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Tips for a Safer House After Rehab

It’s always nerve-racking if someone you love has a fall. This is particularly true if the person is elderly and frail already. While they may remain at a place like the Dry Harbor Rehabilitation Center in New York for a bit, the goal, ultimately, is to get them back home. As a caregiver, child or friend of the injured, it is very important to remember that they may need some changes in their home after the accident. Here are a few little-known tips that can help to create more safety in the injured person’s home.

1. Caregivers: You may need to consider having a caregiver at the home. This might be someone who just comes for a few hours a day, but it might be someone full time. One area of need for most people is when they first get up from being in bed or sitting. They will often experience a moment of dizziness and it is very important to have someone there to be of assistance.

2. Cleaning: Make sure that the apartment is clean, with no scum or mildew in the bath or shower to create slippery surfaces.

3. Clutter: Go around the house and identify clutter. This is a sure-fire way for the injured person to trip.

4. Telephone: Add telephone lines to the house. Install a telephone in the bathroom and one in the family room (if there isn’t one there already). There should be a phone in the bedroom and the kitchen as well. You might, instead, want to use a medical alert system. Or you can teach them to use a cell phone and make sure they have it on them at all times.

5. Lighting: Evaluate the lighting in the house. Is the pathway to the bedroom to dark? Are the hallways dark? Make sure that the path from the bedroom to the bathroom is well lit with nightlights or some other means so that the injured can clearly see their way at night.

Rehabilitation is never easy, but at a location like Dry Harbor Rehabilitation Center patients will get the nurturing and the attention that they need. The trick, upon their return home, is to continue with that rehab and to ensure that their home is a safe place for them to be.

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Music Really Does Soothe the Soul

woman-977020_640Most people realize that music can have a calming influence and that it’s used for therapy in many ways. Now, the benefits are even more pronounced. Dr. Diana Vetter and her team at the University of Zurich have found that patients who listen to their favorite music have lower blood pressure and heart rates than do those who don’t. The benefits of the music, interestingly enough, were most pronounced when the patient picked his own play list. Their analysis covered research in the past 15 years. Their findings were published in the Annals of Surgery.

In their study, music was linked to 31% less pain, 29% lower odds of using pain medications and 34% less anxiety.

Marianne van der Heijden, a researcher at Erasmus Medical Center – Sophia Children’s Hospital in Rotterdam explained the potential impact of the study. As she said, “Music interventions are not yet part of the system because for an intervention to be formally adapted in medicine and hospitals, efficacy needs to be shown. There now seems to be enough evidence to support the formal adaptation of music interventions in clinical guidelines. Self-selected music interventions shouldn’t be difficult to provide at all and could be realized by creating awareness among hospital staff, patients and their family members about the positive effects of music.”

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Brisk Walking May Be the Best Answer to Weight Issues

shoes-587648_640Research by the London School of Economics might just make you smile. They found that people who walked regularly for exercise had a lower BMI and smaller waist than did those who took part in sports like running, cycling and going to the gym.

Dr. Grace Lordan, who led the research, compared people who said they regularly walked for half-an-hour at a fast-pace with those who did the same amount of manual labor, sports or other rigorous activity. The findings are based on the physical activity levels from the annual Health Survey from England from 1999-2012.

The article will soon be published in the journal Risk Analysis. Read the entire article to learn more.

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5 Easy Heating Tips This Winter: IDT Energy

fire-917411_640Winter is upon us and it’s time to think about the heating bill. Heating and cooling account for 56% of the energy used in a typical American home, as reported by the Department of Energy. But there are ways to save on winter heating bills and to be more careful as the winter sets in. Certainly, companies like IDT Energy and others want you to conserve your energy and to use it smartly this winter. Here are five tips for doing so.

1. Believe it or not, the worn weather stripping around your doors and windows could be costing you in your heating bills. These worn and torn areas let in drafts and cold air. Somewhere close to 10% of heat loss in a home occurs due to window and doors. Make sure your weather stripping isn’t worn out or torn.

2. There are other key areas where drafts can enter. These include under the front door and around electrical outlets. If you can see the daylight under your front door, then you’re losing air there. The door should be in contact with the threshold. If you see a bit of light in the corners, it’s alright, but you don’t want much. Your electrical boxes on exterior walls can also be creating drafts. Insulation isn’t always placed correctly behind and around them. You can solve this problem by removing the cover plates and filling small gaps around the boxes with acrylic latex and caulk. Use foam sealant if you have large gaps.

3. Adjust the temperature during the day. If you’re home and awake, set the thermostat as low as is comfortable for you. When you’re sleeping or out of the house, turn it back 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours. This will save you a great deal during the year. As companies like IDT Energy can explain, a programmable thermostat will help you to keep the temperatures monitored without any effort.

4. If you have a fireplace, there are key things you should be doing. First, keep the fireplace damper closed if you don’t have a fire burning. This is a huge place that air can escape. When you use the fireplace, reduce heat loss by opening dampers in the bottom of the firebox or even open a window nearby slightly, about 1 inch. Close doors leading into the room. Check your seal on the fireplace flue damper and make sure it’s tight.

