2014 Marks Fifth Year for BrightStar Care® Recognizing Caregiver Excellence

2014 Northeast Caregiver of the Year Angela

2014 Northeast Caregiver of the Year Angela. Click here to read Angela’s story.

It’s easy to get caught up in the rigors of daily life. It’s especially hard for those learning to adapt to challenges that may come along with aging or even coming to terms with a difficult diagnosis or new illness. In the aftermath of a debilitating accident or as a health condition progresses, people in these situations often turn to caregivers for support and, in special cases, get even more than they could have dreamed of. (more…)

Making Long-Distance Caregiving Work for Your Family

Caregiving from a distance is never easy. Making sure a loved one who needs help is getting the help they need, taking their medications and getting to appointments can be challenging enough, let alone trying to help coordinate these things from hundreds, even thousands of miles away. Here are some helpful tips to make your life a lot easier, according to AARP. (more…)

What Do You Know About Parkinson’s Disease?

It’s one of the most debilitating diseases and one that many of its victims don’t understand. Parkinson’s disease affects more than a million Americans, most over 60. A recent Harris Poll indicates many of these people don’t fee well-informed about treatments or the way the disease progresses. (more…)

Community Resources for Elder Care

For older adults who are looking to maintain independence, there are a growing number of private and public organizations that offer home and community-based services. Many of these services can help solve long-term care issues and ease the stress of the caregiver. According to AARP, these services, which include occasional household help to 24/7 in-home care, are provided by nurses, trained aides and volunteers. Here is some information to get you started, thanks to AARP: (more…)

Are You At Risk of Falling In Your Home?

A big fall risk is at a seemingly safe place: the home. Older adults can experience a fall for many reasons, including several environmental factors, according to our resident RN Sharon Roth Maguire. She says fall risks can come from the home environment, both the inside and the outside, along with the individual’s characteristics like physical well-being, strength and mobility and even medications. (more…)

3 Tips for Helping a Parent Who May Not Want the Help

Many adult children tread lightly when it comes to the health of an aging loved one, especially when it could threaten independence. And, sadly, it often takes an incident of some sort before families feel that “enough is enough” and have the confidence to face a health issue head-on. So what can families do for a loved one when it becomes apparent that their health is declining and/or their safety is at risk? With the help of AARP, we have a few strategies that families can try to approach these sensitive situations as delicately as possible. (more…)

How To Stay Active and On-the-Go

Whether it’s sharpening your mind and keeping your body fit, choosing the right vehicle to maximize comfort and safety, refreshing your driving skills or finding ways to get around when driving is no longer a safe option, there are numerous ways seniors can stay active and on the go. (more…)

Protect Yourself in the Sun

Whether it’s the hot summer or a bright fall day, the sun can be damaging. So how do you know if you’re avoiding the hazards of the sun? The American Cancer Society lays out some helpful tips on limiting UV exposure that you and your family can use next time you’re thinking about spending the day outside. (more…)

5 Safety Tips for Elderly Drivers

SeniorTransportation_600x370The natural process of aging can affect your vision, hearing, reaction time and mental fitness. As a senior driver, that means it also can affect your driving abilities and even increase risk of a traffic crash. Since these changes can occur very slowly, you’ll want to evaluate then early and often – before putting yourself and others at risk. You can still be active, however. Dealing with these mind and body changes and adhering to a few simple guidelines can make you a wiser senior driver. (more…)

Are You At Risk for Skin Cancer?

sun_skin cancerThe summer may be winding down, but the potential for hot temperatures and dangerous sunlight is more and more likely every day. That means the risk for skin cancer increases, especially if you spend an excessive amount of time in the sun.

The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention provides some risk factors for skin cancer and, while some can be controlled, others, like age, can’t be changed. Read on for some key factors to determine if you might be at risk.

Ultraviolet (UV) light

Sunlight is the main source of UV radiation, which can damage the genes in your skin cells. UV light is thought to be the major risk factor for most skin cancers. Tanning lamps and booths are another source of UV radiation. People with high levels of exposure to UV light are at greater risk for skin cancer.

Fair skin

The risk of skin cancer is much higher for whites than for dark-skinned African-Americans or Hispanics. This is because melanin helps protect against UV radiation. People with dark skin have more melanin. People with fair (light-colored) skin that freckles or burns easily are at extra high risk.

Older age

The risk of basal and squamous cell skin cancers goes up as people get older. Older people have been exposed to the sun for a longer time. Still, these cancers are now being seen in younger people too, probably because they are spending more time in the sun without protecting their skin.

Men

Men are two times as likely as women to have basal cell cancers and about three times as likely to have squamous cell cancers of the skin. This could be because they spend more time in the sun.

Chemicals

Exposure to large amounts of arsenic increases the risk of skin cancer. Arsenic is a heavy metal used to make some insecticides. It is also found in well water in some areas. Workers exposed to industrial tar, coal, paraffin and certain types of oil may have an increased risk, too.

Weakened immune system

People with weak immune systems are more likely to develop non-melanoma skin cancer. For instance, people who have had an organ transplant often take medicines to weaken the immune system so that the body cannor reject the organ. These people are more likely to develop non-melanoma skin cancer. Skin cancers in people with weak immune systems tend to grow faster and are more likely to be fatal.

Genetics

Scientists have found that certain people are more likely than others to develop skin cancer after sun exposure. In these people, certain parts of the normal cells are more sensitive to being damaged by sunlight.