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Does the senior in your life have Lyme disease?

Maybe the name Kris Kristofferson rings a bell, or maybe it doesn’t. Either way, here’s a little story about the songwriter and actor who is now 80.

For several years, it was thought he was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or some other kind of dementia. His memory had been deteriorating. Then in June 2016, he revealed he was misdiagnosed. What he actually had was Lyme disease.

Lyme disease is contracted from the bite of an infected deer tick, a year-round threat. If left untreated, the disease can progress and cause a number of debilitating symptoms. Seniors can be highly vulnerable because they may have weakened immune systems or pre-existing conditions that can be exacerbated by Lyme.

Here’s why it was such an easy mistake for Kristofferson’s doctors to make. In seniors especially, Lyme disease can result in short-term memory loss. And according to the Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases Research Center of Columbia University Medical Center, problems like these can occur months or years after a person contracts Lyme disease:

  • Problems remembering names or words
  • Slowed thinking
  • “Brain fog”
  • Difficulty following conversations

Other symptoms can include:

  • “Bulls-eye” rash at the bite site
  • Fever and chills
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Increased heart rate
  • Meningitis
  • Nervous system damage
  • Arthritis
  • Heart damage

Let’s take a look at the symptoms more closely.

“Bulls-eye” rash at the bite site

This might be one of the first symptoms you notice. The telltale rash is red and may have a bullseye rash around it. This is where bacteria makes its first entry.

Fever and chills, headache, fatigue, joint pain

If these symptoms sound familiar, it’s probably that they resemble the flu. Lack of energy, a mild fever, headaches, achy joints and muscles and swollen lymph nodes…all these can come along with Lyme disease. In seniors who already have daily aches and pains, it can be difficult to distinguish these symptoms from the norm.

Increased heart rate

Many people with Lyme disease develop a rapid heart rate that does not stabilize even when the sufferer is at rest. Since many seniors regularly take blood pressure and other heart medication, it is easy to see why this symptom could be confused with medication failure or side effects. According to the National Institutes of Health, nearly 46 percent of seniors between 70 and 79 take at least five prescription drugs to treat chronic conditions, which can make it difficult to distinguish between disease symptoms and medication reactions.

Meningitis

Lyme meningitis can set in once the bacteria have spread throughout the body, causing fever, migraines, neck stiffness, eye issues, seizures, and confusion. In seniors, these can be confused with viral symptoms or even regular meningitis, both of which require treatments different from the kind Lyme disease requires.

Nervous system damage

Seizures, spasms, larger uncontrolled body movements and tremors – these can all be part of Lyme disease and easily mistaken for conditions like early Parkinson’s disease, diabetic seizures, or other specific nerve damage.

Arthritis

Symptoms of arthritis include stiffening of the joints, inflammation, and pain, which many seniors experience on a daily basis. But if they do not have arthritis already, untreated Lyme disease can put the disease in motion. If they do have arthritis, Lyme disease can make it worse.  

Heart damage

When Lyme disease goes untreated for a period of time, the bacteria can weaken the heart, cause swelling, arrhythmia and even heart failure. In seniors with pre-existing heart-related conditions, this can prove deadly.

The key to recovery is knowing what symptoms to look for and treating Lyme disease right away before it takes a toll on the senior in your life. If you suspect the senior in your life has been bitten by a tick or has any of the above symptoms, seek medical treatment from a professional immediately. In a future article, we will discuss prevention and treatment of Lyme disease. Stay tuned.

This post is written by Potomac Local for Home Instead Senior Care of Manassas serving Prince William and Fauquier counties.

Remember that time you sat in front of a TV or computer, ate a meal, but didn’t savor a single bite?

Mindful eating is the act of being conscious of the flavor, texture, and smell of our foods as well as our thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations as we eat. This requires one to eat slowly and genuinely relish each bite.  It is not a diet, but mindful eating can help us achieve a healthy weight.

Eating mindlessly is an unconscious habit of eating without paying attention to what, how, why or how much we eat.  Have you ever sat in front of the TV or computer and eaten a meal, but didn’t savor a single bite?

This is an example of mindless eating and it can be triggered by external factors such as stress, food advertisements, or when the time of day tells us to eat. Mindless eating often includes “comfort foods” chosen to soothe our emotions, rather than to nourish our bodies.  Eating mindlessly or while distracted, we tend to ignore our bodies’ “full signals” and consume excess calories, which can lead to weight gain.

To begin eating mindfully, start by asking some of the following questions:

  • Am I hungry?
  • Why am I eating this?
  • Does my body need this? Does this food promote health or not?
  • Pay attention to how full you are before, during and after eating.
  • Notice the colors, smells, textures, and flavors of your food.
  • Investigate where your food came from: Was it grown on a local farm or processed in a factory? Who prepared it? 
  • Notice how the food makes you feel while eating it
  • Be aware of cravings and what triggers them: Are you bored? Lonely? Tired? Angry?  You may discover that you eat to mask uncomfortable feelings or emotions.

