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VALLEY OF THE SUN Phoenix east valley area Promoting Healthier Living in Your Community • Physical • Emotional






• Nutritional

Giving Care and Hope in the

Holiday Season

Misconceptions about Probate Natural Remedies For Allergies Has Snoring Banished You to the Couch?


COMPARED TO FASTMED, THE AVERAGE COST OF AN ER VISIT IS SEVEN TIMES MORE EXPENSIVE When it comes to medical attention, an emergency room isn’t always the


best solution.attention, The cost an of an ER visit isroom typically times the WALK-IN LOCATIONS n it comes to medical emergency isn’tseven always the greater than100+ OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK

of anofurgent And onseven average, you’ll havethan to wait solution. cost The cost an ERcare visit visit. is typically times greater the four times


longer just to And see aon doctor. So ifyou’ll yourhave condition is four not life-threatening, get onINSURANCE ACCEPTED of an urgent care visit. average, to wait times MOST

track affordable, quality care with FastMed er just to the see faster a doctor. Soto if more your condition is not life-threatening, get onUrgent Care.

aster track to more affordable, quality care with FastMed Urgent Care.

To find a location, visit find a location, visit

Visit for holiday hours and additional locations. Online check-in is not an appointment. Visit for holiday hours and additional locations. Online check-in is not an appointment.






ecember is such a magical time of year with all the festive decorations adorning the stores, cities, and homes as we pack our already busy lives with holiday parties, lots of great food, traditional music, and spending time with our friends and family. We all enjoy giving and receiving gifts, except when we just don’t know what to buy someone. Gift cards are popular, but so impersonal. I’ve had occasions when I spent way too much time walking around busy stores full of holiday shoppers trying to find just the right gift for someone. If you find yourself needing a unique gift for someone, consider making a donation to their favorite charity. Even with all the time and thought that goes into selecting gifts, sometimes we receive a gift you just don’t have a use for — it’s the wrong color, style or scent. Rather than stuffing it into a closet to never be seen again, you can re-gift it. Shoebox Ministry loves re-gifted items. Each year they fill purses with donated items such as perfume, jewelry, cosmetics, manicure sets, and anything else women love. The children of shelters are then able to give their mom a purse full of gifts on Mother’s Day. They also fill thousands of shoeboxes with hygiene items for those in need. Contact Shoebox Ministry at 480-905-1610 or visit They are a recognized 501(c)(3), qualifies for the AZ Working Poor tax credit. Wishing you and your family a blessed holiday season, Post

Senior Health Fair: 10am to 12pm at Centennial Village 130 W Brown Rd, Mesa


Senior Health Fair: 10am to 12pm at Bella Vista Senior Living at 1825 W Emelita Ave, Mesa


Senior Health Fair: Resurrection Lutheran Church 4930 E Greenway Rd, Scottsdale, from 9am to 2pm

Cross in the Desert UMC 12835 N 32nd St, Phoenix, from 10am to 1pm


Senior Health Fair: Mountain View Presbyterian Church 8050 E Mountain View Rd, Scottsdale, from 9am to 3pm.


Merry Christmas

your events on our website at:

SHOEBOX MINISTRY’S Monica Tegg/Owner, Healthy Cells Magazine® East Valley, PO Box 6233, Chandler AZ, 85246 480-204-3090 #healthycellsAZ

ANNUAL HOLIDAY SOCK DRIVE Join in the family fun of gift-wrapping socks For donation and volunteer opportunities, visit SHOEBOX MINISTRY 7902 E Wood Dr., Scottsdale, AZ 85260 480-905-1610 |

Alliance Christian Senior Adults Ministry Fun, Food, and Fellowship!

2655 W. Guadalupe Rd., Ste. 17, Mesa, AZ 85202 Every Monday 1:30-3:30 pm • Cost is FREE More information: 480.868.1583 •

Visit for more info. December 2016 — East Valley — ­ Healthy Cells Magazine — Page 3


2016 Volume 4, Issue 12


Bathroom Safety: The Most Dangerous Room in the House


Physical: Gynecologic Cancer


Nutritional: Food Should Be Fun


Emotional: Where Do We Begin?


Reducing Stress: Self-Care Essentials During the Holiday Season


Holistic Health: Natural Remedies for Allergies


Dental Health: Denture Versus Implants: How Do I Choose


Get Vaccinated: Protect Your Family from the Flu


Estate Planning: Common Misconceptions About Probate


Healthy Sleep: Has Snoring Banished You to the Couch?


Know Your Policy: Misconceptions About Long-Term Care Insurance

This Month’s Cover Story:

Comfort Keepers Giving Care and Hope in the Holiday Season

page 16

Cover and feature story photos courtesy of Comfort Keepers

For advertising information, contact Monica Tegg, owner, Valley of the Sun Edition Cell: 480-204-3090 • Fax: 309-691-2187 PO Box 6233, Chandler, AZ 85246

Healthy Cells Magazine® is a division of:


An Important Decision: When It’s Time for Memory Care


When It’s More than the Blues: Depression and Older Adults During the Holidays


Personal Growth: Believe in Yourself

Healthy Cells Magazine® is intended to heighten awareness of health and fitness information and does not suggest diagnosis or treatment. This information is not a substitute for medical attention. See your health care professional for medical advice and treatment. The opinions, statements, and claims expressed by the columnists, advertisers, and contributors to Healthy Cells Magazine® are not necessarily those of the editors or publisher.


Grief Recovery: Killer Cliches About Loss

Healthy Cells Magazine® is available FREE in high traffic locations throughout the East Valley, including medical facilities and other waiting rooms. Healthy Cells Magazine® welcomes contributions pertaining to healthier living in the East Valley area. Limelight Communications, Inc. assumes no responsibility for their publication or return. Solicitations for articles shall pertain to physical, emotional, and nutritional health only.

1327 E. Kelly Ave., Peoria Heights, IL 61616 • Ph: 309-681-4418 • Fax: 309-691-2187 Mission: The objective of Healthy Cells Magazine® is to promote a stronger health-conscious community by means of offering education and support through the cooperative efforts among esteemed health and fitness professionals in the East Valley.

bathroom safety

The Most Dangerous Room in the House By Diane Richmond, RTA Homecare


e all have heard that the bathroom is the most dangerous room in the home. With its slippery surfaces and sharp corners, it is easy to loose one’s balance and fall, resulting in bruises, broken bones, or possible head injury. There are now many items available to make the most dangerous room into the safest room. When looking to purchase items for the bath area, some facts to take into account may include the following: • Who will be using it? • What are their limitations? • What is their height and weight? • What is the size of the area that the item will be used in (such as a tub or shower)? • How close is the vanity to the commode? • Is the commode oval or round? • Is it a bathtub or walk-in shower? • Are there areas where grab bars could be mounted? These are just a few of the things to take into consideration when buying safety items for the bathroom. Grab bars may be added to the area. If it is a rental property or if grab bars are not an option, perhaps a tension-based safety pole could be used. Adding some small items to the area will save costly renovations. A shower chair or bench could aid someone who is unsteady or unable to stand in the shower. A safety frame added to the commode would assist someone getting up and down from the seat by providing arms to support themselves. If the commode is too low, a raised toilet seat may be just what is needed. Just keep in mind that “higher” is not always better. An individual should be able to sit comfortably on the commode and still have their feet flat on the floor. If the seat is raised too high, this may result in the person being off balance when they try to stand, increasing the risk of falls. A sliding transfer bench may be the answer for someone who has issues getting into the bathtub. The bench extends outside the tub allowing the person to sit and then slide over into the tub. A simple bathtub rail may be all that is needed for someone to safely enter and exit the bathtub. There are now many decorative items that have been modified to not look like grab bars, such as towel racks and toilet paper holders. Remember most insurance policies do not pay for these items. Stop by RTA Homecare; it is well worth the time to discuss what your needs are and find some inexpensive ways to assure your safety. RTA is available to assist you in all areas of your medical equipment needs to help you or your loved one to lead a safer, independent, and more comfortable life with dignity and grace. We carry oxygen, CPAP, urology and wound care supplies, wheelchairs, walkers, rollators, power chairs, scooters, lift chairs, oxygen concentrators, and more. Mesa location: 319 South Power Road, Suite 100, Mesa, AZ, 480-844-0100. Casa Grande location: 1275 East Florence Blvd, #4, Casa Grande, AZ, 520-836-9300. Visit Se habla Español. RTA Homecare, “Where patients are our priority.”

