Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Myths about the Flu

Hello everyone! Since it's still chilly out, make sure you're healthy and hopefully these Senior's Choice facts will help put you at ease about the Flu Vaccine!

Senior Health & Lifestyles

15 Myths About the Flu Vaccine

Flu season is here. And along with the coughing, fevers and aches, you can expect a lot of unreliable or downright wrong information about the flu vaccine. Many people underestimate the health risks from flu. Flu and pneumonia combined consistently rank among the top 10 causes of death in the U.S., according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Thousands of Americans die from flu-related complications in a typical year. The flu season typically lasts from October to April.
Getting a shot isn't a perfect defense against flu. Some years the strains used to make vaccines aren't a good match for the type of flu that eventually strikes. But vaccination remains the most reliable way to reduce the risk for illness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older gets vaccinated against flu every year, with rare exceptions, such as those with life-threatening allergies to flu vaccine ingredients or potentially those with a history of Guillain-Barré syndrome.
Following is a list of common misconceptions about the flu vaccine and the corresponding facts. If you have specific questions about vaccination, consult your doctor or other health professional.
Myth #1: You don't need the flu vaccine this year if you got it last year. Fact: You need a new flu shot each year because the circulating strains change and immunity from the vaccine fades.
Myth #2: The flu shot is the only option available. Fact: You have several flu vaccine options, such as the shot, including egg-free versions, and a nasal spray.
Myth #3: The flu vaccine can give you the flu. Fact: The flu shot can't give you the flu because the virus it contains has been inactivated or severely weakened.
Myth #4: The flu shot doesn't work for me because last time I got it, I got the flu anyway. Fact: The flu shot cannot offer 100 percent protection against the flu, but it reduces your risk of getting it. Many people mistake symptoms from colds and other illnesses for the flu.
Myth #5: Pharmaceutical companies make a massive profit off flu vaccines. Fact: They're a tiny source of profit and are made by only a handful of companies.
Myth #6: Flu vaccines don't work for children. Fact: Flu vaccines effectively reduce the risk of flu for children ages 6 months and up.
Myth #7: Flu vaccines cause heart problems and strokes. Fact: Flu shots reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular events.
Myth #8: The flu vaccine weakens your body's immune response. Fact: The flu vaccine prepares your immune system to fight influenza by stimulating antibody production.
Myth #9: The flu vaccine causes nerve disorders such as Guillain-Barré syndrome. Fact: Only the 1976 swine flu vaccine was linked to Guillain-Barré syndrome, and influenza is more likely to cause the nerve disorder than the flu vaccine; the CDC says those with the Guillain-Barré should consult a doctor before getting the flu shot.
Myth #10: People don't die from the flu unless they have another underlying condition already. Fact: Otherwise healthy people do die from the flu. The elderly and young children are most vulnerable.
Myth #11: People with egg allergies can't get vaccinated against flu. Fact: People with egg allergies can get a flu shot but should consult their doctor or allergist on options if their allergy is severe.
Myth #12: I can protect myself from the flu by eating right and washing my hands regularly. Fact: A good diet and good hygiene are healthful habits that reduce the risk of illness but cannot prevent the flu on their own.
Myth #13: If I do get the flu, I'll just stay home so I'm not infecting others. Fact: You can transmit the flu without showing symptoms.
Myth #14: The "stomach flu" is the flu. Fact: The stomach flu refers to a variety of gastrointestinal illnesses unrelated to influenza.
Myth #15: If you haven't gotten a flu shot by November, there's no point in getting one. Fact: Getting the flu shot any time during flu season will reduce your risk of getting the flu.

We have nearly selected our winner for the I SPY contest, so stay tuned to discover the winner!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Senior's Choice Finance Resources and Elf on the Shelf!

This week's blog post comes to us right from The Senior's Choice!

