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A couple walking to prevent further health issues due to coronavirus lockdown

Don’t neglect your health- We have measures in place to provide a safe environment when you visit us.

By | Clinic News

In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, a dangerous trend is emerging whereby people are ignoring their existing health issues. As the ABC reports:

Australians are delaying lifesaving medical tests, as they heed the message to “stay at home” to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

With the potential of this isolation to continue more than a few weeks, if not months it is vital that we all take care of our normal health too.

While the entire medical world is focusing on reducing the spread of the virus, there has been less attention given to the well-being of the unaffected population. We all need to take care of our health and especially take charge of our mental well-being and not overlook the consequences of this social isolation on us.

Don’t neglect your health

Woman suffering from back pain due to working from home, covid-19 affects.

 

It is a concern that many people are ignoring their health and possibly not seeking medical help during this pandemic. It is important to seek help from GPs who are the best first point of contact for your health issues. If you are already using medications, it is important to continue with your medications and visit your local doctor for referrals or prescriptions.

It would also be a bad idea to neglect your back pain or neck pain due to spending most of your time at home or even forgetting your necessary flu shots. Even neglecting simple health issues like headaches, fatigue, skin allergies can take a heavy toll on your normal day to day life. These simple issues can cause stress that can lead to major health conditions. So neglecting your health is a bad idea, and the best way to deal with it is to seek help from a doctor.

Safety measure at our medical centre.

To help our doctors and staff as well all our patients, we have placed a range of safety measures to protect and provide a safe environment for our medical services. At our centre:

  • All our doctors, staff members, and all visiting patients are screened before they enter our facility.
  • We have implemented telehealth appointments via video or phone. We use Zoom for our video consultation which is free to download. You can also read our blog on how to use Zoom here.
  • To ensure your safety, all our staff members and doctors are in uniform or scrubs and wear appropriate PPE where necessary.
  • All patients are asked to wait in their car or in the car park (weather permitting). In cold weather, we allow patients into the waiting room with social distancing measures in place.
  • We have all social distancing practices at our facility and we take extra care on following them.

It could be understandable to notice that people would fear to visit their local GPs but many centers like us now have telehealth facilities to provide you assistance remotely. We are also committed to our safety steps and keep providing our services to all patients. If you have any concerns or want to know more about what measures are in place please call our friendly staff on 03 9527 4355. You can also check our new post on what we are doing on our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/InkermanMedicalGroup/.

 

Mental health issue consultation via telehealth at Inkerman Medical Centre

Don’t neglect your mental health

By | Clinic News

In this difficult time of COVID-19, as we strive to “flatten the curve”, lockdown and social distancing have proven to cause psychological distress for many of us. This crisis can affect people’s mental health in many ways. Feeling lonely, stressed about work & relationships, and boredom has become the new normal which can lead to people showing symptoms of anxiety, depression, psychosis, or even post-trauma stress disorders.    

Even though restrictions have eased somewhat, the entire Australian population is still in some kind of confinement, preventing us from accessing universities, workplaces, gyms, or parks. Social isolation affects our mental well-being that could lead to an impact on both our physical health and cognitive health. The number of people suffering from some kind of mental health issue is on the rise. Lack of social connection and the inability to move freely can magnify health risks to almost anyone in the community. While it adds extra health risks to people with known mental issues, it can also be overwhelming for people who haven’t previously suffered from anxiety or depression. If this goes untreated, it could lead to psychological issues for an extended time that may need specialist treatments.   

 

Telehealth and your mental health 

 

Telehealth services have become very effective and reliable in overcoming the barriers of social isolation. Telehealth plays a vital role to ensure the wellbeing of the affected people by making the provision to consult doctors and seek assistance remotely. 

In an effort to extend our support to the community, we have established a robust telehealth consulting facility as well as in-clinic visits for all our patients to seek help with your mental health issues. Our GPs are qualified and have years of experience in providing the first contact assistance to your mental health problems. They have the know-how of the local mental health services and they work with other doctors at our centre to provide a more comprehensive care plan to you. 

Don’t want to use telehealth?

That’s fine, we are open and you can come in for an appointment at the clinic.

