Friday, January 13, 2017

Winter Fall Prevention

Winter months can be challenging for everyone, and ice, snow and colder weather can cause injuries—especially for seniors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one third of adults 65 and older fall each year, resulting in injuries or even death.

Below are a few helpful tips to prevent injuries during the colder months:
  • Stay inside until the sidewalks and roads are clear
  • Wear shoes/boots with good traction
  • Replace the rubber tip of your cane before it is worn out
  • Have someone shovel and salt walkways if you can’t
  • Falls can occur when exiting vehicles. Make sure your footing is clear when exiting a car
  • The most important tip is to ask for help. Arrange for rides to the grocery store and doctor's appointments.
In an effort to prevent injuries resulting from falls, Catholic Health Services continues to partner with the Suffolk County Health Department to offer a Fall Prevention Program across Long Island. Called Stepping On, the free seven-week program provides assessments and techniques to avoid falls at home or elsewhere.

For more information, please visit or call 1-855-CHS-4500.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Healthy Holiday Tips and Tricks

  • Eat a small, balanced meal or snack before you leave home (e.g. ¼ cup almonds). If you arrive to the party hungry, you’ll be more likely to overindulge.
  • Ask if you can bring a healthy side-dish or a “lightened up” dessert
  • Study ALL of the food options, and think about what you are going to have before you put anything on your plate. Decide which foods are worth eating and which can be ignored, and then stick to that decision.
  • If you taste something that you don’t enjoy, leave it on your plate—don’t finish it!
  • Choose vegetables first. Broccoli, baby carrots, cauliflower and tomatoes are good choices that are usually on the appetizer table. Fill half your dinner plate with salad.
  • Eat chips and crackers in moderation, and definitely avoid eating them straight from the bowl. Put some on a small plate so you can see your portion. 
  • Try not to hang out near the food to avoid grazing. Find a comfortable spot across the room and focus on socializing instead of eating.
  • Sip a large glass of water or fruit-flavored seltzer. This will keep you hydrated and provide you with a better option than alcohol or sugary drinks.
  • Make physical activity a priority during the holiday season. Plan to attend your usual exercise session the day of a party and if you over-indulge take a walk after a big meal.  
View a recipe for Coconut and Pecan Crusted Tilapia here.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Halloween Safety Tips

The day before the Feast of All Saints (or All Hallows), Halloween has its origin in ancient Celtic traditions. By taking some precautions, it can be both fun and safe for children and adults.

Here are some Halloween safety tips, courtesy of the American Academy of Pediatrics:
  • Bright and reflective costumes (you can add reflective tape) make your little trick-or-treaters visible. Also, be sure shoes and costumes fit well so they don’t trip and fall.
  • Non-toxic makeup and decorative hats are alternatives to masks, which can obstruct children’s sight and limit awareness of their surroundings.
  • Do not use decorative contact lenses without an eye examination and prescription from an eye care professional. Doing so can cause pain, inflammation and serious eye disorders and infections, which could lead to permanent vision loss.
  • Teach children how to call 9-1-1 , if they have an emergency or become lost.
  • Use a flashlight or glow stick if out at night.
  • Clear obstructions in the front yard, walkway and porch, and make sure outdoor lighting is adequate to keep everyone safe.
  • Instead of candy, consider offering non-food items such as coloring books, pens or pencils to trick-or-treaters who come to your door.
  • Children should never enter someone’s home or car for a treat, and a parent or responsible adult should always accompany young trick-or-treaters.
  • Wait until children have returned home to sort and check treats. Although tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and discard any suspicious items.
To find a pediatrician or other physician, visit and go to “Find a Doctor”.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

In October, women are reminded of the dangers of breast cancer, ways to identify it and what to do if they suspect or are diagnosed with cancer.  This disease isn’t something that should be limited to one month, but rather should be a way of life. There are a number of things you can do to protect yourself.

Women ages 20 and older should perform breast self-exams monthly.  The American Cancer Society provides a guide; click on the link below for an explanation on how you can correctly perform an exam. click here

Of course, a self-exam cannot be relied on alone.  Regular mammograms are key in the early detection and the fight against breast cancer. A mammogram is a diagnostic tool, which can detect breast cancer in its earliest stages, before a lump can be felt. Finding breast cancer early gives women the greatest chance of survival and the best treatment options.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) offers a Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool, which is an interactive tool designed by scientists at the NCI and the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP).  It helps estimate a woman's risk of developing invasive breast cancer

Further, you should be aware of possible risk factors that can contribute to your risk of breast cancer.

