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December 8, 2016

Toy Safety

The year was 1968 and for Christmas, I received my favorite game, KerPlunk. I loved that game. It and pick-up sticks were my go-to activities. Both time-tested beloved games required skinny, pointed, sharp sticks and the one, small marbles. Not exactly child friendly! I can definitely remember those sharp sticks being used as weapons in our house. My sisters and I would poke (stab) each other and you know how it goes, someone always got hurt (usually me as I was the youngest.) This is nothing new under the sun. My own children, now in their 20s, recently revealed the misuse of toy parts…think Legos becoming missiles aimed at the other sibling. What has changed are the standards for the toy industry. Those standards have changed over the years in response to childhood injuries and deaths due to unsafe toys. Consider that even with improved standards, 188,400 children under the age of 15 years were seen in emergency departments for toy-related injuries in the year 2011; that is 516 children every day. According to Safekids.org, more than a third of those injured were children 5 and under. Choking is a particular risk for kids ages 3 or younger because they tend to put objects in their mouths. Standards in the last two decades have improved. As of 1995, any toys made in or imported to the United States must comply with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Being aware of the safety standards is important, but perhaps more important is a parent’s judgement and supervision. When choosing a toy, consider the child’s temperament, habits, and behaviors. Consider the child’s age and development and always read the instructions and warning labels to make sure it is right for the little one. In addition, parents or caregivers should supervise play and watch out for unsafe use of the toy or choking hazards. Remember age levels for toys are determined by safety factors not the child’s intelligence or maturity. This means that even if your child is “advanced,” the toy still might not be safe for him or her due to physical size or dexterity. Kidshealth.org offers the following age-specific guidelines for choosing the right toys: For Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers Toys should be large enough — at least 1¼ inches (3 centimeters) in diameter and 2¼ inches (6 centimeters) in length — so that they can't be swallowed or lodged in the windpipe. A small-parts tester, or choke tube, can determine if a toy is too small. These tubes are designed to be about the same diameter as a child's windpipe. If an object fits inside the tube, then it's too small for a young child. If you can't find a choke tube, a toilet paper roll can be used for the same purpose. Avoid marbles, coins, balls, and games with balls that are 1.75 inches (4.4 centimeters) in diameter or less because they can become lodged in the throat above the windpipe and restrict breathing. Battery-operated toys should have battery cases that secure with screws so that kids cannot pry them open. Batteries and battery fluid pose serious risks, including choking, internal bleeding, and chemical burns. When checking a toy for a baby or toddler, make sure it's unbreakable and strong enough to withstand chewing. Also, make sure it doesn't have: sharp ends or small parts like eyes, wheels, or buttons that can be pulled loose small ends that can extend into the back of the mouth strings longer than 7 inches (18 centimeters) parts that could become pinch points for small fingers Most riding toys can be used once a child is able to sit up well while unsupported - but check with the manufacturer's recommendation. Riding toys like rocking horses and wagons should come with safety harnesses or straps and be stable and secure enough to prevent tipping. Stuffed animals and other toys that are sold or given away at carnivals, fairs, and in vending machines are not required to meet safety standards. Check carnival toys carefully for loose parts and sharp edges before giving them to your infant. For Grade-Schoolers Bicycles, scooters, skateboards, and inline skates should never be used without helmets that meet current safety standards and other recommended safety gear, like hand, wrist and shin guards. Look for CPSC or Snell certification on the labels. Nets should be well constructed and firmly attached to the rim so that they don't become strangulation hazards. Toy darts or arrows should have soft tips or suction cups at the end, not hard points. Toy guns should be brightly colored so they cannot be mistaken for real weapons, and kids should be taught to never point darts, arrows, or guns at anyone. BB guns or pellet rifles should not be given to kids under the age of 16. Electric toys should be labeled UL, meaning they meet safety standards set by Underwriters Laboratories. The following websites offer more in-depth information about toy safety: Consumer Product Safety Commission – https://www.cpsc.gov/safety-education/safety-guides/toys/ Kids Health – http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/safe-toys.html Safe Kids Worldwide – https://www.safekids.org/safetytips/field_risks/toy-safety Lorraine Wichtowski is a community health educator at Noyes Health in Dansville. If you have questions or suggestions for future articles she can be reached at lwichtowski@noyeshealth.org or 585-335-4327. ... Read More

