The ultimate treasure we all can agree on is a human life, and we are always looking for ways to make our life and the life of our loved ones long, healthy and fulfilled.
We try to watch what we eat, we go to the gyms to stay fit, we reduce the number of glasses of wine we get each week, we hope our genetics will help where our lifestyle fails to be up to par. However, more and more research is pointing toward a different factor that will ultimately define how long we will live, how healthy we will stay, and how happy we will feel. Can you guess?
Julianne Holt-Lunstad, a researcher at Brigham Young University, ran an extensive study that involved tens of thousands of middle-aged men and women to understand what reduced their chances of dying the most. Then she ranked top predictors strongly associated with longevity. It turned out that health-related factors like being lean vs. overweight, exercising or not, etc. are important but they didn’t make it to the top of the list.
Top 2 strongest predictors involved interaction with other people: close relationships that support you in bad times, and – surprisingly – daily social interactions, both personal and casual, like the corner store owner you get your snack from, or the woman walking her dog on your street every day. But here is the key – it only counts if it’s a face-to-face contact, so frequent texting with your loved ones will not be a good substitute. But “simply making eye contact with somebody, shaking hands, giving somebody a high-five”, as Susan Pinker states in her well-known TED talk about longevity, is enough to increase your trust and lower your stress. It even triggers a release of dopamine, a body’s natural high that can reduce pain!
Modern society leaves little opportunity for seniors to stay socially connected, especially if they are home bound. So, what if you do not live close to your elderly parents and cannot see them often enough? You can give them a gift of that essential social interaction via regular visits by a caregiver while you are away. Call us at North Oakland Caregivers to discuss your situation, we can help.
Many families are entering the New Year with resolutions on their mind. It just seems easier to create a new habit, make a big change for the better, reinvent yourself at the beginning of a new year! So many people will use January as an inspiration to start something significant, something that will make a lasting impact on their lives. But this may also be the right time to make a lasting impact on the life of your elderly family member. We mean making a step towards planning for the future of your older mom or dad who may need assistance in their activities of daily living.
The idea may feel daunting at the beginning, like many changes do. We know some seniors may not be immediately open to the idea of having a caregiver coming into their home to help them. Great long-term benefits can be overshadowed by a perceived fear of loss of independence or a temporary anxiety of having a “stranger” in the house. Seniors can respond with resistance in many different ways. Frankly, family members might have their own concerns about how this new arrangement might work.
We understand. Every change requires an adjustment. Our experience has shown that slowly easing into this new “caregiver” scenario is often all it takes to relieve the concerns of starting a home care routine for your senior loved one. Maybe having a caregiver come into their home once or twice a week just to give them an idea of what it’s all about might help alleviate their anxiety. Maybe one 8 hour day a week will do the trick. Maybe 4 hours a day, 2-3 days a week will help set a comfort level. The key is starting small and adjusting to what the future needs will be.
Having a senior home care provider that is flexible enough to allow time to find the perfect routine for your senior loved one is a great solution. North Oakland Caregivers at Clarkston, MI, has been doing it for 26 years. We are waiting for your call. Are you ready to make the first step towards the New Year’s resolution that will make a lasting impact on the future of your family?
“Warmest thoughts and best wishes for a wonderful holiday and a very happy New Year from all of us at North Oakland Caregivers!
We hope you’ll spend this festive season relishing your time together with your loved ones. May you fill every moment with love, peace and joy and begin the new year with the hope of many wonderful things to come!”
Lance Baylis, President
Sometimes it’s nice to “kick the bricks” and see the location of the company you are doing business with. Many times it gives you the sense of pride the company takes in their business.
We are happy to announce the most recent improvement to the building where North Oakland Caregivers is located – a new, state-of-the-art, LED business sign that was recently installed. This sign is clearly visible for drivers, illuminates in the dark, and helps guide our clients to the office building which is conveniently located just off I-75 in Clarkston, MI. We are proud of this newest addition, as it adds even more curb appeal to the attractive “Loman Building” we call home.
The Loman Building has been home to North Oakland Caregivers for the company’s entire history of 25 years! We like to think this further represents our reputation of stability, experience and trust that we are known for in providing the highest quality senior home care services to our clients and their families.
National Health Education week will be officially celebrated third week of October, and we are jumping at the opportunity to contribute! Our expertise lies in the area of senior home care, so, it is only fitting that we will focus on helping you be knowledgeable in the area of healthy aging.
So, what can you do OR what can you do for your senior family member or friend to make aging as healthy as possible? In addition to your physician’s recommendations* related to your specific situation ask yourself “Am I being mindful of these 5 things?”:
- Keep mentally and physically active: Remember the old saying “use it or lose it”! Simple things like regular reading, doing puzzles or playing games help keep the mind working. Likewise, regular physical activity to increase flexibility, strength and stamina are an invaluable bonus – it’s proven to help you live a longer and better quality life.
- Eat healthy foods: A strong connection between a healthy diet and a healthy body has been established long ago. While every person has their own dietary needs, there are some established heroes like vegetables and omega-3 fats that among other benefits help you keep your heart healthy and reduce inflammation. So, keep a list of your favorite dishes that include lots of veggies, fish and olive oil handy and use it often.
- Establish a healthy sleep pattern: Sleep has more health benefits than most people realize. Lack of sleep can cause depression, irritability, increased fall risk, and memory problems. Make sure you go to bed at the same time to help your body switch to a rest mode easier. Take a walk after dinner and avoid watching TV if you want to fall asleep faster.
