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July 13, 2018
2018 Health and
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f O t r a P r jo a M h lt a e H Head Start Program From its inception in 1965 as a program designed to break the cycle of poverty, Head Start has been more than a “preschool” program as the term is used today. The program was designed to go beyond the academic needs of economically disadvantaged students. It’s the com
components: education, health, nutrition, family engagement, social services, disability services and mental health. The health component of the program begins in the summer before the students even start school. Working in coordination er with county health departrit W ws Ne T Rby Ronda Lickteig, ments, including the Grundy prehensiveness of Head Start, in particular County Health Department in Trenton, the the health component, that makes it students take part in a “one-stop shop” health screening that starts with being unique among preschool programs. “From the very beginning, when Head greeted by their teacher. They have their Start was first conceived, it was deter- picture taken and their height and weight mined that to be successful, the program are recorded. Their shoe size is deterhad to be comprehensive,” said Green mined so they can later receive a free pair Hills Head Start Director of shoes through the Shoes from the Heart Dr. Bev Hooker. “Kids program. Their hemoglobin and hemocrit aren’t successful in class if are checked and their immunizations are they don’t feel well, if they brought up to date, if necessary. “Our parents really appreciate the onedon’t have good nutrition, if their teeth are hurting - all stop experience we have in the summer,” those health issues that typ- commented Dr. Hooker. “It’s helpful to ically underprivileged chil- the families that we offer so much on dren and families suffer those days.” Dental health is a major part of the from because they can’t afford health care. Truly, that health component, according to Tracy whole comprehensive na- Simpson, a registered nurse who serves as ture of Head Start is what the health specialist for GHHS. She noted that special days are set up for Head Start sets it apart.” The Green Hills Head students at McCall Family Dentistry in Start program has seven Bethany, McCoy Dental Clinic in Hamil-
ton, Brookfield and Chillicothe and through Northeast Dental in Kirksville, which will be bringing its mobile dental clinic to Medicaid-eligible Head Start students in Unionville and Milan in July. “We’re part of the Dental Preventive Service Program through the Missouri Department of Health,” explained Mrs. Simpson, who said the students receive a toothbrush as well as brush-on fluoride. The students and their teachers sit together at the table and brush their teeth after breakfast each morning. Speaking of breakfast, a healthy breakfast and lunch are provided each day. Connie Anderson, nutrition specialist for the GHHS, said one goal is to teach youngsters what’s healthy and what’s not. The students eat family-style with their teacher as part of the Eat Smart program. Many of us would struggle to eat so healthy. “Our guidelines include fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, no processed food, low sodium and low fat meals,” commented Mrs. Anderson. “We serve chicken, beef and pork - often in casserole form. We have a vegetable, fruit, grain and milk. It’s a low sugar diet, so no sugary snack, in fact, we’re allowed two sugar breakfasts a month, so we can have waffles, but no syrup.”
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...Head Start Ms. Anderson explained that the children should get one-half to two-thirds of their caloric intake from their Head Start meals, which are developed by Mrs. Anderson with input from Head Start staff. They are approved by a registered dietician. Cooks hold a “Weekly Food Experience” with the students to talk about new foods and nutrition. Staff members encourage students to try foods they might not be familiar with, such as broccoli and cauliflower, and while no one is forced to eat anything, they are required to put it all on their plate. “We can’t use food as a punishment or a reward,” said Dr. Hooker. There’s a mental health component as well with the Green Hills program contracting with Preferred Family Healthcare to provide classroom observations as well as home-based observations, if needed. “If there are issues we need to be able to address in the center we’re given strate-
