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A test that has been used in the past to measure a toxin in people who smoke or use tobacco is now being used to measure this same substance in people with spinal injuries... 

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Although family history, sex and age are key factors that add to your risk of heart disease, there are easy prevention tips that can delay the onset of this ailment...

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Hot summer days can help seniors with home care get out and enjoy the fresh air, but it can also cause exhaustion and dehydration. As you age, you may have decreased sensitivity to heat and might not realize when you’re thirsty or have spent too much time in the sun. Read below for the best ways to stay safe during a hot day and avoid dangerous situations that could affect your health. 

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Memory loss can be a big factor to cope with when you have Alzheimer’s disease. However, proactive planning and seeking out Alzheimer’s care can help prevent components of the disease, like wandering and confusion. 

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Prevent falls and keep safety a priority in your home. For those who require senior care, having the proper tools to deal with emergency situations is essential...

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Keeping fit as you age can improve your health and quality of life. However, balance and coordination can be affected by aging, and changing your fitness routine to reflect your needs is important...

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According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the majority of people living with Alzheimer’s are 65 and older. This common form of dementia is also one of the greatest known risk factors that accompanies increasing age. While researchers are still working on a cure, there has been research behind various diet choices that have been linked to memory health and the prevention of Alzheimer’s. 

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For many stroke victims, recovery is a lifelong process and includes mental, physical and emotional rehabilitation. It can also present some safety challenges around the home, and that is especially true in the kitchen. However, there are some steps families and professional caregivers can take to make sure the kitchen is safe after a stroke recovery. 

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Mayo Clinic researchers in Rochester, Minn., said that blood tests could be a new way to detect Alzheimer’s disease. This strategy could be helpful toward getting people with the disease adequate Alzheimer’s care. According to the study, researchers analyzed plasma and brain fluid from 45 people, 15 of whom had cognitive impairments and 15 who had Alzheimer’s disease. 

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Vision problems are common among seniors for a number of reasons. Whether it is age-related macular degeneration, cataracts or glaucoma, living with impaired vision can be a challenge for older adults and caregivers alike, but there are some ways to help them maintain their independence. 

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May 29 marks the 20th annual National Senior Health and Fitness Day, with events going on throughout the nation at health clubs, retirement communities and other public places.

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Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, found that breathing in secondhand smoke could raise a person’s risk for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. To take preventative measures and delay Alzheimer’s care, researchers recommend avoiding secondhand smoke. 

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There are ways to lower stress levels as you age, even when faced with important decisions. Stress can cause many health issues, and can even cause depression. There are ways to lessen your feelings of stress and anxiety and live a healthier, happier life. Read below for easy stress-relieving tips. 

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Enjoying the outdoors during the spring and summer months is important for people of all ages. Although elders may have limited mobility, it is important that those receiving senior care get outside for the mood-boosting effects that go along with it. Studies also show that getting outside can prevent sleep disorders and chronic pain, according to Agingcare.com. 

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A new study showed that getting fit in middle age could prevent heart disease. Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center studied 9,050 men and women with an average age of 48 who were given two fitness tests eight years apart. Results showed that those who improved their fitness routine were at lower risk for heart failure later in life. 

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A recent study from the United Hospital Fund and the AARP Public Policy Institute raised some eyebrows when it revealed that approximately 46 percent of family caregivers perform some medical or nursing task around the house. Now, new information is coming to light that suggests there may not be enough training available to family members, The New York Times reports. 

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Arthritis is among the most common conditions facing older adults, with approximately one in five seniors experiencing symptoms. The pain and inflammation associated with arthritis can certainly be disruptive, but personal care providers can help seniors reduce some of it by focusing on preparing some specific foods. 

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Addressing physical ailments is a key component of senior care, but it’s also important to pay attention to older adults’ mental well-being. In fact, an estimated 6.5 million people 65 and older have depression, according to the National Alliance of Mental Illness. Despite this high prevalence, experts have noticed that seniors have become increasingly likely to seek out therapy, according to The New York Times. 

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April is recognized across the country as Parkinson’s Awareness Month and for those responsible for the care of a loved one with the condition, it may serve as a good time to evaluate how they provide care. This is especially true when it comes to looking at their living environment, as there are many small changes Parkinson’s care providers can make to help their loved one live more independently. 

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Fish have long been recognized as one of the healthiest foods for seniors thanks in large part to the presence of omega-3 fatty acids, and now new research from the Harvard School of Public Health sheds light on just how true that is. Scientists discovered that adults 65 and older who had more fish such as salmon and albacore tuna in their diet increased their lifespan by an average of 2.2 years. 

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Alzheimer’s care has many different facets. Everything from providing memory boosting activities to making adjustments around the house play a role, and diet can have an impact as well. Coconut oil in particular has attracted a great deal of attention when it comes to managing the condition, as experts have long found it could even treat other diseases such as Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis. 

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Whether it’s for an injury, illness or surgery, being admitted to the hospital is sometimes unavoidable. However, making a return trip within 30 days can often be prevented, yet an estimated 20 percent of Medicare patients do just that. Not only does this trend have a negative impact on patients’ health, it costs the healthcare system billions of dollars each year, but a smart approach for transitioning from the hospital to a home care setting can lower the risk of readmission. 

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With spring in full swing, most people are itching to get outside and enjoy the warmer temperature and longer hours of daylight. However, for seniors, heading outside can be more important than simply stepping out after a long winter stuck inside. Whether it is walking around the neighborhood, gardening or anything in between, spending time outdoors offers a host of health benefits, and caregivers should take steps to encourage their loved ones to do so. 

