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AARP recognizes family caregivers across US, presents Portrait of Care to Mukwonago woman

Mukwonago, Wisconsin – November marks National Family Caregivers Month, a time to recognize the 40 million Americans – including an estimated 578,000 from Wisconsin – who help older parents, spouses, and other loved ones live independently at home, where they want to be.

The unpaid care they provide, such as managing medications, cooking meals, driving to appointments, performing complex medical tasks and more, is valued at about $7 billion in Wisconsin alone.

Sherrie Palm of Mukwonago is one of these unsung heroes.

Sherrie is in the “sandwich generation,” providing support throughout much of her life for both parents and children, including step-children. Sherrie is the founder and Executive Director for the healthcare nonprofit Association for Pelvic Organ Prolapse Support. Her caregiving work has been an add-on.

“I learned as I went. You make mistakes, but you only make them once. I’m an all-cards-on-the-table kind of person, so I learn by asking questions. We all want to keep the wheels turning. We all feel guilty – like we should do more. I am able to find balance by laughing and focusing on the funny,” she said.

AARP Wisconsin is recognizing Sherrie with a “Portrait of Care,” which is an artist’s painting of her with a loved one.

Selected through AARP’s storytelling initiative called “I Heart Caregivers”, Sherrie is among 53 family caregivers chosen nationwide, including one each from each state, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to receive a hand-painted portrait.

Thousands of caregivers have shared their stories on the website www.aarp.org/iheartcaregivers

“We want to celebrate family caregivers, spotlight their experiences of hope, love, dedication and perseverance, and elevate their stories – especially during National Family Caregivers Month,” said Sam Wilson of AARP Wisconsin, which serves about 820,000 Wisconsinites age 50 and older. “This is especially important as we work to support family caregivers through public policy, education, outreach and more.

“Family caregivers are the backbone of our care system, serving a crucial role in helping older Wisconsinites and other loved ones remain in their own homes and communities as long as possible,” Wilson said. “That’s why AARP is fighting for commonsense solutions to help make their big responsibilities a little bit easier.”

For nearly 15 years Sherrie has provided guidance for her parents and son, Erik – now age 27 – who has aggressive Lyme and additional underlying health concerns. Her father has degenerative spine issues while her mother suffers from genetic endocrine disorders and severe arthritis. “The backdrop of everything I do is to help out on either side as best I can,” she said.

Sherrie stays in daily contact with her son and visits her parents every chance she gets. She cooks dinner, shares funny stories, stays overnight and helps manage medical consultations and quality of life needs.

“I’ve come to recognize that on days when I feel like the mayo on all three layers of a triple-decker sandwich, nothing feeds my soul and recharges my battery like humor,” she says.

“Being a sandwich boomer is all day every day. At times do I feel like my life is absurd sideways? You bet. Would I trade a single aspect of it? Not on your life. If I can get the people I care about to laugh out loud, it fires my engines and I’m good to go.”

Earlier this year, AARP conducted a statewide survey of registered voters age 45 and older in Wisconsin to learn about their experiences, challenges and needs as family caregivers, and attitudes toward public policy that would support family caregivers.

The survey found that family caregivers in Wisconsin provide 538 million hours of care per year to their parents, spouses, partners, and other adult loved ones. They help with daily activities such as bathing or dressing, preparing meals, administering medications, driving to doctor visits, and paying bills.

“This report demonstrates that we need to do more to assist the hundreds of thousands of caregivers in our state,” said Wilson said. “Some of the things that will help family caregivers include improved workplace flexibility, respite care, tax credits and home care services.”

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AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment security and retirement planning. We advocate for consumers in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services.  A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world’s largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www. aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP VIVA, a bilingual news source.  AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates.  The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org. 

AARP recognizes family caregivers across US, presents Portrait of Care to Mukwonago woman

Mukwonago, Wisconsin – November marks National Family Caregivers Month, a time to recognize the 40 million Americans – including an estimated 578,000 from Wisconsin – who help older parents, spouses, and other loved ones live independently at home, where they want to be.

The unpaid care they provide, such as managing medications, cooking meals, driving to appointments, performing complex medical tasks and more, is valued at about $7 billion in Wisconsin alone.

