Freudenthal Home Health Blog

Freudenthal Home Health salutes family caregivers in the St. Joseph, MO area who are giving wonderful care and help to their senior loved ones each and every day. Our goal with this blog is to give information and resources to help and support St. Joseph, MO area family caregivers.

Service Spotlight: Housekeeping/Cleaning

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As family caretakers we can be called to be more than is physically possible. On the edge of burn out, we can find things like cleaning falling through the cracks as we manage the more pressing health issues of our loved ones. It's easy to just manage the clutter until it becomes overwhelming and too much to handle on our own. You don't have to manage the clutter, you can get help!

Call Freudenthal today and let us come help relieve that overwhelmed feeling and make your loved one feel more relaxed and comfortable in their home.

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A Clean House Can Help Your Heart!

In a study done by Indiana University, it was shown that having a clean home can actually have a positive effect on your heart health. The study was done in St. Louis among the African American community, because they have a much higher risk for cardiovascular disease. The study showed that the people who had cleaner homes were over-all more positive, healthier, & less stressed out. So, why is organization so important to us?

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The human body is made up of tens of thousands of integrated biological and chemical systems that are organized. Did you know your cells operate on strict schedules, called circadian rhythms? Without this organization, our bodies would collapse.

It would stand to reason that we crave symmetry and that a desire for cleanliness in our homes is a mirror of the organization within our very own bodies. So in effect, order supports health — and opposes chaos.

What if I have a cluttered home?

You can’t imagine how much a clean home can change the mind set of our clients. When we first get to their home, they are frustrated and depressed. As we clean you see their faces and attitude gradually get brighter, and then by the time we finish and are about to leave we finally get to see them smile. They’re proud of their home again.
— Jennifer Marrcot - Freudenthal Private Duty Division

As we progress through life, we all acquire small (or sometimes big) items that we don't really need. As the item count grows so does the clutter.

SOLUTION: Getting rid of clutter can be really hard - especially when we feel an emotional tie to an object. Do your best to donate or give away your unused items to charity. One blog even suggests taking pictures of the items before letting them go so you always have a reminder of that object, that takes up FAR LESS room.

What if I can't clean my home because of health reasons?

Sometimes we just can't declutter because of health or disability factors, but that's no reason to remain in a state of depression. It's always okay to ask for help. Ask family or friends to help you start to declutter. Once you get to your "happy place" don't hesitate to call Freudenthal for help keeping it a relaxing heart healthy space.

Regardless of how you do it, it’s clear that staying clean and organized is a good thing for all of us. It can help relieve depression, help us become more productive, and it may very well help us become a little more physically fit.

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Service Spotlight: Meal Preparation

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"Mom always made the best spaghetti..."  What happens when mom can't cook anymore? As family caregivers it's hard to not be torn in 30 different directions everyday. Some days it feels like you're running up hill in 3 feet of snow and the very last thing on your mind is "What's for dinner?" Unfortunately as family caregivers we don't have the option to declare it a fasting day and just hope to be able to fix a meal tomorrow — meals have to happen. 

It’s important to know that Medicaid & VA benefits will help pay for meal preparation, and we can help you find out if you qualify for this service. At Freudenthal we are one of the few companies who work weekends and also work with you to space out your allowed daily service hours between morning and evenings.
— Lisa Groce, Executive Director Medicaid Division

You don't have to fight the meal battle alone. One of the services we offer as a part of our Full Life at Home program is meal preparation. If it's a struggle to be able to make meals for your dependent loved one, lean on us. For just .60¢ a minute we will come to your home and prepare the meals for your loved one and free up your time to handle the other pressing needs of being a caregiver or to just breathe. It's important to get help, even with tasks like meal preparation, in order to keep from burning out.

There are countless unseen tears shed by family caregivers every day because of the stress that comes with this responsibility. We can help alleviate some of those tears and maybe take the dread out of "What's for dinner?"

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Feed Them With Love!

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This month we've been talking about heart health, especially for women. As family caregivers it's important to not only take care of your loved ones, but also yourself. Feeding your family a heart healthy diet is truly feeding them with love. Here's 7 tips to help you build a heart healthy diet.