gies to use,” said Dr. Hooker, who noted that the program uses Positive Behavior Supports and stresses three tenants, “Safe, Kind, Responsible” Parent education is key to the success of Head Start and its students. One of the primary goals at GHHS is to educate parents and support them in their role. At first, parents don’t always see beyond the academic component of the program. “In the beginning the parents’ expectations are all scholastic - how to write their name, how to count to a thousand or whatever,” Dr. Hooker said. “But once they’ve been with us they see there’s so much more to being ready for school than academics. Can they sit still? Are they hurting or hungry? They’re not going to be ‘school ready’ if that’s the case.” Parents receive a newsletter four times a year and have contact with Head Start staff through at least two home visits from teachers, two parent-teacher conferences and two home visits from the program’s family engagement specialist. The program doesn’t provide transportation to and from school, so many parents are seen as they drop off and pick up their children. Parents are provided with information on how they help their child succeed and Mrs. Johnson said she, as well as the teachers and other staff, follow up on any health needs that are not being addressed. “There’s the constant reminder,” she said. “Me, the teacher, the home visitor, the family engagement specialist.” Staff members work to help the parent see the need to follow through. “Sometimes you have to talk to them (the parents) just like you would your own kids,” laughed Mrs. Anderson. “We have partnership
agreements with parents, so we set goals years down the road when they graduate and check back with them.” from high school or college or until The comprehensiveness of the Head they’re raising their own children and Start program is so unique that it doesn’t doing it well’.” appeal to everyone when they’re considering a career in education and not everyone has the knowledge or backEducation: Head Start staff use an individualized approach ground to to assessing a child’s needs and designing a program to facilwork within itate intellectual, social, physical and emotional growth. Valid such an envi- and reliable screening and assessment tools are used to help r o n m e n t . staff and parents understand a child’s progress toward schoolOften, posireadiness goals and plan developmentally appropriate learning tions go unactivities. filled until Health: Head Start provides a comprehensive health projust the right gram of medical, dental, mental and disability assessments and person comes along, some- services, as well as instruction for the child and family in preone with ventive health practices. Nutrition: Head Start provides well-planned, well-balanced more than the m i n i m u m meals in the center-based program, allowing children to have q u a l i f i c a - new food experiences. Staff members teach about foods that are nutritionally sound and provide nutrition counseling and intions. “Taking a formation to families. Family Engagement: Head Start provides experiences for child development class parents of children in the program, assuring they are active paryour fresh- ticipants in the classroom, parent group activities and program man year of decision-making. Parents evaluate the program each spring. college is not Social Services: Head Start provides information to parents going to be about community resources and referrals to appropriate agenenough for cies/professionals. Each year the program helps families idenHead Start ,” tify their strengths, assess their needs and establish family Dr. Hooker goals designed to improve their quality of life. said. “It takes Disability Services: Head Start has a requirement that 10% a person of children enrolled in the program have disabilities. Staff memcommitted to bers assist parents and guardians who suspect developmental the compre- delays or other disabilities and provide referrals and linkages hensive na- to public schools and other professional agencies. A full range ture of Head of developmental services is provided. Start. I tell Mental Health: Green Hills Head Start contracts with Prethem ‘the ferred Family Healthcare, which provides a mental health prosuccesses fessional to observe children at least once yearly. Children with you’re going atypical behaviors or suspected developmental issues may be to see you’re referred for further evaluation. Counseling referrals are pronot going to vided as necessary. see until Source: Green Hills Head Start website. maybe 12
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s t n ie t a P s w o ll A d e B Swing e m o H o T e s lo C r e v o c e To R Helping patients who no longer need regular hospital care but who are not quite yet ready to go home on a permanent basis is the job of the swing bed program at Wright Memorial Hospital. “Our goal is to get patients back home, but not before they are able to do what is necessary to be there,” WMH Nurse Manager Sarah DeVorss said. Swing bed is 24 hours of skilled nursing care plus the benefit of rehabilitation therapies to prepare a patient for a return to the regular routine they were following prior to their hospitalization. In most cases, that would mean a return to their home and their daily activities. “The patients we serve have been in the
and this lets them be closer to family and friends, which is always better for the patient in the healing process,” Mrs. DeVorss said.
