August is National Immunization Month!

During National Immunization Awareness Month, the Family Care blog will be featuring several resources on vaccines and why it is important to stay up to date with all recommended vaccinations, for everyone from children to adults.

From the National Public Health Coalition:

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. Communities have continued to use the month each year to raise awareness about the important role vaccines play in preventing serious, sometimes deadly, diseases. NIAM is sponsored by the National Public Health Information Coalition (NPHIC). For more information on the observance, visit NPHIC’s NIAM website.

All adults should get vaccines to protect their health. Even healthy adults can become seriously ill, and can pass certain illnesses on to others. Everyone should have their vaccination needs assessed at their doctor’s office, pharmacy or other visits with healthcare providers. Certain vaccines are recommended based on a person’s age, occupation or health conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes or heart disease. Vaccination is important because it not only protects the person receiving the vaccine, but also helps prevent the spread of disease, especially to those that are most vulnerable to serious complications such as infants and young children, elderly, and those with chronic conditions and weakened immune systems.

All adults, including pregnant women, should get the influenza (flu) vaccine each year to protect against seasonal flu. Every adult should have one dose of Tdap vaccine (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis or whooping cough) if they did not get Tdap as a teen, and then get the Td (tetanus and diphtheria) booster vaccine every 10 years. In addition, pregnant women are recommended to get the Tdap vaccine each time they are pregnant, preferably at 27 through 36 weeks.

Adults 60 year and older are recommended to receive the shingles vaccine. And adults 65 and older are recommended to receive one or more pneumococcal vaccines. Some adults younger than 65 years with certain high risk conditions are also recommended to receive one or more pneumococcal vaccinations.

Adults may need other vaccines – such as hepatitis A, hepatitis B and HPV – depending on their age, occupation, travel, medical conditions, vaccinations they have already received or other considerations.

 

World Family Doctor Day is May 19!

The first World Family Doctor Day was declared by the World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA) in 2010. It has gained momentum globally each year, with activities, meetings, and celebrations planned to:

  • Bring attention to the contributions of family doctors globally;
  • Recognize family doctors;
  • Increase the morale of family doctors, and;
  • Highlight important issues relating to family doctors and the work they perform in supporting health care for people around the world.

From globalfamilydoctor.com:

  • World Family Doctor Day (FDD) – 19th May – was first declared by WONCA in 2010 and it has become a day to highlight the role and contribution of family doctors in health care systems around the world. The event has gained momentum globally each year and it is a wonderful opportunity to acknowledge the central role of our specialty in the delivery of personal, comprehensive and continuing health care for all of our patients. It’s also a chance to celebrate the progress being made in family medicine and the special contributions of family doctors all around the world.
  • We’re very happy for Member Organizations to develop their own theme for FDD, depending on local priorities, but this year we’d especially like to highlight smoking cessation. Smoking is the activity most damaging to health in a whole range of ways, and part of our role as family doctors is to be able to encourage our patients to stop smoking and to provide resources and support to help them.

To help raise awareness for this year’s special topic of smoking cessation, check out this beautiful infographic that describes the short-term and long-term benefits of quitting immediately!

March 30 is National Doctor’s Day!

“There is no greater reward in our profession than the knowledge that God has entrusted us with the physical care of His people. The Almighty has reserved for Himself the power to create life, but He has assigned to a few of us the responsibility of keeping in good repair the bodies in which this life is sustained.”

~ Dr. Elmer Hess, former president of the American Medical Association.

Primary Care Providers in Durham, NC

Thank you to all three of our providers for working so hard to take great care of our patients every day!

If you are interested, here is the link to President George H. W. Bush’s speech where he designated March 30 to be National Doctor’s Day in 1991.

Healthy Weight Week is January 18 – 24!

From fitwoman.org:

Healthy Weight Week was created 23 years ago to help people understand that health really isn’t about a number – on the scale or otherwise – and to encourage people to stop dieting and pursue livable and sustainable healthy lifestyles through eating well, living actively and feeling good about themselves.

