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Caring for Our Family Caregivers

By Renee Mercer

11/3/2014 1:00 PM

November is National Family Caregivers Month (NFCM) – a time to celebrate and acknowledge caregivers and all that they do for their loved ones. More than 65 million people spend an average of 20 hours per week providing care for a loved one, according to the National Alliance for Caregiving. For many caregivers, caregiving is a 24/7 journey.

Caregivers provide comfort and reassurance and promote independence while ensuring safety. They are there to protect loved ones from developing pressure sores and diaper rashes. Caregivers ensure proper diet, encourage regular exercise, and maintain personal hygiene.

Read More

Healthy Halloween Tips and Tricks

By Sheena Quizon Gregg

10/27/2014 2:00 PM

With Halloween around the corner, grocery shelves are lined with every sort of Halloween treat possible. From marshmallow goodies to chocolate delicacies, this holiday does not lack in sweet treat variety. However, for folks watching their weight or with conditions like diabetes, Halloween can be considered more of a trick than a treat. Here are a few tips for keeping your Halloween healthy and tasty!

  • Become a Label Reader

    When choosing treats, it’s important to compare calorie content. Candies such as 3 Musketeers contain significantly less calories compared to Snickers or Twix.Read More

How to Cure Insomnia Without Pills: 5 Natural Methods

By Bryan Mercer

10/13/2014 2:00 PM

Insomnia is a sleep disorder in which one has difficulty falling or staying asleep. Insomnia decreases your energy, increases your irritability, and can negatively affect your ability to concentrate or remember things.

Some people try to cure their insomnia with sleeping pills. However, these pills lose effectiveness over time and can become habit-forming. Fortunately, there are many safer natural ways to get a good, restful night's sleep.

  • Stick to a sleep schedule. Sticking to a regular sleep schedule gets your body into a healthy rhythm of knowing when you're tired and when you need to wake up. Experts recommend going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
  • Read More

Celebrating National Falls Prevention Week

By Bryan Mercer

9/22/2014 2:00 PM

Falls Prevention Awareness Day is observed on Sept. 23 this year. This week, Sept. 21-27, is also National Falls Prevention Week – a time to ensure that our elderly loved ones are stable and safe at all times. This year’s theme is Strong Today, Falls Free Tomorrow.

Fall prevention is especially critical for the elderly population. Falls can lead to serious injuries such as head injuries and hip fractures, resulting in loss of independence and mobility. Some major falls can also lead to death. To prevent such falls, it’s important to not only eliminate any hazards around the home but also take care of one’s body through exercise and regular doctor checkups.

Read More

Back to School: Nutrition 101

By Sheena Quizon Gregg

9/15/2014 2:00 PM

School lunches have changed quite a bit since I was in school. Chances are, your child’s packed lunch looks a lot different than the peanut butter and jelly sandwich you may have brought to school long ago. If your kids are anything like me, visual appeal plays a big role in food selection and willingness to try new foods.

Encouraging your child to be part of the shopping and selection process at the grocery store can be a great way to ensure your child is excited about his/her packed lunch. Kids are also more apt to eat new fruits and vegetables when they are cut into bite-sized pieces or fun shapes. Research suggests that it takes approximately seven attempts with a new food before a child will try it and enjoy it.Read More

Respiratory Virus Spreads Across United States

By Austin Sheeley

9/11/2014 10:56 AM

Omron CompAir Elite Nebulizer System NE-C30

Across the country, hospitals are experiencing a surge in emergency room visits from children dealing with respiratory illness. The culprit is enterovirus 68. It mostly affects children, not adults, and can be especially harmful to those with asthma. The virus worsens asthma symptoms and even causes asthma-like symptoms in children who don’t have the condition.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have confirmed cases of enterovirus 68 in Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, and Missouri. There are also suspected cases in Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Utah.

Read More

Going Vegetarian

By Sheena Quizon Gregg

8/4/2014 2:00 PM

Vegetables in Basket

During the summer months, I often have clients that toy around with the idea of becoming vegetarian, especially with all of the delicious produce available. Though a vegetarian diet can provide an adequate balance of nutrients that your body needs, it's important to recognize the key nutrients often found in a "traditional" diet and the plant-based dietary sources of these nutrients. It is also important to understand the varying degrees of vegetarianism.

  • In general, vegetarians do not eat meat, fish and poultry.
  • Semi-vegetarians may still include select animal products such as poultry.
  • Laco-ovo vegetarians avoid meat but still include milk products and eggs in their diet.
  • Read More

5 Tips for Choosing a Senior Community

By Bryan Mercer

7/7/2014 2:00 PM

Elderly Couple Playing Dominoes in Senior Home

Choosing the right senior community is an important decision that can determine just how “golden” your golden years are. Of course, what makes a good senior community varies for each person. Here are five tips that will help you determine the best possible senior community for you.

  1. Start Looking Before You Need To

    Many people resist moving into a senior community (often because they have unrealistic views of what senior communities are like), and therefore don’t look for one until they absolutely have to. However, this puts them and their loved ones in a stressful situation where they’re rushing to make a decision.

    Read More

The Importance of Hydration During Hot Summer Months

By Sheena Quizon Gregg

6/30/2014 2:00 PM

Woman Drinking Water During Exercise

If you're physically active in the heat, it's important to be mindful of hydrating yourself properly. Outside temperatures raise our core body temperature, so just think how much more our body temperature is raised when we're exercising in the heat. Our body can often mimic the feeling of hunger when in the beginning stages of dehydration. You may be waiting too late if you are only drinking water after having a parched mouth or dry lips.

