National Children’s Awareness Month

National Children’s Awareness Month

June is National Children’s Awareness Month and the perfect time to talk about child abuse and neglect.

Child abuse is any act that results in serious harm or risk of harm to children, including physical violence, exploitation, and death. Failure to take action to stop this is also considered child abuse.

Child neglect is when a child isn’t provided basic needs like food, clean clothing, and medical care.

Child Neglect Signs

 

A report of child abuse is made every 10 seconds, and 91% of child abuse is committed by parents.

Reporting Child Abuse

 

4 to 5 children die from abuse or neglect every day in the U.S., and 75% of these children are under the age of 3 years old.

The Risk of Child Neglect

 

Children often can’t speak up to protect themselves from abuse. Some physical signs of abuse include visible and severe injuries, like bruises, sprains, and burns that aren’t easily explained.

Protecting Kids from Abuse

 

Children who avoid or fear situations or a certain person in their life and who have extreme behavior, nightmares, and difficulty expressing their thoughts and feelings may be experiencing abuse.

Signs in Children's Behavior

 

If you know kids with low self-esteem, who have strong shame or guilt, or who have slowed development mentally, physically, or emotionally, they may be experiencing child abuse.

Development in Child Abuse Survivors

 

If you suspect child abuse or neglect, contact your state’s agency for help.

California Avocado Month

California Avocado Month

It’s California Avocado Month, and we can help you use the versatile produce in many different kinds of healthy avocado recipes this summer.

First up are Blueberry Avocado Muffins that are tasty and probably healthier than what you grab at the coffee shop.

Blueberry Avocado Muffins

 

Whip up this Avocado and Egg Breakfast Pizza for a fun breakfast your kids will love.

Avocado and Egg Breakfast Pizza
Image and Recipe via The Kitchn

 

These Coconut Avocado Frozen Pops are a refreshing, tropical summer treat.

Coconut Avocado Popsicles


This easy Pan-Seared Salmon with Creamy Avocado Sauce is as beautiful as it is delicious.

Pan-Seared Salmon with Creamy Avocado Sauce

 

Whip up Avocado Black Bean Quesadillas for a healthy appetizer or meatless entrée.

Avocado Black Bean Quesadillas

Avocado Black Bean Quesadillas

 

This Turkey Bacon and Avocado Grilled Cheese is sure to become a new comfort food favorite.

Turkey Bacon and Avocado Grilled Cheese

 

Lighten up your family’s favorite dessert with Fudgy Avocado Brownies with Avocado Frosting.

Fudgy Avocado Brownies with Avocado Frosting

Cataract Awareness Month

Cataract Awareness Month

June is Cataract Awareness Month, and you can learn more about them with us. Cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss in the U.S.

Cataracts, which are clouding of the lens of the eye that prevents light passing through, affect 24 million Americans over the age of 40.

Catching Cataracts

 

Cataracts are often simple to treat with cataract surgery where a surgeon removes the lens and replaces it with an artificial lens.

Cataract Surgery

 

3 million Americans undergo cataract surgery each year, making it one of the most common surgeries in the U.S. The whole outpatient procedure only lasts about 20 minutes and has a 95% success rate.

Cataract Treatment

 

A healthy lifestyle can help slow the progression of cataracts. Avoid smoking and exposure to UV rays and eat healthy foods to help prevent them.

Preventing Cataracts with Lifestyle

 

While cataracts normally affect seniors, heredity, disease, eye injuries, and even smoking can cause them in younger people.

Cataracts in Young People

 

Wearing proper eye protection to avoid eye injuries and sunglasses or glasses with UV protection in the sun can help you avoid cataracts.

Protecting Your Eyes from Cataracts

What Motivates You?

Long View: What Motivates You?

Have you ever had one of those inspirational or enthusiastic moments that make you excited and energetic? You know, like the feeling right after you lose the first 15 pounds and have stuck to your New Year’s resolution and want to just keep going? Or after you aced a diagnostic test you were neervous about and you want to continue down a healthy path?

That’s called motivation, and Mr. Webster could not have defined it any better: “A force or influence that causes someone to do something; the condition of being eager to act or work.” Well, when I found out that Health Alliance was named the title sponsor of the 2018 Illinois Senior Olympics and that we would be working closely with the Senior Services of Central Illinois in Springfield to make it a success, it motivated me to write this article!

The Illinois Senior Olympics, based in Springfield, is the oldest of the State Games in the United States. The first Senior Olympics was in 1977 and hosted 122 athletes that year. Fast forward to 2018, and we are hopeful that this year’s games will host nearly 1,500 male and female athletes 50 years and older. More than 30 events along with team sports are offered. And if that doesn’t motivate you enough, Springfield is the only qualifying site in Illinois for those wishing to participate in the National Senior Games! The mission of the Senior Olympics is to give everyone an opportunity to maintain or develop their overall health and wellness. It challenges the physical as well as the mental you!

