Health & Wellness

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Swim it, Shore it, or Dodge it!

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Child Abuse Prevention

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The Florida Department of Health is proud to join organizations and agencies across the state in recognizing April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Pinwheels are the national symbol for child abuse prevention and serve as a reminder of the safe and nurturing environment desired for every child. Pinwheels for Prevention, coordinated by Prevent Child Abuse (PCA) Florida, Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida and the Florida Department of Children and Families, is Florida’s statewide campaign that includes promotion of child abuse prevention.

The Florida Department of Health’s Children’s Medical Services Child Protection Teams (CPTs) are medically-directed, multidisciplinary, community-based programs, which provide assessments that supplement the child protective investigation activities of DCF and designated sheriff offices. Each CPT is led by a board-certified physician in pediatrics or family medicine with expertise in child abuse and neglect. CPT staff also provides training sessions for DCF, local sheriff’s office staff, emergency room and other non-medical personnel and other local agencies responsible for the detection or providing child protective services.

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FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH IN MARTIN COUNTY ADDRESSES COUNTY HEALTH RANKINGS

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Martin County, FL–The Florida Department of Health in Martin County recognizes the value in measuring health outcomes and today acknowledged the 2018 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps tool released by the University of Wisconsin and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. This study highlights the many community factors that influence health and uses established data, much of which is available from the department at www.FLHealthCHARTS.com.

“The County Health Rankings help us to understand some of the many factors influencing health in our community.” said Karlette Peck, Health Officer for the Florida Department of Health in Martin County. “Healthy communities are built through partnerships and collaborations. In Martin County, we have enjoyed great success with our Oral Health Prevention program which provides oral health education for pre-school age children including dental sealants for elementary school age children. The program is funded in part by the Children’s Services Council of Martin County and has served more than 3,800 children since it began in late 2014.”

These rankings are a snapshot of the health of counties across the country and they emphasize that health is not a singular effort but a combined work in progress across all community partners. The department works in collaboration with local governments, non-profit organizations, health care facilities, business groups, schools, faith-based organizations and many other stakeholders to improve the health of all people in Martin County. These rankings use data related to physical environments, social and economic factors, health behaviors and clinical care.

In Martin County, the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) is designed to address specific opportunities for improved health that have been identified by the community. The department has partnered with many stakeholders to implement the CHIP and collaborates regularly to track progress. The CHIP can be viewed here: Martin CHIP

Public Health outreach efforts were enhanced in 2017 through a partnership with the Golden Gate Center for Enrichment, managed by the House of Hope. Based in the Golden Gate neighborhood in Stuart, the center has become a hub for programs that enhance health and support life skills. The Health Department offers school age Immunizations, HIV/STD testing, Hepatitis C testing, Family Planning and Nutrition/Cooking classes at the Golden Gate Center. A complete schedule of programs is available here: http://hohmartin.org/golden-gate-calendar

“Bringing partners together in a unified effort is the foundation for our work.” said Rob Raneri, Chief Executive Officer for the House of Hope. “The Golden Gate Center provides us with a unique opportunity to meet people where they live and work. Through our many partnerships, we can offer the community life changing programs that support health, build life skills and support overall well-being.”

To explore more health indicators in your county, visit www.FLHealthCHARTS.com.

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How to Reduce or Eliminate Back Pain Naturally Feel Better Everyday

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Article by: Justin Madigan- DC

“Sit up straight!”

Ever get told this by your teacher or parent? Ever think they were just being mean or authoritative just for the heck of it? I have some news for you, they were looking out for you. By sitting up straight, you will dramatically reduce the amount of dysfunction you are causing your spine. If you didn’t know, your spine begins at your head and ends at your bottom. That means that 75% of your body contains your spine! If you have a problem in your spine what could the effects be?

NEWSFLASH!!!! This could cause headaches, neck pain, shoulder pain, jaw pain, arm pain, back pain, organ problems such as ulcers, IBS, GERD, kidney problems, back pain, leg pain, hip pain, knee pain, ankle pain, foot pain, balance problems, neurological problems, ringing in the ears, and many more! I am serious!

