Ageless - SUMMER 2023

A publication for active seniors from Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield

A publication for active seniors from Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield


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<strong>SUMMER</strong> <strong>2023</strong><br />

<strong>Ageless</strong><br />

Staying Upright is<br />

Staying Healthy<br />

pg. 3<br />

The Importance<br />

of Sleep<br />

pg. 4<br />

Seasonal<br />

Allergies<br />

pg. 6

Shake off<br />


STRESS<br />

Life is full of stress. Family, deadlines, bills… but not all<br />

stress is a bad thing.<br />

Chronic stress is another matter altogether. High stress over<br />

long periods of time can put your physical and mental health in<br />

danger. Chronic stress can cause health issues like insomnia,<br />

high blood pressure, and a weakened immune system.<br />

The good news is that you can often manage and reduce<br />

chronic stress. Try these steps, but also talk with your doctor.<br />

You don’t have to go it alone.<br />

Set Limits<br />

List the projects and commitments<br />

adding stress to your life. Are there<br />

tasks you can let go? Give to others?<br />

Delay until life is calmer?<br />

Cut the Caffeine<br />

If you can, cutting out caffeine, or<br />

at least limiting it can help you have<br />

better sleep, less heartburn, and feel<br />

more relaxed.<br />

Go Green<br />

Walking outside or gardening can<br />

provide “green” therapy, which<br />

has been linked to lower anxiety,<br />

depression, and stress levels.<br />

In the Key of Sleep<br />

Getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep is a<br />

significant way to fight chronic stress.<br />

Try going to bed at the same time each<br />

night, avoiding heavy meals or intense<br />

exercise before bed, and winding down<br />

with relaxing music or meditation.<br />

Stay Positive<br />

Having a positive, but a realistic attitude<br />

can lower feelings of being overwhelmed.<br />

Expecting a good outcome at the start<br />

can put your stress levels in check.<br />

Ask for Help<br />

It’s never too soon to ask for help<br />

when you feel stressed.<br />

2<br />

<strong>Ageless</strong> <strong>SUMMER</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

Staying Upright is Staying Healthy<br />

Staying healthy isn’t just about preventive screenings and routine exercise. As we age, a simple fall can<br />

cause serious health trouble down the road. Take the following steps to reduce your risk of falls:<br />

Check Your Side Effects<br />

Use your next visit with your primary<br />

care doctor to go over your medicines<br />

and supplements, or ask your local<br />

pharmacist. Either can let you know if<br />

a medication may increase dizziness,<br />

sleepiness or a risk of falling. You can<br />

determine together if you should change<br />

that medication or reduce the dosage.<br />

Light Your Path<br />

Make sure your home is well-lit,<br />

so you don’t trip over objects<br />

in the dark. Clear paths to<br />

light switches not near room<br />

entrances. Upgrade your wall<br />

switches to ones that illuminate<br />

or glow in the dark.<br />

Does the Shoe Fit?<br />

Wearing old shoes with slick, wornout<br />

soles, high heels or shoes that<br />

don’t fit is an accident waiting to<br />

happen. Properly fitting, sturdy, flat<br />

shoes with nonskid soles will help<br />

keep you on your feet.<br />

Clear Your Path<br />

Look at the high-traffic areas<br />

in your home, secure rug<br />

corners and clear away any<br />

clutter. Clingy bathmats<br />

can turn a slick tub or shower<br />

into a safer space to stand.<br />

Don’t Stop<br />

You might think limiting your activity<br />

will lower your chances of falling.<br />

But the opposite is true. Walking,<br />

water workouts, and gentle exercise<br />

improves your strength, balance,<br />

coordination, and flexibility. The<br />

more you move, the less likely you<br />

are to have a damaging fall.<br />

Devices to Help<br />

Install handrails for both sides<br />

of a stairway, grab bars for the<br />

shower or tub, raised toilet seats<br />

and add shower seats. Ask your<br />

doctor if it’s time for you to use<br />

a walker or walk with a cane.<br />

Source: Mayo Clinic<br />

Fight Falling with SilverSneakers<br />

Want to improve your balance, strength, and flexibility to reduce your risk of falling?<br />

SilverSneakers is a great place to start. Eligible Blue Cross members can enroll in<br />

