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Respite care: 3 reasons it may be right for you

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Respite care is designed to ease the burden of caregivers by temporarily taking over the responsibilities of attending to a sick, aging, or disabled family member. If you’re the primary caregiver for a spouse or other elderly relative, respite care can be a valuable resource. Here’s why you should take advantage of the services available in your area.

1. You’ll be able to take time for yourself
With the knowledge that your loved one is in good hands, you can visit with friends, take up a hobby, go on vacation, run errands, or simply relax at home. Far from selfish, taking breaks is vital to your well-being and continued success as a caregiver.

2. You’ll reduce stress and the risk of burnout
Respite services offer relief from your daily caregiving duties, which can be physically and emotionally exhausting. With the support of respite care, you can recharge, lead a balanced life, and avoid isolation. In turn, this gives you more energy to be a better caregiver.

3. You’ll ensure your loved one can continue to live at home
Often, family members take on the role of caregiver to avoid sending a loved one to live in a long-term care facility. However, without the assistance of respite care, this taxing job might not be a sustainable option.


Various programs are available to provide respite services for anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks. These services can be provided at a seniors’ residence, an adult day care facility, or the care receiver’s home. For more information about respite care programs in your area, contact local home nursing agencies, retirement homes, and adult day care facilities.

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How to treat sudden lower back pain

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Lower back pain can be caused by a number of conditions, some serious, but if it occurs suddenly or after activity, then it could be a muscle strain.

Strains are caused by activity and impact, according to Spine Health.

* Heavy lifting. Lifting improperly can cause back and muscle strains.

* Sudden impact. Jarring motions from sports, a fall, or a car accident.


* Repetitive motions. Common in sports such as rowing, golf, or baseball.

* Poor posture and weak abdominal and back muscles. Slouching puts added strain on lower back muscles. Tight hamstring muscles can also add strain to the back over time.

* New activities can put new, sudden strains on muscle groups.

Anti-inflammatory medicines, available over the counter, such as ibuprofen, aspirin, or naproxen can reduce inflammation. Acetaminophen can minimize pain by interfering with the pain signals to the brain. Doctors might prescribe a muscle relaxant to reduce muscle spasms.

Lie flat to sleep or rest, so you can reduce strain on the back.

At home, limit strenuous activity and stop heavy lifting for one or two days. Then get back to regular activity, so muscles don’t become stiff and weak.

Ice packs can help right after the strain. Apply for 10 to 20 minutes at intervals throughout the day.

After two days, apply a heating pad for 10 minutes before getting out of bed or before painful movement.

Massage therapy can increase circulation and relax muscles. Short walks of three to five minutes can also help.

 

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Suicide and grief

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The emotional devastation that accompanies a loved one’s suicide can be different from other types of loss. While you’ll likely experience many of the usual emotions associated with grief, there are other intense feelings that may be triggered if a loved one dies by suicide.

Expect strong emotions
The grieving process after a suicide is different for everyone and can vary depending on your beliefs, family background, and your relationship with the deceased.

One emotion that you may experience after a suicide is guilt. This can first manifest as confusion over why the person took their own life, followed by imagining “what if” scenarios. You may even blame yourself for not doing more.

Additionally, the grief caused by suicide can lead to strong feelings of anger, either toward yourself and others for missing the signs or toward the deceased for abandoning you. This can result in feelings of rejection and despair.


Furthermore, the persistent stigma around suicide can make it difficult to talk about it. You might also feel a sense of relief that your loved one is no longer suffering.

Seek support
It’s normal to experience a variety of difficult and conflicting emotions if a loved one dies by suicide. One of the best ways to work through your grief is to reach out to family and friends for comfort. It may also be beneficial to join a support group for people affected by suicide.

Expressing your thoughts and emotions rather than suppressing them is an important part of the healing process. Just remember to take things one day at a time and do what feels right for you.

If you’re struggling to work through your grief, there’s help available. A variety of health professionals and organizations can offer their support.

PTSD
For some people, the experience of losing a loved one to suicide can cause symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder such as flashbacks, nightmares, and a persistent fear that another disaster will occur. These intense reactions can last for weeks or months, and recovery from symptoms is a gradual process.

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3 reasons to have your teeth whitened by a professional

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Do you want to whiten your teeth? While some over-the-counter products provide adequate results, you’ll likely be more satisfied with a professional treatment administered by a dentist. Here’s why.

1. Even results
Opting for professional treatment will ensure you get a uniformly white smile without any visible spots or patches. This is because your dentist will start by thoroughly cleaning your teeth to ensure the whitening product goes on evenly.

