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EPISODE#218
OC CATHOLIC RADIO: GUEST IS BISHOP TIMOTHY FREYER ON THE VACCINES FOR COVID-19

Host Rick Howick welcomes our own Auxiliary Bishop Timothy Freyer back to the studios of OC Catholic Radio.

In this lively conversation, we’ll be talking about the coronavirus, vaccines, and Catholic ethics.

“The bishops of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange fully support the California Catholic Conference’s statement on the COVID-19 vaccinations. After thorough research and reviewing the statement from the Pontifical Academy for Life, we find the vaccines morally acceptable and imperative in the ongoing effort to curb the coronavirus pandemic. 

We are hopeful and encouraged by the promise these scientific breakthroughs represent, and urge the 1.3 million Catholics in Orange County to take any and all appropriate steps to protect themselves and their families. We pray for them as we pray for the world. 

We still have much work to do, but we now have hope and a path forward rooted in the healing ministry of Jesus Christ.  We place our trust and confidence in the providence of God.” 

– Bishop Kevin Vann, Bishop Timothy Freyer, Bishop Thanh Thai Nguyen 

 

Be sure to SHARE with a friend!

 

 

 

Originally broadcast on 12/26/20

HEALTHY HOLIDAY

Holidays are special times, often associated with memories and traditions that we share with family and friends. While many events and occasions during 2020 have been upended, the holidays are not canceled! However, our celebrations this year will take on a new look as we continue to practice measures to stay safe and reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19. 

 

Consider these tips to stay safe and healthy throughout the holidays: 

 

1. GET YOUR FLU SHOT IF YOU HAVE NOT DONE SO ALREADY 

While we do not yet have a vaccine for the coronavirus, flu vaccines are readily available. Avoid the flu and keep your body as healthy as possible. The only way to actually “boost” your immune system is to get the flu vaccine. Free flu shots are available through the Orange County Health Agency. ochealthinfo.com/phs/about/family/flu/  

 

2. STAY ACTIVE 

We know that exercise, including walking, helps to keep us physically and mentally healthy. It’s tempting to let physical activity slide during a busy holiday season, however that’s when it’s even more important to include! Try this twist: Take an “Awe” walk. Go somewhere new, by yourself or with others. Pay attention to the details, looking at everything with fresh eyes. Maybe it’s the fall leaves, the ocean waves or a neighbor’s holiday decorations. Look for the “awe” in the world around you. 

 

3. EAT YOUR VEGETABLES 

Good nutrition helps to keep us healthy, but you may be tired of cooking at home. Coordinate a soup exchange instead of a cookie exchange. Make a big pot of soup, full of vegetables, beans and/or lean meat. Portion into 1-quart containers. Place in an ice chest by your front door and invite neighbors to stop by and take a container, leaving a container of their soup for you. Just add a green salad or fruit and crusty bread for an easy meal! 

 

4. HOST OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES 

Indoor gatherings pose more risk for spread of the virus. Fortunately, the mild weather in Southern California allows us to gather in backyards and parks. How about a Thanksgiving tailgate? When gathering indoors, increase ventilation by opening windows and doors. Be mindful of these guidelines in all locations: wear a mask except when eating, stay at least 6 feet away from people who do not live in your household, wash your hands often, preferably with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds. 

 

5. KEEP GATHERINGS SMALL AND BRIEF  

Risk of spreading the virus increases as the number of people and time spent together increases. California health officials recommend no more than three households gather for up to two hours. Celebrate with members of your household, inviting others to join you virtually. Share recipes, tell stories, even cook together via Zoom or Facetime. 

 

6. RETHINK THE MENU AND SHOP EARLY 

With smaller celebrations, you may decide to prepare only the dishes that are really special to you. Or it may be the year to try something new. Consider a brunch instead of a big dinner. Brunches are conducive to buffets where you can provide each guest with their own serving spoon or mini tongs to reduce handling of utensils. Regardless, don’t wait until the last minute to shop for food. Grocers are as puzzled as the rest of us regarding what people will buy this year and supplies may vary. 