5. Your attic is another place that you might be losing heat and spending too much. Check your attic access door to see if it’s warped or if it won’t lie flat. This is a place that air could be leaking out. You may want to use adhesive to attach fiberglass batt insulation to the attic side of the door.

With these five tips, you should be able to head into winter with lower heating bills and with a home that is well sealed and insulated. No matter which energy company you use, whether it’s IDT Energy or another one, there are always ways to save a bit extra this winter with these key tips.

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Can Tea Prevent Broken Bones?

women-697928_640Experts from Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Perth, the Royal Perth Hospital and the Flinders University of South Australia in Adelaide have recently conducted a study about the medical benefits of tea. They had an idea that tea might actually help elderly women to improve bone density and they wanted to see if increased tea drinking led to fewer fractures.

Studying close to 1200 women in their seventies over a ten year period, they asked each woman how much tea she regularly drinks and then watched their fracture rate. Women who drank three or more cups of tea every day were 30% less likely to suffer a break than those who drank less than one cup of tea a week.

The concluded that each cup of tea a woman drank each day cut the risk of a fracture by about 9%. As researcher Dr. Jonathan Hodgson explained, |There is increasing interest in the role of dietary factors in osteoporosis and fracture prevention. There is evidence that foods rich in flavonoids – such as fruits, vegetables and tea – may also be related to bone loss and fracture outcomes. Flavonoids are a large class of phytochemicals widely distributed in plant foods. And tea is the main source in many populations.”

He continued, “We have shown that a higher intake of black tea and flavonoids was associated with lower risk of fracture in elderly women. Our results support the hypothesis that tea and its flavonoids may be protective.”

He explained that more research is needed before anyone can conclude that these dietary recommendations would influence osteoporosis, but the findings are definitely interesting. The research was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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Being a Mom Might Just Keep You Alive Longer

baby-165067_640Your kids might be helping you stay alive, believe it or not. A UK study from the Imperial College London analyzed detailed data on the lives of 322,972 women from ten European countries. They found, during the 13 year study, that women who had children were a fifth less likely to have died in the course of the study. This means that mothers are 20% less likely to die early than are their childless counterparts.

Published in the journal BMC Medicine, it also showed that women who have two or three children are less likely to die of cancer than are others. In addition, mothers who breastfed were 8% less likely to die than were those who bottle fed. The other finding they saw was that women on the pill were 10% less likely to die, as long as they weren’t smokers.

Interesting, while this study didn’t evaluate men, other studies have shown that fatherhood is also good for health. A couple’s happiness increases with the birth of each child – interestingly, until the third. With the fourth child’s appearance, levels of satisfaction start to dip down again.

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Unique Exhibit: Helly Nahmad Gallery & Phoenix Ancient Art

abstract-867306_640The Helly Nahmad Gallery in New York is about to open a cutting-edge exhibit called “Mnemosyne: de Chirico and Antiquity.” Partnering with antiquities dealer Phoenix Ancient Art, owned by brothers Hicham Aboutaam and Ali Aboutaam, the gallery will display paintings by Italian artist Giorgio de Chirico next to Greek and Roman antiquities.

The paintings about to go on display will include Chirico’s Neo-classical style which is a less explored aspect of his work. And they are being paired with marble statues, vases, bronze armor and other works by Phoenix Ancient Art. These pieces from the Phoenix private collections have never been exhibited alongside each other – let alone alongside Modern art.

As a release for the exhibit explains, “The exhibition hopes to help cultivate an environment where antiquity is appreciated in a modern context and vigilantly guarded for future generations to study and enjoy.”

Mnemosyne: de Chirico and Antiquity opens to the public on November 4th and will continue until December 23rd at the Helly Nahmad Gallery at 975 Madison Avenue. Due to the fragile nature of the antiques and the value of the works, attendance will be limited and large groups will need prior consent to enter.

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4 Tips for Better Sleep

baby-19295_640If you have trouble going to sleep, or staying asleep through the night, you’re not alone. Almost 40% of the population suffers from some type of insomnia. Here are some tips for making your environment, and your body, ready for a great night sleep.

1. You need to make sure that your bedroom is ready for your sleep. Your bedroom should be calm and relaxing. Your mattress should be comfortable and your bed clothing shouldn’t make you hot or cold. Block out all noise and light so that it’s a dark, quiet room.

2. Use your bedroom only for sleeping and for sex so that you associate your bed with rest and pleasure only.

3. Don’t steal sleep from yourself. Many people will stay up an hour later, thinking it doesn’t make that much of a difference in their sleep. But the sleep that you get before midnight is actually quite important for keeping your immunity up.

4. Taking naps and staying in bed longer on the weekend doesn’t really help. As Professor Colin Espie, a sleep specialist at the University of Oxford said, “Lie ins and long naps at the weekend disrupt our body clocks which could disrupt our sleep in the long term by making it harder to sleep at night during the week.”

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