Archive for January, 2014

Gluten: What Is It and Should You Be Concerned?

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

You might have noticed many food labels now disclaim the use of gluten. But, what is gluten and why does it matter if it’s a part of our diet?

Gluten is the term for proteins found in cereal grains. Consuming these proteins is usually harmless. But, for sufferers of the hereditary celiac disease, ingesting the gluten found in wheat, barley, and rye can be a big problem. If a Celiac sufferer ingests gluten, their immune system damages their small intestine in an effort to remove the protein. This may result in symptoms varying from stomach discomfort to malnutrition.

The only treatment for celiac disease is a gluten-free diet. The Celiac Disease Foundation is a great resource for tips on how to live a gluten-free lifestyle, offering guidance on gluten-free alternatives to favorite foods, how to read labels, and how to stick to your diet while dining out.

Although it is a hereditary disease, celiac can develop at any age. Many adults and seniors appear to tolerate gluten for many years before they are diagnosed with the disease. This source talks about the unique considerations of seniors with celiac disease like the stronger risk of osteoporosis, managing a special diet on a budget, and addressing dietary needs with potential retirement communities.

Now that awareness is on the rise and diagnosis techniques have improved – the increase in gluten-free labeling addresses the needs of a rising demographic. However, unless you have gluten allergy or intolerance as determined by a doctor, there’s no need to be concerned about gluten in your food.


Access Millions of NYC Vital Records for Free

Friday, January 17th, 2014

In a team effort between New York City’s Department of Records/Municipal Archives and, the City’s Vital Records indices are now available online for free.

Volunteers from the Italian Genealogical Group and the German Genealogy group diligently worked over ten years to compile these indices. Now, thanks to the concerted efforts of these four groups, would-be genealogists can instantly query more than ten million birth, marriage, and death records ranging in years from 1862 to 1942.

Depending on the query,’s New York City Department of Records search page will list the person’s name, birth date, death date, spouse’s name and marriage date, and the county where the event took place.

If you’d like to acquire certified copies of original certificates and/or images, you must order the document directly from the NYC Department of Records. You will need to reference the certificate number, which can be obtained by becoming a Registered Guest of A registered guest account does not require credit card or billing information, and requires nothing more than your name and email address.

Online access to these indices means everyone can search for records, not just New Yorkers. New York City was the first destination of many immigrants and has always been a popular tourist destination, so it’s no stretch of the imagination that a significant event of family history, like birth, marriage, or death, might have happened in NYC. Take advantage of this free resource to find out more about your family history.

Dementia Patients May Experience Improved Rehabilitation Using an Intensive Exercise Program

Monday, January 13th, 2014

Researchers at the University of Arizona have found evidence that patients with dementia can adhere to, and experience significant benefits from, an intensive exercise program. Michael Schwenk, PhD, lead author of the research paper, states that “results indicate that medium to high training adherence can be achieved in the majority of geriatric inpatients despite cognitive impairment and acute functional impairment.” Dr. Schwenk believes that rehabilitation programs of low intensity are currently employed because of the preconceived limitations of those with dementia. He hopes this study will provide insight towards developing geriatric rehabilitation exercise programs that will engage the full potential of dementia patients and yield the maximum improvement possible.

Stay Warm and Safe This Winter

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Brrr, it’s cold! A distorted polar vortex has brought arctic winds too far south, plunging temperatures across the country dangerously below the freezing mark. During these harsh days of winter it’s important to stay healthy, warm, and safe. Aside from the hazardous conditions caused by snow and ice, the cold weather can harm bodies by causing dry skin, stiff joints, and high blood pressure, in addition to other ailments.

Protected Tomorrows has listed several cold weather health tips for seniors, outlining advice on how to stay warm, protect your skin, and keep your spirits high.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has helpful advice on many winter related issues:

Prepare your Home
Indoor Safety
Outdoor Safety

If you use space heaters to heat certain rooms in your home, the National Fire Protection Association’s Space Heater Safety Tips might be helpful.

I hope these tips help you and your loved ones stay warm and safe through these record low temperatures.