Category Archives: Hospital Services

Northern Westchester Hospital provides services for everybody’s health need.

Making the Holidays Special for Loved Ones in the Hospital

Posted on: December 15, 2015

Making the Holidays Special for Loved Ones in the Hospital

Tips for caregivers, family and friends from The Ken Hamilton Caregivers Center

Here are some tips that you may find helpful while your loved one is in the hospital during the holidays.  Remember for safety reasons, it’s very important to check with hospital staff before you bring any items into the hospital room.

1)       Bring small gifts to your family member if they are well enough to un-wrap the item.
2)       Bring something pleasant and safe as a decoration for their hospital room.
3)       Bring in some comforts of home, such as your loved one’s favorite pajamas, blankets or pillow.
4)       Deliver their favorite snacks or holiday food that fits within any dietary restrictions.
5)       If you think it will raise their spirits, assemble a photo album of pictures from previous holidays.
6)       If religious, bring in a recording of a religious service, or watch one on television.
7)       Play some holiday music or watch a favorite holiday movie together.
8)       If family is unable to visit, reach out to the volunteer department for visitors.

Gift Suggestions for hospitalized family members
Entertainment:  Books, magazines, music, movies, crossword puzzles, and playing cards.

Enjoyment:  Get well cards, holiday cards, and small gifts.
Gift of Service:  Have someone offer to run an errand for your loved one – this can feel very supportive when in the hospital.  If your family member needs information about a community resource, you can offer to assist them in gathering information.

Editor’s Note: The Ken Hamilton Caregivers Center is dedicated to caring for the family caregiver. The Caregivers Center serves as a private sanctuary during the very demanding and stressful times of providing care for your loved one, regardless of  whether they are hospitalized at NWH, at another facility or at home.

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Care and Comfort for the Common Cold

Posted on: December 15, 2015

Care and Comfort for the Common Cold

By Dr. Elliot Barsh

Sneezing and coughing, symptoms of the common cold, are prevalent throughout the winter, and not surprisingly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and prevention, children average about six to eight colds each year. Understanding the symptoms, listening to your child and knowing when to see your doctor will help you provide the care and comfort your child needs.

The first thing to know about colds is that they’re caused by a virus, and that’s why doctors do not prescribe antibiotics in these instances, as they only work for bacterial infections. In fact, most of the symptoms you get with a cold—coughing, sneezing, fever—are your body’s way of fighting off the virus. It’s often a parent’s first instinct to treat the symptoms, but the cough and fever are therapeutic. Trying to suppress cold symptoms with medications can actually prolong the illness, and no one wants to feel sick longer than they have to. If your child is feeling miserable, by all means, give her Tylenol. If she seems to be feeling fine, there is no need to give her medicine. The key: Listen to your child and manage what she feels, by doing this you will be able to provide her comfort and help her body heal faster.

Colds last about 10 to 14 days. You’ll have two to three days of getting sick, possibly followed by a fever for three or four days, coughing may worsen over the next three or four days, and then you should see improvement over the last two to three days. It’s important to know that this pattern is not true of more serious infections, such as the flu and pneumonia, and I strongly recommend all children get the flu vaccine.

With colds, the plan is to get plenty of fluids, rest and sleep, and nourish your child back to health. Antibiotics don’t help speed recovery from the common cold. If your child seems run down or low on energy, make sure she stays home from school, play dates and sports practices. You can keep your child more comfortable by running a humidifier in her room at night. Dry air from heating can make coughs worse. I also recommend feeding your children plenty of citrus fruits. Vitamin C can help fight the virus, and the actual fruit is better than juice or pills because the fiber in the pulp delivers extra health benefits. And chicken soup, it’s not just an old wives’ tale, it’s actually medicinal. Should the symptoms get worse instead of better, persist longer than 10 days or seem more severe than the typical cold, call your doctor.

