Black History Month

Did you know that Black American women die from heart disease at a higher rate than white women?
Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death among women in the United States? Major risk factors include diabetes, smoking, physical inactivity, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and a family history of heart disease. According to research, these illnesses are alarmingly common in Black American communities. In fact, Black women are more likely than white women to die of heart disease.

What is heart disease?

The term “heart disease” refers to several types of conditions, such as:

Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is a condition caused by plaque buildup in the walls of the arteries that carry blood to the heart. It frequently results in a heart attack.
Arrythmia is a term for an irregular heartbeat (too fast or too slow)
Cardiomyopathy causes your heart to work harder to pump blood to the rest of your body, which can lead to heart failure.

Why is it more common in Black American women?
According to studies, Black American women have the highest rates of hypertension (high blood pressure), one of the leading causes of heart disease. Researchers have also discovered that a gene makes Black Americans more vulnerable to the effects of salt, raising their chance of having high blood pressure.

According to the CDC’s Healthy People 2030, Black women are twice as likely to develop heart disease, owing to the highest prevalence of diabetes and obesity, as well as the second highest prevalence of high cholesterol and hypertension, according to Dr. Nicole Thomas-Sealey, Vice President of Clinical Education at AdvantageCare Physicians.

What steps can you do to reduce your risk?
“Many people are suspicious of Black women because of their history of oppression and health inequalities in the not-too-distant past – and present.” To improve patient outcomes, all physicians must be aware of these concerns early in the patient-provider relationship and address the need for trust,” says Dr. Thomas-Sealey.

“Once this barrier is lifted, many Black women who may have been reluctant to reducing heart disease risk factors will be able to do so.” Many illness processes require a high level of trust, open communication, and respect.”

National Wear Red Day and Go Red For Women are two campaigns that help bring these challenges to light and seek solutions.

Patient education and empowerment can be tools to help women advocate for themselves during medical appointments, as research shows that Black American women are less likely than others to receive preventive treatment such as blood pressure medications and advice from doctors or nurses about weight control and quitting smoking. Follow these guidelines:

Understand the symptoms and indicators of heart disease.
Examine your family’s history of heart disease and share it with your doctor.
Find a Primary Care Provider you trust; Rivers of Hopes members can search for an in-network doctor here.
Don’t forget to get your annual physical.

5 Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy This Valentine’s Day

Besides February revolving around Valentine’s Day, it also happens to be American Heart Month, so there’s no better time than now to focus on treating your heart right. The best way to prevent things like stroke and heart disease isn’t complicated or hard — it’s simply to eat a balanced diet. Here are five quick and easy ways to start eating better for your heart.

1. Cook with beans and legumes.
Beans and legumes are nutritional powerhouses, whether you select chickpeas, lentils, or black beans. Beans and lentils can help satiate hunger, lessen post-meal blood sugar swings, feed the beneficial bacteria in our digestive tracts, and reduce cholesterol.

2. Add an avocado.
Despite the fact that avocados are high in fat, the bulk of these lipids are unsaturated fats, which are good for your heart. They can even help lower bad cholesterol when consumed as part of a healthy diet, according to a recent study. So go ahead and have that avocado toast, a smoothie with a few slices, or a chocolaty Valentine’s Day dessert with a few slices — and feel good about that second helping.

3. Be mindful of salt.
Too much salt in the diet has been associated with a higher risk of heart disease in studies. When cooking, you can reduce the amount of salt you need by adding other flavors, such as garlic and freshly ground pepper, to your cuisine.

4. Love your berries.
The compounds that contribute to the deep pigmentation of blackberries, cranberries, raspberries, and blueberries can improve the elasticity of arteries, which in turn may benefit blood flow to the heart. Berries are also known as one of the best sources of antioxidants, which help reduce the risk of heart disease.

Tip: Strawberries and raspberries make a regular appearance around Valentine’s Day, due to their red hue, but they aren’t always the sweetest and juiciest at this time of year since they’re out of season. Instead, reach for frozen, which is a great substitute.

5. Eat chocolate!
This is an easy one — especially since it’s Valentine’s Day. A little bit of dark chocolate (one to two ounces) may help lower blood pressure, and therefore contribute to a healthy heart.