1. Reign In Portions

How much you eat is just as important as what you eat. It's easy to overload our plates, especially when we've been trained by restaurants to serve oversized portions that fill us beyond capacity.

Try using smaller plates and bowls, and even using measuring cups to portion out your food. A few companies like Weight Watchers sell serving spoons that help measure out your food. Along with portion control, keeping a food journal can be helpful to see exactly how much you're eating.

TIP: If you find yourself getting hungry, increase the portion of fruits and vegetables in your diet to offset the hunger and keep you fuller longer.

2. Eat More Vegetables and Fruits

Vegetables and fruits are good sources of vitamins and minerals, and are also low in calories and rich in fiber. Diets rich in vegetables and fruits have been shown to help prevent cardiovascular disease. PLUS, eating more fruits and vegetables may help you eat less high-fat foods, such as meat, cheese and snack foods. (See the tip above)

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3. Choose Whole Grains

Whole grains are good sources of fiber and can help in regulating blood pressure. Increase the amount of whole grains in your diet by making simple substitutions for refined grain products. (See the Table 1) Or if you're adventurous, try a new whole grain, such as quinoa or barley.

4. Minimize Bad Fats & Maximize the Good Fats

You can easily reduce the amount of saturated fat in your diet by doing little things like trimming fat off your meat or choosing lean meats. Adding less butter, margarine and shortening when cooking and serving can also help.

TIP: Top your baked potato with salsa or low-fat yogurt rather than butter.

When you do use fats for cooking, choose monounsaturated fats, like olive oil or canola oil. Just remember moderation is essential. All types of fat are high in calories.

5. Find Low-Fat Protein Sources

Leaner meats, poultry and fish, low-fat dairy products, and eggs are some great sources of protein. Be careful to choose lower fat options when you can.

Fish is a good alternative to high-fat meats. Fish can be  rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower blood fats called triglycerides.

6. Turn Down The Sodium

Reducing the amount of salt you add to food at the table or while cooking is good, but did you know that much of the salt you eat comes from canned or processed foods?

If you like the convenience of canned soups and prepared meals, look for ones with reduced sodium. Don't fall into the trap of items that claim to be lower in sodium because they are seasoned with sea salt. Sea salt has the same nutritional value as regular salt.

7. Give Yourself A Treat

Give yourself an indulgence every once in awhile. A small treat won't derail your heart-healthy diet, as long as you don't let it turn into an excuse for giving up. It's more important that you eat healthy foods most of the time.

Adding these 7 tips into your daily lifestyle along with possibly planning out your weekly meal, will go a long way to helping you keep your family "heart healthy." Like we said at the beginning, you'll truly be feeding them with love!

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Service Spotlight: Emergency Response Systems

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We've all seen the "I've fallen and I can't get up..." commercials, and at times we may have been tempted to laugh at them, but not after becoming a Family Caregiver. As Family Caregivers we know the reality of seniors falling, and sadly just how much damage those falls can do. We've also heard the horror stories of seniors, with family far away, who aren't found until days later. Right now you may be thinking, "Yes, but this really doesn't apply to my loved one, they get along just fine. Why should we get something like that?" Well, because that's not all an emergency response system is good for. 

You never know when an accident, slip and fall, or any other kind of medical emergency is going to happen. An ERS can give Family Caregivers peace of mind, knowing their loved one is protected.
— Rebecca Murphy, Executive Director Private Duty & Full Life At Home Services

Freudenthal offers 2 ERS options that can fit most budgets. The basic ERS pictured to the right is just that basic. It requires a landline telephone and it's pendant has a range of about 300 feet. When you need assistance for any medical emergency like a slip and fall, or heart attack or stroke symptoms, all you do is hit the button and you are immediately connected to one of our operators who immediately calls 9-1-1 and the emergency contacts on your list.

The Connect System is our more advanced system and it offers a few more features that make it an even more valuable option, especially if you are a remote Family Caregiver who needs to know their loved one is safe. The Connect System can work off of a mobile line and it is GPS enabled so it can help EMS responders find you if you're non-responsive. It boasts features like:

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  • Fall detection (optional*)
  • Calling an ambulance or EMS
  • 24/7 Support with protocols customized to you
  • 24/7 Assistance for medical concerns

BUT, this is only be the beginning, because the connect system also allows you to ask questions of a live human being, like: 

  • What's the weather forecast?
  • Can you help me set up a medication reminder?
  • When is my next doctor’s appointment?
  • I'm not feeling well, what should I do?
  • I am lonely, could you talk to me for a bit?
  • I have a flat tire can you call roadside assistance for me?

