In retirement, you get to enjoy those early morning hours instead of rushing out the door.

Go Out and Meet People
As we age, it can sometimes become more difficult to go out and when that happens, loneliness and depression can easily strike. We urge our elderly clients to make it a point to go out and meet people. There’s many ways your elderly loved one can do this. They could join a club, go to a Bible study, frequent the local Senior Center, go to game nights, etc.

Keep Your Brain Strong
Keeping your brain active and working is an important aspect of healthy aging. You could encourage your elderly loved one to attend some college classes, join an arts program, or work on brain games. Whatever they decide, it is important to exercise that brain.

Volunteer at a Local Non-Profits
After retirement, many elderly loved ones struggle to feel like their life has meaning anymore. To combat this, we suggest finding a local non-profit that aligns with your loved one’s values and recommending that they volunteer at it.

Try Something New
It’s never too late to find a new hobby or passion in life. Trying new things will help your elderly loved one age actively, have fun and learn something in the process.

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

10 Fun Fall Activities to Do With Your Loved One

Everyone has their own definition of when “Fall” starts. Some will say Fall starts when school starts or when the leaves start to fall on a regular basis. Others will say it ‘starts’ on September 1st, considering that’s when Starbucks starts offering Pumpkin Spice Lattes and big chain stores remove Back-to-School displays and put up Halloween displays. No matter where you fall on the spectrum, the officially recognized first day of Fall for 2017 is September 22.

That’s right, we made it! It’s officially officially Fall!

We all have our favorite seasons, and we must admit that while Summer is our personal favorite season, Fall is a close second. What is your favorite season?

According to a recent survey, it is highly likely that Fall is. In fact, the survey found that America’s favorite season is Fall, with 29% of respondents claiming that Fall is their favorite season compared to only 7% claiming Winter is their favorite season. When you consider the fact that Fall weather is cooler but not cold and still consistently dry, it really is no surprise that it is a favorite season and perhaps even the best season for outdoor activities.

So, while you pack away the tank tops and flip flops of Summer, and bring out the sweaters and closed toed shoes for Fall, we thought we would share our 10 favorite Fall activities to do with our elderly loved ones.

Decorate Your Loved One’s Living Space with Them
Decorating your elderly loved one’s house or living space with them in a fun Fall theme is a great way to make fun memories and festively liven up their living space. This is especially fun for loved ones who have trouble traveling outside of their living space but still want to be festive.

Work on a Jigsaw Puzzle
As we get later into Fall, the chances of rain will increase. Working on a Fall-themed jigsaw puzzle is a great rainy day activity that also helps the cognitive function of your loved one.

Go for a Walk
Very few things beat a walk on a nice Fall day. The variety of colors, crispness in the air and the falling leaves make for an unforgettable time.

Visit the Pumpkin Patch
This is an absolute must in the Fall time. Grab some hot cider and go pick your favorite pumpkin to carve at a local farm. If you’re lucky they may even offer hayrides making the pumpkin patch a 3 for 1: Pumpkin, Hay ride, cider!

Watch a Football Game
If you love sports, then you already know that Fall is synonymous with Football season and Football season is synonymous with Tailgating Season! Many high schools play under the lights on Friday, or you could go watch a Semi-Pro or even Pro NFL game with your elderly loved one.

Go Leaf Hunting
With all the colors of the falling leaves, Fall is a great time to take your loved one leaf hunting for some Fall foliage. The bounty from this hunting expedition can be used to make cool Fall crafts.

Do Some Fall Crafts
Another great rainy day activity is to do some Fall crafts. You could press Fall leaves, make a Fall centerpiece, paint or draw a Fall landscape and even more. Visit our Pinterest page for some fun ideas.

Bake Some Fall Food
Fall food is some of the best. You’ve got Apple and Pumpkin pie, candy apples, butternut squash soup, fresh priced cider, pumpkin bread, chili and more. Not only will eating the food be fun but spending time cooking it with your loved one will make some great memories.

Watch a Fall Movie
With Halloween around the corner, it is the perfect time to watch your loved one’s favorite scary movie. If they aren’t into horror films, there are a lot of Fall movies outside of that genre as well.

Go to a Bon Fire
Crisp fall nights are perfect for a nice bon fire and stories around the fire. You never know what you might learn from your loved one during a chat around the fire.

Whatever Fall activity you decide to do with your elderly loved one, Wiser Home Care Services can help. If you care for a loved one and would like help developing a care plan of any kind please feel free to contact us. We can help your family establish a care plan to personally accommodate your loved one’s needs.

