World Book Day

Everyone who knows me knows I love to read, either a traditional book or eBooks, so today is a special day for me. What would my like have been like without books? I dread to think, totally different in so many ways

Today is World Book Day so books are in! Reading a books is one of the best things to do in isolation – read a good book today! You can even read with social distancing

Vector cat and bird sitting on bench, reading books, under the clock

Winter Home Insulation Guide for the Elderly

senior-couple

When winter rolls around it brings inevitable illnesses such as coughs and colds. However, for many people and especially the elderly, winter can cause a number of more serious health complaints.

Among others, serious medical problems during the colder months can include heart attacks, strokes, breathing problems and hyperthermia. For those over 75 or with pre-existing medical issues, winter can be a fatal time of the year.

Here is a good resource for UK seniors still living in their own homes – Winter Home Insulation Guide for the Elderly

The guide offers lots of helpful information such as:

  • Practical tips and advice to help the elderly prepare for winter and stay healthy and warm during cold weather.
  • A guide to improving the warmth and energy efficiency of seniors’ homes, including tips and FAQs on wall, loft, and roof insulation.
  • Information about energy grants, winter assistance programs, and other cold-weather benefits that the elderly are eligible for.
  • Other useful tips such as how to save money on energy bills and links to other useful tools and winter resources.

You can check it out here, to learn more about it.

 

Mesothelioma.net

Older sick man

This organization is a leading source of free information and resources for mesothelioma victims and their families. They cover many topics such as: treatment options, symptoms, doctors, research, and how to find financial assistance.

Mesothelioma.net has a plethora of free resources and information for those suffering from mesothelioma cancer and other asbestos diseases. Some of the topics they cover are treatment options, financial assistance, and help for families of asbestos victims. The site is “Health On the Net” certified as a trustworthy source of medical information (see bottom right of our site for HONcode badge) and is periodically reviewed by medical professionals.

They are very well in touch with supportive care units, surrounding hospitals, treatment centers, therapy centers, and so on. So our network is pretty widespread and advantageous. They are able to swiftly refer victims to treatment facilities. Not to mention they even give back to the cancer community by sponsoring the American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, Make a Wish Foundation, MD Anderson Hospital and more.

For information about mesothelioma treatment, visit this page: https://mesothelioma.net/treatment-for-mesothelioma/

Cleaning Sprays

With CoVid-19 still running rampant at the time of writing this post, many of our stores are running out of cleaning products, so thought it’s be a good time to remember some of the old DIY recipes so we can make some ourselves.

Spray cleaningVinegar cleaner

All-purpose and long-lasting, this removes grease and dirt. Ideal for stainless steel sinks, tiled and timber surfaces and plastic finishes such as fridge shelves and phones.

  • 2 cups white vinegar
    • 1 cup water
    • 25 drops eucalyptus oil

Combine all the ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake well before use, spray onto a soft damp cloth and rub. No need to rinse.

Lavender disinfectant

Keeps bathroom surfaces safe and smelling sweet. It also makes a marvellous spray when ironing bed linen.

  • 25 drops lavender essential oil
    • 2 tbsp methylated spirits or vodka
    • 500ml distilled water

Add the oil to the alcohol in a clean, dry bottle and leave to dissolve for 24 hours. Add water and decant into a spray bottle. Shake thoroughly before use.


Scouring paste

This is the simplest cleaner of all for sinks, oven doors, stovetops and inside mugs.

• 4 tbsp bicarb
• 1 tbsp water

Mix the ingredients into a stiff paste and apply with a damp sponge. Buff with a dry cloth.

Bicarb cleaner

A general cleaner, this is safe for use anywhere in the home.

  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    • 1 tsp pure soap flakes
    • squeeze of lemon or dash of white vinegar
    • 1 cup warm water

Mix ingredients and shake until soap is dissolved. Spray and wipe with a sponge.

 

 

Poem of the Week 5April20

Encouragement

We all need a little bit of encouragement to help stay positive in our CoVid-19 world. Little things help others who live alone & can’t go out, a phone call, a message on Facebook or other social media, links to funny things a laughing raises our vibrations. I’m mainly just ringing my friends who are alone and they ring me too. I’ve also been lucky to receive an early Easter goodies gift dropped off by a lovely friend, no not Easter eggs, but healthy things, a couple of avocados, some delicious Frankfurt sausages & some biscuits. Very much appreciated.

