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2015 medical services guide

2015 medical services guide

2015 medical services guide

2 Your Health: A Medical Services Guide | Hersam Acorn Newspapers

Health: A Medical Services Guide | Hersam Acorn Newspapers

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April 30, 2015

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April 30, 2015

Hersam Acorn Newspapers | Your Health: A Medical Services Guide 3

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www.rmact.com I 800-865-5431

www.rmact.com I 800-865-5431

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4 Your Health: A Medical Services Guide | Hersam Acorn Newspapers

Exercise:

April 30, 2015

Training and conditioning

by Dr. Mark Fletcher

30, 2015 Training and conditioning by Dr. Mark Fletcher five miles per week has been shown

five miles per week has been shown to prevent

osteoporosis and help maintain the bone mass you have while other activities such as hiking, dancing and stair climbing can be as effective. Strength training will strengthen bones as well as muscles. Examples of strength training are weight lifting, resistance tubing exercises, and even water exercise.

Arthritis

For patients with arthritis, exercise has been shown to ease the pain of arthritis and decrease stiffness. Short walks, bicycling, and water exercise are great ways to start if the thought of exercise with painful joints is overwhelming.

Injury

Injury is another problem faced by people trying to start exercise and the “weekend warriors” among us. When

Exercise is important. The benefits from regular exercise are well known: Improved car- diovascular health, prevention or improvement of osteoporosis, weight loss, increased muscle mass, and mental health benefits of improv- ing mood and confidence. Exercise is good for everyone, regardless of age and health status. Our bodies are designed to exercise and will improve with proper activity. The principles of training and conditioning are the same for all of us — from beginners all the way up to Olympic and professional-level athletes. It is much easier to pick an activity that is fun when starting any exercise program. Having fun while exercising will keep you coming back, even on days that find you tired or stressed. Most experts recommend that 30 minutes of moderate exercise five times a week is appropriate for general health, and 45 minutes is even better.

For patients with osteoporosis, walking as little as three to

See EXERCISE on page 13

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April 30, 2015

Hersam Acorn Newspapers | Your Health: A Medical Services Guide 5

2015 medical services guide Published by Hersam Acorn Newspapers as a special section of: New

2015 medical services guide

Published by Hersam Acorn Newspapers as a special section of:

New Canaan Advertiser, The Darien Times, The Wilton Bulletin, The Weston Forum, The Redding Pilot, The Ridgefield Press, The Lewisboro Ledger, The Monroe Courier, The Easton Courier, The Trumbull Times, Shelton Herald, The Milford Mirror, and The Stratford Star

For additional copies, call 800-372-2790

Thomas B. Nash, publisher Robin Walluck, editor Ian Murren, designer

Nash, publisher Robin Walluck, editor Ian Murren, designer ©2015 Hersam Acorn Newspapers 16 Bailey Avenue, Ridgefield,

©2015 Hersam Acorn Newspapers 16 Bailey Avenue, Ridgefield, Conn., 06877

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ö Skin Cancer Surgery ö
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Fillers like Juvederm, Voluma, Radiesse
and all Lasers including for body
contour and cellulite.
Maritza Pérez, M.D.
39 Pine Street, New Canaan
203.972.7546
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6 Your Health: A Medical Services Guide | Hersam Acorn Newspapers

April 30, 2015

Familiar foot ailments

Acorn Newspapers April 30, 2015 Familiar foot ailments by Dr. Robert F. Weiss The most common

by Dr. Robert F. Weiss

The most common location of pain is under the head of the sec- ond metatarsal bone behind the second toe area, and under the first metatarsal head just behind the bottom surface of the big toe. Also common in this area are stress fractures, which usually cause swelling on the top of the foot. If there is pain between the toes radiating into the toes and then into the arch, a Morton’s neuroma (or enlarged nerve) at the bottom of the foot may be present. Another common area of pain are bunions and hammer- toes. Bunions (inflammation) can occur either on the out- side of the big toe joint or outside of the little toe joint. The area may become red, hot, swollen and very painful. Hammertoe is a contracted or claw-like toe. The con- traction usually occurs as a result of imbalances of bone structures or muscles making the toe stick up higher than

normal and causing pressure both from the bone inside the toe and from the shoe outside. Both bun- ions and hammertoes respond well to orthotic control. In more severe cases, surgical interven- tion is utilized. In the preven- tion of these common injuries, it is important to understand the warning signs of stiffness, swell- ing and mild pain. Listen to your body. At the first sign of pain, cut back on your exercise program and evaluate what is going wrong. Correct the problem and then slowly build back to your original program as the pain subsides.