Your healthy weight is your natural weight, which is largely determined by your genetics. If you come from a family of larger or smaller people, you are likely to be larger or smaller. Achieving and maintaining your healthy weight is supported by healthful, enjoyable living that includes mindful, pleasurable eating and physical activity, effective stress management, adequate sleep and more. It is not a weight that is achieved through restricting what you eat or excessively exercising in order to lose weight.

Read moreHealthy Weight Week is January 18 – 24!

A Diabetes-Friendly Guide to a Healthy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Here are a couple of helpful infographics for diabetics to use during the Thanksgiving holiday from the American Association of Diabetes Educators. Click on the images for additional diabetic-friendly Thanksgiving recipes you can try. thanksgiving_diabetes_healthyplate

thanksgiving_diabetes_healthytips

 

World Diabetes Day is November 14!

From the International Diabetes Federation:

World Diabetes Day (WDD) is celebrated annually on November 14. Led by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), World Diabetes Day was created in 1991 by IDF and the World Health Organization in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes.

Activities and materials in 2015 will focus on healthy eating as a key factor in the fight against diabetes and a cornerstone of health and sustainable development.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKrCeiUuwDE

From diabetes.co.uk, “the theme of World Diabetes Day, from 2014 to 2016 will be healthy living and diabetes and this year, there’s a focus on starting each day right by having a healthy breakfast.” Here are the key messages that the International Diabetes Federation focused on during 2014:

1. ‘Investing’ in a healthy breakfast will reduce the global burden of diabetes, and save billions in lost productivity and healthcare costs.

2. Ensuring access to an affordable and healthy breakfast is essential to reducing the global burden of diabetes.

To supplement our usual CSA Recipe feature and keep in theme with the goal of this health holiday, here are a few diabetes-friendly breakfast recipes for you to try this month.

November is Family Caregivers Month!

Family Caregivers Month

Since our practice’s name is literally spelled out in the name of this health holiday, I thought it’d be a perfect fit to feature on the Family Care blog.

Family Caregivers Week was started in 1994 and quickly grew into a popular event, so the White House expanded the concept to name November as Family Caregivers Month in 2014, with Family Caregivers Week falling during the last week of November. Here is the health holiday’s mission, from the official White House proclamation for the holiday:

Each day, courageous individuals step forward to help care for family members in need, their quiet acts of selflessness and sacrifice telling a story of love and devotion. Across our country, parents and children, siblings and spouses, friends and neighbors heroically give of themselves to support those in their lives affected by illness, injury, or disability. During National Family Caregivers Month, we salute the people who play difficult and exhausting roles, and we recommit to lifting up these Americans as they care for their loved ones while protecting their dignity and individuality.

In the United States, more than 60 million caregivers provide invaluable strength and assistance to their family members, and as the number of older Americans rises, so will the number of caregivers. Many of these dedicated people work full time and raise children of their own while also caring for the needs of their loved ones. Caregivers support the independence of their family members and enable them to more fully participate in their communities, and as a Nation, we have an obligation to empower these selfless individuals…

Not only this month, but every month, let us work alongside our Nation’s caregivers and make certain they are able to provide the best possible care for their loved ones for as long as necessary. Together, we recognize those who place service above self, including the women and men looking after our veterans. By offering them the same comfort, social engagement, and stability they bring to others, may we remind them that they are not alone.

At our office, it is interesting to see how  many different caregiver relationships there can be. The concept is not just about taking care of your elderly parents or spouse, but simply taking care of any family member in need. A caregiver could include a wife managing her husband’s hospital discharge, or a mother taking care of her handicapped son, or a woman donating a kidney to her sister. Being able to identify the caregivers in your family is the first step towards recognizing them and appreciating the work they have done.

Family Caregivers Month

From AARP:

November is National Family Caregivers Month and the perfect time to recognize the tens of millions of Americans who help older parents, spouses, adult children with disabilities, and other loved ones to live independently in their homes and communities. We are:

  • Partners and spouses caring for each other
  • Fathers caring for their aging parents
  • Grandparents caring for their grandkids
  • Parents caring for their children with disabilities
  • Grandmothers taking care of their husbands,
  • Next-door neighbors’ kids and grandkids taking care of them
  • Friends caring for friends and extended family

Family caregiving transcends politics and generational lines. People across party lines are caregiving, and almost 1 in 10 caregivers are age 75 or older, while 1 in 4 are millennials.

