Benefits of Home Care


The Link Between Senior Nutrition and Dementia: Reduce the Risk with These Tips

Poor senior nutrition may be linked to dementia.

Although there are a variety of age-related issues that can impact senior nutrition, research is now pointing to an even greater reason for ensuring our older loved ones stick to a healthy diet: potential cognitive impairment. And malnutrition in older adults is more common than you may think. According to the National Resource on Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Aging, upwards of 35 to 50% of the elderly residents of long-term care facilities are struggling with malnutrition, and as many as 65% of older hospitalized adults are estimated to be malnourished as well.

Malnourished older adults are twice as likely to see the doctor, and three times as likely to be hospitalized. They also encounter lessened muscle strength and poor healing. Not only that, but a recent study points to the … Read More »



Which Is More Effective: Senior Workouts or Medication? The Answer May Surprise You!

Senior workouts may be even more beneficial than medication.

If you made a New Year’s resolution to exercise more this year, hopefully you’re continuing to stick with it! As it turns out, adding more physical activity to your daily routine is one resolution we should all be keeping – and this is even more important for older adults, many of whom take multiple medications for a variety of conditions.

Research is showing that, surprisingly, doctor-approved senior workouts can be as effective as many typically-prescribed medications in treating or preventing some of the leading causes of death. In the study, scientists compared how effective various medications and exercise routines were in reducing deaths among those who had been diagnosed with several common and serious health conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes. The results consistently indicated that both … Read More »



A Key Component of Exercises for Seniors: Laughter!

Be sure to include laughter in your program of exercises for seniors.

Have you ever found yourself in the awkward situation where you’re about to bubble over with uncontrollable laughter, usually at the most inappropriate moment – standing in a crowded elevator, sitting in a quiet waiting room, or in the middle of a religious service? While there are, naturally, times when we should suppress the silliness, author Jane Heller explains that, “Humor can keep us balanced, even in the grimmest of times. It reminds us that despite illness and disability, there are moments of real joy in life and we need to embrace them.”

The health benefits of laughter are simply incredible, including:

Releasing endorphins
Strengthening brain connectivity
Providing a social boost
Relieving pain
Enhancing the immune system
Improving mood
And many more

When putting together a plan of exercises for seniors, be sure … Read More »



Dementia Exercise Suggestions for Each Stage of the Disease

Try these dementia exercise recommendations for each stage of the disease.

The many advantages of staying physically active are clear, but what is not as well known is that exercise can be extremely beneficial for those with Alzheimer’s disease, for a number of reasons: reducing the risk for muscle weakness and other issues that stem from inactivity, easing the effects of psychological and behavioral challenges, and much more.

As with anyone considering starting a new exercise routine, the doctor should first be consulted. Then, try these dementia exercise suggestions, utilizing the following strategies per each person’s individual abilities and the appropriate stage of  the disease:

Early Stages

Older adults in the initial stages of Alzheimer’s disease can often still fully enjoy active and social exercises like walking, dancing, bowling, golf, and swimming, even though some degree of … Read More »



The Latest Guidelines on Exercise for Arthritis Management

The latest recommendations make it even easier to exercise for arthritis management.

We all need to exercise and stay as physically active as possible, and older adults are no exception. But those who are challenged by the pain and stiffness of arthritis have an additional hurdle to overcome to maintain a healthy level of physical activity.

The good news: the most recent recommendations reduce the level of intensity of activity for older adults diagnosed with arthritis, suggesting as little as just 45 minutes of exercise per week to achieve and maintain a higher degree of functionality – much less intimidating for those who may typically shy away from exercise.

Per Northwestern University professor Dorothy Dunlop, “Even a little activity is better than none. For those older people suffering from arthritis who are minimally active, a 45-minute minimum … Read More »



Overcome These Common Obstacles to Family Caregivers and Seniors Using Technology

Seniors and their family seem to want to use care technology solutions. Find out why they typically are not.

Today’s older adults are overrun with an explosion of hi-tech products focused on bettering their independence and safety and providing life enhancement. With the touch of a button or two, older adults can automatically visit “in person” with friends and family through Skype, wear a pendant that takes action with emergency help and support when necessary, and even remain safe from getting lost with specialized receptors attached to clothes or shoes. 

The issue becomes how to encourage older adults (and family members who care for them) to shift from a low-tech frame of mind to embracing all that’s available to them, something that is continually top of mind for us at Hired Hands Homecare. AARP reports that only 7% … Read More »



Seniors and Technology: The Perfect Match for These 5 Common Concerns

Seniors and technology are the perfect match when facing these issues.

Whether you are looking to tune a guitar, study a new language, or just add cats’ ears to a selfie, there is an app for that! And when it comes to seniors and technology, specifically when older adults choose to age in place at home, high-tech tools are often an extremely important component in increasing safety, comfort, and overall quality of life.

Take Amazon’s Alexa, as an example. Whereas its current benefits for seniors are numerous, such as the ability to track sugar levels, make doctor appointments, and research information related to a specific health issue, it’s actually poised to dig even further into the medical care arena – possibly even detecting heart attacks and helping doctors obtain precise diagnoses.

Here are a few additional technology … Read More »



Teaching Seniors Technology: Make Sure It’s Part of Any High-Tech Gift!

Teaching seniors technology is as important as giving high-tech care enhancing gifts.

More and more older adults are receiving high-tech gadgets as holiday gifts, for good reason: there are so many incredible benefits to enhance safety, socialization, and enjoyment. In fact, of those seniors who report using the Internet, a full 71 percent go online every day or most days, and another 11 percent are online between three and five times per week, per recent research from the Pew Research Center. And that same report revealed that seniors are more likely to own a tablet or e-reader than a smartphone.

Whether you give an older loved one a tablet, e-reader, or AARP’s new RealPad (made especially for older adults, with larger icons, fonts and around-the-clock live customer service), smart devices such as these are meant to make … Read More »



Avoid a Hospital Visit for the Seniors You Love This Holiday Season With These Tips

While we may envision a Norman Rockwell-worthy Thanksgiving celebration, with the whole family enjoying quality time together and Grandma’s traditional feast, the reality for many families includes something unexpected: a hospital visit. In fact, statistics show that E/R visits for the elderly jump an astounding 10 – 20% during the holidays.

While pinpointing the exact reasoning behind this increase is difficult, it stands to reason that one factor could be family members who haven’t spent time with an elderly relative in the months prior to the holiday season, only to discover then that his or her condition has deteriorated.

Dr. Tamara Kuittinen of Lenox Hill Hospital explains, “It’s an issue of out of sight, out of mind for many people. If you haven’t seen your mom in six months, you may not be fully aware of the aging … Read More »



The Power Foods That Combat Stress During the Holidays – And How Home Care Can Help

As much joy as the holiday season brings, there’s also often an overwhelming level of stress, particularly for busy family caregivers who are already stretched thin. The additional responsibilities of shopping, baking, attending parties and events, and so much more can make it difficult to feel that all is calm and bright!

At Hired Hands Homecare, the top providers of elder care in Marin and the surrounding areas, it’s our goal to partner with families to provide the dependable, professional care services that help restore a healthy life balance – even (and especially!) during the hectic pace of the holidays. One of the many ways we can help is through planning and preparing nutritious meals for seniors, and when stress levels are elevated, including these types of foods has been shown to help.

Whole grains. A great source of serotonin … Read More »