• Knowing the Symptoms of Shingles

    Shingles is a skin infection that is primarily diagnosed in older adults, who may have a more difficult time recovering from this condition than younger people. When you have shingles, symptoms may persist for several weeks and cause ongoing fatigue after lesions and rashes of the skin have healed.

    This video explains that the shingles virus lies dormant in the spine and may manifest as the immune system becomes weaker with age. Symptoms arise in a pattern beginning with skin irritation followed by the presentation of a rash and chicken pox-like blisters on one side of the body. Watch the whole clip to learn about possible complications of shingles and symptoms that can be expected by most patients.

    If you have noticed symptoms of shingles, Southern Hills Hospital can help you manage your care and avoid complications. Call our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (702) 880-2100 for tips on resolving shingles and getting your health back on track. 

  • Finding Support Following Stroke

    After suffering a stroke, patients may need ongoing care and support from their families since there are a number of tough symptoms that can make the recovery process difficult. You might notice that friends and family will offer help from all fronts, and it is important to accept their support to stay on track with recovery. This video shares the story of one patient who was considered low risk, but still suffered a stroke and relied heavily on his family to help him recover.

    If you suspect that a loved one is having a stroke, the first step in recovery is immediate emergency care that can minimize permanent damage to the brain. Southern Hills Hospital offers the highest level of care for stroke victims, and we will be there to help you and your family get through this tough condition. Explore our Stroke Center on our website or call us directly at (702) 880-2100 to learn about the difference in our care. 

  • Why You Won’t Want to Gamble with Chest Pain

    Woman is clutching her chest, heart attack

    Chest pain is a relatively vague symptom that could be indicative of conditions ranging from heartburn to heart failure, which means that you might think of waiting for symptoms to subside before seeking medical care. However, when chest pain is caused by some of the more serious possible causes, you will not want to hesitate to get medical attention. In the case of a heart attack, immediate care can be lifesaving and minimize the rehabilitation process following the incident. Because a heart attack might have some of the same symptoms as more minor medical conditions, you should never take the gamble and make sure that you have a reliable ER on your side for immediate care.

    The Southern Hills Hospital Emergency Room is a Certified Chest Pain Center with consistently low wait times in the ER to ensure excellent care for every patient . If you suspect you are having a heart attack, call 911. To explore more of our services or hear current ER wait times, call our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (702) 880-2100. 

  • Ways to Preserve Your Spine Health at Any Age

    Inspection of the backbone by a female doctor

    The aging process can take a significant toll on your spinal health, because degenerative conditions like osteoporosis and spinal disc degeneration tend to set in as the body gets older. However, you can stop or at least slow down age-related damage in your spine by making a commitment to your spinal health earlier in life with the right habits. It is never too late or too early to start taking preventive measures to avoid back pain, so consider implementing the following habits to make sure that you are moving freely for more of your older adult years.

    Avoid Sitting Down

    At home and in the workplace, there are always tons of places to sit down and take a load off your feet. Unfortunately, the human body is poorly designed for sitting down, and sitting for long periods can lead to pain in the neck and lower back. Use tools like standing desks or sit on an exercise ball to minimize pressure on your spine throughout the day, and make sure to maintain a neutral posture when you do sit in a regular chair.

    Push Yourself to Stay Active

    Physical activity is essential for a healthy spine—especially exercises that strengthen the core muscles supporting the spine. As you get older, you may feel the urge to slow down with your exercise routine, but physical activity is more important than ever at this age. To make exercise more fun as you age, you might join an adult sports league or try fitness classes that add a social aspect to your activity.

    Find the Right Sleep Posture

    Some of the most severe damage that can take place in the spine occurs when you are not even aware of it. While you sleep, there is about 50 pounds of pressure on your spine, and sleeping in the wrong position can only increase this load. Ideally, you should sleep on your back with your head and neck supported. Sleeping on your side can be a neutral position for your spine too, but you will need to sleep with a pillow between your legs to reduce spinal pressure.

    Are you struggling with persistent spinal pain? To find relief, explore the leading minimally-invasive spinal surgery program in the Southwest at Southern Hills Hospital in Las Vegas. Connect with us on our website or call (702) 880-2100 to reach our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line.

  • Signs that an Elderly Loved One Needs Behavioral Care

    care

    Older adults are at a greater risk than younger people for a handful of mental disorders such as depression, dementia, and anxiety disorders that could lead to a wide range of complications and frequent hospitalization. When an elderly loved one is struggling with a mental disorder , he or she may not be able to continue living independently and managing his or her physical health. If you notice any of the behavioral red flags discussed below, you should not neglect to seek the care your loved one needs sooner rather than later to avoid more serious complications and improve his or her quality of life. 

    Extreme Forgetfulness

    Forgetfulness is often thought of as a normal part of the aging process , but memory loss that gets in the way of everyday activities is problematic and may point to dementia. A forgotten birthday or anniversary every so often is nothing to worry about, but more frequent forgetfulness should be brought to the attention of your loved one’s physician.

    Withdrawal from Social Activities

    In both dementia and depression—which are often co-occurring conditions—seniors may neglect social engagements and stay home more often. They may also show a loss of interest in activities they once loved and begin to feel uncomfortable in social settings.

    Neglect of Personal Care

    Physical health tends to suffer in seniors with mental disorders, because they often neglect personal hygiene, household chores, and meal preparation. If you notice a decline in these activities, you may need to find help to improve you loved one’s life at home.

