Senior Workshop: Get Fresh! With Farm-Fresh Eating

radishes

Piedmont Fayette Hospital’s Sixty Plus Services and Fayette Senior Services present

Get Fresh! Farm-fresh eating…it’s easy, fun and better for you!

Thursday, July 18

11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (includes lunch)

Fayette Senior Services Life Enrichment Center

4 Center Drive, Fayetteville

The event is FREE. PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED. Seating is limited. Please call 770.461.0813 to register.

Whether it’s picking a tomato from your own garden or purchasing a basket of Georgia peaches from a local produce stand, there is a direct health benefit of eating fresh food. The “farm to table” local food movement is one current trend that is actually good for you! Our home-grown experts will introduce practical tips to make farm-fresh eating a part of a healthier lifestyle and ways to make the most out of seasonal produce. Learn all about the benefits of buying locally-grown food and why community gardens are such a great resource. From getting great nutritional advice to understanding what “super foods” are and why they are so good; the program includes a cooking demonstration and a fresh and delicious lunch!  Featured speakers: Tricia Stearns, executive director of Fresh South, Inc., Keith DeMars, director of nutrition and dining services, Piedmont Fayette Hospital and Lisa Stillman, RDLD.

Seniors: Bone Nutrition Class

bones

“Bone-ified”

Tuesday, July 9– 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Fayette Senior Services (FSS) – Fayetteville location at the FSS Life Enrichment Center, 4 Center Drive.

We don’t think about it very often, but our bone health is just as important as the rest of our health, especially as we age. Sue Raia will be on hand to share with us all about the importance of bone nutrition and bone density testing. Learn who is at risk, how to detect it, nutrition and exercise tips and more to get your bones healthy and strong. This program is FREE but pre-registration is required. 770-461-0813 or email register@fayss.org (include name, phone number and event title). FSS members and non-members welcome. www.Fayss.org

Taking care of your stressed self

Are You Okay?: Caring for Yourself in the Midst of Stress
Marla Tomazin shares seven strategies that will help you to focus on your own
well-being—and to feel a little bit better—in the midst of one of life’s rough patches.

New York, NY (June 2013)—Everyone goes through rough spots in life—it’s an unfortunate but unavoidable fact. You might feel worried about an upcoming move, overwhelmed as you try to deal with an illness in your family, or anxious about a looming project at work. Maybe you’re simply worn down by the never-ending stress and relentlessly hectic pace of modern life. If so, you’re not alone.

“I can sympathize—I went through a rough spot myself recently,” says Marla Tomazin, who has been an image consultant for twenty years after earlier experience in the fashion industry.

“Due to several different factors, I was extremely busy for several months,” she explains. “When I’m under pressure, I become stressed (no surprise there, I imagine!) and feel ‘wired,’ meaning that I go to sleep later at night and wake up early each morning. And, of course, because I’m perpetually tired, I tend to worry more about significant and insignificant things. Not a very healthy cycle to be caught in.”

After one particularly crazy day, Tomazin says, it occurred to her that she should take her own advice.

“When I’m working with clients, I focus not just on outward appearance but on the whole mind-body-spirit connection,” she shares. “I always urge my clients to take care of and honor themselves in all situations, but especially when life is chaotic. If you don’t focus on your own well-being when times are tough, you won’t have the mental, emotional, or physical energy you need to change external circumstances for the better, either.”

Here, Tomazin shares a few taking-care-of-yourself strategies that have been helpful to her, and that you can put into practice to help you make it through the next rough spot in your life, too.

Realize that things will get better. When you’re in the midst of a tough time, it’s easy to believe that things will never change. But sooner or later, there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. No matter how you feel right now, the truth is that you won’t be stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed for the rest of your life.

“Think back on past obstacles you’ve overcome to give yourself motivation to press on and ask a trusted friend or family member to help you put your current struggle into perspective,” Tomazin suggests. “This last strategy is particularly effective because not only will sharing your burden help to lighten it; the other person might be able to help you think of solutions you were unable to see on your own.”