Gemini Hospice

Medicare Part A ~ No Out of Pocket Cost Our Community Educators are available to answer questions about benefits and resources that could help you or your loved one remain in your home and receive help. ~ Nursing Care ~ Social Services ~ Bereavement Services ~ Personal Care ~ Medications For Pain and Other Symptoms ~ Medical Supplies and Durable Medical Equipment


~ Homemaker Services ~ 24 Hour Availability ~ General Inpatient Care ~ Respite Care ~ Spiritual Services ~ Physical Therapy, OT and Speech ~ Physician ~ Volunteer Services

December 2016 — East Valley — ­ Healthy Cells Magazine — Page 5


Gynecologic Cancer Submitted By David Kells, MD, iWomen’s Health Care


David N. Kells, MD

ive main types of cancer affect a woman’s reproductive organs: cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal, and vulvar. As a group, they are referred to as gynecologic cancer. Cancer occurs when abnormal cells divide very fast and grow out of control. Each gynecologic cancer is unique, with different symptoms, if any. All women are at risk for gynecologic cancer and age is a risk factor for some of the cancers. You can lower your risk for some of these cancers with preventative exams such as yearly well-woman exams. Your provider will help you decide if a Pap is necessary based on current guidelines.

of advanced cancer is abnormal bleeding. See your clinician if you experience abnormal bleeding, it may not be cervical cancer. The best ways to prevent cervical cancer include the following: • Get regular Pap tests. Regular Pap tests help your doctor find and treat any changing cells before they turn into cancer. Women who have had the HPV vaccine still need to have regular Pap tests. • Use condoms. Research shows that condom use can lower your risk of getting cervical cancer, by acting as a barrier against HPV transmission when used correctly.

What is cervical cancer? Cervical cancer starts in the cervix, the organ at the end of your vaginal canal. Cervical cancer is the easiest gynecological cancer to prevent with regular screening tests and vaccination. It is also very curable when found and treated early. Most cervical cancers are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Other factors that can contribute to cervical cancer include the following: • Smoking • Decreased immune system function • Multiple partners (three to five considered high risk) • DES exposure

What is ovarian cancer? Ovarian cancer affects fallopian tubes and ovaries (An ovary is where your eggs are produced). Ovarian cancer is the rarest type, causing more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system because it is the hardest to detect. Women with a family history of ovarian or breast cancers or a personal history of breast cancer have a higher risk of ovarian cancer. Gene mutations are aggressive and can develop into breast and ovarian cancers. Let your clinician know your family history to determine if your history is eligible for testing (blood or saliva are used for testing).

What are the symptoms of cervical cancer? There are no symptoms of early cervical cancer, which is why your Pap test is an important screening. The most common symptom Page 6 — Healthy Cells Magazine — East Valley — ­ December 2016

What are the symptoms of ovarian cancer? Ovarian cancer symptoms can also mimic symptoms of other GI illness. These symptoms include the following: • Pain in the pelvis or abdomen (belly)

• Bloating in the abdomen • Feeling full quickly while eating • Abnormal vaginal bleeding • Lower back pain If you have any of these symptoms, see your clinician, they will order an ultrasound and blood work if cancer is suspected. What is cancer of the uterus? Uterine cancer is a cancer that begins in the uterus (womb), a pearshaped organ where a baby grows during a woman’s pregnancy. There are different types of uterine cancers. Are some women more at risk for cancer of the uterus? Uterine cancer usually occurs around the beginning or after menopause. You could be at risk at a child-bearing age if you do not have at least four periods a year. If you are not stopping your periods and they don’t come naturally by age 16, let your clinician know. Abnormal vaginal bleeding is the most common symptom of uterine cancer. If you have abnormal vaginal bleeding, talk with your health care provider. Vaginal cancer Early on, most vaginal cancers do not cause signs and symptoms. Vaginal cancers are very rare. You are watched more closely if your uterus was removed due to cancer. If there are symptoms, they may include the following: • Vaginal discharge or bleeding that is not normal for you. The bleeding may be abnormal because of how heavy it is, or when it happens, such as bleeding after you have gone through menopause, bleeding

between periods, or any other bleeding that is longer or heavier than is normal for you. • A change in bathroom habits, such as having blood in the stool or urine, going to the bathroom more often than usual, or feeling constipated. • Pain in your pelvis, the area below your stomach and in between your hip bones, especially when you have sex. Vulvar Cancer Many women who have vulvar cancer have signs and symptoms. They may include the following indications: • Itching, burning, or bleeding on the vulva that does not go away. • Changes in the color of the skin of the vulva, so that it looks redder or whiter than is normal for you. • Skin changes in the vulva, including what looks like a rash or warts. • Sores, lumps, or ulcers on the vulva that do not go away. • Pain in your pelvis, especially when you urinate or have sex. It is important for you to pay attention to your body, know what is normal for you, and see a doctor when you notice abnormal changes. Symptoms may be caused by something other than cancer, but the only way to know is to see your doctor. iWomen’s Health Care is a boutique-style practice that believes in partnering with patients for care. “Your care, your comfort, our expertise!” For information or to schedule a consultation call 480-855-5900, email:, or visit Se habla español.

Estate Planning • Trusts • Wills • Probate Elder Law • Trust Administration Asset Protection Planning


FREE CONSULTATION Offices in North Phoenix, Scottsdale, Chandler and Mesa

480.924.4424 • December 2016 — East Valley — ­ Healthy Cells Magazine — Page 7


Food Should Be Fun By Sandra Marshall, Owner, Be… An Artist My family had zebra for dinner last night, and the night before we had cheetah. Both were truly delicious, healthy, and easy to prepare. I am not a hunter, or a nutritionist; I am an artist. Whenever a friend says, “Eating healthy is boring,” I get excited! I invite them to the grocery store produce aisle where I teach them to look at those gorgeous fruits and vegetables through the eyes of an artist. All those fascinating, colors, shapes, textures, and flavors can make eating a healthy, fun, and exciting adventure! It’s time to take a break from all the complicated nutritional advice, forget going on a “diet,” ignore all the research studies that often contradict each other, and instead, lets “play with our food.” Yes, I am saying what many of our mothers have told us over and over not to do. Let’s allow our kids to explore that beauty we just don’t really see anymore. Let’s create awareness and appreciation for the natural gifts we have been given and learn to see and experience in a whole new light. Be creative and start eating in an artful way. Most of the grocery store food has been “played” with. Now it’s our turn, but without adding artificial color, flavors, additives, chemically altered fats, and sweeteners. This is fun and pure. The colors are all right there, coming from nature. The flavors will astound you with the addition of the right spices!

