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01 |  Far Away Grief

Far Away Grief
By Barbara Goodearl

In 1987 my husband, mother, and father died, all within six months of each other. It was a year of overload and incredible sorrow. Perhaps since their deaths were so close together I learned to grieve in an unusual way. And perhaps I learned some valuable lessons to pass on to others.

I believe that my mother kept herself alive so that she could help me through the death of my husband. I believe that my father kept himself alive so that he could help me through the death of my husband and my mother. (I have read the journals he kept during this time and they lead me to this conclusion).

I learned that losing a loved one is like being hit in the head with a sledge hammer. The blow is unbelievable. The pain is sudden, even if the death is expected, and violent.

Thoughtful friends who rush to you and bring Kleenex and Peach Schnapps (goodness knows why) are invaluable. The friends who are there to bring food are angels. The friends and family who visit on the first Thanksgiving and the first Christmas after, take your mind off the grief and yet are there to talk and laugh and cry with you when the idea of "holidays" comes up.

I learned that you go through all the stages of grief (anger, denial, acceptance, etc.) all the time and often within a five minute span of time. "Why isn't he here to do this with me?" "He's going to be coming home in an hour or so to help carve the turkey." "She'll be here soon to cook her famous dessert." It goes on and on…

So, we need to use tools to help us survive and cope. One of the best I've used is to say goodbye. (This may, or may not, work for you.) When I opened my mother's recipe file and saw all those marvelous meals in her own beautiful handwriting it was overwhelming. I said, "Thank you Mom for fixing this for me so many times in my life. I know you won't be here to fix it again, so I need to say goodbye to that memory and cherish it." When I drove to our cottage in Canada for the first time by myself, I said to my husband, who had been gone many months, "Thank you for all the times we drove up here and all the happy times we had. I know you won't be coming with me ever again."

It's heart wrenching, but it helps us to face the reality of their death. It helps us pass another milestone, another memory. It helps us open one tiny "box" of our memory and deal with it. Then we put it away until we can bear to take out another memory and deal with that: another grief, another step. It makes the remembering less harsh and painful.

Do I still grieve after all these years? Yes indeed. I sing "Happy Birthday" to my Mom and can't get past the first few words. I see a telephone truck, think of my husband and wonder, irrationally of course, if he's driving it. I pass a well-tended garden and wonder if Dad has been out there weeding. Tears are close and spill over. I have learned that it's ok.

We grieve forever.

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02 |  How to Cook for an Elderly Person

How to Cook for an Elderly Person
By Luise Bolleber, Information Specialist, Oryana Natural Foods Market

A well-balanced, whole foods diet is essential to good health at all stages of life, and the elderly years are no exception. Many basic food rules apply whether you are a toddler, busy college student, or active senior, such as to limit your intake of refined sugar products, eat a wide variety of foods, and opt for good old fashioned cooking at home. But as you age, your nutritional requirements change somewhat and other factors influence the changing role of food for seniors.

You need fewer calories, for one thing, the older you get, but this also depends on how active you are. But eating more nutrient-rich foods to make up for the caloric decrease becomes especially important.

Elderly people may also exhibit vitamin deficiencies, B6, D, calcium, and zinc to name a few. Chronic disease or dental problems may contribute to malnutrition. And quite simply, food just doesn't taste as good as it used to. By age 75, people have only half as many taste buds as they did at age 30. Financial restrictions, depression, drug side effects, forgetfulness, lack of transportation, and loneliness can also affect an elderly person's eating habits.

With all these factors to consider, here are some guidelines for helping special seniors in your life to eat more nutritious and healthy meals and help them avoid diet-related problems.

  • Choose organic foods over non-organic. A large percentage of pesticides and herbicides are considered carcinogenic, so why burden a senior's already more fragile health with potentially poisonous chemicals?
  • As a general rule, portion sizes should be smaller for seniors. They don't need as much food as they did in their 30s.
  • Include plenty of foods rich in fiber to help seniors stay regular, as constipation often afflicts the elderly. Leafy green veggies, whole grains, and sprouted grain products are especially good.
  • Serve cultured and fermented foods that will aid in digestion and promote a healthy gut. The digestive processes slow with age and a healthy digestive tract is important for optimal assimilation of nutrients. Cultured foods, such as Kim Chee , raw sauerkraut, Kombucha, and Kefir are some examples of foods that enhance the digestion process.
  • Cook dishes full of flavor and aroma. Appealing foods may help stimulate appetite and you can intensify flavors with herbs, marinades, dressings and sauces. Serving a wide variety of foods throughout the week can also keep an elderly person interested in eating. Try combining textures, such as yogurt with granola, to make foods seem more appetizing.
  • Be especially careful when handling raw chicken and meat to avoid cross-contamination, as elderly people are more susceptible to food-borne illness. Wear gloves and sanitize cutting boards, knives, and countertops with a mild bleach solution.
  • Soaking grains before cooking them is a time-tested way to make them more digestible and the nutrients more readily available. For example, when oatmeal is planned for breakfast, soak the oatmeal in water overnight.
  • Encourage healthy snacking by having easy to grab snacks ready in the refrigerator: Pre-cut raw vegetables such as carrot and celery sticks, pea pods, broccoli, cauliflower, bell pepper strips, etc.  Raw nuts, dried fruits, yogurt, cottage cheese, pitted olives, leftover cooked meats, and cheese chunks are good.  Some nutritious unrefrigerated snacks include whole grain crackers, bananas, and nut butters.

Following these practical tips for cooking for your elderly loved ones should go a long way toward helping them stay healthy and active in their golden years.

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03 |  Caregiver Survival

Caregiver Survival
By Barbara Goodearl

As a caregiver, you spend most of your time being there for a loved one, which is an admirable thing to do. It shows your devotion and love, when it's needed the most, in a very special way. However, being the caregiver you are, it is difficult to think of yourself. This is often true of teachers, nurses, and mothers. It is inborn and comes as second nature. Caregivers love to help, nurture, and sacrifice. These are positive qualities, but may not always be what is best for you, or the person you're caring for.

When you help too much, it takes away your loved one's ability to stay active and do for him/herself.  He/she may also feel like their independence is being taken away because they aren't allowed to make decisions.  Your loved one may become lethargic, or feel like giving up when he has no say in things, like what and when to eat, or what to wear.  This ultimately makes your job more difficult.

Not only might the person being cared for feel smothered, but you have no time to pay attention to the other important person in this equation: you.

As a caregiver, remember that diversions and deep breathing sessions are crucial.  You need time away from the stress and monotony to exercise, be with friends, to rest and, do nothing.  It is important to let others come in and provide a change of scenery and personality for your friend or family member.  You should not feel guilty for leaving someone else in charge for a while.

So, plan a regularly-scheduled break.  Bring in "Just Like Family" a few times a week.  Call some friends who are willing and capable to take over.  Let them schedule a weekly time for a few hours to give you an opportunity to care for yourself.

If your loved one is in Hospice care, a trained volunteer can be assigned for four hours a week, at no cost to you.  This will free you run errands and tend to your own needs.   If you have family members close by, ask them to become involved as well.  Or, if family lives out of town, maybe they can visit for a few days to give you a break. This can be a blessing to them and your loved one.

Step back, take a deep breath, and make the decision to help yourself.  You will come back refreshed, and have more to give, which is what being a caregiver is all about.

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04 |  Dirty Dozen & Clean 15

Dirty Dozen & Clean 15

According to The Daily Green, below are the 2010 lists of foods which are highest and lowest in pesticides:

Dirty Dozen
Buy Organic Only

Celery
Peaches
Strawberries
Apples
Blueberries
Nectarines
Bell Peppers
Spinach
Kale
Cherries
Potatoes
Grapes

Clean 15
Lowest in Pesticides

Onion
Avocado
Sweet Corn
Pineapple
Mango
Asparagus
Sweet Peas
Kiwi
Cabbage
Eggplant
Papaya
Watermelon
Broccoli
Tomato
Sweet Potato

For more information, check out www.thedailygreen.com.

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05 |  Everybody Hurts Sometimes: A Guide to Grief

Everybody Hurts Sometimes: A Guide to Grief
By Kae Beth Rosenberg

We all experience grief at some point in our lives, whether it's due to the loss of a pet, friend, sibling, child, or parent.  And while we all face it at different times, and under various circumstances, certain aspects of grief are similar: It is painful, it sometimes hits unexpectedly, and the pain can last a lifetime.

