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Visiting Angels DoveAngel News

April 2011

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In This Issue

Spring Cleaning--Keep It Pure and Simple

Gadget Corner

 

Caring for Aging Parents Puts Boomers in a Bind

Senior Humor

How to Tell the Difference Between Allergy and a Cold

Lighter Wheelchairs Aid Caregivers, Elderly
 
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SeniorHumorSenior Humor 

SmileMorris, an 82-year-old man, went to the doctor to get a physical. A few days later the doctor saw Morris walking down the street with a gorgeous young lady on his arm.
     A couple of days later the doctor spoke to Morris and said, "You're really doing great, aren't you?" Morris replied, "Just doing what you said, Doc: 'Get a hot mamma and be cheerful.' "
     The doctor said, "I didn't say that. I said, 'You got a heart murmur. Be careful.'"


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Man blowing nose

AllergyColdHow You Can Tell the Difference Between Allergy and a Cold

     A visit with your doctor is the best way to determine whether you have a cold or an allergy. While allergy symptoms and cold symptoms are very similar, there are some signs to look for if you want to know the difference. 

1. Take a look at the color of your nasal discharge, mucous or saliva. Both allergies and colds cause a runny nose, but for cold sufferers, the discharge is usually green or brown--which is a sign of an infection.

2. Allergy sufferers do not generally have to deal with body pain, but if you have a headache and feel lots of aches and pains, it's probably a cold. If you have a viral cold, you'll also experience fatigue and a severe sore throat.

3. Check your calendar and keep track of how long you've been sneezing or feeling sick. A cold can last up to two weeks. Allergies are often seasonal, especially if the trigger comes from grass or tree pollen.

4. If your eyes, nose, throat or mouth itch, it's a sure bet that you are reacting to some kind of allergen which can come from pollen or even an allergen in your home.

Courtesy of ARA Content

Wheelchairs

Lighter Wheelchairs Aid Caregivers, Elderly

woman with wheelchair

As baby boomers continue to gray and medical science extends life, many 50- and 60-somethings are caring for their parents at a time when the boomers themselves are slowing down from age-related ailments. Mobility issues become even more challenging when caregivers find it difficult to meet the  physical demands of their roles.
   The heft of many modern assistive devices is a good example of the kind of obstacles facing both seniors and their caregivers, experts say. "The average wheelchair weighs around 38 pounds," notes Richard Derks of Medline, a leading manufacturer of wheelchairs and other assistive devices for seniors. "Putting most wheelchairs in a car trunk means you have to lift that 38 pounds from the ground and up about three feet an average of four times per trip."
   The good news is manufacturers of assistive devices are addressing this problem by producing lighter weight wheelchairs and other accessories. Aluminum transport chairs cut the weight down to about 23 pounds. And Medline's Freedom Transport chair weighs less than 15 pounds, a full 25 percent lighter than other transport chairs and 60 percent lighter than a standard wheelchair.

Courtesy of ARA Content

Greetings!

TulipsSpringtime: what a wonderful time of year! We hope you're enjoying watching the tulips and daffodils bloom as much as we are.
     In this issue of the Angel News, our articles cover Spring Cleaning, how to tell the difference between an allergy and a cold, how boomers are affected by caring for their aging parents, great gadgets, and more!
     Thanks for reading! If you have comments or suggestions, please email us at info@ourvisitingangels.com  or write on our Facebook page.

Sincerely,
VISITING ANGELS of C. Burlington & Mercer Counties

SpringCleaningSpring Cleaning--

Keep It Pure and Simple

The best part of spring cleaning is opening the doors and windows to welcome fresh air and sunshine. Why not add to that spring freshness with natural cleaners?

    Cleaning SuppliesTaken from the flowers, bark, leaves, and other parts of plants, essential oils are as natural as fresh air and sunshine. Many have their own properties as disinfectants, grease cutters and deterrents to pests--and they impart fresh and pleasing aromas that linger long after your chores are finished.

    Natural cleaning products are increasingly available in stores, but you can also easily and economically make your own mixtures with just a few basic ingredients. Chances are some of these ingredients, such as baking soda, white vinegar and borax, are already in your cupboards. One hundred percent pure essential oils can be found at natural products stores or online at www.auracacia.com.

    Homemade natural cleaning products are versatile; many can be used for a variety of tasks. Because essential oils are in a highly concentrated form, often only a few drops are needed for a solution that can take you through several cleaning cycles. Not only do you save money--your homemade cleansers will work just as well as commercially produced cleaners without harming the environment.

   "Choices abound," says Tom Havran, aromatherapy product developer. "From pine or lemon oil, whose essences suggest more traditional cleaning aromas, to tea tree and grapefruit, which people might not think of as cleaning ingredients."

 

Not sure which oil to start with? Here are some of Havran's suggestions:

  • Pine is inexpensive and clean smelling. It is effective as both a disinfectant and deodorizer.
  • Lavender has a pleasing scent, is anti-bacterial and deters insects such as moths.
  • Tea tree oil has a sharp, spicy scent and is a good disinfectant and deodorizer.
  • Lemon is fresh and clean smelling. It's also acidic, providing antibacterial and antiseptic cleaning properties.
  • Grapefruit has a clean and uplifting aroma that eliminates odors--even strong pet odors.