A patient’s physician makes the initial determination as to by Diane Lowrey, R-T Editor their readiness for the swing bed program. Once admitted, a patient hospital for several days or weeks as they will meet with a team of health care perheal from their injuries,” Mrs. DeVorss sonnel to determine what services are said. “When they get to us, it’s because needed to meet the eventual goal of getthey are healed well enough to be disting the patient back into a normal routine charged from critical care, but still need and on their way home. A plan of action us to get them ready to do those everyday is developed so the patient can get to tasks once they get home.” work. To qualify for swing bed, patients must “We work as a team to get you better,” have spent a minimum of “three midMrs. DeVorss said, adding that doctors, nights” in the hospital for treatment of the nurses, dieticians and therapy personnel condition that got them admitted. This are among those involved in putting the could include broken bones, surgeries, plan together. cardiac treatment, serious wounds, etc. At Most swing bed patients come into the Wright Memorial, many of the patients in hospital needing occupational and/or the swing bed program are there after havphysical therapy services, although Mrs. ing spent several days for treatment at an DeVorss noted that speech services are out-of-town hospital. also available when necessary. The plan “They aren’t quite ready to go home yet will determine which services will be required and outline how many times a day and for how long the service will be administered. Tammie Spencer, who is manager of rehab services, is one of the individuals who helps with the patient’s assessment. “Our goal is to get them active again and this plan helps us work toward that,” she said. Mrs. Spencer said most patients stay in the swing bed program an average of 10 to 14 days. During their stay, the patient is monitored and meetings are held two to three times a week to determine the progress being made. When the goals of the original plan are met, the team gathers one last time before sending the patient home. But that doesn’t always mean the end of treatment. Mrs. Spencer noted that many swing bed patients continue to receive out-patient treatment even though their
time at the hospital may be over. “We have patients that while they might be able to go home, they still need a little more help in the healing process,” she said, adding that many continue receiving rehab services on an out-patient basis. One such patient is Karen Sibbit, who spent nine days in the Wright Memorial Hospital swing bed program after undergoing surgery in St. Joseph for a broken knee cap. Not quite ready to go home after receiving her initial treatment, Mrs. Sibbit transferred into the local program, which allowed her to be closer to family. “I wouldn’t have been able to go home if it hadn’t been for the swing bed program,” she said. “They had done all they could for me at St. Joseph, but I wasn’t really able to go home and do what I had been doing before my knee injury.” The nine days spent at WMH allowed her to continue gaining strength in her leg so she would eventually be able to move around her home with little help. This included walking back and forth each day from her room at one end of the hospital to the rehabilitation facility on the east side of the hospital. She also had to get to a point where she could dress herself, take her own shower and even cook a meal before she was able to go home. Mrs. Sibbit is continuing her rehab at the hospital, something that will continue throughout most of the summer due to the severity of her injury. But she said she is thankful that the swing bed program was available to her and made her transition back home much easier. Most patients who use swing bed services are in the 40 to 80 age range, but Mrs. DeVorss noted that the program is open to any patient who qualifies “at any age.” For Medicare patients who meet the eligibility criteria and are shown to be making progress toward their goals, swing bed costs are covered up to 100 days per benefit period. Many private insurance companies also have provisions covering swing-bed hospitalization as well.
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Page 6 • 2018 Health & Wellness test results, then we take their helmet away and they can’t go back into the game or practice until they have gone to see a doctor.” In the Trenton football program, players will miss one week of action, both practices and games, at the very least. After sitting out the r initial week, a ito orts Ed by Seth Herrold, R-T Sp player with a concussion starts at the beginning of the season, will see a medical prowhen every athlete is given a concussion fessional for a follow up. baseline test which is referred to in the It is there that the doctor event a concussion is possibly sustained. will either deem the “We have an obligation to test a kid at player suitable to return the beginning of the season,” Trenton to the field or require the High School Head Football Coach Brian player to remain sideBoswell said. “We have a test called the lined for another week. Last season the BullKing-Devick Concussion Screening Test. dogs had two players reWhat we do is we sit the kid down and ceive concussions, they have to read three cards. These cards which led to three games consist of lines and numbers and they and three weeks of read it just like a book, left to right, top practice missed beto bottom. They are also timed as they do tween the two. While the it. So when they are done, we write down team may be shorttheir time and we also note how many handed, the safety of the mistakes they made while reading. “So, if we notice that something is not player always comes right in practice or in a game, a coach will first. Trenton does try to take the player to someplace quiet, in the prevent concussions. In locker room or somewhere away from addition to outfitting the everybody, and issue this test. If there are team with the safest any inconsistencies with their baseline
o T s e iv r t S f f ta S ll a Footb s n io s s u c n o C e iz im in M In football, a running back typically lines up some seven yards behind the line of scrimmage. On the defensive side of the ball, a linebacker is lined up relatively the same distance away from the line of scrimmage. Seven yards doesn’t seem like a lot, but it is plenty for an elite athlete to get up to speed. When a hole opens on the line, the running back and linebacker hit it at the same time, usually at full speed. Lower leverage wins in collisions, so both players go low. The hits that result from these situations are breeding grounds for a concussion - the most highly-debated injury in football nowadays. They are violent collisions that lead to audible gasps from the stands. It is in the moments after a big hit that the Trenton coaches go to work. The Bulldog coaches have a specific test in place for just such events. It all
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possible gear, Boswell has seen research that shows strengthening of the neck can reduce the possibility of suffering a concussion. It is because of this that, during weight training, the Bulldogs focus on building the muscles in the neck along with other muscles more traditionally targeted for improving athletic abilities.
