Several Foods that Fight Inflammation to Improve your Health


I know I have posted other articles on Chronic inflammation which has been associated with a variety of illnesses such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, Alzheimer's, and more-but It is important to remember that there are ways to decrease your risk through diet changes, these foods can decrease your risk of illness. It's no secret that chronic inflammation can be detrimental to our health. We're not speaking about the natural-occurring inflammation that safeguards your body—for example when you have an injury that causes inflammation. I am speaking about the kind that major diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, depression, arthritis, and Alzheimer's have been connected to.

The good news, we can use food to fight chronic inflammation. Rather than focusing on each the inflammatory foods that are quite obvious, such as sugar, soda, empty carbs, alcohol, and some other processed food, let us look at the foods you may eat to decrease inflammation. Adding salads or eating the vegetables alone that include leafy greens like Swiss chard and spinach, as well as veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and kale have powerful anti-inflammatory effects that reduce certain amounts within the body that drive inflammation. Add avocado into the mixture with its valuable chemicals protect against inflammation and you're set. Chili peppers contain specific acids that may also decrease inflammation, in addition to raw or lightly cooked mushrooms. Berries like acai-berries, and blueberries are packed with antioxidants that may decrease inflammation while also boosting immunity as well as flavor so pack them into smoothies or oatmeal. You may have heard how Omega-3 fatty acids, salmon and sardines have health benefits, but also seeds and nuts have anti-inflammatory properties like flaxseeds, almonds, and walnuts which help to decrease inflammation.   Add seeds into your breakfast smoothie or oatmeal, and scatter nuts on salads and roasted vegetables. Turmeric is another spice with powerful medicinal properties that give curry it’s yellow color and has a powerful constituent called curcumin and it's responsible for turmeric's increase in popularity for its anti-inflammatory advantages. Proceed past the golden latte, and include this spice into soups, grain bowls, and additives. Always add freshly ground black pepper to increase turmeric's absorption.

Drink plenty of water, not only does it moisturize but it will help soothe inflammation within the body.   Green or black tea have flavonoids, that have anti-inflammatory properties. Brew it yourself to avoid any unwanted sugars from pre-made versions.

Here at A Caring Hand for Mom (and Dad) are here to help by providing information on how to remain healthy as long as possible. When it is time to consider assisted living alternatives or memory care options call us at 800-881-7706. We are a senior placement agency staffed only by licensed healthcare professionals and help families find assisted living in Arizona. We are happy to help you and answer your questions so feel free to call us or visit our website for more information there is never a charge for our services for those who call or use our services.

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Super Aging the possible links between social engagement and Cognitive Health


This article was shared from NIH, The National Institue on Aging and I am sharing it on our blog 

Scientific evidence about the importance of remaining socially engaged as we age continues to grow. Participating in social activities, such as visiting friends, volunteering, and getting out for events and trips, has been associated with better cognitive function, while low social engagement in late life has been associated with an increased risk of dementia (Krueger, 2009Saczynski, 2006). Other research has shown that support from a spouse/partner and friends alleviates loneliness and improves well-being in older adults. Recent findings from Dr. Emily Rogalski and colleagues at Northwestern University studying cognitive “SuperAgers” add more evidence about the importance of positive social relationships (Maher, 2017).

Who are cognitive SuperAgers?

3 men sitting together on a bench and laughingNorthwestern’s SuperAgers cohort is made up of people age 80 and older whose episodic memory (memories of past personal events) is comparable to people 25 to 30 years younger (age 50-65). Over the seven years the research team has followed this group, their episodic memory test scores have not declined significantly, indicating remarkably resilient memory. What factors contribute to their elite performance?

In looking at the brains of SuperAgers, researchers found that the volume of the anterior cingulate, a brain area important for emotion and attention, declines more slowly in cognitive SuperAgers than age-matched controls (Harrison, 2012). Further, post-mortem analysis of SuperAger brains showed greater number of Von Economo neurons in the anterior cingulate compared to controls. These neurons are hypothesized to be important for higher order social cognition and behaviors (Butti, 2013Gefen, 2015).

Cognitive SuperAgers and psychological well-being

To measure the effect of psychological well-being on SuperAgers and age-matched controls, Rogalski’s team administered memory tests and the Ryff 42-item Psychological Well-Being Questionnaire, comprised of six areas: Autonomy, Positive Relations with Others, Environmental Mastery, Personal Growth, Purpose in Life, and Self-Acceptance. Intriguingly, while both groups reported similarly high levels of psychological well-being across 5 of the 6 dimensions, SuperAgers scored significantly higher on the positive social relationships scale, which measures satisfying, high-quality relationships reported by the individual.

These data suggest that perceived high-quality social relationships may be an important factor in the maintenance of cognitive function in the SuperAgers. The results provide additional support for the importance of Von Economo neurons and the anterior cingulate in social cognition and behavior, and add to a growing literature about the importance of social engagement and positive social connections as we age.

At A Caring Hand for Mom (and Dad) we strive each day to help those struggling with Dementia and families searching for MemoryCare alternatives throughout Arizona.  We are healthcare professionals with extensive experience and are familiar with Assisted Living alternatives throughout the state from Memory Care Facilities to secure assisted living alternatives and Group homes (which are smaller assisted living home like environments).  We are a senior placement agency and will help you find the best alternative for your loved one that is affordable and provides the kind of care you are looking for so call us today at 800-881-7706 and speak with a licensed healthcare professional. 


Maher AC, et al. Psychological well-being in elderly adults with extraordinary episodic memoryPLoS One. 2017 Oct 23;12(10):e01864

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Researchers are Working on a Blood Test to Identify Alzheimer's Related Proteins to Improve Clinical Trail Results to Develop a Cure


Researchers in Japan and Australia have developed a blood test that can identify people who have high levels of a protein linked to Alzheimer's disease.  If confirmed by further research, this long-sought evaluation might help from the increasingly desperate search for therapies that halt the development of dementia, which affects tens of thousands of people globally.The test identifies people whose brains possess high levels of amyloid-β, a protein which is a vital player in Alzheimer's disease, and this could either cause dementia or become a symptom of it.  The researchers hope that drug developers could use the test to recruit individuals with dementia in to clinical trials before irreversible damage to their brains has happened -- thus making the trials more reliable.

When it is time to consider a Memory Care facility or assisted living alternative call a senior placement agency like the one at which is staffed by licnesed healthcare professional not sales and marketing staff.  We are here to help you so call us today at 800-881-7706 and speak with a professional who is fimiliar with resources in your area.

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The Big Decision Living at Home or Assisted living

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Tips for Healthy Aging


1. Be Active and Stay Active

Regular exercise is one of the best keys to physical and psychological wellbeing. Living an active life will help you stay fit enough to keep your liberty to go where you wish to and perform your pursuits.

Tips: The secret is to stay active, so do something you will enjoy. If you aren't the kind of person who'll adhere to a regular gym routine, go on a walk or ride your bicycle every day instead. Attempt to incorporate aerobic, equilibrium like Tia chi water aerobics, and muscle strengthening, activities to your routine. Consider what works best for you, consult your doctor, and get moving! 

