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Health Fitness




Healthy foods prevent d isease By Karen Peterson/Valley Journal


uthorities from the Department of Health and Human Services in collaboration with experts from the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and two centers in the United States Department of Agriculture create nutritional guidelines that are outlined and published every five years. The publication is entitled, “The Dietary Guidelines for Americans.” Starting in 1980 they have encouraged Americans to eat a variety of foods, including fruits and vegetables. Many people still aren’t paying attention. The numbers show that just 1 in 10 people meet the federal fruit and vegetable recommendations in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2 - January 24, 2018

Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables daily can help reduce the risk of many leading causes of illness and death, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers and obesity. - Center for Disease Control

In 2015, nine percent of adults met the intake recommendations for vegetables, ranging from six percent in West Virginia to 12 percent in Alaska. And for fruits, only 12 percent of adults met the recommendations ranging from 7 percent in West Virginia to 16 percent in Washington, D.C. “Results showed that consumption was lower among men, young adults, and adults living in poverty,” the CDC notes.

It was also noted that seven of the top 10 leading causes of death are from chronic diseases. “Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables daily can help reduce the risk of many leading causes of illness and death, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and obesity,” the CDC notes. Doctors and health officials have made the recommendation for years. A study back in 1999 by the University of Edin-

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burgh’s Department of Medicine found that eating fruits and vegetables provides “the best polypharmacy against the development of malignancy in tissues.” In other words, it protects against a variety of diseases. The CDC notes in their dietary guidelines that many infectious diseases have been conquered, and the majority of the U.S. population can anticipate a long life. “However, as infectious disease rates have dropped, the rates of non-communicable diseases – specifically, chronic diet-related diseases – have risen, due in part to changes in lifestyle behaviors. “About half of all American adults –117 million individuals – have one or more preventable chronic diseases, many of which are related to poor quality eating patterns and physical inactivity.” The American College of Physicians

published a study in 2001 that followed 84,251 women for 14 years and 42,148 men for eight years to see if there was an association between fruit and vegetable consumption and a reduced risk in coronary heart disease. Their conclusion wasn’t a surprise. “Consumption of fruits and vegetables, particularly green leafy vegetables and vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables, appear to have a protective effect against coronary heart disease.” With positive results from hundreds of studies, some people are starting to see food as a form of preventative medicine, and doctors like Joel Fuhrman in New Jersey are saying healthy foods like fruits and vegetables can help reverse diabetes, hypertension, and prevent some cancers. The idea is that the nutrients in fresh food give the body the vitamins and minerals it needs to protect against disease. Studies, including the one done in Edinburgh, show that the protective measures against disease are found in the antioxidants of whole foods and not in vitamin form. The disease-preventing mechanism is also in the dietary fiber of whole foods. If so many good things come from fruits and vegetables, the CDC wanted to know why many people avoid them. They report that more research needs to be done to find the exact barriers to fruits

and vegetable consumption, but previous studies show a few reasons. It was noted that cost is a problem for some people, limited availability was another reason, and the perceived time it takes to prepare and cook whole foods was also an issue. The CDC shared several ideas to help increase access to fruits and vegetables including the creation of programs that expand farm-to-institution cooperation for places like childcare centers, schools, hospitals and workplaces. People also need access to stores and markets with a variety of fresh produce. Addressing the issue of time, it was recommended that people chop up fruits and vegetables and freeze them or choose already frozen or canned varieties without added sugar and salt to make preparation faster. To get enough produce in your diet, the CDC recommends that people eat at least one and a half to two cups of fruit per day and two to three cups of vegetables per day. The amount varies for a person’s size and age. Healthy eating patterns include a variety of vegetables from all subgroups including dark green, red and orange, legumes (beans and peas), starchy, and others. Fruit, especially whole fruits, were also recommended as part of a healthy disease-fighting diet.



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January 24, 2018 - 3


Michael LaForest of Missoula recently ran through wet, slushy snow around Polson to claim first place in the “Sorry ‘Bout That” half marathon.

