The Well

Monthly information and suggestions to promote a healthier lifestyle and a stronger sense of wellbeing.

Science Says Silence Is much More Important Than You Think

12-01-2017The Well

Advent is the time of year that we wait in contemplation for Christ’s coming and enjoy the Christmas Season and in that waiting, here is something else worth contemplating: Silence can be beneficial for our brains!

In 1859, the British nurse and social reformer Florence Nightingale wrote, “Unnecessary noise is the most cruel absence of care that can be inflicted on sick or well.” Every careless clatter or banal bit of banter, Nightingale argued, can be a source of alarm, distress, and loss of sleep for recovering patients.

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Here’s how you can stay ahead of flu season

11-01-2017The Well

Flu season is quickly approaching. Here a few quick tips use you can use every day to avoid getting sick:

Wash your hands: You should be washing your hands often, especially before eating, after using the bathroom and after being around those who are ill. Avoid touching your mouth, eyes and nose, and if you do, make sure those hands are clean.

Two methods to effectively clean your hands: Use alcohol hand gels/foam or, use soap and water. To engage your children, having them wash their hands while singing “Happy Birthday” twice which provides the 15 second requirement for clean hands and makes it fun for kids.

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October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

10-01-2017The Well

Know the Facts

Domestic abuse and violence refers to a pattern of violent and coercive behavior exercised by one adult in an intimate relationship over another. It is not a private family matter. Domestic violence, also known as intimate partner violence (IPV) is defined by the Centers for Disease Control as a serious, preventable public health problem that affects millions of Americans. It refers to the physical, sexual, or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse and does include teen dating relationships. A statistic from the Bureau of Justice indicates that from 1994 to 2010, about 4 in 5 victims of intimate partner violence were female. Domestic violence affects the whole family, including any children. (obtained through Catholics For Family Peace)

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Don’t Let Health Care Providers Use the Improvement Standard to Deny Medicare Coverage For Your Loved One or Relative

09-01-2017The Well

For decades Medicare, skilled nursing facilities, and visiting nurse associations applied the so-called “improvement” standard to determine whether residents were entitled to Medicare coverage of the care. The standard, which is not in Medicare law, only permitted coverage if the skilled treatment was deemed to contribute to improving the patient’s condition, which can be difficult to achieve for many ill seniors.

Three years ago in the case of Jimmo v. Sebelius the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) agreed to a settlement in which it acknowledged that there’s no legal basis to the “improvement” standard and that both inpatient skilled nursing care and outpatient home care and therapy may be covered under Medicare as long as the treatment helps the patient maintain her current status or simply delays or slows her decline. In other words, as long as the patient benefits from the skilled care, which can include nursing care or physical, occupational, or speech therapy, then the patient is entitled to Medicare coverage.

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4 Questions to Ask During Your Child’s Back-to-School Physical

07-01-2017The Well

With the school year approaching, parents are getting ready to take their children for their back-to-school check-ups. These exams are important to not only avoid preventative issues, but also to regulate pre-existing conditions.

There are several key questions that parents should ask when they bring their child to a family physician for their back-to-school physicals.

Your time you spend with your family doctor is very important. The important things to discuss with your family physician are any health issues child is having along with their overall health. Parents should inquire about proper diet. They should also ask their doctor if the child's height and weight are on target and what type of nutritional foods they should be consuming. This is important as poor nutrition can lead to illness down the road.

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When Faith & Cancer Collide

06-01-2017The Well

I have been a parish nurse at Holy Spirit for 13 years. I have observed parishioners face the greatest threats to their lives, asking, as did Jesus on the cross, echoing the words of Psalm 22, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” They may be so overwhelmed and frightened that they may lament, “Where is God? Has God abandoned me? Has God done a disappearing act just as the enemy, cancer, is at the door?”

We tend to forget that our God is the God of the difficult times in our lives as well as the good times. When the threat of cancer arises, our faith, the foundation of our hope, is challenged, as we see the possibility of death. The reality of the threat of no longer being here as a living, breathing person, stands in contradiction to our hope, even threatens our hope.

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Spring

05-01-2017The Well

Spring is here so let's get outside! Time spent in nature reduces stress, improves our health and fosters our spirits. When we take the time to sit in nature, we connect with a high power-our God!

People do not spend time alone, on purpose, any longer. Perhaps we never did, because we’re social animals by nature, meant to be in community. And yet, as nearly every religious tradition knows and teaches, there is much to be gained from intentional solitude, with no other agenda than to spend time alone with God and oneself, searching with heart for both. Type A personalities often feel that spending twenty-four hours alone doing “nothing” is a waste of time, but if we think about it, we are really wasting time with God.  If Christ went off by himself to pray.

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Is your family prepared for an emergency?

04-01-2017The Well

Tornado. Flood. Acts of Violence. Fire.  It seems like we are being affected by disasters of some kind more than ever before.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges citizens to follow key steps to prepare for future emergencies.

  1. Get a kit. Start building your own disaster supply kit.  Include basic items such as food and water, medications, first aid supplies, pet food, and important papers.  Keep your kit in a safe location in your home and update it every now and then.
  2. Make a plan. Families and workplaces should get involved in efforts to prepare a plan of action in the case of different emergencies.  Where will you take shelter?  How will you make sure everyone who needs to be there is out of harm’s way?  How will you contact each other?
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Eating Meals as a Family: Fun and Good For You!

03-01-2017The Well

Sitting down for family meals seems harder to do these days when everyone is running in different directions. But a recent study published in the Journal of Pediatrics found young adults who ate just one or two family meals a week as kids were 45 perfect less likely to be overweight as compared to those who had never eaten with their families.

Some of the thinking behind this is that when we eat as a family we eat more slowly and intentionally. Parents may be more careful about the kinds of foods they serve. Portion sizes or how much we actually consume tends to be less. But eating together can also promote connection and a sense of love and belonging which helps reduce the impact of stress on the body. We know that stress can stimulate the production of hormones that can affect our metabolism, or our ability to burn fat. Caring, supportive interaction with other people is one of the most powerful ways to help our bodies release.

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Top 7 ways to improve your heart health in the New Year

02-01-2017The Well

February has been titled “Heart Month” by the American Heart Association. The recent deaths of Florence Henderson and George Michael from (suspected) heart failure, Alan Thicke of an aortic rupture and Carrie Fisher from a heart attack, are reminders of how important our heart health is. While our hearts are not meant to last forever, and some heart conditions are out of our control, there are steps you can take to help your heart last longer, so you can live longer.

Here are 7 ways to improve your heart health:

  1. Build more activity into your daily life. You don’t have to go to the gym to get exercise; instead, change your habits to incorporate activity throughout the day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, ride your bicycle or walk to the store, mow your yard or shovel your driveway and play with your children or grandchildren. You may find using a pedometer or a Fitbit will keep you on track towards the goal of 10,000 steps daily. In addition, include some weight bearing exercises, like push-ups and squats, to maintain or build muscle, which decreases with age.
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