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2015 In Review

Looking back at 2015, we have covered many topics that, hopefully, have been of interest and help to you. If, by chance, you’ve missed any of them, the full list of articles along with their links are listed below.

We are thankful to all of our customers more than you’ll ever know and look forward to serving you in 2016.

Elderly Care
Caregiver Tips
Be Informed about Medications
Be a Good Neighbor

Heart Care
Heart Awareness Month
Keeping Your Heart in Shape (Part One)
Keeping Your Heart in Shape (Part Two)

Diabetic Care
Foot Care
Eating Well
Diabetic Risk Test

Health Tips and News
Healthy Summers
Benefits of Drinking Water
Blood Donations
Handling Stress
Getting a Good Night Sleep
When to Take Antibiotics
Vitamin Tips
Women’s Health Tips
Travel Tips
Joint Pain Prevention

Kids Health
Juvenile Arthritis
Are your Teenagers Getting Enough Sleep?
Summer Camp
Back to School

Disease Awareness
Colorectal Cancer Awareness
Measles Facts
Is it Acid Reflux or Heartburn?
Alzheimers Disease

Skin Care
How to Treat Acne
Damaging Effects of the Sun

Weight Management
Eating Less over the Holidays
Underlying Causes of Weight Gain

Colds and Flu
Time for Your Flu Shot
Winning the Sore Throat Battle
Treating a Sore Throat

Pharmacy News
American Pharmacist Month
Pharmacists are a Trusted Resource
Clinical Trial Participation
Great American Smokeout

FDA Approvals
End of 2014 Drug Approvals
First Quarter Drug Approvals

Second Quarter Drug Approvals
Two New Drugs Approved

Drug Abuse Issues
Drug Take-Back Day
Project Lazarus
Poison Prevention
HIV Outbreak
Be Street Smart

 

 

Be a Good Neighbor over the Holidays

It’s a busy time of year as we are out shopping for last minute gifts, preparing our homes for guests by cooking, cleaning and decorating. But, do you ever stop to think about your elderly friends neighbors who may not have family nearby? This time of year can be especially lonely for many seniors. They have fond memories of their bustling household of Christmases past; and as their children have grown up and familiar neighbors have moved away,  Christmas present can be a depressing time.

If you are looking for a way to have an even more fulfilling holiday perhaps take some time to visit an elderly neighbor or even an assisted living facility to bring some cheer. Here are some tips to bring some cheer to those who are lonely.

  1. Sit and listen to them. They could be mourning the loss of a loved one and need someone to share stories of good times they had with family and friends. This is how we keep memories alive. We talk about the past and the good times we’ve had. Just listening will help the health and well-being of the elderly.
  2. Volunteer to help them send Christmas cards. This will help them make connections with life-long friends, which will—in turn—bring the recipient holiday cheer.
  3. If your parent or friend is in an assisted living facility or nursing home, check with the local kindergarten or day care centers to see if they can bring children to visit the elders. The freshness of the small children’s presence can help lighten a day for an elder in physical or emotional pain.
  4. If your elders’ are in a facility, help the facility find programs featuring children. If possible, take the elders out to school programs, especially if they feature grandchildren.
  5. Check with local youth groups and youth choirs and see if they can arrange for carolers to come and sing at an assisted living facility.
  6. Help them decorate. Whether they live alone or at a facility, you can do this in stages so they have something to look forward to every week or two.
  7. Bring traditional baked goods or treats regularly for your elders and their friends to share.
  8. Host a small party in a nursing home. You can check with the facility and see if a small room is a available and host a Christmas or New Year’s party for your elder and their friends. Perhaps get some of your friends and children to help in this act of kindness.
  9. Volunteer to buy gifts for them to give to their friends family members. They may not be able to go shopping on their own which is another reminder of their lack of independence. By buying gifts and letting them help wrap them, will help lift their spirits.
  10. Any amount of time you can spend with them is the most important thing you can do. Pull out old photo albums or watch home videos with them for a walk down memory lane.

