How Can You Help an Aging Loved One?

JMC Compassionate Care is the Bucks County Women’s Journal this issue again, and I’m really touched by the way they operate.  Here’s their article – I recommend them if you’re in a situation like this.

2014-09-29_16-31-11Do you have a proud aging loved one in need of care but ashamed to accept any help for fear of losing his or her independence? Is something as small as running an errand or preparing them a home-cooked meal hard for them to accept?

At JMC Compassionate Care, we know how to break those barriers and form relationships with your loved ones. Because we take pride in the relationships we build, our clients go from denial to looking forward to our return.

If you have a busy schedule, it can be challenging to make sure your loved one is being cared for and safe. We know it is hard for family members and friends to maintain productive lives themselves when worrying about their loved ones in need.

At JMC, we make communication with all friends and family members a priority. It can be frustrating and hard on everyone when family members don’t live close to each other. That’s why we take the necessary steps to keep everyone involved near or far.

JMC Compassionate Care creates customized programs that can change as your senior’s needs change. Our caregivers have the utmost respect for your loved one’s dignity. We understand the magnitude of emotions that arise when serving their special needs. We will assist your loved ones gracefully and with the compassion they deserve.

Our caregivers have been trained and certified. We carefully select and personally match the right caregiver with your loved one. We consider personality, temperament, ability, and experience level as we choose the caregivers to place in your home. We have a wide range of Senior Care Providers. However, the one thing they have in common is the desire to help others.

Our process starts with an in-depth interview to uncover your loved one’s needs. Once we thoroughly understand which senior care services to provide to make your loved one’s life easier and more enjoyable, we match your loved one with a caregiver. We strive to ensure a successful, caring, compassionate experience.

Our goal is to provide the highest level of care at an affordable rate that will meet each individual’s needs. Our staff is fully trained to meet and exceed those needs.

Our services include but are not limited to:
• Preparing meals
• Food shopping
• Running errands
• Taking seniors to doctor appointments
• Light housekeeping
• Laundry
• Medication reminders
• 24-hour care
• Respite care
• …or simply someone to spend time with

Our in-home care services are designed specifically to offer as much or as little help as your loved one requires to enjoy living independently at home or in a facility. Is your senior experiencing the normal struggles of aging or is he or she recovering from of a recent hospital stay or sickness? Our goal is to keep your loved one comfortable and independent. JMC Compassionate Care can help make your loved one’s life easier and more enjoyable.

Our senior personal care program encompasses the following services:

• Bucks County elder care
• Alzheimer’s and dementia care
• Help with bathing, grooming, and hygiene
• Mobility assistance
• Assistance with toileting and incontinence
• Feeding and help with special diets

Click here to read more 

Want to be in the only women’s educational newspaper in Bucks County?  Click here to ask for more information.

Robin Coppinger
Bucks County Women’s Journal


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Bucks County Rape Crisis Center Celebrates 40 Years

WOW – NOVA has been around for 40 years!  What an important organization, although it’s a real shame there even needs to be such an organization.

We wanted to share their press release below:

2014-10-03_15-10-54Forty years ago, Connie Mayers of Langhorne and Yvonne Kaye, a human services worker, pulled together a group of women with a dream to improve conditions for rape victims in Bucks County. They called their organization Women Organized Against Rape.

Society was still learning that the victim’s recovery process is directly affected by the kind of support she receives immediately following the attack. The crisis-intervention counseling provided by a WOAR volunteer gave a victim a better chance for a faster recovery—to cope with the crisis and integrate it into her life experiences without letting it “rule” her life.

WOAR decided from the start to work cooperatively with the organizations, including police and hospital personnel, then designated to handle rape cases. The nonprofit’s role in hospital emergency rooms and at police interviews convinced then-district attorney Ken Biehn to support the group’s efforts, giving them validation and a degree of power.

These initial efforts changed every stage of a victim’s case, from developing standardized procedures for collecting and maintaining physical evidence and enlisting police and hospital emergency room support, to changing how cases were assigned to prosecutors and training law enforcement and hospital personnel to help sensitize them to the trauma of rape and debunk the myths.

In 1975, its first full year of operation, the agency of volunteers handled 54 cases. Soon, it added more services – a shift in focus that presaged the name change 10 years later to Network of Victim Assistance, reflecting the broader mission and range of programs for victims of all violent crimes.