Running for health By Rob Zolman/Valley Journal


he chances are good, you’ve probably heard a runner rave about the almost endless health benefits one can enjoy from a long, sweat-inducing run. Well, it’s all true; there’s a plethora of documented scientific research and evidence that proves a vigorous run has very real and genuine health benefits that extend well beyond any pill a doctor may prescribe. According to researchers, the health benefits of running include weight loss, lowering of high cholesterol levels, prevention of muscle and bone loss, the prevention of stroke, diabetes, obesity and hypertension. Additionally, running may also vastly improve the quality of your emotional and mental life, reduce stress, and aid in 4 - January 24, 2018

“Running is a great way to improve your overall level of health and decrease the risk of a cardiovascular event.” - Dr. Marcia St. Goddard, Physical Therapist, Professional Therapy Associates of Polson the boosting of the immune system. “Running is a great way to improve your overall level of health and decrease the risk of a cardiovascular event,” said Dr. Marcia St. Goddard, physical therapist at Professional Therapy Associates of Polson. “Research has shown that running improves your good cholesterol, lung function, and decreases blood pressure.” By burning up carbohydrates, fatty ac-

ids and surplus amounts of sugar present in the blood, a good run is a highly effective coronary exercise which helps the health and cleanliness of the blood vessels, thereby preventing diseases like diabetes and strokes from ever developing. Running also greatly benefits your health, by lowering your blood pressure and helping to keep your heart muscle strong and cardiovascular system in a good functioning condition.

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Want to reduce your risk of injury, fractures, and osteoporosis? Go for a run. “Running improves lower body strength of muscles, tendons, and ligaments and increases bone mineral density,” St. Goddard said. As you run, you are adding extra weight and pressure to your bones and this stresses your bones. Your body responds to this extra workload by sending essential minerals to the bones, which makes them stronger and increases mass. Running also aids in reducing age-related muscle and bone loss, by helping to keep the bones of your legs healthy and strong. When most people think about the many health benefits of running, they usually think of running for weight loss. While running does indeed burn mega-calories like no other aerobic exercise,

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Health & Fitness

January 24, 2018 - 5

New chapter added to naturopathic practice By Kathi Beeks/Valley Journal


rom a young age, Dr. Katie Carter figured out there was a different way to approach healing. Her inquisitive nature and open mind eventually brought her to naturopathic medicine. She said, “The reason I applied to naturopathic school rather than a medical school is because there is a principal with naturopathic medicine that resonates with my own way of life, my own philosophy … that principle is that the body has the innate ability to heal itself.” After exploring several different health-related majors at Michigan State University, including pharmacy and then obstetrics and gynecology, she chose naturopathic medicine. Taking seriously the guiding medical principle of the Hippocratic oath, “Do no harm,” she said, “I really didn’t see that I could become a medical doctor and not do harm prescribing drugs.” Reflecting on the topic of “homeostasis,” (discussed in the very first chapter of Guyton’s Medical Physiology book used in medical school), she explains that she took this issue to heart. The body is in a constant state of degenerating and regenerating to heal itself. She believes pharmaceutical drugs suppress the body’s ability to heal itself. She further explained, “Symptoms are not the disease; they tell us what is going on with the body to try to correct the problem.” Symptoms are the body’s way of “… trying to throw off the disease; trying to get our awareness that there’s a problem, so that we can correct it.” She believes that pharmaceutical companies encourage medical doctors to treat symptoms with drugs rather than get at the root cause of problems. Using the analogy that a mechanic wouldn’t simply get rid of a car noise without first investigating its origins, Dr. Carter explains that she works with her patients to heal their symptoms’ underlying causes. She sees it as her job to help stimulate the body’s recuperative powers and to support its regenerative processes. Young people regenerate faster and easier than the elderly. Older skeletal systems wear and tear as they age and get looser leading to joints that need help firming up again. Chronic inflammation from unhealthy diets, a chemically-laced environment, genetic factors, emotional concerns and other things people do to their systems, make regeneration additionally challenging with age. This is what led Carter to become a pain specialist. “People come in who have been looking for pain relief for a long time and when they find it here, that is so rewarding.” After 31 years of being a clinical practitioner, helping people get rid of their pain is the thing that gives her “… the most 6 - January 24, 2018


Mission Healing Arts, located on the corner of First St. E. and Fifth Ave. E. in Polson, is the practice of Dr. Katie Carter, a naturopathic physician.

goose bumps (and) the drive to get up out of bed every morning.” Dr. Carter explained that when it comes to pain in the United States, there is surgery on one end of the spectrum and physical therapy on the other end (TENS therapy, acupuncture, massage). Naturopathic medicine, she said, fills the huge gap between them. “It’s ridiculous to recommend surgery if physical therapy doesn’t work when Prolotherapy offers additional options.” Using what she calls her “toolbox,” she individualizes treatments for each patient. Some of her tools include K-laser, Prolozone, PRP (platelet rich plasma), ozone therapy, Prolotherapy, Neural Prolotherapy and classical homeopathy. Soon mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) may also be available for use in regenerative medicine. Every part of her work encourages the body to heal and regenerate itself. The treatments she provides are those people would otherwise have to travel a long way to get somewhere else. Her patients live as far away as Cutbank, Spokane, Missoula, Dillon, Whitefish, and Eureka.