5 Benefits of Exercise for Seniors and Aging Adults

You’ve probably heard it before: physical activity and exercise are healthy for you, and you should try to incorporate them into your daily routine. Numerous studies have shown the major health benefits of exercise, which get more important as we age. Seniors who engage in regular physical activity and exercise improve their mental and physical health, which will help them preserve their independence as they get older. We’ve listed five advantages of fitness for elderly and aging adults below.

1. Prevent Disease

Studies have shown that keeping regular physical activity can help decrease the likelihood of heart disease and diabetes. Exercise can boost the immune system, which is significant for seniors as their immune systems are often impaired. Even light activity, such as walking, can help prevent avoidable diseases.

2. Improved Mental Health

Exercising has several mental health benefits. Endorphins (the “feel good” hormones) are released during exercise and work as a stress reliever, leaving you feeling pleased, satisfied and energized. In addition, exercise is known to help enhance sleep, which can help prevent sleepless nights and irregular sleep patterns.

3. Decreased Risks of Falls

Falls can happen more often as you get older, which can reduce maintaining independence. Exercise increases strength and flexibility, which helps with balance and coordination, lowering the chance of falling. It takes older adults longer to recover from falls, so exercises like yoga can help build strength to prevent falls.

4. Social Engagement

Whether you join a walking group, join a group fitness class or visit a gardening club, exercise can become an enjoyable social event. For aging folks, having a scheduled activity can help create a sense of purpose, and something to look forward to. Above all, choose an activity that you enjoy, and it will never feel like a chore again.

5. Improved Cognitive Function

Cognitive function is strengthened by regular physical activity and fine motor skills. Numerous studies show that physically active people have a lower risk of dementia, regardless of when they start a habit.

In Conclusion
Exercise is beneficial to your health; all you have to do is make it a priority and a part of your everyday life. Exercise has been demonstrated to prevent disease, reduce the chance of falls, promote mental health and well-being, strengthen social bonds, and improve cognitive performance in the elderly population. We hope that, regardless of your age, this will inspire you to incorporate fitness into your daily routine.

Get in touch with Rivers of Hope, if you or an aging loved one are considering hiring a Home Care Services in Fall River, MA. Call the caring staff at Rivers of Hope today at 508-857-0629. We provide Independent, Dependent, and Companion Care Services in Brockton, Boston, Braintree, Avon Randolph, Abington, and the surrounding areas. Visit to learn more about us

10 Advantages & Benefits of Home Care for Seniors

Researching care alternatives for an aging loved one can be stressful, and deciding what is best for your family can be difficult.

Moving to a residential care facility, for example, necessitates significant lifestyle changes.

For many families, home care is the greatest option since it allows their loved one to remain in their own home and live their lives as they have done in the past. There are numerous advantages to receiving home care; we’ve listed the top ten below.

Here are 10 advantages and benefits of home care:

Personalized Care
Faster Recovery
One-on-one Attention
Cost Effectiveness
Peace of mind
Family Involvement
Pet Ownership

1. Comfort
The main advantage of home care is that it allows your loved one to remain in the environment that is most comfortable and familiar to them. They can sleep in their own beds, use their own bathrooms, and go about their daily activities without interruption. For those suffering from increasing memory disorders such as dementia, being in familiar settings might be extremely helpful.

2. Personalized Care
A home care plan is tailored to your family’s needs rather than conforming to the schedules and routines of a care facility. Whether your loved one merely wants assistance for a few hours a day or requires full-time live-in care, home care is adaptable to each client’s needs.

3. Faster Recovery
Patients recover from surgery and sickness faster and more successfully in the comfort of their own homes, according to research. They also had a lower risk of infection from germ exposure in a medical facility, as well as fewer hospital readmissions.

4. One-on-one Attention
Because of the intimate nature of home care, your loved one can be the caregiver’s primary focus. Their mission is to give your loved one the level of attention and care that will keep them safe and comfortable. Because an in-home caregiver usually just has one client, their needs are fulfilled considerably more quickly than they would be in a residential institution.

5. Cost Effectiveness
Because home care is paid by the hour, there is a lot of leeway in terms of out-of-pocket spending. In the Bay Area, prices range from $24 to $35 per hour, with a reduction for 24-hour live-in care. Home care can be substantially less expensive than a residential nursing facility, which can cost up to $550 per day for persons who require support on a part-time basis. Home care costs can also be covered by long-term care insurance plans.

6. Peace of mind
You won’t have to worry about your loved one being alone and falling or being hurt while doing everyday things like showering or cooking. Instead, you’ll be able to relax knowing that they’re in good hands.