Today, as NOVA celebrates its 40th year, it is the only comprehensive crime victim services agency in Bucks County. Once an all-volunteer agency, it now has a paid staff of 47 bolstered by a dedicated core of 150 volunteers. NOVA’s budget is in excess of $2.6 million, and it operates out of three well-appointed offices in upper, central, and lower Bucks.

Besides its 24-hour crisis hotline, NOVA provides individual and group counseling to victims, victim accompaniment for hospital and court visits, a wide range of prevention education programs for all ages (such as cyber-crime, elder crime, child sexual abuse and bullying), and trainings for professionals. The Bucks County Children’s Advocacy Center, which provides children who are suspected victims of abuse with a safe means of telling their stories to investigators, operates under NOVA’s auspices.

During NOVA’s fiscal year 2014, the agency served 3,761 victims and their family members and provided 1,492 prevention education programs in Bucks County Schools to 38,285 students, parents, and teachers.

NOVA’s impact on our community is often behind the scenes, but the services it provides are life-changing and life-saving for the staggering numbers of victims and their families who are beneficiaries of its innovative and highly respected efforts. The nonprofit organization has the enthusiastic cooperation of municipal and county agencies, law enforcement, medical facilities, and numerous social and educational services groups across the county—and across the nation.

The Voices Against Violence Campaign, co-chaired by former Pennsylvania Governor Mark Schweiker and local art gallery owner Kim E. Gronendahl, was conceived to put the only comprehensive crime victim services agency in Bucks County on firmer financial footing. The campaign’s three objectives are:
1. Capital acquisition, renovation, and building reserve fund: $1.2 million
2. Critical programs and services: $350,000
3. Build endowment fund: $350,000

NOVA will honor donors and officially close the capital campaign on October 15, 2014, at its 40th anniversary celebration and auction at The Fuge in Warminster. For tickets and more information on this joyous event, check or call Janice at 215.343.6543.

Bucks County Women’s Journal
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THE Premier Music School in Central Bucks County

Check out the Music Nation Academy.  If you want your children to get that added extra help to achieve their musical goals, MNA is the place to go!


Give them a call with your questions at 215-340-3908, or email them at

Robin Coppinger
Bucks County Women’s Journal
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Integrative Rheumatology

Window of Opportunity for the Big “O”

By: Farhan Tahir MD,

Osteoporosis is a skeletal disorder of compromised strength as a result of poor quality of bone and increased risk for fracture. Osteoporosis is linked to high risk of fractures causing pain and permanent disability. Avoiding osteoporosis requires proactive preventive strategies, an active lifestyle, and anti-inflammatory nutrition.

More than 10 million people in United States have osteoporosis, and more than 2 million osteoporotic fractures occur each year. Women have a higher risk of fractures than men, and 75% of fractures affect women; however, men are at a greater risk of dying of a hip fractures. Diagnosis of osteoporosis involves the use of DEXA scans, which assess bone mineral density, but they do not assess bone quality. It is estimated that about 47% of women over 50 have low bone density.

Risk factors
A Women’s Health Initiative study found that the following risk factors play a major role in osteoporosis: age above 50, weight, height, race, ethnicity, physical activity, history of fracture, parents with hip fracture, smoking, chronic inflammation, and corticosteroid use as well as history of rheumatoid arthritis, hypothyroidism, celiac disease, and diabetes.

Pharmacological treatment
There are many treatment options available for patients with osteoporosis, including estrogen hormone replacement, bisphosphonates, selective estrogen receptor modulators, calcitonin, and strontium, to mention a few. Fosamax, Actonel, Boniva, and Reclast belong to class of drugs called bisphosphonates. In recent years, new medications like Prolia and Forteo have been approved. All medications have scientifically proven benefits, but they also can have side effects. Therefore, a thorough discussion with your healthcare provider is important to inquire about your need for osteoporosis early detection, preventive steps to take, and choice of medications.

Attaining a high peak bone mass between the ages of 30 and 50 is an important factor in preventing osteoporosis, and studies show that women with a diet adequate in calcium, vitamin D, and proteins along with an active lifestyle during adolescence and young adulthood have less risk of developing osteoporosis.

The substances that are harmful to bone health include excessive amounts of vitamin A, caffeine, sodium, and an imbalance of calcium and phosphorus. Smoking and excess alcohol are also linked to increased risk of osteoporosis-related fractures and complications.

