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About sseverino

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So far sseverino has created 19 blog entries.

Preventing the Flu

Every year, I get a flu shot in late October. I usually remind my clients that they should wait until Halloween to get their flu shot, too. I get vaccinated every year to avoid contracting the flu virus, and also to avoid accidentally infecting my elderly mother, my friends, and my clients. You may just [...]

Overuse of Testing

I accompany many of my clients to their medical appointments and I am often surprised at the number of tests that are suggested despite the person’s advanced age and poor health. Many times, I speak up on my client’s behalf to better understand the risks and benefits of those tests. I was recently asked to [...]

Losing Your Voice

I was recently diagnosed with laryngitis and lost my voice for a few days. The only thing I could do was drink extra liquids and rest my voice until I finally recovered. During recovery time, my voice was useless, I was frustrated when the phone rang, and I realized I had trouble helping my clients. [...]

The Slippery Slope of Aging: A Case Study

The phone rings in the middle of the night, and the person on the other line informs you that your mother has fallen—and she’s on her way to the emergency room to have her hip checked out. And so it begins, the slippery slope of aging. The emergency room visit is long and the x-rays [...]

The Holidays: Preparing for “The Conversation” With Your Parents

Memory loss, letting the house go, and forgetting to take medications may seem mild to you as the child of an aging parent. But, sometimes these are bigger signs for a difficult future. The crucial thing to remember is to have “The Conversation” with your parent before an emergency occurs. You may be muttering under [...]

How to Communicate with Your Healthcare Team

When we’re really sick, sometimes 15 minutes in the doctor’s office just doesn’t feel like enough time to truly explore the root of a problem. A study in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that doctors did not allow their patients to finish a statement of concerns at 23% of appointments. More recently, it was [...]

Why You Need a Health Advocate

Obtaining a health advocate for your family member or for yourself can alleviate the stress and anxiety that is often placed on a patient and their family. Getting sick has become more complicated. The task of understanding a patient’s condition and the fragmented health system causes an even greater challenge when a family lacks a [...]

Seeing clearly

I work with many senior clients who have complex medical conditions. One of the biggest struggles their caregivers have is when to make the switch from curative treatment to comfort measures. It has been my experience that the medical community is slow to recommend pulling back aggressive care and even slower to be frank with [...]

Make a list!

Did you know that the average medical appointment is about 15 minutes long? When I first started working as a physician assistant, I had the luxury of building extra time in my appointment schedule for more complex cases. That luxury faded away over the years and most patients were scheduled every 15 minutes regardless of [...]

Don’t Go Alone

I started attending all medical appointments with my parents as they became older.  When my father was diagnosed with cancer, the appointments were frequent and often anxiety producing. Complicated medical terms and difficult to pronounce medication names filled the air as we discussed what was to happen next. With my background as a physician assistant, [...]