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health information | Nevada Senior Guide

Living with diabetes? Watch your mouth!

January 27, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
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11723Living with diabetes? Watch your mouth!

 

(Family Features)  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people with diabetes are two times more likely to develop gum disease. In fact, about one-third of people with diabetes have severe gum disease.

 

Why are those with diabetes more vulnerable to gum disease? High blood glucose levels impair the body’s ability to heal from oral infections and uncontrolled diabetes can make treating gum disease more difficult, according to the American Diabetes Association. The Association is joining with Colgate to launch a new “Watch Your Mouth!” campaign to help raise awareness surrounding the often over-looked link between oral health and diabetes. Here are some tips to help you live well with diabetes:

 

  • Watch your mouth! Begin to develop healthy oral care habits, like brushing, flossing and visiting the dentist regularly. Research shows that brushing twice a day with Colgate Total toothpaste can help improve gum health in as little as four weeks.*
  • Don’t miss out on your favorite foods. Just eat healthier versions that everyone in your family can enjoy. Making simple substitutions to most dishes can help increase nutritional value, while not sacrificing on taste.
  • Use the right tools. Stay organized with a journal large enough to keep your diet, exercise, goals and health information together. Keep a week’s worth of prescriptions in one place with a handy pill case.
  • Know your risks. The American Diabetes Association lists the common risk factors for diabetes as being 45 or older, being overweight, not exercising regularly, having high blood pressure and being a part of certain racial and ethnic groups.
  • Visit your dentist. While your doctor and certified diabetes educator play an important role in helping with your diabetes, so does your dentist. If you don’t see a private-practice dentist, you can visit dental schools that provide services at a fraction of the cost to help you keep your mouth healthy.

 

For more expert tips and information, visit www.OralHealthAndDiabetes.com.

 

*Results improve with continued twice daily use, as shown in 6 month clinical studies of the general population.

 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

National Report: Oral Health of Older Americans In A ‘State of Decay’

November 25, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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Oral Health America Launches First-of-its-Kind Website to Connect Older Adults to Affordable Dental Care and Resources

The oral health of older Americans is in a state of decay, according to a new national report released today by Oral Health America (OHA).  A State of Decay, a state-by-state analysis of oral healthcare delivery and public health factors impacting the oral health of older adults, reveals more than half of the country received a “fair” or “poor” assessment when it comes to minimal standards affecting dental care access for older adults. Florida and Arizona, areas with large older adult populations, rank in the bottom five states due to a shortage of oral health coverage, a strained dental health work force, and deficiencies in prevention programs.

“While we are seeing improvements in certain areas of older adult dental care, there is still a lack of progress in advancing the oral health of such a vulnerable population,” said Dr. Ira Lamster, Professor, Department of Health Policy and Management, ColumbiaUniversity, Mailman School of Public Health. “Older adults face significant health challenges if their oral health is poor, and there is no coordinated program to help fund necessary services.”

A State of Decay gave a rating of “fair,” “poor,” “good,” or “excellent” based on state level data analyzing five variables impacting older adult oral health: adult Medicaid dental benefits, inclusion of older adult strategies in state oral health plans, edentulism (loss of teeth), dental health professional shortage areas, and community water fluoridation.

The final evaluations in the report for each state are mixed, with several states performing well in some variables, but still in need of improvement in other important areas. The top findings of this report that require scrutiny and action are:

  • Persistent lack of oral health coverage across much of the nation. Forty-two percent of states (21 states) provide either no dental benefits or provide only emergency coverage  through adult Medicaid Dental Benefits.
  • Strained dental health work force. Thirty-one states (62 percent) have high rates of Dental Health Provider Shortage Areas (HPSAs), meeting only 40 percent or less of dental provider needs.
  • Tooth loss remains a signal of suboptimal oral health. Eight states had strikingly high rates of edentulism, with West Virginia notably having an adult population that is 33.8 percent edentate. Photo – PRN Photo Desk, photodesk@prnewswire.com
  • Deficiencies in preventive programs. Thirteen states (26 percent) have upwards of 60 percent of their residents living in communities without water fluoridation (CWF), despite recognition for 68 years that this public health measure markedly reduces dental caries. Hawaii (89.2 percent) and New Jersey (86.5 percent) represent the highest rates of citizens unprotected by fluoridation, an unnecessary public peril.