7. Independence
For seniors contemplating care alternatives, losing their independence is a major issue. Home care has the advantage of allowing your loved one to maintain control over many elements of their everyday lives. They can maintain their independence by deciding when they wish to eat, sleep, and interact. A caretaker can assist seniors who no longer drive in getting to social activities and running errands, allowing them to live freely.

8. Companionship
Seniors who live alone frequently experience social isolation and feelings of loneliness, both of which can contribute to health problems. A caregiver provides a familiar face, cheerful conversation, and a genuine human connection to your loved one, all of which can have a significant impact on their general health and well-being.

9. Family Involvement
Home care allows your family to play a bigger role in your loved one’s care. You will have a direct line of communication with your loved one’s caregiver with a professional home care organization, and a care manager will provide you with frequent updates on care.

10. Pet Ownership
Because your loved one can stay at home, they won’t have to give up their favorite pet. Companionship from pets has been demonstrated to alleviate loneliness in elders, minimize heart disease, and soothe dementia patients. Seniors can benefit from pet companionship even if they require some assistance caring for the animal with the support of a caregiver, family members or companion.

Get in touch with Rivers of Hope, if you or an aging loved one are considering hiring a Home Care Services in Fall River, MA, call the caring staff at Rivers of Hope today at 508-857-0629. Providing Independent, Dependent, and Companion Care Services in Brockton, Boston, Braintree, Avon Randolph, Abington, and the surrounding areas.

Q&A: What are the Bad Effects of Having Dehydration in Aging Adults? How to prevent and treat it?

What can we do to encourage my elderly mother to drink more water? She is prone to urinary tract infections and appears to be dehydrated all of the time, no matter what we do. We also wanted to know if coffee and tea are okay to drink, or if they should be avoided to avoid dehydration.
A: Dehydration is a serious issue for senior citizens. Even when it’s not particularly hot outside, it’s not uncommon.

One of the best methods to lessen the risk of dehydration is to assist an older person in increasing her fluid intake, as you’re attempting to do.

So, how do you go about doing it? The best techniques, according to studies and practical experience, are:

1. Providing a drink to the elderly person on a regular basis, preferably on a timetable
2. Providing refreshments that the person appears to enjoy,
3. When it comes to elderly individuals, don’t expect them to drink a lot at one sitting.
4. Taking care of any urinary incontinence difficulties that are preventing the client from drinking frequently.

The Fundamentals of Dehydration
What is dehydration and how does it happen?
Dehydration occurs when the body’s cells and blood vessels do not have as much fluid as they should.The body normally acquires and loses fluid as a result of what we eat and drink, as well as urination, sweating, and other physical activities. However, if we continue to lose more fluid than we consume, we may become dehydrated.

When a person becomes dehydrated, the body is programmed to send a thirst signal to the brain. The kidneys are also intended to begin concentrating urine, resulting in less water loss.

Why are older people more prone to dehydration?
Unfortunately, as we become older, the body’s processes for preventing dehydration become less effective. Thirst signals in older persons have decreased, and they are also less able to concentrate their pee.

Other factors that put older adults at risk include:

  • Chronic problems with urinary continence, which can make older adults reluctant to drink a lot of fluids
  • Memory problems, which can cause older adults to forget to drink often, or forget to ask others for something to drink
  • Mobility problems, which can make it harder for older adults to get something to drink
  • Living in nursing homes, because access to fluids often depends on the availability and attentiveness of staff
  • Swallowing difficulties

Acute illness or another occurrence can also cause dehydration. Problems such as vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and infection can cause people to lose a lot of fluid and become dehydrated. Hot weather, of course, raises the danger of dehydration.

Finally, older persons are more likely to use medications that raise the risk of dehydration, such as diuretics, which are commonly prescribed to treat high blood pressure or heart failure.

In a study of older persons in residential care in the United Kingdom, blood testing revealed that 46% had impending or current dehydration.

How is dehydration treated?

The treatment of dehydration depends on:

  • Whether the dehydration appears to be mild, moderate, or severe
  • What type of electrolyte imbalances (such as high/low levels of sodium and potassium) appear on laboratory testing
  • If known, the cause of the dehydration

Mild dehydration can usually be treated by having the person take more fluids by mouth. Generally, it’s best to have the person drink something with some electrolytes, such as a commercial rehydration solution, a sports drink, juice, or even bouillon. But in most cases, even drinking water or tea will help.

