Category Archives: Health

“Why social smoking can be just as bad for you as daily smoking” – The Conversation

mind smokeSocial smoking is just as bad on your heart as regular smoking, a new study suggests. – California Department of Health Services, CC BY-NC-SA

by Bernadette Melnyk, Dean and Professor of Nursing, The Ohio State University

“‘Everything in moderation.’

“It’s a common justification made for behaviors that may fall outside the realm of healthy. Whether it’s a drink or two or indulging in a favorite dessert, consuming small quantities, rather than abject abstinence, is a more palatable and acceptable option for most people.

“The less-is-more approach may be sound when applied to many aspects of our frenzied daily lives, but when it comes to smoking, the same rationale cannot apply.

“A new study that I conducted with other nursing and health services researchers has found that those who enjoy the occasional cigarette in social situations are risking their health just as much as the person who smokes a pack or more a day.”

two (or more sides) to every story

A column in today’s LNP – Always Lancaster, “Within confusion in Washington, there are positive economic signs”, harshly states:

“Too many Americans, workforce dropouts, are sitting on the employment sidelines. The economic expansion we could achieve has the power of making employees out of these dropouts. This has the incredible additional benefit of reducing the number of Americans needing welfare-related supports such as Medicaid, SNAP and dozens of other poverty programs.”

and concludes, “Moving people from dependency to self-sustaining must be our achievable goal. Can there be an objection to this?

Simplistic, one-sided draconian commentary may be one side of the story. There are another side.

work requirementsThis article from The Conversation, “How welfare’s work requirements can deepen and prolong poverty: Rose’s story”, is another perspective. This side may represent the fate of a much larger population.

 

 

“A comprehensive guide to the new science of treating lower back pain” – Vox

“A review of 80-plus studies upends the conventional wisdom.”

backpain_lead.0

Updated by

“Cathryn Jakobson Ramin’s back pain started when she was 16, on the day she flew off her horse and landed on her right hip.

“For the next four decades, Ramin says her back pain was like a small rodent nibbling at the base of her spine. The aching left her bedridden on some days and made it difficult to work, run a household, and raise her two boys.

“By 2007, she couldn’t so much as sit or walk for more than a few minutes without experiencing what felt like jolts of electricity shooting up and down her spine.

“In 2008, after Ramin had exhausted what seemed like all the options, her doctor recommended nerve decompression surgery. But the $8,000 operation didn’t fix her back, either. The same pain remained, along with new neck aches.”

Click here to read this Vox article in its entirety.

“Took The Wrong Medicine By Mistake? Study Finds Such Errors Are On The Rise” – NPR

ade“The rate of serious medication errors that occur outside of health care facilities doubled from 2000 to 2012, a new study finds.” – Gillian Blease/Getty Images

by Courtney Columbus

“When people take medicine at home, mistakes happen.

“Some people end up taking the wrong dose of a medication or the wrong pill. Sometimes, they don’t wait long enough before taking a second dose.

“Other times, it’s a health professional who’s at fault. A pharmacist might have dispensed a medication at the wrong concentration, for example.

“These kinds of mistakes are on the rise, according to a study published Monday in the journal Clinical Toxicology.

“The researchers looked at a small subset of the medication errors that happen in the U.S. every year. The FDA estimates that about 1.3 million people are injured by medication errors annually in the U.S.”

Click here to read this NPR article in its entirety.

Is Lead Lurking in Your Home? | a program for Lancaster City and County residents

by Aimee Tyson, Program Manager, Community Services, Lancaster County Redevelopment Authority

Do you have children under the age of 6 in your home or do you have children under the age of 6 that spend more than 6 hour a week in your home?  If your home was built prior to 1978, you may be putting them at risk of lead poisoning.

Due to the news stories about the lead poisoning crisis in Flint, Michigan most people have heard about the detrimental effects of lead poisoning in children.  Childhood lead poisoning is considered the most preventable environmental disease among young children, yet approximately half a million U.S. children have elevated blood lead levels.

Lead is a naturally occurring metal that was added to paint and gasoline until 1978 and in rare cases is still used in consumer products. People are most commonly exposed to lead through paint, soil, and water.

Lead poisoning is bad for everyone but is especially dangerous for pregnant women and children under the age of 6. It is not possible to reverse the negative effects of lead poisoning.

Lead poisoning causes the following in children:

  • Damage to the brain and nervous system, including lowered IQ scores
  • Slowed growth and development
  • Learning and behavior problems including ADD
  • Hearing and speech problems

Children with lead poisoning have a higher incidence of dropping out of school and higher likelihood of involvement with juvenile justice systems.

What Can You Do to Make Your Home Lead Safe?

You can make efforts to make your home lead safe using a licensed and certified lead contractor.  If you have a low household income and lack the financial means to make your home lead safe or if you are a renter with a low income, the City of Lancaster and the Lancaster County Redevelopment Authority may be able to help.

