All posts by Kristin Antoline

Wash the Germs Away

We’ve heard it all before – wash your hands often, especially during flu season. But does hand-washing really keep you from getting sick?

The short answer is, yes!

Washing your hands with soap can kill bacteria and viruses that are spread through individuals or objects such as door knobs. When you don’t wash your hands, little actions, such as touching your mouth, nose, or eyes, can put you at risk almost immediately for an illness, providing the germs access to enter your body.

What is interesting to note, however, is that washing your hands with warm water doesn’t kill any more germs than washing with cold water.

In fact, recent studies have shown that the temperature of hand-washing water doesn’t affect the amount of germs being washed away. The only time that a certain water temperature would kill more germs is if the water was boiling (212 ℉), in which case, it would burn and damage your hands.

So what’s the most effective way to wash your hands?

Wet your hands with water.
Pump soap to a cupped hand.
Lather and rub your hands vigorously for about 20 seconds. Be sure to get in between fingers.
Rinse all soap off of hands.
Dry your hands well with a towel. Germs can be more easily transferred to and from wet hands.

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Fall-Proof Your Home

With falls being the leading cause of injuries in older adults, it’s important to understand how to prevent the common causes.

To help prevent falls at home, consider the following home modification tips:

  • Keep rooms free from clutter
  • Install handrails, raised toilet seats, grab bars and shower mats
  • Light up dark areas of the home
  • Remove or tape down any loose carpets or electrical wires
  • Ensure telephones can be easily reached from the floor
  • Replace chairs that are too low to the ground or difficult to get out of
  • Install night lights throughout the home, especially in bathrooms and stairwells

In addition to home modifications, a change in wardrobe also can help in preventing falls. Wear sensible, non-slip footwear and avoid wearing loose clothing. Make sure to also talk with your family and care providers about your falling risks.

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Sleep Strategies for Those with Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease of the central nervous system that triggers the body’s immune system to attack the brain and spinal cord.

Living with MS can be difficult, especially when some symptoms get in the way of getting a good night’s sleep. Researchers have found that the symptoms of MS, such as stress and muscular stiffness or spasms, can cause lost sleep.

Here are 5 tips to get a better night of rest:

  1. Create a Bedtime Ritual
    Brush your teeth, put on pajamas, read a book or listen to calm music. Creating a bedtime ritual signals the body and mind to slow down.
  2. Hit The Hay At The Same Time Every Night
    Creating a routine helps to set the body’s internal clock.
  3. Exercise In The Morning
    Exercise is a stimulant. If you exercise close to your bedtime, it’ll be harder to fall asleep.
  4. Drink Less Fluids Around Bedtime
    Limit fluids before bedtime to lessen the need to “go.” Also, don’t drink caffeine or alcohol.
  5. Keep Your Bedroom Cool, Quiet and Dark
    Set the tone every night for a comfortable sleep environment.
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