Seniors: Get Your High-Dose Flu Shot & Stay Healthy

Influenza is serious regardless of the age of the patient, however, it is most serious in infants and seniors (people over age 65). This is due to immunity declining as we age, which enables seniors to contract the flu more easily than other adults, and also makes them more susceptible to asthma, pneumonia and bronchitis. The CDC estimates that 90% of all flu-related deaths occur in people over the age of 65. This statistic alone should prompt seniors to get their annual flu shot.

Seniors have the option to get a regular flu shot, or the high-dose vaccine. Fluzone, the vaccine designed specifically for people over 65, has a high dosage of the vaccine because sometimes the regular flu shot has been shown to be less effective in seniors. Regardless of which you choose it’s important to get vaccinated for the flu either way.

The High Dose Vaccine

Created specifically for seniors, this vaccine contains four times the antigen as the regular flu shot. Research has shown that seniors who receive the high dose vaccine had 24% fewer flu infections than those that received the regular flu shot. This version of the flu shot has been approved for use in the United States since 2009.

Other Tips to Stay Healthy

  • Frequently clean surfaces that receive a lot of hand-touching including keyboards, desks, phones, counters, doorknobs, light switches, etc.
  • Be proactive for your own good health including getting enough sleep, drinking plenty of fluids, eating nutritiously and managing your stress.
  • Try to avoid coming into contact with people who are sick.
  • Frequently wash your hands with hot, soapy water.

Seek Medical Treatment Immediately if Symptoms Appear

Symptoms of the flu in seniors include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Pain/pressure in the chest or abdomen

For seniors who are especially at risk of developing severe complications due to the flu, antiviral drugs may be prescribed.

Always Best Care has been providing compassionate in-home care giving services to seniors for the past 20 years. If you live in the Raleigh area and are interested in finding out more information about senior living in Raleigh, or Raleigh assisted living communities, please call the Always Best Care Raleigh location at 919-724-4297 to set up a free care consultation. They look forward to hear from you!

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Keep Your Kidneys Healthy with a Smart, Nutrient-Rich Diet

When people think about their overall health, their kidneys are not usually on the list. However, our kidneys play a vital role in our well-being, it’s best to optimize kidney health and get kidney disease screenings if you’re over the age of 60. Chronic kidney disease is the ninth leading cause of death in the United States, and most people aren’t even aware that they have it.

The kidneys act as a filter by processing out toxins and medications from the blood. If the kidneys are not functioning correctly, elimination of these substances is impeded and can have an adverse affect on the individual including not only safety hazards but also the possibility for cognitive impairment.

What Contributes to Chronic Kidney Disease?

People who have diabetes and high blood pressure are more prone to developing CKD. Age is another factor, as research has discovered that half of people over the age of 75 likely have kidney disease (and again, most are not even aware of it). Both diabetes and high blood pressure are directly related to diet so practicing good nutrition will help prevent the disease.

Smoking increases the risk of Chronic Kidney Disease, and, as people age, so does the incidence of prostate issues in men, and urinary tract infections in women.

Kidney stones are very common among seniors, especially those who are 75 and older, and can be debilitatingly painful.

Think DASH to Prevent Kidney Disease

DASH is an acronym designed to help those who have hypertension choose the right foods. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, and emphasizes increasing intake of fruits and vegetables, decreasing the amount of animal proteins consumed, along with oils, fats, and sweets. It encourages the consumption of complex carbohydrates and low fat dairy. Not only will the DASH diet help prevent chronic kidney disease; it will also help prevent other issues such as cancer, stroke, heart disease, and others.

Do you live in the Raleigh area? Are you interested in learning about in-home care in Raleigh, or about Apex home health care? If you would like a free consultation to discuss your options for the future, contact the Always Best Care Raleigh location at 919-724-4297. They will be happy to sit down with you and create a customized care plan, and help you decide the path you should take for a bright and fruitful future.