Santa and reindeer created with potatoes, squash, ginger, onion, red peppers Our fast-paced lives often prevent us from connecting over a good meal. We tend to eat for convenience and speed, not health and pleasure. Kids want to have fun, so why not bring a new vegetable to the table and allow them to explore, research it, and taste it. Talk with them about what to make, how to make it, and what it could be. It’s our turn to play with our food. Find a way to prepare it. Get them off their technologies and to the dinner table earlier to embark on an artistic journey. Make it a contest! Who can make the most unique piece of art and who can find the most interesting recipe? It doesn’t have to take much time, just enjoy the journey. Page 8 — Healthy Cells Magazine — East Valley — ­ December 2016

Eggplant is something my kids never really loved, that is until last night. We created a zebra out of our eggplants, and then found a recipe and baked our eggplant in some olive oil. Super easy, simple, and delicious! The zebra was made with three eggplants. We scored the skin and just removed the scored parts to show the white. We used a black olive for his eye. After we took his photo, we got to work on the recipe. I added a side of marinara sauce for dipping, but it was delicious without the sauce. It was super easy and a great night with my daughter. Some recipes in my art have lots of colors and Under the Sea flavors, some are simple like our eggplant zebra, and some are true under-the-sea adventures! Whichever route you choose, we hope you enjoy the creative adventure! Sandra Marshall is a mom, wife, author, professional artist, and owner of Be...An Artist/Be...A Chef studios in Ahwatukee. Her first book of food art was just published in October 2016. It is called One Hot Night at the Veggie Bar. This is the adult version with fun, steamy stories in the adventures of food art. The children’s book is on its way and is expected to arrive in January of 2017. Please feel free to contact Sandra Marshall at 602-369-4555. Visit or

Zebra Eggplant Parmesan Ingredients: 2 Tbsp olive oil 1 cup Parmesan cheese 3 Eggplants 1 tsp basil 3 Eggs 1½ tsp oregano 2 Tbsp water Salt and pepper to taste 1 cup bread crumbs Directions: • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and brush two baking sheets with olive oil and set it aside. • Slice the eggplant into 1.2” rounds. • In a shallow bowl, whisk together three eggs and two tablespoons of water. Then combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, basil, and oregano in a separate shallow pan. Season with sea salt and pepper. We always use less salt and add some later if needed. My daughter and I set up an assembly line, with me dipping the sliced eggplant into the egg mixture fully coating it, and then passing each slice on to her, the dredger of breadcrumbs. She made sure each slice was covered. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until golden brown. We flipped them over half way through to make the other side crispy as well.

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December 2016 — East Valley — ­ Healthy Cells Magazine — Page 9


Where Do We Begin?

A Placement Specialist Can Help Find a Home for You and Your Loved One

Allison Scharr, RMA

By Allison Scharr, RMA, Care Coordinator, Placement Specialist, Legacy Home Care LLC


ne of the most famous quotes by Dorothy in the 1939 film Wizard of Oz is, “There is no place like home.” Indeed this is true for most everyone, and no one looks forward to the day when they may have to leave their home or, if the occurrence of an “event” necessitates, the need for a family to make this decision for a loved one. While an in-home, non-medical care giver is a wonderful solution to help a senior to stay in their own home for as long as possible, there may come a day when even this is no longer the best option. We all know that there are 24 hours in a day. While a care giver may be hired to assist with activities of daily living for several of these hours, a person who is no longer able to manage these things on their own due to dementia, Alzheimer’s, or other disabilities may impose unintentional self-neglect during the time that they are left by themselves, whether day or night. Burns from Page 10 — Healthy Cells Magazine — East Valley — ­ December 2016

stove or oven mishaps can occur, malnutrition and dehydration, improper medication management can cause serious problems, and falls become common occurrences. According to the CDC, Each year, millions of older people — those 65 and older — fall. In fact, one out of three older people fall each year, but less than half tell their families or doctor. Falling once doubles the chances of falling again. • Falls can cause broken bones, like wrist, arm, ankle, and hip fractures. • Falls can cause head and brain injuries. These can be very serious, especially if the person is taking certain medicines (like blood thinners). • Many people who fall, even if they’re not injured, become afraid of falling. This fear may cause a person to cut down on their everyday activities. When a person is less active, they become weaker and this increases their chances of falling.

Not every family is able to provide around-the-clock care for their loved one due to their own family obligations, work schedules, or proximity, and hiring a care giver to be present 24/7 proves to be very costly. So what is a person to do? Thankfully there is a solution. Independent, assisted living, and memory care communities as well as care homes can provide the 24/7 care that an individual requires and provide much-needed peace of mind for family and friends. These facilities and homes have come a long way since the day my own grandparents required this kind of care. Many of us may have memories of unfortunate sights and smells that we carry with us to this day when we think of what use to be commonly referred to as a “nursing home.” The problem is that there are so many to choose from. Where does a person begin the process of finding the right fit for their family member or loved one? While there are marked improvements over the years within these residences, experience, evaluation, and caution still need to be exercised. This is where a placement specialist can step in and provide wisdom and guidance as well as do the leg work for the individuals searching to make this most important decision. The placement specialist has done the homework. The individuals seeking help in choosing a place to live will be shown locations that have been toured and approved by the specialist based upon licensing, compliance with state regulations, and of utmost importance, care given to the residents. No cost is incurred to the senior or their family for this service. The costs incurred are paid through a referral fee to the placement agent by the facility or care home themselves.

How do we begin? • Once a placement specialist has been contacted regarding a request, they will meet with the senior and or their family to do an assessment to find out what the individual’s physical, mental, and emotional needs are as well as their likes, dislikes, and desired location. • The pros and cons of a larger facility or a smaller care home will be explained and discussed for a better understanding and help in the decision making process. • Budget is a huge concern for a family. This will be addressed at the time of the assessment to find out what can be afforded on a monthly basis. There are possible options including private pay, long-term insurance policy benefits which can be used to pay for or towards the cost of the care facility, VA benefits, and, if qualifying criteria is met, ALTCS (Arizona Long Term Care System) — Arizona’s Medicaid program that provides long-term care services. Based upon the assessment of the individual’s needs, preferences, budget, and location, the placement specialist will provide two or three options for the senior and or family to look at so that they are able to take the guess work out of the equation and make a positive decision for their future. The placement specialist will continue alongside the families before, during, and after the move has taken place to ensure that they are being well cared for and comfortable in their new home. To contact a placement specialist, please call our office, Legacy Home Care at 480-777-0070 for a free assessment. We consider it a privilege to help you in this most important decision. Visit our website at

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Call for your free consultation. December 2016 — East Valley — ­ Healthy Cells Magazine — Page 11

reducing stress

Self-Care Essentials During the Holiday Season Submitted by Derma Health ‘


is the season for you and yours as you find your days being filled with holiday shopping, Christmas parties, and an abundance of baking and decorating — who has a free moment edgewise to give the gift of time to themselves? We are often last on our own list as we anticipate the excitement of the holiday season. These five tips will help you find a way to treat yourself with the care that you desperately need, all month long. After all, it is the season of giving isn’t it? 1. Skip the line and shop online! This is the perfect way to make that quick purchase that you know is a must-have on the list. Be it the laser hair-removal package from Derma Health for Aunt Sarah, or the kitty cat blanket your 9-year-old daughter has been dying for. Those sure-fire items are quick to cross off the list and done all from the comfort of your own home. 2. Schedule a bi-weekly self-care Saturday. You may be tempted to use this day to finish shopping, wrap gifts, or catch up on excess work! Though effective to get things off your list, it does nothing for the mind or body in terms of self-care. We recommend scheduling a massage or facial with a Myers’ Cocktail at your local salon or medspa, followed by a day of laughter with that special person that makes you smile! Resting your mind is the most beneficial way to revamp your energy and focus on the rest of your tasks in the coming days. 3. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. We all love a peppermint-mocha coffee date, and who can resist the weekly holiday happy hour with your team? They are both grandiose things that make the season feel so merry! That being said, we want to remind you of the importance of drinking water consistently. Hydration is at the core of all healthy body functioning. A lack of hydration not only causes your skin to look dehydrated and dull, but exhaustion is often a secondary symptom of being dehydrated. Always carry a water bottle with you, and if you are out at an event, simply order a glass of water alongside your appletini! 4. Let go of expectations. The holidays are supposed to be a magical time, yet they do tend to magnify everything in your life — causing you to overanalyze everything. This year we want to encourage you to kick any thoughts of perfection to the curb and ask for help when you need it. It’s important to do what feels right for you. 5. Do what’s right for you & your family! Evaluate obligations and set realistic boundaries for yourself and your family. If you know that making it to two parties in one night or two holiday dinners in the same day would have you in the fetal position by day’s end — it’s important to just say “no.” Making time for yourself is not a selfish act, in fact, in order to fill the cups of those you love, you must first make sure that you are pouring from a full pitcher. From Derma Health to your home, we wish you happiness and good mental clarity, so you can be prepared to be merry with your friends and family. Page 12 — Healthy Cells Magazine — East Valley — ­ December 2016

