Live Well, Be Happy, Stay Healthy

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CommonSpirit - St. Anthony Hospital

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Jun 02, 2010

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Colorado - Denver Metro

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At St. Anthony Hospitals Health Passport, we know that good health is a result of many different factors. Whether you are looking for Medicare and health insurance counseling, want to expand your horizons with history or computer classes, need help understanding your opportunities to receive public benefits, or want to join an innovative volunteer program, you will find Health Passport an invaluable resource. Plus, you'll be connected with dynamic group of well-educated, engaged Coloradans who want to learn how to live better, be healthier, stay active, meet interesting people and contribute to their community.

HealthPassport The Original offers health & wellness education, lifelong learning and travel opportunities. Membership is FREE!
o Health Passport members receive a quarterly course schedule offering upcoming events and classes, including health topics, computer classes, excursions, and overnight travel.
o Learn to live better through participation in one of our chronic disease self-management programs or fall avoidance series.

Health Passport Links offers programs such as
o BenefitsCheckUp Colorado, a program designed to help older adults find public and private programs which may assist with the expenses of health care, food, utilities and more. The screening is free and confidential
o RxAssist , a free telephone counseling service that helps determine if there are programs available to lower the cost of your medications.
o Have questions about Medicare? Health Insurance Counseling for Seniors is a free, full-service counseling program that provides information to seniors about Medicare and other health insurance issues of interest to older adults and the disabled. We do not recommend, endorse, or promote any insurance company, policy or agent.

Want to be more active by volunteering in your community? Health Passport offers a wide range of meaningful volunteer opportunities including our Reconnect Leadership Project, where volunteers provide support and information to patients and their families about their current and future health care needs and assist their families in their transition process home from the hospital. Need more information? Interested in one of our many programs or in volunteering? Call 303-629-4921 or toll free, 1-866-550-2752, or find us online at www.myhealthpassport.org.

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The 12 Most Common Health Problems for Senior Adults