So as you can see there are so many reasons to add an ERS to your Family Caregiver plan. It will give you peace of mind and it will give your loved one a safety net and new freedom they may not have had for quite some time.

 

 

*Additional fee for fall detection service.

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It's Time To Show Some Serious Love

For Women's Heart Health!

Heart disease kills one woman every 80 seconds. It's one of the leading killers among women, especially senior women. February is American Heart Month and we're getting serious about women's heart health. 

Know Your Risk

Just because you don't feel bad right now, doesn't mean you are not at risk for heart issues in the future. There are several risk factors like weight and age that you should discuss with your doctor. Looking at your families heart health history could also give you some clues to what may be in your future. Definitely schedule a well visit with your doctor.

Be Active In The Fight

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Exercise and diet are two of the best ways you can be active in the fight against heart disease. No matter your age or ability there are exercises you can do to help keep you active. Join us at the Joyce Raye Patterson Senior Citizen's Center every Monday for exercise classes with Kelly Jarrett, PTA. You can even visit our YouTube Page to see simple exercises demonstrated by Kelly that you can do right in your home.

Know The Signs of Your Enemy

We regularly see the image of a man clutching his chest and breathing heavy associated with heart attacks, but the signs of heart attack for men and women are different. Women DO usually experience some pain, pressure or discomfort in the chest when experiencing a heart attack – but it is not always the severe, crushing chest pain we generally associate with heart attacks in men.

Women are also more likely than men to experience these symptoms during heart attack:

  • Neck, jaw, shoulder, upper back or abdominal discomfort
  • Shortness of breath
  • Right arm pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Unusual fatigue

Speak Up When You Need Help

If you experience any of the symptoms above, make sure you let your family, caregivers or  home health professionals know right away or call 9-1-1. Heart disease is not something to play around with. It's deadly and you have stay on top of it. So show your heart some love and get in the fight for your heart health!

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We're Going Red For Women!

We're Going Red For Women! Cardiovascular disease in the U.S. kills approximately one woman every 80 seconds. 80% of cardiac events may be prevented with lifestyle. Go Red For Women advocates for more research & swifter action for women’s heart health. https://zurl.co/6VmlJ

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Service Spotlight: Personal Care / Companionship

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As Family Caregivers, it's not always possible to cover all the needs of the loved ones we are responsible for. It's hard to not feel guilty and think that we should take on every need and request on our own. However there comes a point where we have to admit to ourselves that we may need help to provide the care our loved ones need, because of other commitments like jobs, children, and even physical location. 

When choosing someone to help us in the role as caregiver it's important to find people who will deliver the same level of care and compassion we deliver every day. So many times institutions teach their employees to care for, but not care about their clients. At Freudenthal, we think that's not the way you deliver first-class care. We encourage our staff to care about each and every one of our clients, and to go above and beyond to make sure they feel truly cared for. It's been proven that seniors who feel safe and cared live much happier and sometimes healthier lives than their peers who feel they have be left or forgotten. 

Our process of hiring the right caregiver starts from the moment they walk through our door. We make sure every caregiver has the foundation of our core values, and is truly called to care.
— Shelbe King, Vice President of Freudenthal In-Home Services

Whether it's housekeeping, shopping, transportation, laundry, meal preparation, or more personal care like bathing or making it to the restroom, Freudenthal can be there to make sure your loved ones receive the care we know you would give. Even if it's just spending some time being a companion for them when you need to recharge, we will truly deliver first-class care they will love and the peace of mind you need, knowing they are safe.

Call Freudenthal today and let us show you how a Continuum Of First-Class Care At Home can make a difference, not only for your loved one, but also for you.

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New Safer Medicare Cards Are Coming!

