In Loving Memory: A time of Remembrance

In Loving Memory: A Time of Remembrance

When I lost a loved one, this was given to me by the Hospice that I was working with during my family therapy. I wanted to share this with everyone.

The following activities have been helpful to others who wished to honor their loved one. If one of them appeals to you, we invite you to use it for a time of remembrance. Feel free to modify them to suit your personal needs or create your own special activity or ceremony.

*Light a remembrance candle on the anniversary date of the death.

*Make a charitable donation in your loved one’s name.

*Plant an anniversary tree or scrub.

*Share the day with family and/or special friends to celebrate your loved one’s memory.

*Write a letter to your loved one’s life to let them know how they

*Give a memorial item (hymnal, book, flowers, candelabra, etc.) to your church, synagogue, library or favorite charity.

*Send a card or note to special people in your loved one’s life to let them know how they were and are appreciated.

*Make a legacy of the good things you gained in the relationship with your loved one and how you can use these things in your life now.

We Remember Them

In the rising of the sun and in it’s going down

We Remember Them

In the Blowing of the wind and the chill of the winter

We Remember Them

In the opening of the buds and in the rebirth of spring

We Remember Them

In the blueness of the sky and the warmth of the summer

We Remember Them

In the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of autumn

We Remember Them

In the beginning of the year and when it ends

We Remember Them

When we are lost and sick at heart

We Remember Them

When we have joys we yearn to share

We Remember Them

So long as they live, they live in our hearts, for they are a part of us.

We Remember Them

*Disclaimer: I want to thank Amedisys Hospice Care for the compassion they gave me on my loss and I give them full credit for this information. Please remember that you will get through the loss of a loved one. My best to you and your family.

Posted in Alzheimer's and Parkinson Disease Programs, Behavioral Health and Psychiatry Services, Bergen County NJ Programs, Career Programming for people with disabilities, COVID-19 Information, Disability Programming, Drug and Alcohol Abuse Programs, Fire Fighting/First Responder Programming, Gay and Lesbian Programming, Health and Life Support Services, HIV Programming, Home Care Programs, Men's Programming, Programs Preventing Mind-Hacking, Relationship Programming, Senior Services, Support Services for Seniors, Uncategorized, Woman's Programming | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

V-Safe: After the Vaccination Health Checker for the COVID Vaccine

V-Safe: After the Vaccination Health Checker for the COVID Vaccine

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/vsafe.html

Use your smartphone to tell CDC about any side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. You’ll also get reminders if you need a second vaccine dose. Sign up with your smartphone’s browser at vsafe.cdc.gov or aim your smartphone’s camera at this code. V-Safe is an after vaccine health checker.

What is V-Safe?

V-Safe is a smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after you receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Through v-safe, you can quickly tell CDC if you have any side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Depending on your answers, someone from the CDC may call yo check on you. And V-Safe will remind you to get your second COVID-19 vaccine dose if you need one. Your participation in CDC’s v-safe makes a difference it helps keep COVID-19 vaccines safe.

How can I participate?

Once you get a COVID-19 vaccine, you can enroll in v-safe using your smartphone. Participation is voluntary and you can opt out at any time. You will receive text messages from v-safe around 2:00pm local time. To opt out, simply text “STOP” when v-safe sends you a text message. You can also start v-safe again by texting “START”.

How long do V-safe check-ins last?

During the first week after you get the your vaccine, v-safe will send you a text message each day to ask how your are doing. Then you will get a check-in messages once a week for up to 5 weeks. The questions v-safe asks should take less than 5 minutes to answer. If you need a second dose of vaccine, v-safe will provide a new 6 week check-in process so you can share your second dose vaccine experience as well. You’ll also receive check-ins 3, 6, and 12 months after your final dose of the vaccine.

Is my health information safe?

Yes. Your personal information in v-safe is protected so that it stays confidential and private.

How to register and use v-safe:

You will need your smartphone and information about the COVID-19 vaccine you receive. This information can be found on your vaccination record card; If you cannot find your card, please contact your healthcare provider.

