Self-Care: An Essential Tool for Caregiving

Self-Care: An Essential Tool for Caregiving

The saying “you must fill your cup before filling others” is a quote that holds true with caregiving. Although the bonds and fulfillment of caring for others can be a driving force for caregivers, caregiving can also be quite a taxing role to take on. Meeting the needs and responsibilities of those in your care can oftentimes lead to negative effects on the caregiver’s physical and mental well-being. Neglecting to address these effects may eventually take a toll on both the caregiver and those in their care. Whether you are a family caregiver or a professional caregiver, making time to care for yourself is essential and should never be seen as selfish. 

When providing care, it’s natural to prioritize the needs of your loved one over your own, but doing so can lead to caregiver burnout and negatively impact your mental and physical health. It’s essential to keep an eye out for symptoms of burnout and take appropriate measures to prevent it.

Signs of Caregiver Burnout

  • Trouble sleeping too little or too much
  • Exhaustion that makes daily tasks difficult
  • Feelings of dread, guilt, being overwhelmed, or anxiousness
  • Easily agitated
  • Physical symptoms—headaches, stomach aches, getting sick more often, changes in weight
  • Withdrawing from people or hobbies you enjoy
  • Feeling disconnected from reality or that caregiving is taking over your life

Self-care is not selfish. It’s essential for your physical, mental, and emotional health. Taking care of yourself and addressing these symptoms allows you to better care for your loved ones. Self-care can help you:

  • Reduce Stress: Find ways to help you manage the stress that may be brought on by caregiving. Blast your favorite tunes, take a walk, write your thoughts down in a journal, meditate — whatever your style may be, find what aids in a significant and positive impact on your stress levels.
  • Boost Your Immune System: When you’re not taking care of yourself, you’re more likely to get sick. Taking time to rest, eat healthy, and exercise can help keep your immune system strong.
  • Improve Your Mental Health: Setting time aside for yourself can help improve your mood, reduce anxiety, and prevent depression.
  • Enhance Your Quality of Life: When you’re taking care of yourself, you’re better able to enjoy life and take pleasure in the things that matter most to you.

Self-Care Tips for Caregivers

Here are some self-care tips that can help you maintain your physical, mental, and emotional well-being while caring for others:

  • Take Time for Yourself: Whether it’s a few minutes or a few hours, it’s essential to take time for yourself each day. Use this time to do something you enjoy, such as reading a book, taking a bath, or spending time with friends.
  • Prioritize Sleep: Sleep is crucial for your physical and mental health. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night, and try to maintain a consistent sleep schedule.
  • Exercise Regularly: Exercise has been proven to reduce stress, improve your mood, and keep you healthy. Try to get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day, such as walking, yoga, or swimming.
  • Eat a Healthy Diet: Eating a balanced diet can help you stay healthy and energized. Aim for plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.
  • Practice Mindfulness: Mindfulness is a practice that can help reduce stress and improve your overall well-being. Try meditation, deep breathing exercises, or yoga to help you stay present in the moment.
  • Reach Out: Seek help from a professional if needed or create a support network for yourself. Simply having someone to talk to or listen can be so cathartic.  

Self-care is essential for caregivers. By taking care of yourself, you’ll be better able to care for your loved ones and enjoy a higher quality of life. Remember, self-care is not selfish. It’s a necessary part of being a caregiver.

Still unsure if you are experiencing burnout? Try this caregiver assessment from the American Medical Association. 

Related Articles: 
Caregiver Tips to Proactively Prioritize Your Mental Health
Caregivers: Making An Impact Isn’t Always Easy

5 Bathroom Safety Tips for Seniors

A Place At Home - 5 Bathroom Safety Tips for Seniors

January is National Bath Safety Month, making it the perfect time to evaluate your and your loved one’s bathroom setups and assess the safety conditions. 

5 Bathroom Safety Tips for Seniors

With sharp countertop and cabinet corners, slick floors, hard surfaces, and a lack of handles or supports, bathrooms pose a substantial risk for seniors to experience a slip or fall. As nearly 230,000 injuries are reported each year due to mishaps in the bathroom, we have outlined five bathroom safety tips and precautions to help reduce the risk of injury or fall in the bathroom. 

