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FirstLantic Blog – The Path to Outstanding Home Healthcare2021-04-22T08:26:59-04:00

Five of the Best Mental Wellness Podcasts

Since 1949, Mental Health Awareness Month has been celebrated in May.  The goal is to reach as many people as possible and provide foundational knowledge about mental health and what people can do if they are concerned about themselves or a loved one.  Over the last two years, feelings of loneliness and isolation have increased due to the pandemic.  And there is no doubt that many of us are still struggling with anxiety or stress as we work towards finding the new “normal”.   The important thing to remember is that you are not alone.  If you are experiencing some of these issues, you might benefit from a “safe space” — somewhere where you can retreat (at your leisure) to hear from experts or other people that have similar challenges. That’s why FirstLantic is devoting this blog to some of the most impactful podcasts that focus on mental wellness. Some are purely informational whereas others add some humor and entertainment to the topic. However, whichever one you choose, it’s a great way to join a conversation that many of us are too afraid to broach with family or friends.  So, get out those earbuds and start listening. Duff the Psych Known as The Hardcore Self Help Podcast psychologist Robert Duff focuses on various types of anxiety, trauma, as well as depression. He covers each topic in an approachable way that doesn’t feel “preachy.” His philosophy is that when people are already struggling with emotional difficulties, the last thing they need is psychobabble. He aims to take complex psychological issues and break them down into plain language through fielding mental health questions from his audience and interviewing interesting guests. The Happiness Lab If you think happiness is dependent on tons of money with big homes and fancy cars, Yale psychology professor Dr. Laurie Santos is here to [...]

Five Health Benefits of Tai Chi for Seniors

Many of us are aware of the benefits of yoga for mental and physical well-being. But did you know that Tai Chi could be equally beneficial? Tai Chi has been practiced in China for at least three hundred years and is known as a non-competitive martial art that combines gentle physical exercise and stretching with mindfulness. And while not as well-known as its yoga counterpart, Tai Chi is becoming one of the biggest trends in senior fitness. FirstLantic, a home healthcare company devoted to health and wellness, explains why Tai Chi is so curative. Five reasons tai chi is good for seniors Improves balance and flexibility The shifts in body weight that come with performing many tai chi movements help promote better balance. In fact, it enhances proprioception, otherwise known as kinesthesia. Kinesthesia is your body's ability to sense motion, action, and location and perform physical functions such as walking without consciously thinking about it. Unfortunately, proprioception declines as we age, but tai chi helps maintain it. A fall prevention study by the Journal of the American Geriatric Society found that the practice of tai chi reduced the rate of falls by 43% over the short term (less than 12 months.)  Those findings are supported by other studies, including well-known research conducted by the Emory University School of Medicine, which showed that Tai Chi classes help reduce fall risk by almost 50%. And it has been shown to raise the level of confidence in seniors, thereby decreasing their fear of falling. Enhances emotional well-being The series of graceful and deliberate moves that make up Tai Chi has a meditative quality that focuses on connecting mind and body to elicit a sense of inner calm. As Chris Cinnamon, head instructor of Chicago Tai Chi, states, “Tai chi trains you to feel your body with increasing detail [...]

May 10th, 2022|Categories: Health|

Six Ways to Address Family Caregiver Stress

As more senior adults choose to age in place, family members increasingly bear the responsibility of ensuring their loved ones can live safely at home. Whether it’s helping them out with chores around the house or providing full-time support, it’s estimated that there are now 48 million family caregivers within the United States. And as caregivers try to balance their personal life with the needs of their loved ones, their stress has also increased significantly. FirstLantic explains the importance of recognizing caregiver strain and techniques to address it. Causes of Stress Caregiver stress can stem from a variety of factors, including increased responsibility, time demands, unfamiliar medical and nursing tasks, and the financial burden. A recent AARP report found that the average family caregiver spends $7,242 a year on their loved one's care, including housing, health care, and other necessities. And six in 10 caregivers help with medical and nursing tasks such as operating ventilators, home dialysis, administering injections, and keeping track of multiple medications. Recognizing Strain The additional work, the mental stress, and a lack of sleep and physical activity can take their toll on the caregiver to the point when they become overwhelmed with stress and anxiety.   Some signs of caregiver strain include: Constant worry and fatigue Unusual gain or loss of weight Irritability or mood swings Social withdrawal and loss of interest in hobbies Feeling emotionally drained Frequent headaches, bodily pain, or other physical problems Abusing alcohol or drugs, including prescription medications What To Do If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the symptoms described above, that’s not rare. 14.5% of caregivers reported experiencing 14 or more mentally unhealthy days in the past month, while 17.6% of caregivers reported experiencing 14 or more physically unhealthy days in the past month. In addition, 37% report [...]

