Health

Foot Care Clinic at AVH in December

BERLIN — Northwoods Home Health and Hospice, a member of the Northern N.H. Health Care Collaborative, is offering a Foot Care Clinic at the lower level of the AVH Professional Center every Friday in December except Christmas day from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For an appointment, call 800-750-2366.

Nominations for “NH School Nurse of the Year”

Each year the N.H. School Nurses Association gives school districts throughout the state the opportunity to nominate their school nurse for “N.H. School Nurse of the Year.”

This award recognizes an outstanding school nurse for her contributions to the school and community. To be eligible for this award your school nurse must meet the following criteria:

• Is a registered professional nurse.
• Has been practicing school nursing for a minimum of three years.
• Is a member of the N.H. School Nurse Association this year and the prior year without lapse of membership.
• Shows evidence of excellence in school nursing practice.

The deadline for nominations is Feb. 1. For information on the nomination process contact Cathy Forrest at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Nomination forms can be accessed online at the NHSNA web page, https://nhsn3a18.wildapricot.org.

WMCC offering a "Train the Trainer" course for future LNA Instructors

LITTLETON — White Mountains Community College has partnered with the North Country Health Education Consortium to provide Licensed Nursing Assistant and Medication Nurse Assistant courses over the next three years to help meet the demand for competent LNAs and MNAs in Grafton, Coos and Carroll Counties. As part of that initiative, the college is offering a "Train the Trainer" course" to prepare registered nurses to teach the LNA and MNA course curriculum. This is a opportunity for nurses to expand their career horizons and use their experience and expertise to teach aspiring LNAs and MNAs.

The two–day “Train the Trainer" course is scheduled to take place on Feb. 12 and Feb. 19 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the WMCC Littleton Academic Center, 646 Union Street. The cost of the two-day training program is $300. Nurses will receive 15 contact hours upon completion of the course.

For further information or to register for the course, contact Tamara Roberge, project manager, by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone (603) 342-3062.

10 Tips for Caregivers During the Holidays

During the busy holiday season, family caregivers — over 173,000 in New Hampshire — already feel overwhelmed with daily responsibilities, leaving them vulnerable when the stress of the holidays arrive. Turning to unhealthy behaviors – drinking more eggnog, eating more sweets, getting fewer hours of shut-eye, and forgoing exercise – is not the answer. AARP’s Amy Goyer, a caregiving expert and caregiver herself, offers this list of helpful tips to help family caregivers come through the holiday season with more joy and less stress.

Recognize the signs of stress and burnout. As caregivers, we give and give and give, and during the holidays we give even more! All that giving can add up to high stress levels or even full-on burnout that creeps up on you before you know it. In my book, AARP’s Juggling Work and Caregiving, I explain it this way:

The prolonged stress builds up, we are robbed of energy, and sometimes we reach a point of total emotional, mental and physical exhaustion. We may lose motivation completely or feel we just don’t care about our loved ones, our other relationships or our work. We may feel that we’ve lost ourselves in the vastness of caregiving and that nothing we can do will make a difference. If you feel like this most of the time, you may have reached burnout.” Be aware of emotional ups and downs, fatigue levels, foggy thinking, inability to sit still or the opposition — feeling frozen and unable to get anything done.

Anticipate your own holiday hot buttons. Are there holiday activities or toxic relatives that trigger your stress or unhappy memories? Are you feeling grief or loss that overcomes you at certain times of day? Do unhelpful relatives regularly arrive for the holidays and criticize your caregiving? Are there topics it’s better to avoid when the family gathers? It may be best to limit your exposure to – or even avoid – certain places, events or people. If you can’t do that, prepare yourself. Minimize the drama, don’t try to resolve long-time family problems over the holidays, try short encounters and develop quick exit strategies. Mentally put yourself in a protective bubble, letting negative energy bounce off without hurting, annoying or distressing you.

Mind your own mind-set. Acknowledge all your emotions, including fears, frustrations and sadness, during the holidays. All those emotions are perfectly normal. Try to stay mindful, concentrating on what you are doing in any given moment rather than letting your mind wander to your ever-growing to-do list. Stay focused on the positives: Think about what you can accomplish instead of what you can’t; celebrate what your loved ones can do, rather than mourning what they can no longer participate in; revel in the holiday joys you will experience instead of missing those you’ll bypass; appreciate the help you are receiving rather than resenting those who aren’t supportive. Negative thinking actually activates your body’s stress response, so steer your mind elsewhere when you start down the slippery slope of negative thinking.

