Happy mother’s day to all hardworking mothers

Women perform 75 percent of the world’s unpaid work — effectively subsidizing the global economy. They do 60 percent more household work than men.

Our mothers labored for us for 9 months and delivered us in less than 10 hrs, breastfed us for min 3months and worked until 12am to care for all members in her family except herself.

Let us acknowledge and give thanks to all mothers for raising a family and working for the betterment of our society. Our only hope as mothers is that we raised our children well, responsibly and compassionately.

Happy mother’s day. Special mention to my mom who worked until she was 83 in California and died of liver cancer, fighting the battle of the past economic poverty and poor living conditions in the Philippines. Cancer has evolved over 40 yrs of her life and could not stop its progress. But we reminded her that her spirit will live on forever even when the body expires.

A hug to all moms. You are special and loved.

Fetal alcohol syndrome

fasExposure of fetus to alcohol

Although most nutrients are affected by alcohol intake, specific nutrients noted from numerous studies are thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B-12, vitamin E, selenium, vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid, vitamin D, zinc, and a few trace minerals. Alcohol is metabolized within hepatocytes by 1 of the 3 following pathways:

  • Alcohol dehydrogenase pathway (ADH): The first pathway, known as ADH, occurs in the cytosol of the hepatocyte (Fig. 2). ADH metabolizes ethanol to acetaldehyde, which is subsequently converted into acetic acid in mitochondria (20). In the ADH pathway, ethanol competes with vitamin A, or retinol, for metabolism because both substrates are metabolized by the same pathway (this is discussed later). Ultimately, ethanol is oxidized, which leads to the production of acetaldehyde and large amounts of NADH.

Alcohol effects on vitamin A

Alcohol consumption during pregnancy depletes maternal vitamin A stores, which can interrupt normal cell growth of the fetus. The proposed mechanism for this is that when both retinol and alcohol are present, ADH involved in the rate-limiting step of retinol oxidation has a higher affinity to alcohol, therefore preferentially metabolizing alcohol instead of retinol. This results in a deficiency in retinoic acid synthesis (39, 40), which is required to signal and control the cells involved in fetal development, organogenesis, organ homeostasis, cell and neuronal growth and differentiation, development of the CNS, and limb morphogenesis (16, 40).

DHA

DHA is highly important during fetal development because it plays an essential role in cognitive and visual development, as well as the development of the CNS (53, 54). DHA is also a precursor of a potent neurotrophic factor (neuroprotectin D1), which protects the brain and retina against injury-induced oxidative stress and enhances cell survivals in these tissues. Thus, it is recognized as a conditionally essential nutrient for infants. There is no RDA for DHA, but the Adequate Intake (AI) for n–3 FAs for pregnancy is 1.4 g/d (55). DHA is esterified to membrane phospholipids to maintain optimal fluidity and cellular integrity. Among phospholipids, phosphatidylserine has been the most studied in association with CNS development (54, 56, 57). Optimal neuronal development of the fetus is dependent on maternal intake and dietary status of DHA. In humans, the accumulation and integration of DHA into phosphatidylserine and cell membranes occurs from 16 wk to term and continues into the early postnatal development period (53). It is specifically during the last trimester in which DHA is rapidly incorporated into phosphatidylserine synthesis and storage in the hippocampus, because it is during this period in which human brain growth rapidly occurs (57, 58).

Folate (folic acid)

Folic acid, a water-soluble vitamin, has been identified as an essential nutrient that may provide a protective effect against gestational ethanol exposure. For folic acid to become metabolically active, it must be reduced to tetrahydrofolic acid (FH4) as a carrier for single-carbon moieties. FH4 is involved in the biosynthesis of the DNA and RNA precursors thymidylate and purine bases (64). Therefore, adequate maternal folic acid status is integral for optimal fetal growth and development. During pregnancy, the demand for folic acid is increased because it is not only required to support the mother for increased RBC formation but also to support the rapid growth of the fetus, including neural tube formation (65). The RDA for folic acid during pregnancy is 600 μg/d (66), and dietary sources are found in green leafy vegetables, beef, liver, pulses, and foods produced from whole wheat.

