2016-04-29 / Health & Medical

TOTAL well-being

APRIL is... Parkinson's Disease Awareness Month

Parkinson’s disease: Recognize early onset symptoms

Parkinson’s disease is a neurological movement disorder. Classic motor symptoms, such as tremor, rigidity and extreme slowness of movements and reflexes, called brady kinesia, are typically

used to identify Parkinson’s. However, identification of other, more subtle symptoms may help identify the disease years before more obvious motor conditions present themselves.

Since Parkinson’s is a chronic and progressive neurological disease, symptoms are often mild at the onset, becoming more severe over time. Initial symptoms may be so subtle that they’re even difficult for specialists to detect, according to the The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Symptoms also may be different for some patients than others and may progress at different paces. Dopamine loss is a major contributor to the onset of Parkinson’s disease. Dopamine controls movement and mood, so when dopamine is affected, walking, talking and writing can be impacted. Depression or anxiety may accompany other symptoms. The National Institutes of Health says Parkinson’s disease affects as many as 500,000 people in the United States. An early diagnosis may help improve quality of life

and delay the onset of greater motor issues. Here’s what to look for and discuss with a doctor.

• Micrographia and other handwriting issues occur. Those with Parkinson’s disease may start experiencing changes in their handwriting. Penmanship may look cramped, and letters tend to be smaller than normal (micrographia). Individuals may find it difficult to hold a pen and write. • Tremors take place in a limb. Tremors usually begin in the hands or fingers and may even mimic a pill-rolling technique, which is a tremor between the thumb and forefinger. Tremors usually occur when the limb is at rest. • Pace or activities slow down. Parkinson’s disease may reduce one’s ability to move and may slow down movements. An early symptom may be a noticeable slowing down in steps or ability to react to something, like a ball being thrown one’s way. Some with Parkinson’s may drag their feet or shuffle as they walk or find it difficult to get out of a chair. • Loss of automatic movements and functions can occur. Difficulty with unconscious movements, such as blinking, smiling or even swinging arms, may occur when a person has Parkinson’s disease. Movements may be uncoordinated and stiff. Increased salivation and perspiration also may be indicators. • Poor balance and loss of posture may develop. People with Parkinson’s disease may hunch over more and more and be unable to stand up straight. Balance issues, such as greater incidences of falls or being able to tip over more easily, may occur. • Speech can change. Changes in speech can begin, including hesitating before speaking, slurring words or speaking in a monotone voice. • Others may notice a masked face. This describes a vacant or fixed stare and lack of facial animation. • Sleep issues may increase. Parkinson’s disease can affect sleeping patterns and behaviors. People with Parkinson’s may experience vivid dreams and nightmares, as well as an inability to stay asleep. Daytime drowsiness may also occur. Parkinson’s disease is rare, and symptoms that mimic those of Parkinson’s may be caused by other conditions. However, if you or someone you know is experiencing repeated symptoms of any of the ones described here, speak with your general practitioner or a neurologist.

Think you need a hearing aid?

If you need or think you might need a hearing aid, you should call Mark Vail today — he’ll test and evaluate you for the hearing aid you need in the comfort of your home and you’ll be happy with it.

By visiting people in their homes, Mark can make the best assessment of what the person’s needs are. Sometimes, he visits people at their places of work because of concerns there. This attention to detail shows up in the low return rate he has.

You can reach Mark Vail at 284-9600 or toll free at 877-284-3400. Call today and you’ll be hearing better soon.

Providing home care for you and your loved ones

At New England Family Healthcare, we strive to provide the best in-home services for you or your loved ones at affordable rates. Since 2001, we’ve been helping people with personal care (bathing/dressing), light housekeeping, grocery shopping, meal preparation, companionship and the like. If you or a family member have had surgery, are going through a course of treatment, or can no longer do some of the everyday household chores you’ve always done, call us at 699-4663 for a free consultation.

Are you a member of the Sandwich Generation?

Are you juggling caring for a parent and raising a family at the same time? Are you also working? If you are facing any of the above, it can be challenging and at times overwhelming.

You are not alone. Help is available from LifeStages, a division of VNA Home Health Hospice. Care Managers, who are skilled nurses and clinicians, can support and guide you through the challenges that come from supporting an aging loved one. They are experts on local resources and can make recommendations for living options at local facilities, or help you put a plan together so your parent can stay home safely. They can also provide medical oversight in your home. Most importantly, they are by your side if a crisis should occur guiding and advocating for you and your parent through the complex health care system.

The result? Greater peace of mind and time for you and your family. To learn more about LifeStages please call 400- 8763 or visit www.vnahomehealth.org

You can also attend our free “Sandwich Generation Presentations and Discussions” being held on the following dates:

May 10th from 6-8pm at the Maine Military Museum in South Portland and May 17th 6-8pm at the First Congregational Church, 301 Cottage Rd. in South Portland.

MassageCraft - CHRONIC PAIN?

We have the answer. Looking for relief from chronic pain that can actually improve your health? Reduce pain, sleep better, and increase your body awareness through massage, acupuncture, yoga and polarity. Strengthen your body’s own healing mechanism. Let the experienced staff at MassageCraft put you on the road to recovery. Our practitioners have over 75 years of combined experience in eastern and western massage techniques, acupuncture, yoga, and polarity.

Not sure whether you need acupuncture or massage? Choose acupuncture for pain complicated by digestive distress, menstrual issues, respiratory problems, anxiety or depression. Too sore for a back massage? Acupuncture can alleviate back pain with a few needles placed in the hands.

