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Health and Wellness

Ways to improve knee pain

Most people experience knee pain at some point in their lives. Sports, exercise and other activities can cause muscle strains, tendinitis and more serious injuries. Knee pain shouldn't be ignored, here are some tips to help lesser knee pain and improve mobility.

Exercise - Low impact cardio exercise strengthen muscles and increases your flexibility. For example you can walk, swim, do a stationary cycling and or an elliptical machine.

Maintain a healthy weight - Carrying extra pounds can exert additional pressure on your joints and can contribute to knee pain. Talk to your doctor about developing a healthy eating plan and exercise program to help you lose weight sensibly.

Give physical therapy a try - A physical therapist can help design an exercise program that fits your individual ability level and teaches you proper techniques that will spare your joints.

Get enough rest and relaxation - Rest and relaxation can go a long way to promote good health and reduce your pain. A good way to practice this is deep breathing and mediation.

The Lakes Region Visiting Nurse Association offers professional home health care services, making it possible to receive comprehensive health care services in the comfort of your home. Working with clients and their physicians, LRVNA can develop a customized home care plan to reach patients recovery goals, optimum health and independence. LRVNA's services include, Pain Management, Physical Therpary, and much more. Call LRVNA at 603-279-6611 to discuss your health care options.

Shattuck named Caregiver of Month

NEW HAMPTON – Sara Shattuck, of Bristol, a four-year personal care provider at Live Free Home Health Care, has been named Caregiver of the Month for January 2017.
As a personal care provider, Shattuck is prepared to assist in the care of her clients in their own homes through non-medical services. Many of these include: meal preparation, transportation, companionship, light housekeeping and family respite.
Although her schedule includes three overnight shifts per week as well as some day clients, Shattuck feels strongly that her schedule contributes to her being available during the day for her husband and two children.

"I can't complain at all about my schedule, which is certainly one of the strong points of working at Live Free," she said.
"I love them all," is Shattuck's description of her relationship with her clients. She speaks of enjoying their wide range of personalities and experiences.
"I have my regulars, but have kept in touch with many of my past clients," she relates. "I think of all of them as my grandparents, and see myself rather as a friend and companion as I go about my duties," she concludes.
"Sara exemplifies the values and mission of Live Free. Sara has never called to say she can't make it to work. She's someone you can count on." Said Live Free Executive Director Tammy Niles. "Not just to show up but to show up and really make a difference in someone's day...someone's life! We count on Sara because we know we can."

 

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Sara Shattuck, left, was named Caregiver of the Month at Live Free Home Care. With her is Executive Director Tammy Niles. (Courtesy photo)

Children's Auction funds to support program aimed at improving health

LACONIA – Genesis Behavioral Health was one of several local non-profit organizations to receive a grant from the Greater Lakes Region Children's Auction for programs that work to eliminate or mitigate the need for basic and extended services for children. The funding will support Genesis' implementation of a new youth program, SPORT Prevention Plus Wellness, which will launch later this spring.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that American youth are at risk for a multitude of behaviors that are harmful to their health and well-being. These include alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and other drug use, physical inactivity, unhealthy eating, lack of sleep, and uncontrolled stress. The 2014 LRGHealthcare Community Health Needs Assessment and the 2014 Central NH Health Partnership Community Health Assessment both report that alcohol and drug abuse prevention and treatment and access to behavioral healthcare are two of the top five most important health issues facing our community. In New Hampshire and nationally, significant attention is placed on early prevention of substance abuse problems through youth education to instill understanding of risks and skill building to promote risk reduction and resiliency strategies and abilities.

"The staff is excited to be able to utilize the proceeds from this generous grant towards providing evidence-based services that integrate substance misuse education with the promotion of health awareness and self-care. This community is acutely aware of the current substance use crisis. The need for additional interventions and resources to create positive change for youth is evident," said Charlotte Hassan, director of Child and Family Services at Genesis Behavioral Health.