 

7. CELEBRATE CLOSE TO HOME  

Travel increases the risk of spreading COVID-19. The CDC states that staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others. If you do travel, wear a mask in public settings, avoid close contact from anyone not in your household, wipe surfaces such as airline seats and trays with sanitizing wipes and wash your hands often. Do not travel if you are sick or if you have been around someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days. 

 

8. PRACTICE GRATITUDE 

Plan a gratitude scavenger hunt. A perfect way to engage family of all ages to focus on the good around us. Make a list of things to be thankful. Take photos and share with family and friends near and far. 

 

9. SHOP ONLINE OR AT OFF-PEAK HOURS 

Avoid crowded stores especially just before and after Thanksgiving. Many retailers are offering sales throughout the fall/winter months rather than the traditional Black Friday specials. Take advantage of free shipping! 

 

10. MAKE YOUR OWN ADVENT CALENDAR 

 Choose one aspect of your health to focus on; physical, mental or spiritual. Spend 10-15 minutes daily on your goal and mark it on a calendar. Use the Advent season to prepare for the coming of the Christ Child on Christmas. 

Stay safe. Do your part to avoid spreading the coronavirus so that we all can look forward to a happy, healthy new year! 

 

WHERE HOSPICES ARE AT THEIR WORST, CHRISTIANS HAVE A MISSION

Washington D.C., Jul 12, 2019 / 03:09 am (CNA) – In the wake of terrible conditions of negligence and abuse reported at some U.S. hospice facilities, several Catholic doctors are emphasizing the need for Christians to embrace a ministry of aiding hospice patients and their families.

“How can anyone be other than shocked and saddened by the cases reported?” Dr. Barbara Golder, M.D., J.D. told CNA July 10. “It breaks my heart, and I suspect anyone who has a loved one in hospice or extended residential or skilled nursing care worries about these things. This report makes it clear such worries are not unreasonable.”

The Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services on July 9 released two reports on U.S. hospice care, CNN reports. These reports said that more than 80% of end-of-life facilities had at least one deficiency.

Over 300 facilities, about 18%, had serious problems that jeopardized patients’ health and safety, the reports said.

Golder, the editor-in-chief of the Catholic Medical Association’s official journal, the Linacre Quarterly, told CNA that such reports are designed to highlight problems which must be fixed immediately.

“It’s also important to remember that there are excellent hospices that provide splendid care for their patients,” she said.

The worst cases of negligence and abuse in the new reports included a dying man whose feeding tubes had maggots growing around it, and a case in which caregivers failed to treat a patient with Alzheimer’s disease to such an extent that his leg had to be amputated. In yet another case, those responsible for a hospice patient failed to recognize signs on her body of sexual assault.

One woman in hospice care was repeatedly abused by her daughter, who was also her caregiver. The hospice’s social worker was notified of the signs of abuse, but he did not visit for several weeks and then did not assess the patient’s safety.

Another patient’s neighbor repeatedly entered his apartment “naked, high and drunk” and stole medications including opioids and anti-anxiety pills. Several hospice employees were aware of the situation but the hospice planned no further action to notify law enforcement or to ensure patient safety.

Hospice care in the U.S. received $17 billion in Medicare funds in 2017, serving over 1.5 million patients.

End-of-life care in the U.S. is increasingly discussed in the context of debates over legal assisted suicide, and Golder suggested reports about poor hospice care show the need to address the fundamental fears and concerns of people vulnerable to suicide.

“People who opt for assisted suicide often do so because they fear losing their dignity and value as people, rather than because they are in intractable pain or near the end of life,” she told CNA. “Reports of care like this – which clearly fails to respect the person – only feed that fear. It isn’t hard to imagine a patient deciding to end his life rather than risk hospice care if he fears that he will be treated as patients were in the most egregious cases outlined in the report.”

