I know it's been a long time since you've seen a newsletter from us. We hope you'll enjoy our first edition for 2006. Feel free to forward it to friends and family. They can subscribe to our newsletter from our website.
As always, I'm here to help you not only with your long term care insurance and Medicare Supplements but life insurance and annuities. We are experts in the new prescription drug plan and can help you or your parents.
Don't forget to check out our blog on our website. A blog is a diary sort of thing. We use ours to educate you on a variety of topics. You can find it under our site's Resources Tab.
If you already have a long term care policy, make sure your accountant knows as it may be tax deductible. If you are a business owner, regardless of how your business is organized, it is tax deductible.
Allison M. Warner
You forgot your own phone number. Must be Alzheimer's. You lost your wallet. Must be dementia. You can't remember the words to your favorite song. Your mind is going. Before you admit yourself to the rest home, consider this: your memory loss may be caused by other easily treated conditions.
The following medical or lifestyle factors all can have a direct impact on your memory say experts at Harvard Medical School.
- Stress. Major life stress, such as the loss of a loved one, can contribute to short-term memory loss.
- Sleep disorders. At least six hours of sleep each night are essential for memory to perform at its peak.
- Depression. On occasion, depression can render you forgetful and less-organized, mimicking the signs of memory loss.
- Metabolic Disease. Thyroid disease, diabetes, lung failure, and liver or kidney disease are known to have an effect on memory function.
- Alcoholism. Alcohol abuse can cause short-term memory loss, amnesia, and possibly dementia in the long term.
- Vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 is essential for optimal brain function, and a B12 deficiency can cause permanent damage to brain cells. Drinking or smoking puts you at an even greater risk, because they leach vitamins from your body.
- Infections. Meningitis and encephalitis affect the meninges, the nerves surrounding the brain. Chest, lung, urinary, and other infections may lead to confusion, especially in the elderly.
- Medication. Both prescription and over-the-counter drugs, including sleeping pills, anti-anxiety medications, painkillers, antihistamines, and antidepressants, can affect memory function. So can certain drug interactions.
So if you're concerned about your memory, go over these possible causes and their treatments with your doctor.
Spring is here and it's time to get out walking again. It's recommended that people walk 10,000 steps per day. I know you have better things to do than count each step you take. A solution is getting a pedometer. Some work better than others. When the University of Tennessee tested 13 pedometers, 8 either over or under estimated the number of steps - one by 45%! Here are some tips for picking a good pedometer:
- Don't be cheap. Free or inexpensive models won't give valid readings. It should count steps only when you walk. You also don't have to buy the most expensive one.
- Program it. Try a model that asks you to measure and program your stride. It will be more accurate on the distance traveled.
- Keep it simple. Don't worry about ones that show you calories burned as they are often off the mark since metabolic rates differ for each of us.
- Test it. Walk 100 steps and manually count them. The pedometer should record 85 to 105 steps. If not, try moving it to a different spot on your waist.
If someone close to you becomes ill, your relationship with them changes. It can be tough physically, emotionally and financially. Here are some tips to become a better caregiver.
Consider needs. That includes your own as well as your loved one. If your schedule is already overwhelming or if your loved one has several illnesses requiring frequent attention, consider if a facility isn't the best place for them.
Accept help. We can't do it alone. Look up support groups (like the Alzheimer's Association) to get a list of available resources. Accept help from friends and family. Perhaps they can help with some simple tasks.
Realize limits. Be honest with yourself and your capability of handling a chronically ill person in your home. Get help from a home health agency or consider a facility if you can't provide the needed care.
Expect setbacks. Bad things happen to sick people. Ups and downs are to be expected even when the care they receive is the best.
Get moving. Exercise is one of the best stress-management tools available. Make sure it is part of your routine.
Imitate. Observe the experts. Get training for feeding, bathing and dressing someone who can't help you, it's an art form. Helpful tips from those who have done it can make it much easier.
Vacation. You need to take a break and disengage from providing care periodically. A long weekend or short trip will do the job.
Eat right. You may have a tendency to neglect yourself. Make sure you get good nutrition so you have the energy it takes.
Rest. Sleep deprivation happens to far too many people when caring for the sick. If you're not well rested, you can't take care of someone else.
Things We Can Learn from a Dog
- Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy ride.
- Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
- When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
- When it's in your best interest, always practice obedience.
- Let others know when they've invaded your territory.
- Take naps and always stretch before rising.
- Run, romp, and play daily.
- Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.
- Be loyal.
- Never pretend to be something you're not.
- If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
- When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.
- Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
- Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
- Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
- On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
- When you are happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
- No matter how often you are criticized, don't buy into the guilt thing and pout. Run right back and make friends.
Cholesterol control is at the center of the stroke-prevention diet. Cholesterol is the waxy substance that clogs arteries. A recent study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that simply switching from fried fish to baked or broiled can reduce stroke risk significantly.
Try out this tasty recipe for Baked Cajun Catfish.
- Low-fat vegetable oil spray
- Four 5-ounce catfish fillets
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 cup low-fat milk
- 3 to 4 drops hot pepper sauce
- 1 cup cornmeal
- ¼ cup fresh minced parsley
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly spray a baking dish with vegetable oil spray. Sprinkle fillets with black pepper. Set aside. In a shallow bowl, combine milk and hot pepper sauce. In separate bowl, thoroughly combine cornmeal, parsley, cayenne pepper and garlic powder. Coat fillets in milk mixture and then roll in cornmeal mixture.
Place fish in baking dish and back until fish flakes to the fork, about 15 minutes. Serves 4.
Nutrition information per serving: 334 calories, 34g protein, 7.5g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 88g cholesterol, 30g carbohydrates, 72mg sodium.
Utilizing things in your own kitchen can provide natural, organic beauty products. You don't need to spend all sorts of money to have soft and supple skin. Open your cabinets and start mixing things together. Here's a recipe for an exfoliating scrub that you are sure to love. Scrubs are generally used on the body or your face (if you're careful) to soften your skin.
Porridge Body Scrub
- 2 cups sea or table salt
- 1 cup olive oil
- ½ cup minced organic oats
- 1 tbs vanilla
- 2 tbs pure maple syrup
Stir all ingredients together, and climb into an empty tub. Slather the mixture onto your body, focusing on rough areas like the feet, elbows and knees.
Let the scrub sit for a minute and then rub briskly with a warm washcloth or loofah. Rinse thoroughly; then step out of the tub with baby-soft skin.