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5 Natural Ways to Treat Shingles

The Varicella zoster virus that causes chickenpox stays dormant in the body long after the illness subsides. In later life, the virus can become active and cause an illness known as shingles. The blistering rash develops along the nerve pathways across the torso, which makes the affliction itchy and uncomfortable. Antiviral medications help shorten the duration of the ailment while reducing the symptoms. However, there are a number of home remedies Dallas elderly care providers can try to ease the discomfort experienced by seniors. 

1. Take a Cool Bath

Sitting in a bath of cool water helps bring down the temperature of irritated skin and provides some sense of relief. Afterward, gently pat the skin dry and discourage seniors from scratching. Avoid contact with open blisters and wash clothing, linens and towels in hot water to prevent cross-contamination. 

2. Apply Cold Compresses

Cool wet compresses applied to affected skin areas is an alternative method of achieving topical relief. Simply wet a towel with cold water, wring out the excess moisture and apply it to the skin. Re-soak the towels as needed to provide ongoing relief. 

3. Drawn an Oatmeal Bath

Oatmeal has long been touted as a method of relieving skin dryness and subsequent itch. Oatmeal bath products are commonly sold where bath and beauty items are located. Family caregivers can add the colloidal oatmeal to cool or room temperature water according to the package instructions. Pat the skin dry following the bath to avoid letting water set and infect the rash. 

4. Use Soothing Lotions

Caladryl lotion contains antihistamines and other soothing ingredients that help alleviate the discomfort of shingles. Tea tree oil is another option that prevents infection while promoting healing and sting relief. Use cotton balls to apply and wash hands thoroughly after each application. 

5. Take Pain Medications

Seniors may take oral OTC pain medications as recommended by a physician. Certain brands of OTC hydrocortisone creams and ointments also contain topical anesthetic medication ingredients, which include benzocaine. These formulas provide pain relief by interfering with nerve transmission.

In the event that you cannot look after your loved one fulltime after he or she contracts shingles or another illness, turn to Home Care Assistance for help. Our reliable Dallas respite caregivers will look after your loved one whenever you need time to take care of other matters or simply need time to yourself. Call (214) 253-8784 today to speak to an experienced Care Manager about our flexible live-in, hourly, and respite care and set up a free consultation.

Is Alcohol Use Associated with More Cognitive Issues?

Despite becoming an established product in our society, drinking alcohol beyond moderation can lead to a number of health issues. In fact, a new study presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Vancouver has concluded that as a person grows older, even moderate drinking can lead to greater risk of cognitive impairment and related health issues.

The research study was designed by a team from the University of California, San Francisco, as well as at The Veterans Health Research Institute, San Francisco. Researcher Tina Hoang and her colleagues collected data from 1,300 women at the age of sixty-five or older. Over 20 years, the group recorded alcohol-related behavior for each participant.

While previous research had suggested that moderate consumption could actually help prevent the onset of mental decline later in life, Hoang argues that her research says differently. The study’s results showed that even medium-level drinkers did not show a drop in their risk of developing cognitive issues or dysfunction during the experiment. In addition, moderate drinkers had a sixty percent higher likelihood of developing neurological impairments in the future.

Overall, Hoang and her team concluded that the people who drank heavily during their youth, moderately in later life, or began drinking later in life were at the greatest risk of cognitive issues. As a result, the researchers recommend that older women use caution when consuming alcohol because not only is it not beneficial to health, it has even been shown to be harmful.

While alcohol has been proven to be safe in certain amounts, it has also been linked to a number of health problems. It is vital that women of all ages learn how to avoid dangerous behavioral lifestyles like heavy drinking and instead find outlets in their community that can inspire more productive goals.

The empowered Dallas woman is a healthy woman

Join a dynamic group of successful women in our community at “The Empowered Woman” event this July. Enjoy lunch, fabulous raffle prizes and an inspirational program. Guest speaker Debbie Scanlon of BKD, LLP will spread the needed knowledge women in the Dallas area can benefit from. Enjoy lunch, fabulous raffle prizes and an inspiration program. Call (817) 488-7148 or visit ColleyvilleChamber.org for more information.

Event details:

  • Thursday, July 14 at 10:30 a.m.
  • 77 Piazza Ln, Colleyville, TX 76034

Celebrate Your Family History and Good Health!