Over 40,000 patients have trusted Derma Health, a leader in medical aesthetic technology and premiere skincare services. Derma Health believes in promoting overall health and wellness by taking care of your body inside and out. We strive to not only take years off your outward appearance, but also add quality years to a healthy you on the inside. At Derma Health, we treat the whole person, not just the symptom, and that means understanding each individual inside and out. With highly credentialed and experienced medical personnel at five clinics in the Phoenix area, Derma Health services include aesthetic and laser treatments for the face and body, Botox and dermal fillers, anti-aging treatments for reducing lines and wrinkles, skin tightening, hormone therapy, nutritional solutions, tumescent liposuction, and professional-grade skincare products. Get a complimentary consultation at one of our five Valley locations! Mention Healthy Cells Magazine when you book and receive a $100 Gift certificate or free Botox to kick start your beauty transformation today. Call 602-903-3011, or visit

holistic health

Evan van Driel, ND

Natural Remedies for Allergies By Evan van Driel, ND True Resilience Integrative Medical Solutions


hough not life threatening, allergies are a serious problem for a lot of people. Hyperactivity of the immune system, the same type that causes allergies, can also be a risk factor for autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and lupus. Below are some common, treatable factors that can elicit an allergic reaction from your immune system. One is a process called leaky gut, where the intestines become inflamed and allow proteins into the bloodstream that shouldn’t otherwise be there. The immune system reacts to these proteins, and the next time they are eaten, the body produces an immune response to them. Another major cause of allergies is nutrient deficiency. Low vitamin C levels can cause immune cells to release histamine more easily, which produces an allergic reaction. Another nutrient called quercetin can stop immune cells from releasing histamine, and can be used to counteract low vitamin C levels. Zinc, vitamin A, vitamin D, and calcium all play roles in balancing the immune system. Chronic stress is another common contributor to allergies. Cortisol is released by the body naturally and helps to regulate the immune system as well as blood sugar levels. It is the most powerful anti-inflammatory hormone produced by the body, and is used in the treatment of autoimmune diseases because of its effects on the immune system and inflammation. During periods of chronic stress, the body’s cortisol production can drop, weakening the immune system and increasing risk of inflammation. In Arizona, there are potent molds that people in other parts of the country don’t have to deal with. So, many people with allergies here tend to have sub-clinical infections in the sinuses that never get taken care of. This can create a chronic, low-level immune response that can add to the overall activation of the immune system. Sinus congestion, or runny nose, is one of the most common allergy symptoms, so clearing the nasal sinuses by using a neti pot can go a long way towards easing the burden of allergy symptoms. Some high-yield tips to curb allergies include the following suggestions: • Water fast for a couple of days to allow the gut to heal, avoiding allergenic foods. Nutrients like L-glutamine, N-acetyl glucosamine, or zinc carnosine can also help to heal the gut • Eat foods high in vitamins and minerals, especially green peppers, onions, carrots, and pumpkin seeds

• Make sure that you are getting enough sun, or maintaining proper vitamin D levels through supplementation • Implement stress reduction techniques to restore normal cortisol levels • Use a neti pot to rinse out the sinuses None of the information in this article should be used to diagnose or treat any disease. Talk to your doctor before implementing any treatments for allergy symptoms. For information about natural remedies or to schedule a free consultation, call 602-753-6373. See our schedule of upcoming events at Our office is located at 1257 W. Warner Road, Suite B4, Chandler, AZ. The human body is amazing and has great adaptive capacity. It gives us clear signs and symptoms when it is not functioning optimally. We are fortunate to have such a system built in that gives us feedback on what is working in our lives and what isn’t. As a naturopath doctor, my job is to collect these signs and symptoms and put them together to form a picture of what is causing an illness or disease.


Funding Your Funeral Ahead of Time Makes Good Sense Vasilios “Voss” Speros • 480-725-9696 • Se Habla Español

December 2016 — East Valley — ­ Healthy Cells Magazine — Page 13

dental health

Dentures Versus Implants: How Do I Choose? By Chase Davis, DDS, Chandler Dental


e have all seen the commercials talking about “teeth in a day,” “implants in a day,” and “teeth by tomorrow.” I wanted to take a few minutes to discuss the benefits of both sides of the conversation. There are many options when it comes to replacing your teeth. The cost can range from buying a new television all the way up to a new home. Both are great investments to get your teeth for a lifetime back. What are teeth in a day or implant-supported hybrids? Nobel Active is an implant company that helped develop the procedure we call “all on 4” or “teeth in a day.” This implant technique allows us to attach a denture to four to six angulated implants on the same day. This procedure has been gaining popularity because the results are life changing. We are years past the development of the procedure, and the price has come down to make it more affordable for many of our patients. Why is this procedure such a game changer for denture-wearing patients or those that have teeth that cannot be fixed? Hybrid dentures, or “teeth in a day,” allows us to

IN-HOME CAREGIVERS Personal care Meal preparation Medication reminders Light housekeeping Transportation services Exercise assistance Companionship

make over your smile and to resemble the function of natural teeth. These teeth are fixed into place and are unable to be removed by you. During your cleanings and check ups, I do not remove them either, but I recommend follow-up visits (three to six months) to check for proper wear and the integrity of the prosthesis. Denture wearers know the frustration that dentures bring to their lives. They spend lots of money on adhesive, relines, and replacement dentures hoping that will fix the comfortability of the dentures. Nothing will fix the many problems of dentures like implants can. Implants allow you to chew what you want to chew, appear the way you always wanted to look, and keep the function of your jaw. Without implants, bone melts away and dentures will get more uncomfortable as you age. Implants will help maintain the height and width of bone for proper mastication and appearance of your cheeks. You can see the amazing results with the before and after photos. To find out if you are a candidate for this life-changing procedure, call my office and get a free consult. Call 480-917-8400, or visit


      

Chase Davis, DDS

FINANCIAL CARE COORDINATION  Long Term Care Insurance  Free Expert Policy Review  Veterans Aid & Attendance Benefits


Assisted living Independent living Senior care homes Memory care homes

Call now for a complimentary assessment of senior care options. 480.999.5250 • Page 14 — Healthy Cells Magazine — East Valley — ­ December 2016



Call today to learn how you can enjoy freedom to do the things you’ve always wanted. From quality, chef-prepared meals to vibrant activities and educational events that will leave you fullled at the end of each and every day, Generations has something for everyone.