Perhaps taking the time to check-in and visit with an elderly neighbor will be the best medicine you can give to them and to yourself.

 

Foot Care for Diabetics

For most people, small foot injuries like calluses or blisters are a minor nuisance. Though they are sore, you know that with a little TLC and some over-the-counter medications, they will usually heal in a short amount of time.  However, if you are diabetic, these small wounds can grow into major problems.

“The average person will unconsciously change the way they walk to minimize that callus forming, because for many people it hurts,” explains Marc House, DPM, a podiatrist at the Podiatry Associates of Indiana, Foot & Ankle Institute in Indianapolis. “With diabetes, you don’t feel it, so you continue to walk on the area.”

Foot facts for diabetics:

  • Diabetes can damage nerves in the feet, so many people with diabetes don’t have normal sensation in their feet.
  • Diabetes can lead to narrowed arteries in the legs, causing poor blood flow to the feet.
  • Minor wounds may heal poorly and become infected as a result of the reduced blood flow.

Every year thousands of lower-limb amputations, including foot removal surgeries, are performed on people with diabetes due to nerve and circulation issues. So, taking care of your feet is extremely important if you’re a diabetic.

Here are some important steps you can take to care for your feet:

  1. Inspect your feet daily. Stay on the lookout for signs of possible trouble such as red spots, blisters, and cuts. If you can’t see the bottoms of your feet, lay a mirror on the floor and use it to inspect your soles. Let your doctor know if you notice any sores or cuts on your feet that don’t heal within a day or two.
  2. Wash your feet every day with mild soap and lukewarm water. Make sure the water isn’t too hot (over 90 degrees F). Pat them dry after washing and be sure to dry between your toes to minimize the risk of fungal infections.
  3. After washing and drying your feet, use lotion or petroleum jelly to keep the skin smooth — but don’t put it between your toes. Non-medicated powder can also help keep your feet dry.
  4. When trimming your nails, but your toenails straight across to help prevent ingrown nails. Be sure to file your toenails, too, so they aren’t sharp on the corners. Consult your doctor to be sure it’s safe for you to cut your own nails.
  5. Never walk barefoot. That goes for inside and outside. Always feel inside your shoes with your fingers before you put them on to make sure a sharp object isn’t hiding inside.
  6. Keep them warm. If your feet get cold, put on warm socks. Avoid using heating pads on your feet — they may burn you.
  7. Get a check-up. Ask a health care provider to check your feet at every visit.
  8. Use a pumice stone. If your doctor says it’s okay, use a pumice stone to treat calluses. Never use a sharp blade on your feet.
  9. Wear the right shoes and socks. Buy shoes that have plenty of support, but are not too tight. Also choose shoes made of material that breathes and look for a cushioned sole to absorb pressure. Also be sure to wear clean, lightly cushioned socks at all times to prevent blisters. Avoid sandals, high heels, flip-flops and shoes with open or pointed toes. Ask your doctor if you need special shoes or inserts that are fitted to your feet.
  10. Control your blood sugar. As with most diabetes complications, you’re less likely to have foot problems if you aggressively manage your blood sugar. Work closely with your doctor to keep your blood sugar under control.
  11. Don’t smoke. You probably already know that smoking is bad for your heart and lungs, but you may not know that it also decreases blood flow to your feet — increasing the risk of sores and infection. Ask your doctor for tips to help you quit.
  12. Wiggle your toes.  And move your feet around many times a day to keep the blood flowing. Avoid standing in one position for a long time or sitting with your legs crossed. These can block blood flow to your feet.

Having diabetes can cause serious damage to your feet, but that doesn’t mean you’re destined to have foot problems. Just be sure to manage your blood sugar wisely, avoid smoking, wear proper shoes, exercise regularly and have your feet checked regularly by your doctor to prevent long-term complications.

 

 

Got Stress?

Stress is common this time of year. We’re overbooked with work commitments as we are trying to finish the year strong. Our minds are racing with thoughts of what to get the kids, parents, nieces, nephews, neighbors, etc., for Christmas. Not to mention the travel schedule, baking, and cleaning that ensues. Phew! I’m stressed just thinking about it all.