How many of you have had a pain in some area of the body and it spontaneously went away but soon after you had pain in another area of the body? That is because your body changes to protect you. If you had neck pain and once that went away you had back pain does that mean your neck no longer has a problem??? No, not the case. That means your body has now contorted to the point that you can no longer feel the neck pain because your back is now inflamed.

The number one complaint we see in the office is low back pain. The number one type of relief we get is low back pain. This usually happens after the first correction of the neck. No, I didn’t misspeak… by correcting the neck, the back will naturally swing back to its normal position, resulting in a normal stress where there used to be abnormal stress. Cool huh?

Want to know how you can help yourself? Sit up straight. This doesn’t mean once in a while. This means every chance you get. It will be difficult at first but once you routinely check yourself, you will find it easier and easier to maintain an erect posture. Want to get one-on-one training in posture and muscle balance? Make an appointment to come in for a free consultation. We will not only relieve your neck and back pain, but we will teach you haw to keep it permanently away. We will do this without twisting or popping the spine. Click the button up top to call and chat with me. I’m always willing to help.

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7 Tips for Healthy Digestion

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Posted by Susan Bowerman, M.S., RD, CSSD, CSOWM, FAND – Senior Director, Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training 0 Comment

Reduce tummy trouble with better nutrition.

A smooth running digestive system relies on the right foods at the right time.

Of all our bodily functions, we probably focus more on our digestive system than any other. I’m sure one reason for this is that we have plenty of opportunities to touch base with our digestive tract and take a reading. After all, you get signals from your digestive system all day long—everything from “Feed me!” to “Could you loosen the belt a little!“ and “Air comin’ your way!” Your digestive system has a way of speaking up, and that has a lot to say about what you put in it as well as how much and how often.

Many of us eat too much or eat too fast. We don’t eat enough fiber. We skip meals and then subject our systems to a gigantic plate of food. Considering how much use and abuse our digestive systems have to withstand, it’s a wonder we don’t suffer more than we do. Gas, bloating, “having a hard time going”—not a day goes by that someone doesn’t complain to me about one of these common digestive problems. Let’s look at what you can do to ease any strain on your digestive system.
Common digestive system disturbances

Gas
Bloating
Irregularity

Gas production is a normal part of the digestive process, and, unless it’s excessive, it usually indicates a healthy intake of fiber and a well-functioning digestive tract. Most foods that contain carbohydrate—anything from beans to bagels—are not completely broken down during digestion. So, the resident bacteria in your intestines take over, producing gas as they complete the digestive process. The average person passes gas about 14 times a day, releasing about a half liter of gas in the process.

Some people describe feeling bloated after eating—sort of a ‘puffed up’ sensation that comes on rather quickly, mostly in the upper abdomen. It’s often the result of air that gets trapped in your digestive tract, which can come from a surprising number of sources. Often, it’s simply a matter of swallowing a lot of air while you eat, which can happen if you eat too fast or do a lot of talking while you’re chewing. Sometimes carbonated beverages can leave you feeling bloated, since you’re taking in a lot of air along with your liquid. Some people get that bloated feeling when they eat a fatty meal. Fat delays the time it takes for food to leave your stomach, so it can leave you feeling uncomfortable.

Irregularity is one of the most common digestive complaints—it’s also one of the most misunderstood. Many people think if they don’t visit the bathroom on a daily basis, they’ve got a problem. But if things are moving smoothly—whether it’s three times a day or three times a week—you probably don’t have anything to worry about.

