There’s no place like home

College of DuPage Nursing Student Erin O’Loughlin researched that the DuPage County Department of Economic Development and Planning reported in 2011 that 11.4% of DuPage County’s population are senior citizens. A senior citizen is anyone at or over the age of 65. Seniors can experience overall wellness through diet, exercise, healthy lifestyle, and other health promoting activities. However, some seniors begin to need more help with everyday life and health in order to remain living in their home safely. DuPage County is fortunate enough to a vast amount of resources and professionals to help seniors remain safe at home.

DuPage County Community Services has a Senior Services department to assist seniors to remain at home by using supportive resources. These support resources can include transportation vouchers, home care workers, adult day care, life alert buttons, food pantries, support groups, senior centers, senior activity groups, Meals on Wheels, and more. Low income residents can be assessed and educated about different state and county services. The county can also provide information about private services. According to Nursing Economics, these kinds of resources have been shown to help seniors improve thinking and reasoning, improve senior depression, reduce episodes of incontinence, decrease pain, and increase activities of daily living. Seniors may even qualify for routine home visits. Read more

What Is a Heart Attack?

The National Institute on Aging shared that a heart attack happens when the flow of oxygen-rich blood in one or more of the coronary arteries, which supply the heart muscle, suddenly becomes blocked, and a section of heart muscle can’t get enough oxygen. The blockage is usually caused when a plaque ruptures. If blood flow isn’t restored quickly, either by a medicine that dissolves the blockage or a catheter placed within the artery that physically opens the blockage, the section of heart muscle begins to die.

Heart attacks are a leading killer of both men and women. Each year, more than 1 million people in the United States have a heart attack, and about half of them die. Half of those who die do so within 1 hour of the start of symptoms and before reaching the hospital.

A heart attack is an emergency. Learn the warning signs of a heart attack. The signs can include:

  • Crushing chest pain or pressure and/or discomfort or pain elsewhere in the upper body, neck, or arms
  • Nausea
  • A cold sweat
  • Fainting or lightheadedness
  • Shortness of breath

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Zika

The Center for Disease Control shared that Mosquitoes can spread many diseases, including Zika. Although most people with Zika won’t have symptoms, infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects. Learn how to protect yourself and your family from Zika.

Zika virus spreads primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito (Aedes aegypti or Ae. albopictus). Zika can also be passed through sex from a person who has Zika to his or her sex partners. Although most people with Zika won’t have symptoms,  infection during pregnancy can cause microcephaly and other serious birth defects in babies.

The mosquitoes that carry Zika can be found in many countries, and outbreaks of Zika are still occurring in parts of the world. Everyone can take steps to protect themselves and pregnant women in the United States.

If you’ve been to an area with risk of Zika and have symptoms of Zika after travel, see your healthcare provider.

Know the Signs and Symptoms of Zika

Many people infected with Zika virus won’t know they have it because they won’t have symptoms. Symptoms are usually mild and can last for several days to a week. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. The most common symptoms of Zika include

  • Fever
  • Rash
  • A headache
  • Joint pain
  • Conjunctivitis (red eyes)
  • Muscle pain

See your doctor or another healthcare provider if you have the symptoms described above and have visited an area with risk of Zika. This is especially important if you are pregnant.  Be sure to tell your doctor or other healthcare providers where you traveled. Even if you do not feel sick, you should take steps to prevent mosquito bites for 3 weeks after travel so you do not spread Zika to uninfected mosquitoes. Read more

Tips for Keeping Your Car Cool in Summer

The Allstate Blog Team shared that if you are wondering how to keep your car cool during summer, there are plenty of simple things you can do. From maximizing your air conditioning to taking advantage of a shady spot when parking, the following tips can help you maintain a cooler vehicle on those hot and humid summer days.

Block Car Windows from the Sun

Cars can trap heat, causing the temperature inside them to quickly rise, says the National Weather Service. According to one test, a parked car’s temperature rose from 80 degrees to more than 94 degrees in about two minutes and reached 123 degrees within an hour. A car can reach up to 200 degrees inside, according to Consumer Reports.

Reducing the amount of heat entering through your windows may help keep your car cooler, making it more comfortable when it’s time to take a ride. Here are some tips to help keep your car cool in the summer:

  • Sun shades: Sun shades help block the direct rays coming into your vehicle, says Consumer Reports. This keeps the temperature slightly lower, which can help your car cool down more quickly once the vehicle is started.

