Mr. Universe Turns 100!

San Francisco home care celebrates a body builder’s 100th birthday. In 1952 Monhar Aich won the Mr. Universe International Body Building Championship. Today he still stands happy and healthy as ever, even at the age of 100. He celebrated his birthday in Kolkata, an eastern city in India, with his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren this past Sunday.

So how does this 4 foot 11 inch, “Pocket Hercules,” as he was nicknamed continue to stay healthy? A simple diet and balanced lifestyle keep him going strong. His diet consists of milk, fruits, vegetables, rice, lentils and fish. A primarily vegetarian diet keeps his body going strong.

Throughout his years, Aich has been training other bodybuilders to follow in his footsteps. As he told the Indian Express newspaper, “I didn’t become rich. There is not much money in bodybuilding, but there is respect. And for that, I wouldn’t mind being a bodybuilder in my next life as well.”

While Aich has led a fulfilled and happy life, his one regret is never having
me his fellow Mr. Universe, and former local California Gov. Arnold
Schwarzenegger.

Consistent Exercise Prevents Muscle Loss As We Age

San Francisco home care knows as we age, our bodies become more fragile and we begin to lose muscle tissue. Particularly after the age of 40, people typically loose eight percent of muscle mass each decade, and increasingly more past the age of 70.  San Francisco At Home Care states that some “studies have [even] found that as [we] age, [we] not only lose muscle, but the tissue that remains can become infiltrated with fat, degrading its quality and reducing its strength.” Leaving the elderly less mobile, and less independent.

So what can we do to prevent this?

A recent study found that consistent exercise not only keeps you healthy as you age, but it also prevents muscle loss.  A study was conducted among people (ranging in age from 40-70) who exercise 4-5 times a week and the results were encouraging.

“There was little evidence of deterioration in the older athletes’ musculature.  The athletes in their 70s and 80s had almost as much thigh muscle mass as the athletes in their 40s, with minor, if any, fat infiltration.  The athletes also remained strong.” Keeping with the notion that being active will help keep you being active, well into your years.

“What we can say with certainty is that any activity is better than none,” Dr. Wright says, “and more is probably better than less. But the bigger message is that it looks as if how we age can be under our control. Through exercise, you can preserve muscle mass and strength and avoid the decline from vitality to frailty.”

Any activity is better than none, so take a hike with a friend, plant a new garden or walk to the grocery store instead of driving.

The Benefits of Hiring a Professionally Trained Caregiver

Before social programs like Medicare and Social Security provided financial support to older adults, many had to rely on their family members to care for them.  In fact, some families made their parents or aging loved ones provide compensate for the care they provided to him or her. In Hendrik Hartog’s book, Someday All This Will Be Yours: A History of Inheritance and Old Age, he discusses how this parental caregiving can result in conflict among family members for a variety of reasons.  San Francisco In-Home Care understands that the responsibility of being the primary caregiver for one’s parents care can be very difficult. Luckily today we can hire trained professional to provide compassionate around the clock care.

These days, home care agencies such as San Francisco Home Care are popping up everywhere and it is increasingly easier to find high caliber caregivers that can offer respite to family members caring for a family member or loved one. It is, however, important to interview a number of agencies and their various caregivers to ensure he or she is a good match for your loved ones’ needs, both physical and emotional. San Francisco home care companies like Home Care Assistance have rigorously screened caregivers to provide the comfort of family with the experience of professionals.

We don’t care for our parents in the same way as in the past; we are now able to hire caregivers to provide respite care, instead of taking on all of the duties ourselves. Caregiving responsibilities such as arranging caregivers to come in to the home, scheduling doctor’s appointments and filling prescriptions can now be handled by a highly trained, professional caregiver.

3 Dietary Rules for Managing Incontinence

Adopting healthy habits is a common New Year’s resolution enforced by San Francisco at home care, but following a few simple dietary rules also can help individuals manage incontinence, according Dianna Malkowski, physician assistant, nutritionist and professional adviser for The CareGiver Partnership.

1. Monitoring fluid intake. When individuals don’t drink enough and become dehydrated, their urine can become concentrated with bladder-irritating salts. Conversely, drinking too much at a time increases the amount of urine and can irritate or overwork a bladder. Some find it helpful to measure and record daily fluid intake, along with incontinence episodes, to help them see patterns and help health care providers monitor their condition.

2. Increasing dietary fiber. Eating a high-fiber diet can help avoid constipation. Compacted stool can cause nearby bladder nerves to become overactive, increasing urinary frequency. Insoluble fiber helps move stool and is found in vegetables, wheat bran and other whole grains, nuts, beans and berries. Soluble fiber helps soothe the digestive tract and is therefore often recommended for those who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome.

3. Avoiding bladder irritants. For those with bladder control problems, it may be helpful to limit alcohol and caffeine. Both are bladder stimulants and diuretics, which can cause a sudden need to urinate. Even teas and carbonated beverages may contribute to bladder problems. Other known irritants are sugar and artificial sweeteners, corn syrup, spicy foods, and acidic foods such as tomatoes and citrus.

