Posts Tagged ‘wellness’

Aging Parents and Multiple Health Problems – Live Chat Takeaways

aging-parents-emailAs we age, the likelihood of developing multiple ongoing conditions increases. These problems can include high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and congestive heart failure, to name a few. On Tuesday, August 2nd many joined Anthony Nguyen, MD, Emory Healthcare Regional Medical Officer for the Emory Coordinated Care Centers, part of the Emory Healthcare Network Advantage program, to learn more about care coordination for aging adults, health management and how caregivers – and patients themselves- can  best communicate with their doctors.

Thanks to such a great turnout, we were able to answer quite a few questions that were submitted both prior to and during the chat. Below are some highlights from the live chat. View the full chat transcript here.


Question: Are there doctors in the metro area who offer comprehensive care for older adults?

Dr. Nguyen: All patients should have a primary care physician to help manage one’s overall care. A general internist or family practice physician may see a wide array of patients, including older adults. However, a geriatrician specializes in older adults who have multiple ongoing medical conditions and medications. Emory Healthcare has numerous geriatricians and primary care physicians in its network. It also has developed a new care model to assist its providers in delivering comprehensive care for older adults.

Visit to learn more about the Emory Coordinated Care Centers and the specific services available for aging adults.


Question: How do you work with in home care providers to assist with following your care plans?

Dr. Nguyen: There are many different types of in-home care providers. Home health providers are assigned by orders from a physician. In order to continue home healthcare services, there is communication between the home health agency and the primary care physician. Communication may come in the form of fax, letters, or direct phone calls. Here, the Emory Coordinated Care Center offers registered nurse case management to assist in carrying out patient care plans.


Question: A friend’s mom recently fell, and after the initial injury, it seemed like her health deteriorated rapidly. Why is that? How can I help my own parent avoid that?

Dr. Nguyen: It is more difficult for an older person to recover because of other possible underlying conditions they had prior to the fall. Immobility after a fall can also lead to slower recovery. The best ways to prevent a fall are to stay active. Depending on your health conditions, you may require balance exercises, appropriate assistive devices and making sure your environment is safe. Having your hearing and vision checked regularly could also help prevent falls.


Thank you to everyone who participated in our live chat. You can read the full chat transcript here and learn more about Emory Coordinated Care Centers below.


Aging Parents and Multiple Health Problems – What Adult Children Can Do to Help

aging-parents-emailAs we age, the likelihood of developing multiple ongoing conditions increases. These problems can include high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and congestive heart failure, to name a few.

Multiple medical conditions also means multiple prescriptions, therapies and physicians, all of which can become confusing. Sometimes, they might seem at cross purposes as well.

Join us July 27, 2016, from noon to 1 p.m. to chat online with Anthony Nguyen, MD, Emory Healthcare Regional Medical Officer for the Emory Coordinated Care Centers, part of the Emory Healthcare Network Advantage program. Dr. Nguyen works with Emory primary care physicians and Coordinated Care Center staff to deliver continuous coordinated care to older patients.

He will discuss how caregivers – and patients themselves- can communicate with their doctors to help manage health conditions like

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Anticoagulation Therapy Program
  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • COPD

He will also explain the therapies, services and treatments offered at the Coordinated Care Centers that can help with this more intensive health management, including:

  • HealthStart assessments
  • Fall prevention
  • Medication management
  • Nutrition advice
  • Smoking cessation programs
  • Behavioral health support

During this chat, you’ll be able to ask questions and get real-time answers from Dr. Nguyen. Register now for our July 27 chat at


Build your Own First Aid Kit with These 16 Items

first-aid250x250It’s a new year, and a good time to think about getting a fresh start on your family’s health.

Creating a first aid kit for your home – and even your car – helps keep first-aid items in one easy place. It’s also fairly easy to do and low cost.

You can either start your first-aid kit scratch, or purchase one from a local drug store and tailor it to your family’s needs.

