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February is American Heart Month

Written by sitecats on . Posted in Family Caregivers Blog, Uncategorized

 

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     Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. 1 in 4 deaths are related to heart disease.  To prevent heart disease and increase awareness of its effects, Family Caregivers Network and The Open Link are proudly participating in American Heart Month.  

 

Statistics show that locally in Montgomery County, 2% of deaths in 2010 were related to heart disease.  Heart disease was the leading cause of death for men in Montgomery County and the second leading cause of death in women.  The symptoms of a heart attack for women can be much different than they are for men.  Women often feel hot, exhausted, become pale, then develop pain but not necessarily in their chest.  Women often just attribute the symptoms to working too hard.  But it is important to not ignore any symptoms when you don’t feel good.  Both men and women need to learn about heart disease and how to prevent a serious heart attack.  

You can make healthy changes to lower your risk of developing heart disease. Controlling and preventing risk factors is important for people who already have heart disease to reduce your risks for a heart attack.   To lower your risk:

  1.          Watch your weight.
  2.       Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.
  3.       Control your cholesterol and blood pressure.
  4.          If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
  5.          Get active and eat healthy.

Join us on February 25th from 10:30 am to 11:30 am at The Center at The Open Link at 517 Jefferson Street in East Greenville for a Heart Disease Seminar.  Learn your risks and how you can start today to prevent or reduce your risks for heart disease.  For more information on this program and others, contact Family Caregivers Network at 215-541-9030

 

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Summer Sun Safety and Vitamin D

Written by sitecats on . Posted in Family Caregivers Blog, Uncategorized

 

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The sun is good for us in many ways. It provides us with much needed Vitamin D which helps us absorb calcium for our bones. But how do you know if you have enough Vitamin D or have had too much sun?

Ask your doctor to draw labs and check your Vitamin D level. As we age most of us do not get enough vitamin D from our sun exposure because we are so careful to not get sunburned. When we are out in the sun for long periods of time we know to use sunscreen, wear sun glasses, and to cover our arms and legs with lightweight clothes.  All of this is good to prevent skin cancer but it also limits our ability to absorb Vitamin D from the sun.  If your Vitamin D levels are low your doctor can prescribe the right dosage of Vitamin D to take in pill form.

Remember to be safe in the sun. Cover up with lightweight cool clothing.  In your home make sure to keep the temperature cool; around 75 degrees is good for most individuals.  An older person prefers temperatures closer to 80 degrees in the home.   As we age we loose the ability to regulate our bodies internal temperature and we can easily dehydrate. Older individuals are on many different medications that can also affect the bodies ability to maintain a balanced internal body temperature during the hot summer weather.  Many try to stay warm by wearing sweaters and don’t realize they can be dehydrating or developing heat stroke.  Signs to watch for are dizziness, weakness, nausea, headaches, difficulty speaking, or confusion.  Call for help if you see a loved one with any of these symptoms during warmer temperatures.  Remember these safety tips; stay cool and drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke during the summer.

If you are under the care of a physician and need to limit your fluid intake it is especially important to maintain adequate hydration within your limits. Ask your doctor to prescribe the right quantity of fluids for you to drink. For more information about Summer Safety contact our office at 215-541-9030 and ask to speak with one of our nurses.

 

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Caring for a Loved One takes more than just you.

Written by sitecats on . Posted in Family Caregivers Blog, Uncategorized

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     Caregivers are often so concerned with caring for their loved one’s  needs they lose sight of their own well-being. Statistics show that the number one feeling a caregiver has is sadness or depression due the act of caregiving.   Often family members don’t even identify with being a caregiver often saying “I’m not a caregiver because all I do is help with shopping, or laundry.” But you are a caregiver. The definition of a caregiver is “someone who attends to the needs of another individual.”

Caregivers surveyed have expressed the following feelings;

  1. Trouble focusing.
  2. Feeling they couldn’t leave loved ones alone.
  3. Difficulty making decisions.
  4. Loneliness.
  5. Upset that their loved one is no longer the person they knew.
  6. Loss of personal time.
  7. Lack of sleep.
  8. Emotional crying spells.
  9. Strain with family responsibilities.
  10. Feeling sick, ill. (headaches, stomach problems or common cold).