Keep a food journal of what you eat and your mood, hunger, and fullness levels before and after eating to increase your awareness of your eating habits.  Once aware, you can make small changes one at a time, to help develop a mindful relationship with food.

Consider:

  • Eating seated (rather than standing at the fridge or counter)
  • Eating undistracted (rather than in front of an electronic device)
  • Eating with your non-dominant hand 

(Fun fact: one of my clients broke her wrist and lost eight pounds in the month that she used her non-dominant hand to eat.)

One benefit of mindful eating you may notice is an increased enjoyment of food as you slow down and savor meals.  You may learn to enjoy healthy food and how it makes you feel. 

You may slowly begin to realize that unhealthy food does not taste as good as you previously thought and it does not make you feel good. You may also learn to eat when you are truly hungry and stop when you are full, but not stuffed. All of the above benefits of mindful eating may naturally lead to some weight loss.

Finally, as you start to enjoy the experience of being present as you eat, you may become more present in life and enjoy life more.

From walking to paddling, doggie exercise is important

Do you own a dog? If so, you may sometimes ask yourself if your four-legged friend is getting enough exercise.

Exercise is essential for dogs to live happy and healthy while under your care. Dog owners always ensure that their pet is getting enough food throughout the day. However, food alone is not the only factor that affects a pet’s health and well-being.

Making sure your dog is active is just as crucial as balancing their diet.

We may think that our energetic furry friends must be getting enough exercise by running around the house. However, the amount of exercise a dog needs varies by the kind of dog it is, its age, and its weight.

If you have a small breed of dogs, such as a Pomeranian or a corgi, they may not require as much exercise as a larger breed like a German shepherd or a golden retriever. According to PetMD, an average of 30-60 minutes of daily activity is necessary to maintain your dog’s health. Pets with special needs may require different types of exercise suggested by their vet.

Giving your pet the necessary amount of exercise is a simple matter of finding out how much activity they require. Often times, a walk or a jog around your neighborhood will be more than enough to keep your furry friend happy and healthy.

Aside from exercising, taking your dog out daily is a perfect way to bond with them, which positively affects their mental health. Making time in your daily schedule to be with your dog outdoors can be as much of an enjoyment for you as it is for them. Always remember that our pets are happiest when we are around, but especially when we are spending time with them.

The Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation knows the importance of including pets when discussing family health. That is why we created our annual Doggie Paddle, which brings together dogs and owners from all over the area to enjoy a nice day of swimming to help keep everyone active. Our 9th Annual Doggie Paddle will take place at Signal Bay Waterpark on September 8, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Dogs will be able to jump into the lazy river, splash in kiddie pools, and run through sprinklers while parents socialize and talk about how cute they are! There is a limit of two dogs per handler, and proof of distemper, parvo, and rabies must be shown in order to enter.

The event is $5 per dog and is cash only. Unruly dogs will be asked to leave, and female dogs in heat will not be allowed in the event for the safety of all dogs and people attending the event. We hope you will join us and keep your pets as healthy as they can be!

The Manassas Park Community Center is located at 99 Adams Street in Manassas Park, VA. Managed by the City of Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation, the facility is home to basketball courts, a swimming pool, wellness areas, special events, and recreational classes.

For more information visit us at ManassasParkCommunityCenter.com or call at 703-335-8872.

For the first time ever, the new Cirque Italia gold unit is coming to Woodbridge

Don’t miss the fun August 16 – 19 at Potomac Mills 

Did you know Cirque Italia has two traveling shows?

For the first time ever, The new gold unit is coming to Woodbridge with the state of the art water show you don’t want to miss! 

Cirque Italia has grown to the point where the next logical step can only be to expand operations and double our presence at the national level. In response to our wonderful fans all over the U.S., and with over 90% of shows being sold out, NOW is the perfect time for a substantial investment.

Beginning in 2017, Cirque Italia, the first traveling Water Circus, introduced a second unit, the Gold Unit: a luxurious experience where technology and performing arts are mixed to create a one-of-a-kind show. Now for 2018, a brand-new performance has been created.

This new performance will feature an ultra-modern water curtain that controls every droplet of water meticulously. Audience members can expect to see words and beautiful patterns as the waterfalls to the ‘lagoon’ below.

 

Cirque Italia is ready to provide a breathtaking experience. This new stage by itself is enough to amaze the most demanding audience, and synchronized with the most creative display of superhuman talent – the result is simply out of this world!   