Dr. Robert F. Weiss is a podiatrist specializing in foot and ankle surgery. He was a member of the Medical Advisory Committee of the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Marathon Trials. Weiss is a veteran of 35 marathons and has a prac- tice in Darien, the Foot & Ankle Institute of Darien. For information, visit his website at therunning doctor.net.

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April 30, 2015

Hersam Acorn Newspapers | Your Health: A Medical Services Guide 7

In 30 years, I still plan to be hiking the trails The LEGION™ Primary Knee
In 30 years,
I still plan to be
hiking the trails
The LEGION™ Primary Knee System with VERILAST™
Technology has been lab tested for 30 simulated
years of wear performance. This is more than twice
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It’s hypoallergenic and lighter weight – weighing
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substantially reduces wear – a leading cause of knee
replacement failure.
VISIONAIRE™ Patient Matched Technology, is an
innovative new procedure that uses your MRIs and
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just for you and your knee implant.
203-845-2200
Norwalk • Westport • Darien • New Canaan
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typical conditions. The results of laboratory wear simulation testing have not been proven to predict actual joint durability and performance in people. A reduction in wear alone may not result in
improved joint durability and performance because other factors, such as bone structure, can affect joint durability and performance and cause medical conditions that may result in the need for
additional surgery. These other factors were not studied as part of the testing.
There are potential risks with knee replacement surgery such as loosening, fracture, dislocation, wear and infection that may result in the need for additional surgery. Do not perform high impact
activities such as running and jumping unless your surgeon tells you the bone has healed and these activities are acceptable. Early device failure, breakage or loosening may occur if you do
not follow your surgeon’s limitations on activity level. Early failure can happen if you do not guard your knee joint from overloading due to activity level, failure to control body weight or accidents
such as falls. Knee replacement surgery is intended to relieve knee pain and improve knee functions. Talk to your doctor to determine what treatment may be best for you. Additional information
available at www.RediscoverYourGo.com.
™Trademark of Smith & Nephew. Certain marks Reg. US Pat. & TM Off.

8 Your Health: A Medical Services Guide | Hersam Acorn Newspapers

April 30, 2015

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April 30, 2015

Hersam Acorn Newspapers | Your Health: A Medical Services Guide 9

Music therapy can help reach people with dementia

People familiar with Alzheimer’s know this:

The memory loss and other effects are retro- grade. People lose memories, skills and abili- ties in the opposite order from how they were acquired. People familiar with language acquisition know this: Melodies and songs are easy to learn and aid language learning. We’ve all had the experience of busting out — word-for-word — to sing along with a song we haven’t heard in 20 years. That’s because music memory is processed across many parts of the brain and is thus preserved better than language memory alone. Together, these facts point towards the effec- tiveness of music therapy for people with Alzheimer’s. If songs are some of the first things we learn, they might also be some of the last

See MUSIC on page 12

they might also be some of the last See MUSIC on page 12
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10 Your Health: A Medical Services Guide | Hersam Acorn Newspapers

April 30, 2015

Managing how infertility affects relationships

by Melissa Kelleher

Infertility touches nearly every aspect of a patient’s life, including relationships. It can put strain on family, friends and co-workers as others build and celebrate their families. It can cause resentment as parents and extended family make unknowingly insensitive comments about starting a family or adding siblings. Perhaps the relationship affected most is a couple experiencing infertility. Based on a review of the literature on the psychological aspects of in vitro fertilization (IVF), IVF is physically and emotionally stressful for women and their partners, with depression and anxiety as the most common reactions to treatment (Eugster and Vingerhoets, 1999). There is an “emotional cost” associated with infertility; it can be height- ened during treatment or anytime that a couple comes face to face with the difference between what their family is and what they expected it to be. I work with patients to assist them in developing stress

management techniques that will help them on their path to starting a family, as well as to maintain a healthy rela- tionship. To counter the psychological impact of infertility treatment, I always encourage my patients to maintain open communication and to minimize stress whenever possible. This can be accomplished by learning about the mind-body connection, and understanding that chronic stress can result in physical illness. Using mind/body techniques gives patients one way to take control of their treatment, which they may otherwise be lacking. Here are some examples of ways that couples can take control of their stress and main- tain healthy relationships.

