Health & Wellness

Bathroom-spa transformation has residents feeling pampered

Several months ago, Life Care Center of Westlake, a skilled nursing facility, decided to transform their boring bathing room into a spa. We removed all the institutional dispensers from the wall and painted the room a deep beige color. Espresso-colored floating shelves, a toilet space-saver, mirrors and a memory-foam mat were added.

We then highlighted the room with floral oranges, greens and blues. We set up accents of live plants and battery-operated candles and added a towel warmer, Zen music, aromatherapy and adjustable lighting. We even gave the whirlpool tub a beautiful brown swirly design that softened its stark whiteness. The Twigz-brand curtain, wastebasket and toilet paper holder, featuring a natural, plantlike design, gave the new spa its name.

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Volume 6, Issue 6, Posted 9:25 AM, 03.18.2014

Westshore fire departments join Cleveland Clinic on lifesaving app

"We want an army of rescuers," said Bill Sillisen in describing the new PulsePoint smartphone app released to public from the Cleveland Clinic with cooperation from Westshore fire departments. Sillisen, regional EMS director for the Clinic, and Tom Beers, an EMS manager for the Clinic, provided a presentation at the March 3 Bay Village City Council meeting of the lifesaving benefits of the new smart phone app.

Upon receiving a call regarding a suspected sudden cardiac arrest victim, the 911/emergency communication center activates an alert to PulsePoint app users simultaneously with the dispatch of local emergency medical services (EMS).

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Volume 6, Issue 5, Posted 11:31 PM, 03.03.2014

March is MS Awareness Month

March is MS (Multiple Sclerosis) Awareness month in Ohio. It is a designation that recognizes the very high incidence of MS in our state – one of the highest in the nation.

More than 18,000 people known to have MS live here. Many others have MS and have yet to know it. This “unknowing” is the main reason for a month to help people become aware of this potentially crippling disease – its symptoms are often attributed to other problems – so they can be begin to receive treatment as soon as possible.

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Volume 6, Issue 5, Posted 9:57 AM, 03.04.2014

Westlake Village opens new memory care unit

Westlake Village is growing to meet the demand for Alzheimer’s and dementia-related services, with the opening of a new, 32-bed memory care unit. This new unit expands the current independent, assisted living and skilled nursing already offered at Westlake Village, which can meet the needs of more than 300 residents. A grand opening, ribbon-cutting event was held on Feb. 26 and the community expects to begin accepting residents in March.

“Memory care communities are specially designed living spaces where the environment supports our residents as they handle the cognitive challenges brought on by Alzheimer’s and other dementias,” said Sheryl Ludeke-Smith, a dementia care specialist with Westlake Village's parent company, Brookdale, who attended the grand opening. “Things like specialized flooring or certain wall colors help cue residents about aspects of their daily lives. Areas of the community are also set up for safe engagement in activities such as gardening or kitchen work that provide meaningful moments for residents.”

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Volume 6, Issue 5, Posted 10:49 AM, 03.04.2014

Westshore fire departments, Cleveland Clinic launch lifesaving app

The Westlake and Bay Village fire departments are among five Westshore entities and the city of Cleveland joining with the Cleveland Clinic to launch the PulsePoint CPR/AED smartphone app to help improve sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) survival rates.

The PulsePoint app helps improve community response to SCA victims by notifying and enabling citizen bystanders that lifesaving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is needed and where someone can access a nearby automated external defibrillator (AED).

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Volume 6, Issue 4, Posted 9:23 AM, 02.18.2014

February is American Heart Month

In 1964, President Johnson proclaimed February as American Heart Month. Congress responded by requesting that the president issue an annual proclamation each February to continue this recognition – thus February will forever be recognized as Heart Month.

Advancements in medicine have resulted in improved diagnosis and treatment of heart disease. Still, 50 years later, heart disease remains the No. 1 killer of American men and women, responsible for one out of every four deaths in the United States.

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Volume 6, Issue 4, Posted 9:26 AM, 02.18.2014

Fun craft to build a child's self esteem

Parents want their child to develop positive self-esteem. There is a direct correlation between feeling good about self, accomplishments and a child’s growing belief they are capable human beings. We know the value in developing positive self-messages yet many children struggle to accept praise and become uncomfortable with positive feedback.  

