You and Your Health and Safety
Health Awareness Begins New Series
of Fitness Classes for July
Jefferson's Health Awareness Program offers a variety of group exercise
classes to meet your fitness needs. Class levels range from beginner through
advanced with high and low-impact dance, "step", "slide",
aqua exercise, T'ai Chi and yoga classes available. Registration for new
12-week fitness classes takes place Monday, July 1, through Friday July
12, at the Health Awareness Program offices, Suite 100, 1015 Chestnut Street
or Activities Office, B100 JAH.
"Preview week" runs Monday through Friday, July 8 through 12;
sample a free class such as aqua exercise, yoga and conditioning. Classes
begin Monday, July 15. For a compete schedule and registration brochure,
stop by the Health Awareness Program office or call 5-6319 to reserve your
Some Good Reasons to Ask Questions
Don't be afraid to ask questions. Asking questions can help you do your
job better and improve your personal relationships, because questions encourage
communication. We often feel awkward or inadequate when we don't understand
an instruction or forget a procedure. But relying on guesswork can produce
disasters with far worse consequences than a little embarrassment because
we have to admit we're not perfect. Asking your physician questions when
you don't understand something can also help you receive better medical
care by enabling you to learn more about maintaining your health.
Sandwich Generation Women: Surviving the
Responding to the everyday needs of both young and old dependents can take
its toll on "sandwich generation" women, those who are responsible
for caring for their children as well as an older relative. While men are
assuming a greater role in child care duties, caring for both the elderly
and the young remains predominantly women's work. Janine P. Fields, LSW,
social work supervisor in Wills-Jefferson Geriatric Psychiatry Program,
offers these suggestions to sandwich generation women:
Smoothing Over the Scars of Life
- Talk about the problem. Family members need to discuss their feelings
so that individual resentments don't get in the way of finding creative
solutions. Talking also helps relieve some of the pressure of caregiving,
which can be very overwhelming and isolating.
- Ask for help. The majority of sandwich generation women are not only
in charge of the job of caregiving, they also hold jobs outside the home.
The best way to deal with these dual roles is to ask for help. There are
a variety of organizations, support services and home care services available.
Your physician or social worker can help you access them.
- Delegate responsibilities. You can't please all of the people all of
the time, so don't try. If your child's school play and your mother's medical
check-up fall on the same day, ask another family member or sibling to make
sure Mom gets to the doctor. Or ask older children to help with household
chores. Even young children can do tasks such as setting the dinner table.
- Schedule time for yourself and keep the appointment. This is perhaps
the most important, yet the most difficult thing to do, simply because there
may be no extra time. The trick is to be creative. If your relative is too
sick or your children are too young to leave the house for very long, a
30-minute soak in the tub can relax you. Or exchange child-care responsibilities
with a neighbor a day or two a week to give you a break from the kids.
- Have a private place all your own. Depending on your loved one's condition,
you may have had to make environmental changes to your home to "elderproof"
it, such as removing easily breakable items from reach. A room all of your
own means you can be surrounded by the pictures, knick-knacks and other
things you love that bring you comfort and help ease the pressure of your
- Communicate with your employer. Caring for an older person can affect
your productivity at work. Discussing what's happening at home with your
employer can help you gain their support and may lead to an exchange of
ideas ­p; it's likely that other people at work are in a similar situation.
Many employers are becoming more sensitive to work-family issues and may
suggest a flexible work schedule to meet your needs.
No person's skin is perfect, not even a model's. Look closely and you'll
see a variety of spots, bumps and scars somewhere on the body, says Guy
Webster, MD, PhD, associate professor of dermatology and director of the
Center for Cutaneous Pharmacology. Depending on where they are, scars can
make us feel at ill at ease or embarrassed about our looks. Scarring occurs
when the skin's structure changes as a result of a wound healing. Once formed,
a scar never goes away. It may fade in color, become flatter and less noticeable,
but there will always be an alteration in the skin.
While a scar can never be completely removed, it can be altered somewhat.
Doctors can change the shape or pattern, raise depressed scars or lower
raised ones. Scars that are particularly pink in color may benefit from
laser treatment or a combination of medication and laser. You won't end
up with perfect skin, but perhaps one you'll feel less self-conscious living
Ulcerative Colitis Treatments Are Now Improved
Treatment options are now available to spare people with ulcerative colitis
the embarrassment, inconvenience and expense of wearing an external bag
to collect waste after a permanent ileostomy, says Robert Fry, MD, director
of the division of colon and rectal surgery. Surgical removal of the colon
and rectum may be necessary for patients with colon inflammation that does
not respond to medical treatment (which includes steroids and anti-inflammatory
Until relatively recently, the standard form of surgical treatment was removal
of the entire colon and rectum. The small intestine was sewn to the abdominal
wall as an ileostomy and waste was collected in a bag placed over the ileostomy.
Now surgeons can make a "new rectum" by creating a pouch from
the end of the small intestine and sewing this ilcal pouch to the anus.
Studies have shown that patients feel that their lifestyle has been greatly
improved by this type of surgery.