Breathing techniques

Breathing techniques can help patients to reconnect with their bodies. During this exercise, patients become aware of their breathing and its connection to their bodies. This is helpful in slowing your breathing down when you’re feeling

See INFERTILITY on page 15

to their bodies. This is helpful in slowing your breathing down when you’re feeling See INFERTILITY

April 30, 2015

Hersam Acorn Newspapers | Your Health: A Medical Services Guide 11

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12 Your Health: A Medical Services Guide | Hersam Acorn Newspapers

April 30, 2015

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Music continued from page 9

things we remember. Music therapy was established in 1950. Music therapy is designed to improve physical and emotional health through the use of music, either with listening, song writing, per- forming, exploring lyrics or other activities related to music. It’s most often used as part of stress management programs. While music therapy is an emerging field, music itself has many benefits for health and stress management, and can be used in daily life to relieve stress and promote wellness. (This is not formal music therapy, but it can be effective for stress relief.) Since music therapy uses the brain’s multi-layered pro- cessing of music, there is recent and intense interest in its applications with Alzheimer’s. A study at the University of Iowa showed that simple activities like singing and mov- ing to music decreased wandering and disruptive behaviors among people with Alzheimer’s at nursing facilities. True, certified music therapists are trained musicians who play instruments and sing and are trained to use music therapeutically. Its principles — that music relaxes people both physically and psychologically, can relieve pain, cre- ate emotional intimacy — however, can be used much less formally. Using music to trigger memory and engagement in some- one with Alzheimer’s requires a bit of homework. Someone needs to find out either what the person’s favorite songs were or, if that isn’t possible, try out a variety of songs that were popular when they were young. Songs from people’s teenage and young adult years tend to be particularly effec- tive. People may sing along, or even want to dance. Music has the power to work throughout the body, triggering muscle memory of anything from intricate dance steps to simple hand clapping or foot tapping in time with the rhythm. Music therapy’s ability to reach the body was shown in a study from the American Society of Neurorehabilitation that compared two groups of stroke victims, one of which was given traditional physical therapy and the other group which received music therapy. The music therapy group showed greater physical improvement towards walking in a shorter period of time. Home Care Assistance uses music therapy with clients as part of its Cognitive Therapeutics program, one-on-one activities designed to keep aging minds sharp. Based on sci- entific research suggesting that mental stimulation is associ- ated with slower cognitive decline, the program targets the five primary cognitive domains. The 300-plus activities, which are fun and engaging, include art, music, memo- rization, rhyming and word puzzles. These activities are intended to not only keep clients mentally active, but also to improve overall quality of life. For more information about cognitive therapies to improve brain function, contact Home Care Assistance at 203-955-1915, or visit HomeCareAssistanceFairfield.com.

April 30, 2015

Hersam Acorn Newspapers | Your Health: A Medical Services Guide 13

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Exercise continued from page 4

beginning any new exercise program it is important to gradually increase the volume or intensity to allow the body to acclimate and avoid injury. A good fitness base of moder- ate aerobic and strength training is essential if you plan to participate in some of the more aggressive fitness activities that are popular today. Try to add variety by doing different exercises every other time you work out. If you are doing an aerobic exercise two to three days per week, try to add weight training and stretching on other days. If you belong to a gym, a regis- tered trainer can be a useful resource to guide you when you start. Remember to check with your primary care physician prior to starting any new exercise program if you have any significant active medical problems. There is no better time to start than right now. Coastal Orthopaedic’s surgeons provide complete orthopedic treatments from head to toe in four conve- niently located offices: Norwalk, Westport, Darien, and New Canaan. A new walk-in urgent care facility known as Coastal Ortho Express is now open extended hours, Monday through Saturday, for sprains, injuries and pain at 761 Main Avenue in Norwalk, where patients can be treated without an appointment. Statewide doctors have voted the surgeons Top Docs Orthopedic Surgery in Connecticut Magazine since 2009.

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14 Your Health: A Medical Services Guide | Hersam Acorn Newspapers

Mental health’s new buzzword

April 30, 2015

Mindfulness What is it and how do I do it?

by Holly Kelly

Mindfulness has recently blossomed in the media and has been credited with treating everything from grief, anxiety, depres- sion, chronic pain and also increasing function- ing in athletes and CEOs. So many of you are saying “sign me up!” and “what is

it and how do I do it?”

