Archive for April, 2013

Nutrition Series: Protein Recommendations

Posted on: April 22nd, 2013 by Kim McCreery No Comments

Good nutrition is one of the pillars of good health. This week we start a 6 week series of simple, straightforward posts on different components of nutrition to help seniors, adults with disabilities, and caregivers make informed food decisions. As a bonus, each week we will include a recipe based on the topic. Week one: Protein Recommendations. Remember to consult your doctor before you make major changes to your diet especially if you are on medications and/or have a medical condition.

Kim

Protein Recommendations

1. Mix it up. Most reasonable diets provide enough protein for healthy people. Eating a variety of foods will ensure that you get all of the amino acids you need.

2. Go low on saturated fat. Beans, fish and poultry provide plenty of protein, without much saturated fat. Steer clear of fatty meats and use whole-milk dairy products sparingly.

3. Limit red meat—and avoid processed meat. Research suggests that people who eat even modest amounts of red meat have a higher risk of developing colon cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, and a higher risk of dying from heart disease, cancer, or any cause. There’s also substantial evidence that replacing red meat with fish, poultry, beans, or nuts, could help prevent heart disease
and diabetes—and could lower the risk of early death. So make red meat (beef, pork, lamb) only an occasional part of your diet—no more than two 3-ounce servings a week—if you eat it at all. And skip the processed stuff—bacon, hot dogs, and deli meats—since that’s linked even more strongly to cancer, heart disease, and diabetes risk.

4. Eat soy in moderation. Tofu and other soy foods are an excellent red meat alternative. In some cultures, tofu and soy foods are a protein staple, and we don’t suggest any change. But if you haven’t grown up eating lots of soy, there’s no reason to go overboard: Two to four servings a week is a good target.

5. Balance carbs and protein. Cutting back on highly processed carbohydrates and increasing protein improves levels of blood triglycerides and HDL, and so may reduce your chances of having a heart attack, stroke, or other form of cardiovascular disease. It may also make you feel full longer, and stave off hunger pangs.

Source: www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/protein

Protein Packed Peanut Butter Chocolate Balls Recipe

  • 1 cup of low-fat peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 cup of Instant protein shake mix (found in the health section of your grocery store). Recommended brands: Aria Protein Shake Mix 50% whey/50% soy chocolate flavored; Gensoy Soy Protein Shake chocolate flavored.)

In a microwave safe bowl, heat peanut butter and honey for about 30 seconds to soften. Stir together and gradually add the protein. Mix well. Form into balls and place on wax paper. Cool and refrigerate. Variation: roll balls in chocolate chips, coconut, granola.

Grandma Needs Help: Eight Warning Signs That Care in The Home is Needed

Posted on: April 15th, 2013 by Kim McCreery No Comments

Many seniors want to stay in their homes as long as possible.They value their independence and their familiar surroundings. However, the challenges of aging pose real safety concerns. Read through the following list of warning signs to determine if a senior in your life needs additional assistance.

  1. She has experienced frequent falls or near falls; she has trouble getting around.
  2. She can’t remember when and how often to take her medications.

  3. She lives alone without a nearby support system.
  4. She has difficulty maintaining a clean house.
  5. She’s afraid to bath for fear of falling or because it’s too difficult to manage alone.
  6. She has expired food and or not enough food in the refrigerator.
  7. She can no longer drive safely.
  8. She has experienced one or more of the following: depression, confusion, forgetfulness.

If you

know or suspect a friend, relative or neighbor is experiencing any of these issues, that person’s doctor should be informed immediately. In-home care can help address many of these issues. For a free care assessment, contact At Home Solutions at 1-888-496-3983. Additionally, we work with trustworthy Geriatric Care Managers who can provide additionally care options.To download a printable check-list of warning signs, click here.

Kim

Family Caregivers in the Workplace

Posted on: April 5th, 2013 by Kim McCreery No Comments

 

National studies report:

• 44.4 million Americans—21% of the adult population—are caregivers to older relatives or friends. 60% of these caregivers are employed

• Family caregivers provide more than 80% of all home care services

• Of today’s family caregivers, 40% provide some level of nursing support

These trends result in the demand for workplace eldercare programs. According to a recent SHRM survey, elder care referrals are offered by 39% of companies with 2,501 to 5,000 employees, and by 31% of companies with more than 5,000 employees.

What are the employee problems?

• Coming to work late/leaving work early

• Increased absenteeism and workday interruptions, with an average of 166 lost hours of productivity per employee

• Taking unpaid leaves of absence or using personal or sick days to provide care

• Refusing relocation or work-related travel

• Refusing overtime work or new assignments

• Increased healthcare benefit utilization because often they end up more sick than the person for whom they are providing care (in fact, according to a University of Pittsburgh study, caregiver mortality rates are 63% above that of non-caregivers)

• 20% will quit their jobs to provide care full time

What are the greatest needs for working caregivers?

• Flexibility in work schedules

• Information about services and aging in general

• Support from coworkers and supervisors

• Help in making decisions about care options and related issues

If you are or know of a family caregiver who is struggling to manage work and family, contact At Home Solutions. We can help with respite (relief care), information about community resources, and much more.

Kim