Enter your search term above.

Looking out at a gorgeous garden filled with plants and flowers can do wonders for the mind. A garden in full bloom is pleasing to the eyes and the nose. It is even better when you plant those flowers and plants. Perhaps you enjoy growing your own fruits and vegetables? A homegrown tomato can taste drastically better than a store-bought tomato. Gardening boasts many benefits beyond the beauty, taste, and smells of the garden itself. In fact, there are many health benefits. Here are a few health benefits you can achieve from gardening. 

Stress Reliever

Gardening relieves anxiety and stress. A study from the Journal of Health Psychology found that gardening can lower cortisol levels in the brain. Cortisol is considered the “stress hormone.” Your body needs it to function, but too much of it can cause higher blood pressure or fluctuating glucose levels. So go ahead and dig in the dirt and feel relaxed while doing it. 

Good Exercise

Gardening is good exercise. Your heart rate goes up when you garden. Gardening isn’t as rigorous as a run-around the block, but any physical activity is good for your body. It has been proven that even daily light exercise increases your lifespan. Just be careful you stretch your arms, shoulders, and hands often as you work so you do not end up with tendonitis or carpal tunnel syndrome. 

Improves Immune System

Gardening can improve your immune system. Believe it or not, spending time digging in the dirt can improve immune health. A bacteria found in garden soil called Mycobacterium vaccae is considered a “friendly” bacterium because it helps improve the immune system. The bacteria have even been known to alleviate symptoms of asthma, psoriasis, and allergies. 

Lowers Dementia Risk

Gardening could lower the risk of dementia. An article on the website fivestarseniorliving.com mentions a study that found gardening may reduce the risk of dementia by up to 36 percent. Scientists believe it is because gardening requires many critical functions, such as sensory awareness and dexterity. Spending even a short time gardening, you are more likely to maintain motor skills and improve your strength and endurance. 

Source of Vitamin D

Gardening provides much-needed vitamin D. We have already mentioned how gardening decreases anxiety, but gardening also improves your mood. The sunshine causes your body to produce vitamin D and raises the serotonin levels in your brain. Serotonin is a chemical in your body that helps you feel calm and happy. Be sure to wear sunscreen and a hat while you garden. The sun does have its benefits, but you need to protect yourself from sunburn and the sun’s harmful UV rays.

With all of these benefits from gardening, you should consider stopping and smelling the roses and maybe even plant a few of your own. If you need help getting to your garden, consider calling us at Next Day Access, and we can install a modular or threshold ramp at your home. Contact us today for a free estimate.

Exercise is important during all phases of life, but it’s especially important for aging adults. It is essential for maintaining independence and flexibility among other benefits. To determine the best exercises for you, focus on activities that help with strength, mobility, balance, and breaking a sweat by increasing your heart rate. However, the best exercises for you are the ones you will want to do habitually. Here are 4 of the best exercises to break a sweat this summer. 

Walking

Walking is one of the best ways older adults can achieve cardio. You can modify your speed to a comfortable pace and go a distance that feels right for you. Walking requires good balance but can still be done if you need the assistance of a walker or a cane. Spending time outside also promotes positive mental well-being by reducing anxiety and improving mood.

Swimming or Water Aerobics

For many reasons, swimming and water activities are considered the best exercise for aging adults. Swimming expands the heart and lungs, making them stronger and more efficient at pumping blood through the body. In Water Aerobics, there is a lesser chance of injury since water reduces strain on your body’s joints. Swimming also decreases overall inflammation and boosts the immune system while improving metabolic efficiency. 

Yoga

You can start yoga at a beginner’s level and work your way up to a more strenuous yoga class; starting out, you will focus more on different breathing techniques and balance. You can still break a sweat in the beginner’s class, however! Moving through the various poses will help improve flexibility, balance, and strength. 

Cycling

According to Forbes Health, cycling is one of the best aerobic exercises for aging adults due to its many health benefits. “Whether you choose to use a stationary bike or an outdoor bicycle, cycling requires using your larger muscles such as hamstrings and quadriceps. Cycling leads to increased blood flow and demand for the heart and lungs. With any form of cardio, when this demand is repeated, the body adapts by increasing its capacity to tolerate the added load making the exercise beneficial for the heart and the lungs.” An additional benefit to cycling is that it is a non-impact exercise that helps people who need to reduce ground reaction forces during workouts due to muscle or joint pain.