Finance & Consumer Resources

Reevaluating Your Investments in an Uncertain Market

While most economic experts agree that the fundamentals of the economy are sound, many market watchers are beginning to ask the question: Is this Bull coming to an end? 2018 has been a year of uncertainty, and most financial advisors are recommending investors revisit their portfolios with at least an eye to rebalancing. Here are some suggestions for weathering a potential downturn in the market.
Know that you have the resources to weather a crisis. If you’re retired, knowing that you have the next couple years’ worth of living expenses in a bank account—and several more years in bonds that mature when you need the money—can help keep you calm and clear-headed. You might think you are risk tolerant, but if you haven’t structured your investments to handle a sharp drop, your financial capacity to handle risk may change your attitude when the market does drop.
Match your money to your goals. Map out a plan that takes into account what you’re saving for, whether near-term expenses or future financial goals like retirement. Structure your portfolio to match those goals. Money that you’ll need in the short term or that you can’t afford to lose—the down payment on a home, for example—is best invested in relatively stable assets, such as money market funds, certificates of deposit (CDs) or Treasury bills. Goals that need funding in three to five years should be addressed with a mixture of investment-grade bonds and CDs. For money you won’t need for five or more years, consider assets with the potential to grow, such as stocks, which are more volatile. Your allocation should also account for your time horizon and risk tolerance.
Remember: Downturns don’t last. The Schwab Center for Financial Research looked at both bull and bear markets in the S&P 500 going back to the late ’60s and found that the average bull ran for more than four years, delivering an average return of nearly 140%. The average bear market lasted a little longer than a year, delivering an average loss of 34.7%. The longest of the bears was a little more than two years—and was followed by a nearly five-year bull run. No bull market endures forever, but neither does a bear. And historically the market’s upward movement has prevailed over the declines.
Keep your portfolio diversified. Let’s say there is a slump—what is the best way to insulate against losses? Being well diversified is a preventive measure you can take now. Being diversified means you have a wide variety of investment grade bonds—corporate, municipals, Treasuries and possibly foreign issues. And they should have varying maturity dates, from short-term to mid-term, so you always have some bonds maturing and providing you with either income or money to reinvest. Your long-term assets should be divvied up among a wide array of domestic stocks—big and small, fast-growing and dividend-paying—as well as international stocks, real estate investment trusts (REITs) and commodities. This mix of assets gives you enough diversity that it provides a cushion in your portfolio if specific parts of the market are taking a hit so your exposure in a downturn is lessened.
Include cash in your portfolio. Cash in your portfolio offers protection against volatility, and cash reserves can come in handy in down markets. With cash you can buy in when prices are attractively low—without having to sell securities at a loss, if they are also at a low point.
Find an expert you can count on. If you’re not sure how to structure your portfolio correctly, or you think you’d be tempted to do something rash in a market slide, you should find a financial professional you trust to collaborate with you. That person can walk you through a complete portfolio review and help prepare you and your portfolio for times when the market gets tough.
By Caren Parnes
For The Senior’s Choice

Have you been following our social media? Since it's December, we are posting daily Elf on the Shelf shenanigans again this year to get into the holiday spirit!  Meet Valerie, the Touching Hearts Elf on the Shelf!  She just came back from the North Pole the other day and is going to keep an eye on the office for Santa.  What kind of adventures will she have this year?

Follow us on your preferred social media to find out!

Facebook: facebook.com/touchingheartsseniorcare/
Twitter: twitter.com/TouchingHearts8
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/senioranddementiacare/
Google+: plus.google.com/u/0/100055681154400505170
And for christmas, there will be a very special video on our YouTube page!

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

I Spy and the End of November

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving!  Shared some laughs, good food, and all around good times with your families.  I hope everyone was in good health!  Did you notice a family member developing dementia? It's unfortunate but statistically it's going to happen, when it does you can always rely on to Touching Hearts to help you through this time!  Whether it's scheduling a Certified Dementia Caregiver or coming to our Bi-Monthly support groups, we are always happy to help!

This last week of November is GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) Awareness month!  Also known as Acid Reflux, and is a very common disease that affects 1 in 5 adults.  The most common symptom of GERD is moderate to severe heart burn, but can also have symptoms of excessive salivation, constant belching, and difficulty swallowing.  Due to the variations in pain and discomfort, some people go their whole lives without a diagnosis, where as others don't get the right level of treatment and have to undergo drastic lifestyle changes to adjust to GERD.  With enough funding, scientists can research into more effective methods of understanding the Causes and Treatments of GERD.

The last day of our I SPY giveaway is coming up fast! You have until the 30th to spot the car and if you do, then you have a chance to win a 50 dollar gift card for Outback Steakhouse!  All you have to do is snap a picture and post it on our Facebook Page! facebook.com/touchingheartsseniorcare

December is nearly Here!

Last year I had a ton of fun with posting Elf on the Shelf, so guess who is returning this year?

Could it be? It's Touching Heart's Elf on the Shelf Valerie! Coming soon she's here to stay. Bringing mischief and cheer until Christmas day!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Black Ice Safety and the I Spy Contest

It's getting colder as the year comes to a close!  While it's rare down south, ice can still form on the road.  It's very rare for a southern state to salt roads in the winter like they do in New York, so black ice has a tendency to form when the evening dew gets cold enough to freeze overnight.  Thankfully, it's usually warm enough to melt during the day, but driving in the morning is still very dangerous.  Black ice is difficult to turn or stop on, so make sure to drive slow, and slowly press on your breaks.  Give yourself enough time to slowly come to a stop at a light, stop sign, or what have you.  Pressing on your breaks too fast with result in your car skidding across the pavement, similar to hydroplaning in very rainy weather.  All too often I see people blaring down a 40mph street going 60mph, only to find them in a ditch around the corner because they had no traction.  If not for the sake of other's road safety, please drive cautiously for your own personal safety too.  It's better to be late to work than to miss days because your injured in the hospital or worse.  Be safe, and on cold days, assume all wet spots on the road are ice, or have ice.

