Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Break Free From Osteoporosis!




Break FREE from OSTEOPOROSIS!
*Repost* National Osteoporosis Foundation

May is National Osteoporosis Month!

Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a disease of the bones. It happens when you lose too much bone and/or make too little bone. This means your bones become weak and may break from a minor fall or, in serious cases, even from simple actions, like sneezing or bumping into furniture.

Osteoporosis means "porous bone." Under a microscope healthy bones look like a honeycomb but in bones with osteoporosis the honeycomb holes and spaces are much bigger. This means your bones have lost density or mass and that the structure of your bone tissue has become abnormal making the bone weaker and more likely to break.

FACT: One in two women and up to one in four men will break a bone in their lifetime due to osteoporosis. For women, the incidence is greater than that of heart attack, stroke and breast cancer combined.*


May is National Osteoporosis Month! We hope you will help us celebrate by taking the #JumpingJackChallenge. We issued this challenge to raise awareness about building bone strength and density when you’re younger to achieve peak bone mass and to maintain bone health and strength as you age.
Accepting the Jumping Jack Challenge is easy – videotape yourself, your kids, family or friends doing 10 jumping jacks in less than 10 seconds. Share the video via your social media page with the hashtag #JumpingJackChallenge and challenge your friends to do it too – or they should make a donation to NOF at www.nof.org. You can learn more and see an example on this page of our website: https://www.nof.org/about-us/building-awareness/national-osteoporosis-month/. Please remember that if you have osteoporosis you shouldn’t do jumping jacks, but you can do “stepping jacks” (step side-to-side raising your arms above your heard as you would for jumping jacks). This is a safe way for everyone to take part in the Jumping Jack Challenge!
You might wonder why we chose jumping jacks for this challenge. As noted above, we hope to raise awareness about building peak bone mass in children and adolescents. Peak bone mass is the greatest amount of bone an individual can attain. We reach our peak bone mass between 25-30 years of age. Focusing on bone health in children and adolescents is not just about growing strong bones, it also may help strengthen the concept of disease prevention over treatment. Most children do not consume the necessary amounts of nutrients needed to sustain strong bones during the key bone-building years of 9-18. In fact, a quarter of childhood injuries include fractures that could have been prevented through better nutrition.
Prevention of osteoporosis later in life begins in childhood with a strong health curriculum that teaches children healthy lifestyle choices including about proper diet and exercise.
I recently surveyed the community including educators and health leaders to determine if they think a curriculum including bone health is important to implement in schools and more than 75% said yes! Check out the following infographic to learn how you can incorporate bone healthy behaviors with your children or grandchildren before, during or after school.
We hope to see your posts on social media for the #JumpingJackChallenge!
Andrea Portillo, MPH, CHES®
Marketing, Consumer & Professional Education Manager
National Osteoporosis Foundation

Friday, May 5, 2017

What Is Medicare Supplement Insurance?

                      *repost: https://www.medicare.gov/supplement-other-insurance/medigap/whats-medigap.html               What's Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap)?


A Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy, sold by private companies, can help pay some of the health care costs that Original Medicare doesn't cover, like copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles.
Some Medigap policies also offer coverage for services that Original Medicare doesn't cover, like medical care when you travel outside the U.S. If you have Original Medicare and you buy a Medigap policy, Medicare will pay its share of the Medicare-approved amount for covered health care costs. Then your Medigap policy pays its share.
A Medigap policy is different from a Medicare Advantage Plan. Those plans are ways to get Medicare benefits, while a Medigap policy only supplements your Original Medicare benefits.

8 things to know about Medigap policies 

  1. You must have Medicare Part A and Part B.
  2. If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can apply for a Medigap policy, but make sure you can leave the Medicare Advantage Plan before your Medigap policy begins.
  3. You pay the private insurance company a monthly premium for your Medigap policy in addition to the monthly Part B premium that you pay to Medicare.
  4. A Medigap policy only covers one person. If you and your spouse both want Medigap coverage, you'll each have to buy separate policies.
  5. You can buy a Medigap policy from any insurance company that's licensed in your state to sell one.
  6. Any standardized Medigap policy is guaranteed renewable even if you have health problems. This means the insurance company can't cancel your Medigap policy as long as you pay the premium.
  7. Some Medigap policies sold in the past cover prescription drugs, but Medigap policies sold after January 1, 2006 aren't allowed to include prescription drug coverage. If you want prescription drug coverage, you can join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D).
  8. It's illegal for anyone to sell you a Medigap policy if you have a Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA) Plan.


