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taxi at night webThe Cab Ride (Anonymous) 
Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living. 
When I arrived at 2:30 a.m., the building was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window. Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once or twice, wait a minute, then drive away.

But, I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation. Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always went to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself. So I walked to the door and knocked.

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Fig leavesToday is the first cold day of fall. After a long summer of a meteorological pas de deux of heat waves and rainstorms, we’ve hit the first cold snap of autumn. The garden gnomes and plastic flamingoes seek shelter in the shed, the closets trade short-sleeve cotton for long-sleeve wool, and the sweaters rise from their cedar-and-mothball tombs. The change of wardrobes is a seasonal ritual for man and foliage alike. For humans, clothing is a matter of style — what we wear makes a statement. You can tell a lot about a person and their clothing by the label. Labels tell where the outfit was made, of what it was made, and who designed it. Labels are reflections of quality and prestige.

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holiday baskets 1469491People of many faiths and cultures gather together to celebrate during the holiday season. Christians exchange gifts, others give gifts only to the children, some sing carols or bake cookies, and some celebrate quietly. Some homes receive a visit from Santa, Christians decorate a Christmas tree, and Jews place a menorah in the home. Africans display the seven symbols of Kwanzaa and the colors of the African flag - red, black and green.

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Lifestyles over 50 TV - Home

Phoebe Wyncote 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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