It is never too late to start exercising. Even if you start slowly by just lifting 3-pound dumbbells daily. You are increasing your vitality and getting on track for healthier living. A recent Swedish study found that physical activity was the number one contributor to adding extra years to your life. However, getting active is not just about adding years to your life. It’s about adding life to your years. 

Medicaid is a state-administered federally controlled health insurance program. It covers vulnerable people from birth to age 65 and beyond. The system and its rules, however, can be confusing, especially if you are attempting to navigate it for a loved one or patient.

Since 1965, Medicaid has provided insurance for families, but its importance rose recently due to the rising costs of medical services and medication. Sadly, the most considerable financial toll is on people who need it the most, including children, disabled people, and aging adults. These individuals depend on Medicaid to afford the services and support they need to have a good quality of life. 

Medicaid is an excellent resource for aging adults since it works with Medicare and provides comprehensive coverage. Understanding the nuances of Medicaid like who it covers and who qualifies for coverage, however, can be confusing. Requirements vary from state to state. 

What Does Medicaid Cover?

Here are some of the required coverages of Medicaid: 

  • Hospital care 
  • Skilled nursing 
  • In-home care 
  • Doctor’s visits 
  • Preventative care 
  • Wellness screenings 
  • Medical Transportation 
  • Diagnostics 

Who Qualifies for Medicaid?

Forty-two states have now adopted the optional Special Income Level standard to qualify for Medicaid. Under the special income rule, people expected to need nursing home care for at least 30 days can earn up to 300% of the Supplemental Security Income Federal Benefit Rate. Many states have set the income level to be $794, which is 100% of the FBR. Other states require individuals to use all of their income for institutionalized long-term care before Medicaid kicks in. Luckily, there are different ways for people who have medical needs to qualify. 

Asset Limits and Exemptions

Medicaid is strict with its asset limits of $2000 per applicant, but they allow for some exemptions. For example, if your spouse needs nursing home care, but you plan on staying at home, you may be entitled to keep a certain amount of assets. 

The following items are considered assets:

  • Investments 
  • Cash in bank accounts 
  • Second vehicles or homes 
  • Life insurance policies 
  • Revocable trusts 
  • Certain Annuities 

These items are considered exempt assets:

  • Retirement accounts 
  • A primary vehicle 
  • A primary home 
  • Personal property 
  • Household items

The American Council of Aging offers a state-by-state eligibility guide for further information. You can also find additional support at MedicaidPlanningAssistance.org. This website will help find the income limit by state. 

At Next Day Access, we care about aging adults getting the support they need to live their best lives. We offer our support by providing the products they need to help with mobility and accessibility. Contact us today to schedule your free in-home complimentary consultation. 

If you are working with a doctor to help the aging adult in your life get the best care possible, how do you determine if every recommended treatment or test will be harmful or helpful? Yes, Doctors are the experts when it comes to treating disease, but you are the expert at knowing what the aging adult in your life wants or needs.

Therefore, it is important you attend every doctor’s visit with them. Some aging adults may not be able to convey their direct wishes and rely on you to help them speak with the doctor. The doctor needs you to let them know if the treatments they would like to try are realistic for the aging adult’s situation and if they will actually improve their quality of life. Here is a list of 5 questions you should have prepared to ask the doctor at your loved one’s next appointment. 

5 Questions to Prepare

  1. Do they really need this test? Usually, the tests are essential because they help the doctor or nurse determine the correct treatment. Yet, if the tests are invasive or painful, your loved one might not want to go this route. If you and the doctor agree the tests are crucial, you could take some time alone with your loved one to gently explain why the tests are important and encourage them. Remember, however, the choice is ultimately up to them. 
  1. What are the risk factors of the tests or treatments? Will there be side effects? Will the results involve more testing, possibly leading to another procedure? 
  1. Is there a safer or simpler option? There is a chance that your loved one just needs to make lifestyle changes, such as eating better and getting more exercise. 
  1. What happens if your loved one decides they do not want to do any tests or treatments? Ask the doctor if the condition will get better or worse if they do not have the tests right away? 
  1. How much will the treatments or tests cost? Again, this is your opportunity to determine how much their insurance may cover. It would help if you also used this time to ask about generic medication vs. name-brand medication. 

Be an ally to the aging adult in your life. Make sure you talk to the doctor about them receiving the right amount of care. 

At Next Day Access, our goal is to support caretakers and aging adults by offering all the supplies they need to live a comfortable and safe life at home. We offer everything from wheelchairs to in-home elevators. We also offer smaller devices such as handrails or grab bars. Contact us today for a complimentary in-home consultation

Sadly, many people in hospitals or nursing homes receive care that aligns not with their wishes. Aging adults need to voice their end-of-life requests to their families and caretakers. One of the biggest requests by aging adults is the desire to die at home surrounded by loved ones and not in a hospital room. If they express their wishes, the provider may see if palliative care or hospice care can be brought in for at-home treatment.