SilverSneakers (at no additional cost) and access classes and workshops on fitness,<br />

nutrition, and wellness — all designed specifically for seniors. Try a SilverSneakers<br />

live class today: tools.silversneakers.com/Learn/Live<br />

<strong>Ageless</strong> <strong>SUMMER</strong> <strong>2023</strong><br />


Get Your<br />

Zzzzzs!The Importance<br />

of Sleep<br />

Is a good night’s sleep only a dream? Are you<br />

tossing and turning, and feeling anything but<br />

rested when the night is over?<br />

Not getting enough sleep can lead to<br />

numerous health issues. Sleep helps your<br />

brain work properly. While you’re sleeping,<br />

your brain is forming new pathways to help<br />

you learn and remember information.<br />

Studies show that a lack of sleep changes<br />

your brain activity. You may have trouble<br />

making decisions, solving problems,<br />

controlling your emotions and behavior, and<br />

coping with change. Sleep deficiency has<br />

also been linked to depression, suicide and<br />

risk-taking.<br />

4<br />

<strong>Ageless</strong> <strong>SUMMER</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

Good Quality Sleep<br />

• Heals and repairs your muscles, heart, blood<br />

vessels, cells and tissues.<br />

• Balances your “hunger” hormones: When you<br />

don’t get enough sleep, you feel hungrier than<br />

when you’re well-rested.<br />

• Affects your blood sugar levels: Sleep<br />

deficiency results in higher-than-normal blood<br />

sugar levels, raising your risk of diabetes.<br />

• Fights germs and sickness: If you’re sleep<br />

deficient, your immune system may have<br />

trouble fighting common infections.<br />

• Decreases your risk: Getting enough sleep<br />

lowers your risk of heart disease, high blood<br />

pressure, obesity, and stroke.<br />

Healthy Sleep Habits<br />

There are some simple steps you can take to<br />

improve your sleep. Making time to sleep helps<br />

you protect your health and well-being now and<br />

in the future. With enough sleep each night,<br />

you may find that you’re happier and more<br />

productive during the day.<br />

To improve your sleep habits:<br />

• Go to bed and wake up at the same time<br />

every day. Your body responds to routine.<br />

Staying up late and sleeping in on weekends<br />

can disrupt your body’s sleep-wake rhythm.<br />

• Wind down an hour before bed. Avoid intense<br />

exercise and artificial lights from TVs or<br />

computer screens. Blue light from screens<br />

signals the brain to stay awake.<br />

• Avoid heavy or large meals within a few hours<br />

of bedtime. (Having a light snack is okay.)<br />

Also, avoid alcoholic drinks before bed.<br />

Source: National Institutes of Health: Heart, Lung and Blood Institute<br />

• Avoid nicotine and caffeine. These<br />

stimulants can interfere with sleep.<br />

The effects of caffeine can last up to<br />

8 hours, so that late-afternoon cup of joe<br />

can have you staring at the ceiling at night.<br />

• Spend time outside every day. Bright in the<br />

day can help your brain stay alert so you are<br />

more likely to feel sleepy later. Being active<br />

and exercising can help too.<br />

• Keep your bedroom quiet, cool, and dark.<br />

(a dim night light is fine if needed).<br />

• Take a hot bath or use relaxation techniques<br />

before bed.<br />

Napping during the day may boost your<br />

alertness and performance. However, if you<br />

have trouble falling asleep at night, limit naps<br />

or take them earlier in the afternoon. Adults<br />

should nap for no more than 20 minutes.<br />

Talk to Your Doctor<br />

If you still have trouble getting to sleep,<br />

staying asleep or are told you snore or stop<br />

breathing during your sleep (apnea), it is time<br />

to visit your primary care doctor. A sleep<br />

study can determine the cause of your sleep<br />

disturbance. Medications can help you fall<br />

asleep or stay asleep but can increase your<br />

risk of falling (see page 3). A CPAP machine<br />

(continuous positive airway pressure) uses mild<br />

air pressure to keep breathing airways open.<br />

You may notice immediate improvements<br />

after starting CPAP treatment, like better sleep<br />

quality, reduction or elimination of snoring and<br />

apnea, and less daytime sleepiness.<br />

The long-term benefits of CPAP include:<br />

• Helping to prevent or control<br />

high blood pressure<br />

• Lowering your risk for stroke<br />

• Improving memory and other<br />

cognitive function<br />

<strong>Ageless</strong> <strong>SUMMER</strong> <strong>2023</strong><br />



allergies Nothing to Sneeze At!<br />

The overall feeling of yuck made by seasonal allergies is familiar to many of us. Unless you<br />

live in a bubble, you deal with the sneezing, congestion, and other symptoms as best you can.<br />