Register:

  1. Go to v-safe website using one of the two options below:

*Use your smartphone’s browser to go to V-safe.cdc.gov

*Aim your smartphone’s camera at this code.

2. Read the instructions. Click Get Started.

3. Enter your name, mobile number and other requested information. Click Register.

4. You will receive a text message with a verification code on your smartphone. Enter the code in v-safe and click Verify.

5. At the top of the screen, click Enter your COVID-19 vaccine information.

6. Select which COVID-19 vaccine you received (found on your vaccination record card; if you cannot find your card, please contact your healthcare provider). Then enter the date you were vaccinated. Click Next.

7. Review your vaccine information. If correct, click Submit. If not, click Go Back.

8. Congrats! You all set! If you complete your registration before 2:00pm local time, v-safe will start your initial health check-in around 2:00pm that day. If you register after 2:00pm, v-safe will start your initial health check-in immediately after you register-just follow the instructions.

You will receive a reminder text message from v-safe when it’s time for the next check in-around 2:00pm local time. Just click the link in the text message to start the check in.

Complete a v-safe health check-in:

  1. When you receive a v-safe check-in text message on your smartphone, click the link when ready.
  2. Follow the instructions to complete the check-in.

Troubleshooting:

*How can I come back and finish a check-in later if I’m interrupted?

Click the link in the text message reminder to restart and complete your check-in.

*How do I update my vaccine information after my second COVID-19 vaccine dose?

V-safe will automatically ask you to update your second dose information. Just follow the instructions.

Need help with V-safe?

Call 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-6348) Open 24 hours, 7 days a week. Visit http://www.cdc.gov/safe.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/vsafe.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety.html

Disclaimer: This information was taken directly from the CDC pamphlet on V-Safe and I give them full credit for this. Please call the above numbers or check out their website for more information on the program.

Posted in Behavioral Health and Psychiatry Services, COVID-19 Information, Drug Assistance Programming, Federal Caregiver programs, Health and Life Support Services, Men's Programming, Senior Caregiver Programs, Senior Services, Uncategorized, Woman's Programming | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Residential Electric Customers: Could you save money with PSE&G’s RLM Rate?

Residential Electric Customers: Could you have money with PSE&G’s RLM Rate?

If most of your electric usage occurs during non-peak hours. PSE&G’s offers a pricing option that you should consider. For example, if you operate appliances when most people are asleep or change an electric vehicle overnight, a “time-of-day” rate (also known as the Residential Load Management or “RLM” rate) may benefit you. This rate is available for residential electric customers on a voluntary basis.

What is the RLM Rate?

The RLM rate varies the price of electricity between ‘peak’ and ‘off-peak’ hours of the day and by season. If you choose to be billed on this rate, you will pay a higher rate during ‘peak’ hours (7:00am-9:00pm, Monday through Friday) and a lower rate during ‘off-peak’ hours (9:00am-7:00am and anytime on weekends).

Will my electric bill be higher or lower on the RLM rate?

Compared to your current rate, the amount of your electric bill on the RLM rate will be determined by the appliances you own and your own ability to move your electricity usage to off peak times. Since these factors are different for each customer, it is not possible to determine in advance whether your electric bill would be higher or lower on the RLM rate.

If you switch to the RLM rate, you existing meter will be replaced with a ‘time of day’ meter. Your minimum term of service on the RLM rate will be one year.

Check the Internet and the PSE&G website for the rates.

Disclaimer: This information was taken directly from the PSE&G pamphlet and I give them full credit for this information. Please check the website for information on this program if it is right for you and your family.

Posted in Bergen County NJ Programs, Corporate Programming for the public, Home Care Programs, Home Improvement & Care Programs, Housing Programs, Senior Services, Support Services for Seniors, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

PSE&G to Roll-Out Smart Meters for Electric Customers

PSE&G to Roll-Out Smart Meters for Electric Customers

PSE&G is set to begin work on a new program that will bring the benefit of smart meters to our electric customers. Through our Advanced Meter Infrastructure (AMI) program, PSE&G will replace existing electric service territory.