There is no wrong way to grieve.  Any way you choose to express yourself is normal.  We all grieve in our own individual way.  Many people cry.  Some like to visit their loved one's gravesite, or a place where ashes were spread.  Others never do that.  Some talk to their loved one, or wear a favorite shirt; others write letters or poetry.  However you choose to express yourself is o.k.

There is no set time for grief.  While you may be given a week off from work, don't expect your emotions to be ready at that time.  It often takes several weeks or months to start feeling like your regular self.  And then, when you think you're doing fine you might be hit in the face with a memory out of the blue, or a song on the radio will turn you into mush.  Grief is very sneaky and surprising, so have tissues handy.

While time does heal all wounds, one never "gets over" the loss of someone close to them.  The pain will become less paralyzing as the weeks, months, and years go by, but we continue to re-grieve as time passes.  This too is normal.

Anniversaries can be especially difficult.  Sometimes grief creeps in unexpectedly and you realize that it's been three months since your uncle died.  One thing that I have found helpful is to celebrate events like birthdays, Mother's Day, Wedding Anniversaries, etc.  For instance, a year or two after my father died I was having a particularly difficult time dealing with his birthday.  A friend suggested that I do something to honor him.  I decided I would make his favorite cookies: the peanut butter ones with a chocolate kiss in the middle.  So, I baked up a batch and gave them out to friends, telling them why. I have done it every year since and people look forward to celebrating my father's birthday and remembering him with me.  For you, it may be going out for chicken wings, or having a game night.  Whatever it is that reminds you of the person you lost, do that as a way to celebrate their life, and keep their memory alive.

People often don't know what they can do to help when someone dies.  They say, "Let me know if you need anything" and then do nothing because the grieving person can't always process what is needed at the time, or doesn't want to impose.  Preparing a meal, babysitting, or even taking the dog for a walk, are practical ways to show you care.

Don't feel that you need to apologize for being out of sorts while going through the grief process.  It's expected.  Surround yourself with supportive, loving people as much as possible.  Also, don't feel like you have to go through it alone.  If you're having an especially difficult time dealing with your thoughts and emotions, there is nothing wrong with seeking one-on-one counsel from a therapist, member of the clergy, or social worker.  A grief group is also a wonderful place for some.  Local Hospice houses typically have weekly groups where you can go to be around others who are dealing with similar feelings, and this can bring great comfort.

In Traverse City, Munson Hospice House offers adult grief support on Monday nights from 6:30-8:30.  You may contact Patti Amalfitano at (231)935-8491 for information.  Munson also helps children deal with their grief in a safe, relaxing environment by offering Children's Grief: Art Therapy Programs.  For more information call Barbara McIntyre, PhD at (231) 935-8492.  "Michael's Place" also serves children, teens, adults, and families as they grieve and heal.  They offer many programs throughout the year, and may be contacted at (231)947-6453 or visit their website: http://www.mymichaelsplace.net/.  For those who have lost a child of any age, "The Compassionate Friends" is a worldwide organization providing emotional support, information, and healing.  They have chapters that meet in small towns and big cities.  For more information go to http://www.compassionatefriends.org/home.aspx, or call (877) 969-0010.

Remember, we are all on this journey of life and death together.  You are never alone even though it may feel like it at times.  If you are in pain as you read this, please know that there are people who care, and if "Just Like Family" can help you through the process by getting you in touch with a counselor, or grief group, please contact us.  Wishing you grace and peace.

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06 |  Outside Dangers, Prevention, and Treatment

Outside Dangers, Prevention, and Treatment
Information compiled by Barbara Goodearl and Kae Beth Rosenberg

When it's beautiful weather, who doesn't want to be outside enjoying it?  Unfortunately, there are certain dangers, and discomforts that go with the territory.  We have compiled data here on some common outdoor problems, their prevention, and treatments.

Poison Ivy
The itching and blisters from Poison Ivy are caused by the chemical Urushiol in the ivy's sap.  The best thing to do if you've been exposed is to wash the area with dishwashing detergent directly from the bottle.  If a rash appears, use Calamine lotion which should ease the itching and dry up the blisters.  Cortizone cream is also a good option.

To remove Poison Ivy, wear gloves, uproot the plant, and put it in a garbage bag.  Never burn Poison Ivy, or Poison Oak, as the smoke can cause a very serious reaction.

Stings
The stinger from a bee should be removed immediately with a flat, hard surface such as a credit card scraped across the stinger; tweezers can also be used.  Wash the area immediately with soap and water and then apply a paste of baking soda or some aloe to help relieve the pain. Yellow Jackets, Wasps and Hornets don't usually have stingers.

If you develop hives, begin to wheeze, or notice a swelling in your tongue call 911 immediately.  These reactions can be deadly.

Preventing Bee stings is as simple as keeping all areas clean and free of food and sweets so the bees won't gather. Animal dishes should be emptied and cleaned as well.

Skin Burns
Burns from grilling or other heat sources should be treated immediately by running the burn under very cold water.  This process removes the heat and cleanses the area, which helps prevent infection.  The burn should be wrapped with gauze or a non-adhesive bandage.  .  If the burn blisters, turns dark, or covers a large part of the body, get to the emergency room immediately.

To help with pain and inflammation, take Ibuprofen. Aloe Vera is also beneficial in healing burns from heat sources, as well as the sun.

Contrary to the old wives' tale, do not use butter or any other greasy substance on a burn.  This can cause infection and create an environment for bacteria to grow.

To prevent this skin burns, use Silicone mitts and long-handled implements.

Mosquito Bites
Mosquito Bites can be fairly easy to treat with Calamine Lotion, Baking Soda paste, and anti-itch cream.  Antihistamines and hydrocortisone creams can help too.  Watch for a fever, headache, nausea or extreme tiredness because these may be signs of Encephalitis or West Nile virus.

To prevent Mosquito bites: wear light-colored clothing, as Mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors.  Also, keep your body covered as much as possible.   At home, try using Citronella candles or oil in torches around your deck or patio, and plant Marigolds, Basil, Lavender, Catnip, Tansy, or Pennyroyal as these are natural Mosquito repellants.

Some home remedies to try:  Apply Vanilla Extract directly to skin and clothing, mix one or more the following essential oils with rubbing alcohol or witch hazel and apply to body: Cedar, Citronella, Tansy, Pennyroyal, Tea Tree, Peppermint, Basil, Lemongrass, Eucalyptus, Catnip, or Thyme.

Other products that repel Mosquitoes: Bounce dryer sheets (attach to beltloop, or hang out of a pocket), Avon's Skin-So-Soft applied to skin & clothing (use straight or mix 50/50 with rubbing alcohol), Vick's VapoRub, or Listerine (mix 50/50 with vinegar & spray on body).

Since Mosquitoes breed in standing water clean and refill pet bowls and birdbaths frequently. Empty plant holders of standing water as well.

Ticks
Ticks spread Lyme Disease and other illnesses.  To prevent ticks from biting, tuck pants into socks when outside playing or gardening, and wear at hat.  Examine family members head to toe when they come in from outside.

Should a tick be located on a human or pet, it should be removed immediately.  It is not recommended to use common methods such as a hot match, "painting" the bug with nail polish, gasoline, or petroleum jelly.  (These methods can injure the person or pet, and stimulate the tick to produce more pathogen-containing secretions into the site of the bite.)

To remove ticks, wear gloves, and use a pair of curved forceps or tweezers.  Grasp the tick firmly with the tweezers as close to the skin as possible. Pull gently until the tick comes free. If any portion of the tick's head or mouthparts remains, see a doctor for removal.  Be sure to cleanse the affected area with soap and water or a mild disinfectant.  Keep a close eye on the bite site for rash or infection.  An antibiotic cream can help the infected area, but typically does not affect the chance of disease development.  Be sure to see a doctor if any change occurs.

Also, ticks should not be crushed, as this may transmit disease.  They should be rinsed down a sink, or flushed in the toilet.  You may also want to keep it in a jar or taped to a piece of paper to show a doctor, should you become ill. 

Enjoy your time outside, and be safe out there!

