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Chronic Conditions More Common in Hispanics

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To Your Health

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Family Features) Heart disease, cancer, diabetes and stroke are among the most common causes of illness, disability and death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These chronic conditions and the factors that lead to them can be more common or severe in minorities, including Hispanics.

For example, 4 out of 10 Hispanics die due to heart disease or cancer, and they are 50 percent more likely to die due to diabetes than Caucasians, according to the CDC.

Services like Chronic Care Management (CCM) can help people living with chronic conditions coordinate care services and lead to better outcomes and higher satisfaction.

If you are a Medicare beneficiary with two or more chronic conditions, ask your doctor about CCM and see if you’re eligible for connected care, including services such as:

  • At least 20 minutes a month of CCM services.
  • Personalized assistance from a dedicated health care professional who will work with you to create a care plan.
  • Coordination of care between your pharmacy, specialists, testing centers, hospitals and more.
  • Phone check-ins between visits to keep you on track.
  • Emergency access to a health care professional 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Expert assistance with setting and meeting your health goals.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Health Resources and Service Administration introduced the “Connected Care” campaign to help raise awareness about the benefits of CCM. The campaign has free resources, including an animated video in English and Spanish that can help you learn more.

Talk to your doctor to see if CCM is available to you and visit Medicare.gov to learn more about the benefits of the program.

 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

February 7, 2018 |

Assistive Technology

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Tools to improve the everyday

(Family Features) Most Americans want to stay in their homes as they age. Not a bad plan, but what if your home doesn’t fit you as well as it once did?

Often, aging can be accompanied by a change in your ability to manage and move around in your home. That’s where assistive technology – better known as AT – comes in. No matter your age or what type of disability you may have, chances are there is an AT device out there that can help you with everyday tasks.

AT isn’t a new concept. In fact, most people have probably used an assistive device without realizing it. Smartphones, voice command technology and certain types of software all fall under the AT umbrella. AT also includes plenty of low-tech devices, like adapted pencil grips for students with disabilities.

There’s an ever-growing variety of AT tools available to help with household chores, work functions, getting around, seeing, hearing, learning and living independently in general. These devices and technologies are designed to help older adults and people with disabilities, but you may find that these tools can make life easier for anyone.

Examples of AT devices and tools include:

  • Hearing aids
  • Vehicle modifications, such as hand controls or wheelchair lifts
  • Devices that help with bathing and eating
  • Software modifications for those with hearing and visual challenges
  • Equipment, such as grab bars in a shower, to help prevent falls
  • Eye glasses and magnification devices to help individuals with low vision
  • Communication devices for individuals with speech disabilities
  • Wheelchairs, walkers and other mobility devices

The right AT for you

At first, trying to find the right AT tools and solutions can feel overwhelming. The network of State Assistive Technology Act Programs is a good place to start. Your state AT Act program can provide information and support to help you identify and acquire AT that meets your needs.

These programs offer:

  • Device demonstration and short-term loan programs that allow you to try out equipment before purchasing
  • Reuse programs that provide gently used devices at substantial savings
  • Financing options, such as cash loan programs, that can help you get the AT devices you need

You can find the AT Act Program in your state or territory at acl.gov/AT. You’ll also find additional information on state AT programs, data about the network of state AT programs and additional resources to help you find and obtain AT that fits your needs.

With more research and awareness around the importance of AT, the future possibilities for living independently in the place of your choosing are almost limitless.

 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

 

January 31, 2018 |

6 Ways to Fight the Flu

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(Family Features) As temperatures drop, the spread of cold and flu germs rises. Start the year off healthy and be sure to rid your home of lingering germs that may be hiding in places you don’t expect.

“I always recommend the flu shot – especially when officials are predicting a harsh flu season like this year – good nutrition and plenty of sleep, but there are other healthy habits we can all develop to help keep ourselves and those around us stay healthy during cold and flu season,” said Dr. Tanya Altmann, pediatrician, best-selling author and founder of Calabasas Pediatrics. “Vaccination is important, but there are other preventative measures that we should all keep in mind.”