    Low Self-Esteem

    If a loved one makes comments about how he or she does not feel wanted at family events or feels like a burden to family members, you should take these thoughts seriously and offer to find psychiatric care. These statements may be the only way that an elderly relative reaches out for help, since older adults tend to be stubborn when it comes to accepting mental healthcare.

    The RISE Behavioral Health unit at Southern Hills Hospital provides dedicated inpatient care through a 14-bed facility for patients 55 and older as well as intensive outpatient care for patients over 50. These services in your community can address dementia, depression, and related mental disorders that may be diminishing your loved one’s quality of life. Learn more about how we can help by visiting our website or calling (702) 880-2100. 

  • Helping Your Kids Stay Healthy This Holiday Season

    Festive family in santa hat hugging on couch

    The holiday season can present a number of extra health risks for anyone, but children are particularly vulnerable to the injuries and illnesses that boost ER visits during the season. As a parent, you may have to take some steps in managing your kids’ health through the holidays so that you do not spend the season in the hospital. Here are some of the most important health tips all parents should remember as the festive season kicks off.

    Teach Proper Hand Washing Techniques

    Unfortunately, most adults do not wash their hands properly, which means that you might need to brush up on your own hand washing skills to set a good example for your kids. In order to kill the germs that cause the cold and flu to spread, you need to scrub your hands with soap for a full 20 seconds. The time may pass faster if you sing a song or come up with a fun rhyme to teach your children. Proper hand washing is the best line of defense from the seasonal flu, especially when you encourage all friends and family members to get their annual flu shots.

    Use Extra Caution in the Kitchen

    When you get to your holiday baking, you may have some tiny hands eager to help in the kitchen, but you should keep these hands away from sharp or hot surfaces. Eating cookie dough should also be discouraged, since kids can easily get sick from eating raw eggs. As you prepare holiday meals, remember that kids are more susceptible to food poisoning, so you will want to follow food safety guidelines for proper food storage, cooking, and serving temperatures.

    Never Let Kids Decorate Unsupervised

    Decorating is another area where kids like to help out, and it can also present some opportunities for injury. Make sure that decorating is always a family activity so that you can prevent any falls, scrapes, or other accidents that might ruin the fun.

    When accidents happen this holiday season, you can rest assured that your child will have a quick recovery with the dedicated pediatric ER at Southern Hills Hospital. You can also trust us for health tips and physician referrals over the phone with our Consult-A-Nurse line at (702) 880-2100. 

  • An In-Depth Look at Dementia in Seniors

    Mother and daughter

    Dementia is a frequently misunderstood condition that is not a disease itself, but rather a description of many different symptoms caused by a number of various diseases. Dementia may take place in patients of any age, but it is most common in seniors who may become diagnosed with conditions like vascular dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. Most often, dementia diagnosed in seniors is progressive, meaning that it gets worse over time and cannot be reversed. This pattern of dementia can make it a devastating condition for any older adult and his or her loved ones. Continue reading to learn more about the progressive dementia commonly diagnosed in elderly individuals so you know what signs to look for with this condition.

    A Wide Range of Symptoms

    Dementia most often presents difficulty with short-term memory that progress to the point where a person may not remember the names of his or her children or recognize the face of a spouse. Other symptoms such as trouble with verbal communication, loss of focus, and changes in visual perception may also arise with dementia.

    An Extensive Diagnostic Process

    Experts recommend that elderly adults be evaluated for dementia-related conditions at the earliest signs of dementia , because there may be ways to reverse or slow down the progression of dementia depending on the cause. Because there is such a long-list of possible causes for dementia, there will be a wide range of tests used to diagnose underlying conditions. There is no test for dementia itself, but brain scans using MRI and CT technology can reveal damage to brain cells that indicates conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, which is the most common cause of dementia in seniors.

    A Long List of Risk Factors

    It is important to remember that dementia is often not associated with a definitive cause, so addressing a broad range of risk factors might be a part of the treatment process. Lifestyle factors like malnutrition, vitamin deficiencies, cardiovascular deficiencies, and poor exercise habits may be addressed earlier in life to reduce the risk for dementia.

    At Southern Hills Hospital , we understand that seniors struggling with dementia have unique psychiatric needs, which we address through a dedicated behavioral health unit designed specifically for adults 55 and older. Call us at (702) 880-2100 or visit our website to learn how RISE Behavioral Health may play a role in your loved one’s management of dementia and related mental concerns. 

  • Tips for Fighting the Holiday Blues

    Silhouette of a sad lady

    While the holiday season is festive for some, it may be a time of winter sadness for others. Seniors are particularly susceptible to feelings of depression during the holidays, as they may struggle with memories of loss and grief as well as loneliness amidst a season celebrating togetherness. If you are prone to suffering from holiday blues, you may need to use some strategies for fighting off negative feelings through the season.

    Spending more time with the people you love is a great way to break out of a pattern of depression, since social activity tends to lighten your mood and create more positive feelings. You should also make sure that you steer clear of remedies that could worsen the problem such as alcohol or binge eating on comfort foods. When you do feel temptation from these unhelpful vices, try taking a walk instead. Exercise is a natural depression-fighter, and it can promote better overall health in a season that is filled with lazy days and heavy meals.

    Southern Hills Hospital may help you avoid the holiday blues with our upcoming Lunch and Learn event offered for free to the Las Vegas community. You can reserve a spot at this lunch or learn about other classes taking place in December by calling our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (702) 880-2100.