Care For Caregivers

If you’re caring for an ageing parent or facing the challenges of assisting a loved one or friend who is chronically ill, disabled or elderly, you are not alone. You are one of the 22 million Americans who care for an older adult. Caregivers provide 80 per cent of in-home care, but unlike nurses and home health aides, they are unpaid for their labour of love. 

“Caregiving is a difficult job that can take a toll on relationships, jobs and emotional well-being. Those who care for others need to be sure to take care of themselves, as well.”

Here are some important tips for caregivers:

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help

We tend to wait until we are in crisis before asking for help and consultation. Seek out the help of a licensed clinical social worker or other trained professional.

It’s Not Easy to Tell Your Parents What to Do

The most difficult thing about caring for a parent is the day you have to tell them they need to have help, they can no longer drive or they may have to move from their home. Discuss long-term care wishes and desires before any decline happens. 

Take Care of Your Mental Health

It is not unusual to feel frustrated with your parents or children when they refuse your input and help. Seek a referral to a professional who can help you cope with your personal issues and frustrations. 

Stay Informed

We live in a world of constant change. Medications and treatments are constantly changing and the only way to keep up-to-date is to stay informed with the latest news. Attend local caregiver conferences, participate in support groups, speak with friends and relatives, and talk with professionals in the field of gerontology and geriatrics. 

Take Time Out

Caregivers who experience feelings of burnout need to accept that occasionally they may need a break from their loved one in order to provide him or her with the best care.

Laugh

Humour and laughter are tremendous healers.

Hire Help

If possible, you may want to hire help. The most important thing is to find trustworthy people to provide assistance. Use recommended home care agencies, talk with friends about their experiences and interview professionals before deciding on the one you are going to retain.

If you want to learn more about caregiving for someone with dementia – get my bestselling book: Reinvigorated Caregivers: 7 amazing ways to become remarkable at caring for people with dementia.

https://www.reinvigoratedcaregivers.com/book/

Healthy Food – Kale

4 Types of Kale Salad

If you are looking to use more superfoods during the winter season, then leafy greens like kale is a great choice. Kale grows well in the winter and is easy to find at any grocery store. It is a superfood filled with vitamins and minerals, and is great for many diets, from clean eating to Paleo or Keto. Here are four different types of kale salads to try out this winter.

Chopped Kale Superfoods Salad

This first salad is great when you want a chopped salad and have some berries and quinoa you want to use as well. Since it has quinoa, it is a heartier salad that really fills you up. It is also ideal if you follow a clean eating diet. You are going to use chopped kale since this is a chopped salad, then add rinsed uncooked or cooked (cooled) quinoa for a nice crunch. You can add any superfood toppings you want, though berries like cranberries and pomegranate seeds work great. For more crunch, add some crushed walnuts as well.

Kale and Veggies Salad

Another great option for a winter kale salad is one that uses even more veggies. You can also add berries to this salad, but it is going to be primarily for all the veggies you want to use. This can be a good main course, but it works well as a light lunch or a side dish as well. This salad uses fresh kale, along with some brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower, all of which are available throughout the fall and winter seasons. If you want to add a little fat to the salad, you can add some bacon bits as well. Nuts taste great on the top. Leave it as-is or make a simple dressing with olive oil, red wine vinegar, honey, and some lemon juice.

Kale Sweet Potato Salad

If you want to add more vegetable superfoods during the winter, consider vegetables like sweet potatoes and butternut squash. These begin showing up in grocery stores in the fall and are often available throughout the winter as well. You can use either vegetable for this salad, or add some of both. Dice them into cubes, then add to your bed of kale, along with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. You can also make a dressing with lemon juice if you want a little kick to the simple kale salad.

Kale and Apple Salad

Kale also happens to taste great when combined with sweet fruits. This kale and apple salad is perfect when you want to combine fall and winter flavours. Use your chopped kale, along with some sliced sweet apples, cranberries or pomegranate seeds, and some chopped walnuts and goat cheese on top.