These are big questions and there are many answers, which is why it is so confusing. A quick Google search gives us a dictionary definition of Mindfulness :

1. The quality or state of being conscious or aware of some- thing.

2. A mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

John Kabat-Zinn says, “You could think of mindfulness as wise and affectionate attention.” (Time, 1/11/2012) I like this one because it’s short and sweet and easy to remember! OK, those are good answers. But how do you do it? This

is where the variety comes in. In my experience, there is

no one way to practice mindful living and very few people

can claim to do it 100% of the time. So is there value to

a mindfulness practice if we are not looking to become a

Buddhist monk, yoga guru or Zen master? I think there is and have seen an impact on my life and the lives of my cli-

ents who commit to a mindfulness practice. Many people will point you towards meditation as the journey to “Mindful Living.” But meditation is not just one thing. Most of us picture meditation as sitting cross-legged for hours in silence, like in the movie “Eat, Love, Pray.” To be real, how many of us can do that? I struggle to make it 10 minutes! What is even harder is to get your brain to be quiet. Even when you try to concentrate on your breath or

a mantra your brain has other ideas. This is why so many

people stop meditating. We feel like failures when we have to keep redirecting our brain to one thought or point of

focus. We are judging ourselves as failures but real point of meditation is not to lose yourself, but to become aware of your thoughts and emotions. The being aware and practice

of your thoughts and emotions. The being aware and practice of redirecting is “the point.” So

of redirecting is “the point.” So to make it simple, the first step to an active mindfulness practice is to cut yourself some slack and accept your humanity. There is no place for judg- ment in mindful living. This is probably the hardest part of the whole process, but such a key element that I like to start with it and

return to it often. Judgment pops into our lives every minute so be ready to remind yourself when you are doing it. Now for the question of which practice to use? The answer, once again is not simple or one size fits all. Some find ritualistic or contemplative prayer to be comfortable, others like exercise. Yes running can be meditative. Yoga, Tai chi and Gigong are classic Eastern meditation practices, now adapted to Western lifestyles. For some just a relax- ing bath or hot shower can help clear the brain and create room for creative focus. I’m starting to think that real play, where you lose yourself in the activity and forget about your troubles, can be a form of mindfulness. You will have to try things out and see what fits with your lifestyle. Remember — no judgment. I find yoga is my thing but have taken classes where I just wasn’t feeling it, so I’ve learned that there is no one answer. To challenge myself I sometimes do the practices that I am less comfort- able with to learn more about myself. An easy, simple place to start today is to go to the breath. Spend the day checking in on your breathing and notice what is going on in your body. Use your modern technol- ogy to help you out … set reminders on your calendar to chime throughout the day to remind you to check in on your breath. Go back to the fist step and do not judge your breath; just notice it. If you choose to make a change and breathe deeper or even take 10 deep breaths, do that. After you get the hang of this you can choose other practices that might challenge you. Remember this is a journey. Like any journey there will be stops along the way and you will learn new things with each experience. The key is to keep the judgment demon at bay and be present enough to notice each experience and take some- thing along for the next part of your journey. For more information, visit hollykellylcsw.com.

April 30, 2015

Hersam Acorn Newspapers | Your Health: A Medical Services Guide 15

Infertility continued from page 10

anxious and lowering your blood pressure. Breathing tech- niques have a cumulative effect of reducing stress over time. The more you practice it, the better your body becomes at reducing stress levels. Essentially it has a carryover effect.

Meditation

Many patients benefit from meditation, whether it is with

a

counselor, in a class or self-guided. In a matter of minutes

it

has a physiological effect on the body, decreasing stress

hormone production and the reduction of stress by-prod- ucts. There are several smart phone applications that can assist in mind-body practices. Headspace or Mindfulness are smart phone apps that I often recommend to my

patients.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness shifts a person’s perspective. This daily practice helps patients focus and appreciate the “here and now” instead of being preoccupied with the past and the future. For an infertility patient, this may mean letting go of past experiences (e.g., a negative pregnancy test) as well as future expectations (e.g., tomorrow’s embryo transfer). Infertility can be a distraction that takes away from enjoying the present moment.

