Staying Healthy

Posts

Taking Care of Yourself: Tips for Caregivers

Taking care of yourself is one of the most important things you can do as a caregiver. Make sure you’re eating healthybeing active and taking time for yourself.

Dealing with Feelings of Frustration and Guilt

Caregiving, especially from a distance, is likely to bring out many different emotions, both positive and negative. Feeling frustrated and angry with everyone, from the care recipient to the doctors, is a common experience. Anger could be a sign that you are overwhelmed or that you are trying to do too much. If you can, give yourself a break: take a walk, talk with your friends, get some sleep — try to do something for yourself.

Although they may not feel as physically exhausted and drained as the primary, hands-on caregiver, long-distance caregivers may still be worried and anxious. Sometimes, long-distance caregivers feel guilty about not being closer, not doing enough, not having enough time with the person, and perhaps even feeling jealous of those who do. Many long-distance caregivers also find that worrying about being able to afford to take time off from work, being away from family, or the cost of travel increases these frustrations. Remember that you are doing the best you can given the circumstances and that you can only do what you can do. It may help to know that these are feelings shared by many other long-distance caregivers — you are not alone in this.

Taking Care of Yourself

Taking care of yourself if one of the most important things you can do as a caregiver. Make sure you are making time for yourself, eating healthy foods and being active. Consider joining a caregiver support group, either in your own community or online. Meeting other caregivers can relieve your sense of isolation and will give you a chance to exchange stories and ideas. If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it.

Caregiving is not easy for anyone — not for the caregiver and not for the care recipient. There are sacrifices and adjustments for everyone. When you don’t live where the care is needed, it may be especially hard to feel that what you are doing is enough and that what you are doing is important. It often is.

Learn about sharing caregiving responsibilities with friends and family.

Source: National Institute on Aging, Taking Care of Yourself: Tips for Caregivers, retrieved 11/11/2019, from https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/taking-care-yourself-tips-caregivers

Business Health Trust members enrolled in an Industry Health Trust have access to up to three in-person visits with a counselor through Wellspring EAP. For more information on the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) through Business Health Trust, view the plan summary.

If you would like to access your Wellspring EAP benefits, go to WellspringEAP.org; or to purchase Wellspring EAP services, email info@businesshealthtrust.com.

Prepare for Flu Season with Business Health Trust

With cold and flu season just getting started, now is the time to get your flu shot if you haven’t already. It’s easy to do if you’re enrolled in Business Health Trust’s medical coverage through Premera Blue Cross or Kaiser Permanente.

Kaiser Permanente

For Business Health Trust members enrolled in medical with Kaiser Permanente, the flu vaccine is covered as an in-network preventive service for all Kaiser Permanente members; deductibles and coinsurance my apply.

Flu vaccinations are available at all Kaiser Permanente medical offices. Get your vaccine during a regular appointment, or drop by your clinic between 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (some injection rooms are closed at lunchtime). You can also get your vaccine at a CareClinic inside several Bartell Drugs locations.

Learn more about Immunizations, vaccinations, and shots: What they are and how they can save your life.

Premera Blue Cross

For Business Health Trust members enrolled in medical with Premera Blue Cross, your flu shot is free* if you go to an in-network doctor or pharmacy. Employers can make it even easier to support a healthy workplace by setting up an on-site flu shot clinic.

Not sure whether the flu vaccine is for you? Read these 5 popular myths about the flu shot.

*If the flu shot is your only reason for your office visit, the visit will be fully covered. If you have other care or services as part of the office visit, you may responsible for all or part of the cost of the visit. You may need to pay up-front at your pharmacy. Go to premera.com to download and submit a medical claim form to be reimbursed.

Savor the Immune-Boosting Flavors of Fall with Our Healthy Living E-Newsletter

The falling leaves of autumn are a good excuse to head outside to enjoy the season, as well as a reminder to take advantage of the bountiful harvest that awaits. This month’s edition of Healthy Living with Business Health Trust features the flavors of fall with an immune-boosting Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili along with tips to help you manage your sugar cravings — just in time for the holidays!

If you’re not already a subscriber, click here to receive our wellness tips in your inbox each month and see past editions.

Suicide Prevention Awareness

If you or someone you know is in an emergency you can:

  • Call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Text “HOME” to the Crisis Text Line at 741741
  • Call 911 immediately

Suicide warning signs:

The more warning signs, the greater the risk of suicide.

  • Talking about wanting to die
  • Looking for ways to kill oneself
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Abusing alcohol or drugs
  • Acting anxious, agitated, or reckless
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated
  • Having extreme mood swings
  • Giving away belongings, including treasured objects

Here are 5 steps you can take to be the one to help someone in emotional pain:

  1. ASK: “Are you thinking about killing yourself?” It’s not an easy question but studies show that asking at-risk individuals if they are suicidal does not increase suicides or suicidal thoughts.
  2. KEEP THEM SAFE: Reducing a suicidal person’s access to highly lethal items or places is an important part of suicide prevention. While this is not always easy, asking if the at-risk person has a plan and removing or disabling the lethal means can make a difference.
  3. BE THERE: Listen carefully and learn what the individual is thinking and feeling. Research suggests acknowledging and talking about suicide may, in fact, reduce rather than increase suicidal thoughts.
  4. HELP THEM CONNECT: Save the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s number in your phone so it’s there when you need it: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You can also help make a connection with a trusted individual like a family member, friend, spiritual advisor, or mental health professional.
  5. STAY CONNECTED: Staying in touch after a crisis or after being discharged from care can make a difference. Studies have shown the number of suicide deaths goes down when someone follows up with the at-risk person.

