Staying Healthy As You Age
Horizon physician earns national designation Dr. Sanjay Siddhartha, Chief of Psychiatry at Horizon’s Miramichi Regional Hospital, was recently awarded the Canadian Certified Physician Executive (CCPE) designation at the Canadian Conference on Physician Leadership held in Montreal in April.
Danny Jardine, Regional Director, Collaborative Care Seniors Health June is Seniors Month, and Collaborative Care Seniors Health at Horizon aims to provide exceptional care for all seniors across New Brunswick. As you age you have control over some of these factors, such as your health behaviours.
“To affect positive mental health care change and achieve results the best thing to do is to come out of the office and into the community,” he said. “There is a distinction between mental health and mental illness and it’s up to us (professionals) to get out there and provide accurate, compassionate, and quality care.” And it’s because of Dr. Siddhartha’s commitment to front-line care that patients referred to Miramichi’s Addiction and Mental Health Services undergo a psychiatric screening to rule out serious mental illness, a unique and highly successful program in which Dr. Siddhartha was instrumental in creating. Dr. Nachiketa Sinha, Chief of Psychiatry at Horizon’s The Moncton Hospital, and Dr. Siddhartha’s colleague and friend says, “Dr. Siddhartha’s leadership and clinical practices are strong assets in the treatment of mental illness in New Brunswick, and the CCPE designation is a well-deserved honour.” Dr. Siddhartha also serves as Chair of the New Brunswick Psychiatric Association Board of Directors and is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Dalhousie University. Congratulations Dr. Siddhartha, and thank you for exemplifying Horizon’s value of patient and family centred care. Nurse Manager Judy Melanson has fostered a very close-knit staff. It is as one of the nurses said recently: “We are family, brothers and sisters, and you will never find any other place like it.” She is right. I have never been in an environment like this, and I feel truly fortunate to have been afforded this opportunity. Many stories are told of patients; not so many about the people who are dedicated to making those stories happen. Staff at the New Brunswick Heart Centre performs over 4,100 cardiac catheterizations every year. This number also includes Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implants (TAVI) and other valvular procedures, which are also truly amazing. They also performs many electrophysiology procedures (another highly- specialized area) including, but not limited to, cardiac ablation, pacemakers and defibrillator insertion and maintenance, performed by Cardiac Electrophysiologists, with the support of the team. I am in awe of the expertise, dedication, and care given to every patient, and to me… the old newcomer. With respect, Susan Lanteigne, RN
However, the health system cannot do it alone. In fact, many population health models suggest that our health is only 10 per cent dependent on the health system with 90 per cent of our health status determined by health behaviours, social and economic factors and the physical environment.
There is no priority to this list; we want your patients and clients to be empowered to choose what they want to do based on personal preference. We hope you will use it to stay healthy! For more resources and health tips for staying healthy as you age, visit Horizon’s Community News Channel.
Collaborative Care Seniors Health wants to help you, so we reached out to our clinical experts and community partners to provide you with the Top 10 things you can do to stay healthy as you age.
This is the first time a Horizon physician has been awarded the CCPE designation, which recognizes Canadian physicians for their exemplary performance as leaders, and is just the third time it has been presented to a New Brunswick area physician. “Congratulations on behalf of Horizon for this recognition by your Canadian colleagues,” said Dr. Édouard Hendriks, Horizon’s Vice President Medical, Academic and Research Affairs. Dr. Siddhartha continuously strives to improve access to mental health services and has been instrumental in reducing wait times to see a psychiatrist to well below the provincial and national average. A firm believer in multidisciplinary teams, Dr. Siddhartha is also passionate about practicing from the front lines and setting an example for his colleagues. “Leadership is how you interact with your colleagues, and everyone is a leader in some way,” said Dr. Siddhartha. “Success is measured This spring, I took a chance and started down a new career path. I was awarded a temporary position in the Cardiac Catheterization Lab at the New Brunswick Heart Centre at Horizon’s Saint John Regional Hospital. I have worked in many places and in various clinical settings. However, this story is not about me; it is about the extraordinary staff I have had the privilege of working with over eight weeks. The “Cath Lab” is an environment like no other. To say that this area is intense is an understatement. From the perspective of a “newbie,” the learning curve is steep. A previous expert is reduced to a novice. However, in the midst of the cloud of the sometimes-overwhelming amount of knowledge to be learned, is the kindness, patience, encouragement and support of EVERY staff member. The nurses are incredible. Their dedication is unwavering. The care they give to their patients is exceptional, and all of this is done willingly without complaint 24 hours a day, every day. Sometimes it is as simple as a warm blanket around a patient’s shoulders, a kind word, a moment of reassurance; there is never a shortage of all of the above by any member of the staff.
