2017-01-20 / Health & Medical

TOTAL Well-being

January is... National Blood Donor Month

Learn the basics of donating blood

The flow of healthy, oxygenated blood through the body is essential for life. It is also required in large supply when people undergo surgeries and other therapies. With the demand for blood so high, reserves are in short supply. Adding to the shortage is lower turnout among donors, and the public has been urged to donate blood to increase units available. BLOOD SHORTAGES ABOUND

The Red Cross and America's Blood Centers, which collectively represent all of the blood banks in the United States, continued to report shortages throughout 2012. According to Red Cross President Dr. Bernadine Healy, there is a critical shortage of blood, and the shortage in 2012 was one of the worst her organization had seen. As such, the shortage has forced the cancellation of many elective surgeries across the United States. ABC notes there also are severe shortages throughout the Northeast.

Increased demand, meaning chemotherapy treatments, organ transplants, heart surgeries and elective options, have left blood banks depleted. Plus, the demand for blood exceeds the rate of blood donations. The Red Cross has stated it typically needs 80,000 units of blood available daily, but now has roughly 35,000 units. HOW DO I DONATE BLOOD?

Many people want to donate blood but are either off-put by the idea of needles and drawing of blood or are unaware of the process. Becoming informed can shed light on what is done and make the entire process much less intimidating.

Blood drives occur at various locations. You also may be able to donate blood directly at a Red Cross center or hospital. Simply log on to www.redcrossblood.org and enter your zip code or address to find out where and when a blood drive will be held.

Just about anyone age 17 to 75 can donate blood. Provided they are at least 110 pounds and do not have any acute symptoms of the flu, colds or infections or have had close contact with someone with hepatitis in the last year. Those who have hepatitis, a heart condition that is more serious than a murmur or HIV/AIDS or have engaged in any activities that may have put them at risk for HIV/AIDS, will not be able to donate.

At the donation you will be asked to fill out a questionnaire and be given a screening interview to qualify as a donor. You also will need to provide documentation that proves your age, so bring along identification. If you pass the screening, your vital signs will be checked and you will be prepared for the blood draw.

As with a routine blood test, the injection site will be sterilized and then a needle will be inserted to draw the blood. The volume of blood collected for a donation will be larger than for a blood test. One pint, or 450 milliliters of blood, will be taken. This is only between 8 to 10 percent of all the blood in your body. HOW WILL I FEEL?

Most people come through a blood donation unscathed. There may be a minor pinch when the needle is inserted. After blood has been drawn, many people feel fine and are encouraged to drink extra liquids for the next two days to help the body with the regeneration of blood. Your body will replace the fluid portion of your blood within 24 hours. It will take a few weeks to replace the red blood cells. Individuals who feel a little woozy can sit after the blood donation until they feel rested enough to move on. HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?

It takes around 10 minutes for a traditional blood donation. If you are donating something specific, such as red cells, plasma or platelets, the process can take up to 2 hours. Many blood drives provide refreshments after donating and ask that you remain 10 to 15 minutes to ensure you are fine to exit. WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT AFTER THE DONATION?

Afterward you should be able to go on with your regular daily activities. It is adviseable to take it easy for the rest of the day and not engage in any heavy lifting or exercise. Also, avoid flying in airplanes or going scuba diving for a couple of days afterward. Moderate daily activities should be fine. Continue to stay hydrated. WHAT ARE OTHER THINGS I SHOULD KNOW?

You can prepare for donating blood by adhering to a healthy, low-fat diet and getting a good night’s sleep the day before. Avoid alcoholic beverages and tobacco prior to the donation. Make sure you do not skip any meals.

Bring along a list of the medications you take to share with the volunteers at the blood drive. Certain medications will exclude you from donating.

It is possible for a healthy person to give whole blood every 56 days. Donations of platelets or other components of blood may be able to occur more frequently. Individuals who have the universal blood type (Type O-) may want to sign up as frequent donors because their blood can be used for anyone.

Donating a pint of blood can help several different people. With extreme shortages in the blood supply in effect, now could be the ideal time to make a blood donation. SIDEBAR: WHAT DETERMINES BLOOD TYPE?