To accommodate her patients, she has satellite offices in Missoula and Whitefish. Always learning Dr. Carter continues to learn. As a researcher she studies published literature from the National Center for Biotechnology Information, from the United States Library of Medicine at the National Institute of Health’s website as well as referencing her impressive library of books and resources. Currently, she is intensely studying medicinal signal cells. After attending seminars and workshops on regenerative therapies, including pain therapies, she developed some unique therapeutic techniques of her own. She then discussed her techniques with Dr. Frank Schallenberger, the physician who coined the term Prolozone, and he asked her to teach what she was doing and incorporate it in with some of his work. Now she is a trainer along with him and is even writing a book. Dr. Carter’s innovative and inquisitive nature, in addition to her 31 years of experience, have led her in new directions she is very enthusiastic about. Her plans include

Health & Fitness


Dr. Katie Carter

teaching seminars on the “Carter Protocol.” She said, “I am very passionate about what I’m doing; I love what I am doing. I have a feeling that I have a calling.”

Global health expert to speak at MSU on Jan. 31 BOZEMAN - Paul Farmer, physician, anthropologist, Harvard University professor and chief strategist and co-founder of Partners In Health will speak at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 31, in Montana State University Strand Union Building Ballrooms. Farmer is the subject of the bestselling book, “Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World,” by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tracy Kidder. Farmer’s Partners In Health is an organization that has pioneered new considerations of human rights, health standards and socioeconomic inequalities throughout the world. Operating originally in Haiti, PIH has quickly spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Russia, Peru, Mexico, Lesotho, Rwanda, Malawi, and the United States and now has more than 18,000 employees.

Carmen McSpadden, the director of the MSU Leadership Institute, which is bringing Farmer to MSU, said that Partners In Health’s “life-saving work paints a picture of the tangible ways in which Farmer has helped create a safer, healthier world.” “We are thrilled that President Waded Cruzado has chosen Dr. Farmer to receive the Presidential Award for Global and Visionary Leadership,” McSpadden added. This award is reserved to honor individuals of extraordinary vision and accomplishment whose contributions to the betterment of society and the human condition are both exceptional and broad-reaching. As a world-renowned academic and anthropologist, Farmer’s research into cultural development and medical care has contributed dramatically to understanding the intricate

challenges of meeting various needs of people all over the world. “Dr. Farmer has dedicated his life to treating the most vulnerable people and it is an honor and privilege to welcome him to Montana State University with this prestigious award,” Cruzado said. Past recipients of the award include Maya Angelou, E.O. Wilson, Jane Goodall and Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with live music featuring local artists until the start of the lecture. There is free parking in all MSU SB, E or F lots after 6 p.m. Farmer’s lecture will be held in conjunction with MSU’s 125th anniversary celebration and the MSU Leadership Institute’s 20th anniversary celebrations. The Leadership Institute continues to fulfill its mission of inspiring MSU students to become leaders and

serve as catalysts for positive change through hosting world-class speakers and leadership workshops. Notable past speakers include Sir Ken Robinson, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Maya Angelou, and Condoleezza Rice, among many others. Farmer’s appearance is sponsored by the generous support of the Office of the President, Office of Provost, ASMSU, Murdoch’s Ranch & Home Supply, College of Letters and Science, Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship, Liberal Studies Program, The Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success, Division of Student Success, WWAMI, College of Nursing, Honors College and Bridgercare. Lecture tickets are $8 for students and $15 for the public at all local TicketsWest outlets. A limited number of VIP reserved tickets are also available for $60 for seating in the front



Dr. Paul Farmer, world renowned physician and co-founder of Partners in Health, will speak at Montana State University on Jan. 31. Tickets are on sale at all TicketWest locations.

and include a post-lecture reception with Farmer. This event qualifies for the MSU Leadership Institute Changemakers program. For more in-

formation, please call the MSU Leadership Institute at 406-994-7275 or visit or MSULeadershipInstitute.