See INFERTILITY on page 18

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16 Your Health: A Medical Services Guide | Hersam Acorn Newspapers

April 30, 2015

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Problems in perspective

On a daily basis my patients teach me things; for this I am grateful. John had more money than he could ever spend, four homes, a private jet and a mega-yacht. Somehow, despite all of these gifts, he was never happy. He frequently had interpersonal strife in some aspect of his life and felt as though everyone was trying to take advantage of him and his wealth. I worked hard to help him see the many blessings in his life, but somehow he couldn’t truly appreciate them. Serendipitously, Mark came in later that day. His concern was for his adult daughter who was caught up in an abu- sive relationship. He had lost his job a year previously but refused to feel sorry for himself about it. Instead he got up each morning and began his job search anew; determined to find a position. His wife was an invalid of many years and he cared for her with love, and without complaint or self-pity. Despite these difficulties he clearly had a sense of peace about him. Although his challenges were depressing his attitude toward them was not. Clearly he had somehow found a sense of inner peace about it all and was looking to learn how he could be of help to his daughter in her time of need. What struck me was the extreme disparity between both John’s and Mark’s circumstances, and their respective atti- tudes toward them. Whereas John “had it all” in material terms, his unwillingness to appreciate his good fortune rendered him miserably unhappy. Mark, on the other hand, was able to see past his misfortune and appreciate even the small blessings. As I got to know Mark he taught me how he developed and maintained his upbeat approach; here’s how:

• Count your blessings: Take a few minutes each morning and evening to acknowledge all of your blessings, starting with the fact that you are alive.

• Keep track of them: Make an ongoing list of these bless- ings and keep it with you at all times, on a technical device, or in your wallet. Add to it as new blessings come to mind. It’s difficult to feel negatively when you’re in touch with the gifts in your life.

• Remember past successes: When hardships arise remem- ber the difficulties you’ve overcome in the past, and make a list of these. Keep it with you, and add to it.

• Catch your faulty thinking: Challenge the validity of your negative (and usually inaccurate) thought patterns by asking yourself if they are necessarily true. Two of the most common of these patterns are:

1.“Always” and “never” thinking, e.g., “good things never happen to me”.

April 30, 2015

Hersam Acorn Newspapers | Your Health: A Medical Services Guide 17

2.Predicting a future outcome based on past difficulties, e.g., “this romantic relationship won’t work out for me because the last two haven’t”. Take the focus off of yourself: On a regular basis help someone else in need. Doing so may not solve the problem at hand, but will surely put it in perspective. Reach for a higher power: When life is going well and we’re able to control most of the variables we may not search for strength outside of ourselves. When life’s circum- stances become overwhelming, however, it’s helpful to have a source of spiritual strength from which to draw. Find the humor in your misfortune: A good belly-laugh not only provides us comic relief, but may, unexpectedly, open the door to a solution. Make things better by making them worse: Blowing your concern completely out of proportion may show you the absurdity in your negativity and worry and allow you to move ahead with your day. In short, life isn’t easy, and no one issues us an instruc- tion manual for how to live it. But when problems seem insurmountable, maybe the real stumbling block is the lens through which we are viewing them.

For more information, contact Maud Purcell, MSW, LCSW, CEAP, of The Life Solution Center of Darien, 36 Old Kings Hwy. South, Suite 210, Darien, 203- 628-4492. Even more is at thelifesolutioncenter.net.

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18 Your Health: A Medical Services Guide | Hersam Acorn Newspapers

April 30, 2015

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Infertility continued from page 15

As Jon Kabat-Zinn puts it, mindfulness is the “direct opposite of taking life for granted.” By learning to live in the moment, patients can promote peace and stillness within.

Recapture joy

Infertility can be all-encompassing if patients let it. I encourage my patients to recapture joy by finding some- thing they enjoy doing together. If it is hard to do that, I ask my patients to make a list of 20 things that make them happy and find a way to incorporate them into their day, their week. It is important for couples to laugh together and have fun, to live in that moment even when infertility is taking its toll.

Support groups

Patients who are struggling with their emotions have seen

a significant benefit from support groups. These are safe

environments where patients share their thoughts, fears, anxieties, and disappointments. They may take comfort in knowing they are not alone; after all, one in six couples experiences infertility. They may find a way to articulate their feelings that had previously eluded them. These ses-

sions can also be a way to address their emotions with

a finite start and finish; it allows them to discuss their

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April 30, 2015

Hersam Acorn Newspapers | Your Health: A Medical Services Guide 19

feelings without letting those feelings encroach on every moment of the day.

Counseling

Like support groups, counseling is a safe environment for patients to discuss their emotions. For patients who want to work on their relationships, this can be a good place to share and discuss with the help of a counselor who can mediate and guide the conversation. There are several different kinds of mind-body exercise, and I encourage my patients to find what works for them. Some variations can be done individually, while others can be done as a couple. Mind-body exercises are like mental maintenance. For fertility patients, conducting these exer- cises can change their treatment experience and the results. It can also lead to strengthening their relationship when it is most vulnerable.

