Don’t Neglect Your Health – The Caring Generation®

by The Caring Generation | | Caregiver Radio Programs Uncommon Wisdom | 0 comments

The Caring Generation® – Episode 32 April 1, 2020 On this caregiver radio program Pamela D. Wilson, caregiving expert, shares tips for Don’t Neglect Your Health and the importance of creating a personal wellness plan. Guest, Rudy Guerra from Senteq shares solutions for common Injuries that include FDA-approved orthopedic braces. Listen or read for a special offer code on a sports or injury brace from Senteq.

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Don’t Neglect Your Health Radio Show Transcript

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00:05 Announcer: Caregiving can sometimes feel like an impossible struggle. Caregivers may be torn between taking care of loved ones and trying to maintain balance in life. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. The Caring Generation, with host Pamela D. Wilson, is here to focus on the conversation of caring. You’re not alone. In fact, you’re in exactly the right place to share stories, and learn tips and resources to help you and your loved ones. So, now, please welcome the host of The Caring Generation, Pamela D. Wilson.

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00:47 Pamela D. Wilson: This is Pamela D. Wilson, caregiving expert. I’m your host. You’re listening to The Caring Generation radio program, coming to you live from the BBM Global Network, Channel 100, and TuneIn Radio. The Caring Generation focuses on conversations about health, wellbeing, caring for ourselves and loved ones, all tied together with humor and laughter that are essential to being a caregiver. Our topic for this radio show is don’t neglect your health. Taking care of health applies to caregivers and the elderly, parents, grandparents, and others for whom we provide care. We’ll talk about the idea of don’t neglect your health from the viewpoint of health prevention. If you are a caregiver for an elderly parent, what changes are you noticing when elderly parents need more care? Identifying physical and health issues in elderly parents will help you create a personal wellness plan for yourself, and a plan to maintain and manage health declines in elderly parents. Caregivers can learn by watching the health of elderly parents as they age, and we can choose to make different lifestyle choices.

Three Signs That An Aging Parent May Need More Help to Remain at Home


01:55 Pamela D. Wilson: My guest for this show is Rudy Guerra from Senteq, who joins us to talk about common injuries and braces to support recovery, and a return to normal activity. Senteq is a family-owned business established in 1987. They specialize in braces for sports injuries and other injuries, and they are FDA-registered. How many of you have an achy elbow, a wrist, a knee, a bad back that just doesn’t seem to be getting better? Senteq offers braces on their website at senteq.com. It’s S-E-N-T-E-Q dot com. And for listeners tonight, they’re actually offering $20 off on any purchase. It’s limited to the first 50 listeners, though, who call or order online, and I’ll give that information when we’re doing the interview with Rudy.

02:40 Pamela D. Wilson: The best advice that I can give you about health is, don’t neglect it. Here are a couple of examples from my own personal life about injuries. In my early 20s, I started going to the gym, and I ran about three miles a day several days a week. As a result of running, I suffered a meniscus tear in my right knee that needed surgery. Took me about six months to recover from that surgery through consistent physical therapy exercises. Then, about a year ago, what do I do? I slipped, and I fell on the ice, and I jammed my shoulder. My shoulder seemed to be okay for a while, and then, all of a sudden, it got worse. So I went to an orthopedic doctor. He gave me exercises that I’m still doing. But believe it or not, those exercises injured another body part, which is my elbow. So, now I have tennis elbow. But the doctor adjusted the exercises. It’s all good. My shoulder and my elbow are better.

03:34 Pamela D. Wilson: But here’s the lesson in this. Don’t neglect your health. If you have any type of an injury, if your elderly parent falls, you fall, have a sports injury, don’t wait. Go see the doctor. Get that personal wellness plan. And most of all, don’t restrict physical activity because of pain. The lesson that I learned from my shoulder experience is that orthopedic doctors, and physical therapists, recommend braces for recovery. My orthopedist was honest. He told me not to go through insurance to get a brace. He recommended researching another source. Because here’s what doctors don’t tell you. My doctor gave me the insurance rate and the Medicare rate for a brace, and he said, he showed me a picture, and he says, “Well, but this is what you want. Go find it yourself. Because if you get it through Medicare or insurance, they will charge you 50% more or twice as much.” He told me that I was better off buying it myself, and after I did the research, I figured that out myself.

04:33 Pamela D. Wilson: These things are all part of why healthcare seems so expensive for everybody. Sometimes it’s less expensive, in the case of a sports brace, to just go buy it yourself. I’m thankful for doctors who talk openly about costs. You all probably see commercials on television, promising you discounts for health insurance plans. You might receive calls from solicitors trying to sell you health products on the phone. Be careful. Don’t neglect your health, but don’t become a victim of any type of healthcare scam. Always verify information. You can call your insurance company, or Medicare, and ask for the price of a brace, prescription drugs, copays, other costs. Then, do your own research and create your own personal wellness plan. We’ll talk more about braces in the second segment, so let’s return to the idea of don’t neglect your health.