Nutritional supplements
The following supplements have been studied extensively for their proven role in building and maintaining healthy bones.

Calcium is important, and, to get about 300 mg of calcium, you will need 8 oz. of milk or yogurt or 1 oz. of Cheddar, Swiss or Monterey Jack cheeses. Nondairy calcium sources include 1 oz. of white beans, 1/2 cup of spinach or turnips greens, 1/2 cup of cooked or fresh broccoli or bok choy, 1/2 cup of soybeans, or 1 oz. of dry-roasted almonds. Salmon and dried figs are also good sources.

Which calcium type is the best-Calcium carbonate should be taken with meals and is less expensive. It provides 40% elemental calcium. Calcium citrate is expensive but has some advantages; it is well absorbed and can be taken with or without meals. If you are on medication to reduce stomach acids, this is the best form. Calcium citrate provides 21% elemental calcium. Calcium from sources like dolomite, oyster shell, or coral are not recommended.

How to take it-Large tablets may be difficult to swallow and may not absorb or disintegrate in the stomach, so calcium in powders, capsules, and liquids is better.

How much to take-Remember that calcium supplements should not exceed 500 mg at any one time. You should avoid taking calcium supplements along with psyllium or with foods high in oxalic acid (e.g., spinach) or phytic acid (e.g., wheat bran).

Vitamin D—the sunshine vitamin
Over the last decade, there has been enormous advancement in research about vitamin D. Active forms of vitamin D improve transport of calcium across the intestinal system. Vitamin D also stimulates the absorption of other minerals such as phosphate and magnesium. Vitamin D and K stimulate bone mineralization.

It is not a secret that Vitamin D deficiency is widespread throughout North America. Studies have found that women, older adults, obese and dark-skinned individuals, and breast-fed infants are at higher risk. An international study found that 64% of postmenopausal women with osteoporosis have low vitamin D (less than 30 ng/mL level). It makes sense to supplement with vitamin D at doses of 400-800 units/day. Vitamin D supplementation has been shown to reduce fracture risk and the chance of falls and to improve leg function in older adults.

Vitamin D supplementation doses
Normal dosing of vitamin D depends on your blood levels. After you have discussed this with your healthcare provider, a treatment dose ranging from 2,000 to 10,000 units per day will be recommended. If you are already taking vitamin D, add calcium, magnesium, and vitamin K.

How much is too much-It is very difficult to get too much vitamin D, but regular monitoring is required. People with sarcoidosis, lymphoma, or kidney disease have to monitor their vitamin D levels to ensure they don’t rise too high.

2014-06-04_10-07-50About the author: Dr. Farhan Tahir, MD is board certified through the American Board of Internal Medicine, Rheumatology and Integrative & Holistic Medicine. He is a member of the American College of Rheumatology and founder of Pennsylvania’s first and only integrative rheumatology practice. He lives in Bucks County with his wife and three young boys. To contact Rheumatology Care Consultants, PLLC,
call 267-685-6070 or email: Its website is http://www.RheumPA.



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The Gift of Yoga

2014-05-08_15-41-03Rebecca Dawson, Director of Yoga-cise in Quakertown, explains, ‘What is yoga and is it right for me?’

Yoga means union or yoke—the joining of body, mind, and spirit. Yoga is not a religion but a philosophical way of looking at life. Yoga is beneficial for everyone.

Many people come to yoga to gain endurance, to lose weight, and to strengthen muscles, yet yoga offers much more.   Yoga is a gift that takes us on a journey of subtle awareness into mind, body, and spirit, and here the transformation begins.  Yoga works toward bringing us back into a state of homeostasis.  Yoga brings awareness to your breath, brings life to your limbs, and soothes the troubled mind.   The journey of yoga begins with focusing on the breath so that we can move with awareness through our physical practice, and it is here that we can awaken our senses to gain powerful insights into our body/mind and emotions.

At Yoga-cise Studio in Quakertown, we offer classes for all levels and all ages.   You will find a class that is right for you with qualified, caring instructors.   We take the time to address each student’s needs and give individual attention where needed.   If you are looking for cardio, the flow class is perfect.  Strength and tone classes are great for strengthening those weak muscles.  Gentle and restorative classes are great for lengthening the muscles and gaining flexibility and most of all relaxing.  Pilates is great for a core workout and is touted as an excellent tool for back health.