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December 2016 — East Valley — ­ Healthy Cells Magazine — Page 15

feature story

Giving Care and Hope in the Holiday Season “Hope is not quantifiable, but it adds to the duration of their lives in a quantifiable way.” Sheriolyn Curry

L-R Comfort Keepers Wardiane and Jean, owner Sheriolyn, office staff Naxheliza, and client Diane (center).


or most, returning home for the holidays means sharing time with the family they no longer see with predictable regularity. A family event for the holidays often involves sharing a lovingly prepared meal and celebrating togetherness: a time to renew the hearts and bonds of loved ones. Often, we share fond memories and extend hospitality during this season. But, there are some who feel the pang of worry as they come to realize the declining health of their loved ones. Many leave the feast table and return home, acutely aware that the health or ability of an aging relative has dwindled so Page 16 — Healthy Cells Magazine — East Valley — ­ December 2016

much in the time since they had been with them last. Did you notice mom borrowed an elbow to move from seat to seat? Maybe dad struggled to bring his fork to his mouth. Perhaps a beloved aunt was too shy to ask for a ride, and dismissed concerns about her ability to drive. With families spread so far as they often are these days, it is easy to miss a holiday or two, and flow of time does not slow for any. Possibly, they seem to be well enough, but are beginning to struggle with independence. These worrying signs become exacerbated by distance and complicated by busy daily lives.

Comfort Keeper Sharmeda assisting Marvin with a snack of fresh baked cookies. Knowing a change must be made can be a distressing reality for families with aging elders; it is likely more so for the elder. Inquiries into the struggle to remain independent are often dismissed with a good-natured laugh or gentle refusal. No person wishes to feel burdensome, especially to their family, but it is equally difficult for some to admit their trials to themselves. Secretly attempting to conceal or combat loss of independence can lead to an all-too-common and silent slip into isolation and increasing despair. If only it were easy to change the course of own lives, to take our elders in, or to keep them close to check in on them frequently — all involved would be greatly comforted. Unfortunately, life is not so simple and rarely changes solely to accommodate our desires. Many elders are not in such poor health that they require constant monitoring or medical services. Many, perhaps, could live quite comfortably on their own, if they could just have some help with their changes in self-sufficiency. Many more are unwilling to leave their homes unnecessarily and give up the comfort of familiar surroundings and community for the halls of an assisted living facility. So, what consolation can be offered to a senior and family that are facing a decision as crucial as this? Sheriolyn Curry, owner of Comfort Keepers and once a caregiver to her own mother, understands the difference an in-home caregiver can make in the life of a senior. More than just helping with everyday tasks and personal care, Comfort Keepers provides the seniors they serve with the hope they need to continue living independently for as long as possible. “Hope is not quantifiable,” Sheriolyn states, “but it adds to the duration of their lives in a quantifiable way.” A positive outlook can indeed be inspiring to someone who may have previously lost their enthusiasm to live well and push forward against adversity. Comfort Keepers’ in-home services offer this vital renewal of optimism by restoring agency, ability, and companionship.

Most people achieve a sense of pride and a swell of vitality from that which they do. Whether that person is a skilled gardener, a lucrative business owner, or a parent of successful children, most associate their joy in life to what they have accomplished, or what they see themselves as doing well. This sense of purpose and the will to live well can be damaged by the restrictions imposed by advancing age. Challenges to mobility and ability can make even the simplest activities of daily living — housework, cooking, getting out of bed — into a difficult endeavor. Comfort Keepers exists to assist people with challenging limitations, helping them to do the things that enable them feel independent and self-sufficient. The caregivers of Comfort Keepers allow the elderly to age in place in their own home, giving them a sense of comfort as well as allowing them to maintain the highest degree of independence possible. Sheriolyn believes that offering seniors an opportunity to stay at home where they are comfortable, familiar with the surroundings, and are connected to a community helps seniors feel safe and remain positive. She is genuinely excited to offer these services, as she sees the hope her agency fosters as adding to the quality of life of those they serve by allowing seniors to choose with dignity how and where to live their lives. To do less than this, Sheriolyn states, is to devalue them. “These are people who once made valuable contributions. They may not be able to do so as actively now, but that does not make them lose value.” For Sheriolyn and her Comfort Keepers, the most important part of providing these in-home caregiving services is that it provides isolated seniors with valuable companionship. Feeling included and cared for helps all people live stronger, more purposeful lives, but is especially important for those who live distantly from family or have lost many friends. Simply because many elders are not as mobile or social as they once were,

Comfort Keepers family stop by to celebrate the holiday with clients. December 2016 — East Valley — ­ Healthy Cells Magazine — Page 17

feature story


Testimonials How I came to Comfort Keepers I had been ill with an autoimmune disease for almost 10 years when we moved to Maricopa. I was given a list of three or four possible caregiving agencies that would drive to Maricopa to give care. Being believers in prayer, my Mom and I prayed over the list. Then my Mom started calling the agencies. Comfort Keepers was the only one that answered the phone. When the owner herself came out to do my assessment, we were convinced that Comfort Keepers was the right agency for us. We appreciate their support over the last nine or so years — emotionally and spiritually.

Amanda Caldwell

After being a family caregiver in Maricopa for several years, I was asked to help Comfort Keepers by doing some home assessments in the city. As the Chandler office got busier, it became time efficient to have someone who lived in Maricopa service the clients and caregivers who also lived in Maricopa. I understood both the client’s and the caregiver’s sides of the business. That was about 1 ½ years ago. I have grown to love meeting with my clients, checking on them from time to time, seeing (and celebrating) their accomplishments, and being there for them as they become in need of more services from us. I help to hire and train our caregivers also. I believe we have some of the most caring and loving individuals working for Comfort Keepers. I like to develop a bond with those under my care and let them feel they have someone who will advocate for them and help them to become the best they can be, in spite of their limitations. I can honestly say, I love my job!

Judy Housley —

Field Supervisor, Maricopa

Page 18 — Healthy Cells Magazine — East Valley — ­ December 2016

Client Diane with Comfort Keeper Jean during Holiday celebration. does not mean that their need for community and belonging is reduced. Life does not end for those who find themselves struggling with everyday activities, but their connection to family and the wider world may suffer. Visiting Comfort Keepers provide a stable, friendly connection for seniors who may have largely withdrawn from social life. Many of the caregivers bond with those they serve, coming to see them not as patients or clients, but as family. This sense of connection can be of great comfort to someone who lives with loneliness, and the companionship helps them to regain a sense of belonging and look forward to the next visit. Because Sheriolyn and some of her staff have experienced the caregiving relationship from both ends, they understand the physical and emotional needs of those who require in-home care. With a dedicated, personal investment, Comfort Keepers is always looking for new ways to make service delivery synonymous with loving care. Just as the name implies, Comfort Keepers chooses to specialize in honoring, respecting, and maintaining the dignity of those they serve and love.

Comfort Keepers® offers flexibility, personalized care plans, and convenience for every budget, serving Chandler, Sun Lakes, Gilbert Tempe, Mesa, Queen Creek, San Tan, Maricopa, Casa Grande, and other Pinal County locations. Our main office is located at 1311 W, Chandler Blvd, Suite 160, Chandler AZ. Contact us via phone at 480-659-9201, fax at 480-650-9351, or email us at chandler@comfortkeepers. com. Locally owned and operated by Sheriolyn Curry, MDiv, CSA. Se habla Español.

get vaccinated

Protect Your Family from the Flu By Kevin Cantwell, PA-C, Ortho CAQ, FastMed Urgent Care


ccording to the Arizona Department of Health Services, flu season peaks in our state during January and February. Now is the time to get prepared to protect your family. The best way to protect yourself is to get vaccinated. One shot covers you for the entire season. Check out the infographic below and read on to learn more about how to prevent the flu.