 

 

How to Fuel Your Brain With Energy

heart brain fitness energyWhat is your fitness philosophy?

In other words: why do you train and exercise? What is it that you hope to achieve by being physically active?

Many of us train because we want to look better. Some of us train because we want to be healthier and stave off disease. Others train because they want to perform better at a particular sport or activity they enjoy.

But I have a different reason for training: I train because I want to change the way I feel and because I want to change my mindset. And this is also one of the driving factors behind my diet choices.

Tiredness

One of the biggest limiting factors in most of our lives – one of the things that most prevents us from achieving all that we want to achieve – is tiredness. You wake up in the morning and instead of leaping out of bed filled with enthusiasm, you instead struggle to drag yourself up and to actually start being productive. Then you get home and instead of doing something fun, interesting or productive, you instead just crash on the sofa and watch day time TV. Sound familiar?

Everything you do is less enjoyable when you’re tired. All of your decisions are worse. All of your challenges are harder. And I’m not talking about physical tiredness – I’m talking about mental tiredness. And that’s what you can actually fix with the right training program and diet, unbeknownst to many.

How to Increase Brain Energy

So how can you increase energy in your brain? One method is to increase the strength of your heart. If you do this, then you’ll be able to pump more blood, oxygen and nutrients to your brain, thus allowing it to perform more optimally. How do we do this? With steady state cardio This means the kind of cardiovascular exercise that involves long durations of exercise. A good example is running a few miles twice a week, which can help to enlarge the left ventricle in your heart. This also reduces stress by helping you to lower your resting heartrate and thus produce less cortisol.

Also important is to increase the efficiency of mitochondria. These are the parts of the cells that turn glucose into usable energy and the more you have and better they function, the less tired you will feel. You can increase these with a combination of HIIT training and foods/supplements that are known to support them such as CoQ10, PQQ, l-carnitine and others.

6 Hacks for Burnout and Overwhelm

 

 

Dealing with burnout or being overwhelmed are both consequences of high amounts of stress. With overwhelm, you might be experiencing stress for a long time, which leads you to become overwhelmed with everything you are thinking and dealing with at the same time.

Burnout is similar, though it is typically when you become so exhausted mentally and physically, then it can affect your work, motivation, and energy. You have crossed the line too often for too long. In contrast to depression, where you need to get motivated, with a burnout you need to set boundaries and learn to say “no” more often.

Here are some hacks and tips that will help you to overcome both burnout and overwhelm.

  1. A Healthy Body Means a Healthy Mind

Getting past your burnout, stress, and overwhelm always starts with your physical health. Not just because stress can affect you physically and actually make you ill, but because when you eat right and exercise, it has a long list of benefits for you.

If you want a healthy mind, you need to start with a healthy body. This means eating a healthy, well-balanced diet with lots of fruits, veggies, lean protein, and whole grains. Get regular exercise and don’t forget to drink your water each day.

These small changes will make a big difference in your physical health, which will in turn help your mental health as well. 

  1. Stop Focusing on Time

Everything is always about time. Making time for your family, making time for work, looking at the clock every few minutes during your workday, trying to get out of the house with enough time to spare. All of this focus on time, whether it is time you feel you wasted, time to get stuff done, and feeling like your time is running out, causes a lot of unnecessary stress.

There are certain aspects of life where time is relevant, such as getting to an appointment or meeting on time but don’t make your entire life revolve around time. It can be very overwhelming.

  1. Stay Mindful of Positive Changes and a Better Outlook

When you have full-on burnout, it can be hard to use standard stress relief methods. By this point, you are having trouble just getting the bare minimum done, especially when you add in stress and overwhelm at the same time.

Instead of putting too much pressure on yourself, just start slow. One excellent “hack” to use is to be mindful for one moment every day. During that moment, give yourself a few minutes to re-focus your energy from a negative thing to a positive thing.

