Does Your College Student Have a Healthcare Package?

Does Your College Student Have a Healthcare Package?

Money Matters

presented by: Vision Financial

Every year, tens of thousands of young men and women begin or return to college. In Alabama alone, there are more than 60 colleges or universities in the state. In total, the number of college students enrolled in an Alabama school at any one time can be well over 100,000. Unfortunately, most of these students are sent off to college without a Healthcare Package.

What does it mean for a college student to have a Healthcare Package? In the State of Alabama, an individual is considered an adult upon his or her 19th birthday. Federal and State law restricts the disclosure of healthcare related information about an adult patient. Specifically, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) can impose civil and criminal penalties on healthcare providers and insurance companies for failing to protect or wrongfully disclosing a patient’s health related information. The possible imposition of these penalties can encourage healthcare providers to develop policies which refuse to disclose certain health related information to family members of patients.

An example of this problem involves a scenario where a college student is rushed to the hospital for an emergency appendectomy. Upon entering the hospital, the student is unable to sign any release forms. While the student is in the emergency room, a hospital administrator contacts the student’s parents to determine what insurance the student has. When the parent asks what is wrong with their son/daughter the administrator responds that it is against their policy to disclose health related information without a HIPAA Release or other form of approval.

For any college student 19 and above, he or she should have three important documents in his or her Healthcare Package to overcome these regulatory pitfalls:

  • HIPAA Release Form
  • Durable Power of Attorney
  • Advanced Directive for Healthcare

Although these three documents cannot stop a disaster, these documents can help mitigate the damage and provide relief to loved ones. Different forms of these documents can be found for free on the internet; however, it is highly recommended that you seek the advice of a competent attorney, licensed to practice law in your jurisdiction, to help develop your college student’s Healthcare Package.

-Tommy B. Majors IV

Attorney and Managing Member of The Majors Law Firm, LLC

Brought to you by Hal Holland

Vision Financial Group, Inc.

4505 Pine Tree Circle, Birmingham, 35243

205-970-4909, www.vision-financialgroup.com

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How Stretching Makes You Longer… & Stronger

How Stretching Makes You Longer… & Stronger

Healthy Living 

It’s so good to stretch yourself, in so many ways. Reaching beyond your comfort zone earns life rewards for you that can’t be measured simply in muscle extensions or physiological data. But those physiological facts are nothing to sneeze at. Without regular stretching – by “regular people,” not just your mid-50’s marathoner – your muscles begin to tighten, which affects your ability to extend them fully.

“If you are a repetitive ‘sitter,’ the glute muscle begins the process of atrophy. This means that the glute muscle begins to degenerate (not in a good way),” says Sandra Hahamian, certified personal trainer. “When your glutes shut down, other muscles and joints in your body become over-stressed and can result in pain in places such as the knees and lower back.”

A practice of good stretching helps loosen and lengthen your muscles, which is really important for maintaining your range of motion, particularly as you age. If your lifestyle is mostly sedentary, your muscles become weak over time, and without stretching them out regularly, they also get shorter. Then one day, when you do decide to exercise, or just perform some type of physical task outside your normal sofa-sitting, you’ll be depending on those muscles to get up and get it done. But if your muscles are no longer accustomed to extending fully, you put yourself at risk for pain, muscle and joint injury, or even falling.

“A lot of people don’t understand that stretching has to happen on a regular basis. It should be daily,” says David Nolan, a physical therapist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. Daily stretching helps keep your limbs flexible, long and lean. Your routine doesn’t have to be strenuous, but it does need to be done properly. Don’t do the “early-80s bounce,” and try to hold your stretch for about 30 seconds each time. It’s also a good idea to move around first to get your muscles a little warmed up before you start stretching. This makes the stretch…. well, a “good stretch,” not a stretch of your cold muscles’ weak limitations. Good stretching not only helps protect your muscles, it also helps you get the most from them. If you like to lift weights, you’ll build more muscle by pressing with full muscle extension – not by taxing and tearing cold muscles against the weight.

To begin a good stretching routine, Nolan recommends your local Y. So, do we. See you at the gym!

