Archive for June, 2015

Alzheimer’s caregivers: Tips to take care of yourself, too

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

“It’s important for caregivers to take care of themselves as well, and to help those they care for find treatment options that can make it easier for both patient and caretaker to better manage Alzheimer’s symptoms,” says Dr. Richard S. Isaacson*, associate professor of neurology and director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention & Treatment Program at Weill Cornell Medical College and a respected AD researcher who has several family members with the disease. “Just as there is no one solution for managing Alzheimer’s symptoms, caregivers need to employ a suite of tactics in coping with their responsibilities – from stress-relieving habits and regular medical care for themselves, as well education about nutritional therapy and medication for patients.”

Caregivers should keep in mind that helping themselves stay well is also helping the people for whom they’re caring. If you’re taking care of a loved one with AD, here are some ways you can help both yourself and the person in your care:

* Therapy to mitigate AD symptoms – Coping with common symptoms of AD such as disorientation, forgetfulness and emotional imbalances are among the most stressful aspects of caregiving. Helping patients mitigate those symptoms can improve the quality of life for both the patient and caregiver. Some medications show promise in helping reduce symptoms, and a new medical food, Axona(R) by Accera, Inc. can further help some mild to moderate patients mitigate symptoms, especially when used in tandem with drug therapies.

Axona helps by providing the brain of mild to moderate AD patients with an alternative to glucose – the “food” which fuels brain function. A brain affected by AD doesn’t process glucose into energy as efficiently as a healthy brain, creating a condition known as diminished cerebral glucose metabolism (DCGM)) which most often occurs in the areas of the brain involved in memory and thoughts. The easy-to-mix, once-daily prescription medical food Axona helps provide brain cells with an alternative energy source, which may help ease the effects of DCGM and enhance memory and cognitive function in AD patients. Doctors and caregivers of AD patients who use Axona report patients appear more alert and engaged in daily activities and interactions with others.

* Seek support – Caregivers provide a tremendous amount of support for both patients and those who love them, but they can use support too. If you are a caregiver, join a support group where you can connect with people whose experiences and emotions parallel your own. You can find a support group through the Alzheimer Association’s website, Don’t be afraid to ask for help from family and friends, too. Something as simple as picking up laundry or groceries, or sitting with a patient for an hour while you run errands doesn’t take much time away from someone else’s schedule, but it could give you a much-needed break.

* Keep an organized schedule – Routine can be very comforting for AD patients, and a schedule can help caregivers stay on track and feel less stressed by day-to-day demands. Online calendars or apps for your mobile device can help you keep a schedule and stay organized. Be sure to schedule in some time to give yourself a break, along with doctor’s appointments and medication timings.

* Avoid isolation – Withdrawal from society is common among dementia patients and can take a toll on those caring for them. Caregivers can feel isolated, too. It’s important to connect with others. Seek social interaction that will benefit you and your loved one with AD, whether it’s attending a weekly prayer meeting or a regularly scheduled dinner with family members.

* Keep things in perspective – The Alzheimer’s Association outlines five key things to remember: Don’t take behaviors personally; stay calm and patient; realize pain can be a trigger for behavior; don’t argue; and accept upsetting behaviors as part of the disease. Remember, your loved one can’t control his or her disease, but you can control your reaction to disease-related behaviors.

To learn more about Axona, visit For more information on AD, including tips for caregivers, visit

*Dr. Richard Isaacson is a paid scientific advisor/consultant for Accera, Inc.

Keep prints and color combos looking bright

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

Nobody wants these beautiful splashes of color to look dull and worn after just a couple washes. Colors need to keep shining brightly to maintain a fashionable closet throughout the warmer months.

Keep your fashions looking fresh and new all throughout spring and summer with the following laundry tips from Dr. Laundry.

