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(BPT) - Imagine feeling suddenly sad, angry, alone, confused and worried, without really understanding why. This is how 75 percent of grieving children claim they feel after losing a loved one, according to the National Alliance for Grieving Children. While the journey to acceptance of a loss is difficult for everyone, a child’s limited ability to understand death can make his or her way of grieving much more difficult. Children of all ages grieve differently than adults, and hospice professionals can provide the help they need.
Regardless of whether or not a child’s loved one received hospice care, grief and bereavement services provided by hospice for children can help them realize that feeling this loss is normal. In addition, hospice can provide tools to help parents, guardians and teachers of grieving children. Hospice resources can include individual or family counseling and referral information if another form of help is needed. Some also offer support groups for families with children of any age with any type of loss and grief groups that can be facilitated through schools to target children of a specific age. Some hospices also host camps, like Hospice Savannah’s Camp Aloha, where children can learn to grieve and heal together.
Hospice Savannah (Georgia) hosts Camp Aloha every year as a way to bring children ages 6 to 17 together and remind them that they are not alone. The name, Camp Aloha, comes from the dual meaning of the Hawaiian word, acknowledging that life is about both hello and goodbye. The concept of death is difficult for many children to fully understand, so the goal of Camp Aloha is to help them come together to learn that grieving is normal and healthy, not something that should make them feel isolated.
Here are three main ways that childhood grief differs from adult grieving, and how hospice can help:
1. Children have a tough time accepting that death is forever.
To young children, death can seem temporary or reversible, especially if their current perception of life is the day-to-day consistency of care from a lost loved one. Grief camps can help children work through this confusion in subtle ways, such as allowing children to write letters or create art in remembrance of their lost loved ones. This can help children work toward an understanding that while that person may no longer have a physical presence, there are other ways to communicate, thus altering the meaning of forever.
2. Children tend to act out in physical or unrelated ways.
Young children may have short, intense grief bursts that are followed by normal play and activities, while older children can experience severe shifts in mood or in the quality of school work. With such contrasting behaviors, it can sometimes be difficult for adults to identify these as normal symptoms of grief. Hospice can provide additional resources and counsel to help parents identify how to best manage these moments, and recognize when and if additional support is needed.
3. Children require an explanation in order to prepare for a loved one’s death.
Many parents find it difficult or uncomfortable to explain to their kids that a sick grandmother will not get better. They may steer clear of the words death or dying to avoid scaring young children. In reality, it is important to prepare children for the death of a loved one, if possible. Hospice support groups and counselors can provide creative, gentle ways to teach this to youngsters, or provide parents with the tools to explain death to their children themselves.
Of children who have attended grief groups or counseling, 76 percent said that their favorite part was meeting people who are sharing a similar experience according to the National Alliance for Grieving Children. The groups and camps offered by hospice remind children that they are not alone. Hospice can help children understand their path to a new normal, meaning more moments of life and joy in remembering their loved one.
For more information on coping with grief and loss, visit MomentsOfLife.org.
(BPT) - Managing pain can be tough, whether you’re one of the 100 million Americans with chronic pain, or only suffer from the occasional backache or headache. September is National Pain Awareness Month, the perfect time to make sure you’re managing your pain the best way possible.
While many people can manage pain on their own, or can be helped by a primary care physician, those with unrelenting, challenging pain should consider seeing a pain medicine specialist.
“One of the biggest mistakes patients make is not visiting a pain medicine specialist such as a physician anesthesiologist when they experience persistent, complex pain,” says Dr. Richard Rosenquist, chair of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) Committee on Pain Medicine and chairman of the Department of Pain Management in the Anesthesiology Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. “Physician anesthesiologists and other pain medicine specialists can fully assess a patient’s pain and prescribe a treatment plan. This may incorporate medications, injections that can control pain for up to a year, spinal cord stimulation, physical and psychological therapies and alternative therapies, such as acupuncture.”
The ASA and its physician anesthesiologist members note these five mistakes patients in pain often make:
1. Taking medication incorrectly. Whether you’re taking opioids (narcotics) for chronic pain or an over-the-counter pain remedy such as ibuprofen for a sore back, don’t take more than prescribed or recommended by the manufacturer. With prescription pain medication, taking more than directed can lead to addiction or even accidental overdose. It’s critical to follow your physician’s instructions carefully. If you’re still in pain after taking the prescribed dose, contact your physician to discuss other pain relief options.
