Corewood Care Blog

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Meditation for Older Adults

For many families and their loved ones, COVID-19 has not only brought on fears of health, safety, and physical wellbeing, but it also has negatively impacted current living arrangements and relationships among families and loved ones. For older adults, living alone has become even more burdensome as social visits, fitness and exercise, physical therapy visits, and limitations to healthy food options has been limited if not non-existent. Families that have taken on caregiving duties for their loved ones have been experiencing increased anxiety, tension, and a decline in personal health. Meditation during this time has become more important for older adults, their families, and caregivers during this time.

Research supports the many benefits meditation can bring. Meditation can help memory, cognitive abilities, anxiety, stress, loneliness, depression, circulation, and digestion to name a few. The website U.S. News Health section support these benefits. You can visit the website here U.S. News: Health

Below are a few tips for first time meditators and beginners as well as different meditation techniques to try. Meditation can be an activity done at home alone or even virtually with your loved one. Start slow, 5 minutes, and build your way up to 15 minutes a day. The more you practice the easier meditation will become and the more beneficial it will be to your overall health.

The Basics

  1. Schedule 5 to 15 minutes of your day when you will not be distracted by others, phone calls, or other distracting noises. Think of meditation as a “daily vitamin” that you need to take for your health and let others in your household know you are going to meditate and cannot be bothered at this time. It is important for others in your household to appreciate and understand this time is important for you.
  2. Get comfortable. Either lay down or sit where your body feels relaxed. You do not need to be in the quintessential meditation poses if your body feels relaxed and comfortable then you are ready for meditation.
  3. Close your eyes and breathe! Breathe in deeply through your nostrils, filling your stomach with air, to the count of four. If able, hold for a count of four and then release your breath through your mouth to the count of 8. This may take some time to work up to. The idea of meditation is to clear your mind. Focusing on this breathing technique prevents any daydreaming and wandering of thought. Again, the more you practice meditation the more you can clear your mind easily and prevent your thoughts from wandering. Do not be frustrated with many different thoughts coming and going and the complete ability to stop them. This is natural. Just go back to focusing on your breathing and the repetition of the breathing technique
  4. Slowly open your eyes after your meditation has ended. It is also important to slowly move your body from the position you are in. Like waking from a deep night’s rest, let your body adjust back to the external stimulus.


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7 Helpful Answers About COVID-19

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As the COVID-19 pandemic escalates, we are reminded repeatedly on what preventative measures to take. Social isolation, holding a 6-foot distance from others, and proper hand washing to name a few. However, like many I know, I have also wondered about other preventative measures to take in the new way of living we are all experiencing. Below are some tips that I have found helpful while isolating at home.

  1. Can the virus spread on paper or cardboard?

Many of us are using Amazon and Instacart as well as other delivery services for groceries and items to avoid in-person visits. We know the virus can spread through physical contact and through mucous membranes (eyes, mouth, nose), but what about other surfaces? The length of time the virus stays on surfaces does vary, however, the risk is of obtaining COVID-19 through commercial goods or packages is low, per the CDC.

  1. Can my pet transmit COVID-19 to me?

You may have heard the recent news of the Tiger at the Bronx Zoo testing positive for COVID-19. The tiger showed symptoms consistent to the virus. Animals and our domestic friends have been an important topic at hand as it relates to the virus. Many want to know if animals can transmit the virus to humans and vice versa. As it stands now, these reports and studies have concluded that animals can contract the virus from humans, however it does not appear that humans can contract the virus from animals.

  1. What do I do if I don’t have an N-95 mask?

N95 Face masks are nearly impossible to find and if you do find them, it’s possible they are counterfeit. The N95 masks filter 95% of airborne particles. It is important to note that the masks are mainly to help persons wearing the masks to not transmit their germs to others. The importance of the mask diminishes once touched and should be removed and replaced with a new mask. Healthcare workers need these masks and are most knowledgeable on how to appropriately and safely wear them. Let’s leave the N95 masks for them and make our own. Below is a great video recently posted by the Surgeon General on how to make a face mask at home. Good rule of thumb is to make sure the fabric blocks out the sunlight from coming through. If you do reuse your mask, fold it inwards to prevent the outside from touching other surfaces and place in a sealable bag.

Link to Video:

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Fall Prevention

Falls are common. We all trip and hurt ourselves, but as we grow older, the risk of serious injury increases. Experts estimate that approximately one-third of older adults 65+ fall one or more times a year. In fact, falls are the leading cause of injury among older adults. As we age, physical changes and health conditions — and sometimes medications — make falls more likely. While fear of falling does not need to rule your life, there are ways to prevent falls. Here are six simple fall-prevention strategies.

Make an appointment with your physician

Begin your fall-prevention plan by making an appointment with your primary care physician. Review with your doctor:

1). All prescriptions and over-the-counter medications and supplements you are taking with your doctor and discuss side effects. Do any increase your risk for falling? You may want to ask your physician to consider changing medications or weaning you off those that may make you tired or affect your thinking.

2). If you’ve fallen within the last year, discuss how and where you fell. If you almost fell but were caught by someone or managed to grab hold of something just in time, be sure to discuss with your physician. These details may help your doctor identify specific fall-prevention strategies.

3). Discuss all your health conditions and how comfortable you are when walking. Your doctor should evaluate your muscle strength, balance and walking style as well as examine your eyes and ears. Your physician may also verify that your vitamin D levels are within the normal range, to ensure strong bones and muscles.

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Top Tips for Finding the Right Caregiver

Most people want to continue to live in their own homes for as long as possible. For those who are older or dealing with a disability, remaining in their home can often be a challenge without outside help. For many individuals requiring assistance with their daily activities, they often rely on unpaid care provided by family members and friends.

More and more, older adults and their families are recognizing the benefits of hiring paid caregivers. Professional caregivers help seniors not only remain in their homes longer, but they provide additional comfort and safety. They also offer families peace of mind. More people are finding that they can afford paid caregivers because many state governments and insurance policies cover the cost of private outside help.

So how do you find the right caregiver for your particular situation? Here are a few tips for choosing an in-home caregiver:

1.     Assess home care needs

Before you go out looking for a caregiver, know exactly why a caregiver is needed. Is there a requirement for more assistance with health care, personal care or household care? Is home health care the primary focus with the additional support required for physical therapy or medication management? Or is there more of a need for non-medical personal care such as bathing, dressing, toileting, and meal preparation? Maybe the focus is on providing a companion to escort or drive the older adult to appointments and outings. Do they want someone to help with housecleaning, shopping, running errands, bill paying or money management?

Determining what is required and the type of experience and skill sets a caregiver has to offer is a crucial component in finding a caregiver who is the right fit. Selecting a caregiver that matches the needs of your loved one is crucial for helping their overall health and wellbeing.

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Guest — Callie Marie
I love the advice to create a description for the type of healthcare provider you want to hire. My mother is struggling to carry o... Read More
Friday, 28 December 2018 21:38
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