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Home care can be a big help to seniors and their families. Skilled professionals can assist older adults with activities of daily living, while their loved ones can be offered some peace of mind. Despite the benefits, sometimes seniors may be resistant to welcoming a new person into their house, but there are some steps that family members can take to make the transition as easy as possible

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Having a loved one in the hospital can be very stressful, and repeat hospital stays make your caregiving experience seem like an emotional rollercoaster. Bringing your loved one home is a relief, but it can cause a lot of worry. What can you do to keep your loved one at home and ensure their well-being? Here are seven actions that can make the difference between continuing recovery at home and returning to the hospital. 

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Fish have long been recognized as one of the healthiest foods for seniors thanks in large part to the presence of omega-3 fatty acids, and now new research from the Harvard School of Public Health sheds light on just how true that is. Scientists discovered that adults 65 and older who had more fish such as salmon and albacore tuna in their diet increased their lifespan by an average of 2.2 years. 

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Providing companionship is important for seniors who live alone. According to the National Academy of Sciences, loneliness takes its toll on happiness and well-being. Companionship can be the way that seniors and their family members have good quality of life. 

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Alternative treatments have become popular options for a host of senior health issues. Everything from acupuncture to deep tissue massage has proven to offer effective relief for a number of conditions, and when it comes to heart disease some experts say that yoga may be one of the best choices. 

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Vitamin D plays an important role in senior health, and sunlight has long been recognized as one of the best sources of the vital nutrient. A new study only strengthens the relationship between vitamin D and well-being, as researchers discovered that spending time in the sun may reduce the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. 

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Audrie Hanshaw was hired as a caregiver for SYNERGY HomeCare’s Cleveland, OH office on August 4, 2010. Throughout Audrie’s employment she has exhibited those qualities we admire most in a caregiver. She has been assigned some of the office’s most difficult cases because we are confident in her skills and her ability to handle them with grace and professionalism. 

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Springtime is one of the most enjoyable seasons to be outside. This is a great time to soak up the beautiful weather, fresh air and sunlight before the summer heat rolls in. After months of being cooped up inside during the winter, people of all ages like to be out-of-doors. Many seniors are hesitant to go outside because they are worried about falling or catching cold. With your help, you and your clients can take advantage of the spring season. 

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Researchers are continually looking for effective drug treatments for Alzheimer’s patients, but they often face significant challenges in getting them approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, the agency recently announced it will be changing its guidelines to ease the approval process and potentially change the face of Alzheimer’s care, The New York Times reports. 

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When a loved one sustains a traumatic brain injury during a fall or other accident, it can be difficult to know how to best care for them. Researchers have only begun to uncover the basics of brain function, leaving much unknown about this essential organ. This makes any brain injury especially scary for family caregivers and their loved ones. As much as they try to prevent the accidents that lead to brain injuries, they can still happen. Here are the best things to do when brain injuries happen.

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An estimated 1.7 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury each year, and there are a wide variety of treatment methods available. However, one area of therapy that has gone relatively unexplored is alternative treatment, yet some experts say that such treatments can have a significant impact on patients’ recoveries.

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There are many different facets to stroke recovery. Depending on the severity of the incident, stroke victims may have to regain mobility, relearn how to speak clearly and overcome bouts of depression. While managing the symptoms of stroke is key, it’s also important to take steps to reduce the risk of suffering a second one, and there are a variety of ways home care providers can help their patients do so, according to the National Stroke Association (NSA). 

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Alternative therapies have become popular among a large part of the population in recent years. Treatments such as acupuncture, yoga, massage and even lifestyle changes have been used to combat myriad medical conditions. Though some may question their effectiveness, the methods may offer benefits when it comes to senior care, especially helping manage heart disease.

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Many seniors would prefer to live at home for as long as possible, and as the average lifespan has increased in recent years, and more people are getting healthier and living longer, this is a viable option for a number of older adults. Certain illnesses and other health conditions, such as dementia or rheumatoid arthritis, may have once made it difficult for an aging adult to live at home, but there are many senior home care options that facilitate independent living. 

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February is recognized as Heart Health Month in the United States, and although it’s important for senior care providers to focus on the cardiovascular well-being of their patients all year, they may want to recommit themselves to doing so this month. Seniors are often at a greater risk for heart issues during the winter months, and there are some steps senior caregivers can take to helping protect them from such incidents. 

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There are many seniors and family caregivers who want more independence, but do not know exactly how to attain it. Falls, hospital stays, mobility troubles, joint pain; these are all common symptoms of advancing age. Having the right kind of help can be the deciding factor in regaining valuable independence. Oftentimes seniors don’t need medical care, but they do need a little bit of non-medical attention. 

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With February recognized as American Heart Health Month, senior care providers may be on especially high alert for preventing some of the most serious cardiovascular conditions facing older adults, and that includes stroke. There are a number of ways for caregivers to help the elderly reduce their risk of a stroke, and many of them are easy to implement. 

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New research performed at the University of California in San Diego found that even the smallest of strokes can have significant damage on the brain, while possibly causing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. However, a drug may be able to stave off the illness and keep cognitive function intact. 

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Anybody who has spent time with elderly family members knows how much they value their independence. Even when medical conditions, surgery or osteoarthritis have made it more difficult to get around, aging in place and doing things by themselves is important to seniors, and home care can help them maintain their ability to do so.

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At SYNERGY HomeCare, know that seniors highly value their independence. Even while experiencing the physical effects of aging, such as loss of strength, mobility, memory and sensory sensitivity, there are ways to protect and promote the independence of seniors. After all, bodies do get older, but personalities often stay young. In observance of Senior Independence Month in February, here are a few ways that home care can help. 

