Protect your skin

The Spring sunshine has finally arrived and you’re excited to catch some sun rays and get that bronze tan you’ve been dreaming about all winter long.










Did you know May is Skin Cancer Awareness month? Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States with over two million people diagnosed annually.

To lower your risk of skin cancer, keep these tips in mind before heading into the sun:
  • Seek the shade, especially between 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Cover up with clothing.
  • Shield your eyes with wraparound-style sunglass frames that cover your skin, making sure they block UVA and UVB light.
  • Protect your lips with applying lip balms with an SPF of 30 or more.
  • Wear a hat with at least 2- to 3-inch brim all around to protect neck, ears, eyes, forehead and scalp. sun hat
  • Use sunscreen with an SPF or 15 any time before going outside.
  • Apply 1 ounce of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours or immediatelsun screeny after swimming or excessive sweating.
  • Avoid getting sun burnt.





There are many different kinds of skin cancer and they each have their unique symptoms.

Follow the ABCD rule for spotting melanoma.
  • Asymmetry: A mole that has an irregular shape or two different looking halves.
  • Border: Irregular, blurred, rough or notched edges
  • Color: Most moles are an even color, such as brown, black, tan or pink. Look for changes in the shade or distribution of color throughout.
  • Diameter: Moles larger than ½ inch across may be suspect, although some melanomas may be smaller than this.

Skin cancer is one of the most preventable and treatable cancers when detected early. So before you head outside to the beach, lake, sports game or picnic, remember to apply sunscreen and seek the shade!

The benefits of feeling happy

Everyone experiences busy, stressful, sad and challenging days throughout their life. But did you know your own happiness can not only improve your overall well-being, but can bring others happiness too?

There are many benefits of feeling happy:

  • Less stress.
  • Lower blood pressure.
  • Being able to cope with difficult situations.
  • Being able to focus.
  • Being more organized.

“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.”
― John Holmes

There are several ways to increase personal happiness. Some people exercise, eat healthy foods or volunteer their time. Another great way to increase personal happiness is to do small acts of kindness for others.

Here are some tips on simple ways you can do small acts of kindness for others without spending a lot of money or time:

  1. Open the door for someone.
  2. Let someone go in front of you in the coffee shop line.
  3. Smile at a stranger.
  4. Say “Hi!” to everyone you meet.
  5. Invite a neighbor over for dinner.
  6. Ask the person you are sitting next to how they are and really listen to what they have to say.

feeling happy

Every small interaction you have with someone is an opportunity to make a positive impact on both of your lives. When you take the opportunity to perform random acts of kindness, you’ll feel great and make a difference in someone else’s life. Random acts of kindness are contagious; pass on your generosity and happiness to the next person you meet.

“No one has ever become poor by giving.”
― Anne Frank, diary of Anne Frank

Submitted by: Sheryl Norstedt, RN Branch Manager, Divine Home Care – Litchfield office.

Home Care Registered Nurse – Benson, MN

Open position – Benson Office

  • We have a part time opening for a Home Care Registered Nurse (RN) to work in the Benson, MN area. Must be willing to travel and previous home care experience is preferred. We offer competitive wages and flexible hours!

Position Summary: Provides services to clients in accordance with the State Nurse Practice Act, agency policy and accepted professional standards of practice. The Registered Nurse provides nursing services utilizing a comprehensive base of nursing theory and nursing process and communicates/documents observations and assessments.

Reports to: RN Case Manager; Clinical Supervisor

How to apply (Please complete the entire application)

10 Simple Ways to Increase your Physical Activity

Regardless of your shape or size, physical activity has been shown to add years to your life and life to your years. But believe it or not, the benefits of physical activity are not restricted to exercise performed in the gym. In fact, one of the easiest ways to improve your health may be through increasing the amount of low intensity physical activity you perform throughout the day. For example, simply increasing the number of steps that you take each day is very likely to reduce your risk for diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Below are some practical ways that you can incorporate physical activity into your daily life. Try one or two of the options and once they’ve become part of your routine, try a couple more.

