Posts Categorized: News

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.

April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month!

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative condition and after Alzheimer’s is the second most common disease in the United States.

Neurodegenerative is a term that refers to a progressive loss of nerve cells and/or their function. Neurodegeneration from Parkinson’s disease can give rise to a wide spectrum of symptoms; symptoms can vary widely between people in terms of their type and severity.

Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include:

  • difficulties with balance, swallowing, chewing and speaking
  • tremor
  • slowness
  • constipation
  • sleep disruption
  • constipation
  • psychological issues including problems with cognition, anxiety and depression

One of the most noticeable symptoms of Parkinson’s disease is a tremor in which the body makes involuntary quivering movements. As the disease progresses, symptoms can worsen. For example, over time a person may not be able to move, speak or swallow. This can often arise 4-8 years after the initial onset of Parkinson’s disease. The cause of Parkinson’s disease is unknown and there are no known successful treatments that can delay or stop its progression.

How can you help?

  1.  Reach out to someone with Parkinson’s. If you know someone in your family, social circle or community with Parkinson’s, consider reaching out to them.
  2.  Educate yourself and others. This disease is not limited to the tremor that mostly defines the general public’s understanding of the disease. What is less known is the pervasiveness of Parkinson’s, how it causes everything from mood disorder such as depression and anxiety, dementia, urinary incontinence, constipation, swallowing difficulties, pain and sleep disorders to name but a few.
  3.  Raise money for research. Consider supporting fundraising events for Parkinson’s disease or raise money on your own accord. It takes a significant amount of money for a drug to make it from the lab to the pharmacy shelf.

Elderly insomnia

Did you know insomnia is present at all ages and affects more people than you think?

What is insomnia?

Insomnia is a sleep disorder that is characterized by the difficulty of falling asleep and/or staying asleep. An insomniac will experience these occurrences at least 3 times a week.

There are two stages of insomnia:

  • Acute insomnia
  • Chronic insomnia

Acute insomnia is when these symptoms last less than a month. Chronic insomnia is when the symptoms persist for more than a month.
Insomnia affects the quality and quantity of sleep. This causes daytime sleepiness and fatigue. If this persists, feelings of irritability, anxiety, or depression may occur.

Insomnia is very common among seniors. It affects almost 50% of adults 60 and older.

How do I know if I have insomnia?

Here are some of the most common symptoms of insomnia:

  • Harder and/longer time falling asleep (more then 30-45 minutes),

Some Of The Most Common Cancers Can Be Prevented

Did you know that approximately one-third of cases of the most common cancers in the U.S. could be prevented by eating healthy, being active, and staying lean? 

That’s an estimated 374,000 cases of cancer in the United States that would never happen. 

Corewood’s 3 Guidelines for Cancer Prevention can help you focus on what’s most important.

  • Choose mostly plant foods, limit red meat and avoid processed meat.
  • Be physically active every day in any way for 30 minutes or more.
  • Aim to be a healthy weight throughout life.

Choose mostly plant foods, limit red meat and avoid processed meat. You already know that limiting high-calorie treats is a good idea. But did you know that if you try to prepare meals focused on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans, you’ll help support your body against cancer? 

Be physically active every day in any way for 30 minutes or more. Remember every day – in any way. That means you don’t need a gym membership – you just need to get your heart pumping. Being physically active for a total of at least 30 minutes a day — whether you’re walking, cleaning, dancing, or hiking. Doing these activities can lower your risk for cancer.

Heart disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States.

Every year, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease. The good news? Heart disease can often be prevented when people make healthy choices and manage their health conditions. Communities, health professionals, and families can work together to create opportunities for people to make healthier choices. Make a difference in your community: Spread the word about strategies for preventing heart disease and encourage people to live heart-healthy lives.

What is Heart Disease?

It is a disorder of the blood vessels of the heart that can lead to a heart attack. A heart attack happens when an artery becomes blocked, preventing oxygen and nutrients from getting to the heart. Heart disease is one of several cardiovascular diseases, which are diseases of the heart and blood vessel system. Other cardiovascular diseases include stroke, high blood pressure, angina (chest pain), and rheumatic heart disease.

Symptoms can include:

–  Chest pain (angina)
–  Shortness of breath
–  Pain, numbness, weakness or coldness in your legs or arms if the blood vessels in those parts of your body are narrowed
–  Pain in the neck, jaw, throat, upper abdomen or back


How can YOU make a difference during the month of February – Heart Health Month

–  Wear red on February 5th (the day nationally recognized to wear red and promote heart health!).
–  Educate yourself.
–  Become involved within your community to help support heart disease awareness.

National Glaucoma Awareness month

January is National Glaucoma Awareness month.

This is an important time to spread the word about this sight-stealing disease. Glaucoma is called the “sneak thief of sight” due to having no noticeable symptoms in its early stages. Vision loss progresses at such a gradual rate that individuals affected by the condition are often unaware of it until their sight is compromised.