The latest trends of the industry are challenged with every Cirque Italia appearance and this 2nd unit is not going to be any different. A careful casting selection has united the best artists from all over the world. This production will feature acts all the way from Russia to Mexico. Cirque Italia believes in multi-culturalism as one of our strongest assets.

Packed full of incredible acts, there is no room for boredom. The variety presented is exceptional.

For those who enjoy whimsy, we have an Avatar. There is almost no bodily limit for our contortionist, Ricardo, as he bends in ways you would never have imagined.

 

Our incredible wheel of death performance features a front summersault flip, something you will be hard-pressed to see anywhere else. If that doesn’t get your head spinning, perhaps our five roller skaters and their incredible tricks and turns will.

And although Cirque Italia does not use animals in our performances, this year we will be featuring amazing lifelike elephant puppets. They are so well made, you might just think they are real.

Whether it’s a futuristic laser act or mesmerizing aerial performances, the show has something for all tastes and expectations. One thing Cirque Italia sets out to accomplish is to create a type of world-class entertainment suitable for all age groups. 

This new second unit also follows the same strict animal-free policy that makes the Water Circus stand out from other circus entertainment shows. The “magic touch” of the Italian entrepreneur Manuel Rebecchi, President and Owner of Cirque Italia, added to the flawless direction of the COO, Chanté DeMoustes, and has turned this once romantic project into a successful production known and acclaimed all over the country.

Don’t miss the opportunity to be amazed and transported to a fantastic realm where your deepest dreams can — and will — come true. For more information visit cirqueitalia.com and make sure to check all our social media accounts.

Tickets can be purchased now starting at $10 – $50 depending on availability.  Cirque Italia offers one free child admission with every full-priced paying adult ticket in levels 2 or 3. This offer cannot be combined with any other offers, discounts or deals. Please call 941-704-8572 to find out the promo code for this location.

Eight shows will he be held at Potomac Mills mall located at 2700 Potomac Mills Circle in Woodbridge from Thursday, August 16 to Sunday, August 19.

It’s that time of year: Top 13 things you absolutely must have for college

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: back to school!

For those of you heading off to college, that means you need to take along some necessities for maintaining as much of your lifestyle as possible in a sparsely furnished room with cinder block walls, also known as a dorm.

You’re smart enough to know you need to bring the basics — clothes, towels, sheets, blankets, toiletries. And you know you need pens, pencils, highlighters, notebooks — whatever tools of the school trade work for you.

But what about the rest of the stuff? We’ve put together some tried-and-true tips, based on the experience of students and parents, about what other items you might want to consider bringing.

Here are a baker’s dozen of the best ideas for you to choose from:

1. Coffee.

First things first: Get yourself caffeinated for class. If coffee is what you need to get going in the mornings, you might want to bring a small coffee maker. A Keurig-style machine can also give you hot water for tea, hot chocolate, soup or even an emergency dose of instant mac-and-cheese.

But mostly, it’s for the coffee. Sometimes, we’re all like Lauren Graham’s character, Lorelai, from The Gilmore Girls: “I can’t stop drinking the coffee. I stop drinking coffee, I stop doing the standing, and the walking, and the words-putting-into-sentences doing.”

2. Water bottle.

You also need to be sure to keep yourself hydrated. Many experts recommend drinking water first thing in the morning (even before that coffee). Lots of college cafeterias and even classroom buildings come equipped with water fountains (many of which are filtered) so you can keep that bottle full all the time.

3. Laptop.

Now we’re into the educational necessities, and a computer is at the top of that list. You’ll be using your laptop for everything from writing term papers to creating presentations to watching Netflix.

If you’re thinking about getting a Mac, or any other Apple device, this is the time to get in touch with the experts at Experimac Manassas because they have several Back-to-School specials now through Aug. 25:

• Get 15% off (up to $50) Apple laptops.
• Buy a MacBook Pro and get a free laptop cover. 
• Buy an iMac and get a free six-month performance tune-up.
• Prince William and Fairfax County school employees get 15% off (up to $25) any Apple product or repair.

Anyone looking for a college laptop should consider that Macs offer numerous advantages over their rivals, such as an intuitive operating system, built-in security defenses, and included apps and software. They’re renowned for graphics, video and music capabilities. And opting for a used or refurbished laptop is a great way to save money on college expenses.

If you already have an Apple laptop, the specialists at Experimac can perform diagnostics to be sure it’s in the best shape for the new school year. They can help you increase the speed of your Mac, store information on a hard drive or transfer data to a newer product.

As Ron Mosely, Experimac’s owner puts it, “We can get them running just as fast as — or sometimes faster than — new.”

Basically, these gurus can give your laptop the tune-up it needs to get you through the school year. And best of all — no reservation is needed and you can avoid those infamous long lines at the Apple store.