Mildly dehydrated older adults will often perk up noticeably after they drink some fluids, usually within 5-10 minutes.

Moderate dehydration is often treated with intravenous hydration in urgent care, the emergency room, or even the hospital. Some nursing homes can also treat dehydration with a subcutaneous infusion, which means providing fluid through a small IV needle placed into the skin of the belly or thigh. This is called hypodermoclysis, and this is actually safer and more comfortable for older adults than traditional IV hydration.

Insomnia is one of the common problems when Aging

Frequent waking and insomnia at night are common among the elders.

Insomnia is a common sleep condition marked by a chronic inability to fall or stay asleep despite having ample chance. In addition to extreme daytime sleepiness, people with insomnia suffer from numerous cognitive deficits that are caused by sleep loss while they are awake. Sleep onset insomnia, which causes difficulties falling asleep, and sleep maintenance insomnia, which causes problems staying asleep, are two different types of insomnia. Some people with insomnia have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep.

Insomnia affects 10-30% of adults2, according to recent estimates. Insomnia is more common in people over 60, and this can be due to a few distinct factors3. Medical and psychological illnesses that might cause insomnia symptoms, as well as other sleep disorders including sleep-disordered breathing or restless legs syndrome, are more common in seniors. As we get older, our internal circadian clocks and sleep-wake cycles4 shift, affecting how long – and how effectively – we sleep. In addition, several drugs used to treat the symptoms of elderly medical disorders might disrupt sleep.

Sleep and Aging

As we become older, the quality of our sleep tends to decline. People have a tendency to sleep less and have more waking episodes after falling asleep. The time it takes to fall asleep (sleep latency) may also rise. According to some research, starting in middle age, the average person loses 27 minutes of sleep per night for each decade beyond that.

The body’s internal timekeeping systems are linked to these declines in sleep quality and duration. Because the body can’t process circadian signals as well as it used to, elderly adults may go to bed and wake up sooner.

As we become older, our sleep architecture changes as well. There are four stages to a regular sleep cycle. Before the cycle begins again, there are two stages of “light” non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, one period of “heavy” or “slow-wave” NREM sleep, and a final stage of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. According to polysomnographic research, elderly persons have a lower percentage of slow-wave NREM and REM sleep than younger ones. This makes individuals more prone to nighttime waking episodes, as well as affecting how refreshed and awake they feel in the morning.

Recognizing and Diagnosing Insomnia in Seniors

Insomnia and advancing years frequently go hand in hand. While many seniors have sleep issues as a result of natural changes in their circadian rhythm and sleep-wake cycle, insomnia must meet certain criteria to be diagnosed. Despite having adequate sleep duration and a somewhat comfortable sleeping environment, a person with insomnia must report at least one of the following symptoms, according to the International Classification of Sleep Disorders (ICDS):

  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Repeated instances of waking up earlier than desired
  • Feelings of resistance about going to bed at a reasonable time
  • Difficulty sleeping without intervention from a caregiver

Insomnia must also include daytime impairments. These may include excessive daytime sleepiness, feelings of fatigue and malaise, mood disturbances and irritability, and trouble concentrating and paying attention. People with insomnia are at higher risk of accidents, and many struggle in social and family situations.

If these symptoms occur at least three times per week and persist for at least three months, then doctors may diagnose the patient with chronic insomnia. Until then, the condition is considered short-term insomnia5.

Determining the root causes of insomnia in older adults is key to a successful diagnosis. Primary insomnia refers to insomnia symptoms that occur independently, while secondary insomnia occurs due to an underlying medical or psychiatric condition that causes sleep loss. Insomnia symptoms are the same regardless of whether the condition is considered primary or secondary. However, treating secondary insomnia typically requires patients to first address the primary condition that causes their sleep problems.

Treatment for Insomnia in Older Adults

The initial step in the treatment of persistent insomnia in seniors is frequent sleep education and improved sleep hygiene. A doctor will talk to the patient about how to build and maintain a healthy sleeping environment in the bedroom. The ideal bedroom should be dark and quiet, with a temperature of no more than 75°F (23.9 degrees Celsius). Other than sleeping, the bed should not be utilized for other activities such as working or playing video games. During the warmest months of the year, an air conditioner may be beneficial. Doctors will also encourage regular exercise and a well-balanced diet, while discouraging the use of stimulants such as caffeine and tobacco.

