Mental Health Awareness Month: How You Can Meditate With Your Patient

As we age, we often experience increased levels of anxiety and depression. In the meantime, there are many ways to cope with these challenging conditions.

Meditation is one of the best things you can offer your patients. The fact is that meditation does not require physical activity and is available to all seniors, without exception.

Types of Meditation

There are two main types of meditation, including:

  1. Meditation focusing attention
  2. Observation meditation

Focusing meditation allows patients to focus their attention on one object, thought, or sound. Most often, this type of meditation focuses on soothing sounds or breathing. Focusing like this can clear your mind off distractions by feeling inner relaxation.

Observation meditation is a mirror image of meditation that involves focusing attention. This type of meditation should motivate a patient to become open to everything in the environment, follow in the course of one’s thoughts, and not focus on something specific.

Practice this type of meditation with your patients so that they can become aware of their thoughts, feelings, and inner impulses.

How To Learn To Meditate With A Patient: 7 Steps For Beginners

One of the main advantages of meditation is that it is available even to those people who had no previous experience and did not practice it before. Meditation is an effective tool that you can use daily.

More importantly, most meditation techniques can be learned really quickly. Let’s take a look at seven essential steps to get you and your patients started meditating right away.

Choose Suitable Time

You don’t have to start meditating at any particular time. The right time is the right time for you based on your daily routine and home care responsibilities.

Most caregivers choose the morning as the best time to meditate. However, you are free to select the time of your meditation at your discretion.

Choose a Comfortable Place

You can sit on a chair or use a pillow on the floor. If you and your patient have chosen chairs, sit forward and place your feet on the floor. It is best if you meditate in a quiet and serene place. Try not to be distracted by background noises, close your eyes and relax.

Choose a Comfortable Meditation Pose

If you decide to sit on the floor, cross your legs in front of you and keep your knees below the hips. Keep in mind that you need to position yourself so that you sit up straight. Fixing a straight back is not at all necessary. The main thing is that you feel comfortable in this position.

How to Focus Attention

Every beginner needs to find an individual object to focus their attention on. If you simply close your eyes, it can quickly lead to sleep – end of the story.

Some experts recommend that you close your eyes and imagine a blank sheet of paper or a big field. Others advise visualizing an illusory blank wall, candle flame, or skyline.

Focus On Breathing

After you have visualized an imaginary object, you need to focus on slowly inhaling and exhaling. Try to feel your breath.

Imagine how air enters your body and gradually oxygenates your body. Continue breathing slowly and evenly, focusing on nothing other than the breath.

Control Your Mind

Sometimes people find that thoughts start to wander during meditation. Moreover, while trying to relax, individuals begin to think about precisely those things that cause the most anxiety. Others think about a health problem and a list of tasks that need to be completed.

In any case, try to discipline yourself and drive away these thoughts by focusing on a relaxing breathing technique.

Practice Achieving Awareness

As the number of meditation increases, you will find it easier to be aware of your natural environment during these periods. At such moments, you can quickly get rid of obsessive thoughts that clutter your mind from things that cause anxiety.

The systematic practice of meditation allows you to better notice the details of the world around you and not focus solely on health problems.

Remember, genuine home care is not just about preparing food or helping with household tasks. Caring for a patient’s mental health is also one of the most critical responsibilities of caregivers.

Dental Hygiene: Keeping Your Patient’s Teeth Clean

It’s no secret that oral health starts with clean teeth. Dentists note that keeping the surface of your teeth clean can prevent the formation and development of tooth decay and improve gum health.

Let’s look at a few simple yet important tips to help you and your patient get better oral health.

Brush Teeth Twice A Day

Remember that rushing to brush your teeth is not just a poorly effective technique. Thus, you can injure the gums and are unlikely to get the desired result.

Forget brushing your teeth right after a meal, especially if you drank something sour, like grapefruit juice or soda. 