These smart meters will communicate with PSE&G system-monitoring and customer applications. They will, among other things, allow near real-time meter reading, provide customers with more information about their electric use, enable near real-time power outage detection and make storm restoration work more efficient.

In 2021, PSE&G will build the communication network that will support smart meters and install about 80,000 smart meters. Between 2022 and the end of 2024, we will replace hundreds of thousands of existing meters in our electric service territory with new smart meters.

Our smart meter program is part of PSE&G’s vision for a future in which the energy we deliver is cleaner and more reliable while also giving customers the modern tools and technology to use that energy wisely.

To learn more, visit pseg.com/smartmeters

https://nj.myaccount.pseg.com/myservicepublic/smartmeters

https://nj.pseg.com/newsroom/newsrelease206

*Note this program is just being rolled out and was in the recent billing for PSE&G.

Posted in Bergen County NJ Programs, Corporate Programming for the public, Home Care Programs, Home Improvement & Care Programs, Housing Programs, New Jersey Senior Programming, Senior Services | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Constipated? Learn about gentle relief? Try MiraLAX.

Constipated? Learn about gentle relief? Try MiraLAX.

How can MiraLAX help you today?

MiraLAX works differently to give you relief.

https://www.miralax.com/

*MiraLAX works with the water in you body to hydrate and soften, unblocking your system naturally.

*Effectively relieves constipation without causing bloating, cramping, gas or sudden urgency.

*MiraLAX is sugar-free, gluten-free, preservative-free and taste-free.

Talk to your doctor about the benefits of MiraLAX, the #1 doctor recommended OTC laxative.

How does MiraLAX provide predictable relief?

MiraLAX works naturally to unblock your system.

Support for your digestive health from Bayer: Phillips Colon Health Daily Probiotic-4 in 1 symptom.

https://www.phillipsdigestive.com/products/colon-health-probiotic-caps/

The Tasty Side of Fiber: Phillips Fiber Good Gummies: Excellent source of fiber-Provides 8 grams per day.

https://www.phillipsdigestive.com/products/fiber-gummies/

How do I know I have constipation?

What is constipation?

Occasional constipation or irregularity occurs when your bowel movements become difficult or happen less frequently than is normal for you. It can throw off your daily routine.

Defining normal bowel movements:

This depends on the individual. Normal can range from a bowel movement 3 times a day to 3 times a week. The stool is soft and formed and passes without staining. Only you can determine what’s normal for you.

Symptom of Constipation:

*Gas/bloating

*Abdominal discomfort

*Irregular bowel movements

Symptoms of constipation are extremely common:

*16% of adults will experience constipation-Constipation will occur in 1/3 of adults 60 and over

*An estimated 42 million Americans suffer from constipation.

*Women are more likely to experience constipation.

What should I look for?

Know your stool type:

*Types 1-2 indicate constipation: Separate, hard lumps like nuts (hard to pass)/Sausage-shaped but lumpy

*Types 3-4 are ideal: Like a sausage but with cracks on its surface/Like a sausage or snake, smooth and soft

*Types 5-7 indicate diarrhea: Soft blobs with clear-cut edges (passed easily)/Fluffy pieces with ragged edges, a mushy stool/Watery, no solid pieces. Entirely liquid.

If you aren’t sure you have normal bowel movements, speak to your doctor.

Why am I experiencing constipation?

Causes can vary:

Medications:

*Antidepressants

*Anticonvulsants

*Anti-hypertensive drugs

*Opioids

*Antacids

Supplements:

*Iron

Poor Diet/Dehydration: A diet law in:

*Fruits and vegetables

*Fiber-containing plant foods

*Healthy balance of good bacteria

*Adequate fluid intake

Lifestyle and other factors:

*Lack of sleep

*Travel

*Stress

*Ignoring the urge to go

*Certain medical conditions

What can I do for occasional constipation?

Make simple lifestyles changes:

Maintain a well-balanced diet: Include good sources of fiber:

*Oatmeal

*Berries

*Apples

*Oranges

*Broccoli

*Beans

*Almonds

Drink fluids throughout the day to stay hydrated:

Exercise and stay active:

*Set aside time for daily activity

Get a good night’s sleep:

Establish a routine:

*Go to the bathroom at the same time every day.