-Jean Bowick

YMCA of Greater Birmingham, www.ymcabham.org 

Read more healthy information from the YMCA at www.BirminghamChristian.com. Click on News/Health

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Are You Ready to Answer God’s Call?

Are You Ready to Answer God’s Call?

Healthy Living

Are You Ready to Answer God’s Call?

If you’re like me, you probably jumped at that question with an enthusiastic, “Yes!”

We want to know and understand God’s purpose for our lives, and we get excited when we think about playing a role in fulfilling His divine plan. Romans 11:29 says, “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” He has chosen us as His sons and daughters, and as Ephesians 2:10 says, we were “created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand.” Paul continues in Romans 12:1, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.”

But the question is, are you taking proactive steps to preserve your health and live in such a way that you’re completely prepared and able to do what God is calling you to next? Are you physically capable of meeting the needs of others or are you hindered by unwise lifestyle choices? Or maybe you’re feeling so overwhelmed by the stress of the world that you’re struggling to minister to others. Do you get enough sleep and have margins in your schedule so that you have the time and energy to serve or do you walk around in a fog all day?

At Wellness in the Making, my purpose is to use my training and expertise as a pharmacist to provide a framework for you to step back and truly evaluate your health, to empower you to take control of the wheel, and to give guidance and support as you change the direction you’re moving if necessary. After I listen to your complete story, we’ll identify the underlying issues contributing to your symptoms and set personalized goals that are practical for you and your lifestyle. We’ll first focus on the foundational aspects of wellness like nutrition, movement, stress levels, and sleep quality. From there, as a pharmacist I am uniquely qualified to help you optimize your prescription medications plus any supplements you may be taking. There’s certainly a place for both prescriptions and supplements, and I’ll help you find the balance that’s right for you.

Located inside Double Oak Mountain Pharmacy, I’m easily accessible both in the office and online to provide ongoing support and encouragement as you take steps forward to improve your total wellness and live in a way that allows you to fulfill God’s purpose for your life. To find out more or to schedule your initial consultation, give me a call at 205-440-2478.

-Hope Davis, Pharm.D. 

Wellness in the Making

205-440-2478

At Double Oak Pharmacy, 5510 US-280, Birmingham, 35242

www.wellnessinthemaking.com

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How a Lift Chair Could Greatly Benefit You or Someone You Know

How a Lift Chair Could Greatly Benefit You or Someone You Know

Healthy Living

For help in determining which lift chair will best meet your needs, call Derek Gann, 205-538-5692.

While you may not know exactly what a Lift Chair is or who benefits from one, the chances are you have seen one before. That’s because a Lift Chair looks no different from a standard reclining chair – it just has additional features!

What is a Lift Chair? A Lift Chair is a piece of medical equipment that looks similar to a standard reclining chair. The difference is that the Lift Chair contains a powerful lifting system which can be triggered to tilt the base and back of the chair forward, assisting the user in returning to a standing position all with the push of a button.

There are a number of different names used to describe Lift Chairs. You may see them marketed as “Power Lift Recliners”, “Pop-Up Chairs, “3-Position Recliners”, or “Infinite Position Recliners”, but each of these terms refers to the same type of device.

Available in small to large widths, petite to tall heights, cloth, vinyl, or even leather upholstery, and with options including number of positions available, heat, and massage!

Who Benefits from a Lift Chair? Lift Chairs are ideal solutions for anybody who has difficulty transitioning from a seated position to standing due to limited mobility or balance issues. However, the benefits extend far beyond assistance simply sitting down and standing up.

With optional heat and massage features, Lift Chairs provide therapeutic benefits to those with stiff and sore joints, back pain, arthritis, and a variety of other conditions.

Lift Chairs can be used for more than just reclining while watching your favorite television programs. Many individuals even opt to sleep in their Lift Chairs rather than in their beds. Most models can be reclined to a flat position, but can also be modified to different angles and elevations for maximum comfort.  For individuals who must keep their legs elevated while they sit or sleep, Lift Chairs are an ideal solution.

