Posts By: icepickdev

April is National Stress Awareness Month

April is designated as the month to focus on both the causes and cures of stress, which is considered to be a modern epidemic. The Health Resource Network annually sponsors April as National Stress Awareness Month to promote public awareness about stress and the associated risks.  Many of us do not recognize the symptoms of stress and often fail to realize the dangers until it is too late.  While stress is a normal part of life, too much can affect emotions, behaviors, the ability to think, and physical health.  According to the Cleveland Clinic, certain diseases such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, peptic ulcer disease, or cardiac disease can worsen with mental stress.

As the population ages, more caregiving is being provided by family members. Those who care for family members are at an increased risk for stress and adverse health outcomes as a result. Family caregivers are often so focused on their loved one’s health, that they fail to realize their own well-being is at risk. Check out Caregiver Stress: Tips for Taking Care of Yourself for more information on the signs of stress and strategies for coping. Make sure to use National Stress Awareness Month as a time to bring extra awareness to the well-being of yourself and others!

Links:

The Health Resource Network

http://www.stresscure.com/hrn/Default.htm

Symptoms of Stress

https://www.webmd.boots.com/stress-management/physical-stress-symptoms

Clevland Clinic

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/11874-stress

Caregiver Stress: Tips for Taking Care of Yourself

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/caregiver-stress/art-20044784

Emotional Support Animals

Whether it’s a passenger fearful of flying, someone coping poorly with a past traumatic situation, or a student who gets nervous before taking tests, an increasing number of people are leaning on animals to provide comfort. 

So what animals should qualify as ESA’s? While generally, they are dogs or cats, ESA’s can be any domestic animal, including not only rabbits, mice, ferrets, and guinea pigs, but also snakes, ducks, and potbellied pigs. The only stipulation is that the animal can’t be a health or safety threat to other people and that the owner must be able to keep it under control in public so it doesn’t become a nuisance. The animal also can’t be illegal to own, such as an exotic or wild animal. 

ESA’s do not require special training to do their job. The idea is that their mere presence helps someone with an emotional disability live independently and adapt to stressful situations. 

Many people can benefit from the companionship of an emotional support animal, reducing or eliminating the need to take medication, such as for anxiety or depression. In 2013, the American Heart Association even found that pet ownership was linked to lower blood pressure, heart rate, and blood cholesterol. If you think you have a legitimate need for an ESA the team at Corewood suggests seeing a mental health professional who can evaluate you and provide you with numerous ways to cope. In the meantime, you can always schedule a visit from one of our team members and we might just bring along our therapy dog, Pickle!

Creating a Culture of Hope 

At Corewood we strongly believe that our community is our family. We believe that the effort, love, and consideration we give to those around us matters. We want to live in a better world and believe that individuals are represented by more than their own actions that we are all a reflection of the community we helped create. That in fact, a community is a mirror image of what we each put into it.

Goodness provides a sense of stability, of trust. This is especially the case in times of adversity or loss. In a culture where your community is at the core of the word, good and we treat others how we wish we were to be treated we create a culture where those who are vulnerable rest assured knowing that those around them are dedicated to being there for them. In knowing this, we have created a culture of hope. We hope to be a part of that effort, for those around us to have a belief in their community and also themselves. We believe in the strength of individuality, that you can conquer anything that comes your way, and that you are enough. We must each own this, become it, be there for others, and in turn, we will see the world we wish to live in every day.

We are each unique, our needs are unique. What is right for me is not right for you. That being said there comes a time and a place where we have to trust others. Trust others to carry out our wishes honor our choices, and continue and help you and your community thrive in a ‘culture of hope’. Our care managers make an effort to ensure you make your choices known, provide you with the tools to make the decisions that best fit your unique self, and then help lay out a plan of action and execute that plan. 