Kevin Cantwell, PA-C

If you do get sick, don’t share it! If you do start to feel ill, it’s important to stay home. One of the worst things you can do during flu season is take your flu to the grocery store or send the flu to school with your child. The one place you may want to go is your local urgent care, if you or a family member has flu-like symptoms that last more than a week or go away and return quickly. The licensed medical providers at FastMed Urgent Care are available seven days a week to provide treatment to help minimize the impact and longevity of the flu, so you and your family can get healthy and back to the activities you enjoy. In addition, if a prescription medication is needed, in most cases, it is available on-site at FastMed, so you do not have to make multiple stops when you or your child is not feeling well. Daniel Ramos, PA-C, serves patients at FastMed Urgent Care locations in the East Valley. For more information, visit

Have The Health You Want Specialized to help build metabolic, structural, and emotional resilience. Naturopathic Applied Kinesiology

Using my skills and training, I have helped patient after patient improve their quality of life by educating them and giving them the tools to take their health into their own hands. – Dr. van Driel

602-753-6373 Flu shots save lives In studies of the vaccination’s effectiveness, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that a flu shot lowered the risk of children being admitted into the emergency room by 74 percent. Similarly, adults saw a 71 percent decrease in hospitalizations. Flu prevention tips and tricks A flu shot is not the only way you can protect yourself from getting the flu. You can try to avoid contact with sick individuals, wash your hands, stay hydrated, and exercise. The goal is to keep your body as healthy as possible, so if you come in contact with the virus, your body can fight it off. Getting a lot of rest is another key to flu prevention. A well-rested body is a strong, healthy body. When you get plenty of sleep, your immune system may be stronger.

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(480) 207-6489 December 2016 — East Valley — ­ Healthy Cells Magazine — Page 19

estate planning

Common Misconceptions About Probate

Rilus M. Dana, JD

By Rilus M. Dana, JD, Dana and Associates


s an experienced, licensed estate-planning attorney, I have seen a lot of poor advice given by a friend of a friend, or some other “expert” with no qualifications whatsoever to be giving legal advice. This poor advice and subsequent planning based upon it can cost you and your family thousands of dollars to rectify. Here are the worst offenders, and what you need to know. But first, what is probate? Probate comes from a Latin word that means “to prove.” The purpose of probate is to determine who is entitled to the assets of the deceased and the judicial process to transfer legal title of an asset out of the name of the deceased and to the parties entitled to receive from the estate. What does that mean in English? Let’s talk about my friend, Mr. Estate. Mr. Estate had a son and a daughter. He made arrangements during his life to transfer his house and his car to his son, and named his daughter as the beneficiary of his IRA. After Mr. Estate passed away, the children discovered that he had some stocks and bank accounts that were still in Mr. Estate’s name. How do the son and daughter collect these accounts? The answer depends on a few key facts, but it is the value of the accounts will determine the exact process. For personal property, like bank accounts and stock, that magic number in Arizona is $75,000. There is a summary procedure to collect assets that total less than $75,000, rather than a full probate. For real property, the number is a little higher at $100,000. If the house or real property has more than $100k of equity, a probate is required to be filed through the courts. If the real property is worth less than $100k, it can be collected by a summary procedure through the courts, but after a six month waiting period. Probate is unavoidable? With proper planning probate can be avoided and is not usually required in Arizona, California, and Nevada. I can speak about those states since I am licensed to practice law in each of those states. In some mid-western states, probate may be required, but it is my understanding that it is not as comprehensive as the process is in the southwestern states where I practice law. A Will is sufficient to avoid probate? The Will does not actually transfer the title of your assets into anyone else’s name, which is why it does not avoid the process of probate. If there is a Last Will and Testament, this helps to determine the beneficiaries, and which asset was meant for which beneficiary. The will is submitted to the probate court, and the process continues from there. If there is not a Will, then Uncle Sam has given us a set of default laws to determine who receives your assets after you are gone. While real property and personal property were discussed above, we have not yet taken into account the value of his tool collection that he wanted to go to his son or the jewelry from the late Mrs. Estate that he wants to go to his daughter. The court is not needed to handle those transfers, unless there is a dispute. Page 20 — Healthy Cells Magazine — East Valley — ­ December 2016

If there is a dispute about how to handle the estate or who should get what, then probate is the way to handle those types of claims. Any plan is better than no plan? Now that we know what probate is, we can better plan to avoid it, but not all plans are created equal. To avoid probate, you simply need to make sure that all of your assets will transfer upon your death. I see a lot of people that get “free advice” from their neighbors, and decide this is best done by adding someone’s name to their house or bank accounts. Does this avoid probate? Yes, it does, but it can often come with other problems and unintended consequences. By adding children to your accounts, there are income tax consequences, gift tax consequences, and liability. If your kids are married, you also have liability for their spouses. I have seen situations where a son-in-law’s creditors placed liens on mom’s house that was held jointly with the daughter. For many families, the best and safest way to avoid probate is with a revocable trust. Anyone can give you advice as to how to make a plan, but only a licensed attorney can give you the personal advice you need to know to create and fund the right plan for you and your family and be held accountable for it. While it may seem the cheaper option not to get the advice of an attorney, it will usually cost far more in the end. To learn more about Mr. Estate, check out our website www.DANA. legal, and you can meet him in the video section. The video section also contains short definitions of many of the legal terms used in this article. To learn the best way for your family to avoid probate, call 480-92244424 to schedule a free Personal Family Legal Session. Our attorneys can help you review or create a plan, giving you peace of mind knowing your family will be taken care of. We have offices in Mesa, Chandler, Scottsdale, Phoenix, and Payson.

healthy sleep

Has Snoring Banished You to the Couch? Submitted by Koala Center for Sleep Disorders Beth Hamann, DDS


am’s snoring was so bad, even his parrot noticed. “Our pet parrot would mimic the sound of my snoring, except his was even louder than mine,” says Sam. It wasn’t just the snoring that interrupted nighttime peace in Sam’s household. “When Sam would stop breathing at night, it really worried me,” his wife says. Sometimes the silence isn’t golden. Snoring is often caused by a condition called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which leaves the body without oxygen for extended periods of time during the hours of sleep. When a person with OSA falls asleep, the back of the throat and the tongue relax. Many people with sleep apnea snore so badly that their bed partners can’t sleep. They may spend years of their life sleeping on the couch or in separate bedrooms. After being diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, Sam began using a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure), but after three months of battling it, Sam knew he needed something else. Not everyone who snores has obstructive sleep apnea, but snoring is often a key symptom of sleep apnea. “The pressure of the CPAP made it hard to breathe. I always felt tense when sleeping with the CPAP machine, and could never relax.” He stopped using the CPAP, and his symptoms returned. “My blood pressure was out of control, even with continual increases in my medication,” says Sam. The American Heart Association says,

Alliance Care Team



Aging Well Resources and Services for Baby Boomer’s and Beyond


“Sleep apnea isn’t just snoring. Left untreated, the condition can lead to serious cardiovascular problems.” This was certainly Sam’s experience. During sleep apnea, oxygen levels drop, causing blood pressure to rise, which raises heart rate, and temporarily lowers oxygen supply to the brain. This is linked to obesity, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes. Don, another patient, could relate to Sam’s struggle with the CPAP. “I snored a lot and it kept my wife up at night. We’ve been married for 48 years, and she had to put up with my snoring for most of that time,” says Don. “My doctor suggested I try the CPAP, which did work, but was an incredible inconvenience. I didn’t like wearing the CPAP and never could keep the mask on at night. I tried a number of different masks — none of them seemed to work and they were costing a lot of money. The noise of the CPAP was keeping my wife up at night too.” Do you wake up tired, fatigued, have headaches, snore or looking for an alternative option to a C-pap? Call today for a FREE consultation and information about Oral Appliance Therapy and learn how the appliance can conquer sleep apnea, fatigue, headaches and other health conditions. Contact Koala Center for Sleep Disorders at 602-357-9845 or visit Located at 4235 N. 32nd Street, Suite A, Phoenix, AZ 85018.