Melissa Kelleher is a licensed clinical social worker who works with couples and individuals at Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT), giving them the tools to emotionally handle their fertility challenges and make related decisions. She earned her master’s in social work from New York University and she graduated cum laude from State University of New York at Albany. She has been working as a master level social worker (MSW) since 1997, and earned her LCSW from New York State in 2006 (when it was first offered) and from Connecticut in 2013. She has trained under Dr. Alice D. Domar, a pioneer in the application of mind-body medicine to men’s and women’s health issues.

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20 Your Health: A Medical Services Guide | Hersam Acorn Newspapers

April 30, 2015

It’s not your grandfather’s nursing home

The days of sitting around in your wheelchair at the nurs- ing home are gone. Modern skilled nursing facilities now feature advanced rehabilitation treatments to get short-term residents back on their feet and capable to safely return home, and to maintain the health, strength and abilities of the long-term residents. The care should be resident- focused and maximize the health and well-being of the residents. Whether you are looking for short-term rehabilitation

after a knee or hip replacement or long-term care for a loved one, scheduling a tour with the facilities in your area is a must. Things to consider and questions to ask:

• Do you feel comfortable in the facility?

• Is the staff friendly and welcoming?

• Does it smell nice?

• Is it clean?

• Does the food look appetizing?

• Do the residents look happy?

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• Are the residents dressed in clean clothes?

• Safety of the facility — limited access to the building, “wandering” residents cannot leave the building unat- tended.

• Is there a place to sit outside in nice weather? Will someone bring your loved one outside?

• Are pets allowed to visit?

• How is transportation handled for doctor's visits?

• What are the visiting hours?

• Is there a social worker on staff?

• Are private rooms available? How many rooms does the facility have?

• Is there a barber/hairdresser in the building?

• Can you get a phone in your room?

Tour the rehab department and try to meet with the director to make sure that the residents’ needs will be met. Find out what types of therapy area available, such as occu-

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April 30, 2015

Hersam Acorn Newspapers | Your Health: A Medical Services Guide 21

pational therapy, physical therapy and speech therapy. Dining services may also be an important con-

sideration, especially if a health condition, such as diabetes or congestive heart failure, requires

a special diet. If your loved one is a picky eater, preferred foods may be available. Ask if you can bring in food to your loved one

— if no restrictions are placed on the diet, this should not be a problem. Check out the therapeutic recreation calendar.

A long visit for rehabilitation can get pretty bor-

ing if you have nothing to do. Although residents love to play Bingo, many facilities offer musical entertainment, movies, religious services, educa- tional programs, manicure services, group games, art/craft programs and even a happy hour. If you use a computer, ask if wifi is available.

If well enough, out-trips may also be available to

local restaurants, entertainment or shopping. Pet therapy visits may also be available. As we learn more about dementia and dementia care, dementia units are becoming more available in these facili- ties. Specially-trained, dedicated employees are staffed to care for these residents, and should have activities planned to meet the very different needs of these individuals. Group as well as individual recreation services should be available. Keep in mind, this may be a short-term visit or a new

Keep in mind, this may be a short-term visit or a new Northbridge Health Care Center

Northbridge Health Care Center residents, Felicia, Arlene, Jeanette and Roberta, at Two Roads Brewery Tour, stand with members of Two Roads.

home. Make sure you feel comfortable and if you have any questions, do not be afraid to ask. The goal is to become healthy and return to your home, or to make this as com- fortable as possible as a new home for your loved one. After your tour, if you think of anything you missed, feel free to call and speak with the admissions director, or visit again.

For more information contact Northbridge Health Care Center, 2875 Main Street, Bridgeport, at athenanh.com/CT_Northbridge.aspx or 203-336-0232.

contact Northbridge Health Care Center, 2875 Main Street, Bridgeport, at athenanh.com/CT_Northbridge.aspx or 203-336-0232.

