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By Peter Holewinski, 8:18 pm on September 15, 2014

Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological disorder that affects the nervous system. While the disease can cause a variety of symptoms, early stage symptoms often include tremors, the inability to show facial express or a slight slur in speech. As the disease progresses, varying motor functions may decline. While physical therapy programs have been a great way to help Parkinson’s patients manage symptoms, new evidence is showing the benefits of targeted exercise for those living with the disease. Unlike normal exercise routines, Parkinson’s specialists or certified fitness trainers develop a workout regimen that includes a variety of activities ranging from stretching and strength training exercises to walking and more aerobic activities that get the heart pumping. By varying the exercises and the movements required to complete these exercises, Parkinson’s patients are…

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By Peter Holewinski, 8:00 am on September 9, 2014

Have you heard of brain food? While the concept of foods that improve brainpower may sound like a myth, the fact is that certain foods can have a positive impact on brain function and memory. This is especially important for seniors, who experience a natural decline in cognitive function as part of the aging process. Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Sonoma County in-home care, offers a list of foods that seniors can add to their diets to help boost brain power. Walnuts – These nuts contain a huge serving of omega-3 fatty acids as well as brain healthy ingredients like antioxidants, copper and magnesium. Eating a handful of walnuts a day can help reduce brain inflammation, which is harmful to cognitive function. Cranberries & Blueberries – Not just…

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By Peter Holewinski, 8:00 am on August 26, 2014

After a stroke, patients may experience a wide range of symptoms depending upon the area of the brain in which the stroke occurred and how long the area was deprived of oxygen. While certain side effects of a stroke are common, such as one-sided weakness of the body or problems with vision, others can be surprising. As a leading provider of in-home stroke care in Sonoma County, we wanted to share some of the less common-after effects of a stroke. Knowing about these symptoms can be reassuring to stroke survivors and their families who can then seek the appropriate treatment. Hallucinations – Auditory and visual hallucinations can happen during the post-stroke recovery period, and they are more likely to occur when there has been damage to a patient’s midbrain. Sometimes,…

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By Peter Holewinski, 8:00 am on August 19, 2014

When you care for an aging parent who lives out-of-state, you can never be over prepared for an emergency. Even a minor injury or illness can leave you scrambling to communicate with physicians and nurses while trying to ensure your loved one’s safety upon their arrival home from the hospital or emergency room. While you can expect a few challenges during the first few days following an emergency health situation, Home Care Assistance Sonoma County offers tips that will help you manage your parent’s long-distance care. Have an Emergency Care Action Plan Before an emergency occurs, it is best to already have a plan in place. Identify people who can be a source of support and compile a list of phone numbers. Then, be sure each person on the list…

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By Peter Holewinski, 8:00 am on August 12, 2014

Normally, when we think of healthy lifestyles, diet and exercise come to mind. These are certainly important components, but they are not the end of the story. For seniors in particular, a holistic perspective on health is essential for overall well-being. With that in mind, the Sonoma County senior care experts at Home Care Assistance have listed the six elements of a healthy lifestyle no senior should go without. Nutrition – Health and nutrition go hand-in-hand. The body needs essential vitamins, minerals and micronutrients in the diet to supply its vital functions. For all-star nutrition, seniors should eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as foods rich in fiber and antioxidants. Regular Exercise – Seniors also need exercise. Even walking a bit each day helps. Daily activity and exercise…

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By Peter Holewinski, 7:24 pm on August 5, 2014

In-home care services allow aging adults to live safely and comfortably in a familiar environment. By implementing the right strategies, your family can help ensure that your loved one receives these valuable care services without incurring financial hardship. Here are just four of the many ways that families pay for professional home care in Sonoma County. Life Insurance – Elderly family members can use their life insurance policies to help pay for home care services. Policies with accelerated death benefits (ADBs) allow for tax-free advances to be paid out under specific circumstances, including if the person is unable to perform daily tasks like bathing or dressing. Some plans allow the policy holder to cash out the policy for other reasons or circumstances besides help for daily activities. Reverse Mortgages –…

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By Peter Holewinski, 8:00 am on July 29, 2014

Repeat any behavior often enough and it will become a habit, something that you do or neglect to do without giving it much thought. Habits let you perform beneficial behaviors like brushing your teeth as if they were second nature. However, habits can also come in the form of harmful behaviors that can damage your health and shorten your lifespan. While habits like smoking, overeating and alcohol or drug abuse are obviously bad for your health, the following five behaviors presented by Home Care Assistance, can have life-shortening effects as well. Not Getting Enough Sleep – Lack of sleep not only leaves you low on energy, but can negatively affect your cognitive abilities. Studies show that sleep-deprived people have poorer memory skills than those who get adequate rest. Too little…

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By Peter Holewinski, 12:31 am on July 23, 2014

The first few weeks after being discharged from the hospital can be a vulnerable time for older adults who may still be recovering from a recent illness or adjusting to new medications. Unfortunately, hospital readmissions are all too common when certain precautions are not taken to ensure their safety during this period. Older adults and their loved ones will want to take the following strategies into consideration for avoiding the most common post-hospital complications. Review Discharge Instructions – During discharge from the hospital, older adults and their family members are often given a list of instructions to follow during the recovery period. However, these instructions are often complicated and may include information regarding medications, changes to a patient’s diet and new restrictions for one’s daily routine. After returning home, it…

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By Peter Holewinski, 7:13 pm on July 15, 2014

Attending to the needs of your beloved parents is something that you always knew that you would do should they need your assistance or fall ill. However, as much as you want to be the primary care provider, accepting help from a reliable Sonoma County home care agency can lift a huge weight off of your shoulders. Not convinced? Here are just a few of the ways in which family caregivers can find relief through in-home care: Reduced Stress – You might feel as though you do not mind the stress of caregiving because you are caring for a person who took care of you all of his or her life. This selfless notion is likely appreciated by your relative; however, if you are stressed and overworked, then you are…

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By Peter Holewinski, 8:00 am on July 8, 2014

After hearing what your parent’s doctor had to say in his or her most recent appointment, you know the time has come for mom or dad to start eating better foods. Unfortunately, they are not as concerned as you are, and you need some help getting them on the right track. As a leading provider of at-home care in Sonoma County, we understand that there may be some resistance when asking an aging loved one to change his or her diet, and present a few simple ways that can make the process easier. Allow for Moderation – In many cases, doctors say that certain foods have to be significantly reduced. This is not the same as banning them entirely. For example, your parents might need to start eating lean meats…

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