2. Choosing the wrong medication. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help you manage the pain of a sprained ankle or twisted knee without seeing a doctor. But choosing the right pain relief medication can depend on your health history. If you have liver problems or consume three or more alcoholic drinks a night, avoid acetaminophen which can cause liver damage. And anti-inflammatory pain relievers such as ibuprofen and naproxen can make high blood pressure and kidney disease worse, so ask your physician or a pharmacist for an alternative recommendation.
3. Demanding an X-ray. Studies show tests such as X-rays and MRIs do not do a good job of pinpointing the cause of pain. For example, you might have pain, but nothing shows up on the image. And vice versa – sometimes things show up on X-rays that aren’t causing problems or pain. That’s why it’s so important to see a physician who can assess your symptoms and order the most effective tests when necessary.
4. Not thinking outside the pill box. Many treatments that don’t involve taking medication help people in pain find relief. For example, spinal cord stimulation uses electrical signals to short circuit pain in the lower back and legs. Other alternative treatments that may help include injections, acupuncture, massage, meditation and physical therapy.
5. Neglecting your overall health. Studies show people who smoke are more likely to have chronic pain, so if you smoke get the help you need to quit. Also, be sure to eat healthy. Studies show following an anti-inflammatory diet of wholesome, unprocessed foods (vegetables and foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as wild salmon and walnuts) may help reduce pain. The healthier you are, the better you’ll feel and the less pain you’ll have.
For more information about pain treatment and finding a pain medicine specialist, visit http://ow.ly/Al55Y.
(BPT) - As schedules pick up and temperatures drop, fall is a natural time for women to rethink their skincare routine. Yet the right products are just one piece of the puzzle in being kind to skin. A healthy diet, rich in leafy greens, and a holistic approach to skincare can also have complexion-beautifying benefits. You can turn over a new leaf this fall by incorporating more skin-loving “power greens” (full of vitamins and minerals) like kale, spinach and bok choy into meal time.
Registered dietician nutritionist Ellie Krieger, a New York Times bestselling author and host of the Food Network and Cooking Channel's hit show, "Healthy Appetite," is a member of the Simple Advisory Board – a panel of lifestyle experts that educate others on the benefits of adopting a holistic approach to skincare. As kitchens across the country prepare for a healthy reset to mark the start of fall, Krieger offers these easy ways to sneak more leafy greens into your daily dishes.
Start the day with a smoothie
Breakfast smoothies and pressed juices are an increasingly popular choice for on-the-go types. These liquid meals deliver an assortment of health benefits since they’re chock-full of fruits and vegetables. Add kale to a breakfast smoothie or juice (without even knowing it’s there) to experience the superfood’s nutrients - such as antioxidants, calcium and potassium - and beauty benefits like healthy skin and hair. “If you’re looking for an energizing way to start the day, try my superfood smoothie recipe,” says Krieger. “Blend 1/2 frozen ripe banana, 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, 1/3 cup chopped fresh kale leaves, 1/4 cup sliced almonds , 1 cup nonfat milk, 1 teaspoon honey and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract until smooth.”
Elevate the lunch salad
The lunch hour offers a great opportunity to pack a meal that includes several distinct leafy greens - iceberg, be gone.
Arugula, which belongs to the mustard family of plants, is a salad staple that adds a lovely peppery flavor and plenty of vitamin C. Up the ante with nutrient-dense spinach, which contains lots of beta carotene shown to promote healthy, glowing skin. Top off the health benefits with radicchio which is rich in lutein and antioxidants known to help preserve vision and protect skin from sun damage. Make a savvy salad by combining these three leaves (arugula, spinach and radicchio) and tossing with a can of light tuna in olive oil (drizzling in some oil from the can). Add the juice from half a lemon and some salt and pepper for flavor.
End the day with a skin-benefitting routine
A healthy spinach dinner dish doesn’t need to take a million years to prep. Buy prewashed baby spinach, toss into store-bought pasta sauce after it’s heated and serve over whole grain pasta for a dish that’s quick, delicious and good-for-skin. Spinach contains vitamin C, which is important for collagen production. The result is skin that’s smooth, supple and elastic. Post-dinner, it can be tempting to hit the sheets immediately, but supplement the overnight benefits of a healthy diet by taking a moment to remove makeup with kind-to-skin cleansers and facial wipes from Simple Skincare before heading to bed (so skin starts with a glowing base in the morning). Try Simple Moisturizing Facial Wash - it contains vitamins B and E (the same skin-loving ingredients found in leafy greens). It cleanses gently, removing dirt and oil without drying skin and contains no dyes, artificial perfumes or harsh chemicals that can upset skin.
For more recipes from Krieger and information on how to be kind to skin, visit www.simpleskincare.com.