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Health News Round-Up: Practical Advice from a Medical Social Worker

Practical Tips from a Medical Social Worker

Valuable tips from a medical social worker, perspectives on Alzheimer’s, meal management, and more.The challenge of declining health or a new diagnosis can be overwhelming for patients and their loved ones. As health monitoring and maintenance take the forefront, emotions may run high, and fatigue can set in. At such times, practical and legal matters are easy to push to the back burner; however, doing so means risking a scramble if and when they are urgently needed.

This simple and clearly explained list, composed by a medical social worker (MSW), sums up the basic practical tasks that are best done (or reviewed) early, so the tough decisions and legal processes are in place before they become relevant. As Social Work Month 2015 draws to a close, it’s another reminder of the value that MSWs can bring to a care team.

(10 Practical things to do when diagnosed with a serious illness; Pallimed)

Out-of-the-Box Bonding with a Loved One with Dementia

Author Marie Marley shares a tip from her own experience as a caregiver for a loved one with Alzheimer’s. When other methods of connection failed, she gave her soul mate a stuffed animal, and marveled in the joy it brought him. This anecdote leads to others, as well as the positive results of a study on stuffed animals for patients with dementia, and suggests that stuffed animals are a better fit than living pets or dolls.

(Try Giving Your Loved One With Alzheimer’s a Stuffed Animal; Huffington Post)

New Potential Outlook on Calorie Intake for Diabetes

The authors of a new clinical trial have suggested that in patients with type 2 diabetes, the timing of meals could have a lasting effect on glucose tolerance throughout the day. The study subjects, despite eating the same total number of calories, showed better glucose tolerance when they ate more of their calories at breakfast than when they consumed their largest meal at dinner. Note that these findings are no substitute for your doctor’s advice; however, they could serve as a useful conversation starter about what you should be eating, and when.

(High-energy breakfast with low-energy dinner helps control blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes; MNT)

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