* Keeping colors bright is the perfect job for Clorox 2 Stain Fighter & Color Booster with new TripleSolve Technology. Add this to every load of laundry, along with your favorite laundry detergent to help remove tough stains, maintain color and keep your clothes runway ready. The liquid formula is perfect for pre-treating and removing tough stains, the pack formula contains the brightening and stain-fighting power of Clorox 2 in the convenience of a pack and there is also a powder formula – a must-have addition to any laundry arsenal.

* Vibrant colors could cause potential bleeding in the washing machine. If this happens, the first step to take is to not dry any of the laundry in the dryer, which can heat-set the color transfer. Bleach test the material that suffered from the bleeding by mixing 2 teaspoons of bleach in 1/4 cup of water, and apply a drop of the solution to a hidden part of the clothing. After a minute, blot the spot dry. If you don’t see any change in coloring, the item can be safely bleached. Mix 1/4 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of cold water and soak the garment for five minutes. Rinse thoroughly. Air dry and see if the bleeding color has been removed. If you haven’t had any success, try a stronger product like a color remover – but consider diluting this product first to help protect other colors already built into the fabric.

* Sweat stains can age a shirt very quickly, and with the warmer temperatures, these marks are likely to appear on this season’s fashions. To help remove a buildup of these stains, first put the shirt into a dishpan and pour boiling water over it slowly – targeting the armpit and neckline areas where these stains tend to build up. Try not to handle the shirt – it will be hot. After soaking for a short time, pour as much of the hot water off as you can. Then mix equal parts baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and water into a watery paste. Apply directly to the stains and saturate. Rinse the shirt and follow up with a hot water wash with a good enzyme-containing laundry detergent plus 3/4 cup of bleach.

Step out in the hot runway prints and new color combos, and don’t let those fantastic looks become dull or stained. For additional laundry tips and advice, visit Dr. Laundry’s blog at, call the 24/7 stain hotline at 877-STAIN-411 or download the myStain app for on the go solutions.

Caption 1: Tie-dyed prints and vibrant colors were everywhere during the Strut Fashion Show at Spring Fashion Week in New York.

Stand out in style this season with the hottest beauty and fashion trends

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

Each season celebrities and models strut down the runways wearing the latest fashion and beauty trends that inspire women everywhere. Every fashionable woman knows that getting the most sought-out dress or top isn’t enough. Hair can be your best accessory and if styled correctly, can make your entire look.

Theodore Leaf, Suave Professionals celebrity stylist and lead stylist from the NBC hit show “Fashion Star,” knows the importance of creating the right hairstyle for any outfit. “I’ve styled many designer runway shows and they all want hairstyles that accentuate the clothing to create the ultimate look,” he says. “Whether you’re going for a fun and flirty ponytail to pair with colored denim or an elegant chignon to complement your little black dress, the perfect hairstyle is essential for pulling together an outfit.”

Read on for Theodore’s hair and style tips that are sure to keep you on trend this season. 

Pumped-up ponytail: An effortless ponytail is the perfect style to pair with this season’s hottest colors and prints.  This sleek style usually reserved for the gym was all over the runways with a new, modern twist. The trick to giving the classic ponytail new life is adding volume on top.  Pull the hair into a high ponytail but leave out the front section. Tease the front pieces by gently backcombing at the root. Then gather together and pin into place so the ends lay over the ponytail. To add shine and prevent frizz, apply a serum like Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Smooth & Shine Serum in the palm of your hand, emulsify and run your fingers through the pony. 

Bohemian braids: The boho trend is all about being relaxed and natural. A loose side braid complements this look and, if you’re up for it, try this season’s hottest new trend: a mermaid tail braid. Divide hair into two sections and braid each. Then line the two braids up side-by-side and use small bobby pins to hold them together. The key to making this look effortless is to keep it casual, don’t over-style the braid. Spray the braid with Suave Professionals Dry Conditioner to lightly condition and renew shine. 