Hydrate. Drinking water might seem a little odd at first glance, but it’s actually one of the best things you can do to keep yourself looking and feeling good when you’re under stress. Staying hydrated helps you stay energized, ensures that your body operates optimally, and can even improve the appearance of your skin (a welcome gift when you’re worried and tired!).

“Personally, I drink a quart of water every morning, and I carry a bottle with me throughout the day,” Tomazin says. “I can tell that it makes a difference!”

Exercise. Working out is often the last thing you want to do when life is tough. (Flopping onto the couch probably sounds a lot more attractive!) But the truth is, even a little bit of physical activity can work wonders in terms of how you feel. Exercise makes you feel more capable mentally and physically. It can help you sleep better, reduce feelings of stress, and even relieve symptoms of depression as effectively as medication.

“In other words, a half-hour at the gym or a walk around the block is one of the best decisions you can make,” Tomazin asserts. “That’s why, no matter how busy or unmotivated I am, I commit to working out at least two days a week.”

Give yourself credit. When you’re upset or worried about one aspect of your life, those feelings can easily spill over into your general attitude and outlook. You start looking at your whole life through a negative lens, and you might start to focus on the mistakes you’ve made and the things you could have done better.

“If that sounds familiar, stop!” Tomazin urges. “Think of one, or two, or ten or twenty things you’ve done well in the recent past and give yourself credit for accomplishing them. Remember, nobody is even remotely close to perfect. Don’t make a tough situation even worse by remaining your own worst critic.”

Prioritize. Especially when you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed, it’s tempting to fixate on each shiny ball that rolls past instead of directing your energy and attention to the problem at hand. When your efforts are scattered, though, nothing gets done, and you end up feeling even more frazzled than you did at first. Remember, you can focus only on one or two big goals at a time, no matter how adept you are at multitasking.

“As you work through the next rough spot in your life, sit down and decide what is most important to you,” Tomazin recommends. “If spending time with your family is at the top of your list, for example, put them first and consciously make sure that other things remain on the back burner.”

Say no. Many of us have trouble saying no for a variety of reasons: We don’t want to let others down, we don’t want to be seen as weak, we’re afraid to refuse, etc. However, until you learn to say no when you need to, you’ll never be in the driver’s seat of your own life, and it will be more difficult to steer yourself out of draining, stressful situations.

“Realize that you don’t have to do it all—nor should you,” Tomazin points out. “You don’t have to make every decision, supervise every person’s schedule, chair every event, host every party, and come to the rescue every time something goes wrong. Again, decide ahead of time what’s most important to you and prioritize those things. Then you can feel okay about saying no to some of the rest and focus on working toward your own well-being.”

Take time for yourself. Whether the current demands on your energy and time are coming from your family, your job, your friends, your finances, or something else, it’s important to “get away” every so often—literally or at least metaphorically.

“To make sure that you don’t become too drained and burned out, do something for yourself,” Tomazin urges. “Maybe it’s sitting down to enjoy a cup of coffee in the midst of running errands, locking the bathroom door and taking a bubble bath, reading a motivational book during your lunch break, or going on a walk through the park. When you unwind and take a breather, your perspective will stay clearer and your stress will be more manageable.”

“In the end, you can’t avoid going through rough times in life, but you can decide how to respond to them,” Tomazin concludes. “Remember that your own health and sanity are paramount, and most of all, have confidence that the sun will emerge from behind the clouds soon!”

# # #

About Marla Tomazin:
Marla Tomazin, Certified Image Consultant, established her image consulting business in 1990 with the goal of helping clients identify an authentic image and develop its effective expression.
From a successful career in the fashion industry, Marla gained expertise in retail buying, merchandising, sales, and marketing. She began with May Company in Denver after earning a B.S. in Marketing from the University of Denver. Marla moved to New York where she worked with several well-known Seventh Avenue design firms. As she developed her business skills, Marla made a serendipitous discovery—an innate sense of style and facility for working with fabrics and colors to maximum advantage.

The progression to Certified Image Consultant was a natural transition. Marla utilizes her abilities in evaluating body shape, movement, and coloring as well as synthesizing optimal cuts, lines, colors, and textures. This results in balance and proportion that accentuate attributes and conceal flaws. Her clients include women, men, and corporations seeking external revitalization that mirrors their internal development.