Select Suitable Accessories

Use a saturated toothpaste or a soft-bristled toothbrush – the choice is purely individual. If you find it challenging to make rhythmic movements when brushing your teeth, use an electric or rechargeable toothbrush. This will allow you to remove plaque and keep your gums clean and healthy effectively.

Electric brushes are great for patients with arthritis or other medical conditions that make it difficult to brush their teeth daily.

Use The Right Technique

Most of us do not know how to properly hold a toothbrush and brush our teeth for the best effect. Experts recommend holding the brush at a slight angle, directing the bristles to the junction of the tooth with the gum.

Gently make short circular motions back and forth and move from tooth to tooth. Keep in mind that excessive circular motions or brushing with stiff bristles will damage the gums.

Don’t Overdo it

Remember that 2 minutes is enough to clean the entire oral cavity, including the inner and chewing surfaces of the teeth and the tongue.

Keep The Toothbrush Clean

Be sure to rinse your toothbrush after every brushing of your teeth. Store your toothbrush upright. This way, you will ensure fast drying before the next use.

Know When To Change Toothbrush

Buy new toothbrushes or a replacement electric toothbrush head every three months or less. Monitor the condition of the cleaning surface of the toothbrush. If the bristles are flaking or uneven, change the toothbrush without a second thought.

Remember that early detection and treatment of gum and dental problems will help you maintain good oral health for years to come.

The Amazing Benefits of Physiotherapy For Seniors 65+

Physical therapy is an excellent tool for people of all ages, especially for patients with a medical condition or injury that limits their ability to move and function.

Here are four essential benefits of physiotherapy that allow patients to feel healthy and independent again.

Improving Balance and Preventing Falls

Using physical therapy will allow your patient to control their movements and reduce the risk of falling. If your patients have musculoskeletal disorders, they are at high risk of falling.

In this case, physical therapists can offer a thorough exercise therapy plan that will help improve motor coordination. Exercises like these will help your patients feel entirely safe when walking around the house.

If the imbalance is associated with problems in the vestibular system, specialists can choose the optimal exercises that will restore correct vestibular functioning and get rid of dizziness.

Positive Effects On Sugar Levels And Vascular Disease Control

Physical therapy is often used as part of an overall diabetes care plan. Proper exercise helps patients effectively control their blood sugar levels.

It is ubiquitous for people with diabetes to experience sensitivity problems in their feet and legs. It is physical therapists who can teach your patient the proper foot care to prevent possible issues with walking.

Preventing of Age Problems

As they age, your patients may develop arthritis or osteoporosis and may require joint replacement. Physical therapy has many techniques to help older people recover faster from joint replacements or manage arthritis with traditional treatments.

Preventing of Heart and Pulmonary Diseases

Physiotherapy is also suitable for patients who are recovering from cardiac treatment due to a heart attack. Physiotherapy allows for a better recovery from a severe condition and restores a patient’s daily functioning.

Remember that a patient’s doctor must previously approve the use of physical therapy exercises. Be sure to consult a physical therapist before advising your patient on any recovery techniques.

Important News on Vaccination: Updates & Benefits

The likelihood of severe complications for any caregiver who gets the virus — along with the public health consequences of the pandemic continuing its course.

Stopping a pandemic is of really high importance today. Still, it requires us to use all the tools we have available.

FACT! Wearing masks, using sanitizers, and social distancing help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others. Meanwhile, these measures are far from enough.

In that case, getting a vaccine is the only way to combat the virus. Vaccines work with your immune system, so it will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed.

IMPORTANT! All caregivers who are not vaccinated till October 1st won’t be able to continue working on cases.

Vaccination Insensitive Backed Up by New York Authorities

Currently, NYC authorities are trying to sweeten the vaccine deal by offering cash and other benefits for everyone who will get vaccinated. Here are some of the most beneficial offers you can opt for right away.

