It seems that everyone has advice about sleep these days, and we have become immune to it. “Avoid naps, caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime. Get exercise. Get out of bed if you can’t sleep. Turn off the TV and any electronic devices hours before bedtime. Enjoy a relaxing ritual. Keep to a routine.” Please do all of these, because they actually work! Shifting your bedtime later to achieve sleep consolidation ...

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An eleventh nursing home resident has died after an air conditioning failure following last week’s Hurricane Irma. The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, located outside of Fort Lauderdale, was one of 160 nursing homes that had no electricity and no air conditioning, as power lines across the state were decimated by the storm. Yet, it was the only nursing home facility in the state of Florida where multiple deaths occurred ...

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With clinician burnout, depression, resilience and joy in practice so prominent in the primary care literature lately, I have been reflecting on my own career, and the times I experienced the most joy professionally. Looking back, I think it was the years I worked with Chris (not her real name). Chris, a home health nurse, was at first simply a bubbly voice on the other end of the phone. She had ...

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As Congress returns from its summer recess, the health care debate is sure to heat up … again. And over the past few months, the debate has had a significant impact on public opinion. A recent report describes how Americans currently view the ACA. According to national polls, over 90 percent of Americans would change the current law. Most Democrats would expand ACA coverage while most Republicans ...

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Part of a series. Can we slow the aging process? The answer is a definite yes. It’s not easy and requires some real diligence, but aging can be slowed. When thinking about a car we all know “old parts were out.” It is equally true for the human body. But less appreciated is the fact that we can either slow or speed up the process, just as good preventive ...

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Cold, sterile and well … clinical. Three words that neatly describe hospitals as many of us know them. In books, on TV and in movies, we see and experience hospitals as impersonal, solemn and sterile institutions — designed only to treat disease. Interestingly enough, while our society has begun shifting away from thinking of health as just the treatment of disease, our hospitals fail to reflect these changes. This is particularly ...

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My husband, the anesthesiologist, came home one evening, he was solemn, affected, not himself. His patient died in the recovery room. It was sudden and unexpected for my husband. Despite the team’s swift efforts and perfectly executed code, the patient died anyway. It’s relevant to note that his patient was an almost 90-year-old man with significant congestive heart failure, probably chronic kidney disease, and complete occlusion of one of his ...

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Part of a series. Beginning at about age 40, our bodies begin a process of organ and functional decay of about 1 percent per year. Bone mineral density decline leads eventually to osteoporosis and fracture risk, cognition decline leads to memory and thinking impairments, and muscle decline leads to loss of strength while increasing the fracture risk of a fall. According to the Centers for Disease Control, almost ...

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My grandmother's room is silent, save for the plucks of sitar strings and Pixar movie soundtracks I try to stimulate her with. Instead of books, we fill the shelves around her bed with mouth swabs, drab hospital gowns and vials of baby powder. My grandmother — who walked an hour every day, who thrashed me in gin rummy, who rose before sunrise every morning to read — now lies bedridden ...

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One of the most challenging and difficult parts of my professional day is trying to determine if my patients are actually taking their as prescribed. I ask my patients to bring their medications to each visit in the original pill bottles, and we count pills. I ask them to bring their medication lists as well, and we go through the time-consuming practice of reviewing each medication against the prescribing date and ...

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