Cruise for a Cure! Relay for Life – Fri May 17th

cancer ribbon

Want to go on a cruise that you don’t have to worry about getting seasick or being stuck at sea?Then join us on Friday, May 17th as we go “Cruisin’ For A Cure” with the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life of Fayette County.This year’s Relay For Life event is being held at Fayette County High School’s Football Stadium from 4:00 p.m. until 11:30 p.m.Our Cruise Director, Zach Stutts, has lined up a fun entertainment schedule with the Torch of Hope starting at 6:15 p.m., leading into our Opening Ceremonies at 6:45.Other events that you won’t want to miss include the Dollar Dude and Divas as they try to buy themselves a title by gathering the most donations from 5:30-8:30 p.m. and the lighting of our torches and luminaria starting at 9:15.Our Survivor Activity Director, Emily Stastny, has been busy coordinating with Piedmont Hospital’s Cancer Wellness Center to have fun activities for all of our survivors from 4:00 p.m. until 9:15 p.m. with a break for the Opening Ceremonies.We are thankful to all of our sponsors that help us put on this wonderful event, but want to especially thank Pain Care of Georgia and Piedmont Hospital for being our major sponsors.

Be dazzled as you get to meet our local Relay Celebrities:Lisa Hedenstrom, our 2013 Honorary Chair, and Ken Williams and Ryann Hayes, our 2013 Relay Ambassadors.Be starstruck as you spot our amazing “Dollar Dudes and Divas” strut their stuff to try to get your dollars/votes to win the crown.Have fun as you participate in games, have a chance to “Dunk a friend” in the dunk booth, jump in the jumpy Castle, and do as many other activities you can fit in.Let out your belt as you sample the culinary delights that are sure to be there:chocolate covered strawberries, popcorn, hotdogs, sodas, chips, bbq, baked goods, and much, much more.Visit exciting ports of calls and purchase souvenirs.Be a part of the touching Luminaria Ceremony as we honor all our cancer survivors and remember all of those we have lost to cancer.All of this fun can be yours for a few dollars, if you join us as we go “Cruisin’ For A Cure!”

It’s not too late to register a team, register as a survivor, or to make a donation.Go to www.relayforlife.org/fayettecountyga to find out more information.You can also call Jennifer, our Senior Community Manager, at the local American Cancer Society office at 301 Kelly Drive, Suite 3, Peachtree City, GA 30269, at 770-632-6932.If you have any questions about the American Cancer Society, please go to their website at www.cancer.org or call the 24 hour telephone line at 1-800-227-2345.

Ronda Rich Speaks at Cancer Survivor Dinner May 10th

rondarich2012 PR

Ronda Rich to deliver keynote speech at American Cancer Society

and Piedmont Fayette Hospital Cancer Survivor Dinner

 

The American Cancer Society and Piedmont Fayette Hospital will host its annual Cancer Survivor Dinner on Friday, May 10, 2013 beginning a 5:30 p.m. at a new location for the 2013 event; New Hope Baptist Church South Campus, 1563 Joel Cowan Parkway located at the corner of GA highways 74 and 85.

This Cancer Survivor Dinner is a celebration to honor the lives of Fayette County residents who have survived cancer, while offering the hope of finding a cure. The theme for this year’s event—“Cruisin’ for a Cure” offers a complimentary dinner aboard a cruise ship atmosphere to each cancer survivor attendee and his or her caregiver/guest.

All Fayette cancer survivors are invited to attend regardless of when they were diagnosed with cancer— whether recently or many years ago. Reservations can be made now through May 1 by calling 770-632-6931 or email tricia.d.dunlap@cancer.org. Invitees are encouraged to RSVP early as seating is limited.

Special guest Ronda Rich, best-selling author and syndicated columnist, will share an emotionally inspiring message delivered with her signature heartwarming humor and southern charm. Cancer survivors and their caregivers will be inspired by Rich’s powerful and encouraging message of hope against all odds.