Keep self-care at the top of the list. It’s easy to let this slip when you’re even busier than usual — just when you need it most. Keep it simple and incorporate it into your daily caregiving routine if possible. For example: Make time for exercise; it can boost your mood (even something as simple as walking in a shopping mall, dancing to holiday music, or stretching or doing jumping jacks while watching holiday movies can help.) Try yoga, meditation or tai chi to reduce stress and help you sleep better. Limit sugary foods that can cause an energy and emotional crash as blood sugar plummets. Get outside for some mood-elevating vitamin D from sunlight, or consider therapeutic lighting if you suffer from seasonal affective disorder. Relax with some aromatherapy, using scents such as citrus and lavender to soothe yourself.

Know your own best stress outlets. Only you know what works best for you as a stress reliever. It may be writing in a journal, laughing at a funny movie, talking with a friend, going for a walk or sharing your thoughts on social media such as Facebook. Make a list of outlets you can keep handy when you start to feel stressed out.

Connect with support. With everyone so busy this season, online message boards or groups can be a convenient way to seek support. And don’t forget professional help from a counselor or therapist.

Plan ahead and focus on what is most meaningful. Perfection is not the goal of the holidays — joy is! Cramming more into your already crazy schedule can push you over the edge, so consider what is really doable before you commit. Remember, you’ll be happier if you can go with the flow and expect the inevitable delay, crisis or disappointment. Above all, making good memories with your loved ones is especially valuable at this time.

Ask for help for yourself and those you care for. Now is the time to seek help with both your caregiving responsibilities and your holiday preparations or personal matters. Even if you don’t usually pay for help, consider doing so now, since hiring someone to assist for a few hours can be a huge relief. A personal assistant or concierge can complete items on your holiday to-do list or handle some of your home tasks, such as organizing mail, doing laundry, cleaning or running errands. You might also take advantage of paid care for your loved ones, including using individual caregivers, adult day care centers or respite care programs that can free you up for holiday activities.

Simplify your holiday activities. Many of us love to go all-out for the holidays, but it will be less stressful if you can scale back and find a way to simplify while still enjoying the spirit of the season. You could choose just a few decorations or foods that are most significant to you and feel doable, or cut back to two or three holiday activities that fill your heart with joy. Set limits and you’ll be OK.

Start new traditions. Instead of focusing on what you’re not doing, try doing something new. If cooking holiday meals is too much for you, eat out or order a prepared meal to have at home to give you more time with family and less time cleaning up. Give the gift of time or attention rather than costly presents. Attend a holiday concert you’ve never gone to before. Can’t make it to a holiday gathering? Use technology and have a video visit.

Amy Goyer is a consultant, speaker, writer and AARP Home and Family Expert. She is the primary caregiver for her father in Arizona. Follow her on Twitter @amygoyer, Facebook at www.facebook.com/amygoyer1 or agoyer in the AARP Online Community. To find out more tips from Amy and other resources for caregivers, visit AARP’s Caregiving Resource Center at www.aarp.org/caregiving. Share your own caregiving story. Visit www.aarp.org/iheartcaregivers to find out how.

DHHS collaborates to launch five more National Diabetes Prevention Program sites in New Hampshire

New Hampshire residents at high risk for type 2 diabetes now have more resources to prevent the condition. There are seven organizations in New Hampshire committed to offering the National Diabetes Prevention Program, with five new organizations coming on board in the past few months. The program helps participants reduce their risk for type 2 diabetes by learning to eat healthier, lose weight, become more physically active, and manage stress.

The N.H. Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health Services recently hosted a training for 18 new Lifestyle Coaches who will offer NDPP throughout the State. Additionally, the state, in collaboration with the Community Health Institute and the Diabetes Prevention Advisory Group, has launched a new website — www.preventdiabetesnh.org — to link people to programs in their communities.

“Since the risk of type 2 diabetes increases as we get older and New Hampshire’s population is aging, we can expect that the number of people in the Granite State with diabetes could increase rapidly in the coming years,” said Marcella Bobinsky, acting director of public health. “The NDPP helps individuals with pre-diabetes prevent or delay the development of type 2 diabetes. Changing behaviors can be difficult, but support such as this program provides, can be vital to improving health.”

Pre-diabetes is defined as having a blood glucose (sugar) level that is higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. A person with pre-diabetes is at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes, which can lead to serious health problems such as heart disease, and stroke.

You are more likely to develop pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes if you:
• Are 45 years of age or older.
• Are Overweight or obese.
• Get little or no physical activity.
• Have someone in your family that has type 2 diabetes.
• Have high blood pressure or take medication for high blood pressure.
• Had gestational diabetes or delivered a baby weighing more than 9 pounds.
• Have an African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, Asian American or Pacific Islander racial or ethnic background.

In the United States, more than one in three adults have pre-diabetes. However, only 11 percent of those with pre-diabetes know they have the condition. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that without intervention, 15 to 30 percent of people with pre-diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within five years.

For more information and/or to locate a program near you, please visit: http://www.preventdiabetesnh.org.