Recognize the common signs of dehydration:

  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Dark-colored urine or decreased urine output (note that some supplements/vitamins will discolor urine
  • Read More

How to Relieve Lower Back Pain During Pregnancy

By Chelsea Wardach

6/16/2014 2:00 PM

When you're pregnant, your belly gets bigger and your center of gravity shifts forward. This imbalance puts pressure on your lower spine, which ends up curving back to compensate. This then leads to one of the most common pregnancy symptoms - back pain. Fortunately, over the years women have discovered many techniques for reducing and relieving this pain.

  • Have good posture - Poor posture can lead to a sore back even when you're not pregnant. One of the most important things you can to reduce back pain during pregnancy is watch your posture when sitting and standing. When sitting, choose a chair that supports your back or get a lumbar cushion for more support. When standing, stand up straight and tall. Also, be sure to take breaks if sitting or standing for long periods of time so your back doesn't get worn out.
  • Read More

Study: Breast Cancer Patients Aren't Getting Enough Exercise

By Annika Garvey

6/9/2014 2:00 PM

For years, researchers have studied the relationship between breast cancer and physical activity. Numerous studies have found that physically active women have a lower risk of developing breast cancer than those who don’t exercise. This suggests that physical exercise can be beneficial for breast cancer patients. However, researchers from University of North Carolina found that most breast cancer patients fail to meet physical activity guidelines after being diagnosed with the disease.

The US Department of Health and Human Services and the American Cancer Society recommend that adults engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of intense physical activity each week for general health wellness. Researchers took a look at the pre- and post-diagnosis activity levels of 1,735 North Carolinian women aged 20 to 74 years who were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer between 2008 and 2011.

Read More

Best Tips to Prepare Children for Nighttime Potty Training

By Renee Mercer

6/2/2014 2:00 PM

Nighttime potty training can be one of the most difficult milestones for both the child and the parent to accomplish. Before you start training your child, make sure that he/she is already potty trained during the day. Here are some tips to follow to help your little one reach dry nights:

  1. Drink water throughout the day. Constipation and dehydration can cause irritation in the bladder. Make sure your child is well-hydrated throughout the day. Avoid drinking soda, juice or milk at night – water is the best option.
  2. Read More

All You Need to Know about Organic Food

By Sheena Quizon Gregg

5/27/2014 2:00 PM

USDA Organic Icon

With more focus over the years on plant-based diets and eating “whole” foods, many times I am asked about what the term “organic” actually means. The reality is that different food products can have varying degrees of organic ingredients. Knowing what each organic food label means can be helpful in determining if it’s the best product for you.

What is organic food?

Organic foods are produced without the aid of chemical pesticides and are processed only with natural additives. Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones.Read More

5 Easy Exercises to Do at Work

By Annika Garvey

5/19/2014 2:00 PM

The Bad News: Sitting at your desk job for 40 hours a week may literally be killing you, according to a Washington Post article.

The Good News: There are simple exercises you can do at your desk without disturbing your coworkers or hurting your productivity. So if you want to stay in shape while earning your paycheck, try the following exercises:

  1. Replace your office chair with an exercise ball. Exercise balls force you to use your abdominal muscles to keep your balance, which helps strengthen and tone your abs all while you take care of email. Just sit up straight with your legs hip-width apart. This exercise will also take pressure off your lower back, and some say it even helps them concentrate better. You may get tired of sitting like this after a while though, so it's a good idea to keep a traditional desk chair nearby.
  2. Read More

7 Unexpected Situations When Caring for Elderly Parents and What to Do About Them

By Renee Mercer

4/28/2014 2:00 PM

Caring for elderly parents isn’t easy. It takes time, money, and emotional energy. In addition to all that, there are common situations caregivers face which they often don’t see coming. By being aware of these potential issues, you’ll be better able to handle them if they occur in your life.

  1. Your parents likely won't get better.

    Generally, optimism is a great thing. But it can also lead to frustration and disappointment when things don’t work out the way you thought they should. This is often the case with elder care.

    Children start caring for their parents because their parents are in poor health. This can be physical health, mental health or both. Even if they don’t say it out loud, many caregivers believe that by looking after their parents they’ll be able to help them make slow but steady improvements back to good health.Read More

April is Occupational Therapy Month!

By Maggie Bridges

4/23/2014 2:00 PM

Happy OT month everyone! Occupational therapy practitioners all over the country are celebrating April as OT month by promoting the profession and educating others on occupational therapy’s role in society.

Almost all OTs that you meet are passionate about their work, and for good reason. You’ve probably heard an OT say, “I love my job,” or “it doesn’t even seem like work.” As occupational therapy practitioners, we have the opportunity to help people across the lifespan to participate in the things they want and need to do. We call the things that our clients want and need to do their occupations, the things that occupy their day.Read More

What are Sugar Alcohols and How Do They Affect My Diabetes?

By Sheena Quizon Gregg

4/21/2014 2:00 PM

EvenCare G2 Glucose Meter

When blood sugar control is a priority health concern, foods labeled as “sugar-free” can make navigating the grocery store a much easier experience. Sugar-free versions of traditionally carbohydrate-laden foods such as cookies, ice cream, candy, and chewing gum can be helpful while managing diabetes. However, it is important to understand how sugar-free products are made and how they affect our blood sugar.

What are sugar alcohols?

Many sugar-free products are made by replacing sugar (sucrose) with sugar alcohols, a type of reduced-calorie sweetener. Examples of sugar alcohols include mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, and hydrogenated starch hydrolysates, among others. These types of sweeteners provide fewer calories than sugar and also have less of an effect on blood glucose levels compared to other types of carbohydrate.