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Every year over 2 million seniors fall victim to identity theft for a whopping total of $36 billion. In an effort to help lessen the means of theft used by these criminals, Medicare is taking all social security numbers off it's benefits cards. They will be replaced with new unique numbers that are designed to be unique and protect private health care and financial information, as well as federal health care benefit and service payments.

It is important for patients to destroy their old Medicare card as soon as they have the new one, and equally important to show any healthcare provider, like Freudenthal, their new cards so that provider can bill Medicare for the services rendered.
— Peggy Hardy, RN, BSN - Freudenthal Home Health

These new cards will mail the new cards out between April 2018 and April 2019, but in the meantime it is important to protect yourself and your loved ones from scams. Here are 6 tips to help keep your identity safe!

  1. Hang up the phone – If someone calls asking for personal or financial information, do not feel obligated to provide it. It’s OK to hang up. If the person claims to be with your bank or credit card company, you can always call the number you have for them.
     
  2. Type in the URL yourself ­– Don’t click on email links or open email attachments, even if the message appears to be from your bank or credit card company. Doing so may put your personal information or your computer at risk. If you’re inclined to visit the website, type in the URL that you have for the business.
     
  3. Use direct deposit – Have Social Security and other benefit checks deposited directly into your bank account. This helps protect them from being stolen.
     
  4. Be wary of family – Over 90 percent of all reported elder abuse is committed by the older person’s own family, most often by their adult children. Make sure those you trust are trustworthy.
     
  5. Review your statements – It pays to regularly review your bank, credit card and other statements, looking for unfamiliar transactions. If you see something that doesn’t look right, call right away.
     
  6. Shred documents – Bank statements, healthcare records, and other papers with personal information should be shredded before you discard them. Make it as difficult as you can for identity thieves to take advantage of you.

 

 

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Service Spotlight: Skilled Nursing

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As we turn the spotlight to our Skilled Nursing services, we should probably start with the question, "What is Skilled Nursing and how is it different from private duty care?"

Skilled nursing refers to a patient's need for care or treatment that can only be done by licensed nurses. Get the facts on skilled nursing with this review of this branch of medical care and the patients served by it.

Examples of skilled nursing needs include complex wound dressings, rehabilitation, tube feedings or rapidly changing health status. A number of patients may have a health status that changes quickly.

This includes accident victims or people who've developed or contracted a serious illness. People who have experienced strokes often require rehabilitation and must learn how to talk, walk or feed themselves all over again.

Skilled home health nursing is extremely rewarding in so many ways! When I worked in the hospital, it was hard to build a bond and rapport with your patients. As a home health nurse, we go into patients homes and we gain a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. The bond, rapport, and trust we build with them throughout their time with us is immeasurable.
— Trisha England, RN, MSN

Medicare covers various skilled therapies (physical, speech–language pathology and occupational) and skilled nursing services, including observation and assessment, management and evaluation of a care plan, or patient education. Medicare regulations also list nine specific services that are defined as skilled and covered by Medicare. 

Freudenthal Home Health's Clinical Director, Trisha England, RN, MSN, goes on to say "Unlike skilled home health which is based short-term, case-based needs,  private duty care is more about providing assistance with the activities of daily living and can be more long term and doesn't required a licensed nursing professional."

Private duty care can include companionship, personal care, like bathing and hygiene, meal preparation, housekeeping, medication management/administration, and even home maintenance and lawn care. While these items are still very important, they are not covered under medicare.

As skilled home health nurses, we are able to create a solid care plan with our interdisciplinary team to provide individualized First-Class Care to each patient. There is nothing more rewarding than to see a patient succeed and knowing you had a part in the driving force behind it!
— Trisha England, RN, MSN

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Family Caregiving 101: Where Do I Begin?

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Becoming a family caregiver is a huge undertaking that can be very overwhelming. Everyday at Freudenthal Home Health we get to meet and help some of the unsung heroes of family caregiving. We are starting a series of blog posts based on the wisdom of these seasoned caregivers to help those who are just starting down the road.

So where do you begin? 

Be realistic about what you can and can't handle. 

Becoming a family caregiver is a huge commitment. There are many family caregivers who have reported that they didn't realize it would be this tough. This is a commitment that not only can drain your time, it can also put stress on your finances and emotional well-being. You might be planning for only spending 5 years caring for your family member, when realistically you may actually need to plan for 15 to 20.

