Understanding Your Parent’s Grief

Understanding Your Parent’s Grief

A grieving person can’t function at 100 percent, so the initial months after your parent’s death aren’t a time for your parent to start new projects or make major decisions. Their normal functions will return, even though you may find them doing abnormal things. Such behavior isn’t surprising; they are grieving. Signs of grief include:

  • Forgetfulness. Your usually organized parent may miss appointments, lock their keys in the car or mail unsigned checks with his bills. You can help them by being patient, reminding them that these are symptoms of grief and suggesting that he write down reminders to themselves.
  • Disorganization. Your parent may find that it takes a lot longer to finish everyday tasks. He may not manage their time well — leaving one project unfinished and going on to something else. You might help them plan a schedule, or offer to work with them. Spending time together and focusing on something other than the grief can bring you closer together, as well as ease their sense of isolation and loneliness.
  • Inability to concentrate. During the early stages of bereavement, the mind wanders. Your newly widowed parent may find it impossible to stay focused. It may be difficult for them to read a book or even to stick with a TV show. Reading a newspaper may take longer than before, and retaining information may be difficult. You can help by highlighting important points, or even reading aloud with them. Bereaved people can be dangerous on the highways due to their inability to concentrate. They’re also susceptible to unexpected crying spells. Warn your parent to be extra careful when driving or handling potentially dangerous equipment, such as a lawn mower or even a garbage disposal in a sink.
  • Lack of interest or motivation. Your parent might say: “Why work so hard? We just die anyway” or “I was doing all this for your mother/father, and now they’re dead. Why bother?” Let them express their feelings, and offer them love and support. But if you worry that he might actually hurt themselves, or if you notice them dealing with their sadness by using alcohol or drugs, talk to their physician immediately.

Adapted from: https://americanhospice.org/working-through-grief/helping-a-grieving-parent/

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Crazy health tricks that really work

by Linda Melone

Many methods to improve your health are pretty straightforward: to lose weight, eat less and exercise more; to boost your energy, get more sleep; to prevent dehydration, drink more water. Others, however, are totally counterintuitive. The following 12 tips really do work—but they may leave you scratching your head.

#1: Drink coffee to have a better nap

Why does drinking coffee before taking a nap work? A 20-minute nap ends just as the caffeine kicks in and clears the brain of a molecule called adenosine, maximizing alertness.

#2: For healthy teeth, don’t brush after eating

Don’t brush your teeth immediately after meals and drinks, especially if they were acidic. Acidic foods—citrus fruits, sports drinks, tomatoes, soda (both diet and regular)—can soften tooth enamel

#3: To wear a smaller size, gain weight

If two women both weigh 150 pounds and only one lifts weights, the lifter will more likely fit into a smaller pant size than her sedentary counterpart. The reason: Although a pound of fat weighs the same as a pound of muscle, muscle takes up less space.

#4 To eat less, eat more

Grabbing a 100-calorie snack pack of cookies or pretzels may seem virtuous, but it’s more likely to make you hungrier than if you ate something more substantial, like string cheese or an apple with peanur butter. The protein helps fill you up.

#5 Skip energy drinks when you’re tired
Energy drinks contain up to five times more caffeine than coffee, but the boost they provide is fleeting and comes with unpleasant side effects like nervousness, irritability, and rapid heartbeat, says Goodson. Plus, energy drinks often contain high levels of taurine, a central nervous system stimulant, and upwards of 50 grams of sugar per can (that’s 13 teaspoons worth!). The sweet stuff spikes blood sugar temporarily, only to crash soon after, leaving you sluggish and foggyheaded—and reaching for another energy drink.

#7 Drink water when you’re bloated
When you feel bloated, drinking water sounds as if it would only make matters worse, but it can often help, says James Lee, MD, gastroenterologist with St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, Calif. If you’re on a high-fiber diet, for instance, then your body needs more water to work more efficiently, says Dr. Lee. “Water mixes with water soluble fiber and makes it into a gel like substance. This affects the motility of the gut and reduces the symptom of bloating.” Drinking more water also relieves bloating caused by dehydration. When you’re dehydrated, your body clings to the water your body does have, causing you to puff up.