The month has nearly come to a close! Have you spotted our Touching Hearts Senior Care Kia?  It's still not too late, keep your eye out for a Kia Soul with the Touching Hearts logo and Rosie the Bear on it, snap a photo, and upload it to our Facebook page.  The winner will be selected in December and receive a 50 dollar gift card from Outback Steakhouse! Here are some recent entries:

Photo by Lisa Moore

Photo by Latosha Rabb

Keep your eye out on our YouTube Channel this Thanksgiving! We have an extra special video we would like to share with you all!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The coming holiday season!

Good afternoon everybody! I hope you all enjoyed Veterans Day.  Thank you to all the Vets who served our country, protecting what makes America great.  The holiday season is approaching fast, we just had Veterans Day, next Thursday is Thanksgiving, Friday is Black Friday, then we have Cyber Monday (think Black Friday for online stores like Amazon), and then all that's left is the Holidays (Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, what have you) before the new years!

Speaking of holidays, it's the time for families to reconnect and share love and meals.  Odds are your family has someone who has some form of dementia and most people don't know how to deal with the situations that dementia brings.  Make sure you avoid correcting them, as they'll only feel frustrated and won't understand why.  Furthermore, don't keep asking them if they remember something specific, because that too will lead to frustration.  Making someone with dementia try to remember isn't like rehabilitating someone with muscular atrophy, exercises won't correct the problem, modern medicine just hasn't caught up with dementia yet.  Just be there for your loved one, make them feel comfortable, and enjoy the positive moments, isn't that the main focus of the holidays anyways?

What's your favorite part of a Thanksgiving meal and do you have a favorite memory at Thanksgiving? Share yours in the comments!

I like Turkey, stuffing, and gravy! Especially if its the next day's leftovers mixed into a sandwich!

As for memories (when I was very young), my mother had overcooked a spiral ham and it had dried out to the point of being crispy, and my sister and I found out that certain parts of the "ham jerky" split in squares without cutting.  We took those squares and stuck them between our lips and teeth similar to gag gift buck teeth.  It looked so gross, having huge brown teeth, making faces at each other, but it was loads of fun.  I think we played with our food more than we ate it that day, but we did it as a family.

Let's not forget to congratulate Gabrielle Young for being our Employee of the Month for November!  Her dedication and hard work really makes her shine as a caregiver!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Alzheimer's Awareness Month and Election day!

Hello again everyone! It's November, have you all adjusted to daylight savings?  I know I enjoyed my extra hour of sleep on Sunday!  November is a very important month for us as it's National Alzheimer's Awareness Month.  Currently, Alzheimer's is an incurable brain disease that affects countless elderly across the world.  Memory loss is only the tip of the iceberg with this disease, it can completely rewire a person's behavior as the brain begins to fail. 

There currently is no cure but there are treatments available, but with your help we can fund research into a possible cure, or at least a greater understanding and more effective treatments.  If you would like to help fight Alzheimer's and Dementia, spread the word and donate to a charity of your choice that's working towards curing Alzheimer's.

Today is Election Day! Did you know millions of Americans don't vote?  Whether it's laziness or just the hopeless feeling that your 1 small vote doesn't matter.  Sometime's it's hard to see just how important your one vote is. But if you feel your vote doesn't matter, odds are someone else doesn't feel their vote matters too, and it just keeps going until a large chunk of the populous isn't making their voice heard.  The mid term elections could be the most important votes you could make, even compared to voting for the president! You're more likely to experience policies by the senate and governors than you will from the POTUS (President of the United States).  I don't care what your political standing is, you have your own viewpoints, so shouldn't you cast your vote for the people who best represent you?  Vote for change if you want change, vote to keep things the way they are, what ever it is, you have the right to make your voice heard, it's one of the many blessings we have in the United States.  If you are legally allowed to vote, you should exercise your right to do so, and if not voting is what you truly want then go for it, but ask yourself, "Is there anything about the country I'd like to see change or stay the way it is?"  If you answered yes, then you should go vote, it'll only help the chances you'll see the changes you want to see.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Happy Halloween!

Lisa Moore the Fairy

Levi Holl the Shadow Man

Happy Halloween everybody!  We hope you have a spooky and fun holiday! Please be safe and responsible if you plan to go to any parties.  Keep an eye on your children if you plan to go trick or treating with them as well! It's difficult to see out of some masks at night and some costumes are hard to see in the dark, putting children at risk for car related injuries.  Get some reflective tape or a toy with lots of flashing lights for your child's costume, Flashlight, they even have light up candy pails for kids too! Anything to improve visibility in the dark.  What ever you do for Halloween, we hope you have loads of fun with friends and family!