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Cancer treatment can differ greatly from patient to patient. While some people may experience only mild symptoms, others may encounter some that can be quite debilitating and necessitate the use of in-home care. Although family caregivers can often lend a hand around the home, sometimes they can’t always be there, and personal care providers can help fill the gaps. 

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One of the biggest challenges posed by Parkinson’s disease is that there’s no surefire test to diagnose the condition. However, new research suggests that looking at a patient’s salivary glands could offer some insight into whether he or she has the disease earlier than ever before.

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Being readmitted to the hospital is a common health risk among older adults. Some statistics show that as many as one-fifth of seniors are re-hospitalized within 30 days of returning home, usually with a different condition than they were originally admitted for. When an elderly loved one comes home from the hospital, whether it is after a prolonged illness or injury, it’s important for family members to take steps to provide the best senior care possible. 

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High blood pressure poses a serious health risk to many older adults. Although it is often hard to identify because there are so few symptoms, having a blood pressure reading above the recommended level can raise a senior’s risk of a number of conditions, including heart disease, hardened arteries or even aneurysms. Given the risks, it’s important for senior care providers to help their patients manage their blood pressure. 

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A healthy diet is a cornerstone of senior living, but sometimes family members may notice their older relative is not eating as much as he or she should. There are a number of reasons why your senior loved one may have a smaller appetite than in years past, and recognizing the underlying cause could improve senior care. 

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Being a caregiver for your loved one can be extremely rewarding. At SYNERGY HomeCare, we work with many family caregivers like you, so we know the happiness you feel when the person in your care has a good day. We also know the fulfillment that comes from helping another person. As you look after your family member, you may look for ways to grow in your role as a family caregiver, and we are here to help you every step of the way. As we look forward to 2013, we would like to share 13 attributes of great family caregivers. 

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The biggest issue many seniors have with home care is the idea that it’s a loss of independence. Not only that, but they feel there is a stigma attached to any sort of assistance around the house.

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Caring for an elderly parent is certainly no easy task, but the challenges can be even greater if the caregivers received no help from their siblings or other family members. It may be difficult to ask for assistance – even if it just comes in the form of emotional support, it’s important not to go it alone. 

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Pain and depression are two of the most common health issues facing seniors, and there is considerable evidence that the conditions may be closely linked. While it’s not clear whether pain is caused by feelings of depression or vice versa, it’s important that senior care providers recognize the relationship between the two. 

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Though most people view holidays simply as a time to be with their family, the situation is a bit different for long distance caregivers. Coming home and visiting older relatives offers the chance to take stock of their particular needs around the home, and experts say there are a few changes that could signal an older adult may necessitate more assistance. 

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Hearing loss is one of the most common issues facing older adults, with approximately 47 percent of people 75 and older experiencing some form of hearing impairment. Auditory issues can be caused by everything from heredity and excessive noise to aging and disease, but whatever the reason, hearing problems can certainly make things difficult for family members and home care providers. However, there are a few steps one can take to reduce challenges caused by hearing loss. 

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Staying physically active later in life is a cornerstone of healthy aging, and a new study suggests that older adults can reap considerable cognitive benefits. Researchers from the University of Otago in New Zealand found a distinct correlation between aerobic activity and an improvement in certain areas of brain function.

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When you live far away from your family, making holiday trips to see them is exciting. Keeping in touch with family is easy through phone calls and Skype, but there’s nothing like an in-person visit to really see how they are doing. While staying with your senior loved one, you may notice some changes in their well being. How do you know that your elder relative needs help? Here are some specific things to look for.

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The holiday season is a time for giving, and the best gifts for a caregiver can take some of the pressure off throughout the year. It can be difficult for caregivers to ask for help, but creating a wishlist around … 

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Multiple sclerosis (MS) affects millions of people across the globe, and a group of researchers believe they have made a significant breakthrough in finding a treatment for the disease. Scientists from the Gladstone Institutes have discovered a potential neurological trigger for MS, an encouraging step in the fight against the condition.

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Winter presents a number of senior health challenges. Though some are well known, others may be less apparent. Falls and hypothermia are common, but there are certain conditions senior care providers should be on the lookout for. 

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As the holiday season approaches, many caregivers may be considering travel plans to visit family and friends in different cities or states. If you are traveling with a loved one who is elderly or disabled, it’s a good idea for caregivers to plan this travel well in advance to make the trip easier for everyone involved. 

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The holidays are often a stressful time, and that’s especially true for someone caring for an elderly loved one. The additional of cooking, having relatives come from out of town and finding time to go Christmas shopping can add up, but making use of respite care can help alleviate caused by caregiving during the holiday season.

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Providing care to someone with Alzheimer’s takes a lot of heart. If you are a family caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, you know firsthand the heartbreak of seeing their mental health decline. As you continue caring with …

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Both resources are free and designed to help users provide better care to their family members. For instance, the Alzheimer’s Navigator relies on a survey that caregivers can take to provide them with tips ranging from financial planning to helping their loved ones complete daily activities. 

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Alzheimer’s and dementia are well-known diseases that affect people’s lives as they age. Supporting people with memory inhibiting diseases is something we do every day. We see the challenges that Alzheimer’s causes on every front, and are here to provide …

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Hurricane Sandy Highlights Vulnerability of Senior Population As Hurricane Sandy demonstrated earlier this month, natural disasters can cause a number of unforeseen circumstances, and that is especially true when it comes to senior care. Older adults are often hit harder … 

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The best way to combat glaucoma is for older adults and care providers to stay ahead of the condition. While the damage to the optic nerve is permanent, recognizing risk factors and getting the disease diagnosed early can allow doctors to slow its progression. 

