4 Ways to Have a Healthier and Happier Holiday

‘Tis the season to overeat, overspend, and overcommit—sound familiar? Although it’s often easier said than done, there are ways to buck these trends. Focus on health and happiness—rather than the number of gifts exchanged. That can bring priceless payoffs to you and your family. Here are a few simple ideas to consider.

  1. Eat well, but don’t deprive yourself. Do you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or another health condition that requires healthy eating choices? Or are you simply among the crowd that packs on extra pounds during the holidays? If so, plan ahead.

Have one or two strategies that make it possible to enjoy yourself without hurting your health. Here are a few examples: Bring a healthy dish to share at potlucks. Go easy on the liquid calories, especially alcohol. Treat yourself, but set limits—maybe limit sweet treats to once a week.1

  1. Do some healthcare “housekeeping.” The flu or other illness is sure to put a big damper on anyone’s holiday. Take steps to make this less likely for you and those around you. Wash your hands often to help prevent the spread of germs. Get your annual vaccines, if you haven’t already.

The end of the year is also a good time to check if you need any exams and to sign up for insurance, unless you’ve done so already. Also, take advantage of family time to flesh out your family’s medical history.2,3 If you or someone you know is making multiple trips a month to pickup medication talk to our pharmacist about consolidating those trips and even set up automatic refills so your medication is always ready.

  1. Focus on experiences, not things. Studies have shown that helping others can increase your own levels of happiness. This could be anything from volunteering at a local food bank to simply picking up prescriptions for a neighbor. There is no shortage of ways to get involved during the holidays—and all year long.

Here’s another way to focus on experiences: Create your own holiday traditions. Try some caroling with your family or friends. So what if your Uncle Charles is tone deaf? Just have some fun. And there’s another bonus: singing lowers stress.4

Or maybe you’d enjoy cutting down your own tree, taking in a high school performance of the Nutcracker, or turning your holiday cards into gratitude cards. By adding personal notes that express your appreciation, you can boost your own happiness as well.4

  1. Turn down the “doer dial.” Does it feel as though everything speeds up during the holidays? That can be really stressful. This is not a race. And no matter the messages you’re receiving, you don’t need to do it all. Take breaks when you need them. (Introverts, this especially applies to you!) Put another log on the fire, take a bubble bath, snuggle up with your sweetie, or sleep in—guilt free. Remember: if you take good care of yourself, you can be more present for the people you love. And after all, isn’t that what it’s all about?

Nothing herein constitutes medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or is a substitute for professional advice.  You should always seek the advice of your physician or other medical professional if you have questions or concerns about a medical condition.

 

 

Sources

 

  1. Huffington Post: 8 Tips for Staying Healthy and Happy During the Holidays. Available at: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/leana-wen-md/holidays-health_b_2341813.html Accessed 11-3-17.

 

  1. CDC: 12 Ways to Have a Healthy Holiday Season. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/features/healthytips/index.html Accessed 11-3-17.

 

  1. Consumer Reports: 40 Tips for healthy holidays: 40 ways to get the most out of the season. Available at https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2012/11/happier-healthier-holidays/index.htm Accessed 11-3-17.

 

  1. Prevention: How To Have 31 Days of Healthy, Happy Holidays. Available at: https://www.prevention.com/mind-body/emotional-health/31-days-happy-healthy-stress-free-holidays Accessed 11-3-17.

 

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Kids and Sleep: How Much Is Enough?

Kids and Sleep: How Much Is Enough?

What happens when your kid doesn’t get enough sleep? Does he turn into Oscar the Grouch? Not a surprise, really. But moodiness isn’t the only downside of a lack of shuteye.

Sleep is critical for mental and physical development. In fact, a lack of sleep can lead to serious health problems such as high blood pressure, injuries, diabetes, and obesity in kids, as well as depression in teens (and adults).1,2

Sleep guidelines for kids. About a year ago, the American Academy of Pediatrics came out with new sleep guidelines for kids. In case you missed it, here’s what they now recommend:

  • Infants 4 to 12 months: 12 to 16 hours (including naps)
  • Kids 1 to 2 years: 11 to 14 hours (including naps)
  • Kids 3 to 5 years: 10 to 13 hours (including naps)
  • Kids 6 to 12 years: 9 to 12 hours
  • Teens: 8 to 10 hours1

Guidelines are more challenging to devise for infants younger than four months. That’s because there is so much variation among young infants as they begin to develop regular sleep-wake cycles. 1,2

Signs of sleeplessness. How can you tell if your child isn’t getting enough sleep? Here are some telltale signs. Your child may:

  • Have trouble waking up and getting moving within 15 minutes.
  • Sleep at least two hours longer during weekends or vacations than during the school week.
  • Fall asleep during short car trips or at school.
  • Have trouble remembering, paying attention, and learning.
  • Be irritable or hyperactive.1,3

About that hyperactivity—that’s counterintuitive and can really throw parents. When you’re tired, you probably slow down. But kids can really wind up when they haven’t gotten enough sleep, and will resist going bedtime, even if they’re bone-tired. This sign can look a lot like attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder.4

What you can do. Yes, I know: Getting kids to bed at night is easier said than done. But it’s worth the effort, because quality sleep is not a luxury. You can make a difference in a number of ways.