2. Eat Healthy Foods

The majority of adults in America eat more than twice the recommended daily allowance of sodium, which can result in hypertension and cardiovascular disease; the majority of this high sodium intake comes from pre-packaged foods, restaurants and fast foods.

Avoid sweet, salty, and processed foods. Remember that each person has different dietary requirements -- follow your doctor's suggestions regarding dietary restrictions

3. Keep Your Mind Active by Staying Sharp

Studies have shown that a lifestyle that includes cognitive stimulation through active learning slows cognitive decline.

Tips: Never quit learning and challenging your mind! Take dance lessons, learn a new vocabulary, attend lectures at a local college, learn to play a musical instrument, or read a novel or newspaper, do a crossword puzzle.

4. Cultivate Your Relationships

Twenty-eight percentage of older adults live alone, and living alone is the most powerful risk factor for solitude and loneliness. Frequent life changes in older adulthood, such as fertility, health problems, or even the loss of a spouse, may result in social isolation.

Tips: Maintain communication with your loved ones and friends, particularly after a significant loss or lifestyle change. Schedule regular time to meet with friends and family -- over java, during a weekly shared meal, or around a common interest.  Consider a move to a retirement community or an Arizona assisted living community where you can start out independent but get services when you need it.  Don’t be afraid to consider new living options it will help you stay independent by giving you things to do and the ability to make new friends which will keep you healthy and active.

5. Get Enough Sleep

Older adults want as much sleep as younger adults -- seven to nine hours each night -- but frequently get less. Deficiency of sleep can lead to depression, irritability, increased fall risk, and memory issues and increased anxiety.

Tips: Develop a regular schedule with a bedtime routine. Keep your bedroom dark and noise-free-- prevent watching television while in bed or turn off the TV at a certain time at night once relaxed in bed. Have something that will relax you as part of your nightly routine.

6. Reduce Stress

As we age, our stressors change and so will our ability to deal with stress. Long-term stress can harm brain cells and lead to depression. In reality, it is projected that over 90 percent of illness is either caused or complicated by stress.  So as they say don’t worry be happy relax and smell the roses, you can only change what you have control of at the end of the day.  Be proactive and be positive!

Tips: We can't entirely avoid stressful situations but we can learn better techniques to deal with stress. Manage yourself when you are worried by having enough sleep, exercising, and eating nutritious foods. Talk to a loved one or counselor about your anxiety, and try some relaxation techniques, such as going for a walk, relation breathing, yoga, or meditation. Never forget to keep things in perspective and adapt to what you can control.  

7. Practice Prevention

Many injuries, illnesses, and frequent geriatric health care ailments, such as falls, chronic illness, depression, and frailty, are also preventable.  So talk to a friend review our home safety page on our website to give you ideas on how to keep your home safe and get regular check-ups with your doctor.

Tips: To prevent disease, get a yearly influenza vaccine, consider pneumonia and shingles vaccines and wash your hands after using the restroom and before handling food. To prevent a fall, complete a home safety checklist, use assistive devices, wear proper footwear, get your vision checked, take vitamins with enough vitamin D and calcium, and get some type of exercises into your routine.

8. Take Charge of Your Health

The majority of our health isn't controlled by the health care system but by our own actions throughout our lives, our environment, our genes, and societal factors. Additionally, physicians are not perfect; and may miss signs and symptoms of a more serious disease. The more individuals take part in their healthcare, the more satisfied they tend to be together with the care they receive.

Tips: Think about the ways your health can boost by changing your lifestyle, and make these changes. Get in touch with your primary care practitioner for a yearly physical or whenever you've got a concern about your health, and go to all those appointments with a list of what you are concerned about and the symptoms you may be experiencing. Bring a list of your current prescription and nonprescription drugs, including herbal supplements; maintain a list of your health concerns; and, above all, ask questions!

9. Get out of the House  

Older adults who take part in meaningful community activities like volunteer work, participating in a local senior centers programs report feeling healthier and less miserable. Remember that participating in activities should be fun, not stressful!

If you would like more information call us today to speak with a healthcare professional who can answer your questions or visit the A Caring Hand for Mom (and Dad) website at 

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Useful Strategies for Selecting a Quality Assisted Living Facility

If your mother, dad or some other loved one has reached the point at which they can't remain at home alone, and need
ongoing care, then it could be time to begin looking into assisted living in Arizona.  The challenge with this choice is that there are a large number of centers to choose from, making it tricky to know which option is best.  Assisted Living communities, facilities and group homes come in all shape sizes and levels of care provided although they may all be called "Assisted Living" they are not the same level of care. 
How to discover the right AZ assisted living option for your loved one? 
Ascertain What Degree of Care Your Loved One Needs. Modern assisted living centers offer three
Basic levels of care they are Directed Care, Personal Care and Supervisory Care.  Individuals who require the maximum help will generally be at a "Directed Care" facility or group home.  Typically, seniors in those facilities
will have a private room but semi-private rooms may also be available to assisted those with a lower monthly budget.  
An assisted living facility is for seniors that:
Do several things on their own, but need some help with day to day tasks, like taking medications, bathing, cooking and much more.  If you choose this type of care, then your senior loved one will receive a private or semi-private
room, meals, assistance with ADL's, medication administration assistance will be provided by the staff. Keep in mind that not all places are the same, some are all inclusive and some charge for services on a ala carte basis.  Many larger communities or facilities charge ala carte meaning the fee for the room is separate from the fee for care services.  So in these cases your monthly fees will start at one level and then increase as more services or care is needed.  I group home facilities most charge one all inclusive rate for all the care the senior needs.
Seniors who are able to handle tasks on their own each day, but need someone to help with cooking or cleaning will generally live in an independent living facility. Some independent living communities offer additional services which may be purchased separately such as housekeeping, personal care services and daily check-ins with the front desk. 
What to consider when choosing an assisted living facility in Arizona,
You need to take into account the quality and safety of the centre.  Although You can use online sources to assist you in determining what places follow the established rules and regulations that were set by the Department of Health Services, it is important to utilize the services of a Senior placement agency like the one at A Caring Hand for Mom which is staffed by Licensed Health Care Professionals.  Their care and experience will help you sort through all the important details that need to be taken into account when searching for assisted living options in Arizona  
Visiting the fFacility You are thinking about:
After you have found the facilities which meet the regulations and rules set by the government, that provide the services you are requiring, is in the financial range you require  then you want to go to the facilities which you're considering.  Make sure that you have some opportunity to talk with the care providers, managers and, if possible, some of the residents.  This is a great way to obtain some invaluable insight about the services of this facility.  
Determine the expertise at the Facility
Throughout your visit, you should Not Just speak To the people there, but also go through the rooms, food, activities and more.  This is a very important portion of assisted living life and something you ought to find out about prior to choosing a location for your older loved one.  Ask if their staff has had any specialized training, what level of care they are licensed for in different section of the community and how many staff members are there to each resident during the day, evening and night shifts.  
When It's Time to choose an assisted living FacilityFacility, the best thing you can do is make use of the hints here.  When you do, you'll be able to make an informed decision concerning the facility that is ideal for you.  Being informed is your best way to make the perfect decision for your aging loved one.  
Find out more about what to think about when looking for at an assisted living facility by visiting the A Caring Hand for Mom (and Dad) website and by speaking with an experienced health care professional by calling 800-881-7706 
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Considering Assisted Living Options Get Help Now

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How to Improve Home Safety for Seniors


How to Improve Home Safety for Seniors

You require a plan.

