The seven Regional Arthritis Centers (RACs) are part of a statewide network run by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Service’s Arthritis and Osteoporosis Program (MAOP). For Missouri Arthritis Program information, click here. Click on the map to go directly to each RAC's web page.
Just because the fall season is coming to an end (winter solstice occurs on Sunday, December 21), that doesn't mean we can't still talk about Falls Awareness! Falls Prevention Day occurred at the start of the season, September 23. This national event provided many resources in communities across the United States, including here in Missouri with the Show Me Falls Free Missouri. The winter season is another great time to talk about falls, as natural hazards and other fall risks may increase.
Here in Missouri we've already seen bitterly cold days, sleet, snow, and mornings where the ground is frozen and cars are covered with frost. In true Missouri weather fashion, we've also seen temperatures in the 60s in December. The saying - If you don't like the weather, give it 30 minutes - truly does feel like it applies here. While the weather may feel unpredictable, there are steps you can take to be prepared for whatever winter weather may come our way. Being prepared for winter weather is especially important for older adults, adults with disabilities, caregivers, and adults with chronic health conditions. One example of a special need for being prepared for winter weather when living with a chronic health condition, is managing medications and communicating with a health care provider regarding any specific medical needs.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has compiled a number of resources for staying personally prepared. The Administration on Aging (AoA) also has a quick Healthy Living Tips sheet for winter weather. Ready.gov also has great resources for being prepared ahead of time for a winter storm, as well as what steps can be taken during and after a storm. No matter what resources you seek out in order to get prepared, please be sure to do so. Consider being prepared a Step to Better Health!
With a large presence in the industrial, manufacturing, chemical, and mining industries, Missouri has seen a high rate of asbestos-related illnesses over the past decades. Adults over the age of 45, in particular, who worked in the aforementioned industries, run a high risk of being affected by the devastating results of asbestos exposure.
Do you qualify for or already have Medicare as a personal insurance? Whether this is your first time choosing a Medicare insurance plan or if you are renewing for the 20th year, picking the right plan for you can be tricky. Hopefully you have had the opportunity to talk with friends, families, and professionals about what plan is best for you. If you are still trying to decide though, you have until Sunday, December 7 to select your plan for 2015.
November is a time to come together as a community to stop diabetes. In order to do this, we must spread the word and educate others on the powerful impact that diabetes can have on someone’s life. The good news? People who are at high risk for type 2 diabetes can lower their risk by more than half if they make healthy changes. These changes include: eating healthy, increasing physical activity, and losing weight. So let’s work together to make this known!
Thank Our Veterans and Offer Steps to Better Health
Today, November 11, we celebrate Veterans Day. Veterans Day was originally proclaimed as “Armistice Day” In November 1919 at the end of World War I. The Act of 1938 officially made this day a legal holiday “to be dedicated to the cause of world peace”, primarily to honor veterans of World War I (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 2014). Veterans Day, as we know it today, became official in 1954 in order to honor American veterans of all wars. The purpose of Veterans Day is “a celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good” (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 2014). We thank all of our veterans for their service!
Today, November 7, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released their weekly public health information and recommendations report (MMWR, Vol. 63, No. 44); this report has information of note for the arthritis community. We know that arthritis is very common overall for both men and women of all age groups and ethnicities. In the report, Arthritis Among Veterans, we learn that arthritis is more common among veterans than non-veterans overall. Nationally, about 1 in 3 veterans (35%) have arthritis (CDC, 2014). In Missouri, the number of veterans with arthritis is closer to 2 in 5 (37%) (CDC, 2014). You can read the national report in full here. Check back next week as we look more specifically at Missouri veterans. We will feature state resources that help to improve the quality of life for Missouri veterans with chronic health conditions, like arthritis.
As baseball season comes to an end and football season ramps up, we also find ourselves at the start of flu season. This year, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is encouraging all Missourians to "Stay in the game. Get vaccinated." and Tackle the Flu! Want to know more about flu symptoms, recommendations for who should get vaccinated, why health officials encourage folks to get vaccinated, and ways to protect yourself from the flu? Click here for more information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A quick fact sheet can also be found below:
The Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program helps individuals improve in flexibility and motion. The exercises done are designed to support individuals with arthritis or pain from other health conditions. All exercises help support joint movement and are modifiable to an individual’s needs. No matter if you are just starting to exercise for the first time, if you are re-starting to exercise, or if you regularly exercise, this program is beneficial for improving your health.
Self-management classes help teach and reinforce important skills so individuals can properly manage a number of common chronic diseases. Some common chronic health problems include: arthritis, asthma diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, and lung disease. These programs are offered in a classroom-like setting and are led by other people who have chronic health conditions. The Missouri Arthritis and Osteoporosis Program offers four in-person self-management classes: Living a Healthy Life (Chronic Disease Self-Management Program – CDSMP), Diabetes Self-Management Program (DSMP), Tomando Control de su Salud (Spanish version of CDSMP), and Chronic Pain Self-Management Program (CPSMP). The Living a Healthy Life and Tomando Control de su Salud classes are available to any person with a chronic disease and/or their caregivers.