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Winter poses unique challenges to people of all ages, but that is especially true for older adults. Everything from cold weather to slippery walkways can be dangerous, and sometimes it’s up to senior care providers to take steps to help older adults stay safe once winter arrives.

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Parkinson’s affects approximately 1 million Americans, and experts estimate that about 50,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. It can be difficult to identify the most subtle early signs of the disease, but new research suggests something as simple as voice recording may be able to diagnose the condition, according to The Daily Mail. 

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For many seniors, maintaining the ability to drive is key to an independent lifestyle, but sometimes anything from loss of vision to disability can get in the way. While having to give up the keys can certainly be a step back, there are a number of ways family caregivers can help their loved ones keep their independence. 

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Home is one of the most personalized places. It is where you can relax, and where you keep your belongings. What you do in your home: what you say, what you eat, who you spend time with; it’s all personal. One of the unique opportunities we have when providing home care is that we get to provide care for people in their homes. While we customize our care plans to meet each individual’s needs, our work becomes personalized when we enter their home and become part of their life.

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Living with arthritis can be difficult for seniors, especially for those who are used to a more active way of life. While certainly a painful condition, there are a variety of ways home care providers can help seniors manage and reduce the discomfort caused by arthritis, and it starts with making changes to their lifestyle. 

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A lack of physical activity has long been tied to a host of healthy conditions, but a new study suggests simply sitting for too long can raise the risk of a number of issues common to older adults. The findings, out of the University of Leicester, found that sitting for long periods is associated with diabetes, heart disease and death.

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Solanezumab, a once-promising Alzheimer’s drug, hit a snag when tests showed it didn’t slow the progression of the disease as much as originally thought. However, researchers looked at combined results of a pair of different studies and found that in patients with mild forms of the disease, it may work better than earlier research indicated, The New York Times reports. 

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Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and a heart attack is one of the most common forms. Recovering from a heart attack can be a difficult process, but being familiar with the challenges can make the process go smoother, and help family and professional caregivers be more equipped to meet the obstacles.

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Oftentimes when people think of in-home care, they imagine a caregiver who never leaves their client’s side. While this type of care is a need for some people, it is not the reality for all who require in-home assistance. So, when potential clients consider seeking out SYNERGY HomeCare’s expert services, they inevitably take into account how much in-home care is actually necessary for themselves or their family members in order to determine if in-home care makes sense for their family. 

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Chances are, caregiving comes so naturally to you that you don’t realize how stressful it has become. Like any part of life, you have good days where everything runs smoothly, but you also have bad days when you will feel stretched too thin to function. What if every day could be a good day? Here is our tip of the month: take advantage of respite care services. 

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When most people think of safety awareness they think of fire drills at school, refresher courses on the rules of the road, or themed weeks designed to bring attention to safety in the workplace. What most people don’t think of is how these same dangers can also occur in their homes.

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Taking care of someone with Alzheimer’s disease is a round-the-clock responsibility. The effects of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia require patience, understanding and thoughtfulness on the part of you, the family caregiver. Whatever your loved one may forget, you need to remember. From medication reminders to turning off the stove, Alzheimer’s caregiving puts a big strain on you. With the well being of your senior loved one on the line, you want helpful information at your fingertips to help you provide the best care and cope with your emotional and physical needs. Here are a few sites to help. 

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Time to celebrate: today is Senior Citizens Day! Since 1988, people across the country have taken this day to remember their elders and spend time with seniors. 

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There are several universal truths about people with Alzheimer’s disease. One of these is that they will constantly get their facts wrong. The knee-jerk reaction to this is to correct the person. “No, Daddy’s been dead for 5 years,” or “You can’t be hungry! You just had your breakfast!” or “You KNOW we’re going to the doctor today! I told you 5 minutes ago.” 

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According to the Alzheimer’s Association’s 2012 edition of Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures, currently “5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease.” The annual report also states that an “estimated 800,000 individuals with Alzheimer’s (one in eight), live alone…and up to half of them do not have an identifiable caregiver.”

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Last month Debbie, a family caregiver and mother of three in Wisconsin went to check on her elderly father, John. Debbie was concerned when there was no response at the front door and used her spare key to enter John’s home. She found him lying on the kitchen floor, unable to get up after falling. Luckily, Debbie found him a short time after his fall, and a trip to the hospital showed no broken bones. However, John’s right arm and leg were hurt, and we would need to stay in a wheelchair and wear a sling for a few days.

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At SYNERGY HomeCare, we talk a lot about matching the people we serve with the perfect caregivers. You may wonder exactly how we find the ideal caregiver for each individual in our care. There are a few different ways we ensure that we have a caregiver for you and your needs.

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Life can be stressful, and that’s why we’re grateful for Simplify Your Life week; an entire week to get organized and do things to make your life more relaxed. At SYNERGY HomeCare, we enter the homes of many families experiencing complex, high-stress lifestyles. Many times, having a caregiver has a simplifying effect for these families.

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Do you have an amazing SYNERGY HomeCare caregiver? We are accepting nominations for the 2012 Caregiver of the Year, and we want to hear about how a SYNERGY HomeCare caregiver has made a difference in your life. 

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Caring for aging relatives is a big part of life for many members of the baby boomer generation. Family caregivers like you drive loved ones to doctor appointments, ensure their comfort, and are the first responders in an emergency. This frequent interaction with elderly people and their challenges with everyday life can seem like a flash forward to your own senior years. Helping a loved one today is a reminder of what you may need in 20 or 30 years. Baby boomers are shaping the future in many ways, and one of them is in the senior care arena. Here are some services that will help you to be a family caregiver today while as well as prepare for your future.

