During Hispanic Heritage Month, Celebrate Healthy Living

This is the first in a series celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month 2014 — Monday, September 15th through Wednesday, October 15. Far too often we find ourselves rehearsing the negative statistics. For example, 10.6 percent of Mexican Americans and 10.8 percent of African Americans have diabetes, compared with 6.2 percent of white Americans, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Also, Hispanics and blacks are more likely to suffer from obesity and hypertension, the two largest factors for …

How Stroke Changed One Man’s Life

Among the top five “Stroke Myths” on the website of the National Stroke Association is “Stroke only strikes the elderly.” A man who shattered that myth and lived to recount the experience is Mark McEwen, who turns 60 in September. From 1987 to 2002, McEwen was the face of morning television on CBS, first as a weatherman, then as an entertainment reporter and finally as cohost of The Early Show. Traveling with his wife, Denise, in 2005 – he had …

Fire and Rain: Beauty and Good Health From the Ashes

My wife and I took a nature walk on the southern slope of the Santa Monica Mountains shortly after a brush fire had ravaged the earth and turned the blackened branches of the laurel sumac trees into hands that clawed at the darkening sky. It was a scene right out of Dante’s Inferno, tempered by the life that lay on the other side of the hill. On that “other side,” stretched out before us were acres of lavender blossoms belonging …

Join Us: Care4YouToo Contest Helps Caregivers Get Fit

Over the past five years of intensive caregiving for my parents, I have watched my numbers go up – my cholesterol, my weight, my body fat and, yes, my jeans size. And let’s not even mention my stress level and the number of pieces of chocolate I eat daily. One number has gone down, though: the number of hours I spend taking care of myself by exercising, meditating, relaxing or sleeping. Unfortunately, it’s a pattern many of us who are …

Hot Times: How Summer Heat Affects Caregiving

The dog days of summer can complicate caregiving. For my 90-year-old dad, whose progressing Alzheimer’s disease makes him sensitive to extremes in temperature, the typical 110-degree Phoenix weather is too hot to go outside, but an overly air-conditioned room is too cold. The result for my father is low motivation, appetite and activity levels that aren’t good for his health. Here are some of the creative ways I use to keep up with my dad’s health care, socialization and exercise …

Danger: The Power of Salt, the Allure of Sugar

I apparently have had diabetes for many years but haven’t paid much attention to it other than maybe not eating the third slice of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving and using less than a cup of salt on my french fries. Today, I know better. Now if Señor Salt rides into our dining room like a South American gaucho, I am to ride my own horse the hell out of there. If Mademoiselle Sugar, the enticing French beauty, were to step …