Healthy & Happy
July, 2014 - Issue #117
Courtesy of Shutterstock
Courtesy of Shutterstock
Keep your Teeth Sparkling
with KoR Deep Whitening System

Ever wondered about the differences between teeth-whitening product lines? We did, too - and what we learned is surprising!

Teeth lose the ability to absorb oxygen as a person ages. Most whitening procedures release oxygen onto the tooth enamel but don't give the tooth the ability to absorb oxygen afterwards. This is why the KoR whitening process is different. The KoR Deep Whitening System works by restoring your teeth's ability to absorb oxygen.

Most bleaching products are preserved in an acidic solution, which can make the teeth more sensitive. KoR refrigerates their product from manufacturing, shipping and even storage at the dental office. This makes it more powerful of a bleaching agent and kinder to teeth because of its neutral pH - and that is something to smile about!

Everbright Family Dentistry 296-3300

Get to Know Valencia Dental Arts
Straighten Up: The Six Month Braces system offered by Valencia Dental Arts provides the most amount of predictability and best results in the shortest period of time.

Come on Back: Clients who maintain their six-month checkups and cleaning appointments become members of the Free Whitening for Life Program and are provided free whitening gel refills as a reward for taking care of their teeth.

Open Late: Beginning in June, Valencia Dental Arts offers convenient evening appointments.

Missing a Tooth?: Dental implants can last a lifetime with proper maintenance and is a less-invasive procedure than removing a tooth.

Valencia Dental Arts 799-9989

Palliative Care Service Grows Thanks to UniHealth Grant
The UniHealth Foundation has given Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital a three-year grant to help establish a fully-robust palliative care team at the hospital. Henry Mayo began its Palliative Care Service in 2012 to help patients and their families with serious or life-threatening illnesses like cancer improve their quality of life and get relief from symptoms like pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, nausea and difficulty sleeping.

Thanks in large part to this generous grant, Henry Mayo's palliative care team has grown to include two specially-trained RNs, a full-time social worker, additional Chaplain assistance, a medical director and hospital-wide education services, including two new support groups.

"This is a tremendous investment on the part of the UniHealth Foundation and was achieved through the outstanding teamwork of our existing palliative care team under the leadership of intensive care unit director, Dee Rickett, RN, and our palliative care manager, Lisa Frost, RN," said Roger Seaver, CEO and President of Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital. "I'd like to thank and congratulate our Foundation leadership under Diana Vose and the work with the palliative care team to develop the grant request and pursue with diligence the achievement of this goal."

For more information, please contact the Palliative Care team. 200-2867

A First-hand Account of Discreet Female Cosmetic Surgery
"I recently had the privilege of meeting Dr. Poucher and her professional staff. I was nervous moving forward with my procedure, which I postponed for two years due to fear. I called her office after hours and received a call from her office manager within five minutes. Then Dr. Poucher called me to answer further medical questions.

I was very impressed with her expertise and support; as a nurse myself, I had multiple questions. I visited her office where I was greeted by her very professional nurse and office manager Annie; I felt comfortable immediately.

The day of my procedure, Dr. Poucher and her nurses were supportive and willing to assist me as needed. All had an outstanding bedside manner. Their mission to a higher level of health care is admirable. I am so grateful for their understanding and support," ~ Maria H.

Dr. Courtenay Poucher, MD, FACOG, performs female genital cosmetic surgery at Aesthetic Center of Santa Clarita. 312-0497

Courtesy of Shutterstock
Courtesy of Shutterstock
Create a Safe and Healthy Med Management Plan
I can't tell you how often I walk into a senior's home and the medications are scattered everywhere... in the bedroom, on the kitchen counter, in the bathroom. There's no organization and no medication check list, and often no way of telling if the senior has taken the right medication at the right time... if at all.

Did you know that 50 percent of all people aged 65 or older take three or more prescribed medications a day? Those with chronic conditions often take many more. It can be confusing, overwhelming, even life threatening - unless you take the time to create a simple med management plan.

1. Make a list of all current medications. Include dosages and times
they must be taken. Make sure the list is kept near a phone or
on the refrigerator, someplace it can be found in the event of an
emergency. If you or your loved ones drive, then make sure to
carry a list of meds, just in case.

2. If there are new medications on the list, check with the
pharmacist to make sure there are no possible drug interactions
with the other meds. This is the best reason of all to order all
prescription medications through one pharmacy, so the
pharmacist has access to the full list.

3. Create a dosing schedule chart. Some meds should be taken
in the morning, some at night, some with food, some on an
empty stomach. Check to make sure the meds are being taken
appropriately and try to make sure they're taken at the same
time every day.

4. If the dosing chart is too complicated, set up a weekly pill box
yourself or with the assistance of a loved one. It can help make
pill-taking easy and fail-safe.