Read More

Best Ways to Prevent Adult Diaper Rash

By Nancy Pham

4/9/2014 2:00 PM

Aloe Vesta Protective Ointment

Adult diaper rash (diaper dermatitis) occurs when the skin is irritated by prolonged wetness, a moist environment or diaper chaffing. If left untreated, the rash can become infected, leading to serious skin complications. Read below to find out what you can do to prevent a painful diaper rash:

  1. Use the right size incontinence product. This is key in preventing adult diaper rash. Measure your waist and hips to find a proper-fitting brief. The brief should comfortably fit snugly on your body. If the brief is too small or tight, it’ll dig into your skin, which in turn, can lead to painful rashes. A tight diaper will also restrict airflow to your perineal area, creating a moist environment for bacteria to grow. If the brief is too large or loose, there will be gaps that can increase chaffing and irritation to the skin.
  2. Read More

The 7 Best Fitness Tools for Under $30

By Annika Garvey

4/7/2014 2:00 PM

When you have the right fitness tools, your daily workout becomes more effective and more fun. Of course, some fitness tools cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. But you don’t need to break the bank to get your body in shape. Some of the most powerful fitness tools out there are also some of the cheapest.

  1. Inflatable Exercise Balls

    If you want to tone your abs or improve your posture, then you’ll definitely want an inflatable exercise ball (also known as stability ball or swiss ball). These very simple, easy-to-use products make crunches 38% more effective! And that’s just one of the many exercises you can do with them.Read More

Getting Kids to Eat Healthy

By Chelsea Wardach

4/2/2014 2:00 PM

Proper nutrition is important no matter what age you are, and because no two bodies are exactly alike, we all need to eat different things to keep ourselves in good condition. For children, getting enough of the right nutrients is particularly important. As we all know, kids grow like weeds, and therefore it’s important to make sure they get the right kind of food that will let them grow up tall and strong!

But sometimes this is easier said than done. Almost every kid goes through a picky eating phase at some point—they don’t want vegetables, they’ll only eat purple foods, or they’ve vowed to live off cereal. If your child happens to be a finicky foodie, you’ll have to get a little creative to make sure they still get the nutrients they need.Read More

AAFA Releases 2014 List of Top Allergy Capitals

By Chelsea Wardach

3/31/2014 2:00 PM

Tissues

It’s been a long, long winter, but spring is finally here! Along with sunny days and cool breezes, the next few months will trigger good ole spring allergies. Symptoms could be worse for allergy sufferers who live in certain cities in the U.S, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA).

For the past 12 years, the foundation has released a list of top worst cities for allergy sufferers. This year – and for the third time in the report’s history – Louisville, Ky. tops the list as the #1 Spring Allergy Capital. The rankings are based on a variety of factors, including prevalence data, pollen scores, number of allergy medicine used per patient and the number of Board Certified Allergists per patient.Read More

Fall Prevention Tips for Older Adults

By Maggie Bridges

3/26/2014 1:00 PM

We’ve all witnessed when a new-walking toddler loses his balance, goes falling down to the floor, then looks up at his mommy on the verge of tears. Her exaggerated laughing and clapping can usually turn little Junior’s frown upside-down. He giggles, pops right back up, and goes on his way. Wouldn’t it be nice if this simple method worked across the age spectrum? Unfortunately, older adults cannot be so easily tricked, and the physical and psychological effects of a fall can actually be catastrophic. A more practical method for addressing falls for the older adult population is prevention.Read More

Understanding Food Labels

By Sheena Quizon Gregg

3/24/2014 2:00 PM

Label claims on food products can provide a wealth of information about the foods we eat but can sometimes be daunting to understand. Phrases such as “great source of” or “reduced calorie” can often be interpreted as vague by the consumer when, in reality, food companies must make sure their product meets a specific standard before being allowed to use such phrases.

Being aware of what these claims mean can enhance your shopping experience and allow you to more appropriately choose foods based on your health needs. Below I have listed some of the most common food label claims used by food producers and what this means to you as a consumer:Read More

Under Pressure: Bedsores and How to Prevent Them

By Renee Mercer

3/19/2014 1:00 PM

Med Air Variable Pressure Pump and Pad System

Bedsores (also known as pressure ulcers or pressure sores) are localized areas of damaged tissue caused by staying in one position for too long. They tend to form in areas where bones and skin are close together, such as the hips, elbows, ankles, and back, and present a constant threat to individuals who are bedridden, use a wheelchair, or go about their days without significantly changing their position.

If left untreated, pressure sores can become infected – a prospect that is made all the more dangerous for the elderly, who may already have compromised immune systems.Read More

FDA Approves First Migraine Prevention Device

By Nancy Pham

3/17/2014 2:00 PM

Cefaly Migraine Headband

Last Tuesday, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first device to prevent migraines.

Called Cefaly, this device “provides an alternative to medicine for migraine prevention,” Christy Foreman, director of the Office of Device Evaluation at the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said in a statement. “This may help patients who cannot tolerate current migraine medications for preventing migraines or treating attacks.”

The Cefaly device is a battery-powered, plastic gadget worn around the forehead, like a visor. It features a self-adhesive electrode that delivers small electrical impulses to stimulate the trigeminal nerve, which is involved in head pain.Read More

Eating Right During National Nutrition Month

By Sheena Quizon Gregg

3/12/2014 1:00 PM

Each year, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics celebrates National Nutrition Month during March. This year's theme is "Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right" with an emphasis on the message that food can be healthy AND delicious. For many people, eating is an event that goes beyond warming something up in the microwave to eat for dinner. For the ultimate experience, registered dietitians encourage patients to use their five senses in the following ways when preparing and eating food:

  • Listen to the crunch of fresh vegetables and the sizzling of a hot pan.
  • Read More

How to Make Exercise Fun: 7 Simple Strategies

By Annika Garvey

3/10/2014 2:00 PM

Family Riding Bikes

People don’t achieve their fitness goals for a wide variety of reasons. Often, it boils down to this simple fact: they don’t enjoy exercising. After all, getting into good shape is hard work. So by making exercise fun, you’ll not only have a better time, you’ll be more motivated and more likely to achieve your fitness goals. I find it helps to:

  1. Add variety to your workout.

    One reason people don't enjoy exercise is because it can get tedious and boring. Adding a little variety goes a long way. If you jog, try going to different parks so you can check out and enjoy the new scenery. Or mix it up completely by cycling or swimming instead.Read More

<span style="font-size:14px;">I've Fallen and I Can't Get Back...Home! What Happens When Discharge Plans Go Awry?</span>

By Mary Hulme

3/5/2014 1:00 PM

Elderly Woman with Daughter

Up until the age of 85, “Gloria” lived alone in a small 2-bedroom house in San Francisco. Her independent streak, stubbornness and sharp intelligence worked well in providing her with the skill set necessary to independently manage her home, her finances and her daily affairs…until the day she was felled by a stroke.

After spending three days in the ICU, it was clear that Gloria would not be able to return home immediately – if at all. The stroke had affected both her speech and her ability to walk. The hospital staff recommended she transfer to a rehabilitation unit (sometimes referred to as a skilled nursing facility) for physical, occupational and speech therapy. Gloria reluctantly agreed to this plan as she hoped it would help her regain the strength needed to return to her home.Read More

What are the Different Types of Urinary Incontinence?

By Roscoe Nelson

3/3/2014 1:00 PM

Let's face it. Urinary incontinence is an embarrassing situation and it's difficult enough to bring it up to your caregiver. In this post I'd thought I'd explain a little more about female incontinence and the various types and treatments. We'll talk male incontinence in a future post.

Urinary incontinence is defined as the inability to control urine flow. The condition can occur in four forms: stress incontinence, urge incontinence, mixed urinary incontinence and overflow incontinence, along with a few outliers. A urologist is trained to diagnose and treat each of these conditions.Read More

Boosting Fiber Intake

By Sheena Quizon Gregg

2/26/2014 1:00 PM

Dietary fiber is a versatile and helpful nutrient when managing weight, digestion, and chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.  Though fiber is essential, many Americans miss the mark on the recommended daily intake for age and gender.  Thankfully, fiber is found naturally in a variety of foods and can easily be included as part of a healthy diet. Below are the daily recommendations for most healthy adults from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:Read More

Caregiver Tips: How to Give a Bed Bath

By Renee Mercer

2/24/2014 1:00 PM

A person who is bedridden requires extensive care, attention, and most importantly, respect. Caregivers must work together to ensure that patients retain their dignity and self-worth, and nowhere is this more applicable than in the case of personal hygiene.

Everyone has a right to take care of themselves, and as the caretaker, it is your responsibility to ensure that the patient’s personal hygiene routine is followed to their satisfaction and with minimal fuss. If you or someone you know is the caretaker for a bedridden person, a bed bath is a great way to ensure that the patient is clean and content. Here are some general guidelines to follow:Read More

Simple Tips on How to Treat Burns

By Renee Mercer

2/19/2014 1:00 PM

What if you could fix second-degree burns with a spray can? What if I told you it’s been going on for years?

It sounds unbelievable, but it’s true. Doctors recently saved the life of 21-year old Tiara Del Rio by using a “skin spray” that allowed new tissue to grow. After a gas leak explosion in her Phoenix, AZ home, Del Rio suffered first-and-second burns to over 60% of her body and had to be placed into a medically-induced coma. Her family discovered ReCell, a spray-on medicine produced in Australia that treats second-degree burns with a solution derived from the burn victim’s skin cells.Read More

Dad's Getting Confused. Should He Still Be Driving?

By Mary Hulme

2/17/2014 1:00 PM

“Anne” was getting worried.  Her 82 year old father had been suffering from frequent episodes of forgetfulness and had recently “misplaced” his car while at the movies.  His doctor, also concerned about these changes, had gently broached the subject of whether it might be time to stop driving.  Her dad, fiercely independent, had balked at this suggestion and continued to drive frequently around the city.  Anne was at a loss…she was terrified that something might happen to her dad (or someone else) while he was behind the wheel, but she was also uncomfortable talking with him about her concerns.Read More

What Causes Snoring?

By Renee Mercer

2/12/2014 1:00 PM

The National Sleep Foundation estimates that approximately 37 million Americans snore on a regular basis. While men and overweight individuals are more likely to develop a snoring problem compared to the rest of the population, this frustrating condition can affect just about everyone. So what’s to blame? While a definitive culprit has yet to be found, researchers hypothesize that several factors contribute to snoring. Here are the main offenders:Read More

Healthy Eating on a Budget

By Sheena Quizon Gregg

2/10/2014 1:00 PM

My clients often ask me how they can buy healthier foods while on a budget. Though healthier items appear to be more expensive at the grocery store, a little strategic planning and timing of purchases can help you shop frugally and nutritiously! Here are a few of the top tips I share with my clients:Read More

5 Simple Ways to Prevent Headaches

By Bryan Mercer

2/5/2014 1:00 PM

Nothing puts a damper on your day quite like a headache. Whether it’s sharp or dull, throbbing or stabbing, the pain often springs up out of nowhere, and unless you’ve got pain-killers on hand, the misery may last for hours. According to the American College of Physicians, seven in ten people – 45 million Americans – experience at least one headache in a given year.  Fortunately, this common malady is rarely serious, and can be prevented by making some simple life changes. Here are 5 precautions you can take to reduce your risk of another nuisance in the noggin.Read More

Making Heart-Healthy Choices for American Heart Month

By Bryan Mercer

2/3/2014 1:00 PM

This month is all about having heart – and I’m not talking about Valentine’s Day. February is American Heart Month, a time to honor the hardest-working organ in the human body! The extended celebration also provides the perfect opportunity to address the number one killer in this country: heart disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 600,000 people die from heart disease in the US each year - that’s 1 in every 4 deaths! Those are some scary statistics, but fortunately, heart disease can be easily prevented and controlled. Read on for some tips on how to lower your risk.Read More

Extreme Athletes Face Increased Risk for Asthma, Allergy Symptoms

By Annika Garvey

1/29/2014 1:00 PM

There are people who go for a jog now and then, and then there are extreme runners – the folks that dare to compete in races longer than the standard 26-mile marathon. We all know that exercise is essential to good health – so these people have got to be invincible, right?