What is Palliative Care?

Palliative care exists for patients living with severe illnesses such as heart failure or cancer. It is usually a step before Hospice care. The palliative care team focuses on treatment to provide the medication needed and maintain maximum comfort for the patient. The goals are to enhance the patient’s life by focusing on their quality of life and help release some pressure from caretakers or family. The organized services supplied by this type of care can be helpful to an aging adult.

A patient can receive palliative care along with curative care and may start at the time of diagnosis. Yet, over time if the doctor or palliative team believes ongoing treatment is no longer helping, they can either continue with comfort care or agree to call in hospice care. 

What is Hospice?

The website seniorsafetyadvice.com provides an excellent definition of hospice.

Hospice is a type of health care that focuses on the palliation of a terminally ill patient. They manage the pain and symptoms and attend to their emotional and spiritual needs at the end of life. Hospice care prioritizes comfort and quality of life by reducing pain and suffering. Hospice care provides an alternative to therapies focused on life-prolonging measures that may be arduous, likely to cause more symptoms, or are not aligned with a person’s goals. 

Many people think hospice signals the end, but that is not always the case. Hospice services exist to help within the palliative care space as well. Although palliative care predominately exists for terminally ill individuals, it also treats illness. Even if your doctor says your loved one has a 20% chance of living, your loved one can qualify for palliative care. 

Hospice care is beneficial for your loved one and helps the caretakers as well. Once the hospice nurse arrives, you can expect them to help make sure your loved one has all the equipment and medication needed and will then connect you with the appropriate person for the following services. Most hospice nurses, however, perform the following tasks:

  • Nursing care 
  • Grief counseling 
  • Social Work Services 
  • Clergy visitations 
  • Homemaking assistance 
  • Physical therapy 
  • Occupational therapy 
  • Speech-language therapy 
  • Pain management 

At Next Day Access, we are here to help you as you go through these challenging days with your loved one or patient. We offer many different devices that help to ensure your loved one is safe and comfortable. We also offer a complimentary consultation to help you determine if you need additional accessibility devices at your home. Contact us when you are ready, and we will help.

As we age, we develop normal age-related memory loss, and sometimes our memory loss could relate to lack of sleep or stress. However, sometimes your frequent memory loss could be a sign of premature Alzheimer’s.

Studies show if Alzheimer’s disease is caught early, it can be treated with anti-dementia medication, which slows the progression of the disease. Unfortunately, however, many doctors attribute the signs of Alzheimer’s to getting older and not the disease. Here are some of the differences between normal forgetfulness and Alzheimer’s:

Retrieving Memories

You might have issues remembering things from long ago with normal age-related memory loss. Still, you usually remember something you might have forgotten with aids such as context clues. However, for people battling Alzheimer’s, even recent memories cannot be retrieved. For example, when diagnosing a patient with Alzheimer’s, the doctor might give them three words. One of the words is “apple.” However, when the doctor asks the patient to repeat the three words, and they cannot repeat them, it could be a sign of Alzheimer’s.

Here is a portion of a summary from the website verywellhealth.com that shares the differences between forgetfulness caused by normal aging and Alzheimer’s disease. 

Normal Aging

  • Memory improves with context clues. 
  • Vocabulary and relationship understanding remains intact. 
  • Able to remember the order of things and who said what. 
  • Aware a memory problem exists. 
  • Functioning remains good despite forgetfulness. 

Alzeimer’s

  • Recent memory is poor, and cueing clues or contexts does not help. 
  • Unaware memory problems exist. 
  • They are frequently demonstrating poor judgment and decision-making. 
  • Often disoriented to time and place 
  • Difficulty with familiar chores 
  • Repetitiveness becomes obvious 
  • Memory intrusions occur

When a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, we at Next Day Access understand the heartbreak and frustration associated with the diagnosis. We are here for you. We offer numerous products that help people battling Alzheimer’s remain safe in their homes. Contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation

Cognitive decline, memory problems, and isolation issues are all problems that make aging adults vulnerable to mental health issues. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), a study of mental health in older adults ages 55 and older showed an estimated 20% of aging adults experience a form of mental health concern. The most common mental impairments include mood disorders such as depression or bipolar disorder, anxiety, or severe cognitive decline.