These tips from the experts at Clorox can help you prevent the spread of germs:

  1. Get Vaccinated. Even though it’s well into cold and flu season, it’s still important to get a flu shot if you haven’t already. Vaccination is the first step in flu prevention. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend a yearly flu virus vaccination – even if the vaccine’s efficacy fluctuates – for almost everyone 6 months and older.
  2. Keep Hands Washed: Hands touch so many things throughout the day. It’s important to wash your hands often, including after using the bathroom and before preparing or serving food. Germs can spread by touching your eyes, nose or mouth after coming in contact with a contaminated surface. Those areas are common entry points to the body for germs, so try not to touch your face or eat until you wash your hands.
  3. Stay Home if You’re Sick: Even though you may not want to miss work or school, it’s important to stay home to prevent the spread of illnesses to those around you. Even at home, make sure to cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue to prevent the spread of germs to your loved ones. Lastly, try your best to make good use of your time off from work or school to rest, relax, eat well and recover from illnesses.
  4. Follow Health Guidelines: It’s important to eat right (fill up with fresh fruit and veggies, vitamin D and probiotics), get some exercise (at least 30 minutes a day of moderate intensity) and get plenty of sleep (at least 8 hours per night) to help boost your body’s ability to fight the effects of cold and flu viruses.
  5. Be Aware of Your Environment: Be aware of illnesses going around in your community to take extra precautions to avoid them or to know when to seek medical attention if you do get sick.
  6. Disinfect Hard Surfaces: Disinfection is a key step to help prevent the spread of cold and flu germs. The CDC recommends disinfecting frequently touched, hard surfaces, such as doorknobs, refrigerator handles, light switches and faucets, with an EPA-registered disinfectant like Clorox Disinfecting Wipes. They help kill 99.9 percent of germs that can live for up to 48 hours on hard, non-porous surfaces.

Learn more about flu prevention at Clorox.com/FluFOMO.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

 

January 24, 2018 |

A Positive Path to a Healthy New You

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(Family Features) For many people, the New Year brings the resolve to just say no to indulgent food and drink, to inactivity and to a host of other unhealthy habits.

However, you can also approach your reset with balance and positive thinking. This can be your year to say “yes” and rework the all-or-nothing mentality, which can be a more mindful way to reach your goals.

From eating with purpose to finding healthier options for tasty meals, making small changes can help you reap rewards throughout the year. Start 2018 with a clean slate of practical and attainable eating goals that are realistic for the life you want to lead by shopping at a grocery store like ALDI, a one-stop shop with a wide selection of high-quality, affordable food choices. Whether you follow a paleo, plant-based or organic eating plan, all of the following nutritious options can be incorporated into your lifestyle and budget for less than $20:

  • SimplyNature Organic Coconut Oil: This trendy ingredient can elevate better-for-you recipes like this Cranberry Orange Chia Granola. You can also use it as a replacement for butter or vegetable oil because it’s a versatile choice for both sweet and savory dishes.
  • SimplyNature Chia Seeds: Use chia seeds to top your smoothie, overnight oats or make chia pudding in the morning for an easy way to power up the most important meal of the day. Chia seeds serve up protein, fiber and antioxidants.
  • Earth Grown Black Bean or Veggie Burgers: If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, or just want to join the Meatless Monday movement, black bean burgers are one option to try.
  • Earth Grown Vegan Shredded Cheese: This dairy-free cheese is a tasty addition to vegan recipes.
  • SimplyNature Organic Popcorn: Movie nights call for popcorn, and this organic version can quickly become a family favorite. Each serving provides 3 grams of both fiber and protein.

Part of making healthy choices includes finding quick and easy recipes. Discover how easy it is to make fresh meals at home with this better-for-you recipe and find more options at aldi.us.

Cranberry Orange Chia Granola

Recipe courtesy of Chef Linsey, ALDI Test Kitchen

2 1/2     cups Millville Old Fashioned Oats

6           ounces Southern Grove Shelled Pistachios, chopped

1/4       cup SimplyNature Chia Seeds

5           ounces Southern Grove Dried Cranberries

1           tablespoon orange zest

3/4      cup SimplyNature Organic Wildflower Honey

3          tablespoons SimplyNature Organic Coconut Oil

1          teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Pure Vanilla

1/2      teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Ground Cinnamon

1/2      teaspoon ground Stonemill Essentials Sea Salt Grinder

Heat oven to 325 F.

In large bowl, combine oats, pistachios, chia seeds, cranberries and orange zest. Toss until orange zest is evenly distributed.

In separate medium bowl, combine honey, coconut oil, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Heat in microwave 1 minute; stir. Continue cooking in 30-second intervals until coconut oil is melted.

Add honey mixture to oat mixture. Toss until thoroughly coated. Transfer to parchment- or foil-lined baking sheet. Spread into even layer and bake in center of oven 20 minutes. Stir and continue cooking until evenly browned, about 10-15 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool to room temperature. Serve with yogurt or enjoy on its own.

Note: Granola can be stored in airtight container up to 3 weeks.