What if lifestyle changes aren’t enough for me?

*Add a fiber supplement to your daily routine.

*Using a probiotic to support digestive health

*Take a gentle laxative like MiraLAX.

https://www.miralax.com/

Disclaimer: This information was taken from the MiraLAX pamphlet and I give them full credit for this information. Please refer to the links to MiraLAX for more information on the product. I have never used it so I have no opinion yes or no to how good it is for constipation.

Posted in Cancer Programming, Career Programming for people with disabilities, Child Program Services, Food and Nutrition Programming, Health and Life Support Services, Prescription Drug Programs, Senior Caregiver Programs, Senior Sanitation Programs, Senior Services, Support Services for Seniors, Uncategorized, Woman's Programming | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Osler @Home: Home visits-Bringing the doctor to you

Osler@Home Home Visits: Bringing the doctor to you

Osler at Home: (201) 426-6554

https://www.oslerheightsmedical.com/

https://www.oslerheightsmedical.com/services/home-care

http://www.oslerathome.com

Home Care-Home Visits

Osler at Home strives to improve quality of care and reduce medical costs by providing patients with the most convenient and superior quality of medical services right in their own homes.

We reduce the stress of leaving home and coordinating transportation to the doctor’s office.

We accept Medicare assignment and are credentialed with the most commercial insurances.

Key Home & Transitional Care Offerings: An entire medical team to care for you and monitor your needs.

*A doctor or nurse practitioner who treats you in your home.

*Comprehensive history and physical exam.

*Overall Plan of Care established.

*Home Safety Evaluation

*Caregiver support and education

*Medicine review and reconciliation

*Cognitive assessment

*Self-care/Motivation Assessment

*Complete medical and diagnostic service in home including lab work, ultrasound and x-ray

*Ordering of durable medical equipment and supplies

*Coordinate community resources

*Quick turnaround on appointment requests

Osler at Home believes that there is no place “like home” for care management of its most vulnerable, high risk patients. Our patients are provided access to the highest quality healthcare in the comforts of their own homes.

We focus on home visits and transitional care management from hospital or rehab to home, becoming your healthcare quarterback and ensuring all of the patients needs are assessed, care is coordinated and positive outcomes reached. We bridge the gaps in the continuum of care, ensuring that the patient has all the resources necessary to continue healing and recovering in the most comfortable and convenient way possible.

Contact us: (201) 426-6554

Osler at Home

288 Boulevard, 2nd floor

Hasbrouck Heights, NJ 07604

https://www.oslerheightsmedical.com/services/home-care

Disclaimer: This information was taken directly from the Osler at Home pamphlet and I give them full credit for the information. Please call the office for more information.

Posted in Bergen County NJ Programs, Disability Programming, Health and Life Support Services, Home Care Programs, Housing Programs, Medicare/Medicaid Programming, Men's Programming, New Jersey Senior Programming, Senior Caregiver Programs, Senior Disability Programming, Senior Rehabilitation Programming, Senior Services, Social Security Programs, Support Services for Seniors, Uncategorized, Woman's Programming | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Personal Assistance Services Program Fact Sheet

Personal Assistance Services Program Fact Sheet (PASP)

What is the Personal Assistance Services Program?

The Personal Assistance Services Program (PASP) established under N.J.S.A. 30:1-12; P.L. 1993, c 215 is designed to provide personal assistance services to individuals with permanent physical disabilities. These services enable adults with disabilities to be employed, prepare for employment and/or live independently. Personal assistance services differ from traditional home services in that they are consumer directed and supervised and are considered to be a non-medical model of assistance, rather than a home health care service.

Which counties have the Program?

The law establishes the program in each of the 21 counties in the State of New Jersey. County government has the responsibility for designating an office of county government or another community based agency, that has experience in providing information and services for persons with disabilities to administer the program locally.

Who will administer this program?

