Archive | January, 2015

Love Is In The Air

Love Is In The Air

Happy Valentine’s Day Denton!

This issue, follow our continuing series on Making a Difference in 2015.  We focus on SPAN – Special Programs for Aging Needs.  Our Vegetable Planting Guide focuses on Prime Time Onions, and check out the tips for Healthy Eating for Seniors.

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Make a Difference in 2015: SPAN

Make a Difference in 2015: SPAN

The past century has witnessed a remarkable lengthening of the average life span in the United States, from 47 years in 1900 to more than 75 years in the mid-1990s. These trends will continue as the numbers of elderly Americans increase exponentially with the aging of the baby boom generation.  SPAN is here to provide for the seniors of Denton County now, while planning and making decisions to ensure the long term viability of the program to serve those who will require services in the future.  SPAN encourages people of all ages to plan, promote, and participate in activities throughout the year; enabling older Americans to remain in their homes in old age as long as possible.
SPAN (Special Programs for Aging Needs) is a private, non profit organization established in 1974 to provide outstanding services to older persons, persons with disabilities, veterans, and the general public, including nutrition, social services, transportation, and other services to enable people to live as fully and independently as possible.  Our sole purpose is to serve our clients and consumers.  We strive to be a well-managed, enthusiastic, understanding, and dynamic team of professionals who take pride in our work and our people.
Today, in addition to coordinating a daily meals program at six centers in the county, SPAN delivers meals to elderly confined to their homes (Meals on Wheels) and provides transportation.  Other support services that are provided are outreach, information and referral, health and recreational activities at senior centers, caregiver support groups, and personal emergency response systems.  Volunteer services have also expanded from meal delivery to include spring and fall yard cleanup, shopping/errands, and Senior Pals programs.
Funding for SPAN’s programs comes partially from federal and state grants; however, to a great extent, SPAN relies on its relationship with local communities and individuals for financial and volunteer support.
Last year, the Meals on Wheels program served 911 clients and 87,566 meals (home delivered and congregate combined). March for Meals is an annual month-long event designed to bring awareness about senior hunger and to celebrate the invaluable services provided by senior nutrition programs across the country.  March for Meals is also intended to increase fundraising from local businesses and supporters, as well as help recruit new volunteers for the Meals on Wheels Program.
SPAN has also is initiated a pet food delivery program called Senior Paws.  The goal of Senior Paws is to support the needs of our Meals on Wheels clients by providing monthly pet food supplements.  Senior Paws will help to ensure that seniors are not sharing their hot lunches with their beloved companions when they are unable to afford enough pet food. Consider donating dog/cat food and pet supplies to this program.
Make a new friend! With Senior Pals, you can visit with a senior friend on the phone or get together with a senior for monthly outings or a visit at home.
Everyone has something to give. SPAN aims to build the community by engaging people to help each other in daily essential needs. Volunteer your time and talent to help seniors live with dignity and independence.  SPAN is always looking for volunteers to give a helping hand to those in need.
To learn more contact our Volunteer Coordinator at 940-382-2224
or visit span-transit.org.

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Where exactly is the Mason-Dixon Line?

by Janet Sever Hull Continue Reading

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Matters of the Heart

Matters of the Heart

Your heart’s job is to move blood and oxygen through the four chambers and to the rest of your body in the arteries. Your body’s cells remove oxygen and nutrients from the blood, which then travels back to your heart through veins, while an electrical system keeps your heart beating at a regular rate. Simple right?
Several types of problems can develop in your heart. You can have valve problems, or with the blood vessels that bring blood to your heart and other organs. You can also have heart rhythm problems when your heart’s electrical system malfunctions.
Heart Attack
A heart attack (called a myocardial infarction) is damage to the heart muscle that results from prolonged lack of blood flow to the heart. Heart attacks are caused by atherosclerosis, which is the build-up of plaque along the walls of the coronary arteries. Most frequently, the plaque surface cracks or wears away, causing a blood clot to form on the surface of the plaque, which blocks the artery and prevents blood from reaching a portion of your heart.
Most heart attacks happen suddenly (acute), and need immediate medical attention. Physicians use the phrase “time is muscle” because after 15 to 20 minutes without oxygen, tissue damage and death (infarction) begins to occur. Most damage from heart attacks occurs in the first two to three hours of onset. The longer blood flow to the heart is blocked, the more heart muscle will die. Quickly clearing the blockage is therefore critical, and often shortly after a heart attack is diagnosed, patients undergo angioplasty and stenting. In angioplasty and stenting, a balloon-tipped catheter is threaded through the blood vessels to the site of the blockage. Once in place, the balloon is inflated and deflated, flattening the blockage against the walls of the artery, restoring blood flow. A stent, a metal-mesh tube, is placed at the site of the newly cleared blockage. It acts as a form of scaffolding to make sure the artery remains open.
Because prompt medical attention is essential, it is important to know and recognize the symptoms of a heart attack:
• Chest discomfort or chest pain
• Discomfort or pain in other areas of the upper body
• Shortness of breath
• Breaking out in a cold sweat
• Dizziness, light-headedness, or nausea
Women’s Heart Health
Heart disease is the number one killer of women. In addition, women sometimes experience different symptoms from men, and many women ignore their symptoms or delay seeking treatment, attributing the symptoms to stress. Two-thirds of women die from heart attacks, having never experienced any symptoms, pointing to the urgent need for both better education and early screening.
Knowing the symptoms of a heart attack for women can save your life. During a heart attack, women may experience chest pain, when not enough oxygen reaches the heart muscle because of narrowed or blocked arteries. But women’s other symptoms may be different. These might include:
• Shortness of breath
• Flu-like symptoms
• Nausea/vomiting
• Indigestion
• Back pain
• Jaw pain or neck pain (like a toothache)
• Pain in one or both shoulders, arm
• Dizziness/ Lightheadedness
• Sudden unusual fatigue
• Numbness in the left shoulder and arm
• Breaking out in a cold sweat
Heart Failure
Heart failure is a condition in which the heart can’t fill with enough blood, or in other cases, the heart can’t pump blood to the rest of the body with enough force. Some people have both problems. The term “heart failure” doesn’t mean that your heart has stopped or is about to stop working. However, heart failure is a serious condition that requires medical care.
Heart failure develops over time as the heart’s pumping action grows weaker. Right-side heart failure occurs if the heart can’t pump enough blood to the lungs to pick up oxygen. Left-side heart failure occurs if the heart can’t pump enough oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body.
Right-side heart failure may cause fluid to build up in the feet, ankles, legs, liver, abdomen, and the veins in the neck. Right-side and left-side heart failure also may cause shortness of breath and fatigue. The leading causes of heart failure are diseases that damage the heart, including coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Both children and adults can have the condition, although the symptoms and treatments differ.
Currently, heart failure has no cure. However, treatments—such as medicines and lifestyle changes—can help people who have the condition live longer and more active lives.
Most heart disease risk depends on a person’s lifestyle habits. Quitting smoking, exercising, staying at a healthy weight, and eating a healthy diet are great ways to engage in heart disease prevention. By lowering your heart disease risk, you can avoid heart disease treatments like bypass surgery, heart valve replacement, and pacemaker placement.
Source: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; National Institutes of Health; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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From the Spice Rack: Nutmeg & Mace

From the Spice Rack: Nutmeg & Mace

by Kathe Kitchens, Bestemor Herb Farm Continue Reading

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Connecting with Grandpa through Hunting

by David Chrisinger Continue Reading

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