FOR YOUR HEALTH: How Functional Fitness Can Help You Keep Up with the Grandkids

Grandfather and his grandson enjoying and playing together on basketball court.

Fun with your grandkids is just one good reason to get physically fit.

(NAPSI)—One of the greatest joys—but potentially biggest challenges—for many grandparents is time spent with the grandkids. Whether yours are toddlers or teens, keeping them entertained requires a level of fitness that might include everything from lifting a child to chasing them at the playground to competing in a round of golf. For grandparents seeking an enriching and active experience with their grandkids, it’s important to engage in everyday fitness routines that can help:

  • maintain muscle mass,
  • preserve cardiovascular health,
  • fortify flexibility, and
  • bolster balance.

Functional fitness training can help with these goals.

What is Functional Fitness?

“Functional fitness uses multiple muscle groups and movements to help train muscles, joints, limbs, and nerves to all work better together for everyday tasks, like lifting groceries from the car, or outmaneuvering the grandkids,” says Jaynie Bjornaraa PhD, MPH, PT, who is vice president of rehabilitation services and fitness solutions at American Specialty Health Fitness.

Examples of functional fitness exercises include lunges, squats, and planks. “Lunges help improve balance and make the legs stronger,” says Dr. Bjornaraa. “Squats help strengthen the muscles used in sitting, standing, or lifting heavy objects safely. Core training, like planks, helps strengthen the lower back, hips, and abdominal muscles. A strong core provides a stable base when lifting, standing, or performing the chores of everyday life.”

There are many ways to incorporate functional fitness into an everyday fitness routine. For example, online workout classes such as Pilates, yoga, or strength training can provide easy access to beginner, intermediate, or advanced exercise routines. Gyms offer in-person classes plus access to most any kind of fitness equipment you may need to practice functional fitness, from mats and free weights to fitness balls and exercise bands.

If cost is a factor in joining a gym or fitness classes, programs such as the Silver&Fit® Healthy Aging and Exercise Program, which is available through certain Medicare Advantage plans, offer no-cost or subsidized low-cost access to thousands of standard name-brand gyms and YMCAs, in addition to premium boutique studios around the country. These programs may also include online access to fitness video classes such as dance, cardio, tai chi, Pilates, strength training, yoga, and others that teach proper form and technique. Nearly five million participants use the Silver&Fit program to help them stay fit.

“Functional fitness offers terrific health benefits for everyone, no matter your age or fitness level,” added Dr. Bjornaraa. “I encourage my friends, family, and clients to engage in some kind of functional fitness exercise every day to maximize the benefits.”

If you’re ready to try some functional fitness exercises but aren’t sure where to begin, you may care to check out a functional fitness exercise video called “3 Functional Exercises Using Only Body Weight.”

Learn More

For information about the Silver&Fit program, visit

FOR YOUR HEALTH: Finding relief from painful varicose veins is possible

Angie King

Angie King, of Detroit, has been in healthcare for more than 20 years, currently as a medical assistant. She loves her job and helping people. But being on her feet all day caused her varicose veins to swell, causing pain and heaviness in her legs. “Some days I was in real pain and it’s hard not to show it. I had to sit down frequently just to get off my legs for a minute, walking got painful.”

Angie heard about a treatment that could help her being performed by Mark Bolduc, MD, a physician with vascular expertise, at Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital, in Pittsfield. The procedure is called Radio Frequency Ablation or RFA for short. It’s an in-office procedure that eases the common symptoms of varicose veins, which can include pain, swelling, achiness and irritation. RFA can help sufferers avoid a more involved surgical procedure.

Dr. Bolduc has more than 20 years of experience with the procedure. He sees patients of all ages, many of whom who work on their feet all day such as teachers, and those in retail and healthcare – like Angie King. “It’s a procedure that lasts about 60 minutes using local anesthesia, the patient stays awake the whole time,” says Dr. Bolduc.

Dr. Mark Bolduc

Dr. Bolduc explains that varicose veins can appear because of damaged vein walls and valves. RFA works by sending a thermal heat source to an affected vein and closes it off, which helps reduce pain to the leg. “Patients will find relief from the nagging ache and itchiness in five to seven days. I’ve seen it make a big difference in a person’s daily life.”

It’s been five months since Angie had RFA. “I am so happy I did it. I’m more active now, and I’m not in pain after standing at my job for long periods of time. I can keep up with my younger colleagues at work!” she said with a smile. “It’s really changed my life and I hope I can encourage others to check it out.”