Care management is especially helpful during health crises, cognitive decline, rehabilitation, life transitions, and when family members are not available to provide assistance to spouses or parents. Care Managers are aware of community resources and provide guidance. They coordinate care and services to meet the client’s psychosocial, physical, and emotional healthcare needs. They are also well versed in the legal and financial steps necessary to prepare for long-term care and work closely with elder care attorneys and financial planners to ensure that medical and legal advanced planning is in place. 

Resources for a Better Life

Need to go to the Dentist but don’t want to spend 40 minutes in a waiting room? Did you know that one can help you with all of your dental needs in the comfort of your own home. Do you want to meet other people in the area who are also experiencing loved ones with Alzheimers symptoms? There are a variety of social and support groups in your neighborhood. The below list is comprised of resources in your community that will help you stay happy, healthy, and at home! Even better, all of the following are local, family-owned, or non-profit organizations.

 

Maryland Department of Aging   |   Phone: 410.767.1100      

Website: https://aging.maryland.gov/Pages/default.aspx

Address: 301 West Preston Street Suite 1007 Baltimore, MD 21201

Mission: A proactive body that provides statewide leadership on diverse senior issues and advocates for practical solutions

 

Capital Integrative Health   |   Phone: 240.507.5110

Website: https://cihealth.org/

Address: 4701 Sangamore Road, Suite N270, Bethesda Maryland 20816

Mission: to educate, lead and inspire our community towards optimal health and true wellbeing.

 

Wave Area Village Exchange

Website: https://wavevillages.org/

Address + Phone: Varies by county

Mission: Neighbors helping neighbors, facilitating and participates in the networking, education, charity give-back and collaborative activities for the senior community

 

District Mobile Dental | Phone: 240.485.8688

Website: https://districtmobiledental.com/

Email: districtmobiledental@gmail.com

Mission: To provide in-home comprehensive oral healthcare to older adults living in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Trained to provide routine dental cleanings or periodontal maintenance, oral cancer screenings, root canals, fillings, crowns, dentures, and most any other dental services

Sibley Senior Association   |   Phone: 202.364.7602

Address: 5255 Loughboro Road, N.W. Washington, DC 20016

Email: SibleySenior@jhmi.edu     

Mission: To provide the Sibley Hospital Community and Association members with the resources they need as they make important life transitions. The association hosts support groups, activities, discounts on local events, health screenings, exercise classes and seminars.

 

Seabury Resources for Aging   |   Phone: 202.414.6315

Website: https://www.seaburyresources.org/

Address: 6031 Kansas Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20011

Mission: Seabury Resources for Aging’s mission is to provide personalized, affordable services and housing options to help older adults in the greater Washington, DC area live with independence and dignity.

 

Live Better Hearing      |   Phone: 443.594.2168

Website: https://livebetterhearing.com/

Address: 19 various locations (MD + VA)

Mission: To employ the top experts in the field, offer only the best hearing technology to the people we serve and be the leading audiology practice in the DC Metro Area.

 

Law Offices of Clifford M. Cohen   |   Phone: 202.895.2799

Address: 5335 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Suite 440 Washington, DC 20015

Mission: Clifford Cohen has over 30 years of law experience focusing on estate planning, business planning, and elder law. He believes that the best plans are the result of close collaboration with his clients.  He received his Bachelor’s degree from Boston University in 1975 and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Miami Law School in 1981.

 

Iona Senior Services   |   Phone: 202.966.1055

Website: https://www.iona.org/

Address: 4125 Albemarle St NW, Washington, DC 20016

Mission: Iona supports people as they experience the challenges and opportunities of aging. We educate, advocate, and provide community-based services to help people age well and live well.

 

Jewish Social Service Agency (JSSA) |   Phone: 301.816.2633

Website: https://www.jssa.org

Mission: Provides emotional, social, and physical support through a wide range of counseling, educational, special needs services, in-home support, hospice and nursing care, and social services.

