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Keeping track of medications is crucial for the elderly.

A wide range of medications helps the elderly live longer, more productive lives. But not following a prescription properly, or not taking a medication at all, can lead to serious health problems. If you’re a senior on medication or you care for someone who is, here are some ways to organize medications and make sure they are taken when prescribed.

Organizing Bottles

  • Use different sized bottles for each medication.
  • Mark the tops of bottles with different colors to make it easier to distinguish one kind from another.
  • Place medications on a shelf in alphabetical order or based on how often they’re taken; a drug that requires three daily doses could go on the left, while one that requires a single dose could go on the right.

Organizing Doses

Pill boxes, or organizers, provide a way to keep all of a day’s medication handy. Many organizers hold up to a week’s worth of pills. For seniors taking multiple medications in one day, they can get an organizer with multiple compartments for each day.

Pill organizers can be simple plastic boxes or more sophisticated electronic versions, with such features as:

  • Beepers to notify when a pill should be taken
  • Automatic dispensing of a dose
  • Remote monitoring to alert a caregiver if medication has not been taken

Medication Calendars

Seniors who don’t want to use a pill organizer can keep track of which medications they’re supposed to take at what time by writing down the schedule for their doses on a calendar. Once they take the dose, they mark it off. Smartphone apps are also available to remind people when to take their medication.

General Tips for Medication

  • Store them in a cool, dry place.
  • Throw out medications when your doctor tells you to stop taking them.
  • Throw out medications after the expiration date on the label.

At North Hills Hospital, we want to make sure the elderly take all their medications properly and pursue every opportunity to ensure good health. The Dr. David Pillow Senior Health Clinic provides a variety of services and classes. Call 817-255-1940 for more information. If you need a physician referral, please call 1-855-5NHILLS.

Related Posts:

Easy Safety Tips for Aging Seniors

Caretaker Resources: Assisting Seniors with Senior Living

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A peek into the North Hills Hospital cardiac rehab department of the 80s.

A peek into the North Hills Hospital cardiac rehab department of the 80s.

Happy Thursday, everyone!

This week, we are loving the 1980s Cardiac Rehab department’s stylishly retro track suits (especially the nurse’s matching Adidas)!

Have you ever been a patron of one of our therapy departments here at North Hills? What changes have you seen over the years? How have our therapy services affected the rehabilitation experience for you or someone you know?

For more information about the therapy services available at North Hills Hospital and our state-of-the-art Outpatient Clinic, please visit us online or contact us at (817) 255-1672 and we will be happy to give you more information about our inpatient and outpatient services.

Keep an eye on the parts of your body you may not have thought to check.

July is UV safety month. According to to HealthFinder.gov, ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun are the main cause of skin cancer. Part of skin cancer prevention involves checking out your skin for new moles and discolorations and changes in existing moles. Discover some unexpected spots to watch.

Fingernails
Dark brown spots or lines on your fingernails that aren’t a result of bruising or injury could be a sign of skin cancer.

Palms and the soles of feet
Don’t forget to check the bottom of your feet and your palms when you’re doing a basic self check for unusual moles and discolorations. Melanoma can develop on areas of the body that don’t receive much sun exposure. If you have any on your feet or palms, your dermatologist may recommend having them biopsied.

The scalp
Melanoma and skin cancer can develop regardless of whether or not your scalp is bare. Ask your healthcare provider to help you check for signs of skin cancer at your regular checkups or talk to a dermatologist. Wear a hat to protect your scalp from UV damage.

The ears
The ears are a common area for skin cancer, but not an area that many people remember to check or remember to apply sunscreen to. Check them for signs of skin cancer and bring up any findings during skin exams. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to the whole ear, including crevices.

Learn more about cancer and oncology from North Hills Hospital's online health library. For a dermatologist referral, please visit us here. To learn more about North Hills Hospital, visit us online or call 1-855-5NHILLS for a physician referral. Take control of your health today!

Related Posts:
Why Self-Care Is Important for Women
Breast Cancer Infographic

North Hills Hospital has created a brand-new volunteer team of Fall Prevention Monitors. These “super volunteers” will visit patients who are at an elevated risk for falls and help us make sure that our fall prevention program is in place with each one. If you or someone you know is interested in the position, here is the job description:

Volunteer Fall Prevention Monitor

Job Description: Visit fall-risk patients on assigned patient care units and ensure that all components of the fall prevention program are in place.

Hours: 8:00 a.m. – noon, or 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Monday-Friday (Volunteers can sign up for one shift a week, or more if their schedule allows)

We’re looking for someone who is:

-Extroverted, mature, positive, service-oriented.