1. Call in a pro.

There are many healthcare professionals that can help you and offer recommendations like the ones at “A Caring Hand for Mom” who will help you.

2. Modify. Adapted homes could be trendy, comfortable and safe for all ages. You may need:

  • Zero-threshold entryways
  • wide doorways and halls
  • counter door hinges to make room for a wheelchair, walker or two people walking side by side
  • controllers and switches that are reachable from a bed or wheelchair
  • a waterproof seat in the shower
  • a stair-climber
  • a raised toilet seat
  • a shower seat
  • a frameless walk-in shower with a sloped floor instead of a step-over threshold
  • put textured no-slip strips from the tub and shower to lessen the chance of a slip and fall

3. Make easy fixes. Each year, 1 in 4 adults over age 65 have a fall. To lessen the chances:

  • Eliminate throw rugs.
  • Use rubber-backed bathmats.
  • Move laundry centers into the primary floor.
  • Remove wheels on seats.
  • Put nonskid treads on steps.
  • Apply nonslip wax to flooring.
  • If wandering is a worry, add monitors and detector alarms or install a raised locking hinge.
  • Repair loose carpets or raised areas of floors.
  • Move little and very low furniture to avoid tripping.
  • Clear electric cords and clutter. 
  • Add a hall railing.
  • Switch out regular doorknobs for lever handles.
  • Add a raised toilet and grab bars.
  • Remove locks from bathroom and bedroom doors so you can get in quickly, if your loved one fall.
  • Put a railing on the hallway wall.
  • Swap out your recliner for one which raises as an example a “lift Chair” will raise the person to a near standing position-- to make getting up easier.

4. If you hire someone. You need to:

  • Obtain references
  • Get several bids
  • Check references
  • Monitor their job.

5. Stay out of hot water. You may want to:

Lower the temperature at the hot water heater or have your local plumber do it for you or invest in readily installed sink, tub and shower anti-scalding apparatus that will stop the water when it is too hot.. Cost:about $40.

6. Light the way. As we get older, we need more light. Install:

  • Bright lights in halls, closets, stairwells
  • additional lamps -- consider models that turn on and off with a touch or go on automatically when you enter the room

7. Alter the kitchen. Put frequently used things on an easy-to-reach refrigerator shelf. Also:

  • Consider using automatic apparatus to turn off the stove and oven or installing an induction cooktop -- which turns off when a kettle is taken out of the burner.
  • Use an automatic shut off coffee maker, single cup maker or one that uses a thermal type of coffee pot that doesn't stay on once the coffee is brewed

8. Stay connected. If you’re loved one is home alone:

  • Check in using an iphone, Skype or any other video-chat app.
  • Mount a motion-activated safety camera at the home -- with your loved one's permission.
  • Consider a life alert type of emergency response system with pendants that can be worn around there neck or clipped on their clothing and is waterproof and can be worn in the shower.

The professionals at A Caring Hand for Mom (and Dad) can help you sort through options to stay at home safely as well as help you plan for the future by giving you information on assisted living options in your area or areas such as assisted living facilities in Peoria AZ or other Assisted Living facilities throughout Arizona as they have a full listing of facilities and prices throughout the state.  They specialize in helping families find safe independent and assisted living communities and group homes throughout Arizona so call them today for immediate assistance at 800-881-7706.  

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Healthy Ways to Deter Dementia that you May No Longer be Doing


Dementia deterred: Drink orange juice! 

Here is a new twist on an old favorite Orange Juice, it has been hammered in articles on healthy eating trends for its sugar content and substituted using greener and 'cleaner' fare at the hipster's breakfast table, the formerlyalways present OJ is having a crisis of confidence.  Just as the humble bowl of cereal has lost its heart-healthy standing, so the orange's zest in vitamin C is being crushed to a pulp.  However, if spinach smoothies aren't quite hitting the area, the most recent study is worth remembering.  Scientists at Tohoku University in Japan have discovered that daily consumption of citrus fruits may cut your risk of developing dementia by nearly a quarter.  That is because citric acid contains nobiletin.  Nobiletin is a flavonoid isolated from citrus peels. It is an O-methylated flavone that has the activity to rescue bulbectomy-induced memory impairment.  With anti-inflammatory, anti bacterial and anti-microbial properties which has also been proven to slow or reverse  memory impairment.  Dementia is a state you would be well advised to put the squeeze o, with experts predicting that  millions will be diagnosed with the disease by 2040. However, in news that could be bittersweet, most nobiletin is contained in the pith (the white sewing of the fruit).  So unless you're ready to juice your own, buy the variety with pulp'  for optimum benefit.  Couple your OJ with these basics to further bolster your brainpower and enhance mental sharpness.

Marmite: The University of York found daily servings upped the calming chemical messenger GABA, aiding healthy brain activity.  Marmiteis a concentrated yeast extract paste enjoyed at any time of the day.  Whether on toast for breakfast on a sandwich for lunch or added ingredient in stews and casseroles.

Coffee: A study printed in the Journal of Neuroscience says a cup disrupts adenosine - a significant culprit in neurodegeneration.

Walnuts: Add to porridge. The University of sukuba in Japan found that alpha-linolenic acid reduces the risk of dementia.

So whether you are just looking to stay healthy at home or are considering assisted Living options in Arizona you can apply these concepts to your daily lives.  If you are considering senior living alternatives it is important to consult with a senior placement advisor like the ones at  The staff consists of only licensed health care professionals so you can trust their advice so call them today at 800-881-7706.

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The Flu Season is Real


The Flu is Real this Season!  

Here is some general advise to help you during this time of year:

1.)  It's possible for you to get the flu even if you received the flu vaccine.  Especially since this years taken is just 10% successful in some areas.

2.)  You've got a virus using a span of 7-14 days during which you're likely to feel as if you would like to perish; you may/will have fever, chills, severe headache, sore throat, chest congestion, nasal congestion, coughing, and sneezing, sore throat, acute weakness/lethargy, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea and severe body/joint aches. 

3.)Viruses DON'T get treated with antibiotics, so it must run its course.   Proceed to your primary care physician, urgent care, or telephone triage nurse FIRST, however, understand there is little they can do to help you.  The one thing that they can help you with is medication for acute coughing unresponsive to over the counter drugs or acute diarrhea/vomiting.  You don't need antibiotics unless you build a secondary lung infection.   

