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Guestroom décor have you stumped?

Guest rooms often have dual uses, so they can be difficult to decorate. Home and lifestyle blogger, Lauren McBride, offers tips for making a guest room feel special for visitors, while remaining functional for everyday use.

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Guest rooms often have dual uses, so they can be difficult to decorate. Home and lifestyle blogger, Lauren McBride, offers tips for making a guest room feel special for visitors, while remaining functional for everyday use.

Her solution? Focus on the ceiling AKA the fifth wall.

McBride partnered with VELUX Skylights this spring to refresh her guest room, starting with replacing her existing skylights with two VELUX No Leak Solar Powered “Fresh Air” Skylights with light filtering blinds.

“Our guest room has a beautiful vaulted ceiling, and I wanted to accentuate it to the best of my ability, so it really stands out,” McBride said. “Updating the skylights meant we not only have beautiful natural light in the room, but also added functionality: blinds to control the light and the ability to open the skylights with a remote control to bring in fresh air.”

McBride took advantage the of the natural light streaming in from above to highlight the faux shiplap painted white on the ceiling. This added detail gives the room a fresh, coastal, relaxed vibe. She finished the space by replacing her ceiling fan with a fun, natural wood chandelier.

With three easy steps, she created a room that combines her rustic farmhouse and coastal chic décor aesthetic that’s perfect for a home office, but relaxing for guests.

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NewsMakers

Patients who are overweight or obese at risk of more severe COVID-19

COVID-19 patients with obesity were more likely to require oxygen and had a 73 per cent greater chance of needing invasive mechanical ventilation. Similar but more modest results were seen in overweight patients. No link was found between being overweight or obese and dying in hospital from COVID-19.

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Patients who are overweight or obese have more severe COVID-19 and are highly likely to require invasive respiratory support, according to a new international study.

The research, led by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) and The University of Queensland and published in Diabetes Care, found obese or overweight patients are at high risk for having worse COVID-19 outcomes. They are also more likely to require oxygen and invasive mechanical ventilation compared to those with a healthy weight.

MCRI researcher Dr Danielle Longmore said the findings, which highlighted the relationship between obesity and increased COVID-19 disease burden, showed the need to urgently introduce strategies to address the complex socio-economic drivers of obesity, and public policy measures such as restrictions on junk food advertising.

“Although taking steps to address obesity in the short-term is unlikely to have an immediate impact in the COVID-19 pandemic, it will likely reduce the disease burden in future viral pandemics and reduce risks of complications like heart disease and stroke,” she said.

The study looked at hospitalised SARS-CoV-2 patients from 18 hospitals in 11 countries including China, America, Italy, South Africa and The Netherlands.

Among the 7244 patients aged 18 years and over, 34.8 per cent were overweight and 30.8 per cent were obese.

COVID-19 patients with obesity were more likely to require oxygen and had a 73 per cent greater chance of needing invasive mechanical ventilation. Similar but more modest results were seen in overweight patients. No link was found between being overweight or obese and dying in hospital from COVID-19.

Cardiovascular and pre-existing respiratory diseases were associated with increased odds of in-hospital deaths but not a greater risk for needing oxygen and mechanical ventilation. For patients with pre-existing diabetes, there was increased odds of needing invasive respiratory support, but no additionally increase in risk in those with obesity and diabetes.

Men were at an increased risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes and needing invasive mechanical ventilation. In those aged over 65 years, there was an increased chance of requiring oxygen and higher rates of in-hospital deaths.

The University of Queensland’s Dr Kirsty Short, who co-led the research, said almost 40 per cent of the global population was overweight or obese.

“Obesity is associated with numerous poor health outcomes, including increased risk of cardiometabolic and respiratory disease and more severe viral disease including influenza, dengue and SARS-CoV-1,” she said.

Dr Short said while previous reports indicated that obesity was an important risk factor in the severity of COVID-19, almost all this data had been collected from single sites and many regions were not represented. Moreover, there was a limited amount of evidence available about the effects of being overweight or obese on COVID-19 severity.

“Given the large scale of this study we have conclusively shown that being overweight or obese are independent risk factors for worse outcomes in adults hospitalised with COVID-19,” she said.

MCRI Professor David Burgner, who co-led the research, said the data would help inform immunisation prioritisation for higher-risk groups.

“At the moment, the World Health Organization has not had enough high-quality data to include being overweight or obese as a risk factor for severe COVID-19 disease. Our study should help inform decisions about which higher-risk groups should be vaccinated as a priority,” he said.

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Spotlight

Seeing your doctor during the pandemic

Also, see if your health care team offers telehealth appointments as an alternative. Virtual visits put you face-to-face with your doctor from the comfort and safety of your own home.

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Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels.com

If you’ve been putting off a visit to your doctor during COVID-19, you’re not alone.

Most adults (57%) agree the pandemic has changed how they feel about going to a health care provider’s office, according to a survey of 1,000 adults in October 2020 from an alliance of health care experts working to stop medical distancing, which was commissioned and sponsored by AbbVie.

The survey showed that in adults with chronic diseases, cancellations of their visits to the doctor amounted to 61%. Of those that had canceled appointments, 18% did not reschedule them. Some of the reasons included concerns about contracting COVID-19, not wanting to go into the hospital if not necessary and believing they can hold off on care until the end of the pandemic.

Keeping up with regular appointments is an important part of effective ongoing health care, especially for those managing chronic conditions. Continuous, clear and open communication with your health care providers is essential to getting the care you need.