• Integrated midwife and physician practice • Routine and high risk pregnancy • Female pelvic medicine • Menopause • In-office tubal occlusion • In-office uterine ablation to treat abnormal bleeding • In-office lab work • In-office ultrasounds

iWomen’s Health Care SPIRIT


Shari Aftahi, DMD

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480-855-5900 480-855-9171 Office Fax

December 2016 — East Valley — ­ Healthy Cells Magazine — Page 21

know your policy

Misconceptions About Long-Term Care Insurance

Kris Patmos and Kimberly Perkins-Akers, CSA owners

By Kimberly Perkins-Akers, Amada Senior Care Southeast Valley


or seniors who bought long-term care insurance (often 15 to 20 years ago), details of premiums and what is actually covered under their policy may be a distant memory. For families trying to navigate long-term care insurance for a senior, it may look like a foreign language, so it is important to review the policy with a specialist long before you might need to utilize it. Most often, it’s when tragedy strikes that many families think about options like long-term care insurance. Typically when I’m sitting down with families, they are in major crisis mode, the family just has no idea what to do. After we are done talking through the options, it is just amazing how we all walk away with a strategic plan for the loved one’s care. Recently, I had a meeting with a daughter whose mother fell a few days prior to our meeting. Unaware of the policy perimeters and benefits, the daughter called the long-term care insurance company on her own without the assistance of a specialist.

The daughter was completely distraught and angry, wondering why her mom had this policy for so many years. After reviewing her policy, I was not only able to explain the policy, but help qualify the mother for the benefits within the policy. So many seniors and families try to navigate the long-term care insurance system on their own without the assistance of a longterm care insurance expert. To avoid last-minute stress, learn more about long-term care policies and how to make it work for you. Here are some misconceptions about long-term care insurance policies: You need to be nearly dead to use long-term care insurance The idea that you can only use LTC insurance benefits at the end of your life is a common misconception according to Perkins-Akers. To qualify for benefits, it is all about ADLs, or Activities of Daily Living. In order to trigger benefits, one must need help with two or more of the six ADLs. These policies were designed to help people continue living their normal lifestyles. Increasing premiums are inevitable What many people do not understand is that once a person turns on their policy, monthly premiums typically go away. Instead of switching to a cheaper plan with fewer benefits, it may be smarter for a senior to turn their policy on, especially if they already need help with ADLs. I will run out of money While all policies are different, most come with maximums for benefits, whether it is $150 per day for home care, or up to 15 years as a limit. Every senior’s biggest fear is running out of money. Industry statistics show that 92 percent of people never even turn on their policies! Recently, I was able to show a client that for four hours of service a day, benefits would not run out for the next 21 years.

Better Hearing - Better Understanding - Better Living Mesa (480) 498-2134



(480) 498-2246 (480) 498-2223

We are just as concerned about your hearing as you are. Page 22 — Healthy Cells Magazine — East Valley — ­ December 2016

LTC waiting periods are long and expensive Waiting periods are like insurance deductibles — the longer the waiting period, the lower the premium. Seniors and their families fear the expensive out-of-pocket costs during the waiting period. However, there may be workarounds and a qualified senior care professional, like the team at Amada, can help the family strategically work through the waiting period. Amada Senior Care offers three types of services for seniors and their families including in-home private care, senior housing advisement, and financial care coordination with long-term care insurance or Veterans’ aid. Call Amada Senior Care at 480-999-5250 or visit The Amada Senior Care team is committed to enriching lives by providing nurturing, compassionate senior home care, and by guiding families through the many senior-housing options available for assisted living and memory care.

an important decision

When It’s Time for Memory Care By Leslie A. Davis, CDP, Mariposa Point of Gilbert Assisted Living & Memory Care

Leslie A. Davis, CDP


t can be such an emotional struggle deciding on when it is the right time for memory care. Many times, we are so involved in the day-today with our loved one that we may not see things the way others do or we mays simply be in denial. It’s so hard to see someone who was once aware and vibrant, declining cognitively and/or physically. This is when getting with a senior living advisor to talk over all the options is so important. There are so many benefits of living in an Assisted Living community and a Memory Care community will cater specifically to those with more progressed cognitive decline. It is so important to get educated on what services and support are available before a crisis occurs. Visit some communities and ask a lot of questions, tour the community, taste the food, talk to the Nurse and even some of the residents if possible. There is so much guilt that goes hand in hand with Alzheimer’s/ dementia. This is a guilt-ridden disease due to the loss of memory and loss of ability to reason and make strong choices. We, the loved ones they’ve entrusted their wellbeing to, are now responsible to make those critical decisions for them. Even when there have been conversations about future options and next steps, family members can feel like they are left to make life-changing decisions on their own. Dementia can be like a roller coaster — some days go relatively well and then some days seem unbearable — so, after a difficult stint, we may be confident in our decision to move our spouse to a community. When a few days or weeks of doing well go by, we may begin to second-guess ourselves. This back and forth can drive you crazy! I always advise to make your decision based on the worst day, not the best day. The initial move-in day is usually the toughest part of the transition, for a multitude of reasons. In my ten years of moving residents into memory care settings, I’ve come to learn some basics that I hope will enlighten and encourage anyone facing this difficult decision. Here are a few helpful tips to help ensure the transition from home to a community is as smooth as possible: 1. Set up a time to have a one-on-one conversation with the executive director/administrator to go over the resident handbook and the residency agreement. Be familiar with each page so there are no surprises (Very few people read this, and I know it can help keep expectations realistic and avoid any unnecessary disappointments in the future). 2. Set up a time to meet one-on-one with the head nurse or health services director. Please mention all those little things that might help the staff give the best possible care to your loved one. Example: “Dad will put the pills you give him in his cheek and spit them out after you leave,” or, “Mom loves her white teddy bear, and it really calms her down when she’s anxious.” 3. Make sure to take the time to fill out all the move-in paperwork. It may be time consuming and even redundant at times, but the more you can share with us about your loved one, the faster we’ll get a good “read” on their likes and dislikes, this will help us to give the best care. 4. Check the medication list that the doctor gives the community for your loved one. The community can only give your loved one what is on the list the primary care physician (PCP) signs, so if you want them to take something, make sure to tell your PCP (vitamins, laxatives, supplements, visine, Vick’s rub, etc.).

Placing your loved one in a memory care community is a difficult decision, but the peace of mind that comes with knowing they are safe and have someone to assist and care for them at all hours of the day and night is reassuring and allows family to focus on making the most of time spent with their loved one. Mariposa Point of Gilbert is dedicated to improving the comfort and quality of life for seniors and their families every day. Our dedicated Medical Director, Dr. Jerry Owensby, MD will be on-site every Friday to see our residents firsthand and we will have a fulltime RN and LPN overseeing our health services department. We are taking Reservations now and scheduled to open January, 2017. Be one of the first to reserve your apartment and become a Charter Member! Phone: 480-545-8900 email: mktg.mpog@MariposaPointofGilbert. Please visit: and “like” our Facebook page We’re located at 1445 E. Willis Road, Gilbert, AZ 85297. December 2016 — East Valley — ­ Healthy Cells Magazine — Page 23