Five New Developments in Parkinson’s Disease Research

April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month. Although there is no cure for the disease, research and treatments are being conducted that are showing promise. However, if you or a loved one is suffering, the answers can't come soon enough. FirstLantic wants to make sure that you know the cutting-edge research underway and actions that you can take to help impact the future.   What is Parkinson’s Disease?   Parkinson’s happens when cells in the brain that produce dopamine stop working or die. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, a chemical that sends messages between nerve cells or between nerve cells and muscle cells to help the body function. Dopamine plays many roles in the body and affects physical and mental processes. Parkinson’s is progressive, and symptoms include tremors, muscular rigidity, and slow, imprecise movement.   Treatments   A non-invasive ultrasound treatment for Parkinson’s disease was tested in a trial led by the University of Maryland School of MedicineApril is Parkinson’s Awareness Month. Although there is no cure for the disease, research and treatments are being conducted that are showing promise. However, if you or a loved one is suffering, the answers can't come soon enough. FirstLantic wants to make sure that you know the cutting-edge research underway and actions that you can take to help impact the future.What is Parkinson’s Disease?   Parkinson’s happens when cells in the brain that produce dopamine stop working or die. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, a chemical that sends messages between nerve cells or between nerve cells and muscle cells to help the body function. Dopamine plays many roles in the body and affects physical and mental processes. Parkinson’s is progressive, and symptoms include tremors, muscular rigidity, and slow, imprecise movement.   Treatments   A non-invasive ultrasound treatment for Parkinson’s disease was tested in a trial led by the University [...]

Five Travel Groups Specializing in Trips for Seniors

For some seniors, the perfect trip is lying on the beach with a pina colada; for others, it involves activities like cycling or hiking. For still others, it's about the intellectual pursuit of learning new things. With the last two years forcing many of us to curb any idea of travel, many people are eager to start planning their next trip. And fortunately, there is no shortage of options. Many travel organizers now specialize in trips for a 50-plus audience. According to a recent AARP survey, 67% of older travelers anticipate they will travel in 2022 — taking an average of at least four trips this year. So, FirstLantic (with the help of Travel and Leisure) has consolidated a list of travel organizers that can help you plan that perfect getaway. Road Scholar If broadening your outlook and learning new things is your cup of tea, Road Scholar could be just what you're looking for. They are an American not-for-profit organization that provides educational travel programs primarily geared to older adults. Working with expert faculty, they create one-of-a-kind experiences that dive deep into the history and culture of the destination. Participants receive privileged access to places and experts that are part of the Road Scholar global network. Eldertreks If you’re looking for an active vacation, then you might want to check out Eldertreks. They specialize in adventure travel for people over 50 and engaged, unique, small-group adventures in over 100 countries. Whether your interest is in an African Safari or a trip to the Himalayas or the Antarctic, they have a journey that will fulfill your wanderlust. Tours are rated on an activity level ranging from one (easy) to five (challenging), so you can find the one that best suits your interest and capabilities. Walking The World Do you love [...]

How to Make Senior Life Transitions Less Stressful

  12 million - The number of Americans over age 65 who live alone, according to a report by the Pew Research Center.   And according to the U.S. Census, the rate of childless individuals among boomers is close to 20% with 27%. That means that many of these seniors will lack familial support and advocacy should they need it. Unfortunately, as we age and our mental or physical health may decline, that's the time when we need support the most. In addition to making critical medical decisions, there is a confusing maze of insurance, healthcare options, estate planning, etc. All these things are confusing for people of any age but especially difficult when you are at a vulnerable point in your life. Understanding the cost of home healthcare, how or when you can access benefits, and whether a long-term care policy coverage will be enough are common questions that patients struggle to answer, often amidst a medical or care crisis. That’s why FirstLantic Healthcare put together a specialized team of experts to guide patients through the complex maze of health and long-term care, offering help and answers when needed most.    Kelly Wilson is FirstLantic’s Director of Senior Solutions and leads the team. Her extensive personal and professional experience – paired with her in-depth knowledge of long-term care, aging services, policies, and programs — has earned her a reputation as a leader in the senior care community. FirstLantic’s senior solution services include but are not limited to: Patient advocacy Care and transition coordination, crisis management, LTC planning Connect and assist with support, services, and obtaining benefits Communicate with physicians, practitioners, and other parties to ensure health, legal, financial, and end of life preparations, wishes, and care are in place Educate clients and families about alternative settings for living and care In-home care referrals: private duty caregivers, [...]