05:25 Pamela D. Wilson: Basic activities of daily living that we do every day are the foundation of personal wellness. Activities that our parents do, like bathing, dressing, eating, walking, using the bathroom, cleaning house, doing the laundry, running errands, those are basic survival skills. Think about the effect on your life if you needed help with one or more of these. You may already be seeing changes in your elderly parents in these areas where you are helping out. The reason that these physical activities become difficult to perform is because, honestly, we take good health for granted.

06:01 Pamela D. Wilson: So, tip number one for don’t neglect your health is to do whatever it takes to be physically active. It is a choice that we make every day, especially if nobody in your family has or had an interest in exercise or activity. When we’re young, we learn about health and wellness from our parents and other people in our family and friends. If we don’t learn in our families, and if we don’t take an interest in personal wellness, we may never learn this until we’re already well into our middle years or later years. By then, we could already have physical injuries, or we can be in poor health. A lot of us are active, so if you walk or run, it’s easy to hurt a knee. Lifting, bending, you can hurt your back. Tennis elbow just comes from playing tennis or lifting things. It just takes one little movement in the wrong direction, and all of a sudden, we have all these aches and pains we’re trying to manage.

07:00 Pamela D. Wilson: The other issue is if we’ve never embraced physical wellness, we may not understand the importance of exercising. We may not be motivated to exercise. A lot of companies pay for gym memberships for employees, and that is an awesome benefit. A paid gym membership. What a dream for somebody who exercises. But what happens is, employees will say that they’re interested, but then, guess what? Most employees who don’t know about health, or the importance of health, they don’t go to the gym. So basically, that money goes down the drain. Nobody, not a company offering gym memberships, can motivate another person to commit to the idea of don’t neglect your health. So, taking the action to create a personal wellness plan, sometimes it can take a physical accident, or seeing something that happens with an elderly parent, to get our attention. Sometimes being a caregiver helps. Because you see what happens to your parents who are in poor health. Or maybe your elderly parents have had bad health habits for a lot of years, and today, you just see them suffering. They have all kinds of aches and pains. This personal experience as a caregiver or with our elderly parents, it really is one of the best lessons in all areas of life. We can read about health. We can watch people exercise, but really, until we take action, we remain in that thinking mode instead of the doing mode.

08:27 Pamela D. Wilson: Tips for caregivers and aging adults about health, and wellness, and caregiving, are all on my website. Next, we have Rudy Guerra coming up. He is from Senteq. It’s S-E-N-T-E-Q is their website, and they specialize in braces for the elderly who have had health issues or for those of us who are younger, and we’ve had sporting accidents and have injured our bodies. They are actually offering $20 off any purchase. Their phone number, I’ll give it to you, it’s 800-316-6098, but they’re only open between 9:00 AM and 8:00 PM Pacific Standard Time. You call, and you give them the special code, which is my name, it is Pamela. This is Pamela D. Wilson, caregiving expert. You are listening to The Caring Generation radio program for caregivers, and aging adults, coming to you live from the BBM Global Network, Channel 100, and TuneIn Radio. Stay with me. We’ll be right back.

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11:40 Pamela D. Wilson: This is Pamela D. Wilson, caregiving expert. I’m your host. You’re listening to The Caring Generation radio program for caregivers and aging adults, coming to you live from the BBM Global Network, Channel 100, and TuneIn Radio. We are back with Rudy Guerra of Senteq to talk about braces and how they can help with sports injuries and every day aches and pains. More information about Senteq is on their website at S-E-N-T-E-Q dot com. I’ll give the special offer again at the end of this segment. Rudy, welcome.

12:13 Rudy Guerra: Thank you, Pamela, it’s a pleasure being with you.

12:17 Pamela D. Wilson: So, let’s talk about physical injuries that result from physical activities, whether it’s in the home, the yard. I see a lot of people wearing braces out there. What is the true benefit of an orthopedic brace?

12:30 Rudy Guerra: Well, you see a lot of people wearing braces for a variety of reasons. The actual benefit for wearing a brace is either from a post-injury surgery or a post-op type of scenario. But, it’s actually to give support to a problem area and to increase the blood flow to that area that hurts.