Daily, 10,000 Americans retire and only 2 percent do so with a dental benefit plan. The State of Decay analysis provides a tool for states to use in addressing shortfalls in oral health status, dental professional access sites, dental benefits for low-income adults, and population-based prevention, all of which affect the oral health of older adults, the fastest growing segment of the American population.

To help older adults and their caregivers address oral health needs and overcome many of the barriers to accessing affordable dental care, OHA launched toothwisdom.org. The website is a first-of-its-kind online tool that connects older adults to dental care and educates on the importance of maintaining oral health with age. The American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) and Special Care Dentistry Association (SCDA) supported OHA and the launch of the website by encouraging their members to provide meaningful articles for the toothwisdom.org.

“Dental Hygienists have the opportunity to assist older Americans with the oral health challenges they may face as they age,”” said Ann Battrell, Executive Director, American Dental Hygienists’ Association. “We’re all committed to sharing the message that oral health matters and changing the common misperception that with age comes a decline in oral health.”

Few websites focus on oral and systemic health topics, and even fewer provide resources for older adult oral health. Toothwisdom.org offers oral care resources by state – including direct links to dental care, caregiving support, financial tools, social services, and transportation. It also shares the latest news and reliable health information from dental experts across the country on relevant oral health issues, the importance of continuing prevention with age, and the impact of oral health on overall health.

“My dental procedures have been very costly and I had to contact a social worker to help me understand my bills. Dental care should be more available and affordable because we know poor dental care affects overall health, which is particularly important for seniors,” said senior Patricia Cosgrove, a client of The Carter Burden Center for the Aging, Inc.  “Toothwisdom.org can help me find a community health center so I can finally get an affordable check-up and stay up-to-date on oral health information.”

A State of Decay and toothwisdom.org are part of Oral Health America’s Wisdom Tooth Project™, an initiative designed to meet the oral health challenges of a burgeoning population of older adults with special needs, chronic disease complications, and a growing inability to access and pay for dental services.

Links to the 2003 and 2013 editions of A State of Decay can be viewed on toothwisdom.org.

About OHA’s Wisdom Tooth Project
For 55 years, Oral Health America has been the leading national non-profit dedicated to improving the oral health and well-being of Americans throughout the entire spectrum of life. Over the decades, the organization has evolved and adapted to the dynamic nature of our country’s demographics and specific health needs. The Wisdom Tooth Project was born in 2010 due to the current and future implications of an aging population and the need for oral health resources for them mean that we must take meaningful action now.

About Oral Health America
OHA is a national, non-profit association dedicated to changing lives by connecting communities with resources to increase access to oral health care, education, and advocacy for all Americans, especially those most vulnerable. For more information about Oral Health America, please visit www.oralhealthamerica.org.

Study Shows that People Who Undergo Cataract Surgery to Correct Visual Impairment Live Longer

November 20, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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Australian researchers find a 40 percent lower mortality risk among patients who had their vision corrected through the procedure  

SAN FRANCISCO – Sept. 4, 2013 – People with cataract-related vision loss who have had cataract surgery to improve their sight are living longer than those with visual impairment who chose not to have the procedure, according to an Australian cohort study published this month in Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. After comparing the two groups, the researchers found a 40 percent lower long-term mortality risk in those who had the surgery.

The research is drawn from data gathered in the Blue Mountains Eye Study, a population-based cohort study of vision and common eye diseases in an older Australian population. A total of 354 persons aged 49 years and older and diagnosed with cataract-related vision impairment –  some of whom had undergone surgery and others who had not – were assessed between 1992 and 2007. Adjustments were made for age and gender as well as a number of mortality risk factors, including hypertension, diabetes, smoking, cardiovascular disease, body mass index and measures of frailty and comorbid disease. Follow-up visits took place after five and ten years since the baseline exam.