Some of the many benefits of yoga include: lowering stress levels, relieving anxiety and depression, improving brain function, maintaining a healthy weight, strengthening bones, improving sense of balance, relieving chronic back pain, reducing neck pain, lowering blood sugar levels in diabetics, and improving lung capacity.  A Norwegian study has found that yoga’s many health benefits might come from its ability to alter gene expression in immune function.   More and more evidence-based studies are confirming that yoga is beneficial as a tool for a healthy lifestyle.

Yoga-cise also offers private yoga therapy classes. Yoga therapy focuses on the adaptation and application of yoga practices.   The goal of yoga therapy is to empower individuals facing health conditions (at any level) to use the tools of yoga to improve health and well-being.  Yoga therapy is a complementary or alternative treatment modality.

For more information or if you have questions, please email : or call 267-718-6444.


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Tips to Increase Your Chances of Getting a Mortgage Approved

2014-05-08_14-25-38What is important to lenders?

First Choice Loan Services, Inc. wants to help mortgage applicants understand what is important to lenders and why. By using these tips, you can better manage some key aspects of your finances and potentially increase the likelihood of having your loan approved.

Not every applicant is approved for a home loan the first time he/she applies. For a variety of reasons, even after a lot of hard work, sometimes a loan just can’t be approved. It may have to do with the applicant’s credit or savings history, employment stability, debt structure, or the value of the home. The good news is that a denial is merely a detour, not a roadblock. Purchasing a home takes planning, discipline, and hard work! Follow these tips and, with our assistance, homeownership may be within reach.

Establish a consistent record of paying bills on time.

Before extending a sizeable loan such as a mortgage, most lenders will want to review how you have handled your credit in the past. This includes all credit accounts, including utilities, revolving debt (credit cards, etc.), and installment debt (car loans, student loans, etc.). It is critical for you to bring all overdue bills up to date immediately and begin paying them on time in a consistent manner.

Establish a consistent record of steady employment.

Lenders are more likely to look favorably on an applicant who has been in the same (or similar) line of work for generally 2 or more years. If you have been working steadily for less than 2 years, expect the lender to ask why. There are many acceptable reasons, including:

  • You recently finished school or vocational training or left the military
  • Your work is typically seasonal, and gaps in employment are customary to the industry
  • You may have been laid off from your job
  • Frequent employment changes are normal in your line of work (sales, contract work, etc.), but you have been steadily employed and maintained a consistent level of income over the past 2 years

You may want to pay off some debt to lower your debt-to-income ratio.

This step will make it easier to qualify for a mortgage loan if your debt ratio is high. Chances are good that, if you’re already paying rent, it will be a smooth transition to making a mortgage payment. Along with the mortgage payment, you’re also responsible for real estate taxes and insurance and, if required, mortgage insurance and homeowners dues. Work with us to determine the monthly payment you can afford based on your income and the standard debt-to-income ratio guidelines.

Establish a consistent savings pattern.

Saving money for a down payment and still having enough reserves left over to cover 2 months of expenses in the event of an emergency is typically the most challenging part of buying a home. While sometimes it is difficult, this is a necessary step to ensure you are financially ready to take the plunge into homeownership. Our goal is to help you meet your short-term and long-term financial objectives. We’ll help you evaluate exactly when the right time is for you to buy, in order to help you build a secure financial future.
2014-05-08_14-26-00A little about Susan:  Susan graduated from Philadelphia University with a B.S. degree in Business Administration. She is a mortgage loan professional with over 12 years of experience. Building her business on referrals from past customers, Susan understands how to identify a mortgage program perfect for each borrower’s unique needs. She has expertise in sales and the entire mortgage process and is committed to providing each customer with the highest level of service and professionalism. Susan’s commitment to excellence and high standards for customer satisfaction make the mortgage process pleasant and easy for everyone involved.

And there you have it!  Contact First Choice Loan Services, Inc., by calling 215-252-6253. and read more about them in the Bucks County Women’s Journal

Bucks County Women’s Journal


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Children With Asperger Syndrome CAN Make Friends

Gorman John Ruggiero, Executive Director of Communication Skills Process in Wycombe, PA, explains the misnomers of Asperger Syndome.

2014-05-08_14-18-19 Ruggiero’s motto says it all: “We teach confident communication.”