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Health & Fitness

January 24, 2018 - 7

Use proper strategies for shoveling snow, maneuvering on ice By Kathi Beeks Valley Journal


ra Brown, supervising rehabilitation therapist at St. Joseph’s Hospital, says that everyone should “keep in mind their back health,” when shoveling snow. He suggests using the following strategies to avoid snow shoveling injuries: — bend with your knees rather than bending at the waist — keep the shoveled load as close to the spine as possible - the further the load is from your core the more pressure or torque you put on your spine — hold onto the snow shovel handle at a low position and use the body’s momentum when shoveling — most importantly, know your limits Brown explained that those who haven’t been active recently shouldn’t expect to go out and shovel snow for four hours. There will be consequences. By not planning ahead and being self-limiting, the realization you’ve done too much may not occur until it’s too late. Brown often hears clients who wake up with back pain the day following snow shoveling say, “Boy, I over did it.” Overexertion poses a special concern for anyone with heart problems. Brown


says to consult a physician about shoveling snow, the same way a discussion with a doctor should take place before beginning any new exercise program. “Be smart,” Brown said, “and pace yourself.” Combine shorter bouts of work with longer breaks. He further explained, “Give your heart, lungs and muscles time to recover.” The type of snow shoveled should also be taken into consideration. Light fluffy

snow obviously weighs much less than wet, heavy snow. Take smaller scoops of snow, two scoops instead of one, to save your rotator cuff from unnecessary injury. When pushing snow use small steps and keep your feet under your body. Snow shoveling injuries and ice-related falls are frequent occurrences in Montana. As a half-time employee, Brown has already seen two shoulder injuries and four clients with back pain

SUFFERING WITH PAIN? Prolozone is a nutritional/oxygen injection technique

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Conditions that can be treated with PROLOZONE and K-Laser

Prolozone works on just about any pain problem you might have, including: • Neck pain • Carpal tunnel syndrome • Neuromas • Whiplash • Torn tendons • Tennis elbow • Degenerated or herniated discs • TMJ syndrome • Rotator cuff tears * Low back pain • Sciatica • Knee injuries • Plantar fascitis • Heel spurs • and virtually any other sports injury

Because Prolozone treatments also result in catilage regeneration, the technique is also remarkably effective even for severe cases of osteoarthritis of the hip or knee. The good things about Prolozone is that is not just a treatment for pain. The results actually represent a permanent fix.

8 - January 24, 2018

Satellites in Kalispell and Missoula Health & Fitness

falls take place — be generous with salt and sand Brown believes that older individuals who under normal circumstances don’t need to use an assistive device, should consider putting aside their pride and using a cane or a walking stick in icy conditions. Brown asserts that “Having a third point of contact with the ground improves balance significantly.”


developed and pioneered by Dr. Shallenberger MD. It is excellent for all forms of musculo-skeletal and joint pain including chronic neck and back pain, rotator cuff injuries, degenerative and arthritic hips and knees, degenerated discs, and shoulder and elbow pain. The good thing about Prolozone is that because it actually corrects the pathology of the disorder, there is a 75% chance for the chronic pain sufferer to become

Call Us at 406-883-4325

during this season’s cold weather. He also said that each year there are ankles and hips that need repair due to falls from icy conditions. Brown said a young person was recently seen in the emergency room with a very nasty ankle injury because of an ice-related fall. Older people need to be especially cautious in icy conditions. Brown emphasized that “A broken hip can be a game changer,” for an older adult and may possibly prohibit them from living independently at home. He suggests the following strategies for walking in icy conditions: — walk like a penguin — take short steps — keep your feet close to your center of mass, shorter strides — remember that sudden accelerations and decelerations are when

See Dr. Katie for your yearly Well Check which is mandated to be covered and get more. Make Dr. Carter your primary care physician. Dr. Carter is a preferred provider for BC/BS, United Healthcare, MHCoop, Pacific Source and Allegiance.

We can bill your insurance.

Isn’t It Time to be Your Best?

