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What is social distancing?  Are gloves and masks the best way to protect ourselves from COVID-19?  What are the critical everyday things we can do to stay safe?  Joanne MacInnis, RN, is the founder and president of Aberdeen Home Care and a weekly contributor here.  With 35 years of nursing practice, management and administration experience focused on home care and hospice, Joanne is the perfect person to sit down and talk about COVID-19.

In light of the recent outbreak and constant media coverage of Coronavirus (COVID-19), I want to inform you of some widely accepted practices and tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) on how to best protect yourself and prevent the spread of the flu and other respiratory illnesses. 

You may be worried that before you have had the "right moment" to discuss it with them, word will travel, letting the cat out of the bag. There are many downsides to that happening. One of which is "why didn't you tell me right away," and also the passage of misinformation. So instead of sharing accurate information from the get-go, now you have to unpack the untruth.

We're always interested in hearing about news in our community. Let us know what's going on!

Our parents' ability to live independently, without help, is changing. It used to be that between the two of them, they had everything pretty well covered. However, Dad's vision has taken a turn.

On Wednesday, February 5, the Manchester Council on Aging was invited by Cape Ann Seniors on the Go to participate in their Winter Bowling Event at Cape Ann Lanes. The purpose was to bring seniors from Cape Ann together.  Seniors from Gloucester, Rockport, Manchester and Essex came for some physical activity through bowling, mingling with new friends and refreshments.  Local seniors were provided with transportation to and from Cape Ann Lanes through the Manchester Council on Aging shuttle bus.  

Joint replacement surgery is becoming more and more common and is occurring and younger ages. It is to your advantage to think through how you can approach surgery for the best possible recovery and outcome. Start by considering these four major categories as you prepare for upcoming surgery: Overall HealthPrehab, Home Environment, and Post-Op Help.

We mere mortals, from the Latin word “mortalis,” meaning “of life or living, ending in death.” Hmmm. If the oldest person living on the planet is 117 years old, even if we get to 90, we know what happens eventually. Why don’t we focus on what happens between now and then?

My friend's Dad is super organized…with issues that he feels comfortable with.  He's excellent at banking, manages the insurance for the house and cars, and pays the bills with Swiss watch precision. When Mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer, he assured the family that he had "everything under control." As it turns out, Dad's version of "everything" had some MAJOR gaps.

We had every intention of bringing him home for Thanksgiving, but he had a bad cold, and the nursing home advised against it. After we finished our meal, we packed up his dinner, and the whole crew headed over for a visit. He seemed fine, but we all left with a lump in our throats. Will we be able to bring him home on Christmas, or will we be back here with a plate of leftovers and some gifts in hand?

Let there be Peace on Earth… and let it begin where? With ME? Are you serious? It's the hap-happiest time of the year…and Peace on Earth, but NOT for everyone.  And that's OK, writes Joanne McGinnis.

You want to have the "attitude of gratitude," but right now… it's just not working out that way. Good news: it doesn't have to every minute of every day. It's not an all-or-nothing proposition. It's not: either/or — thankfully, it's both/and.

Mom was all about the holidays. She always started her extensive planning on the first day under 50 degrees. Now, this was back in the day before Thanksgiving hit the stores before the Fourth of July. She was all about festivity, menu, getting the family together. The more, the merrier. The …

It's been such a mild fall; we forget what is really about to happen. Last weekend, Daylight Saving Time ended, and we rolled our clocks back one hour. While some of us may be grateful for the extra hour of sleep, the seniors in our lives may take some time to adjust.

For those of us who have been through it, we attest that this is FAR from just a task of "cleaning out a house." In truth, it's a life review. Everything we touch inside our parents or other loved one's home, has a story, a memory, and a feeling attached to it.

You may be very familiar with this term, or not at all, or somewhere in between. Is this like Power of Attorney? Is this the same person as the executor of my will? Is it automatically my spouse and children? Let's clarify what a Health Care Proxy document is, what power it grants, how it's …

What a relief not to worry about Mom and Dad during the winter months; no slipping on ice, driving in snow, frozen pipes, furnace failures or snow removal. They enjoyed winter outdoor living down South, without the weather-related complications that are the norm here in New England. Living in two places has its benefits, but there sure are plenty of complications.

She's the family favorite. All the kids adore her. She was the one who took them to the carnival, the fall fairs and the water parks. Dot never missed a game, a performance or a birthday. So... how in the world do we tell them about her terminal diagnosis? It will break their hearts.

Coping with death and the loss that follows is the subject of "hot off the press" books, movies, magazine articles, YouTube videos, pop songs, tattoos, and we've just scratched the surface. Benjamin Franklin said there were only two things certain in life: death and taxes. Our early life experiences, and that of our parents and even grandparents, often shape the way we cope with loss.