For example, help your child learn how to prioritize and focus on the activities he or she really enjoys—maybe not three sports all at the same time! Limit your child’s access to caffeine—remember it’s in chocolate, too. Make sure the bedroom is cool and dark. Set a regular, relaxing nighttime routine. Most important, keep TV and computers out of the bedroom, and turn off all screens at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Whether it comes from a bulb or a smartphone, light promotes wakefulness.1,2

If your child isn’t getting enough sleep, it’s also important to rule out a sleep disorder or other medical condition. Snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea in kids, not just in adults.4 I’d be glad to talk over your concerns or maybe its time to make an appointment with the pediatrician.

Nothing herein constitutes medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or is a substitute for professional advice.  You should always seek the advice of your physician or other medical professional if you have questions or concerns about a medical condition.

 

Sources:

  1. CBSNews: “New sleep guidelines for babies, kids and teens.” Available at: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/new-sleep-guidelines-for-babies-kids-and-teens/ Accessed: 7-1-17.
  2. National Sleep Foundation: “Children and Sleep.” Available at: https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/children-and-sleep Accessed 7-1-17.
  3. HealthDay: “Health Tip: Is Your Child Sleeping Enough?” Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_164509.html Accessed 7-1-17.
  4. National Sleep Foundation: “How Much Sleep Do Babies and Kids Need?” Available at: https://sleepfoundation.org/excessivesleepiness/content/how-much-sleep-do-babies-and-kids-need Accessed 7-1-17.

Pharmacy Conference Helps Local Pharmacy Technician Improve Professional Skills

Pharmacy Conference Helps Local Pharmacy Technician Improve Professional Skills

Sun Praire, WI, April 11, 2017

Bridgett Edgar, pharmacy technician at Pharm A Save in Monroe  recently attended the IPC Independent Pharmacy Conference in Scottsdale, AZ.  At the three day conference she participated in nearly 10 hours of continuing pharmacy education courses.

Meeting organizers said that during the educational sessions attendess were updated on the latest trends in prescription medications.  They were also brought up to date on the latest rules and regulations affecting the practice of pharmacy.   Edgar says she was pleased with the information she gained and will use it as she strives to insure her patients get the maximum benefit from the medication Pharm A Save provides.   Edgar participated in the meeting as the official pharmacy technician representative of the Washington State Pharmacist Association.

According Don Anderson, President and CEO of the Independent Pharmacy Cooperative (IPC) said a primary goal of the meeting was to provide formal business classes and a forum where pharmacy owners can learn from others whose experience will help them take better care of their customers.

About IPC: Formed in 1983 IPC is the nation’s largest group purchasing organization.  The cooperative serves the needs of nearly 6000 independent pharmacy owners across the country.  With locations in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin and Phoenix, Arizona, IPC prides itself on providing access to programs and services that enable pharmacy owners to operate more modern, up to date and profitable pharmacies.    Continue reading Pharmacy Conference Helps Local Pharmacy Technician Improve Professional Skills

Vionic Sandals – Spring Sale! 40% off!

We are all looking forward to better weather , and some of you have been lucky enough to have a vacation planned for some warmer weather! Don’t forget about your feet!

Don’t wear those flat $ 1.00 flip flops. If you haven’t figured it out yet, those puppies may be such a great price, you can afford them in several colors and styles. But, at what expense? Plantar Fasciitis?

Or, maybe you do not get the opportunity to wear those cute flip flops, because your knees, back and feet say “No Way!”. What if I told you that Pharm A Save Monroe has a solution?

Vionic shoes – Reclaim your footprint. www.vionicshoes.com

Feet were designed to walk on soft, natural elements like soil and sand, not the hard, flan man-made surfaces that make up so much of our modern world. With Vionic’s innovative biomechanical technology, Vionic shoe and sandals hug your arches like a matural footprint, giving you all-day support.