Encouragement

Getting Over Grief: Understanding its Stages and How to Heal

Do you know all the causes of grief?  Death is a major cause of grief, but there are others.

Losses such as health, career, status, role, divorce, and financial loss cause many people grief.

Want to learn more?

Jane Newton, Community Educator from CNV Detox has sent information  on their guide “Getting Over Grief: Understanding its Stages and How to Heal” to help educate the public and  make learning about grief simple.

The bottom line is that most people don’t think much about grief until it hits them, even though grief affects almost everyone.

Here’s the link to this resource: http://www.cnvdetox.com/understanding-grief/

Do Not Be Too Comfortable In Your Comfort Zone!

Freedom

Everyone has a comfort zone, one which we very often prefer not to step outside of because it makes us feel… well uncomfortable (of course). But what if we stay there all the time? Do we develop? Do we grow as individuals?

How Comfort Zones Stifle Success

Have you ever entered a room full of people you didn’t know and your first thought was to turn around and leave?  At a meeting, have you been asked at the last minute to get up and thank the speaker?  These are examples of what many consider as being outside their comfort zone.So, what is a comfort zone & what’s wrong with living in one?

Roy T. Bennett put it like this,

The comfort zone is a psychological state in which one feels familiar, safe, at ease, and secure. You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

ComfortZone
It seems that psychologically, we’re programmed to seek comfort, but unfortunately comfort isn’t really the best thing for us if we want to have success.

Their comfort zone is the state which highly successful people try their best to avoid; they are constantly trying out new ideas to see what works out and what doesn’t. When their plans don’t work out as expected, they use these experiences as learning opportunities to progress closer to their goals.

So, when you find yourself feeling uncomfortable, take some deep breathes and calm your mind. Don’t freak out but look at this as a new opportunity in front of you, a new action to take, that just like any other action, requires a process that happens one step at a time. Look on that first step as a gift, a chance to try some small thing that might lead to a great journey that you’d miss if you don’t take that first step!

Yes, starting something new is usually scary and it might bring about doubt. That’s normal. Change will cause a lack of ease because it’s unfamiliar territory, nonetheless, the unfamiliar can become familiar once we embrace it. So how can you embrace jumping out of your comfort zone?

You can start by asking yourself the following questions:

  • What do you really want in life, what is your dream?
  • Why do you want it?
  • Are your current actions helping you move towards that dream?
  • What can you change so that you are working towards it?
  • Do you want your dream enough to make those changes even if they are not comfortable?

By now you know what you need to do, so do you feel ready? If you answered yes to that, now is the time to implements those changes, the ones that can launch you into success.

break freeIf you want to experience the freedom of being a complete action taker who is willing to do anything, regardless of how scary it may be, you have to find something of major significance to drive you. I promise you that having a fluffy goal with no emotional backing (for example, a certain amount of yearly income) is not a driving force, it is more of a nice-to-have.

The driving force I am talking about is something much more personal, much more sacred to the individual. It is a representation of you, your beliefs, your morals, values and everything else that defines you at the core of your being.

Think Olympic champions (and hopefuls) who make huge sacrifices just to compete at this high level. Without having a driving force inside them, how would they commit to the years of dedicated & often painful training that is needed, putting aside the social life & friendships that others take for granted?

Very few people ever take time to define this for themselves, so they never truly tap into their driving force. That is why we see so many people living complacent lives, accepting mediocrity and frustration instead of aggressively pursuing something that makes them come alive. Because of this, it never occurs to them that they should be stepping out of their comfort zone and trying new things.

 

Guide for Managing Aging Parent’s Finances

The Young Adult’s Guide to Managing an Aging Parent’s Money

Thanks to Brigid Ludwig for pointing me to a new guide on helping parents manage their money as they get older. It covers important discussion topics and warning signs that they may need help, as well as how to become their power of attorney and keep track of their important financial documents.

The guide also has advice on

Use this guide to organize you and your parents’ financial journeys and get ahead of any potential issues before they arise.

Mesothelioma Surgery for Elderly Patients

nurse-reading-to-elderly-patient

Age Is Just a Number: Mesothelioma Surgery for Elderly Patients

Guest Posy by: Devin Golden on Mar 5, 2020

In almost any explanation of mesothelioma treatment options, there is a clause. The routes available depends on numerous factors, one of which is age. This clause — that age, among other factors, could limit treatment — is usually specific to just one option: surgery.