Environmentally Friendly Spring Cleaning Tips

Spring has finally sprung!  Flowers in bloom, longer days, and the best part of all – spring cleaning.  Okay, well maybe that’s not the best part but it sure does feel good once you’ve finished.  But how do you do it in a way that’s good for you and the planet? Because let’s face it, toxic chemicals and a bunch of waste that is going to end up in a landfill are not good for anyone.  Since FirstLantic Healthcare cares about your wellbeing, we’re aggregating some techniques for you to get things spotless using natural ingredients as well as tips on recycling the things you decide to discard.  So, let’s get cleaning! Clean stainless-steel sinks with baking soda Wet your sink and faucet, sprinkle baking soda, and scrub with a sponge. If you need more scrubbing power, add salt to the baking soda. Remove water stains with lemon Use lemon to keep your faucets clean by rubbing a lemon half on the water stains.   Use white vinegar to dissolve mineral deposits in your shower. Vinegar can dissolve mineral deposits that accumulate in showerheads over time, causing reduced pressure and water flow. Fill a plastic bag with white vinegar, secure it over the showerhead with a rubber band and leave it overnight to get rid of buildup. Just be sure to run the shower before you use it again. Place a wet dryer sheet on your ceramic stovetop to remove burnt-on residue Dryer sheets are non-abrasive and a great way to remove burnt-on food from your stove. Place the wet dryer sheet on your stovetop for at least 15 minutes before rubbing the gunk away. Follow these tips to clean your oven. Clean your grill with an onion Get your grill cleaned up by heating it up and spraying white [...]

Ten things to know about Nutrition

March is National Nutrition Month!  It’s a time for each of us to focus on our diet and its’ effects on our health and wellbeing.  And it’s also a good opportunity to reflect on how our health affects our loved ones as well.  If you’re not healthy, chances are that you aren’t living life to its’ fullest and it’s probably preventing you from taking advantage of enjoyable activities with friends and family.  So, take this month to regroup, look at your own eating and exercise habits and press the restart button on your health and happiness.  To get you started, FirstLantic Healthcare created this quiz so you can test your knowledge on basic nutrition.  Answers are at the bottom but no peaking! How many glasses of water should you drink per day? A.2 to 3 B.4 to 6 C.8 to 12 D.13 to 15 How many dark green vegetables such as broccoli, peppers, brussels sprouts and leafy greens should you eat per week? A. Once per week B. Twice per week C. Four times a week D. Every day   How much calcium should the average adult over 50 years old get in their daily diet? A. 300 mg B. 500 mg C. 750 mg D. 1200 mg   Which of the following foods has the highest calcium content? A. Whole milk B. Yogurt C. Cooked spinach D. Sesame seeds   You should eat fish once per week. True or False?   If you are at a higher risk for heart disease, you should not consume more than 400mg of cholesterol per day. True or False?   Which of the following foods contains the highest mg of cholesterol?  A. Eggs B. Whole Milk C. Cheddar Cheese D. Lobster     Vegans and vegetarians have a hard time getting enough protein [...]

Ten Amazing Facts About Social Workers

This career requires long hours, can be emotionally challenging, and often pays too little.  Sounds amazing, right?  Sign me up!  Well, for the unsung heroes that are social workers that’s their reality.  And yet, they work tirelessly every day to improve the lives of others.  They help protect vulnerable children, support families in need of assistance, and clinical social workers diagnose and treat mental, behavioral, and emotional issues.  So, to show appreciation for all the amazing people who have chosen this sometimes difficult but also rewarding career, we celebrate National Social Worker Month. At FirstLantic Healthcare, we see first-hand how important their work is to our patients and their families.  We also recognize that many people don’t know as much as they should about the profession, so here are five interesting facts. The mean salary for social workers is approximately $60,000 per year despite the importance of their work and the fact that many hold Master’s Degrees. According to the government, over 60% of mental health services are delivered by licensed social workers. Four members of the House of Representatives and two US Senators are social workers - and over 170 total hold elected office at a national, local, and state level. There are more than 680,000 social workers in the U.S. yet it’s projected that the number of social workers needed will grow by 16% over the next decade. Social workers are using technology to treat patients via telehealth services which lower costs and increase the number of patients that can be treated. The US government officially recognized social worker month in 1984. Social Workers help people in all stages of life, from children to the elderly, and from all situations from adoption to hospice care. Forty percent of mental health professionals working with the Red Cross Disaster Services Human [...]

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