Maybe you are in your office after a meeting that caused you a lot of stress and tension, so you sit for 5 minutes and are mindful about something positive you feel right now. 

This could be: 

  • gratitude for this job you worked so hard for, 
  • happiness for your family and friends, 
  • or just understanding that the stressful situation is over and now you can appreciate you got through it.
  1. Don’t Work Through Lunch

Stop working non stop! Working more is NOT going to help you overcome burnout. You need a break. Your body and mind need rest. If you work too much all week long, then when the weekend comes, you have no energy left to live your life.

One small thing you can start doing right now is taking proper lunch breaks. Stop eating lunch at your desk, and stop talking to people on your phone when you’re eating lunch out of the office. Turn off your phone, enjoy this time, be mindful of your meal, and just relax. Work will be there waiting for you when your break is over. 

  1. Find What Gives You Positive Energy

Look for that thing in each day that makes you feel positive and happy. This is going to encourage more positive energy, which can then help to relieve some of the stress and tension you have been experiencing.

Again, this will be unique to you and your situation. It can be related to your home, your job, people in your life, achieving your goals, having accomplished something you put your mind to, being more physically healthy, losing weight, just about anything. Sky’s the limit on this one.

  1. Start Saying No

Even if you have always been the person other people can count on to help them, you don’t have to be everything to everyone. You have every right to say no to hosting a party, declining an offer to go out on your only night off this week, doing an extra project at work. 

You need to learn how to say no when you are already overwhelmed with all your own responsibilities.

Alzheimer Prevention

My heart is really in prevention. Not only dementia but all sorts of diseases (heart diseases, strokes, osteoporosis, cancer). I start with a little introduction here about prevention and I will give you more and more updates on how to lower the risks on these diseases.

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive degenerative illness that results in the destruction of a person’s cognitive skills and abilities, including thinking, reasoning, learning and retention, communication, and sometimes even motor. While much of the research currently being done on Alzheimer’s disease is on finding a cure and treatment for the symptoms, considerable progress has also been made in Alzheimer prevention.

As the president and medical director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Foundation International in Tucson, Arizona, Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D., is one of the physicians at the forefront of Alzheimer prevention. He contends that the current research on the disease serves only to confirm the idea that Alzheimer prevention is the only practical way of dealing with it.

“We have to realize that the era of the magic bullet – drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease – is over”.

Asserts Dr. Khalsa. According to him, there is a need to take an integrative approach as what has been done for heart disease.

“What works for the heart, works for the head”.

Dr. Khalsa’s Alzheimer prevention principle is based on the concept that while the disease progression may be slowed down with medications and drugs, to prevent the disease from developing in the first place, certain steps ought to be taken. Foremost among these steps is to recognize and reduce the factors that lead to Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s – a Multi-factorial Disease

Many scientists agree with Dr. Khalsa that Alzheimer’s is actually a multi-factorial disease. That is, its development is dependent upon several variables, including but not exclusive to nutrition, chronic stress, and lifestyle choices. However, Dr. Khalsa believes that out of these risk factors, the most probable cause of Alzheimer’s is chronic, unrelenting stress and free radical damage and oxidative stress, all of which occur at a certain point in our lives as we age.

Studies show that there are people who appear to be able to protect themselves against memory loss even though their brains show significant damage from Alzheimer’s disease. It has been observed that these people are usually the ones who are mentally engaged or physically active. Additionally, there are also many Alzheimer’s patients who reach 80 and beyond with their memory intact, thus, suggesting that the disease is not a normal part of ageing. All these findings further suggest that those who remain mentally active in their later years have a better chance at Alzheimer prevention that those who are not.

The notion is that if people remain mentally engaged, this would result in the establishment of more synaptic connections between neurons in response to new learning. As observed in children’s brains, new synaptic connections are an integral part of learning and is a process that continues for the person’s entire biological life. Thus, as you grow older, your synaptic connection should grow denser as well.dementia prevention alzheimer