4. Cell phone.

Yes, this one goes without saying, but make sure you’ve got the right service plan. For instance, if you use a note-taking app, be sure you’ve got enough data to cover your needs.

And if your iPhone screen is cracked or damaged, you can get it replaced and get 50% off the screen protector you should have had in the first place at Experimac through Aug. 25.

5. Power cords.

Now that you’ve got your laptop and phone ready to go — along with anything else that needs to be charged — make sure you’ve got what you need to keep them juiced up. Dorm rooms are notorious for not having enough outlets, so be prepared with power strips, HDMI cords and extra long charging cables. An extension cord can be handy, too, but make sure they’re allowed where you’re going to be living.

6. Backpack.

Just like Dora the Explorer, you need a backpack to haul your stuff in. There are tons of options, colors and features out there. Ultimately, it boils down to what works best for your specific needs. 

7. Laundry supplies.

Yes, you have to do it yourself now, so you’re going to need the supplies: laundry detergent, fabric softener or dryer sheets if that’s your jam and possibly a lot of quarters. Plus, you need a sturdy basket to put it all in. And if you’re really prepared, you’ll also toss in a sewing kit for reattaching buttons that are bound to get lost.

8. Shower shoes.

Get yourself some flip-flops for walking to and from the shower — and for wearing in the shower. They don’t need to be fancy; cheap ones will do the job. But save yourself a case of athlete’s foot.

9. Umbrella.

You still have to walk to class even when it’s raining, so make it a sturdy one that can withstand wind gusts, keeping you and your books dry.

10. Dorm Decor.

This is very subjective. You can do as much or as little as you want here. The goal is to make yourself feel comfortable by creating the kind of environment where you can sleep and study, hang out with friends, or just chill. You can go all out with colorful bedding, string lights, tapestries, even peel and stick wallpaper. It’s up to you. As you will learn via a quick search of the words “dorm décor ideas,” there are myriad ideas online (and that’s before you look at Pinterest).

11. Command strips.

You’re going to need something to hang your decor on those cinder block walls, which means those handy peel-and-stick Command strips are about to be your new best friend.

12. Cold medication.

Here’s some real advice from a real college student — Hannah Kanfer, a writer for Her Campus at George Mason, which pretty much makes her an expert on what to bring.

“If you want to know how most of my bonus bucks were spent, it was me walking in to One-Stop at awful hours of the night just for Nyquil or some cough drops,” Kanfer wrote. “We should all just accept that you’re going to get sick at least once a school year (because college is a life-size petri dish), and if you’re one of the lucky ones who doesn’t get sick, give it to a friend in need (like me).”

13. And finally, snacks.

As Kanfer explained, “Not once during college did I think, ‘I have too many snacks.’ Admittedly, this tip may encourage the sophomore/junior/senior 15, but let’s be real, a bag of Cheetos always sounds good.”

Final advice: Don’t overdo it here. If you forget something, you can always get it later. Maybe your parents want an excuse to come visit or send you a care package. Or maybe you need a reason to spend a weekend back at home. Just don’t over pack; you’ll be fine.

The many benefits of a healthcare system committed to community

Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center is committed to our community.

For the last 45 years, Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center has been devoted to our patients and their care. We take our role as a nonprofit healthcare provider very seriously, never turning away anyone in need.

Our mission is exemplified through our Family Health Connections Mobile vans that provide free and sliding scale healthcare to working families 200 percent below the poverty line, who wouldn’t otherwise receive care. The Sentara 3D digital mobile mammography van travels to community sites around Northern Virginia to provide accessible mammograms.

We partner with many organizations, such as the National Coalition of 100 Black Women to provide cancer and diabetes awareness, which includes health screenings. Members of the team are also actively involved in community charity activities such as the March of Dimes walk, United Way Day of Caring, ACTS iWalk, and the American Cancer Association to name a few.

Thank you for your ongoing trust, confidence, and partnership. We look forward to working together to create a healthier, stronger community and improve health every day.

Visit Sentara Healthcare’s Community Benefit Report to learn more.

Sentara pledges $130 million to EVMS

Sentara Healthcare will triple its financial support for Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) with a commitment of $130 million over the next five years. For the period 2018 through 2023, annual funding given by Sentara to EVMS will increase from a previous amount of $9 million per year to $26 million per year.

“After 46 years working together, the relationship between Sentara and EVMS has never been stronger,” said Sentara Board of Directors Chair, Henry U. ‘Sandy’ Harris. “Together, we are demonstrating the missions of both institutions and keeping the focus on patient care and innovation during this time of change in the health care landscape.”

“Sentara’s increased support will be transformational for our community,” said David Arias, Rector of the EVMS Board of Visitors. “It will boost the educational and research capacities of both organizations — advancing our reputations regionally and nationally while enhancing the quality of care and making a real impact on the lives of Hampton Roads residents.” 