December 2, 2016

Holiday Wellness

The day after Thanksgiving has always been designated as Christmas tree day in our household. From the time the kiddos were wee little ones, we bundled up everyone, headed out to the hills of Springwater, and cut down our Christmas tree at our friend’s tree farm. The tree was then set up in the corner of the living room, lights put on, and ornaments hung. Of course, some years were more idyllic than others….think children crying from one too many snowballs in the face, dad getting more than a tad irritated with the tree and unwieldly tree stand, and kitty cats toppling thoroughly decorated trees (not once but twice!). And of course, those were all small issues compared to the years when Grandma had cancer or Dad had a heart attack. Those were the years when we all tried to hold it together, put on a happy face, and trudge through the holidays. The reality is not every holiday season is a Hallmark movie with beautiful people, houses, and decorations and with relationships that all work out in the end. Life brings with it certain stressors and the holiday season can add to them with parties, shopping, baking, wrapping, cleaning, entertaining, and expectations; not to mention finances and families. Even in the best of years, there is bound to be stress as we try to fit everything in. No matter what life is bringing you this holiday season, managing stress and staying healthy is crucial to your mental and physical well-being. Taking some time for relaxation and keeping it all in perspective is the key to not only surviving the holidays but perhaps really enjoying them as well. The American Psychological Association and the Mayo Clinic have the following tips for coping with holiday stress: Be Realistic. The holidays don’t have to be perfect. Families grow and change over time. Being flexible with traditions and creating new traditions together makes for a happier holiday for everyone. Stick to your budget. Decide on your food and gift budget ahead of time and stick to it. If you don’t, not only will December be stressful but January will as well when the credit card bill lands in your mailbox. Take a bit of time to relax. Make some time for yourself. Fitting in a 15-20 minute catnap, taking a quiet walk by yourself, or listening to some great music may be just enough to clear your mind before you tackle the next project. Don’t stuff your feelings but reach out. If someone close to you has recently died, you can’t be with loved ones, or the holidays are the anniversary of something traumatic, acknowledge those feelings. It is OK and perfectly normal to feel sadness and grief. You can’t force yourself to be happy just because it is the holidays. That being said, often the best antidote is reaching out. If you feel lonely and isolated, seek out community, religious, or social events. Consider volunteering. Helping others is frequently a great way to lift your spirits. NOTE: If you feel persistently sad or anxious for an extended period of time, speak with your physician. If you feel that you may harm yourself or others, call 911. Learn to say no. Friends and colleagues will understand if you can’t participate in every project or activity. Plan ahead and keep a calendar so you don’t overschedule. To learn more about stress management and the holidays, try these websites: American Psychological Association at http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/holiday-season.aspx or the Mayo Clinic at http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress/art-20047544. Lorraine Wichtowski is a community health educator at Noyes Health in Dansville. If you have questions or suggestions for future articles she can be reached at lwichtowski@noyeshealth.org or 585-335-4327. ... Read More