RFA is covered by most insurances if a medical necessity. Contact your primary care provider for a referral. Dr. Bolduc performs RFA at Sebasticook Valley Hospital and also sees patients for consultations at Northern Light Vascular Care in Waterville.

Visit or call 207.487.4040 for more information.

FOR YOUR HEALTH: Finding Health Insurance Coverage For Your New College Graduate

Many families may be surprised at how much young adults need health insurance—and how easy it can be for them to get it.

(NAPSI)—As you and your child look to the future, many questions may arise. One often lost in these planning discussions is what are the graduate’s health insurance needs.

While it might be the last thing you ask yourself, it can be one of the most significant. Adults ages 19 to 34 have the highest uninsured rates of any age group in the United States—and that may put them at risk. One unexpected accident or illness could have long-lasting health and financial impacts.

“Choosing the right health coverage may seem difficult to young people, as many have never shopped for their own health insurance,” said Dan Garrison, president of HealthMarkets Insurance Agency. “Fortunately, there is a wide range of coverage options available to a family working to meet a graduate’s unique care needs and financial situation.”

And now is the time to start. While some graduates may have secured jobs that offer health benefits, some may not have access to these benefits immediately, while others may need to look at other options.

Here are some tips for getting started:

Know where to go for support. You and your graduate can find helpful information through healthcare marketplaces, insurance carriers, insurance brokers and other licensed agents. For example, GetCovered, powered by HealthMarkets, is a free service that provides guidance for graduates in need of healthcare coverage—by phone at 877-270-0029 or online at

Have answers to these kick-off questions.

•When does the graduate’s current coverage end, if it is through the university or college?
•Is coverage possible under the family’s plan? Under the “Age 26 Rule,” parents or guardians may maintain or add children to their health plans until the young person’s 26th birthday or later, depending on the state.
•What benefits does the graduate need or want?
•What portion of the graduate’s monthly budget can go to health insurance?

Understand your options

If coverage under the “Age 26” rule is not an option, consider:

Medicaid/Medicare—While Medicare coverage is primarily available to individuals over age 65, Medicaid eligibility is based on income, disability, and other circumstances.

•Individual exchange/marketplace plans—These ACA plans are available through federal or state enrollment sites. Based on income, your graduate may be eligible for plan subsidies—making one of these plans more affordable. Graduation would be a “qualifying life event” to enroll in an ACA plan outside of the annual Open Enrollment Period.

•Short-term plans—Short-term limited duration insurance plans offer different levels of coverage than ACA plans. These plans provide temporary coverage to bridge the gap between longer-term insurance coverage, such as health benefits offered by an employer.

“Health coverage decisions can be made simpler—and there are resources to help,” Garrison said. “Whether your family chooses to do its own research and enrollment, or engage outside services, determining what your graduate may need and can afford will help you find health coverage that ensures your child has access to care now.”

FOR YOUR HEALTH: Make the Most of Summer with Tips for a Healthy Season

(NAPSI)—The summer months are here, signaling that it’s time to soak up the warm weather, enjoy time outside, and make the most of the longer days. The hotter months can also bring additional risk for outdoor activities, so follow these safety tips to prepare for a fun and healthy summer.

Use sun protection. Always take protective steps when enjoying time in the sun. Make use of the shade on a sunny day to keep cool and reduce the risk of sunburn. A wide-brimmed hat can provide additional protection from damaging UV rays. Best of all is broad-spectrum sunscreen, which should be applied 20 minutes before going outdoors. Choose sunscreen with at least SPF 15, and reapply every 2 hours and after swimming, sweating, or toweling off.

Prepare for bugs. When planning a day outside, be sure to pack insect repellent. Warmer weather means more insects, which can be more than noisy nuisances. Insects like mosquitoes and ticks can also carry disease. If the day calls for spending time in tall grass or heavily wooded areas, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants to prevent bites. Remember to check your clothing, body, and pets for ticks upon returning indoors.

Stay active. Staying active is also important to good health, and summer is a great time to jumpstart an active lifestyle. Try to get at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week, whether that’s swimming, playing catch, or just going for a walk around the neighborhood. Many people break up the 150 minutes a week into 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. But do whatever works for your schedule and lifestyle. Physical activity doesn’t just help you stay in shape: moving more can also improve stress and anxiety and lead to better sleep.

