Shingles Vaccine May Be out of Reach for Some Medicare Beneficiaries

Introduction to Shingles Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful skin rash. It is caused by the varicella-zoster virus ‚ÄĒ the same virus that causes chicken pox. Once people recover from chicken pox, the virus remains in their body in an inactive state. In some people, it stays dormant; in others, the virus reactivates and causes shingles. The condition is most common in older adults and people with weakened immune systems. The most common complication of shingles is …

Warn Your Grown Kids: Flu Killing Young Adults

Normally it’s those 65 and older who get hit hardest by the flu, but this flu season has been particularly deadly for young and middle-aged adults, causing many more deaths and dramatically higher hospitalization rates than the previous three seasons. The reason is a return of the dangerous H1N1 virus, or swine flu, that caused the 2009-10 pandemic. This particular strain of flu makes people “very sick, very fast, and it kills,” said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) director Tom …

Many Older Americans Not Getting Recommended Preventive Services

The following is a guest post by Yolanda Taylor, integrated communication director at AARP. It takes more than an apple a day to keep the doctor away. If you want to age well, maintaining a healthy lifestyle¬†– along with having routine¬†recommended screenings and immunizations¬†– is critical. However, fewer than a third of the 60 million Americans between the ages of 50 and 64 are up-to-date with many recommended preventive services; 44 percent have high blood pressure; and 33 percent are …

Caregivers: 3 Easy Tips to Remember Your Health Checkups

I finally did it. After more than two years with two painful teeth, I finally got my dental checkup and teeth cleaning! Unfortunately, my delay has caused the¬†need for two new crowns. I’ve always done this regularly, but since I started intensive caregiving that has gone down the drain (as have my other regular checkups). I feel like I should be at a support group meeting saying, “My name is Amy, and I’m a caregiver who has neglected my own …

Saving One Baby at a Time

This is a guest post by¬†Philip L. Graitcer and the second in a five-part series about a group of dedicated¬†Rotary¬†volunteers¬†helping to eradicate polio in Kaduna, Nigeria. ¬† Fomwan Maternity Hospital, Kaduna For most of the team, this is a new experience. They’ve never been in a developing country or given¬†polio immunizations. Now, on our¬†second day in Kaduna, they’re getting their sea legs – learning how to give polio immunizations in a maternity clinic, where 40 crying infants, held by their …