Blood type is broken down into four main types: A, B, AB and O. Genetics are the primary determining factor in a person’s blood type. A child receives genetic code from both parents at conception, and this information will help determine blood type. Just like eye color, height and hair color, dominant genes will be the deciding factor in blood type. A and B are both dominant over O. A and B are considered to be codominant, which explains the AB blood type. If a child receives two recessive genes from both parents, then he or she will have O blood.

Another thing that plays into blood type is the Rhesus factor, commonly shortened to the Rh factor. This refers to an antigen that exists on the surface of red blood cells. If this antigen is present, it means the person has a Rh positive (+) factor. If there is an absence of this antigen, then the blood is classified as Rh negative (-). Therefore, people can have an A, B, AB, or O blood type that is either (+) or (-). These antigens are proteins that, when introduced into a body that does not have the same type, can cause the person’s immune system to respond by producing antibodies that attack the proteins. Should a person who is Rh- blood receive Rh+ blood during a transfusion, an allergic reaction could occur. Another time when Rh factor comes into play is when an Rh- woman becomes pregnant. Should her blood and the blood of the fetus mix -- and if the fetus has an Rh+ factor -- the mother’s blood may fight off the antigens and naturally produce antibodies. While this won’t hurt the woman, it can affect the fetus and cause potential health problems. Women with an Rhfactor are generally given an Rh immunoglobulin about seven months into the pregnancy that should desensitize her immune system from triggering if the fetus has Rh+ blood. After the baby is born, his or her blood will be tested. Should the Rh factor match the mother, all is well. If not, the mother will receive another injection to further desensitize her immune system to prevent a reaction with any subsequent pregnancies. A person with O- blood is considered a “universal donor.” He or she can transfuse to anyone, and there will be no instances of allergic reaction. However, one with O- blood can only receive O- blood.

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? Perhaps you’ve taken a tumble on the ice. 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. MORE WEEKEND OPENINGS AVAILABLE. Call 286-8416 or 934-0849 for an appointment. And please visit us at our web site: www.massagecraft.com.


Patricia Mulholland of “Be Your Note” Music Therapy Services, is offering “Music Improvisation: Lessons in Mindfulness” on Sat. Feb. 18 from 1 – 4 at the UU Church in Kennebunk. Drawing on her experience working with master teachers Bobby McFerrin and David Darling, she invites musicians and non-musicians alike to experience the joy and presence that engaging in music improvisation can bring. “There are no unmusical people, only people with no musical experience,” according to her mentor, cellist David Darling.

She is also offering “Spring Into Sound: A Voice Workshop for Women” on Sat., March 18 from 1 – 4 at the UU Church. Patricia brings a breadth of experience working with individuals using voice as a therapeutic modality in the corporate, clinical and wellness settings. Each participant will explore her relationship to her voice via exercises drawing on the breath, body and imagination. The goal is for all to begin to develop an expanded vocal presence and a deeper connection to this vital part of self. The fee for each workshop is $35. For information, please contact Patricia at: patricia@beyournote.com or call 207-467-3372. Advanced registration is required.


We’re a private, not for profit residence offering seniors an attractive alternative to remaining in their own homes.

Who lives at the Home? Men and women seventy and above who are independent enough to care for their own personal needs - those not requiring assisted living or on site medical services.

What do we offer? That safe feeling you get from knowing others are close by... The helplfulness of our caring staff...The pleasures of chef-prepared meals...A warm and homey atmosphere...Laundry and housekeeping services, weekly activities...A residence custom-built with seniors’ needs in mind.

Conveniently located right across the bridge from Portland, near shopping, medical facilities.

Please call 799-4992 for more information - or better yet, why not arrange for a visit and personal tour of the Home? We look forward to meeting you.

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.

Individual Care of Maine

Q. What makes Individual Care of Maine different from other In Home Care companies.

A. A few things separate us from other in home care companies.

First; We prioritize getting outside daily as it pertains to each client. depending on the physical abilities of each client we try to walk an move each day.