Drink enough water. Staying on top of fluid intake is key to staying healthy and hydrated in the heat, and it can be easy to become dehydrated without noticing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends drinking at least 64 ounces of water a day. Sports drinks can help replenish vital electrolytes after time in the hot sun but should be consumed in moderation due to their high sugar content.

Update your COVID protection. Winter may be known as the cold and flu season, but COVID remains a threat year-round. If you are already vaccinated but don’t yet have an updated vaccine, consider getting one—especially if you are planning to travel, attend crowded events, or spend time with older adults. Updated COVID vaccines offer protection against two strains of the COVID virus. And if you’re 65 or older, or you are immunocompromised, you can get a second dose of an updated vaccine because you’re at high risk for COVID complications.

“With the official public health emergency ending, people may be tempted to dismiss COVID as something they don’t need to worry about when they make plans for the summer,” said Sima Ladjevardian, Regional Director for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “The truth is, COVID is still part of our lives, and staying up to date on vaccines will help keep COVID from disrupting the things you want to do.”

For more information and to find a free vaccine, visit

FOR YOUR HEALTH: Prevent Pain And Problems

Dr. Louis F. McIntyre says seeing an orthopaedic surgeon can help you live a more pain-free life.

(NAPSI)—If you or someone you care about is a weekend warrior, maturing man or exercise enthusiast, you might want to bone up on these facts about health and safety.

The Problem

As men get older, over-exercise or make sudden changes in activity, they may experience injuries, stiffness, discomfort or pain in their bones, joints and muscles. Instead of ignoring these symptoms which can lead to more issues, it’s a good idea to see an orthopaedic surgeon who can prevent, diagnose and treat such problems.

Some Answers

To help you understand how much orthopaedists can do for you, Dr. Louis F. McIntyre, Chief Quality Officer for U.S. Orthopaedic Partners (USOP), a platform of over 250 orthopedic providers across Mississippi, Alabama and Louisi­ana, offers four tips:

• As the weather gets warmer, people are more inclined to get out and start exercising. However, if you have a previous injury, you can do more damage.
• Many people don’t realize you don’t need to have an injury to visit an orthopaedist. As people age, they experience more aches and pains and joint damage.
• Orthopaedists can prescribe treatments, assist with rehabilitation, and help develop long-term strategies to deal with specific injuries.
• In addition to injuries, orthopaedic surgeons can assist with arthritis and sciatica, knee, back or shoulder pain, reduced range of motion, and numbness in limbs.

No one wants to live with long-lasting pain or be limited in their daily activities. Orthopaedists can help address the issue and get you back to living a pain-free active life.

Learn More

For more facts on orthopaedics and how it can help you, visit

FOR YOUR HEALTH: Secrets to Living Longer – and Healthier

Now’s the time to kickstart your summer exercise routine. Pair up with a friend for extra fun and motivation.

Those who have lived long lives often swear by a particular habit or food that’s kept them healthy. But there are real secrets that may help you live a longer, healthier life – and they don’t involve drinking from the Fountain of Youth.

The Psychosomatic Medicine journal revealed the results of a 50-year study on aging.

After studying more than 2,300 people, researchers concluded that physically active, emotionally stable, and conscientious people live longer. So maybe it’s time you asked yourself, “Am I active enough, relaxed about life, and happy?”

Use the list below for a quick check-in with your wellness and answer either yes or no to the following statements.

• I exercise regularly, and my exercise routine is right for my age group.
• I sleep well, never tossing and turning with worries.
• I have regular checkups, and my doctor is familiar with my health.
• I’m well informed about nutrition, and I take care to eat healthy, nutritious foods.
• I’m active with a strong network of good friends.
• I’m generally happy with my life.

Tips for a healthier life

If you checked several of the boxes above, you’re well on your way. Aging successfully means more than just being comfortable and safe. It means having self-esteem, confidence, fulfillment, and continued growth. How do you make that happen? Here are some ideas to get you started.

Get daily physical activity

You don’t need to be a marathon runner to see the benefits of exercise and physical activity. Just 30 minutes per day — minimum — helps you stave off heart disease, diabetes, cancer, mental illness, and more. For even better results, include strength training and add endurance, flexibility, and balance exercises to your workout.