Install Grab Bars and Non-Slip Strips

The average bathroom is typically not equipped with proper handles and supports to help one move around a bathroom. While you may find yourself grabbing towel bars or shelving for balance, these are not intended to hold weight over 5-20 lbs. Installing grips and grab bars near the toilet, in and around the shower or bathtub, and throughout the rest of the bathroom are the perfect aid for leverage, balance, and maneuvering around the bathroom. 

As there are many forms of grips and grab bars on the market, it is best to opt for wall-mounted options, as suction-cup options tend to come loose or slide down over time. When installing, walk through your loved one’s routine to find the best location and distances to place the grips and grab bars.

5 Bathroom Safety Tips for Seniors - Grab Bars

Slick floors in the shower or tub are also a leading cause of falls in the bathroom. Installing non-slip strips help eliminate bulky shower mats and the risk of the mat’s suction cups from coming loose. Non-slip strips adhere directly to your shower or tub and provide a textured, grippy surface to stand on. 

Non-Slip Strips

Keep Bathroom Essentials Easily Accessible

Bending down or reaching up for bathroom products and essentials has also become a leading cause of injury in the bathroom. Bending down can result in hitting your head on countertops, shelving, shower fixtures, or the toilet while reaching up can result in knocking items down onto oneself or falling down from shifting weight to one side as you reach. Additionally, storing shampoo and other products along the edge of the shower or tub can pose a risk of falling while entering/exiting the shower or tub. All necessary bathroom and hygiene products should be kept within easy reach and free from clutter. 

Raise the Toilet Seat

Similarly to bending down for bathroom products, bending down and squatting to use the toilet may become challenging. Installing an elevated toilet seat is an optimal solution to elevate the hassle of transferring on and off the toilet. 

Much like the grab bars, it is important to install a raised toilet seat suitable to the space allotted and the mobility of your senior loved one. When choosing an elevated toilet seat, opt for seats that offer a more permanent and secure option. While these options may require more installation, elevated toilet seats that adhere or install directly onto your existing toilet are best, as opposed to the options that are simply placed over the toilet. 

Elevated Toilet Seat

Invest in an Accessible Shower/Tub or Bath Chair

Accessible showers and tubs are equipped with the stability and support needed for safe bathing, as they are typically furnished with grab bars, adjustable shower heads, shower-safe seating, and easy entry/exit options. Although shower stools are a more budget-friendly option, it is recommended to choose more permanent and supportive options, such as wall-mounted bath chairs like those pictured below. 

Accessible Shower

Hire a Caregiver

The assistance of a caregiver can ensure senior bathroom safety. A Place At Home offers in-home senior care services to keep your loved one safe from unexpected falls and assist with bathing and other daily tasks such as dressing and transferring from a bed to a wheelchair.  

When you choose A Place At Home, you work with a team of qualified, compassionate care professionals who will ensure the highest standards of care are met. Your safety is our top priority. Contact us today for senior-focused care tailored to your loved one’s needs — we are honored to help. 

Signs of Dementia to Look for During the Holiday

Signs of Dementia to Look for During the Holiday

The holiday season is the most momentous time of the year as families, both near and far, gather to celebrate and rejoice in the festivities. As we roll from Thanksgiving into the holiday season, more and more time is spent with family. However, while this time may be full of joy and merriment, it can also show apparent changes with your loved ones — changes that may be early signs of dementia and Alzheimer’s. 

As we continue to gather with family, it is important to familiarize ourselves with the early signs and symptoms of dementia. Dementia is defined as a loss of memory, language, problem-solving, and other thinking abilities that are severe enough to interfere with daily life — Alzheimer’s being the most common form of dementia. 

Signs of Dementia to Look for During the Holiday 

Memory loss

While forgetting someone’s name from time to time is normal, forgetting important events or recently learned information is a sign of memory loss. Asking the same questions or repeating a story multiple times are signs as well. The primary indicator is if your loved one is unable to recall the information later on. 

Struggle with Familiar Tasks 

Getting lost in familiar areas, forgetting to turn off the stove, neglecting to brush one’s teeth, or inability to recall the ingredients to the famous family recipe show struggle with tasks that were once handled gracefully and with ease. 