You probably know someone who selflessly helps take care your family, or their own. Sometime during this month, take a moment to say thank you.

Helpful / Related Links: 

November is Diabetic Eye Disease Month!

In keeping with the National Diabetes Awareness Month theme, it makes sense that November is also National Diabetic Eye Disease Month. From our local UNC Hospital:

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, approximately 29 million Americans age 20 or older have diabetes, but almost one-third don’t know they have the disease and are at risk for vision loss and other health problems.

Early symptoms are often unnoticed, therefore vision may not be affected until the disease is severe and less easily treated.

Diabetic eye disease, a group of eye problems that affects those with diabetes, includes diabetic retinopathy, cataracts and glaucoma. The most common of these is diabetic retinopathy, which affects 5.3 million Americans age 18 and older.

From friendsforsight.org:

Diabetes can lead to a wide variety health complications, including heart disease, nerve damage, stroke, kidney disease, and vision loss. In fact, diabetes is the leading cause of blindness among working-age Americans. Diabetes is a risk factor for developing glaucoma, as well as for developing cataracts, but the most common and debilitating vision problem experienced by diabetics is diabetic retinopathy.

Today 3.6 million Americans ages 40 and older suffer from the diabetic retinopathy. During Diabetic Eye Disease Month, Friends for Sight encourages individuals with diabetes to take preventative measures and protect their eyes from the devastating effects of diabetes.

From caringnews.com:

What is diabetic eye disease?

Diabetic eye disease is a group of eye problems affecting people who have diabetes. This includes cataracts and glaucoma, but the most common type is diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in adults 20 – 74 years of age. In this condition, the high blood sugar levels associated with diabetes cause the blood vessels of the retina to swell, leak fluid or become blocked. Sometimes abnormal new blood vessels grow on the retina. Diabetic retinopathy can result in severe vision loss.

Reducing the risk of diabetic eye disease

The good news is that people with diabetes can lower their risk of developing diabetic eye disease. The National Eye Institute (NEI) urges people with diabetes to keep their health on TRACK:

Take your medications.
Reach and maintain a healthy weight.
Add physical activity to your daily routine.
Control your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol.
Kick the smoking habit.

Diagnosis and treatment

Prevention is the best step to protect against the damage caused by diabetic eye disease. But although diabetic eye disease cannot be cured, ophthalmologists offer a number of treatments to reduce or halt the loss of vision. This can only happen if the problem is detected early enough—and unfortunately, patients may not notice that anything is amiss during the early stages. So regular eye exams are extra-important for people with diabetes.

Says the NEI’s Dr. Paul A. Sieving, “The longer a person has diabetes, the greater his or her risk of developing diabetic eye disease. If you have diabetes, be sure to have a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year. Diabetic eye disease often has no early warning signs, but can be detected early and treated before vision loss occurs. Don’t wait until you notice an eye problem to have a dilated eye exam, because vision that is lost often cannot be restored.”

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month!


This month, the Family Care blog will be featuring educational materials and information specifically for people living with diabetes. Our office has held free diabetes education classes for our patients for the past few years because we think it is necessary for patients to fully understand the disease to lower their health risks and the overall impact that diabetes has on their lives. November is designated as National Diabetes Education Month by the American Diabetes Association, so it is a great time to raise awareness of the challenges and help provide a better understanding of how to live with diabetes. The goal of the month, according to the American Diabetes Association:

The vision of the American Diabetes Association is a life free of diabetes and all of its burdens. Raising awareness of this ever-growing disease is one of the main efforts behind the mission of the Association. American Diabetes Month® (ADM) is an important element in this effort, with programs designed to focus the nation’s attention on the issues surrounding diabetes and the many people who are impacted by the disease.