22 Your Health: A Medical Services Guide | Hersam Acorn Newspapers

April 30, 2015

Why we are obese and what we can do about it

by Dr. Neil Floch

Currently, 66% of people in the U.S. are either over- weight or obese. We currently have an obesity epidemic in this country and the world. Everyone either wants to lose weight, or is concerned about someone with the condition. Weight is discussed among our family, friends and peers every day. Food is a topic of our daily discussions. Education about what to eat that tastes good and is healthy has been limited. The media is not always helpful as messages often conflict, creating messages that make the most concerned consumer confused. Traditional teaching dictates that eating the correct diet and exercise will help to improve our overall condition. Instructions for the best diet and exercise to follow are muddled in a sea of misinforma- tion. Simply, diet and exercise have a limited capability to

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help us reduce our weight and keep it off if we are more than 20 to 80 pounds overweight. Nutritionists support the premise that going on a diet is different than chang-

ing your diet to a healthier alternative. Certain aspects of

a healthy diet include: avoiding simple carbohydrate rich

foods such as white bread, pasta, potatoes, rice and corn in large amounts. It is recommended that we consume car- bohydrates with fiber as the fiber helps to feed our large

intestine. We should eat a significant amount of protein as

it is filling and supports our bodily structure. There also are

many good fats such as avocado and olive oil. If we have 20 pounds to lose, it is possible with a change

in our habits, including the addition of exercise and eating

a better, healthier diet. Unfortunately, for those of us who

need to lose 25 pounds or more, there is very little chance

See OBESE on page 25

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April 30, 2015

Hersam Acorn Newspapers | Your Health: A Medical Services Guide 23

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24 Your Health: A Medical Services Guide | Hersam Acorn Newspapers

April 30, 2015

Here’s to new beginnings

by Maud Purcell

Although our lives are radically different from those of our ancestors, virtually every culture, past and present, has acknowledged and cel- ebrated the arrival of spring. It’s no surprise that in most cultures the egg — an obvious symbol of birth — has been used to herald in this sea- son of rebirth and renewal. While the Vernal Equinox formally announces spring’s arrival, the changes in nature seem to arrive at whim. Ancient trees randomly begin to sprout new leaves, while daffodils from old bulbs miraculously pop their heads through the earth. In the animal kingdom, we humans also perk up when spring arrives. Longer days, warmer weather, and a change in the sun’s rays trigger neurological changes that cause us to feel greater motivation, energy and optimism. Music, lit- erature, theater and art are replete with spring themes. So let’s take a page from nature’s playbook: If our gar- den perennials can sprout anew, why can’t we do the same thing, age and circumstances not withstanding? Although change is never easy, the feelings of confidence and satisfac-

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148 East Avenue, Suite 3A, Norwalk, CT 06851 tion we derive from taking positive steps for-

tion we derive from taking positive steps for- ward in our lives are worth their weight in gold. Here are a few ideas to consider as you revel in this season of renewal and growth:

Weed

• Spring cleaning is an age-old tradition in many cultures. Why not go through your base- ment, drawers and closets; decide to part with the stuff you haven’t used in the last 10 years and won’t in the next 10. And since your “trash” may be someone else’s treasure, donate to a charity of your choice. You’ll breathe a sigh of relief and maybe help someone else in the process.

• Take a personal inventory. Are their unhealthy habits you’d like to break but somehow never do? This season of renewal provides a perfect opportunity to cut back on caffeine, junk food, TV, Internet use and misuse, or any other troubling behaviors. Give yourself permission to enlist the support of friends, family or a professional.

• Are there relationships or activities that no longer provide you with satisfaction or happiness? Although everything in life has its ups and downs, if certain circumstances and people are consistently bringing you more pain than plea- sure, spring is a good time to rethink them.

Plant

• Is your life out of balance; maybe all work and no play? This might be the time to plant the seeds of a new hobby or interest. Have you always loved exploring in the city or hiking in the woods? Maybe this is a great time to incorporate these activities into your regular routine.

• If you’ve been miserable at work, why not use this time of rebirth to reinvent yourself professionally? It may seem overwhelming but if you break it down into bite-sized chunks it may be a doable and rewarding adventure.

• Finally, are you tired of that old look? Why not buy a new jacket, boots or some colorful scarves and notice the lift it gives you?

Fertilize

• Take some time to notice, appreciate and care for what’s already working in your life. Chances are they’re the things you take for granted; maybe your health, job or primary relationship.

• Get back in touch with old friends before those relation- ships wither on the vine. Even a quick email is a step in the right direction; meeting for a drink or cup of coffee is even better. In short, find the spring in your step, take control of your life, and harvest the fruits of your labors! Information: The Life Solution Center of Darien, 203- 628-4492 or lifesolutioncenter.net.