Uncharacteristic Distancing

Engaging in conversation, hobbies, and social activities becomes a struggle for those living with dementia, as remembering names or the rules of a game or simply holding a conversation becomes difficult. As a result, a person living with dementia tends to withdraw from social interaction.  

Misplacing Items

Alongside memory loss, losing or misplacing items may become more frequent. For example, a loved one may pick up an item and place it in an unusual or wrong place without being able to retrace their steps. 

Difficulty with Words

The inability to think of the correct word or continue their sentence is often a telltale sign of dementia. You may find your loved one struggling with vocabulary or referring to something with the wrong name. For example, referring to wine as “pressed grapes” or a watch as a “wrist clock.” 

Poor Judgement

As dementia affects logical decision-making, your loved one may experience a decline in judgment, which is a concern for safety. Crossing a busy road without checking to see if it’s safe, falling victim to a phone scam, neglecting to pay bills, or careless spending are significant signs of a decline in judgment. 

Shifts in Personality  

Individuals living with dementia may experience a shift in mood and personality. Your loved one can become confused, anxious, suspicious, and irritable as regulating and controlling emotions become more difficult.

Early detection of dementia is crucial to getting the proper care and treatment for your loved one. A Place At Home has supported families and individuals living with dementia for over a decade. Our professional and compassionate caregivers are empathetic and educated in the mental and physical care needs of those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your situation or are seeking senior care, please reach out to us. We are here to help. 

Related Articles: 
The Alzheimer’s Association
Alzheimer’s Association Facts & Figures
The Seven Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease – Dr. Reisberg
8 Ways to Help a Loved One With Alzheimer’s
4 Tips for Reducing Alzheimer’s Stigma
9 Signs Your Loved One Needs Memory Care
Understanding the Potential Link Between Stress and Alzheimer’s Disease
10 Tips for Navigating the Holidays and Alzheimer’s 

Commemorating Caregivers

Commemorating Caregivers

National Family Caregiver Month — Every day, but especially the month of November, is a time to commemorate the caregivers in our lives and across the country, draw awareness of caregiving issues, educate the community, and increase support for caregivers. 

Providing care for loved ones is rewarding and fulfilling but can also become overwhelming. Studies indicate that a vast majority of caregivers experience anxiety and depression as it is easy to get wrapped up in the health of loved ones, as well as see it as a foreshadowing of what may happen to oneself. This emotional and physical toll on caregivers is called burnout. 

While caring for others, caregivers tend to forget about themselves or push their needs aside. Caregivers advocate for a healthy diet, routine exercise, mental practices, and proper treatments with their clients. Still, it is important to practice what they preach and habituate these daily practices in their own lives as well. 

“One must fill their own cup before filling others” is a saying that’s often easier said than done. But through continuing to empower and support the caregivers in our lives and community, the adverse repercussions often associated with caregiving can be reduced and diminished, enabling caregivers to provide care for themselves and loved ones longer and stronger.

Ways to Support & Commemorate Caregivers 

  • Routinely reach out and check on the caregivers in your life. 
  • Ask about their day. 
  • Offer a helping hand with daily tasks (laundry, dishes, housekeeping, etc.) 
  • Lend a listening ear or shoulder to lean on.
  • Cook them a meal or invite them out to dinner.
  • Write a thank you letter about the amazing care they have given you and your family. 
  • Encourage them to seek mental health services if necessary. 

Whatever it may be, find a way to make the caregiver in your life feel included, heard, and loved.

Ways to Recharge as a Caregiver

  • Practice healthy living with routine exercise and a balanced diet. 
  • Find time for a hobby that makes you happy and feel accomplished, creative, or peaceful. 
  • Discover a mindful practice that brings you peace of mind or an outlet to channel your emotions. 
  • Journal. Getting your thoughts out on paper (or digitally) can be very therapeutic.
  • Establish a support system however feels best for you — through friends and family, a support group, etc. 
  • Reach out when needed, either to your support system or a healthcare or mental health professional.