November 28, 2016

Understanding Pre-Diabetes

With November being National Diabetes month, I hope you have read the past three weeks of articles about diabetes, and have become more familiar with the condition and the tools and education available. At this point, some of you may be feeling “safe” from this condition. So my question this week is; what do you know about Pre-diabetes? According to the Centers for Disease Control, pre-diabetes affects 86 million individuals with only 10% of these individuals are aware that they are pre-diabetic with 51% of pre-diabetics over the age of 65 years. Pre-diabetes is not a new disease. This condition has been around a long time under different names; Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT) or Impaired Fasting Glucose (IFG). With pre-diabetes, fasting blood sugars are elevated somewhat, 100mg – 125mg. This range of blood sugar is not high enough to put the person in the diabetes category. It is also important to note that there may not be any signs or symptoms that the individual is having a problem. Pre-diabetes is just that, a condition where the system of the metabolism of glucose is challenged, and there is the good news! By making small lifestyle changes, 50 – 58% of those with pre-diabetes will be able to avoid the diabetes diagnosis. This is one reason that the name, Pre-diabetes was adopted. In the past when an individual was told they had IGT or IFG, they were typically not advised of the relationship to diabetes, and were seldom motivated to make the lifestyle changes necessary to ward off diabetes. To those of you reading this, where do you go from here to learn if you are among the 86 million with pre-diabetes? First, start with your risk factors for diabetes. You are at risk if you have a history of diabetes in your family or ladies, if you had gestational diabetes during a pregnancy. You are at risk if you are overweight, have high blood pressure or blood fats and lead a sedentary lifestyle. You are at risk if your ethnicity is African American, Native American, Latino or Pacific Islander. Second, pre-diabetes is diagnosed with a HgA1c between 5.7-6.4 or fasting blood sugar between 100mg – 125mg. Talk to your Health Care Provider to find out if either of these tests has been done and what was the result? Education is available and may be closer than you think. Learn about some simple changes in lifestyle you can make that will go a long way to preventing diabetes from getting a hold on you. A weight loss of only 7% of your current weight is an excellent start along with a slow increase in activity. With the cold weather and snow coming, try walking on the commercials only of one hour of TV. By the end of the show you will have gotten about 25-30 minutes of exercise! If your blood pressure and blood fats; cholesterol, triglycerides are up, work with your physician and registered dietitian to get them down. Remember, diabetes, once diagnosed, does not go away. Take the steps today to be proactive, learn about your health and if you are one of the 79 million with pre-diabetes, see what you can do to be among the 50% - 58% who will not go on to become diabetics. The Diabetes Self-Management Program at Noyes Health is recognized by the American Association of Diabetes Educators and is staffed with an RN CDE and RN Health Educator. The program is available in Geneseo, Dansville, Hornell and four area Health Care Provider offices. Call 585-335-4355 for additional information. Nancy M. Johnsen RN, CDE is a Certified Diabetes Educator and Community Health Education Coordinator and Coordinator of the Diabetes Education Program at Noyes Health. ... Read More

November 22, 2016

UR Medicine Noyes Gives Thanks!

Community Giving Continues to Support the new Ann and Carl Myers Cancer Center at UR Medicine / Noyes Health Cancer Center Building Project nears Completion with opening anticipated early in 2017 As the Ann and Carl Myers Cancer Center on the campus of Noyes Memorial Hospital in Dansville nears completion, area residents continue to give generously to support the project. UR Medicine / Noyes Health staff member Ashley Derrenbacher organized the second annual Rib Fest at Jack’s Place in Dansville earlier this month. She and Jack’s Place owner and chef Jason Howard raised $700 for the Ann and Carl Myers Cancer Center! For the third year in a row, Wayland Cohocton High School freshman Blake Zastawrny sold cancer awareness bracelets to raise money for the Cancer Center. He toured the almost complete project with his mom Sherill and presented a check for $486. The Dansville Lady Mustangs soccer team and the Wayland Cohocton Lady Eagles soccer team raised $700 in a goal-scoring challenge and donated the proceeds to the Cancer Center. Not to be outdone, the Mustangs Boys’ soccer team raised $1400 for the Cancer Center as well. The Dansville School GETT (Girls Empowered Through Technology) produced and sold t-shirts at a two week entrepreneurial summer camp, raising a total of $2,373.09! “We are so grateful for the on-going support of this project,” says UR Medicine / Noyes Health CEO Amy Pollard. “So many members of our community and those they love are impacted by cancer and the community has responded by helping us make high quality cancer treatment more accessible. We can’t wait to get the new cancer center open!” Jon Shay, chair of the Foundation for Noyes Health, also expressed his gratitude. “It’s Thanksgiving,” Shay said, “and we are so thankful for the effort put forth each and every day in support of this hospital and the entire organization. This is truly a community hospital system.” ... Read More

