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Camp Good Grief

Hospice of Michigan Offers Day Camp for Children Coping with Loss

One in 20 children under the age of 18 will have experienced the death of a parent and many others will grieve the death of a sibling or another important person in their lives.

Because children can grieve differently than adults, the extent of their grief can often go undetected. To help prevent this, Hospice of Michigan introduced Camp Good Grief in 2012, a day camp designed to help children cope with the loss of a loved one. This year, camp is scheduled for Friday, June 20.

The free one-day camp is held at Camp Newaygo and invites children ages 8-17 to partake in a combination of fun and adventurous camp activities with grief education and emotional support. Hospice of Michigan grief professionals and trained volunteers facilitate the camp, which is open to all children in the community who have experienced the death of a loved one.

“Children are often the forgotten grievers,” said Tangela Zielinski, grief support manager at HOM. When someone dies, people tend to focus on the adult closest to the deceased, but children can suffer from a unique grief that’s important to address.

A child’s grief is far different than an adults; it often comes in spurts and small doses. Camp Good Grief provides a safe, nurturing and fun place where children can process what they’re going through in a healthy way.

By around age 9, children begin to understand that death is a permanent and real biological process. This is also when they develop a strong desire to belong to a group and fit in. It’s when moods and feelings of stress and anxiety appear and when children become more susceptible to peer influence and pressure.

Studies have shown that unresolved loss and grief issues can manifest themselves in poor school performance, acting out, truancy, drug abuse, depression and suicidal tendencies—behaviors that trail into adulthood with disastrous consequences.

HOM recognizes that children can be the age group most affected by death and can have a more difficult time processing and understanding their grief. Camp Good Grief gives these children a safe place to grieve and helps them make sense of the emotions they’re feeling.

“At a time when they’re trying to fit in, the death of a loved one can make kids feel isolated and alone,” Zielinski says.  “Camp Good Grief allows children to connect with others in a similar situation and leaves them feeling they’re not all that different.”

The camp is designed to provide children with a welcoming environment where they can express their grief, be comforted by peers that are going through something similar, enjoy camp activities and find peace in nature, which in itself is healing.

Camp activities include arts and crafts, kayaking, rock wall climbing, a zip line, swimming, gaga ball, a kite memorial and other team building exercises – all activities that can be tied into discussions on grief.  For example, when children climb the rock wall, it can be scary, which provides an opportunity to discuss fear.

“It’s our hope that kids leave the camp feeling that they’re not alone,” Zielinski adds. “We want them to understand that their grief is normal and while it’s okay to be sad, better days are ahead.”

Hospice of Michigan’s 2014 Camp Good Grief will be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 20 at Camp Newaygo, 5333 Centerline Road, Newaygo.  Space is limited and those interested are encouraged to register as soon as possible.  For applications and more information, parents or guardians should call Zielinski at 231.527.0913.

Grief is a personal and individual experience that takes place over time.  While it’s okay to give the child time to be sad and work through their grief, if you see a pattern of worrisome behaviors, you may want to contact a grief professional.

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Mental health tips for parents of teens and young adults

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(StatePoint) If you are the parent of an older child or teen, you may not think about his or her day-to-day medical needs as often as you did during early childhood. But older kids also are dependent on you, especially when it comes to emotional health and wellness.

“Life transitions, romantic situations, stress and exposure to drugs and alcohol are just a few of the challenges facing teens and young adults,” says James Perrin, MD, FAAP, 2014 President of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). “As a parent, you can help ease these transitions and encourage positive choices.”

May, which is Mental Health Month, is a good time to take stock of your child’s emotional well-being. The AAP offers these tips for parents to foster good mental health:

• At each new stage in your child`s life, be extra vigilant for signals that he needs extra support. Be ready to provide it.

• Check in often and keep the lines of communication open. If your child is away at college or has moved out, speak regularly by phone. Children should know that they can talk to you about anything. Be committed to broaching tough topics. Talk about your own experiences and fears when you were an adolescent.

• If your teen has a mental health diagnosis, he or she will need extra support. Pediatricians, school counselors and mental health professionals are important resources.

• Watch for mental health red flags, such as excessive sleeping, personality shifts, excessive moodiness, noticeable weight loss or gain, excessive secrecy or signs of self-harm.

• Don’t skip the annual physical. Not only are teens still on a vaccination schedule, but check-ups are a crucial opportunity to talk to your pediatrician about any concerns, as well as diagnose any potential physical and mental health issues. It’s also a great time for teens to seek confidential advice.

• Safeguard your home against prescription drug abuse by keeping your own medications locked. According to the AAP, prescription drug misuse by adolescents is second only to marijuana and alcohol misuse. The most commonly abused prescription drugs include Vicodin and Xanax.