 $100 OR Other Benefits from The NYC

If you get your first vaccine dose at a New York City-run vaccine location or through the City’s in-home vaccination program, you will be eligible to choose one of these incentives:

  1. $100 prepaid debit card
  2. New York City Football Club tickets
  3. Brooklyn Cyclones tickets
  4. NYC Ferry 10-Ride Pass
  5. Statue of Liberty and accompanying ferry ticket
  6. NYC Public Markets gift cards ($25)
  7. Public Theater annual membership
  8. Two-week membership to Citibike
  9. Snug Harbor family membership
  10. Family fun wristband and free ride on the Cyclone at Luna Park in Coney Island

Click here for details or here to schedule an appointment.

Up to $150 from “Flex for Checks” Program

The National Minority Health Association offers $75 for every COVID-19 vaccine shot ($150 for two shots). To receive the money, please do the following:

  1. Click this link https://worker.flexforchecks.com/?id=NMHA-NY0002 
  2. Register and remember/write down your login information
  3. Take your COVID-19 vaccine shot
  4. Log in to your account and upload proof of vaccination
  5. Repeat #3-4 for the second vaccination shot

Transportation Assistance

New York City is the first major U.S. city to require anyone to dine indoors at a restaurant, work out at a gym, or grab a cocktail at a bar to prove they’ve been inoculated from COVID-19. Source

Call All Heart Homecare Agency at 718-627-0300 if you have any questions.

Note: All Heart Homecare Agency is not an organizer of any of the incentives listed above. We will not be responsible for any delays, payment problems, or service quality issues.

3 Fun Ways to Celebrate Senior Citizens’ Day

The elderly population in the United States continues to grow annually. If we pay attention to the global population trend, the number of older adults over 65 will reach 1 billion people by 2025.

Meanwhile, seniors can boast unique life experiences, knowledge, and understanding of life. Luckily, August 21 is Senior Citizens’ Day – a national holiday held in the United States and designed to express gratitude to the elderly family members and all the seniors in our life.

A Few Interesting Facts

  • President Ronald Reagan founded the holiday in 1988
  • On average, the number of seniors in the United States is 40.3 million
  • More than 28% of people over 65 are still independent and active
  • More than 16% of older people still work

Here are some exciting ideas for how you can celebrate Senior Citizens’ Day with your family members or patients.

#1 Make This Day Special for Them

Everyday life is hectic. Therefore, we often do not pay attention to the little things that can please our loved ones. Even a short walk in the park can cheer up older adults and positively impact their mental health.

It’s no secret that older people often experience depression and cognitive decline due to the constant stay at their homes. If your patient has difficulty getting around, stay at home and share life stories over a cup of tea. It will make their day!

#2 Become a Volunteer in Projects Devoted to Improving the Lives of Seniors

Even if your elderly relatives are too far away, you can still do your bit to help the elderly in your area. Take part in various programs where volunteers help older people carry out daily tasks that they can no longer do independently.

These are elementary ones, such as helping to buy groceries or delivering medicines from the pharmacy.

#3 Have a Festive Dinner or Family BBQ

Celebrating Senior Citizens’ Day at a festive table couldn’t be easier. Remember that a holiday can help seniors feel special and needed.

These things are truly capable of doing wonders and boosting an older person’s self-esteem. You can also invite your friends to make the holiday even more fun and interesting. Remember that the primary purpose of the holiday is to honor the elderly population.

Cook the older person’s favorite meals, play their favorite music or watch a classic family comedy. Such moments will help them feel needed and surrounded with care.

Tips for the Perfect Doctor Visit with A Patient

If you have been caring for a patient for a long time, then you probably know that you may encounter various challenges when heading to a doctor’s appointment. Most often, this applies to numerous questions about the health of an older adult.

We interviewed dozens of experienced caregivers and learned essential tips on visiting the doctor as comfortable and practical as possible both – for you and your patient.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Bring the patient’s insurance card with you
  • Study your patient health history
  • Make a list of all medicines the senior take
  • Take notes

Prepare Doctor’s Visit in Advance

Recent studies have shown that caregivers who prepared for a doctor’s appointment witnessed that their patients received more attention and answers to questions.