Even individuals who have had surgery in their shoulders, arms, or other areas can benefit from a lift chair. According to one of our customers,

“The ‘pop up chair’ as I call it, has worked out extraordinarily well. I can not imagine going through the recovery without having a chair like what I purchased from you folks. I highly recommend it for anyone having had shoulder surgery of any kind. It’s a must have item, especially if you want to get any sleep at all.”

 Where can you get a Lift Chair? There are many places to purchase a lift chair, but we recommend working with a professional to determine the best type. With the wide range of sizes, features, and designs, the options can become overwhelming and you may end up with a Lift Chair that does not suit your needs adequately.An expert can work with you to determine more than just the right color to suit your decor – he or she will ask questions such as:

  • Do you frequently eat or drink in the chair?If so, vinyl or leather upholstery may be ideal as it will be easier to clean
  • Do you have a pet that will be sitting in the chair with you?If so, you may require a wider width to accommodate both you and your furry friend
  • Will you be sleeping in your chair?If so, comfort is extremely important – some companies even offer mattresses compatible with lift chairs to maximize your comfort level through the night
  • Will you be spending extended periods of time in your Lift Chair, or will it be used only for relaxation and watching television?For limited-use, a two-position Lift Chair may be adequate. For long periods of use, a 3-position or infinite-position Lift Chair may be preferable to ensure comfort over long periods of time
  • What is your weight?Lift Chairs are designed to handle a wide range of weight thresholds, so finding one to suit your specific needs is imperative to ensure your safety while using the device
  • Do you currently have a favorite reclining chair that the Lift Chair will be replacing?If so, information about your current chair can help the specialist choose a Lift Chair with similar features to make your transition as comfortable as possible
  • How much space do you have for the Lift Chair?Some units occupy more space, while others are designed to be more compact and can be placed close to the walls to prevent them from obstructing your living area.

-Derek Gann 

Locally Owned & Operated in Birmingham, Serving Residents Across Alabama

205-538-5692

Alabama.101Mobility.com

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Restoration Ride: By God’s Grace

Restoration Ride: By God’s Grace

Faith @ Work

Brought to you by: State Farm, www.ThomasWaters.com

Last year Waters’ team raised $11,000 for MS. Seen here (L to R) are Al Schlosser, Thomas Waters, Eric Riddle, and Shane Roberts. Every dollar raised helps fund critical research, programs and services for people affected by MS, www.bikems.org.

“By God’s grace I am here. I have been the beneficiary of God’s ocean of grace,” explains Thomas Waters as he remembers the bike ride he took through Irondale a year ago this month. “I felt the car’s front end hit me and the next thing I knew I was lying in the middle of the road.” With a low back fracture and a severe soft tissue injury to his shoulder, Waters struggled to get out of the road. With help from fellow cyclists, he did and avoided being hit by on-coming traffic. The driver of the vehicle that hit Waters never stopped and has not been caught. “At first, I had a lot of anger,’ says Waters. “I was angry and grateful at the same time.” As a State Farm Agent, Waters team focuses on living out their mission to “be there for you in life’s toughest moments.” Waters confesses it was hard for him to understand how someone could leave the scene of an accident not knowing the well-being of someone else. “The accident has refined my personal ministry to give out more grace. Be kind to everybody even though sometimes that kindness isn’t easy to offer,” explains Waters adding, “Al Schlosser and Rex Seaborn were examples of God’s grace to me as they called for the ambulance and came to check on me in the emergency room.”

While riding his bike June 26, 2017, Thomas Waters was struck by a hit and run driver in Irondale. Fellow cyclists, Al Schlosser and Rex Seaborn, helped Waters to safety.

For twelve years Waters enjoyed cycling, but after the accident he struggled to ride again. “Every time a car passed I would think, this could be the next hit.” The only thing that kept him riding was a commitment he made with his cycling team to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis (MS). “I had so much mental pressure not to ride, but my friends gave me the confidence to ride to help people who really needed it.” Three months after the accident, Thomas and his team rode two, 80-mile rides in one weekend and raised $11,000 for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. “I thought, as soon as the ride is over, I will quit,” says Waters. “Anxiety and fear are crippling, but that ride restored my soul and my desire to ride. My friends lifted me up. Two of them, Adam Hodges and Jonathan Schaefer, escorted me into the end of the race the second day. I was struggling and they both sacrificed good positions to help me cross the finish line.”