Parents strive to build an armory of long and short-term strategies to enhance well being in their children. Engaging in activities that promote confidence will allow your child to practice saying encouraging affirmations every day.

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Volume 6, Issue 4, Posted 9:28 AM, 02.18.2014

Safety tips for Alzheimer's care

Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease can be overwhelming. For the family member afflicted with Alzheimer’s, even routine daily events such as hearing or seeing evening newscasts can be truly terrifying. As a result, one of the greatest challenges for the caregiver is creating an environment for the loved one, which is as safe and nurturing as possible.

With toddlers, the term is “childproofing.” For those with Alzheimer’s disease, there is no similar term, but the concept is the same. Many things around the home that pose no danger to people in full possession of their mental faculties can be major hazards for people with Alzheimer’s. And even though it is impossible to make any home absolutely safe for a person with the disease, there are many steps you can take to reduce the risk of your loved one getting into things he/she shouldn’t, or reduce the risk of injury.

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Volume 6, Issue 4, Posted 9:29 AM, 02.18.2014

North Coast Health Ministry is now North Coast Health

North Coast Health Ministry has changed its name to North Coast Health, in response to patient and consumer feedback on how to communicate our services to the community more effectively.

While the agency’s name has changed, its mission of providing charitable care to the low-income medically underserved in Greater Cleveland has not. While historically the agency was a free clinic that provided free care to the uninsured only, North Coast Health now provides care to the uninsured, “under-insured” and individuals covered by Medicare and Medicaid and other insurance programs.

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Volume 6, Issue 4, Posted 9:28 AM, 02.18.2014

VeloSano cycling event registration now open

Registration for VeloSano, the annual cycling event to raise money for cancer research at Cleveland Clinic, is now open to the public.

Cyclists can choose either a one- or two-day cycling experience. The one-day rides range from 25 to 100 miles, while the two-day rides total 173 to 230 miles and include overnight accommodations. Each cyclist will commit to raising between $1,000 and $2,000 depending on the length of the ride selected, and 100 percent of funds raised by participants will directly benefits cancer research at Cleveland Clinic.

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Volume 6, Issue 3, Posted 10:29 AM, 02.04.2014

Raffle tickets to benefit heart care

In addition to offering 40 incredible prizes of $100,000, car leases, cruises and trips to exotic locales, the annual Straight from the Heart Raffle and Gala have raised more than $2 million for cardiovascular care in our community since 2004. 

Proceeds have benefited cardiovascular services, technology and community outreach programs at Fairview, Lakewood and Lutheran Hospitals, with initiatives including:  

  • Donation of 30 AEDS to help protect 48 million annual visitors to the Cleveland Metroparks
  • A cardiovascular wellness program to provide education on decreasing heart disease risk factors
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Volume 6, Issue 2, Posted 10:11 AM, 01.21.2014

Straight from the Heart raffle features $100,000 grand prize

Would you like to win $100,000? How about a two-year lease on a Volvo or a Mazda? A Harley Davidson motorcycle? Or a Mediterranean cruise for two! These are just a few of the 40 incredible prizes offered through the 10th Annual Straight from the Heart Raffle to benefit the cardiovascular needs of our community.

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Volume 6, Issue 1, Posted 10:01 AM, 01.07.2014

Do the joints in your jaw bother you?

In the course of your dental visit, your dentist may ask if you hear clicking noises when you open or close, and they may also feel just in front of your ear while asking you to repeat the open/close motion. What is the dentist doing? They are checking your jaw joints for signs of a disease known as TMD.

We are built with two very unique joints that connect our lower jaw to the rest of our skull. These joints are called TemporoMandibular Joints, or TMJ for short. Many patients who have discomfort or clicking in the joints have been told that they “have TMJ,” but what they really mean is that they have TemporoMandibular Dysfunction, or TMD.

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Volume 6, Issue 1, Posted 4:36 PM, 01.08.2014

Five tips for reducing holiday stress

Don't be a procrastinator! Start a few weeks in advance and make a list of the things that need to be done from top priority to less priority. Do a little at a time and be sure to check it off your list when you complete a task. This will give you a sense of accomplishment to see things are getting done. 

