For parents with college-age children, there are some basics that help ensure their children are ready to tackle the world. Beyond school supplies, housing, food and transportation, one important consideration remains: health care. It’s important to do some research and have a conversation with your college students to answer these questions about their local health service options before the need arises.
Teach Kids to Manage Their Health Care
Tips for parents of college-age students
(Family Features) For parents with college-age children, there’s a fairly standard set of basics that helps ensure their children are ready to tackle the world with some degree of independence. But beyond school supplies, housing, food and transportation, one important consideration remains: health care.
As a parent, ensuring your young adult is equipped to take charge of his own health can be a daunting task. That’s why it’s important to have a conversation with your college students about their local health service options before the need arises. Together you can do some research and discuss the answers to these questions:
What is your health coverage? Take time to brush up on (or introduce your child) to your family’s health insurance policy and understand how your policy covers various facilities. This is an opportunity to teach about co-pays and deductibles, and what it means when a physician or facility is considered in-network and out-of-network.
Do you already pay to use the student health center? In some cases, student fees include access to the campus student health center and your separate health insurance may not be necessary. However, it’s important to understand what the student fee covers and where there may be gaps, such as dental care.
What are the local options for health care? You’ll rest easier with the assurance that the medical care available to your students is of the highest quality. Many colleges and universities take the extra step of achieving accreditation by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC), the nation’s leading accreditor of student health services, to affirm that the care they provide is at nationally recognized standards. You can find accredited organizations at aaahc.org or inquire about accreditation at your university medical center.
Where is the student center located? Encourage your student to set up a well appointment at the student health clinic to get a file started. Not only will this ensure your child can find the center when need arises, having an established patient profile cuts down on paperwork when there’s an emergent health concern. This is particularly helpful for students with medical issues or restrictions because they can be logged in advance for easy recall.
Which other medical practitioners are in the area? There may be any number of reasons your student needs to be seen off campus, so it’s a smart idea to look for AAAHC accreditation when trying to assess the quality of nearby health care alternatives. Make a short list with office hours and phone numbers for future reference.
Where is the best local hospital? Devise an emergency plan for urgent needs and be sure your student knows how to get to the closest urgent care center and hospital, as well as when to use each one. If possible, visit the facilities in person so your child can get familiar with the facility and learn where to go and how to check in without the pressure of a crisis situation.
By approaching the topic of your college student’s health care together, you can help ensure your child has the information necessary to begin managing personal care. In the process, you can also be assured that you’re identifying health centers that share your commitment to the very best care for both the mind and body of your student.
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(BPT) - Technology has influenced virtually every aspect of our lives. Arguably one of the biggest areas of change is in health care. From advanced surgical tools to early disease testing, every day new technology emerges in an effort to help people stay healthy and live longer. Wearable technology now puts information directly in the hands of the patient, helping people do everything from tracking steps to counting calories. Now, smartphone apps are getting even smarter, allowing physicians, patients and their loved ones if they choose, in-depth access to important health information in just a few finger taps.
Those in the diabetes community are embracing this new mobile technology enthusiastically to better manage their condition. Keeping a written logbook can be time-consuming, confusing and frustrating for patients. Now, critical diabetes information is easier to manage and understand with the Accu-Chek Connect(R) Diabetes Management System.
With test results automatically sent from the Accu-Chek Aviva Connect meter to an app on your smartphone and an online portal, people with diabetes are able to log, view and share data anytime, anywhere, without ever writing in a logbook. Thus, never worrying about forgetting to bring this information to their physicians for important visits. Rarely do we forget our phones. They can be lifelines in more ways than one.
“The Accu-Chek Aviva Connect helps to create a sense of confidence for the person who is trying to self-manage their condition,” says Dr. David Robertson, MD of Atlanta Diabetes Associates. “It can help demystify diabetes and bring a sense of order to a very complex condition that is a constant burden to patients.”
The system allows users to have text results sent automatically, plus you can attach meal photos, view trends and even use the app’s insulin calculator. Considering 91 percent of adults keep their smartphones within arm’s reach, it’s simple to track important information quickly and efficiently.
Beyond patient empowerment, technology like this better facilitates the patient-doctor relationship. Because the system loads all information into an online portal stored in the cloud, it can be accessed at any time by the physician if the patient chooses. This means a snapshot of the bigger picture is always available, whether in-person at an appointment or while the patient is on the other side of the world.
What’s more, the doctor can activate an insulin calculator in the app, the Accu-Chek Bolus Advisor, which makes it simple for patients to calculate how much insulin is needed at each meal. That means patients can enjoy their meals without worrying about the math.
“Perhaps no community is better suited for this type of advanced technology than the diabetes community,” says Dr. Robertson.
“Knowledge is power. This detailed information is incredibly helpful to physicians so we can spot trends and make informed decisions along with the patient. Technology here is the tool to success.”
Learn more about how technology is transforming the diabetes community by visiting accu-chek.com/connect. Accu-Chek Connect is available at Walgreens, Rite Aid and select Kroger locations.
Keep on cruising with a regular maintenance schedule for your joints
(BPT) - Whether it's a brand-new Bentley or a classic 1970 Mustang, most people have a car they dream about. If they're lucky enough to own it someday, you better believe they're going to take care of it. Regular maintenance is an essential part of keeping a vehicle in tip-top shape. The same is true of the human body, particularly the joints.
"Prevention is the only thing that actually prolongs the health of your joints, similar to the care of a machine," says Matt Johnson, health and performance expert and president of On Target Living. "If you want something to last as long as possible, and to cost as little as possible over the long run, you have to do maintenance, checkups, and change the oil. Taking care of your body is no different. If you do, your joints can last until you're 80, 90, or even 100 without tendon or ligament issues."