The CDC reports these conditions can cause impairments in physical health as well as mental health which can complicate the treatment of other disorders. It is usual for older adults to see mental health decline as they age, yet depression and anxiety are not regular parts of aging.

In addition to the possible clinical intervention in the form of prescribed medications or therapy, several resources and activities are available to help older adults feel engaged and in good mental health and spirits. Here are three tips to help aging adults boost their mental health. 

Tip 1: Stay connected and engaged.

When you stay connected and maintain meaningful, strong social connections with family and friends, it helps tremendously with mental health. There are many church groups for aging adults or other community events you can attend. The CDC says social support is associated with reduced risk of mental illness, physical illness, and even mortality. 

Tip 2: Play mind games.

The brain needs stimulation to stay sharp, just as the body needs physical activity to stay healthy. Keeping a sharp mind helps avoid cognitive decline as you age. An article in Harvard Health Publishing says, “Brain games can help sharpen certain thinking skills such as processing speed, planning skills, reaction time, decision-making, and short-term memory.” Some of the most accessible and common activities for aging adults include: 

  • Writing and reading 
  • Learning a new language 
  • Working a puzzle 
  • Playing Crossword or Sudoku brain games 
  • Learning to play an instrument 
  • Participating in trivia-style games- This could also be an outlet for making friends. Many restaurants now have trivia games, usually, once a week, where different trivia leagues compete against each other. You could join a league and make new friends while improving your cognitive health. 

Tip 3: Exercise

Many forms of exercise could boost your confidence while strengthening your mental and physical health. You could choose to go on daily walks, do low-impact yoga, swim, or even take up ballroom dancing. Joining a gym or your local YMCA would be an excellent opportunity for you to check out the classes they offer and meet new people. 

Not only does exercise have many physical benefits, but exercise also helps with managing stress, depression, and anxiety for aging adults. 

At Next Day Access, we care about aging adults. Our mission is to make you feel safe, independent, and comfortable at home or on the go. We do this by offering several different products like wheelchair ramps, vehicle lifts, scooters, grab bars, and so much more. Contact us today and let us help improve your life. 

Are you an older adult struggling with sleeping? These tips can help you with age-related sleep difficulties, overcome insomnia, and get a good night’s rest. As we age, we experience regular changes in our sleep patterns. You could become sleepy earlier in the day, wake up earlier, or feel you are not getting a good night’s rest. However, insomnia symptoms and waking up tired every day are not a normal part of aging. Sleep remains just as vital a part of your mental and physical health as you age.  

When we sleep our body has the opportunity to repair any cell damage and refresh the immune system. A good night’s sleep also helps you mentally by improving concentration and memory formation. If aging adults do not sleep well, they are likely to feel depressed and suffer from memory and attention problems, nighttime falls, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

It is essential you figure out the underlying causes of your sleep difficulties. We hope the following tips will help you overcome and identify age-related sleep issues and improve your waking life as a result.  

How much sleep do aging adults need?

According to an article on www.caring.com (a website dedicated to helping with senior care), older adults need 7-9 hours of sleep a night. However, if you wake up feeling rested, yet you slept less than the recommended hours, that is more important than the hours you sleep. Indicators you are not getting enough sleep are feeling tired during the day and waking up not feeling rested. 

Tip 1: Identify the underlying issues causing your insomnia

  • Do you struggle with chronic worrying or anxiety? 
  • Have you recently been through a traumatic experience? 
  • Do you have pain or health problems affecting your sleep? 
  • Are you under immense stress? 
  • Do you feel depressed? 
  • Are you on any medications that affect your sleep? 

If you answer yes to any of these questions, seek help from a therapist and your doctor. They understand the importance of sleep and can help you work through problems, change your medication, or advise on medical issues interrupting your sleep. 

Tip 2: Develop better sleep habits.

Naturally, boost your melatonin levels by turning off the computer or television an hour before bed and decreasing artificial lights. You could even switch to low-wattage bulbs in lamps if you can still see well with the lower lighting. 

Make sure your bedroom is cool, dark, and quiet. As you get older, you become more sensitive to heat and light. You can wear a sleep mask to shut out light and invest in a sound machine if complete silence bothers you. You should also make sure your bed is inviting and comfortable. Good linens, soft pillows, and a warm comforter can make a huge difference. 

Set up a bedtime routine. By practicing deep mediation and deep breathing techniques or taking a warm bath every night before bed, your body will begin to relax each evening naturally at bedtime. 

