Category Archives: Uncategorized

Tough Talks to Plan for the Future

Covered Bridge: Tough Talks Now Can Save Hurt Feelings Later

Have you ever noticed how much stuff you have packed in your house? It seems to have a life of its own! There was a point where I thought, “If I bring one more thing home, something will pop out of a window.” The thought of moving with all these treasures in tow is daunting.

Now imagine if you had to do so without notice or against your wishes. That would be a nightmare.

Sadly, I remember that a few short years ago, when my grandpa was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, his primary care doctor told him and my grandmother that it was time to downsize from their 4-bedroom home on 15 acres in the country to something a little more manageable.

He felt a part of his independence was being taken from him. But fortunately for him, being newly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, he had a little more say in his plans for the future.

I am sure some of you have older friends and family members who could find themselves in that situation or worse. At some point, they might not have a say in their future and need to transition suddenly from independent living to a group or assisted-living facility, whether the move is short-term or permanent.

It seems that talking about this tough situation ahead of time could save everyone a lot of pain later.

There are some early signs that it is time to talk about moving options. A change might be in order if they have trouble getting dressed or making their own food. Sudden changes in behavior or severe forgetfulness are more alarming and require fast action to protect your loved one.

Help your friends or loved ones have this conversation with their primary care doctors to assess their needs and their next steps and to make the process as easy and stress-free as possible.

There you have it. And it wouldn’t hurt for all of us to plan for the future by simplifying our lives and possessions as we go along!

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.

New Year's Resolution Tips

New Year’s Resolution Tips

It’s time for New Year’s resolutions once again, and we can help you set smart goals with our New Year’s Resolution Tips.

Be realistic while setting resolutions. If you want to start cooking all your meals at home, your first goal should be to eat at home a few times a week, and slowly ramp it up over time.

Planning for Realistic Goals


Be specific. “Losing weight” doesn’t give you something concrete to work toward. Instead say, “I want to lose 15 pounds over the next 6 months.“

If you choose a big goal, like learning another language, break it down into achievable steps, like signing up for a class, buying a tool, or studying vocab each week. And don’t beat yourself up if you’re not fluent at the end of the year.

Achievable Goals


Make it fun to stick to your goal. If you’re trying to lose weight but love desserts, learn about healthy alternatives and making lighter desserts. If you’re artistic, photograph nature to get moving outdoors.

Making Goals Fun


Set deadlines. Making a plan is the only way you’ll actually get started. Meal plan in advance so you make smart choices at the grocery store or get a planner to schedule gym time.

Setting Smart Deadlines


Make every goal a healthy one. Been wanting to redecorate or remodel? Do things you can yourself, even if that just means painting the walls, and get moving without even noticing.

Make Everything a Healthy Goal


Reward yourself when you reach milestones. If you save money from each paycheck for 3 months, go do a fun activity you’ve maybe been cutting back on, like going to the movies.

Rewarding Yourself for Success

National Home Care and Hospice Month

National Home Care and Hospice Month

November is National Home Care and Hospice Month. Home health care includes a wide range of care you can get for an illness or injury at home.

Home care is usually less expensive, more convenient, and just as effective as care in a hospital.

Home Care


Hospice is special care for people who are terminally ill, including medical and physical care and help with social, emotional, and spiritual needs.

Hospice Care


An important part of home care and hospice is being prepared for the future. Document your decisions for your loved ones.

Preparing for the Future


If you’re a caregiver, you should understand your loved ones’ home care and hospice options.

Prepared Caregivers


If you or a loved one has a serious issue, palliative care, or specialized medical care tailored to you, can help relieve your symptoms and improve your life.

Palliative Care


Advance directives help your loved ones carry out your wishes in life-threatening circumstances. Have yours ready.

Having Your Advance Directives Ready

Well-Child Visits for Your Preteen

Well-Child Visits for Your Preteen – Ages 11 to 14

Yearly well-child visits for your preteen help them be their healthiest. These visits with your doctor are for a full checkup to make sure they’re healthy and developing normally. This is different from other visits for sickness or injury.