 

Memory Cafe, Alzheimer’s Association   |   Phone: 800.272.3900

Website: https://www.alz.org/maryland?set=1

Mission: To be a safe and relaxed place where people with early-stage memory loss, their families, friends and health professionals come together for a unique blend of education and social interaction

 

Montgomery Hospice   |    Phone: 301.921.4400

Website: https://montgomeryhospice.org/

Address: 1355 Piccard Drive, Suite 100 Rockville, MD 20850

Mission: Our team to include doctors,, spiritual counselors, social workers, bereavement counselors and volunteers works with our patients and their families to provide quality end-of-life care in homes, extended care facilities and at Casey House, our acute care facility.

 

RenewMe Fitness   |   Phone: 301.385.3192

Website: https://www.renewmefitness.com/

Email: peter@renewmefitness.com

Mission: To provide experienced, friendly, and fun in-home personal training services geared toward older adults (ages 50+) with specialized training and exercise for conditions including dementia, Parkinson’s, heart disease, stroke, joint replacements, and multiple sclerosis

 

Immunization Awareness Month

August marks the beginning of back to school shopping and the last full month of summer.

And with fall peeking its head around the corner, bringing with it the start of cold and flu season, it makes sense that August also marks National Immunization Awareness Month.

Many immunizations for kids are dictated by the school system, but this doesn’t cover all of the preventative immunizations out there, such as the chickenpox vaccination, that exist in today’s medical practices.

As far as adult immunizations go, many aren’t aware of what to get and why. And some immunizations are covered by insurance, while others are not. So, we are here to help our residents navigate the ins and outs of immunizations with the top 6 things you should know:

  • Why get vaccinated? Some infectious diseases are considered “vaccine-preventable,” meaning that a vaccine can prevent the disease, which is much easier and less expensive than treating it. If you’re not immunized, some of these diseases could result in hospitalization or premature death. At the very least, one of these diseases would result in doctor’s bills and missed work. Also, by getting recommended vaccinations you are in effect protecting the future generations, helping to wipe out these diseases all together.
  • Are immunizations safe for babies and children? Some parents believe that there’s a link between autism and vaccinations. It’s said that scientific studies prove that there is no connection. They say that it’s not only safe, but also highly recommended to vaccinate children on schedule.
  • Is it safe for a child to have a number of vaccinations at once? The number of vaccinations has increased immensely over the years as scientists have found more ways to protect children from potentially deadly diseases. Today, it may seem as if babies and young children are faced with so many different shots, and some have combinations of vaccines in one shot.
  • Haven’t most of these diseases, like Polio, been gone for a while? Many diseases, such as polio and whooping cough, have become very uncommon because of vaccinations. But if we stopped vaccinating, they could once again, spread rapidly. These vaccinations will not become unnecessary until the infectious disease has been completely eliminated.
  • Which vaccinations should adults consider? There are many vaccinations out there today designed for adults, from the flu shot to the tetanus shot, and different people will benefit from these preventative measures, depending on stage of life. Your primary health care provider will be the best person to determine which vaccines will be best for you, and it’s always good to ask them at each annual visit.
  • Which vaccinations are covered by most health insurance policies? Starting in July of 2010, new health insurance policies are required to cover certain preventive services without any cost-sharing for the enrollee when delivered by in-network providers. Many, though not all, vaccinations fall into this category.

If you have any questions about the blog please feel free to call our office at 301-909-8117.

Homecare Advantages

There are many advantages to home care, are you aware of them?

The biggest advantage of in-home care for seniors; it allows older adults to age in place and avoids making the move to an institution. At home, seniors feel most comfortable with the environment they are comfortable with. The significant factor of receiving care at home depends on the level of need by a person.

Benefits of Home Care

In-home care gives families confidence and peace knowing their aging loved ones are comfortable at home and receiving professional, compassionate, and personalized care.

In many cases, it’s the most satisfying form of senior care and sometimes more affordable than other types of care. There are lots of other reasons for the growing demand for our services, too.