How To Help Your Loved One Overcome Grief

Have you ever thought about the fact that once we are born we start dying? In fact, every day brings us closer to death. We aren’t trying to be morbid, it really is an odd thing to think about and it is often a sad or scary thing to talk about as well.

When we are young, death isn’t as common but the older we get, the more death we end up facing. Each loss brings pain, and it never gets easier to deal with the emotional toil and grief we face when loved one’s are taken from us.

The void the death of a loved one brings affects everyone differently, and therefore everyone’s grieving process tends to be different. Because of this, Angie Cartwright founded National Grief Awareness Day in 2014. Cartwright’s goal in founding the day was to highlight the fact that the time it takes to heal from loss doesn’t have a prescribed course, and closure comes in many forms.

Since National Grief Awareness Day is this Wednesday, we wanted to take some time to share our expertise on what to expect, and some great ways to help an elderly loved one grieve in a healthy manner.

The Basics
Whether the death came unexpectedly or not, the initial shock is painful. Having to deal with all the legal and traditional things such as a will, funeral planning, medical bills, etc. can be stressful and make it difficult for one to grieve right away. In this time, it is important to physically be there for your loved one. You can help by providing logistical support and helping with tasks associated with planning the funeral. In addition, the American Hospice Association suggests that you help by:

  • Attending to physical needs
  • Listen to them and encourage them to talk about the lost loved one
  • Make sure they get any medical care they need
  • Be patient with their grieving process
  • Remember and acknowledge important dates and anniversaries

Grief Takes Time
As we mentioned in “The Basics”, there is so much to do immediately following a death, that it is entirely possible the grief will be delayed until after everything has been completed. Remain patient, helpful and vigilant. Once the grief sets in, be there for them and do not expect it to take any certain period of time. Sometimes grief stays around for weeks, months and even years.

Keep an Eye on Their Health
Grieving is stressful. Due to the increase in stress, your loved one may experience other health issues such as colds, lingering illnesses or flare-ups of existing conditions. Keep an eye on this and remind them to visit the doctor on a regular, as-needed basis to ensure they get the treatment they need to stay healthy.

Prepare to Ride the Emotional Roller Coaster
Grief can present itself in a plethora of emotions including anger, longing, relief, guilt, regret, depression, panic and even hysteria. Whatever the emotion is, just remember that this is a normal part of grieving.

The Aftershock
The months after a loss can be particularly difficult for a grieving loved one. With their mind on the grief, it is common for them to become forgetful and disorganized leading to missed appointments, lost keys, leaving things unfinished, etc. In addition, they may find it hard to concentrate on tasks or lose interest or motivation in tasks altogether. Do not fret, simply be there for thing during this time and let them express their feelings and remind them to be careful and stay vigilant during potentially dangerous activities such as lawn maintenance and driving.

So, when should you start to worry? If they start talking about hurting themselves or drinking excessively or taking drugs.

A dose of Exercise and Food
Grief can physically drain your health and happiness. Make sure your elderly loved one is eating an appropriate amount of food and getting regular exercise. If you live close by, it may be helpful to eat a couple meals a week with them and plan walks around the neighborhood, park or mall. The company and exercise will help get their mind on positive things as well as produce much needed endorphins.

Plan Fun Things
When you or a loved one is grieving, it can help to plan fun things to do on a regular basis. Having fun things to look forward to in this difficult time will encourage the grieving one to keep pushing forward and remind them that there is still happiness in life.

Take Care of Yourself
We have talked a lot about your elderly loved one in this blog, and rightly so. After all, they did lose a spouse. However, you also lost someone close to you. You need to make sure that you take the time to grieve properly as well. All the above-mentioned tips are perfect for you as well.

Consider Companion Care
We know that if you could, you would love to be there for your loved one all the time. Unfortunately, that isn’t possible. Which is why Wiser Home Care offers Companion Care Services.

Companion care caregivers provide the interaction seniors need to help make them feel connected. Wiser Home Care Services has wonderful companion care caregivers that are there for conversation, able to take seniors to social outings, run errands, and participate in activities as well as do light house duties. Companion care can provide the support needed for seniors to live safely at home.

If you care for an elderly loved one who is in the process of grieving, please feel free to contact us. We can help your family establish a care plan to personally accommodate your loved one’s needs.

