Monthly Archives: May 2015

The Importance of Mental Health By Dr. Anjali Rege

 

Mental Well Being PhotoThere is more to health than being physically fit and free of serious illness. Mental health is an integral part of leading a productive life. This includes positive emotions and moods, in addition to the absence of depression and anxiety. According to the American Psychiatric Association, seniors are at a greater risk of developing certain mental health issues than younger individuals. It is important to discuss your mental well-being with your primary care provider, who can help you develop an appropriate treatment plan.

This is an opportune time to discuss the impact of mental illness on the senior population. Unfortunately, many seniors fail to recognize the symptoms of mental illness or believe that depression is a natural part of the aging process. Depression is the most common mental illness among individuals 65 and older, according to the American Psychiatric Association.[2] Serious illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer can cause depression, and if left untreated, depression can delay recovery and contribute to a variety of other issues.

At HealthCare Partners Nevada, we encourage our patients to be proactive in taking control of their health. A balanced diet and exercise are important building blocks for both mental and physical health. Beyond diet and exercise, seniors should increase their focus on social relationships, resilience, positive emotions and independence.

Although many people do not like discussing feelings of sadness or grief, your health care provider’s clinic is a safe place to express these feelings. Through an open conversation, your provider can help determine the best treatment and, in turn, better treat physical health issues. For more information about HealthCare Partners Nevada’s extensive services, visit www.hcpnv.com.

 

When to Consider Urgent Care By Dr. Rakesh Kalra

Doctor and PaitentAlthough emergency rooms can provide crucial medical care during severe health crises, many people might be unaware of when a trip to the ER is unnecessary. An estimated 27.1 percent of all visits to the ER in the U.S. can be treated at urgent care facilities and retail clinics, according to a Rand Corp. study, potentially saving $4.4 billion annually in health-care costs[i]. It can often be cost-effective for patients to learn about urgent care facilities in their area and the services they offer.

Urgent care clinics can offer many advantages when compared to ERs, typically providing immediate care at a more affordable cost. The average ER visit costs more than seven times as much as the average urgent care visit, according to data from Consumer Reports[ii]. Many urgent care locations are open on evenings and weekends, providing an alternative to the ER when primary care providers’ offices are typically closed. All four of HealthCare Partners Nevada’s urgent care locations offer weekend and evening services. The Wynn clinic is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Patients are often unaware that most urgent care facilities can treat a wide variety of illnesses and conditions, including flu, minor broken bones and fractures, ear infections, skin rashes and urinary tract infections. Some urgent care clinics also offer laboratory services. HealthCare Partners’ four urgent care clinics offer many services, including:

  • Basic gynecology (at the Wynn, Calvada and West Charleston clinics)
  • Electrocardiograms
  • Injections
  • Internal medicine
  • Laboratory services
  • Laceration care
  • Limited immunizations
  • Minor procedures
  • Wellness exams and physicals
  • Radiology

HealthCare Partners Nevada’s urgent care locations include:

  • West Lake Mead clinic – 595 W. Lake Mead Parkway, Las Vegas
  • Calvada clinic – 1501 E. Calvada Blvd., Pahrump
  • West Charleston clinic – 9499 W. Charleston Blvd., Suite 150, Las Vegas
  • Wynn clinic – 4880 S. Wynn Road, Las Vegas

It is important for patients to recognize when an illness or condition is severe enough to warrant a trip to the ER. Symptoms that likely require emergent care include seizures, extreme bleeding, head trauma with loss of consciousness and severe broken bones. Urgent care can treat conditions with less critical symptoms, including sore throat, earache, vomiting and rashes.

HealthCare Partners strives to provide immediate urgent care as part of its Total Care Model, a coordinated approach to health care in which a dedicated team of primary care providers, specialists and professional staff work together to manage all aspects of patients’ care and overall health. To learn more about HealthCare Partners’ urgent care services, visit www.hcpnv.com/urgentcare.

Tips for Managing Osteoporosis By Dr. Sunita Kalra

Many seniors experience falls throughout the year that can result in significant health issues. One in every three adults over the age of 65 falls each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of those individuals, 20 to 30 percent suffer injuries such as cuts, fractured hips or even head trauma. Since May is National Osteoporosis Month, it is important to discuss the impact of the disease, which can significantly impact bone health.

According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, osteoporosis causes nearly 9 million fractures each year worldwide, while one-fifth of women 70 and older are impacted by the disease. HealthCare Partners Nevada is committed to helping seniors live active and healthy lifestyles while avoiding common injuries caused by osteoporosis.

As a physician with HealthCare Partners Nevada, I encourage seniors to take important steps in preventing falls around the home. Useful precautions for avoiding fall-related injuries include engaging in regular exercises that strengthen the lower body muscles and improve balance, such as dancing, walking, stretching or pilates. HealthCare Partners Nevada also recommends closely monitoring medications for drugs that can cause dizziness or sleepiness, installing grab bars in the shower and placing night lights in hallways and bathrooms.

In addition to measures individuals can take to safeguard their homes, a well-balanced diet high in calcium and vitamin D is essential for bone health. Salmon and tuna contain high levels of vitamin D, while dairy products such as skim milk, yogurt and cheese are packed with calcium.[3] As we age, our daily vitamin D and calcium requirements increase. Monitoring your diet and packing the shopping cart with items that improve bone health is crucial.

Prevention is a key component of the Total Care Model that HealthCare Partners Nevada practices. Under this innovative approach to health care, we provide patients with a coordinated team of primary care providers, specialists and professional staff who oversee all aspects of their health care.

For more information about HealthCare Partners Nevada, please visit www.hcpnv.com.