Golder encouraged parishes to take account of local people who are in hospice care and ask whether there is a way for the community to be aware of problems and to respond as communities and as individuals.

“Who are the patients in local facilities who have no one to visit and are thus more likely to be abused?” she asked. “Are we stepping up? Are we encouraging each other to do so?”

“Part of our call as Christians is to be present in the lives of the suffering long before it comes down to that choice, and both share in that suffering, and accompany the suffering patient so that the fear of worthlessness – as well as the risk of bad care – can be alleviated.”

The Christian faith in Jesus Christ can also be an explicit part of end-of-life care, Deacon Alan Rastrelli, M.D., told CNA. The Archdiocese of Denver deacon is a member of both the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and the Catholic Medical Association.

“It is never too late, and that is where I concentrate my efforts to help those in doubt and despair know that Jesus, the Divine Physician, is always there with His hand reaching out,” Rastrelli said. “With this kind of care, that is the antidote to defuse the cry for assisted suicide and euthanasia – so patients and families can be assured of dignified care during the rest of their natural life, and avoiding aborting life at the end.”

Rastrelli told CNA he moved from anesthesiology into hospice and palliative medicine in order to address deficiencies in normal medical care at the end of life.

“End-of-life care requires addressing not just the somatic or physical symptoms, such as pain, but also the emotional, psychological, financial, and importantly spiritual component to a patient’s suffering,” he said.

Golder emphasized the Christian view that human beings are created in the image and likeness of God and this means “every patient is to be treated well and with dignity.”

“It’s particularly important to treat the vulnerable and dependent with love and care, as they cannot fend for themselves and are so often abandoned,” she said, citing Mother Teresa’s words that such people can be “Jesus in His most distressing disguise.”

“Sick patients are the face of Jesus, and if we take the great judgment scene in [the Gospel of Matthew] at all seriously, how we treat the least among us is how we treat Jesus – and it has eternal consequences,” she said.

In the inspector general report, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator Seema Verma wrote that the cases of negligent care and abuse in hospices are “very serious” but not representative.

“We want to reassure beneficiaries considering hospice care that these cases are not indicative of the type of care the majority of hospice beneficiaries receive,” she said.

A CMS spokesperson told CNN the agency has “zero tolerance for abuse and mistreatment of any patient.” It requires every Medicare-certified hospice to “meet basic federal health and safety standards to keep patients safe.”

CMS said it has issued new guidance for hospice surveyors and inspectors “to help them more quickly identify and address the most grave patient safety situations.” Surveyors must now follow a standardized process when they identify “immediate jeopardy situations.”

The inspector general also found that the facilities with serious problems did not face “serious consequences” and recommended that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services secure stronger legal authority to penalize hospices, comparable to its present authority to penalize nursing facilities. At present authorities cannot impose penalties, short of terminating hospices.

The reports also indicated missing areas of regulation. Hospices are not currently obliged by Medicare reporting requirements to report alleged abuse or exploitation.

Congressional action is needed to add remedies for poorly performing hospices and to add enforcement tools to protect patients are needed, the inspector general said.

According to Golder, though, punitive responses are not necessarily fixes on their own, as these can incentivize ignoring or hiding problems.

“We also need a way for institutions, and caregivers on the front lines, to recognize these problems early, and address them effectively, without fearing to ask for help because of overreaching fines and sanctions,” she said.

Golder stressed that hospice caregiving can be very difficult for caregivers and hospice staff. In her view, this is because “we tend to fear the dependency and debility we see in others, especially when it’s something we know to be the natural course of life.”

“We’d rather not face it – and that’s one source of neglect,” she said.

“One thing I think we often forget is that the caregivers in these facilities work hard at difficult and emotionally as well as physically demanding jobs, often for relatively low pay. That complicates these situations though it certainly does not excuse them,” Golder added, saying that abuses are not always simply rooted in malice.