Sherrie Palm of Mukwonago is one of these unsung heroes.

Sherrie is in the “sandwich generation,” providing support throughout much of her life for both parents and children, including step-children. Sherrie is the founder and Executive Director for the healthcare nonprofit Association for Pelvic Organ Prolapse Support. Her caregiving work has been an add-on.

“I learned as I went. You make mistakes, but you only make them once. I’m an all-cards-on-the-table kind of person, so I learn by asking questions. We all want to keep the wheels turning. We all feel guilty – like we should do more. I am able to find balance by laughing and focusing on the funny,” she said.

AARP Wisconsin is recognizing Sherrie with a “Portrait of Care,” which is an artist’s painting of her with a loved one.

Selected through AARP’s storytelling initiative called “I Heart Caregivers”, Sherrie is among 53 family caregivers chosen nationwide, including one each from each state, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to receive a hand-painted portrait.

Thousands of caregivers have shared their stories on the website www.aarp.org/iheartcaregivers

“We want to celebrate family caregivers, spotlight their experiences of hope, love, dedication and perseverance, and elevate their stories – especially during National Family Caregivers Month,” said Sam Wilson of AARP Wisconsin, which serves about 820,000 Wisconsinites age 50 and older. “This is especially important as we work to support family caregivers through public policy, education, outreach and more.

“Family caregivers are the backbone of our care system, serving a crucial role in helping older Wisconsinites and other loved ones remain in their own homes and communities as long as possible,” Wilson said. “That’s why AARP is fighting for commonsense solutions to help make their big responsibilities a little bit easier.”

For nearly 15 years Sherrie has provided guidance for her parents and son, Erik – now age 27 – who has aggressive Lyme and additional underlying health concerns. Her father has degenerative spine issues while her mother suffers from genetic endocrine disorders and severe arthritis. “The backdrop of everything I do is to help out on either side as best I can,” she said.

Sherrie stays in daily contact with her son and visits her parents every chance she gets. She cooks dinner, shares funny stories, stays overnight and helps manage medical consultations and quality of life needs.

“I’ve come to recognize that on days when I feel like the mayo on all three layers of a triple-decker sandwich, nothing feeds my soul and recharges my battery like humor,” she says.

“Being a sandwich boomer is all day every day. At times do I feel like my life is absurd sideways? You bet. Would I trade a single aspect of it? Not on your life. If I can get the people I care about to laugh out loud, it fires my engines and I’m good to go.”

Earlier this year, AARP conducted a statewide survey of registered voters age 45 and older in Wisconsin to learn about their experiences, challenges and needs as family caregivers, and attitudes toward public policy that would support family caregivers.

The survey found that family caregivers in Wisconsin provide 538 million hours of care per year to their parents, spouses, partners, and other adult loved ones. They help with daily activities such as bathing or dressing, preparing meals, administering medications, driving to doctor visits, and paying bills.

“This report demonstrates that we need to do more to assist the hundreds of thousands of caregivers in our state,” said Wilson said. “Some of the things that will help family caregivers include improved workplace flexibility, respite care, tax credits and home care services.”

Sherrie Palm

Sherrie Palm

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AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment security and retirement planning. We advocate for consumers in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services.  A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world’s largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www. aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP VIVA, a bilingual news source.  AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates.  The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org. 

Pelvic Organ Prolapse awareness month for June

One womans journey and a whole lot of help for those who have pelvic organ prolapse

One womans journey and a whole lot of help for those who have pelvic organ prolapse

Helping raise the awareness of pelvic organ prolapse will help educate those who need to know what to do when they do find ‘bits falling outside of their bodies’.

Thousands of women are either too ashamed or simply don’t know what is happening to them. Pelvic organ prolapse happens for many reasons and over 50% of women experience this especially after giving birth.

One of the most common feelings is that you feel you are sitting on a tennis ball.

There are methods to help and prevent pelvic organ prolapse and with your help of passing this message along we can help those who need it.

Mothers, speak to your daughters (not always an easy subject) about it if you have experienced pelvic floor dysfunction. Chances are that if you have it so will your daughters.

Sherrie Palm, founder of APOPS (Association for pelvic organ pro. lapse support) has been fighting to bring this subject to the forefont of the medical staff who can help these women.

