Health news

Posted May 18, 2009, at 3:43 p.m.
Last modified March 20, 2011, at 6:38 a.m.

‘Caring for Someone With Memory Loss’

BANGOR – The public is invited to attend a talk given by nurse Tamara Leland at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 21, at Westgate Manor, 750 Union St. Her topic will be “Approaching Challenges When Caring for Someone with Memory Loss.”

Her presentation is part of an open house 5:30-8 p.m. at the facility. Hors d’oeuvres will be served and resources on supporting those caring for loved ones at home will be available.

Leland has worked at Westgate Manor for 30 years, the past five years as director of nurses. She is well-respected in Maine as a leader in long-term care for those with Alzheimer’s disease. As a past and present family caregiver, she speaks from the heart with personal experience as well as professional knowledge.

For information, call Kristie Miner at 942-7336.

Memorial bowlathon

BANGOR – Since the death of good friend and fellow bowler Robyn L. Tate-Brown, Andy Meucci, owner-manager of Family Fun Bowling Lanes, wanted to do something special to honor her and support her family while helping a local nonprofit organization. His desire has blossomed into the first Robyn L. Tate-Brown Memorial Bowlathon, noon-3 p.m. Saturday, May 16.

“Robyn is greatly missed by many people,” said Meucci. “I’m looking forward to sharing the day with others who knew and loved her. The Robyn L. Tate-Brown Memorial Bowlathon is a way for us to come together to support her family and also a worthwhile organization. I hope we have a huge turnout for this event.”

Hospice of Eastern Maine and Pathfinders: Support for Grieving Children will benefit from partial proceeds of the bowlathon.

Hospice of Eastern Maine was formed by community volunteers in 1981 and is the oldest hospice in Bangor. It is Medicare- and MaineCare-certified and provides every aspect of hospice care for patients and families – support to more than 100 patients and families each year.

Pathfinders: Support for Grieving Children was founded in 1994 by Maria Brountas and the late Barbara Eames. The program provides grief education and support to more than 100 children and adults annually during 10-week sessions in the spring and the fall.

To register a team, call Family Fun Bowling Lanes at 942-6701. Team pledge forms and donation forms are available online at www.pathfindersmaine.org.

All donations must be turned in on the day of the event. For information, call Andy Meucci at 942-6701. Family Fun Bowling Center was founded in 1959 and is located on the west side of Bangor off Route 2. For information, visit www.familyfunlanes.com.

Honorary chairwoman,

Relay for Life

OLD TOWN – The American Cancer Society has selected Carol Beagan of Bangor to serve as honorary chairwoman for the 2009 Relay For Life of Old Town.

Beagan is proud to be a breast cancer survivor of 21 years. In 1994, she helped to start the Relay For Life in Old Town, which now has more than 80 teams participating each year.

A passionate advocate to find a cure for cancer, she has served on several coalitions and spoke to the United States Congress as an ambassador during the American Cancer Society’s Celebration on the Hill in 2002. This is her 16th year on the Relay for Life of Old Town Committee, and the committee finds inspiration every day in her dedication and commitment in the fight against cancer.

Relay For Life, the American Cancer Society’s national signature event, celebrates the lives of those who have battled cancer, remembers those lost and empowers individuals to fight back against the disease.

The family-oriented team event brings participants from all parts of the community together in a “celebration of life.” Businesses, civic clubs, churches, friends and families take turns walking in relay fashion while they also celebrate the critical role the American Cancer Society plays in the fight against cancer.

“The vital research and programs of the American Cancer Society are leading the way to eliminating cancer as a major health problem,” said Beagan. “I’m proud to participate in Relay For Life. More funds raised translate into more lives saved.”

For information about how to form a team or become involved in the Relay For Life in Old Town, call Mike Hart, community executive for development, at 989-0332 or the American Cancer Society at 800-ACS-2345, www.cancer.org or www.relayforlife.org.

The American Cancer Society is dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by saving lives, diminishing suffering and preventing cancer through research, education, advocacy and service. Founded in 1913 and with national headquarters in Atlanta, the society has 13 regional divisions and local offices in 3,400 communities, involving millions of volunteers across the United States. For information, call 800-ACS-2345 or visit www.cancer.org.

WomenHeart information

BANGOR – WomenHeart is a nationwide patient advocacy organization for women heart patients, their families and health care professionals. The organization supports, educates and advocates on behalf of the 44 million American women living with or at risk of heart disease. Heart disease is and has been the No. 1 health risk for women in this country for many years.

WomenHeart representatives will offer an informational meeting regarding WomenHeart’s services at 2 p.m. Friday, May 15, at Bangor Public Library. Books and other educational material on preventing or living with heart disease will be presented to area health professionals.

Better Sleep Month

BANGOR – The St. Joseph Healthcare Center for Sleep Medicine is celebrating May as Better Sleep Month. The body uses an internal clock to tell it when to sleep. When we don’t get enough rest or our sleep pattern is interrupted, we don’t function as well and when we’re ill, we don’t heal as efficiently, said center staff.