12:56 Pamela D. Wilson: And Senteq, I was on your website, it’s awesome. You have a lot of braces. Let’s talk about the one for elbows. Why would I consider an elbow brace? What would my elbow feel like that I might think I would need one? [chuckle]

13:07 Rudy Guerra: Well, if where you’re touching the elbow, if you could point to it and press on it, it’s probably a tennis elbow. That’s the most common elbow injuries out there. And people say, “Oh, I just can’t bend my arm because I hurt.” And if you push on that, you would need a tennis elbow strap that you would put on there. A brace to deliver blood flow to that problem area. And if you wear it a couple weeks, it should go away, and then you would stop using the brace at that time. If it re-occurs and it starts to come on, put the brace back on. But that’s some of the benefits of using an elbow brace.

13:45 Pamela D. Wilson: So let me take a step back on that question. So what would I have been doing with that elbow? Would I have been lifting things or twisting things, or obviously, playing tennis, but how would I injure that?

13:56 Rudy Guerra: Just from repetitive motion. Almost like somebody who would experience carpal tunnel from typing. But some people are moving boxes with their elbow. They’re just using that elbow more than the average person. A mechanic or somebody who just has pain from arthritic reasons in that elbow region. So, if you can get blood to that part of the body, the pain should subside.

14:23 Pamela D. Wilson: And I noticed on your website, you’ve got knee braces. You mentioned the wrist and the hand braces for carpal tunnel, and back braces. So, if I, let’s say I’ve got pain in one of these areas, you mentioned that you wear it for a certain period of time. Do you wear it every day for so many hours? Do you sleep with it? How does it work?

14:42 Rudy Guerra: Well, I first refer the patient back to what the physical therapist might tell them, or their doctor on how often they want to have them use it. But the rule of thumb is you want to wear it segmented through the day. Say a couple hours, and then give yourself a break, put it back on, and you can go through that, but not continuously or sleeping in a brace. Never sleep in a brace. It’s just uncomfortable, number one, and number two, your body relies on that brace too much. So you want to go ahead and give your body, or whatever hurts, a chance to recoup. Does that make sense?

15:21 Pamela D. Wilson: Okay. That does make sense. And then you have this product called Aqua Heat. What is it, and what’s it good for? [chuckle]

15:27 Rudy Guerra: Oh, yeah. [chuckle] You know what they say, it’s good for what ails you. It’s good for folks that have problems, and they want a deep heat remedy to deliver heat in the tissue, deep tissue. And by that, it gives you spray it down with a bottle of water, and then you put it on your body, and you strap it down, and it creates heat using your own body. So, you’ll feel it get hotter as you wear it. And then again, like I said with the other bracing, you want to just go ahead and use that in segments. Don’t sleep with it or anything like that. But we’re very excited about the product. And what it does is it gives people the option to get that therapy. A doctor might say, “You know what? I want you to put heat on it.” Okay, you can wear a brace, but now, it delivers that heat using your own body heat.

16:24 Pamela D. Wilson: And then I know that heat is good for some things and cold is good for others. Is heat, is that for arthritis? Or what is heat mostly for? Do you know?

16:34 Rudy Guerra: It’s a combination of things. Because if somebody has a pulled muscle, an athlete, or somebody who is in training, will go, hot-cold, hot-cold. Just go in between. But if somebody, if a doctor or a physical therapist says, “I want you to have heat for deep penetrating into the tissue,” that will help in your healing of a pulled muscle, a strain, or arthritis where you have problems every day. So, it gives you that heat feeling throughout the day when you’re using the brace.

17:10 Pamela D. Wilson: And so, the Aqua Heat product, can it be used over and over again? You can use it one day and then use it the next?

17:15 Rudy Guerra: Absolutely, absolutely. Yeah, what you want to do is you want…

17:18 Pamela D. Wilson: And what does it look like? [chuckle]

17:22 Rudy Guerra: It looks like a regular brace. You would flip it open, get a little bit of water, and then spray it. And as you sprayed it, you don’t want to drench it, but just spray it, and then you put it on like a regular brace, and then, with time, you’ll feel it heating up. And that’s all there is to it. And then just wipe it down and put it away, and when you need it again, it’s right there. So it’s reusable, yes.

17:45 Pamela D. Wilson: So the water activates the heat in the little…

17:48 Rudy Guerra: In the pad.

17:50 Pamela D. Wilson: Ah, that’s very cool.

17:52 Rudy Guerra: In the pad using your heat. Your heat of your body. And so, it stays with you, and as you’re wearing it, it heats up and heats up.

17:58 Pamela D. Wilson: So it’s never going to burn you if it uses the heat of your body, right? It’s not going to burn anybody?

18:03 Rudy Guerra: No, no, no, no, it’s not that intense. But it does warm up your body in that area. And so, we suggest that you don’t sleep with it, or wear it to the point where it feels uncomfortable. So just, like I said with the other braces, give yourself a little break and use it in increments throughout the day.

