Home for the Holidays – Tips for coping

“Oh, there’s no place like home for the holidays ‘Cause no matter how far away you roam When you pine for the sunshine of a friendly gaze For the holidays you can’t beat home sweet home!” Really?  I may have to protest Perry Como’s illusion of family gatherings.  For many, these forced get togethers are dreaded and for others the holidays are another reminder that they have limited or no family to celebrate with.  The Mayo Clinic offers this advise on surviving the Holiday blues. Stress, depression and the holidays: Tips for coping By Mayo Clinic Staff But with some practical tips, you can minimize the stress that accompanies the holidays. You may even end up enjoying the holidays more than you thought you would. Tips to prevent holiday stress and depression When stress is at its peak, it’s hard to stop and regroup. Try to prevent stress and depression in the first place, especially if the holidays have taken an emotional toll on you in the past. Acknowledge your feelings. If someone close to you has recently died or you can’t be with loved ones, realize that it’s normal to feel sadness and grief. It’s OK to take time to cry or express your feelings. You can’t force yourself to be happy just because it’s the holiday season. Reach out. If you feel

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Natural Sedatives in your diet

We all know the tryptophan and Thanksgiving turkey connection, but overloading on turkey is not the only natural way to help promote sleep.  Tryptophan is an amino acid that the body uses in the processes of making vitamin B3 and serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate sleep. It can’t be produced by our bodies, so we need to get it through our diet. From which foods, exactly? Turkey, of course, but also other meats, chocolate, bananas, mangoes, dairy products, eggs, chickpeas, peanuts, and a slew of other foods.  Before you call the doctor and ask for an Ambien or Restoril for insomnia, consider adding these foods that promote natural sleeping to your diet.  Natural sedatives offer a more restful sleep and don’t effect our circadian rhythm. (sleep/awake cycle) as sleeping pills.  In addition to tryptophan, magnesium, calcium and Vitamin B help aid in production of turning serotonin into melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone found naturally in the body. As the sun sets, your body produces more melatonin and when you rise in the morning, melatonin levels taper off to allow you to wake up. Some people take melatonin to adjust the body’s internal clock. It is used for jet lag, for adjusting sleep-wake cycles in people whose daily work schedule changes, and for helping blind people establish a day and night cycle. 

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Medicare Part D Fact Sheet

Medicare Part D Plan Open Enrollment Every October 15 through December 7th Medicare Part D plans have Open Enrollment. The programs begin on January 1st. Medicare Part D is prescription drug coverage with a formulary of prescription drugs, managed by a plan sponsor. If a person participates in Medicare Part A or Part B, then the Part D enrollment is voluntary. If a person has Medicaid, then they must enroll in a Part D plan, or one will automatically be assigned. Medicaid coverage helps with costs of premiums, deductibles and co-pays. FLORIDA APPROVED PART D PLANS FOR 2019 SilverScript Choice Wellcare Classic Basic Plan for the Average Person Monthly premiums average $32.50 per month Annual deductible is $415.00 Co-pays for prescriptions is 25% up until $3,850 has been paid out of pocket “Donut Hole” – is a gap in prescription coverage Coverage for drugs stops at $3,850 Beneficiary is responsible for 100% of drug costs from $3,850 until $5,100 out of pocket Once the annual cost of drugs reaches $5,100, Medicare Part D pays 95% of costs        During Open Enrollment Oct – Dec Letters will be mailed to all “choosers” regarding their status The designated person that choose a plan any year since 2006, will remain the “chooser”  and will select a plan for the beneficiary “Once a chooser, always a

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Elderly at high risk of PTSD after hurricanes

Post Traumatic Stress and the Elderly After Hurricane Irma that displaced thousands of people and left them without power many elderly patients find it hard to “bounce back” from the stress. The sudden and overwhelming nature of natural disasters can leave many shocked, emotional and uncertain about their future. The constant warning and 24/7 news coverage of destructive weather this year can take a major toll on anyone’s mental health. People can develop PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder” at any time after experiencing a traumatic event, but 30 days is the minimum to receive a diagnosis. After Hurricane Harvey and the catastrophic flooding, many people are suffering acute symptoms such as depression, anxiety, panic disorder and fear of the unknown. For the elderly and those who have a history of mental illness or dementia they are at a greater risk for developing PTSD. Signs of PTSD include flashbacks and nightmares, avoidance of situations that bring them back to the trauma, heart pounding, trouble breathing. The condition can also lead to feelings of depression and anxiety as well as insomnia. Being displaced during a storm, staying with other people (even family) needing to throw away damaged items, having to buy a refrigerator’s food, dealing with blocked streets and downed trees are stressful for healthy adults and even more so for an elderly

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Straight Suicide Talk

With the two high profile suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, mental health and dealing with depression was in the news.  If you have a friend or family member who you think may be considering taking their own life, experts say to come right out and ask them.  Contrary to scaring them, this question will come as a relief. Here are ten ways to deal with feelings of depression and isolation: Talk about feelings Eat well Keep in touch Take a break Do something you’re good at Keep active Drink sensibly Ask for help Care for others Accept who you are And if you find yourself having suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255.  It is available 24 hours a day, every day.

ASK THE PHARMACIST… about insulin sliding scales

Question: Sliding Scale orders for insulin is time consuming and sometimes confusing. Is there a better way to prescribe insulin for elderly patients? Answer: According to recent guidelines published in February 2017 by the American Diabetes Association sliding-scales are NOT RECOMMENDED in long-term care. Diabetes affects up to 33% of patients in long-term care facilities The most commonly prescribed insulin therapy for patients in long-term care is sliding-scale insulin (SSI), the use of finger-stick blood glucose testing to assess the need for insulin administration based on current blood glucose levels. Its sole use for long-term treatment is specifically not recommended Recent updates to several published guidelines, including CMS, the Beers criteria, the American Medical Directors Association, and the American Diabetes Association regarding the use of SSI-only insulin regimens for elderly patients in long-term care all advise simplified treatment regimens and avoidance of “sliding-scale” regimens. Below is a summary of the recommendations: Hypoglycemia risk is the most important factor in determining glycemic goals due to the catastrophic consequences in this population. Simplified treatment regimens are preferred and better tolerated. Sole use of SSI should be avoided. Liberal diet plans have been associated with improvement in food and beverage intake in this population. To avoid dehydration and unintentional weight loss, restrictive therapeutic diets should be minimized. Physical activity and exercise are important

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