Here are just a few of the recent statistics on diabetes:

  • Nearly 30 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes.
  • Another 86 million Americans have prediabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
  • The American Diabetes Association estimates that the total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is $245 billion.

Here is a great video of Republican Congressman Tom Reed discussing his personal reasons for recognizing and promoting National Diabetes Awareness Month in November and the reasons it is really a 365-day-per-year cause.

Throughout the month, we will have more content and specifics, so consider this an introduction to National Diabetes Awareness Month. For final takeaways, here are three messages on what National Diabetes Awareness Month is all about from the American Diabetes Association:

Eat Well, America! This year’s theme for American Diabetes Month in November.

  1. Eating well means more than eating healthy. Eating well means savoring food that is delicious, nutritious and simple to prepare.
  2. The American Diabetes Association will show people living with diabetes and others who want to lead a healthy lifestyle how to enjoy foods that are both delicious and nutritious.
  3. We will inspire Americans to eat well by equipping them with tips for planning and preparing healthy meals on their own.
  4. Diabetesforecast.org/adm and 1-800-DIABETES are the go-to resources offering meal planning, shopping tips, grocery lists, chef’s preparation secrets and delicious recipes.
  5. The Association is leading the conversation that helps the nearly 30 million Americans living with diabetes and the 86 million Americans with prediabetes, as well as their loved ones, achieve health and wellness every single day.

Healthy Eating from Start to Finish. The Association will show Americans how to eat healthy from start to finish, without sacrificing flavor.

  1. Every week in November, the Association will introduce recipes for every meal, including snacks and recipes for the holidays and other special occasions, when indulgences can present a challenge to your healthy eating plan.
  2. The Association will include seasonal recipes and tips from noted cookbook authors and chefs to give Americans the extra boost to incorporate healthy eating into their everyday lives.
  3. We will address the start-to-finish steps that empower people to put together a healthy meal that tastes good and is good for you and your family:
    1. Planning and shopping tips will include mapping out a shopping trip, creating a shopping list and choosing budget-friendly ingredients.
    2. Preparation and cooking tips will include tools and techniques that guarantee recipe success.
    3. Plating and serving tips will guide people with simple steps to create a healthy, nutritious and appealing plate of food—whether at home or dining out.
    4. Complete nutrition information for every recipe so that people can decide which dishes suit them best, based on their diabetes management plan and personal tastes.

Lunch Right with Every Bite! On National Healthy Lunch Day, the Association’s annual celebration of nutritious eating, we will spotlight what healthful, simple and enjoyable meals look like.

  1. This year we’ll celebrate National Healthy Lunch Day on Nov.17, when we encourage everyone to “lunch right with every bite” and make better food choices to counter expanding waistlines, low energy and rising rates of type 2 diabetes and obesity-related illness. To start, let’s do lunch—a healthy lunch.
  2. On this day, we will ask Americans to make or buy a healthy lunch and encourage employers and restaurants to provide healthy alternatives.
  3. In addition, we’ll ask people to share their healthy lunch photos using the hashtag #MyHealthyLunch to create social media buzz. Our fans and followers will inspire their friends and family to make healthy lunch choices that best fit their lifestyle.

Emergency Nurses Week is October 11-17, 2015

Quoted from daysoftheyear.com:

Promoted and sponsored by the Emergency Nurses Association and having originated in Australia back in 1989, Emergency Nurses Day is now an international celebration, intended to honour the hard work and dedication of emergency nurses all around the world.

Why do emergency nurses warrant special appreciation? Well, quite simply, because they make a huge difference to sick, injured and even dying people every single day, offering vital assistance and support.

Nursing as a profession requires a special level of compassion and nurses working in hospital emergency wards face numerous difficulties during their working life, yet still return every day to provide crucial care for those who need it the most.

A special focus is placed on Emergency Nurses Day, which forms one part of a wider celebration, called Emergency Nurses Week. Various events are held around the world, in order to give thanks and show support for those who choose to work in this essential profession.

While the entire week is devoted to thanking emergency nurses, Emergency Nurses Day specifically is October 14, 2015.