6089 Frantz Rd, Suite 105, Dublin, OH 43017 614-408-9939 info@CaregiverUSA.com M-F: 8-5 PM - Weekends: office closed - appointments only

Did you know 1 in 3 American adults are at risk for kidney disease? Take Two Simple Tests to Know Your Kidney Numbers

March is National Kidney Month, so let’s focus on the importance of education and prevention!

Anyone can get kidney disease at any time. If kidney disease is found and treated early, you can help slow or even stop it from getting worse. Most people with early kidney disease do not have symptoms. That is why it is important to be tested. Know your kidney numbers!

Your kidney numbers include 2 tests: ACR (Albumin to Creatinine Ratio) and GFR (glomerular filtration rate). GFR is a measure of kidney function and is performed through a blood test. Your GFR will determine what stage of kidney disease you have – there are 5 stages. Know your stage. ACR is a urine test to see how much albumin (a type of protein) is in your urine. Too much albumin in your urine is an early sign of kidney damage.

  • Urine Test called ACR. ACR stands for “albumin-to-creatinine ratio.” Your urine will be tested for albumin. Albumin is a type of protein. Your body needs protein. But it should be in the blood, not the urine. Having protein in your urine may mean that your kidneys are not filtering your blood well enough. This can be a sign of early kidney disease. If your urine test comes back “positive” for protein, the test should be repeated to confirm the results. Three positive results over three months or more is a sign of kidney disease.
  • Blood Test to estimate your GFR. Your blood will be tested for a waste product called creatinine. Creatinine comes from muscle tissue. When the kidneys are damaged, they have trouble removing creatinine from your blood. Testing for creatinine is only the first step. Next, your creatinine result is used in a math formula with your age, race, and sex to find out your glomerular filtration rate (GFR). Your GFR number tells your healthcare provider how well your kidneys are working. Check with your doctor about having a GFR test.

 

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10 Early Warning Signs of Parkinson’s Disease

From our friends at the National Parkinson Foundation,

Sometimes it’s hard to tell that you might have Parkinson’s Disease. The symptoms arise when your brain stops making an important chemical called dopamine. This chemical helps your body to move, and helps your mood. If you have Parkinson’s, you can feel better by taking medicine that helps your body to replace that chemical.

Parkinson’s disease will get worse slowly over time, and your doctor can help you to stay healthy longer. If you or a loved one show any of these warning signs, you should tell your doctor about them and ask about the disease.

  1. Tremor or shaking
  2. Small handwriting
  3. Loss of smell
  4. Trouble sleeping
  5. Trouble moving or walking
  6. Constipation
  7. A soft or low voice
  8. Masked face
  9. Dizziness or fainting
  10. Stooping or hunching over

 

If you or a loved one develop any of these signs and need assistance in the home call 614-408-9939 or visit http://www.CaregiverUSA.com for an evaluation.

For more information about Parkinson’s Disease visit http://www.Parkinson.org or call the helpline 1-800-4PD-INFO.

 

 

Eat right at any Age and teach your Kids to do the same

March is National Nutrition Month,

Caregiver USA offers homemaker services. This service focuses on nutritional value for clients who cannot prepare meals or cannot go to the grocery store on their own for fresh foods, but it’s never too late or too early to think about preparing meals or keeping fresh foods in the home!

Whether you want to lose weight, maintain your current healthy weight or help your children grow up healthy and strong, proper nutrition plays a key role in meeting these goals. It’s important to understand what – and how much – you should be eating and drinking as well as how to set your children up for a lifetime of healthy nutrition habits.

Eating for weight loss or maintenance as an adult

You might remember learning about the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Food Guide Pyramid when you were growing up, and you also might recall hearing that it was replaced by something called MyPlate in 2011. My Plate provides an easy visual aid for how you should fill your plate at each meal. It promotes eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, which should cover half of the plate. Grains occupy a quarter of the plate, as do protein sources such as meat, fish and poultry. A glass of milk rests to the side, and desserts are nowhere in sight.

It is important to note however, that this perfect plate is something to strive for most of the time, while allowing exceptions for the occasional indulgence. If you commit to a meal plan that makes you feel constantly deprived, chances are, you will not stick to it long-term. Your best bet is to eat healthful, nutrient dense foods most of the time, but also learn how to incorporate treats in moderation.

