Peggy McDonagh celebrates her birthday with her buddies at Café Eireann

Loneliness – the silent killer

Scientists have been discussing the devastating effects of loneliness for years. Psychobiologists can now show that loneliness sends misleading hormonal signals, rejiggers the molecules on genes that govern behavior, and wrenches a slew of other systems out of whack. They have proved that long-lasting loneliness not only makes you sick; it can kill you. Emotional isolation is ranked as high a risk factor for mortality as smoking. A partial list of the physical diseases thought to be caused or exacerbated by loneliness would include Alzheimer’s, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases, and even cancer—tumors can metastasize faster in lonely people.

Loneliness is scary business but here at the IPC we promote friendship and a bit of ‘craic’. We host all sorts of events; from weekly coffee mornings, to monthly get together and regular homevisits. All are welcome and we aim to make all feel included! If you wish to hear more about or events and other services please contact Eileen on 617.265.5300 today!

Summer health check – get your SPF on

With the temp finally starting to creep up in Boston, it’s time to discuss how to have fun and stay safe. Here are some simple fun in the sun tips!

· Less than SPF 15 – any sunscreen with an SPF of less than 15, by law now has to carry a warning. UV light is a known carcinogen. An SPF of 30 to 50 is now recommended. Even when using a sunscreen continue to be smart. Stay out of the sun from 12pm to 3pm!

· What to look for – ‘look for the ugly duckling’. If you have a lot of moles or discoloration, monitor the moles which grow quicker. Check your skin on a regular basis from top to toe!

· STOP USING TANNINGBEDS – Tanning beds increase the risk of cancers by 75%. Sunless tanners and build up tanners are a great way to look like you’ve been to Aruba, when indeed you haven’t left your house!

· Redheads; PAY ATTENTION – Those of us lucky pale Irish also need to take note. A report from BioEssays says that people with red hair and pale skin are at a greater risk of cancer. This is because they produce a pigment called pheomelanin, this gives red hair its color and is carcinogenic. Thus we need to be extra safe in the sun!

· All of us should reapply sunscreen after two hours, or immediately after being in the water, wear a sunhat and seek out the shade.

For full article see the Metro, Wednesday May 22, by Linda Clarke.