• Provide logistical support for young adults like completing health forms and physicals for college; setting up accommodations at school if they have a mental health diagnosis; finding physicians to care for their adult needs; and signing up for health insurance. Your pediatrician’s office can help.

• Help limit teens’ stress. Don’t encourage them to take on excessive time-consuming extra-curricular activities. Avoid comparing your children. Every child has his own strengths.

• Encourage habits that reduce stress and promote physical and mental health, such as a well-balanced diet, getting at least seven hours of sleep a night, and regular exercise.

• At this age, it’s important for parents to arm their older children with coping skills that will serve them throughout life, rather than handling everything for them.

More health tips for parents of older children, teens and young adults can be found at www.HealthyChildren.org.

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Public awareness needed to prevent bed bugs

HEA-Bed-bugs(BPT) – One of the most feared household pests of the past decade has been the bed bug. What may be the most unnerving part about these tiny pests is how they hide in mattresses, couches and even dressers waiting for their next blood meal.

In recent years there has been an increase in the number of bed bug infestations across the country. About 99 percent of pest professionals have treated for bed bugs in the past year, according to a survey by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA).

“Bed bugs have several qualities that specifically help them survive and spread,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. “The best ways to stop the spread of bed bugs are through education and taking precautions. Consumers should be aware of their surroundings when traveling and be vigilant about searching for signs of an infestation.”

Understanding bed bugs

Bed bugs are often mistaken for being nocturnal. The truth is they are attracted to the carbon dioxide emitted by their hosts. For this reason, they tend to feed at night while a person is sleeping and emitting a steady stream of carbon dioxide. However, they will also consume a blood meal during the day – especially in heavily infested areas. Although bed bugs prefer to feed on humans, they will feed on other warm-blooded hosts, too.

Bed bugs hide very easily thanks to their small size and flat, seed-like shape, allowing them to squeeze into tiny cracks and crevices. They can also spread very quickly. One female bed bug can lay one-to-five eggs per day, several hundred in a lifetime. If left untreated, bed bugs can quickly become a much bigger problem for homeowners.

Keeping your home bed bug free

Bed bugs are very good hitchhikers. They can latch onto luggage, clothing or linens and easily move from place to place or room to room. The best defense against bed bugs is awareness and prevention, especially when traveling or on vacation.

If staying in hotels, even five-star accommodations, pull back the sheets on any beds and check for bed bugs themselves or the telltale signs they’ve been there. Look for shed body casings, and dark red or brown spots on the mattress or along its seams. Consider packing a flashlight to use in these visual inspections. When checking an area for bed bugs, be sure any bags are placed off the floor on a hard surface. This reduces the likelihood of a bed bug latching onto it for a ride home. And once home, throw clothes in the dryer on high heat, vacuum the suitcase interior and exterior, and dispose of the vacuum receptacle contents immediately.

Treating an infestation

Bed bugs are very elusive and hard to control, so infestations should only be treated with the help of qualified and licensed pest professionals. If you think you have a bed bug infestation, visit PestWorld.org to find a pest professional in your area.

 

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Free Medic Alert/Safe Return jewelry

 

 

Over 60%  of those with dementia will wander at some point during the course of the disease. Wandering can be dangerous and even life-threatening and the stress can weigh heavily on caregivers and families. The Medic Alert® + Alzheimer’s Association Safe Return® program  is a 24-hour nationwide emergency response service for individuals with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia who wander or have a medical emergency.

For a limited time, a generous gift from the Prein Family allows the West Michigan Office to provide our Medic Alert/Safe Return jewelry free of charge to those with dementia and their caregivers. Call for enrollment information: 616-459-4558 or 800-272-3900.

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Diets: the Good, the Fad, & the Ugly

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Stepping out for spring?

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People with diabetes should check their feet first

(BPT) – Spring is finally here and it’s an ideal time to get outside and be more physically active. For those with diabetes, regular exercise helps increase circulation and is a critical part of staying healthy. But, before lacing up your sneakers, remember these important steps to ensure your feet are in shape:

* Get the green light from your health care provider. Discuss the type of physical activity that’s best for you and ask your provider to examine your feet. In general, your feet should be professionally examined four times each year.

* Be mindful of everyday foot care. Sometimes, people with diabetes have serious foot problems yet feel no pain. This may be due to nerve damage, a long-term complication of diabetes. Everyday self care includes inspecting your feet for scratches, cracks, cuts or blisters and washing and drying them carefully, especially between the toes.

* Wear socks and well-fitting shoes. Because of the higher risk of foot problems among those with diabetes, avoid going barefoot, even indoors. Wear socks and shoes that fit properly.