DNA Offers Clues to Living Longer

Some people wish they could live forever, but what about simply living longer?  Scientists have started testing seniors age 100 and older for DNA samples in longer living adults, the results bode well for those in San Francisco senior care.

100 centenarians are taking part in this test and “scientists think DNA from very old healthy people could offer clues to how they lived so long. And that could one day lead to medicines to help the rest of us stay disease-free longer.”  As Dr. Thomas Perls puts it, it is very hard to live to age 105 without some genetic advantages.

Of those tested in this project, there were a slew of reasons cited by the subjects as to why they have enjoyed such a long life.  Eberhardt, a 107-year-old test subject, taught and played tennis until he was 94, but credits his 70 year marriage to his wife, Marie, for his advanced healthy age.

Scientists believe the reasons for longevity might be more genetically based than originally thought, as a handful of the centenarians in this study were heavy smokers; one individual smoked for 95 years of his life and lived to the age of 110.  “She had genes that protected her against the environment,” Dr. Barzilai of Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York said, “one of her sisters died at 102 and one of her brothers is 105 and still manages a hedge fund.”

It is exciting that researchers are beginning to delve more into healthy longevity and why certain people live longer than others.  As Dr. Eric Topol said, “There’s been too much emphasis on disorders per se and not enough on the people who are exceptionally healthy…to learn from their genomes…now we have the powerful tools to do that.”

10 Things Baby Boomers Won’t Say

As the Baby Boomer generation ages, it’s important to start planning for the future.  However, does this mean that the boomers should begin to consider San Francisco at home care or something else?

Catey Hill wrote an article entitled “10 Things Baby Boomers Won’t Say” to illustrate the unwritten expectations of the boomer generation.  The overarching theme of the story was that what happens in the lives of our parents will be based primarily on what they want to do.

While some of these statistics may be unsettling, according to Miss Hill, these are the facts:

1.  Less than half of millionaire boomers say leaving money for their kids is a priority.  They would rather spend it on themselves and travel in their waning years.

2.  The boomers are expected to live longer than any previous generations, and they expect to stay at home throughout their senior years.  Children of this generation should expect to support their parents while spending roughly $6,000-$10,000 on them annually. A great way to keep older adults safely at home is with the help of a qualified caregiver from a reputable home care agency such as San Francisco Senior Care.  In contrast it will require $60,000-$100,000 to put your parents in a nursing home.

3.  27% of Americans in their 50s say they did not save for retirement because they had children.  They equate this to paying for their schooling and other necessities.  Even if a parent cannot afford it, they feel their children deserve the financial support needed to attend college.

4.  Americans over 50 “can’t face [the] reality” of post retirement life.  Health deterioration is expected, but only 13% of pre-retirees expect their health to get worse in retirement.

5.  “The divorce rate for people over 50 has double in the past 20 years.”  It is estimated that in 2030 more than 400,000 couples will get a divorce after the age of 50.

6.  Boomers are the least happy of all age groups.  When asked to rate their happiness on a scale of one to ten, an average score of 6.2 was reached.

7.  Nearly one out of every three 50-59 year old Americans is obese.  Obesity at a young age means higher medical bills as older adults age.

8.  “Boomers are drinking and drugging their way into old age at a rate much higher than their parents’ generation. Between 1992 and 2008, the proportion of substance abuse treatment admissions involving Americans 50 and older nearly doubled, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.”

9.  The national debt is expected to grow as the boomer generation begins to receive social security and Medicaid.

10.  Anti-aging products are expected to yield a $114 billion profit in 2014.  55% of all surgical procedures were done to people aged 40 and up.

While this information could potentially paint a bleak picture of the next ten to twenty years, what is important to take away from this is that the comfort and happiness of the boomer generation is largely dependent on younger generations.  It is the duty of the adult children to provide care for their parents and loved ones.  Continue to integrate your loved ones into your daily lives rather than focusing solely on your own life.

Work hard and save your money so that you are able to help support your parents as they did for you growing up.  Through marital, monetary and health issues there can always be one constant for older adults: the intrinsic worth of having raised a child.

San Francisco Home Care: High Anxiety on the Rise

The San Francisco home care industry has been plagued by two distinct types of diseases prominent in the elderly: Alzheimer’s and depression. Up until recently, most people felt that anxiety disorders declined as people aged, but just the opposite is true. Anxiety in older adults returns when stresses and vulnerabilities unique to the aging process become evident: chronic physical problems, cognitive impairment and significant emotional losses.

Anxiety disorders in the elderly have been underestimated and not diagnosed for several reasons. One reason for this is that older patients are less likely to report mental illness symptoms and more likely to emphasize their physical complaints, which is common. That’s why it’s important for the adult loved ones or caregivers in their lives to pay close attention to see if any symptoms are present.

The following links take you to some excellent articles on anxiety and the elderly that offer great information, insight and advice that should prove helpful. The first one is called “Anxiety Often Missed in Elderly“, followed by “Anxiety Disorders in the Elderly”. Another great one is titled “Elderly Anxiety and Depression” and my last recommendation is titled “Elderly Parents Behavior- Dealing With Anxiety“.

