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December is Flu Fighting Month

December is all about staying healthy and fighting the flu. December 1-7, is National Hand Washing Awareness Week and Influenza Vaccination Week.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year. This can be achieved by a visit to a variety of health providers. Your physician can normally provide a flu shot, but so can local pharmacies and clinics. Also, take actions daily, to stop the spread of harmful germs and thus the flu virus. Covering your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing and washing your hands often are ways to prevent germs from spreading. If you do get sick, there are prescription medications called “antiviral drugs” that can be used to treat flu symptoms.

You can also avoid getting the flu by just taking good care of yourself. Eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of fluids. Consider cutting back on caffeine and alcohol which can cause dehydration.  Keep up your exercise routine. Just because it is cold outside does not mean quit moving.

Daily preventative actions can help fight illness. Keeping surfaces clean and disinfected is a sure way to kill household germs. Wipe down handles, faucets, phones, work surfaces that you touch often. Don’t forget your work environment and the car.

You can learn more at cdc.gov, mayoclinic.org and nih.gov

Posted in Health Topics /

The Holidays are almost here!

With 6 days until Thanksgiving and 32 days until Christmas, the holidays are coming.  While this time of year can be a time of celebration and great cheer, it can also be a source of stress.  Staying healthy during the holidays can be a challenge.  Here are a few tips:

Make Healthy Choices – It is easy to over indulge, try not to.  If you plan on a large Thanksgiving mid day meal, plan on a lighter meal for the evening.

Stay Hydrated – Drink plenty of water.  It is key to staying healthy.  Limit your consumption of caffeine and alcohol, both can lead to dehydration.

Stay Active – Be sure to keep up with your normal routines.  Invite friends and family to join you for a walk.  It is easy to dismiss keeping up with our daily routines with holiday distractions.

Take Time for Yourself – This time of year we get pulled in many directions.  It is easy to over extend while trying to keep up with all of the festivities of the season.  If you need time to rest and relax, make sure to do so.  Skipping a few activities here or there can contribute to enjoying your time with family and friends.

Get Enough Sleep – Getting enough sleep is key for our energy levels and keeping ourselves healthy.  When we don’t get enough sleep, it can cause changes in our body’s chemistry.  This can lead to anxiety, irritability and weight gain.  Seven or eight hours a night is best!

Get more information at:  cdc.gov, Forbes.com or health.harvard.edu

Posted in Health Topics /

Celebrating Veterans Day

Veterans Day gives Americans the opportunity to celebrate the bravery and sacrifice of all U.S. veterans. However, many Americans confuse this holiday with Memorial Day.

Veterans Day was first known as Armistice Day. The holiday was established as a legal U.S. holiday to honor the end of World War I.  November 11, 1918 marked the end of WWI, but it was not until 1938 for legislation to be passed in recognition of the holiday.   Veterans Day was established as a U.S. Holiday on November 11th.

In 1954, the United States had been through two World Wars and the Korean War. At that time, Congress strongly recommended the veterans service organizations to amend the word “Armistice” to the word “Veterans”. Thus the holiday was known as Veterans Day. In the late 60’s the November 11th date was changed to ensure federal employees a three day weekend holiday. Thus, Veterans Day was moved to the fourth Monday of October. This caused confusion and disagreement among those who believed the original November 11th date should be honored. So, in 1975, President Gerald Ford signed a law to return Veterans Day to the original date of November 11. Since then, it has been celebrated on November 11.

While Memorial Day honors service members who died in service to their country, deceased veterans are honored on Veterans Day. Veterans Day is set aside to thank and honor the living veterans who served honorably in the military, in both wartime and peacetime. This history is important so that we can honor our current and former service members appropriately.

Veterans Day is observed across the country with many different events. Special programs and honor ceremonies, parades, wreath laying ceremonies along with many private businesses offering special value promotions for veterans and their families.

 

Learn more are at: military.com, va.gov, defense.gov

Posted in veterans /Veterans Day /

November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month

President Ronald Reagan designated the month of November as Alzheimer’s Awareness Month in 1983. At that time, less than two million people suffered with the disease. Today, that number is now closer to five million.

Alzheimer’s disease is one type of dementia, which is characterized by a decline in memory, language, problem solving and other thinking skills that affect a person’s ability to perform everyday tasks and activities. It is the most common type of dementia.

Is there a cure? Currently there are no drugs or treatments to cure Alzheimer’s disease.

 

However, there are some treatments that can slow down the progression.   Research is constantly being done for new options with the goal of a cure.

Alzheimer’s disease symptoms can vary, but often include: memory loss, trouble solving problems, confusion about space and time, misplacing things, inability to retrace one’s movements and mood/personality changes.

There are ways to help people coping with the early stages of the disease. Help them keep a common daily routine, keep things simple and don’t have too many activities going on at once. Overstimulation can cause confusion and anxiety. Be reassuring and don’t try to change behaviors by reasoning.

*For more information visit: alz.org, mayoclinic.org and alzinfo.org.

Posted in Alzheimer's Disease /Health Topics /Senior Living /

Pastoral Care at Copperfield Hill

We are very fortunate to have wonderful pastoral care here at Copperfield Hill. For the past four years, Pastor  Jan Hartsook, has been our resident pastor.  She has created a number of pastoral care activities, as well as outreach and ministry groups for the residents and families at Copperfield Hill.