18:22 Pamela D. Wilson: Perfect, perfect. Listeners, we are going to return with Rudy Guerra from Senteq after this break. But I want to give you the information for the offer. You can visit their website at senteq.com. You can call 800-316-6098 between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM Pacific Standard Time. Give my name, Pamela, you can get $20 off your order. It’s limited to the first 50 callers, so don’t wait and be that number 51. [chuckle] You can check out information about caregiving and health on my website at www.PamelaDWilson.com. This is Pamela D. Wilson, your host. You’re listening live on the BBM Global Network, Channel 100, and TuneIn Radio. Stay with me. We’ll be right back after this break.

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21:23 Pamela D. Wilson: This is Pamela D. Wilson, caregiving expert. I’m your host. You’re listening to The Caring Generation radio program for caregivers and aging adults, coming to you live from the BBM Global Network, Channel 100, and TuneIn Radio. We are back with Rudy from SENTEQ, and we’re going to continue to talk about aches, pains, and braces. So, Rudy, let’s say I’ve got an aching body part, do I need to see my doctor, and how do I get a prescription for a brace?

21:50 Rudy Guerra: Well, the first thing I would recommend is that you do see a doctor. Because what the doctor will do is tell you what type of brace you might need, and he will also pinpoint the area that you need that brace on. So, with that being said, to see the doctor is a first step, and acquire a prescription from the doctor. That way, when you take our receipt, and you bill your insurance, you’ll need to have a doctor’s prescription and our receipt, so you could submit it into your insurance company for reimbursement.

22:22 Pamela D. Wilson: So, let’s say I go to the doctor, I have this prescription, I call your 800 number, who do I talk to?

22:29 Rudy Guerra: Any one of our customer service people can go ahead and answer any questions you might have. What we like to do is you just call into our office, and we’ll go ahead and make sure you get the right brace the first time. So, we’ll actually spend the time that we need to answer your questions and find out exactly what’s the best option for you.

22:51 Pamela D. Wilson: And do you need to see a copy of that prescription, or is a verbal good enough?

22:57 Rudy Guerra: Oh, it’s basically for us to see if we could if you could email a copy of that to us, that’d be great. We don’t necessarily need it. But if you could tell us what’s on the prescription, that’ll work as well. So back to what you said, verbal will work, sending it to us so we could see it, is the best.

23:16 Pamela D. Wilson: Okay. And then are all braces equal? I know I can, I can get a brace from you, but I can go pick one up off from the shelf. Why are Senteq braces better?

23:25 Rudy Guerra: I’ll tell you in a nutshell. And I don’t want to go into an infomercial here. But, and this is what I really found out after 41 years in the business: A lot of the braces that are out there off-the-shelf are all the same. They’re kind of like, take it out of the box, put it on, and they’re not taking a lot of things into consideration. What we at Senteq do, is use the finest quality and breathable products that deliver the best for user comfort and quality in our, because we’re a manufacturer, we actually manufacture this product. And there’s no middleman here. But with that being said, we want to go ahead and provide the patient, or the customer, if you will, of the best in quality. Because if it doesn’t feel good, then it’ll end up in the closet or in a drawer, and it’s to benefiting no one. So, we want to make sure that we provide the best in quality and materials.

24:20 Pamela D. Wilson: Do the braces come in different sizes? Do people have to actually measure? Let’s say it’s my elbow, would I measure part of my arm to give you the measurements? How do we make these fit?

24:28 Rudy Guerra: Well, when they’re talking to our customer service representative, they’ll ask you if you are capable to go ahead and measure circumferences on certain types of braces. You could basically tell me, “How tall are you? How much do you weigh?” And we can go ahead and make those guesstimates if you will. But we prefer that we have accurate measurements. So, we can do that over the phone. That’s why I said, where we take the time to make sure that we get those measurements. Not everybody can do that. But I’m sure somebody has somebody who can take a circumference, and we’ll let you know, and you’ll call us back and give those to us, and then we’ll go over that with you again before making the final purchase.

25:15 Pamela D. Wilson: And then I know that you have a store in California, but for everybody else, you mail the braces out? How does that work?

25:20 Rudy Guerra: Yes, we’ll mail out the braces directly to the patient’s home from us, and we’ll make arrangements at the time of when you’re ordering it on how we want to go ahead and do that with you. So that will all be covered by our customer service department that will go ahead and mail those right out to you.

25:40 Pamela D. Wilson: And let’s say that I get a brace, and I get it, and it doesn’t fit, or it doesn’t feel right, can I call you? And what can you do for me?