4.)  DON'T GO TO THE ER. . .UNLESS you have shortness of breath, you cannot keep down fluids for 24 hours, have persistent liquid stools accompanied by nausea, speedy heartbeat or low blood pressure.   Tamiflu is an antiviral drug that is found to be somewhat effective, and also comes with important side effects and cost tag

5.)  DO take Tylenol AND Advil/Motrin/Aleve in MAX doses (unless contraindicated with other wellness issues) to alleviate fever, headache and body aches.   Talk to your doctor!

6.) DO take over-the-counter flu remedies.  Be cautious taking combinations of different medications to prevent overdosing and overtreating (for example, some flu medications already have Tylenol (Acetaminophen) in them, read the bottle. 

7.)  Use home remedies such as "hot toddies" (whiskey/lemon/honey FOR ADULTS ONLY), hot showers, vapor rubs, vapor humidifiers, essential oils, etc..    Drink a Lot of fluids!  Hot liquids and soups may be helpful. 

8.) Try to keep nutritious intake.  Milk products may thicken mucus and aggravate coughs.  If your urine is yellow or darker, you aren't drinking enough. 

9.)  IMPORTANT: A rule of thumb about coughing! . . .If it is productive (coughing up sputum), DO NOT suppress it with meds.  If it's non-productive (annoying and dry), then DO suppress it.  Make sure that you're properly hydrated, especially with a productive cough (it thins secretions and makes them easier to cough up and outside).  Elevate your head when you sleep to decrease coughing/secretions. 

10.) PLAN AHEAD if you can --stock up today on essential medications, juices and beverages, soups, popsicles, and broth so you are going to be ready.  This time of year it is not strange to find store shelves empty.  You won't need to go shopping if you or a loved one is ill. 

11.)  LIMIT THE TIMES YOU GO OUT IN PUBLIC!  An elderly person or someone in poor health or with respiratory disease can certainly die from the flu and you do not want to be the one who exposed them.  Do NOT send a child with a fever to school during influenza season.  Help out your school nurses. 


13) Consider Elderberry as a powerful remedy against flu symptoms as well as other homeopathic medications like Oscilloccilum.   I also like additional immune support herbal products like emergen C, echinacea and golden seal as well as zicam for colds.

14.)Take meds responsibly, this information is my opinion from personal and professional experience, and I'm not liable for any action taken based on these recommendations so speak with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medications.

15.)  As always if you are interested in more informtion about healthy liivng please read our Blog and visit for more information on assisted living options.  Follow us on  facebook as well.  

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Cooling Brain Inflammation Naturally with Food



 This Article was originally posted in Psychology Today and I am sharing a portion of it today with you.  Although this article s focus is on the effects of Brain inflamation on Psychiatric illness it has an impact on dementia as well.  Healthy eating is essential to our everyday lives and this article gives you many wonderful ways of reducing inflamation thorough diet as well as certain medications that may help.  If you are looking for additional information Alzheimers disease and related dementias or are considering Assisted Living options for your loved one please visit our website for more onformation.
Suzi Smith, used with permission
Source: Suzi Smith, used with permission

Is your brain on fire—and not in a good way?

A staggering one in six Americans now take psychiatric medication in an attempt to manage psychiatric conditions such as depressionbipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Unlike other medical problems, psychiatric problems shake us to our very core—affecting not only our productivity and health, but also our relationships with others and with ourselves. We tend to think of psychiatric problems as "chemical imbalances" in neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, and most psychiatric medications are designed to try to bring these brain signalling molecules back into balance. 

But what if we targeted inflammation instead? It is now well-established that inflammation plays a significant role in psychiatric disorders

Inflammation and the Brain

The inflammation we’re talking about isn’t the type that makes your brain swollen, red, or sore—it’s inflammation on a microscopic level. When cells are in distress, they release tiny SOS signals called “inflammatory cytokines” that can be measured in the blood. Here are just a few of the compelling scientific clues connecting psychiatric disorders to inflammation:

Ok, so if micro-inflammation causes “chemical imbalances” in the brain and contributes to psychiatric symptoms --what can you do about it?

How to Fight Brain Inflammation

Well, if taking two drugs instead of just one is your cup of tea, you could try taking an anti-inflammatory medication along with your psychiatric medication. Emerging research suggests medications like Celebrex may be helpful in some cases.

Or you could ask the logical question: what is causing brain inflammation in the first place?

As a psychiatrist passionate about the connection between food and brain health, I believe that the most powerful way to correct chemical imbalances in the brain is through food—because that's where brain chemicals come from.

Which foods are most likely to set your brain on fire? The two most powerful promotors of inflammation in our modern diet are refined carbohydrates and refined vegetable oils.

Refined Carbohydrates and Inflammation

Refined carbohydrates include all processed sugars and starches—sugar, corn syrup, fruit juice, flour, and most breakfast cereals are just a few of the foods in this category. [for a more complete list see my refined carbohydrates page] Refined carbohydrates cause unnaturally high spikes in blood sugar, which are powerful promoters of oxidation and inflammation. When cells are flooded with too much sugar (glucose) all at once, the chemical pathways they use to process glucose become overloaded, causing free radical by-products to spill out into the surrounding area. Free radicals are like little bulls in a china shop, bumping into neighboring structures and DNA, damaging cells from the inside out (“oxidation”). Cytokines like IL-6 and TNF-alpha are then called to the scene as first responders (“inflammation”). 

Vegetable Oils and Inflammation

"Vegetable" oils are oils extracted from seeds--these include soybean oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, corn oil, and many, many others. We were taught that these oils were healthy for us because they are cholesterol-free, low in saturated fat and come from plants, but the truth is that they do not exist in nature, require industrial methods and often chemical solvents to extract, and are loaded with omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 fatty acids promote inflammationand fight against the precious omega-3 fatty acids our brains need to develop properly and function properly every day. Vegetable oils are found in nearly every processed food in the grocery store—baked goods, salad dressings, chips, snack bars, soups, sauces, fried foods, mayonnaise, etc.

Suzi Smith, used with permission
Source: Suzi Smith, used with permission

Could it be that the rise of refined carbohydrates and refined oils in our modern diet helps to explain the skyrocketing prevalence of mental illness in our society? How about removing these from your diet to see if you feel better? Sounds easy enough, but both of these ingredients are now so ubiquitous in most of the foods we eat that most people can't even begin to imagine how they would get along without them. Processed modern foods are everywhere and make up nearly 2/3 of what Americans buy at the grocery store.

And there’s another problem: human nature.

The Psychology of Subtraction

We human beings prefer to believe that ADDING something to our diet or medicine cabinet will improve our health. It is SO much easier, of course, to simply take a supplement or add a colorful superfood to your grocery list, than to contemplate REMOVING something from your diet—particularly when that something is tasty, cheap, and addictive. Adding feels good, positive, proactive and exciting, whereas subtracting feels bad and negative, and doesn’t make a very sexy headline. Also…nobody gets rich advising you to take things out of your diet…

This is precisely why so many people turn to “superfoods” or expensive plant extract supplements that claim to fight inflammation, despite there being almost no experimental evidence in human beings to support this approach.

What does work?

Reducing omega-6 fatty acid intake by replacing “vegetable” oils with other fat sources has been shown to improve inflammation and even reduce chronic pain.