Don’t Be Fooled by These Food Substitutes

Most of us want to be healthier because we know it will lead to increased immunity, less risk of disease (lowered inflammation), and ultimately an increase in overall quality of life. So, we switch out certain foods for other foods, in the hopes that we are reducing calories, reducing trans-fat intake, and being healthier. However, most foods that we think to swap in for bad ones are just as unhealthy as the original foods. Here is a short list:

  • Swapping Out: Potato Chips/ Swapping In: Pretzels. It might seem like pretzels are the healthier choice because they aren’t fried in oil like chips, however, calorically they are nearly exactly the same. A better swap? Stove popped popcorn – but don’t drench it in melted butter and handfuls of salt!
  • Swapping Out: Dark Chocolate/ Swapping In: Fat-free Candy. Don’t be fooled by the “fat free” label – just because something doesn’t have fat, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have calories. A small bit of dark chocolate will satisfy most sweet-tooth cravings, and also offers a number of proven health benefits.
  • Swapping Out: Soda/ Swapping In: Vitamin Drink. Anything with the word “vitamin” in the label automatically gives it a healthier “feel,” right? Sure it does. However, both soda and Vitamin Water are loaded with sugar. Try plain water instead with a wedge of lemon or lime.
  • Swapping Out: Sandwiches/ Swapping in: Energy Bars. Again, the word “energy” gets people abuzz and thinking that what they are eating has got to be healthy. But, the truth of the matter is, energy bars are generally loaded with added sugar and more calories than anyone’s diet allows.
  • Swapping Out: White Bread/ Swapping In: Wheat Bread. If the wheat bread you are buying isn’t 100% whole wheat bread, you’re just replacing one unhealthy bread for another. Read the label to be sure.

Always Best Care has been providing in-home senior care and assisted living referrals to seniors all over the United States and Canada for the past 20 years. If you live in the Raleigh, NC area and are interested in getting information about Cary assisted living options or in-home care in Raleigh, Cary, Apex, or Garner, call the Always Best Care Raleigh location today at 919-724-4297 or email them at sdas@abc-seniors.com to set up a free consultation.

Why Seniors are at High Risk of Developing a Gambling Addiction

Over the past couple of decades casinos have morphed into what they have become today – a place that makes people feel comfortable through discounts, a variety of options, free drinks, free meals, and for seniors, even free transportation and surroundings that are highly conducive to easy wheelchair navigation. Gambling at casinos is a big draw for many people, and seniors are not immune because they might want to supplement their retirement income, they enjoy being out with other people, they enjoy the thrill of small pot winnings (that happen much more often than landing the big win), and more.

  • Gambling at casinos offers a mental “getaway” from the reality of life which might include health problems, relationship problems, and family problems. People, seniors included, may roam the casino for hours slipping coins into slots and being mesmerized by the bells and whistles (that are there quite strategically).
  • There might be an underlying health issue such as dementia that causes the senior to “lose” themselves inside the casino. There are also certain medications such as dopamine antagonist medications that put seniors at risk of compulsive gambling.
  • It’s now a casino’s job to make their patrons feel loved and missed, and they do this by sending them birthday cards as well as “We miss you!” cards to entice people back inside. Some casinos even have vibrating seats, screen animations, and offer patrons a full sensory encounter that they end up wanting to enjoy again and again.

It’s important to recognize the signs of senior gambling addiction which might include:

  • Is the senior continually asking for loans due to various reasons like they lost their wallet or a discrepancy occurred in their bank account?
  • Is the senior still engaging in other activities they usually enjoy like gardening or hiking?
  • Is there less food in the senior’s refrigerator or pantry than usual?
  • Is the senior taking less care of themselves hygiene-wise?
  • Is the senior visiting the doctor or hospital more often than usual?

If your parent or a senior you know is exhibiting these behaviors, talk with them and contact the National Council on Problem Gambling for more information.

If you live in the Raleigh area and you are interested in receiving information regarding Apex home health care, or other options surrounding in-home care in Raleigh, you can call the Always Best Care Raleigh location at 919-724-4297 or email them at sdas@abc-seniors.com for more information and to set up a free consultation.

Seniors can Utilize Technology to Keep in Touch with Loved Ones

Not many people remember party lines, but in the past a telephone call used to be a group event, and now, with technological advances occurring every day, people are able to keep in touch face-to-face through the use of these amazing technologies. Now, loved ones can see each other as if they were standing right next to one another, and when there’s an enormous distance, that privilege is more than welcome. These days, there are even devices that are tailor-made for seniors, keeping their needs fully in mind.

Smart Phones: Sometimes, people over a certain age can be intimidated by smart phones, however, they are an ideal device for keeping in touch with loved ones. The Apple iPhone has always been a popular favorite among consumers, and for seniors it works doubly well because the settings can create large, bold text that is easy to read. It also allows navigation controls to become more prominent on the screen, which benefits seniors.