Before considering any pharmacological or non-pharmacological insomnia therapies, you should always see your doctor.

Healthy Eating Tips for Seniors on a Budget

Everyone knows the significance of adhering to a healthy and balanced diet; nonetheless, knowing and doing in many cases are worlds apart. For older adults, it is even more vital to steer clear of the temptations of making unhealthy food choices – and, typically, more challenging. For most seniors, lifestyle choices are impacted by various factors:

  • Prescription complications that influence taste and/or appetite
  • Loss of family members, making mealtime a lonely time
  • Lack of interest in cooking for only one
  • And others

But there is one prevailing – yet little mentioned – explanation for unhealthy eating in seniors: financial constraints. Older adults on a budget may find it challenging to afford fresh, healthy foods that commonly cost a lot more than a fast food meal or can of soup. These healthy eating tips for seniors from the National Council on Aging can help:

  1. Bear in mind that sticking with a wholesome diet can considerably improve health, with the possibility of preventing doctor visits and hospitalizations – saving older adults money in the end.
  2. See if a senior you love is eligible for SNAP, a government program that covers the cost for fresh foods, such as vegetables and fruits. Go to to determine eligibility. The average benefit to seniors is $100/month.
  3. Check into the older adult’s local Meals on Wheels program, which provides nutritious meals to the elderly, along with the added benefit of a friendly volunteer who will deliver the food and improve socialization.
  4. If throwing away fresh food is a worry for an older adult who lives alone, frozen vegetables and fruits are a good option, making it possible for quick preparation of individual-sized portions.

Keep the following in mind to make sure your older loved ones are making the very best food choices:

  • Review the USDA’s ChooseMyPlate for the elderly with specific dietary and exercise suggestions for individuals 65 and older.
  • Aim for a plethora of colors, specifically brightly-colored foods such as tomatoes, carrots, peppers, eggplant, pumpkin, etc.
  • Include lean proteins, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products, keeping sodium and sugar to a minimum while ensuring plenty of high fiber and nutrients which can be particularly essential in aging, such as vitamin D.
Home Care Services in Fall River MA: Determining Help

Home Care: How Do You Determine How Much Help Your Senior Needs?

Home Care: There may come a time, even more quickly than you expect, that your senior starts to need additional help.

That doesn’t mean that she’ll necessarily be happy about this development, though. Getting her the help that she needs involves first assessing what type of home care she needs.


Home Care Services in Fall River MA: Determining Help
Home Care Services in Fall River MA: Determining Help

Home Care: Look at Every Area of Your Senior’s Daily Life

It can be tough to just put a spotlight on exactly what your senior needs the most help with during each day. One way to make sure you don’t miss anything is to start with her daily routine, right from the moment she wakes up. Does she need help with physically getting out of bed or with getting dressed or other personal care tasks? Are meals, specifically preparing meals, difficult for her? How’s her mobility throughout the day? Look at every aspect of her day.

Think about How Much She Does on Her Own and How Assistance Would Help

After you’ve got an idea about some of the ways that your elderly family member already needs and has some of the help that she needs, look at what she’s doing already. Are those tasks taking her a long time and requiring a lot of energy from her? How would some extra assistance ensure that her quality of life is as high as possible?

Talk to Your Senior about What You’re Seeing

If you haven’t already, it’s time to talk to your senior about what you’re seeing. Don’t just come to her with problems, though. Let her know that your plan includes making sure she has extra help from elderly care providers and exactly how they can make her life easier. She may not be overly excited about the idea at first, so you might need to approach things slowly.

Home Care: Line up Extra Help and Reassess

Line up home care help from elderly care providers and set up times for them to come in that line up with when your senior needs the most help. Talk to your senior about what’s helping and what isn’t. Set up a timeframe when you’ll reassess the entire situation and revamp or change whatever isn’t working.

Tackling this issue patiently but as quickly as possible can have a big impact on how your senior feels, and on what she’s able to do on her own. It can be a shock to her to start to realize just how much help elderly care providers can be for her.


If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring a Home Care Services in Fall River, MA, call the caring staff at Rivers of Hope today at 508-857-0629. Providing Independent, Dependent, and Companion Care Services in Brockton, Boston, Braintree, Avon Randolph, Abington, and the surrounding areas.