6 Things to Consider Before Getting Your Elderly Loved One a Pet

Famed American actor Robert Wagner hit the nail on the head when he said, “Pets have more love and compassion in them than most humans.” In addition to their unconditional love and compassion, their loyalty, undying gratitude and cuddly nature are key reasons why pets make great companions for people of all ages. Especially the elderly.

In fact, pets not only help seniors with loneliness and depression, a study conducted in Australia found that senior citizen pet owners had “significantly lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels, as well as lower systolic blood pressure readings than non-pet owners.”

We love animals of all kinds, but dogs hold a special place in our heart. After all, they are “man’s best friend”, and we personally take that to mean all of humankind, not just men.

Since July is host to one of the two annual National Mutt Days, we thought it would be a good time to discuss pets and how to find the best dog for your elderly loved one.

So, what is National Mutt Day?
National Mutt Day was founded by Animal Welfare Advocate Colleen Paige in 2005 to encourage the American population to “embrace, save and celebrate mixed breed dogs.” As mentioned earlier, National Mutt Day is celebrated twice a year on July 31 and December 2. On these days, celebrators are urged to visit dog rescue shelters and adopt a mutt, or at the very least volunteer their time.

Now that you have an idea of what National Mutt Day is. Let’s explore some things you need to consider when picking a pet for your elderly loved one:

Breed
To be honest, unless you have very specific needs for your pet i.e. service animal, hunting, competition, etc., the breed of animal does not really matter. Animals, just like humans, all have unique personalities. Instead of looking for a specific breed, we suggest looking for an animal that best aligns with your elderly loved one’s needs and personality.

Animal Age
Considering the animal’s age and level of training is important. A puppy or young animal may be full of energy and lack house training. For an elderly loved one, having a young animal could do more harm than good. On the opposite end of the spectrum are senior animals. This could be a great option for your loved one, but you will want to make sure they are healthy and will not cost your loved one excessive vet bills.

Elderly Loved One’s Energy Level
You will want to consider your elderly loved one’s average energy level when choosing a pet. If they enjoy being on the go and going for walks, hikes and spending time outdoors then a dog with a moderate energy level will be perfect for them. However, if they have a more sedentary lifestyle then you will want to find an animal that enjoys relaxing for long periods of time.

What are the grooming/health needs
When finding an animal you will want to consider what the grooming and health needs are for that particular breed. Since elderly loved ones are typically on a fixed income, having an animal that requires regular grooming or vet visits would not be a good choice.

Training Level
We touched on this a little bit in our age section. You will need to know what the animals training level is. Have they been house trained, kennel trained, obedient, trained to refrain from jumping or chewing? What are their bad habits? Knowing all of this will help you make the best decision for your elderly loved one’s pet.

Finally, what is the succession plan?
No one really likes to talk about it, but it is important to consider what will happen to the pet if your elderly loved one dies or is hospitalized for any sort of time. Having a succession plan will help reduce your elderly loved one’s anxiety regarding it and will ensure the safety and needs of the pet are met.

As always, 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.

7 of the Best Grilling Recipes on the Internet

With an estimated 87% of all Americans firing up the grill on July 4th, it officially marked Independence Day as the Number 1 grilling holiday of the year. Considering this, it may come as no surprise that July is also host to National Grilling Month, a month-long celebration of the history and practice of grilling.

Since we love grilling so much to begin with, and to celebrate National Grilling Month, last week we began a 2-part mini-series surrounding the topic of grilling. Our first blog on the matter discussed our Top 5 grilling safety tips and can be found here.

This week, as we wrap up our mini-series we are going to take a fun break from the safety-centered blogs we typically write and share our top 7 internet grilling recipes.

But, before we jump into our favorite grilling recipes from the internet we thought it would be fun to share some fun grilling statistics:

  • A whopping 3 out of every 4 people in America own a grill.
  • 1 million people in America have grilled within the last 12 months.
  • 5 percent of Americans grill more than once a week.
  • In 22 percent of grilling households, the grill master is female.
  • The most popular food to grill is hamburgers which tops the list with 63 percent of grillers cooking burgers.
  • 11 percent of grillers prepare breakfast on the grill.

With the numbers behind us, let’s get to the meat of this article: our favorite internet grilling recipes. (Pun intended)

Warning: Reading beyond this point will make your mouth water.

Grilled Chicken Tacos with Avocado Crema
Tacos, avocados, grilling. 3 of our favorite things combined. Not to mention a start to finish time of only 35 minutes! Check out the recipe from Delish.com here.