During all sorts of get-togethers, family members tell countless stories with important lessons sprinkled throughout. In fact, the act of storytelling has been passed down from person to person for centuries. Overall, telling these tales of personal history allows modern generations of people to learn about their ancestors, if even for the first time. In order to prevent history from repeating itself, listening to the stories of our elders can establish a healthy foundation for our future.

Family interviewing tips

  1. Set clear expectations: The best way to approach your loved one about sharing their story is to tell them how you value their experience. Explain that you would love to capture these memories for your children (and their children) to learn from. Explain to them that by sharing their past, they would be providing a wonderful gift to the rest of the family and future generations.
  2. Prepare questions to ask: Like any great journalist or interviewer, draft up a list of specific questions you want answered. Start with all the relevant questions that pop into your head and narrow them down from there. Most importantly, use the questions as a general guideline to keep your interview on track. This will result in a great and free-flowing discussion about your loved one’s past and your family’s rich history.
  3. Create a stress-free environment: The more calm and familiar your loved one feels while speaking, the more likely they are to open up to you and give you a open interview. In order to maximize comfort, conduct your interviews in a peaceful, distraction-free environment. A quiet, well-lit room is best for recording.

Celebrate your history with Moon Day in Dallas

Taking your family to local museum events is another way to spark interest in your personal history. The Frontiers of Flight Museum will host the biggest annual space exposition in Texas to celebrate Moon Day 2016 on July 16 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event will celebrate the 47th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11, the NASA mission that led to the first human footsteps on the Moon.

Join a LIVE TALK to the International Space Station at 10:30 am. Moon Day features numerous educational presentations by subject area experts in our “Moon Academy” for young students and our “Lunar University” for college level and above. DISD Educators can receive Continuing Education Credits for attendance at Lunar University classes.

Event details:

  • Saturday, July 16, 2016 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • 6911 Lemmon Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75209

How to Successfully Recover from Your Next Hospital Visit

One of the leading causes of hospital readmissions is the lack of adequate support and recovery following a hospital discharge. To help make a patient’s transition home smooth and successful, Home Care Assistance is committed to educating seniors about post-hospitalization care and helping them recover successfully through our Hospital to Home Care program, a comprehensive set of resources for families managing the sometimes difficult transition home after hospitalization.

The first 72 hours home are critical for post-hospitalization patients. Patients are fatigued and family members are often confused and helpless. In addition to a comprehensive discharge plan, a caregiver can help manage the transition home and help you on the path towards a successful recovery.

The 6 steps to a successful recovery

Remember that recovery is a gradual process and can take anywhere from a few weeks to months. Below are 6 steps to a successful recovery:

  1. Dependence: When you first arrive home, your primary goal should be to rest and recover. A caregiver can support your recovery by handling household tasks such as meal preparation, running errands and relieving unnecessary stress so that you can focus on recommended therapy activities, diet and relaxation.
  2. Mild independence: As you start to gain strength, identify tasks that you can now manage independently, such as eating or walking down the stairs, and slowly wean yourself off of care in those areas.
  3. Supervised independence: As you continue gaining strength, your caregiver’s primary role will be supervision rather than direct physical assistance. Try to perform activities of daily living (ADLs) – such as bathing, eating, walking – independently.
  4. Supported independence: Once comfortable with ADLs, try incorporating chores or errands into your routine, such as a trip to the grocery store accompanied by your caregiver or preparing a meal together.
  5. Semi-supported independence: Try taking a hold of day-to-day tasks and resume your pre-hospitalization routine. Although your caregiver is there to help, try not to take advantage of that assistance unless you really need it.
  6. Full independence: When you feel that you can safely return to your regular activities without your caregiver’s support, you may consider reducing care. Remember that full independence is a long-term goal and should not be prioritized over safety.

Recover via a health restoration seminar with Dallas Pastor Mychael John

Come and learn how to address common and major health problems through holistic methods from a biblical perspective. We will discuss how to recover from cancer, diabetes, highblood pressure and other common ailments using vitamins, minerals amino acids and herbs. Pastor Mychael has been teaching how to use vitamins and herbs for health restoration for nearly thirty years.

Event details:

  • Saturday, July 9, 2016 at 5:00 p.m.
  • 326 South Kirby Street Garland, Texas 75042

How to Prevent Heat Stroke Among Seniors This Summer

As the heat intensifies this summer, seniors become more prone to heat stroke. Here’s how Dallas at-home caregivers can prevent their loved ones from succumbing to the condition.