Are you feeling the effects of too many hours at the computer? Or perhaps you’ve over exerted in the garden? A deep tissue massage will work out the stiffness, soreness and knots. Your muscles will be longer, suppler, and you will be less prone to re-injury. Not to mention the positive effects both acupuncture and massage have on your sleep and stress levels.

MassageCraft & Acupuncture Clinic was established in 1991, with convenient locations in Biddeford and Old Orchard Beach. We accept workers compensation and some private insurance upon benefit verification. We offer corporate discounts to UNE, SMHC, and MBH. OPEN SUNDAYS Call 286-8416 or 934-0849 for an appointment. And please visit us at our web site: www.massagecraft.com.

Perplexed, bewildered, dazed, or confused about health insurance?

Karen Vachon, licensed health insurance agent, helps individuals, families, small business owners, and senior citizens navigate their health insurance options. From Obamacare to Medicare, she gets up close and personal to the individual needs of her clients needs and situation, she helps people tap into available resources to best protect life’s twists, turns, and surprises.

“The health insurance purchase has changed a lot in the last few years and people are really confused”, explains Karen, who helps people determine their eligibility for tax credits, choose and enroll in a plan that best meets their needs and budget.

Open enrollment for 2016 ends January 31st – for those who would like to change their plans or enroll for the first time. Special enrollment outside of the annual enrollment period are available for those who have lost employer or state provided coverage, moved in our out of an area, or had a life change.

Tired of 1-800 eternal hold? Feeling perplexed, bewildered, dazed, or confused? Call Karen! 207-730-2664. There is no fee for her service.


1) How much does it cost to insulate my house?

Depends on how much you want done, and how much we can save you with Efficiency Maine rebates. The average is about $4,500.

2) How long does it take?

Usually no more than a day or two, and it’s usually applied from outside.

3) How much will I save on my heat bill?

That varies between different homes. We find 30% - 40% is common.

4) What is the benefit of RetroFoam insulation?

The real benefit to your comfort is the air sealing, which reduces drafts and cold penetration from outside. Plus, it will keep rooms cooler in the summer too.

5) Are there other benefits, too?

Yes, the RetroFoam is odor free, class 1 fire retardant, and keeps mice and other pests from invading your home, and sound dampening.

6) How can I be assured it’s well sealed?

First, our technicians are highly trained; we check everything with a thermal imaging camera, and the post testing by the Efficiency Maine Certified Energy Auditor gives you and us another level of quality control.

What is Maine Senior Guide?

Maine Senior Guide is a free website www.MaineSeniorGuide.com), one stop shopping for senior resources, whether it’s agencies, businesses or services. If you’re looking for senior resource information, you can find it on Maine Senior Guide. A comprehensive resource website for mature Mainers, Maine Senior Guide is free to readers.

Many people use Maine Senior Guide to find resources for their senior loved ones or clients, but active seniors use the site as well to find resources ranging from estate planning and downsizing to senior living options and home care listings.

People find senior resources by searching a topic or geographic area on the site. Businesses have the opportunity to provide articles for our library, blogs for our expert blogger section and answers to our “Ask MSG” column, as well as their descriptive profile. Viewers don’t have to sign in, register, subscribe, give us their blood type or do anything else to view the site.

Senior-focused businesses get a free listing (name, address and phone number.) Businesses that could benefit from more exposure to Maine’s growing senior demographic can enrich their listing on the site with additional copy, photos and links to their website and social media. The premium level includes a lot of social media support in our blog, Facebook and newsletter postings.

Maine Senior Guide also produces four senior expos around the state. This year, the spring expos are at St. Max in Scarborough on May 4, and at the Elk’s Lodge in Rockland on May 17. Fall expos are in Wells on September 21 and in Freeport at the Hilton Garden Inn on October 11. The expos are free, and include speakers and lots of exhibitors who have information to share and the ability to answer many questions about senior services.

Rolnick Chiropractic

Dr. Ellie’s Health Tips:

Health Tip of the Month: According to world renown medical doctor, Joe Mercola, an estimated 13 percent of Americans suffer from migraines. Cluster headaches are far less common, affecting maybe five percent of people, or less. Headaches, especially migraines, are typically caused by mitochondrial dysfunction. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) will help regenerate your mitochondria. The reduced form, ubiquinol, tends to work best for most people. About 50 percent of those with recurrent headaches are deficient in magnesium. Vitamin B2 deficiency can also contribute to headaches and migraines. A gluten-free diet tends to support both brain and gut health, thereby reducing headaches. Stress, cortisol, and thyroid hormone also play a role in headaches and migraines, making stress relief and addressing your thyroid function essential components of a more comprehensive plan. In addition to this important information, the cervical spine has been shown to play a major role in the cause of headaches. Cervicogenic headaches are headaches that occur due to tension in the neck. Structurally speaking, if the bones in the cervical spine (neck) are not properly aligned, the resulting tension in the musculature leads to headaches. Also, when the spinal bones are subluxated ( misaligned), nerve pressure results which then can cause headaches. As mentioned above, dietary changes can have a positive impact for headache suffers as well as a visit to your chiropractor.

Though for the Month: A sad soul can kill you quicker than a germ. ~John Steinbeck

Chiropractic Thought for the Month: As parents search for proactive lifestyle habits that will nurture their children’s health and family, chiropractic care is leading the way. Chiropractic awareness is shifting from being an intervention for pain relief toward a more proactive, wellness-oriented healthcare choice. Dr. Candice Pert, a recognized leader in the field of psychoneuroimmunology, credits chiropractic as having a “significant effect on maximizing immunity via maintenance of a healthy nervous system.” ~ Dr. Risa Sloves, D.C.

For more information, call Rolnick Chiropractic at 207-283-1168 or check out our web page at www.rolnickchiropractic.com

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