 

 

 

January 17, 2018 |

Simple Solutions to Combat Winter Skin Sensitivity

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(Family Features) The winter season is here, and it’s important to get in the habit of taking care of your skin. Cold weather brings low humidity levels and dry air, which can suck the moisture from your skin, and without proper care, skin can become dry, cracked and irritated, causing discomfort.

This winter, focus on a regimen that helps protect and hydrate skin so you can spend time enjoying the benefits of winter like family game night, snow days and snuggling by the fire.

Prepare your family for cold weather with these simple tips that can be easily incorporated into your family’s daily routine, keeping skin feeling soft and healthy all winter long.

Hydrate Inside and Out. Staying hydrated during the hot, summer months is a given, but it is also important to remember that cold winter air can leave your skin parched. Use a humidifier to keep skin hydrated during the dry months and be sure to lather on moisturizer. Natural moisturizers like coconut oil and shea butter can act as protective barriers against harsh elements, sealing in moisture. In addition to hydrating on the outside, it is just as important to stay hydrated on the inside. By drinking water throughout the day, your skin can stay healthy and moisturized.

Switch to a Mild Laundry Detergent. Many common detergents can be abrasive to sensitive skin, especially when it is more vulnerable to irritation during the harsh winter months. Wash bed linens, towels and clothes with a mild detergent like all Free Clear year-round, especially during the winter months. As the No. 1 recommended detergent brand by dermatologists, allergists and pediatricians for sensitive skin, all Free Clear includes no dyes, fragrances or irritating residues. Using the power of stainlifters to fight tough stains, it is also safe for the whole family to use, keeping laundry clean while being gentle on skin.

Avoid Toxins, Specifically Allergens and Irritants. Products that contain toxins, allergens and irritants should be avoided during months when skin is most sensitive. Choose moisturizers and skin care products that don’t contain common irritants, and opt for mild cleansers and moisturizers that are specifically labeled for sensitive skin. Castor oil is another moisturizer alternative that is natural and can be used on both the face and body.

Layer Up. Lock in moisture and protect your skin from wind, rain and snow by wearing layers whenever you venture outside. The skin on your neck, face and hands is thinner than other areas of the body and therefore more sensitive to the effects of winter weather. Thermals, scarves and gloves can keep you warm and protect your skin from the cold, dry air. For those with sensitive skin, avoid synthetic fabrics and itchy materials like wool, and wash clothes with a dermatologist-recommended detergent like all Free Clear.

By implementing these best practices for skin sensitivity, you can minimize redness, dryness and discomfort to help skin stay healthy and glowing throughout the winter season. Visit all-laundry.com to learn more.
Sponsored by all

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

January 10, 2018 |

Tips for Winter Wellness

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(Family Features) When cold winds blow, it’s essential to take extra steps to protect your health. There are a number of techniques that can help keep your immunity high and your body in good condition to support wellness all season long so that you can enjoy the chillier months.

There’s no magic formula for feeling your best, but consulting your health care provider is always a good idea when you’re contemplating new ideas to promote better health.

Get up and moving

Without frequent use, muscles and joints can weaken and grow stiff, limiting your mobility. Exercise is also an important step in balancing your caloric intake, and physical activity gets your blood pumping, which has numerous benefits for heart health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a minimum of 150 minutes each week (or 30 minutes per day, at least five days each week) of moderate activity, such as a brisk walk, yoga class or bike ride.

Additionally, winter brings fewer hours of sunlight during the day, and per the National Sleep Foundation, darkness naturally causes the brain to release melatonin, a hormone that triggers sleepiness. Exercise can counteract this drowsiness, as the endorphins released through physical activity cause a natural increase in energy levels. Studies show that endorphins can also elicit positive feelings and reduce the perception of pain, which can lower stress levels to help keep you mentally and physically well.

Spice up your routine with herbal supplements

Whether to supplement your diet with additional vitamins and nutrients or to give you a specific, targeted boost, herbal supplements can help support overall health. For example, the supplement turmeric, derived from root extracts of the Curcuma longa plant, is widely regarded to have numerous positive health implications.

“Since 2013, turmeric has dominated the market as the top-selling ingredient in herbal supplements,” said Chris Oswald, licensed nutritionist at Nature’s Way. “As research on turmeric grows, consumers continue to recognize the health benefits of this amazing botanical.”

Turmeric can be added to several foods, but to ensure a steady, adequate dose, Oswald recommends a turmeric-based herbal supplement, like the Turmerich line from Nature’s Way. The line combines a blend of premium ingredients in two unique formulas, Turmerich Heart and Turmerich Joint. Both supplements feature turmeric extract along with a strong suite of herbal and specialty ingredients for comprehensive, targeted support. Each supplement uses 400 milligrams of standardized turmeric root extract per serving to boost ingredient potency, maximizing potential health benefits.