25:47 Rudy Guerra: Pamela, I’ll say this with all sincerity, we want to make sure that you’re satisfied from start to finish. And if finishing is you returning the brace, we totally understand that. We’re here to go ahead and deliver the best in customer service for our customers so that they feel, so they can return that, and we can give them an option of trying another brace, refund their money, whatever they need to make it right, we’re willing to take the extra mile to do that.

26:22 Pamela D. Wilson: And you mentioned that the braces are FDA-approved. Why is that so important to consumers?

26:30 Rudy Guerra: Well, if you’re going to bill your insurance company, they prefer that you use a product that’s FDA-approved, and that is recognized for quality and assurance that they have that FDA approval. They’re going to be looking for that from the company.

26:49 Pamela D. Wilson: And for the braces, can I, let’s say I spilled coffee on my elbow brace, are they washable? How do we take care of them? [chuckle]

26:55 Rudy Guerra: Totally washable. [chuckle] It’s like caring for stockings. I can get just soap, and then just a little warm water, and then rub it in the warm water, and then hang dry it, just air dry it, or pat it dry, you can do that. Because, let’s face it, a lot of people are using it differently. Go ahead.

27:16 Pamela D. Wilson: True. And then, how long will a brace, a typical brace last? So let’s say I have an elbow problem and it’s recurring, it comes, and it goes. Will it last for three months, or six months, or a year, or do I have to replace it?

27:29 Rudy Guerra: I would say that our braces, again, going back to the material that it’s made out of, will last for—I’ve seen these on customers for two years, and then again, I’ve seen them on for a year. It all depends on how they’re using it and how they’re treating it. Are they taking care of it by washing it with warm water and soap and things like that? I’m not saying that you have to handle it gingerly, but if you wash it and take care of it, it should last a year to two years, at minimal.

28:01 Pamela D. Wilson: Perfect. Rudy, I thank you so much for joining us. Listeners, I want to give you the information for Senteq and their website. It’s Senteq, S-E-N-T-E-Q dot com. You can call 800-316-6098. Mention my name, Pamela. You can get $20 off your order. It’s limited, though, to the first 50 callers. So, call tomorrow, anytime between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM, or whenever you hear this message, and make sure that you’re not caller 51. I’m Pamela D. Wilson, your host. You’re listening to The Caring Generation live on the BBM Global Network, Channel 100, and TuneIn Radio. Helpful information for caregivers, aging adults about caregiving, and all aspects of health are on my website. Stay with me. We’ll be right back after this break.

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31:09 Pamela D. Wilson: This is Pamela D. Wilson, caregiving expert. I’m your host. You’re listening to The Caring Generation radio program for caregivers and aging adults, coming to you live from the BBM Global Network, Channel 100, and TuneIn Radio. Follow me on social media on Facebook, watch my videos, follow me, and share posts. My page is www.PamelaDWilson.com. On Twitter, I am Caregivingspeak, on Instagram, I am wilsonpamelad, and on LinkedIn, I am pameladwilsoncaregiverexpert. We’re back for tip number two on the subject of don’t neglect your health.

31:41 Pamela D. Wilson: I want to share some statistics from the United States Department of Health and Human Services, which will help us understand why it’s important to even think about creating a personal wellness plan. Because, as we know, unless there’s a reason that motivates us, a lot of us aren’t going to take our health seriously. These statistics relate to being older and needing long-term care support services, which is help from a family caregiver, help from paid caregivers, living in any type of care community, independent, assisted living, or a nursing home. Forty-eight percent of people over age 65 eventually receive some type of support. That means that on the other side, 52% do not. Which percentage do you want to be in? The do-need-help or the don’t-need-help? I think I’d rather be on the don’t-need-help side. More statistics: 29% of people use in-home care, 5% move into care communities, 28% spend at least 90 days in a nursing home, a place where none of us want to be, and 13% live permanently in nursing homes. These statistics are the endgame reasons for the idea of don’t neglect your health”.

32:53 Pamela D. Wilson: And let’s talk about women for a minute. Women who are caregivers, in my opinion, don’t get enough credit for everything that they do. They are, according to statistics, at a health disadvantage. Women are more likely to need care than men, 75% to 65% and women end up in nursing homes more than men, so 64% to 34%. And women live longer. We tend to have more disabilities. Women are most likely to receive long-term care Medicaid in a nursing home. So women are more likely to spend longer times in nursing homes. So women, if you’re listening to this information, there are two other podcasts for you. They’re called Managing Work-Life Balance and Why Is Being A Caregiver So Exhausting? If we don’t know about all of these things, these statistics, we’re less likely to be proactive about the idea of don’t neglect your health” We may not develop a personal wellness plan until well into our later years.