“Staffing, lack of training, lack of understanding of what the law requires, and burnout can all contribute and no solution will be adequate if it fails to address contributing causes.”

Patients and loved ones can also respond to problem situations in hospice care.

Golder told CNA that in critical cases a call to 911 emergency services, adult protective services, or domestic violence hotlines may be in order. A local bar association can make referrals to attorneys specializing in elder law who may be in a position to assist and will meet with prospective clients for a minimal fee.

In less urgent situations, some institutions have staffers like ombudsmen to respond to patient care concerns.

“If the situation is less than life threatening, I think it is worth making one attempt – only one – to resolve the issue in-house by talking to someone from administration and asking for immediate clear steps, a firm timeline, and a responsible contact personally accountable to resolve the issue,” Golder advised.

EPISODE #50
TRENDING WITH CHRIS & TIMMERIE: RESTLESS VS. HAPPY

Saint Augustine once wrote, “our hearts are restless until they rest in You”.

Today, it’s no wonder we struggle with a deep seated restlessness that creeps into our work, play, prayer, and daily routines. On this special episode of Trending, Chris Mueller and Timmerie Millington talk about ways to overcome restlessness in order to be more productive, prayerful, and playful. They encourage living with intention as they discuss exercise, food, and other healthy habits for body and soul.

 

 

 

 

 

Originally broadcast on 7/8/18

WHAT DOES “HEALTHY” ACTUALLY MEAN?

Every day we hear of some new drug, program, diet or discovery offering a magic wand for good health. But what exactly does healthy mean? How do we cut through all the chatter and live a consistently healthy life? Dr. Victoria Leigh, an internal medicine physician with St. Joseph Heritage Medical Group in Tustin explains that there are multiple facets affecting health, but there are also a few important questions that can assess a patient’s general health.

“The first questions I ask a patient are: ‘How is your diet? Are you exercising? Are you sleeping well? What are your stress levels? And do you have any known medical conditions?’” notes Dr. Leigh. “If one area is off, there is a domino effect that may impact health over time.”

Stress is one of the main culprits leading to poor eating choices, lack of exercise and a host of related diseases. “Even if a patient doesn’t say they are stressed, it usually becomes evident as you talk with them – they express a sense of being overwhelmed, unhappy with their work or family life. I try to determine if the individual has a good support network of family and friends.”

Aging does not have to be the long, slow descent into bad health. Dr. Leigh points out that a good diet and reasonable exercise are the keys to a long healthy life. “The goal is to retain muscle mass through a combination of stretches, cardio and weights. Pilates is a great cardio and muscle exercise that anyone can do.”

Diet is exercise’s partner in longevity. To evaluate your diet Dr. Leigh advises people to pay attention to when they eat. Do you snack when you are under stress or bored? “You should only eat when you’re truly hungry, and haven’t eaten for a while,” says Dr. Leigh. But if you are eating mostly healthy foods and still overweight or unable to lose weight then the culprit is most likely volume. Too much of even a good healthy food does not make a good diet. The best way to monitor your diet is to write everything down – there are many apps that will do this as well as calculate calories, nutrition and exercise. Dr. Leigh recommends the Mediterranean Diet, which places an emphasis on plant-based foods such as fruit, vegetables whole grains and legumes. Lean protein and healthy fats such as olive oil and avocados are included in moderate portions.

One common problem is that we often fail to adjust our diet and exercise as we age. “In our 20s we can sometimes get away with a poor diet because younger people tend to be more active and have good muscle mass. However, as we age, our lives become more complicated with careers, family and other obligations. Some people tend to slow down and sleep less, which leads to weight gain. “It’s critically important to make time for exercise especially cardio and to adhere to a reasonable diet which is low in carbohydrates, high in Omega 3s and fiber but low in processed foods.”