Americans today live longer than any other period in history. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you can live nearly 20 years past age 65. But this longevity doesnt mean youll live to a ripe old age without any health concerns. Rather, living longer means recognizing symptoms and managing chronic health conditions to stay healthy as possible during your remaining years.Traditional advice stands when it comes to staying healthy as you age. It requires making healthy choices like not smoking (or stopping), maintaining a healthy weight, staying physically active, and eating a healthy diet.And if you want to be vigilant and proactive, consider 12 of the most common senior health problems. Keeping these conditions and their most prominent symptoms in mind can help you catch diseases and issues before they progress.1. ArthritisIts the condition youre most likely to face at age 65 and older. It affects almost 50 percent of people in this age bracket. If not managed or treated, it can lower your quality of life and limit your activity. But be careful about limiting your movements too much. Its best to work with your doctor to create a plan for physical activity. If done right, staying physically active can help your joints and also keep the rest of your body in good health. The most common symptoms of arthritis are joint swelling, stiffness, and pain.2. Heart DiseaseWhile arthritis is the most common condition among seniors, heart disease is the deadliest. Its considered the leading killer of adults aged 65 and older. Its found in 37 percent of men and 26 percent of women this age.Why such an epidemic? The risk factors for heart disease are very common and include high blood pressure and high cholesterol. The typical American lifestyle that includes a poor diet and little exercise makes these risk factors so prevalent. Its a perfect storm that makes heart disease almost inevitable for some people unless they make serious changes.You probably wont know that you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart disease without screenings. So be sure to get regular check ups with your primary care physician.3. CancerHeart disease is the number one killer of those 65 and older, but the second leading cause of death among seniors is cancer. And even more people continue to live and battle cancer. Early detection is the best way to prevent a long fight with cancer or eventual death. This means screenings are key. If you catch cancer early through mammograms, skin checks, and colonoscopies, you can experience successful treatment.Its not always possible to prevent cancer, but once diagnosed you can work with your healthcare team to ensure you maintain a good quality of life as you seek treatments. Cancer symptoms vary greatly and often come too late, which means that screenings are a top priority.4. Respiratory DiseaseThis is the third most common cause of death if youre 65 or older. Chronic lower respiratory disease include COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), asthma, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema. If you have a respiratory disease, youre more susceptible to pneumonia and other lung infections. Smoking commonly causes COPD and emphysema but is not the only cause of lower respiratory conditions.Even with these diseases, you can improve your quality of life and preserve your health by getting lung function tests, taking medications, and using oxygen according to your doctors prescription.5. Alzheimers DiseaseAlzheimers disease eventually leads to death as the condition progresses and ranks as the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. Its tough to diagnose, which means that many are unaware they are living with the disease. And since Alzheimers disease impairs cognitive function, it affects many aspects of your health, even putting your safety at risk and preventing self-care.A few of the early signs of Alzheimers disease include memory loss that disrupt your daily life, difficulty problem solving and following instructions at a basic level, and difficulty completing familiar tasks.6. OsteoporosisWhile osteoporosis wont kill you, it is a very common health problem for seniors. Not only can it cause falls and lead to fractures, but it also reduces your mobility and even makes you disabled. Eventually, your vertebrae can collapse and cause serious problems. Its a disorder that essentially means you're prone to bone loss, and therefore, low bone mass. Fragile bones means more breaks and possible mobility issues.As you deal with fractures, spinal problems, and even limited mobility, your quality of life can suffer. Sometimes other health conditions develop. Early signs of osteoporosis include bone fractures, lost height, curved upper back, and sudden back pain. But osteoporosis is considered a silent disease and often has no noticeable symptoms until the condition advances or bones break. Thats why its important to have routine bone density scans after age 50.7. DiabetesAlthough common, diabetes is still a significant health risk. Not only can uncontrolled diabetes lead to eventual death, you can also lose limbs, fingers, and toes. According to the CDC, about 25 percent of people 65 and older have diabetes. Although the consequences of diabetes can be dire, you can prevent the worst-case scenarios. Simple blood tests can detect elevated blood sugar and diagnose the condition. If you have routine preventative checkups, youre probably already getting regular diabetes screenings.Its best to catch diabetes early before it does irreparable damage to organs. As you get the diagnosis, you can take steps to reduce the severity of the conditions and prevent further damage. Some common symptoms of diabetes include frequent urination, unusual thirst, fatigue, cuts or bruises that are slow to heal. 8. Influenza and PneumoniaSince the COVID pandemic, it seems that everyone is more susceptible to the flu and pneumonia. Even though theyre not chronic conditions, they are the eighth leading cause of death in people aged 65 and older. This is because seniors are more susceptible to catching the flu and developing pneumonia infections. Your immune system isnt as well equipped to fight off these types of invaders. This is why medical experts recommend that you get a flu shot and pneumonia vaccine if you're 65 and older. Of course, this is with doctors approval, because vaccinations may aggravate some medical conditions.9. FallingWhen youre a senior, especially one who lives alone, falling can be very dangerous. The older you are when you fall, the more likely you are to need an emergency room. Every year, millions of seniors are treated in emergency rooms across the country due to falls. And often, one fall leads to another within one year. Falling can create new health problems or aggravate existing ones. You may even suffer from broken bones, which will make self-care much more difficult. Most falls occur at home, and so prevention is possible to some degree. You cant keep a leg or ankle from giving out as you climb the stairs, but you can clear your hope of trip hazards and slippery areas.10. ObesityObesity leads to a host of health problems that can become more serious as you age. Its a leading risk factor for heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. And all of these conditions can decrease your quality of life as a senior adult. The more excess weight you carry, the greater your risk for developing these conditions. Over 40 percent of women and 36 percent of men between 65 and 74 years old are obese. According to the CDC, obesity is defined as having a body mass index greater than or equal to 30.Obesity also increases the risk and severity of urinary incontinence. 11. Urinary IncontinenceWhile incontinence can develop at any age, depending on conditions and circumstances, age is a major risk factor. Between 25 and 33 percent of U.S. adults experience involuntary loss of urine known as incontinence. For some seniors, leaks may be only occasional or when youre active. This is known as stress incontinence. You might also dribble or leak urine regularly and require incontinence products to protect against these leaks.This health condition affects your daily life but is manageable. If youre leaking urine, consult with your doctor to determine a specific cause and proper treatment.12. DepressionWhen you think of depression, you might think of younger people like teens or young adults. And its not uncommon for new mothers to experience postpartum depression. But its also a common senior health problem. According to the American Psychological Association, 15-20 percent of Americans over 65 have experienced notable periods of depression. And its not just about your mental condition or mood. Depression can also reduce your immunity and keep you from effectively fighting infections.For seniors, increased social interaction, companionship, and more physical activity often help alleviate depressive symptoms. Symptoms of depression in older adults include sad mood, feelings of hopelessness or helplessness, irritability, fatigue, and loss of interest in activities that were once pleasurable. Stay Aware of Common SymptomsYou can drive yourself crazy if you think about everything that could go wrong with your health. But its wise to be aware that it commonly affects seniors and take precautions. Understanding the common symptoms and how to recognize them can help you keep you prepared. Generally, if you take good care of yourself, remain active, eat right, and avoid bad habits like smoking, youll be on the right track for better health as you age. Be sure to get regular screenings for some of these conditions too.TYE Medical offers premium incontinence products in a variety of sizes and absorbency levels. Shop our online store for discreet and free shipping on all orders. 

