Welcome to Spring! 6 ways to celebrate spring with seniors

6 ways to celebrate spring with seniors

Spring is here, and we can now look forward to warmer weather finally! After a long and brutal winter, welcome the spring season with these fun activities that seniors that you both will enjoy.

1. Visit a farmers market
Ah, fresh produce and flowers! Leisurely strolling (or being wheeled) around a farmers market is a perfect activity for seniors. There’s so much to see and sample. Plus, they can take home some fresh veggies for a healthy meal.

2. Take a nature walk
Once the weather warms up, take a walk through the neighborhood, go to the park, or visit a garden center. For those who are less mobile, sitting in the backyard, on the porch, or near an open window is just as nice.

3. Bring nature indoors
Spring means plants, flowers, and growth. Bring the beauty of nature inside by getting an easy-to-care-for plant, a fragrant potted herb like lavender, or some freshly cut flowers. Everyone can enjoy the scent and colors.

4. Enjoy a picnic meal
Whether you eat indoors at home or outdoors in the park, having a special picnic meal is a lovely activity. Active older adults can help with the prep too. Part of the fun can be planning the menu together! Think about traditional picnic foods like sandwiches or wraps, coleslaw, macaroni or potato salad, cookies, and lemonade. You could even invite family and friends and turn it into a festive potluck.

5. Take a walk – Birdwatching
A sure sign of spring is the birds chirping outside. Attract even more wildlife to your window by making and putting up a simple DIY bird feeder!

6. Do some spring cleaning
Chances are, your older adult could stand to get rid of a few things around the house. Spring is a perfect time to clear out some of that clutter. It’s also a perfect opportunity to revisit keepsakes and share special memories.

Bottom line

Everyone enjoys the coming of spring and promise of beautiful weather. Celebrate with your loved ones. It’s a simple way to appreciate the season together.

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Hopkinton Home Care service areas include Ashland, Bellingham, Framingham, Franklin, Grafton, Holliston, Hopedale, Hopkinton, Northborough, Marlborough, Hudson, Southborough, Upton, Westborough, Whitinsville and surrounding towns in the MetroWest. Contact us today or call 508-544-4650.

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The Need To Stay Hydrated in the Summer – Tips from Hopkinton Home Care

A Few Tips on Staying Hydrated from Hopkinton Home Care

Water is one of the most essential elements needed for human life. The human body is composed mostly of water. The proper balance between water levels and electrolytes in our body is essential for the proper functioning of our organs, muscles, and nerves.

Staying properly hydrated helps us to remove wastes when we go to the bathroom, control our body temperature, maintain a healthy heart rate and blood pressure, and maintain a healthy metabolism. Dehydration causes our body to begin to shut down, and can cause anxiety, confusion, sleepiness, rapid breathing, and a rapid pulse.

Very slight changes in body water levels can lead to problems. As little as a 2% to 3% reduction in our fluid levels can cause physiological changes that can be harmful. And we lose water every day when we go to the bathroom, when we sweat, and even when we breathe.  When you are sick and have a fever, or if you vomit or have diarrhea, you will lose excess fluids that must be replaced.

What do we need to do in order to stay properly hydrated? The gold medal goes to water. It is the purest fluid that we can use to replenish our bodies.

A good tip is to start and end each day with a glass of water.  Another tip is to keep a bottle or glass of water in your refrigerator door, and every time you open it, take a sip of water. How much should you have each day?

There is no rule that applies to everyone because everybody is different.  But always remember – feeling thirsty is a message from your body that it is already dehydrated.

By no means is a glass of water the only means of rehydrating yourself either. Despite the myths that exist – coffee, tea, and soda all count too! Many people believe that caffeine defeats the benefits of drinking fluids, and that is not true. However, you will get extra calories and sugar that you do not get from pure water.

A proper diet also helps to keep you properly hydrated. Most people do not realize that the meat that you eat can contain up to 60% water. Fruits and vegetables also contain a high percentage of water.  Three healthy meals a day, with fluids at each meal plus a glass of water in the morning and at bedtime, can help the average person maintain healthy hydration levels.

To learn more about Hopkinton Home Care, or to get many more health tips, call us at 508-544-4650 or visit www.hopkintonhomecare.com.

Senior care not only provides a means of companionship, but it also has its share of health benefits. If your loved one has the company of a senior caregiver, there are numerous ways it can help reduce the chances of making a trip to the hospital. Hopkinton Home Care can help you get the best senior care to fit your needs.

