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December 2015

Dan’s Wellness Pharmacy Monthly Newsletter filled with coupons, articles and resources for the health of you and your family.

MEDICARE

Where and How to Get Your Benefits

If you’re new to Medicare, here’s how to get started:

  • Medicare-Dans-Wellness-Newsletter-December-2015Step 1: Sign Up. Contact the Medicare office at 1-800-MEDICARE or online through Medicare.gov. You’ll learn: When you’re eligible for Medicare; whether you’ll get Medicare Part A and Part B automatically or if you need to sign up; your premium amounts; and the different parts of Medicare, Parts A and B, and the services they cover. You’ll need to decide whether you want Part B. If you don’t get Medicare automatically, you can apply online.
  • Step 2: Choose your coverage. There are two main ways to get Medicare coverage: Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO). Some people get additional coverage, like Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D) or Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap). If you have other health insurance, you can learn how Medicare works with it.
  • Step… Continue reading

Happy and Healthy Holidays!

Have a Tasty Thanksgiving – with Less Salt

Take a holiday trip to New Zealand this year and enjoy these delicious (and heart-healthy) Chocolate, Fruit and Nut Truffles, a holiday favorite there.

Chocolate, Fruit and Nut Truffles

¼ cup nuts, chopped

¼ cup dried apricots, chopped

¼ cup dried dates, chopped

¼ cup orange juice

½ tsp, orange zest

2/3 cup rolled oats

¼ cup sunflower seeds

1 ½ Tbsp. cocoa powder

Place all ingredients into a food processor and blend until the mixture forms a slightly sticky ball. Shape into balls so that the recipe makes approximately 12 individual balls. Keep refrigerated.

-Source: New Zealand Heart Association

Healthy Holiday Gifts

These Ideas Will Help Whittle Your List – and Their Waist!

Healthy-Holiday-Gifts-Dans-Wellness-Newsletter-December-2015This year, choose holiday gifts that will help your friends and family stay active, eat well and get healthier in 2016. Some suggestions:

  • Pedometers, exercise balls
  • Exercise classes (tai chi, kickboxing, yoga, Pilates or aerobics)
  • Dance classes
  • Dance-music CDs
  • Appointment with a personal trainer
  • Ski-lifts tickets
  • Exercise equipment or safety equipment (hand weights, bike helmet, safety vest for bike riding)
  • Exercise clothes for indoors and outdoors
  • Exercise DVDs
  • Trial gym or pool membership
  • Fruit basket or fruit-of-the-month club
  • A selection of herbs and spices
  • Specialty coffees, teas or low-fat hot cocoa
  • Utensils and equipment for healthy cooking (non-stick pans, graters or zesters, grill pan, indoor or outdoor grill, knives, cutting board)
  • Homemade healthy dinner or baked goods

-Source: National Cancer Institute

Senior Health Update

Is Your Bedroom Giving You a Good Night’s Sleep?

Senior-Health-Update-Dans-Wellness-Newsletter-December-2015Design your sleep environment to establish the conditions you need for sleep. Your bedroom should be cool –between 60 and 67 degrees. It should also be free from any noise that can disturb your sleep and be free from any light. Check your room for noises or other distractions. This includes a bed partner’s sleep disruptions such as snoring. Consider using blackout curtains, eye shades, ear plugs, white-noise machines, humidifiers, fans or other devices. Make sure your mattress is comfortable and supportive. The one you have been using for years may have exceeded its life expectancy – about 9 or 10 years for most good-quality mattresses.

-Source: National Sleep Foundation

Holiday Safety

How to Prevent Someone from Driving Drunk

Holiday-Safety-Dans-Wellness-Newsletter-December-2015The best way to prevent someone from driving drunk is to make a plan for a sober designated driver, and make sure everyone agrees to it ahead of time. If you are faced with a situation where someone who’s impaired is trying to drive, here are some tips to how to stop him or her:

  • Be as non-confrontational as possible
  • Suggest alternative ways of getting to their destination – a cab, a sober driver, public transportation.
  • Talk a bit more slowly and explain things more fully than if you were speaking to a sober person.
  • Explain that you don’t want them to drive because you care and you don’t want them to hurt themselves or others.
  • Suggest that they sleep over.
  • Enlist a friend to help you or to act as moral support. It’s more difficult to say “no” to two (or three… Continue reading

Did You Know?

Tips for Managing Kids’ Holiday Stress

Did-You-Know-Dans-Wellness-Newsletter-December-2015While the holidays are exciting, they can also be stressful – for parents and children.  But there are ways to help your family have a happy and more relaxed time together. Talk to your kids about expectations for gifts and holiday activities. Be open with them if money is an issue. Be realistic. Take small, concrete steps to deal with holiday tasks instead of overwhelming yourself and your kids with activities that are too far-reaching for a busy time. View the holidays as a time to reconnect with people, including your kids.

Engage in activities that you and your family enjoy and find relaxing. Consider cutting back on television viewing for kids and instead, get the family out together for a winter walk.

-Source: American Psychological Association

Ask the Experts

Can I Help Protect My Eyes from Developing Cataracts?

Ask-the-Experts-Dans-Wellness-Newsletter-December-2015Q: Both of my parents developed cataracts in their sixties. Is there anything I can do to help avoid getting cataracts – at least for as long as possible?

A: Wearing sunglasses and a hat with a brim to block ultraviolent sunlight may help to delay cataract development. If you smoke, stop. Researchers also believe good nutrition can help reduce the risk of age-related cataract. They recommend eating leafy green vegetables and fruit. If you are age 60 or older, you should have a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once every two years. In addition to checking for cataracts, your eye-care professional can check for signs of age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and other vision disorders.

Source: National Eye Institute