Removing most carbohydrate from the diet is also a powerful metabolic intervention. Low-carbohydrate diets have been shown in scientific studies to improve multiple markers of inflammation.

Unfortunately, we don’t know whether low-omega-6 diets or low-carb diets help with depression because those studies haven’t been done yet. The only diet that has been systematically tested on people with depression has been the Mediterranean diet. Studies do show that a Mediterranean diet can improve symptoms of depression compared to the average “Western” diet (you can read more about one of these studies right here on Psychology Today). Some believe that the Mediterranean diet is superior because it is high in potentially magical foods like olive oil or nuts—but this diet is also very low in refined carbs and processed foods—could that be the secret sauce?

Nutrition Rules to Cool Your Brain

Nutrition is simple. Natural foods are more likely to be good for you than unnatural foods.

It’s not that all carbs are bad. Natural carbs found in whole fruits and vegetables are probably fine (unless you have insulin resistance—see this post)

It’s not that all fats are bad. We need fat! Natural fats from whole animal and plant foods, such as lard, tallow, schmaltz, duck fat, egg yolks, olives, and avocados are nutritious and healthy; the belief that they cause heart disease is not supported by science

There are of course other things that trigger inflammation in the body, including stress, environmental toxins, illness, injury and infection, so reducing stress, getting regular exercise and avoiding chemical exposures can all reduce your risk—but if you ignore your diet, your internal system will continue to be tilted towards inflammation, working against all of your other efforts.

To cool and quiet inflammation in your brain naturally, steer clear of refined carbohydrates and vegetable oils, which no human was ever meant to eat, and choose whole animal and plant foods that we are well-adapted to consuming. This means avoiding processed foods like baked goods, pasta, cereals, salad dressings, candy, chips, mayonnaise, soda, fried foods, and fruit juice and sticking to real whole foods like meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, fruits, and vegetables.

While this SOUNDS simple and obvious, most of us eat VERY differently. How healthy is your diet? Get curious and take a week to evaluate the amount of processed food you eat. This will help to increase your awareness of what you’re feeding your brain. Then start practicing removing refined carbohydrates and vegetable oils from your diet. If you are looking for a drug-free way to improve the health of your whole body—including your most precious organ—your brain—this is the best place to start.  

 I hope you found this article as interestingand informative as I did, if you are struggling with caring for a aging loved one and are considering assisted living alternatives or just want more information on Alzheimers disease and related dementias please visit our website and read our Blog.  Below is information on the author of the above article.

About the Author


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Tips to Speak to Your Parents about Assisted Living

Tips to Speak to Your Parents about Assisted Living

A commonly asked question about senior care in Phoenix, AZ involves having “the conversation.” This is the conversation when you bring up assisted living to your parents. There are quite a few people who completely dread having to have this conversation, and there is good reason for this. How is your elderly loved one going to respond to the talk? Are they going to believe you are trying to take away all their independence? What methods should you use to speak to them without causing them to get angry or upset?

The good news is, there are some tips that can help you have this all-important conversation about senior living in Phoenix, AZ, without causing undue stress or emotions for anyone.

Make Sure to Laugh

While this advice may sound like it is out of context, it is something that is desperately needed at this time. If you don't make an effort to laugh, then you are going to cry. Work to find humor even in weird or bizarre circumstances. This will help you relax, and make this difficult conversation a bit easier. The last thing you need to do is try to speak to your parents with all types of pent up emotions and feeling ready for an argument. Lighten the situation by follow your loved one's lead and letting this guide the conversation.

Keep the Lines of Communication Open

You need to make sure that your parents know you are willing to listen to what they have to say and their opinion on the matter. When it comes to Phoenix assisted living, there are many options available. Be sure your senior loved one knows that you will take their wishes into consideration and that they will be included in the decisions made.

Don't Judge

Don't try to use the fact that you and your parents did not get along during your youth to try and force the idea of third-party elderly care in Phoenix on them. After all, you may be in that position in the future and you would want to be treated with respect. Make sure that you leave your judgement at the door and enter the conversation with an open mind.

When it is time to have a conversation about assisted living facilities, use the tips and information found here. Doing so will help ensure you find a solution that meets everyone's needs and that lets your senior know you value their opinion and their wishes about the matter. There is no question that this can be a difficult conversation, but it is one that many people have to have at some point.

Having the tough conversation about when it is time for your loved one to consider assisted living isn't something anyone looks forward too. However, you can visit the A Caring Hand for Mom (and Dad) website to find some helpful information about how to handle this situation and call them at 800-881-7706 their healthcare professionals have many years of experience and are here to help .

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Tips Seniors Can Use to Avoid Getting Sick this Winter


Tips Seniors Can Use to Avoid Getting Sick this Winter

When colder weather arrives, the cold temperatures, dangerous debris from falling leaves, gravel on walkways from rains or ice and snow can make life more complicated for everyone; however, for seniors, it is often especially dangerous.

As a person ages, their body becomes more susceptible to injuries if they were to fall outside, and they are more likely to contract illnesses due to the spread of germs. For those living in assisted living in Surprise, AZ, there are several steps they can take to help maintain their health, and stay illness-free during the colder months of the year.

Avoid Germs by Washing Hands Often

One of the most effective and easiest ways that seniors can prevent the spread of germs and protect themselves and others in their assisted living facility from diseases, is to keep their hands clean at all times. While it is not possible to keep bacteria at bay all the time, washing the hands for at least 20 seconds, or using a hand sanitizer is a great way to avoid spreading bacteria that results in illnesses.

While killing the germs on the hands is important, it is also essential that when a person sneezes or coughs that they don’t do this and cover their mouth or face with their hands. If they do, they will contaminate everything they touch afterward. Instead, use a tissue to cover the nose or mouth, or the crook of the elbow.

Exercise Often

Physical activity is a great way for seniors in assisted living in Surprise, AZ to boost their immune function. Exercising on a regular basis is a great way to boost immune function in the body by increasing the circulation of antibodies that fight away germs and bacteria. This will also circulate white blood cells, which are able to detect bacteria that are harmful more quickly and get rid of the parasites.

Additionally, exercise regularly can help to flush out bacteria from the lungs. This is beneficial for preventing and reversing respiratory infections, such as the common cold. There are some types of bacteria that thrive in colder environments. When a senior rises their body temperature, they can prevent the growth of bacteria, which may stop or slow down the contraction of a disease. It is a good idea for assisted living facilities to have group exercise classes this time of year to help reduce the spread of illness.

Increase Your Vitamin D Intake

Vitamin D is essential for the health of your immune system. However, for many the nutrient is usually soaked up when in the sun. Unfortunately, during the winter months, the amount of sun seniors can enjoy is limited due to the cold conditions. As a result, they should increase the amount they eat.

Assisted living facility staff members should take a proactive role in helping to prevent illness in seniors during the colder months of the year. The fact is, assisted living communities can be a harbor for germs and diseases if the staff doesn’t take action. The good news is, the majority of facilities already have protocol in place to keep everyone healthy.