My Seven Tips for Healthy Digestion

Get enough fiber

Fiber is the structural portion of a plant, so it’s found in good-for-you foods like fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains. Adults should be eating in the neighborhood of 30 grams of fiber a day, but the average intake among adults in the U.S. is only about a third of that. Our busy lifestyles contribute to the problem. When we’re eating on the go, we’re less likely to find fiber-rich fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Aim to have a fruit or vegetable with every meal or snack, toss some beans into a soup or salad, and choose whole grains over refined “white” breads, cereals, rice and pasta.
Get some “good” bacteria

Your digestive system is home to thousands of strains of beneficial bacteria that help to break down foods that are resistant to normal digestion. This allows you to obtain more nutrients from your foods. The bacteria in your system also help to keep the growth of other potentially harmful bacteria at bay, thus promoting healthy digestion. While the idea of consuming bacteria in your diet may not sound appealing, the probiotic bacteria found in yogurt and other fermented foods can promote digestive health. Aside from yogurt, you can pick up some of these “good” bacteria in other fermented soy products (miso, tempeh, kefir), as well as in pickled foods like cucumber pickles, sauerkraut and kimchi.
Meet your fluid needs

Fluid helps the fibers in foods to “swell,” which helps to add more bulk to the material passing through the lower digestive tract. This keeps things running smoothly. Watery fruits and vegetables go a long way towards meeting fluid needs, but it’s still important to drink fluids throughout the day, too.

Get regular exercise

Exercise isn’t just for the muscles you can see—it’s good for the smooth muscles of your digestive tract, too. Exercise stimulates the muscles to contract, which keeps things “moving along.” Exercise is also a great stress-reducer, which makes it particularly good for those whose digestive systems act up when they get stressed out.
Don’t go too long without eating

When you go too long without eating, a couple of things are likely to happen: you’ll eat quickly because you’re so hungry, and you’ll eat too much because you’re starving. Either way, you could end up with a touch of indigestion. Your digestive system is likely to be a lot happier if you eat regular meals and snacks throughout the day.
Take your time…making dietary changes

Often when people are bothered by gas, they figure the best thing to do is to eliminate ‘gassy’ foods like beans or broccoli. But rather than eliminating these healthy foods, try eating just small amounts over several days to give your system time to adjust. Similarly, if you’re trying to add more fiber to your diet, work your way up to the recommended 25-30 grams of fiber gradually.
Take your time…eating and eliminating

When you eat too fast, not only does it lessen the enjoyment of your meal, but you’re more likely to swallow air which can lead to gas and bloating. When you eat too quickly, you’re more likely to overeat since it takes your stomach about 20 minutes to tell your brain that you’re full. And that can lead to further digestive discomfort. Lastly, when nature calls, be sure to listen. Too many people put off visits to the restroom if the urge to “go” strikes at an inconvenient time. Sure, the urge may pass, but if you put it off, you’re more likely to have trouble getting the job done.

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Can Air Conditioners Cause Sinus Congestion?

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Air-conditioners can cause or worsen sinus congestion due to allergies. It is important to be aware of how you can avoid sinus congestion by maintaining your AC unit.

First, walking into a cold, dry room can trigger a runny nose, just as walking outside on a cold winter day drives many people to reach for tissues, said Dr. John Ohman, chief of the division of allergy at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. The cold air seems to trigger nervous system reflexes in the nose that cause glands in the nasal membranes to produce mucus; the problem may be particularly common in those with allergies. But changes in temperature and humidity should trigger only brief congestion, Dr. Ohman said.

Those with allergies might develop congestion because small particles like pollen, mold spores, pollutants and dust mites can get trapped by air-conditioning filters and then released into the air when the machine is turned on, said Dr. Maria Garcia-Lloret, an allergist at the U.C.L.A. School of Medicine. Pollutants and bacteria wouldn’t cause an allergic reaction per se, she said, but could irritate the nose. Exposure to mold spores can cause allergic reactions that may be particularly long-lasting.

Dr. Richard Lebowitz, a rhinologist at NYU Langone Medical Center, emphasized the importance of changing air-conditioning filters regularly. “If you don’t maintain them well and everything you breathe is filtering through this gigantic sheet of dust,” dispelling dust into the air, “that’s not very helpful,” he noted.