Medigap policies don't cover everything

Medigap policies generally don't cover long-term care, vision or dental care, hearing aids, eyeglasses, or private-duty nursing.


Insurance plans that aren't Medigap

Some types of insurance aren't Medigap plans, they include:
  • Medicare Advantage Plans (like an HMO, PPO, or Private Fee-for-Service Plan)
  • Medicare Prescription Drug Plans
  • Medicaid
  • Employer or union plans, including the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP)
  • TRICARE
  • Veterans' benefits
  • Long-term care insurance policies
  • Indian Health Service, Tribal, and Urban Indian Health plans

Dropping your entire Medigap policy (not just the drug coverage) 

If you decide to drop your entire Medigap policy, you need to be careful about the timing. For example, you may want a completely different Medigap policy—not just your old Medigap policy without the prescription drug coverage. Or you might decide to switch to a Medicare Advantage Plan that offers prescription drug coverage.
You have to pay a late enrollment penalty when you join a new Medicare drug plan if:
  • You drop your entire Medigap policy and the drug coverage wasn't creditable prescription drug coverage, or
  • You go 63 days or more in a row before your new Medicare drug coverage begins


Friday, April 14, 2017

50 Easter Egg Fillers!


Easter Egg Filler Ideas!

Planning an Easter Egg hunt for this weekend? Make it an EGG-stra fun experience 
with these 50 different plastic egg filler ideas. Your day is sure to be EGG-cellent!

We suggest you visit your local Dollar Tree or Party Store for some
of the ideas below:

1. Candy / Snacks
2. Coins / Arcade Tokens
3. Rubber Bouncy Balls
4. Legos
5. Toy Figurines
6. Future "Date" Nights - Ice Cream, Park, Movies, Etc.
7. Silly Putty
8. Small Kids Watch
9. Stencils
10. Play Dough
11. Music Headphones
12. Pencil Erasers
13. Hair Bows / Clips
14. Plastic / Rubber Mini Animals
15. Glow Sticks
16. Stamps
17. Hot Wheels
18. Fun Shoe Strings
19. Stickers
20. Bubbles
21. Mini Flashlight
22. Socks
23. Crayons / Mini Pencils
24. Removable Tattoos
25. Toy Bugs
26. Yo-Yo
27. Mini Notebook / Notepad
28. Whistle
29. Bracelets
30. "Just Add Water" Grow Toys
31. Key Chains
32. Nail Polish
33. Garden Seeds
34. Balloons
35. Chalk
36. Hacky Sack
37. Magnets
38. Beads
39. Marbles
40. Chap-stick
41. "Coupons" - Stay Up Late Pass, 1 day of no chores, Etc.
42. Finger Puppets
43. Barbie Accessories
44. Band-aids
45. Slinky
46. Fun Personal Note or Bible Verse
47. Stuffed Toys
48. Toy Jacks
49.Polly Pocket
50.  Small Army Men

Happy Shopping! 
We hope you have a wonderful Easter Weekend!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Hepatitis C - Why Baby Boomers Should Get Tested


Hepatitis C and Baby Boomers (1945-1965)

*Repost* Brought to you by: CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) https://www.cdc.gov/knowmorehepatitis/


Hepatitis C Overview

Hepatitis C is a serious liver disease that results from infection with the Hepatitis C virus. Hepatitis C has been called a silent epidemic because most people with Hepatitis C do not know they are infected.
While some people who get infected with Hepatitis C are able to clear, or get rid of, the virus, most people who get infected develop a chronic, or lifelong, infection. Over time, chronic Hepatitis C can lead to serious liver problems including liver damage, cirrhosis, liver failure, or liver cancer. But many people can benefit from available treatment options that can eliminate the virus from the body and prevent further liver damage.

Why should people born during 1945-1965 get tested for Hepatitis C?