“The Cancer Survivors’ Dinner and Relay For Life brings the Fayette community together to celebrate life and give hope to those who have had a personal journey with cancer,” said Jennifer Gibson, senior community manager with the American Cancer Society.  We appreciate the support from Piedmont Healthcare and Piedmont Fayette Hospital to make this event possible; and so meaningful to cancer survivors in Fayette County.”

The event will be held at will be held in conjunction with the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life, a community event bringing together teams of families, friends, churches, neighborhoods, and businesses – all with the same goal of curing cancer. The Relay for Life will be held on Saturday, May 17 at Fayette County High School from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. For more information or to register for Relay for Life visit relayforlife.org/fayettecountyga.

The Truth Behind Weight Loss Ads

weight loss

Summer is just around the corner, and so are the endless advertisements for weight loss.  Common sense will tell you that cutting down on your caloric intake and exercising are your best bets for shedding those extra pounds.  But just in case, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) provides some helpful information and tips on what to be aware of when looking for ways to lose weight.

Claims to watch out for include:

Lose weight without diet or exercise!

Getting to a healthy weight takes work. Take a pass on any product that promises miraculous results without the effort. The only thing you’ll lose is money.

Lose weight no matter how much you eat of your favorite foods!

Beware of any product that claims that you can eat all the high-calorie food you want and still lose weight. Losing weight requires sensible food choices. Filling up on healthy vegetables and fruits can make it easier to say no to fattening sweets and snacks.

Lose weight permanently! Never diet again!

Even if you’re successful in taking weight off, permanent weight loss requires permanent lifestyle changes. Don’t trust any product that promises once-and-for-all results without ongoing maintenance.

Just take a pill!

Doctors, dieticians, and other experts agree that there’s simply no magic way to lose weight without diet or exercise. Even pills approved by FDA to block the absorption of fat or help you eat less and feel full are to be taken with a low-calorie, low-fat diet and regular exercise.

Lose 30 pounds in 30 days!

Losing weight at the rate of a pound or two a week is the most effective way to take it off and keep it off. At best, products promising lightning-fast weight loss are a scam. At worst, they can ruin your health.

Everybody will lose weight!

Your habits and health concerns are unique. There is no one-size-fits-all product guaranteed to work for everyone. Team up with your health care provider to design a nutrition and exercise program suited to your lifestyle and metabolism.

Lose weight with our miracle diet patch or cream!

You’ve seen the ads for diet patches or creams that claim to melt away the pounds. Don’t believe them. There’s nothing you can wear or apply to your skin that will cause you to lose weight.

Acai Berry Supplements in the “News”

More and more, scam artists are exploiting people’s trust in well-known news organizations by setting up fake news sites with the logos of legitimate news organizations to peddle their wares. In particular, sites claiming to be objective news sources may describe a so-called “investigation” of the effectiveness of acai berry dietary supplements for weight loss. These sites are a marketing ploy created to sell acai berry supplements.

Tainted Weight Loss Products

In the last few years, FDA has discovered hundreds of dietary supplements containing drugs or other chemicals, often in products for weight loss and bodybuilding. These extras generally aren’t listed on the label — and might even be sold with false and misleading claims like “100% natural” and “safe.” They could cause serious side effects or interact in dangerous ways with medicines or other supplements you’re taking.

The Skinny on Electronic Muscle Stimulators

You might have seen ads for electronic muscle stimulators claiming they will tone, firm, and strengthen abdominal muscles, help you lose weight, or get rock hard abs. But according to FDA, while these devices may temporarily strengthen, tone, or firm a muscle, no electronic muscle stimulator device alone will give you “six-pack” abs.

Always, check with your doctor before starting any weight loss plan.  And be sure to check out any company before you do business with BBB at www.bbb.org.

Fayetteville Nurse Wins Battle Against Colon Cancer

Beth Phillips carries the torch for cancer survivors

Beth Phillips carries the torch for cancer survivors

Fayetteville resident Beth Phillips, RN, was only 47 when she was diagnosed with stage four colorectal cancer, making her three years younger at the age of diagnosis than the recommended age to start colonoscopy screenings.