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10 Healthy Breakfast Ideas to Jump Start Your Day

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A balanced breakfast should provide you with a decent amount of protein (20-30 grams is a good target). This helps satisfy hunger and supports muscle health, and along with some healthy carbohydrates can provide sustained energy and fiber. Carbohydrates should include, at the very least, some fruits or vegetables. If your calorie budget allows, add some whole grains as well.

With these simple guidelines, it’s easy to put together a healthy, well-balanced breakfast. Here are 10 healthy breakfast suggestions:

1. Cook some fresh or frozen spinach in the microwave, top with scrambled eggs or egg whites and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, fresh fruit on the side
2. Protein shake made with protein powder, low-fat milk or soy milk and fruit
3. Plain nonfat or low-fat yogurt or cottage cheese topped with fresh fruit and cinnamon, or chopped raw vegetables and some fresh black pepper
4. Rolled oats prepared with milk or soy milk; stir in protein powder and fruit after cooking
5. Corn tortillas, heated and spread with black beans; top with grated low-fat cheese and salsa; fresh fruit
6. Whole grain toast spread with avocado and topped with slices of turkey breast; fresh fruit
7. Scramble extra-firm tofu, drained, crumbled in a little olive oil with fresh vegetables and herbs; fresh fruit
8. Whole grain crackers spread with nonfat ricotta cheese and topped with sliced berries
9. Salmon patty on a toasted whole-grain English muffin; fresh fruit
10. Leftovers: whole grains, protein and veggies make a great breakfast

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Save Time with These 8 Make-Ahead Meal Ideas

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Posted by Susan Bowerman, M.S., RD, CSSD, CSOWM, FAND – Director, Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training

Make-ahead food ideas help me stay organized, save time and always provide something healthy and delicious for when I’m hungry. I like to spend an hour or two on the weekend preparing some staple foods that I can use all week. Take a look at my top eight make-ahead food ideas.

Salad Greens
Pre-washed salad greens are convenient, but they can be pricey. Instead, I buy a variety of lettuces and greens, break them into bite-sized pieces for salads, then wash and spin them in my salad spinner. Then (don’t laugh) I put them in a pillowcase and store them in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. The salad spinner gets the greens really dry, and the pillowcase works better than plastic bags to keep them fresh and crisp. The greens don’t get soggy this way, and they stay fresh for a full week.

Pre-cut Vegetables
I pack a salad nearly every day for lunch, and I make a salad almost every night for dinner, too. To make it easy, I prepare a lot of different veggies and store them in individual containers in the refrigerator. My standbys are thinly sliced cucumbers, red onion and bell pepper, grated carrots and chopped parsley. To prep my food ahead of time, I often blanch some broccoli or cauliflower florets or roast some zucchini slices or asparagus spears in a hot oven and chill those. These veggies quickly and easily get worked into my lunch salad and dinners throughout the week.

Pan-Seared Chicken Pieces
Cooking some chicken in advance is a real lifesaver for me. Starting with about two pounds (1kg) of chicken tenders (goujons), I sprinkle them with a little salt, pepper and paprika. Then I brown them on one side in a little bit of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. I flip them over, add a few tablespoons of liquid to the skillet (white wine, broth, water, or lemon juice), cover the skillet and let them cook for 5-6 minutes until they’re done. I often add these to lunch salads, stuff some into whole grain pita pockets with veggies and hummus, or use them to make a quick soup or pasta for dinner.

Beans or Lentils
Slow cookers are great for making homemade beans or lentils. I like to slow cook black beans with onions, garlic and spices. Once they’re cooked, I keep them in the refrigerator to mix into my salad for lunch or use them as a base for a soup or chili.

Hard-Boiled Eggs
Eggs are one of the best protein sources around, and it only takes a few minutes to hard boil them. I use hard-boiled eggs as a protein source in my salads, and I often grab one for a quick snack. I like to spread a rice cake with some grainy mustard then top it with a sliced egg and some of my sliced vegetables.

Tuna Salad
When I have tuna salad in the refrigerator, it’s a lot easier for me to work more fish into my diet. I mix flaked tuna with either mashed avocado or hummus, a little mustard and a lot of chopped vegetables (again, those pre-cut vegetables). It serves as a protein source for my salad at lunch, or I’ll use a little scoop for a high-protein snack on some whole grain crackers.

