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sarah ohara 02 webQ&A with Sarah O’Hara, Executive Director, Senior LIFE

What was your first job?
My first healthcare related job was in case management working with adults who suffered a traumatic brain injury.

How did you get into the senior care/health care industry? Why?
My undergraduate degree is in Social Services and I have always enjoyed helping others to live their best life possible. That’s what attracted me to work for a company like Senior LIFE that strives to keep seniors living at home for as long as possible, and give them the best medical and supportive care that they need. What is even better is that we can customize each member’s care plan to meet their specific needs, all at no cost to those who qualify for our program.

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kayak webTraditionally, Fall is a time to put away the swimsuits, summer sandals and gardening tools, clean up the leaves and bring the house plants indoors.
If you have a vegetable garden or fruit trees, you may can or freeze your harvest. Longer evenings and cooler temperatures make our wool socks necessary.
The first chilly days make you want to retreat indoors, but staying active outdoors in the Fall can do a lot more than a winter’s nap. It can increase our energy level, keep your muscles strong, build your immune system, stimulate your mind and give you an opportunity to spend quality time in nature with family or friends.
You can try a new sport or activity or take up one that you haven’t participated in for some time. Here are some ideas for enjoying the outdoors now and in the coming weeks.

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bearcreek photo webBear Creek
Spend the afternoon boating on a 5-acre lake, whether its paddling in a single or tandem kayak, on a stand-up paddle board or in a four-person paddle boat. Over 7 miles of wooded mountain biking and hiking trails encircle the resort. Hikers enjoy the local flora and fauna and mountain views while trekking along marked trails. bcmountainresort.com

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Lifestyles over 50 TV - Home

Bristol House Memory Care South Mountain Memory Care Heather Glen Senior Living Artis Memory Care Meals on Wheels Stimulating Dementia Patients in Rehab Hearing Loss Explained Woodworker's Fair at Bailey Wood Products LVAIP Senior Expo The Wood Shop America on Wheels Medicare Options LO50 Team Aging in Place of Lehigh Valley


The causes of insomnia include
Stress and anxiety
Depression (some patients have trouble sleeping others sleep too much)
Medical conditions, including chronic pain, breathing difficulties, overactive thyroid, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease
Caffeine and nicotine
Alcohol (may help one to fall asleep but it prevents deep sleep leading to awakening in the middle of the night)
Certain medications like heart and blood pressure medications, antidepressants, decongestants and corticosteroids
Poor sleep habits
Worrying about not being able to sleep

Treatment of insomnia may include both drug and behavioral therapies.  Prescription sleeping pills are prescribed based on which sleeping difficulty the patient is experiencing and if the patient has other conditions, such as depression. Some drugs are used to help one fall asleep initially, while others are ideal to help one fall back asleep in the middle of the night. Medications may be prescribed but are only intended for short term use, due to their side effects and the potential to lead to dependence. When a patient begins experiencing insomnia, behavioral therapies should be tried first.  

These therapies include an introduction to new sleep behaviors:
Going to bed at same time every night and waking at same time each morning (including weekends) • Avoiding anything mentally, physically, or emotionally stimulating right before bed
Beginning a daily relaxation ritual to remind your body it is time to sleep (breathing exercises, warm bath, relaxing stretches)
Avoiding daytime naps
Keeping the temperature of room cool
Removing clock to discourage clock-watching
Avoiding spending too much time awake in bed (Get out of bed if not asleep within twenty minutes and do something relaxing)
Other strategies that may improve sleep include:
Reviewing your other medications with your physician or pharmacist to see if your they may be affecting your sleep
Taking effective pain medication if necessary for a good night’s sleep
Getting regular exercise but not too close to bedtime
Eating a healthy, well balanced diet.

Prescription sleep aids can play a role in helping individuals fall sleep but should only be used for a short period of time. Developing good sleeping habits will help with the long term treatment of insomnia.

Lori Samer, RPh. is a consultant pharmacist and owner of Medication Matters, LLC.  We are a consulting service that specializes in addressing the challenges of taking medications correctly and optimizing the effectiveness of your medications.  We review your medication list, address concerns about your medications and identify medication related problems all in an effort to improve your health and provide peace of mind. To learn more, please visit our website at www.medicationmattersllc.com For further information please email Lori at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 484-268-8237.

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