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.

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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5 Activities To Help Beat The Winter Blues

Are you on the lookout for ideas to keep your older adult active during these cold, wintry months? Depending on their mobility and health condition, the idea of staying active during months of snow, ice and cold weather can seem daunting.

1. Cook together

Making a delicious, hot meal with your parent or spouse has surprising, heartwarming benefits. Not only can you spend time together actively doing something, but the act of reading recipes, measuring, setting timers and cooking is great stimulation for the brain and helps fight cognitive decline and memory loss.  For those who use a wheelchair to get around, tasks that don’t involve standing at the stove are best – reading the recipe, setting a timer, or stirring ingredients together on a low table are creative ways to involve them in the cooking fun.

Making a delicious, hot meal with your parent or spouse has surprising, heartwarming benefits. Not only can you spend time together actively doing something, but the act of reading recipes, measuring, setting timers and cooking is great stimulation for the brain and helps fight cognitive decline and memory loss.

For those who use a wheelchair to get around, tasks that don’t involve standing at the stove are best – reading the recipe, setting a timer, or stirring ingredients together on a low table are creative ways to involve them in the cooking fun.

2. Knit, crochet, or quilt

Can the person you care for turn their hobby into a way to care for others? Knitting, quilting or crocheting make great indoor activities during those winter days spent by a warm fire with a cup of tea.  These activities also carry a positive outcome. Seniors could knit hats to donate to local homeless shelters or hospitals, make a quilt for a grandchild, or crochet blankets for children in need. These are engaging activities for your older adult as well as a way for them give back to others and feel good about themselves.

Can the person you care for turn their hobby into a way to care for others? Knitting, quilting or crocheting make great indoor activities during those winter days spent by a warm fire with a cup of tea.

These activities also carry a positive outcome. Seniors could knit hats to donate to local homeless shelters or hospitals, make a quilt for a grandchild, or crochet blankets for children in need. These are engaging activities for your older adult as well as a way for them give back to others and feel good about themselves.

3. Exercise

Literally warm the heart by pumping up the blood flow with  low-impact exercises  your older adult can do at home. Routine exercise is hugely beneficial to older adults and can include activities  like daily walks, yoga, swimming, or even getting in a good stretch while sitting in a wheelchair.  Exercise is critical to preventing illnesses and ailments that often accompany old age. It also boosts feelings of positivity and confidence. Regular physical fitness helps with coordination and balance too, which are key to preventing falls in the home.

Literally warm the heart by pumping up the blood flow with low-impact exercises your older adult can do at home. Routine exercise is hugely beneficial to older adults and can include activities  like daily walks, yoga, swimming, or even getting in a good stretch while sitting in a wheelchair.

Exercise is critical to preventing illnesses and ailments that often accompany old age. It also boosts feelings of positivity and confidence. Regular physical fitness helps with coordination and balance too, which are key to preventing falls in the home.

4. Video chat with family and friends

Cold winter days can lead to seniors spending a significant amount of time indoors. Combat feelings of isolation or loneliness by taking the time to reach out to friends and family who may live far away.  A free Skype or Google+ account lets anyone video chat using their computer or laptop, or if you have an iPhone, you can video chat via Facetime with others who have iPhones. Set up regular video chat dates with family or old friends during times of the day when your older adult is most awake and alert.  Not only does connecting with others benefit your older adult’s overall well-being, it also gives them something to look forward to during seasonally darker days.

Cold winter days can lead to seniors spending a significant amount of time indoors. Combat feelings of isolation or loneliness by taking the time to reach out to friends and family who may live far away.

A free Skype or Google+ account lets anyone video chat using their computer or laptop, or if you have an iPhone, you can video chat via Facetime with others who have iPhones. Set up regular video chat dates with family or old friends during times of the day when your older adult is most awake and alert.

Not only does connecting with others benefit your older adult’s overall well-being, it also gives them something to look forward to during seasonally darker days.