Hummus
Hummus takes only a few minutes to make and will stay fresh in the refrigerator for a week. It’s also very inexpensive to make, compared with the price of store-bought versions. Start with a can of beans (garbanzos/chickpeas are traditional, but other beans work just as well). Drain the beans, rinse and drain again, then whirl in the blender with a little olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper until smooth. Hummus with raw veggies makes a great snack, but I also use it in place of mayonnaise in tuna or egg salad, or I’ll thin it down with a little vinegar and water for a delicious salad dressing or sauce on steamed vegetables.

Salad Dressing
Bottled dressings are expensive and often high in salt, sugar and preservatives. Making your own dressing is simple and allows you to control the ingredients. I mix two parts olive oil to one part acid (citrus juice, vinegar), then add salt and pepper to taste. I vary the acid and often use a blend, like lime juice and rice vinegar. You can experiment with adding dried herbs, mustard, garlic powder or onion powder.

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8 Food Safety Tips for BBQs and Picnics

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Fresh air and exercise, friends and family, and coolers of favorite homemade dishes are the ingredients for a happy summer party.

But warmer temperatures help bacteria grow, so it’s more important than ever to practice food safety during the hot summer months.

Keep your food from spoiling by following these safety tips from the US Department of Agriculture:
Wash hands, utensils, containers, and work surfaces before handling food to prevent harmful bacteria from spreading.

Marinate foods in advance, in the refrigerator using a glass or plastic food-safe container.l.

Foods that need to be kept cold include raw meat, poultry, and seafood; deli and luncheon meats or sandwiches; summer salads (tuna, chicken, egg, pasta, or seafood); cut-up fruit and vegetables, and perishable dairy products.

Separate raw meats, poultry, and seafood from ready-to-eat foods including fruits, vegetables, salads, cheeses, and desserts. Use separate coolers, plates, and utensils.

Keep cold food in an insulated cooler with plenty of ice or frozen gel packs. Transport the cooler in the passenger area of your car, not in the hot trunk. At the picnic site, cover the cooler with a blanket and place it in the shade.

Throw out leftovers that have been sitting out for more than 1 hour. Store the rest in a cooler that still has ice. If all the ice has melted, throw away the food.

Bring a food thermometer to be sure grilled foods are cooked enough.

Bring hand sanitizer if your picnic site doesn’t have hand-washing facilities.

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Six Ways Your Pet Can Boost Health and Well-being

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By Krisha McCoy

Arriving home after a long, stressful day at work, you are greeted at the door by an overexcited four-legged friend. It can’t fail to put a smile on your face. Pet ownership is undoubtedly one of the greatest pleasures in life, providing companionship and giggles galore. But the benefits do not end there; your pet could be doing wonders for your health and well-being.

Pets can offer a wealth of benefits for health and well-being.

The United States is a nation of animal lovers; more than 65 percent of households own a pet, with dogs and cats being the most popular choice.

It is no surprise that so many of us have a pet in our lives; not only are animals fantastic company, but they also teach us compassion and offer unconditional love.

As British novelist George Eliot once said, “Animals are such agreeable friends – they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms.”

Adding to pets’ indisputable charm is the wealth of benefits they offer for human health and well-being. We take a closer look at what these are.

Lower risk of allergies – Around 50 million people in the U.S. have nasal allergies, and pet dander is one of the most common triggers.

With this in mind, it may come as a surprise that pets could actually lower the risk of developing allergies.

Reduced anxiety and stress – The soothing sound of a cat purring or the feeling of “man’s best friend” tucked up against your feet is guaranteed to help one feel at ease, so it may come as no surprise that pets can help to alleviate stress and anxiety.

Better heart health – Heart disease is responsible for around 610,000 deaths in the U.S. every year, making it the leading cause of death in the country.

Many of us are aware that good lifestyle choices, such as a healthful diet and regular exercise, are key to reducing risk factors for heart disease. But did you know that your pet could be protecting your heart health, too?