Waters and his team are preparing for the MS Ride again this fall. Bike MS: Tour De Beach is September 15-16, 2018 in Orange Beach, Ala. The team goal is $15,000 and Waters personal goal is $5000. To learn more about how you can support or participate with Waters’ team visit, www.main.nationalmssociety.org/goto/StateFarmBikeTeam2018

Brought to you by: Community Partner www.ThomasWaters.com, 205-879-1988.

 

 

 

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Protecting Your Pet

Protecting Your Pet

Two by 2

As a pet owner, it is vital for us to be aware of items dangerous to our pets and what we should do if something happens.

Foods Toxic to Pets include: coffee grounds, fatty foods, tea, chocolate, avocado, alcohol, yeast dough, grapes/raisins, salt, macadamia nuts, onions, garlic and peanut butter (any products containing xylitol, an artificial sweetener). Always keep garbage out of a pet’s reach. Rotting food contains molds or bacteria that could cause food poisoning.

Cleaning Products. Many household cleaners can be used safely around pets. However, if the label states “keep pets and children away from area until dry,” follow those directions to prevent possible health risks. Always keep bleach and detergents away from pets. Store cleaning products in a secure cabinet out of the reach of pets and keep them in their original packaging or in clearly labeled and tightly sealed containers.

Insecticides/Rodenticides/Antifreeze.Flea and tick products labeled “for use on dogs only” should never be used on cats or other species. If a pet ingests rat poison, potentially serious or even life-threatening illness can result. Ethylene glycol-containing antifreeze and coolants can be fatal to pets. Insecticides, plant/lawn fertilizers, weed killers, ice-melting products and gasoline are also extremely dangerous. Place these items in areas completely inaccessible to pets.

Medications that pose high risk to pets include:non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen, acetaminophen, diet pills/vitamins, cold medicines, antihistamines and antidepressants.

Household Items. Potpourri smells good to pets but contains ingredients that can cause oral ulcerations and other problems, mothballs that contain naphthalene and can cause serious illness, including digestive tract irritation, liver, kidney and blood cell damage, swelling of the brain tissues, seizures, coma, respiratory tract damage (if inhaled) and even death (if ingested). Also protect your pet from tobacco products, pennies (those minted after 1982 contain zinc) and alkaline batteries.

If you suspect your pet ingested or came into contact with poisonous items, call your veterinarian immediately or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at (888) 426-4435.

Jeff Falone, DVM 

Valleydale Animal Clinic

205-991-5416

www.valleydaleanimalclinic.com

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The Best 10 Minute Workout- Wherever You Are!

The Best 10 Minute Workout- Wherever You Are!

Healthy Living

We totally get it. There are days when you just can’t get to the gym. The weather is terrible; your kids are sick; or you just can’t find the motivation to get out of the house. Be encouraged! In just 10 minutes, you can get a great workout wherever you are. Here are 12 key moves for an awesome, short-time workout. We recommend selecting at least 10 per session (about a minute per move).