San Francisco Senior Care Industry Sees Positive Results from Video Games

Throughout the San Francisco senior care industry people are constantly looking for new ways to enhance their patients’ quality of life.  Little did we all know that something the younger generation has an affinity for, video games, could be of great help in senior care.

They keep the mind sharp
Studies have shown that when we learn to play new games, new synapses form between the neurons in our brains. These new connections can then be applied to other tasks as well. Research also shows that concentrating on video games can even help train our brains to focus better.

They can provide good exercise
Game consoles like the Nintendo Wii, the PlayStation Move and the Xbox Kinect have motion detectors that allow players to engage their bodies while playing video games. Many nursing homes and rehabilitation centers are even using active video games for patients’ physical therapy routines to help them stay active and regain coordination.

Healthy competition builds self-esteem
Many seniors may find great social and emotional value in video games. Video games provide a way for seniors to set goals for themselves and can bring about a great sense of accomplishment when they achieve them. This can help lift spirits and boost self-esteem.

When is it Time for Home Care?

San Francisco at home care has served as a strong option to help our loved ones as they age, but how do we know when it is time to consider home care? Tell-tale signs include recognizing that your loved one requires constant supervision and/or assistance with everyday activities, such as bathing and dressing. You may also find that certain housekeeping routines are accomplished with great difficulty or left undone.

In general, consider the following areas:

  • Mobility Issues – Difficulty walking, unsteady when standing, falling down, stumbling.
  • Disinterest in Personal Health – Changes in eating or cooking habits, spoiled or outdated food in the refrigerator, lack of nutritious food in the pantry or freezer.
  • Disinterest in Personal Hygiene -Wearing the same clothes, wearing soiled or unkempt clothing, lack of bathing or oral care, unkempt hair or nails.
    Changes in Personal Habits – Loss of interest in hobbies, reluctance to socialize, unopened mail or unpaid bills, changes in housekeeping methods, lack of home or car maintenance.
  • Loss of Mental Acuity – Memory loss, confusion, difficulty in concentration, or poor judgment, forgets medication or has become confused about dosage, unusual purchases of goods or services, mood or other personality changes, increase or decrease in sleep, fatigue.

 

If you feel your elderly loved one falls into one of the categories above, there are many different senior care options your family can look into. You can contact a local Geriatric Care Manager to help assess your family’s needs and determine which option may be the best for you and your loved one. Some options include:

  • Adult day care – A daily program, usually Mon-Fri from 9a-5p, that offers participants the opportunity to socialize, enjoy peer support and receive health and social services in a safe, familiar environment.
  • Senior/Retirement communities – An independent living option featuring apartments or single family homes in small community setting, for seniors who need little if any help with their daily activities.
  • Assisted living facilities – A residential option for seniors who want or need help with some of the activities of daily living—things like cooking meals, keeping house, and bathing.
  • Home care – Non-medical home care services include companionship, light housekeeping, cooking and many other household activities and chores provided in the comfort of the senior’s own home. San Francisco Home Care Assistance provides highly trained caregiver’s for your loved one in their home on an hourly or live-in basis.

 

With this knowledge, think about your loved ones’ health and wellness and discuss options early.

Help Your Hearing

Throughout the San Francisco senior care industry the fear of hearing loss has resulted in many obstacles for caregivers to overcome.  If you or a loved one has hearing problems, hearing aids can be a great and life-changing device.  Before you talk to a specialist, here are some tips to help you make a well-informed decision.

1. Bring someone you trust. Bringing someone you trust with you to the doctor can help you make a sound decision. This is someone with whom you can mull over the options.

2. Find the right provider. Finding the right audiologist to help you make an informed decision is key when choosing the correct hearing instrument.   You should research the potential providers and review their background and references.

3. Don’t wait too long. Many people wait far too long to see a specialist, letting their hearing unnecessarily deteriorate.

4. Give it some thought. Before you consult an audiologist you should consider your hearing priorities. Do you most often listen to the television or are you more likely to want to hear a conversation in a loud room?  Your priorities will determine which technology and products will work best for you.

5. Have your hearing tested. You should have your hearing tested in a soundproof booth during your visit.  This way the hearing aid can be adjusted specifically to your needs.

6. Consider add-ons.  Though there are a number of nifty add-ons that can help individual’s in different hearing situations, don’t feel pressured into buying any. That said, they can be beneficial, depending on your budget and your needs.

7. Try before you buy. If possible, take the hearing aid out for a test drive.  The audiologist might be able to simulate sound situations so you can see if you like the device.   These sound simulations are important, so take your time when testing out the hearing devices.  Once you buy the device, don’t leave until it is properly adjusted and working correctly.

8. Hold onto the receipt.  Make sure you have in writing exactly what you’re buying and that you understand the warranty.  Many devices will have trial periods, so if it’s not working correctly you can get a new one.  Also make sure that you have frequent follow-ups with your doctor, especially in the first few months.