Either way, be sure to include the following:

  • Contact list: Keep a list of emergency contacts, including those of close friends, neighbors and family members. Make sure you include contact information for your primary care physician and, if you have children, their pediatrician.
  • Copies of insurance and medical records
  • List of prescribed medications and known allergies: Having this information readily available helps paramedics and other medical professionals treat you more effectively. Even though there are a number of apps available to help you track meds, a printed list is easy for everyone to access.
  • Prescriptions: Make sure you stock any medications prescribed by your physician, such insulin, epinephrine injectors (EpiPens), heart medication, asthma inhalers, etc.
  • Adhesive bandages
  • Allergy and anti-itch medications
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Aspirin
  • Antacid
  • Burn ointment
  • Eye wash solution: In addition to rinsing irritants out of your eyes, eye wash can be used a s a general decontaminant
  • Laxative
  • Petroleum jelly or other lubricant
  • Scissors
  • Thermometer
  • Tweezers

Store your kit in a cool dry place and periodically check it for items that need to be restocked. Also be sure to check expiration dates on any medications. Make sure everyone in your family knows where the kit is located, and encourage everyone to put it back where they found it. That way your set for the next time you need it.

A Home Away From Home, The Birth Place at Emory Johns Creek Hospital

The birth of a child is a memorable and emotional time for the members of any family. When the big day finally arrives, it is important for your family to have privacy to celebrate together. The weeks and months leading up to the birth of a child are full of excitement and anticipation. When your bundle of joy arrives, the experience should be an unforgettable one. That is why The Birth Place at Emory Johns Creek Hospital focuses on providing the perfect space and amenities to help expectant mothers and their families welcome a new life into the world.

The Birth Place offers a host of benefits, including:
• All-private rooms
• Labor, delivery and recovery suites
• Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
• In-house, 24/7 neonatology services
• Sleeping/lounging areas for spouse or coach
• Certified lactation consultant
• Flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi
• Patient- and family-centered care

We Focus on You! At The Birth Place, your comfort is paramount. For every woman who chooses to give birth at EJCH, a team of experienced nurses and physicians work to promote family togetherness and happiness surrounding the birth of a child. The care provided by this team creates a birthing environment that is simply second to none. “The mission of The Birth Place is to provide mothers and families with a comfortable setting in which to welcome their newest additions,” says Lyn Harrington, RNC-OB, C-EFM, MSN, director of Women’s Services at EJCH. “Putting the ‘special’ in our patients’ special day is our top priority. Each day, our team of nurses focuses on making sure patients and their families receive individualized care so that they get the most from their experience.”
If you’re interested in taking a closer look at our birthing suites, come take a tour of the Birth Center!

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Putting Our Community First: Tobacco-Free at EHC

Tobacco-Free Emory Healthcare

As the largest health care system in the state of Georgia, putting the health and wellness of our staff, patients and families first is our priority. It’s also important that we set an example not only for other health care providers, but for our Georgia communities. In an effort to help support both of those goals, earlier this year, we announced that Emory Healthcare and Emory University were becoming tobacco-free campuses in the fall.

Below is information detailing the rollout of our tobacco-free system, including information on areas that have already become tobacco-free.

Emory University – Tobacco-Free as of August 1, 2012

As of August 1, 2012, designated smoking areas around the Emory University campus have been removed and the campus is tobacco-free. That means that use of all tobacco products (cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, etc.) is prohibited on the Emory University campus – including parking areas.

Emory Healthcare – Tobacco-Free as of September 1, 2012

Emory Johns Creek Hospital, Saint Joseph’s Hospital and the Emory University Orthopaedics and Spine Hospital, all of which are part of the Emory Healthcare system, have been operating as tobacco-free campuses for some time now. Other facilities inside of the Emory Healthcare system that currently allow for the use of tobacco on campus will have their designated smoking areas removed on September 1, 2012. Staff, students, faculty, physicians, patients and visitors are not permitted to use any tobacco product anywhere on Emory Healthcare property, including doctors’ office and parking areas, as of September 1, 2012.