Never feel guilty for taking time for yourself. Taking the time to care for oneself can ultimately lengthen the strides in your life as well as those around you and those you are caring for. If you’re a family caregiver and struggling with caregiver burnout, please reach out to us and let us help you care for you

Related Articles: 
Caregiver Burnout Prevention
Resources Available For Family Caregivers
Caregiver Tips to Proactively Prioritize Your Mental Health

Depression Awareness Month

A Place At Home - Depression Awareness Month

Across the U.S., millions of Americans struggle with depression. Yet, this widespread mental health condition often goes unnoticed and under-detected. Since October is Depression Awareness Month, we are here to share the signs and symptoms of depression and ways to seek help. 

Signs & Symptoms

Depression is a complex, multifaceted mental health condition and is experienced uniquely from person to person. However, knowing the signs may help you identify that you or a close friend, family member, or co-worker are experiencing depression. Common symptoms of depression include: 

  • Changes in appetite
  • Not being able to get out of bed
  • Insomnia or changes in sleep patterns
  • Loss of interest in activities 
  • Refusal or unmotivated to go to school or work
  • Feeling sad, hopeless, or powerless for long periods 
  • Uncontrollable emotions
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating 
  • Intentional isolation or separation from others 
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions

Causes of Depression

The cause of one’s depression may be difficult to pinpoint, as depression can arise from a variety of events and experiences. The common origins of depression include: 

  • Sudden life changes (job change, moving, transition to adulthood, etc.)
  • Battling illness
  • Trauma or abuse
  • Facing substance abuse
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Social isolation or separation
  • Childhood experiences
  • Financial turmoil 
  • Lack of support system
  • Lack of acceptance

Seeking Help

Unfortunately, a stigma has developed around depression. Many people think that showing emotion or a dismissive response is weak or a cry for attention — causing those experiencing depression to avoid seeking help. 

Depression is not an emotion that you can simply switch on and off. Like many physical illnesses and other mental health conditions, depression does not go away on its own. In many cases, depression worsens over time without the help of a trained clinical professional. 

Screenings are often a first step to getting help and are an essential part of your routine health care. Screenings involve a series of questions that can help indicate if one is experiencing depression and how to seek further help. Although screenings are not a professional diagnosis, screenings point out the presence or absence of depressive symptoms and provide a referral for further evaluation if needed. 

It is important to know that help and treatment are always available for those suffering from depression. If you or a loved one are experiencing depression, please reach out to your healthcare provider or a clinical professional to receive a referral, assistance, and attention. 

If you or a loved one are having suicidal thoughts, call the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by dialing 9-8-8. This lifeline provides free, confidential, 24/7 access to emotional support by phone or text. 

Fall Prevention

Falls are the leading cause of injury, both fatal and nonfatal, for people aged 65 and older. Falls can result in serious injuries, such as head trauma and broken bones. However, most falls are preventable. Below, we outline the steps and signs to look out for to help prevent falls in the future. 

Diet & Exercise 

As we age, our bones lose strength and become brittle, ultimately increasing the risk of breaking a bone. Therefore, it is crucial to stay active and eat healthy. A well-balanced diet and routine exercise will keep your bones, joints, and body happy! 

A Well-Balanced Diet

“Milk will make you big and strong.” We’ve all heard it since we were kids. And it still holds true as we age. Milk contains a large amount of calcium which will keep your muscles and bones strong. While milk is still a great source of calcium, green leafy vegetables, fish, orange juice, yogurt, and other dairy products are also foods packed with calcium. 

Vitamin D will also keep your bones and muscles strong by allowing the body to absorb calcium effectively. And you guessed it — you can increase your Vitamin D intake by solely getting some sun! Other good sources of Vitamin D include salmon, tuna, egg yolks, liver oil, and dairy products. 

Another layer of protection for your body is protein. Protein helps build and repair body tissue. It is essential for preserving bone and muscle mass as we age. Protein-rich foods include chicken, eggs, fish, meat, legumes, nuts, and tofu. 

Make sure to stay hydrated! Drinking plenty of fluids can prevent dehydration, which can cause dizziness, lack of coordination, and confusion — overall, a leading cause of falls. Additionally, if taking diuretics (“water pills”) or other medications, it is paramount to stay hydrated. 

Consult your doctor or dietitian to discover the proper amounts of protein, calcium, Vitamin D, additional supplements, and overall calorie, fluid, and nutrient intake for your body to maintain a healthy weight and strong bones. 