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There are approximately 78 million baby boomers living in the U.S., and they began turning 65 last year. In previous generations, the mid-60s were years that marked retirement. However when their lives are (traditionally) supposed to become easier, baby boomers instead experience an increase in workload and stress levels. Between paying the bills, securing retirement plans and caring for family, what is in place to make sure that baby boomers are healthy, happy and ready to live comfortable and independent lives during their senior years 

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June is dedicated to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness. At SYNERGY HomeCare, we serve many veterans and others who have PTSD. We know many family caregivers like you who wonder what they can do to help their loved ones who have this condition. 

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Falling in the home is not just a concern for seniors- they can be dangerous to people of all ages. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), falls are the second-leading cause of unintentional death in homes and communities. Inspired by the NSC and National Safety Month, here are some quick and easy tips to make your home safe. 

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A great caregiver is the most important component of home care. Our caregivers go the extra mile to make sure that the person (or family) they serve is safe, healthy and happy. 

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Every year on Father’s Day, millions of Americans give greeting cards and gifts in the form of barbeque grills and baseball tickets to fathers and husbands across the nation. In lieu of sending a hand-written card to every one of the country’s hard working family men, we’d like to offer up this letter of appreciation. 

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Dear Friends and Families, Our caregivers are important to us at SYNERGY HomeCare, and we are proud to dedicate this newsletter to them. At more than 20,000 strong, our national careTEAM represents a group of dedicated and compassionate people who … 

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Coming up on June 14 is World Blood Donor Day, a great day to get involved in the health of people of all ages around the globe. While SYNERGY HomeCare does not provide blood transfusions or collect blood donations, we work with many people who have relied on transfusions after injuries and during medical procedures. With the contributions of blood donors, the people we care for can have a better chance to live longer, healthier lives. 

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Some of us have the best of intentions when it comes to our plans to complete our advance directives or start the advance care planning process with our families. But, our intentions to plan for the medical unknown are often waylaid by our fears or what we perceive to be our loved ones’ fears of discussing such things. 

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To all veterans: SYNERGY HomeCare thanks you for the many sacrifices you have made. 

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Daily living can be hectic and stressful, causing many of us to become tired, and even exhausted. For people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), these symptoms go to a different level. There are varying degrees of CFS, but it causes much discomfort for people experiencing its effects. Home care can be a great solution for people with CFS and their family caregivers. 

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Since May is National Arthritis Month, we would like to take this time to talk to people who care for a loved one with arthritis. This painful condition is common among many senior citizens, and is cause by inflammation of the joints. Though there are many types of arthritis, there are a few caregiving skills that will increase happiness, independence and comfort for you and your loved one. 

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No matter their age or needs, most people want the ability and freedom to do what they want. Independence becomes more treasured when a person becomes sick, immobile or forgetful. Switching roles, you may feel that you sacrificed your independence when you became a caregiver to your loved one. It is important to do activities that simultaneously promote the independence of your loved one and yourself. As you continue your dynamic relationship with your love one, you can build a level of co-independence that will be rewarding to both of you. 

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In a recent nationwide survey of SYNERGY HomeCare clients, over 91% of people reported that home care services improved their quality of life and well being. An important part of well being is independence, and home care is proven way to improve both. 

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Our guest blog comes from David Haas, who has written several features on the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog. David is an advocate of mesothelioma awareness, treatment and prevention. 

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For a while now we’ve been focusing on the nation’s strong and dependable family caregivers. We want to make sure that these hard-working caregivers get the rest they deserve and the help they need, which is why want to highlight the benefits of using technology to help alleviate the stresses of family caregiving. 

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As your parents age, you know that they will eventually need care of some kind. While this thought can be at once scary and stressful, take comfort knowing that you can plan now to brighten your parents’ golden years for the whole family. 

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The Meals on Wheels Association of America (MOWAA) has between 800,000 and 1.7 million volunteers, making it known for being the “largest volunteer army in the nation.”[1] This March, the MOWAA celebrates its annual March for Meals campaign, which is all about raising awareness for the problem of senior hunger and encouraging members of every community to get involved. 

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You may think that in order to receive home care, you or your loved one need to be bed-ridden or require round-the-clock assistance. However, many people are able to take care of themselves and only need intermittent help. If you or a family member has Multiple Sclerosis (MS), this may be the case for you. 

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This week is Wellderly Week- a week dedicated to celebrating seniors who are young at heart. Here at SYNERGY HomeCare, we would love to kick off the party and share some great ideas on how to celebrate being young at heart. 

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Every experienced family caregiver has their routine. They know the right medication to give their loved one at the exact time. When emergencies occur, they have back-up plans and are even CPR certified. Even over the phone, they can tell if the day is good or bad for their loved one. You may be familiar with this scenario. You may see yourself mastering family caregiving. You may also be new to caring for your loved one. It doesn’t matter how comfortable you are with your role as a family caregiver; you will always worry when you cannot be there to ensure your loved one’s safety and well being. 

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When it comes to care of non medical and medical services, the safety of the client is of very high importance. As it happens, this week is Patient Safety Awareness week, sponsored by the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF). Some of the safety concerns of the NPSF are: improper dosing of medication, infections acquired during medical care, falls, hospital readmissions, and diagnostic errors (which often occur due to miscommunication). 

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There is a growing trend for patients to choose “accountable care organizations”, which place high priority on coordinating care. Accountable care focuses less on treatment and more on keeping people healthy. 