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07 |  Keeping Your Home Safe: Key Safety Tips For a Person With Alzheimer's Disease

Keeping Your Home Safe: Key Safety Tips For a Person With Alzheimer's Disease
Used by Permission: Alzheimer's Association, Greater Michigan Chapter

A diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease can be a difficult, confusing time for families.  There are many questions about care, treatment, and the future in general.  In the process of creating a care plan, the safety issue is often initially overlooked.  The physical environment of someone diagnosed with Alzheimer's will require modification as time goes by.  Once very familiar household objects may no longer be recognized.  Electronic gadgets may be turned on and then abandoned for used inappropriately.  Access to kitchen appliances can pose a potential problem.  Caregivers must look at the environment with a new set of eyes, open to possible hidden hazards.

Here are some tips to help you make the environment a safe place for your loved one.

Kitchen:

  1. Remove knobs from stoves to prevent them from being turned on accidentally.
  2. Remove any small or non-stationary rugs to avoid tripping.
  3. Adjust the water temperature to avoid accidental scalding.
  4. Remove any cleaning fluids.  Do not store any toxic fluid in anything other than the original container.
  5. Remove any knives and disable sink disposals.
  6. Put dishes, cups, and glasses on lower shelves for easier access.
  7. Unplug any small appliance not in use.
  8. All household outlets should have ground fault interrupters to eliminate the danger of electrical shock.
  9. Remove any matches or lighters from the home.
  10. Do not wax or leave wet floors to dry.

Bedroom:

  1. Make sure the bed covers don't reach the floor to avoid tripping.
  2. Keep medication out of sight and well out of reach.
  3. If on the 2nd floor, place a stop bar to prevent fully opened windows.
  4. Lamps should be stable with easily handled switches.
  5. Keep electrical cords tied up and out of sight.
  6. Use nightlights in rooms and hallways.

Bathroom:

  1. Use professionally installed grab bars and shower seat in tub.
  2. Use colorful non-slip bath mats in tub and on bathroom floor.
  3. Remove razors, old medications, and cleaning fluids.
  4. Consider a handheld shower head.

General:

  1. If your home has stairs, consider installing gates.
  2. Try to avoid the use of space heaters.
  3. Remove any weapons that may be in the home.
  4. Consider door alarms or 3-stage locks to prevent wandering outside.
  5. Most importantly, please enroll in the Alzheimer's Association Medic Alert + Safe Return ® Program.

For more information, contact the Alzheimer's Association at (800)272-3900 or check out their online newsletter:  http://alz-org-northern-mi.blogspot.com/

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08 |  Canine Exercise Food 4 Thought

Canine Exercise Food 4 Thought
By Deb D'Andrea

In warm weather it's easy to over exert ones self – both human and canine alike. As humans, when we exercise and feel our muscles start to tighten and strain, we know the consequences of pushing through the feeling. But our dogs running, hiking, and swimming by our side will push themselves to please us, stopping only when they can no longer go on.

Every day when I head out with my dogs to exercise, I always give them a good, thorough, brisk massage. This helps warm up their muscles and gets the blood moving, reducing injury potential. The brisk massage prepares their body for the upcoming event, be it a trip to the agility field, hiking the mountains or heading to the dog park. I begin the massage at the back of the neck, briskly massaging down the shoulders, backwards across the ribs and then up to the base of the tail and down the outside of the rear legs. It only takes a couple minutes and looks like I'm ‘frisking' the dogs. They love it! The pressure I use is light to medium, or between 2 to 5 pounds. For reference, grab a weight scale and push on it to see how much pressure 2 to 5 pounds are. You'll be surprised at just how little it really is!

Once out on the trail, I keep an eye my pups, constantly watching for the signs of exhaustion or dehydration, checking to see if paw pads are healthy, and stopping at any sign of a limp. As dog's pads were not designed for the tarmac and concrete which covers many bike trails, they can burn their feet when on these hot surfaces. When I was in Bryce Canyon National Park I witnessed an individual place their puppy on the black pavement while they attended to others in the car. I quickly walked over and picked the puppy up as it was rapidly lifting each paw in an effort to not touch the road. The person had no idea the puppies paws were burning.

Another common surface to be aware of are stone trails which may contain sharp rocks that can easily cause pad blisters during hikes. And, while the flowers are beautiful, the ever present cactus thorns can lodge between the toes and be difficult to find. If after a hike you notice your dog licking in between the toes or pads, give the foot a close inspection to see if a thorn has broken off in there. If left unchecked, the thorns could cause infection. Be sure to make it fun, playful when checking their paws so next time they'll offer the paw right up!

As one would expect, dogs with thick coats and dark coats are prone to become overheated more quickly than their thin coat and light coated furry friends. If you find yourself out with your dog in the heat of the day on a consistent basis, brushing them ahead of time to remove extra fur is key to helping them stay cool on these hot days. The Love2Pet 2-in-1 Large Pet Grooming Brush is a great addition to your toolbox of items for your pet. You can also wet them down before heading out so they will stay cooler longer.

So the next time you head out the door with your dog, take a moment and give them a good, brisk massage to prepare them for the day's events, grab some of their favorite treats and water, and enjoy this beautiful countryside!

 

Deb D'Andrea is a Certified Canine Massage Therapist from the Boulder College of Massage, Canine Massage Program, and has found her passion helping Canines and their companions.

For more information visit: www.4theluvofdogz.com.

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09 |  True Inspiration: An Interview with Patty Tucker

True Inspiration: An Interview with Patty Tucker
By Kae Beth Rosenberg

In 1984 Patty Tucker began experiencing numbness in her feet. Her doctor decided to try an MRI, new technology at the time, which could show lesions in the spine or on the brain. Patty was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.

Since then, her greatest challenges have been day-to-day living, and learning to let go of things she is no longer able to do.  To help her through the process of living with MS, Patty read a book: We Are Not Alone: Learning to Live With Chronic Illness, by Sephra Kobrin Pitzele.  Patty says, "Everyone has limitations.  People with allergies or glasses have limits too.  The difference is how we deal with things.  You can't keep problems from happening.  MS has helped me become who I am.  I listen to people.  I can relate to others' problems.  I am more human."

For anyone who has learned that they have Multiple Sclerosis, Patty reminds them that there are worse things in life.  She recommends doing things you are able to and spending time with people who help you feel good about life.  She says, "Get a Cocker Spaniel.  Find ways to exercise.  And always get a second opinion, as often the symptoms of MS are actually signs of other health problems.  Go to someone who specializes in MS, like a doctor at the Mayo Clinic, or the University of Michigan.  Find out what your options are, and what meds are available."

Through this experience Patty's major support has been her husband Randy.  "He expects me to still be able to do stuff.  People who expect, and allow me, to do things, are great.  If I need help, I'll ask for it.  It's good for people with limitations to do what they can."

Patty's biggest pet peeves are "fake handicapped people": those who park in handicapped parking spots when they don't need to.  Then there are those who focus on what they can't do, and expect others to do for them, rather than doing for themselves.

Patty Tucker is a true inspiration to anyone blessed to spend time with her.  We could all benefit from her positive attitude towards limitations and life.  Says Patty, "I've learned to appreciate the things that are working, and not worry about the rest."

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10 |  Rainbow Foods

Rainbow Foods
Information compiled by: Kae Beth Rosenberg

The colors of the foods we eat often indicate what vitamins and nutrients it contains. Eating a rainbow of colors helps promote health and wellness. According to the Center for Disease Control, "eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables every day will promote good health and may help reduce the risk of stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, and some cancers."

Here is some information about the different colors of foods and their benefits:

Red foods are typically high in Lycopene and  Anthocyanins.  Watermelon, and tomatoes are rich in Lycopene  and may help reduce certain types of cancer.   Anthocyanins, contained in strawberries, red grapes and other red fruits and veggies, are powerful antioxidants and protect cells from damage.

Some Red foods to incorporate into your diet are:

  • Watermelon
  • Red apples
  • Beets
  • Red cabbage
  • Cherries
  • Cranberries
  • Pink grapefruit
  • Red grapes
  • Red peppers
  • Red potatoes
  • Radishes
  • Raspberries
  • Rhubarb
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Pomegranates

Blue and purple fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants.  Some studies have found that eating more blueberries improves memory functions, as well as healthy aging.