April 30, 2015

Hersam Acorn Newspapers | Your Health: A Medical Services Guide 25

Obese continued from page 22

that diet and exercise can reduce their weight and help them maintain it. In fact, 80% of patients can lose 10% of their body weight, but 95% of them will regain this weight and sometimes gain more weight on top of that. Where does this leave patients who are looking for other options to lose weight? There is an answer. However, most people tend to ignore it and are not very eager to hear the real solution. Until we as a society completely change the food we eat, there will continue to be a growing obesity epidemic. Fortunately, there is hope. Bariatric surgery opens up the possibility for success. It provides a tool. Bariatric surgery, along with maintenance of a healthy diet and the addition of some component of exercise results in weight loss and the ability to keep the weight off. Bariatric surgery is the only evidence based, successful treatment for long-term weight loss. First published in the New England Journal of Medicine

in 2007 and recently updated, the Swedish obesity study discusses this. The study is now 20 years old and shows that gastric bypass surgery patients maintain about 30% decreased body weight over 20 years. In comparison, patients who used diet and exercise only over the same period lost 5% of their excess body weight. Bariatric sur- gery is now safe with a 0.13% mortality rate at one year. It has one third the risk of gallbladder surgery. There is a risk of regaining weight of 25%, so as in anything there is main- tenance and work involved. Bariatric surgery is the only evidenced based answer for significant long-term weight loss. To learn more about the options available, attend one of Fairfield County Bariatrics’ free weight-loss surgery semi- nars. You may register online at endtheweight.com, visit our website to schedule an online weight-loss seminar, or call our office toll free at 877-659-0011. Source of this article is from Sjostrom New England Journal of Medicine 2007.

Neil Floch MD, FACS, is the director of minimally invasive and bariatric surgery at Norwalk Hospital.

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26 Your Health: A Medical Services Guide | Hersam Acorn Newspapers

April 30, 2015

St. Vincent’s chosen to further help cardiology patients

St. Vincent’s Medical Center is one of 35 hos- pitals in the country selected to participate in the American College of Cardiology (ACC) Patient Navigator Program, the first program of its kind in cardiology designed to sup- port hospitals in providing personalized services to heart disease patients and help them avoid a quick return to the hospital. St. Vincent’s was selected from among nearly 400 hospitals that were eligible for the program, based on readmission rates, having recognized leaders in car- diology on staff, an estab- lished culture of quality already part of the hospital infrastructure, and varied geographic location. “This distinguished honor is a testament to the outstanding work and dedication of our profes- sionals who deliver person- centered care every day

in order to improve the cardiovascular health and well-being of all of our patients,” said Lawrence S. Schek, senior vice president, chief medical officer, and chairman, cardiovascular services at St. Vincent’s. “We are grateful for the important work of the American College of Cardiology and wish to thank them for this opportunity to be a part of their patient navigator initiative.” Nearly one in five patients hospitalized with heart attack and one in four patients hospitalized with heart failure are readmitted within 30 days of discharge, often for conditions seemingly unrelated to the original diagnosis. Readmissions can be related to issues like stresses within the hospital, fragility on discharge, lack of understanding of discharge instructions, and inability to carry out discharge instruc-

tions. The ACC created the Patient Navigator Program to sup- port a team of caregivers at selected hospitals to help patients overcome challenges during their hospital stay and in the weeks following discharge when they are most

stay and in the weeks following discharge when they are most Susan Rogers,National Patient Navigator program

Susan Rogers,National Patient Navigator program manager,American College of Cardiology; Jeanne Sinclair,director of cardiovascular services,St.Vincent’s Medical Center; Dr.Lawrence Schek, senior vice president, chief medical officer and chairman cardiovascular services, St. Vincent’s Medical Center.

vulnerable. Hospitals chosen are given funding to establish a program that supports a culture of patient-centered care that can serve as a model for other hospitals in the future. “The ACC Patient Navigator Program provides evi- dence-based approaches to reducing hospital readmissions by meeting the unique needs of each patient,” said ACC President Dr. Patrick O’Gara, FACC. “St. Vincent’s Medical Center’s dedication to quality is a key component of this program, which emphasizes a team approach to help patients make a seamless and secure transition from the hospital to the home.” Hospitals in the program were selected based on their commitment to quality as demonstrated through participa- tion in the National Cardiovascular Data Registry ACTION Registry-Get With The Guidelines and Hospital to Home Initiative. AstraZeneca is the founding sponsor of the ACC Patient Navigator Program.

April 30, 2015

Hersam Acorn Newspapers | Your Health: A Medical Services Guide 27

| Your Health: A Medical Services Guide • 27

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28 Your Health: A Medical Services Guide | Hersam Acorn Newspapers

April 30, 2015

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