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Posts Tagged “senior care”

3 Superfoods for Seniors to Include on The Thanksgiving Table This Year

Superfoods for Seniors

A diet that includes superfoods provides health and nutritional benefits for seniors.

Thanksgiving dinner is typically full of rich, high-fat foods that can be unhealthy if eaten frequently in large quantities. So, while it’s okay to eat traditional Thanksgiving foods such as mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing and pumpkin pie in moderation, it’s also a great time to try incorporating some “superfoods” into your holiday dinner, and throughout the rest of the year.

Superfoods are foods that are primarily plant-based, but also include some fish and dairy. Because they are nutritionally dense, with high levels of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes and healthy fats, they have been shown to be beneficial for one’s health, helping fuel the body so that it can fight against chronic diseases and other nutrient deficiencies.

Recent long-term research studies have shown that there are several nutrients that should be regularly included in the diet of older adults who are at risk for heart disease, stroke, or Alzheimer’s disease. These superfoods for seniors are nutritional powerhouses that provide a variety of long-term benefits, and include:

  1. Salmon and other fatty fish. Cold water fish such as salmon, sardines, tuna and mackerel, are high in protein and low in saturated fat and calories. With high levels of omega-3 essential fatty acid (DHA), which optimizes triglyceride levels that carry fat in a person’s blood stream, salmon (and other fatty fish) helps to reduce the low density LDL (bad) cholesterol, while improving the high HDL (good) cholesterol that fights deposits in the arteries. An additional benefit: there is strong evidence linking DHA to helping prevent memory loss and other symptoms of dementia.
  2. Walnuts, almonds and other nuts. Research has shown that eating one ounce daily of nuts like walnuts, almonds, pecans, pistachios, peanuts, or hazelnuts may reduce the risk of heart disease. Just one handful of almonds each day provides the recommended dose of omega-3 fatty acids and 35% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin E. A study featured in the Journal of the American Medical Association has shown that vitamin E may help protect people from Alzheimer’s disease. The only downside to nuts is that they are high in calories and oftentimes, salt. To help ensure a proper proportion, purchase nuts in their shells, as cracking open the nuts takes time, and slows down the eating process.
  3. Carrots. According to researchers, people who have diets rich in vitamin A and other anti-oxidants over several years have reduced incidents of Alzheimer’s disease. Another study links diets rich in vitamins C and E, beta-carotene and zinc to a reduction of diminished eyesight in older adults. The human body converts beta-carotene to vitamin A, making carrots a healthy choice that provides many benefits. In fact, just one 7.5-inch carrot provides 230% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A. To make carrots softer and easier to chew without losing valuable nutrients, try microwaving or lightly steaming them.

This Thanksgiving, why not try a new recipe such as this salmon and carrot dinner that uses superfoods as the primary ingredients. Or, try searching online for recipes that incorporate other superfoods for seniors such as: dark leafy greens, berries, green tea, legumes, olive oil and a variety of others. Including these as part of a senior’s diet can provide long-term health benefits, especially when combined with a regular program of physician-approved exercise.

At Nightingale Home Care, our caregivers love working with seniors to keep them healthy, active and engaged. We can help plan and prepare nutritious meals and snacks that incorporate superfoods for seniors, provide companionship and motivation for regular exercise, as well as a variety of other tasks to ensure the senior you love is living life to the fullest.

Reach out to us today at (602) 504-1555 to schedule a free in-home consultation and to learn more about our top-rated home care in Glendale, AZ and the surrounding areas.

Senior Care Tips: Chronic Disease Management

Senior CareMost of us will, at one point or another in our lives, take care of a family member or close friend, and there is a good chance that the loved one being cared for will have at least one chronic disease. It is estimated that about half of all adults have one or more chronic health conditions, and one in four have two or more.

The following tips, courtesy of the Arizona home health care team at Nightingale Homecare, can help you get up to speed on how best to support your senior loved one to live the healthiest life possible when faced with a chronic health condition.