Examples of foods in the blue/purple group are:

  • Purple grapes
  • Raisins
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Eggplant
  • Figs
  • Juneberries
  • Plums
  • Prunes

Fruits and vegetables that are orange and yellow in color often contain natural plant pigments called carotenoids.  These pigments are converted to Vitamin A, which helps maintain healthy eyes (including a decrease in age-related Macular Degeneration), healthy mucous membranes, and can help reduce heart disease, cancer risk, and can improve the function of the body's immune system.

Citrus fruits are a great source of Vitamin C, and Folate, a B vitamin which helps reduce the risk of birth defects.Some foods in the Orange/Yellow group are:

  • Nectarines
  • Yellow apples
  • Apricots
  • Butternut squash
  • Cantaloupe
  • Carrots
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemons
  • Mangoes
  • Oranges
  • Yellow summer or winter squash
  • Papayas
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Yellow peppers
  • Persimmons
  • Pineapple
  • Pumpkin
  • Rutabagas
  • Sweet corn
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Tangerines
  • Yellow tomatoes

 

Go Green! Vegetables and fruits that are green in color contain the plant pigment Chlorophyll. Some members of the green group, such as celery, green peppers, cucumbers, spinach, and other dark leafy greens are full of Lutein. Lutein works with another chemical called Zeaxanthin (found in grapes, oranges, red peppers, and egg yolks) to maintain eye health. Together, these elements may help reduce the risk of age-related Macular Degeneration, and Cataracts.

 

Vegetables in the cabbage family such as Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, and Cauliflower may help protect against some types of cancer. And, leafy greens like Spinach and Kale are excellent sources of Folate, which helps reduce risk of birth defects.

Try some of the following foods in the Green group:

  • Green apples
  • Artichokes
  • Kale
  • Asparagus
  • Avocados
  • Green beans
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Green cabbage
  • Green grapes
  • Honeydew melon
  • Kiwi
  • Lettuce
  • Limes
  • Green onions
  • Peas
  • Green pepper
  • Spinach
  • Cucumbers
  • Zucchini

Finally, the White group of fruits and vegetables contain Anthoxanthins.  Many of these foods may contain chemicals like Allicin, which can help lower Blood Pressure and Cholesterol, as well as assisting in reduced risk for stomach cancer and heart disease.  Some members of the white group, like Bananas, and Potatoes, are good sources of Potassium, which helps prevent muscle cramping, and is crucial in heart function.

Try to incorporate some of these White foods into your diet:

  • Bananas
  • Cauliflower
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Jicama
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Parsnips
  • Potatoes
  • Turnips

Make an effort to eat a rainbow every day. You'll feel better, and your diet will never be boring.

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11 |  The Sun and You

The Sun and You
By Barbara Goodearl

Although a tan may look good, Dermatologists know that it's a sign of skin damage.  Ultraviolet (UV) rays penetrate the skin and injure the pigment cells.  Through the years the damage becomes more and more severe because your skin "remembers" past episodes of burning.  You'll be more prone to wrinkles, that "leathery" look, unsightly spots, scaly growths, and skin cancer.

There are several kinds of skin cancer, but let's concentrate on the three main types:  Basal cell, Squamous cell, and Melanoma.

B = "Best".  Basal cells are carcinomas which are small, shiny and fleshy on the exposed parts of the body.  They grow slowly and don't usually spread.  When they are found early and treated there's a high cure rate.

S = "Serious".  Squamous cell carcinomas are usually on the face, ears, lips and mouth and appear as a red, scaly patch.  This cancer can spread if untreated and can be fatal.

M = "Most Dangerous".  Melanoma is a dark brown or black patch with irregular edges.  It can also have shades of red, blue or white in it. If not treated it can metastasize to other parts of the body and prove fatal also.

The following tips can help prevent your becoming a victim of skin cancer:

  • Check the UV Index Reports in your area and, no matter what it is, stay out of the sun between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. 
  • Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds. Try a spray tan or self-tanning lotion instead.
  • Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15.  The higher the SPF, the better. [An SPF of 15 allows a person to stay out in the sun 15 times longer before they experiencing sunburn.]
  • It takes 20-30 minutes for sunscreen to be absorbed by the skin, so it should be applied at least a half an hour before going out in the sun.
  • Most labels suggest reapplying sunscreen every two-four hours. However, it should also be reapplied after swimming, excessive sweating, or toweling.
  • Wear sunglasses and broad-brimmed hats as the sun can cause cataracts and blindness.

Protect your children with all of the above methods too.  Dermatologists stress that childrenunder the age of 6 months should NEVER be in the sun.

It's never too early to safeguard yourself and your family.

For more information see your doctor or, in Traverse City, contact Dr. Raymond J. Dean, MC at (231)935-0620.

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12 |  Suspect a Stroke? Act F-A-S-T

Suspect a Stroke? Act F-A-S-T
Information compiled by Kae Beth Rosenberg

Strokes are the third leading cause of death in America and one of the top causes of disability in adults.  Strokes, or "brain attacks", occur when an artery is blocked by a blood clot, or a blood vessel breaks.  When this happens, blood flow to the brain is lost, which can cause serious brain damage.

If you suspect that someone has had a stroke, you must act quickly.  The acronym "FAST" can help you recall the signs of stroke, and your reaction if stroke has occurred.

F = Face.  You should ask the person to smile.  Observe if their face droops on one side.

A = Arms.  Ask the person to raise both of their arms.  See if one arm drifts down.

S = Speech.  Have the person repeat a simple sentence such as "It is sunny today."  Note if words are slurred, or they are unable to speak.

T= Time.  If a person shows any of these symptoms, you must act immediately.  Call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital as soon as possible.  The first three hours of stroke onset are critical for treatment.

To learn more about stroke symptoms, prevention, and care, contact your doctor or the National Stroke Association at (800) STROKES.

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13 |  Tips on "Safe Wandering" For Those With Dementia

Tips on "Safe Wandering" For Those With Dementia
Used by Permission: Alzheimer's Association, Greater Michigan Chapter

Summer temperatures and blue skies create an irresistible temptation to explore the outdoors.  However, they can also pose an increased risk for wandering, defined as "a behavior of people with dementia who move about in ways that may appear aimless, but which are often purposeful."  Up to 69% of those with dementia will wander.

Wandering behavior can be dangerous or life threatening, yet under supervised conditions it may be beneficial.  There are times when attempting to stop the wandering behavior can increase agitation or anxiety in the person with memory loss.  It is important to take precautions and set boundaries to ensure the safety of the individual with memory loss.

A "safe" wandering environment can provide:

  • Physical exercise
  • A sense of freedom
  • A feeling of independence
  • Socialization between caregiver and the person with memory loss
  • Reduction of boredom
  • Calming effect

Here are some tips to insure "safe" wandering:

  • Provide a restricted environment (example: an enclosed courtyard or hallway)
  • Install sound alerts if the individual attempts to leave the safe environment
  • Offer to help them find what they are looking for
  • Encourage them to go for a walk or a car ride with you

If the individual is wandering in an agitated state:

  • Call a friend or family member to come over and assist you
  • When agitation begins to subside, present an idea or activity to redirect their attention

Wandering poses a danger when it puts anyone in a life threatening situation.  The Alzheimer's Association Medic Alert + Safe Return® Program has a 98% success rate in finding a lost person within the first 24 hours.  For information or to register call (800) 272-3900 or visit www.alz.org/gmc.  Receive additional protection with the GPS Tracking device available through Comfort Zone: (877) 259-4850 or www.alz.org/comfortzone

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14 |  Therapy Dogs to The Rescue

How to Cook for an Elderly Person
An interview by Barbara M. Goodearl

Not only is she an amazing caregiver, but Wendy DiGiovanni is also the official Therapy Dog provider for "Just Like Family".

Wendy began using her two Golden Retrievers, Jackson and Simon seven years ago at Lakeland Elementary School in Elk Rapids, Michigan for the special needs students of teacher Judy Cunningham.  These 1st – 5th grade students have a variety of disabilities which sometimes prevent them from interacting with others and growing academically. Jackson and Simon visit weekly and give the children support and encouragement which increases their self-esteem and scholastic abilities.

