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Home Health Blog

Health News Round-Up: Dementia Considerations and Holiday Expectations

Posted by Carolyn Harmer on Dec 22, 2015 4:52:00 PM

Balancing Holiday Traditions with Dementia Changes

Recent health news from across the Web: dementia and holiday traditions, brain fitness, medication management tips, and more.This compassionate piece centers on one family adapting to a mother’s advancing Alzheimer’s disease, and how it has changed their holiday customs. They make fewer social appearances and do extra preparation to preserve her routines, while still missing her old presence. The article includes some helpful tips for including loved ones with dementia in the holiday hubbub while minimizing potential agitation.

(When Mom Has Alzheimer’s, A Stranger Comes For Christmas; NPR)

On the same topic, author Marguerite Manteau-Rao raises some tough points about the difficulties of factoring a loved one with dementia into a busy holiday schedule. Pointing out that individuals with dementia may not remember a visit the day before or after, but can feel hurt when external cues remind them of the holiday, she pulls no punches.

(How to Be With a Loved One With Dementia During the Holidays; Huffington Post)

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Topics: Dementia, Diabetes, Health News, Nutrition, Medication Management, Stroke, Heart Disease, Fitness, Emotional Health, Lung Disease

Move, Flex, and Feel Freer for National Physical Therapy Month

Posted by Carolyn Harmer on Oct 29, 2015 5:10:04 PM

National Physical Therapy Month

In honor of National Physical Therapy Month, we recognize the strengths of Residential Home Health’s physical therapists in helping patients age well.For National Physical Therapy Month this October, we honor the Residential Home Health clinicians who get patients up and moving. With a singular emphasis on physical function and strength, a physical therapist seeks to advance the body’s performance and capability, preparing patients to do more, for longer, with renewed confidence.

The practice of physical therapy involves some form of exercise, tailored to a patient’s individual needs. Anything from resistance training to stretching to walking with an assistive device could be part of physical therapy work. Patients who undergo physical therapy are carefully instructed to perform their exercises safely, and supported throughout their training as they practice and improve. Keep reading for more about the extraordinary gains that physical therapy can bring, and the many strengths and skills of these specialized clinicians.

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Topics: Home Health Care, Fall Prevention, Fitness

Exhilarating (and Safe!) Exercise for Active Aging Week and Anytime

Posted by Carolyn Harmer on Oct 3, 2015 10:00:00 AM

Active Aging Week

Exercise Benefits You. Swimming is good cardiovascular exercise.It takes effort to make physical fitness a priority. Exercise takes time and can be tough, tiring work, especially when a person is first starting out. Furthermore, when aging or disease interferes with an individual's strength and endurance, it can start to feel like the goal of getting active is getting farther out of reach.

However, this is far from the case. The goal of Active Aging Week (September 27-October 3) is to shine a light on the diverse and enjoyable activities that seniors can and do pursue for fun and fitness. Read on for a refresher on the benefits of exercise, some fun activities for seniors to pursue, and safety tips for approaching any exercise as safely as possible.

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Topics: Fitness

Health News Round-Up: Combating Cancer from a New Research Angle

Posted by Carolyn Harmer on Sep 2, 2015 1:52:24 PM

Cancer Research Suggests a New Genetic Frontier in Treatment

Nurse Performing Genetic Testing Previously, treating a patient’s cancer meant treating the type of cancer: breast, prostate, skin, etc. Some types call for specialized surgeries, others for specifically developed medications, others for finely tuned chemotherapy or radiation regimens. But the field of cancer research is changing, with efforts increasingly focused on the genes that cause the cancer or help it to spread. And thanks to a new drug trial, reportedly the first of its kind, this approach could be gaining traction.

Previous findings had uncovered a common gene mutation found in both skin cancer and lung cancer. Researchers hypothesized that because of this similarity, a drug already approved for skin cancer might have a crossover effect on the other cancer type. Indeed, a substantial proportion of lung cancer patients responded to the drug. Other cancer types did not exhibit such promising results, which may be the result of fewer of those patients having the targeted mutation — the key may be narrowing down the right commonalities. Future studies along these lines are already in the works, and signs are pointing to new, more specific cancer treatments that are based on gene mutation rather than type.

(First trial targeting mutation, not cancer type, gives mixed results; Reuters)

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Topics: Caregiving, Health News, Nutrition, Stroke, Heart Disease, Smoking, Financial Health, Cancer, Fitness, Advanced Care Planning

Health News Round-Up: An ‘Ounce of Preemption’ Before Treatment

Posted by Carolyn Harmer on Aug 18, 2015 4:48:21 PM

Preparing for Surgery or Treatment with ‘Prehab’

Recent health news from across the Web: prehab training before aggressive treatment, side effect dangers, music’s pain-fighting properties, and more.Patients who undergo surgeries, or other aggressive treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation, are often guided in rehabilitation exercises afterward to build back lost strength and endurance. However, some specialists have begun to explore the potential of rehab-style exercise done in anticipation of such procedures. They reason that this so-called prehab allows patients to enter treatment at a better level of fitness that will help them endure procedures better and recover faster.

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Topics: Dementia, Joint Replacement, Palliative Care, Diabetes, Health News, Nutrition, Medication Management, Heart Disease, Cancer, Fitness, Bereavement