#8 Ditch diet soda to lose weight
You should ditch all soda, including diet. Research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health revealed that overweight and obese adults who drank diet beverages ate more calories from food than those who drank regular soda. Additionally, a University of Texas study found that diet soda drinkers had a 70% greater increase in waist circumference than non-drinkers over the course of about 10 years.

“In addition, many people think ‘low-fat,’ ‘low-sugar,’ or ‘light’ means fewer calories, but that’s not always true,” says Goodson. “Typically when manufacturers cut something out and the end result tastes just as good, they’ve added something like additional sugar.”

#9 Drink a hot beverage to cool off
Which will cool you off faster on a steamy summer morning: iced coffee or hot? Two recent studies say the latter—and so do other cultures where drinking hot tea in hot weather is the norm, like in India. When you sip a hot beverage, your body senses the change in temperature and increases your sweat production. Then, as the sweat evaporates from your skin, you cool off naturally.

#10 Exercise when you’re tired
After a long, exhausting workday, exercising sounds like the last thing you’d want to do, but getting your sweat on will actually energize you. Fatigue along with mood and depression improved after a single 30-minute moderate intensity exercise session, according to a study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. “Everything we do uses oxygen, so when you exercise it helps you work more efficiently and you don’t tire as easily,” says Nutting. “You also function better mentally.”

#11 Handwrite notes to boost your brainpower
Typing notes enables you to jot down more material, but you’re more likely to remember those notes if you handwrite them, according to research from Indiana University. “To learn something means you have processed it,” says Dr. Towfigh. “And when you take handwritten notes you ‘process’ or learn more information. You begin the learning process as you listen to the lecture.” Plus, since you look at the page on which you are writing, you naturally review the material and reinforce the information you’ve already processed, Dr. Towfigh says.

#12 To improve your relationship, spend less time together
Jumping from one social event to another without any time to come up for air could sacrifice the quality of your relationships. Spending time alone allows you to process your thoughts rather than act impulsively and, as a result, you get to know yourself better, says Elizabeth Lombardo, PhD, author of Better Than Perfect: 7 Strategies to Crush Your Inner Critic and Create a Life You Love. “Alone time enables you to be more in touch with yourself and can better give and receive,” Lombardo says. “In addition, it reduces stress and anxiety, which could also contribute to relationship strains.” Meditate, go for a walk, sit in a café and people watch, or even clean out your closet, she suggests.


via: http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20857218,00.html

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Top 10 Ways to Break Bad Habits

Via LifeHacker!


We all have a bad habit or two we could stand to lose, but habits are hard to break. Whether your bad habit is procrastinating, overspending, swearing, or any other one you want to change, here are ten tips to break free of negative behavior patterns.

10. Fine Yourself for Each Offense
Make a bad habit a little more painful and you might ditch it for good. Money is a great motivator, so you can use the “swear jar” method or pay your friends $1 each time they catch you doing that thing you want to stop doing. It works the other way too: Reward yourself for beating your habit every day. 21Habit rewards or penalizes you a dollar a day for 21 days of committing to a habit.

9. Understand What Triggers Your Bad Habits
Anxiety can be a big trigger for a lot of people. Understanding how we make decisions is the key to conquering all kinds of bad habits, including money ones. Often, we repeat bad habits without even realize we’re doing them. There are cues that usually contribute to every bad habit, though, and being aware of them can help us learn what’s behind those behaviors.

8. Go Slow and Make Tiny Changes
Forming better new habits takes time and effort, but breaking established bad habits may be even harder. So be patient with yourself and instead of making dramatic adjustments, try focusing on one habit and the smallest steps you can take to “trick your inner caveman.” With food and dieting, for example, small changes like reducing one pack of sugar or switch cream in your coffee to low-fat milk can make a big difference in the long run.