Learn About the Disease and Participate

Any new diagnosis presents a learning curve. Your best first step is to take the time to educate yourself on the chronic disease diagnosis and how to manage it. Your loved one’s health care provider is a great place to begin asking for educational materials, or visit an official website for the disease. Nightingale Homecare’s Pathlink chronic disease management program also helps patients newly diagnosed with a chronic disease, teaching self-management skills and providing educational materials and guidance along the way. Participating in your loved one’s doctor appointments, nursing visits and educational seminars will help you gain a better understanding of the disease, and the management of it. Ask questions and take notes. Make sure the health care team knows your loved one’s concerns or apprehensions, if they aren’t able to verbalize those concerns themselves.

Guide Self-Management Practices

One thing you will learn quickly is that it is vital for the person with a chronic disease to self-manage and pay attention to self-care. It is important to encourage, but not to overwhelm your loved one. The health care team can help with your approach so that your encouragement doesn’t overwhelm your loved one. It’s often helpful when you make any necessary lifestyle changes alongside your loved one; taking walks and exercising together, and making healthy changes to your meal plan are great starts! Gentle reminders and oversight are important, but give your loved one time to adjust to the lifestyle change in order to achieve long-term success.

Set Small Goals

Taking a step-by-step approach is the easiest way to make long-term changes. Making small changes with a few specific goals to your loved one’s lifestyle rather than making a lot of big changes all at once is much more motivating for patients. Of course, there are changes your loved one’s doctor may want to see sooner rather than later, so be sure and include the health care team in identifying those immediate goals.

Support for the Caregiver

Learning to care for the complex health care needs of a loved one can take its toll on the caregiver. Acknowledging this stress can be the first step in coping. Be certain you find support for yourself. If you can find a support group for caregivers, consider joining; it can help tremendously to meet others who know exactly what you are going through! And partner with the professionals in senior care in Phoenix, AZ at Nightingale Homecare for trusted senior care that provides peace of mind to families and high quality care to older adults, right where they’re most comfortable – at home. Call us any time at (602) 504-1555 to schedule a free in-home assessment to learn more!

Supporting Your Senior Loved One to Age Safely at Home Household Management: Trust and Support

supporting loved ones at homeHousehold Management: Trust and Support

In our ongoing effort to assist adult children in mastering the necessary elements to support their loved ones to age safely at home, the registered nurses at Nightingale Homecare have created this third in a 7-part blog series, focused on household management.

Keeping appointments, paying bills, and assuring household appliances are maintained can often become overwhelming for a senior. In addition, seniors are vulnerable to a variety of scams, which are a form of elder abuse. This abuse can have tragic effects on your loved one, not only financially, but also emotionally and physically.

In addition to a loved one becoming the victim of a scam, the telltale signs that your senior loved one may be unable to manage everyday tasks can include:

  • Stacks of unopened mail
  • Discontinued services to the home
  • Sparse or limited food choices
  • Neglect to personal care
  • An unkempt house or lawn

This kind of personal/home neglect can also be a warning of early dementia or depression, both common in an elder living alone without support.

Try these tips to provide the support your loved one needs with household management:

  • Assign a trusted family member or certified fiduciary to keep legal issues, bills, and a calendar of necessary financial obligations and payments in order.
  • Involve the older adult as much as possible to encourage independence and involvement.
  • Understand that at some point the appointment of a legal power of attorney (POA) may be necessary.
  • If you suspect that your loved one is the victim of a scam, contact the Arizona Attorney General.
  • To report elder abuse or suspected elder abuse contact Arizona Adult Protective Services.
  • To find a certified fiduciary service to assist your loved one in managing his or her bills and assets, contact the Arizona Fiduciaries Association.

Nightingale Homecare is uniquely qualified in assisting your loved one to age safely at home. Nightingale’s qualified home care professionals are expert in providing individualized care and supportive guidance to your loved one. Our goal is to provide the guidance and care necessary for your loved one to remain safe and independent at home.

Serving families in the Scottsdale, Paradise Valley and Maricopa County areas since 1994, all of our services are customized to fit each person’s unique needs, and are available for as little as a few hours to full-time, around-the-clock care. For more information, complete our simple contact form online or call us at 602-504-1555.

Look for the next blog in this series on Medication Management: Accuracy and Adherence and experience success with helping your loved one age in place at home!

Posted in Aging Issues, Blog on June 9th, 2015 · Comments Off on Supporting Your Senior Loved One to Age Safely at Home Household Management: Trust and Support