5. Finally, clear out all the old and/or expired medications. Put them
all in a bag and take them to your local sheriff's office, where they
have boxes set aside for drug disposal. If that's not practical, check
out this FDA website for information on how to safely dispose of
most meds:

Charlene Perrone is a certified senior advisor and owner of Home Instead Senior Care for Santa Clarita and Antelope Valleys. 254-8701

What You should Expect from your Pharmacy
Your pharmacy staff play an important role in safe medication use. You are part of that team every time you take your medications. It is very important that you double check that you are taking the right dose of the right drug, at the right time, in the correct way.

When dropping off prescriptions or requesting refills:
• Tell your pharmacist all the medications and over-the-counter
drugs you take - especially vitamins and herbal remedies.
Your pharmacist has references that identify potential drug
interactions. Confirm that the computer has your current
prescription benefit information, allergies and/or drug
intolerances and phone number.

• Find out how many refills you can get. Make sure that your
physician has provided enough refills until your next visit.
Prescriptions and refills are only valid for one year. Call ahead
for refills. You should expect to have your refill ready within
24 hours.

When picking up your medications at your pharmacy:
• Confirm the drug is correct at the pharmacy counter. Compare
the instructions given by your physician to the drug name on the
pharmacy label.

• Open the bottle and look at the medications to confirm that it's
imprinted with the correct drug name and strength. If there is no
imprint, ask the pharmacist to show you the bottle from which the
medication was dispensed for comparison. Also learn what your
medications look like if you take them over a period of time.
Liquids usually have a unique scent. Learn to recognize your
liquid medications by smell.

• Confirm the dosage is correct. Compare the instructions given by
your physician to the instructions on the label.

• Pediatric medications are at high risk for dosage errors. Most
drugs' dosages are based on weight. Confirm your child's
medication dose with your child's doctor and/or pharmacist.

Desert Drugs Pharmacy 298-3135
Newhall Pharmacy 799-7017

News from hearing expert Nola Aronson
Summer Carefor Hearing Aids

We all love to travel in the summer... hearing aid users just need to do a little extra preparation. Having a hearing aid clogged with sand or moisture could put a damper on your fun. Follow these steps to ensure that you can spend your time enjoying vacation.

Moisture: Wipe the outside of the hearing aid daily with a soft, dry cloth or tissue to keep it free of wax and excess moisture. Since moisture is insidious, you might want to invest in a hearing aid dehumidifier box that is small enough to travel with. For BTE hearing aids, a Hearing Aid Sweat Band can help when mowing the lawn or exercising outdoors. The band helps absorb moisture. Note: Be careful when applying sunscreen on top of your face or around the ears - this can clog and lead to costly repairs.

Antimicrobial Products: Hearing aids tend to grow bacteria and other microbes like fungi, especially during humid summer months. Antimicrobial products can be applied to the hearing aids every few days to help kill off infection-causing microbes.

Brush: Hearing aids sometimes come with a specific tool or brush to remove wax from the speaker and microphone screens. It's good to use this tool at least twice daily, during summer months, as excess sweat can increase itching and discomfort if not actively avoided.

Air: In addition to using the dehumidifier, there are "puffers" available that blow small amounts of air through a hearing aid or through hearing aid tubing and moldings to keep them clean and obstruction free. Also remember to keep the battery compartment open when not in use or in the dehumidifier overnight.

Tubing: BTE hearing aids connect from the outer shell of the device through a tube to the inner ear piece. During most of the year this piece can be removed and replaced regularly to avoid blockages, but people often find that tubes need to be replaced or cleaned more often during hot weather. Obtaining extra tubing for the summer helps to make sure that any unforeseen complication with tubing can be easily fixed.

Audiologist: If you are unsure how to clean your hearing aid before you take off for your adventure, or if these suggestions made your head spin, don't worry. Talk to your audiologist about getting your hearing aids professionally cleaned. Summer heat and humidity pose a greater risk for hearing aid users than other times of the year, so see your audiologist ahead of time to make sure your investment is protected.

Nola Aronson of Advanced Audiology has been helping people hear better since 1987. 877-4555

Staying Safe at Home
Keeping seniors safe, comfortable and cared for at home is Visiting Angels' specialty!

When older people are dealing with illness or injury, they can help them stay safe with assistance with their daily activities like bathing, light housekeeping and meal preparation. If a senior no longer drives, they can help them run their errands - like shopping and trips to the bank. An older adult who is dealing with difficulties with walking is especially at risk for a fall, and Visiting Angels know how to prevent falls by assisting with ambulation, safe bathing, home safety and carrying items like laundry baskets and grocery bags that can contribute to falls.

People who suffer from the effects of dementia may need constant supervision to keep them safe from wandering or household accidents; an in-home caregiver can literally be a life saver for these people. Even if the person does not need the personalized attention of a caregiver, Visiting Angels can help with monitoring services and suggest community resources.

They offer free consultations with a care manager to help you discover how Visiting Angels can keep you or your older loved ones safe at home. 263-2273
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