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February is a month where our thoughts turn to the heart. While this may automatically be associated with the romance of Valentine’s Day, SYNERGY HomeCare is observing another important cause. The American Heart Association has named February American Heart Month, and SYNERGY HomeCare is excited to celebrate these 29 days of heart health. 

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Heart disease can happen to anyone. For some people lifestyle will determine whether they are susceptible to unhealthy heart conditions. On the other hand, having healthy habits can prevent or even reverse many types of heart disease. Here is a list of some of the most significant causes of heart diseases, and some tips on combating them. 

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February evokes the images of snow, little furry creatures predicting how long that winter weather will stick around, and of course, little diapered cupids shooting arrows of love into unsuspecting love skeptics. What SYNERGY HomeCare would like to add to the collective conscious of February are all the people who are not able to participate in the outside world and need companionship. 

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The heart is an important organ- perhaps the most important in the human body. Without a healthy heart, our bodies cannot distribute nourishment and oxygen. Heart disease is painful, scary, and (for many people), a part of daily life. Here’s the good news: heart health is something that people of every age can pursue. 

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SYNERGY HomeCare is helping keep you and your family safe by attempting to minimize the nearly 43,000 bathtub injuries that occur every year in the United States. One of the biggest safety hazards for seniors can be the bathroom, but the following tips can help maximize your own personal safety or the safety of your elderly family members.

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When a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia it changes everything. Suddenly you and your family members are faced with a lot of uncertainty and impending challenges that you probably never anticipated facing. It’s difficult to watch someone you love begin to struggle and of course you want to help to improve their lives and situations all that you can. 

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As a family caregiver, you think beyond your own needs and put the welfare of your loved one above your own. At SYNERGY HomeCare, we commend your daily selflessness, and want to provide you with the tools you need to have a healthy and happy life in 2012.

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Inspired by November’s honorary recipient of the Pillar of Strength award, Kim Oster, who provides care for her husband with muscular dystrophy, we have gathered together some important tips to help you as you care for your loved with Muscular Dystrophy.

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In-home care is our world at SYNERGY HomeCare. Each day, our time, attention and energy is dedicated toward making home care a pleasant and comfortable experience for all. However, we know that many people are unfamiliar with on medical home care. Since we know the emotional, physical and familial benefits of home care, we would like to spread the word. For those of you who don’t know home care, here are the basics. 

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According to a 2009 US News and World Report, about 76.5 million experience pain longer than 24 hours. Of those people, 42% have endured pain longer than one year and one third of those enduring chronic pain are in their elder years. 

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Every year we stumble across the conundrum of what gift to get that one special person for the winter holidays. But what if that person is beyond Rolex watches and box collections of John Wayne or Greta Garbo movies on dvd? What do you get the person who has seen it all, been there and done that at least three times if not more?

Life is in the details. And this year for the holidays we’ve compiled a quick list of ideas to help you come up with the perfect gift that will resonate in their heart for years to come. 

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One of the most joyous aspects of the winter holidays is visiting long-unseen relatives. Since many families are separated by long distances, young and middle aged family members often notice significant changes to their elderly loved one’s well being during holiday visits. 

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The holidays should be a time of celebration and joy. Preparing for family gatherings and other holiday events can be very fun, but it can also be time consuming. As you simultaneously care for a senior or disabled loved one, your stress level will most likely become elevated. Instead of having a high-tension holiday season, consider a caregiver to ease your stress and bring holiday cheer to your home. 

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An estimated 5 million people have Alzheimer’s disease or dementia today. By 2050, a projected 16 million people will have these diseases. This is a big concern for many people as they age. One of the best ways to prevent memory loss is keep an active mind. Protecting your “Brain Health” is one way to slow down or prevent memory loss.

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When people hear the word “hospice” they usually think of end of life care provided in hospitals and nursing facilities. In actuality, hospice is most often provided in the homes of individuals. 

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Family caregiving is centered on preserving the comfort and well being of your loved one in need with the resources you have. With all of your compassion and dedication, it is difficult when your loved one’s health declines or as they gradually progress to greater age and less ability. In these situations it is easy to feel powerless. 

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November 17th is the American Cancer Society’s 36th annual Great American Smoke Out. Over a quarter of a century ago, this day was established to bring awareness to the public arena on the negative effects of tobacco use, the challenges to quit smoking, and to change the public’s attitude towards smoking. Caring for someone who chooses to smoke can be difficult for you and a detriment to their health as well as your own. While SYNERGY Home Care does not condone the use of tobacco products, such as cigarettes or chewing tobacco, we are here to offer a variety of tips and suggestions to keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy. 

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They are our brothers and sisters. Our mothers and fathers. Our aunts, uncles, grandparents, friends and neighbors. They are Veterans and today we honor their service and sacrifice in the name of freedom and America. 

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It’s that time again! We’ve reached that first holiday that kicks off a string of fun, family oriented, and sometimes stressful seasonal events. First stop on the holiday whirlwind train- Halloween! 

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At SYNERGY HomeCare, we see many people loving life in middle age and even into their 90’s and 100’s. Age brings wisdom and experience. With a healthy body, the elderly can put a sound mind to good use. Think of the 80 year old woman who can outrun her grandson. Think of Albert Einstein, who, among his many accomplishments was offered the Presidency of the State of Israel when he was 75. 