  1. Shoulder Circles. Arms extended, make broad circles forward then backward (alternating which arm is closest to the body) to warm up and stretch your upper body.
  2. Hamstring Stretches. Bend slowly forward over one or both legs to loosen your muscles, improve hip flexibility, and relieve pressure from your lower back.
  3. Lateral Plank Walk. In plank position, “walk” two steps to each side, engaging your core, abdominals, and shoulder muscles.
  4. Rainbow Plank. From plank position, drop to your elbows and roll your hips slowly to each side, toes in place, exhaling and working your obliques on each upward pull.
  5. Push-ups.A classic, but just as effective as ever.
  6. Reverse lunges.Taking one step backward, dip your back knee to the floor and bring your opposite arm forward (keeping your weight on front heel), to strengthen your lower body, core, and balance.
  7. Burpees. Hands steady on the floor, hop backward with both feet (to push-up position); do one push-up; hop forward with both feet; lift arms and jump up!
  8. Reverse Fly.On your stomach, arch shoulders and legs off the floor (think: “butterfly”), arms extended outward, thumbs toward the ceiling, squeezing the muscles between your shoulder blades. This one’s great for your posture.
  9. Runner’s Crunches.On your back, arms at 90 degrees, slowly roll up off the floor, bringing up one knee at a time to meet the opposite arm; pause; then slowly roll back down and repeat with opposite knee, working your entire abdominal wall.
  10. Triceps Dip & Bridge. Sitting on the floor, knees bent, heels on the floor and hands behind you, extend your elbows and push your hips up off the floor to form a level bridge; coming down, bend your elbows and drop your butt (gently) to the floor. This strengthens your triceps, upper body, glutes, and hamstrings.
  11. Creepy Crawlers.Starting in regular push-up orelbow position, bring one knee around to meet the corresponding elbow; repeat on other side. Keep your hips stable, but really press through the move for maximum toning of abs and obliques.
  12. Calf Raises.With your feet several inches apart, slowly lift up on your toes, stretching up high, then lowering your heels almost to floor. (Use a wall or doorway for balance.)

Remember, you can make modifications and adjustments to almost all of these exercises to meet your current fitness level.

-Jean Bowick

YMCA of Greater Birmingham, www.ymcabham.org 

Read more healthy information from the YMCA at www.BirminghamChristian.com. Click on News/Health

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Overcoming Limitations: Experiencing Freedom & Independence in Your Home

Overcoming Limitations: Experiencing Freedom & Independence in Your Home

Healthy Living

One Friday evening, just as I turned on the stove to begin making dinner, the phone rang. I turned the burner off (safety first!) and answered. The caller was Bill, asking if we would be willing to open our office the following day to show his dad a stairlift. He explained that the family was concerned for Dad’s safety on the stairs, and they thought a stairlift would be a great fit for him. Dad was adamantly against it, but Bill felt that if his dad was to see and ride the stair lift, he might change his mind.

Our office is not typically open on Saturdays except by special appointment, so we made an appointment for Bill and his dad to visit. That Saturday afternoon a family camper arrived! Out poured Bill, his wife, dad, mom, and two small dogs. We invited them to sit in our reception area so we could talk. We immediately noticed Mr. Dobson looking apprehensive and somewhat confused.

“Mr. Dobson, do you know why you’re here?”I queried. “Bill said he was taking us all out for lunch, but I don’t see any food here,was his telling reply. I shot a confused glance at Bill, who fidgeted nervously and looked away. Blindsided! Attempting to put Mr. Dobson at ease, I explained our values and our mobility business to him. I concluded my introduction, “Mr. Dobson, your family thinks you would really benefit from using a stair lift.” As soon as the words left my lips, the previously docile gentleman’s expression morphed from perplexed to adamantly stern and angry. He pounded his fist on his leg and declared, “No way! There is no way you’re going to get me to ride sideways up the stairs!” He stood up out of his seat, ready to walk out the door.

Mr. Dobson, please, could you help us understand why you are so uncomfortable with the idea of using a stair lift?” I asked. Hesitantly, he sat back down and lifted one of the little black dogs onto his lap. He described what he imagined riding a stair lift would feel like: jerky, unstable, wobbly, and noisy. (Note: this is a misconception for many who’ve never ridden one). We offered Mr. Dobson a ride on the stair lift; he flat out refused. That’s when our Lead Technician, David, casually took a seat on the lift, pressed the lever, and started to gently glide up and down the short set of stairs. I continued to talk with Mr. Dobson, learning more about his background, his current condition, and his needs. We discussed the continuous charge, obstruction sensors, dual call-send buttons, and locking swivel seat of the stairlift. All the while, David continued his rhythmic ride up and down the stairs. Mr. Dobson’s eyes followed his every move. Once again, David offered to let Mr. Dobson take a turn. Reluctantly, he agreed. Dobson carefully passed his dog to Bill, and took a seat. David showed him how to operate it, and he pressed the lever on the arm rest. As it started to rise up the staircase, Mr. Dobson’s countenance slowly changed from tightly closed lips and clenched jaw, to wide-eyed surprise, to an accidental smile and pleased expression. He felt the gentle glide, comfortable seat, and, most importantly, the absence of pain in his hips and knees!

