2018-01-19 / 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.

Providing home care for you & 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.

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.

Peck’s Family Acupuncture

For over 6 years, Peck’s Family Acupuncture has been providing gentle care to Waterboro and surrounding towns treating children as young as infants all the way through the Senior years. We offer Japanese and Chinese style Acupuncture with advanced training and certification in Cupping Therapy. One of our best kept secrets is our facial rejuvenation cupping session. It’s great to address sinus pressure, TMJ disorder and stress headaches. If you’re looking to fulfill a New Year’s resolution of bringing balance and focus into your life, register for a Restorative Yoga class with Kelcy. Or, if your body needs immune support, set up an Herbal Consultation appointment with Ginny. Whatever your holistic healthcare needs, we have the knowledge to help you attain your goals!

Providing gentle care for your whole family. www.pecksfamilyacupuncture.com

“Be Your Note”

Patricia Mulholland, MA, MT-BC, NMT, is a board certified music therapist in private practice in Kennebunkport. Owner of “Be Your Note” Music Therapy Services, she offers group and individual music experiences in both the wellness and clinical settings. In addition to her music therapy training at Berklee College of Music, Patricia brings years of experience working with master teachers Bobby McFerrin and cellist/improviser David Darling. She invites musicians and non-musicians alike to bring mind, body, and spirit to experience the joy and presence of engaging in music making. In the words of mentor David Darling, “There are no un-musical people, only people with no musical experience.” Patricia has a particular interest in guiding people to move beyond fear and selfconsciousness to sing. “Everyone has a song inside them, longing to be discovered and expressed.”

Patricia describes music therapy as the “meeting of science and art.” “As a music therapist, my role is to make a connection and build a therapeutic relationship with my clients via music. It is an active endeavor, which means finding ways to engage individuals to experience ability and success while making music. This may mean singing together, improvising, playing rhythm instruments and writing songs. In the process, we are addressing treatment goals in cognitive, physical, psycho-social and spiritual functioning.”

Patricia is a frequent presenter, provides music therapy at a number of healthcare facilities, and sees individuals and couples in her private studio. She is a guest/artist lecturer at Berklee College of Music and at UNE. An award-winning songwriter, she is the creator of “A Solitude of Space,” a chamber theater piece with music based on the life and work of Emily Dickinson. For more information, see Patricia’s website at www.beyournote.com

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.

Are you Perplexed, Bewildered, Dazed or Confused about your health insurance?

Tis the season to talk about your healthcare!

Medicare Annual Enrollment:

October 15 – December 7th!

Obamacare Open Enrollment:

November 1 – December 15th

Karen Vachon, Licensed Health Insurance agent helps senior citizens, families, and individuals navigate their health protection options. From Medicare to Obamacare, she tackles the individual needs of her clients and their situations – from rising health insurance premiums, prescription costs, doctor networks and federal penalties, Karen taps into available resources and options to meet the life style needs for life’s twists, turns, and surprises.

Whether you are a senior planning for retirement and transitioning from individual or employer coverage or an under 65 individual, family, or self-employed concerned about rising premiums, Karen not only helps people weigh their carrier options, she educates people on how to optimize the value of their plan from preventive care to Medicare 101. “Knowing how your coverage works is more important than simply having it!”

With overlapping enrollment periods, it is true what they say: “When it rains; it pours!” It is a busy season. For personal attention, book your appointment today! Karen books up quickly. 730-2664

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.

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.

Live at The Cape Elizabeth Home In South Portland While Enjoying Our Maine Winter!

There is a lot to love about our beautiful Maine winters, but the stormy weather does bring it’s challenges! At the Cape Elizabeth Home, seniors can really enjoy our winter wonderland, without the burdens and hazards that it can bring.

The Cape Elizabeth Home offers independent living in a comfortable and friendly atmosphere, with staff on hand 24/7. With three delicious meals served daily, plus laundry and housekeeping service, we can ensure that your winter will be worry free. Come and join us for activities and entertainment to make your day merry and bright. All at a remarkably affordable price, right in your own community!

Whether you are looking for a short-term ‘winter home’ or a home for year-round, this could be the perfect time to settle in. Give us a call and arrange a tour to see if The Cape Elizabeth Home is right for you! You can find us on facebook at The Cape Elizabeth Home, call us at 799-4992 or contact us on our web site at Cape Elizabeth Home.org

January is “Get Organized” Month!

A favorite New Year’s resolution is to “get organized.” 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 if you’re overwhelmed by overflowing closets, cabinets, and other storage spaces, then what? A professional organizer can guide you, physically help you, keep you on task, and develop systems for you. Call me, 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. I can also help you downsize and stage your home for sale using your own furnishings. You will be amazed at what we can accomplish in 3 to 4 hours! For more information and organizing tips, check out www.SanctuaryHomeOrganizing.com. Contact me today at 207-272-6027 or leslieg@maine.rr.com. “Your home should be your sanctuary.”

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