Don't hesitate to ask for help.

It's always good to also plan for times when you may need help caring for your family members, especially when you need to recharge your own battery. Freudenthal Home Health provides many in-home care options that can help alleviate some of the stress of day to day caregiving. Depending on your loved one's financial situation or veteran status, you may also be able to get assistance from federal and state programs. 

Get advice on what to expect over time.

Many medical conditions like heart disease, COPD, and diabetes are progressive illnesses that change over time. Reach out to your loved one's doctors and get an idea of how their illness may evolve and effect the care they need as they age. These changes may even effect wether or not they can remain living at home.

Ultimately, it's important to remember that you don't have to travel this road alone. At Freudenthal Home Health, we really do care about our clients and their caregivers and we enjoy getting the opportunity to support them in their day to day struggle to age in place.

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Service Spotlight: Medicaid Services

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Medicaid, the nation’s public health insurance program for low-income children, adults, seniors, and people with disabilities, covers 1 in 5 Americans, including many with complex and costly needs for medical care and long-term services. Most people covered by Medicaid would be uninsured or underinsured without it.

Some say that Medicaid costs too much. Total Medicaid costs are high because Medicaid covers many people with complex needs for both health care and long-term care. These costs can actually be lessened when seniors are actually helped to age in place rather than being placed in long-term care facilities.

Many of our in-home services can be covered by Medicaid. The key is figuring out what services you qualify for and there is no better way than contacting Freudenthal Home Health. Lisa Groce, our Executive Director over the Medicaid/VA In-Home Division is a pro at navigating the bumpy waters of Medicaid & VA benefits. Many times she has been able to help people discover that they were entitled to benefits they never knew they could get.

These benefits can help pay for housekeeping, medication management, and personal care services like bath aides. Even if you believe you don't qualify for services, there is no harm in giving Lisa a call and making sure. You never know, she might just surprise you. Call us at 816-676-8050, and we will truly do our best to help you navigate the rough waters of Medicaid and find answers to your questions.

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SNAP: Help Your Loved Ones Eat Healthier

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You may already know about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) offered by the USDA, but did you know that there are special rules for the elderly and disabled. If you are caring for an elderly loved one and have noticed that they have trouble affording healthy food, SNAP may be able to help them, even if they are living in your home.

To get SNAP benefits, you must apply in the State in which you currently live and you must meet certain requirements, including resource and income limits. Most SNAP eligibility rules apply to all households, but here are few special ones that apply to elderly and disabled applicants.

Don’t ever hesitate to give Freudenthal Home Health a call when you’re trying to explore assistance options for you loved ones. Many times we have been able to lessen the pressure on family caregivers by helping them navigate through these rough waters.
— Lisa Groce | Executive Director Medicaid/VA In-Home Division

Who is elderly?

In SNAP, you are elderly if you are 60 years or older.

Who is disabled?

In SNAP, you are disabled if you meet ONE of the following criteria:

  • You receive Federal disability or blindness payments under the Social Security Act, including Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security disability or blindness payments. OR

  • You receive State disability or blindness payments based on SSI rules. OR
  • You receive a disability retirement benefit from a governmental agency because of a permanent disability. OR
  • You receive an annuity under the Railroad Retirement Act and are eligible for Medicare or are considered disabled under SSI. OR
  • You are a veteran who is totally disabled, permanently homebound, or in need of regular aid and attendance. OR
  • You are the surviving spouse or child of a veteran who is receiving VA benefits and is considered permanently disabled.

How do we find out if we're eligible?

You can go directly to the SNAP website, and take a look at their FAQ section, or there's an even better option. The National Council on Aging has actually built a website that can help you discover even more services that may be available. Just go to www.benefitscheckup.org and put in a few details and see what programs your loved ones may be eligible for. You can also feel free to give Freudenthal Home Health a call at 816-676-8050, and we will truly do our best to help relieve that pressure and answer your questions.

 

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Service Spotlight: Physical & Occupational Therapy

Aging in place is not an easy thing to do, especially with out some form of assistance. The needs vary greatly from person to person. Take for example, a research study compiled by the University of Michigan reported that 90% of seniors could fix their own meals but only 54% of them could bathe on their own. Fortunately, Freudenthal Home Health Services like Physical & Occupational Therapy can help seniors to maintain, sometimes regain, or even relearn the skills needed to ease the transition from independence to dependance.