Source: Suicide Prevention, National Institutes of Mental Health, retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/suicide-prevention/index.shtml on September 9, 2019

Business Health Trust members enrolled in an Industry Health Trust have access to up to three in-person visits with a counselor through Wellspring EAP. For more information on the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) through Business Health Trust, view the plan summary.

If you would like to access your Wellspring EAP benefits, go to WellspringEAP.org; or to purchase Wellspring EAP services, email info@businesshealthtrust.com.

Get Tips to Maximize Your Time and Prioritize Self-Care in our Monthly E-News

If you sometimes wish there were more than 24 hours in a day, it’ll be worth your time to check out this month’s Healthy Living with Business Health Trust e-newsletter.

We make it easy to put your self-care first with virtual care offerings from our wellness partners at Premera Blue Cross and Kaiser Permanente, along with myriad self-help and stress-management resources through Wellspring EAP, including a webinar debuting this month on Effective Time Management. We hope you’ll make time for Healthy Living so that you can better maximize your time and improve your overall wellness!

If you’re not already a subscriber, click here to receive our wellness tips in your inbox each month and see past editions.

Avoid the Emergency Room – Get Preventive Dental Visits

Preventive dental care isn’t only about keeping your smile perfect — it’s also about saving you money and time.

The time it takes to see a doctor in an emergency room can last anywhere from 30 minutes to hours at a time. Even so, 79 percent of people who go to the emergency room seeking dental-related care will be told to visit a dental office.

Research shows that if these emergency room visits were replaced with preventive care visits, there would be a savings of nearly $1.7 million dollars per year — enough to put toward dental premiums or other treatment.

Business Health Trust members enrolled in dental benefits through Delta Dental of Washington can get preventive care started with MySmile. Use your MySmile account to:

  • Find a dentist near you
  • Check your benefits
  • Get treatment estimates
  • View treatment history

For more oral health tips, visit Delta Dental of Washington’s oral health blog.

Inspired Salads, School Lunches and More Wellness Tips in our Monthly E-News

With summer in full swing, it might be hard to believe that school soon will be back in session. Is your family prepared for the changing season?

This month’s edition of Healthy Living with Business Health Trust offers some help in the kitchen to make sure your kids — and you! — have delicious lunchtime options with 52 Quick and Easy School Lunch Ideas, along with plenty of tips from our wellness partners.

If you’re not already a subscriber, click here to receive our wellness tips in your inbox each month and see past editions.

Is Your Diet Damaging Your Smile?

Dieting is more convenient and popular than it’s ever been, with around 45 million Americans dieting each year.

But not every diet is a win-win situation for your body. In fact, some of the most mainstream diets — like the keto diet and intermittent fasting — can help slim your waste line, but they may also do harm to your oral health. For example, the keto diet is known to cause bad breath. The best way to know whether your diet is hurting your smile is to go see a dentist.

Ready to find a dentist near you? For Business Health Trust members enrolled in dental plan through Delta Dental of Washington, you can use your MySmile Account!

In addition to helping you find a dentist, your MySmile account can also help you:

  • Track your benefits
  • Calculate treatment costs
  • Locate a dental specialist
  • Review treatment history

For more tips like this, visit Delta Dental of Washington’s oral health blog.

Disaster Preparedness: Critical Documents

An overwhelming amount of disaster preparedness information followed the earthquakes in our region. Most of the resources centered around how much food, water, and supplies to set aside, what to do before, during and after the disaster, and all the safety precautions necessary to survive.

One aspect of preparedness that can easily be overlooked, is the need to secure important documents. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides a simplified, yet comprehensive guide to help ensure that important documents are kept safe through a disaster, and is linked below.

Critical Documents Checklist.pdf

Business Health Trust members enrolled in medical through Premera Blue Cross have access to up to three in-person visits with a counselor through Wellspring EAP. For more information on the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) through Business Health Trust, view the plan summary.

If you would like to access your Wellspring EAP benefits, go to WellspringEAP.org; or to purchase Wellspring EAP services, connect with us at BusinessHealthTrust.com/contact-us.

Need care? Know where to go — and what it will cost

If you need care but your doctor isn’t available, you have options as a member of Business Health Trust. For those members enrolled in medical with Premera Blue Cross, keep in mind that some options are more expensive than others. The exact cost of your visit depends on your plan and the care you get.

24-Hour NurseLine (Free)

Call the 24-Hour NurseLine at 800-841-8343 — for free. The nurse can discuss your symptoms and help you find a doctor, urgent care clinic or hospital near you.

Virtual care with Teladoc® ($)

For conditions that are not life threatening, like cold and flu symptoms, allergies and ear infections, you can talk to a doctor by phone or video. Teladoc dermatologists are also available to address concerns with skin infections and rash.* Go to teladoc.com/premera or call 855-332-4059. You can get virtual care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (including holidays).

Urgent care ($$)

Urgent care clinics provide care for illnesses like ear infections, fever or flu symptoms, or sprains.** Clinics are often open outside of normal business hours and are less expensive than the emergency room.

Emergency room ($$$)

Emergency room visits cost the most and should be used for emergencies, such as severe abdominal pain, shortness of breath, sudden numbness, loss of consciousness, or broken bones. *Most facilities are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (including holidays).

Tip: Add these contacts in your mobile phone so care is always at your fingertips:

* Teladoc operates subject to state regulation and may not be available in certain states. Video consultations through Teladoc are available 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., 7 days a week. Teladoc is an independent company that arranges virtual medical care services on behalf of Premera Blue Cross.

**Source: 24-Hour NurseLine. These examples are not meant to be used as medical advice. Please call the 24-Hour NurseLine about your specific issue to get advice on where to go for care.