Throughout the year, stressful situations arise and it’s not always a bad thing. Sometimes, it’s what you need to meet that deadline or sharpen your concentration when working on a difficult task. Other times—when pushed too far beyond our comfort zone—it can start causing damage to our bodies and minds.

A key to your peace of mind is learning the signs and symptoms of stress:

Cognitive:

  • Memory problems
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Poor judgment
  • Seeing only the negative
  • Anxious or racing thoughts
  • Constant worrying

Emotional:

  • Moodiness
  • Irritability or short temper
  • Agitation, inability to relax
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Sense of loneliness and isolation
  • Depression or general unhappiness

Physical:

  • Aches and pains
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Nausea, dizziness
  • Chest pain, rapid heartbeat
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Frequent colds

Behavioral:

  • Eating more or less
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Isolating yourself from others
  • Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities
  • Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax
  • Nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing)

When you start to notice multiple signs, you might want to try to reduce or eliminate some of the stressors that are causing the problem. Keep in mind that the signs and symptoms of stress overload can also be caused by other psychological or medical problems. If you’re experiencing any of the warning signs of stress, it’s important to see a doctor to help determine if your symptoms are stress-related.

Your ability to tolerate stress depends on many factors, including the quality of your relationships and support network, your life experiences, your emotional intelligence, and genetics.

  • Your support network – The quality of your friendships and a strong social network (no, we’re not talking about Facebook), are huge factors in how you cope with stress. A group of supportive friends and family is key to relieving stress. Conversely, the more lonely and isolated you are, the more vulnerable you are to stress.
  • Your exercise levels – A consistent exercise routine is a way to keep your stress level under control. When you are healthy physically, your mind is healthier and the more resilient you are against the symptoms of stress. Just 30 minutes a day will help burn off steam, as well as calories.
  • Your diet. It may be called comfort food, but eating a diet full of processed and convenience food, refined carbohydrates, and sugary snacks can worsen symptoms of stress. However, eating a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables, high-quality protein, and healthy fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids (like salmon), can help you better cope with life’s ups and downs.
  • Your sense of control – It may be easier to take stress in stride if you have confidence in yourself and your ability to influence events and persevere through challenges. If you feel like things are out of your control, you’re likely to have less tolerance for stress.
  • Your attitude and outlook – Optimistic people are often better able to handle stress. They tend to embrace challenges, have a strong sense of humor, and accept that change is a part of life.
  • Your ability to deal with your emotions – If you don’t know how to calm and soothe yourself when you’re feeling sad, angry, or overwhelmed by a situation, then you will be more stressed out. The ability to bring your emotions into balance helps you bounce back from adversity and is a skill that can be learned at any age.
  • Your knowledge and preparation – The more you know about a stressful situation, including how long it will last and what to expect, the easier it is to cope. For example, if you go into surgery with a realistic picture of what to expect afterwards, a painful recovery will be less traumatic than if you were expecting to bounce back immediately.
  • Your sleep cycle –  Feeling tired can increase stress by causing you to think irrationally. Keep your cool in stressful situations by getting a good night’s sleep. If you are having trouble falling to sleep, read our post from last week about getting a good night’s sleep.

Take the Quiz

  1. I have people I confide in when I’m feeling under pressure who make me feel better.
  2. I feel comfortable expressing how I feel when something is bothering me.
  3. In general, I feel in control of my life and confident in my ability to handle what comes my way.
  4. I find reasons to laugh and feel grateful, even when going through difficulties.
  5. No matter how busy I am, I make it a priority to sleep, exercise, and eat right.
  6. I’m able to calm myself down when I start to feel overwhelmed.

Each “yes” answer represents an important stress coping skill. Each “no” represents an area to work on to become more resilient.

So, this holiday season, keep it all in perspective and remember what’s important and what’s not worth your time stressing about. So, finish the year strong, and kick off 2016 with good habits to help your stress under control.