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Continued from page 6 Car wrecks and helmet-tohelmet collisions are obvious concussion triggers, but things like a knee to the head while diving for a loose basketball or a pitch to the helmet in baseball or softball can also cause concussions in the right circumstances. Because of this, Trenton doesn’t stop at just football when it comes to preparing for such a situation. “We are very aware of the concussion issue now,” Trenton Athletic Director Wes Croy said. “It’s something that has been brought to the forefront by the media and different outlets over the last decade, really. We take it very seriously. We put all of our coaches through concussion training yearly. That’s something that the state athletic association requires and we comply with that. We err on the side of caution and we tell our coaches ‘when in doubt, sit them out.’ We try to make sure all of our kids stay healthy and have a great experience, not just with athletics, but school in general.” Concussions have been on the rise in recent years, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. True, high school athletes today are bigger, stronger and faster than they were a generation ago. But coaches, trainers and medical profes-
...Concussions “With all the new research and things like that, I think there are things we can do in our training to help prevent concussions,” Boswell said. “Obviously there is the equipment side of it, but there are a lot of studies that show if you can help develop your neck muscles and stabilize the base of the brain, that can help prevent (concussions). Obviously it doesn’t mean you won’t get them, but as we go and as more and more research and data comes out, I think we learn how to prevent them and improve safety and improve the game of football as well as other sports.” While concussions are most prevalent in the game of football, that doesn’t mean they can’t occur in other sports as well. Concussions are caused when the brain is bruised by colliding with the inside of the skull. Cerebrospinal fluid inside the skull protects the brain from colliding with the inside of the skull during everyday jolts and bumps. But extreme blows to the head or sudden stops at a high rate of speed sometimes proves to be too much for the fluid to handle. That is when a concussion occurs.
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sionals across the board have become better at diagnosing head injuries in the last 10 years. Boswell recognizes that and also points to doctors being more quick to make the diagnosis in an effort to potentially stop further injury something he is okay with to keep all of his players safe. Winning games is the goal of every coach, but the safety of the players comes first and foremost. “I think, obviously, the more we know about (concussions), the more they are going to be diagnosed,” Boswell said. “I also think sometimes when a kid goes to a doctor, the worst thing that can happen is the doctor say-
ing ‘you know, I think he is okay,’ and not limiting him. Then you have the kid go out and have some kind of episode. So, I think doctors really try to be over cautious. I’m not saying that’s the wrong thing to do, either. I think you always have to err on the side of the safety of the kid. “Kids are getting bigger, faster and stronger and the collisions are more high-impact because of the added aspect of sports science and the weight room and all of that. So really, there are multiple factors on why I think you are seeing a rise in concussions.”
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Planning Your y a W r u o Y l a r e n u F itor by Diane Lowrey, R-T Ed
Planning for a death can be an uncomfortable topic for many persons and something that which many of us, including myself, put off for as long as we can. In the past few years, I have helped plan funerals for two family members and have seen firsthand how difficult it can be trying to put together arrangements while also trying to grieve for a loved one. Not wanting to put other family
members through the same situation and, at the same time wanting to have some control on how my death is handled, I spent an afternoon with a local funeral director planning my funeral. According to Vince Neal, owner/funeral director at Whitaker-Eads Funeral Home, easing the burden for a family in having to plan a funeral is the number one reason for putting together what is called a “pre-need” funeral. “It’s hard enough for a family when a loved one dies and having arrangements already eases the burden on what needs to be done,” Neal said. “By having things already arranged, the family isn’t trying to track down information. A lot of times the rela-
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tives may not know certain things and by pre-planning, we will already have that information on record. It also helps us (the funeral home) with having what we need for the death certificate and the obituary.” Neal, who has been in the funeral business over 20 years, noted that most funeral homes will have brochures that the individual planning the service can fill out, listing personal information about themselves as well as the type of service they would like to have. This would include items such as who would perform the service, where the service would be, the list of pallbearers, music, memorials, where you are to be buried, etc. Some people (like me) go ahead and write their own obituary, which Neal said is a “huge help” to the funeral home. “This gets things down on record and helps us work with family members in the planning process,” Neal said, adding that it is always a good idea to designate at least one particular family member to be in charge of carrying out the wishes of the deceased. That would include making sure that individual has a copy of what is to be done. “We always have a copy here, but it’s a good idea to make sure that whoever you put in charge has a copy as well,” he said. “Also, be sure to discuss what you want with that person as well as other family members who may be helping with the service.” As to the type of funeral services available, Neal said there is about a 50-50 split between cremation and a regular service, with each having their own options. In discussing cremation, Neal talked about three options: simple cremation and no service; cremation and a service (a memorial cremation); and a viewing of the body, a service and cremation. “Cremation is the simplest option, especially for those who are not wanting to have any type of service,” he said. “There are also those who want to be cremated, but still want the service, so we have the option of having a viewing before the cre-