“People assume when they hear the words, ‘colon cancer’ that it is a disease that only affects older adults,” said Phillips. “That is not the case. There are people right here in our community who were diagnosed in their forties and even younger, including myself.”

Among cancers that affect both men and women, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Every year, an estimated 140,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer, and more than 50,000 people die from it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“I don’t know if there’s a word for what I had felt, but it was totally unexpected,” said Phillips. “As a nurse, I knew my prognosis was not great. However, I thought: I’m not a statistic, I’m a person and I’m going to fight this any way that I can. One step at a time is all you can do.”

To get better, Phillips had to undergo a colon resection, complete hysterectomy, pelvic radiation, 24 rounds of chemo, a liver resection and removal of right kidney, ureter and part of her bladder. Phillips now shows no evidence of the disease, runs a colorectal cancer support group and encourages others to get screened.

“The inconvenience of a colonoscopy is nothing compared to the treatment of stage four colon cancer,” said Phillips, who spent her 25th wedding anniversary in the hospital. “Colon cancer should not be a taboo topic. Talk about it with family and friends. Find out if you have a family history and urge others to get screened.”

According to the CDC, 60 percent of deaths from colon cancer could be avoided if everyone who is 50 years or older would be screened regularly.

“Many people have precancerous polyps or even colorectal cancer and don’t know because it doesn’t always cause symptoms,” said Jonathan Bender, M.D., medical director of the Piedmont Fayette Hospital Cancer Center. “It is important for those 50 years and older to be screened regularly and those with a family history to start screenings at an even younger age.”

Phillips, who had no family history of the disease, says life has changed since she was diagnosed in 2007.

Diet plays a big role in fighting colon cancer, Beth says.

“It was hard to adjust to my ‘new normal,’” said Phillips. “I don’t have as much energy now and I eat differently.  Diet plays a huge role in colon cancer recurrence and so, eating right is a must.”

Phillips, who holds a master’s degree in counseling, started a support group with Cancer Wellness at Piedmont Fayette about a year and a half ago. The group, which has grown to about 20 members in attendance, meets every first Monday of the month at Piedmont Fayette Hospital.

Cancer Wellness at Piedmont Fayette offers other free services and programs to anyone affected by cancer at any phase in the cancer journey. Professionally-led programs include education, relaxation and stress reduction, movement and exercise, expressive arts, meditation, support groups, individual nutritional and psychological counseling, cooking demos and social events.

Symptoms of colorectal cancer may include blood in the stool, stomach pain, aches or cramps that don’t go away and weight loss for no apparent reason. These symptoms may be caused by something other than cancer. Those experiencing symptoms should consult a doctor.

For more information about colorectal cancer or Cancer Wellness at Piedmont Fayette, visit piedmontcancer.org.

 

Beth Phillips with husband, Chip, and children, Corey, Claire and Chad

What to Eat for Great Skin

healthy skin

As a bride, you’re going to have a natural glow on your big day. But what if you could take it to the max? You can, and it’s all about the foods you eat in the weeks or months leading up to your wedding date (and hopefully beyond).

Sticking to a diet that’s rich in whole foods will supply your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs to keep your skin looking fantastic. Foods to incorporate into your diet include:

Beets: Beets reduce inflammation in the body and help balance the hormones, which can cause acne.

Carrots: The anti-aging beta-carotene gives a boost to your sunscreen’s effectiveness, but don’t skip the SPF!

Mangoes: The vitamin A and antioxidants in mangoes help skin look younger and more refreshed.

Pumpkin seeds: The zinc in these can help clear up acne or make the skin tone appear more even. There’s also magnesium and those lovable omega-3’s to give you a glow.

Coconut oil: Eating coconut oil, a healthy fat with vitamins A and C as well as antioxidants, (or applying it directly to the skin) can promote moisture and elasticity. It can help repair the skin.

Olives or olive oil: Olive oil works to keep moisture in the skin, whether you eat it or apply it topically. Try using extra virgin olive oil on your salads for an extra helping of antioxidants.