Simple ways companionship can help:

  • Decrease Stress
  • Strengthen the Mind
  • Enhance Quality of Life
  • Avoid Depression

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Spring and Summer Activities for Seniors and Caregivers

Enjoying the warmer temperatures doesn’t have to be a challenge for elders and caregivers. Finding an interesting activity that is suitable for a senior’s abilities takes some creativity and planning, but it is well worth switching up the routine and getting out of the house.

The Benefits of Getting Outside

The main advantage of heading outdoors, even for a short period of time, is being able to soak up some sunlight. Sun exposure generates vitamin D, which is necessary for a healthy brain, bones, and muscles. Some doctors even prescribe sunlight as a source of vitamin D, which research has shown can improve cognitive function and mood.

In addition to the physical benefits of natural sunlight and fresh air, being outside provides mental and emotional benefits. Getting out enables elders to socialize with new people, and many outdoor activities provide opportunities for interacting with children and animals. Such activities can give people an extra spring in their step and rejuvenate them.

Ideas for Outdoor Activities

When selecting an activity to do with your loved one, focus on hobbies and interests that they used to enjoy and get creative with new options they might find fun and rewarding.

  1. Catch a sporting event. Attending a grandchild’s soccer game or a professional baseball game can be an action-packed way for your loved one to reconnect with one of their favorite pastimes.
  2. Fish for fun. You can cast a rod from a dock, pier, or other location, even if someone has mobility problems or uses a wheelchair. Check your state’s tourism or state park websites to see if they provide listings of accessible fishing locations. Many areas across the country have also started offering all-terrain wheelchairs for check out or the rental that can help a loved one with mobility issues get closer to the water.
  3. Be a tourist. If you live in a city, take an open-air bus or trolley tour to see the local sights. Another option could be a boat tour, depending on what type of equipment an elder needs to take with them. “It gets you both outside, but you don’t necessarily have to be walking,” Chartrand says. A Sunday drive around town can also allow a senior to check out happenings in the community that interest them. This could be new construction, blooming flowers, and trees, or even festivals and community events.
  4. Take a dip. For some folks, this might entail putting a foot in the pool, while others may be able to handle low-impact water aerobics. If a senior is willing and able, spending some time in the pool is an excellent way for them to incorporate some physical activity into their routine that seems more like relaxing than a workout.
  5. Stroll around. If a walk is possible, start slow and work up to longer outings. Either keep the first few walks short or bring along a walker or wheelchair in case your loved one gets tired and needs to rest along the way or requires help getting back.
  6. Be an animal lover. This could be as simple as encouraging a loved one to sit outside and enjoy the sights and sounds of a birdhouse, bird feeder or bird bath in the yard, or could mean an outing to the zoo or local dog park. There are plenty of options for seniors who enjoy animals to get outside and either interact with or observe nature.
  7. Go fly a kite. Head to a park or beach and get a kite soaring. Let an elderly individual take control, which they can do while sitting down. If children are around, they can get involved by trying to keep the kite in the air.
  8. Picnic outdoors. Picnics are another flexible activity that you can plan at a park, in your own backyard, or on the surrounding grounds of a long-term care facility. At the park, seniors can watch children run around and enjoy the buzz of outdoor activity. Make sure to locate an area with comfortable seating and plenty of shade in advance, or remember to bring your own.
  9. Attend community events. From Memorial Day concerts to Fourth of July parades and fireworks, there are plenty of community events during spring and summer that offer opportunities for elders to get out and be part of the crowd. Many communities offer outdoor musical performances, art shows, car shows, flea markets and more. Peruse the events section of the local newspaper to find happenings that fit your loved one’s interests and abilities.
  10. Go out for a treat. Most seniors have a favorite snack or restaurant that picks their spirits right up. Instead of limiting this indulgence to special occasions or the post-doctors appointment routine, make an outing out of it just because. This could consist of getting an ice cream cone from the local Dairy Queen, a coffee and pastry from a favorite breakfast spot, or a lunch special from the diner around the corner. If the weather is nice, enjoy your goodies at a patio table.

Older bodies don’t adjust to temperature changes or perceive thirst as well as younger ones. With each of these activities, be sure to watch your loved one for signs of fatigue, thirst, sunburn, and overheating that could signal it’s time to leave, perhaps with a promise to return at another time.

Encourage them to Participate

Use these ideas as a springboard. You know your loved one best. What did they enjoy when they were younger? What is something they always wanted to try? Don’t be afraid to ask what they miss doing or what they’d like to revisit. They may not hear those questions very often. You may get some resistance, so just say with a smile that it would make you very happy to do this with them. Have a couple of suggestions prepared to choose from and head outside to enjoy the day together.

