In The News

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month!

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Home Care Plus is supporting the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition in honor of National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. During the month of May, we challenge all adults to get 30 minutes of physical activity every day.

Did you know that regular physical activity increases your chances of living a longer, healthier life? It also reduces your risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, and some types of cancer.

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults:

  • Aim for 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week. Moderate activity includes things like walking fast, dancing, swimming, and raking leaves.
  • Do muscle-strengthening activities – like lifting weights and using exercises bands – at least 2 days a week.

Physical activity is for everyone. No matter what shape you are in, you can find activities that work for you. Together, we can rise to the challenge and get more active during the month of May!

Y Chromosome Loss and Cancer Risk in Men

A recent study shows that Y chromosome loss, something that can occur as men age, may actually predict cancer risk. The study, published online in Nature Genetics on April 28, found that men who have significant Y chromosome depletion were three times more likely to get cancer. For more information, read the full article “Y Chromosome Loss Linked to Higher Cancer Risk in Men” at Healthfinder.gov.

SC Assistive Technology Program

Did you know that the South Carolina Assistive Technology Program, or SCATP, is a federally funded program whose mission is to help people with disabilities live, work and learn more independently by providing access to assistive technologies? SCATP offers a device loan and demonstration program, an on-line equipment exchange programtraining, technical assistance, publications and much more. Find out how you or your loved one can improve their quality of life and increase their independence with assistive technology. Visit the South Carolina Assistive Technology Program website for more information.

Gene Variant Increases Women’s Risk of Alzheimer’s

This finding could help scientists better understand how the disease works. Women are much more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease, and those with the ApoE4 gene variant have double the risk. Scientists aren’t sure why women are more likely to develop this disease than men. For more information on these findings, read Healthday.gov’s article Gene Variant May Double Alzheimer’s Risk for Women: Study.

Allergy Season is Here, but Spring Cleaning Can Help

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Many allergy sufferers are feeling the pain with record pollen counts causing a multitude of symptoms, including sneezing, postnasal drip, itchy, watery eyes, and sometimes in extreme cases asthma. A little spring cleaning can go a long way to easing symptoms, especially if you keep on top of your cleaning year-round. For tips on how to spring clean to ease allergy symptoms, read Healthday.gov’s article “Spring Cleaning Helps Stave Off Allergy Symptoms, Experts.”

Train Yourself to Look on the Bright(er) Side

Caring for a sick or disabled loved one can make even the most positive of people feel blue. It is a mentally, emotionally and often physically demanding job–and many family caregivers have full or part time jobs on top of their caregiving responsibilities! It is possible to train yourself to be more optimistic. Agingcare.com’s article “Bringing Out a Caregiver’s Inner Optimist” offers do-able tips to help lift your spirits. For example, try focusing on the things that are in your control (how you react to or feel about something or someone) rather than those things that are out of your control (other people’s behavior, the progression of your loved one’s disease). For other great tips on staying positive as a caregiver, visit Agingcare.com.

Healthy Living: Tips for Baby Boomers

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Longer life spans mean that anyone who reaches age 65 will likely live into their mid 80′s. If you fall into this category, you might be wondering what you can do to make sure those extra years bring extra joy to your life, not chronic illness and health problems. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, making the following lifestyle changes can keep you healthier, longer:

  • Age appropriate screenings & vaccinations (colon, mammography, flu, pneumonia, etc)
  • Physical activity, both cardiovascular and strength training (find recommendations on type and amounts here)
  • Quit smoking
  • Eat more fruits and veggies (5 or more servings a day)
  • Treat high blood pressure

For more information on healthy living for aging baby boomers, visit the CDC’s Aging and Health website.

New Blood Test May Be Able to Accurately Predict Dementia/Alzheimer’s

The blood test looks at levels of circulating fats in the blood to determine, with 90% accuracy, the likelihood that someone will develop some form of dementia in the near term. Blood tests are easier to process, less invasive, and generally less expensive than the PET scans or MRIs commonly used to screen for the disease today. For more information, read the Healthday article “Blood Test May Have Power to Predict Alzheimer’s”.

Loneliness Kills

The statistics surrounding the health risks of loneliness are scary–recent studies show it can be twice as deadly as being obese and as hard on your health as being poor. The Agingcare.com article “The Deadly Consequences of Loneliness” highlights the importance of having supportive social circle. If you are a caregiver, don’t be afraid to ask for help and make time for yourself. It could save your life!