5. Share special memories and make new ones

Sharing memories with older adults can be an enriching experience for both of you. The person feels accepted and cared for. You may learn some things about the person that you didn't already know and that help you better understand his or her reactions to situations, including loss. Also, the lessons you learn by listening to another person's experiences and how he or she handled them may help you in the future when you have similar experiences.

Sharing memories with older adults can be an enriching experience for both of you. The person feels accepted and cared for. You may learn some things about the person that you didn't already know and that help you better understand his or her reactions to situations, including loss. Also, the lessons you learn by listening to another person's experiences and how he or she handled them may help you in the future when you have similar experiences.

Looking for even more ideas on activities? Fear not, there are loads of creative, safe and impactful senior activities they’ll love that will warm their heart too!

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Winterize to prevent Falls

Winter weather can lead to devastating slips, trips, and falls. Below are five simple steps that we all can take this winter to reduce falls among older adults and adults with disabilities in our community.

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Take A Festive Walk Down Memory Lane

This holiday season take a festive trip down memory lane and let your senior loved ones know how much you love them and are thinking about them. Here is an easy 10 minute craft you can do with your family that will mean the world to them!

Supplies

  • Round distressed wood ornaments
  • Twine
  • Matte Mod Podge
  • Foam Brushes
  • Scissors
  • Printed Photos
  • Hole Punch
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The first thing to start with is choosing the photos you will use for your ornaments. 

You can crop the photos into circles using a photo editing program and chose to add some simple text telling where and when the photos were taken. You can do it online using PicMonkey’s free text editor.

Print your photos at home or at your local photo lab.

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Purchase distressed round disc ornaments. If you can’t find these at your local Michaels craft store, I did find these wood ornaments that you could paint white and distress yourself.

Cut out your circular photos and punch a small hole at the top in line with where the hole is on the ornaments. I used a sharpie to mark this.

Now apply a generous layer of Mod Podge to the top of the wood ornament. You’ll need to work quickly here, making sure your mod podge coats the surface of the ornament entirely and that you have an even layer.

Next apply a quick layer of mod lodge to the back of your photo. Place the photo on the wood ornament making sure it’s centered. Apply a final layer of mod podge on top of the photo to seal it. Make sure you apply this layer evenly and that your brush strokes and even and are all going in the same direction.

Once the mod podge is completely dry thread a length of twine through the hole at the top of the ornament and tie in a knot. Now hang them on your tree and enjoy looking at some of your favorite photo memories throughout the Christmas season.

Source: Simple As That Blog

Source: Simple As That Blog

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6 Steps to Prevent a Fall

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Flu Season Quick Tips

Our Vice President of Home Health Operations, Denise Curran, RN, BSN, gives a few tips for staying flu free this season.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Today we are thankful for all of you! May you and your family
have a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!

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Quiz: The Flu VS A Cold

How much do you know? Test your knowledge below!

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Thank You For Your Service!

Thank you for your service and sacrifice!

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Physical Therapy Quick Tip: Engaging Core Muscle Groups

Kelly Jarrett, PTA discusses how to lessen back pain and increase your power by tucking your belly button and engaging core muscle groups when you do certain activities. Watch the video here!

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Physical Therapy: Diaphragmatic Breathing Technique

Dr. Read Wall & Dr. Robert Knowles explain and demonstrate the diaphragmatic breathing technique.

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Fall Is Here, Is Your Home Ready?

Fall is here, is your home ready? Here are 9 tips to get you started. Need help? Call us today! 

Read More

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Breathing Exercises & Postures To Help With COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, is a chronic lung disease that makes it hard to breathe. The disease is increasingly common, affecting millions of Americans, and is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. The good news is COPD is often preventable and treatable.

Freudenthal Home Health's very own, Dr. Robert Knowles and Dr. Read Wall, discuss pursed-lip breathing and breathless postures designed to help persons with COPD, and other breathing issues, breath a little easier.

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