Quarterly Newsletter - September 2020
From the Desk of Janice
Dog days of summer...
“Dog Days bright and clear indicate a happy year. But when accompanied by rain, for better times our hopes are vain"
-From the Old Farmer’s Almanac

Dear Caregivers,
As I was reflecting back on this summer, I took note of the humidity and how sticky my floors feel this time of year. My thought went to Dog Days of Summer!
I have fond memories of summertime. The favorite is of my mother packing us up to go to the lake. One particular spot was Swanzey Lake. There was a dock we could swim out to. Oh what fun we would have playing follow the leader, and practicing our diving skills. Mum would always pack for us a picnic lunch, Usually peanut butter and jelly. Mmm, I can almost taste it. The peanut butter and jelly would almost meld in the summer heat, between two pieces of white bread! This would be accompanied by Kool-Aid and an apple, and cookies.

After the feast, came the worst part. Sitting on the shore for an hour so we would not drown from “getting a cramp”. Hmm was this based on fact or our moms wanting a break from watching us?

Or who remembers mom saying “get outside and play”? Most often our reply was that it was too hot. Well as you know, if we didn’t get out there and find something to do she would find us something to do. Of course we did find something to do and were often rewarded and cooled off by a Jell-O popsicle! That was a popular treat in the sixties and seventies. These are dear and fun memories for me. I hope you enjoy this newsletter as the summer season comes to an end and a new season begins.
We would also like to invite you all to be a part of this newsletter. This is a great way to help you all stay connected. Please share a poem, an experience a memory, just to name a few! This is your corner to share! Ann will provide you with more detail about the “Caregiver to Caregiver Corner”
Here is a blast from the past. Good old Tupperware pop makers!
In closing I hope you have all been able to enjoy the warmer weather and look forward to embracing the cool, crisp air, and beauty of fall.
They say laughter is the best medicine...
Warm regards,
Janice Howard, Cornerstone VNA Life Care-Private Duty Director
Caregiver Wellness Tips from Sandy
Potential Double Whammy on the Way!

Brace yourself: We are heading into influenza AND COVID-19 season simultaneously!
  • What can you do right now? Take charge of your immune system!!
  • Yes, vaccines are available (or almost…) but they are not always 100% effective.
  • It is your responsibility to do what you can to make sure your immune system is ready to go!
Tips to improve your #1 line of defense:
Eat 9-13 servings of fruit and vegetables a day
They are anti-inflammatory and loaded with tons of Phytonutrients, vitamins, fiber and more importantly antioxidants. Be sure to eat a wide diversity of plants. They are great in downregulating an overactive immune system response. You may need a high quality multivitamin to fill in the gaps. On the flip side, limit or avoid foods that cause inflammation such as sugar, trans fats and highly processed foods.

Improve your gut microbiome
80% of your immune system lies in your gut. It’s so important to get it and keep it healthy! In addition to antioxidant foods above, try incorporating fermented foods into your diet such as yogurt, kefir, kimchi, miso and sauerkraut. If they don’t sound appealing, then maybe a good quality probiotic would be a better option for you. The goal is to increase the good bugs in your gut and crowd out the bad. They protect the mucosal layer in your gut to prevent leaky gut thus keeping out unwanted pathogens.

Stress be gone
This is especially true if you have ongoing chronic stress. It can be beneficial to have small amounts of stress but If it’s chronic then find ways to reduce your stress such as seeking out respite, exercising, yoga, meditation, mindfulness or tai chi. It’s so important to practice mind-body exercises to help tamp down your stress response thus keeping your immune status strong.

Sleep, sleep, sleep
It is so restorative and important for your immune function and maintenance. You must get good quality and quantity of sleep (7-8 hrs)! Start by practicing good sleep hygiene. Go to bed at the same time each night (preferably before 10), turn off screens one hour prior to bed time, make sure your room is cool and dark. Take a warm shower or bath, sip a cup of sleepy time tea and read a good book.

Social Connections
For immune health, avoid conflicts or non-supportive behaviors and seek out positive and encouraging relationships. Social isolation, loneliness, bereavement and conflict is pro-inflammatory and can reduce the effectiveness of your immune system. So be sure to make those positive social connections with friends and family.

Here’s to a happy well-functioning immune system!! - Be Well!
P.S. Disclaimer, check with your MD before starting any supplements
Caregiver Resources & Support from Ann
Caregiver to Caregiver Messages
Jeanmarie found a great App... "Sparkle: Self-Care Checklist, Tracker & Journal"
If you have a resource that has helped you in your caregiver journey, please email it to Ann so that we can share it next time!
Featured Caregiver Support
Sharing this link to 10 tips for family caregivers. Each tip has a clickable link that takes you to more resources.

Sharing also from AARP,

Stay safe and well...

Ann Vennard
Assistant Director of Advancement
"Every day might not be good but there is good in every day"
Cornerstone VNA Caregiver Cafés - Now Virtual!
Due to COVID-19, our monthly caregiver cafés have gone virtual! Please let any caregivers you know of who would benefit from this support.

We will often invite special guests to cover topics of interest to provide support and encouragement to them during these challenging times.

Our next Virtual Caregiver Cafe is on September 23 at 10:30 pm. To receive your virtual meeting link, contact Ann at 603-994-6941 or send an email.
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