palliative care benefits

Top 3 Benefits of Palliative Care

While most people think of palliative care as something only for the seriously ill, it can benefit the elderly, too. In palliative care, a specialized medical team works with the patient, caregiver, family and the patient’s doctor to develop treatments that provide symptom relief and reduce stress. Palliative care treatment doesn’t mean the same thing for everyone. It may include one or more of the following:

  • massage therapy,
  • exercise plan,
  • special diet,
  • respiratory treatments,
  • physical therapy,
  • mental health counseling,
  • spiritual counseling, or
  • other treatment, as recommended.

How It Helps Mental Outlook

Many studies examined the link between palliative care and patient outlook using cancer patients. Many of the complaints these patients had before the care program included those many elderly echo:

  • lack of or reduction in physical strength,
  • time spent in bed during the day,
  • inability to do something they intended ir wanted to do, and
  • being dependent on others.

These factors reduce their quality of life which affects their mental outlook. One study conducted in a nursing home found patients most desired physical activity even during their last three days of life. Most study participants cited a desire for increased mobility (88 percent).

The Right Exercise for You

With that in mind, and knowing that physical exercise extends long-term health and longevity, adding an exercise routine to elderly palliative care makes good sense. Doctor recommended and care giver-assisted exercise can help even those getting a late start in the exercise game. Consult your doctor to form an exercise plan that’s safe, but not too strenuous. Talk with your doctor about your interests to develop a plan you’ll enjoy. It might include walking or dancing or seated exercises. Swimming or water aerobics provide gentle, weightless exercise. You can even build a routine using Wii games.

Reap the Benefits

Of course, you’ll benefit from increased physical strength and abilities, but exercise as a part of palliative care, also provides many other benefits. One study of a group exercise program of 50 minutes of activity revealed improved emotional functioning and reduced physical fatigue. Weight-bearing exercise increases bone density which results in fracture reduction. Body fat reduction improves heart health and blood sugar levels. The improved blood flow during exercise also helps bolster mental acuity and lower dementia and Alzheimer’s risk. Finally, exercise helps alleviate depression and reduce anxiety. So, palliative care helps you reap benefits in the three important areas of:

  • symptom reduction,
  • physical strength, and
  • mental health.

Enhance your medical treatment by including palliative care. Many insurance programs cover it. Many hospitals now offer palliative programs as an integral part of treatment. Enjoy the benefits of natural ways of alleviating pain and symptoms, and reducing stress and anxiety. Getting started is easy. Call your doctor and ask about palliative care services.

VNA & Hospice is dedicated to providing the highest quality healthcare to residents of the Central Coast and Monterey County. Registered nurses and skilled staff members provide many services, including senior home care, hospice health care, palliative care, orthopedic rehabilitation, and more.

importance of staying active

The Importance of Staying Active

While practically everyone has been told that staying active is important for the body, it’s oftentimes unclear as to how important staying active actually is to all facets of a persons health. No matter what your age is, being active drastically improves your quality of life.

Why It's So Important to Stay Active

All it takes is a mere 30 minutes of exercise every day for you to receive the benefits of an active lifestyle. Not only does regular physical lead to numerous health benefits, it also assists in reducing the risk you have of obtaining a disease or illness because of bad health. There are a myriad of benefits contributed to staying active for both mental and physical health. In regards to mental health, benefits include:

  • The lessening of depression
  • Improvements to mood
  • Improved sleep patterns
  • Reduction of stress

Though the mental benefits are oftentimes less noticeable than the physical ones, they are just as important. Some physical benefits include:

  • Being able to more readily manage your weight
  • Reducing the risk of slips and falls
  • An increase in energy
  • Feeling better in general
  • Faster recovery from illness
  • Stronger muscles and bones

Each of these physical benefits are particularly useful as you age, as they are essential for ensuring that the aging process goes as smoothly as possible. It’s also important to note that certain types of physical activity will provide specific benefits. For instance, in order to help make your muscles stronger, muscle-strengthening exercises are necessary.

These include everything from standard weight lifts to more strenuous push ups. All portions of your body should be worked on with these exercises. By performing stretching exercises, your body is able to become more flexible and stable, which greatly lessens the chances that you suffer from an injury. If you want your bones to become stronger, some common bone-strengthening exercises that will assist with this include jumping and running.

Problems Caused By lack of Staying Active

The importance of staying active cannot be fully understood without covering the problems that are created by a lack of physical activity. There are a variety of problems that can develop from too little exercise. In general, your health will be worse, especially as you age. This can manifest itself in any number of issues. Without exercising on a regular basis, you’re at a much higher risk of developing heart disease or Type 2 Diabetes. Both your cholesterol levels and blood pressure levels are heightened dramatically when you haven’t worked out as much as you should have. Your risk of suffering from a stroke is increased as well. This is just a small glimpse of the issues caused by a lack of staying active.

However, you should also remember that physical activity and nutrition go hand in hand. To obtain the most benefits from staying active, it’s also important that you eat well. Keeping your caloric intake in check will work in tandem with your exercise routine to give you a healthier body. As you age, your metabolism will become slower and slower. Because of this, you will need to be more active and eat less calories in order to reap the most benefits. If you exercise on a regular basis, it won’t be long until your body and mind are provided with the benefits you deserve.

VNA & Hospice is dedicated to providing the highest quality healthcare to residents of the Central Coast and Monterey County. Registered nurses and skilled staff members provide many services, including senior home care, hospice health care, palliative care, orthopedic rehabilitation, and more.