Salmon: This fish helps the skin retain moisture and also promotes collagen growth. The omega-3s in salmon and other fish like tuna, catfish, pollock, anchovies, and oysters also reduce inflammation.

Nuts: Eating a variety of nuts can give you an extra dose of vitamin E, beta-carotene, selenium (especially in Brazil nuts), magnesium, copper, and B vitamins.

Green tea: Drink it, flavor your rice with it, or apply it topically. Green tea contains antioxidants (specifically EGCG) that help reduce DNA damage.

Eggs: Because of a combination of B vitamins, choline, protein, and lutein, eggs help the body make collagen and elastin. They also help reduce free radical damage to the skin.

Maple syrup: Maple syrup can enhance cell regeneration, and the antioxidants inside help neutralize free radicals.

Dark chocolate: Guess what? You don’t have to give up chocolate before your wedding day. Just choose dark chocolate, complete with antioxidants, and only have a square or two per day, at the most. It helps protect skin from sun damage.

Cucumbers: Not only are cucumbers loaded with water, they also contain antioxidants, vitamin C, and manganese (which helps create enzymes that boost antioxidant efficiency).

Melons: Like cucumbers, these are full of water so they assist with hydration. In addition, you get antioxidants, vitamins A and C, lycopene (which fight free radicals and block UV rays), beta-carotene, and anti-aging flavonoids.

Rhubarb: Full of antioxidants and lutein, rhubarb works against free radicals that come from exposure to the environment.

Berries: Berries are tiny little antioxidant powerhouses. Throw them on top of yogurt or cereal, or toss them into a smoothie.

Dark, leafy greens: You can’t go wrong with these. Cook them, use them in salads, or put them in smoothies when you’re always on the go between work and wedding planning (you can’t taste them once you add your other ingredients, like fruit, coconut water, or milk). You get vitamins like K, C, E, and B), minerals (iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium), and phytonutrients (lutein and beta-carotene).

What to skip: Refined sugar, white bread, soda, artificial sweeteners (Stevia is fine), and other processed foods.

Eat clean! Don’t underestimate the power of getting half your body weight in ounces of water (for example, a 150-lb woman should have at least 75 ounces of water each day), exercising five to six days per week, and sleeping seven to nine hours every night. By increasing your intake of foods that benefit your skin, you’ll find an increase in energy and maybe even a more balanced mood, too.

Veggie Taco Salad

taco salad

Healthier Dishes for Your Table

(Family Features) Bringing healthier foods to the table can be easier – and more delicious – than you might think. When you add high-quality proteins such as soyfoods to the menu, you open up the door to a wide variety of tasty and nutritious meals.

The plant-based proteins of soy are packed with benefits for your body. They:

  • Have all the essential amino acids needed for growth.
  • May help reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering blood cholesterol and increasing the flexibility of blood vessels.
  • Are equivalent to animal sources of protein but have no cholesterol and little saturated fat.

In fact, both the national 2010 Dietary Guidelines and the MyPlate nutrition guidance recommend soyfoods such as soymilk, veggie burgers, soy nutrition bars, soy sausages, tofu, soy yogurt, soy protein shakes and edamame. You can easily enjoy soy proteins in a lot of different ways.

Meat and poultry lovers can enjoy soy, too, by incorporating soy crumbles and other soy products into their favorite dishes. This recipe for a Veggie Taco Salad makes a satisfying, nutritious entrée for the whole family.

You can find more delicious recipes and information about soybeans and their journey from the farm to your plate at www.soyfoodsmonth.org.

 

Veggie Taco Salad

Makes 4 servings

  • 2  cups soy crumbles (you can find these in your grocer’s freezer section or refrigerated meat section)
  • 3/4 cup salsa
  • 5 cups shredded lettuce
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 cup black beans

Topping Options:

  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons sliced ripe olives
  • 2 tablespoons fat free sour cream

In large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, cook crumbles and salsa over medium heat about 5 minutes or until heated through, stirring frequently.

In large bowl toss together lettuce, corn and black beans. Arrange on 4 serving plates. Top with crumbles mixture. Sprinkle with toppings.

