Category: Cancer

UV Safety Month – What you can do to prevent sunburn!

Skin is the body’s largest organ and skin cancer is the most diagnosed form of cancer in the United States. During UV Safety Month we want to remind Coloradans on some sun damage facts and tips. Please share this with you network, regardless of the state they live in. Skin cancer can happen anywhere!

  1. Exposure to the sun can cause heat exhaustion, dehydration, sunburn, skin cancer and wrinkles.
  2. Wear proper clothing when possible, i.e. long-sleeved shirts, pants.
  3. Remember to protect your head and eyes by wearing hats and sunglasses.
  4. Never stare at the sun!
  5. Stay in the shade when possible.
  6. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
  7. Wear SPF 30 sunscreen and apply multiple times per day (at least every 2 hours).
  8. Don’t forget to put sunscreen on your ears, back of neck, back of knees and under nose & chin.
  9. Reflective surfaces such as windows, water and snow can increase your chances of sunburn.
  10. UV rays are strongest between 10AM and 4pm. So try to avoid those times.
  11. Keep track of UV intensity scales so you know how to plan your day.

Stay safe and enjoy your summer!

 

8 Ways to Stay Healthy During the Summer

Blog written by JaNae Gregg, University of Northern Colorado student and Covell Care Intern.

Summer is right around the corner! And with that being said.. So is the summer heat. Summer is a wonderful time for to go for hikes, gardening, cookouts, and many other wonderful adventures that happen outside.  Unfortunately, enjoying these activities also means bracing the sometimes-unbearable heat that can occur.  That is why it is important to know the do’s and don’ts for a safe and healthy summer.

  1. Layer your clothing.  Yes, summer is hot, but many buildings have the AC on full blast.  By layering your clothing, you can stay cool outside, but warm inside.
  2. DRINK UP.  One of the important things to do during the summer is to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids but try avoiding caffeine.  Caffeine is a diuretic and can deplete our bodies of the liquid that we need.
  3. Cool off your kitchen.  Heating up the oven or stove can increase the temperature in your home.  Instead of cooking a meal that requires the oven substitute a fresh salad, sandwich, or smoothie for a meal.
  4. Wear eye protection.  Too much sun exposure can irritate and cause damage to your eyes.  Wearing sunglasses can protect your eyes preserve your vision.
  5. Keep track of the time.  Enjoy your outdoor activities, but don’t overdo your time in the sun.  If you enjoy exercising outside, be sure to do it in the early morning or in the evening when the sun isn’t at its peak.
  6. Monitor the air conditioning.  Our bodies naturally cool down at night to help us sleep.  Instead of using the air conditioner at night, try opening the windows or using a fan.  This way you stay cool, but not too cold where it could disrupt your sleep.
  7. Sunscreen.  While outside be sure to apply sunscreen to any exposed skin.  Also, be sure to toss out last summer’s sunscreen and purchase a new bottle.  The shelf life of sunscreen is only a yearlong and expired sunscreen won’t provide the protection that is needed.
  8. Add Chia to your diet.  Chia seeds help absorb the water in your gut slowly and release it throughout the day.  This will help ensure that you’re getting the most from the water that your drinking.

Please use these guidelines to ensure a healthy and fun summer!

 

Is your bowel or bladder controlling you???

People of all ages live with bowel and/or bladder issues. Bowel and bladder dysfunction arise for various reasons: childbirth, prostate issues, a recent surgery, cancer treatment, lack of pelvic floor strength, the food & drink a person consumes and the list goes on.

There is even a thought that incontinence is just a normal part of aging. I am here to tell you that is not the case. Whether you suffer from stress or urge bladder incontinence, bowel incontinence or mix…You can take back your life and make changes NOW!

It is good to understand what a healthy bowel and bladder look like.

  • The average bladder can hold 2 cups of urine before needing to be emptied.
  • We should urinate 6-8 times in 24 hours, and have a bowel movement 3x/day-3x/week. As we age we may need to go more because our bladder shrinks but should not need to go more than every 2 hours.
  • Urine should flow out easily without straining and should come out in a steady stream.
  • An urge is the sensation you feel as the bladder stretches and fills. It does not always mean your bladder is full and urges should be controlled.
  • Your bladder should be completely emptied when you use the toilet.
  • Void positioning: knees higher than hips, lean forward and put elbows on your knees, bulge out your abdomen and straighten your spine (squatting position).
  • Holding your bladder for an excessive time (more than 4 hours) is NOT healthy for your bladder.
  • Don’t go to the bathroom “just in case” or more than every 2 hours.
  • Drink 6-8 glasses of water everyday unless your physician advises otherwise. When your urine is dark and has a foul odor, you may not be taking in enough fluid.
  • Avoid food and drink irritants. Limit alcohol! Alcohol actually increases urine production and also makes it difficult for the brain to coordinate the bladder control.
  • Too much sugar and/or fatty foods, a sedentary lifestyle, medications, ignoring the need to have a BM are all potential causes of constipation.
  • Avoid constipation by having a balanced diet of fiber. Gradually increase fiber intake to 25-35 grams per day.

Did you get all of that? Follow these bladder/bowel guidelines and see if anything changes.