The USDA advises us to focus on variety, amount and nutrition, choose foods and beverages with less saturated fat, sodium and added sugars, and to start with small changes to build healthier eating styles.

Visit choosemyplate.gov for a wealth of information on nutrition, including access to the MyPlate Checklist Calculator, (click on Online Tools then on Daily Checklist) which can help you calculate your personal calorie needs. Armed with that information, you can click through to your personalized Food pattern and plan for maintaining or achieving a healthy weight, which will tell you how many servings you should eat from each food group. You can even use MyPlate’s online SuperTracker to help you plan, analyze and track your diet and physical activity.

Helping your kids establish healthy eating habits

If you have children or grandchildren, you have an opportunity to help them develop healthy habits right from the start. Childhood is such an important time for proper nutrition because children are growing and developing at a rapid rate and need essential nutrients to fuel that growth.

“Parents, most often moms, are the gatekeepers for their families,” said Lindsay Brin, C.P.T., B.S.E. Exercise Science, creator of Moms Into Fitness. Ms. Brin is an internationally published author and sought-after fitness professional in the prenatal and postnatal field. She has starred in and choreographed 56 fitness DVDs designed for moms, based on her research with major universities. “When your kids are little, you control their access to food. You can look at this as a lot of pressure or as a wonderful opportunity.”

Following are some recommendations from Ms. Brin and her team of dietitians at Moms Into Fitness:

 

  • Make sure your kids regularly consume foods containing the top nutrients –calcium, fiber, protein, iron, antioxidants and omega-3s.
  • Feed your kids balanced meals using the plate method.
  • Do not force children to clean their plates.
  • Eat as a family at the table with no distractions.
  • Encourage kids to help prepare their meals and snacks.
  • Remember that it is normal for toddlers to be picky eaters. As long as they are growing appropriately, it is nothing to be immediately concerned about.

o   Be prepared to offer new foods 10-12 times.

o   Try various preparation methods.

o   Only offer one new food at a time and serve with familiar foods your child already likes.

  • Limit milk to two cups per day, juice to a maximum of 4 ounces per day, and do not allow children to drink diet or regular soda daily.
  • Learn the appropriate portion sizes and servings per day your kids should eat from each food group. Portion sizes for kids are different than those for adults and often different from the serving sizes you see on most nutrition labels.

What about snacks?

While mindless snacking throughout the day or snacking on a lot of junk food is not healthy, thoughtfully planned snacks can be a wonderful way to meet your family’s nutritional needs. Treat snacks like mini meals, and if you do serve yourself or your loved ones a convenience item such as pretzels, crackers or a granola bar, pair it with some produce, protein or dairy.

Whether you are heading to the zoo or museum for the day, meeting friends for an afternoon play date or perhaps just running some errands, plan ahead and pack snacks from home.

“By providing most foods from home and balancing your plate, you are able to also limit some of the most notorious dietary dangers – excess sodium, saturated fats and added sugars,” Ms. Brin said.

Non-perishable snacks might seem to be the most convenient items to pack, but if you invest in a few thermoses, some ice packs and an insulated lunch tote or small cooler, you can easily bring along string cheese, yogurt, fruit, and veggies with hummus or other dips. You can even skip the drive-thru on a full-day excursion by packing sandwiches, salads and soups.

Pay attention to the calories you and your children are drinking too. Age, weight, gender, activity level, and even outside temperature can impact how much fluid your child needs, Ms. Brin explains, however, most children need between six to eight cups of non-caffeinated, non-sugary fluids each day – water is best! If your kiddo is exceptionally active be sure they have water to drink while exercising and encourage them to drink often.

Don’t forget to walk the walk rather than just talking the talk. Your kids will notice if you preach good nutrition to them and serve them healthy foods but don’t follow the same nutrition guidelines yourself. Commit to healthy eating for the entire family. Bookmark this article as a handy reference, and try not to get overwhelmed – eating healthy really doesn’t have to be hard.

“It is information overload out there!” Ms. Brin said. “Don’t get too wrapped up in it – you know what is best. Aim for foods closest to their natural state, and stay away from artificial dyes, added sugars, etc. At the same time you shouldn’t eliminate treats, but teach your kids moderation.”

For more great information from Ms. Brin and Moms Into Fitness, visit https://www.momsintofitness.com/blog/.