Get ample rest

Adequate sleep allows the body to rejuvenate itself naturally, promoting a better mood, improved system function and increased stamina throughout the day. The National Sleep Foundation recommends older adults get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night for optimal health. Beyond a good night’s sleep, be sure to take some mental downtime, too, to minimize stress and anxiety, both of which can have a negative impact on your health. Find ways to relax through meditation, reading or listening to soothing music, which can help rest your mind and body.

Boost immunity

Fresh fruits and vegetables offer vitamins and minerals that can play an important role in immune health. Studies have shown that vitamin C, which is found naturally in several fruits, is essential for stimulating growth and repair in the body. During the winter months, when fresh fruit can be harder to find, supplements like Echinacea & Vitamin C from Nature’s Way can be another source of vitamin C.

Maintain skin health

As the body’s largest organ and the first line of defense against physical harm, the skin is particularly susceptible to wear and tear. During the winter, frequent exposure to harsh elements, from dry air to biting sleet, can have serious impacts on skin health.

You can take steps to minimize painful redness and flakiness or cracking by regularly moisturizing your skin with fragrance-free lotions and herbal oils. They can create a protective barrier between your skin tissue and potential pollutants and irritants, and should be applied generously to areas that are most likely to be exposed, like your hands and face. Also remember to bundle up to prevent the impact of stinging winds, and avoid unnecessary time outdoors when conditions are especially harsh.

Find more winter wellness tools at naturesway.com or Facebook.com/NaturesWayBrands.

Fast Facts on Turmeric

As a root native to Southeast Asia, turmeric has played a role in Chinese and Indian medicinal traditions since ancient times. Here are some other facts you may not know about this botanical:

  • Turmeric is a relative of the ginger root.
  • Turmeric adds the yellow color to foods such as Indian curry and yellow mustard, and is often used as a dye for its rich pigment.
  • When dried and ground, the underground stem of the turmeric plant can be used to make capsules, tablets, teas, oils and more.

 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (people in kitchen, woman lifting weights)

 

January 3, 2018 |

New Baby? New Tech Can Make a Big Difference

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Innovative gadgets that can make parenting easier

 

(Family Features) Welcoming a new baby to the family brings with it excitement, challenges and a lot of love. It is also a lot of work. But, there is help… sometimes at the touch of a button. Amy O’Malley, MSN, RN, mother of five and director of education and clinical services at Medela, has pulled together a few tips for navigating the first few months and how to incorporate some baby (and mom) friendly technology along the way!

How many wet diapers? How long did he nurse? Use an App for That!

It is useful to keep a log of what happened when. But do you need a paper and pen? There are now apps to help moms track their breastfeeding sessions, how many dirty diapers the baby has and how long he or she slept for. Apps also offer the ability to share information with your spouse, partner and health care professional. There are also a number of new on-demand services available through apps that allow real-time access to health care professionals that focus on pediatric care or lactation services. For example, breastfeeding moms can use their smartphones to access real-time video support from lactation consultants through Medela’s 24/7 LC service.

Give Yourself Some Range with a Great Monitor

A video monitor is a perfect addition to any new parent’s arsenal of gadgets. In addition to monitoring the baby, many units feature two-way speakers, night-viewing capabilities and a temperature gauge, and offer the ability to check in on baby while on-the-go through either a website login or smartphone application.

Pump Quieter and Smarter

If you’re breastfeeding or planning on breastfeeding, a high-performance breast pump is a tool that can help make the task simpler for moms and caregivers. Double electric breast pumps are the fastest and most effective way to support a mom’s breast milk supply.

“Breast pumps have changed quite a bit since I had my children,” O’Malley said. “While a double electric breast pump is your best bet, newer models go beyond the basics and connect with smartphones to track activity. Our tech-enabled and quietest pump, Sonata, is comfortable and pairs with the MyMedela app to automatically track pumping sessions and offer personalized tips to help you succeed and monitor your baby. This pump even has many adaptions to meet your needs anywhere and anytime. It has features to help you use it late at night and can adjust based on your changing body shape to give you an effective and consistent experience.”

Find more information at medelabreastfeedingus.com.

Make Temperature Checks a Breeze

Gone are the days of placing a thermometer in your child’s ear or under his or her tongue or armpit. Temporal thermometers allow parents to simply place the gadget against baby’s forehead to get an accurate reading. Other options, such as pacifiers that double as thermometers, can also be utilized to make this task less invasive and more efficient.

You’re not alone. There is tech to help and don’t forget to ask your pediatrician and other friends or family members too. It takes a village to bring a new baby into the world!

December 20, 2017 |
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