- Reduce Stress: It is estimated that more than 90% of illness is either caused or complicated by stress. Long-term stress can damage brain cells and lead to depression. Stress may also cause memory loss, fatigue, and decreased ability to fight off and recover from infection. So, make sure you listen to your body and slow down if needed, take a minute or two to breathe deeply, find time in your day to meditate.
- Interact with others! Studies consistently show that individuals with the highest level of involvement in social relationships are more likely to live longer. But what if you find yourself in a socially limited situation? This is an area where North Oakland Caregivers has been helping seniors in their home OR residing in nursing homes via companionship. Our caregivers provide support by visiting, taking you to a movie or just staying in and having a friendly conversation.
These are just a few of the many things that may only take a SHORT part of the day, but may enhance your chances for a LONG healthy aging future. Why not start incorporating them into your routine?
* Always check with your physician before changing anything in your diet or activities of daily living or lifestyle.
A local company or a franchise? What to choose when selecting senior home care for your loved ones? Here are three reasons that prompt people like you to prefer a locally based and owned business:
- A recent study showed that when people do business with local companies, 58% more of the money spent ends up staying in the city as opposed to money spent on other businesses. Making socially responsible choices and helping local communities is a reason that people consider when choosing any local business regardless of industry specifics.
- Another reason is knowing the people behind the business – the employees, the managers and the owners. This lends itself to a natural connection not usually enjoyed when dealing with non-locally owned businesses. This consideration becomes especially important when we are making decisions related to the health and well-being of our family members, – franchises’ impersonal ways may leave us underwhelmed, while a local home care company run by people who are part of the same community will help us feeling reassured and in control.
- However, perhaps the biggest advantage to dealing with a locally owned and based senior home care company is the opportunity for greater customer service. We have all experienced calling a business only to be put on hold or eventually speaking with a person that gives you a standard script for an answer and has no direct communication with the decision maker. With a senior home care company that is truly local we can count on expedited service and a much more personal approach. The owner has a high probability of being directly connected to every employee. Questions or concerns are dealt with in a matter of hours. And in case of any home care related issues that require a personal presence, knowing the company’s home office and management are located right down the road can provide great peace of mind.
North Oakland Caregivers is a great example of the above advantages of a local senior home care company at their best: The owner was born and raised in Oakland County of Michigan and lives in the local area. His 35 years of experience in senior home care management make him a key industry expert in the area. The company has been located in the city of Clarkston, Michigan, since its foundation, in the same building now beautifully renovated and conveniently situated on the corner of M-15 and I-75. Call us at (248) 625-8484 and let us provide your family with professional but personable senior home care that only a local business can offer.
Exactly 5 months ago, after 25 years of providing senior home care, we unveiled our Facebook page, and our supporters’ circle has been growing ever since. This past weekend we celebrated our first milestone – the first 100 Facebook likes!
We are grateful for all the wonderful comments and cheering from those who know us and our senior home care business in Clarkston, MI, all the extremely positive reviews from our clients, caregivers and co-workers and all the interest from those who are looking for a caregiver career!
We are inspired by your encouragement and looking forward to more! Thank you, friends!
Did you know that North Oakland Caregivers can help care for your senior either at home or at an assisted living facility? Many people think that senior home care services are only provided in the client’s own home. However, we have been helping families with seniors both at home and at facilities.
There is no doubt that the senior’s familiarity with their own home is an important foundation that brings peace, happiness and comfort for them and their family. If a family wants to keep their loved one in their own home, we are happy to help with services ranging from personal care and home-making to companionship, from 4 hours per week to 24/7 live-in caregiver support.
Even if caring for a loved one at home is not possible because of a need for a more acute setting, many of our clients use our caregiver services in addition to the services provided by the facility. This arrangement allows for even more personalized attention, care and companionship while residing in a nursing, rehab or assisted living facility.
North Oakland Caregivers will help whatever your situation is. Our experienced managers will discuss your specific needs and provide a solution that will bring you and your loved one peace of mind. Let us know how we can help.
It’s not flesh and blood but the HEART which makes us FATHERS and SONS. – Johann Schiller
Happy Father’s day to all the fathers. We look up to them when little, we find our paths in life guided by their support when we grow up. Then, in a circle of life we give them our care and support when they grow old. Happy Father’s Day to that special person in our lives, young or mature, strong or frail, someone who is caring for us or needs us to care for him. We are grateful for your love, strength, wisdom and patience.
A Letter from a Mother to Her Daughter
“My dear girl, the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through. If when we talk, I repeat the same thing a thousand times, don’t interrupt to say: “You said the same thing a minute ago”… Just listen, please. Try to remember the times when you were little and I would read the same story night after night until you would fall asleep.
When I don’t want to take a bath, don’t be mad and don’t embarrass me. Remember when I had to run after you making excuses and trying to get you to take a shower when you were just a girl?
When you see how ignorant I am when it comes to new technology, give me the time to learn and don’t look at me that way… remember, honey, I patiently taught you how to do many things like eating appropriately, getting dressed, combing your hair and dealing with life’s issues every day…the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through.
If I occasionally lose track of what we’re talking about, give me the time to remember, and if I can’t, don’t be nervous, impatient or arrogant. Just know in your heart that the most important thing for me is to be with you.
And when my old, tired legs don’t let me move as quickly as before, give me your hand the same way that I offered mine to you when you first walked. When those days come, don’t feel sad… just be with me, and understand me while I get to the end of my life with love. I’ll cherish and thank you for the gift of time and joy we shared. With a big smile and the huge love I’ve always had for you, I just want to say, I love you… my darling daughter. “
Original text in Spanish and photo by Guillermo Peña
Translation to English by Sergio Cadena