Archive for May, 2014

Mental Health Awareness Month (Part 2): Avoiding ‘Social Isolation’

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Whether you’re in personal home care, home health care, or even a family caregiver, one of the simplest, yet most rewarding tasks you’re involved in is that of being a friend. No matter what age, we all need someone there for us from time to time. Whether it’s to get the problems of the day off our chest, or just to shoot the breeze about the next Indiana Pacers’ victory (Go Pacers!), communication with others is essential to keeping our minds active and avoiding problems like social isolation; which can lead to depression.

Below are some helpful tips for caregivers and home health care aides alike to help decrease the prevalence of social isolation:

1.) Make transportation available

The leading cause of social isolation is lack of transportation. Often as we get older, it becomes difficult or impossible for a friend or loved one to travel by themselves, and having no way for them to get to and from church, social gatherings, or even doctor’s appointments leads to more time spent around the house. If you can, make out a schedule for when you can take your friend or loved one to social gatherings, or talk to friends and neighbors to see if they might be able to help out. In many instances, there may be someone out there who would be delighted to help, you just need to ask.

2.) Get involved

One of the best ways for seniors to avoid isolation is simply to get involved. Talk to your friend or loved one and find out what their interests were and what interest them now. Then, do some research and find groups in your community that share these similar interests and find out how to get them involved. It will not only allow them to connect with other individuals who share their similar hobbies and passions, but will also give them something to look forward to during the week.

3.) Find help, if you need it

If you or a friend or loved one simply can’t be there enough for your friend or loved one, ┬ájust know that seeking outside help, be it from a professional or a neighbor/friend, is not a “white flag” or giving up. Life happens, and when it does get in the way, just know that there are options.

There are many professional companies out there that provide assistance in simple companionship and can be there for your friend or loved one; which can go a long way in keeping your friend or loved one mentally active, happy, and healthy.

As always, if you or a friend or loved one are considering personal home health care or companionship assistance, we invite you to talk to one of our experienced Care Advisors at 317-581-100.

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Walking: Simple Steps Towards an Independent Lifestyle

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

We’ve touched on the benefits of walking when we’re younger a few times here on the Alliance Home Health Care blog, but a new study showed that starting a simple walking program, if possible, when we’re older can be vital in maintaining an independent lifestyle.

The study focused on 818 people ages 70-80 that were separated into two groups: Ones that were asked to walk in small groups one-quarter-mile a day, and those that were asked to take courses in living a healthier lifestyle. At the end of the 2.5 year study, the group that walked were found less likely to be disabled than those that did not.

While the benefits to walking, even a little, have been shown to improve health, the age group in this particular study is encouraging because it shows that it’s never too late to get started.

The study was also important in another way, as according to Dr. Marco Pahor, Director of The Institute of Aging in Florida and coordinator of the study, it showed that simple modifications in our lifestyle as we get older can go a long way in staying in our homes for as long as possible. In other words, the culmination of the study (walking in groups, socializing, and getting moving) are all important in the quality of life; not just in the walking itself.

If you, a friend or loved one are considering taking advantage of the improving weather and beginning a walking regiment, here are some tips for getting started; courtesy of seniorfitness.com.

As always, if you are worried about starting an exercise program, or have any concerns at all, contact your physician before beginning. They will be able to provide you with the proper advice and limits for your situation.

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