-Able to withstand long periods of walking and standing.

-Able to communicate clearly in English. Bilingual skills are a plus.

-Able to take initiative and be flexible in assuming different roles.

 

For more information, contact our Volunteer Office at 817-255-1174 or 817-255-1176.

 

Find out how to soothe joint pain associated with arthritis.

Wondering how common arthritis really is? Arthritis affects an estimated 50 million adults in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In observance of Arthritis Awareness Month, discover five ways to reduce joint pain and increase quality of life with arthritis.

Adjust your workspace
Many adults spend a lot of time at work. Take care to adjust the way you work to make sure it’s an optimal situation for reducing joint pain. This could mean investing in special seating, making sure you take plenty of breaks to move or finding out how your physical responsibilities at work can be adjusted.

Maintain a healthy diet
Being overweight can aggravate your arthritis and joint pain. Follow a healthy, sustainable diet in order to reach your goal weight.

Take your medication
Your doctor may prescribe a range of medication and supplements to help reduce your joint pain. It’s important to stay on top of this regime exactly as your doctor has prescribed. Talk to your doctor about other medications or supplements you take regularly to prevent drug interaction.

Make your home arthritis-friendly
Around the house, do what you can to make your daily tasks easier on your arthritis. Wear appropriate footwear, talk to your doctor about the best sleep and rest positions and avoid bending frequently at the knee.

Keep moving
Physical therapy can help improve muscle strength and the motion of stiff joints. Talk to your doctor about how physical therapy can help and ask about what kinds of exercises and gentle activities can help reduce your joint pain.

North Hills Hospital is certified by the Joint Commission and offers patients a comprehensive joint replacement program. For more information, contact the North Hills Orthopedic Resource line at (817) 255-1691. To request a physician referral, please call 1-855-5NHILLS.

Related Posts:
What You Can Do to Prevent Joint Pain

Surgical Options for Back Pain

Find out if gluten is unhealthy for everyone.

While gluten-free diets are popular, they aren’t the same as elimination diets that must be used by individuals with celiac disease. Gluten is not inherently bad, but for people with celiac disease, it can cause a variety of serious symptoms and complications. Learn more about celiac disease and the foods that contain gluten.

What is celiac disease?
Celiac disease isn’t an allergy or sensitivity to wheat. It’s an autoimmune disorder. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, celiac disease damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food.

What are the symptoms of celiac disease?
The symptoms of celiac disease can vary drastically. Celiac disease is considered highly under-diagnosed because symptoms are so difficult to pinpoint and can be attributed to other issues. The Celiac Disease Foundation reports that common symptoms include:

  • Abdominal cramping
  • Intestinal gas
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Fatty stools
  • Anemia
  • Unexplained weight loss 
  • Problems with dental enamel
  • Fatigue
  • Miscarriage

How is celiac disease diagnosed?
To properly diagnose celiac disease, doctors begin with basic screenings. This can include blood tests and looking for symptoms like vitamin deficiency. If there are markers for celiac disease, the final diagnosis involves an intestinal biopsy using an endoscope. The Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University Medical Center does not recommend going on a gluten-free diet without a diagnosis.

What is a gluten-free diet?
The only way to treat celiac disease is with a true gluten-free diet. There is no cure and no other way to treat the symptoms of celiac disease. A true gluten-free diet can be very trying for individuals and families due to the scope of ingredients that contain gluten and the wide range of products and foods that contain gluten. It is recommended that those with celiac disease work with a nutritionist or registered dietician.

Find a health care professional who can help you diagnose celiac disease or fine tune a gluten-free diet. Call North Hills Hospital at 1-855-5NHILLS for a physician referral.

Related Posts:
Five Easy Ways to Cut Calories Out of Your Diet
Top Superfoods to Try

Learn how to identify your risk of stroke.

May is National Stroke Awareness Month. During this time, the National Stroke Association strives to raise awareness to help victims of stroke and their families promote research and reduce the risk and rate of stroke. In honor of this effort, take time to learn how to identify your own risk.

Defining health
Do you consider yourself healthy? What is your criteria? When doctors evaluate stroke risk, they look at a spectrum of factors, some of which you may not have considered. In general, you should be getting plenty of rest and regular physical activity. You should be eating a well balanced diet and you should strive to maintain a healthy weight.

Considering behaviors
There are preventable risk factors of stroke. Smoking is a major one. If you’re otherwise in good health but you’re a smoker, you’re at greater risk of stroke. High blood pressure and high cholesterol are also factors, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If you drink alcohol excessively or smoke, you should quit today.