The amount of sleep each person needs is unique, said sleep technologist Kevin Hammond of the sleep center. Inadequate sleep is associated with heart disease, hypertension, depression, ADHD, headaches and more. Those who experience any of these issues or excessive daytime sleepiness, snoring, sexual dysfunction or frequent nighttime bathroom visits may be a good candidate for a sleep study.

The St. Joseph Healthcare Center for Sleep Medicine offers comfortably appointed rooms designed to feel like home, combined with state-of-the-art equipment to monitor each patient’s EKG, brain wave activity, breathing and other vital signs.

The Center for Sleep Medicine can diagnose and treat a range of sleep disorders including sleep apnea, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome and periodic limb movement disorder. The center holds an open house 2-3 p.m. Thursdays, allowing prospective patients to tour the center and have questions answered by a registered sleep technologist.

The center’s technologists also will set up a time more convenient for a prospective patient’s schedule. For information about the St. Joseph Healthcare Center for Sleep Medicine, call 907-1774 or ask your doctor if a sleep study is right for you. Information about the sleep center’s weekly open house and an interactive test to rate your sleepiness are available online at www.stjoeshealing.org.

Caregiver information

BANGOR – Nearly 10 million Americans provide unpaid care to someone with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. With the unrelenting mental strain that caring for someone with Alzheimer’s affords, it can be one of the most difficult of tasks.

“Caregiver burnout is common when caring for Alzheimer’s patients,” said Carol Carew, director of Bangor Area Visiting Nurses. “It is important to recognize the signs such as excessive stress and tension, debilitating depression, persistent anxiety, anger or guilt, decreased overall life satisfaction or relationship conflicts and social isolation.”

It is also important to take some pre-emptive steps to avoid burnout altogether. Many caregivers with loved ones suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia are unaware of the options available to them. There are many choices when it comes to Alzheimer’s care.

For information, visit BAVN’s Web site www.easternmaine

homecare.org and click on the “how to care for loved ones and yourself” banner on the home page. For information about its home care and hospice services, visit www.bavn.org or call 973-6550.

Walk for Wishes

BANGOR – The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Maine will host its ninth annual Walk for Wishes on Thursday, May 28, at nine locations in Maine.

In Bangor, the walk will start from the Paul Bunyan Park. Registration and entertainment will begin at 5 p.m. and the walk at 6 p.m.

Other locations include Auburn, Dennysville, Houlton, Pittsfield, Westbrook, Rockland, Saco and York.

More than 800 children with life-threatening illnesses in Maine have received their greatest wish since the chapter opened its doors in 1992. Of those, 114 have been for children who live in Penobscot County.

All Make-A-Wish children face a life-threatening medical condition. The magic of a wish helps give them and their family a chance to dream about something other than doctors, hospitals, missing school, etc.

Recent wishes fulfilled include 11-year-old Mustafa receiving a computer, 6-year-old Jordan going to Disney World, and 18-year-old Preston studying anime in Japan.

Prizes will be awarded to walk individuals and teams that collect more than $200 in pledges. Adults who raise at least $100, and youths under 18 who raise at least $50, will receive a free “Walk for Wishes” T-shirt.

To register for the Walk for Wishes, visit www.maine.wish.org or call 800-491-3171. Walk participants may manage pledges, donations, teams and e-mails online.

The foundation plans to grant the wishes of more than 70 seriously ill Maine children in 2009, which is an average of one wish every five days somewhere in Maine. Each participant in the Walk for Wishes will ensure that future wishes will continue to bring hope, strength and joy to every child in Maine who is battling a life-threatening illness.

National Nursing Home Week

BANGOR – Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems thanks residents and staff of its nursing homes as it celebrates National Nursing Home Week, May 10-16.

Activities planned in honor of National Nursing Home Week are:

. Thursday, May 14, Stillwater Healthcare and Ross Manor, First Atlantic Vintage Choir performs at Brewer Auditorium for other area nursing homes, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

. Friday, May 15, Stillwater Health Care, Bangor. Resident Spa Day, professionals donate time to provide residents with facials, hand massages, manicures and hair styling, an all-day event.

National Nursing Home Week gives EMHS a chance to honor residents, as well as the families, staff, volunteers and community members who support senior services.

EMHS nursing homes in the region are Lakewood Continuing Care Center, Charles A. Dean Memorial Hospital and Nursing Home, Ross Manor, Stillwater Healthcare, Dexter Health Care, Colonial Health Care and Aroostook Health Center.

TOPS chapter officers

BANGOR – Chapter officers for the coming year were installed recently for TOPS 311 in Bangor. New members of the chapter executive committee are Vicky Spencer, leader; Kathy Flagg, co-leader; Elthier Sonia, secretary; Barbara Alexander, treasurer; Anna Crane, weight recorder; and Barbara Urquhart, assistant weight recorder.

The group has supported healthy weight-loss efforts in the community for nine years. Visitors are invited to attend their first TOPS meeting free of charge. The group meets at 4:15 p.m. Thursdays at St. Joseph Healthcare, 900 Broadway, Bangor. For information or to find another local chapter, visit www.tops.org or call 800-932-8677.

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