Socializing Is Good for Your Health – So Don’t Be Shy!

WomenTalkingStaying social can mean many things to many people. It could mean going out to dinner on a regular basis, joining clubs, taking classes, going to the gym, or gathering with friends at a coffee shop. For people who are more homebound, staying social could mean staying in contact with people through the Internet and by telephone. However you define staying social, it’s been proven that being socially active promotes healthier aging. For people who feel they aren’t able to participate in social activities alone, in-home care can help.

Staying Social Reduces Risk of Disability

A Rush University Medical Center study reported higher levels of social activity are associated with a decreased risk of becoming disabled. The results showed that people who reported a high level of social activity were about twice as likely to remain free of a disability involving activities of daily living (toileting, bathing, etc.) than people who weren’t as socially active. They were also about 1.5 times as likely to remain free of disability involving instrumental activities of daily living (meal preparation, housework, etc.) or mobility.

Quality of Life Is Better for Many with Greater Social Support

A study of more than 3,000 women with breast cancer that showed a connection between social support and physical symptoms was published in 2013 in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. The women completed questionnaires about their social activities and interactions, and their physical and emotional state during treatment. The results showed that women with good social support reported fewer physical symptoms during treatment and had better emotional quality of life than those women who said they had little or no social interactions.

Be Social and Live Longer

Being socially active can contribute to the increase in the quality and length of life.

  • Researchers in Australia followed senior citizens for 10 years. In people 70 years old and older, the risk of dying decreased by 20 percent when people had a strong network of friends. Having social interactions with friends provided a greater effect than interactions with family members.
  • University College London followed 6,500 British people over the age of 52 from 2004 to 2012.Those that lacked social interaction were 26 percent more likely to die during the period than those with active social lives.

The proof that staying social as we age leads to greater health outcomes is in the pudding! A-Abiding Care can provide home health care to help you get out of the house and take advantage of the social interactions available in your community. We can offer services such as a travel companion so you can visit family and friends (or go on a cruise!), as well as help by providing transportation to local activities throughout the greater Chicago area, or by keeping you company, playing cards, watching television, or providing quiet companionship. Contact us to arrange for an in-home care assessment to see how we can help you.

Sources:, Rush University Medical Center, U.S. News and World Report, Breast Cancer Research and Treatment Journal, The American Journal of Psychiatric Health, The Seattle Longitudinal Studies of adult intelligence, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Long-Term Care at Home – Assessing and Coordinating Needs

Woman HelpingWhether you’ve lived in the same house or apartment for decades or you’ve moved around a lot over the years, your home is usually where you feel safe and the most comfortable. It’s no wonder that as we age, we want to stay in our home as long as possible, where we’re surrounded with familiar things and we have our own routines.

Many studies have shown that elderly people prefer to age in the comfort of their own homes, instead of relocating to an assisted living facility or nursing home. But sometimes to achieve this goal, outside help is needed in the form of in-home health care. And when navigating the many services to help make aging at home comfortable and safe, planning for home health care may require the input of a professional who fully understands all of the options and can help coordinate services. Proper care coordination from an eldercare specialist will help everyone involved feel much more organized and at ease.

Who Can Help?

For many, senior in-home care involves several aspects of their lives, including diet, physician visits and medications, and activities of daily living. Trying to coordinate all of these can be a daunting task for a family caregiver. What most people do not realize is that home care agencies, like A-Abiding Care, can help identify, locate, and coordinate all of the components for successful long-term, at-home care.

Our trained professionals will do an assessment, learning what home care services are needed now and what may be needed in the future. This RN assessment will be the basis of a comprehensive care plan, and continuing supervisory assessments will evaluate if any changes are needed along the way. In-home assistance covers many aspects of daily living, such as taking medicines on time, taking care of light housekeeping and cooking, bathing and grooming, and more.

A-Abiding Care helps provide senior home health care in the Norwood Park and Park Ridge areas every day. Contact us today to see how we can help you.

Five Long-Term Care Options You Need to Consider Now

home care options

It’s never too soon to start planning for long-term care, and waiting until the last minute can result in undue stress and the need to make snap decisions that may not be the best for your situation.

Because many Americans wish to age in place, a good place to start your long-term care plan is with a greater understanding of your in-home care options. The following are the five types of home care that everyone should know about before creating their long-term care plan:

  • Full Service Private Duty/Private Pay Agencies are usually “non-medical” services and can range from companionship, housekeeping, transportation, personal care, and dementia care to 24-hour or respite care. A private duty home care agency, like A-Abiding Care, provides non-medical care by employees of the agency who are screened, trained, monitored and typically bonded and insured. There is far more safety in this model, and far less potential liability for the care recipient than with a nursing registry.
  • Nursing Registries/Healthcare Registries act as “matchmaker” services, assigning workers to clients and patients who need home care. However, registries place the responsibilities of managing and supervising the worker on the patient, a family member, or a family advisor. Supervision, monitoring, government-mandated taxes, and workers’ compensation coverage usually fall on the consumer and oftentimes the workers are not trained.
  • Home Health Care is skilled nursing care that one receives at home for the treatment of an illness or injury. Examples are care for a wound (dressing changes); injections; monitoring of health conditions like diabetes, blood pressure or heart disease; assistance with medical equipment like dialysis; assistance with an indwelling catheter; assistance with a naso-gastric (NG) tube feeding or a ventilator. Services are often provided by Medicare-certified Home Health Agencies (HHA’s). Home Health Care can also provide rehabilitation services including speech, physical and respiratory therapies.
  • Hospice Care is a special concept of care designed to provide comfort and support to patients and their families when a life-limiting illness no longer responds to cure-oriented treatments. Hospice is generally depicted as end-of-life care and can be in a home or a hospital setting, but it is usually required that someone be with the dying patient at all times. How a family accomplishes this is up to the individual and the family. Hospice entails a range of services from nurses and mental health professionals to spiritual advisors.
  • Medicaid Home and Community Based Care is intended to provide services for those who cannot afford to pay for care—and is designed with the goal of keeping the person out of a nursing home. Recipients do not need to be homebound or ill to receive the services. To access Medicaid services, the client must first be assessed by a state agency that gate-keeps the program and be approved for a specific number of home care hours or given a voucher for a certain amount of care.

With a long-term care plan in place, you can rest assured that the aging experience for yourself or your loved ones will be according to your wishes, enhancing quality of life and wellbeing. A-Abiding Care provides compassionate, highly skilled care for seniors at home throughout the greater Chicago area, with services including meal planning and preparation, light housekeeping, shopping and running errands, personal care such as bathing and shower assistance, grooming, hair and skin care, help with eating, and so much more. Contact us when you’re ready to take the next step in fulfilling your long-term care plan.

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