The whole point is that if you write down your patient’s medical problems in advance and the dosage of medications that an older adult takes, then a doctor’s appointment will be much more effective.

You can also copy the patient’s health notes and give them to the treating doctor on your next visit. This will help a doctor complete the medical record and consider the patient’s current health status.

Tell More About Your Patient Health Observations

As a caregiver, you know better than anyone else how your patient is doing. Such information is vital for the attending physician, who needs to track the dynamics of changes in an older person’s health.

The doctor will most likely ask you the following questions:

  • Have you noticed sudden changes in your patient’s appetite?
  • Does the patient have sleep problems?
  • Where does the patient feel pain?
  • What is the nature of the pain?
  • Do you make sure the patient is hydrated throughout the day?

Don’t Try to Hold It All in Memory

If your patient is taking many medications, it is best to write down their names on a separate sheet and show them to the doctor. Also, do not forget to indicate the dosage and frequency of medication.

NOTE! Do not forget to mention if your patient is allergic to any medicinal components.

Don’t Miss Out on Details

Try to tell the doctor even the slightest changes that have occurred to the patient since the last visit. It’s not just about changes in behavior. Try to remember if the patient’s eating habits have changed, maybe there has been an increase in body temperature, or the patient has experienced headaches – it all matters!

At first glance, it may seem that these nuances are not at all significant. However, the doctor assesses the health condition according to various factors – even the most minor details can be vital.

Feel Free to Ask Any Questions

If you are concerned about your patient’s health, then feel free to ask a doctor about it. Suppose you are worried that a senior cannot sleep for a long time. Share your observations and ask how you could help the patient.

The more answers you get – the better the treatment will be!

How to Get a Senior to Drink More Water

Preventing dehydration is very important, especially for older patients. Water imbalance can cause serious health problems and become one of the leading causes of hospitalization in older people over 65.

If you want to keep your patient’s water balance at the proper level, we are ready to share creative tips on motivating your patient to drink more water.

Various Sources of Fluids

If dehydration is a severe problem for your patient, then you may need to make a compromise. One of the easiest ways is to allow older people to consume less healthy options like sugary drinks or diet soda.

This method works well, especially for cases where an older adult deliberately avoids drinking liquids or does not realize the fundamental importance of maintaining water balance.

Be sure to consult with the patient’s doctor not to harm the health of an older person. This way, you will know for sure that the disadvantages of drinks with sweeteners do not exceed the benefits.

Always Keep Water Nearby

Sometimes seniors do not want to use the help of others and prefer to drink water on their own. To make this easier, just place a small jug of water and a cup near the place where your patient spends most of the time.

Make sure that the pot of water is comfortable and light. In this case, you can also monitor the amount of water that an older adult consumes during the day.

Use Smart Apps

Caregivers often have to deal with too many daily tasks. Therefore, specialists can easily lose sight of minor details.

This concerns the amount of fluid that a patient consumes during the day. Do not try to memorize the number of cups or the amount of liquid that a senior drank.

Instead, you can download one of the thousands of mobile apps that track fluid intake. The app reminds you when you should ask a patient to drink some water. Don’t forget to analyze the results at the end of the day.

Experiment with Drinks of Different Temperatures

Do some experimentation and try to figure out which fluid temperature is more appropriate for your patient. Some older people prefer to drink water at room temperature. In contrast, others prefer cool drinks, especially in the summer. Try offering chilled tea or slightly warmed juice.

Make Fruit Ice Cream

Homemade popsicles are a great way to quench thirst and encourage your patient to consume more fluids.

Homemade popsicles are made from fruit juice diluted with a bit of water. Ask which fruits your patients like the most. Next, make popsicles based on their preferences.

Conclusions

Some older people do show unexplained resistance to drinking liquids. If you are faced with a similar situation, then try offering a patient such delicious variations as:

  • Chilled milkshake
  • Fruit smoothie
  • Iced tea and so on.

