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How to manage your arthritis

Arthritis is something we all want to avoid, but it’s increasingly common as we age. It’s a painful inflammation and stiffness in the joints, and, according to the Arthritis Foundation, it’s not very well understood. They mention that there are over 100 different types of arthritis!

Who can be affected by arthritis?

Well, just about anybody. Over 50 million US adults and 300,000 children have some form of arthritis. It’s more common among women and the elderly.

arthritis infographic.png

Source Penn Medicine

What causes arthritis?

Arthritis is caused by the reduction in the amount of cartilage tissue. This can be due to normal wear and tear due to daily activities, but also by infection or injury. It has been found that you are more at risk for Osteoarthritis if you have a family history of the disease.

For an autoimmune disorder like Rheumatoid Arthritis, the cause is unknown.

What are the first symptoms of arthritis?

The most common symptoms of arthritis include:

  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Decreased range of motion

If you have continued pain like this, it could be due to arthritis and it’s best to schedule an appointment with your doctor.

There are different ways to pinpoint whether or not you have arthritis, and, if you do, which kind it is.

Doctors will use:

  • Lab tests (blood, joint fluid, urine)
  • X-Rays
  • CT Scan
  • MRI
  • Ultrasound

How is arthritis treated?

Although there is no cure, many medications have been developed to help reduce the severity and the pain.

These medications include:

  • Analgesics- Reduce pain, but no inflammation
  • NASIDs- Reduce pain and inflammation
  • DMARDs – Use to treat rheumatoid arthritis
  • Biologic response modifiers – Target protein molecules
  • Counterirritants – Creams and ointments to reduce pain in aching joints
  • Corticosteroids – Reduce inflammation, suppresses the immune system

Surgery is another option that a doctor may suggest.

Types of surgeries include:

  • Joint fusion- Used on smaller joints. Remove the end of two bones and then lock the ends together
  • Joint repair- Smooth or realign joint surfaces to reduce pain
  • Joint replacement – Removes a damaged joint and replaces it with an artificial one. Common for knees and hips

Additional Arthritis Resources

The Arthritis Foundation

MedlinePlus.gov | Arthritis 

 


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Cooling Off Seniors

It’s extremely important to stay cool in the summer, especially here in Florida with our high heat and humidity. Heat is one of the leading causes of weather-related death in the US, causing hundreds each year (National Weather Service). This is especially true for children and older Americans. As we age, our bodies become less efficient, and we can’t regulate our body temperature as well. This alone makes keeping seniors cool a priority.

So how do we keep them cool? Well The Heritage at Lowman as a great article on how to keep seniors cool during summer. They have tips like adding fruit to water for added taste, to walk around an indoor mall if your home doesn’t have AC, and to dress in light colored, loose-fitting clothes.

Keeping Seniors Cool During Summer’s Heat
the Heritage at Lowman

According the National Weather Service, heat is one of the leading causes of weather-related death in the United States, causing hundreds of fatalities each year. Older adults are even more susceptible to the dangers of heat, as they are less likely to sense and respond to changes in temperature. Additionally, as we grow older, our bodies become less efficient at regulating body temperature. Seniors are also more likely to have a health condition or be taking medications that make it more difficult for the body to regulate its temperature or to perspire.

The importance of staying hydrated

Just as our sensitivity to heat dulls as we age, so does our awareness of thirst. This, along with our body’s decreased ability to conserve water as we grow older, puts seniors at greater risk of dehydration. Summer heat adds to the risk, because on hot days, the body loses water more quickly. Here are some tips for staying hydrated this summer:

  • Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to take in fluids. If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol, as these can cause the body to lose even more fluid.
  • Eat lots of fresh fruit, a wonderful source of fluids.
  • Add fresh lemon or lime to your water to add a little flavor.
  • Use water to dilute fruit juices, making them last longer and increasing your fluid intake.
  • Get creative! Make “mocktails,” like nonalcoholic daiquiris and piña coladas.

If you are on a fluid-restricted diet, consult your physician about how to get the fluids you need during the hot summer months.

Read more of the article on their website


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Great Summer Board Games

It’s summer! That means the kids are off and they’re already bored. You try taking them to the park, but it gets hot so quickly. You take them to the pool, but that gets old after a few days. What else is there to do when kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, neighbors come over? It’s time to pull out the board games! There are so many, which one is just right? We’ll go through some great games for families, some for seniors, and some just for kids. Hopefully you find one that will keep your family occupied, even if just for a few hours.

Family Board Games
You went to visit family, or they came to you. Sometimes it’s hard to decide on something everyone can enjoy. Board games are great for all ages. Here are a few that are fun for adults and kids alike.

Life
If only life was like a board game. In Life, you go through the typical life stages: teen, adult, old age. Throughout, you experience highs and lows. Some will end up with a mansion, great job, and family. Others may end up in a shack, with a lousy job, and too many kids. Spin the wheel of Life and see where you end up.
Players: 2-6
Age range: 9 to adult
Playing time: About 45 mins.