How Does Colorado Medicaid Pay for Assisted Living?

Does Medicaid pay for Assisted Living? Medicaid is funded in part by the federal government and in part by the states. If you are confused about Medicaid, you arent alone. The Federal and State government are continuously changing rules surrounding healthcare, making it difficult for many people to know if they are using the correct information and making the right choices. Below, weve gathered some of the main benefits and drawbacks as well as some links to our vetted resources. Or, feel free to give our team at Stacys Helping Hand, Inc a call at the number above if you would like a Denver assisted living expert to help provide some clarity.Does Medicaid Pay for Assisted LivingIn Colorado, you can apply directly to Medicaid on your own, or you can choose to get Medicaid through the PACE program. In the Denver area, the program is called the InnovAge Greater Colorado PACE. We recommend utilizing InnovAge if the centers are conveniently located due to the fact that many of the assisted living facilities that dont accept Medicaid will accept payments through InnovAge. The drawback is that InnovAge centers are in limited zip codes and require that you go through their network of experts. For difficult cases, you might need to talk to a local medicaid expert.Medicaid BenefitsIf you have limited assets, low income and you need help paying for nursing home or assisted living care, Medicaid might help you pay for part of your care. Nursing home and assisted living services are considered types of long-term care. Long-term care consists of not just medical services, but also personal services. For example, a resident in a nursing home might pay for assistance with bathing and dressing in addition to medical treatment. Medicaid rules for long-term care are significantly different in many ways than their rules for other services.Medicaid DrawbacksMedicaid may not be the best source of funding for assisted living depending on your situation. The first questions most often asked is whether Medicare will pay for assisted living. The answer is no. Medicare is strictly health insurance. Long Term Care Medicaid pays about 30% less than whats needed for most assisted living costs. Medicaid will cover up to $2250 a month at most.Since Medicaid reimbursement rates for assisted living facilities are not high, many assisted living communities dont accept Medicaid. The ones that do are often shared living communities. Also, given the limited range of services for which Medicaid provides assistance and the enrollment caps and waiting lists for Medicaid waivers, many families might benefit by finding affordable assisted living outside of the Medicaid system.EligibilityFor those who need help with assisted living in Denver, adults without dependent children whose household income does not exceed 133% Federal Poverty Level can apply here and will also need to apply for an Elderly Blind and Disabled Waiver (EBD Waiver). If they already have Colorado Medicaid Insurance, then they would apply for the Medicaid EBD Waiver. This waiver is what will contribute to covering the costs of assisted living.Weve written in more depth about the financial eligibility aspects of Long Term Care Medicaid (EBD Waiver) in Paying for Assisted Living Facilities: Spend Downs. In a nutshell, Long Term Care Medicaid requires you to contribute most of your income for room and board when you are living in an assisted living and the EBD Waiver will supplement the facility for your care. You are allowed to keep a small fixed amount of money as a personal needs allowance to pay for snacks, clothing and personal products.There are spousal protection rules, but if you need that much detail, wed recommend talking to a local expert. You can give us a call at Stacys Helping Hand, Inc at 720-248-7758