Everyone knows fish is super healthy for you to eat, but fish can be pretty tricky if you don't know how to cook it!  Thankfully I love cooking fish, especially salmon, and I know a few pointers to get you started in the right direction.  The first and most important thing to think about is what you want to eat, have you had fish before? If not you should probably look into more mild fish like Cod or Haddock, and make sure its skinless.  While the skin has the most nutrients in it, that's where most of the fish oily flavor comes from, and people new to fish don't particularly care fore that.  Pay close attention to the quality of the meat too, more vibrant colors means its fresh, and has the best flavor!

As you can see here, the Tuna on the right is a deep red freshly cut, sushi-grade delicious, whereas the tuna on the left is pale pink, still tasty but not as fresh.  Get your fresh cuts and you won't be sorry!

Now you want to start thinking about seasoning.  Refine that flavor.  Sometimes salt and pepper is all you need, but shop around, smell some seasoning containers, a good rule of thumb is if it smells good it'll taste good.  I personally love a grilled salmon with lemon pepper seasoning.  You can't go wrong with seasoning, especially if you don't like strong fishy flavors.  Make sure you rub the seasoning into the flesh, coat the top and bottom, and let it rest in your fridge for a half hour at minimum.  That will let the seasoning have enough time to soak into the meat, giving a more even and rich flavor.

Got your meat ready? Time to cook!  There are many ways to cook a fish, each method has its own quirk, and every cut of meat has its own cook times.  Don't be afraid to google a recipe or proper cook times of your particular fish.  You can steam, fry, grill, bake, even microwave, it all depends on what you have and how much time you need.  Thankfully fish cooks very fast so its a good meal to make on the fly.  Grilling and Steaming are probably the easiest and healthiest methods since they don't require a lot of oils.  I grill my fish on each side until it's blackened, cooking on a medium-high heat to quickly char the outside but not so fast as to leave the inside still raw.  You shouldn't have to flip your fish more than once if you grill it, fish is a flimsy meat that falls apart very easily when cooked, so you want to avoid touching it as much as possible.  Don't be afraid to drizzle a little bit of citrus juice over your fish while cooking, lemon pairs incredibly well with fish, especially salmon!

You'll know when your food is ready to eat when the flesh has a significant color change, obviously the color will vary depending on the raw color of you initial fish cut.  Salmon should go from a pink-orange to a pale orange when steamed, or a deep golden brown if you grill it.  Steaming tends to make the meat pale where as grilling and pan-frying tends to make it dark on the outside.  If you are still unsure if it's ready, get a food thermometer, prod the thickest part of the meat and see how hot it is.  The minimum safe cooking temperature for fish is 145 Degrees Fahrenheit.  Some fish meat can safely be eaten raw, but don't risk it unless you are certain from your seller that it was Sushi Grade Fish.

Too long to read? Here's a brief recap:

Get the vibrant meat
Pick your seasoning
Decide how to cook
Dont flip the meat too much or it'll break apart
145 degrees or sushi grade? Dig in!

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Things to Look Out for This Holiday

Greetings everyone! As you all are aware, the Holiday Season is right around the corner!  It's the time to reconnect with family, sit down, have nice dinners and enjoy each other's company.  We all have parents and grandparents who are growing older, so we need to keep our eyes out for signs of dementia.  With 1 out of every 10 Americans over 65 developing dementia, odds are we all have a family member with it.  My grandfather slowly developed it where we didn't even notice, and then two years ago it progressed seemingly overnight.  It can't hurt to be prepared.  Pay attention to their behavior like; forgotten and unpaid bills, expired foods, slowed movement, disorganization, and worsening memory issues.  These are all signs that alone could just be forgetfulness and aging, but together and rapid progression might signify something worse, like dementia.  It can't hurt to see a neurologist, and even start preparing to bring on additional help like an in home caregiver.

Last weekend we had out Annual Employee meeting, where we all meet up, talk about Touching Hearts as a business, and our caregivers have the opportunity to vent through our support group and eat food!  Each caregiver we employ is a family member to us, and while they are taking care of peoples loved ones, we want to make sure they are cared for as well, that their concerns are aired and questions answered.  To all our caregivers, we thank you so much for all your hard work, without you all, we wouldn't be the amazing team we are today!  If you have any concerns our doors are always open, and we want to make sure you have a fantastic experience while working with us!

