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Archive for the ‘Health Literacy/Consumer Health’ Category

National Influenza Vaccination Week

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

What is the best way to reduce the risk of the flu? That’s right, getting the flu vaccine is the easiest and best way to prevent the flu and its complications. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) everyone 6 months and older should receive an annual flu shot. Some people are at greater risk of flu related complications than others. This includes children younger than age 5 and adults 65 and older. Those who have certain medical conditions such as heart disease, liver disease, and blood disorders. Go to the CDC to see the full list of ages and health issues of those who are at increased risks.

Of course there are those who should not receive the flu shot or may be eligible to receive an alternative protection option. These include children younger than 6 months and those who are severely allergic to ingredients in the vaccine. A physician should be consulted for those who have had Guillain-Barre Syndrome, may be allergic to eggs and other ingredients in the vaccine, and those who are feeling ill. The CDC has complete information regarding those who should not receive the flu shot or consider not having it. (more…)

My Family Health Portrait

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

Do you know your family’s health history? Did you know that gathering information about your family health history is an important screening tool to evaluate genetic risks? Knowing your family’s health history can help you become more engaged in your health and the health of your family. It can also be a way for you to increase your knowledge regarding genetics which is starting to enter mainstream healthcare.

Every year since 2004 the Surgeon General has declared National Family Health History Day on Thanksgiving which is November 24th this year. It is a time when many families gather and a perfect chance to review health problems that run in the family and to learn about the family’s health history. This can be difficult for some as it can bring up unexpected or unpleasant topics that are not easy to address. But learning about one’s family health history can allow for some preventive measures as families share genes and often other factors such as the habits and lifestyle. According to an article in Genetic Medicine, “Family health history used as a clinical tool can empower the public with a new understanding of health as it relates to their genetic heritage…” (more…)

MedlinePlus Text Messaging Campaign on Holiday Mental Health

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

Anxiety, depression, and stress can be experienced at any time of the year but the holiday season can be especially taxing with added expectations and demands. How to cope with these emotional challenges? The National Library of Medicine has launched a MedlinePlus text messaging campaign on holiday mental health. Users that sign-up for the campaign will receive 3 text messages per week through the holidays on mental health support, such as managing anxiety, coping with depression, and preventing stress during the holiday season.

Subscribe now by texting MP Health to 468311 or by signing-up online:

LGBT Elder Health is next PNR Rendezvous topic

Thursday, November 10th, 2016

The next PNR Rendezvous webinar will be on the topic of LGBT elder health. LGBT individuals encompass all races and ethnicities, religions, and social classes. It is difficult to estimate the number of LGBT individuals and their health needs. [Healthy People 2020] While much of the media is focused on LGBT youth or transgender populations, LGBT elders also experience health disparities arising largely from societal stigma and institutional discrimination. This webinar is an overview of the health disparities experienced by LGBT elder populations. The webinar will look at the unique challenges related to accessing high-quality LGBT elder care information and some of the resources available to educate and address some of the disparities for the aging LGBT populations.

Join us as we hear speakers Tony Nguyen, Access and Communications Coordinator for NN/LM SE/A and Patricia Devine, Outreach and Communications Coordinator for NN/LM PNR as they present LGBT Elder Population Health Awareness: Building collections and connections to improve health, safety, and well-being.

When: Wednesday, November 16 at 1:00pm PT, Noon Alaska, 2:00pm MT

How: No registration required. Go to OR  see below (more…)

Open Enrollment for Health Insurance is Here!

Saturday, November 5th, 2016

News from the Partnership Center of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The fourth Open Enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace has begun. Americans are able to visit to shop for and enroll in an affordable health plan for 2017.  In launching open enrollment, HHS Secretary Burwell commented, “This Open Enrollment, we’re encouraging every American who might need coverage to visit, where they’ll find options for affordable health insurance. This year, the vast majority of consumers will qualify for tax credits that help keep coverage affordable, and it’s easier than ever to shop around and compare options.  As we sound today’s opening bell, let’s also take stock of the historic gains in coverage we’ve made as a country, and work together to continue that progress.”

This year, we’ll be using social media more than ever before to get the word out to consumers to #GetCovered. It’s more important than ever that we share key messages about Open Enrollment:

  • Financial help is available to help keep coverage affordable.
  • Signing up is easier and faster than ever.
  • Help is available! Free, confidential help can be found in person or by phone.
  • All consumers will have choices, and can compare plans by total costs, doctor network, or covered prescriptions.
  • December 15 is the deadline if you want to be covered at the start of the new year.

HHS has developed an Open Enrollment Social Media Toolkit full of resources to help you participate in these efforts. The toolkit includes key Open Enrollment messages, graphics and video, a social media calendar and more. It will be updated throughout Open Enrollment #4 and will be your one-stop-shop for #GetCovered content.

Specific to our faith-based and community partners, the 2017 Health Care Law Toolkit – PDF can help faith and community leaders learn and educate others about the health care law. You can also check out the Tools for Faith Days of Action for how to be involved in our days of action happening on November 11-13, December 19-23, and January 16-20.  Also consider signing up for one of the upcoming Webinars to learn more about the Affordable Care Act.

The HHS Partnership Center is excited to kick off the first Faith and Community Weekend of Action on November 11-13 by highlighting the importance of encouraging men to sign up for affordable health insurance. It’s an opportunity to focus on the health of our fathers, sons, brothers, and friends.  To support men’s health and encourage the men  in our lives to enroll,  we are asking ladies to wear blue at services in faith and community settings during the weekend of November 11th through the 13th.  You can use this flyer on our website to increase awareness about Ladies Wear Blue in your community

Please spread the word about the importance of men’s health and enrolling by taking a picture that weekend wearing blue and sharing your photo on social media using the hashtag #LadiesWearBlue.

National Family Caregivers Month

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

November is National Family Caregivers Month. Caregivers provide a much needed service. According to a report by Indiana University, these informal caregivers provide a service that saves Medicare $375 billion dollars a year. The statistics are staggering regarding caregivers in the last few years. The following statistics are from the  National Alliance for Caregiving website:

  • Approximately 43.5 million caregivers have provided unpaid care to an adult or child in the last 12 months. [National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. (2015). Caregiving in the U.S.]
  • About 34.2 million Americans have provided unpaid care to an adult age 50 or older in the last 12 months. [National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. (2015). Caregiving in the U.S.]
  • The majority of caregivers (82%) care for one other adult, while 15% care for 2 adults, and 3% for 3 or more adults. [National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. (2015). Caregiving in the U.S.]
  • Approximately 39.8 million caregivers provide care to adults (aged 18+) with a disability or illness or 16.6% of Americans. [Coughlin, J. (2010). Estimating the Impact of Caregiving and Employment on Well-Being: Outcomes & Insights in Health Management.]
  • About 15.7 million adult family caregivers care for someone who has Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia. [Alzheimer’s Association. (2015). 2015 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures.]

This caregiving may involve such clinical tasks as doling out medications or assistance getting in and out of bed but it also includes providing transportation, housework, grocery shopping, and even financial assistance.  Many caregivers are spouses but also includes friends or other relatives. The average age of caregivers is around 49 years of age but older caregivers tend to provide more hours of caregiving and 34% of caregivers are over age 65. Many of these caregivers are not necessarily doing this voluntarily. Many are pressured by family or the person needing the care. Also, financial constraints such as low income or lack of insurance coverage contribute to the need. (more…)