Dan Easton

/Dan Easton

About Dan Easton

Director of Social Media - Senior Care Central, LLC

Skin Cancer Warning Signs


With summer upon us, we are happy to get out and enjoy the change from the long Indiana winter. However, prolonged exposure to that bright sunshine can have dire consequences for us as we age. The risk of skin cancer is higher in older adults, and the major risk factor is sun exposure. Although there are other less serious forms of skin cancer (basal cell and squamous cell), malignant melanoma is the most dangerous kind, accounting for more than 8,700 deaths per year (American Cancer Society, 2013).

As we age and our skin becomes more fragile, sun exposure can take its toll. You can be proactive in preventing skin cancer by following some simple tips:
Wear sunscreen when out in the sun and choose SPF 15 or higher every day, but choose SPF 30 with a waterproof barrier for long exposure. Avoid tanning booths. Wear clothing and hats that protect you from exposure. Ask your primary care provider to perform a skin check with your yearly physical, or visit your dermatologist if you have concerns. Know your own skin and check it regularly using the ABCDE method. Report any suspicious lesions to your doctor right away for follow-up.

The ABCDE method can help us remember the warning signs of skin cancer:
A = Asymmetry (if a line is drawn down the middle of the lesion, the two sides do not match)
B = Border (the borders of the lesion tend to be irregular)
C = Color (a variety of colors is present; the lesion is not uniform in color)
D = Diameter (MM lesions are usually larger)
E = Evolving (note any changes in shape or size, or any bleeding)
The good news is that even the most serious kind of skin cancer can be nearly 100% curable when detected early.

So, enjoy the sun, but be sun smart as well!

By | 2016-02-16T23:44:47+00:00 February 17th, 2016|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Skin Cancer Warning Signs

Suggestions for Problems with Eating/Feeding in Persons with Dementia


Caring for a person with dementia can be challenging. Negative behaviors often arise during meals. Care for behavioral symptoms of dementia needs to be individualized based on examining the entire picture of personal and environmental factors (such as living situation and what is going on around them). However, some general approaches to managing certain behaviors can be helpful. Here are some suggestions for issues with eating or feeding.

Thoroughly prepare meal trays (open cartons, cut food).
Offer small, frequent meals and snacks.
At meals, provide one food and one utensil at a time.
Provide nutritious finger foods.
Provide nutritional supplements, if indicated.
Offer fluids in containers that can be self-managed (“sippy” cups, sports bottles).
Request speech therapy (ST) and occupational therapy (OT) services, if needed.
Provide adaptive utensils, if indicated. An OT can order these as needed.
Assist the client to feed self, rather than feeding, whenever possible.
Use “hand-over-hand” feeding (your hand guides theirs).
Gently cue the person to continue eating, chewing, and swallowing. Make your cues short by breaking the process into small steps.
Avoid making comments about manners or messiness.
Provide the person with dignified protection for clothing.
If agitation develops during feeding, stop and retry a little later.
Avoid force feeding.
Reassure the person that his or her food has been paid for (a common concern).
Monitor body weight to detect gains or losses.

Adapted from Schwartzkopf, C. E. & Twigg, P. (2014). Nursing management of dementia. In K. L. Mauk’s (Ed.) Gerontological Nursing: Competencies for Care. Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers. Used with permission.

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By | 2015-11-09T10:16:23+00:00 November 9th, 2015|News Posts|Comments Off on Suggestions for Problems with Eating/Feeding in Persons with Dementia
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