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Friday, April 26, 2013

of Helping a love one adapt to a nursing home Many older men and women find the transition to a nursing home somewhat difficult. Men and women tend to see a move to a nursing home as a step toward surrendering their independence, and this can be a difficult hurdle for seniors and their loved ones to overcome. Adding to the difficulty is the fact that many men and women move into nursing homes because their physical or mental status requires the help of a professional nursing staff, leaving family members with little to no recourse when aging relatives protest the move. But there are ways to ease a loved one’s transition into a nursing home. • Keep a positive attitude. The stress of moving an aging relative into a nursing home can be significant for all parties involved. But focusing on the positives of nursing homes, such as around-the-clock care and daily activities, can help aging relatives look at nursing homes in a new light. In addition, family members who familiarize themselves with nursing homes will begin to see they are often great places for aging men and women to socialize with others their age while receiving the care and attention they need. When discussing the move to a nursing home, focus on these positives and your relative will be more likely to follow your lead.

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• Choose a nursing home that’s close to home. One of the more difficult parts of transitioning to a nursing home is the notion that men and women are leaving their lives behind once they move into a home. Choosing a nursing home that’s close to home and makes routine visits from friends and relatives possible enables men and women maintain a connection to their current lifestyle. A home that is miles and miles away from a person’s support system can foster feelings of isolation and loneliness.

• Plan trips with your loved one. Just because an aging relative lives in a nursing home does not mean he or she can no longer travel. If a relative is healthy enough to travel, include them on family trips and outings. This includes more routine events like weekly Sunday dinners, kids’ sporting events and other extracurricular activities. The more involved your aging relative are in the daily life of your family, the more likely they are to see the advantages of living in a nursing home. • Encourage your loved ones to take some personal items with them. When moving into a nursing home, men and women must leave behind many of their possessions. This is a simple space issue, as the rooms in a typical nursing home cannot accommodate a life’s worth of keepsakes and possessions. But that doesn’t mean men and women have to leave everything behind. Encourage your loved one to bring along some possessions, such as his or her family photos, a favorite chair or smaller mementos from places he or she visited throughout his or her life. Such items can make a nursing home seem less antiseptic and more like a home. • Set up an e-mail account for your loved one. If your loved one still has his or her mental health, then set him or her up with an e-mail account. This allows your loved one to maintain daily contact with family and friends. Many of today’s nursing homes provide facilities where residents can access the Internet. If not, speak to the staff and ask if your relative can bring his or her own computer. If your relative will be able to routinely access the Internet, consider purchasing a digital subscription to the local newspaper so he or she can further maintain a connection to the community.

Friday, April 26, 2013




According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, one out of every four people struggles with allergies and asthma on a regular basis, and 15 to 30 percent of these cases are dog- or cat-related. Those with allergies may think a hypoallergenic pet will be the answer to their watery eyes and sneezes. But a study published in the American Journal of Rhinology & Allergy raises issues about hypoallergenic dogs. People who spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on a dog purported to be hypoallergenic may just be wasting their money. Researchers at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit took dust samples from 173 dog-owning households, where 60 breeds were represented, including 11 breeds that are considered to be hypoallergenic. What they discovered was that homes with allegedly hypoallergenic pets contained just as much of the prime dog allergen, known as Can f 1, as those of the other breeds. According to senior author and epidemiologist Christine Cole Johnson, “There is




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Hypoallergenic pets more hype than fact Allergy sufferers are often advised to steer clear of pets, as brushing up to a cat or dog can trigger an allergy attack or a rash. Those with pet allergies may be willing to spend any amount of money to get a pet that is dubbed “hypoallergenic.” Although there are some breeds of dogs and cats that are less likely to trigger an allergic attack, some research indicates that a hypoallergenic pet is a myth.


simply no environmental evidence that any particular dog breed produces more or less allergen in the home than another one.”


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That doesn’t mean that all dogs produce the same amount of allergen as others. In fact, genetics and environmental factors, including how often a dog and a home is cleaned, can contribute to the dander and allergens produced by a particular dog. Dogs within the same breed may vary as to how much Can f 1 one dog creates compared to another. In essence, one labrador may induce an allergic reaction, while the other doesn’t even cause a person to sneeze. The hypoallergenic label is often given to dog breeds that have short fur or do not shed much. But allergens are not attached to the fur. They are actually a secretion from the skin that produces an allergic reaction from dogs and the saliva of cats. Unless a geneticist is able to create a cat without allergens in saliva or a dog that does not secrete allergens from the skin, no pet will be hypoallergenic. That isn’t to say choosing a dog that sheds less may be beneficial, since dander with allergens is generally attached to shedded fur. Here are a few dog breeds that may be better for people with allergies. Poodle, Bedlington Terrier, Bichon Frise, Chinese Crested, Portuguese Water Dog, Schnauzer, Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Irish Water Spaniel, or a Maltese.