Well, this isn’t so bad after all,” he stated, followed by, “What about Blackie? If Blackie won’t ride it, neither will I.” At that, Bill carried Blackie over to Mr. Dobson and plopped the little dog onto his lap. Blackie didn’t seem to mind one bit! With that, Mr. Dobson was convinced! In one afternoon, Mr. Dobson made the journey from “NO!” to “GO!” I spoke recently with Mrs. Dobson, who told me that Mr. Dobson and Blackie have used the lift every single day, and that he couldn’t be happier!

If you are having trouble climbing the stairs, don’t let misconceptions about stair lifts stop you from experiencing freedom and independence in your home. 101 Mobility helps people like Mr. Dobson overcome limitations every day. *

-Derek Gann 

Locally Owned & Operated in Birmingham, Serving Residents Across Alabama

205-538-5692

Alabama.101Mobility.com

*All events in this story are true, but names have been changed to protect the privacy of the family and their pets.

For more tips on mobility and accessibility solutions, visit www.birminghamchristian.com. Click on News/Health/Physical

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Coach Paul Brown Brings Summer Basketball to Area Churches

Coach Paul Brown Brings Summer Basketball to Area Churches

Special Feature

Coach Paul Brown’s camps have full and half day options. His first summer camp begins June 25 at Green Valley Baptist. For other locations and dates, visit www.coachpaulbrown.com.

It’s becoming a summer tradition for area churches to become home to the basketball camps of Coach Paul Brown. “Coach Brown is patient, fair and fun. He understands the various developmental stages of young children and maximizes their capacity to learn basketball,” says Dawn Corley, Director of Activities at Green Valley Baptist Church adding, “Kids have the opportunity to learn basketball in a positive environment from individuals who truly know how to teach the game.” Brown’s experience includes coaching at the college level for 17 years, including two National Championships as an assistant at Birmingham- Southern College. He also led the Men’s National Team of Luxembourg to a Bronze Medal in the Olympics of Small Countries. Most recently he has turned his attention to teaching younger players the valuable fundamentals needed to be successful at a higher level. “It is always exciting to see players we have worked with have success playing basketball,” says Brown noting, “Many players have continued to pursue basketball in both Middle School and High School.

Brown has become increasingly in demand for holiday and summer basketball camps for boys and girls ages 6 to 13. What started at one church twelve years ago has become four weeks of camp during the summer, plus school holiday camps offered at three area churches, including Green Valley Baptist, Trinity United Methodist and Riverchase United Methodist. “Coach Brown’s camps are designed to nurture physical activity, increase skill level, make friends and just have fun!” explains Bob O’Neil, former Recreation Dir. at Riverchase UMC and the parent of a camper.

Brown says he deliberately decided to run his camps in a church setting. “We have partnered with churches to offer a safe, positive and caring atmosphere in which to teach children.” The takeaway from the camps is appreciated by parents and campers. “Seeing a coach get excited about children and greeting them every day with a smile is such a comfort as a parent. I love how he knows about the kids and what they like and encourages them along the way even if they are struggling or having a hard time,” says Bethany Terrell. Jennifer Carter exclaims, “My son has had the opportunity to participate in several of Coach Brown’s camps…Not only does he have a great time, but each time he comes away with new skills and increased confidence.” “Many of the drills we do at camp are ones that the child can practice at home,” says Brown adding, “My philosophy for our camps is to teach fundamentals and skills in a positive environment and I believe it is important to instill confidence and understanding of the game of basketball in each child.” To learn more about Coach Brown’s Camps, visit CoachPaulBrown.com. †

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