Say YES when someone asks to help! Now is not the time to be a martyr. If someone wants to help set the table, mash the potatoes or help with the dishes after the meal then by all means, let them!

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Volume 5, Issue 24, Posted 9:54 AM, 11.26.2013

A gift of peace

We decorate, we bake, we shop, we wrap, we sing carols, we host our family parties, and we may attend church services. We celebrate this wonderful season, both spiritually and secularly. But sometimes everything is not quite as sparkly, festive or serene as it appears. Why? Because someone we love is not healthy because of drug, alcohol and/or behavioral problems.

As we are all well aware, the problems do not magically disappear because it is holiday time. Many times, in fact, usage is intensified at this time of year. Often, a hole in our hearts is created because of our loved one's absence or perhaps from our worry of how they will act if and when we do spend time with them.

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Volume 5, Issue 24, Posted 9:51 AM, 11.26.2013

Toiletry drive Nov. 29-Dec. 31 for medically under-served patients

North Coast Health Ministry is partnering with First Federal Lakewood to conduct a toiletry drive this holiday season for NCHM’s low-income, medically under-served patients. Needed items include new toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, deodorant, shampoo, lotion, pocket size facial tissues, etc. Trial- and travel-size products as well as full-size items are welcome.  

Donations may be dropped off during regular banking hours – 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday – from Nov. 29 through Dec. 31, at select First Federal Lakewood branches, including both in Westlake: 2035 Crocker Road and 24441 Detroit Road.

Donations can also be brought to NCHM, 16110 Detroit Avenue, Lakewood, weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.

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Volume 5, Issue 24, Posted 10:03 AM, 11.26.2013

Health clinic for uninsured expands hours to evenings and weekends

North Coast Health Ministry has expanded its clinic hours to add two or three nights per week and Saturday mornings for patient visits. 

These expanded hours are in addition to care offered to the low-income uninsured five days per week, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The evening schedule varies each week. All visits are by appointment only. The clinic is located at 16110 Detroit Ave., Lakewood.

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Volume 5, Issue 22, Posted 10:31 AM, 10.29.2013

North Coast Health Ministry offers free flu shots, diabetes class

North Coast Health Ministry will offer a free flu shot clinic and a diabetes management education class to registered patients this fall.

Free flu shots will be offered Monday, Nov. 4, from 9 to 11 a.m., at Lakewood United Methodist Church, 15700 Detroit Ave. To receive a free flu shot, individuals must be registered in advance as a NCHM patient. To become a patient, call 216-228-7878 or go to:

The free patient education class is “Taking Control of Your Diabetes: Four Steps to Managing Your Diabetes.” It will take place Thursday, Nov. 21, from 5 to 6 p.m. at North Coast Health Ministry at 16110 Detroit Ave., Lakewood.

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Volume 5, Issue 22, Posted 10:32 AM, 10.29.2013

North Coast Health Ministry awarded four-star rating

Charity Navigator, America's largest and most-utilized independent evaluator of charities, has awarded North Coast Health Ministry its prestigious four-star rating for good governance, sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency. North Coast Health Ministry is currently the only free clinic in Ohio with such a high rating and is one of only 12 out of 1,200 free and charitable clinics across the county to earn four stars.

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Volume 5, Issue 22, Posted 10:21 AM, 10.29.2013

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Learn to balance female hormones naturally

It has been estimated virtually 95 percent of our modern health challenges including hormonal balancing may be managed with correct lifestyle strategies. We are bombarded by toxins at every level; the water we drink, the food we eat and even the air we breathe is heavy with toxins which stress the detoxification process in the body. Toxic burden can alter ones genetic potential which can lead to breast cancer.

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Volume 5, Issue 21, Posted 10:18 AM, 10.15.2013

Amazing Grace toy drive returns to Bay

On Saturday, Oct. 12, the Amazing Grace Foundation will be hosting its 8th Annual Toy Drive in memory of Grace Enovitch. The Toy Drive will run from noon to 2 p.m. at Bay Middle School, 27725 Wolf Road. New toys, books and art supplies are being collected to benefit pediatric cancer patients and their families. There will also be Amazing Grace T-shirts for sale.