With all that, to the point ALL VIONIC SANDALS, SHOES AND SLIPPERS are on sale now thru April 31st, 2017! How about this — 40% off.  (In Stock Items Only!) 

Make your feet happy – Walk.Move.Live.

Thank You for the Honor, It’s What We Do Everyday

Thank You for the Honor, It’s What We Do Everyday

 On Thanksgiving Day, families across the country will come together around dining room tables. Many will share a bountiful feast and give thanks for many blessings. What better time than the month of November to also give thanks for our customers?

We are particularly grateful this year: In the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Pharmacy Study, Health Mart independent pharmacies were ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Chain Drug Store Pharmacies.” We outpaced other “brick-and-mortar” chain drug stores in four of five categories:

  • Our stores
  • Our cost competitiveness
  • Our pharmacists
  • Our non-pharmacy staff

The pharmacy study is now in its eighth year. This year, it was based on responses from 14,789 pharmacy customers who filled or refilled a prescription during the three months prior to the survey period of June 2016.

Personalized service. The survey also found that health and wellness services enhance customer satisfaction. We’re pleased by this finding. It validates the approach we use. This includes highly valued services such as consolidating medication pick-up, medication therapy management, and individualized disease health coaching.  You will be seeing some other valued services coming soon!

This kind of personalized service is a contrast to the approach offered by many large chain drug stores. By contrast, we take the time to care for you and your family right in your community. We take the time to hear our patients and provide trusted advice to answer your health questions.

Trusted advice. Patients can trust the advice offered at their local Health Mart pharmacy. Our pharmacists’ extensive training and expertise can help set your mind at ease. That’s because you know you can rely on their considerable knowledge to provide informed care and help you achieve optimal results from your medications.

How do we do this? For one, we simplify the language of prescription coverage—making it easier to understand without compromising accuracy. We also provide clinical services that can help you stay well. And we partner, as needed, with health care providers to enhance the quality of your healthcare.

Customer loyalty. Personalized service plus trusted advice is clearly a winning combination. And, as seen in the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Pharmacy Study, Health Mart is surpassing the industry average in customer loyalty.

We accomplish this in many ways. For example, we don’t treat you as a number. We know that you’re a unique person with unique needs, which we strive to address. We accept most insurance plans and make it easy to transfer prescriptions. It also helps that our locally owned pharmacies are a part of the community—close to where our patients work, shop, and live.

Again, thank you for honoring us with this award. It means a great deal to us. But awards or no, we’ll keeping doing what we enjoy doing: delivering the very best care possible for our patients.

Nothing herein constitutes medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or is a substitute for professional advice.  You should always seek the advice of your physician or other medical professional if you have questions or concerns about a medical condition.

 

Source

  1. J.D. Power press release: “Health Mart, Publix, Sam’s Club, Kaiser Permanente Pharmacy Rank Highest in Respective Segments.” Available at: http://www.jdpower.com/press-releases/jd-power-2016-us-pharmacy-study. Accessed: 10-4-16.

Can I help you find something?

It happens all day long. People wander into Pharm A Save Monroe looking for a specific item. I ask, “Can I help you find something?”  I hear “Oh no, I am just looking.” After about 5 minutes, I see the same person is still roaming each aisle and looking back and forth in the Aids to daily living aisle. I ask , “Are you finding what you are looking for?” The response this time was, “I am getting ready for my father in law to move in with us, and I am trying to get a list together of the items we need before he gets there.”

That is where it all begins…..

From experience personally and within Pharm A Save Monroe, I have learned to ask a lot of questions to help get to a solution. You see, at Pharm A Save Monroe, we are not trying to sell you just “anything”, we are trying to help you make a decision on what best fits your needs.  More often than not, I help put a list together of items that may be helpful, and the customer leaves with a ideas and homework.  This give them the opportunity to discuss it with other caregivers, spouses and family. And, many times, that same person will purchase items from an “Online” store. Does this bother me? You may be be surprised with my answer.

Although every business needs to make sales to keep the doors open, Pharm A Save Monroe is focused on the patient and their needs. Each need differs from person to person. This also holds true for each persons financial situation and living environment. Pharm A Save does more that “Just sell prescription drugs”. The entire store is full of equipment and supplies. Sometimes some it up like this: You don’t know that you need it , until you need it.

I also supply information on local resources, insurance coverage reviews to see if an item is covered , and hugs. Hugs come free with the information.

So, does it bother me that so much time was spent with this person and there was no sale made? No, not at all.

