Health and Wellness

LRVNA: September is Fruit and Veggies Month

MEREDITH – The Lakes Region Visiting Nurse Association is participating in Fruit and Veggie-More Matters Month.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services hope that everyone will start eating more fruits and vegetables to benefit from the many health benefits they can provide. People who eat a healthy balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables can help lower their risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer, obesity and high blood pressure.

Here are some ideas to help you and your family fit more fruits and vegetables into your day:

• Cut up fruits and veggies ahead of time so they’re ready for quick, healthy snacks.

• Keep a bowl of fruit handy where the whole family can see it.

• Keep dried fruit in your car or purse.

• Pack pre-cut fruit and veggies into snack-size bags for perfectly-portioned munchies. Keep them eye level in the fridge for easy access.

The LRVNA team of nurses encourages everyone to try and incorporate a few of these routines into your daily life starting this September! Studies show that most Americans do not consume enough potassium, calcium, vitamin D or dietary fiber. Eating fresh is best. Many canned and frozen vegetables often are full of sodium, so always best to eat fresh. The same is true with fruits. Canned and frozen fruits many contain added sugars that add calories. One cup of canned sliced peaches in heavy syrup has about 46 grams of sugar, while an actual peach has only 13 grams of sugar. Eating fresh is the bottom line.

Program on discussing difficult subjects regarding healthcare choices

 MEREDITH — Sometimes we wait too long to share with our loved ones how we feel about what we want regarding medical decisions and life sustaining treatment. The earlier we start having these conversations, the better.

Join Interlakes Community Caregivers, Lakes Region Visiting Nurse Association and the Meredith Parks and Recreation Department for a free presentation entitled “Having Conversations that Matter” on Wednesday, Sept. 20 from 10 a.m.  to 12 noon at the Meredith Community Center, One Circle Drive, Meredith. The program is free and open to the public. RSVP by calling 253-9275.

“People often ask: How do I talk to my family? How do I talk to my doctor? What questions should I ask my doctor?” said Mary Ellen McCormack, Hospice Director and Nurse Liaison with Lakes Region Visiting Nurse Association. who will be the lead presenter at the event. “Supporting people with and through transitions in their lives is really my passion and expertise.”

This presentation is a collaborative effort by Interlakes Community Caregivers, Lakes Region Visiting Nurse Association, and the Meredith Community Center. It is offered as part of the ICCI ongoing volunteer education series, LRVNA community outreach, and the Meredith Community Center’s Senior Center offerings. The program will include an open forum for questions and answers and the opportunity to discuss wants and needs of the senior community. Light refreshments will be served.

“How to deal with difficult subjects such as death and diagnosis was one of the top choices in a recent survey done by our volunteers to decide upcoming topics for our ongoing volunteer education,” said Ann Sprague, ICCI Executive Director. “We felt it was such an important subject that we’d open it up to the general public, with thanks to the LRVNA and Meredith Community Center.”

Mary Ellen McCormack, Hospice Director and Nurse Liaison at Lakes Region Visiting Nurse Association, is a Registered Nurse with a Bachelor of Science in Holistic Health and Wellness, and is a Certified Dementia Practitioner. Her diverse background includes Wellness Director at Plymouth State University, Director of Assisted Living at the Taylor Community in Laconia, and Hospice Director at Pemi-Baker Home Health and Hospice in Plymouth.

Interlakes Community Caregivers is a 501(c)3 nonprofit volunteer organization that provides supportive services to assist local residents in their daily lives to remain living independently in their own homes. Services include rides to medical and personal appointments, grocery shopping, and friendly visits and are provided at no charge.

ICCI is seeking volunteers to meet the current double-digit increases in demand. ICCI offers mileage reimbursement to its volunteer drivers, training, and flexibility to meet your personal schedule. Volunteers have the opportunity to stay active, maintain their skill sets, and meet interesting people while having a meaningful, positive and direct impact on the community.

To sign up for this free presentation, learn more about volunteer opportunities, or inquire about services, contact Ann Sprague, ICCI Executive Director, at 253-9275, ext. 4, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


09 07 Healthcare Conversations 

A free program titled “Having Conversations that Matter” will be presented on Sept. 20 at 10 a.m.  at the Meredith Community Center. Planning the event are, from left, Vint Choiniere, Meredith Parks & Recreation director;  Ann Sprague, Interlakes Community Caregivers executive director; and Mary Ellen McCormack, Lakes Region Visiting Nurse Hospice director and nurse liaison. (Courtesy photo)

Comfort Keepers - Caring for your feet as you age

By Martha Swats, owner/administrator, Comfort Keepers

Many older adults get frequent checkups, exercise regularly, and in general try to take good care of themselves, but one aspect of their health that they (and for that matter, younger people) frequently neglect is good foot care. Foot injury, neglect, and disease are major factors contributing to mobility, or lack thereof, in older adults.