Staying Active

It’s not realistic to completely prevent a fall. However, staying active and exercising with a focus on balance and strength training can reduce your risk of falling overall. For older adults, motions, and movements like squatting, getting up from bed or a chair, and walking may become difficult. Practicing and exercising these motions can improve balance, muscle memory, and overall body mechanics. Here are some exercises to practice. We also recommend implementing yoga, stretching, weight training, aerobics, walking, or other low-intensity activities into your daily routine to train your body, concentration, muscle memory, focus, and balance.

Safe Home & Environment

The most crucial factor in helping prevent falling is to ensure your home and frequently traveled areas are free of hazards. 

  • Examine your home for possible hazards and eliminate any items in your walking paths, such as rugs, cords, pet toys, etc. 
  • Replace any loose or damaged rails to your stairs and steps. 
  • Install railings on both sides of your stairway if possible. 
  • Install strong grips or handles by your shower, bathtub, and toilet.
  • Use non-slip mats in your bathtub and shower. 
  • Wear non-slip shoes or socks when not in carpeted areas
  • Improve lighting around your home. 
  • Install nightlights or motion-activated lights for nighttime 
  • Store frequently used items in cabinets and drawers within arm’s reach.
  • Avoid and repair any cracks or shifted concrete in your outdoor spaces.

In-Home Care

The safety and reassurance of having another person in assistance is a great safety measure for fall prevention. Caregivers can assist in daily activities such as getting dressed, bathing, cooking, monitoring medication, and more. Their assistance helps reduce the risk factors associated with falling.

A Place At Home offers a variety of services that can be personalized to fit any need. Our care plans are created by a qualified professional and delivered by a compassionate team of caregivers.

When you choose A Place At Home, you work with a team of qualified, compassionate care professionals who will ensure the highest standards of care are met. Your safety is our top priority.

Learn more about the ins and outs of home care on our blog — Read More.
If you or a loved one are seeking care, click here to learn more about our services.

Tips for Planning a Vacation with a Senior Relative

It is the peak season for vacations to all sorts of destinations ranging from the beaches of the coast or the shopping and sightseeing of the big city. With children out of school, it is easy to bring the whole family together.

While entertainment and planning for the kids will be simple with hitting the water, fun rides, and larger-than-life activities, let’s make sure not to forget the needs and accommodations of your senior relatives.

Tips for Planning a Vacation with a Senior Relative 

  • Ensure that you book a stay at a hotel, Airbnb, or lodging equivalent with an elevator or book a room on ground level. This avoids carrying items for longer periods of time and climbing multiple flights of stairs. 
  • Schedule enough downtime. We all need our rest and to get off of our feet for a while. Plan for ample amounts of quiet time to rest, freshen up, use the restroom, and recharge. If possible, arrange to have a separate space for senior relatives to escape the hustle and bustle of vacation.
  • Include them in the plans. Make sure to include activities that they love. Plan for activities and sights that appeal to them. 
  • Plan ahead, but also embrace flexibility. Establish a general idea of the sights, restaurants, and desired attractions and plan roughly estimated times for these activities. Think through the logistics and estimate with travel time, wait time, delays, and approximate duration of the activity in mind. However, allow flexibility. If a family member grows tired, adjust the plan accordingly.   
  • Assist them with packing. Run through the itinerary with them to make sure they have all the proper needs for each activity. If hitting the water or walking the town, pack items to accommodate their needs, such as extra sun protection and proper shoes. 
  • Consult with their doctor and ensure that they are safe to travel. Health conditions affect one’s ability to travel, especially by airplane. Check which form of travel their doctor recommends and guarantee that medical care is nearby your desired destination in the case of an emergency. 
  • If traveling by air, allow for enough time for leaving the house, traveling, arriving, restroom breaks, etc. Arrange for any onboard assistance, early boarding, or transportation throughout the airport. Book flights with a longer layover time to allow your relatives to recoup, use the restroom, and get from one gate/terminal to another. 
  • Bring all proper documentation, insurance information, and medication. Verify that all documentation is up-to-date and valid. Discuss these items with your relatives for clarity in the case of an emergency. Include the names of their medication, what they are used for, and the times they should be taken. 
  • Limit the amount of walking or strenuous activity. Rest is key. If sightseeing around the city, plan for longer stops along the way. Opt for sights where it is easy to drive up to and require less walking to reach. If visiting a theme park, break up the to and fro around the park with a longer lunch break, longer, seated, and less thrilling rides, or cart/trolley transportation around the park. 
  • If wheelchair-bound, confirm that the desired locations and attractions are wheelchair accessible. Confirm that the desired restaurants, lodging, museums, sights, etc. have wheelchair ramps, lifts, or elevators.  
  • Document the experience and share the photos with them. Memories are the best part of vacations. Bring a mobile device or digital camera to capture the experiences. Choose a polaroid camera or disposable camera for a fun, nostalgic way to document the memories. 
  • Manage expectations for the entire family and those traveling with you. Excitement will take over when on vacation — explain to the younger family members the need for rest, downtime, and patience. While waking up early may not be desired for the younger crowd, it is imperative to beat the crowds and ensure less hustle and bustle for the senior relatives to endure. Additionally, arrange to have a separate activity for the children as museums may not be interesting or they need to get some energy out. 
  • Proper hydration is important when traveling. With different altitudes and allergy/weather conditions, it is paramount that your family practices proper hydration. Carry water at all times and look out for the signs of dehydration in seniors
  • Consider bringing the help of a caregiver. A caregiver will provide your loved ones with the support and attention they need, even during vacation. They will assist with routine activities of daily living, such as dressing, using the restroom, and bathing, as well as have a full understanding of the medical needs of your senior relative.