November 21, 2016

Understanding Type 2 Diabetes

With November being National Diabetes month, we will look at the type of diabetes that impacts the greatest number of individuals. Type 2 diabetes affects about 90-95% of the 29.1 million Americans who have diabetes. This form of diabetes used to be called Adult Onset Diabetes but no more. Type 2 diabetes represents anywhere from 8% to 45% of all the diabetes diagnosed in children and adolescents. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the greatest percentage of type 2 diabetes is in the over 65 years age group. Type 2 diabetes has an insidious onset. The usual signs of excessive thirst, excessive urination and hunger may not be present. In their place may be a general fatigue, a dry mouth or slow wound healing. This is one reason that the condition can go undiagnosed for a while which makes regular check-ups important even when you feel fine. Type 2 diabetes is chronic and progressive. The beta cells in the pancreas are secreting less and less insulin. Partner this with increased resistance on the part of the body’s cells, usually the muscle cells, to use the insulin the body is producing, and the result is a high blood sugar. Type 2 diabetes can be diagnosed with two fasting blood sugars on different days, equal to or above 126mg or a hemoglobin A1c of 6.5 or greater. If the individual has some of the classic symptoms, a casual blood sugar over 200mg can confirm the diagnosis. The main contributing factors for type 2 diabetes in adults, adolescents and children are obesity and a sedentary lifestyle. Other risk factors include a family history of diabetes, ones ethnicity which can increase risk if the individual is African American, Hispanic, or Native American. Education, weight loss and increased activity are the places to start when treating type 2 diabetes. The goal with any diabetes diagnosis is to lower blood sugar (glucose) through self-management. Working with your health care provider (HCP) and learning about the condition with a certified diabetes educator starts one down this important path. For some patients, weight loss and increased activity aren’t enough to lower the blood sugar so your HCP may start oral medications, one of the non-insulin injection medications or insulin. Good self-management of diabetes also includes daily self-glucose monitoring and with the wide selection of glucometers these days, it is easy to find one to match the individual and important that their insurance favors the meter as well as this will help with co-pays for test strips. Self–management also includes taking medications as prescribed, keeping appointments with your HCP and getting blood work as ordered. One blood test, the HbA1c (mentioned above) is usually ordered every 3 or 6 months. This test lets you and your HCP know what your average blood sugar has been over the last three months as it is the weighted average of the amount of glucose glycated or “stuck” to the red blood cells. The American Diabetes Association recommends a HgA1c of less than 7% as a first step. Self-management also includes regular foot checks, regular dental checks and eye exams that include the visualization of the retina. It also includes regular blood work to monitor cholesterol levels and kidney function. My message this week is the same as last week, if you have diabetes, get educated and get involved with the self-management of your diabetes. Make sure you have the most current information and tools to keep your blood sugar in a normal range. To find the certified diabetes educator and recognized diabetes program closest to you, go to the American Association of Diabetes Educators website. The Diabetes Self Management Program at Noyes Health is recognized by the American Association of Diabetes Educators and is staffed with an RN CDE and RN Health Educator. The program is available in Geneseo, Dansville, Hornell and four area Health Care Provider offices. Call 335-4355 for additional information. Nancy M. Johnsen RN, CDE is a Certified Diabetes Educator and Community Health Education Coordinator and Coordinator of the Diabetes Education Program at Noyes Health. ... Read More

