Tag Archives: clothing

National Lyme Disease Awareness Month

National Lyme Disease Awareness Month

It’s National Lyme Disease Awareness Month, and experts warn that this summer could be a bad one for ticks.

Tick Season 2017

 

If you spend a lot of time outdoors, you should know some of the ways Lyme disease can show up.

Tick Safety Outdoors

 

Wear long, snug clothing to protect you and light colors, which make it easier to see ticks, when you’re hiking.

Hiking Smart

 

You should change and wash your clothes immediately when you get home from hiking or camping in thick grass or wooded areas.

Avoiding Ticks with Your Clothing

 

Use repellent on your skin or clothing to deter ticks, and know where they like to hide, like hair, underarms, and inner legs.

Tick Repellent

 

Worried that you have Lyme disease? Fill out your symptoms and find out.

There are 300,000 new cases of Lyme disease each year, and only 50% of those people find a tick, so know what to do.

Preventing Lyme Disease

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Raising Skin Cancer Awareness

Skin Cancer Awareness Month

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and it is a subject that touches everyone’s lives.

1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer, no matter their skin color. This mini prevention handbook has tips to protect yourself:

The Mini Skin Cancer Prevention Handbook
Image via the Skin Cancer Foundation

 

Do you know the sign of a melanoma? Use this guide to check yourself:

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Image via the American Academy of Dermatology

 

Clothing can protect your skin from the sun, but is your style helping you? Find out:

Clothing: Your First Line of Defense
Image via the Skin Cancer Foundation

 

How is sunscreen actually protecting you and when should you wear one? Get answers:

Sunscreen Effect on Screen
Image via Visually

 

Choosing the right sunscreen matters, and the American Academy of Dermatology can help you figure out that label:

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Image via the American Academy of Dermatology

 

Protecting your eyes with sunglasses is important too. Get UV facts from the vision experts:

Protect Your Eyes From the Sun
Image via The Vision Council

 

Skin cancer has costs, and tanning increases your risk. Protect yourself and your kids:

Tanning Infographic
Image via MD Anderson Cancer Center

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Zucchini from the Garden

Long View: You Don’t Have to Be an Expert Gardener for Homegrown Taste

A few years ago, I moved into a house that could support a backyard vegetable garden. I decided to give it a shot. After all, I had watched many how-to shows on PBS for resource material, and all four of my grandparents were farmers. I cleared out a sizable space and then went to buy the plants.

Most of you know that eight zucchini plants are more than enough for a small town, not to mention a backyard plot. I over-bought cherry tomato plants, too. They got away from me early in the game.

The bugs were another challenge. I guess I never noticed them before, but they sure noticed my tender, young plants and considered them a fresh buffet planted just for them. I voiced my frustration to my neighbor, and she said, “Why don’t you just go to Urbana’s Market at the Square? It’s right next to your Health Alliance home office. How could you not know about it?”

Urbana’s farmers market began in 1979 and has grown considerably since its inception. Thousands of visitors attend it every Saturday morning from early May until early November. Fresh produce is just one of the attractions. Per its website, it also features a variety of other products—from “meat and dairy products, prepared foods, plants, and flowers to jewelry, pottery, wood workings, candles, body care products, garden décor, clothing, and more!” Whew.

I especially like being able to talk to the producers face to face. Almost all of them are quick with a story or a smile, and they remember their regulars. One producer puts back a box of new potatoes if I get to the market a little later than usual. She doesn’t make a big deal about it, and neither do I.

There are always some nice opportunities for socializing. I see lots of people I know, and my visit always takes longer than I expected. Folks just seem to be in a good mood, so why not enjoy it?

You may have a similar resource in your community. You can search on the Illinois Department of Agriculture website. People new to our community and many mature family members make good shopping companions. I think I have found a great way to support our local economy and purchase products that were grown or created in our area. The produce is spectacular. Funny thing though, in all these years, I can’t remember buying a single zucchini.

Who Can You Call? 2-1-1

Long View: Who You Gonna Call? Think Three Little Numbers

I have a good friend at Carle who seems to have all the answers. Let’s call her Sue. Sue is a great resource for me any time I have a question about Carle. She knows the department heads, where the various offices are and how things really work. She is a seasoned and respected contact for me (and many others, I am sure). It makes me wonder where average Joes can turn when they need information and resources.

It turns out there is a place to call – 2-1-1.

The program in Central Illinois is run by PATH, Inc. (Providing Access to Help), which provides services for seniors, people who are homeless and people in need of all ages. Their offices are located in beautiful Bloomington. The PATH website describes the 2-1-1 system this way: “United Way 2-1-1 is for times of crisis, as well as for everyday needs. 2-1-1 call specialists are available 24/7 to help individuals locate health and human services in their area—from mortgage, rent, and utility assistance to food, clothing, emergency shelter, counseling, and much more.”

I spoke to Jennifer Nettleton at PATH. She is the 2-1-1/Crisis Services program manager. Many times when we need help, we need it fast.

Nettleton told me, “2-1-1 helps stop the run-around between social service agencies. Rather than calling every agency in the phone book to find out if they have the services you need, you can now call one place to help get you that information.”

Funding for the program is provided in part by United Way organizations around the state. Our local service area covers 12 counties and one city with another 20 in the pipeline. Many other states have this program in place, so Illinois is making up for lost time.

Find out more about the program. I think many people in need, perhaps some of them Health Alliance Medicare members, will be comforted to know a resource is available 24/7. Of course I could just give Sue’s phone number to everyone, but I fear she might not be my friend anymore.