Wrong. Despite their herculean exercise regimes, extreme runners are people just like you and me, flaws and all.  According to a new study from the University of California, San Francisco, and the University of California, Davis, this elite group of athletes is more prone to allergies and asthma compared to most Americans (on the bright side, they also have lower-than-average rates of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes).Read More

Is the PSA Test Right for You?

By Roscoe Nelson

1/27/2014 1:00 PM

Nothing sparks more controversy in the urologic world as the PSA test.  PSA is a blood test used in men to screen for prostate cancer.  The higher the PSA, the greater the probability of finding prostate cancer on biopsy.  The problem is that often we find small volume, less aggressive cancers that may not need to be treated.  This can lead to overtreatment, which has potential negative effects.  The data can be interpreted from different perspectives.

Some of the arguments against checking your PSA are:Read More

Google Develops Electronic Contact Lens for Diabetics

By Nancy Pham

1/22/2014 1:00 PM

Last week, Google announced a new project that could make it easier for people with diabetes to manage their blood glucose levels. The project involves a “smart” electronic contact lens with a wireless chip that would measure the glucose level in the user’s tears once per second. The lenses would then flash when sugar levels are too high or low, lowering the person’s risk of having a heart attack, stroke or other problems related to diabetes.Read More

What You Need to Know about Dementia

By Mary Hulme

1/20/2014 1:00 PM

Over the past year, Steve, an 80 year old widow who lived alone, had begun to worry; he was having trouble remembering to pay his bills and had been calling his bank more and more frequently as he couldn’t seem to keep an accurate balance in his checking account.  His children were also becoming concerned as they had noticed that their dad’s once tidy home was becoming increasingly cluttered and that he seemed unusually irritable and anxious when they visited.Read More

7 Ways to Stay Fit During the Winter

By Annika Garvey

1/13/2014 1:00 PM

Many people find themselves getting out of shape during the winter months. It’s cold and the days are shorter, so you’re more inclined to stay home. Plus, there are all those holidays and all that junk food that comes with them.

But with a little effort, you can stay in great shape during the winter and maybe even have more fun doing so than during the summer months. For example, in the summer you don’t have the opportunity to go…Read More

A New Year's Resolution to Eat Healthier

By Sheena Quizon Gregg

1/8/2014 1:00 PM

Healthy eating and weight loss tend to be popular resolutions when it comes to the New Year.  Luckily, some of the smallest changes in our dietary habits can yield the biggest results when it comes to long-term weight loss and improved health behaviors. Today I’m sharing a few ways to start off a New Year of healthy eating.

  • Avoid skipping meals.

    Avoid going long periods of time between meals and snacks. Your metabolism works best when you are consistently fueling yourself throughout the day – ideally every 3-4 hours.  If you’re in a meeting or running errands during a meal time, make sure to at least have a snack (trail mix, peanut butter crackers, etc.) to tie you over until you can get an actual meal. If you’re going out with friends for dinner, try to avoid being ravenously hungry when you get to the restaurant. To do this, have a small snack, such as a handful of nuts or an apple, about 30 minutes or so before going out to eat.

Read More

Donate Blood for National Blood Donors Month

By Bryan Mercer

1/6/2014 1:00 PM

Happy New Year! Tis the season to make New Year’s resolutions. Many of us, including me, will be making the resolution to get fit and exercise more. Another goal is to help make a positive difference in someone’s life. This means donating my blood and time to help those in need.

Blood supply is especially short during the winter season, as many people are busy with the holidays and traveling. With January being National Blood Donor Month, this is the perfect time to give blood or pledge to give blood.Read More

Tips on How to Actually Keep Your New Year's Resolutions

By Nancy Pham

1/1/2014 1:00 PM

How many times have you’ve made a New Year’s resolution, only to break it a few months later? The problem is that most times our resolutions are too broad, or we set the bar too high. For example, one of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to exercise more. While that’s a perfectly good goal, it’s very vague and doesn’t give you much to look forward to.

Be specific

“I want to exercise more.” – What do you mean by this? Do you want to go to the gym every day? How long do you want your exercise sessions to be? A more appropriate goal would be, “I want to work out every day for at least an hour.”

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Using Exercise to Manage Diabetes

By Renee Mercer

12/30/2013 1:00 PM

Diabetes is affecting more and more people in the United States – as portion sizes become bigger, foods become more sugary, and people become less active. If you’re 65 or older, there’s a 60 percent chance that you either have diabetes or pre-diabetes. Luckily, there are now many ways to treat diabetes, from insulin pumps, to skin creams, to special low-sugar meals. There are many other ways to combat or prevent diabetes, and some of them are as easy as stepping outside.Read More

Researchers Create Contact Lenses to Treat Glaucoma

By Nancy Pham

12/23/2013 1:00 PM

Autodrop Eye Drop Guide

Glaucoma, the leading cause of blindness, is usually treated with medicated eye drops. However this method of treatment is often scorned by patients. If you’ve ever watched Friends, you’ll know what I mean (see: “The One with Joey’s Big Break”).