In addition to the efforts undertaken by the Partnership for Public Health (see their website at https://www.partnershipforpublichealth.org, the City of Lancaster and the Lancaster County Redevelopment Authority are helping low- and moderate-income homeowners and renters in Lancaster County through the provision of a grant to reduce or remove the lead based paint hazards in the home. Click on the graphic below to download a flyer explaining the details of the program for residents of Lancaster City and County.

lead lurking

 

“Leaving Hospital, Older Patients Resist Home Help At Their Peril” – California Healthline

readmission

by Judith Graham

“The 84-year-old man who had suffered a mini-stroke was insistent as he spoke to a social worker about being discharged from the hospital: He didn’t want anyone coming into his home, and he didn’t think he needed any help.

“So the social worker canceled an order for home health care services. And the patient went back to his apartment without plans for follow-up care in place.

“When his daughter, Lisa Winstel, found out what had happened she was furious. She’d spent a lot of time trying to convince her father that a few weeks of help at home was a good idea. And she’d asked the social worker to be in touch if there were any problems.

“Similar scenarios occur surprisingly often: As many as 28 percent of patients offered home health care when they’re being discharged from a hospital — mostly older adults — say “no” to those services, according to a new report.”

Read this California Healthline article in its entirety here.

Major Senior, Health Advocates Endorse Governor Wolf’s Unified Department of Health and Human Services

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf announced today that a broad coalition of advocates for seniors, recovery, people with disabilities, and other health and human services populations is speaking out in support of the unification of the departments of Health, Human Services, Aging, and Drug and Alcohol Programs into one Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

“Having the support of this broad coalition of senior and human services advocates strengthens my administration’s efforts to break down silos, increase government efficiency, and listen across party lines and ideologies to develop a practical solution of integrating these vital human services agencies into one unified Department of Health and Human Services,” Governor Wolf said. “I applaud these organizations for sharing their ideas as we move through this process and for their support as we make the new department a reality for the people of Pennsylvania.”

These groups include: Rehabilitation & Community Providers Association (RCPA), The Arc of Pennsylvania, The Alliance of PA Councils, PA Health Access Network (PHAN), Pennsylvania Association of Area Agencies on Aging (P4A), Pennsylvania Homecare Association, County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP), Mental Health Association in Pennsylvania,  Equality Pennsylvania, Commonwealth Foundation, Alzheimer’s Association – Greater PA Chapter, Alzheimer’s Association – Delaware Valley Chapter, Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, and Pennsylvania Advocacy and Resources for Autism and Intellectual Disability (PAR).

Governor Wolf has worked closely with the four departments and myriad advocates to identify and break down silos and reimagine how the state delivers such critical services. A website — https://www.governor.pa.gov/health-and-human-services/ was launched … Continue reading this news release in its entirety; click here.

“‘How Long Have I Got, Doc?’ Why Many Cancer Patients Don’t Have Answers” – California Healthline

cancer-decisions-4Bruce Mead-e, 63, who has advanced lung cancer, stands in the garden at his home in Georgetown, Del. Over four years, he has undergone two major surgeries, multiple rounds of radiation and chemotherapy. (Eileen Blass for Kaiser Health News)

by Liz Szabo

“In the past four years, Bruce Mead-e has undergone two major surgeries, multiple rounds of radiation and chemotherapy to treat his lung cancer.

“Yet in all that time, doctors never told him or his husband whether the cancer was curable — or likely to take Mead-e’s life.

“‘We haven’t asked about cure or how much time I have,’ said Mead-e, 63, of Georgetown, Del., in a May interview. ‘We haven’t asked, and he hasn’t offered. I guess we have our heads in the sand.’

“At a time when expensive new cancer treatments are proliferating rapidly, patients such as Mead-e have more therapy choices than ever before. Yet patients like him are largely kept in the dark because their doctors either can’t or won’t communicate clearly. Many patients compound the problem by avoiding news they don’t want to hear.”

Read this article in its entirety at California Healthline.

“Got Cancer Questions? This Little-Known Hotline Is Here To Help” – NPR

by Courtney Columbus

cancer centerJill Wiseman answers questions for the Contact Center based at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. – Robert Hood/Fred Hutch News Service

“If you were worried you had cancer, who would you call for information? Chances are a federally-funded cancer helpline isn’t the first place that pops into your mind.

“But for 40 years, a helpline funded primarily by the National Cancer Institute has been answering people’s questions about cancer.

“It’s a source of information for people who have been called back for a follow-up after routine screenings and are worried they might have cancer. And it can also help cancer patients get information about participating in clinical trials and help them figure out questions to ask their doctors.”

Continue reading this article, click here.

National Cancer Institure Contact Center—Cancer Information Service

 

“Ask these 7 questions about any new medication” – National Institute on Aging

Before starting on a new medication, be sure to ask your doctors these questions:

  • How many times a day should I take it? At what time(s)? If the bottle says take “4 times a day,” does that mean 4 times in 24 hours or 4 times during the daytime?
  • Should I take the medicine with food or not? Is there anything I should not eat or drink when taking this medicine?
  • Will this medicine cause problems if I am taking other medicines?
  • What does “as needed” mean?
  • When should I stop taking the medicine?
  • If I forget to take my medicine, what should I do?
  • What side effects can I expect? What should I do if I have a problem?

Learn more about medication safety.

And you can learn more by coming to this special FREE event on June 14!

0614 your medications