The additional funds from Sentara will allow EVMS to establish new academic programs, bolster existing ones and continue to advance its status as a nationally recognized medical school while supporting the development of the two organizations’ shared medical campus in Norfolk as a quaternary mid-Atlantic regional medical center.

“Sentara and EVMS have worked together as partners serving eastern Virginia for over 45 years. These two great community institutions work hard to anticipate the evolving needs of the many communities we serve,” says Howard P. Kern, President and CEO of Sentara Healthcare. “We appreciate the exceptional physician and advanced practitioner graduates EVMS trains for our community, and we are proud to help them advance academic and research programs to help us both fulfill our community missions. It is Sentara’s hope that this increased funding will enable EVMS to move forward with its strategic plan to ensure their strength and stability long into the future.”

EVMS has been a community-based medical school since its inception in 1972. Under a long-standing partnership, Sentara hospitals provide clinical teaching environments for EVMS students and residents, especially at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, where EVMS physicians oversee the region’s only Level I trauma center and provide tertiary and quaternary-level services found in university-based regional academic medical centers.

“On behalf of the EVMS faculty, staff and students, I want to express our grateful appreciation to the Sentara Healthcare Board and management for their extraordinary support of our missions to educate and train the next generation of the healthcare workforce, advance medicine through new discovery, and provide care to those in greatest need,” said Richard V. Homan, MD, President and Provost, Eastern Virginia Medical School and Dean of the School of Medicine.

“I am confident that, through this increased funding, we have established a seminal and historic relationship between EVMS and Sentara which will support our faculty and provide many new and mutually beneficial programs to improve the health of the communities we serve.”

Funding from Sentara will support collaborative plans to establish the following EVMS initiatives:

— A Masters’ Degree program in Healthcare Analytics and Delivery Science supported by two full-time PhD faculty members to conduct research and performance improvement initiatives in healthcare disparities and population health management.

— The new collaborative Research Fund also will support translational research partnerships in biosciences and biotechnology research and development across multiple academic centers in Virginia and advance clinical best practice and outcomes research within the communities that we serve.

— $10.5M in endowments over three years through the EVMS Foundation to support endowed academic and clinical department chairs to support research and development of quaternary programs.

The Sentara mission to improve health every day ranges from providing Level I trauma services in partnership with EVMS to enhancing population health and disease management with innovative best practices through its clinical teams and Optima Health Plan. EVMS prides itself on its stated goal to be the most community-focused school of medicine and health professions in the nation while supporting world-renowned research in fertility, diabetes, and cancer.

Driving safety for older adults

Families slowly transition their teenagers into driving, but most likely don’t think about transitioning heir older adult loved ones our of driving.  As a result, the decision to give up the car keys is often the result of a crisis – a crash or another unfortunate incident.
 
The Home Instead Senior Care® network hopes to educate professionals and families about the importance of developing a plan to help older adults move out of the driver’s seat when necessary while still remaining engaged with their friends, family and community.
 
The goal of this Let’s Talk about Driving program are to:
• Enable families to work with their older adult loved ones to develop a plan to transition out of driving before a crisis occurs.
• Provide a new way of thinking about transportation – dispelling the notion that there are not options other than driving.
• Seek out solutions and resources to help older adults remain active and engaged after giving up their keys.

Participants in this webinar will be able to:
 
• Identify the potential signs that an older adult might be an unsafe driver on the road
• Understand some common conditions of aging symptoms that can impact driving
• Gather tops on how to help reduce the potential for isolation and depression after an older adult stops driving

August 8, 2018
10:00 AM (PT) / 11:00 AM (MT) / 12:00 PM (CT) / 1:00 PM (ET)
 
These CEUs are offered in cooperation with the American Society on Aging.  For more information and to complete the required pre-registration, go to CaregiverStress.com/ProfessionalEducation 

Manassas co-work space CenterFuse wins Virginia Main Street award

CenterFuse, a co-work space and small business incubator located in Historic Downtown Manassas, took home top honors in the Outstanding Business of the Year category at the recent Virginia Main Street (VMS) Conference in Harrisonburg, VA.  CenterFuse is a cooperative/collaborative workspace that offers professional services and support to start-up businesses and emerging ventures.  It also serves as office space for telecommuters or small businesses that prefer a full-service working environment in lieu of fast food restaurants and coffee houses.  

CenterFuse was founded by the principals of ECU Communications and Whitlock Wealth Management as a for-profit venture.  The City of Manassas provided an economic development grant to offset initial startup costs because of the economic benefit that comes from having an entrepreneurial center in Downtown.  Historic Manassas Inc., the City’s Virginia Main Street program, manages the space in keeping with the non-profit’s goal of promoting economic vitality.  All three public/private partners see the co-work space as an opportunity to promote an entrepreneurial culture and to home grow small businesses throughout the Greater Manassas region.  This unique partnership is a large part of what led to the award and recognition by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) as being the best-in-class Business of the Year.

