August is National Immunization Month! Be safe- be sure you and your children are immunized to help prevent potentially deadly diseases that are easily preventable!
National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) is an annual observance held in August to highlight the importance of vaccination for people of all ages. NIAM was established to encourage people of all ages to make sure they are up to date on the vaccines recommended for them. Vaccines play in protecting children’s and adult’s health! Please see the following for more information of vaccines recommended for different age groups:
– Birth through Age 6: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/conversations/prevent-diseases/provider-resources-factsheets-infants.html
– 7 through 18 years old: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/conversations/prevent-diseases/provider-resources-factsheets-teens.html
-College students: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/adults/rec-vac/index.html
Although cholesterol lowering medication clearly reduces heart attacks and strokes, little has been published about its’ effectiveness for patients over 80 years old. Current use focuses on “primary prevention” (prevent the initial occurrence of a heart attack or stroke) or “secondary prevention” (prevent a recurrence of disease).
In the United States, the American College of Cardiology states the evidence is not entirely clear for patients 80+ years old, and recommends individual doctor-patient discussions. The Choosing Wisely campaign promotes the concept of avoiding lipid lowering medications in persons with a limited life expectancy (< 5 years). In Australia, the NPS recommends against cholesterol med use in patients over 80 years’ age. They state, “the limited available evidence does not support an effect of lipid-lowering treatment in this population.”
A recent publication evaluated cholesterol medications in older individuals. A chart review of 1,262 hospitalized patients with heart attack, unstable angina or chronic heart disease found 72% of patients were discharged on cholesterol medication and 28% were not. Subsequent evaluation found no significant difference in all-cause mortality after three years, whether medication was used or not.
What does this mean to folks over 80 years’ age, who now take cholesterol medication? Discuss the potential risks and benefits of continued cholesterol medication with your doctor – whether for primary or secondary prevention. Please do not stop cholesterol medication without discussion with your physician. Factors to review include cost (minimal for widely available potent generics like atorvastatin), side effects (muscle aches, slight increased risk diabetes or memory loss), and benefit (possible improved quality of life via fewer heart attacks, no reduction in all-cause mortality, no clear conclusion at present).
As our population ages, more families are left coping with a loved one who has been diagnosed with dementia. Recent statistics indicate that 1 in 8 adults over the age of 65 has at least some findings of dementia, and the prevalence rate balloons to HALF of people over the age of 85. In 1983, President Ronald Reagan designated November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month.
Dementia is an umbrella term describing a variety of diseases and conditions that develop when nerve cells in the brain lose normal function. These cell changes affect memory, behavior, personality, clear thinking and the ability safely care for oneself. Eventually these brain changes impair an individual’s ability to perform even basic bodily functions, such as personal hygiene, dressing and eating.
Given the loss of self-care, family members are needed to help. Because loved ones are often not aware of how much dementia is affecting them, discussions surrounding driving, finances and staying at home can be delicate and difficult. Care needs can progress from intermittent in-home assistance to 24/7 total care. Dramatic changes in behavior often leave family caregivers feeling afraid or powerless.
We encourage you to talk to your doctor about dementia and care issues that your family is confronting. Medications are available to help with depression, aggression and memory, but they will never restore a person fully to their former self. Please remember that you are not alone; numerous support organizations offer help – both in person and over the phone.
Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 help line: 1-800-272-3900
Alzheimer’s Association Greater Idaho Chapter Caregiver Support Groups:
Cathedral of the Rockies
717 N. 11th Street
Boise, ID 83702
1st & 3rd Thursday, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Willow Park Assisted Living
2600 N. Milwaukee
Boise, ID 83704
2nd & 4th Thursday, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Linda Arends/Joanne Franklin
Cathedral of the Rockies #2
717 N. 11th Street
Boise, ID 83702
2nd Tuesday, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Overland Court Senior Living
10250 W. Smoke Ranch Dr.
Boise, ID 83709
2ndWednesday, 6:00 pm
Cheri Kantola/Pam Wilkerson
Paramount Assisted Living
815 N. Eagle Road
Eagle, ID 83616
2ndWednesday, 3:00 pm
Eagle Public Library
100 N. Sherman Way
Eagle, ID 83616
2nd & 4th Tuesdays, 2:00 pm
55 W. Willowbrook Drive, Suite 101
Meridian, ID 83646
3rd Thursday, 5:00pm – 6:00pm
Mike & Geneva Powell
Kuna Public Library
457 Locust Ave.
Kuna, ID 83634
1st Wednesday, 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Church of the Brethren
11030 W. Orchard Avenue
Nampa, ID 83651
2ndWednesday, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
200 W. Beech Street
Caldwell, ID 83605
2nd Tuesday, 1:30 pm