In 2012, CDC started recommending Hepatitis C testing for everyone born from 1945 – 1965. While anyone can get Hepatitis C, up to 75% of adults infected with Hepatitis C were born from 1945 - 1965
Most people with Hepatitis C don’t know they are infected so getting tested is the only way to know.
  • Baby boomers are five times more likely to have Hepatitis C than other adults.
  • The longer people live with Hepatitis C undiagnosed and untreated, the more likely they are to develop serious, life-threatening liver disease.
  • Liver disease, liver cancer, and deaths from Hepatitis C are on the rise.
  • Getting tested can help people learn if they are infected and get them into lifesaving care and treatment.

Why do baby boomers have such high rates of Hepatitis C?

The reason that baby boomers have high rates of Hepatitis C is not completely understood. Most boomers are believed to have become infected in the 1970s and 1980s when rates of Hepatitis C were the highest.

Transmission

How do you get Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is usually spread when blood from a person infected with the Hepatitis C virus enters the body of someone who is not infected. This can happen through multiple ways.
Before widespread screening of the blood supply began in 1992, Hepatitis C was spread through blood transfusions and organ transplants. People with clotting problems who took blood products prior to 1987 could have been exposed to Hepatitis C. Sharing needles or other equipment to inject drugs was and is a very efficient way to transmit the virus. People have also become infected with the Hepatitis C virus from body piercing or tattoos that were done in prisons, homes, or in other unlicensed or informal facilities.
Although uncommon, outbreaks of Hepatitis C have occurred from poor infection control in health care settings. In rare cases, Hepatitis C may be sexually transmitted. Babies born to mothers with Hepatitis C can get infected during childbirth. Still, many people do not know how or when they were infected.
Hepatitis C is not spread by casual contact, kissing, hugging, sneezing, coughing, breastfeeding or sharing food, eating utensils or glasses.

Symptoms

Many people with chronic Hepatitis C do not have symptoms and do not know they are infected. People with chronic Hepatitis C can live for decades without symptoms or feeling sick.
When symptoms do appear, they often are a sign of advanced liver disease. Symptoms of Hepatitis C can include: fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, grey-colored stools, joint pain and/or jaundice.

Information on Testing

The only way to know if someone has Hepatitis C is to get tested. Doctors use a blood test, called a Hepatitis C Antibody Test, to find out if a person has ever been infected with Hepatitis C. The Hepatitis C Antibody Test looks for antibodies to the Hepatitis C virus. Antibodies are chemicals released into the bloodstream when someone gets infected. The antibody test results will take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to come back, although new Rapid Antibody Tests are available in some settings.
  • Non-reactive or a negative Hepatitis C antibody test result means that a person does not have Hepatitis C. However, if a person has been recently exposed to the Hepatitis C virus, he or she will need to be tested again.
  • A Reactive or a positive Hepatitis C antibody test result means that Hepatitis C antibodies were found in the blood and a person has been infected with the Hepatitis C virus at some point in time.

    A reactive antibody test does not necessarily mean a person still has Hepatitis C. Once people have been infected, they will always have antibodies in their blood. This is true if even if they have cleared the Hepatitis C virus. A reactive antibody test requires an additional, follow-up test to determine if a person is currently infected with Hepatitis C.

Living with Chronic Hepatitis C

How is chronic Hepatitis C treated?

Medications, called antivirals, can be used to treat many people with chronic Hepatitis C. There are several medications available to treat chronic Hepatitis C, including new treatments that appear to be more effective and have fewer side effects than previous options. For current information on approved treatments for Hepatitis C, please visit the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
However, not everyone needs or can benefit from treatment. It is important to be checked by a doctor experienced in treating chronic Hepatitis C. He or she can determine the most appropriate medical care. Decisions about starting treatment are based on many factors, such as the type of virus, the condition of the liver, and other health conditions. Whether or not to be treated or when to start treatment should be discussed with your doctor.

To protect your liver, you can:

  • Ask your doctor before taking any prescription, over-the-counter medications, supplements or vitamins. For instance, some drugs, such as certain pain medications, can potentially damage the liver
  • Avoid alcohol since it can increase the speed of liver damage
  • Talk to your doctor about getting vaccinated against Hepatitis A and B
  • Page last reviewed: January 27, 2015
  • Page last updated: January 27, 2015

Friday, March 31, 2017

Put Your Best Fork Forward...

National Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day, also celebrated in March, increases awareness of registered dietitian nutritionists as the indispensable providers of food and nutrition services and recognizes RDNs for their commitment to helping people enjoy healthy lives.
The 2017 National Nutrition Month® theme is "Put Your Best Fork Forward."

5 Tips to Kick Bad Eating Habits to the Curb

Reviewed by Taylor Wolfram, MS, RDN, LDN

National Nutrition Month

National Nutrition Month!

March is National Nutrition Month... we know it's now the end of March, but you should never stop focusing on nutrition and food!


Brought to you by: Choose My Plate: https://www.choosemyplate.gov/variety


VARIETY

Choose a variety of foods and beverages from each food group to build healthy eating styles. Include choices from all the MyPlate food groups to meet your calorie and nutrient needs when planning or preparing meals and snacks.
FOOD GROUPS
Fruits

Fruit Group iconFocus on whole fruits. Whole fruits include fresh, frozen, dried, and canned options. Choose whole fruits more often than 100% fruit juice.

Vegetables

Vegetable Group iconVary your veggies. Vegetables are divided into five subgroups and include dark-green vegetables, red and orange vegetables, legumes (beans and peas), starchy vegetables, and other vegetables. Choose vegetables from all subgroups.

Grains

Grains Group iconMake half your grains whole grains. Grains include whole grains and refined, enriched grains. Choose whole grains more often.

Protein Foods

Protein Foods Group iconVary your protein routine. Protein foods include both animal (seafood, meat, poultry, and eggs) and plant sources (nuts, beans and peas*, seeds, and soy products). Choose a variety of lean protein foods from both plant and animal sources.
*Note: Beans and peas are also part of the Vegetable Group.

Dairy

Dairy Group iconMove to low-fat or fat-free milk and yogurt. Dairy includes milk, yogurt, cheese, and calcium-fortified soy beverages (soymilk). Choose fat-free (skim) and low fat (1%) dairy foods.

OILS
Oils are part of healthy eating styles because they provide nutrients for the body, like fatty acids and vitamin E. They also enhance the flavor of your food. Some oils are eaten as a natural part of the food such as in nuts, olives, avocados, and seafood. Other oils are refined and added to a food during processing or preparation such as soybean, canola, and safflower oils. Choose the right amount of oil to stay within your daily calorie needs.




Monday, February 20, 2017

Where's My Tax Refund?

Where’s My Refund?

Go online to find out when to expect your money


This year some taxpayers won’t get their refunds until the week of Feb. 27. — Getty Images
On Feb. 15, something wonderful happened: The river of money taxpayers send to the federal government temporarily reversed its flow.
Yes, it’s tax-refund season, although that reverse flow won’t start hitting individual bank accounts until next week at the earliest, depending on whether you filed on paper or electronically and whether you asked for direct deposit. The season officially began Feb. 15 for taxpayers who claim child-related deductions and for low-to-moderate-income families who qualify for the earned income tax credit, thanks to legislation called the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015.
The IRS’ Where’s My Refund? webpage, which the agency will start updating on Feb. 18, lets you check on when your money should arrive. There’s also a smartphone app, for the super impatient who need hourly updates.
Starting this year, the 2015 law requires the Internal Revenue Service to hold refunds until Feb. 15 to give it more time to detect fraudulent claims. Tax season is a boom time for identity thieves, who file thousands of bogus returns early in the season in an attempt to pilfer refunds before the real taxpayers get around to filing. Earned-income and child-related refunds are favorite targets because those are usually worth thousands of dollars.
“It’s a quick refund, and it adds up to be a lot of money when you file a lot of fraudulent returns,” Richmond, Va.-based CPA David Creasy told the Los Angeles Times. “They don’t just file one or two. They file in the hundreds or even in the thousands of returns.”
This year Feb. 15 fell on a Wednesday. Allowing for processing time and a long Presidents Day weekend, the IRS said it’s possible that some taxpayers won’t get their refunds until the week of Feb. 27.
As always, AARP offers IRS-certified volunteers, both online and in locations throughout the country, who provide free tax help. For information, check here.

More on Taxes

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