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In America we are very proud of our soldiers and our veterans. The words “armed forces” bring to mind a desert in Iraq, an aircraft carrier in the Pacific, our local Veterans Administration building, and our nation’s flag waving over a sports arena while the National Anthem begins the game. Last week, the American flag presided over the opening ceremony at the 9/11 memorial and museum. Among the visitors to this ceremony were veterans of the 9/11 attacks and the following. These warriors, both healthy and wounded were accompanied by supportive and proud companions; their families. 

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We are proud to commemorate World Alzheimer’s Day with an interview with Carolyn Haynali, the founder of The Caregiver’s Army. Carolyn’s late husband Chuck was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 1994. After caring for Chuck for 10 years, Carolyn started a petition to support research that could lead to a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. This petition and online support group eventually became The Caregiver’s Army. 

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A full decade after the 9/11 attacks and ensuing combat in the middle east, we have a better scope of the motivators behind the defense of our country. For our newest franchise owner Jay Portadin in Bordentown, New Jersey, the anniversary of 9/11 is very personal. Jay is a retired NYPD officer and was one of the first responders to the emergency calls from the World Trade Center and an eyewitness to the events at Ground Zero ten years ago. Jay is also an example of brave acts of our nation’s law enforcement officers and veterans. 

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As you probably already know, here at Synergy we’re huge supporters of the amazing bunch of family caregivers that are serving their loved ones, so it’s easy to understand how much we care for all of the dedicated Sandwich Generation family caregivers. We want them to be as happy and fulfilled as possible! 

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In 2010, 14.9 million family and friends provided 17 billion hours of unpaid care to loved ones with Alzheimer’s and dementia. We find this extraordinary. Being a caregiver to someone who struggles with memory loss is no simple task, and we are truly humbled by the amount of time and energy these family caregivers have sacrificed for the well-being of their friends and family.

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At SYNERGY HomeCare we know how important family caregivers are, which is why we are always looking for ways to help support and encourage them. One of the most practical ways we look to support these caregivers is through ever important Respite Care.

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Yes. Patty Duke joined George Takei to tell Americans to Boldly Go to www.socialsecurity.gov to apply for retirement, disability, Medicare, and so much more. The two celebrities have donated their time for a new campaign promoting Social Security’s online services as an easy and secure way for people to do business with the agency. Learn more at www.socialsecurity.gov where you also can watch the videos online. 

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One of the first things a family caregiver gives up is their independence. Many family caregivers feel trapped in their caregiving schedule; and they feel guilty by feeling trapped. As a family caregiver, you may also feel guilty when you are not able to give as much as your parent needs. You may feel that you no longer have your own life, and that can be discouraging. 

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Last week we celebrated the Fourth of July, which commemorates our Declaration of Independence as a nation, as a culture, and as individuals. Even over 235 years later, there is a reason why we keep throwing barbeques, waving flags, and lighting fireworks; it is because freedom is essential to our way of life. When a person ages and their abilities slowly diminish, or when illness strikes and their health is suddenly taken from them, it is easy to help them by doing things for them. However, the depression and helplessness these seniors often feel are not because of their aging or their sickness; it is because their independence has been impeded in a significant way. 

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There’s always a better way to eat, and taking sugar and preservatives out of your diet is a great start! 

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For seniors, one of the most beneficial dietary changes that can be made is consuming lower amounts of sodium. This may come as a surprise to some people, since sodium is so common to us. At the most basic level, salt is on virtually every table in our restaurants, diners, and even our own kitchens. How could something so common cause us or our loved ones damage? 

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As people age there is usually a noticeable change that occurs in their mood and temperament. As a family caregiver, you may have already noticed some of these changes in your loved one with Alzheimer’s or Dementia. This change in behavior can be hard to handle, and it can be even more difficult when your loved one is suffering from Sundowner’s Syndrome.

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Studies show that around 27% of seniors in America are eating less protein than they should in order to maintain good physical health[1]. This statistic is particularly troubling because as people age their physical need for protein grows. 

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In the age of fast food and busy life styles, well-rounded nutrition is a difficult thing for almost anyone to achieve. It’s much easier to go through a drive-through on the way home than it is to prepare a home-cooked, well-balanced meal for you and your family. The temptation to skimp on nutritional food choices is obvious in younger and even middle generations, so where does that leave those who are more advanced in years? 

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Across America, graves are decorated. Memorials are visited. Armies hail their fellow warriors. Families gather to celebrate. Flags are flown. For a moment, we stop to revere and remember the valiant men and women who have fought to protect our freedom, our liberty and our way of life. 

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Emotional health is important. When you disregard your own emotional needs, you can become physically ill. This comes full circle when poor emotional health hinders your ability to give your loved one the attention they need. 

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The families we serve know the round-the-clock nature of caregiving, especially for loved ones with long-term disability after stroke. For victims and family caregivers alike, it is important to look forward and celebrate milestones in the rehabilitation process.

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The common denominator among many senior citizens is boredom. After a productive and busy life, retirement years can seem slow and uneventful. When your senior relative is feeling down in the dumps or just plain bored, you have the opportunity to lift them up. Here are some ways to help. 

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For the patients of Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia, as well as their family members, memory loss can be a frightening and heartbreaking thing. That’s why we want to be there to make the process more manageable with the help of our dependable, understanding caregivers.

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It happens at least once per generation; a shocking diagnosis sends a ripple effect throughout an entire family. While each family reacts differently to life-changing news, one thing remains the same; it is an opportunity for families to strengthen their relationships and renew an optimistic outlook. 

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“Life begins at 55” goes the expression, and for 26 years veterans have been proving it by challenging themselves physically at the National Veterans Golden Age Games. Veterans 55 and older participate, and the competition is the largest for this age group of military veterans in the world. This year, the events are scheduled for May 26 to 31 in Hawaii. 