If you are in mid-life or beyond, and have not followed the healthiest habits, there is still hope. “Correcting bad habits has enormous health benefits, regardless of when you start. In your 30s and 40s pay attention to your and your family’s diet. Incorporate exercise in family friendly ways such as family hikes, bicycling and sports. This is a critically important time to model good healthy behavior to you children.”

Most people start noticing their body changing in a big way when they reach mid-life. “In their 40s and 50s women experience menopause and men also experience changes due to aging. This is a time to start cancer screening and more closely monitoring health issues to catch potential problems early,” says Dr. Leigh.

As we become empty-nesters, 60s and 70s, it’s very important to maintain muscle mass and bone density. “This is not a time to slack off on age appropriate exercise especially weight-bearing exercise to keep or build muscles.”

By our senior years, we should add memory screening, if the doctor hasn’t recommended it sooner. There are many new and promising therapies that can slow down the progress of various forms of dementia adding years of productive living. There is always hope that a cure is on the horizon.

For people confused about proper diet, or struggling to lose weight, Dr. Leigh strongly recommends consulting a professional nutritionist. As part of your medical team, a nutritionist can help you sort out all the conflicting health messages and choose the right plan for your body and overall medical health.

Achieving and maintain good health should be a source of pleasure – not pain. So strap on your tennis shoes, grab an apple and get going!

CHARTING CHANGE: VATICAN STATISTICS TRACK CHURCH HEALTH INDICATORS

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The health of the Catholic Church can be measured in many ways, and the Vatican has a special office just for that purpose.

The Central Statistics Office, which operates under the Vatican Secretariat of State, conducts a variety of studies for the Roman Curia throughout the year. But one of the office’s biggest projects is compiling the annual, 500-page Statistical Yearbook of the Church.

Of course, the yearbook tracks the Catholic population, both by a head count of the baptized in each country and as a percentage of the world’s population. The latest report, based on numbers gathered Dec. 31, 2015, tallied 1.28 billion Catholics, which is about 17.7 percent of the global population.

Ten years earlier, according to the statistics office, the Catholic community numbered just over 1.1 billion, which was 17.3 percent of the population at that time.

Worldwide Catholics operate close to 118,000 hospitals, clinics, homes for the aged, orphanages, counseling centers and rehabilitation facilities. Ten years ago, the number of such facilities was less than 115,000.

When the Statistical Yearbook of the Church is released each year, one of the first figures many people look at is what the book defines as the “workforce for the church’s apostolate.”

For the year ending Dec. 31, 2015, that included: 5,304 bishops; 281,514 diocesan priests; 134,142 religious order priests; 45,255 permanent deacons; 54,229 religious brothers; 670,330 religious sisters; 351,797 lay missionaries; and more than 3.1 million catechists.

But the yearbook looks even deeper, for example, by giving an indication of the “pastoral workload” of priests both in relation to the number of baptized Catholics as well as to the general population.

Catholics in Tajikistan can expect personalized pastoral care. With 38 Catholics for every priest, the country has the best Catholics-to-priest ratio in the world. Of course, there are only four priests in the country and fewer than 200 Catholics. Catholics on the nine-island nation of Tuvalu in the South Pacific do nicely with a ratio of 120 Catholics for every priest.

On the other end of the scale are Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which have tens of thousands of Catholic foreign workers from countries like India and the Philippines and restrictions on the ministry of clergy. According to the Vatican, the ratio of Catholics-to-priest is 52,000-to-1 in Qatar and a staggering 125,000-to-1 in Saudi Arabia.

The worldwide average is 3,091 Catholics for every priest. The situation in North America is better than average. In Canada, there are 2,242 Catholics for every priest, and in the United States, the ratio is 1,808 Catholics for each priest.

But both Canada and the United States also made the list of more than two dozen nations where the number of priests who died in 2015 was greater than the number of new priests ordained. Most of the other countries on the list are in Western Europe.

For the Vatican, one of the most important statistics is the number of baptisms performed each year and, specifically, what percentage of those involve new Catholics who are over the age of 7, the traditional “age of reason.”