The award was presented by Virginia Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Trade, Cassidy Rasnick, and DHCD Director Erik Johnston.  ECU’s Ken Krick, Whitlock Wealth Management’s Bennett Whitlock, Manassas Economic Development Director Patrick Small and Historic Manassas, Inc.’s (HMI) Executive Director Debbie Haight attended the luncheon to receive the award. 

CenterFuse has long and short-term space rental available as well as day passes for the occasional user.  The range of services includes access to business equipment, conference space with audio/visual capability, a receptionist, mail boxes and a free coffee bar and kitchenette.  One of the most appealing features of CenterFuse is its location near the VRE station and the bustling activity of the nearby restaurants and shops in Historic Downtown Manassas.

Chick-fil-A is #1 again. How they do it in Bristow.

Chick-fil-A ranks as the number one restaurant on the American Consumer Satisfaction Index released this month. 

It’s the second year the fast-food restaurant won the top spot, beating out competitors Panera Bread, Subway, and Arbys, respectively. 

It’s good news for Chick-fill-A at Bristow owner Mike Lovitt, who says the place known for its chicken sandwiches aims to convert guests into raving fans of Chick-fil-A. 

It starts with clean restaurants, and greeting customers with a smile and an enthusiastic greeting “Welcome to Chick-fil-A!” and “How may we serve you?” when they approach the front counter.

“And, the food’s gotta taste good,” said Lovitt. 

But excellent service also means always being vigilant, says the retired U.S. Army Colonel.

“We must consistently treat our guests to a clean restaurant, fast service, attentive and courteous team members, and good tasty food. Our team members execute “second-mile” mile service which goes above and beyond what is expected by our guests to strive for the “Wow” factor.” In our restaurant, we also go to great lengths to treat everyone with honor, dignity, and respect”.

The top nod also goes to a restaurant adheres to the principle of closing on Sunday on Sundays to allow its employees to spend time with family and friends. 

And unlike other fast food franchises, it’s uncommon to see owners with multiple Chick-fil-A stores. That allows owners to focus on guests, service, and food quality. 

And when it comes to finding the right owners for restaurants, “Chick-fil-A has a long, detailed interview process and is looking for people with good character,” he added.  

Chick-fil-A at Bristow is located at 9939 Sowder Village Square just outside Manassas. They’re open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to  10 p.m., and Saturdays 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Bring a new, unwrapped toy for FREE admission to Christmas in July celebration at Philly Tavern

It’s Christmas in July on Saturday, and you won’t want to miss this celebration for a great cause.

Volunteer Prince William will collect toys for needy children this coming holiday season. It’s the biggest annual program for the charity.

It’s so big, in fact, that Santa and Mrs. Claus will join the Manassas-based charity for a celebration at Philadelphia Tavern from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday, July 21.

They’ll be live Stormin’ Norman Band from 3 to 7 p.m. It’s FREE to attend, and in lieu of a cover charge, all we ask is that you bring a new, unwrapped toy that will be donated to Volunteer Prince William’s Un-Trim-A-Tree Program.

The event is made possible by Philadelphia Tavern and Sinistral Brewing Company.

Helping first-time homebuyers navigate a tight market: 3 key steps from The Fauquier Bank

When it comes to purchasing a home, Mary Ann Andrews of The Fauquier Bank recommends buyers come in for a personal consultation, especially those who’ve never previously been through the complex process.

Buying a home can be daunting, between learning the lingo and understanding the financing. And given the current market conditions and limited housing inventory — which has sparked multiple offers and price bidding — it’s essential to know what you’re doing.

That’s where Andrews comes in.

“There’s so much you need to know,” says Andrews, NMLS # 482462, a TFB vice president and mortgage originator. “I like to sit down and explain how the process works.”

With first-time buyers, she adds, “I go over everything, just to get them comfortable with the language and the process.”

For tech-savvy potential buyers, it may seem tempting to do things online. But Andrews says there’s no substitute for meeting face-to-face.

“You can understand their needs,” she explains. “You can give them so much more information and discuss so many more options.”

Andrews can meet potential buyers at any of TFB’s 11 branches in Fauquier and Prince William counties.

For first-time buyers, Andrews follows a specific process. First things first: do your homework.

“Do your research and check out the area where you’re looking,” she advises. “You need to get with a realtor. And you need to find out what the taxes are and find out what the HOA fees are.” 

First-time buyers should follow these three key steps:

1. Prepare Financially: Begin by checking your credit score, saving for a down payment and figuring out how much you can afford to spend. Then meet with a mortgage originator to get pre-approved.