The Amazing Grace Foundation was created in honor of Grace Enovitch, who lost her battle with Neuroblastoma, a type of pediatric cancer, in 2006. The Foundation provides support to children with pediatric cancer and their families with gifts of toys, books and art supplies and by providing care packages to families which include gas and food gift cards to use while their child is in treatment.

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Volume 5, Issue 20, Posted 9:30 AM, 10.01.2013

Bay family departs for new home, new hope in Colorado

I have a confession to make. I am addicted to the beach. I can feel it calling my name, especially as early evening approaches.

“I’m running to the grocery,” I tell my husband and secretly hit the beach at Bradstreet's Landing before I go. I love to see the waves rolling in. I love to walk the beach and pick up driftwood, rocks and sea glass. I breathe deeply and relax just for a minute or two before continuing on with my duties, my mental batteries recharged.

The other night, I stopped by the beach on a mission. With my tote in hand, I gathered up lots of beautiful driftwood and a pile of stones of all different colors.

As I was leaving, three ladies asked what I planned to do with my haul. I smiled and stopped to explain to them how very much I love the beach and that I was gathering enough to take with me to our new home in Colorado Springs to remind me of the beauty and peace of Lake Erie. They asked why I was moving away from the place that I love.

“I’m going there to save my daughter’s life,” I replied.

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Volume 5, Issue 19, Posted 10:19 AM, 09.17.2013

Local Walk to End Alzheimer's coming Sept. 21

If you don't know or love someone with Alzheimer's yet, just wait. Alzheimer's is epidemic and growing faster than our population is aging. It's the only one of the top 10 killer diseases in America with no cure or treatment.

If you would like to be part of a world without Alzheimer's, then join us at the West Side Walk to End Alzheimer's.

The West Side Walk is Sept. 21 at All Pro Freight Stadium in Avon. The activity begins at 8:30 a.m., the interactive Opening Ceremony at 9:30, and the 3-mile walk (or 1-mile option) at approximately 9:45. Those who want to show their support but cannot walk can watch from the stands. You'll be home for lunch after a beautiful morning walk in the Crushers' ballpark!

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Volume 5, Issue 18, Posted 10:25 AM, 09.04.2013

Alpha Parenting Children

Alpha Parenting Children

Advent Westlake will be offering the Alpha Parenting Children Course beginning Wednesday, Sept. 11, at 6:30 p.m. Dinner will be served at the beginning of the evening and childcare will be provided.

The free course will run for 10 weekly sessions, and includes a video presentation and discussion group. To register call 440-871-6685 or email

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Volume 5, Issue 17, Posted 10:06 AM, 08.20.2013

Chiropractic tools can give a winning edge

Whether you play for the Cleveland Indians, participate on your local school team, or are a person who loves to be active, there are a few things that you should know to stay at the top of your game! The secret to getting to the top and staying there is "Chiropractic."

Chiropractic is a growing part of athletes looking to reach peak performance. Exercise physiologist Sean Atkins said in an article in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, “I would estimate that in excess of 90% of all world-class athletes use Chiropractic care to prevent injuries and to increase their performance potential.”

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Volume 5, Issue 16, Posted 9:32 AM, 08.06.2013

Compeer gears up for two big summer events

The Compeer Program at Far West Center in Westlake is a nonprofit with a focus on ending isolation for adults that are managing mental illness. Compeer volunteers and members are teaming up for two important summer events, the Annual Compeer Picnic and the Greater Cleveland “N.A.M.I. Walks” event.

The Annual Compeer Picnic will be held on Friday, August 23, at Bradley Woods in Westlake. The Annual Compeer Picnic is the event at which our members, volunteers and families gather together to celebrate friendship and the healing power that it offers.

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Volume 5, Issue 15, Posted 9:45 AM, 07.23.2013

Making things easier for someone with dementia

 There are a number of things that you can do to make life easier – and safer – for your loved one with dementia.

Keys and locks: Consider rekeying all the locks in the house so that a single key opens them all – reducing the number of keys the person has to fumble with on a key chain. Make sure you have copies of the house key for yourself. Give another spare to a trustworthy neighbor in case the person in your care gets locked out of the house. 