ACA premiums up, signups down Impact of individual mandate repeal will not be seen until 2019 By Caleb M. Soptelean Valley Journal


hose who signed up for the Affordable Care Act likely won’t see any immediate impact from the recently-enacted federal tax bill. That bill – officially known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 – repealed the individual health insurance mandate effective 2019. Kyle Schmauch, a spokesman for the Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance, said the impacts

of the individual mandate repeal as well as proposed regulations from the federal Labor Department regarding interstate sale of health insurance by small business health plans remains to be seen. However, health insurance premium rates offered under the Affordable Care Act in Montana in 2018 increased an average of 13.1, 16.6 and 22.3 for silver plans for PacificSource, the Montana Health Co-op and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana, respectively. In addition, the number of signups for the Affordable Care Act in Montana are down based on preliminary numbers, Schmauch said. Some 47,000 signed up during the 45-day registration window that ended

Dec. 15, which was down from some 52,000 the previous year, he said. Small business health plans Under the Jan. 4 federal Labor Department proposal, small businesses and sole proprietors would have more freedom to band together to provide affordable, quality health insurance for employees, according to a Department of Labor press release. The proposal would allow employers to form a small business health plan on the basis of geography or industry. A plan could serve employers in a state, city, county, or a multistate metro area, or it could serve all the businesses in a particular industry nationwide. Sole proprietors

could also join a small business health plan under the proposal. Up to 11 million Americans not currently offered employee-sponsored health insurance could benefit from the proposal, the release states. These employees – and their families – would have an additional alternative through small business health plans, also known as association health plans. These plans would close the gap of uninsured without eliminating options available in the healthcare marketplace. The proposal will be available for public comment for 60 days and ends March 6. Comments can be made online at

Flu season in full swing By Caleb M. Soptelean Valley Journal

Less pain, more gain.


he flu season is in full swing in Lake County. Leigh Estvold, a registered nurse at the Lake County Health Department, said the season came on full-bore around Jan. 1 after starting in early September 2017.  The flu, which typically includes chills, fever, body aches and diarrhea, can last up to 5-7 days.  She recommends that a person see a doctor within the first 2-3 days of the onset of symptoms. If one does this, a prescription for Tamiflu can be prescribed.  The active ingredient in Tamiflu — oseltamivir phosphate, which is a type of medicine called a neuraminidase inhibitor — helps fight the flu, a highly contagious virus that affects the respiratory system.  Estvold recommends people get the flu shot and wash their hands with soap and warm water reg-


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51657 HWY 93 | POLSON, MT 59860 ularly. She said the flu has been infecting all ages from infants to those in their 90s. 

She said there has not been an outbreak of norovirus in Lake County. Any local incidents of the

stomach virus — which causes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea — have been sporadic.

Health & Fitness

406.883.6863 January 24, 2018 - 9

Program gifts baby boxes to newborns and their mothers By Caleb M. Soptelean/Valley Journal


h, baby! A new project that was started in early December 2017 to help babies in Lake County had already served 23 newborns as of Jan. 17. Jennifer Rolfsness, administrator with the Helping Hands Fund — an outreach of the Mission Valley Ministerial Association — decided to implement the Baby Box program locally. The program supplies mothers in transition a safe and comfortable place for their little ones to sleep. About 20 volunteers have joined in the effort, which provides a box with a non-toxic mattress that can be placed near a bed or close by the mother while the baby sleeps.

In addition to providing a box and mattress, the box is filled with various items such as wipes, diapers, hand-knitted hats, layettes, blankets, onesies and sweaters. In short, the baby box is a welcome gift for mothers and their babies. “It has taken off more than I ever imagined,” said Rolfsness, who has been working with the Helping Hands Fund for two years. She notes that the idea sprouted in Finland in the 1930s due to an outbreak of deaths due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS. “We’ve had several infant deaths related to lack of safe sleep over the past two years,” said Dr. Emily Hall, a pediatrician at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center. These deaths are often caused by an adult and baby sleeping together, she said. In these

situations, a blanket can cover a baby’s face, a parent can roll into the child or the infant can roll into the parent. Noting that babies sleep best when lying on their backs, Hall said a baby can sleep without a blanket in a box and be safe. Cribs and bassinets are fine, but often mothers in transition who have no permanent home don’t have these, she said. A baby can sleep in the box for five or six months, Rolfsness said. The box can then be repurposed as a storage space for toys, clothes,

etc. Church-related organizations such as the LDS Relief Society and St. Andrews Quilt Guild help provide items for the baby boxes, which cost about $40 each. For more information on the Baby Box program, call 883-8256. The Helping Hands Fund is located at 1 Fourteenth Ave. W. across Main Street from Providence St. Joseph Medical Center. Office hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.