Exercise has been shown through research to be one of the most powerful medications we can offer people to help improve their life, their function, their mobility and their quality of life overall.
— Dr. Read Wall, PT - Freudenthal Home Health
Click the photo above to watch the KNPN news story.  Photo by Monica Dunn | News-Press Now

Click the photo above to watch the KNPN news story. 
Photo by Monica Dunn | News-Press Now

Joe Freudenthal, owner of Freudenthal Home Health, strongly believes in the benefits of keeping seniors healthy and active, so much so that FHH now offers free exercise classes at several facilities all over St. Joseph, MO. The class offered at Joyce Raye Patterson Senior Center was recently highlighted by local media outlets.

There are any number of situations where your primary care physician may order Occupational or Physical therapy, and if they do, it's important to remember you have a choice when it comes to who will be your care provider. At Freudenthal Home Health we not only care for, but also care about our patients. Our therapists and therapist assistants truly deliver first-class care to help you age in place.

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7 Tips to Escape Winter Isolation

As winter begins to ramp up, the cold temperatures and frozen precipitation can often force the senior community to feel trapped in their homes. There are, however, a few things you can do to keep from feeling so trapped. Here are 7 handy tips to help free you from the bondage of winter.

1. Work on your balance. 

Balance is key when it comes to walking outside, especially with the added hazards of snow and ice. A daily routine of exercises that focus on balance could mean the difference between a close call and a trip to the hospital. See Kelly Jarret’s 5 min balance exercises on the next page. You may even want to buy a pair of shoe spikes to help you stay upright in snow and ice.

Kelly Jarrett, PTA walks us through three low impact exercises designed to help seniors build strength and balance.

See More About Kelly's Exercise Classes here!

2. Make sure walkways are clear. 

If you can’t do it yourself, make sure you get someone to do it for you. Sand and ice melt are far more effective when the walkway has been cleared first. Contact us today if you need to set up this service.

3. Get your eyes checked. 

The eyes are not only the window to the soul, they are also the first line of defense when it comes to spotting trip hazards and dangerous conditions. Make sure your eyes are ready to catch all those slick spots before you stumble into them.

4. Walk like a penguin!

That’s right, change your gate to have shorter wider steps so you can maintain your balance in case there are slick spots you can’t see, like black ice. 

If you do fall, try to remember to tuck your chin to your chest as to avoid a serious head injury. You can also try to spread your limbs so that more of your body absorbs the impact reducing your chances of a serious injury.

5. Wear gloves. 

It’s important to keep your hands out and ready to go when you’re walking in dangerous conditions. Keeping your arms slightly extended at your side can help you maintain your balance.

6. Don’t get behind the wheel. 

If the roads are slick, call a friend or a driving service to get you to your necessary appointments or to the grocery store. There are even grocery delivery services that will make it easier to stay safe.

7. Stay in touch. 

Don’t let your location isolate you, reach out to family and friends via the phone or even by video calls. Just hearing a voice or seeing a smiling face can go a long way to beating the winter blues. Most smart phones now allow video calls as a part of their monthly plans.

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Sage Wisdom For The Coming New Year

As the new year approaches, we can look back and see the good and the bad of the past year and look forward with hope to the coming one. The New York Times published an article featuring sage advice from elderly experts, interviewed for the legacy project, on different subjects, from careers to happiness. Here are just a few of their responses to help us all have a better year.

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ON CAREERS Not one person in a thousand said that happiness accrued from working as hard as you can to make money to buy whatever you want. Rather, the near-universal view was summed up by an 83-year-old former athlete who worked for decades as an athletic coach and recruiter: “The most important thing is to be involved in a profession that you absolutely love, and that you look forward to going to work to every day.”

Although it can take a while to land that ideal job, you should not give up looking for one that makes you happy. Meanwhile, if you’re stuck in a bad job, try to make the most of it until you can move on. And keep in mind that a promotion may be flattering and lucrative but not worth it if it takes you away from what you most enjoy doing.