Have questions about irritants or fiber? Join Covell Care for an intimate presentation on on this topic March 7th 11:30-1:15 (includes lunch!), next week at The Hillcrest of Loveland, 535 Douglas Ave, Loveland, CO 80537. Contact the Hillcrest with questions & to RSVP: (970) 541-4173. https://www.mbkseniorliving.com/senior-living/co/loveland/hillcrest-of-loveland/

National Cancer Prevention Month – FEB

According the American Cancer Society in 2018, there will be an estimated 1,735,350 new cancer cases diagnosed and 609,640 cancer deaths in the United States. It is estimated that 25,570 new cases will be reported in Colorado alone. Among the highest reported are breast cancer, prostate and lung cancers.

Who is at risk? Cancer usually develops in older people. 87% of all cancers in the United States are diagnosed in people 50 years of age or older. Certain behaviors also increase risk, such as smoking, eating an unhealthy diet, or not being physically active. In the US, approximately 40 out of 100 men and 38 out of 100 women will develop cancer during
their lifetime.

What does this mean for you? Be proactive and start practicing good habits now to decrease your chances. Start by following these steps and always work with your physician in best practices for you individually.

These 7 tips from the Mayo Clinic will give you some simple steps to make big improvements:

  1. Don’t use tobacco products -Smoking has been linked to various types of cancer — including cancer of the lung, mouth, throat, larynx, pancreas, bladder, cervix and kidney.
  2. Eat a health diet – eat plenty of fruits & vegetables, drink alcohol in moderation or not at all and limit processed foods.
  3. Maintain a healthy weight and stay active – both weight & physical activity have been linked to cancer reduction.
  4. Protect yourself from the sun – use sunscreen & sunglasses, stay out of the mid-day sun and cover exposed areas.
  5. Get immunized – Cancer prevention includes protection from certain viral infections.  Ask your physician about Hep B and HPV vaccines.
  6. Avoid risky behaviors – practice safe sex & limit your partners.
  7. Get regular medical care – Regular self-exams & screenings for various types of cancers can increase your chances of early detection.

For more information on 2018 Cancer facts visit: https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/research/cancer-facts-and-statistics/annual-cancer-facts-and-figures/2018/cancer-facts-and-figures-2018.pdf

In honor of Andrew Potts, one of our occupational therapists who lost his battle with cancer we continue to share his story and legacy. Visit our website to learn about what Team AMP is doing for our community. www.covellcare.com/teamamp

Fort Collins Nurse/Author Releases New Book on Cancer Survivorship Care for Everyone

Working as an oncology nurse in the hospital, Alene Nitzky soon realized her skills and knowledge, as well as her co-workers’, were profoundly underutilized to meet the needs of patients undergoing cancer treatment. From the initial shock of a diagnosis, patients progressed to paralyzing fear around their mortality. Not knowing what to do, when, in what order, or who to rely on for help, patients missed key information that would have helped them go through the cancer patient experience with less distress and anxiety.

Afterward, patients were left to their own devices to recover, with little support or guidance, and few skills to help them restore their quality of life. Outside of the healthcare system, instead of taking a distant, clinical, big data approach, Nitzky describes meeting people where they were, in their homes, communities, and support groups, where she could listen to their everyday concerns- the ones they never had time to discuss in short medical appointments. Given time and active listening, they articulated their needs for practical skills in understanding health information, self-advocacy, and self-care that accommodates their lifestyles, and matches their values and preferences around quality of life.

In three, easy to understand, skill-based education programs aimed at closing gaps in information and understanding about cancer and survivors’ needs, the author calls for active prevention and preparation to reduce the trauma of a cancer diagnosis through C.A.R.E.: creativity, authenticity, resourcefulness, and empathy. Navigating the C will walk you through the steps you need to take to get your needs met in a system that so often fails cancer patients in finding the way back to themselves, and the possibility of emerging better than ever.

Everyone can expect to become empowered by reading this book by a passionate advocate for patients and healthcare workers: Patients, caregivers, and survivors will gain self-advocacy and self-care skills to have more control over their follow-up care experiences, and become more active and confident participants in their own healthcare. Ordinary citizens and those who have never had cancer will learn the simple steps they can take to reduce the trauma around an initial cancer diagnosis for themselves, or support their loved ones. Healthcare professionals will examine their own values around providing cancer treatment and survivorship care.

Finally, those on the fringes of clinical care- the decision-makers and administrators- will gain insight into what really happens to the end-users of cancer services and how their lives are impacted by their experiences in healthcare. Nitzky appeals for the importance of reducing the trauma of a cancer diagnosis, the intrinsic value of community programs, and smaller, individual approaches to cancer survivorship care, where big healthcare and big business miss the mark.

Navigating the C: A Nurse Charts the Course for Cancer Survivorship Care. By Alene Nitzky, Ph.D., RN, OCN. Blue Bayou Press, 2018. 216 pages. $19.95 paperback, $9.99 Kindle. Available on Amazon.

Navigating the C is available on Amazon:   https://a.co/ciTYFWi

Local Signing event at Elevation 5003 on January 28:   https://www.eventbrite.com/e/navigating-the-c-book-signing-meet-the-author-tickets-42151424044

February 12 at Raintree Athletic Club, and February 22 at Hope Lives! For more details, visit https://cancerharbors.com/events