Alcohol effects on zinc

Alcohol consumption on a chronic basis itself reduces the availability of zinc because there is decreased intake and absorption and increased urinary excretion. When acute zinc deficiency occurs as a result of ethanol exposure, metallothionein, a low-molecular-weight protein body, sequesters plasma zinc to the liver, resulting in a reduction in plasma zinc. This leads to decreased amounts available for placental transport, resulting in fetal zinc deficiency (81, 82).

Choline

Choline and its metabolites are invaluable in neurotransmission (acetylcholine), structural integrity of cell plasma membranes (phosphatidylcholine and sphingomyelin), and cell signaling and in folate-independent pathways as a methyl donor via its metabolite, betaine (42, 90). This nutrient is the most-studied nutrient related to brain development and memory function and has been classified as an essential nutrient by the Institute of Medicine and National Academy of Sciences in the United States (66).

Choline supplementation in animal models

A recent study looked at the effect of choline supplementation on specific neurons that are altered in FASD (94). Pregnant rat dams were fed an alcohol-containing liquid diet or a control diet during GDs 7 and 21 with or without choline (642 mg/L choline chloride). The results showed that gestational choline supplementation prevented the adverse effects of alcohol on the neurons (Table 1) (94). Previous research from Thomas and colleagues (9599) showed that perinatal choline supplementation can reduce the severity of FASD—specifically, hyperactivity and learning deficits in the rat model. The authors found that choline chloride supplementation (250 mg · kg−1 · d−1 choline chloride) prevented ethanol-induced alterations in tasks that require behavioral flexibility such as spontaneous alternation behavior and memory (Table 1) (98).

Antioxidants

Antioxidants are compounds that are produced to scavenge free radicals and other compounds that threaten cellular oxidation. Cells can neutralize and scavenge reactive oxygen species through the enzymatic activity of SOD, glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and catalase. Nutrients such as folate, vitamin C (ascorbic acid), vitamin E (α-tocopherol), selenium, and zinc are important contributors to antioxidant activity.

Selenium

Selenium is a micronutrient that serves as an important component for the generation of the enzyme GPx. GPx inhibits oxidation because it is involved in scavenging free radicals, specifically hydrogen peroxide, and converting them to harmless products such as water. Selenium-based GPx primarily is active within the cytosol or the mitochondria. The amount of selenium obtained from the diet is based on the amount in the soil or water where the food source was grown. Once consumed, it is predominantly stored in the liver, because alcohol metabolism in the liver produces various reactive oxygen species and free radicals. The RDA for selenium during pregnancy is 60 μg/d (105).

Alcohol effects on selenium.

Typically, selenium deposits and plasma concentratons are low in chronic alcoholics because of decreased dietary intake and increased production of free radicals resulting from alcohol metabolism (107). However, selenium concentrations in the plasma were reported to be increased and were significantly greater in women who drank heavily, defined as >140 g/wk, during their pregnancy in comparison to abstinent women and those who consumed alcohol moderately (108).

http://advances.nutrition.org/content/5/6/675.full#sec-40

Cost of senior care services

Senior Services for Alzheimer’s and other health issues

When caring for an Alzheimer’s client, there are varying in-home health care costs based on level of care for. Seniors with different types of mental health challenges starts with Dementia and progresses to Alzheimer. Caregivers are trained to be patient with a senior who have memory issues and have to be ready for assisting with transferring (from wheel chair to bed) as mobility is restricted during the last stage of Alzheimer’s.

In home care includes assistance in daily living include feeding, bathing, transferring, toileting, dressing, cooking, massage, shopping,driving and light housekeeping.

Senior caregiving service costs

Price ranges for caregivers in the bay area helping seniors at home ( in home health services ) is from $15 per hr to $25 per hr. Live-in caregiving costs can vary from $250 to $350 per 24-hr care. Some in home care agencies are asking for $4000 deposit and $5000 fee when you hire their caregivers directly. Some caregiving for in home care or respite care can last from 1 week to 10 years. Care homes, nursing homes, assisted living, or nursing homes cost ranges from $3000 – $12000 per month.