Wendy particularly recalls a student with Autism who sat right next to the classroom door the first time she visited with Jackson.  This child wanted nothing to do with dogs or reading and was content to just observe his classmates.  The next visit found the youngster moving a bit closer to the calming and friendly dog.  By the end of the year he would grab a book, lay his head on the dog's comfy body and read a whole story to his canine friend.

Wendy finds that children who are emotionally scarred often refuse to talk to adults, but will cozy up to a long haired friend and pour out their feelings and experiences (even thought Wendy or the teacher are sitting close enough to hear this catharsis).  The improvement in children academically and socially is astounding.

Jackson and Simon were trained by Wendy in about two years.  Jackson was first and had to endure the sound of pots crashing onto the tiled kitchen floor until he became oblivious to the noise.  He also had to be taught to ignore pills and food (which were placed on the floor) with a "Leave it" command.  Wendy took the dogs to large grocery stores and areas where there were many people, to teach them to be calm and quiet amidst chaos.

When she felt that the dogs were ready to be certified, she took them one at a time to the Therapy Dogs International dog show.  In a portion of the large room (apart from the competitions) each canine was put through its paces – showing calmness and the ability to ignore loud sounds, milling people and tempting situations.  The dogs passed and are yearly issued a new license.  All veterinary papers must be up to date and the dogs must be clean. (Wendy bathes, grooms, and cleans their ears at least twice a week.)

Wendy has found that people react very well to her dogs.  An Alzheimer patient living at a local live-in facility had lost his ability to speak when she first met him.  As the visits continued the gentleman began petting the dog, and sure enough soon began to chat with his new friend.

What a blessing we have in Wendy, Jackson and Simon.  Just one more thing that makes "Just Like Family" unique and special.

Go to www.tdi-dog.org for more information on therapy dogs.

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15 |  10 Symptoms of Caregiver Stress

10 Symptoms of Caregiver Stress
Information provided by the Alzheimer's Association and adapted by Kae Beth Rosenberg & Barbara M. Goodearl. Used by Permission: Alzheimer's Association, Greater Michigan Chapter

As a caregiver, if you experience some of these signs of stress on a regular basis, make time to consult a physician or therapist.

  1. Denial about the disease/illness and its effect on the person who has been diagnosed.  "I know Mom will get better." Denial can be a great friend when the caregiver can't handle facing the inevitable and needs time to process and grow used to the situation.
  2. Anger at the person with the disease or others, anger that no cure exists, and anger that others don't understand what's going on.  "If he asks me that question one more time, I'll scream." Perhaps it's time to face the fact that this anger is coming from a great love and concern for the family member.
  3. Social withdrawal from friends, and activities that once brought you pleasure.  "I don't care about getting together with the neighbors anymore." May we suggest getting back in touch with friends and accepting their love and help.
  4. Anxiety about facing another day, and what the future may hold.  "What happens when he needs more care than I can provide?" It's time to talk to an expert  (social worker, therapist, physician, or organization) who can help you plan for the days to come.  Hospice care may be an option.
  5. Depression that starts to break your spirit and affects your ability to cope.  "I don't care anymore."Value yourself and realize how vital you are to the caregiving team.  It's important to take care of yourself.
  6. Exhaustion that makes it nearly impossible to complete necessary daily tasks. "I'm too tired to do this." See #5.
  7. Sleeplessness caused by an unending list of concerns.  "What if she wanders out of the house, or falls and hurts herself?" Install a baby monitor or geri-monitor alarm to alert you immediately of any wandering. Have someone take the night shift to give you a break.
  8. Irritability that leads to moodiness and triggers negative responses and reactions.  "Leave me alone!" Take that time alone.  Consult a professional.
  9. Lack of concentration that makes it difficult to perform familiar tasks.  "I was so busy, I forgot about our appointment." Take good notes, keep a calendar, get help.
  10. Health problems that begin to take their toll, both mentally and physically.  "I can't remember the last time I felt good."

"I just don't have time to take care of myself." If this sounds like something you think or say to yourself, you may be putting yourself and your health at risk.

Remember to visit your physician regularly.  Be attuned to what your body is telling you.  Your exhaustion, stress, sleeplessness and changes in appetite or behavior should be taken seriously.  Ignoring these symptoms can cause your own health to decline.

Accept help from others.  You simply can't do everything.  Trying to handle it all yourself will only lead to burnout, depression, and resentment toward the person in your care.

Talk to others about your feelings.  You may think that no one understands what you're going through, but holding in your feelings will only make you feel isolated and emotionally neglected.

For helpful information, please refer to our article "10 Ways to be a Healthy Caregiver".

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16 |  10 Ways to be a Healthy Caregiver

10 Ways to be a Healthy Caregiver
Information provided by the Alzheimer's Association and adapted by Kae Beth Rosenberg. Used by Permission: Alzheimer's Association®, Greater Michigan Chapter

  1. Get a diagnosis as early as possible
    With Alzheimer's Disease, symptoms may appear gradually. When your loved one seems physically healthy, it can be easy to explain away unusual behavior. Don't delay consulting a physician, as some of these symptoms are treatable. Early diagnosis is important in treating other diseases as well.
  2. Know what resources are available
    Your doctor should be able to point you in the right direction for help in your community.  Visiting nurses, Meals-on-Wheels, In-home assistance, or adult daycare are some services that may lend a hand.
  3. Become an educated caregiver
    As diseases progress, new caregiving skills will be necessary.  Seek out help so you will better understand and be able to cope with changes in your loved ones health.  The team members of "Just Like Family" can train you along the way.
  4. Get help
    Don't try to do everything by yourself or you will be left exhausted. Seek support from family, friends, and community resources. If you don't want to ask for help, have someone advocate for you. Support group meetings, and helplines are a good source of comfort and reassurance. If stress becomes overwhelming, seek out professional help.
  5. Take care of yourself
    Be sure to get exercise, watch your diet, and get plenty of rest. Make time to visit with a friend, go shopping, or to a movie by taking advantage of community services like in-home care, adult day care, or respite care services.
  6. Manage your level of stress
    Stress can cause physical problems (such as high blood pressure, stomach upset, and blurred vision) and changes in behavior (like loss of appetite, lack of concentration, and irritability). Note your symptoms use relaxation techniques such as breathing, yoga, listening to soft music, etc., and consult your doctor.
  7. Accept changes as they occur
    People with diseases change, and so do their needs. They often require care beyond what you can do on your own. Check out your options like in-home care, and this should make the transitions easier, and will provide the support and assistance you and your loved one need.
  8. Do legal and financial planning
    Plan ahead. Consult with an attorney to discuss legal and financial issues, including living wills and trusts, durable power of attorney, future medical care, housing, and long-term care insurance. If possible, and appropriate, involve the person you're caring for, as well as other family members.
  9. Be realistic
    Know that the care you provide really does make a difference. Also keep in mind that, until a cure is found, progression of disease is inevitable. Many things that occur are beyond your control, and the control of your loved one. Give yourself permission to grieve losses, but remember to celebrate the positive moments as they arise, and enjoy the good memories.
  10. Give yourself credit, not guilt
    There may be times that you'll lose patience, and find yourself unable to provide all of the care in the way you'd like. Keep in mind that you're doing the best you can. Don't feel badly because you can't do more. Your loved one needs you, and you are there. That should make you feel very proud.