2. Understand Mortgages: Evaluate the different types of mortgage loans that are available and which works best for your situation.

3. Start Shopping: Look for a house that fits your needs and budget, then put in an offer. Gather the necessary documents for the loan processing and closing process.

NMLS #462668

Join us for a First-Time Homebuyer Seminar at 6 p.m. on Aug. 1 at BadWolf Brewing Company, 9776 Center St. in Manassas. Our mortgage originators will be available to answer questions. RSVP at 540-349-0202.

Enlarged prostate happens to every guy. There’s a new way to treat it at Sentara.

It’s one of the most common health issues for men as they grow older.

“As gentlemen age, the testosterone that’s in their body fuels the growth of their prostate so every guy that has testosterone and a prostate, it will eventually get larger. It happens in different rates in different people, but happens,” explains John B. Klein, M.D. of Potomac Urology.   

Even though it may not be commonly discussed, every day Dr. Klein sees patients suffering from an enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH.)

Symptoms include frequent urination, difficulty starting and stopping urination, inability to completely empty the bladder and frequent trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night. 

“Urinary symptoms do not necessarily indicate prostate cancer, a majority of the time they’re from benign enlargement of the prostate. However, you can have prostate cancer and benign enlargement of the prostate –so it’s important to evaluate for both concurrently,” explains Dr. Klein.

Once the prostate screening comes back negative, there are a number of options to treat an enlarged prostate, everything from daily medications and in-office procedures to outpatient surgeries.

Dr. Klein was recently recognized as a Rezum Center of Excellence for his expertise in treating BPH. While pills to treat BPH have been around for years, Dr. Klein finds many of his patients discontinue taking those medicines because of side effects like dizziness and adverse effects to sexual function.

Rezum® is one of the minimally invasive procedures offered in office and takes just minutes to perform using steam to decrease the prostate. Laser enucleation of the prostate is another option.

Dr. Klein says this outpatient procedure has been offered at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center for the last 11 months and is ideal for patients with moderate and larger prostates. The newest option Sentara Northern Virginia is offering BPH patients is Aquablation, a surgery using water to resect the prostate.

The developments are exciting for Dr. Klein who looks forward to sharing the news with the community.

“This is one of the only centers in Northern Virginia that performs all three of these treatments options. It basically gives people a one-stop shop for their treatment, no matter size and shape of their prostate.”

The City of Manassas is home to two of Virginia’s leading industries

Two of the Commonwealths leading industries are major economic generators in the City of Manassas. 

According to a recent report from the Virginia Employment Commission, Manassas-based companies in the professional and technical services offer the 4th highest wages in the state. 

Healthcare and social assistance wages in Manassas rank in the top 10. 

Companies like Micron, Lockheed Martin, and Novant Health UVA Health system drive local economic growth and employ thousands in Manassas; thanks in part to the availability of skilled labor and the City’s pro-business climate. 

These fields account for nearly 25% of total employment and $77 billion in total wages state-wide.  As innovation and technological advancement continue to be made employment and wages are expected to rise. 

The City of Manassas works closely with its major employers, Northern Virginia Community College and George Mason University to ensure current and future workforce needs are met and the companies continue to grow and thrive.   

To read the full report, click here.   

 

Financial elder abuse costs families $36 billion annually

Elder fraud or senior scams impact thousands of seniors and their families each year. Various studies show the cost of financial elder abuse and exploitation to range anywhere from $3 billion to $36 billion annually.

The numbers are hard to pinpoint because, sadly, many seniors don’t report the abuse. They’re embarrassed they’ve fallen for a scam or don’t want their family to think they can’t manage their personal affairs.

Protect Seniors Online, a public education program created by Home Instead Senior Care gives professionals and caregivers the tools needed to keep seniors safe.

Protecting seniors from fraud is an “always-on” job for anyone who plays a part in caring for a senior. This 5-part video series: Protect Seniors from Fraud reviews the senior scams and how you can help shield a senior from these cons.

Learn more.

Army vet takes control of her pain with the help of Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center

Yolanda Smith is a take-charge kind of woman. The retired Army veteran, mother of three and current Human Relations contractor is used to getting things done.

So, when her fibroids turned painful, she knew she had to take action.

“I’ve had fibroids for a number of years. I’ll say at least 10, but in the last 18 months they’ve increased their size dramatically and the pain had become unbearable,” explains Smith.

Fibroids are the most frequently seen tumors of the female reproductive system. It’s estimated between 20 to 50 percent of women of reproductive age have fibroids, although not all are diagnosed.