You see, this was an opportunity for me to share my knowledge and expertise. And, this person was thankful for this knowledge. She left here feeling like she was better prepaired to make home adjustments for her father in law. In fact, this “person” and the “she” I am referring to is Jenny. I know this because I asked her what her name was. This was a personal interaction with Jenny, who was overwhelmed with where to start. I also gave Jenny my business card. I asked her to call or email anytime. I meant it, anytime. Not just if there was a question about a product, service or insurance. If I didn’t have an solution or answer, I could find someone who woud. But to call or email anytime. It is important for Jenny to have a way to communicate about different struggles she may run into during this transition.

Here is what happened next.

Jenny told her friend how happy she was that I took the time to help explain some of the available items and what obstacles may be coming in the future. Her friend, Saul, stopped in to purchase a Pik Stik. He did that because Jenny told him that Pharm A Save Monroe had these on the shelf. When speaking with Saul, he mentioned that he has a hard time getting in and out of his car. On most days, Saul did fine. But sometimes, it was just too much. I mentioned to him that we have a drive thru window, and if he called ahead, we could have items ready for him to pick up there. In the end, Saul transferred his prescriptions to Pharm A Save Monroe. Our Pharmacist packages them up for him each month in pill reminders. Saul is doing better managing his diabetes and blood pressure, now that he is remembering to take his medications.

And Jenny?

Jenny ran into one of those obstacles we discussed. She came into Pharm A Save Monroe and asked for me help. Jenny purchased the needed bed rails. The next time I heard from Jenny was at Christmas. She brought in a plate of fudge, peanut butter bars and a card.

To all of us at Pharm A Save Monroe, that is a success story.

Medication Synchronization

WHAT IS MEDICATION SYNCHRONIZATION?

Medication synchronization is when the pharmacist coordinates the refill of your medications so you can pick them up on a single day each month. Many people miss doses of their regular medications and med sync can make you more likely to take them. Med Sync does the following:

  • Eliminates the need to call in multiple prescription refills
  • Allows you the convenience of fewer trips to the pharmacy
  • Provides an opportunity to meet with your pharmacist on a regular basis to discuss your medications.
  • Automatically calls the Doctor for a refill request, so you don’t have to go without medication

HOW IT WORKS

  1. Talk to your pharmacist/technician about enrolling in their med sync program.
  2. Once enrolled, pharmacy staff will review your ongoing monthly medications and develop a plan to synchronize them so they can be picked up on a single day each month that is convenient for you.
  3. Pharmacy staff will call you to confirm your pick up date about a week prior and identify any necessary changes that should take place before your prescriptions are filled. Be sure to let them know if you are no longer taking a medication or if directions/dose has changed.
  4. After reviewing any changes to your medications, the pharmacy staff will prepare each prescription and make it available for easy pick up on your scheduled date.
  5. On your scheduled day, you pick up all of your prescriptions at the pharmacy. At that time, you can ask the pharmacist any questions that you may have about your medication.
  6. The process repeats itself each month so that you can pick up all of your medications at once, and the pharmacist can identify potential issues to help you take your medication as prescribed.
  7.  Some people may opt to have their prescriptions filled in monthly “Bubble Packs”. The Pharmacists sets you medications up in packaging with the days of the week, and the time of the day you take it. This can be very helpful for people on multiple medications or can sometimes be forgetful.

 

Why should I care about synchronizing my medications?
One-third of patients have missed a dose of their medication because they didn’t refill their prescription before it ran out. If you are not taking your medication as prescribed or missing or skipping doses, it can have serious side effects on your health including death. Through med sync, the pharmacist/technician proactively refills your prescription so that you don’t have to remember to call the pharmacy and they work closely with you to make sure that your medications are working for you and being taken properly.

Will there be an additional cost or monthly fees?
There is no additional cost to you. The goal of med sync is for the pharmacist to synchronize your medications in the most convenient and cost efficient manner for you. Often times, the pharmacist will dispense a shorter or longer supply of medication for your first med sync pick up so that you can maintain your insurance coverage.  It is best to ask your pharmacist/technician about their strategy for synchronizing your medication.

 

Will all of my medications be included if I chose to participate in a med sync program?
There are some medications that are not appropriate for a med sync program, such as antibiotics, ointments, eye drops, and “as-needed” medications. Those type of prescriptions can be phoned in when needed.

Now what?

Give the pharmacy a call, or stop by and ask how you can become enrolled. That is the first step! And, if you have any questions, don’t forget to ask!

