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The Sweetest Holiday

The Sweetest Holiday

Fresh red and pink flowers, the delight of sweet chocolates, festive little heart decorations strung about, and cards, cards, cards! Love is in the air … And in the post offices, our mailboxes, and in stores waiting to be purchased. Valentine’s Day is filled with notes of friendship and love – quite a bit of love actually, with an estimated 150 million greeting cards exchanged each year in the United States alone. Whether you prefer to hand make your cards or choose the perfect store-bought version, a little love goes a long way. Let’s check out the history of Valentine’s Day cards long before the “Hallmark” era.

 

Valentine’s Day festivities in the United States most likely began sometime during the 17th century, after the U.S. adopted the idea from Europe, where it was custom to share confectionary sweets and cards in honor of Saint Valentine. By the mid-1700s, lovers of all social classes began to share handwritten notes and little trinkets to express their affection for one another. Half-way through the next century, elaborate Valentine’s cards were massed produced in the United States. Cards were now adorned with lace, ribbons and pictures imported from England, which boosted the popularity of sending Valentine’s Day cards. By 1900, technological advances like more common printing technology and cheaper postage rates made it easy for even more love letters to float about friends and devotees, much like the traditions we still have today. The mass printing of cards made it a bit easier to express love or affection in a time where emotions were a little less expressed.

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Staying Healthy through Winter

Staying Healthy through Winter

The thought of spring is blossoming in our minds. As we long for the first warm day of the season, where we can crack open our windows and put our winter coats back in the closet, it’s important to remember that it’s not yet time to stop worrying about germs and to what they may lead. While the seasonal influenza viruses begin to spike in December, and the flu seasons can vary in length and severity each year, February is most often the peak month of flu activity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, since 1983 the highest percentages of respiratory specimens that have tested positive influenza have occurred in February. Even though it is tempting to daydream about warmer and healthier days, it’s very important to keep up with the oldest rule in the “book of hygiene”: wash up!

 

A little soap and water can go a long way in preventing diarrheal and respiratory illnesses that are easily spread by human contact. A thorough wet, lather, scrub, rinse, and dry, are five very important steps that can make a big difference in reducing the spread of these viruses, especially if you are caring for a senior with a weakened immune system. Most of us are familiar with the ritual before we eat, after we sneeze or cough, and after using or touching the toilet, but it’s important to use good judgment and wash thoroughly after handling anything that involves food, waste, animals or open wounds. If soap and water is not available, try to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer as a replacement until water and soap are available. While alcohol-based hand rubs can be efficient, there is nothing quite like warm water and some suds. Washing away germs is a small habit that makes a big difference in keeping germs at bay.

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Keeping the Flu at Bay

Keeping the Flu at Bay

No winter season is quite like the previous. One year we might be living in a winter wonderland, but only needing our coat, hat, scarf and gloves, and the next year we might be looking for our ice picks, shoe grippers, and hand warmers to help us make it through the bitter cold and icy tundra. Much like how no winter season is exactly the same, the flu season also can vary each year with fluctuating conditions, the severity, timing and duration.

We have known for many years that individuals 65 years and older have the greatest burden of severe flu disease, especially when compared to younger, healthier individuals. Naturally, one reason for this is due to weakened immune systems as we age. Because seniors tend to be at greater risk of serious complications from the flu, it is important to be preventative and to know the signs and symptoms of flu if they hit.

 

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Feeling Beautiful

Feeling Beautiful

As our loved ones age, they are often faced with the realization that they may no longer be as independent as they once were, or would like to be. An ailment may lead to seclusion, and injury may prohibit mobility, and sadness may cause withdrawal. Perhaps your loved one may need help eating, bathing or getting to the restroom. This feeling of lost independence can affect many areas of a senior’s life, and although we may not think of if, this includes a lack of interest in appearance or a self-worth.

 

At Evergreen Senior Living, we feel that dignity is important throughout every person’s life. Although someone’s ability to function as before may change as they age, we believe that everyone is unique and possesses unique qualities. For this reason, we ensure an environment where the self-worth of each individual is recognized, respected and maintained. We are dedicated to physical and mental health, but we are also dedicated to making sure our seniors feel good on the outside, which is why we are happy to offer personal care services.

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Music Therapy for Dementia Patients

Music Therapy for Dementia Patients

“Music is the literature of the heart; it commences where speech ends” – Alphonse de Lamartine.

 

While language can vary from place to place, one thing that stands true is that music is used universally. Whether it is the words in the song, the music accompanying, or the memories that are happening while a song is playing, we can all agree that music has a way of affecting your soul. The more a person is involved with music, the more parts of the brain are stimulated. For example, more brain activity happens when you play an instrument, or when you sing along, rather when you only listen.

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