Last Friday a new video went up! Did you see? It's a montage of all our memories with the community! Be sure to give it a look, and if you like our videos, why not give it a like? Maybe a comment, perhaps of what you would like to see more in the future for our videos? Subscribe too if you want to continue to see more from us as we post them!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Hurricane Michael and the Flu Season

I hope everyone stayed safe during Hurricane Michael!  Unfortunately the Florida Panhandle was hit hard by the hurricane and are in dire need of help.  If you can afford to help, please donate any supplies you can spare to your nearest collection drive, or volunteer for the relief efforts.  If you live in Mobile, the SouthWest Mobile Chamber of Commerce is accepting donations on weekdays from 9 am -5 pm.  You can donate anything from: water/sealed beverages, baby supplies, cleaning supplies, hygiene supplies, ready to eat foods (like canned goods or prepackaged snacks/meals), kitchen/household supplies, and blankets/sheets.  Anything you can spare to help the people of Florida.  Visit www.SWMCChamber.com for more details.

Flu Season is right around the corner! Thankfully due to the harsh flu season we had last year, we are unlikely to see that strain spread like it did, meaning a less severe year.  However, you shouldn't rely on herd immunity (herd immunity is the idea that if everyone else is immune, then they can't get sick so you won't either by being around them), be safe and get your flu shots before its too late.  Your body is designed to become immune to a virus after you have been exposed to it, "Now Levi," you ask "If we become immune after being exposed, how are people still getting the flu year after year?"  Good question, each flu strain has a unique structure to it, after we are infected by it, the body memorizes that particular strain, making you immune.  However, there isn't just one flu virus, the flu adapts and changes year after year into new strains that your body might not recognize.  This is where flu shots come in.  Shots have "deactivated flu viruses" in them, meaning a dead virus; it's just the parts your body uses to recognize the infection. These deactivated viruses are completely incapable of infecting someone, however you may display flu like symptoms and feel sick.  This is because the flu isn't what causes the symptoms, that's your cells reacting to pathogens in your body, it's perfectly natural, and shouldn't last nearly as long as a flu infection.  After your body has identified the deactivated strain you are immune to that particular flu and have a stronger resistance to modified strains of it.  For your health, it's very important to keep your immunizations up to date!  Not just for your sake, but even for the sake of people who have weaker immune systems or are allergic to the immunizations.  Seniors and small children are at the most risk when it comes to the influenza virus.  Hopefully you found this article interesting and informative!

Monday, October 8, 2018

Breast Cancer Awareness and Hurricane Michael

Happy Columbus Day everybody!  We hope you are enjoying your day off if you have it!

It's a little bit late, but this month is Breast Cancer Awareness month.  Did you know, that men can also develop breast cancer? It's very rare for men to get but it's still very likely!  Be sure to get regular check ups with your doctors, and if you notice any lumps (male or female) to speak with your doctor right away.  Early detection is very important when treating cancer!  If you can spare it, please donate to a cancer research center of your choosing or to a related charity to help fund the research needed to develop a cure.  Every penny helps and brings society one step closer to a cancer free world!

Last week we got our first I Spy submission from David Carpenter! There's still plenty of time so keep your eye out for this Kia Soul and send your picture to us on our Facebook Page!  Remember, your submission puts you in for a drawing for a $50 gift card for Outback Steakhouse!

Keep your eye out in these locations for our car this week!

-Mon: Mobile
-Tues: Saraland and Semmes Alabama
-Wednesday: Connie Hudson Senior Center
-Thursday: Mobile
-Friday: Mobile

Tomorrow we are holding our Bi-Monthly Dementia Support group!  If you're a caregiver or a family member who is taking care of someone with Dementia, feel free to come by our head quarters at 11 am tomorrow and the 23rd to speak with other caregivers and our professionals.  Share your stories, learn about the disease, and get referrals to respite services if you feel like you need it!

Everyone please be safe, Hurricane Michael is headed in our direction and was located off of the Gulf Coast today.  While it's projected to pass us without any issues, it is moving fast and may change directions.  If it does hit, meteorologists believe it will be on Wednesday.  Please take the necessary precautions, stock up on non perishable food, and drive safe until the storm has passed!

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Back to Blogging!

Hello everyone, sorry there hasn't been a post in a while!  My name is Levi, and I'm in charge of the social media for Touching Hearts Senior Care now.  I will be giving weekly recaps of what's going on, up coming events and other interesting information from Touching Hearts Senior Care!

Coming up we have Gina Germany, Janet Rich Pittman, Dr. Douglas Brown, and David Johnson speaking at a seminar called "The Dementia Tsunami!"  This November, come learn about what dementia is, how to recognize it, and how to care for someone with cognitive disabilities.

You can RSVP any time between now and the 14th by calling us at the office, 251-445-4204, or sending an email to Lisa@thscmobile.com!

Come learn about Dementia and earn some CEUs while you're there!

The Dementia Tsunami is coming to the Ben May Library on 11/15/18, at 9am.  We hope to see you there!

We are sponsoring another event coming this month as well! At the end of this month you can come to the Connie Hudson Senior Center and learn about identity theft, how it happens, and the steps you can take to protect yourself in case it does happen. 