If your patient likes the taste and composition of a drink, you can easily take care of the correct water balance of the senior during the day.

The Perfect Barbecue for Seniors

Summer has already arrived, which means it’s finally time to get the grill going for the family gatherings! But how can we ensure that a BBQ is a good choice for someone like seniors who have an accommodating diet. Grilling meat and vegetables is an excellent occasion for the whole family to come together. More importantly, grilling is one of the healthiest ways to prepare food.

Here are some excellent tips to make your family barbecue even more fun and delicious!

Choosing the Right Meat

Almost every supermarket boasts a vast assortment of different meat products. However, not every type of meat can be useful even after minimal thermal processing.

Therefore, nutritionists recommend giving preference to:

  • Fish
  • Chicken
  • Turkey

When it comes to chicken or turkey, the breast should be skinned before frying. Grilled fish is also one of the best ways to prepare wholesome foods loaded with healthy fats.

To preserve all the beneficial properties of grilled fish and make it juicy, you will need to:

  • Wrap marinated fish fillet in a foil
  • Grill until tender

NOTE: If you plan to grill red meat, then opt for low-fat beef or pork loins.

Eat Small Portions

Overeating very often becomes one of the leading causes of problems with the gastrointestinal tract. According to nutritionists, the optimal meat portion is 3 to 6 ounces.

Some of you may say that these portions are too small. In this case, you can add tasty vegetables that have also been grilled or other side dishes.

The Marinade

The marinade is one of the most critical ingredients in grilling meat and vegetables. Marinade and savory spices can give fish or meat a fantastic aroma and taste. Use no more than 1/2 cup of the marinade or one tablespoon of seasoning for every pound of meat.

If you prefer to use dry marinades, then you can mix the following spice components:

  • Allspice
  • Chili powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Caraway
  • Garlic Powder
  • Pepper
  • Rosemary

Use as Many Vegetables as Possible

Almost all the vegetables you eat in your daily diet can be used for grilling. The combination of fried vegetables and meat is delicious and brings a huge benefit to the body. For example, onions are great for helping your stomach cope with the digestion of meat.

In any case, we recommend that you chop the vegetables into large pieces, brush them with olive oil and fry them on both sides.

Here’s a list of the most delicious vegetables to use for grilling:

  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Bell pepper
  • Corn
  • Zucchini
  • Onion
  • Potatoes
  • Mushrooms

What About Dessert?

Almost all fruits are rich in such a component as fructose. It is an excellent sugar substitute. When grilling fruit, the natural sugar caramelizes and gives any dessert an amazing taste and unforgettable aroma.

The most common fruits for grilling are:

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • pineapples
  • Pears
  • Nectarine
  • Fig

Keep Grill Clean

Without a doubt, cleaning the grill is not the most enjoyable part of a family barbecue. However, keeping the grill clean is a must. Leaving burnt pieces of meat or vegetables on the wire rack can make your food bitter next time. Use special brushes to clean the grill – the process will take no more than 10 minutes.

Eat right and have a good grill!

The Reality of Caring for A Patient with Terminal Illness

It is a well-known fact that the job of a caregiver is not an easy walk. Sometimes home care professionals have to deal with cases when their patient has a terminal illness. In such cases, caregivers may have increased concerns about timely medication intake, treatment options, end-of-life-care level, and so on.

As the physical state of health deteriorates, a patient becomes more dependent on a caregiver. This imposes a certain level of stress as the specialist struggles to provide a patient with care and at the same time helps to cope with the daily tasks.

Some might argue that timely support from family and friends can be the most effective way to relieve stress in the workplace. However, this is not the case. Therefore, we have compiled the most commonly used approaches that have helped caregivers perform their duties efficiently, caring for a patient with a terminal illness.

Keep Sense of Control

It is usual for each person to react differently to the news of a terminal illness. However, almost every patient faced with a similar situation can become closed from the outside world and feel depressed.