Stronger relationships and social skills – Most pet owners have a special bond with their furry friends – in fact, statistics show that more than 66 percent of dog owners and 56 percent of cat owners consider their pet to be a family member.

But according to recent studies, this pet-owner bond may have a beneficial influence on our other relationships, too.

Improved mental health – Mental illness is estimated to affect around 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. in any given year, with depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia being among the most common.

While having a pet cannot cure mental illness, studies suggest that it could certainly help.

Better sleep quality – Those of you who are dog owners will know only too well the frustration of your four-legged pal claiming the sheets at bedtime. But don’t kick them off the bed just yet; studies have shown that sharing a bed with your pet may actually lead to a better night’s sleep.

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“Five Wishes” – Advance Directives

Out2News.comBy: Jack Langhorne, Treasure Coast Hospice Volunteer 5/24/17

“Catch Up” is triggered the moment someone becomes suddenly dysfunctional, or critical by hospital emergency, and always creates challenging problems for caregivers. From personal experience, here are some ideas, tools, and simple advance preparations which can help anyone avoid “Catch Up”. We can easily pre-plan to help caregivers avoid potential hurdles and complications that delay care. Issues can be anticipated by advance directives, and solutions facilitated with the help of Treasure Coast Hospice. Plan for emergencies, and take advantage of available local resources.

Healthcare professionals consistantly tell me most people are unprepared. Patients rarely have all the documents needed by EMTs, hospitals, or doctors readily accessible. Caregivers usually discover this while waiting in a hospital emergency room dealing with unexpected serious medical concerns.

I flew airplanes for 60 years. 80% of pilot semi-annual, recurrent training involved anticipation and preparation for emergencies. In the same way, disruptions and challenges caused by medical emergencies involving loved ones can be greatly minimized through the identical process of advance planning and preparation.

Treasure Coast Hospice offers a free publication called “Five Wishes”. This 12-page form is a simple and mostly do-it-yourself, fill-in-the-blanks resource. Anyone can use “Five Wishes” to express his or her own emergency, disability, or end-of-life preferences. The form provides numerous blank spaces to include necessary authorizations and guidance for family, friends and healthcare providers. “Five Wishes” makes it easy to plan ahead. Your written plan saves others from having to make difficult and heartbreaking decisions. “Five Wishes” helps avoid the challenges of “Catch Up”.

My wife, Pat, and I were travel agents. We specialized in cruises and sailed together more than 60 times. At age 69, Pat fell in a Doctor’s office, breaking her hip. The surgery following the accident accelerated her chronic Parkinson’s disease causing unremitting and substantial pain for the next three years

During the first 12 months Pat saw a specialist of some sort every week. Treasure Coast Hospice was never mentioned. Fortunately at month 13, a Treasure Coast Hospice evaluation determined that Pat could have received in-home care that would have mitigated a lot of her suffering months earlier.

Five Wishes is a simple form that documents your instructions for your future medical care in the event you become unable to speak for yourself. The booklet has several components, including:

• A health care Power of Attorney or surrogate authorization that allows you to name a person you trust to make your health care decisions if you cannot make them yourself.

• A Living Will – a statement about your desires to have or not to have your life prolonged by extraordinary measures if you have a terminal or incurable illness or if you are in a vegetative state.

• A Declaration of Anatomical Gift – allowing you to make a gift by will, organ donor card or other document.

After completing “Five Wishes” many decide to expand and broaden the scope of their end-of-life directives in a “Red Notebook”. The Red Notebook Project is user-friendly. It is a fill-in-the-blanks, 3-ring notebook with storage pockets available at a modest price, and is privately published. The information can also be uploaded and updated anywhere at any time online.

The Red Notebook is indexed, “do-it-yourself”, and divided into sections with detailed checklists and suggestions. Multiple pockets create an easy place to put important legal documents such as a Will or a Trust. Some people record contacts, passwords, user-names and account information for banking or investment accounts. They sometimes include Powers of Attorney or other authorizations enabling a caregiver to write checks or transfer cash from savings into a checking account.