When it comes to keeping seniors healthy, it really is a group effort. While seniors need to take steps to protect themselves, the team at the assisted living facility where they live need to pitch in too, to ensure the spread of germs is prevented as much as possible.

Find out more information about how the staff members at assisted living facilities near you can help to keep seniors healthy during the colder months of the year by visiting the A Caring Hand for Mom (and Dad) website. If you are considering a move to Assisted Living call our professionals today at 800-881-7706 we are here to help and there is never a charge to you or your family members for our services.

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Reasons to Consider Moving to an Assisted Living Facility


Reasons to Consider Moving to an Assisted Living Facility

If you have a senior loved one who is contemplating moving out of their home, you likely know there are quite a few options to choose from. Nursing homes, senior apartments and assisted living facilities in Glendale, AZ are just the tip of the iceberg. However, what many people may not realize is that assisted living facilities offer a number of benefits.

Learning about some of the reasons to move to Glendale assisted living can help you make an informed decision regarding if this is the right option for you and your family.


According to a number of studies, up to 33 percent of seniors living on their own have a serious fall at least once a year. If an elderly person falls, the injuries can be debilitating and in some cases, life threatening. The winter months pose increased risk for the elderly because of the colder conditions, even though Arizona isn’t an area that gets much ice.

When your senior loved one makes the decision to live in assisted living in Glendale, AZ, they won’t have the same worries. The outdoor chores, such as clearing walkways and grocery shopping are handled by the staff. Also, if a senior does happen to fall, there will be someone nearby all hours of the day to provide help.

Relationships and Healthcare

A huge challenge that many seniors face is being able to take care of all their medical needs, alone. With assisted living services, seniors can receive help with various tasks including managing their medication, escorts to the doctor or other destinations, dressing, bathing and more.

Another benefit is that when a senior moves into this facility they will be living with people their own age and facing the same challenges they do. As they become comfortable in the senior living environment in Glendale, AZ, they can begin to eat with other residents, go out with them and just enjoy the company of other people their age. This constant social contact will help them feel young and keep them from being isolated, which is a serious concern for many seniors who are living alone.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to assisted living facilities, there are a number of options to consider. However, you do need to take the time to find the right one for you and your family member. Being informed will help you see why these facilities are right for you and your senior loved one.

As you can see, there are several reasons to choose assisted living over other living options. They just make sense in many situations and for many seniors and their families.

If you are searching for information about assisted living facilities and need assistance in making a decision for your loved one, use the resources and information found at the A Caring Hand for Mom (and Dad) website and call their healthcare professionals today at 800-881-7706 for immediate assistance.

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Understanding the Difference between Assisted Living and Independent Living


Understanding the Difference between Assisted Living and Independent Living

If you are helping to care for an older member of your family, then you may discover at some point they need additional care that you just can’t provide. At this point, you will discover there are more than a few options to consider. One that is extremely popular is assisted living facilities in Phoenix, AZ. However, if you aren’t sure what the difference is in assisted living in Phoenix, AZ and independent living, you may want to speak with one of the licensed health care professionals at “A Caring Hand for Mom (and Dad)” who can help you gather the important information you will need. This will help you feel less overwhelmed and help you to make an informed decision.

Assisted Living and Independent Living: What’s the Difference?

Assisted living and independent living communities are two of the most popular options today. While they both provide quite a few benefits to seniors, you may not know how to tell one from the other. When it comes to senior care in Phoenix, AZ being informed and knowing the difference can ensure you choose the right facility.

The fact is, you aren’t alone in your confusion. These two types of care are similar, but they do have a few distinct differences. Making the decision between independent and assisted living isn’t something that is always easy, but it is one you have to keep in mind. In most cases, it will depend on how well the senior is able to manage their day to day affairs, such as transportation, cooking, grooming, and housekeeping. Also, an older person’s memory, mobility and health should be considered.

The two living options share several important aspects, such as companionship, security and safety; however, there are differences that set them apart.

About Independent Living

Independent living is a type of senior living facility that is designed for those adults who are still able to manage the majority of their needs each day. While there are some services that are provided, such as landscaping and household maintenance, as well as meal plans and recreational activitives. This is a much more “hands-off” type of care facility as the residents are considered “independent”.  Some independent communities do offer “catered” care options where you can schedule extra assistance at an additional cost but it is important to remember the additional services are scheduled usually during the day rather than on demand 24 hours a day as in assisted living.

About Assisted Living

Another option for elderly care is assisted living. This is ideal for those who have some type of challenges in their daily routine. While seniors who opt for assisted living are still able to live how they wish and make their own schedules, support and help is more readily available in this type of setting 24 hours a day.

When it comes to independent or assisted living, the main difference is that assisted living locations offer assistance and hands-on care, including medication administration, assistance with ADL’s and medical management which is beneficial for those who may need more help than others.  Make sure to consider the factors carefully and the benefits of each senior care option to find the one that best suits your loved one’s needs. 

Find out more about assisted living by visiting the A Caring Home for Mom (and Dad) website.

We are here to help you and would be happy to speak with you and your loved one, so call us at 800-881-7706

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How to be prepared in Case of Emergency!


Regardless of who or how, when an emergency strikes there are a few critical items that will make all the difference in the world for those left standing to pick up the pieces.  This information is not age dependent. 

  • Keep a list of your ICE (In Case of Emergency) contacts in your wallet/purse and on your refrigerator.  (If you put your ICE contacts in your phone, that’s great as long as your phone is not password protected).  Go deep beyond just your spouse.  Add your children, a best friend, or neighbor – whoever your go-to is if and when you have a problem.  Have a back-up.  Couples get in accidents or serious situations together and then who else is there to notify?
  • Keep a CURRENT list of serious afflictions and medications in your wallet/purse AND your refrigerator or cupboard, so it’s accessible for first responders.  Include anything you are allergic to – both medications and items such as nuts or shellfish.  Do this for your spouse/loved one too.  Children should keep a list of their parents’ medications with them as well, especially if they are the back-up person who will respond to an emergency.
  • Include a tactful note sharing that your loved one has Dementia and cannot be left alone.  First responders will take spouses to the ER with them so there is supervision until family or a homecare agency can rescue them.
  • Review your Power of Attorney information to make sure it is current, and your designees are both willing and able to fulfill the roles you have asked of them.  Make sure that your documents are in synch with Arizona law if they were prepared elsewhere.  Most attorneys will review these documents for free.

Being prepared is crucuial and can save your life  by giving those attempting to asses your current healthcare needs the tools they will need to properly assess your condition. We are here for you at " A Caring Hand for Mom (and Dad)" we are here to help you so please visit our website for more information and call us at 800-881-7706.

This information was originally written by Carol Poker-Yount and shared with permission

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How to Find the Best Scottsdale Assisted Living Facilities

It's a well known fact that the mere decision to move your elderly loved one to into assisted living in Scottsdale is one of the hardest choices you'll have to face. However, there are multitudes of resources out there, all devoted to helping make this difficult transition easier to face. Before you can get your senior loved one moved into their new home, you must first take on the job of picking out the perfect Scottsdale assisted living center. Keep reading to learn just how to approach your search for an assisted living facility that can best suit your senior loved one's needs.