As a caregiver, try to maintain a sense of control and provide ongoing emotional support for a senior. You can also ask the patient’s family members to spend as much time as possible with the older person to help cope with the heavy burden.

Try to Be Sincere and Open

Try to be open and honest in everything you discuss with your patient. Involve an older person in conversations on a variety of topics and discussions. Don’t worry if your patient stays closed at first.

Over time, your conversations will take on a whole new level, and you’ll begin to share your thoughts and feelings. Ask about the patient’s deepest desire.

FACT, the feedback and reaction of an older person will largely depend on his/her health condition.

Stick to the Daily Plan

Organize your workplace responsibilities and adhere to a plan for all your daily tasks. This will help a patient better understand your daily routine and feel more comfortable at home. Handling all the responsibilities on time will surely improve your patient’s self-esteem.

Maintain Spiritual Condition of a Senior

We all have our own beliefs and faith. Perhaps religion is a vital aspect for your patient. Note, the spiritual element can bring a particular meaning to the concept of life and death.

Depending on what their need is, you can support seniors accordingly. For example, a patient might ask you to turn on religious songs and listen to an audio recording of the Holy Scriptures.

In fact, practical advice on dealing with a patient with a terminal illness differs from case to case. Do not be afraid to show patience and kindness to please a senior’s slightest desire and lighten such an unbearable burden.

4 Ways to Prevent Back Pain and Injuries On the Job

Often, caregivers are primarily concerned with the safety and health of their patients. For this reason, their own health and well-being are very often left in the background.

It’s no secret that working as a caregiver is associated with a lot of stress and physical activity. Therefore, it is no wonder that lots of home care specialists face injuries and back pain.

Your spine and back health are crucial to your overall health. We’re giving tips on how you can protect your back to protect your health.  Moreover, we will check the proven technique for lifting patients so that you can save your back in daily activities.

# 1 Tip: Stretch It Out

Get in the habit of doing a little workout of your back muscles a few minutes before you start caring for the patient. Smooth and thoughtful stretching techniques help maintain muscle flexibility and improve endurance.

Most importantly, stretching helps reduce back pain and potential injury. Also, remember to stretch your back throughout the day to keep your muscles toned.

# 2 Tip: Maintain Correct Posture

Try analyzing your posture while sitting or standing. Often, we do not pay attention to the position of our spine, which can lead to a weakening of the back muscles and the occurrence of injuries.

Try to avoid positions in which the head and shoulders are tilted forward. If you spend most of your day in a seated position, try to choose a chair with good back support and place your feet on the floor.

Choosing and buying the right footwear is also a crucial step for proper posture. Basically, you need a model with good arch support and cushioning.

Keep in mind that the constant wearing of shoes with heels can also provoke pain in the lower back.

# 3 Tip: Consume Vitamins

The constant stress associated with caring for a patient can directly affect your eating habits and damage muscle elasticity and bone hardness.

You may think that a quick snack is the preferred form of eating. However, if you stick to the wrong diet for a long time, it can lead to disastrous results.

Ideally, you need to eat nutrient-dense foods and also combine them with vitamin supplements. If you really want to take care of your health, consult with your doctor about what supplements you can take to improve the condition of muscles, bones, and joints.

# 4 Tip: Use The Right Lifting Technique

If you often have to lift a patient, the correct mechanics will protect your back, shoulders, and neck from potential injuries.

Use the following tips to safely lift a patient:

  1. Ensure that your feet are on a firm surface and are as close to a senior as possible.
  2. After that, you need to stand face to face with the person you plan to lift and bend your knees. Try to keep your abdominal and back muscles straight – this will help you increase your lift power and keep your muscles safe from increased stress.
  3. Try to lift the patient in a gentle motion by pushing the leg muscles upward.

Remember that if you frequently have to roll over the patient or lift heavy objects, using a back brace to support the muscles may be the only right solution. A back brace will help you strengthen your lower back and significantly reduce the risk of injury.