Fortunately, researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital and Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a unique contact lens that can deliver glaucoma medication, helping patients keep their eyesight without feeling that stinging sensation from eye drops.Read More

How 3D Printing Will Change American Healthcare

By Bryan Mercer

12/18/2013 10:00 AM

I’ve been a pharmacist for over 30 years now and seen many changes in the healthcare industry. But I think one of the biggest changes is just around the corner – 3D printing.

You’ve probably been hearing more and more about 3D printing in the news. 3D printers are now affordable at the consumer level (you can get one at Walmart for just a little over $1,000) and they’re being used to make everything from toys to clothes to the controversial 3D printed guns. 3D printing is expected to make major changes to the architecture, construction, automotive and even aerospace industries, and healthcare will be no different.

For example, 3D printing already has and will continue to:Read More

How to Make Your Home Elderly-Friendly

By Bryan Mercer

12/16/2013 5:00 AM

For many people, part of being an adult means taking care of aging friends or relatives. In fact, it’s often seen as a duty for the young to care for the generation that came before it. There are many positive aspects about caring for a loved one—you can spend more time with them, and you have the opportunity to make sure personally that they are safe and healthy.

But at times this responsibility for an elderly loved one may feel difficult or even overwhelming. However, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone, and that there are plenty of ways to make your job less stressful, and your loved one’s life happier and healthier.Read More

Best Ways to Manage Joint Pain

By Annika Garvey

12/11/2013 8:00 AM

Many people assume that as they grow older, joint pain will become simply another fact of life that they will have to deal with on a daily basis. While many elderly adults do experience joint pain, it is not inevitable, and certainly not untreatable.

Joint pain can be a result of many different conditions, such as arthritis, bursitis, fibromyalgia, sprains or other injuries. Often, pain in your joints is a result of the erosion, inflammation, or inadequate lubrication of the cartilage between your bones. This might sound bad, but there’s no reason to think that sore joints mean you can’t lead an active, pain-free life. Here are some tips for managing and preventing your joint pain in a natural, holistic way:Read More

Top 5 Must-Haves for Bathroom Safety

By Nancy Pham

12/9/2013 1:00 PM

With slippery floors and hard surfaces, it’s no wonder that the bathroom is considered the most dangerous room in the house. Medical conditions, such as eyesight issues and chronic arthritis, can affect balance and cause serious injury, especially to elderly adults. Fortunately, there are various bath safety products that can help reduce the risk of falls, and prevent you from suffering head trauma, hip dislocations, and other fall-related injuries. Here are the top five:   

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How to Maintain Good Sleep Posture

By Renee Mercer

12/4/2013 1:00 PM

Briggs Stress Ease Pillow

“There’s nothing you can’t cure with a good night’s sleep.” While this saying may not apply to all cases, there’s more than a little truth to it.

Sleep is a vital component in maintaining both physical and mental health. But as beneficial as it can be, under certain circumstances, sleep can create or aggravate existing health complications such as back pain, poor blood circulation, or bedsores. In avoiding the side effects of poor sleep, posture is key. No, this doesn’t mean keeping your back straight and your chin up while lying in bed, but it may mean making some changes to your sleeping position:

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How to Get a Flu Shot: Comparing the 3 Methods

By Bryan Mercer

12/2/2013 3:09 PM

I don’t like shots.

I also don’t like getting the flu.

Fortunately, these days we have options other than the traditional flu shot. For example—the nasal spray flu vaccine. This wonderful delivery method gets you the vaccine without puncturing your skin. It works for healthy, non-pregnant persons between ages 2 and 49.

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Asthma and the Link to Sleep Apnea

By Chelsea Wardach

11/27/2013 1:00 PM

Snoring often seems like a silly inconvenience—something to make fun of your friend or significant other for. But sometimes, it can be a symptom of a larger problem.

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder characterized by excessive snoring, choking, and difficulty breathing during sleep. It’s typically been associated with health and lifestyle factors like smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, and alcohol use. But studies have shown that people with asthma may also find themselves at risk for the disorder.

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Five Tips for Protecting Against Falls

By Bryan Mercer

11/25/2013 1:00 PM

Everyone has their little moments of clumsiness—dropping a glass, tripping over a rug, stumbling on the sidewalk. For most people, accidents like these are no big deal, but as we get older, issues such as lack of coordination, poor balance, and loss of fine motor skills can become a more serious problem.

All of these seemingly ordinary hallmarks of aging can put you at greater risk of falling—which for seniors is no joke. Falls are the leading cause of injury-related death among the elderly, resulting in injuries like broken hips, concussions, and bruises. Luckily, by being aware of this danger, you’ve already taken the first steps on the road to preventing it.

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Caring for Your Skin with Diabetes

By Renee Mercer

11/20/2013 1:00 PM

Diabetes isn’t always caused by a lack of insulin. It can also come from the patient’s body being insensitive to insulin, which means it has the ability to affect every part of the body. This includes the skin, with skin conditions like itching, infections, and allergic reactions affecting up to one third of people with diabetes. But don’t worry, most of these skin conditions are easy to prevent and treat. Here are some things you can do to keep your skin healthy:

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How to Stay Fit as You Age

By Annika Garvey

11/18/2013 1:00 PM

Folding Exercise Peddler

A healthy and balanced diet is always important, but when you’re trying to stay in shape and keep a trim figure as you grow older, exercise is vital. Nothing makes you feel young like a good blast of endorphins from exercising!

But no matter what your age, an exercise routine isn’t something you can jump into at full speed—in order to make it effective in the long term, you need to do a little planning. Here are some simple steps you can take to make sure that your workout will be a success!