Labels: For some people with moderate dementia, it can be handy to put labels on a few of the most-used drawers and cabinets in the kitchen and bedroom. But keep the labels simple and minimal, as too many may be confusing.

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Volume 5, Issue 15, Posted 9:52 AM, 07.23.2013

UH opens satellite kidney transplant center in Westlake

University Hospitals has established a satellite Transplant Institute Education and Evaluation Center in Westlake, bringing the health system’s renowned transplant services to the Westside of Cuyahoga County and surrounding communities.

The satellite location, which opened July 23 at the UH Westlake Health Center on Clague Road, will provide kidney transplant education and evaluation services to patients with kidney failure who are potential candidates for the procedure. This new location fills a need in the community for these services closer to home.

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Volume 5, Issue 15, Posted 9:42 AM, 07.23.2013

Compeer Program gains listing in national mental health registry

The Compeer Program at Far West Center in Westlake has been creating friendships, promoting mental health and wellness, and changing lives since 1989. Compeer, an international non-profit organization, serves to empower individuals in their paths to recovery from mental illness. In Compeer, trained community volunteers are matched, one to one, with same-gender adults committed to mental wellness treatment services that assist them in managing symptoms. Compeer volunteers offer friendship and encourage socialization in order to decrease the isolation that too often accompanies mental illness. 

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Volume 5, Issue 14, Posted 9:49 AM, 07.09.2013

Exercise is FUN!

There no special diet shake to help you lose weight except for the shake that your Gluteus Maximus makes when you exercise. One of the common themes I see when talking with my practice members about being active is they don’t have fun when exercising, or don't prioritize their time correctly to exercise. 

I want everyone to say out loud with me, “Exercise is fun!” Besides weight loss, research shows many benefits that come along with exercising which include heart health, stress reduction, improved brain function, healthy skin, greater lung volume and increased energy.

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Volume 5, Issue 14, Posted 9:56 AM, 07.09.2013

Tri-C summer camps in Westlake

There are still a few seats left in Cuyahoga Community College summer camps at the Westshore Campus right here in Westlake! The Tri-C summer camps for children and teenagers are designed to attract talented, smart, enthusiastic youth who are eager to learn about a wide variety of things from cutting-edge technology to culinary creations. Offerings include culinary, photography, dance and paper making in a safe and healthy environment.

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Volume 5, Issue 13, Posted 10:39 AM, 06.25.2013

Tips for caregivers: Coping with stress and anxiety

Stress and anxiety often go hand-in-hand with providing care to an ailing loved one. Here are a few guidelines you can use now to help alleviate your anxiety:

  • Recognize and admit that you are feeling stressed and anxious.
  • Become aware of your body's symptoms. Don't let them scare you, let them talk to you.
  • Try to pinpoint what it is you are anxious about. What happened yesterday? What were you thinking about before you went to bed? If you can't pinpoint it, don't worry about it and move on.
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Volume 5, Issue 13, Posted 10:39 AM, 06.25.2013

Bradley Bay Health Center celebrates career STNAs

Each year, the second week of June is set aside to acknowledge the contributions made by those individuals who choose to make the nursing assistant profession their life’s work. These dedicated and caring individuals are, quite literally, the heart and the hands as they provide the hands-on care to those in need.

For residents without family nearby, the nursing assistant becomes their surrogate family. For those unable to care for themselves, it is the nursing assistant that performs those activities we all take for granted. Our most cherished treasures – our elders – are lovingly cared for by these “everyday heroes.”

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Volume 5, Issue 13, Posted 10:36 AM, 06.25.2013

Do you have techno neck?

Have you ever wondered why it’s so entertaining to sit in Crocker Park and watch people? The next time you find yourself people-watching, start to look at their posture. Today people are capable of tweeting and playing Angry Birds at the same time. It’s incredible. 

Did you know that this could be causing poor posture and could be contributing to headaches, fatigue and even numbness and tingling in the extremities? In society today, most people are in a forward position. This is due to sitting at a desk for numerous hours, working on a laptop without stretching, wearing high heels, carrying heavy purses full of everything but the kitchen sink, reading Kindle books for hours or stress from the kids running around.