The law established the Personal Assistance Services Program in the State Division on Disability Services housed in the New Jersey Department of Human Services. The program for Bergen and Hudson in administered through the Bergen County Division on Disabilitiy Services. The county Division is responsible, under the supervision of the state Office of Disability Services, for consumer selection, assistant recruitment and local operation of the program.

What are Personal Assistant Services and who provides them?

Personal assistants are individuals with training or related experience in providing in-home services, who directly assist a person with a disability in carrying out routine non-medical tasks such as bathing, dressing, transfer to a wheelchair, meal preparation, laundry, shopping, household management and transportation.

Who is eligible to receive these services?

Consumers served under the program are subject to the following eligibility criteria.

*Permanently physically disabled

*Between the ages of 18 to 70

*Capable of self-direction and able to supervise a personal assistant

*Resident of the State of New Jersey

In selecting consumers for participation in the program, preference is given to those individuals who are in paid employment, in a program preparing them for employment (school/job training) volunteering or using services to support community based independent living.

Are there financial eligibility criteria?

No, under the law there are no financial eligibility criteria for consumers. Those persons who qualify under the current Social Service Block Grant (SSBG) guidelines receive the service at no cost; those with incomes in excess of those guidelines are expected to contribute toward the cost of their services based on a sliding scale. (Cost-share).

How are the hours and type of service determined?

Consumers selected for the program receive up to 40 hours of service per week based on their individual needs. A “Plan of Service” specifying the type of service required and the hours requested is completed by the applicant in the assessment process conducted by a registered nurse, social worker or rehabilitation professional. A professional assessment will be conducted to determine the person’s capacity for self-direction and the appropriateness of the requested plan of service to meet their needs. A recommendation will be made to the county division regarding the person’s suitability for the program and award of hours. Additional services that a consumer may be eligible to receive through other funding sources (Medicaid, private insurance etc) must be accessed first and are taken into account in formulating the final consumer Plan of Service.

Where can I get further information about the program?

Further information on the Bergen/Hudson Personal Assistance Services Program may be obtained by contacting:

Bergen County Division on Disability Services

One Bergen County Plaza, 2nd Floor

Hackensack, NJ 07601-7076

Liliana Zorrilla, PASP Coordinator (201) 336-6508

Anna Alpine, PASP Assistant Coordinator (201) 336-6502

https://www.co.bergen.nj.us/departments-and-services/about-health-services

TTY (201) 336-6505

Disclaimer: This information was taken directly from the Department of Disabilities handout and I give the County of Bergen’s Department of Human Services full credit for this information. I have never used the program before so I have no option on it. Please contact the office at the above phone numbers for more information.

Posted in Bergen County NJ Programs, Disability Programming, Health and Life Support Services, Home Care Programs, Home Improvement & Care Programs, Housing Programs, Men's Programming, New Jersey Senior Programming, Senior Caregiver Programs, Senior Disability Programming, Senior Services, Support Services for Seniors, Uncategorized, Woman's Programming | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Personal Assistance Services Program (PASP)

Personal Assistance Services Program (PASP)

Are you…

*A permanently physically disabled resident of Bergen or Hudson County age 18 and older?

*In paid employment; attending school or volunteering a minimum of 20 hours per month?

*Capable of self-direction and able to supervise a personal assistant?

Then you may be eligible for up to 40 hours a week participating in the Personal Assistance Services Program! (PASP)

For more information, please contact the PASP Coordinator at (201) 336-6508

Bergen County Department of Human Services

Division of Disability Services

One Bergen County Plaza, 2nd Floor

Hackensack, NJ 07601

(201) 336-6508

https://www.co.bergen.nj.us/about-human-services

Disclaimer: This information comes from the Department of Disability Services of the County of Bergen’s Department of Human Services and I give them full credit for the information. I have not used the service so I have no opinion on it. Please contact the department at the above number for more information.

