Archive for the ‘Illness Prevention’ Category

Ideas for Easier Everyday Living with Arthritis

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

August 1st, 2017

Submitted by Christine Stone, RN Clinical Liaison – LifeQuest Nursing Center

Living every day with the aches and pains of arthritis can be challenging. The tasks you used to do easily and without second thought now seem impossible or may make you avoid activities altogether. If your pain is unbearable, always notify your healthcare practitioner. But here are a few ideas to make living with arthritis easier.
1. Plant a portable garden or a raised-bed garden. If you want to grow small patches of flowers, herbs or veggies, make it easier by planting them in a bucket with a handle or in a small pot. Consider placing the pots on small tables with wheels – at knee height. The benefit? No more bending! In addition you’ll be able move the pots around to sun or shade as needed.
2. Replace doorknobs with handles. There are lever-style adapters that fit over doorknobs if you don’t want to get into complete doorknob replacement. Handles or lever let your elbow and forearm to all the work rather than your hand, wrist, and fingers.
3. Buy cooking pots with two handles. Using two handles distributes the weight more evenly between your hands and wrists.
4. Sleep better by using pillows. Place pillows under or between your knees to help relieve pressure. Special cervical (chiropractic) pillows can help for arthritis of the neck. Some people will place 6-8 inch blocks under the head of the bead to relieve arthritis in the spine. This may also help with symptoms of gastric reflux (heartburn). Just make sure you’re able to safely get in and out of the bed if you raise the head a few inches.
5. Worry-free walking & hiking. Invest in a good pair of rubber-soled shoes which provide a firm grip and secure traction. Walk on the grass if the gravel is wet. Walking in sand can be hard on the feet and ankles. Consider using (lightweight) trekking poles to keep you balanced and stable. Remember – it’s better make these easy adjustments and to give up walking altogether.
6. Love to knit? Rather than metal knitting needles, use birch or bamboo needles – they’re lighter and warmer. Consider using wool or wool blend yarn rather than cotton or other yarn fibers. Wool / wool blends are lighter, more pliable and easier to work with.

How to Spot a Stroke

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

July 14th, 2017

Submitted by: Christine Stone, RN Clinical Liaison

It cannot be overstated enough – every minute counts when someone is having a stroke. There is, however, an easy way to learn and remember the early warning signs of a stroke. Use the acronym “BEFAST.” If one or more of the symptoms is present – seek immediate medical attention. The sooner treatment is started the greater the chance of minimizing permanent neurological damage.

Balance     Loss of balance, dizziness or headache.
Eyes           Blurred vision, loss of vision in one or both eyes.
Face           One side of the face is drooping. Try to smile – if the face looks “lopsided.”
Arms         Arm or leg weakness or numbness. Feeling “uncoordinated.”
Speech      Slurred speech, difficulty speaking or understanding what is being said to you.
Time         Time to call 911 immediately for an ambulance. Never drive yourself to the

“Safety in the Sun for Seniors”

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

The coming of summer provides many opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. Whether it’s an afternoon gardening or a day at the beach here are some basics for safe, smart time in the sun.

  • 1.  Sun stimulates Vitamin D production, quite a good thing. What to remember is that 15 minutes a day 2 to 3 times a week on the face and hands causes the body to produce and adequate supply of Vitamin D.
  • 2.  Sunscreen should be used anytime a senior is out in the sun more than 15 minutes. Use a sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor of 15 and apply it every 2 hours
  • 3.  Cloudy days still require the use of sunscreen. The sun doesn’t feel and hot on cloudy days but UV radiation is still being absorbed by the skin. Seniors skin is more sensitive so sunscreen and sun protection are still needed when the clouds are out.
  • 4.  The sun can hurt your eyes. UV rays can cause cataracts, macular degeneration and skin cancer around the eyes. Seniors should always wear sun glasses. Choose brown, gray or green lenses and the darker and larger the lens the better. Glasses that wrap around the eyes block a higher percentage of UV rays.

Keeping these tips in mind will make your time in the sun safe and enjoyable. And remember to stay on the sunny side of the street!

Preventing Norovirus Infection

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

Preventing the Norovirus Infection is a challenge in nursing facilities, day care centers, schools and other environments where people live, work or spend their days in close proximity to others.

The best way for everyone to prevent getting the Norovirus Infection is to follow the following guidelines recommended by the CDC.

Practice proper hand hygiene
Wash your hands carefully with soap and water especially after using the toilet, changing diapers and always before eating, preparing or handling food.

Noroviruses can be found in your vomit or stool even before you start feeling sick. The virus can stay in your stool for 2 weeks or more after you feel better. So, it is important to continue washing your hands often during this time.

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can be used in addition to hand washing. But, they should not be used as a substitute for washing with soap and water.

Wash fruits and vegetables and cook seafood thoroughly
Carefully wash fruits and vegetables before preparing and eating them. Cook oysters and other shellfish thoroughly before eating them.

Be aware that noroviruses are relatively resistant. They can survive temperatures as high as 140°F and quick steaming processes that are often used for cooking shellfish.

Food that might be contaminated with norovirus should be thrown out.

Keep sick infants and children out of areas where food is being handled and prepared.

When you are sick, do not prepare food or care for others who are sick
You should not prepare food for others or provide healthcare while you are sick and for at least 2 to 3 days after you recover. This also applies to sick workers in settings such as schools and daycares where they may expose people to norovirus.

Many local and state health departments require that food handlers and preparers with norovirus illness not work until at least 2 to 3 days after they recover. If you were recently sick, you can be given different duties in the restaurant, such as working at a cash register or hosting.

Clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces
After throwing up or having diarrhea, immediately clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces. Use a chlorine bleach solution with a concentration of 1,000 – 5,000 ppm (5 – 25 tablespoons of household bleach [5.25%] per gallon of water) or other disinfectant registered as effective against norovirus by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Wash laundry thoroughly
Immediately remove and wash clothes or linens that may be contaminated with vomit or stool (feces).

You should handle soiled items carefully without agitating them, wear rubber or disposable gloves while handling soiled items and wash your hands after, and wash the items with detergent at the maximum available cycle length, then machine dry them.

For additional information, you can go to the CDC at