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If the pounds you dropped in time for summer are working their way back on, there’s a time-tested gadget that might halt the creep. It’s your bathroom scale. Research shows that people who weigh themselves regularly after reaching a goal weight do a much better job of keeping the lost pounds off.
We've celebrated the mothers, now it's time for father's to be paid their due. With less than a week to Father's Day, you're probably pondering what to get the special man in your life especially as you got him soap-on-rope last year, a tie the year before that and crabs the year before that, so you're mulling between maybe a bottle of cologne or the latest gadget. But this year, why not opt to give the special dad in your life the gift of health? This Father's Day what better way to say you love your dad than to take him for an annual physical which will not only be good for his health but ensure that he will be in your life strong and vibrant for years to come.
Ensuring your dad is on top of his health is a timely gift to undertake as men tend to shy away from the doctor's office if they have a choice in the matter, says Dr. Patrick Whitfield, a family medicine practitioner who operates out of Oxford Medical Center.
"It is important to encourage all persons, but men in particular, to get a regular check-up so that a medical professional can assess risks for common conditions that develop among the population," says the doctor. "Although many men may feel that there is nothing wrong with them and delay visiting a physician for as long as possible, in the medical field we practice preventative health which means we like to examine patients before they get sick so that early signs of conditions are picked up. This will in turn ensure that illnesses aren't prolonged or progress too far before treatment is sought. It is very important to get men more aware of their health and well-being because not only in The Bahamas, but universally men live seven to eight years less than their female counterparts and this does not have to be".
The family medicine specialist says that as a loving family member urging your father, no matter his age, to see the family doctor is one of the best ways to show him that you love him. As you will want to see your dad around for many years to come, Dr. Whitfield says helping him take care of his health now is a good gesture to give your dad for Father's Day. But he says when your father makes his doctor visit there are certain things that he should be checked for depending on his age. The doctor said men are screened for illnesses based on their age. He says there are illnesses that are more prevalent in certain decades of life, and that the doctor assesses what he considers are your dad's needs and risk levels, and screens for them.
Men in their 20s and 30s
"This age group is low on the scale for most illnesses so their screening tends to be more so to assess their risk factors due to lifestyle habits and guide them on ways to avoid problems due to lifestyle choices. Men in their 20s don't commonly suffer from things like cancers, heart attacks and strokes, so looking for early signs for these things aren't usually prioritized much in screenings. What you can expect in a screening at this age is a basic full body physical to ensure nothing obvious is wrong physically. Other things like blood pressure, cholesterol and body mass index [BMI] are also checked. It is also important at every age on an annual basis that blood tests for sexually transmitted illnesses are also taken. Your doctor should also take his time to sit and talk about family health history and the normal practices of the patient to further assess risk factors for common illnesses developing in the future so preventative measures can be taken while [your father] is still young."
As long as there are no ongoing health issues or high risk for certain illnesses due to genetics and family history, men, he says, are likely to only have to undergo simple physicals and blood screenings until their 40s when the likelihood of developing certain conditions greatly increases.
Men in their 40s
"While more intense physicals that are undergone more often tend to occur after you are 40 [years of age], it is important not to believe that this means while men are young that they shouldn't be taking care of their health. What happens later in life is greatly determined on how you take care of yourself while young. So simple things like wearing seatbelts to avoid harm in case of a car crash, amount of alcohol consumption, choices of coping mechanisms for dealing with stress, amount of sleep you get at night, and eating and exercising habits are important factors to determine how healthy you are in the years when the likelihood of common lifestyle illnesses developing increases. So even if your father has lived a good life in his youth and is relatively healthy by the age of 40, in addition to the annual physical and blood testing he should still start his screening for cancers of the prostate and colon. If he starts screening at this age any early signs of cancers developing can be caught and treated to avoid greater problems later in life."