What Happens at Well-Child Visits for Your Preteen

Your preteen needs to have yearly well-child visits with their doctor to focus on their development, health, and wellness. At the appointment, some of the basics your doctor will cover are:

  • Checking that your preteen is developing at a healthy rate and tracking their history
  • Getting a physical exam
  • Staying up to date with their preventive care
  • Getting education and counseling
  • If needed, setting health goals

Your Preteen’s Development

Your preteen’s doctor can help you keep track of your child’s key developmental milestones, which can include physical, mental, and social skills.

At each visit, your doctor will ask you questions to help make sure your preteen is reaching milestones on schedule. This can help them recognize signs of problems early on and put your mind at ease.

Each child grows differently. Some preteens take longer to start puberty or be interested in the opposite sex. Most of these aren’t a sign that something’s wrong. Your doctor can help you understand what differences could be because of something serious.

Developmental milestones for most preteens ages 11 to 14 include:

  • Interest in looks and fashion
  • Mood swings
  • Worrying what their peers think
  • Gaining a clearer sense of right and wrong
  • Getting better at problem-solving
  • Wanting more independence
  • Challenging the rules and their parents

See more milestones for kids ages 9 to 11 or preteens 12 to 14.

Health Information & History

At well-child visits for your preteen, your doctor will ask you to answer some questions about your child’s health and maybe even your family history.

  • Health questions, like:

    • Have they started showing signs of puberty?
    • Do they often complain of any type of pain?

  • Behavior and emotion questions, like:

    • Do they have trouble following directions?
    • Are they sad or bored?
    • Do they show signs of depression?
    • Do they have someone to talk to about their problems?

  • Eating habit questions, like:

  • School and activity questions, like:

    • Do they like going to school?
    • What do they like to do on the weekends and after school?
    • Do they participate in any physical activities?

  • Safety questions, like:

    • Does anyone in your home have a gun? Is it locked and secure so they can’t access it?
    • Are they experiencing any kind of violence?
    • Are they using any tobacco, alcohol, or drugs?

  • And family and friend questions, like:

    • Have there been any changes in the family, like a new sibling?
    • Do they spend time with friends or a boyfriend or girlfriend?

  • Sexuality questions, like:

    • Have you talked to them about puberty?
      • Most girls start puberty between the ages of 9 and 13, and most boys start between the ages of 10 and 13.
    • Are they dating?
    • Have you talked to them about preventing STDs and pregnancy?

Physical Exam

At well-child visits for your preteen, you can expect their doctor to:

  • Measure their height, weight, BMI, and blood pressure
  • Check their body and limbs
  • Take their temperature
  • Check their vision and hearing
  • Decide if they need any lab tests, like a blood test
  • Give them any shots or screenings they need

Education, Counseling & Health Goals

Your preteen’s doctor can help you with important information about:

  • Caring for your preteen
  • Managing any conditions or diseases they might have
  • Puberty
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Tobacco, alcohol, or drugs
  • Preventing violence in relationships or dealing with bullying
  • Preventing STDs and pregnancy

Their doctor might have valuable handouts, websites, and advice to help or might want to refer you to a specialist who can help with specific issues further.

Their doctor can also help you set health goals to maintain or improve your child’s health, like maintaining a healthy weight, dealing with depression, and more.

Prepare for Well-Child Visits for Your Preteen

Preparing yourself with questions to ask and answers to your doctor’s questions can help you make the most of well-child visits for your preteen.

Know Your Family and Preteen’s History

Make sure you bring any medical records you have that the doctor might not, especially to a first appointment with a new doctor, like a record of shots and screening results.

You should also make a list of any important changes in your preteen’s life, like a divorce in the family, the death of a loved one, a big move, or a new school.

Your family’s history of health and wellness is also an important part of your preteen’s health record. Histories of illness and disease can help doctors look out for issues that run in families and more.