Understanding risk factors you can’t prevent
Even if you’re in great health, there are some risk factors. Age, race and ethnicity can affect your stroke risk. The CDC reports that African Americans have nearly twice the risk of stroke. While stroke can occur at any age, risk increases as you age.

Know to act quickly
Even if you don’t consider yourself at risk of stroke, you should be familiar with the signs and symptoms. Fast action is crucial when it comes to recovery. Learn when you should seek emergency attention for yourself or a loved one.

Please watch our video and learn what happens when a patient arrives at North Hills Hospital with stroke symptoms.

Concerned about your stroke risk? Learn more about Stroke Care at North Hills Hospital online or call 1-855-5NHILLS for a physician referral.

Related Posts:
Tips for Surviving a Stroke
The Warning Signs of Stroke

WBAP - May 10

I’ve officially entered my third trimester, and after six months of almost round-the-clock nausea, no energy and feeling like my body has been invaded by aliens, I must say that now I feel pretty good. I’m actually starting to enjoy this whole pregnancy experience, especially when I feel my baby girl kick and am reminded that I have a special life inside of me.

But in the midst of my newfound pregnancy enjoyment, I’ve also encountered something new. It’s the everyone wants to comment on your baby bump stage. And I mean EVERYONE.

Most people are very kind. In fact, it’s kind of like being a celebrity – I’m now big enough that it’s very obvious I’m pregnant, so people open doors for me, dote on me, tell me I’m glowing and that motherhood suits me. I love these people.

But then there are the others… the ones who make comments that in any other circumstance would be highly inappropriate. Like the two people last week who told me, “You’re so big, you MUST be having twins!”

Nope, there’s just one precious baby girl in there.

And then there are the others who insist on telling me I’m too big, not big enough, that I waddle, that I’m carrying high or low. Or, simply, that I’m so much bigger than (insert name of other person due around the same time as me).

I know I’m not the only one who gets this, so I asked some friends on Facebook to help me come up with a list of the:

Crazy things people say

10. When I told someone I wasn’t having twins she replied, “Maybe there are THREE in there.” – Kelly

9. During my last pregnancy, my own mother told her friend I was starting to resemble Shamu… right in front of my face! – Adriane

8. (Stranger): “You look like you are about to pop.”
    (Me): “I still have 10 weeks left.” – Camille

7. “We’re going to have to wheel you out of here in a wheelbarrow.” – Jean

6. “Oh, you are having twins! Wow, better you than me!” – Kimberly, mom of twins

5. “Are your twins natural or did you take hormones?” Not sure how this would be anyone’s business. –Kimberly, mom of twins

4. As a mother of two boys, when people found out my third was also a boy, the sad voiced/disappointed, “Awww…” or the “Are you going to try again for a girl?” question really made me mad. As if I was not as happy and blessed with my last boy as I was with the first. – Callie

3. A lady told me, “You know, I have a pregnant mare at home that looks just like you… she is about to have her colt any day.” I still had at least four months to go. – Stacy

2. “My daughter-in-law is due almost exactly the same day as you and she’s not NEARLY that big!” – Ashley

1. After looking at how VERY large I had become, someone bragged to me, “I only gained 18 pounds during MY pregnancy.” – Vicky

My favorite post came from Stacy, mom of two. She told me:

“The last two months of my pregnancy I would wait to go to the grocery store until late in the evening, in hopes of avoiding as many people – and their comments – as possible. One particular evening, I was walking into the store and a lady went out of her way to tell me I was the most beautiful pregnant woman she had ever seen. Whether she meant it, or not, it sure did boost my spirits. Since then, I have tried to make an effort to compliment pregnant women I see.”

Wouldn’t we all benefit if we took the same approach? Pregnancy is such a miracle – and a blessing – but it’s also a lot of hard work, and the more we can band together to encourage one another through it, the better we’ll all be.

What about you? What’s the craziest – or nicest – thing someone has said to you during your pregnancy?

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Bethe Wright is the Director of Marketing and Public Relations at North Hills Hospital, a wife, and a first-time mom-to-be in July who will be delivering right here at North Hills.

Need an OBGYN? Check out our “Meet our OBs” section on the blog.

Due to the events in West, Texas last night, North Hills Hospital and the NCTTRAC have chosen to cancel today’s emergency preparedness drill. Many of the same resources planned for the drill have already deployed to West to help care for the victims down there. We appreciate your patience during this evolving situation.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims, loved ones, and first responders affected by this terrible tragedy.