Home care offers a person with individual needs to stay home. The services might be for people who are getting older, who are chronically ill, who are recovering from surgery, who live with a disability. Home care services include:

  • Personal care, like help with bathing, washing hair, shaving, or getting dressed.
  • Homemaking, like cleaning the house, yard work, and laundry.
  • Cooking, meal preparation, shopping, picking up medications, or delivering meals.
  • Health care services from a home health aide.

July UV Safety Month

It’s no surprise that UV Safety Month is in July – a month filled with hot days, summer vacations, and plenty of outdoor activities.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. Most cases of melanoma, the deadliest kind of skin cancer, are caused by exposure to ultraviolet rays. To lower your skin cancer risk, protect your skin from the sun, and avoid indoor tanning.

Despite ongoing awareness efforts around sun safety, a million cases of skin cancer are still diagnosed every year. One in five Americans will get skin cancer during their lifetime, and it’s the second-most diagnosed form of cancer in 15 to 29-year-olds. When detected early, skin cancer has a 98% survival rate.

Here are the top 10 tips for sun safety and skin health:

1. Make a yearly date with your dermatologist for a skin cancer screening. Check your own body once a month for changes in the shape, size, and color of moles.
2. Don’t forget your ears, hands, feet, and neck when applying sunscreen.
3. Use sunscreen when driving on long road trips because windows do not protect you from the sun!
4. Pack an umbrella AND sunscreen: 80% of UV rays pass through clouds, so wear sunscreen regardless of the weather.
5. Protect your lips! Your lips have less melatonin than the rest of your body.
6. Use a golf-ball-sized amount of sunscreen to be sure your entire body is protected.
7. Make sure everything you wear offers sun protection, from hats to sunglasses to facial moisturizers.
8. Set your watch to watch your back every 2 hours. That’s how often you should reapply sunscreen.
9. Always have a supply of sunscreen with SPF on hand.
10. Remember that the sun never takes a vacation, so apply sunscreen in all four seasons of the year.

June is Aphasia Awareness Month

What is aphasia?

Aphasia is a communication disorder that results from damage to the parts of the brain that contain language. Individuals who experience damage to the right side of the brain may have additional difficulties beyond speech and language issues. Aphasia may cause difficulties in speaking, listening, reading, and writing, but does not affect intelligence. 

What causes aphasia? 

Aphasia is most often caused by stroke. However, any disease or damage to the parts of the brain that control language can cause aphasia. These include brain tumors, traumatic brain injury, and progressive neurological disorders. 

What are some signs or symptoms of aphasia?

Difficulty producing language:

  • Have trouble coming up with the words they want to say
  • Substitute the intended word with another word that may be related in meaning to the target
  • Use made-up words
  • Have difficulty putting words together to form sentences
  •  String together made-up words and real words fluently but without making sense

Difficulty understanding language:

  • Misunderstand what others say, especially when they speak fast
  • Find it hard to understand speech in background noise or in group situations
  • Misinterpret jokes and take the literal meaning of figurative speech
  • Difficulty reading and writing:
  • Difficulty reading forms, pamphlets, books, and other written material
  • Problems spelling and putting words together to write sentences
  • Difficulty understanding number concepts

How is aphasia diagnosed

The speech-language pathologist evaluates the individual with a variety of tools to determine the type and severity of aphasia. It includes assessment of:

  • Auditory Comprehension: understanding words, questions, directions, and stories
  • Verbal Expression: producing automatic sequences, naming objects, describing pictures, responding to questions, and having conversations
  • Reading and Writing: understanding or producing letters, words, sentences, and paragraphs
  • Functional Communication: using gestures, drawing, pointing, or other supportive means of communication when he/she has trouble getting a point across verbally

What treatments are available for people with aphasia?

There are many types of treatment available for individuals with aphasia. The type of treatment depends on the needs and goals of the person with aphasia.

What can I do to communicate better with the person with aphasia?