If you are looking for in-home senior care, schedule a free consultation with our A Place At Home office. You can expect a quick response about pricing or answers to any questions about our in-home care, care coordination, or senior living alternatives. Our professionals are ready to provide you or your loved one with compassionate care, open communication, and support, and improve overall quality of life. Call or schedule a free, online consultation with your nearest A Place At Home location today! 

Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month

National Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month is a call to action for Americans to be aware of Alzheimer’s and its effects on the brain and cognitive function, to raise awareness of the disease, and to support and stand with those diagnosed. 

Here at A Place At Home, we share research, data, and resources to educate and spread the word about Alzheimer’s and lend our support in the fight against the disease.

Alzheimer’s has hit an all-time record of affecting over 6 million Americans. It has become the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. and the most common cause of dementia among adults 65 and older. By 2050, an estimated 14 million Americans will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. 

Alzheimer’s is a brain disorder that slowly deteriorates one’s memory, thinking, and problem-solving skills. Its attack on the brain’s cognitive function leads to the inability to carry out basic activities of daily living. These difficulties occur from damaged or destroyed nerve cells (neurons) in the brain, eventually leading to the inability to perform bodily functions such as swallowing and walking. As the disease becomes more terminal, those diagnosed become bed-bound and require around-the-clock care.

The effects of Alzheimer’s can begin to cause changes in the brain a decade before showing symptoms. Each stage of the disease is determined by the severity and pace of neuron damage.  

Early detection and a diagnosis provide an individual with more time for treatment and significant medical and emotional attention. Advancements in science and cognitive therapy have provided medicine, mindful practices, and care that lead to the slowing of neuron damage and improvements in quality of life.

If you, a family member, or a friend notices a significant lapse in memory and cognitive function or any changes in the signs below, it may be time to consult a doctor.  

Signs of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia:

  • Difficulty remembering new things
  • Memory loss that disrupts daily life
  • Challenges with planning or problem solving
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, work, or leisure
  • Confusion with time or place
  • Trouble understanding images and spatial relationships
  • Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
  • New problems with speaking or writing
  • Decreased or poor judgment
  • Withdrawal from work or social activities
  • Changes in mood and personality

The A Place At Home system has been supporting families and individuals suffering because of dementia for over a decade. Our professional and compassionate caregivers are empathetic and educated in the mental and physical care needs of those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your situation or are seeking senior care, reach out to us. We are here to help. 


