NATIONAL IMMUNIZATION MONTH – AUGUST

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

-Adults: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/adults/for-patients/index.html

cholesterol medications for patients over 80 years old

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).

References:

  1. Journal Of The American Geriatrics Society:  Volume 64, Issue 7 July 2016; Pages 1475–1479. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jgs.14207/full
  2. http://www.nps.org.au/topics/ages-life-stages/for-individuals/older-people-and-medicines/for-health-professionals/evidence-and-guidelines/using-statins
  3. http://www.acc.org/latest-in-cardiology/articles/2015/03/10/07/46/statins-for-primary-prevention-in-older-adults
  4. http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/22/controversy-over-statins-for-older-patients/?_r=0

Alzheimer’s

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

http://www.alz.org/living_with_alzheimers_4521.asp

https://www.caregiver.org/alzheimers-disease-caregiving

https://alzheimers.acl.gov/family_care.html

 

Alzheimer’s Association Greater Idaho Chapter Caregiver Support Groups: 

http://www.alz.org/idaho/in_my_community_support.asp

 

Boise

Cathedral of the Rockies

717 N. 11th Street

Boise, ID 83702

1st & 3rd Thursday, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Jim Clayton

208.336.5995

 

Willow Park Assisted Living

2600 N. Milwaukee

Boise, ID 83704

2nd & 4th Thursday, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Linda Arends/Joanne Franklin

208.373.1234

 

Cathedral of the Rockies #2

717 N. 11th Street

Boise, ID 83702

2nd Tuesday, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Amy Leavitt

208.995.6497

 

West Boise

Overland Court Senior Living

10250 W. Smoke Ranch Dr.

Boise, ID 83709

2ndWednesday, 6:00 pm

Cheri Kantola/Pam Wilkerson

208.615.3486

 

Eagle

Paramount Assisted Living

815 N. Eagle Road

Eagle, ID 83616

2ndWednesday, 3:00 pm

Susan Ness

208.465.7121

 

Eagle Public Library

100 N. Sherman Way

Eagle, ID 83616

2nd & 4th Tuesdays, 2:00 pm

Sara Kolnes

208.860.4182

 

Meridian

Home Instead

55 W. Willowbrook Drive, Suite 101

Meridian, ID 83646

3rd Thursday, 5:00pm – 6:00pm

Mike & Geneva Powell

208.888.9962

 

Kuna

Kuna Public Library

457 Locust Ave.

Kuna, ID 83634

1st Wednesday, 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Lisa Underwood

208.888.7030

 

Nampa

Church of the Brethren

11030 W. Orchard Avenue

Nampa, ID 83651

2ndWednesday, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Walt Miller

208.465.9064

 

Caldwell

Autumn Wind

200 W. Beech Street

Caldwell, ID 83605

2nd Tuesday, 1:30 pm

Sherry Smith

208.795.5813