FirstLight Care Blog

Dedicated to helping seniors and others maintain their independence

Diabetes Alert Day is Coming: Are You at Risk?


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 29 million Americans have diabetes, and one in four of them doesn’t even know it. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease and can be managed through diet, physical activity and appropriate use of insulin and oral medications to lower blood sugar levels. American Diabetes Association Alert Day® is next Tuesday, March 28. It’s observed to help sound the alarm about the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in American adults by asking people to take the “Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test.” The Importance of Detection…

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Nutrition and Aging: Eating for a healthy mind and body


For older adults, the benefits of good nutrition are endless. Healthy eating can improve memory, increase energy levels, strengthen the immune system, speed up recuperation, help manage chronic health problems and more. But nutrient deficiencies and malnutrition are not uncommon among seniors. March is National Nutrition Month, an opportunity to emphasize the importance of a well-balanced diet for healthy aging. Nutritional Needs as We Age As we age, our nutritional requirements change. The body’s daily energy needs slowly decrease, so fewer calories are necessary to fuel the body than when we were younger. The impact of our eating habits shift,…

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The Importance of Good Sleep for Older Adults


As we get older, our sleep patterns change. We spend less time in deep sleep (REM) and dreaming than we did in our youth. We may have problems falling asleep (sleep latency) or staying asleep (sleep fragmentation), sometimes waking repeatedly throughout the night. We may wake up tired and be sleepy throughout the day. So how do older adults get the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep they need each night? We know that, at any age, we need quality rest to be healthy. Sleep allows our body to rest and restore its energy levels. Without it, we can…

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Home Care: Enhancing the Lives of People with Developmental Disabilities


For an estimated 5 million people in communities across the United States, developmental disabilities are part of life. Their conditions – autism, Down syndrome, muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy, to name a few – may impact physical capacity, language, learning or behavior, but not their spirit. When people with these different abilities are connected to the right opportunities and resources, they can live secure, fulfilling lives. March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. And the observance is an opportunity to explore how we can all do more to help our neighbors, friends and family members who have developmental disabilities live side-by-side with…

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Love Your Heart: Helping Prevent Heart Disease with a Healthy Diet


Taking care of your heart is integral to healthy aging. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 27.6 million Americans – about 11.5 percent of the population – have diagnosed heart disease. The good news is heart disease can often be prevented – and even reversed – when people make healthy choices. That includes adoption of a healthy diet. February is American Heart Month, and it’s a good time to take a look at lifestyle changes we all can make to help fight cardiovascular disease. Eating right and staying fit are important no matter what your…

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The Home Care Decision: What to Look for In a Partner


By Jeff Bevis, President and CEO of FirstLight Home Care For people who are aging in place, living with a disability, recovering from an illness or injury, or adjusting to a major life transition, navigating the typical activities of daily living can be an ongoing challenge. Home care can be a lifeline. Non-medical home care services provide the assistance people need to maintain their independence in the places where they live, and to enhance their quality of life along the way. This is different from, and in addition to, the more common home health alternative. Choosing the right care provider…

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Random Acts of Kindness: Good for the World, and Good for Your Health


Next Week, February 12 to 18, is Random Acts of Kindness Week. And it’s the perfect opportunity to shower some kindness on the people in your life — or maybe even a total stranger. We’ve all heard stories about the person at the drive-thru who bought coffee for the stranger who was next in line. Simple deed, big reward. Everyone could use a little boost from time to time to raise their spirits. Those who need a little extra support – an elderly neighbor, an adult with a disability, a loved one recuperating from surgery – could find even the smallest…

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Senior Companionship: Building Relationships Later in Life


February. It’s a month that’s traditionally focused on love and relationships. But for older adults, maintaining relationships can be difficult. Often, they’re coping with the loss of a spouse or partner, shrinking social circles or family they can’t easily visit. Aging in place often means living alone, and older adults who live on their own without regular human interactions can feel isolated. That’s why some seek to form relationships with peers who have similar interests. This may be as simple as finding a casual friendship or someone to meet for a recreational activity. Or, sometimes, it could mean dating and…

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New Year’s Strategies for the Family Caregiver


By Beth Bourgault, Caregiver, FirstLight Home Care of Salem, Mass. FirstLight Home Care 2016 Caregiver of the Year Being a family caregiver is both a rewarding and challenging role. Becoming a primary source of care – when you used to be a daughter, son, sister, brother, wife, husband, friend – can be overwhelming. And it can place a strain on your most valued relationships. As a FirstLight caregiver, I work with many clients who are fortunate to have a loved one also providing support and participating in their care. While each situation is different, many of the challenges are the…

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Working Family Caregivers: Managing a Delicate Balance


The challenges of the family caregiver are gaining more visibility. But there’s one part of the family caregiving story that still needs much more attention: the struggles of the family caregiver who’s also maintaining a job. New data is giving us a clearer picture of the impact of caregiving on work-life balance, as well as employee productivity and performance. Let’s review that data, and explore opportunities for family caregivers to get more support during their 9-to-5. Working family caregivers are in good company. An estimated one-fifth of today’s working Americans are also family caregivers, which means they are, in essence,…

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