33:57 Pamela D. Wilson: Tip number three for don’t neglect your health” is to compare what a good health day and a bad health day feels like. On a bad day, do you have a headache? You haven’t slept well. Are you irritable? Do you worry? Have all kinds of aches and pains or other physical or mental symptoms? You’re not feeling well. You might be distracted. Just a bad day. Wouldn’t it be great to feel good all the time, have a lot of energy and fewer aches and pains? For our elderly parents and for caregivers, the answer to that, in most cases, is more physical activity. Don’t neglect your health. Being more physically active is associated with better health. Less physical activity results in fatigue, being tired all the time. Physical activity or exercise relates to the heart benefit of getting our heart pumping, and strength training, which is gaining muscle.

34:52 Pamela D. Wilson: For elderly parents, falls are common. Especially for those who are weak, or frail, they can have significant consequences. A weak or frail body, it has to work a lot harder to recover from a fall, from a fracture like a hip fracture, versus an older person who might be physically fit, have strong muscles, have good physical endurance. The work to recover from falls and fractures for elderly parents takes consistent and daily work, and really a long-term commitment to creating and participating in that personal wellness plan. A lot of elderly parents, they just give up. They don’t want to make that effort. It’s up to us, as the caregivers, to help our aging parents be motivated to have good health and have more good days than bad days.

35:44 Pamela D. Wilson: Tip number four is to look at the costs associated with poor health and chronic disease. Paying for care costs is another area that shocks caregivers and elderly parents when you have checks that you have to write to pay for care. There are two other Caring Generation podcasts. The first is, What is Assisted Living? and the second is Costs of Caring for Elderly Parents, that go into a lot of detail on this subject. Most people think that Medicare pays for everything. It doesn’t. It pays for health costs—but help with all of those activities that we talked about— making meals, grocery shopping, all of those issues become costs for elderly parents that they have to pay for it. Some parents are fortunate to have children to care for them. You know this, you are the caregiver, you’re doing all of this unpaid work for elderly parents.

36:31 Pamela D. Wilson: The statistics that I mentioned earlier about 48% of people needing some type of long-term care, this is what it costs. So, a paid caregiver, $15-$30 an hour. Assisted living communities, on average, $200 a day, a nursing home, $300-$500 per day. It’s shocking. The idea of don’t neglect your health” and the idea of having to pay for long-term caregiver services. They go along with each other. When we create a personal wellness plan for ourselves and our elderly parents, and we take very seriously this idea of don’t neglect your health, we have more control over our daily lives today and in the long run. Gaining control means that we choose to become more educated about health and chronic diseases, how to manage those diseases, how to be physically proactive. Chronic diseases are things like heart disease, stroke, lung disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes. Believe it or not, dental cavities are a chronic disease. They’re not all immediately life-threatening, but they sure are irritating, and they can affect our daily function.

37:40 Pamela D. Wilson: So, if you’re a caregiver for an elderly parent, you’re probably seeing the effects of chronic disease, and you can relate to this idea of the importance of health. We are going to continue with more tips for don’t neglect your health throughout this program and about creating a personal wellness plan. Helpful tips for caregivers and aging adults about health, wellbeing, and caregiving are on my website at www.PamelaDWilson.com. You’ll also find podcasts of all the radio shows there. One in four people that you know are caregivers looking for hope, help, and support. They’re caring for elderly parents and grandparents, and they don’t even know that help exists. It’s here on The Caring Generation every Wednesday night, and on my website at www.PamelaDWilson.com.

38:24 Pamela D. Wilson: This is Pamela D. Wilson, caregiving expert. I’m your host. You’re listening to The Caring Generation, live from the BBM Global Network, Channel 100, and TuneIn Radio. After this break, we will continue with thr ideas about don’t neglect your health. Stay with me. We’ll be right back.

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40:56 Pamela D. Wilson: This is Pamela D. Wilson, caregiving expert. This is The Caring Generation, coming to you live from the BBM Global Network, Channel 100 and TuneIn radio. Podcast replays of The Caring Generation are available on all of your favorite sites. Apple, Google, Spotify, Spreaker, Stitcher, Pandora, Castbox, SoundCloud, Amazon, Alexa, and more. Let’s return to tips to support the idea of don’t neglect your health. Tip number five is to decide where to start in developing a personal wellness plan for you and an elderly parent. For most of us, that idea of don’t neglect your health, focuses on two areas: Chronic disease and physical activity. Interventions for elderly parents support the idea of helping them remain physically independent with those day-to-day activities that we talked about, so that they can stay at home, and so that you can manage the time that you spend in caregiving activities. Statistics show that many caregivers spend at least 20 hours or more every week, helping elderly parents.

