Reasons to Donate Blood in January

January 6, 2012

The American Red Cross annually kicks off each year with Blood Donor Month.  It’s an excellent way to begin every year, reminding all of us to continue giving back to those in need.  In fact, did you know one donation can benefit three recipients?  What a wonderful way to give back to your community!  You can also reap health benefits by donating.  Here’s our list of reasons why you should donate blood this month:

  • More than 38,000 blood donations are needed each day & 1 car accident victim could require as many as 100 pints of blood.  The average donation is 1 pint, which means your gift is saving lives.
  • Donating blood reduces the excess build up of iron in your blood, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes.  By donating, you’re giving to someone else while also benefiting your own health.
  • Blood donation is also used to aid cancer patients and those suffering with sickle cell disease.  Many of us don’t consider the thousands of patients who need routine blood transfusions due to illness.

To learn more on how you can donate blood during the month of January and all year long, visit the American Red Cross Blood Donation page.  You can also get more health tips on how donating blood reduces your personal health risk through Livestrong.


The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society join forces with movie star Robert Pattinson

August 23, 2011

The Hollywood heartthrob, Robert Pattinson has joined with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to battle cancer.  He’s helping them raise awareness of the diseases through Cancer Bites.   It’s a way for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to educate and highlight life saving research.  The initiative will focus on supporting more research, as well as using modern social media tools to educate the public.  Currently you can begin tweeting about the initiative by using the hashtag #cancerbites.  You can also follow the initiative through the Twitter profiles @llsusa and @lymphoma.

If you have a family member suffering from these blood cancers you know the need for more research is vital.  Help spread the word and join Robert Pattinson in raising awareness. To learn more about this upcoming campaign, visit Cancer Bites and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society News.  Here’s a video clip from the Teen Choice Awards where he discusses the upcoming campaign.

Making the Right Choice – Adult Day Care or Assisted Living?

March 1, 2010

As your parents or loved ones are in need of extra care, it is vital to weigh the options between adult day care and assisted living. By comparing options, you will be able to make the right choice that is suitable for them. You want to provide them with quality care and still allow them to function as normally as they have before.

Advantages of Adult Day Care

  • Caregivers can continue working outside the home and receive help with the physical care of a loved one.
  • Caregivers avoid placing a loved one in institutional care.
  • Care receiver is able to stay at their home.
  • Adult day care includes services customized to the participant’s needs (healthcare, family counseling, nursing care, speech therapy, activities, meals)

Advantages of Assisted Living

  • Assisted living offers apartment-like facilities.
  • Tools are available to relieve everyday stress (grabbers to avoid picking something up).
  • Games and recreation help care receiver socialize and stay active.
  • Care receivers have freedom to choose whether they need the assistance of another.

For more information:

Adult Day Care

Assisted Living

All About The Heart

February 23, 2010

The human heart is what keeps your body moving, much like the engine of a car. Blood pumped by the heart is delivered to cells, organs, and tissues in the body. Like your engine, if you do not take proper care of your heart, it will not continue working correctly.

Dr. Denton A. Cooley, founder, president-emeritus, and surgeon-in-chief of the Texas Heart Institute, says some people will care for their car better than their own bodies. He says medical advances cannot rid heart disease, but prevention and good health can.

Taking care of your body is key to a healthy heart and lifestyle. Research indicates that it is necessary to exercise aerobically (brisk walking, jogging, or cycling, for example) at least three times a week for 30 minutes to condition your heart. Eating a low fat diet of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, and grains can help reduce your blood cholesterol.

Stress and alcohol are two factors that can affect your heart. Moderate amounts of alcohol are acceptable (one to two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women), but drinking more than the moderate amount can lead to high blood pressure, stroke, irregular heartbeats, and cardiomyopathy.  When feeling stressed, your heart races and blood pressure rises. Extra hormones and increased blood flow during the stress can injure the arteries. Being aware of heart disease risk factors before any signs of illness is essential. By reducing your risk, you can add more years to your life.

Visit Texas Heart Institute’s Healthy Heart Guide for more information.

Climate Change and Your Health

January 12, 2010

Climate experts say climate change will result in severe heat waves, a rise in sea levels, and extreme weather. All of these changes can affect human health directly and indirectly.

Increased temperatures can lead to increased heat exposure, causing conditions from heat rashes to a deadly heat stroke, drought, and increased aggravation of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.

There are ways to prevent heat related illnesses:

  • Make sure you have access to cooler temperatures. Check on the elderly and home bound neighbors to ensure their safety.
  • Avoid strenuous activity.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Dress in light clothing.

Extreme weather events include floods, hurricanes, drought, and wildfires. These events could also cause an aggravation in chronic diseases and mental health concerns due to a lack of care and displacement.

You and your family can be prepared in an emergency by planning ahead:

  • Contact the local county geologist or county planning department to see if your home is in a flash-flood-prone area or landslide-prone area.
  • Learn about your community’s emergency evacuation plans, and practice these plans with your family.
  • Stock emergency supplies, such as a first aid kit, food, and water.

To learn more on climate change and your health please visit The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.