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Keep in touch for when you need it!

Hopkinton Home Care provides quality home care services in your home with an assisted living focus on the entire needs of each and every individual that we serve. http://www.hopkintonhomecare.com

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Exercise Can Improve Health: 3 easy ways to get your loved ones moving!

Engage in exercise with your loved ones! With the weather getting nicer, start to think about getting outside and getting some exercise.

Most people know that exercising can improve the health of an elder. This is important to reduce stress, encourage independence, enhance the mood and strengthen their physical condition.

In many cases, simple movements can help slow-moving elders get the necessary exercise they need, without having to leave the home. As a safety precaution, we recommend that your loved ones consult with a doctor first and if needed, exercise with a family member.

To get them excited and ready, here are some easy ways to get your loved ones moving!

Stretching: There are several online apps to encourage stretching and yoga. These can be done at home or in a class to help with stretching, but as daily activities decrease, yoga could become more important and may be the only physical activity that is reasonable for some elders. To get started, go to YouTube.com and search for “Stretching for Seniors”.

Strength: As we get older and decrease our activity, our muscles may tend to also decrease in mass and we may become weaker. Muscle mass is important to achieving stability to prevent falls and keep our balance. Help your loved ones gain their strength with some simple training exercises and easy 3 or 5 lb weights! The sense of accomplishment alone will boost their morale.

Balance: Balance brings it all together and may be among the most important to helping the elder achieve more mobility and keeping them safer at home. A simple fall can result in serious injury that might have been caused because of reduced balance. Some elderly diseases such as osteoporosis reduces the elder’s balance and increases the necessity of balance exercises.

Lastly, as the weather gets nicer – and as the warmth approaches this week – please get outside on a nice walk with your loved ones. It’s a perfect time of year to get some fresh air, enjoy the sunshine and rejuvenate the spirit.

Stay connected for when you need us:

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Laughter is the Best Medicine!

Did you know April is National Humor Month?

National Humor Month was conceived to heighten public awareness of the therapeutic value of humor. Laughter and joy – the benchmarks of humor – lead to improved well-being, boosted morale, increased communication skills, and an enriched quality of life.

It’s no coincidence that the month begins with April Fool’s Day, a day which has sanctioned frivolity and amusement for hundreds of years.

Humor as a tool to lift ailing spirits is an established notion supported by scientific research. The curative power of laughter and its ability to relieve debilitating stress and burnout may indeed be one of the great medical discoveries of our times.

Humor and aging jokes often go hand in hand as well. What’s so funny about getting old? You know you’re getting old when you stoop to tie your shoes and wonder what else you can do while you’re down there. Aging is an issue that creates disso­nance in most of us. Popular humor in birthday cards tells us that the passing of another year means we are getting wrinkly, unattractive and incontinent. Rare is the card for a birthday over age 39 that talks about aging as a joyful, happy experience.

But the truth is that there are many health benefits to laughter and keeping your humor is very important to aging seniors. While the science of humor is a relatively new discipline, research studies on the health benefits of laughter consistently demonstrate the connection between laughing and longevity. Researchers know that laughing lowers blood pressure while increasing blood flow and oxygen intake, all positive physiological effects that have been linked to a decreased risk of heart attack and stroke.

Because laughing triggers the release of the drug-like neurochemical endorphin, laughing simply makes people feel better all over. Laughing also can have an anesthetic-like effect on the body, suppressing physical pain and discomfort for up to two hours following a hearty chuckle.

The ability to laugh is also closely tied to having a positive outlook on life, an important protective factor against numerous mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, specifically with aging seniors.

Laughing also promotes emotional well-being, helping people maintain a positive outlook and stable mood throughout the day. Optimism has been linked to improved resiliency; the ability to cope with stressful situations despite numerous obstacles such as disease, financial stress or the loss of a loved one, particularly when seniors start losing friends.

While laughing has been shown to help prevent the onset of many physical and mental illnesses, humor is also emerging as one of the most powerful medicines for chronic and degenerative conditions like dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and cancer.

To help your loved ones gain the most physical and mental health benefits from humor, help them try to laugh every single day. Look for ways to schedule humor into their daily routine by subscribing to a “Joke of the Day” email, read the comics to each other in the daily newspaper or watch a funny television show together. Once you make laughing a daily habit, you will begin to enjoy the numerous health benefits of humor.

If your loved one is craving companionship, Home Care can help! Research shows that social interaction is one of the most important aspects of living a long, healthy life. An overview of our services can be found on our website.

