5 Ways Owning a Pet Is Good for Your Health

We have a dog named Rocky. He’s a 1-year-old maltipoo who will cuddle us whenever we want, can jump his entire height, and runs faster than any little dog we’ve seen. (He also still pees on the floor, but that’s another story.)

Since bringing Rocky home, I’ve noticed the benefits this fuzzy addition has brought to my family. Now, experts are discovering that owning a pet is not only good for our mood; pets are good for our health.

If you are considering adopting a pet, here are five ways your health would benefit. Read more

5 Fun Activities to Do with Your Loved Ones in a Nursing Facility

It’s Sunday afternoon and you’re getting ready to visit your grandma at her nursing facility, but you are at a loss of how the two of you can spend fun, quality time together.

What are some things you can do that both of you will enjoy? This time is precious and it’s important to make the most of it.

Here is a list of different creative activities you and your loved one can do while they are in a nursing facility:

Crafts

Whether or not you’re a creative person, simple crafts can be a fun way to add some color to your time together. Crafts you and your loved one can do range from making holiday decorations to scrapbooking and even painting.

Mark Walker, director of therapy at Orem Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing, says staff members enjoy providing seasonal and holiday-oriented craft projects for the residents.

“We just finished doing a Valentine’s project where we cut out hearts and placed them all over the facility,” he said.

Not only are these activities fun, but they can also help your loved one’s cognitive and motor skills.

Hand massages

Some nursing facilities, such as Provo Rehabilitation & Nursing, offer hand massages as one of its regular activities. You can give your own loved one a hand massage or manicure as a way to rejuvenate and relax them. Regular touch also communicates multiple positive emotions that can create a deeper connection. Try using essential oils or hand lotion in their favorite scent.

Make connections (phone call, storytelling)

Use your time together to share and collect memories and stories. Chances are your loved one has some great stories from growing up that you haven’t heard yet. Once they are gone, those stories may be lost forever. Take the time to ask them about their life and favorite memories. Consider journaling or recording these conversations so you can keep them for years to come.

Entertainment

Another way to bond with your loved one is to find a mutual love of some sort of entertainment and enjoy it together. Whether it’s reading a book, playing a board game, listening to music or watching a favorite movie, entertainment is the perfect way to spend an afternoon with each other. Many facilities, such as Orem Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing, provide different types of media that you can enjoy together. Consider inviting your loved one’s friends at the nursing facility to enjoy with you.

“Usually our biggest focus is on hobbies that our residents do at home,” said Walker. “We often start up a bowling session, which is great for balance and upper body strength, and the Wii gaming system is an excellent tool. We like the Wii Fit Program because it encourages standing balance and weight-shifting activities.”

Outings

While you may have to take a few precautions, going out or exercising can be a fun way to spend time with your loved one. You can garden, go out to lunch, see a play, walk to the park, or even stretch outside. The fresh air and quality time is sure to make for a wonderful day together.

If you’re not sure what to do with your loved one who’s staying in a nursing facility, try one of these activities. Remember, the important thing is that you make the most of your time together.

This article was previously published by the Daily Herald and republished here with permission.

The Secrets to a Long Life Aren’t Really Very Secret

As the oldest woman in the world, 116-year-old Emma Morano credits her long life to a breakfast of two raw eggs every day. She also credits her longevity to staying single. She walked away from her marriage when she was 38 years old, and she’s been single ever since. “I didn’t want to be dominated by anyone,” she said.

What sustains some people to live over a century, while others struggle with poor health? With some swearing by service or beer for breakfast, there are consistencies in the lives of centenarians. And some of them may surprise you. Read more

8 Ways to Commit to a Healthy Lifestyle

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last,” said Zig Ziglar. “Well, neither does bathing — that’s why we recommend it daily.” Most of us have things about ourselves we’d like to improve. A healthy lifestyle is no exception. This desire can come from wanting to change the way we look or feel, or heeding a doctor’s warning.

“Practicing preventative measures for maintaining good health is a habit you never outgrow,” said Liz Jacobsen, team lead at Lake Ridge Senior Living. “Whether it is getting regular checkups, adjusting diet, increasing exercise or eliminating harmful habits, healthy living starts with adopting healthy habits.” Read more

Juicy Tips for a Better Cleanse

Are your jeans feeling a little tight after a long winter’s nap? Or maybe you miss the much-needed energy you once had to tackle the day’s tasks. I feel the same way. These days, many people are turning to juice cleanses as the miracle solution for everything from quick weight loss and energy boosting, to treating the common cold and achy joints. For those who swear by the healing properties of a juice cleanse, there are many more who have concerns about their effectiveness and health. Both camps agree that there are worse methods out there for consumers, but is there a place for juice cleanses in our overall wellness routine? Read more

Thinning Hair Doesn’t Have to Mean Thinning Hope

One inevitable fact of life is that thinning hair is a common byproduct of aging. Studies show that up to 50 percent of women over the age of 50 will experience hair loss. Sadly, many of us have a genetic predisposition to hair loss, or androgenetic alopecia. Read more

15 Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes, According to Science

Sweet potatoes are nutritious and delicious root vegetables. The sweet potato is creamy and soft enough to be an ingredient in several pie recipes, and most people think of the vegetable as merely a dessert ingredient. However, scientists have found that sweet potatoes are among the best sources of Vitamin A (1). Sweet potatoes are also naturally packed with vitamin B5, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, and carotenoids due to their naturally orange color. Read more

Seniors Often Face Dental Care Challenges

Typically, we make sure our family has regular checkups, but is your older loved one following the same schedule? Experts are guessing the answer is probably not.

According to the Center for Disease Control, a little over half (60 percent) of today’s senior adults visited a dentist in 2013 despite the fact that one in four of seniors aged 65 and older have gum disease. This segment of the population is in need of proper dental care since many of today’s serious diseases can be linked to tooth decay or gum disease. Read more

7 Creative Ways That Older Couples Can Keep the Romance Alive

Despite what the tabloids may say, not all celebrity relationships go down in flames. Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman were happily married for 50 years; Michael J. Fox and Tracy Pollan found lasting love; and Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson are still going strong. It may take a little extra effort to keep the love alive through the years, especially if you and your significant other have forgotten how to connect or are stuck in the same routine. But with some relationship advice, the passion is sure to ignite again! Read more

Six Fat-Free Ways to Handle Stress

It may have started when your boss watched you fly through the main doors 10 minutes late or last night during bedtime when your youngest announced he has a book report due today.

Perhaps it is the neighbor who expects full participation with every cause that hits Instagram or the mean girls that seem to follow your teenager’s every move with negative commentary.

Before you realize it, you are standing in front of the open freezer listening to your serving spoon scrape the bottom of an empty ice cream container. That’s right. You are stressed, and the fact that the only way you can cope with the pressures of life is to drown your concerns in heaps of whipped cream or melted cheese only adds to the problem.

Instead of snacking your way through a crisis, consider these six fat-free strategies to handle the most bitter of stressful situations. Read more