I have seen Red Notebooks which go into detail explaining where various important files and records can be found, along with lists and contact information for those who should be notified in the event of death. Many realize that surviving family is under a lot of pressure when a spouse or parent dies, so they write their own obituary. The more we have pre-prepared in advance, the easier it will be for the surviving caregivers.

Because of my recent, close, and personal experience with all of these medical and end-of-life issues, I am a volunteer for Treasure Coast Hospice. I am not an Attorney, but am available to discuss or speak about these issues; answer questions, and to provide copies of “Five Wishes”. Also, for more information on The Red Notebook Project, I am glad to help you there, as well.”

My contact information is; Cell # 772-486-2539 (Phone or Text); and

E-mail LanghorneJ@gmail.com.

Jack Langhorne

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The Link Between Sleep and Weight

Out2News.com
By Krisha McCoy

We all know that diet and exercise are the cornerstones of a weight-loss program. But can sleep also help you maintain a healthy weight or even drop a few pounds?

“There are more and more studies showing that not getting enough sleep or not getting good quality of sleep can contribute to weight gain,” says Raj Kakar, MD, MPH, the medical director at the Dallas Center for Sleep Disorders in Plano, Texas.

Sleep and Body Weight: What the Research Says

Just as obesity has become a worldwide epidemic over the past few decades, more people have also become chronically sleep-deprived. According to National Sleep Foundation surveys, 35 percent of Americans were sleeping for eight hours a night in 1998, compared with just 26 percent in 2005. Researchers believe that the growing obesity and sleep deprivation epidemics may be related.

A recent study followed a group of 40- to 60-year-old women for five to seven years and tracked their weight and sleeping patterns. The researchers found that women who reported having trouble falling asleep, waking up frequently at night, or having trouble staying asleep were significantly more likely to have “major weight gain” (gain of 11 pounds or more).

Another study examined the eating and exercise habits of a group of young healthy men after sleeping for eight hours and four hours on two consecutive nights. The researchers found that the men ate significantly more (an average of 560 excess calories in their daily diet) during the day after they were sleep-deprived, compared to what they ate after having a good night’s sleep.

Researchers believe that sleep-deprived children may be at especially high risk of having weight problems. Studies have consistently found that getting less sleep than recommended is associated with childhood obesity. In fact, based on sleep studies in children, researchers have calculated that a child’s risk of being overweight or obese is reduced by about 9 percent for each additional hour of sleep per night.

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Signs That Your Loved One Might be Suffering from Oral Cancer

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Article by: Lee Borellis -Treasure Coast Home Health Care
In your role as a family caregiver, awareness is one of the most important tools that you can have. This awareness is vital not just for being able to detect issues that your loved one might be facing, but also how you can help them to manage these issues in the way that is right for them. April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. During this month, take time to learn more about the potential signs and symptoms of oral cancers so that you can help to make sure that your elderly loved one gets the level of care that they need to manage their condition in accordance with their health, well-being, and wishes for the future.

As with most other forms of cancer, early detection is key to getting your parent on the most effective means of treatment and giving them the best possible benefits. Some of the early signs and symptoms that your aging parent might be suffering from oral cancer include:

Sores or swelling anywhere in the mouth or along the throat that do not correspond with other health issues

Thick patches or lumps in the throat or throughout the mouth

White or red lesions on the lips or in the mouth

Swelling that makes previously well-fitting dentures uncomfortable

Loose teeth that are not related to other dental health issues

Sore throat or hoarseness that is persistent and does not respond to usual treatments

Feeling as though there is something stuck in the throat or that there is a continuous lump in the throat

Numbness anywhere in the mouth or on the tongue

Pain or tenderness in the mouth or on the tongue

Difficulty moving the tongue or jaw

Difficulty with speaking

Pain in one ear that does not correspond with any loss of hearing

These symptoms can relate to other conditions, which makes it extremely important that if you notice any of them you get your loved one to the doctor or dentist as soon as possible so that your parent can get an appropriate diagnosis and get on the course of treatment that is right for them.