10 - January 24, 2018

Health & Fitness

St. Joe’s donates to Polson schools, food pantry


On Thursday, Jan. 18 Providence St. Joseph Medical Center Director of Hospital Operations Landon Godfrey and Director of Nursing Erin Rumelhart presented Polson Loaves and Fish food pantry volunteers and Super 1 Foods store manager Gary Collinge with a $10,000 check. Pictured from front left are: Bryan River, Merle Parise, Erin Rumelhart, Cynthia Hoelscher, Mary Martin, Landon Godfrey; back left: Garth Cox, Sara Stone, Carolynn Nyquist, Linda Kittle, Dee Walker and Gary Collinge.


On Tuesday, Jan. 16, Providence St. Joseph Medical Center CEO James Kiser and Director of Nursing Erin Rumelhart presented Polson Schools Superintendent Rex Weltz and the members of the district’s counseling and nursing staff with a $5,000 check. Pictured from left are: Kathy Fewlass, Jayme Cotter, Susan Breining, Emily Johnson, Betsy Wade, Rhonda Hinman, Chris McElwee, Erin Rumelhart, Rex Weltz, James Kiser and Darlene Cooper.

Many of us set new goals about having February is National a healthier lifestyle in the new year.

Children’s Dental Health Month.

Why not make one of your New Year's resolutions improving your dental health?




Big Sky Dental Clinic in Polson reminds parents that their children can avoid cavities. Brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, cleaning between your teeth daily, eating a healthy diet that limits sugary beverages and snacks, and seeing your dentist regularly for prevention and treatment oral arearethe keys Dr. Chris Claveofand his disease helpful staff here for to you.a Pleaselifetime call 883-5544 to schedule an appointment. of healthy teeth and gums. Resolve to treat your body and mouth right, Make child’s appointment improve your your health and have a great 2018! with Dr. Chris Clave today.

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Health & Fitness

January 24, 2018 - 11

TIRED OF PRESCRIPTIONS? READY FOR A CHANGE? QUALIFYING CONDITIONS: • Severe chronic pain that is persistent pain of severe intensity that significantly interferes with daily activities as documented by the patient’s treating physician • Cancer, glaucoma or positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, or acquired immune deficiency syndrome when the condition or disease results in symptoms that seriously and adversely affect the patient’s health status • Cachexia or wasting syndrome • A central nervous system disorder resulting in chronic, painful spasticity or muscle spasms • Intractable nausea or vomiting • Epilepsy or an intractable seizure disorder • Multiple sclerosis • Crohn’s disease • Painful peripheral neuropathy • Admittance into hospice care • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD)

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5 things to know before choosing a retirement home By Lindsey Dorrington


onsumers are changing the game ... Montana defines “seniors” as people 55 and older. Seniors now Facetime friends and grandchildren, shop online, and use Facebook. They have changed the world for all time, and they’re not about to stop any time soon. New consumer demand has led to new concepts such as independent living communities and has shattered old ideas that don’t serve seniors well. Taking care of a large house and yard used to be the end-all of the American Dream, often to the detriment of loved ones who slowly became servants instead of masters of their own homes. Today’s seniors put their lifestyle before their street address and are willing to move to fulfill their dreams. ... So dream big Modern seniors know that they are consumers with options and are willing to think outside the box. I recommend you relax and come up with a “Wish List” with the sky as your limit. How about allowances for furry friends? Quiet and privacy? Great views of the outdoors? Snowbird rates? Does it include a fitness center? No steps? New construction? Housekeeping? A club house to rent out for parties and family reunions? Gardening space? A guest room? A town with a vibrant senior citizen community? Some meals? Community events? A garage? Close proximity to hospitals, airports, and shopping? A town without heavy traffic constraints? Such places most certainly exist. Play detective Once you have your “wish list” completed, it’s time to scope out your options to make your dreams reality. Be aware that some popular websites advertising senior housing options only allow large facilities of 20 or more units to do business with them, so it’s important to use more than one source to do your research. I recommend contacting a county’s Council on Aging, whose staff will have your best interests in mind and have a wider scope for options in their area. You can also call the living options directly and ask them specifically about items on your “wish list.” A senior living facility with no fitness center or community garden, for example, may be a tell that they are looking out more for