In one study, 71 percent of respondents age 65 or older reported foot pain and problems, yet only 39 percent of them had sought medical advice and only 26 percent of them believe their foot problems were medical conditions.
Senior adults tend to experience more problems with their feet than younger adults simply because they have used them for longer. Women are four times more likely than men to have foot problems, probably because of the preponderance of high heels. Other conditions, such as diabetes and poor circulation can also affect foot health. The danger of neglecting feet can mean reduced quality of life; problems with coordination, balance, and gait, all of which produce an increased risk of falling; and can lead to diseases and infections. Like other parts of the body, however, good care and maintenance can go far in promoting health and ensuring that senior individuals remain mobile and independent.

Self-Care for feet
Healthy seniors should monitor foot health by regularly cleaning and examining the feet for any changes or irregularities. Using mild soaps followed with lotion helps keep the skin from drying out, cracking, and itching. Ensuring the feet remain dry helps to fight off fungal infections as well and keeping the feet warm can aid in circulation.
Keeping toenails properly trimmed helps prevent problems such as in-grown nails and toe pain. Toenails should be cut straight across, not curved, using clippers designed for toenails, and should be slightly longer than the tips of the toes. Also regularly stretching the legs, calves, and feet; walking; and wearing appropriate shoes promote foot health and prevent conditions such as plantar fasciitis, which can cause debilitating heel pain.

Assisting with foot care
Caring for feet can become difficult for seniors who may be less flexible or have other impairments that prevent them from reaching, cleaning, and examining their feet. Caregivers may need to help in these cases, especially in seniors with medical problems, such as diabetes that can severely impact the feet, to ensure that feet and toenails are properly cared for.
Family caregivers should ensure feet are kept clean and dry and monitor the toenails for deformities or misshapenness, trimming them as necessary. They should also examine the feet for any fungal infections, sores, cuts, or cracking from dryness. These conditions can lead to disease, infection, and amputation in seniors with diabetes and other medical conditions, so they need to be addressed promptly by medical professionals. Caregivers can also aid with circulation by providing a stool for senior individuals to elevate their feet, and by providing ample opportunities for the older individual to sit and rest when out walking.

For information on how in-home care can help you or someone you love, contact your local Comfort Keepers office today.

15 area dentists listed among the state's best


LACONIA — Fifteen area dentists are among 257 statewide to have been named by New Hampshire Magazine as 2017 Top Dentists in the state.

The list includes specialist and general dentistry practitioners from throughout the state. In celebration, New Hampshire Magazine hosted a reception to honor and recognize winners at the Manchester Country Club.

Those Lakes Region dentists honored are: Sharon Johnson, Belmont; Jonathan H. Terhune, Franklin; John E. Beinoras, Gilford; Ashleigh F. Jones, Lakes Region Dental Care, Gilford; B. Chandler Jones, Lakes Region Dental Care, Gilford; Melissa A. Kennell, Children's Dentistry, Gilford; Matthew B. Smith, Children's Dentistry, Gilford; Darren Boles, Dental Expressions, Laconia; Shauna L. Gauthier, Oral Surgery of New England & Dental Implant Center, Laconia; Alan F. Kennell, Kennell Orthodontics, Laconia; George T. Felt, Meredith Dental, Meredith; Nick I. Fleury, Circle Dental, Meredith; Derek R. Blackwelder, Winnisquam Dental, Winnisquam; Kristine E. Blackwelder, Winnisquam Dental, Winnisquam; Robert M. Maguire Jr., Wolfeboro.

In its 14th year honoring New Hampshire dentists, New Hampshire Magazine commissioned professional polling firm, USA topDentists, to ask New Hampshire’s dental community to vote on the state’s top dental specialists. The 2017 list is based on thousands of detailed evaluations of dental professionals by their peers.


HEARING MATTERS — What is that noise? Why won't it go away?

Do you hear noises in your ear(s) or head? Are they noises that nobody hears but you? Do you miss your peace and quiet? That ringing-in-the-ears noise is called tinnitus. Tinnitus has many possible causes and is very common. Some people experience tinnitus as symptom of damage to their hearing. Sometimes tinnitus is brought on by stress or can be due to medication. Large doses of aspirin will cause tinnitus and hearing loss.
Presently, there are no medications that are scientifically proven to relieve tinnitus. Many over-the-counter remedies for tinnitus may actually increase tinnitus or cause other problems. The best solution for tinnitus is to discuss it with your audiologist, physician or pharmacist. Always discuss medications with your health care provider, before making changes. It is a good idea to check your hearing to find out if your tinnitus is part of a developing hearing loss.
The best way to find some relief from tinnitus is to find other sounds to focus on instead. Turn on your TV, stereo or fan and try to focus your attention on that sound instead. Distract your brain from the sound you don’t want. If you train your brain not to attend to it, you won’t notice it as much. This works just like the fact that most people are not aware of the sound of their breathing. Their brain knows it’s not important and doesn’t call your attention to it. Hearing aids have been proven to provide help with tinnitus.
William Shatner, AKA Captain Kirk, developed tinnitus as a result of an explosion on the set of Star Trek. He said, “tinnitus robbed me of my silence.” It may not be possible to get your silence back but you can get help to reduce the stress and frustration that result from tinnitus.