See Your Doctor

Most important to know during this time are the measures your health care providers are taking, such as wearing personal protective equipment, practicing physical distancing and increasing cleaning and sanitization procedures. Find out what precautions health care providers are taking in your area.

Also, see if your health care team offers telehealth appointments as an alternative. Virtual visits put you face-to-face with your doctor from the comfort and safety of your own home.

“It’s generally wise to limit in-person interactions to safeguard against contracting COVID-19, but forgoing care for an ongoing health condition, especially a chronic illness, may put patients at unnecessary risk,” said Dr. Oren Cohen, chief medical officer, Labcorp Drug Development. “Our goal in health care is to keep patients safe and healthy. Health care providers have established robust protocols to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Calling ahead to understand the process for an office visit or test is a good idea. In some circumstances, telehealth visits may be a good option as well.”

Keep Up with Your Medicines

In addition to seeing your doctor, it’s also important to take your medications as prescribed. Stay in touch with your pharmacy and health care provider team to ensure prescriptions stay current. Also avoid waiting until the last minute to request a refill so you don’t encounter delays or potentially miss doses.

Seeing your doctor and taking your medications are very important to your ongoing care. It’s also a time to talk with your health care provider for more advice on how to get the care you need during the pandemic and beyond.

Take Control of Your Health Care During COVID-19

Health care providers are taking extra precautions and implementing additional protocols to conduct in-person visits in the safest way possible. Here’s what you can do to take care of your health:

  • Make and keep your appointments.
  • Reschedule any canceled appointments.
  • If you decide to see the doctor in-person, be sure to call your doctor and ask what health precautions are being taken.
  • Consider a telehealth visit as an alternative to going to an in-person visit.
  • Take your medications as prescribed.
  • Check the expirations of your medications and ask for refills with plenty of time to have them filled.
  • Ask your health care provider for additional ways to protect your health during this pandemic.
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NewsMakers

Want a longer, healthier life? Resolve your arguments by day’s end, OSU study says

Researchers have long been aware of how chronic stress can affect health, from mental health problems such as depression and anxiety to physical problems including heart disease, a weakened immune system, reproductive difficulties and gastrointestinal issues.

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A recent Oregon State University study found that when people feel they have resolved an argument, the emotional response associated with that disagreement is significantly reduced and, in some situations, almost entirely erased.

That reduction in stress may have a major impact on overall health, researchers say.

“Everyone experiences stress in their daily lives. You aren’t going to stop stressful things from happening. But the extent to which you can tie them off, bring them to an end and resolve them is definitely going to pay dividends in terms of your well-being,” said Robert Stawski, senior author on the study and an associate professor in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences. “Resolving your arguments is quite important for maintaining well-being in daily life.”

Researchers have long been aware of how chronic stress can affect health, from mental health problems such as depression and anxiety to physical problems including heart disease, a weakened immune system, reproductive difficulties and gastrointestinal issues.

But it’s not just major chronic stressors like poverty or violence that can inflict damage.

“Daily stressors — specifically the minor, small inconveniences that we have throughout the day — even those have lasting impacts on mortality and things like inflammation and cognitive function,” said Dakota Witzel, lead author and a doctoral student in human development and family studies at OSU.

For the study, Stawski and Witzel used data from the National Study of Daily Experiences, an in-depth survey of more than 2,000 people who were interviewed about their feelings and experiences for eight days in a row.

The researchers looked at reports of both arguments and avoided arguments, defined as instances where the person could have argued about something but chose to let it slide so as not to have a disagreement. They then measured how the incident affected the person’s reported change in negative and positive emotions, both for the day of the encounter and the day after it occurred.

The measure of how an experience affects someone emotionally, an increase in negative emotions or a decrease in positive emotions, on the day it occurs is known as “reactivity,” while “residue” is the prolonged emotional toll the day after the experience occurs. Negative and positive affect refer to the degree of negative and positive emotions a person feels on a given day.

Results showed that on the day of an argument or avoided argument, people who felt their encounter was resolved reported roughly half the reactivity of those whose encounters were not resolved.

On the day following an argument or avoided argument, the results were even starker: People who felt the matter was resolved showed no prolonged elevation of their negative affect the next day.

The study also looked at age-related differences in response to arguments and avoided arguments and found that adults ages 68 and older were more than 40% more likely than people 45 and younger to report their conflicts as resolved. But the impact of resolution status on people’s negative and positive affect remained the same regardless of age.

The researchers had several explanations for older adults’ higher rate of resolution: Older adults may be more motivated to minimize negative and maximize positive emotions as they have fewer years remaining, which is consistent with existing theories of aging and emotion. They may also have more experience navigating arguments and thus be more effective at defusing or avoiding conflict.

“If older adults are really motivated to maximize their emotional well-being, they’re going do a better job, or at least a faster job, at resolving stressors in a more timely fashion,” Stawski said.

While people cannot always control what stressors come into their lives — and lack of control is itself a stressor in many cases — they can work on their own emotional response to those stressors, he said.

“Some people are more reactive than other people,” he said. “But the extent to which you can tie off the stress so it’s not having this gnawing impact at you over the course of the day or a few days will help minimize the potential long-term impact.”

In future research projects, Stawski and Witzel hope to further unpack the nature of people’s disagreements to measure which contexts and relationships provoke the most stressful arguments.

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