Bombshell blowout: To counterbalance the sharp tailoring of the menswear trend, wear your hair in a sexy, feminine style. You can never go wrong with a full-bodied blowout that has volume at the roots, bounce at the ends and is utterly sexy. To get a bouncy smooth style without going to the salon, use a large round brush when blow-drying. The front pieces are the most important so be sure to blow-dry them first. Then work with two-inch sections to completely dry the rest of the hair. To really turn up the volume, wrap warm hair around large rollers and let it set. Once hair has cooled down, remove the rollers for a va-va-voom look. 

Chic chignons: The great thing about a chignon is that it can work with a casual look or an evening style. For a daytime look, create a low chignon keeping it a little messy and undone with loose pieces to frame your face. For nighttime, take your look up a notch by creating a sleek top knot. The beauty of this hairstyle is that it can be made more or less dressy depending on how tight you pull the knot, sleeker for a more formal look and looser for an understated feel.

How to cultivate your own personal style: Developing your personal brand

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

Look at Kate Middleton, Johnny Depp or Lady GaGa. Whether classic, wacky or sometimes just bizarre, their style says volumes about who they are, and your style can do the same for you.  

Personal style is a brand that “communicates who you are without saying a word,” says Michael Watson, fashion instructor at The Art Institute of Charlotte. Fashion instructors from Art Institutes schools offer tips that will put you well on your way to cultivating a personal style that is uniquely you.

1. What is your lifestyle?
“Establishing and understanding your lifestyle is the biggest step to developing your own personal style,” says Watson. “The more people understand who they are and what they value, will dictate fit, fabrications and different looks in terms of cut.” In order to really understand your lifestyle and key values, Watson recommends asking yourself who you are and what you value; writing down the key points about who you are; and deciding what you want people to know about you: Are you an innovator? Are you creative?

Julie Crawley, fashion instructor at The New England Institute of Art says, “It extends beyond style.  What are your hobbies and interests?” She says a good place to start is online. Sites like, or Pinterest allow people to pull images together on mood boards and see what appeals to them.  She recommends taking an inventory of not only your closet, but also your home.

2. What is your body type and skin tone?
Determine your body type and skin tone. “Everybody’s different,” says Watson. “Everybody’s got different levels of red, blue and yellow undertones to their skin.” Understanding these will “make sure the personal style is reflected the best on that individual,” he says.

3. Create a signature piece or look
Think Jackie Kennedy’s iconic suits and sunglasses or Coco Chanel’s understated style with multi-strand pearls. These ladies created a signature look that is memorable. Whether you are more of a minimalist or carry a specific style of bag, “people will remember this aspect, and it shows who you are,” says Watson. When creating your own signature look, Crawley also recommends finding a designer you like. “When you find out what appeals to you, find out which retailers sell what you’re looking for and stick with that brand,” she says.

4. There’s no room for clutter
Cleaning out your closet and gathering together items to be donated to charity can be a daunting task. But, it can also be one that reaps rewards; including removing clutter and making space for items that better reflect your personal style. Both Watson and Crawley say this is an important step. “Go through your closet and purge – get rid of things that don’t fit,” says Watson. Crawley agrees saying, “if you don’t like it, haven’t worn it in a year, or aren’t excited to put it on, don’t keep it.”

5. Put your knowledge to work at the mall
Crawley says having a distinct personal style will help make you a more educated and astute shopper. In the current economy, retailers aren’t buying as much, and they know which brands are going to sell, says Crawley. Consumers are also scaling back, making better decisions and buying less. Watson says when shopping, ask yourself the following questions, “does it fit into my lifestyle?” and “is it appropriate for my body and skin type?” If the answers are yes, buy it. “Understanding who you are becomes a factor in your decision-making.”

6. Don’t fall victim to trends
Trends are one trap that can derail your style. According to Watson, consumers fear that they are missing out on something and there is a “misconception that if it is a trend, you have to adopt it.” He says at any time there are seven to 10 strong fashion trends happening, and you don’t have to participate all the time.

“Understand that you can pick and choose from the trend,” he says.  ”You can just take a piece from the trend, instead of adopting the whole look.” A great example would be a bag that incorporates the trend.