mation if the family so desires.” Neal noted that many individuals do choose a viewing for cremation as well as a traditional service as a way for the living to have closure when it comes to dealing with the death of a loved one. He said this is especially true in regard to young people who sometimes have a hard time understanding death and dying. Neal said that having a visitation can also address the closure issue and it is something he would recommend no matter what type of service the individual chooses. “Visitations are really more about the living and gives families and friends the chance to visit and grieve together,” Neal said. “Grieving is a natural process and sharing with those you love can help in the healing process.” Burial also offers another round of choices. Neal noted that most persons want to have a burial site, complete with headstone. That is possible with both cremation and traditional services, with Neal noting cremated remains can either be buried or left with the family. Of course, all of this costs money, whether you pre-plan or not. Neal noted that as with the type of funerals available, there are also options for payment. “Many people, when they pre-plan, also pre-pay,” Neal said. “Like everything else, the cost goes up and this way you’ve already got it taken care of and your family doesn’t have to worry.” Insurance policies specifically designated for their funeral expenses are another way to pay and Neal said such a policy can be taken out through the funeral home. “We are the primary recipients listed on many insurance policies,” he said, noting that the funeral home will work with the family on the payment method. Note: I have my funeral planned but, hopefully, the plans won’t have to be carried out for some time. If you will be attending, don’t cry and have a great time. That’s in my plan.
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s r e f f O w ie v y n n Su Adult Day Care itor by Diane Lowrey, R-T Ed
As more and more older Americans make the decision to remain in their homes for as long as possible, but who may require a little extra help along the way, a fairly new concept is becoming more popular in providing help on a short-term basis. Adult day care facilities are springing up throughout the United States, providing a place for families who have taken on the responsibility of caring for an older family member to take their loved one for a few hours of socialization with others their own age. In Trenton, that service is being provided by Sunnyview Nursing Home and Apartments. Administrator Donita Youtsey said the facility has been offering the adult day care for about two years and while its use has been limited, it has proven to be a popular one for both the
individual who comes to the nursing home as well as for the family. “We are seeing more and more older individuals electing to stay in their home with family members,” she said. “But when they do, many times they would rather just stay home and not get out. Coming here for a few hours, they can participate in our activities and visit with our residents, giving them the chance to socialize with people their own age. It’s good for them and it’s good for our residents.” Mrs. Youtsey said that those who choose to use the adult day care service at Sunnyview can choose from a half-day or full-day service, both of which include participation in activities at the nursing home as well as at least one meal. “We always have something going on,” Mrs. Youtsey said, adding that individuals can choose in what activities they want to
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participate. “They can watch movies, put together puzzles, play games, visit...they can even take a nap while they are here if they want to. How much or what they want to do is up to them.” Mrs. Youtsey said the facility can handle up to eight adults on any one day. “The only thing we require is that we have to have advanced notice,” she said, recommending at least 24 hours prior to the individual coming in. There is a cost for the services provided - $40 for one-half day (five hours) and $80 for a full day (eight hours) and Mrs. Youtsey noted that staff is also allowed to administer medication with a doctor’s order. “We have the staff here to help take care of our adult visitors, which should give their loved ones some security in knowing they are getting the care they need while they are with us,” she said, adding that the nursing home also has an established protocol in place with physicians to administer specific treatments should medical assistance be needed. In addition to the day care, the nursing home offers short-term overnight stays, which Mrs. Youtsey said has seen a lot of use in the past few years. “We have families that sometimes need to be gone for a few days and maybe an
elderly member of the family can’t travel or doesn’t want to go,” Mrs. Youtsey said. “They (the family) can make arrangements for them to stay with us for a few days.” The charge for those services is based on the facility’s regular room rate as the overnight stays become what is known as “respite care” and allows the nursing home to count those individuals in their annual census reports. Depending on the individual’s abilities, they may be able to stay in either a regular room or in one of the apartments. Mrs. Youtsey noted that most of the costs for adult day care and the overnight stays are covered by private pay, however, Medicare or private insurance may be able to pick up some of the costs, depending on the situation. She suggests families check out what costs may be paid for by other means prior to making arrangements for care at Sunnyview. “We really would like to see more people take advantage of the day care services we have to offer,” Mrs. Youtsey said. “It gives the older family members a chance to do things outside of the home and socialize with people their own age, which is good for both them and their families.”