The following are offered by the NCI:
  • Age
  • Age at the start of menstruation
  • Number of first-degree relatives (mother, sisters, daughters) with breast cancer
  • Number of previous breast biopsies (whether positive or negative)
  • At least one breast biopsy with atypical hyperplasia

CHS hospitals in Nassau and Suffolk offer comprehensive breast health services in a welcoming and supportive environment. Talk to a doctor about your risk for breast cancer. To learn more, call 1-855-CHS-4500 or visit to find a doctor.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Fall Prevention Awareness Week. Ready, Steady, Balance: Prevent Falls in 2016

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one third of adults 65 and older fall each year, resulting in injuries or even death. To help prevent these occurrences at home, the CDC provides the following tips:
  • Ask someone to arrange your furniture to allow a clear path through each room.
  • Always keep objects off the floor.
  • Remove or secure throw rugs (with double-sided tape or a non-slip backing).
  • Coil or tape cords and wires next to the wall so you can’t trip over them.
  • If lighting is insufficient, have an electrician install an overhead light and wall switch at the top and bottom of the stairs.
  • Put a non-slip rubber mat or self-stick strips on the floor of the tub or shower.
  • Use nightlights in hallways and other rooms.
  • Speak to your doctor or pharmacist about your medications to identify any that could make you sleepy or dizzy.
In an effort to prevent injuries resulting from falls, CHS continues to partner with the Suffolk County Health Department to offer a Fall Prevention Program across Long Island. Called Stepping On, the free seven-week program provides assessments and techniques to avoid falls at home or elsewhere.

“Working with the Suffolk County Department of Health, CHS has been afforded the opportunity for several of our key falls prevention staff members to become Stepping On trained leaders,” explained CHS Vice President of Care Management and Performance Improvement Anna ten Napel. “These trained leaders allow for an increased penetration of the Stepping On course in the community, achieving the goal of helping to better educate Long Islanders on ways to prevent falls and stay healthy at home.”

Please call 1-855-CHS-4500 for more information.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Adjusting to the School Routine

Whether your child is just beginning pre-K, has moved up a grade or is starting college, making the transition from summer vacation back to the school routine may be challenging. Instead of long summer days spent outdoors, students (and parents) must reorient to the hectic demands that come with the start of the school year. That means rising early, participating in classroom and after school programs, and completing homework.

Good nutrition, a quiet study area and a structured routine are essential for academic success. But most important is adequate sleep; without it, there may be poor cognitive performance, deficient physical ability and even behavioral issues. A study published in Science Translational Medicine (October 18, 2013) suggests that sleep purges the brain of toxins. Also, correlations have been drawn between sleep deprivation and weight gain, dulled memory and even life-threatening disease.

It’s common for teenagers to stay up late, have difficulty waking with the alarm clock and doze until noon on the weekends.  Adolescents often become “night owls” due to the lifestyle of this age group—with lots of homework and busy social lives—but another reason is a biological shift that occurs in the teenage years.

“Instead of feeling drowsy in the evening, teenagers actually tend to become more alert and have a hard time settling in to sleep, probably because melatonin is secreted later,” explained Dmitriy Vaysman, MD, director of Good Samaritan Hospital’s Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders. “In the morning, when people of other ages are awake and primed for the day, teenagers still have elevated melatonin levels and often feel groggy as a result. Many teens also feel drowsy in the middle of the day, regardless of their sleep habits.”

While the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute recommends 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night for adults, it advises at least 10 hours for school-age children and 9 to 10 hours for teenagers, noting that loss of sleep adds up in what is referred to as sleep debt. To stay healthy, students must get their rest each night, with a set bedtime.

“For teens, limiting screen time in the evening is important, since the blue light emitted by screens on electronic devices can send alerting signals to the brain,” Dr. Vaysman said. “It’s also helpful to try to maintain a similar sleep/wake schedule on weekdays and weekends/holidays. If a teenager is excessively sleepy despite what seems to be a full night’s rest, his or her doctor should be consulted for more guidance.”

For more information on a sleep center near you visit or call 1-855-CHS-4500.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Hurricane Safety Tips

This time of year tropical storms and hurricanes build along the coast line. Hurricanes are strong storms that have the potential to be life threatening, which is why it’s good to prepare in advance. The following is a list of helpful tips and procedures to prepare you and your family’s safety before and during a storm.

Be Ready:
  • Stock up on emergency supplies such as food, first aid kits, and medicine for your home and car.
  • Write down emergency phone numbers and keep them near every phone in your house or on the refrigerator.
  • Know where the nearest shelter is and the different routes you can take to get there if you leave your home.
  • Create and practice a hurricane evacuation plan with family members. Visit the CDC’s website to learn more:
If a hurricane is likely in your area:
  • Listen to the radio to keep informed.
  • Secure your home, close storm shutters and secure outdoor objects or bring them indoors.
  • Turn off utilities, if told to do so.
  • Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purposes such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other larger containers with water.
  • Find out how to keep food safe during and after an emergency.
  • Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors.
  • Close all interior doors,secure and brace external doors.
  • Take refuge in a small interior room, closet or hallway on the lowest level.
  • Avoid elevators.

Visit The Centers for Disease Control and the Federal Emergency Management Agency for more tips you and your family can use in the event of a hurricane.

Please visit or call 1-855-CHS-4500.