  • Stay within your limits: Make safety your priority, and check with your doctor to make sure you’re ready for exertion before you hit the gym. Don’t push yourself too hard at first. Pace yourself when exercising, and always stretch before and afterwards. This will reduce buildup of lactic acid in your muscles, and will help you feel less sore the next day. Always get a good night’s sleep. Being well rested will give you more energy during the day and make it easier for your body to recover between workouts.
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  • Annika Garvey

    Annika Garvey

    Certified Personal Trainer

    Expertise: Exercise & Fitness

    Annika Garvey is a certified personal trainer, cycling instructor and Pilates teacher. She focuses on personal health and wellness, as opposed to trying to achieve an ideal physique.

    View All Articles

  • Bryan Mercer

    Bryan Mercer

    Registered Pharmacist

    Expertise: Aging in Place, Mobility

    A pharmacist since 1979, Bryan offers tips on how to safely and comfortably age in place, and how mobility aids can help people maintain their independence.

    View All Articles

  • Chelsea Wardach

    Chelsea Wardach

    Staff Writer

    Expertise: Respiratory

    Chelsea provides tips on how people with respiratory issues, such as asthma, sleep apnea and allergies, can use nebulizers and oximeters to breathe better.

    View All Articles

  • Maggie Bridges

    Maggie Bridges

    Occupational Therapist

    Expertise: Geriatric & Pediatric Care

    Maggie is an occupational therapist who enjoys her work with geriatric and pediatric populations.

    View All Articles

  • Mary Hulme

    Mary Hulme

    Geriatric Social Worker

    Expertise: Alzheimer's/Dementia

    With over 18 years of exeperience as a licensed geriatric social worker, Mary Hulme offers practical solutions for elderly adults and their families.

    View All Articles

  • Nancy Pham

    Nancy Pham

    Staff Writer

    Expertise: Incontinence

    Nancy aims to help men and women with urinary incontinence better manage their bladder problems through absorbent products and behavorial treatments.

    View All Articles

  • Renee Mercer

    Renee Mercer

    Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

    Expertise: Bedwetting, Incontinence

    As a certified pediatric nurse practitioner, Renee Mercer has over 20 years of experience treating children with bedwetting (enuresis) and incontinence issues.

    View All Articles

  • Roscoe Nelson

    Dr. Roscoe Nelson

    Board Certified Urologist

    Expertise: Incontinence, Prostate Cancer

    Dr. Nelson has practiced urology in Arizona since 1999 and is a partner of Arizona State Urology. His goal is to provide personalized, state-of-the-art care for all patients.

    View All Articles

  • Sheena Quizon Gregg

    Sheena Quizon Gregg

    Registered Dietitian

    Expertise: Diabetes, Obesity

    Sheena is a registered dietitian at the College of Community Health Sciences at the University of Alabama. She offers tips on how to practice healthy eating habits at a low cost.

    View All Articles

Annika Garvey

Annika Garvey

Certified Personal Trainer

Expertise: Exercise & Fitness

View Recent Articles

Short Bio: Annika Garvey is a certified personal trainer, cycling instructor and Pilates teacher. Her main focus is on personal health and wellness, as opposed to trying to achieve an ideal physique.

Annika Garvey is a certified personal trainer, cycling instructor and Pilates teacher. Her main focus is on personal health and wellness as opposed to trying to achieve an ideal physique.


“Exercise should not be considered a chore, instead it should be thought of as a personal time where you get to do something for you – you should truly enjoy it and even look forward to it. You should also enjoy the benefits it brings and more often those will include a feeling of strength and inner tenacity rather than bulging muscles and a size 25 waist.”


Annika believes that being healthy starts with understanding what healthy is. Her feeling is that healthy is a combination of cardio, strength training, stretching, good nutrition focused on the individual.


“Not every body’s healthy is the same as the next person’s. You need to figure out what your healthy is and aim for it.”


When Annika is not at the gym or on a long walk, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two kids visiting museums, seeing shows or just hanging out.

Sheena Quizon Gregg

Sheena Quizon Gregg

Registered Dietitian

Expertise: Diabetes, Obesity

View Recent Articles

Short Bio: Sheena is a registered dietitian at the College of Community Health Sciences at the University of Alabama. She offers tip on how to practice healthy eating habits at a low-cost budget.

Website: A Filipino Foodie

Sheena Gregg, MS, RD, LD is a registered dietitian in the College of Community Health Sciences at the University of Alabama. She is the assistant director of nutrition, education and health services in the Department of Health Promotion and Wellness, and provides medical nutrition therapy services in the Department of Family Medicine.


Prior to working at UA, Gregg was a clinical dietitian at Gadsden Regional Medical Center in Gadsden, Ala., and at DCH Regional Medical Center in Tuscaloosa. Gregg received both her BS and MS in Human Nutrition and Hospitality Management from the University of Alabama and completed university’s Coordinated Program in Dietetics. Additionally, she has Certificates of Training in both adult and childhood weight management by the Commission on Dietetic Registration.


During her undergraduate career, Gregg was recognized by the American Dietetic Association with the outstanding dietetics student award in a coordinated program in 2007 for the state of Alabama. Most recently she was awarded Outstanding Young Dietitian of the Year by the Tuscaloosa Dietetic Association in 2012. She currently serves as President of the Tuscaloosa Dietetic Association and Chair of the state of Alabama’s Obesity Task Force.

Nancy Pham

Nancy Pham

Staff Writer

Expertise: Incontinence

View Recent Articles

Short Bio: Nancy aims to help men and women with urinary incontinence better manage their bladder problems through absorbent products and behavorial treatments.

Website: National Incontinence Blog

Nancy Pham is the editor and content creator for Just Home Medical. She focuses mainly on issues with urinary incontinence, including stress incontinence and urge incontinence.


Nancy earned her BA in journalism at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland – College Park. She served as editor-in-chief for The PublicAsian, the campus’ student publication focusing on Asian Pacific American issues. She is a former intern at Elsevier/IMNG.