2018 Heatlh & Wellness for posting on net_Layout 1 7/10/18 10:23 AM Page 12
Page 12 • 2018 Health & Wellness
One In T hree Develop Shingles
News Writer by Ronda Lickteig, R-T
Several years ago my son, who was four years old at the time, had a rash on his side. When we first noticed it, it didn’t look too bad, but by the next day, it had started to look a little angrier. I pulled out the trusty medical book (the one I used to use to self-diagnosis before I could do that through the internet) and started browsing. My seven-year-old daughter was looking with me and pointed to a picture, saying “That’s what he has.” I looked at a picture of a person who had been diagnosed with shingles. “No, that’s not it. Old people get shingles,” I said. Fast forward to the next afternoon when I took my son to the doctor. She looked him over and said, “What do you think it is?” I laughed and said, “Well, my daughter thinks it’s shingles.” “Your daughter’s right!” she commented. “He’s got shingles.” My experience with shingles to that
point had been that old people - at least older than me - were the ones who got it. I had heard from many of them how it was the most painful thing they had endured. Fortunately, my son’s case was mild in comparison to many others however, he did end up with a scar on his side. Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is caused by the same virus as chicken pox and anyone who has had chicken pox is at risk for developing it because the virus stays in the body. It is unknown why the virus can reactivate later and develop into shingles. The risk increases with age. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of three people will develop shingles in their lifetime. Those who have medical conditions that impair their immune system and who take immunosuppressive drugs are at a higher risk. While shingles is associated with a rash, the first symptom is often pain, itch-
ing or “tingling” on the side of the body or the side of the face. That’s where the rash will later develop, with blisters that will scab over in a week or two. There’s no quick cure and it can take up to about a month for the rash to disappear. The CDC lists other early symptoms such as headache, fever, chills and upset stomach. The rash often is located in a single stripe around one side of the body, but it can be located in the eye, causing severe pain and even lead to loss of vision. Treatment is limited to antivirals, which should be started as soon as possible, but the best way to avoid the pain of shingles is to avoid getting it by being vaccinated. According to the Grundy County Health Department, there are currently two shingles vaccines available: Zostavax, which is recommended for those age 60 and over and which reduces the risk of developing shingles by 51 percent; and Shingrix, a new vaccine that is recommended for those age 50 and up. Shingrix involves two vaccines taken two to six months apart and the two doses are more
than 90 percent effective at preventing shingles. Of course, many children are now vaccinated for chicken pox so the virus is never in their body to later develop into shingles. If that trend continues, shingles may eventually become a thing of the past. For more information on shingles, visit the CDC website at www.CDC.gov/shingles.
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2018 Heatlh & Wellness for posting on net_Layout 1 7/10/18 10:23 AM Page 13
2018 Health & Wellness • Page 13
Is Your Vitamin D Too Low?
News Writer by Ronda Lickteig, R-T
There’s a long-standing tradition at the Trenton Republican-Times that occurs each spring - it’s the day when the boss pays to have the Grundy County Health Department come to the office to draw blood for our annual health screenings. It’s with a mixture of excitement and dread that my co-workers and I wait to learn the results, which usually arrive at the office within a couple of days. While we all immediately look at our cholesterol and triglyceride numbers and whatever numbers were too high or low the year before, the 2018 results brought concern that some employees had low levels of vitamin D. When health educator Abby Oberman was asked if we should be concerned, her answer was matter of fact:
“That’s normal. Almost everyone’s vitamin D is low,” she explained. So, why is that and should we be concerned? Well, there are several reasons why we’re low on the vitamin and, yes, it’s something we should at least monitor. According to the Mayo Clinic, vitamin D helps our bodies sustain normal levels of calcium and phosphorus, assisting the body in absorbing calcium, making it critical in the formation and maintenance of healthy bones. It also promotes healthy muscles, nerves and the immune system. It helps lower the risk for osteoporosis and low levels of vitamin D have been linked to falls, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic pain, diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and some cancers. The Mayo Clinic notes that an
“association” is not the same as “causation” and taking a vitamin D supplement won’t adequately treat or prevent those conditions. Those at particular risk of vitamin D inadequacy include breastfed infants, older adults, people with dark skin, those with inflammatory bowel disease or other conditions causing fat malabsorption and those who are obese or who have undergone gastric bypass surgery. Since it’s difficult to get enough vitamin D from the sun or through diet alone, many people turn to dietary supplements. The National Institutes of Health recommends that adults get 600 IU (15mcg) of vitamin D each day, with those over age 70 encouraged to get 800IU (20mcg) per day. The body naturally produces vitamin D when it is exposed to the sun. Many in the healthcare field believe that one of the reasons vitamin D levels have been dropping is that we don’t spend as much time in the sun as past generations did and those who are in the sun are encouraged (rightly so) to slather on the high-SPF sunscreen to avoid skin cancer.
