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Tips for an Accessible Halloween

pumpkin-1544602_960_720Halloween can be scary in more ways than one – the costumes, the pranks, the candy selection… and accessibility. A holiday that many see as fun and exciting can be anxiety inducing for others as they wonder if they will be able to fully participate with their peers. Here are a few tips for trick-or-treaters, their parents, and those who decide to hand out treats:

For those heading out:

  • Plan your route out a few days before. Most houses should have their decorations up, so you will be able to assess which ones will be easily accessible.
  • Costumes should not be tight, and not dragging on the ground either; you don’t want anything getting caught in wheels or tangled around canes. (more…)
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Tips on the use and care of your non-invasive ventilation interface

Clinician-Fitting-Respironics-Full-Face-Mask-TWTo avoid complications and ensure that your non-invasive ventilation is working efficiently, be sure to take the following steps.

• Clean the interface (mask, nasal pillows or mouthpiece/straw) daily with dish soap and warm water, following the manufacturer’s recommendations. If your interface is not cleaned regularly, you may be exposed to bacteria or viruses and potential infection, and you will shorten the life of the mask.

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Dealing with Caregiver Stress

Respite

Being a caregiver is meaningful and fulfilling, but is also extremely stressful. Caregiver burnout is very common, and though this job is of the utmost importance, it is still essential that you take care of yourself; you cannot take care of others if you are not your best. Below we outline three essential areas in managing stress:

 

 

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Eating healthy during the holidays

fruits-601742_640We know the holidays can be tough for those looking to keep their healthy eating habits up, so here are ten tips to help you stay on track during the season:

  1. If you’re traveling to a cottage or family members home make sure to pack healthy snacks for the drive or flight!
  2. Ask what will be served, so you can plan on holding out for the items you like.
  3. If your family serves buffet style or you are going to a buffet restaurant, using a smaller plate is a good way to make sure you don’t pile too much on at a time. (more…)
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Nutrition and Healthy Eating While Living With a Neuromuscular Disorder

mini-food-processor-and-resultsWe all know that getting the proper nutrients is vital to maintaining energy and overall muscle health, when affected by a neuromuscular disorder.  This is scientifically proven.

Rather than getting into science, this story is about sharing some personal experiences and useful hints to maintain healthy eating habits.

Having Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) for over 40 years has created many challenges in my life, two of which are chewing and swallowing because of muscle weakness.  My first experience with adapted food consistency was when I was twelve and in the hospital.  I was provided with a pureed pizza, which came like a milkshake and totally grossed me out!  However, not being one to judge on first try, I kept trying different things and today eat most of my meat and vegetables in a modified texture called mechanical soft.  Basically the food is not pureed or liquefied, but minced in a food processor to a pâté like consistency.  First point of advice, try different techniques and consistencies until you find something that works for you.  Most food works well, except for potatoes, pasta and pizza (too bad).  I also find it helps with swallowing to have some form of sauce to help get the food down.

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