Obtain Your Research from a Qualified referral agency, it can save you thousands

Don't dismiss the amount of help a qualified referral agency can offer as they can save you thousands of dollars because they are familiar with the various communities and specials in the area that they may be offering. Take advantage of these resources to find the highest quality Scottsdale assisted living facilities. Although the Internet may appear to be a valuable resource a qualified referral agent is similar to a realtor in that they know the communities in your area the specials that are available and they can help you match those services to your needs and save you thousands of dollars in the process. The agents at A Caring Hand for Mom (and dad) are licensed Healthcare professionals who will not only provide you with the contact information you need to reach out to different facilities, but they will set up tours for you and will even tour with you to help you understand all the services a community may offer or may not offer that the communities marketing representatives may not disclose. As you look around at different assisted living centers, they will help you to discern the facility's true quality and whether they're worth investigating further.

Take a Tour

Of course, ratings and reviews can only offer so much information. Once you've narrowed down your list based on what you've read, it's time to go and observe the facility for yourself. The staff at A caring Hand for Mom (and Dad) will call the facilities for assisted living in Scottsdale, AZ ahead of time to schedule a proper tour. Most facilities will be willing to show you and your elderly loved one around. Now is the perfect chance to get their opinion on their potential new living spaces and start to ease them into the moving process. Look into every facet of life at the center. Ask the staff about entertainment and socialization options for residents, as well as nutrition and dining options and the quality and size of bedrooms and shared areas. You should also make note of the staff's general disposition as well. A team of staff that seems unfriendly or dismissive is the first sign of an assisted living center to be avoided.

Don't Be Afraid to Ask Questions

Ideally, you should make more than one visit to the facilities you're considering. You will more than likely have more questions than can be addressed in one visit, so additional trips offer the chance of additional conversations about your concerns. Try not to schedule every one of your visits to a center for senior living in Scottsdale, AZ. The act of dropping in will let you gain a better glimpse of what each facility is like on the average day, in turn letting you know what you can expect for your senior loved one's day to day life.

A Caring Hand for Mom (and Dad!) offers the most comprehensive listings of senior living facilities in the Scottsdale area. Call us at 800.881.7706 or visit our website today to learn more about what we do and how we can help you.

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Making the Move: Your Parent’s Adjustment to Assisted Living

Moving is always a difficult transition. However, it can be especially tough to adjust to for seniors who have had to relocate from their hard-earned homes to assisted living in Peoria, AZ. They will be effectively leaving behind everything they know, everything that has brought them comfort and security in the past, to live in a strange new place. Assisted living may also serve as a deep reminder of your senior parent's growing limitations, making the adjustment that much worse to bear. Luckily, you can help make the move to assisted living a bit easier to deal with. Keep reading for tips on how to help your parent make the most of their new living situation.

Offer Them a Bit of Comfort From Home

One way you can help with your parent's move to assisted living in Peoria, AZ is by encouraging them to include some of their favorite mementos from home. This may include decorations, knickknacks, family photos, heirlooms or other sentimental items your loved one may not want to part with. They can arrange these items around their new bedroom at the assisted living center to remind them that home is never too far away.

Get Involved

When your parent first moves into assisted living in Peoria, AZ, their adjustment may be hampered by feelings of isolation. They will be surrounded by strangers while already dealing with immense changes to their routine and self-sufficiency. Try to visit with your parent as often as possible during this time and beyond. You can also encourage your parent to try and make friends with those around them, whether by taking part in activities in the surrounding area, or within the facility itself. Many assisted living facilities in Peoria will offer their residents a variety of fun things to do and accomplish during their time there. This prevents boredom and will help your parent to make new friends.

Reaching Out

Remember: your parent had their own thriving life prior to their move to assisted living. They had old coworkers, friends and neighbors they spoke to on a regular basis. Help your parent maintain those connections however possible. If they mainly contacted their friends and family by phone, you can purchase a cell phone for them or request a land line be added to their room. Alternatively, you can keep their room stocked with stationery, writing tools, envelopes and stamps so they can send letters to others. If your senior loved one is especially computer savvy, you might get them a laptop or tablet so they can Skype or email with their outside friends. This bit of familiarity will ultimately go a long way!

Getting Acquainted

Ideally, you'll want to help your parent adjust to their new living space long before they actually arrive there. Attend events and routines together so you can both gain a sense of what the facility is like. Having prior familiarity with the center will make it a bit more familiar and the move less jarring to deal with.

At A Caring Hand for Mom, we are 100 percent dedicated to helping senior loved ones gain access to only the most comfortable assisted living environments. Give us a call at 800.881.7706 or visit our website to learn more about how we can help!

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Helpful Tips to Increase Senior Longevity

If you are like most people, you want to spend as much time as possible with your senior loved ones. Unfortunately, when it comes to longevity, the U.S. is somewhat behind other areas of the world. Women, on average, live 83.3 years and men 79.5. However, even though this is the average, it doesn’t mean there aren’t steps you can take to help improve your senior loved ones longevity, even if they reside in a Phoenix based assisted living facility.

Stay Focused on Exercise and Nutrition

If you have a senior loved one who lives in assisted living in Phoenix, AZ, you should make sure they are eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet and that they get plenty of physical activity. The good news is that the majority of assisted living facilities put a priority on these things, but it is still a good idea to check for yourself. The better your senior loved one eats and the more exercise they get, the longer they will live.

Get Regular Doctor’s Exams

There are some seniors who view going to the doctor as scary or something they want to avoid. However, part of quality elderly care in Phoenix, AZ is getting regular checkups at the doctor’s office. These checkups ensure the seniors health is good and can discover any potential issues early on. This is not a part of senior care that should be ignored.

If you have a senior loved one who is living in an assisted living community, there are still things you can do to help extend their life. You can work with the senior living management team in Phoenix, AZ to ensure your loved one remains happy and healthy.

Here are some additional tips to consider:

1. Afternoon fatigue - Fatigue is a common problem among older adults, especially after lunch. Having a glass of water and a high-antioxidant food like a prune can revitalize the body and stimulate the mind. I personally found that taking enough Folic acid each with my vitamins really helps.

2. Exercise your brain - Keeping the brain active and fit is imperative to the health of older adults. Not only does it help delay the effects of memory-loss illnesses like Alzheimer’s and dementia, but it also fosters executive function. Try word games and recall exercises. For example, play memory games like we did with our children like finding 5 objects of the same color during a walk in the neighborhood and recall them when back home.

3. Use walking poles to allow for more balanced mobility. For some people they can be used instead of walkers or canes but talk to your doctor first. Walking with poles engages the muscles of the upper body, which increases upper-body strength and cardiovascular endurance.

4. Dine with friends - Those who share meals with others eat less than those who eat alone. This is an easy weight-loss tactic and one that fosters social interaction and engagement. While this is easy for those aging in community setting, older adults aging at home can plan to have meals with family or friends as often as possible each week.