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Friday, April 26, 2013

of Kids’ vitamin deficiency signs

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A healthy diet is supposed to provide all of the essential vitamins and minerals necessary to sustain a body. But thanks to finicky eating habits and limited choices, many children are not getting the vitamins and minerals they need to grow up healthy. Although many foods are fortified with certain vitamins, they still may not be enough to provide the level of nutrition required for a growing body. Parents may be well informed of a child’s needs of vitamin C to boost immune system function, but they may not be as readily informed about other vitamins that are essential to human health.

* Vitamin B12: Nervous system function is largely governed by proper levels of vitamin B12. Children who do not receive enough vitamin B12 may experience weakness, insomnia, edema, and abdominal pain.

* Vitamin A: Vitamin A promotes a healthy immune system and proper eyesight function. A child lacking in vitamin A may be tired and weak and experience weight loss. Other symptoms include dry eyes, skin scaling and respiratory infections.

Parents should consult with pediatricians about the proper levels of vitamins children need.

* Vitamin D: Vitamin D is called the “sunshine vitamin” because it is produced in the body after exposure to the sun. Children who spend many hours indoors or wearing thick layers of sunscreen may not get enough vitamin D. Irritability, muscle cramps and even late teething could be tied to vitamin D deficiency.

* Vitamin B6: Hyperactivity and impulsiveness are often blamed on an underlying medical condition, such as ADHD. But such conditions may be the result of a deficiency in vitamin B6.

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Friday, April 26, 2013



WHERE THE HEART IS “Caring People Caring For People”

of Change these bad beauty habits Looking good and feeling healthy are top priorities for many women. In addition to spending hours researching the latest beauty regimens and spending thousands on products that promise everything from turning back the hands of time to making hair thicker and more resilient, women could be engaging in a few habits that may be doing more harm than good. As cosmetic procedures and beauty trends are passed down from generation to generation, some women may be unsure what is best for them and which habits need tweaking. According to a recent survey from, a majority of women say they spend anywhere from $5 to $15 per month on beauty products, not including skincare products. But are those efforts fruitful? Here are some common beauty faux pas that women likely want to avoid. * Scrubbing skin: Dermatologists say the skin naturally sheds dead cells, so for most people it is unnecessary to use harsh exfoliants or scouring pads to rid the skin of dead cells. In fact, exfoliating the skin too much can cause irritation and excess dryness over time. Try to exfoliate your face and body no more than twice a week, advises the American Board of Dermatology. Even those with oily skin should scale back, as exfoliating too frequently can actually cause oil glands to produce more oil. Use an easy hand when exfoliating to avoid redness. * Popping pimples: Both women and men are guilty of popping pimples. It can be quite difficult to resist popping a pimple that has sprouted in the middle of your face, but doing so can cause irritation and spread bacteria, and you may end up getting more blemishes as a result. If

you cannot resist popping the pimple, cleanse the area first, use a warm cloth or steam to help bring the blemish to a head and use tissue-covered fingers to apply gentle pressure. Then use an antibacterial cleanser to clean the area again. * Wrapping wet hair in a towel turban: Gathering wet locks together and twisting them into a towel is a recipe for damage and breakage. Wet hair is more delicate than dry hair, and it can stretch or break more easily. Gently squeeze hair dry with the towel and then use a detangling spray to make it easier to comb out knots. Putting hair too tightly in elastics and wearing them for long periods of time can result in thinning of the hair or a condition known as traction alopecia over time. * Failing to clean makeup tools: All of those brushes, wands and applicators need to be routinely washed with a mild cleanser and allowed to air dry. Otherwise, they become harbingers of bacteria and even mold. You can risk infection if you are using a dirty brush near the eyes or nasal passages. Aim to wash cosmetic tools at least once a week if you wear makeup every day. * Layering products: You may have a relative beauty arsenal tucked into your medicine cabinet, but while these products may work well on their own, there is no way to know how they will interact. Less is more when using different beauty serums. Experiment with each item separately to gauge skin reaction and if an allergy is present. * Poor washing habits: Some women fall into bed at night without washing makeup from their faces. While this is alright once in a while, it may lead to irritation or blemishes

over time. Surprisingly, too much washing of the face can be just as bad, especially if you are soaping up in the morning as well. You could be stripping your face of helpful oils at the start of the day, when skin needs added protection from the elements. Stick to washing your face at night so it can naturally restore itself while you sleep. Looking good requires effort, but some beauty habits popular among women might be doing more harm than good.






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