SPORT Prevention Plus Wellness is a motivational intervention and evidence-based practice designed for youth ages 8 to 18. This model integrates substance abuse education and prevention with health promotion to help children and adolescents minimize and avoid substance use while increasing physical activity and other health-enhancing habits, including eating well and getting adequate sleep. The intervention promotes the benefits of an active lifestyle with positive images of youth as active and fit, and emphasizes that substance use is counterproductive in achieving positive image and behavior goals. SPORT PPW was developed with funding from the National Institutes of Health, and is listed as an evidence-based program on the federal government's National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices.
GBH will leverage its current partnerships with area school districts, Plymouth State University, Lakes Region Community College, and public health programs such as Healthy Eating Active Living, Partners in Prevention and Stand Up Laconia to provide trained staff who can offer this program to youth in our community. Staff will screen youth for their health habits, provide tailored feedback and positive image messages, help youth set and monitor multiple health behavior goals, and follow up with youth. The program includes parent resources so the message is reinforced at home, as well as resources for the participants. SPORT teaches youth how risk behaviors and wellness behaviors are connected and influence each other, and offers a unique educational and motivational strategy for improving the whole health and well-being of young people in our region. By bringing this program to the Lakes Region, Genesis Behavioral Health hopes to reduce the need for both mental health and substance use disorder treatment services for youth in our community.

 

 

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Genesis Behavioral Health recently was awarded a grant to implement a program aimed at improving the health of local young people. Accepting the grant award are Maggie Pritchard, executive director of Genesis Behavioral Health, and Charlotte Hasson, Director of Child and Family Services at Genesis. Also shown, representing the Children's Auction, are Sandra Marshall, Mike Seymour and Tony Felch. (Courtesy photo)

NH named worst in the Northeast in efforts to reduce use of tobacco

PORTSMOUTH – The American Lung Association's "State of Tobacco Control" report has found that in 2016 the State of New Hampshire was one of the worst performing states in the nation in its efforts to implement proven-effective policies that would save lives. The 15th annual report grades states and the federal government on policies to prevent and reduce tobacco use. The report shows that most states and the federal government earned poor grades. Overall, New Hampshire received two failing grades for its lack of effort to raise the age of sale to 21 and its place as one of only two states to have zero funding for prevention and control programs. Of the report's five categories, New Hampshire's grades never reach above a "D."

"Tobacco use is the leading cause of death and disease in our nation. Today, 15.9 percent of adult residents of New Hampshire currently smoke, while over 30 percent of New Hampshire high school students currently use tobacco products," said Jeff Seyler, President and CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast. "We need to hold New Hampshire policymakers accountable for the one in three high schoolers who are currently being drawn into a dangerous addiction to tobacco. Passing commonsense tobacco control measures including funding programs to prevent and control tobacco use and increasing the age of sale must become a priority if lawmakers want to save the lives of their residents."

The "State of Tobacco Control" report documents the progress and failures of the states and the federal government to address tobacco use, and the report assigns grades based on whether federal and state laws protect Americans from the enormous health toll tobacco use takes on lives and the economy. This year, the report has added a new grade on efforts to increase the minimum sales age for tobacco products to 21.

"Close to 95 percent of adult smokers try their first cigarette before the age of 21," said Seyler. "Increasing the minimum age of sale for tobacco products to 21 will significantly reduce youth tobacco use and save thousands of lives nationwide."

This year's "State of Tobacco Control" finds the State of New Hampshire's poor grades show that much more must be done by our Governor and State Legislature to pass proven-effective policies that will reduce tobacco use and save lives:

Funding for State Tobacco Prevention Programs – Grade F
Strength of Smokefree Workplace Laws - Grade D
Level of State Tobacco Taxes - Grade D
Coverage and Access to Services to Quit Tobacco - Grade D
Minimum Age of Sale for Tobacco Products to 21 – Grade F

The American Lung Association of the Northeast calls on the state of New Hampshire to act to increase the age of sale for all tobacco products to 21; restore statewide funding for tobacco prevention and cessation efforts; and work to make all shared and public spaces smoke free and clear of secondhand smoke. One spot of hope on the report shows the state did make some progress in the access to cessation services category where the state moved last year's grade of an "F" to a "D."