New Logo – New Decor – Same Store

On November 1st, 2015 Pharm A Save Monroe joined Health Mart, the fasted growing independent pharmacy network in the United States. “Pharm A Save Monroe Health Mart Pharmacy – will continue to be a locally-owned independent retail pharmacy and medical equipment store. While the pharmacy décor, signage, and logo will change, we will continue to deliver the same high level of personal care and quality services to the Sky Valley residents and their families. We can now be more competitive with the chains and the patient will have better copays”, states Bridgett.
Mike added, “We’re adopting the Health Mart look to better reflect our promise to our customers. You can trust your local Health Mart pharmacist to understand your family’s special healthcare needs. Locally owned businesses help Monroe and surrounding communities stay strong and growing. And no worries, we are also continuing with the medical supplies and equipment”.
But, change isn’t new to this independent community pharmacy.
There have been many changes over the 100+ years that Pharm A Save Monroe has been serving the Sky Valley Area. Name changes, location changes and even ownership changes, but they still have the same high level of personal care and quality service to the sky valley residents and their families.
Located at 17788 147th St SE in Monroe Washington, Pharm A Save Monroe has a unique story. One you rarely hear.

pas group photo2010 019
“The business started on October 22, 1909 and moved to Monroe in April of 1912”, said Sue Graafstra. “You may remember us as the Rexall Drug Store down on Main Street, Camp Riley Drug Company”. “It was the old fashion type of pharmacy, with a soda fountain and all”.
The story continues. On Aug 1, 1949 Gordon Tjerne, David Campbell and Ray Bolton bought the drug store form Walter Camp. Campbell sold his interest to Keith VanderHouwen in 1964. Ray Bolton retired in 1967. Mr. Camp passed away in 1966 at the age of 81. Gordon Tjerne retired in 1979; Keith then became the sole owner.
The store, Camp Riley Drug Co. on 108 E. Main St. closed in 1980 to consolidate with Tri-Valley Pharmacy which was at that time located in the Monroe shopping Center (which is where the Grocery Outlet is).
Tri-Valley eventually became Pharm A Save in 1983. Along with Pharmacy, and the growing home health care environment that was taking place, Pharm A Save decided to make the move in 1997 to be closer to the hospital and medical clinic to accommodate the growing number of patients.
In 2008, Keith VanderHowen sold the store to 4 of the employees.
Mike Skillen, Sue Graafstra, Bridgett Edgar, and Ben Weaver. Together, along side of the employees, they continue to work with the community and within the community.

“Give Pharm A Save a try , you won’t be disappointed. We are more than “just a pharmacy” we are a family”stated Bridgett Edgar.

Prepare for an emergency

Well, it is November, and it happened AGAIN! Snohomish county had a major flood. This resulted in closed roads, power outages, no cell service, no home phone service and well, you get it.

You wouldn’t guess that last night we were all wondering how we would get home. In fact, when I heard the emergency broadcast system announce major flooding in Gold Bar, I was out of here!

This got me thinking …. what if we were out of contact for, lets say, 3 or more days? What if I once again forgot to pick up my prescription, and had NONE? Great, I have canned food, but do I have a can opener that isn’t electric?

I know this for sure, even though money is tight, you need to have your medicine cabinet ready for an emergency. An emergency could be similar to what was experienced yesterday. Or, it could be the flu or a family emergency out of town.

Here is a rule of thumb from me – the pharmacy technician and the one at home who gets stuck in the scramble during these emergencies.

  • Your insurance company will let you fill your prescription 5-7 days early.

It does depend on the drug and your plan, but that is a pretty standard thing. If you fill your prescriptions BEFORE you run out (and pick them up), you can easily accumulate an extra week supply.

  • Keep a three day emergency supply of your medications at work, in your purse or in your car.

This is not always ideal, depending on what the storage requirements are for your medications. But, what if you cannot get home? Do you have your seizure medication with you?

  • Keep a medication list with you at all times

Emergency or not, this is a must! Having a list of medications will always help during an emergency, especially if you are unable to speak for yourself.

  • Emergency override

During the fires this past summer, we received notice that insurance companies were paying for early prescription refills if the patient was in an evacuation area. It is important to know that if you are ever displaced, there are options. Be sure to let your pharmacy know what your situation is so they can contact your insurance company. If you are out of town, the pharmacy of your choosing can call your local pharmacy (I hope it is Pharm A Save) to have your prescription transferred. Just remember, depending on the medication, you may not be able to transfer it back. In those cases, your physician can re issue you a prescription to have filled when it is due next.

I could type for days on emergencies. I will say, I don’t have an emergency kit in my car, and neither do my family members. I will have one after this “test run”. Even Tylenol, band-aids, contact solution , pads, eyelash glue – a duplicate of my daily needed items.

Bridget Edgar

Pharmacy Technician

www.pharmasavemonroe.com

Mother, Wife, Grandmother, Daughter, Friend and MORE