Posted in Bergen County NJ Programs, Home Care Programs, Home Improvement & Care Programs, Men's Programming, New Jersey Senior Programming, Senior Caregiver Programs, Senior Disability Programming, Senior Services, Support Services for Seniors, Uncategorized, Woman's Programming | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

PerioRestore

PerioRestore: Help control Early to Late Stages of Gum Disease Today

Over 64 million Americans suffer from Periodontitis (advanced stage of gum diseases)

If not only can cause issues in your mouth, but gum disease can lead to many issues throughout your entire body including osteoporosis, various cancers, diabetes and even a stroke.

So how does gum disease start? The most common culprit stems from not brushing and flossing daily or properly. When we don’t have proper oral health, a sticky bacteria known as plaque and calculus builds up in the pockets below the gumline and between our teeth, causing an infection to form. This ultimately leads to a variety of problems including bone loss.

It is vital to your oral health and systemic health to brush, floss and rinse daily appropriately-for all ages.

Symptoms of Gum Disease include:

*Red, swollen gums

*Ongoing bad breath

*Sensitivity

*Bleeding gums

*Plaque buildup

*Gum recession

*Separation of teeth

*Tooth loss

How do we manage the bacteria when we are not in the dental office?

We know that the sticky bacteria that lives beneath our gums grows quickly and can become difficult to manage and keep at bay once we leave our hygienist. To start, let’s focus on the core homecare basics.

*Flossing

*Brushing and Rinsing

*Smart Food Choices

*Regular Dental Visits

How many of the above have you mastered?

A lot of people don’t have a proper, daily oral regime so a solution is needed to manage the disease at home in conjunction with daily homecare.

Did we mention, managing your oral health is vital to the overall health of your entire body?

But there is a solution! Perio Restore.

Where do you fall in these stages of Perio?

Start your path to healthy gums today. For more information or to watch instructions videos, please visit denmat.com.

https://www.denmat.com/laboratory/lab-services/perio-restore

https://www.denmat.com/perio-restore-gel-3oz-6pk.html

Perio Restore System:

What is it?

The oral cleansing gel is a 1.7% Hydrogen Peroxide gel that fights bacteria inside the pocket and keeps the disease-causing bacteria from recolonizing, helping prevent against further infection.

Oh and a side perk? When used daily, the gel whitens teeth and freshness breath!

How does it work?

The Perio Restore System consists of a customized tray that is designed to gently push the oral cleansing gel deep into each periodontal pocket, allowing deeper reach than other non-invasive treatments.

How often do I have to wear them?

To get the full effects of managing the bacteria, the system needs to be worn every day. But don’t fret! You only need to wear them for short duration each day, at any time of the day that works for you.

Going to the gym? Walking the dog? Relaxing at home? No problem-all you have to do is dispense the gel into recommended time and that’s it! A healthy smile is all yours.

Disclaimer: This information was taken directly from the PerioRestore pamphlet and I give them full credit for the information. I have never used the product so I have no personal opinion on the product itself. Please check out their website above for more information.

Posted in Dental issues, Health and Life Support Services, Home Care Programs, Men's Programming, New Jersey Senior Programming, Senior Grooming Programs, Senior Services, Stroke Programming, Uncategorized, Woman's Programming | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Diverticulosis & Diverticulitis

Diverticulosis & Diverticulitis

To help understand diverticulosis, let’s review the anatomy and function of the intestine. The small intestine is the long, thin segment of bowel that begins at the stomach and ends at the large intestine. The large intestine, also called the colon, starts in the right lower abdomen and forms a large question mark across the entire abdomen, ending in the rectum. Just above the rectum is the sigmoid (5 shaped) part of the colon. Liquid waste (stool) enters the colon from the small intestine. As it moves through the colon, stool is dehydrated and shaped. By the time the stool enters the rectum, it is semi-solid and well-formed.

What is Diverticulosis?

Diverticuli are pockets or pouches extending out from the colon. These develop very gradually over a long period of time. They occur along the natural weak points in the bowel wall. The pockets develop because of the pressure exerted inside the colon as it contracts. Diverticulosis is the condition of having diverticuli (singular=diverticulum).

Since the highest pressure in the colon occurs in the sigmoid colon, it is here that most diverticuli occur. Because of these high pressure and balloon like projections, the sigmoid often becomes thickened, twisted and narrowed. This thickening and narrowing may cause changes in the bowel function, such as discomfort, diarrhea, and /or constipation in some people.