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Patrick Stewart Surprises young Star Trek Fan

Sunny Skyz published a story today about A young Star Trek fan from Statesboro, Georgia, living with mitochondria disease. The young fan received the surprise of a lifetime while attending DragonCon, a popular sci-fi and fantasy convention.

The 11-year-old’s initial request was to simply attend the convention, but when Sir Patrick Stewart got word of Dawn’s trip, he decided to go and surprise her.

Stewart and Dawn embraced with a hug, but their meeting didn’t end there. The renowned actor spent one-on-one time chatting with Dawn and learning about her life.

“I was shy at first not sure what to say or talk about but he kept talking to me,” she told Mashable. “I felt like I was on the Enterprise talking to the Capt…. It makes me happy even when I am sick so I just wave and call Hello Sir Patrick.”
For Dawn, it was undoubtedly the #BestDayEver.
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February is National Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Low Vision Awareness Month

Understanding AMD
AMD is the gradual but persistent breakdown of the part of the eye that provides sharp, central vision needed for seeing objects clearly. Over time, this can affect the ability to read, drive, identify faces, watch television, navigate stairs and perform a suite of other daily tasks. For many adults, this visual deterioration occurs in one eye and may eventually form in the other.

There are two types of AMD – “dry” and “wet”. The majority of people with AMD have the “dry” form, which is less severe and develops gradually. It is important to carefully monitor central vision when diagnosed with AMD, because it can quickly develop into a more serious condition – wet AMD.

Risk Factors
According to vision experts, the top five risk factors for AMD are:

  • Being over the age of 50
  • Family history
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Obesity
  • Hypertension

Unfortunately, many people don’t realize they have a macular problem until they notice blurred or distorted vision. If you or someone in your family is at an increased risk for AMD, see an eye care provider as soon as possible to undergo an eye exam. Early detection of AMD is the most important step to preventing serious vision loss.

Treatment Options
There is no treatment for dry AMD but doctors have found a link between nutrition and the progression of dry AMD. Introducing low-fat foods and dark leafy greens into your diet can slow vision loss and may even increase your overall wellness.

If wet AMD is detected early, laser treatment is a popular method to help prevent severe vision loss.

As we observe National AMD/Low Vision Awareness Month, take this opportunity to reduce your risk of developing AMD. Avoid smoking, exercise regularly, maintain normal blood pressure and cholesterol, and eat a healthy diet that includes green leafy vegetables and fish. For extra motivation, find a friend, partner or neighbor to engage in healthy habits with you.

 

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Credits: http://whatislowvision.org/2014/02/19/february-is-national-age-related-macular-degeneration-and-low-vision-awareness-month/

Caregiver Spotlight

Meet Shonda,

 Shonda is a dedicated and hard-working STNA for Caregiver USA. She loves having the opportunity to be the best part of someone’s worst day. She has worked in the health care field for over ten years. Shonda worked in a hospital setting for about six years. She realized that she wanted to provide more one-on-one care so she transitioned to home health. Her future goal is to become a Registered Nurse. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her two daughters! Caregiver USA is very appreciative of Shonda and everything she has and will accomplish for herself.

For more information about Caregiver USA services visit http://www.CaregiverUSA.com or call 614-408-9939.

Fun Activities for You and Your Grand Kids

Wondering what you can do at home to keep the kids entertained on the weekends while you kick back with a nice cup of coffee? You’re in luck! Edible play dough is safe, easy and can be made in just 20 minutes.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 1/2 cups white flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 tablespoon cream of tartar
  • 2 packages of Kool-Aid
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Once you have what you need:

  1. Bring the water to a boil in a sauce pan; remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Whisk together the flour, salt, cream of tartar, and soft drink mix in a large bowl; stir the vegetable oil into the flour mixture using a spoon, not a whisk. Pour the hot water into the bowl and continue stirring. When the dough is cool enough to handle, turn it onto a lightly-floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Store unused portions in refrigerator.
  3. Grab a cup of coffee and visit Caregiver USA Facebook or Blog as a daily resource for local events, activities, health and much more!

 

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Going Above and Beyond for Those in Need

Did you know National Caregiver Day is the third Friday in February? February 17th, 2017. This National Day began just last year. Caregiver USA would like to recognize this day by introducing one of their many compassionate caregivers.