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The sports clinic takes a holistic approach to rehabilitation by encouraging veterans’ caregivers to also participate in the sporting events. Sharing the moment with a spouse or loved one, or with a VA physical or recreational therapist, makes it that much more satisfying. Veterans can strengthen their bodies, as well as their sense of being and self-worth.

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A growing number of people are fans and followers of home care agencies on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The home care industry has been trending up in social network activity, but recent upgrades from Facebook has given it the momentum it needs to truly make a difference in people’s lives. 

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Caregiving often calls upon us to enter complicated and seemingly hopeless situations. Yet, after more than 10 years in home care, I am still amazed by the great influence that a caregiver can have. 

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The Columbus location of Synergy HomeCare is buzzing with excitement, and for good reason. Today at 3pm they will attend the award ceremony for the family caregiver of the year, Bill Hayes. 

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It’s known as the “perfect storm”—the combined stress of caring for your aging parents and your children at the same time. If you have this double responsibility, you are a member of the sandwich generation, and face the same needs and opportunities of caring for your aging parents, yourself and your growing family.

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The New Year is beginning with some major updates to the Post 9/11 GI Bill. On January 4, President Barack Obama signed into law the Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 2010, which brings important changes to the GI Bill and other education benefits for veterans, especially for wounded warriors and disabled veterans. 

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Humor is one of the building blocks of a healthy lifestyle. 

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The decision to care for an elderly or chronically ill relative is a compassionate one, but also stressful. Many tools and resources are available for caregivers to keep us strong.

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This holiday season, we would like to thank you–our loyal subscribers, followers and friends–for your ongoing interest in our blogs, newsletters and outreach.

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CHUBBY CHECKER ANNOUNCES NEW “TWIST” IN MEDICARE LAW 

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“Hurry up and wait” is one of many expressions in the military. But when it comes to processing private medical records, the Department of Veterans Affairs is making an effort to see more hurrying and less waiting. Submitting medical claims … 

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THIS HOLIDAY SEASON, DON’T GIVE A GIFT TO A THIEF 

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If you or a loved one is alone this holiday season, Synergy HomeCare can provide companionship services where a certified caregiver spends time with you or your loved one. If you need help around the house or just want someone to play cards with, Synergy HomeCare strives to offer the best non-medical homecare. Here are 10 ways to have a happy holiday season. 

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No one should have to spend the holidays alone. Whether you are a professional caregiver, or look after your senior neighbor, you can make the holidays special for a senior in need. I encourage everyone to take time to celebrate the holidays with at least one senior. Sharing your goodwill with others is the best gift you can give.

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Alzheimer’s disease is one of the fastest growing diseases, yet little is known what causes it and how to treat the disease. Knowing the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease is critical to ensure the person affected by the disease can live comfortably and in a stable environment. 

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When living at an assisted living community, many people rule out home care as an option. However, Synergy HomeCare does coordinate care with many different healthcare providers – including assisted living facilities. People are independent by nature. They want to … 

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Today, military members returning to civilian life can receive greater expanded benefits with the new Post-9/11 GI Bill.

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For the past few months, our outreach team at Synergy HomeCare has been busy creating and administering Arms Around Family Caregivers.  This project is close to our hearts, and we have been glad to receive the heartfelt stories of 16 … 

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AARP makes a constant effort to educate, entertain, and ease the lives of senior citizens. Most importantly, it validates their desire to remain valuable, contributing members of society. Here are some of our favorite online resources from AARP.

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LISTEN AND LEARN ABOUT SOCIAL SECURITY. FREE AUDIO PUBLICATIONS FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE. 

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The Honor Flight Network began in Ohio, and has spread quickly throughout the country. Trips are open to veterans, their guardians, and volunteers. 

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What once was an extension of the college experience is now a place for people of all ages and all walks of life.  As more people join the communities on Facebook and Twitter, the more they want to hear about … 

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Though this popular website is user-generated, it is considered by many to be only a secondary reference, recent studies have shown that the it is the most accurate source of cancer information.

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The more family caregivers know about care techniques, the better care they can give to their loved ones. 

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Extreme weather of the wet variety is very rare in the Phoenix area.  Typically, the storms in here are rainy, with thunder and lightning.  Today, the corporate office was hit by a big hail storm – some even the size of … 

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Losing a loved one is one of the hardest challenges a family can face, especially for families with young children.  Part of our Synergy HomeCare family, the Holsteins, lost their mother to breast cancer a few years ago.  They were …

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Synergy HomeCare, championed the needs of seniors by giving 7,800 bottles of water to the cause – about 41% of the total collections. 

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Arms Around Family Caregivers™ is meant to make a lasting impact on families throughout the nation in various situations and conditions. 

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When searching for a non-medical home care provider, it can be difficult to decide which agency is the best for you and your loved one. By asking these questions, you will be able to find a home care company that fits you and your loved one best. 

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Hello friends and families,  How surprised would you be to hear that there’s an epidemic among the elderly that is the number one cause of injury and injury related death that could easily be put in check?  According to the … 

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It’s Not About What We Do, But Who We Are Synergy HomeCare is excited to announce the launch of our official YouTube channel. Always an industry leader, Synergy HomeCare has launched the strongest YouTube presence in the home care industry.

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Hello friends and families. I’d like to take this opportunity to address a widely misunderstood topic that affects thousands of families on a daily basis; long-distance caregiving. While many naturally assume this term refers to families living across the country,

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Hello friends and families. The days of summer are just around the corner, and we can once again dust off the barbeque and gather with those who matter most to us. As Memorial Day draws near, we remember those who

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