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17 |  10 Ways to Help a Family Living With Disease

10 Ways to Help a Family Living With Disease
Information provided by the Alzheimer's Association® and adapted by Kae Beth Rosenberg & Barbara M. Goodearl. Used by Permission: Alzheimer's Association®, Greater Michigan Chapter

Family members who are caring for a loved one often feel alone and disconnected from their friends. They need a break, or help with things on the homefront, but hesitate to ask. They typically feel quite stressed, and welcome a listening ear. You can make a huge difference in their lives simply by being there and offering practical assistance such as ideas listed below:

  1. Stay in touch. Show you care.
    Too often friends distance themselves when confronted with a seriously ill person. A card, a call, or a short visit, means more than you know.
  2. Treat the sick person with respect and dignity.
    Focus on all the things the person can do. Encourage them to make as many choices as they can.
  3. Do the little things.
    Run an errand, or drop off dinner. They may seem small to you, but can do wonders to lift spirits.
  4. Be specific when offering to help.
    Tackle an item or two on the family's To Do list. If they don't have a To-Do list, help them make one. Or, put yourself in their shoes and do something you see that needs to be done without asking permission.
  5. Educate yourself on the illness.
    Be it Cancer, Alzheimer's Disease, Stroke, or something else, learn about its effects and how to respond.
  6. Get the whole family out of the house.
    Plan an activity like a picnic, or dinner at your place. Include the sick family member whenever possible. Get a caregiver for that event and surprise them by taking them away.
  7. Be a good listener.
    Support and accept. Try not to judge. Your presence is a great gift.
  8. Encourage the family to stay healthy.
    Offer ideas for support and respite services. Provide wholesome snacks and meals. Schedule walks or bike rides when there is a caregiver available.
  9. Allow the family some personal time.
    Fill in as a caregiver, when needed or contact "Just Like Family" to do so.
  10. Keep all family members in mind.
    From tots to elders, each person reacts uniquely to the disease, and should be treated uniquely.

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18 |  10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer's Disease©

10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer's Disease©
Used by Permission: Alzheimeris Association®, Greater Michigan Chapter

It may be hard to know the difference between age-related changes and the first signs of Alzheimer's Disease. Ask yourself: Is this something new? For example, if the person was never good at balancing a checkbook, struggling with this task is probably not a warning sign. But if their ability to balance a checkbook has changed a lot, it is something to share with a doctor.

Some people may recognize changes in themselves before anyone else notices.  Other times, friends and family members will be the first to observe changes in the person's memory, behavior, or abilities.

To help, the Alzheimer's Association has created this list of warning signs for Alzheimer's Disease and related dimentias.  Individuals may experience one or more of these in different degrees.  If you notice any of them, please see a doctor.

  1. Memory Changes That Disrupt Daily Life
    One of the most common signs of Alzheimer's, especially in the early stages, is forgetting recently learned information. Others include forgetting important dates or events, asking for the same information over and over, relying on memory aids (e.g. reminder notes or electronic devices), or family members they used to handle on their own.
    What are typical age-related changes? Sometimes forgetting names or appointments, but remembering them later.
  2. Challenges in Planning or Solving Problems
    Some people may experience changes in their ability to develop and follow a plan, or work with numbers. They may have trouble following a familiar recipe, or keeping track of monthly bills. They may have difficulty concentrating and take much longer to do things than they did before.
    What are typical age-related changes? Making occasional errors when balancing a checkbook.
  3. Difficulty Completing Familiar Tasks at Home, At Work, or At Liesure
    People with Alzheimer's often find it hard to complete daily tasks. Sometimes, people may have trouble driving to a familiar location, managing a budget at work, or remembering the rules of a favorite game.
    What are typical age-related changes? Occasionally needing help to use the settings on a microwave or record a television show.
  4. Confusion With Time or Place
    People with Alzheimer's can lose track of dates, seasons, and the passage of time. They may have trouble understanding something if it is not happening immediately. Sometimes they may forget where they are or how they got there.
    What are typical age-related changes? Getting confused about the day of the week, but figuring it out later.
  5. Trouble Understanding Visual Images and Spacial Relationships
    For some people, having vision problems is a sign of Alzheimer's. They may have difficulty reading, judging distance, and determining color or contrast. In terms of perception, they may pass a mirror and think someone else is in the room. They may not realize they are the person in the mirror.
    What are typical age-related changes? Vision changes related to cataracts.
  6. New Problems With Words in Speaking or Writing
    People with Alzheimer's may have trouble following or joining a conversation. They may stop in the middle of a conversation and have no idea how to continue, or they may repeat themselves. They may struggle with vocabulary, have problems finding the right word, or call things by the wrong name (e.g. calling a "watch" a "hand clock").
    What are typical age-related changes? Sometimes having trouble finding the right word.
  7. Misplacing Things and Losing the Ability to Retrace Steps
    A person with Alzheimer's Disease may put things in unusual places. They may lose things and be unable to go back over their steps to find them again. Sometimes, they may accuse others of stealing. This may occur more frequently over time.
    What are typical age-related changes? Misplacing things from time to time, such as a pair of glasses or the remote control.
  8. Decreased or Poor Judgment
    People with Alzheimer's may experience changes in judgment or decision making. For example, they may use poor judgment when dealing with money, giving large amounts to telemarketers. They may pay less attention to grooming or keeping themselves clean.
    What are typical age-related changes? Making a bad decision once in a while.
  9. Withdrawal From Work or Social Activities
    A person with Alzheimer's may start to remove themselves from hobbies, social activities, work projects, or sports. They may have trouble keeping up with a favorite sports team, or remembering how to complete a favorite hobby. They may also avoid being social because of the changes they have experienced.
    What are typical age-related changes? Sometimes feeling weary of work, family, and social obligations.
  10. Changes in Mood and Personality
    The mood and personalities of people with Alzheimer's can change. They can become confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful, or anxious. They may be easily upset at home, at work, with friends, or in places where they are out of their comfort zone.
    What are typical age-related changes? Developing very specific ways of doing things and becoming irritable when a routine is disrupted.

Note: Mood changes with age may also be a sign of some other condition. Consult a doctor if you observe any changes.

If you or someone you care about is experiencing any of the 10 warning signs, please see a doctor to find out the cause. Early diagnosis gives you a chance to seek treatment and plan for your future.

Your local Alzheimer's Association can help.
Visit alz.org/10signs or call 1-877-IS IT ALZ.

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19 |  Zzzzzzz

Zzzzzzz
Article Paraphrased by Barbara M. Goodearl
By permission of Carolyn Daitch, PhD, Director of The Center for the Treatment of Anxiety Disorders

Many of us are sleep deprived because of caregiving duties. We are up for long/late hours and, when we're not working, we are thinking of our patient. Here are some helpful hints which may work to help you get the rest and care you need.

  • Keep to a sleep schedule.
    Your body regulates your sleep cycle. It can only work properly if you maintain a fairly consistent sleep schedule. Depriving yourself of a steady sleep schedule is like being a constant international traveler. Your body is consistently longing for a "time zone" so that it can regulate itself, and you experiencing the fatigue, irritability, and higher levels of emotional reactivity that come along with this exhaustion.
  • Avoid lengthy naps.
    Long naps during the day can also upset your body's sleep cycle, especially if you are trying to make up for lost sleep the night before. Do not nap for longer than 25-30 minutes.
  • Avoid alcohol before going to bed.
    Alcohol is not only a depressant but it is a powerful carbohydrate when it reacts in your body during digestion. You will sleep well at first, but wake up not-refreshed in just a short time. Drinking 4-6 hours before going to sleep is never a good idea. Try some warm milk instead.
  • Avoid late-night caffeine.
    Caffeine is a powerful stimulant that sends your blood pressure and blood sugar levels soaring. It can interfere with sleep for as long as six hours following that last cup of coffee, or "power drink", or chocolate bar) Some anti-histamines also contain caffeine so be sure to read the label.
  • Avoid heavy, spicy, or sugary foods at or after dinner.
    All of these foods can have strong physical effects that will interfere with a good rest.
  • Exercise, but not before bed.
    Morning or afternoon exercise greatly aids sleep. Avoid exercising just a few hours before going to bed.
  • Create a bedtime ritual.
    Bedtime rituals, such as reading, listening to music or meditation can help you relax and prepare yourself for sleep. A white-noise machine or water sounds CDs can create a soothing atmosphere for sleep.
  • Create a sleep-friendly environment.
    Keep the temperature in your bedroom between 55 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep the temperature of the room where you feel most comfortable when you're sleeping. Make your bedroom your haven where everything, including the temperature, is perfect for you.

    Your bedroom lighting should be minimal, since the body responds naturally to light by waking up. Nice dark shades or curtains will help, with perhaps a strategically placed night light if you need it.

    Be sure to associate your bed and bedroom only with sleep, or sex. Don't eat, watch television or do paperwork in your bed. Make it a haven for rest.

    If your sleeping partner is noisy perhaps using ear plugs will help – or sleep separately for awhile.

Anxiety is not the only cause of insomnia. There are many other causes such as arthritis pain, an upset intestinal system, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, depression and other systemic problems. You might consider going to a sleep disorders clinic. Your sleep disorder can bet better diagnosed there.