If your elderly loved one has recently been diagnosed with cancer, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting senior care for them. A senior home care services provider can be with your elderly parent on a customized schedule that ensures that they always have access to the support, care, encouragement, and assistance that they need when they need it, while also encouraging them to maintain as much independence, autonomy, activity, engagement, and fulfillment as possible as they age in place. This includes devising a highly personalized set of services tailored to not just their specific challenges, limitations, and health condition, but also the wishes that they have regarding their care and lifestyle during this journey. As their family caregiver this can give you a tremendous sense of confidence and peace of mind knowing that they are getting everything that they need and that their wishes are being respected both when you are with them and when you are not.

If you or an aging loved one are in need of senior care in Vero Beach, FL or the surrounding areas, contact the caring professionals at Treasure Coast Home Health Care. Call today at 772-872-6983.

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The Health Benefits of Owning Pets

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Do you count one or more dogs, cats, fish, reptiles, birds, or other animals as part of your family? Roughly 6 out of 10 US households include at least 1 pet. Many people love their non-human friends because they offer companionship. Our pets can also increase our opportunities for socialization, exercise, and outdoor activities.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pets can have positive effects on our physical health. They can decrease our blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels.

But just like people, pets sometimes carry germs that can make us sick. That’s why it’s important to take your pet for regular veterinarian checkups to keep them healthy. You should also practice good hygiene around your pets to avoid transferring germs. This is especially important for people with weaker immune systems, including cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
Stay Healthy during Chemo

Your pets can be an important source of emotional support while you receive chemotherapy. But some pets – including reptiles, chickens, ducks, hamsters, gerbils, mice, guinea pigs, and ferrets – are just not safe while you’re in cancer treatment. Most healthy inside cats and dogs are safe, but it’s still important to protect yourself from your pets’ germs while your immune system is weaker than usual. Talk to your cancer care team and your veterinarian about your pets, and the best way to care for them while you’re in treatment.

Precautions you may be advised to take include:

Avoiding scratches and bites. Get your pet’s claws trimmed often to make scratches less likely. If you are scratched or bitten, clean the area and call your doctor.
Avoiding pet urine and feces. Wear gloves when you clean up waste from outside or from a litter box. Wash your hands as soon as you’re done. Better yet, ask a friend or relative to handle this chore.
Washing your hands with soap and water after playing with, caring for, or petting animals, especially before preparing or eating food and drink
Not allowing your pet to lick your mouth, open cuts, or wounds
Keeping your pet clean, and keeping regular veterinary appointments for a healthy pet.

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A Vision of Health

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Article By: Mindie Molina

Gradual vision loss is part of the aging process, but it affects people of all ages. In fact, about 75 percent of all adult Americans use some sort of vision correction: 64 percent wear glasses; 11 percent wear contacts. On top of that, 14 percent use non-prescription glasses for reading.1

Research has found that eating certain types of foods may actually help prevent vision problems. For example, vitamins C, and E and the mineral zinc have been shown to help slow the progression of macular degeneration.2

Eating foods rich in lutein and zeaxanthin are believed to aid pigment density in the macula. These two carotenoids are found in kale, spinach, Swiss chard, collard greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and orange peppers.3

Another good food for retinal health is the omega-3 fatty acid DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), which exists in wild-caught Alaskan salmon, sardines, flaxseed and walnuts. Alaskan salmon also contains astaxanthin, which offers protection from ultraviolet radiation. Some studies have claimed astaxanthin is an important nutrient that may help prevent blindness.4

Although difficult to find, the bilberry (a close relative of the blueberry) contains high amounts of anthocyanins, which may help protect eyes during retinal inflammation. Black currants also contain this nutrient.5

And finally, there is some evidence that the natural bright light of being outdoors may enhance vision health through (conservative) exposure to UVB rays, which generates the production of vitamin D.6

Out2stluciecounty.com is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

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