5. Do different things - Change things up, if you like doing crossword puzzles start from different spots on the grid. If you like to paint start from a different point on the surface you are painting. Routine limits brain stimulation. Introduce new ways of cooking the same food try new reciepies. For example, replace canned peaches with freshly sliced ones. Also, try taking a different route to the grocery store or shopping center.

6. Foot Support - As we age, the fat pads on the bottom of their feet compress, creating fatigue and pain. Consider wearing supportive shoes or inserting foot pads for better stability and comfort or socks that have extra padding and a wicking agent to keep feet dry and comfortable.

7. Fats: Out with the bad, in with the good - Older adults with an increased genetic risk for dementia can reduce the risk by increasing the amount of Omega-3 fatty acids in their diet. These fatty acids, found in fish, nuts, olive oil and green leafy vegetables, can reduce brain inflammation, a contributing factor of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

8. Decrease salt - High blood pressure, which can lead to strokes and a significant decline in cognitive function, often increases with age. As adults get older, the sense of taste also fades, leading to a desire for more salt on food to enhance flavor. Decreasing salt intake by putting down the shaker or changing it to other non salt flavor enhancers like Mrs. Dash salt substitute or salsa.

9. Balancing act - In addition to exercises that build strength and improve flexibility and cardiovascular endurance, make sure to add balance activities to the daily routine. Good balance requires maintaining a center of gravity over the base of support. Tai chi, yoga, walking on challenging surfaces and water exercises all enhance overall balance.

10. Dance like there’s no tomorrow - Older adults getting regular physical exercise are 60 percent less likely to get dementia. Exercise increases oxygen to the brain and releases a protein that strengthens cells and neurons. Dance involves all of the above, plus the cerebral activity present in learning and memory.

Find out more about caring for your senior loved one by visiting the A Caring Hand for Mom (and Dad) website or call us at 800-881-7706

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Tips to Help Seniors Suffering from Arthritis


While most people experience soreness and creaky joints from time to time, these pains can change from a seasonal nuisance to a more serious condition as you age called arthritis. If your senior loved one is suffering from this condition, then you will be happy to learn that there is help for arthritis pain. While the medical professionals at the various assisted living facilities in Surprise, AZ may offer some help, additional steps you can take are found here.

Find the Right Type of Exercise

Telltale symptoms of arthritis include tiredness, swelling, reduced flexibility and joint pain. While medication can be somewhat beneficial for these effects, the right types of exercise can also be helpful. Since fatigue can be a serious issue for seniors, it is recommended that all exercises are low-impact and include things such as light weight lifting, swimming, walking, stretching and yoga. There are many assisted living facilities in Surprise, AZ that offer these classes to residents.

Avoid Eating Certain Foods

Doctors have suggested that if your senior loved one suffers from arthritis pain, they should reduce their intake of alcohol, gluten, sugar and salt. All of these foods can lead to increased swelling, which will make arthritis symptoms and pain worse. While this can be challenging, you should be able to speak with the staff at the assisted living in Surprise, AZ facilities where your senior lives or moves into, to ensure these dietary restrictions are kept in mind.

When it comes to arthritis pain, there is no question that it can be debilitating. It can result in serious mobility issues and other problems. The good news is, there are steps you can take to help the pain and discomfort if this condition presents. There are also several new medications that can help ease the pain and loss of movement so speak with your physician about what medications would be appropriate as well as herbal products you may be considering taking as medications interact with each other so it is best to seek medical advice before starting anything new to ease the pain. Here is a list of several Herbal Products that have also been touted as helpful in treating Arthritis symptoms.

The below is information is from and the Arthritis foundation

Research hasn't always kept pace with the popularity of supplements. But more natural medicines are being put to the test in well-designed clinical trials. Here are nine supplements that are backed by science and shown to be effective in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), osteoarthritis (OA) and arthritis-related conditions.

SAM-e (S-adenosylmethionine)

How it works: SAM-e acts as an analgesic (pain reliever) and has anti-inflammatory properties. It may stimulate cartilage growth and also affects neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, which reduce pain perception. Two studies have shown that it relieves OA symptoms as effectively as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) with fewer side effects and more prolonged benefit.
Best for: osteoarthritis
Also used for: fibromyalgia

Boswellia Serrate (Indian frankincense)

How it works: The active components (Boswellic acids) have anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain-relieving) properties. It also may help prevent cartilage loss and inhibit the autoimmune process. In a 2008 study, the extract, also known as Loxin 5, significantly improved OA pain and function within seven days. An Indian study also revealed it slowed cartilage damage after three months of use. 
Best for: osteoarthritis

Capsaicin (Capsicum frutescens)

How it works: Capsaicin temporarily reduces substance P, a pain transmitter. Its pain-relieving properties have been shown in many studies, including a 2010 study published in Phytotherapy Research, which revealed a 50 percent reduction in joint pain after three weeks of use. It is available as a topical cream, gel or patch.
Best for: osteoarthritis
Also used for: rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia

Tumeric/Curcumin (Curcuma longa)

How it works: Curcumin is the chemical in turmeric that can reduce joint pain and swelling by blocking inflammatory cytokines and enzymes. A 2010 clinical trial using a turmeric supplement showed long-term improvement in pain and function in patients with knee OA. A small 2012 study using a curcumin product, BCM-95, showed more reduced joint pain and swelling in patients with active RA when compared to diclofenac sodium.
Best for: osteoarthritis
Also used for: rheumatoid arthritis

Avocado-soybean Unsaponifiables (ASU)

How it works: ASU blocks pro-inflammatory chemicals, prevents deterioration of synovial cells, which line joints, and may help regenerate normal connective tissue. A large three-year study published in 2013 showed that ASU significantly reduced progression of hip OA compared with placebo. A 2008 meta-analysis found that ASU improved symptoms of hip and knee OA, and reduced or eliminated NSAID use.
Best for: osteoarthritis

Cat’s Claw (Uncaria tomentosa)

How it works: Cat’s claw is an anti-inflammatory that inhibits tumor necrosis factor (TNF), a target of powerful RA drugs. It also contains compounds that may benefit the immune system. A small 2002 trial showed it reduced joint pain and swelling by more than 50 percent compared with placebo. Look for a brand that is free of tetra-cyclic oxindole alkaloids.
Best for: rheumatoid arthritis

Fish Oil (Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA)

How it works: Omega-3s block inflammatory cytokines and prostaglandins, and are converted by the body into powerful anti-inflammatory chemicals called resolvins. EPA and DHA have been extensively studied for RA and dozens of other inflammatory conditions. A 2010 meta-analysis found that fish oil significantly decreased joint tenderness and stiffness in RA patients and reduced or eliminated NSAID use.
Best for: rheumatoid arthritis
Also used for: osteoarthritis, Sjögren’s syndrome

Some other notable items:

  • Aloe vera.

  • Eucalyptus. ...

  • Ginger.

  • Green tea

  • Thunder god vine.

Learn more about helping your senior live pain free or when it is time to look at assisted living options visit A Caring Hand for Mom and Dad website or call us at 800-881-7706.

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