Previous research had indicated that older persons with visual impairment were likely to have greater mortality risk than their age peers with normal vision, and that cataract surgery might reduce this risk. These studies – unlike the Blue Mountains Eye Study – compared people who had undergone cataract surgery with those in the general population or with those who had not had cataract surgery, and did not link vision status to the surgical status.

“Our finding complements the previously documented associations between visual impairment and increased mortality among older persons,” said Jie Jin Wang, Ph.D., of the Westmead Millennium Institute and one of lead researchers of the study. “It suggests to ophthalmologists that correcting cataract patients’ visual impairment in their daily practice results in improved outcomes beyond that of the eye and vision, and has important impacts on general health.”

The association between correction of cataract-related visual impairment and reduced mortality risk is not clearly understood, but plausible factors may include improvements in physical and emotional well-being, optimism, greater confidence associated with independent living after vision improvement, as well as greater ability to comply with prescription medications.

Dr. Wang noted one limitation of the study is that participants with cataract-related visual impairment who did not have cataract surgery could have had other health problems that prevented them from undergoing surgery, and that these other health problems could partly explain the poorer survival among non-surgical participants. This issue is addressed by the researchers in a subsequent study.

Caused by the clouding of the lens, cataract is a leading cause of treatable visual impairment that will affect more than half of all Americans by the time they are 80 years old.[1]  Surgical removal of the opaque lens with an artificial lens implanted is a successful procedure of cataract treatment. If completing everyday tasks is difficult, cataract surgery should be discussed with an ophthalmologist − a medical doctor specializing in the diagnosis, medical and surgical treatment of eye diseases and conditions.

Seniors who are seeking eye care but are concerned about cost may qualify for EyeCare America, a public service program of the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, which offers eye exams and care at no out-of-pocket cost to qualifying seniors age 65 and older. Learn more at www.eyecareamerica.org. For more information on cataracts and other eye health information, visit www.geteyesmart.org.

About the American Academy of Ophthalmology 
The American Academy of Ophthalmology, headquartered in San Francisco, is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons — Eye M.D.s — with more than 32,000 members worldwide. Eye health care is provided by the three “O’s” – ophthalmologists, optometrists, and opticians. It is the ophthalmologist, or Eye M.D., who has the education and training to treat it all: eye diseases, infections and injuries, and perform eye surgery. For more information, visit www.aao.org. The Academy’s EyeSmart® program educates the public about the importance of eye health and empowers them to preserve healthy vision. EyeSmart provides the most trusted and medically accurate information about eye diseases, conditions and injuries. OjosSanos™ is the Spanish-language version of the program. Visit www.geteyesmart.org or www.ojossanos.org to learn more.

About Ophthalmology
Ophthalmology, the official journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, publishes original, peer-reviewed, clinically applicable research. Topics include the results of clinical trials, new diagnostic and surgical techniques, treatment methods technology assessments, translational science reviews and editorials.

Sunscreen on Your Feet?

July 10, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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Sunscreen on Your Feet?
Doctors Urge Sunscreen Use and Exams to Prevent Skin Cancer on Feet

CHICAGO—July 8, 2013 Many people do not think about their feet when applying sunscreen, but did you know that the skin on your feet is highly susceptible to melanoma and other forms of skin cancer? The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) warns that skin cancer of the foot is prevalent and can even be fatal if not caught early.

While all types of skin cancer, including squamous cell and basal cell carcinoma, can be found on the foot, the most common is the most serious form, melanoma. Symptoms can be as subtle as an abnormal-looking mole or freckle found anywhere on the foot, and often go unnoticed without routine foot exams.

The foot and ankle surgeons of ACFAS offer these tips to keep your feet safe this summer:

  • Lather up with sunscreen from head to toe—literally—when at the pool or beach to protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun.
  • Check your feet and toes regularly for symptoms such as an abnormal-looking mole or freckle anywhere on the foot – even under toenails and on your soles.
  • Look for moles or freckles that change in size or shape. If you notice anything suspicious, promptly schedule an appointment with your foot and ankle specialist to have the mark examined.
  • Schedule routine exams with your foot and ankle specialist so he or she can keep track of suspicious, changing marks.