Tips for staying active and hydrated

Eat your way to better health

As you get older, your nutritional needs may change. Make sure you’re including a variety of foods in your diet. The National Institute on Aging offer these suggestions for choosing healthy meals:

Drink plenty of liquids. Avoid or limits ones with lots of added sugar or other ingredients, like soda.

Make eating a social event. Even if you live alone or are social-distancing, you can set up a video call and encourage friends or family to join as you all eat together.

Know what a healthy portion size is.

Use herbs and spices to amp up the flavor of your meals without adding additional sugar or sodium.

Eating well is the foundation for your whole picture of wellness and can make you look and feel better in every aspect of your life.

Get the rest you need

While many older adults find it’s harder to get enough sleep, it doesn’t need to be that way.

Certain health issues or a medication you take might make it harder for you to fall asleep. If that’s the case, talk to your doctor to see if there are other treatments or methods you can try.

If you’re simply having trouble falling asleep, try one of these suggestions to help you get the rest you need:

Follow a regular schedule of going to bed and getting up, even on weekends.

Keep your bedroom at a cooler temperature and as quiet as possible.

If ambient light bothers you at night, try wearing a sleep mask.

Avoid napping later in the day so you feel more tired at bedtime.

Don’t eat, exercise, or drink alcohol too close to your bedtime.

Try to avoid watching TV or using a computer or cell phone too close to bed.

Stay socially active, too

A network of friends and active involvement in a community are essential to your happiness. Plus, people who are well connected socially have much lower risks for diseases.

So sign up, jump in, and go with the flow! Spend time with family and friends, even far-away ones, with phone calls or Skype. And look for groups to join through your church or religious organization, the local library, or at a nearby senior center.

Consider where you live

CCRCs (Continuing Care Retirement Communities) are designed with active, engaged lifestyles in mind. So they typically offer a long list of fun and fulfilling activities, including:

Book clubs, Brain fitness exercises, Concerts, Creative arts.

Day trips

Even if you don’t live in a CCRC, you can reap some of the benefits by fitting these types of activities into your daily schedule.

An attainable goal: living a longer, healthier life

Living a longer, healthier life is a goal we can all get behind. For support and assistance with your emotional and physical health, communities specifically designed for senior adults are a great option. Learn more about how to find a community that’s right for you.

FOR YOUR HEALTH: Six Ways a Simple Eye Exam Could Save Your Life

Regular checkups by an ophthalmologist can help you see your way to good health.

(NAPSI)—It may come as a surprise to some, but an ophthalmologist can help you keep an eye on your overall health. In fact, an ophthalmologist—a physician who specializes in medical and surgical eye care—may be the first to detect if you’re at risk for a heart attack, stroke or other life-threatening conditions. That’s because subtle, early damage to tiny blood vessels in the eyes can provide important clues about what is happening in the small blood vessels of the brain and heart. 

  The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends all adults receive a comprehensive eye exam by age 40, and every year or two after age 65. 

 Surprising medical conditions that can be detected in a routine eye exam: 

 1.Cancer. This includes not only eye-related skin cancers on the eyelid or the surface of the eye, but also cancers in other parts of the body. Leukemia, lymphoma, and breast cancer can all be detected in the eye. 

 2.Diabetes. Diabetes is a leading cause of vision loss in the United States, but signs of diabetes can also appear in the eye before vision is affected. When a person with diabetes has high blood sugar levels, it can affect the blood vessels in the eye. That’s how an ophthalmologist might diagnose diabetes before other symptoms appear. 

 3.Heart disease. During a routine eye exam, ophthalmologists use a special imaging tool to examine the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. If the blood supply to the retina is reduced or blocked, this could be an early symptom of heart disease. 

 4.High blood pressure. One in three American adults has high blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease if left untreated. Unusually shaped blood vessels or bleeding in the back of the eye can signal high blood pressure. 

 5.High cholesterol. Another common health condition that can lead to serious health issues is high cholesterol. A yellow or blue ring around the cornea can be a symptom, as can deposits in the blood vessels of the retina. 

 6.Stroke. An ophthalmologist can also spot plaque deposits in the arteries of the eye. If these pieces of plaque reach the brain, they can cause a stroke. Several eye symptoms are linked to stroke, such as loss of side vision, sudden blind spots, blurry vision, double vision, or sensitivity to light. People experiencing these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention. 

 Can’t Afford an Eye Exam? EyeCare America® Can Help. 