Signage is posted across both Emory University and Emory Healthcare campuses, and we need everyone’s support to be a success! We know this is a big change for those who use tobacco products. Thanks in advance to our community members for being champions of this important step in creating a safe environment.

If you have any questions or feedback on our tobacco-free initiative, please leave them in the comments section below.

Breathe Right to Be Right! A Crash Course for Better Wellness

Many of us forget that oxygen is the most important chemical in our body. 70% of our bodies ‘waste products’ are removed through breathing. Deep breathing exercises have always been ‘trendy’ but few people actually do them! You’ll see below that they really do enhance your overall wellness, so remember to breathe properly!

Breathing can help calm and stimulate the nervous system and release tension from frustration, stress and anger. Because of its ability to help ease tension, breathing exercises can help bring clarity to the mind and body.

Proper breathing has several benefits:

Makes the Heart Stronger.
Deep breathing leads to more efficient lungs, which means more oxygen and less work on the heart when it comes to delivering oxygen to the body’s tissue. Secondly, greater pressure differential in the lungs leads to increased elasticity, circulation and enhanced air flow, thus taking an additional burden off of the heart.

Assists in Weight Control.
If you are overweight, the extra oxygen taken in via breathing exercises can help burn excess fat more efficiently. If you are underweight, the extra oxygen can help to feed the deprived tissues/ glands.

Breathing also boosts energy levels and improves stamina. In Chinese medicine, diaphragmatic breathing or belly breathing assists with our qi (chi) energy and stamina.

Try These Breathing Exercises

Complete Natural Breathing

  1. Sit or stand while maintaining good posture.
  2. Inhale, through your nose, filling first the lower part of your lungs then the middle part, then the upper part.
  3. Hold your breath for a few seconds.
  4. Slowly exhale! Relax your abdomen and chest.

Deep Breathing

  1. Lie flat on your back or sit in a comfortable chair, maintaining good posture. Ensure that your body is as relaxed as possible. Close your eyes.
  2. Breathe through your nose.
  3. Now place one hand on your abdomen and one on your chest.
  4. Deeply inhale and slowly through your nose into your abdomen. You should feel your abdomen rise with this inhalation and your chest should move only a little.
  5. Keeping your mouth, tongue, and jaw relaxed, exhale through your mouth
  6. Relax as you focus on the sound and feeling of long, slow, deep breaths.

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Summertime Emergency? Come to the Emory Johns Creek Emergency Department!

Emory Johns Creek HospitalSummer’s here, and along with barbecues, baseball, and pool parties come the inevitable bites, bumps, and scrapes. In most cases, summertime ailments don’t require much more than a bag of ice and a Band-Aid. But if you do need emergency help, the Emory Johns Creek Hospital Emergency Department is here for you—with some of the best doctors, highest patient satisfaction scores, and shortest wait times in the area.

Arthur Griffiths, M.D., F.A.C.E.P., Senior Emergency Physician and Emergency Department Physician Community Liaison at Emory Johns Creek Hospital, says the cases he sees this time of year run the gamut from sports injuries to spider bites to heatstroke. Not sure how to tell when an injury merits a visit to the ER? When in doubt, make the trip. Have a bad cut? A lot of people don’t realize you have six hours to sew a laceration. If you sleep on it, it’s too late. Bitten by an insect? If you find yourself having difficulty breathing or developing a fever, or the bite is getting bigger quickly or starting to open up, let us take a look. Inhaler not helping your asthma? We can help.

“It’s always safer to come in if there’s a concern,” says Dr. Griffiths. “Come in. Let us evaluate you.”

Emory Johns Creek also offers interventional cardiology and are a certified Primary Stroke Center. During the summer, says Dr. Griffiths, “our patients are overexerting themselves, doing things they haven’t done in a while.” With heart attacks and strokes, fast intervention is key. If you have chest pain, weakness in an extremity, or numbness, come in immediately for quick evaluation and treatment.