Invest in a bed rail. If you worry each night, you could fall out of bed and hurt yourself, it is hard to fall asleep. Install a bed rail to give you better peace of mind. 

Tip 3: Remember diet and exercise help improve sleep.

  • Avoid caffeine and chocolate late in the day. 
  • Do not go to bed hungry. Have a light snack before you get into bed. 
  • Decrease sugary foods from your diet. 
  • Minimize the amount of liquid you drink before sleep. About an hour before bedtime, be mindful of how much fluid you drink, so you do not wake up often to use the bathroom at night. 

We hope these tips will help you feel more rested each day. At Next Day Access, we work to help aging adults every day by offering products that help you stay safe and comfortable while living independently. If you are in need of accessibility devices such as bedrails, or mobility equipment like scooters or wheelchairs, we are the place to call. We will even come to your house for a complimentary consultation. Feel free to contact us today. 

Arthritis flare-ups can cause everyday activities like getting in and out of the shower painful. We at Next Day Access compiled a list of helpful solutions and tips to help make maneuvering through your home easier.

Bathroom Comfort

  • Change your faucet turners to levered handles. Changing them will make turning on your sink and tub more accessible. 
  • Install grab bars. Having something to hold onto as you get in and out of the tub helps keep you safe if your arthritis flares up. 
  • Invest in a shower seat. These simple seats fit right in the shower stall or tub and can help you conserve energy as you shower. 
  • Elevate your toilet seat. When your toilet seat is higher, this can reduce the strain you might feel from getting on and off a lower traditional seat. 

Living Room and Dining Room Comfort

  • Look into touchless lamps or an alarm system that will turn things on using voice activation. 
  • Find the perfect pillow. Most people with arthritis prefer a cervical pillow because you can keep your neck comfortable. 
  • For doorknobs, you can change them all to levers for easier access or get rubber knob covers that are easier to turn and grip.

Kitchen Comfort

  • For cabinets and drawers, change the handles to pull out levers. Trying to grip a small cabinet or drawer pull is difficult with arthritis. You will find it easier to open them with an oversized handle. 
  • Put the trashcan on wheels. A rolling trashcan will make it much easier for you when it is time to take the trash out.
  • Put items you often use in easy to reach places. Don’t worry if you think things look out of sorts. Your convenience and comfort are what are important. 

Mobility Comfort 

Look into a rollator or a walker to help you conveniently get from room to room with less pain. There are all sorts of walker and rollator designs.

When you are ready to get your home more comfortable and suitable for your lifestyle, Next Day Access is here. We will even come to your home for a free in-home consultation to ensure your home is safe as well as comfortable for you. 

Just because the people you love are getting older does not mean you cannot still have good times and lots of fun together. You may not be playing tag or hopscotch, but you are keeping them emotionally happy and physically young by spending time with them. Here are a few suggestions for enjoying time with your aging loved ones:

Exercise

If your loved one is mobile, walk with them around the block. If they need the aid of a wheelchair, they can stroll with you and push themselves. You can also try chair yoga with them or regular yoga if they are able. When your loved ones exercise, they improve cardiovascular health, prevent diseases like diabetes and arthritis, and help maintain bone mass.  

Play Games

Have you been to the store and sat and stared at the board game aisle lately? There are many new and fun games for all ages. Some of the fun ones to play with your loved ones include:

  • Scategories
  • Yahtzee 
  • Dominos 
  • Checkers or Chess 
  • Backgammon
  • Card games like Hearts, Bridge, Go Fish, War, or Spades

Do a Puzzle

The best thing about puzzles is they both relax you and stimulate the brain. A study from Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience found that you can lower your risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s by doing puzzles. Another study from Princeton found that doing puzzles, including crossword puzzles, can increase dexterity. Doing a puzzle will greatly benefit you

Gardening

Creating something together is a lovely activity to do with your loved ones. If you do not have the space for a personal garden, you can also sign up for a community garden. Once you choose the plants or seeds, you would like to bury start planning where to plant them. You will oversee the heavy digging while your loved one directs you where to go. Once your plants grow a little, you both can work on pruning and watering. Then soon, voila, your team effort will have produced a beautiful garden. 

Read Together

You could maybe even join a book club! there are books on countless topics, so there’s bound to be something you will both like. If your loved one can still see without eye strain, you can take turns reading, or if they prefer, you can read the book to them. 

We hope you have enjoyed our suggestions on spending a wonderful time with your loved one. At Next Day Access, we proudly specialize in selling products to help your aging loved ones live more comfortably, safely, and independently. Visit our website and see how we can help you.

Customer Reviews