Family Health

Avoiding the revolving door

Steering clear of hospital re-admission

No one wants to spend time in a hospital. Unfortunately, for seniors the risk of re-admission after a hospital stay is greater than other age groups.

According to the federal government, between 12 and 20 percent of seniors with Medicare are re-admitted to the hospital within 30 days after an illness. Within 90 days, upwards of one-third of those patients are re-admitted.

Lessons from Angelina Jolie and Fernie Mae

Recent news about Angelina Jolie has me thinking of my mother. At first glance, a rich and famous celebrity and a working-class waitress from rural Kentucky would seem to have little in common. However, both have much to teach us about being informed and taking control when challenging health decisions need to be made.

My mother, Fern Dreffs, used to tell my three sisters and me, “You can’t control a lot of what happens, but you can control how you choose to react to what happens.”

Sleep away your stresses

As adults, we sleep about one-third of our lives, and the times we are not awake are of no less value than our waking hours. In fact, studies show adequate sleep time — not too much or too little — is essential to health and may help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases and conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and depression.

If we don’t get enough sleep, we may feel as if we haven’t slept at all. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each day; children and teens need more than this.

7 ways to survive spring allergies

There’s nothing like springtime in Kentucky. Maybe it’s the beautiful bluegrass, the Kentucky Derby festivities … or the fact that our area has been named “the most challenging place to live with allergies” by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

If you suffer from seasonal allergies, there are ways to survive them and enjoy all the good things spring has to offer. Here are some tips from Brian A. DePrest, M.D., family physician:

The four-letter word we shouldn’t be afraid to say

Many of us who are lucky enough to share our lives with little ones — our own or those of family and friends — may be familiar with the children’s book, “Everyone Poops.” This popular little tome reminds those of all ages that there is no reason to be embarrassed to talk about such a vital function, especially when it could save your life.

Going the distance after joint replacement surgery

More than 7 million people in the United States have undergone total joint replacements to get back mobility and full function of joints like the hips and knees. Most people who undergo joint replacement surgery are able to return to an active lifestyle pain-free with proper rehabilitation and conditioning, including participating in races like the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon and miniMarathon.