Please also consider the medications you are taking, and when you take them. Many meds interfere with the natural sleep pattern or cause sleeping problems themselves.

Check with your doctor or pharmacist. For more information, contact www.anxiety-treatment.com.

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20 |  Thanksgiving with Your Dog

Thanksgiving with Your Dog
By Deb D'Andrea
4TheLuvOfDogz
Making Tails Wag Better
www.4theluvofdogz.com

With Thanksgiving upon our doorstep, the temptation is to share our bounty with our pups, so let's run through some Turkey do's and don'ts:

It is best to feed your pup the white meat and giblets, which are the easiest on your dogs system. Instead of feeding them only on Thanksgiving day, span the tiny tasty treats over a couple days to help keep their system balanced.

It is best to avoid the rich turkey fat, the skin and the dark meat, and definitely no cooked bones. Please be extremely cautious when feeding your pups turkey and remove all pieces of bone. Just like cooked chicken bones, dogs and turkey bones are a dangerous combination.  The bones can splinter and then become lodged in your dog's throat or cause intestinal obstructions.

As with anything, turkey should be fed in moderation because your pup's system is not used to turkey and if fed too much, they may end up with the runs, an upset stomach or have an allergic reaction. Some signs of an allergic reaction are they get gassy, chew at the webs of their paws or have generalized itchiness of the skin. There are more allergy warnings, but if you see a change with your pup after they have consumed turkey, stop feeding them turkey.  If the allergies continue, call your vet.

Turkey skin is highly fatty and has been known to cause a condition called Pancreatitis. If the turkey was fried or cooked with bacon, reduce how much you feed due the added fat. Also, be sure the turkey given to them is 100% cooked with no pink, under-cooked meat.  Also be sure the turkey is cooled before serving, so they don't burn their mouth or tongue.

Do not feed the turkey neck, as it contains several small bones, and, as you're draining off the turkey juices, resist the temptation to pour some onto the top of your dog's food since the juice contains a lot of fat and potentially spices, onions and other items from the stuffing. This goes for gravy too as it may contain items mildly toxic to dogs.

Cooked giblets can be an additional treat and you can cut them up into small bits and offer them to your pup. Some dogs will gobble them; others will turn up their noses. No worries if your dog turns up their nose, not all dogs like giblets.

Be sure to include some veggies and fruits with their turkey dinner! Include some lightly smashed vegetables like green beans, peas, carrots, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and plain pumpkin.  Pass on the mashed potatoes as my guess is that they contain lots of butter, and don't feed anything with onions, gravies, or sauces. Bloat can be caused by some stuffings and bread, and remember, sweet desserts are a no-no.

I hope this is helpful for your and your pup; and that you both have a Happy Thanksgiving

 Deb D'Andrea owns 4TheLuvOfDogz, providing mobile Canine Massage, PawQuatics, Canine Agility, and Dogz Nanny services. She also sells her homemade peanut butter dog treats. Contact Deb at 720-675-7078 or email: info@4theluvofdogz.com

If you have questions regarding your pups, drop Deb an email.

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21 |  Waste Not. Give a Lot.

Waste Not. Give a Lot.
An Interview with Andy Gale of Bay Area Recycling for Charities
By Kae Beth Rosenberg

Andy Gale, President and Founder of Bay Area Recycling for Charities (baRc), moved with his wife Cindy and their children to northern Michigan from the Chicago suburbs so they could better connect with people and nature.  When living in Chicago, any time the Gales wanted to do something outside, they had to load up the car and drive.  For people who are concerned about the environment, that didn't make much sense.

Andy took care of the kids and pursued a family business, while Cindy worked as a Physical Therapist at Munson.  Andy says, "I had no idea what I wanted to do, but after some soul searching and time googling ideas, in 2008 we decided to start a small recycling business.   I envisioned a one-man job with just me and a pick up truck.  After researching it for a while, I realized that it was going to take a whole lot more.  We quickly went from a two man job to a small company employing 10 within our first two years."  He adds, "We could not have made it work without my wife's support."  Thus began Bay Area Recycling for Charities.

The mission of baRc has always been to reduce what is put into the landfill.  In the process, they discovered how the recycling markets worked.  It is also a lesson in convenience.  They make it easy for customers to recycle, and can reduce the waste stream by more than 90%.  Andy decided to make baRc a non-profit so that the people and businesses recycling with them can donate the value of their recycling to a local charity of their choice.  "We did this to inspire our customers to recycle as much as they could," says Andy.

They separate themselves from the competition of local garbage companies by taking in materials that are more difficult to recycle, for example, plastics #3-7, Styrofoam, electronic waste, batteries, etc.  Andy states, "by reducing these materials from our landfill, we assure a longer period that our landfill will be open before we make another one."  Also extremely important: "materials such as electronic waste are very harmful to the environment if they ever leached out of our landfill." This would pollute our water table.

All of the material baRc collects is hauled up to their Material Recovery Facility (MRF) in Maple City where it is sorted, baled, processed, and shipped out to the markets.  It is baRc's goal to create a MRF that is efficient and profitable and then duplicate that concept out beyond the Bay Area.
To inquire about setting up recycling with baRc for your home or business, contact:  Andrew Gale, Bay Area Recycling for Charities, Inc • 8025 S. Good Harbor Trail • Cedar, MI 49621 (231) 884-3417 or email Andy at andy@bayarearecycling.net.

Visit their website at http://www.bayarearecycling.net.

 

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22 |  Canine Surgery Recovery

Canine Surgery Recovery
By Deb D'Andrea
4TheLuvOfDogz
Making Tails Wag Better
www.4theluvofdogz.com

A friend of mine wrote on Facebook that her dog had undergone surgery for cancer on her nose, had lost her appetite and wasn't drinking much. As I've worked with several post-surgery dogs as a canine massage therapist, just like with humans, they can feel pretty yucky afterwards. It can take a couple days for the affects of the anesthesia and other drugs to work their way through the system.

The first thing I recommended to aid in recovery was a gentle canine massage, no more than 2 pounds of pressure as the touch. This gentle, whole body massage assists in moving oxygen and blood through the system, increasing the body's ability to heal. For humans, post-surgery massage has been shown to improve recovery time, and is now recommended and included post-op by several hospitals.

As her pup wasn't drinking much, to help keep her hydrated, I recommended a no-salt Beef or Chicken stock or broth, significantly diluted and added to her water. This usually entices them to drink up and will help their system naturally pass more of the chemicals. Water is key in healing, just like with us. (During summer months I make broth ice cubes as treats for my pups too!)

Sometimes the drugs can upset our pups' stomachs and cause them to lose their appetite, along with experiencing loose stools. When my pups don't feel good, their favorite meal is when I boil up and simmer a whole chicken in a big pot for about an hour. I let it cool and patiently remove and trash all the chicken bones (no cooked bones ever for dogs). After that, I mix all the juicy chicken meat,  chicken broth, and well-cooked white rice together and feed them several small meals during the day until they feel better. The key is several small meals versus two large ones.

Of course, always check with your veterinarian to ensure something else isn't happening that is causing them to feel icky.

Note: Special thanks to Lauren Rice and Siri in helping with this article. Siri is happily recovering from her cancer nose surgery.

 

Deb D'Andrea owns 4TheLuvOfDogz, providing mobile Canine Massage, PawQuatics, Canine Agility, and Dogz Nanny services. She also sells her homemade peanut butter dog treats. Contact Deb at 720-675-7078 or email: info@4theluvofdogz.com

If you have questions regarding your pups, drop Deb an email.

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23 |  Talkin' Trash

Talkin' Trash
By Kae Beth Rosenberg
With special thanks to Andy Gale of "Bay Area Recycling for Charities" for his input and consultation

Almost 100% of garbage is recyclable. As a society, we simply need to train ourselves to look at trash a little differently.