    Making your own cleaning products with essential oils can be as simple as mixing 15 to 20 drops of any essential oil into a cup of baking soda, letting the mixture stand overnight so the oil can be absorbed, and then sprinkling the powder on carpet before you vacuum.

    You can also make a quick and easy disinfecting toilet bowl cleanser by combining one cup of water, one-quarter cup of liquid castile soap and 20 drops of white thyme, lavender or lemon essential oil in a 22-oz. spray bottle.

    Spring is a time of renewal that offers a perfect opportunity to replace chemical cleansers with pure and natural essential oils. Your whole family, including your pets, will benefit.

    For more spring-cleaning formulas you can make yourself with essential oils visit www.auracacia.com/springcleaning. While you're there, be sure to get more information about Aura Cacia's live web chats with host Tim Blakley, and download previous chats to learn more about using essential oils that benefit you and your family, naturally.

Courtesy of ARA Content


GadgetGadget Corner

Our Gadget Corner features unique products designed for everyone, but also have extra benefits for the older population. This month we are focusing on gadgets which help those with grip strength difficulty due to arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome, for example.   

 

Leveron Door Knob LeverLeveron Door Knob Lever:

The Leveron Doorknob Lever Adapter is a universal door knob lever adapter; it will fit all door knobs regardless of size or shape and on either side of interior or exterior doors. For more information, visit www.wrightstuff.biz.

 

Lamp Switch KnobBig Lamp Switch: The Big Lamp Switch knob is 2 inches in diameter and has three large spokes which help to create more leverage for turning lamp switches. Simply unscrew and remove your regular switch and replace with this one. Visit www.wrightstuff.biz.

CaringParentsCaring for Aging Parents Puts Boomers in a Bind

     BoomerYou're rushing out of the office on a weeknight, hoping to get your daughter to soccer practice on time, cook dinner and help your other child with their homework. Just as you hit the road, your cell phone rings. It's the pharmacy telling you that the two prescriptions your father needs immediately are ready for pick up. Or you're off to your son's school play just as your mom's neighbor calls to inform you that she has fallen again and needs you right away.

     If these scenarios sound familiar, you're stuck in the middle and have joined the "sandwich generation." The term refers to adults with families of their own who find themselves caring for their parents as well. According to numbers from the National Family Caregiver Survey, 44 percent of Americans between the ages of 45 and 55 have aging parents or in-laws as well as children under 21.

     This means that lots of families are dealing as best they can with the stress of running two households. Whether your parent lives with you, lives nearby or lives in another state, trying to juggle all these responsibilities is stressful, no matter how much support you have from family and friends.

     And don't forget the guilt. There's plenty of that, too. Guilt over not spending enough time helping your kids with their homework because you're cooking and freezing meals for your dad. Guilt over making your mom postpones her doctor appointment because your meeting at work ran overtime. Guilt at not having enough time to spend with your spouse. Guilt over asking your next-door neighbor to drive the kids to football practice--again--because you have to make long distance arrangements to attend to your loved one's needs in another state.

     "Caring for an aging or ill parent is a full-time job that can take a toll on the caregiver. Add to that the demands of your job, lost time at the job plus your immediate family's needs, chances are you're going to need assistance along the way," says Richard Bitner of Visiting Angels, a national network of franchised non-medical senior homecare agencies.

     Bitner ads, "Visiting Angels provides something these families have been missing--stability in everyone's lives and peace of mind."

     Visiting Angels has over 270 senior homecare agencies in most states. For more information on the office nearest you, visit our Web site: www.OurVisitingAngels.com or call (609) 883-8188.

Courtesy of ARA Content

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Visiting Angels of C. Burlington & Mercer Counties:  About Our Care

Visiting Angels of C. Burlington & Mercer Counties is a New Jersey-licensed, non-medical home care company committed to going well beyond the "industry standard" to provide an exceptional level of security, comfort and peace of mind to our clients and their loved ones. Our "Angels", all certified home health professionals, are ready to provide compassionate and dependable assistance with the activities of everyday living to seniors, the disabled, those recovering from surgery and to those who are simply frail. Our services include such simple tasks as light housekeeping, meal preparation, errands and shopping to more personal tasks such as hygiene assistance, bathing, dressing and grooming.
 
Visiting Angels' in-home care helps make it possible for seniors and adults with special needs to continue to live at home and maintain the independence of their daily routines and familiar surroundings, for as long as they can do so safely. We truly understand how challenging and alien the entire home care selection process can be...and we are experienced in working with families; with loved ones "resistant" to receiving care; and with third-parties payors (such as insurance companies and the US Dept. of Veterans Affairs) to help insure that the best interests of the family and their loved ones are met. Visiting Angels' services help families spend more mutually-rewarding and meaningful time with their loved ones and also helps provide comfort and peace of mind to those who face the challenge of long-distance caregiving.
 
For more information, please call us at 609-883-8188, visit our website OurVisitingAngels.com or contact us by email at info@ourvisitingangels.com .

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