Ask the pharmacist: How to avoid medication misfortune during a natural disaster

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

“People with health conditions such as diabetes, asthma or heart problems need to be particularly vigilant about making sure they have access to their medications when preparing for the aftermath of a natural disaster,” says Paul Reyes, Express Scripts pharmacist and host of the Ask the Pharmacist radio series. “It’s very important that you have your medications with you if you have to leave your home or at least have the appropriate information so that you can quickly get a supply of medication if necessary. There is plenty of stress and worry in an emergency situation and you want to avoid having your drug treatments add to your problems.”

Reyes provides the following tips to help avoid medication mistakes when facing a weather-related emergency.

* Pack and prepare your pills: Keep an updated list of all prescription and over-the-counter medications (including the name of the drug, the dosage and the condition being treated) with you in a waterproof container or bag. Include phone numbers for all of your doctors and pharmacies in case you or an emergency worker needs to contact them. If you are concerned about potential evacuations, consider storing your medications in one spot for quicker access.

* Carry your prescription card: It’s important to always carry your prescription drug membership card. Your pharmacy benefit provider or health plan can help you obtain an emergency supply of any lost or damaged medication.

* Develop a plan: Consider discussing your medication disaster plan with your doctor, especially if the medication you take has special handling instructions or requires electronic equipment (such as a nebulizer) or refrigeration. Make sure you have at least three days’ worth of medication and supplies with you (more if local authorities advise). Ordering a 90-day supply of medication through your plan’s mail-order pharmacy is a simple way to ensure a full stock.

If you do experience an emergency situation, it’s important to consider the following:

* Medication safety: Medications that are exposed to moisture, excessive heat or simply left at room temperature when they should be refrigerated may become contaminated. Inspect medications to see if the look or smell of it has changed. Contact a local pharmacist or health care provider to help determine if a drug is safe to use.

* Skipping doses: If you haven’t been able to take your medication, contact a pharmacist or doctor as soon as possible, even if you’re not experiencing any negative health effects. If you’ve skipped doses of your medication, never take additional doses to make up for those you’ve missed before talking to a health care practitioner.

For more resources and information, visit Express Scripts’ Healthcare Insights blog at

Hiring tips to help avoid nanny nightmares

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

(BPT) – Movie nannies might work for a spoonful of sugar, and hugs and kisses, but in the real world nannies – no matter how loving and attentive they are – need to get paid a salary. When you’re ready to hire a nanny, you can go through the most rigorous background checks, confirm references, interview extensively and hire the caregiver of your dreams – and still find yourself in the middle of a nanny nightmare if you run afoul of tax laws.

“Like most parents, my first thoughts when hiring a nanny were the safety of my children and whether or not the nanny would be a good fit for my family and those things are certainly critical,” says Lori Bolas, SurePayroll director of communications. “Unfortunately, many parents either don’t know about or can get overwhelmed by the regulations that apply to ensure that their nanny’s payroll gets handled correctly, on time and in compliance with state and federal laws.”

Fortunately, online payroll services can help take the confusion out of paying your nanny, and ensure he or she gets paid on time and according to the law. Although nanny-hiring goes on year round, many more families may undertake the task as the school year gets started. SurePayroll offers some tips for hiring and paying a nanny:

* Make a list of nanny must-haves, such as schedule availability, disciplinary practices, experience with multiple kids, etc. Next, create a list of preferences that are negotiable. Setting your priorities before you begin looking for a nanny will help you make the right decision.

* Involve others, including people whose referrals you trust, such as family members, friends, teachers and co-workers. Ask them for help in finding candidates, and don’t forget to involve your kids. Give them a few minutes to meet each nanny candidate during the interview; after all, they’ll be the ones most affected by your choice.

* Remember, you’re entering a business relationship – albeit one of the most important ones in your life. Keep things professional during the interview and be sure to ask all the tough questions about topics that are important to your family.