November 14, 2016

Understanding Type 1 Diabetes

Since November is National Diabetes month, it is a good time to raise awareness about this condition which affects 29.1 million Americans, about 5% of whom have Type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is best described as an autoimmune disorder where the persons own body destroys the pancreatic beta cells, the very cells that make insulin. Without insulin to enable glucose to move from the blood into the body’s cells, blood sugars are high. Although 70% of the cases of Type 1 diabetes are diagnosed before age 30, the diagnosis of type 1 diabetes can be made at any age. Type 1 diabetes is more common in children. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) more than 18,000 young people under the age of 20 years are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes every year. The goal for these individuals is to maintain their blood sugar as near normal as possible to lower the complications associated with high blood sugar (please note; there are different blood sugar goals depending on the age of the person). This can be a challenge for children and they need the active involvement of parents and family. A healthy lifestyle that includes good food choices and exercise is a must, along with age appropriate self-management of the condition. We have come a long way with the tools available to help the individual with this task, just ask anyone who was diagnosed with diabetes 50, 60 or 70 years ago! Health Care Providers (HCP) have long acting, rapid acting, fast acting and intermediate acting insulin. Sliding scales are sliding away with carbohydrate counting stepping in. I remember the days before glucometers when sugar levels were tested with a special stick dipped in the patients’ urine. We now have a wide selection of glucometers. They come in many shapes and sizes, a range of prices, some talk, some have graphs, some newer ones have touch screens and all have the capability of being downloaded into a computer or to your phone. The number of diabetics using insulin pumps is growing every day with the newest advancement being the addition of a sensor that will tell the individual if their sugar is on the way up or down. This technology uses interstitial glucose readings, not blood sugar readings. Lastly, exchange diets have been replaced with a new term, consistent carbohydrates. How do you sift through all of this information if you’re a newly diagnosed diabetic and come up with a self-management plan that fits your lifestyle? If you have been diabetic any number of years, are you taking advantage of as many of these new tools as possible to improve the self-management of your diabetes? The answer to these questions; work with your HCP, get educated and develop a team that you can call on for assistance. Your team should include your primary care physician, an endocrinologist, and a certified diabetes educator and registered dietitian. Your team may also include a podiatrist, ophthalmologist, nephrologist, dental professional and mental health professional. Don’t turn your back on diabetes. Whether you are the parent of a child who is diabetic, an adolescent or an adult; if you have been diabetic many years or are newly diagnosed, stay educated and make sure you have the most current information and tools to do what one patient said, “learn to think like a pancreas”. To find the certified diabetes educator and recognized diabetes program closest to you, go to the American Association of Diabetes Educators website. The Diabetes Self-Management Program at Noyes Health is recognized by the American Association of Diabetes and is staffed with an RN CDE and RN Health Educator. The program is available in Geneseo, Dansville, Hornell and four area Health Care Provider offices. Call 335-4355 for additional information. Nancy M. Johnsen RN, CDE is a Certified Diabetes Educator and Community Health Education Coordinator and Coordinator of the Diabetes Education Program at Noyes Health.... Read More