In addition, the trays used by your dentist to administer the gel-based treatment are customized to fit your smile. Plus, a trained professional can use UV or blue lights to enhance the effects of the whitening product.

2. Safer process
The risks for enamel damage, gum inflammation, and tooth sensitivity are higher if you opt for an over-the-counter whitening product. While it might not cost as much, you could end up paying the price for using it.


At a dental clinic, your whitening treatment will be closely supervised by a professional. In addition to confirming that you’re a good candidate for whitening, your dentist will make sure to use the right amount of gel and guarantee that the treatment is applied for the proper duration.

3. Longer lasting
Since the teeth whitening treatment you receive at a dental clinic is administered by a professional, the products are stronger and deliver longer-lasting results. Plus, you can return for touch-up treatments in the months that follow as needed. For best results, you should avoid things that are likely to stain the enamel on your teeth such as coffee, tobacco, and red wine.

It’s impossible to beat the quality of professional teeth whitening treatment. If you want a radiant smile, schedule an appointment at a local dental clinic.

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3 tips to improve your circulation

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Do your extremities often tingle or feel numb? Do your hands and feet frequently get cold? If so, these and other symptoms could indicate you have poor circulation. Here are three tips to improve blood flow throughout your body.

1. Eat healthy
Opt for food and beverages that are rich in flavonoids, omega-3, and vitamins C and E. These nutrients help strengthen blood vessels, improve circulation and prevent clots. Some top picks include salmon, watermelon, garlic, green tea, turmeric, dark chocolate, and goji berries. In addition, make sure to drink plenty of water.

2. Stay active
Exercises that get your leg muscles moving improve your circulation. Aim to spend at least 30 minutes a day walking, cycling, swimming, or doing yoga. Additionally, if you work all day sitting down, be sure to walk around for a few minutes every hour. Conversely, if you spend a lot of time standing, remember to sit down during your breaks and, ideally, put your feet up.

3. Laugh often
In addition to relieving stress, research shows that laughter can improve circulation and increase blood oxygenation. Look for opportunities to laugh throughout the day, whether it’s by watching comedies, spending time with friends, or playing silly games with your grandchildren.


In addition to adopting these healthy habits, it’s a good idea to consult your family doctor if you have symptoms of poor circulation. A medical professional can assess your overall health and recommend personalized solutions, such as wearing compression socks or doing specific exercises.

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4 things everyone should know about cancer

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April is Cancer Control Month and a time for people to reflect on how cancer impacts their lives and communities. Last year, approximately 1.8 million Americans received a cancer diagnosis. Here’s what you should know about this disease.

1. Prevention is possible
According to the World Health Organization, between 30 and 50 percent of all cancer cases are preventable. The adoption of healthy habits can therefore put you at a reduced risk for getting cancer. Eating a healthy diet, quitting smoking, being active, minimizing alcohol consumption, and practicing sun safety are among the behaviors that will most reduce your risk of getting cancer.

2. Screening is essential
If you do develop cancer, early detection of the disease greatly increases the chances that treatment will be successful. It’s a good idea to speak with your doctor to determine which cancer screening tests are recommended for you and when they should be given.

3. Outcomes can be improved
Not all cancers can be prevented, but medical advances can increase survival rates and save lives. That’s why researching treatments continues to be a priority. If you can, consider making a donation to cancer research. If you’re unable to make a monetary contribution, consider volunteering with a local organization instead.


4. Social support is key
A cancer diagnosis can be difficult to navigate for patients and their families. Therefore, social support during and after a diagnosis is important and can make a tremendous difference. Some studies indicate it can even improve survival rates. If you know someone who’s fighting cancer, consider reaching out to offer a sympathetic ear or a helping hand.

While progress has been made in the fight against cancer, it remains the second-leading cause of death in the United States. Fortunately, raising awareness and supporting research initiatives can help save lives.

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What does efficacy mean with vaccines?

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You may have seen the numbers: The COVID-19 vaccines have a 95 percent efficacy rate.

But what you may not know is that 95 percent efficacy does not mean that five percent of vaccinated people will still get COVID. According to Live Science, the actual percentage of vaccinated people who still got COVID-19 was a hundred times less than five percent: Just .04 percent. (Pfizer and Moderna trials). This means that the vaccines are highly effective in preventing the worst outcomes of COVID-19.

The 95 percent efficacy rate means that vaccinated people had a 95 percent lower risk of getting COVID-19 symptoms compared with individuals in the control group, who didn’t get vaccinated at all.

