Sunday, January 24, 2016

How To Protect Yourself From Hospital Infections

People check into hospitals to overcome illness, but these supposedly sterile environments can also expose you to many germs. Luckily, there are several things you can do to protect your health if you happen to land in the hospital: 1. Research your chosen hospital. Educate yourself about laws in your state designed to create safer, healthier hospitals (, then find out what your hospital has done to control infections. Your state’s health department can advise where you can find specific hospital statistics. 2. Practice appropriate hand washing. Ask that your doctors, nurses, and visitors wash their hands before touching you or items in your room. Gloves offer a false sense of security and can be contaminated if put on by germ-infested hands. 3. Eat from clean plates. Consume food that has only touched the clean plate on which it is delivered. Don’t set food on a meal tray or any other surface. 4. Avoid contact with sick people. This includes not just other patients but also family and friends who may be ill. 5. Keep tubes to a minimum. Catheters, IVs, and other tubes offer a direct line into your body. If possible, skip them; but also ask to have all tubes removed as soon as possible after surgery. 6. Go home. The longer you stay in the hospital after surgery, the more likely you are to develop an infection. Before being admitted, work with your doctor to create a recovery plan you can tackle right away in order to get out of the hospital as soon as possible. Find more information about staying safe at

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Manage Digital Photo Overload

Smartphones have made it easier than ever to shoot photos at a moment’s notice, but with this ease comes a new problem: What to do with all of those images? Organize them with these simple tips: • Junk the bad photos as soon as you take them. Don’t save anything you won’t print, use, or look at later. • Upload photos to your computer regularly and sort them into organized folders. Create folders for each year, and within each year, make sub-folders for specific events or holidays. Use simple names, like “Family Reunion.” Move relevant photos into the folders, and delete them from your phone. • Share as appropriate. Don’t overload email messages with data-heavy images. Instead, upload select photos to a photo-sharing site like Picasa ( or Flickr ( and distribute a link to family and friends. Continue to print your favorite photos for framing or create an annual photo book. • Invest in a cloud service or use an external drive to back up photos. Services like Mozy ( and Carbonite ( automatically backup copies of computer files.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Spice Up Your Health!

You already know about the positive affects of eating garlic, but here are three “super spices” that have amazing health benefits: Sage. Did you know the name (salvia officinalis) comes from the Latin verb meaning “to be saved”? It’s high in vitamin K, which helps with blood clotting and building strong bones, and it may improve memory. Here’s some sage advice: Use it in dishes with meat and poultry. Peppercorns. They contain piperine, a pungent substance that is anti-inflammatory (it may reduce arthritis symptoms). Buy whole ones, grind them, and add to food at the end of cooking or at the table. Smelling black pepper oil also can ease the pain of aching muscles. Oregano. The name is from Greek, meaning “mountain of joy.” WebMD says oregano contains chemicals that might help reduce cough and spasms. It also helps fight some bacteria and viruses. Use one teaspoon daily of dried oregano in salad dressings and many recipes.