“We are your community emergency department,” says Dr. Griffiths. “We provide a quiet, compassionate, caring environment with the highest in quality of care.”

To learn more, visit Emory Johns Creek Hospital, online.

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10 Examples where Healthy = Cheap when Dining Out

eat healthy to save money dining outAccording to the Bureau of Labor, Americans spent 2.6% more at restaurants in September of this year than last year, but at the same time, the price of food at supermarkets is up 6.2%. Dining out doesn’t have to be bad for your health or your wallet. Below you’ll find our top 10 ways you can lower cost and boost your health when eating out:

Drink Water – soda, juice and alcohol all add money and calories to the bottom line. Eating out is a great time to prioritize getting your daily fill of water (~2L for women, ~3L for men) while cutting costs. For more on why hydration is so important, check out our h2O 101 blog.

No Dessert – skipping dessert when you’re eating out has positive implications for both your waistline and your wallet. Reducing or eliminating simple sugars from your diet is a good way to lower your risk for excess weight gain, diabetes and heart disease. Furthermore, baked goods served in restaurants can contain loads of trans fats, which have a negative impact on your cholesterol and your heart.

Steamed Rice instead of Fried – when you’re eating out at an Asian restaurant, especially those that offer hibachi grilling, you often get to choose between steamed and fried rice. This is a perfect opportunity to save between $3-$5, and cut about 300 calories.

No Extras (dressing, bacon, etc.) – We all love extras. Adding bacon to a burger, or extra ranch dressing to a salad can add lots of flavor, but these extras can add dollars and lots of empty calories to your meal.

Split Big Meals – Portion size is at an all-time high in America. If you have a hankering for steak and potatoes, or are craving something that’s only offered as a big entree, split your meal! Saving half your money and half the calories every time you eat will add up quickly!

Eat More at Lunch – When you eat your largest meal of the day earlier, your body has time to process the nutrition you consume more effectively than if it were eaten a few hours before bed. When choosing when to eat out, opt for making your dining out experience a lunch time one. Lunch menu items are often drastically cheaper than the same items on the dinner menu. Do yourself a favor by eating earlier for less.

Take it Home – If there’s more food on your plate than you’re hungry for, don’t eat it all. A recent study compared the eating habits of those in France vs. Americans and found that lower obesity and heart disease rates among the French may be because they know when to stop eating. Americans rely more heavily on visual cues than their own bodies’ signals to tell them when to stop eating, a trend that may correlate with our rising obesity rates. If there’s more on your plate than you’re prepared to eat in one sitting, listen to your body and wrap it up and take it home. You’ll get more bang for your buck and will support your body’s natural circadian rhythm by not weighing it down with excess food late at night.

Get it in a Salad – Ever noticed that restaurants often offer almost the same meal as both a salad and an entree? You could opt for the grilled chicken (with potatoes, bread, fries, etc.) for $15, or the grilled chicken salad, for $10. You could opt for the buffalo shrimp po boy for $11, or the buffalo shrimp salad for $9. Either way, you’re usually getting about the same amount of protein, but when you opt for the salad, instead of filling up on heavy carbs, you support that protein with loads of vitamins and minerals, and often, save some money in the process.

Substitute – Many restaurants will let you swap out a side for no extra cost. Fruit instead of fries or grits? Salad instead of a baked potato or pasta salad? When you have the option, swap your side for a lighter and healthier one than the standard option. This is a great free way to make every meal more healthy.

Think Local – food that’s available to restaurants locally is fresher and also often cheaper, since restaurants don’t have to incur added costs for shipping. Favorite local dishes are also often cheaper, because restaurants must compete with others in the region serving up the same dish (i.e. – clam chowder in Boston, gumbo in New Orleans, etc.). Go local for increased freshness and lower prices.

Any other examples you can think of? Share them with us in the comments below!