ON AGING “Embrace it. Don’t fight it. Growing older is both an attitude and a process,” The experts’ advice to the young: “Don’t waste your time worrying about getting old.” Most of those interviewed discovered that old age greatly exceeded their expectations. 

Another said, “Each decade, each age, has opportunities that weren’t actually there in the previous time.”

Maintain social contacts. Avoid becoming isolated. When an invitation is issued, say yes. Take steps to stay engaged, and take advantage of opportunities to learn new things. Although many were initially reluctant, those who moved to a senior living community found more freedom to enjoy activities and relationships than they had before.

To those who worry about dying, these men and women said the best antidote is to plan for it: Get things organized, let others know your wishes, tidy up to minimize the burden on your heirs.

ON REGRETS “Always be honest” was the elders’ advice to avoid late-in-life remorse. Take advantage of opportunities and embrace new challenges. And travel more when you’re young rather than wait until the children are grown or you are retired.

ON HAPPINESS Almost to a person, the elders viewed happiness as a choice, not the result of how life treats you.

  • A 75-year-old man said, “You are not responsible for all the things that happen to you, but you are completely in control of your attitude and your reactions to them.”
  • An 84-year-old said, “Adopt a policy of being joyful.”
  • A 90-year-old woman said, “I learned to be grateful for what I have, and no longer bemoan what I don’t have or can’t do.”

Even if their lives were nine decades long, the elders saw life as too short to waste on pessimism, boredom and disillusionment.

For many years we have been blessed to help so many area seniors continue to live a full life at home by providing a continuum of first-class care right in their homes. As the new year approaches we look forward to many more smiles and chances to show our area seniors just how important they are to our community.

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6 Snow Shoveling Tips to Help Prevent an Injury

The days are getting shorter, temperatures are getting colder, & snow has begun to fall. Fear not! Here are 6 tips that may help you prevent an injury this winter season.

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If you have a joint injury or a chronic condition, you may want to speak with your doctor to ensure you are healthy enough for shoveling snow. If you get cleared by your doctor, consider the points below:

1. Think ahead. Consider salting your driveway or sidewalk before snow starts falling. This may help prevent an unnecessary fall once you start shoveling.

2. Warm up. Before you head outside, warm up for about 10 minutes to prepare your body for the vigorous activity ahead. This can include doing squats, walking, and/or stretching.

3. Start early. It’s easier to shovel 2 inches of fresh snow than 6 inches of snow that’s been sitting awhile, becoming dense and packed. If an all-day snowfall is expected, then you may want to clear a few inches of snow at a time throughout the day—rather than waiting for the snow to stop and shoveling it all at once.

4. Push snow, instead of lifting it. Pushing snow is easier than lifting it. But if you must lift it, keep these pointers in mind:

  • Keep your feet hip-width apart
  • Bend your knees and keep your back straight
  • Try not to twist your torso when lifting snow
  • Shovel small amounts of snow at a time
  • Don’t throw the snow into a pile; instead walk it over to where you want to pile it

5. Stay hydrated. Shoveling snow is taxing, and you’re probably doing more work than you think. Take breaks and drink liquids while you’re shoveling. Remember to hydrate after you’re done shoveling as well.

6. Stay warm and safe, and call Freudenthal Home Health. With just a phone call, we can come out and take care of your snow removal needs. Call us today and stay safe!

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References:

  1. Snow Shoveling. Toronto Paramedic Services website. 
    thttp://torontoparamedicservices.ca/safety-tips/snow-shovelling/

  2. Prevent Snow Shoveling and Snow-blowing Injuries. American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons website. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00060.

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Winter Safety: Space Heater Do's & Don'ts

Winter is here. Along with the lower temperatures outside, comes the high energy costs from keeping you warm inside your home. To help cut these costs, many people turn to portable space heaters. These supplemental heaters work great at keeping you warm, but if used improperly, they may also pose a hazard to you and your family.

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Helping Seniors Get Up from Falls

Falling is dangerous for seniors, with many causing severe injury as well as other life changing physical and mental effects. Improperly getting up from falls can also result in harm so we prepared this Family Caregiver Video Tip to help family members guide and assist senior loved ones who have fallen.

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