Clue
Everyone knows Clue! It’s the game where you try to find the perpetrator of a murder. Everyone gets a character to play and people try to guess who the murderer is. It’s a fun “whodunit” type game for the family.
Players: 2-6 or 3-6
Age range: 8 to adult
Playing time: 15-60 minutes

Adult Games

Trivial Pursuit
Think you’re a knowitall? Test your knowledge of all things from pop culture to science to history. Trivial Pursuit has been around a while, but it’s still a fun group game.
Players: 2-6
Age range: 15 and up
Playing time: Varies

Taboo
This game is fun with older children and adults. You have a partner or teammates, and one person picks up a card. That person must try to get their partners to guess the word. But this is where it gets tricky. The cards have taboo words that you can’t say. For instance, the word is Fourth of July, the taboo words may be Independence Day, BBQ, grilling, summer, hot dogs, hamburgers. It gets hard, so you have to be creative.
Players: 4 +
Age range: 12 and up
Playing time: 10-30 minutes


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Easy Dinner Recipes for Seniors

It’s not always fun to cook dinner, but it’s always fun to eat it! Take the hassle out of cooking dinner with these simple recipes. Find more recipes on our blog as well as tips for seniors and nurses.

Shrimp With Tomatoes

Ingredients

1 10-ounce box couscous (1 1/3 cups)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc)
kosher salt and pepper
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

Directions

  1. Cook the couscous according to the package directions.
  2. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes, wine, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 4 to 6 minutes.
  4. Add the shrimp and cover. Cook until the shrimp are cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve with the couscous.

Courtesy of Real Simple

Baked Pesto Chicken

Ingredients:

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
½ cup basil pesto
2 plum tomatoes
shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cover cookie sheet with foil.
2. Put pesto and chicken in bowl. Toss until chicken is covered.
3. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
4. Place slices of tomato on top of chicken and sprinkle with cheese.
5. Bake another 3-5 minutes.
6. Serve with a box of angel hair pasta and herbs and French bread.

Courtesy of Moms Who Think

Southwestern Beef Chili With Corn

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 poblano or bell pepper, chopped
1/2 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed
1 tablespoon chili powder
 kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 cup corn kernels (from 1 ear, or frozen and thawed)
1/2 cup grated Cheddar (2 ounces)
2 scallions, sliced

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, onion, and poblano and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes.
  2. Add the beef and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until it is slightly darkened, 1 minute.
  4. Stir in the beans, chili powder, 3 cups water, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  5. Simmer over medium heat until the vegetables are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the corn.
  6. Divide the chili among bowls and top with the Cheddar and scallions.

Courtesy of Real Simple


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Just Like Family Celebrity Bartending Event

Celebrate Senior Citizen Month with Just Like Family Home Care’s Celebrity Bartending at Lamoraga!

A suggested donated of $20 gives you one free drink ticket plus complimentary appetizers.
In addition to your donation, 100% of all gratuities will be given to St. Matthew’s House and Goodlette Arms.

Don’t forget to bring your Senior Collection Drive donation items.
These should be new items like:
Soap
Shampoo
stamps
books
cards
Slippers
Wheelchairs
Puzzles
Ensure
walkers
tea bags
canned goods
etc.

For more information
Contact Elisabeth Nassberg at Just Like Family
239-431-6661 or enassberg@JLFservices.com

Lamoraga
3936 N. Tamiami Trail

JLF - Lamoraga - Celebrity Bartending 2015 - 5x8 - without names


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Just Like Family Senior Collection Drive

It’s that time of year again! No, not Christmas! It’s Senior Citizens Month (actually now it’s Older Americans Month but we’ll use both terms).

That means it’s time for Just Like Family Home Care’s annual Senior Collection Drive! We are collecting NEW items to distribute to Seniors in need in Southwest Florida all month long.

HOW CAN I HELP?
Create your own Senior Collection Drive- we have boxes and marketing materials for you to use as posters and/or emarketing. When your box is filled, simply phone us and we’ll pick up your collection. Thank you for your help and support of seniors!

WHAT ITEMS SHOULD I DONATE?
Facial tissues
Throat drops
Coffee/tea
Bottled Water
Ensure
Reading Glasses
Sunglasses
Knitting supplies
Calendars
Games
Personal Hygiene Items

Check out our flier to get more donation ideas

Need more information? Contact us at 239-431-6661

JLF - 2015 Senior Collection Drive Flyer - 8.5x11-1


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Apps for Caregivers

mobile2

There’s an app for everything and everybody! Caregivers have a wide array of mobile applications available to help them with tasks like tracking, organization, reference, medicine management, and more. Download a few and test them out. Hopefully they can help improve your efficiency and effectiveness, thereby improving the quality of your care.

Caregiver’s Touch

Platforms: iPhone ($4.99), Web ($19.95 month or $199.95 year)
– Calendar helps for people caring for more than one person
– Store insurance information
– Contact List
– Essential Information storage (SSN, blood type, etc)
– Log medical history
– Security
– Allows for sharing information with others
– Must be used in conjunction with web application

CareZone

Platforms: iPhone, iPad, Android
– Free
– Profile to log patient information
– Share task lists
– Share journal with logs and photos
– Medicine tracking
– Invite others to join on the app
– Can broadcast a recorded voice message to 100 people

Unfrazzle

Platforms: iPhone, iPad, Android
– Free
– Highly customizable
– Create to do lists
– Journals
– Track practically everything
– Share information with others