your check instead of your well-being. If you are seriously interested, many places allow you to spend a night in a vacant apartment, so take a chance and make an adventure of it. Sooner is better than later It is a sad situation for loved ones when seniors live alone in a house that they can no longer care for, waiting for a major medical event to force them into an unwanted living situation. If homes fall out-of-date or into disrepair, they can become expensive to fix and property values can decline. It is often better for anyone to evaluate and reevaluate their living situation to determine if it’s truly fulfilling their needs. When people are really honest with themselves, most don’t enjoy the unending intervals of house maintenance, housework, mowing the lawn, shoveling the snow, and washing windows. Most would much rather spend that time with their families and friends, volunteering for causes they care about, and favorite means of recreation. Today’s seniors know their time and relationships are valuable and set their priorities accordingly. Decisions give you freedom The root of the word “decision” is literally “a cutting off.” As you explore which senior living options fulfill your “wish list” and cut off ones that don’t, you will find a new peace in knowing that you can make your dreams reality. Share your findings with your friends


January is Glaucoma awareness month.

So let’s focus on the need for an exam even if your vision is perfect! Glaucoma steals vision slowly.

Don't wait for vision loss...get an annual exam!


and family and move forward with your informed decision to change your life for the better. Live your life to the fullest and enjoy your retirement. (Lindsey Dorrington and her husband Sage are the owners and operators of The Peaks: Independent Living, a

brand-new retirement community in Ronan, Montana. They can be reached at 406676-PEAK (7325) and at

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According to research, avoiding smoking, controlling high blood pressure and high cholesterol, eating a balanced diet rich in vegetables, fruits and lean protein, being physically and socially active and using cognitive skills may reduce a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s prevalence projected to increase By Karen Peterson/Valley Journal


lzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in Montana and the United States. An estimated 5.5 million Americans were living with the disease in 2017. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, a nonprofit center for support, information and research, the number of Americans living with the disease is increasing. “Deaths from heart disease have decreased by 14 percent (since 2000) while deaths from Alzheimer’s disease have increased by 89 percent,” the association notes in their report. “As the size and proportion of the U.S. population age 65 and older continues to increase, the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s or other dementias will grow. This number will escalate rapidly in coming years, as the population of Americans age 65 and older is projected to nearly double from 48 million to 88 million by 2050.” These numbers come from a study using data from the U.S. Census and the Chicago Health and Aging Project, which is a population-based study of chronic health conditions in older people. It was also noted that Alzheimer’s dementia is underreported and a large number of people might not even know they have it. The Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research notes that there are not any proven strategies to prevent Alzheimer’s at this time, but strong evidence does exist that healthy lifestyle factors may play a role in reducing a person’s risk including avoiding smoking, controlling vascular risk factors like high blood pressure and high cholesterol, eating a balanced diet rich in vegetables, fruits and lean protein, being physically and socially active and using cognitive skills. The Alzheimer’s Association defines the disease as a progressive brain disorder that damages and eventually destroys brain cells, leading to memory loss and changes in thinking and other functions. They also note that Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia. Other types include vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia, and dementia with Lewy bodies. Symptoms of Alzheimer’s usually develop slowly and get worse over time until they interfere with a person’s daily life. “Alzheimer’s 14 - January 24, 2018

is not a normal part of aging, although the greatest known risk factor is increasing age, and the majority of people with Alzheimer’s are 65 and older.” Typical symptoms involve memory-related issues including difficulty remembering newly learned information, disorientation, mood and behavior changes, confusion about events, time and place, and unfounded suspicions of family and friends. The association has a checklist of ten warning signs. Though every individual may experience one or more of these symptoms to some degree, it’s recommended that people consult their doctors if they experience them. Warning signs include memory loss that disrupts daily life (asking the same question over and over), challenges in planning or solving problems like a familiar recipe, difficulty completing familiar tasks, confusion with time or place, trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships, new problems with speaking or writing words, misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps, decreased or poor judgment (dealing with money, for example), withdrawal from work and social activities, and a change in mood and personality. It was noted that early detection allows people to: get the maximum benefit from available treatment, plan for the future, participate in building a care team, and locate support services. A worldwide search is on to find dementia’s cause, cure, and prevention. The National Institute on Aging is currently conducting one of many studies on the disease. The study seeks to determine the effects of physical exercise on cognition, functional status, brain atrophy and blood flow in adults with memory impairment. Other research projects are looking at the effects of certain drugs on the disease. The Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry notes that scientists are “making great progress” in the fight against the disease, but they are facing one big problem: 80 percent of studies are delayed because too few people sign up. Several leading research organizations partnered to create a registry so people can participate in studies they qualify for and choose at The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services also posts information about the project on their website.