This event is on October 30th, 2018 from 10 am to 12 pm.

In big news, we have restarted our YouTube Channel!  We post a new video every Friday that I personally edit.  This week we are celebrating one of our most reliable caregivers, Lisa Donahue, as our October Employee of the Month!

And lastly, we are holding a contest giveaway for 50 dollars to Outback Steakhouse! To enter all you need to do is keep your eye out for our brand new company car.  If you see it in public, take a picture and post it to our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/touchingheartsseniorcare/

You have until November 30th to submit a photo, so keep your eyes peeled!

This giveaway is solely held by Touching Hearts Senior Care, and is in no way sponsored or affiliated with Outback Steakhouse, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, or LinkedIn.

Monday, June 4, 2018

                                 June is National Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month !

     Stroke, Bell's palsy, and sudden deafness are conditions that each have a specific window of time to get evaluated or treated. Learn the signs and seek immediate help to reduce or reverse any disability.

Stroke: There are two kinds of stroke. An ischemic stroke is a blockage that prevents blood flow to the brain, says David Wang, DO, FAAN, chair of The American Academy of Neurology Stroke Section and Clinical professor of neurology at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria.

Know the signs:
  1. Facial droop
  2. Arm or leg weakness
  3. Speech problems (an inability to speak or garbled speech)
  4. Sudden bad headache
  5. Double vision
  6. Difficulty walking
  7. Vision loss
  8. Sudden loss of sensation on one side of the body

                                Pharmaceutical companies make me hot under the collar:

                                             We Americans need a call to action:

The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) and other leading medical organizations have called for major changes in how drug prices are determined in the United States. In early 2017, the AAN issued a position statement on three major areas of action that would lower drug costs.

#1:  Negotiate Price: Grant authority to federal agencies to negotiate prices with drug manufacturers under Medicare . This would allow the government to use its purchasing power to obtain prescription drugs at a lower price.( and where Medicare goes, private insurers typically follow.)

#2:  Be Transparent : Require manufacturers to disclose pricing information, including how drugs are priced and the prices paid by insurers and consumers, and limit direct -to-consumer advertising, which creates demand for unnecessary or inappropriate medications and contributes to marketing costs.

#3:  Allow importation : Allow the importation of the same high-quality prescription drugs from Canada when prices for those prescriptions are less expensive than in the United States. Many specialty drugs are priced much higher in the United States than in other countries.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

                                                     What is Alzheimer's Disease?

What is it?

 Alzheimer's is a progressive disease of memory loss and thinking difficulties. It involves protein fragments called plaques and tangles , which are suspected of disrupting communication among nerve cells in the brain.

Who is most at risk?

People over age 65,those with a family history of the disease, and those with certain genetic mutations in a gene called APOE. Mild cognitive impairment, severe head trauma, and lack of social and intellectual engagement appear to raise risk, too. there's also evidence that the odds of getting the disease with unhealthy behaviors such as smoking or as being sedentary.

How to prevent it:

" A healthy heart life-style is a brain-healthy lifestyle, " potentially reducing Alzhiemer 's disease symptoms by as much as 40%, says Pierre Tariot, director of the Banner Alzheimer's disease Institute in Phoenix and a professor at The University of Arizona Medical School. The goal is to lower inflammation to keep blood vessels and the brain cells healthy, since "the cardiovascular system provides the pipes that provide blood to our brain," says Tariot.

Follow the Mind Diet:

This diet focuses on the 10 brain-healthy foods including beans, berries, fish, nuts, vegetables, and whole grains. The diet-developed by Martha Clare Morris, a nutritional epidemiologist at Rush University's medical school, along with several colleagues-emphasizes the importance of eating these foods while severely limiting consumption of butter, cheese, and fried and fast foods. One study showed that this diet can lower the risk of developing Alzheimer's by 53% if followed rigorously. 

Exercise regularly and maintain normal blood pressure.

Get enough sleep" Aim for 7 to 8 hours a night. Beta-amyloid, one of the proteins associated with Alzheimer's, diminishes in sleep. Plus, " the brain literally clears itself out " during sleep, says Rudolph Tanzi, a neurology professor at Harvard University and director of Massachusetts General Hospital's Genetics and Aging research Unit.

Try Brain Training Excercises. The recent Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly Study, funded by the National Institute On Aging, found that cognitive activities showed help in enhancing reasoning and showed promise in keeping Alzheimer's at bay.

Monday, April 16, 2018

                            Lung Cancer.....WHAT is it? WHO is the most at risk? HOW to prevent it!

        What Lung Cancer is: This form of cancer, which kills more people than breast and colon cancers combined , occurs when cells in the lungs grow rapidly and out of control. The most aggressive type is small-cell lung cancer, while the most common kind is non-small-cell cancer, which affects about 85% of patients and spreads more slowly.