 Individuals age 65 or older who are concerned about their risk of eye disease and/or the cost of an eye exam, may be eligible for a medical eye exam, often at no out-of-pocket cost, through the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s EyeCare America® program. This public service program matches volunteer ophthalmologists with eligible patients in need of eye care across the United States. To see if you or a loved one qualifies, visit to determine your eligibility.

FOR YOUR HEALTH – Know the Signs of Stroke: Acting in Time Can Save a Life

(NAPSI)—You work hard to help keep yourself and your loved ones healthy. To help, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) reminds everyone that stroke is a leading cause of death and disability in the United States. About 800,000 people in the country have a stroke each year. The good news is, when treated quickly, survival is possible and damage can be greatly reduced. That’s why understanding your risk for stroke, knowing signs of stroke, and acting in time are critical and can make all the difference for you or someone you care for. If you have a greater chance of stroke, there are also steps you can take now to help prevent one.  

What is Stroke?

There are two major types of stroke. One, called a hemorrhagic stroke, occurs when a brain blood vessel breaks and blood escapes into or around the brain. The other, called an ischemic stroke, or “brain attack,” occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted. When this happens, brain cells stop getting the oxygen and nutrients they need.  

Risk Factors for Stroke

Anyone can have a stroke, but some people are at greater risk than others.


• Previous Stroke or Transient Ischemic Attack

• High Blood Pressure

• High Cholesterol

• Heart Disease

• Diabetes

• Sickle Cell Disease

• Use Of Anti-Clotting Medications

• Certain Cancers

• Behaviors:

• Unhealthy Diet

• Physical Inactivity

• Obesity

• Excess Alcohol 

• Tobacco Use 

• Stimulant Drug Use

• Neck Injury

 • Individual Characteristics:

• Being over the age of 55

• More common in women than men 

• Blacks, Hispanics, American Indians, and Alaska Natives are at higher risk  

Signs of Stroke

The symptoms of stroke usually happen quickly and include one or more of the following: 

• Sudden NUMBNESS or weakness of face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body

• Sudden CONFUSION, trouble speaking, or understanding speech

• Sudden TROUBLE SEEING in one or both eyes

• Sudden TROUBLE WALKING, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination

• Sudden SEVERE HEADACHE with no known cause

Act in Time: Call 911 Right Away

Stroke is a medical emergency. If you believe you are having a stroke—or if you think someone you know is having a stroke—call 911 immediately. Do not wait for the symptoms to improve or worsen. Making the decision to call for medical help right away can save a life or mean avoiding a lifelong disability.

Ways to Help Prevent Stroke

You can help prevent stroke by making healthy choices and controlling any health problems you may have.

• Manage any health problems you may have, especially high blood pressure, but also diabetes, high cholesterol, and obesity to lower your risk for stroke.

• Eat a healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.

• Exercise regularly—about 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. 

• Avoid drinking too much alcohol. 

• If you smoke, take steps to quit. If you’d like some help with quitting, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or 1-855-DÉJELO-YA (1-855-335-3569) for free resources and support.

For more information from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, visit

FOR YOUR HEALTH – Maine’s Aging Population: Strategies for Healthy Aging and Improving Senior Care

Maine, known for its iconic lighthouses, stunning coastlines, and rich history, is now becoming recognized for another reason: its aging population. As the oldest state by median age in the U.S., Maine faces unique challenges in supporting its senior residents. However, the state is also pioneering innovative strategies for healthy aging and improving senior care.

The demographic shift in Maine, like many other places, is due to the aging of the Baby Boomer generation. This demographic bulge, combined with the state’s rural character and a younger generation moving away for job opportunities, has created a significant senior population. This has brought issues of healthcare, accessibility, and social support to the forefront of public policy discussions.

For many seniors, healthy aging is closely tied to maintaining independence and high quality of life. To facilitate this, Maine has begun to invest heavily in “age-friendly” communities. These communities prioritize walkability, affordable and accessible housing, social engagement opportunities, and access to health and wellness services. By focusing on these areas, Maine is providing an environment that supports seniors in maintaining their independence for as long as possible.

Additionally, Maine has increased its focus on preventive healthcare. Regular screenings, physical activity, and healthy diet are integral to preventing many health problems associated with aging. The state is working to promote these habits among its senior population through educational campaigns and healthcare provider initiatives.