So, if you can’t get it all from the sun, what are your other options? Few foods contain vitamin D, although egg yolks, cheese, cod liver oil, beef liver and fatty fish such as tuna, salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel, are exceptions. Celebrity health care expert Dr. Mehmet Oz recently touted the vitamin D benefits of mushrooms. But even those foods contain only small amounts, so you have to rely on foods that are fortified with vitamin D such as milk and cereal. Supplements are available and should be taken as directed with an eye to the fact that you can have too much vitamin D as well as too little. Also, be aware that supplements have the possibility of interacting with medications, including steroids and weight loss medications. As with any nutritional issue, the key is to pay attention to what your bloodwork shows and eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables and a variety of other healthy foods. I can’t guarantee that you won’t still approach your annual bloodwork without some anxiety, but you definitely could see some improvement from one year to the next.
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2018 Heatlh & Wellness for posting on net_Layout 1 7/10/18 10:23 AM Page 14
Page 14 • 2018 Health & Wellness
Weight Room ls r i G r o F e g a t n a v Ad orts Editor by Seth Herrold, R-T Sp
It is a muggy June morning. School has been out for nearly a month at this point, yet there is a sizable contingent of vehicles gathered in the parking lot at Trenton High School. It is a weights day for the Trenton girls sports teams. The turnout is massive. Some 50 girls have descended on Trenton’s weight room - enough that Brandon Boswell, charged with overseeing Trenton’s summer weights programs, has had to call in backup. Boswell will work with half of the group, Jon Guthrie will assist the other. One group lifts inside while the other works through conditioning and agility drills across the street on the football practice fields. The two groups switch out halfway through the day’s session. “We’ll run about 45 to 50 girls through our weightlifting session, three days a
week,” Boswell said. “Obviously, girls haven’t picked up the weight room or lifted weights like boys have for as long. But I think now you see the importance of it. It’s evident in the number of girls we have out here. You talk to their coaches and they are supporting the weight room as well.” Turnouts like this are commonplace now, but that hasn’t always been the case. Weights have always been a staple of summer for boys involved in the football program, but more and more, girls are making their way into the weight room. The reason? The answer hides in plain sight. It’s seen in the velocity of Ainsley Tolson’s fastball, Maci Moore’s ability to finish around the basket and the distance on Salem Croy’s javelin throw. “It’s just sports science and that aspect of it in general,” Boswell said of the reasons behind increased weightlifting
among female athletes in the past 10 years. “The facts are facts. The thing is, we are seeing athletes that are bigger, stronger and faster today and that’s because of the weightlifting aspect of it and the training. To have an advantage on the basketball court or on the field, you need to add the weight room.” Advantage? Advantage, Trenton. Trenton’s girls sports teams have enjoyed a wildly successful run over the past
10 years. The softball team has played in nine district championship games, winning five. The basketball program has played for a district title in each of the past three seasons, going all the way to the Show-Me Showdown in 2017. Trenton’s girls tennis team has won three district titles since 2011. There have been numerous state medalists and a few state champions in track and field and the golf team has sent its fair share of athletes to state as well.