As a matter of fact, the vaccines were all 100 percent effective in preventing severe disease (hospitalization and death) within six weeks after the first dose (Moderna) or seven weeks (Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson).


Zero vaccinated people in any trial were hospitalized or died of COVID-19 after the vaccines had fully taken effect.

Every vaccine trial looked at protection from experiencing symptoms, not protection from getting infected at all. Although it is possible that the vaccines also reduce the number of viral particles in the body — which would cut transmission — scientists are not yet sure if vaccinated people can still transmit the virus. That’s why people should still wear masks.

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Front Royal
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Clear
6:28am7:54pm EDT
Feels like: 45°F
Wind: 4mph S
Humidity: 66%
Pressure: 29.95"Hg
UV index: 0
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63/36°F
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Upcoming Events

Apr
20
Tue
all-day Mad Science Kit @ Warren County Community Center
Mad Science Kit @ Warren County Community Center
Apr 20 – Apr 23 all-day
Mad Science Kit @ Warren County Community Center
The Warren County Parks and Recreation Department Mad Science Kit contains experiments that focus on fun, interactivity, and entertainment. Participants ages 6-12 will be able to perform four (4) experiments, including Dyed Carnations, Lava Lamps,[...]
10:00 am Mah Jongg “Players Club” @ Warren County Community Center
Mah Jongg “Players Club” @ Warren County Community Center
Apr 20 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Mah Jongg “Players Club” @ Warren County Community Center
Players will enjoy several hands of Mah Jongg against skilled opponents. This club meets on Tuesdays from April 6, 2021 through April 27, 2021 from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Warren County Community[...]
6:30 pm Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
Apr 20 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
This class is for all fitness levels and anyone who is looking to have fun dancing to a variety of music styles from hip hop to swing to salsa, all while EXERCISING! This class will[...]
Apr
24
Sat
10:00 am Earth Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Earth Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Apr 24 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Earth Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
On this Earth Day, celebrate safely by doing your part to restore our earth and joining the Great Global Cleanup. Stop by one of our tables at the Explorer Outpost, Picnic Area, or Lost Mountain[...]
12:00 pm Empty Bowl Supper “To Go” @ Downtown Market
Empty Bowl Supper “To Go” @ Downtown Market
Apr 24 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Empty Bowl Supper “To Go” @ Downtown Market
Come out to enjoy our favorite fundraiser to benefit the House of Hope, the Empty Bowl Supper “TO GO”! DATE: Saturday, April 24 from 12noon-3pm Ticket Link: eventbrite.com/empty-bowl-supper LOCATION: Main Street & Downtown Market Check in near the[...]
12:00 pm SHS Band Golf Tournament @ Blue Ridge Shadows Golf Club
SHS Band Golf Tournament @ Blue Ridge Shadows Golf Club
Apr 24 @ 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
SHS Band Golf Tournament @ Blue Ridge Shadows Golf Club
Join us for an afternoon of golf at Blue Ridge Shadows Golf Club in Front Royal! 1 pm Shotgun, Registration from 12pm – 12:45pm. $85/Player $340/Team Help us celebrate Skyline High School Band’s success while[...]
12:30 pm Color Run Fundraiser @ Warren County Department of Social Services
Color Run Fundraiser @ Warren County Department of Social Services
Apr 24 @ 12:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Color Run Fundraiser @ Warren County Department of Social Services
Save Our Children Front Royal is hosting a Color Run/Walk to raise money for The Child Safe Center, located in Winchester, Virginia. The Child Safe Center is a local non-profit who supports sexually abused victims[...]
Apr
25
Sun
4:00 pm Paint with a Superhero @ Downtown Market
Paint with a Superhero @ Downtown Market
Apr 25 @ 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Paint with a Superhero @ Downtown Market
$30 per painter or 4 painters for $100. Bring the whole family and save! Join us for a special Paint with a Superhero event! Be sure to dress up as your favorite hero or villain[...]
Apr
27
Tue
10:00 am Mah Jongg “Players Club” @ Warren County Community Center
Mah Jongg “Players Club” @ Warren County Community Center
Apr 27 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Mah Jongg “Players Club” @ Warren County Community Center
Players will enjoy several hands of Mah Jongg against skilled opponents. This club meets on Tuesdays from April 6, 2021 through April 27, 2021 from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Warren County Community[...]
6:30 pm Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
Apr 27 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
This class is for all fitness levels and anyone who is looking to have fun dancing to a variety of music styles from hip hop to swing to salsa, all while EXERCISING! This class will[...]