Telemedicine is another area where Maine is leading. In a state where rural locations can make access to healthcare challenging, telemedicine provides a critical link for seniors. It allows seniors to consult with healthcare professionals from the comfort of their homes, reducing the need for potentially difficult travel.

Despite these efforts, there is still much work to be done. Many seniors in Maine struggle with social isolation, especially those in rural areas. To combat this, the state is exploring innovative solutions like senior community centers and initiatives encouraging intergenerational connection.

Furthermore, the state is working to improve its senior care facilities. A primary focus is on training and retaining high-quality staff. The state is providing incentives for individuals to enter and stay in the caregiving profession, a critical component in providing quality care to Maine’s senior population.

Maine’s approach to addressing its aging population is holistic, looking at the full range of seniors’ needs and potential solutions. From age-friendly communities to preventive healthcare, telemedicine, and improved senior care facilities, Maine is taking substantial steps to ensure its senior population can age healthily and maintain a high quality of life.

While Maine’s aging population presents challenges, it also offers an opportunity. By focusing on healthy aging and improving senior care, Maine can provide a model for other states facing similar demographic shifts. The lessons learned here will be invaluable as the U.S. grapples with its aging population in the years to come.

As Maine’s senior population continues to grow, the state’s innovative strategies will be tested. But the commitment to creating a supportive environment for seniors is clear. Maine’s seniors, like its lighthouses, are a symbol of resilience and strength, and the state’s efforts to support them are evidence of a commitment to their care.

FOR YOUR HEALTH – Lyme Disease Prevention and Awareness in Maine: What You Need to Know

As warmer months approach, the prevalence of ticks and the risk of contracting Lyme disease increase, especially in Maine. The state has consistently ranked high for Lyme disease cases, making it crucial for residents to be informed about prevention measures and early detection.

Lyme disease, caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected black-legged ticks, also known as deer ticks. In recent years, the number of reported cases of Lyme disease in Maine has significantly increased. According to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC), there were 2,079 confirmed cases in 2021, reflecting a steady rise in numbers over the past decade.

As climate change continues to affect Maine’s ecosystem, warmer temperatures and milder winters contribute to the expansion of tick populations. This, in turn, increases the risk of Lyme disease transmission. Maine residents need to be vigilant in their efforts to prevent tick bites and seek prompt treatment if bitten.

Prevention remains the best defense against Lyme disease. Experts recommend taking the following precautions during outdoor activities, particularly in wooded and grassy areas:

  • Use insect repellent: Apply repellents containing at least 20% DEET on exposed skin and clothing. The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) website offers a tool to help select the right repellent for your needs.
  • Wear protective clothing: Opt for long sleeves, long pants, and closed-toe shoes when venturing into tick-prone areas. Light-colored clothing makes it easier to spot ticks.
  • Treat clothing and gear: Apply permethrin, an insecticide, to clothes, shoes, and camping gear for added protection.
  • Avoid tick habitats: Stay on well-trodden paths and avoid tall grasses and brushy areas where ticks are commonly found.
  • Perform tick checks: After spending time outdoors, thoroughly check yourself, your children, and your pets for ticks. Pay special attention to areas like the scalp, behind the ears, armpits, and the groin.

If you find a tick on your body, remove it as soon as possible using fine-tipped tweezers. Grasp the tick close to the skin’s surface and pull upward with steady, even pressure. After removal, clean the bite area with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.

Early detection and treatment of Lyme disease are vital to preventing severe complications. If you notice a tick bite, watch for symptoms like fever, chills, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, swollen lymph nodes, and the characteristic “bull’s-eye” rash. These symptoms may appear anywhere from three to 30 days after the bite. If you experience any of these symptoms or suspect you’ve been bitten by a tick, consult your healthcare provider immediately.

Maine has implemented various programs to educate the public about Lyme disease prevention and control. The Maine CDC offers a “Tick Identification Program,” where residents can submit ticks for identification and testing. This helps track tick populations and the prevalence of Lyme disease in the state.

Furthermore, the University of Maine Cooperative Extension provides resources and conducts tick workshops for residents to learn more about tick identification, habitat management, and personal protection.

Public awareness and preventative measures are essential to curbing the rise in Lyme disease cases in Maine. As tick populations grow, residents must take necessary precautions to protect themselves and their families from the risks posed by these tiny yet dangerous creatures.