Good Samaritan Hospital
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Using occupational therapy to age in place

Occupational therapy plays an important role in health and recovery for people of all ages, but for seniors it could be the key to staying at home rather than moving to an assisted living facility. With the help of an occupational therapist, seniors can age in place safely, even when they are facing health issues. Here is what you need to know about occupational therapy and how it can be used to help seniors stay in familiar surroundings.

What is occupational therapy?
Occupational therapy helps people learn new ways of doing everyday activities. It is particularly useful for people who have a physical impairment that affects strength or mobility, as through therapy, people can perfect different ways of accomplishing tasks that work for their needs.

Occupational therapists work with people in a number of different capacities. Some of the things they do include:

  • Helping people learn how to do basic tasks again after a stroke
  • Helping children with autism adapt to classroom settings
  • Helping people who have experienced a disability do tasks in a different way

How can occupational therapists help seniors?
For many seniors and their families, the question of remaining at home versus living in an assisted living facility looms large. For seniors who want to age in place, occupational therapy can play a major part. There are many ways occupational therapists can help seniors and their families, such as:

  • Evaluating the home to look for safety risks
  • Evaluating the movement, balance, and mobility of seniors to determine if aging in place is safe
  • Making recommendations for modifications that can make the home safer, such as additional lighting or grab rails

Occupational therapists can also help seniors learn how to navigate the home and do everyday activities safely.

Good Samaritan Hospital’s Rehabilitation Center in San Jose provides comprehensive therapy and rehabilitation options for patients of all ages. Learn more about our occupational therapy program or request a referral for rehabilitation services by calling (888) 724-2362.

How do blood tests work and what can they reveal?

Blood tests are extremely common diagnostic tools used by physicians. Through blood tests, doctors can determine if you have or are at risk for certain medical conditions, and track how well a treatment is working. Blood tests are usually quick and easy, and they can be performed in a medical office, lab, or hospital setting.

What happens during a blood test?
During a blood test, a doctor, nurse, or specially trained healthcare provider called a phlebotomist will draw blood via needle stick into a vein or a finger stick. For blood drawn from a vein, the needle stick is usually done on the inside of the elbow. Most people find that the process is painless or only causes discomfort for a short amount of time.

The blood is typically stored in test tubes. It is then sent to a lab, where it will either tested as it is or put through a process to separate the blood cells from the plasma that holds them.

What can doctors learn from blood tests?
Your physician can use blood tests to screen for a number of different conditions. Some of the things that can be revealed through a blood test are:

  • Cholesterol
  • Blood glucose
  • Electrolytes
  • Hormone levels
  • Blood enzymes
  • Blood cell counts
  • Clotting agents

This information can help your provider diagnose everything from diabetes to heart disease and kidney disease. Blood tests can also be used to diagnose thyroid problems, some forms of cancer, and some autoimmune diseases. In emergency care, blood tests can be used to determine if someone is having a heart attack.

How do I prepare for a blood test?
In many cases, there is no preparation necessary for a blood test. For some tests, you may need to fast before having a sample drawn. Your provider will give you instructions to follow, if necessary.

Throughout Good Samaritan Hospital, we rely on blood tests and other advanced diagnostic tools to ensure every patient gets the care he or she needs. You can find out more about our hospital services in San Jose by dialing (888) 724-2362.

Why is stress so prominent in young adults?

Stress is challenging at any stage of life, but young adults are more prone to report experiencing extreme levels of stress than other age groups. Young adults who are dealing with chronic stress can benefit from seeking help from their physicians or a behavioral health specialist, so they can learn techniques for managing it and get medications that can help if needed. There are several reasons that young adults are prone to experiencing stress. Here is what you need to know.

Change
Young adults are usually in a transition phase of their lives in which they begin to live as fully independent people. This shift from familial support to a full range of adult responsibilities can be troubling and challenging for many people.

At the same time as young adults are feeling the weight of more responsibility, they often feel as though they have fewer people who are backing them. They may be living remotely from their family, and their peers who are going through similar transitions may be less available. This contrast can significantly raise stress levels.

Financial Concerns
Young adults rank money concerns as their top stressors. For some young adults, stress about money is tied to the transition of managing it on their own and facing the prospect of paying all of their own living expenses, often for the first time ever.