 

 

 

Press Release Pop Awareness Month 2014

Pessary for pelvic organ prolapse

Following the success of the forum around education for pessary use in the management of pelvic organ prolapse, Gaynor Morgan CEO of C&G Medicare Ltd has set up a website to help those who seek information. www.incostress.com

Pessary pick of the month is a helpful educational tool to keep patients and doctors updated about the latest information around pessaries and their uses. Have a look at the full slide show for pessaries here.

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Pessaries have been around for centuries and their development has taken to different shapes and materials used, but the end result is the same, pessaries are there to suppor the pelvic organ prolapse. It will not cure a pelvic organ prolapse but it will help offer a better quality of life to the user.

Pessaries are used to treat cycstoceles, rectoceles,urtheroceles,enteroceles, uterine prolapse and vaginal vault.

Gaynor Morgan heads up APOPS Europe (Association for pelvic organ prolapse support Europe) a non profit org founded by Sherrie Palm.

Mumsnet has recognised the significance in the work APOPS is doing worldwide and has added the link to the pelvic floor section of their site.

For more information read Sherrie Palms book Pelvic Organ Prolapse the silent epidemic.

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Medical staff please ask for the educational brochures for your clinics. Lets beat pelvic organ prolapse secrecy.

www.incostress.com

The Cramer Pessary for Stress incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.

Pessaries can play an important part in getting back a reasonable quality of life if you happen to suffer with stress incontinence (SUI)  and/or pelvic organ prolapse.

Today, pessary expert and advocate for women who suffer stress incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse Gaynor Morgan speaks about the Cramer Pessary.

Gaynor Morgan works with medical professionals and leading retailers all over Europe to help raise the awareness about the importance of getting incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse issues to the forefront and pushing for more education about these subjects.

Over 45% of women worldwide suffer with some type of pelvic organ prolapse and/ or incontinence. The World Health Organisation had deemed this as an epidemic that needs addressing.

Gaynor heads up the European side of the non profit organisation, APOPS – Association for pelvic organ prolapse support founded by award winning author of the book: Pelvic Organ Prolapse the silent epidemic. Ms Sherrie Palm.

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The Cramer pessary:
Material : Medical grade silicone with a steel spring inside for stabilization

Size range: Diameter 50mm and increases in 5mm increments to the largest size 90mm

Use : for the management of stress incontinence, cystocele and uterine prolapse.

DO NOT USE IF: You have had prior surgery and this includes vaginoplasty. Reason being, the pelvic floor must be somewhat stable to retain this pessary.

Usage: Fit in the morning and remove in the evening. Lubricant is advisable if the vagina is very dry. Recommended lubricants are yes and ladysoft

Fitting: The Dr or physiotherapist should show you and get you to practise insertion and removal. Ensure the two thick ends are right against the urethra and do not pinch.

The Cramer will lift and support the bladder neck which controls the involuntary loss of urine in SUI (Stresss Urinary Incontinence)
The pelvic floor must be in tact for this pessary to be successful. It hasn’t been very successful in the management of rectocele but is very good in the management of a cystocele where the patient also presents a uterine prolapse grade 1 or 2.

Care of the Cramer: Wash under clean water and allow to airdry. (Drying with a towel or paper towel can leave debris behind to stick to the pessary which can be introduced into the vaginal lining and may cause problems. Cleaning with a pessary sanitiser such as IncoClean (without alcohol) can also be used. Autoclaving is possible.
DO NOT microwave or boil this pessary due to the metal spring inside.

If you still leak urine after it has been fitted, it is possible that you have not positioned it correctly. Remove and reposition.

They are not available on the NHS prescription at this time.

For more information please go to www.incostress.com and go to the free downloads.

Dribbly women don’t dance – incontinence and exercise.

Dribbly women don’t dance – incontinence and exercise by Elaine Miller physiotherapist

 If you are reading this you are not my audience.  Sorry.  The fact that you are reading something to do with incontinence suggests that you already have an understanding about the condition, are comfortable getting information about it, and are keen to learn more. So, you either are, or, will be, alright.

The people I fret about are the millions of women who are living with their leaking and not yet seeking help.  They just put up with having poor bladder control, pad up, and feel a bit disappointed.