A study published in the Annals of Surgical Oncology suggests that age might be the most often-used factor when determining if a patient is eligible for mesothelioma surgery.

Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer for which there are already limited treatments. Removing the most effective one just because of a person’s age? We at Mesothelioma Guide hope surgeons and doctors consider far more than just that number.

In Review: Mesothelioma Treatment for Elderly Patients

Elderly couple holding handsThe study involved examining the National Cancer Database for all patients at least 80 years old with recently diagnosed nonmetastatic malignant pleural mesothelioma. In other words, the patients’ disease is in its early stages and hasn’t spread to vital organs — but it could, and likely will, if untreated.

The researchers found 4,526 patients who met the criteria and looked into the treatment approach used for each. According to the study’s results, which was published on the U.S. National Library of Medicine:

  • Just 2% of the patients had surgery (likely pleurectomy with decortication) plus chemotherapy
  • Around 13% had just surgery
  • 22% had only chemotherapy
  • 63% were “observed,” meaning they didn’t receive any curative treatment

The average age of pleural mesothelioma patients is 72 — the disease is more likely to impact the elderly than many other forms of cancer — and restricting these patients to chemotherapy or nothing is usually an early death sentence. The median survival times were:

  • 4.1 months for those observed
  • 9.5 months for those receiving just chemotherapy
  • 12.2 months for those undergoing surgery and chemotherapy

By comparison, the figures for pleural mesothelioma patients under 80 years old were:

  • 17% only underwent surgery or had surgery and chemotherapy (median survival of 17.7 months)
  • 47% had just chemotherapy (median survival of 12.2 months)
  • 36% were just observed (median survival of 6.6 months)

More to the Story for Mesothelioma Treatment

The argument against elderly patients having surgery — or even chemotherapy — is that their bodies may not be strong enough. Other complications may arise due to surgery. However, not every 81- or 82-year-old patient has the same health. One may have poor nutrition or other health concerns. Another could be a former marathon runner who eats healthy and exercises regularly.

While the study says the 90-day mortality rate for those having mesothelioma surgery was 28.5%, this figure does not consider the quality of patient selection. As author Justin Karush says on the Society of Surgical Oncology website, “When selecting patients with mesothelioma for surgery, it is paramount to consider the ability to offer adjuvant treatment.”

Additionally, a survival time enhanced by 200% — the difference, according to the study, between no curative treatment and surgery plus chemotherapy — could be enough reward to take the risk.

Quality of Life Due to Surgery

Pensive elderly manFor people with peritoneal mesothelioma, the benefits of surgery are just as great — if not greater. A study published in the Annals of Surgical Oncology reviewed the quality of life in 46 patients who underwent cytoreductive surgery with heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC). The median survival of these patients was 3.4 years, and 36.5% lived for at least five years.

By comparison, only 18% of peritoneal patients in general live for at least five years, and the life expectancy of elderly patients with this disease is at most two years. While there are similar risks associated with elderly patients undergoing cytoreductive surgery with HIPEC, the increased survival time is relevant.

So is the increased quality of life. The study suggests that patients who underwent surgery experienced improved emotional well-being and social functioning, fewer emotional issues and less pain. The study concluded, “(Quality of life) returned to baseline or improved from baseline between three months and one year following surgery. Despite the risks associated with this operation, patients may tolerate HIPEC well and have good overall (quality of life) postoperatively.”

Unfortunately, many elderly mesothelioma patients will never get the chance to enjoy that improved quality of life since the general assumption is they should stay away from the operating room. That’s a discouraging one in the medical industry, and one we at Mesothelioma Guide hope changes going forward.

Note to Mesothelioma Patients and Their Loved Ones

If you’re a newly diagnosed mesothelioma patient, we are on your side and will do anything possible to help you through this difficult time. Most importantly, we can help you find the best treatment available.

Our patient advocate and registered nurse, Jenna Campagna, is the No. 1 resource for learning more about mesothelioma. She also can refer you to a mesothelioma specialist with a track record of success in helping patients live long past the average prognosis. Email her [email protected] to begin your path to recovery.

 

Devin-Golden

About the Writer, Devin Golden

Devin Golden is the content writer for Mesothelioma Guide. He produces mesothelioma-related content on various mediums, including the Mesothelioma Guide website and social media channels. Devin’s objective is to translate complex information regarding mesothelioma into informative, easily absorbable content to help patients and their loved ones.