Most people put their basic newspaper, glass, cans, and plastic bottles/containers in the recycling bin, but there are many more items that can be reprocessed.  Following is a list of items you may never have thought of recycling or composting:

  • Hangers--plastic as well as wire from the dry cleaner
  • Bread bags, "Stretchy" Film (Grocery bags, etc.--Not cellophane) Shrink wrap, Bubble Wrap, Bags for pet products like hay, and hamster food
  • To-go coffee & soft drink lids
  • Styrofoam cups
  • Prescription & pill bottles
  • Packing Peanuts (Secured in their own bag)
  • White #6 Polystyrene (Styrofoam) block packaging
  • Glass makeup jars/bottles (Cleaned)
  • Wrapping paper & tissue  (No wrapping paper with plastic on it)
  • Aluminum foil & foil yogurt lids (Rinsed clean, and placed in a storage baggie)
  • Plastic wrappers from incontinence supplies, diapers, napkins, paper towels, etc.
  • Paper towel and toilet paper rolls
  • Plastic cutlery (Cleaned)
  • Foam food trays for meat or bakery items (Washed clean...No saran wrap)
  • Candle jars (Put into freezer for one hour to aid in popping out the wax.)
  • Light bulbs
  • Auto tires
  • Plastic bottle caps (Keep on bottles)
  • Disposable plastic plates & cups (Rinsed clean)
  • Candle wax (It’s compostable!)
  • Christmas trees and lawn waste
  • Ink cartridges (for reuse)
  • Ink pens --metal & plastic (Outside housing only, not ink.  Separate metal from plastic)
  • Batteries
  • Hard plastic product packaging/Blister Wrap  
  • Disposable razors
  • Broken drinking glasses (Bag so no one gets hurt)
  • Plastic gift cards

While our local recycling centers do not accept some of these items, there are other places/programs in place to handle this "waste".

For instance, most office supply stores accept used ink cartridges. "Target" stores have become greener by setting up bins inside their doors for these, and other items. Shipping stores accept used packing peanuts. "Bay Area Recycling for Charities" takes most of the things listed and donates the proceeds to a charity of your choice. Several local grocery stores have drop-off bins for plastic bags, should you have to use them.

With just a little effort on our part, we can reduce what goes into our landfills. For example, by taking reusable shopping bags to the store we can cut down on a huge amount of waste. Say "no" to plastic straws and talk to the manager of your favorite restaurant to request a no-straw policy. (Most restaurants automatically bring straws with drinks when they aren't necessary.)
Other ideas:

~Wrap presents in reusable gift bags, or fabric.
~When having a party, use "real" plates, cutlery, and cups instead of plastic or Styrofoam.
~Return wire hangers to the dry cleaner.
~Have your Christmas tree turned into compost
~Add some class to your meals by using cloth napkins to replace paper ones.  
~Invest in a battery charger.
~Whenever possible, take your own travel mug to the coffee shop.
~Make mosaics, or stepping stones, out of broken dishes.
~Request to get your bank and credit card statements online to cut down on paper products. 
~Utilize www.freecycle.org .  Simply post your unwanted/unused items online, and someone in
  your local area who needs them will pick them up. 
~Use online greeting cards. 
~Shave with electric or reusable razors, rather than disposables, get waxed, or grow a beard.   
~Clean up spills with washable materials in place of paper towels. 
~At the grocery store or farmer’s market, forego plastic bags for fruits and vegetables. 
~Try environmentally-friendly cleaning products like Vinegar & Baking Soda instead of purchasing
  chemical cleaners.
~Wash and reuse storage/sandwich bags, or wrap sandwiches in wax paper. 
~Start a home compost pile to help fertilize your garden or flower beds.
~Ladies, use cardboard tampon applicators instead of plastic.

All it takes is some thought to utilize the three R's: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Here's to each of us doing our part!

Special Note: All Hazardous Materials such as paints, solvents, and other chemical products should be handled by the county and not placed in garbage or recycling receptacles.

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24 |  Open Paws, Open Hearts

Open Paws, Open Hearts
By Deb D'Andrea
4TheLuvOfDogz
Making Tails Wag Better
www.4theluvofdogz.com

Happy New Year!

Every year it starts out with "I will, I want, I can" the wish list of things to do for the coming year. With my pups, my promise to them is to hike more. We live in such a beautiful area in Colorado with open trails, fresh air and so many places to explore. When I first moved here, I hiked the known trails and now knowing the unbeaten path, realize the areas unknown to the tourists. This time of year not many venture out, but those who do are rewarded with a beautiful adventure. I always pack a treat, for myself and my pups, a little water and a snack on trips. And my guys always have their halters on just in case I should get lost.

Our companions offer such an expansive love, encompassing all the positive parts of life: peace, love, joy. While enjoying the season with our human friends, be sure to include your furry friends too. They have an amazing way of giving, sharing, and being by our side through whatever we’re going through. Now is the time to appreciate that.

My parents always had an open home, and I too share this. I’ve opened my front door to see horses standing at my doorstep asking to come in.

It’s lovely, and sometimes difficult, seeing all the animals in need, at shelters, foster homes and places in between. We do what we can to help, but sometimes it just never seems enough.

A friend emailed me the other day asking for a reference for a good breeder of a specific dog and I referred them to PetFinder.com. Several of my friends have rescued dogs of all ages, me included. I found my little Tiki girl on PetFinder. I was living in Boston, she was in Paris, Illinois. Little did I know at that time how she would change my life and be the largest influence in what was to be.

So as you make your New Year's resolutions, be sure to include your furry friends in your thoughts; cheers to them for always being by our side, offering a lick and open paw, and for us to open our hearts, giving them our unconditional love and caring.

Deb D'Andrea owns 4TheLuvOfDogz outside of Boulder, Colorado, providing mobile Canine Massage, PawQuatics, Canine Agility, and Dogz Nanny services. She also sells her homemade peanut butter dog treats. Contact Deb at 720-675-7078 or email: info@4theluvofdogz.com.  If you have questions regarding your pups, drop Deb an email.

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25 |  Unexpected Loss

Unexpected Loss
By: Kae Beth Rosenberg

It was a cool November morning in 1993 when my friends were awakened, by a police officer at their door. Their 22-yr-old son, a very important person in my life, had been in a fatal car wreck. They stood there in shock as the crickets chirped.

Years later a baby was born prematurely--not developed enough to take its first breath. Another baby died several weeks after conception. In an ultrasound no heartbeat was found.

In September of 2010, I found out via Facebook that one of my best friends had died suddenly. As tears welled up in my eyes, I told myself it wasn’t true. Then I made the phone call confirming that, it was.

Another car accident; another young life taken away too soon. And, a week later, a wife lost her husband in a motorcycle accident. He was the father of three.

We can probably each plug in a name, date, and details for other unexpected losses. And if we have not yet experienced such an event, I quote the lyrics to a song by Mat Kearney which states, sadly, "we're all one phone call from our knees."

Each tragic event fills our hearts with grief that seems unbearable. Yet somehow, we manage to get through the pain. We find ways to cope. We get on with our lives when we never thought we would.

Initially, shock and denial can be wonderful friends. Shock has a way of numbing a person, enabling one to function through the extreme sorrow. Denial helps when accepting the truth of what has happened is simply too much.

How one survives a sudden loss is a testament to their inner strength, faith, and the friendships they have developed.

My friend, whose whole life revolved around her only son, chose to open a floral business after his fatal car accident. This endeavor rescued her when it seemed hope was lost. Her business soared and I am continually amazed by the strong spirit she possesses. Being in the floral business has given her the opportunity to reach out to others when they grieve.

When I asked people who have experienced unexpected loss what helped them through it, many answered "friends, family, and faith."

Others, like Suzanne, found comfort when people said, "How awful. I'm so sorry that happened" and offered no clichés. They later invited her and her husband to do specific activities with them. This is wonderful advice for those who aren’t sure what to say or do when someone has died.

"LOVE. Whether it's friends or family, memories or dreams; it's the love that overwhelms the feelings of pain and sorrow and loss. Love gives me the strength to fight through anything. That's what gets me through," replied Kate, who has lost both a brother and a sister.

Barbara, a mother of four, who had two children die suddenly in separate car accidents, says "Memories. I choose to remember and celebrate the joy that we shared. Loss is not something you get through, but something you live with forever. Time makes the pain softer."

Keep in mind that, even though it may feel like it, you are not alone in your sorrow. Don't be afraid to reach out to people around you. Talk about your loss. Cry when you feel like crying. Surround yourself with those who have experienced similar events in their lives. And, laugh when you can.

May time and happy memories continue to soften the pain in each of our hearts.

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