7. Spend a Month Thinking About Your Habit Before Taking Action
You might be itching to get rid of that habit right now, but as mentioned above, it takes time. Before you start trying to change a habit, consider thinking about it thoroughly for a month first, listing every reason you want to stop, recording every time you catch yourself doing it, and so on. You could be better prepared to conquer the habit after this preparation.

6. Remind Your Future Self About Avoiding Bad Habits
Even with the best intentions, we fall into bad habits when our willpower fades. You might promise only to have two drinks when going out with friends, for example, but forget that promise completely as soon as you step into the bar. Try setting up reminders in your calendar for yourself for your weakest moments. Future, less hungover self will thank you.

5. Change Your Environment
Over time, if you do the same behaviors in the same place, your surroundings can become a trigger —sometimes very subtle to notice. If you go on smoke breaks in your office’s parking lot, the parking lot itself can become a cue to smoke. Switch up your surrounds in even the smallest way. The 20-Second Rule can help too: Make bad habits take 20 seconds longer to start. For example, move junk food to the back of the pantry.

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5 Ways to Eat Healthier Even When You’ve Failed Before

via HuffPost


We would all love to consistently have a perfectly healthy diet, but life often seems to get in the way and we are quick to forget our commitment to improving our diet.

Maybe you’ve set ambitious healthy eating goals in the past and you know how overwhelming it can be. But eating healthy is certainly not about being perfect. Most people tend to get much better results when they start small and make incremental changes to their current diet.

Here are five ways you can start eating healthier even when you’ve failed before.

1. Start with the drinks

Sodas and processed fruit juices are loaded with sugar, and numerous studies have shown that they promote weight gain. Lattes and other comforting beverages also contain sugar and are often high in calories. So, the first step is to stop drinking all those calories that your body doesn’t need.

To wean yourself off high calorie drinks and smoothly transition to drinking more water, you can buy natural fruit juice (with no added sugars) and gradually add water to it. You may start with half of each, and work your way up by adding more water every day.

You can also make your own drinks by adding fruit slices to water, preparing herbal teas in advance, and making your own lattes with healthy ingredients.

2. Decide that you deserve to eat real food

In our busy lives, we often sacrifice our health to convenience. There can be an underlying belief that taking time to cook and eat real food, and thus caring for our health, comes at the expense of being a good parent, getting more work done, or having social activities.

But self-care is really important and can also help us take care of others better. And it starts with making the decision that you deserve to eat real food, instead of low-quality fast food items or processed foods.

If you’ve failed at sticking to a healthy diet before, decide that you deserve something better, and that you’re worth it. Make it a real priority in your life.

3. Eat a nutritious breakfast

Taking the time to cook and eat a healthy breakfast can be challenging in our fast paced world. And about 31 million Americans do skip breakfast every day. Yet a study conducted among preschool children found that eating breakfast consistently contributes to a healthy body weight.

Oatmeal, eggs, real yogurt with berries, a smoothie, or an avocado toast are simple breakfast options that all take less than ten minutes to prepare and will often prevent you from reaching out for an unhealthy snack bar at 10am.

4. Take 30 minutes to plan your meals for the week

Thirty minutes a week might be all it takes to finally enjoy healthy meals. It’s as simple as sitting down with a pen and paper and making a list of your favorite breakfast, lunch and dinner meals.

If those meals already feature vegetables, protein, and healthy fats, go ahead and add them to your weekly meal plan. If they don’t, make a list of ten different vegetables you like and put them on the menu.

When planning your meals, don’t forget snacks and meals on the go. Here is a list of healthy items you’ll want to keep around: fresh fruit, chopped fresh vegetables, whole-grain bread, cheese, boiled eggs, nuts and seeds.

Planning your meals in advance will free up your mind as you won’t have to always worry about what to make for dinner. It can also reduce your food budget, as you will probably be eating out less often.