Comfort Foods: Substitution is the Name of the Game

Mahed Cauliflower Substitute for Potatoes When it comes to favorite comfort foods, mashed potatoes, mac’n cheese, and ice cream tend to top everyone’s list. Their rich, creamy texture tastes great but the calories can add up quickly since they are usually high in fat and carbohydrates. How can you have a favorite comfort food and watch your calories? Let’s talk substitution.

Using mashed potatoes as an example, simply substitute a high fiber vegetable like cauliflower for the potatoes in the recipe. This shaves off calories and carbohydrates while adding more nutrients. Cauliflower is a nutrient powerhouse, loaded with more calcium, fiber, vitamin C, folate, and vitamin K than a comparable amount of white potatoes.

Nutritional Breakdown Before Substitution:

Here is the breakdown for one serving of regular mashed potatoes (with butter and cream) from a popular cooking website.1 (We actually cut the serving size in half since what they listed as a serving was enormous!) Mashed potatoes:  1 serving =  ¾ cup, 400 calories, 35 grams fat, 25 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber.2

Nutritional Breakdown After Substitution:

However, you can substitute steamed cauliflower for the potato and add additional ingredients that boost flavor and cut the fat. Per serving, you save 200 calories, 25 grams of fat, and 10 grams of carbohydrates!

This substitution allows you to keep a favorite comfort food on the menu. Experiment with other recipes, using ingredients that cut calories and boost flavor. Check out this website for ways to reduce calories while still enjoying your favorite foods3. Unfortunately, cauliflower ice cream just doesn’t sound that good.

Mashed Cauliflower Recipe (Serves 3)

1 medium head cauliflower
½ cup diced onions
1 Tablespoon cooking oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ to ½ cup 2% milk (any type of low-fat, non-dairy milk would work too)
Salt and pepper to taste

Cut stem and leaves off cauliflower. Wash and drain trimmed cauliflower. Cut into large chunks and boil or steam on stovetop for approximately 8 minutes, or until cauliflower is soft. While cauliflower is steaming, sauté onions in oil in small skillet over medium heat until transparent. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute more. Remove from heat. Add steamed cauliflower, onion mixture, butter and ¼ cup milk to food processor or blender. Process on high until all ingredients are combined and smooth. Can add additional milk if desire thinner consistency. Season as desired. Serve immediately or cool in refrigerator, then reheat in microwave.

Nutrition per serving: Portion size: ¾ cup, 200 calories, 10 grams fat, 15 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams fiber Mashed Potato Recipe
2USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory

Gain Outer Strength & Inner Peace with Yoga

September is National Yoga Awareness Month! Last year around this time, we posed a question to our friends on Facebook, “There are many physical and psychological benefits realized from yoga. Because it’s National Yoga Awareness Month, we’re asking for your feedback. If you participate in yoga let us know what studios you recommend for others who are interested!”

Yoga Facebook Emory Healthcare

With about 12 million Americans participating in yoga and that number steadily on the rise, this time around, we’re outlining some of the benefits of participating in yoga, how you can join them and try yoga as a new student for free.

Health Benefits of Yoga

There are many styles and types of yoga, but despite their differences, there are similar health benefits provided by each. The poses and meditative nature of yoga provides opportunities for participants to build core strength, improve flexibility and balance, reduce stress, lose weight, manage and reduce symptoms of existing and chronic health conditions such as stress, anxiety, and osteoporosis, to name a few, and improve mental focus.

Atlanta Yoga Studios & One Free Week

If you’ve practiced yoga at a studio in Atlanta, and would like to shout them out or provide feedback, please feel free to use the comments area below! If you’re looking for a yoga studio in Atlanta, check out Yelp’s yoga listings.

National Yoga Awareness Month

To celebrate Yoga Month, the folks at the Yoga Health Foundation are offering one week of free yoga for beginners. You can search for yoga studios by city here.

We hope the above resources will inspire and prepare you to give yoga a try. Please consult with your physician before participating in yoga if you have an existing health condition that may be exacerbated by the practice of yoga. Again, we welcome your comments about all things yoga below. Namaste!