Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center
Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center is committed to providing the highest quality of care while serving the communities of southwest Las Vegas.

What is the connection between your mental and physical health?

Good health is about more than just the absence of disease. It’s about enjoying quality of life, and reaping the benefits of a strong mind and body. Each May is Mental Health Month, and the geriatric psychiatric specialists at Southern Hills Hospital are celebrating by spreading the word about the mind/body connection. If you’re experiencing mental health challenges, consider visiting our hospital to meet with a caring specialist.

The physical effects of stress on your body

Severe or chronic stress takes a heavy toll on both mind and body. Stress can manifest in vague aches and pains. It can also result in the following:

  • Excessive fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Chest pain
  • Heart palpitations
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Lightheadedness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Insomnia
  • Changes in appetite

Stress can even cause a spike in blood pressure.

The behavioral effects of emotions

If you’re having trouble coping with difficult emotions, you might notice that your daily routine is a little off. You might skip breakfast—or you might eat ice cream for breakfast. You might lose the motivation to exercise.

On the other hand, if you’re feeling mentally strong and emotionally healthy, you might decide to join a gym or indulge in a delicious salad. The state of your mental health can influence your physical health by altering your typical behaviors.

The methods of supporting mental resiliency

Mental resiliency and physical health are both essential for good quality of life. If you’ve been struggling with signs of mental health disorders like depression or anxiety, consider talking to your doctor about it. Your doctor genuinely wants to help you feel well, and you won’t be pressured into trying treatments that don’t appeal to you.

You can support your mental resiliency by eating well and exercising, even if you don’t feel motivated to do so. Practice good stress management techniques, like listening to your favorite music, escaping in a novel or getting out on a nature trail.

Southern Hills Hospital specializes in the psychiatric needs of our geriatric patients in the Las Vegas area. We provide compassionate inpatient and outpatient care for adults ages 50 and older, and our community hospital is working on an expansion project to meet the psychiatric needs of younger adults and adolescents. You can direct questions about our geriatric psychiatric services to a registered nurse at (702) 916-5023.

How older adults can get fit

If the health benefits of exercise could be packed into a pill, countless seniors would consider taking it. Unfortunately, that would mean missing out on one of the most attractive perks of working out—having fun! Exercise gets a bad reputation for being boring and repetitive, but the truth is that working out can be just as invigorating and engaging as you want it to be. Here at Southern Hills Hospital, it’s the mission of our orthopedic, stroke and geriatric specialists to help older adults enjoy great quality of life. Let us know how we can help you get active.

Try Wii fitness games

Videogames are usually a sedentary activity enjoyed by youth—but not when it comes to Wii fitness games. Nintendo Wii is designed specifically to get people up and moving. With the handheld console, you can play simulated games like the following:

  • Yoga
  • Skiing
  • Bowling
  • Tennis
  • Baseball
  • Golf
  • Fishing
  • Archery
  • Swordplay

As you can see, there’s a Wii game to suit everyone’s interests. As an added bonus, playing Wii games together with your grandkids is a great way to develop closer relationships.

Strength train with your groceries

If you’d rather not purchase a gaming system, you can use what you already have in your home to build muscle strength. You can use pantry items to do bicep curls and overhead presses. Start with something lighter, like cans of vegetables, before moving on to heavier objects like half-gallon water jugs.

Consider talking to a physical therapist or fitness trainer before you start. It’s important to use proper form to prevent injuries while strength training.

Learn martial arts

Martial arts can be fun for all ages. Consider joining a low- or non-contact martial arts class like Tai Chi, Qigong, Bagua or Hsing-I.

These are the internal martial arts. This means they focus on cultivating mental strength. With their rhythmic, dance-like movements, these martial arts can help you develop:

  • Balance
  • Coordination
  • Physical stability
  • Lower body strength

Check your local senior center or community center for martial arts classes designed for adults.

For the compassionate, patient-focused care you deserve, you can put your trust in Southern Hills Hospital. We are a leading provider of superior orthopedic care, stroke care, geriatric psychology and emergency care for patients of all ages in the Las Vegas area. You can speak with a member of our dedicated nursing team by calling (702) 916-5023.

When to seek medical care for gallbladder issues

The gallbladder is a small organ found in the upper right section of the abdomen. It’s responsible for storing bile, which plays a role in the digestion of fats. There are many problems that can affect the gallbladder, including gallstones. In some cases, patients are diagnosed with a gallbladder problem after seeing their family physician. Others seek emergency care at Southern Hills Hospital for severe symptoms. Our state-of-the-art hospital in Las Vegas is proud to feature sophisticated robotic surgery services, including minimally invasive gallbladder removal.

Seek emergency care for severe pain

Gallstones won’t always cause pain. Typically, symptoms occur when a gallstone blocks a bile duct. This can cause sudden pain that rapidly becomes worse.

Severe pain is always a good reason to seek emergency care, regardless of its potential cause. If the cause of the pain is gallstones, patients will feel it in the upper right area of the abdomen.

The pain might also extend to the center of the abdomen, right shoulder and between the shoulder blades. It may last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. Some patients may experience nausea and vomiting.