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Volume 5, Issue 12, Posted 10:50 AM, 06.11.2013

June 8 ice cream social honors dads, father figures

Father’s Day can be painful for those who have lost a father or father figure. Memories come flooding back. Feelings of grief and loss are often intensified on this special holiday dedicated to honoring dads.  To help those who are grieving, the Elisabeth Severance Prentiss Bereavement Center is hosting a pre-Father’s Day Ice Cream Social on Saturday, June 8, 1 to 3 p.m., at Ames Family Hospice House, 30080 Hospice Way in Westlake. Anyone who has experienced the loss of a father or father figure is welcome to attend the free community event – no connection to hospice is necessary. To register for the free event, call Felicia at 216-486-6335.

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Volume 5, Issue 11, Posted 10:10 AM, 05.29.2013

Inspiring film about senior Olympians to premier at Lutheran Home at Concord Reserve

"Age of Champions" is the uplifting story of five competitors who sprint, leap and swim for gold at the National Senior Olympics. You’ll meet a 100-year-old tennis champion, an 86-year-old pole vaulter and some rough-and-tumble basketball grandmothers who battle to overcome the limitations of age and discover the resilience of the human spirit.

Seasoned citizens, family caregivers and senior care professionals won't want to miss this entertaining one-hour movie. The film premiered to a standing ovation at the prestigious Silverdocs Film Festival and was hailed by the Washington Post as “infectiously inspiring.”

The senior life community of the Lutheran Home at Concord Reserve (LHCR), located at 2116 Dover Center Road in Westlake, is hosting six free screenings of the film, over the course of three days at the end of June in the Concord Movie Theater on the campus' Main Street.

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Volume 5, Issue 11, Posted 9:54 AM, 05.29.2013

Why four ears are better than two when it comes to healthcare

Many readers know just how complicated the healthcare system can be these days. I work in the system and I even have trouble at times putting the pieces of the puzzle together. With this in mind, I feel for those people (especially our older folks) who have to navigate this system on their own. 

I have personally been witness to how the healthcare system can fail our elderly patients. The following explains why I think it is so important (if you are an older person) to have someone go with you to your medical appointments. Four ears are better than two.

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Volume 5, Issue 11, Posted 9:47 AM, 05.29.2013

You can save a tooth

The weather is warming and we want to encourage our children to “go play!”. At recess, a ballgame or in the yard, sometimes play results in an injury that can’t be fixed with a hug and bandage. Any accident involving teeth requires immediate action. Each year, 1 in 4 children experience dental trauma – that’s a lot of children! Your fast response can save the tooth, giving children opportunities to keep their own teeth long into the future.

There are many different possible types of trauma to teeth, but I want to share what I learned from several dentists when my son’s permanent tooth was completely knocked out. I encourage you to have a conversation with your family dentist on this topic at your first opportunity. 

If a permanent tooth is knocked out completely (avulsion of a tooth), touch it only by the enamel or crown, which is the part of a tooth that is usually visible. Do not touch the root.

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Volume 5, Issue 11, Posted 10:12 AM, 05.29.2013

Westlake Health Center installs outpatient radiation technology

Seidman Cancer Center at University Hospitals Westlake Health Center has upgraded its radiation treatment facility to provide state-of-the-art outpatient radiation therapy.

The newly installed Varian iX system offers advanced image guidance and treatment accuracy which enables enhanced targeting of the cancer while simultaneously maximally shielding adjacent normal tissue from potentially harmful effects of the X-ray beams.

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Volume 5, Issue 11, Posted 10:11 AM, 05.29.2013

Free one-day medical clinic to focus on primary care

MedWorks will partner with North Coast Health Ministry to host a one-day primary care clinic on June 8 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. The clinic will take place at North Coast Health Ministry, 16110 Detroit Ave., Lakewood.

Appointments can be made by calling the MedWorks Appointment Line at 216-201-9325. Walk–in patients will also be accepted between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. All area residents, including residents of Westlake and Bay Village, are invited to participate.

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Volume 5, Issue 10, Posted 10:19 AM, 05.14.2013