Johnson notes that joint issues are some of the most common concerns he sees in his practice. These issues can happen at any age, although many start to manifest between the ages of 40 and 50, after years of wear and tear cause pain and inflammation.
Johnson's mantra: If you take care of the body it will take care of you. To help people of any age maintain joint health, he provides this four-point joint maintenance plan.
The first part of healing the joints is to rest the joints. Massage, meditation, light yoga, stretching, and cool baths are great ways to rest the joints. Additionally, quality sleep each night is essential. (Quick tip: Take an epsom salt bath once a week.)
2. Healing Nutrients
Studies show that omega-3 fats can help support joint health by limiting inflammation after exercise and boosting hormones that help the body heal. Take a daily, high-quality omega-3 supplement like Nordic Naturals that has been third-party tested for purity, and is known for its great, non-fishy taste.
Superfood herbs and spices help the body get maximum nutrients in minimal amounts. For example, curcumin and bromelain are both great for helping joint pain and repair. Remember, limited processing of the product is ideal for optimal absorption.
4. Exercise and body alignment
You can't have optimal joint function if the body is out of alignment. There are five key joint checkpoints: ankle, knee, hip, shoulder and neck. This is where you start to achieve perfect posture, after which you can focus on strengthening the large muscles.
"The best age is always now," says Johnson. "Start as soon as possible and think about it like you take care of a car or nice jewelry. Joints are meant to last as long as you live. The key is to take care of them with quality nutrition, normal exercise, and adequate rest."
Lack of proper sleep can lead to impaired focus at work, trouble remembering, fatigue, stress and even weight gain. To get a good night’s rest, take advantage of these tips and consider shutting off all electronics before climbing into bed.
Powering down before bed for a good night's rest
(Family Features) Checking email or flipping through channels instead of sleeping? Playing video games or browsing social media in bed? If you want to catch some quality ZZZs, you should put down that smartphone.
The National Sleep Foundation reports nearly 90 percent of adults sleep with at least one electronic device in their bedroom. However, staring at a screen after 9 p.m. can zap your body of energy, turning you into a zombie the next day. To get a good night's rest, consider shutting off all electronics before climbing into bed.
How Electronics Affect Your Sleep
Your body functions on a 24-hour internal clock. This clock is influenced by your physical environment and daily schedule. Using electronic devices around bedtime can throw off your body clock and negatively affect your quality of sleep.
Light and darkness affect your body clock. Staring at the blue glow of electronic devices - computers, tablets, televisions, gaming systems and/or smartphones - before bedtime can trick your body into thinking it's still daytime. The artificial light sends messages to the brain to wake up and activates the body. This, in turn, can reset your body clock, delaying your normal sleep cycle.
Studies show that staring at bright screens within four hours of bedtime reduces melatonin, a hormone that makes you naturally tired when it's time to sleep. This can cause difficulty when trying to fall asleep, poor quality of sleep or sleep disorders, such as insomnia.
In the long run, problems sleeping at night can impact you during the day. Lack of proper sleep can lead to impaired focus at work, trouble remembering, fatigue, stress and even weight gain.
It is important to get 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night. To get a better night's sleep, experts recommend:
If your smartphone is your alarm clock, set your phone to sleep mode (do not disturb function) so all calls and texts will be silenced unless it's an emergency. Be sure to put your phone face down on the nightstand so incoming messages don't wake you up.
Power down tonight and don't let your technology keep you from a good night's rest.
Find more resources to help you get a better night's rest from Guard Your Health, a health education campaign by the Army National Guard, at guardyourhealth.com.
Night Time Stimulants to Avoid
While using electronic devices is one night time distraction, here are some other common things to avoid to get a good night's rest:
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (man stretching)
Whether it’s October or not, breast cancer is one of the most recognized cancers in the world. Thanks to massive public awareness campaigns, nearly everyone understands the significance behind a pink ribbon, but how many can say they have breast cancer knowledge beyond pink? Understanding the various biological features is critical, as they help determine treatment decisions and directly affect patient outcomes.
Understanding a Breast Cancer Diagnosis
(Family Features) Whether it’s October or not, breast cancer is one of the most recognized cancers in the world. Thanks to massive public awareness campaigns, nearly everyone understands the significance behind a pink ribbon, but how many can say they have breast cancer knowledge beyond pink?
The truth is, breast cancer is extremely complex and not a one-size-fits-all disease. It’s classified into different types based on the unique biology of each tumor, including the size, whether and where it’s spread, how it looks under the microscope and what’s causing it to grow at the cellular level, according to the American Cancer Society. Understanding the various biological features is critical, as they help determine treatment decisions and directly affect patient outcomes.
As breast cancer survivor Pamela Cunningham knows all too well, knowledge is power when navigating a breast cancer journey. When diagnosed with Stage II HER2-positive early breast cancer, an aggressive type of the disease, Cunningham said that while she understood there were different stages, she was shocked to discover there were so many different types.
In fact, her mother had faced breast cancer several years earlier and neither Cunningham nor her father knew what kind her mother had.
To better understand her diagnosis, she talked with friends who had faced similar situations and even sought a second opinion. After learning more, Cunningham felt confident in her decision to receive a treatment regimen that helped shrink her tumor prior to undergoing surgery to remove it.
“I’m really thankful I went the way I did,” Cunningham said. “I would advise other women to do their own research, find out the available treatments and don’t be afraid to ask your doctor about all of your options and possible side effects.”
Cunningham and her oncologist, Dr. Karen Tedesco of New York Oncology Hematology, offer the following tips to help patients more fully understand how to approach a breast cancer diagnosis.
For more tips to take on a breast cancer diagnosis and to better understand the four S’s, visit gene.com.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
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