Gorman John Ruggiero has been developing the Communication Skills Process for over 35 years. His work has been recognized by public and private schools, colleges, mental health centers, social service agencies, and psychology professionals for effectively improving the socialization of children on the Autism Spectrum as well as neurotypical children.   CSP classes have helped many children, youth, and adults have more satisfying relationships with peers and family.

When asked to choose what area of expertise is most influential in the future success of their children, most parents choose communication skills over math, science, English, history, and other subjects.  Good interpersonal communication skills are vital to any field of endeavor, yet these fundamental skills are not primary subjects in the educational system.

Although intellectual communication (such as writing, oral acumen, and discussion) is addressed by educators, it is with physical and emotional communication skills that healthy relationships are developed. Essential communication skills include the ability to read and interpret physical and emotional messages from others and relay physical and emotional messages back.  This holistic approach, by combining physical, emotional, and cognitive message interpretation improves communication.

The fundamentals of communication are observation skills, self-awareness, group awareness, emotional intelligence, and physical self-control, all of which are carefully examined and practiced in CSP.

How often have you heard that children with Asperger syndrome do not like to socialize? That they only have restricted interests and would rather be alone?  That they are unable to make friends?

These misnomers can be dispelled by understanding the difference between social skills and communication skills.  Socialization is a by-product of good communication skills.  Social skills cannot be taught effectively unless communication skills are strong.  Social skills are simply the icing on the cake of communication skills.

Today, when many children and youth are taking advantage of technology to improve their lives, it is important to teach them to balance their activities.  Although technology has improved our lives significantly, it has, in no small part, begun to de-emphasize face-to-face communication.  Research has indicated that almost 30% of parents are involved with cell phones, computers, or other devices while sitting at a meal with their children.  This phenomenon is reducing the opportunities for children to learn appropriate socialization and can lead to problems in school and in relationships, which, in turn, affects future success.  The advent of computers as teaching tools, entertainment, and substitutes for social interactions has made it imperative that communication skills be elevated in importance equal to other school subjects starting in elementary school and continuing through high school.

The CSP program includes exciting games and tasks that help children become aware of spatial relationships; recognize and interpret physical and emotional messages; and appropriately observe and critically analyze each other’s positive and negative behaviors in a safe, structured environment.  Self-examination, self-monitoring, and group-dynamic examination are focal points of the discussions.  Can 5-year-old children critically discuss the physical and emotional messages of peers? Yes, and they can discuss their own messaging activities as well.

Classes are grouped by age range: 5-8, 9-12, 13-17, Adults.

A Current Assessment of Asperger Syndrome

The American Psychiatric Association has deemed in the new DSM-V (released in May, 2013), that Asperger syndrome (AS) will not be included but will fall under the General Autism category.   In fact, the terminology associated with Asperger has been eliminated.  All Asperger-diagnosed children and adults have moved into the general Autism Spectrum Disorder category (ASD).  The American Psychiatric Association claims that there are too many children being diagnosed with AS.

What this will mean for the Asperger community is not yet clear, although there is much angst and speculation from groups such as Asperger’s Association of New England (AANE) and The Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership (GRASP) in New York.  These and similar organizations that have fought a long-term battle for Asperger syndrome services are afraid that many children and adults will lose funding and fall off the criteria lists of the general AS category.

How does this diagnostic change in the DSM-V impact the AS community?  In the final determinations and studies to re-categorize AS, some imply that as many as 10% “who meet current criteria for autism spectrum conditions could be excluded.”  Others will pick up a one of the new categories—“Social Communication Disorder”—designed to address people with social and communication difficulties (which describes most Asperger children).

The field of psychology has few, if any, current communication skills training classes within psychology curricula for undergraduate or graduate program students.  Although these curricula include study of social interactions and social cognitive functions, there remains a gaping hole in training for practical communication skills.  Communication skills process relies on methods distilled by the trained experts in communication: the expressive artists.  Where many disciplines may explain that children need to learn to socialize, they are lacking in explanations of exactly how to do it. By combining knowledge from disciplines such as the expressive arts, psychology, and new brain research, a comprehensive program has been developed: Communication Skills Process.

Our mission is to provide teaching, training, presentations, and consultation in the Communication Skills Process to children on the autism spectrum, neurotypical children, parents, therapists, educators, and corporations.






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