      Who is most at risk? Smokers, those with a family history of the disease, and people exposed to air pollution, asbestos, radon, or secondhand smoke. Although cigarette smoking accounts for more than 80% of lung cancer cases, many nonsmokers get the disease too, and their numbers are on the rise. "All you need to get lung cancer are lungs," says Dr. David Cooke, head of general thoracic surgery at The University of California , Davis.

      How can one prevent it?

1) If you smoke, quit. And avoid exposure to secondhand smoke.

2) Pay attention to air-quality alerts. Heed community warnings to stay inside when high levels of pollutants are in the air.

3) Keep a check on radon levels to make sure they stay low. Radon, an invisible radioactive gas, is the second-leading cause of lung cancer after smoking.

4) Eat plenty of produce: The antioxidants in produce appear to protect against cancer.

5)Request a low-dose CT scan if you are a smoker an ex-smoker. While the screening test doesn't prevent cancer , it can detect the disease earlier.

Monday, April 2, 2018

                                        April Showers bring May flowers!!

            How can you make your fitness routine blossom? How can you get the benefits of a personal trainer without spending the BIG BUCKS? What do fitness pros know that we don't?

           1) The best trainer is the one inside your head.

"Positive self-talk can motivate you to stay active. While you exercise, tell yourself you're doing a good job. You'll be more likely to exercise again the next day."

            2) A little prep goes a long way.

" Set out exercise clothes the night before. This help you roll out of bed and get moving."

            3) Success requires some inner digging.

"Try to think about inspirational people and what inspires you."

            4) Being slower and weaker can have its perks.

" Inviting a friend or family member over who is in better shape may push you harder."

            5) Remember it is easier to cut calories than to burn them.

" Some people work out for months and wonder why they are not losing more weight than they have." So remember weight loss is 80% of what you eat and 20% of working out. So when you see that last piece of pie....try sharing with a friend!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

                                        March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month!

          Of Cancers that affect both men and women, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer - elated deaths in The United States. To help combat the disease, Medicare provides coverage for screening.....

           What you can do:  If you're 50 to 75 years old, get screened for colorectal cancer regularly. If you're younger than 50 and think you may be at risk of getting colorectal cancer, or if you're older than 75, ask your dr. if you should be screened.
  • Be physically active.
  • Keep a healthy weight.
  • Don't drink too much alcohol.
  • Don't smoke.

Monday, March 19, 2018


                                                              St.Patricks Day!

                      Why is it celebrated? It was a religious feast day to celebrate the patron saint of Ireland,

 but it is now a festival celebrated around the globe, to celebrate Irish Culture. How do people

celebrate it? Most places: people dance, eat special foods , and wear green. Some Irish dishes are :

Shepherd's Pie, Corned Beef and Cabbage, Irish Stew and Soda Bread.

                     The most common character associated with St. Patrick's Day is the Leprechaun.The

 four-leaf clover is also associated with St. Patrick's Day. It has been said that a four-leaf clover will

bring you good luck. However, the most common St. Patrick's Day symbol is the shamrock.The

 shamrock is the leaf of  the three leaf clover plant and is a symbol of the Holy Trinity.

                      Here are some St. Patrick's Day Activities to celebrate with those suffering from

                      Dementia and Alzheimer's.:

                      1) Music: Listen to "When Irish Eyes are Smiling or Dannie Boy

                      2) Shamrock Snack: Cut slices of green peppers(the shamrocks) and place atop of

                       cheese covered English muffins. Put the muffin the oven to toast and melt the cheese.

                      3) Create a rainbow snack using froot loop cereal, then eat!

                      4) Shamrock stamping: Using an Irish Potato cut a clover in the potato then dip in green

                      paint...ta da...shamrock stamping!


Monday, March 12, 2018

                                                                  Marching on!

   Wow!! Who can believe it is already March ? That wonderful time of year when plants really show up and show out in a really GREEN way! Did you know that you have a one in 10,000 chance of finding a Four-Leaf Clover in your entire lifetime? The Four-Leaf Clover is a rare variation of the common three-leaf clover. According to tradition , such clovers bring good luck, though it is not clear when or how the tradition got started. The Four-Leaf Clover is one of the most common good luck symbols in the Western world. The four leaves represent hope, faith, love and luck.

   How much do you know about lucky clovers? Here are 10 interesting and unusual facts about Four-Leafed Clovers including tips on how to help you find them:

1: True Four Leafed Clovers have three leaves which are the same size and one that is smaller.

2: Some say that Four Leaf Clovers give the holder the ability to see fairies.

3: Some relate them to when St. Patrick used them to explain Christianity to the Irish.

4: Most People do not know that Shamrocks and Four-Leaf Clovers are not one in the same.

5: Four -Leaves come from a mutated-recessive gene.