Beyond efforts to reduce tobacco use rates, the report also looked at secondhand smoke protections in workplaces. While 28 states plus the District of Columbia have passed comprehensive smoke-free workplace laws, no state passed a comprehensive law in 2016, and only one state has passed a comprehensive smoke-free law since 2011. New Hampshire is one of 22 states that has yet to fully protect its citizens from secondhand smoke, earning it the worst grade out of the seven states included in the Lung Association's Northeast charter.

"Unfortunately, this report makes clear that New Hampshire is the worst performing state in the Northeast when it comes to efforts to reduce tobacco use," said Lance Boucher, the Lung Association's Director of Public Policy in New Hampshire. "It's also a great example of how our legislative agenda actually impacts the use of tobacco. It is no coincidence that the state with the worst grades has the highest percentage of high schoolers using tobacco. Instead of proposals to rollback New Hampshire's already weak smoke-free law, we must redouble our efforts to pass commonsense laws that protect our youth from a lifetime of addition, fund programs proven to help current smokers quit, and give all New Hampshire residents the freedom to breathe smoke-free air in public and shared spaces."

In this year's "State of Tobacco Control," the federal government earned an "F" for Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Regulation of Tobacco Products. Although the American Lung Association applauds the release of the final rule that gave FDA authority over all tobacco products, the report recognizes the Obama Administration's failure to proceed with other key initiatives including requiring graphic warning labels on cigarettes and the federal government's failure to move forward on issuing a rule to end the sale of menthol cigarettes nationwide – despite the recommendations from an FDA expert advisory committee.

Other federal grades include a "C" for Federal Coverage of Quit Smoking Treatments, an "F" for Level of Federal Tobacco Taxes and a "B" for Mass Media Campaigns, including the Tips from Former Smokers Campaign.

"It's not a secret how to reduce tobacco use in this country. 'State of Tobacco Control' looks at proven methods to save lives and prevent our children from becoming the next generation hooked on tobacco," said Seyler. "We must demand that elected officials in New Hampshire urgently act to implement these proven policies that will save lives and prevent tobacco-caused death and disease."

Ask Kelly - Tell me about Adderall

Dear Kelley,
We hear so much about opiate misuse that some may forget that there are many drugs (legal and illegal) that are misused. I am interested in knowing more about Adderall. I know a few that have taken this for ADD initially and found that taking more seemed to give them energy to meet the demands of their lives as single moms. Eventually, it lead to abuse and threatened their very lives. No sleep, weight loss, heart palpitations, mood swings. This addiction is costing hundreds of dollars a day, rendering the ability to pay their household bills impossible. Some say it's comparable to crystal meth. Can you speak to this in your informative column?
Sincerely,
Donna

Dear Donna,
Thank you for your question. Stimulant medications including amphetamines (e.g., Adderall) and methylphenidate (e.g., Ritalin and Concerta) are often prescribed to treat children, adolescents, or adults diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). ADHD diagnoses are increasing. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of 2011, 11 percent of people ages 4 to 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD. Addiction to stimulants is a very real consideration for anyone taking them without medical supervision. Addiction most likely occurs because stimulants, when taken in doses and routes other than those prescribed by a doctor, can induce a rapid rise in dopamine in the brain. Furthermore, if stimulants are misused chronically, withdrawal symptoms—including fatigue, depression, and disturbed sleep patterns—can result when a person stops taking them (National Institute on Drug Abuse). If you know someone who is addicted to any substance, the best course of action is to let them know they are not alone and help is available. The NH Statewide Addiction Crisis Line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-844-711-HELP.
For additional information on prescription stimulants, see www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/prescription-drugs
Sincerely,
Kelley