1. Take the stairs as often as possible.

This one is as simple as it sounds. If you have to go up two floors or less, opt for the stairs. The same goes if you have to go down three floors or less. Remember, every time you take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator, you are making a decision that will positively affect your long term health.

2. Drink plenty of water.

If you are constantly sipping water throughout the day, you are going to have to use the restroom at least once an hour. Every time you have to go to the bathroom, you have a guilt-free excuse to go for a 5-minute walk to the restroom and back. It’s easy to forget to take a 5-minute walk-break every hour, but it’s impossible to forget to go bathroom!

*Added bonus – staying well hydrated may also reduce feelings of hunger so this is really a win-win.

3. Park as far from the front door as possible.

Another simple but effective tactic. Whether you’re at the mall, work or school, parking the car at the edge of the parking lot forces you to walk just a little bit further than you are used to. It will only add a few seconds to your trip, but if you do it everyday it could add years to your life.

*Added bonus – less chance of getting dinged by shopping carts and bad drivers.

4. Clean your home regularly.

Most people don’t realize what a good workout cleaning can be, especially if you have a large home. Cleaning involves plenty of walking, lifting, and stretching – all of which are very good for your body. Washing dishes by hand can also be an easy way to burn a few extra calories.

5. Gardening and yard work.

Yard work is great because not only does it increase your physical activity, it also gives you an excuse to be outside. Pulling weeds, mowing the lawn, trimming the hedge and raking leaves are all very physically taxing and like cleaning, they use a range of muscle groups.

6. Disconnect your cable for the summer.

Time spent watching TV is an independent predictor of disease, especially for kids. It’s not surprising when you think about it – the only time that most kids aren’t moving around is when they’re sitting in front of the TV. Get rid of the cable and suddenly you’ve got one less reason to spend your days sitting on the couch.

7. Buy a pedometer.

Pedometers are beeper-sized gadgets that count the number of steps that you take each day. They are a terrific way to measure the amount of physical activity you are getting and can also serve as a great motivator to make the decision to walk whenever possible. Aim for at least 10,000 steps each day. However, any increase you make is likely to bring health benefits, so don’t feel bad if you can’t get up to 10,000 right away.

8. Use active transportation.

Walking, roller blading, and biking are all great ways to get around, and they often take a lot less time than you’d expect.

9. Take a walk during lunch.

In an ideal world, we would all have 45 minutes for a relaxed lunch. If you happen to enjoy this luxury, consider taking half your lunch break to go for a walk either alone or with someone else you work with. It will help wake you up for the afternoon as well as giving you a chance to chat with your co-workers.

10. Go for a family walk after dinner.

It’s a great chance to spend some time together, enjoy the outdoors and get some exercise all at the same time.

Disclaimer: While the activities suggested are all low to moderate intensity, speak to your physician if you have any health concerns before increasing your physical activity levels. The information here should be used as a general guide only, and should not be construed as specific medical advice.

Dress in Layers to Survive (& Enjoy) MN Winters

The wind is whipping and the forecast says the “polar vortex” is looming again. Days like today it would be nice to stay in my pajamas and slippers and never leave the house. For most of us, staying indoors all day is just not possible and I do like to get outside and embrace our winter season. I am going to give you a few tips about how to dress in layers to keep warm outside while enjoying the winter weather. Most of these apply to when you will be outside for an extended period of time.

My daughter enjoying winter at Powder Ridge.

My daughter enjoying winter at Powder Ridge.

To be outside on those really cold days you do need to dress warm. Buying a few pieces of warm clothing can make all the difference. I have found base layers to be a must. Your base layer is your next to skin layer. Many are made to “wick” or transfer sweat away from your body to your outer layers where it can evaporate. I have found this out the hard way. When I dress too warm and am not wearing a base layer with wicking ability I sometimes sweat and now that sweat is making me very cold! Once you get cold it can cause a misery so deep that you may never want to leave the comfort of the indoors again. With your base layers you can remove your heavier outer layers as you get warm. There are different ratings to base layers which depend on the level of activity you are doing and the outdoor temperatures. I find it best to be too warm, rather than too cold! 