1. Get the person’s attention before you start speaking.
2. Maintain eye contact and watch the person’s body language and use of gestures.
3. Minimize or eliminate background noise.
4. Keep your voice at a normal level.
5. Keep communication simple, but adult. Don’t “talk down” to the person with aphasia.
6. Simplify your sentence structure and emphasize keywords.
7. Give the individual time to speak. Resist the urge to finish sentences or offer words.
8. Communicate with drawings, gestures, writing, and facial expressions in addition to speech.
9. Encourage the person to use drawings, gestures, and writing.
10. Use yes and no questions rather than open-ended questions.
11. Engage in normal activities whenever possible.
12. Encourage independence and avoid being overprotective.

Stroke Awareness Month

May is Stroke Awareness Month, and so we wanted to summarize a few key facts about stroke in one convenient spot!

Read on and spread the word – everyone should know stroke warning signs, the life-altering effects of stroke, and what kind of treatment stroke survivors can do to regain control of their lives!

What is a stroke?

  • An ischemic stroke occurs when a clot blocks a vessel in the brain, which prevents blood supply to any areas of the brain supplied by that vessel.
  • A hemorrhagic stroke, on the other hand, is when a vessel ruptures. Oddly enough, blood is poisonous to the brain, so if any parts of the brain are exposed to blood during a hemorrhage, those parts of the brain will be damaged.

What causes a stroke and how can I avoid it?

  • Many disorders, such as AVM, Moyamoya, and cardiovascular disease (just to name a few) can cause strokes.
  • Lifestyle risks include being overweight and inactive, overuse of alcohol, and use of illicit drugs.
  • Other medical risks include high blood pressure, cigarette smoking, high cholesterol, diabetes, and sleep apnea.
  • What are the symptoms of a stroke?
  • Face drooping: Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven?
  • Arms weakness:  Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • Speech difficulty: Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?

Time to Call 9-1-1:

If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get the person to the hospital immediately. Check the time so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared.

Additional symptoms of a stroke include: trouble seeing in one or both eyes, trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination, or a sudden severe headache with no known cause.

What happens after a stroke?

  • Language (speaking and/or understanding; written and/or spoken)
  • Memory
  • Attention
  • Movement
  • Sensation
  • Swallowing
  • Emotion
  • Behavior
  • Judgment

*** This is different for everyone. You may have trouble with one, some, or all the ones listed above.

How can stroke survivors regain control of their lives after a stroke, and gain back skills for daily living?

• Therapy has been proven to help recovery. There are many available apps that individuals can use at home in addition to in-clinic therapy.

Melanoma Awareness Month

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the US, and each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer.

Skin cancer can affect anyone, regardless of skin color, gender, or age. In fact, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer during their lifetime. These facts may be alarming, but because skin cancer is mainly a behavioral disease, it is highly preventable.

About 86 percent of melanoma and 90 percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. That’s why embracing proper sun protection is critical all year round. The good news? Skin cancer can almost always be cured when it’s found and treated early. Communities, health professionals, and families can work together to prevent skin cancer or detect it early on.

Follow these Prevention Guidelines to stay sun-safe:

  • Seek the shade (especially between 10 AM and 4 PM.)
  • Do not burn.
  • Avoid tanning and never use UV tanning beds.
  • Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
  • Use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day. For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant, broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
  • Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.
  • Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months.
  • Examine your skin head-to-toe every month.
  • See your physician every year for a professional skin exam.

How can Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month make a difference?

  • Encourage families to adopt good habits together, like wearing sunscreen and limiting their time in the sun.
  • Motivate teachers and administrators to teach kids about the harm of UV radiation and why it’s important to protect yourself.
  • Identify youth leaders in your community who can talk to their peers about taking steps to prevent skin cancer.
  • Partner with a local hospital, state fair, or similar organization to host a skin cancer screening event.

Call Us: (301) 909-8117