6: Warm weather tends to heighten the chances of the mutation.

7: They tend to occur in groups of many.

8: Many times Lucky Clovers have more than Four leaves. This makes one even luckier.

9:The Guinness Book Of World Records recorded a Lucky Clover with a whopping 56 leaflets!

10: There are Lucky Clover growing Kits that one may purchase to grow their own.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

                                                                   February Things

      When people think about February,they generally think about hearts,flowers,chocolates,romance!
A lot of nice,warm feelings,candlelight dinners and moonlit nights. February is a great time to rekindle love affairs and bring in cold feelings to a warm fire. All of these things are great to enjoy and experience. In a perfect world,this would be all we could ask for.

     The sad part is that we as a people have very serious issues to deal with besides the love we feel in our hearts.Unfortunately, in our imperfect world we must deal with sickness and disease. Heart disease is the number one killer in The United States.Fortunately,it is largely preventable and there are many things people can do to reduce their risk.February is "Heart Month." During the month of February Americans around the country are being encouraged o get more active and more "heart aware." This can mean getting routine heart exams and check-ups on previously diagnosed issues.So make February your month to love your heart, get moving and get your heart check-ups.

Monday, January 22, 2018

                                                    Happy Mardi Gras!!!

                What is Mardi Gras ? Where did it start and why do we celebrate it?
           Mardi Gras is French for "Fat Tuesday," reflecting the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual of fasting of the Lenten season....In countries such as the United Kingdom, Mardi Gras is also known as shrove Tuesday, which is derived from the shrive, meaning to "confess."
           Despite the holiday's rich history in New Orleans, Louisiana, Mayor Sam Jones of Mobile, Alabama, says the first Mardi Gras celebration in the USA took place in Mobile, Alabama. Mobile is the birthplace of Mardi Gras and it originated right in the port city in 1703. It was revived after the Civil War when citizen Joe Cain, fed up with civil war misery led an impromptu parade down the streets of Mobile. The people have been doing it up bigger and better ever since. They decorate floats and have enormous parades and flying moon pies. You can see masked mythical societies and ladies in ball dresses going all out for the occasion. This year the festivities kick off on January 26th and end on February 13th. You can catch all the information on @MobileMardiGras on facebook and Twitter! Don't miss the fun!

Monday, January 15, 2018


                                           January = National Alzheimer Awareness Month


  1. Failure to floss: For real...If visions of the dentist's drill don't scare you into flossing, maybe early signs of dementia will: An emerging body of evidence has shown evidence of gum problems that may raise your risk of dementia.
      2. Problematic Produce: Forty-five years after DDT was banned, traces of the pesticide are still evident in our soil and Alzheimer Pt's are said to be prone to this chemical. To guard against this ,eat a variety of fruits and vegetables to reduce your exposure to any one particular pesticide, and shop organic whenever possible.

      3. Habitual Snoring: Discuss persistent snoring with your Dr.,who may send you to a sleep specialist. If sleep apnea is the diagnosis, you'll likely end up with a prescription for a CPAP, shown to be effective in restoring normal breathing.

      4. Type 2 Diabetes: In a study of Middle-Aged men and women with a family history of Alzheimer's ,researchers linked to insulin resistance-key driver of type 2 diabetes-with poorer performance on memory tests. Research has shown that people with type 2 diabetes are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer's disease.


                                                       Martin Luther King
                                                       Born: Jan.15,1929, Atlanta, GA
                                                       Assassinated : April 4, 1968, Memphis, TN

                Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate.
                Only love can do that.

Monday, January 8, 2018

I am Thankful for the New Laws to Protect Seniors in Alabama From Exploitation


                                             New Exploitation Act in Alabama for Seniors

   As of Aug 1,2017 a new law has been passed to prevent the exploitation of older adults from

 financial exploitation. This law gives enforcement an additional tool to assist victims and prevent

 further incidents of abuse. The relief for victims of  elder abuse can come too late. In the case of

physical abuse, the injury has been inflicted and the abuser may return.In financial exploitation cases,

 the money has and continues to be spent with impunity. The Elder Abuse Protection Order and

enforcement Act  provides an early intervention, a civil court order, to stop the abuse and continued

financial exploitation.

    This act is a compliment to the already strong laws we have to prosecute those who commit elder

abuse. In 2013,Alabama passed the Protecting Alabama's Elders Act. That criminal law gave law

 enforcement and prosecutors additional avenues to prosecute elder abuse ,neglect ,and financial

 exploitation-serving to punish offenders and deter future crimes. This law will provide an expedient

civil remedy to victims of elder abuse-serving to prevent further abuse and financial

exploitation. For additional information, contact Emily Marsal,General Counsel, Alabama


 of Senior Services,1-334-353-9394 or Emily T. Marsal@adss.alabama.gov