LaTanya is a registered nurse that is constantly going above and beyond her line of duty.  Over the weekend, LaTanya helped her client move out of his home into a residence better suited to his needs. She is passionate about quality of life for all of her clients. Below is a little message from LaTanya on her Caregiving journey.

“I began my nursing career as a Candy Stripper at 15-years-old at a local hospital in my hometown, Youngstown, OH. It was there that I discovered I was a natural caretaker. I loved helping people in need. I also discovered that nursing was for me. I attended Choffin School of Practical Nursing in my hometown in 1996. My nursing education was not traditional because I was a single mother of 4. In 2007, I continued my nursing education at Fortis College of Nursing for my RN with the support of my children. I have worked in acute care, long-term care, home care, mental health and school nurse”

For more information about CaregiverUSA services please visit http://www.CaregiverUSA.com or call 614-408-9939.

Dancing with Grace

“Dancing With Grace”

Dancing With Grace is written by veteran journalist Clement Mesenas, who is the Founding Editor of Pinoy Star and the author of two books: The Last Great Strike and Dissident Voices.

When memory fades, it’s best to recall the good times…

She struggles to recall an answer to my question. Her eyes glaze over, her lips tremble as she tries to force out a name. But it’s all in vain. She shakes her head, a silent No to my question if she could remember her husband’s name.

Grace (not her real name to protect her identity) is in her late 80s. She has dementia, and I had volunteered my services at this elder care center to get a bit of oral history from her. Her children might cherish knowing her thoughts when she is gone. The stimulation might also be good, I am told, to activate her brain cells.

I feel my journalistic skills in asking questions, the right ones hopefully, might come in useful, but alas probe as I did, and try as she might, I feel I have come up against a blank wall.

Some people do not like being questioned. One can detect when they are evading the question. They do not make eye contact. They tense up. Politicians do not have this problem – their answers roll off their tongue with ease. They will give you politically correct answers, motherhood statements that serve no purpose.

Grace, who had lived in a two-story house leafy suburb of Bukit Timah as a young mother in a middle-class family, cannot recall that aspect of her life.

I decide to ditch my journalistic instincts. “Grace, you like nursery rhymes? You remember “Jack and Jill…” and off I went, reciting the poem I learned as a kid during the days of God save the King.

Grace’s eyes light up and she sings along with me, each word properly enunciated. She has a cultured voice.

Wow, I am encouraged. “Now, how among Wee Willy Winkie?” I ask.

Grace does not hesitate. “Wee Willy Winkie, runs through the town, upstairs and downstairs … in his nightgown”.

“Wasn’t he in his lady’s nightgown?” I ask.

Grace frowns at the naughty image I had conjured. She repeats: “In his nightgown”.

Abashed, I soldier on: “How about Little Jack Horner sat in a corner, eating his Christmas pie?”

This poem she liked. Grace goes on unaided, reciting the poem with full gusto. Up comes her finger as she reached the finale when Jack pulls out a plum from his pie.

Glory be, I have found the key to unlocking some of the memories of Grace’s distant past.

She does not remember her husband’s name. I try another tack. “What was the colour of his eyes, you must have looked into his eyes often.”

She thinks. “Brown, she says, after all of five seconds.

“What do you remember about him? Did he treat you well?”

She is quick with her answer. “He was a kind man,” she says. There is a light in her eyes. “He was always there for me. He has gone to heaven,” she adds that last bit, emphatically.

I am very touched. “Yes, Grace, a kind man… and do you recall what you enjoyed doing with him when you went out together.”

“Dancing,” she said.

I jog her memory. “Ballroom dancing? Quickstep?”

“Yes, yes,” she cries happily. “The foxtrot too. We had a wonderful time dancing”.

It took an hour for me to reach this happy level of conversation with Grace.

I look at her with all sincerity. “Grace, it’s been lovely chatting with you.”

She holds out her hands to me. They are wrinkled and spotted with age. But her nails stand out. They had been painted just before we met.

Your nails are beautiful Grace,” I say. “What’s this colour? Red?”

“Scarlet,” she says, waving her brightly coloured red nails.

And with that, she is off to join her dancing class, a big smile on her face. A frail woman, a slipping memory. But still nimble on her feet, that’s our Grace.

 

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