In 2015, the yearbook reported, there were a total of more than 15.7 million baptisms, and just over 17 percent of them involved persons over the age of 7. The percentage of baptisms involving older children and adults was highest in Africa (32.6 percent), followed by the Caribbean (23.3 percent) and Southeast Asia (17 percent).

Further analyzing the figures on the baptism of infants and small children, the statistics office looked at the number of those baptisms for every 1,000 Catholics. For the past five years, it said, “there has been a general downward trend,” which closely follows the declining birthrates in many nations.

The ratio declined over the five-year period in every region of the world. For example, in Africa in 2005, there were 13.2 baptisms for every 1,000 Catholics; in 2015, the figure was 12.3.

The ratio of Catholic marriages for every 1,000 Catholics present also declined over the five-year period.

Some other figures from the Statistical Yearbook:

— Around the world, 481 parishes are “entrusted to women religious.” Both North America and Europe have 104 such parishes, while 126 parishes in South America are run by sisters.

— The two countries with the highest percentage of Catholics in the general population are: Andorra, where 99.7 percent of the population is Catholic; and Equatorial Guinea, which reported 97.2 percent of its population is Catholic. Vatican City State is not included in the survey.

— Of the 5,304 bishops in the world at the end of 2015, 886 (16.7 percent) of them were residing or ministering in a country other than the country of their birth. In 1995, there were 4,319 bishops and 15.8 percent of them were residing outside their homelands. Bishops ministering abroad include the international corps of archbishops serving as Vatican ambassadors around the world and those working at the Vatican.

 

 

ST. JOSEPH HEALTH GIVES $1 MILLION TO HELP HUNGRY AND HOMELESS

St. Joseph Health (SJH) last week announced it will provide $1 million in grant money to more than 30 nonprofits who serve the hungry and homeless throughout California.

At the core of SJH’s mission is helping those who are in most need. The grant initiative reflects the values of the organization. The funds are possible because of the commitment by St. Joseph Health’s Calif. Hospitals, that each contribute 10 percent of their net income to create healthier communities.

“This commitment to caring for our neighbors is one of the ways we translate our values into action,” said Annette M. Walker, MHA, interim president and CEO, St. Joseph Health. “We want to improve the overall health and quality of life of people in the communities we serve. This initiative is aimed at providing for their most immediate needs, the need for food and the need for shelter. Hunger and homelessness are huge obstacles to health and well-being. We know, for example that food insecurity is connected with chronic health problems, poor performance in school and higher levels of anxiety.”

According to a United Way of California report, one in three households statewide do not have enough income to meet their basic cost of living.

The grant money will reach beyond Orange County’s borders and extend to serve those in the desert communities, Sonoma, Napa and Humboldt counties.

Nicole Suydam, CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank in Irvine, said, “Hunger isn’t an issue confined to certain neighborhoods.” Her organization depends on funds from St. Joseph Health to provide fresh produce to some 34,000 people in O.C.

Other organizations that receive funds from SJH include Illumination Foundation, which helps transition homeless families into emergency housing. The Friendship Shelter in South O.C. provides emergency shelter and supportive housing. The Family Assistance Program in the High Desert offers support and services to victims of domestic violence.

In total, 33 nonprofits that serve the hungry and homeless will benefit from the $1 million St. Joseph Health grant fund.

VATICAN SPOKESMAN SAYS CLAIMS POPE HAS TUMOR ‘ENTIRELY UNFOUNDED’

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said an Italian newspaper’s claims about the pope’s health were “entirely unfounded.”

After checking with the pope himself and other sources, Father Lombardi told reporters “the pope enjoys good health” and that the unsubstantiated news report was “a serious act of irresponsibility, absolutely unjustifiable and unspeakable.”