Sun Safety for Everyone with These Sun Safety Tips

Stay Sun-Safe with These Sun Safety Tips Summer is in full swing and with it comes the long-awaited sunshine. While the sun can provide many benefits, it can also be detrimental to our health if we do not take care to protect ourselves.  Whether you're spending time outdoors on a sunny day, going for a walk or just sitting on the porch, protecting yourself from harmful rays should always be a top priority. In this blog post, we will share tips and tricks on how to keep safe in the sun. Facts and Stats About Skin Cancer  Staying ahead of skin cancer means staying informed about its causes, risks, and outcomes. The Skin Cancer Foundation (Opens in a new window) shares the following staggering facts and stats about skin cancer in the United States:  1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70. Every hour, more than 2 people die of skin cancer in the U.S. Your risk for melanoma doubles after experiencing five or more sunburns. Early detection of melanoma leads to a 99% 5-year survival rate. Risks of Skin Cancer and Who is Most at Risk Although anyone can develop skin cancer, some people are more at risk than others. According to the American Cancer Society (Opens in a new window), those with fair skin, light hair, and blue or green eyes are more likely to get skin cancer, as are those with a personal or family history of skin cancer. Additionally, exposure to UV rays from the sun or tanning beds can greatly increase your risk. And while skin cancer can happen at any age, it's more common in people over the age of 50, says the Skin Cancer Foundation (Opens in a new window).  Tips for Staying Safe in the Sun We all want to make sure that were taking the best possible care of ourselves and our loved ones, especially when it comes to protecting ourselves from the dangers of spending too much time in the sun. Overexposure can lead to serious health risks such as dehydration, sunburns, heat exhaustion even skin cancer so its imperative for us to be aware of sun protection methods during outdoor activities. Here are some sun safety tips to bear in mind when spending time outside: Apply sunscreen regularly: Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen (SPF of 30 or higher) that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. To ensure that sunscreen is evenly applied, use about an oz (a shot glass) worth of sunscreen or enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating. Wear appropriate clothing: Wear loose, comfortable clothing that covers as much skin as possible, such as long-sleeved shirts and pants. Consider sun protective clothing with UV blocking fabric. Seek shade: Stay under the shade as much as possible and always use an umbrella, tent, or other porous objects to provide shade. Again, avoid being in the midday sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., when UV rays are the strongest. Wear a hat: Wearing a wide-brimmed hat is a great way to protect your face, ears, and neck from the sun. Hydrate: Drink plenty of water being in the sun can be dehydrating. Dont be fooled by cloudy weather: UV radiation can still damage your skin, even on a cloudy day. It is important always to apply sunscreen when going outside for an extended period. Tips for Preventing Skin Cancer According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Opens in a new window), skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the U.S., and it affects millions of people every year. It is caused by damage to the skin cells caused by the sun's harmful UV rays. CDC research show that certain people carry risk factors that make them more susceptible to skin cancer (Opens in a new window). Whether you have risk factors for cancer or not, there are plenty of ways to protect your skin from the sun and prevent skin cancer: Monitor your medications: Some medications can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. If you are taking any prescription drugs, talk to your doctor, or pharmacist, about the potential side effects and how to protect your skin. Live a healthy lifestyle: Eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and managing stress can all have a positive effect on your skin. By living a healthy lifestyle, you can give your skin the best chance of staying healthy and avoiding skin cancer. Avoid Tanning Beds: If you're looking to get a tan, skip the tanning bed and opt for a self-tanner instead. Tanning beds expose your skin to harmful UV rays, increasing your risk of skin cancer. Get Regular Skin Checks: Schedule regular appointments with a dermatologist to have your skin checked for any signs of skin cancer. Catching it early can greatly improve your chances of successful treatment. Protect. Protect. Protect: As mentioned above, some of the most proactive steps you can take to protect yourself from skin cancer is to seek the shade; avoid the suns UV rays when they are strongest between 10 am and 4 pm; wear sun protective clothing; and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.  Call today for more information 303-300-6666.

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CommonSpirit - St. Anthony Hospital

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