Health insurance or the government does not pay for in home care or caregivers.

Most seniors pay out of pocket costs or their long term care insurance can also pay for it depending on their LTC policies.

Hidden costs of not having a caregiver includes: death of the client or family member as a result of stress from caregiving, emergencies, and increased severity of the disease.

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Contact 408-854-1883 motherhealth@gmail.com for In Home Care with caring caregivers from Motherhealth in the bay area for homebound seniors with Alzheimer’s or other disease.

 

To downsize or not and in need of home care in bay area

Many seniors are in a dilemma to downsize or not considering the cost of living in the bay area. Health wise, seniors are not mobile as they used to be.  In case of any medical emergency, they need to act fast and be close to a hospital or health care facility.  Many emergencies happen during the night and early morning and signs and symptoms cannot easily be detected by family members.

The cost of houses in the bay area skyrocketed that it is common sense to sell an expensive home and live in a small unit and use the sale of the house for health care costs and retirement income.

Many young couples opted for smaller affordable homes to be able to have enough money for other important expenses.

It is sad that many families in the bayarea are spending half of their income on house rent.  Many older generation plans to move out of the bay area to downsize and spend their retirement money wisely.

In care homes, many seniors have sold their homes to pay for nursing homes.

In the bay area, half of the jobs are contractual and families have to move from city to city to find an affordable place to live.

Some of those who stayed prefer their parents, who are now grandparents, to care for their babies and waiting for the time when they do not need babysitter to move away from expensive houses in the bay area.

Many take two jobs and spend less time with family to pay for house rent.

Others use every room in their house as rental income to supplement their income and pay for mortgage or get extra retirement income.

Others use airbnb or live in a rented room while they have their house being rented out for income.

What will you do to afford the housing costs in the bay area? Email motherhealth@gmail.com

For caring caregivers for homebound bay area seniors, call 408-854-1883.

 

 

 

 

 

When do you need a caregiver for your homebound senior

We need a companion, home helper or caregiver for our 70plus mom and dad who live alone to avoid emergencies, to allow us to function and take care of our bodies too in the same way we care for our parents, to give more quality time to our aging parents and to provide the necessary care (non-medical) such as exercises, walking,massage,assistance in daily living (bathing, feeding, others).

Having an Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease is very challenging. We want to avoid the following when caring for seniors with degenerative disease:

Falls

Many medications have side effects such as dizziness, headaches, feeling tired, contipation and more.  When the legs are weak due to health issues and exacerbated by lack of exercise and over medication, fall can happen when there is no assisted device such as cane or rollator, living alone and lack of energy from the body (lack of iron, mental health issues, digestive health issues, lack of sleep, others).

Emergency

Sometimes older adults are addicted to pain killers or other medications when not supervised and can result to emergencies for them and the people around them.  Living alone can also exacerbate the issue.

Lack of assistance in daily living leading to more issues

Just having a companion can mean a lot to a senior who lives alone. They need constant interaction and be read to and have someone to walk or exercise or drive around town.  Bathing and dressing will be more difficult based on the health condition.  Many times during the night, seniors get up or need to be changed (diaper changed) and have to be calmed due to anxiety issues (major issue).  Caregivers know that constipation can lead to many more health issues (mental,physical and aggrevation of current health issues). They constantly monitor whether the client is breathing properly, responding well, has appetite, need to be warmed or has a UTI.

Stories from caregivers

One client was told by his doctor that he has only 6 months to live. His caregiver started him on a healthy diet of greens and healthy protein. He lived for 5 more years.  You will hear the caregiver talk to him daily, Do you need anything Henry? Are you cold? Do you need your food now?

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Contact Motherhealth caregivers at 408-854-1883 for holistic caregiving to your homebound bay area seniors. motherhealth@gmail.com

http://www.clubalthea.com