Balsamic Grilled Chicken and Zucchini
We love marinated chicken, and when you add fresh veggies to the plate we are completely sold. Check out this 11 ingredient meal of champions at Delish.com.

Hawaiian Chicken and Pineapple Skewers
The jury may still be deliberating on if pineapple should be allowed on pizza, but everyone can agree Hawaiian Chicken and Pineapple Skewers are the reasons Luaus are so popular. Find the whole recipe here.

Grilled Artichokes & Polenta
Not all grilling has to involve meat, if you’d prefer veggies, check out this delicious recipe for grilled artichokes and polenta from the Feasting At Home blog.

Grilled Watermelon with Smoked Salt Jalapeño Wings
This one is for those who love the ultimate sweet and spicy! With only 4 ingredients and a cook time of under 10 minutes this one is a winner. You can find it here.

Grilled London Broil
No grilling recipe list is complete without at least one steak recipe. Even though it takes over 2 hours from start to finish, the finished product is well worth the wait. You can find the recipe here at the Spicy Southern Kitchen Blog.

Campfire Grilled S’more Calzone
Topping off our list of favorite grilling recipes from the internet is this chocolatey s’more rendition. Even if you aren’t typically a s’mores fan, you will want to give this recipe a shot. Find it here.

We hope that our mini-series has motivated you to get outside and safely grill up some of your favorite recipes with your elderly loved one. We are always looking for new recipes to try, and would love to hear from you.

Send us your favorite grilling recipe at wisercareservices@gmail.com.

Happy grilling!

Wiser Home Care’s Top 5 Grilling Safety Tips

Off the top of our head we could name over 10 reasons why Summer is the best season of the year. Topping this list would be beach days, increased outdoor activities, and of course grilling!

We mean, who doesn’t love standing on the patio with a cold beverage and some delicious food cooking on the grill? The sizzle of the food, beautiful aroma of grilled goods and smoke pouring out of the barbecue screams “It’s Summertime” at the top of its lungs.

Being July, we are smackdab in the middle of grilling season and coincidentally also National Grilling Month. That’s right, July is officially considered nationwide as the “Grilling Month”.

But why is July National Grilling Month and May National Barbecuing Month; Aren’t they the same thing?

This is a good question and the answer is no. They are not the same thing. In a recent blog post, Culinary Manager Nick Wellhausen explains that barbecuing is “the act of cooking over low to moderate heat for an extended amount of time” and grilling is defined as the “art of cooking something on a grill quickly and directly over a high flame.”

We have been taking full advantage of the great weather, and celebrating National Grilling Month by grilling up some of our favorite recipes lately. To ensure you and your elderly loved one have a chance to enjoy National Grilling Month as much as we have, we are going to do a 2-part series on grilling.

This week on our 2-part series we are going to discuss grilling safety and tips, then we will wrap up our mini-series next week with our favorite grilling recipes and food safety tips.

Grilling Safety Tips

Tip 1: Grill Location
Making sure your grill is in a safe location is critical. You will want to make sure it is a safe distance away from your place of residence, is not located under any trees or eaves, and not on a wooden deck. Experts recommend a distance of 25 feet between the grill and your house.

Tip 2: Never Leave Your Grill Unattended
An accident can happen in the blink of an eye. Make sure you have all the things you need to grill before your start it up. Once the grill is lit never leave it unattended. A child or pet could easily wander up to it and knock it over or even worse, get burned.

Tip 3: Always Have a Fire Extinguisher Handy
The combination of gas, fire and grease can be a deadly one and it doesn’t take much for a grill to quickly become out of control. In case of emergency make sure you have a fire extinguisher close and you know how to use it. Also, never throw water on a grease fire. It will make it worse.

Tip 4: Grill Maintenance
Make sure you keep your grill clean by removing any grease or fat buildup to reduce your risk of grease fire. If you use a gas grill, check the gas line to make sure there are no cracks or fuel leaks in them.

Tip 5 Charcoal Grills
If you use a charcoal grill there are a couple additional safety measures you can take. First, you will want to make sure your charcoal is ready to use. If you use starter fluid, make sure it is “Charcoal Specific” starter fluid. Another way to light the charcoal is with an electric starter. For this method, use an extension cord. Finally, when you are done grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing of them.

We hope this simple list of 5 grilling safety tips keeps you and your elderly loved one safe as you grill this summer and beyond.

Happy Grilling!