Manage Prescription Drugs

Certain prescription medication can increase the risk of heat stroke in elderly people. For example, diuretics are likely to cause dehydration and other symptoms that ultimately result in heat-related illness. Similarly, some antihistamines can make the body more sensitive to sun exposure and high temperatures. Live-in Dallas caregivers should monitor these medications closely and keep their loved ones in more mild temperatures after taking them.

Keep Seniors Hydrated

Regardless of age, a person who spends over an hour outside on a summer day should drink over a liter of fluids. A bottle of cold water is refreshing, but it might not replenish some essential electrolytes that are lost in sweat. Sports drinks are loaded with sodium and potassium ions that play important roles in regulating normal bodily functions. Without an adequate supply of such nutrients, an elderly person can quickly become dehydrated and tired on a hot day.

Dress Appropriately

Heat stroke occurs when a person’s body temperature rises above normal levels. Loose and lightweight clothing can keep the body cool on a typical summer day. It’s also a good idea to wear light-colored clothing for anyone who wants to spend a lot of time in direct sunlight. Dark-colored apparel tends to absorb solar radiation, which releases a lot of heat directly onto the body. Summer apparel should consist of breathable materials that wick away moisture and provide natural ventilation.

Watch the Forecast

In addition to watching the temperature, it’s also important for caregivers to consider the heat index and UV index before taking seniors outside. A high heat index indicates an increased risk of heat stroke due to humid air that makes it difficult to breathe normally. A high UV index implies that a person is likely to get sunburned even under cloud cover. Monitoring these factors will keep your loved one safe from heat stroke and sunburn.

Keep Cold Objects Handy

Even while resting in a shaded area, seniors can overheat on a scorching summer afternoon. To keep the core body temperature at safe levels, ice and other cold items should be directly applied to the skin. Elderly people can also prevent overheating by eating their favorite ice cream or drinking beverages with lots of crushed ice.

Senior safety is paramount during the summer months, though not just because of the high risk of heat stroke. Call Home Care Assistance of Dallas at (214) 253-8784 to learn more about senior safety. We are a reliable Dallas senior home care agency that customizes care plans for seniors with various requirements including Alzheimer’s, dementia, and stroke care. Schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable Care Manager today and learn how we can keep your loved one safe.

Learn How to Put Mental Health Where Your Mouth Is

Obesity has long been associated with many health conditions including heart disease and diabetes. However, new evidence suggests a correlation with mental health as well.

A study that began in France in the early 1990’s surveyed 6,401 adults between the ages of 31 and 63. Participants provided their body mass indices as well as their quantifiable risk for such health conditions as blood pressure, high blood sugar, high fat content and high cholesterol. Fifty-three percent of the subjects were considered to be “normal” according to the BMI scale, while thirty-eight percent were considered “overweight” and an additional nine percent “obese.” Thirty-one percent of the entire group had two or more of the above-mentioned health conditions. For the next fifteen years, the research group subjected participants to three total rounds of cognitive testing to assess overall brain performance.

The recently tabulated results showed that cognitive decline progressed most quickly in subjects who were both obese and displayed one of the aforementioned metabolic abnormalities. However, the few participants who were obese, but lacked any of the conditions showed no greater risk of mental decline.

These results suggest that the risk factors normally associated with obesity, such as those tested in this study, may be an early indicator of future mental impairment. The relationship between obesity and yet another serious health complication demonstrates the consequences of being overweight.

Mental Health America of Greater Dallas hosts event to boost your brain

Someone you know could be experiencing a mental illness or crisis. Mental Health First Aid teaches a 5-step action plan to offer initial help to people with the signs and symptoms of a mental illness or in a crisis, and connect them with the appropriate professional, peer, social or self-help care. Anyone can take the 8-hour Mental Health First Aid course — first responders, students, teachers, leaders of faith communities, human resources professionals, and caring citizens.  Sometimes, the best first aid is you.Take the course, save a life, strengthen your community. Attendees must attend this two-day course to be eligible for the certification.

Event details:

  • Friday, July 8 at 2:00 p.m. and Saturday, July 9 at 10:00 a.m.
  • 624 North Good Latimer Expressway, Dallas, Texas 75204