The “Quotidiano Nazionale” reported Oct. 21 that an unnamed nurse at a clinic in Pisa told the paper that the pope visited the clinic several months ago and that tests revealed a “small dark spot” — “a small brain tumor.”

The paper reported that the anonymous source said the condition could be taken care of without surgery and that the specialist following the case was Dr. Takanori Fukushima, a neurosurgeon who teaches at Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina and travels to clinics in Japan and Pisa.

However, the doctor denied the reports in a written statement later in the day, saying, “I have never medically examined the pope. These stories are completely false.”

The newspaper’s editor-in-chief told the Italian news agency ANSA that they waited until now to publish the report because they were unsure about making it public, but then decided to because the pope is a public figure.

Further calling into question the veracity of the report, Dr. Giulio Maira, an Italian neurosurgeon who was interviewed by the same paper under the headline “Pope Francis has a tumor,” called Father Lombardi by telephone from New York City Oct. 21 to say the reporter who called him had only asked him generic questions about brain tumors. No reference was made to the pope and he felt that he had been “tricked,” the doctor told Father Lombardi.

Father Lombardi had said in a written statement earlier in the day, “The circulation of entirely unfounded news regarding the health of the Holy Father by an Italian newspaper is gravely irresponsible and unworthy of attention. Furthermore, as is clearly evident, the pope is carrying out his very intense activity in a totally normal way.”

 

 

WHO IS THE POPE’S NEW DOCTOR?

What does it take to keep the 78-year-old pontiff in good health? Meet the man charged with doing just that.

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LIVING HEALTHIER, FEELING HAPPIER

We all want to lead healthy, happy lives. But that’s easier said than done.

Sometimes it’s difficult to get the information you need from a trustworthy source.

What’s the best diet for a diabetic condition? How do I fit exercise into my busy schedule? Is there an effective way to improve my memory? Prevent that mid-afternoon energy slump? Kick that smoking habit?

Orange County Catholic wants to help you with these health issues and many others in a way that’s informative, friendly, concise and easy to follow. “Living Healthier, Feeling Happier” will present a series of stories – one every two weeks. Aided by respected medical experts from St. Joseph Hoag Health System, we’ll offer practical advice about many health and wellness issues. Some examples:

  • If you have diabetes, you know how hard it can be to manage the condition. That’s why experts keep looking for better ways to control it. Every year, the American Diabetes Association reviews the latest research on diabetes and updates its care guidelines. We’ll look at its current recommendations.
  • Despite its popularity, yoga is no exercise fad. The practice has been around for thousands of years. Poses like Downward-Facing Dog and Lotus encourage a balance between the body and mind. Many yoga enthusiasts believe it promotes better health. We talk to an expert about current practices and beliefs.
  • If your job requires you to sit for much of the day, sooner or later you may experience pain in your back, neck, shoulder, hands or wrists. We offer some tips about preventing or managing the physical stress of repetitive tasks and desk work.
  • Many older adults enjoy a glass of wine with dinner or a beer while watching the game on TV. About half of Americans ages 65 and older drink alcohol. Having a drink now and then is fine; it might even confer health benefits. But how much is too much? We ask a medical professional.
  • Some people who are quick to anger are likely to wind up with significantly elevated levels of heart-damaging cholesterol as well as other negative effects. What are the warning signs that your temper is affecting your health, and what are the best ways to manage anger.

 

Life expectancy today in America is about 78.8 years. For babies born in 2020, it will be more than 80. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 400,000 Americans are over age 95. In the 2010 census there were more than 53,000 centenarians in America.

If you want to live long and live well, consider the advice of longevity experts: Stay physically, socially and mentally active and stick to a healthy diet.

“Living Healthier, Feeling Happier” will offer pointers and essential information with well-sourced articles, fact boxes and phone numbers and websites for those who seek additional information. We hope you’ll find this series thought-provoking, informative and above all useful.

 

* “Living Healthier, Feeling Happier” is sponsored content, supported by St. Joseph Hoag Health.