After your base layer you have you mid layer. These are your everyday items such as tee-shirts and lightweight pants. These provide insulation and protection. You can also find mid layer clothing with wicking ability. I usually put on a tank top and long sleeve tee shirt (or two!) 

You can then move to your insulating layer. The purpose of this is to retain your body heat and provide warmth. I usually wear a larger loose sweatshirt or fleece sweatshirt as my insulating layer. You can buy pieces of clothing made specifically to be used as an insulating layer. 

Your last layer is your outerwear or shell layer. This is your jacket and snow pants. The purpose of this layer is to protect your whole body from wind and precipitation. There are so many of options to choose from in this category.  Ultimately, I find that if wind or water (especially wind!) can get through this layer, you will be miserable! It also needs proper ventilation, otherwise moisture (your sweat) will not be able to evaporate. I finally invested in a down parka which I love.   Although not very fashionable, it is very warm! Good gloves are also important and those little disposable hand warmers are amazing too. Throw one in your pocket and when your hands start to get cold put one inside your glove. I found I only need to use one and just alternate between hands to warm them up. I like to wear two pairs of socks as well. I wear a thinner pair of socks with warmer wool ones over that. I have had the same pair of black snowmobile boots for years and my feet hardly ever get cold. Again, they are not very fashionable, but they are warm! 

If you are starting from scratch you could be spending more money than you would like on these warm clothes. However, most of us Minnesotans have some of these pieces that we can add to. (Sporting Goods stores like REI, Cabela’s, and Scheels have a great selection of winter clothing.) I believe myself to be a true Minnesotan and love all four seasons. Winter is my least favorite season, but I have found many things to love about it. We all live here for a reason so let’s quit the complaining and get outside!  Well… you can complain a little bit!

This blog post was written by Stephanie Swanson, RN, Hospice Director at Divine Hospice Care.


Personal Care Attendant (PCA) – Kerkhoven, MN

Position Summary: Provides personal care services under the direction of the Registered Nurse or Therapist. The PCA is assigned to specific clients by the Registered Nurse or other appropriate professional and performs services for clients as necessary to maintain their personal comfort.

Reports to: RN Case Manager; Clinical Supervisor; Therapist

Open Positions:

Benson Office

  • PCA position in Kerkhoven; part-time hours, Monday, Wednesday, Fridays

To apply for a position: Please complete the entire application

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) – St. Cloud, MN

Thank you for your interest in a career with Divine Home Care! This position has been filled. Please check back again soon.

Personal Care Attendant (PCA) – Montevideo, MN

Position Summary: Provides personal care services under the direction of the Registered Nurse or Therapist. The PCA is assigned to specific clients by the Registered Nurse or other appropriate professional and performs services for clients as necessary to maintain their personal comfort.

Reports to: RN Case Manager; Clinical Supervisor; Therapist

Open Positions:

Benson Offiice

  • Home Health Aide (HHA) and PCA positions in Montevideo; Part-time hours

To apply for a position: Please complete the entire application

Make Happiness a Priority in 2014

What brings you happiness and joy? Are you able to easily name a few things or do you Happinessreally have to stop and think about that question? Do you feel like you are just too busy to enjoy the little things life has to offer? In my opinion, being able to relax and enjoy life should be a priority.  Without occasionally taking a break from the stressors of life, we don’t give our minds and bodies time to relax.  We run down easier and this can can lead to illnesses and emotional instability.  [Read more…]

Healthy Habits – Amidst the Christmas Season

We have come to that time of year! For each of us, some of our lives get busier, some slower, some wait patiently while some struggle to bear the excitement.  Nonetheless, food takes a huge role in family and friends gatherings during the holidays.  

Most of us recognize the old saying, “You are what you eat.” Why is eating a healthy diet so important? According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), “A healthy diet can reduce the risk of major chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and some cancers.” [Read more…]