November 7, 2016

Diabetes Explained

November is National Diabetes month. According to the New York State Department of Health 2013 statistics, diabetes affects 10.6% of New York State residents and 10.5% of the population of Livingston County. Of this, approximately 27% have no idea that they have diabetes. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the total health care cost for adults over 18 years with diabetes was 245 billion in 2013. For someone with diabetes, the health care costs are more than twice that of someone without diabetes. Quite a price! Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism that leads to a higher than normal blood sugar. The condition is both chronic and progressive. When we eat, our body breaks down food into glucose. Glucose is our main source of energy and the only source of energy for our brains. Glucose passes into our blood stream where it is available to our cells for energy. Insulin must be present for the glucose to move into the cell. About 1% of the pancreas is responsible for producing insulin from Beta Cells and the secretion of insulin should happen automatically when we eat. Depending on how this process is interrupted or challenged, there are different types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes affects about 5% of the diabetic population and those with this type have no insulin production left in the pancreas. The remaining 90-95% have type 2 diabetes where either insufficient insulin is produced by the beta cells or the body’s cells have become resistant to the insulin and don’t use the insulin efficiently or both. Make a note, type 2 diabetes is highest in individuals over 65 years and is on the rise in our youth. Gestational diabetes affects women during pregnancy. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), about one in every 15 pregnant women will be diagnosed with this type of diabetes and of this number, about 40% will go on to develop type 2 diabetes. There are a number of risk factors for diabetes, some we can control and some we cannot. Risk factors we cannot control include; Our age; the older we get, the more our risk increases. Our family history; having a parent or sibling who has or had the disease will increase our risk Our ethnic background; being African American, Native American, Hispanic, Asian American or a Pacific Islander will increase our risk. For women, if you had gestational diabetes or a baby weighing nine pounds or more, your risk is increased What about the risk factors we can control? Our weight; weighing more than we should increases our risk Our inactivity; lack of regular exercise and the predominance of the more sedentary lifestyle increases our risk The classic signs of diabetes are increased thirst, increased urination and increased eating with no weight gain. With some types of diabetes, these signs are not present due to the insidious onset of the condition. Where do you start? Knowledge is the first step starting with your blood sugar. If you are not diabetic but have some of the above risk factors; do you know what your fasting blood sugar is? If you are a diabetic; do you know what your HbA1c test is? (to be explained in future articles). Armed with the answers to these questions you are now ready for the next step which is prevention and self-management. Both include a healthy lifestyle of maintaining a healthy weight, exercising and eating a well-balanced diet. If you have symptoms, don’t ignore them. Be alert and make an appointment with your physician. Get educated about the condition and take charge. The CDC estimates that in 2010 only 57.4% of individuals with diabetes took advantage of Diabetes Self-Management Classes, in New York State, only 40.9% took advantage of this resource. The Diabetes Self-Management Program at Noyes Health is recognized by the American Association of Diabetes Educators and is staffed with an RN CDE and RN Health Educator. The program is available in Geneseo, Dansville, Hornell and four area Health Care Provider offices. Call 335-4355 for additional information. Join me in coming weeks as I look at the specifics of some of the types of diabetes, new advances in treatment options and management tools. Nancy M. Johnsen RN, CDE is a Certified Diabetes Educator and Community Health Education Coordinator and Coordinator of the Diabetes Education Program at Noyes Health.... Read More

November 3, 2016

Look Good Feel Better - Helping Women with Cancer

Cancer can rob a woman of her energy, appetite, and strength. But it doesn’t have to take away her self-confidence. Look Good Feel Better is a FREE program that teaches beauty techniques to women in active cancer treatment. The workshop includes skincare, makeup application, nail care and accessory style tips. Every woman will receive a complementary makeup kit to take home. The next Look Good Feel Better session is on Monday, November 28th from 10 am to noon in conference room D at Noyes Health hospital in Dansville. Registration is required, please call 1-800-227-2345. ... Read More

November 1, 2016

UR Medicine / Noyes Health Welcomes Dr. Jean Archer-Colella, Board-Certified Podiatrist

Dr. Archer-Colella, a board certified podiatrist, joins the Genesee Regional Orthopedics and Sports Medicine team at UR Medicine / Noyes Health. UR Medicine / Noyes Health welcomes Dr. Jean Archer-Colella, board-certified in podiatric medicine and podiatric orthopedics, to the Genesee Regional Orthopedics and Sport Medicine team. She will begin seeing patients in Dansville on November 1, 2016. Dr. Archer-Colella uses medical and surgical approaches to treat a variety of foot, ankle and leg disorders, including those related to diabetes and vascular disease. Her expertise includes treatment of sports-related injuries and biomechanical issues, and wound care. A graduate of the New York College of Podiatric Medicine, Dr. Archer-Colella worked at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center in Richmond Hill (Queens), New York and, most recently, in private practice affiliated with Northwell Health’s Long Island Jewish Medical Center. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Archer-Collela, please call (585)335-9360. UR Medicine / Noyes Health is a diverse and comprehensive healthcare system which includes the 67-bed Nicholas H. Noyes Memorial Hospital and the Ann and Carl Myers Cancer Center in Dansville, New York, Noyes Health Services in Geneseo, New York, Noyes Kidney and Dialysis Center in Geneseo and Noyes Mental Health Services in Dansville. Noyes Health is accredited by the Joint Commission and serves all of Livingston County and parts of Steuben, Allegany and Ontario Counties. Nicholas H. Noyes Memorial Hospital is a community hospital and the only Emergency Department in Livingston County, located off Interstate 390, Exit 4. For more information about Noyes Health visit our website at www.noyes-health.org. For more information visit www.noyes-health.org, the Noyes Health Facebook Page or contact Mary Sue Dehn, Director of PR/Foundation, mdehn@noyeshealth.com or 585-335-4323.... Read More