Men in their 50s and 60s
In his 50s and into his 60s, your father will continue to have heightened physical examines by his physician, especially as it relates to weight management, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It is during these years when things like heart attacks, strokes and other ailments are more likely to occur says the doctor.
He also says most people tend to overlook updating their immunizations. Dr. Whitfield says it is becoming more common to see older persons suffering from common childhood ailments like chicken pox. To avoid contracting any of those childhood diseases, he said to let your family physician readminister all immunization shots every few years as required.
Men in their 70s, 80s, 90s and beyond
When your dad is in his 70s, in addition to regular check-ups and screenings it is important to have your father checked for ailments such as glaucoma and cataracts if he is diabetic or complains about visual problems. A hearing exam among other tests may also be recommended depending on the growing needs of the patient.
"At the end of the day, screenings are personal due to the needs of the patient and we as physicians can only determine what is needed once the patient comes to us," says the family medicine practitioner. "It is important to get patients to come to see the doctor before they feel ill so that if anything can be done to prevent conditions from developing they are done in time. It is better to prevent than to cure and men need good health just as much as anyone else. So help the men in your life to take care of themselves now so they won't have to worry about it later," says Dr. Whitfield.
Several talented students will start their new academic year off right thanks to Custom Computers Ltd.
After randomly drawing 25 student names from the entries in the “As for Excellence” campaign, the winners of the top three prizes were recognized for their outstanding academic achievements with the latest technological gadgets sure to make project research and writing for school a little sweeter.
Freeport, Grand Bahamas Island - Local businessman and proprietor of Gizmo's and Gadgets and other businesses, was selected as the Businessman of the Year by the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce during their 3rd Annual Business Excellence Award ceremony held this past Saturday in the Great Harbour Cay Room, Our Lucaya Beach and Golf Resort.
Other nominees in this category were Kenth Symonette and Magnus Alnebeck; Lifetime Achievement Award went to T. Maitland Cates of Pricewaterhouse Coopers; and Presidents Award went to two companies: Freeport Container Port/Hutchison's Port...
Reported cases of child abuse have risen in the past two years, according to Minister of Social Services Melanie Griffin.
Griffin told The Nassau Guardian yesterday that there have been 288 reported cases of abuse in New Providence and Grand Bahama between January and the end of May 2013.
She said there were 181 reported cases in New Providence and 107 reported cases in Grand Bahama. The statistics for the Family Islands were not complete.
While she did not have the exact figure for 2012, the minister said that in 2011, there were 254 reported cases of abuse during the same period.
Of the 181 reported cases in New Providence for the first five months of 2013, there were 98 cases of neglect; 36 cases of physical abuse; 36 cases of sexual abuse; four cases of incest; five cases of emotional abuse and two cases of verbal abuse.
Of the reported cases in Grand Bahama, there were 32 cases of neglect; 32 cases of physical abuse; 31 cases of sexual abuse and 12 cases of abandonment.
Griffin said the reported cases usually only represent one third of the actual number of child abuse cases in the country.
Over the last few years the number of reported cases of child abuse has fluctuated.
There were 636 reported cases of child abuse in the country in 2011.
In 2010, there were 615 reported cases of child abuse. The Department of Social Services said 499 were reported in New Providence and 116 in the Family Islands.
Griffin told the House of Assembly on Wednesday that it is important that the ministry raise the level of public awarenesss surrounding child abuse.
She said there are new threats emerging that can bring harm to all people, but especially children.
They include the Internet and other high tech gadgets and equipment, which she acknowledged can be helpful when put to good use, but harmful when used the wrong way.
"Technology has opened the door to new ways for sexual predators to reach our children," she said. "We have all seen how viral the videos and photos can go on the Internet."
Griffin admonished parents to keep a close watch on their children's internet access.
"Please remember, there is no substitution for parental guidance," she said. "These instruments are not meant to be babysitters."
To report child abuse cases, members of the public are asked to call 322-2763 or 422-2763.