Some of those groups and opportunities include: Reminiscing Group, Bible Study, Grief Support Group, Worship Services, Hymn Sing, Sunday Morning Worship Service, Personal Visits, Visits with Residents at hospitals and care centers. Copperfield also sponsors a “Pastor/Resident” Brunch twice a year. This October we welcomed 58 quests including 16 pastors that visited from outside congregations. See photos below.

Pastoral care also includes groups that gather to assemble Birthday Bags for NEAR Food Shelf and Back Packs for local schools.

 

 

pastor brunch 3pastor brunch 4pastor brunchpastor brunch 2

Posted in Uncategorized /

“Boosting” Your Immune System

We all want to maintain our health,  part of that means having a healthy immune system.

Our immune system is really remarkable. Most of the time it does a fantastic job of defending our bodies from germs and microorganisms that can cause disease. It is a tremendous “filter” for general health. However, sometimes those germs and microorganisms can get past our immune system and we can get sick.

There isn’t any one thing you can do to “boost” the immune system. It is exactly that, a system, and there are numerous things that keep the system in balance and healthy.  While it is difficult to make a scientific link between certain lifestyle choices and good immune health, there are many items being studied.  General common sense can guide individuals to better general health.

Individuals have many choices every day as to what contributes to good health.  Overall, we function better when we include healthy living habits into our everyday routine. Here are a few tips:

  • Eat a healthy and balanced diet
  • Exercise and maintain a healthy weight
  • Limit the use of alcohol and caffeine
  • Don’t smoke
  • Get sufficient sleep
  • Relieve stress
  • Incorporate habits that help avoid illness, like washing your hand frequently

Learn more at https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-boost-your-immune-syste

Posted in Uncategorized /

Breast Cancer Awareness

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It is the annual international health campaign organized by major breast cancer charities and health organizations. Raising awareness for the disease and raising funds for research for cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and ultimately a cure, is the goal.

Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer among American women. Early detection is the best way to fight the disease. Getting an annual mammogram is the most common way to find breast cancer at an early stage.

Each year in the US close to a quarter of a million women get breast cancer. Less than 1% of breast cancer occurs in men.

Learn more about prevention and detection at: cdc.gov, www.cancer.org and www.cancer.gov

Posted in Uncategorized /

Open enrollment for Medicare 2019

The Open Enrollment Period for Medicare is coming up: October 15th to December 7th, 2019.  Below is a brief outline of what you need to know.

Medicare is available to United States citizens and to legal residents who have lived in the United States for at least 5 years in a row. It is individual insurance, and does not cover spouses or dependents. It can also be based on age, disability and medical conditions.

Medicare coverage and the costs associated with it are many. It starts with the ABC’s, Parts A, B, C and D. These are the four basic parts and they help pay for certain health care services. Each part has a certain cost. Your Medicare costs will depend on what coverage you choose and what health care services you use.

Original Medicare (Parts A & B) covers many medical and hospital services. It doesn’t cover everything. For example, and as a surprise to some, it does not cover prescription drugs. Prescription drug coverage can by covered through Part D. Part D is separated from Parts A & B. There are also other services NOT covered by Medicare. For example: dental exams, hearing aids, care while traveling outside the US, custodial care, long-term care, chiropractic services to name a few. You may have to pay for these services yourself unless you have other insurance that covers them. Some Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans may help.

Also to consider, is Medicare supplement insurance, which can help pay some out-of-pocket health care costs that Parts A & B do not cover. Plans are offered through private insurance companies. It is up to you whether you buy a plan or not.

There is much more to learn, and more information at:   Medicare.gov.

Posted in Uncategorized /

Labor Day Celebrates 125 years

Labor Day, a creation of the labor movement, is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of the American worker. It is a tribute to what workers have done to add to the prosperity and well-being of our country.

The first recognition by the government started in 1885 and 1886. From these seeds, a movement developed for legislation to recognize the holiday. By 1894 many states had created Labor Day legislation and on June 28, 1894, Congress passed an act making the first Monday of September of each year a legal holiday in all states, territories and the District of Columbia.

There is still some doubt as to who actually first proposed the holiday for workers. Some say it is Peter J. McGuire, who was General Secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and also the co-founder of The American Federation of Labor. However, others believe that machinist, Matthew Maguire first proposed the holiday. Maguire was Secretary of the Association of Machinists in Paterson, NJ, when he proposed the holiday in 1882. At that time he was Secretary of the Central Labor Union of NY. What we do know, is that the Central Labor Union adopted Labor Day as a proposal and organized a committee to plan a labor march and picnic. The first Labor Day was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882.

From there, many more states adopted the holiday and it was signed into law by President Grover Cleveland on June 28, 1894. A nationwide holiday today, many celebrate with picnics, parades and speeches.  Below are a few Labor Day fun facts.

  • Oregon was the first state to celebrate Labor Day as a legal state holiday in 1887
  •  Americans worked a 12 hour day seven days a week during the 19th century
  •  “No white after Labor Day” refers to the return of the upper class from summer vacation, when they would put away their white and light colored summertime clothing
  •  Labor Day is the unofficial end of hot dog season according to the National Hot Dog and   Sausage Council
  •  The Adamson Act of 1916 established an eight hour work day
  •  There is still a Labor Day Parade in New York City, it takes place throughout the 20 blocks north of the 1882 labor march

Posted in Uncategorized /