* If you do notice a problem, it may be a foot ulcer. Ulcers occur most often on the ball of the foot or on the bottom of the big toe. Ulcers may also appear on the sides of the foot. Keep in mind, while some ulcers may not hurt, every ulcer should be seen by your health care provider right away.

* Get foot ulcers treated. If you have a foot ulcer, innovative treatments can help, such as EpiFix, a wound care product from MiMedx, used extensively to rapidly and effectively heal diabetic foot ulcers. EpiFix is a dehydrated human amnion/chorion membrane allograft that delivers essential wound healing growth factors, enhances healing and reduces inflammation and scar tissue formation.

* Let it heal. If you have an ulcer, help it to heal by staying off your feet. Walking on an ulcer may worsen the problem by making the wound larger or migrating it deeper into your foot.

“Foot problems, including ulcers, are common among people with diabetes, but they don’t have to hold you back if you take the proper precautions and seek early treatment,” says Dr. Matt Garoufalis, president at Physicians Surgery Care Center, Chicago, Ill., and immediate past president of the American Podiatric Medical Association. “Before you step out to enjoy the spring weather, have your feet checked by a health care provider to make sure you’re good to go.”

 

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Health alert: Are you at risk for type 2 diabetes and don’t know it?

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(BPT) – Diabetes is a serious disease that strikes nearly 26 million children and adults in the U.S., and 7 million do not even know they have it. An additional 79 million, or one in three American adults, have prediabetes, which puts them at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

For 26 years, the American Diabetes Association has set aside one special day for people to learn their risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Held on the fourth Tuesday of every March, American Diabetes Association Alert Day (R) is a one-day “wake-up call” asking the American public to take the Diabetes Risk Test. This year’s Alert Day will be March 25. The Association will also be encouraging the public to start living a healthy and active lifestyle by asking them to join a Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes (R)event in their area.-

The Diabetes Risk-Test-asks users to answer simple questions about weight, age, family history, and other potential risk factors for-prediabetes-or-type 2 diabetes. Preventive tips are provided for everyone who takes the test. For every Diabetes Risk Test taken, Boar’s Head Brand(R)—a leading provider of premium delicatessen products—will donate $5 to the American Diabetes Association starting March 25 through April 25, 2014, up to $50,000.

Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include people who are overweight, are under active, over the age of 45 or who have a family history of diabetes. African Americans, Hispanic/Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are also at higher risk. Understanding your risk for developing type 2 diabetes, or getting an early diagnosis, is critical to successful treatment and delaying or preventing some of its complications such as heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, stroke, amputation and death.

Carmen Micciche was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at the age of 31. By then, at 400 pounds, he’d been feeling the symptoms for about six years, yet he ignored them.

“I didn’t even know what diabetes was when I was diagnosed,” says Micciche, now 56.

Micciche, a Subway (R) restaurant franchise owner, was so focused on building a successful business he ignored his health and suffered through numerous gall bladder attacks before finally seeing a doctor. After checking his blood pressure and testing for diabetes, he was sent to the hospital.

Twenty year later, Micciche now weighs about 185 pounds and has brought his A1C (average blood glucose levels) down from a staggering 12 percent to just over 6 percent, which is close to the normal range. He finally learned, with daily exercise and healthy eating, what it takes to be healthy.

“Eat right, exercise, listen to your doctors,” he says. “You have to do everything you can to maintain a healthy weight. The consequences are too high if you don’t.”

Micciche has helped raise more than $1 million for the American Diabetes Association to help Stop Diabetes (R), placing donation boxes and selling pin-ups in each of his 30 Subway restaurants. He wants everyone to know that a type 2 diabetes diagnosis doesn’t have to end your life.

Studies have shown that type 2 diabetes can often be prevented or delayed by losing just 7 percent of body weight (such as 15 pounds if you weigh 200) through regular physical activity (30 minutes a day, five days a week) and healthy eating. By understanding your risk, you can take the necessary steps to help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.

Be part of the movement to Stop Diabetes and take the Diabetes Risk Test by going to diabetes.org/risktest, the Association’s Facebook page where you can share the test with friends and loved ones, or by calling 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383).

 

 

 

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Top fashion tips for spring and summer

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(BPT) – Spring is just around the corner – time to start planning your warm-weather wardrobe updates. To help you stay on top of the trends for spring 2014, the experts have plenty of advice to share.

Lynne Riding, who is the fashion coordinator at The Art Institute of Charleston, a branch of The Art Institute of Atlanta, and Dr. Courtney A. Hammonds, who has the same role at The Art Institute of Atlanta-Decatur, a branch of The Art Institute of Atlanta, offer some pointers.

Q: What are the top five trends for spring 2014?