when it’s more than the blues

Depression and Older Adults During the Holidays

Amy Holt

Submitted by Amy Holt, Generations Senior Living


he holidays are usually associated with feelings of joy and happiness, but for people with depression, this time of year can be especially difficult. Everyone feels down or sad sometimes, but these feelings usually pass after a few days. If feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and fatigue persist for weeks at a time, you may have depression. Each year, about 6.7 percent of U.S. adults experience depression. Depression often co-occurs with other serious illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and Parkinson’s disease. Because many older adults face these illnesses, a common misconception is that depression is a normal part of aging. While depression is common in older adults, it does not have to be a usual way of life. Adults 65 and older have a suicide rate that is higher than the rate for the national population. The following advice and information comes from Jovier Evans, Ph.D., who is Chief of the Geriatric Translational Neuroscience Program at NIMH. Life changes that happen as we age (deaths, retirement, and serious illness) may cause feelings of uneasiness, stress, and sadness. How do symptoms of depression differ between older adults versus other adults? Older adults may show different, less obvious symptoms that doctors cannot easily detect. The symptoms of depression are feeling tired or hopeless, trouble sleeping, thoughts or attempts of suicide, and loss of concentration. How can relatives aid a grandparent who is depressed from losing their spouse? Grief is a normal reaction to the loss and generally does not require professional treatment. If you’re concerned, you can speak with your primary care physician or mental health professional about treatment options. It’s important to remember that a person with depression cannot simply “snap out of it.” The first step to getting appropriate treatment for depression is to visit a doctor. The doctor may refer you to a mental health professional, such as a psychologist, counselor, social worker, or psychiatrist. Are there any tools or recommendations to reduce being overwhelmed by daily activities? Try breaking up large tasks into several small activities and allow ample time to complete each activity. Trying to do too much at once can leave you feeling overwhelmed. Keep lists of activities you want to do and other things you need to remember. This will eliminate the worry of forgetting important events and appointments. Writing things down that you want to do the next day at night before bed can be particularly helpful for a better night of sleep. How is depression treated? Medications called antidepressants can work well to treat depression. Psychotherapy can also help treat depression. It helps by teaching new ways of thinking and behaving. Depression can co-occur with other serious medical illnesses such as diabetes, Page 24 — Healthy Cells Magazine — East Valley — ­ December 2016

cancer, heart disease, and Parkinson’s disease. Sometimes, medications taken for these illnesses may cause side effects that cause depression. Depression can make these conditions worse, and vice versa. Research has shown that a combination of medications and psychotherapy works best. If you’re in a crisis and need help, call this toll-free number available 24/7:1-800-273-TALK (8255). All calls are confidential. Many older adults suffer from loneliness for various reasons. If loneliness becomes overwhelming, it can lead to depression. Senior living communities are a wonderful way to remain socially active and combat loneliness. Residents are able to conveniently meet daily with others with similar interests in age-related programs including educational and social, health and fitness, and gathering together for meals. These communities help older adults live their lives to the fullest. Generations at Agritopia offers vibrant living with an extensive array of services and amenities for independent living, assisted living, and memory care residents, giving them the freedom to enjoy what matters most. We are located within the master plan of Agritopia, near Higley and Ray Roads in Gilbert, 2811 E. Agritopia Loop S. Find us on the web at or email us at We are a completely smoke-free community. Call today to schedule your complimentary lunch and tour — 480-485-2000. We are growing. Our second location, Generations at Ahwatukee, will open in mid-2017. For more information, call 480-485-3000. Sources available upon request.

personal growth

Believe in Yourself

Patty Vieira

By Patty Vieira, Insurance Resources


omething very wonderful happens on January first every year. You have a new calendar that is completely blank. There is a brand-new year ahead of you with all these empty spaces for you to fill. Absolutely anything can be entered there.

Over the last ten years, I have completed three half marathons and over the last five years, I built a successful insurance agency. It started with being tired of corporate America moving my cheese. There will always be something — kids aren’t grown, mortgages to pay, people, things, circumstances. But, it’s January; the whole year is ahead and it can be anything you want it to be if you really want it bad enough. If someone has moved your cheese, go get yourself your own cheese, a bottle of wine, and live the life that will make you exceedingly happy. Have questions about Individual or Medicare Insurance? Patty Vieira is an Independent Insurance Agent with 30 years of experience. She specializes in simplifying Me dic ar e I nsur ance plans a nd quote s a nd fi nding the right plan to meet the unique needs for each client. Call 480-220-7233, email, or visit

I think on some level, we all know each year what we’d like to do, where we’d like to go, or what we’d like to change. That is why there are so many conversations about New Year’s resolutions. However, most of our resolutions are broken before the light of February. I personally believe that’s because, on some level, we lack the motivation to really make those changes, and we use New Years to pretend we’ll go through with it. Real change is scary and requires some pretty strong commitment if we have something that is really important to accomplish. I wanted to be self-employed light years before actually doing it. Several years before pulling the trigger and quitting my job, I read the book Who Moved My Cheese?, by Spencer Johnson. A great book, by the way, for anyone who is not happy with circumstances and continuing to expect or hope they will magically change on their own. It was the beginning of the transformation. The cheese had definitely moved (you really need to read this short book), and expecting it to come back… well it wasn’t going to happen. Then there was the “Now what?” Next book up, Living an Uncommon life, Essential Lessons from 21 Extraordinary People, by John St. Augustine. I went to school with him, and he lived down the block, by the way! Best book ever. As I read through this book, I started acting on the belief that was always buried under the surface. Not only was I good enough to try; I was good enough to succeed.

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grief recovery

Killer Clichés About Loss Submitted by Legacy Funeral Home


e have all been educated to acquire things. We have been taught how to get an education, get a job, buy a house, etc. There are colleges, universities, trade schools, and technical schools. You can take courses in virtually anything that might interest you. What education do we receive about dealing with loss? What school do you go to learn to deal with the conflicting feelings caused by significant emotional loss? Loss is so much more predictable and inevitable than gain, and yet we are woefully ill-prepared to deal with loss. One of the most damaging killer cliches about loss is: "Time heals all wounds." When we present open lectures on the subject of Grief Recovery ®, we often ask if anyone is still feeling pain, isolation, or loneliness as the result of the death of a loved one 20 or more years ago. There are always several hands raised in response to that question. Then we gently ask, “if time is going to heal, then 20 years still isn’t enough?” While recovery from loss does take some time, it need not take as much time as you have been led to believe. Recovery is totally individual. There is no absolute time frame. Sometimes in an attempt to conform to other people’s time frames, we do ourselves great harm. This idea leads us to another of the killer cliches: "You should be over it by now." It is bad enough that well-meaning, well-intentioned friends attack us with killer cliches, but then we start picking on ourselves. We start believing that we are defective or somehow deficient because we haven’t recovered yet. If we take just the two killer cliches we’ve mentioned so far, we can see that they have something in common. They both imply that a non-action will have some therapeutic or recovery value. That by waiting, and letting some time pass, we will heal. Let’s add a third cliche to the batch: "You have to keep busy." Many grievers follow this incorrect advice and work two or three jobs. They fill their time with endless tasks and chores. At the end of any given day, asked how they feel, invariably they report that their heart still feels broken; all they accomplished by staying busy was to get exhausted. Now, with only three basic killer cliches we can severely limit and restrict our ability to participate in effective recovery. It is not only that people around us tell us these cliches, in an attempt to help, but we ourselves learned and practiced these false beliefs for most of our lives. It is time for us to learn some new and helpful beliefs to assist us in grieving and completing relationships that have ended or changed. QUESTION: I have heard that it takes two years to get over the death of a loved one, five years to get over the death of a parent, and you never get over the death of a child. Is this true? ANSWER: Part of the problem is the phrase "get over." It is more accurate to say that you would never forget a child who had died, any more than you would ever forget a parent or a loved one. Page 26 — Healthy Cells Magazine — East Valley — ­ December 2016

Another part of the problem is one of those killer cliches we talked about, that time, of itself, is a recovery action. Although recovery from loss does take some time, it is the actions within time that lead to successful recovery. This article was written by Russell P. Freidman, Executive Director, and John W. James, Founder, of The Grief Recovery Institute. For more information about their programs and services, visit their website at Contact us for a personal appointment with no obligation for additional information. Call Legacy Funeral Home at 480-7259696. Legacy Funeral Home strives to offer affordable plans for any budget, without sacrificing the care and service that a family-owned funeral home should offer. You are always welcome to come into one of our two locations in Chandler or Peoria, to see for yourself what we have to offer you or your loved one. You will find a caring, compassionate staff, and beautiful facilities.

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