5. Make the right choices when you’re eating out

Let’s face it, we can’t all be cooking healthy meals every single day. But when it’s time to order at the restaurant, we often end up sabotaging our efforts despite our best intentions.

In fact, it can be easier to eat healthy at the restaurant because there are always healthy options on the menu, and you’re not the one who has to prepare the dishes.

When you place your order, be picky, and do your best to be a “classy eater”: only choose dishes that contain non-fried meat or fish, and pick salads and vegetables. It will taste great, be much healthier, and it will make you feel good about yourself.

So, here is what to do now: start by picking one of these five ways, and take action. Stick to it until it becomes a habit. Then, you can move on and add another healthy eating habit. This is how you will ultimately succeed.

Anne Ricci is dedicated to helping women make healthy food choices, boost their energy and feel good in their body. You can join her tribe at AnnesHealthyKitchen’s Community.

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Anxiety Disorders in the Elderly

We all feel anxious from time to time. However, when anxiety starts to become a disruption to your life or the life of your loved one, you should learn more about anxiety disorders. If you cannot manage the care of your elderly loved one with anxiety,

Peppermint Palm Senior Care, Senior Placement, Miami, Sacramento

Anxiety disorders in the elderly can cause paranoia

talk with a specialist at our agency to explore your options for outside care.

Anxiety disorders late in life can often be overlooked, since elders present anxiety disorders differently than younger people. In fact, anxiety disorders are twice as prevalent as dementia among older adults, and up to eight times more common than other major depressive disorders. Medications, Alzheimers, and Dementia may all exacerbate anxiety disorders.

The major types of anxiety disorders in older people are summarized here:

-Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Acute stress disorder that lasts longer than a month

-Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Excessive worrying

-Panic Attacks: Sudden fear and dread

-Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): Thoughts that produce intense anxiety that can only be calmed by an action

Talk therapy, medication, working with a therapist, social worker, or skilled counselor have all been shown as effective treatments. Consult a physician or gerontologist to get help or learn more.






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A Guide for Single Seniors

elderly-114328_1280Most seniors or baby boomers have children or a large extended family to take care of them when they are eventually unable to. Statistics have shown that an increasing number of baby boomers that are retiring never married or had children. If you fit into this category, you may be worried about who will take care of you when you no longer can. The care advisor experts here at Peppermint Palm Senior Care have put together a straightforward guide to help you with this matter and put your mind at ease.

You may think that you can rely on extended family, say a niece or nephew to take care of you and your well-being, but that may not always be the case. Many seniors are turning to a lawyer to protect them and act on their behalf which would include asset protection and care coordination. A lawyer can also help with keeping you financially sound and getting all of your assets in order. Loneliness can cause health problems in the long run for seniors as well, so being around as many people as possible will help. Form or join groups within the community and do activities that you love to keep your mind sharp and your “family” growing.

Single seniors deserve to get all the proper care they need just as much as seniors with children and extended families. If you have any questions about senior living in San Francisco, or senior placement in Florida, general senior care questions, feel free to contact us!

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Senior Placement Service in Florida

Senior assisted living florida senior placement services florida

Senior assisted living florida senior placement services florida

Famous for its coastline, thousands flock to the wonderful state of Florida every year to visit its sand beaches. It is definitely the “Sunshine State”! Whether walking down the beach, practicing their backhand on the courts, or teeing up at a grassy gold course, seniors who chose assisted living in Florida with the help of Peppermit Palm will never miss an exciting day!

In Florida, assisted living facilities or ALFs serve loved ones who can no longer live at home, need more specific care, or who have Dementia or Alzheimers. There are over 1000 ALFs in Florida alone! It can be a lot to sift through without caring, experienced help.

Peppermint Palm Senior Care, Inc. is now offering senior placement in Florida. We are certified by the Florida Care Planning Council.

Senior Assisted living senior placement services florida

Senior Assisted living senior placement services florida

We are a top agency for finding assisted living in Florida and now want to help your family in Florida! Use our years of experience and knowledge to find the right assisted living facility in Florida for your family today. Call us now, we’re here for you 24/7!

