For Those Watching Budgets this Holiday Season, Patient Advocate Group Californians for Patient Care Says Give Yourself the Gift of Good Health

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With the tough economic times and an 11.7 percent unemployment rate in California, Californians for Patient Care urges everyone who’s watching their budgets this holiday season to remember that good health is a great money saver.

“Adopting one or two minor changes can make a real difference in a person’s health, which will save them money and give them a definite advantage in sustaining energy and reducing stress during a drawn out job search,” said Carmella Gutierrez, president of Californians for Patient Care. “Californians for Patient care reminds all Californians that the gift of good health should be at the top of everyone’s list—and it may be easier to achieve than you think,” said Gutierrez.

“For some, the prospect of getting healthier can seem daunting because they believe they can’t afford the care they need. Californians should know that there is affordable care in communities throughout the state,” said Gutierrez.

Non-profit Californians for Patient Care has the state’s largest and most comprehensive database of low- and no-cost healthcare facilities. By visiting www.calpatientcare.org and typing in basic search information such as city or county and care needed, Californians can find a list of local healthcare providers that provide primary, dental and mental healthcare services to the uninsured and underinsured.

Along with information on local dental care and healthcare service providers, Californians for Patient Care also provides information on chronic disease management, how to shop for health insurance, information on new research studies, and links to helpful organizations and websites.

“During this holiday season, we hope everyone takes the time to consider how important the gift of health is for them and for their loved ones,” said Gutierrez. “And Californians for Patient Care can connect people to resources to help people get the care they need, when they need it.”

Californians for Patient Care suggests one or more of the following actions to improve your health:

>> Make sure you and your family members are up-to-date on all vaccinations and remember, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it’s not too late to get a flu vaccination.

>> According to the Partnership for Prevention, it is important to take advantage of preventive care screenings and programs, like mammograms and prostate exams, blood pressure check-ups and risk analyses for chronic illnesses like diabetes.

>> The CDC also recommends washing your hands frequently. Washing hands keeps from spreading viruses and infection.

>> Experts at WebMD encourage people who are sick to stay home—and this goes for everyone in your household. Your co-workers and friends, as well as your children’s classmates and teachers will thank you. If you are planning to visit someone in the hospital or a newborn, it is especially important to stay home when you are sick.

>> Eat healthy foods and exercise at least once a day—according to the American Dietetic Association and the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, it can make a difference in overall health.

>> Drink alcoholic beverages in moderation during cold weather. According to the California Department of Public Health, drinking alcoholic beverages can cause the body to lose heat rapidly.

>> Socialize with people who have healthy habits. According to research published by the Institute for Healthcare Consumerism, people are heavily influenced by the health practices of others in their social circle.

Californians for Patient Care is a nonprofit organization based in Sacramento dedicated to protecting the interests of patients and ensuring all California consumers have fair and equitable access to high quality healthcare. For more information, visit www.calpatientcare.org.