Continued on page 15
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2018 Heatlh & Wellness for posting on net_Layout 1 7/10/18 10:23 AM Page 15
2018 Health & Wellness • Page 15
Continued from page 14
...Weight Room Since joining the Grand River Conference, Trenton has swept the basketball and softball season titles in each of its first two years in the league. Good athletes with good coaches make for some good teams, but the results of the summer weights program for the Trenton girls has played a big role in the success of each team. John Cowling, who is the school’s head softball coach and an assistant girls basketball coach, can see the difference the girls’ time in the weight room has made. “It’s just the ability to finish plays or drive the ball an extra 10 to 15 feet,” Cowling said. “I also see benefits in endurance during the season. You can tell the weightlifting has an impact because their strength and stamina holds up over a longer season - over 25 to 30 games.” On a typical week, Trenton’s girls will meet for an hour and a half three times a week. While one half of the group is lifting weights, the other half is working through conditioning, anaerobic and aerobic exercises. Plyometrics, where the girls try and exert a maximum amount of force as quickly as possible, are also incorporated into the session. Activities like box jumps, broad jumps and vertical jumps are added to the mix, designed to get the most effort from each girl. The athletes will also work on their agility and speed with exercises like the speed ladder. Back in the weight room, iron rings out as plates slide into plates on bars at various stations. It is here - where girls go through dead lifts, bench presses, squats and more - that the strength is built. The weight room has become incorporated more and more at Trenton. These girls participating in the summer weights program today have been involved in some sort of weightlifting since middle
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school, where Trenton now first introduces its young athletes to the benefits of weight training. “We’re seeing in the data, compared to girls who graduated eight years ago, our girls are jumping higher, running faster and things like that,” Boswell said. “I think a lot of that is because we now incorporate the weight room when they are in middle school. So by the time they get to high school, you can see the differences.” Trenton’s weights program is also evident at the next level. North Central Missouri College head women’s basketball
Coach Jenni Croy is a big proponent of weightlifting for her teams. When Trenton’s Whitley Richman joined the team after graduation, she didn’t miss a beat, jumping right into Croy’s weights program. “(Weightlifting) makes a definite difference in getting you bigger, faster, stronger,” Croy said. “The girls who come in here from programs that never really lifted see a huge benefit from it just in their two years here.” Croy also saw firsthand the difference weights made in her daughter Salem’s recovery from an ankle injury, which forced her to miss the second half of her basketball season and all of her track and field season during her sophomore year. She would come back as a junior, batting .410
with five home runs and 32 RBIs on the softball field and averaging 7.7 points while starting all 28 games for Trenton on the basketball court. In track and field, she was a state medalist in the javelin. “Salem coming off a season-ending injury as a sophomore, I saw what (weightlifting) did for her strength,” Coach Croy said. “Coach (Lysander) Overstreet had her in the weight room hard core during track and it’s helped her tremendously just in that short amount of time get so much stronger and get that strength back. Weights play a huge role and I think that is how you improve in a number of ways.”
Items To Consider When Outfitting A Home Gym Home gyms can make working out more efficient, saving time driving to a fitness facility and enabling people to stick to a workout regimen during inclement weather. Having a gym at home also may motivate people to work out more frequently and more effectively, as they can exercise at any time of day they choose and won’t need to share equipment with fellow fitness enthusiasts. The following are some items homeowners can consider when outfitting their home gyms. • Barbells: Barbells aren’t just for biceps. Barbells can be used to work all the major muscle groups, including arms, chest, shoulders, legs, and back. Purchase a set of barbells of various weights so workouts can be varied depending on the muscle group being targeted. • Bench, bar and plates: A bench, bar and plates also can be invaluable to people who want a fitness facility-quality workout at home. Purchase plates of various weights but remember to be cautious with the amount of weight you lift when no partner or spotter is present. When shopping for a bench, look for one that can incline and decline, which increases the range of exercises you can perform at home. • Land line: If the gym will be in a basement or another area of the home where access to a mobile network is unreliable, the presence of a land line in the room can help in the case of emergencies. Those who work out at home will be doing so without gym staff or other fitness enthusiasts nearby, so the land line can be invaluable should someone suffer an injury when exercising alone. If possible, place the land line in the middle of the room so it’s not too far away from any particular area. • Flooring: Homeowners have various flooring options when outfitting their home gyms. Carpet tiles, rubber flooring, foam flooring, and vinyl tiles are popular options. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, and the right choice may depend on how the gym will be used. For example, foam flooring may be compressed under heavy equipment, which may be problematic for homeowners who want to include lots of equipment in their home gyms. Before considering which flooring material to lay down, write down your likely workout routine before taking that write-up with you to a flooring contractor who can recommend the best material for you. • Cardiovascular equipment: Homeowners don’t have to reinvent the wheel when purchasing cardiovascular equipment for their home gyms. If a treadmill worked for you at the gym, purchase one for your home gym as well. Cardio equipment can be expensive, but savvy homeowners may be able to find fully functional secondhand equipment online. If you currently have a gym membership, speak with the owner about purchasing a used item directly from the facility.
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2018 Heatlh & Wellness for posting on net_Layout 1 7/10/18 10:23 AM Page 16
Page 16 • 2018 Health & Wellness
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Republican Times - Health & Wellness