October 27, 2016

7th Annual Caregiver Retreat

The children are grown up. You are established in your job or maybe retirement is right around the corner and then you get the phone call. Your parent was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and can no longer live alone. You are now a 24/7 primary caregiver for an older adult. You are exhausted, stressed, and worn out. Does this scenario sound familiar? Perhaps you or someone you know is caregiving for a loved one either with Alzheimer’s or a chronic illness. If you are, you are not alone. Nearly 44 million adults provided care to an adult or child in the last year; that is more than one out of every six adults in the United States. More than 34 million of those were caring for a frail elder. And according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration of Aging, those numbers will only increase as the baby boomers continue to age. By 2030, the number of Americans age 65 or older is expected to double to 72 million. The stress on caregivers and their families is tremendous. In 2011, the American Psychological Association conducted the Stress in America survey. They found that on a scale of 1 to 10, caregivers mean level of stress was 6.5 compared with 5.2 among the general public. 55% of those folks said they were overwhelmed in the amount of care they must provide. The good news is that there are resources to help caregivers through the journey of taking care of a loved one. Locally, the Noyes Caregiver Resource Center, along with the Office for Aging, Mental Health Association and Alzheimer’s Association is sponsoring the 7th Annual Caregiver Retreat. It will be held at Celebrate Family Church in Leicester on November 12th from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. The Caregiver Retreat is for caregivers taking care of loved ones with Alzheimer’s or other chronic long term health conditions. Community vendors will be on hand to answer questions about services. Everyone gets a complimentary spaghetti lunch and door prizes will be drawn. The keynote speaker this year is Caren Kolerski. In a lively interactive session, Caren will facilitate fun, stress awareness activities, followed by a full Laughter Yoga session for stress-relief, joy and wellness! The guest speaker panel line-up includes representatives from the Office for Aging, Venture Forthe, Lifespan Finger Lakes Caregiver Institute, LAW NY, and the Alzheimer’s Association. Registration is required for event. Call 585-335-4359 or email: caregiver@noyeshealth.org to reserve your spot. Respite care and activities will be available for caregivers who bring their loved ones. Call the Alzheimer’s Association at 1-800-272-3900 to request respite during this event. The Noyes Caregiver Resource Center comes alongside family caregivers in Livingston County and provides them with the support they need to meet the challenges that come with caring for someone at home with Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other chronic health conditions. The Caregiver Resource Center supports caregivers by providing information and assistance, education, support groups, and respite care services. Caregivers often neglect themselves and suffer with high rates of stress-related illness that affect their ability to be a successful caregiver. It is vital for caregivers to take care of themselves and educate themselves on resources available in their community. For more information on the Caregiver Resource Center services or if you are interested in volunteering to provide respite services for caregivers, call Christa Barrows (585) 335-4358 or e-mail: caregiver@noyeshealth.org This article was written jointly by Christa Barrows and Lorraine Wichtowski, community health educator. If you have questions or suggestions for future articles Lorraine Wichtowski can be reached at lwichtowski@noyeshealth.org or 585-335-4327. ... Read More

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