Concordia Way 2018 Spring Issue - Page 12



Health News
What’s up doc?
W
e grew up thinking doctors
knew everything about everything. We expected (and usually received) minimal information about
our diagnosis and treatment and we obeyed
doctors’ orders unquestioningly.
But as we age, health issues become
more complex. Many of us find ourselves
managing multiple conditions. Ensuring
we receive and understand the information
we need means getting comfortable asking
our doctors questions until we’re clear on
the answers.
The good news is that the old ‘doctor
speaks, patient listens’ approach has been
evolving. Many medical schools now offer
training in patient-centered communication that emphasizes a two-way dialogue
with patients and encourages them to
ask questions. According to Dr. Halee
Fischer-Wright, president and CEO of the
Medical Group Management Association,
“The role of the physician used to be … the
receptacle of all medical knowledge. That
has changed. We know that when there is
trust and communication in the relationship, the outcomes are significantly better.”
Here are some suggestions on how to
get the information you need from your
doctor:
• Bring a list of questions and concerns,
in order of importance
• Let the doctor know you need time to
take a few notes during your appointment
to ensure you remember important details
• Report any life or health changes since
your last visit, such as changes in appetite,
weight or sleep
• Request an explanation of medical
terms you don’t understand, or when instructions aren't clear
• If necessary, ask the doctor to speak
more loudly
• Ask for details, such as: What may have
caused this condition? Is it permanent?
How is this treated or managed? What will
be the long-term effects?
Now is the time to change the old ‘doctor
knows best’ dynamic, and work as a team
to build optimal health.
Benefits of massage therapy Summer’s coming – do I still
for seniors
need to take vitamin D?
M
assage therapy can help to manage
several age-related conditions,
yet many seniors avoid it because
they’re concerned about discomfort, or
they’re unaware of the potential benefits.
The good news is there are therapists who
specialize in serving seniors, adapting the
massage to each client's health, mobility, and
comfort level. Most will visit people in their
house, care home or hospital room and can
provide therapy to clients in beds or wheelchairs, if needed.
The benefits of massage therapy to seniors
include:
• Increased circulation
• Pain relief for sciatica
• Reduced anxiety in people with dementia
• Improved balance and flexibility
• Improved digestion
• Pain relief for osteoarthritis of the knee
• Stroke recovery
• Improved sleep and mood
Consult your doctor before starting
massage therapy and use only licensed,
professional therapists. Your doctor may
recommend a seniors’ massage specialist,
or you can contact the Massage Therapy
Association of Manitoba at www.mtam.
mb.ca or by calling 204-927-7979 (toll free
at 1-866-605-1433).
V
itamin D is essential for good health,
but it’s hard to get enough. "Vitamin
D is not in many foods," says Dr.
Donald Hensrud, medical director of the
Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program. "It's
challenging to get all we need." We get some
vitamin D through exposure to sunlight,
but people in northern climates don’t get
much sunlight in winter and we don’t absorb
vitamin D from the summer sun if we use
sunscreen, which is recommended for cancer
protection.
The good news is it’s easy to get the vitamin D we need by taking a daily supplement
year-round. Mayo Clinic recommends at
least 600 international units (IU) daily and
says up to 2,000 IU is safe for adults. Those
with ongoing health conditions should consult their health care provider before taking
any supplement.
Puzzle answers
12 The Concordia Way
concordiafoundation.ca
Spring 2018

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