In the majority of the cases, the tumors are benign (non-cancerous), but the symptoms can be severe.  While some women have no or mild indicators, other women have severe and disruptive symptoms including heavy, prolonged menstrual cycles, abnormal bleeding between periods, pelvic and/or back pain and frequent urination. Smith suffered through many of these symptoms.    

“The pain became unbearable during my cycle and the bleeding was extreme. I cramped beyond belief. I was exhausted, I would stay home from work because I was so exhausted,” she remembers.

That’s when she turned to her doctor for help when an ultrasound showed three fibroids had increased in size. He gave her three options:

  1. Live with the pain

  2. Have surgery

  3. Have a hysterectomy

Dr. Venu Vadlamudi

Smith knew that a hysterectomy wasn’t the right treatment option for her, that’s when her primary care physician recommended “UFE” or Uterine Fibroid Embolization and referred her to the specialists at the Heart & Vascular Center at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center.

“I had never been to Sentara before, I’m used to military hospitals where I’m in my safe zone.  But, from the time I called to get a consultation with a physician there, Tina went above and beyond to make sure I got an appointment and got the necessary paperwork needed. She actually followed up with my military hospital to assure that documents were forwarded to Sentara to aid me in seeing a doctor there. I just thought that was exceptional,” said Smith.

Following clinical consultation, it was decided Dr. Venu Vadlamudi, an Interventional Radiologist, would perform the procedure.

“Interventional radiology is a field where we perform minimally invasive procedures using radiology guidance,” explains Dr. Vadlamudi. “I tell patients to imagine me as a plumber, working completely inside of the pipes.”

In Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) or Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE) as it’s also known, Dr. Vadlamudi goes in through the artery with a catheter and blocks the blood flow to the fibroids using embolic agents (small particles or beads).” With the flow of blood compromised, the fibroids begin to shrink, taking with them the pain and symptoms.

“Over a matter of a few months’ time, these fibroids die away because you’ve taken away their blood supply. But again, nothing is physically tied, it’s not like putting a suture on top of the blood vessel or going from the outside, it’s all done from the inside of the blood vessel,” explains Dr. Vadlamudi. “We find it’s very rare new fibroids develop. So the overall success rate, especially from a technical standpoint, is well above 98 percent.”

In Smith’s case, Dr. Vadlamudi went in through a point above her wrist, leaving just a small nick after the procedure was completed.

“I don’t have a scar, just a little dot where he went into my arm,” she says.

After a short hospital stay, Smith went home to recover with doctor’s orders to start easing back into her routines. After almost two-weeks, she returned to work with her pain fading each day, but her admiration for the team continues to grow.

“It was just one of the best hospital visits I have ever had,” says Smith. “From the tech staff on down, everyone at Sentara Heart & Vascular Center was very attentive. They were very kind. Their bedside manner was exceptional.”

And, she offers this advice to other women living with fibroid pain.

“If you’re suffering from fibroids, definitely do your research, consider UFE, and consider UFE at Sentara, they have the best staff!” she adds.

If you’d like to learn more about Interventional Radiology or what Sentara Heart & Vascular can do for you, call 1-800-Sentara or visit Sentara.com.

Why is swimming an essential skill?

Throughout your children’s lives, they will learn a great number of skills that will help their long-term development. Basic skills like reading, writing, and math are picked up throughout school, while social skills like manners and conversation are taught at home.

Swimming, however, is a skill that is not specifically taught in school or at home. It is a skill that not only promotes health but is also proven to be a potentially life-saving skill.

During your children’s growing stages, swimming is a great sport that allows them to exercise with low-impact resistance routines. Often times, children take a liking to the sport and continue to practice it in their middle and high school years.

Swimming focuses on core strengthening and flexibility, two very important health aspects. Whether they do it for fun or competitively, it is important to give your children access to this skill early on.

Aside from exercise, swimming is a crucial life-saving skill to have. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were an average 3,536 fatal unintentional drownings between 2005 and 2014.

About one of five people who die by drowning are children 14 years or younger. Many cases of non-fatal drowning injuries often lead to hospitalization and can lead to PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) in later years. By learning to swim, a child’s life can potentially be saved when an adult is not present.

The Manassas Park Community Center offers a wide variety of swimming lessons. From six-month-olds to seniors, our swimming programs give students the ability to take up the skill with a variety of levels.

Our Parent and Child course is an introductory early childhood class in which a parent or guardian is in the water with the child. Our Preschool and School Age swimming classes are divided into levels based on skills received at prior levels. We also offer basic swimming and lap swim lessons for adults and seniors. It is never too late to learn this essential skill!

The Manassas Park Community Center is located at 99 Adams Street in Manassas Park, VA. Managed by the City of Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation, the facility is home to basketball courts, a swimming pool, wellness areas, special events, and recreational classes. For more information visit us at ManassasParkCommunityCenter.com or call at 703-335-8872.

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