Currently, glaucoma is not a curable disease and most damage caused by the disease cannot be reversed. However, there are existing treatments that can slow the progression of the disease for most patients. Some of these treatments include:

  • Prescription eyedrops – decrease eye pressure and improve eye fluid drainage.
  • Oral medications – Common medication is carbonic anhydrase inhibitor
  • Laser Surgery – Argon Laser Trabeculoplasty, Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty, Laser Peripheral Iridotomy, Cycloablation
  • Filtering Surgery – Also known as a trabeculectomy, small opening created in the white of the eye to remove part of the trabecular meshwork.
  • Drainage Tubes – small tubes inserted into the eye to assist with draining excess fluid.
  • Electrocautery – minimally invasive procedure used to remove tissue from the travecular meshwork.
  • Emerging Therapies – new drugs, surgical procedures and devices

Individuals of all ages should be concerned about glaucoma and its effects. Razing awareness about glaucoma is very important to ensure that individuals can take preventative measures before the disease has irreversible effects. Here are some ways that you can help with awareness this month:

1. Schedule routine eye examinations with an ophthalmologist.

2. Find out if there is a history of glaucoma in your family.

3. Talk to friends and family about glaucoma. If you have glaucoma, don’t keep it a secret. Let your family members know.

4. Get involved in your community through fundraisers, information sessions, group discussions, inviting expert speakers, and more.

5. High-risk groups that should stay aware include:

  • Individuals over 60
  • Chronic Diseases – Diabetics, high blood pressure, heart disease and hyperthyroidism
  • Famaily History
  • Eye injury and nearsightedness
  • Use of corticosteroids

6. Minimize prolonged head-down positions that some research suggests may elevate eye pressure.

Corewood Care believes that the delivery of information and encouraging awareness for all health matters is the best way to ensure that individuals are receiving the best information when it comes to their health. We understand that your vision is an important part of maintaining an independent lifestyle. If you are diagnosed with glaucoma, our senior care team can help you navigate your options and find quality senior health care providers, provide transportation and companionship to appointments.

Contact our team today at (301) 909-8117 for help with staying healthy, aging in place, and living life to the fullest!

The holiday season is a joyous time for most to share the delights of family life and friendships.

Unfortunately, many older adults may find the holidays hectic, confusing, and even depressing, depending on their mental or physical conditions.

With all the “hustle and bustle” of the season, remember to be sensitive and loving. It is always best to plan for these occasions.

The good news is that everyone can help to make sure your loved ones enjoy the holidays by doing the following:

1. Take a stroll down memory lane. Many seniors enjoy speaking to their families about their previous experiences and memories. Younger family members and friends love to hear about how grandmother/grandfather lived her/his life “when I was your age.”. We suggest using pictures, videos, and even music to help stimulate their memories and share their experiences.

  • For example – Create a collage of old photos in a Memory Book. This is a great activity for the family and gets everyone involved. Bring over some joyous Holiday music and have fun singing along.

2. Plan a break. Most seniors are not used to the commotion and noise from youngster visiting during the holidays. Make sure to keep an eye on them. Escort mom/dad to a quiet place for a few minutes so they can take a break. Use this time to talk to them and perhaps encourage them to have a one-on-one conversation with a family member.

  • For example – Bring your loved-one to a community library or a quiet café to enjoy a nice warm treat.

3. Remove any obstacles. If the Holiday party is held in the home of an older person with memory impairment or behavioral problems, please don’t rearrange the furniture. This could be a source of confusion and anxiety. If the gathering is in a place unfamiliar to an older person, remove slippery rugs and other items that could cause them to trip and fall.

  • For example – Do not move your seniors couch on the opposite side of the room. Try to keep things where they have always been.

4. Be inclusive. Include everyone in holiday meal preparations. Split-up holiday tasks to make sure everyone stays involved. Older adults with physical limitations can still be included in kitchen activities by asking them to do simple tasks.

  • For example – folding napkins, reading holiday cards, assisting with place settings or arranging flowers are some of the helpful and fun ways to participate during the holidays.

5. New memories. Help your loved ones create new memories this holiday season.\

  • For example – Take them window shopping, take a drive through the neighborhood to look at holiday decorations and lights, and even inviting them over to help decorate the tree.

6. Be thoughtful and understanding. Many seniors will experience memory loss, so make sure to keep that in mind when you are telling a story and they find it hard to remember. If your family member seems not to remember an experience, then refresh everyone’s memory and don’t single them out for not remembering a past event.

  • For example – If your family member seems not to remember an experience, then refresh everyone’s memory and don’t single them out for not remembering a past event.

7. Check on them. Connecting with your loved ones is important during the holiday season. If your senior family member lives alone, check on them and make sure to include them in all your holiday events. Always keep a positive attitude when you are around them and make sure to reassure them how important they are to you and the entire family.

  • For example – Call or stop in for a couple minutes just to see if they need any groceries or see what time you will pick them up for the holiday festivities.

8. Stay on the sunny side. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons. SAD is usually referred to as winter depression which can be provoked by the shortage of sunlight. It is important to make sure your loved ones stay active and complete activities in the daylight.

  • For example – If your loved one suffers from SAD make sure to take them on daily walks in the sunlight or play a game with them during the daytime.

9. Monitor medications and alcohol. Make sure to help your loved ones take their medications on their regular schedule during the holidays. During the holiday season, it can be easy to forget to take medications. Also, pay attention to their alcohol consumption during the holiday parties. Alcohol can provoke inappropriate behavior, interfere with medications, and make depression worse.

  • For example – Set a reminder on your cell phone for the times your loved one takes their medication. If you notice your loved one consuming a large amount of alcohol, recommend the lemon water you made or “mock-tail”.

Hopefully, the facts above will help you and your loved ones this holiday season. The holidays can be so hectic and busy it can be very easy to forget about the needs of the senior family members in our lives. Remember it is important to spend as much time as possible with them and consider their feelings. Sometimes the holidays can be too much for your loved ones and remember to be sensitive and understanding of their situations.

Call Us: (301) 909-8117