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Extended Care resident knits hats for newborns News from St. Luke Community Healthcare

RONAN – Frank Weatherbee knits a hat for a newborn baby nearly every day. Today, 90 handmade infant hats sit in the activities office at St. Luke Extended Care center. Soon they will be shipped to hospitals around the country. Babies born in the hospitals will be given hats before they go home with their families. Knitting hats to donate has been part of Weatherbee’s daily routine since he moved to St. Luke Extended Care Facility in July 2017.  Weatherbee, who is now in his 80s, started knitting with his wife after he retired from a career as a wildlife biologist. Initially, Weatherbee’s wife sold the hats at bazaars. Later the pair began donating them to hospital nurseries.  “He just gets such a kick out of it,” said Betty Sieges, activities director as St. Luke Extended Care. “He

thoroughly enjoys it and he’s such a lovely gentleman.” Weatherbee makes the hats using the spool knitting technique. The method involves looping yarn around wooden pegs on a ring to construct the hat. The yarn that Weatherbee uses is either purchased by the Extended Care activity commission or donated. The finished hats are white and feature one stripe of varying colors around the edge.  Sieges and Weatherbee have worked together to select small hospitals in the United States that will receive the hats. Some will be given to babies born at St. Luke. The St. Luke Extended Care Resident Council recently decided to use their funds to cover the cost of shipping Weatherbee’s hats to hospitals around the country. In the New Year, Weatherbee has branched out into new territory. In addition to baby hats he has started making adult-sized hats for Extended Care staff. 

“ He thoroghly enjoys it and he’s such a lovely gentleman.” - Betty Sieges, activities director, St. Luke Extended Care

Frank Weatherbee’s handmade newborn hats will soon be shipped to hospitals across the country.


Care for a Lifetime ST. LUKE COMMUNITY HEALTHCARE DELIVERS Emergency Care Walk-in Convenient Care Orthopedic Services Surgical Services Respiratory Therapy Occupational and Speech Therapy Physical Therapy/Fitness Center Extended Care Facility Durable Medical Equipment Primary Care Obstetrics Radiology

St. Luke Community Hospital St. Luke Extended Care St. Luke Community Clinic – Ronan St. Luke Community Clinic – Polson St. Luke Community Clinic – St. Ignatius St. Luke Community Oxygen & Durable Equipment St. Luke Community Healthcare Foundation

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January 24, 2018 - 15

Making Mealtimes Fun From the United States Department of Agriculture

Sitting down together for a meal whenever you can is a great way to connect with your family. Keeping it relaxed is key to making sure you are getting the most out of this time together, including talking, laughing and choosing healthy foods. Here are some tips from families for making meals more relaxed in your home: Remove distractions Turn off the television and put away phones and tablets, so that your attention is on each other.   Talk to each other Focus conversation on what family members did during the day, for example, what made you laugh or what you did for fun. Other conversation starters include: Give each family member the spotlight to share their highlight, lowlight, and funny light from the day or week. If our family lived in a zoo, what animals would we be and why? If you could have one super power, what would it be and why? If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have one food to eat, what would it be and why?    Pass on traditions Tell children about the “good old days” such as foods grandma made that you loved to eat. 


Let kids make choices Set a healthy table and let everyone, including the kids, make choices about what they want and how much to eat. Let everyone help Kids learn by doing. The little one might get the napkins and older kids help with fixing foods and clean‐up.     Make-your-own dishes like tacos, mini pizzas, and yogurt parfaits. Get everyone involved in meal time.   On nice days, opt for a change of scenery. For example, go to a nearby park for a dinner picnic.  


Reserve a special plate to rotate between family members, for example on birthdays, when someone gets a good grade, or any other occasion you’d like to recognize. Children mix up a sauce for a salad at K. William Harvey Elementary School in Ronan in 2015. The students work together to make the salad from start to finish.


16 - January 24, 2018

Health & Fitness

2018 Health and Fitness  
2018 Health and Fitness