Gallstones aren’t the only reason to seek emergency care, however. Acute cholecystitis, which is the sudden swelling of this organ, can cause the following symptoms:

  • Sharp or cramp-like upper belly pain
  • Fever
  • Clay-colored stools
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Yellowing of the whites of the eyes

Seek emergency care for possible gallstone complications

Acute cholecystitis often occurs as a complication of gallstones. Gallstones can also cause blockages of the common bile duct and pancreatic duct. Symptoms of a blocked bile duct can include the following:

  • Dark urine
  • Fever
  • Yellowing of the whites of the eyes
  • Pale-colored stools
  • Itching
  • Upper right abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting

See your doctor if minor symptoms don’t go away

Gallbladder problems aren’t always medical emergencies. When you watch this featured video, you’ll hear a general surgeon at Southern Hills Hospital explain that minor symptoms can sometimes indicate gallbladder problems if they persist or recur. These include:

  • Unexplained aches and pains
  • Nausea
  • Indigestion

If you need emergency care in the Las Vegas area, please call 911 without delay. Southern Hills Hospital’s emergency care physicians and nurses are available around the clock to provide prompt and courteous medical care. For general questions about our patient-centered hospital services, you can contact a registered nurse at (702) 916-5023.

How occupational therapy can help you get your life back

After you’ve had acute stroke care, orthopedic surgery or been diagnosed with a disability, your doctor at Southern Hills Hospital may refer you to an occupational therapist. Occupational therapy is a uniquely patient-driven model of care because the therapist guides the patient in setting the course for the treatment. The goals of occupational therapy are not only to recover to the fullest extent possible, but also to let you get back to doing the things you love.

Dealing with chronic pain

Chronic pain can be baffling because it can persist even after the original injury has healed. Chronic pain touches virtually every area of a patient’s life—from emotional health to functional abilities. To help you learn how to better manage everyday activities and cope with limitations, an occupational therapist may do the following:

  • Identify triggers that worsen pain
  • Recommend pain-free alternatives
  • Decrease dependence on pain medications
  • Teach the use of adaptive equipment
  • Demonstrate alternative ways of performing activities

To get the most out of occupational therapy, you can openly communicate your goals, lifestyle desires and challenges. It’s the mission of your occupational therapist to help you enjoy good quality of life.

Recovering from a major surgery

Orthopedic surgeries such as joint replacements require extensive recovery and rehabilitation. Occupational therapists play a key role in the rehabilitation process. They can help patients with the following:

  • Getting around with a walker
  • Doing daily tasks without stressing the healing area
  • Positioning properly for sleep
  • Transferring in and out of the car

Restoring abilities after stroke

Stroke survivors often face life-altering challenges, including temporary or permanent paralysis, thinking difficulties and emotional upheaval. An occupational therapist can help with all of these difficulties to allow stroke survivors to live as independently as possible. Occupational therapy can benefit stroke survivors in the following ways:

  • Learn one-handed techniques for tasks
  • Use adaptive equipment
  • Improve safety in the home
  • Educate caregivers
  • Improve strength and endurance
  • Facilitate mobility in the community
  • Cope with memory and concentration problems

The newly updated orthopedic and spine unit at Southern Hills Hospital provides the latest in surgical technology, comfortable patient rooms and a fully equipped physical therapy gym. At our modern hospital in Las Vegas, we are committed to giving our patients the superior care they deserve. Call a registered nurse at (702) 916-5023 to request a referral to an orthopedic specialist.

Understanding the most common sources of stress

Some psychologists feel that chronic stress is so common that it’s becoming a public health crisis. People of all ages suffer from stress—from young children to adults to seniors—and virtually anything can be a stress trigger depending on how it’s perceived. Constant stress reduces enjoyment of life, but there is hope for a better life. Southern Hills Hospital specializes in treating the mental health disorders of geriatric patients. Recognizing the critical need for behavioral healthcare for younger patients, our hospital in Las Vegas recently announced plans to build a new mental healthcare facility.

Significant life changes

In addition to everyday stress, people can experience dramatic spikes in stress levels due to significant life events. These can include:

  • Death in the family
  • Death of a pet
  • Divorce
  • Major illness or surgery
  • Job loss
  • Eviction
  • Incarceration

Psychologists note that a major life change doesn’t have to be negative to cause a sudden spike in stress. Stress levels can peak even when the life change is welcomed. It can take some time to adjust to the following new circumstances:

  • Marriage
  • New baby
  • New job
  • New house
  • High school or college graduation

Financial issues

Personal finances can create stress in anyone, regardless of his or her resources. Low-income individuals may worry about getting the bills paid, building a rainy day fund and handling unexpected expenses. High-earners may fret about the state of their investments, the volatile stock market or keeping up with the Joneses.

Time constraints

Time is one of life’s most precious commodities, and it seems that there is never enough of it. A few time-related sources of stress include:

  • Running late for work
  • Rushing to get errands done
  • Providing caregiving services for a loved one

Excessive connectivity

Technology has made the world seem smaller than ever before, but connectivity might not always be a good thing. Some psychologists have suggested that excessive social media use and heightened awareness of world events may be contributing to the stress and anxiety of some individuals. The technology may not be going away, but it may be worth the effort to unplug every now and then.

From our mental health program to our maternity services, our dedication to superior patient experiences is evident in all that we do. Southern Hills Hospital is here to help families throughout Las Vegas live healthier, happier and more productive lives. If you are interested in learning more about our psychiatry services, you can call our nurse referral line at (702) 916-5023.

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