Second; We believe in cooking exceptional meals. There is just something about a home cooked meal that is good for the soul. When we train we also incorporate some cooking lessons to get our caregivers thinking about exceptional nutrition.

Third; We pay our caregivers way above the industry norm. We work as a team and help one another. When the caregivers are happy everybody is happy. In most situations the saying “the client comes first” is the norm. We believe this but we also feel that the caregiver also comes first. If the caregiver is well compensated and well supported by their employer, inevitibly ensures that the caregiver takes pride in the job that he or she is doing. When you take good care of your employees they, in turn take good care of the client.

Q. What was the inspiration for Individual Care of Maine

A. A dear friend was having a terrible time finding quality help with her mom who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s a few years ago. She was going through many caregivers and was continuously stressed about what was going on at hom while she was at work. Caregivers were calling in sick, not showing up, and sometimes just not a good fit for the family. Having been in a role as a caregiver as early as age 22 when my dad was diagnosed with a brain tumor and then with a son needing ongoing surgeries from a bone disorder, and then being a cancer survivor myself I understood both sides of caregiving. I understood the stress and worry of caring for a family member and also recognized the difference my caregivers made in my and my familys life while I was undergoing my own treatment for cancer. I was inspired and I knew how I wanted our company to look. More human and less corporate.

Home Snuggers answers your questions about RetroFoam Insulation:

1) How much will it cost?
It depends on your home’s size, age, and
configuration. The average is about $4,500 and
Efficiency Maine pays about $1,200 of that for
most customers.
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) How does RetroFoam work?
RetroFoam goes into the enclosed cavities and
hidden gaps. It reduces outside drafts and

increases thermal resistance / R-values.
5) What else should I know?
RetroFoam is eco-friendly, odor-free, a Class
1 fire material, pest-resistant, and sound
6) Where does it come from?
It’s made in Scandinavia. We import it from
7) How can I be sure that 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.

Did you know?

According to the American Red Cross, after a person has donated blood, his or her red cells need about four to six weeks before they are completely replaced. That is why organizations like the Red Cross require donors wait at least eight weeks between donations. That is not to be confused with apheresis, a process by which platelets and other blood components, such as red cells and plasma, are collected from a donor. During apheresis, a cell separator is used to collect platelets or other components from blood that is drawn from the donor. The remaining components are then returned to the donor during the donation process. As many as 24 apheresis donations can be made in a single year, though the apheresis donation process, which can last as long as two hours, takes longer than a typical blood donation.

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-

January is “Get Organized” Month

A favorite New Year’s resolution is to “get organized,” so sale circulars feature lots of containers and storage units. Starting small--choosing a linen or coat closet which can be organized in a few hours- -will give you a sense of accomplishment and spur you onto the next project. But what if your closets and other storage spaces are overflowing and you have no clue where to start? Then call in a professional who can guide you, physically help you, keep you on task, and develop systems for

you. Call Leslie Girmscheid of Sanctuary Home Organizing for a free 1-hour evaluation. Together we will declutter, find “homes” for discards, organize, and create an inviting space. Downsizing and staging services are also available (call now to get a jump on the market). For more information and organizing tips, check out www.SanctuaryHomeOrganizing.com. Contact her today at 207-272-6027 or leslieg@ maine.rr.com. “Your home should be your sanctuary.”

Aging Excellence

In May 2015, the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers changed its name to “Aging Life Care Association” (ALCA - aginglifecare.org) . “Aging Life Care” is a holistic, clientcentered approach to caring for older adults facing ongoing health challenges. Aging Excellence has always been a certified and proud member of this organization since its inception. Our Aging Life Care Professionals are certified health and human services specialist who act as a guide and an advocate for families who live near or

far and are caring for older relatives here in Maine. They provide the expertise and answers at a time of uncertainty and assist clients in attaining their maximum functional potential. The individual’s independence is encouraged, while safety and security concerns are also addressed. Our Aging Life Care Professionals are able to address a broad range of issues related to the wellbeing of their client. They also have extensive knowledge about costs, quality, and availability of resources in Maine.

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