42:03 Pamela D. Wilson: You might be attending medical appointments, managing prescription medications, encouraging them to take care of themselves. It has such a significant impact on the health of your elderly parents if they’re on board and if they choose to be proactive about health. The same recommendations apply to caregivers, to take steps to prevent from being diagnosed with a chronic disease. So, tip number six related to don’t neglect your health is understanding the four main lifestyle risks for chronic disease. These are tobacco use. It’s poor nutrition—which is described as eating all those fast foods, foods that are high in fat, sugar, or salt—a lack of exercise and physical activity that we’re talking about tonight, and excessive alcohol use. Those four lifestyle choices that are a choice, you can choose them. They will result in things like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, that link to the chronic diseases. So, heart disease, diabetes, other diseases, these are all avoidable. They’re all optional.

43:08 Pamela D. Wilson: This leads us to the idea of tip number seven for don’t neglect your health, which is regular medical care for elderly parents, and caregivers, to identify, prevent, and manage health issues. Let me relate the idea of regular medical care and prevention to this virus that’s going around, the coronavirus. We all have to take this virus seriously. Stay at home orders, and social distancing are so important. Many people don’t think of the math. Think about this. How many people do you come in contact with on a daily basis? Then you’re with another person. How many people do you think that person has been in contact with? And if they live in a house with multiple people, how many people have they been in contact with? This is the math that people are missing with this virus. One person you meet could have been exposed to a 100 people or 500 people.

44:03 Pamela D. Wilson: And when you go home, you bring those 500 people with you into your home, and you can transmit that virus to an elderly parent, or a grandparent. So, this idea of, “I’m not going to catch it. I’m immune to it. It’s okay if I neglect my health,” it applies to everybody, especially adult children and younger people who are in contact with parents. Caregivers, we should relate the care circumstances of our elderly parents to our future lives and think about how we can be better at personal wellness plans. Managing caregiving stress is a part of that. Stress from being a caregiver does result in weakened immune systems and sickness. Sleep is important for everybody, especially caregivers who burn the candle at both ends while you’re working, caring for elderly parents, taking care of children, and going to school.

44:55 Pamela D. Wilson: Tip number eight for don’t neglect your health is to be proactive when a diagnosis of chronic disease happens. Prescribing medication is the usual course of action that a doctor takes for your elderly parents. If that chronic disease that was identified in an early stage, not taking a medication may be an option if your elderly parents are willing to make those lifestyle changes to make the condition better. That means, again, going back to that personal wellness plan. If the disease has gone too far, then taking medication may be necessary. Then what you want to do is, learn how to manage that health condition. Find out what the future consequences are so that those can be minimized. This follows that idea of don’t neglect your health. Patients, consumers, and caregivers, sometimes you expect doctors to tell you everything, and it doesn’t work that way. We all have that personal responsibility to ask doctors about these diseases, the consequences, what the prescription medications are for. All of that prevention, it’s up to us. Changing lifestyles to minimize future consequences is up to us and our elderly parents. Lifestyle changes, truly a choice, and not always easy.

46:11 Pamela D. Wilson: As you’re probably seeing with your elderly parents, as their diseases progress, the effects become more noticeable. Your parents may be able to do fewer things than they could do a week ago, a month ago, six months ago. All of those chronic diseases affect other body systems and other body parts. So, tip number nine, and this is for all of us. We have to create a personal wellness plan. So, what will you focus on with your parents? Will you focus on their physical activity? Getting them up walking, getting them out of the house? Will you focus on their health issues, or maybe you’ll decide to tackle both of them, focus on both of them. To support the idea of don’t neglect your health, changing old thinking patterns, and managing negative emotions that tell us that making these changes are too much work, and it’s too hard, and we’ll never succeed. We have to think differently. Creating a new habit takes 30 days.

47:06 Pamela D. Wilson: Consistent behaviors are really the way forward, and so is positive thinking. I always recommend to begin with the idea of being grateful. So, by thinking of three things that we’re grateful every day, we can balance the negative emotions about trying to change these patterns. Trying to think that, “Oh, it’s just too much. I cannot possibly do it.” Yes, you can. Positive actions to learn something new every day will get you to that goal, and celebrate the small steps. Let’s say you walked two blocks yesterday, and then today you walked four, that’s like a 100% increase. Stay motivated. Know that change doesn’t happen overnight. Unfortunately, health and fitness changes, they take time to show results. So it could be 30 days, or 60 days before you really notice it, but eventually, you will feel so much better.

47:55 Pamela D. Wilson: Commit to taking a 30-minute walk every day with your elderly parents. Try something new, a healthy food like yogurt, or eating some different fruits every day. Different vegetables, try a new healthy food, get a cookbook, and try cooking some new recipes. Read some motivational articles every day. We all can do this together. And share progress within your family. Motivate your elderly parents, motivate your children to think about health and wellness so that we are all not neglecting our health. Health and wellness do cross all generations of the family, and we can all do it together. We are heading out to a break. We’ll be back with tips for don’t neglect your health. This is Pamela D. Wilson, caregiving expert. I’m your host. You’re listening to the Caring Generation, live from the BBM Global Network, Channel 100, and TuneIn radio. Stay with me. We’ll be right back after this break.

