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What's the Advantage of the Progressive Model of Home Health Care?

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  • | 12:00 a.m. October 6, 2022
  • Sarasota
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Many of us are worried about memory loss and for good reason. 

Studies have confirmed that frailty and dementia are strongly related.  And, they can have a painful effect on families. But, there is hope. Scientists and researchers, while working tirelessly to find a cure for Alzheimer’s, have also determined that lifestyle-interventions are in fact improving memory and slowing down cognitive decline.

Research from the Alzheimer’s Association and Johns Hopkins tell a compelling story as to why we should all be paying attention. Three out of four Americans after age 65 has multiple, activity­ limiting chronic health conditions, and their overall risk rises with age. For example, Alzheimer’s disease affects one in nine people over 65. Of those, 72 percent are 75 or older. Frailty affects an estimated 12 percent of individuals over 65 and grows to 25 percent for people 84 and older.

Many individuals are entering this time in their life when long-term support becomes increasingly important. The goal at Youthful Aging Home Care is to facilitate greater independence by helping them take more control over underlying risk factors associated with increasing frailty and cognitive decline.

Tackling frailty begins with assessing modifiable risk factors and then managing conditions that compromise brain integrity. These factors include hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, metabolic and nutritional deficiencies. If underlying conditions aren’t addressed, individuals remain at increased risk for hospitalizations, decreased functional status, lost independence, and living their remaining years in institutions. For many, this can be avoided by adopting a more progressive model of in-home care.

Traditional models of care simply manage the progression of decline until people end up in a skilled nursing facility or memory unit. Youthful Aging Home care aims much higher than that.

Empowerment is key!  Through our integrated wellness program, clients feel a greater positive influence over the aging process-regardless of age or limitations--by focusing on modifiable risk factors and lifestyle behaviors. A personalized plan is based on medical screenings for sleep apnea, depression, memory, stress, vision, and hearing.  In addition, a nutritional analysis can determine deficiencies that may include homocysteine levels, vitamin D, folate, B-12, and magnesium.

The process doesn’t have to be daunting.  Providing the body with the fuel it needs to support optimal health means eating nutrient-dense foods as a crucial component of both brain and physical health. Increasing consumption of foods rich in antioxidants--such as delicious, fresh fruits and vegetables--is a key component of a beneficial Mediterranean-style eating plan. These foods help reduce chronic, silent inflammation, which can lead to cognitive decline, cancer, and heart disease.  Caregivers can assist with meal planning and prep, so that clients don’t “age out of flavor”.

Finding motivation can be difficult, but exercise is also crucial to retaining independence. Daily cardiovascular exercise along with balance and resistance training at least 20 minutes a day, three or four times a week, is recommended. Caregivers can help clients stay on goal.  Mental exercise is just as important, and mental stimulation programs can stabilize or improve short- term memory.

Socialization also is very important. Youthful Aging provides individuals the help they need to take positive steps with proactive caregivers who are supervised by specially trained nurses.

As clients steadily move along the wellness continuum and experience improvements, their excitement helps sustain the beneficial changes they make.  Having a skilled medical professional, a coach, and a friend makes all the difference!

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