The Alzheimer’s Association
Alzheimer’s Association Facts & Figures
The Seven Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease – Dr. Reisberg
8 Ways to Help a Loved One With Alzheimer’s
4 Tips for Reducing Alzheimer’s Stigma
9 Signs Your Loved One Needs Memory Care
Understanding the Potential Link Between Stress and Alzheimer’s Disease
10 Tips for Navigating the Holidays and Alzheimer’s 

Reducing the Risk of Stroke

National Stroke Awareness Month

Stroke can be deadly, debilitating, and dangerous. Its attack on the body can be silent and without warning. Fortunately, there are ways to lower your risk of having a stroke.

By definition from the American Stroke Association, “Stroke is a disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or ruptures. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood and oxygen it needs, so it and brain cells die.”

Although deadly, 80% of strokes are preventable and can be prevented by implementing healthy lifestyle choices. The two leading contributors to stroke are poor diet and physical inactivity. 

Poor diet commonly results in high cholesterol and high blood pressure, in tandem causing a slow ambush on the heart. Stop the ambush in its tracks by choosing a healthier diet. 

  • Limit the consumption of foods high in sodium, saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol. 
  • Opt for minimally processed foods that are lower in fat and made with little to no salt. 
  • Minimize your intake of added sugars and alcohol. 
  • Choose to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. 
  • Ensure that you are consuming healthy sources of lean and unprocessed protein. 

Pair a healthier diet with physical activity. Move that body! This does not always call for long, strenuous trips to the gym. Small changes can be as simple as parking farther away for a longer walk to work or school, waking up earlier for a short stroll around the block, or a quick yoga session at the desk. Implementing movement as little as 15-30 minutes a day can lead huge strides toward physical and cardiovascular health and fitness.  

Physical activity not only exercises the body, but also the mind. Taking a few minutes a day to focus on yourself can lift some stress off your shoulders and mind. Oftentimes, stress can lead to inflammation, hypertension, and other vascular conditions, ultimately leading to a higher risk of stroke. Use physical activity as a time to de-stress, breathe, and focus on your mind and body. 

Lastly, smoking and the use of tobacco causes a temporary increase in blood pressure and will cause damage to your lungs and arteries. Limiting or quitting the use of tobacco (and exposure to secondhand smoke) will aid in the reduced risk of stroke. 

Altering a few of your lifestyle choices can significantly impact your risk of stroke and your overall health. 

Consult your doctor to find the best forms of action to decrease your chance of stroke. 

In the case of a stroke, know the signs. Remember F.A.S.T. to identify if someone is experiencing a stroke.

  • Face Drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven?
  • Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • Speech Difficulty – Is speech slurred?
  • Time to call 911

In-home senior care services can be a good fit for seniors trying to manage their diet and physical activity. We have compassionate caregivers who can help with lifestyle care and care coordination. Schedule a free consultation or give your nearest A Place At Home location a call today! 

Trees: A Symbol of Life & Memory

Forest, A Place At Home logo, Partner of Arbor Day Foundation

Today, we celebrate Arbor Day, a national holiday commemorating the beauty and life of trees and nature. At A Place At Home, we honor the holiday with our deeply rooted connection with the Arbor Day Foundation. 

The roots of a tree hold powerful meaning; they nourish and create stability for the tree, building the foundation for healthy growth, and give back to the land around them. When Dustin Distefano and Jerod Evanich, founders of A Place At Home, thought about how the impact they wanted their senior-focused services to have, a tree is the first thing that came to mind.

Our philosophy at A Place At Home is rooted in CARE — care for our clients and their families, care for our staff, and care for our community. We strive to be Compassionate, Accountable, Respectful, and Ethical with every interaction — these are our roots, and they’ve allowed us to create a foundation of stability and nourishment to thousands of families in need over the last ten years. 

Our CARE standards are what drive our partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation and their “Trees in Memory” program. For every client we have been honored to care for that passes away, A Place At Home plants trees in their memory. The trees planted in remembrance will leave a legacy for future generations, preserving the foundation built by those who came before us. 

Since April of 2021, A Place At Home has planted 620 trees to honor those that have passed. These memorials can be found growing in Chippewa National Forest, Custer-Gallatin National Forest, Klamath National Forest, Superior National Forest, and Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. Each tree will stand as a lasting tribute to those families and clients who have touched our lives.

To read more about our partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, click here.  

Join in the celebration of life and nature by becoming a member of the Arbor Day Foundation. To learn more about their mission or to sign up, visit