Questions?

Hopkinton Home Care is a personalized home care service.  Let’s find out together how to share the responsibility of in-home health care with your loved ones. We are happy to work with you to meet the needs your loved one – ask us anything! Only after we learn what you need can we let you know how we can meet those needs.

Some fun and useful links:

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Improving Home Health Care for Aging Seniors – World Health Day Challenge

Improving Home Health Care for Aging Seniors –
World Health Day Challenge

All year round, we’re working to improve older people’s home health care and the challenges of aging. April 7 of each year marks the celebration of World Health Day.

From its inception at the First Health Assembly in 1948 and since taking effect in 1950, the celebration has aimed to create awareness of a specific health theme to highlight a priority area of concern for the World Health Organization.

With World Health Day coming April 7, 2019, perhaps we challenge ourselves and our loved ones to make eating healthy and exercising a priority?

The simple trick to getting in better shape and feeling confident about your fitness level is to make exercise a priority even when you’ve got a dozen other things to do.

Hopkinton Home Care knows that nothing is more important than family. Let’s do it together!

Yes, you can schedule weekly workouts into your day planner or phone’s calendar—and you should, if it’s a matter of reserving those times for exercise—but if you’re prone to skipping exercise already, you might need a stronger push in the right direction.

Try to set a schedule for exercise with these simple steps.

Start the day off right: Your best bet is to exercise whenever your busy day allows it, but if you have scheduling wiggle room, plan on working out in the first half of the day. Getting exercise done early means you don’t have to worry about casting it aside later in the day if something throws you off course.

A key to success: The more successful you feel about sticking to your workouts, the more you’ll want to keep up with that rewarding behavior.

Buddy up: When you’ve got one or more friends cheering you on, you’ll want to eat better and exercise ore.

A key to success: While any supportive friend can make a good workout buddy, one who’s already motivated to exercise can help you jump-start the same habits and a similar mindset.

Priority by payment: Exercise is easier to skip when you’ve got nothing riding on it. That’s why laying down cash makes a lot of sense, fiscally and physically.

A key to success: Once you prepay for an ongoing class, you’ll want to get your money’s worth by showing up.

Look for windows of opportunity: There might be windows of opportunity for working out during times that you thought were out of bounds.

A key to success: Can you visit a gym at the community center you belong to?

Visit Hopkinton Home Care for more information. www.hopkintonhomecare.com

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Eat Well. Live Well. And Exercise. With World Health Day coming April 7, 2019, perhaps we challenge ourselves and our loved ones to make eating healthy and exercising a priority? #worldhealthday #nationalnutritionmonth #homecare #lovedones #elderlycare

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The Benefits of Private Home Care Services

Hopkinton Home Care

From companionship to ensuring there is someone around to look after your loved one’s well-being when you can’t be there, home care has many benefits.

Here are just a few:

  • Keeping the comforts of home: The chair you love; the backyard with a garden; friends and family that stop by for the holidays; and a kitchen for the morning coffee are all comforts we call home…. The #1 advantage of in-home care from Hopkinton Home Care is keeping the things that you love close by.
  • Personalized and Private with One-on-One Care: When we arrive at your loved one’s door, we ensure your loved one gets 100% of his or her attention and quality care. With a Hopkinton Home Care caregiver, providing care is a personal affair. Your loved one gets one-on-one care at the necessary level to achieve ultimate comfort — whether it is Overnight or Live-In Care or a few hours a day of compassionate Companion Care.
  • Affordability: Not only is Hopkinton Home Care of high quality, but it’s affordable as well. In most cases, keeping your loved one at home costs less per hour than your local lawn care personnel or traditional sitter. This is especially true when the home care company you choose makes a commitment to reasonable rates and simple pricing models, without monthly or annual contracts.
  • Independence, Confidence, and Comfort: Where do you or your loved one feel most comfortable? Where does he or she feel most confident and open to participating in activities? The answer, most likely, is home. Not only is any recovery or companionship process easier in the home environment, but with a range of home care services, your loved one also has the control and ability to lead a meaningful, independent life. Hopkinton Home Care services range from medication reminders and assistance with range-of-motion activities to daily chores, meal preparation and grocery shopping.
  • Family Support & Participation: The Hopkinton Home Care network makes more than just a commitment to only providing a professional caregiver for your loved one but is committed to involving your family in the care process and keeping everyone comfortable with regular communication.
  • Peace of Mind: When you bring a Hopkinton Home Care caregiver into your loved one’s life, you’re doing more than ensuring premium care for your loved one, you’re also ensuring peace of mind for you. In most cases, it’s simply not possible to provide the range and level of care your loved one needs and deserves. With kids, a job and a life of your own, it’s unreasonable to layer the additional demands and responsibility of being a full-time caregiver to your loved one. Taking advantage of a professional caregiver is not giving up on your loved one or being selfish. On the contrary, you’re being selfless by bolstering your own love and support with professional, quality care while enabling you to spend time enjoying their company.