During her free time, Nancy enjoys freezing time through photography, exploring the outdoors and finding thrifted goods.

Renee Mercer

Renee Mercer

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Expertise: Bedwetting, Incontinence

View Recent Articles

Short Bio: As a certified pediatric nurse practitioner, Renee has over 20 years of experience treating children with bedwetting (enuresis) and incontinence issues.

Website: Bedwetting Store Blog

As a certified pediatric nurse practitioner, Renee Mercer has more than 20 years of experience in treating children with nocturnal enuresis, or bedwetting. She understands how frustrating bedwetting can be for children and their families, and hopes that she can help them overcome this issue with success and confidence.


Along with her husband, she opened the Bedwetting Store, now the leading store of bedwetting alarms and supplies. She is also the co-founder of Just Health Shops, a niche-based company with over 15 online shops, including Just Home Medical.


Renee received her Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP) certificate at Medical College of VA, and earned her Master of Nursing (MN) degree at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP).


When she’s not seeing patients with enuresis, Renee enjoys spin cycling and traveling the world with her husband.

Bryan Mercer

Bryan Mercer

Registered Pharmacist

Expertise: Aging in Place, Mobility

View Recent Articles

Short Bio: A pharmacist since 1979, Bryan offers tips on how to safely and comfortably age in place, and how mobility aids, such as walkers and rollators, can help people maintain their independence.

Website: Just Walkers Blog

Bryan Mercer has been a pharmacist since 1979, having earned his degree at the University of Iowa. He is the founder and CEO of Just Health Shops, a niche-based company with over 15 online shops, including Just Home Medical.


Prior to starting his own business with his wife, Bryan served in the U.S. Army with the Medical Service Corps (MSC) and with several consulting firms.


In his spare time, Bryan enjoys scuba diving, skiing and traveling.

Chelsea Wardach

Chelsea Wardach

Staff Writer

Expertise: Respiratory

View Recent Articles

Short Bio: Chelsea provides tips on how people with respiratory issues, such as asthma and allergies, can breath better.

Chelsea Wardach is the Marketing Director at Just Health Shops. When she isn’t putting together the next email strategy, she is finding the latest and greatest products to bring to you! She loves attending medical trade shows and finding unique and useful items to make your life easier.


In her 5 years at Just Health Shops, Chelsea has learned more about medical conditions and products that she ever knew possible! Her primary areas of study have been respiratory, adaptive devices, and mobility equipment. Chelsea is a proud graduate of George Mason University.


In her free time, Chelsea enjoys traveling the world, especially via cruise ship. She also loves all things food related – shopping at local specialty food markets, trying new restaurants, and cooking gourmet meals with her husband.

Mary Hulme

Mary Hulme

Geriatrics Social Worker

Expertise: Alzheimer's/Dementia

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Short Bio: Mary Hulme is a licensed geriatric social worker who offers practical solutions for elderly adults and their families.

Website: Moonstone Geriatric

Mary Hulme was raised in San Francisco, CA and received her BA in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Upon her return to San Francisco, Mary earned a master's degree in Social Work with a special focus on Gerontology and Management Planning from the University of California, Berkeley. Mary received her clinical license from the California Board of Behavioral Sciences in 2004.


In 2010, Mary earned specialized certifications in Health Care and Gerontology from the National Association of Social Workers. She has been chair of the VISN Dementia Steering Committee and the Social Work Professional Standards Board, and remains active in numerous organizations throughout the Bay Area.


Mary has been working with the elderly for over 17 years and recently started her own business, Moonstone Geriatrics, which provides geriatric consultation to elder care facilities, clients and families throughout the Bay Area.

Dr. Roscoe Nelson

Dr. Roscoe Nelson

Board Certified Urologist

Expertise: Incontinence, Prostate Cancer

View Recent Articles

Short Bio: Dr. Nelson has practiced urology in Arizona since 1999 and is a partner of Arizona State Urology. His goal is to provide personalized, state-of-the-art care for all patients.

Website: peedoc

Dr. Roscoe S. "Rocky" Nelson is a nationally recognized Board Certified Urologist. His practice encompasses all urologic conditions with a strong focus on prostate cancer, incontinence, kidney stones and male sexual health.


He has a special interests in integrating social media into his practice having been active on Twitter as @thepeedoc for many years. His website, peedoc.com is geared to make patients comfortable with difficult topics. His goal is to provide personalized, state-of-the-art care for all patients.


Dr. Nelson has practiced urology in Arizona since 1999 and is a partner in Arizona State Urology. About “PeeDoc” he said, “Yes, it's a funny name in a medical profession with serious conditions, however, by keeping things lighthearted, I can connect with more people; and by doing so, I’m able to help more people.”

Maggie Bridges

Maggie Bridges

Occupational Therapist

Expertise: Geriatric & Pediatric Care

View Recent Articles

Short Bio: Maggie Bridges is an occupational therapist who thoroughly enjoys her work with geriatric and pediatric populations.

Maggie Bridges, MS OTR/L is an occupational therapist who enjoys her work with geriatric (older adults) and pediatric (children) populations.


She spends her mornings working with older adults at Fairfax Nursing Center in Fairfax, VA, and her afternoons working with children at Wings to Fly Therapy and Play Center in Chantilly, VA. She is trained to use various modalities to complement traditional occupational therapy interventions for the geriatric population.For the pediatric population, Maggie is certified in Handwriting Without Tears, Therapeutic Listening, and has special training in reflex integration, and visual, vestibular, and auditory treatment techniques.


She graduated summa cum laude from Virginia Commonwealth University- MCV with a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy, after receiving her Bachelor of Science in Biology, summa cum laude, from George Mason University. When she is not with her clients, Maggie loves to be outside running, biking, or hiking with her dog.