* Don’t overlook online resources and professional organizations. Selection services like SitterCity can help you identify and screen appropriate candidates, and the International Nanny Association provides information, advice and a directory on its website. Be sure to use background checks, which can easily be done online, check multiple references and personally interview every candidate at least once before making a final decision.

* Discuss wages and base your offer on the nanny’s level of experience and what other nannies in your area are getting. Federal law requires nannies must get at least minimum wage, and they may be entitled to overtime.

* Prepare paperwork to ensure you can avoid tax penalties. You’ll need a 1040-ES, a signature-ready Schedule H, the annual 1040 and a W-2. If you pay a seasonal nanny more than $1,000 per quarter or $1,800 per year, you’ll probably need to pay the “Nanny Tax,” which includes Social Security, Medicare and federal unemployment tax (FUTA).

* Set up payroll for your nanny, and plan to pay him or her by either direct deposit or check. You’ll need to make provisions to pay Social Security, Medicare, FUTA and other payroll taxes, including any state or local taxes that may apply. Track tax deductions, medical benefits and other insurance. Remember, mistakes can cost you: failing to pay the IRS nanny taxes can lead to back taxes, penalties, interest and fines of up to $25,000.

An online payroll provider like SurePayroll can help you stay on the right side of the law by managing the pay, tax and filing tasks for your nanny. Log on to to learn more.

“Your nanny will be one of the most important people in your family’s lives,” Bolas notes. “It’s important to start off on the right foot with good communication and ensuring payroll tasks go smoothly.”

Fun ways to teach your kids life lessons

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

(BPT) – A lemonade stand is a classic activity for kids and a great way for parents to teach them about earning money, building community and expressing creativity.

When setting up a lemonade stand, kids have the opportunity to show off their personalities and have fun personalizing their “business” to help it stand apart and attract attention. One example is to offer a sweet and creamy beverage just for adults to enjoy, like International Delight Iced Coffee. After all, they deserve a refreshing treat too.

Lifestyle blogger, Kim Stoegbauer of The TomKat Studio, has teamed with International Delight to create a simple guide parents can download to help their kids punch up their lemonade stands. It includes tips and free printables – even a drink calculator to help determine how many drinks you should make for the number of people you expect. Find it at Parents can also try these five creative tips to make their booth stand out above the rest.

1. Donate: Donate the proceeds to a local cause. Or encourage people to pay it forward and buy a cup for a fellow neighbor, the local postal worker or dog walker. Advertise this on the booth using large signs and have brochures about the local cause available to hand out to customers.

2. Just add iced coffee: Expand the offerings to include other beverages like refreshing iced coffee to appeal to parents. International Delight Iced Coffee offers a variety of authentic coffeehouse flavors and light options for an ice cold pick-me-up that suits every taste. The multi-serve half gallon is a great starter size for a lemonade booth. Of course, the iced coffee is just for the adults, and not for the kids, so make sure nobody sneaks a sip. Take a photo of your stand-out lemonade stand and post it on social channels, such as Instagram or Twitter, with the tag @indelight #IcedCoffeeLove.

3. Promote: Build a marketing campaign for the booth, a great way to meet the neighbors. Your children can create signs to advertise the booth at corners around the neighborhood, directing traffic to the stand. Tell your friends on your private Facebook page or through a text message or email.

4. Timing is everything: Encourage kids to research events coming up that would have good foot traffic moving past their lemonade stand. For example parent teacher conferences, school fundraisers and sporting events are great options for good sales.

5. Incentivize: Create incentive programs to keep children interested in their business throughout the fall months. If they choose to donate the earnings, plan a special trip to the organization to drop off the check. Or if they are saving up to purchase something special, establish a “Money Earned” chart showing how close they are to their goal.

In addition to raising funds, lemonade stands are great for social gatherings in a neighborhood. You can visit with your neighbors over a tasty beverage and your young entrepreneurs will learn valuable lessons from this year’s lemonade stand experience to last a lifetime.