A: “Look for clean, simple lines,” says Riding. “You’ll also see pleats, sheers and lace, and prints – both floral and graphic.” Hammonds agrees that pleats, especially knife pleats, will be big this spring. “Graphic prints are a major trend, using written words embroidered or printed across ready-to-wear garments,” he adds. “We’ll also see accessories with metallic touches in gold and bronze this year.”

Q: What are this spring’s top colors?

A: Both experts agree that lilac and other pastels are the most important color story for spring. Greens, especially mint green, are also big. “Muted and sophisticated tones predominate, although brights are also seen, particularly when paired with metallic touches,” Hammonds says.

Q: What one piece should everyone consider adding to her wardrobe to be on trend for spring?

A: “A poplin dress shirt in white, lilac or mint green is a great spring/summer addition,” says Riding. “It could either be a long wrap shirt without buttons or a long shirt worn on the hips with a belt.” Hammonds recommends adding a modern accessory, such as a metallic bag or clutch, statement eye frames, or even a metallic shoe that can go from day to night.

Some other ideas to give your wardrobe the fashion edge this spring? Consider a longer skirt (mid-calf or upper ankle length), wearing a classic shirt untucked with the bottom several buttons undone, or an accessory with fringe. And be sure to hang on to fashions with color blocking. Riding says this trend is continuing to be popular.

Whatever you do, Hammonds advises, dare to be edgy and always be true to yourself and your personal style. Riding adds, “A trend only works if it works for you. Does it fit your style, your lifestyle, what’s flattering? For instance, if lilac is not your color, don’t add a lilac dress to your wardrobe. Instead, choose a flower print that includes lilac or wear a print skirt with lilac tones along with a crisp white shirt.”

 

 

 

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Parents: spring chicks may carry Salmonella

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Health officials at the Michigan Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development and Community Health warn parents that the baby poultry found in feed and pet stores in the spring may carry Salmonella, a common bacterial illness found in the droppings of poultry that can cause illness in people.

“Raising birds can be a great experience, but children need to be supervised and wash their hands after handling chicks and other poultry,” said State Veterinarian Dr. James Averill. “Even birds that appear healthy can carry bacteria that will make people sick.”

“Live poultry, especially baby poultry, can carry Salmonella germs, so it’s important to not keep them in the house and to wash your hands immediately after touching poultry or anything in the area where they live or roam,” said Dr. Matthew Davis, Chief Medical Executive with the Michigan Department of Community Health. “Treating poultry like you would a pet increases the risk for Salmonella infection in a household.”

Salmonella can make people sick with diarrhea, vomiting, fever and/or abdominal cramps lasting 4-7 days or more. People should always assume baby chicks carry Salmonella and should follow these recommendations to protect themselves and others:

Children younger than five-years-of-age, older adults, or people with weak immune systems should not handle or touch chicks, ducklings, or other live poultry because they are more likely to become severely ill.

Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after touching live poultry or anything in the area where they live and roam. Adults should supervise hand washing for young children.

Use hand sanitizer until you can wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.

Chicks should have a heat lamp and should be kept in a barn or garage, in a draft-free cage that keeps predators out.

Always keep poultry away from areas where food or drink is prepared, served, or stored, such as kitchens, or outdoor patios.

Do not kiss the chicks.

Do not touch your mouth, smoke, eat, or drink after handling live poultry.

Clean all equipment such as cages, feed, water containers and other materials associated with raising or caring for live poultry outside the house.

For more information, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/live-poultry-04-13/advice-consumers.html

 

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Community health forum

March 27 6-8 p.m. at Metro Health in Cedar Springs

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The Kent County Health Department needs your help! The Health Department is currently conducting a Community Health Needs Assessment to identify strengths, weaknesses, and the health concerns of several communities within Kent County. Our Cedar Springs area meeting takes place on March 27, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Metro Health, on White Creek (near Save A Lot) in Cedar Springs, and is currently lacking in participation. We need your help to spread the word! The community health forum is open to men, women, and children alike; every person in attendance will receive a meal and be entered into a drawing for one of several $25.00 Meijer gift cards.

This community health forum is crucial to the success and health improvement of Cedar Springs.  We encourage you to participate and hope that you’ll tell others within your organization, social circles, etc.  The greater the participation we see within the community the better we can assess health and work to improve.

To Sign-Up For One Of Our Forums, Please Follow The Directions Below:

1. Visit Our Website:  www.KentCountyCHNA.org

2. Select The ‘Meetings’ Tab.

3. Scroll Down The Page To Find A Meeting Near You.

4. When You’ve Found Your Community Meeting, Scroll To The Bottom Of The Page.

5. Select The Link “RSVP To A Meeting Near You” and complete the survey.

 

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