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51:05 Pamela D. Wilson: This is Pamela D. Wilson, caregiving expert. I’m your host. This is The Caring Generation radio program for caregivers and aging adults, live on the BBM Global Network, Channel 100, and TuneIn radio. Share The Caring Generation with your elderly parents and family members by adding an Apple or Google podcast app to their cellphones. Let me do the talking about caregiving for you. Tip number 10 for don’t neglect your health is to talk about caregiving in your family, and health in your family, to gain support for lifestyle changes. This means talking to elderly parents about committing to daily structured activities to support their health so that your caregiving relationship is balanced. You help with tasks that elderly parents can’t do, and your elderly parents work to do more for themselves by participating in daily physical exercise, strength training, eating better, getting out and walking. This helps balance everybody’s lives, the caregiver, and the elderly parent. Plus, a stronger body helps manage the effect of the chronic diseases. And honestly, physical exercise, it’s good for the body and the mind. Having a positive outlook comes from being physically active, and it just helps us stay motivated about all these changes that we can make to have better quality of life.

52:32 Pamela D. Wilson: As caregivers for our elderly parents, we can certainly learn from their health experiences and teach our children. Seeing how the effects of lifestyle choices and physical activity resulted in where our parents are today, creates an opportunity for everybody in the family to create a future where we’re focusing on health and well-being, and the idea of don’t neglect your health. You can also create accountability partners within the family. As the accountability partner for your elderly parents, you can talk to mom and dad and make sure they understand why this is all so serious. If they want to stay in their homes, what actions do they have to take to improve their health? What will they do to become more physically active, and how are they going to schedule all this? So when will they do it, how will they do it and where? Will they walk with you? Will they walk with your children?

53:28 Pamela D. Wilson: You can write it all down. Write down the next steps. Write down the goals to be achieved. Agree with your elderly parents how this is going to be accomplished, and follow up. Have a weekly discussion around how your parents are doing. “Hey, mom and dad, how did it go this week?” Because if your parents set goals and you set goals, you can achieve it together. You can spend less time being a caregiver. Your parents can be more physically active. They can stay at home. They won’t have to worry so much about needing to pay for care or needing to go to a nursing home. It takes a lot of work, but it’s worth it. It takes self-discipline and a lot of love to succeed, and it can be really tempting to not do this, but we need to do it.

54:14 Pamela D. Wilson: Back to that coronavirus. We all really need to continue to self-distance, to take care of ourselves. We are our own worst enemies on this one. It’ll continue as long as we allow it to continue. If we continue to go out of our homes and gather with others, if we think that life hasn’t changed, we’re going to be the ones in our houses two months from now. We have to support these changes if we want life to get back to a somewhat new normal. It’s up to us. Don’t neglect your health. Start today, talk to everybody in your family, take these preventive actions. With health and with the coronavirus, we can make things better. It’s never too late.

54:54 Pamela D. Wilson: Listeners, I thank you so much for being proactive and interested in caregiving, aging health, wellbeing. Share the Caring Generation with your family, friends, social groups, and workplaces, so that we can make caregiving something we talk about. Podcasts of The Caring Generation are on my website at www.PamelaDWilson.com. They’re on all of your favorite sites: Apple, Google, Spreaker, and others. My website has a lot of helpful information for caregivers in my blog, my caregiving library, and there’s a lot of videos on there. Thank you for joining me on The Caring Generation radio program for caregivers, and aging adults, coming to you live from the BBM Global Network, Channel 100, and TuneIn radio. This is Pamela D. Wilson, caregiving expert, advocate, and speaker. Join me on The Caring Generation next Wednesday evening. Invite your family and friends. God bless you all, sleep well tonight. Have a fabulous day. Stay safe and have a great week until we are together again.

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55:55 Announcer: Tune in each week for The Caring Generation with host Pamela D. Wilson. Come join the conversation and see how Pamela can provide solutions and peace of mind for everyone. Here on Pamela D. Wilson’s, The Caring Generation.

Looking For More Help Managing Care for Yourself or Elderly Parents? You’ll Find What You Are Looking For in my caregiving blog, The Caring For Aging Parents Blog.

About Pamela Wilson

PAMELA D. WILSON, MS, BS/BA, NCG, CSA helps caregivers and aging adults solve caregiving problems and manage caregiving needs through online programs, live support groups, and an extensive caregiving library that includes articles, podcasts, videos, and webinars.

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