PC (Personal Computer): There are now senior-friendly computers that come standard with big button menus, options to easily aid screen visibility, and easy typing. These laptops are affordable and some come with the option for a monthly payment plan that gives the senior access to customer support, virus protection, etc.

Tablets: Senior-friendly tablets are also being manufactured. The features on these include large screens with large text and easy navigational features, medication reminders, daily wellness surveys (for health monitoring), are very portable, and some can even alert family members through email if something is amiss with the senior.

While these technological gadgets work wonders in bringing families close together even though they may be far apart, they can never replace a warm hug. Visiting senior loved ones is truly the best gift to give them, but in the meantime, utilizing these technological advances for interpersonal connections is a great way to use modern day gadgetry.

If you are interested in receiving information about in-home care services in Clayton, or referrals for assisted living communities in the Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Garner, or Johnston County areas, contact Always Best Care Senior Services at their Raleigh office at (919) 724-4297 or email sdas@abc-seniors.com today for a free consultation.

Always Best Care Ranked High for In-Home Care Services in Wake and Johnston Counties

Always Best Care Ranked High for In-Home Care Services in Wake and Johnston Counties

To maintain a high-degree of independence, in-home care services for seniors are becoming more and more popular. By being able to stay in the comfort (and convenience) of the home they’ve known for years, seniors can benefit from in-home care services by getting daily support from the compassionate caregivers at ABC.

Whether they need help three hours a day, or 24 hours a day, the caregivers employed by Always Best Care Senior Services are highly-skilled and well-trained in providing compassionate and helpful care to seniors living at home. While this is a non-medical service, the caregivers of ABC can help the senior in many of the daily tasks to help make the senior’s day more seamless and smooth.

Some of the tasks they can provide support with include helping care of pets, preparing meals, maintaining the senior’s calendar, appointment reminders, watering plants, escorting to various locations and services (including religious), providing interesting and mentally stimulating conversation, and so much more.

If you are looking for in-home care services, or need a recommendation for one of the many assisted living facilities in the country, call Always Best Care Senior Services for a free, no-cost consultation. Their Care Managers are knowledgeable and adept at matching seniors with the right assisted living facility. They get to know the senior’s needs and budget, and make appropriate suggestions based on these factors.

In the business of helping seniors maintain their dignity and independence for twenty years, Always Best Care senior services is proud to offer the most compassionate caregivers in the business. Their caregivers are CPR and First-Aid certified, as well as bonded and insured. They are dedicated to helping their senior clients with a number of everyday tasks to help the senior maintain a high level of dignity and independence. If you are interested in finding out more about how you can obtain a free, no-obligation consultation in Wake and Johnston counties of North Carolina, call (919)724-4297 today.

ABC Provides Assisted Living Recommendation Services in Wake and Johnston counties, NC.

ABC Provides Assisted Living Recommendation Services in Wake and Johnston counties, NC.

In the business of in-home health care services since 1996, Always Best Care Senior Services has provided over 25,000 seniors with dignified care. While their main focus is In-Home care assistance, they also are well-equipped to recommend various assisted living communities to seniors when the time comes for them to make a move from living independently in their home, to a little bit more support in an assisted living environment.

If you are seeking an assisted living community for your loved one, Always Best Care can sit down with you and discuss the senior’s needs and budget to determine the very best location for them. This is a free service that ABC is happy to provide, and, due to ABC’s many years in the industry, they are already familiar with hundreds of the assisted living communities in the United States and are experts at matching seniors with a fitting community.

When it comes to researching assisted living communities, there are a number of questions and ideas to keep in mind.

  • Can seniors choose their own doctors and pharmacies?
  • Are different types and styles of units available?
  • Are all of the rooms private?
  • Are all of the bathrooms private?
  • Does each resident have a written Care Plan?
  • Are there special care units for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease?
  • Does the senior have any input in their own Care Plan?
  • Are there fire and security systems in place?
  • Are exits well marked?

Whether you have questions regarding safety, personal space, or about the unit itself, Care Managers at Always Best Care can help you find out all of the information you need from any of the 33,000 senior assisted living communities in the country. When it comes time to making a decision regarding assisted living for the senior in your life and you live in Wake, Johnston and Durham counties of NC, call (919) 724-4297 for more information on how you can obtain a free consultation with an expert Care Managers.