The dates run from July to October 2018 in Springfield. This gives you enough time to check with your physician, practice up, and start training! Individual sport categories range from archery to bridge, from swimming or basketball to horseshoes and Wii bowling. Or get a team sport going in basketball, softball or volleyball. Whatever you choose, there is a sport that will be to your liking and to your physical capacity. Sponsorships and volunteer opportunities are available, too. When you combine our senior participants, our sponsors, and our volunteers, it makes for a great time and something fun you can be a part of. You won’t want to miss it!

Motivated yet? Contact Justin Yuroff at Development@ssoci.org or 217-528-4035, ext. 118. Also check out the website ILSeniorOlympics.weebly.com for more information on dates and registration along with sponsorship and volunteer opportunities. Come join Senior Services of Central Illinois and Health Alliance at this year’s games. Hope to see you there!

Mervet Adams is a community liaison with Health Alliance. She loves her grandson, family, nature, and fashion.

Remember Veterans

Covered Bridge: Remember Veterans this Independence Day

Independence Day is almost a whole month away, but I am already looking forward to it because, you guessed it, the food. Barbecued chicken and ribs, potato salad, and deviled eggs, all in the same meal? It’s almost too good to be true. However, the holiday also moves me beyond just my stomach.

While we always have a flag flying, we have a special flag we fly on the Fourth of July. This simple act always reminds me of the many service members who have defended and still are defending our great nation. I have many family members who have served in the military and still currently are. I can only imagine that being in the military is a very challenging experience, so I am thankful there are resources available to military personnel after they serve. One such resource is the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Local veteran service officers can help veterans navigate the many useful programs offered in their area. The resources they offer include help finding employment, starting or continuing an education, or launching a small business. The VA also helps people who are transitioning from active duty to civilian life, which can be a complicated process.

The VA website features an easy-to-navigate section on health topics. Some are of general interests (like cataracts), while others are topics of a specific interest to service members (like readjustment counseling). One of the department’s more pressing challenges is to provide support for homeless veterans or recently discharged service members.

According to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, the VA says veterans make up about 11% of the adult homeless population in the U.S. and oftentimes, deal with mental illness and substance abuse.

A local resource is our Wayne County Veterans Office. Our veteran service officer is Pete McDaniel. He is located in the Annex Building and is there Monday through Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursdays are by appointments only. This office provides many great local resources.

I know many of you have served in the military or have friends and family who have served. Reid Health Alliance Medicare thanks all those who have protected this country and have allowed us to continue celebrating Independence Day. This year, I plan on being more about the flag and less about the food.

Morgan Gunder is a community and broker liaison for Reid Health Alliance. Born in the South and raised in the Midwest, she is a wife and mother with a passion for traveling, learning, and technology.

 

Healthy Bean Recipes

Healthy Bean Recipes

Lighten up meals this summer by sneaking in more healthy plant protein with this week’s healthy bean recipes.

Dinner will be ready in 30 minutes with this Creamy Polenta with Mushrooms and Beans.

Creamy Vegan Polenta with Mushrooms and Beans

 

Skip the meat in today’s Taco Tuesday with Pinto Bean Fajita Tacos with Cilantro Chile Lime Marinade.

Pinto Bean Fajita Tacos with Cilantro Chile Lime Marinade – Vegan Fajitas

 

Add some protein to your sweet tooth treat with White Bean Blondies.

White Bean Blondies

 

This plant-based Sweet Potato Black Bean Burger is perfect for summer nights.

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burger

 

Whip up Chocolate Black Bean Blender Muffins the whole family will love.

Chocolate Black Bean Blender Muffins {High Protein}

 

Meatless Black Bean Loaf with Creamy Avocado Verde Sauce is a great alternative to traditional meatloaf.

The Most Delicious Meatless Black Bean Loaf with Creamy Avocado Verde Sauce (vegan, gluten free)

 

Make this beautiful Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchilada Skillet for a tasty dinner together.

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchilada Skillet

Better Hearing and Speech Month

Better Hearing and Speech Month

May is also Better Hearing and Speech Month, and we had education for you all week.

Your balance and risk of falling are tied to your inner ear, so ear infections, inner ear disorders, and objects in your ear can actually make you fall. Audiologists can help.

Your Ears and Falls

 

As a parent, do you know the early warning signs of speech, language, and hearing disorders? 

The Signs of Communication Disorders

 

Make sure you know how to recognize the signs of a communication disorder.

 

If your child is falling behind, you may want to have their hearing checked.

Hearing Loss & Academic Achievement

 

Hearing loss affects sentence structure and speech development.

Hearing Loss and Sentence Structure

 

If your child doesn’t use these sounds or letters, talk to their doctor about a hearing test.

Hearing Loss and Speech

 

Hearing loss makes learning vocab even harder for children.

Hearing Loss and Vocabulary

UA-45064957-1