The Sigmoid Colon:

The sigmoid colon is designed to contract vigorously to maintain a high pressure. This action pushed the stool into the rectum. Since the sigmoid is a high pressure part of the colon, it is here the diverticuli occur.

Who gets Diverticulosis?

Since it takes so long to develop, diverticulosis usually appears later in life. However, it can occur in people as early as their 30’s. It is less common in people and societies around the world whose diet consists of less processed foods and more fruits and grains with very high fiber content.

Symptoms of Diverticulosis:

Most patients do not feel diverticuli forming. Occasionally they may feel cramps or discomfort in the lower left abdomen. Usually, there are no symptoms at all. When diverticulosis is far advanced, the lower colon may become more rigid, distorted or narrowed. This makes it more difficult for stool to move through. The patient may experience thin or pellet-shaped stools, constipation and an occasional rush of diarrhea. At this point, the problem is mechanical or structural one and treatment is more difficult.

Complications of Diverticulosis:

Many people have diverticulosis but few have complications from it. But when complications do occur, they can be serious. Diverticulitis is the most common complication.

*Diverticulitis:

Like a balloon, an expanding diverticulum develops a thinner wall than the rest of the colon. The bacteria in the colon-which are normally helpful as long as they stay in the colon-can seep through the thin walls of diverticuli and cause infection (called diverticulitis).

This infection can be mild with only slight discomfort in the left lower abdomen. Or it can be extreme with severe tenderness and fever. Antibiotics are usually required to treat the infection. The patient should also allow their bowel to rest by avoiding food or sometimes even liquids. For severe cases, the patient must be hospitalized.

*Bleeding:

Bleeding sometimes occurs from a ruptured blood vessel around a diverticulum. This may produce a gush of blood from the rectum. If the bleeding diverticulum is located in the right-side colon, the stool will be dark and mahogany colored.

*Perforation:

The complication is the most uncommon but the most serious. If an infected diverticulum breaks open (perforates), bacteria can escape into the abdomen. This can lead to local infection or a widespread infection throughout the lining of the abdomen requiring abdominal surgery or placement of a drainage catheter.

Diagnosis of Diverticulitis:

The medical history is the physician’s most important tool in diagnosing diverticulitis. The physician may also perform other exams to provide additional information:

*The physical exam may find tenderness in the left lower abdomen.

*A CT-scan is sometimes required to determine the extent of the diverticulitis.

*Flexible sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy use a lighted, flexible endoscope put through the rectum and into the colon, to view the colon from inside.

*A patient’s medical history is the physician’s most important tool in diagnosing diverticulitis.

Treatment of Diverticulosis:

Diverticuli may be preventable or their progression limited with a high-fiber diet. Certain types of fiber, such as wheat bran, retain large quantities of water. This provides a bulkier, softer stool that is easier to pass and may help decrease the pressure in the bowel over time.

Bran and fiber can be found in many cereals, breads and other foods. Additional bulking agents, such as psyllium and methylcellulose are available in drug stores. Generally, a daily intake of 20 to 30 grams of fiber is recommended, beginning at a young age. Also, medications can be used to reduce colon spasms. When diverticulitis occurs at an early age or when there are recurrent episodes, surgery may be necessary to remove the diseased portion of the colon. In years past, people were advised to avoid popcorn, peanuts and other seed products. We now know that these foods do not need to be avoided in people with diverticulosis.

Summary:

Divertculosis is a disorder that may be preventable with a high fiber diet starting at a young age but can usually be treated. Diverticulitis is a potentially serious complication of diverticulosis but effective therapy is available.

Disclaimer: This information was taken directly from a pamphlet from Meducate by GI Supply and I give them full credit for the information from the pamphlet. Please consult with a doctor if you are feeling any symptoms.

Posted in Cancer Programming, Food and Nutrition Programming, Men's Programming, Senior Disability Programming, Senior Services, Uncategorized, Woman's Programming | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment