Author:Science Care

Which end of life option is right for you and your loved ones? Burial Funeral, Cremation, University Donation, Live Organ Donation, or Body Donation to Science

Each day, potential donors ask us about the differences between burial, cremation, university donation, organ donation, and body donation to science.  We certainly understand the need to know the difference, as it is a very important choice to make.  Here at Science Care, we only coordinate body donation to science.  But the truth of the matter is, donating your body to science may not be the best fit for you. READ MORE

Funeral Homes

The death of the funeral: Will they be obsolete when millennials pass?

The way we approach death in our society is changing. Fewer people are opting for a traditional embalmed-body funeral, instead choosing informal and personal celebrations. More than half of all people now choose cremation over burial, up from just 28% in 2002. Part of this change is cost—with a traditional burial averaging $9,000, but there is more to it than that. People want the process to express their own values, which are more informal, less religious, and more environmentally conscious than past generations.

 

Many are now also considering donating their body to science. More than 140,000 people have pledged to donate their bodies through the world’s largest donate your body to science program, Science Care, with numbers rising every month. Part of this shift is a matter of cost, as donating your body to science is free, and many providers, such as Science Care, will return the donor’s ashes to loved ones within three to five weeks upon completion of the scientific and medical studies.

 

Donating your body to science also aligns closely with many of today’s cultural values:

  • Make the world a better place than we found it
  • Advance medical science by helping discover new treatments
  • Help those who are ill or suffering
  • Train doctors on new techniques
  • Reduce our environmental footprint
  • Provide medical research and training for current and future military service members

 

The shift in funeral practices is likely to accelerate, as Baby Boomers come to the end of their lives and Millennials reshape mainstream culture to their own circumstances and values. A recent Deloitte study, for example, shows Millennials have an average net worth of a mere $8,000 and are waiting longer to marry, have children, and buy their first homes – leaving them with limited income to plan for retirement and end-of-life. Add to that the continued decline in their attendance at religious services and a greater demand for relevance and authenticity, and it seems likely that traditional funeral may one day be a thing of the past.

 

For more information on how to pre-register to donate your body to science, go here.

Heat Stroke

The Hidden Dangers of Heat Stroke

With the summer season now upon us, it’s important for anyone planning to spend time in the great outdoors to recognize the signs and symptoms of heat stroke and the potential danger associated with this very serious condition.  But before we dive deeper into the dangers of heat stroke, let’s first get a better understanding of what heat stroke is. READ MORE

What Separates you from a body donor?

We’ve all heard of the term “six degrees of separation”, the theory that any person on the planet can be connected to any other person on the planet through a chain of acquaintances that has no more than five intermediaries. Well, the same concept applies to you and a body donor. Only in this case, the degree of separation is much less.READ MORE

Inside the Human Body. It’s Complicated!

Did you know that each adult human body is estimated to have more than 46 miles of nerves and over 60,000 miles of blood vessels? Or that the brain alone has approximately 100 billion nerve cells? Or that just one foot is made up of 38 bones, 30 joints and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments which all have to work in unison just to allow us to walk?READ MORE

Hospice Heroes Program

How we honor the heroes in hospice

In recent years, the in-home care industry’s turnover rate has skyrocketed to 65.7 percent. One of the main reasons, according to a study from the Journal of Social Work in End-of-Life & Palliative Care, is hospice professionals are not receiving the emotional support they need to carry out their critical, yet exhausting work.

 

As the leader in whole body donation, Science Care is closely linked to the hospice industry, and sees firsthand the impact hospice organizations and professionals have on patients and their loved ones, not to mention the undeniable pressure and emotional burden experienced by those involved. As such, the company partners with hospice and healthcare networks across the country through its Hope Program to help terminally ill patients leave a lasting legacy through whole body donation.

 

Providing relief and peace of mind, the Hope Program offers no-cost pre-screening for patients in hospice care to know with certainty whether they meet current research criteria to donate their bodies prior to passing. As a result, the program not only provides peace of mind to the patient, but also to their family and healthcare provider that a plan is in place in the event of death. By immediately stepping in after the time of passing, Science Care lends comfort to the family while also alleviating the duties of the hospice professionals, so they can focus entirely on helping the family heal during such an emotionally devastating time.

 

To demonstrate its deep appreciation for hospice care professionals Science Care has proudly launched its first-ever Hospice Heroes Awards Program, which honors hospice professionals throughout the U.S. for their unwavering commitment to their emotionally taxing and complex vocation. The merit-based awards program calls upon hospice organizations and the friends and family of those who have had a loved one in hospice care to nominate individuals deserving to be recognized for their tireless and honorable work.

 

For more information on how to nominate the Hospice Hero in your life, visit Hospice Heroes Awards

Senior loneliness and depression

Are Depression and Loneliness Connected With Aging?

For many elderly seniors, age is just a number. Many are living life to the fullest, taking advantage of everything life at this age has to offer. Building new friendships, traveling around the world, regular golf and tennis outings, family gatherings, etc. But this isn’t the case for every member of the elderly population. In fact, research indicates that as a society, we are lonelier than ever before. This is especially true of the elderly population. There are no accurate estimates on the number of elderly persons experiencing loneliness and depression, but the number is high and it’s getting higher.

So what’s contributing to this growing epidemic and is there anything that can be done about it?

 

Factors Contributing to Loneliness & Depression

Loss of spouse – Many elderly seniors are living alone for the first time in many years as a result of losing a spouse.

Extended family (children, grandchildren, cousins, etc.) live in another state – More people are moving for jobs and/or better quality of life.

Socioeconomic status – Some people just don’t have the financial means to travel the world or live out their retirement years in an active senior living community full of amenities.

Health related – Conditions like arthritis, urinary incontinence, tiredness, side-effects from medication, etc. can all lead to an inactive social life. According to a study published by the National Institutes of Health, a person’s physical health is a major cause of depression in late life. This may be due to several factors including:

  • The psychological effects of living with an illness and disability
  • The effects of chronic pain
  • The biological effects of some conditions and medications that can cause depression through direct effects on the brain
  • The social restrictions that some illnesses place upon life-style resulting in isolation and loneliness

Unfortunately, the loneliness and depression associated with health issues can often lead to even more and sometimes bigger health issues.

Loss of close friends and lack of desire to create new friends – Social isolation can lead to feelings of emptiness and depression.

Fear of driving – As we age, it’s common to have more anxiety about driving, especially on the freeways. Let’s face it, reaction time and eyesight aren’t what they used to be and hopping on the freeway or a busy road to visit a friend, go to the mall or head to the community center isn’t as appealing as it once was.

Moving to a new neighborhood or apartment as a result of downsizing – Many of the elderly experiencing loneliness and depression have had to downsize due to financial reasons or the inability to handle the upkeep of a larger home. This can lead to more loneliness as a result of moving away from friends, experiencing unfamiliarity with their surroundings, etc.

 

These are not the only reasons for the increasing rate of loneliness and depression among the elderly population, but they are prime contributors. There are things that can be done to help, but it takes some effort on the part of the individual. Many cities have free regular classes and activities for seniors, but they don’t do much good if the person doesn’t have the ability to get there. See if these places offer transportation or look into Uber. Uber has opened up a world of possibilities for seniors stuck at home. For more on Uber and senior transportation, go here.

Here are some other ways to combat loneliness:

Adopt a pet – Check with reputable local shelters to ask if they have any specific pet adoption programs geared specifically toward seniors.

Start a blog – Starting a blog is a relatively easy, inexpensive and fun way to pass time. The great thing about blogs is that you can blog about anything you know about. Many seniors like to write blogs on cooking, family, travel, hobbies, books, etc. The list is endless. Blogging also provides a way to interact with other people who have the same interests.

Find a new hobby – It’s never too late to start a new hobby. With all of the “how to” videos now available on YouTube, it’s easier than ever before to learn something new.

Volunteer – For mobile elderly seniors, volunteering is a great way to get out and meet new people. Volunteering opportunities can be easily found online.

Start a neighborhood club – If the community has a community center, talk with the community manager to see if there is an opportunity to put up a flyer and host the club at the community center.

 

Whatever you decide to do either for yourself or on behalf of someone you know, it’s important to do something. Loneliness isn’t going to go away by ignoring it, and if left ignored, it can lead to even more serious issues.

 

Paget’s Disease of the Bone – What is it?

Paget’s disease is a slow-progressing, relatively uncommon condition which causes the body to generate new bone faster than normal. Over the regular course of our lives, our bodies go through a process known as “bone remodeling”, where new bone tissue (ossification) gradually replaces older bone tissue (bone resorption). This transfer of tissue helps maintain normal calcium levels in our blood. In adults, this bone replacement normally occurs at a rate of about 10% per year.

Because Paget’s disease causes your body to generate new bone faster than normal, the new bone tissue is softer and weaker than normal bone and often abnormally shaped, which can lead to bone pain, arthritis, pinched-nerves, deformities, fractures and even hearing loss. The disease most often impacts the spine, legs, pelvis and skull. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Paget’s disease impacts approximately 2 to 3% of the population over the age of 55. Men are more often affected than women.

 

Paget’s Disease Symptoms

It is often difficult to know if you have Paget’s disease as many people with the condition do not exhibit any symptoms. For those that do experience symptoms, the most common complaint is bone pain. The disease is often discovered when given x-rays for another reason. An abnormal alkaline phosphatase (ALP) test can also be an indicator of the disease. High levels of ALP found through routine blood-work can indicate liver disease or bone disorders.

 

What Causes Paget’s?

According to the Mayo Clinic, the exact cause of Paget’s disease of bone is unknown. It is believed that a combination of genetic and environmental factors contribute to the disease. If you are diagnosed with Paget’s disease, your doctor will recommend the best course of treatment which may include osteoporosis medications.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and is it real?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), chronic fatigue syndrome is a serious, long-term illness which has the potential to affect multiple systems within the body. The condition is characterized by extreme fatigue that does not improve with rest and is estimated to affect approximately 1 million Americans.

The challenges of this condition or disorder begin with the diagnosis itself. There is no single test available that will make the determination as to whether or not a person has chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Many of the symptoms associated with CFS such as fatigue, sore throat, enlarged lymph nodes, headaches, inability to concentrate, etc., can also be associated with other diseases and conditions. In order to determine if a person has CFS, doctors first need to rule our other potential health problems.

Another challenge associated with CFS, is that there is no known cause. Some experts believe the onset of the condition may be associated with a viral infection or possibly psychological stress. Others believe CFS may be brought on by a weakened immune system, hormonal imbalances or a combination of factors and events. No one knows for sure.

Treating CFS presents yet another challenge as symptoms can differ with each individual affected. There is currently no known cure or FDA-approved treatments for CFS, so doctors usually focus on management of individual symptoms to improve quality of life.READ MORE

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