Nutrition Information

Per serving: 180 Calories, 4 g Total Fat, 14g Protein, 26g Carbohydrate, 8g Fiber, 600mg Sodium

 

 

Common Medicare Scams and Identity Theft

medicare fraud

Common scams

Be suspicious of doctors, health care providers, or suppliers who:
• Ask for your Medicare number in exchange for free equipment or services or for “record keeping purposes”
• Tell you that tests become cheaper as more of them are provided
• Advertise “free” consultations to people with Medicare
• Call or visit you and say they represent Medicare or the federal government
• Use telephone or door-to-door selling techniques
• Use pressure or scare tactics to sell you expensive medical services or diagnostic tests
• Bill Medicare for services you never received or a diagnosis you do not have
• Offer non-medical transportation or housekeeping as Medicare-approved services
• Bill home health services for patients who are not confined to their home, or for patients who still drive a car
• Bill Medicare for medical equipment for people in nursing homes
• Bill Medicare for tests you received as a hospital inpatient or within 72 hours of admission or discharge
• Bill Medicare for a power wheelchair or scooter when you don’t meet Medicare’s qualifications

Identity theft
Identity theft happens when someone uses your personal information without your consent to commit fraud or other crimes. Personal information includes your name, Social Security, Medicare, or credit card numbers.

The crime takes many forms. Identity thieves may rent an apartment, obtain a credit card, or establish a telephone account in your name. You may not find out about the theft until you review your credit report or a credit card statement and notice charges you didn’t make—or until you’re contacted by a debt collector.

Identity theft is serious. While some identity theft victims can resolve their problems quickly, others spend hundreds of dollars and many days repairing damage to their good name and credit record.

Protect yourself. Keep your personal information safe. Don’t give your information out over the Internet, or to anyone who comes to your home (or calls you) uninvited. Give personal information only to doctors or other Medicare approved providers.

To see if a provider is Medicare approved, call:
• 800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227)
877-486-2048 (TTY users)
Quick Tips:
• Has anyone approached you in a public area and offered FREE services, groceries, or other items in exchange for your Medicare number?
JUST WALK AWAY!
• Has someone called you for a “health survey,” then asked you to provide your Medicare number over the phone?
SIMPLY HANG UP THE PHONE!
• Have you found suspicious charges such as high-priced medical services or diagnostic tests on your medical bills? These could be fraudulent charges.
Call 1-800-MEDICARE AND REPORT IT!
• Have doctors, health care providers, or suppliers told you that the equipment or service is free, it won’t cost you anything, and they only need your Medicare number for their records?
JUST SAY NO THANKS!
• Guard your Medicare and Social Security Numbers. Report Fraud to the Office of the Inspector General.
1-800-HHS-TIPS
(1-800-447-8477)
For more information please visit http://www.stopmedicarefraud.gov/index.html

5 Hair Myths – Busted!

crazyhair

Misinformation can be just as stubborn as frizz or those pesky flyaways – it’s difficult to manage, impossible to reason with and it just keeps coming back, says longtime hair-care advocate and health scientist Audrey Davis-Sivasothy.

“Old wives’ tales and ineffective products that claim to treat or rehabilitate hair often have a placebo effect because people want them to work,” says Davis-Sivasothy, author of “Hair Care Rehab,” (www.haircarerehab.com). “But many of these ideas and products actually do the opposite of what’s intended, and they delay the user from seeking out real solutions.”

Davis-Sivasothy debunks the following common hair-care myths:

• Myth: There’s a magic pill (or oil, serum or balm) to grow our hair faster, stronger or thicker. Unfortunately, no. Hair growth is genetically predetermined and controlled by our hormones. Unless the magic pill affects our genes or hormones, there’s no hope that it might make our hair grow. (This includes prenatal vitamins. Credit the upsurge in hormone levels during pregnancy for those vibrant tresses!) Basic vitamin supplements can offer slight improvements in hair quality, but only if our body truly lacks the particular vitamin or mineral being taken.