If you are a GP/health care worker or admin in a healthcare setting then the local Primary health network has offered 3 sessions for free. Follow the link to find out more Feeling stressed? SEMPHN is offering free support for general practice staff

 

To make an appointment with our GPs, you can visit our Book Online page or give us a call at (03) 9527 4355.

How to stay healthy during lockdown: The four pillars of health

By | Clinic News

While we practice social distancing and stay indoors, let us think about “How do we use this time to bring positive change in our lifestyle and remain healthy indoors”: the answer is simple, doing things differently to maintain the four pillars of health.

The four pillars are:

  1. Nutrition
  2. Exercise or physical activity
  3. Sleep
  4. Stress management

This lockdown gives you and your family the time to sit together and ponder on things that we can certainly do indoors to bring a positive change in our lifestyle. This article aims to provide basic insights on a healthy lifestyle based on the 4 pillars of health. It also explains how to execute it while coronavirus keeps us indoors. Read on to find out more!

Nutrition 

The good news is that supermarkets are an essential service and have remained open despite the lockdown. And across the nation supermarkets have increased the efforts of cleaning, sanitising and initiated steps to maintain social distancing while people purchase their groceries.

You can start your nutrition journey by doing some basic online research and finding alternatives that you would enjoy. For example, not all of us like spinach or kale, so maybe you can choose to eat cabbage or silverbeet instead. The main focus should be to make sure your diet gives you the optimum nutrients required for maintaining a healthy body.

Next, you should concentrate on your sugar intake. There is hidden sugar content in processed food and often sweetened drinks have high fructose content that adds to the daily optimum intake of sugar. Since we are confined to our homes, daily physical activities have reduced and high sugar content meals could trigger weight gain, acne or even increase the prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes.

Staying hydrated is necessary and focus on having a balanced meal by including protein, vegetables, and fruits for vitamins and healthy fats. It is also recommended to focus on superfoods to enhance your immunity. This lockdown has seen a sudden spike in alcohol consumption and sales have seen almost double-digit growth across all retailers in Australia. While it is unlikely to completely give up drinking, we suggest moderate consumption is still a healthier choice.

Exercise or physical activities 

Physical activity helps to break the monotony of lockdown life and helps to keep your body and mind active. There are many ways you can add some activities to your daily routine, it could be jogging in the park, a workout session indoors, running or even practicing a new hobby at home.

The main idea of getting some exercise is to remain healthy and keep your stress levels as low as possible during the lockdown. Many parks and public gardens still allow us to access them provided we stick to the social distancing rules. You could also choose to perform moderate-intensity to high-intensity workouts according to your ability. A 30 mins HIIT workout session would give you the required cardiovascular exercise as well as would help strengthen your muscles and bones – but be warned that HIIT sessions are VERY intense and should not be attempted if you are unfit or have any health conditions.

These activities don’t need any equipment or gym and the internet is inundated with online materials on workouts, exercises, yoga and even expert tips on how to improve your running form.

Sleep 

To begin with, a little research on age-specific sleep duration should be able to give you an idea of your daily sleep requirement. An adult needs at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night and one who fails to do so on a regular basis is at a higher risk of suffering from health issues. If you’re sleep-deprived, it affects both your physical and mental well-being, which may lead to greater risks of health disorder, loss of productivity or even feeling depressed. A report on sleeping patterns says that over two-thirds of Australian adults suffer from some kind of sleep disorder that makes them feel more stressed and difficult to concentrate on their daily activities.

This lockdown gives you the time to do a sleep analysis. In simple terms, it means keeping a track of your sleep quantity and quality. Many track applications, as well as gadgets like Fitbit or Jawbone, are available in the market to perform these tests.

There are lots of ways to improve your sleeping habits. Below are some ideas to relax your mind and help you sleep better.

  • Avoiding staying up too late and breaking your normal routine
  • Avoid screen time late at night (watching movies or using social media)
  • We know it’s a stressful time, but try to relax (easier said than done we know)
  • Meditate
  • Eat a light dinner, early in the evening
  • Practie yoga regularly
  • Read a book before bedtime

Stress Management 

Being isolated at your home can be challenging especially when you are indoors all by yourself. People are confined to their homes and the virus has stopped  living our normal lives. Such a massive change in the way we live our life can cause anxiety to even the most positive among us.