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Keep in touch for when you need it!

Hopkinton Home Care provides quality home care services in your home with an assisted living focus on the entire needs of each and every individual that we serve. http://www.hopkintonhomecare.com

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Seniors with limited mobility can still enjoy a variety of activities

Many older adults lose mobility due to conditions like stroke, severe arthritis, or injuries from falls. When that happens, activities and hobbies they used to enjoy might now be too difficult.

But the loss of mobility doesn’t mean the end of good times. There are many ways to have fun without needing to move around too much.

Here are a few fun activities for seniors with limited mobility. You’re sure to find something that suits your older adult as well as things that can be done together with other people.

  1. Spend time reading

Reading is a fantastic activity for older adults. It’s a fun way to spend time and keep the brain engaged. It can also improve memory, reduce stress, improve sleep, and delay cognitive decline.

Whether your older adult likes reading physical books, magazines, using an e-reader, or listening to audiobooks, they can immerse themselves in a well-told story, look at photographs, or learn about an interesting new topic.

Organizing a book club among their friends is another way for seniors to enjoy reading and socializing.

  1. Explore a variety of hobbies

    Hobbies are great for older adults with limited mobility. Activities that don’t require a lot of moving around include cooking, baking, birdwatching, knitting, crochet, indoor or container gardening, playing a musical instrument, or practicing languages.

This is also a perfect time to learn something new – maybe there are hobbies or interests they’ve never had a chance to explore before. Learning is also a great way to stay sharp and keep boredom at bay.

  1. Exercise regularly

    Even if your older adult isn’t very mobile, there may still be exercises they can do to get their bodies moving. Whether they’re sitting or standing, they can still get the health and mood benefits, especially from chair exercises or chair yoga routines.

There are also exercise routines that can be done using a walker for stability or just focused on the feet and ankles to reduce swelling.

  1. Get creative

    Getting in touch with their creative side is another fun way for seniors to spend time.

Drawing, coloring, painting, and sculpture are all wonderful ways to be creative. Fun projects might include creating scrapbooks, organizing family photo albums, or making a family recipe book.

As a plus, being creative also comes with health benefits. Research has found creative activities can help people who are battling chronic illness to decrease negative emotions and increase positive ones, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve medical outcomes.

  1. Spend time outdoors

    Getting outside to spend a little time in nature is relaxing and a great mood booster.

Even if their limited mobility means that your older adult can only get to the porch or sit next to a big window, getting some fresh air or viewing the scenery is a great everyday activity.

  1. Have fun with happy visitors

    Asking family or friends with babies or friendly pets to stop by for a visit is another fantastic way to engage an older adult.

Almost everyone perks up in the presence of young children. And playing with pets is another surefire way to bring cheer and reduce stress.

  1. Play games!

    Games and puzzles are a fantastic source of fun times. There are so many to choose from and most can be played in groups with visitors, one-on-one for quality time together, and solo.

Try some classic games or card games, jigsaw puzzles, or crossword puzzles.

  1. Enjoy movies, TV shows, or music

    Watching TV all day isn’t a healthy pastime, but a movie or a couple of TV shows can be an enjoyable part of the day or week.

Watching TV could even intersect with a hobby. For example, your older adult might be interested in watching a documentary on a topic they’re learning about. Or, channels like the Food Network or the Travel Channel could inspire new recipes to try or travel destinations to learn about.

Listening (or singing along!) to music they like is another great activity. Music has the power to reduce stress, anxiety, and pain. It also improves immune function and sleep as well as helping memory.

  1. Participate in charitable works

    Even if your older adult isn’t very mobile or is homebound, they can still give back to the community. This is a wonderful way to stay engaged and feel a sense of purpose and accomplishment.

Contact local charities, hospitals, or religious organizations to find out if they have any projects your older adult could contribute to. That could mean knitting or crocheting blankets or hats, creating no-sew blankets, or helping to assemble care packages.

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Keep in touch for when you need it!

Hopkinton Home Care provides quality home care services in your home with an assisted living focus on the entire needs of each and every individual that we serve. http://www.hopkintonhomecare.com

 

 

 

 

 

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