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How Pet Therapy Can Benefit Assisted Living Seniors

dog-200942_1280Pet therapy is a relatively new treatment for seniors in assisted living situations. Generally, pets offer comfort and companionship to their owners while being a part of the family. Owning a pet can add new life to a senior, giving them a reason to keep active all while reducing stress and improving their general health. There are some guidelines you should be aware of before getting a pet for a senior, or having a senior interact with an animal, and how they can add a natural sense of nurturing to the person.

Pet therapy isn’t approved at all assisted living communities, but seniors can always reap the benefits of having an animal around. Approved handlers will either bring dogs, cats, or more recently, bunnies! Pets add an emotional bond that can really bring out the joy of a senior, as well as keeping them in positive spirits. Some seniors may feel comfort interacting with the animal, maybe talking to the handler about the pets they’ve owned of current pets, or just like the comfort of having an animal around. Owning a pet can add another dimension as the person can ultimately bond with the animal and give them a resolve to care for the animal.

If a loved one is currently in assisted living in Sacramento or if you are considering your options, pet therapy would be a great way to keep in a better mood and improve their overall health!

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When should one consider a nursing home or assisted living?

Nursing homes provide the highest levels of care, both medical and custodial. If you’re not sure that you or your loved one needs that level of care for the long-term, learn more about other types of senior housing, including In-Home care by contacting one of our highly trained Senior Advocates to see what will best fit your needs.

In one of the following circumstances, one should consider assisted living:

Mental Health: Depression, anxiety, psychosis or dementia

Physical Health: The risk of falls may be too great, chronic diseases or physical disability that cause difficulty performing activities of daily living (ADL’s) walking, dressing, bathing, and preparing meals. Danger of wandering off or forgetting about the hot stove.

Support systems: Caregivers are often juggling work, their own family responsibilities, and their own health. It is not possible for one person to be awake and responsible 24-hours a day. Lack of a support system, such as family and friends who can be called in an emergency and are able to assist in their needs. In-Home care services can also provide support a caregiver needs.

Finances: Difficulty in managing financial obligations.

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Survey Discusses Long-Term Elder Care Experiences

The world of caregiving and elder care is always changing with each new generation. If you’re a caregiver yourself or have an aging loved one, you might be wondering how other people like you are feeling about the current state of elder care in the U.S.

The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research recently released their research from a survey that sought to ask these very questions. Specifically, their study aimed to gauge Americans’ views on aging and caregiving, as well as provide suggestions for how to improve long-term elder care. The findings were quite interesting and dynamic.

To start, the study showed that the majority of subjects had experience with long-term care. A full 60 percent of Americans age 40 and over have experience receiving or providing long-term care. Furthermore, 90 percent of the people in this group have provided help to family members at some point, with 17 percent both receiving care and caring for others.

Often when people hear the term “caregiving”, they think of senior care. Interestingly enough, the most common form of elder care is family caregiving, as children frequently take care of aging parents. Family caregiving was utilized at some point by 83 percent of individuals who also have experience with assisted living.

On a related note, many respondents in the study didn’t realize the relative affordability of assisted living. Respondents in each group overestimated the price of assisted living facilities. In fact, 43 percent of individuals overestimated these costs by more than $500.

Considering that caregiving and/or elder care has affected a large portion of the U.S. population, how do these individuals regard their experiences?

Most survey respondents said that their experience with caregiving was favorable overall.

Over 70 percent of people stated that caring for a loved one was a positive, valuable life experience. Most respondents also said that the experience had strengthened their relationship with the person receiving care.

However, many caregivers know that although caring for a loved one can be incredibly rewarding, it can also take a toll on you. The AARP recommends preparing for the caregiving process before a loved one needs help. This will help save you some stress and create an environment that allows both you and your loved one to have a more positive experience. If you’re caring for a special person in your life, explore all your care options together and decide what the best course of action is for your family.

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