This family health history tool can help you track your family’s health, so that you’re always organized to talk to your preteen’s doctor. Not sure about your family history? Filling this out is the perfect time to talk to family members for firsthand details.

Talk to Your Doctor and Help Your Child Get More Involved

Prepare for well-child visits for your preteen by knowing any questions or issues you want to talk about ahead of time. Some things you might want to ask about:

  • Health conditions, like asthma or allergies
  • Getting ready to talk to them about:
    • Sex
    • Tobacco, alcohol, and drugs
    • Bullying
  • Making sure your kids eat right and get enough exercise
  • Helping them stay at a healthy weight
  • Internet safety
  • Preventive care they need
  • What to do if they get sick or hurt

Once your preteen starts puberty, your child’s doctor will usually ask you to leave the room during the physical exam. This will help them build trust with their doctor and teach them to take control of their health care. Plus, it gives them some privacy at what can be an embarrassing time of physical changes.

At this age, your preteens can also start to help managing their care. They can call to schedule appointments, help fill out medical forms, and prepare their own questions to ask the doctor.

Know What’s Covered

Learn more about what immunizations are covered for your preteens. And log in to Your Health Alliance or search by your or your preteen’s member number to see what preventive care your family’s plan covers.

You can use our general preventive care guidelines and prescription drugs to get an idea of what our plans cover.

If you’re not sure what’s covered and what you’ll need a preauthorization for, you can check your coverage and preauthorization lists at Your Health Alliance.

Now that you’re ready for your preteen’s physicals, log in to Your Health Alliance if you need to set a Primary Care Provider (PCP) for your child or start searching for doctors in our network.

National Cookie Month

National Cookie Month

It’s National Cookie Month, and we can help you whip up some sweet treats without ruining your diet.

Easy Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies combine all your favorites.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies {flourless, no butter}


These light Paleo Lemon Cookies are perfect with tea for a cozy snack.

Paleo Lemon Cookies
Image and Recipe via Texanerin Baking


Ditch the high-calorie box with Healthy No-Bake Samoa Cookies.

Healthy No-Bake Samoa Cookies (Grain Free, Vegan).


Combine teatime in one bite with Healthy Matcha Green Tea Almond Shortbread Cookies.

Healthy Matcha Green Tea Almond Shortbread Cookies


Healthy Double-Chocolate Breakfast Cookies let you eat chocolate in the morning.

Healthy Double-Chocolate Breakfast Cookies
Image and Recipe via Whole and Heavenly Oven


Surprise your kids with Healthy No-Bake Unicorn Cookies for a sweet treat.

Healthy No Bake Unicorn Cookies (Paleo, Vegan, Gluten Free)


These slightly sweet Coconut Oatmeal Cookies are great for an adult sweet tooth.

Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

Healthy Junk Food

Healthy Junk Food

Friday was National Junk Food Day, so all week, we had lighter, healthy junk food recipes to help you indulge in some comfort food.

Whip up Simple Skinny Queso for a get-together or to munch on for Taco Tuesday.

Simple Skinny Queso
Image and Recipe via Womanista


Skip the box and make these Old-Fashioned Cinnamon Sugar Cake Donuts instead.

Old Fashioned Cinnamon Sugar Baked Cake Donuts


These tasty Healthy Broccoli Tater Tots are great for your kids or as a snack.

Healthy Broccoli Tater Tots
Image and Recipe via Aloha


Chicken nuggets are all grown up with these flavorful Paleo Chicken Nuggets.

Paleo Chicken Nuggets


Ditch the bar food and make crispy, crunchy Baked Onion Rings at home, guilt-free.

Baked Onion Rings


You’ll only feel like you’re cheating with the Creamiest Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream.

Creamiest Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream
Image and Recipe via Crazy Vegan Kitchen


Toss the chip bag and grab Chili Lime Baked Potato Chips for your next couch session.

Chili Lime Baked Potato Chips Recipe