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How to protect kids from the sun’s harmful rays

Tanya Altmann and Tiffany Fischman shared in The Washington Pos that it’s long been known that excessive childhood sun exposure and sunburns are significant risk factors for developing skin cancer and premature aging (such as sun spots and wrinkles) later in life.

Children have thin, delicate skin and are even more susceptible to sunburns than adults. Prevention and moderation are the keys to protecting your kids, and there are plenty of options for barriers to shield them from the harmful rays.

Here are ways to keep your family safe in the sun.

Prevention and coverage

The best protection from the sun is limiting direct exposure during peak the intensity hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This is also the time your kids will likely want to be out and about on a beautiful summer day, and you don’t want to discourage them from active outdoor play. You just need to be prepared.

Apply sunscreen, of course, to any exposed skin, but also have your child wear sun protective clothing. Look for clothing rated with an ultraviolet protective factor (UPF) of at least 30, which will block the most harmful rays.

Encourage your child to wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses. Seek shade often; bring an umbrella to the beach and be extra careful around water, snow and sand, which are known to reflect ultraviolet rays and increase the risk of burning. Read more

What to know about traveling with Medicare

Happy portrait of senior couple, woman embracing her husband

www.Medicare.gov suggests that before you go, remember to look into Medicare coverage outside the United States.

If you have Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance), your health care services and supplies are covered when you’re in the U.S. However, in general, Medicare won’t pay for health care services or supplies if you travel outside the U.S. (except in these rare cases).

That doesn’t mean you have to travel abroad without coverage. Here are 3 ways you can get health coverage outside the U.S.:

  1. If you have a Medigap policy, check your policy to see if it includes coverage when traveling outside the U.S.
  2. If you have another Medicare health plan (instead of Original Medicare), check with your plan to see if they offer coverage outside the U.S.
  3. Purchase a travel insurance policy that includes health coverage.

Read more

Summer Reading Programs 2018

Below you’ll find a list of summer reading programs that will get your kids free stuff like free books, money, gift cards, movies, and more.

Having a tough time getting your child interested in reading this summer? Try downloading a free kids book on your Kindle to get them on board.

Between these summer reading programs, free summer moviesfree summer bowlingfree summer skating, and all the other summer freebiesyour kids will be very busy this summer! Read more

Be Your Best

 

Get the Upper Hand On Age Spots

Cheryl Bond-Nelms, AARP, shared that we all know what age spots look like — tiny brown dark spots that can develop on your hands and face. We think they come from growing older, but they are actually a sign of sun damage or fluctuations in hormones.

The medical treatments that can effectively fade or permanently remove dark spots include lasers, chemical peels and microdermabrasion, but you can also remove those spots naturally with items in your kitchen.

Here are seven products that may already be in your pantry or refrigerator that can naturally and effectively fade dark spots or age spots on your hands and face.

1. Lemon juice

Using lemon juice to combat age spots is really a no-brainer. The citric acid and vitamin C in lemon make it the perfect natural bleaching agent. Test your skin first to see if you are sensitive to lemon juice at full strength. If the pure lemon juice is too harsh for your skin, you can dilute it with water.

Take one lemon, water and a cotton ball. Squeeze the lemon into a bowl and add equal parts of water. Use the cotton ball to apply the mixture directly to the areas with dark spots on your face and hands. Leave on for about 20 minutes and then rinse with water, but don’t use soap. Do this at least a couple of nights a week to allow the lemon juice time to fade the spots and even out your skin tone.

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Brain Health Is Connected to Heart Health

The Center for Disease control shared asks, “Did you know that the health of your brain and your heart are connected?” By keeping your heart healthy, you also lower your risk for brain problems such as stroke and dementia. Learn more about the connection between the heart and brain and steps to take to keep both healthy.

Your heart pumps blood through vessels to every part of your body, including your brain. Damage to blood vessels can lead to serious health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and dementia. Keeping your blood vessels healthy can help you have a strong heart and brain.

Unhealthy Heart, Unhealthy Brain

Some health conditions and unhealthy habits can damage blood vessels, putting your heart and your brain at risk for serious problems.

    • heart attack happens when plaque buildup or a blood clot blocks blood flow to the heart.
    • stroke, sometimes called a “brain attack,” happens when a clot or a plaque blocks a blood vessel in the brain or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts. When this happens, brain tissue dies, which can lead to memory loss and disability.
    • A type of dementia called vascular dementia can happen as a result of a series of small, “silent” strokes, sometimes called “mini-strokes.”1Dementia can cause memory loss, slowed thinking, and personality changes.

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