Managing your stress while isolated is thereby indispensable for your well-being. Stresses are induced due to a variety of reasons and the best way to alleviate stress from yourself is to concentrate on your body and mind. Good food and mindfulness can give you results. It is also important to regularly talk with your family and friends. Talking out helps a lot when GPs are now available for telehealth services to provide you with the necessary support.

Another way to keep yourself away from stress is indulging in some group activities with your family, like gardening or baking. You can watch movies online and practice meditation too.

As we move forward with this lockdown, the main focus should be on building these 4 Pillars of health. It is essential to keep the focus on yourself and try to adapt these practices in your daily activities.

Launching Telehealth: In Response to COVID-19, we now provide virtual appointments via Zoom

By | Clinic News

In line with the unprecedented health care demands, we have implemented advanced digital technologies to deliver virtual care to Inkerman Medical Group patients. As a response to the spread of the novel COVID-19 pandemic, we want to ensure that the highest safety is in place for our patients and protect our community.    

We are now offering virtual Telehealth appointments to all our patients via phone and video. We use Zoom for providing virtual consultations. Zoom is free to download and can be easily downloaded in the App Store for iPhone users. Android users can download via Google store or you can also download on your Windows or Mac desktop. 

Getting started for patients

Before you download the Zoom App, you first need to ensure you use a device with a camera like a smartphone or your computer. You can also use a webcam with your desktop. Zoom works well with all browsers, however, Chrome is recommended. Note that this blog would teach you how to use Zoom on your computer first and then guide you through the steps of using Zoom in a smartphone.  

While Zoom can provide a range of services, this guide would focus on 

  • How to download the app in your desktop
  • Joining a scheduled meeting with our doctor
  • Zoom for Android and iOS smartphone users

How to download Zoom from your device 

We would be sending invite links to our patients to download the app, but you can also download it online using the link: https://zoom.us/download

On a desktop, you should be able to find the Download Centre Page,  where you can either download or launch the app. Go ahead and press the “Download” button below the “Zoom Client for Meeting”.

 

 

This would initialize the app downloading which would appear something like this on your computer.

 

 

After the download is completed, sign-up using your working Email ID as the username on the next screen. You can also sign-up using your Google ID or through your Facebook. 

 

 

You would be redirected to login with your Email, where Zoom would send you a link to activate your account to your Email. Then create a password as instructed. 

 

 

When you log in with your username and your password, you would be able to see the following screen with a variety of options to choose from.  You can familiarize yourself by requesting a demo that explains how Zoom works or there are plenty of resources and video tutorials to learn from. You can also join a “Test Meeting” to test your internet connection. You can also test if the microphone and speaker are working well. 

In the next step, you can select to join the consultation via audio and/or video. 

 

 

Joining a scheduled meeting with our doctor

 

As a requisite, we would be sending an invite link to all our patients. Each scheduled meeting with one of our doctors at Zoom would be  “Join a Meeting”. You can use your “Meeting ID” that would be provided to you beforehand to join your scheduled meeting where you also have an option to change your name. 

This would start your meeting with the doctors. 

 

 

Zoom for Android and iOS smartphone users 

 

You can start by downloading the Zoom app on your phone. All iPhone users can download via the Apple App Store and all Android users can use the Google Play Store. 

After the download is completed on your phone, you would see the following screens when using an iPhone or an Android respectively. There are two ways to join your doctor’s appointment. You can either choose to Sign-in or just press “Join a Meeting” for both the interfaces as shown below. 

 

 

Then you have to enter your “Meeting ID” or your “Personal Link Name”. The Meeting ID could be found under the tab “Meetings”. You can choose to change your display name too. The following screens are for iPhone and Android phones respectively. 

 

 

 

 

You can select audio and/or video and press join to start your virtual consultation. 

Following this guide should give you a basic understanding of the downloading and virtual meeting with our doctors. You can also follow online tutorials to give you a good sense of working with Zoom. 

To get more help on Zoom, you can follow this online video. https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193-Joining-a-Meeting

FIBROMYALGIA

FIBROMYALGIA

By | Clinic News

Fibromyalgia syndrome is a chronic debilitating condition characterised by pain, fatigue, sleep disturbance and cognitive problems.

It is commonly encountered in general practice and affects between 2-8% of the population.

Read More