Caring for the Caregiver

family caregiverAccording to the National Alliance for Caregiving and the AARP Public Policy Institute, the “typical” caregiver is a 49-year-old female who spends nearly 25 hours a week helping a loved one. But the truth is that caregivers come in all different shapes and sizes. Many don’t even recognize themselves as caregivers or realize that the little errands and tasks they provide for a loved one qualify them as a caregiver.

Regardless of whether a person self-identifies as a caregiver, caring for a sick or elderly loved one is no small task.  Managing medications, doctors’ appointments, meals, transportation, housework – all on top of their regular household or family responsibilities – can lead many to suffer from caregiver burnout.

Although November is officially recognized as Family Caregiver Awareness Month, it is important throughout the year to remind caregivers about how much they mean to their families and how important it is for them to take care of themselves as well as they take care of their loved ones.

Just as a flight attendant will instruct you before takeoff, “Put on your oxygen mask first before assisting others,” the same principle applies for caregiving. In order to be an effective caregiver, you can’t neglect to care for yourself.

Below are some tips to help caregivers stay healthy and happy. Continue reading

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Thanksgiving Day Holiday Notice

ThanksgivingOn Thursday, November 26th, Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates will be closed for the Thanksgiving Day holiday except for those practices listed below, which are open for pre-scheduled urgent care appointments. If you feel you need medical advice or think that you may need to be seen, call your doctor’s office at any time, day or night. Your call will be directed to our 24/7 medical staff and triaged as needed. If it is determined that you need an urgent care appointment, the medical staff can schedule you for an appointment.

As always, if you are experiencing a life threatening emergency, please call 911 or your local emergency access number. Continue reading

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I think I can, I think I can…Quit Smoking for Good

quitting smokingIf you are a smoker, you have no doubt been urged countless times by your doctor, spouse, neighbor or even strangers, to kick the habit – with good reason. Smoking is a dangerous addiction that harms nearly every organ in the body and is a main cause of lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It can also lead to heart disease and stroke as well as other cancers and diseases. Every year close to half a million people in the United States will die from tobacco use and exposure to second hand smoke.

Yet quitting is easier said than done – for many people it takes several attempts before they are able to quit for good. November is both Lung Cancer and COPD Awareness Month – the perfect time to take stock of your health and resolve to start taking small steps toward your path to being smoke-free. Continue reading

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Harvard Vanguard Welcomes Dr. Nicholas McAuley

McAuley_Nicholas_web_labcoat_RS_09212015Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates proudly welcomes Dr. Nicholas McAuley to its Internal Medicine department in Chelmsford.

Dr. McAuley received his medical degree from Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California in Los Angeles. He completed his internship/residency at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital and a primary care sports medicine fellowship at University of Pittsburg Medical Center Shadyside in Pittsburgh. Dr. McAuley is board certified in internal medicine and received a Certificate of Added Qualification in Sports Medicine. Prior to joining Harvard Vanguard, he practiced at Pentucket Medical Associates in Lawrence. Dr. McAuley is a resident of Chelmsford.

The Chelmsford practice of Harvard Vanguard is located at 228 Billerica Road Chelmsford, MA 01824 and is welcoming new patients. For more information, please visit or call 978-250-6000.

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Have Trouble Swallowing? It Could Be Allergies

EoE ThroatEosinophilic esophagitis (e-o-sin-o-FILL-ik uh-sof-uh-JIE-tis), or EoE, is a relatively new diagnosis for a chronic, allergic inflammatory condition of the esophagus. Because the symptoms of EoE can mimic those of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), it can go undiagnosed.

Patients with EoE have a large number of eosinophils (a type of white blood cells) in the tissue of the esophagus. Eosinophils are common in the digestive tract, but an excessive buildup of these cells in the esophagus may be caused by a reaction to foods, allergens or acid reflux. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, the majority of patients with EoE have a family history of allergies or asthma. EoE can occur at any age, and it is more common in males than females.


There are a variety of symptoms that patients with EoE might experience including: Continue reading

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