We can’t prevent our kids from getting sick, but we are able to reduce the frequency by reminding them to wash their hands well and often, and by teaching them to cough and sneeze into their elbows. Respiratory droplets expelled through coughing, sneezing and talking are how colds spread. Lastly, it turns out mom was right: keep the kids bundled up, if they’ve been exposed to the cold virus, they may be less likely to develop a cold. Simply remember, don’t treat the symptoms, treat your child, and speak with your doctor when you need to.

Editor’s Note: Elliot Barsh, MD, is a pediatrician at Northern Westchester Hospital and the Mount Kisco Medical Group as well as the school physician for the North Salem Central School District.

How to Find the Best Pulmonary Rehab Program For You

Posted on: December 9, 2015

7 Things to Look For in a Top Pulmonary Rehab Program

by Dr. Harlan Weinberg, MD, Medical Director of the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program and Critical Care Services at NWH at Chappaqua Crossing.

Pulmonary rehabilitation is a highly specialized therapy that when administered properly is remarkably effective.  In fact, the results can be life-changing.  Many people don’t realize that their frequent shortness of breath can actually be helped with pulmonary rehab.  (See my blog, Can Pulmonary Rehab Help Me?.)

Finding a facility that is conveniently located may be important, but these are essential factors you should consider to find the right place for you.

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Can Pulmonary Rehab Benefits Help Me?

Posted on: November 17, 2015

If you experience shortness of breath, pulmonary rehab may help you. Pulmonary rehab lessens your sensation of shortness of breath, while helping improve activity endurance–and quality of life. You may have a respiratory problem that can be effectively treated as you answer the questions in our pulmonary rehabilitation guidelines.

Am I a Candidate for Pulmonary Rehab?

Pulmonary Rehab Westchesterby Dr. Harlan Weinberg, MD, Medical Director of the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program and Critical Care Services at NWH at Chappaqua Crossing.

If you experience shortness of breath, pulmonary rehab may help you. Pulmonary rehab lessens your sensation of shortness of breath, while helping improve activity endurance–and quality of life.  You may have a respiratory problem that can be effectively treated with pulmonary rehab. (See my blog, 7 Things to Look For in a Top Pulmonary Rehab Program.)

Take the self-assessment below to see if pulmonary rehab may be right for you. Pulmonary rehab is covered by most insurance companies. Our Pulmonary Rehab staff can help you get a referral from your physician.

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The Key to Reversing Pre-Diabetes

Posted on: November 9, 2015

The Key to Reversing Pre-Diabetes

By Pat Talio

A diagnosis of pre-diabetes means that you are at high risk for developing diabetes, and without lifestyle changes are likely to be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes within 10 years. Better nutrition and exercise may help you prevent or delay the diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes.

The arrow image depicts the differences between the blood sugar level of someone without diabetes, someone considered pre-diabetic and diabetessomeone with diabetes. Pre-diabetes means your blood sugar is higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes.  A diagnosis of pre-diabetes is a reason to slow down and examine what you are eating and how active you are. Research shows with an improvement in your diet and with an increase in activity, which results in weight loss and better nutrition, Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed.

The Diabetes Care and Education practice group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggest the following tips to reverse Pre-Diabetes:
1. Move more – take a walk after dinner, stand up while talking on the phone, walk to your coworkers desk rather than use e-mail, jog in place or stand and stretch during TV commercials. Move if you’ve been sitter for 30 minutes. Remember every step counts.
2. Water is the way to go – replace juice, soda and other sugary drinks with water.
3. Just say no – Politely refuse the extra serving at the family dinner and powdered donut from a co-worker. Friends and family often have good intentions, but practice saying “No thank you!” to stay on track.
4. Size matters – be mindful of your portion sizes. Keep your protein to 4-6 ounces; a serving of starchy food should be less than one cup, and vegetables should cover at least one-half of your plate.

Change is always difficult but it may be easier with the support of a partner so grab a family member or friend and work together to make healthy lifestyle choices a reality.

Editor’s Note: Pat Talio, MS, RDN, CDE, CDN is a registered dietitian at Northern Westchester hospital and is a diabetes educator.