According to Boston foot and ankle surgeon Thanh Dinh, DPM, FACFAS, early diagnosis is key to effective treatment for the condition. But because people aren’t looking for the early warning signs or taking the same precautions they do for other areas of the body, often times skin cancer in this region is not diagnosed until later stages.

For more information on skin cancer of the foot or other foot and ankle health information, visit the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeon’s patient education website, FootHealthFacts.org,

# # #


The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons is a professional society of over 6,800 foot and ankle surgeons. Founded in 1942, the College’s mission is to promote research, provide continuing education for the foot and ankle surgical specialty, and to educate the general public on foot health and conditions of the foot and ankle through its patient education website, FootHealthFacts.org.

National Surgical Association Comes to Las Vegas

February 16, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Events, Press-Media Releases 

The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) is hosting its 71st Annual Scientific Conference in Las Vegas on February 11-14, 2013 at Mandalay Bay Resort & Conference Center. ACFAS is a professional society of more than 6,800 foot and ankle surgeons dedicated to promoting the art and science of foot, ankle, and related lower extremity surgery; addressing the concerns of foot and ankle surgeons; and advancing and improving standards of education and surgical skill.

This year’s conference will bring about 1,500 surgeons and 150 exhibiting companies to the city of Las Vegas and we are looking forward to the Las Vegas experience! During the conference our surgeons will discuss the latest trends and procedures in foot and ankle surgery to help improve the health and quality of life for patients. Three of those topics have been turned into consumer-aimed press releases for distribution during the conference. The three press releases, which are embargoed until the conference, include:
Smoking and Bone Healing – A Risky Combination: Smokers take nearly 50 percent longer to heal after surgery than non-smokers. For every non-smoking patient whose bones heal normally, four smokers will experience non-union, or failure of the bone to mend. Surgeons discuss ways to treat this challenging patient population.
Lisfranc Injury – Easy to Miss, Hard to Get Over: Left untreated, this little-known and often overlooked foot injury can lead to serious long-term problems like osteoarthritis, chronic pain and even foot deformities. Surgeons assess the best treatment options for this complex injury that seems to be afflicting more and more professional athletes.

Pediatric Flatfoot Deformity – A Cause for Alarm? Left untreated, pediatric flatfoot poses a serious developmental threat to children. Foot and ankle surgeons re-examine the best course of treatment for optimal long-term health.
Please contact Tracy Hulett or Melissa Matusek if you are interested in receiving advance copies of these embargoed releases, or if you are interested in setting up interviews/photo opportunities with the College’s physician media spokespeople. You can reach us by e-mail at the below addresses or by phone at 773-693-9300. You can also visit FootHealthFacts.org, the College’s patient education website for more valuable foot and ankle health information.
Thank you and we hope to see you in Vegas!
Tracy Hulett
Manager, Public Relations and Communications
tracy.hulett@acfas.org
Melissa Matusek
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
melissa.matusek@acfas.org

Post from a Survivor

November 9, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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My name is Heather Von St. James and I am a 6-year survivor of mesothelioma cancer – a rare disease caused by asbestos exposure that kills 90-95% of those who have it. Not many people know about this terrible disease and that’s why I have reached out to you for help. Because the health care community has such an impact spreading valuable health information, I am hoping you can assist me with my awareness mission. I partner with a great online resource called the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance (www.mesothelioma.com), and I am hoping you will consider adding a link to their site from yours.

Thank you for joining me in my fight to educate people about such a deadly, yet preventable disease.

Best,
Heather

Heather Von St. James
Mother, Wife, Mesothelioma Survivor & Advocate
http://www.mesothelioma.com/blog/authors/heather/

  • Senior Industry Network Group Events

    Monthly SING Meetings are held the first Thursday of every month at our NEW location below:

    Desert Canyon - HealthSouth
    9175 W. Oquendo Rd.
    Las Vegas, NV 89148

    S.I.N.G. Agenda:
    - Coffee and bagels will be served
    - A time to show gratitude by thanking those who have sent you referrals
    - Announcements around the room
    - One minute commercials
    - Open Discussion on topics of Self Empowerment

    * When? The 1st Thursday of every month. Networking starts at: 8:00am | Meeting starts at: 8:30am

    * How Much? It’s free!