6<br />

To keep seasonal<br />

allergies to a minimum:<br />

• Stay indoors on dry, windy<br />

days. The best time to go<br />

outside is after a good rain,<br />

which helps clear pollen<br />

from the air.<br />

• Wear a face mask if you do<br />

outside chores, like lawn<br />

mowing, that stir up allergens.<br />

• Remove clothes you’ve worn<br />

outside and shower to rinse<br />

pollen from your skin and hair.<br />

• Don’t hang laundry outside —<br />

pollen can stick to sheets<br />

and towels.<br />

<strong>Ageless</strong> <strong>SUMMER</strong> <strong>2023</strong><br />

To reduce allergens<br />

in your home:<br />

• Use air conditioning in<br />

your house and car.<br />

• If you have forced air heating<br />

or air conditioning in your<br />

house, use high-efficiency<br />

filters, change them<br />

frequently and follow regular<br />

maintenance schedules.<br />

• Keep indoor air dry with<br />

a dehumidifier.<br />

• Use a portable highefficiency<br />

particulate<br />

air (HEPA) filter in your<br />

bedroom.<br />

• Clean floors often with<br />

a vacuum cleaner that<br />

has a HEPA filter.<br />

Over-the-Counter<br />

Remedies<br />

Nonprescription medications to<br />

ease allergy symptoms include:<br />

• Oral antihistamines.<br />

Antihistamines can help<br />

relieve sneezing, itching,<br />

a stuffy or runny nose,<br />

and watery eyes.<br />

• Corticosteroid nasal sprays.<br />

These medications improve<br />

nasal symptoms.<br />

Source: Mayo Clinic

You are invited to our FREE<br />

Arkansas Blue Medicare<br />

Member Health Fair<br />

Hearing screenings<br />

Diabetic eye exams<br />

Enroll and redeem your<br />

Healthy Blue Member<br />

Rewards onsite<br />

Ask questions about your<br />

benefits and coverage<br />

Schedule your in-home<br />

assessment<br />

Speak with our pharmacist<br />

May 17 th<br />

Little Rock - Midtown<br />

416 S. University Ave., Suite 110<br />

10-2 p.m.<br />

June 14 th<br />

Fort Smith<br />

3501 Old Greenwood Road, Suite 3<br />

10-2 p.m.<br />

July 12 th<br />

Fayetteville<br />

3013 N. College Ave.<br />

10-2 p.m.<br />

Visit an ArkansasBlue<br />

Welcome Center<br />

If you have questions about your coverage,<br />

you can always pick up the phone and call us.<br />

But if would like to see a friendly face and are<br />

in the neighborhood, why not stop by?<br />

At an ArkansasBlue Welcome Center, you<br />

can visit with our health insurance experts,<br />

receive friendly customer service and shop<br />

for plans. We have eight locations to help you<br />

with all your needs.<br />

Come visit us at:<br />

• Fayetteville: 3013 N. College Ave.<br />

• Fort Smith: 3501 Old Greenwood Road, Suite 3<br />

• Hot Springs: 1635 Higdon Ferry Road, Suite J<br />

• Jonesboro: 2110 Fair Park Blvd<br />

• Little Rock: 416 S. University Ave., Suite 110<br />

• Pine Bluff: 509 Mallard Loop<br />

• Rogers: 4602 W. Walnut St.<br />

• Texarkana: 1710 Arkansas Blvd<br />

<strong>Ageless</strong> <strong>SUMMER</strong> <strong>2023</strong><br />


Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield<br />

P.O. Box 2181<br />

Little Rock, AR 72203-2181<br />

Please note: This newsletter is for health education purposes only. We do not offer medical advice or<br />

services. Always consult your treating physician(s) for any medical advice or services you may need.<br />

<strong>Ageless</strong><br />

Y0083_23ABM_<strong>SUMMER</strong>AGELESS_MAG_C<br />


A publication for Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield<br />

Medicare Advantage members.<br />

Arkansas Blue Medicare is an affiliate of Arkansas Blue<br />

Cross and Blue Shield. Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue<br />

Shield is an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross<br />

and Blue Shield Association. © <strong>2023</strong> Arkansas Blue<br />

Cross and Blue Shield. All rights reserved.<br />

Blue is your plan!<br />

We’re here to help when you need us.<br />

Nurse care (Nurse24)........................................................800-318-2384<br />

Fitness (SilverSneakers)...................................................888-423-4632<br />

Hearing aids (TruHearing).................................................833-750-5898<br />

Surgery (Welvie)...............................................................866-433-1343<br />

Document medical wishes (Welvie)................................877-434-6168<br />

Telehealth (MDLive)..........................................................877-540-2082<br />

Dental (LSV)......................................................................888-223-4999

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