PLAN FOR THE FUTURE It’s important to think ahead about your health and the decisions that you may have to make some day. To reduce the chances of getting slowed down in the future, make those decisions now. This can include everything from wills and estate planning to powers of attorney for financial and medical purposes. It can also include decisions about nursing home preference, should you require one. It is important to keep this information up to date. EAT HEALTHY Follow a healthy meal plan. It is well known that eating a healthy and balanced diet improves health. Canada’s New Food Guide outlines healthy daily requirements. Your requirements may be different depending on specific medical conditions or level of activity so ask your doctor if you are not sure. always search for information about events/resources in your community on Google. You may find interesting volunteering opportunities that can help get you active and engaged in your community. EXERCISE EVERY DAY Seniors should aim to exercise every day. This exercise can take many forms, such as cardiovascular (i.e. walking, aerobic fitness classes), strength training, stretching and balance activities. with age. Older adults need just as much sleep as younger adults – seven to nine hours per night – but often get much less. Lack of sleep can cause depression, irritability, increased fall risk, and memory problems. SLEEP WELL Your need for sleep does not change KNOW YOUR COMMUNITY Learn about the programs and services offered in your community. Many communities hold wellness fairs that have a lot of great information. If you are internet-savvy you can
STAY SOCIAL Research shows isolation and loneliness can be bad for your health. Try to limit this by becoming engaged and active in your community. Of course, there many ways to stay social such as attending community events, going to an exercise class, taking a course, having a coffee with friends or volunteering. It’s also important to build connections with friends and family. PRACTISE PREVENTION Keeping regular with your doctor appointments, immunizations (including a yearly flu vaccine), age appropriate screening, blood work and regular hand washing can go a long way toward keeping you healthy as you age. RELAX Always take time to reduce stress in your life. This can take many forms including regular meditation, laughter, spiritual practises, exercise and socialization. TALK TO YOUR LOCAL PHARMACIST Get to know your local pharmacist. Your pharmacist is a wealth of knowledge, and can provide a wide range of services and health information. They are also very helpful in reviewing your medications and ensuring safety. Don’t be afraid to approach or call the pharmacist you regularly use to ask questions. Also, try to maintain a consistent pharmacist so that they get to know you too! KEEP LEARNING Continual learning and keeping your brain active are important as you age. This can be as simple as learning a new hobby or as formal as an actual education program. Many universities and colleges have special rates for seniors.
Dr. Sanjay Siddhartha with his Canadian Certified Physician Executive designation certificate. by what you do every day on the front lines accomplishing your tasks.” An important part of Dr. Siddhartha’s front- line work is making house calls to those in need of mental health support, a practice he encourages his fellow clinicians to adopt.
An Old Newcomer Sue Lanteigne, Registered Nurse (RN), Horizon’s Saint John Regional Hospital
From the porters who bring the patients to and from the procedures, the administrative support staff who keeps everything running smoothly, to the environmental services staff who help to prepare each room before and after each case (and who are often the ones to ensure the patients have plenty of warm blankets), it’s a real team effort. Every member works together to make what can be a very frightening experience, a little less so for the patient. The Interventional Cardiologists are amazing. Their focus is also totally patient-centered. They strive for the best outcome for every patient. They truly treat every patient as they would treat their own loved one. Their kindness is obvious in the way they communicate with patients, staff, and often in consulting with each other, before, during and after procedures. I would be remiss if the knowledge and expertise of the radiological technologists was not highlighted. They are so integral to the entire process, facilitating specialized diagnostic interventions, which makes accurate diagnosis and treatment possible. Every one of them has been ready to impart knowledge. It is a very talented group, indeed.
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