• Myth: Trimming will make your hair grow stronger, longer, faster or thicker. Since hair is dead, cutting the ends has no effect on what happens at the scalp. Strands will grow at the same predetermined rate each month, and individual strands will grow in at the same thickness as before. While trimming or cutting the hair does seem to give the appearance of thicker hair, this is only because all of the freshly trimmed hairs now have the same, clear endpoint.

• Myth: Expensive products do more! Not necessarily. Always look for ingredients over brand names. There are just as many poorly formulated high-end products as there are bargain ones – and just as many worthy expensive products as there are bargain ones, too!

• Myth: Products made for or marketed to (insert race/ethnicity) cannot be used by those of other backgrounds. False! The ingredients in a product matter much more than to whom the product is marketed. In fact, most products have the same set of three to five base ingredients. Products for “ethnic” hair types tend to be more moisturizing and have more oils and proteins than those for other hair types. Damaged hair needs a good dose of moisture, proteins and oil to regain its healthy appearance. The same holds true for products marketed to those with color-treated hair. Even if your hair is not dyed, using a product for color-treated hair can be beneficial because these shampoo formulas tend to be gentler (to preserve easily washed away hair color) and conditioners tend to be super-conditioning, but lightweight, to help reduce dryness from the coloring process.

• Myth: Washing your hair too often leads to dryness. This depends. Hair can be cleansed as often as you like without dryness, provided you use the proper products to retain moisture. Those who generally have naturally drier hair types (including those of us with curls and highly textured hair) often shy away from frequent cleansing – but water is not the enemy! It’s the stripping shampoos and mediocre conditioners we use that are to blame. Using the proper moisturizing and conditioning products at wash time will actually increase your hair’s hydration.

About Audrey Davis-Sivasothy: Audrey Davis-Sivasothy is a Houston-based freelance writer, publisher and longtime, healthy hair care advocate and enthusiast. Sivasothy holds a degree in health science and has written extensively on the science of caring for hair at home.

When Should You Keep Your Sick Child Home?

sick child

Children are bound to come down with the occasional cold or other viral illness, especially when cold weather keeps a whole class cooped up inside all day. Whether or not to keep your sick child home from school or daycare can be a difficult decision to make, and may also depend on your child’s school or daycare policies. A Mayo physician offers tips on how to decide.

“Young children’s immune systems haven’t learned to recognize and resist most common viruses,” explains Robert Key, M.D., family physician at Mayo Clinic Health System in Prairie du Chien. “That’s why, until they’re 8 or so, kids seem to bring home everything that’s making the rounds at school. Children can typically have six to 10 colds per year.”

“In general, children should stay home when they don’t feel well enough to participate in normal daily activities and lack sufficient alertness to learn or play,” Dr. Key says.

He suggests that kids should stay home when they experience:
*Vomiting twice or more over a 24-hour period or being unable to tolerate normal food and drink, or both.
*A temperature of 101 or higher.
*Severe coughing or difficulty breathing.
*Repeated bouts of severe diarrhea for at least a day.
*Persistent abdominal pain (more than 2 hours).
*Open sores on the mouth.
*A skin rash or red eye from an undetermined cause.
*Head lice or scabies.
*Other contagious conditions such as strep throat, chicken pox, impetigo, etc.

According to Mayo Clinic, the top four infectious illnesses that keep children home from school or daycare are colds, the “stomach flu,” pink eye and strep throat.

If your child’s illness seems to be more than just a common cold or flu, you may want to contact his or her regular health care provider to see whether the symptoms could indicate something more serious.

The single most important thing your child can do to prevent illness is to wash his or her hands thoroughly and frequently. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people wash their hands with soap and warm water for 15 seconds — about as long as it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice.

 

About Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is the first and largest integrated, not-for-profit group practice in the world. Doctors from every medical specialty work together to care for patients, joined by common systems and a philosophy of “the needs of the patient come first.” More than 3,700 physicians, scientists and researchers, and 50,100 allied health staff work at Mayo Clinic, which has campuses in Rochester, Minn; Jacksonville, Fla; and Scottsdale/Phoenix, Ariz.; and community-based providers in more than 70 locations in southern Minnesota., western Wisconsin and northeast Iowa. These locations treat more than half a million people each year.