Other young adults face difficulties with earning a sufficient income to meet their living costs. Those who are working in the gig economy, without job protection or benefits, as well as those who are struggling to find adequate employment, face stress over making ends meet.

Fatigue
Many young adults have not yet developed skills that allow them to obtain a healthy work-life balance, nor do they know how to manage their physical and emotional health. This can lead to overscheduling and the fatigue that comes with not allowing sufficient time for rest and recovery.

Stress can exacerbate this cycle of demands and exhaustion. Often, people dealing with chronic stress have disrupted sleep, which adds to fatigue symptoms.

Don’t let stress control your happiness and well-being. Contact Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose to find a physician who can help you learn healthy ways to manage stress. Call (888) 724-2362 to request a referral to a physician or behavioral health specialist.

How to de-stress for anxiety prevention

Anxiety can be debilitating. It can affect every aspect of your life, from personal relationships to professional opportunities. If you suffer from anxiety, managing stress is a significant part of controlling your symptoms. Your behavioral health specialist can recommend some strategies you can use to control your stress and reduce your anxiety. These tips will also help.

Rely on a support system
Everyone needs a support system to deal with the ups and downs of life. If you’re coping with stress and anxiety, this kind of support system can be even more important. As explained in the video, having people with whom you can talk about how you’re feeling can provide you with relief.

It doesn’t matter if your support system is your family, friends, or a group of other people who are suffering from anxiety. What’s important is that you have some way of expressing how you feel and that you feel supported by people who understand what you’re going through.

Make healthy lifestyle choices
Keeping your body health can help to reduce the effects of stress and anxiety on your mind. Eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep will all help you feel stronger and balanced.

Stay away from things people sometimes reach for to cope with stress and anxiety, such as cigarettes and alcohol. Although you may experience a short-term release, they can actually perpetuate the cycle of feeling uneasy.

Choose work and relationships that make you happy
The decisions you make about your career and your relationships can dramatically affect your levels of stress and anxiety. Make choices that make you feel happy and fulfilled instead of overworked and neglected.

Strive to find a balance that gives you the chance to work in a career you enjoy while having time to rest and take care of your own needs.

The behavioral health specialists in San Jose at Good Samaritan Hospital offer inpatient and outpatient care for patients who need help facing a range of issues, from anxiety and depression to chemical dependency . To learn more, please call (888) 724-2362.

The most common allergens children encounter

Allergic reactions occur when the body’s immune system incorrectly identifies a harmless substance as a threat. The allergen is the substance that triggers this abnormal response. Some allergic reactions are serious enough to warrant emergency medical care at Good Samaritan Hospital. Our pediatricians offer family-centered, compassionate care with a focus on promoting health literacy to empower parents in our San Jose community.

Food allergens
Food allergies are among the most common types diagnosed in children. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, up to six million American children are allergic to at least one food. Because food allergies can cause life-threatening anaphylaxis, children with these allergies are often prescribed epinephrine auto-injectors to use at the first sign of an allergic reaction.

The most common food allergens for kids are peanuts and milk. Other allergens can include:

  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Soy
  • Wheat
  • Tree nuts

Allergies to milk, wheat, eggs and soy may not last a lifetime when diagnosed in childhood. However, allergies to fish, shellfish, peanuts and tree nuts are different, and they often produce the most serious reactions.

Outdoor allergens
Lots of allergens can be found in the great outdoors, including stings and bites from insects. Tree and plant pollen allergies will produce symptoms at around the same times each year. These symptoms can include:

  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Congestion
  • Postnasal drip

Household allergens
Some of the most common indoor allergens are dust mites, mold and animal dander. Allergies to animals can be troublesome for children who love pets. Consider talking to your child’s pediatrician about the types of hypoallergenic pets that won’t cause your child discomfort.

Good Samaritan Hospital is a trusted provider of superior pediatric care and emergency care for families throughout the greater San Jose area. Our board-certified doctors are uniquely qualified to care for the specialized needs of the youngest of patients. Call 911 if your child needs emergency care for a severe allergic reaction, or, for non-emergent inquiries only, call a registered nurse at (888) 724-2362.


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