Well, I say “feel a bit disappointed”.  In fact is that a third of them go on to develop clinical depression.  Of course, exercise is commonly recommended for managing mood disorders – but, if you leak when you run, well, you’re not going to go for a run, are you?

And, therein lies the huge public health rub.

Diseases of inactivity, like coronary heart disease, kill women.  One in eight UK women die from heart disease.  Exercise isn’t just about being able to keep up with the kids, or beating the blue, it’ll keep us alive.

But, speaking as someone who peed herself during zumba…it is very difficult to be physically active and avoid impact on your pelvic floor.

When I rule the world, some pieces of gym equipment will carry “pelvic floor warning” signs.  Rowing machines, reclining bikes, a loaded leg press – yep, wouldn’t want anyone with a prolapse on those things.  Oh, or trampolines, those things can have a label on them.  And, the plank, star jumps, tennis, lunges, I could go on.

In fact, I’d force incontinence pad manufacturers to print pelvic health advice on their packaging.  And, while we’re at it, they can fix that awful glue which comes unstuck and allows the pad to attach itself to your labia instead of your gusset…ouch.

So, we’ve got a classic Catch 22.  In order to reduce your risk of pelvic organ prolapse and your symptoms of stress incontinence you need to keep your weight under control.  But, you wet yourself at zumba, so aren’t keen…

Pelvic floor friendly exercises have reduced impact forces – like swimming, cycling, pilates (when it’s well taught and you are absolutely sure your technique is good), speed/power/Nordic pole/hill walking, aqua-aerobics and low-intensity cross trainers.

However, runners?  They wanna run, not walk, they want to run. That’s when internal support can be helpful, Sherrie Palm (she knows everything there is to know about pelvic floors) says that pessaries like incostress should be used when a woman is participating in acvities with impact.

Now, that does not mean that you can shove in a grade 4 prolapse with an incostress and get back to athletics training…but, it does mean that if you have a mild prolapse, or mild stress incontinence symptoms, and you are complying with a pelvic floor strengthening regime which your physiotherapist has given you, AND you use internal support – well, you just might manage to get back to zumba.

Ask me how I know.

Credited to  Elaine Miller Gussie Grippers

Elaine Miller on of the UKs leading physiotherapists who has a post-grad in sports medicine. She focuses her energy on helping women overcome pelvic floor disorders and incontinence and breaks down the taboo through her humour and pelvic floor parties where she has a one hour solo show entitled ‘Gusset Grippers’. Look out for Gusset Grippers at Edinburgh Fringe Festival this August. An amazing lady who fears no pelvic floor!

Find out more about Gusset Grippers on the Gusset Grippers website 

Elaine’s blog and more information on where to see Elaine at the Edinburgh Festival

PELVIC ORGAN PROLAPSE

Sherrie Palm shares her innermost secrets, experience and advice in her award winning book Pelvic Organ Proalpse the silent epidemic

Find out why so many medical professionals are passing this book onto their patients.

Order Pelvic Organ Prolpase today and help support women with pelvic organ prolapse issues

Click here to order your copy today 

Pelvic Organ Prolapse the silent epidemic

Pelvic Organ Prolapse the silent epidemic by Sherrie Palm
An award winning fantastic book which gives women down to earh plain speaking advice, diagnosis and how to deal with Pelvic organ prolapse.

Pelvic organ prolapse is an extremely common female health issue that ALL WOMEN need to know about. Symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) can be confused and mistaken for other health conditions. Symptoms of POP are:

pelvic/back/vaginal/rectal pain
Urinary or fecal incontinence
pain with intercourse
chronic constipation
lack of sexual sensation
vaginal/rectal pressure

and many others.

Vaginal childbirth and menopause are the two leading causes of POP. Unfortunately, most women first hear about pelvic organ prolapse AFTER they are diagnosed with POP.

If you suffer from any of the above symptoms, you may be suffering from a cystocele, rectocele, or type of POP and should talk with your physician about pelvic organ prolapse now.

Our goal is to increase awareness and recognition of POP symptoms, causes, and treatments. Pelvic organ prolapse impacts millions of women around the world physically, emotionally, socially, sexually, and financially. We need to increase POP awareness; we need to increase it now.

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